Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Contest: Win a signed Shannon Hale Book

Win a signed copy of Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale!

When Dashti, a maid, and Lady Saren, her mistress, are shut in a tower for seven years for Saren's refusal to marry a man she despises, the two prepare for a very long and dark imprisonment.

As food runs low and the days go from broiling hot to freezing cold, it is all Dashti can do to keep them fed and comfortable. But the arrival outside the tower of Saren's two suitors—one welcome, and the other decidedly less so—brings both hope and great danger, and Dashti must make the desperate choices of a girl whose life is worth more than she knows.

How to enter:
Leave me a comment below with your email address. You MUST leave me an email address to be eligible to win.

Extra Points:
+1 Become a follower
+2 Already a follower
+2 Post about it on sidebar, twitter, etc. Just leave me a link for proof

The contest is open until October 15 at midnight, and is open internationally!

Waiting on Wednesday (September 30)

This was started by Jill at Breaking the Spine. Basically, these are books that haven't been released yet, but that I can't wait for.

Wish by Alexandra Bullen

For broken-hearted Olivia Larsen, nothing can change the fact that her twin sister, Violet, is gone... until a mysterious, beautiful gown arrives on her doorstep. The dress doesn't just look magical; it is magical. It has the power to grant her one wish, and the only thing Olivia wants is her sister back.

With Violet again by her side, both girls get a second chance at life. And as the sisters soon discover, they have two more dresses-and two more wishes left. But magic can't solve everything, and Olivia is forced to confront her ghosts to learn how to laugh, love, and live again.

In a breathtaking debut from Alexandra Bullen, WISH asks the question: If you could have anything, what would you wish for? (From Goodreads)

Release Date: January 1, 2010
Published by Point

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


For those of you who don't know, Cindy at Princess Bookie wants to get rid of a bunch of her books! What does that mean? It means it's time for an epic giveaway. So head over there and enter.

Teaser Tuesday (September 29)

It's a meme hosted by Should Be Reading and here are the rules:
Grab your current read...
Open to a random page
Share two teaser sentences from somewhere on the pag
Don't include spoilers.

Goddess Boot Camp by Tera Lynn Childs

Source: Poseidon

The ability to control and move liquids. Density of liquid affects level of control. Water is the easiest liquid to manipulate because, with the exception of dramatically dry environments (i.e. Las Vegas, Sahara Desert, Australian Outback), it is always present in the surrounding air."

Goddess Boot Camp, Page 3, by Tera Lynn Childs

I know this exceeds the sentence limit, but I love how each chapter introduces a new set of powers, and the god/goddess they originated from.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Author Signing with Shannon Hale

Tonight I was lucky enough to attend an author signing at my local indie (awesome) bookstore, The Flying Pig. We rarely get out-of-state authors in Vermont, so this was a real treat. There were a lot of younger readers there, which is always fun. Their questions are always refreshing, and they get right to the point.

She mostly talked about why she chose to re-tell some famous fairy tales (her reason: because they were terrible, and had huge gaps in the story). It was actually pretty enlightening. I never really thought about some of the plot holes in the Grimm Brothers tales. For example, why didn't the witch build a door so that she could visit Rapunzel. Instead, she chose to climb her hair. She also briefly mentioned that Rapunzel ends up with we're left to wonder what exactly the prince's intentions were when he went to visit Rapunzel. Did that tower even have a bathroom?

Then she whipped out a huge role of laminated paper. What is it, you ask? It's a roll of her rejection letters! She kept them all, which I thought was really brave. I don't think I'd be able to reread letters that said my book wasn't right for them.

She seemed really nice, and I can't wait to pick up more of her books. I'll also be giving away a signed copy of one of her books, so check back later in the week for that!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Author Event: Shannon Hale, September 28, 2009

What: Author Shannon Hale (Goose Girl, Princess Academy, Austenland) is coming to Shelburne, Vermont to discuss her books, and do a signing.

Where: Flying Pig Bookstore (home of my book fairies) located in the heart of the Shelburne Village. If you're in the area and want directions check out their website The Flying Pig Bookstore

When: Monday, September 28, 2009 (tomorrow) at 4:30 pm.

If you're in the area check it out! I'll be attending, and getting some of my books signed.

In My Mailbox (September 27)

In my mailbox was created by Kristi of The Story Siren, who was inspired by Pop Culture Junkie. Here are the books I got this week...

My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent

She doesn't see dead people, but…

She senses when someone near her is about to die. And when that happens, a force beyond her control compels her to scream bloody murder. Literally.

Kaylee just wants to enjoy having caught the attention of the hottest guy in school. But a normal date is hard to come by when Nash seems to know more about her need to scream than she does. And when classmates start dropping dead for no apparent reason, only Kaylee knows who'll be next…

What did you get this week?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Book Review: Oh. My. Gods. by Tera Lynn Childs

A modern girl's comedic odyssey in a school filled with the descendants of Greek gods. When Phoebe's mom returns from Greece with a new husband and moves them to an island in the Aegean, Phoebe's plans for her senior year and track season are ancient history. Now she must attend the uberexclusive academy, where admission depends on pedigree, namely, ancestry from Zeus, Hera, and other Greek gods. That's right, they're real, not myth, and their teen descendants are like the classical heroes—supersmart and superbeautiful with a few superpowers. And now they're on her track team! Armed only with her Nikes and the will to win, Phoebe races to find her place among the gods.

I'm going to admit my bias right now. I'm a huge ancient mythology geek! Really, I took Latin in high school, own more than one translation of The Iliad, and am part of the Classics Honor Society. Now that you're aware...on with the review.

Characters: Poor Phoebe! If moving senior year isn't bad enough, she's forced to attend school with descendants of the gods. The fact that she gets to live in beautiful Greece doesn't seem to placate any of her anger, either. As soon as she arrives, she's greeted by her evil stepsister, who doesn't want to have anything to do with her. Sure, they've just met, but Phoebe isn't a descendant. Many of the other kids in school call her make it a point to remind her of her family heritage, and sometimes use their powers against her. Luckily, one girl, Nicole, takes pity on her. Over the course of the book, Phoebe develops her friendship with Nicole, as well as with Troy (the nice guy). The story also focuses on Phoebe's relationship wiht Griffin, the jerky yet irresistible guy. Upon learning more about him, Nicole starts to realize that the preppy, too-cool-for-you attitude might just be for show.


You're all aware of my bias, so you already know how much I loved the plot. The idea of the offspring of the Greek gods all attending school together was really fun, and it was nice to see some of those god's characteristics displayed in the students. For example, a character that shall remain nameless is an offspring of Heracles (aka Hercules), and when someone is in need he has no choice but to help them. I also really liked how Phoebe developed over the course of the book. At the start, she's extremely against the move, and concentrates only on how long it will take her to escape Greece. , she stopped sulking about the move, and decided she was going to prove herself worthy of attending the academy.

I can't wait for the sequel!

Oh. My. Gods.
By Tera Lynn Childs
Published by Dutton Juvenile
224 Pages (Hardcover Edition)
Rating: B+

Waiting on Wednesday (September 23)

This was started by Jill at Breaking the Spine. Basically, these are books that haven't been released yet, but that I can't wait for.

Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs

Lily Sanderson has a secret, and it’s not that she has a huge crush on gorgeous swimming god Brody Bennett, who makes her heart beat flipper-fast. Unrequited love is hard enough when you’re a normal teenage girl, but when you’re half human, half mermaid like Lily, there’s no such thing as a simple crush.

Lily’s mermaid identity is a secret that can’t get out, since she’s not just any mermaid – she’s a Thalassinian princess. When Lily found out three years ago that her mother was actually a human, she finally realized why she didn’t feel quite at home in Thalassinia, and she’s been living on land and going to Seaview high school ever since, hoping to find where she truly belongs. Sure, land has its problems – like her obnoxious, biker boy neighbor Quince Fletcher – but it has that one major perk – Brody. The problem is, mermaids aren’t really the casual dating type – when they “bond,” it’s for life.

When Lily’s attempt to win Brody’s love leads to a tsunami-sized case of mistaken identity, she is in for a tidal wave of relationship drama, and she finds out, quick as a tailfin flick, that happily-ever-after never sails quite as smoothly as you planned. (From Goodreads)

Published by Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: May 2010 (Goodreads). Although Amazon has the library binding listed as January 2010. I'm sure we'll get an exact date in the near future

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Teaser Tuesday (September 22)

Here's my teaser this week. I cheated and added an extra sentence, though.

It's a meme hosted by Should Be Reading and here are the
Grab your current read...
Open to a random page
Share two teaser sentences from somewhere on the pag
Don't include spoilers.

"Mr. Nobley smiled at her, the first time she had seen his real smile. She wouldn't go so far as to call it a grin. His lips were closed, but his eyes brightened and th ecorners of his motuh definitely turned up, creating pleasing little cheek wrinkles on either side as through the smile were in parentheses."

Austenland, Page87, by Shannon Hale

Monday, September 21, 2009

Pride and Prejudice (1995) Review

Pride and Prejudice (1995)
Directed by Simon Langton
Starring: Jennifer Ehle, and Colin Firth

Based 0n the book: Pride and Prejudice

For the Everything Austen Challenge hosted by Stephanie's Written Word

Description: Jane Austen's classic novel of 1813, Pride and Prejudice, still wins the hearts of countless schoolgirls with its romantic story of Elizabeth Bennet and her Mr. Darcy. Now, the 1996 BBC miniseries is winning over adults, with its faithful adaptation, gorgeous scenery, and superb acting.

The essence of the story is the antagonism between Mr. Darcy, a wealthy single man who believes Elizabeth to be beneath him, and Elizabeth, who upon being insulted at a dance by the aloof Darcy refuses to associate with him in any manner. Austen evokes incredible tension with the wit and flirtation of the two characters, and director Simon Langton (who also directed Upstairs Downstairs) successfully translates the repartee and conflict in this six-hour miniseries. Dialogue, for the most part, is painstakingly replicated, except when fleshing out and smoothing for modern sensibilities was necessary. Darcy, for instance, is drawn out, giving his personality significantly more depth. The acting sweeps you away to Regency England: Jennifer Ehle (of Wilde) is convincing as the obstinate Elizabeth, who, despite her mother's attempts to marry her off, spurs the attentions of Darcy. And Colin Firth (of The English Patient) will have women everywhere longing for a Mr. Darcy of their own.

Can I express my love of this mini-series in words? Well, I can try. I absolutely adored the book, and I've read it at least ten times. So, when I rented the DVD version of this movie, I wasn't really sure what to expect. Yes, I'd heard that everyone loved Colin Firth, but I wasn't sure what to expect otherwise. Well, I thought it did the book justice. Of course, it's around five hours long, so there wouldn't have been an excuse to cut a lot of the story out.

Now, it's hard for me to imagine the characters being played by anyone other than this cast (which is why I haven't been able to watch the Keira Knightly version). Aside from the main cast, I thought that Alison Steadman, who played Mrs. Bennet, was amazing. Here's a clip of her:

Meet the Bennets

I also thought I'd include the scene that everyone talks about...

If you haven't seen this version of Pride and Prejudice, I suggest you pick it up. Yes, I know it's a long series, but it's well worth it!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

In My Mailbox (September 20)

In my mailbox was created by Kristi of The Story Siren, who was inspired by Pop Culture Junkie. Here are the books I got this week...

Blue Moon by Alyson Noel
Eager to learn everything she can about her new abilities as an Immortal, Ever turns to her beloved Damen to show her the way. But just as her powers are increasing, Damen’s are waning.

In an attempt to save him, Ever travels to the magical dimension of Summerland, where she learns the secrets of Damen’s tortured past; a past which he has always kept hidden from her. But in her quest to cure Damen, Ever discovers an ancient text that details the workings of time. Now Ever must choose between turning back the past and saving her family from the accident that claimed their lives—or staying in the present and saving Damen, who grows sicker every day...

Violet Wings by Victoria Hanley

For Zaria Tourmaline, the three years without her mother and brother have been lonely ones, living with a cold and distant guardian while she completes her education. Just as she is ready to join the world of adult fairies and genies, she finds a spellbook written entirely in her mother’s hand. But this treasured object is not safe from a new enemy, a fairy with more power than Zaria ever dreamed existed. Only among the humans–who must never know fairies and genies exist–can Zaria hide the spellbook; but hidden magic, it turns out, can expose a fairy in ways she never thought possible.

Austenland by Shannon Hale
Jane Hayes is a seemingly normal young New Yorker, but she has a secret. Her obsession with Mr. Darcy, as played by Colin Firth in the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, is ruining her love life: no real man can compare. But when a wealthy relative bequeaths her a trip to an English resort catering to Austen-crazed women, Jane’s fantasies of meeting the perfect Regency-era gentleman suddenly become realer than she ever could have imagined.

Decked out in empire-waist gowns, Jane struggles to master Regency etiquette and flirts with gardeners and gentlemen—or maybe even, she suspects, with the actors who are playing them. It’s all a game, Jane knows. And yet the longer she stays, the more her insecurities seem to fall away, and the more she wonders: Is she about to kick the Austen obsession for good, or could all her dreams actually culminate in a Mr. Darcy of her own?

What did you get?

Friday, September 18, 2009

Author Interview: Mark Freeman

Mark Freeman, the author of The Kindling of Greenfyr, was nice enough to answer a few questions for me. My review of the book can be found here.

Author Bio (from Goodreads): Mark lives, works, and writes in northern Vermont with his wife and two daughters. Educated and trained as a wildlife biologist, when not writing, Mark has studied grizzly and black bears, bobcats, spiny soft shell turtles, and spruce grouse.

1. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself, and why you began writing?

Well, educated and trained as a wildlife biologist, I've spent a lot of time in the woods studying all sorts of neat critters. However, I started writing back in high school. I had a fantastic English teacher my sophomore year who really challenged and inspired me. It was during that year that I really, truly, started writing and have never stopped. When I graduated high school and was looking at schools I decided to go to school for wildlife biology, ecology and conservation had been another passion of mine, knowing I'd continue to write, but at my own pace. I didn't think I needed a degree in English or Creative Writing to be a writer, although looking back on it now, I may have gotten published a lot sooner had I followed that path. Since the publication of GreenFyr I've become a stay at home dad and full time writer, which is really a dream come true for me.

2. You base part of your story in Vermont, why did you choose this setting?

I love Vermont. I wasn't born here, but there is no place I've ever been that I feel more at home than here in the Green Mountain State. As the characters, ideas, and thoughts about GreenFyr began to coalesce, Vermont just seemed liek the right place for Owen to live.

3. Did you base Owen's character on anyone in your life?

I love it when folks ask me this. There are two characters in GreenFyr who I can say had some real life basis. The first is Boone, and if you read the story you can probably figure out the basis for his character. The second is Owen. I have to say Owen is probably an amalgam of people, though. He's a bit me, as are all my characters really, as well as my four nephews, and probably what I think a son of mine would be like, had I one.

4. I loved the names of the characters and creatures in the book, particularly Orla, and the creature Vrok. What inspired these names?

Yeah, I'm a name monger. I collect them. I have folders full of post it notes and scraps of paper that I've jotted down names I've come across and liked. When I'm writing, and needing a name, I'll leaf through the folder and see if any strike me. The Vrok was actually just a demon name I found in an old mythology book. Orla, well, there's a bit more of a story there. I totally stole it from a woman I used to work with after I found out its origin and meaning. The character and co-worker have nothing else in common other than the name, but c'mon, when you're writing a fantasy story and come across the Gaelic name for Golden Princess, how can you turn that down? I'm pretty sure the co-worker still doesn't know I bogarted her name though, so let's try and keep it between us, okay? :)

5. Do you think your knowledge of wildlife helped you to better describe the various creatures in your book?
Well, I never thought of it that way! :) As I was writing GreenFyr I realized I was being pretty detailed in my descriptions and just hoped I wouldn't lose people in them. I think my over active imagination coupled with my biology background makes me see some things differently than other folks in my field.

6. What's one question you wish you were asked in interviews more often?

What has the best part of having your book published been?
Absolutely, hands down, being invited to discuss writing and my book with school kids. First, it's a tremendous privilege as a writer to be invited to a school to discuss your book with students and have the chance to watch them read and interpret your work. It's surreal, it really is. Then, on top of that, have a chance to speak with the students about your love of reading, what authors inspire you, and maybe, just maybe turn a kid on to reading who might otherwise never been bitten by the reading bug. That's a wonderful opportunity and one that never, ever, get's old.

7. Can we look forward to reading more of Owen's story? I know I want to read more!

Yes! The series is plotted and outlined for three more books. I'm hard at work on Book 2 of The ReUnification Conspiracy! Thanks for wanting more of Owen and Orla!

Author's Websites:, twitter (@greenfyr), and youtube: BooneVT

Thanks again to Mark for taking time to answer my questions!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Book Review: The Kindling of Greenfyr by Mark Freeman

The Kindling of GreenFyr is the story of Owen McInish, an awkward fourteen-year-old bullied at school and friendless except for his pet cat, Piper. That is until a snow leopard is chased through the woods behind his house by three huge gray dogs with glowing green eyes. Owen saves the leopard from her pursuers, but the animal escapes him as well, only to return later. The cat’s behavior is peculiar, nothing like a wild animal, making Owen even more curious as to its origin. Eventually, the cat allows Owen to pet her. Owen finds himself experiencing friendships as he has never before. Adventures as he has never imagined. And political intrigue as two worlds, long separated, begin to collide.

Before I started it, the only knowledge I had about this book was from a few other 1 ARC Tour reviews, so I wasn't really sure what to expect. Well, that isn't totally true. I knew that the book was really long, as in over 500 pages long.

I was pleasantly surprised with that I found!

Owen was a great character, without question. At the start he's a "geeky" kid who is having one major problem with school. He's stuck in that endless circle of being bullied, because he can't tell his parents about what's happening. So, he dreads taking the bus to school in the morning, and seems to feel weak and helpless. After he rescues Orla, in the form of a leopard, from a group of hell hounds, everything changes. Over the course of the book, Owen becomes stronger and more confident in himself. This is especially true when facing unsavory creatures, and loss of people he cares about. My other favorite character was the Aingeal, Winter. At first I wasn't sure of his allegiance, but that may have just been my overly suspicious nature.

The story was exciting, unique, and totally unpredictable (in a good way, I had no idea what would happen in the end!). The scenery was amazing, and I really felt connected with the characters. I particularly liked the human/animal dynamic. For example, Owen and Boone (a sort of king of the dogs, the Duine Madra) have an instant and deep connection. Any pet owner can relate to that friendship you develop.

The story reminded me a bit of Lord of the Rings. There were a lot of interesting characters, different places, and a bunch of great names (i.e Orla's home, Quailan, and the creature that was called a Vrok). I can't express what a breath of fresh air this book was. I also thought it was really nice to have a male as the main character. While I understand why most of the YA protagonists are female (women tend to be the biggest group of book buyers), I appreciated reading from a boy's point-of-view. I can't wait for the sequel!

Author's Websites:, twitter (@greenfyr), and youtube: BooneVT

The Kindling of Greenfyr
By Mark Freeman
Published by Publish America
552 Pages
Rating: B+

Check back tomorrow for an interview with the author!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday (September 16)

This was started by Jill at Breaking the Spine. Basically, these are books that haven't been released yet, but that I can't wait for.

The Espressologist by Kristina Springer

What’s your drink of choice? Is it a small pumpkin spice latte? Then you’re lots of fun and a bit sassy. Or a medium americano? You prefer simplicity in life. Or perhaps it’s a small decaf soy sugar-free hazelnut caffe latte? Some might call you a yuppie. Seventeen-year-old barista Jane Turner has this theory that you can tell a lot about a person by their regular coffee drink. She scribbles it all down in a notebook and calls it Espressology. So it’s not a totally crazy idea when Jane starts hooking up some of her friends based on their coffee orders. Like her best friend, Em, a medium hot chocolate, and Cam, a toffee nut latte. But when her boss, Derek, gets wind of Jane’s Espressology, he makes it an in-store holiday promotion, promising customers their perfect matches for the price of their favorite coffee. Things are going better than Derek could ever have hoped, so why is Jane so freaked out? Does it have anything to do with Em dating Cam? She’s the one who set them up! She should be happy for them, right?

Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Release Date: October 27, 2009

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

100th Follower Contest Winners

The contest went really well! I got almost 300 entries when I counted them up, which was awesome.

Now, for the big reveal of Two Truths and a Lie...

I never had a pet turtle named Teddy. I wish that I did, because I think turtles are awesome...but I've only had cats and fish (tragically, those two pets don't go well together).

I started playing the flute in middle school, and still practice every now and again.
I also enjoy cooking, I'm just not very good at it.

Now for the winners:

with lucky number 13


Alex & Lauren
from A Flight of Minds
with number 137

Winners have been emailed and have 48 hours to return an email. If I don't receive a reply within that time I'll have to pick another winner!

Teaser Tuesday (September 15)

Here's my teaser this week -

It's a meme hosted by Should Be Reading and here are the
Grab your current read...
Open to a random page
Share two teaser sentences from somewhere on the pag
Don't include spoilers.

"This is most vexing to me," I said aloud. (I had learned the word vexing from dear Jane Austen and had hoped to find a circumstance in which I could use it. This was definitely one such moment).

Scones and Sensibility, Page 21, by Lindsay Eland
*This quote is from the ARC edition of the book, so page numbers/quotes/etc are subject to change.

I'm only about 50 pages into this book, but so far I'm really enjoying it. Polly is awesome, and a girl after my own heart.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Contest Ends Tonight

My 100th follower contest for a pre-ordered book of your choice (now with two winners) ends tonight at midnight! Click here to enter if you haven't already.

Bridget Jones's Diary Review

Bridget Jones's Diary (2001)
Directed by Sharon Maguire
Starring: Renee Zellweger, Colin Firth, and Hugh Grant

Based On: Pride and Prejudice

For the Everything Austen Challenge hosted by Stephanie's Written Word

Description: Featuring a blowzy, winningly inept size-12 heroine, Bridget Jones's Diary is a fetching adaptation of Helen Fielding's runaway bestseller, grittier than Ally McBeal but sweeter than Sex and the City. The normally sylphlike Renée Zellweger (Nurse Betty, Me, Myself and Irene) wolfed pasta to gain poundage to play "singleton" Bridget, a London-based publicist who divides her free time between binge eating in front of the TV, downing Chardonnay with her friends, and updating the diary in which she records her negligible weight fluctuations and romantic misadventures of the year. Things start off badly at Christmas when her mother tries to set her up with seemingly standoffish lawyer Mark Darcy (Colin Firth), whom Bridget accidentally overhears dissing her. Instead she embarks on a disastrous liaison with her raffish boss, Daniel Cleaver (Hugh Grant, infinitely more likeable when he's playing a baddie instead of his patented tongue-tied fops). Eventually, Bridget comes to wonder if she's let her pride prejudice her against the surprisingly attractive Mr. Darcy.

I absolutely adore this movie! I'll admit that I read the book after I saw the film, and I enjoyed both immensely. Bridget is a modern day heroine who is caught between two men. It's obvious to the audience that she should end up with Darcy (especially to anyone familiar with Pride and Prejudice), but Bridget has to come to those terms on her own. Plus, I love the little connection with the Pride and Prejudice BBC. Let me explain...

In the 1995 version of Pride and Prejudice, Colin Firth played Mr. Darcy (and, in my opinion, is the best Darcy to date). In Bridget Jones's Diary he also plays a Mr. Darcy, with many of the same mannerisms. There's another little flashback to P&P in the scene where Bridget quits her job in publishing. If you look closely, you'll see Crispin Bonham-Carter who played Mr. Bingley.

Bridget: It is a truth universally acknowledged that when one part of your life starts going okay, another falls spectacularly to pieces.

I couldn't find a trailer, but here's the opening scene

Saturday, September 12, 2009

In My Mailbox (September 12)

In my mailbox was created by Kristi of The Story Siren, who was inspired by Pop Culture Junkie. Here are the books I got this week...

The Cinderella Society by Kay Cassidy (won from Living Your Five)
(ARC/Published by Egmont USA/April 13, 2010)

When the Prom Queen becomes your fairy godmother… Sixteen year old outsider, Jess Parker, gets the chance of a lifetime: an invitation to join a secret society of popular girls dedicated to defeating the mean girls of the world. The Cinderella Society guides all new recruits through its top secret ultimate life makeover. It’s all part of preparing them to face down the Wickeds and win. Determined not to let the Cindys down, Jess dives in with a passion. Finally, a chance to belong and show the world what she’s made of. … be careful what you wish for.

(How cute is that cover!)

Goddess Boot Camp by Tera Lynn Childs (won from Living Your Five)

Phoebe, who recently discovered she’s a descendant of Nike (the goddess, not the shoe), is finding that supernatural powers come with a crazy learning curve. Her stepfather, headmaster of the Academy for descendants of the Greek gods, has enrolled her at Dynamotheos Development Camp—aka Goddess Boot Camp—with a bunch of ten-year-olds for the summer. Embarrassing as that is, hopefully it’ll help her gain control over her powers in time to pass the test of the gods, continue training hard enough to qualify for the Pythian Games, and enjoy her godly boyfriend, Griffin, all while avoiding the ultimate mistake of accidentally misusing powers.

It’s another fast-paced myth-inspired heroine’s quest that’s sure to bring out the goddess in anyone.

(I loved the first book)

Rampant by Diana Peterfreund

The sparkly, innocent creatures of lore are a myth. Real unicorns are venomous, man-eating monsters with huge fangs and razor-sharp horns. And they can only be killed by virgin descendants of Alexander the Great. Fortunately, unicorns have been extinct for a hundred and fifty years. Or not. Astrid Llewelyn has always scoffed at her eccentric mother's stories about killer unicorns. But when one of the monsters attacks her boyfriend in the woods — thereby ruining any chance of him taking her to prom — Astrid learns that unicorns are real and dangerous, and she has a family legacy to uphold. Her mother packs her off to Rome to train as a unicorn hunter at the ancient cloisters the hunters have used for centuries. However, at the cloisters, all is not what it seems. Outside, the unicorns wait to attack. And within, Astrid faces other, unexpected threats: from crumbling, bone-covered walls that vibrate with a terrible power to the hidden agendas of her fellow hunters to — perhaps most dangerously of all — her growing attraction to a handsome art student... and a relationship that could jeopardize everything.

How to Catch and Keep a Vampire by Diana Laurence
(Advanced Copy/Published by Sellers Publishing/October 23, 2009)

Discover the Secret of the Red Satin Ribbon . . .In How to Catch and Keep a Vampire: A Step-by-Step Guide to Loving the Bad and the Beautiful, author Diana Laurence explores the romantic fascination we mortals have for the undead. Why do perfectly normal people fall for such sinister beings? And more importantly, what should we do about it when we do? Diana Laurence knows. With loads of personal experience to draw upon, Laurence does everything from explaining the attraction to blood-drinkers, to sharing what red satin signifies to them. In this book, she has created a road map to show readers how a vampire relationship can be achieved and conducted in harmony with everyday existence.
(I thought this seemed like a funny read, especially with the current vampire craze)

My Forbidden Desire by Carolyn Jewel (won from Tales of Whimsy)

Alexandrine Marit is a witch in mortal danger. An evil mage craves the powerful, mysterious talisman that supplies her magic, and the only person who can keep her safe is a dark and dangerous fiend called Xia. With his fierce animosity toward witches, he's hardly the ideal bodyguard. Yet as days turn into nights, she can't deny the white-hot passion between them.

Xia hates witches. They enslave and mercilessly kill his kind. But he's been ordered to protect Alexandrine, who, to his surprise, has a spirit he admires and a body he longs to possess. With the mage and his henchmen closing in, Alexandrine and her protector must trust the passion that can unite them...or risk losing everything to the enemies who can destroy them both.

(Sounds a little scandalous!)

What did you get in your mailbox this week?

Friday, September 11, 2009

Friday Fill-Ins

I thought I'd try a friday fill-ins since I don't have a review to post until Sunday.

1. That's a silly to be.
2. Help; I'm over here!
3. The possibilities include: writing a paper or slacking off.
4. Tomato Soup with Pasta is one of my favorite cool day recipes.
5. How will you know the places you'll go?
6. Cocoa, and a book are great cures for a stormy sky.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to sleep, tomorrow my plans include work, homework, possibly some reading and Sunday, I want to relax!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

100 Follower Contest Update & Rampant Bookmark Giveaway

My 100th follower contest is going really well! So well, in fact, that I've decided to add another winner. So, if you want to enter a contest for the pre-order book of your choice, click here.

I'm also giving away Rampant bookmarks, which were sent to me by the awesome Diana Peterfreund. If you haven't picked up your copy yet, I suggest you do that. Or, check out her first series, which starts with Secret Society Girl.

If you'd like a bookmark leave me a comment below saying that you want one, and leave your email address. The first seven people to do so will get an email from me asking for your snail mail, and I'll send them out!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Mark by Jen Nadol New Cover

I posted The Mark, by Jen Nadol as my WoW this week, but I just saw the real cover has been posted on Amazon. It's different the cover that had been posted on Goodreads, and I absolutely love it!

New Cover:
Goodreads Cover

What do you think?

Waiting on Wednesday (September 9)

This was started by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It's basically books that haven't been released yet, but that I can't wait for.

The Mark by Jen Nadol

Sixteen-year old Cassie Renfield has seen the mark since forever: a glow around certain people as if a candle were held behind their back.

The one time she pointed it out taught her she shouldn't do it again, so Cassie has kept quiet, considering its rare appearances odd, but insignificant. Until she watches a man die. Mining her memories, Cassie realizes she can see a person's imminent death. Now how or where, only when: today.

Cassie searches her past, her philosophy lessons, even her new boyfriend for answers, always careful to keep her secret. How does the mark work? Why her? Most importantly, if you know today is someone's last, should you tell? (From Goodreads)

Published by Bloomsbury
Release Date: January 19, 2010

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Teaser Tuesday (September 8)

Here's my teaser this week -

It's a meme hosted by Should Be Reading and here are the
Grab your current read...
Open to a random page
Share two teaser sentences from somewhere on the pag
Don't include spoilers.

"Owen turned and ran, but slipped on the frozen creek. As his ankle twisted he spun to see the hound leap at him, and just as it left the ground, its back raised above the bank of the creek bed, a single ray of sun broke through the thick, gray cloud cover and touched the dog's back."

The Kindling of Greenfyr, page 11, by Mark Freeman

I'll be posting my review of this book (part of 1 ARC Tours), as well as an author interview with Mark Freeman soon!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Non-Book Post

Last night I attended a balloon glow! For those who don't know what that is, they wait until dark, and light up a bunch of hot air balloons. This year, the balloons lit the way around our local museumThey were only up for an hour because of the wind, but it was a fun little break from all the homework

Book Review: Evernight by Claudia Gray

*This is going to be a fairly spoilery review, since I'm not really sure how to discuss the book without giving away a big twist.

I'm also going to set up my review a bit differently, just to make it a little easier to read if you just want to get right to the point.

Bianca wants to escape.

She's been uprooted from her small hometown and enrolled at Evernight Academy, an eerie Gothic boarding school where the students are somehow too perfect: smart, sleek, and almost predatory. Bianca knows she doesn't fit in.

Then she meets Lucas. He's not the "Evernight type" either, and he likes it that way. Lucas ignores the rules, stands up to the snobs, and warns Bianca to be careful—even when it comes to caring about him.

"I couldn't stand it if they took it out on you," he tells Bianca, "and eventually they would."

But the connection between Bianca and Lucas can't be denied. Bianca will risk anything to be with Lucas, but dark secrets are fated to tear them apart . . . and to make Bianca question everything she's ever believed.

The reviews I've seen of Evernight have either been extremely good, or the exact opposite. Although, I've noticed that the negative reviews are always in some way connected to that other vampire series. You know which one I mean, right? So, despite mixed reviews I ended up picking up a copy. The premise sounded interesting, after all, who doesn't love a story about a mysterious gothic boarding school?

After reading the book, and gathering my thoughts I decided that ultimately I did enjoy the book, but there were a few, superficial things that I wasn't a huge fan of.


I pitied Bianca quite a bit. It's never fun to be uprooted, especially during high school. Cliques have already been formed, and trying to find a place where you fit in can be a daunting task. Of course, it didn't really help that Bianca's roommate, Patrice, was pretty much the exact opposite of her (at least she was nice). Some of the decisions Bianca makes toward the end of the book, however, had me a little confused though. I'm sure most of that will be discussed in the second book in the series, so that didn't bother me all that much. I just didn't know what was driving those choices. As for Lucas, well, I wasn't sure how I felt about him. In fact, I'm still not sure how I feel about him. I know that a lot of the other readers loved him, but I guess I never really trusted him. I'm personally more of a fan of Balthazar, who seems genuinely kind. Of course, now that I've said that he'll probably do something unforgivable in the sequel.


Overall I liked the story, but there was one thing that bothered me. I couldn't get over the giant twist in the middle of the story. I understood that Bianca was a still-living vampire (well, not a full vampire...yet), who was born to two vampires, and majority of her classmates were also vampires. Presumably, Bianca has known this for quite some time, so I just wasn't sure why it was revealed so suddenly. I guess I would have liked a little bit more foreshadowing in the first half. After I moved past that, I started to enjoy the book again. At the end there was a new, exciting twist, and I was left wondering what would happen to the characters in the sequel. I've heard good things about the second book in the series, so I'll pick it up soon.

By Claudia Gray
Published by HarperTeen
336 Pages (Hardcover)
Rating: C+

Sunday, September 6, 2009

In My Mailbox

In my mailbox was created by Kristi of The Story Siren, who was inspired by Pop Culture Junkie. Here are the books I got this week...

Well, I got lots of goodies this week, much to my bank accounts dismay...I also was gifted with a few ARCs from my local independent bookstore (aren't they awesome)!

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has won the annual Hunger Games with fellow district tribute Peeta Mellark. But it was a victory won by defiance of the Capitol and their harsh rules. Katniss and Peeta should be happy. After all, they have just won for themselves and their families a life of safety and plenty. But there are rumors of rebellion among the subjects, and Katniss and Peeta, to their horror, are the faces of that rebellion. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge.

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf--her wolf--is a chilling presence she can't seem to live without. Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: In winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl. In summer, a few precious months of being human . . . until the cold makes him shift back again. Now, Grace meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away. It's her wolf. It has to be. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human--or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever.

Scones and Sensibility by Lindsay Eland
(ARC/Published by EgmontUSA/December 22, 2009)

Polly Madassa is convinced she was born for a more romantic time. A time when Elizabeth Bennet and Anne of Green Gables walked along the moors and beaches of the beautiful land, a time where a distinguished gentleman called upon a lady of quality and true love was born in the locked eyes of two young lovers. But alas, she was not. This, however, does not stop our young heroine from finding romance wherever she can conjure it up. So while Polly is burdened with a summer job of delivering baked goods from her parents bakery (how quaint!) to the people in her small beach town, she finds a way to force…um…encourage romance to blossom. She is determined to bring lovers, young and old, together…whether they want to be or not.

Of All the Stupid Things by Alexandra Diaz
(ARC/Published by EgmontUSA/December 22, 2009)

It really was a stupid thing that Brent Staple did – doing it (so the rumour goes) with Chris Sanchez, one of the guy cheerleaders. Who’d have thought that Brent, the school’s hottest jock, could be gay? But the doubt about Brent doesn’t just hurt Tara – it’s the beginning of the end for an inseparable trio of friends. Tara’s training for the marathon, but also running from her father and her fear of ever being abandoned again. Beautiful Whitney Blaire’s got everything and nothing, because her parents have never had time for her. And Pinkie has a compulsive need to mother everyone to make up for the mom she never stops missing. The girls couldn’t be more different, but doesn’t that just prove the strength of their friendship? Then new-girl Riley arrives in school, wafting her long black hair and a scent of lilacs. Suddenly, Tara starts to feel things she’s never felt before for a girl - and to reassess her feelings about Brent and what he may/may not have done. Is Tara gay – or does she just love Riley? And can the map of her deepest friendships ever be redrawn in a post-Riley world?

Another Faust by Daniel & Dina Nayeri

One night, in cities all across Europe, five children vanish — only to appear, years later, at an exclusive New York party with a strange and elegant governess. Rumor and mystery follow the Faust teenagers to the city’s most prestigious high school, where they soar to suspicious heights with the help of their benefactor’s extraordinary "gifts." But as the students claw their way up — reading minds, erasing scenes, stopping time, stealing power, seducing with artificial beauty — they start to suffer the sideeffects of their own addictions. And as they make further deals with the devil, they uncover secrets more shocking than their most unforgivable sins. At once chilling and wickedly satirical, this contemporary reimagining of the Faustian bargain is a compelling tale of ambition, consequences, and ultimate redemption.

The Dark Divine by Bree Despain
(ARC/Published by EgmontUSA/December 22, 2009)

Grace Divine, daughter of the local pastor, always knew something terrible happened the night Daniel Kalbi disappeared—the night she found her brother Jude collapsed on the porch, covered in blood. But she has no idea what a truly monstrous secret that night really held. And when Daniel returns three years later, Grace can no longer deny her attraction to him, despite promising Jude she’ll stay away. As Grace gets closer to Daniel, her actions stir the ancient evil Daniel unleashed that horrific night. Grace must discover the truth behind Jude and Daniel's dark secret . . . and the cure that can save the ones she loves. But she may have to lay down the ultimate sacrifice to do it—her soul.

Geek Charming by Robin Palmer

Dylan Shoenfield is the princess of L.A.'s posh Castle Heights High. She has the coolest boyfriend, the most popular friends, and a brand-new "it" bag that everyone covets. But when she accidentally tosses her bag into a fountain, this princess comes face-to-face with her own personal frog: selfprofessed film geek Josh Rosen. In return for rescuing Dylan's bag, Josh convinces Dylan to let him film her for his documentary on high school popularity. Reluctantly, Dylan lets F-list Josh into her A-list world, and is shocked to realize that sometimes nerds can be pretty cool. But when Dylan's so-called prince charming of a boyfriend dumps her flat, her life—and her social status— comes to a crashing halt. Can Dylan—with Josh's help—pull the pieces together to create her own happily-ever-after?

I also got some cool (and shiny) bookmarks from Diana Peterfreund, author of Rampant. I'll be giving those away relatively soon!
Sorry, it's a horrible picture. My flash was not cooperating, and this was the best I could do.

Add to edit:
Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken*
(ARC/Published by EgmontUSA/March 23, 2010)

This one doesn't have an official cover yet, but the ARC cover is very pretty (it's the 4th from the left, top row).

Sydelle Mirabil is living proof that, with a single drop of rain, a life can be changed forever. Tucked away in the farthest reaches of the kingdom, her dusty village has suffered under the weight of a strangely persistent drought. That is, of course, until a wizard wanders into town and brings the rain with him. In return for this gift, Wayland North is offered any reward he desires—and no one is more surprised than Sydelle when, without any explanation, he chooses her. Taken from her home, Sydelle hardly needs encouragement to find reasons to dislike North. He drinks too much and bathes too little, and if that isn’t enough to drive her to madness, North rarely even uses the magic he takes such pride in possessing. Yet, it’s not long before she realizes there’s something strange about the wizard, who is as fiercely protective of her as he is secretive about a curse that turns his limbs a sinister shade of black and leaves him breathless with agony. Unfortunately, there is never a chance for her to seek answers. Along with the strangely powerful quakes and storms that trace their path across the kingdom, other wizards begin to take an inexplicable interest in her as well, resulting in a series of deadly duels. Against a backdrop of war and uncertainty, Sydelle is faced with the growing awareness that these events aren’t as random as she had believed—that no curse, not even that of Wayland North, is quite as terrible as the one she herself may carry.


Thursday, September 3, 2009


Well, I've gotten a few awards from some awesome bloggers, and I figured it was finally time to post them

I got the Zombie Chicken Award from Celi.a at adventures of cecelia bedelia
How fun is that blog name!?
The blogger who receives this award believes in the Tao of the zombie chicken - excellence, grace and persistence in all situations, even in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. These amazing bloggers regularly produce content so remarkable that their readers would brave a raving pack of zombie chickens just to be able to read their inspiring words. As a recipient of this world-renowned award, you now have the task of passing it on to at least 5 other worthy bloggers. Do not risk the wrath of the zombie chickens by choosing unwisely or not choosing at all.

Juju from Tales of Whimsy gave me the Super Comments Award! She's a regular commenter here, so I'm sending this one back to her as well!

I don't know if there are rules for this one, but it's a picture of a it's automatically awesome.

McKenzie from The Book Owl, and Kelsey from The Book Scout gave me The Lemonade Award! Thanks to both of you
The Lemonade Award is a feel good award that shows great attitude or gratitude.

I'm going to try something a little different in terms of nominations for different blogs. Instead of picking individual blogs, I'm going to say that anyone who comments can take an award and post it on their blog.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday (September 9)

This was started by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It's basically books that haven't been released yet, but that I can't wait for.

Other by Karen Kincy (it doesn't have a cover yet)

Seventeen-year-old Gwen hides a dangerous secret: she’s Other. Half-pooka, to be exact, thanks to the father she never met. Most Americans don’t exactly roll out the welcome mat for Others, especially not the small-town folks of Klikamuks, Washington. As if this isn’t bad enough, Gwen’s on the brink of revealing her true identity to her long-time boyfriend, Zack, but she’s scared he’ll lump her with the likes of bloodthirsty vampires and feral werewolves.

When a pack of werewolves chooses the national forest behind Gwen’s home as their new territory, the tensions in Klikamuks escalate-into murder. It soon becomes clear a serial killer is methodically slaying Others. The police turn a blind eye, leaving Gwen to find the killer before the killer finds her. As she hunts for clues, she uncovers more Others living nearby than she ever expected. Like Tavian, a sexy Japanese fox-spirit who rivals Zack and challenges her to embrace her Otherness. Gwen must struggle with her own conflicted identity, learn who she can trust, and-most importantly-stay alive.

The little picture/synopsis are from the author's website: I suggest going there to learn more about the series, and also to learn what a pooka is!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Just a little note...

So, after reading a post by Yan over at Books By Their Cover,I realized I should probably do the same thing. I've just started my senior year as an undergrad (eep), and so I'm starting to concentrate on classes/studying for the GRE. While I'll still be updating my blog, and commenting, it will be with less frequency. Once I get into a routine I'm sure things will pick back up. I also need to do a blog awards post, since I've gotten a few from some awesome bloggers, but haven't had a chance to post them.

Hope everyone had a happy first day of September!

Teaser Tuesday (September 1)

I hope everyone is celebrating September 1st by purchasing a ton of the amazing books that are being released today. Really, it's obscene the number of books out today that I need to buy.

Here's my teaser this week -

It's a meme hosted by Should Be Reading and here are the
Grab your current read...
Open to a random page
Share two teaser sentences from somewhere on the page

Don't include spoilers.

This week:

"On the rare occasion of a more formal event, Mom usually has to bribe me into dressy pants. A dress would cost her World Cup tickets."

Page 58, Oh. My. Gods., by Tera Lynn Childs

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