Sep 28, 2009

Say The Word, by Jeannine Garsee

Summary (from JeannineGarsee.com):


Who is the “real” Shawna Gallagher?

“Perfect” Shawna, a mature, responsible high school senior who caters to her controlling father, and plans to attend medical school instead of exploring her talent as an artist?

“Pathetic” Shawna, who still stings from the betrayal of her former best friend, and lusts painfully after a guy who’s obviously out for one thing?

Or “Evil” Shawna, whose unexpected snarky comments make the other Shawnas shrivel with embarrassment, and who resents the fact that her estranged, openly gay mom deserted her years ago?

Her life explodes when her mom suddenly dies, leaving behind a long-time lover, Fran, and Fran’s two sons. Seventeen-year-old Arye makes no attempt to hide his disdain for Shawna, while his quirky little brother Schmule takes an inexplicable liking to her—two “stepbrothers” who knew and loved Shawna’s mom in a way she never had a chance to.

When Shawna discovers the secret of Schmule’s origin, the chain of events that follow lead to a “new” Shawna who questions everything she once took for granted: her desire to be perfect, her sexuality, the meaning of friendship—and even her love for her father whose single act of violence she can’t forget.
My Opinion:

Say The Word begins with a phone call, one no one would ever want to get.
We're introduced to Shawna: rich girl who's been abandoned by her Mother, who ¡s left her Father to live with a new love interest: a woman.

Shawna's Mom, Penny, is very sick, and Shawna has to go see her before it's too late.
Enter Fran (Penny's Wife) and her kids, teen boy Arye and his little brother Schmule. No one is pleased with Shawna's coming over, and no one makes any attempt to hide their feelings. Enter Shawna's Dad, John: control freak, who likes to have everything done his way, or no way at all.

Shawna has to deal with the loss of a Mother she never really knew, a Father who's determined to bring his ex-wife's body with him to NY, against Fran's and Penny's wishes, and a guy she doesn't know, but whom she hates, and who hates her back. In the beginning, at least.

Shawna's always been told what to do, and so, she has a really hard time standing up to her Father. She learns little Schmule is more than Fran's son, and she goes the extra mile to keep him from her Father manipulative grip.

Say The Word is truly the story of a girl -who really could be anyone, anywhere- who's learning to make her own choices in life. This is a confused girl, whether it'd be about her Mother, her sexuality, or her future, that's taking baby steps on to finding her true self.

Monkey Rating: 4 Monkeys

Sep 27, 2009

The Fury, by L. J. Smith

Summary (from Amazon):

Centuries ago, two brothers – Stefan and Damon – fell victims to the power of love, their legacy being to live through the ages as the undead – vampires.

And now Elena, her lifeless body discovered in a river, walks the earth once more, sharing their fate – and causing brother to fight brother in an inhuman contest for her love. But when a terrible darkness rises from the past, a raging hatred that threatens to destroy all those she loves, Elena knows she must bring Stefan and Damon together again – whatever the cost to herself…


My Opinion:

I'm loving this series. This is for those who hate the Twilight Saga, but still like to read a vampire story every once in a while.

The world L. J. has created is keeping me on the edge of my seat always wanting to know more. This is a really fast-paced book, and I assure you you won't be bored at any time.

Elena, Stefan and Damon, they all know what they want and they go for it. There's no whining from any of them (at least, not a whining we see), but just pure action.

I'm torn between these two brothers, loving them at the same time; not in a selfish way, like Katherine; more like Elena, in a realistic way.
Everyone who's read this book can agree with me in saying that they both love her in their own way. Stefan found his love returned, while Damon puts on a brave face and pretends he doesn't care, which to me, makes him even more lovable. I have a thing for bad boys.

What I liked about this book, is that Elena knows exactly what she can and can't do. Having died, and come back in an unnatural way, she knows she has to stay away from the places she used to go when living. She does make some exceptions, to check up on her family, but she doesn't show up at their door step, and pretend nothing's happened. What striked me as a selfish behaviour from her at the beginning of the series, has grown to become an altruistic personality in Elena, when the time came to protect her loved ones.

Never in a million years would I have guessed what came next.
The Power that drove Elena to the bridge in The Struggle makes a strong character in The Fury, and it's one you'd never have imagined.

Elena and her friends have to stick together to defeat the threat this Other Power represents. A Power who's stronger than Damon and Stefan put together.

