Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #37

WoW is an awesome weekly meme hosted over at Breaking the Spine

Title: Pantomime
Author: Laura Lam
Publication Date: February 5th, 2013
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
R. H. Ragona’s Circus of Magic is the greatest circus of Ellada. Nestled among the glowing blue Penglass—remnants of a mysterious civilisation long gone—are wonders beyond the wildest imagination. It’s a place where anything seems possible, where if you close your eyes you can believe that the magic and knowledge of the vanished Chimaera is still there. It’s a place where anyone can hide.

Iphigenia Laurus, or Gene, the daughter of a noble family, is uncomfortable in corsets and crinoline, and prefers climbing trees to debutante balls. Micah Grey, a runaway living on the streets, joins the circus as an aerialist’s apprentice and soon becomes the circus’s rising star.

But Gene and Micah have balancing acts of their own to perform, and a secret in their blood that could unlock the mysteries of Ellada.

Why am I excited?
I've always been quite fascinated by the circus--I'm pretty sure I did another circus book WoW a couple weeks ago--and this one sounds awesome with the concept of chimaera! I'm keeping my fingers crossed for some romance though ;)

And don't forget to check out my Blogoversary Giveaway where you can win a super awesome YA book! :)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Top Ten Favorite Kick-Ass Heroines

Hosted over at the The Broke and Bookish

Ah, I'm such a sucker for a kick-ass heroine! They're usually my favorite kind of protagonist, so this was a pretty easy list to come up with, so here they are (in no particular order):

My Top 10 Favorite Kick-Ass Heroines

1. Well, first, let's get the obligatory Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games mention. Because, well, she's Katniss freaking Everdeen.

2. And then, of course, there's Rose Hathaway from The Vampire Academy who can kick some major strigoi butt while making sassy remarks as she does so.

3. My third choice might be a little obscure, but Isabeau/Evanjalin from The Lumatere Chronicles is the kind of princess who could shoot arrows and hunt wolves when she was just a kid. The girl is tough as nails. 

4. Now let's not forget Katsa from Graceling. I'm pretty sure there's no fictional male out there who's a match for that girl. If so, I would pay really good money to see that fight.

5. Following suit, we have Fire from Graceling's companion novel, Fire. Not only can she kick butt with a bow and arrow, but she's also a super strong character emotionally and mentally. 

6. Cinder, from Marissa Meyer's Cinder, just has to make my list too because I dare you to tell me she's not the toughest, most awesome Cinderella in the history of retellings. 

8. Of course I need to have my favorite female shadowhunter on this list too! Isabelle Lightwood, from The Mortal Instruments, who can kick demon butt in high heels--"nothing less than seven inches."

9. Most of you probably haven't hear of Aphra from Death by Bikini, but you should definitely pick up this series. Aphra is an awesome heroine and believe me, she kick some major bad guy derriere!

10. You didn't think I was going to forget about Tris from Divergent did you? If you've read Divergent, then you obviously know why she's on this list. 

So there's my list, leave me a link in the comments because I'd love to check out yours! :)
And don't forget to check out my Blogoversary Giveaway where you can win a copy of one of my favorite books--ones that some of these characters are from! :)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Review: The Spring Before I Met You

Title: The Spring Before I Met You (The Lynburn Legacy #0.25)
Author: Sarah Rees Brennan
Publication date: September 11, 2012

This story introduces us to one of the main characters of Unspoken, Jared Lynburn. Seeing him as the broken, dangerous, closed-off teenager that he appears to be from the outside allows us to anticipate all of the insight we'll have into his character when we get inside his head--which we will, since he's the heroine's "imaginary friend."
HOW do I even begin to describe how much I loved this short e-story??? I can sum up my reaction in this one gif:

I loved Jared's character in Unspoken, but reading his story in The Spring Before I Met You has made me love him even more!

"There were certain kids at school who could only be described as mad, bad, and dangerous to teach, and Jared Moore was their king."

Told from the POV of Jared's American guidance counselor, this short story provides insight on Jared's life before he met Kami, before he met his aunt, uncle, and cousin. Before he knew about the Lynburn legacy.

In Unspoken, we saw him as the troubled, brooding outcast, and while that's true in this story as well, you see so much more character depth.
You see Jared's sanity put into question and his apathy to the world around him, except that underneath it all, he's not as tough as he appears. In The Spring Before I Met You, you meet the Jared that loves to read, who has a dry sense of humor, whose most precious thing in the world is the voice in his head he believes belongs to his imaginary friend.

