Saturday, November 13, 2010

New This Week!



November 9, 2010


The Fortune of Carmen Navarro, by Jen Bryant (Knopf)
The Marbury Lens, by Andrew Smith (Feiwel & Friends)
The Sweetness of Salt, by Cecelia Galante (Bloomsbury USA)



Selling Hope, by Kristin O'Donnell Tubb (Feiwel & Friends)
Teenage Waistland, by Lynn Biederman (Delacorte)
A Time for Miracles, by Anne-Laure Bondoux (Delacorte)



Wish, by Joseph Monninger (Delacorte)


November 11, 2010


Factotum (Monster Blood Tattoo #3), by D.M. Cornish (Putnam)
Five Flavors of Dumb, by Antony John (Dial)
The Painted Boy, by Charles de Lint (Viking Juvenile)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Ganzfield Week: Author Interview & Giveaway!

Finally, at the end of the road for Ganzfield ... we have an interview with the wonderful Kate Kaynak - the brains behind the books!

For more info on Kate, click here.

Welcome, Kate! What inspired you to become a writer?

I've always loved reading, and I wrote a lot of short pieces when I was in high school and college. Five years ago I became a stay-at-home mom of boy-girl twins...and their "surprise" little brother (13 months younger). Interacting at the preschool level all day was turning my brain to Spaghettios, so I started writing a novel while they were sleeping.


Could you take us through your typical day of writing?

I daydream about the upcoming scenes during the day and put my thoughts on post-its. After the kids go to bed, I herd the little squares back to my computer and write for about two hours every night. I try to write at least 1000 words each day when I'm working on a first draft.


What was the road to publication like for you?

I queried for my first novel, Bagastana, unsuccessfully for months (it's still unpublished). I doubted my writing abilities and stopped writing for more than a year. But two years ago, the ideas for the Ganzfield books began to bubble up through my subconscious, and I felt this...push from within to get their story out. I finished Maddie Dunn (the manuscript that eventually became Minder) in less than two months. After a couple of rounds of revisions, I got a partial request on my first query letter. After another half-dozen rounds of revisions, my editor Debbie got a copy of it. Less than a year later, it was published.


For those out there that have not read the first two Ganzfield books, Minder and Adversary, could you please give a little insight on what it’s all about?

Imagine being 16 and having people try to attack you--and suddenly end up dead. Maddie doesn't know what she did, but within a day she's whisked off to a secret training facility for people like her with special abilities--and it's got rather poor supervision. The "charms" use their mind-control abilities to bully and humiliate the other students--even the fire-starting "sparks" and clairvoyant "RVs." Maddie's skills are pretty rare, and she doesn't know where she fits in the pecking order--or what the telekinetic guy with the kind brown eyes sees in her.


How did the idea of your Ganzfield series come about?

Minder started as a though experiment after I'd read the Twilight saga and the Sookie Stackhouse books. Both have telepathic characters who only can fall in love with the one person whose thoughts they can't read. But what if that wasn't an option? What kind of person would a telepath fall in love with--hidden thoughts and all? And what kind of person would be comfortable in an intimate relationship with someone who knew his every thought? How would their love story develop if they didn't go through the I-wonder-how-much-he-likes-me stage? I have a background in social psychology, and so I drew on that to answer these questions--and also to deal with the daily-living reality being a teenager with special abilities. Would pyrokinetics start fires in their sleep? How would the brain control a skill like telekinesis? Would telepaths accidentally project their dreams?


What was one of your favorite scenes to write in Minder? Your least favorite?

I think my favorite scene is the night of Maddie and Trevor's first conversation. My least favorite is the opening scene--I had to write a terrifying experience from INSIDE the mind of the intended victim. I still get shaky hands when I read it.


Drew cracks me up and has become one of my favorite characters. Who are your favorite characters?

Drew is one of my favorites, too! I love writing from Maddie's point of view, and I have a major book-crush on Trevor, which my husband only tolerates because Trevor's partially based on him.


In Adversary, I could barely breathe during the scene where Maddie told Zack to use his talent on the tree. My favorite quote(s) from the book actually came from that scene. Do you have any favorite quotes from Adversary?

I have several I won't list because I hate to give spoilers, but here are a few spoiler-free ones:

"Drew's new awareness...sent him into a soul-searching mood. Since he was a person with more width than depth of
character, this didn’t take long."
(On Maddie's understanding of the differences in abilities:) "How unique and special. We’re all G-positive snowflakes."

