Monday, October 31, 2011

Second Hand Heart by Cathrine Ryan Hyde - Top Ten Movies



1)Harold and Maude. I was literally a young adult myself when this movie came out. I loved it then and I love it now. I’ve seen it as recently as a couple of years ago. I’m guessing I’ve seen it maybe ten times. Funny and irreverent and full of very sick black humor. But ultimately upbeat. And the Cat Stevens music is unforgettable.

2) The Graduate. My generation’s movie version of Catcher in the Rye. Defined coming of age for a lot of troubled youth such as myself.

3) Being There. A Peter Sellers movie with a great deal to say about how we judge and make assumptions about each other. Funny but important.

4) The Fisher King. A movie that plays out like a very quirky, character-driven novel I wished I’d written. Good mix of comedy and drama with depth. Says a lot about the enormous price we sometimes pay for actions that seemed like nothing at the time.

5) Homer and Eddie. Whoopie Goldberg and James Belushi. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out why this one did so little business. Then I went to rent it again at the video store (this was quite a while ago) and found it shelved in comedy. And that explained a lot. People see the faces of those two actors, and think comedy. But it’s touching, surrealistic (at times) and tragic. I guess the public wasn’t ready. But I was.

6) Six Degrees of Separation. In my mind, quite possibly the perfect film. I’d have put it first, except I’m going in (more or less) chronological order. What can I say about this one? Savvy and brilliant.

7) Sling Blade. A classic. This one has everything. At least, everything that keeps my eyes glued to the screen.

8) Everything is Illuminated. I hope I don’t offend Jonathan Safran Foer by saying this (because, right, he really listens when I talk) but this is one of my rare examples of a movie at least as good as its book. It seemed to take just what I enjoyed most in the book and make it shine. I loved how it started out as off-the-wall comedy and blossomed into something very meaningful. (How can you not love a film with a deranged dog named Sammy Davis Jr., Jr., who’s the “seeing eye bitch” for the blind driver? I mean, what’s not to love?)

9) Stranger Than Fiction. As a fiction writer, I just have to love a movie like Stranger Than Fiction. I really enjoy watching Will Ferrell realize his life is being narrated. And that the author is leading up to his death. I own this one (a student gave me a copy a few years ago) and I have enjoyed it multiple times.

10) Little Miss Sunshine. Yup. What can I say? Just see it, if you haven’t already.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

IMM Take 60

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:

Cindy received:

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Slayers by CJ Hill
Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick
Bunheads by Sophie Flack
Born wicked by Jessica Spotswood
Hallowed by Cynthia Hand

Nicole bought:

Between the Sea and the Sky by Jaclyn Dolamore

Betrayed by Ednah Walters RE-Release Book Reveal!!!

Ok is it possible to make a GREAT book even better? YOU bet it is! Here at Books Complete Me, we are PROUD to announce that Ednah Walters is re-releasing Betrayed with the awe inspiring publishing company Spencer Hill Press that has brought to us the INCREDIBLE Ganzfield Series by Kate Kaynak and The Covenant Novels by Jennifer Armentrout.  


Spencer Hill Press now brings us Betrayed, Guardian Legacy series cover reveal!!! 




BETRAYED
Lil isn't just an average teenager. She's one of the Nephilim--the descendants of humans and angels--which gives her some serious psi skills and a mission for redemption. Just when Lil thinks she's found a balance between her normal life with human friends and her training to become a Guardian, she's warned that someone close to her will betray her. When the boy she loves starts acting strangely and one of her human friends acquires a supernatural ability, Lil begins to realize that someone is manipulating the people she loves... and won't stop until she's been lured to the dark side.

Title: Betrayed
Series: Guardian Legacy
Author: Ednah Walters
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press, www.SpencerHillPress.com
ISBN: 978-1-937053-18-5 (Trade Paper), 978-1-937053-19-2 (e-book)
Release Date: June, 2012

 I want to send out a HUGE Congratulation to Ednah Walters and to Spencer Hill Press. What an incredible author/publisher relationship this will be!!!

I am so excited to read Betrayed! Stay tuned to Books Complete Me for updates!

Mindy fangedmom




Saturday, October 29, 2011

Past Perfect by Leila Sales: Character Interview



I had the opportunity to interview Chelsea, the main character in Past Perfect by Leila Sales!!



It is hard to speak for Chelsea, especially since we never discussed a lot of these things. Anyway, here’s what I think she would say…


What is your favorite ice cream flavor and why?

Cookie Dough Brownie Bite Mashup from Abbot’s.

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Vienna. They have a lot of history in Austria, not to mention delicious gelato.

What's one thing you would change about your life, if you could?

I would change how crazy my father is.

What is the best time of the day?

Dusk, when everything feels like it’s quiet, taking a break between the day and the night.

What animals do you like?

I like most animals, but I’ve never been allowed to get a pet because my dad is allergic. He even claims to be allergic to rabbits, but that doesn’t seem real. Is anyone actually allergic to rabbits?

Friday, October 28, 2011

Unwelcome by Michael Griffo - This or That



Pick your preferences on each pairing. You can explain if you’d like, or just pick.

Snakes or spiders SNAKES, FOR SOME REASON THEY INTRIGUE ME, ESPECIALLY THE ALBINO ONES, THEY’RE KIND OF BEAUTIFUL.

