Monday, August 22, 2011

Hello Again!

I just wanted to pop in and apologize for my absence this past week.  I've been in a bit of a dry spell when it comes to reading.  Thankfully, I think that's over with.  I'm currently reading the final book in the 'Prophecy of the Sisters' series.  So far, it's pretty good.

Also, if you won a prize during the Summer Giveaway, those went out this week.  Sorry for the delay!!!

So, look out for the usual updates starting back again this week!  

Monday, August 8, 2011

Thank You!

A big thank you to all who entered the 'Summer' contest! I'm sending out e-mails to the winners tonight. If you get an e-mail, please confirm your information within 48 hours. :-) When I have everyone confirmed, I'll go ahead and set up a congratulations post! 

For an extra point, entrants had the option to answer a question 'What does summer mean to you?' A good chunk of you mentioned that you love summer because you get to read more books. 

Here are a few of my favorite responses: 
AmyS: To me summer means we are that much closer to winter. I love snow! 
The Happy Booker: Just one thing? I'm not that decisive! Summer for me is hurricane season, flip flops, spaghetti straps, and my hubby looking hot in his apron showing of his grillin skills! 
Ann: Hot weather means summer to me, and boy, we got it this year! 
LolaWid: Summer to me is having my kiddos home, and all schedules go out the windows... 
Shahira: Summer = Falling in love. :] 

You can find all the response in the comment section of the 'Contest' post! 

As a consolation prize, I've embedded some clips of my favorite things! Enjoy!

If you haven't seen Newsies, you really should. It is my favorite movie. Seriously, how can you not love it? A cast of hot guys? Kenny Ortega? Lots of song and dance numbers? Great acting? This movie as it all!

Another favorite of mine is the Sister Act series. This clip is from the finale of Sister Act 2.

Two Doctors=awesome. I love the 'You were my Doctor' part. It always gets me. 

And that's it for now. Thanks for entering the contest. See you next time!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Updates/Contest Reminder/Book Blogger Hop/Follow Friday

It's another weekly hop already? Wow. This week flew by! Be sure to check out the happening's on the blog this week. Lots of fun stuff happened!  

I'd like to thank Stacey Kade for taking the time to fill out the author interview! Thanks!

This Week on the Blog:
Review: Passion by Lauren Kate
Author Interview: Stacey Kade
Contest Info: Win 'Queen of the Dead' by Stacey Kade

Reminder: Are you a follower of the blog? Enter to win Stacey Kade's 'Queen of the Dead' or a handful of promotional keychains! All the details can be found in the contest post! Enter soon-- the contest ends on the 7th!

And onto the hops...

Book Blogger Hop
Book Blogger Hop
The Question of the Week is:
What is the one ARC you would love to get your hands on right now?

Answer: I was JUST talking to my mom about a book that I wished I had received! Very timely question! 'Darkness Falls' is my pick. It's by author Cate Tiernan and is the sequel to the wonderful 'Immortal Beloved'. I'm really looking forward to stepping back into that world!  

While this isn't an ARC, I would love to get my hands on 'Immortal War' (final book in 'Vampirates' series) by Justin Somper. It was released by Simon and Schuster UK in June, but we don't get it in the States until January. Do I think I'll make it to January to read this? Not a chance. I'll be placing my order on soon!!!  It's just so irritating knowing that it can be found on bookstore shelves now, just not in my country!!!

Follow Friday:

The Question of the Week is:
Talk about the book that most changed or influenced your life (was it a book that turned you from an average to avid reader, did it help you deal with a particularly difficult situation, does it bring you comfort every time you read it?).

Answer: While I can't think of a book that really changed my life drastically, I have a few 'comfort' reads. If I'm feeling down, I usually pick up 'Twilight', 'The Host', or 'The Grey King'. They always seem to get me through tough times. It helps that they are some of my favorite reads. 'Twilight' is pure popcorn-- corny in a good way. 'The Host' has the cutest love story. 'The Grey King' has some great settings-- mostly Welsh locations that have some connection to King Arthur. After reading one of these books, I'm usually out of whatever funk I was in!

