Saturday, April 30, 2011

Royal Congratulations!

Did you watch the 'Royal Wedding'?  I did. Well, I DVR'd it and then fast forwarded to the good stuff.  I'd like to extend my congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.  May you be happy and help each other in all of life's ups and downs.

Why do I make a mention of this in my blog? A few reasons.  First, this is an event that will make a lasting impression.  I'll be able to talk to people forty years from now and they'll remember where they were when the 'Royal Wedding' took place, if they woke up at 3AM to watch it, etc.

Also, I predict this wedding will start a whole new slew of YA princess tales.  Not fairytale princess tales, but the kind where the common girl falls for the young prince in disguise or maybe even the common boy falling for the young princess in disguise.  You know where I'm going right?  Already titles are popping up in this genre!  My guess?  We'll be seeing more!

What did you think of the royal festivities? Did you watch it live?  Did you DVR it and fast forward through the long bits?  Do you think it will cause a new group of YA princess titles to pop up on the shelves?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Book Blogger Hop/Follow Friday/Update

Hi gang! Hope everyone's week went well! This passed week has been both excellent and troublesome. Reading wise, it was a bit dry. I have started a book called 'Silver Smoke'. It's a YA Supernatural novel dealing with angels. So far, so good!

This Week on the Blog:
Review: Anna and the French Kiss
Top Ten Tuesday: Mean Girls
Ebook Giveaway- Ends May 5th! (Low Entries!)

And on to the Hops!
Book Blogger Hop

The Question of the Week is:
Summer is coming quickly - what 2011 summer release are you are most looking forward to?

Answer: So many books are coming out this year I want to read. Sticking to the summer months, I am most looking forward to the sequel to 'Knightley Academy' entitled 'The Secret Prince'. 'Immortal War', the next book in the Vampirates series should be coming out soon, too, though the release date on Goodreads has it as earlier this month. 'Tigers Quest', sequel to 'Tigers Curse', comes out in July. Oh, and let's not forget 'Wolfsbane', sequel to 'Nightshade', also due out in July.

The Question of the Week is:
Keeping with the dystopian and apocalypse theme that seems to be running rampant on, I have one very hard question for you: If you were stocking your bomb shelter, what books would you HAVE to include if you only had space for ten?

Answer: This is hard b/c most of what I read are series and I can't imagine only bringing one book from a series into my shelter!

1: The Dark is Rising Sequence by Susan Cooper (five books, bound as one novel paperback)*
2: Twilight by Stephenie Meyer*
3: The Host by Stephenie Meyer*
4: Aliens Ate My Homework by Bruce Coville
5: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling
6: Dramacon: The Mega Edition by Svetlana Chmakova (All three volumes bound as one!)
7: An Atlas or world travel guide (to remember what the world was like before whatever made me enter the shelter)
8: The Skipper Doll reference guide*
9: A Barbie collectors book
10: Shutterfly photo books printed with pictures from my childhood, California, and Italy.
11: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by, well, you know who

And there you have it. My nine choices for what books I would take to sustain me if I were in a shelter, unsure of how long I'd be down there. I'm sure some people think I wasted space with the S. Meyer titles, but 'Twilight' and 'the Host' never get old for me. The Dark is Rising Sequence holds my favorite book in the whole wide world, 'The Grey King'. I'd need the Skipper and Barbie collectors guides to remember what my collection held if, in fact, my collection was gone. 'Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire' and 'Prisoner of Azkaban' are my favorite H.P books. Books with *'s by them are what I would need to bring if I were moving somewhere or if I were flying somewhere and needed a book I knew I would enjoy re-reading.

So there you have it, That's it for the hops this week! See you next week!

Review: Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Title: Anna and the French Kiss
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Genre: YA, Romance, Coming of Age
Perfect for: those in the mood for a cute romance
Star Rating: 4/5 Stars

Taken from Goodreads, "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 √Čtienne 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?"

If there was one book that I picked up because of the buzz on blogs, 'Anna and the French Kiss' would be that book. If I passed this book in the bookstore, which I did many times due to work, I would probably take a peek at the back, give it a read, and then put it back because I don't do strict YA romance's. I usually prefer my romance with a dash of supernatural/sci-fi/dystopian mixed in. So, as you can imagine, 'Anna and the French Kiss' was quite a departure from my usual reads!

