Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Poetry: Love's Blinders

Megan Bostic will be debuting her first novel Never Eighteen January 2012 and for those who visit my blog often then you know that Megan also writes poetry. I love poetry so of course I asked if she would send me a few poems to feature here on my blog and she said yes. Today I'm sharing Love's Blinders.  Thanks Megan!


Love's Blinders by Megan Bostic

Alone I sit and wait for a call that never comes

My heart echoing like an abandoned night sky

Infinite and silent.

Void of flying, fluttering, the beating of wings

Nothing but an eerie hush

No burning embers like stars

Just darkness

The flames that once blazed white hot heat

And a passion unrivaled

Have been extinguished like the end of life

Like death.

Discarded again, like yesterday’s news,

Or a pair of worn down sneakers

should be used to it now

But the mind, it lapses, the memories blurred

By desires fulfilled, heart’s yearning, love’s blinders

And disregarding all the times when love packed its bags

And left without warning leaving nothing behind

except the pain of goodbyes.

So again I sit and wait for a call that never comes

In the desolation and isolation my soul has become.

Visit Megan Bostic here:
http://meganbostic.blogspot.com
Twitter: @meganbostic

*This is Megan's work please do not copy or borrow without her permission*

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Winner: A Need So Beautiful



The winner of A Need so Beautiful is: April X from alysbookaway.blogspot.com

The winner has been notified and has 48 hours to reply. If you didn't win check back soon for the next giveaway. Winners are picked using random.org

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Video Review: Popular by Alissa Grosso


Popular by Alissa Gross

Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars

Goodreads Description:
For reigning popularity queen Hamilton Best, the very idea of graduation is filled with fear. She's always been the star of Fidelity High's most exclusive clique, idolized for her perfection and her fabulous parties—you know you're "in" when you make Hamilton's guest list. As high school draws to a close, Hamilton is about to lose everything that makes her who she is.

For more on Alissa visit: http://alissagrosso.com/

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Review: Enclave

Enclave by Ann Aguirre

Rating: 4 of 5 Stars


Enclave by Ann Aguirre is a dystopian novel where the world has practically been wiped out by biological warfare and probably a combination of other sorts of weapons, but since our way of life has ended there isn't clear documentation about what happened. Those that have survived have taken to living underground avoiding those that were infected and are now mutants that will feed on anything it can gets it's hands on. People underground live in groups called Enclaves and they live until about twenty or so and the young don't get a name until they are ready to be assigned a job of either Breeder, Builder, or Hunter. Duece had one goal growing up and that was to be assigned as a huntress, so when it happens she feels that her life is complete. Hunters aren't raised to be affectionate or emotional so when she has to comfort her friends or people around her she really doesn't know how to act. I also think she takes the easy way out and simply says well I'm a hunter so I wasn't trained to deal with that. Duece is paired with Fade who is the only person who wasn't born in the Enclave. He was found by a team of hunters and they realized that he had tremendous fighting skills, but instead of becoming one of them he chose to be an outcast. He eats alone, and refuses to build friendships or bonds. Fade gives Deuce a hard time and she feels that maybe it's because he thinks she isn't good enough and she goes in trying to prove that she is worthy.

Deuce starts to realize that the Enclave has knowledge that the mutants or freaks as they call them are more dangerous than the first believed. They also keep things from the group for what they believe is best and every year they kick someone out to keep the fear in everyone. Deuce's friend is about to be thrown out of the Enclave when she steps up to take his place and Fade follows. Living outside the Enclave in the tunnels is a death sentence but risking going topside is something Deuce would never do. Fade explains to her that he was born above ground and that might be their only solution for survival outside the Enclave. Going against everything she knows she trusts Fade, but the journey to finding something better is a long and deadly one.

At points I wanted Deuce to accept that she is more than a killing machine and communicate better with others and let those around her know her feelings, insecurities, and fears and yet she never does. Enclave is very action packed and worth reading. I only wish that the story would have been longer but I'm looking forward to the sequel Outpost due out Fall 2012.

