"A book, too, can be a star, a living fire to lighten the darkness, leading out into the expanding universe." — Madeleine L'Engle

Monday, February 28, 2011

Soul Stalker by Laura Kreitzer

Title: Soul Stalker
Author: Laura Kreitzer
Published: 2010
Pages: 370
Rating: 4/5
Synopsis: Being the Illuminator is not all happiness and light, especially when everyone thinks you are dead. When Gabriella decides to finally let her angels know that she is alive, Joseph and an unexpected friend help her. The Darkness Illuminator is not as in control of her power as she believes, which makes for a very comedic and endearing relationship that blooms between the three. A fender-bender debacle, a run-in with the cops, and a hiccup at the airport seem to all be worth it until Gabriella finds out her plan has backfired.

The three angels are missing, more mysteries pile up, and a new evil is brewing--so terrifying, in fact, that even the Soul Stalker herself is cowering in fear. Our heroine begins a jarring, romance-filled, heart-breaking journey that will lead her back to Italy, and ultimately to the answers she is desperately searching for. What will she do when they aren't the answers she expected? What happens when she unveils a truth, so deeply hidden, that it causes an angelic war?

There might be spoilers if you haven't read the first book!

Review: What a beautiful cover that's just as awesome as the book itself!

Soul Stalker picks up right were Shadow of the Sun left of. Gabriella needs the help of a friend to find Andrew and her other Angels. There are some new characters introduced that each play a part on things that happen and that help her reach her goals. Gabriella must decide what she has to do at every corner, especially when she learns some truth that might not be good.

I really like how Gabriella doesn't give up even if at times she feels like she has to. Even though most of the time she is told to stay put, she goes ahead and does what she's told not to. Another thing that I liked was that she wasn't always sure how to use her power. I think it showed that she may be powerful but that she still needs help controlling it.

Like I said, there are some new characters. I had my doubts about some of them but it was all explained. They were each different and I was happy that they were all there to help Gabriella. You also get to see how there is so much to the world that Gabriella was thrown into that isn't as nice or good as most might think.

This is a book different to most Angel books. Laura Kreitzer creates a world were she makes the Angels the way she wants to and not the way that most people see them. I'm glad that I had the opportunity to read this book! Even if the characters are all in their 20s, they manage to appeal to those who like reading about teenagers!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

In My Mailbox (37)

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren! I have to say that after not getting books in the past weeks, I got really happy when I got some books!

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

For Review:
Overprotected by Jennifer Laurens

The first 2 books I bought for school. I already read Jane Eyre so I think it'll be easier to understand it by reading it a second time! And, I will finally read Romeo and Juliet! I've been wanting to read it for a long time!

I went to Borders and bought Hex Hall! So happy I get to read it! And I'm so excited that I finally get to read a book by Jennifer Laurens! It's been a while that I've been wanting to read a book by her!

Thanks to Jennifer Laurens and The Teen Book Scene!

What did you get this week?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (2)

Waiting on Wednesday WOW is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that you can't wait for! I got bored and decided to do a WOW this week!

Release: March 1st 2011

Goodreads Description: Theia Alderson has always led a sheltered life in the small California town of Serendipity Falls. But when a devastatingly handsome boy appears in the halls of her school, Theia knows she's seen Haden before- not around town, but in her dreams.

As the Haden of both the night and the day beckons her closer one moment and pushes her away the next, the only thing Theia knows for sure is that the incredible pull she feels towards him is stronger than her fear.

And when she discovers what Haden truly is, Theia's not sure if she wants to resist him, even if the cost is her soul.
I have to say that I love the cover! It's one of those that I can't help but stare at just because of how pretty it is! Plus, doesn't it sound awesome?!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Author Interview: Laura Kreitzer (Timeless Series)

Today we have Laura Kreitzer! She's the author of the Timeless series and her most recent series, Summer Chronicles.

Is there a reason that you decided to name your characters the way you did?

Yes, actually! I researched meanings, origins, and decided based on how it rolled off the tongue. If a character’s name is hard to pronounce, it can deter from the story. I didn’t want that to happen. Some of the names are friends and family who wanted to be in the books.

