Thursday, September 8, 2011

Author Drop In...featuring Cinda Williams Chima



I am so excited to have one of my favorite authors on the blog today!  Extreme Reader Book Reviews extends a warm welcome to Cinda Williams Chima!  She is the author of the bestselling YA fantasy series:  The Heir Chronicles (The Warrior Heir, The Wizard Heir, and The Dragon Heir) and the bestselling Seven Realms Series (The Demon King, The Exiled Queen, and The Gray Wolf Throne.... which just released on August 30th!) If you love fantasy you will love Cinda Williams Chima's books!  I am honored to be able to share this incredible post written by Cinda.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.  If you haven't read her series, then you MUST check them out! 

 How to Get an Author to Come to Your Town
by Cinda Williams Chima

I often receive emails, comments and messages from readers asking why I don’t come to their town for an author visit. This especially happens after I post the itinerary for an upcoming tour or I list an event on my blog or Facebook. No matter where I’m going, it seems the people who want to see me are somewhere else.

“Why aren’t you coming to my town?” they ask.

The truth is--I’d LOVE to come to your town—really, I would. I love to meet readers. But even an author who is lucky enough to be sent on tour doesn’t generally get to decide where she goes.

The publisher makes those decisions.  My publicist will usually ask if I have any suggestions. If I’ve been hearing a lot from, say, Denver readers, I will mention it. Last time, I actually got on my Amazon author page and looked to see where my books were selling the most.

The publisher will also look at the size of the market, what book sales are like there, transportation costs, etc.

Beyond that, bookstores fill out request forms for authors they would like to host. Publicists quickly get to know which bookstores, libraries, and schools host awesome events that bring a great turnout. You will see certain bookstores hosting one event after another—because they’re so good at it.

My tours have been ten days long, meaning 8 or 10 cities. Plus some weekend gigs during the weeks surrounding the release. For efficiency and cost reasons, my tours usually focus on one region of the country. We try to switch around year to year.

Finally, if I’m aware of an event that would be the perfect place to showcase my book, I will ask my publisher to consider sending me. Sometimes my travel is sponsored by the bookfest/conference itself. For example, this year I’m going to Dragon*Con, The World Fantasy Con, and several bookfests, including Books by the Banks in Cincinnati, The Buckeye Bookfair, in Wooster, OH, and the Spartanburg Teen Reading Festival in South Carolina. Cons and bookfests are a great place for readers to meet many authors at once. And it’s a great place for an author to introduce her books to potential readers.

Is there anything you can do to make it more likely an author will come to your town? Well, first, move to a major market. Sorry, but it’s true. Publicists want the most bang for their buck, so they will send authors where the most people are. If you don’t live in a large town, maybe there’s one within driving distance.  

Tell the author you would love to see her, of course. Also let her know if you know of an awesome venue in your town, such as a bookfest or a great bookstore. Offer to make a pitch/introduction. It often means more coming from a reader than from an author.

Speaking of, support your local bookstores. If they close their doors, there’s no venue to host an author appearance. Get to know bookstore owners, librarians, and teachers. Join your community library’s teen board. Ask if they ever host author visits. Tell them you would like to see your favorite author in person. If an in-person visit isn’t possible, perhaps a Skype visit can be arranged.

Many authors are willing to do school visits. Generally, the school pays a stipend and travel expenses. Often schools join forces to reduce the cost. Even a small market can snag an author visit if it’s in conjunction with a paid school visit. I’ve visited very small towns in southern Ohio and rural Illinois where librarians and teachers ganged up together and hosted me. Often librarians and teachers can access grant money to pay for author visits. Remember--one person on a mission can be very powerful. I have had visits happen because of one determined teen. 

You can find out more about scheduling events with me on my website here. http://cindachima.com/Visit/Visit.htm

What if your favorite author comes to your town? Do everything you can to get the word out. Encourage your friends to go, if they like to read. Attend the event yourself. Support the venue (and the author) by buying books. If the author has a great experience in your town, she will be eager to return. And it’s likely that publisher will send other authors your way, too. For example, I’m returning to Oceanside, CA this fall because I had a great experience there two years ago.

Cinda Williams Chima has authored two best-selling fantasy series: The Heir Chronicles (The Warrior Heir, The Wizard Heir, The Dragon Heir) with two books forthcoming; and the Seven Realms series (The Demon King, The Exiled Queen, and the newly-released The Gray Wolf Throne) with more forthcoming. You can find information about her tour for The Gray Wolf Throne and other upcoming events here http://cindachima.com/Events/events.htm.

More information and excerpts from each book are available on her website, www.cindachima.com. Help for writers can be found under Resources/Tips for Writers, including a document called, “Getting Started in Writing for Teens.”

Chima blogs at http://cindachima.blogspot.com/, where you’ll find rants, posts on the craft of writing, and news. Visit her Seven Realms http://www.facebook.com/Seven.Realms and Heir Chronicles http://www.facebook.com/Heir.Chronicles pages on Facebook.

