Thursday, March 31, 2011

April 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!

Currently Reading:

To Read:

Finished Reading:

Could not finish:

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Pull of Gravity Official Book Trailer

Late breaking book news! 

So before going to bed I thought I would check my blogger dashboard to see any post I might have missed and what did I find? Gae Polisner posted her official book trailer! I wanted to share so here you go!

Gae I love it! Can't wait for Pull of Gravity!

Go to Gae's blog and tell what you think!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Ten questions with me at Word Vom with Giveaway!

Make sure to visit Word Vom today I'm being interviewed and giving away a signed copy of Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater.  Also I'll be sad if nobody says hi and enters the giveaway.  Lili is so awesome!


Class of 2K11 Giveaway

I have been really lucky to have read four of the Class of 2k11 Authors and have had many who visit the blog. To say thanks I am giveaway one of the books and it's winner choice! You can chose from those who have published from Jan-April and I will purchase it and send it to you!  I have added the covers that link to goodreads.

The winner gets to pick 1 from the following:

Who are these authors you ask?

XVI by Julia Karr

Illegal by Bettina Restrepo

Lipstick Laws by Amy Holder

Memento Nora by Angie Smibert

The Year We Were Famous by Carole Estby Dagg

Future Imperfect by K. Ryer Breese

  • US and Canada Only
  • Tweet about it for an extra entry. Direct link required if you aren't sure how contact me and I'll explain.
  • Following is not required but I would love you for it!
  • Giveaway ends 4/7/11 at midnight and winner will be announced the next day.
  • Winner will be contacted by email and has 48 hours to reply or a new winner will be picked.
  • Entries must be via google form

Updated Note: 1 winner will win 1 book. Sorry I have seen some confusion on twitter.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Review: Memento Nora

Memento Nora by Angie Smibert

Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

Warning prepare for lots of gushing about how much I loved Memento Nora. I want to start out by telling you that sometimes I have a difficult time with dystopia and sci-fi because I don't always feel like I can relate to such a different world or it makes me sad to think that we couldn't survive as a society and we almost cause our own destruction and a new radical world takes it's place. For those who feel the same way I do, I want to recommend Memento Nora to you because it is set in the future but you don't feel like a whole new world is forced on you. I felt that it could be possible for this future to happen but I also think that fans of Dystopia and Sci-fi could enjoy this.

In Memento Nora the world is 40-50 years in the future and terrorism is at an all time high. Car bombings happen every few days and there are Therapeutic Forgetting Centers (TFC) that help people forget any traumatic event with a simple pill that will only cause you to forget that specific event.

Nora makes to her first trip to a TFC after witnessing a bookstore bombing while she is out on a shopping trip with her mother. Her mom goes to to TFC almost weekly and Nora loves that after her mom is finished she's in a great mood and usually ready for more shopping. While she is in the waiting room she sees Micah, a skater kid from school, coming out after a TFC session and he spits his white pill out when no one is looking. Since it's Nora's first time her mom tells her that her father beat her and she takes her pill to forget. Nora decides that like Micah she doesn't want to forget and she spits the pill out as she exits the center.

From that moment on nothing in Nora's life will ever be normal and she seeks out Micah. They decide to put their stories in comics that will be titled Memento, which means remember in Latin, and distribute them so others can see the truth. They hope that other kids will share their stories before they take the pill to forget. Micah is not a jock or distant if anything he's sweet and caring and really makes a great love interest. *Micah I love you* In a way he sort of reminds me of Peeta from Hunger Games and Jay from The Body Finder. With help from Micah's artsy best friend Winter they successfully print and distribute Memento.

Memento is loved by students and quickly makes it's way around the city. The students are coming up with ideas of expressing their voice and it fuels support for Memento. They want a newspaper and pull a prank in support of the comic. An underground group wants Micah, Winter, and Nora to stop Memento as it could get them arrested. The government wants to find out quickly who is behind it and to wipe all their memories.

Memento Nora is such an amazing book. For it only being 192 pages this little book packs a big punch. The cover is gorgeous and the ending might bring you to tears. I want to reread it because I wonder if there are hidden clues now that I read the whole story. Memento Nora is Angie Smibert's first novel and she is currently working on a sequel. Angie is also part of the Class of 2K11 and with the League of Extraordinary Writers. I can also see Memento Nora being turned into a graphic novel.