Laptop or tablet I DON’T HAVE ONE BUT TABLETS ARE COOL

CDs or mp3s I’VE FINALLY UPGRADED AND UNDERSTAND MP3S ROCK

email or snail mail EMAIL, THOUGH RECEIVING A HANDWRITTEN LETTER IS ALWAYS A TREAT

football or soccer FOOTBALL

smart or dumb phones SMART! WHY BE DUMB WHEN YOU DON’T HAVE TO.

outside chores or inside chores OUTSIDE, IF YOU HAVE TO WORK, YOU MIGHT AS WELL DO IT OUTSIDE.

staying up late or getting up early I AM A MORNING PERSON, ALWAYS HAVE BEEN AND ALWAYS WILL BE!

debit card or cash CASH, CASH, AND MORE CASH ;-)

nook or kindle I REALLY DON’T HAVE A PREFERENCE, BUT I LIKE THE NAME NOOK BETTER SO I’LL GO WITH THAT.

blue-ray or 3D – BLUE-RAY, EXCEPT FOR AVATOR 3D IS HIGHLY OVERRATED.

Fiction or Non-Fiction - FICTION

travel or staycation – TRAVEL! I AM DETERMINED TO SEE THE WORLD BEFORE I’M TOO OLD TO ENJOY IT.

fine dining or fast food FINE DINING, I SIMPLY DON’T HAVE THE STOMACH ANY MORE FOR FAST FOOD!

Winners!



The winner of an eCopy of Parallel by Claudia Lefeve:

Lieder Madchen

The winner of Unwelcome and Unnatural by Michael Griffo:

Kaylan

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Review & Giveaway: Ariel by Gabriel Madison


Ariel by Gabriel Madison
Published Date:
August 2011
Publisher: Turquoise Morning Press
Genre: YA

The Story: Angel Santos just wants to be an average seventeen year-old girl. That’s kind of hard for a reincarnated Archangel who’s hiding her powers. It gets even harder when God vanishes from Heaven and her old friends turn to her to find the last angel to see Him. Now all she has to do is stop the impending apocalypse and fend off her best friend’s attempts to make her popular. All in a week’s work.

My Review: Wow, here is an awesome book about good vs evil. At least that's what it seemed to me! Angel remember's everything from when she was an Archangel, which most do not! Let alone the fact that she kept all her powers too. So when God is missing, the other archangels turn to Angel (or Ariel as she was known by). But all Angel wants, is to be a regular teenager. What will happen? You have to read it for yourself!



Oh, and guess what? You will have a chance to read it for yourself!
One digital copy is up for grabs, so that means it's open internationally!
The giveaway will end November 3 just leave a comment on this post, and if you would like an extra chance to win, comment on the interview with Gabriel Madison too!

Spartacus and the Circus of Shadows by Molly Johnson - Ten's List




Top Ten MG Nostalgia Books

I find myself talking up the same top MG books—the ones everyone has read and still owns. But beyond Charlotte’s Web, Hatchet, and Maniac Magee, there are quite a few books that still live in the back of my mind from when I was younger—either because of a unique story line or characters I could identify with. The books below are ones I recently rescued from my parent’s attic:

1. One More River - Lynne Reid Banks: The book opens in 1967 with Lesley, a spoiled, wealthy girl, thinking of nothing but the upcoming dance…until her parents drop the bomb that they are moving. We-ell…they’re not just moving—they’re emigrating. To Israel. Aaaand, well, yeah, there is kinda this thing happening between the Jordanians and the Israelies (“war” is a good word for it). This may seem like a heavy topic for YA readers but it’s handled in such an easy, readable way because Lesley behaves how most readers would behave: rebelling, giving up, learning, and growing.

2. The Girl in the Box - Ouida Sebestyen: BEST. WEIRD. SETUP. EVERRRRRR. A girl is walking home from a fight at a friend’s house, carrying a box of stuff she’d lent her, including her typewriter. On the way, she’s kidnapped and thrown in a pitch-black, underground room, with nothing but water and doughnuts—and her typewriter. She doesn’t know when the kidnapper will return, so she passes the time by blindly typing. What she writes is The Girl in the Box, which she slips under the basement door, sheet by sheet, never knowing if anyone will ever read it. The book is in a typewriter font for an extra creepy effect…with no epilogue.

3. Searching for Shona - Margaret J. Anderson: What kid hasn’t wanted to switch lives? This is the story of two girls from different backgrounds—one wealthy, one an orphan—who meet accidentally in a London train station at the beginning of World War II. In an instant, they decide to switch places for the duration of the war (it can’t be THAT long, right? Right??). I still don’t see why they did this, but who cares? The story is compelling, following the wealthy girl, living as an orphan. Throughout, the question hangs overhead: how can this ever end well?

4. Jacob Have I Loved - Katherine Paterson: This was the first book I read as a young reader that made me actually angry. That’s because this was the first book I ever read that had a love triangle in it. Oh. My. God. There’s nothing more frustrating than being the lesser-loved twin. Throw in the isolation of living on a Chesapeake Bay island as a crabber’s daughter, and you’ve got a book ready to be flung across the room in a moment’s notice—and picked up immediately because it HAS to end well. It just HAS to! …doesn’t it?

5. It’s Like This, Cat - Emily Neville: Despite the 1960’s flavor slang, this story is really reachable for anyone who ever had to be a teenager. Fourteen-year-old Dave lives in New York City. He’s an only child and fights non-stop with his dad about everything—specifically the Harry Belefonte records that he plays too loudly and the stray tom cat Dave adopts. It’s through this cat (named Cat), that Dave gains and loses friends, begins dating a swell girl—and begins to understand that people are a lot more complex than he ever imagined.

6. & 7. The Face on the Milk Carton, What Ever Happened to Janie – Caroline B. Cooney: Imagine you’re sitting in the cafeteria, thinking about boys, and BAM—you recognize yourself on the side of a milk carton. Well, not yourself, but your 3 year old self. I mean, it’s YOU. Freeeeeakyyyyyyy. This was the most popular “series” when I was in 6th grade—the two books were never in the library. And I can see why: suddenly mistrusting your parents? Secretly searching for the key to your past? If that’s not enough, throw in randomly falling for your neighbor Reeve (yes, I still remember that name) and, later, trying to decide if you should spend a steamy night in a hotel with him after realizing you don’t have a family anymore…?! I’m telling you: it’s gripping.