I enjoyed 'Anna and the French Kiss'. It was a quick, addictive read with good characters, a fun setting, and a realistic, well thought out plot. One of my favorite things about 'Anna and the French Kiss' was author Stephanie Perkins writing style. Main character Anna's voice was entertaining and often times, quite humorous. Having been in a foreign environment before with no family or friends to turn to, I could relate to Anna. Her 'culture shock' read as realistic to me. She wasn't annoy, clingy, or too mary jane of a main character, which are often the traits that come to my head when I think of strict ya romances and their characters.

I loved the location of this novel. Honesty alert: I've never had much of an inkling to go to France before. England, Italy, Wales, of course, but not so much France. Reading this book peaked my interested in the country and made me a twinge more interested in visiting one day.

St. Claire was darling. Yes, I fell for him, too. With the English accent, quick witted personality, and just awesome vibe he encompassed, he turned out to be a great male lead. The story of him and Anna was told sweetly, realistically, and really, really well. The romance wasn't over the top or bloated. It was just right.

This book gets 4 out of 5 stars from me. I loved reading it, but had to deduct a point.  Looking back at it, it's not a book I need to buy or re-read. It was a good one off romance that had heart and likable characters. Even if you don't like strict YA romance, give this a shot. I think you'll like it.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday- Mean Girls

Top Ten Tuesdays is a meme started by 'The Broke and the Bookish'. Please head over to their site for more information! This week is 'Top Ten Mean Girls'. (Only five this week, b/c this question is hard!!!)

Top FIVE Mean Girls

1- Rose from the Vampire Academy novels: True, if I tried to slap Rose, she'd probably see it coming a mile away and get me first, but that girl annoyed the heck out of me half the time. This was especially true when it came to book five and six in the series. If you think about it, Rose's whole journey involved using people for her own personal gain. We get hardly any guilt from the girl in regards to that fact. I can't say anymore without spoiling, but ahh, she was a really annoying main character.
2- The White Witch in The Chronicles of Narnia: The White Witch is pretty much the definition of 'mean girl'.
3- Dolores Umbridge from Harry Potter/Order of the Phoenix: Who doesn't love to hate Umbridge? She is one of the meanest characters in Harry Potter. Just thinking of Harry's 'I won't tell lies' situation makes me shudder.
4- Jessica Wakefield from Sweet Valley High/Kids/Confidential: While Elizabeth isn't exactly innocent, Jessica was definitely the bad twin. All the crazy things she did to sabatage others... Not good at all!
5- Alice from Prophecy of the Sisters: Again, not the good twin.  Not the good twin at all.  

Who are your picks for this week's theme?  (And while you're visiting, check out my ebook giveaway!  Low entries so far!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter, Readers!!!!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Book Blogger Hop/Follow Friday/Update

Wow, what a week! There's been a bit of a commotion on this little blog this week as I posted my first ebook review, along with a Q/A with its author and a giveaway post!

I also made a few less happy posts this week-- one about the closing of the North American Tokyopop offices and one about the passing of Doctor Who actress Lis Sladen (Sarah Jane Smith to Who'vians). I found a nice tribute on youtube.  My layout cuts off the right side of the screen.  Click the video to watch via youtube.

I'll link to those posts in a moment, but first, are any of you Star Wars fans? If you haven't checked out 'Star Wars: The Musical', then, sorry, but you have to now. The link is HERE. If you go to 'The Musical' link on the right sidebar, you can play and download all the fantastic songs that these guys put together. Kind of wish LucasFilm would have done something with these songs or the concept!!!

This Week on the Blog:
Contest: Win 'Seeing for the First Time
Author Interview: Nicole Zoltack
Review: Seeing for the First Time
Top Ten Tuesday: Characters I'd Name a Kid After...
You Will Be Missed, Lis Sladen
Bye, Bye Tokyopop

And On With The Hops...
Book Blogger Hop
The Question of the week is:
If you find a book you love, do you hunt down other books by the same author?