“She’s mine,” he said. “She’s the only thing I ever had for my own.” 

I am now sure that Kami and Jared are endgame. After seeing him in this story, it's impossible for me to believe that he could actually say those things to Kami at the end of Unspoken and mean them! If they don't end up together, I WILL FLIP ALL THE TABLES IN THE WORLD.

Once again, Sarah Rees Brennan has made me fall in love with her characters... and brutally ripped my heart out. This short story is simultaneously hilarious and utterly heartbreaking and I am certain that SRB one seriously evil author who enjoys wreaking havoc upon the heart of her readers. 

Rating: 5 amazing, heart-wrenching stars
This is a perfect read for anyone who's already read Unspoken and wants to curb their craving for Untold--but BEWARE of the intense feelings that this book may induce!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Blogoversary Giveaway!!!

Aaaaahhhhhh! This is so exciting!
Exactly on year ago, I made my very first post--a pitiful first post where I pretty much just said"Yaay, first post!" but that's beside the point. When I first started up this blog, I honestly thought I'd be lucky if just five people liked my posts enough to follow me.

343 posts and 278 followers later, here I am. And I just wanted to say a big, fat THANK YOU for reading my posts and making this whole book blogging experience so amazing.

To celebrate and show you all how much I love you, I'm having my very first giveaway!! <--err, one that I'm hosting personally.  :)
I've decided to choose a couple of my absolute favorites that I've read/reviewed since my book blog was born and here are the choices

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta
Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Saving June by Hannah Harrington
My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan

How to win one of these books
Must be 13 or older to enter (or have parents' permission)
Must live in a country that the Book Depository ships to
Must enter the rafflecoptor below :)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Feature and Follow #19

Follow Friday is a really fun way to make new blogger friends and promote your blog in the process! This weekly meme is hosted byAlison Can Read and Parajunkee 

This week's question:
What writing device or trick most irritates you when reading a book?

Oh my gosh. 
Without a doubt, it would be the dreaded use of INSTALOVE. (That counts as a device or trick right??) I just hate--really really hate--it when I'm reading a book and it's got a great premise and then BAM! The author smacks you in the face with a whopping case of instalove. 

I tend to think of instalove as a literary tool utilized by lazy writers.... 
I'm sorry, that may sound harsh, but would it kill you to give me good romantic development?! I don't want love at first sight! Often times, I end up liking the hate-at-first-site romantic scenario because then I get to actually fall in love with the character.

Well, there's my two cents.
What about you? What do you hate?? Leave me a link below and let me know if you're a new follower! :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #36

WoW is an awesome weekly meme hosted over at Breaking the Spine

Title: Transcend
Author: Christine Fonseca
Publication Date: September 18th, 2012
Publisher: Compass Press
All seventeen-year-old composer Ien Montgomery desires is an escape from his family's rigid expectations for his life; someone to inspire his music. When he meets a beautiful violin-prodigy, Kiera McDougal, his life music takes on new life. With her, he imagines a future outside of his parents’ control. That is, until a horrible accident tears them apart. 

Sent to die in a sanatorium, Ien’s obsession for Kiera grows unbearable. Tortured by thoughts he can’t escape and the truth of his monstrous disfigurement, he flees, desperate to exact revenge on the people that ruined his life – his parents. But, vengeance is empty. Betrayed by those closest to him, Ien discovers that the price for his happiness may be his sanity.

Set amidst the landscape of New York's Gilded Age, and inspired by Phantom of the Opera, TRANSCEND exposes the fine line between love and madness.

Why am I excited?
I loved Phantom of the Opera and this dark retelling sounds super good/creepy!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Guess what day it is....

Pssst. Guess what day it is....

Yup, that's right. I'm turning 17 today!!

And it is time to PARTAY.

Actually no partying for me because I ate so much food and all I want to do for the rest of the night is be a lazy couch bum. With my lap top. 'Cause that's how all the cool kids roll.

 But yes, I am officially 17!! XD
I was planning on doing a giveaway today, but Joie de Lire's blogoversary is in FOUR DAYS so stay tuned for an awesome giveaway then!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Review: Speechless

 Title: Speechless
Author: Hannah Harrington
Publication Date: August 28th, 2012
Publisher: HarlequinTeen
Everyone knows that Chelsea Knot can't keep a secret

Until now. Because the last secret she shared turned her into a social outcast—and nearly got someone killed.

