Friday, December 31, 2010

Review: Nevermore

Synopsis: And the raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting

On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;

And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming,

And the lamp-light o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;

And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted - nevermore!

Cheerleader Isobel Lanley is horrified when she is paired with Varen Nethers for an English project, which is due—so unfair—on the day of the rival game. Cold and aloof, sardonic and sharp-tongued, Varen makes it clear he’d rather not have anything to do with her either. But when Isobel discovers strange writing in his journal, she can’t help but give this enigmatic boy with the piercing eyes another look. Soon, Isobel finds herself making excuses to be with Varen. Steadily pulled away from her friends and her possessive boyfriend, Isobel ventures deeper and deeper into the dream world Varen has created through the pages of his notebook, a realm where the terrifying stories of Edgar Allan Poe come to life.
As her world begins to unravel around her, Isobel discovers that dreams, like words, hold more power than she ever imagined, and that the most frightening realities are those of the mind. Now she must find a way to reach Varen before he is consumed by the shadows of his own nightmares.
His life depends on it.

My Review: This book was simply fantastic.  Beyond fantastic really, it was utterly amazing.  I forewarn you, you’ll be reading a lot of adjectives such as amazing, awesome, epic, and unbelievable.  If you couldn’t already tell I am utterly in love with this book .  I passed up buying it while I was in a bookstore because I had it from a book tour.  Boy do I regret that. 
The synopsis gives off the impression that it’s the unlikely love story between the popular cheerleader and the goth guy.  The girl stops being a stuck up bitch and sees what a wonderful person the goth guy is blah blah blah.  Don’t be fooled!  It is so much more than that!   While Isobel does kind of start off as the snobby popular girl, she is not mean.  Her friends on the otherhand are a different story.  For Isobel being paired up with Varen is bad enough, but it gets worse when her possessive boyfriend gets word of it.  There is really no other way to describe him.  He is extremely territorial and stoops to beating on Varen because he’s paired with Isobel.   Isobel doesn’t take any of that crap though.  She thinks his behavior is despicable and lets him know it.  Of course all her friends don’t understand why she’s getting on her boyfriend about it, stuck up snobs that they are.  Her friends are truly sickening, and when they finally push it too far with Varen, Isobel lets them have it.  I really admired her for that.  It’s not easy to stand up to your own friends when you know they are behaving poorly.  And well she slapped her boyfriend and ended that relationship.  That was just awesome.  Isobel isn’t petty and she stood by Varen because it was the right thing to do, even though she pretty much ended all of her friendships in the process.  She’s an amazing individual who sticks with her convictions despite what others think and I really admire that. 
And I’m not forgetting Varen.  Maybe I’m just a sucker for misunderstood poetry types who wear a lot of black and have a lip ring…yep that’s definitely it.  Varen in one word…intense.  While we don’t really get to see his perspective on many things I really loved his character.  It’s the way that Isobel comes to see him that is truly inspiring.  Like many people, Varen uses the whole Goth thing to hide away the things in his life that he can’t stand to face.  When he lets Isobel in, it’s so sweet.  Yes I’m a gushy romantic at heart, shhh, don’t tell anyone.   I won’t gush too much, cuz you’ll understand why he’s so amazing when you read it. 
The author is a pure genius.  No, no, really.  I’m a huge fan of Edy Poe and I’ve read the vast majority of his stories and some of his poems so it was really easy for me to get sucked into the story.  The way she weaved the spine tingling tales of Poe into the story was truly masterful.  The lines of reality and fiction begin to blur and Isobel gets caught in the crosshairs.  She soon realizes that these forces are after Varen and they won’t give him up without a fight, and Isobel is the only one who can fight back. 
I went into this book thinking that this was it.  So I was expecting a conclusion.  The ending shocked me so flippin badly and caused me such extreme emotional distress that I was about bawling after I finished.  I truly thought that it was the end and I wasn’t getting any more.  Devastated is an apt description.   I calmed down when someone confirmed a sequel.   It was just such an unexpected ending.  Of course I should have expected a tragic ending, it’s Poe inspired after all.  The epilogue was the single most heart wrenching ending ever.  It is truly beyond words how touching it was.  You will cry, I will tell you that right now.  As you can probably tell after reading this, this is my new favorite book.  Amazing doesn’t even begin to describe this.  Future books will be just as mind blowing and I cannot wait to find out what happens next.  I really don’t know what to expect, but I am definitely willing to wait to find out. Albeit a little impatiently, but it will be well worth it. 


Thursday, December 30, 2010

Review: Through Her Eyes

Synopsis: Sixteen-year-old Tansy Piper moves with her grandfather and her mother, a horror writer, to the setting of her mother's next book--a secluded house outside of a tiny, desolate West Texas town. Lonely and upset over the move, Tansy escapes into her photography and the dark, seductive poems she finds hidden in the cellar, both of which lure her into the mind and world of a mysterious, troubled young man who died sixty years earlier.

