Monday, March 30, 2009

On The Outside: Gayle Forman

Today for the On The Outside post we have the wonderful author of the new book, If I Stay, author, Gayle Forman! Gayle is really nice and her book is excellent, which I had the chance to read a few months ago. You can visit Gayle at http://www.gayleforman.com/

~~~

Finding the right book title is a lightning-bolt experience—or, at least what I assume a lighting-bolt experience is like. In any case, you know when you’ve been hit. And for me, if I don’t have a title locked into place before the agents, editors, publishers, sales and marketing departments start weighing in, the process can become incredibly fraught.

With IF I STAY, it was never an issue because I never actually had to consciously think up the title. It just arrived, as part of the conception of the book. If I stay…it’s the central premise of the novel, the profound decision that Mia must make. I knew what the book would be titled well before I knew what I’d call my characters (I didn’t name Mia’s until about forty pages in ) or indeed what her ultimate decision would turn out to be (that I truly didn’t figure out until I was halfway through writing the book). At one point, my agent mentioned that she didn’t love the title and I half-heartedly threw out a few alternatives, but I don’t think I ever seriously considered changing it, and she warmed to the name. Once the manuscript went out to publishers, no one suggested changing it, thank goodness.

As for cover. I think this is the most beautiful cover in the history of book jackets. Okay, perhaps I’m a little biased, but it is stunning and perfect for this book, which is all you can hope for. I wish I could claim some credit, but all accolades go to the geniuses at Penguin, who had to crash together a concept in record time (The time between Penguin buying the rights to IF I STAY and the book showing up in book stores was about ten months, which is warp speed for book publishing). They showed me a few different prototypes in the early stages and I fell in love with the flower on the stark tree branches because it just works on so many levels, and that happened to be the one they chose, too. A few months ago I was on a prepublication book tour when a fiftysomething waiter at a fancy restaurant—hardly the book’s target audience—saw the cover, and, unprompted, said that the image symbolized the fragility of life but it also evoked hope. If this guy got all that from looking at the jacket for five seconds I knew then that it really was the perfect cover for this book.

~~~

Thank you a bunch Gayle for the wonderful story!

If any author wants more details on how you can do an On The Outside post with me, please email me at kels.m.17@gmail.com with On The Outside in the subject line and I'll get to you immediately with the details!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Swoon by Nina Malkin

Title: Swoon
Author: Nina Malkin
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Reading Level: Young Adult, 16+
Publication Date: May 19, 2009
Pages: 425
Amazon Page

Rating: B
Plot - 18/20
Characters - 17/20
Writing - 18/20
Originality - 20/20
Entertainment - 7/10
Recommendation - 7/10
Total: 87/100

Summary:
Sin is Coming...Prepare to Swoon!

Torn from her native New York City and dumped in the land of cookie-cutter preps, Candice is resigned to accept her posh, dull fate. Nothing ever happens in Swoon, Connecticut...until Dice's perfect, privileged cousin Penelope nearly dies in a fall from an old tree, and her spirit intertwines with that of a ghost. His name? Sinclair Youngblood Powers. His mission? Revenge. And while Pen is oblivious to the possession, Dice is all too aware of Sin. She's intensely drawn to him—but not at all crazy about the havoc he's wreaking. Determined to exorcise the demon, Dice accidentally sets Sin loose, gives him flesh, makes him formidable. Now she must destroy an even more potent—and irresistible—adversary, before the whole town succumbs to Sin's will. Only trouble is, she's in love with him.

Review:
This book sounds amazing, yes? I thought so too, but . . . I was disappointed.

The book started out really well, I was hooked, maybe not as much as I would've liked, but I was hooked to it.

I found Dice to be a unique character. I like the way she thought, she had attitude, and a interesting personality. I like seeing the world through her eyes. The supporting characters were good, not as good as Dice and Sin, but interesting. But I felt that we didn't see their personality's as much, I mean, they were in the book, Pen and Marsh and them all, but I just never got a good looksey at their personalities. I really liked the greedy, cynical character of Sin, I think the books wouldn't of been what it is without the uniqueness of his character.

Malkin's writing was really great. I loved her imagery and I loved her writing style. I just, I felt that there was just too much going on. I got confused sometimes, and some stuff just didn't interest me so I didn't follow along as good as in the beginning. I don't know. I have some mixed feelings from this book and I just don't know how to put it in words of the gibberish in my head.

I really enjoyed the originality of the novel, it was unpredictable, I had no idea where it would go next. I thought the plot was really interesting. I haven't heard anything like it before. It had me surprised a few scenes also. One thing I really liked about it was the ending, I was satisfied and I think it went in the right direction. I was really happy with how it ended.

Principally: This novel was really interesting. I think the only reasons I didn't like it was just because it wasn't necessarily my kind of taste in it. The plot and originality were great. Nina Malkin sensibility was great and I loved her style. Oh, and historical fiction lovers, you might also really like this one. But I won't tell you why. Read it yourself.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

"Waiting On" Wednesday (16)

The Secret Year by Jennifer R. Hubbard
Spring 2010

(No cover yet)

Seventeen-year-old Colt has been sneaking out at night to meet Julia, a girl from an upper-class neighborhood unlike his own. They’ve never told anyone else about their relationship: not their family or friends, and especially not Julia’s boyfriend. When Julia dies suddenly, Colt tries to cope with her death while pretending that he never even knew her. He discovers a journal Julia left behind. But Colt is not prepared for the truths he discovers about their intense relationship, nor to pay the price for the secrets he’s kept.

This one sounds really good. The whole premise of the book sounds heart-wrenching and beautiful. But it SO far off! It's a year away! Maybe more. Jeez, I don't know if I can wait that long, haha. But I'll have to! But I'm sure it'll be worth the wait!

Monday, March 23, 2009

On The Outside: Melissa Walker

Melissa Walker is probably the coolest young adult author today. She's the author of the super fantabulous Violet series, Violet on the Runway; Violet by Design; Violet in Private. Her newest novel, Lovestruck Summer, comes out in May and she's here to talk about the title! Melissa Walker's Cover Stories is the inspiration behind On The Outside, she had already talked about the cover for her newest book and you can find that here. And poke around her awesome website while your at it!

~~~

Okay, so my next book is called LOVESTRUCK SUMMER. It's he story of
18-year-old Quinn, an indie-rock girl spending the summer in Austin on
a coveted music internship. While she hopes to find the perfect
hipster boyfriend, she unexpectedly falls in love with a college
cowboy who makes her challenge her own stereotypes, expand her musical
tastes, and ultimately open up her world.

I had a looong list of title tries after the publisher told me they
wanted to call it COOL SUMMER (which sounded slightly boring to me).

Here was my list of ideas (some were semi-jokey, but I was hoping
they'd inspire the title wizards at HarperCollins):
Cowboy Summer
Summer Country
Southwest Summer
Texas-Sized Summer
Head Over Heels
Lovestruck Summer
Summer Fever
Sounds of Summer
Greetings From Austin
Number One Single
Hit Summer Single
Summer Single
Austin City Summer
Summer Mix
My Summer Mix
Live from Austin
Love from Austin

So anyway, they liked LOVESTRUCK SUMMER, and I really adore the word
"lovestruck" (doesn't it just sound like romance punching you in the
face, in a good way?) so everyone ended up happy!

Thanks for asking me about the title, Kelsey!

