Monday, May 31, 2010

I'ts Monday! What Are Your Reading? May 31, 2010

It's Monday! What are you reading? is a weekly event to celebrate what we are reading for the week as well as books completed the previous week. Feel free to join in this weekly event if you'd like as well as use the picture above. Thanks Sheila for hosting!

Last week:
I reviewed Something Wicked by Lesely Anne Cowan (click here). I was also fortunate enough to interview her & host a giveaway (click here for interview & to enter!) I must say, Lesely is like a superhero to me, I can't imagine living in her world. Seriously, big kudos to her!

Jen Nadol stopped by and wrote a guest post on the evolution of writing.

This week:
Today is the last day to enter my Supernatural Tour contest. I'm going to have a little write up about the signing last week & announce the winners tomorrow :)

I'm reading Middleworld (Jaguar Stones, #1) by J&P Voelkel. A middel-grade Mayan adventure story that's a lot of fun so far!

Next up is For the Win by Cory Doctorow. This book looks really interesting!

What are you reading?

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Guest Post by Jen Nadol: The Evolution of Writing

Today I am so excited and honored to have Jen Nadol guest post. Jen is the author of The Mark, her debut novel which was released earler this year and one of my top reads this year! Since she was in the process of editing book two, The Vision, I thought it would be interesting to see what she had learned....

I’d written almost all of this guest post about the evolution of my writing process from book one to book two when I realized it wasn’t telling the right story. I was focused on what changed between The Mark, published in January, and its sequel, Vision, due out in 2011. I hadn’t come up with a whole lot.

That’s because though The Mark is my first published book, it’s not the first one I wrote. To see the real evolution, I have to step further back, to Painted Wings, my real first book.

I started it the week I stopped working to stay home with my first son, writing by the seat of my pants in bits of free time. It’s how I’d always written: grabbing whatever inspired me at the moment and jotting down a scene or a character’s internal dialogue. But I’d never developed any of these fragments into a short story, much less a novel.

For Painted Wings I grabbed on to my current reality: the transition from an adult life out in the world to being at home with a baby. I had no outline and no real idea of a story arc – didn’t even know what a story arc was - and after the first chapter, I had no clue where to go. It showed. The novel was a three-hundred-some page plotless wonder with really boring characters and lots of navel-gazing.

Of course, I didn’t realize that at the time so I submitted it to agents. Without even re-reading it, if I remember right. I might made a cursory attempt at editing, but I was pretty tired of the story by that point. I could barely bring myself to look at it again. It wasn’t really my kind of book anyway – I’m not a big fan of Women’s Fiction.

Painted Wings was never – and never will be – published. Its value was in everything I learned during the painful submission process. By the time I was ready to throw in the towel on it – 62 rejections later – I had a much clearer idea how publishing works and what the ingredients of a saleable novel are.

My writing process changed dramatically after that, beginning with step one: The Idea. The “grab anything” method hadn’t worked, so before starting The Mark, I tossed around a bunch of ideas until I hit on one – what if you knew it was someone’s day to die - with enough interest, conflict and potential for action to carry two- to three-hundred pages.

I might have been able to turn Painted Wings’ I used to have a career, now I’m home into that…rather than having the character come to terms with it internally, she could have started a business or gone back to work against her family’s wishes or joined a cult of voodoo practicing witches. But none of that sounds very interesting to me (except maybe the witches). That’s the other thing I learned about The Idea – it has to be something I’d want to read, not just something I know about.

I also outlined The Mark. Not in a hugely structured way, but enough that I knew where it would start, end and a bunch of key scenes in between. Painted Wings taught me that I’m not a good seat-of-my-pants writer. If I don’t know what happens next, I write a bunch of meandering garbage that winds up deleted. Or worse, not deleted. Now, I spend my daily mental downtime – showering, driving, cleaning – thinking about plot alternatives so by the time I sit down to write, I know what will happen in the next scene.

Even that doesn’t always work, of course. The Mark took eight months to write and twenty-six to revise. What I didn’t learn from book one to book two was how to edit effectively. It’s a part of the process I hadn’t been through with Painted Wings since that manuscript never made it to the stage where a practiced editor could tell me what was flat or too wordy or unnecessary or underdeveloped. That’s where my writing process has evolved the most between The Mark and Vision. Now, even as I’m writing, my subconscious is asking: is there a clearer way to say this? What does this word/line/paragraph add to the story? Is the emotion tangible here? Didn’t you already use this word two or three times? I process things differently. Plenty of after-the-draft editing still needs to be done, but Vision sold with four months of edits rather than two-plus-years worth.

That doesn’t mean there won’t be major changes after the book’s been bought. I still had to re-write about a third of Vision post-sale, about the same as on The Mark. But they were more big-picture editorial: changing the MC’s age or refocusing the story on a more compelling plot line.

Maybe by book three, I’ll be able to spot this stuff, too.
I can't wait for Vison, thanks so much Jen!

About the book:

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

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

Cassie searches her past, her philosophy lessons, even her new boyfriend for answers, always careful to hide her secret. How does the mark work? Why her?

Most importantly, if you know today is someone's last, should you tell?

About the author:

I grew up in Reading, PA, hometown of John Updike, Taylor Swift and fellow YA author A.S. King (nope, didn't know any of them).

I went to college at American University in Washington DC, graduated with a BA in Literature, then spent the next twelve years doing something totally unrelated to pay the bills.

Now I live north of NYC in an old farmhouse with my husband and three young sons. I am thrilled to finally be writing, the thing I always meant to do. For more information check out

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

An Interview with Lesley Anne Cowan (plus Giveaway)

I am so excited to have Lesley Anne Cowan with us today. She is the author of Something Wicked which is released next week. It is a dark, realistic look and not the typical Happily Ever After that you know I love (see, I love all things happy & so when I see someone struggling I need to fix it). Her book concentrates on Melissa, a young girl who has lost her sense of self-worth (or maybe never really had any to begin with?) and her struggles. It struck a nerve with me, having friends dealing with issues over the years and my natural instinct to try and help. I am so happy that Lesley gave us this rare glimpse into Melissa's look on life and hope others can learn from this amazing story. Here is the link to my review. Now for the fun part, the interview!

Can you tell us about Something Wicked

Something Wicked is a young adult literary novel about a sixteen year old girl named Melissa. It deals with contemporary issues surrounding female sexual empowerment and identity, substance abuse, and the complex relationships between mothers and daughters. It is meant to be a stark, honest, provoking story that explores the teenager psyche and unveils the shocking realities of today’s sexually engaged youth.

