Monday, August 23, 2010

Skip A Starbucks Day

I don't think I mentioned to all of you that I was going on vacation (most likely a post on that later), but I'm back and I have a cause for you all to help with.

I'm going to summarize as best I can, but for the full story please visit C.J's blog and start reading. If you don't feel any feelings after reading it, you should book a trip to Oz.

C.J was diagnosed with Cervical Cancer and is now unable to have any more children of her own. So in 2005, she and her husband decided to adopt a little girl from China. Next month will be 5 years since they started the adoption process and Johanna Faith has yet to make it home. In the meantime, China raised all their fees and now C.J and her husband need to raise $8,000 in order to get their little girl and this is where skipping Starbucks comes in. Take the $5 you would normally spend at Starbucks and donate it to C.J and her family. They're not asking for much, just $5. If helping out a family in need is not enough motivation, your $5 donation will allow you to enter contests for some pretty awesome prizes.

Just head over to C.J's blog, fill out the form, donate, and enter. Super easy.

I'm not a super awesome author or blogger like most of the others, however, I DO have some small things to giveaway. If you donate and leave a comment telling me so, I'll pick a winner (that I will hopefully be able to confirm with C.J about) and send you a few bookmarks and Mockingbird swag I picked up at Kathryn Erskine's book signing. 

So what are you waiting for? I donated, will you?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday - Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that you're eagerly anticipating.

 Released August 31, 2010

There has been so much hype around this book and to be honest, when I first heard about it a few months ago I really didn't give it a second thought. However, the more time I spent on the internet and the more I kept reading about it, the more I wanted to read it. Since then I have tried getting on ARC tours for it (yeah, no luck there) so I am really anticipating the release at the end of the month. Plus, when it comes to cool looking covers, I totally judge and want it for my collection. Laugh if you will, but so far I have not been let down. I have also heard that Kiersten is as cute and as sweet as a candy button so that makes this even more excitement filled.

From Goodreads:
Sixteen-year-old Evie's job is bagging and tagging paranormals. Possessing the strange ability to see through their glamours, she works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency. 
But when someone--or something--starts taking out the vamps, werewolves, and other odd beasties she's worked hard to help become productive members of society, she's got to figure it out before they all disappear and the world becomes utterly normal.
Normal is so overrated.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Interview with Emma Michaels

I want to give a warm welcome to blogger turned published author, Emma Michaels. Emma has kindly let me be a part of the release of her debut YA novel, The Thirteenth Chime, so without further ado I introduce you to Emma.

First off, Welcome to my blog! I know this has got to be a busy week for you with your release, so thank you for taking the time to answer some questions for me. Why don't we begin with you telling us a bit about yourself.

Emma: Well, I am a blogger turned author. I grew up in California and after visiting my then-boyfriend now turned fiance in Washington State, I fell in love with the area and decided to move there. I have been interested in reading books for as long as I can remember. Shortly after I finished school, I began doing freelance and ghostwriting work. A few years ago, I began the research for my debut novel, The Thirteenth Chime and in Dec of '09 I began my real journey towards publication!

How did you come up with the idea for The Thirteenth Chime?

Emma: The inspiration for the book came from multiple sources. The main inspiration came from a storm I experienced here one night on the island. We had lost the power and we went next door to our neighbors to share a few candles. As lightning flashed outside and thunder shook the house, the antique grandfather clock in the hallway began to chime. I remember the sound echoing through the house and how it made my heart race. It was in that moment that "The Thirteenth Chime" was born.

What was the hardest part of the whole process for you?

Emma: Querying. I love writing and I found that writing the book was the easy part, but the querying process to agents was far more difficult. Eventually, I decided to begin querying publishers directly. There was quite a difference.

So you skipped the agent? It obviously worked for you but would you recommend doing that to others?

Emma: Yes, I tried for an agent but after over 100 rejections decided to leave it up to the publishers and try on my own. It ended up being great for me! It was an amazing difference, suddenly I was actually getting offers! Though, I will admit it is not for everyone. If you do not have an agent there is a LOT that you have to be able to do on your own. You will need to make sure that you novel is as polished as you can make it. Meaning basically NO mistakes! You have to be able to reach out to the publishers who are accepting unsolicited manuscripts and more than that, you basically become your own representative. That means you have to be able to understand their terminology, have a GREAT lawyer from the industry to go over contracts with you and so much more. It is an extremely complicated process and one where at times it can be hard to know what to do but the main thing you need is to be able to be as professional as possible. Out of such, if you are someone who thinks you could be up to it and are okay with using a publisher who accepts unsolicited manuscripts than yes, it could be right for you but I would definitely suggest that everyone at least try to get an agent first. While it is a hard thing to try for and you may hear a LOT of no thank yous if you can get one, it can really change the process for you and either way, the journey to getting one can help you learn a lot more about the industry and how to go about submitting to a publisher.

