Friday, December 31, 2010

Book Blogging Question: How do you meet authors?

I have a question for you this week- how you do find out about author appearances? I checked out a bunch of author sites today but I am wondering if there is some magical place (please say so) that will tell you ones in your area.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Review: Born at Midnight by C.C. Hunter

Born at Midnight (Shadow Falls, #1)

Review: Born at Midnight by C.C. Hunter

Kylie Galen has had a lot of crap tossed in her lap. Her parents are getting a divorce. Her boyfriend broke up with her because she wouldn’t put out. Her grandmother died and now Kylie’s acquired a stalker. Unfortunately, she’s the only one who seems to be able to see the stalker. And that gets her sent to a psychologist’s sofa. 
The kooky psychologist gets Kylie sent to Shadow Falls Camp. Kylie and her parents think it’s a camp for troubled teens. 
They thought wrong. 
It’s a camp of supernaturals: vampires, werewolves, fairies, witches and shape shifters. And if she believes the camp leader, Kylie is one of them, too. 
Just because she’s seeing ghosts, just because she was born at midnight, does that really mean she’s not human? And if so, what is she? Not even the other supernaturals can tell her. 
As Kylie attempts to cope with the realization that these creatures actually exist, and that she might even be one of them, the ever present stalker/ghost appears to have secrets that could unravel the mystery of Kylie’s identity and her destiny. 
But getting a ghost to open up is as hard as getting a guy to talk about his feelings. 
As Kylie struggles to find answers, two hot guys, a werewolf and a half-fairy vie for her attention. However, Kylie’s determined that before she lets her heart discover a new love, she needs to solve her indentify crisis and unearth the truth of her destiny.
Publishes in US: March 2011
1st in series
Source: Early Reviewers Librarything


*My Review*

    Born at Midnight is an addicting read- I did not want to put it down. It pulls me in right at the beginning with a heartbreaking scene, intrigue and a bit of humor about bbqing shorts =)

    Kylie is a great main character. She has qualities that I admire- courage, loyalty. On the other hand, I was able to connect with her, being a bit of a loner, but letting in a select few. I was on edge the whole book, wanting to find the answers to Kylie's questions almost as quickly as she did.  I felt emotions with her, about her family troubles, her worry and loyalty to her friends, crushing and fighting the attraction to the hot guys, mystery surrounding the guys in the black suits, and suspicion of what she really is.

     I love coming of age, and self-discovery books, and this one fits the bill. I love that the paranormal aspect throws a wrench into it, making already difficult journey even more challenging.

     At first it did seem like there were too many characters and names for me to keep up with, but I quickly learned more about them, and each plays their own role. I love it when a book has a secondary cast that is interesting, has their own personalities and actually work to further the plot.

   The romance is really well written, my heart was pounding right with her, and I wasn't sure the right choice, it was so well written. The guys were really balanced- not perfect, but close :) And while they were hot, they had deeper qualities as well, respect, protectiveness, and a good heart.

   This book ended well, it wrapped up without too much of a cliffie, but def enough that I want my hands on the next one NOW. Too bad I have to wait until October.

And now for the contest!

Awesome swag pack

-Open to followers and US mailing addresses only
-Closes Jan 13 11:59pm EST
-Must fill out form
-Extra entries may be gained by spreading the word blog post (+4), twitter, facebook, sidebar, etc (+2 each)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Are you missing out???

Welcome, travelers!
On the hotness that is Cayman Summer? Angela is posting it on her blog and there will eventually be a bond copy. It is the third book in the Taken by Storm series, and if you haven't read those you are really missing out!!
Here is the blog- Chapter 1

ALSO- it is the last day to vote in Goodreads Choice. My vote is for Sing me to Sleep, and I encourage yours to be too! I know it means the world to Angela to even be nominated but I would love to see her win.


Giveaway: The Locket and Interview with author Stacey Jay

The Locket

Stacey Jay is a recovering workaholic (or at least working hard at recovering) with three pen names, two small children, and a passion for playing pretend for a living. She’s been a full time mom-writer since 2005 and can't think of anything she'd rather be doing. Her former careers include theatre performer, professional dancer, poorly paid C-movie actress, bartender, waiter, math tutor (for real) and yoga instructor.
In her very limited spare time, Stacey enjoys cooking elaborate dinners and eating them very, very slowly, dressing up in costumes with her sons, and dancing like a total freak who all but the coolest of her friends are embarrassed to be seen with. You can write her email if you want. She’ll do her best to answer in a timely fashion and tell you thanks for reading.