Monday, June 20, 2011

ALA 2011

Hi Everyone,

If you are at ALA I hope to meet you!  I posted a very silly video of me please don't make to much fun of me but hopefully you will come up and say hi!



I will also be attending the Blogger meet up organized by Parajunkee.

Anyone is welcomed details below:


The bloggers that are attending ALA 2011 will be meeting up after the Saturday, the 25th conference. Everyone is welcome to join, we just need a head count.

When: Saturday, June 25th
Where: Acme Oyster House
When: 5:30 pm

If you are joining us you are more than welcome to post this on your own blog. I know we all have different followers depending on genre and friends. It would fun to meet as many as possible and maybe take over Acme.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

A Need So Beautiful ARC Giveaway


When I was at TLA in April and I picked up an extra copy of A Need So Beautiful by Suzanne Young. I loved this book and I want to share it with you so it's simple just fill out the form and I will pick a winner 6/27 when I get back from ALA.

Rules:
US & Canada only
One entry per person
Must be 13 years of age
Following not required but appreciated it
Winners have 48 hours to reply with a mailing address

Giveaway closed

Saturday, June 18, 2011

A Need So Beautiful Tour Stop

A Need So Beautiful by Suzanne Young

Rating: 4 of 5

How stunning is this cover? I was worried that A Need So Beautiful would turn out to be an angel story but that isn't really the case. Charlotte was adopted when she simply walked into a hospital with no memory of where she came from. As she was growing up she would have this feeling that she had messages to give to people and she didn't know where the message she was suppose to give them came from she just knew that she had to deliver it. At first the need happened sporadically but as she got older it seemed to happen every week or even every day. Charlotte learned at a young age that people wouldn't believe her and even that they would think something was wrong with her.

What also was odd is that as soon as she gave people their message they seemed to always believe her but always acted as if they had never spoken to her. Charlotte was fine with it because how do you explain why you have this life altering message to give to someone? As Charlotte gets older she realizes having friends, school, a boyfriend and a secret don't go well together. To make matters worse Charlotte realizes that fulfilling her need to help people could not only isolate her but kill her. Charlotte tries to not give into the need to help people but that only hurts her. In the end there is only one person who is willing to offer her a solution, but it would require Charlotte to become the opposite of what she is. When Charlotte realizes what her purpose in the world is, it becomes earth shattering for her. I loved the romance between Charlotte and Harlin. Instead of giving up on her when he realizes she is hiding something he stands by her and continues to try and get her to open up.

The entire novel reminds me of a beautiful hourglass. With every page I turned it was like the sand falling to the bottom of the hourglass and I felt like time was running out for Charlotte. I kind of expected the ending but at the same time I was surprisingly emotional. While the book did leave an opening for a second book I think the story didn't end on an "OMG I'm going to flip out cliffhanger". I would recommend this book to everyone and I look forward to more from Suzanne Young.



I want to thank Novel Novice and Suzanne Young for allowing me to participate on the Official Blog Tour for A Need So Beautiful. I also did a quick Q and A with Suzanne Young who is really sweet and funny. If you don't follow her on twitter you should!



What is your typical day like?

Write, rinse, repeat. No, I take my kids to school and then spend the rest of the day drafting, revising or plotting. I sometimes go on errands, but I dread them. Luckily I have a great group of friends who convince me to go out where we have dinners and attend book signings—otherwise I’m not sure I’d ever leave my stories.

While writing A Beautiful Need what was the most stressful part and how did you cope?

Regular life. I was in a tough financial spot at the time, looking for work and taking care of my kids. Sometimes it was hard to find the time (or mental energy) to write the book. But I’m glad that I did. I just really wanted to tell the story, so that was what got me through it.

Who are YA authors you read and or look up to?
I love Carrie Ryan. The Forest of Hands and Teeth is one of my favorite books ever. I also really enjoy reading Kelley Armstrong and Melissa Marr.

Have you thought about future projects?

I finished the draft of the sequel to A Need so Beautiful, titled A Want so Wicked (Summer 2012). And I just sold a new series THE PROGRAM to Simon Pulse for Spring of 2013.