Answer: I try, but many times I'll only enjoy a handful of books by the author. Universally, I love Bruce Coville's works. As far as other series, I thought I'd love DJ Machale's new series, but didn't. While I loved Cirque Du Freak (by Darren Shan), I didn't love Demonata. Even Stephenie Meyer. Loved Twilight and The Host, but the sequels, not so much! And finally, while Susan Coooper wrote my favorite book, I really could never get into anything else she wrote.

The Question of the Week is:
What is on your current playlist right now?

Answer: I'm a bit weird when it comes to music. I don't have a playlist, persay. I usually turn on a radio station and listen to random mix's. I'm a huge fan of Pandora radio and recently, groove shark.

If you were listening to a mix of my Ipod, you'd hear at lot of: The Monkee's, Hanson (yes, they still make records!), various showtunes, my favorite anime/drama themes, hits from the 90's pop era, and tons of regular pop/rock (from all decades).

Actually, a lot of my taste in music comes from my mom. Odds are if she played or plays it, I tend to enjoy it. That would be one of the many reasons I know lyrics to many a Barry Manilow songs and Bobby Sherman song. (The Monkee's was totally Nick@Nite's fault!)

That's it for now, folks! See you next week and don't forget to enter my contest!!!!! (If any of you'd like to help me out on this, I'd love a bit of advertising for it! Let your readers know!!!)

Contest: Win E-Book 'Seeing for the First Time' by Nicole Zoltack

Want to win a copy of 'Seeing for the First Time' by Nicole Zoltack?

Contest FAQ: 

How do you enter?
Fill out the form embedded on this post.

Do you need an e-reader to win?
No, but this is an ebook giveaway.  

Who can enter?
Anyone! You do not need to be a follower to enter. I'd love it if you would become one, but I'm not going to force you!!!

When will I choose the winner?
This contest will run for two weeks and a winner will be pulled May 5th.

How will I notify you?
Via e-mail.

My page layout might cut off the right side of this form, but fill it out to the best of your abilities!  Any problems with it, please leave a comment for below!  Good luck!

Author Interview: Nicole Zoltack, Author of 'Seeing for the First Time'

Recently, I've been in contact with ebook author Nicole Soltack. Nicole is the author of the six part ya supernatural ebook series, 'What You See is What you Get'.  I recently reviewed part 1 in her series, 'Seeing for the First Time'. Here now, Nicole has taken time to participate in one of my favorite book blogging tasks-- the author interview!

A Bit About Author Nicole Soltack...

Nicole Zoltack loves to write fantasy/paranormal, romances, horror, historical, for adults and young adults, novels, short stories, and flash pieces. She doesn't want to get boxed in by genre -- she might be claustrophobic!

When she isn't writing about girls wanting to be knights, talking unicorns, and zombies, she spends time with her loving family. She loves to ride horses (pretending their unicorns, of course!) and going to the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire, dressed in period garb. To learn more about Nicole and her work, visit her website at or her blog at

The Q and A session...

When did you first begin to write in hopes of publishing?
July 2008. I started to write some short stories and started to submit to magazines. The rejections quickly piled in. Then I saw a call of submission for a sweet romance short story and I thought, hey, I could do that. The first story I submitted was rejected but the second was accepted. Since then, I've never looked back!

Why did you choose self publishing over the traditional agent/publishing house route? What do you think of the experience so far?
I'm epublished because I am trying to build up writing credits as well as an audience before I try to get an agent. I have two novels that I am working on right now that I plan on submitting to agents.

Now that more and more people have ereaders, I think that ebooks are really going to explode. The market is dramatically increasing for ebooks, well over any other format right now.

Do you believe in the supernatural (ie: ghosts, fae, werewolves, etc)? Have you had any weird encounters with anything that could fall under that category?
I believe in angels and demons. One time, during high school gym class, we walked outside for class. We had to cross the street, and I wasn't paying attention. I didn't realize that everyone else had stopped walking and continued on. I felt a large hand push me back half a second before a car whizzed by, so close that the car just barely missed grazing me. I'm sure that was my guardian angel protecting me.

For you, what typical comes first? Plot or characters?
Usually the characters, although sometimes I think along the lines of what if such and such happened… and then the plot comes first.

If you could see one sort of supernatural creature, who would it be?
I would love to see a pegasus. Could you just imagine flying on the back of a winged unicorn?!