Thanks again to Cinda for taking the time to write such a great post for us! 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Blog Tour Stop: Everblue by Brenda Pandos

[5stars.jpg]
Everblue
(Mer Tales, #1)
Written by Brenda Pandos
Published by Obsidian Mountain Publishing
Released July 30, 2011

Everblue (Mer Tales, #1) Summary from Goodreads:
"Best friends share everything with each other. Or do they? Seventeen-year-old Ashlyn Frances Lanski is tired of her boring, single life. Spending time with her best friend Tatiana, dreaming about kissing Tatiana's twin brother Fin, and swimming competitively are her only sanctuary. The girls plan to leave their drab lakeside town far behind for college. But when Tatchi fails to return home after a family emergency, and no one knows where the family has gone, Ash chooses to do something drastic to find them.

Ashlyn is about to discover what she’d thought to be true her whole life, wasn’t, and the truth, too fantastical to imagine. Secrets lurk beneath the deep blue waters of Lake Tahoe, secrets that will change Ashlyn's life forever.
"


My Thoughts:
I will say up front that I am a HUGE fan of all of Brenda's work and my expectations were high going into this book.  Needless to say, I was not disappointed!  Recently there have been quite a few mermaid themed YA books released, but Everblue tops the charts! The story was absolutely captivating!  The characters were so engaging and well developed.  Brenda consistently does a great job creating characters that you can connect with and love (especially the guys!- Go Brenda!)  Speaking of that.... my favorite character by far was Fin.  He was absolutely adorable!    He is the twin brother of Ash's best friend Tatchi and also her secret crush.  Unfortunately, she doesn't know he harbors those same feelings for her.  Under normal circumstances acting upon their feelings wouldn't be a big deal, but Fin and Tatchi's family is far from normal and they are hiding a secret that Ash would never imagine!  They are from different worlds but the pull they feel for each other will force Fin to make difficult choices where Ash is concerned.  Choices that could have far reaching consequences.  I also liked Ash's character.  She was the 'all american' high school student- smart, nice, and captain of the swim team (hello... perfect match for Fin!).  She also shows tremendous loyalty to her friends.  Once she realizes that Tatchi and Fin have disappeared, she stops at nothing to find them.  The story also introduced us to other characters that I enjoyed.  Tatchi was awesome!  I loved her strong will and readiness to go against the grain to choose her own path in place of one being chosen for her by the Mer and their politics.


Brenda also did an incredible job creating the worlds both above and below the ground.  Her attention to detail enables the reader to form vivid images of the settings as they read and that really helps draw you into the story.  The Mer's world (Natatoria) was so mystical and majestic.  It's beauty radiated off the pages.  I feel that the story perfectly combines typical teen angst with the fantasy mermaid/merman portion.  The ending was also good and it left me very eager to get my hands on the next installment in the Mer Tales series!  I throughly enjoyed reading this and I am so proud to be able to call Brenda Pandos a friend!  Make sure to check out the rest of the tour stops and go out and get this book.  You won't be disappointed!



Tuesday, August 23, 2011

OK.... So My Comeback Was Delayed!!


http://www.blogcdn.com/www.tuaw.com/media/2009/07/applecaresadface.jpg

Well I had all intentions of getting my blog back on track a few weeks back but unfortunately that didn't happen!  I promise I am coming back- I actually have a review of an amazing book posting tomorrow!!!  I have, however, hit another snag.  Man, I can't catch a break!  My MacBook (which I work on my blog with) was given to me by the school that I have been teaching at and I had to move to another school this school year and they don't provide teachers with laptops there :(  I was hoping to hold on to it for awhile since the start of the school year is always hectic- especially this one- but I got the call today that I have to return it on Monday.  I am totally bummed!  My husband has a desktop PC but I am a Mac girl 100% and I have a very hard time navigating and creating blog posts like I am used to on the PC.  I also have to fight my hubby for a spot in front of the computer!  I am still going to get the blog going again- but I can't promise the posts will look perfect!!  Anyway... thanks for your patience and for sticking with me!  Please stop by tomorrow and check out my stop on the Blog Tour for Brenda Pandos' new book (and new series!) Everblue!

Monday, August 8, 2011

I'm Back!!! I Hope You Are Still There!!!

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3552/3816383688_a79e80d4ab.jpg
Hi guys!
I know I have been seriously MIA for quite awhile, but I decided to take a much needed break from all things blog/book/review and recharge my batteries!  I have really enjoyed my summer but now it is time to get the blog back on track!  I also want to apologize to anyone that may have tried to contact me via email at my yahoo address.  My account got hacked and I have been locked out of it until this week.  I am changing my contact email to extremereaderbookreviews@gmail.com and plan on closing my yahoo account at some point.  I have so much to catch up on and I hope that my wonderful followers are still hanging around!  I plan on making up my absence with an EPIC contest!  You seriously do not want to miss this one!  I plan on having it up by the end of the week.  I also have some reviews to post and a really cool video from a cast member from The Nine Lives of Chloe King answering a question I posed.  So stay tuned!  I am sooo glad to be back and I really missed all of my bloggie buddies!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Nine Lives Of Chloe King + Secret Gamebox Item!


