Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday #19

 
Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.
Release date: October 8th, 2013
Pages: 448

Everything repeats
You. Your best friend. Every person you know
Many worlds. Many lives--infinite
 possibilities.
Welcome to the multiverse.

Sixteen-year-old Sasha Lawson has only ever known one small
ordinary life. When she was young, she loved her grandfather's
stories of parallel worlds inhabited by girls who looked like her
 but led totally different lives. Sasha never believed such worlds
 were real--until now, when she finds herself thrust into one
 against her will.

To prevent imminent war, Sasha must slip into the life of an
 alternate version of herself, a princess who has vanished on the
eve of her arranged marriage. If Sasha succeeds in fooling
everyone, she will be returned home; if she fails, she'll be trapped
 in another girl's life forever. As time runs out, Sasha finds herself
torn between two worlds, two lives, and two young men vying for
 her love--one who knows her secret, and one who thinks she's
 someone she's not.

The first book in the Many-Worlds Trilogy, Tandem is a riveting
 saga of love and betrayal set in parallel universes in which
nothing--and no one--is what it seems.

What are you waiting on this Wednesday? Leave a comment or link below.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Top Ten Bookish Pet Peeves


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

So today is a TTT Freebie week, and I picked Top Ten Bookish Pet Peeves mainly because recently I’ve noticed I have quite a few. Enjoy!
1) Books that tell instead of show. I don’t want to hear the author ramble on trying to get a point across. Let the characters talk about it, or just let me figure it out myself. I have a brain. I don’t need you to explain everything.
2) Authors that only host giveaways of their own books. There are many authors out there who participate in giveaway hops. The problem is, they usually only giveaway their own books, which is super aggravating. If I want to read your book, I will buy it. But stop trying to force it on me, please.
3) Characters that just have life soooo hard (not). These kinds of characters are hard to relate with because usually their lives are pretty dang awesome, though the author might make it seem otherwise. I know I’ve used this example before, but let’s look at Bella Swan, shall we? She has two guys dying to protect her and win her heart. Two, not one. Most of us don’t have half that much. So cheer up and try to at least smile, Bella. Gosh. *end of rant*
4) GIFs in blog posts. Just….leave them out, please? Please. JUST LEAVE THEM OUT. It looks unprofessional and makes the page have to load for five million years.
5) Disconnected authors. They only connect with readers/bloggers/the outside world through their publicist or agent. You never actually speak (*gasp*) with the author. It’s like they’re some sort of deity who can’t be accessed by a normal person. One word, guys: cold.
6) Awful covers. Like, in general. I just despise awful, amateur-looking covers. It sounds bad, but they make me want to cringe. And keep scrolling.
7) Authors/bloggers that question your reviews. You may or may not have heard that this happened to me recently. Guys, I hate it when people come back and question my opinion on a book. It’s not like I’m saying “no one should ever read this book and all remaining copies of it should be burned and the author should be banned from ever writing again.” Just like any other book blogger, I’m stating an opinion. Not everyone will like your book(s). If you have trouble swallowing that, you have a lot to learn, my friend.
8) The fact that new books only come in hardback!!! Just a part of life, I guess, but I hate it. Why can’t they come out in paperback, too?
9) Embarrassing covers. Like the cover of Altered. It starts out with the librarians giving you funny looks, and then you realize you’re going to have to keep the cover face down when you’re reading in public. Or else everyone will think you’re reading some dirty adult book. “It’s not that kind of book, I promise!”
10) Books with long chapters. If one chapter is going to be fifty pages long, just forget it. I’m already going to feel like I’m not getting anywhere. Chapters are my motivation and a way of seeing how far I’ve gotten. James Patterson understands this. *nods*
As always, share your Top Ten in the comments below!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Author Interview: Victoria Foyt, author of Save the Pearls series

Today we’re chatting with author Victoria Foyt on her newest novel in the Save the Pearls series, titled Adopting Eden.
Tell us a little bit about yourself, Victoria.
I grew up in a quiet seaside hot, leafy suburb of Miami, Florida where I was encouraged to read often. Fortunately, I also had a lot of dreamtime, which is so important to the development of a creative mind. My most frequent comment as a young girl was, ‘What if?’—the genus of all fiction. I also had a flair for the dramatic, as my three brothers would attest. In college, I received a double degree in French and Spanish with a double minor in German and business, which meant I studied a lot of great literature. After college, I studied acting and wrote screenplays. Each of these paths prepared me to finally let lose my voice as a novelist years later. I have many stories inside of me that I want to tell, and I’m grateful for the opportunity and the readership!