~~~

Thanks Melissa!

If any author wants more details on how you can do an On The Outside post with me, please email me at kels.m.17@gmail.com with On The Outside in the subject line and I'll get to you immediately with the details!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

In My Mailbox (11)

Alea was the inspiration for Kristi to start In My Mailbox, thanks you two!

I had a decent week.

Say The Word by Jeannine Garsee
Dredging up the past can knock the present right off balance.The world expects perfection from seventeen-year-old Shawna Gallagher, and for the most part, that’s what they get. She dates the right boys, gets good grades, and follows her father’s every rule. But when her estranged lesbian mother dies, it’s more than perfect Shawna can take. Suddenly, anger from being abandoned ten years ago is resurfacing along with Shawna’s embarrassment over her mother’s other family. As she confronts family secrets and questions from the past, Shawna realizes there’s a difference between doing the perfect thing and doing the right thing. Shawna’s honest and relatable voice will draw readers in and hold them until the last page in this coming-of-age story. Jeannine Garsee has delivered a compulsively readable second novel, perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen and Laurie Halse Anderson.

I've read this already, it was . . . interesting. I got this one for review.

Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
When Brittany Ellis walks into chemistry class on the first day of senior year, she has no clue that her carefully created “perfect” life is about to unravel before her eyes. She’s forced to be lab partners with Alex Fuentes, a gang member from the other side of town, and he is about to threaten everything she's worked so hard for—her flawless reputation, her relationship with her boyfriend, and the secret that her home life is anything but perfect. Alex is a bad boy and he knows it. So when he makes a bet with his friends to lure Brittany into his life, he thinks nothing of it. But soon Alex realizes Brittany is a real person with real problems, and suddenly the bet he made in arrogance turns into something much more. In a passionate story about looking beneath the surface, Simone Elkeles breaks through the stereotypes and barriers that threaten to keep Brittany and Alex apart.

This is actually a repeat copy, I already had bought a copy from Amazon. I was excited to read this but after reading Leaving Paradise my hopes kind of crashed. But now I still have it for review, so I'll have to read it.

Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson
Scarlett Martin has grown up in a most unusual way. Her family owns the Hopewell, a small hotel in the heart of New York City. Her nineteen-year-old brother, Spencer, is an out of work actor facing a family deadline to get his career in order. Eighteen-year-old Lola has the delicate looks of a model, the practical nature of a nurse, and a wealthy society boyfriend. Eleven-year-old Marlene is the family terror with a tragic past.
When the Martins turn fifteen, they are each expected to take over the care of a suite in the once elegant, now shabby Art Deco hotel. For Scarlett’s fifteenth birthday, she gets both a room called the Empire Suite, and a permanent guest named Mrs. Amberson. Scarlett doesn’t quite know what to make of this C-list starlet, world traveler, and aspiring autobiographer who wants to take over her life. And when she meets Eric, an astonishingly gorgeous actor who has just moved to the city, her summer takes a second unexpected turn.
With Mrs. Amberson calling the shots, Spencer’s career to save, Lola’s love life to navigate around, and Marlene’s prying eyes everywhere, things won’t be easy. Before the summer is over, Scarlett will have to survive a whirlwind of thievery, Broadway glamour, romantic missteps, and theatrical deception.
The show, as they say, must always go on . . . .

I got this one from the YA Book Swap started by Carol. I'm borrowing this from the awesome Sarah. Thanks Sarah! I have like 80 pages left to read.

Cycler by Lauren McLaughlin
AS FAR AS anyone at her high school knows, Jill McTeague is an average smart girl trying to get her dream date to ask her to the prom. What no one knows, except for Jill’s mom and dad, is that for the four days Jill is out of school each month, she is not Jill at all. She is Jack, a genuine boy—complete with all the parts. Jack lives his four days per month in the solitude of Jill’s room. But his personality has been building since the cycling began. He is less and less content with his confinement and his cycles are becoming more frequent. Now Jill’s question about the prom isn’t who she'll go with, but who she'll be when the big night arrives.

I won this one is a contest at Mrs. Magoo Reads. It's a personalized signed copy! The only thing is the the binding of it got messed up somehow . . .

PS--- Do you want to learn a way to win FAIRY TALE by Cyn Balog? A SIGNED copy? And a cute fortune cookie necklace? CLICK HERE for details on this contest Cyn is holding!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Something, Maybe by Elizabeth Scott

Title: Something, Maybe
Author: Elizabeth Scott
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Reading Level: Young Adult, 12+
Publication Date: March 24, 2009
Pages: 219
My Edition: ARC, signed.
Amazon Page

Rating: B
Plot - 15/20
Characters - 18/20
Writing - 19/20
Originality - 16/20
Entertainment - 7/10
Recommendation - 8/10
Total: 83/100

Summary:
"I wonder what it would be like to do high school things. To go out on the weekends. To kiss a guy. To have a normal life. A real one."

Everyone thinks their parents are embarrassing, but Hannah knows she's got them all beat. Her dad made a fortune showcasing photos of pretty girls and his party lifestyle all over the Internet, and her mom was once one of her dad's girlfriends and is now the star of her own website. After getting the wrong kind of attention for way too long, Hannah has mastered the art of staying under the radar...and that's just how she likes it.

Of course, that doesn't help her get noticed by her crush. Hannah's sure that gorgeous, sensitive Josh is her soul mate. But trying to get him to notice her; wondering why she suddenly can't stop thinking about another guy, Finn; and dealing with her parents make Hannah feel like she's going crazy. Yet she's determined to make things work out the way she wants -- only what she wants may not be what she needs....

Once again, Elizabeth Scott has created a world so painfully funny and a cast of characters so heartrendingly real that you'll love being a part of it from unexpected start to triumphant finish.

Review:
Elizabeth Scott has plowed through the Young Adult community that she has made a name for her self with her variety of equally amazing four previous novels. Something, Maybe is equally good as the rest, in a different way.

We all know Scott does the romance and family issues genre/area superbly. So this one I was expecting to be excellent as some. And it was, just in only one part of the novel. I thought that the part of family issues Scott crafted in Something, Maybe were excellent and the romance part was cliched and predictable.

Having odd parents was something different. A mom named Candy, Candy, who stripped to barely nothing in front of a web cam for money, and dad almost exactly like Hugh Hefner. That was original. Hannah's problems with her parents were believable and she brought tons emotion to the table.

