Friday, December 30, 2011

Existence by Abbi Glines - Music List



Guest post on anything music related, be it the playlist, songs that make you think of the book, etc.

My playlist for Existence.

1. When the Stars Go Blue - The Corrs
(the line “I’ll follow you” reminds me of Pagan and Dank throughout the book)

2. Time is Running Out - Muse
“I wanted freedom,
Bound and restricted,
I tried to give you up,
But I'm addicted” (sums up Dank’s thoughts perfectly)

3. Going Under - Evanescence
Dank could literally have wrote these lyrics:
“I'm going under (going under)
Drowning in you (drowning in you)
I'm falling forever (falling forever)
I've got to break through”

4. Dreams — The Cranberries
This reminds me of what Pagan is thinking.

5. I Will Follow You Into the Dark - Death Cab for Cutie
Perfect song for Death (Dank) to sing to Pagan.
“If there's no one beside you
When your soul embarks
Then I'll follow you into the dark”

IMM take 67: The Holiday/End of the Year Edition

IMM Take 67

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. 
With this being the last IMM of the year, we here at Books Complete Me would like to thank all of our followers for another great year.
This week:

Nicole
received from authors:
  
UnCONventional edited by Kate Kaynak and Trisha Woolridge 

The Book of Wonders by Jasmine Richards


Nicole and Cindy
Received from the publisher:

Pure (Book 2 in The Covenant Series) by Jennifer L. Armentrout


Cindy also received from the publisher:
The Story of Us by Deb Caletti

While I didn't receive anything in the mail (although I am waiting on a book from a publisher for a blog tour. I check the mailbox every day to see if it has arrived yet), I did manage to pick up some items from Half Price Books. They had a sale this week, so I have loaded up. I am not going to post any pics though, because they are all older books, although great books, and that would be an awful lot of pictures. 

I also managed to pick up some books from the library this week:


Chain Reaction by Simone Elkeles
Teeth - Vampire Tales edited by Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling
Wildefire by Karsten Knight

Strangely enough, none of us actually received any books as gifts for Christmas. Although I did receive a Barnes and Noble gift card. The hard part though, is trying to narrow down what I actually want to get...  
Leave a comment below telling us, if you had a gift card, what books you would use it to buy.  
Also, let us know what you received in your mailbox this week, or if you received any books as Christmas gifts.

All of us here at BCM (Cindy, Kendra, Julie, Nicole, Mindy) would like to wish you all a Happy, Safe, Fun-filled New Year's Eve, and a great year to come!



Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Asha in Time by Mandy Nachampassack-Maloney - Book Picks




Hi Nicole and Books Complete Me followers!

Posting about my favorite books is so much more challenging than I thought it would be. I’m one of those people. I’m sure you know them and equally sure many of you are one of them; one of those people who just read, read, and read like it’s an addiction. I have so many favorite books that I could go on forever about ones that have impacted my life. I’m really trying my best here not to rant about them all.

First off, I have to mention Bitten by Kelley Armstrong. The first time I read this book I admit that I wasn’t sold. It was violent, it was a bit tortured, and the main character was so strange. Yet, I’ve returned to it many times, and each time I read it I appreciate it more. It is as far from your regular, run of the mill werewolf story as can be. I love the book’s honesty and that werewolf society is shown as a social group with its own set of norms and mores. They are, clearly, not human.

The second book that is right up there in my top most visited reads is Ella March Chase’s The Virgin Queen’s Daughter. I was sucked into this book the first time I read it and experience that each time I reread. The main character is so very real. Her thoughts and emotions are relatable even though she is supposedly the daughter of one of the greatest, most powerful women to ever live. You could just sense the enormous amount of research that went into this book which provided a realism that few books have.

ext on my list would have to be Black Ships by Jo Graham. This was the first of Ms. Graham’s novels that I read, and I was in love immediately. She spins a story so well you can taste what the characters taste, see what they see when the look out over the prow of the ship. Her love stories are so complex, and as a reader you never really know who or what you’re rooting for. I think that’s really fantastic.

Finally, I have to mention Michelle Moran’s The Heretic Queen and Cleopatra’s Daughter. Ms. Moran has a way of describing ancient Egypt that is so easy to understand and so enchanting. Her characters are always the woman one wants to be; beautiful, courageous, full of life, educated. She helped cement my interest in ancient Egypt and increased its majesty for me.

Although I could go on, for your sakes, I won’t. We can all see the pattern that my reading takes. I like strong female leads, a lot of action, and a little romance in my books. I read a lot of historical, but I stray from the genre often.

Thanks and thanks again for letting me visit Book Complete Me! It was wonderful!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Don't Breathe A Word by Holly Cupala Blog Tour (+ Giveaway)



Welcome to the DON'T BREATHE A WORD blog tour! We are so excited to have the amazing Holly Cupala here with us today. Her latest book is set to release on December 3rd from HarperTeen. I absolutely LOVED her debut novel, Tell Me a Secret and Don't Breathe a Word is no different. It's incredible! Be sure to read below the sneak peek for awesome chances to win the book. 

But first, here's a little about Don't Breathe A Word:

Don't Breathe a Word by Holly Cupala
Release Date: December 3, 2011
Publisher: HarperTeen

About: Joy Delamere is suffocating...