Do you think you'll get an agent for the future?

Emma: I might try to find an agent if I end up trying for another publisher but right now, I have a feeling I will be with Bokheim for a long while. They have been so amazingly helpful and supportive that it really makes the entire process much easier for me. They also stand behind me 100% when it comes to things that really matter to me like keeping up with blogging and getting to continue to have an open communication policy with all fans, bloggers and anyone who I might be able to help or who might have questions. I just appreciate it so much!

That's great that they support you so much! Did you have any say in the cover? I think it’s kind of great.

Emma: Thanks! Actually, my publisher not only considered my ideas on the cover, but they were excited about the concept and found a great artist to make it a reality. I am very grateful to them and I love the cover!

Are you currently working on anything?

Emma: I am currently working on the sequel to "The Thirteenth Chime" now that I have finished an additional series that I have been writing this year.

What is one thing you want your readers to know?

Emma: I wrote "The Thirteenth Chime" because I love writing and I really enjoy connecting with my readers. It is my hope that all of you will enjoy reading the book as much as I enjoyed writing it. I will also promise each of you that for as long as you want me to keep writing I will keep sending my books out into the world.

Besides your own, what has been your favorite debut novel of 2010?

Emma: I have enjoyed both "Beautiful Creatures" and "Fallen" though there have been many really amazing new authors to the scene this year! I hope my list will grow by the time December rolls around. I could do a post at the end of the year showing them all!

I agree, this has really been a great year for YA in general. So, if you could meet any YA author, who would it be and why?

Emma: I would love to meet Tamora Pierce again. It was a true pleasure in getting to meet her and a wonderful experience. Though I am hoping that being a published author might mean I get to meet more authors in my genre! I just love meeting new people!

Do you have any book crushes? Who?

Emma: Nope. Just my real life one on my fiance :-)

How about any stupid human tricks?

Emma: I can do a backflip out of my desk chair and make it look like it was intentional! Sometimes...

WOW! I could not do anything like that without major injuries. Finally, the most important question, what would you want your Patronus to be? :-)

Emma: Hope! My little Chihuahua :-) No, just kidding. Probably an owl or maybe a fox. I don't know... now I almost wish I could do it just to find out! (Just imagine my little chihuahua going after dementors... priceless.)

I'm with you on the owl..I love them! Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Emma: Yes, I would like to thank everyone who has been so supportive throughout the process of getting published. I also want to thank everyone who has been buying the book and sending me messages! Thank you so much for your wonderful comments and support! It means so much to me!!!!

Thank you again Emma for stopping by!

Also, if you purchase The Thirteenth Chime, you can send an e-mail to with a copy of your receipt and mailing address and she will send you some swag as a thank you!

For more information on Emma and The Thirteenth Chime you can visit her blog, website, or follow her on Twitter.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Forget You - Jennifer Echols

I have been wanting to read Forget You by Jennifer Echols since I first found out about it, so when I saw an opening on an ARC tour, I added my name immediately.

Forget perfect, seventeen year old Zoey is just trying to keep things together. Her dad knocked up his 24 year-old employee/girlfriend and her mom tried to commit suicide. After being forced to stay with her dad, Zoey takes off to the end of the summer beach bash with her co-workers. While there, she decides to hook up with her friend, and playboy, Brandon.

A few days later Zoey is in an accident and only remembers being pulled out of the car by none-other than Doug, the boy who hates her. The next morning Doug shows up at her house and can't seem to keep his hands off her and leaves Zoey wondering what exactly happened the night of the accident.

Suddenly Doug is showing up everywhere and is actually being friendly towards her. Not wanting to admit she can't remember anything about the night of the accident, Zoey starts fishing for information from friends that could help her piece the night together but isn't having much luck. For a girl who likes to maintain a well organized exterior, she's certainly losing control of the things around her.

Wow, was this book good and if you like your books with steamy scenes, I think this one's for you. The sexual tension in this book just kind of leapt off the page.

The chemistry between Zoey and Doug was very palpable and it was nice reading about a love interest who came from a different heritage than just being all-American. I really liked Zoey and Doug together, part of the reason being that they seemed to understand each other so well.

