Thursday, October 31, 2013

NaNo Warm Up Wrap Up

I wrote 25,000 words!

Yay! At first 25K seemed so daunting, I was sure that I would never be able to make it in a month. At the beginning of warm up I had it in my head that only professional writers could make the time every day to write. That my schedule wasn't forgiving enough to allow time to write every day. 

After the first week I realized something, you make time for the things you enjoy. I would stay up later, or sacrifice reading time before bed to get my word count for the day completed. In class I would have both my class notes and work in progress (WIP) open so that if I had a spare moment or idea during lectures I could jot it down. I forced myself to make time and it worked! I made 25K easily, and my WIP is now over 44K. 

My WIP is no where near finished and I know I have some major editing/re-writes ahead of me but I'm happy that I did NaNo Warm Up. The community was amazing, I learned all about writing sprints, and I hope that I'm able to participate next year. I do regret not being able to do NaNoWriMo but I know my limitations and finals start right after Thanksgiving. I am also writing a 25-30 page paper on the Indian Child Welfare Act for my Indian Law class so I know where my priorities need to be.

Thanks to everyone who has supported me this month, and for listening to me on twitter and here on the blog. Keeping myself accountable really helped make this month a success. 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Waiting On Wednesday: (Don't You) Forget About Me


(Don't You) Forget About Me
Author: Kate Karyus Quinn
Publisher: HarperTeen
Expected Publication: June 10, 2014
Goodreads

Synopsis:
Welcome to Gardnerville.
A place where no one gets sick. And no one ever dies.
Except...
There’s a price to pay for paradise. Every fourth year, the strange power that fuels the town exacts its payment by infecting teens with deadly urges. In a normal year in Gardnerville, teens might stop talking to their best friends. In a fourth year, they’d kill them.
Four years ago, Skylar’s sister, Piper, was locked away after leading sixteen of her classmates to a watery grave. Since then, Skylar has lived in a numb haze, struggling to forget her past and dull the pain of losing her sister. But the secrets and memories Piper left behind keep taunting Skylar—whispering that the only way to get her sister back is to stop Gardnerville’s murderous cycle once and for all.
My Thoughts: I love creepy towns and Gardnerville sounds like it is going to be one of the creepiest! Add in the fact that every 4th year people die/kill and you've got me completely hooked. The only downside is that June seems really, really far away right now. 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Top 10 books to read for Halloween

Top 10 books to read for Halloween

1 In The Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters
Spirits, seances, the Spanish influenza. Yes please!

2 Between The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke
There is a scene with little kids in a cemetery hunting for the devil. Just saying!

3 Howl's Moving Castle by Diane Wynne Jones
Okay not scary but there are wizards and fantastic everything. This is a a good halloween read for people that like Hocus Pocus (aka everyone).

4 Truly, Madly, Deadly by Hannah Jayne
This made the list because it kind of reminds me of the Scream movies all stalkers, creepy notes!

5 Something Strange & Deadly by Susan Dennard
Zombies! Parasols! 

6 The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd
This is seriously creepy, like sewing animals together, crazy father, isolated island creepy.

7 Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins
Not scary or creepy either but there is a Halloween scene in this book so it makes the list.

8 The Forest of Hands and Teeth Series by Carrie Ryan
This legit scared me. No joke! Town surrounded by zombies kept out by a chain-link fence thing.

9 Velveteen by Daniel Marks
Not my favorite but it's about purgatory and getting revenge on a murderer, very Halloween appropriatre

10 The Weeping by O'Dell Hutchinson
Ghosts and a theater fire. Spooky and haunting.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Stacking The Shelves 81

Week In Review 
Top 10 Tuesday: Top 10 Character Names I Love (that happen to be unusual) 
Waiting On Wednesday: White Space by Ilsa Bick
Review: Tandem by Anna Jarzab
Giveaway: The Liar Society Pre-Order Blitz (Do not have to pre-order to enter giveaway)
New On The Shelf
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black
Gameboard of the Gods by Richelle Mead
The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

Endless Knight by Kresley Cole
Perfect Ruing by Lauren DeStefano (ARC) (Thanks Chelsea @ Books Turn Brains!)
Something Real by Heather Demetrios (ARC) (Thanks Macmillan!)
 Netgalley 
Being Sloan Jacobs by Lauren Morrill 

Don't Forget The Giveaways!
I've got Four giveaways happening on the blog make sure to stop by and enter! A couple of them have VERY FEW entries!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Pre-Order The Liar Society & Giveaway


A Gift for You, for Pre-Ordering Third Lie’s the Charm by YA rock stars Lisa and Laura Roecker

For US and Canadian Liar Society Lovers!