Hannah's love life was the worst part of the novel, though I must admit, it was cute. Just cliched and predictable, like I already said. Before even starting the novel you knew how it would turn out, so it was really predictable.

But I must say Scott really made her characters dynamic, like always. In all: this novel was cute; refreshingly cute novel. I'm not sure if I would suggest buying it or not, you might really like, or some of you might just think it's library okay. I don't really have a opinion in it this time. It's really half and half this time.

k.

Friday, March 20, 2009

It's Here!

Because I know a lot of you don't subscibe to the MTV Book Blog, here is something that Stephanie Kuehnert shared on it today:

The cover of Ballads of Suburbia!!!!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Leaving Paradise by Simone Elkeles

Title: Leaving Paradise
Author: Simone Elkeles
Publisher: Flux
Reading Level: Young Adult, 14+
Publication Date: April 2007
Pages: 303
Amazon Page

Rating: C
Plot - 16/20
Characters - 13/20
Writing - 12/20
Originality - 16/20
Entertainment - 6/10
Recommendation - 4/10
Total: 77/100

Summary:
Nothing has been the same since Caleb Becker left a party drunk, got behind the wheel, and hit Maggie Armstrong. Even after months of painful physical therapy, Maggie walks with a limp. Her social life is nil and a scholarship to study abroad—her chance to escape everyone and their pitying stares—has been canceled.

After a year in juvenile jail, Caleb’s free . . . if freedom means endless nagging from a transition coach and the prying eyes of the entire town. Coming home should feel good, but his family and ex-girlfriend seem like strangers.

Caleb and Maggie are outsiders, pigeon-holed as "criminal" and "freak." Then the truth emerges about what really happened the night of the accident and, once again, everything changes. It’s a bleak and tortuous journey for Caleb and Maggie, yet they end up finding comfort and strength from a surprising source: each other.

Review:
I really was expecting so much more from this novel, so so much more.

The novel started out okay. It kept me interesting with the blunt but honest beginning. But the more I read it, the more things bothered me.

The writing was pretty bad. Not terrible, but just bad. Her writing showed no emotion, no imagery. It was really brusque and tacky. Elkeles didn't leave room for her characters to grow; all Elkeles did was tell a story, nothing more. There was a plot, yes. And a bit of a surprise that was unexpected (Oxymoron much?). But the story didn't change at all through the 200+ pages. The characters never grew. The whole get-up was pretty terrible and poorly crafted.

I really disliked the characters. They were very two dimensional. I didn't feel what they were feeling. I couldn't picture them or their actions in my head. There relationship practically appeared out of thin air. I didn't feel any emotion or personality. Caleb played the 'bad boy' that just got out of jail and Maggie played the 'good, innocent little girl' who got hurt. It was uninteresting and a bit cliched.

The idea of the novel was good though. It was a tad original and it had an interesting plot. The story flowed in fast paced and went smoothly enough. The beginning, middle, and end were established. Overall? I felt this novel could of been a ton better then it was. I wouldn't recommend buying it, trading or anything. If you still want to read it, I would just suggest getting it from the library. It just wasn't an ideal novel that I wouldn't recommend.

k.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

"Waiting On" Wednesday (15)

The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting
September 2, 2009

(No cover yet.)

Violet Ambrose is grappling with two major issues: Jay Heaton and her morbid secret ability. While the sixteen-year-old is confused by her new feelings for her best friend since childhood, she is more disturbed by her “power” to sense dead bodies—or at least those that have been murdered. Since she was a little girl, she has felt the echoes the dead leave behind in the world . . . and the imprints that attach to their killers.

Violet has never considered her strange talent to be a gift; it mostly just led her to find dead birds her cat had tired of playing with. But now that a serial killer has begun terrorizing her small town, and the echoes of the local girls he’s claimed haunt her daily, she realizes she might be the only person who can stop him.

Despite his fierce protectiveness over her, Jay reluctantly agrees to help Violet on her quest to find the murderer—and Violet is unnerved to find herself hoping that Jay’s intentions are much more than friendly. But even as she’s falling intensely in love, Violet is getting closer and closer to discovering a killer . . . and becoming his prey herself.

This one sounds FANTASTIC! I think this book is now the book I am most looking forward to as of now. I live the paranormal aspect of it. And the romance, oh do I love romance! I just wish THE BODY FINDER such a long ways away! I'm sure Kimberly Derting's book will be so fabulous. I'm really anxious and I'm getting all worked up about it. But I'm lusting over it! I can't help my self! Okay, enough of my ramblings. You get my gist. :)

k.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY CAROL!
I <3 YOU!
HAVING FUN IN FLORIDA YET?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Forever Princess by Meg Cabot

Title: Forever Princess
Author: Meg Cabot
Publisher: Harperteen
Reading Level: Young Adult
Publication Date: January 6, 2009
Pages: 400
Amazon Page

Rating: A-
Plot - 17/20
Characters - 16/20
Writing - 18/20
Originality - 19/20
Entertainment - 10/10
Recommendation - 10/10
Total: 90/100

Summary:
It's Mia's senior year, and things seem great. She aced her senior project, got accepted to her dream college(s), and has her birthday gala coming up . . . not to mention prom, graduation, and Genovia's first-ever elections.

What's not to love about her life? Well . . .

• Her senior project? It's a romance novel she secretly wrote, and no one wants to publish it.
• Prince Phillipe's campaign in the Genovian elections isn't going well, thanks to her totally loathsome cousin René, who decided to run against him.
• Her boyfriend, J.P., is so sweet and seemingly perfect. But is he the one?
• And her first love, Michael, is back from Japan . . . and back in her life.

With Genovia's and her own future hanging in the balance, Mia's got some decisions to make: Which college? Which guy? How can she choose? Especially when what she decides might determine not just the next four years, but . . . forever!

Review:
Oh, am I going to miss this series.

Forever Princess started out a long time from where the last book in the series ended, by two years. I missed that we didn't get to know what happened to Mia during those two years, as I'm sure they would've been amusing. Forever Princess began in the week before Mia's high school graduation. There's prom, the graduation, her eighteenth birthday, where to go for college, and, of course, the fact of her being a princess. It was a very compacted week.

Mia has grown so much in the last two years of her life. Besides the fact that she is two years older, she is more mature, and more confident of herself. A lot of things happened in the last book and Cabot combines them in this book spot-on. A few of the characters weren't in the book as much as some of the other books, and I missed that. But, we still got Mia and her crazy antics, friends, and sock-eating cat. It was a year since the last book, and I must say, in that year I had no idea how much Mia and her diaries I have loved. Reading Forever Princess brought many emotions for me. The fact that I had just realized how dearly I love Mia, it was the last book, and that after the ten books, I would miss her insane, insecure self and her family and friends so much.

