Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Soon she’s living in a funky motel and working long days in blazing heat with a group of kids from all over the country. At the site, she works alongside Teddy, the son of the family for whom they are building the house. Their partnership turns into a summer romance, complete with power tools. Learning to trust and love Teddy isn’t easy for Harper, but it’s the first step toward finding her way back home.
When I first started this book I didn't have much expectations for it. Reinhardt is a good writer, yes, and her plots are semi-enjoyable, yes, but her books aren't WOW-able to me. That changes with this book. The first few pages were excellent and kept me going. I liked how it went back and forth between what's going on with Harper in Tennessee now and what had happened to her with her family at home in L.A. Harper's life is a whirl-wind. She goes to Tennessee to escape her life at home and what she get's is way more then what she even imagined.
The characters are very well developed and thoroughly thought through. Reinhardt crafts a story full of hard work, love, and forgiveness. From beginning to end you travel with Harper through her story and you learn a lot. Reinhardt's quizzical writing in this novel keeps you wanting to read more and not wanting to stop. Reinhardt has finally put some WOW factor in her work.
The ending was a perfect ending. It didn't give away to much about the future, but it gave a hint at it in the perfect way. This story was thoughtful and a light read with depth. Reinhardt's calm writing style is the perfect type for this soft read. I loved it and I recommend it.
Monday, September 29, 2008
Okay this is SO awesome. The very awesome Hope from Hope's Bookshelf has created the 1st Annual Young Adult Book Awards!
Is this not awesome? (I know, too many uses of 'awesome'. But, heck, this is AWESOME!)
So anyway, It's starts, from yesterday, September 28th 2008, through January 1st 2009. Yes that's a long time, but most of the time is for nominations of a TON of awards, and then the voting will be in December, and the winners will be announced on New Years! Awesome (I know, I know.) right?
So I afford to help Hope out with some stuff and I made a button (the one above)! I wanted it cute and fun, yet simple. I'll probably make some more, but so far there's one, so put in on your blog and get the word out!
You can just tell. This will be awesome!
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Thank you so much for joining me here, Kitty!
Thanks Kelsey, it’s great to share the writer’s world with readers.
So, what was your road to having Freaksville getting published?
It’s been a long road with a few potholes along the way. I started writing in high school. I used to write stories for my friends.
Fast forward several years, I wrote Freaksville almost four years before I sold it. I sent my submission off to one publisher only to discover they closed their YA line. I shelved the story.
I started to concentrate on my non-YA contemporary and paranormal romance. After a few rejection letters, I pulled Freaksville out again. I had heard about this new publisher who was looking for YA books. I read their submission guidelines and felt Freaksville would be a good fit. As a result, I queried them and received a request for the full manuscript. I sent it off and a few months later I had a contract offer.
Can you describe the feeling when a publishing company bought your book?
My husband and I had gone to dinner with a group of friends. As a creature of habit, as soon as I got home, I went upstairs to check my email. There in my in box was an email from my (now) editor. It said Freaksville in the subject line. Two weeks prior, a girl in my writing chapter had sold to this same press. Her email had the words contract offer in the subject line. I thought I had gotten another rejection. ( A little tidbit: I‘ve heard that the average writer receives 42 rejections before selling.) I was sorta bummed, but decided to open it anyway. I hadn’t noticed there were attachments.
When I opened it and saw the words Contract, I screamed! My husband came in and asked where’s the spider. (I hate spiders and tend to scream like a banshee when I find one.) I told him I sold Freaksville.
I wanted to celebrate.
Like a maniac I jumped up and down and barreled down my street to my friends house shrieking, ”I sold a book!” I’m such a dork.;)
What's your favorite comfort food when writing?
I love peanut M&M’s. When I’m stuck on a plot line, I munch on them. It’s sorta dangerous as they are really small. I don’t realize I’ve inhaled the entire bag until it’s gone. It’s the hole hand to mouth phenomena, like popcorn. I also live on tea for the caffeine.
How do you come up with your character's names? I'm always curious.
My stories are character driven. Meaning I come up with the hero, heroine, villain and supporting characters before the plot. I think of the type of people I want to have in the novel, their strengths, their quirks, and pet peeves. I try to pair opposite together. Conflict is what drives stories.