My Review: I’m not normally the “ghost story” type.  Frankly because the chick ALWAYS falls for the ghost!  Okay well I’ve come across one book that is the exception to that rule, but you get my point.  Plainly put, the synopsis simply does not do this book justice.   I wasn’t expecting anything too great going into this book, but boy was I blown away.  It was soooo much more than I was expecting, and I will definitely be purchasing this when it is released. 
I adored Tansy.  Probably one of my favorite female MC’s in a long while.  She had sass, unique style, and loves her family more than anything.  Her relationship with her grandfather is truly beautiful and I only wish that I had that type of relationship with any of my grandparents.  I adored her little obsession with hats.  And well I’m jealous, because I look horrible in any hat that is not a baseball cap.  I connected with her very easily, maybe because we share that artistic perspective on things.  Tansy is very passionate about her photography.  She even uses a dark room, which in my opinion is the only way to go if you are a creative photographer.  She finds beauty even in the most every day things.   Tansy has always moved around because of her mother’s compulsion to bounce around so much.  As a result she’s never truly settled into any one place, and has never truly made a friend.  She’s terrified of getting hurt from any connection she makes with people and so she pushes them away.  I loved how Tansy truly transforms through the course of the story.  She lets herself open up to others and comes to make an amazing friend. 
The author is masterful in how she brings you to the edge of madness and then yanks you back to reality.  I went back and forth from being convinced Tansy was truly losing her mind, and that the ghost really did exist and wanted Tansy.  It was just plain amazing how intense and suspenseful this novel was.  Usually I’m pretty good at guessing the end of a book.  Not with this one!  I was convinced she was crazy, that she was being possessed, that she was for sure going to die, and well let’s just say that in the end I didn’t know what to expect.   You will be on the edge of your seat until its conclusion.  I couldn’t bear to put it down.  I only wish I could convey the amount of terror and utter amazement I felt while reading.  It is truly beyond words.  You’ll just have to read it to see what I mean.  The characters were rich and diverse and you will never see the end coming.  There was a surprise around every corner, and trust me, you won’t see anything coming. 


Review: Cryer's Cross

Synopsis: The community of Cryer’s Cross, Montana (population 212) is distraught when high school freshman Tiffany disappears without a trace. Already off-balance due to her OCD, 16-year-old Kendall is freaked out seeing Tiffany’s empty desk in the one-room school house, but somehow life goes on... until Kendall's boyfriend Nico also disappears, and also without a trace. Now the town is in a panic. Alone in her depression and with her OCD at an all-time high, Kendall notices something that connects Nico and Tiffany: they both sat at the same desk. She knows it's crazy, but Kendall finds herself drawn to the desk, dreaming of Nico and wondering if maybe she, too, will disappear...and whether that would be so bad. Then she begins receiving graffiti messages on the desk from someone who can only be Nico. Can he possibly be alive somewhere? Where is he? And how can Kendall help him? The only person who believes her is Jacian, the new guy she finds irritating...and attractive. As Kendall and Jacian grow closer, Kendall digs deeper into Nico's mysterious disappearance only to stumble upon some ugly—and deadly—local history. Kendall is about to find out just how far the townspeople will go to keep their secrets buried.

My Review: I’m a huge fan of Lisa McMann’s other trilogy.  I’ve yet to get my claws on the final book, but Wake and Fade are some of the most original pieces of YA fiction out there.  When I heard that she was writing a new series, saying that I spazzed is a bit of an understatement.   To be honest the synopsis didn’t intrigue me that much, but I was firm in the belief that I just had to read it.  I don’t know why I ever doubted. 
Lisa definitely throws you into the middle of the action.  The story immediately starts off with Tiffany’s disappearance.  The fact that her disappearance happened in such a small town, where everyone thinks they are safe is just bone chilling.   Remember Anne Sluti?  Ya, I live in the same town.  Crap like that happens everywhere.  That just makes it all the more terrifying.   Lisa paces the story well.  Summer has come and gone and Tiffany’s disappearance is just an ugly memory.  That is until Kendall’s “boyfriend” Nico starts acting strangely. 
I really enjoyed Kendall’s character.   She doesn’t let her OCD control her life.  She finds different outlets to get her mind off her obsession, such as soccer and dance.  She aspires to be great and doesn’t let anything hold her back.  She’s sweet and caring and has a stubborn streak that makes you grin.  She’s just… real.  Lisa has a talent for writing amazingly realistic people.  I don’t feel like I’m reading about a fictional character, but rather someone I know.  It’s just amazing how she’s able to capture people’s spirit.   Likewise with Jacian.  He starts off as the typical asshole type, but he is so much deeper than that.  He’s passionate and strong and just so much more than he initially seems.  Normally  I hate asshole love interests, but this time it was different.  Jacian’s asshole-ness is because he was forced to move from everything and everyone he cared about.  Not simply because he’s an asshole and wants to treat people he cares about like shit.   BIG difference.  *cough* Jace Wayland *cough*
I won’t reveal anything, but boy do I just have to say that Lisa McMann has one creepy mind.  I LOVED the little paragraphs between the chapters from “them”.   It was raw, bone-chilling, and just creepy as hell.  I love horror stories, and Lisa sure did deliver.   I’m rarely creeped out by novels, but man I was a feelin the shivers.   Masterfully done, and I cannot wait for more!  This is just the beginning and I am definitely looking forward to more heebie jeebies.  Lisa delivers yet another highly original novel that will have you hiding under your covers. 