Cabot didn't let down on the balmy and absurd telling of a princess in modern day New York City. It's original, exciting, entertaining, and it left me anxious for what would come next. I think that marks one great book. The ending left me utterly happy that you would of seen tears coming down my face and a huge goofy grin plastered on it. All though some of the things that went down in this book seemed so unrealistic, more so then the fact of the book being told by a princess. Some stuff was just ridiculous, and also, hilarious. But, you know what? That's Mia.

I, for sure, will miss this series. But, I am going to remember, once I'm older, of me reading these books starting in sixth grade and finishing the series in eighth grade, I'll remember it as something that cheered me up in my darkest days and brought smiles to my face. I don't think I will ever forget this series. It's what got me into Young Adult fiction. But I know this: I will definitely miss it.

K.

Monday, March 16, 2009

On The Outside: Garret Freymann-Weyr

Today we have the lovely and sweet Garret Freymann-Weyr discussing how the title for her newest book, After The Moment, came to be After the Moment will be release in hardback come May 18. Garret has written five YA novels, and a few others. You can visit Garret at her website. (Sorry, this is late! Also, Google Readers, you might have to come to the blog to read it.)

~~~
I am one of those people who does not judge a book by its cover, but can pretty much be persuaded to buy a novel through some mystical combination of the title and the first few pages.

Now (as a writer) I like to think that I do a fairly good job when it comes to writing the first few pages. But, and there is no pretty way to put this, I suck at titles. As I am working on a book all through the first, seventh and seventeenth drafts (I live for revision – it’s fun!), I always have a title that I love and find brilliant, but that in my heart of hearts I know will not make it.

This book was no exception. After The Moment, a novel about Leigh Hunter and his love affair with Maia Moreland began its life as The Dark Son. I thought this was perfect. Leigh’s mother writes romance novels for a living and both Maia and Leigh’s sister, Millie, are voracious romance readers. In fact, Millie is even writing a romance novel based on Leigh and Maia. It is called The Duke’s Dark Son. I thought The Dark Son would be a great reference to how Leigh and Maia’s love affair does not end on the “happily ever after” note of a romance novel. It also, I believed, echoed how Leigh felt about himself by the end of his time in Calvert Park, where he had lived with his father’s family for six months and also where he met Maia. Many things happen in the novel that Leigh doesn’t feel he handled perfectly.

My editor, who is a tactful, gentle soul, said that while she didn’t love the title The Dark Son, she wasn’t dead set against it either. And then she said, “The thing is that while this is Leigh’s story, the novel is about more than Leigh.” And so, while I was revising one last time, I let her comment float around my head.

At one point, Leigh observes that romance novels “all end on moments which are certain and right. In these stories, the hero and heroine, even before their moment arrives, are full of qualities that can only be described as right. As good.” My novel is about what happens when a romantic love hits a moment that is neither certain or right. I found my new title, and it is my fervent hope that it will echo resonate for readers as much, if not more, than my now discarded title once did for me.

~~~

Thanks Garret!

The winner of the signed copy of The September Sisters is Simply_Megan. Congrats Megan, you shall get an email from Jillian soon!

If any author wants more details on how you can do an On The Outside post with me, please email me at kels.m.17@gmail.com with On The Outside in the subject line and I'll get to you immediately with the details!

k.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

My Summer is Planned!

That's right! My summer is planned! This is kind of random, but I'm just SO excited that I have to share. It also has a little something to do with my blog, so I guess I better share.


So, let's start at the beginning.

My school is going on a class trip down 5-6 to Minneapolis on the 27th of May, which also happens to my brother's 16th birthday. I have to get up at like 3 or 4 in the morning to catch the bus at school and then sit on my butt for 5 or 6 hours down to the city with a bunch of my classmates. I'll spend the day at an amusement park and I'll probably be back around midnight, I think. The next day, the 28th of May, is my last day of school. I will be extremely tired. Now, this is where the fun begins. On the 29th of May, a Friday. I will get on a plane in the Icebox's (My hometown) International Airport and fly down to Minneapolis and change a flight and go to San Francisco, California, by MYSELF! That's right, I'll fly down unaccompanied. I'm fourteen years old. I am really excited about that.

(<< From this)

Anyways, I'll arrive in San Francisco at 11:20 AM and my grandparents will pick me up (I will be extremely tired by now! Plus there's a two hours time difference!) and we'll go down south
a little bit to my grandparents hometown and spend two months there! TWO MONTHS! My grandma has three weeks off so I'm spending time with her then, and for the rest of the time, who knows? Don't tell my grandfather this yet, but I'm going to try to get him to teach me how to drive. I'll be fifteen in November and will be able to get my permit then! I was going to get my mom to teach me this summer, but since I'll be gone . . . My grandma and I might also spend a day in San Francisco and go to a ton of bookstores in downtown and the big library there since we are both big readers! I also want to go to one of those multi-story B&N's because they seem really cool. I might get to spend time with my godmother and her new baby boy I haven't even seen yet! I think he's 2 years old now!

I'm going back the to the Icebox on Aug 2nd. Just enough time before school starts after Labor Day to get settled in.

Now, as you know, I'll be gone from my computer for two months, so you are probably wondering how I'm going to keep my blog going, well, I'm going to try my hardest. In the 75 days before I leave I'm going to have to work out everything. It's going to be hard, but I'll work through it. I might not be able to continue with In My Mailbox or "Waiting On" Wednesday, but I'll try to keep reviews going and everything. But I don't know how easy it will be.

The good thing though is that I will actually be by a bookstore! There is a Borders ten miles away! Finally! I haven't been in a bookstore since before I moved to the Icebox a year and a half ago. It's something I am extremely excited about. I think I will spend a whole day there.


(To this >>>)

The reason I really want to go out for so long is because this: I live in an isolated place. Where all there is to do is go to the movies in the five screen cinema in town, fishing, or well, nothing else. I live at least two hours from in big-ish town and because of gas, it has been since last May that I got out of this town. I really excited because I just want to go someplace, anyplace. I'm just excited to be leaving this town for a while. Having been in it for so long, I just want to go. You know what I mean?

I used to live in California before, my mom was born there, so I'm excited to go back. Plus I haven't seen my grandparents since my brother and I went out there for Christmas in 2006.

The End.

But, my question to you is, for those of my readers who live in the area, is there anything going on in San Francisco in that time period? Anything I could go do for fun? Let me know!


k.

In My Mailbox (10)

Let's take one second to thank the fabulous Kristi for this and for the amazing Alea for giving Kristi the idea.

Sorry, I'm too lazy to post any pics.

Monday:
You Are Here by Jennifer E. Smith
---Courtesy of S&S for review. Thanks so much A.! You're awesome!
Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta
---Courtesy of Allie at Just Listen Book Reviews! I won Allie's contest in mid December for two signed copies of Melina's books and they got here! She had to mail them by ship, I guess it was, and I don't blame her! It's expensive! So they got here after 3 months, you know it was actually exciting to see when they would get here! It made me ecstatic to see them! I've read both of these already and they are fantastic!