Did you watch the premiere of The Nine Lives Of Chloe King last night?  If you didn't, then you missed out!  It was awesome!!  I am so excited to see what happens to Chloe next week.  I had so much fun in the weeks leading up to the premiere playing the game The Nine Paths To Chloe King.  When we completed the Ninth Path on Monday, I wondered why there was still one item in my gamebox that we never used.  It was a copy of Romeo and Juliet.  I did not have to wonder long because the Mai sent me an email saying that there was an item in the box whose meaning I did not know yet and that I needed to watch the premiere to decipher it's meaning.  Once I figure out the item's meaning and contact the Mai they will send me a clip of sneak peek footage of what's to come for Chloe!!  So after watching the premiere, I know the book's significance....  Chloe meets a totally hot guy named Brian and they are mutually interested in each other.  Unfortunately when Chloe discovers that she is Mai, she also learns that Mai and humans cannot be together.  Something as simple as a kiss between a Mai and human can have deadly consequences (Chloe learns this the hard way in the premiere).  So the copy of Romeo and Juliet represents Chloe and Brian's starcrossed relationship (If they even get to have one!).
http://www.theninelivesofchloeking.com/wp-content/uploads/brian.jpgRomeo and Juliet
Make sure to check back soon for the sneak peek footage of what's in store for Chloe.  I will post it as soon as I get it!  I would also like to thank ABC Family for inviting me to participate in this amazing game.  I had so much fun! 

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Nine Paths To Chloe King ~ Ninth Path!


Today we received instructions on our final path (Path 9) in the game The Nine Paths To Chloe King hosted by ABC Family.  I can't believe the game is coming to an end already.  It was so much fun!  It really has me excited about watching The Nine Lives Of Chloe King, which happens to premiere tomorrow night (June 14 @ 8/9c on ABC Family).  
The Nine Paths to Chloe King Game - ABC FamilyFor Path Nine, we had to figure out the password needed in order to enter the Rezza Capital website.  We had to use the Book of Mai to translate the symbols.  The symbols translated in this password: YELTIHW.  I entered the password at RezzaCapital.com and a list of email address under the heading "The Hunted" appeared.  We had to find Chloe's email address and send her the message "TRUST NO ONE!".  That sounds easy right?!  Well, unfortunately the email address were not in English and I had to do a bit of translating.  I decided to use Google Translate and I copied and pasted all of the addresses into it using Ukrainian to English.  Chloe's popped right up and I promptly sent her the message.  I hope that I did it right!  The email we received also said that the first to accomplish the task would be rewarded, but unfortunately I was at work and couldn't check my MaiPad for emails until 3:45pm and other Circle members had already beat me to it!  Oh well!!  I am waiting to hear back from the Mai for confirmation that I completed the Ninth Path correctly.  If I receive any new information I will pass it on to you!  If you haven't claimed your Mai Protection charm yet, make sure you head over to the game site ( abcfamily.com/ninepaths ) and enter the password : DECEPTION.  Thanks for following along with me during the game.  I hope that you had as much fun as I did!!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Update: The Nine Paths To Chloe King Game: Paths 4,5,6,7 & 8


First, I would like to apologize for my absence around the blog lately.  The end of the school year is my absolute busiest time and I have been really struggling to get anything done outside of my mountain of paperwork!  However, I have made time to play this game (my posts are a different story!).  If you haven't started playing yet, you are really missing out.  The Nine Paths To Chloe King is in full swing.  We just completed the 8th Path today- but don't worry- you can still join in the fun!  The latest two challenges give you passwords that give you access to cool game related goodies!  So now I am going to break down the Paths I haven't posted about yet....


Path Four:
For this Path we were asked to remove the baby bib from the gamebox and look it over carefully.  Upon inspection I noticed the Mai symbol for TRUST~

http://images.buddytv.com/articles/trust-symbol.JPG
 Along with the symbol, there was a website www.kiddiebibs.com.  When you went to that site it asked for a vendor code and after typing in TRUST you were directed to a video showing Chloe running from someone who doesn't seem to have the best of intentions.  If you want to see the video for yourself, just type head over to the site using the link above and type in the code : TRUST.

Path Five:
The Fifth Path had the Circle hitting Twitter to stop 'the deceiver'.
The Prophecy warns, "The Fifth Path will shine light on a deceiver.  The Circle must keep an eye on this imposter and slow his chase by creating many false roads away from the one."
The Mai told us that the deceiver Batko614 was on Twitter searching for information about Chloe.  We were instructed to lead Batko614 on a trail of lies and lead him away from The Uniter.  The Circle was successful and we were rewarded with a hidden video (found by searching "Chloe's Crush" on Google) revealing a glimpse into Chloe's life.  Check it out!



