Sunday, March 31, 2013

Stacking The Shelves 53


I got some awesome books in the mail this week and can not wait to start reading! I also got 2 copies of Etiquette and Espionage somehow so my extra copy is now up for trade on YA Book Exchange if you are interested. 

Won/Trade:
Monstrous Beauty (Thanks Fierce Reads!)
Dualed by Elsie Chapman (Thanks Kristina @ Gone Pecan for the trade!)

Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger (Thanks Live To Read!)
In The Shadow Of Blackbirds by Cat Winters (Thanks Mod Podge Bookshelf!)

And it was signed! Very exciting =D

Friday, March 29, 2013

Around The World: Author Donna Hosie


Welcome to the Fifth week of Around The World! Every Friday I feature a Blogger, Author or Publisher and ask questions about the country or state they are from and what it is like to be a member of the book world there! If you are interested in being featured please sign up here.

This week I have author Donna Hosie on the blog!

Interview
Where are you from? 
 I’m an English writer currently living in Australia.

What is the best and worst thing about living in the Australia? 
 The best thing is the fact it is so family orientated. There is a great work/family life balance here which you don’t get in the UK. The worst thing is the spiders. OMG, the spiders! Thankfully, we have only had a couple of Huntsman Spiders in the house, but they were the size of dinner plates!

What is the biggest challenge of being a book blogger/Author there? 
 There is no publishing industry in Australia. There are a few writers, a few agents, a few publishing imprints, but there is no industry. My biggest markets for sales remain the UK and US, and my agent is NY-based.

Are Publishers willing to work with you were you live? 
Is it hard to find Industry Professionals? See above. I belong to a Writer’s Centre, but I get very little out of it. It’s a real shame.

Is it necessary to travel to larger cities to meet with publishing professionals? 
Are they willing to work with you via e-mail? It’s all done via email because all of my business is conducted in other countries.

Are there any publishers that work exclusively in Australia or publish only books written by authors in Australia? 
 When I was searching for an agent in Australia, the first thing that took me by surprise was how few there were. The next surprise was how many only deal in non-fiction written by Australian writers. If I wanted to write a Political Memoir, then I had a chance, but YA Fantasy? Forget it!

Do you have any favorite books set in in Australia or written by Aussie authors?
 My favourite Australian author is Kate Morton – I love her. And all of her books are set in the UK. That about sums it up, I think. I don’t want this to sound like I’m bashing Australia, because I love this country with a passion. I uprooted my family and moved halfway across the world to settle here, and I have never regretted it. But publishing here is hard – really hard.

A Few Of My Favorite Things Section:

Favorite Book (overall): The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Favorite Book Recent Release: The Sea of Tranquillity by Katja Millay 
Author: J.K. Rowling
Social Media: Goodreads
International Food: Mexican

Connect with Donna:

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

Clockwork Princess
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Publication Date: March 19, 2013
Goodreads ♥ Amazon

Review:
This book gave me all the feels. I am not joking when I say that I cried three separate times during the course of reading this, and they weren’t always sad tears. They were happy tears. I was crying because Cassandra Clare ended the series in such a way that while my heart was breaking I was smiling, I wouldn’t have had it end any other way.

I have decided that in this review I will give absolutely nothing away so I will just tell you things you already know are going to happen, that do in fact happen. There is a showdown with Mortmain and his clockwork creatures, we find out what exactly Tessa is, Magnus makes appearances in all his Warlock glory, and Clare redefines the love triangle with how much she makes me love both Jem and Will.

Let’s talk a little bit about this love triangle. As you might remember from my Clockwork Prince review I am pretty much a die hard Team Jem kind of girl! I think that is why I went in to reading Clockwork Princess with so much worry and trepidation. Jem is sick and we have all known since the first book that Jem getting a happy ending seemed unlikely. I was afraid Clare was going to cop out and just have Tessa pick Will and leave Jem hanging. I should have known that this was wrong, the author that brought me my favorite love triangle of all time wouldn’t do something like that, and thankfully she doesn’t. Everyone gets their own ending and while it might not suit everyone’s fancy it is honestly the only way I could ever imagine the series ending. 

What surprised me most about Clockwork Princess was actually how Jem and Will’s parabatai relationship is explained and even expanded. I knew they were close I guess I just never realized how close. It was actually these parts of the story that broke my heart the most. It was so refreshing to see how much one person could love another in a purely platonic sense. Jem and Will are more then just a friends, more then just brothers, they are parabatai and I now feel like I truly understand what that means. It wasn’t the love triangle that made me cry happy tears, it was Jem and Will and the love they have for each other that made me cry. 