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Review: Once in a Full Moon

Synopsis: Beware of a kiss under the full moon. It will change your life forever. Celeste Parker is used to hearing scary stories about werewolves—Legend's Run is famous for them. She's used to everything in the small town until Brandon Maddox moves to Legend's Run and Celeste finds herself immediately drawn to the handsome new student. But when, after an unnerving visit with a psychic, she encounters a pack of wolves and gorgeous, enigmatic Brandon, she must discover whether his transformation is more than legend or just a trick of the shadows in the moonlight. Her best friends may never forgive her if she gives up her perfect boyfriend, Nash, for Brandon, who's from the wrong side of town. But she can't deny her attraction or the strong pull he has on her. Brandon may be Celeste's hero, or he may be the most dangerous creature she could encounter in the woods of Legend's Run. Psychic predictions, generations-old secrets, a town divided, and the possibility of falling in love with a hot and heroic werewolf are the perfect formula for what happens . . . once in a full moon.

 My Review: Once in a Full Moon is definitely one of those novels that I can’t decide whether to like or not.  While I definitely liked the story, the writing…well let’s just say I was NOT impressed.  I was displeased to find out that there are going to be more books.  I can’t decide if it’s worth it to continue reading this series or not.  
When a novel starts out with “It all started…” it’s just not a good sign.  I should have taken the hint right then and there.  Alas, I continued.  I can’t even fully articulate how amateur this writing was.  It was choppy, with minimal descriptions, and the emotional content was nill.  For example, Celeste gets lost in a blizzard and attacked by wolves. Don’t worry she survives.  Yet when she returns home her parent’s reactions were just unbelievable.  I literally just can’t describe how bad it was.  It’s like the parents jumped from being concerned, incredulous, back to concerned, to admonishing her, and then back to being incredulous again.  I mean, uh huh?  Am I missing something here?  Since when are human emotions so flip floppy?  Especially parents?  And her friends were the same way!  Moments of intense emotion were just utter crap.  I literally think this is the most horribly written book I have ever come across.  I don’t mean to be harsh, just wow.  It was BAD.  I felt like a twelve year old wrote this. 
Okay I’m done bashing.  I just can’t understand how the writing could be soooo god awful yet I REALLY liked the story.  Bit of a conundrum is it not?  The romance was really good!  I adored Brandon and Celeste.  And hey guess what?!  Another story without instant love!  Their feelings for each other developed slowly, and they genuinely care for each other.  Brandon is just an all around wonderful guy, and I liked Celeste most of the time; even though she had the backbone of a jellyfish.  *rolls eyes* Celeste stays with Brandon no matter what, and that’s something I really admire.  They’re both experiencing something new and profound in the paranormal area yet they both don’t let it affect their feelings for each other.  It was just really sweet.  If anything the author has a talent for writing teenage romance. 
Another aspect of the book I loved was the original take on werewolves.  I mean it’s an actual WEREWOLF.  Not a shapeshifter!  A werewolf!  Half man, half wolf!  Don’t you just miss the days of American Werewolf in London?  I felt like I was transported to a time in paranormal literature without gimmicks.  It was a wonderful feeling.  I really liked that Brandon still could talk and was relatively human, aside from the extra hair and pointy teeth.  Werewolves weren’t “bad” or blood thirsty creatures.  And it wasn’t just full moons that triggered the change.  A waning or waxing moon that still looks full also triggers the change.  It’s funny how the werewolves in this book, and the werewolves in Sisters Red could be polar opposites and yet I enjoyed both versions. 
So in summary?  Loved the story, hated the writing.  The positive and the negative just cancel each other out, leaving me with no firm reason to continue reading these books.  Oh and the highschool drama crap going on?  I am sorry, but those cliché groups of cliques DO NOT EXIST! Trust me, I’m living it!  Celeste’s friends were the bitchiest most stuck up fictional characters I have ever come across.  Another strike… So will I continue reading these?  The next one I might read out of curiosity for the story.  Might.  Would I recommend it?  That would be a firm no.  Unless you like the authors other series, Vampire Kisses, I would definitely not suggest you read this.  Maybe I’m a literary snob, but hey tis my honest opinion.  It sucks that the writing was so bad, because I really did enjoy the story.  Such a shame. 


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Review: Sisters Red

Synopsis: Scarlet 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 ferociously alongside her. But even as more girls' bodies pile up in the city and the Fenris seem to be gaining power, Rosie dreams of a life beyond the wolves. She finds herself drawn to Silas, a young woodsman who is deadly with an ax and Scarlett's only friend--but does loving him mean betraying her sister and all that they've worked for?

