Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Review: Crave by Laura J. Burns and Melinda Metz

Crave by Laura J. Burns & Melinda Metz
Rating: 4 of 5

When we first meet Shay she is sick and has accepted the fact that she will die soon. Shay was born with a blood disease that no one has been able to diagnose and or treat. Shay's doctor, turned step father, is convinced that he has discovered a new blood formula that will cure her but Shay has heard that story all her life.

With the new transfusion comes visions of a guy named Gabriel and the feeling she is living part of his life. Shay is no stranger to having blood transfusion and knows these visions and feeling are not normal but she attributes it to being close to the end. With this new blood Shay feels stronger and wants to experience life before it's too late. With each transfusion she can run, swim, and has the energy to finally be a normal. Her family and friends find her new outlook on life as reckless and feel that the newest transfusions are having negative effects on her. Shay also discovers that the latest transfusions wears off a lot quicker and requires more transfusions than before. Shay finds herself craving the next transfusion and the dreams that come with it.

Every vision of Gabriel is set in different times and places. Shay has seen Gabriel as a child, as a young man and later as a vampire. During a transfusion she has a vision of Gabriel in what looks like a very familiar setting and goes to look for him. Finding Gabriel will prove that he is real but in doing so it will puts her life in danger and ultimately change her life forever. Shay has been treated as fragile her whole life but when faced with the unthinkable she finds she is stronger that anyone gives her credit for.

The more you read Crave the deeper that authors Laura and Melissa pull you into the story and when it ends you will CRAVE more! I really enjoyed that CRAVE is a fresh take on a vampire story and that the more you read the more layers you will find. I will be adding ARISE, the sequel to CRAVE, to my to-read list in 2011.

Thank you to Laura and Melinda who provided a copy of Crave for review!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Interview with Laura J. Burns and Melinda Metz

I would like to welcome best friends and writing partners Laura J. Burns and Melinda Metz. They have been best friends for 15 years and writing partners for 10 of those years. Currently Laura and Melinda are promoting Crave a love story between a terminally ill girl and a vampire. Only don’t expect this vampire story to be like anything you have ever read. Laura and Melinda are also writing the sequel to Crave which will be titled Arise. Both authors were kind enough to answer a few questions for the blog:

How did you come up with the idea?

Ahh. That's always a hard question. We were looking for a new way into a vampire love story, and somehow we started speculating on what it would be like for a human to get an injection of vampire blood. That "somehow" is difficult to recapture. When we start on a project, we tend to talk and talk and talk and talk, bringing up other books and movies and our own lives (you know, the vampires we have known and whatnot), and eventually we hit something that sparks our interest and imagination.

What is your favorite part of the book?

We really like the part where Shay is going to school and receiving blood transfusions. She sees visions of a vampire’s life, but she doesn’t think they’re real. At the same time, she has all this energy she’s never had before—and she uses it to act very recklessly. It’s something that we think speaks to who Shay is as a character. She’s a normal girl who has never been able to live a normal life. So now she can act the way she wants, and that means making mistakes. She’s not perfect. She’s learning who she is the same way everyone else learns—by trial and error.

How long did it take you to write this book?

Well, that depends on when you start counting. We wrote the original proposal for CRAVE about five years ago, and then we just didn’t really send it out to publishers for a long time. But once Simon & Schuster bought the project, we wrote it very quickly. Probably about 3-4 months from start to finish, which is very fast. Luckily, we had the outline mostly worked out in the proposal.

How different is it working on a group project vs an individual project?

Frankly, it’s easier working together! Obviously if one of us were writing something very personal—an individual passion project, or a memoir, or a story that touched on an important life issue—it would not be a book we’d do together. But when it’s an idea that we’ve come up with jointly, it’s much easier to plot the book when you have somebody else to help! And when it’s time to write, we can do it faster because while one is writing the first half, the other is writing the second half. Then we flip it around and each edit the half we didn't write.

How do you work together on a book?