8. The View From the Cherry Tree - Willo Davis Roberts: I still remember getting this at the library—and finishing it there. So I don’t even own this one, but I always remember the title and the chills it gave me. Rob is up in the cherry tree…and sees his neighbor get murdered. Of course, no one believes him because they’re too busy planning his sister’s stupid wedding. And, also obvious: Rob assumes he’ll be next.

9. & 10. The Boys Start the War, The Girls Get Even - Phyllis Reynolds Naylor: These two books (and there are even more sequels) are basically just one story: a family of three boys fighting with a family of three girls while on vacation. I remember loving the pranks in the book—and trying some of them out on my brother. And as the pranks ramped up, you just knew it had to end with someone in the hospital (not sure that actually happened; don’t quote me on that). But, with that much fighting, there is always the potential for a secondary plot! Yep, love interests abound.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Interview: Ariel by Gabriel Madison

What do you do when your not writing?

When I’m not writing, I’m watching TV. I’m addicted to TV shows. I watch them all the time. Not only shows from the US, but I also I’m obsessed with shows from England, and two from Australia. I like different genres of shows also, like Buffy, The Vampire Diaries, Lost Girls, The Secret Circle, Haven, Battlestar Galactica (which I’m re-watching on BBC America), Stargate Universe, Pretty Little Liars, House, NCIS: LA, Torchwood, Weeds, Entourage, Awkward, Spooks, Packed to the Rafters, Underbelly, Being Human, Skins (UK), Nikita, The Mentalist, True Blood, The Big Bang Theory, and many many more!!!

Actually, I think I watch more TV than I read books.


Do you work outside of writing or is writing your full time career?

I do some editing, but for the most part writing is my full time career. I love writing. I can’t see myself doing anything else. Don’t want to do anything else. Can’t do anything else!


What books are in your TBR stack?

Hmmm, The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas, Veronika Decides to Die by Paulo Coelho, Huntress by Malinda Lo and The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson. I’m waiting until I finish writing all my paranormal novels before I start on Veronika and The Count. Oh, and I can’t wait for The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead, Stolen Nights by Rebecca Maizel and the next Star Trek Academy to come out.


What authors inspire you?

Richelle Mead, an online magazine writer named Heather Hogan, Nancy Holder, Anne Rice and Paulo Coelho


Do you think they'll finally let Damon and Elena get together on TVD?

I absolutely hope not! Team Stefan all the way. Naw, I like Damon pinning over Elena, but I wouldn’t like to see them in a relationship. Also, I’m sorry, I’m not a big fan of going from one BOTHER to another BROTHER. Every other love triangle I’m cool with (because for the most part the people are not related), but when you talk about messing with siblings, that’s just wrong to me.

Check out tomorrow for the review!

Slayers Blog Tour: Interview with CJ Hill & Giveaway

Welcome to the third day of the Slayers Blog Tour! Today we have author CJ Hill with us for an interview and we'll be giving away one signed copy of the book as well.

Slayers by C.J. Hill
Release Date: September 27, 2011
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Genre: YA

About the book: Dragons exist. They’re ferocious. And they’re smart: Before they were killed off by slayer-knights, they rendered a select group of eggs dormant, so their offspring would survive. Only a handful of people know about this, let alone believe it – these “Slayers” are descended from the original knights, and are now a diverse group of teens that includes Tori, a smart but spoiled senator’s daughter who didn’t sign up to save the world.

The dragon eggs have fallen into the wrong hands. The Slayers must work together to stop the eggs from hatching. They will fight; they will fall in love. But will they survive?

Watch the Slayers trailer: 


Find CJ Hill online:


***Interview***
BCM: Slayers is your YA debut, but you have numerous romantic comedies under your belt as well. How has your past writing experience helped to shape the story in Slayers?
CJH: I love both romance and comedy so even though Slayers is an action/fantasy novel it still has doses of humor and a bunch of hot guys.  I’ve found that hot guys make any book better.  I guess the biggest difference between my romantic comedies and the new CJ Hill books that are coming out, is that in romantic comedies readers are pretty sure that the author will not kill off characters, especially in gruesome manners like being eaten by dragons (or flesh eating scarabs—that’s happening in a future book).  In action/fantasy the reader has no such guarantees. 
BCM: What are the last three books you've read and loved?
CJH: Hmm.  That’s a hard question because I’m always reading. 
The Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Hitler Youth: Growing Up In Hitler’s Shadow by Susan Campbell Bartoletti  (Who needs dystopia, when you can read about the real thing?)
The Ring of Solomon by Jonathan Stroud.  I liked this one so much I bought both the hardback and the audio version.

BCM: Why dragons?
CJH: Dragons are cool for a lot of reasons.  They have a long and rich history—which is especially impressive when you consider that they never existed.  They’re connected with princesses, knights, and magic.  What other animals are big, powerful, fly, and can shoot fire from their mouths? Also, I like the symbolism associated with dragons.  Just like Don Quixote, sometimes we have to pick up our swords and fight the dragons in our lives.  Sometimes those dragons might only be windmills in disguise, but other times they’re big and fierce and can roast us like marshmallows.
How does a person find the courage to face those sorts of dragons?  When we come across dragon-sized problems, how many of us stick around to fight it out instead of taking off for safer ground?  I admit that part of the emotion behind this novel came from situations where I felt like I was facing dragons (large or small) and the people who were supposed to help, ditched the effort after the first flame.
My Slayers know what it’s like to have comrades desert them. Book two and three will probably not get much better for my teen superheroes.
BCM: Which of the characters in Slayers would you say is most like you?
CJH: It would have been cool to grow up a rich socialite like Tori, or to have been naturally athletically gifted like all of the Slayers.  Unfortunately, I can’t relate to any of the Slayers that way. For exercise, I walk instead of jog.  I think running should be saved for those times when I’m being pursued by something dangerous. That said, I’m probably most like Rosa. She wants to help everyone and worries about everything.  My children can attest that I’m always warning them about the danger of something—not eating their green vegetables, leaning back in their chairs, not paying attention in school—they hear it all.
BCM: Can you share a memorable author experience with us?
CJH: Being an author is the greatest job.  Not only do I get to work in my pajamas but I get to help kids enjoy reading.  I think my favorite author experiences are when kids tell me that I’m their favorite author, or that they learned to love reading because of my books.  You can’t get a better compliment than that.

