Wednesday, November 30, 2011

December To Read 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. What are you reading or looking forward to reading this month?

Currently Reading:

Currently Listening To:

Reading Soon:

Listening To Soon:

Finished Reading:

Did Not Finish:

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Interview: Miranda Kenneally

I'm so lucky to interview Miranda Kenneally on my blog today. Miranda's debut novel CATCHING JORDAN was one of my favorite novels this year. I love how real her characters are. CATCHING JORDAN kept me up until 4:00 AM reading it, because I would not put the book down until I finished. I gush about this novel to anyone who's willing to listen and wish I could give every person a copy of this book.

What made you want to tell this particular story?
When I was in high school, I managed the boys' soccer team. Hanging around guys so often gave me an interesting view into their lives, and I wanted to share that will all the girls out there!

How difficult was it for Jordan to find a balance between being a girl, leader of her football team, and being herself?
Very hard. Jordan felt that if she showed any weakness, the guys on her team wouldn't take her seriously as a leader anymore. Obviously, teen girls have different needs than boys, so Jordan struggled with being herself and being what she "thought" everyone expected her to be. The minute she starts to experiment with acting like a girl, she begins to understand that everyone already knows she's a girl. That's even harder for her to deal with.

Jordan has to deal with her father who isn't necessarily understanding of who she is. How does Jordan handle it and how would you have handled the situation?
Jordan deals with it by trying to prove herself over and over again to her father, rather than sitting down with him and trying to understand his point of view. The same goes for him - until he starts to consider her opinions, he is very hard-headed. The entire book is about learning to make compromises.

I would've done exactly what Jordan did - set out to prove myself. But unlike Jordan at the beginning of the book, I am typically open to new ways of thinking.

Without being spoilerish what is one of your favorite scenes in the book and why?
My favorite scene is probably home ec class, where Jordan and Henry have to "raise" an electronic baby for a week. It was just really fun to write.

Catching Jordan feels like what real high school teens go through. What made you want to show more than just the fairy tale side of contemporary?
My teen years and high school were anything but a fairy tale. I guess I just wrote what I know to be true of high school.

How are you prepared to deal with the backlash from readers about some of Jordan's choices?
Mostly I just accept that different people think in different ways. I myself don't even approve of how Jordan acted at certain times, but people *do* behave poorly sometimes. That's just part of life. Besides, who wants to read about perfect characters who always do the *right* thing? (Whatever the right thing is)

What do you want readers to take away from this book?
That life is all about compromise. Some things you can afford to compromise on, but others you cannot (love, friendships).

What other projects do you have in the works?
Two companions to CATCHING JORDAN. The first comes out in October 2012. It's called THE GIRL I USED TO BE and it's about a 17-year-old girl who has the hots for the school baseball coach. The second book is called BAD, BAD THING and it's about a girl falling in love for the first time while working at a summer camp.

What exciting things do you have plans for your debut year?
Lots of writing! (I'm a very boring person, I swear). Also, I'm going to Florida to spend time in a hot tub and a lazy river.

What do readers not know about you that would make them giggle?
I can karaoke like nobody's business. I didn't make it as a country music singer. Alas.

Where can readers find you?
I'm always on Twitter and Facebook Also --

Shatter Me and Catching Jordan Winners

We have winners!!!

Congratulations to Ricki @ Reading Challenged who is the winner of CATCHING JORDAN!

Congratulations to Kristi S. who is the winner of SHATTER ME!

The winners have been notified and has 48 hours to reply with a mailing address.

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Lucky One Movie Trailer

GASP! Have you seen the movie trailer for Nicholas Sparks' The Lucky One? I know many aren't big fans of Nicholas Sparks, but I really love some of his books and it's primarily what I read before YA. For those of you who have read the Lucky One what are your thoughts on the trailer?