I have a lot of baby name books and websites. Sometimes I have a name in my head. I like to base the meaning of the names on the character’s traits. Since I’m a huge anglophile (lover of all things British) I often use names of British towns as the last names. Like in my short story My Prom Date’s a Vampire, my characters are Wendy Stoke and Matt Glasgow. Stoke is a town in
In Freaksville, the last names have a huge meaning. Kasey Maxwell my heroine, and Josh Johnstone my hero, both of their names are very historic. The Maxwells and the Johnstones were families that had been feuding over the borders between
I also google every name I select. If I get any hits, I change it.
I have a pet peeve—when writers use really hard names to pronounce. I try to make sure I don’t use spellings that are too crazy or something so off the wall you need a dictionary to translate. Nothing pulls you out of a story faster than a weird word. I’m very conscious of the names I choose.
I also keep card catalogs with the character’s traits, their data, i.e., blonde hair, hates elevators, etc. Stuff like that. It helps me when I’m creating them. My characters tend to live in my imagination. I never use real people to create a character. Now, I might use a quirk of someone I know. But I never base them on people around me. So nope Josh is not my hubby. I’m not Kasey. We have similarities because she comes from me. Yet I think she’s more of a risk taker than I am. Besides, she sees ghosts and has visions…
Writers block. What do you do to get over it?
When I first started writing, if I was blocked on a certain section, I usually started writing something else. It helped. Now, since I have contracts to fulfill, I have to work through that block. I use a few different methods. One is to write it out on butcher paper. I’ll spread out the big white rolls on the floor and write thoughts out with different colored Sharpie pens. (I love sharpie pens. My handwriting looks so cool in them.) Sometimes the brainstorming helps me. If it’s just a certain chapter that’s giving me trouble, I often will skip that section and write myself a note like add Lycan detail here. Then, I’ll start a new chapter.
I also have a really great CP. (Critique Partner) She lives in a different state. We’re both night owls. I can call her late. She lets me talk my plot issues out. I firmly believe in “spare the reader, not the writer.” And my CP will tell it to me straight. If it stinks she tells me so.
What was the biggest hardship when writing Freaksville?
Writing it was the easy part. It was on my terms. It’s editing and doing all the little things that were the hard part. I wouldn’t say I’ve had any hardships per say. I’m a tad bit impatient. The waiting has been the hardest thing for me…being on someone else’s schedule. Things get pushed back. I grew up in the microwave generation—I want it now and I want it fast.
Why YA fiction?
It comes easy to me. The genre fits my snarky sense of humor. I’ve been told I have a good voice for YA. ( style of writing.) I love first person stories. Now there are plenty of YA novels written in third person, too. I do write in third person but not in YA. YA is what I started writing. I used to write about teenagers as a teenager. I love the fantasy angle and the discovery you can have in YA. I love the age around sixteen to seventeen. The challenges in that age are real, but fun. In Freaksville, Kasey is sixteen… she’s kind of caught between being a child and becoming woman. She just discovered she has powers and it freaks her out. She’s a bit of a drama queen. I had so much fun creating her and her BFF Gillie. I get to watch cool movies, hang out at the mall, play around with sparkly nail polish, and have a crush on a hot guy from
Tell me the last book you read and what you thought of it.
I’m a huge reader. I wasn’t always one. I discovered that in order to be a better writer, I needed to read. I try not to read the same style of writing as the project I’m working on. I’m currently reading the novel Dark Curse by Christine Feehan. She doesn’t write YA. I adore the way Feehan writes. She has a rhythm to her words.
For YA authors, I like Catherine Clark. (I have two of her books on my nightstand.) She’s so different from what I write. My stories have a lot of paranormal, it’s nice to read something that has a normal hero and heroine, in an ordinary world, without furry monsters and freaky powers. When I’m not on deadline, I can read five or more paperbacks a week. I’m on deadline right now, so it’s taken me a week to get through one novel.
What are your favorite types of books to read? What other types of paranormal books do you like to read?
I love paranormal romance and mysteries, too. There are way too many to list. I have boxes of books I’ve read and a nifty vintage paperback rack filled with books to be read. It’s like having my very own bookstore in my office.