Thanks for hopping by this week!  See you next time!

Review: Passion by Lauren Kate

Title: Passion
Author: Lauren Kate
Genre: YA, Supernatural, Romance, 3rd in a series
Perfect for: those who have read the first two in the series. This does not work as a standalone.
Star Rating: 3/5 stars

Taken from Goodreads, "Luce would die for Daniel.

And she has. Over and over again. Throughout time, Luce and Daniel have found each other, only to be painfully torn apart: Luce dead, Daniel left broken and alone. But perhaps it doesn’t need to be that way. . . .

Luce is certain that something—or someone—in a past life can help her in her present one. So she begins the most important journey of this lifetime . . . going back eternities to witness firsthand her romances with Daniel . . . and finally unlock the key to making their love last.

Cam and the legions of angels and Outcasts are desperate to catch Luce, but none are as frantic as Daniel. He chases Luce through their shared pasts, terrified of what might happen if she rewrites history.

Because their romance for the ages could go up in flames . . . forever."

I can't help it. When it comes to this series, I'm addicted. I can't help but enjoy stepping into the world Lauren Kate has crafted, but to be completely honest, I always finish these books (well, 'Torment' and the newest novel, 'Passion') with gripes. The best way to describe my thoughts about the Fallen series is that I want to love it so much that I hold it up to higher standards that it never seems to reach. I know I shouldn't, but I really liked 'Fallen'. The sequels.... There have been great parts and then not so great parts. But on to the topic at hand-- 'Passion'.

'Passion' is the third book in the Fallen series. It continues exactly where 'Torment' ended. Much of the storyline is centered around Luce learning about her and Daniel's past lives together in a search to find out why she loves him and why their cursed. I think anyone who's read the series has wondered about the past, so all in all, the concept sounds pretty good, right? Well, sort of.

At 430 some pages, 85% (ish) of the book showcased Luce and Daniel playing 'catch me if you can' back in time. While it was nice jumping into the past lives for a while, mid way through, I found myself wondering when we'd get on with the story. The time jumping was all fine and good, but there was just too much of it.

We got to see very little of the secondary characters in this novel, but Daniel, Miles, and Shelby had a good scene together and we did get a small peek into Cam's background, which was nice. 'Passion' will please those readers who can't get enough of Luce and Daniel's tragic love, but doesn't progress the story very much.

The best way to describe 'Passion' is that it reads like the middle of a story. It doesn't have a standalone intertwined into the big storyline. It's very 'Empire Strikes Back' in that way. The last 15% of the story is where most of the action happens and is a major set up for the fourth installment.

For me, 'Passion' read a whole lot like 'Torment'. It was a quick, addictive read, but left me wondering why it had to be so long. The more I think about it, 'Passion' would have been so much better as a novella. It's 400+ pages just seemed a bit repetitive and didn't move the story along as much as I expected.

Even though I had my gripes, I am not giving up on the series. The last 15% of the novel (where the plot really kicked in) caught my attention enough to make me look forward to the release of the final novel in the series. 'Passion' gets 3 out of 5 stars.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Author Interview: Stacey Kade, author of 'The Ghost and the Goth' series

One of my favorite things about blogging about books? Author interviews. I love reading them and I love hosting them! This month, Stacey Kade was gracious enough to stop by and answer a few questions. Stacey is the author of 'The Ghost and the Goth' and its sequel 'Queen of the Dead', with more to come, I'm sure!

Make sure to stop by my most recent contest post where you can enter to win a copy of 'Queen of the Dead'!

A Bit About Stacey Kade...
As an award-winning corporate copywriter, Stacey Kade has written about everything from backhoe loaders to breast pumps. But she prefers to make things up instead.

From her first childhood scribbles about a magical necklace that would turn people into cats, Stacey has long been fascinated with what happens when the “ordinary” bumps up against “out of this world.” What if aliens landed on Earth? What if the afterlife is really just another dimension?

She lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband, Greg, and their three retired racing greyhounds, Joezooka (Joe), Tall Walker (Walker) and SheWearsThePants (Pansy). When she’s not reading or writing, you’ll likely find her parked in front of the television with her Roswell DVDs, staring rapturously at Jason Behr.