Tuesday:
Purge: Rehab Diaries by Nicole Johns
---Courtesy of Seal Press for review. This one sounds pretty good. It's a memoir and I'm pretty sure it's an adult, but it sounds good. It comes out in April.
Wednesday:
Nothing
Thursday:
Nothing

Friday:
Violet in Private by Melissa Walker
---Courtesy of Kathleen. Thanks Kathleen!

Saturday:
Nothing

That's all! I suppose it was a pretty good week! Not fantastic, but good enough!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Shadowed Summer by Saundra Mitchell

Title: Shadowed Summer
Author: Saundra Mitchell
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Reading Level: Young Adult, 12+
Publication Date: February 10, 2009
Pages: 183
Amazon Page

Rating: B
Plot - 17/20
Characters - 16/20
Writing - 18/20
Originality - 17/20
Entertainment - 7/10
Recommendation - 8/10
Total: 83/100

*Thanks to Saundra for sending me her book!


Summary:
Iris is ready for another hot, routine summer in her small Louisiana town, hanging around the Red Stripe grocery with her best friend, Collette, and traipsing through the cemetery telling each other spooky stories and pretending to cast spells. Except this summer, Iris doesn’t have to make up a story. This summer, one falls right in her lap. Years ago, before Iris was born, a local boy named Elijah Landry disappeared. All that remained of him were whispers and hushed gossip in the church pews. Until this summer. A ghost begins to haunt Iris, and she’s certain it’s the ghost of Elijah. What really happened to him? And why, of all people, has he chosen Iris to come back to?

Review:
I wasn't sure what to expect from this novel. I wasn't necessarily excited to read it and I didn't have really big expectations. My only expectations were that it was scary. I was expecting it to be, but it wasn't.

I liked the whole concept of the novel. Unsolved crime that turned ghost in a small isolated town in the south. It sounded interesting enough.

But . . . I had a few problems with Shadowed Summer. First of all, I felt the characters were young and immature. I've read a lot of books where the characters are fourteen years old or around that age, and I've just never felt that they are captured correctly. I'm fourteen. I don't consider myself immature, and I've never felt so . . . young. So it's not only Saundra, it's just the whole 13-15 age range.

Second thing is that it wasn't scary. I had expectations that it would be, but I wasn't scared at all. I don't read horror stories (like Carol) and I'm not really a scaredy cat, in terms. I get scared, I guess. But not as easily. I dunno about me, but I'm just not like that. So when I read this I thought it was a bit strange. Not necessarily exciting, but tricky. I have to admit I didn't have an idea what would happened in the end and I was a bit shocked of what happened, so kudos to Saundra for that. But I guess I felt the rest of it was just a tad bit . . . childish.

One thing I really, realllllly, loved about this novel, though, was the writing. It had the southern dialect. It was refreshing turn and it felt natural. I completely enjoyed that bit. I haven't read a book with different dialect like that, so it was really neat like that. Saundra Mitchell's writing, showed emotion, I felt it was realistic. I just really enjoyed her writing style and I expect to like it in the future!

K.

P.S. I just realized that this post is actually my 300th post on this blog! Who can believe it? Certainly not me! These last seven days have brought so many achievements on this blog for me, and hadn't even realized I was this close! I'm so thrilled that my blog has made it this far, and it wouldn't be anything with you. Thank you to anybody and everybody who is reading this right now! You haven't given me such pleasure in continuing to post regularly and comment and keep me wanting to do this! Thank YOU! <3

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

And I Thought March Meant Spring

Pshh. Yeah, right.

So, on to the story:

I live in the way up, very top, of Northern Minnesota. Like right on the Minnesota and Canadian border. Really. I can see Canada by looking out my window. This winter, the Icebox (Which is what I call my town on here. American's you probably know what town this is.) got approximately 4 feet of snow this winter. Which is average, I think. This is only my second winter in the Icebox.

Anyhow, this last week or so, it has been 20 degrees and up, up to even 40 degrees one day! It was heaven. But not so much when you looked at the ground and couldn't step anywhere without getting your feet wet. Seriously. Spring time is not so great for the Icebox, as all the snow melts and we become a swamp.

Now, two days ago we had a storm come through. We got about an inch, maybe an inch an a half by Monday afternoon. Tuesday morning going out to the bus stop the snow reaches our ankles. But, hey, at least it's not snowing!

Until we get to school.

At around 8:30 a.m. yesterday morning, it started snowing again. And it snowed. And snowed. And snowed. It hadn't stopped snowing heavily since that morning. By then, I was getting out of school at 3:30 p.m. yesterday. Walking out to catch my bus, the wind was blowing, it was still snowing, and when we walked out of the building, the snow went a bit past our ankles. This was after they plowed the sidewalks this morning.

So I get home and take pictures for Carol to see. I want to show them here. But before I do, let's finish the story.

So, I get home at 3:40 p.m. and I go to bed at 10:15 p.m. It hadn't stopped snowing once.

Living in the Icebox means that we are prepared. After all that you would expect school to happen right? I didn't. It didn't happen when we had -50 F weather. I wasn't expecting it now. When I wake up at 6:45 a.m. this morning and go downstairs. My brother tells me that we have a 2 hour delay for school. Yay!

I go upstairs thinking I'll go back to sleep but I'm unable to. So I read Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta, my current read, until 8 a.m.

At 8 I go downstairs and go to our school website to see if it says what we're supposed to do when we get there after the 2 hour delay. So it was a schocked when it said:
School Cancelled 3/11/09

WhoooHooo!

So here I am, right now, telling you. On to the pictures.


This is my font yard path a few weeks before when it was melting and there was ice and dirty snow and water everywhere.

This is my backyard last night when I got home. As you can see it was pretty dark out then already at 4 p.m. If your wondering, the red thing is a leash we put our dogs on to go out since we don't have a fence.

This is my front yard at 4 p.m. yesterday. Pretty big change, huh?

This is Maggie, my mom's black Labrador dog today.

This is Lance, my brothers new golden retriever puppy. The newest addition to my family's house of dogs. He is about 11 weeks old. Don't ask what the white thing in his mouth in the second picture is. Trust me, you don't wanna know. That's my leg sinking down in the snow in the first pic too. :)

This my baby, Tucker. He wasn't having as much fun because Lance kept trying to chew on him. He wasn't in the mood for playing around, but this is my baby. He's actually really fat if you look closely. He's my big boy. :)

This is Tucker and Lance. In the second picture it's of Lance getting ready to pounce on Tucker.

And these are more pictures of all the snow!

Hope you enjoyed it! I'm gonna go enjoy my day off!

K.