My Review: One of my favorite types of novels are those that take classical fairy tales and re-interpret them into a new profound story that leaves the reader breathless.  Sister’s Red was definitely a success in that regard.  I was immediately drawn into the story.  The re-telling of Little Red Riding Hood couldn’t be any more gripping, dangerous, and downright dark.  The dual perspective of both Scarlett and Rosie lets you see through both sisters eyes.  Scarlett is meant to hunt the wolves, it’s a part of who she is.  Her commitment to ridding the world of the Fenris defines who she is just as much as her scars.  In contrast, Rosie feels that she owes her sister her life and will never abandon her.  But her own heart is leading her down a road that would be the ultimate betrayal.  I thought both sisters were equally strong and I enjoyed reading both of their POV’s.  They certainly made one hell of a team while hunting down and killing the Fenris.  Talk about bad-ass.  Axe and knife wielding sisters in blood red cloaks?  Hell to the yeah!  Epic doesn’t even begin to describe the amount of total bad-ass-ness.  
Which leads me to the Fenris themselves.  I was SOOOOO thankful the author didn’t pull the “werewolves are just misunderstood individuals” bull crap.  Classically werewolves are monsters who cannot control their bloodlust and rage.  Authors now a days are so obsessed with taking a “misunderstood” mythical creature and casting them in a better light.  Whether it be werewolves, vampires, fallen angels, or fey it’s all the same these days.  That’s why I found it so refreshing in Sisters Red that the monsters were freaking MONSTERS.   They kill young girls and eat them.  Bam! No ulterior motives, no “vegetarian” werewolves, just plain freakin monsters in the most classical sense.  Thank. You.  Jackson. Pearce.  I also loved the fact that there was some hierarchy in Fenris society.  Different packs and Alpha’s and the whole concept of the Potential was rather fascinating.  Especially the Potential.  I won’t go into it too much, but the idea that not just anyone can become a werewolf was really cool.  There are very specific circumstances for a man to be turned, and yes I said man because women cannot become Fenris  because well…their dinner….and it was just really kind of brilliant.  I really appreciated the wonderful new ideas that Pearce brought to the table with werewolves.  He really brought out a new side to werewolves that the YA genre doesn’t see too much of. 
I really enjoyed the romantic aspect of this novel as well.  Rosie and Silas are just plain freakin adorable.  I was rooting for the two of them from the beginning.  And when the sparks finally flew it was just so sweet.  You all know how I like to rant on unrealistic romance in YA books.  I’ve found yet another successful love story that wasn’t cheesy, rushed, or unbelievable.  *does happy dance*  And oh my gosh!  The ending!  I was about in tears! Well I’m a huge cry baby so that’s no huge surprise, but the bawling was about to start.  I got my happy ending though.  (Thank goodness or I would have bawled like a baby)  I was terrified someone was gonna die, actually I was pretty certain SOMEONE was gonna die, but thankfully my instinct was wrong. 
I have only one negative thing to say about this book.  I predicted the plot twist almost immediately.  As soon as the Potential idea was introduced, I guessed it.  I mean it was glaringly obvious, and just becomes more so as the book goes on.  I just wish it would have been concealed better or that Pearce threw us off the trail a bit.  It just would have made this book even better.   To say the least, I totally adored this book.  I was glued to it constantly (even at work) and just couldn’t allow myself to put it down.   It was a truly wonderful and original read that everyone will adore. 

Review: Shadow of the Sun

Synopsis: Gabriella's past is a mystery, but that never stopped her from achieving her goals. As a supernatural specialist, and far more intelligent than anyone her age, she has always been ignored by her peers. Because of the isolation she has always felt, she put her life and soul into her job. Being a supernatural specialist hasn't given her the divine intervention she always longed for, until one day a shipment arrives from Italy containing three dead bodies with an uncanny ability to regenerate. Gabriella is frightened and intrigued, but not as scared as she becomes when a dark creature attacks her. As the bodies come back to life, the plot takes an unexpected twist that you won't see coming. The supernatural world only begins to unfold before her as angels appear, her dreams start to haunt her, and the very past she has forgotten comes back with startling clarity. Romance blooms, escape plans are made, an assassin is out to kill her, and death is only around the corner. But what is more terrifying than all of it is the fact she is the chosen one, the Illuminator, the one who will save them all.

My Review: I have to start off by saying that I’m kind of on the fence with this book.  It’s definitely one of those books where you like a lot of things about it, but you just can’t ignore the disappointing aspects of the novel.  I really enjoyed it, but just can’t help but wish certain parts were done differently.  
From the beginning I was hooked.  I’ll admit it right here and now.  As much as I am about to criticize this novel, I will freely admit I was freakin glued to at least the first five chapters, probably more.  The prologue really grabbed my attention.  I was immediately trying to piece together what had happened and what it all meant and just gah!  Flash forward prologues just torture me.  When the three corpses are first opened in Gabriella’s lab I was even more sucked into the story.  I was definitely thinking to myself “Oh man this is going to get really interesting!”  And that’s when things started to go south.  Plots moving along nicely and then bam!  The most random ass piece of unnatural disaster I have ever come across in a novel just pops up out of nowhere.  I felt like I was being Punked.  Just kidding!  Here’s what really happened!  Except that Ashton Kutcher didn’t  magically appear in my living room accompanied by a camera crew.  I was literally flabbergasted, and not in a good way.   I eventually got over it and moved on.   As much as I loathe “soul-mate” romance plots I couldn’t help but get sucked into Gabriella’s and Andrews.  Nothing even really happened!  Well nothing in the steamy category but I just totally loved the two of them.  They just… clicked ya know?  And I’m enough of a romantic at heart to appreciate that.  At least there were no declarations of undying love immediately.  Just a very strong connection that sparked.  Literally.  
Thankfully there were no more “You have got to be kidding me” moments in the book.  The plot from then on out was truly captivating and very surprising.  I didn’t see any of the little plot twists coming.  It was all really masterfully done.  I really did love Laura’s version of angels.  I could literally hug her for not making them God related.  That is just one thing I cannot get over in most angel related books.  It actually reminded  me of another book I own.  It dealt with immortals, but the whole idea of a small group of people with magical abilities becoming a whole new race is just awesome.  I really thought it was original and really commend her for that.  Plus all the lore and history of the Angel race.  Wow.  I mean I really have to hand it to her, that was some pretty awesome stuff.  To create a world that rich in history and detail takes true talent and she did a masterful job with it.  While there were many aspects of this novel I really adored, there are just some minor disappointments that can’t be ignored. 
I don’t think I have ever read a 500+ page novel before and thought the plot moved too fast.  I didn’t think it was POSSIBLE, yet I still feel like that.  I think the problem is with the transitions from plot twist to plot twist.  The beginning especially so, because it is the moment in the novel where the reader is first getting a glimpse at a whole new world and I felt like it was thrown in my face.  I just didn’t feel like Gabriella’s reactions were believable.  I mean she got over the whole “Angels exist” PDQ and just accepted what came next all in stride.  I’m sorry but people just don’t react like that.  One thing all humanity has in common is denial in the face of the incredible.   Gabriella’s reactions further into the novel bothered me as well.  They just didn’t strike me as believable and it felt like the author was trying too hard to get an emotional impact.  Especially with grief.  She just hit us up with so much pain and sorrow back and forth that it didn’t emotionally impact me at all.  I didn’t share Gabriella’s grief, I just wanted her to shut up.  If she was more subtle about it, with a more gradual decline from shock and denial to acceptance it would have been fine.    
Apart from a few more cheesy moments it was fine.  The ending totally threw me though.  I was in shock from that plot twist.  Though I don’t think it was all that well explained, it definitely threw me for a loop.  I’m looking forward to reading the next installment in this new trilogy, not only to see what happens, but to see how the authors’ writing has grown.  I have a feeling that these books will only get better and better, and I’ll get over the minor let downs.  I can already tell more unexpected plot twists are to be had in the sequel and I can’t wait to continue reading.  I will tell you right here and now, it is going to be intense.   

