Friday, September 28, 2012

Banned Book Giveaway Hop

Celebrating Banned Book Week sounds unreal right? I mean who bans books? Do adults really think so little of teens that they censor reading material? As bloggers we take this negative action and spin it into something positive. What better way to celebrate banned books than to put those books in readers hands!

Ellen Hopkins reading from Tilt at Blue Willow Bookshop in Houston, TX

I have met Ellen Hopkins a number of times and I'm amazed at what a wonderful and down to earth person she is. Ellen's novels are the "darker side" of life dealing with drugs, abuse, and pain. Why? She explained that Crank was inspired by her daughter. Ellen's readers reach out and say "that is my life" in your story. Some fans teared up when she spoke. Many moms drove over an hour on a work day to bring their kids to meet Ellen Hopkins. A few teens had every book that Ellen had ever written and she spent time with every fan. Why would you want to stomp out that passion? Why would you want to sensor an author who has touched so many people? Ellen is one of many authors who have been banned or challenged. I ask that you take time to learn more about about Banned Books from the American Library Association. I also ask that you stand up to censorship and use these books to communicate with teens.

For the giveaway:

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Saturday, September 22, 2012

Audition & Subtraction: Worst Blog Tour Ever

Amy Dominy and I

I'm thrilled to welcome TEAM CURLS to my blog! Amy is one of the nicest authors I have met and it's the only thing that has kept me from completely fan girling every time I seen her. See Amy gives us swoon worthy guys and great parents. She really does break the YA Mold! When we talked about Worst Blog Tour ever I loved with the idea!

Welcome to the Worst Blog Tour Ever!

Audition & Subtraction, the newest tween novel by Amy Fellner Dominy (OyMG), has just been released. Amy is celebrating by sharing her WORST moments of middle school. (Why should her characters suffer alone?) In fact, Amy invites you to share your memories too—with a chance to turn your angst into prizes. At the end of the tour, Amy will be giving away 2 PRIZE PACKS, each with a signed hardcover of Audition & Subtraction, book goodies and a $10 iTunes giftcard.

When Cari agreed to be part of my blog tour, I knew immediately what post I had to write for her site. See, Cari and I are part of a special group and we even have our own name: Team Curls.

Amy Dominy

If you’ve seen my author photo, you know I’ve got a ton of curls. Cari can straighten her hair for that sleek and beautiful look, but she can go curly, too. Back in my younger days, I would have been jealous. I wanted straight hair!! Nowadays, I truly love my curls. It’s ironic, but the thing that gets me tons of compliments today, got me nothing but grief back in school.

My huge mop of frizzy hair led to plenty of teasing and name-calling. I wanted to do something fabulous with it, but what? Every hair cut was a disaster, every perm (yes, I tried to control the curls) turned me into the human poodle.

Then, when I was about fourteen, I got a brilliant idea. I would lighten my dark brown hair and create beautiful, tantalizing highlights with a few squirts of Sun In.

Sun In, for those who don’t know, is a product designed to lighten hair naturally—but the results are permanent. I ignored that part and I bought a bottle. I didn’t give myself beautiful golden, sunshiny hair. I gave myself bright, orange hair.

Orange like pumpkin.
Like Ronald McDonald in bad light.
And it took FOREVER to grow out.

That was my worst beauty idea. Thankfully, I grew up and discovered I could work wonders with the right kind of gel and a good hair stylist. And I’ve never EVER tried to add highlights to my hair since.

Reading Amy's tour post I thought did she write about my experience or hers? Sun-in and controlling curls with a perm? Yeah I have been there! I still love the idea of makeovers because I'm constantly trying to find what works and reinvent the rest. I am sharing a picture of me from sophomore year with that poodle perm.

High School Cari
How about you? Ever try a beauty makeover or a new hairdo? Was it a success? Did you have a feature that you didn’t like then that you like now? Be sure to leave a comment and earn as many entries as you can for your chance to win a Prize Pack.

