Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Cover Reveal and Giveaway: Black City

I'm thrilled to be a part of the cover reveal for Black City by Elizabeth Richards! Penguin did a great job with the cover and is offering so many great prizes all over the web. After reading the description this is definitely going on my to read list.

November 13th, 2012 from Penguin Books For Young Readers

About the book:
A dark and tender postapocalyptic love story set in the aftermath of a bloody war

In a city where humans and Darklings are now separated by a high wall and tensions between the two races still simmer after a terrible war, sixteen-year-olds Ash Fisher, a half-blood Darkling, and Natalie Buchanan, a human and the daughter of the Emissary, meet and do the unthinkable—they fall in love. Bonded by a mysterious connection, that causes Ash’s long dormant heart to beat, Ash and Natalie first deny and then struggle to fight their forbidden feelings for each other, knowing if they’re caught they’ll be executed—but their feelings are too strong. When Ash and Natalie then find themselves at the center of a deadly conspiracy that threatens to pull the humans and Darklings back into war, they must make hard choices that could result in both their deaths. Download a sample chapter

About the author:
Elizabeth Richards is an award-winning journalist and debut author, who spent her early career writing for videogame publications such as CUBE, P2 and GamesTM,and now works as a website editor. Previously, she ran a successful lifestyle website aimed at teenage girls. She won the Jane Hayward Young Journalist of the Year award for her feature on girls in the games industry, and was named 'Editor's Choice' in the industry trade magazine, MCV.

Elizabeth Richards lives in Buckinghamshire, England and can be found online at

Giveaway Time!

This giveaway is INTERNATIONAL! All entries must be via Rafflecopter. Winners of the ARCs will also get a chance to win one of 5 exclusive and personalized drawings of the main characters, Ash and Natalie, drawn and autographed by the author.

Special thanks to Penguin Books for Young Readers for providing the copy of Black City for the giveaway!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Review: Cinder

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Narrated by Rebecca Soler

Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Cinder is such an amazing story! Marissa Meyer’s retelling of Cinderella as a cyborg is a fresh unique spin with wonderful storytelling. I’m not a sci-fi fan but trust me when I tell you that it’s not a requirement to love this novel. Cinder lives with her step mother and sister after her adopted father passed away. He adopted her after a terrible accident that left her so near death they added cyborg parts to replace limbs she lost, so she could pull through. This is why I feel like you don’t have to love sci-fi because when someone loses a limb we can replace it with a prosthetic part right? Well in Cinder it’s similar only it’s much more advanced. Cinder is treated as a second class citizen because she is cyborg and after her step-father passes away her stepmother sees her as a burden and wishes she could just get rid of her. Cinder goes without the comforts her sister gets and spends her days working as a mechanic.

Cinder enjoys working because it keeps her away from her step mother and she a really great mechanic. What seemed like a routine day quickly changes when Prince Kai walks into her shop needing her to fix his personal robot. Cinder is stunned to see the prince in her shop but also that he seems so kind to her and doesn’t appear to notice she is cyborg. Cinder has always kept a level head about the prince and unlike most girls she doesn’t swoon for him. She decides to help him but instead of a simple task she finds herself falling for him. Hello handsome prince, I would fall for him too! Cinder has a lot to lose, but will also find out who she truly is and how she can change the future. I will warn you that Cinder ends on a CRAZY cliffhanger but fear not that the story will continue in Scarlet the next book in the series which will be published in 2013. If you are thinking that seems too long then you can catch Glitch the prequel free online.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Dreaming Anastasia Winner

Jenni L.

