Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Cinder and Ella by Melissa Lemon - Interview

After reading Cinder and Ella by Melissa Lemon, I just had to interview her!! I'm so excited that she agreed!! So without further ado:

BCM: What is your favorite princess?

Hmmmm. I’d have to say my favorite is Princess Winnifred from “Once Upon a Mattress.” She’s from a swamp. Is there really any competition there?

BCM: How many siblings do you have?

I have four siblings. Three sisters and one brother.

BCM: What do you find relaxing?

Walking in the rain, listening to the rain, stormy weather. Did I mention rain? If I’m feeling tense, I like to fall asleep to a thunderstorm CD or some calm music. Playing the piano or guitar can also be calming depending on what I’m playing. Being in nature has to be included also.

BCM: What places would you like to visit, and why?

I have always had a fascination with Germany. German was the language I studied in high school and college. (Just don’t ask me to speak it, okay?) I love lederhosen, Oktoberfests, the castles, people, language… If I had the option, Germany would be my first choice. After that, it’d be cool to see everywhere!

BCM: What's the best part about seeing your name in print?

I don’t know. It’s just exciting that other people are going to be able to read my story. There is also a sense of accomplishment that is larger than any other I’ve ever felt before. It took a lot of blood, sweat and tears to get here. Last year, I almost quit on two separate occasions. That just made me realize how important it was to me and what a big part of my life it was. It probably would have been similar to trying to give your right arm away. (Can you imagine? “Really, here it is. Take it. Just pull. I don’t need it anymore.”) So I kept going. I’m glad I did.

Thanks so much Melissa!! You can check out more about Melissa Lemon here.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Need So Beautiful by Suzanne Young - Deleted Scene

In case you didn't already know, I'm a *huge* A Need So Beautiful fan. It's an incredible book by an incredible author and I'm super excited to be able to share this deleted scene with you. 

Also, today is the last day to enter for a chance to win some amazing prizes in the A Need So Beautiful Celebration. Prizes include signed books, swag and some critiques from some really amazing authors and bloggers. Click HERE to enter.

And now, we hope you enjoy the deleted scene:

 “She killed someone,” Monroe murmurs.

      I gasp. “What?”

      “It was late one night when we were walking back from dinner. Before then she’d become increasingly short-tempered, agitated. We were nearly to my apartment when a guy in a suit passed by us. Suddenly she stopped and reached out to grab his arm. Before I could even ask what she was doing, she leaned to whisper in the man’s ear.

      “‘Go play in traffic’, she’d said. And the guy turned and walked into the street. Right in front of a car.” Monroe starts shaking his head. “He just stepped in front of it.”

      “Oh my God.”

      “I yelled and tried to help him, but it was no use. He was dead. And when I looked back over my shoulder at Onika… she was smiling. She was smiling and for second, I saw her face. Her true face. And it was horrible.”

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read

  • Open to a random page

  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers.

  • My teaser comes from:

    Possession by Elana Johnson

    "I can get what I want just by thinking it. The room spun in a dangerous kaleidoscope of colors and feelings and patterns." (pg 201 of ARC, finished copy may differ)

    Monday, June 27, 2011

    Review: Angel Burn by L.A. Weatherly

    Angel Burn by L.A. Weatherly
    Release Date: May 24, 2011
    Publisher: Candlewick Press
    Genre: Paranormal YA

    The Story: Willow knows she’s different from other girls, and not just because she loves tinkering with cars. Willow has a gift. She can look into the future and know people’s dreams and hopes, their sorrows and regrets, just by touching them. She has no idea where this power comes from. But the assassin, Alex, does. Gorgeous, mysterious Alex knows more about Willow than Willow herself does. He knows that her powers link to dark and dangerous forces, and that he's one of the few humans left who can fight them. When Alex finds himself falling in love with his sworn enemy, he discovers that nothing is as it seems, least of all good and evil.

    My Review: This book starts out in a really cool place for a female lead, I thought. Willow is fixing her best friend's car in the school parking lot. It's clear that Willow has accepted the fact that she's different and isn't trying to hide it. Even though she doesn't advertise it, it's known that she has the ability to see into people's lives. When the most popular and perfect girl in school asks for a reading, Willow agrees, but there's an undercurrent of unease from the beginning. And what Willow sees when she touches the girl is more unnerving than she'd realized it could be. 

    The angels in Angel Burn are not your typical angel. They aren't the good guys you're used to reading about. In fact, they are endangering the lives of humans on massive levels and the humans don't even know what's happening. One touch from an angel could change your life forever--and not in a good way. Believe me, you do not want to get angel burn.

    Angel Burn alternates chapters between Willow and Alex, an undeniably sexy and mysterious killer. It's when Alex is sent to kill Willow that things get complicated--and very interesting. We learn things about Willow that she doesn't know about herself. We get to watch Alex as he squirms under what he's always been taught and his ever-growing feelings for Willow. The dynamic between the two characters is really well written and intense. 

    There are times when you could cut the tension between them with a knife. Slowly, the relationship turns to something more than distaste. Being able to read what was going on in the heads of both characters really sets this story apart from so many other angel books out there. Here, we get to see what it's like to be an angel killer, someone who's trained to fight back against the angels. Then, we get to see what it's like to be Willow--a completely new creature, yet someone to be feared all the same. It's a really, really great book and I'm thoroughly looking forward to book two in this trilogy!