Once more the cliffhanger is a painful itch in the chest. I've grown to like this characters, and I wouldn't want anything bad happening to any of them.
I'll have to read Dark Reunion to find out what happens next.

Read my Review for VD: The Awakening and VD: The Struggle.

-THIS IS PART OF (THE ONLY CHALLENGE I'M IN RIGHT NOW) THE VAMPIRE DIARIES CHALLENGE-

Buy it from Amazon

Sep 24, 2009

Cleopatra's Daughter Winner!

video

Congrats winner!

You win a SIGNED copy of Cleopatra's Daughter
and if I'm not mistaken,
an original Roman coin!

I've e-mailed you, so if I don't hear from you in the next 48 hs I'll have to choose another winner.

(sorry for the vid's quality, i recorded it with my cell phone)

Sep 23, 2009

GUTG Bookmarks Winners + Win The Mark by Jen Nadol

The winners of these cool bookmarks are:

Juju from Tales of Whimsy
and
Diane from The Book Resort!


CONGRATS WINNERS!

You'll be getting a bunch of these bookmarks from Megan herself!
-----------------------------
Author Jen Nadol is having her 1st ever ARC giveaway, for her upcoming book,
The Mark

Head over to her blog and help her spread the word!

(The Mark was my WoW choice last week)

Waiting On Wednesday #5


Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking The Spine



Why am I WoWing this just now?

Beautiful Creatures, by Margie Stohl and Kami Garcia

There were no surprises in Gatlin County.
We were pretty much the epicenter of the middle of nowhere.

At least, that's what I thought.
Turns out, I couldn't have been more wrong.
There was a curse.
There was a girl.
And in the end, there was a grave.

Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.

In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.
Released in December, 1st, 2009

(Pre-Order from Amazon/The Book Depository (recommended)


Her Fearful Symmetry, by Audrey Niffenegger

Julia and Valentina Poole are normal American teenagers - normal, at least, for identical 'mirror' twins who have no interest in college or jobs or possibly anything outside their cozy suburban home. But everything changes when they receive notice that an aunt whom they didn't know existed has died and left them her flat in an apartment block overlooking Highgate Cemetery in London. They feel that at last their own lives can begin ...but have no idea that they've been summoned into a tangle of fraying lives, from the obsessive-compulsive crossword setter who lives above them to their aunt's mysterious and elusive lover who lives below them, and even to their aunt herself, who never got over her estrangement from the twins' mother - and who can't even seem to quite leave her flat...With Highgate Cemetery itself a character and echoes of Henry James and Charles Dickens, "Her Fearful Symmetry" is a delicious and deadly twenty-first-century ghost story about Niffenegger's familiar themes of love, loss and identity. It is certain to cement her standing as one of the most singular and remarkable novelists of our time.
Released in October, 14th, 2009


(Pre-Order from Amazon/The Book Depository (recommended)

Sep 22, 2009

The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins


Summary (from Amazon):

In a not-too-distant future, the United States of America has collapsed, weakened by drought, fire, famine, and war, to be replaced by Panem, a country divided into the Capitol and 12 districts. Each year, two young representatives from each district are selected by lottery to participate in The Hunger Games. Part entertainment, part brutal intimidation of the subjugated districts, the televised games are broadcasted throughout Panem as the 24 participants are forced to eliminate their competitors, literally, with all citizens required to watch. When 16-year-old Katniss's young sister, Prim, is selected as the mining district's female representative, Katniss volunteers to take her place. She and her male counterpart, Peeta, the son of the town baker who seems to have all the fighting skills of a lump of bread dough, will be pitted against bigger, stronger representatives who have trained for this their whole lives. Collins's characters are completely realistic and sympathetic as they form alliances and friendships in the face of overwhelming odds; the plot is tense, dramatic, and engrossing.
My Opinion:

This book is absolutely amazing. So amazing I read it in two days. I left whatever I was reading and finished it in no time. I had to stop because I needed to sleep, and go to school. But I took it to school with me and finished it there in a few hours (we weren't doing anything important, and I had to know if Peeta really loved Katniss, or if it was just a strategy!).
Collins's Present Tense writing threw me off at first -I'm not used to reading in the Present Tense-, but after a while it made sense. And I loved that Katniss was the narrator, because I got to feel whatever she was going through, and I, as a reader, knew exactly what she did, and that gave it a sense of overall mystery, I love being surprised!

