Wednesday, October 31, 2012

NaNoWriMo is About to Rumble

The time to finally write the novel you have been itching to write is about to happen. I for one am excited to be doing NaNo this year. I like being an English major, and my creative writing instructor has given us an assignment to participate in NaNoWriMo then to print out our draft and turn it into the professor. Now granted the draft will be absolutely horrible, but I will at least have the story typed up, then I can spend three months tearing it apart into pieces until it's perfect.

This is a project I have been wanting to write for quite some time. It may sell to publishers, it may not, but this is something I truly think is very different, and if I have to self publish it then so be it. It's a story I want to put out there and I want it written on paper. I normally write contemporary or urban fantasy so writing a Science-Fiction novel book series is going to be a challenge. I shall update you guys on my progress with the book and hopefully post a snippet once editing is in the works.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

7 Things Characters Do Too Much Of

Helpful writing tip I discovered. I was reading the blog of many authors and discovered the blog of Young Adult author Tahereh Mafi on what we read and see too many characters doing in book. So I decided to post what we see characters doing too much of.








Reading this makes me want to crack out the thesaurus. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Selection by Kiera Cass

Dystopia is a very good genre to read. Every book in this sub-genre is different, you're not reading the same plots over and over again. 

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon. But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks. 

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself--and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

I enjoyed this book. The writing felt like I was reading a book for middle school kids, too juvenile, but the story idea was intriguing. The book reminded me like I was watching the bachelor and re-reading The Hunger Games. Then the book ended on a very unnecessary cliffhanger as to prove a point that the book is a series. Hopefully the next book in the trilogy The Elite the plot gets better.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Preparing & Surviving Through NaNoWriMo

Every writer knows what it means when the month of November us just around the corner; the time to write the novel you have been wanting to write for ages, but never having the time to write it! Now is the time to write the story you have been itching to write for such a long time.

Are you a first time writer? Nervous about to do NaNoWriMo for the first time? I know exactly how you feel. When you sit down to write your first novel, it's terrifying. So I've put together a post to help you prepare and get through the month.

1. Have your characters ready
Keep in mind who your characters are. Their physical appearance and their personality. If you have a hard time trying to visualize what they are suppose to look like, use pictures of actors who you would pick for the role in your book if it was made into a film. Once you have your characters and feel their emotions, it's much easier to write them.

2. Write a small synopsis or Outline of the book
Some of my writer friends will write a detailed synopsis about the main plot first which would be around 30,000-40,000 word, then the authors would work their way backwards writing the events leading up to the main plot twist. I find myself sometimes writing the main plot first then working backwards in the story. Do what you think will work for you. 

3. Write, Write, oh and Write
If you have not picked up Stephen King's books for writers, it's highly recommended that you buy copies and read them. King's advice is when writing the first draft, don't look back. That's the key to NaNoWriMo folks, once you begin writing that manuscript, keep writing, don't go back and edit, don't stop until it's complete. Even if you feel like every word you are writing is absolute crap, that's okay, that's what months of editing are for. Spend the entire month of November writing that book until it's complete. There are writers who have to go back and edit as they go complete a chapter, but that takes up too much time and you will soon see yourself already at the end of November before you have even finished your manuscript. You spend so much time perfecting those three opening paragraphs  you will never get to finish the story. Your best bet as a writer is to finish writing the whole manuscript, then that way you can at least say to yourself, "There, I finished my first novel." 

4. Set a word limit.
Most writers I know will set themselves a word limit they will write each day to achieve their final word count. An average goal is to write 1500-5000 words a day. I set myself a goal to write 5500 words a day. Since most of my completed novels finish at roughly 55,000-60,000 words, after months of editing I get to about 80,000 words.

5. Rest your eyes
Once you have completed your manuscript and thrown confetti in celebration. Close the document and do not open it for one month or two. After enough time has passed, open the document and edit. You will see the manuscript with fresh eyes, and you will be amazed at how much needs to be corrected. You may be grossed out looking at it, but I promise, take one month and fight to prevent yourself from opening the document. After a month, open the document and edit it away. The time spent away from your manuscript will also give you some different ideas as to what to throw into the story. A literary agent once said "Sometimes you have to force yourself to close that document and not look at it for a while."