Overall, because I don’t want to give anything away it almost feels like I can’t say anything at all. You will just have to suffice to know that the Epilogue made all my tears worthwhile, and made me smile long after I had finished the novel. Cassandra Clare may actually have written the best Epilogue and ending to a series I have ever read. I was so unsure going in to this book, I was afraid that everything would fall apart and no one would get their happy ending. This book, while it takes you through and emotional roller coaster, is eventually happy and it left me feeling hopeful. 

**I am more then happy to discuss spoilers in the comments so if you are worried about spoilers please refrain from reading the comments!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Waiting On Wednesday: These Broken Stars


These Broken Stars
Author: Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Expected Publication: Dec 10, 2013
Goodreads ♥ Amazon
Synopsis:
It's a night like any other on board the Icarus. Then, catastrophe strikes: the massive luxury spaceliner is yanked out of hyperspace and plummets into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive. And they seem to be alone.

Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a young war hero who learned long ago that girls like Lilac are more trouble than they’re worth. But with only each other to rely on, Lilac and Tarver must work together, making a tortuous journey across the eerie, deserted terrain to seek help.

Then, against all odds, Lilac and Tarver find a strange blessing in the tragedy that has thrown them into each other’s arms. Without the hope of a future together in their own world, they begin to wonder—would they be better off staying here forever?
Everything changes when they uncover the truth behind the chilling whispers that haunt their every step. Lilac and Tarver may find a way off this planet. But they won’t be the same people who landed on it.
The first in a sweeping science fiction trilogy, These Broken Stars is a timeless love story about hope and survival in the face of unthinkable odds.
My Thoughts:
Ever since I read the Across The Universe series I have wanted to read more books set in space but there just aren't many out there! At least not the type I'm looking for I'm not overly in to sci-fi so finding the right combination can be difficult. These Broken Stars seems like the perfect new series to fill the star shaped void in my life.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Strands Of Bronze & Gold Character Interview



Strands of Bronze and Gold
Author: Jane Nickerson
Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: March 12, 2013

Synopsis

The Bluebeard fairy tale retold. . . .
When seventeen-year-old Sophia Petheram’s beloved father dies, she receives an unexpected letter. An invitation—on fine ivory paper, in bold black handwriting—from the mysterious Monsieur Bernard de Cressac, her godfather. With no money and fewer options, Sophie accepts, leaving her humble childhood home for the astonishingly lavish Wyndriven Abbey, in the heart of Mississippi.Sophie has always longed for a comfortable life, and she finds herself both attracted to and shocked by the charm and easy manners of her overgenerous guardian. But as she begins to piece together the mystery of his past, it’s as if, thread by thread, a silken net is tightening around her. And as she gathers stories and catches whispers of his former wives—all with hair as red as her own—in the forgotten corners of the abbey, Sophie knows she’s trapped in the passion and danger of de Cressac’s intoxicating world. Glowing strands of romance, mystery, and suspense are woven into this breathtaking debut—a thrilling retelling of the “Bluebeard” fairy tale.


 (Interview with Sophie prior to her move to Wyndriven Abbey)

An Interview with an Adventurous Young Lady
“The Girls’ Friendly Companion of New England” takes this opportunity to interview a young lady who is about to commence a considerable journey. Seventeen-year-old Miss Sophia Petheram, of Boston, is shortly to leave the bosom of her loving family to travel the great distance southward to Mississippi, a destination that many in the more long-settled regions of our great country consider “the back of beyond.”

Q. Miss Petheram, will you tell our gentle readers what causes you to launch on this undertaking?
SP: My dear father passed away during the spring, and so my godfather and guardian, Monsieur Bernard de Cressac—along with his wife, of course—has invited me to come live with them at their home. It’s a house with a name—isn’t that charming? Wyndriven Abbey. He wrote once that it was brought all the way across the ocean from England. In pieces, of course.

Q. And is your guardian well-known to you?
SP: Not in person. He only came to our home once when I was a mere babe, and of course I do not remember that meeting, and neither do my siblings. It makes him quite mysterious. My brother Harry calls him my fairy godfather, and plagues me by descriptions of M. de Cressac as an ogre with tusks of pure gold. Harry is a silly goose. But my father knew my guardian from long ago and says he is a distinguished gentleman.  I do feel I know him, though, through his letters to me. Such lovely letters. Through the years he has written of his travels and explorations with great detail. He even penned fanciful little tales in which I was the heroine.  And that he would take so much time for a motherless little girl, makes me believe he is a person composed of kindness itself.  And then there’s the delightful gifts.