Now Chelsea has taken a vow of silence—to learn to keep her mouth shut, and to stop hurting anyone else. And if she thinks keeping secrets is hard, not speaking up when she's ignored, ridiculed and even attacked is worse.

But there's strength in silence, and in the new friends who are, shockingly, coming her way—people she never noticed before; a boy she might even fall for. If only her new friends can forgive what she's done. If only she can forgive herself.
Fact #1: Clichés in YA are annoying to read about.

Fact #2: Hannah Harrington is an amazing author and can make the most overused clichés work.

Speechless is a unique blend of commonly-used themes, such as high school and bullying, and a very refreshing, new idea: a vow of silence.

The high school environment in Speechless is a huge cliché: the popular kids rule and there's a gorgeous queen bee that can make your life miserable if she chooses. Seriously though, whose high school is actually like that?! I know mine's not. This is a cliché used time and time again in YA, and while I wasn't crazy about it in this book, Harrington still managed to win me over with her magnificent characters. 

Chelsea Knot starts off as the typical popular mean girl--the gossiper, the follower. In the beginning, she's the type of character you love to hate. However, as the novel progressed, I fell more and more in love with Chelsea's character. This girl is funny, sassy, and tough as nails. Yes, she made a bad decision, but she chose to do the right thing, despite what it would cost her, and in the face of all the bullying she endured, she kept her head high and she never let it break her. 

Despite the fact that she doesn't actually talk to anyone for most of the novel--vow of silence, remember?--I loved her voice. It's so distinct and utterly relatable and very realistic. Chelsea underwent so much character growth throughout the novel and I loved seeing the inner Chelsea overcome the years of social conforming she did to please her so-called best friend.

The side characters were also fantastic. Chelsea's new friends were super cool people that I wished I could meet in real life and while the romance was a bit slow, I liked the development between Chelsea and Sam.  
But guys. More importantly... HARPER AND JAKE MAKE A CAMEO APPEARANCE!! 
That one little excerpt literally made my day as I read this.  :D

My Rating: 4.5 stars*
This is a powerful and emotional book and even inspirational book, with interspersed moments of utter hilariousness and garnished with sparkling wit. Hannah Harrington had such a strong debut novel that I worried Speechless wouldn't be able to live up to, but she did it. She's crafted an another spectacular must-read novel that I can't wait to add to my shelf!

*I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in return for an honest review

Friday, October 19, 2012

Cover Reveals: Ashes on the Waves + Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

Title: Ashes on the Waves
Author: Mary Lindsey
Publication date: June 27th, 2013

 Liam MacGregor is cursed. Haunted by the wails of fantastical Bean Sidhes and labeled a demon by the villagers of Dòchas, Liam has accepted that things will never get better for him—until a wealthy heiress named Annabel Leighton arrives on the island and Liam’s fate is changed forever.

With Anna, Liam finally finds the happiness he has always been denied; but, the violent, mythical Otherworlders, who inhabit the island and the sea around it, have other plans. They make a wager on the couple’s love, testing its strength through a series of cruel obstacles. But the tragedies draw Liam and Anna even closer. Frustrated, the creatures put the couple through one last trial—and this time it’s not only their love that’s in danger of being destroyed.

Based on Edgar Allan Poe’s chilling poem Annabel Lee, Mary Lindsey creates a frighteningly beautiful gothic novel that glorifies the power of true love.

Add it on Goodreads

My thoughts:
I know I may be part of the minority, but I just love it when there's a pretty dress on a book and the on on this cover is GORGEOUS! And it's based off of Annabel Lee! It doesn't get any better than that!

Author: April Genevieve Tucholke
Publication date: August 2013

You stop fearing the devil when you’re holding his hand…

Nothing much exciting rolls through Violet White’s sleepy, seaside town…until River West comes along. River rents the guesthouse behind Violet’s crumbling estate, and as eerie, grim things start to happen, Violet begins to wonder about the boy living in her backyard. Is River just a crooked-smiling liar with pretty eyes and a mysterious past? Or could he be something more? Violet’s grandmother always warned her about the Devil, but she never said he could be a dark-haired boy who takes naps in the sun, who likes coffee, who kisses you in a cemetery...who makes you want to kiss back. Violet’s already so knee-deep in love, she can’t see straight. And that’s just how River likes it.