I found I could relate to Katniss in almost every way: she stepped up to save her little sister from entering the Games, knowing that her chances weren't high, but at least her sister'd be safe. I would do the same thing if it happened to any of my brothers; I'm also a big sister. She was very head-strong, and didn't trust many people, unless these people had proven themselves worthy of her trust. Same thing with me. She was modest, and sometimes confused, which gave her a really humane personality.

I really liked Peeta (not his name though). From a start I wanted to believe he really did love Katniss, and I still do. I'm dying to read Catching Fire, and find out what this "Team Peeta" v "Team Gale" is all about, because the only thing I had on my mind while reading was how much I liked Peeta, Gale was barely mentioned. I understand the difference in them, Katniss shared her life with Gale, and she fought alongside Peeta in the Games, so she's got a strong connection with both of them. But I didn't see her thinking much about Gale while she was sleeping beside Peeta.
Maybe if I read Catching Fire I'll understand it better.

To sum it all up, The Hunger Games is a wonderful book, full of twists and turns, romance, not at all predictable (a huge plus to Collins!), and its fair share of darkness.

Monkey Rating: 5 Monkeys!

Buy it on Amazon/B&N

Sep 20, 2009

In My Mailbox #2

In My Mailbox was inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie
and started by Kristi of The Story Siren.

This week I got some great books!


Summary (from Amazon):

Unceremoniously fired from her job as Half Moon Hollow's children's librarian, Jane Jameson drowns her sorrows with a handsome stranger, vampire Gabriel Nightengale. When Jane is accidentally shot, Gabriel saves her life by turning her undead. As Jane starts to get used to chatting with her dead aunt, finding creative ways to dodge her mother's nosy questions and enjoying the chemistry with Gabriel, she's brought up short by being named a suspect in a recent vampire murder. Jane's snarky first-person narrative is as charming as it is hilarious,g enough humanity to connect instantly with readers. Harper keeps the quips coming without overdoing the sarcasm, and her take on vampire lore will intrigue and entertain even the most jaded paranormal fan.

Read my Review here.

Summary (from Amazon):

Once a devoted children's librarian, Jane Jameson now works at a retaininrundown occult bookstore. Once a regular gal, she's now a vampire. And instead of a bride, she's an eternal bridesmaid -- which leads her to question where exactly her relationship with her irresistibly sexy sire, Gabriel, is headed. Mercurial, enigmatic, apparently commitment-phobic vampires are nothing if not hard to read. While Jane is trying to master undead dating, she is also donning the ugliest bridesmaid's dress in history at her best friend Zeb's Titanic-themed wedding. Between a freaked-out groom-to-be, his hostile werewolf in-laws, and Zeb's mother, hell-bent on seeing Jane walk the aisle with Zeb, Jane's got the feeling she's just rearranging the proverbial deck chairs.Meanwhile, Half Moon Hollow's own Black Widow, Jane's Grandma Ruthie, has met her match in her latest fiancé. He smells like bad cheese and has a suspicious history of dead spouses. But Jane's biting her tongue. After all, would a nice girl really think she has a future with a vampire?

---Thanks to Diane for holding the giveaway in which I won these books! and Thanks to Molly for signing them both!---

Summary (from NadineLamanBooks):

Kathryn abruptly ends a self-imposed exile to return to Los Angeles. Her friends and a cryptic letter written by a powerful man push Kathryn to reconcile the past. Who says, “You can’t go home again?” Sometimes that is exactly what must be done. But, is it worth it?










Summary (from NadineLamanBooks):

Kathryn has the perfect job, the perfect friends and family, and the perfect lover; until a client dies, her lover moves away, she meets her paternal grandfather and learns the secret of her identity. Things are starting to make sense or are they really what they appear to be?










Summary (from NadineLamanBooks):
Grandfather McKenzie makes a surprise announcement at a staged media event. He names his successor to the McKenzie multi-billion dollar empire. The McKenzie heirs are not thrilled. The first lesson is: Money corrupts. Lesson two: Everyone has an agenda.


Thanks Nadine for sending
me these awesome books!

She also sent me a really cool cap, which I plan to use whenever I go for a walk along the riverside. Thank you, you're the best!