What were some of the hardest things when writing the books?

Having an off day is the hardest thing—you write and write and write, and you know it’s awful. It’s boring, and when you compare it to your other writing, you cringe. I’d like to say that writing a book is easy, but it isn’t. Only dedicated authors actually sit down and write a whole manuscript. Then there’s the editing. . . .

What made you decide to write about a main character who is an adult and with a career when most have teenagers as their main characters?

Here’s my gripe about YA. Young adult=young adult, not teenagers. My main character, Gabriella, is someone that young adults can look up to. She’s intelligent, has her own house, her own life, and her own career. If anything, maybe more teens should read about characters that aren’t teenagers. Gabriella is a young adult that is successful. It irks me how the publishing industry has turned YA into TEENS. Because it’s not just about kids in high school, it’s also about young adults. I like being the proverbial thorn in the publishing industries side. Hehe.

How did the idea for the series come to you?

Pulled it from thin air. Honestly. My mind is a playground.

What are some of the authors that have influenced your writing?

J.K. Rowling, Stephenie Meyer, and Suzanne Collins have influenced my writing greatly—especially J.K. Rowling. There are newer authors who continue to inspire me today. Those are Jennifer DeLucy and Julie Kagawa. They are fantastical authors and sweetie pies.

Did you always want to be an author or did you ever want to be something else?

I studied geography, geology, and mapping in college. For eight years, I worked in a dye-tracing laboratory where I was the senior lab and field technician at a non-profit environmental institute (Hoffman Environmental Research Institute). I’ve been to China to teach students and professors at South West University China, worked on classified projects with the government, and studied and explored the world’s longest cave. I also mapped underground water routes, wrote reports, guides, manuals, and had one of them translated into Chinese. My passion was working with the environment—I wanted to save the world. Then I started to write . . . now I’m a full time author, edit freelance at Obsidian Mountain Publishing, review books for publishers, and am the Program Manager for the Writing Collective at Fictionista Workshop.

How do you feel now that you know others are reading your books?

Nervous. Terrified. Delighted! I’ve had fantastic feedback and am thrilled that I could bring someone into my world. Reading my books is like reading my soul. I put everything into my titles.

The covers of the books are beautiful and would grab a reader’s attention. Did you ever imagine they would turn out like they did?

Yes and no. My graphic designer already impressed me with his portfolio, but when he sent me his first “update,” I was worried sick it would be awful. Instead, he impressed the hell out of me.

I love the covers! There's so many details in them amd if you look closely at them you can see them!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Title: Anna and the French Kiss
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Released: December 2010
Pages: 372
Rating: 5/5
Synopsis:  Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris—until she meets Étienne St. Claire: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he's taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home.

As winter melts into spring, will a year of romantic near-misses end with the French kiss Anna—and readers—have long awaited?

Review: I can't even begin to say how much I loved this book! It really was amazing!

Anna has a father who has decided that it would be good for her to go to school in Paris. Anna is afraid of her new surroundings but over time she finds out that there may actually be something good to all that is happening. As time goes by, Anna lives many different adventures and experiences new things and finds that there is much more to her life.

I loved reading from Anna's perspective! She wasn't one of those who's mind revolves around a boy. Yes she thought of him often but she was realistic and tried to keep things the way she thought would be best. She wasn't perfect and I think it's one thing that made her so likable and someone easy to relate to. Like anyone she made mistakes and also tried to remedy them after she figured out what she had done.

Étienne St. Claire. He was the guy every girl wants for herself. I mean, wouldn't you want a boy who has an English accent, has a French name but is also American? Again, he wasn't perfect and also made some mistakes. He wasn't like the typical bad boy that you find often and I was glad for that. Despite not being a bad boy, I always looked forward to more about him when he appeared.

It wasn't only the main characters that were amazing! Meredith, Josh and Rashmi were equally amazing! They each had their different personalities that somehow came together to be great friends. They each had their problems that at the end were solved in the best possible way. I liked how they each turned out to be great friends to Anna.