Blending faded decadence and the thrilling dread of gothic horror, April Genevieve Tucholke weaves a dreamy, twisting contemporary romance, as gorgeously told as it is terrifying—a debut to watch.

Add it on Goodreads!

My thoughts:
I don't know why, but I'm just so attracted to the gothic vibe of this book! The script is so pretty and the synopsis sounds awesome! 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Feature and Follow #18

Follow Friday is a really fun way to make new blogger friends and promote your blog in the process! This weekly meme is hosted byAlison Can Read and Parajunkee  

This week's question:
When you step out of your usual genre, what do you like to read? Best books in that genre?

I guess you could say my usual genre is YA--all types of YA. Paranormal. Contemporary. Historical romance. Fantasy. I pretty much read them all. I usually don't step out of that genre, unless it's for school reading, but I guess on the off times that I do, it's to read some adult romance, often Urban Fantasy. 
I haven't read a whole lot in that genre, but I do really really like Rachel Vincent's Unbound series!

What about you? Leave me a link in the comments below! :)

My Thoughts: Heart of Darkness

Title: Heart of Darkness
Author: Joseph Conrad
Publication date: 1890

Dark allegory describes the narrator's journey up the Congo River and his meeting with, and fascination by, Mr. Kurtz, a mysterious personage who dominates the unruly inhabitants of the region. Masterly blend of adventure, character development, psychological penetration. Considered by many Conrad's finest, most enigmatic story.

Usually when I finish a book, I like to review it on my blog, but with this one, I'm not going to give it a rating (though I do have one on goodreads) because this was assigned to me to read for AP English. In general, I'm just not a fan of this style of writing and I feel like rating this book based on how it fit with my tastes would discount all the literary brilliance that Conrad displays. So, I've decided to just let you know my thoughts about this book.

Now, to be honest, I started this book at midnight the day it was due...
Yes, yes, I know. What was I thinking?!
I'll tell you what I was thinking: "Gee, this book only has 160-or-so pages. Pshhh, I can totally read that in an hour or two!"

For anyone considering doing this: DON'T. BAD IDEA. Boy, was it a bad idea...

Conrad's writing style was pretty.... confusing. And no, it wasn't confusing because I was reading it at midnight it was confusing period. Although, reading it super late at night certainly did not help.
On the whole, I found the narration pretty monotonous. It droned on and on and didn't capture my attention. Not going to lie, I totally fell asleep while reading this. Multiple times. The writing just didn't grab my attention.

Now there are certain books that you just absolutely have to read in an English class, and this was one of them. Once you actually start discussing symbolism and themes, holy wowza this book is chock FULL of them!
Reading this on my own and then talking learning about it in English class is like away layers of an onion. Once you dig really deep into all the complex web of symbols and understand all their meanings, you realize that Conrad's actually genius! Once you start understanding everything, it's like everything just falls into place and you see the real meaning behind everything. In the way he contrasts the savages and the Englishman, the way he characterizes nature as a character, and just the symbol of the Russian in general, it's all so deep in meaning!

All in all, while I did not enjoy reading this book, I cannot help but be awed by Conrad's brilliance in crafting this story. Did any of you have to read this for school? If so, let me know what you thought! :)

One Question Q&A with Gennifer Albin, author of Crewel

Hi and welcome to the One Question Q&A with author Gennifer Albin! We're here to celebrate the release of Gennifer's novel, Crewel, which was released October 16. Congrats Gennifer! 
A bunch of us from the Crewel Street Team are participating in this one question blog tour where Gennifer will be answering one question a day.

My Question:
Who would be your fictional nemesis?

Gennifer: Dolores Umbridge, both because she's evil and because she puts too much sugar in her tea. 

Incapable. Awkward. Artless.

That’s what the other girls whisper behind her back. But sixteen year-old Adelice Lewys has a secret: she wants to fail.

Gifted with the ability to weave time with matter, she’s exactly what the Guild is looking for, and in the world of Arras, being chosen as a Spinster is everything a girl could want. It means privilege, eternal beauty, and being something other than a secretary. It also means the power to embroider the very fabric of life. But if controlling what people eat, where they live and how many children they have is the price of having it all, Adelice isn’t interested.

Not that her feelings matter, because she slipped and wove a moment at testing, and they’re coming for her—tonight.