We generally spend a huge amount of time just talking—we brainstorm the initial idea until we’ve developed it into a plot that we like. Then we figure out who the characters are, what their backstory is like, who their friends and family are, what their voice sounds like, all that fun stuff! Eventually we tackle the outline. We start with the story arc—beginning, middle, and end. Then we go chapter by chapter, working out each scene. Once we’ve got all that, we usually split the outline in half and one of us writes the first half while the other writes the second half. Afterwards, we put it all together and take turns editing it. By the time we’re done, we can hardly remember who wrote what!

What is your writing space like?

Melinda: These days, we live on opposite coasts, so we have completely different writing spaces. Laura has sort of a garret—the upstairs of the house has only one room, and that’s her office. It’s yellow and sunny, which is nice except for the glare on the computer screen! Also, the dogs are allowed on the couch up there, so they spend the whole day in the office, snoring, which is comforting but makes it hard to stay awake and write.

Laura:  Melinda's dog is in the rambunctious puppy stage, and wants to play, play, play instead of snoring. Melinda either works at the dining room table or escapes to Starbucks and drinks an insane amount of iced green tea.

What is your next group or individual project?

We’re working on a book proposal for a fairy tale retelling, and we love it.

What is the one thing you Crave?

World peace. And Kit Kats (Laura) and Coconut M&Ms (Melinda).

Thank you Laura and Melinda I’m now craving Kit Kats and M&Ms! Crave is in stores now so get your copies today and come back tomorrow for my review of Crave! 

To read a sample chapter visit:

For more on Laura and Melinda visit:

Monday, September 27, 2010

Forever Cover

Forever Cover

What a great way to start a Monday! While prepping for her UK tour Maggie has revealed the cover to the third and final book in the Shiver Trilogy. FOREVER is scheduled for a July 2011 release date. If you want to pre-order an autographed copy make sure to get it from Fountain's website.

I had a feeling that the series would end with a red cover but to see it is amazing.  I wonder if the font color will be red also.  I love the boy in the corner. [pauses to swoon] What are your thoughts?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Bloggers Unite and Speak Out

Bloggers Speak Out is a movement sparked by the recent article, "Filthy Books Demeaning to Republic Education" by Dr. Wesley Scroggins that was published in the Springfield, MO News-Leader on September 18th. In this article, Scroggins vehemently advocates the censorship of books in schools, and specifically requests that the following books be removed from the Republic school system: Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler, and Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut. To show our support of these authors and to fight against book banning and censorship, we have decided to take action and speak out.

Below is a list of links of bloggers speaking out against book banning and censorship--in the form of giveaways, posts, and reviews. Some are "officially" participating in what we're calling Bloggers Speak Out, and others are posts that we've found around the blogosphere. If you get time, you should definitely check them out!

Giveaways of Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
**All giveaways will end on 10/3, unless otherwise noted**
La Femme Readers

Other Giveaways
**All giveaways will end on 10/3, unless otherwise noted**

Other Posts Against Book Banning and Censorship

Authors Speak Out

Important Articles on the Subject
"Filthy Books Demeaning to Republic Education" (the article that started it all)
"Republic School Book Choices under Fire" (Springfield News-Leader)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Bloggers Speak Out

Bloggers Speak Out is a movement sparked by the recent article, "Filthy Books Demeaning to Republic Education" by Dr. Wesley Scroggins that was published in the Springfield, MO News-Leader on September 18th. In this article, Scroggins vehemently advocates the censorship of books in schools, and specifically requests that the following books be removed from the Republic school system: Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler, and Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut. To show our support of these authors and to fight against book banning and censorship, we have decided to take action and speak out.

As book bloggers I feel we have a responsibility to talk about book related news. Something I was not aware about before my blog is that books get banned. In high school I was more of a party girl than a bookworm so reading was the last thing on my mind. A few years later I started to read but it wasn’t until the Twilight Series (banned books) that I became passionate for books. In the last few months we have heard that Ellen Hopkins was uninvited from an event because her books were called "inappropriate". I would think that schools would encourage reading instead of saying we want you read but only what we choose. Banning books has showed its ugly head again so I reached out to people I admire and here are some of their responses.