The Sixth Path:
The journey down the Sixth Path took us to The Uniter's hometown of San Franciso.  The Clue for this path came from the Fedex guy!  The package the Circle received contained a t-shirt bearing the Mai symbol for DANGER, along with a note.  The note told us:
"The enclosed garment will lead you down the Sixth Path. You must examine it very closely to hear what you need to hear. Try to remember every detail you discover along this Path.
We need you to report what you hear back to the Mai via Email in order to receive the last challenge of this dangerous Path."
After looking over the shirt I noticed a phone number was printed on the inside at the bottom (1-877-789-1390) and an extension number was printed on the inside near the collar (x.99).  So I called the number and after a long pause (I thought I had dialed the wrong number!) a voice recording started.  I listened to it and then emailed our Mai contact for further instructions.  I was told to post a voice recording or transcript of the message here for my followers.  There is a hidden password within the message that will release a Mai t-shirt for you!  The password is already out, so I will go ahead and tell you that you need to go to the game's website (www.abcfamily.com/ninepaths) and type the word 'THREAT'  into the code box in order to claim your Mai shirt!  Here is a transcript of the voice message.
"We believe the Uniter is here, in San Francisco. If this girl is, in fact, The Uniter, remember she has nine lives. You must eliminate this threat. One word of caution, it has come to our attention that a group called The Circle is helping the Mai. Do not allow them to get in your way. I repeat: Do not allow The Circle to get in your way. Eliminate the threat."
http://images.suite101.com/3275880_com_foe.jpg
"FOE"
The Seventh Path:
This Path's clue came from the Fedex guy.  The Circle received a package containing a business card and a ballpoint pen.  Both items featured Rezza Capital.
The Prophecy tells us, "By the end of the Seventh Path the Circle will be prepared to see the face of The Uniter's greatest Foe."
When we received our MaiPads, they contained a locked media folder.  I have been so curious as to what's in that folder!!  Well, the wait is now over!  The emailed instructions we received told us that we could unlock our media folder, but we first needed the KEY.  The business card we received fit together perfectly with the envelope from the Ukranian Dept. for Adoption and Protection of Rights of the Child that came in my gamebox.  When you put the two items together they spelled out the word : HUNTER.  Yeah!!  That was the key I needed!  I went to the folder and unlocked it and inside was a video showing us the face of Chloe's greatest Foe.  Have a look!


So now we know who Chloe's greatest foe is.... Whitley Rezza!

Path Eight:
And today we received the clues for Path Eight (I can't believe we are almost done!).  It is obvious that The Uniter is being hunted and is in extreme danger and as her protector- we are too!  So the Mai sent us Protection charms.  We were asked to keep it close during the last two remaining paths.  
As foretold by the Prophecy, "The Eighth Path reveals a great and dangerous Foe who sets many traps as he hunts his target.  Only the Circle of Strangers can follow this deceptive path and uncover the truth."
Then we were told that there had been a breach in the Mai security system and our addresses may have fallen into the wrong hands.  We were asked to contact them immediately if any person or any organization attempts to communicate with us about The Uniter.  Well don't you know.... that's exactly what happened!  We received a postcard with Coit Tower in San Francisco on the front and a pretty nasty message on the back.  Check it out:

 I knew there had to be more to this clue, so I decided to try the signature as a webpage and.... I was right!  If you type in batko.me then you get to view this picture-

 http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-d2NLTVQ40pE/TfKI5rfmWbI/AAAAAAAABRg/Acc5Fz47GQ8/s1600/chloe.png
 It looks like a surveillance picture to me!  Not good!


*Now on to the goodies!!  If you would like to claim a Mai Protection Charm for yourself, just type in the password ' DECEPTION' into the Enter Code Box on the game's website.  For the official rules/details please check the game website as well.  Good Luck!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Nine Paths To Chloe King: Paths 2 &3

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-AJ7rekxnSFM/Td2WICxjkoI/AAAAAAAAAcU/MUPCsqgpT28/s400/chloe_box_landing_header.jpg

I hope that all of you enjoyed your Memorial Day weekend!  I did plenty of relaxing- which was my goal!  The holiday is over and I am once again back on my quest to find The Uniter!  I received a mysterious package from the Fedex guy today and was surprised to see that it was from ABC Family.  Another clue!!  Inside the black jewelry box with a small note that had Mai symbols on one side and on the other it read: "To unmask the ancient Mai script, seek the Bastet in your Book of Mai.  A secret waits beneath.  Tweet the decoded message using #TheUniter."  There was also a silver cat charm included in the box!  So I went to the Book of Mai and used the Mai alphabet to decode the symbols on the clue card and it said : The Uniter is Chloe King.  PATH 3 COMPLETED!


Path 2 clues were given to me on Friday and they lead me to a YouTube video about the Mai.  You can check out the video HERE.