I’m also a huge fan of the TV show Supernatural. It’s hard to stay focused on writing when there are new episodes! Oh and the show Bones, too.
To be completely honest, my biggest influence has been John Hughes movies. He wrote Pretty in Pink, Some Kind of Wonderful and the Breakfast club…and so much more. I learned about comedic timing and story telling from his work. It’s why I started writing. If you haven’t seen them, rent them— they are awesome!
What are your upcoming books?
Freaksville, the first in the series. I’m in the final rounds of edits for that, checking for typos, etc. It’s coming out soon. I don’t have a release date yet. Fingers crossed. It will be available as an e-book first then print. Please, bookmark my website www.kittykeswick.com
My Prom Date’s a Vampire is a short story that will be available to read for FREE. Yep. My publisher www.thewildrosepress.com is going to have it on their Free Read program. Again, it’s coming soon. (I’m in hurry up and wait mode. LOL) It’s done. I’m waiting for production to post it. But, readers will be able to download it for free. It’s only nine pages long. It’s based in the same world as Freaksville but with different characters.
Furry & Freaked, is the second book in the Freaksville series. I’m currently tying up loose ends. It deals more with Kasey’s paranormal gifts. She’s growing and so are her powers and responsibilities.
I’ll write a few more Free Reads. I also have another YA plotted out so I might take a break from the Freaksville series and work on that. It all depends on what my publisher and readers want.
Thanks for the interview Kitty, I hope to get to your book soon! Anything else you want to add?
Thanks Kelsey, it was fun. I do have a blog, called the Wolfy Chicks. I’ve started it with another YA author, Judith Graves. We both write about werewolf-like creatures. Be sure to check it out. http://wolfychicks.blogspot.com. I also have a myspace page. I need to spend more time on it. www.myspace.com/kittykeswickyaauthor
Thanks SO much, Kitty, for doing this with me! I can't wait to read Freaksville!
Saturday, September 27, 2008
She inte(re)viewed me on the totally awesome book Gone by Michael Grant that I read late this summer and thought it was awesome so, head on over to Chelsie's awesome blog Read, Read, Read to read the Inte(Re)View!
Also, Carol of Bookluver-Carol's Reviews posted the reviewer interview I did awhile ago. I had an awesome time and you can learn a bit more about me. So check that out also!
And then there's Will. Gorgeous, unattainable Will, who Kate pretends she can't stand even though she can't stop thinking about him. And when Will starts acting interested, Kate hates herself for wanting him even though she knows she's just his latest conquest.
Kate figures the only way things will ever stop hurting is if she keeps to herself and stops caring about anyone or anything. What she doesn't realize is that while life may not always be perfect, good things can happen--but only if she lets them.
I really enjoyed Perfect You. When I read Bloom early this year, I wasn't WOWed by it, but after hearing such amazing things for Perfect You and Stealing Heaven and Living Dead Girl, that when I got this book from BookMooch (Thanks Shauna!) I was so excited I started reading this right away. I had some expectations and Perfect You definitely accomplished them.
Scott tells a tale that was completely realistic from the mind of a mature teen who has all the issues a teen can have. Family, friends, love/hate relationships. It's all there and Scott wraps it up a delivers it with superb dialogue and honest hardships that make this novel what it is, plus the story adds with having the most authentic characters I have ever seen in a story in a long time. This book was amazing and I couldn't put it down! It's highly recommended.
Kate is full of sarcasm, stubborn, and she's so funny! Kate is my new favorite heroine. All the supporting characters were very credible. The whole aura of this novel was so calm but so deep. This book made me laugh and get watery eyes. I just can't explain how amazingly written and overall how good this novel was. Fans of Sarah Dessen will devourer this book up. I can't wait for to read Scott's latest two books. Overall, this book is a must read for any teenager.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
I was kind of iffy to start this book, I had started reading one of Mackler's other books once, and just couldn't get into it, and I also didn't read the book in which V was first introduced, Vegan Virgin Valentine, so I was unsure if I should of read that book before Guyaholic. But you do not need to. V explains all about her life before so you don't miss a thing, all though, you don't know what really happens in the last semester of her Junior year of High School, but you don't need to for this story.