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

And the Winners Are....

Wow, that sure took a while...Remind me why I do extra entries?  Oh right cuz I like to spread love and joy into the blogging world.  That's why.  And yes I'll stop babbling and tell you the winners!  Patience! I'd just like to thank everyone for their donations and support and all the pimpage.  You all are amazing wonderful people.  ^.^  Ah don't you feel all warm and fuzzy inside?

And drum roll please!!!!  *drum rolls*  Here be the winners!  All winners have 3 days to respond to my email or I shall draw anew.  Also a random winner has been chosen for an additional prize.  Andrea @ Loud Words and Sounds my lovely affiliate and dear friend has offered some blog pimpage.  She is an expert in designing headers, buttons, and the like and has graciously offered her services to one special winner, whom is listed below! 

Prisoner's in the Palace 
Belle Decouverte


Book of Your Choice
Cass C.
Best (Boy)Friend Forever
Nightshade, Tyger Tyger, and The Scorch Trials
Andrea's Design Package
Mrs. DeRaps
Thanks again everyone!  This is an awesome contest to host and I hope you all had a fun time with it!  There shall be more in the future! 

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Re-design Cover Time!

Okay so you all know how much I LOVE cover re-designs.  I just can't help myself.  XD This one is being hosted by Confessions of a Bookaholic for Promise and Purpose by Kristi Cook.  I've yet to read them, but they sound very good and I've read a lot of good reviews.  So I'm excited at the potential to win.  Very slim potential, but potential nonetheless. 

Here's the original covers and my re-makes!  Tell me what you guys think!!!  And when voting time comes around I'd appreciate any votes you send my way.  XD

Friday, December 10, 2010

The 18th: Final Day!

Today is the final day to enter for all the prizes!  I would like  to thank everyone for their entries and all the tweet pimpage!  By far the best giveaway so far!  And of course all the lovely people who donated to the bash.  It's been a great few weeks and I had a great birthday.  The nose piercing is awesome btw.  XD

Here are links to all the contests.  Remember you have until midnight to get your entries in!  (Don't worry about time zones) And remember you have the opportunity to get extra entries HERE!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The 18th: Es mi Cumpleanos!

So today’s the big day!  I am officially 18! Woot!  Well not until like six o’clock tonight, but I’m not going to get too technical.  My plans?  Going out to dinner with mi madre and getting my nose pierced.  Finally!  I am now a legal adult, I can’t be stopped! *wicked laughter*  And since I am in a wonderful mood right now I have a couple of awesome things to share.  This is on a more personal note, so bare with me here.  Senior in highschool, college is around the corner, yada yada.  Stressful to the extreme.  Well I’ve had news that makes it all way less stressful.  I received a full tuition scholarship to the college I will be attending!  I am thrilled to the extreme!  And so in a sort of celebration for this happy news I’m going to extend the contests until the 10th.   So be passing the word around!  And in other contest news, onto today’s!
Today’s prizes have been generously donated by Steph@ Papercut Reviews.  She has offered up three prizes for you lucky ducks.  Up for grabs is Nightshade, Tyger, Tyger, and The Scorch Trials.  Ya that’s right you should be jumping up and down for joy.  Those be some kick ass books.  There will be one winner that receives all three.  Just comment below with your name and contact info!  This is U.S. only.  And those extra entries do count, so if you haven’t filled out the form click HERE.  

Quickly I’d like to say thanks to all the new followers and those of you who’ve been pimping out the contest.  Muchas gracias!  I hope you all have a wonderful day and enter, enter, ENTER!  XD

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The 18th: Best Boyfriend

It's time for another contest!  Today's prize comes from my dear blogger buddy Leilani @ Leilani Loves Books! This is U.S. only (sorry my dears, international shipping is a biotch).  She has graciously donated a Camp Confidential novel: Best (boy)friend Forever.   So in spirit of the "boyfriend' theme, to enter to win all you have to do is tell me whom, in your opinion, is the best literary boyfriend.  Give me the character, book title, and your contact info and you're good to go.  Just leave a comment!  