Tell us a bit about how 'Seeing for the First Time' came about...
I love paranormal stories, always have, always will, but I wanted to write something a little different. Paranormal with a kick, or in this case, an eye.

I was thinking about how we can see but can still be blind. We might walk past someone on the sidewalk and barely glance at them, maybe miss that they are hurting inside.

To turn this idea into a paranormal one, I thought about a world like ours but where the paranormal creatures are unseen except by only a few people, called seers. There's a veiled mist that separates our world from the paranormal one. And that's how I cam up with the idea of Seeing for the First Time.

What might we expect in the sequels? Are they available to the public yet?
Book 2, To See, is available for purchase. There will be a total of six short stories with one released the second week of each month.

In To See, a vampire hunter, Eric, is introduced, and the stakes are raised. Things are only going to get more dangerous for Ana, now that she can see. Poor Ana, her life would have been so much simpler if only she could see unicorns or fairies!

If you could live in a specific book genre, what would it be and why?
High fantasy. I love the middle ages, and what could be better than knights and magic? I love sword and sorcery!

I'm a huge TV nut. What is currently on your DVR?
My favorite TV show right now is The Vampire Diaries. I used to prefer Stefan but now I am team Damon all the way!

Where can readers find your book?
'Seeing for the First Time'

And 'To See' is available:

I'd like to thank Nicole for taking the time to share her answers with the readers of this little blog! I appreciate it!

Review: Seeing for the First Time by Nicole Zoltack

Title: Seeing for the First Time
Author: Nicole Zoltack
Genre: YA, Supernatural, short story
Format: Ebook
Perfect for: those looking for a short story with a little bite
Star Rating: 3/5 Stars

Taken from Goodreads, "For the last ten years, Ana has spent summers with her Gram. With nothing to do, the closest beach two hours away, and Gram, who Ana is convinced is crazy, always in her garden talking to things that aren't there, Ana is bored out of her mind.

One day, Ana sees strange colors floating around Gram as she works in her garden. Gram says they're fairies. She can "See" them, and there are others who can see things. Ana's a Seer, too.

When Gram gives Ana a book that explains about the many different creatures, like selkies, unicorns, vampires, and others, Ana gets curious. She is shocked when she comes across the entry about famous werewolf hunting parents.

Determined to learn where she fits in, Ana's summer gets a lot more exciting as she sets off to find out what she can "see." Only problem is, she's not sure what to do when she finally discovers the truth. And she's not sure she'll live to tell anyone."

'Seeing for the First Time' is a short story rooted in fantasy and supernatural lore. Author Nicole Soltack's unique take on the supernatural makes 'Seeing for the First Time' a worth-while, well written e-read.

As far as characters go, we don't meet many of them. I liked the character of 'Ana', although I would have liked to have learned more about her. 

Storytelling-wise, 'Seeing for the First Time' was a pretty quick, action packed read. It wasn't too heavy in action'y bits or lengthy details. All in all, the quick plot was pretty solid.

Though quite short in length (under 20 pages), 'Seeing for the First Time' left me wondering, 'what's next'? Even though as a reader, I only got to see the wee beginnings of Ana's journey, I want to know what happens to her next. What will she do with her new found power? Will she meet any handsome seer's like herself (or even a reformed supernatural) and fall head over heels? Will her grandmother ever give up on her gardening enough to tell her more about this strange world that Ana now finds herself?

'Seeing for the First Time' is the first portion of a six part series. While I applaud the author on taking her own road in terms of self publishing, I would have loved if she'd, say, released all six parts as one novel, as opposed to separating it out. I would have loved a longer look into Soltack's world. 'Seeing for the First Time' gets 3 out of 5 stars.

If you want to read 'Seeing for the First Time', you can find it at Smashwords in the ebook format.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday- Characters I'd Name My Kids After...

Top Ten Tuesdays is a meme started by 'The Broke and the Bookish'. Please head over to their site for more information! This week is a Top Ten Tuesday Rewind, meaning I can choose any topic I'd like! For this week, I'm choosing: Book Characters I'd Name My Kids After...