When reading Something Wicked, Melissa felt so real. I think many people will find they can connect with her, be it themselves or people they know... even if their troubles aren't half as bad. How were you able to connect so strongly with Melissa? (I'm assuming that your work with at-risk kids provides some invaluable insight)

I think you’re right about how my work with young women helps to make my writing voice realistic. Not many people (including ‘normal’ secondary teachers) spend 6 hours a day with the same 8 teenagers in a small room! Such close quarters inevitably lead to some kind of osmosis, I guess. Though none of my characters (or the things that happen to them) are based on real people, Melissa’s character is very, very common in my world. In fact, in both Something Wicked and my first book As She Grows I had to tone things down for fear of sounding too sensationalistic. In reality, the true lives of these young women are often more violent and disturbing.

As a writer, how do you prepare yourself for writing about a dark/angry/depressed character like Melissa?

I don’t feel I prepared at all. Melissa’s voice just arrived on the page like that. Again, I suppose it’s a familiar voice that I hear each day. I suppose writing teen fiction is a little cathartic for me – gives me a place to work out my thoughts related to a rather emotionally loaded job. As well, I think it helps that my general writing/author voice is rather ‘detached’. I think my protagonists (adult or youth) will always have this sort of emotional detachment. Part of the reason why is that I probably have a similar emotional detachment in myself. The other part of the reason why (I believe) is because I work full-time (7 hrs day) and write full-time (3-4 hrs day). Having to constantly go in and out of a manuscript creates a distance between my characters and me.

There are a number of important messages in Something Wicked and wisdom from her Uncle Freestyle. "if you want to walk on water, you have to get out of the boat"(pg 73) and "you decide to be happy. It's a decision"(pg 153 of ARC). What do you hope your readers take away with them after reading Something Wicked?

I liked writing Uncle Freestyle’s wisdom! It allowed me to put the quotes I personally enjoy into the manuscript. Some of those quotes (like the one about the lion and gazelle) came from my father.

What do I hope readers will take away? In both Something Wicked and As She Grows, I wanted to draw a new picture of hope for struggling young women, both for those teens like my protagonist and for those who pass her by on the street. I want readers not to make a quick judgment. I’d like them to look beyond a typecast and understand that hope is found in the many small upward steps on a very long journey toward adulthood.

I think this is an important message for teens. They see too many movies and sitcoms (and books) where problems are clearly wrapped up in a half hour or so. When you’re a teenager, some days are good and you take two steps forward. Then some days are bad and you take twenty steps back! One of the most common questions I get as a teacher of drug-addicted students is: “Do they change?” -- As in, did I fix them? When I first started the job, I think I was looking for this clear evidence of change as well. But now, I realize that change and growth are passed on in little bits that you hope, one day, will help add up to a whole.

Something Wicked deals with a tough subject. Who would you say your book is geared towards: parents (so they may have a better understanding of what teens are experiencing) or teens (so that they know they are not alone)?

This is a really great question because it gets to the heart of something I struggle with in regards to the adolescent fiction industry. Does your book have to change that much when you gear it toward teens instead of adults? It’s a question I often ask young people when I’m at a reading or workshop. I really feel that teen fiction (over 14 – not tween!) should be associated more with adult fiction now, rather than ‘children’. That covers everything from placement of books in the bookstores to editors specializing in teen/adult instead of teen/children. I’m not saying that there shouldn’t be a slight difference between teen fiction and adult. I think it’s still important to recognize the teen reader’s maturity level. But unfortunately, the age of innocence has risen and by the time a teen is fifteen or so, s/he is exposed to so much through media, it seems that literature should keep up to speed.

My first novel, As She Grows, was published as adult literary fiction in 2003. It was re-released as adolescent fiction in 2009. I find that interesting because I never intended for teens to read it (which is why they liked it so much). Something Wicked, however, was written specifically for teens (to answer your question!). So I’m interested how the two will compare. While writing Something Wicked, knowing a teenager was going to read it, I had to constantly fight that instinctual ‘adult’ voice that told me to make my protagonist ‘do the right thing’ or ‘solve all her problems’. I found it intriguing how strong this sense of obligation to be a moral guide for my readers was, simply because I was aware of my targeted reading audience. I fought that ‘sheltering’ urge as much as possible while writing Something Wicked but I still think As She Grows was a more ‘carefree’ story while Something Wicked holds something back.

To find out more about Lesley and her books, check out:

You're all invited to the book launch party!

Lesley Anne Cowan in conversation with Emily Pohl-Weary

Saturday June 5, 2pm (Doors Open 1:30pm) FREE

Gladstone Hotel Ballroom, 1214 Queen Street West

Can a sixteen year-old girl beat the odds and rise above a bad situation? Sure, but what if fairy tales don’t come true? How does a young woman surrounded by ugliness find beauty in her life and in herself?

To celebrate the launch of Something Wicked, Lesley Anne Cowan will discuss writing and working with at-risk youth with noted author Emily Pohl-Weary. An extended Q&A will follow the conversation.

A Small Print Toronto event presented by Penguin Group Canada, Gladstone Hotel and

And thanks to Penguin Canada, I have one copy to giveaway! Please fill out the form below :)

Review: Something Wicked by Lesley Anne Cowan

Published by Puffin Canada

Pub date: June 1, 2010

224 pages,

Ages 14+
Sixteen-year-old Melissa’s most recent troubles stem from a secret: her twenty-eight-year-old boyfriend, Michael, has just broken up with her. Even though the relationship is clearly over, Melissa clings to the past, riding a never-ending wave of hope and disappointment. Meaningless sexual escapades, drunken nights, and drug-induced blackouts help her deal with heartbreak, but her pain goes much deeper than her failed relationship. Along with a broken heart, Melissa has to cope with the memories of her younger brother’s death; the non-existent parenting of her insecure, flighty mother; being juggled between social workers and psychologists; and getting kicked out of school and sent to a special program for at-risk youth. So when the cracks in her life threaten to tear her apart, Melissa has to decide whether to keep fighting—or to let go.

My rating: 4.5 / 5

My Thoughts:

****disclaimer : Something Wicked takes a realistic look at a troubled teen and discusses sex, drugs, alcohol and depression ****

I wanted to read Something Wicked for two reasons: 1) the main character and I share the same name and 2) I could relate to the story, not me exactly, but growing up there were people in my life who were on the wrong track and I wanted so badly to help them. In Melissa, Lesley shows us that behind a troubled teen there lies a desperate cry for help, for hope. When Melissa was 9, her younger brother passed away, she lives with her mother who is very lax with rules and not the best role's like the cards were stacked against her. Something Wicked is a rare opportunity to see inside the mind of someone struggling. Although dark, it is realistic and a real eye opener!