We have a special offer going on for the release of Third Lie’s the Charm by YA rock stars Lisa and Laura Roecker—in stores in a little over one month! If you pre-order the book:

·       ALL pre-orders will receive an original bookmark signed by the Roeckers themselves
·       FIVE lucky winners will win the first TWO books in the series! This is a great way to discover this series—one that Publishers Weekly and Booklist have called “chilling, suspenseful and smart” and “smartly plotted, full of twists, clues and sleuthing.”
·       ONE lucky winner will receive the GRAND PRIZE:  an EXCLUSIVE, TOP SECRET afterword of the Liar Society series for YOU to post and share.

You have until December 2 or until quantities run out. Here’s how to get your bookmark and a chance to win the first two books in the Liar Society series, or the exclusive afterword:

1. Pre-order the book (print or eBook) through any retailer (Barnes & Noble, Amazon, your local independent bookseller/Indiebound, Books-A-Million, Hastings, etc.)

2. Email your proof of purchase (receipt or picture of the receipt) to sbpublicity@sourcebooks.com. Don’t forget to include your home address (US & Canada only please) so we can send you the bookmark (and possibility the books!) If you’ve already pre-ordered this book—not a problem! Send us your receipt!

3. You will get an email back confirming when the items have been sent out. 

4. Enjoy Third Lie’s the Charm when it arrives in December—just in time for some chilly holiday reading!

Optional: Make like the Roeckers and KATE and take a pic of you with your hair dyed—(or you can cheat and use Photoshop J) and share with us on Twitter and Facebook! Find the Roeckers @LandLroecker and Sourcebooks Fire @sourcebooksfire andhttp://www.facebook.com/sourcebooks.

Giveaway

Your choice!


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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Tandem by Anna Jarzab

3/5 Stars
Title: Tandem
Author: Anna Jarzab
Publisher: Delacorte Books
Publication Date: Oct 8, 2013
Goodreads Amazon

Review:

Tandem reminded me so much of the TV Show Fringe. If you’ve never watched the show I encourage you to do so, it’s fun, kind of creepy, and it’s got Joshua Jackson so you’ve got some eye candy. In Tandem you have many of the same elements it’s fun, there is creepy science, and of course a swoony love interest. The problem is while I enjoyed Tandem Fringe did everything this novel did, only better. 

Sasha is forced through the Tandem to take the place of the missing princess Julianna in Aurora. Aurora was created after the last common event between Earth and Aurora occurred and George Washington was killed in battle rather then becoming president. Why then are Earth and Aurora not both named Earth if that was the last common event that caused the split? I have no idea, but I’m pretty sure Earth was named long before the revolutionary war. 

Sasha was an alright heroine. I really liked her at certain points and then she would cry and I would like her a little bit less. Then she would do something awesome and I would like her more, then she would obsess over her love interest and I would like her a little less. Needless to say there was a lot of back and forth between Sasha and I.

In the synopsis there is the hint of a possible love triangle and I want to allay your fears. There is what could be viewed as a love triangle but for once Sasha really knows what she wants so there is really only one love interest.

The world building in Tandem was done very well. Creating an entirely new world is very difficult and having people cross back and forth you have to create two worlds. Jarzab did a marvelous job creating Aurora and describing Chicago. The world building was my favorite part of the story. My least favorite part was the science and large sections of science-y descriptions. Like in Fringe there was also a crazy genius older scientist to explain everything. Also like Fringe, you have to completely suspend reality to believe the whole crossing through the tandem thing.

Overall, Tandem was a good read. There was nothing wrong with the mechanics of the story. The writing was good and the story was interesting. But my on again off again relationship with the heroine and the many similarities to Fringe stopped me from loving this story. Given the opportunity I will read the sequel, there are a lot of questions left hanging after Tandem finishes and I have high hopes that Sasha will do more growing in the next novel.

Thank you Netgalley and Delacorte Books for Young Readers for allowing me to read an advanced readers copy of Tandem. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Waiting On Wednesday: White Space


White Space
Author: Ilsa Bick
Publisher: EgmontUSA
Expected Publicaiton: Feb 11, 2014
Goodreads

Synopsis:
Ilsa Bick’s WHITE SPACE, pitched as The Matrix meets Inkheart, about a seventeen-year-old girl who jumps between the lines of books and into the white space where realities are created and destroyed – but who may herself be nothing more than a character written into being from an alternative universe, to Greg Ferguson at Egmont, in a two-book deal, by Jennifer Laughran at Andrea Brown Literary Agency (NA)

My Thoughts: I love the concept of this book, it sounds like it is a make you think kind of story. Also awesome cover, just saying!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Top 10 Character Names I Love (that happen to be unusual)


I started this list with the intention of just putting together a list of my favorite character names but as I kept adding names I realized all the ones I like also happen to be a little out of the ordinary. So here is my list of favorites with the added benefit that they also happen to be unusual! Also because I couldn't decide my Top 10 Became Top 12. 

