Sunday, March 31, 2013

Fools for Books Giveaway!

Wow, two giveaways back-to-back! Spectacular! I'm participating in the Fools for Books Giveaway sponsored by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer! The hop runs from April 1-7th and is open to people living in the US. I will be giving my lovely readers a chance at winning THREE books! More information below as well as the form to enter! Happy Reading!

Book #1

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

Why be the sheep, when you can be the wolf?

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.

Ismae’s most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?

Book #2

Tempest by Julie Cross

The year is 2009.  Nineteen-year-old Jackson Meyer is a normal guy… he’s in college, has a girlfriend… and he can travel back through time. But it’s not like the movies – nothing changes in the present after his jumps, there’s no space-time continuum issues or broken flux capacitors – it’s just harmless fun.

That is… until the day strangers burst in on Jackson and his girlfriend, Holly, and during a struggle with Jackson, Holly is fatally shot. In his panic, Jackson jumps back two years to 2007, but this is not like his previous time jumps. Now he’s stuck in 2007 and can’t get back to the future.

Desperate to somehow return to 2009 to save Holly but unable to return to his rightful year, Jackson settles into 2007 and learns what he can about his abilities.

But it’s not long before the people who shot Holly in 2009 come looking for Jackson in the past, and these “Enemies of Time” will stop at nothing to recruit this powerful young time-traveler.  Recruit… or kill him.

Piecing together the clues about his father, the Enemies of Time, and himself, Jackson must decide how far he’s willing to go to save Holly… and possibly the entire world.

Book #3

Brave New Love

Young love has always had its challenges, but even so, the world falling apart at its seams is a pretty big obstacle. This stellar collection of YA dystopian tales explores survival of the fittest in terms of love, passion, and humanity. When the survival of the human race is at stake, what will it take for the bond between two people to hold strong together? Featuring some of the most well known and best-selling names of the dystopian genre, as well as the hottest up-and-coming authors, this anthology includes works from Jeanne DuPrau (City of Ember), Kiera Cass (The Selection), William Sleator (Interstellar Pig), Jesse Karp (Those That Wake), Diana Peterfreund (Secret Society Girl), Carrie Vaughn (The Kitty Norville Series), and Carrie Ryan (New York Times bestseller The Forest of Hands and Teeth).

Hidden Ribbon by John Shirley
The Salt Sea and the Sky by Elizabeth Bear
In the Clearing by Kiera Cass
Otherwise by Nisi Shawl
Now Purple With Love's Wound by Carrie Vaughn
Berserker Eyes by Maria V. Snyder
Arose from Poetry by Steve Berman
Red by Amanda Downum
Foundlings by Diana Peterfreund
Seekers in the City by Jeanne DuPrau
The Up by Nina Kiriki Hoffman
The Dream Eater by Carrie Ryan
357 by Jesse Karp
Eric and Pan by William Sleator
The Empty Pocket by Seth Cadin

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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Hoppy Easter Eggstravaganza Giveaway Hop!

Another giveaway! I'm participating in the Hoppy Easter Eggstravaganza Giveaway hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and Read Now Sleep Later!

And for this giveaway I'm not just giving you a chance to win a book - but you get to choose between THREE books!

This giveaway is from March 29th to April 5th, 2013 and is open to people living in the US. The winner has 5 days after receiving their email to respond back with their book selection.

And now for your book selections....

Book #1

Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

I’m pushing aside
the memory of my nightmare,
pushing aside thoughts of Alex,
pushing aside thoughts of Hana
and my old school,
like Raven taught me to do.
The old life is dead.
But the old Lena is dead too.
I buried her.
I left her beyond a fence,
behind a wall of smoke and flame.

Lauren Oliver delivers an electrifying follow-up to her acclaimed New York Times bestseller, Delirium. This riveting, brilliant novel crackles with the fire of fierce defiance, forbidden romance, and the sparks of a revolution about to ignite.

Book #2

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

Four decades of peace have done little to ease the mistrust between humans and dragons in the kingdom of Goredd. Folding themselves into human shape, dragons attend court as ambassadors, and lend their rational, mathematical minds to universities as scholars and teachers. As the treaty's anniversary draws near, however, tensions are high.

Seraphina Dombegh has reason to fear both sides. An unusually gifted musician, she joins the court just as a member of the royal family is murdered—in suspiciously draconian fashion. Seraphina is drawn into the investigation, partnering with the captain of the Queen's Guard, the dangerously perceptive Prince Lucian Kiggs. While they begin to uncover hints of a sinister plot to destroy the peace, Seraphina struggles to protect her own secret, the secret behind her musical gift, one so terrible that its discovery could mean her very life.