With NaNoWriMo coming up I hope some of these advice and tips will help you. I use this advice and it helped me write my first novel last year complete at 55,000 words by writing each day 5,000 words. NaNoWriMo is the perfect way for a new author to get their foot into the writing door! Hopefully some of these tips work for you!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Manuscript Word Count

So when I first finished my Young Adult Urban Fantasy story, I didn't realize that it would be considered too long to sell to a publisher, let alone an agent. My friend, whom I showed the manuscript to first after I finished revising it, suggested that I split the book into three and make it into a three book series, or trilogy. She told me a publisher, or an agent will be more than willing to take a good books series. I remember Twilight was a really thick book, as well as the Harry Potter books. 

After what my friend told me, I started to get even more curious and decided to investigate. I got some really good information from this website Fiction Factor, she even mentioned how as a debut author my story, which I completed at over 100,000 words, is something that an agent and publisher would not read. Mostly because of tight editing schedules, and after Twilight was released not many editors will take on a story that long. Another source that gave me this good information was Agent Query. Also the blog Literary Rambles had a really good post.

1 page            250 words 

100 pages      25,000 words 

200 pages      50,000 words 

300 pages      75,000 words 

400 pages      100,000 words 

500 pages      125,000 words

After reading that I think I will follow the advice my friend, and that website stated and split the book into three, a trilogy. The final word count after revisions was 175,000 WORDS! So what I can do is read through the whole thing all over again and see where would be a good place to split the book.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Tigers Curse by Colleen Houck

So I finally found some time to read this book series that everyone is ranting about, and I was a bit curious because everyone has a specific reading taste and everyone has their own views on books. My friend Shilpa said this is something refreshing to read from all the vampire books that are taking up space at the bookstores.I bought all three books so that way I could read them straight through. I'm picky, I like to wait until all the books are out in a series before I read them. I like to read them straight through, because I get so anxious waiting for the next book to come out. Alyson Noel's series The Immortals did that to me, I was so impatient waiting for the next book in the series to come out, I was going nuts. That's one thing with me and my books I read, I like to wait until the entire series is out then read it because then I just go to the next book.

Tiger's Curse

Would you risk it all to change your destiny?
The last thing Kelsey Hayes thought she’d be doing this summer was trying to break a 300-year-old Indian curse. With a mysterious white tiger named Ren. Halfway around the world. But that’s exactly what happened. Face-to-face with dark forces, spellbinding magic, and mystical worlds where nothing is what it seems, Kelsey risks everything to piece together an ancient prophecy that could break the curse forever.

Basically Tiger's Curse is a paranormal Romance series that follows a young girl falling in love with an Indian prince who is cursed. It's such a magical book and I really liked it.

This book series is a prime example of something unique and original to the paranormal romance that was self-published and made a big success among young readers. I thought the premise was unique but it lacked some things in the Indian culture it was more of something that Disney would make into a movie. It was a pretty good book. 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Ring Around the Publishing World

There are so many options for publishing a book now and days. The original advice from many brand name authors is to get an agent, and your book will be everywhere. 

Now we have small presses, self publishing and traditional, but now there are small presses who can get your books into the bookstores. There are so many options for publishing, and many of these small presses are in fact succeeding in many ways. I think one of the reasons a person will self publish is simple, they don't want to wait for the amount of time it takes to see their work out there, they want to see their books out there now. 

If you look at the way the traditional publishing model works, it can take you six months to a year or longer to find an agent. Then depending on if your agent is editorial, you and your agent might go through several rounds of edits to make sure your manuscript is in tip top shape before sending it out to editors for publication. Then depending on how good your agent is, there are agents who can sell books within a week and some who can take about a year to sell your manuscript. Then between covers, edits, the publisher sending you an ARC copy to make sure everything was caught, then the books being printed, promoting your book while writing the next one. Following the traditional model a writer can expect for it to take about two years to see your book in the stores. Then when the author receives the advance, their books have to sell enough through that advance. In some cases, if the books don't sell through the advance, there are some cases where the publisher will have the author give back some of the advance. There are independent publishers who can get the books into the bookstore who give you high royalties or a small advance. They are a new take on those who wish to publish the traditional route.

Most small presses take roughly around six months for each book to be published. Some don't have the best editorial staff, but they have been acquiring more experienced editors. What is better about the small presses is how they are strictly royalty. The author doesn't have to worry about their book selling more over their advance. The author gets to have input on how they want the cover of their book to look. 