From asthma, which has nearly claimed her life. From her parents, who will do anything to keep that from happening. From delectably dangerous Asher, who is smothering her from the inside out.

Joy can take his words - tender words, cruel words - until the night they go too far.

Now, Joy will leave everything behind to find the one who has offered his help, a homeless boy called Creed. She will become someone else. She will learn to survive. She will breathe... if only she can get to Creed before it’s too late.

Set against the gritty backdrop of Seattle’s streets and a cast of characters with secrets of their own, Holly Cupala’s powerful new novel explores the subtleties of abuse, the meaning of love, and how far a girl will go to discover her own strength.

Find Holly Cupala Online:
 
Website  |  Goodreads  |   Twitter   |  Facebook  |   Book Site

Purchase Don't Breathe A Word:



***Sneak Peek of Don't Breathe A Word***

Thanks to Cindy for hosting the DON’T BREATHE A WORD tour! I’m so excited to be here, and this is the very first day of the tour. Watch for chances to win books, swag, find out lots of secrets, and enter contests—the cover recreation contest starts today (December 26th) at Confessions of a Bookaholic!

So now for a sneak preview of DON’T BREATHE A WORD (coming January 3 from HarperTeen). This excerpt is from Chapter 2—the breaking point, just before Joy begins her plan of escape:

“Let’s go for a drive,” Asher had said, just a few days ago.

We didn’t talk about what happened the night before. His anger was expended, once I’d fallen asleep at his apartment and spent the night raging with fever and chills. He took care of me and brought me back to life. He bandaged my wounds and took away the hurt. Now we were at the tender point, the part I hungered for. He was always so kind afterward. 

But this time, he’d gone so far.  My skin throbbed at the memory.

“Where do you want to go?” I asked, once we were settled into his DeLorean, detailed every week to keep it satiny and fingerprint-free. He could have any car he wanted, but he chose one that required constant care. Like me. 

He gently lifted the seatbelt away from my hip and offered me my inhaler, then tilted my mouth to his so that I could taste his familiar mix of smoky and sweet. A warm tingle spread through me—even after the last twenty-four hours, he could still have this dizzying effect.  

“How about you choose, Joy.”

Normally this kind of statement would be a test. If I could navigate the land mines, I wouldn’t be punished. Not this time. A couple of crows picking at roadkill shot us curious looks, giving me an eerie chill.

I tucked my head onto the thickness of his shoulder, feeling it soften under my weight. He touched my hair, my shoulder, everywhere but where the pain was, as if soothing me. It was over now, and I wouldn’t run off with Neeta again without telling him. It was going to be better…he would stay close, watch over me. 

If I could walk this balance, everything would go back to the way it was in the beginning.
We passed a Starbucks on the way out of the neighborhood, where I used to go with Neeta. She could be there now with Ellerie and Ari, her new friends since Asher came along. They’d be sipping Frappuccinos, maybe talking about the trip. I hadn’t gotten a chance to ask Neeta what she meant, if she saw through it all. You’re different, Joy. 

I couldn’t risk running into them with Asher. As long as I stayed away, I could make sense of what happened, first with my brother and then last night. Seeing Neeta would jeopardize everything. I would crumble with one look, which would only make things worse.

 “We could go to the city,” I said. “Maybe get something to eat?” Though food was the furthest thing from my mind. 

He nodded, tipping his aviator sunglasses down over his eyes. I let out the air captured in my lungs. It was what he’d wanted all along. 

Seattle unfolded before us, the Puget Sound and the mountains and the entire city crammed into the low, wide windshield. The last droplets of summer rain strained to hold on as we sat in silence.

“You haven’t talked much since you got back,” he said. I fingered the Tiffany bracelet he’d given me, the one with the crow dangling from the edge of the plate. It identified me wherever I went, even to the ends of the earth. 

“It wasn’t a big deal. It’s just…Neeta and I haven’t hung out in a long time, and she thought we could visit Jesse at Western.” The truth was, I didn’t even know why I was going to see my brother until I got there.

We got off at the Olive exit, taking us into Capitol Hill. As we drove toward Broadway, the landscape changed from shiny to gritty, silk to leather, boutique to clothing exchange. Street parking became dense, and we circled to find a spot.

“I thought you didn’t hang out with Neeta anymore,” Asher said, with a hint of disdain. It was no secret he didn’t like Neeta. The words annoying and know-it-all came to mind, even if he had only ever treated her with the utmost politesse. 

 “We’re about to start senior year together,” I answered. “She thought we should go on a trip.” My skin felt like it was on fire, and I shifted for relief. 

The DeLorean growled to a stop at Olive and Harvard. Asher opened the winged door and left it up while he came for me, coolly noting the attention it attracted.

“So what did you do there? It had to have been good if you didn’t want to tell me about it. A party?” His question skewered me with dead calm. 

We joined the stream of pedestrians, dodging students and people talking to themselves, grimy homeless kids who probably hadn’t changed clothes in weeks. When my brother still lived at home, he would be down here all the time, handing out food and socks. Asher stayed close to protect me from the mumbling, smoking, unpredictable flow, the softness of his hand contradicting his words. 