"Waiting On" Wednesday (14)

Me, My Elf & I by Heather Swain
June 11, 2009

It’s not often you see an elf in the middle of Brooklyn, let alone a tall, blond, gorgeous elf in the middle of one of the most prestigious performing arts high schools in the country. And yet, that’s just where Zephyr Addler finds herself: smack dab in the middle of a bustling New York City school, worlds away from the secluded woodland community she knows so well. But Zephyr knows that she has to figure out how to live in the world. And dress in the world. Thanks to a little friendly advice from her new friend Mercedes, Zephyr starts to get the hang of Brooklyn. That is, until Zephyr snags a role in a commercial, beating out the most popular girl in school, Bella Dartagnan. Now with Bella and her friends out to get her, can Zephyr out-maneuver the mean girls (and catch the eye of a certain cute boy) without losing herself?

This one looks SO cuuute! An elf? Seriously. How clever! And I love the cover, it's nothing much, but the look in the girls eyes is snarky and I love the green and pink and those shiny things I don't know the name of. It's just . . . cute!

K.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Death by Latte by Linda Gerber

Title: Death by Latte
Author: Linda Gerber
Publisher: Puffin
Reading Level: Young Adult
Publication Date: September 18, 2008
Pages: 224
Amazon Page

Rating: A-
Plot - 20/20
Characters - 14/20
Writing - 16/20
Originality - 20/20
Entertainment - 10/10
Recommendation - 9/10
Total: 89/100

Summary:
It was only a few weeks ago that Aphra Connolly’s life changed completely. She had been living a quiet existence on her father’s secluded island resort, until Seth Mulo turned up and stole her heart . . . and provided information that led her to find her mom in Seattle. But the reunion isn’t quite what she expected. Aphra’s mom, Natalie, doesn’t seem happy to see Aphra, and Natalie’s boyfriend, Joe, insists that Aphra go home. Even worse, Seth shows up, only to ask her to return the ring he gave her the previous summer. At least Natalie’s hunky neighbor is sympathetic. But when Joe is found dead at a nearby coffee shop, Aphra discovers her whole trip to Seattle has been based on a lie. And now someone just might be trying to kill her. . . .

Review:
Okay, so this review is being written so late after reading it! I feel totally bad about it! But here it is:

Death By Latte was just as adventurous, mysterious, and completely fun as the first novel in the Death By . . . series. Maybe it had even more action then the first? I think it did.

Death By Latte starts off a few months after Death By Bikini ended. Aphra sneaking off to find her mom alone in Seattle. Things go awry from there, as you might be able to tell. Everything starts off with her finding her mom and then mysterious guys coming after them and someone ending up dead. It happens extremely fast. I like that it was fast paced because it made it more exciting. But I felt there wasn't what the emotion and feelings the characters would realistically feel.

Aphra is a smart intelligent girl, but the emotion she felt was off. When Aphra and her mom saw each other after four years, it just didn't seem real enough. Other times too. Like Aphra and Seth, not enough heat to their relationship. There just wasn't enough emotion and and tension in the book as I felt there should be.

Linda Gerber is a master at mysterious and action writing. It was exciting and adventurous and I was anxious for everything else to happen! She really brought animation, elation, frenzy, and movement to the novel. I couldn't wait for more to it!

This novel was a very quick, exhilarating, and intoxicating read that is nice for a car ride, or just a few hours time read! Whenever! It was just fun!

I cannot wait until Death by Denim in May!

K.

Monday, March 9, 2009

On The Outside: Jillian Cantor

Jillian Cantor is the debut author of the newly released The September Sisters. You can find my review of The September Sisters here. You can visit Jillian at her website, her facebook, and her myspace.

~~~

My least favorite part of writing a book is coming up with a title. I always struggle with finding the perfect the words to sum it all up. When I finished writing the first draft of The September Sisters, back in early 2004, I wrestled with the title question for a little while before settling on Even to the Edge. This comes from a line in Shakespeare’s Sonnet 116, which appears in the book at one point. The poem says about love, “. . .it bears out, even to the edge of doom.” I wasn’t sure I loved it as a title, but I couldn’t think of anything better, so I stuck it on the manuscript and started querying agents.

Even to the Edge was the title all through the submission process. Every rejection letter I have (and I saved them all!) turned down a book with this title. Right after the book sold, one of the first things my editor said to me was that she thought the book needed a new, catchier title. I agreed, but I also felt a little stumped. The book had been Even to the Edge for so long, that I almost couldn’t imagine it any other way.

My editor and I both started brainstorming titles. My editor came up with Hearts of Stone (referring to that necklace you see on the front cover) which we both liked but didn’t totally love. I read through the book again, looking for lines that I could pull for a title. I made a list of maybe 20 possibilities, and just before I was about to e-mail my editor, it occurred to me to do something alliterative with sisters. I added to the bottom of the list either The September Sisters or The Sapphire Sisters.

My editor wrote back and said she liked The September Sisters, but she also suggested that the book could be called The Thing With Feathers, after the line in the Emily Dickinson poem “Hope,” “Hope is the thing with feathers.” My editor said she always thought of Abby like that little bird in the poem, fluttering around, trying to keep her head up. She also told me I could choose between the two, and she was fine with going either way.

I’m terrible at making decisions, especially big ones, so I asked my friends and family for advice. Nearly everyone liked The September Sisters better, but I still clung to the other title -- I loved that image of Abby as that bird. Then someone pointed out to me that there was already another book called Hope after the same poem. So it seemed clear that The September Sisters was the best choice. And now I honestly can’t imagine the book with any other title!

If you’ve read the book, you’ll notice that there’s a line in there that talks about how Abby’s mother called her and Becky “The September Sisters” because their birthdays are only one day apart in September. This was actually something I added into the book after we came up with the title. In the earlier version, their mother calls them “turtle twins” instead! Not quite as catchy, huh?

~~~

Thanks Jillian!

Jillian generously offered one signed copy of The September Sisters to one lucky commenter. You have until March 16th, 2009. That's one week from now. Sorry, US only! The comment has to include something about the OTO post.

If any author wants more details on how you can do an On The Outside post with me, please email me at kels.m.17@gmail.com with On The Outside in the subject line and I'll get to you immediately with the details!

K.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

My Blog Ways

readingkeepsyousane@gmail.com

I suppose this was long awaited. I should have done it a long time ago, but it's better late then never!

I love to read. That is obviously. So this will be a few guidelines of how I work my reviews and how you can send me reviews and everything else you need to know.

Stats:

Let's start with my stats. As of December 2011, I have about 33,000 pageviews. I have 332 followers. I started my blog on January 21, 2008, for about two years I was running a very successful blog. On December 14, 2009, just about a month shy of my 2 year blogversary, I decided to take an indefinite break from my blog for personal reasons. On November 27, 2011, I returned to blogging. My blog was successful before and continues to be successful with each passing day.