Book Characters I'd Name My Kids After:

1- Bastian (The Neverending Story): I've always loved this name. It's so different, unexpected. It almost has a regal aire to it. However much I love the name, it also could have some very negative aspects to it when it comes to evil, teasing kids. Regardless, I would totally use this name as a first or middle name for a future child.

2- Keely (The Big Empty): Who can say they've been friends with a person name Keely? It's a very unique name and, well, a fun name, too.

3- Bran (The Grey King): Before I name a child Bran, I'd need to hear a Welshman pronounce it. In the book, Bran tells Will that his name isn't pronounced like breakfast cereal, but with more of a long 'a' sound. Sounds pretty, right?

4- Nathaniel (Nathaniel Willy Scared Silly): Oh My Goodness... This is my favorite name. When I have my first of three predicted boys, Nathaniel will be the chosen name. I first considered it when I chose picture book 'Nathaniel Willy Scared Silly' as my FCCLA project. I was participating in the storytime competition.

5- Tally (The Uglies): Love this name.

6- Shay (The Uglies): Again, love this name, too. Westerfeld has a way with awesome character names!

7- Vaughn (TV: Strange Days at Blake Holsey High): I'm jumping into other media here, but once I heard the name Vaughn while watching 'Strange Days', I was hooked on it.

8- Ellis or Sutton (TV: Mattel's My Scene movies): Love the name Ellis. Love the name Sutton. Both are from My Scene dolls/movies.

What about you?

More Sad News: Lis Sladen, Doctor Who's Sarah Jane Smith, Has Passed Away

More sad news from the BCC...  Actress Lis Sladen, known to many as Sarah Jane Smith from her work in Doctor Who, has passed away today from a battle with cancer.  Lis was 63.  
My own memories of Lis Sladen are from the new 'Who' era.  The episode where she was 'reintroduced' to the 10th Doctor (David Tennant) is one of my favorite Doctor Who episodes of all time and her spin-off show, 'The Sarah Jane Adventures' is a gem among children's television. 

This news comes as quite a shock, as I had no idea she was even battling cancer.  My condolences to her family and friends.  

And what happens now to the character of Sarah Jane Smith?  Will she live on in the 'Who' universe?  Will they acknowledge her death in an episode?  I guess time will tell...

Tokyopop Closing US Office

Sad news, folks!  Tokyopop announced that as of May 31st, 2011, Tokyopop will be closing their North American offices.  Tokyopop publishes some of the most popular manga on the market, including Fruits Basket, Hana Kimi, and Chobits.

As far as what will happen to the mangas they licensed, no one knows for sure.  I hope that Tokyopop sells their library to another manga publisher.  In the meantime, I will be looking more intently at what series I need to complete, because if these titles aren't picked up, they'll go out of print pretty quickly!  

The offices in Europe are not affected by these closings, so only those in North America have to worry for right now...

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Book Blogger Hop/Follow Friday/Update

The Question of the week is:
Outside of books, what is your guilty pleasure?

Answer: I DVR 'My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic' for myself and if ever it comes on DVD, I plan on buying it! I've been a MLP fan since the 80's and had doubts about this new cartoon that premiered on the Hub this year. Never would I have thought I would love it as much as I do! It's actually quite funny for kids of all ages (20 somethings included!).

And that's it for this mid-week hop!

Question of the Week:
Do you have anyone that you can discuss books with IRL? Tell us about him/her...

Answer: Does IRL stand for 'in real life'? I've never heard of it before! In real life, I talk to many people about books. Most of the time, I talk to my mom. We read the same books. Recommend them to eachother all the time. I discuss books with friends and co-workers, too.

Review: Sweet Valley Confidential by Francine Pascal

Title: Sweet Valley Confidential
Author: Francine Pascal
Genre: YA, Adult, Fiction
Perfect for : Nostalgia reading
Star Rating: 3/5 Stars

Taken from Goodreads, "Now with this striking new adult novel from author and creator Francine Pascal, millions of devoted fans can finally return to the idyllic Sweet Valley, home of the phenomenally successful book series and franchise. Iconic and beloved identical twins Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield are back and all grown up, dealing with the complicated adult world of love, careers, betrayal, and sisterhood."