Q. Has he been generous with you? I believe he is internationally well-known as a successful man of business.
SP: Indeed he has. I cannot tell you how we all anticipated the arrival of his parcels. Sumptuous is the only word for them. There was a rocking horse with a mane of real horse hair—his name is Araby, since he is an Arabian steed. And a doll with a wardrobe fit for a princess—her name is Elodie, since she is French. Oh, I wish your readers could see her clothing! Glorious gowns in the height of style and underthings trimmed with the daintiest broderie anglaise. Tiny kid slippers and plumed bonnets. I still love them, even now when I am grown; there is something so enchanting about miniature things, isn’t there? I visit Araby and Elodie now and again in the attic.  Of course when I was older the gifts were more appropriate for my age.

Q. Did he never send presents for your siblings?
SP: Well…no. But then he is not their godparent. They were not jealous. I do not think.  I have always shared everything.

Q. Did you ever expect that the day would come when you would actually live with him and his wife?
SP: I suppose it has always been one of my fancies. For one thing, he has arranged for me to take riding and music lessons, and I have wondered if, perhaps, he were preparing me for at least an extended visit to his estate. 

Q. The southern states of our country are very different from our own New England. Have you any trepidation?
SP: Of course. Some. I shall miss my family dreadfully. I have never been anywhere, so everything will be new to me. Also, my people have abolitionist leanings. I must worry about living in a region that does not share those views. However, mostly I am excited. My heart begins palpitating when I think of where I am about to go. I hear that Mississippi has a lush and beautiful landscape.

Q. You appear to be a modern young lady, most brave and adventurous. Thank you so much for your time. We wish you great good fortune.
SP: Thank you for speaking to me. I adore your periodical. Especially the serial stories. They provide such scope for imagination. I sometimes daydream that I am living in one of them. I hope I would be as brave as those heroines.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Stacking The Shelves 52


I keep forgetting to thank Lexis Nexis Law School for all the great Amazon giftcards I have got this term! I honestly haven't spent any of my own money on books since before the New Year because I keep getting giftcards from them (I'm going to be bummed when I graduate!). I also had 1 trade this week and my pre-order to Clockwork Princess came so I've been freaking out reading that. All of that goodness coupled with my awesome Netgalley pickup's has made me extra happy this week despite being sick since last Sunday! Luckily I am feeling better now, thanks for all the twitter messages of support!!

Giftcard/Trade:
This Is Not A Test by Courtney Summers (Thanks Skye for the trade!)
Chasing The Skip by Janci Patterson
Immortal City by Scott Speer
Finale by Becca Fitzpatrick (Library)
Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

Netgalley/Edelweiss:
Pretty Dark Nothing by Heather L. Reid
Some Quiet Place by Kelsey Sutton

Hopeless by Colleen Hoover
Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire

Shameless Contest Plug:
BWS tips button
Enter to win a March release of your choice!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Scarlette Blog Tour


Scarlette
Author: Davonna Juroe
Release Date: Oct 12, 2012

Synopsis:
Scarlette, an 18-year-old peasant, lives under a dark threat. A nightmarish creature lurks in the surrounding forest, killing the villagers one by one. When Scarlette's grandmother survives an attack, Scarlette learns that her grandmother hasn't suffered the bite of just any normal animal.
Now desperate, Scarlette searches throughout her province to find a cure. But there are those who want to keep their pasts hidden. As she begins to uncover the dark secrets of her village, Scarlette is befriended by a local nobleman and a woodcutter who share a gruesome history with the beast. To save her grandmother, Scarlette must unravel their mystery and solve an age-old crime. But as she pieces together the clues, Scarlette finds herself torn between the two men, both of whom want to be more than friends and hold the key to the cure.
What if Little Red Riding Hood was Real?
Based on both the Grimm and Perrault versions of Little Red Riding Hood and set against the terrifying, historic Beast of GĂ©vaudan attacks, this dark YA retelling blends two epic legends, giving the fabled girl-in-the-red-cloak a new, shockingly real existence.

Review:
This year I have read more retellings then I ever have before and honestly I had no idea what I was missing out on. I love going in to a story with some idea of what is going to happen then being completely surprised and blown away by how the author makes the retelling their own. That is exactly what Juroe did with Scarlette!

Scarlette is a loose retelling for the Little Red Riding Hood story. Scarlette lives in a small forest town with her Mother, and Grandmother in France. Only things are not all well for Scarlette her Mother treats her terribly (I mean really badly) and her only friend is of the fair weather variety. I actually spent a lot of time feeling sorry for Scarlette her life just seems so utterly hopeless and I was thankful multiple times that I did not have to live in ye olden France!

It’s hard for me to discuss character development aside from Scarlette’s in this novel just because everyone was getting killed off! I really had no idea who the wolf was going to strike next and because of all the killings I never let myself get attached too any one character. I did admire Scarlette’s steadfastness toward her Grandmother, and how in the end she was willing to do anything to save those she cared about. While Scarlette was young and naive she really became a strong character.