V was fun and had a ton of attitude. The story picked up right away and led to something that you didn't really expect. Guyaholic is all about V finding out that even though you were hurt before, you can't push away people who love you and you have to learn to love also. This is the story of V learning that throughout her journey in the book.
Carolyn Mackler's writing was witty and whole of humorous and meaningful attitude that I fell in love with on the first page. This was a really short read, but I recommend it for a day read if your in the mood for butt-kicking attitude. I highly suggest reading this book. It was really fun and also a pretty deep read in the light sense.
*Thank you to the hard workers of BookDivas for sending me this book!
Friday, September 19, 2008
Bridget Flannery and Maureen O'Malley have been BFFs since forever. Then a brief moment of inattention on an icy road leaves one girl dead and the other in a coma, battered beyond recognition. Family and friends mourn one friend's loss and pray for the other's recovery. Then the doctors discover they have made a terrible mistake. The girl who lived is the one who everyone thought had died.
Based on a true case of mistaken identity, All We Know of Heaven is a universal story that no one can read unmoved: a drama of ordinary people caught up in an unimaginable tragedy and of the healing power of hope and love.
Okay, this book has made it to the top of my "Favorites" List. It is so completely amazing, unique, plausible, and, well, lovable. (I know, bad word choice, but it really is!) I completely through my heart into this novel and let it break and re-heal itself along with the characters. The First chapters starts out with a brief story of some of the moments in Bridget and Maureen's life that marked some things too come. Then came the accident in the second chapter. I felt like I knew Bridget, even though she wasn't alive in this book, through everybody, but Maureen mostly. This story made me cry my broken heart out and laugh my sad face into a grin. Though out this story, you will go through it with Maureen, in a two in half year marking. This story seems longer then it is, and so sad. From the accident, to rehab center in the hospital, to Maureen's prom, to her working and driving again, and through a completely heart shattering, amazingly adorable romance story with an unexpected guy to the end, this whole story is something that makes it impossible to put down (unless you have school!).
Mitchard wrote this book with an Omniscient POV, which is something I have never read with. It was so different, and strange, but definitely right for this book. There were also parts in the book, where you heard from Maureen in First Person, but that went away towards the middle of the book. I have never heard such a story told this amazing way. It's a book, I will love, and remember forever. Mitchard is a fabulous writing in this book, and ev
en though I heard some of her other books and disappointing, I can't wait to read her other Young Adu
lt books. Read this!
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
What is one thing you wish you knew about blogging when you started or what advice would you give a newbie blogger?
Well, I wish I would've know more about the booking world then I did, because before I pretty much just picked up a book and read it, not paying much attention to the authors and such. So, I kind of figured that authors were like celebrities and were too good to do anything themselves, much like actors and actresses. But now, when I think about that, I feel dumb. Authors are normal people who just write stories and share them with us. Isn't that funny?
As for advice for Newbies, I tell them that the layout and color coordination is pretty important. I would have neon colors, or big patterns, or animated stuff. Keep it low-key and make your reviews the part that everybody comes too your blog for. The reviews, of course, are the most important part, make sure they make sense, have your friend, or a family member, read them over and tell you if it makes sense or what they feel about it. But, the main thing is: Be Yourself. Tell what you think, don't be afraid to say what you feel.
What is your best blogging tip?
My best blogger tips are the tips I mentioned above. I hope they help!
So I was at Polyvore.com and I came across these strange but awesome chairs and a bookcase for bibliophiles, as they put it.
This on is called the Dondola, this information comes from this website.
Then there is this one:
This one is called the Bibliochaise, and doesn't that look cozy and awesome! I want it! The info comes from this website.
|La Bibliochaise Home is water varnished in white, black or aubergine, also|
|available in others colors upon request.|
|Cotton cushions with removable covers in a wide range of colours.|
|Contains 5 meters of books.|
Then there is this one from the same place as the La Bibliochaise:This one is a wall bookcase, the one on the right is for the kitchen I think. This is called the Piola.
|Piola is a surprising wall bookcase|
|designed to emphasize art and|
|Available in two sizes.|
So what do you think? Interesting huh? I want them though! They look awesome!
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Me: So, Suzi, to start off. Tell us a little about yourself.
Born and raised in San Jose, at the heart of Silicon Valley, I am the biracial product of the Bay Area’s melting pot. My mother is a teacher and my father is a computer engineer; they both used up so much dedication and determination to succeed in this world that when their marriage produced offspring the ‘hard work’ gene had become so weak that it failed to manifest in either child. My brother is an actor in love with the stage and I am an artist who delights in bringing physical reality to thoughts. I do not take school very seriously, but I do read a lot, so I thought it might help my writing discpline if I had a project like Fashionista Piranha (http://fashion_piranha.
Me: I've lived in numerous places in California also, my mom and brother were even born there, it's a beautiful place, but anyways, how long have you been reading for?
Well, certainly as long as I can remember! I'm twenty-four now, so at least twenty years now..?
Me: Wow, that's WAY longer then me. So, what's the first thing to attract you to a book on a shelf?
I'm superficial and not afraid to admit it: if a cover is pretty or has a very clean, uncluttered layout that is the book I will pick up. Once it is in my hands, it’s all up to the description on the back cover to convince me the book is of interest. But isn’t that a boring, typical way to decide?
My boyfriend has a special method for gauging book-worthiness. He reads the first sentence of the first chapter, and the last sentence of the final chapter, one right after the other. If they gel together in a comedic way, the book may be worth further investigation. A book this method works well with is Angels & Demons by Dan Brown. I truly wish I had a copy of this book in front of me so I could demonstrate.
Me: What's your favorite genre to read from today? Why?
I try to read a good variety, but I'd say my favorite is either fashion/art history or historical fiction. I guess you could condense that down to history if you wanted. But I also read a lot of fantasy, “literary” fiction, and religious books. Right now I am currently reading:
- The Fire and the Light by Glen Craney
- Nana series by Ai Yazawa
- The Intellectual Devotional by David Kidder
- Revelations of Divine Love by Julian of Norwich
- NIV Study Bible
- Cut the Clutter and Stow the Stuff by Lori Baird
- The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood (audio CD)
As you can see, it’s a bit random. I usually have between 6-10 books going at one time.
Me: What's your favorite book? Favorite author?
I don’t have a single favorite book. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever been able to formally narrow my favorites to even a “Top Ten” list. But off the top of my head, a few of my favorites from a variety of genres:
- Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
- A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
- Paradise Kiss by Ai Yazawa
- Perfume by Patrick Suskind
- The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
- The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson
- The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
- Fables by Bill Willingham
- Oedipus Rex by Sophocles
- On A Pale Horse by Piers Anthony
- Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy
Favorite authors that are not mentioned above would include Roald Dahl, Michelle Moran, J. K. Rowling, Rumiko Takahashi, Joss Whedon, C. S. Lewis, Andrew Lang and William Shakespeare
Me: What got you into book blogging? How long have you been reviewing your books?
Unofficially, I’ve been reviewing for at least ten years. I like to make notes on the books I read, because I go through so many of them that at some point in high school I would pick up a book and be unable to recall whether I’d read it before. So whenever I’d read a book from the library or borrowed from a friend, I’d jot down some notes so I could refer to them when I was fuzzy about reading a book.
In 2004 I discovered BookCrossing.com, so my book notes became available on-line. Two years later I joined Librarything.com, and through them discovered the magical world of ARCs. Since I was reviewing the books anyway for Librarything and my personal use, I figured I should centralize them on a single website that I could show publishers when making book requests. In June of 2008, Fashionista Piranha was born as a book blog.
Me: Wow, that's a much better story then mine. Oh, and can I take the time here to tell you how much I love your blog name? Back to the questions. How do you construct you book reviews?
I try to summarize the main plot thread or purpose of the book first. After all, if it’s a book on a topic the reader doesn’t care about, they aren’t going to care much about my opinion of it, so better they know right away! Then I just share any thoughts or impressions that come to mind. What I liked about the book, or didn’t like, and who I think might want to read it is usually written. I try to be fair; if I don’t like a book I make sure to say why instead of blindly announcing “The book SUCKS.” But I do have a streak of nasty that pops up when I feel a book is really, truly bad.
Me: Hehe, I feel the same way. Where's your favorite place to read?