The Q and A Session:

Q: Probably the hardest question of all, who are you? Tell us a bit about yourself!
A: You're right! This probably is the hardest question... How about this? A writer, a reader, a hopeless romantic, a wife, a big sister, an aunt,a greyhound rescue devotee, and a firm believer that freshly baked cookies and/or a McDonald's Coke can solve just about any ill. :)

Q: Every writer has their writing 'quirks' (ie: writing at night, while drinking tea, in the wee hours of the morning, etc). What are yours?
A: Hmm. I've learned that pretty much whatever I've set up as a quirk, I knock down when I'm desperate to get something done, on deadline, or traveling. :) But if I have my preference, I love having music playing while I write. My Pandora stations usually. And I like to have a cup of Earl Grey tea when I can!

Q: What inspired you to start writing 'The Ghost and the Goth'? Was it your first foray into the publishing world? Had you imagined that 'The Ghost and the Goth' would have sequels while writing the original manuscript or did that idea come about later?
A: I often hear bits of dialogue or snippets of character thoughts in my head to start off a story and with Alona, it was something like, "Staring up at the undercarriage of a bus is a sucky way to spend your afterlife." I had published three novels for adults through a small press prior to The Ghost and the Goth. I was hoping there would be an opportunity for sequels to G&G. The big twist, so to speak, in the middle of Queen of the Dead was something I knew I wanted to do even while I was writing G&G.

Q: 'Queen of the Dead' came out recently. What can fans (who may not have read it yet) expect?
A: More kissing, more bickering, a few new people (alive and dead) and some pretty hefty complications. :) Will and's never going to be easy for them, unfortunately.

Q: Now, onto a bit more fun... Have you ever experienced something supernatural or unexplainable? Please explain! If you haven't, do you believe in ghosts, aliens, psychics, etc?
A: No, I've never experienced anything supernatural, not really. But I'm actually pretty happy about that. I'd much prefer the ghosts haunt other people! I'd be too freaked out. And yes, I believe that there are things, phenomena, that we don't readily understand and try to explain away. I think there likely is a rational explanation but perhaps not one science has figured out yet. :)

Q: If you could choose to live in one genre (ie: supernatural, romance, musical, etc), which would you choose?
A: Romance. Hands down. Gotta have that happily ever after. But I'd rather have a blend of paranormal AND romance, lol.

Q: I'm a huge tv nut. What is on your DVR right now? What are your all time favorite TV Shows?
A: Oooh, new favorite show is Awkward. on MTV. Loving that one. What else is on my DVR? Um, Falling Skies, Alphas, Necessary Roughness, Suits, True Blood...and too many more to mention. I adore TV, watch way too much of it for my own good probably!

All time favorites:
Veronica Mars
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
The O.C. (Season one)

Q: You're going on vacation and can only take one of your favorite books with you to read on the plane. What book do you choose? Why?
A: Ack! You realize this is my nightmare scenario, right? I ALWAYS take a minimum of three books with me on a plane, just in case we're delayed or I'm not in the mood for a particular kind of book once I'm in my seat or whatever. So...probably Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. I've read it countless times and I find something new to love about it each time.

Q: In the same sort of scenario, if you could choose any literary character to entertain you on a vacation, who would you choose? Why?
A: Probably Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice. We'd have fun reading books--my favorite vacation activity--and I'd get to enjoy her sarcastic but funny commentary on everyone around us. :)

Q: If you were to cast 'The Ghost and the Goth', who would you cast as the two leads, Will and Alona? If your life were being filmed, what actress would play you?
A: Oh, dear. Casting is so tricky, even the imaginary variety! I love the models they found for the covers and think they are pretty close to perfect. So, people who look very similar to those models, I guess. I think Landon Liboiron would make a great Will. Don't have any specific suggestions for Alona, unfortunately. A movie of my life? Oh, let's hope not! :)

Q: And last, but not least, any words for your fans?
A: A huge THANK YOU! Telling stories is such a privilege and I'm so honored and grateful that you guys have given me a chance to do just that. It's truly a dream come true.