Now she has one hour to eat her mom’s overcooked pot roast. One hour to listen to her sister’s academy gossip and laugh at her Dad’s stupid jokes. One hour to pretend everything’s okay. And one hour to escape.

Because once you become a Spinster, there’s no turning back.
Add it on goodreads!

Author bio:
I like coffee. A lot. Writing gives me time to go get a cup without my kids. I like books as much as I like coffee, but it is easier to read with children hanging on you than drink coffee due to the threat of third degree burns. That's why coffee gets top billing in my intro: its unnattainability.

I hold a Masters in English with specialization in 18th century women's studies. While this is a highly marketable area of expertise, I stay home with my kids, which means my 3 year-old son uses correct grammar and doesn't burn down the house.

I have a ridiculously supportive husband who dreams of being included on a book jacket: "The author lives in Kansas with her husband, two children, and a Tuesday cat."

Author website l Twitter l Facebook

Purchase: Amazon l Barnes and Noble Book Depository

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday #35

WoW is an awesome weekly meme hosted over at Breaking the Spine

Author: Aviva Orr
Publication date: January 8th, 2013
Publisher: WiDo Publishing
When fifteen-year-old Heather Jane Bell is diagnosed with alopecia and her hair starts falling out in clumps, she wants nothing more than to escape her home in London and disappear off the face of the earth. 

Heather gets her wish when her concerned parents send her to stay with her great-aunt in West Yorkshire. But shortly after she arrives, she becomes lost on the moors and is swept through the mist back to the year 1833. There she encounters fifteen-year-old Emily Brontë and is given refuge in the Brontë Parsonage. 

Unaware of her host family’s genius and future fame, Heather struggles to cope with alopecia amongst strangers in a world completely foreign to her. While Heather finds comfort and strength in her growing friendship with Emily and in the embrace of the close-knit Brontë family, her emotions are stretched to the limit when she falls for Emily’s brilliant but troubled brother, Branwell.

Will Heather return to the comforts and conveniences of the twenty-first century? Or will she choose love and remain in the harsh world of nineteenth-century Haworth?

Why am I excited?
Umm, romance, Brontës, interesting concept.... basically a recipe for awesomesauce! :)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Top Ten Authors in YA

Hosted over at the Broke and Bookish

Normally, I'm the type to borrow books from the library first and then, if I really like the book, go buy it from the book store. My picks for best authors in YA are people whose books make me skip the library altogether and head straight for the book store because I know it's going to be good. These are writers who've consistently churned out beautiful writing and fantastic characters. Without further ado, here are my picks (in no particular order):

John Green
"My thoughts are stars I can't fathom into constellations."
-The Fault in Our Stars

"Lonely, Vaguely Pedophilic Swing Set Seeks the Butts of Children,"
-The Fault in Our Stars

Richelle Mead
"I know how devastated you must be to miss me, but leave me a message, and I'll try to ease your agony."
-Blood Promise

Cassandra Clare
"I am a man" he told her, "and men do not consume pink beverages. Get thee gone woman, and bring me something brown." 
-City of Glass

"To love is to destroy, and to be loved, is to be the one destroyed."
-City of Bones

Stephanie Perkins
“Once upon a time, there was a girl who talked to the moon. And she was mysterious and she was perfect, in that way that girls who talk to moons are. In the house next door, there lived a boy. And the boy watched the girl grow more and more perfect, more and more beautiful with each passing year. He watched her watch the moon. And he began to wonder if the moon would help him unravel the mystery of the beautiful girl. So the boy looked into the sky. But he couldn't concentrate on the moon. He was too distracted by the stars. And it didn't matter how many songs or poems had already been written about them, because whenever he thought about the girl, the stars shone brighter. As if she were the one keeping them illuminated.

One day, the boy had to move away. He couldn't bring the girl with him, so he brought the stars. When he'd look out his window at night, he would start with one. One star. And the boy would make a wish on it, and the wish would be her name.

At the sound of her name, a second star would appear. And then he'd wish her name again, and the stars would double into four. And four became eight, and eight became sixteen, and so on, in the greatest mathematical equation the universe had ever seen. And by the time an hour had passed, the sky would be filled with so many stars that it would wake the neighbors. People wondered who'd turned on the floodlights.