Reviewing:

I love to review books. LOVE to. You can email me with the email address given in the sidebar and I can get back to you really fast as I stalk gmail. I will only read Young Adult (YA) books. I will occasionally read adult or tween books, but it depends on the characters ages. Yes, I'm a little picky of what I read.

I love romance, any kind. First love, gay/lesbian, affairs. I love any kind. Now, I could name all the types of books I like, but it would be easier to name the types of books I don't like. Which is fantasy, I don't like fantasy at all. Now here's where the confusing part comes in. I don't like Fantasy, but I love paranormal. If you don't know the difference or aren't sure, contact me and I'll let you know. :) I am also not such a big fan of historical fiction.

As of right now, I accept review copies. I don't like self-published books, sorry. I will take books that are from a large publisher or small. I will not accept e-books though, sorry! My vision is already poor.

This is important: I cannot guarantee a review. There are some books I just get bored with so I don't see the need to keep going unless other reviewers say it's worth it. Or other stuff that I just can't get through. At other the year and one month I've been doing my blog, it's only happened once. I tried really hard to get through it too.

If this still works for you email me with the email address given in the sidebar! I will get back to you soon enough!

Interviews or Guest Blogs or On The Outside:

I love to speak with authors! I will gladly do an interview/guestblog or my OTO feature with one.

Interviewing: For interviews I require that I have read the book. If you want to offer a copy for me to review to do an interview, that would be awesome.

Guest Blogs: I love having authors do guest blogs. If you contact me wanting to do a interview and I haven't read your book or you don't have a review copy to give me, then you for sure can do a guest blog! I have no problem with that. Though you might need to come up with the topic of it on your own as I don't have a great imagination for that. :)

On The Outside: OTO is a feature I've been doing for a few months. I post these every Monday unless there is a holiday. OTO is a feature where authors talk about the outside of their books. Like how the cover and/or title came to be, what they think of it, or whatever! I have a schedule for this so you might not get a spot that works for the release of your book if you have one, but I try to schedule them closes to any important dates you have.

Contests:

I will gladly hold a contest for you! Whether its a signed book, or a gift, or anything else. I'll need to know the exact prize, the mailing restrictions, and if you have a preference for the time the contest is. Just email me!

Link Exchange:

Fellow YA book reviewing bloggers or authors with blogs, you you want your link on my blog leave a email or a comment and I'll get it done!

Hope this helps!

K.

In My Mailbox (9)

Founded by the incredible Kristi who created upon Alea's amazing feature.

This week wasn't nearly as good as last week, but nonetheless, good. And sorry, no picture this week as I'm too lazy and couldn't thing of anything cool to shape the books in.

I received three books.

Evermore by Alyson Noel (February 3, 2009)

Since a horrible accident claimed the lives of her family, sixteen-year-old Ever can see auras, hear people’s thoughts, and know a person’s life story by touch. Going out of her way to shield herself from human contact to suppress her abilities has branded her as a freak at her new high school—but everything changes when she meets Damen Auguste…

Ever sees Damen and feels an instant recognition. He is gorgeous, exotic and wealthy, and he holds many secrets. Damen is able to make things appear and disappear, he always seems to know what she’s thinking—and he’s the only one who can silence the noise and the random energy in her head. She doesn’t know who he really is—or what he is. Damen equal parts light and darkness, and he belongs to an enchanted new world where no one ever dies.

I've already read and reviewed Evermore and I already got a copy, but this is a finished copy and really pretty. So I'm happy to have it. I put it on my shelf already (I didn't get a chance with the other copy because I'm waiting to borrow it to someone else) and it looks great!

Perfect Fifths by Megan McCafferty (April 14, 2009)

Old flames are reignited in the fifth and final book in the New York Times bestselling Jessica Darling series.

Captivated readers have followed Jessica through every step and misstep: from her life as a tormented, tart-tongued teenager to her years as a college grad stumbling toward adulthood. Now a young professional in her mid-twenties, Jess is off to a Caribbean wedding. As she rushes to her gate at the airport, she literally runs into her former boyfriend, Marcus Flutie. It’s the first time she's seen him since she reluctantly turned down his marriage proposal three years earlier–and emotions run high.

Marcus and Jessica have both changed dramatically, yet their connection feels as familiar as ever. Is their reunion just a fluke or has fate orchestrated this collision of their lives once again?

Told partly from Marcus’s point of view, Perfect Fifths finally lets readers inside the mind of the one person who’s both troubled and titillated Jessica Darling for years. Expect nothing less than the satisfying conclusion fans have been waiting for, one perfect in its imperfection. . . .

I was SO extremely fantastic to find this from Random House! I came home from school on Friday and it was on my keyboard! I squealed and fumbled to get it open, it was so awesome! It made my Friday.

One Lonely Degree by CK Kelly Martin (May 26, 2009)

Anything is possible. . . .
Finn has always felt out of place, but suddenly her world is unraveling. It started with The Party. And Adam Porter. And the night in September that changed everything. The only person who knows about that night is Audrey—Finn’s best friend, her witness to everything, and the one person Finn trusts implicitly. So when Finn’s childhood friend Jersy moves back to town—reckless, beautiful Jersy, all lips and eyes and hair so soft you’d want to dip your fingers into it if you weren’t careful—Finn gives her blessing for Audrey to date him. How could she possibly say no to Audrey? With Audrey gone for the summer, though, Finn finds herself spending more and more time with Jersy, and for the first time in her life, something feels right. But Finn can’t be the girl who does this to her best friend . . . can she?

This came on Friday too from Random House, but it was in a separate package and it was left on my porch because maybe my mom didn't see it? I dunno. But I was going outside for something and saw a package out there! I did a happy dance and squealed again! I was so happy. CK emailed me in January wondering if she could put me on her list for her publisher to send ARC's and I happily said yes. She said they would mail it out the first week of March, and look! It's here! I'm so happy!

So that's it! I'm going to go finish Perfect Fifths now . . . (Yes! I haven't finished it yet!)

K.

I Know, I Know . . .

I changed it again. I know. I shouldn't have, but. I did.

I blame you, yes, you, Carol. (But you know I don't hate you, I <3 you!)

The Story:

Before we start, let's remind you all that this story take place from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. okay? Carol and I are extremely tired right now.

I was helping Carol find an awesome new template for her blog (Which I did! It looks fantastic, check it out!). We were looking at SO many awesome ones, and I came across this one and I couldn't not use it! It's just so pretty! (Well, actually I came across three, but the completely awesome Carol helped me decide on this one. Thank you!)

So anyhow. I was completely scared to let go of my other one! Completely. Just ask Carol. But I did it and I love it! It's just gorgeous and I loved the whole feel of it surrounding my words.

Of course there are several things that I'm still wary about. Like the dark background. The one sidebar. The links on top of the page, and I almost didn't have a navigation bar at the top! (Fortunately, I am a genius with HTML so I figured it out. Actually, I'm not a genius, I barely know anything about it.) But, I'll learn to love it.