I loved how the book was set on Paris! All throughout the book I was eager for something to happen between St. Claire and Anna and I have to say that Stephanie Perkins did a great job at keeping the reader on the edge of their seat! It's part of what made this book awesome and never got boring. I'm usually not into contemporary books but I have to admit this is an exception! If you haven't read this book yet, you have no idea what you're missing on!

Sunday, February 13, 2011


In this case winners!

The winner of The Long Weekend by Savita Kalhan is Jessi at The Elliot Review!

The winners of my Birthday & Blogaversary Giveaway are...

Carrie at In the Hammock


I will be sending you all an email.

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Long Weekend by Savita Kalhan

Title: The Long Weekend
Author: Savita Kalhan
Published: October 2008
Pages: 180
Rating: 5/5
Synopsis: Sam knows that he and his friend Lloyd made a colossal mistake when they accepted the ride home. They have ended up in a dark mansion in the middle of nowhere with man who means to harm them. But Sam doesn't know how to get them out. They were trapped, then separated. Now they are alone. Will either of them get out alive? This gripping and hypnotic thriller will have you reading late into the night.

Review: This book is intense!

The book starts off with 2 kids, Sam and Lloyd. They are waiting for someone to pick them up after school when a car comes by and the driver tells them to get in. They obey and are taken to a mansion. Soon Sam figures out that things aren't the way they should be and tries to leave but it turns out to be tougher than anything he has done before.

I really enjoyed reading from the perspective of Sam. Even though he was only 11 he acted like a kid with common sense but at the same time he acted like a normal 11 year old would act. He was the new kid at school and soon makes a friend and along with him they go on a ride that they never expected. I liked seeing how he took charge and did many things to get them out of there.

Lloyd was a different story. He was in shock and that's what made him not react in the same way that we would have liked to. Sam had to be there so that he could keep going and even though he was only 11 I would have wished that he would have reacted a little like Sam did.

I had never before read a book that had to do with kidnapping kids. We see it in the news but reading about what they may go through was something new for me. If you want to read a book that is unique to those out there then this is the book for you!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Book Blogger Hop & Follow Friday!

Book Blogger Hop is a fun meme hosted by Crazy For Books. Enter your link and go hop around other blogs that are out there, ready to be discovered!

This has been a fairly easy week for me so I hope that the teachers don't leave us much homework! I've also been reading more so I'm proud of myself!

Tell us about one of your posts from this week and give us a link so we can read it (review or otherwise)!

I reviewed the book Shadow of the Sun and it was a really good book! It's about angels and about a young woman (and I mean a young woman not teenager!) who finds out many things about her past and future.

To join the fun and make now book blogger friends, just follow these simple rules:
  1. Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Host { Parajunkee.com } and any one else you want to follow on the list.
  2. Follow our Featured Bloggers
  3. Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing.
  4. Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say hi in your comments
  5. Follow Follow Follow as many as you can
What is your favorite romance hero-type? Stereotype wise. Do you like the strong silent type or the brute macho man?

I don't think I have a favorite though I do enjoy the strong silent type!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Shadow of the Sun by Laura Kreitzer

Title: Shadow of the Sun
Author: Laura Kreitzer
Published: February 2010
Pages: 510
Rating: 4/5
Synopsis: Gabriella's past is a mystery, but that never stopped her from achieving her goals. As a supernatural specialist, and far more intelligent than anyone her age, she has always been ignored by her peers. Because of the isolation she has always felt, she put her life and soul into her job. Being a supernatural specialist hasn't given her the divine intervention she always longed for, until one day a shipment arrives from Italy containing three dead bodies with an uncanny ability to regenerate. Gabriella is frightened and intrigued, but not as scared as she becomes when a dark creature attacks her.

As the bodies come back to life, the plot takes an unexpected twist that you won't see coming. The supernatural world only begins to unfold before her as angels appear, her dreams start to haunt her, and the very past she has forgotten comes back with startling clarity. Romance blooms, escape plans are made, an assassin is out to kill her, and death is only around the corner. But what is more terrifying than all of it is the fact she is the chosen one, the Illuminator, the one who will save them all.

Review: Despite being a big book it goes by fast!