"Trevor carried me in his arms as if looking for a threshold to cross."


Zach is an intriguing character and we’re left with many questions about his abilities. Will we learn more and see more of him in the upcoming Ganzfield novels?

Absolutely. He'll be back in Legacy (book 3), which comes out in January.


Do you know how many books will be in the Ganzfield series?

I'm working on the first draft of book 5 now, and I have notes for book 6. That may be the end of Maddie's story, at least as the main character. I'm considering writing a seventh book from Seth's point-of-view, since his story and Maddie's diverge in the later books. I may also do at least one from another character's viewpoint--but you haven't met her yet; she doesn't come along until book 4.


Any words of wisdom for aspiring authors?

Revise, revise, revise. Get feedback from other writers and/or people in your target demographic, and then revise some more. You know what the scene looks like in your head, but that may bear little resemblance to what's coming through on the page. Seek out blunt critics, since people who tell you "it's great" haven't given you any information that will help you improve.


Lastly, any last words for your readers?

Thank you for reading! I'm delighted that other people are hanging out with my imaginary friends.

And thanks for a fun interview, Missy! I really enjoyed it.

Giveaway!

Kate has graciously offered up a copy of Adversary to one lucky reader! Adversary is the second installment of the Ganzfield series. I strongly urge everyone to put these books on the TBR list ... they're definitely worth it.

Haven't read Minder, yet? No worries! If you win this giveaway, I will have no problem buying a copy of Minder for you to go with your copy of Adversary!!

This contest is International, but if you win and you live in the US then your copy of Adversary will be signed by Kate!

For your chance to win these books, simply click here!

This contest will end Saturday, November 20 at 11:59 pm EST.

*As stated before, if you comment on any of the posts for Ganzfield this week, these WILL count as extra entries. Simply comment under "Links" on the form that you've left comments and include your comment name if it's different from the name you put on the form!

Ganzfield Week: Get To Know Kate!

I've talked a lot about the Ganzfield books, but not much about the author. I first talked to Kate when she contacted me about reviewing both of her books. I was ecstatic because I had wanted to read the books for a while. Then after I read, I told her the idea behind the themed week and she seemed to be excited about it. I know it's not much, but I felt as though these books needed more exposure ... and so did Kate, because she is a very talented author. Oh, and so sweet!!

Here is some information on Kate from across the web.


I was born and raised in New Jersey, but I was able to escape. My degree from Yale says I was a psych major, but my true course of study was YPMB.

After serving a five-year sentence in graduate school, I started teaching psychology around the world for the University of Maryland.

While in Izmir, Turkey, I started up a conversation with a handsome stranger in an airport. I ended up marrying him.

We now live in New Hampshire with our three preschool-aged kids, where I enjoy reading, writing, and fighting crime with my amazing superpowers.

From Ganzfield.com. To find more articles and links, click here.


Ganzfield Week: The Books

(Sorry, these were supposed to be posted yesterday but thanks to the poster [me], I scheduled the post for 2011. Eep! So, I'm posting them today before the interview is posted! Sorry guys!!)

Here is some information on the already released books in the Ganzfield series, along with a little information on the third book coming out, Adversary.

Trailer



Books


Minder (Ganzfield #1)
Kate Kaynak
Paperback, 264 pages
Spencer Hill Press
June 18, 2010
isbn: 0984531106
isbn13: 9780984531103

(Goodreads) Sixteen-year-old Maddie Dunn is special, but she needs to figure out how to use her new abilities before somebody else gets hurt. Ganzfield is a secret training facility full of people like her, but it's not exactly a nurturing place. Every social interaction carries the threat of mind-control. A stray thought can burn a building to the ground. And people's nightmares don't always stay in their own heads. But it's still better than New Jersey--especially once she meets the man of her dreams...

My review of Minder is here.



Adversary (Ganzfield #2)
Kate Kaynak
Paperback, 238 pages
Spencer Hill Press
August 20, 2010
isbn: 0984531122
isbn13: 9780984531127

(Goodreads) The second book of the Ganzfield series


Things are more dangerous than they seem at Ganzfield, and not everyone will survive. Does Maddie have what it takes?

See what happens next in the sequel to Minder.


My review of Adversary is here.


Upcoming


Legacy (Ganzfield #3)
Kate Kaynak
Paperback, 280 pages
Spencer Hill Press

Release Date:
January 28, 2011


Maddie has more problems than the average seventeen-year-old:

A psychotic killer with superpowers wants her dead.