Anyplace quiet, really. I read at my desk at work, on my bed at home, and in the back seat of my car between classes.
Me: I love the quiet, but sadly, there's not much for me here. So I try to cancel out the random noises with music on Pandora.com. Well, speak of the devil, here's a random question for you. If you could live anywhere in the world where would you live?I actually really love Northern California, and I would never want to move away permanently. But I would love to spend an extended period of time in different cities all over the world! An ideal job for me would be one that would allow me to live four to six months overseas in the world’s cultural centers, and the rest of the year at home in San Francisco Bay Area.
Thanks so much Suzi! It was a pleasure working with you! San Francisco is so beautiful, and cold, but, hey, I shouldn't be complaining, I live in a place where I have 2 feet of snow on the ground from the end of November to the end of April, literally. But go check out Suzi's blog, The Fashion Piranha, and tell her how sane you are from reading. (Pun intended.)
Oh, and P.S. I will not be posting my Teen Tuesday post on my blog here this week, to much stuff already is going on, but it is up on the Teen Tuesday blog, so check it out, here and read the other post also! Also, no Teaser Tuesday this week, I feel like I'm being smothered with all the blog post this week, but you will see it up and set next Tuesday!
Monday, September 15, 2008
I was incredibly disappointed with this book. The reviews I've read said it was a impossible to put down, very deep, and powerful debut novel. In my opinion, this was a very boring book. I almost didn't finish it. The plot is so boring, it didn't go anywhere and I felt like it kept repeating itself. It was very slow, and it only got to the real problem almost more then halfway through the book.
Yes, the writing was really well, but the whole plot/storyline and the characters disappoint the book. I harly understood what happened in the first chapter and then nothing seemed to happen until Libby saw Angie and Kevin together, and then, with that situation, it didn't seem to real, it didn't seem powerful enough. It wasn't deep enough as it should of been. I was highly disappointed and I would discourage recommendations for this book. But if you have nothing else to read, and see it at the library, I would pick it up, it's a short read.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
I'm switching my forum over to Invisionfree bacause we've been getting a ton of advertisements and such, some of it not appropriate, so hopefully it'll work there. Also, if you didn't know yet, there is a Book Club we're hosting there. So, you should check that out. Click HERE for the forum.
Also, look out for my review of Where People Like Us Live by Patricia Cumbie either tomorrow or Tuesday. I have some things to say about this book.
Also, I plan to read Pretty Things by Sarra Manning and maybe (maybe!) read All We Know of Heaven by Jacquelyn Mitchard or Fabulous Terrible by Sophie Talbot or The Debs by Susan McBride, it depends what I feel like, but look for those soon.
Also, I should have an interview with upcoming debut author Kitty Keswick author of Freaksville, releasing soon. Well, as soon as I get the interview questions out.
So yeah, that's about it.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Sleepless is a suspenseful, exciting debut from new novelist, Terri Clark. Sleepless mixes action, romance and plausible plot that makes a fantastic new novel that YA readers will devourer everywhere and will be waiting anxiously for to get their hands on this book. The fast pace and the direction the novel takes will make up hunger to keep reading. Your hands will be glued to the pink pajamas on the cover, that doesn't really do justice for how great this book is.
Trinity is what you think from her looks as the typical goth girl, but she is far from it. Trinity is strong and has a great attitude and is a very well-developed character that fit the role of the character needed perfectly. When she was around Dan, she was very relate able. And all though her 'ability' is very unreal in my sense, it didn't feel superficial at all. it seemed like it was completely real.
This novel will make you laugh crazy and scare your wits out. I especially loved the comments Terri made about Supernatural, myself being a huge fan also, it was hilarious and I couldn't stop laughing at the comments made about Sam and Dean. I've seen this novel compared to Wake by Lisa McMann numerous time, and yes, it is very similar to Wake, with the dreams and the guys, but the whole atmosphere of the novel is completely different. Wake is much darker then Sleepless, the writing is completely different and Sleepless is much lighter then Wake is, but Wake is an extremely good novel, yes, and so is Sleepless. So just make sure you know how different they are. But if you like Wake, you are sure to love Sleepless. Sleepless is hugely recommended.