 “No, no party,” I backpedaled. “We just stopped by to see Jesse, hung out, and came back.” Asher waited for more, for the point that would betray me. Usually I didn’t see my error until it was too late.
What I couldn’t tell him was that Jesse, the brother who always watched out for me, the one who found me when I’d stopped breathing, didn’t want to see me. He would feed the homeless and build houses in Mexico, but he’d had enough of me. There would be no help from him.

 “Hung out? And you couldn’t tell me about that?” Asher and I stopped in front of the Smoke Shop, the only place around here that imported the cigarettes he liked. A group of crows dive-bombed for a bit of french fry left on the street. He watched them with interest.

Air scraped in my throat like shards. I took a slow breath to calm my voice. I wouldn’t cry. I fumbled with my inhaler, and he steadied it in my hand. 

“Don’t,” he said, running his finger along the outline of my jaw and tracing up to the corner of my eye. “Just tell me the truth. Why did you take off like that?”

“Asher, I’m sorry, I didn’t think—”

“True. You didn’t think,” he cut me off. Then he smiled, and I couldn’t tell if it reached his eyes under his lenses. “I know it was a mistake. I forgive you.” He put his lips to mine, reminding me of that thrilling place between love and danger. I could barely feel the pain anymore. “It’s just…I missed you. I love you, Joy.”

Internally, something released. It wasn’t all bad, I would tell Neeta if I could. Sometimes he was incredibly, incredibly gentle. I loved him, too.  

What happened last night would never have to happen again. 

“Wait here,” he said. I’ll be right back.” Asher slipped into the shop and left me alone on the sidewalk. I knew better than to move.

And that’s when I saw him. The boy.

No, heard him… 

I’d met him once before, in an alley of shattered glass. 

I could see him better this time in the light. He was probably about my age, with dark brown hair hanging in pieces. Eyes a deep blue, skin rough and tan from exposure, body all wiry limbs. If he stood up, I thought, he would be well over six feet tall. 

His soft voice, a strain of guitar music reached out like a hand pulling me into an embrace.
He knows the use of ashes…he makes her shine with ashes…

The words sent shivers down my spine. 

The boy stopped, meeting my eyes with a strange kind of knowing, as if he’d been a part of my whole conversation with Asher. He must have recognized me, too. Maybe he remembered what he’d said to me, the last time we met. 

I saw how he treats you. If you ever need help, you know where to find me.  

On the ground, the boy seemed…safe. Even though the words he had once spoken to me were anything but. I didn’t know it then, but those words would change everything. 

When Asher came out of the shop, I was still standing there frozen—staring at the boy, our eyes locked with an intimacy both uncomfortable and comforting. Like he knew me. Could see right through me.
He could see the wounds, forming scars even now. Ashes. The words of his song echoed in my mind.
And I wasn’t sure I wanted that kind of knowing. I broke eye contact and darted into the nearest doorway. Asher followed, and we found ourselves in Hot Topic, surrounded by net stockings and studded boots. 

“What the hell was that about?” Asher hissed, and I braced myself. Until last night, it was only words.
Mercifully, a boot with four-inch heels distracted him. He ran a finger along them as if he were touching my skin. “These would look hot on you.”

A band tightened around my lungs. Instantly, I hated the boots. 

 “I want to see you in those.” Which, if it had been spoken by someone else, might have been completely sexy. But I knew what it meant with Asher. We would go back to his place, and I would put them on. He would start at my neck and work his way down, always leaving the crow bracelet alone. Would he unwrap the bandage? The thought of it made me hurt. 

Through the doorway, strains of guitar music drifted in and curled around me like threads of smoke. Meant to choke me or set me free? 

He wishes he could cure the scars…

I took out my credit card and gathered the boots. Asher came close enough for me to smell his mint and nicotine. He breathed his soft breath on my neck and his words into my ear: “I don’t like what you did last night, Joy. We’re going to have to fix it.”

That’s when I knew there was no way out…

Thank you again, Cindy, for inviting me to your blog, and I hope readers can’t wait for DON’T BREATHE A WORD…



***Giveaway***

As a part of the tour, we are giving away several copies of Don't Breathe a Word. Read these rules carefully to be sure you don't miss anything. 

***Rules***

There will be a weekly international winner for one copy of Don't Breathe a Word!
U.S. winners will receive a signed copy from Holly. International winners will receive a copy from book depository.

Fill out the form below for your initial entry.

To earn EXTRA ENTRIES :
Fill out the form again for each extra entry and be sure to leave your links.
  • +1 entry for each tour post you comment on. Be sure to leave the link to the post you commented on in the form.
  • +1 entry for each Tweeting, Facebooking, or blogging about this tour. Including the blog tour banner on your blog DOES count. Be sure to fill out form again to leave your link(s).
  • Fill out THIS FORM to enter.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Review: Asha in Time by Mandy Nachampassack-Maloney


Asha in Time by Mandy Nachampassack-Maloney
Release Date: November 22, 2011
Publisher: Self via Smashwords
Genre: YA

The Story: She was a normal girl with two normal parents, growing up normally in a small town far away from her fundamentalist adoptive grandparents. The only abnormal thing about Svana was that her parents believed her biological father was a sword wielding would-be murderer, but that’s their little secret not meant to be talked about in polite company.

