Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Review: Friendship on Fire by Danielle Weiler

Daisy has a temper to match her (accidentally dyed) red hair. She also has a heart the size of Australia. She's a senior in high school, and it's cracking up to be the most adventurous year yet. She meets the handsome Nate, and his charming ways instantly appeal to her. 

As she and Nate get closer and closer, Daisy's best friends - Roman and Rachel - move further and further away. 

Daisy struggles to keep her head above water as she juggles exams, school captain responsibilities, failing friendships, the class bully, and finding out what love really means. 


This was a fantastic read. Daisy's personality is easy going and entertaining. She is hilarious! I laughed out loud a few times, and thought her narration was perfect. 

It was fun to decipher a bit of Australian culture and slang. I admit, though, I had to ask the author about certain things. For your information, a redskin is a strawberry flavored candy..not beef jerky, like I originally imagined :)

I loved the moral of this story. My heart broke with Daisy's, and at times I felt like it was me who was picking up the pieces and putting it back together. 

There was some swearing and sexual content, so this book is for mature readers. But I think every girl ought to read this book and decide for herself what it means to love and be loved. 


Paperback: 488 pages
Publisher: Sid Harta Publishers (January 1, 2011)
Language: English
Source: Sent from the author for review
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Monday, April 25, 2011

News for me

So, this week is a big week for me. In a few days I have my first book signing! Hurrah! It's at a school in Utah - even though I don't live in Utah. Kind of a long story, but I have connections, and a school invited me to do an author presentation and then do a book signing. What could I do but say yes? :) It's not open to the public - sorry! - so I won't post any info online.

Next, I've got another review posted at Squeaky Clean Reads. I was thrilled with this review. Honestly, I worked pretty hard to make my book a clean read, so I was beyond pleased that it got such a good rating. Check it out here. Leave a comment and agree with how amazing my book is. I will love you forever.

Also, the amazing folks at SQC are hosting a fabulous giveaway by yours truly. You can head over and enter the giveaway here. Spread the word.

Lastly, I have decided not to accept any more books for review. I have a stack (literally) of books that need read and reviewed and the Summer Reads Contest to judge. Besides that, I've got a book to promote and a sequel to write. I've got a very full plate. I have to be a little more picky with my time, and though I love reading and reviewing, it just has to take back seat for a few months. I'm sad about this decision, but I feel like if I want to have a chance at being a good wife/mother/author, something has to get cut.

Sad, but true. Pin It

Thursday, April 21, 2011

You Tell Me

So, I'm being featured today on From the Shadows. As part of the interview, I was asked who I would cast to play the leads in my book. Head over to see my answers there - and leave a comment please!

I've done a little more thinking, and I've decided on a Pyper.

Rachel Hurd-Wood. Um, perfect! Seriously? Perfect.

And for Kael? I'm still undecided, because I haven't seen an actor that I just knew looked like him. But I think...

Logan Lerman might just do the trick. (He'll probably need contacts to make his eyes green, though.)

So, that's who I've chosen for my main leads. But, that only shows you that I have limited access to young actors.

Tell me who you think should be cast to play Pyper, Kael, Baler, Raven or Summer. I really would love to know! Who is your dream cast for The Gifted? Pin It

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Q+A with yours truly

This Thursday, the 21st, you'll be able to catch me at From the Shadows.

Pretty cool, eh? I'm excited. Except, when I did the interview, I had no idea who I wanted to cast as Pyper or Kael. Now that I've had time to think about it and chew on it for a while, I've come up with some really good actors.

Check out my interview with E.J. Stevens, then stop by here and I'll maybe let you in on my new and improved dream cast.

Cheers! Pin It

Monday, April 18, 2011

Review: Die for Me by Amy Plum

Kate's life turned from normal to abysmal when her parents are killed in a car accident. Returning to their father's heritage, and their only surviving family members, Kate and her sister, Georgia, move to Paris to be with their grandparents.

Kate's days are filled with novels, museums, and the crushing ache of mourning and depression, until her eyes lock with Vincent's across a cafe terrace. He's gorgeous and kind and, amazingly, seems genuinely interested in Kate. The closer she gets to him, the more she becomes aware that she's opening herself to potential heartbreak and pain.

But more importantly, it could mean risking her life.

Vincent and his kindred are Revenants. Undead who sacrifice their lives over and over to save humans from death and pain. And their sworn enemies have had centuries to perfect hone in on their Revenant hunting skills.

Kate must decide if her safety is important enough to leave Vincent being, or if a life without Vincent is really worth living.