Ah, nostalgia... As a kid growing up in the 80's and 90's, I read a lot of 'Sweet Valley Kids/High' books. I can honestly say I grew up reading them. While I can't say I followed the Wakefield twins to 'Sweet Valley University', I have fond memories of totally dated, but nicely drawn covers and crazy sibling antics.

'Sweet Valley Confidential' has Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield, feuding twins from sunny Sweet Valley, stuck in the middle of yet another large argument. At 27, you'd think they'd have figured out how to get along, but after Jessica does something that is, well, totally wrong, but, also, totally Jessica, Liz hops a plane to New York City in hopes of forgetting her sister and starting anew.

I'd be lying if I said this book was fantastic. It has its fair share of problems, but then again, hardly any book is perfect. All in all, I enjoyed reading this novel. It was a nice walk down memory lane in terms of characters and various 'memories' brought up during 'Sweet Valley Confidential'.

A major problem with this (and many other books) is that it is too long. A lot of time is spent discussing or re-iterating stuff that we already know. The plot elements just don't call for so many pages. I would have loved for this novel to be a little 'tighter'.

Matching that with a positive, Pascal seems to have character histories for almost every character mentioned in the Sweet Valley Universe. From main characters to minor characters who you may have only seen for a short while, Pascal has an answer to where they've been and what they've been doing since we last saw them. The number of characters Pascal brings back, even for cameo's, works well in this novel because everyone has different memories of different series. More camio's makes it easier for those who only read 'Sweet Valley Kids' or 'Sweet Valley High' to not feel intimidated by this story that is based off events from 'Sweet Valley University'.

As far as storytelling goes, 'Sweet Valley Confidential' is a little slow. I found myself skimming over portions that weren't moving as quickly as they could have. The plot points laced throughout the novel make for a solid story, but there is a lot of 'extra' stuff between them that make this novel seem long. The plot is engaging at times, so this minor slowness isn't a total deal breaker.

Pascal did something very well in this novel-- writing a very true account of moving far away from one's family and trying to make your life on your own. In Liz's case, she's in New York with no friends or family. Liz's thoughts and general insight into how she feels about being literally alone with hardly any social life rang true to my ears. Having lived away from home in a state with no safety net for half a year, I found myself relating to what Liz was going through. That is something that Pascal did quite well in 'Sweet Valley Confidential'.

Is this a fantastic, over the top, earth shattering novel? No. But, did you expect it to be that? I went into this hoping for a good trip down memory lane and, you know what? I did enjoy visiting Sweet Valley again. 'Sweet Valley Confidential' is available everywhere books are sold. It earns 3 out of 5 stars from this little blog.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Top Ten Tuesdays- Books I'd Like to See Made Into Movies...

Top Ten Tuesdays is a meme started by 'The Broke and the Bookish'.  Please head over to their site for more information!  I've never participated in a Top Ten Tuesday, but this list is something I was planning on doing anyways, so why not do it along side a large group of bloggers!  In no particular order, here are my top 11 books I'd like to see as movies!

1- The Grimm Legacy by Polly Shulman
Reason? This book would be SO easy to adapt into a made for tv movie, tv series, or both. It had a good story, good characters, and a fantastic setting where anything could happen. I'd love to write this screenplay!

2- The Teashop Girls by Laura Schaefer
Reason? Again, this book had a good story, good moral, and good characters. It would play out well as a movie.

3- Beauty Shop for Rent by Laura Bowers
Reason? Good, under appreciated book with a story that would do well as a made for TV movie. It's a coming of age story with a bit of romance, great characters, and a realistic storyline that people could easily relate to today.

4- Vampirates series by Justin Somper
Reason? Oh, My, Gosh. I love this series. It screams movie franchise. Why hasn't anyone picked this up yet?! Better yet, why haven't I hit it big to snag the film/tv film rights to this and everything else on my list!!!

5- The Young Jedi Knights by Kevin J. Anderson and Rebecca Moesta
Reason? There are very few Star Wars books that couldn't be made into movies. The Jedi Academy series got me into reading about these characters I'd only seen on TV. I'd love to see these make their way onto the TV/Movie screen one day. Got that, George?