If you have ever tried to help someone fighting their own demons, you will know that trying to use reason/logic seems to go nowhere, that it's like they need to hit rock bottom before they are willing to accept defeat; Melissa is no different. She is such a believable character, and given all her struggles, one can't help but feel angry at her for her choices and horrible for her when things so wrong.

When reading, I wondered if passing this book along to someone struggling would help, knowing they aren't alone while at the same time showing then an outside look, how bad decisions affect you and how you have the power to take control of your life! The brilliance of this novel lies in it's simple message about growing up that I think ANY teen can relate too.

Stop by the blog tomorrow to read an interview with Lesley!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Rick Riordan's Stop In Toronto

(picture courtesy of HB Fenn)

Earlier this month Rick Riordan made his only tour stop in Canada! The line up was as crazy as you can imagine with people there 8 hours before the event was to start. As a mom of two boys, I have to say that it was amazing to see so many boys in the audience, maybe even half? Rick spoke a bit about he his books then let the kids/audience ask questions. He was so sweet & signed very book (personalizing only the Red Pyramid) and even offered to answer any additional questions when you were up on stage getting your books signed! In my eagerness to get going, making sure I had all my books with me, I totally forgot to bring my camera *cries* but a big thank you to Rita of HB Fenn for providing a picture to share with you!

Things of note:
  • His newest series, The Kane Chronicles, is journey into the world of Egyptian Mythology.
  • There is a spinoff to the Percy Jackson series, the first book comes out in October!
  • Between these two new series, we should have one book every 6 months!
For all those attending BEA, I hope you have a chance to meet Rick too!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

In My Mailbox - May 23, 2010

In My Mailbox is a meme hosted by The Story Siren where we show what books have found a new home with us!

Top Row (L-R)
For The Win by Cory Doctorow
Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce
The Demon's Convenant by Sarah Rees Brennan
Stolen by Lucy Christopher
Claire de Lune by Christine Johnson

Bottom Row (L-R)
The Search for WondLa by Tony DiTerlizzi
The Ghosts Of Ashbury High by Jaclyn Moriarty
Fallout (Crank, #3) by Ellen Hopkins
Unearthly Asylum (Joy of Spooking, #2) by P.J. Bracegirdle
Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry

I am so curious about Ellen Hopkins Crank series & so will probably read all three books back-to-back :)

What goodies did you get?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Review: Spells by Aprilynne Pike

Publisher: HarperTeen

Released: May 4 2010

Hardcover: 368 pages

Book Description (from publisher):

"I can't just storm in and proclaim my intentions. I can't ‘steal' you away. I just have to wait and hope that, someday, you'll ask," Tamani said.

"And if I don't?" Laurel said, her voice barely above a whisper.

"Then I guess I'll be waiting forever."

Although Laurel has come to accept her true identity as a faerie, she refuses to turn her back on her human life—and especially her boyfriend, David—to return to the faerie world.

But when she is summoned to Avalon, Laurel's feelings for the charismatic faerie sentry Tamani are undeniable. She is forced to make a choice—a choice that could break her heart.

Curious about the book? Click here to read the first 20%!

My Rating: 4.5 / 5

My thoughts:

An amazing sequel to Wings! In Spells, Laurel faces a tough choice. She knows that it's not fair to lead two separate lives and to be falling for guys in both places. In Avalon, she learns the different class structures and has a hard time accepting their ways, but she also loves it there (and Tamani). At home, she has David but Laurel's mom is struggling to accept who she is, and Laurel faces danger head on as the trolls are still after her!

There was only one problem (probably me, not the book) and I hate to admit this but reading Spells was sort of like reading New Moon for me...when Laurel wasn't in Avalon or with Tamani, I found myself rushing through the story! Even with all the action taking place with David at home (and I mean fast paced, scary troll stuff) I still kept craving more Tamani! I don't know why my connection to David isn't that strong, he really is willing to risk everything for Laurel & how cute is that?! I blame Tamani for having such a magical connection that can't be beat :) Team Tamani!

The ending to Spells blew me away, I'm giddy and can't wait for the next book, Enchantments (which is due out April 8th 2011 according to Goodreads).

Aprilynne Pike is on tour this summer as part of the Supernatural Summer Tour! Click here for a chance to win one of three books, including book one, Wings!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Review: White Cat by Holly Black

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry

Released: May 4 2010

Hardcover: 310 pages

Synopsis (from publisher):
Cassel comes from a family of curse workers -- people who have the power to change your emotions, your memories, your luck, by the slightest touch of their hands. And since curse work is illegal, they're all mobsters, or con artists. Except for Cassel. He hasn't got the magic touch, so he's an outsider, the straight kid in a crooked family. You just have to ignore one small detail -- he killed his best friend, Lila, three years ago.

Ever since, Cassel has carefully built up a façade of normalcy, blending into the crowd. But his façade starts crumbling when he starts sleepwalking, propelled into the night by terrifying dreams about a white cat that wants to tell him something. He's noticing other disturbing things, too, including the strange behavior of his two brothers. They are keeping secrets from him, caught up in a mysterious plot. As Cassel begins to suspect he's part of a huge con game, he also wonders what really happened to Lila. Could she still be alive? To find that out, Cassel will have to out-con the conmen.

My Rating: 3 / 5

My Thoughts:

I loved the premise of cursers and White Cat is written by the amazing Holly Black so I expected to love this one. Sadly, this book and I did not get along. I'm not sure if Cassel's character was written this way on purpose but I just couldn't feel any empathy for him. Was it because I never knew who he really as since he's a con and well doesn't even know himself? If that's not the case, I think the execution failed. It wasn't until about two-thirds into the book that it really grabbed my attention, the real action began and the pace picked up. This is also, (suprise, surprise) when a big plot twist takes place that puts a whole new spin on Cassel!

I finished the book and thought "wow, a great ending, BUT..." then I said to my BFF "well this is book one of a series, the boring stuff should be covered now, I think I'm going to love book two!" **crosses fingers**

The one thing I must mention is that as much as I couldn't get into the story, I must give Holly credit for writing outstanding lines throughout the book. Seriously so many were just brilliant!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Supernatural Tour - 3 Book Giveaway!

(note: click on pic to enlarge)

I'm so excited to be heading to this great signing next week. As a special treat for my readers, I've got the fist book by each author as a giveaway :) Up for grabs are copies of the following:
  • Once Dead, Twice Shy by Kim Harrison
  • Wings by Aprilynne Pike
  • Wonderous Strange by Lesley Livingston

A big thank you to HarperCollins Canada for supporting this giveaway! To win, please fill in the form below.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Interview with Joëlle Anthony

I am excited to have Joëlle Anthony, a fellow Canadian, on the blog today! Her debut novel, Restoring Harmony, was released just last week. I've included a mini review below as well below. Without further ado, please give a warm welcome to Joëlle!

