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

Sunday, August 21, 2011

In My Mailbox (49)

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren! These books were actually from last week but since I wasn't home I couldn't do an IMM.

From RAK:
The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong
I've read the first 2 and really enjoyed them so I'm excited to read it!
Betrayals by Lili St. Crow
I recently read the first one and it really left me wondering what was next.

Thanks to Anna from Anna's Book Blog and Crystal from Elegantly Bound Books!

So did you get any good books this week? =)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (14)

Title: Glow
Author: Amy Kathleen Ryan
Release: September 27th 2011

Goodreads Summary: What if you were bound for a new world, about to pledge your life to someone you'd been promised to since birth, and one unexpected violent attack made survival—not love—the issue?

Out in the murky nebula lurks an unseen enemy: the New Horizon. On its way to populate a distant planet in the wake of Earth's collapse, the ship's crew has been unable to conceive a generation to continue its mission. They need young girls desperately, or their zealous leader's efforts will fail. Onboard their sister ship, the Empyrean, the unsuspecting families don't know an attack is being mounted that could claim the most important among them...

Fifteen-year-old Waverly is part of the first generation to be successfully conceived in deep space; she was born on the Empyrean, and the large farming vessel is all she knows. Her concerns are those of any teenager—until Kieran Alden proposes to her. The handsome captain-to-be has everything Waverly could ever want in a husband, and with the pressure to start having children, everyone is sure he's the best choice. Except for Waverly, who wants more from life than marriage—and is secretly intrigued by the shy, darkly brilliant Seth.

But when the Empyrean faces sudden attack by their assumed allies, they quickly find out that the enemies aren't all from the outside.

Glow is the most riveting series debut since The Hunger Games, and promises to thrill and challenge readers of all ages.

The fact that Waverly is being proposed at age fifteen and has all this pressure from others so that younger people start having children makes me want to know more about how things are run there. Also, I can't imagine living in a vessel and not having any other place to go.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Past Midnight by Mara Purnhagen

Title: Past Midnight
Author: Mara Purnhagen
Released: September 2010
Pages: 216
Rating: 4/5
Synopsis: Let me set the record straight. My name is Charlotte Silver and I'm not one of those paranormal-obsessed freaks you see on TV…no, those would be my parents, who have their own ghost-hunting reality show. And while I'm usually roped into the behind-the-scenes work, it turns out that I haven't gone unnoticed. Something happened on my parents' research trip in Charleston—and now I'm being stalked by some truly frightening other beings. Trying to fit into a new school and keeping my parents' creepy occupation a secret from my friends—and potential boyfriends—is hard enough without having angry spirits whispering in my ear. All I ever wanted was to be normal, but with ghosts of my past and present colliding, now I just want to make it out of high school alive….

Review: At the beginning Charlotte is just a girl who wishes her family, at least her parents,were a bit more normal. The story starts off with Charlotte and her older sister in Charleston while their parents are their doing some work. After convincing her parents to settle down for her last year in high school, Charlotte's parents, and herself, figure out that things are more weird than they've ever encountered.

All ever Charlotte wanted was to be able to settle down. She got it, except not as normal as she would have liked. She tried to keep her life as normal as she could despite the things that were happening in her life. I liked how at times she just wanted to give up and leave things the way they were but she always went on with things. Also, I liked how she tried to help others even if she thought it wouldn't be much help.

One aspect of the book that I really liked was that Charlotte's parents were present. They were trying to figure things out along with Charlotte so she kind be finish with all that was happening. Her parents were trying to protect her and respected her decisions but also tried to guide her.

It was an interesting story but I did think it went a little too fast at the end. But overall I would recommend this book to those looking for a book that isn't too heavy but still deals with some delicate things. Now I can't wait to read the next book and find out what other ghost and spirits Charlotte finds herself with.

I recieved this book for an honest review.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (13)

Waiting on Wednesday WOW is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that you can't wait for!
Title: The Girl of Fire and Thorns
Author: Rae Carson
Release: September 20th 2011

Goodreads Summary: Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness.

Elisa is the chosen one.

But she is also the younger of two princesses, the one who has never done anything remarkable. She can’t see how she ever will.

Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs the chosen one, not a failure of a princess.

And he’s not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies seething with dark magic are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people’s savior. And he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake.

Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young.

Most of the chosen do.

This seems to be one of those books that I know I will enjoy. I love all kinds of books but these are the ones I'm always looking out for. =)

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (12)

Waiting on Wednesday WOW is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that you can't wait for!

Title: Juliet Immortal
Author: Stacey Jay
Release: September 13th 2011

Goodreads Summary: "These violent delights have violent ends
And in their triumph die, like fire and powder,
Which as they kiss consume."
—Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

The most tragic love story in history . . .

Juliet Capulet didn't take her own life. She was murdered by the person she trusted most, her new husband, Romeo Montague, a sacrifice made to ensure his own immortality. But what Romeo didn't anticipate was that Juliet would be granted eternity, as well, and would become an agent for the Ambassadors of Light. For 700 years, she's fought Romeo for the souls of true lovers, struggling to preserve romantic love and the lives of the innocent. Until the day she meets someone she's forbidden to love, and Romeo, oh Romeo, will do everything in his power to destroy that love.

I read Romeo and Juliet this year and I liked it but I think this is much more interesting sounding. And it will be a good change to see Romeo as the bad guy. Definitely one I really want to read! =)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Guest Post: Shawn Thomas Odyssey (The Wizard of Dark Street)

Today stopping by the blog is Shawn Thomas Odyssey, author of The Wizard of Dark Street! He's here to tell us a bit about his favorite books and his recommendations.

