Monday, September 30, 2013

NaNo Warm Up

Kat Zhang and Savannah Foley had the brilliant idea in October to host a NaNoWriMo Warm up!

If you do not know what NaNoWriMo is it is National Novel Writing Month and it happens every year in November, participants commit to writing 50,000 words in one month. I have wanted to participate in NaNo but November is just a terrible month for me. I have finals starting at the end of the month, flash cards to make, and just have no time to commit to writing a novel. That is why when I stumbled across NaNo Warm Up on Twitter I was so excited!

During NaNo Warm Up writers agree to write 25,000 words in October,which is only 800 words a day. I am excited to finally be able to write with a community and to expand on a novel I started writing months ago but that I keep pushing to the back burner in favor of school and other commitments.

I decided to share that I was participating in NaNo Warm Up for two reasons. First, I thought maybe you would like to participate, the more the merrier, and 800 words a day is totally realistic to fit in to any schedule! And second, I want to make myself accountable. I don't want to push this writing project to the back of my to do list again. My thought is that if I tell everyone I am participating I really will write every day.

So what am I writing? I am writing a very gritty, young adult (possibly new adult) novel with copious drug use, childhood friendship and death. I already have around 19,000 words written and can't wait to add more! I am also in the market for a critique partner(s), I've never had one before but I'm at that point where I would like to hear other peoples thoughts and really sharpen my writing.

If you are interested in signing up for NaNo Warm Up you can do so here and if you do make sure to tweet me @FallingForYA!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Stacking The Shelves 77

I pre-ordered Untold and kind of freaked out when it finally got to my house on Tuesday, I had been waiting since May of 2012 to read it so actually having it in my hands was awesome. I also got some really great approvals from Netgalley and can't wait to get to them. I think I need to take a Netgalley break though, my TBR list is getting out of control lol

Bought:
Untold by Sarah Rees Brennan
Netgalley:
Crash Into You by Katie McGarry
A Death-Struck Year by Makiia 
Broken by CJ Lyons

Saturday, September 28, 2013

My Sister's Reaper Blog Tour

sisters reaper tour

my sisters reaper
My Sister's Reaper 

Author: Dorthy Dreyer
Publisher: Month 9 Books
Release Date: May 29, 2013
 Sixteen-year-old Zadie’s first mistake was telling the boy she liked she could bring her dead sister back to life. Her second mistake was actually doing it. When Zadie accidentally messes with the Reaper’s Rite that should have claimed her sister Mara, things go horribly wrong. Mara isn’t the same anymore—Zadie isn’t even sure she’s completely human, and to top it off, a Reaper is determined to collect Mara’s soul no matter what. Now Zadie must figure out how to defeat her sister’s Reaper, or let Mara die … this time for good.



dorothy  Author Dorothy Dreyer I'm a Philippine-born American living in Germany with my husband and two teens. I write young adult books that usually have some element of magic or the supernatural in them. I also like to read those kinds of books. Aside from reading, I like movies, chocolate, take-out, coffee, traveling, and having fun with my friends and family. I've also been known to make a pretty sweet cupcake. I tend to sing sometimes, too, so keep me away from your Karaoke bars.



 
  BookBlast Giveaway $50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 10/18/13   
 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. 

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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Not A Drop To Drink Blog Tour


Not A Drop To Drink
Author: Mindy McGinnis
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publication Date: September 24, 2013

Synopsis:
Regret was for people with nothing to defend, people who had no water.

Lynn knows every threat to her pond: drought, a snowless winter, coyotes, and, most importantly, people looking for a drink. She makes sure anyone who comes near the pond leaves thirsty, or doesn't leave at all.
Confident in her own abilities, Lynn has no use for the world beyond the nearby fields and forest. Having a life means dedicating it to survival, and the constant work of gathering wood and water. Having a pond requires the fortitude to protect it, something Mother taught her well during their quiet hours on the rooftop, rifles in hand.
But wisps of smoke on the horizon mean one thing: strangers. The mysterious footprints by the pond, nighttime threats, and gunshots make it all too clear Lynn has exactly what they want, and they won’t stop until they get it….
With evocative, spare language and incredible drama, danger, and romance, debut author Mindy McGinnis depicts one girl’s journey in a barren world not so different than our own.


Interview

What are your three favorite things about writing Not a Drop to Drink? 

Writing the supporting characters of Stebbs and Lucy was definitely the best part- they were easy to write. Second would have to be the fact that I didn’t do much research – I didn’t have to. Most of the setting, and quite a bit of the lifestyle (not including shooting people) is familiar to me. The third favorite thing would just have to be how inspired it was, the story just flowed along without much effort on my part.