There was a very loose love triangle in Scarlette between The Woodcutter, The Baron, and Scarlette. It was readily apparent who Scarlette preferred though so the possibility of a triangle never bothered me, and honestly the romance in the story came second to the mystery surrounding the wolf.

What I liked the best about this novel was Juroe’s story telling ability for most of the novel I will admit to having no idea who the wolf was and even toward the end when I had a clear idea of what was happening I still wasn’t sure how things were going to end. The type of books that keep you guessing are some of my favorites and Scarlette definitely kept me guessing.

Author Bio:
Davonna Juroe stays up way too late, has a severe garlic food allergy, and loves all things 80’s. She wonders if all this could actually mean she's a vampire. 

In high school, she wore way too much glitter eye make-up. And in between many Disneyland visits and reading R.L. Stine’s Fear Street Series, she joined the high school drama department and may have developed crushes of the serious kind on many a theater boy. After many a broken heart (*sigh*), Davonna moved to the quaint, wooded village of Kalispell, Montana.

When she’s not writing, she shops @ thrift stores for hot-pink-Jem-and-the-Holograms-inspired-outfits, eats gluten free desserts, drinks tea out of antique teacups, and spends too much time on deviantArt, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

Scarlette is Davonna’s debut novel of epic-historical-fairy-tale-proportions, which she knows the Brothers Grimm would say is wicked cool.

Currently, she's represented by fabulous independent agent Roxanne McHenry who is waving wands to make all of Davonna's dreams come true.


Special Message:
**On the last day of the tour 3/23 (today!) Scarlette will be available for FREE on Amazon! Make sure to snap up your copy quickly, I can guarentee you won't regret the decision!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Boys Of Summer by CJ Duggan Blog Tour

Welcome to my stop on The Boys of Summer blog tour hosted by YA Bound.  Click HERE to check out the full blog tour schedule!

The Boys of Summer (Summer #1)
Release Date: 12/17/12
294 pages
Synopsis: It seemed only natural to nickname them the ‘OnslowBoys’. Every time they swaggered in the front doorof the Onslow Hotel after a hard week’s work, their laughter was loud and genuine as they settled onto their bar stools. I peeked through the restaurant partition, a flimsy divider between my world and theirs. I couldn’t help but smile whenever I saw them, saw him ... Toby Morrison.Quiet seventeen-year-old Tess doesn’t relish the thought of a summertime job. She wants nothing more than to forget the past haunts of high school and have fun with her best friends before the dreaded Year Twelve begins. To Tess, summer is when everything happens: riding bikes down to the lake, watching the fireworks at the Onslow Show and water bomb fights at the sweltering Sunday markets. How did she let her friends talk her into working? After first-shift disasters, rude, wealthy tourists and a taunting ex-boyfriend, Tess is convinced nothing good can come of working her summer away. However, Tess finds unlikely allies in a group of locals dubbed ‘The Onslow Boys’, who are old enough to drive cars, drink beer and not worry about curfews. Tess’s summer of working expands her world with a series of first times with new friends, forbidden love and heartbreaking chaos. All with the one boy she has never been able to forget. It will be a summer she will always remember. *Warning: sexual references, and occasional course language.

Review:
For those of you who do not follow me on Twitter I have been suffering from this terrible sickness since Sunday. I guess I have some kind of viral thing coupled with severe dehydration (which is making me loopy) I have been in and out of the doctors office and for that reason have been unable to fully review Boys Of Summer. I intend to post a full review at a later date but seeing as how I am scheduled for the Blog Tour today I wanted to share with you the top 5 things I loved about Boys Of Summer to get you excited about this seriously awesome book (and what I am sure is going to be a seriously awesome sequel!)!

1. The Relationship between Toby & Tess
He is the 22 she is 17, Tess has crushed on Toby from afar, but maybe he has been crushing on her too? I loved the pacing of this relationship it was slow enough that it had the whole smoldering romance thing going on but it wasn't slow to the point that I wanted to slap either of the characters. I also liked that the relationship between them felt so real and natural. There was sweet, steamy and everything in between! I was really rooting for the two of them.

2. The Friendship between Tess, Adam, & Ellie
I liked how close all Tess was with her two best friend Adam & Ellie and that they fought! So often in books the main character has these too perfect relationships with her friends. In The Boys Of Summer Tess gets in fights with both Adam and Ellie and their friendship survives because it is a deeper connection then just that one fight. I also LOVED the fact that Adam didn't crush on Tess, he was just her friend and that was all he wanted to be.

3. The Onslow Boys
If the friendship between Tess, Adam, & Ellie was tight it had nothing on the friendship, comradery  and brotherly affection the Onslow Boys have for each other. Every time I read about these guys it was like watching one big bromance and I didn't want it to end! They were all great supporting characters.