GIVEAWAY TIME!!! Win an Autographed Hardcover, a Swag Pack and a $10 iTunes giftcard! To enter, please fill out the rafflecopter form below. (Only US and Canada, please.) The giveaway will end on Monday, September 24th

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To learn more about Amy visit:

Monday, September 17, 2012

Solstice Cover Reveal

I'm so happy to share the cover for Solstice by P. J. Hoover! I have already read Solstice and I love it! The cover really represents the story. I seriously can't wait to share my review with you next year. What are your thoughts?

Tor Teen, June 2013

About the book:

Each day brings hotter temperatures and heat bubbles that threaten to destroy the earth. Amid this global heating crisis, Piper lives under the oppressive rule of her mother, who suffocates her even more than the weather does. Everything changes on her eighteenth birthday, when her mother is called away on a mysterious errand and Piper seizes her first opportunity for freedom.

Piper discovers a universe she never knew existed—a sphere of gods and monsters—and realizes that her world is not the only one in crisis. While gods battle for control of the Underworld, Piper’s life spirals out of control as she struggles to find the answer to the secret that has been kept from her since birth.

An imaginative melding of mythology and dystopia, Solstice is the first YA novel by talented newcomer P. J. Hoover.

About the author:

P. J. Hoover first fell in love with Greek mythology in sixth grade thanks to the book Mythology by Edith Hamilton. After a fifteen year bout as an electrical engineer designing computer chips for a living, P. J. decided to take her own stab at mythology and started writing books for kids and teens. When not writing, P. J. spends time with her husband and two kids and enjoys practicing kung fu, solving Rubik's cubes, and watching Star Trek.

To celebrate the cover reveal P. J. is hosting a giveaway so go visit her blog!

To learn more about P. J. Hoover visit:
Solstice on Goodreads:
Facebook Fan Page:
Facebook Personal Page:

Review: Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally

Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally

Release Date: October 1st

Rating 5 of 5 Stars

Miranda Kenneally hits it out of the ballpark with her second novel Stealing Parker! I'm always afraid that I will never love the second book as much as the first, but that was not the case with Stealing Parker. Miranda is an amazing writer and she makes you fall hard for her characters.

The dedication reads:
"for all the girls struggling to find their place"

I think the dedication is timeless and anyone can relate to it, but also it's so very Parker. Parker's life dramatically changes when her mom comes out and leaves her father for a woman. Their church turns their back on them and Parker's friends tease her that she might also be like her mom. The bullying really gets to her and she quits softball, works on being the girly girl and hooks up with guys to prove she isn't her mother. Parker's actions scream broken and I could really relate to her. My mother was a teen mom and all I heard growing up was "you will be just like her" so I rebelled and acted similar to Parker to prove everyone wrong. I can say I have been there and I understand.

The thing is, Parker is so wrapped up in not being like her mom she doesn't see that her actions hurt people. Parker thinks that if she doesn't get emotionally attached then she won't get hurt, but the truth is that while a guy might not break her heart her friends do. Parker thinks she's immune to people talking bad about her, but when her best friend Drew talks her into being the baseball manager Drew’s friend Corndog asks Parker not to mess around with Drew like she does with other guys.

OK, enough with the heavy, let's get to the guys! Because Miranda never disappoints when it comes to hot guys and great kissing scenes. Parker has some very steamy scenes with a guy who has great hair and looks great in baseball pants! I know that's a teaser, but trust me you will know who I'm talking about when you read Stealing Parker.

Similar to Catching Jordan the minor characters are important and play important roles, like Parker's dad who always messes up Corndog's name. I also love Bo who bonds with Parker. If you are wondering how Stealing Parker and Catching Jordan tie in well they are both set at Hundred Oaks High. I smiled every time I saw Sam Henry, Jordan, JJ, Ty, Marie and so many others make cameos in Stealing Parker. Most of all I love the guy who steals her heart, but to give you any details would spoil the book. I will say that I think I love him a little more than Sam Henry, which is pretty shocking.

Miranda Kenneally did a fantastic job with her second novel and my hope is that everyone picks up Catching Jordan and Stealing Parker. I have read Stealing Parker a number of times and each time I get emotional at the end.