How has Eden matured or grown since Revealing Eden?
Eden has grown from a terrified, oppressed girl, who literally was afraid of her own skin, into a young woman who values her inner beauty and sees the world with brave new eyes. In the sequel, Adapting Eden, Save The Pearls Part Two, she faces the challenge of adapting into a hybrid human-beast if she wants to become Bramford’s mate, only to realize that by doing so she will find herself at the center of an epic spiritual battle on Earth. If she does not succeed in her personal transformation, or as the newly ordained goddess warrior, the ultimate war will destroy all, including the Jaguar Man she loves. Is Eden up to the test? Old fears will gnaw at her confidence, and the obstacles are bigger than she ever imagined. Hopefully, in the end, love will prove strong than hate.

Out of all the research you’ve done for this book series, what’s the most interesting fact you’ve uncovered?
I love chocolate. Okay, I admit that I’m addicted to it. During the course of my research on the rainforest, I learned that Theobroma cacao, the evergreen tree that produces the beans from which chocolate is produced, might be a casualty of global warning. Successful cultivation of cacao requires a delicate balance of heat, shadow and humidity. Its ideal habitat lies within a narrow corridor at the equator. But a recent study predicted that the current areas where cacao best grows will no longer be suitable by 2050. Yikes! Of course, this would be one of the more trivial consequences of a planetary meltdown. Nevertheless, I have begun to stockpile my favorite dark chocolate bars!

What are you currently working on?
I’m deeply enmeshed in the writing of Freeing Eden, Save The Pearls Part Three. I have lived with Eden Newman and Ronson Bramford in their world for so many years now that, to my surprise, the telling of part three is flowing easily. I sit down at my computer and Eden appears, like an old friend come to tell me what is happening in her life and how she feels about the immense challenges she faces. It’s quite a thrill. When I reach the end of this series, I will be sad to see Eden go, and yet deeply satisfied at the heroic arc of her journey.
Thanks for stopping by the blog, Victoria!
You can check out the author’s website here, as well as Adopting Eden and Revealing Eden here. And be sure to tell us your thoughts in the comments! Leave a note for the author. J


Saturday, May 25, 2013

Review: Double Crossed (Heist Society #2.5): A Spies and Thieves Story by Ally Carter

*I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
Published: January 22nd, 2013 (Disney Hyperion)
Pages: 60
Rating: 5/5
Macey McHenry—Glamorous society girl or spy-in-training?

W.W. Hale V—Heir to an American dynasty or master thief?

There are two sides to every coin. Whether these two can work together is a tossup.

Born into privilege, Macey and Hale are experts at mingling with the upper class. But even if they’ve never raised an eyebrow at the glitz, neither teenager has ever felt at home with the glamour.

When Macey and Hale meet at a society gala, the party takes a dangerous turn. Suddenly they’re at the center of a hostage situation, and it’s up to them to stop the thugs from becoming hostile. Will Macey’s spy skills and Hale’s con-man ways be enough to outsmart a ruthless gang? Or will they have to seek out the ultimate inside girl to help?