Gabriella is supernatural specialist who graduated from Yale at age 19. She doesn't remember her life before the age of 5 but she soon finds out why. After receiving a shipment from Italy that contains three dead bodies, everything changes. Her life will make many turns that she never saw coming and will also learn many things about herself.

I liked that Gabriella wasn't one of those whiny characters who were always dependent of others. She's 24 and has a steady job with her own house. She knows that her life is different simply for being smarter than those her age. All throughout the book she tried to do what she thought was right and didn't let things stop her.

The angels were a great addition to the story. I won't say much about them but I loved the fact that they were just a bit different from others. They each had their different roles that I enjoyed reading about. Their history and what had really happened is something else that I really liked about it.

Even though this book could be labeled as an adult series, I think that YA book lovers would enjoy it as much. The feel of the story just makes it feel like something that would appeal to those who enjoy reading YA. Everything about the story makes me want to read the second book now!

I reviewed this book as part of a blog tour.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Guest Post: Savita Kalhan (The Long Weekend) + Giveaway!

Today we have Savita Kalhan, author of The Long Weekend, stopping by! It's long but worth reading!

When you had the idea for The Long Weekend did you think it would turn out the way it did or did it change along the way?

Hi Diana, and thank you for inviting me to your blog today.

What sparked the idea for the book was a flyer that went round the local schools warning that a large silver Mercedes or BMW had been seen cruising outside schools and the driver had tried to snatch children. Everyone who does the school run knows how busy and chaotic that time of the day is, but no one really expects something like that to happen. Parents were horrified and kids were put on high alert.

What it did for me was make me wonder how something like that could happen. I thought it couldn’t happen very easily, but my thirteen year old nephew told me stories of how sometimes kids didn’t know which parent, or friend of a parent, or other parent in the school, might be picking them up.

A scenario came to my mind of how a couple of kids could be abducted terrifyingly easily as long as the circumstances were right. Child abductions happen, it’s a fact, and no matter how aware kids are of stranger-danger, they still happen, and no matter how much you preach to kids to not to talk to strangers, or get into a stranger’s car, in the right circumstances it still happens.

As soon as the scenario came to my mind, my characters arrived instantly. I started writing straight away with Sam’s voice speaking loud and clear. I didn’t need to write the book in the first person because even in the third person, Sam’s voice had a life of its own. His voice remained with me for the duration of the book. And it was still there when I wrote the Epilogue a few months after the book was finished.

When I started the book, beyond the idea and the characters, I had little more than an inkling where the book might go, how it would get there, or what my characters might go through, but as I began to write, the story flowed with Sam’s voice, he dictated the pace, the suspense, and the tone. And once begun, the story didn’t stray from its path.

By the time I got to the end of the book, I knew it was more or less exactly the way it should be, except I had stopped before writing the epilogue: Six Years Later. I wrote that last chapter several months later – after I had sat on the book for a few months and then sent it out to lots of agents. When I got my agent, the wonderful Anne Dewe at Andrew Mann Literary Agency, she suggested that it would be a good idea to go back and write a closing chapter. I’m so glad I did. The story would not have been the same without it.

Lots of people who know me have said that they didn’t think I would take the story as far as it did, or that they were surprised that I didn’t back away from the central theme sooner. Others who don’t know me at all, but who have picked up the book to read, are fearful of where it might take them, how far into Sam and Lloyd’s nightmare they’ll go. One agent even asked me to turn it into a simple kidnap story. But once I had started writing the book, I couldn’t stop, and I had to let it take me as far as it wanted to go. I couldn’t, and wouldn’t, change that in a million years. It would almost have felt like a betrayal of Sam and Lloyd, and other kids like them.

Sam knows that he and his friend Lloyd made a colossal mistake when they accepted the ride home. They have ended up in a dark mansion in the middle of nowhere with man who means to harm them. But Sam doesn't know how to get them out. They were trapped, then separated. Now they are alone. Will either of them get out alive? This gripping and hypnotic thriller will have you reading late into the night.