***Giveaway Rules***
Thanks to CJ Hill, we are offering up one signed copy of Slayers to one lucky reader.  
  • Open to U.S. mailing addresses only.
  • Giveaway ends at midnight on November 2nd. 
  • Fill out THIS FORM to enter.

The Official Slayers Blog Tour Schedule
Monday October 24th- Fire and Ice
Tuesday October 25th- I'm A Reader Not A Writer
Wednesday October 26th- Books Complete Me
Thursday Ocotber 27th-Bookalicio.us
Friday October 28th- Cari's Book Blog
Saturday October 29th- Rachael Renee Anderson
Sunday October 30th- Tales of a Ravenous Reader

Monday, October 24, 2011

Mini Tour: Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout


Welcome to Day 1 of the Obsidian Mini Blog Tour! We have a very special interview with the main character from Obsidian, Katy and a mini review of the book. We hope you enjoy it!

This tour is running all week, so make sure you stop by all the blogs so you don't miss out on any of the awesome that's in store for you. You can find links to all the blogs below.



Release Date: December 6, 2011
Genre: YA

About the book: Starting over sucks.

When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I’d pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring…. until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.

And then he opened his mouth.

Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something…unexpected happens.

The hot alien living next door marks me.

You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon’s touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I’m getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.

If I don’t kill him first, that is.


Mini Review: Katy isn't exactly sure what to expect when she gets to West Virginia, but it's not smoking hot Daemon and his equally beautiful sister, Dee. Katy and Daemon have an immediate chemistry, but it's nothing like you'd expect.


Obsidian is unique and fun. It kept me turning the pages late into the night and I'm on pins and needles waiting for book two. To keep this short, I'm going to stop here and say this: Obsidian is awesome in every way possible. It's absolutely one of my favorite books of the year--quite possibly taking the #1 slot. If you haven't already pre-ordered this book, you need to ASAP. It's fast paced, sexy, dangerous and oh so drool-worthy. An excellent read!





Find Obsidian & Jennifer online: 

Katy Interview:

BCM: Tell us what you really think of West Virginia now that you're rooted there.

Katy: Um, at first I was a bit worried. I watched Wrong Turn before moving up here, and trust me, not a smart move. I had visions of three fingered psychopath hillbillies coming after me. But now? The place is beautiful and quiet. People don't have the accents you expect, and I haven't seen one outhouse yet. It's actually pretty cool.

BCM: We know from Katy's Krazy Obsession that you're a book blogger (YAY!). What are your favorite types of books to read?

Katy: "Oh, I have so many favorite types. I totally dig the YA books, especially paranormal and urban fantasy. A contemporary's premise has to really knock me off my feet to read it Not big on science fiction." A tiny grin peeks through. "I also like adult romances, graphic novels and I have this thing for history books. Weird, I know. By the way, I've totally fangirled your blog."

BCM: Summarize Daemon's ex, Ash in 3 words.

Katy: She rolls her eyes. "One cold...girl."

BCM: What's the most memorable thing that's happened since you moved to West Virginia?

Katy: "Wow, there's been several. I think when I went next door and asked for directions. So didn't expect a half naked dude to answer the door." A pink flush stains her cheeks. "Do you know how often Daemon runs around without a shirt? It's ridiculous. Did he go to the School of Jacob Black? Anyway, meeting Dee is pretty memorable.Love her."

BCM: Daemon is hot. He's annoying. He's strange. These are just a few ways to describe him. What are some of your favorite and least favorites parts of him?

Katy: "Yeah, Daemon is hot." She shifts, tucking her legs under her. "That's probably my favorite part. Okay. That's a lie. There are moments, few and far between, that the....real Daemon shows himself. And those are my favorite parts. My least favorite? The Daemon I have to deal with 99% of the time."

Follow along with the rest of the tour with the links below:

Monday, 10/24: Books Complete Me
Tuesday, 10/25: Reading Angel
Wednesday, 10/26: Good Choice Reading
Thursday, 10/27: Between the Pages
Friday, 10/28: Mundie Moms

YASpooktacular: The Pond in the Forest (Story #1)


Welcome to another stop for the second annual YASpooktacular, hosted by Frenzy of Noise and Wicked Awesome Books.

This year, there are three stories written by some of your favorite authors that will be posted throughout the week. Each story is a choose your adventure, where you get to decide what path to send the character down. Sometimes you live, sometimes you die, and sometimes you fall into a pit of no return.

There are also some TRICKS or TREATS scattered throughout the story, where you can enter to win prizes and get bonus points toward the prize packs. The prize pack for Story #1: The Pond in the Forest will be up tomorrow! On Halloween day, the grand prize pack will be posted. You can click the banner above to see a full list of the YASpooktacular prize packs!

The author we are hosting is Zoraida Cordova. Check out her bio below:



Zoraida Córdova was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador. She made her way up north and now works in the glittering New York City nightlife. She likes shiny things like Christmas, merdudes, and the skyline at night. Her debut novel, The Vicious Deep, comes out in April 2012 from Sourcebooks. She's currently working on book #2.