She was just about to celebrate her thirteenth birthday (in a normal fashion for a normal soon-to-be teenager) when everything went abnormally wrong. Svana, the child who was always encouraged to be average, was about to become something far more than that. She was being called to her destiny, whether or not her mother thought that was appropriate.

For, in ancient Egypt, thirteen was a magical number. At thirteen, a girl was a woman. At thirteen, a girl owned her own body, her own future. At thirteen, a girl should have been thinking of marriages and babies, occupations and household making. At thirteen, a girl was encouraged to tempt fate and future with her own seductive hands. Svana was called to learn these things and learn them quickly, as a far larger plan was being set in motion all around and because of her.

Svana is just one of the many female characters introduced in “Asha in Time,” a YA novel that reawakens one of the most golden ages in Egyptian lore. Svana, the sable haired, exotic pariah of the modern day, found that her thirteenth birthday would bring with it the chance to take her place in history as a queen. Yet, she would have to adopt every extraordinary aspect of Egyptian culture to take up that role she was fated for and, most difficult of all, she would have to lose her heart to one of the most powerful, determined teenage kings to have ever breathed. Only the strongest among women could shoulder that yoke and Svana, after all, was only thirteen.

My Review: Wow, I love time travel type of books, but this one beats them all! There's something about using mythology, or lore, that turns out really neat. You're able to use a story that most already know, but throw in a few twists and turns. Asha in Time is the perfect read to just get away from reality, even if it's just while reading this book... Ok that made no sense, but really, you can put your name in place of Svana and imagine you're there in Egypt.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Review: Onyx Talisman by Brenda Pandos


Onyx Talisman by Brenda Pandos
Release Date: December 16, 2011 (ebook)
Publisher: Obsidian Mountain Publishing
Genre: YA

The Story: "Alora looked back and the corner of her lip turned up. “It’s always darkest before the dawn, Julia. Good luck.”
Her words sent chills up my spine as she vanished."


Unrest stirs deep in Scotts Valley. Filled with uncertainty, Julia anxiously awaits Nicholas’ return. Phil, hurt and unsure of his place as a sober vampire, holds the pieces of Julia’s fragile psyche together, secretly hoping Nicholas stays away forever. Scarlett bides her time, plotting for the perfect moment to prove herself and earn redemption. But somewhere in L.A., Alora conspires to reclaim her talisman and strip Julia of everything she holds dear.

Little do they know, a war is coming and more than one vampire would like to see the Prince of Vampires overthrown. As more and more vampires show up from nowhere, addicted to her scent, Julia must pick her allies carefully before it’s too late. Can Julia bargain with fate? When the time comes, will she even have a choice? Find out how it all ends in this explosive grand finale of The Talisman Trilogy.


My Review:
OMG, Onyx Talisman was definately worth the wait. As the third, and concluding book, in the series, it's so action packed that I couldn't put it down. I loved every bit of it, even when I wanted to wrangle Alora's neck!! And Nicholas... swoon! Not to mention the help that Phil is, even though Julia will never love him like he does her(We learned that in Sapphire Talisman, that's why I'm not afriad to say it now!). LOL But seriously, I can't say enough good about this book. If you haven't started this series, you NEED to!! I could tell that Brenda Pandos put a lot of sweat and blood into writing this whole series. Yes, I realize I'm using a lot of vampire puns, I don't care. This is not "another vampire" book. It's different than any other one I've read, and I enjoyed every minute of it. The Talisman series is one I plan on reading over and over again, to the point that I can quote it.

Bloodstone Saga By Courtney Cole - Music Playlist & Giveaway

Bloodstone Saga by Courtney Cole - Sponsered by Kismet Book Touring



Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

***Courtney's Music Playlist***


I know. I’m fairly strange, but I don’t listen to music when I write—I’m waaaaay too distractible. I do listen to music when I’m plotting, which is usually when I’m out walking. I usually latch onto a song that has just the right ‘feel’ to put me in the right mood for writing a particular scene in a book.


For Every Last Kiss, I saw that Taylor Swift had a song out called “Last Kiss”. The title piqued my interest since it was so close to my book title, so I checked it out—and it was just the right mood. I listened to it a lot when I was writing Every Last Kiss. I also listened to “When You’re Gone” by Avril Lavigne.


For Fated , I listened to an old Avril Lavigne song—“I’m With You.” I was also into Ingrid Michaelson and even though the lyrics didn’t fit what I was writing at all, I listened to “The Chain” a lot—I just liked the sound. It sounded right.


During My Last Breath, I listened to some old Evanescence … like “Bring Me to Life”, “Going Under” and of course, “My Immortal”. With My Last Breath had a few battle scenes… so Evanescence’s grittier, tougher lyrics were a good fit.


For My Tattered Bonds, I listened to “Long Live” by Taylor Swift. My Tattered Bonds is all about emerging triumphantly… and I think that song set that mood for me. I also listened to “Set Fire to the Rain” by Adele a lot. Evanescence(My Immortal) made a reappearance, too—It was just the right mood for several darker parts of the book. Especially when I wrote the scene where Harmonia was in Hades’ palace…she forced herself into a coma-like state in order to turn the mortal world black. She missed Cadmus so much that “My Immortal” was perfect. I listened to it over and over while I plotted that part out.