To be honest, I was a little hesitant about reading a book about the dead dying over and over, but I was beyond pleasantly surprised. I was so intrigued by this book, I finished it in 2 days. Kate's pain at losing her parents completely destroys her, and she's seemingly an empty shell, just putting one foot in front of the other. After meeting Vincent, she at least has something to keep her moving and occupied during the day. But then their little attraction grows stronger, and stranger. Kate's immediately plunged into the fascinating world of the undead. The revenants jokingly call themselves zombies, but it's nothing like the stereotypes.

There was just a little cautionary content (they may be immortal, but the Revenants still die, after all. And not all the deaths are clean).

The descriptions of Paris were beautiful, but sometimes a little distracting. The characters were fantastic. Sometimes when a book has so many important characters all rolled together, it's difficult to keep their personalities separate. I did not find that to be the case here.

Bottom line? Very intriguing read that is part pain and death, part heart-melting love story. Definitely worth reading.

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen (May 10, 2011)
  • Source: Publisher (via NetGalley)
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Saturday, April 16, 2011

Review: The Goddess Test, by Aimee Carter

Kate's whole world revolves around her dying mother, who's last wish was to return to her tiny hometown. Uprooted and alone, Kate finds herself at a new school with no friends, no family, and no future beyond getting through the day with her mother.

Kate would do anything to save her mom. She meets handsome and mysterious Henry, who offers her immortality if she can pass a series of tests. Henry is no ordinary boy. He is Hades. The God of the Underworld. Kate is hesitant at first, and skeptical, to say the least. But when she sees him raise a girl from the dead and realizes he can give her more time with her mom, Kate accepts the challenge.

The catch? No one has ever survived the trials.

Now Kate must decide who to save, and if the prize is worth the pain.


I was so excited to read this book. I loved the cover, I loved the synopsis. I had to read it as soon as I got it.

Let me say this book was fantastic. Such an interesting twist on contemporary Greek Mythology. It was intriguing and fascinating. Kate was a heroine worthy of cheering for. She does the right thing for the right reasons and sticks to her guns.

And Hades as a good guy? Why not. It was actually brilliant. I will probably never look at Hades the same again. He wasn't a perfect guy with all the right charms. He's still the ruler of the Underworld, after all. I thought it was amazing. And the gentle love story was perfect.

I did find some sections of the book to be a little slow, and felt that, at times, Kate over analyzed everything. But that's probably just her personality. I found the passage of time to be a little jarring in some points. And I was just a tad disappointed that the tests were like a hovering shadow. We know they're there somewhere, but they're not really mentioned until the very end.

In the end, I was pleased with the plot twists and surprises, and enjoyed the book, all the way up until the last page or two. I will definitely be hungrily awaiting the second installment so that I can figure out what the heck Kate was thinking.

        • Reading level: Young Adult
            • Paperback: 304 pages
                • Publisher: Harlequin; Original edition (April 19, 2011)
                    • Source: The Publisher (via NetGalley)
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                  Thursday, April 14, 2011

                  YA New Summer Reads Competition

                  Don't forget! The YA New Summer Reads Competition will begin accepting submissions on April 15th. Hey, that's tomorrow!

                  From BookTwirps:

                  This competition is available to any book (published or self-published). The only stipulation is that it must be published between January 1 and August 1, 2011. Also, only the author, author’s agent or author’s publisher may submit the book.

                  Since this is the first year of the competition, our resources are a bit limited, so we will only be accepting novels in the following categories:

                  * Contemporary Teen Fiction & Teen Romance
                  * Paranormal/Fantasy & Dystopian Teen Fiction

                  1. Submissions will begin April 15 and go through April 30, 2011.
                  2. A maximum of 50 entries will be accepted in each category
                  3. The judges will begin reading excerpts on May 1
                  4. The top 5 in each category will be announced on May 22. These 5 will move on to the final round.
                  5. The top 5 authors MUST send a copy of their book to each judge. The book must be received by June 1.
                  6. The winners in each category will be announced on August 1.
                  7. Each judge will post their review of the winning book on their site, as well as here on Book Twirps, Good Reads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and LibraryThing.
                  8. Each judge will also host a Q&A with the winning author in the category they judged on their blog, and also host any giveaways the author would like to participate in.


                  So if you've published a novel between January 1 and August 1, 2011, run over to BookTwirps and check out the submission requirements. (And while you're there, you might as well Meet the Judges.) If you've recently read a great book you think could win it all, contact the author or publisher and let them know about the contest.