    My Rating:

    Sunday, June 26, 2011

    IMM take 48

    All of us here at Books Complete Me are so excited to be a part of the awesome list of blogs who participate in the "In My Mailbox" meme. In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren so make sure you check out her book blog for a list of many of the blogs participating. She also has some helpful information on how to participate on your own blog. Click HERE to find out more.

    This is a weekly meme where we will post any books (and other things) that we have received in the mail, bought, loaned from the library, etc. It's not limited to just books. It can be anything we have just gotten and are excited about.

    For our IMM this week:

    Nicole Received from authors:

    Accused ARC by Kate Kaynak (signed)
    Devil.May.Care by Jolene Ballard Gutierrez

    Mindy Won:

    Dark Eden ARC by Patrick Carmen (Signed by the whole movie cast)

    Julie received from her hubby:

    The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
    Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
    The Twilight Saga: The Official Illustrated Guide by Stephenie Meyer

    Please leave us a comment telling us what you think and a link to your own blog if you have one. We'd love to visit!

    Friday, June 24, 2011

    And The Winners Are...

    Today is just the day for winners!

    I want to thank everyone for entering our giveaway for Shift by Jeri Smith-Ready. We were fortunate enough to have two copies of this great book to giveaway. 
    And without further ado... 

    The winners are:

    Anita Y. 


    Victoria Z.

    Congrats ladies! I hope you both love this book as much as I do! 



    So, I have three winners to announce!

    Erin L.
    She won a copy of Bloodspell by Amalie Howard

    She won a copy of Flying Blind by Deborah Cooke

    Krista B.
    She won Victoria's Secret Lip Gloss from Tracy Deebs (Author of Tempest Rising)

    Let's hear it for the winners! And a huge thanks to everyone who follows us and enters into the giveaways! Be sure to enter the two current giveaways!! And stay tuned for many more!

    Thursday, June 23, 2011

    Review: Steel by Carrie Vaughn

    Steel by Carrie Vaughn
    Published Date:
    March 2011
    Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
    Genre: YA

    The Story: It was a slender length of rusted steel, tapered to a point at one end and jagged at the other, as if it had broken. A thousand people would step over it and think it trash, but not her.

    This was the tip of a rapier.

    Sixteen-year-old Jill has fought in dozens of fencing tournaments, but she has never held a sharpened blade. When she finds a corroded sword piece on a Caribbean beach, she is instantly intrigued and pockets it as her own personal treasure.

    The broken tip holds secrets, though, and it transports Jill through time to the deck of a pirate ship. Stranded in the past and surrounded by strangers, she is forced to sign on as crew. But a pirate's life is bloody and brief, and as Jill learns about the dark magic that brought her there, she forms a desperate scheme to get home—one that risks everything in a duel to the death with a villainous pirate captain.

    My Review: Wow! I really like watching Pirates of the Caribbean, but reading Steel was even better!! Jill never lost a match, until the finals. So as a reprive from fencing, her parents take her and her siblings to the beach to relax. After falling into the ocean, Jill is suddenly on a pirate's ship. Vaughn has captured the feeling that goes with pirates, or doesn't I guess you could say! But there's so much going on, that you can get lost in the book. I really enjoyed reading it!!

    Wednesday, June 22, 2011

    Review: Flying Blind by Deborah Cooke

    Flying Blind by Deborah Cooke
    Published Date: June 2011
    Publisher: NAL Trade
    Genre: YA

    The Story: The next generation of shape-shifting dragons from the popular author of the Dragonfire novels.

    Zoë Sorensson is perfectly normal, except she's been told she's destined for great things. Zoë's the one female dragon shapeshifter of her kind. But Zoë is at the bottom of the class when it comes to being Pyr and her powers are AWOL, so she's sent to a Pyr boot camp.

    Zoë quickly realizes that she has to master her powers yesterday, because the Pyr are in danger and boot camp is a trap. The Mages want to eliminate all shifters and the Pyr are next in line-unless Zoë and her friends can work together and save their own kind.

    My Review: I LOVE this book. I couldn't put it down and had it read within two days (I did have to sleep and work)!! Deborah has given us a world where current teens can relate and us older ones can look back and laugh! I'm sure we all remember our first crush.

    Once Zoe rediscovers her powers, she does all she can to help her friends and the rest of the Pyr. She does expierence some trials, I won't go into them since I don't like spoilers! But, after she works through them, she finds out what being a member of the Pyr is all about.

    Can't wait for book two!

    Haunting Violet by Alyxandra Harvey

    Haunting Violet by Alyxandra Harvey
    June 21, 2011
    Walker & Company
    Genre: YA/Paranormal

    Violet Willoughby doesn't believe in ghosts. But they believe in her. After spending years participating in her mother's elaborate ruse as a fraudulent medium, Violet is about as skeptical as they come in all matters supernatural. Now that she is being visited by a very persistent ghost, one who suffered a violent death, Violet can no longer ignore her unique ability. She must figure out what this ghost is trying to communicate, and quickly because the killer is still on the loose.

    Afraid of ruining her chance to escape her mother's scheming through an advantageous marriage, Violet must keep her ability secret. The only person who can help her is Colin, a friend she's known since childhood, and whom she has grown to love. He understands the true Violet, but helping her on this path means they might never be together. Can Violet find a way to help this ghost without ruining her own chance at a future free of lies?