You can find Zoraida online:

Twitter / Blog / Goodreads / Amazon

The beginning of this story starts at Pure Imagination. You can pick it up at the beginning by clicking on the banner!



She shouldn’t have trusted Brian, Laura thought. Did she really think a boy like Brian would fall for a girl who looks like her? She knew better. Her mom had always warned her not to trust beautiful boys.



In the silence broken by the creature’s stealthy steps, she felt around for something. A stick. A sword. A shrinking potion. Those things could happen, right? But there was only torched wood that crumbled under her feet.



“You’re not a screamer,” the creature growled. He crouched down, enjoying the way he made her body tense. She didn’t notice anything about his face other than his eyes, like pools of swirling lava. She grabbed at the ground for support but came away with a handful of ash. Laura couldn’t breathe. In a swift motion, Laura threw her fistfuls of ashes into his eyes. She saw the open door, light flooding in as if there were a sun waiting outside. Laura ran.



The forest was still. She didn’t know where she was running but something inside her just said RUN. What was this place? A familiar smell filled her lungs—dew and honey and cinnamon. A memory was blooming in her mind. She stopped to catch her breath. Her chest was burning. Did that thing touch her? She held onto a nearby tree to stop from shaking. That’s when she heard the snap of twigs behind her.



When she whipped around there he was—another beautiful boy. Everything about him was dark—his clothes and his hair spilling in damp waves over his shoulders. Even the black pools of his eyes. He panted like he’d been running after her.



“Get away from me,” Laura said, taking a step back. Stupid move. Stupid.



The man waved his hand at the tree and the root sprung up and tripped her. “Don’t be afraid.”The slick ground was permeating through her pants. Laura said, “You just tripped me.”



“I’m sorry. But, I’ve been searching for you since you were stolen from our realm. The human boy brought you as an offering for killing our sister, not knowing what you are. Who you are.”



She took his hand. She couldn’t not. She was magnetized to him. The sensation in her chest grew where a golden light was pulsing.



“What’s happening? Who are you?”



He drew her close and she breathed him in—cinnamon, honey—



“I’m Raven, king of this realm. And you are my lost queen.”


THE END.


You should start over and see if you can save Laura from this fate. (www.pureimaginationblog.com)



We are also hosting a TREAT! 

Click HERE to enter to win a Mermaid Prize Pack!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Review: Brightest Kind of Darkness by P.T. Michelle

Brightest Kind of Darkness by P.T. Michelle
Release Date: June 27, 2011
Publisher: Patrice Michelle
Genre: YA Paranormal

Find P.T. Michelle Online: Twitter / Blog / Facebook / Goodreads

The Story: Nara Collins is an average sixteen-year-old, with one exception: every night she dreams the events of the following day. Due to an incident in her past, Nara avoids using her special gift to change fate…until she dreams a future she can’t ignore.

After Nara prevents a bombing at Blue Ridge High, her ability to see the future starts to fade, while people at school are suddenly being injured at an unusually high rate.

Grappling with her diminishing powers and the need to prevent another disaster, Nara meets Ethan Harris, a mysterious loner who seems to understand her better than anyone. Ethan and Nara forge an irresistible connection, but as their relationship heats up, so do her questions about his dark past.

My Review: Nara can see her days before they actually happen. She dreams them. It's not necessarily a bad thing since she never really has to study or knows in advance when someone is going to do something embarrassing. Of course, there are bad sides to it as well. She also knows when something bad is going to happen. When this occurs, she almost always ignores it. She's learned her lesson....right? 

Well, when someone calls in a bomb threat to her school, she knows she has to do something about it. She can't just sit back and allow all those classmates to be injured. So she stops it from happening, but she has little time to enjoy the feeling of saving her friends, because she soon realizes that those near where the blast would have happened are suffering mysterious injuries. It's almost as if she didn't save them at all. 

Nara is even more confused when her dreams stop and she can no longer see her upcoming days. She has no idea what to expect anymore and finds herself struggling to make it through her days unknowing. Things are changing around her. Her best friend isn't being her usual, kind self and the strange loner guy at school, Ethan, is suddenly around much more often than Nara has noticed before. 

She shouldn't trust Ethan. Everyone at school talks about why he was kicked out of his last school. If the rumors are true, Ethan is a very dangerous person to be around. Yet, Nara is drawn to him, and doesn't want to fight it. There's something about him that pulls her in and once she gets to know him, she realizes he knows more about her than anyone--maybe even herself. 

Brightest Kind of Darkness has a cool new twist on something you may have seen before. I enjoyed Nara and Ethan's characters as well as the secondary characters, such as Nara's mom and aunt, and Ethan's brother. Overall, the cast was very likeable and well written. There were a few things that had me scratching my head when it came to Nara, but they all were explained in time. I found the writing to be near flawless and loved the imagery this author was able to use. This is a unique story and I am definitely interested in keeping up with what happens in book two of this series. 

My Rating


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Cracked Blog Tour: Top Ten with KM Walton

We have the awesome K.M. Walton here with us today giving her top ten reasons why kindness can't be forgotten. Her book Cracked will be available in early January, but until then, you can follow along with her blog tour through The {Teen} Book Scene. Click on the graphic below for full details.