                  Spreading the word couldn't hurt either. You never know what budding novelist reads your blog and could very well be the next big thing. Pin It

                  Tuesday, April 12, 2011

                  For real?

                  Whenever someone comments on my blog, a copy gets sent to my inbox. Instead of responding to readers in the comments, I just hit "reply" and send them an email.

                  Or so I thought.

                  Last night I was responding to a comment. When I hit "send," I noticed the return email address was something like "".


                  Seriously? Are all of my reply emails being ejected into cyberspace where they are quickly eaten by the black hole of no-reply?

                  Ugh! (Insert forehead slap.)

                  Has anyone received a reply email to a comment they've left?! I know I've responded to Kimi, Dena, Ems, Maggie, Maura, Judy (G), and countless others. Those mentioned are just the ones off the top of my head.

                  So, if you've asked me a question or left me a thoughtful or helpful comment (or commented to tell me you bought my book!) and were surprised I never responded, I'm so sorry! I really did respond, I promise!

                  I'll just have to start replying in my comments. Pin It

                  Monday, April 11, 2011

                  Review: Bumped by Megan McCafferty

                  In 20 years, a virus will spread throughout the world, rendering all adults over 18 infertile. The only hope of having children is to pay a surrogate for a child.

                  Teenage girls will become the most valuable commodity in the world.

                  Sixteen-year-old Melody has grown up her whole life knowing her only purpose will be to "bump" with a total stranger and give birth to a baby she'll never see so he/she can grow up in someone else's home. Her conception contract with the Jaydens has been signed for years, so why hasn't she had a baby yet?

                  Harmony lives in Goodside, where God and hard work are the focus of every day. The women must veil their faces and be married by 13 so they can begin having children. Their society is closed to outsiders, and their contact with Otherside is strictly prohibited. But when Harmony asks too many questions about the Bible and the real purpose of marriage, the community gives her a rude awakening.

                  That's when she runs find her long lost twin sister, Melody.


                  Ok, so, this book is very disturbing on so many levels. I cannot even tell you how many times I was thoroughly disgusted by...well, just about everything in this book. Sex is seemingly the main topic of this book and everyone regards it with nonchalance, from pre-teens trying on padding to see what a baby bump will look like to masSEX parties where everyone tries to get pregnant at the same time.

                  See? Disgusting and offensive.

                  But...the author is doing it on purpose. The human race has a long way to go until we get to the point where we sell our daughters' bodies to the highest bidder, but I pray it never even comes close to that! In the same vein, I pray we'll never get to the point where our kids are sent to an arena to kill each other.

                  The author did a fantastic job with the growth and maturity of her characters. I was so impressed that I could have such strong negative feelings for someone at the beginning of the book, and by the end, I wanted to give them a hug. I was also very impressed with the technological advances the author creates. McCafferty may have just inspired the next big thing in social networking.

                  Perhaps the most surprising thing about this book was that it turned out to be a love story in the end. Not simply romantic love, but also the love and friendship between two sisters.

                  While I can't recommend this book to anyone who is as sensitive as I am about the topics of love, sex, child bearing and adoption, I can say that I enjoyed it in the end. This is certainly a new twist on Dystopia.

                  • Reading level: Young Adult
                  • Hardcover: 336 pages
                  • Publisher: Balzer + Bray (April 26, 2011)
                  • Source: The Publisher (via NetGalley)
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                  Friday, April 8, 2011

                  Review by Fire and Ice

                  Thanks so much to Heather at Fire and Ice for reading and reviewing The Gifted! (You can also see her review on Goodreads)

                  Hop over there and check out her thoughts on my book. Show her some blog love and follow (if you don't already). And while you're there, enter the giveaway to win a copy of The Gifted!

                  If you already have your copy in hand, GREAT! I thank you sincerely. In that case, just leave Heather a comment and thank her for being so nice to me. :) Pin It

                  I've joined your ranks.

                  For a million different reasons, my husband is amazing. In this post, I'm going to highlight one specific example.

                  He bought me a Kindle!!!

                  He had many reasons for doing this (celebrating my book release, concern for my health, bribing encouraging me) , but what it all boils down to is that he loves me. Aw. :)

                  So now, I am able read and review ebooks with ease. NetGalley is my new best friend. I'm able to enter giveaways for ebooks. When I go on a trip next week, I'll take my library with me! Seriously, this is the coolest thing ever. I spent hours getting to know my Kindle. My husband almost wished he hadn't given it to me. ;)

                  I feel so high tech and posh. I know ereaders are the future, but I still feel a little elite now that I have one.

                  In a twist of fated irony, The Gifted became available in Kindle version on the same day I received my Kindle.