P.S. Angie I'm dying for the sequel!

Memento Nora will be released Friday April 1st so go out and get a copy!

Giveaway: for a chance to win a pre-order of Memento Nora come back tomorrow! Also I will have Angie Smibert on the blog Friday where we will be talking Memento Nora, 2k11, boys, and the sequel.

Review: Wither

Wither by Lauren DeStefano

Rating:5 of 5 Stars

Wither is one of those rare books that are incredibly captivating. How would you live if you knew that females died at age twenty and males at age twenty-five? That the last year of your life is excruciatingly painful and while many try to find a cure no one knows what caused it or how to stop it.

The wealthy believe that if they match the right parents it might be the solution. Men take multiple wives hoping to conceive a child that will live beyond the 20-25 years but no one has succeeded. The girls who are picked are either orphans or stolen from their homes and sold off. Girls who are barely teens and all are expected to produce a healthy heir. The wives have no say in any decision and are closely monitored.

Rhine was kidnapped along with a number of girls. The ones who were picked became wives and the rest were executed. Rhine is strong and reminds herself that she is a prisoner and will escape, but to do so she must gain her husband’s trust. At first I was repulsed by Linden, but as Rhine spends more time with her husband you start to question her feelings for him. She builds bonds with her sister wives and starts to see prison more like home. Rhine finds herself having happy moments and wondering if life with Linden would be all bad. Is it better to live and die in gorgeous prison or risk it all to be free?

Wither is an incredible story that had me in suspense until the very last page. I love Lauren DeStefano’s writing style because she makes you feel like you are Rhine. I won’t lie Wither is amazing but be prepared for a darker story. Wither is Lauren DeStefano’s debut now which is in stores now.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Review: Lipstick Laws

Lipstick Laws by Amy Holder

Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Perfect for: Older Middle Grade – 16
(Adults will also enjoy!)

April Bowers is freaking out her only friend has moved away and now she is starting her sophomore year all alone. While in gym class April makes a friend, but this isn’t just any friend. April clicks with Britney the “it girl” who thinks that April is new to her school and could possibly have friend potential. Britney is the queen of mean and her idea of nice is a backhanded compliment. April decides that being Britney’s minion is better than being alone. She also keeps reminding herself that Britney can’t be that bad After a makeover and plenty of hoop jumping April is presented with the Lipstick Laws and she is officially part of Britney’s crew, which means life should get easier right? Well, April quickly breaks the rules and makes Britney so angry that she creates new rules based on April. Britney doesn’t feel that kicking April out of her group is enough and sets out to destroy her. Only April decides that instead of going back to being the girl that nobody knows exists, she fights back and decides that everyone needs to know what Britney is really like. Throughout the book you come to realize that Britney and April aren’t that different and this can be both good and bad, but makes for a great and funny story.

The entire time I was reading this book I thought, man this is the kind of stuff Taylor Swift writes songs about. Also if you enjoyed The Lonely Hearts Club by Elizabeth Eulberg than you will really like this book. The only thing that kept me from giving this book a 5 star rating is some of the slang felt like to much info like when she refers to her sesame seed chest. I think this story is going to be a win for older middle graders to about 16 year olds, but I am convinced that anyone will enjoy this book. Amy Holder told a great story and I’m looking forward to many more books from her.

Chapter One of Lipstick Laws

For more on Amy Holder visit:

Lipstick Laws will be in stores April 4th so pre-order your copy now!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Lauren DeStefano talks about Wither

Happy Release Day

Dystopian fans watch Lauren DeStefano talk a little about her debut novel Wither which is in stores today! For more info make sure to visit her at

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Book Event: Bettina Restrepo

I just wanted to share a fun event I went to yesterday. Bettina Restrepo came to Houston to promote her debut novel Illegal. I loved this book and couldn't wait to meet Bettina in person. Bettina did a reading that almost brought me to tears and then took questions. I could relate to Illegal so this book is really special to me and to hear the author read is such a special treat. I got to spend some time talking to Bettina who I have gotten to know online and she is so much fun in person.

Christin from Between The Covers came out and it was great to see her. Also in attendance were local authors Joy Preble, Crystal Allen, Christina Mandelski, and Jenny Moss. The staff at Blue Willow Bookshop is amazing and I love that you can frequently find signed books.