The top ten reasons kindness can’t be forgotten:

  1. Human beings have to be taught kindness. It doesn’t come natural to most of us.
  2. We are presented with countless opportunities to revolutionize young people’s minds. To INSPIRE them.
  3. When you “look outward” and see how your actions/words are affecting the human beings around you, it is the first step towards kindness.
  4. If parents teach their children to think of other people...think of how other people feel first, before acting or reacting, well, then, those children will forever be empowered to think on their feet. And most importantly to think with their heart and their head. Those are some extraordinary parenting moments.
  5. As a former public middle school teacher I say this: It IS the teacher’s job to remove the obstacles of cruelty and hatred in a way that lessons are learned by all.
  6. Adults must make time to explicitly teach kindness and compassion. No excuses, because there aren’t any good enough.
  7. Bullies must understand potential consequences of their bullying behavior. How? By thoughtfully crafted, age appropriate experiences/discussions allowing them feel or understand the victim’s pain.
  8. Take the risk and talk about kindness with the children in your life. Be uncomfortable. Force yourself.
  9. The power isn’t in the time it takes but in the feelings the conversation/discussion evokes.
  10. Buck the system. Go out on a limb. Abandon your fears. Shut your inner voice up & go save/influence a life.

Review and Giveaway: Parallel by Claudia Lefeve


Parallel by Claudia Lefeve
Published Date:
August 2011
Publisher: Sugar Skull Books
Genre: YA

The Story: Destiny has a way of catching up.

Saddled with powers she doesn't understand, Etta Fleming's world is turned upside-down the day she meets Cooper Everett, the man who transports her to an alternate reality. A reality she was meant to be a part of.

One minute, she's an orphan living at Dominion House for Girls, an institution for delinquent foster kids, then finds herself attending the exclusive Dominion Hall Academy.

Plucked from the only world she's ever known, Etta now has to deal with an aunt she never knew, a boyfriend she doesn't know, and a best friend who can't know.

PARALLEL is the first book in the Travelers Series.

My Review: I enjoyed reading this book! Parallel is in Etta's point of view, and it's a little dizzy when she goes from one reality to another. Luckily she has some people she can trust, like Cooper, swoon! Lefeve has created a new series that I am going to follow!!



Guest Post by Claudia: I wish I could sit here and write about all the fabulous things I do when I’m not writing, but I can’t. What I can say is that when I’m not doing everything else, I get to spend my time writing. I know, it sounds similar, but it’s really not. Writing seems to comprise most of my free time, in-between my full-time job and part-time job. But the thing is, I love writing and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else in my spare time (except maybe reading, of course).

Now that I’ve basically admitted how boring my life is, I do have to admit I find the time to engage in some of my favorite things. If you’ve been following my blog tour, you’ll note that I’m a TV fanatic. I watch pretty much everything...right now I’m into Fringe, Bones, Dexter, Modern Family, and while my hubby isn’t sold on it yet, I’m really liking Terra Nova. (Disclaimer: I DO watch other shows that I guess I have to own up to: Jersey Shore, Housewives of New York/NJ, Most Eligible Dallas, and the Millionaire Matchmaker).

Aside from being a total couch potato, I do love the outdoors and the hubby and I love to go camping as often as we can. Usually we go with a group of friends, but most of the time, it’s just the two of us with pugs in tow. We have a great pop-up trailer and it’s a pretty convienient way to travel cheap and on the fly.



And my life wouldn’t be complete without my two precious “kids”, Gus and Guapo. I
think I spend most of my time laughing or yelling at their nincompoopery. Of course,
every time they do something hilarious, I don’t have my video camera so I can upload it on YouTube!



I may not lead the most exciting life, but as a writer, I get to create interesting
characters, travel to parallel universes, and life happily ever after.


Contest Info: Claudia is offering two give-aways for her tour!
The first give-away is a daily one. Each tour stop can give away an eCopy of her book to any of the commenters on the post. Open internationally! This will end October 21!! Make sure to leave comments!

The second give-away is a grand prize pack of a bracelet, travel mug and more! Comments from each tour stop also act as an entry into this grand prize give-away. Open US/Canada. See full contest rules here.

Tour Stops

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Half-Blood Blog Tour: Aiden's POV Part One

 Happy Release Day to Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout! 

 

I love, love, LOVE this book. It's all kinds of amazing and I'm so honored to be part of the official Half-Blood tour. This week is jam-packed with awesome, so be sure to follow along with the tour HERE


Below you will find the PART I of Aiden's POV from chapter one of Half-Blood. You can find PART II at Katie's Book Blog


You're excited, right? 


Before you scroll down to read it, be sure to set your alarm clocks for our live chat with Jennifer Armentrout tonight at 7:00 p.m. EST on Jennifer's Live Stream Channel. The chat WILL include spoilers and will have lots of great prizes and information about PURE, book two in the Covenant series. Hope to see you there!