1 Varen Nethers- Nevermore by Kelly Creagh
2 Howl/Howell- Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
3 Alina Starkov- Shadow & Bone Leigh Bardugo

4 River West- Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevive Tucholke
5 Blue Sargent- The Raven Boys Series by Maggie Stiefvater
I also love the name Richard Campbell Gansey III
6 Ink- Indelible by Dawn Metcalf

7 Evangeline "Evie" Greene - Poison Princess by Kresley Cole
8 Cassel- White Cat by Holly Black
9 Day- Legend by Marie Lu

10 James "Jem" Carstairs- The Infernal Devices Series by Cassandra Clare
I just love LOVE the nickname Jem for people named James!
11 Karou- Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
12 Maximum "Max" Ride- Maximum Ride Series by James Patterson

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Stacking The Shelves 80

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Indie Spotlight: When Stars Die by Amber Forbes


When Stars Die
Author: Amber Forbes
Publication Date: Oct 22, 2013
Publisher: AEC Stellar Publishing

Synopsis:
Amelia Gareth's brother is a witch and the only way to save her family from the taint in his blood is to become a professed nun at Cathedral Reims. However, in order to become professed, she must endure trials that all nuns must face.
Surviving these trials is not easy, especially for Amelia, who is being stalked by shadowy beings only she can see. They're searching for people they can physically touch, because only those they can touch can see them. Amelia soon learns why she is being stalked when she accidentally harms her best friend with fire during the third trial. Fire is a witch's signature. The shadows are after witches.
Now Amelia must decide what to do: should she continue on her path to profession knowing there is no redemption, or should she give up on her dream and turn away from Cathedral Reims in order to stop the shadows who plan to destroy everything she loves?

Interview

What were your three favorite things about writing When Stars Die?
My first favorite thing about writing When Stars Die was being able to create a protagonist who is fiercely loyal to those she cares about. She also carries an immense amount of darkness, but is able to push through to try and better her life and the lives of those she loves. My other favorite thing about writing When Stars Die was writing lyrical prose. I am no poet, but I do love to turn a phrase--and I love metaphors. My last favorite thing about writing When Stars Die was just being able to see the story I imagined unfold in the way I wanted it to. I didn't come across a whole lot of hurdles when writing this book.

What was your least favorite thing?
My least favorite thing about writing When Stars Die would be the action scenes. I'm a really emotional writer, and action scenes don't allow enough time for emotional pondering.

What does you writing space look like or consist of?
My favorite writing space is simply my bed. With my heating blanket and some propped pillows, I'm good to go.

If When Stars Die had a theme song what would it be?
When Stars Die's theme song is actually the song in the trailer. It's called Taikatalvi by Nightwish, and it's in Finnish. While I have no idea what he's singing, it has a very innocent sound that matches perfectly with Amelia's character.

What was the last book you finished and loved?
The last book that I read and loved was Crazy by Amy Reed. The protagonist of the book has bipolar disorder, and I have bipolar disorder as well, so I could immensely relate to her. It was a painful, honest look at bipolar disorder, and I greatly appreciated that Amy Reed was able to craft such an honest story. There aren't that many YA books that talk about bipolar disorder. There are some books that hint at this disorder, but not many books that outright speak of it.

About The Author
Amber Skye Forbes is a dancing writer who prefers pointe shoes over street shoes, leotards over skirts, and ballet buns over hairstyles. She loves striped tights and bows and will edit your face with a Sharpie if she doesn't like your attitude. She lives in Augusta, Georgia where she writes dark fiction that will one day put her in a psychiatric ward...again. But she doesn't care because her cat is a super hero who will break her out.

Friday, October 18, 2013

NaNo Warm Up Mid Point Check In

At the beginning of this month I began NaNo Warm Up and as a part of my bid to keep myself honest I decided to do a NaNo Warm Up Check in post! I am happy with my progress so far and am so excited with the direction my WIP is headed.

I've also come to realize I really like writing with a community! I feel like if I am accountable then I actually take the time and write words every day. I am now on the hunt for a yearlong group to join after October so if you know of any or any active hashtags on twitter make sure to mention them in the comments!