-------------


Summary (from JeannineGarsee.com):


Who is the “real” Shawna Gallagher? “Perfect” Shawna, a mature, responsible high school senior who caters to her controlling father, and plans to attend medical school instead of exploring her talent as an artist? “Pathetic” Shawna, who still stings from the betrayal of her former best friend, and lusts painfully after a guy who’s obviously out for one thing? Or “Evil” Shawna, whose unexpected snarky comments make the other Shawnas shrivel with embarrassment, and who resents the fact that her estranged, openly gay mom deserted her years ago? Her life explodes when her mom suddenly dies, leaving behind a long-time lover, Fran, and Fran’s two sons. Seventeen-year-old Arye makes no attempt to hide his disdain for Shawna, while his quirky little brother Schmule takes an inexplicable liking to her—two “stepbrothers” who knew and loved Shawna’s mom in a way she never had a chance to. When Shawna discovers the secret of Schmule’s origin, the chain of events that follow lead to a “new” Shawna who questions everything she once took for granted: her desire to be perfect, her sexuality, the meaning of friendship—and even her love for her father whose single act of violence she can’t forget.

---Can't wait to read this one! Thanks Nadine for the awesome giveaway, And Thank you Jeannine for signing the book!---

Last week (I saw the book at the store and I just couldn't wait anymore, so I took my savings and) bought:

Yep.

The Hunger Games.

My new book obsession.

What did you get?

Sep 19, 2009

Vampire Diaries Ep 2 (VD Challenge Update)

Last night I watched the second episode of the new TV series The Vampire Diaries.
This update is for the VD Challenge I signed up for.


This scene reminded me of Twilight so much,
I was just waiting to see the golden onion in Elena's hands.
No onion, but a Wuthering Heights book.
What a coincidence...
Elena was like: "You read Emily Bronte?"
And Stefan was like:"Yeeeah..."
awkward


In this scene, in words of the Busy Bee Lauren,
the horse-faced Vicki walks in, and says,
"I know you"

And Damon answers: "Really?" "Yeah, you're Boone from LOST, right?"

"WHAT? No, I'm Stefan's evil broth-"

But Vicki goes:
"Listen up everyone!
BOONE FROM LOST IS HERE!"

And that was the end.

Sep 18, 2009

Nice Girls Don't Have Fangs, by Molly Harper


Summary (from Amazon):

Unceremoniously fired from her job as Half Moon Hollow's children's librarian, Jane Jameson drowns her sorrows with a handsome stranger, vampire Gabriel Nightengale. When Jane is accidentally shot, Gabriel saves her life by turning her undead. As Jane starts to get used to chatting with her dead aunt, finding creative ways to dodge her mother's nosy questions and enjoying the chemistry with Gabriel, she's brought up short by being named a suspect in a recent vampire murder. Jane's snarky first-person narrative is as charming as it is hilarious, retaining enough humanity to connect instantly with readers. Harper keeps the quips coming without overdoing the sarcasm, and her take on vampire lore will intrigue and entertain even the most jaded paranormal fan.

My Opinion:

Molly Harper has created a witty, funny and sarcastic novel, one with which you'll be laughing your heads off from beginning to end.

When Jane Jameson (not Jenna Jameson) is fired from her librarian job, she decides to drown her pains in alcohol. Here enters Gabriel Nightengale, tall and mysterious, and the spark between them is obvious from the start.
And when she's turned undead, that spark grows bigger and stronger.
Jane has to deal with keeping her secret from her parents, especially from her mother, who's constantly calling her, asking Jane to have lunch with her -where Jane can neither eat nor go out in the sunlight-; and the issue of having the Council for the Equal Treatment for the Undead (imagine a not so spooky/evil version of the Twilight's Volturi) always keeping an eye on her, holding her responsible for a series of vampire murders.
Jane is able to sort through this things with (not so much) grace, and a wry sense of sarcasm.

While reading, I couldn't help comparing Nice Girls... to the Sookie Stackhouse series. Especially when Jane drank bottles of Faux Type O. But, I decided I needed to let go of the comparisons, and just enjoy the book.

I got into this book having some reserves about the theme. All the way I kept thinking: another vampire story? This has to be good! Are there enough of these books, or is the subject oversaturated? But I really am a Fanpire, and I really liked the writing, from Jane's POV. She always had something hilarious to say!

All in all, this is a very enjoyable quick read, with an edge of sexiness that will draw you into it in no time!

Author's Website:
http://www.mollyharper.com/

Author's Blog:
http://www.singleundeadfemale.blogspot.com/

Buy this book on Amazon

xo,

Sep 17, 2009

BBAW meme: Reading Habits


So, I decided to do this little meme. Looks fun :o)

Do you snack while you read? If so, favorite reading snack?
I do. I like drinking mint tea, having some chocolate, or a cup of coffee.