So . . . what do you think? Comment please! This was very hard for me, if you believe that.

Oh, and I can't use my pretty signature anymore because it looks funny!

K.

P.S. If you're wondering how come I haven't had any review up for more then a week it's because I haven't been motivated enough to write them. But trust me. I have like 10 to right, so I've been reading. Now....to get motivated. Any ideas?

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Time for a Change

I got a huge accomplishment this week, right? So, why not change up the blog? As you can tell if you've been a regular reader of my blog since I started it more than a year ago, that I like change. That I change my blog layout, colors, the whole shebang ever few months. I don't even remember how many times I've changed it. I think this is the 7th time.

Anyhow, I decided to use some abstract. I'm a huge fan abstract. I love it. So, I wanted to try it out. What do you think?

The colors are neon, I know. I tried to do the sides a color to match, but honestly, it was too bright. So I'm keep the body wrapper and background black. Is it better, worse?

Tell me what you think!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Contest!!!!

Okay, here is a contest. I was just going to have ti because the awesome author of the books given away offered them. But now I have a huge reason! This week I got a huge accomplishment on my blog! I got my 100th follower and I got 20,000 visits on my blog! This is huge and I'm glad this author offered her book at the time she did!


On to the contest:

Prize:
  • Two winners will each win a personalized signed copy of Jessica's Guide To Dating on the Dark Side provided by Beth herself!
How to enter:
  • Comment on this post with the answer to this question:

What fictional YA character would you most like to date and why?

Extra Entries:
  • Post about the contest on your blog, myspace, or facebook page for +1. Mention the link for proof.
  • Follow me get +1 (Please, only if you really want to.), following me already get +1.
When:
  • Today through March 27th, midnight, Minnesota time (That's central!)
Who:
  • This contest is for . . . INTERNATIONAL! Whoo!
~If you could please post one comment for each entry that would be awesome. This will help make it easier for me to calculate the winner, and quicker. One comment for ONE ENTRY! Please!

And if you've already posted it, I suggest going back and fixing your comment.

You will have to make it so I can find a way to email you if you have won. So please, if you can. Have your email in the comment or on your blogger profile. Thanks!

So get commenting and spread the word!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

100!!!!

Ohmigod! THANK YOU! I just got my 100th follower!

Thank you so much! Ah, you don't know how much this means to me!

I'm also 100 or so away from 20,000 visits to my blog!

This means so much to me! You have no idea.

This mgiht mean a contest . . . Well, actually, I was going to have a contest soon anyways, but this gives me a huge reason to celebrate! Oh, and thank you to the author who offered the copies (Yes, COPIES!)

Stay tuned...

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

"Waiting On" Wednesday (13)

A Match Made in Highschool by Kristin Walker
May 14, 2009


When the principal announces that every senior must participate in a mandatory year-long Marriage Education program, Fiona Sheehan believes that her life can’t get any worse. Then she marries her “husband”: jerky jock Todd, whose cheerleader girlfriend, Amanda, has had it in for Fiona since day one of second grade. Even worse? Amanda is paired with Fiona’s long-term crush, Gabe. At least Fiona is doing better than her best friend, Marcie, who is paired up with the very quiet, very mysterious Johnny Mercer. Pranks, fights, misunderstandings, and reconciliations ensue in an almost Shakespearean comedy of errors about mistaken first impressions, convoluted coupling, and hidden crushes.

This book sounds like a light, fun, and hilarious read. I can't wait for it!

ETA: I'm sorry, again. I already got this book, I scheduled about a month ago. This books release day got pushed back to February 2010 so really. I just haven't had the time to correct it. Sorry! I promise next week will be correct. (As I already got that one, too.)


Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Cool Stuff For Hunted!

Here's a new trailer for the highly anticipated HUNTED by PC and Kristin Cast is here and I get the chance to share it today! There's also a little surprise at the end of the post too!

Hunted by PC and Kristin Cast: 3/10/09
The good news: Zoey’s friends have her back again and Stevie Rae and the red fledglings aren’t Neferet’s secrets any longer. The bad news: Ancient evil with the face of an angel has been let loose – that and various other nasties (whose faces aren’t so angelic). Grandma Redbird is in trouble. Heath is in trouble. The House of Night is in trouble. Okay, let’s face it – Zoey’s whole world is in trouble! But when the trouble comes from a being who appears to be beauty personified, will the world believe it? Especially when only a teenager and a group of misfits are the only ones who really understand the danger he brings. Will Zoey have the strength and wisdom to reveal the truth? Especially when, in the House of Night, the truth is often hard to come by…



To read the first chapter of HUNTED, please visit the House of Night website by clicking here.

And the anticipated second chapter below:


Hope you enjoyed it!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Admit it . . .

. . . You'll probably pick up a copy.

What I'm talking about.

You know you're interested even a tad. I don't watch The Hills, never have. But aren't you just a little curious about it? I mean she's a young celebrity and she's writing a book that isn't a memoir. I think that's pretty cool. I want to know if she is even a good writer. I'm just curious.

Oh, and Yan? This is for you. :) Just a few more details . . .



On The Outside: Siobhan Vivian

Siobhan Vivian is the author of the previous release, A LITTLE FRIENDLY ADVICE, and the released today novel, SAME DIFFERENCE. You can visit Siobhan at http://www.siobhanvivian.com/home/

~~~


When I first sat down with my editor to discuss a possible cover for SAME DIFFERENCE, I really didn't have much in the way of ideas. I was still in the process of finishing the manuscript, and the whole thing felt very dizzying and unclear. Honestly, I was stalled.

My editor pitched this concept - a photo shoot of a girl painting on a canvas. You wouldn't see the girl's real face, only her self-portrait.

I understood what he was going for. After all, SAME DIFFERENCE is about a girl in a summer art program. But it became clear to me in that moment that art actually plays a very small part in the story. And I was afraid that putting a painting on the cover would mislead what my book was truly about - a girl figuring out exactly who she was, and divorcing that person from what others thought or expected her to be.

So I promptly went on Getty Images and did some looking around at the stock photos. When I saw the picture that is now the cover, I nearly SQUEED with glee. First off, the girl was PERFECTLY Emily - pretty, but not in a conventional way. Like Ellen Paige from Juno. I also loved the action of her walking through the glass doors, emerging from somewhere, pushing past her reflection in the glass. It was visually so arresting.

I sent that picture over to Scholastic and everyone loved it. My cover was born, and through the process of selecting the image, I had renewed clarity of what I wanted my book to be. I used that fuel and charged through to the end of the draft. Viola!

~~~

Thanks Siobhan!

If any author wants more details on how you can do an On The Outside post with me, please email me at kels.m.17@gmail.com with On The Outside in the subject line and I'll get to you immediately with the details!