Synopsis: Priya Shah is Camp Lakeview’s resident tomboy—her BFF in the whole world is Jordan: a BOY, but they are just friends. The girls in bunk 4C aren’t buying it, though. Priya’s used to the teasing and thinks she can take it. But during the fourth-division field trip to D.C. she realizes she’s never been more wrong. And when Jordan starts going out with another girl on the trip, Priya must get in touch with her true feelings before it’s too late.

Friday, November 26, 2010

The 18th: I Spy

I hope that everyone had a fantastical Turkey Day!  Stuffed yourselves full of turkey, mashed potatoes and pie! Just like I did.  Haha.  And those of you who braved the stores for Black Friday, I salute you fellow comrades.  All the chaos was worth it in the end though!  I think I'm gonna crash at any minute...been awake for far too long.  

So to celebrate a nice end to the holiday here's a bit more creative fun for the birthday bash!  I created a sort of cover collage of different YA books.  And as you may have guessed, you guys get to figure out what covers are which.  Each little piece is identified with a number and therefore a book title.  For every title you guess correctly you will receive extra points to win a book of your choice.  So if you guess all 15 titles correctly you'll have 15 chances to win.  Extra entries from the form, will not go towards this particular contest.  Open internationally, as long as Book Depository ships to your country.  Send me an email at with your guesses! If you send in your guesses and then figure out new ones you can just update your email.  Have fun guys! This should be fun!  And hopefully I didn't make it too difficult/easy either way.  P.S. I would appreciate more cover re-design entries puhwease!!!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The 18th: Ode to Poe

It's time for the next contest for the big bash! A few quick reminders!  If you want extra entries towards each contest you enter you must fill out the FORM!  Also get those cover re-design entries in!  Remember it is international as well.  You can enter multiple entries for fun, but you must clarify which one you would like for me to judge.  If you still wish to put your creative mind to use then check out the info HERE!

And onto today's contest!  I recently finished Nevermore.  I. Totally.  Loved. It.  So in love in fact that I decided that I'd add it as a prize to the bash.  All you have to do to win a brand spankin new copy is 1. be a follower and 2. tell me your favorite Poe poem or story.  I'm a huge fan of Poe and I thought it would be fun to know everyone's favorite.  Just leave a comment on this post with your contact info!  The cover art and synopsis follow! 

And the raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted - nevermore!
— from "The Raven" by Edgar Allan Poe
Cheerleader Isobel Lanley is horrified when she is paired with Varen Nethers for an English project, which is due—so unfair—on the day of the rival game. Cold and aloof, sardonic and sharp-tongued, Varen makes it clear he’d rather not have anything to do with her either. But when Isobel discovers strange writing in his journal, she can’t help but give this enigmatic boy with the piercing eyes another look.  Soon, Isobel finds herself making excuses to be with Varen. Steadily pulled away from her friends and her possessive boyfriend, Isobel ventures deeper and deeper into the dream world Varen has created through the pages of his notebook, a realm where the terrifying stories of Edgar Allan Poe come to life.  As her world begins to unravel around her, Isobel discovers that dreams, like words, hold more power than she ever imagined, and that the most frightening realities are those of the mind. Now she must find a way to reach Varen before he is consumed by the shadows of his own nightmares.
His life depends on it.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Kicking off the 18th!!!

Today’s the day! It is officially one year TODAY since my first ever blog post!  Today is going to be a wonderful day, simply because I get out of school today for an art trip.  And I’m typing this, on a bus, at seven in the morning, in the dark.  Awesome day.  ^.^  
If you haven’t and would like to gain extra entries fill out the form HERE!  I have lots of prizes lined up and some lovely people have donated awesome books.  So…. Since today is an art day for me, I’m going to kick off the birthday bash with a cover redesign contest!  I know these take some time on your part, but the thing I love about cover re-design contests is that you get to see how creative people are.  It’s always so cool to see other people’s interpretations of different books.  Instead of picking a supernatural book, I picked a historical fiction one.  Now if you actually read my reviews you’ll know that I really adored this book, but I hated the cover.  It was just god-awful.  So to satisfy my own need to have an amazing cover to match an amazing book, you guys get to re-design it.   You shall be re-designing Prisoners in the Palace by Michaela MacColl.  And if you pay attention to my posts at all, you’ll know that just for fun I designed a new cover for Andrea’s contest.  It got my mind thinking about how much I liked that book, and so now you guys get your shot at putting your own spin on it.  
Depending on how many entries I get, I’ll either judge them myself or have you guy’s vote for your favorite.  The winner will receive a copy of Prisoners in the Palace at the conclusion of the festivities.  You’ll have until December 1st to get your entries in.  So without further ado here’s the cover and synopsis to stimulate your creative minds!  

Synopsis: London, 1838. Sixteen-year-old Liza's dreams of her society debut are dashed when her parents are killed in an accident. Penniless, she accepts the position of lady's maid to young Princess Victoria and steps unwittingly into the gossipy intrigue of the servant's world below-stairs as well as the trickery above. Is it possible that her changing circumstances may offer Liza the chance to determine her own fate, find true love, and secure the throne for her future queen?
Post your entries on the Mr. Linky below!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Extra Entries for The 18th Birthday Bash!

That's right!  Two days till the big event starts!  And I have yet to come up with a  better name, so ya... though Andrea was kind enough to make me a wicked awesome button!