4. When Tess Wanted Something She Went For It
I do not like wishy-washy heroines and Tess was not wishy-washy, at times she did pine incessantly over Toby but that made me like the guy more. And once Tess decided that he is the one she wants she pulled no punches and went after him. I like this take charge, don't wait for the guy to make the first move attitude! 

5. Tess Makes Mistakes
Because Tess has this take charge attitude she ends up getting in to trouble and making mistakes, potentially losing her best friend and her love interest. Tess very maturely deals with her choices and this made me like her all the more! She didn't try and lie her way out of the situation, she let the secret come out and lets the chips fall the way they may. She was responsible for the decision and dealt with the consequences.

6. The Ending
Ok I know I said only 5 but 6 had to be added because even after everything the ending still put a smile on my face and made me enjoy the book even more. I also has me eager to find out what happens in the next novel, An Endless Summer!

Add An Endless Summer (Summer #2) to Goodreads:

About the Author
C.J Duggan is an Australian author who lives with her husband in a rural border town of New South Wales, Australia.
The Boys of Summer is Book One in her Mature Young Adult Romance Series.

***GIVEAWAY***
Enter below to win one of 5 e-book copies of The Boys of Summer, open Internationally!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Waiting On Wednesday: Tumble & Fall


Tumble & Fall
Author: Alexandra Coutts
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Expected Publication: Sept, 17, 2013

Synopsis:
A novel about the end of days full of surprising beginnings

The world is living in the shadow of oncoming disaster. An asteroid is set to strike the earth in just one week’s time; catastrophe is unavoidable. The question isn’t how to save the world—the question is, what to do with the time that's left? Against this stark backdrop, three island teens wrestle with intertwining stories of love, friendship and family—all with the ultimate stakes at hand.

Alexandra Coutts's TUMBLE & FALL is a powerful story of courage, love, and hope at the end of the world.

My Thoughts:  I just love the idea of this novel! It's a different take on the apocalypse novels that have been releasing lately, and I can't wait to see how the characters react to the asteroid situation. Also I am in love with that cover, isn't it just gorgeous?!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Strands Of Bronze & Gold Ambuzzador's Exclusive Guest Post


Strands of Bronze and Gold
Author: Jane Nickerson
Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: March 12, 2013

Synopsis

The Bluebeard fairy tale retold. . . .
When seventeen-year-old Sophia Petheram’s beloved father dies, she receives an unexpected letter. An invitation—on fine ivory paper, in bold black handwriting—from the mysterious Monsieur Bernard de Cressac, her godfather. With no money and fewer options, Sophie accepts, leaving her humble childhood home for the astonishingly lavish Wyndriven Abbey, in the heart of Mississippi.Sophie has always longed for a comfortable life, and she finds herself both attracted to and shocked by the charm and easy manners of her overgenerous guardian. But as she begins to piece together the mystery of his past, it’s as if, thread by thread, a silken net is tightening around her. And as she gathers stories and catches whispers of his former wives—all with hair as red as her own—in the forgotten corners of the abbey, Sophie knows she’s trapped in the passion and danger of de Cressac’s intoxicating world. Glowing strands of romance, mystery, and suspense are woven into this breathtaking debut—a thrilling retelling of the “Bluebeard” fairy tale.

Guest Post

Top Ten Changes I Would Make in Fairy Tales 

It’s obvious that there are many problematic aspects in most famous fairy tales. Why must everyone be beautiful? Why is there so much royalty going around? So many poor woodcutters? (Oh, now that I think of it, there probably really were so many poor woodcutters in that day and age.) Why so many childless couples who end up with either doomed or miniscule only children? Most of the problems are explained away because “it’s a magic thing.” However here are ten changes I would make if I were Queen of Fairy Tale Land:

10. The youngest child would not always be the most good-looking and clever, and the step-parent would never be evil, since step-parents have enough problems taking on a ready-made family as it is. But then again, one would hate to make the biological parent evil instead…

9. I would give the bright and beautiful heroine more choices for a love interest. A single prince should not be her only option. By the same token, it’s sad when only one sibling gets matched up. I would introduce the eleven unmatched dancing princesses to the (coincidentally) eleven unmatched princely brothers of “The Wild Swans” princess. That’s eleven options for each of them. If you stir them up, there’s bound to be one that each of them likes…but what if they all want the same one?

8 ½. Seven league boots for everyone!!! It’s only fair.