What are your three least favorite things?

I really don’t have any, this story really was a breeze to write. I know there are some shocking and hard to digest events in the book, but even writing the hard stuff was still enjoyable. If I’m crying while I’m writing it, I know it’s working.

If Not a Drop to Drink had a theme song what would it be?

A musician friend of mine actually wrote a song for the book, so that’s the answer! http://www.pitchdark.com/blog/listen-to-the-not-a-drop-to-drink-song/

What inspired you to write Not a Drop to Drink?

I watched a documentary called Blue Gold, which is about a projected shortage of potable water on our planet due to overpopulation. It was a horrible thought - we all need water to survive, and it's something we can't make. I went to bed very grateful for the small pond in my backyard, and that night I dreamt I was teaching a young girl how to operate a rifle so that she could help me protect the pond. I woke up and thought, "Hey... I wrote a book in my head just now."

What was the last book you finished and loved?

There’s a tie between my two favorite books of 2013 – ANOTHER LITTLE PIECE by Kate Karyus Quinn and CHARM & STRANGE by Staphanie Kuehn. They’re both highly intelligent and well written, with fantastic plots.

About The Author
Mindy McGinnis is an assistant YA librarian who lives in Ohio and cans her own food. She graduated from Otterbein University magna cum laude with a BA in English Literature and Religion. Mindy has a pond in her back yard but has never shot anyone, as her morals tend to cloud her vision.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: Ask Me


Ask Me
Author: Kimberly Pauley
Publisher: Soho Teen
Expected Publication: April 8, 2014
Goodreads

Synopsis:
Ask Aria Morse anything, and she must answer with the truth. Yet she rarely understands the cryptic words she‘s compelled to utter. Blessed—or cursed—with the power of an Oracle who cannot decipher her own predictions, she does her best to avoid anyone and everyone.

But Aria can no longer hide when Jade, one of the few girls at school who ever showed her any kindness, disappears. Any time Aria overhears a question about Jade, she inadvertently reveals something new, a clue or hint as to why Jade vanished. But like stray pieces from different puzzles, her words never present a clear picture.
Then there’s Alex, damaged and dangerous, but the first person other than Jade to stand up for her. And Will, who offers a bond that seems impossible for a girl who’s always been alone. Both were involved with Jade. Aria may be the only one who can find out what happened, but the closer she gets to solving the crime, the more she becomes a target. Not everyone wants the truth to come out.
My Thoughts: I feel like a lot of my WOW posts recently have been thrillers. I am definitely going through a phase right now and Ask Me looks like it is going to be a fun thriller with a supernatural element!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Countdown by Michelle Rowen Blog Tour


Countdown
Author: Michelle Rowen
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: Sept 24, 2013 

Synopsis:
3 SECONDS LEFT TO LIVE.
Once the countdown starts, it cannot be stopped.
2 PAWNS THROWN INTO A BRUTAL UNDERGROUND REALITY GAME.
Kira Jordan survived her family’s murder and months on plague-devastated city streets with hard-won savvy and a low-level psi ability. She figures she can handle anything. Until she wakes up in a barren room, chained next to the notorious Rogan Ellis.
1 REASON KIRA WIL NEVER, EVER TRUST ROGAN. EVEN THOUGH BOTH THEIR LIVES DEPEND ON IT.
Their every move is controlled and televised for a vicious exclusive audience. And as Kira’s psi skill unexpectedly grows and Rogan’s secrets prove ever more deadly, Kira’s only chance of survival is to risk trusting him as much as her instincts. Even if that means running head-on into the one trap she can’t escape.

Interview

What gave you the idea for Countdown?
I wrote the original version of Countdown in 2007 when I was into a lot of Reality TV like Survivor and I thought “what if instead of the torch being put out the contestants were killed??” (Yeah, morbid. I know.) And I also loved the 80s movie The Running Man. This all combined to spark the original idea for Countdown.
How was writing Countdown similar/different from writing your other novels?
When I wrote Countdown it was very different from my previously funny and light novels because I wanted to push myself to see if I could write something with thriller elements, something edgier and dangerous and sexy. I had a great time doing it. Taking the original story five years later and rewriting it as a YA helped me hone what I already had and, hopefully, make it even better than the original!
How long did it take you to write Countdown?
Several months. For the rewrite, I devoted about a month to it, plus editing and proofing time.
Are there any plans for a sequel? Is the ending a cliffhanger?
The ending is not a cliffhanger. Countdown is a standalone novel with no sequels currently planned.
Have you ever known someone similar to Kira, or is Kira a little bit like yourself?
Kira is a sixteen year old street kid whose family was murdered by a burglar two years ago. She relies on her gut instinct and a mild psychic ability she has to “read” other people to see if they’re good or evil down deep. She doesn’t trust easily and tries to look out for number one – herself – since there’s no one else out there who’s keeping an eye on her, but if she cares about someone she will do anything to help them. Kira’s definitely a creation of my imagination, but she has many qualities I admire very much.
About Michelle Rowen
Michelle Rowen knows a book she’s working on is going well when the characters start talking to her when she’s not writing. She likes to believe this is a sign of a creative mind…and not something to be worried about. While she loves to read, spend time with family and friends, and travel, she also watches way too much reality TV for her own good. A prolific author of novels for both young and not-so-young adults, Michelle lives in Southern Ontario in a sky-high condo with two delightful cat familiars.