I’m currently working on Soul Kissed, the first book in the Moonstone Saga and while I plot it, I listen to a couple of songs on the Breaking Dawn soundtrack: “Turning Page” by Sleeping at Last and of course, “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri. They’re sweet and loving…and express immortal love… exactly the mood I need to set for this book.


~ Courtney


This week, find other posts about Fated here:
Monday, December 19th - Savannah, Books With Bite


Tuesday, December 20th - Briana, The Book Pixie


Wednesday, December 21st - Nicole, Books Complete Me


Thursday, December 22nd - Sarah, Workaday Reads


Friday, December 23rd - Hikari, Imaginary Reads



***Giveaway***
~ Opened to US/Canada residents only.
~ Daily giveaway ends 12/21/11 at Midnight MST
~ Grandprize giveaway ends 1/8/12

Courtney is offering two give-aways for those following her tour!

The first give-away is a daily one with a unique prize for each stop! Here, Courtney is offering a signed bookmark and an authentic Greek Drachma, necessary for paying the ferryman to the Underworld!


To enter the daily give-away, you must leave a comment on the tour post. As this is a daily prize, you will have until midnight MST 12/21/11 to leave a comment with your name and email.


The second give-away is for a grand prize of a gorgeous Kindle Touch skinned with the cover art from the final book in the Bloodstone Saga: My Tattered Bonds!



Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Review: Existence by Abbi Glines




Existence by Abbi Glines
Release Date: December 12, 2011
Publisher: Wild Child Publishing
Genre: YA Paranormal

The Story: What happens when you're stalked by Death? You fall in
love with him, of course.

Pagan Moore doesn’t cheat Death, but instead, falls in love with him.

Seventeen year old Pagan Moore has seen souls her entire life. Once she realized the strangers she often saw walking through walls were not visible to anyone else, she started ignoring them. If she didn’t let them know she could see them, then they left her alone. Until she stepped out of her car the first day of school and saw an incredibly sexy guy lounging on a picnic table, watching her with an amused smirk on his face. Problem is, she knows he's dead.

Not only does he not go away when she ignores him, but he does something none of the others have ever done. He speaks. Pagan is fascinated by the soul. What she doesn’t realize is that her appointed time to die is drawing near and the wickedly beautiful soul she is falling in love with, is not a soul at all.

He is Death and he's about to break all the rules.

My Review: Dang!! Who thought Death could be so hot?! But seriously, this book was awesome. I guess I've gotten into the whole angels and demons kick now... How neat would it be to see souls? At least I think it's neat. I couldn't put this book down!

Monday, December 19, 2011

International Kissing Club Blog Tour: Guest Post with Ivy Adams & Giveaway



Having just recently finished THE INTERNATIONAL KISSING CLUB by Ivy Adams and having loved it, I'm super excited to have the authors of the book here with us today to talk about writing as a team. We hope you enjoy the guest post and be sure to read below for more details on how to win some fabulous prizes!

***Guest Post***

Around the World in 80 Kisses Smooch Stop #22

Writing as a Team

One of the questions we get all the time is “How did three writers work together to write one book?”
Of course, the short answer is we each wrote a different character and we collaborated on the forth character (Mei). But the real answer is much more complicated than that. The truth is writing a book with two other people is completely unlike writing a book on your own. The best way to explain is to just show you. When I’m writing all by myself here’s what’s going on in my head.
Below, I’ve included a short scene from IKC. In italics, I’ve added the kinds of things that go through my mind when I’m writing.

“Oh, honey,” Autumn cooed.  What is she, a dove? “I’m so glad you came by. I was worried when you and River broke up that I wouldn’t see you anymore. Come sit down. I have a really nice tea in the thermos.” Tea? What kind of tea? I should go research this. And possibly make myself a cup of Earl Grey.
Izzy sighed and swallowed past her tears, tried to speak, and then just nodded as she sank into one of the chairs at the back of the stall. Why is everyone always sighing? Why do I feel like I have to describe every single breath they take? They’re not in a yoga class. Autumn bustled around, offering roasted soy nuts and fresh figs. Hmmm ... I’m hungry. Maybe I should have a snack. Do I have any soy nuts? Okay, no soy nuts, but I did find a Reeses peanut butter cup. That’s totally high in protein. Back to work.
After a few minutes of crying, Izzy started to talk. “On paper, River and I looked like the perfect couple. I thought we were alike in every way.”
Autumn nodded sympathetically. “I know, honey.”
“And now he’s off in Lubbock.” She shot a sideways glance at Autumn, and shrugged. Why does everyone always shrug? My god, they are in a yoga class. “Have you seen his Facebook updates lately?” she asked tentatively.
Autumn’s smile wavered and her head bobbed. And now, downward dog! “He is expressing his freedom uniquely.”
“So you’ve seen his page. Why aren’t you freaking out about it?”
Autumn sighed, but the placid nurturing never left her expression. OMG, this is the worst dreck I’ve ever written. Maybe I should go on-line and download job applications. Or at least check Facebook. “He has to find his own way.”
“He’s betraying everything you raised him to believe,” Izzy pointed out. No. It’s no good. I’m not qualified to do anything else. I’m just going to have to fix this in revisions.
“Honey, I know you’re having a really big experience of anger right now—” Oh, god. Revisions. Kill me now.
“I’m not having an experience of anger.” Izzy gritted her teeth. “I’m frickin’ pissed.” Come to think of it, I have been feeling a little fatigued. Maybe I’m dying. I hear meningitis really sucks. I bet that’s it.

