Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Book Events: Deborah Harkness

I just got home from the Deborah Harkness event at Murder by the Book. I first want to thank Murder by the Book for hosting an amazing event! Deborah is the author of the Discovery of Witches trilogy and is on tour promoting the second novel Shadow of the Night. I have seen Discovery of Witches, but have not read it so when I saw it on Murder by the Books newsletter I decided to pick up both books. The movie rights for the trilogy were sold last year to Warner Brothers and things seem to be moving along. Along with writing 600 page novels Deborah is also a history professor at the University of Southern California. I was so glad to see so many fans come out and support both Deborah and Murder by the Book. I hope you enjoy the pictures! Have you read the novel? Did you love it? What are some of your favorite book event moments?

Monday, July 30, 2012

Winner: The Intouchables prize pack

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The winner has been notified and 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 the next giveaway!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Book Events: Jennifer Weiner

Jennifer Weiner is the 5th event in 10 days that I attended, and what an amazing event! Jennifer Weiner is a contemporary fiction chick-lit author who is very well known for her novels In My shoes and Good in Bed. Jennifer is promoting her new release, The Next Best Thing. I reviewed Swim, which is a short E-Novella about Ruth, the main character in The Next Best Thing. My review of The Next Best Thing will be posted soon.

Getting to the event was pretty insane because, for some reason, traffic was hectic and it took me an hour and a half instead of the hour it normally takes me to get to Blue Willow. But Jennifer is hilarious. So, the trip was well worth it. I also love that Contemporary Genre authors are promoting other authors in their genre. Jennifer recommended The Underside of Joy by Sere Prince Halverson, I Couldn't Love You More by Jillian Medoff, Off the Menu by Stacey Ballis, These Girls by Sarah Pekkanen and Between You and Me by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus.

I reviewed Between You and Me by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus and gave it 5 Stars last month. I picked up Off the Menu by Stacey Ballis, who has been recommended by both Jennifer Weiner and Jen Lancaster. I also picked up These Girls by Sarah Pekkanen. If you remember, last year I reviewed her novel Skipping a Beat and loved it so much!

7/16/12 Jennifer Weiner at Blue Willow Bookshop

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Book Events: S.J. Kincaid

I have been blogging about the 5 book events in 10 days I attended. Meeting SJ Kincaid at Blue Willow Bookshop was event number 4! I'm a huge fan of HarperTeen's division Katherine Tegan Books. Who is under KTB? Have you heard of Veronica Roth or Tera Lynn Childs? So, while I haven't read Insignia, I have heard great things about the book. Kincaid is a debut author and I love supporting them whenever possible. I picked up Insignia at the event, and I'm really looking forward to reading it!

7/12/12 SJ Kincaid at Blue Willow Bookshop

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Giveaway: The Intouchables

I'm thrilled to be working with Weinstein Company to bring you this giveaway! Weinstein Company is providing one lucky winner a movie poster of The Intouchables and a copy of The Second Wind, the book based on the film.

About the Book
A Second Wind, the basis for the major motion picture The Intouchables, is the inspiring true story of two men who refused to ask for help, and then wound up helping each other.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

**US mailing address only.
Must be at least 13 years old.
Winner has 48 hours to reply with a mailing address.
Twitter accounts dedicated to only giveaways will not count.**

To read more about The Intouchables visit: http://www.youtube.com/user/TheWeinsteinCompany/custom

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Winner: Once by Anna Carey

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The winner has been notified and 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 the next giveaway!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Audio Review: The Night Circus by Erin Morganstern

The Night Circus by Erin Morganstern

Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Listening to Night Circus on audio was touch and go sometimes. Jim Dale, the narrator, is the same person who narrated the Harry Potter series and while he did get the feel of the historical novel sometimes it felt slow. I wavered between knowing I could read the book faster or just keep listening to the audio because I could never make the story sound as good in my head. In the end I stuck with the audio. Author Erin Morgenstern does a great job of making the book come to life and I say this because I felt I was in every room and every tent in the circus. I will say that I’m a bit surprised, because when I first started the novel I thought it was Celia Bowen’s story, but really it’s much more than that. I won’t go into too much detail so I don’t give it away, but I will say that Night Circus felt like an experience instead of just reading a book. If you are used to reading YA then Night Circus will feel slow, but if you keep with it then you will find the magic in the book.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Book Events: Steve Hamilton

In the past 10 days I have gone to 5 book events and Steve Hamilton is event number 3. I always enjoy seeing an author on tour because you get to hear about their newest book as well as ask questions. This was not a YA event, but after reading Lock Artist I was thrilled to attend! Steve did mention that there is a possibility for a second Lock Artist book and there is a movie option.