Don't forget that you can play The Nine Paths To Chloe King along with me!  You will have the opportunity to win some prizes and maybe even score the GRAND PRIZE.... a trip to the set of The Nine Lives of Chloe King!  I will also be providing you secret code words a few times throughout the 3 week game that will unlock free gifts and extras for you- so keep an eye out on my site or in the Storify feed box on the game's web page.  Click HERE if you would like to play.

Here is a sneak peek at ABC Family original series The Nine Lives of Chloe King which premieres on June 14th at 9/8c!  Enjoy!!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Do You Want To Play "The Nine Paths To Chloe King" With Me & ABC Family???

 I received an email from ABC Family last week inviting me to participate in The Nine Paths To Chloe King game!  This game is a three week online adventure leading up to the premiere of the ABC Family original series 'The Nine Lives of Chloe King.  The show will debut on Tuesday, June 14th at 9/8c on ABC Family so make sure to set your DVRs.  I am so excited because I had so much fun last summer participating in the Pretty Little Liars Secret Keeper Game!  I received my Game Box yesterday and all I can say is.....  SQUEEEEEE!!!!!!  Take a look!



The box itself is awesome!  It is wooden with the Mai symbols carved on the top and when you slide the top off the underside of the lid has the show's logo carved in it.  The box contained a MaiPad ... aka~ an iPad 2 (WOW!!) loaded with information that will help me on my journey down the nine paths.  There were also various other items/clues that I will need as the game progresses.  I think that the coolest aspect of this game is that YOU (my lovely FOLLOWERS) get to play along and score prizes too!!!  The game started yesterday and unfortunately I was unable to get this post up until today because of work obligations, but don't fret because there is still time to join in the fun and maybe even claim a prize!  Here is how it works (I copied this info from the game's website):

On June 14th, 1995, a prophecy was discovered on a stone tablet in a remote cave near the Red Sea. Etched into this stone were Nine Paths -- instructions that lead the way to an amazing someone, known to many as The Uniter. Written in our ancient tongue, this Nine Paths Prophecy clearly states that we, the Mai, must first contact a select group of Humans — the Circle of Strangers.

It is written, "The Circle of Strangers must travel all Nine Paths in order to find The Uniter and help deliver a message of life or death."

You are a part of this select Circle. Only this group of humans can travel these Nine Paths and lead us to the one. We are honored that you stepped forward to take this journey, and we will do our best to guide you.

Every few days clues will be posted that will keep you traveling down the Nine Paths -- these paths will start at abcfamily.com but take you across the internet and give you exclusive videos, photos, and more.

The first person to correctly execute the Nine Paths will win the GRAND PRIZE (subject to verification): a set visit to The Nine Lives of Chloe King !*

*Additionally, keep an eye on the Storify feed at the bottom on the game's website that will have posts from the network of participating bloggers (THAT WOULD BE ME!! :) The bloggers will be unlocking some free gifts (available while supplies last) and extras for you!!  You'll just need to check out my post on each of the nine path challenges I have solved and I will be giving you the secret code that you will need to claim your gift!  Just check out the site HERE!
Path One: Completed!!!

I completed the task for the first path and the reward for that is the secret code word my Lovely Followers will need to claim the first prize (while supplies last) and a peek at The Uniter Scroll!  The code word is Circle.  Just head to the game's website and look on the sidebar for the spot to enter the secret code word.  The Uniter Scroll is pictured below, so make sure to check it out too!

This game is going to be lots of fun, so I hope you will play along with me!  Welcome to the Circle!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Review: Griffin Rising by Darby Karchut

Griffin Rising [5stars.jpg]
Griffin Rising
Written by Darby Karchut
Release Date: June 28, 2011
Published by Twilight Times Books
 *Arc copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review


Summary from Goodreads:
"For Griffin, it’s time to angel up.
Armed with the power to control the ancient elements of Earth and Fire, sixteen year old Griffin is determined to complete his apprenticeship and rise to the rank of Terra Angeli.
But first, he must overcome a brutal past if he is to survive in this world. Will the perseverance of his mentor and the love of a mortal girl give Griffin the strength he needs to triumph over the monster still haunting him?"


My Thoughts:
This was a really heartwarming book!  Darby Karchut's debut novel is not only about Guardian Angels, but on a deeper level it seems to be about the journey of self discovery.  Griffin's story had me wiping my eyes at times and laughing out loud at others.  The story chronicles Griffin's journey from the tragic start of his apprenticeship as a Terrae Angeli or Guardian Angel to his final test, the Prolieum.  I am a huge fan of Angel-themed books and this one is fantastic!  It was a fresh take on Guardian Angels and had such an original storyline mixed with memorable characters.  Darby Karchut did an incredible job developing these characters.  Griffin was just so darn lovable!  He was battling the emotional demons stemming from his abusive past with his first Mentor, but lucky for Griffin, he was placed with a new Mentor named Basil.  Basil had a loving and capable hand where Griffin was concerned and this enabled Griffin to emerge from his shell and blossom into what he was destined to be.  Griffin's vulnerability was endearing and his dedication to his destiny was admirable.  The changes that take place in Griffin are no doubt in response to Basil's patience, understanding, and the father figure relationship he forged with Griffin.  I really enjoyed the banter between the two of them too.  It had me snickering throughout the book!  Griffin also goes through another change when a new family moves in across the street.  Much to Griffin's liking, the family has a daughter the same age as him- and she is cute!  Griffin falls for the new girl (Katie) and the romance that sparks between them was both sweet and innocent.  It brought me back to how it felt to be a young teen discovering love in all its awkward glory! 