I really enjoyed reading this book but there were some parts that made me want to knock Zoey upside the head. Which is what I'd do to my best friend if she acted that way. I mean, you think you and a boy are together after you park with him and you know he's a playboy? Without even asking him? Come on. I do see what might make her keep saying "I'm with Brandon," though. Zoey's mother brought her up thinking that you shouldn't let people see you fall apart and what's more put together than being smart, captain of the swim team, and dating a hot football player?

The one thing I absolutely hated about this book was the dad. I thought the dad in Hate List was bad but he seemed like a saint compared to Zoey's dad. Who in the world tells their daughter that if she can't remember he'll lock her up in the looney bin? Echols did a fantastic job at making him a jerk because I read this book almost two weeks ago and I STILL hate him. 

I couldn't put this book down and after reading it, I really want my own copy. Bonus? Jennifer Echols lives in Birmingham so I'll be supporting a local author! I love doing that.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday - The Lost Saint by Bree Despain

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that you're eagerly anticipating.
 Released December 28, 2010

For some reason I kept putting off reading The Dark Divine and I wish I hadn't. I loved the story and the characters and I'm really looking forward to seeing where the story goes. I was one of those people who was anxiously awaiting the cover reveal for book two, The Lost Saint, and I absolutely love it. I love the emphasis of a specific color because to me it just makes it stand out so much more. I'm also still on the hunt for a purple nail polish that resembles TDD.

From Goodreads:

A family destroyed. A love threatened. An enemy returns.

Grace Divine made the ultimate sacrifice to cure Daniel Kalbi. She was infected with the werewolf curse while trying to save him, and lost her beloved brother in the process. When Grace receives a haunting phone call from Jude, she knows what she must do. She must become a Hound of Heaven. 

Desperate to find Jude, Grace befriends Talbot—a newcomer to town who promises her that he can help her be a hero. But as the two grow closer, the wolf grows in Grace, and her relationship with Daniel is put in danger—in more ways than one. 

Unaware of the dark path she is walking, Grace begins to give into the wolf inside of her—not realizing that an enemy has returned and a deadly trap is about to be sprung.
Also, check out the official book trailer for The Dark Divine.

Have you read The Dark Divine? What do you think is going to happen in The Lost Saint?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday - The Heroes of Olympus: The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that you're eagerly anticipating.
 Released October 12, 2010
You guys! When I found out about this a week or two ago I literally made an "eeeeee!!" sound. How could I not have known about this before? I'm so excited for this next Camp Half-Blood installment. I was so bummed when I finished reading the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series because I loved it so much. I can't wait to see what's going on with Percy, Annabeth, and Grover (even if they only end up being secondary characters).

Also, check out (password newhero) for an excerpt of the new book. What do you think?

From Goodreads:
Jason has a problem. He doesn’t remember anything before waking up on a school bus holding hands with a girl. Apparently she’s his girlfriend Piper, his best friend is a kid named Leo, and they’re all students in the Wilderness School, a boarding school for “bad kids.” What he did to end up here, Jason has no idea—except that everything seems very wrong.

Piper has a secret. Her father has been missing for three days, and her vivid nightmares reveal that he’s in terrible danger. Now her boyfriend doesn’t recognize her, and when a freak storm and strange creatures attack during a school field trip, she, Jason, and Leo are whisked away to someplace called Camp Half-Blood. What is going on?

Leo has a way with tools. His new cabin at Camp Half-Blood is filled with them. Seriously, the place beats Wilderness School hands down, with its weapons training, monsters, and fine-looking girls. What’s troubling is the curse everyone keeps talking about, and that a camper’s gone missing. Weirdest of all, his bunkmates insist they are all—including Leo—related to a god.
Happy Reading!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

In My Mailbox (20)

In My Mailbox was started by Kristi over at The Story Siren and all you have to do is post about what books you received that week by mail, library, or store.

The Decatur Book Festival is just over a month away and I'm slowly making progress on the books I'm getting to prepare for signings. I'm trying to be good when it comes to buying non-festival related books and it's working so far. It's very hard but I AM

For the festival, I got

Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce
The Mortal Instruments Series by Cassandra Clare
The Realm of Possibility by David Levithan

For review from We Love YA Tours, I got

Forget You by Jennifer Echols

From my online writer's group (Shana was kind enough to send her ARC on tour), I got
Matched by Ally Condie

From the library, I got

Insatiable by Meg Cabot. I was unable to finish reading the ARC I received before having to send it out. Luckily it's out and I was able to get a copy so I could finish reading it.

So now that I've shared what I got, I have a question for you.

One of the books I want to get for the festival is Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist. Now, I've found it online for a good price but I have a dilemma. Do I get the paperback copy with the cover I love (the purple one with the earbuds in the shape of a heart) or do I get a first edition hardback? Help!


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