Winner has 48 Hours to reply by email with a mailing address or a new winner will be picked. Thanks for entering and check back soon for a new giveaway.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Book Events: YA Breathless Tour

Sorry for the lack of post but I'm a little under the weather. I did want to share the pictures from the YA Breathless Tour last night. Penguin authors Jessica Spotwood, Marie Lu, Andrea Creamer, and Beth Revis were on their sixth of eight city. Houston's own Mary Lindsey was the moderator and had some of the funniest questions! Even though I have a bit of a cold I was not going to miss this event. So after work I headed over to Blue Willow Bookshop aka my second job to meet up with all my blogger and twitter friends. Being that we left right from work Sarah, Kristina, Jenn, and I had a mini picnic in the parking lot of Blue Willow before going inside to the event. I always love seeing all the bloggers and they were out last night. I got to chat with Yara, Tillie, Kate, Kristin, Amy Rose, Sharon, DJ Librarian, Alyson, Jess from Gone with Words, Lety Roxtar Katie Blook Girl, Vonna, and author Joy Preble we talked about the Hunger Games movie, books, TLA and of course books!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Interview and Giveaway with Joy Preble

I'm very excited to be the first stop on The Haunted Blog Tour hosted by Mundie Moms. Joy Preble is one of the first authors I met both online and in person. She is also from Houston and since reading Dreaming Anastasia I have run into Joy quite a bit. Joy is a big supporter of our local authors and bloggers so we always spend time together at events. Please join me in welcoming Joy!

For new readers and fans of your series what can you tell them about Anastasia?
Anastasia died too young. She was the seventeen year old daughter of Tsar Nicholas and Tsarina Alexandra and she was funny and smart and snarky and adventurous. The Russian Revolution excised the Tsar from power and the family was all massacred in a political murder in the basement of the house where they'd been held captive. Because they were buried in unmarked graves so that the Russian people would not make them martyrs/saints (which they did anyway!), rumors abounded about how Anastasia escaped. I've been fascinated by this story since junior high. And it became the building ground for my first trilogy.

What has been the most difficult book or scene to write?
Book 2, HAUNTED, was the most emotionally difficult because my life, both professional and personal, was in total upheaval. Between the publication of DREAMING ANASTASIA and the publication of HAUNTED, I lost my agent, 2 editors, my publicist, and had surgery for cancer! Everything turned out fine: book, new agent, new editor and publicist, ongoing cancer-free health. But that was a crazy time. In strictly writing terms, ANASTASIA FOREVER was the hardest because it's the last, so all the plot and character arcs need to come together. And we wanted a book that could stand alone enough that new readers could enter the series in book 3. That was tough! But I am so thrilled about this book!

How much of your novels are research and how much is fiction?
Although I researched extensively about Russian history and folklore (there's a strong folkloric element with Baba Yaga, Vasilisa the Brave, the rusalki, and in book 3, Koschei the Deathless), the novels are fiction. The history is an alternate history, although all historical figures used did exist.

Do you ever see yourself going back and writing another book or a spin off?
I have vague thoughts about a graphic novel that takes us to Ethan's past.(Oooh. Hunky sexy brooding Ethan. And his love life) If you all buys zillions of copies of book 3, maybe Sourcebooks will let me do it. :) Btw, you all will get to see some of Ethan's romantic past up close and personal in ANASTASIA FOREVER! As will Anne...

What do you hope readers will take away from your novels?
That love is sometimes hard won, but you can get there. That loss changes people. That you need to be present in your life or you might miss your destiny. That loyalty is good and everyone needs a loyal best friend. And that true love does conquer all!

You have recently become a fulltime writer. How difficult was that decision?
I am terrible about change! So it was a bit fraught with drama -- should I? shouldn't I? what about our three meal a day habit? And that pesky mortgage? And the economy... But in the end, I am happier than I've ever been. It was absolutely the right decision and it shows in my work. And my cheery smile. (well, most days)

How does your life affect the story you are working on or how does your novel affect your life?
I think every writer's life informs their work to some degree. If you read enough of what I've written, you get a pretty clear take of my philosophy of love, life, passion, etc. So I think life is the chicken and the story is the egg. Or maybe that's the other way around? But writing itself makes me very aware of the world around me. So I guess there's that, too.