6- Stravaganza series by Mary Hoffman
Reason? Again, this fantasy series is under-appreciated and would make a great movie franchise. I see some issues in filming it b/c of all the various characters that jump in and out of the books, but if properly scheduled, this series could work really well as a film franchise or mini series. I'd love to see the BBC pick this up and do something like they did with The Chronicles of Narnia years and years ago.

7- The Ghost and the Goth by Stacy Kade
Reason? I could see this and the various sequels being great made for tv movies. The characters are engaging and the ghost/supernatural thing will always be a popular genre in tv/film.

8- Pendragon series by DJ Machale
Reason? So many reasons. A) DJ wrote this book to read like a movie/tv show. B) This series has all the elements you need for a good movie/tv right off the bat. C) I really want to see Bobby Pendragon on the big screen!

9- Knightley Academy by Violet Haberdasher
Reason? Its similarities to the Harry Potter franchise aside, this is a fantastic book that could make a great movie (or set of movies once the sequels come out!). It has the elements that made Harry Potter so sucessful, yet has it's own unique storyline that will draw people in.

10- The Grey King by Susan Cooper
Reason? B/c it's my favorite book ever. I'm calling for the whole series, actually. A re-make of The Dark is Rising would be necessary, too. The Grey King, however, would make such a great movie. I want to see Bran. I want to see Wales. I want to see the darn fire in the mountain. I want to see it all.

11- Tombstone Tea by Joanne Dahme
Reason?  I found this story to be... diffrerent... than your normal supernatural tale.  The visuals would play out really well on the film screen, I think!

And that's it. If any of these authors would like to discuss giving their film rights to me for a chance to write these screenplays/pilots/whatevers, I would be happy to talk with you. I have prior script writing/producing expirience (though nothings sold yet...) and have pilots that have placed well in various script competitions. I can prepare a detailed outline of what I picture for your book if you request. E-mail me at ashsero(at)gmail(dot)com!!!

See you all later this week! Review of 'Sweet Valley Confidential' is in the works, as well as 'Anna and the French Kiss' and 'Steel'.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Follow Friday/Updates

Hi guys!  It's been a little light on the blog this week. Why?  Because I'm currently Script Frenzying, so reading has been pushed aside a bit.  I haven't stopped reading, but I just haven't been able to dedicate as much time as usual to books.  I'm writing a pilot script for the Frenzy.  Fingers crossed the script keeps on chugging along as steadily as it has been!

This Week on the Blog:
Review: Unearthly
At the Movies:  The Hunger Games Edition

And on to the Hop...

The Question of the Week is:
Do you judge a book by its cover?

Answer: Yes. I do. I always have. If a book has an ugly cover, it's much harder for me to pick it up and read than a book with a pretty cover. An example of where this didn't work in my favor? 'Hex Hall'... I didn't like the cover of 'Hex Hall' and for that reason, I held off on reading it. A few weeks after dissing the cover of the book, I stumbled upon an ARC of 'Hex Hall' with a plain black cover. I read the back and gave it a shot. Well, it became my choice for best book of 2010... I still judge books by their covers, though... :p

Review: Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

Title: Unearthly
Author: Cynthia Hand
Genre: YA, Supernatural, Romance
Perfect for: readers who don't mind slow beginnings
Star Rating: 3/5 Stars

Taken from Goodreads, "In the beginning, there's a boy standing in the trees . . . .

Clara Gardner has recently learned that she's part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn't easy.

Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place—and out of place at the same time. Because there's another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara's less angelic side.

As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she'd have to make—between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?"

All in all, I enjoyed 'Unearthly' by Cynthia Hand. It was an enjoyable read, though slightly overhyped for my tastes. Hand's unique take on angel lore makes 'Unearthly' stand out among the ever growing collection of angel themed YA novels.

As far as pacing, 'Unearthly' was slow. I can most easily compare the pacing of 'Unearthly' to that of 'Twilight'. You know how 'Twilight' had a lot of character background and very little plot until the last fifty pages? Well, 'Unearthly' was similar. Except, 'Unearthly' didn't do it as well as 'Twilight'. Many times, I found myself wishing the characters would stop repeating things we already heard multiple times and just get on with it! The ending, however, was very well placed. While I was intrigued by the story for the first two acts, the third act convinced me that this story was more than your basic angel story.