The boy did. By thinking about the girl.”
-Lola and the Boy Next Door

Lauren Oliver
"Love: a single word, a wispy thing, a word no bigger or longer than an edge. That's what it is: an edge; a razor. It draws up through the center of your life, cutting everything in two. Before and after. The rest of the world falls away on either side."

Melina Marchetta 
"It's a weird smile, but it reaches his eyes and I bottle it. And I put it in my ammo pack that's kept right next to my soul and Justine's spirit and Siobhan's hope and Tara's passions. Because if I'm going to wake up one morning and not be able to get out of bed, I'm going to need everything I've got to fight this disease that could be sleeping inside of me." 
-Saving Francesca

Sarah Dessen
"Music is a total constant. That's why we have such a strong visceral connection to it, you know? Because a song can take you back instantly to a moment, or a place, or even a person. No matter what else has changed in your or the world, that one song says the same, just like that moment."
-Just Listen

Jennifer L. Armentrout
"I've always found that the most beautiful people, truly beautiful inside and out, are the ones who are quietly unaware of their effect." His eyes searched mine intently, and for a moment we stood there toe to toe. "The ones who throw their beauty around, waste what they have? Their beauty is only passing. It's just a shell hiding nothing but shadows and emptiness." 

"Beautiful face. Beautiful body. Horrible attitude. It was the holy trinity of hot boys." 

Julie Kagawa
He smiled, a real one this time, though his voice remained teasing. “So, what do you think I am?”
 Naive, I thought at once. Naive, brave, selfless, incredible and much too kind to survive this world. It’ll break you in the end, if you keep going like this. Good things never last.
-The Immortal Rules

Hannah Harrington
"You're nothing like your sister," he tells me. "She meant a lot to me, okay? It's true. But the things I like about you have nothing to do with her. You - you are so strong and stubborn it drives me crazy. You're the one going through all this and you still put Laney first every time, instead of throwing yourself the pity party we both know you deserve. You call me out on my shit, and I like that, because sometimes I need someone to call me out on my shit. And you get Johnny Cash, and you take these incredible photos, and everything about you makes me hurt, in a good way, and it blows my mind that someone can be so amazing and not even see it." 
-Saving June

Close runner-ups

Rick Riordan (since he's "technically" not YA)
"Hades raised an eyebrow. When he sat forward in his throne, shadowy faces appeared in the folds of his black robes, faces of torment,as if the garment was stitched of trapped souls from the Fields of Punishment, trying to get out. The ADHD part of me wondered, off-task, whether the rest of his clothes were made the same way. What horrible things would you have to do in your life to get woven into Hades' underwear?" 

Kody Keplinger
"Great. He was a hottie, a good kisser, and a literature buff. God really must have had a sense of humor, because if I had to name my biggest turn-on, it was literature. And he had just recommended a book that I didn’t know, that wasn’t taught in school. If I were single, there would be no better pick-up line."
-Shut Out

Ally Carter
"Most little girls in England grow up wanting to marry
a prince. Bex grew up wanting to kick James Bond's butt and assume his double-0 ranking."
-Cross my Heart and Hope to Spy

Rachel Hawkins
"She was my assignment."
"From The Eye?"
"No, from the Boy Scouts. That Witch Dating badge just kept eluding me."
"Well, you must have at least three Total Douchebag badges by now, so that has to count for something." 


Rachel Vincent
“Wouldn't you be mad if I told you to give up on someone you cared about? Just... hand her over to someone who doesn't even deserve her?"
Tod gave me a strange, sad look I couldn't interpret, and the blues in his irises shifted subtly for a moment before he got control of them. "Yeah. I guess I would.”

-My Soul to Steal

Crimson Crimes Tour: Character Interview + Giveaway

We are thrilled to spend time with the fearless and outspoken Auntie Aileen, who is
understandably troubled by her niece Magdalene, the One and Only Vampire on Earth.
It’s fortunate for us that Auntie makes another appearance in The Crimson Crimes:
A Vampire Revenge by author Patricia K McCarthy. This is a rare opportunity to
experience first-hand her wisdom and sense of humour.

1. Describe yourself to me. 
Good gracious but that’s a stupid question… it’s not even a question, child! But if you must know, child, I haven’t got the time or patience for fooling around. Now for sure I’ve been known to imbibe the odd nip or twenty… seems to me you might as well enjoy life. Soon enough you’ll be pushing up the daisies and no one will bother to wink one false eye if you raised your skirt to show off your knickers. That’s been my philosophy. I never planned on living with the likes of vampires, for the love of all Creation. But I’m Magdalene’s aunt and I love her to smithereens. She’s got a heart of gold, even if her loins are devilishly wicked.