I have said it before and I'll say it again go get Illegal and support debut authors!  Also if you are in the Houston area stop by Blue Willow Bookshop and if you can't make it to Houston and you know your favorite author is signing call and order a personalized copy.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Bethenny Frankel A Place of Yes

I don't know about you but Bethenny has always been one of my favorite housewives and readers seem to love her! I haven't read any of her books but this week in my Simon & Schuster newsletter I found this! So what do you think? Will A Place of Yes be on your to read list or are you over reality tv?

The New York Times bestselling author of Naturally Thin and The Skinnygirl Dish, Bethenny Frankel takes us on an empowering journey to A PLACE OF YES

BETHENNY FRANKEL'S no-nonsense, tell-it-like-it-is personality won over countless fans, and made her a nationally bestselling author and the star of her own hit Bravo show Bethenny Getting Married? Now Bethenny opens up and shares the obstacles she overcame and the great success she has enjoyed while discovering how to approach life from "A Place of Yes." Bethenny's path was not always clear as she overcame a difficult childhood, failed relationships, entrepreneurial efforts that never quite got off the ground, and lifelong money struggles. To deal with these challenges, Bethenny developed ten rules for pursuing her goals with authenticity and drive, including:

FIND YOUR TRUTH: Dig deep inside and figure out what is authentic for you, not anybody else.

ACT ON IT: You don't have to have a master plan. But unless you do something, you've done nothing.

EVERYTHING'S YOUR BUSINESS: Treat every job, person, and experience as if it could lead to your next big opportunity.

OWN IT: If you do it, say it, think it—then own it. Stand up for yourself and fully acknowledge who you really are. Each rule is illustrated with compelling, sometimes funny, sometimes outrageous examples that are pure Bethenny. It's easy to say no, to say "I can't," to expect the worst, and to doubt yourself. But your life can be better than "not bad" or "good enough." It can be amazing. And by putting Bethenny's rules together, you can use them to be more successful, more fulfilled, healthier, and happier than ever before.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Review: Shimmer by Alyson Noel

Shimmer by Alyson Noel
Rating: 4 of 5 Star (Middle Grade)
3 of 5 (If you go in expecting an older age YA Novel)

Short Version:
So on the rating let me explain if you go in with the thought that you are going to read a middle grade book that gets right to the point and tells a great story you will love this book but if you go in expecting a long drawn out story with romance than you will feel disappointed but trust me this is a really good book!

If you have read the Evermore series you will enjoy this but it’s not required that you do. You will be lost if you haven’t read Radiance the first book in this series. You can find my review of Radiance here.

Long Version: (Don’t read if you haven’t read Radiance)
After Riley successfully completed her first mission she was granted time off to go back to the earth plane where she can relax and get to know her guide Bodhi but things never go smoothly for Riley. She comes across a vicious hell dog and while Bodhi warns her not to get involved or have anything to do with it, she does the exact opposite. Riley finds out that the dog belongs to Rebecca, an evil spirit, who traps spirits in their worst fear and feeds off their tortured energy. Only to make matters worse Bodhi and Buttercup get trapped and Riley has to save her guide, dog, and put a stop to Rebecca’s evil ways. When Rebecca finds out that Riley want’s to stop her, she blocks her out and Riley finds help from a spirit who is tied to Rebecca’s past. He sends Riley on a spirit quest to show her the type of person Rebecca used to be when she was alive and what she suffered while living on her father’s plantation. Alyson Noel does not tread lightly on the topic of slavery giving us flashbacks to how horrible slaves were tread and I found it to be a great element in the story. In Shimmer we learn more about Bodhi and what his biggest regret was when he was alive. Rebecca also shows Riley the tragic way that she died and why she is so angry, but she is one ghost that is not willing to cross over. Riley has always been one of my favorite characters and while I have so many questions about where the series will go I find Shimmer to be a great book.

Book trailer:

Find out more about Shimmer here, including audio excerpts and Riley's diary:

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Poetry: Choke by Megan Bostic

Choke is a poem by author Megan Bostic who will release her first book titled Never Eighteen in January 2012.  For more of her writing you can visit her blog:

Choking back

words unwanted

regret, a jagged pill.

I’m silenced

though your deafening torrent

Still resonates in my ears.

An echo of madness

a castigation of lies

the endless labyrinth of fault.

Sliced open

naked, exposed

a frozen, aching soul.