Thank you for your time and answering questions for us!

--The Twitter version: tell us about your book in 140 characters or less.

One girl, two possible true loves, and an evil locket that messes with the fabric of time. THE LOCKET. Ah!

--How did you get the idea for the story? 

THE LOCKET was originally imagined as a horror story (with a touch of romance). I wasn't sure on the specifics other than the cursed locket that grants wishes it shouldn't, but I knew I wanted the book to have a slow sense of creeping dread that culminated in an "oh my god, no!" ending. My editor at Razorbill liked the idea of a cursed locket, but she wanted more romance and less gore. 

So I took her advice and pulled back on the gross and scary, amped up the romance, but still kept that slow creep out I first imagined. In the end, I really like what we came up with--though I still want to write a book where someone has to cut off their own hand in order to break a curse. (Sorry. Just dropped a spoiler there. No one cuts off their hand in this book.)

--Which character would you most/least like to have dinner with?

I'd like to have dinner with Isaac. I think he needs a friendly ear to work through some of his family issues.

I would least like to have dinner with the locket. If it tried to slither onto my table, I would poke it with my fork.

--What are some of your favorite books? Do you still have much time to read?

I make time to read. When I don't, I lose my enthusiasm for writing and just get...depressed in general. Life isn't complete without a good book to look forward to diving back into. I've read some great books in the past few months. PLAIN KATE by Erin Bow, FIRE by Kristin Cashore, and BEAUTY by Robin McKinley have been a few of my favorites.

--Do you have any other works in progress? Any teasers or release dates?

Oh, yes. JULIET IMMORTAL, my first hardcover, will be out in Fall 2011. According to amazon, September 13th is the actual release date! But I haven't had that confirmed just

Here's the cover copy for Juliet:

“These violent delights have violent ends
And in their triumph die, like fire and powder,
Which as they kiss consume.”
Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

The most tragic love story in history . . .

Juliet Capulet didn’t take her own life. She was murdered by the person she trusted most, her new husband, Romeo Montague, a sacrifice made to ensure his own immortality. But Romeo didn’t anticipate that Juliet would be granted eternity as well, and would become an agent for the Ambassadors of Light.

For seven hundred years, Juliet has struggled to preserve romantic love and the lives of the innocent, while Romeo has fought for the dark side, seeking to destroy the human heart. Until now.

Now, Juliet has found her own forbidden love, and Romeo, O Romeo, will do everything in his power to destroy their happiness.

I'm SO excited about this book. I really hope all my readers enjoy it.

Oh, and I'll also have my first mass market release in early June 2011. DEAD ON THE DELTA is an adult urban fantasy set in an alternative Louisiana where mosquito sized killer fairies are wreaking havoc on the delta.

--If a fairy godmother told you your life could be like a favorite book for 24 hours, which book would you pick and why?

I LIKE YOU: HOSPITALITY UNDER THE INFLUENCE by Amy Sedaris. Because she is so, so funny and I would love to spend 24 hours learning her version of proper host etiquette. That book is hysterical. No matter how low I feel, reading a few pages of "entertaining the elderly" always makes me laugh.

--Do you need anything to write (music, coffee, etc)? Are there any songs on your playlist- songs that inspired you or that were playing while you wrote?

Coffee and tea are always good. And I've just started listening to Pandora radio. I usually pick a movie that has a soundtrack with a similar vibe to what I imagine for my book and let the play list build itself from there. For JULIET IMMORTAL I started with the music from The Lord of the Rings trilogy. It was great fun. I love Celtic music!

--If you could have any superpower what would you choose?

Not needing sleep would be nice. (*yawn* *covers mouth* *blinks and tries to look wakeful*)

--Besides writing, what do you like to do in your free time?

Play with my husband and two little boys, go hiking and ice skating and wine tasting and paint cheesy owls and dragons (badly). I also enjoy eating cheese enough to consider it a hobby. Hmmm...cheese...such wondrous variety and unparalleled awesomeness.

--Is there anything else you want to add or say to your readers?

Thank you for reading. I'm thankful for your time and your imagination and the chance to entertain you. I hope, with your support, to continue to do so for years to come. And remember, when you buy a book, you feed a writer, and we writers who like cheese (a lot) do so appreciate that.

All best to Brandi and her blog readers!

Stacey Jay

Giveaway: Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Unearthly Closed

Bookmarks and signed bookplate to one lucky winner.
-Followers and US mailing addresses only please
-Ends 1/12/11 at 11:59pm EST

-1 extra entry may be gained by commenting on review or interview (please leave in second comment)
-Please spread the word. I have a tweet button right under post =)

Good luck!

Review: Sliding on the Edge by C. Lee McKenzie

Sliding on the EdgeReview: Sliding on the Edge by C. Lee McKenzie

This is a young adult book that tackles the issues of cutting and suicide as it chronicles the journey of one girl destined to be a no one--that is until she finds a way to survive. 
Published in US: Apr 23rd 2009

**My Rating: 4/5**

*My Review*

    Shawna is a troubled girl who has had to build a tough exterior due to how she grew up. Her Mom left her to fend on her own a lot, but when her Mom clears out their apartment with her boyfriend, a note telling Shawna to go to her Grandmother's house, to a complete stranger.
    Under Kay (her Grandmother)'s love and structure, Shawna begins to open up. Kay runs a ranch with horses, who helps to open Shawna's heart as well. There is also a farm "hand" with personality and wise advice.

   Shawna's journey was painful and raw, but I felt like I could connect with her, understand her reasons for acting the way that she does. I loved seeing her open up to Kay, Kenny and Casey as well as a girl at school, Marta who befriends her. I also love to read about her interactions with the horses. Her journey of healing has   much to teach and gain.

I would love to hear what you think about this book and/or my review.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Top Ten Tuesday: Best of 2010

2011 Challenges?

Are you hosting one or taking part in one?

So far I am just doing Debut Author Challenge by The Story Siren.

Last year (in August, I think) I took part in a month long read and review. You linked your review, and there was a prize chosen randomly at the end of the month. Would anyone be interested in participating if I hosted one? Would anyone like to cohost with me?

Monday, December 27, 2010

Check this out!

100 followers contest at Beyond Words
Angelfire (Angelfire, #1) Unearthly Delirium (Delirium, #1) Vesper (Deviants, #1) Fall for Anything Matched A Touch Mortal So Shelly Across the Universe The Gathering (Darkness Rising, #1)

How would you feel about a pre-order of one of these? Or how about two? Or three?

First Place
3 book pre-orders from the above

Second Place
2 book pre-orders from the above

Third Place
1 book pre-order from the above

Please say that I sent you! (brandileigh2003)

Enter at BEYOND WORDS (can click here to go to her site)

ALSO- There is a new blog called YAtopia- "the newest group blog dedicated to anything and everything Young Adult. YAtopia consists of eight writers, all in various stages of publication. We created this blog to share information about our journeys, the publishing industry, giveaways and competitions, and anything else entertaining and informative."

Author Interview Monday: Cynthia Hand (Unearthly)

Cynthia Hand Thank you Cynthia for taking time to answer some interview questions for the blog!

--The Twitter version: tell us about your book in 140 characters or less

16 yo girl who is part angel sees a vision of a mysterious boy in a forest fire and questions her purpose on this earth.

--How did you get the idea for the story?

Clara's voice just came to me one day, giving me this situation where she saw a boy standing in the trees during a fire and thought she had to rescue him. Then I poked and prodded at the situation until the rest of the details unfolded. The angel stuff was born out of a long-time fascination in the Nephilim and a love of Madeleine L'Engels book, Many Waters. The Wyoming stuff came because it was a place I knew extremely well, as I grew up in Idaho not very far from the Wyoming border. And the rest came to me in that mysterious writerly way that things come, as if the characters and situations had simply been waiting for me all along.

--Can you give us any teasers from the sequel, or any information on its release?

I'm pretty tight-lipped about the sequel, but we will find out a lot more about the purposes of some of the other characters in the series. And the year will be a pretty rough one, emotionally, on our Clara. And there will be rodeo. The sequel, which is still untitled at this point, is in the revision stage at HarperCollins and should hit the shelves in January 2012.

--Which character would you most/least like to have dinner with?

Hmm, in some ways I feel like I've already had dinner with them all, but I think I would most enjoy dinner with Angela. She always cracks me up. And I would least enjoy dinner with Sam. Because sorrow and breadsticks don't mix.

--What are some of your favorite books? Do you still have much time to read?

I read all the time! Keeps my mind going. My favorites lately have been Never Let Me Go, The Scorch Trials, and The Dead Tossed Waves, which is the companion book to my other all-time fave, The Forest of Hands and Teeth, by Carrie Ryan. Loooooved that book. I wish I could write about zombies. . .

--If a fairy godmother told you your life could be like a favorite book for 24 hours, which book would you pick and why?

Anne of Green Gables, not the sad/orphan part, necessarily, but those moments of extreme beauty and rapture that Anne experiences. Maybe one of the sequels, like Anne's House of Dreams.

Do you need anything to write (music, coffee, etc)? Are there any songs on the Unearthly "playlist-" songs that inspired you or that were playing while you wrote?

I did have an Unearthly playlist and CD that I had in the car while I was working, but I can't listen to music as I write. I listen to it to inspire me, get me in the mood, and then I shut it off and write in silence. The song that most spoke to me while I was writing Unearthly was "Fly" by Hillary Duff, which is rather embarrassing to me, as I'm not a Duff fan and I haven't heard any of her other songs. But I was surfing itunes and stumbled over "Fly" and thought it was so Clara. I aslo loved "Call Your Name" by Chris Daughtry, "All Around Me" by Flyleaf and "Second Chance" by Shinedown.

--If you could have any superpower what would you choose?

Flight. I definitely fantasize about that. Also the superstrength would be cool. Helpful for opening those pesky jars of pickles.

--Besides writing, what do you like to do in your free time?

I watch a lot of TV to blow off steam, reads tons and tons of books, and play video games on occasion. I'm not into shooter games but I really love me a good adventure or role-playing game now and then. And I knit and crochet during the cooler months.

--Is there anything else you want to add or say to your readers?

I think if there's any wish I have for my readers, it's just that I hope you enjoy reading Unearthly as much as I enjoyed writing it. I loved being in that world, and even if the book had never been published (and obviously I am thrilled that it was) I'd still feel be grateful and in awe of this story and all that it brought to my life. Yay!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Question to you about ARCs

Blogging question of the week-- I have had a few questions about ARC's so I thought I would answer and turn it over to my fellow readers and bloggers.

If you get them, do you request from publisher specifically? Or have you just gotten on their radar because you email reviews? Or some other way?

Personally I get from tours, netgalley, and have also had a few authors contact me personally.

--If you would like this to be a regular feature, email me or leave a question for me to ask next week :)

I got my winter wonderland!!!



Me and my daughter:

My husband trying to dump snow on me... He succeeded.

Our Snowangels (This is for you Jackie)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

My Christmas

I had a very Merry Christmas- did you?
I got a video game (Crash Mind over Mutant), a Munchkin game expansion pack, and Slapshot for the Wii. After presents, we went to the IHOP, my daughter insisted she had to take her new Cinderella baby doll =)

Here is a pic of her:

Our Holiday photo

And a cute video:

We are expecting 4-8 inches of snow tonight and I am excited to take Katie to play in it.

Merry Christmas and to all a good night!


IMMB is designed to promote blogger interaction and put new books on the radar. It is started by The Story Siren.

Here is what I got:
The LocketThe Locket by Stacey Jay

From ATW Book Tour
Review here

UnearthlyUnearthy by Cynthia Hand
Review Here 
From Netgalley

A Touch Mortal

A Touch Mortal by Leah Clifford
Review here

Delirium (Delirium, #1)
Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Review here

Sliding on the EdgeReview: Sliding on the Edge by C. Lee McKenzie
Review to come

The Girl Who Ran With HorsesReview: The Girl who Ran with Horses by David Michael\
Review to come

Born at Midnight (Shadow Falls, #1) Review: Born at Midnight by C.C. Hunter
Currently reading

I also got a lovely card and swag from Jami at YA Addict

What about you? What did you get? What do you think of my books?