I think Zac Efron looks amazingly hot and if they stay close to the book the story will be emotional and classic Nicholas Sparks which translates into big bucks. My concern was that they cast Taylor Schilling in the lead and while she is only three years older than Zac she appears to be a lot older than him. I will reserve judgement until I see it on screen.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Book Events: Hillary Jordan

Earlier this year I attended an event at Blue Willow Bookshop for Hillary Jordan, the author of When She Woke. The staff raved about When She Woke and the cover is stunning so I had to be there. Also the story is little like The Scarlett Letter so that also caught my attention. Here are a few pictures I took at the event.

For more on Hillary Jordan visit:

Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday Giveaway: Shatter Me ARC

Ready for Black Friday? No need for hair pulling, screaming, and fighting! One lucky person is going to win an ARC of Shatter Me. I'm reading this book now and everyone raves about it!

Make sure to visit the following bloggers who are also participating:

Kate @ Ex Libris
Tillie @ Nuttier Reads
Michelle @ Windowpane Memoirs
Sarah's Books
Books to the Sky

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Review: Past Perfect

Past Perfect by Leila Sales

Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Past Perfect is such a fun contemporary novel. I'm not sure what part of the story the book's cover is supposed to depict, but the story itself is a perfect blend of funny, romance, mistakes, and a loveable main character.

Chelsea is a high school junior who plans to spend the summer working at the mall with her best friend Chelsea. Her goals include becoming an ice cream connoisseur and never thinking about her ex-boyfriend Ezra. Ezra was the perfect guy who suddenly ended their relationship. Chelsea is crushed and hopes he will want to get back with her. Only her plan backfires when her best friend wants to work at Essex Historical Colonial Village the re-enactment park she has worked at all her life with her parents. Chelsea eventually gives in but working at Essex gets even more complicated when she sees that Ezra has also taken a job there.

The teens at Essex have a tradition of being at war with the Civil War village across the road. They play pranks and try to get the best of each other. During the first meeting Chelsea is appointed lieutenant to help bring victory against the Civil Warriors. The craziness that goes on is hilarious!

On the first night of the war Chelsea gets kidnapped by the Civil Warriors and the guy who keeps her captive turns out to be a super cute guy! Chelsea knows that dating a Civil Warrior can't happen, but he is so cute which can only mean more trouble for Chelsea! I adore this book! Chelsea learns about herself and comes to terms about her feelings for Ezra.

If you are in the mood for a contemporary YA read then this is the book for you! Past Perfect is Leila Sales second novel! I look forward to going back and reading her first novel Mostly Good Girls and look forward to more from her in the future.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Eve Winner

Congratulations to Book Goonie who is the winner of the signed copy of Eve by Anna Carey since the first person drawn did not reply! The winner has been notified and has 48 hours to reply with a mailing address. Be sure to enter the Catching Jordan Giveaway!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Book Trailer: Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally

I'm really excited to share the book trailer of Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally! When I first read the summary I couldn't wait to read it and then when I got the book I stayed up until 4:00 AM reading it and believe me it's definitely 5 star worthy. I want to thank Miranda for letting me debut the trailer on my blog and to celebrate the occasion I'm giving away some prizes.

To learn more about Miranda visit:
The video was made by: Vania Stoyanova of

Grand Prize will be a preorder of Catching Jordan with swag

3 others will receive Catching Jordan Bookmarks, stickers, and trading cards

Book Depository Shipping

Friday, November 11, 2011

Guest Review: The Faerie Ring

Sarah's Books & Life Button
I have invited my friend Sarah to guest review on my blog. Sarah is a Houston book blogger and like me a big supporter of Class of 2k11. When she mentioned she was reading The Faerie Ring I asked if she would like to review it for my blog and here we are! I hope you enjoy Sarah's review and make sure to visit her site.

The Faerie Ring by Kiki Hamilton

Sarah's Rating: 4 stars

I’ve been looking forward to reading The Faerie Ring since I first read about it last spring and I was not disappointed! By the first few pages I was hooked and I couldn’t wait to find out more about Tiki and why she ends up picking pockets when she seems to be educated and could've possibly found another way to earn money. I enjoyed being taken back in time to 1871 London on this tale of survival and self-discovery. Tiki is not just picking pockets for herself, but for the four other orphaned children she shares a space with, for which she feels a responsibility to. But Tiki will soon find out that just because you don't get caught stealing there are always consequences and that you should be careful who you steal from.