Do you tend to mark your books as you read, or does the idea of writing in books horrify you?
I only write in school books. Little notes. I've never written anything other than my name on the front page of a book, when it's not for school.

How do you keep your place while reading a book? Bookmark? Dog-ears?
Bookmarks.

Laying the book flat open?
It breaks the spine, and I don't like that. I once hit my little brother for doing it, even though he didn't know that'd happen.

Fiction, Non-fiction, or both?
Mostly fiction, but I like reading memoirs and an occasional history book.
I like Egypt a lot.

Hard copy or audiobooks?
Both.
But if I have to chose between paperback and hardcover, I choose paperback. Much easier to hold.

Are you a person who tends to read to the end of chapters, or are you able to put a book down at any point?
I try reading until the end of the chapter, but if my eyes are closing, and I know I can't keep reading anymore cause what I'm reading doesn't make any more sense, I drop the book at any point.

If you come across an unfamiliar word, do you stop to look it up right away?
No. Only if the word's haunting me hours later.

What are you currently reading?Marina, by Carlos Ruiz Zafón.

What is the last book you bought?The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins

Are you the type of person that only reads one book at a time or can you read more than one at a time?
I generally read more than one book at a time. Just because if I have a book that's lying on a shelve, I'm completely drawn to it, and can't wait to finish the one I'm reading.
So, I usually read 2 books at a time, sometimes 3, but the third is the one I pay less attention to. That one is usually a book I wanted to re-read.

Do you have a favorite time of day and/or place to read?
Night in bed.

Do you prefer series books or stand alone books?
Stand alones! I really hate wondering what happened, why is that happening, does she really love him, or what? (this is the quetion that's in my mind right now)
But I do like series. More stuff to read.

Is there a specific book or author that you find yourself recommending over and over?
Now that I think of it, I think that author is Isabel Allende.
I LOVE her, everything she writes, although she's not a YA author.
I started reading her last book, her memoir, and fell in love with the way she narrates.
Then I read De Amor y De Sombra (Of Love and Shadows) and loved it <3
I've read a bunch of her books but I still have to read a few more to finish reading her work.

I recommend her YA trilogy:*City of the Beasts
*Kingdom of the Golden Dragon

*Forest of the Pygmies
It's full of adventure!

How do you organize your books? (By genre, title, author’s last name, etc.?)
I just put all of the same author's books together.

That's it!

Sep 16, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday #4

Sixteen-year old Cassie Renfield has seen the mark since forever: a glow around certain people as if a candle were held behind their back.

The only time she pointed it out taught her she shouldn’t do it again, so Cassie has kept quiet, considering its rare appearances odd, but insignificant. Until she watches a man die. Mining her memories, Cassie realizes she can see a person’s imminent death. Not how or where, only when: today.

Cassie searches her past, her philosophy lessons, even her new boyfriend for answers, always careful to hide her secret. How does the mark work? Why her? Most importantly, if you know today is someone’s last, should you tell?

The Author:

Jen Nadol grew up in Reading, Pennsylvania, hometown of John Updike, Taylor Swift, and fellow YA novelist, A.S. King. She graduated from American University in Washington, DC with a BA in Literature which spent twelve years collecting dust while she worked in Human Resources for a national retail chain. These days, Jen lives north of NYC in an old farmhouse with her husband and three young sons.

THE MARK is her first novel and she is thrilled to be writing – the thing she always meant to do.

Release Date: January 19, 2010

Sep 15, 2009

Author Guest Post: Megan Crewe (+ giveaway)




The lovely Megan Crewe has written a very clever post
on how she created her ghosts
for her new book:
Give Up The Ghost

Let give her a round of applause, people!
---------------------------------------------------------

Creating a ghost

You can find stories about ghosts going back thousands of years. So when I
started writing GIVE UP THE GHOST, I had to decide which bits of ghostly
mythology I might use, and how I would shape them to fit my story and make my
ghosts unique.

Here are a few of the things that define my ghosts:

1. My ghosts have a confused sense of time. This was inspired by the stories of
ghosts who seem to be living out or mourning a tragedy over and over, even
though it happened decades or centures ago. In GIVE UP THE GHOST, the ghosts
have strong memories of their lives, and have trouble remembering anything that's
happened afterward. They can recall recent events for a few hours or even days,
depending on how long they've been dead, and then they forget again. The only
things that start to stick are changes that stay the same. For example, when one
ghost's parents first cleared out her old bedroom, she would freak out over it every
few hours when she'd forgotten and was surprised by it again. But after a few
weeks, the change "sank in" (as Cass puts it) and she accepted it as if it'd always
been that way.

2. My ghosts can travel, but they have a relatively small location they feel most
comfortable at. Most ghosts in stories seem to be stuck to a particular place,
often the place where they died. For my ghosts, it's a place where they felt at
home when they were alive. One ghost who had an abusive father hangs out in
the halls at school where he used to meet up with his friends; another, who
dreamed of becoming a ballerina, lingers near the gym where she used to practice.
But because they're more human than many ghosts, they can decide to leave their
comfort place if they want to--they just won't feel totally at ease until they come
back.

3. My ghosts have an individual smell. This wasn't based on anything specific in
ghost mythology--it just seemed to make sense, that wispy and ethereal as ghosts
are, they would carry something wispy and ethereal like a scent. Each ghost's
scent is related to their life: one ghost trails of a whiff of the hair oil he always
used; another travels with the smell of his favorite tea.
All of that added together, I hope, makes for ghosts who seem appropriately
ghost-like, but a little different in their own way, too!

Thanks for hosting me,
Megan
------------------------------------------------

What an interesting post! Really!
I loved having you, Megan!
Come back any time! ;)

Give Up The Ghost hits the shelves TODAY!
*deafening round of applause*

Make sure you go to your nearest book store a snatch a copy of this amazing book!

AND, I'm guessing you'll be needing a bookmark to go with your copy of GUTG.
So, I'm giving away (thanks to Megan, of course)
a bunch of this awesome GUTG bookmarks!

Just leave your e-mail in the comments section, and you're in to win one of this beauties!

There'll be two winners!

(US/Canada addresses only, please, we don't want to leave Megan penniless!)

Ends Sept 22nd!

In the meantime, I'm leaving you with the GUTG Book Trailer (which I love <3). height="315" width="400">

Sep 14, 2009

New Moon New Trailer :)

(pun intended...)



I'm really hoping NM will be better than Twilight.
Cause Twilight kind of is my favourite book in the saga.
But the film is not.
(but I'm not going there today)

This trailer gives me hope!
Look at those eyes!
That paler skin.
It's amazing, better than I had imagined.
And I like the change in the colour,
let me explain:
Twilight was kind of blue-ish, NM is orange-ish.
Get my point?

And Jane is my Favourite Volturi, so to have Dakota Fanning play her is
WOW!

What are your thoughts?

Sep 10, 2009

I'll be away for the weekend...

Have a great time!
I'm sure I will :o)

Me and my friends are going on a trip to a beach near here,
to spend the long weekend
(Friday is Teacher's Day)
and we'll be back on Sunday

I'll have a lot of posts to read when I get back!

Good weekend to you all!
I'll tell you how it went when I'm back!

xoxo,
Ella

Sep 8, 2009

Ballad/ Shiver Contest

This is a teaser from Maggie Stiefvater's BALLAD, a novel involving homicidal faeries and kissing that's coming out October 1st.

He turned towards me. For a long moment, he stood facing me. I was held, anchored to the ground – not by his music, which still called and pushed against the music already in my head and said grow rise follow – but by his strangeness. By his fingers, spread over the ground, holding something into the earth, by his shoulders, squared in a way that spoke of strength and unknowability, and most of all, by the great, thorny antlers that grew from his head, spanning the sky like branches.

Then he was gone, and I missed his going in the instant that the sun fell off the edge of the hill, abandoning the world to twilight.
Buy it here. Enter the contest at Maggie's blog here.

Maggie Stiefvater is holding a Ballad Contest every Tuesday until October 1st, Ballad's release day.

Here are the prizes:

1) A signed Shiver audio book.
2) Another signed Shiver audio book.
3) A CD of my Homicidal Faerie Mix -- the music I played while writing Ballad. - Maggie Stiefvater

The contest ends next Thursday, the 17th.

Sep 6, 2009

Cleopatra's Daughter Giveaway

Michelle Moran has kindly allowed me to hold a giveaway for her upcoming novel:
Cleopatra's Daughter

Watch the Trailer:


Now isn't it exciting?
I'm sure it is!
*adding it to my Wishlist*

So, to win a SIGNED copy of this awesome book,
as well as an ancient Roman coin complete with certificate of authenticity:
(This is open only to Followers, so if you don't follow TCM already, join!)

+3 if your a current follower
+2 for new followers
+1 if you Tweet it, Facebook it, post on sidebar, etc. (Make sure you leave a link!)
+5 if you translate the hieroglyphics on the bottom of The Heretic Queen
(these ones below are the
hieroglyphics) and tell me what they mean in a comment.

The code can be found at MichelleMoran.comIsn't it fun?
I already know what is says there!
You try it now!

This giveaway is open Internationally (cause Michelle is the coolest)
and it ends on the 23rd.

So enter away!

Cleopatra's Daughter is released September 15th!
A few days from today!

Author Guest Post: Shelly Nicholson


Please join me in welcoming Shelly Nicholson to The Clock Monkey!

Wow! I’ve visited lots of blogs this week on my tour to promote A Stinky Surprise for Jake the Snake and I’ve had a great time! I wanted to do something fun for Ella’s blog, because she has such a creative blog with her “monkey ratings” and her fresh outlook on books.

So I’ve decided to do a bit of an untraditional self interview…

Do I have any children? I have four children, 3 sons and a daughter! They are 13, 11, 7 and 4. Jacob, my youngest son, was inspiration for my two books Jake the Snake and the Stupid Time-Out Chair and A Stinky Surprise for Jake the Snake.

What kind of music do I listen to? I listen to a collectic mix; I love classic rock and anything I can dance to especially 80’s :) …I don’t really like country music. :(

What is my favorite movie? My favorite movie is probably the Notebook. I also love Wedding Singer and 50 First Dates.

Do I have any fears? I am terrified of mice and rats. Just like “Jake the Snake’s” mom in Jake the Snake and the Stupid Time-Out Chair and A Stinky Surprise for Jake the Snake.

When I was a kid, did I want to be a writer when I grew up? When I was a kid, I wanted to be a Dallas Cowboy’s Cheerleader when I grew up.

Who is my favorite children’s author? Kevin Henkes. I love his books Chrysanthemum, Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse, and Julius, the Baby of the World
What was my favorite TV show as a kid? The Brady Bunch

What is my favorite TV show now? Lost!
What is my favorite kid’s show now? iCarly or Drake and Josh

Thank you, Ella, for inviting me to visit your blog!
I am addicted to writing, so being a guest blog poster has been so much fun!
Right now, I think that writing for kids is my favorite pastime.
Partially, I believe, because I am still a kid at heart and imagination. I like to ride my bike with my sons, fly a kite (when I can actually get it to stay up in the air), walk around in moon shoes, sing Hannah Montana with my daughter as we travel down the highway with sunroof open and breeze blowing through our hair, read Harry Potter books, watch Disney movies, comb Barbie’s hair, bake in the Easy Bake Oven (and the real oven too), and just act plain silly.

Through my writing, I can really sink myself into the mind set of my youthful characters! It’s my intention to get early readers hooked on reading through humor and realistic characters. I want kids to be able to laugh-out-loud while they are reading my stories and relate to the situations. But I also want readers to be able to learn a valuable lesson at the end of my stories. I hope that my “Jake the Snake” books provide all of these qualities.
Writing for children is like a fountain of youth to me! :)
So, write, I say! It’s healthy and fun!

Shelly Nicholson
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It's been fun to have you Shelly!
I'd never seen an author do a self-interview before!

You should definitely check this book out, especially if you have little siblings,
cousins, kids in general!

Click here to read my review on A Stinky Surprise for Jake the Snake

This was part of the Blog Book Tour for A Stinky Surprise for Jake the Snake


Sep 5, 2009

Graceling, by Kristin Cashore

Summary (from Amazon.com):

Graceling takes readers inside the world of Katsa, a warrior-girl in her late teens with one blue eye and one green eye. This gives her haunting beauty, but also marks her as a Graceling. Gracelings are beings with special talents—swimming, storytelling, dancing. Katsa's Grace is considered more useful: her ability to fight (and kill, if she wanted to) is unequaled in the seven kingdoms. Forced to act as a henchman for a manipulative king, Katsa channels her guilt by forming a secret council of like-minded citizens who carry out secret missions to promote justice over cruelty and abuses of power.