Full disclosure: I have not read SPEAK yet, and therefore I don't feel that I really OUGHT to be commenting about banning a book I haven't read. That, after all, is the knee-jerk reaction of those who ban ... they object to the very idea of a book, as well as its actual content.

So what I am commenting about is not specifically about SPEAK, but about censorship itself.
I truly believe that books provide a way for us all (including and perhaps especially young people) to encounter ideas and situations without personal risk. There is a reason that we use books as teaching tools in school ... because through books, we communicate information. How else do we acquire information? Through experience.

Nobody wants the experience of being raped, or abused, or molested. Yet it's important for teens to understand first, that these things happen, and second, that they happen OFTEN. That they or their friends or family will experience some aspect of these problems during their lifetime. And that it's all right to talk about it, and to seek help.

The nightmare of this subject being censored is that someone thinks, in his twisted way, that NOT knowing these things (and not speaking of them) makes them go away. Instead, not talking about them frees the offenders to do what they will, and silences the victims to create an artificial sense of "decency" - one that disappears when no one is looking. It is an awful, stupid thing to believe that not talking about rape makes it not happen.

And imagining that girls need to be "protected" from this kind of knowledge is absurd, because encountering it in a book is far, far better than encountering it in a deserted room at school with a boy you thought you knew, or on a date with someone you were supposed to trust, or in a deserted stretch of road with a menacing stranger. Because like it or not, girls have these experiences -- sadly, much more often than not. And they come out of such an experience feeling isolated, damaged, less, and ashamed ... and by censorship of works that deal with these issues, we as a society reinforce that these terrible feelings are right and proper. The message of this censorship is, you ARE isolated. You SHOULD shut up. You SHOULD be ashamed. YOU ARE THE PROBLEM.

And it's a lie.

It is the responsibility of those who DON'T believe the lie to stop its spread. I want girls, those brave and scared and damaged girls, to know that they are not the problem, and that they can, and should, SPEAK.

As should we all.

Rachel Caine (New York Best Selling Author of The Morganville Series)

As a mother, it is my responsibility to oversee what my children are exposing their minds to, whether it be movies, televison, music, social networking sites or books. I should be able to pick and choose what my kids can and can't read. As a teacher, well, I am always all for kids reading, but aside from that point, again, what a great way to get kids to open up about controversial topics in a safe and controlled manner. All in all, banning books is about eliminating choices. By removing choice, you are taking away potential consequences-- and potential life lessons.

"Parents should be involved in their children's education and know the content of what they are reading. I wouldn't mind a rating system--like the ones we have for TV, movies, games, and music--in which publishers of Young Adult books put a small box on the back cover that rates the book for language, sex, and violent content. That being said, I am 100% AGAINST banning books from schools and libraries. Books like Speak deal with the ugly, gritty side of reality--but that IS reality for many teens in this country, and books that discuss these topics can help adolescents come to terms with their own experiences."

– Kate Kaynak, Ph.D. is a developmental psychologist, mother of three, and author of the Ganzfield books, which deal with issues such as sexual assault through the mind of a telepathic teenager. Poorly spelled hate-mail can be directed to her through the contact form at

The first time I read Speak, or even heard of it, was in my 10th grade English class. I was never victim to sexual assault to the same degree as Melinda, however at my middle school I was subject to sexual harassment on a near-daily basis and even when I tried to get help from teachers, no one could/would do anything about it other than tell them "Don't do that" or "That's not nice" so I pretty much figured I was going to be cornered in a stairwell and defiled at any given moment of any day. When reading Speak, I could clearly recall that "scared bunny" feeling Melinda got when she saw her attacker in the hallways. Banning or censoring books is stupid. Words are the most powerful thing in the world. Books have the ability to help people that have experienced horrible things see inside themselves and find the inner strength and courage to get help. Novels have the ability to reach wide audiences and educate them on the cause-and-effect that different actions have on people surrounding them. They help readers learn from the mistakes of characters without having to make those same mistakes themselves, or teach them how to forgive themselves for making the same mistake. Censoring books is like trying to censor someone's life; and in the United States of America, it's something a little redundant.