Self publishing is quite simple, all you have to do is just upload the book to Kindle Direct Publishing (minus the costs of finding a graphic designer to design the cover of your books and finding a qualified editor) and within a few hours your book is live for everyone to buy. I think one of the reasons an author will self publish is the patience. They don't want to wait two years for a targeted audience to read their work, they want to put their work out there now. I have one trilogy I wrote that is dystopian, since most publishers aren't taking dystopian books anymore calling dystopian a dead genre I will have to investigate more into self publishing the trilogy.

YA adult Elana Johnson wrote a blog post from a made some valid points in which I happen to agree with one hundred percent about reading a book not showing prejudice against which way they were published and released to the public.

Here's my view, I don't give a crap whichever way a person decides to publish their book; self, small press, or traditional, I don't really care I just want one thing when I choosing books to buy, curling up with a cup of coffee and reading a good book on my e-reader, which I'm pretty sure many other readers out there in the world want. If an author writes and publishes a book that deals with the things I like to read about. Which ever way a person decides to publish their book shouldn't matter. Readers want only one thing to read a good book. It shouldn't matter which way we publish, we are all authors, friends with each other, and want the same thing, to see our books succeed. 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

My name is Katniss Everdeen.
Why am I not dead?
I should be dead.

Katniss Everdeen, girl on fire, has survived, even though her home has been destroyed. Gale has escaped. Katniss's family is safe. Peeta has been captured by the Capitol. District 13 really does exist. There are rebels. There are new leaders. A revolution is unfolding. It is by design that Katniss was rescued from the arena in the cruel and haunting Quarter Quell, and it is by design that she has long been part of the revolution without knowing it. District 13 has come out of the shadows and is plotting to overthrow the Capitol. Everyone, it seems, has had a hand in the carefully laid plans--except Katniss. The success of the rebellion hinges on Katniss's willingness to be a pawn, to accept responsibility for countless lives, and to change the course of the future of Panem. To do this, she must put aside her feelings of anger and distrust. She must become the rebels' Mockingjay--no matter what the personal cost.

The final book in The Hunger Games trilogy. Mockingjay picks up where Catching Fire left off. This was a dark conclusion to a gripping series. The writing on the pages kept me flipping until I finished the book. I mostly kept reading because I wanted to see the fearless Katniss save Peeta from the capitol. The ending of the book I did not see happen. I'm not posting any spoilers because I don't want people who haven't read the series to get mad at spoilers. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini

I love Greek mythology. I was a huge fan of the TV show Xena: Warrior Princess (yes folks, I am that big of a nerd), and with so many books dealing with Greek mythology I wanted to read this book very badly and figured now was the time.

How do you defy destiny?
Helen Hamilton has spent her entire sixteen years trying to hide how different she is—no easy task on an island as small and sheltered as Nantucket. And it's getting harder. Nightmares of a desperate desert journey have Helen waking parched, only to find her sheets damaged by dirt and dust. At school she's haunted by hallucinations of three women weeping tears of blood . . . and when Helen first crosses paths with Lucas Delos, she has no way of knowing they're destined to play the leading roles in a tragedy the Fates insist on repeating throughout history.
As Helen unlocks the secrets of her ancestry, she realizes that some myths are more than just legend. But even demigod powers might not be enough to defy the forces that are both drawing her and Lucas together—and trying to tear them apart.

I really enjoyed this book. I really liked the story idea of it on how Helen falls in love with Lucas, and Helen finds out that she is a reincarnation of Helen of Troy and her falling in love with Lucas can re-create another Trojan War. I have been a major fan of Greek mythology since childhood and it's one of the reason I chose to minor in History. I really adored the writing. The only thing that really bothered me was the view in the story. The book begins in third restricted, then wen you get further into the book it begins to switch POVs, this is something that should have been caught by the editors. I highly recommend people read this book because it is just too wonderful to pass up.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Fallen Series by Lauren Kate

I purchased these books a long time ago. I never really had much time to read them. I haven't read many books about angels, although some I have read were really interesting to me.

Fallen (Book 1)
There’s something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori.

