Friday, January 21, 2011

Hop & Follow Fridays!

To join Parajunkee's new feature and make now book blogger friends, just follow these simple rules:

1. Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Host { } and any one else you want to follow on the list.
2. Follow our Featured Bloggers.
3. Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing.
4. Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say hi in your comments.
5. Follow Follow Follow as many as you can.
6. If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love...and the followers.
7. If you want to show the link list, just follow the link below the entries and copy and paste it within your post!

Today's Question:
Who do you cheer for?

As far as football goes... no one really. Unlike most of my family, I've never been a big football fan. When I was a kid, I used to cheer for the Raiders. Why? Black and silver, baby ... my favorite colors. Now, all I do is cheer for the Panthers to lose because they're a disgrace. Does that count? ;)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Before & After: Lorraine Zago Rosenthal

Before & After is a new feature on Missy's Reads & Reviews that gets a look inside how a debut author feels before and after their first release. Each post will feature one new 2011 debut author.

Lorraine Zago Rosenthal was born and raised in New York City. She earned a bachelor's degree in psychology and a master's degree in education from the University of South Florida. She also earned a master's degree in English, with a concentration in American and British literature, from Northern Kentucky University. In addition to writing fiction, Lorraine enjoys reading, exercising, watching movies, and spending time with her husband. Other Words for Love is her first novel.

The release date for Other Words for Love is quickly approaching! My publication journey started at the beginning of 2008, when I began writing this novel. More than a year later—in April 2009—I was thrilled to be offered a deal by my fabulous publisher, Random House/Delacorte Press. At that time, I was told that Other Words for Love would be published in Spring 2011, and that seemed so far away! Of course, it was far away—and in some ways it felt like an endless wait, but in other ways the time seemed to pass quickly. Now that my January 11, 2011 publication date is right around the corner, I’m very happy and excited to have reached this point! I’m also feeling very grateful and fortunate to have an opportunity to share my novel with readers. This experience is sort of like sending your child out into the world and hoping that everyone will love him/her as much as you do.

On Tuesday, January 11, 2011 -
Other Words for Love was published and released to the public from Delacorte Books.

My release day could not have been more amazing. It was just like Christmas morning! I am so overwhelmed by the phenomenal response I have received from readers and book bloggers who have contacted me about Other Words for Love. It’s really fulfilling to hear that people are connecting with my main character—Ari—and her story. It was also very exciting to walk into Barnes & Noble and see my book on a shelf! As a writer, I spend a lot of time alone with my work. When I was writing this novel, it was just the story and its characters and me. Now it’s out in the world, and it’s incredible to see it there!

A huge thanks to Lorraine for taking time out of her busy schedule to help participate in this new feature!

If you would like to know more about Lorraine, please make sure to check out the links below. Also, don't forget to pick up a copy of her debut novel, Other Words for Love.

Reviews for Other Words for Love
The Story Siren
La Femme Readers
Jess Hearts Books




Buy The Book:
Barnes & Noble
Book Depository

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Early Review: Haven, by Kristi Cook

Kristi Cook
Hardcover, 416 pages
Simon Pulse
February 22, 2011
One month into her junior year, sixteen-year-old Violet McKenna transfers to the Winterhaven School in New York’s Hudson Valley, inexplicably drawn to the boarding school with high hopes. Leaving Atlanta behind, she’s looking forward to a fresh start--a new school, and new classmates who will not know her deepest, darkest secret, the one she’s tried to hide all her life: strange, foreboding visions of the future.

But Winterhaven has secrets of its own, secrets that run far deeper than Violet’s. Everyone there--every student, every teacher--has psychic abilities, 'gifts and talents,' they like to call them. Once the initial shock of discovery wears off, Violet realizes that the school is a safe haven for people like her. Soon, Violet has a new circle of friends, a new life, and maybe even a boyfriend--Aidan Gray, perhaps the smartest, hottest guy at Winterhaven.

Only there’s more to Aidan than meets the eye--much, much more. And once she learns the horrible truth, there’s no turning back from her destiny. Their destiny. Together, Violet and Aidan must face a common enemy--if only they can do so without destroying each other first.

I have to say that I did enjoy this read. There were parts where it reminded me of some other popular paranormal book(s) that I won't name, but if you read it and you've read the other(s) – I'm sure you can distinguish from there. However, this didn't deter from the read at any point because, let's be honest, you're always going to be able to find similarities between books.

Haven was a fairly quick read for me. I don't think that it was so much page volume as much as that the story did draw me in. Violet is a wonderful protagonist that was very easy to relate to and actually like – which is a gift in itself. There are so many stories where the main character is whiny, spoiled and just not likable … I'm glad that's not the case with this one because it makes the story that much harder to read. AND, another bonus – her friends were just as likable. I think this is the first read I've read this year where I haven't had some kind of “bad friend” complaint about the secondary characters. Definite kudos there. The love interest was just as swoon-worthy as you can imagine, though I think the chemistry could have been shown a little more to make the romance more believable. I need reasons to believe that an attraction is there, I don't just like being told that it's there and just accept it.

The plot and storyline were great. Kristi did a good job of putting cliches together in her own original story and I definitely respect her for that. Her writing was clear, smooth, and overall just easy to read. There was just enough description and action to make it a wonderful read. The climax, I think, was the shortcoming of the book. I would have liked a little more action in that part of the story, but it was enough to quench. After reading Haven, I was left with some questions. I don't know if the author meant to do that or if it was something that was just skipped over, but the questions I have aren't anything that I'll lose sleep over – just common curiosity.

Overall, Haven was a good read that will grab your attention and keep you turning the pages. The plot's good and the characters are even better. I'd recommend this for any of my paranormal romance lovers that like young adult novels.

Source: E-galley, Publisher

Avg. Rating: 4.0

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting Until ...
March 8, 2011
Elayne thinks the old family story that one of her ancestors stepped through a tapestry into a world of mythical beasts makes a great fireside tale. But she lives in the real world. In New York City. And she's outgrown that kind of fantasy.

Until she finds herself in front of a unicorn tapestry at the Cloisters museum and sees her initials woven into the fabric. And hears a unicorn calling to her. And slips and falls—into that other world.

Suddenly the line between fantasy and reality isn't so clear. But the danger is real enough. Almost before she can think, Elayne is attacked by a ferocious beast, rescued by a unicorn, and taken prisoner by a tyrant king. Each of them seems to have an idea about her—that she's a hero, a villain, dinner!

But Elayne has a few ideas of her own. She wants to overthrow the king; she wants to tame the unicorn. She wants to go home! And she's willing to become both hero and villain to do it.

I like the idea behind this one and, let's be honest ... can you really go wrong with a story that has unicorns in it?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Teaser Tuesday

I took a deep breath and tried to convince myself this interview wasn't just a gargantuan mistake. It would've helped if I could have seen the band, but they all had their backs to me. I tried to read their body language, but they were all sitting bolt upright, which either meant (a) they had good posture, or (b) they were petrified.

One minute down, twenty-nine to go.
- Five Flavors of Dumb, by Antony John

"Fran? Do you want to kiss me?"

"Yeah," I answered, then remembered an episode of Ricki Lake that said guys like it when you play hard to get. Something about the thrill of the chase. "I mean, no. Maybe. Er ... what was the question?"
- Confessions of a Vampire's Girlfriend, by Katie MacAlister

Monday, January 17, 2011

Before & After: An Introduction

It's coming up ... the release date of a novel that you've been waiting for. Your patience is running thin and your adrenaline is through the roof - keeping you on the edge of your seat. Your hand itches with just the mere thought of getting your hands on your most anticipated read yet. ...

You know that feeling, right? We all go through it. It's just part of being a book lover. But have you ever taken a moment and thought, "Well, if I feel this anxious ... I wonder how the author feels?" Taking it one step further: how would a debut author feel, considering it's their very first book that's being released to the public?

Before & After is the answer to that question.

This is a new feature that I've decided to do on the blog after having that very thought one day. I was trying to think of something new that I could do on the blog that would not only promote debut authors, but also let you get to know them a little better. And what better way to get to know them than to get a little insight on how they feel during their debut release!

Beginning within the next week, this feature will be up and running. Because of the authors participating and their actual release dates, it will be sporadic - but it's looking like I'll be posting at least two a week, sometimes more and sometimes less. Soon, I'll be posting a schedule on the side to let you know when the posts will be scheduled, along with the authors that will be participating.


Not only will these posts give you access to authors, their thoughts and more information on them and their debut release ... but there will be giveaways! Some authors have been kind enough to offer swag and other items to give away as part of their post. I've also decided to take it one step further. At the end of each month, I'll be hosting my own giveaways to give you the chance to win one of the books from the featured authors. Extra entries will be offered for comments posted on the Before & After posts for my giveaway.

So be sure to keep checking back for this new feature. It will officially begin this Thursday with Lorraine Zago Rosenthal, author of Other Words for Love!

Early Review: Cryer's Cross, by Lisa McMann

Cryer's Cross
Lisa McMann
Hardcover, 240 pages
Simon Pulse
February 8, 2011
The community of Cryer’s Cross, Montana (population 212) is distraught when high school freshman Tiffany disappears without a trace. Already off-balance due to her OCD, 16-year-old Kendall is freaked out seeing Tiffany’s empty desk in the one-room school house, but somehow life goes on... until Kendall's boyfriend Nico also disappears, and also without a trace. Now the town is in a panic. Alone in her depression and with her OCD at an all-time high, Kendall notices something that connects Nico and Tiffany: they both sat at the same desk. She knows it's crazy, but Kendall finds herself drawn to the desk, dreaming of Nico and wondering if maybe she, too, will disappear...and whether that would be so bad. Then she begins receiving graffiti messages on the desk from someone who can only be Nico. Can he possibly be alive somewhere? Where is he? And how can Kendall help him? The only person who believes her is Jacian, the new guy she finds irritating...and attractive. As Kendall and Jacian grow closer, Kendall digs deeper into Nico's mysterious disappearance only to stumble upon some ugly—and deadly—local history. Kendall is about to find out just how far the townspeople will go to keep their secrets buried.

You have to give it to Lisa McMann, she has a way with third person present that hooks you into the story. I wouldn't particularly say it's the best writing with the greatest grammar, but once you get used to it … well, like I said, you can easily get sucked into the story.

I liked the plot to this story. McMann's story always seem to be very plot-driven, which works well. However, where it excels in plot … it lacks in other aspects. I don't think I would call Cryer's Cross a very character-driven book. For me, Kendall (our main character) seemed to be just a girl in a story with OCD and a love for dance and soccer. Really, that's all we learn about her. Her best friend Nico, is just that … a best friend that may be a little more. Then, there's Jacian – typical bad boy who's got a stick up his rear for some reason, but still manages to turn into that sweet guy that we want so badly for the love interest. Well, you have it. Why? I'm not sure, but it's there.

The chapter breaks with the “We” chants are confusing at the beginning but slowly, as the story and the reason as to why the disappearances happen unfolds, you start to understand these small paragraphs. They're creepy in their own way. As a matter of fact, the entire story has a very creepy feeling to it – from the small town feel to the disappearances, all the way to action at the end of the story. I think if there would have been more back story, there would have been an even bigger creep-factor to it. As it was, it was just a lingering thought in the back of my head.

With right at 240 pages, this was a very quick read for me. If you liked McMann's Dreamcatcher series, then you'll definitely love this book.

Source: E-galley, Publisher

Avg Rating: 4.0
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