8. There should be more than three wishes. And the wishes are not allowed to be tricksy. Fairness again.

7. Several fairy tales involve the hero in burglary—The Tinderbox, Jack in the Beanstalk, Aladdin. The idea is that, because the owner of the object is evil, the hero isn’t really a thief. Huh. That doesn’t actually make sense. Therefore, there must be some clever, lawful way for them to get the loot. Gambling (if that’s legal in Fairy Tale land), labor, performing a service for the owner, some sort of trade, etc. Of course then the evil owner would probably try to cheat them out of the object, and then the hero would have to steal it…

6. How can King Midas turn everything he touches into gold and not be gold himself? It boggles the mind.

5. There’s got to be some reason why Little Red Riding Hood can’t tell that her grandmother has a furry face and pointy nose. It could be too dark, except that we need to keep those classic lines—“What big eyes, hands, teeth.” Perhaps the grandmother has some skin disease and needs bandages all over, except for the eyes and mouth. Leprosy?

4 ½. How can the wolf even blow that hard? Are wolves known for lung capacity?

4. Prince Charming has got to be able to recognize Cinderella in some other way than by her shoe size. For one thing, just how miniscule are her feet? Does she teeter about on points like Barbie dolls do? Having a body part that is so different from every other human your age is sort of the definition of a freak. And yet the glass slipper and big-footed stepsisters are such fun components. Maybe Cinderella also develops a sudden skin disease so her feet really are the only way she can be recognized.

3. I don’t want the miller’s daughter in “Rumpelstiltskin” to end up married to the king. He’s a greedy guy who only wants her because she can spin straw into gold. How about she runs off before she has to marry him? And even before she spins any straw or meets Rumpelstiltskin. Except then there’d be no story. A problem.

2. Rapunzel’s hair is simply too long. It would totally get in the way, be absolutely disgusting because it would be crawling with dust bunnies and impossible to wash, and get yanked out of her head if anyone tried to climb up it. Unless, of course, the young man and witch were tiny. Perhaps we could mix together one of the miniscule only children stories with this. Then again, I’ve seen some illustrations for the story that involve special hooks and pulleys to fix the weight problem, but still…Must be magic.

1. Isn’t it icky that the prince kisses Snow White’s corpse? And how long has she lain there supposedly dead, but not rotting and without nourishment? The nourishment thing also causes problems with Sleeping Beauty. Must be magic.

You know, all the solutions I can come up with are so problematic that, in the end, maybe we should continue to say that it’s a magic thing and leave it all as it is.

Author Bio
For many years Jane Nickerson and her family lived in a big old house in Aberdeen, Mississippi, where she was also the children’s librarian. She has always loved the South, “the olden days,” gothic tales, houses, kids, writing, and interesting villains. She and her husband now make their home in Ontario, Canada.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Stacking The Shelves 51


From The Publisher:
The Last Academy by Anne Applegate
Awesome Spencer Hill Swag!

Netgalley/Edelweiss:
Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols
Bloodspell by Amalie Howard
Blaze by Lauri Boyle Crompton
In The Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters

Friday, March 15, 2013

Around The World: Michelle Madow



Welcome to the Fifth week of Around The World! Every Friday I feature a Blogger, Author or Publisher and ask questions about the country or state they are from and what it is like to be a member of the book world there! If you are interested in being featured please sign up here.


This week I have author Michelle Madow on the blog!



Interview:
Where are you from? 
I lived in Baltimore, Maryland until I was 18 years old. Then I went to Rollins College in Orlando Florida, and after graduation I moved to Boca Raton, which is in Southeast Florida. I have lots of family in Boca Raton, and I love living in the subtropical environment.

Living in Florida is amazing, and I hope this will be my home for the rest of my life. I love traveling and seeing other places around the world, but I am always happy to return home to Florida. Since cold, cloudy weather makes me hibernate, living somewhere like Florida where it is mostly sunny and warm is a must. I love palm trees, since they need sun and warmth to flourish, just like me. I rarely go to the beach (I don’t like water and sand), but I would love to someday have a house with my office looking over the ocean, since it’s such a peaceful view. Along with the great weather, most touring shows stop by Southeast Florida since there are two large cities—Miami and Fort Lauderdale—nearby. We have great shopping, fantastic restaurants, and it’s only a three hour drive to Disney World / Universal Studios. We also get incredible cruise deals for Florida residents since so many cruises leave from our ports. It’s a wonderful place to live!

What is the best and worst thing about living in the Florida?
One of the best things is the weather during the winter—it’s usually in the 70’s, although we might get one or two cold weeks where it drops to the 60’s or 50’s. I avoid cold weather (when I lived in Baltimore I would hibernate in the winter), so it’s great to not have that be an issue anymore. People in Florida are so happy, friendly, and open to meeting new people. I think it’s because there’s so much sunshine, and sunlight really is a mood-booster.

