Saturday, March 12, 2011

Contest Alert!


Beth Revis (Across the Universe author) is having a contest over on her blog where you can win autographed copies of all the Breathless Reads books.

Not familiar with the books? Here's what Beth had to say about them:
  • THE ETERNAL ONES by Kiersten Miller is a fast-paced, adventurious love story that involves reincarnation, secret societies, and fire.
  • THE REPLACEMENT by Brenna Yovanoff is a hauntingly beautiful book that scares the pants off me.
  • NIGHTSHADE by Andrea Cremer is not about werewolves--it's about true wolves that can shapeshift into people written by a brilliant scholar who incorporate history into the tale.
  • MATCHED by Allie Condie shows us that love can break through any barrier, and the most important thing is to not go gently...
  • ACROSS THE UNIVERSE is the book that I wrote and I would really like it if you liked it. Also I think you're pretty and want to be friends with you.

The catch? No catch... just do what you do best when you like books: spread the word. After you're done with that, click here to get official details and enter into the contest. The contest will be open March 11-21. Good luck!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Contest Alert!

You've probably seen this book as well as reviews for it like this one and this one floating around the book blogosphere. It's Jennifer Archer's YA debut, Through Her Eyes, and it's getting some pretty rave reviews. It comes out on April 5th, but you can pre-order it now. As a matter of fact, for this particular book it actually pays off to pre-order. Why? Because if you pre-order Through Her Eyes, you have a chance to win a Kindle and other great prizes! Don't check your eyes, I really did just say that you can win a Kindle buy pre-ordering a book!!

Jennifer Archer is having a Gargantuan Giveaway over on her site where you can win a Kindle, iPod Shuffle, a journal and other great prizes when you send her proof that you pre-ordered her book.

Here are the details:

Hear ye! Hear ye! Pre-order THROUGH HER EYES by Jennifer Archer between March 1, 2011 and April 4, 2011 and as my THANKS to you, I’ll enter your name into my GARGANTUAN GIVEAWAY!!

On April 6, 2011 the members of my marvelous writing critique group, The Divas, will draw eight lucky names:

1st & 2nd names drawn will win a Kindle
3rd and 4th names drawn win an iPod Shuffle
5th & 6th names drawn win a bound leather journal, like the one Tansy finds in the cellar in THROUGH HER EYES.
7th & 8th names drawn win an autographed copy of THROUGH HER EYES. (Give the one you pre-ordered to a friend!)


HOW TO ENTER (Only 4 easy steps!)

  • 1. Pre-order THROUGH HER EYES by Jennifer Archer (moi) on one of these online sites between March 1 and April 4, 2011:

    Amazon
    Barnes & Noble
    Indie Bound

  • 2. Email a copy of your pre-order confirmation from Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Indie Bound to me at thegargantuangiveaway@yahoo.com

  • 3. Along with your confirmation email, send me your address so I’ll know where to mail your prize if you win!

  • 4. Tweet, Facebook, blog or simply call a friend about the THROUGH HER EYES Gargantuan Giveaway! In your confirmation email to me, explain how you spread the news about the Giveaway, and because I’m a trusting person, I’ll take your word for it!

That’s it!

All steps must be made and information sent to thegargantuangiveaway@yahoo.com by midnight (Central Standard Time) on 4/4/2011 to qualify! Winners will be announced on my website www.jenniferarcher.net and on my blog www.jenniferarcher.blogspot.com after April 6, 2011. Good luck!!

*If you can't fulfill any of the steps & would still like to enter, explain in an email to me and I'll add your name into the drawing! Contest entrants will be added to my mailing list & receive occasional updates about my future book releases and new contests.


So what are you waiting for? Head on over to Jennifer's site and enter!

Good luck guys!!

Hop & Follow Fridays!


Hosted by Crazy For Books

"If I gave you £50 (or $80) and sent you into a bookshop right now, what would be in your basket when you finally staggered to the till?"
Oh man, there are so many choices! I would probably go ahead and catch up on 2011 debut author books - well, the ones that were already out!