Wearing blinders

Eluding truth

Coerce yourself to believe.

Fury subsides

As it will in time

But time is also brutal.

The acid tongue,

The beastly rage,

The affection only ephemeral.

This is Megan Bostic's work do not borrow/sell/republish without her permission.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Chime ARC Winner

We have a winner for Chime by Chime by Franny Billingsley.

Congratulations to Shirley from

For those who did not winner don't be sad there will be plenty more contest!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Nightshade and Wolfsbane Covers

Last year I read Nightshade and while I wasn't a big fan of the book I did love the cover. Don't get me wrong I liked the book, but never fell in love. Yesterday she blogged about the fact that they would be redesigning the Nightshade paperback cover and that the new Wolfsbane cover will be changed to match the paperback one. Fans were complaining that the new cover will not match the first book but really the author doesn't have control over what is done to the cover.

We saw this happen with Morganville all the books had been published in small paperback versions and then on book 10 they went with a hardcover book. Vampire Academy and House of Night also start off paperback and move to hardcover. My personal opinion I would have liked for them to stick to the original green Wolfsbane cover for the hardcover and then change it for the paperback, because I like for all my books to match. So what are your thoughts?

Nightshade (hardcover)

Night Shade (paperback)

Wolfsbane (New cover for both hardcover and paperback)

Wolfsbane (Old cover that will not to be used)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Quick Update

I have updated my blog header a little, but I'm not sure if you will notice since it's the same black and white design just a different pattern. The last one had a cat.

Also my blog is featured on 700sq ft Design so go by and say hi to Brianne!

One of my favorite blogs Tales of Whimsy just got a new look so drop by and visit her!

Hope everyone is having a great weekend and let me know what you are currently reading!

Cover News: Lola and the Boy Next Door and Crossed

Yesterday Stephanie Perkins and Ally Condie revealed covers for their books! So take a look and let me know which ones are on your to read list.

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
Release Date: 09/29/11

In this companion novel to Anna and the French Kiss, two teens discover that true love may be closer than they think.

For budding costume designer Lola Nolan, the more outrageous the outfit—more sparkly, more fun, more wild—the better. But even though Lola’s style is outrageous, she’s a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins move back into the house next door.

When the family returns and Cricket—a gifted inventor and engineer—steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.

Crossed by Ally Condie
Release Date: 11/01/11

In search of a future that may not exist and faced with the decision of who to share it with, Cassia journeys to the Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky — taken by the Society to his certain death — only to find that he has escaped, leaving a series of clues in his wake.

Cassia’s quest leads her to question much of what she holds dear, even as she finds glimmers of a different life across the border. But as Cassia nears resolve and certainty about her future with Ky, an invitation for rebellion, an unexpected betrayal, and a surprise visit from Xander — who may hold the key to the uprising and, still, to Cassia’s heart — change the game once again. Nothing is as expected on the edge of Society, where crosses and double crosses make the path more twisted than ever.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Shimmer Book Trailer

Shimmer goes on sale March 15, 2011.

Riley Bloom’s adventures continue in Shimmer! And this time, the story takes a slightly darker turn…..

Having solved the matter of the Radiant Boy, Riley, Buttercup, and Bodhi are enjoying a well-deserved vacation. When Riley comes across a vicious black dog, against Bodhi's advice, she decides to cross him over. While following the dog, she runs into a young ghost named Rebecca. Despite Rebecca's sweet appearance, Riley soon learns she's not at all what she seems. As the daughter of a former plantation owner, she is furious about being murdered during a slave revolt in 1733. Mired in her own anger, Rebecca is lashing out by keeping the ghosts who died along with her trapped in their worst memories. Can Riley help Rebecca forgive and forget without losing herself to her own nightmarish memories?

For more visit:

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Cover News: The Mephisto Covenant

As you know I have been hinting to a secret on twitter well I finally get to share it with you! Debut author Trinity Faegen gave me the wonderful opportunity to share The Mephisto Covenant cover here first!!! I believe they are still doing minor changes to the cover but all I can say is stunning! I love every detail especially the dress!  I have not seen a summary but when we get that I will let you know.

Please feel free to grab the cover and share it with the world!

You can find Trinity Faegen at:

News and Updates!

Just a quick update!  Today I'm featured over at GReads! My friend Ginger has a feature called The Blogger Behind the Book so go over say hi and follow her blog!