A serious medical issue makes a "normal" life impossible for her.

And she's about to be introduced to Trevor's grandparents.

Guess which one freaks her out the most? The Ganzfield series continues in this third installment.



More Information

For more information on Ganzfield and the books, please visit the site!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Green Books Campaign: Bloodlight Chronicles

This review is part of the Green Books campaign.Today 200 bloggers take a stand to support books printed in an eco-friendly manner by simultaneously publishing reviews of 200 books printed on recycled or FSC-certified paper. By turning a spotlight on books printed using eco- friendly paper, we hope to raise the awareness of book buyers and encourage everyone to take the environment into consideration when purchasing books.


The campaign is organized for the second time by Eco-Libris, a green company working to make reading more sustainable. We invite you to join the discussion on "green" books and support books printed in an eco-friendly manner! A full list of participating blogs and links to their reviews is available on Eco-Libris website.





The Bloodlight Chronicles: Reconciliation
by Steve Stanton
Paperback, 240 pages
ECW Press
September 1, 2010
isbn: 1550229540
isbn13: 9781550229547

Despite its futuristic technical trappings, enduring family bonds are at the core of this riveting techno-thriller. An alien virus that prolongs life has infected a couple, Zakariah and Mia Davis, and made their blood a valuable black-market staple due to its rejuvenating effects. The “eternal virus” has not affected their son Rix, and Zakariah is consumed with the search for an active sample to inoculate the teenager against mortality.

To succeed, Zakariah surgically wired his brain for the global computer network, a virtual cyber-economy controlled by avatars. Busted for transporting grain without a permit and on the run from the government and the Eternal Research Institute, Zakariah must travel off-planet through a commercial wormhole alongside his new business partner and surgical cyber-twin, Helena Sharp, who is seeking the source of immortality for her own purposes. In the Cromeus colonies, on the other side of time and space, Zakariah will risk everything to give his son eternal life.

I think that I can safely say that this story definitely did not go without action. It was a roller-coaster ride from almost the beginning. It also had a great storyline about a virus of immortality, with one infected man's quest to find the virus for his son all while running from those that want it all for themselves. Throughout the entire story, I was on the edge of my seat with my emotions getting whiplash while going from one extreme to another. After finishing the story, I literally felt drained and exhausted.

The plot was amazing, though there were a few things that I had a bit of issues with. There was backstory, but I felt as though we needed more because not all of my questions were answered. I also felt like the story was so action-driven that I didn't really truly connect with the characters. I wanted to know more about them and I wanted to see them develop more. I did feel some empathy and other emotions toward Zak, but I didn't feel like I truly knew him. However, out of all of the characters, I felt I understood him and his actions more than the rest.

With that said, I did enjoy this book. I thought it was a fascinating read and I would recommend it to any sci-fi fan ... and that includes my husband, who is reading it right now and enjoying it. =)

Important Information About This Book!

The Bloodlight Chronicles: Reconciliation is printed on FSC-certified paper. For more information, click here.

For other "green books" and information, please click here.

For a press release on the Green Books Campaign, click here.

Review: Adversary, by Kate Kaynak


Adversary (Ganzfield #2)
Kate Kaynak
Paperback, 238 pages
Spencer Hill Press
August 20, 2010
isbn: 0984531122
isbn13: 9780984531127

(Goodreads) The second book of the Ganzfield series


Things are more dangerous than they seem at Ganzfield, and not everyone will survive. Does Maddie have what it takes?

See what happens next in the sequel to Minder.


As I said in the review for Minder, as soon as I was done with it I had to start on this one ... and I happened to finish it before I went to bed! This is the second installment of the Ganzfield series, and it definitely didn't disappoint. We get to see more of our favorite characters as they train as a group to hone in their abilities more. And we're even introduced to some new characters, as well as seeing more of the bad guy that was touched in Minder but not really discussed/seen until now.

Adversary is like Minder in some ways: we witness a tragedy at the beginning, then there's world building, and more action. I think Adversary went more in-depth with the world and character development. Maddie learns she has a huge responsibility of not only protecting herself, but her friends and family as well. She takes this task on exceptionally well, using her "down time" to research and work with her abilities more. I have to say that I wish there wasn't as much of the down time that there was, but you're not bored because you learn a lot within that time - not to mention the random laughs from Drew and Zach. When the action comes, there's a lot going on and I don't know if I agree with all of Maddie's decisions ... but I do understand. She feels a huge weight of being the only one able to beat the bad guy and she doesn't want any of her friends to be hurt in the process. There are consequences, but aren't there always?