Can you tell us about Restoring Harmony

Well, it’s a story about aliens invading the Earth by taking over Starbucks and putting mind altering drugs in the espresso…just kidding! That’s old news!

Actually, the book is a story about family, music, a bit of romance, and a big adventure. Here’s the book blurb from my publisher:
The year is 2041, and sixteen-year-old Molly McClure has lived a relatively quiet life on an isolated farming island in Canada, but when her family fears the worst may have happened to her grandparents in the US, Molly must brave the dangerous, chaotic world left after global economic collapse—one of massive oil shortages, rampant crime, and abandoned cities.

Molly is relieved to find her grandparents alive in their Portland suburb, but they’re financially ruined and practically starving. What should’ve been a quick trip turns into a full-fledged rescue mission. And when Molly witnesses something the local crime bosses wishes she hadn’t, Molly’s only way home may be to beat them at their own game. Luckily, there’s a handsome stranger who’s willing to help.

Although set in 2041, with mentions of products that don't yet exist, when reading I found I couldn't help but also think about the past (Depression, prohibition) and present (how we rely so heavily on power sources, oil, electricity). I wonder if life could easily turn into that found in Restoring Harmony...although in the end, going back to the basics, having love and family all around you doesn't seem like such a bad thing! What inspired you to write Restoring Harmony?

Well, I think you’re right when you say going back to things like family and hard physical work are actually good things. My husband and I are doing more of that every day – growing our own food, volunteering in the community, trying to help make our lives and our island more self-sufficient. I wrote a lot of the book while we were making these changes to our lifestyle, so it’s hard to say what inspired what? I guess the idea of what we’re trying to do every day influenced the book, and vice versa.

The Fiddle was Molly's little piece of home & the only constant throughout her journey. Why did you chose the fiddle?

In a way, a fiddle was sort of an odd choice for me to make because my husband plays practically every stringed instrument except the fiddle. You’d think I would’ve chosen something he could be my musical expert on, wouldn’t you? I think, initially, I chose it because it’s portable. You think guitars are portable until you start carrying one around! Fiddles are perfect for traveling. Also, I played violin as a child, so I already had some familiarity with it. And many of our friend play fiddle, so I planned to ask them for help, but in the end, I met Sarah Tradewell, the teen fiddler who looks exactly like Molly (my main character) and she became the fiddle expert for my book, so it all worked out beautifully. She’s also in the trailer and recorded some of the tunes with my husband, and even wrote Brianna’s Reel, which is a fictional tune in the book!

In the book the phrase "the house always wins" comes up many times, but inside the book, there is a lot of good overpowering the bad. I'm a huge Happily Ever After, glass is half full person, are you?

Totally. I LOVE happy endings. Not Disney ones, but the incomplete-but-with-lots-of-potential ones. I like the kinds of endings that are a bit of a tidy up, but really more like happy beginnings and so the reader (or me) can continue to imagine the next bit on her own.

What can we expect next from you?

My next book is called THE RIGHT & THE REAL and it’s also from Putnam. I think it will be out in 2012, but it doesn’t have a definite release date yet. I’ve written the first draft and handed it in, so I guess you could say we’re in the editing process. It’s about a teen girl whose father gets mixed up in a religious cult and when she refuses to join, he kicks her out on the street. The book is really about how she survives and like RESTORING HARMONY, it’s a bit of an adventure.

About the author:

Joëlle currently lives on a tiny island in British Columbia with her musician husband, Victor Anthony. As for the future, their only plan is to avoid real jobs, write and play guitar in front of the wood stove, and live happily ever after. Look for her debut novel, Restoring Harmony, in May 2010 from Putnam. Check out for more information.

My Rating: 4 / 5

My Thoughts:

The main character, Molly, was wonderful to read about. At time her age shows and she is naive but I loved that she remained focused, determined to what she set out to do given the obstacles she encountered. Spill, the boy who helps Molly, comes from the wrong side and yet shows there is so much more to him. At times I wasn't sure how much to trust him/his circumstances but by the end his actions left me wanting to read more. Joëlle has created an interesting world in Restoring Harmony that left me appreciating the simple things in life and for that alone I am so happy to have read it!

Friday, May 14, 2010

1st Rate Fridays #10

A weekly meme to share favorite posts you've come across recently. Although it's impossible to follow every book blogger, this is a great opportunity to highlight exceptional posts you find. Hopefully along the way you'll find some great new-to-you blogs as well. Let's spread the love and support those awesome posts out there!

This was inspired by Cindy at Tynga's Reviews, Jennifer at Reading With Tequila, Lisa at The Little Reader...and me!

Let the fun begin!

A book blogger problem we all relate too: The Bookshelf Will Comsume You

What gems did you find?

Fun Friday...and the winner!

In Shade, Aura's boyfriend Logan is the frontman in the band The Keeley Brothers so I thought it would only be fitting to end off the week with some music!

Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

Additional music links to share:

iTunes iMix (WARNING: clicking on link opens iTunes on your computer)

SHADE music page on Jeri's website, which includes a bonus playlist (Logan's St. Patrick's day mix!)

If you are curious, here's the playlist:
"Time to Pretend," MGMT
"Streams of Whiskey," (written by the Pogues, but performed by The Dead Rabbits on the iTunes mix and the Bloody Irish Boys on my website playlist)
"Dammit," Blink-182,
"Devil's Dance Floor," Flogging Molly
"Lust," The Raveonettes
"The Rip," Portishead
"Sleeping with Ghosts," Placebo
"Houses," Great Northern
"If I Ever Leave This World Alive," Flogging Molly
"Chasing Cars," Snow Patrol
"I Lost Lenore," The Nevermores
"St. Valentine's Day Massacre," Cocktail Slippers
"Love Song," The Cure
"Infinity," The XX
"I Will Possess Your Heart," Death Cab for Cutie
"The Bells Of Dublin/Christmas Eve," The Chieftains
"The Parting Glass," (traditional, performed by The Pogues on the iTunes mix and Ozark Four on my website playlist)
"This Is How I Disappear," My Chemical Romance
"Til Kingdom Come," Coldplay

I hope you enjoyed the week of Shade! A big thanks to Jeri for her time & support in making this happen. *throw confetti*

And the winner is.....


Please check you email Sandy, you have until Sunday to claim your prize :)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

My Interview with Jeri Smith-Ready & your chance to ask too!

For those that don't know yet (gasp!), can you tell us what Shade is about?

Okay, here’s my amateur short version (not the extended magical marketing remix):
16-year-old Aura can see ghosts. Then again, so can everyone around the world who was born after her. In fact, they have a word for the moment of her birth: the Shift. Aura suspects that the Shift might be connected to her missing mystery dad and an event that happened at Newgrange tomb in Ireland a year before her birth.

Ghosts can be annoying at their best. At their worst, as dark, powerful "shades," they can be deadly. So Aura's major goal in life is to undo the Shift and make the ghosts go away.

And then, her boyfriend dies and becomes a ghost.

You have written many amazing adult fiction books with Shade being your first foray into YA. Was Shade started as YA or did it evolve that way?

It originally started as an idea for a world where the existence of ghosts had been proven, and a law firm that specialized in wrongful death suits. As tickled as I was by my cheesy tagline, “I sue dead people,” the idea went nowhere without a main character or a compelling story to give it life. (Besides, I know zilch about law, so it wouldn’t have gotten far. It wasn’t until the main character of 16-year-old Aura Salvatore came into the picture that the story took off. I thought hey, what if all people her age and younger could see ghosts? And then the biggest part of the story of all: what if her boyfriend died and become a ghost?

SHADE wasn’t my first attempt at writing YA, though. I wrote another YA (about the daughters of fallen angels Lucifer and Beelzebub as high school seniors) in between my other books, in bits and pieces from 2003 to 2006. But when it came time to revise it for submission in 2008, I realized it pretty much sucked (well, the first half of it, anyway). By that point, I already had the idea for SHADE and was really excited about it, so I decided to do that instead. Sometimes you just have to know when to drop a project and move on.

Having written for both adult & YA audiences, what was the hardest/easiest about writing YA?

In some ways, writing YA is easier. I get to focus on the elements of storytelling I enjoy most and that I think I’m best at: character development and voice, especially dialogue. Writing for teens usually requires a faster pace, and I’m all for that. Whether I’m writing for adults or teens, I believe in following Elmore Leonard’s #1 rule of writing: leave out the boring parts.

The hardest part of writing YA for me is cutting down on the plot digressions. Especially with a book like SHADE where the whole society has changed because of ghosts, it’s so tempting to geek out and explore all the different world-building aspects. My editor does a great job of telling me when I’m losing focus from the main characters and their conflicts. Also when I’m getting too James Bond-ish.

In Shade, the colors purple & red are significant, why were these colours chosen?

The color concept is based on the visible light spectrum—though I don't specifically mention it in the book—where violet and red lie at opposite ends. Red corresponds with the first “chakra” (or energy center, in traditional Indian medicine), located at the base of the spine, where it represents life and the physical world. Violet is associated with the seventh chakra, at the top of the head, representing pure thought. Though I’d chosen obsidian because of its use by ghost hunters, I later discovered that the rock corresponds to the color red and the first chakra. Score one happy world-building accident!

How many books are planned for this series?

There will be at least two (SHIFT is coming out next May). I hope there’ll be three or four ultimately, but of course that depends on my publisher wanting more, which of course depends on readers supporting the series. This doesn’t just apply to my books—if you love an author, buy their books and tell all your friends! Otherwise the publishers won’t know how loved they are, and next thing you know, no more books. :-(

Can you give us a sneak peak at what to expect in book #2, Shift?

SHIFT picks up right after SHADE finishes, and you won’t believe how Chapter One ends! Aura faces a whole new unimaginable dilemma in her choice between Logan and Zachary. As Zachary puts it, “We need to redefine the word ‘impossible.’”

But Aura does find out all about her mom and dad and the mystery of the Shift. The question is, what does she do with that information? And that leads us into a possible third and fourth book.

Ahhh, as if I wasn't already dying to read Shift!

Thanks so much for having me on your blogs! I love to hear from readers, so come visit me at, or better yet on twitter @jsmithready or, where I spend way too much time.

And thanks for writing amazing books & sharing them with us!

I hope you have enjoyed the week so far. Today is the last day to enter the contest for a SIGNED copy of Shade courtesy of Jeri! (Click here to enter)

Now for the fun interactive part...Jeri will be checking in with us today so if you have any questions for her, just type it up in a comment below!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Learning More About Logan

When I had the chance to interview Aura, wouldn't you know it Logan was there too...I just couldn't see or hear him! Aura acted as a mediator for me, I had so many questions for him (but as you can see we had to cut it short). In case you haven't read Shade yet, there are two guys in Aura's life: Logan & Zachary. I must admit I was leaning more towards team Zachary when reading the book, but Logan just may have have won me over, I'm not so sure anymore!

If you could go back in time and change one thing (besides your death) what would it be?

I wish I’d played that song for Aura, the one I wrote for her. I thought there’d be another chance. I thought there’d be lots more chances for lots more things.

God, sorry, that sounds pathetic. I’m not really like that. Mostly I don’t bother with regrets. Life’s too short, y’know? Especially mine. Jeez, I’m getting worse, aren’t I? Next question?

Now that you are a spirit, what do you miss most?

Well, obviously the big loss is not being able to touch Aura. Sometimes I sit and close my eyes, try to relive what that was like. It’s like if I could just concentrate hard enough, I could conjure up the feel of her skin and hair and put that feeling back into my fingertips. I can almost get there, but not quite.

I also miss holding a guitar—in my head I still know all the chords and how to play, but so much of that is muscle memory. And I miss being able to reach everyone with my voice instead of just a few people.

And this is going to sound weird, but I miss sleep. It’s driving me crazy, never being able to turn off my brain. Well, not my brain, since that’s dead. My mind, I guess. Anyway, it’s exhausting. And boring.

What is the coolest thing you've discovered?

Once when I was a kid, my family went to Ireland on vacation. Since ghosts can go anywhere they went during their lives, I can be back in Dublin in less than a second. Watch.

*disappears, then reappears*

Freaking awesome, right? I was way too starry-eyed when I went as a kid to really notice much—a place that incredible, you just can’t take it all in, not in one measly week. So now when I go back, I check out all the little things, like the ducks in the ponds at St. Stephen’s Green. When you’re a ghost, you can sit right next to them and they don’t care. It’s pretty cool.

Another cool thing is that I can get into shows for free and listen to any band I want, as long as I’ve been to that club or whatever before, and if it’s not BlackBoxed to keep out ghosts. But any place worth going wouldn’t be able to afford BlackBoxing.

Who is your favorite band/song?

Definitely “Devil’s Dance Floor” by Flogging Molly. It’s got this insane energy—I was never so alive as when that song was playing. Our band practiced it for months before we got it right. Now when we do it onstage, I feel like a god.

I mean, I felt like a god. Sorry, I still slip up my past and present tenses sometimes. Not on purpose, swear.

What do you think of Zachary?

I thought these were all gonna be easy questions. I really have to answer this?

OK, fine. I try not to think of that guy. I can’t see him and he can’t see me, and even if we could see each other, I couldn’t pound his head into the wall like I want to. So what’s the point of thinking of him?

But I guess if Aura likes him, he can’t be a total waste. She’s a good judge of people. And if I really loved her, I should want her to move on, right? We obviously have no future. Maybe it would even help me pass on if I knew she’d be okay, if I knew she’d find happiness with a good guy, like he probably is. Right?

No. Screw that. I want to kill him.

Oops, sorry Logan! Calm down, don't go Shade on us... think of Aura!

Along with my interview tomorrow, you will also have a chance to ask Jeri some questions!

Also, just a reminder there's a few days left to enter to win a SIGNED copy of Shade (click here)!

Review: Rise of Renegade X by Chelsea Campbell

Hardcover: 352 pages

Publisher: EgmontUSA

Released:May 11, 2010

ISBN: 978-1606840603

My rating: 4.5 / 5

Synopsis (from Chelsea's blog):
Damien Locke knows his destiny–attending the university for supervillains and becoming Golden City’s next professional evil genius. But when Damien discovers he’s the product of his supervillain mother’s one-night stand with–of all people–a superhero, his best-laid plans are ruined as he’s forced to live with his superhero family.

Going to extreme lengths (and heights), The Rise of Renegade X chronicles one boy’s struggles with the villainous and heroic pitfalls of growing up.

My thoughts on why you should buy this book:

Damien (aka Renegade X) is not just some punk with a cocky attitude who wants to be a villain, he's real and likable and although he may not want to admit it, he has a conscience. I loved the way Chelsea captured Damien's inner struggles and included his thoughts...which didn't always match what he said and had me giggling. Not only does he have his super hero/villain issues to deal with, there's his ex-girlfriend, Kat, whom he wants to be with her BUT doesn't want to get hurt again, plus his side kick wannabe Sarah. I must add that I loved Sarah to pieces. She is awkward to say the least and really, really wants to be his sidekick. The two characters compliment each other so well, when they were together the humor & adventures were non stop!

I don't know if it's from seeing the Spiderman movies too often (I have two boys) but as I was reading, for the first time ever I couldn't help but think how awesome this would be on the big screen. I mean I often think that AFTER reading a book but never during. Earlier this year Chelsea posted on her blog that Disney had optioned the rights to make her book into a made for TV movie, I sure hope this happens.

Although I am unaware of any sequels at this point, Renegade X has to come back and... save the world or something!? There is so much more for him to do, I hope we get to see him again :)

A Chat with Aura from SHADE

Aura is the main character in Shade. Her life right now has gotten a bit weird, even for her! Not only does she lose her boyfriend to an accidental overdose & continue seeing him, she meets Zachary who has his own secrets & possibly answers about the Shift that she is eager to uncover. I had the opportunity to ask Aura a few questions, so sit back, grab your coffe & enjoy!

How long have you know you were 'special'?

It’s funny, when I was really young I didn’t know I was special. My whole life, the world has had two kinds of people: the living—who are solid and come in all colors—and ghosts, who glow in violet and are completely untouchable. In nursery school, most of my friends could see ghosts, too. I thought it was something kids could do and grownups couldn’t, like ride a tricycle or do a somersault without hurting themselves.

It wasn’t until I started playing with some of the older kids in the neighborhood (like Logan, who’s two months older) that I realized it wasn’t just grownups who couldn’t see ghosts. I think I was in kindergarten when I found out that my birthday was the same day as the Shift. Eventually I found out that it happened the minute I was born. Which was pretty freaky.

Do you believe in fate?

No. That’s depressing.

Do you appreciate being born post-Shift since it means you are able to spend more time with Logan?

Definitely. I think Logan’s death has been even harder on his older brother and sister who can’t see him—and of course on his parents. Pre-Shifters have a totally different view of ghosthood than we do. To them it’s a curse. They think it means the person’s soul is suffering, or that they’re in purgatory or something. But not all ghosts are miserable. Just ask Logan.

Now the flip side of the coin, is it harder to accept Logan is gone as he is still able to visit you in spirit?

Yes! Because he’s still him. It’s not like ghosts in books or movies where they just float around moaning (not that real ghosts don’t moan—they do, A LOT). Logan is really here, every way but physically. We still have normal conversations. In some ways we’re closer than when he was alive.

So it’s like, am I still his girlfriend? How long can we make this work? Am I the weirdest girl ever? I mean, I know he’s not coming back to life. But he still feels so real. No—he IS real, because who he is, is much more than just a body.

What's up with you and Zachary?

Good question, and honestly, I don’t know. In a lot of ways, he’s the perfect guy for me, but right now is so not the perfect time. I don’t know how long I can expect him to wait around, though, before he gives up. Because Becca’s always lurking, and even though she’s a monster, she’s a really hot, rich monster. Most guys would kill to be with her.

Thanks Aura!

Don't forget there's a chance to win a SIGNED copy of Shade courtesy of Jeri Smith-Ready! (click here)

Also, just a heads up as Thursday's post will be an interview I had with Jeri. She also offered to pop in during the day giving you, the readers, an opportunity to ask her some questions. I'm going to make this easy-peasy: when the Thursday post is up, all you need to do is ask your questions in the comments :)

Monday, May 10, 2010

It's SHADE week on the blog! (and a contest)

I am very honored to run a week of Shade by Jeri Smith-ready! If you haven't already read my rave review, click here. This is an amazing paranormal story that really stuck with me long after reading it.

About the book (from Jeri's blog):

Love ties them together.
Death can't tear them apart.

Best. Birthday. Ever. At least, it was supposed to be. With Logan's band playing a critical gig and Aura's plans for an intimate after-party, Aura knows it will be the most memorable night of her boyfriend's life. She never thought it would be his last.

Logan's sudden death leaves Aura devastated. He's gone.

Well, sort of.

Like everyone born after the Shift, Aura can see and hear ghosts. This mysterious ability has always been annoying, and Aura had wanted nothing more than to figure out why the Shift happened so she can undo it. But not with Logan’s violet-hued spirit still hanging around. Because dead Logan is almost as real as ever. Almost.

It doesn't help that Aura’s new friend Zachary is so understanding—and so very alive. His support means more to Aura than she cares to admit.

As Aura's relationships with the dead and the living grow ever complicated, so do her feelings for Logan and Zachary. Each holds a piece of Aura's heart…and clues to the secret of the Shift.

Look for the sequel, SHIFT, coming May 2011!

Book Trailer:

About the author:
Award-winning author Jeri Smith-Ready lives in Maryland with her husband, two cats, and the world’s goofiest greyhound.

Jeri's plans to save the earth were ruined when she realized she was more of a “problem maker” than a problem solver. To stay out of trouble, she keeps her Drama Drive strictly fictional. Her friends and family appreciate that.

When not writing, Jeri she can usually be found—well, thinking about writing, or on Twitter. Like her characters, she loves music, movies, and staying up very, very late.

...and thanks to Jeri, you have a chance to win a SIGNED copy of Shade, please fill out the form below!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Linger Trailer!

One of my highly anticipated boosk for 2010 is almost here!

Are you guys counting the number of sleeps too?

Saturday, May 8, 2010

In My Mailbox - May 9, 2010

In My Mailbox is a meme hosted by The Story Siren where we show what books have found a new home with us!

My goodies this week:

Something Wicked by Lesley Anne Cowan (Sorry, can't find a picture of this anywhere?!!I'm not sure what the final cover is but love the symbolism in the ARC. I'll try to upload an actual pic soon)
Something Wicked centers on Melissa, a teenage girl struggling with myriad issues. Melissa’s most recent troubles stem from a secret: her 28-year-old boyfriend, Michael, has just broken up with her. Melissa clings to the memories, riding a relentless wave of hope and disappointment. Meaningless sexual escapades, drunken nights, and drug-induced blackouts help her cope with heartbreak, but her pain goes much deeper than unrequited teenage love. Her insight, sense of humour, optimism, and sheer determination prove to be saving graces, as is her ability to find solace in the Greek myths she’s learned about in grade ten English class. And in the end, it is Melissa’s mother who proves to be the real victim, and Melissa who must save her.
I'm not a big reader of darker books, but what caught my eye was the premise, having so much potential for character the main character & I share the same name ;)

The Evil Within: A Possessions Novel
by Nancy Holder
Evil is a lot harder to fight when it comes from within

In this sequel to New York Times bestselling author Nancy Holder’s Possessions, Lindsay finds out that she, too, is possessed, and must return to creepy Marlwood Academy in order to rid herself of the spirit. Lindsay’s afraid of what the spirit is telling her to do—kill Mandy! But the secrets of Marlwood go much deeper than Lindsay thought. Sometimes the girls who seem like enemies are actually on your side. And the voices you trust the most—the voices that come from within—are the ones that want you dead.
I love scary ghost stories :)

What goodies did you get?

In Need of a bookcase (or two)!

It's official... the book cases are overstuffed and hubby is not to happy with the books being randomly stacked around the place. I'm a bit embarrased but know of all people you guys will understand :) So I ventured over to CSN and it was like heaven, so many to chose from. Then my 8 yr old was curious what I was drooling over and decided he wanted something too. The one thing we still need to get for him is a computer desk so with a click, we headed over to I think it's going to be a battle over my bookcase or son's desk. In a few weeks, I'll post a review & you guys will see who won, LOL!

Here is my dream bookcase (just need to win the lottery first!)

Friday, May 7, 2010

Contest winner!!!

A big thanks to everyone who entered my Thank You Giveaway.

the winner of Linger by Maggie Stiefvater is......

Maria (Serpentine Librarian)

Check your email Maria!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

An Interview With Kay Cassidy

Today I am very excited to welcome Kay Cassidy. I recently had the pleasure of reading her debut, The Cinderella Society and loved it. The message in the book is so important, it's too bad every high school didn't have a chapter, LOL. I had the chance to ask her a few questions, I hope you enjoy the interview :)

Can you tell us about TCS.

The Cinderella Society is about an outsider who gets tapped to join a secret society of good populars dedicated to defeating the mean girls of the world. It's about girl empowerment: getting comfortable in your own skin and being true to who you are. It also deals with the effects of girl bullies and what unconditional friendship really means. And, of course, there are cute guys and lots of kissing. Romance rocks. :-)

How many books are planned in the series?

Right now, the series is open-ended. I'm under contract for the first two books, so we'll have to see what happens after that! :-)

Having confidence in yourself and respecting yourself & others are so important & powerful messages found in TCS. You are also the host of Living Your Five™. I hate to sound cliché, but what was your inspiration?

I'm a big believer in feeling good about who you are and using your unique talents to make a difference in the world. I think there are so many negative influences out there – convincing us we have to look better, act better, *be* better – that it can be difficult to break through that emotional sludge and enjoy life. That's what the Cindys (and Living Your FiveTM) are all about!

The person I related most to in TCS was Jess - I floated among the "in" crowd & the "Reggies". Which character are you closest to?

Jess and I have a lot in common. We have similar teen insecurities, were both cheerleaders who sort of skirted the edges of popularity by association but never felt a part of that crowd, and had friends who were Cindys and Reggies (and even one or two Wickeds). Jess is much more driven by making a difference than I was at that age though. I admire that about her.

My favorite scene to read was the last date Jess went on where she dresses up to impress & it backfires. What was your favorite scene to write?

That one! It's my favorite scene of the book. It was 2am, I'd already written 50 pages that day, but this was the scene I'd been working toward the entire book and it flowed like no scene I've ever written before or since. It was so true to the vision in my head that the scene in the final book is almost verbatim what it was in my first draft. That almost never happens because I edit a LOT. My second favorite was the phone call scene between Jess and Ryan when she's sitting in her closet. His parting line is probably my favorite Ryan line in the book.

Can you tell us a bit about book #2 - Cindy on a Mission

Cindy on a Mission follows the further adventures of Jess and the Sisters as the Wickeds launch an offensive that threatens everything the Cindys hold dear. Cindy on a Mission will be on shelves in Spring 2011.

Thanks so much Kay!

About the book:
What a girl to do when the glass slipper fits, but she doesn't want to wear it anymore?

Sixteen year old Jess Parker has always been an outsider. So when she receives an invitation to join The Cinderella Society, a secret society of the most popular girls in school, it's like something out of a fairy tale. Swept up by the Cindys' magical world of makeovers, and catching the eye of her Prince Charming, Jess feels like she's finally found her chance to fit in.

Then the Wickeds--led by Jess's arch-enemy--begin targeting innocent girls in their war against the Cindys, and Jess discovers there's more to being a Cindy than reinventing yourself on the outside. She has unknowingly become part of a centuries-old battle of good vs. evil, and now the Cindys in charge need Jess for a mission that could change everything.

Overwhelmed, Jess wonders if The Cinderella Society made a mistake in choosing her. Is it a coincidence her new boyfriend doesn't want to be seen with her in public? And is this glamorous, secret life even what she wants, or will she risk her own happy ending to live up to the expectations of her new sisters?

I opened the card, my hands trembling in dread and the faint remnants of what I used to call hope, as a tiny silver high-heel pin bounced into my hand.

I juggled the pin for a second, barely managing to keep it from falling, and flipped open the note with my other hand. The words inside were not a message but an invitation that sent shivers down my spine:

Your presence is requested at The Grind.
Tonight, 7 p.m.
Wear the pin.
Discretion MANDATORY

About the author:
Kay Cassidy is the author of teen fiction she wishes was based on her real life. She is the founder of the national Great Scavenger Hunt ContestTM reading program for kids and teens and the host of the inspirational Living Your FiveTM web project. In her free time, she enjoys yoga, movies, music, and reading. Lots and lots of reading. She hopes her debut YA novel, THE CINDERELLA SOCIETY (April 13, 2010 - Egmont), will help girls embrace their inner Cindy.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Red Pyramid is out!

Sorry in advance, I'm a little excited for this new series :) This Sunday I am going to his book signing, just curious if is anyone else planning on going? I'll have a full report with pictures next week!

About the book:

Since their mother’s death, Carter and Sadie have become near strangers. While Sadie has lived with her grandparents in London, her brother has traveled the world with their father, the brilliant Egyptologist, Dr. Julius Kane.

One night, Dr. Kane brings the siblings together for a "research experiment" at the British Museum, where he hopes to set things right for his family. Instead, he unleashes the Egyptian god Set, who banishes him to oblivion and forces the children to flee for their lives.

Soon, Sadie and Carter discover that the gods of Egypt are waking, and the worst of them--Set--has his sights on the Kanes. To stop him, the siblings embark on a dangerous journey across the globe--a quest that brings them ever closer to the truth about their family, and their links to a secret order that has existed since the time of the pharaohs.

Review: Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Released: May 4, 2010

My Rating:
5 / 5

My Thoughts:

People born after the Shift have the ability to see spirits, those left wandering the earth as their deaths were sudden & they had no time to prepare...Aura happens to be the first one born. When her (almost) rockstar boyfriend, Logan, suddenly dies, Aura has the unique opporunity to keep seeing him, but at a cost. They can't really be boyfriend & girlfriend since he is a ghost...or can they? The new kid in school, Zachary is great support for Aura, being there when she needs someone, and he has a secret of his own...he was the last one born before the Shift occurs.

Shade is one of those books that stick with you long after you read it & reads like two stories in one. You've got Aura & Logan, then you have Aura & Zacahry. With Aura & Logan you have the love story and the what happens next now that he is a spirit. Then Zachary comes along & not only is he also interested in uncovering the mystery of the Shift, Aura starts to feel things for him! OK, I must admit to liking Zachary a tad more & can't wait to see where this relationship goes. He had me at the Scottish accent & fun slang ;)

I love the concept of the Shift, people needing closure before moving on, yet if anger takes over, the spirit turns to a shade. As I was reading, I found myself questioning the good that came come from this. If you could continue seeing a loved one after they had passed, is it fair/healthy for the living person? The spirit may need closure, but it stops the grieving process, the living person is not realy living their life anymore but an altered reality.

After writing award winning adult fiction, this is Jeri's debut YA. The sequel, Shift, is set for release May 2011 which can't come soon enough. If you love reading paranormal, you must check this out!

I will be hosting a week of Shade all next week! Stop by for some interviews & a chance to win a copy of Shade :)

Monday, May 3, 2010

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? May 3, 2010

It's Monday! What are you reading? is a weekly event to celebrate what we are reading for the week as well as books completed the previous week. Feel free to join in this weekly event if you'd like as well as use the picture above. Thanks Sheila for hosting!

Last week:

I did not read what I had all planned out last week. I did read a fun, superhero/supervillian book, The Rise of Renegade X by Chelsea Campbell. I'll have my review & an interview up next week :)

I reviewed It's Not Summer Without You by Jenny Han (click for review)

This week:
I just started The Prophecy by Dawn Miller.

I am also planning on reading White Cat by Holly Black.

I still need to review and Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready and Restoring Harmony by Joëlle Anthony.

My Thank You contest ends tomorrow!
(click here to enter for a chance to win LINGER)

What are you reading?

Saturday, May 1, 2010

In My Mailbox - May 2, 2010

In My Mailbox is a meme hosted by The Story Siren where we show what books have found a new home with us!

I am so excited to start Rick Riordan's new series and will be seeing him next Sunday for a book signing :) I had been dying to read The Cinderella Society for ages and loved it.I am excited to have Kay Cassidy here on Wednesday!

My goodies this week:
Y’all need to get yourselves together. Here’s a newsflash from the only High Priestess you have left at this dang school: Zoey isn’t dead. And believe me, I know dead. I’ve been there, done that and got the fricken tee-shirt.

Zoey Redbird is the youngest High Priestess in House of Night history and is the only person – vamp or fledgling – that can stop the evil Neferet from raising all kinds of immortal trouble. And she might just have a chance if she wasn’t so busy being dead.

Well, dead is too strong a word. Stevie Rae knows she can bring her BFF back from her unscheduled va-cay in the Otherworld. But it’s going to take a lot more than hoping to bring Zoey back. Stevie Rae will have to give up a few secrets of her own . . .

Since their mother’s death, Carter and Sadie have become near strangers. While Sadie has lived with her grandparents in London, her brother has traveled the world with their father, the brilliant Egyptologist, Dr. Julius Kane.

One night, Dr. Kane brings the siblings together for a "research experiment" at the British Museum, where he hopes to set things right for his family. Instead, he unleashes the Egyptian god Set, who banishes him to oblivion and forces the children to flee for their lives.

Soon, Sadie and Carter discover that the gods of Egypt are waking, and the worst of them--Set--has his sights on the Kanes. To stop him, the siblings embark on a dangerous journey across the globe--a quest that brings them ever closer to the truth about their family, and their links to a secret order that has existed since the time of the pharaohs.

One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, two teens—both named Will Grayson—are about to cross paths. As their worlds collide and intertwine, the Will Graysons find their lives going in new and unexpected directions, building toward romantic turns-of-heart and the epic production of history’s most fabulous high school musical.

Hilarious, poignant, and deeply insightful, John Green and David Levithan’s collaborative novel is brimming with a double helping of the heart and humor that have won both them legions of faithful fans.

When the Prom Queen becomes your fairy godmother…

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

… be careful what you wish for.

Jess’s transformation wins her the heart of her dream crush and a shot at uber-popularity. Until the Wickeds–led by Jess’s arch enemy–begin targeting innocent girls in their war against the Cindys, and Jess discovers the real force behind her exclusive society. It’s a high stakes battle of good vs. evil, and the Cindys in power need Jess on special assignment. When the mission threatens to destroy her dream life come true, Jess is forced to choose between living a fairy tale and honoring the Sisterhood… and herself.

What’s a girl to do when the glass slipper fits, but she doesn’t want to wear it anymore?

What came home with you this week?