Also debut author Megan Bostic is trying to reach 200 blog followers so go follow her.  Megan shares her work in progress, her poetry, and updates on her first book Never Eighteen.

My friend and sometimes editor started a new blog about fashion so visit her at Sweetpea's Closet!

Lastly don't forget I'm giving away an ARC of Chime by Franny Billingsley!

Audio Review: Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly

Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

I would like to start off by saying how wrong I was! I have always thought audio books and historical novels were not for me. See I know what the characters sound like in my head so hearing the narrators voice throws me off. Also I had a really bad experience with my first audio book. The only reason I gave audio books a second chance was because I forgot to cancel my audible subscription. Historical books are usually hard for me because again I can't picture the voice or feel I could not relate to someone from so long ago but Revolution has changed my mind!

The first hour or so I was skeptic and it took me about four times restarting the book, because I couldn't convince myself that I would like the audio but once I got past that and really started listening to the story I found myself relating to Andi. In Revolution Andi attends a private school that she doesn't much care for and it leads back to her brother Truman dying but they don't go into it at first. Her mother is an emotional mess and Andi is spiraling out of control and practically suicidal. Her estrange father steps in and takes Andi with him to Paris France for work. Her father was there to perform DNA test on a heart thought to be of ten year old Louis-Charles son of of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.

Andi wants nothing more than to return back home to take care of her mother but her father thinks Andi can't be trusted alone and he's right. While in Paris Andi discovers a diary of Louis-Charles nanny who tells the story of what happened to him. Andi slowly because emotionally attached to both Alex and Louis-Charles and hopes for a happy ending for both.  Louis-Charles looked a lot like her brother Truman and the story of  what is thought to be the last days of his life are tragic.

While in Paris Andi meets Virgil an aspiring hip-hop artist who can clearly see that Andi is so emotionally broken and yet he is so drawn to her. He completely captured my heart!  Andie makes a deal with her father that if she can finish a school assignment early can she return home early but Virgil and Alex's story are factors that make her reconsider leaving Paris.

The story is so vast and so beautiful I can't explain how much I loved it! I plan to buy the physical copy of this book and listen to the audio again. If you are not sure about audio and/or historical I highly recommend this book to you!

To learn more about Jennifer Donnelly visit:

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Book Trailer: Popular by Alissa Grosso

I wanted to share a very amazing trailer with you. Alissa announced on her blog that she was accepting pictures from those willing to send them holding a sign that says I am Popular and would be using them for the book trailer of her debut novel Popular. I sent in my picture so I'm really excited to be part of the project.

Release Date: 05/08/11

About the book:
Meet the clique that rules Fidelity High: Olivia, Zelda, Nordica, and Shelly, each one handpicked by ├╝ber-popular Hamilton Best. You know you're "in" when you make the guest list for one of Hamilton's parties. And in the thralls of senior year, everyone wants to get noticed by Hamilton.

But Hamilton's elite entourage is coming apart at the seams. Olivia fantasizes about finally having a boyfriend, Zelda dreams of ditching high school, Nordica wants to be alone with her photography, and Shelly's plotting to dethrone Hamilton. Lies and secrets are ripping away the careful ties that have kept them together for years. But Hamilton has the biggest secret of all, one that only her boyfriend Alex knows. If the truth got out, it would shock everyone and destroy Hamilton's fragile world—and she'll do anything to protect her secret and keep her clique together

For more on Alissa visit:

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Interview with Bettina Restrepo

Today I would like to welcome debut author Bettina Restrepo who is part of the Class of 2K11 and Texas author. Bettina's debut novel is titled Illegal and out today. Illegal is a beautiful story about love and family.

What made you want to tell this story?
Nora was originally a character in one of my very long (unpublished) picture books. She came alive in my mind. One day, I saw a girl standing by the side of the road and this entirely other story bloomed.

Did you do any research on the Quitman area?
I worked for Fiesta Mart (an auditor out of the main headquarters). Fiesta #1 is on Quitman Street – and it was one of my favorite stores because the people are so nice. I also did some reading on the race riots in Moody Park (named Quitman Park in Illegal) during the seventies in which two people disappeared – that became my basis for Tessa.

Did you talk with people who have lived in a similar situation?
Yes. Many people have told me their personal stories on immigration – and why they risked coming to America illegally. Each story was unique and compelling.