Again, we have our favorite characters in this and some new ones that join in the mix. We get a better "look" at Seth, and he's actually really growing on me. Maddie and Trevor are always favorites, but I am so happy that we get to see more of Drew! He's definitely a favorite of mine. Then there's the new guy in town ... Zach. I'm a little iffy about him, though he is an intriguing character and one that I hope we get to learn a lot more about. The evil adversary, Isaiah ... yeah, he's a good bad guy that you love to hate. By the end of the novel, I was ready to jump in and beat him down for a lot of the things that he did!

All in all, Adversary was a fantastic sequel to Minder and I cannot wait to read Legacy which comes out in January.

Waiting on Wednesday


Legacy (Ganzfield #3)
Kate Kaynak
Paperback, 280 pages
Spencer Hill Press

Release Date:
January 28, 2011


Maddie has more problems than the average seventeen-year-old:

A psychotic killer with superpowers wants her dead.

A serious medical issue makes a "normal" life impossible for her.

And she's about to be introduced to Trevor's grandparents.

Guess which one freaks her out the most? The Ganzfield series continues in this third installment.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Teaser Tuesdays: Ganzfield Edition



Minder
, by Kate Kaynak

I grabbed Gretchen's other arm and forced her face-to-face with me. Don't killer her. I forced myself to stay in control. Don't kill her. I really wanted to fry her, but I didn't want to be a monster.

Adversary, by Kate Kaynak

I felt my love for him fill me, or maybe it was his love for me. I looked into his eyes, grateful to whatever Higher Power had created this incredible man and put him in my life.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Monday, Monday!

Hosted By: Book Journey

Last Week...
The Fledgling Handbook 101, by PC Cast & Kim Doner
Vixen (The Flappers #1), by Jillian Larkin

This Week...
The Bloodlight Chronicles: Reconciliation, by Steve Stanton
Dangerous Angels: The Weetzie Bat Books, by Francesca Lia Block
The Familiars, by Adam Jay Epstein & Andrew Jacobson
The Frenzy, by Francesca Lia Block
Infinite Days, by Rebecca Maizel

Future News...
Gratitude Giveaways is coming up next week! Don't forget to stop by where you'll get the chance to sign up for my giveaway!!




My questions for today are ones that are asked at the end of this particular article: What are your responses to this report? Does it match with what you –as a reader– have observed? With your own buying habits? When was the last time you bought a book? What did you buy and why?

This report hasn't told me anything that I haven't guessed on my own from keeping up with the trends. Of course e-books will rise because their price is cheaper in most cases and it's also a lot easier to download a book and read immediately, rather than go out to purchase OR buy online and wait for the book to be shipped to you.

I just bought a book last week. My buying habits fluctuate depending on how much money I have to budget for. I don't have a job so all of my money comes from my husband ... and the independent girl in me doesn't like asking for a lot of money for my own addiction. With that said, I do try to buy books regularly. Hardcovers I love but because of their price, if I have a choice between a new hardcover book I don't know much about or two+ paperbacks that have been on my list, I'm going to go for the paperbacks. If it's a part of a series or an author that I love, then I'll definitely go for hardcover. Oh, and if I really REALLY like a book ... I'll buy the e-book when it's less expensive to keep on my portable hard drive to read when I'm not at home. =)

Review: Minder, by Kate Kaynak


Minder (Ganzfield #1)
Kate Kaynak
Paperback, 264 pages
Spencer Hill Press
June 18, 2010
isbn: 0984531106
isbn13: 9780984531103

(Goodreads) Sixteen-year-old Maddie Dunn is special, but she needs to figure out how to use her new abilities before somebody else gets hurt. Ganzfield is a secret training facility full of people like her, but it's not exactly a nurturing place. Every social interaction carries the threat of mind-control. A stray thought can burn a building to the ground. And people's nightmares don't always stay in their own heads. But it's still better than New Jersey--especially once she meets the man of her dreams...




This book has been on my TBR list for some time now. Unfortunately, requested reviews take priority to any type of pleasure reading that I have. That is... until Kate actually contacted me and requested a review. It just so happened I had finished up some reviews early and had the time ... so I was ecstatic!