7/9/12 Steve Hamilton at Murder by the Book

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Book Events: Dan Wells

In the past ten days I have been to five book events! I know what your thinking and yes I'm really lucky to have great indie bookstores! So this week I'm blogging about those events and after the last post I'm having a giveaway! (throws confetti) Dan Wells was the second of the fifth event and without sound inappropriate I love him! Ok I know that sounds odd but if you meet him you will understand.

When I first came across the Partials cover I was stunned. And then listening to the audio I fell in love. I think that Partials is one of my favorite dystopian novels and if you haven't seen my review you can find that here. I knew that Dan was on tour promoting both Partials and his new adult novel, The Hollow City. What I didn’t know was that he is so funny! If you ever get the chance to meet Dan Wells trust me this is a signing you want to attend. Learning about the fun he had destroying cities in his book is so entertaining. I can’t stress enough that you need to read Partials and ask your local bookstore to bring him for a visit next time he goes on tour. He did mention he’s moving overseas so I’m really glad that Murder by the Book hosted the event before we lose him to another continent.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Tyler Perry stars in Alex Cross

Media Bistro recently announced that Tyler Perry will star in Alex Cross. There are 17 novels in the Alex Cross series and of those seventeen, Kiss the Girls and Along Came a Spider have been made into movies. Previously, Morgan Freeman played Alex Cross and some are wondering if Tyler Perry can fill his shoes. While Tyler is best known for his role as Madea he is also a talented writer and director. I also thought he did a great job acting in The Family That Preys. For fans of the Alex Cross series what are you thoughts? Are you excited about this book to movie? Will you be going to see this?


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Book News: Doomed by Tracy Deebs

I'm thrilled to share the cover and an excerpt for Doomed by Tracy Deebs. Tracy is the author of Tempest Rising and Tempest Unleashed. I have attended two of Tracy's book signings and a few nights ago I noticed on twitter she was asking for help for her latest book cover reveal, so I jumped at the chance to help. Have you heard of Doomed? What are your thoughts on the cover? Will Doomed make it onto your to-read list?

Doomed by Tracy Deebs
Release Date: January 8, 2013
Publisher: Walker Books

About the book:

Beat the Game, Save the World.

One Stuxnet type worm,
One Greek-themed MMO,
One real world scavenger hunt,
Three teenagers on the run
And a ten-day countdown to total nuclear annihilation .
Pandora’s Box isn’t just a myth anymore …

When seventeen-year-old Pandora Walker opens an email attachment, she uploads the most frightening worm ever invented—and in doing so, brings about total technological Armageddon. Everything from the internet to communications to utilities collapses and suddenly Pandora finds herself on the run from Homeland Security, the FBI and every police department in the country, all of whom blame her for the technological wasteland sweeping across the U.S.. With the help of stepbrothers Eli and Theo, her neighbors and the two hottest guys in school-- plus codes encrypted in a world famous MMO-- she sets out on a real life scavenger hunt that only she can solve. A scavenger hunt that pits her against one of the most brilliant men in the world—the maker of the Pandora worm. Her father. Only by unraveling the clues left by him in the MMO, and in real-world places around the U.S., can they hope to beat the clock ticking the days off until the entire planet is Doomed.

Click to download an excerpt of Doomed

To learn more about Tracy Deebs visit: http://www.tracy-deebs.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Excerpt and Giveaway: Once by Anna Carey

This excerpt is from the first chapters of ONCE. After spending several months in Califia, Eve has been kidnapped by one of the King’s soldiers. She’s taken to the City of Sand, a post-apocalyptic Las Vegas. Here she sees the Palace for the first time and discovers the fate that awaits her...