To learn a little more about Miranda look for her in Dear Teen Me, an anthology of letters by YA authors written to their teen selves which is also co-edited by Miranda and will be out October 31st.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Review: Audition & Subtraction

Audition & Subtraction by Amy Dominy

Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

Amy Dominy did it again! Audition & Subtraction is a fun and refreshing novel. We meet best friends TayLo (Tatum and Lori) who have been each other’s rock since the moment they met, but life is changing. Lori was once the heavy girl, but lost the weight and now wants everyone to see her for the thin girl she has become. Tay is sick of change! Her parents split up and said they needed space, but her mom cries all the time and has taken up Community Theater. Her brother is spending time with their dad in his new home as if it’s all ok. To make matters worse Michael, a new guy, is transferring to her school and is trying to take her spot in band. Tay just wants things to go back to the way they were and stay that way!

Just when things can’t get any worse Lori starts dating the enemy! Lori likes Michael’s attention because he only knows her in her new skin. Tay doesn’t get how her best friend can be so blinded by the one guy who could ruin her! From all this craziness, both girls must learn to be true to themselves and their friendship.

Audition & Subtraction is a really sweet story of first kisses, amazing guys and family bonds. While Audition & Subtraction is marketed to middle grade I know YA fans will love this story! I stayed up until 1:30 AM on a work night because I couldn’t put it down. I encourage everyone to read this one!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

BBAW: Interview with Janicu's Book Blog

Day two of Book Blogger Appreciation Week is Shine a Light where bloggers interview one and other. I would like to welcome Janicu from Janicu's Book Blog!

Tell us about the person behind the blog?
Oh, this is a tough one. It's very difficult for to describe myself.. Let's see. I live in New York (outside NYC), with my cat and husband. I am a low key sort -- my ideal evening would involve staying at home or hanging out one-on-one with friends at lunch. I love little puzzles, prefer the mountains over the beach, cities to the country, and dry wit to physical humor. I listen to a lot of NPR. I adore The Golden Girls and romantic BBC miniseries. I traveled a lot as a kid. As for the reader side of me - I've always loved to read. I started off in Mystery, fell for Fantasy, and eventually came to the conclusion that I am an unabashed romantic. That doesn't mean I just read romance. It means I really like some element of a love story in whatever I'm reading. I read a lot of speculative fiction, YA, urban fantasy, and contemporary romance.

How did you start blogging and what is your motivation for keeping it going?
I started off with a personal blog and then sort of stumbled onto book blogging a couple of years after deciding I wanted to read 100 books a year, and then decided I really needed to keep better records of what I read. After probably a year of book blogging (I believe this was in 2007), in which I had three subscribers (me, my husband, and my best friend), I found out that there were OTHER PEOPLE who blogged about books! Eventually my blog became a way to connect to other people who were just as enthusiastic about books as I was. My motivation to keep it going is just the infectious excitement of sharing books with other people. It can be tiring to write a review, but I also really like the exercise of really thinking about what I read and what I felt about it and why. I do wish words came out faster than they do though. Still working on that one.

What is the best and worst thing about blogging?
The best thing about book blogging is finding your soulmates. You know, those other readers who are just as rabid as you are. I have friends, and they read, but not like I do, and not always the same types of books as I do. To find those people who are more like me, I have to take to the Internet. I think the worst thing about blogging and connecting to others about something you love is that while it can lift you up and make you enthusiastic and knowledgeable about the positive aspects of the industry, the Internet also has an ugly side so there are some pockets of drama that I find depressing (especially when I stumble on people who have negative or misinformed opinions of book bloggers). That can be hard, and in some cases a bit scary.

What has been your most embarrassing moment when blogging?
Years ago I wrote a review without a book in front of me and I misremembered the main character's name. My whole review had multiple instances of the wrong name, and an anonymous (and nasty) commenter said something that boils down to calling me an idiot. I am really bad at remembering names, so was an honest mistake which I fixed ASAP, but now I double check that and wince when I see someone else do it (or misspell the author's name in a review).