For more info visit:
Suzanne's blog: http://www.suzanne-young.blogspot.com/

Suzanne's Twitter: http://twitter.com/suzanne_young


Suzanne's Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Suzanne-Young-Author/186332294734164

Book Club Guide: harpercollins.com


Blog Tour Landing Page: http://novelnovice.com/books/featured-books/the-official-blog-tour-for-a-need-so-beautiful-by-suzanne-young/


A Need So Beautiful @ HarperTeen: http://www.harperteen.com/books/Need-Beautiful-Suzanne-Young/?isbn=9780062008244

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Q&A with Harlequin Teen


I had the opportunity to talk with Natashya Wilson, Senior Editor for Harlequin TEEN about how they got into the YA market.  Harlequin TEEN really caught my eye because they seemed to grown pretty quickly and they have always had a very innovative approach to YA. 

When did you start Harlequin TEEN?
Harlequin TEEN launched in 2009 with three titles—Rachel Vincent’s My Soul to Take, Gena Showalter’s Intertwined, and P. C. Cast’s Elphame’s Choice, a reissue from her popular Partholon series. We also released an ebook prequel to Rachel’s Soul Screamers novels, My Soul to Lose. Since then, we’ve grown to 19 titles scheduled for 2011.

Who were the first few authors that signed with Harlequin TEEN? Was it difficult getting the first few YA authors to sign with you knowing that your main focus was romance?
The first author contracted was Maria V. Snyder, and that was before we even had an official program. Her story Inside Out was just so terrific that we couldn’t let it go to another publisher. That title came out in April 2010. We also looked for in-house authors who had young, hip story telling styles and voices, and Rachel Vincent and Gena Showalter came up with incredible proposals for us for the Soul Screamers series and the Intertwined Novels. Then we put the word out and got a flood of amazing submissions, including Julie Kagawa’s Iron Fey series…the rest is history! The program was created as a commercial single title program, and while we believe romance is an intrinsic part of most teens’ experience, we did not specifically give a call out for romances, but rather for projects that would be competitive with the most popular YA books on the shelves, most of which include romantic elements. In a nutshell—no, it was not difficult!

Are there in-house romance authors crossing over to YA?
Yes! We love that. From our own Harlequin author base, along with Rachel, Gena, P. C. and Maria, we have Michelle Rowen and Liz Fichera, and we have opportunities to reprint backlist titles for TEEN, such as Caren Lissner’s Carrie Pilby. I have no doubt there will be others. We are very lucky to have a talented and diverse group of authors writing for Harlequin.

What was the turning point where Harlequin knew that the Teen/YA division would take off?
Before I even came on board, the team here did a tremendous amount of research into the YA market and found myriad reasons that we should go ahead with a program. Having Maria V. Snyder’s Inside Out come to us before we even had a name for Harlequin TEEN was a sign that the time was perfect. The explosion of Twilight just made it all the more clear that YA had tremendous opportunities for growth and that it is one of the most exciting divisions to be in, so, I’m not sure there was a time when we weren’t certain it would take off!

How do you break the stereotype of being a publisher of purely adult romance novels?
We take advantage of every opportunity we have--such as this feature on your blog, thank you!—to reach out to readers and educate them on the diversity of what Harlequin publishes. We use social media to connect with readers and reviewers. We attend conferences and meet with writers, agents, book buyers and fans. And the Harlequin TEEN authors are terrific ambassadors for us; they are one of our strongest resources for getting the word out and showing off what we’re publishing. Most important, we put terrific books on the YA shelves!

Harlequin TEEN was the first notable YA house to use Netgalley. What made you go that route vs traditional ARCS?
We do still print traditional ARCs, but creating hard copies is expensive, and NetGalley offers a tremendous opportunity to get the word out to a large number of reviewers we might not otherwise reach in a highly economical way. With the exponential growth of ebook sales and more people buying ereaders and looking for ebooks, we believe it is crucial to offer this format for both ARCs and final copies and stay sensitive to the digital curve.