Giveaway
This giveaway is US/Canada only
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Monday, September 23, 2013

Banned Books Week


September 22nd through September 28th is banned books week. This is a cause that is near and dear to my heart. The banning of books has gone on for as long as there have been people to complain about books and Banned Books Week seeks to highlight books that are in the process of being challenged or banned and support the authors. Banned books week "stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of those unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints to all who wish to read them" (Visit the Banned Books Week website to learn more)

What Is A Challenged Book?
• A challenged book is a book that a person or group is attempting to remove from the libraries or schools because of objections to the book’s content.

What Is A Banned Book?
• A banned book has been successfully removed from library shelves or school classrooms.

Classics That Were Banned
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  • The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Now imagine what your life would be like without having access to these literary classics, that is what banned books week is trying to stop!

Commonly Challenged YA/Children's Books in the US
  • Harry Potter series by JK Rowling
  • Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause
  • Blubber by Judy Bloom
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
  • Go Ask Alice by Anonymous
  • The Witches by Roald Dahl
For more banned books feel check out wikipedia they have a huge list here .


This year Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi was removed from Chicago Public Schools. The Kids Right to Read an initiative of the National Coalition Against Censorship is fighting it's removal. I read this book for the first time my freshman year of college and I wish that I had read it earlier! So in honor of banned books week and in support of the author I will be re-reading Persepolis!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Stacking The Shelves 76

Not a very big week this week but I am excited for the books I got! Next week is going to be an action packed week on the blog so make sure you stop by for 2 blog tours, and a banned book week celebration!

Bought
Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Netgalley/From The Publisher:

The Iron Traitor by Julie Kagawa
Darkest Day by Emi Gayle 
Tomorrow by CK Kelly Martin

Friday, September 20, 2013

Around The World: Sarah & Vampire Queen

After a few weeks off welcome back to Around The World! On (most) Friday's 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 on Around The World I have Sarah from Vampire (and Other Paranormal Things) Queen!

Interview
Where are you from?
I’m from Lafayette, Louisiana, which is in the south of the United States. A small parish that has been declared one of the nation’s fastest growing cities, at least from what I’ve heard.

What is the best and worst thing about living in the country you are from?
The best thing about living in the U.S. or even Louisiana is how close communities are for special times and events. Also the food in Louisiana is great and when people say that there’s no better cooking on earth, they are true. I’ve been to a few other places and they just don’t season food like we do. The worst thing is probably the amount of road kill. There is way too much road kill on the roads and it is just the worst thing to look at. I never look at the ground when looking at the window. Funny story, I’ve been Louisiana all my life and looked out the window one day because it felt like such a long car drive and there was a cat with intestines coming out of its body and it is one of the worst things I’ve ever seen. I learned a valuable lesson about looking up and not down when riding in cars.
What is the biggest challenge of being a book blogger there?
There are not very many book lovers in my region. Yes, there are a few, but none that I’ve been able to find that I have as much of a love for blogging and reading as I do. This makes me incredibly sad because I don’t have anyone to fangirl with, but when I do find an occasional person that has read a book I loved, the fangirling commences.
Are you able to go to book signings, launches, or industry events?
Nope and I hate that I have to drive all the way to New Orleans or Baton Rogue for a signing or an event. Lafayette is supposed to be a popular city, but I’ve yet to see an author come to the area that isn’t writing a book about history or genealogy. Also being in color guard prevents me from just going to events spontaneously when they do come to New Orleans.
Are Publishers willing to work with you were you live?
I honestly don’t know. I’ve never asked my librarians about it but I’m sure they would be. Louisiana is excluded from a lot of events in both books and music and I think it’s such a downer because we aren’t the people that make us out to be on TV.
Do you have any favorite books set in the country you are from or written by authors who are from the country you are from?
One of my favorite books that I’ve read that was set in Louisiana is My Life As a White Trash Zombie by Diana Rowland. It’s an adult book and first in a series. Ms. Rowland is also from Louisiana and she has a fun and accurate account of, well a “white trash” person. It’s a really fun book and I recommend it for zombie lovers!