– Natalie (fan of Speak and Laurie Halse Anderson)

-Readers and bloggers that who wish to join contact ( We will be running events from Tuesday, September 21st through Sunday, October 3rd (the end of Banned Books Week).

In honor of my readers I have made a donation to The Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network.

One of my favorite things about having a book blog is giving away books so simply fill out the google form for a chance to win a copy of Speak. I also invite you to share your view in the comments on Speak, Banned Books, and Censorship.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Blog Birthday Giveaway Winners!

I am so excited to announce the winners of the big birthday giveaway. I actually decided to pick two bookmark winners because I received such a huge response. Check back soon for news, reviews, and giveaways!  All winners were picked by

Signed Beautiful Creatures: Casey @ The Bookish Type

Signed Kisses from Hell: Melissa My words and pages

Torment (pre-order): Tara @

Autographed Smart Chicks Pic: Shanyn Day @

Signed Bookmarks: Raissa Lopes

Winners have 48 hours to reply with a mailing address or a new winner will be chosen.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Pedigree’s “Write a Post, Help a Dog” project

Just this morning I got a tweet from my great friend Suzi who is very passionate about helping dogs. She pointed out a blog post on about Pedigree’s “Write a Post, Help a Dog” project.

You can also help by becoming a Facebook Fan.  For every new Facebook Fan Pedigree will donate a bowl of food to shelters. Simple right?  So spread the word!

I Love Rescue also has a way for Bloggers to help:

Now you can help them do even more for dogs in need simply by writing a post. For every blog that writes a post about their adoption drive from now until next Sunday, which is September 19, Pedigree will donate a TWENTY pound bag of their brand new Healthy Longevity Food for Dogs to a shelter. It’s really as easy as that! Write about an awesome cause and and shelters nationwide will receive a large donation of food. If you write a post and I hope you do make sure to go I Love Rescue to link it so Pedigree sees it. Come on, let’s feed shelter dogs!

Last minute bloggers feel free to email me and I'll send you the code to this blog post or just copy and paste my post. 

For more information visit:

Pedigree thanks Facebook Fans:

Friday, September 17, 2010

Kisses From Hell Video

This is such a fun video with the amazing authors of Kisses from Hell. Remember to click the contest tab for a chance to win a copy signed by Kelley Armstrong and Alyson Noel courtesy of HarperTeen!
Kisses From Hell—So You Want To Date A Vampire...? Kisses From Hell—So You Want To Date A Vampire...?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Priceless by Nicole Richie

Nicole Richie is writing a new book titled Priceless. I wasn't aware of her being an author, but this one looks good. I know many people aren't a fan of books written by reality stars, but I'm on the fence. I enjoyed Lauren Conrad's book L.A. Candy so I might pick this one up. What are your thoughts? Do you read celeb written books?

Tall, blond, and willowy, this twenty-two-year-old seems to have everything going for her—she's rich and gorgeous, a talented singer, and has just returned to her Park Avenue penthouse after a year studying in Paris. But since her mother's tragic death years ago, her father, an extremely successful financier, has been her only family—and if she's being honest, her only true friend.

All that changes when Jacob Williams is arrested on charges of fraud, and the SEC freezes the family's bank accounts. With her father in jail and her partying pals suddenly scarce, Charlotte escapes Manhattan and heads to the one place she doesn't think anyone will come looking: New Orleans.

Determined to rebuild her life, Charlotte moves in with her beloved former nanny and finds a job in a local restaurant. Between trying to make ends meet and hiding from her past, she meets Kat, a fellow fashionista who introduces her to the best of the Big Easy's bohemian style. With Kat by her side, Charlotte begins to haunt nightclubs, securing singing gigs that soon begin to heat up—as does her friendship with a local boy, Jackson.

But Charlotte's being followed by an angry stalker who wants nothing more than to destroy her for her father's crimes. And with Mardi Gras just around the corner, the masquerade has only just begun . . .