Since I'm getting everything kind of sorted and put together the issue of extra entries popped into my brain.  In the past I've done the whole "Tweet +3, blog post +10, etc." and I HATE doing it for other blogger's contests and I promised to never subject you guys to it again.  However, I know that some people really love the extra entries and so I've come up with a compromise.  I will have an extra entry form, however it goes for the whole contest.  For every separate contest you are allowed one entry only.  If you fill out the extra entry form, then those extra entries will be added to each contest you enter.  Sound fair?  It is completely OPTIONAL.  You do NOT have to fill it out.  And here it is!

This is the only time you will have a chance to gain extra entries, so be sure to fill this out if you want to increase your chances! 

Monday, November 15, 2010

Thanks to the 1st!

Hey strangers!  Guess what time it is?!  That's right!  A huge celebration of epic proportions starts today!  My dear friend and blogger buddy Andrea @ Loud Words and Sounds is hosting one huge ass shindig. I know a ton of people have donated to the event  (including myself) so get your bums over there and keep checking for new prizes!  I've known Andrea for almost two years now and she is one of the most creative people I know.  Plus she's a fellow art freak.  XD

Andrea is hosting an awesome cover re-make contest as well.  You can pick your favorite book from this year to re-design in order to win a copy of Mockingjay!  Now you know I adore cover remake contests, even with my severe lack of photoshop... so of course I entered!  Even though I'm only doing it for fun since I am on the panel of judges!  *wink*   I chose to re-design Prisoners in the Palace by Michaela MacColl.  I adored the book.  Hated the cover.  Here's the original, followed by my re-interpretation of it.  ^.^

So what do you think?  I like how it turned out.  You wouldn't believe how hard it is to find a picture of a Victorian dressed girl.  O.o Muy dificil!  So if any of you out there have a creative bone in your body, enter the contest!  I would like something to judge thank you very much!  Haha!  And be entering all these upcoming contests as well!  

Scott's Tour Stop!

Hola!  Today is finally the day for Scott's Blog Tour!  Woot! And remember if you want to be eligible to win a Kindle 3 or Kindle DX all you have to do is comment with your contact info!  You get one entry per blog you visit so make sure to check out all the stops along the tour!  And without further ado here's Scott!

Okay, this feels like the day where I can’t think of anything fresh to say. Hopefully, that means it will be the best post of the tour.

The whole blog tour has been one big, crazy promo idea, designed to sell books and make me rich so I can sit on a big pile of cash and go “Bwahahaha. I win!”

Except I’m not that dumb. I know it doesn’t happen that way. The only way to become an overnight sensation is to get trapped in a mine for a couple of months, have your sailboat blow off course as a teenager, get born to a Palin, or else already be rich and famous. Or at least famous.

The rest have to stay slow and steady, meeting one reader at a time. Most writers and artists have to brainstorm with creative ways to sell their books, and I’ve probably worked as hard as it as anyone, though nothing compares to JA Konrath and his 500-stop book tour where he dropped in and signed copies across the country. Now Joe doesn’t have to promote, because everyone else does it for him. (See?)

But I’ve also done some crazy stunts like giving away three of my teeth to promote They Hunger (here is Shawn, a.ka. Monster A-Go-Go, with one of them). I also rounded up a photo shoot with a real model and an ancient casket, using the gimmick of “Buy my book or I’ll kill this vampire.” I printed up about 300 slick sheets of the promo and sent it to my publisher and never heard a peep, nor saw any, so I suspect they all got recycled. A monumental fail, but fortunately I utilized (a.k.a. “exploited”) friends for most of the work so all it cost me was for the model and the printing.

I’ve tied in real-world events with my promotion, especially in relating Appalachian ghost stories and the real places that inspired my novels. As a journalist, I know a local angle sells better when you’re trying to get coverage, and “I wrote a book” simply isn’t news anymore when Aunt Gertrude and her dyslexic offspring are self-publishing. My best efforts were on The Red Church, where I wrote a monthly column series following the year-long publication process of the book. It was widely published on the Internet and in writing newsletters and the book sold like hotcakes (in fact, it’s still one of my best sellers).

I’ve posted in numerous forums, been a member of four writing organizations, and written lots of free articles. All these blog posts on the tour equal about a novel’s worth of work, which is why I am going to collect them in a book when I’m done. I’ve given blurbs, written reviews, built up a Twitter community, and participated in a number of additional blogs. I run Indie Books Blog to help newer writers get some exposure.

I’ve had a number of contests besides Kindle giveaways, and maybe I’ve given away more books than I’ve sold. I’ve created press kits for all my New York books. I turned myself into a comic book character. I’ve conducted writing workshops for schools, libraries, and writing groups, and of course have done a few hundred store signings. What does it all add up to?


I don’t know which of those activities got you here, but here you are. I hope I can share a book with you and give you a Kindle.

This week’s Scott special is Disintegration, 99 cents for a limited time.

Scott Nicholson is author of 12 novels, including the thrillers As I Die Lying, Drummer Boy, Forever Never Ends, The Skull Ring,  Burial to Follow, and They Hunger. His revised novels for the U.K. Kindle are Creative Spirit, Troubled, and Solom. He’s also written four comic series, six screenplays, and more than 60 short stories. His story collections include Ashes, The First, Murdermouth: Zombie Bits, and Flowers.