A Few Of My Favorite Things Section:

Favorite Book (overall): I can pick a series, right? Vampire Academy series, hands down! It’s one of my all time favorite series and Dimitri Belikov is just a girl’s dream come true. My favorite book in the series is Shadow Kiss, so I guess that would be my favorite overall book. If I can pick a favorite standalone book, I would go with… I can’t choose.

Favorite Book Recent Release: 17 & Gone by Nova Ren Suma because I can’t think of any newer releases at the moment and this one is at the top of my head. I received an ARC from the publishers and it was one of the best ARCs I’ve ever received.

Author: It’s a tie between three authors because I’m huge fans of their works and will read anything by these ladies: Richelle Mead, Sherrilyn Kenyon, and Ellen Hopkins. Richelle Mead’s VA and Bloodlines series are just genius and she sprouted my intense obsession with all things paranormal. Sherrilyn Kenyon because she owns the adult PNR (Paranormal Romance) genre with her Dark-Hunter series and I’ve also read her League series, which is sci-fi-ish. She’s a completely lovely writer and most of her Dark-Hunter series is set in New Orleans.

Social Media: My favorite social media outlet is Goodreads. I’m obsessed with GR and I love interacting and chatting about books and making Internet friends.

International Food: Pizza? That counts as an international dish, right? I’ve had Italian-inspired pizza and those dishes were pretty excellent!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: The Glass Casket


The Glass Casket
Author: McCormick Templeman 
Publisher: Delacourt Press
Expected Publication: Feb 11, 2014
Goodreads

Synopsis:
Death hasn’t visited Rowan Rose since it took her mother when Rowan was only a little girl. But that changes one bleak morning, when five horses and their riders thunder into her village and through the forest, disappearing into the hills. Days later, the riders’ bodies are found, and though no one can say for certain what happened in their final hours, their remains prove that whatever it was must have been brutal.
Only this time, its appetite is insatiable.
Rowan’s village was once a tranquil place, but now things have changed. Something has followed the path those riders made and has come down from the hills, through the forest, and into the village. Beast or man, it has brought death to Rowan’s door once again.

My Thoughts: This novel sounds deliciously creepy! I'm intrigued by who exactly death is going to take form Rowan and what it means for the village. Hopefully the novel is just as eerie as the cover. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Top 10 Books on my Fall To Be Read List

Top 10 Books on my Fall To Be Read List!
I feel like I have been waiting a LONG time *cough* Untold *cough* for some of these books, I'm so excited that they will all be coming out soon. Make sure in the comments to tell me your most anticipated TBR this fall or leave links to your Top 10 Tuesday!

1 Untold by Sarah Rees Brennan 
2 Champion by Marie Lu
3 Endless Knight by Kresely Cole

4 The Fiery Heart by Richelle Mead
5 Allegiant by Veronica Roth
6 Red by Allison Cherry

7 Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano
8 The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
9 All The Truth That's in Me by Julie Berry

10 Tandem by Anna Jarzab

*I've already read The Dream Thieves so it technically isn't on my TBR list but it was such a good fall read I thought I would recommend it again!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Team Human by Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Rees Brennan

3/5 Stars
Team Human
Authors: Justine Larbalestier & Sarah Rees Brennan
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: July 3, 2012
Goodreads ♥ Amazon

Review:
I’m usually dazzled whenever I read something by Sarah Rees Brennan, she is a very funny lady and it really shines through her writing. When I found out about her vampire parody novel Team Human I was instantly smitten. It took me a while to get my hands on this book but once it was in my possession I quickly devoured it. Unfortunately, by the end of the novel I wasn’t dazzled. I just felt like I had finished a book. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t amazing either. I was not overwhelmed or underwhelmed I was just whelmed.

Team Human begins when Francis, a vampire, arrives at Mel’s high school. Mel’s best friend Cathy instantly falls in love with him and Mel is horrified, and rightly so! She can’t understand who would fall for a vampire or why, he’s old, can’t go out in the sun, to her the entire idea is just kind of gross. I liked the world Team Human is set in. Vampires live right alongside humans in their own district (the shade district), and most families have a vampire aunt or uncle that visits. It was an easy world to get to know and become immersed in.