How do you stay involved in the book community (online or in real life)?
Twitter! If I'm not blogging I will at least be on twitter, talking to people about books. That's where I learn the sort of book blogging "word of mouth" of what's going on in the book world - what people are talking about and reading and the buzz on books people are enthusiastic about. In real life, I think BEA is the one thing I go to each year to stay revved up about blogging. I really like meeting other bloggers there and talking books with them.

I have a LOT of favorites. Chachic's Book Nook, Book Harbinger, Angieville, The Book Smugglers, Lurv a la Mode, See Michelle Read, starmetaloak, Tempting Persephone, Calico Reaction, Fantasy Cafe, Bunbury in the Stacks, and Giraffe Days to name a few.

Have you ever been star struck by an author?
Yeah. When i was a wee one in seventh grade (or something like that), me and the boys who read Fantasy (there were four of us) would share copies of Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman's series. It was either Dragonlance or Star of the Guardians. Or both. I have not read books by these authors in YEARS, but I sort of discovered how much they meant to me when I tried to speak to Tracy Hickman at a signing and words were not coming out. I pushed through it, but.. dang. It was so unexpected! I had friends laughing at me when I told them.

I want to thank Janicu for taking time to do this interview. I'm always glad when I meet a new blogger! To read my interview visit

For more on Book Blogger Appreciation Week visit:

Monday, September 10, 2012

Book Blogger Appreciation Week

I'm excited to participate in Book Blogger Appreciation Week! Today we're talking about blogs we visit often. I'm from Texas where the book blogging community is really close. In Houston we get together for book events, lunches, and book shopping. It's really rare when I don't see at least one book blogger a week. Also when there are big events in the state like book festivals we try and invite everyone coming from out of town to a big dinner.

So today I'm excited to share some of my favorite Texas Bloggers:

Sarah's books & life button

Some of my favorite non-Texans but I love them just as much!

Tales of Whimsy

To learn more about Book Blogger Appreciation Week visit:

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Audio Review: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Narrated by Julia Whelan and Kirby Heyborne
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Let me start by saying that I get the hype for Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn and why it's getting so much attention, both on the sales charts and in the media. We have all heard those stories where the wife goes missing and the husband is the suspect. Gillian Flynn's psychological thriller is so well written and hard to put down, but now with that said I have to say I hated every single person in the book, but never enough to give up on the book. I did want to write my own book where everyone dies and I know that sounds creepy, but if you read it you'll understand. Don’t jump to conclusions that this is a horrible book, because it’s not I just never felt like I had a hero and someone I could side with. I find myself talking about this book a lot and the best way I can sum it up is dark and twisted and something you really have to experience for yourself. Julia Whelan and Kirby Heyborne did a great job as narrators of the audio book. I knew Kirby would be great because he is the narrator for Breadcrumbs, which is one of my favorite audio books. Julia also did a great job I would gladly listen to other books she reads. I need to read a lot of happy books before I pick up another book by Gillian Flynn.

Listen to a sample:

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Book Trailer: Audition & Subtraction

I'm excited to share the book trailer for Audition & Subtraction by Amy Fellner Dominy. Last year I read Amy's first novel, OyMG and loved it! I started Audition & Subtraction this weekend so look for my review soon. Leave a comment letting me know what you think about the book trailer, and if you are planning on reading Audition & Subtraction.


Best friends Tatum and Lori are used to doing everything together—including a clarinet/flute duet for District Honor Band auditions. But all that changes when Michael transfers to their middle school, and into their band. Suddenly, not only is he competition for Tatum’s spot on stage, but he’s stealing Lori, too. Tatum is determined to stop him, and hold on to what she’s got. She enlists the help of her good friend, Aaron, but now he seems to believe her fib that they’re boyfriend and girlfriend. And her mom, to cope with a separation from her dad, is performing in community theater, of all things! Amy Fellner Dominy composes an equally heartwarming and hilarious story of how holding tight to what you have can keep you from reaching for your dreams—and how oftentimes the best way to move forward is by going solo.

Audition& Subtraction Excerpt