The main story line is about Nora and her mother coming to America illegally in hopes of being reunited with her father, but you also have some really interesting characters.

Can you tell me a little about Flora, Tessa, or Mr. Mann and how their stories will become a part of Nora’s life?

For many years, Flora was only a girl at the pool wearing lipstick. But, when I realized how young Keisha was – she didn’t know enough to help Nora. That’s when I picked Flora out of the lineup of my fringe characters, and she bloomed right before my eyes. While Nora’s story is complete – if there were a sequel (and so far, there isn’t one) – I would want to tell Flora’s story.

Mr. Mann. The Salvation Army is located in the Quitman area. I often saw characters pushing shopping carts. I like the idea of “the unseen society” – people who others discount. While I’m sure that Mr. Mann is mentally ill – probably schizophrenic – he seems to speak a truth louder than words.

In Illegal you write about some pretty gritty things like racial slurs and gang violence. What was it like putting that in print and what are your thoughts on how readers will respond to it?

I wanted to tell the truth – as nasty as it is – that racial slurs go in every direction. White to Black to Brown. I wanted people to see and feel the abrasiveness that exists in all sectors of life. Believe me when I say, I feel for my characters. I cried while writing the chapter inside the truck because I wasn’t sure what was going to happen at the end or if they would survive.

As to the gang’s – I morphed several gang identities into one. The violence in the Quitman area is real, but it also seems like a natural progression of the story. I am always appalled how humans can prey upon each other.

What message do you hope readers take from your story?
I never intended to send a message, but one appeared. I wanted to tell a story of finding your own voice – even in a desperate situation.

But, I want Americans to understand that immigrants who cross over illegally do so at great peril to their own lives. They do so out of desperation. While they might be doing an illegal act, they are humans first.
I know it sounds corny, but I hope that maybe the book influences the world to do good.

5 Things about teen you:

Favorite outfit: I once bought a man’s tailored shirt and a grey pinstriped vest – very Annie Hall.

Best summer memory: Summer of 1988. I spent the summer attending my old school in Bogota, Colombia and met a lovely boy who became my first love.

What was your favorite song: I remember singing loudly to INXS or Def Leopard, but I don’t remember a song really speaking to me.

First Job: McDonald’s. I worked there for 3 years on Kemp Ave in Wichita Falls making 3.35 an hour.

First Crush/Love: See above. While we only spent one summer together, we wrote to each other for over eight years. Our lives moved in different directions and being a continent apart didn’t help things either. But, he was a lovely boy and treated me like a queen. I’m really fortunate to have had such a nice 1st boyfriend… because I had my fair share of not-so-nice-boys.

Bettina can you tell us a little about you and what are your next projects?

I’m a mommy to a 6 ½ year old kindergarten boy. I’m a wife. I walk the dog twice a day. I’m the type of girl who talks too much because she gets nervous, tells bawdy jokes, and works really hard.

I also have ADHD which sometimes makes it challenging to concentrate or shut my brain down. Through exercise and medication, I manage to live a really good and healthy life. I say this, because I spent a lot of time in my youth running myself in circles and feeling bad about why I couldn’t do as well as others.

My next book, Telenovela, is completed but I don’t have a publication date yet. It’s a Latina soap opera with a complete script interspersed throughout the book. Compared it to High School Musical with foreign exchange students in a Dallas High school with a good amount of Telemundo to spice it up. It’s a comedy and was so much fun to write.

I’m playing with two ideas for book three and four and just trying to see which characters want to speak the loudest. Tough subjects.

For more on Bettina visit:

Monday, March 7, 2011

Win an ARC of Chime by Franny Billingsley

I took an unofficial poll on twitter asking if I should post a new giveaway and being that 90% of my followers are book lovers you can guess that the answer was YES. So here you go! I received an extra review copy of Chime by Franny Billingsley to give to the readers! You will win a brand new advance readers copy meaning you can't buy it! I will also be reading and reviewing this book later this month.

Release Date: March 17th 2011

Before Briony's stepmother died, she made sure Briony blamed herself for all the family's hardships. Now Briony has worn her guilt for so long it's become a second skin. She often escapes to the swamp, where she tells stories to the Old Ones, the spirits who haunt the marshes. But only witches can see the Old Ones, and in her village, witches are sentenced to death. Briony lives in fear her secret will be found out, even as she believes she deserves the worst kind of punishment.