From the stylish avenues of Manhattan and dark clubs of the French Quarter to the bright lights of Los Angeles, the multitalented Nicole Richie's scintillating tale shows that the very life you run from is the one that won't let you hide.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Losing Faith Book Trailer

Hello Readers,

I love book trailers and am super excited to share the trailer for Losing Faith.  Doesn't it make you want to go out and get this book?  I know I'll be adding it to my to read list.

About Losing Faith:

A terrible secret. A terrible fate.

When Brie's sister, Faith, dies suddenly, Brie's world
falls apart. As she goes through the bizarre and
devastating process of mourning the sister she never
understood and barely even liked, everything in her life
seems to spiral farther and farther off course. Her
parents are a mess, her friends don't know how to
treat her, and her perfect boyfriend suddenly seems
anything but.

As Brie settles into her new normal, she encounters
more questions than closure: Certain facts about the
way Faith died just don't line up. Brie soon uncovers a
dark and twisted secret about Faith's final night...a
secret that puts her own life in danger.

For more visit:

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The House of Dead Maids

The House of Dead MaidsThe House of Dead Maids by Clare B. Dunkle

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I won an advance copy of The House of Dead Maids by Clare B. Dunkle and I wasn't sure what to expect. The cover is so creepy and fantastic that there is simply no way to overlook it. Dunkle tells an amazing ghost story and you will feel as if a ghost is waking up in your bed. At times I did find the short book hard to follow and it keeps you guessing until the very end. Fans of Emily Bronte will want to pick this up as it is written as a prequel to Wuthering Heights. If you are looking for a short spooky story this one is for you. If you need more convincing check out the book trailer.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Remembering September 11

Today is a day of remembrance my thoughts and prayers are with the families affected, our troops, and with our nation. May today be a day of peace.

Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek but a means by which we arrive at that goal. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Review: Betrayal by Gillian Shields

Betrayal  (Immortal #2)Betrayal by Gillian Shields

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Betrayal by Gillian Shields is a story that draws you in from the moment you start reading it; Shields gives vivid detail of Wyldcliffe and makes you feel as if you are in the English countryside. I really enjoyed that Betrayal is told from two points of views. The first is from Evie Johnson, a transfer student who doesn’t fit in at Wyldcliffe Abbey School. Evie begins to feel more at home when she finds out that her family history is intertwined with Wyldcliffe. To make life at school even harder for Evie is the fact that some of the faculty is out to kill her. With help from her two friends Evie must find a way to save her love, Sebastian. The second point of view is from Sebastian's letters and journals. Sebastian is from another time and writes in a very romantic and poetic manner. He is torn because in order to save himself he must destroy the one girl he loves. Betrayal is filled with mystery and suspense and a shocking ending.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

5 Star Review: Firelight by Sophie Jordan

Firelight (Draki, #1)Firelight by Sophie Jordan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was worried that after reading Mockingjay I wouldn’t find something I loved as much but Sophie Jordan has made that happen with Firelight! So much intensity and romance make Firelight a perfect read!

Jacinda is a unique individual because not only is she draki, descendants of dragons, but she is also the first fire breather in 400 years. While her tribe is planning her future her mother comes up with a plan of her own, but the only thing these plans have in common is that neither is what Jacinda wants.

In an attempt at a little freedom Jacinda sneaks out to fly at sunrise. Only flying during the day is prohibited for fear of exposure. While in flight Jacinda is ambushed by a group of hunters who quickly corner her in a cave. A young hunter is sent in to find her and he simply lets her go.

Jacinda risking her life has set the tribe's plans into motion and her mother reacts by fleeing with Jacinda and her twin Tamra to start over in a new city as humans. Tamra, who never manifested as a draki, is thrilled to have a chance at a normal life while Jacinda just goes along with what her mother chooses.

