Friday, February 25, 2011

First Blog Giveaway!

Okay, since this is a new blog, I'm going to do a "First Blog Giveaway," and I'm relying on you guys to spread the word and make this successful!! I have FIVE signed books from the Breathless Reads Tour that I will be giving away in the next few weeks. The winner can choose between: 
  1. Matched, Ally Condie 
  2. The Replacement, Brenna Yovanoff 
  3. Across the Universe, Beth Revis 
  4. The Eternal Ones, Kirsten Miller  
  5. Nightshade, Andrea Cremer
You have until 5:00pm MT on Saturday, March 5, 2011 to sign up for this giveaway. The winner will be chosen from the comments by and announced between 6:00pm - 9:00pm on March 5th.

To Enter:
Simply leave a comment on this post (must follow this blog) telling me what your favorite book is.
Don't believe me? Just look at the pics ;) Now, go spread the word!

The Replacement, Brenna Yovanoff


In the town of Gentry, a parents worst fear is waking up to find their infant either drastically different, or dead. Someone, or something, has been replacing babies for as long as anyone can remember. Mackie Doyle knows he's one of them, although he's not sure what that is yet. He has a severe negative reaction to iron, and blood, and can't go on consecrated ground. To top it all off, he's dying. When Tate, one of his classmate's, sister suddenly dies, she comes to Mackie in hope of an answer. If Mackie wants to live, and save the babies from Gentry's ancient secret, he must learn what he is and how to stop his own kind from killing again.

I love a male point of view, and I love Mackie Doyle. He not only faces the every day life of an adolescent teenager, but he has to deal with the problems of being a Replacement. He tries his best not to stand out, but his father is a pastor, yet he can't go on consecrated ground. He has a severe reaction to iron which leaves him doubled over in pain, and to top it all off, people just know he's different (hence negating the whole "not standing out" thing). Mackie has two people in his life who don't care who/what he is, his sister, Emma, and his best friend, Roswell. It was refreshing to see these strong relationships and how far these two people would go for Mackie, because they love him.

Brenna Yovanoff has created a mysterious and creepy world for us to dive into. I felt like it should be overcast, rainy, and freezing outside because that is the world I lived in the whole time I was reading The Replacement. This book is a refreshing and original take on changeling's and you must read it. Now. So go get it!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Breathless Reads Tour

So, I went to the Breathless Reads Tour at the Highlands Ranch Tattered Cover on February 11, where I saw FIVE awesome YA authors. The authors in attendance were (in no particular order): Beth Revis, author of Across the Universe, Ally Condie, author of Matched, Kirsten Miller, author of The Eternal Ones, Brenna Yohanna, author of The Replacement, and last but certainly not least, Andrea Cremer, author of Nightshade.

It was such an amazing event for Colorado and I have a breakdown of what went on just for you guys:
At the beginning, there was a Q&A portion for the panelists and I'm posting some of the questions and answers. (Oh, and make sure to read the last sentence for some HUGE giveaway news ;))

Question:  What job would you be doing if you weren't a famous writer?

Ally - would love to go back to teaching cross country.
Andrea - still has her day job as a history professor, but said when she was young she used to dream of being a marine biologist.
Brenna - often dreamed of being a FBI profiler, or either an editor.
Beth - recently turned in her resignation as an English teacher; she said it was very sad when she left and she would definitely go back to being a teacher if she wasn't an author.
Kirsten - has always had an interest in archeology, but before she was an author she worked in advertising (she helped on the Milk campaign!).

Question:  Did you know how your book would end before you finished it?
Ally - when she was writing Matched, she knew she wanted it to end how it did, but some of the things she envisioned in the beginning were different by the end. 

Andrea - knew from the beginning how it would end
Beth - the whole book is actually based on the last chapter, so yes, she knew how it would end
Kirsten - always starts out with crazy long outlines that always change, so it changed throughout
Brenna - she knew in an abstract way, but as she wrote the book, it told her the ending.

Question:  How did you get the idea for your book?

Ally - She had always wondered what would happen if the government chose who you married, so she wrote a book about it
Kirsten - There is always one scene in every book she starts that she just has to get out on paper. For The Eternal Ones, she had an idea of a little girl sitting on the floor, having a conversation with her dolls and her dad walks by and hears something unusual; she is talking to someone older, having an adult conversation.
Beth - The end scene in Across the Universe came to her first, which was the basis for the whole book.
Andrea - Calla jumped into her head. She knew she was a wolf, she knew she was in trouble, but she didn't know why, so she just started answering those questions.
Brenna - Her books typically start with a character, but The Replacement started with a setting; she wanted a dark and creepy setting and thus The Replacement was born.

Question:  Was your working title the final title of the book?

Ally - Yes, Matched was the working title
Andrea - No, the working title for Nightshade was Guardian
Kirsten - No, the working title for The Eternal Ones was You Again
Beth - No, the working title for Across the Universe was Long Way Home, Far Distant Star. She also revealed the name of the second books, Million Suns
Brenna - No, she wanted The Replacement to be called Fe, as in the periodic symbol for Iron, but she said no one got the joke.

Question:  What are you working on?