So, you can see, it’s no fun coming to work with Emily McKay. I mean, I get the work done, but man, I’m so damn whiney, I annoy even myself. Okay, especially myself.
But coming to work with Tracy and Shellee everyday was fun. Tracy is peppy and energetic. Every time I’d start my downward whine spiral, she’d look up from the computer and say, “This is going to be great, don’t you think?” I’d pause, think about it and (since I knew Tracy’s stuff was great already and Shellee was still working (a procrastinator like me), but that her stuff was going to be great (and it was)), I started to feel like maybe either my stuff would be at least okay. (See, whiney. All the time.) And sometimes I’d even take a look at the scene I was working on and it would seem pretty good. Despite the deep breathing and the yoga.
We writers spend a lot of time in our own heads. We have to, ‘cause that’s where the stories come from. The really great thing about working with Shellee and Tracy is that I wasn’t only in my own head. All in all, working on IKC was the most fun I’ve ever had on a book.

Thank you for hosting us today! Now a question for everyone else: are you a lone wolf or a team player?

Tell me in the comments (leave your email so we can contact you) to be entered to win the Around the World In 80 Kisses daily and weekly prize and also become eligible to win the Grand Prize, a Kindle Fire. For a list of all our Smooch Posts you can visit and earn more entries to win, visit us here.


The International Kissing Club by Ivy Adams is the story of four best friends: Piper, Cassidy, Mei, and Izzy--the misfits of Paris, Texas. Their whole lives, they’ve dreamed of escaping small-town life and seeing the world. So when Piper is the victim of an embarrassing prank that goes viral online, she gets the idea that the girls should escape via the school’s international exchange program, in search of fun, love and internet redemption.

Emily McKay along with Shellee Roberts and Tracy Deebs write under the pseudonym Ivy Adams. They shop, gossip and watch movies in Austin, Texas.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

#BIR2011: THE SCORPIO RACES by Maggie Stiefvater - Review and giveaway



Welcome to the last day of BIR2011! We may be at the end of our week long tribute to our favorite books of this year, but there is still a lot going on today, so make sure you check out the Best I've Read blog for our double feature of Delirium by Lauren Oliver and The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin. And don't forget about all of the other blogs participating. They all have a featured author/book for today. You can find the schedule HERE. So many great books/authors/giveaways involved in BIR2011. As a special treat, come back to the BIR2011 blog on Monday for an epic giveaway.


The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
Released on October 18, 2011
Published by Scholastic Press

It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die.

At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them.

Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn’t given her much of a chance. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen. (from Goodreads)



Maggie Stiefvater is widely known for her Wolves of Mercy Falls series. And that is one of my favorite series of books. I loved this book even more.
The Scorpio Races is not your typical YA Novel. It is steeply based in myth, and although fictional, there are flavors of real cultural myths.
Every October, the capall usice (pronounced CAPple ISHka) make their way to shore out of the depths of the ocean. They are hungry for blood.
And every year, the men on the island, in typical testosterone form, catch/buy/train these water horses for the November Scorpio Races. There can only be one winner, and many lose their lives.
Sean Kendrick has won the past four Scorpio Races. A quiet boy with one foot on the land and one in the ocean, Sean has an affinity for all horses, especially the capall usice. He is the one that everyone else turns to when there is trouble with the water horses.
Puck Connolly is an outspoken girl trying to keep her family together after the death of her parents by the capall usice the year before. While times are hard, and food is meager, she pushes on and does the best she can for her and her brothers.
Puck, although very connected to her own  horse, has never been interested in the capall usice, or the Scorpio Races.
Until she finds herself the first female in the history of the races to participate.

This is one of the most beautifully written books I have read. The imagery conveyed in Stiefvater's words brings about a beautiful, harsh world. The personalities and traits of the characters brings them to life and puts the reader right there in the story with them. I couldn't help but feel connected, and empathetic with Sean, Puck, and the remains of the Connolly family, as well as those they interact with on a daily basis.
 Being the atypical YA Novel, people might want to shy away from it. Those that do are sorely missing out. There is something for everyone in this book: action, adventure, suspense and a romance of heart-melting proportions. 


About the author: All of Maggie Stiefvater's life decisions have been based around her inability to be gainfully employed. Talking to yourself, staring into space, and coming to work in your pajamas are frowned upon when you're a waitress, calligraphy instructor, or technical editor (all of which she's tried), but are highly prized traits in novelists and artists. She's made her living as one or the other since she was 22. She now lives an eccentric life in the middle of nowhere, Virginia with her charmingly straight-laced husband, two kids, two neurotic dogs, and a 1973 Camaro named Loki. 