Then Eldric comes along with his golden lion eyes and mane of tawny hair. He's as natural as the sun, and treats her as if she's extraordinary. And everything starts to change. As many secrets as Briony has been holding, there are secrets even she doesn't know.

Thank you to AuthorsOnTheWeb, Franny Billingsley,Penguin Young Readers Group!

  • Must fill out the google form
  • US and Canada Only
  • One entry per person
  • Must reply within 48 hours
  • Direct link must be provided for extra entry
  • Following not required but appreciated

Ends 3/14/11 12:00 AM CST (meaning if you get it in before I pull the winner that morning you are good)

Review: Skipping a Beat

Skipping a Beat by Sarah Pekkanen

Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

Skipping a Beat is the first non-ya novel I have read in a long time and a great way back into the fiction genre. Sarah Pekkanen captures your attention from the first few pages and takes you through Julia’s life as a glamorous wife of a multimillionaire to how she met her husband Michael when they were teens. Both started off with nothing but each other and the regret of how they grew up. Michael’s determination to make something of himself took off and the more successful he became the more distant he and Julia became. When does the comfort of having millions of dollars become an acceptable substitute for love and if given a second chance is it possible to repair what's been broken? Michael faces all this when he goes into cardiac arrest and his heart stops beating for four minutes and eight seconds.

Julia is dumbfounded when Michael asks for three weeks to try and repair their relationship, Michael is practically a stranger to Julia since he has always puts his business before anything or anyone else. Julia can’t see past her anger and hurt, which has built up over so many years, to respond to his request. Pekkanen shows us how the couple met, fell in love, and then slowly fell apart.

When I first began the story I wanted to shake Julia and wondered why she had stayed as long as she did. Then when Michael decides to get rid of everything they own to make it right, I thought ok now you really do want to leave him, but as the story develops you begin to waver. I kept asking myself what is going to happen on the next page, in the next chapter, at the end.

Pekkanen’s attention to detail is flawless from the music to the story of each character and her overall storytelling is charismatic. Skipping a beat will have you guessing through the entire story and leave you in awe. If you are a fan of fiction, chicklit, or just a story that slowly unfolds I highly recommend this to you. I have already picked up Sarah Pekkanen's previous novel and look forward to more books from her in the future.

For more on the author visit:

Thanks to the author and publisher for providing a review copy!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Sean Griswold's Head Swag Winners

Congratulations to the following winners!  They have been notified and have 48 hours to reply or new winners will be picked.  Thanks to all who entered and remember to pick up Sean Griswold in stores now!

Ricki said...
I love YA because they usually are fast but still fascinating reads. rickimc[at]aol[dot]com  
Amy Deatherage said...
I love to read YA for 2 reasons. 1) to know what my daughter is reading and to recommend and discuss. Some our greatest mother-daughter bonding is related to books or movies of books. It is "our" thing. 2) When I read I want to go on a vacation. I want 100% enjoyment and not the newest diet craze. Pick me bookgoonie(at)yahoo or @bookgoonie
Jessy said...
I read YA because it makes me feel young again. findjessyhere at gmail dot com

Event: Rachel Hawkins and Sarwat Chadda

Friday night Blue Willow Bookstore in Houston hosted Team Hawkadda also known as Rachel Hawkins and Sarwat Chadda.  If you get a chance to ever see them make sure you go they are very entertaining.  I first picked up Sarwat's first novel Devil's Kiss December of 2009 and I loved all the dark and action elements.  With Hex Hall I just read it recently and I'm really glad I did read it because Rachel didn't hold back with the spoilers, but in her defense it did come out a year ago.  Sarwat is promoting Dark Goddess the sequel to Devil's kiss and Rachel is promoting Demonglass the second novel in the Hex Hall series.

Both fans are big fans of Anne Rice and shared funny stories about starting in writing.  I also asked what would happen if their characters met.  Rachel suggested that Billie and Archer go on a date and maybe a slumber party between Billie and Sophie.  Both agreed there would be a lot of fighting and dying since this shows up in both of their books.  I suggested maybe a short story where Billie and Sophie meet.