Brenna - Space Between, epic demon love story, a stand alone
Beth - A Million Suns, second book of the Across the Universe series
Kirsten - All You Desire, second book of The Eternal Ones series
Andrea - Wolfsbane, which comes out July 26 2011, and Bloodrose, which comes out March 2012
Ally - Crossed, second book of the Matched series

Question:  Do you believe in happy endings?

Ally - believes in hopeful endings
Andrea - believes in bittersweet endings
Kirsten -  likes happy endings in other people's books
Beth - likes complicated endings
Brenna - likes bittersweet endings

Question:  What's your advice to aspiring writers?
Ally - Take it seriously, learn the writing process, learn the publication process, research agents
Andrea - It's important to write what you are passionate about. Write the best book you can and your passion will come through. Oh, and important, be patient.
Kirsten - You need to have thick skin. You will be told you don't have what it takes to cut it, but just believe in yourself. Also, butt power, which is sitting your butt in a chair and WRITING.
Beth - Wrote ten novels before she was published, so be patient. She also said write what you are passionate about.
Brenna - Remember, revision is your friend, and finish what you start.

Question:  Did you have any help writing your books?
Ally - had a support system and critique partners
Andrea - wrote alone, but had her brother there to support her and tell her it would be awesome
Kirsten - take snipits of other peoples lives and pay tribute to them through her writing
Beth - had critique partners
Brenna - had critique partners

I hope you enjoyed reading the Q&A! Also, I happen to have a signed copy of EACH book that I will be giving away on my blog. Stay tuned for entry rules, etc.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Across the Universe, Beth Revis


Amy's parents are important people; her mom is a geneticists and her dad is high up in the military. The have been given the opportunity of a lifetime; to go to another planet. Amy is surprised when her dad gives her a choice, to stay behind to live her years out on earth, or be cryogenically frozen for 300 years with them. Amy decides to be frozen with her parents aboard a ship named Godspeed until the reach their new home, but before the land, something goes terribly wrong.

While Amy sleeps for centuries, Elder is being trained by his mentor, Eldest, to be the leader of the ship's people. Elder senses Eldest is keeping secrets from him, starting with the frozens on the secret level of the ship. The tension between Elder and Eldest grows when Amy wakes up to find she is drowning in the cryogenic fluid. Has someone started to unfreeze the frozens? Is someone trying to kill them? Amy and Elder must solve the mystery before Amy's parents meet an untimely awakening and death.

If I woke up to find I still had over 50 years on a ship ran by a tyrannical dictator, I would be pissed, and guess what, Amy is pissed. Revis does a fantastic job of bringing that emotion to life. I was rooting for Amy's defiance and unwillingness to cooperate from the get-go.

I loved this book; it was written for people like me. If you love Dystopian society, mystery, romance, and sci-fi, then Across the Universe is for you. Each chapter is written in either Amy's or Elder's point of view which I thought was genius for more than one reason. First, it's not everyday you get to read a male point of view. Elder's voice is authentic, original, and well, male...what more can you ask for? Second, switching points of view made the book's flow more suspenseful and intriguing. At the end of the chapters I kept resisting the urge to skip ahead to see what happened with the characters.

I can't wait to see what happens next with Elder and Amy. Hopefully we won't have to wait too terribly long to find out. *fingers crossed*

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller

I loved this book! Being from the Alabama myself, I thought Kirsten Miller did a fabulous job portraying the way things really are in the south.

From the age of nine, Haven Moore knew there was something different about her. Haven had frequent fainting spells and visions of once being a New York girl named Constance who was killed in a fire with her one true love, Ethan Evans. Once word got around Snope City, Tennessee, citizens labeled Haven as a demon possessed freak. Rumors were often passed on by Haven's overbearing, gossiping, judgmental, religious grandmother, Imogene Snively.

Because Haven didn't want her family to suffer shame because of her, with the help of Pastor Dr. Tidmore, she fought the visions. She finally thought the visions had disappeared until one day a picture of New York billionaire, Iain Morrow, flashed across the television screen causing Haven to faint and the visions to come back stronger than before.

Haven's only friends and allies in Snope City are her business partner and gay best friend Beau Decker, as well as an eccentric, religious, snake handling girl, Leah Frizzell. Leah also has visions and warns Haven she needs to leave town as soon as possible; she is in danger and is being watched.

From her visions, Haven knows she must go to New York City to find out what really happened between Constance and Ethan once and for all. Is he really her true love? Is he a murderer? Has her heart left her in the wrong direction? She has so many questions, and no answers.

I can't wait to read more about this original story! Five stars to Kirsten Miller for the Eternal Ones.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

One Week Library Closure brings Tears =(

The Denver Public Library has been closed for a week and I am LOST, LOST I TELL YOU! But not to fret, I snagged a few books before their one week closure. Luckily, they will resume operations tomorrow, and I can't wait!

I am currently in the middle of reading Anna Kendall's Crossing Over and will post a review as soon as I am done! I also have two other books in my queue; Chris Wooding's The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray and Poison. Reviews of those will follow as well.

I also plan on doing some reviews of books I have read in the past year as well. It is very cold here in Denver, and I'm about to snuggle up with Crossing Over =)

Stay warm!