Maggie can be found on Goodreads, Facebook, and http://maggiestiefvater.com/

 


* * * Giveaway* * *

We have two copies of The Scorpio Races available to giveaway. 
US only and no P.O. Boxes, please. 
Just fill out this form:


#BIR2011: METAMORPHOSIS by Devon Ashley - Interview and Giveaway


I am sad, this is the last day of Best I've Read 2011. But I guess it's true what they say, "save the best for last"! Well, in this case it's not true. We here at BCM are so glad that all our favorite authors, publishers and bloggers joined us this year, some repeats from last year! ;) And without further ado, let's get to the last ones!

First, be sure you stop by the Best I've Read Blog to check out today's feature author and book. And make sure you also check out the full schedule for the week to ensure you don't miss anything. There will lots and lots of awesome features and giveaways. Don't miss out!

I just LOVED reading Metamorphosis by Devon Ashley!!! I thought I would get bored with "another" vampire book, but I literally couldn't put it down!!!

Here's a little bit about the book and the author:


Metamorphosis by Devon Ashley
Release Date: November 2011
Publisher: CreateSpace

The Book: Change is not always a good thing... Some survived the battle – but not without a price. As one heart starts up again, another dies down. The pure vampires learn their immortality isn't as strong as they'd thought – the status of their hearts determines their vulnerability. And when the truth gets out, a betrayal by one of their own will cost more lives.






You can find Devon Ashley online:
Facebook / Blog  / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Goodreads


Check out my review of Metamorphosis here.




*** Interview with Devon Ashley ***
BCM: Would you want to be an immortal like Abby and Noel?


DA: Being a pure vampire wouldn't be that bad. I wouldn't be really dead, I wouldn't have to drink blood, I'd have no urge to attack people for that blood, I could eat all the junk food I wanted and not gain a pound, and if needed, I could drain enough of my blood in a pinch to get my heart beating again to pass as a human.

BCM: Where is one place you would love to visit?

DA: Palau. That's my dream destination (even though Survivor filmed there once and probably made it way more popular than I'd like). There are bungalows on the water, lots of snorkeling or scuba diving, and I really want to swim through Jellyfish Lake! (don't worry...these jellyfish don't have any stingers!)

BCM: What was your first date like?

DA: Oh my God, that was a long time ago. Other than a few school dances, I wasn't really interested in dating in high school, so I don't think I really began until I was 18 or 19. More than likely we just went to a movie and hung out a bit afterwords. Super exciting, right? ;)

BCM: Besides your books, what other books do you like to read?

DA: I'm a big fan of YA books: dystopian, paranormal romance, urban fantasy, supernatural and romance. I'm also a sucker for historical romance. This year I really loved Wither, Delirium, Ashfall, Demonglass and Under the Stars.

BCM: How does it feel seeing your name in print?

DA: Surreal, perhaps? Like I still think I'll wake up to find I never did the whole publishing thing.

BCM: What are some of your hobbies?

DA: Wow...I have several and the house is filled with unfinished projects I haven't gotten back to. I like to make wall decor and toys for my little boy and nieces (and usually blog about them on The Stray Duck.) I'm a fierce knitter and my secret stash of needles and yarn would astound you! (seriously...I have a problem.). But I spend so much time working on the computer and taking care of my family that my projects get sidelined a lot.


*** Giveaway ***

 
- Opened to US residents only.
- Ends at midnight on December 23rd
- +1 entry if you are a BCM Google Friend Connect follower
- +1 entry if you are a Devon Ashley Google Friend Connect follower


Oh, and it's for Metamorphosis AND Ordained (which is Book 1 in the series!)  So one person will win two books!!


Friday, December 16, 2011

#BIR2011: HALF-BLOOD and OBSIDIAN by Jennifer L. Armentrout - Character Interviews & Giveaways


I can't tell you how excited I am about today's line-up here on BCM. First we had WILDEFIRE by Karsten Knight and now we are featuring two of the best books of the year, one of which is my without-a-doubt favorite. 

Those books are HALF-BLOOD and OBSIDIAN by Jennifer L. Armentrout. Jennifer is joining us here today with a super fun joint interview of her leading guy characters: Aiden, Seth & Daemon. Oh, and we are also offering you a chance to win both books as well. Enjoy!

Also, be sure you stop by the Best I've Read blog today to read our interview with Tara Hudson and enter to win her great book, HEREAFTER. 

***About Half-Blood***

Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Release Date: September 19, 2011

About: The Hematoi descend from the unions of gods and mortals, and the children of two Hematoi-pure-bloods-have godlike powers. Children of Hematoi and mortals-well, not so much. Half-bloods only have two options: become trained Sentinels who hunt and kill daimons or become servants in the homes of the pures. 

Seventeen-year-old Alexandria would rather risk her life fighting than waste it scrubbing toilets, but she may end up slumming it anyway. There are several rules that students at the Covenant must follow. Alex has problems with them all, but especially rule #1: Relationships between pures and halfs are forbidden. 

Unfortunately, she's crushing hard on the totally hot pure-blood Aiden. But falling for Aiden isn't her biggest problem--staying alive long enough to graduate the Covenant and become a Sentinel is. If she fails in her duty, she faces a future worse than death or slavery: being turned into a daimon, and being hunted by Aiden. And that would kind of suck

***About OBSIDIAN***
Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Release Date: December 6, 2011

About: 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.