Hosted by ParaJunkee's View
; Featured Blog is Bookaholic Does Blogging
Just like Ashley said (love it) "Ashley the girl..." who are You the Boy/Girl, instead of You the Blogger?
I'm Missy the Girl. Twenty-seven year old mommy to two chihuahuas and one kitty, wife to one Nick W (best husband EVER) and godsister to a beautiful 15-year-old named Brooklyn. I'm a housewife and, outside of my blog, I also review professionally for a few publications. When I'm not here, I'm usually traveling over 70 miles to spend time with my parents. I used to be a professional painter, and still do some random side jobs to keep the experience. If I'm at home and not online, I'm with Nick and the 'kids' - they're my life so I spend as much time with them as possible. :)


**Win a Kindle and other prizes! Check this post to find out how!!**

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Lisa & Laura Guest Post for The Blog Tour of Awesome!


It is my privilege and honor to have the authors of The Liar Society guest posting on my blog today. Not only is their debut novel amazing [my review here], but they are just as equally amazing themselves. Today, they're going to give you guys a behind-the-scenes look into Pemberly Brown. Enjoy!


PEMBERLY BROWN, BEHIND THE SCENES

When we first sat down to write The Liar Society we knew that we wanted Kate's swanky private school jump off the page. In fact, we actually treated the school like a character in the book complete with quirks, secrets and backstory. Because we went to a boring public school complete with carpeted walls and tacky orange lockers, we had to rely on research and our imagination to bring Pemberly Brown to life.

Thankfully we have lots of posh private schools in Cleveland that we used as inspiration. Laura lives very close to Western Reserve Academy and she spent a lot of time roaming the campus and observing students there. It's not nearly as creepy as it sounds. Wait, actually, it kind of is. It also helped that Lisa went to Miami of Ohio for college. Administrators and students regularly refer to the school as "the Harvard of the Midwest" and they take themselves VERY seriously. Many fraternities and sororities were founded at MU and all of them started off as secret societies. The campus is steeped with legends and random traditions. You marry the boy you kiss under Upham Arches. You rub the turtles head on your way to class if you want to ace your test. You NEVER step on the seal outside of the student union otherwise you'll flunk out of school. We were able to take many of these little traditions and weave them into Pemberly Brown.

We wanted to have two private schools merge to create PB because it created a rich backstory for the school and the secret societies that were born there. As for the Latin nothing says snooty private school like plaques written in a dead language. One thing that helped us immensely with the creation of Pemberly Brown, was drawing a map of the school complete with all the numbered Stations, the Latin associated with each station and major landmarks. We still refer to it constantly as we're writing the next book in the series.

The amazing thing about Pemberly Brown is that the possibilities are literally endless. We've already cooked up a whole new set of legends and traditions that drive the plot in Liar Society #2. Get excited.

Psst...we have a secret. Click here, hit the Pemberly Brown Plaque. The password is SETHROCKS.

And if you want to enter The Liar Society Blog Tour of Awesome contest, and really, who wouldn't want to enter!?! There's a $100 Amazon gift card up for grabs! Just click here and enter the super secret password, SETHROCKS, for an entry. Remember you can enter one time for each stop on our blog tour, so be sure to click here and see where else we're visiting this month to maximize your chances of winning.


Audi, Vide, Tace,
L&L

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Review: The Demon Trapper's Daughter, by Jana Oliver

The Demon Trapper's Daughter
by Jana Oliver

Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Release Date: February 01, 2011 (US)
Series: The Demon Trappers
Genre: YA, Urban Fantasy
Pages: Paperback, 340
Source: LibraryThing, Publisher
Rating: 5/5 (Avg 4/5)
Riley Blackthorne just needs a chance to prove herself – and that’s exactly what the demons are counting on…

Seventeen-year-old Riley, the only daughter of legendary Demon Trapper, Paul Blackthorne, has always dreamed of following in her father's footsteps. The good news is, with human society seriously disrupted by economic upheaval and Lucifer increasing the number of demons in all major cities, Atlanta’s local Trappers’ Guild needs all the help they can get – even from a girl. When she’s not keeping up with her homework or trying to manage her growing crush on fellow apprentice, Simon, Riley’s out saving distressed citizens from foul-mouthed little devils – Grade One Hellspawn only, of course, per the strict rules of the Guild. Life’s about as normal as can be for the average demon-trapping teen.