What goals do you still want to accomplish as a writer?
I am a huge goal-maker and I actually write them down each year and keep them close at hand and check in with them periodically to see how I'm doing. (geeky, right?) I want ANASTASIA FOREVER to have a good long life. The same for THE SWEET DEAD LIFE when it comes out in 2013. I want to continue learning, growing, taking classes, going to retreats. I want to publish more books: romances, mysteries, paranormals... I love the writing life. I hope to be in this for the long haul.

What is the one question that fans ask the most?
The questions I get are pretty varied, but I do get a lot of questions about Anastasia. Which makes sense.

What was the most surprising part of getting published?
This is going to sound incredibly naive and possibly stupid, but the most surprising part was that people were going to read my books and think about my books and comment on my books. You get so caught up in the process: the writing and querying agents and pitching and editing and promoting.... that you forget sometimes that it's really about telling a story to people. And that your private little imaginary world is going to be out there forever! It's a bit daunting but it's the most amazingly wonderful thing!

What future projects are you working on now?
Oh my, I am so excited! ANASTASIA FOREVER comes out this August, 2012, from Sourcebooks. Hopefully there'll be a cover soon. I'm in edits with THE SWEET DEAD LIFE, which is due out in May 2013, from Soho Press. I also have a story in a SOHO TEEN anthology called Who Done It, which will be out in February. All proceeds from the anthology will go to benefit a wonderful organization called 826nyc. Beyond that, I have two other completed contemporary novels that I'm tweaking and some more brewing paranormal ideas... Taking this year off from teaching full time has allowed me to develop a lot of ideas. That's what happens when I'm not grading essays for 175 students every day.

Thank you Joy for stopping by and thanks to Katie(Mundie Mom) for organizing the tour! For the schedule of all the stops visit:

Fill out the Raffelcopter form below for a chance to win both Dreaming Anastasia & Haunted:

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Book Events: Dark Days 2012

Hey All,

I just got back from the Dark Days Tour with Cynthia Hand (HALLOWED), Courtney Allison Moulton (WINGS OF THE WICKED), Jodi Meadows (INCARNATE), and Brodi Ashton (EVERNEATH) and I couldn't wait to share the pictures! The event was such a success that Blue Willow Bookshop even sold out of Incarnate and Everneath. I arrived at the store 30 minutes before the event began and almost every seat in the house was already taken. The ladies were wonderful and the fans really enjoyed the Q&A session. It's always a pleasure to see so many book fans and bloggers! I hope to see you at the next event!

Direct Link to: Dark Days Photo Album

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Interview: Robin Mellom

I'm so excited to welcome debut author Robin Mellom. Robin's debut novel Ditched is fun and will keep you guessing until the last page. Robin will be here in April for the Houston Teen Book Festival. Please help me welcome Robin!

What can readers expect from Ditched?
In DITCHED, a 16-year-old girl finds herself lying in a ditch the morning after her prom with no memory of the last twelve hours, which includes a disappearing prom date and a punk Tinkerbell tattoo. She must piece together—stain-by-stain on her thrift store dress—exactly how she ended up dateless…with only the help of some opinionated ladies at the 7-Eleven.

Justina finds friends and help in the most unlikely of places. Who are some of your favorite characters and how did they come to you?
I loved writing Gilda and Donna, the two ladies in the 7-Eleven. They aren’t based on anyone in real life but I loved playing around with two characters who were completely opposite but were still friends for some strange reason. I also adored writing Serenity and Bliss. They were loosely based on these two girls I knew a long time ago who were fiercely loyal but would kick your ass if you looked at them sideways.

While not every girl dreams of going to prom, I think we all have a fear of being ditched. How did you decide on prom night as the central theme?
It’s the one BIG event of high school and the “nugget” that inspired this story (a dress malfunction I had) occurred at a dance so I decided prom would be the perfect place for a night of disastrous events to comically unfold.

There is talk of reputations and we are all guilty of jumping to conclusions about people. Do you think your characters are more critical of themselves or of others?
Great question. At first, I think they are all very critical of each other. And Justina assumes that they are all being critical of her since that’s what she’s doing of them so she tends to assume to worst of everyone which gets her into some bad situations. Wow, re-reading that gives me a migraine. Poor Justina.