I liked the manner in which Darby Karchut wrote the book.  Each chapter was a journal entry from one of the main characters (Griffin, Basil, or Katie) and this type of story structure really seemed to allow the reader to get to know each character on a deeper level.  The story ended with a surprising twist that left me craving the next book in the series in a big way!  I would highly recommend this book to all that enjoy Angel stories!  It is a really quick read that should appeal to young teen readers as well as adult readers!  Congrats to Darby Karchut on a wonderful debut!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Review: Hourglass by Myra McEntire

Hourglass[5stars.jpg]
Hourglass
Written by Myra McEntire
Release Date: June 14, 2011
Published by EgmontUSA
*Arc provided by AmazonVine in exchange for an honest review
 
Summary from Goodreads:
"One hour to rewrite the past . . .
 
For seventeen-year-old Emerson Cole, life is about seeing what isn’t there: swooning Southern Belles; soldiers long forgotten; a haunting jazz trio that vanishes in an instant. Plagued by phantoms since her parents’ death, she just wants the apparitions to stop so she can be normal. She’s tried everything, but the visions keep coming back.
So when her well-meaning brother brings in a consultant from a secretive organization called the Hourglass, Emerson’s willing to try one last cure. But meeting Michael Weaver may not only change her future, it may change her past.
Who is this dark, mysterious, sympathetic guy, barely older than Emerson herself, who seems to believe every crazy word she says? Why does an electric charge seem to run through the room whenever he’s around? And why is he so insistent that he needs her help to prevent a death that never should have happened?

Full of atmosphere, mystery, and romance, Hourglass merges the very best of the paranormal and science-fiction genres in a seductive, remarkable young adult debut.
"

My Thoughts:
Hourglass was such interesting book!  It was a little slow to start but after a few chapters I was hooked!  The cover is to die for and I have been in cover lust since I first laid eyes on it.  I started reading the book unsure of what it was really about.  The summary on the book jacket doesn't really let on to the theme and I have to say that I enjoyed the surprise (So I won't spoil it for you either!).  I will say that the plot was full of unexpected twists and Myra McEntire did a fabulous job keeping the reader guessing.  The characters in the book where developed nicely and all of them (minus her brother and sister-in-law) had secrets and hidden layers.  The secrets came to light as the story progressed but there are still many that have yet to be revealed (hello book two!).  The main protagonist Emerson was really cool.  She seemed like someone that I would like to be friends with.  She carried a ton of emotional baggage due to tragedies in her past.  She also struggled to come to terms with her 'gift' and her total lack of knowledge as to what it was and what all of it meant.  Even through all of that she still pushed forward.  She was really strong and tried so hard to do what was best for all of those around her.  When she meets Michael her world does a complete 180!  Ahhh.... Michael!!  The gorgeous, caring, chivalrous knight in shining armor!  He had all of the answers to the burning questions Emerson has been searching for.  The answers, however, do not come easy.  Michael is complicated and also very hard to read, but Emerson is inexplicably drawn to him (as he is to her).  Once the two of them meet she is thrust into one seriously crazy power struggle with consequences that are more far-reaching than you can imagine!  I had no idea how the book was going to end until I actually read the ending- and I love that!  There was a surprise plot twist every time I thought I had it figured out.  I was satisfied with how everything was left, but it has me seriously pining for the next book!  I recommend this book to EVERYONE!  If you love a good story, interesting plot, great characters, and a surprise around every corner then this book is the book for you!!  An absolutely stunning debut from Myra McEntire!!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Review: Blood Magic by Tessa Gratton

Blood Magic (Blood Journals, #1)
Blood Magic
(The Blood Journals #1)
Written by Tessa Gratton
Release Date: May 24, 2011
Published by Random House Books for Young Readers
*arc provided by Amazon Vine in exchange for an honest review

Summary from Goodreads:
"This page-turning debut novel will entice fans who like their paranormal romances dark and disturbing. It's a natural next-read for fans of Stephanie Meyer, Carrie Jones, and Becca Fitzpatrick. But instead of mythical creatures, blood magic has everything to do with primal human desires like power, wealth, and immortality.