Once Excerpt

    The Jeep was turning left, cutting up a long road that snaked toward a massive white building. Rows of government Jeeps sat out front. Soldiers were stationed along a strip of narrow trees, machine guns slung across their backs. I stared up at the expansive structure. The main entrance was lined with sculptures—winged horses, angels, women with their heads cut off. After driving so many miles we were here. The Palace.
    The King was waiting for me.
    Stark took me from the Jeep, his hand clamping down on my arm. I could barely breathe as we entered the circular marble lobby. The King’s face had haunted me for months. I thought of the photo I’d grown up with in School. His thin grey hair hung over his forehead. His skin was loose around his jowls and his beady eyes were always watching, following you wherever you went.
    Soldiers milled about the lobby, some talking, others pacing in front of a fountain. Stark took me through a set of gold doors and into a small mirrored elevator. He punched a code into the keypad inside. The doors slid shut and then we were moving, up, up, my stomach rocking as the floors flew past—fifty gone, then fifty more.
    “You’re going to regret this,” I said, straining against the plastic rope around my wrists. “I’ll tell him what you did. How your men threw me to the ground in that parking lot. You threatened to kill me.” I looked down at the gash in my arm, where the blood was crusted black.
    Stark shook his head. “Whatever it takes,” he said, his voice flat. “Those were my orders. Do whatever it takes to bring you here.” Then he turned to me, his eyes bloodshot. He clutched the collar of my shirt and pulled me toward him so my face was just inches from his. “Those men you killed were like brothers to me. They served with me every day for three years. The King will never punish you for what you did, but I will make sure you never forget what happened that day.”
   The doors opened before us with a terrifying bing! Stark’s nails dug into my arm as he led me to a room across the carpeted hall. “You’ll wait for him here.” Then he pulled a knife from his belt and sliced the plastic restraints in two. My hands tingled from the sudden rush of blood to my fingers.
    The door closed. I leapt up and grabbed the handle, knowing before I even tried it that it would be locked. A long mahogany table sat in the center of the room, surrounded by a few heavy chairs. A massive window looked out onto the City, a two-foot ledge just a few inches below. I went to the glass, wedging my fingers beneath the pane, straining against it. “Please,” I muttered under my breath. “Please just open.”
    “They’re sealed shut,” a voice said. I turned. Standing in the doorway was a man of about sixty. He had gray hair and thin, papery skin.
    I stepped away from the window, my hands dropping to my sides. He wore a deep-blue suit and a silk tie, the New American crest embroidered on his lapel. He stalked forward, taking one slow lap around me, his eyes scanning my tangled auburn hair, the linen shirt soaked through with sweat, the scrapes around my wrists from where I’d been bound. He studied the wound on my arm. When he finally finished his survey he stood before me, then reached out and stroked my cheek. “My beautiful girl,” he said, running his thumb over my brow. “You’re here.”

About the giveaway:

Open US & Canada
Contest closes June 21st at 12:00 EST
Entries must be via rafflecopter
Twitter accounts for giveaways will not count.
Winner will be notified and have 48 hours to reply with a mailing address

a Rafflecopter giveaway

To learn more about Anna visit: http://annacareybooks.com

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Tera Lynn Childs - Just For Fins Event

Last Friday I went to Blue Willow Bookshop for Tera Lynn Childs Just For Fins launch party. Tera Lynn has had a launch party at Blue Willow Bookshop six times. I have been to three and I've a great time at each one. Local YA authors Sophie Jordan and Mary Lindsey were both there and I had a chance to talk to both. I love them! I was glad to see Houston Book Bloggers Sarah, Stephanie, and Amy Rose. After the event Sarah, Stephanie, Amy, and I had dinner at Pronto Cucinino and cupcakes at Ooh La La Dessert Boutique. Also if you are wondering it was Sarah's idea to go for cupcakes not mine.