First Weeks Stats:
  • Tuesday (10/1) 892
  • Wednesday 1433
  • Thursday 247
  • Friday 44
  • Saturday 1287
  • Sunday 2720
  • Monday 1232
Second Week Stats:
  • Tuesday (10/8) 847
  • Wednesday 0
  • Thursday 373
  • Friday 1026
  • Saturday 542
  • Sunday 1513
  • Monday 3368
Third Week Stats (so far)
  • Tuesday (10/15) 1801
  • Wednesday 1913
  • Thursday 872
Total Word Count: 20,110
Words Left To Goal: 4,890

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Grab Your Pole Series Blog Tour


Shark Bait (Grab Your Pole #1)
Author: Jenn Cooksey
Publication Date: June 15, 2012

Synopsis:
Previously homeschooled Camie Ramsey is being shoved into the shark-infested waters of public high school, where even helium filled, penguin bespeckled arm floaties likely won’t help keep her inexperienced, fifteen-year old head above water in that rip current of hormones and emotions.
Camie’s worldly wisdom might be severely lacking (i.e., the closest she’s come to being kissed was sitting too close to the TV whilst Jake Ryan leaned in to give Samantha that fateful 16th birthday kiss), but she does understand her only hope for survival is if she’s thrown some kind of “social” life preserver before she sinks like a freaking rock. However, what will her fate be when she endeavors to flag down the only lifeguard on duty, the enormously popular and ridiculously beautiful Tristan Daniels? The most sought after and virtually most unattainable guy in school who not only makes Camie’s heart flatline on a recurring basis, he’s also the one guy who seemingly doesn’t know she exists.
Feeling like an inept piece of chum that could ultimately be swallowed by Jaws, can Camie get Tristan to rescue her from floundering in the treacherous deep, or is she destined to be Shark Bait?

Review
This book originally caught my eye during the YA Sisterhood’s Summer Crush Tournament. Tristan was nominated as on the Indie contestants and any boy in the tournament is definitely a bookish boy I’d like to get to know! So when I saw Grab Your Pole was going on tour, I grabbed my e-reader and jumped right in!

My initial reaction to this novel was that it was absolutely hilarious. It had a lot of those what I’m going to describe as ‘Anna and the French Kiss moments’ where I’m just groaning and laughing. I swear I had a dorky smile on my face the entire time I was reading Shark Bait. I enjoyed that the author kept it light, and the healthy does of humor kept my attention rapt. I also really enjoyed that there are a ton of pop culture especially 80’s/90’s references.

My favorite thing about this story was definitely the main character Camie. From the first few lines of the story Camie has a clear voice. The girl basically jumps off the page at you. I’ve read books written in first person narration before and felt like I had no idea who the character was, but Camie, I feel like that girl and I are old friends. She is just so instantly relatable and fun.

My next favorite thing was the sister relationship between Camie and Jillian. There aren’t enough good sister relationships in novels (i.e My Sister’s Keeper, if my sister needed some organs I’d be first in line to give them FYI!). Needless to say, I have an awesome relationship with my sister, Bethany, so whenever I see some sisterly bonding the story gets a big thumbs up from me.

Third favorite thing, since now my review apparently has just turned in to an incoherent list of favorite things. Tristan of course! He was everything the YA Crush Tournament made him out to be. Definitely swoon-worthy, and while Camie and him definitely had their issues I still liked the guy.


Overall, Shark Bait was a fun read that instantly immerses you in the story and makes you feel like you are one of the gang. I can’t wait to start the next book in the Grab Your Pole Series, The Other Fish in the Sea!      


About The Author
Jenn Cooksey is a Southern California girl born and bred, however she's no longer a resident of heaven on earth, but instead she currently resides in the 7th Ring of Hell with her husband, their three daughters, and a goodly number of pets. Aside from her husband, one cat, and three out of five fish, everyone living under the Cooksey's roof is female. She's sure her husband will not only be awarded sainthood when he kicks the bucket, but that Jesus will welcome him into heaven with a beer and a congratulatory high-five. Jenn is also of the belief that Bacon should be capitalized and that just being yourself is the best way to go. That is, unless you can be Batman. Always be Batman.

Giveaway
♥Kindle Paperwhite & $15 Amazon Gift Card
♥3 ebooks-Choice of Shark Bait, The Other Fish in the Sea, or Shark Out of Water
♥Print Copy (US/CA)-Choice of Shark Bait, The Other Fish in the Sea, or Shark Out of Water

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To see other stops on the tour for reviews, guest posts, and excerpts click here or the tour button below.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

New Blog Design Giveaway!

If you've been around the blog the last few days you might notice it has undergone some drastic changes! The amazing Avery over at Avery's Designs re-did the entire design. The blog switched from a three column design to two, the header got a re-vamp, and there's gorgeous flowers everywhere! I'm very happy with it. If you would like to check out more of Avery's designs her button is below.

Avery's Designs


If you would like to add my new blog button to your roll here it is!

Falling For YA


What better way to celebrate the new layout then with a giveaway!? 


The winner of the giveaway will get a book of their choice!
I am shipping it from Amazon so if you can recieve Amazon books or Amazon CG's then you are eligible to enter.
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