The Details

-There will be 1 lucky winner.
-This giveaway is international!
-You don't have to be a follower though it's always appreciated!
-Deadline is 11:59pm February 11th Pacific time. There's a clock on the left.
-Winner will be announced the 13th and will have 48 hours to respond to my email.

All you have to do is fill out the form!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Guest Post: Kari Lee Townsend (Fused Playlist!)

Today we have Kari Lee Townsend, author of Fused, to talk to us a bit about how music connects with writing. I think It's always interesting to see how an author uses music to write!


Music can be so inspiring to authors. The lyrics of a song are like words in a book…they tell a story. Often times that story feeds our imaginations, creating vivid images and reminding us of an event that’s happened in our own lives, or making us dream of things we wish would happen to us. Many authors get their inspiration for ideas for a book from the lyrics of songs. That’s sometimes the case for me.

I know several writers who can’t write a word unless they are listening to music. I can’t write unless it’s completely silent. However, I do a lot of prewriting in my head while listening to music. I like to use music to get in the mood for certain scenes I’m about to write. So I’ll listen to upbeat, fast songs that make me want to move before I’m about to write an action adventure scene. Or I’ll listen to sad songs that make me want to cry before I’m about to write a deeply emotional scene. And when I’m about to write a romantic scene, I’ll listen to songs that melt my heart and keep a smile on my face all day. I did that for both THE SAMANTHA GRANGER SERIES: FUSED, as well as my adult mystery series that comes out in August called TEMPEST IN THE TEA LEAVES: A FORTUNE TELLER MYSTERY.

Some of my favorite artists are Daughtry, Nickelback, John Meyer, Michael Buble, Faith Hill and Taylor Swift. Music and books really are personal choices. There is no right or wrong choice. What you choose is a reflection of who you are as a person, so go forth and choose something that fills a need and feeds your soul J Then tell me all about it. I love to hear from my readers. You can find out more about me and my books at www.karileetownsend.com

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Tell Us We're Home by Marina Budhos

Title: Tell Us We're Home
Author: Marina Budhos
Published: May 2010
Pages: 297
Rating: 4/5
Synopsis: Jaya, Maria, and Lola are just like the other eighth-grade girls in the wealthy suburb of Meadowbrook, New Jersey. They want to go to the spring dance, they love spending time with their best friends after school, sharing frappés and complaining about the other kids. But there’s one big difference: all three are daughters of maids and nannies. And they go to school with the very same kids whose families their mothers work for.

That difference grows even bigger—and more painful—when Jaya’s mother is accused of theft and Jaya’s small, fragile world collapses. When tensions about immigrants start to erupt, fracturing this perfect, serene suburb, all three girls are tested, as outsiders—and as friends. Each of them must learn to find a place for themselves in a town that barely notices they exist.

Tell Us We're Home is a moving and thought-provoking story about the other side of the American dream. Marina Budhos gives us a heartbreaking and eye-opening story of friendship, belonging, and finding the way home.
Review: The lives of Jaya, Maria, and Lola are united by their mothers. They clean other peoples houses and babysit. They all feel left out of the town that they live in by their lack of money, that keeps them from being like the rest of them. Things get worse when suddenly their world gets even worse by the things that happen around them.

Jaya has come from Trinidad with her mother. She works cleaning the house of an old woman and is accused of stealing. Things are worse when her mother keeps losing her jobs. Jaya wants to help her but knows that she can't, since she has no power over others and none would ever take her seriously.

Maria came from Mexico and had to attend special classes so that she could learn English and later they wanted to change her accent. She lives with her mom in the basement of the house of her uncle, where their neighbors don't want them there. Maria wants to live a better life and gets involved with others who seem like they want to help but who may have other interests.

Lola is the rebellious one. She believes in things very deeply and isn't afraid to say what's in her mind. She loves learning about the revolutions and passionately believes that these are the people that others should look up to. She gets in trouble easily because of this but comes to terms that she has to change the way she reacts to things.

I enjoyed this book because it showed the hard lives that some people live day by day. They all wanted to fit in a world that they weren't used while their mothers were trying to give them a better future. It's an enjoyable book that I think may open some eyes to things around us.