The worlds of Heist Society and the Gallagher Girls collide in Ally Carter’s fast-paced, high-stakes and tantalizing new story. Get a behind the scenes glimpse as Ally delivers an irresistible thriller that is full of her signature style and savvy twists.
[Description from Goodreads]
This was a super quick read that I’ve been meaning to get to for months now. *sheepish grin* And yes, I just got around to it. I loved the Heist Society/Gallagher Girls combo, despite the fact that I’ve never read any of the Gallagher Girl books before. Though I definitely am now after getting a taste of them through Double Crossed! I kind of wish Kat was more involved in this one, because I love her voice and her relationship with Hale, but (somewhat) sadly, Hale was the main representative of Heist Society in this one.
Hale and Macey are on the other end of the heist this time- instead of being the criminals, they’re trying to stop the criminals. It was interesting to see them in action as heroes, though I do like them more as criminals (gosh, that sounds kinda bad). I highly recommend this one, even if you’re only familiar with one of the series (like me). It’s only eight short chapters long and features that fun, exciting spirit that’s in all of Ally’s books.
 Quick Content Review: *may contain spoilers*
Language: None
Violence: Mild (some action)
Sexual: None

Friday, May 24, 2013

Coma Pilot: Introducing John Mathis, film director and writer (Interview + Giveaway)


Today’s post is a little different. A friend of mine, John Mathis, is going to tell us about his new TV pilot, Coma. Let’s welcome him to the blog!
Hey, I am John Mathis, director and writer of Coma, a fantasy TV pilot my production team and I are filming this summer. We are so excited to bring something new, fresh, clean and exciting to the fantasy genre!

Tell us a little bit about what we’ll see in the Coma Pilot.
Coma is a time dimension hopping story about a girl caught in two different realities. It’s an action adventure story but, at the core of Coma it’s about these characters and what they go through in this journey of personal self-discovery. I am a huge fan of fantasy films however, when writing the Coma pilot I tried hard to make sure that it was not copying any other films in the fantasy genre. Instead I tried to make it my own while still paying tribute to some of my favorite directors and films. We are excited to be able to bring it to TV networks and sell it to such networks as ABC and the Sifi channel after it is completed!

What inspired you to create/produce this TV show?
I want to create something new. Most TV isn't unique anymore (with the exception of Downton Abbey "and "Doctor Who", of course.) I wanted to put my own personal stamp on a genre that I have grown up with and love and respect.

What’s the hardest thing about being a young, up-and-coming director/producer?Do you want me to list those answers alphabetically, or in order of significance? Haha, I would say getting people to know and see you’re potential. It’s a tough world out there and film is especially a tough industry, so it’s a little like running through a wave of people, who are going one way and you’re going the other. Not to judge you for you but, for what you can do. As a director and DP in the film world and someone who has two feature films going to theaters this summer I let my work speak for me. Advice, sell your work first and the rest will follow!

What film projects have you worked on in the past?I have had the honor of gaffing the feature film Knowhere by New Daydream films. An action thriller starring Bonnie Jonston from Tim Burton's "Big Fish".
I have DPed on "Tainted Love" an Emmy nominated cable show that airs on Halogen TV. It’s a show that exposes sex trafficking all around the world.
I was the director of Cinematography on "Waiting for Butterflies" starring Jason Burky from October Baby produced by NDF. I was also the DP on "Discover Zac Ryan" a new and emotionally powerful film by NDF. I have worked on other feature films and TV productions. Check out my IMDB for them all. I am so thankful to God for all the blessing me with these all.
 
5) Can you tell us about the awesome team you have working with you to make this show a reality?
I have a great production team behind me on this! I am so blessed to have them all. I am being helped by my dear friends at New Daydream Films.
My producer Phaedra Witt, who produced my first pilot “The Experiment House”, is my right hand woman and is helping with putting the production together. She has too many jobs to count. She is one of the hardest workers I know and I am blessed to have her on the production.
Anna Tabor the costume and prop master has the changing task of getting all the time period costumes and props for the pilot! She is doing a fantastic job; she is working with a very small budget but is making costumes you would see on a high budget BBC series! I don't know how she does it but all I can say every meeting is wow! I was happy to hear that her and her team has been nominated for best costumes and sets at the Blumey awards (which you can find out more about
here) for a stage production she helped produce!
Anderson Carman is doing the FX on Coma. He is a talented animator who is attending the acclaimed animation school “animation mentor ".
There are many others who without their support I could never have embarked on this incredible journey.