Romance... Tricky, tricky, tricky. The romance in 'Unearthly' was charming and less corny than most YA novels.  I'm looking forward to seeing more of Christian. Tucker had me there for a while, but at this point, I'd love to see what Christian has to offer.  Overall, Hands did well in this area!

Another concern about this novel? It's kind of forgettable. It's been a month since I've read this novel and I had to read the blurb to remember a lot of the storyline. A good book, for me, is one that I'll remember without having to read the back of the book again. While I remembered the main bits of the novel, nothing really stood out for me enough to really remember details.

If you like angel fiction, this is something you'll want to read. While a little slow and not exactly memorable, 'Unearthly' is an entertaining read and worth checking out.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Just an FYI...

Hi ya readers. So, you may have noticed the usual Tuesday review didn't appear this week... Just a quick FYI, I'm participating in Script Frenzy this month and have made a pact with myself to really participate, as opposed to procrastinate and not finish! I'm not writing a full blown screenplay, but a television pilot. I think better in 35 to 65 page scripts rather than 100+! For that reason, my reading time will be cut down a bit. Please bear with me this month!!!

I am currently reading 'Sweet Valley Confidential' by Francine Pascal. So far, I'm enjoying the read. I haven't read about the Twins since, well, 'Sweet Valley Kids' and that was some time ago!

Also, I have yet to post a review of 'Anna and the French Kiss' and 'Unearthly', so look for reviews of those within the next few weeks!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

At The Movies... The Hunger Games Edition

At The Movies... is something I'm trying out. Christmas 2010 I received a subscription to 'The Hollywood Reporter'. It is a collection of entertainment news, reviews, and award spotlights. One of my favorite sections in the magazine has to do with new deals and cast details for pre-production projects. At The Movies... will feature some of the fun info I learn week to week from this magazine and the web in general. Comments in parenthesis are my own opinions. Enjoy!

A quick casting update! Peeta and Gale have finally been cast for the upcoming Hunger Games movie! Here's a quick run down of the three leading characters!

Jennifer Lawrence has been cast as Katniss.

Josh Hutcherson has been cast as Peeta.

Liam Hemsworth has been cast as Gale.

Producers have gone on to defend their decisions here on the LA Times website.

I hear a lot of negative feedback is being tossed around about the casting of this movie. However, I disagree. I think this is a fine cast of actors. One thing I think people are forgetting is the magic of the make up and hair people. Just because actress Jennifer Lawrence is a blonde now, it doesn't mean she'll be a blonde in the movie.  I won't even comment on the silliness of those saying she has the wrong complexion... That all being said, I haven't seen her act and that is what worries me most. I hope she can pull off Katniss properly!!

I love Josh Hutcherson as Peeta. Even when he was in 'Zuthera' or the train wreck that was 'The Vampire's Assistant', you could tell he could act. This just might be his time to shine! Plus, it helps that he seems to like the books and character already.  I think he'll be a great Peeta!

Oh, Gale... Sorry, but you were never real competition (in my opinion)!  I've never seen Liam Hemsworth act, but honestly, he definitely looks the part to me! (Why did Miley C. break up with him????)  It seems I wasn't too off the wall with my fantasy cast when it comes to Gale, however, as Paul Wesley and Liam Hemsworth have very similar looks!

Now let's hope we see Robert Downey Jr and James McAvoy in the next casting notice!!!

What are your thoughts on the leads of 'The Hunger Games'?

Friday, April 1, 2011

Book Blogger Hop/Follow Friday/Update

Hi there, readers! It's that time again! Another week, another hop/update post! This week has been quite a busy week for the blog. I did my first IMM meme and have some neat stuff planned for upcoming weeks. :-) Plus, I received my first 'review copy' from a publisher. All in all, it's been a good week!

This Week on the Blog:
Review: Filling The Family Tree
Review: Queen of the Dead
In My Mailbox meme

Now, onto the hops!
Book Blogger Hop
The Question of the Week is:
Since today is April Fool's Day in the USA, what is the best prank you have ever played on someone OR that someone has played on you?

Answer: I don't really remember pulling any real pranks... Kind of boring of me, right?  On the same note, I don't remember anyone really pulling a prank on me.  

I don't see a follow friday for this week, so I'll leave you here for the week!