Tiki steals a ring belonging to Queen Victoria and she soon finds herself in the middle of what could become a nasty war between England and the Faire realm. Then there is the mysterious Rieker, a fellow thief, who is not quite what he seems. I enjoyed seeing Tiki come into her own as she tries to save her family and find out more about why Rieker is so interested in her.

Part of the enjoyment of this book was seeing how all the pieces fell together and how the title has more than one meaning.I can’t wait to read more about the world Kiki has created in The Faerie Ring and to discover what is in store for Tiki and Rieker.

For more on Sarah visit:
For more on Kiki Hamilton visit:

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Audio Review: Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan

Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan

Rating: ????

Short and Sweet:
I have had a difficult time with this review for many reasons. See books you love and even books you aren’t crazy about aren’t difficult to write reviews for, because you know why you either loved it or not. I believe one of the hardest books to write a review for are those that grab a hold of you and pull you through an emotional roller coaster leaving you to wonder why did we go there? Dark YA novels have a purpose but if the novel leaves you with a million questions and feeling that the ending is incomplete, is the book worth it?

Longer Version:
Glow reminds me of Cresendo and Impossible, both books grabbed me and made me feel like I was living what the character was living, but is the last place on earth I'd want to be. Glow plays on a basic fear of becoming a victim and being lied to. I don’t think any person ever wants to feel like we are not in control of our safety or the fact that we don’t have a way out. With each CD I kept living this horror and found myself lashing out. If you were one of the many people sitting next to me in traffic I apologize I normally don’t swear as much.

In Glow there are two ships, the Empyrean and the New Horizon, one person makes a horrible decision that hurts a lot of people on the New Horizon and that group retaliates by taking the Empyrean's children specifically their daughters and doing unspeakable experiments on them. Waverly is one of the girls who is captured and is one of the first girls to be experimented on. She finally starts to ask questions about what their kidnappers are doing to them, but it made me angry that it took Waverly so long to figure out what was going on, when really she should have seen the signs. She was also sympathetic to her kidnappers. For me I think I would have trusted no one until I was safe, but the problem is that in Glow you are never really safe. As you can tell by my review Glow made me angry, confused and I think a lot more people should have paid for what happened. Since Glow is a series I guess you are wondering will I read/listen to the second book and my answer is I don’t know. I felt so much anger at Glow and I think it takes skills to write a book that will have that effect on a reader. I really don’t know if I could put myself through another book.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Interview and Giveaway: Anna Carey

I'm thrilled to welcome Anna Carey the author of Eve. Eve is described as THE HUNGER GAMES meets THE HANDMAID’S TALE so it's no surprise that Eve is already in development as a TV series pilot from the producers of The Vampire Diaries. Lauren Kate, author of the Fallen series, calls Eve “A gripping, unforgettable adventure—and a fresh look at what it means to love.”

Where did the idea for your novel come from?
When I started the book I'd been thinking about the same few questions: What would happen if you found out everything you've learned is a lie? What if the world, as it actually was, was so much more beautiful and terrifying than you ever could have imagined? Would you have the courage to explore it?

When writing do you visualize the scene in your mind or is it just getting the words on paper?
I find the scene flows better when I visualize everything in my head--where all the characters are, what objects are around them, where people are coming and going from. It's most important when writing action scenes. I'm actually so OCD about this I make drawings, amateur blueprints and maps while writing each book. I have a detailed drawing of Eve's school showing the lake, the buildings and all the entrances and exits. I also have drawings of the dugout. Because the first book takes place over several states and the characters travel there by car, on foot and horseback, I mapped out Eve's journey on an actual map of the west, making sure the times/distances were correct.

How much changed from the original manuscript?
Overall, the first Eve book is fairly similar to the original draft. The chapters that changed the most were the ones in the dugout, when Eve is realizing how deceitful the Teachers were. She's struggling to let go of her past while learning to trust Caleb. I have a really insightful editor, who helped me condense the chapters. There were several "deep thoughts" chapters (as I call them) when Eve was just thinking about her predicament.