But then a Grade Five Geo-Fiend crashes Riley’s routine assignment at a library, jeopardizing her life and her chosen livelihood. And, as if that wasn’t bad enough, sudden tragedy strikes the Trappers’ Guild, spinning Riley down a more dangerous path than she ever could have imagined. As her whole world crashes down around her, who can Riley trust with her heart – and her life?

I'll go ahead and say that the first of the book was a little disheartening for me. If you're a Daddy's Girl to the hundredth power like I am, then when you read this.. you'll understand. Once I got over that part, the book literally flew by for me. There was so much going on through the book that I found myself flipping through as hurriedly as I could, trying to figure out what would happen next. I don't talk about this much in my reviews, but the setting couldn't have been more perfect for the book. It's the year 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. I think the setting worked because I'm actually familiar with the place, so it was easy to picture the scenery.

Riley was a good, strong female lead. I loved that she could kick ass, yet she wasn't perfect - she made mistakes, but her tenacity kept her going. Beck... confuses me. I actually really like his character and the fact that he's a pretty strong character himself. He still remains a little too mysterious for me, I feel as though I don't know him that well. I think there's a little too many hot guy characters that seem to be vying for Riley's attention, but it's playing out fairly smoothly so far. Oddly enough, I'm not so much of a fan of the one that Riley has chosen presently... even though he is a sweet character. He just seems more like the friend type rather than boyfriend material.

Despite over 300 pages, it seems like this book only scratched the surface of what's to come in the series. Don't let that discourage you though, this one has plenty of action and story that will keep you reeling until the next in the series comes out. The ending is strong and makes a good lead for the next book to start up. Overall, this was definitely an enjoyable urban fantasy book that older adults will like just as much as young adults.


Find Jana Oliver Online
Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter

Purchase The Demon Trapper's Daughter
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository [Compare Prices...]

Waiting on Wednesday

Blood Magic
by Tessa Gratton

Publisher: Random House
Series: The Blood Journals
Genre: YA, Paranormal Romance
Pages: Hardcover, 416
This page-turning debut novel will entice fans who like their paranormal romances dark and disturbing. It's a natural next-read for fans of Stephanie Meyer, Carrie Jones, and Becca Fitzpatrick. But instead of mythical creatures, blood magic has everything to do with primal human desires like power, wealth, and immortality. Everywhere Silla Kennicott turns she sees blood. She can't stop thinking about her parents alleged murder-suicide. She is consumed by a book filled with spells that arrives mysteriously in the mail. The spells share one common ingredient: blood, and Silla is more than willing to cast a few. What's a little spilled blood if she can uncover the truth? And then there's Nick—the new guy at school who makes her pulse race. He has a few secrets of his own and is all too familiar with the lure of blood magic. Drawn together by a combination of fate and chemistry, Silla and Nick must find out who else in their small Missouri town knows their secret and will do anything to take the book and magic from Silla.

On this blog, it should always go without saying that if paranormal is involved... I'll be all over it! Then, there's a stunning cover that's to die for and an intriguing synopsis that has you fiddling in your seat, desperately waiting for the release date. And I'd be lying to you if I said my interest wasn't piqued because the guy's name was Nick. Nicks are almost always swoon-worthy. I should know, I married the most swoon-worthiest of them all! ;)

[ Waiting Until.. ]
May 24, 2011

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Author Interview: Becca Ritchie


Becca Ritchie
Website | Blog | Facebook

Becca Ritchie's Books
Wynter Chelsea: The Legacy [Buy]
Wynter Chelsea: The Sublimity [Buy]


What made you decide to write a novel at the age of fourteen?
When I was 10, I had a contest with my twin sister to see who could read the most YA books. I read more as a kid than I could even imagine doing now. There was no deadline, and it went on until I realized that finding a YA book that held my interest proved to be a challenge. So at 12, I wrote a 300 page book. The story was absolutely horrible. But I kept writing, and two years later my sister asked me to write something supernatural for her. And so Wynter Chelsea was born purely for my sister’s entertainment. It’s basically everything I wanted to find in a book as a fourteen-year-old YA nut.

Being so young, did you find it very challenging to get published?
Extremely. I debated putting my age in the bio section of the queries I sent. I figured agents would laugh and think I wrote some silly illegible story. But I read and watched TV so much that I understood plot and structure enough to create something entertaining. It took three years before I finally published Wynter Chelsea: The Legacy. That time span alone illustrates what kind of work it took just to see this book in print. I could have given up after a couple months, but I just fought for it.

Could you tell us a little about Wynter Chelsea?
Wynter Chelsea is about two families, the Wynters and the Chelseas who fight demonic beings that other people in the world know nothing about. Amanda Chelsea vies to become part of this legacy of invisible heroes, but since she’s the first girl born into either family, she’s guarded and protected all her life and shoved out of the one thing she wants most. But when both sets of parents go missing, Amanda joins her older brother and two lifelong friends on a journey across the United States. Along the way, they run into a slew of demonic horrors, and buried family secrets surface. Amanda has to confront the reason she’s living as well as her growing affection for her best friend, Dustin Wynter. I'm not very good at pimping out my book, so you can probably find a much better description at Goodreads.com or Amazon.com.

Your book is packed full of creatures and history. Did you have to do a lot of research, or was most of this just from your own mind?
I went on MapQuest to see how far away cities were to have an accurate travel time frame. And all the demons are from demonology. But that scared me so much as a kid that it became hard for me to sleep at night, so I started making up different supernatural beings like creatures and half demons. That being said, I did not consult demonology for the sequel. Wynter Chelsea: The Sublimity is all from my mind.

One of the things that I absolutely loved about this book was the deep friendship between Amanda and Dustin. How did the idea of their relationship come about? Did you always know they would be that close or did it develop as the story went along?
This is going to be embarrassing. I can’t believe I’m going to admit this. But I had a crush on my older brother’s best friend. I said it. Wow, I hope he doesn’t read this. So at 14, I guess I just loved the idea of these two people having a connection rooted from a young age. This guy that Dustin is kind of modeled after lived down the street from me for as long as I can remember. I knew from the beginning that Dustin and Amanda were going to be close on a deeper level since they grew up together, and making them best friends just seemed natural as the book progressed.

How many books do you plan to have in the Wynter Chelsea series?
Currently I have five in mind, but as I write, things always change.

Do you have any upcoming projects that we should know about?
The sequel, Wynter Chelsea: The Sublimity was just released, so there’s no excruciating wait to jump from the first to the second. I’m touring middle schools and high schools to speak about writing and promoting the book as well, and if anyone wants to see me at their school, go to my website www.beccaritchie.com and shoot me an email or comment on my blog. The third installment is currently in the works.

Any final words?
I am absolutely obsessed with comic book superheroes. And movies this summer are littered with capes, powers, and just pure superhero lust. So, I’m going to plug X-Men: First Class even though I’m not getting paid or any recognition for this. I just simply love X-Men like a person loves a domesticated animal. Go to the midnight premiere of X-Men! Dress up! (You don’t have to dress up) Go! I’ll be there, probably in civilian clothes but pretending on the inside that I’m a mutant.

Review: Wynter Chelsea: The Legacy, by Becca Ritchie

Wynter Chelsea: The Legacy
by Becca Ritchie

Publisher: Outskirts Press
Release Date: October 19, 2008
Series: Wynter Chelsea
Genre: YA, Paranormal
Pages: Paperback, 384
Source: Author
Rating: 5/5 (Avg 4.5/5)
Four hundred years ago a creature descended upon the Earth. The supernatural hunted innocent lives wanting blood and vengeance. Two families, the Wynters and the Chelseas, knew of the darkness that reigned over the world. For thousands of years they hunted and killed to protect those who knew nothing of the dangers.

Amanda Chelsea vies to be a part of the Wynter Chelsea legacy, constantly craving the thrill of a lifetime that her older brother, Jack, and the two Wynter boys experience. At seventeen, Amanda’s passion to fight is overwhelming, and she cannot come to grips with why the boys are protecting her. Abilities are cast upon the new generation of Wynters and Chelseas, only in hopes of guiding them to vanquish the impenetrable creature. Even as Amanda Chelsea receives the power of empathy, feeling other people’s emotions, it brings more harm than a vital potency. Through the turmoil in New Jersey, Dustin Wynter is the only one able to relate to Amanda with a similar gift. As Jack’s rage boils over the edge, Dustin must put the pieces back together and hold the legacy up with a shaking arm and a quirky brother by his side.

When the world couldn’t seem to become anymore dangerous, both parents of each family go missing. Now with no choice but to bring Amanda along, she finally is able to fight without hassle, but is it worth it? Is the disappearance of the ones she loved a price that she has to pay for her dream to join the legacy? Traveling across the United States, the four young adults must confront their hidden emotions and ultimate reason for living.
I went into this book pretty much on blind faith because of the lack of reviews online, but I couldn't really say no when (1) the synopsis of the book was so intriguing, and (2) the author was so courteous and sweet. After reading the book, I was glad I decided to go with it.

This book was completely amazing. There's action from the very beginning and it doesn't let up until the very end. There's demons and other creatures around every bend, each different yet just as evil as the last. When the action lulls, you're still completely swept away learning about Amanda, her family, friends and the history of the Wynters and Chelseas. Throughout the entire story is the mystery behind the disappearance of the parents, which is never strayed from in any way. There's also a bit of a romantic interest sprinkled in there as well.

Every once in a while, I would get a little frustrated with Amanda and her choices. They seemed a little irrational to me. But as I was reading and saw the way she was raised and treated, I eventually came around to understanding why she reacts that way that she does. I can't say that I wouldn't do the exact same things if I was in her place. Her relationship with Dustin makes my heart swell so much. Both Amanda and Dustin love each other completely, depending on one another as much as they consider one another when making decisions. They complement each other perfectly. As a matter of fact, I think all four of the kids are very complementary of one another - though not as much as Amanda and Dustin. Jack is definitely the big brother type that has to juggle that with being a leader as well. Sometimes he struggles doing both at the same time, but his decisions are definitely leader-worthy. And Trevor is just ... Trevor. He's definitely the jokester, but can be more serious if the situation calls for it. I think he was one of my favorite characters, aside from the two leads. You don't see much of the parents, but you can feel their presence throughout in different ways.

I honestly can't tell you whether I thought this book was more character- or plot-driven when you have so much of both. "Chock full" doesn't even begin to describe how much action, history and intrigue there is in this book. Yet, it doesn't feel overwhelming at all. Becca did an incredible job at writing the story. You never feel frustrated by everything crammed into the book, nor do you feel confused because everything is explained in its own time in the book. I think the part that blows my mind the most is the age Becca was when she wrote this -- fourteen. Incredible, right?

This is a book that has flown under the radar for long enough. It's one of the most highly recommended YA paranormal books that I've read this year. Once you finish, you'll want more... and thankfully you won't have to wait because Wynter Chelsea: The Sublimity is already out and available for purchase!



Find Becca Ritchie Online
Website | Blog | Facebook

Buy Wynter Chelsea: The Legacy
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository [Compare Prices...]

Teaser Tuesday

Hosted By: Should Be Reading



"Amanda," Dustin whispered as he sat on top of the toilet lid. "You don't have to be scared. Everything is going to be okay."

My mouth dropped slightly. "I do have to be scared, Dustin. I just woke up from a dream and found myself bleeding. How is this going to be okay? What if I don't wake up next time? What if that thing kills me in my sleep?" My voice rose, making Dustin's nerves bounce off the walls. His eyes flickered to the door.
- pg. 168, Wynter Chelsea: The Legacy


Happy Release Day!

While there are many books coming out this week, there's one that I'm particularly excited about. It's a 2011 debut by author Bettina Restrepo called Illegal. Please be sure to check out all of the information below. There will also be links to purchase Illegal online.



Illegal
by Bettina Restrepo
Hardcover, 256 pages
Katherine Tegen Books

A promise.
QuinceaƱera.
A promise that we would be together on my fifteenth birthday . . .

Instead, Nora is on a desperate journey far away from home. When her father leaves their beloved Mexico in search of work, Nora stays behind. She fights to make sense of her loss while living in poverty—waiting for her father's return and a better day. When the letters and money stop coming, Nora decides that she and her mother must look for him in Texas. After a frightening experience crossing the border, the two are all alone in a strange place. Now, Nora must find the strength to survive while aching for small comforts: friends, a new school, and her precious quinceaƱera.

Bettina Restrepo's gripping, deeply hopeful debut novel captures the challenges of one girl's unique yet universal immigrant experience.


Monday, March 7, 2011

Before & After: Gwendolyn Heasley

Gwendolyn Heasley is a graduate of Davidson College and the University of Missouri-Columbia where she earned her master’s degree in journalism. When she was a little girl, she desperately wanted to be the next Ann M. Martin- the author of the beloved The Baby-Sitter’s Club series. She’s incredibly grateful that the recession rendered her unemployed and made her chase her nearly forgotten dream. She lives in New York City, teaches college and eats entirely too much mac and cheese for an adult. She’s also currently at work on a second novel for Harper Collins. Learn more at gwendolynheasley.com.


Recently, I have been thinking that publishing a book is a bit like bringing a boy (or girl) home to meet your parents. Especially if it’s someone who you really like. You experience a lot of nerves going into that day- and also excitement because it means something to introduce someone to your family. But there’s also this feeling of “Omg- what if no one likes him like I like him?” or “What if no one gets his jokes like I do?” or “What if this is a total colossal failure?” Those are all totally natural feelings for the “meet the parents” scenario, and I think they are completely applicable to publishing a book. Just because I “get” and love and cherish my own novel doesn’t mean that I am not hesitant to share it with the world and invite their criticism. That said, just like with significant others, I understand that not everyone is going to see and love the novel in the same way I do- but I hope at least a few people do!

(Written 2/14/11) My book has been out for a six days now! I'll admit that it's been one of the MOST exciting weeks of my entire life. After working on WHERE I BELONG for about 18 months, it is now a real, live book out in the world for both friends and strangers to read!

The best part is how my friends and family have rallied to support me and my creative project. I have received emails (and photos) of my friends (close and distant) enjoying my book. The fact that I have 20-something male friends and 60-year-old relatives reading my teen book is pretty cool. I am not only very lucky to have a book, but I am also extremely lucky to have such great people in my life.

I have had two events last week (a library reading and a bookstore reading), and I have two more this week. Each event gives me a bit of nerves, but I am really enjoying this part of being a writer. I am a bit shy, so this challenges me as a person- but I think it's good to continually be challenged.

Overall, my after experience is that I feel extremely blessed!


Reviews of Where I Belong
Princess Bookie
YA Bliss
Reading Vacation


Monday, Monday!

Updates
» Author Profiles: Posts will start going up soon!
» Before & After: Features are starting up again this week for the February debut authors!
» Blog Construction: I'll be tweaking the site, so apologies ahead of time for unnecessary posts.
» Blog Roll: This page will go live this week. It will feature links to other book bloggers that I follow. If you want to be included, just e-mail me or comment on this post.
» Facebook: Starting this month, I'll be posting YA Releases for each month that will be indexed in photo albums by month and year. Each pic will include release date, publisher, and synopsis information. If you haven't seen the fan page for this blog, go here.

Reads
Last Week...
» Born At Midnight, by C.C. Hunter
» Nightshade, by Michelle Rowen
» Through Her Eyes, by Jennifer Archer
» Wynter Chelsea: The Legacy, by Becca Ritchie

This Week...
» Between Shades of Gray, by Ruta Sepetys
» Fade to Blue, by Sean Beaudoin
» Love Ya Like A Sister, by Tom Kepler
» Miles From Ordinary, by Carol Lynch Williams
» She Said / She Saw, by Norah McClintock
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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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