    My review: I have never read Alyxandra Harvey's series The Drake Chronicles so I am not comparing this book to her other series. This book is a stand alone book outside of other work she has done. 

    I am a cover person. The cover that I have of my ARC provided by the publisher to review (THANK YOU SO MUCH) is the one I posted on this post. I love this cover. I love the soft purples and violets. The water lillies are gorgeous and are very symbolic. Dark hair and pale skin...the cover just WORKS for me. I would buy this book based on the cover alone! The title "Haunting Violet" is another reason I would pick this book up in a heart beat!

    With that said: How can you go wrong with a girl whose mom is a total fraud, lives a life of lies and finds out that the lie her mother lives is her reality? have it here! Historical fiction, paranormal, murder mystery all wrapped up in a nice paperback cover of 344 pages makes for a great read. 

    I am envious of Violet as I think this would be a cool gift to have. She rebukes her gifts as she is a non believer.  So many are non believers in a lot of things until something happens that changes their whole life (universal theme here)! 

    For a mix of paranormal, mystery and historical fiction, this book is a must read!

    Tuesday, June 21, 2011

    This or That with Myra McEntire

    In case you haven't already heard (where have you been???), Myra McEntire is the author of a fantastic beyond words book called HOURGLASS. It's awesome. It's great. It's sexy. Did I mention it's fantastic? 

    So we are super excited to have Myra with us here today for a fun This or That guest post. We hope you enjoy it and if you haven't already be sure to get your hands on your own copy of HOURGLASS. You won't be disappointed.

    Apartment or House - The one most in need of interior design.
    Eyes or Smile - Smile.
    Modern or Abstract Art - Modern.
    Bad Boys or Sensitive Boys - Sensitive. I hit the jackpot with Thomas.
    Coffee or Tea - Tea. Mint.
    Boxers or Briefs - HA!
    Cake or Pie Pie. - Pecan.
    Skirt or Shorts - Skirt.
    Heels or Flats - Heels.
    Milk or Juice - Juice! 

    Thank you so much for stopping by, Myra!

    Celebrating A Need So Beautiful with Random Acts of Kindness & Giveaway

    Happy Book Birthday to Suzanne Young and her phenomenal new book, A Need So Beautiful

    Today, we, along with fourteen other authors and bloggers are celebrating this amazing book by sharing how someone's random act of kindness or self-sacrifice has impacted our lives. There are also some amazing giveaways that you can find listed below.

    I've decided to tell you about my grandpa (aka Paw Paw) because he was, without a doubt, one of the best things in my childhood and teenage years. He was an amazing man, a man of his word, a man that other men could learn a thing or two from. He embodied kindness in ways maybe a grandfather only can. 

    During the summer months, my brother and I always spent our days with him and my grandmother while my parents worked. My brother tended to gravitate toward my grandmother while I was always drawn to my grandpa. My grandmother was always trying to eat healthier so she'd have snacks like vanilla wafers. My grandpa, though, he always had a stash of chocolate of some sort. It was usually some Little Debbie treat that he'd sneak me when my grandma wasn't looking. He'd hand it to me and shoo me away quickly before anyone could see what I had. I will always remember the smile on his face and the way his laughter always made me laugh too. 

    We didn't have a lot of money growing up and neither did my grandparents, but when it came time for me to finally get my first car, he was the one who offered to buy it. I can't imagine how he had the money to even offer, but he did. He had a good heart and his love of his family was fierce. When he was in the room, the place was always brighter. His smile was infectious.

    When I was seventeen he had a heart attack. When he was finally allowed to come home, he pulled me to his side with his church leaders looking on. He beamed at me and held my hand, introducing me to them. He'd said, "This is my granddaughter Cindy. She takes care of me." 

    He passed away only a few days after that and it still makes me tear up remembering that moment. My grandpa was an incredible person and he definitely helped to make me the person I am today. His love and support were a constant in my childhood and he will always hold a very special place in my heart. 

    I love and miss you Paw Paw! 

    Thank you for stopping by today and reading about my grandpa with me. You can stop by these other blogs to read about their random acts of kindness and a list of what each blog is giving away as well.

    I am giving away a critique of your first 3 chapters or up to 10K words. Just so that you have some background on my own writing, I can tell you that I've drafted my own first YA novel and am currently working on revisions to it. I'm also critique partners with two authors that are published. 

    First 3 chapter critique (Jessica at Confessions of a Bookaholic)
    YA Lit Swag Bag (Sara at Novel Novice)
    Hourglass Order from TBD – Int (Corrine at Lost for Words)
    Random Books (Jessi at The Elliott Review)
    2 Header/Button Packs (Jessica at Hopelessly Devoted Bibliophile)
    First 15 pages Critique & Signed ARC of Hereafter (Kari at A Good Addiction)
    Query Letter Critique (Shannon Messenger)
    Signed copy of Invincible Summer – US/Can (Hannah Moskowitz)
    First Chapter Critique and a Skype Chat (Keri Mikulski)
    Signed copy of Tell Me a Secret with signed TMAS art print - US (Holly Cupala)
    Signed copy of Chasing Brooklyn – US (Lisa Schroeder)
    The Pledge Swag Pack including ARC (Kimberly Derting)
    Facebook Contest (Daisy Whitney's Blog)
    First Chapter Critique (Lisa and Laura Roecker)

    Want to know how you can win? It's simple: Fill out THIS FORM. The form is the same on each blog, so you only have to enter ONCE. You can select more than one prize when you enter. Multiple entries will be deleted so please be sure that you have all of your entries/links before you enter. 

    There will be 1 winner per item, and then three people will also be chosen to win a signed copy of A Need So Beautiful in addition to their other prize. The signed A Need So Beautiful copies will be US only. Giveaways run through June 28th.

    Earn one extra entry for each of the following:
    Take a picture of an author's book in the wild and tweet it to us and the author
    Post a positive Amazon review for a book you loved
    Donate a book to a library or classroom
    Tweet a good deed you plan to do this week, using the #ANeedSoBeautiful hashtag

    Earn 10 extra entries for each of the following:
    Take a picture of A NEED SO BEAUTIFUL in the wild and tweet it to us and Suzanne Young
    Post an Amazon review for A NEED SO BEAUTIFUL
    Donate a copy of A NEED SO BEAUTIFUL to a library or classroom

    Happy Release Day Suzanne and A Need So Beautiful! Congratulations on such a spectacular book!  

    We'd love hear about your own random acts of kindness. Please leave us a comment! 

    Monday, June 20, 2011

    Review: The Vampire Stalker by Allison van Diepen

    The Vampire Stalker by Allison van Diepen
    Published: June 2011
    Publisher: Point
    Genre: YA

    The Story: What if the characters in a vampire novel left their world--and came into yours?

    Amy is in love with someone who doesn't exist: Alexander Banks, the dashing hero in a popular series of vampire novels. Then one night, Amy meets a boy who bears an eerie resemblance to Alexander. In fact, he IS Alexander, who has escaped from the pages of the book and is in hot pursuit of a wicked vampire named Vigo. Together, Amy and Alexander set out to track Vigo and learn how and why Alexander crossed over. But when she and Alexander begin to fall for each other, Amy wonders if she even wants him to ever return to the realm of fiction.

    My Review: WOW! I LOVED this book! I know that after reading the Twilight Series, I seriously wished some of those characters would come to life. And after reading The Vampire Stalker, I wouldn't mind Alexander Banks coming to life! ;) I don't know if there is a person out there who loves to read, that has never hoped or wished their favorite character would come to life. Allison has given us some insight as to what that could possibly mean! Or do for our life. Can you just imagine?! It took Amy a while to believe it actaully happened, and I don't blame her, I don't think I'd believe it either.

    Sunday, June 19, 2011

    IMM Take 47

    All of us here at Books Complete Me are so excited to be a part of the awesome list of blogs who participate in the "In My Mailbox" meme. In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren so make sure you check out her book blog for a list of many of the blogs participating. She also has some helpful information on how to participate on your own blog. Click HERE to find out more.

    This is a weekly meme where we will post any books (and other things) that we have received in the mail, bought, loaned from the library, etc. It's not limited to just books. It can be anything we have just gotten and are excited about.

    For our IMM this week:

    Nicole bought:
    Everlasting by Alyson Noel

    Received from author:
    Ordained ARC by Devon Ashley
    Witch Song ARC by Amber Argyle
    Half-Blood ARC by Jennifer Armentrout
    Six Moon Summer by SM Reine
    Reborn by Ley Mesina
    Restraint by Sandra Madera

    Kendra recieved from author:
    Outside In by Maria V. Snyder

    From friend:
    Haven by Kristi Cook

    Mindy won:
    Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini
    Spirit Storm & She Smells the Dead by EJ Stevens
    Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev

    From author:
    The Childe by CA Kunt
    A Witch's Legacy by Catherine Anne Collins
    Haunting Violet by Alyxandra Harvey
    Accused ARC by Kate Kaynak
    Half Blood ARC by Jennifer Armentrout
    Daimon by Jennifer Armentrout
    Betrayed ARC by Ednah Walters

    Divergent by Veronica Roth
    Graveminder by Melissa Marr

    Cindy Bought:
    Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins (signed)
    Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott (signed)
    Stay by Deb Caletti (signed)
    Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins (signed)

    A HUGE Thanks to Spencer Hill publishing!!!

    Please leave us a comment telling us what you think and a link to your own blog if you have one. We'd love to visit!

    Saturday, June 18, 2011

    Mumbo Jumbo Circus by Jane George- In her own words

    See the whole book tour at The Teen Book Scene!

    Guest post about your book and music, be it the playlist for the book, the playlist you listened to while writing it, or just songs that make you think of the book/characters. Or if you aren’t big on music, you can talk about that too.

    A couple of the characters in The Mumbo Jumbo Circus, Wally and Nan, define themselves in part through the music they listen to. It’s not giving too much away to say that Wally likes music like Slipknot and Norwegian Death Metal, and Nan likes Hip-hop. I thought it would be fun to imagine what music some of the other characters might enjoy.

    Evanja Leane,(she prefers to be called Evan),our protagonist who comes to the circus after living in a string of less-than-stellar foster homes:
    Evan likes singer-songwriters like Jewel. Jewel went from living out of her van to being successful at something that was an integral part of who she is. Jewel’s story speaks to the heart of Evan’s journey and reminds her that beauty is possible. Evan also likes upbeat music like Taylor Swift. The sun is shining in a Taylor Swift song. I could see Evan liking other singer-songwriters too, once she gets exposed to a bigger variety of music. Kate Nash and Regina Spektor would appeal to her.

    Johnny Dodge aka Elephant Boy:
    When I was writing this book I had pictures pinned to my character inspiration bulletin board. Only one picture was in Johnny’s spot. If you can imagine John Rzeznik of the Goo Goo Dolls at age seventeen, that’s pretty much what Johnny looks like. Johnny doesn’t listen to the Goo Goo Dolls though. He likes classic rock like The Who, The Kinks, and the Stones, or contemporary bands who are influenced by classic rock, like Jet. He also likes The Black Crowes and The Red Hot Chili Peppers. He dislikes anything Wally likes, except for Evan.

    Jules Compere, the Ringmaster:
    He has a soft spot for French chanteuses like Vanessa Paradis and Emilie Simon. He also likes Bjork, believe it or not. A few of his favorite classical tunes are Fauré’s Pavaine, Saint-Saëns’ Carnival of Animals – The Aquarium, and Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue.

    Hurleigh O’Quinn – the mime
    Instrumental music only – no lyrics

    Guess what?! You have a chance to win Mumbo Jumbo Circus!!
    Just leave a comment, with your email address!!
    Contest ends June 25th.
    Winner will have 48 hrs to provide address once contacted by email.

    Friday, June 17, 2011

    Review: Mumbo Jumbo Circus by Jane George

    Mumbo Jumbo Circus by Jane George
    Published: April 2011
    Publisher: Red Willow Publishing
    Genre: YA

    The Story: When the enigmatic Ringmaster asks 15-year-old Evanja (Evan) Leane to run away and join the circus, she says yes. Anywhere’s got to be better than foster home Number Eight. Evan learns that this ragtag circus, a haven for throwaway teens, relies on more than spectacle and illusion. This circus is built on magic. Each of the teens possesses a donvrai, a true gift, that manifests only in the presence of the Ringmaster’s mysterious Ju-Ju. Unlike many of the other teens who must wait for their donvrai to emerge, Evan’s gift surfaces on her first night: she can read horses’ minds. This would be totally awesome except she has been deathly afraid of horses since foster home Number Three. But circus is a dying art. If Evan wants to save her beloved new-found home, she must concoct a brilliant horse act that will bring in the crowds. And she’d better get over herself and get on with it fast; there’s a traitor close to the Ringmaster who will stop at nothing to make sure she doesn’t succeed. With B&W illustrations.

    My Review: It was AWESOME reading this book!! I throughly enjoyed it, loved it to pieces!! Jane George has caputred the magic of the circus. Hahaha, pun totally intented! No seriously, this is a very well written book, where you are brought into the circus world. If anyone remembers what it's like to go to the traveling fairs and circuses - where you can see just about anything, it's amazing. Evan is someone we all can relate to. She's spunky, doesn't take crap from anyone, refuses to give in, tries her hardest at everything and she begins to believe in herself - when others had believed in her for a while. I promise you, that you are in for a treat with this book!!

    Thursday, June 16, 2011

    Review: The Eternal Sea by Angie Frazier

    The Eternal Sea by Angie Frazier
    Release Date: June 1, 2011
    Publisher: Scholastic
    Genre: YA

    The Story: Romance and adventure are just around the corner . . .

    After the thrilling journey that led Camille through the dangerous discovery of love, secrets, and a magical stone that grants immortality, Camille has everything she wants. She's escaped the men who wanted her dead, and now she is ready to build a new life with Oscar, her one true love. But things are not to be so simple. Oscar is acting strangely, and before they can even board a ship from Australia back home, to San Francisco, Camille learns that the journey is not over. If she does not follow the magic of the curse of Umandu, her life and Ocar's could be in grave danger.

    My Review: Wow. There are no words. This sequel blew me away. Everyone here at BCM was already a huge fan of Angie's. We even featured her in our Best I've Read 2010 event that we hosted last year. Everlasting was without a doubt one of our favorite books of 2010, but this book -- The Eternal Sea -- is absolutely mind blowing. It's the sequel written to perfection. It's twists and turns at every corner. It's romance and peril and adventure on every single page. It's been over a week since I finished it and I'm still reeling from everything that took place. Angie Frazier is a brilliant new mind in young adult literature and has quickly become one of my favorite authors.

    At the beginning of The Eternal Sea, the story picks up just shortly after it left off in Everlasting. Camille is still in Australia with Oscar, Ira and her newly found brother, Samuel. Her father is still dead and she's still grieving his death. Of course, Oscar isn't helping matters with his refusal to talk to Camille and his constant distance from her. She can't help but doubt her own heart's decision to choose Oscar. Did he truly love her as much as she had thought he did? Camille wasn't so sure anymore. 

    When Randall unexpectedly shows up and Oscar announces that his work with the stone is not yet finished, Camille has a tough decision to make. Should she go back home with her fiance and pretend nothing ever happened or should she follow the man she loves into Egypt, even if he no longer wants her? 

    I honestly don't want to say too much more about this sequel for the risk of spoiling anything. Let's just say it's a non-stop emotional ride that had me gripping the pages a little too tightly and yelling at the book more than once. The Eternal Sea is phenomenal. I am on pins and needles waiting for information about book three. There absolutely HAS to be one.

    My Rating:

    Wednesday, June 15, 2011

    Guest Post with Author Janet Fox

    Yesterday, I reviewed Janet Fox's latest book, Forgiven. I loved the book and hope that you do too. Janet is here today with us to talk about her writing, but first she'd like you to know: 
    Author Janet Fox will donate a portion of the proceeds from FORGIVEN to The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. To learn more about what you can do to help agencies that actively fight the exploitation and trafficking of children, visit the following websites:

    Janet Fox is also the author of FAITHFUL (Speak/Penguin, 2010) and GET ORGANIZED WITHOUT LOSING IT (Free Spirit, 2006).

    I first started writing Faithful almost 8 years ago. I’d been writing for a while, but my work was writing short stories for adults, and writing for young adults didn’t occur to me until I met fellow children’s authors. And let me just say that I had no idea how to construct a novel. I didn’t understand plot, pacing, voice, or any of the other craft nuances necessary to making a novel work.
    Lucky for me, I found SCBWI early on, and I started attending conferences and listening and reading. I read as much middle grade and young adult fiction as I could and I devoured craft books. All the time I was learning I was working on Faithful and obviously my experiences paid off, because I signed with my agent, Alyssa Eisner Henkin, in the winter of 2007 and she sold Faithful a year later after working through more revisions with me.
    What’s interesting to me in retrospect is that Alyssa, and my editor at Speak, Jen Bonnell, loved my character. I’ve since discovered that I’m a character-driven writer and that I need to really craft my plots and work on my pacing, which is what I had to do with Faithful until Jen was satisfied.
    With Forgiven, my character, Kula, was very much real to me before I began writing. So my technique in crafting the novel was vastly different. I concentrated on learning the finer points of plotting. I had the good fortune to be in the middle of my MFA program at Vermont College of Fine Arts, where my learning curve went to vertical and so I could apply all that new-found knowledge and the oversight of my advisors to my work.
    Now I have strategies and craft techniques that I employ at every step. And they evolve constantly. What works for one novel does not necessarily work for any other. My outlook may be different or the story may be different or the character may hide from me and I have to coax her out. What I have learned is that writing is a skill like any other – like drawing or painting, or building a house, or designing a space shuttle – and that with practice and dedication to craft an author’s work can get better, richer and deeper.

    Thank you so much for joining us today, Janet! 

    Review: Cinder and Ella by Melissa Lemon

    Cinder and Ella by Melissa Lemon
    Publication Date: November 2011
    Publisher: Cedar Fort, Inc.
    Genre: YA

    The Story: After her father's disappearance, Cinder leaves home for a servant job at the castle. But it isn't long before her sister Ella is brought to the castle herself. What Ella finds there starts a quest that will change her life and the entire kingdom. With a supernatural twist on this beloved fairytale, it's a must read you'll never forget.

    My Review: I really liked this book. It's neat seeing a different take on the Cinderella story. And it seem to fit very well with my own family growing up! I had three sisters, and it seemed sometimes that I was invisible. Though I never did run into an evil prince, nor magical trees! Melissa has created a world where hard work does pay off. Cinder is used to taking care of everyone but herself and when the evil prince pays attention to her, she follows with what he says. Ella, though, is done with taking care of everyone else, she wants to do things for herself. She ends up running away and finding herself in the process. Though the prince has other ideas for her. What will happen to Cinder and Ella? You'll have to wait til November to find out!!

    "From Bad to Cursed" Book Trailer Debute

    I had the pleasure of getting book trailer BEHIND THE SCENES pictures from author Katie Alender for her new book "From Bad to Cursed". Her first book in the series "Bad Girls Don't Die" is an incredible book! It spooked me pretty good and that is no easy feat as I do not scare easily. I am so excited to read this book as I can only imagine what is in store for us!

    So I challenge you, our wonderful readers, to share your feeling on this incredible series!  If you have not read it yet, GO NOW! Trust me, you will love it!

    Zendaya (From Disney Channel's Shake It Up!) stars in the trailer for Katie Alender's new novel, BAD GIRLS DON'T DIE: FROM BAD TO CURSED, available now from Hyperion! After we made the first trailer, we knew we'd created a big pair of shoes for ourselves to fill. It was really important to me that this trailer be similar to the first one in that it isn't just text and photos fading in and out--it's an actual glimpse into the story world. And yet, we knew it needed to be different, too. Not just because to copy ourselves would be weird and turn off the viewers, but because we're always up for a challenge. If something's worth doing, it's worth doing to the best of your abilities.

    From the earliest conception, this trailer was always going to be about getting externally beautiful while the monster lurks inside. Initially, I wanted to do it in the style of those stop-motion pieces that show a model getting her makeup done. But my husband is more attracted to a cinematic approach, so we worked together to develop this. We had planned to try to shoot in April, but we ended up not shooting until June 11--last Saturday! We were able to finish the edit and sound design the very next day and get it out for sharing Monday. It debuted yesterday and now we're just going to see where it goes.

    Being a film school graduate, I write my books visually. So seeing the material translated like this is thrilling for me. We had an amazing crew, and of course my husband is the best director on the planet (in his wife's humble opinion). I'm fully aware of how fortunate I am that these two facets of creativity come together for us. It's really exciting, and I love sharing this kind of vision of the stories with my readers, too.

     "From Bad to Cursed" by Katie Alender

    Thank you Katie for being such an incredible author and sharing this with us today!!

    Tuesday, June 14, 2011

    Review: Forgiven by Janet Fox

    Forgiven by Janet Fox
    Release Date: June 2, 2011
    Genre: Historical YA

    The Story: Kula Baker never expected to find herself on the streets of San Francisco, alone but for a letter of introduction. Though she has come to the city to save her father from a cruel fate, Kula soon finds herself swept up in a world of art and elegance - a world she hardly dared dream of back in Montana, where she was no more than the daughter of an outlaw. And then there is the handsome David Wong, whose smiling eyes and soft-spoken manner have an uncanny way of breaking through Kula's carefully crafted reserve. Yet when disaster strikes and the wreckage threatens all she holds dear, Kula realizes that only by unlocking her heart can she begin to carve a new future for herself.

    My Review: Kula hasn't had an easy life as an outlaw's daughter. Although she is well loved by her father, she wants more out of life. She wants a higher station and doesn't want to settle for anything less. When her father sends her away to work for Mrs. Gale, Kula is upset with her father. She had always wanted him to come with her and he was breaking his promise. But soon, her father shows up and is arrested. He tells Kula that his only hope is if she can find a box in San Francisco. 

    Once Kula reaches the city, she is swept up in a completely different world than what's she's been used to in Montana. She is attracted to two men for very different reasons and she's unsure of who she can truly trust. David is Chinese and not at all what she wanted for herself. He's not wealthy and is an outsider, much like she had been before San Francisco. Will is rich and handsome and has a high status in society. Kula learns much not only about these two gentlemen, but about herself as well in her journey. 

    Kula is faced with danger at every turn in San Francisco. She's not the only one on the search for this mysterious box and avoiding those who would harm her along the way is not always an easy task. I enjoyed Forgiven from beginning to end. It's jam packed with adventure and romance and a well-written mystery that kept me turning the pages quickly. I loved the historical aspects of the story and adored the writing style. 

    Although this book is a companion novel to Fox's earlier novel, Faithful, Forgiven stands alone quite well and is an excellent read. I highly recommend it! 

    My Rating:

    Monday, June 13, 2011

    Bloodspell by Amalie Howard - When I'm not Writing

    We have Amalie author of Bloodspell, letting us know what she does when she's not writing! Look for the other stops on the tour from Teen Book Scene! My review will post later next month, check it out then... ;)

    When I’m not writing novels, which is my driving passion (apart from Bloodspell, I’ve written another urban fantasy series about guardian angels with a twist, as well as a post-apocalyptic sci-fi novel in the vein of Suzanne Collins), I spend any free time I have reading. I love, love, love reading. I have foregone sleep for books many a time, especially if it’s a really good one. I positively adore Young Adult books! Some of my favorite authors are Suzanne Collins, Kristin Cashore, and Cassandra Clare. Right now, I am reading Sapphique by Catherine Fisher, the second book in the Incarceron series. I find the concept of a technologically-advanced prison fascinating. I also blog about the books that I’ve read, but I guess that would count as writing!

    I enjoy going to the movies. I probably spend a ridiculous amount of money on movies, but there’s just something about watching films on the big screen. I’m a very visual person so getting lost in a great movie is like candy to me. Let’s not even get into IMAX—for the right movie, it’s totally worth not feeding my family for. I am seriously just kidding … but secretly, not really. Oh, and I blog about that too, so I guess that counts as writing also. Hmm, I’m sensing a trend here!

    Other than that, I love surfing, as in actual ocean surfing, which I’m not doing yet because even with a wetsuit, the water would be freezing. I did get to surf while in Australia over December so that was awesome. I love spending time with my family – we tend to do a lot of things together, so that’s always fun. We spent a month in Zurich last summer, and a month in Australia this past winter. When I was a kid, my brothers and I traveled on vacation a lot with my parents—we didn’t get the most expensive toys, but we traveled somewhere new every year as a family, which undoubtedly contributed to my love for different cultures and experiences.

    I also enjoy cooking as I find it incredibly creative. There’s just something cool about preparing different dishes, and of course, having someone tell you what a great cook you are. I’m such a narcissist! Did I mention that I love food? I do. Go figure for someone who suffered with an eating disorder for years (but as you know, those are rarely related to food). I’m just glad it didn’t ruin my appreciation for good cuisine. That’s one of my favorite things about traveling … trying different edibles in different countries!

    Lastly, I like puttering. I define puttering as basically walking around looking for something—anything—that I can get my hands on, whether it’s cleaning up kids’ toys, playing the piano, reorganizing a closet, or doing some gardening. I don’t like to sit still because I always like to be doing something. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had my fair share of Saturdays that just disappeared in a blur of couch comfort, but that’s the exception not the rule. Life is too short to just sit around and let it pass you by.

    Would you like to own a copy of Bloodspell? Just enter in the form below!
    Open to US residents only.
    Will end June 20th at midnight.

    Friday, June 10, 2011

    Review: A Golden Web by Barbara Quick

    A Golden Web by Barbara Quick
    Release Date: March 19, 2010
    Publisher: HarperTeen
    Genre: YA

    The Story: Alessandra is desperate to escape.

    Desperate to escape her stepmother, who's locked her away for a year; to escape the cloister that awaits her and the marriage plans that have been made for her; to escape the expectations that limit her and every other girl in fourteenth-century Italy. There's no tolerance in her quiet village for Alessandra and her keen intelligence and unconventional ideas.

    In defiant pursuit of her dreams, Alessandra undertakes an audacious quest, her bravery equaled only by the dangers she faces. Disguised and alone in a city of spies and scholars, Alessandra will find a love she could not foresee -- and an enduring fame.

    My Review: Beautiful writing is sets this novel apart from so many others in the young adult genre. It's almost poetic and each page is easy to read. I enjoyed Alessandra's story. As the first anatomist in Italy, Alessandra's life is compelling and has left me wondering what really did (if anything) happen with Alessandra.

    The characters are likeable and realistic and the romance is interesting and improbable. Alessandra is a wonderfully strong female lead who knows exactly what she wants and is willing to whatever it takes to get it. She's not afraid to take risks, even with her life, in order to achieve her goals. Medicine calls to her and there is no doubt that Alessandra is a heroine that should be admired. In a time when females would have been accused of being a witch, she still will not back down. It's refreshing, quite honestly.

    I really enjoyed A Golden Web and look forward to reading more by Barbara Quick.

    My Rating:

    Thursday, June 9, 2011

    "From Bad to Cursed" THIS OR THAT with Katie Alender

    Author Katie Alender's new book "From Bad to Cursed" is set to release in June 2011. Katie's first book "Bad Girls don't die" was incredible! I have not been that spooked by a book in YEARS. I don't scare easily either. I am SO SUPER excited for book 2 "From Bad to cursed" to hit the shelves. Luckily, I will be posting my review on June 15th as I am getting an ARC for review.

    Book 1Bad Girls Don’t Die - April 2009; ISBN: 978-1423108764 (hardcover), 978-1423108771 (paperback)
    Book 2From Bad to Cursed – June 2011; ISBN: 978-1423134718 (hardcover)
    Book 3: currently untitled – June 2012 (tentative)

    Katie has been kind enough to answer her This or That's of life! 

    Hot or Cold
    Cold! I've been a cold person ever since I was 12 years old and decided to stop trying to be tan. Needless to say, this was a bit of a challenge growing up in South Florida. This winter I went skiing in Colorado, and even the minus-twenty degree temperatures didn't faze me. (The worst part was running through the parking lot to the hot tub at the end of the day!)

    Winter or Summer
    Winter by a long shot. Although I'm starting to be able to deal with summer a weensy bit, I would always rather it be cold outside than hot. When it's cold, you can bundle up and be cozy--when it's hot, you have to sloth around and sweat all over everything. 

    Rain or Shine
    Rain--in moderation. We don't get much of it out here in California, so it's a novelty. (Especially since I don't have to drive in it!)

    Day or Night
    Day. I'm a morning person. At night I turn into a pumpkin. 

    Read or Write
    Oh, now, that's not a fair choice! As of right now, I'm in "Write" mode, but that's because I'm on a deadline. As soon as I have a little time, it's going to be "Read read read!" I have lost time to make up for!

    Boat or Plane
    Plane. Boats involve sun and heat. Maybe I'd go on a cruise to Alaska. 

    Funny or Scary
    Funny, please! Despite writing scary novels, I am a huge fraidy cat. I'm always in the mood to watch comedy movies--it drives my husband crazy! 

    Rhino or Hippo
    Hippo. I don't know why. I'm going to go with my gut on this, though.

    TV or Internet
    Internet, but I say that with reservations. Because there are so many really interesting shows on TV these days, and a lot of times, the internet is just a way for me to waste massive amounts of time.

    Pen or Keyboard
    Pen for journals, writing letters, and jotting down notes and thoughts about stories. Keyboard for the actual writing work.

    Book or Ebook
    I love any format--paper, electronic, audio. I like to keep my favorite writing books electronically, because then I can reference them from any computer, anywhere in the house. I like audiobooks when I'm sewing. And I like paper books for all the other times.

    Fruit or Veggies
    Um... macaroni and cheese?

    Being haunted or being the haunter
    Talk about a rock and a hard place! I'm going to go with being haunted, because as poor oft-haunted Alexis has taught me, it builds character.

    Facebook or Twitter
    I have more fun on Twitter, but Facebook is great for connecting with people. 

    Chocolate or Vanilla
    Chocolate. If it must be white, I'll take white chocolate.

    Thank you so much for visiting us Katie! I have to say though that Rhino's are my absolute favorite animal, just for the record! hahaha...SO looking forward to book #2 in this series!!!

    Short bio:
    Katie Alender is the author of the Bad Girls Don’t Die series from Disney-Hyperion. She is a graduate of the Florida State University Film School and lives in Los Angeles. When she’s not writing novels, she can usually be found in her sewing room, making things for her friends or her dog (or her friends’ dogs). She enjoys reading, eating delicious high-calorie foods, and hanging out with her husband and her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Winston.
    Katie on the web: 
    Website & blog:
    Twitter feed:
    Series FB page:
    Author FB page:

    Stay tuned for my review of "From Bad to cursed" RIGHT HERE On June 15th. 
    Here is the full blog tour details: BLOG TOUR


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