The worst thing about living in Florida is how hot and sticky it gets during the summer. It’s extremely humid, so walking outside in shorts and a tank top feels like trudging through a hot tub. But at least it’s sunny, and I would rather deal with hot summers than cold winters, so it doesn’t bother me. We also get downpours every summer afternoon, but they only last for 20-30 minutes, so it’s easy to avoid. (Although when I was in college I sometimes had to walk to class during an afternoon downpour and that was not pleasant!)

What is the biggest challenge of being an author there?
My biggest challenge of being an author here is probably something most authors in their 20’s and 30’s in the USA can relate to. Most everyone I meet who is my age works a 9-5 schedule and goes to happy hours with their friends at 5:30. I, on the other hand, work from 11-7 or 12-8, and by the time I am done working at the end of the day I still need to shower and get dressed. This means that socializing during the weekdays is out for me.

Some of my friends say, “Why don’t you just wake up earlier and stay on the schedule with the rest of the world?” They have a good point, but I’m not a morning person. If I woke up at 7:00 AM so I could shower, get ready, and work 9-5, the quality of my work would go down because I would be tired. I’m lucky to be able to create my own schedule, and it’s in my benefit to work during the hours when my brain is 100% awake and functioning.

Is it hard to organize author signings and events in the area? Are schools and bookstores receptive to hosting your appearances?
I have spoken to a few schools in the area, and they are always receptive to having authors speak to students. Some of my best events have been at schools. Bookstores are different. When I independently published the Transcend Time Saga, few bookstores were receptive to hosting me. Now that the first book in my Secret Diamond Sisters trilogy is coming out with Harlequin TEEN in March 2014, bookstores have been so welcoming and encouraging. I’ll be having my book release party for Secret Diamond Sisters at Books & Books in Miami (Coral Gables Location), and I am so excited!

Are Publishers willing to work with you were you live? Is it hard to find Industry Professionals?
My agent from the Bent Agency, Molly Ker Hawn, lives in London, and my editor from Harlequin TEEN, Natashya Wilson, lives in New York. With cell phones and the Internet, location is not an issue. Our meetings are scheduled through email, held over the phone, and are followed-up via email.

Is it necessary to travel to bigger cities like New York to meet with publishing professionals?
Traveling a few times a year to meet with publishing professionals isn’t “necessary,” but it is an advantage. I’ve attended Book Expo America in New York City since 2006, and I’ve made great connections by networking there. Once Secret Diamond Sisters comes out, I hope to visit bookstores across the country (and maybe the world?) to meet fans and sign their books.

If you could visit another country to promote your book where would it be? 
I’ve been so impressed by the large reading community in the Philippines! So many people there love reading, and are extremely supportive of authors. Many of my biggest fans have reached out to me from the Philippines. I would love to visit the Philippines to meet them in person, to promote my books, and to see the country, since it looks so beautiful in photos.

A Few Of My Favorite Things Section: 

Favorite Book (overall):
I CAN’T CHOOSE ONE! Some of my favorite series are: Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling, Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, Uglies by Scott Westerfeld, Iron Fey by Julie Kagawa, and Luxe by Anna Godbersen. For a full list of my favorites, you can check out my Goodreads Favorites Shelf here.

Favorite Book Recent Release:
 The Selection by Kiera Cass. I can’t wait for The Elite, and I hope the series continues to be as excellent as the first book.

Social Media: 
FACEBOOK is my favorite social media site! There’s no limit on how many characters can be in a status update, and you can make albums. I’m on Facebook all the time. Go to https://www.facebook.com/MichLMadow to follow me!

Reading Spot: 
My bed.

International Food: 
Pizza!

About Michelle Madow:
Michelle Madow wrote her first novel, Remembrance, in her junior year of college. Remembrance is the first book in the Transcend Time Saga, a three part series about reincarnation and true love that Michelle successfully self-published. The series was inspired by Taylor Swift's "Love Story" music video. Michelle's upcoming YA trilogy, The Secret Diamond Sisters, about three sisters who discover they are the secret heirs to a Las Vegas billionaire casino owner will be published by Harlequin TEEN in Spring 2014.

Michelle graduated from Rollins College in 2010, cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in English. She is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and the International English Honor Society Sigma Tau Delta. She received the Charles Hyde Pratt Award for Excellence in Creative Writing in 2010.

She lives in Boca Raton, Florida, where she is writing more novels for young adults. She loves reading, spending time with family and friends, traveling, shopping, sunshine, Disney fairy tales, Broadway musicals, and spends way too much time on Facebook and Twitter (@MichelleMadow). Visit her website, www.michellemadow.com, for more information and to connect to all her social media sites.