2. How do you fall in love? At first sight? Over a long period? 

My love life is none of your business, child. Is this the kind of cockamamie example you set? But if you must know, child, my niece Magdalene is love sick mad over that hybrid vampire husband of hers, Samuel. I swear the two of them would follow each other into the bowels of hell. To be sure, there’s going to be trouble at the end of their vampire story, I just know it. You can’t love a vampire without sacrificing your soul. And for the love of God, why would anyone ask such a stupid question? Love goes according to its own course, child. It’s like that baritone crooner Leonard Cohen says, “Love seizes you.” That’s about the size of it.

3. What do you consider your special talent? Or, what do you wish your special talent

Well now that’s a question worth asking and answering. I used to play piano for the silent pictures, those were the days. We could smoke indoors ‘til our fingers turned yellow and didn’t have to worry about the evils of marketing. I loved puffing all night long and not so much as one ball of mucus would be brought up. Gave up all that stuff, you know. My fingers are crooked now so there’s no more piano playing and my lungs are about ready to collapse. But at least my lips still work and my pouring arm is strong. Suppose that’s better than nothing.

4. What's the worst thing you've ever done? 

Got married and then had the foolish idea to give birth to eight children, all of them as hopeless as weak umbrellas in a fierce wind. You see God fools us with love, child. It’s how he tricks us into thinking that loving a man will make us happy. I never met a woman who could keep that dream alive after marriage. A woman has got to have her own passions. That’s my best piece of advice. You know what happens to a woman when she lives with a man? I tell you what happens… her workload doubles!

5. Do you care what others think of you?

 Never have, never will. If you worry too much about what others think or say about you, you might as well stick your head in the toilet for a good soaking until some sense comes back into your fool brain. Life is short, child. One day I was thirteen years old with a full head of wild, red hair and now I’m into my late seventies with barely a few strands left to comb over. I feel smarter and just as young in the mind but my body has other ideas. You’ll know what I mean, child, soon enough. Time waits for no one.

~Thanks Auntie Aileen for stopping by! Enter the rafflecoptor below for a chance to win The Crimson Crimes and read more about her!

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Monday, October 15, 2012

Crimson Crimes Tour: Giveaway + Guest Post by Patricia K. McCarthy

Hello lovely readers and thanks for stopping by Joie de Lire :)
Today, we've got a guest post from Patricia K. McCarthy, author of The Crimson Crimes, answering the following question:
 How has vampire fiction, or the public's perception of vampires, changed since you began writing the series? 

PKM: Since I started my Crimson series in 2003, vampires have gone mainstream with hugely popular television shows like True Blood and The Vampire Diaries (the first targeted toward adults with frank sexuality; the latter geared for teens with implied sexuality) and of course let’s not exclude Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series (I reviewed the first three movies for True North Perspective magazine). At one time, vampires were considered fringe in that they were deeply rooted in the horror genre with no alternate portrayal other than as ruthless villains. But thanks to romantic young adult fiction, coupled with the International success of the Twilight movies, vampires are now primarily powerful and charismatic romantic leads. But nothing in life, especially fiction remains static and this is a good thing, to my mind. The imagination cannot and should not exist in a vacuum - that would be the death of imagination. It was therefore inevitable for vampires to evolve (or devolve) into something more marketable. I write what I call paranormal vampire erotica which blends horror/thriller with graphic sex, suitable for adults and young adults. The presence of vampire erotica in the fiction world is timely and couldn’t have resulted without the public warming up to erotica in a big way. Look at the success of 50 Shades of Grey (despite the intensely critical reviews). Vampires, after all, are sexuality personified – the perfect predator who makes you feel desired and good about being devoured. Their power, immortality, and animalistic nature give a writer a plethora of plots to pursue, taking your story anywhere you want to go. I have set my Crimson novels in Ottawa, the city I adore, in contemporary times but my one and only vampire is over 900 years old, allowing me the luxury of interweaving an ancient element into my series.

~Thank you, Patricia for writing this lovely guest post, and thank you readers for stopping by! 

Keep scrolling for a chance to win a copy of The Crimson Crimes!!