Harlequin TEEN works with bloggers. Do you feel this has helped sales and how did that come about?
I have tremendous respect for and gratitude to YA bloggers. Your community is one of the most vibrant, welcoming, fun and effective ways to watch YA trends, connect with dedicated readers and create buzz for our books. I couldn’t give you any numbers, but I know in my gut that connecting with bloggers has absolutely helped our sales, and we’ll continue to reach out to bloggers for as long as you’ll have us. If memory serves, back in 2009 I found the YA Book Blog Directory and started looking at blogs. I began connecting with bloggers in person at BEA last year and then became the TEEN Twitter person, and the connections exploded from there. Meanwhile our PR and Marketing teams were making their own moves to seek out strong blogs and work with this community as well.

How high is the priority to keep in touch with readers via social media?
Very, very high. As I mentioned, we have the Harlequin TEEN Twitter account (@HarlequinTeen me!) and Facebook pages for Harlequin TEEN, The Iron Fey, and Soul Screamers. Many of our authors have Facebook fan pages, and we encourage them to promote their fabulous books across whichever social media formats work for them.

How fast is Harlequin TEEN growing?
We’ll be up to about 22 books in 2012. We’ll probably keep our numbers around there as we continue to evolve and see what works best for us in the market.

Will we see more authors tour or a possibly group tour?
We’re always open to this and I’m sure there will be events in the future. Any tour news will be posted on our social media pages. Many of our authors have been part of big YA tours and done mini-tours in their area, sometimes getting together with others who are nearby. They’re fabulous that way.

If people want to write for Harlequin TEEN what is the best way to go about it?
Right now, I’m looking at agented submissions only. We have such a large number that that is the best way to keep things manageable at this time. However, Harlequin has a long history of accepting unsolicited stories and in the future I hope to find ways to do that for TEEN. Meeting with a Harlequin editor at a conference can get your foot in the door; many editors refer projects to me. I will be doing appointments at RWA at the end of June, for anyone attending and interested in talking to me.

Is Harlequin TEEN looking for ways to lure the male teen reader?
At this time, our target audience is officially girls 13-18. However, I know a lot of wonderful male YA bloggers who enjoy our books and I’ve heard from librarians who recommend them to their male readers as well, with great results, so, I think we’re luring them somehow! A lot of the themes in our books are universal to guys and girls.

What genre do you feel will be the next best seller?
Right now it is dystopian. I think contemporary romance is due for the spotlight. Paranormal is always going to be popular, with its many subgenres, and I have an inkling that steampunk may take off. But no one ever really knows—that’s part of what’s so compelling and exciting about working with books!

What is does HARLEQUIN have planned for 2011?
This year we’re offering everything from paranormal, fantasy, dystopian, mythology, and contemporary to historical fantasy and steampunk! To mention some recent titles, we’ve got adult romantic suspense author Jordan Dane’s YA debut In the Arms of Stone Angels, adult historical romance author Kady Cross’s YA steampunk debut The Girl in the Steel Corset, debut author Aimée Carter’s The Goddess Test and many, many more. I could do an entire post on our books alone!

What authors do you currently have under Harlequin TEEN?
Let’s look at 2011… Rachel Vincent, Julie Kagawa, Paige Harbison, Maria V. Snyder, Mara Purnhagen, Jordan Dane, Aimée Carter, Kady Cross, Cayla Kluver, Cara Lynn Shultz, Gena Showalter, Douglas Rees, Melissa Darnell, Hannah Harrington, and Carol M. Tanzman. And we have many, many talented authors debuting in 2012, too!

Thank you so much for featuring Harlequin TEEN! We would love to hear comments and see reviews from anyone who has read our books. My very best wishes.