In Ditched someone gets a “punk tinkerbell” tattoo. If you had a crazy night what tattoo would you be afraid to wake up with?
Haha! Snooki?

There are a number of stories and characters in Ditched. Did you ever find it difficult to pull it all together?
I will say I learned a lot about “pulling all the threads together” in this process. My editor was extremely helpful with this. He taught me that you can’t put something out there unless you plan to resolve it. So I either deleted threads or I resolved them! And it made the writing process so satisfying.

As a debut author what has been your favorite part of the road to publication?
There have been times that I’ve read reviews of my book from people who are literally strangers (I don’t know them!) and they have read my book…and they “get” my book. They “get” what I was trying to do. Their reviews brought me to tears. It makes it all worth it. It’s my favorite part.

Ditched is now out in the world. What’s next?
I have a middle grade series coming out in June called THE CLASSROOM (The Epic Documentary of a Not-Yet Epic Kid) and then some time in the near future there will be a follow-up to DITCHED, it’s a companion novel starring Serenity—the poor girl goes to jail and it’s called BUSTED.

I want to thank Robin for taking time to do this interview and come back later this week for my 5 star review of Ditched!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Blog Talk: The Last Echo by Kimberly Derting

The Last Echo by Kimberly Derting is easily a 5 Star Book!

Spoiler Free

Have you ever loved a book so much that if its part of a series you're afraid that the next book will ruin it? Not that you don't trust the author, but just that you are so invested and happy where the last book ended, that if someone we're to die or the book didn't live up to your expectations the entire series is now ruined for you.

Ok, if I haven't lost you let me say that I just finished The Last Echo and while I have had this book for months and was dying to get it I was so afraid to read it. I can honestly say The Body Finder is one of my favorite YA novels of all time. Kim's writing is top notch and Jay is one of my favorite YA guys, so much so that my friend @librarygal and I fight about Jay all the time until Jay popped the question. If you don't believe me our wedding invite is below. Yes people it was a beautiful ceremony and Kim cheered us on ;) um no word from Violet.

When some asks "What book do you recommend?" The Body Finder is always my automatic answer. I pursued (hounded) my friends until they read it, that's how much I love this series. So I got the book and I read Chapter One and was so afraid that Kim would do something drastic and I would be heartbroken. So I carried the book around and tried to work up the courage to read it and finally did. I have never been so nervous and worried about what would happen.

I don't believe in spoilers so I won't say much, but Kim has a way of grabbing you and throwing you into such intense situations that you will find yourself drained, nervous and down right freaked out. The Last Echo is a wonderful story and leaves just enough unanswered questions to see how Kimberly will wrap up the series in her fourth and final installment.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Interview: Patrice Lyle

I would like to welcome Class of 2k12 author Patrice Lyle who is the author of LETHALLY BLONDE. LEATHALLY BLONDE will be released February 14th and Patrice is here to talk all about her new book.

What was your initial reaction when you received the news that Lethally Blonde would be published?
I sat on the couch, staring at my laptop like it had grown horns or something! Honestly, I was shocked and stunned and excited. LETHALLY BLONDE is my sixth completed novel and my second completed YA novel. So I was pretty stoked!

Describe your book in 5 words?
Hhmm…five words? Really? Lol Okay, how about…Blondie works for the Devil? There I did it in five words.

How did you come up with the idea behind Lethally Blonde?
I’d wanted to do something with demons, but with a twist. So I came up with Morgan Skully, the only blonde demon chick in the world who isn’t dark and creepy, but blonde and fun! She loves shopping (Dante’s is her favorite store), shoes, platinum blonde highlights and pedicures. Plus she loves spy work. She goes to Pitchfork Prep, a school for demons who are learning to become spies. All of the demon kids there are rich except for her. She got accepted because her dad made the proverbial “pact with the devil” and got her in… but with a price. She has to be the Devil’s personal spy at Pitchfork Prep. It’s a fun book and I love Morgan because she gets to do all sorts of fun things like use her laser vision – demon eyes can turn into lethal lasers on command – and hunt down murderous werewolves.