Title: The Crimson Crimes
Author: Patricia K. McCarthy
Publication date: June 29th, 2012 by PKM Publications
It’s the dead of night in the dead of winter, and bodies have been found, stacked ceiling-high, in a hillside cave in Ottawa’s Strathcona Park; necks pierced, blood drained – the usual. The city is gripped by a dusk-till-dawn curfew. The press, police and public have whipped each other into a glorious panic over someone or something called the “Vampire Undertaker.” Well, when did a silly curfew ever shut down the kitchen party at the Crimson house? Bring beer, bring smokes, but please bring yourself to meet The Vampires (there are at least four of them) and their quirky human pals. We can take turns feeding the baby vampire, stalling the cops when they come knocking, and tripping out on that time-dream machine up in the bedroom. You’ve got to love people who know how to make their own fun! 

Giveaway time!!!
*this is a giveaway sponsored by the author, I'm just providing you with the rafflecoptor to do so, BUT due to the content of this book, I would not recommend it for younger teens*

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Saturday, October 13, 2012

Book Tour: Determinant by A. M. Hargrove

Interview with A.M. Hargrove

Q: What was your favorite book as a child?
A: My favorite book was The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett.  It's a wonderful story about a spoiled girl whose parents die and is sent to live with an uncle where she discovers a secret garden. 

Q: Describe Determinant in three words.
A: Determinant is gut-wrenching, romantic and mysterious.

Q: Which of your characters would you imagine yourself being best friends with? Why?
 A: I would love to be best friends with Jurek because he's such a darn trouble-maker with major issues and I've always been drawn to people I want to fix!

Q:Do you work with an outline, or just write?
 A: I'm definitely a pantser so no outline for me.

Q: Any parting words for our readers?
A: I hope you enjoy reading about the Guardians and Determinant as much as I love writing about them!

About her new book.....

Title: Determinant 
(The Guardians of Vesturon #3)
Author: A. M. Hargrove
Publication date: 
June 30th, 2012
Genre: YA

January St. Davis, on her own since the age of sixteen and struggling to stay in college, thinks she’s scored in a major way when she lands a paid summer internship at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. One evening, after working an especially long shift, a chance encounter with a group of mysterious men alters the course of her life.

Rykerian Yarrister, a Guardian of Vesturon with unearthly powers and impossibly gorgeous looks, finds himself at odds over the human female he recently saved from certain death. When it seems he is on the verge of winning her over, she is ripped from his hands by a strange and powerful being, threatening to destroy her if his demands are not met.

Do Rykerian and the Guardians have the ability to meet this fierce barbarian’s ultimatums, or will January suffer a horrid demise?

And don't miss the first two books in the series, Survival and Resurrection!

About the author:
One day, on her way home from work as a sales manager, A. M. Hargrove, realized her life was on fast forward and if she didn't do something soon, it would quickly be too late to write that work of fiction she had been dreaming of her whole life.  So, she rolled down the passenger window of her fabulous (not) company car and tossed out her leather briefcase.  Luckily, the pedestrian in the direct line of fire was a dodgeball pro and had über quick reflexes enabling him to avoid getting bashed in the head.  Feeling a tad guilty about the near miss, A. M. made a speedy turn down a deserted side street before tossing her crummy, outdated piece-of-you-know-what lap top out the window.   She breathed a liberating sigh of relief, picked up her cell phone and hit #4 on her speed dial.

Boss:  Hello

A.M.:  Boss, is that you?

Boss:  Why yes, A. M., who else would be answering my phone?

A.M.:  Er... right.  Well, I'm calling to let you know you can pick up my luxury Ford Focus at Starbucks near the interstate.

Boss:  Why ever would I want to do that?

A.M.:  Because I quit!

A.M. hit the end button and speed dialed her husband.

A.M.:  Hi hubs, can you pick me up at Starbucks?

Hubs:  Sure... Having some car trouble?

A.M.:  Not at all.  I don't have a car to have trouble with because I just quit my job.

Hubs:  WHAT?!

A.M.:  It's time for a new career and I am going to be a very famous novelist.

So began A. M. Hargrove's career as a young adult paranormal romance author of self-published ebooks.  Her series, The Guardians of Vesturon, centers around a family of six siblings and is a mix of humor, mystery, suspense and of course, love.  Survival, Resurrection and Determinant are her first and second and third full length novels in the series and Beginnings is the prequel novella.  (It didn’t happen exactly like that, but you get the idea!)


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