WebsiteBlogTwitterGoodreads ♥ 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Dark Heroine by Abigail Gibbs


1/5 Stars
The Dark Heroine 
(Dinner With A Vampire) 
Author: Abigail Gibbs
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Publication Date: March 5, 2013
GoodreadsAmazon

Review:
*This is a review for an New Adult/Adult book

I requested this title on Edelweiss because I was curious. I had heard of this story was originally written on Wattpad when the author was 15 and then a few years later was picked up a major publishing house in a six figure deal. That is enough to stir anyone’s curiosity. Unfortunately, curiosity can also get you in trouble and that was the case for me.

First off this isn’t going to be a nice review. I had so many problems with this book that is was impossible for me to enjoy. I am actually going to do something a little different with this book as well, I am going to review it using my Goodreads status updates so that you can see exactly what I was feeling as I progressed through this novel.

1. Page 1 "There are so many mixed reviews about this book I'm both nervous and excited to read it. I will keep my expectations low so I can either be pleasantly surprised or not disappointed."

See look! I started this book off with some apprehension but was going to keep my expectations low so that I didn’t get hurt.

2. P 61 "Is this book YA or NA? Its ok so far, a little wordy but I'm intrigued."

I found out as I continued reading that I would probably class this book as New Adult because the protagonist is 18 and there is sexual content. Also the wordiness NEVER STOPS. It was like the publisher just took exactly what was on Wattpad and never edited it. The purpose of editing is to take out the parts that aren’t needed or do not advance the story, unfortunately that never happens in this book and instead we are left with a wordy, disjointed and lengthy novel.

3. P.331 "Well this is taking a turn for the weird/disturbing. I actually think I hate all of the charterers in this book. No one has a redeeming quality. And now the girl with Stockholm syndrome is sleeping with the kidnapper who is a complete jackass, great."

This is the heart of why I hated this book. None of the characters were likable. None of them had a redeeming quality. The heroine, Violet Lee, witnesses a vampire murder and then to keep her silent the vampires take her back to their mansion. While at the mansion she falls for Kaspar (Stockholm Syndrome much?). Kaspar treats women, vampire and human alike terribly and then for some reason these two absolutely terribly people fall for eachother. I think at one point there is also an edict from Kaspar’s father that they can’t touch. I mean things just got SO ridiculous and disjointed the story became painful to read.

I also want to mention that this book has the honor of having the least sexy sex scene that I have ever read. There was no passion, no emotion it was completely blasé and sort of grossed me out to be honest. With this scene you could really tell that someone young and inexperienced was writing it.

4. P.381 "I'm debating whether to stop reading this but I feel like I've already made it this far...also random aside this whole Dark Heroine business feels like a completely different story that was just tacked on to the one I began. No foreshadowing or linking things up so they flow."

Randomly during the last quarter of the book Gibbs stops focusing on the relationship/problems between Kaspar, Violet, and Kaspar’s family and begins focusing on a Dark Heroine prophesy. It came completely out of left field and didn’t link up to the story at all! If the story had focused on the Dark Heroine from the beginning it actually might have been an interesting story.

Overall, I did eventually finish the story but it took months and it was the worst book I have read in recent memory. The story had good potential but was poorly executed and even more poorly edited. I think Gibbs has potential as an author with a little polish and a serious editor. Hopefully her next novel someone takes all this potential and turns it in to something worthwhile. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Waiting On Wednesday: The Fiery Heart


The Fiery Heart
Author: Richelle Mead
Publisher: Razborbill
Expected Publication: Nov 19, 2013

Synopsis:
In The Indigo Spell, Sydney was torn between the Alchemist way of life and what her heart and gut were telling her to do. And in one breathtaking moment that Richelle Mead fans will never forget, she made a decision that shocked even her. . . .
But the struggle isn't over for Sydney. As she navigates the aftermath of her life-changing decision, she still finds herself pulled in too many directions at once. Her sister Zoe has arrived, and while Sydney longs to grow closer to her, there's still so much she must keep secret. Working with Marcus has changed the way she views the Alchemists, and Sydney must tread a careful path as she harnesses her profound magical ability to undermine the way of life she was raised to defend. Consumed by passion and vengeance, Sydney struggles to keep her secret life under wraps as the threat of exposure—and re-education—looms larger than ever.
Pulses will race throughout this thrilling fourth installment in the New York Times bestselling Bloodlines series, where no secret is safe

My Thoughts: 
I absolutely loved The Indigo Spell and now I can not wait for The Fiery Heart! I needed this book the second I finished Indigo Spell, there can never be enough Adrian in my life! I am also doubly excited for this book because it will be partially written from Adrian's POV. Needless to say November can not get here fast enough!!

*Random aside, Richelle Mead needs a different cover designer. There is no book written by her where I have liked the cover (YA or otherwise), and this is no exception. That cover is so ugly *sigh* If any series ever needed a re-design it was this Bloodlines and VA!