Team Hawkadda drew a good crowd where I got to hang out with Katie admin of Mundie Moms.  Author of Dreaming Anastasia Joy Preble was also in the audience so it was great to see her again.  I also got to hang out with my book blogger buddies Cynthia from A Blog About Nothing, Lena from Addicted to Novels, and Christin from Between the Covers.  I also met Cassandra from Indie Reader Houston.  The staff at Blue Willow was amazing as always and it's always great catching up with bosslady Val and YA specialist Cathy.  If Sarwat and Rachel are not coming to your area give Blue Willow a call they might have a few signed copies on hand.

Me, Cynthia, Lena, Christin

More pics:

Friday, March 4, 2011

Cover News: Beauitful Chaos

Beautiful Fans received the tweet from MTV on yesterday afternoon about the new cover for Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.  From the details in the post the book gold will be an embossed cover and if you have read the previous books then you know the color has meaning.  I think it will fit in with the previous book and the title tells us we are in for a crazy ride.  Which of the three books are your favorite?  What are your thoughts on the new cover?

Previous Covers

The official release:

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Giveaway: Sean Griswold's Head Swag

Confetti for new books and swag! Tuesday author Lindsey Leavitt released her second book Sean Griswold's Head. How fun is this book cover? Lindsey sent over 3 autographed bookmarks that I will be giving away to you!

To win simply leave your email/twitter and why you read YA. Giveaway is open to US and Canada. You must be at least 13 years of age. I will choose 3 winners on 3/6/11 10:00 AM CST.

According to her guidance counselor, fifteen-year-old Payton Gritas needs a focus object—an item to concentrate her emotions on. It's supposed to be something inanimate, but Payton decides to use the thing she stares at during class: Sean Griswold's head. They've been linked since third grade (Griswold-Gritas—it's an alphabetical order thing), but she's never really known him.

The focus object is intended to help Payton deal with her father's newly diagnosed multiple sclerosis. And it's working. With the help of her boy-crazy best friend Jac, Payton starts stalking—er, focusing on—Sean Griswold . . . all of him! He's cute, he shares her Seinfeld obsession (nobody else gets it!) and he may have a secret or two of his own.

In this sweet story of first love, Lindsey Leavitt seamlessly balances heartfelt family moments, spot-on sarcastic humor, and a budding young romance.


For more info on Lindsey visit:

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Review: Illegal

Illegal by Bettina Restrepo

Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

I was really taken with Illegal by Bettina Restrepo. The story begins in a small town in Mexico where Nora’s dad leaves his family because work is non-existent and it’s the only way to provide for his family. Nora is devastated that Arturo, her father is leaving them behind and wants him to stay. Arturo sends any money he can back to his family, but eventually the telegrams and money stop coming.

Life at home is bad and Nora decides that she and her mother will go to the US to find her father. Leaving Mexico means they will not be able to return and most importantly they will be faced with having to leave her grandmother behind to fend for herself. The trip across the border is deadly and getting to Houston was not an easy task. Once in Houston they look for a place to stay and something to eat. Nora makes any major decisions for her and her mother and she knows that in order to get a job they will need papers. Navigating through Houston Nora meets lots of cruel people but finally finds work with a couple who own food stands. Jorge and Manuela take a liking to Nora because she reminds them of their niece who they have lost. Nora is excited to have found a job and figures that her dad has to eat and will eventually stop at the stand and they will be reunited. While working at the food stand, Nora tries to be friends with Flora but she want’s nothing to do with Nora. Flora’s brother is a drug dealer who mistreats Flora and her mother is too busy to notice. Most have written off Flora as a lost cause but Nora simply wants to be her friend. Nora makes it her mission to ask every worker who stops at her stand if they have any news of her father. She refuses to give up and dreams of the day she will be reunited with her father, but when she finally gets news about her father, her dreams are shattered. Nora looses faith in everything and her mother falls apart. Jorge and Manuela give Nora the only gift that could make her happy.

I felt I could really relate to Illegal for a number of reasons. First the story is set in Houston and I know the area quite well. I like that all the main landmarks were in the book. Also I know people who have lived Nora’s story and it reminds me of the suffering and pain they went through to get to this country. I would have liked to seen a few more Spanish words but that is just a personal preference. I can easily see this book translated to Spanish and the story have the same emotional impact.

Illegal is a touching story and can’t wait to read more from debut author Bettina Restrepo. I am very proud to say that Bettina is a Texas author and is part of The Class of 2K11. She will be stopping by for an interview March 8th.