Everywhere Silla Kennicott turns she sees blood. She can't stop thinking about her parents alleged murder-suicide. She is consumed by a book filled with spells that arrives mysteriously in the mail. The spells share one common ingredient: blood, and Silla is more than willing to cast a few. What's a little spilled blood if she can uncover the truth? And then there's Nick—the new guy at school who makes her pulse race. He has a few secrets of his own and is all too familiar with the lure of blood magic. Drawn together by a combination of fate and chemistry, Silla and Nick must find out who else in their small Missouri town knows their secret and will do anything to take the book and magic from Silla.
"


My Thoughts:
After you read this book you will never look at your blood in the same way again!  I really enjoyed reading Blood Magic! The plot was so original and had enough twists and turns in it to give you whiplash! Magic, romance, danger, suspense, murder, and the quest for immortality made it difficult to put down and kept me reading way too late into the night.  I felt like I really got to know the characters and I felt connected to them.  The chapters alternated points of view between Silla and Nick, as well as occasional journal entries from other characters.  I like this style of writing and I feel that it adds to the character's development. Silla and Nick were my favorite characters.  Silla was dealing with some heavy emotions and the discovery of her 'magic' was the spark that brought her back to life.  Nick was just a really cool guy.  He was not as easy to figure out as Silla and their relationship was very natural and sweet.  I really enjoyed the unexpected plot twists!  It was hard to figure out who the villain was!  I have to say that when it was finally revealed I was very surprised!  The pace of the book was fast enough to keep you engaged, but not so fast that you feel that the story is rushed.  Tessa Gratton did a great job with the setting and tone of the book.  I could easily picture everything in my head, especially the graveyard that is the central point of most of the important events in the story.  I would highly recommend Blood Magic to readers that enjoyed books like Beautiful Creatures and Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl or anyone that likes a good gothic romance!  It is a stunning debut novel and I can't wait for the next installment in The Blood Journals series!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

In My Mailbox (67)


In My Mailbox is a weekly post that allows us to share the books we received during the week.  This is a couple of weeks worth of book goodness!  Here's what I got:


For Review:
Blood Red Road by Moira Young
Hourglass by Myra McEntire
Blood Magic by Tessa Gratton

Bought/Swap:
After Midnight by Lynn Viehl
Shift by Jeri Smith-Ready
Dark Mirror by M.J. Putney
Remember Me by Christopher Pike
Die For Me by Amy Plum
Abandon by Meg Cabot
Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier
Entwined by Heather Dixon
Marvelous World: The Marvelous Effect by Troy Cle
Kiss of Life by Daniel Waters
Gone by Lisa McMann

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

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Winners of The Spring Blog Carnival Giveaways!!!

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-xnN4B6PKIuM/Tb6orQ8zYbI/AAAAAAAAFRQ/_Ek1Yfplxi4/s1600/carnivaltitle1.png
I am so excited to announce the winners of both of my Spring Blog Carnival Giveaways!  I would like to thank the wonderful hosts of the Carnival- Candace's Book Blog, Reading Angel, Pure Imagination, and The Book Swarm!  They put a lot of work into making this Carnival so much fun!  And now on to the winners!!!

*All winners chosen by Random.Org and will be notified by email*
The winner of The Spring Blog Carnival Hop Giveaway and now the owner of an arc of Clarity by Kim Harrington, The Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan, and Aurelia by Anne Osterlund plus some assorted swag goodies is.....
Cialina!!!

The winner of The Spring Blog Carnival Challenge: Guessing Booth and now the owner of a signed copy of Evernight by Claudia Gray, an arc of Chime by Franny Billingsley and a swag pack is....

 The Book Pixie!!!

*Here are the answers to the cover collage challenge:
  1. After Obsession by Carrie Jones and Steven Wedel
  2. Luminous by Dawn Metcalf
  3. Eve by Anna Carey
  4. The Faerie Ring by Kiki Hamilton
  5. Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout
  6. Indelible by Lani Woodland
  7. Frost by Wendy Delsol
  8. Wildefire by Karsten Knight
  9. Fury by Elizabeth Miles

I would like to thank all of you for entering and dropping by my blog!  I am still collecting goodies for my next giveaway and it is going to be EPIC- so make sure you check back soon!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Spring Blog Carnival Challenge: Guessing Booth!

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-xnN4B6PKIuM/Tb6orQ8zYbI/AAAAAAAAFRQ/_Ek1Yfplxi4/s1600/carnivaltitle1.png
?*?*? GUESSING BOOTH ?*?*?
On your way through the carnival why not try your luck at The Guessing Booth?  What's in it for you?  If you can guess the names of the upcoming 2011 YA covers below then you will be entered to win an AWESOME prize pack!  The contents of the prize pack are as follows:

  • *SIGNED* copy of Evernight by Claudia Gray
  • arc of Chime by Franny Billingsley
  • SWAG Pack: signed (Claudia Gray) The Dark Days of Supernatural tour bookmark, The Faerie Ring by Kiki Hamilton postcard & signed bookmark, signed Possession by Elana Johnson bookmark, signed OyMG by Amy Fellner Dominy bookmark, signed The Emerald Talisman and The Sapphire Talisman by Brenda Pandos bookmarks, Matched by Ally Condie bookmark, The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff bookmark, The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa bookmark, Angel Star and Lemniscate by Jennifer Murgia bookmark, Class of 2K11 bookmark
To have a chance at the prize pack you must take a guess at the titles of the upcoming 2011 books in the collage.  The entry form will have spaces for your answers.  You don't have to guess correctly to win but it will gain you an extra point!!  International entries are welcome as always!