                  I sold 4 Kindle version copies of The Gifted before it was fully live on Amazon. That made me feel pretty good. Anyway, you can now by The Gifted on Kindle here.

                  I'm currently working on putting The Gifted on B&N and Smashwords. So if you have a Nook or some other ereader device, hang tight. We're on our way. Pin It

                  Thursday, April 7, 2011

                  Review: Fallen by Lauren Kate

                  Luce has a tragic past. Her life was seemingly ideal, except for the dark shadows that haunt her. She could ignore those and pretend they weren't there, keeping up the facade of a happy life, until the night Trevor tried to kiss her...and died. Speculation swarmed, and Luce's future was suddenly nothing more than being booked into "reform" school, which really felt like a lax prison.

                  Who would have thought she'd find bright spots among the gloom? Her quirky companion Arianne. Her loyal friend Penn. But then there's Cam. Handsome, charismatic Cam who showers her with attention - even more than she's comfortable with. But at least he acknowledges her, and he's kind to her. Not like Daniel. Daniel is aloof, breathtakingly handsome, haunted, and makes it clear from day one that he wants nothing to do with her.

                  But when Daniel saves her life, brings her flowers, takes her to a romantic hidden spot by the lake and races her through the water...Luce isn't quite sure what to believe.

                  And the truth will turn out to be almost more than she can handle.


                  Love, passion, death, battles, secrets, intrigue, love-triangles, friendships, betrayals...all ingredients for a fantastic read, right?

                  Well, maybe.

                  I enjoyed this book. I loved the writing and the descriptions. I really enjoyed Luce. She's smart and caring. She's guilty, but she's not sure of what. She feels an inexorable pull toward Daniel, and can't stay away, even though he's a jerk. As the reader, we know that he's doing it to protect her. But Luce doesn't know that. And yet she continues to throw herself at him. OK, she doesn't necessarily throw herself at him, but she makes it clear she'd pick him over Cam if he wanted her to, regardless of Daniel's distasteful personality traits (like flipping her off or telling her that if she won't leave, he will).

                  Again, as the reader, we know that what he's doing is protecting her, and it's tragic and heartbreaking. But really Luce? She doesn't even attempt to hide her obsession with him. (In my opinion at least.)

                  In the end, I enjoyed the book, but I walked away confused. The entire novel (and it's a big one!) seems to lead up to the last 15 pages. But there's no resolution. Daniel is very vague on who/what he is and why he is the way he is. But Luce seems to be completely at ease with that fact and will follow him blindly because they're in love - though truth be told it feels more like lust than love to me.

                  I do recommend this book, but know that you'll probably end up with more questions than answers in the end. I know I did. I'll be looking forward to reading the 2nd novel in the series, and hopefully that will help.

                  • Reading level: Young Adult
                  • Paperback: 496 pages
                  • Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (September 28, 2010) 
                  • Source: Local library
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                  Wednesday, April 6, 2011

                  My first reviews!

                  Ok, folks. The Gifted has been out in the wild for a little over a week now. A few of you have gotten your hands on its goodness, and already the reviews are starting to trickle in.

                  Allie Burke reviewed The Gifted on her blog, and you can read that here. I've also had a few reviews on Goodreads, and you can see those here. One reader is going to post a review on Amazon, so that will probably be up later today.

                  Thank you everyone for reading the book, enjoying it (so far), and taking the time to review it. As an author, I can't tell you how much I appreciate readers taking the time to share their thoughts and feelings on a book. It makes all the effort worth it when someone says they stayed up late, just to finish the book! And for the record, I've had 3 people say that so far. :)

                  Yeah, I'm on cloud nine at this point.

                  I have been interviewed for a few blogs, and I'll give you more details as they become available. For now, plan on catching me at From The Shadows on April 21st. Pin It

                  Monday, April 4, 2011

                  Getting your hands on books.

                  This week's IMM included the book Fallen by Kate Lauren. I was surprised at how many people said they couldn't read it because their library doesn't have it.

                  Like many of you, I don't have a bottomless bank account at the ready to satisfy my book needs. I rely heavily on my local library. So what do I do when they don't have a book I want? Usually I pout for a minute, and then move on, disappointed that I'll never get to read that book.

                  But it doesn't have to be that way. Did you know you can request your library buy a book? Sometimes, if they don't have the resources or demand to buy the book, they can just borrow it from another library in the area. Sometimes there is a cost to this, but not usually.

                  It's probably safe to say that all libraries have a website. There should be a "request materials" link somewhere on the website where you can go and suggest the library buy a certain book. It can be on the home page, but not necessarily. If you're having problems finding it, ask someone the next time you stop in.