How can we support you in this journey?
How can you help us, there are so many ways to do this! We really need people to get the word out about us and the pilot! We are raising funds on Indiegogo to insure that we have a smooth production and can get the best film professionals in North Carolina! The funds will be going to effects, costumes etc. (I will not be making a dime on this, this is to insure that my people are taken care of and that the production can be completed). Check out
this link for a breakdown of where the funds go to as well as a video from the Coma team telling more about the project and showing off our amazing locations!

Coma Cast

Also, here is the link to the official Coma Facebook page. Please share the pages and get the word out on Coma! With your help, a promo pilot episode will be coming to a TV near you soon!
 Here is the link to the company that is helping with cameras, lights, etc.
 Thank you so much, and with your help we can make an amazing show for viewers everywhere!
So, what do you think? Sounds pretty awesome, right? Leave your thoughts about Coma in the comments below! And be sure to enter the giveaway as well.

Rules: US only. Winner must respond within 48 hours or another winner will be chosen.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Review: Last Off (A Novella) by Laughton Chandler

*I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review*
Published: April 15th, 2013 (St. Ambrose Press)
Pages: 152
Rating: 2/5
Four young stowaways — illegal passengers, below even the 3rd class — find themselves on the R.M.S. Titanic, the grandest ocean liner in the world on her maiden voyage. At first unknown to each other, hailing from four different countries, they begin to learn about each other’s pasts as they bide their time in the bowels of the ship, united in their hopes of making a new life in America. When disaster strikes, what will become of them? Who, if any, will be able to escape the epic tragedy Walter Lord described as ‘the death of a small town’?

Book Trailer:


I’ve always loved the story of the Titanic. The glamor that surrounded the vessel and the horror of its demise makes for a fascinating tale. That’s one reason why I read Last Off. Also, this might seem blunt, but it wasn’t that long, and I thought, “Hey, why not? It sounds interesting, it’s short, and I’d be helping an author out.” Sadly, this novella just wasn’t for me.
The author jumps right into the plot without giving much background information or anything else, which makes it a little confusing at some points. We’re immediately introduced to four stowaways who’re catching a ride in the deepest bowels of the ship. After quite a while of being below deck, I found myself wishing the boys would venture up a few levels. They did, but only once, which disappointed me greatly. I wanted them to be among the action and scramble that occurred when the Titanic hit the iceberg, but they weren’t. All they knew of the collision was massive creaking sounds coming from the sides of the ship. Not very exciting, if you ask me.
There were some slight historical inaccuracies here and there, but they didn’t bother me that much, as fiction usually takes the liberty to stretch facts. One thing that did bother me was the ending. I would have been more satisfied if the novella ended a little brighter and tied up some loose ends that were left hanging. I felt Last Off was severely anti-climactic and could have used some more excitement. All in all, it just wasn’t what I expected it to be.
Quick Content Review: *may contain spoilers*
Language: None
Violence: None (some deaths, not described)
Sexual: None

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday #18

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.
Release date: August 6th, 2013 (Simon and Schuster Books for
 Young Readers)
Pages: 400

In this dystopian sequel to The Forsaken, Alenna has survived the brutality of life on the wheel—and now she’s going back for more.

Alenna escaped. It was expected that she would die on the wheel, the island where would-be criminals are sent as directed by the UNA—the totalitarian supercountry that was once the United States, Mexico, and Canada. But Alenna and her boyfriend, Liam, made it to safety. Except safety, they will soon learn, is relative.

In order to bring down the UNA, they must first gain control of the wheel. If the mission succeeds, the wheel will become a base of revolution. But between betrayals, a new Monk leading a more organized army of Drones, and the discovery of a previously unknown contingent, Alenna, Liam, and their allies might be in over their heads. One thing Alenna knows for sure: There will be a reckoning. And not everyone she loves will make it out alive.
[Description from Goodreads]
What are you waiting on this Wednesday? Leave a comment or link below.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Top Ten Favorite Book Covers Of Books I've Read

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
If you know me, you’ll know I’m a cover lover. Like, big time. Sometimes I’ll buy a book just for the cover. Ok, not that often, but sometimes. Whoever said “Don’t judge a book by its cover” was an idiot. Covers are huge, guys. They can make or break a book. Which is why I’m super happy to announce that today’s Top Ten Tuesday is dedicated to covers!

1) Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi. I love the blue and lavender starry-theme, and dag nabbit, I’ll just go ahead and say it: you can almost envision Perry swaggering towards you, his hair tousled by the wind of the Aether, his shirtsleeves rolled up to his elbow…*sigh*

2) Belles by Jen Calonita. Pink + polka dots + silky flower = so. girly.

3) The Forsaken by Lisa Stasse. I kind of thought this cover was a little weird at first, but I’ve grown to like it. I’m not exactly sure why yet.

4) The Pledge by Kimberly Derting. Love the creamy white skin contrasting with the black cape. I feel like this cover really captures the essence (haha, little joke there, get it? The Essence?) of the book. Somewhat creepy, but also intriguing.

5) Altered. You knew it’d show up on here. You had to. Who couldn’t love this cover? He’s It’s a piece of art. *swoon*

6) I’m So Sure by Jenny B. Jones. Derpy cow with a tiara. Love it.

7) The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. I just can’t get enough of this book. It’s literally on like every TTT list I’ve ever made. I like the UK cover of this one better than the US cover, by the way.

8) Wentworth Hall by Abby Grahame. Downton Abbey, anyone?

9) Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi. Before it got redone with the weird eye-waterfall thing.

10) The Selection by Kiera Cass. THE DRESS.

*Share your Top Ten in the comments below!*

Monday, May 20, 2013

Review: The Gingerbread House by Nell Carson

*I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review*
Published: April 6th, 2012 (Avalon Books)
Pages: 185
Rating: 3/5


After a tumultuous past, Greta Kendall has focused mainly on her bridal shop, located on the first floor of her beloved Queen Anne Victorian near Aspen. For two years she’s fought to save her house from Stephanie Harwood of Harwood Development, who is intent on razing her home to build a new mall. But now Greta’s running out of time. The town council is about to approve the final plans for the mall.

When Gray Daniels walks into her shop, Greta is immediately attracted to his rugged good looks and midnight blue eyes, until she learns he’s Stephanie Harwood’s fiancĂ©. She’s furious to find they’ve tricked her into a publicity stunt aimed at garnering support for the mall. So now her little war has a new front: Gray Daniels. If only she could also fight her growing attraction to him.

A knock on the door brings a return of old danger, and Greta must now put aside her anguish over the house to discover if she’s at last capable of looking the past in the eye and overcoming it—and if she’s finally free to love again.
 
I was almost immediately captured by this cute romance. It’s short and sweet and easy to get into. The storyline is nothing incredibly original. It’s one of those backcountry romances where the main character is trying to save something that holds lifetimes of memories from the cruel jaws of progress, but the way Nell spins this story makes it easy to get captivated in the plot and the characters’ dilemmas.
The only qualm I had was with Gray. There were several instances where his eyes would “tear up,” and I felt myself wanting to roll my own eyes. I don’t like my men to get emotional. It’s the girl’s job to do that, so I got a little irritated when it seemed like both Gray and Greta were continually on the edge of tears. I understand that the house is getting destroyed and her mother is forgetful and his father’s physical and mental health is deteriorating, but let’s not get all weepy here, please and thank you.
The Gingerbread House was a touching, innocent romance that would be the perfect afternoon diversion on a cloudy day. While I could have gone for less tears and more kissing (everything was extremely innocent), I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and would recommend it to young teens as well as adult readers.
 Quick Content Review: *may contain spoilers*
Language: None (there might have been one or two minor words, but don’t quote me on the that)
Violence: Mild (mention of an abusive ex-husband)
Sexual: Mild (one or two very innocent kisses)

Friday, May 17, 2013

Blog Tour: Sweet Mercy by Ann Tatlock (Review, Excerpt, and Giveaway)


Published: May 1st, 2013 (Bethany House)
Pages: 400
Rating: 5/5
When Eve Marryat’s father is laid off from the Ford Motor Company in 1931, he is forced to support his family by leaving St. Paul, Minnesota, and moving back to his Ohio roots. Eve’s uncle Cyrus has invited the family to live and work at his Marryat Island Ballroom and Lodge.

St. Paul seemed like a haven for gangsters, and Eve had grown fearful of living there. At seventeen, she considers her family to be “good people.” They aren’t lawbreakers and criminals like so many people in her old neighborhood. Thrilled to be moving to a “safe haven,” Eve is blissfully unaware that her uncle’s lodge is a transfer station for illegal liquor smuggled from Canada.

Eve settles in to work and makes new friends, including an enigmatic but affecting young man. But when the reality of her situation finally becomes clear, Eve is faced with a dilemma. How can she ignore what is happening right under their very noses? Yet can she risk everything by condemning the man whose love and generosity is keeping her and her family from ruin?
I was immediately intrigued when I heard about Sweet Mercy. Being a huge fan of historical fiction, I love it when I get the chance to read a story set in a time period that’s vastly overlooked. The Great Depression Era is one of those time periods. Also, the whole island-vacation theme is one of my favorites to read this time of year. I knew I was going to love this book before I even started it.
Never having read Ann’s books before, I wasn’t sure what to expect writing style-wise, but turns out I really enjoyed her style. Eve’s character is easy to connect with, and I never found myself bored or disappointed while reading. The book turns into a bit of a mystery, but also has its fair share of romance as well.
Eve learns a lot about life during her time on Marryat Island. Before her stay there, she’s been a perfect, almost self-righteous “church girl.” But circumstances on the island cause her to reestablish her stereotypes and look at people who are different from her from a completely new perspective. I loved getting to see her mature and learn from various disasters of the heart and of life.
Sweet Mercy was definitely an enjoyable read, one I highly recommend for this summer. The plot twists at the end really finish the book on a great note. I love the peek we get into the Great Depression Era, and the situations that our country was in at the time. It might just change your mind about some things as it did Eve’s.
Quick Content Review: *may contain spoilers*
Language: None
Violence: Mild (descriptions of shootings, etc.)
Sexual: Mild (some kissing)

Excerpt:
Jones pushed his hat back a notch and looked over his shoulder after the two boats. “The Little Miami meets up with the Ohio River not too far from here,” he said. “That’s probably where they’re headed.”
“Funny that they’re taking a bunch of castor oil down the Ohio River.”
Jones turned again to look at me. I couldn’t see his eyes but somehow I sensed they held amusement. My suspicions were confirmed when he shook his head and laughed. “Castor oil, nothing,” he muttered. “They’re hauling moonshine.”
For a moment I was speechless. I frowned and wondered whether I had heard him right. “Moonshine?”
“Sure. People like them are up and down this river all the time.”
It can’t be, I thought. This was Ohio, after all, birthplace of the Temperance Movement. I knew; I had done the research; I had won first place in the essay contest. “Are you sure?”
“Of course I’m sure.”
“Don’t they know moonshine is illegal?”
Jones laughed again, louder this time. “You’re kidding, right?”
“I’m not kidding, Jones. I can’t believe they’re hauling that stuff right out here in the open. They could be arrested and go to prison. They should be arrested.”
“Yeah? And who’s going to turn them in? You?”
About the author…
Ann Tatlock is the author of the Christy-Award winning novel Promises to Keep. She has also won the Midwest Independent Publishers Association "Book of the Year" in fiction for both All the Way Home and I'll Watch the Moon. Her novel Things We Once Held Dear received a starred review from Library Journal and Publishers Weekly calls her "one of Christian fiction's better wordsmiths, and her lovely prose reminds readers why it is a joy to savor her stories." Ann lives with her husband and daughter in Asheville, North Carolina.

Tour Giveaway
1 winner will receive a copy of 3 of Ann's books (Sweet Mercy, Travelers Rest and Promises to Keep). Open to US & Canada Only. Ends 5/21/13.