Fill out the form below with your answers and hit submit!




 
Make sure to enter my hop giveaway!  You can win an arc of Clarity by Kim Harrington, The Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan, and Aurelia by Anne Osterlund- plus some swag!  Click HERE to enter.
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-WRBBR6zJabY/Tbqc3fkl6dI/AAAAAAAAFRE/7aDNzZstdEY/s1600/carnivaltitle1.png
Spring Blog Carnival is Hosted by
Candace’s Book Blog http://www.candacesbookblog/, Reading Angel http://www.readingangel.com/, Pure Imagination http://www.pureimaginationblog.com/, and The Book Swarm http://www.bookswarm.blogspot.com/

May 1st-

Reading Angel: Haunted House
Reading Teen: Fortune Tellers Booth

May 2nd-

Candace’s Book Blog: Food Court
The Mod Podge Bookshelf: House of Mirrors

May 3rd-

The Book Swarm: Roller Coaster
Actin’ Up With Books: Karaoke Booth

May 4th-

Pure Imagination: Kissing Booth
Lovely Lit: Once Upon a Time Booth

May 5th-

Awesomesauce Books: Gaming Booth
Books R Us: Medieval Booth

May 6th-

Extreme Reader Book Reviews: Guessing Booth (That's Me!!:)
Colloquium: Cotton Candy Booth

May 7th-

The Minding Spot: Teacups Booth
Miss Remmers Review: It’s a Bad World Booth

*Don't forget to enter all of the other giveaways participating in the Blog Hop!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Spring Blog Carnival Giveaway Hop

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-WRBBR6zJabY/Tbqc3fkl6dI/AAAAAAAAFRE/7aDNzZstdEY/s1600/carnivaltitle1.png

I am so excited to be participating in The Spring Blog Carnival that is being sponsored  by Candace's Book Blog, Reading Angel, Pure Imagination, and The Book Swarm.  This giveaway is part of the giveaway hop!  Here is what is up for grabs from me:



Clarity by Kim Harrington (arc copy)
The Demon's Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan
Aurelia by Anne Osterlund

Details:
The giveaway will run until midnight, May 8th.  This contest is open internationally.  Please fill out the form below:





 Don't forget to enter all of the fun Carnival Challenges!
May 1st-
Reading Angel: Haunted House
Reading Teen: Fortune Tellers Booth

May 2nd-
Candace’s Book Blog: Food Court
The Mod Podge Bookshelf: House of Mirrors

May 3rd-
The Book Swarm: Roller Coaster
Actin’ Up With Books: Karaoke Booth

May 4th-
Pure Imagination: Kissing Booth
Lovely Lit: Once Upon a Time Booth

May 5th-
Awesomesauce Books: Gaming Booth
Books R Us: Medieval Booth

May 6th-
Extreme Reader Book Reviews: Guessing Booth
Colloquium: Cotton Candy Booth

May 7th-
The Minding Spot: Teacups Booth
Miss Remmers Review: It’s a Bad World Booth

Don't forget to enter all of the other giveaways that are part of the hop too!!


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Waiting On Wednesday

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/__XbVbpIU5LU/TPZmqVjxLwI/AAAAAAAACrI/auLbQhDrMiE/s1600/waiting+on+wednesday+1.png
"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!  Waiting is such torture!  Here are a few that I am waiting for....

As I WakeAs I Wake
Written by Elizabeth Scott
Release Date: September 15, 2011
Published  by Dutton Juvenile

Summary from Goodreads:
"What if you woke up and didn't know where you were?

What if you didn't know who you were?

And what if, when your memories started to come back--what if they didn't match the you that you're supposed to be?

Ava is welcomed home from the hospital by a doting mother, lively friends, and a crush finally beginning to show interest. There's only one problem: Ava can't remember any of them--and can't shake the eerie feeling that she's not who they say she is.

Ava struggles to break through her amnesiac haze as she goes through the motions of high-school life, but the memories that surface take place in a very different world, where Ava and familiar-faced friends are under constant scrutiny and no one can be trusted. Ava doesn't know what to make of these visions, or of the boy who is at the center of them all, until he reappears in her life and offers answers . . . but only in exchange for her trust.
"



The Mephisto Covenant (The Mephisto Covenant, #1)The Mephisto Covenant
Written by Trinity Faegen
Release Date: September 27, 2011
Published by EgmontUSA


Summary from Goodreads:
"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—Sasha is 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 looming, Jax has to keep Sasha safe and
win her over. But can he? Will Sasha love him and give up her mortal
life?
"


*Both of these sound fantastic and I can't wait until they release!!