Describe a typical day for Morgan Skully.
Morgan’s days include going to Pitchfork Prep where she can do anything from studying Werewolf History to practicing her laser eye skills, which could use some serious work, to reading about the Demon Revolution to spying on Derek. The cutest demon guy at Pitchfork Prep. He’s the Captain of the Junior Flame Throwers and Morgan’s got a huge crush on him. She could also be shopping with her two best friends, Zelda and Sienna, at her favorite store, Dante’s. Or she could be hightailing it to a meeting with her boss, the Devil, since she’s his personal spy at Pitchfork. So obviously, Morgan never bored!

Can you tell us about the love interest?
Yes! Morgan’s got the hots for Derek, the Captain of the Junior Flame Throwers, and the cutest guy ever! She’s like him for quite a while and he finally asks her out and she’s, of course, elated, but Penelope’s not. Penelope is the snottiest demon girl at school – her mother’s the principal – and she hates Morgan once she and Derek start dating and tries to break them up, including framing Morgan for shoplifting at Dante’s in front of Derek’s mother. But, in the end, love conquers all and Morgan gets her demon guy.

Who are some of your favorite YA authors?
I currently love Kelley Armstrong, Sarah Mlynowski, Stephenie Meyer, Suzanne Harper, Mariah Fredericks, and Victoria Ashton, but I’m always ready to fall in love with a new YA or MG book at any time! For adult, I love reading H.P. Mallory, Candace Bushnell, Janet Evanovich, Nelson DeMille and Laura Levine.

What are you next projects?
I just finished a paranormal MG novel and am now working on the second book in the LETHALLY BLONDE series.

I want to thank Patrice for taking time to visit my blog and look for her book next Tuesday!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Wizards in a Bookshop

Saturday I was at Blue Willow Bookshop and Girl Boss mentioned that someone named Exal was planning on making a video blog at the shop. I thought ok, but never had I imagined this awesome video! I reached out to Exal asking if I could share Wizards in a Bookshop on my blog and asked him to tell me a little about himself. So here you go:

I’ve been making videos for my YouTube channel TheMissingSignal since early 2010, shortly after graduating from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Strongly influenced by Hank & John Green the VlogBrothers, I created video logs (vlogs), sketches, and music videos on various topics such as; Films, Gender, Murdering Cats, Trolls, and Grooming Etiquette. All the while interacting with my audience, and making some amazing new friends. The online YouTube community has become something that I hold dear to my heart, and I only hope to leave everyone watching with a smile.

You can find Exal online at:

Fourth Stall Prize Pack Winner


Winner has 48 Hours to reply by email with a mailing address or a new winner will be picked. Thanks for entering and check back soon for a new giveaway.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Quick Look: Audio Edition

Sometimes life gets in the way and I read or listen to novels faster than I can write full reviews so randomly I will throw some recommendations at you.

Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Lani Taylor - Holy smokes this is one of the best novels I have heard on audio. Daughter of Smoke & Bones is paranormal meets action with hidden secrets. I can tell you that fans of any genre will enjoy the world that Lani Taylor built. The story is narrated by Khristine Hvam who brings the characters to life. I loved this book so much that I purchased the real book because I'm sure I will read it soon.

Ashes by Ilsa Bick - If you have ever wondered about a post apocalyptic novel then Ashes has to be the one you start with. Ashes has such a strong, main character, Alex, who is coming to terms with death and then the world changes and all Alex can think about is surviving. I loved this book so much, that when someone asks for an audio book recommendation this is the novel I gush about.

If you love contemporary novels that include fashion and Hollywood but also have a pretty clean storyline I would say you need to download the Secrets of My Hollywood Life series by Jen Calonita. I found these on audible for 3.95. There is nothing too racey that tweens can't hear but addictive enough that any age can enjoy.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

February 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. 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: