Saturday, October 16, 2010

This 'N That

Well, I'm back home for a week! Sorry I keep disappearing but I'm trying to finish a home renovation project for my uncle, as well as some stuff for my parents - which means I'm out of town and without reliable internet service. It sucks! This week, I'll be home in preparation for my birthday party next weekend, so I'll have time to do more reviews, schedule more posts, catch up on other blogs, and basically not be as inactive as I have been.

To begin this, I have some things I need to update you guys on!

First thing is first: my blog. If you follow Lori from Pure Imagination's design blog, then you'll know that I won her layout giveaway. To say I was over the moon when I found out I won would be an understatement! I picked out a kit and with a few e-mails back and forth - this is what she came up with. You like? I l-o-v-e. So, if you're ever in the market for a blog makeover, I'd suggest her - not only are her prices unbelievably low, she does AMAZING work. Check out her other work here.

A few weeks back, I was contacted by Kate Kaynak about reviewing books in her Ganzfield series. Not only that, she also offered a giveaway for my blog/followers. I immediately agreed to review the first two books in the series, Minder and Adversary, because I've been wanting to read them ... but obligations of other reviews moved the books down a little on my TBR list. However, a perk to book reviewing is that if an author asks you to review a book ... you can use that as the excuse to move the book up! Well ... at least that's what I do! ;)

To make a long story short(ish), I read the books ... and now, I'm in love. So in love, in fact, that I've decided to dedicate a whole week to Ganzfield! So, one week very soon, you'll see all posts (reviews, memes, etc) completely Ganzfield themed - including an interview and giveaway with Kate herself!

So, my birthday is in a week and my celebration on here is scheduled to end tonight. BUT I have another contest coming up (which will be explained later in this post), so I thought that I would have this one end the day before the other ends. The other won't last as long (less than a week), so this way I can have a week to pick the winners to my birthday celebration and mail out BOTH contest prizes the same day. I promise I'm not doing this because I'm lazy - it's more because of these renovations, I can take the packages with me and make one trip to the local post office.

But, that's good news! That means if you haven't entered ... you still have more time to do so and more time for more extra entries, if you so choose! Just go here to enter!

Oh, and in response to some e-mails I've received: if you've already entered, but decide you want more entries by tweeting, blogging, etc ... then just e-mail me with the links and I'll add them to your original entry!

I Am A Reader, Not A Writer is hosting a giveaway hop for Halloween ... which I have signed up to participate in! I'm really excited! I've picked out this prize pack especially for the Halloween season, so I hope you guys will sign up to win it! It starts October 25th (my birthday!) and ends on the 31st.

November 10th is the Green Books Campaign - a one day event in which 200 bloggers post reviews of "green books", aka books printed on recycled paper. I will be reviewing The Bloodlight Chronicles: Reconciliation, by Steve Stanton. This is a sci-fi (not YA) book, but I'm really eager to start this one. Plus, this is a great cause. I hope everyone will participate in the campaign!

Lastly, another giveaway hop hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer! This is a hop with giveaways completely dedicated to my/our followers. I have to be honest and say I have no idea what I'm going to offer, but I promise it'll be all for you guys. I'm so grateful to you all!!

Alright, I think this is all I need to tell you guys about for now.

Now back to your regularly scheduled program!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday

All Just Glass
by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes
Hardcover, 256 pages

To Be Released:
January 11, 2011

(Goodreads) Sarah Vida has given up everything for love. From a legendary family of vampire-hunting witches, Sarah was raised to never trust a vampire, to never let her guard down, and to avoid all tricky attachments of the heart. But now Sarah IS a vampire—changed by the boy she thought she loved. Her family has forsaken her, and Sarah herself is disgusted by her appetite for blood.

Aida Vida is Sarah's older sister, the good, reliable sibling who always does her family proud. But when Aida's mother insists that Sarah be found and killed, Aida is given the one assignment that she may not be able to carry out.

Taking place over just twenty-four hours, ALL JUST GLASS tells the story of a game-changing battle that will forever change the world of the Den of Shadows. And at its center is the story of two sisters who must choose between love and duty. Dark, fully-imagined, and hard to put down, ALL JUST GLASS will thrill Amelia's fans—old and new.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Teaser Tuesdays!

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by MizB @ Should Be Reading.

· Grab your current read.
· Open to a random page.
· Share two (2) "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page.
· BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don't want to ruin the book for others!)
· Share the author and title, too, so that the other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers!

Adversary, by Kate Kaynak

I could hear the command in his voice. What's more, it penetrated his shield. Yes! It was as though part of it had to weaken to allow the charm-voice out. The breach felt like the little whirlpool in a draining bathtub, and the change in energy channeled me toward the weakened point.

"Keep going," I urged him when he stopped.

"Dance, tree. Dance for me." His voice was bored and sarcastic. "Whip those leaves around. Ooh, yeah. Shake it."

Monday, October 11, 2010

Review: Torment, by Lauren Kate

Torment (Fallen, #2)
by Lauren Kate
Hardcover, 452 pages
September 28, 2010
ISBN: 0385739141
ISBN13: 9780385739146

How many lives do you need to live before you find someone worth dying for? In the aftermath of what happened at Sword & Cross, Luce has been hidden away by her cursed angelic boyfriend, Daniel, in a new school filled with Nephilim, the offspring of fallen angels and humans. Daniel promises she will be safe here, protected from those who would kill her. At the school Luce discovers what the Shadows that have followed her all her life mean - and how to manipulate them to see into her other lives. Yet the more Luce learns about herself, the more she realizes that the past is her only key to unlocking her future...and that Daniel hasn't told her everything. What if his version of the past isn't actually the way things happened...what if Luce was really meant to be with someone else?

This review in a nutshell, via my inner fan girl: OMG, this was just what I was waiting for and I totally can’t wait for the next!

Torment picks up where Fallen left us - Daniel has to take Luce to her new school. It isn’t just any new school, it’s a school that also houses Nephilim. There, Luce has to stay guarded and under the radar during the eighteen-day treaty between the angels while they search together for others that are hunting for Lucy. Like any girl told to do something without any explanation, Luce doesn’t exactly listen. We’re taken along for the ride while Luce finds out more about herself, her relationship with Daniel and Daniel himself, all while trying to stay safe … and alive.

I have to say that this follow-up didn’t fail its predecessor. It does a great job picking up where the first left off and continues the story, along with filling us in more on the history of the fallen angels, Luce and Daniel, and new character types introduced. There were a few things that made me quirk a brow - like Luce trying to find out if blondes have more fun and her starry-eyed moment with Miles. I understand that she’s left in the dark about a lot of things and she’s also left alone … a lot. That doesn’t mean she shouldn’t listen to the ones that save her life countless times. I’m all for some rebellion, but not when a supernatural being is trying to save me from being killed! But, we have to take the good with the bad. If it wasn’t for her stubborn streak, we wouldn’t have as much adventure as we got in this one … which made it a delightful read!

The new characters introduced in Torment were refreshing. I loved Miles as a character, though I could do without the small love triangle going on. Shelby was a nice little question mark that wasn’t easy to figure out at the beginning, but she came around and turned herself into a big exclamation point - in a good way. I really enjoyed her, and the other two crazy girls thrown in the mix, Dawn and Jasmine. I would have liked a little more time with Daniel and Cam as I wanted to know what they were doing while they were off and away from Luce. Yes, I know they were hunting … but, I wanted in on the action! We also welcome back some of our favorite characters from Sword & Cross, if only briefly.

I only had one moment where I rolled my eyes … and that was when they found out who one of the “bad guys” were. I saw it coming and thought it was obvious, even if the characters were shocked!

This book was definitely a page flipper for me and the end had me screaming for more. I loved it as much as I thought I would and I cannot wait for the next book to come out!

[Review for Fallen here.]

Monday, Monday!

It's Monday! What are you reading? is a weekly event - hosted by the wonderful Sheila - to share what we are reading this week, as well as what we read the previous week. Feel free to share in on the fun, or just click on the link to see what others are reading!

What's Going On With Me??
I forgot how much painting houses exhausted me - especially when you have to take texture off of ceilings before you even begin to paint! I've started feeling muscles I forgot that I had!

As far as reading goes, I got through all of the books that I said I would read last week. That includes three re-reads and three new books I've been dying to read. Reviews coming soon!!

What Did I Finish Last Week??
Torment, by Lauren Kate
Minder, by Kate Kaynak
Adversary, by Kate Kaynak
New Moon, by Stephenie Meyer*
Eclipse, by Stephenie Meyer*
Breaking Dawn, by Stephenie Meyer*

What's In The Plans This Week??
Nightshade, by Andrea Cremer
Fear: 13 Tales of Suspense and Horror, by R.L. Stine & Various Authors

All three of these books are being reviewed for a publication, so they're going to top priority. I might read more this week, but I have to make sure I focus on these first!!

* All books part of re-read for a better and more accurate review.

New This Week!

October 11, 2010
Jane, by April Lindner (Poppy)

October 12, 2010
Alien Invasion & Other Inconveniences, by Brian Yansky (Candlewick)
The Beginner's Guide to Living, by Lia Hills (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
Cate of the Lost Colony, by Lisa Klein (Bloomsbury)

The Curse of the Wendigo, by Rick Yancey (Simon & Schuster)
Daughter of Winter, by Pat Lowery Collins (Candlewick)
The Dragons of Noor, by Janet Lee Carey (EgmontUSA)

Elixir, by Hilary Duff (Simon & Schuster)
The Goblin Gate, by Hilari Bell (HarperTeen)
Hold Me Closer, Necromancer; by Lish McBride (Henry Holt & Co)

The Lost Hero, by Rick Riordan (Hyperion)
Paradise Red, by K.M. Grant (Walker)
Secondhand Charm, by Julie Berry (Bloomsbury)

Stork, by Wendy Delsol (Candlewick)

October 14, 2010
 Crossing Over, by Anna Kendall (Viking)
The Jumbee, by Pamela Keyes (Penguin)
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