Combining elements of fantasy and romance, Cashore skillfully portrays the confusion, discovery, and angst that smart, strong-willed girls experience as they creep toward adulthood. Katsa wrestles with questions of freedom, truth, and knowing when to rely on a friend for help. This is no small task for an angry girl who had eschewed friendships (with the exception of one cousin that she trusts) for her more ready skills of self-reliance, hunting, and fighting. Katsa also comes to know the real power of her Grace and the nature of Graces in general: they are not always what they appear to be.

My Opinion:

I found Graceling a bit slow to start, but once it gained momentum, there was no putting it down.
In the beginning, I wasn't very comfortable with the writing in third person, but later I learned that it had a purpose: to show us, not only what went through Katsa's mind, but through the rest of the characters as well, and this was something without I couldn't have guessed many of their reactions or thoughts.
I liked that Katsa and Po's relationship wasn't rushed, but built in the first half of the book, deepened in the third quarter, and fully developed in the end. It always kept me on the edge of my seat, and left me wanting more. Cashore handled this romance in a sweet, yet sensual, manner.
Learning about Katsa's Grace was also a plus. The back-story of how she learned what her Grace was was very well told. It explained many things when, further into the story, we learn more about this Grace of hers, and how it's not exactly what she (and everyone else) thought it was.
I could understand why she would want to stay away from people, so that she didn't have a chance to hurt them by accident, even if this meant having just a handful of friends, people who weren't scared to look her in the eyes.

Graceling is a beautiful tale, full of adventures, love and friendship.

I recommend it to those who like The Lord of the Rings (couldn't help comparing them), a bit of magic, and some romance.

Monkey Rating: 4 Monkeys

Author's Site: http://kristincashore.blogspot.com/

Monkeyshines:

*Fire, Graceling's companion, is coming out in October 2009 from Dial Books for Young Readers (in the U.S. and Canada) and Gollancz (in the U.K., Australia, and New Zealand).
And since Graceling was published in Argentina by Roca Juvenil, I'm keeping my fingers crossed to have Fire released not long after it's release in the North!

*The Audiobook for Graceling is from Full Cast Audio, and every character's got a different voice, played by different people. I had started listening to it before reading the book, but found it a little slow (like I said, it took me a while to get into it). I recommend listening to it after reading Graceling. I may give it another chance.


Sep 4, 2009

Living Your Five: I'm an Honorary Fiver!

After reading Alyson, Becca, Tera and Kay's Fives,
I knew I had to join.
Try to make a small difference in this world.
Here are my Five:

1. Go Greener. As a little child, I didn't use to care for the environment. But I was taught that we only have one world to live in, and that we must take good care of it. I learned about the importance of a fresh glass of water, of clean air to breathe.
We live in a world where kids don't care if they throw litter on the streets, cause if the person in front of me did it, why can't I? My goal here is to make these kids understand that once we start thinking like this, there's no going back.

2. Go Healthier. I spend a lot of time sitting down reading , or in front of the computer. But that's going to change. I commit to force my brothers and rest of my family to go hiking/biking/jogging/anything else you can think of with -ing, and start living a healthier life.

3. Go Creative. I love making things whenever I'm bored. I can make a small theatre from a cardboard box and use it for my puppets (I have done this actually). I'd love to help other kids get in touch with their creative side.

4. Go Kinder. With this Five, I commit to do random acts of kindness. Whether it'd be helping a little boy find his lost football, to giving things I no longer need, to someone who does.

5. Go Photographic. I love taking pictures. I do. With this Five, I pretend to photograph the beauty in the small things, and share them with everyone who wants them.

Are you joining?

Sep 2, 2009

September Zombies: The Forest of Hands and Teeth Comic Strip! (plus my nightmare)

(courtesy of Unshelved.com)

I loved this book! And finding this was amazing, thanks to vvb32 reads
for linking to it!

Wanna hear something funny?
I actually dreamt about this book last night.
And it wasn't pretty.
Tom Welling (Smallville) was Jed, and I was Mary.
(I had just finished watching the show)
We were running away from the Unconsecrated
(if you read the book, you remember what happens in the end, right?),
and it wasn't a pretty sight.
I woke up totally freaked out.
Yeah.
I'm not kidding.
It wasn't so funny after all.

What bad dreams have you had recently?

Sep 1, 2009

Happy Birthday Pretty Book! #2

Today's the release date for these amazing books!
Happy Birthday to all of you!
Can't wait to read you!


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