To be eligible for the Kindle DX or Kindle 3, simply post a comment below with contact info. Feel free to debate and discuss the topic, but you will only be entered once per blog. Visit all the blogs on the tour and increase your odds. I’m also giving away a Kindle 3 through the tour newsletter and a Pandora’s Box of free e-books to a follower of “hauntedcomputer” on Twitter. Thanks for playing. Complete details at
I'm currently reading The Skull Ring and I have to say I am getting paranoid!  Julia's past keeps coming back to haunt her, and I'm feeling haunted too.  Every time I get in my car I look in the back seat.  O.O  Everything that keeps happening is cast as coincidences and just figments of her imagination but I keep just waiting for some creep to show up with a knife.  Like gah!  I mean I love having the crap scared out of me.  This is why I like scary movies so much.  Yet it is infinitely creepier reading a scary novel.  Can't wait to reach the end!  The anticipation is killiing me.  If you love a good scary story then you need to read it! 

A huge thanks to Scott for asking me to be apart of this tour!  Now all of you comment!  Ya know you want a Kindle!  XD

Friday, November 12, 2010

Review: Afterlife

Synopsis:The fourth book in this electrifying vampire series has all the romance, suspense, and page-turning drama that have made Claudia Gray’s Evernight books runaway successes. Having become what they feared most, Bianca and Lucas face a terrifying new reality. They must return to Evernight Academy, Lucas as a vampire and Bianca as a wraith. But Lucas is haunted by demons, both personal and supernatural. Bianca must help him fight the evil inside him, combat the forces determined to drive them apart—and find the power to claim her destiny at last. Readers have fallen in love with Bianca and Lucas, and they will be thrilled to read this exciting conclusion to their romantic adventure.

My Review: Finally.  The last installment of the Evernight books.  Evernight was my favorite vampire novel for a very long time.  The originality and the amazing plot twist had me hooked.  As the books progressed however, I felt like my love for them kept shrinking.  Stargazer was a huge disappointment for me, but Hourglass really made up for the second one.  Hopefully by the end of this review I’ll have a concrete answer as to whether or not I liked Afterlife.   
Afterlife picks up directly where Hourglass left off.  Bianca has died and become a wraith, and Charity murdered Lucas and he became a vampire.  The irony that they both became what they most feared wasn’t even the slightest bit amusing.  More than anything I was annoyed by it.  I’ve felt ever since Stargazer that Gray has been “feeding the drama llama.” There was so much drama going on that it detracted away from the story.  Instead of getting tense when yet again something happened, I found myself rolling my eyes.  Ope Black Cross just popped up out of nowhere. Ha, Kate just tried to kill her own son.  Surprise ambush!  Wraith attack! Just uh.  I didn’t once feel legit concern over anything that happened because I knew that it would quickly subside and they would move on.  And guess what?  I was right.  Even the major “surprise” parts of Afterlife I called a couple chapters ahead of time.  It was just frustrating that not one aspect of the novel had me at the edge of my seat. 
It truly sucks that for the past 3 books I have been so unimpressed with the plotline, because I adore Lucas and Bianca.  They are probably one of my all time favorite YA couples.  Their love for each other goes beyond infatuation and physical attraction.  Lucas would do anything for Bianca and vice versa.  Yet at the same time other aspects of their life still remain important to them.  They’re not blinded by their love for each other and still remain practical about their situation.  I love both of their characters and their interaction with each other is just very well done.  Their situation in Afterlife is even more frustrating than previously.  With Bianca being a wraith and Lucas being a vampire, them ever having a chance of being together is slim to none.  They never give up on each other, but the situation just blows.  Those two deserve to be together and the fact that fate just keeps getting in their way is a huge bummer. 
When the plot moves back to Evernight, yes that’s right they go back to the school, the storyline stabilized a bit more.  It didn’t feel as forced as the beginning so I didn’t actually mind it all that much.  As per usual I adored Ranulf and Vic.  I would LOVE to have those two as my BFF’s.  Ranulf, just god, freaking most adorably awkward 1300 year old vampire ever.  He is always just so literal that it makes me laugh soooo much.  I want to ruffle that bowler haircut of his so much.  Vic is equally awesome.  His commentary on everything that happens always lightens the mood and makes it more enjoyable.  One of my all time favorite lines of the book dealt with Vic.  Vic asks for a weapon to break down a door.  Bianca turns around and says “I never thought they’d give him the flame thrower.”  LMFAO!  Just gah!  Hysterical!  Vic+ flame thrower=EPIC! I love those two to death. 
It has been a while since I’ve read the rest of the books, so I can’t really remember my impression of Mrs. Bethany very much.  However, in Afterlife I felt like I really understood her character a lot more.  I got her motivation for her actions and what events in her life lead her to be the person she is now.  While I understood why she was doing things, I still kind of think she’s a psycho.  I don’t really like how things ended for Mrs. Bethany either.  While she was an uncaring, ruthless psycho of a woman, I think she deserved some happiness in the end.
The whole wraith/vampire mortal enemies deal was FINALLY explained at length.  It was nice to know more about the wraiths and their side of the story.  When the wraiths were first introduced to the story I had the biggest WTF moment.  I’m pleased to say that I kind of like the wraiths now.  I more fully understand the concept of them and why they were so important to the story.  If anything, the wraith spin on the vampire story is probably the most original idea in the YA world. 
So in the end I enjoyed it.  While the plot wasn’t all that gripping, it was nice to get some closure to Lucas and Bianca’s story.  I loved the fact that Gray didn’t give us the perfect fairytale ending.  She left us on an optimistic note, but nothing was perfect by any means.  All in all, a good ending to a good series. :)