Minder didn't even start out slow the way that most books do. From the very beginning, we're snagged into the story when Maddie senses that she is being followed by some boys, with not the most pleasant of intentions. I have to say, I got a little squeamish for a few minutes. Being inside the mind of a victim who knows what she's about to go through is intense, to say the least. However, this is where we find out with Maddie that there's something special about her. After, we get hoisted away to Ganzfield, where we meet even more unique students like Maddie - and we learn more about this little refuge they have to harness their abilities without the rest of the world knowing.

You just can't have a good story without good characters. I loved Maddie. She was flawed, yet a hard-worker and intensely loyal to those who earned her trust. Trevor was on my radar as quickly as he appeared, so it wasn't hard to pull for such a great guy. I think the only part for me that was a little iffy was how quickly the relationship for Maddie and Trevor developed - there really wasn't any development, just the beginning of a very intense relationship right off the bat. But, I do understand why it could develop that fast ... so, it wasn't a mood killer for me. And Drew? Seriously. I know he's not a main character, but I am so in love with him. I don't want him to get with Maddie or anything of the likes, I just want to keep him around for his humor and wit. He is such a fun character!

The history of Ganzfield and character development was a big part of this story, but that didn't slow it down for me at all. I thought I was smart by trying to guess throughout the book what was going to happen next ... and found myself completely wrong every single time, which should say something very good about Kate's writing. Oh, and I also need to compliment that because her writing style is a big part of keeping you entwined in the story.

Minder was definitely a one-sitting read for me, and a pretty quick one as well. Also included at the end of the novel is a preview of the second book Adversary, which will leave you wanting much more. Or, if you're like me and have the second book ... it will keep you up a few extra hours to find out what happens in the sequel!

Source: Author

Ganzfield Week!

Welcome to Ganzfield Week here at Missy's Reads & Reviews! Ganzfield is a series by the wonderful author, Kate Kaynak. It follows the story of a girl named Maddie with an extraordinary ability as she goes to live at Ganzfield after a horrific accident in order to control and learn more about her special gifts. The first two books in the series, Minder and Adversary, are both available to purchase with the third, Legacy, scheduled for release January 28th.

I have read both Minder and Adversary, which is why I was so inspired to do this themed week! The purpose is to promote the series, along with the author. Each day (schedule below) will contain at least one post related to Ganzfield. At the end of the week (Friday), I will have an interview with Kate and chance to win a signed copy of Adversary from the author!

Schedule

[ Monday ]
Minder Review
Ganzfield Intro (this post)

[ Tuesday ]
Teaser Tuesday: Ganzfield Edition

[ Wednesday ]
Waiting on Wednesday: Legacy
Adversary Review

[ Thursday ]
Author Spotlight
A Look at the Books

[ Friday ]
Interview & Giveaway

Since you guys have been so good to me with following and helping me spread the word with my contests, I'll also be adding my own prize to the giveaway! I'll also be counting comments as extra entries, so if you want more chances to win ... be sure to comment!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Last Sacrifice ... Last Line!

Some of you may have seen this already, but for those of you who have not ... I'm going to post for you the last line of Last Sacrifice, which is the sixth and final book (for Rose's story) in Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy series. If you do not want to know the last line, then by all means do NOT read the text below the cover art!


"I don't know, but I think it's going to be good."

In My Mailbox (3)

Hosted By: The Story Siren
Inspired By: Pop Culture Junkie


Dangerous Angels: The Weetzie Bat Books, by Francesca Lia Block
The Familiars, by Adam Jay Epstein & Andrew Jacobson
The Fledgling Handbook 101, by PC Cast & Kim Doner


The Frenzy, by Francesca Lia Block
Infinite Days, by Rebecca Maizel
Modern Fairies, Dwarves, Goblins & Other Nasties: A Practical Guide by Miss Edythe McFate, by Lesley M.M. Blume


Through Her Eyes, by Jennifer Archer
Truly, Madly, Deadly: The Unofficial True Blood Companion, by Becca Wilcott
Wildwing, by Emily Whitman


Ecstasy In Darkness, by Gena Showalter
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READ THIS FIRST!
5/26/2013: If you're here and you're reading this.. thanks for sticking around! I know I've been gone for a while but I am definitely coming back. This blog will be going through some crazy transitions (layout and such) for the next few days, but I should be back up and ready to review VERY soon. Thanks so much for your patience and support!! xoxo, Missy
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