For more event pictures click the event tab on the top of the page.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Audio Review: Gilt by Katherine Longshore

Gilt by Katherine Longshore

Rating 4 of 5 Stars

I think I need to stop saying I don't like historical novels because Revolution, Born Wicked and Gilt will make people think I don't know what a historical novel is. I listened to Gilt on audio and Jennifer Ikeda did a great job as the narrator. I started thinking I had an English accent. If you haven’t heard anything on audio I would highly recommend any book narrated by Jennifer Ikeda.
The story is told by Catherine Howard’s childhood friend, Kitty. Kitty and Cat are inseparable and there isn’t anything that Kitty won’t do for Cat. Cat is picked to go to court, but she promises her friend that she will find a way of getting her to court as well. Cat does so when she seduces King Henry and he marries her. I will say Catherine Howard is a complete bitch. I think Katherine Longshore did a great job of making you hate her and just when you think it can't get any worse it really does. Kitty is faithful to Cat even though Cat doesn’t deserve it and it seems everyone can see it except Kitty. I found myself driving down I-45 while heading to and from work and suddenly yelling at Kitty to get a backbone. When Kitty gets on Cat’s bad side the queen threatens Kitty that she could start a rumor that Kitty prefers women. Cat of course knows that it’s not true, but a rumor like that could ruin Kitty and who would question the queen. This is just one of many ways that Cat shows her wicked ways.

I found it hard to stop listening to Gilt and I would stay in the car long after I arrived at home or work just waiting to see what would happen next. Gilt is Katherine Longshore’s debut novel and all I can say is I’m ready for her next book! Gilt is available in stores or online.

To learn more about Gilt read Katherine’s guest post from May.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Interview with Joanne Levy

Please help me welcome Class of 2K12's Joanne Levy. Joanne's middle grade debut novel is titled Small Medium at Large and will be in stores July 3, 2012. I want to thank Joanne for being so wonderful about the interview!

What was your favorite part about writing Small Medium at Large?
I had so much fun with this book! I channeled my inner 12 year old and took myself back in time to when I was just discovering boys and the weird stuff that was happening to my body. One of the great things about writing Lilah was capturing that innocent time when you think you know everything but are just starting to realize that maybe, just maybe, you’re in over your head and the world holds a lot more than you ever imagined.

Why Middle Grade?
I actually wrote this book as a YA, but a very wise editor thought my funny voice would work better in a book geared to tweens. I’d never really considered writing Middle Grade before that, but I must have done something right!

Can you tell us about Lilah Bloom?
Lilah is a great character, full of that pluckiness that comes along with being twelve. She lives with her divorced dad and really hopes to grow up and be a drummer for a rock band someday, preferably with her best friend Alex on guitar.

Small Medium at Large sounds like a lot of fun—was it hard not to go dark with the ghost angle?

When this book was a YA, it was a lot darker and there were more mature themes, including teen depression and suicide. But when I was rewriting it for a middle grade audience, I was specifically asked to write about happy-go-lucky ghosts, which seemed odd to me, at first. Especially when it was also requested that Lilah hang out with ghosts of her own age. I can’t imagine a lot of twelve-year-olds who would be great with being dead, nor did I think a lot of tweens would want to read about dead kids, because I thought that might make them a little too worried about their own mortality and Small Medium at Large, the tween version, is meant to be a fun book. So, although I did include one mischievous boy-ghost (who Lilah helps in the end), for the most part, the ghosts are grown-ups who had very long, happy lives.

What kind of crazy adventures will Lilah get into when helping her grandmother? Oh, well I don’t want to reveal TOO much, but Lilah’s grandmother, Bubby Dora is very keen on getting her son, Lilah’s dad, a new wife. Although Lilah is on board with her dad dating, she’s not comfortable being a matchmaker for her dorky father! She does help out some, though, but even despite her tips and Bubby’s help, Lilah’s dad’s dates are mostly disastrous. Lilah also ends up enlisting the help of a fashion designer ghost to help save the school fashion show.

Is this a stand alone or a series?
As it is right now, Small Medium at Large is a stand alone, but I’m hoping it will become a series down the road. That’s up to my publisher, Bloomsbury and readers, of course!

What are your plans for your next book?
I have a lot of irons in the fire, but like I said above, I’m hoping to write more books about Lilah and her special ability (to get into mischief!). But I’ve also written another Middle Grade book about a boy who finds himself alone in the woods with only a talking spider for an ally. It’s another magic realism type book that I had a lot of fun writing. I’m also working on a fun YA project—it’s still too early to talk about, but I will say that parts of it are semi-autobiographical, making it extra-fun to write because it lets me go back to my very awkward teen days! Being an awkward kid has really paid off!

Thanks for the fun interview, Cari!

Monday, July 2, 2012

What I'm Reading

Here is my schedule. 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:

Listening to:

Reading Soon:

Just Finished: