Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Shadow Dancer by Courtney Rene - Ten's List

I gave Courtney a couple of topics to choose from and here is her response!

I decided to do a book top 10 as what other item in the word do I love more? Well aside from Harry and David Gummie Bears anyway. So here are my current top 10 favorite reads:

1. Ride the Wind by Lucia St. Clair Robson. My favorite book of all times. Seriously. Look for it, read it, enjoy.
2. The Secret, by Julie Garwood. But if you read the secret then you have to read Ransom too as it’s like a sequel….
3. The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice. The whole vampire series is great, but out of the all this is the best to me.
4. Heaven, by V.C. Andrews. I suppose you aught to just make this the whole heaven series too. If you read one you have to read them all. It’s just one of those things.
5. The Hunger Games, by S. Collins. Again, it’s a series. Might as well read the trilogy.
6. Carrie, by Stephen King.
7. Harry Potter (the entire series), by J. K. Rowling (as if you didn’t’ know). Wouldn’t be a top ten book list without it. My favorite in the series is the Prisoner of Askaban.
8. Jumper, by Stephen Gould.
9. Watchers by Dean Kootz.
10. Matched by Ally Condle.

Courtney's Bio:

Courtney Rene lives in Ohio with her husband and two children. She is a graduate and member of the Institute of Children’s Literature. Her writings include magazine articles, short fiction stories, several anthologies, and her novel, Shadow Dancer, published through Rogue Phoenix Press. Please feel free to contact her at ctnyrene@aol.com or www.ctnyrene.blogspot.com.

Look for the reviews of Shadow Dancer from other blogs on the Teen Book Scene Tour!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Flying Blind by Deborah Cooke - In Her Own Words

I loved reading Flying Blind by Deborah Cooke! Look for my review later next month! Now without further ado- Deborah's guest post! See the rest of the tour details from Teen Book Scene.

I'm curious about people - as well as language and storytelling. I enjoy writing books about people overcoming challenges and/or changing for the better. So, I've written a lot of romances - that features two characters whose emotional journeys intersect - and also mainstream books that focus on the heroine's journey. It's interesting to focus on one character's emotional journey, especially when that character has a lot to manage like Zoë in the Dragon Diaries. Since people are all different, and I'm always trying to learn more about writing and storytelling, every book I write is a new adventure. I love doing the research for each new book or series, and I also love teaching about writing and publishing. I was the writer in residence at the Toronto Public Library in 2009, the first time they ever hosted a residency focused on the romance genre, and I also teach workshops. The combination is wonderful.

I published my first book in 1992 and have written 40 novels since then - I've lost track of the novellas and shorts - and that doesn't count the ones I've written that have never sold or been published. I've written historical romances, contemporary romances, time travel romances, paranormal romances, romances with fantasy elements and fantasies with romantic elements, cuture-set romances, mainstream fiction with romantic elements and YA paranormal fiction with romantic elements. I still have more ideas than I have time to write down! That's part of what convinces me that I have the best job in the world. It's really exciting, to do something for a living that continues to challenge and provoke.

So, if you could do anything you wanted for a living. what would it be?

Would you like to win a copy of Flying Blind? Just enter below!
Open to US residents only.
Will end June 6th at midnight.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

IMM - Take 45

This past week Kendra and I were at BEA and, as you can imagine, we received lots of books. Over the next week we'll sort out what each of us received and will include those books in next weeks IMM. For this week, I will just be posting what we received from other sources, which are still just as great and amazing. :-)

For our IMM this week:

Julie was gifted with:

The Throne of Fire by Rick Riordan

Nicole received for review: 

Tempest Rising by Tracy Deebs (signed)

I received for review:

Supernaturally by Kiersten White
Forgiven by Janet Fox

What was in your mailbox this week? Please leave a comment or a link and we'll visit you. :-)

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Video Interview with Author Barbara Quick

Barbara Quick is the author of several beautifully written novels, including A Golden Web, which came out in April, 2010. We are so very happy to have her here with us today for this video interview. We hope you like it!

Learn more about Barbara from her WEBSITE / BLOG / TWITTER

And follow along with the rest of this blog tour with The Teen {Book} Scene by clicking the graphic below:


Friday, May 27, 2011

Review: Hereafter by Tara Hudson

Hereafter by Tara Hudson
Release Date: June 7, 2011
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: YA Paranormal

The Story: (from Goodreads) Can there truly be love after death? 

Drifting in the dark waters of a mysterious river, the only thing Amelia knows for sure is that she's dead. With no recollection of her past life—or her actual death—she's trapped alone in a nightmarish existence. All of this changes when she tries to rescue a boy, Joshua, from drowning in her river. As a ghost, she can do nothing but will him to live. Yet in an unforgettable moment of connection, she helps him survive. 

Amelia and Joshua grow ever closer as they begin to uncover the strange circumstances of her death and the secrets of the dark river that held her captive for so long. But even while they struggle to keep their bond hidden from the living world, a frightening spirit named Eli is doing everything in his power to destroy their newfound happiness and drag Amelia back into the ghost world . . . forever.

My Review: Amelia has been wondering through afterlife for a long time. She's not even sure how long it's been but she knows that a lot of time has passed. She's been completely alone until a local boy, Joshua, is drowning in the river where she resides. She can't physically do anything to save him but she wants to more than anything. Miraculously, he does survive and this becomes just the beginning of something even more incredible for Amelia. 

He can see her. He can talk to her. He can even touch her. In the years since her death, no one has ever seen Amelia and she's certainly never been talked to. Joshua quickly friends Amelia and takes her news of being a ghost quite well. It's when they decide to investigate how Amelia died that things begin to get messy. 

To say they have obstacles would be putting it lightly. They have trouble coming from all sides and it's not long before Amelia has to make a choice that could change everything. 

I loved this book and found it extremely easy to read. I loved getting to know Amelia and learning what happened to her. I loved Joshua and his ability to see Amelia. He's such a good and honest character, it's just impossible not to adore him. Amelia really needed a friend like him and Hudson did a fantastic job of making their relationship believable but still tormented. Hereafter is well written and thoroughly thought out. I enjoyed this book from beginning to end and am super excited for the sequel that will be coming out next year!

My Rating

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday - Winging It by Deborah Cooke

Welcome to Waiting on Wednesday! Waiting on Wednesday a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating. This week I am anxiously awaiting:

Winging It by Deborah Cooke
Release Date: December 6, 2011
Publisher: NAL Trade
Genre: YA

About: Zoë Sorensson yearns to come into her powers as the only female dragon shifter. But being part of two worlds is more complicated than she expected. It’s bad enough that she’s the target of the Mages’ plan to eliminate all shifters—she also has to hide her true nature from her best friend Megan, a human. For her sixteenth birthday, all Zoë wants is one normal day, including a tattoo and a chance to see hot rocker Jared.

Instead, the Pyr throw her a birthday party but ban Megan from attendance, putting Zoë in a tight spot. Things get even worse when Zoe is invited to the popular kids’ Halloween party and Megan’s left out. Zoë knows the party is a trap laid by the host, an apprentice Mage. When Megan gets a last-minute invite, Zoë must save the day—and her best friend—without revealing her fire-breathing secrets…

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

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 Tempest Rising by Tracy Deebs:

    "I closed my eyes, counted to ten. And then dove sraight down, telling myself as I did that I had finally and completely lost my mind." (pg 172)

    Monday, May 23, 2011

    Book Lines Author Interview with Cat Patrick

    The amazing Cat Patrick is here with us today with a fun interview where she answers my questions using lines from her (awesome!) book FORGOTTEN. We hope you enjoy it! 

    Being an author isn't always easy, especially with small children. How do you do it?

    “What I’m really thinking right now is ‘whoa.’” (Chapter 20)

    Honestly, some days I’m not sure how I do it. I work when my girls are in dreamland; thankfully they’ve always been good sleepers. My mom helps a couple of mornings a week. And I have an incredibly supportive husband. At first he was shocked that my “hobby” turned into a book deal. After that, we settled into a groove where he gets our girls up in the morning—allowing me to work during those early hours when I’m most productive—and then I take over when he leaves. When I have deadlines, he’s on daddy duty on the weekends. It’s always been my thought that you just find a way to fit in the things you really love. And I love writing so much that I make it work.

    What is the most important thing you've FORGOTTEN?

    “I told you all that?”
    “We used to talk more,” Mom says, with a hurt look in her eyes. I’m guilty of putting it there. (Chapter 22)

    I forgot my mom’s birthday once. I was traveling and selfishly wrapped up in whatever was happening in my world. What made it worse was that I called her from the airport to tell her about my day. I blabbed on and on. At the end of the conversation, she said, “I guess you forgot my birthday,” and she laughed, because it wasn’t that big of a deal to her. But I was mortified and I’ll never forget it.

    Do you have any hidden talents you can tell us about?

    “I can type faster than I can scribble.” (Chapter 6)

    You know the funky dance move that Alx Rose does? The side snake and leg flick combo to the rockin’ beat of Paradise City?


    I can do that.

    Which one of your characters are you most like?

    “But instead of reminiscing, I realized something major: I’m a lot stronger than I used to be.” (Epilogue)

    Currently, I’m like one of the moms: probably Mrs. Henry since she’s happily married and parenting twins. But high school was a different story.

    As much as I’d like to say I was laid back and foresighted like London—and even though I was a cheerleader like Carley—I was probably most like Jamie. Jamie is fiery and loyal and smart (even though she doesn’t always act like it). But she’s also someone who looks to others for validation. I did a little of that in high school…minus the slutty tops and the scandal.

    What is your favorite place to write?

    “I try to avoid eye contact with everyone, but sometimes it’s impossible.” (Chapter 4)

    Unfortunately, I’m not someone who can block out music or the sounds of a coffee shop when I’m trying to cobble together a thought. Therefore, my favorite place to write is really the only place I write: in my office. It’s light gray and white with a wall of books for inspiration. I’m always cold so usually I’ve got a blanket on my lap and a warm drink to my left. Add time and it’s the perfect recipe for storytelling.

    What has the road to publication been like for you?

    “Hysteria creeps through my veins and I scream again, louder this time. ‘WHERE AM I?’” (Chapter 18)

    Just kidding…

    At first, the road to publication was more like a speedway. I gained an (amazing) agent three months after I began writing. Six months later, we sold the book to Little, Brown.

    But then the speedway became a dirt road. For me, the waiting time between sale and publication has been the hardest part. I’m so excited for the book to come out, and patience is perhaps not my greatest virtue. But there have been milestones along the way that have made the time go by, finalizing edits with my (genius) editor, the creation of the cover, the marketing kickoff, and getting feedback from early readers. And of course, I’m also working on what’s next.

    Tempest Rising by Tracey Deebs - This or That

    This or That with Tracey Deebs

    Thanks so much for having me, Nicole. And with such a fun topic!

    Pepsi or Coke: Diet Dr. Pepper, actually

    Chocolate or Vanilla: Umm, is that even a choice? Chocolate, please!!!!

    Paperback or Hardback: Both. I love books. All books. Any way I can get them.

    Fruit or Veggies: Both. I’m one small step away from being a vegetarian, just because I much prefer the taste of fruits and veggies.

    Sleeping in or Getting up early: Getting up early and staying up late. I don’t need much sleep— only about four or five hours a night at most.

    Flowers or Candy: Flowers. The more colorful, the better.

    Skirts or Shorts: Skirts. I’m a sucker for maxi dresses and platform heels.

    Movies or Dinner: Movies. I love immersing myself in the stories and lives of characters (probably why I’m a writer).

    Beef or Fish: Neither. I’m a veggie girl

    My turn to ask: lip gloss or lipstick? Leave a comment for a chance to win a Victoria’s Secret lipgloss.

    It's Monday! What are you reading?

    It's Monday! What are you reading? This great meme is hosted by One Persons Journey Through a World of Books. Each week will share with you the books we are reading, just finished reading and those books we are planning to read this week.

    I am super excited about the line-up of books I've just read and will be reading soon. Don't you just love it when you love all of the books you're reading?

    Currently reading:

    Tempest Rising by Tracy Deebs

    Just finished reading:

    Flying Blind by Deborah Cooke

    Mumbo Jumbo Circus by Jane George

    Planning to read:

    Dead Rules by Randy Russell

    Please share with us what you are currently reading in a comment. We'd love to check out your blog. :-)

    Sunday, May 22, 2011

    BEA: Casa de Blogger Fun!

    Depending on what time you are reading this, Kendra and I are either on our way to NYC for an awesome time at BEA, or we're already there. YAY! 

    We've been excited for this for months and can't wait to give you some inside scoop on not only the fun of BEA and all the great things happening there, but also the fun of being in a house FULL of bloggers. It's going to be a blast! 

    Below are the links for everyone staying at Casa De Blogger while in NYC for BEA. Be sure to check out all the blogs and follow them on twitter for some fun vlogging while we're there. Also, Casa De Blogger has its own twitter, you can follow it HERE

    Casa de Blogger Blog Links:

    IMM - Take 44

    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:

    Mindy received from publishers:

    ARC - Aliens on Vacation by Clete Barrett Smith
    ARC - The Pull of Gravity by Gae Polisner

    Cindy received from publishers/authors:

    A bunch of swag from Amy Holder author of Lipstick Laws
    A Long, Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan
    Angel Burn by L.A. Weatherly

    Won from Goodreads:

    Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel

    Nicole received from publisher:

    Flying Blind by Deborah Cooke


    Tempest Rising by Tracy Deebs

    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, May 20, 2011

    Five Stars Friday - Take 7 - Special Edition

    We here at BCM really, really, really love books that just knock our socks off. We know you do too, so we thought we'd start up a new meme just for those books that we absolutely could not put down; those books that received our highest rating and deserve a little extra recognition. 

    Every Friday we'll select one book that we've given 5 stars to and tell you a little about why we loved this book so much. Our hope is that this meme will provide some recognition for some books that maybe you haven't heard of but that should be added to your to-be-read pile immediately. There is no age limit on the books we'll choose. They could be yet to be released, newly released or several years old. 

    We hope you enjoy this meme and we'd love it if you joined in. If you choose to participate, please leave us a link in your comment to your post so we can visit your blog. And if you don't have a blog, please just leave a comment with a book title and author. We'd love to find some new books to add to our to-be-read piles!

    This week's Five Star Friday is a special edition. This time, instead of just one of us highlighting a book, we are all posting mini reviews because we LOVE it so much. This week we are spotlighting:

    Daimon: A Prequel to Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout
    Release Date: May 10, 2011
    Genre: YA Paranormal

    The Story: (from Goodreads) "Love in my world usually ended up with someone hearing 'I smite thee!' as she was cursed to be some lame flower for the rest of her life."

    For three years, Alexandria has lived among mortals—pretending to be like them and trying to forget the duty she'd been trained to fulfill as a child of a mortal and a demigod. At seventeen, she's pretty much accepted that she's a freak by mortal standards… and that she'll never be prepared for that duty. 

    According to her mother, that’s a good thing.

    But as every descendant of the gods knows, Fate has a way of rearing her ugly head. A horrifying attack forces Alex to flee Miami and try to find her way back to the very place her mother had warned her she should never return—the Covenant. Every step that brings her closer to safety is one more step toward death… because she's being hunted by the very creatures she'd once trained to kill.

    The daimons have found her.

    Mindy's Review: Daimon by Jennifer L. Armentrout is the prequel to the HIGHLY ANTICIPATED Covenant Series. What a GREAT idea to come out with this prequel to help us learn of the world we will soon be living in book by book. I read this so fast that when I got done, I had to read it again to make sure I did not miss anything.

    I love greek mythology. I took two years of Latin in high school (yes LATIN)! *giggles* and I fell in love with Mythology. So the gods, half gods & everything in between brings out the Latin high school girl in me. I am going to devour this series. Even though Daimon is offered for FREE as an e-book and I am still ordering a paper copy because the covers of these books are works of true art. They should definitely win an award for the WOW effect when you first see them. I am HOPING that we get the chance to buy LOTS of swag with these book covers on them! 

    This book is exciting from the very beginning and it does not let up. Alex (aka Alexandria) lives with her mom, who happens to be a full blood. Alex is a half blood who is taken from The Covenant at the age of 14. She grows up as a normal human. Things quickly change and Alex finds herself using the training she received to save her own life.  You will find yourself reading quickly as Alex is funny and fascinating. We are quickly immersed in Alex's world and caught up in the characters and surroundings.

    I definitely give this book 5 books and then some!! Downfall? We have to wait until September for Half Blood to release, which happens to be my birthday month. Hmmmm....HINT HINT! hahaha

    Nicole's Review: Do I have to limit what I like about Daimon?  I literally sat down and read it in one sitting.  My poor hubby was ignored.  One thing is for sure, if Half-Blood is anything like Daimon, I won't be able to put it down!!  

    It's great getting to know the background of a character. Jennifer just sucks you in from the get-go.  Alex is a half-blood god, whose mother takes her away from the Covenant.  She thinks it's because she's fallen in love with a full-blood god, which is a big no-no!  The one thing I am glad about, even though Half-Blood doesn't come out til September, I get to read it sooner for a blog tour!! Not to mention, interviewing the wonderful Jennifer! I definitely give this book 5 books!!

    Julie's Review: Jennifer Armentrout definitely has my attention.  I've been curious about Half-Blood for some time now, but after reading Daimon, the wait for release day is unbearably long.  If you have not read Daimon, stop what you are doing and read it NOW. You'll be glad you did!  And Jennifer- could you go ahead send Half-Blood to me? *bats eyelashes* Pretty PLEASE?!

    My Review: Alexandria is a half-blood who has been away from the safety of the Covenant for three years. She's been on the run with her mother but she's not entirely sure why that is. Her mother is a pure blood who clearly adores her daughter, but refuses to tell Alex anything when it comes to why they left.

    Daimon quickly unfolds to show us the danger that is out there for halfs and pures who aren't protected and we get to see Alex using her training skills against Daimons who are attacking. 

    Daimon is short but packs a powerful punch. Alex is an amazing heroine with both emotional and physical strength. She's likeable and totally kick ***. After just those short pages with her, I was dying to know what happens next and can't wait for the release of Half-Blood in September. This is a fantastic start to what will no doubt be an incredible new series. Armentrout is seriously talented and pretty kick *** herself.

    Our Collective Rating (obviously!):

    Daimon is FREE and available right now. You find it at all these places:

    And when you're done reading that, you can pre-order Half-Blood HERE.

    Wednesday, May 18, 2011

    Review: First Duty by Marva Dasef

    First Duty by Marva Dasef
    Publication Date: June 2010
    Publisher: CreateSpace
    Genre: YA

    The Story: Nyra Hutchings, a woman born into a life of servitude on a repressive factory planet, is desperate for a different life. When she's accepted into the Space Service Academy, run by the organization that enslaves her planet, she discovers the truth behind generations of rebellion. Now, she must decide what to believe, where first duty lies, and fight for more than her life against impossible odds.

    My Review: This is such a fun book!! Well, sad too. Nyra is from a planet where the only way out of the normal life is to go into politics or in the Space Service Academy. She chooses to join the Academy. Nyra seems to fall in love with the wrong guys, yes I say it in the plural!! With the revolution, well rebellion going on, Nyra must choose between her duty to the Academy and what she feels is right. What does Nyra choose? You'll have to read the story to find out!!

    Review: Prom and Prejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg

    Prom and Prejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg
    Release Date: January 1, 2011
    Publisher: Point
    Genre: YA

    The Story: After winter break, the girls at the very prestigious Longbourn Academy become obsessed with the prom. Lizzie Bennet, who attends Longbourn on a scholarship, isn’t interested in designer dresses and expensive shoes, but her best friend, Jane, might be — especially now that Charles Bingley is back from a semester in London.

    Lizzie is happy about her friend’s burgeoning romance but less than impressed by Charles’s friend, Will Darcy, who’s snobby and pretentious. Darcy doesn’t seem to like Lizzie either, but she assumes it’s because her family doesn’t have money. Clearly, Will Darcy is a pompous jerk — so why does Lizzie find herself drawn to him anyway?

    Will Lizzie’s pride and Will’s prejudice keep them apart? Or are they a prom couple in the making?

    My Review: I shamefully admit that I'm probably one of the last book addicts to have not read Pride and Prejudice. It's true. I don't like it, but there it is. That being said, I don't think it's necessary in the least to have read the original story to enjoy this classic in it's own right. In fact, I think I may have even enjoyed this book more because I hadn't read the original. I had no idea what to expect and nothing to compare it to.

    Lizzie isn't like all the other students at Longbourn. She's not rich and she isn't obsessed with prom like everyone else at school. She is equally uninterested in Will Darcy, the best friend of her own best friend's boyfriend. He's pompous and rubs her the wrong way instantly. It's not like Lizzie isn't already aware of her status at Longbourn but nearly everything Will does seems to highlight her unpopularity. Unfortunately for them both, they still somehow find themselves in the company of one another more often than they'd like.

    Over time we learn that Will may not be as big of a jerk as he first seemed and Lizzie has to learn to let go of her pride in order to see the truth. Hopefully she sees the truth before it's too late.

    Prom and Prejudice is a fun and witty read that I devoured. Eulberg has a gift for writing characters that you can easily relate to. Lizzie is a talented musician that is well on her way to being one of the best. I found myself rooting for her and really connecting with her struggle to remain true to herself while accepting that she doesn't always have to be right.

    Though this is a light and easy read, it was still packed with enough emotion to have me gripping the pages a little too roughly at times. I was captivated by the mystery surrounding a certain villain and couldn't wait to find out what would happen next. I thoroughly enjoyed Prom and Prejudice from beginning to end and am looking forward to reading more from Elizabeth Eulberg.

    My Rating:

    Learn more about Elizabeth from her WEBSITE / TWITTER / FACEBOOK

    Waiting on Wednesday - Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

    Welcome to Waiting on Wednesday! Waiting on Wednesday a weekly event that is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating. This week are anxiously awaiting:

    Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
    Release Date: November 15, 2011
    Publisher: HarperTeen
    Genre: YA Paranormal

    About: Juliette hasn't touched anyone in exactly 264 days. The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette's touch is fatal. As long as she doesn't hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old-girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don't fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

    The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war- and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she's exactly what they need right now.

    Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.

    ALSO, Tahereh might just have the best blog I've ever read by an author. I'm seriously addicted to it. If I'm loving her blog this much, I can't imagine how much I'm going to love her BOOK.

    Learn more about Tahereh through her Blog / Twitter / Tumblr

    Tuesday, May 17, 2011

    What Comes Next Interview with Iris

    Character Interview with Iris from What Comes After by Steve Watkins

    Mindy BCM: Hi Iris, thank you for agreeing to do an interview with me. How are you doing?

    • IRIS: I’m doing OK, Mindy. Thanks. I love the name of your blog. It really makes you think. 

    Mindy BCM: Iris do you think your story would have been changed drastically if there were no goats or do you think with your animal background, any animal(s) would have won your heart? 

    • IRIS: That’s a good question, and I guess probably the answer is right there. I’ve just always felt this deep connection with animals, which I’m pretty sure I inherited from my dad. I’ve always wanted to be a vet like Dad. Sometimes you can feel closer to animals than you can to people. Like I love Beatrice and I always will, but it’s a complicated love that has to make allowances for the complicated things people do, their inconsistencies, their own difficult lives. You have to be strong for your friends and for the people you love. You have to be patient and forgiving. And you have to be that way with yourself, too. With animals it’s different. It’s simpler, I guess, in some ways, and much harder in some others, because they can’t talk, they can’t tell you what’s on their minds. Of course they can’t lie to you, either. But back to your question, yeah, I will always find animals to love. And they’ll always find me. So whether it was Aunt Sue’s goats and Gnarly, or the neighbors’ cows, or—and I can’t believe I’m saying this—the Tutens’ ferrets even, I’ll always have animals to hold close to my heart. 

    Mindy BCM: Do you think you will ever forgive your Aunt & Cousin?

    • IRIS: Yeah, I guess. I mean that’s what Dad would want me to do, and Mr. DiDio, and Mr. and Mrs. Tuten. But that doesn’t mean let yourself be vulnerable to them any more. You have to take care of yourself. I guess I see Aunt Sue and Book as damaged people, but the problem with a lot of damaged people is the ways they can wreck other people’s lives, the way they can hurt you if you let them, and sometimes even when you don’t let them. So you forgive them because you don’t want resentment or anger or whatever eating you up inside, but you sure better be careful around them, too. 

    Mindy BCM: I really hope that you find a way to continue your love of softball. Do you see yourself sticking with it?

    • IRIS: Definitely. Shirelle and I have great plans for the Craven High School team this year. We’ve been running some serious drills since a lot of the girls didn’t grow up playing the way I did, and so they don’t have the fundamentals of the game down quite just yet. But they’re all pretty athletic, so that’s what we need to build on. What I would love to do is play in college, maybe even see if I could get a scholarship, so I could major in biology, or any sort of pre-vet program they have, but keep playing softball. I shouldn’t brag or anything, but I hold the single-season record at my old high school for singles and stolen bases. The best thing about softball for me has always been just getting to be part of a team. Well, the second best thing. Dad always loved watching me play, and I always loved knowing he was there. 

    Mindy BCM: You are a true inspiration to us all. You have shown us that this world can be trusting, warm & loving. Do you have another favorite animals besides Goats? You have truly made me want to tell my husband YES the next time he asks if we can get some goats. You willing to share that goat cheese recipe?

    • IRIS: I bet you’ll make a great goatherder, Mindy, and I hope your husband agrees to you guys taking some on. Goats are definitely my favorite animal, of course—and especially Patsy and Loretta and Tammy and Reba and Jo Dee and Huey and Louie (and I still miss Dewey). I guess I’ve always loved big slobbery dogs, too, about as much—dogs like Gnarly. You might want to try that goat recipe that’s in What Comes After where Littleberry and I are making the smoked goat cheese from a hard chevre with apple wood. Hard to top that, though you can do all sorts of wonderful things with different herbs if you want. And I’m a big fan of anything with jalapenos. 

    Thank you Iris for spending time with us today. You are truly amazing & I am so glad to have met with you. Take care!!!

    • Thank you, too, Mindy. Happy goating!

    Monday, May 16, 2011

    Girl Wonder Winner!

    Congratulations goes to:

    Shalaena B.

    for winning a signed copy of Girl Wonder by Alexa Martin! 
    Thank you to everyone who entered!

    Mini Review: Shattered Souls by Mary Lindsey

    Shattered Souls by Mary Lindsey
    Release Date: December 8, 2011
    Publisher: Philomel/Penguin
    Genre: YA Paranormal 

    The Story: (from Goodreads) Lenzi hears voices. She also sees visions--gravestones, floods, a gorgeous guy with steel gray eyes. She knows she must be going crazy, just like her dad did. Her boyfriend, Zak, can't do anything to help, and the voices just keep getting louder, the visions more intense. But when Lenzi meets Alden, the boy from her dreams, everything makes sense.

    Sort of.

    He tells Lenzi that she's a reincarnated Speaker--someone who can talk to lost souls and help them move on--and that he has been her Protector for centuries. But instead of embracing her abilities, Lenzi struggles between her life as the girlfriend of a sexy musician and the life she is destined to lead with Alden. Yet time is running out; a malevolent spirit has been trying to destroy Lenzi for ages, and he will surely kill her if she doesn't make a decision soon.

    Her choices are clear: Destiny or normalcy. Alden or Zak. Life or death.

    My MINI Review: Shattered Souls is an original and remarkable debut that had me on the edge of my seat for much of the book. Lenzi is a strong female lead that I instantly connected with and wanted to see succeed. I fell in love with Alden immediately. He’s handsome, devoted, confident and never puts his own needs before Lenzi’s. What else do we need in a man? And then there’s Zak. He may not be perfect but his character is built strong enough throughout the book that he’s impossible to forget and perhaps, you’ll fall in love with him a little bit too. He’s not perfect, but they can’t all be, can they?

    I thoroughly enjoyed Shattered Souls and am keeping all my extremities crossed that we’ll get a second book to follow-up with. It’s exceptionally well written, fantastically disturbing and head over heels romantic. I simply cannot wait to read more by this extremely talented author!

    It's Monday! What are you reading?

    It's Monday! What are you reading? This great meme is hosted by One Persons Journey Through a World of Books. Each week will share with you the books we are reading, just finished reading and those books we are planning to read this week.

    I am super excited about the line-up of books I've just read and will be reading soon. Don't you just love it when you love all of the books you're reading?

    Currently reading:

    The Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon

    Just finished reading:

    Half-Blood by Jennifer Armentrout (Sooooo good!)

    Planning to read:

    The Day Before by Lisa Schroeder

    Please share with us what you are currently reading in a comment. We'd love to check out your blog. :-)

    Sunday, May 15, 2011

    IMM - Take 43

    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:

    Kendra received as a gift: 

    Half-Blood by Jennifer Armentrout (signed)

    Nicole received for review: 

    Mumbo Jumbo Circus by Jane George
    Dead Rules by Randy Russell

    I received for review: 

    Half-Blood by Jennifer Armentrout


    The Vespertine by Saundra Mitchell (signed + lots of great swag) - Won from Christine Johnson 
    Skinned, Crashed, Wired by Robin Wasserman (all signed) - Won from Eve's Fan Garden

    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, May 13, 2011

    Dreamwalk by Sarah MacManus - Guest Post

    I asked Sarah what her top movie choices are:

    Dogma ~ I just think this a wacky and brilliant take on Christian philosophy and worldview. I was raised Catholic, so I get a bit of a kick seeing the old Catholic mysticism used in a very different way. It’s both thoughtful and funny, which is pretty hard to pull off.

    Much Ado About Nothing ~ I really love the Ken Branagh and Emma Thompson combination, even if they themselves aren’t so fond of it anymore. For as much as I love Shakespeare and his ability to tap into not only a cultural gestalt – but a timeless cultural gestalt, it’s something that for me, has to be performed, rather than simply read. Branagh is a great interpreter of Shakespeare for me, and Much Ado is a timeless romantic comedy.

    Manhattan ~ I’ve never been ashamed of my love for Woody Allen, and Manhattan is the epitome of what makes him, for me, the perfect screenwriter – with a combination of humor, cynicism and overboard romance.

    A Fish Called Wanda ~ What’s not to like. Whimsical, romantic, great characters, quirky, fun, and Michael Palin.

    Times Square ~ This is an old cult movie about the punk street scene in New York from 1980. When I was a teenager, I spent some time there before it was cleaned up and it brings back a lot of my memories. It’s also a great girl buddy-movie, or a great girl-romance, but either way you look at it, it’s wonderful to see two strong, young female characters taking the world on by themselves. The soundtrack is absolutely amazing.

    Star Wars ~ I’ve never been a big fan of adventure movies or space operas, but Star Wars stuck with me for ages when I was a kid. The original, first one, not the three ‘prequels’. Han Solo is one of my favorite movie characters of all time, and quite honestly, he’s always been the perfect hero for me.

    The Hotel New Hampshire ~ I loved this movie, because I loved the book, and the movie does it justice. Quirky, funny, touching, thoughtful, a real modern day fairy tale with all the blood and bears and drama.

    Love Actually ~ This is the one that always makes me cry. I love the way it focuses alternately on different facets of love: the familial and familiar, the romantic, the casual, the impossible, the forbidden, the unrequited. Yeah, this is the one that makes me cry.

    Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind ~ I’ve had fair amount of chances to think “what if” in my life; what if I’d done something differently, what if I could forget the way it actually was, instead of what I wish it had been. I think this is a brilliant story concept and executed perfectly. It’s also the first Jim Carey movie I didn’t refuse to see and I can’t say that I’m sorry.

    The Princess Bride ~ Absolutely fun and funny and clever and sweet and dramatic and romantic. My favorite motto to use is from The Princess Bride: “Life is pain, Princess, and anyone who tells you differently is selling something." And besides, I’m a little in love with Inigo, so there you have it.

    Thursday, May 12, 2011

    Shattered Souls by Mary Lindsey : Cover Talk & Giveaway

    Shattered Souls is a debut novel coming out in December from Philomel and I've had the extraordinary pleasure of reading it. It's good. Really good. Amazing good. 

    So when I was was asked to be part of this early blog tour, I jumped at the chance. Seriously, I love this book and I love the author just as much. We're super excited about this guest post with Mary Lindsey! Check it out below.

    Mary: Cindy asked me to talk about my cover art today, which is one of my favorite topics.

    BCM: Whenever I think about covers, I always remember the old saying, "You can't judge a book by its cover."  But sometimes a reader will pick upa book off the store or library shelf based on the cover alone; so regardless of the saying, a cover is a big deal to an author.

    I love the cover Penguin designed for Shattered Souls. Adore it, love it, am awed by it.

    Mary: Yippee!

    When my editor told me her initial idea for the cover, I was nervous. She described a pink or blue background with a shattered mirror and an origami rose. That could have been cool, but also could have been a hundred kinds of lame. Since Penguin has gorgeous YA covers, and I had no control over the outcome, I pushed aside my dread and refused to worry about it. I'm not much of a worrier anyway.

    Then, out of the blue, she sent me the cover art.

    I screamed. I danced, I screamed some more.

    I called my agent, and my husband, and my kids, and my friends. I printed a copy and showed it to everyone including people I didn't know in the grocery store line. I'm not kidding. Total strangers.

    The best part of the jacket art is not that it's drop-dead gorgeous, it's that it is perfect for the story. It was completely customized to fit the novel. The main character is a seventeen year-old ghost mediator with past-life amnesia. The model on the cover fits my image of her perfectly. More than that, her name in her past lives is Rose, hence the rose petals. The book is sort of spooky, but not scary, so the mood of the art fits as well. Shattering into rose petals--how cool is that?

    I'm so grateful to Penguin for giving me such a spectacular cover. I felt like I'd won the lottery when I opened that email attachment from my editor. It made my debut novel experience even more amazing.

    Thanks, Cindy, for having me on your blog today.

    BCM: No -- THANK YOU! 


    NY Times Bestselling author, Andrea Cremer has blurbed Shattered Souls, and since we know you're dying to read it, we are offering you a chance to win a SIGNED ARC of Wolfsbane. Are you excited?

    Here's how it works:

    Each blog on this Shattered Souls tour will be posting a letter. You will need to collect all 7 letters and then unscramble them. Once you've done this, you can enter by submitting your answer at the final tour stop.

    My letter is:


    Blog Tour Schedule & Links:

    Sunday, May 8: Mary’s blog
    Monday, May 9: 365 Days of Reading
    Tuesday, May 10: Reading Vacation
    Wednesday, May 11: Hopelessly Devoted Bibliophile
    Thursday, May 12: Books Complete Me
    Friday, May 13: The Elliott Review
    Saturday, May 14: A Good Addiction

    So what are your thoughts? Isn't the cover just gorgeous?


    Related Posts with Thumbnails