Her mother chooses a desert city knowing that Jacinda’s inner draki could not survive and Jacinda will never change into a draki again. Jacinda’s mother and sister made the rebellious teen in me yell and scream. Life in the desert isn’t all bad when Jacinda finds out that Will, the hunter who let her go, is at the same school. (SWOON) Will is drawn to Jacinda but doesn’t know why he feels so connected to her. (Double Swoon) Just as Jacinda is finding a balance Cassian, a guy from her tribe, has found her and wants to bring her back to her rightful home.

Firelight has so many memorable quotes that I had to share a few:

For a draki, he’s death…To keep that part of me alive, I have to be close to that which kills it.

Jacinda has a few run-ins with Brooklyn the “It” girl from her school:

After running for my life from hunters, a girl with too much lip gloss doesn’t register on my fear radar.

I shrug, certain I’ve stepped into some bad flick about angry cheerleaders vying for a championship.

For more on Sophie Jordan visit:

To browse inside Firelight visit HarperTeen:

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Review of Adversary

Adversary (Ganzfield, #2)Adversary by Kate Kaynak

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I just finished reading another great story by Kate Kaynak! In Adversary, Maddie and her team are training for the day they must face Isaiah Lerner, the one person who can kill everyone at Ganzfield. Training becomes all too real when Ganzfield is attacked and people are either taken hostage or killed. Maddie tries to find a balance between being a normal teen and facing the fact that she will have to kill Isaiah. Can Maddie be an assassin and have a relationship? Trevor is as sweet as ever and wants nothing more than to keep Maddie safe. After the attack at Ganzfield Maddie is forced into a leadership role she isn’t ready for but handles it well. Maddie organizes a rescue mission that doesn’t go according to plan and not everyone gets out unharmed. As Maddie and Trevor’s relationship grows they are able to tune into each others gifts. I can’t wait to see this grow as the series gets further along. I really enjoyed this book and can’t wait for Legacy. January 28th cannot come soon enough!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Mockingjay Review

MockingjayMockingjay by Suzanne Collins

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Mockingjay was AMAZING! I don’t think that any review will do this book justice so I just want to touch on a few reasons you should read this book:

There is never a moment where you want to put this book down.

War is not pretty.

You will cry.

Everything you wondered about the first two books will be answered.

The ending is so worth it!

Katniss is the best character ever!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Blog Birthday and Book Giveaway!

My darling blog is a year old today!!  It feels like only yesterday I had 2 followers and 11 visits.  Since then I have interviewed many amazing authors, given away prizes, read countless books and made great friends and I'm thankful for each and every one of themTo celebrate I will be having a huge one year anniversary giveway consisting of what else? Books of course! Along with other book related swag. Here's to an even better 2nd year at Cari's Book Blogs!

Thank you to all!

Giveaway details: 

There will be 4 winners two prizes are US only and two are open to all.  Therefore if you are in the US or Canada you can sign up for all 4.  International if Book Depository delivers to you then you can sign up also you can sign up for the signed swag.  Comments are appreciated but all entries must be via google form.

  1. Signed paperback Beautiful Creatures by both Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
  2. Signed Kisses from Hell by Alyson Noel and Kelley Armstrong
  3. Torment by Lauren Kate (Pre-order paperback from Book Depository - not signed)
  4. Signed bookmarks 5x7 autographed picture
Instead of bookmarks I replaced it with this:

I have extended the contest 3 more days!
    *A very special thanks to HarperTeen for providing Kisses from Hell.

    The giveaway will end September 20th, 2010 at 12:00 CST.

    Fill out the form below:

    Signed prizes are subject to change if authors cancel events

    Friday, September 3, 2010

    September Reading List

    So here is my schedule of what I plan to read this month. Feel free to join me and then we can discuss. Also I am always up for taking recommendations. If you check my blog often you will find I add and remove books just depending on my moods. Happy reading!

    Crave Crave by Melinda Metz and Laura J. Burns
    Currently Reading

    Clockwork Angel Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

    Safe Haven Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks

    Torment Torment by Lauren Kate


    Adversary Adversary (Ganzfield, #2) by Kate Kaynak

    Firelight Firelight by Sophie Jordan

    The House of Dead Maids The House of Dead Maids by Clare B. Dunkle