Reading is a part of writing. It is a cycle. Put something in and something comes back out. The more diverse the input, the more original the output. For instance, if a writer reads nothing but cold war spy novels, then what comes out of them will likely be pretty similar. But if they threw in, let’s say, some Ray Bradbury, a little Tom Robbins and a few Cormack McCarthy novels, something very different might take place. Maybe they’d still write a spy novel, but it might take place on a desolate, post apocalyptic Mars and involve deciphering secret messages through smelling various bottles of perfume. (Hey, I kind of like that). The books that a writer puts into his or her head are likely the biggest influences on their work, whether they are aware of it or not.

Interestingly, as I think about the books that I have read over the past few years, especially the ones I was reading during the writing and editing process of The Wizard Of Dark Street, I’m struck by the interesting and eclectic range of words and stories I’ve been putting into my head, some of them in my genre of writing, and many of them not. One thing I’m sure of, however: if it’s a book I loved, it influenced me in some way as a writer. Heck, if I loved it, it influenced not only my writing but my life: the way I think and behave. Even if the book was nothing like my chosen genre, I can guarantee it still had an impact on what I was typing. It’s like it all gets scrambled up in my head, most of it I think on the subconscious level, and then sits there, stewing, marinating, waiting for the right moment; waiting for the muse to scoop it up and present the dish to the judges in a form that I, the author, would never have been able to predict.

Here is a list of some of the books I read and loved over the past few years while writing The Wizard of Dark Street. Not nearly all of them.

Pillars of the Earth: Ken Follett

World Without End: Ken Follett

The Harry Potter series: J.K. Rowling

A Series of Unfortunate Events: Lemony Sincket

Leaving the Bellweathers: Kristin Clark Venuti

Ender’s Game: Orson Scott Card

Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norell: Susanna Clark

The Green Mile series: Stephen King

Echo falls mystery series: Peter Abrahams

The Name of The Wind: Patrick Rothfuss

1984: George Orwell

The Road: Cormac McCarthy

A Prayer for Owen Meany: John Irving

Lord of the Rings: J.R.R Tolkin

A song of Ice and Fire series (A Game of Thrones): by George R. R. Martin.

The Wizard of Dark Street is available in bookstores nationwide and online in both hardback and eBook formats.

Please visit: http://www.thewizardofdarkstreet.com/

Where you can find Shawn:

Monday, August 1, 2011

Teenage Garage Sale with Alex Epstein (The Circle Cast) + Giveaway!

Stopping by the blog today is Alex Epstein, author of The Circle Cast! He's here to tell us some of the things that would be in a garage sale in his teenage years if he was to have one.

Stiff Records T-shirt, with the slogan “F*** Art, Let’s Dance.” I still have it, rips and all.

Red silk smoking jacket with black satin trim. I picked it up at my high school’s thrift store, along with a cashmere overcoat. I was in the theatre clique, and at the time we all wore thrift store clothes and jeans with holes in them. The smoking jacket was too big, and sort of ‘40s, but it was just so cool I couldn’t not get it.

One velvet doublet from a Shakepeare production. Basically a black velvet jacket with a high collar, very Swingin’ London 1965, except that it was New York in the 1980’s.

I didn’t wear either of these jackets except at parties. But I treasured them, because they seemed to come from different worlds than mine.

Case of Korbel Brut champagne. I never had that many people at my parties in high school, maybe because I only invited people I actually liked. I’d have like a dozen people, tops. But I remember buying a case of inexpensive but drinkable champagne. I didn’t have a fake i.d. or anything, but it was New York in the ‘80’s. I might have had trouble buying a fifth of vodka, a case of champagne was okay.

About 300 records on vinyl, mostly New Wave. Never Mind the Bollocks Here’s the Sex Pistols. The Clash. London Calling. Talking Heads ’77. More Songs About Buildings and Food. Parallel Lines. My Life in the Bush of Ghosts. A few folk albums. Court and Spark. The Woodstock soundtrack. And Beatles and Stones.

Around 20 wargames. These were elaborate simulations of historical battles, with paper maps and cardboard chips representing the units, and twenty-page rule books in 6 point type. I used to replay Waterloo and beat the English every time. Unfortunately I didn’t have any friends who played wargames. The only time I got to play against a real live player was when I went downtown to the game publisher’s office on 23rd Street and playtest new games from 6 to midnight on Friday nights. My folks would give me cab fare home, but I’d walk up from 23rd Street to 96th Street to save money, and then take a cab to my folks’ apartment on 114th Street and Riverside. In those days, you didn’t want be between 96th Street and 110th Street after dark.

One boom box. Occasionally I would walk somewhere and blast music along the way. A lot of people were doing that then. But mostly they were not blasting Duke Ellington.

One portrait of me by Abstract Impressionist painter Gerry Monroe. My parents have lots of artist friends. Gerry came to visit and wound up doing my portrait.

A slew of posters from the Venice Biennale. My folks took me to Venice when I was 15. They’d just plaster one poster over another there, until they were an inch thick and falling off the walls. I pulled one stack of posters off a wall, rolled them up and took them home. Then I soaked the glue off them in the bathtub and gently pulled them apart to see what the posters looked like. Some of them were pretty snappy.

One Shure professional quality microphone. I was briefly in a band called The Girls, because there were no girls in it. I wrote lyrics; my roommate Mike Jung wrote the songs. I still have a couple of recordings of our songs; they don’t entirely suck.

Where you can find Alex:

As part of the blog tour Alex is offering 4 ebook copies for giveaway. Just leave a comment and the winner will be chosen at the end of the week out of all the stops in that week. So if you comment in other post you will have better chances of winning! =) If you would like to see the other stops you can click here.