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

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

Luce is sent to a reform boarding school and she meets Daniel a fallen angel. Half the time during the book the author was giving the backstory, and follows way too many cliches. and too many usages of plot keys ruin the story, it wasn't even much of a love story. It's the jerk boy who is in love with a shallow girl doesn't that sound familiar. I think Hush, Hush will better suited for me. This is what I get for reading books that are overly hyped up.  
This book series is one of the New York Times bestsellers. While reading the first book in the series, Fallen, the description of Daniel made me feel like I was reading Twilight all over again he reminds me way too much of Edward. There are some YA paranormal romance books that read too similar to Twilight, but Daniel's was indeed almost identical. If you like books about angels you'll like this one if you don't mind it's similarities to Twilight. The book starts off really really really slow. It took me about two months just to read it. The story line doesn't even begin to get good until you get to the middle of the book. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Pretty Amy by Lisa Burstein

I do love my books about wolves, fairies, angels and witches, but that doesn't mean I don't like a contemporary novel every now and then. I had been hearing so much about Pretty Amy by Lisa Burstein in social media for quite some time and I went to the Barnes and Noble and bought the book. I guarantee you, you won't be disappointed by what Burstein put into this novel.

Amy is fine living in the shadows of beautiful Lila and uber-cool Cassie, because at least she’s somewhat beautiful and uber-cool by association. But when the girls get stood up for prom and take matters into their own hands—earning them a night in jail outfitted in satin, stilettos, and Spanx — Amy discovers even a prom spent in handcuffs might be better than the humiliating “rehabilitation techniques” now filling up her summer. Even worse, with Lila and Cassie parentally banned, Amy feels like she has nothing — like she is nothing.
Navigating unlikely alliances with her new coworker, two very different boys, and possibly even her parents, Amy struggles to decide if it’s worth being a best friend when it makes you a public enemy. Bringing readers along on an often hilarious and heartwarming journey, Amy finds that maybe getting a life only happens once you think your life is over.

I'm going to give you the honest truth about this book, as opposed to the majority of contemporary young-adult books out there, this one is more suited for teens with how real it is. There are teens who do go out and have their thing on prom, whether with jocks, or nerds, and they do struggle to find themselves, and sometimes when you struggle to find yourself hanging out with the wrong crowd or people you thought were suppose to be your friend you will end up in situations. Which is what happens to Amy throughout this novel; she struggles to find herself and gets into trouble with people she thought was her friend. Burstein did a wonderful job of writing a character that a teenager can relate themselves to, and if I must say, a much better job than what Sarah Dessen writes. 

I had some questions for Lisa and contacted her and she graciously responded back to my questions, here are the answers.

How long have you been writing? 
Since second grade. I began seriously writing about ten years ago. I got my MFA in fiction and went to work on my first novel. A couple novels and two agents later, I'm published! That makes it sound easy, but it really took TEN YEARS!

You decided to write Pretty Amy as a YA Contemporary with no supernatural elements. Why just a regular YA Contemporary? 
Well I knew I wanted the story to be very real. Something that teens could relate to as something they or there friends had the possibility to experience or had experienced. The only way to do this was to write contemporary. I would even go further and say that PRETTY AMY is really real contemporary.That is what readers are really responding to, the total honesty of it, the lack of BS in the book.

What inspired Pretty Amy? Certainly the way I felt in high school. I was a lot like Amy. Just like her I had such a desire to belong, to fit in, to have people who understood me. I wanted that so badly and I guess I never felt like adults understood that. It was most of the reason I wrote PRETTY AMY. If I'd had it when I was in high school I feel like I would have been able to understand my feelings better. I wouldn't have felt so alone. 

Was Pretty Amy based on your own experiences as a teenager? I was arrested during my senior year of high school, not for the same reason Amy was, but that was where the kernel came from. I also knew I wanted to write a "shocking" book from a teenage girl's point of view. I feel like you can get away with your character being a murderer, or a jerk, or just a smart ass more easily if your book isn't contemporary and I wanted to try to break that mold with PRETTY AMY. 

Is Pretty Amy a message for teens? I didn't write it as a message book, but I do feel like teens and adult readers are taking things from it. One of my favorite things a reader said was, "PRETTY AMY teaches you to find your own identity, and to not feel like you have to transform yourself into another person's image just to fit in. It lets you know it's okay to not fit the mold and be yourself."

I enjoyed Cassie, but I mostly had a soft spot for Amy, I was like Amy growing up. Odd, different, barely any friends and never really fit in anywhere. I strongly recommend this book for girls and adults! It's a wonderful read! 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Kissed by an Angel by Elizabeth Chandler

This book goes to show that the trends do cycle. 

In a romantic and suspenseful collection of the New York Times bestselling trilogy, love's unbreakable bonds are put to the test.
When her boyfriend, Tristan, died, Ivy thought she'd lost everything, even her faith in angels. But now she's discovered that he's her guardian angel — his presence so strong that she can feel the touch of his hand, the beat of his heart. Ivy needs Tristan now more than ever because he knows she's in terrible danger. Only Ivy's guardian angel can save her now that his killer is after her.But if Tristan rescues Ivy, his mission on earth will be finished, and he must leave her behind forever. Will saving Ivy mean losing her just when he's finally reached her again?
Ivy always believed in angels. When she meets Tristan, it's the love of a lifetime. When he dies, her heart is broken and her belief in angels vanishes. And without that belief, she is unable to feel Tristan's presence when he returns--as an angel. Now Ivy is in terrible danger, and Tristan is struggling to save her. How can he protect her if she's lost her faith in angels? Original.

The story is about a girl named Ivy who is devastated when her boyfriend Tristan is killed. Ivy struggles being without him, but Ivy has always believed that angels watch over people. Tristan is sent back to earth as Ivy's guardian angel. Ivy in the meantime does not know she is in danger and lives her life normally while Tristan protects her.

I chose to read this book. I had no idea that it was originally published in the 1990s, but was reprinted during the angel trend, I think this is a good example of how the trends always come back. I find myself very interested in the angel trend as well. I liked the concept of this story. Very clean writing, and very tight, a unique concept on angels.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Black Dagger Brotherhood Series by J.R. Ward

After long time of consideration I decided to read the Black Dagger Brotherhood. I got lots of recommendations from friends, since the erotic genre has spiked.

Dark Lover (Book 1)

In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there's a deadly turf war going on between vampires and their slayers. There exists a secret band of brothers like no other-six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Yet none of them relishes killing more than Wrath, the leader of The Black Dagger Brotherhood. The only purebred vampire left on earth, Wrath has a score to settle with the slayers who murdered his parents centuries ago. But, when one of his most trusted fighters is killed-leaving his half-breed daughter unaware of his existence or her fate-Wrath must usher her into the world of the undead-a world of sensuality beyond her wildest dreams.

I found the books sitting on the shelf at the library and I never heard of the author before but I think that's because most of the books I read are young adult. Okay so honestly this book series is not that bad. The writing is not the greatest but it's the addicting plot that keeps you glued to the pages. This really isn't my genre, but I decided to try it, it doesn't hurt to read things you don't normally read. The writing is not that great, but this series is much more readable than the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy the world seems to think is the best thing in the world worth reading. If you really disliked Fifty Shades I recommend giving this book series a chance.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Luxe Series by Anna Godbersen

So I decided to branch back into one of my favorite genres of literature since I was a small child, historical fiction. It was something I enjoyed for a while growing up until I started getting to caught up in the vampire and angel mania. I mostly decided to read it because on Amazon it showed how if I liked Gossip Girl I would like this story.

The Luxe (Luxe 1)
Pretty girls in pretty dresses, partying until dawn.Irresistible boys with mischievous smiles and dangerous intentions.
White lies, dark secrets, and scandalous hookups.This is Manhattan, 1899.
Beautiful sisters Elizabeth and Diana Holland rule Manhattan's social scene. Or so it appears. When the girls discover their status among New York City's elite is far from secure, suddenly everyone--from the backstabbing socialite Penelope Hayes, to the debonair bachelor Henry Schoonmaker, to the spiteful maid Lina Broud--threatens Elizabeth's and Diana's golden future.

With the fate of the Hollands resting on her shoulders, Elizabeth must choose between family duty and true love. But when her carriage overturns near the East River, the girl whose glittering life lit up the city's gossip pages is swallowed by the rough current. As all of New York grieves, some begin to wonder whether life at the top proved too much for this ethereal beauty, or if, perhaps, someone wanted to see Manhattan's most celebrated daughter disappear...In a world of luxury and deception, where appearance matters above everything and breaking the social code means running the risk of being ostracized forever, five teenagers lead dangerously scandalous lives. This thrilling trip to the age of innocence is anything but innocent

So this pretty much sums it up but I won't give an to in depth details. 

In book 1, Elizabeth Holland's father dies and then it does not surprise me that he had so many debts and that the family is poor, so then Mrs. Holland tells Elizabeth her only chance to save the family's reputation is to marry the son of the wealthiest man Henry Shoonmaker, but Elizabeth's been having an affair with her late father's valet/ coach runner. When Elizabeth's best friend, Penelope, discovers about her affair with the help and threatens to ruin her reputation, mind you and this is her best friend ( But Penelope is only doing this so that way she could have Henry for herself). So Elizabeth fakes her death leave social elite.

Book 2, Elizabeth runs away with her lover and leaves her social elite life behind. She returns when she receives a letter from her sister telling her her mother is ill, then she and her lover, Will elope. Henry, Elizabeth's former fiance is forced to marry Elizabeth's bet friend because she catches Henry sleeping with Elizabeth's younger sister, and threatens to expose him (doesn't she sound like a peach). 

Book 3 Henry and Penelope are still in their stupid marriage, they don't do anything. Henry decides to escape his crazy and malicious wife to join the military.after a a horrific event Elizabeth then returns to New York where there she rekindles with a childhood friend, but soon finds out she's pregnant with her late lovers child then marries her late father's business partner to avoid bringing the family to more shame than they already have.

Book 4 Elizabeth thinks she's happy, but she then discovers some shocking secrets about her new husband who saved her family from shame, only to find out her new husband might have been involved in her father's death, never mind the damsel in distress but she is soon rescued by her childhood friend Teddy Cunning. 

OMG this is the most juiciest Historical fiction series I have ever read! I loved every single page if this series! It was so fascinating to read. I was really pissed off when my favorite character died in book two, I was like "OH MY GOD! How could she do this!" I was so shocked and upset and angry at the author! I don't know if whether or not the Holland's were a real family but I am now researching to see if it their existence was true! Reading this series was like reading a historical version of my favorite show and book series Gossip Girl, who would have thought that girls back in this day were capable of doing such scandalous things! It's shocking! 

I found this video on youtube, which I DO NOT OWN OR USING FOR PROFIT, but I agree with this video on the cast member for if it was to be a film adaption.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

All the Broken Pieces by Cindi Madsen

What if your life wasn’t your own?
Liv comes out of a coma with no memory of her past and two distinct, warring voices inside her head. Nothing, not even her reflection, seems familiar. As she stumbles through her junior year, the voices get louder, insisting she please the popular group while simultaneously despising them. But when Liv starts hanging around with Spencer, whose own mysterious past also has him on the fringe, life feels complete for the first time in, well, as long as she can remember. Liv knows the details of the car accident that put her in the coma, but as the voices invade her dreams, and her dreams start feeling like memories, she and Spencer seek out answers. Yet the deeper they dig, the less things make sense. Can Liv rebuild the pieces of her broken past, when it means questioning not just who she is, but what she is?

This was such a gritty story! I love the complex situations and the imagery. Such an interesting story, and very refreshing in the young adult Contemporary genre with just a tad of goth elements. The main character wakes up from a coma with no memory of what happened to her, but always hears two voices in her head. I enjoyed this book so much I could not put it down though I had to to get some homework done. I highly recommend this book if you a young adult contemporary story with a bit of the Gothic theme. Madsen can write a great book. 

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Paranormalcy Trilogy by Kiersten White

I decided to read this book since I found out it was a New York Times bestselling book (no, I do not read every book featured on the New York Times). I decided to give this book a try.


Evie's always thought of herself as a normal teenager, even though she works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, her ex-boyfriend is a faerie, she's falling for a shape-shifter, and she's the only person who can see through paranormals' glamours. But Evie's about to realize that she may very well be at the center of a dark faerie prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures. So much for normal.

This book trilogy was not that bad, but Evie and the books in general to me felt like a rip of of the television show Buffy the Vampire Slayer only this time the heroine was in love with a fairy. It was different as opposed to all the fairy books in which the heroine finds out she's a fairy or the long lost daughter of the King of Fairies. The style of the writing was pretty good, but I'm just going to say this book isn't my cup of tea. 

Friday, October 05, 2012

The Forbidden Game by L.J. Smith

This book has been sitting on my shelf for a while. I was given this book as a gift from a close friend (yes, my friend knows me that well that they give me books as gifts, got to love her). This was just collecting dust. I wanted something new to read so I decided to finally read this book.

When Jenny buys a game for her boyfriend, Tom, she finds herself inexplicably drawn to the guy behind the counter. There is something mysteriously alluring about Julian's pale eyes and bleached-blond hair. And when he places the Game into her hands, she knows their connection is becoming deeper. But as Jenny and her six friends begin to play the Game at Tom's birthday celebration, a night of friends and fun quickly turns into a night of terror and obsessive love. Because the Game isn't just a game - it's the seven friends' new reality, where Julian reigns as the Prince of the Shadows. One by one the friends must confront their phobias to win the Game. To lose the Game is to lose their lives. And that is only the beginning...

I really enjoyed this book. L.J. Smith is just a fabulous writer. I liked the way she wrote the third person where it brought the story to life like in J.K. Rowling's books. It was filled with so much action and adventure, with mystery thrown into every page. Specifically when the characters were thrown into the game. This reminded me a little of the movie Jumangi with Robin Williams. If you're a avid fan of Sci-Fi I think you'll enjoy this book. 

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Harry Potter Books by J.K. Rowling

This is one of my favorite book series of all time! I am an avid Harry Potter fan, I grew up with these books, and I wanted to share them with everyone.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Harry Potter thinks he is an ordinary boy. He lives with his Uncle Vernon, Aunt Petunia and cousin Dudley, who make him sleep in a cupboard under the stairs. Then Harry starts receiving mysterious letters and his life is changed for ever. He is whisked away by a beetle-eyed giant of a man and enrolled in Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The reason: Harry Potter is a wizard!

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

The Dursleys were so mean and hideous that summer that all Harry Potter wanted was to get back to the Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. But just as he's packing his bags, Harry receives a warning from a strange, impish creature named Dobby who says that if Harry Potter returns to Hogwarts, disaster will strike. And strike it does. For in Harry's second year at Hogwarts, fresh torments and horrors arise, including an outrageously stuck-up new professor, Gilderoy Lockhart, a spirit named Moaning Myrtle who haunts the girl's bathroom, and the unwanted attentions of Ron Weasley's younger sister, Ginny.
But each of these seem minor annoyances when the real trouble begins, and someone - or something - starts turning Hogwarts students to stone. Could it be Draco Malfoy, a more poisonous rival than ever? Could it possibly be Hagrid, whose mysterious past is finally told? Or could it be the one everyone at Hogwarts most suspects... Harry Potter himself?

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

During Harry's third year at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, he must face his greatest challenge yet: a confrontation with Sirius Black, an escaped convict and madman who is rumored to be in cahoots with Harry's archenemy, the Dark Wizard Lord Voldemort. This alone would be daunting enough, but Harry's task is made even more trying when he discovers that Sirius is suspected of being the one who killed Harry's parents. For Harry, the Hogwarts campus has always been a sanctuary, but when Black escapes from the horrifying clutches of Azkaban Prison, all clues suggest the madman is headed for Hogwarts and Harry himself. As a result, the school starts to feel more like a prison than a sanctuary as Harry finds himself constantly watched and under guard. What's more, the terrifying Dementors - the horrifying creatures who guard Azkaban Prison - are lurking about the campus looking for Black. And their effect on Harry is a devastating one.
Still, life at school offers plenty of distractions. Harry really likes the new teacher for Defense Against the Dark Arts, Professor Lupin, who might be able to teach Harry how to defend himself against the Dementors. But Professor Snape's behavior toward Lupin has Harry wondering what secrets the two men are hiding. Harry's friend Hermione is also acting very strangely. And, of course, there is the tension caused by the ongoing Quidditch competition between the Gryffindors and the Slytherins and the never-ending bullying of the Slytherin leader, Draco Malfoy.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Harry Potter is midway through his training as a wizard and his coming of age. Harry wants to get away from the pernicious Dursleys and go to the International Quidditch Cup.
He wants to find out about the mysterious event that's supposed to take place at Hogwarts this year, an event involving two other rival schools of magic, and a competition that hasn't happened for a hundred years. He wants to be a normal, fourteen-year-old wizard.
But unfortunately for Harry Potter, he's not normal - even by wizarding standards. And in his case, different can be deadly.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

There is a door at the end of a silent corridor, and it's haunting Harry Potter's dreams. Why else would he be waking in the middle of the night, screaming in terror?
Harry has a lot on his mind for this, his fifth year at Hogwarts: a Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher with a personality like poisoned honey; a big surprise on the Gryffindor Quidditch team; and the looming terror of the Ordinary Wizarding Level exams. But all these things pale next to the growing threat of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named — a threat that neither the magical government nor the authorities at Hogwarts can stop.
As the grasp of darkness tightens, Harry must discover the true depth and strength of his friends, the importance of boundless loyalty, and the shocking price of unbearable sacrifice. His fate depends on them all.

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

The war against Voldemort is not going well; even the Muggle governments are noticing. Ron scans the obituary pages of the Daily Prophet, looking for familiar names. Dumbledore is absent from Hogwarts for long stretches of time, and the Order of the Phoenix has already suffered losses. And yet . . As with all wars, life goes on. Sixth-year students learn to Apparate—and lose a few eyebrows in the process. Teenagers flirt and fight and fall in love. Classes are never straightforward, though Harry receives some extraordinary help from the mysterious Half-Blood Prince. So it's the home front that takes center stage in the multilayered sixth installment of the story of Harry Potter. Here at Hogwarts, Harry will search for the full and complex story of the boy who became Lord Voldemort—and thereby find what may be his only vulnerability.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows

Harry is waiting in Privet Drive. The Order of the Phoenix is coming to escort him safely away without Voldemort and his supporters knowing - if they can. But what will Harry do then? How can he fulfil the momentous and seemingly impossible task that Professor Dumbledore has left him?
Harry has been burdened with a dark, dangerous and seemingly impossible task: that of locating and destroying Voldemort's remaining Horcruxes. Never has Harry felt so alone, or faced a future so full of shadows. But Harry must somehow find within himself the strength to compete the task he has been given. He must leave the warmth, safety and companionship of the Burrow and follow without fear or hesitation the inexorable path laid out for him ...

This is the most beautiful book series ever written that exists on the face of the earth. Rowling is a genius. I never liked reading when I was a kid until I read this series. It made me enjoy reading. Rowling's writing is just captivating pages written across hundred and hundreds of pages. This is a wonderful book series for kids to read, I highly recommend it. Also if a writer is trying to find books that deal with magical realism and third person writing, this is the perfect example of both. 

Double Trailer Reveal - Gravity and Luminosity

Two wonderful new Entangled Teen books coming out this year!


Publisher: Entangled Teen (November 6, 2012)

 Pre-Order: Amazon
                  Barnes & Noble 
                  Book Depository

About the Author

Stephanie Thomas has been writing ever since she could put letters together to form
words. When she was a small child, she would present her mother and father with self-
made newspapers filled up with make believe stories and pictures. Her love for writing
followed her all throughout her schooling, where she entered and won writing contests
of all sorts. Stephanie decided to become an English teacher and completed her B.A. at
The Pennsylvania State University. While teaching, she later went on to get her Master’s
in writing from The Johns Hopkins University. She completed her very first manuscript
during her graduate studies, and by the end of the program, she had completed two more.
Stephanie is quick to tell anyone that she’s a born and raised Philadelphian, and her heart
will always belong there. She moved to Baltimore with her husband, and they’ve been
living there for the last five years with their doggie, Sailor, and their rabbit, Buns (aka “T

Where you can find Stephanie-
WebsiteGoodreads /The Raven Chronicles Facebook


                  Barnes & Noble
                  Book Depository

About the Author

Melissa lives in a tiny suburb of Atlanta, GA with her husband and daughter. She pretends
to like yoga, actually likes shoes, and could not live without coffee. Her writing heroes
include greats like Jane Austen and Madeleine L'Engle.

She holds a B.A. in Communication Studies and an M.S. in Graphic Communication, both
from Clemson University. Yeah, her blood runs orange.

GRAVITY is her first book.
Where you can find Melissa
GoodreadsWebsiteTwitter / Facebook

Monday, October 01, 2012

Blog Hop Tour: Halloween Sucks "The Life & Death of Lily Drake" by T. Michelle Nelson

What's the coolest part about Halloween? VAMPIRES! That's why author T. Michelle Nelson wrote about vampires in her book being released this month Life and Death of Lily Drake. You can learn more about the book on her website.

T. Michelle Nelson

Vampires are everywhere; Hollywood, posters, books, movies, and T.V. Lily Drake deals with vampires. My favorite vampires are from the T.V. Show The Vampire Diaries, who's your favorite vampire? Take the poll below.