How did you decide on dystopia?
When I started Eve I was more interested in writing a post-apocalyptic story. I wanted to write about what happens to people after a horrific tragedy. If a disaster occurred tomorrow, how would the survivors more forward? Would there be chaos? Would we stay true to the values our country was founded on or follow the first leader with a clear vision? The more dystopian elements of the book came as I moved forward in the writing, and was thinking about how the new government would rebuild. I wanted Eve to have more challenges than just the ones she faces in the wild, and having the King's men hunting her brought a whole new level of drama to the book.

What are your next projects?
Eve is a trilogy, so I'm working on the final book now (the second book, Once, will be out July 2012). I'm starting to think about what will be next once the series is over. It'll be sad to say good-bye to these characters!

For more information visit:
Official Eve website:

Like Eve on Facebook:

Follow @AnnaCareyBooks on Twitter:

Visit Anna Carey’s blog:

Slayers Winner

Congratulations to Shirley Bahlmann who has won the signed copy of Slayers by C. J. Hill!  The winner has been notified and has 48 hours to reply with a mailing address.  Be sure to visit later today for a new giveaway!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Review: 31 Dates in 31 Days

31 Dates in 31 Days by Tamara Duricka Johnson

Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

31 Dates is Tamara’s real life story about how she went from instantly falling in love with the wrong guys to taking on a dating project that would teach her how to date. Tamara decided that if she went on 31 first dates she would start to figure out what she was doing wrong. The idea of finding 31 guys who would want to go out with her scared her but she was determined. I kept thinking wow do I have 31 cute dating outfits and how would I not be over it after date 13?

Tamara overcame her fears and she started catching herself thinking about a future with the guy she was on a date with that night, which then spiraled on to "did he like her as much as she liked him?" And all this was happening during their first date! As the dates progress you see the light bulb go off reminding her to break her habits. She even notices when guys start to over share too fast. What she didn’t expect was to learn that guys have a lot of the same insecurities that women have. As expected some were not a match, but some really pulled at my heart and at Tamara.

One of those was Ryan, he had such a great attitude that it seemed unreal, but when he explains why he lives his life the way he does it takes your breath away. We all know people who are scared to live because of what has happened to them in the past, but Ryan lives it to the fullest. So crush worthy!
After a bad date Tamara goes on a date with Christian the comedian and he notices she isn’t really into the date and he calls her on it. I think the fact that he was funny and he called her out on what he saw won me over and I found him to be one of my favorites.

I don’t think I could have survived 31 days without a break but I admire what Tamara did and I think the best thing is that there are good guys out there. Treat all guys with respect because he is someone’s prince charming! 31 Dates in 31 days is sassy, fun and should be on everyone’s wish list!

For more on Tamara visit:

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Book Events: Rachel Caine

Last night after working late I managed to make it to Murder by the Book to see Rachel Caine. Rachel was in town for a few hours to promote Last Breath, the latest book in the Morganville Series. Rachel normally kicks off her tour in Houston and I always try and make it. In fact I have over 20 books signed by Rachel. The turn out was great and the staff was wonderful as always! THANKS Murder by the Book for a great event!

For more on Rachel visit:
For more on Murder by the Book visit:

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Video Reading: Scored by Lauren McLaughlin

About the book:
Set in the future when teenagers are monitored via camera and their recorded actions and confessions plugged into a computer program that determines their ability to succeed. All kids given a "score" that determines their future potential. This score has the ability to get kids into colleges, grant scholarships, or destroy all hope for the above. Scored's reluctant heroine is Imani, a girl whose high score is brought down when her best friend's score plummets. Where do you draw the line between doing what feels morally right and what can mean your future? Friendship, romance, loyalty, family, human connection and human value: all are questioned in this fresh and compelling dystopian novel set in the scarily forseeable future.

About Lauren:

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

November To Read 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. What are you reading or looking forward to reading this month?

Currently Reading:

Currently Listening To:

Reading Soon:

Finished Reading: