Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 Reflection

So. 2013 is officially over in a few hours. Well, long story short-- last year I was able to read 40 more books than I was able to read this year. Funny thing was, I'd actually thought that this year would be the year I hit 180 or something crazy like that. But, guess not. What happened was that I hit AP classes this fall, and boom, there went my reading time. But that doesn't mean I will stop. Reading will always be a sacred pastime. This year, I read 120 books, (and cheated with a few novellas.. but they're still books..) says Goodreads.

The book of the year? Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare. Even if that was back in March. That book. Seriously though. I don't know when or if I'll find a better book. Still not over those feels, Cassie!

I started this year with Narnia (bless CS Lewis for writing those) and end it with House of Hades (a book I was supposed to finish months ago, but heck.)

My resolutions included the finishing of my book, Incend, but that has not happened. You know what did happen? School. But I'm seriously letting school get in the way of this. I will start again. I'm leaving Incend to collect dust, because I can consider it my first failed attempt. But failure is a step, not a mode of discouragement. (Maybe it is for a little while.) I've been told that authors do not publish their first works. Continuously. Yeah, thanks Cynthia. LOL. I will start another one, don't you guys worry. I'll actually attempt to finish it this time.

But yeah, new years resolutions seems too overrated, doesn't it? So I won't make any. May 2014 be ever in your favor. Happy new year.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Book Review: The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

The Time Traveler's WifeThe Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
Book Summary: A dazzling novel in the most untraditional fashion, this is the remarkable story of Henry DeTamble, a dashing, adventuresome librarian who travels involuntarily through time, and Clare Abshire, an artist whose life takes a natural sequential course. Henry and Clare's passionate love affair endures across a sea of time and captures the two lovers in an impossibly romantic trap, and it is Audrey Niffenegger's cinematic storytelling that makes the novel's unconventional chronology so vibrantly triumphant.

An enchanting debut and a spellbinding tale of fate and belief in the bonds of love, The Time Traveler's Wife is destined to captivate readers for years to come.

Liana's Summary: Henry DeTamble and Clare Abshire have a long history. Except when Clare approaches Henry when he is 28 years young, working in a library, he has no idea who she is. And she knows that is the way it is supposed to be. While Henry has never seen Clare before in his life, Clare has grown up seeing him. It is not amnesia-- but time travel.

Rate(1-10): 9.5

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Book Review: Champion by Marie Lu (Legend #3)

Champion (Legend, #3)
Champion by Marie Lu (Legend #3)
Book Summary: The explosive finale to Marie Lu’s New York Times bestselling LEGEND trilogy—perfect for fans of THE HUNGER GAMES and DIVERGENT!

He is a Legend.
She is a Prodigy.
Who will be Champion? 

June and Day have sacrificed so much for the people of the Republic—and each other—and now their country is on the brink of a new existence. June is back in the good graces of the Republic, working within the government’s elite circles as Princeps Elect while Day has been assigned a high level military position. But neither could have predicted the circumstances that will reunite them once again. Just when a peace treaty is imminent, a plague outbreak causes panic in the Colonies, and war threatens the Republic’s border cities. This new strain of plague is deadlier than ever, and June is the only one who knows the key to her country’s defense. But saving the lives of thousands will mean asking the one she loves to give up everything he has. With heart-pounding action and suspense, Marie Lu’s bestselling trilogy draws to a stunning conclusion.

Liana's Summary: Day and June haven't spoken to each other in months. Both are too proud to bother the other first, and therefore, silence, no matter how much they miss each other. But when Day receives a message saying that his Princeps Elect requests his presence, he goes, and finds out that the country is in grave danger, and someone very important to him will be at risk to save it.

Rate(1-10): 10

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Book Review: Fallen by Lauren Kate

Fallen (Fallen, #1)Fallen by Lauren Kate
Book Summary: There’s something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori.

Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price’s attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword & Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah. He’s the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are all screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move.

Even Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce – he goes out of his way to make that very clear. But she can’t let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, Luce has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret...even if it kills her.

Dangerously exciting and darkly romantic, FALLEN is a page-turning thriller and the ultimate love story.

Liana's Summary: When Luce is sent to Sword and Cross, she knows her parents fear her enough to send her someplace like that. When she meets Daniel Grigori, she knows something is up. And then she meets Cam. Torn, Luce doesn't realize what either of them are.. 

Rate(1-10): 7

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Movie Review: Catching Fire

Let me just start out by saying how much I absolutely adored this movie. Man, this was completely amazing. I loved loved loved loved loved it. At first, I was kind of reluctant to watch this, because, first, I didn't really like Catching Fire. Personally, I felt that it was an unnecessary sequel. But oh my god, after watching this, THAT WAS SO AMAZING I CANNOT CONTAIN MY EXCITEMENT FOR THIS MOVIE. I loved it a LOT. A lot more than I'd expected to. It was completely amazing, Jennifer, Josh, Liam-- they did so well as main characters. (Elizabeth Banks is so pretty I can't breathe. Effie says another precious mahogany line LOL) I really enjoyed seeing Finnick come to life on the big screen, as one of my favorite characters. Sam portrayed his character very well (except he lost his cocky exterior really quickly). This followed the book a LOT more than the first movie did. If you're doubting going to see this, doubt no more. Go see it. This was a really, really good adaptation and I absolutely loved the effects. Completely fabulous.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

What's Going On Right Now?

Hey everyone! First off, I just want to say thank you to my followers for being so nice and coming to comment even when I'm not here as much as I would like to be anymore, because I'm trying to balance my academics. I have a LOT of pressure on my hands right now, so that's why I won't be accepting review requests for a while.

Currently, I am reading:

Fallen (Fallen, #1)The House of Hades (The Heroes of Olympus, #4)Blythewood

I've been wanting to read this for a while, so when we had to find an independent reading book for English class, I'd picked this up. But damn it, should've just chosen House of Hades. So this book, not to be criticizing, but I really can't help but not like the writing style. I don't know, maybe it's just the main character. I can't tell. Protagonist = irritating, indecisive. This will probably end up being a 7/10. We'll see if it gets better. I'm halfway through.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Guest Post- Jen McConnel: Top Five Travel Tips

Top Five Travel Tips: guest post by Jen McConnel

Travel is wonderful, and I can’t get enough of it. My novel THE SECRET OF ISOBEL KEY begins with a vacation to Scotland. Like my main character, Lou, I’ve traveled to Scotland in the winter, and I’ve been lucky enough to bounce around to a few other places in my life, too. Some trips have been solo, while others have been with school groups and, more recently, my husband.

Through it all, I’ve made a lot of mistakes, but I’ve also developed some pretty good tricks for getting by, regardless of where I’m traveling. Here are my top five travel tips to help you plan your next adventure!

1. Bring toilet paper

Seriously. My husband looked at me like I was insane when I insisted on packing a roll of toilet paper in a ziplock bag before our trip to Egypt, but he was thanking me within hours of landing.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Book Review: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

I Know Why the Caged Bird SingsI Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
Book Summary: Sent by their mother to live with their devout, self-sufficient grandmother in a small Southern town, Maya and her brother, Bailey, endure the ache of abandonment and the prejudice of the local "powhitetrash." At eight years old and back at her mother's side in St. Louis, Mayais attacked by a man any times her age-and has to live with the consequences for a lifetime. Years later, in San Francisco, Maya learns about love for herself, and the kindness of others, her own strong spirit, and the ideas of great authors ("I met and fell in love with William Shakespeare") will allow her to be free instead of imprisoned.

Liana's Summary: Marguerite grows up with her brother Bailey in Stamps, Arkansas, staying with their grandmother, Annie Henderson. They do not consider themselves to have a mother and a father-- so when, suddenly, they meet with their parents once again, they see them as strangers. Well, at least Maya does. Maya is sexually assaulted by a man three or four times her age- and must live with it as she grows up.

Rate(1-10): 7.5

Friday, October 25, 2013

Discussion #13: So many books, so little time.. This again!?

So, I've run out of scheduled posts, and I feel so guilty because I haven't read since August. That's like, extremely sad. No books = no book reviews, and book reviews make up most of my blog posts.

I've titled a discussion post with "So many books, so little time.." before, hence the "This again?!" part of it.

I just wanted to discuss with y'all, reading should be viewed as a sacred pastime and there's supposed to be time for it every day, but frankly, for me, I've had no time at all since school began.

I feel stupid for taking two AP classes without getting the feel for it first.

Each day I'm working until 11PM with homework, or even later, and getting around 5-6 hours of sleep-- before, I usually got 8-9.

And now there's no time to read.

I itch to get some reading done, but I also itch to balance my grades..

What do you guys think? Is reading as important as schoolwork, and should it be viewed as a sacred pastime?

Monday, October 21, 2013

Guest Post: Amber Forbes, When Stars Die

Hey all, today we have a guest post by author Amber Forbes!

When Stars Die doesn't have a specific point of inspiration. It came from the mind of a fourteen-year-old who received the biggest burst of inspiration in her writing life. For once it was an original story that was entirely my own, with little outside influence, other than my dreams and my desire to write about witches and convents. But the journey of getting When Stars Die to how it is today was not an easy one.
First, I didn't even write When Stars Die first. I wrote its sequel, which was originally called Witch Tourniquet, meaning a witch that stops the bleeding--so a witch that stops the suffering. The original intention of this book was that the main character, Alice, was meant to set all witches free because she was a chosen one. I wrote this book, and it was a 180,000 word monstrosity filled with bad writing and clich├ęs galore. And to think I wrote a query letter for this book, certain I was ready for publication. It wasn't until someone told me that 180,000 was too long did I start tearing the book apart and revising it. I parced it down to 90,000, but that still wasn't good enough. So I kept tinkering with it over the years, receiving beta reader feedback and everything else necessary to create a solid work. It still wasn't enough.
It wasn't until I met Georgia McBride, founder of YALITCHAT, did I begin to seriously work on my writing. She tore my book apart, but I suppose I was a gifted writer because I took her comments and was able to make it right the first time. So she went chapter-by-chapter, critiquing everything. Then we got to a point in the book where everything de-railed. I think I fixed the de-railing because I sent it off to her former intern to have it critiqued, and she loved it. But I began to realize something still wasn't right. This is when I realized I needed to bring When Stars Die back out (which I started at fifteen and put it on hiatus for years), in order to make Witch Tourniquet work, which is now called Stars Will Rise.
I worked on When Stars Die for a year, outlining it and re-outlining it. The outlining process made such a difference in my overall storytelling ability. It made it easier to order things, spot plot holes, and made sure that something happened in every chapter. When Stars Die wasn't overall a difficult book to work on, to be frank, because I took the skills I learned from Georgia for Stars Will Rise and applied it to When Stars Die. Then I found AEC Stellar Publishing through Shannon Thompson, decided to take a chance on this new company, and ultimately landed a contract with them. I have been very pleased with my experience so far.
As for Stars Will Rise, I have kept most of its original content but am in the process of tearing the last half apart to ensure the sequel is better than its first book.
Last, I want to share an excerpt with you of When Stars Die:
The sound is a dagger scraping crosshatches on a frosted windowpane, its echoes loud in this insensible room I’ve been locked in for the past few days. I want to remedy my fears over the sound, but I’m more terrified of the impending trials that will determine my readiness to be professed in the Order of Cathedral Reims. The trials are the reason I have been locked in here.
Colette sits beside me, lost in knitting a scarf she has been working on for a week—the amount of time we’ve been trapped in here with minimal food, water, and sanity. Her ability to shut out the world with a click of the needles is something I have always envied. For her, the world is nonexistent.
But not for me.
The sound strips my nerves raw, so I tighten my shawl and rise from the creaking mattress. My boot-clad feet meet the floor, and in spite of my stockings, cold still shoots through the soles, hibernating in my bones. Pulling in a deep breath of biting air, I tiptoe over to the door and press my eye to the keyhole that overlooks a bright hallway. The air freezes in my chest. I knew I heard those blasted shadows, the eerie, almost impossible sounds they make whenever their black cloaks trail along the cobbled floors of Cathedral Reims. Sometimes I wonder if they’re witches, people born of the Seven Deadly Sins and considered worse than murderers in the eyes of the law. Then I remember my little brother is nothing like them. They are mere shadows. Mere shadows.
Two of them stand outside the room. I recognize them. The tall one is Asch, and the little one is Sash. I don’t know where I heard their names. Here, in my dreams, in nightmares, or somewhere else.
I wish they would go away. I wish, I wish, I wish. I close my eyes. Open them. They are still there. Why must they be here? Theosodore, our Mother Superior’s lackey, could gather us any moment for the first trial, a trial that will test everything we are made of, and here are Asch and Sash teasing my nerves with their cold, white fingers. But I don’t know what it is about them. They haven’t done anything in the two months since I’ve started seeing them, but their presence makes sharp fear burrow into my muscles and knot them. I believe I’m the only one who can see them. This frightens me. Perhaps waiting for these trials has made me mad.

Links:Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AmberSkyeForbes
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AmberSkyeF
Blog: http://amberskyeforbes.wordpress.com
Webpage: http://amberskyeforbes.com
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18387010-when-stars-die
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/When-Stars-Amber-Skye-Forbes/dp/0989312879/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1381354240&sr=1-2&keywords=when+stars+die

Bio: Amber Skye Forbes is a dancing writer who prefers pointe shoes over street shoes, leotards over skirts, and ballet buns over hairstyles. She loves striped tights and bows and will edit your face with a Sharpie if she doesn't like your attitude. She lives in Augusta, Georgia where she writes dark fiction that will one day put her in a psychiatric ward...again. But she doesn't care because her cat is a super hero who will break her out.  

Friday, October 18, 2013

Awards: Since June 2013


Now I'll do this. Book awards. This shows my favorite read out of the entire month. I'll be starting from June, since this is my first awards post.

Click on the picture of the book for a link to my review/post!

June book of the month award:

July book of the month award:
August book of the month award:

This book. Made my whole entire month. It's making my day right now just looking at the cover. Go read this series.

And that's sort of it. I didn't read anything in September. Scandalous, scandalous me..
Well, how about you guys? What are your favorite books of June, July, August, and/or September?

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Author Event: Marissa Meyer, SA Bodeen, Alexandra Bullen Coutts, and Leila Sales at A Great Good Place For Books: Oakland, CA

Hey all! Last Sunday was such a blast for me. I went to A Great Good Place For Books, and met Marissa Meyer, one of my all time favorite authors, SA Bodeen, Alexandra Bullen, and Leila Sales. All were fabulous.

These ladies were so nice! I got my copies of Cinder and Scarlet signed. I'm so glad Fierce Reads decided to stop by near my home. Unfortunately, no matter how much I wanted to get the other books, I was too poor and forever will be...
As I was there, I hauled Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell for twenty bucks. I just know it'll be worth it-- it gives me the jitters!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Book Haul- 7

Belles (Belles, #1)Home FrontGoing VintageSo Much CloserVirals (Virals, #1)Fangirl
1. Belles by Jen Calonita
My sister was nice enough to get this for me as a belated birthday present! Thanks, sis~ Let's see how this one is. It looks great, and it's nice and thick.. ish.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Donate to SLHS Aspiring Writers!

Hello all, I apologize for the fact that I haven't been posting recently, and it is, of course, because of the crazy AP homework I must deal with. Anyways, as some of you may know, I've started a club in my school-- Aspiring Writers for teens with similar ambitions for writing gather and share (not to mention the leadership role). I've been so pleased at the big turnout when I'd expected two or three people to come.

In order to get started, we have to raise funds for costly writing contests, author signings, and buying books. We need YOUR help! Please donate! It's never too late to donate, and every little bit counts.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday #9!

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

The Forever Song by Julie Kagawa (Blood of Eden #3)

Pub date: April 24 2014

IT DOESN'T EVEN HAVE A COVER YET I'M HYPERVENTILATING IT DOESN'T EVEN HAVE A SYNOPSIS YET, MAN OMFG. The Eternity Cure was such an amazing book and I cannot wait for book 3. That cliffhanger..

Taken From Twitter:
So, how long will we have to wait to find out what happens next with Blood of Eden series?

Julie Kagawa: Probably not for another year. Iron Traitor comes out in the fall, then Blood 3 in the spring.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Blog Tour: 15 Minutes by Jill Cooper

                                                15 Minutes
Released: June 15th, 2013
Purchase: Amazon
Blurb: I have 15 minutes to save my mother’s life….

15 minutes is all the Rewind Agency gives you in the past, but for Lara Crane it’s enough time to race through the city, find her mother, and stop her from being killed in a mugging that happened over ten years ago.

But that’s not how it happened. The story she’s been told all her life is a lie and when Lara takes a bullet meant for her mother, her future changes forever.

The love of her life acts like a stranger. Her simple life is replaced with a giant house, glamorous clothes and a new boyfriend. 

Except someone knows her secret. And he will try to stop her at every turn as she races against the clock to unravel a dangerous conspiracy.

15 Minutes is an edgy high octane YA thriller that can be described as Back to the Future meets Inception where the people Lara trusts change in an instant. She is in a timeline she doesn't understand, and is about to make one fatal mistake as she faces an enemy so familiar, he’s family.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Weekend Reads #6

Weekend Reads
Weekend Reads is a brand new meme hosted by Alexis at Escape Reality Through Books and Liana at Bookaholic-ness
The guidelines are simple: Just grab our button and put it on a new blog post. Then, show us what you're reading and tell us what your goal is (how many pages) for the weekend! (This weekend, I'm reading: -insert book title/picture here-, and my goal is-- # of pages) And the last step: join the linky list, so others can have a link to your blog post!

This weekend I am reading: 
My biology notes and my APWH notes..

My goal for this weekend is: As much as I can..
Weekend Reads meme
Thanks so much for participating and getting this meme started. Please spread the word!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday #8!

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine.

This week's pre-publication can't-wait-to-read selection is..

House of Hades by Rick Riordan (Heroes of Olympus #4) 
Pub date: October something or other I don't remember too many feels to care or remember JUST GIVE IT TO ME

I can't wait for this one. Oh my gods, dying. RICK. WHY YOU NO COME TO CALIFORNIA. AFDKSAJ;KLDAJJ. -cries- I have no other words.

What about you guys? Leave your links below!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Cover Reveal: Panic by J.A. Huss (Rook and Ronin #3)


Panic by J.A. Huss
(Rook and Ronin #3)
Publication date: October 24th 2013
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult

Rook is chasing her dream—film school and a chance at a life beyond the one she left behind six months ago. But before she can become the girl she wants to be, she must deal with the girl she left behind.

Ronin is also chasing his dream—a family of his own and a life away from erotic modeling. And he too, has a past he’s trying to forget. A past that makes Rook question everything about their life together.

Lies, secrets, and shocking truths will rock the foundation Rook and Ronin have built. Can they put the past behind them and move forward together? Or is this just another too good to be true relationship that will crash and burn in the end?

Book Links:

J. A. Huss likes to write new adult books that make you think and keep you guessing. Her favorite genre to read is space opera, but since practically no one reads those books, she writes new adult science fiction, paranormal romance, contemporary romance, urban fantasy, and books about Junco (who refuses to be saddled with a label).

She has an undergraduate degree in horses, (yes, really–Thank you, Colorado State University) and a master’s degree in forensic toxicology from the University of Florida. She used to have a job driving around Colorado doing pretty much nothing but shooting the breeze with farmers, but now she just writes, runs the New Adult Addiction and Clean Teen Reads Book Blogs, and runs an online science classroom for homeschoolers.

Author Links:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, September 6, 2013

Weekend Reads #5!

Weekend Reads
Weekend Reads is a brand new meme hosted by Alexis at Escape Reality Through Books and Liana at Bookaholic-ness
The guidelines are simple: Just grab our button and put it on a new blog post. Then, show us what you're reading and tell us what your goal is (how many pages) for the weekend! (This weekend, I'm reading: -insert book title/picture here-, and my goal is-- # of pages) And the last step: join the linky list, so others can have a link to your blog post!

This weekend I am reading: 
Blythewood by Carol Goodman

My goal for this weekend is: At least 300 pages.
Weekend Reads meme
Thanks so much for participating and getting this meme started. Please spread the word!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Blog Tour: The Wishing Well Curse by Lynn Donovan

Release Date: April 29th 2013

Publisher: AltWit Press
Purchase: Amazon


Zeke Clay is down on his luck. He’s lost everything—an apartment, an education, a girlfriend, his job… When a mysterious letter comes from a law firm in Colorado, he decides things just might be looking up. Now he stands to inherit a fortune, but it comes with a price. He must break a family curse and restore true love. What does he know about breaking a curse? And who is this Great Uncle Luther Clayton, who claims Zeke is the one? Can he piece together the clues left by his dearly departed? Who can he trust? The Apache Indian attorney? Her great nephew? The leather-clad, Harley riding Pastor? Least of all, himself? What about the Ghosts? …And why does his three-year-old tattoo bleed every time he gets near the wishing well?

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday #7!

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

Vitro by Jessica Khoury

Pub date: Jan 14, 2014

On a remote island in the Pacific, Corpus scientists have taken test tube embryos and given them life. These beings—the Vitros—have knowledge and abilities most humans can only dream of. But they also have one enormous flaw.

Seventeen-year-old Sophie Crue is determined to get to Skin Island and find her mother, a scientist who left Sophie behind years ago. With the help of Jim Julien, a young charter pilot, she arrives--and discovers a terrifying secret she never imagined: she has a Vitro twin, Lux, who is the culmination of Corpus's dangerous research.

Now Sophie is torn betwteen reuniting with the mother who betrayed her and protecting the genetically enhanced twin she never knew existed. But untangling the twisted strands of these relationships will have to wait, for Sophie and Jim are about to find out just what happens when science stretches too far beyond its reach.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Book Review: A Million Suns by Beth Revis (Across the Universe #2)

A Million Suns (Across the Universe, #2)A Million Suns by Beth Revis
(Across the Universe #2)
Book Summary: Godspeed was once fueled by lies. Now it is ruled by chaos. 

It’s been three months since Amy was unplugged. The life she always knew is over. Everywhere she looks, she sees the walls of the spaceshipGodspeed.

But there may be hope: Elder has assumed leadership of the ship. He's finally free to act on his vision—no more Phydus, no more lies.

But when Elder learns shocking news about the ship, he and Amy race to discover the truth behind life on Godspeed. They must work together to unlock a mystery that was set in motion hundreds of years earlier. Their success—or failure—will determine the fate of the 2,298 passengers aboard Godspeed. But with each step, the journey becomes more perilous, the ship more chaotic, and the love between them more impossible to fight.

Beth Revis catapulted readers into the far reaches of space with her New York Times bestselling debut, Across the Universe. In A Million Suns, Beth deepens the mystery with action, suspense, romance, and deep philosophical questions. And this time it all builds to one mind-bending conclusion: They have to get off this ship.

Liana's Summary: Elder has taken the role of Eldest, even though he still insists on being called Elder. He didn't expect his time to be a leader to come so soon. It's been three months since Amy was unplugged, by Elder himself. She's been on Godspeed for so long, and yet, the people still look at her differences in disgust. Elder had decided to take the ship off Phydus, but what will that lead to? Orion has left many clues for Amy-- clue after clue, we are closer and closer to the truth.

Rate(1-10): 9.5

Friday, August 30, 2013

Weekend Reads #4!

Weekend Reads
Weekend Reads is a brand new meme hosted by Alexis at Escape Reality Through Books and Liana at Bookaholic-ness
The guidelines are simple: Just grab our button and put it on a new blog post. Then, show us what you're reading and tell us what your goal is (how many pages) for the weekend! (This weekend, I'm reading: -insert book title/picture here-, and my goal is-- # of pages) And the last step: join the linky list, so others can have a link to your blog post!

This weekend I am reading: 
Blythewood by Carol Goodman

My goal for this weekend is: At least 800 pages.
Weekend Reads meme
Thanks so much for participating and getting this meme started. Please spread the word!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Author Interview: Jennifer A. Nielsen, Author of the Ascendance Trilogy

Hey guys! I've got an interview with Jennifer A. Nielsen for you guys. Enjoy!

What inspired you to start writing?

I’ve always had stories in my head, and for a long time I thought that was a normal thing for everyone. Maybe it is, but maybe there are some people who just keep that story turning in their minds until they finally give in and write it down. For me, if I don’t write, then I don’t get much of anything else done because the characters that get in my head just won’t leave me alone.

What was your first idea for The False Prince, and did you think of that fabulous twist ending prior to writing most of the book or did you just come up with it right when you were writing the end? 

No, I knew from the beginning how The False Prince would end. I always know the endings to my stories, just not necessarily how I’m going to get there.

Do you organize the plot before writing a book or do you just go with the flow? 

I used to go with the flow a lot more, but now I do a lot more outlining in advance. The better I get at outlining, the more I’m committed to it as a writing tool. It saves me a lot of time and helps me pull stronger moments from the plot. Tomorrow, I’m going to start work on another technique often used by screenwriters – that of writing plot elements on color-coded cards and sorting them around on a board. Should be fun!

Did you intend for The False Prince to be a stand-alone novel at first? 

It was written as a standalone novel, but the further I got into the story, the more I realized how big Sage’s world was, and how much story remained to be told after the new king is crowned. When I approached Scholastic with the idea of possibly making this a trilogy, and they responded enthusiastically, I could not have been happier.

Can you tell us a bit about The Shadow Throne?

 Definitely! There is a place at one point in the book where Jaron gets a bite to eat. It’s riveting. Other than that, there’s not much I can say. However, everyone who has read to the end of The Runaway King should have a good idea of where the story has to go. War is coming…

Which one of your characters, in all the books you've ever written, can you relate to the most, and in what ways? 

I think I put a little of myself in all my characters. I may not have a lot in common with all of them (or with any of them, really), but there are some where I have an easy time getting inside their heads, knowing how they tick. So of my books already released, I think I probably relate most to both of the girls in Ascendance series. I admire their strength and courage and the different ways they each handle Jaron. He needs them both in his life and has a lot to learn from each.

What, in your opinion, is the best thing about being an author?

 I am constantly amazed that I get to write the stories in my head for a job. That is an absolute dream come true, and with every new day I am increasingly grateful for the opportunities this career gives me. But the very best thing about being an author is when I get letters from young readers or their parents or teachers. Letters that say things like “yours is the first book that John has read start to finish.” Or “your book has inspired me to write my own story.” I love those. I save them and re-read them at times when I need encouragement.

And the worst? 

I love building new fictional worlds and populating them with characters that I also love. Then eventually that book or that series has to end, and by that time in a book’s lifespan, I know it all as well as if it were real (yes, many authors are partially schizophrenic, in case you were wondering). So it is hard to say goodbye. I am so excited about what’s coming next, but I will always miss the excitement and challenge of every book that has come before.

Where do you like to write? 
I can write nearly anywhere as long as it’s quiet. My favorite places are on the couch in front of my front room window, in my bed at night, and alone in the mountains near my home.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Sometimes there are people who want to get published, but they freeze up because they are afraid of failing at it. In other words, they prefer quitting to failing. So here’s my advice:

Do not fear failure. There’s nothing wrong with failing – nearly everyone who is great can give you a very long list of their failures, and certainly most authors can. Myself included.

If you have a great story idea, write it. Even if it might not work. Even if it might not be any good. And even if you have no idea who would ever want to read it.

If you’ve written a great story, sell it. When you get a rejection (and you will), send out a new query. Send out five. And if those get rejected, send out some more. I once talked with a writer who gave up for years after his eighth rejection. Eighth? That’s like giving up on the race while you’re still tying your shoes.

And if you never sell that story, then put it away and write another one that’s even better. Most writers do exactly that. Figure out why your first didn’t work and fix the problems. Then sell that one.

And once it sells, prepare yourself for good sales numbers…or bad. Good reviews…or bad. Or worse still, no reviews. Because in your writing career, you’ll get all of that. And it’s not failure. It’s just the business.

There’s nothing wrong with failing. There is, however, something tragic about giving up. So don’t.

Only if you are unafraid to fail can you ever hope to succeed.
Thanks to Jennifer to her very thoughtful answers!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Book Review: Not a Drop To Drink by Mindy McGinnis

Not a Drop to Drink
Not a Drop To Drink by Mindy Mcginnis
Book Summary: Regret was for people with nothing to defend, people who had no water. 

Lynn knows every threat to her pond: drought, a snowless winter, coyotes, and, most importantly, people looking for a drink. She makes sure anyone who comes near the pond leaves thirsty, or doesn't leave at all.

Confident in her own abilities, Lynn has no use for the world beyond the nearby fields and forest. Having a life means dedicating it to survival, and the constant work of gathering wood and water. Having a pond requires the fortitude to protect it, something Mother taught her well during their quiet hours on the rooftop, rifles in hand.

But wisps of smoke on the horizon mean one thing: strangers. The mysterious footprints by the pond, nighttime threats, and gunshots make it all too clear Lynn has exactly what they want, and they won’t stop until they get it….

With evocative, spare language and incredible drama, danger, and romance, debut author Mindy McGinnis depicts one girl’s journey in a barren world not so different than our own.

Liana's Summary: Water was scarce. Lynn had to defend her pond, and protecting meant shooting all those who dared to come near it. With her mother's face being the only face that she'd ever known, it wasn't hard to shoot everyone and anyone. But when she gets to know Stebbs, Eli, Lucy, and Neva, Lynn starts to think about it. Those people and animals are just trying to survive. Just like her. Mindy McGinnis takes you on a journey through the futuristic United States, where there is not a drop to drink..

Rate(1-10): 7

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Author Interview: Debra Ann Miller, Author of the Fallen Guardian Saga

patricks communiom.jpgHello everyone! Below is the author interview with Debra Ann 
Miller, Author of the Fallen Guardian Saga!

1. What inspired you to start writing? 

I think that writing is just an extension of who I am. My grandmother lived with me for the past 5 years. We were very close and she was my biggest supporter in life. She always told me I was a gifted story-teller. I remember sitting by her bedside wondering how I could let her know how much I appreciated her always believing in me. I decided the best way to show her how grateful I was would be to write. I did that day after day, while sitting in her room and read each chapter to her as I went. Sadly, she didn't live long enough to hear the end of my story but there are traces of her in it from beginning to end. My Grandmother inspired me to be my best and I am doing just that.

2. What gave you the idea to write Descended, and how long did you take to write the first draft?

The idea for Descended came to me when my Grandmother was in the hospital. I was told that her time here was about to expire. I found myself wondering about what comes next. Each night when I left the hospital I would drive home imagining life beyond this world. My thoughts quickly turned to conversations between characters created in my mind. Before I knew it, there was a story developing and I needed to let it out. To an old school notebook the ink flowed onto the pages and 3 months later I had 94,000 words and a first draft.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Bout of Books 8.0: This Week's Recap

Bout of Books
This was my first read-a-thon, and unfortunately, it was such a failure. Although I have to say it was kind of fun! This week was also the first week of school for me, so in all the chaos with getting organized and prepared and accustomed and trying to keep up with AP courses and trying to do homework, and trying to study, I've only been able to read two books this entire readathon, when my initial goal was 1000 pages. I'm looking forward to participating next year, and hopefully I'll be more accustomed to AP courses by then to not spend entire evenings and nights trying to figure things out, and be able to read at least a little.

Check out my progress post: http://bookaholic-ness.blogspot.com/2013/08/bout-of-books-80-goals.html