Jennifer Armentrout


            The first body we’d found at the bus station in Atlanta had at least one hundred of his two-hundred-and-eight bones broken in his body. The kid couldn’t have been much older than my brother, and that made me sick. Another life wasted, and for what? Mortals had no aether. It was just the joy…the thrill of the kill.
            Kneeling beside the street kid’s body, I glanced up at the hulking form cast in silvery moonlight. The dude was built like a steamroller. “Find any more bodies, Leon?”
            The pure-blood Sentinel shook his head, eyes narrowing. “No.”
            Leon was a man of few words, but I was used to it. Turning back to the body, I knew what I had to do. I hated it with every fiber of my being, but this was a mess. Sentinels just didn’t hunt daimons.
            We cleaned up after them.
            Off in the distant, lightning struck and the last of the late Spring storm rolled out. Jaw clenched, I placed my hand on the kid’s arm and let one of the most powerful elements wash away what had been the horrific last moments of his life. Sparks flew from my fingertips, fueled by the very gods themselves, and traveled up the lifeless arm. Within seconds, the unnatural fire consumed the body. Nothing but ashes remained. It was like the boy never existed. And I couldn’t help but wonder if he had parents out there to notify, who even cared.
            And I thought of Deacon again.
            “Hey, Aiden, look what I found,” Kain called out, excited.
            Standing, I wiped off my hands and turned. Kain was grinning. Gods, Kain was always grinning. He could be facing down a horde of daimons and still have that crooked smile on his face.
            “What?” Leon demanded, arms folded across his chest.
            Kain waved a slip of paper. “One bus ticket to Nashville, plus there’s money everywhere back here.”
            Leon made an exasperated sound in the back of his throat. “This is a bus station, Kain. There will be tickets scattered around.”
            “Yeah, thanks for pointing that out.” Kain rolled his eyes. “This ticket was from Miami to Nashville, with a stop in Atlanta.”
            “She’s been here,” said Leon in a low, grave voice.
            A ticket. Loose Money. Dead mortals and daimons. She had most definitely been here.
            “Crap.” Kain pocketed the ticket and dropped the money for someone else to find. “You guys should’ve listened to me in Florida. We should’ve been watching the bus stations and not the airports.”
            “That’s not really helping right now.” I stalked down the alley, scanning for something…anything to put us in the right direction. I needed to get back to the Covenant. Gods only know what the Deacon was doing.
            “All I’m saying, is that—”
            “Shut up, Kain,” warned Leon. It was amazing that he hadn't killed Kain yet.
            Kain quieted.
            With a grim smile I moved to the edge of the alley. A field and woods separated the truck stop from an industrial park. I felt Leon moved up behind me and I turned slightly. “Do you think we’re too late?” I asked.
            He stared straight ahead, eyes distant. “I don’t think so. She made it this far after…”
            After what we’d seen and learned in Miami, the girl would’ve had to have been resourceful to keep going. But there were daimons here. They’d killed. It didn’t look good. She may be only a half-blood—a very well connected half-blood—but the idea of her dying out here alone sliced through me. The injustice of it all wasn’t right.
            “Look,” Leon said. “Someone’s been in this field, running. See how sections are trampled down?”
            He was right. The three of us headed forward, following the trampled field grass until we reached the woods. It wasn’t easy then. We split up, each of us going in a different direction. I headed down the middle, eyeing the tops of the building in the distance. Another pulse of lightning split the sky and the following thunder shook my bones.
            I’d take a few more steps when I heard Leon call out. Following his voice, I found him by the charred remains of another mortal. It was fresh. “Daimon?”
            He nodded. “Don’t know what else could burn a mortal up like that and not take out the entire forest.”
            “She’s got to be around here somewhere.” Alive… or dead, but either way, we would find her. We’d bring her back like we’d been ordered to by the Minister himself. I glanced at the buildings again and an uncanny feeling rolled down my spine. “Let’s check them out.”
            Sending Kain back to the Hummer with orders to meet us at the park, Leon and I headed out. It didn’t take us long to cross the woods and tread over cracked pavement. Kain parked at the edge of the lot, joining us as we moved between the buildings.
            “Okay, I’ve got to ask this.” Kain pulled out a titanium blade. “Why in the world would daimons go to this much trouble to munch on a half-blood?”
            Leon exhaled loudly.
            “Don’t get me wrong. Being a half-blood and all myself, I like to think I’m important, but to a daimon? No way. Something is wrong about this.”
            As much as I hated to admit it—because whenever Kain was right, I never heard the end of it—he had a point. Daimons didn’t care about half-bloods. There wasn’t enough aether in them. “I know,” I said finally.
            “I mean, what’s going on that we don’t—”
            I stopped, hearing the sound of metal grinding. Holding up a hand, I silenced Kain as I turned to the squat building in front of us. Motioning to it, I pulled out my blade and headed forward.
            One of the rusted-out doors had been kicked in. Anticipation swelled and adrenaline kicked into overtime. This is it. I knew it deep in my bones. After months of coming so close, this was going to be the end, one way or another. I eased opened the door and let my eyes adjust to the darkness of the abandoned factory.
            Scattered benches and broken beams lay everywhere. The place smelled of rot and decay. Heart pumping fast now, I crept around the forgotten work tables.
            Then I heard it—I heard her.
            “Blah. Blah. You’re gonna kill me. Blah. I know.”
            A reluctant, amused smile pulled at my lips. From everything I’d heard about Alexandria Andros that had to be her. Part of me felt like I should’ve known her when the Minister had dumped the orders in my lap, but the distant memory of who she would’ve been was remote and unreachable.
            A daimon’s shriek cut through the air and then a male yelled for the female to stop. The sound of pounding feet propelled me into action. I sprung forward, racing for the gap in the wall. Not knowing how many daimons had the girl cornered, I needed a distraction.
            I threw up my free hand and blew out a small breath. A wave of fire rolled over the factory floor, burning everything in its path. There was a sudden shriek from the other side. Releasing the other blade into my hand, I walked through the fire, untouched by the heat.
            In an instant I saw her. She looked too tiny to be standing there, clutching… a garden spade in her small hand? From beneath the tangled mess of her hair, our gazes locked. A flicker of familiarity went through me.
            The female behind her looked like any pure-blood to me, but I wasn’t taking the risk. I’d found her. “Get down.”
            Thank the gods she hit the floor as I threw out another stream of elemental fire. It slammed into the daimon, and she fell, shrieking and rolling. My senses told me there were more.