In her exquisitely written fantasy debut, Rachel Hartman creates a rich, complex, and utterly original world. Seraphina's tortuous journey to self-acceptance is one readers will remember long after they've turned the final page.

Book #3

Starters by Lissa Price

Her world is changed forever.

Callie lost her parents when the Spore Wars wiped out everyone between the ages of twenty and sixty. She and her little brother, Tyler, go on the run, living as squatters with their friend Michael and fighting off renegades who would kill them for a cookie. Callie's only hope is Prime Destinations, a disturbing place in Beverly Hills run by a mysterious figure known as the Old Man.

He hires teens to rent their bodies to Enders—seniors who want to be young again. Callie, desperate for the money that will keep her, Tyler, and Michael alive, agrees to be a donor. But the neurochip they place in Callie's head malfunctions and she wakes up in the life of her renter, living in her mansion, driving her cars, and going out with a senator's grandson. It feels almost like a fairy tale, until Callie discovers that her renter intends to do more than party—and that Prime Destinations' plans are more evil than Callie could ever have imagined. . .

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POISON by Bridget Zinn Blog Tour!

Today I'm featuring POISON by Bridget Zinn. Bridget's dream was to publish a novel and eventually her novel was picked up by Hyperion. Unfortunately she died of cancer before its actual publication date. This blog tour is a rally to get the word out about this author's dream to publish and also discuss our "firsts."

Along with my "first" I have a synopsis of the book, some fancy-dancy cover art (which I love, btw). and links for you to find out more information about Bridget and Poison!

And here's my first! Since I haven't published a book (yet) I thought I'd discuss the first moment I realized I wanted to be an author. 

I was 12 and saw a poem in National Geographic Kids magazine written by another girl my age. I was struck by the idea that this girl could capture her thoughts and create something so succinct and engaging. I also marveled at the idea of being "published" and the way her poem was now in the hands of many other children across the US. I would also be lying if I wasn't motivated by the short line telling readers how she had "won" a contest and that's why she was featured in the magazine. Then I decided to try my own hand at writing poetry and I found that I liked it! From there I started writing stories and read anything I could get my hands on. And it's been one of my passions ever since.

(I seriously cannot get over how amazingly glorious this cover art is! The moment I saw it I knew I wanted to read the book. I'm still working on my review, but it should be posted in the next few days!)

Sixteen-year-old Kyra, a highly-skilled potions master, is the only one who knows her kingdom is on the verge of destruction—which means she's the only one who can save it. Faced with no other choice, Kyra decides to do what she does best: poison the kingdom's future ruler, who also happens to be her former best friend.
But, for the first time ever, her poisoned dart…misses.

Now a fugitive instead of a hero, Kyra is caught in a game of hide-and-seek with the king's army and her potioner ex-boyfriend, Hal. At least she's not alone. She's armed with her vital potions, a too-cute pig, and Fred, the charming adventurer she can't stop thinking about. Kyra is determined to get herself a second chance (at murder), but will she be able to find and defeat the princess before Hal and the army find her?

Kyra is not your typical murderer, and she's certainly no damsel-in-distress—she's the lovable and quick-witted hero of this romantic novel that has all the right ingredients to make teen girls swoon.

I am honored to be a part of this blog tour! I hope you enjoyed seeing the other posts and if you missed any check out Inara Scott's page for the complete list! 

Some handy links about Bridget:
A short video of Bridget and a remembrance written by her agent.
Bridget describing her path to publication.
And some writing tips from Bridget herself!

And if you're interested in picking up your own copy of the book, check out these stores!

About Bridget Zinn

Bridget grew up in Wisconsin. She went to the county fair where she met the love of her life, Barrett Dowell. They got married right before she went in for exploratory surgery which revealed she had colon cancer. They christened that summer the "summer of love" and the two celebrated with several more weddings. Bridget continued to read and write until the day she died. Her last tweet was "Sunshine and a brand new book. Perfect."

Bridget wanted to make people laugh and hoped readers would enjoy spending time with the characters she created. As a librarian/writer she loved books with strong young women with aspirations. She also felt teens needed more humorous reads. She really wanted to write a book with pockets of warmth and happiness and hoped that her readers' copies would show the watermarks of many bath time reads.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Review #1444 The Cinder-eyed Cats by Eric Rohmann

Review #1444
The Cinder-eyed Cats by Eric Rohmann
Rating: three stars (out of four)

The illustrations were wondrous and imaginative. I especially loved the constrast of the sea creatures swimming in the sky and the five cats dancing on the beach. It was cool seeing the little boy sail across the sky and land at a whimsical island with strange sights. The pictures completely brought the story to life, they were so vivid and descriptive. It's a fun book to read and offers a wide-range of niches to pull children into its story: oceans, felines, imagination, sailing, and sea creatures. I'd recommend.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Review #1443 Princess Super Kitty by Antoinette Portis

Review #1443
Princess Super Kitty by Antoinette Portis
Rating: three stars (out of four)

This book was full of whimsy and fun. I especially enjoyed the quirky illustrations. The bold black outlines combined with the bright colors were stylish and playful. The little girl was also hilarious. I could see her reasoning behind all of her costumes and I loved how easily she adapted while still being helpful. She didn't abuse her powers too much. It was amusing to see the different roles she took and I liked her actions/antics for each role. The last page made me smile. Definitely a book I'd recommend.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Review #1442 The Snow Day by Komako Sakai

Review #1442
The Snow Day by Komako Sakai
Rating: three stars (out of four)

I really enjoyed the pictures in this story. They had this certain sense of haze, but were delightfully abstract while still capturing a strong sense of character and place. There were elements of harshness and soft, but they still blended together well and I never thought the illustrations were messy. The little bunny was quite cute as well. It was sweet to gimplse the world from his eyes. The story was fairly simplistic, but still fun. I'd recommend.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Review #1441 Creepy Monsters, Sleepy Monsters by Jane Yolen

Review #1441
Creepy Monsters, Sleepy Monsters by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Kelly Murphy
Rating: two stars (out of four)

The illustrations were the best part of this book; they were colorful and definitely added to the whole monster feel. I loved the kitchen scene because it had a lot of subtle traces of humor. It was fun to read the labels and see what had been put in for older readers. The story was fairly simple and while I enjoyed the pictures,  I didn't really warm up to this book. There was something missing. But if you really enjoy monster books and oftentimes have a hard time getting your own monsters, er, I mean, children to bed...this might be just the book for you.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Review #1440 Only a Witch Can Fly by Alison McGhee

Review #1440
Only a Witch Can Fly by Alison McGhee, illustrated by Taeeun Yoo
Rating: three stars (out of four)

I really liked the illustrations throughout this book; they were haunting but not creepy and faded without lacking color. The black silhouettes were lovely and I liked how she used hues of subtle colors to make the pages rich and dynamic. The illustrations were still playful and imaginative - I liked them immensely. The story was told through poetry, a vestina, which has a certain cadence and rhythm. The ending of the story was a little unrealistic, but didn't pull too much from my enjoyment of the story. I'd probably recommend.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Review #1439 People by Blexbolex

Review #1439
People by Blexbolex
Rating: two stars (out of four)

I rather enjoyed looking at all of the different pictures in this book. I could easily see children spending hours imagining the other different people and making up stories to go along with the illustrations. The graphics are old fashioned and yet modern at the same time. I'm not sure how he managed to do that, but it's pretty cool. There were a couple of pictures that some people might find annoying (topless mermaid, nothing graphic), but most people shouldn't have a problem. I also liked how the author created parallels between the pictures on each page and let people make the connection as to why they had been paired. Some pages I had no idea and some I thought were exceedingly clever. I'd probably recommend, it was fun.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Review #1438 Pumpkinhead by Eric Rohmann

Review #1438
Pumpkinhead by Eric Rohmann
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This book was very odd. I wasn't really sure how I felt about it. Especially how easily this poor kid's head could be detached from his body and whisked to parts unknown. Some of the humor in the book was a little dark, but not too terribly dark. There were some crazy lines though out, but the second page did make me smile. But the rest of the book seemed more like a series of odd occurrences rather than a story. It was rather strange. Not sure I'd recommend.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Review #1437 Last Song by James Guthrie

Review #1437
Last Song by James Guthrie, illustrated by Eric Rohmann
Rating: two stars (out of four)

Judging from the cover and title, I  wasn't sure what this book was going to be about. When I saw squirrels dancing across the pages and the simple unadorned text, I was a little confused. Then I saw on the back cover it was an old scottish lullaby and everything made a lot more sense. The book was sweet and the illustrations were soothing and gentle. I hadn't heard of this poem before. It's also good right before bed - it definitely has a sleepy feel to it. It's not something I'd deliberately go out and seek. I might recommend.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Review #1436 The Prairie Train by Antoine O Flathart

Review #1436
The Prairie Train by Antoine O Flatharta, illustrated by Eric Rohmann
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This kind of reminded me of the Polar Express...probably because it had a train and a little boy straining toward some truth. But it kind of had the same feel, even though they were about different things. This was about an immigrant adjusting to the idea of a new home and missing everything he's left behind. I thought it did a good job of portraying the boy's emotions. The journey the train and the boy took together was fairly imaginative and thoughtful. I liked how everything was resolved in the end and I feel people will read it and see a sweet message. While I enjoyed it, it's not something I'm going to read again, but it was nice.