You can find Jennifer L. Armentrout online:


***Interviews with Aiden, Seth & Daemon***

BCM: Someone once said, "The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting." What say you?

Aiden smiles. “Sounds like a wise man.” 

Seth snorts. “Sounds like a wussy.”

Daemon looks over at them. “I think I like you, Seth.”
 
BCM: Daemon, that’s not really an answer to the question.
 
“Obviously whoever said that didn’t have a strong enemy.”

Aiden rolls his eyes.  

BCM: Describe your love interest in one sentence.
 
Seth glances at Aiden. “Sexy.”

Aiden takes a deep, slow breath. “Strong.”

Daemon arches a brow. “I am sensing some animosity here, but anyway, one word? Trouble.”

BCM: Vampires, Werewolves, Aliens or Gods?

Daemon crosses his arms. “Are you for real? There’s no such thing as gods or vamps.”

“Oh, and aliens are real?” Aiden says. “I think us being llamas is more likely than aliens.”

Seth chuckles. “Boy fight!”

BCM: Okay, gentlemen, can you just answer the question?
 
“Aliens,” Daemon says. 

“Gods,” Aiden mutters.

Seth smiles. “We're llamas.”

BCM: What is the single most important thing to you right now?

Aiden leans forward. “Alex…”

“Alex,” Seth says.

Slowly, Aiden turns to Seth. “Are you serious?”

Daemon shakes his head. “I feel like I need to say Alex just to fit in here.”

Both guys face Daemon. 

“What?” he says. “I just want to be one of the cool kids.”

BCM: What's your favorite pastime?
 
“Killing things,” Seth says. “Does that count as a hobby?”

Daemon blinks. “I really do like this kid. Even if I can’t pronounce whatever the hell he is.”

“I’m just that cool,” Seth replies. 

Aiden’s jaw tightens. “Playing the guitar—that’s my hobby.”

“Um, I don’t have any hobbies,” Daemon says, tapping a finger off his chin. “Though, Kat thinks I like to kick puppies or something. Yeah, let’s go with that.”

BCM: If you had to spend the day with one of the other guys in the room, which would it be and why?
 
“I would like to go with Daemon, because he seems pretty cool.” Seth pauses. “But I’d pick Aiden, just because I know he’s secretly in love with me.”

Aiden rubs his brow. “One of these days, Seth, I’m going to physically destroy you.”

“I’d like to see it,” Seth replies.

“What kind of history do these two have?” Daemon’s brows knit. “Do I have to pick either of them? Screw that.”

BCM: Okay. Never mind. Moving on. What is the least favorite thing about being a God/Apollyon/Alien?
 
Aiden nods. “The rules are my least favorite thing.”

“Yeah, there’s not I hate about being the Apollyon,” Seth says. 

Daemon laughs. “I have to go with Seth. Aliens are pretty damn awesome.”

Aiden leans back in his chair. “The modesty in this room is remarkable.”

BCM: What is your most favorite thing about being a God/Apollyon/Alien?
 
“I’ll go with everything,” Seth says with a grin. 

“Big surprise there,” Aiden mutters. “Most favorite thing is the strength and ability to control fire.”

“You control fire?” Daemon leads back. “That’s cool. So can I to a certain extent. Healing is my fave.”

Seth makes a face. “I can control every element, including akasha.”

“What in the hell is ashanti?” Daemon asks. 

Aiden busts out laughing.

“Whatever. It’s a-ka-sha, idiot.”

Daemon’s eyes turn luminous. “Excuse me?” 

BCM: All right, scale it back boys. So, is there anything else you'd like to add to the interview or about one another?
 
“Oh, dear gods,” Aiden sighs.

“I have a lot of things I like to say to Aiden.” Seth smiles charmingly. “First off, Aiden, you make me want to—”

“Jump off a cliff?” Aiden suggests. “Be my guest. And what can I say about you? A big, fat nothing, because honestly, it’s not even worth coming up with something.”

“Oh, burn,” Daemon says.

Seth’s head snaps toward Daemon. “And you? You glow… that’s kind of weird, right? I mean, I guess you never need a flash light.”

Daemon’s eyes narrowed. “Just when I thought I was making a new friend, you have to go and ruin it.”

“Cry me a river. Oh, wait, can aliens cry? Or do you just leak light?” Seth laughs. “I bet it makes pretty lights.”

“I think I’m going to hurt you,” Daemon says.

“Get in line,” Aiden says.

BCM: Okay, well…. um, it was nice having you guys all here. I think this interview is over. 
 
“It was a pleasure,” Aiden says.  “Thank you.”

“Whatever.” Seth stands, stretching his arms over his head. “I’m hungry. Anyone game?”

Daemon gives a short wave. “Peace out.”

***Giveaways***
  • Thanks to Spencer Hill Press and Entangled Publishing we have one signed, first edition copy of HALF-BLOOD and one copy OBSIDIAN to giveaway (winner's choice of paperback or e-book). 
  • Open to U.S. mailing addresses only.
  • +1 entry for following BCM via Google Friend Connect.
  • +3 for following Jennifer L. Armentrout's blog via Google Friend Connect.
  • Giveaway ends at midnight, December 23, 2011.
  • Fill out THIS FORM to enter.

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