I think the reason for my whelmed opinion of this novel was Mel. She was an ok heroine. At times I liked her spunky attitude and meddling. Then at other times she came off as annoying. She wouldn’t just let her best friend be happy, and she constantly had to be the center of attention. I understand that she had some very strong anti-vampire sentiments but I just wanted to shake her, tell her to mind her own business, and live her own life. I think she eventually came to a similar realization (although in a much nice fashion) but she had an ‘I know better then you’ mentality for most of the novel.

I began to actually enjoy the story when Kit entered the scene. He is a human that was raised by vampires and his entire life he has intended to be made a vampire when he turns 18, so that he can continue living in the shade. It was fun to see his opinions clash with Mel and to see how Mel and Kit change each other throughout the story.

Overall, I enjoyed Team Human and I liked the world building. It was a fun and fairly quick read, but my on again off again relationship with the main character left me feeling rather ho-hum about the experience.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Stacking The Shelves 75

Last weekend I went to my friend Nichole's house and she was kind enough to take me to half price books, I was totally good though and only got a couple of books. I'm making an attempt to actually read what's on my shelf for once. Then I got Not A Drop to Drink for a Blog tour and a surprise package from HarperTeen and Netgalley books and all of my good intentions were dashed. I am now once again terribly behind on my TBR!

Bought
White Lines by Jennifer Banash
Shadows in the Silence by Courtney Allison Moulton
Not A Drop To Drink by Mindy McGinnis (Thanks Katherine Tegen Books!)

From HarperTeen: 
Eat Brains Love by Jeff Hart
No Angel by Helen Keeble
Black Out by Robison Wells

Blog Tour/Netgalley
Shark Bait by Jenn Cooksey
Alienated by Melissa Landers
Cracked by Eliza Crewe
Palace of Spies by Sarah Zettel

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

The Dream Thieves
Author: Maggie Stiefvater
Publisher: Scholastic
Publication Date: Sept 17, 2013
GoodreadsAmazon

Review:
For those of you who are having trouble remembering what went down in The Raven Boys Maggie has (humorously and excellently) re-capped the events here. The end of The Raven Boys left us on a bit of a cliffhanger, the ley line has awakened, Adam is a bit different, and the search for Cabeswater is on.

The Dream Thieves is Ronan’s book. In The Raven Boys I wasn’t entirely sure how I felt about Ronan, he seemed distant and his chapters were my least favorite to read. That completely changed in The Dream Thieves. I looked forward to reading about Ronan and getting to know more about his past and his ability to bring things from dreams in to real life.

While I was intrigued by Ronan and excited to see the whole gang again I thought the novel started off a little slow. It took me a while to remember what exactly happened (I wish I’d found the recap earlier). It wasn’t until Kavinsky drove on to the scene that I really felt connected to the story and couldn’t put it down.

I unabashedly love Kavinsky. I love him the same way you love things that are absolutely terrible for you. He is not a good guy, he does bad things, and he doesn’t give a shit what you think about that. The scenes with Kavinsky and Ronan are my favorite scenes in any of the books I’ve read so far this year. They have this strange sort of relationship. If Ronan didn’t have Gansey I have no doubt he would have embraced Kavinsky and that would have been an amazing, terrible, brilliant alliance.

Because the story focused mostly on Ronan I felt like I didn’t see nearly enough of the other characters. I especially missed Gansey. In the first book he was by far my favorite character, and I loved the insights in to his personality. In this novel Gansey doesn’t play as pivotal a role but he is definitely the leader. Gansey is like the sun, and everything in the plot rotates around him.

This book also introduces the Grey man. He is a hitman and is looking for the greywaren for an employer. The mysterious employer is never seen but for a hitman Mr. Grey is really likable. He is educated, has morals, and I loved the budding relationship between him and Blue’s mom. I actually look forward to seeing more of him in the next book and learning about this mysterious employer. There seem to be a lot of people after this Welsh King!

While I did enjoy The Dream Thieves (thoroughly enjoyed) there were a few reasons I couldn’t give it five stars. One was that the novel started off slowly and it took me a while to become reacquainted with everything, second that I didn’t see enough of the rest of the gang (Kavinsky might have made up for this though, I do so love that guy), and third I wish that there had been more romance. While the romance in the story does take a step in the right direction it was still very much in the background.

Overall, The Dream Thieves was a fun sequel to The Raven Boys. Once I got in to the story I was completely immersed and was sad to see it end. I am now eagerly awaiting the next book, especially after that ending!

*The rating of this book was changed from 4 to 5 stars are part of my post In Which I Reconsider Book Ratings