For more on Harlequin TEEN visit:
ww.HarlequinTEEN.com
http://www.facebook.com/HarlequinTEEN
@HarlequinTEEN

I want to thank Natashya for taking time to talk to me and for all they do for YA and Bloggers! 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Summer Reading List 2011


My dear twitter friends @MoREthANHuMAn and @Running5k2day have asked me for a summer reading list! Last year I did this for @MoREthANHuMAn and I'm doing it again. I am breaking it down to books I have read and believe are a must! Also if you'd like to know what I'm reading now, click on the Currently Reading tab on the menu where I have my reading list for the month.

Dystopian:

Divergent by Veronica Roth: You can't cover dystopian novels without talking about Divergent. I mean it's like not mentioning Hunger Games. Veronica Roth's debut novel is AMAZING! Like to amazing for words. You can read my review here, but if you pick up one book this summer let it be this one!


Enclave by Ann Aguirre I just finished this book and I loved it! Fade is amazing like you might want to jump in the book and make out with him. I mean you will love him. If you are a fan of the discovery show Life After People then this one is for you!

Wither by Lauren DeStefano I loved this book. Everyone dies young, girls are kidnapped off the streets and sold to be married. The need for breeding is insane so men marry many wives some as young as 13. I know you are thinking and this is a happy book? Trust me when I say you will get so caught up in it!

Paranormal:

Morganville Series by Rachel Caine: One of my favorite series and they are re-releasing them in the combined edition with two books in one.  I love this vampire series and not just because Claire is super smart, the guys are super hot, and hello it's in Texas!

A Beautiful Need by Suzanne Young: Debut novel about a girl who gets this feeling she has to help people and she can't fight it.  The need to help them gets stronger as she gets older and when she discovers what it means she doesn't know how to handle it.  Such a unique story I think you will really enjoy it!

Blood Magic by Tessa Gratton: There is a crazy woman, a girl who does the unspeakable to get what she needs in a tupperware container and it all takes place in a small town cemetery. If you like magic, paranormal, creepy plot lines, and a twisted tale, then this is perfect for you!

Angel Burn by L. A. Weatherly: We must admit we either hate or love angels right?  Well in Angel Burn the angels are the evil that are trying to turn humans into lunch.  I love the story and how it unfolds and instead of the Angel being the love interest he's the villain.

Contemporary:

OyMG by Amy Fellner Dominy:  I ADORE THIS BOOK!  If contemporary YA is your taste then you will love this book.  Debut author Amy Dominy balances family, religion, prejudice, being yourself, and adds a hot guy to top off a great story.  Seriously I can't give this book enough love!  I will be re-reading this one this summer!

Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson:  This book was released last year and it's about a road trip that Amy is forced on when her father passes away and her mother want's her to drive the car across the country.  Only instead of taking the trip her mother planned Roger and Amy take their own trip and end up pulling Amy out of the depression she was in and find a world of adventures.  LOVE LOVE LOVE

Historical:

Revolution by Jennifer Donnellly: As you may know I'm not big on historical or audio but Revolution made me love both! Andi is living a very destructive life until her father takes her to Paris to remove her from her environment and there she finds the diary of Alexandrine. Alexandrine lived during the French Revolution and was far from what women were expected to be in those days.

Adult Contemporary Fiction:

Skipping a Beat by by Sarah Pekkanen:
This book made all kinds of splash in the press, even ending up on O Magazine's must reads and I can see why.  Julia is the wife of a multimillionaire and has her own company but her marriage is far from perfect. The only thing that probably stopped her from divorcing Michael was his near death experience.  Julia want's life to go on and Michael wants to sell their fortune and wants to make things right but is he a little too late?

New Releases you must get your hands on this summer check out the Release Dates tab


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Summer Giveaway Winners



The Winner of Stupid Fast is: Jess mercur___@gmail.com

The Winner of Hereafter is: Parajunkee

Winners have been notified and have 48 hours to reply. If you didn't win check back soon for the next giveaway. Winners were picked using random.org

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Review: Witches of the East End by Melissa de la Cruz

Witches of the East End by Melissa de la Cruz

Rating: 3 of 5 Stars

Release Date: 06/21/11


I must admit that when I first started reading Witches of East End I found myself missing the usual Blue Blood characters but it helped to know that someone would make an appearance. The first half of this book is about getting to know the Beauchamp witches who are completely different from the vampires we have come to know. You have JoAnne who is the mother and her two daughters Ingrid and Freya. Ingrid is a librarian who is very structured and has been called is frigid and wild child Freya who we met in Bloody Valentine. For those of you who don't know this is very much an adult book so if you're a parent and considering buying this for your teen or if you're a teen and a fan of the Blue Blood series I wouldn't recommend this series. Melissa isn't raunchy but there is a lot of sex in this book because it's not young adult but general fiction.