                  I'm an author, and in my dream world, every person would have their own personal copy of my book. But I live in reality (no matter how often I vacation to my imagination), and most people don't buy every book they read. Do I mind? No. Not really. I would love to have my book in libraries! I would rather have people reading and enjoying it, and I really mean that.

                  So, if you're discouraged that your library lacks pizazz, help them out and recommend books for them to buy.

                  And while you're at it, I know a book you can recommend they buy... Pin It

                  Sunday, April 3, 2011

                  Blog Hop Giveaway Winner!

                  Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who entered the Fool for Books Giveaway Hop! I know I stumbled across some amazing blogs, and I hope you did too.

                  On to the good stuff, right?!

                  I wish I had about 90 more books to giveaway. Don't worry, I have lots of ARCs to read, review, and send off to you.

                  The winner of my copy of The Gifted and the swag pack is...

                  #22 - KT!!!

                  KT, I'm sending you an email. If I don't get your mailing address in 48 hours, I'll have to pick another winner. Please don't do that to me.

                  Thanks again everyone, and I hope you win lots of goodies today! Pin It

                  Saturday, April 2, 2011

                  In My Mailbox -4-

                  Thanks to the Story Siren for hosting this weekly meme.

                  Please check out other book blogs and find out what readers are...well, reading. :)

                  Want to participate? Post about books you've bought, checked out from the library, received for review or as a gift, etc. Books don't have to arrive via your mailbox.

                  Ok, here we go.

                  From my mailbox:

                  Violet Midnight by Allie Burke - a paranormal romance. Yesss!!

                  Silent Love by Susan Shuler DeLong - a deaf teenager tries to fit into a hearing high school. I teach my son Sign, so this is intriguing to me.

                  Vaclav & Lena by Haley Tanner - I won this on Goodreads, but I think it'll be great.

                  All About Daisy by O'Dell Hutchinson - an awkward teen who's bullied at school. Quite possibly the story of my life. Then again, maybe not. I'll let you know.

                  America Pacifica by Anna North - I don't know what it is about dystopian books that are just hook, line and sinker for me.

                  I'm seriously so excited about every single one of these books that I've started reading most of them. I don't know how I'm going to buckle down and focus on one book at a time. It will be hard, but I know I can do it.

                  From my email:

                  Across Eternity by Aris Whittier. The reviews look great. I always love a good romance. *Sigh.*

                  From the local library:

                  Fallen by Lauren Kate. I figured it was time I jumped on the bandwagon.

                  Pegasus by Robin McKinley. I've been on the waiting list forever for this one.

                  From NetGalley:

                  Ultraviolet (Carolrhoda Ya) This one is about a girl who wakes up in a mental institution after having confessed to murdering her classmate...if you count watching her disintegrate a murder. Oooh, intrigued? I am.

                  Thank You, God, for Daddy by Amy Parker. I think I'm gonna need some tissues...

                  Thank you, God, for Mommy by Amy Parker. Ditto on the tissues.

                  In Front of God and Everybody by KD McCrite. Who doesn't love teenagers who are funny and easily embarrassed?!

                  Tender Loving Care by Jennifer Greene. Romance - check. Adoption - check. Gotta love it.

                  I haven't counted, but I don't think it's as many as last week. Good thing, too. I'm WAY behind! I'll be going on vacation soon. Does that mean I'll have more or less time to read? I don't know, but I guess we'll find out.

                  So, your turn. What are YOU reading this week? Pin It

                  Friday, April 1, 2011

                  Fool for Books Giveaway Hop!

                  Welcome to my first giveaway hop!

                  This is a very short giveaway hop. It opens April 1st, 2011, and it closes at Midnight on April 2nd, 2011. So you'd better be quick in entering on all the blogs - there are over 200 of them!

                  I'm excited about this giveaway.

                  Up for grabs:  A swag pack from The Gifted.

                  Included is a signed copy of The Gifted, and a few of Pyper's favorite things: black nail polish, and lip balm. I guess you'll just have to read The Gifted to understand why those are her favorites. Also included is a black bag that's perfect as a book back. I have one that keeps my TBR books in one place.

                  How to Enter:

                  You must be a follower of my blog. This giveaway is open to US residents only. (Sorry, Canada! Next time, I promise.) Simply leave a comment below with your email address then hop on over to the other blogs. And hurry!

                  A winner will be announced here on April 3rd, but I'll also send an email.

                  Be sure to visit the other participating blogs!

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