            I lowered my hand, hearing the popping sound as the flames went out. Leon and Kain rushed in. With his keen and sometimes freaky ability to root out daimons, Leon zeroed in on the other daimon and disappeared. Kain went to the downed female daimon, driving the titanium blade deep into her chest.
            Out the corner of my eye, I saw Alexandria struggling to her feet. Irritation flared. She needed to stay down, out of the way until we knew where the rest of the daimons were. I turned for a second—a damn second—and I heard her yelp.           
            Spinning toward her, I saw a blond guy had her trapped, pulling her back by her hair. In a split second, horror raced through me as he struck like an angered cobra. She screamed—the sound dragged me back so many years ago. I’d heard that shrill, pained sound too many times since the first time I’d awakened to it. My stomach lurched.
            The daimon lifted his gory mouth. “What are you?”
            Shooting forward, I grabbed the daimon by his throat and ripped him away from her. He hit the floor, rolling onto his feet. Smiling, I spun out and caught him in the stomach with my booted foot. Then I dropped, taking his legs right out from underneath him. I could’ve killed him then. I could’ve ended it quickly.
            With mercy.
            But he’d tagged her.
            And well, that deserved a little payback. Mercy not included.
            The daimon climbed to his feet just as I caught him by the throat, slamming the creature into the nearby wall. Bones crunched. I didn’t flinch. Not even as I slammed him again… or when I finally drove the blade into him. The daimon collapsed into itself. I turned away before he was even fully gone, my gaze going straight to the girl.
            She was on the floor, curled up into a tiny ball, making sounds that pecked at my chest. I’d never been tagged before, but I’d heard that Hades had nothing on the pain. Putting the blades away, I went to her.
            Carefully, I reached down and rolled her onto her back. Her hands clutched the space between her neck and shoulder. Needing to see the damage, I pried her hands away. It didn’t look too bad. No major arteries or big chunks of skin missing. But she wasn’t talking. She was just staring up at me through strands of hair, her eyes wide and standing out against her pale, dirtied cheeks.
            It was her.
            “Are you okay? Alexandria? Please say something.”
            “Alex,” she choked out. “Everyone calls me Alex.”
            I gave a short, relieved laugh. “Okay. Good. Alex, can you stand?”
            She nodded. Every few seconds a shudder rolled through her, but she held it together. The girl was strong. “That really… sucked something bad.”
            Wrapping an arm around her waist, I lifted her onto her feet. She swayed as I brushed her hair back to look at her the tag again, just to be sure. “Give it a few minutes. The pain will wear off.”
            Leon returned, along with Kain. His eyes were fixed on the girl, and I had a sudden urge to shield her. Pure-bloods weren’t known for their kindness toward halfs—a fact I hated about my own kind. I didn’t know where Leon stood with them. “That should be all of them,” he said.
            I nodded. “Alex, we need to go. Now. Back to the Covenant.”
            She looked at me again, but she didn’t see me as she backed up, her thin arms trembling. Like a caged animal that saw no way out. In a flicker of a second, I knew she was going to do something rash, something not fully thought out and born of residual fear. I only hoped that it was me she went after, and not Leon. I wouldn’t hold it against her, but if she attacked a different pure-blood, all of this would be for nothing.
            I made a small step toward her, raising my hands in what I hoped came across as harmless.
            She shuddered, like a sheet of string stretched too thin.
I took another step toward her, and she threw herself at me in mass of kicking feet and clawing hands. There was some talent in there—some leftover training—but her movements were jerky with fear and exhaustion.
Catching one of her hands, I spun her around and clamped her arms to her sides. She bent forward, trying to kick me. No good deed goes unpunished… I moved out the way. “Don’t,” I warned, speaking directly into her ear. “I don’t want to hurt you.”
Her breathing was harsh, broken as she struggled like we were the ones trying to hurt her. The string of curses she strung together was actually quite impressive and would’ve been entertaining if they hadn’t been directed at me.
 “Whoa!” Kain yelled from the sidelines. “Alex, you know us! Don’t you remember me? We aren’t going to hurt you.”
“Shut up!” she screamed, gathering up the last of her strength, breaking free of my grasp only because I hadn’t held her tight enough to hurt her.
Alex dodged Kain and Leon, who’d stood by, looking equally shocked and amused. Her long, stringy hair flew out from behind her as she picked up speed, heading for the exit.
Kain smirked. “Well, this has gone as expected."
I sighed. “I’ll get her.”
“Make sure you don’t break her or anything,” Leon said. “I doubt her stepfather would appreciate that.”
Yeah. Yeah. I took off after her, knowing she wouldn’t get anywhere. Not now. Rounding the side of the building, I saw her under the moonlight, streaking across the field. The girl could run when she wanted to. Was that how she'd stayed alive? Just running? Kind of sad.
 Catching up to her, I wrapped my arms around her waist and took her down, twisting so I took the hit in the itchy grass. For a heartbeat, she was on top of me, stunned and silent, but if the few moments of being around her had taught me anything, I knew that wouldn’t last. Tilting my hips, I rolled her under me, pinning her down.
 “Now?” she screamed, voice cracking. “Where were you a week ago? Where was the Covenant when my mother was being killed? Where were you?”
I jerked back, more affected by those words than she’d ever realize. “I’m sorry. We didn’t—”
            She went off like an atomic bomb. Screaming. Kicking. Clawing. Someone was going to get hurt, and it wasn’t going to be me. And the last thing I wanted to do was hurt someone who’d obviously been through too much, seen too much. I let my weight press her down, holding her immobile.
            And finally, Alex stopped fighting. I think she stopped breathing. Or maybe it was me, because I could feel every part of her. Soft where I was hard, curved where I was straight lines. I stared down at her, sharing the same air, our lips only inches apart.
            In her eyes, there was a storm of emotions. The look was shattering, deep. The soft brown irises churned in a battle with fear, rage… and something much more. I almost didn’t see it, but her lips parted in a pliable exhale.
            Oddly enough, I found myself wanting to know what she looked like under all the dirt. How she sounded when she wasn’t cussing or screaming at me. How she moved when the actions weren’t born out of instinct or fear.
            All of that curiosity was all highly inappropriate, wrong even.
            She was a half-blood.
I lowered my head, and she inhaled so sharply that her chest pressed against mine. A primal rush went through me, really hard to ignore and push down when she looked at me like that. Like if I wanted to do something, anything crazy, she’d be down for it.
            This was insane

Want MORE? Read the rest at Katie's Book Blog right now! 

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