The Beauchamp are immortals who live in north Hampton but are prohibited from using magic since Frey and Ingrid were accused of witchcraft at Salem. Ingrid is the first to break the rules but the Joanne and Freya are not innocent themselves. Freya is engaged to be married to a wealthy and kind man but when his brother comes to town she is willing to throw it away. While Freya deals with her love life the town starts having mysterious episodes like women become barren, birds start washing up on the beach and a toxic substance appears in the oceans that nobody is able to explain.

The last third of the book had me anxious about what was going to happen next and who was responsible for all the strange things in North Hampton. There was a huge cliffhanger that left me wondering where will Melissa de la Cruz take the Beauchamps! I can easily see Witches of East End becoming another of my favorite series!

Witches of East End is Melissa de la Cruz's first adult fiction novel. Melissa is known for her popular YA vampire series Blue Bloods and her first series Au Pair has been optioned for film by Drew Berrymore's film company.

For more info visit: http://www.melissa-delacruz.com

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Summer Giveaway

I happen to have an extra Advance Readers Copies of each of these books so I thought I would share them with you!  Both are authors from the Class of 2k11 so it makes me extra happy to share them with you.






Rules:
One Entry per person
US and Canada Only
Must be at least 13 years of age
Following appreciated but never required
Ends 06/07/11 at 11:59 PM
Winner must reply within 48 hours or a new winner will be chosen!


I'll pick two winners and each one get's a book!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Review: Stupid Fast by Geoff Herbach


Stupid Fast by Geoff Herbach

Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars

When I first saw the cover of the book and found out it was from a male point of view I was sold! Only I didn't really have any idea about what I was getting into. See the first half of this book was hard for me because you are literally Felton, the main character so any thought that pops in his head you get to live. I found the internal chatter distracting and hard to keep up with what was going on. I also think because I have never read a book told from this point of view I wasn't use to it. If I had been the type of person who reads 50 pages and quits then I would have given up on this book but I would have missed out. See once you get deep into the story it feels like you are slowly pulling back layers about a beautiful story. Don't get me wrong some might love it right off, but in case you find yourself reading this and are ready to give up I'm telling you not to. Felton has a lot of crazy talk in his head but he doesn't know any better. He grew up with one friend and feels like a freak at school. The jocks pick on him and his home life isn't any better. Felton's dad committed suicide when he was a kid and he was the one to find him. His mom is a hippie mom who let's him be. Felton does find out that he is good at running he feels that the only time his life makes sense is when he is moving. This along with his size could make him great for sports but he isn't sure he wants to be a jock since they were the ones who made his life miserable. In one summer Felton grows out of being awkward to being kind of popular, but while his school life might get better his home life is slowly getting worse. Jerri, his mom, starts to fall into a depression which at first is just not getting out of bed, then she becomes angry and mean towards her boys. Felton just avoids it all by running and spending time with his new girlfriend, but his younger brother Andrew doesn't know how to cope with Jerri. Andrew lashes out and wants his mom back or at least wants her to notice that he's hurting. Felton's journey to becoming a jock, fitting in at school, and figuring out how to save his mom is an emotional and touching story.

Due to the rough start I never expected to love the second half of this book so much, but I did and I found it hard to put down. Now if you have an issue with bad words or name calling I would say "caution ahead". Stupid Fast is Geoff's debut novel and I can say this is the most pleasant surprise so far this year! Stupid Fast is in stores now so grab a copy!

For more on Geoff visit: http://geoffherbach.com/

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

June 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: