blo Teens Read and Write: November 2009

Sunday, November 29, 2009

In Our Mailbox (5)

*In My Mailbox*

Hosted by The Story Siren explores the contents of our mailbox on a weekly basis.

The Lovely Bones
by Alice Sebold

My name was Salmon like the fish; first name Susie. I was 14 when I was murdered on December 6, 1973.

So begins the story of Susie Salmon who is adjusting to her new home in H
eaven. A place that is not at all what she expected. Even as she is watching life on earth continue without her - her friends trading rumors about her disappearance, her killer trying to cover his tracks, her grief stricken family unraveling.

by Lauren Kate

What if the person
you were meant to be with could never be yours?
Daniel's gaze caught hers, and her breath caught in her throat. She recognized him from somewhere. But she would have remembered meeting someone like him. She would have remembered feeling as absolutely shaken up as she did right now. Ther were still locking eyes when Daniel flashed her a smile. A jet of warmth shot through her...but then he raised his hand in the air. And flipper her off. Luce gasped an
d dropped her eyes. Her momentary delirium vanished. What was that guy's problem? Just before she ducked into her first class, she dared to glance back. His face was blank, but there was no mistaking it -he was watching her go.

Fragile Eternity
by Melissa Marr

Seth never expected he would want t
o settle down with anyone - but that was before Aislinn. She is everything he'd ever dreamed of, and he wants to be with her forever. Forever takes on new meaning, though, when you girlfirend is an immortal faery queen.

Aislinn never expected to rule the very creatures who'd always terrified her - but that was before Keenan. He stole her mortal
ity to make her a monarch, and now she faces challenges and enticements beyond any she'd ever imagined.

by Scott Westerfeld

It is the cusp of WWI and all the European powers are arming. The Austro-Hungarians and Germans have their Clankers, steam-driven iron machines loaded with guns and ammunition. The British Darwinists employ fabricated animals as their weaponry. Their Leviathan is a whle airship, and the mos masterful feast in the British fleet.
Aleksandar Ferdinand, p
rince of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, is on the run. His own people have turned on him. His title is worthless. All he has is a battle-torn Stormwalker and a loyal crew of men

Deryn Sharp is a commoner, a girl disguised as a boy in the British Air Service. She's a brilliant airman. Butr her secret is in constant da
nger of being discovered.

With the Great War brewing, Alek's and Deryn's paths cross in the most unexpected way...taking them both aboard the Leviathan on a fantastical, around-the-world adventure. One that will change both their lives.

Saturday, November 28, 2009


Just FYI, we have changed our URL to (Thanks ParaJunkee for pointing out the option.)

No big deal really. Blogger is still hosting it and should redirect everyone from the old URL (

We only wanted to let you know because it takes 3 days for everything to transition. So if you see something funky, give it a few days. We're monitoring it and all should go well!

Also, our blogroll disappeared during the transition. Jake's fixing it as I write this but if we missed putting you on just shoot us an email at

Thanks for your patience and support!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Our Best Wishes to you all for a wonderful Holiday!

Alyssa, Jake and Gregory

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Dr. Horrible isn't horrible!

Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, is a Musical-Comedy-Tragedy starring Neil Patrick Harris (TV's How I Met Your Mother), Nathan Fillion (currently on TV's Castle as heart throb/novelist/crime fighter Rick Castle, and former Captain Mal on Firefly), and Felicia Day.

It follows an aspiring super villain, Dr. Horrible (Harris), who wants to be inducted to The Evil League of Evil. His nemesis, Captain Hammer (Fillio
n), and their mutual love interest, Penny.

Written by Joss Whedon, Zach Whedon, Jed Whedon, and Maurissa Tancharoen, Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog was a project spawned during the WGA writer's strike to be something small and inexpensive yet professional.

Originally planned to be aired on television, with all the restrictions and the strike going they decided instead to produce it independently and distribute it on the internet.

It has won countless awards and Time Magazine named it #15 in T
ime's Top 50 Inventions of 2008.

I'd heard great things about this, but because of one little incident where my entire family hated a movie that I REALLY liked (Cloverfield), nobody listens to me when when I have a video rental suggestion.

A friend recently brought over his copy, and we finally got to see it... more than a year after it was available (You never get me anything I want, MOM!).

I knew that it was going to funny but I had no idea it was going to be this amazing! Neil Patrick Harris is absolutely great as the obsessive, neurotic would be villain, and Nathan Fillion is the perfect pompous jerk!

It's campy. It's goofy. It's cheesy. It's silly. It never takes itself seriously.

Your abs will get a workout from all the belly laughs. A great way to help get rid of all those Thanksgiving Day calories we will be gobbling down tomorrow!

Just FYI, Joss Whedon also did the TV shows Firefly (so sorry that's gone), and Dollhouse, and also Serenity (the Firefly movie).

Definitely rent this one. It's worth it! You'll thank me when you see your tight abs!

Contest at Book Bound!

Our contest just ended (see all 35 winners below) and we'll have another one soon. But in the mean time...

The Lovely Jessica at Book Bound is having a 100 Follower contest. You get to choose your own book if you win and more entries means more winners!

The more the merrier don't delay! Check out her fabulous blog and enter here!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


AND The WINNERS ARE... (drum roll please!)
  1. Jessica (Booklover)
  2. The Book Vixen
  3. Teddyree
  4. Jenn-ay
  5. Mariska
  6. Aik
  7. Blue Violet
  8. Blodeuedd
  9. oO Mariana Oo
  10. aprilnichole
  11. Rachel (The Book Wars)
  12. Jamie Birdwell
  13. Krista Cole
  14. Bunny B
  15. ParaJunkee
  16. Emma Faulkner
  17. Michelle Millet
  18. Catherine (On The Nightstand)
  19. Alexia561
  20. donnas
  21. Adiba
  22. titania86
  23. Chioma (I luv Hersheys)
  24. Caitlin Crowder
  25. pepsivanilla
  26. Miss Reith Jerevinan
  27. Alexa Nagasue
  28. Bella Elman
  29. TJ
  30. booklover
  31. Ashley Teh
  32. YA Vampire Books
  33. Throuthehaze
  34. Melissa Burmester
  35. Brodie
Congratulations to all the winners!
This has been e
xhausting but fun and exciting.

And as a Thank You to all of those who entered but didn't win, you will automatically receive
10 extra entries if you decide to enter our next contest (coming soon)!

Notifications will be sent out today and winners will have 48 hours to respond. Otherwise we'll have to pick a replacement.

Please Note: We're sending all correspondence regarding this contest through Look for our emails and respond back through it. We'll give you instructions on what info to give us.

We have a lot of winners and will do our best to get everyone something they will like. We will ask for a list of your picks in order and try to accommodate you. The trouble is the farther down on the list you are, the longer the list of your choices we will have to be. If you would rather that we just pick one at random, OR just send us a shorter list and if none of them are available we'll send you a list of what is. Please contact us with any questions... and please be patient as we're doing our best.

We'll get back to reviewing books now. The announcement for the next contest should come next week. Thanks for all your support!


By the way, we heard from Jessica (1st place) while writing this post. She chose
- Cirque du Freak
- Eyes Like Stars
- Fire

Those are gone but we hope the rest of the winners get something they love too!

Monday, November 23, 2009


We've finished tallying up all of the tickets! There were 5400 entries so how are we celebrating? By going to Disneyland!

We'll announce the winners tomorrow. Fingers crossed and good luck to everyone!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Jacob Black Half Naked - Where can I find him?

Looking for Some Help From My Blogger Friends!

Here's the situation. I can find lots of photos of the gorgeous half-naked Taylor Lautner as Jacob Black, BUT...

When I try to find a poster of him shirtless, I can't. Not in the stores and not online.

My question is, does anyone know where I can find a one?

I'd be very grateful!

And if you don't know, that's okay. At lea
st take a moment to drool over these pictures!

Award from Chioma!

One of the best things about our contest was discovering a plethora of fabulous new blogs! One of them is Chioma's gorgeous site

Black and Blue Ink

She was kind enough to give us the One Lovely Blog Award. We'll get to our nominees later (yes, still tallying our contest entries although we did take a break to see New Moon...vlog review coming soon) but we wanted to thank Chioma an tell you to check out her site!

It's a great YA Book Place. One of her latest posts reveals the next cover in the Melissa Marr Wicked Lovely series, Radient Shadows. It's stunning!

Thanks for thinking of us Chioma!

Princess Bookie Contest

Princess Bookie has a new contest coming up with a chance to win 1 of 8 fabulous books. What are they? You'll have to stay tuned to find out. Check it out here.

If you decide to sign up, please tell them that Alyssa @ Teens Read and Write sent you!

Thanks and good luck!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Working out the bugs

Working out new design bugs. Please bear with us but doesn't it look awesome!?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

New Moon - Let's All Review the Movie

New Moon is finally here!

We're headed off to the 10:30 am show - on the Giant screen - and can't wait to share our thoughts with you.

AND...We would love to hear what you have to say. We have a Mr. Linky at the bottom of this post so you can put in the link to your review post.

We thought that would be a fun way for all of us to share our experience!

Many of you will be able to post your review before us so feel free to link it on here. Can't wait to hear your thoughts!

Twilight Fans Unite!

Parajunkee Design Wizard!

We Need A New Look!

We've been talking to Rach from Parajunkee's View because she also does web design. We're excited to say that sometime soon we should be sporting a gorgeous new look!

Check out her book review blog, Parajunkee's View but if you're in the market for a fresh, original and eye-catching design for your own blog, go to her design site, Parajunkee Design. You can get an idea of her wonderful talent...and she offers discounts to fellow bloggers, which is extremely generous. Take advantage!

She also has a contest on right now for an avatar. And we were wondering if, in our next contest, you guys would be interested in us doing something like including a prize of one of her designs for your own blog button. I know some people have them but we thought we'd check the interest from our followers.

Rach is a very busy lady. She is also part of Blog With Bite, that is a joint effort between Parajunkee's View, Froggaritaville's Bookcase, Book Whisperer, What Book is That, and Tina's Book Reviews. All wonderful sites that you should check out. And Blog With Bite also has it own ning site if you'd like to join. I'm telling you these ladies are networking fools!

And by the way, we thought you would appreciate a excerpt from one of the initial emails between her and us when we were trying to explain what we liked and didn't. Luckily this woman has a great sense of humor!

I wrote:
Overall the design can't be too girlie (because the two nimrods would smother me in my sleep), or too romantic (refer to previous 'smothering' comment) and really, I'm not much into that either. We all like more of the dark, mysterious and dangerous vibe, but we also enjoy wit and humor thrown in. Am I making any sense? Too much info? Does this help at all?

Okay, the two dorks just came back in and here are Jake's comments. I'll give you quotes:

JAKE: "It must have wizards fighting dragons that look like books. Then I could photoshop Gregory's face on one of the dragons and put my face on one of the majestic wizards so it looks I'm defeating Gregory. Alyssa could be a heavily cleavaged princess in distress. Wouldn't that be awesome!"

GREGORY: "Wait, why am I the wimp?"

JAKE: "You're not a wimp. You're a dragon."

GREGORY: "But I'm a wimpy dragon if I'm getting beaten by a lame wizard like you. And since when does Alyssa have heavy cleavage?"

JAKE: "It's fantasy. Shut up. I'm older. You have to do what I say."

Then they started a pillow fight and ran out of the room (screaming like girls, I might add.) We could start our own reality show!

That was it but then later Jake sent her this lovely artwork (below) as an example of what he was talking about. Don't know if you can tell but that's Jake's face on the wizard at the bottom and Gregory's face plastered on the dragon breathing fire.

Thankfully Rach wasn't too enthusiastic about his creative genius. She did suggest that the dragon was a bit over the top and maybe Gregory should be photoshopped onto a rabid squirrel instead. Didn't I tell you she was great!

Okay, back to tallying entries! We're getting there folks, I promise!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I Won One of My Favs From The Book Butterfly!

When we put Hush Hush in the giveaway we bought a new copy but I hadn't read it yet. Then I read it and absolutely loved it, as you might have noticed from my review.

And I confess, I was seriously bummed that I was going to have to give it away... I love you guys, but I was seriously bummed.

Then as luck, and the generous and gracious Kim at The Book Butterfly, would have it, Kim notified me that... (can't contain squeal of delight)... that I won a signed copy - yes, I said SIGNED by Becca Fitzpatrick.

I'm so excited and thrilled, and extremely thankful to Kim at The Book Butterfly. This one will never leave my possession.

Please go check check out her wonderful blog. And be sure to enter all of her contests listed below.

- The September Sisters (ends 11/20)

- Coffee House Angel (ends 11/27)

- Laurie Faria Stolarz prize pack (ends 11/27)

- My Soul to Take (ends 12/8)

You don't want to miss your chance to win! It can happen...look at me!

CONTEST UPDATE: We have all the basic entries tallied and today we'll work on adding in the extra points for commenting. FYI - if you entered, please make sure you are a follower. We have a couple of entrants who didn't sign up as Followers (probably just forgot) and we don't want YOU to be one of them! Please be sure as we'll make our final check in the next day or so.

Holiday Contest at La Femme Readers

Since our current contest is over, I thought I'd let you know about a great one over at La Femme Readers. Here's the info from Eleni's blog.

Hey everyone! In celebration of Christmas or Hanukkah for those that don't celebrate Christmas, I wanted to do a great giveaway. I also appreciate and love all of my followers, I'm close to 500 followers and this is my thank you to all of you! Anywho, back to the contest, their will be two winners, and get this it's your book of choice! You can choose any book you want and I'll order it through Amazon which will ship right to your door! How amazing is that!? Each order must be under $25 though.

Generous, right?! It's like an early Holiday gift. So head over to the contest post to enter and Good Luck!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Stressed but We're Getting There!

Yikes, this we have a lot of contestants!
The boys and I tallied up the points for almost half of you guys so far. Actually, Jake and Greg had a little disagreement over whose organizational method was better...they worked it out...kinda...

For your amusement, I got it all on tape!

Let me know if you want to send Gregory cards and flowers!

Just Kidding! But the loveable goofs needed to do something when they took a break. Hope you were entertained! We plan to get to the rest of the entries in the next day or two and announce the 35 winners!

Thanks for all your support and patience!

FYI, some of the books we're looking at in the next giveaway are...

Beautiful Creatures, Leviathan, Violet Wings, The Everafter...

And many others but we'll give you more on that later because we've got to go tally your entries!

Monday, November 16, 2009


We made it to 400...WE CAN'T BELIEVE IT!

In the beginning we thought that we might make it to 150...maybe 200? But you guys more than doubled our expectations! This is really unbelievable and as you are reading this we are tallying up the entries so fingers crossed!

To keep you frothing book worms at bay for the time being we found this really funny video at Fantastic Book Review for the Girl in the Arena book trailer. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Giveaway Madness...Woo hoo! (Giveaway Points Post)

We passed 375 followers! Thanks a lot guys! City of Bones will be added to the contest.
And we added three more winners instead of two, so now we have 30 winners!

Clearly the boys and I have our heads in the clouds, but on the very off chance we make 400 followers, we'll add 5 winners (totaling 35) and these books:

The Luxe by Anna Godbersen
(An awesome first book in a historical romance series.)
Cold Streak by Lewis Aleman
(A fabulous tale of revenge)

Tantalize by Cynthia Leitich Smith
(A great blend of fine food and twisted love)

King Dork by Frank Portman
(A modern day Catcher in the Rye)

Wicked by Gregory Maguire
(Gives the Witch of the West a chance to tell her story)

Yeah, we're in the giving mood. Well, a giving back-to-you mood!

Thanks again! We'll update tomorrow but please give us a couple of days to finish tallying up all the points and picking names before we announce the wonderful winners!

Giveaway ALERT! If you've already entered the contest, a comment on this post (by midnight tonight) gets you 2 extra entries in our MegaBook Giveaway. If you haven't entered yet, go to the contest post (or click on the contest link on the upper right sidebar) to learn about the giveaway and enter! Good luck!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Vampire Kisses Added (Giveaway Points Post)

Tomorrow is the final day to enter the MegaBook Giveaway. And since we made it to 350 (WOW!) we added your pick of Vampire Kisses by Ellen Schreiber. It's a wonderful start to a fun series which some lucky winner will enjoy.

One of 27 lucky winners!

With such a short time left, chances are slim we'll get to 375 but if we do (fingers crossed) we'll add City of Bones or the first book in the Cirque du Freak series.

Those are two of our favorites... which would you choose?

Giveaway ALERT!
If you've already entered the contest, a comment on this post (within 2 days of post date since the contest ends tomorrow) gets you 2 extra entries in our MegaBook Giveaway. If you haven't entered yet, go to the contest post (or click on the contest link on the upper right sidebar) to learn about the giveaway and enter! Good luck!

Author Interview with Katrina Michaels (Giveaway Points Post)

Giveaway ALERT! If you've already entered the contest, a comment on this post (within 5 days of post date) gets you 2 extra entries in our MegaBook Giveaway. If you haven't entered yet, go to the contest post (or click on the contest link on the upper right sidebar) to learn about the giveaway and enter! Good luck!

We were lucky enough to have Midnight Reflections author, Katrina Michaels, agree to answer a few questions. A signed copy of her book is available in the MegaBook Giveaway so make sure you have entered because it end tomorrow!

Hi Katrina, and thanks for joining us! We'd love to know...

What inspired you to write this book?

I've always enjoyed writing from as far back as elementary school and often find myself thinking about strange premises whenever I'm bored. Basically I always wanted to be an author, so I never actually stopped writing, although I only get to do it in my very limited spare time. I wrote a bunch of short stories in high school and college, but I was never really satisfied with them. Midnight Reflections was the first one I finished that I was really proud of. It was also the first one I ever tried to get published.

Where did the premise come from?

Well, I've always been intrigued by supernatural creatures and I love mysteries so it seemed natural to me to put the two ideas together. I'm the person watching murders and thrillers (TV and movies) and actively trying to figure out the killer or the twist before it gets revealed. Even when I was writing in high school, my stories always had a horror or supernatural element to them. Growing up, I was a big fan of The Lost Boys and Fright Night. And in college I always watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Midnight Reflections actually started out more about the main character, Tara, and her problems adjusting to being a vampire. Somehow on the way, it developed into a story about a serial killer. I'm not really sure where that came from. I don't always plan everything out when I write, so sometimes I end up going in a completely different direction than where I started. I do have particular scenes and images that I know have to be in the story, but sometimes I'm not sure how the characters get from scene to scene until I'm actually writing it.

What type of research was involved?

I did look into some basics of the vampire mythology, but only to see how I can reshape it to my own liking. When working with fantasy or supernatural elements, I believe the author is giving free reign to devise their own mythology for the world they are creating. For an example, I read about vampires not casting a reflection and decided to change that to where vampires avoided mirrors because they were created with silver, but they do actually cast reflections. However, what they see in the mirror if often more a manifestation of who the person really is or what they are really feeling, not actually what they look like.

My second book involves a mummy and I did do some research into the mummification process, which is pretty fascinating, yet disturbing.

Is it going to be a series?

Yes. I officially submitted the second book, Dead Awakening, to my publisher today. And I already have ideas for the third and the fourth.

Are there any other supernatural creatures you plan to write about?

Well, the second book deals more with Charlie's werewolf side and as I said, a mummy does pop up. I also have an idea for a series that involves demons but I have started writing it yet. I haven't ruled out any creatures, so they may all show up at some time or another.

Describe your book in 3 words.

Supernatural murder mystery

Who has inspired you as an author?

That's actually a hard question. I've read a lot of authors and the different styles have inspired me to find my own. As I said, I always enjoyed writing, but I think one of the my creative writing teachers in High School really did encourage and inspire me. She's a published author herself and she gave me a lot of advice and encouragement. The best advice was to never stop writing if I love it and I never did.

What was the publishing experience like?

Interesting. I really didn't know what to expect so it's been a learning experience. I like being with a small publisher because it seems more personal. If I have any questions, the publisher is always willing to answer them. Of course, being with a small publisher also means the bulk of the marketing falls to the author. And that has been its own learning experience.

What input did you have on the cover and how was it decided upon?

The artist talked to me for a bit and devised a couple of covers which I got to choose from. I know the style I chose isn't to everyone's taste, but I love seeing Tara's creepy eyes on the cover staring back at the reader. I also love the back cover with the man staring into the mirror a great deal. However, I probably will choose a different style for the next cover.

What's the most interesting comment you've received about your book?

One of my neighbors couldn't finish it because she found it too bloody. I thought that was actually pretty funny. But the best comment had to be from The Vampire Librarian who said Midnight Reflections was one of the most enjoyable reads she had in awhile.

Are any of the characters in your book based on real life people?

Max is also a combination of a couple different people, including myself. I took all their best quirks and threw them together and got Max. There is one particular trait in Max that shows up in the next book that my best friend will recognize as her own. Hopefully she won't be too mad.

What's next for you?

Well, I plan to continue writing and will hopefully get my second book out next year. I do have a different series that I'm also thinking about, but I have plenty in mind for Tara and others to keep me busy.

What else should your readers know about you?

Let's see. Well, something boring is that I'm currently working as an environmental scientist for a consulting company. Something fun is that I own a slightly neurotic horse. Something interesting is that my Hungarian relative are actually from Transylvania and I will be going to Romania and Transylvania this summer and, yes, I will be doing research as I walk through Dracula's castle.

Thanks for the interview!

Many thanks to Katrina and congratulations on publishing the sequel, Dead Awakening. We'll look for it next year! You can check out Katrina's Facebook fan page here .
We're happy to have Midnight Reflections available in the MegaBook Giveaway. Good luck to all who entered the contest. Now up to 27 winners and we just added Vampire Kisses by Ellen Schreiber!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Hunger Games Added! 25 Winners (Giveaway Points Post)

We did it! Thanks to you!

Over 325 followers so we've added The Hunger Games to the pile of books available in our MegaBook Giveaway!

If you haven't entered yet go to the contest post and get your name in to win. We'll now have 25 Winners!

You have to be a follower to enter and remember, commenting gets you extra entries!

It's international and ends 11/15.

Good Luck!

If/when we make it to 350, should we add New Moon (in honor of the movie coming out), Vampire Kisses (Book 1) by Ellen Schreiber, Midnight Alley (Morganville Vamp #3 - 1 & 2 are already in) by Rachel Caine or King Dork by Frank Portman?

Eyes Like Stars (Giveaway Points Post)

Eyes Like Stars: Theater Illuminata, Act 1
by Lisa Mantchev
Pub: July 2009
368 pages

Giveaway ALERT! If you've already entered the contest, a comment on this post (within 5 days of post date) gets you 2 extra entries in our MegaBook Giveaway. If you haven't entered yet, go to the contest post (or click on the contest link on the upper right sidebar) to learn about the giveaway and enter! Good luck!

"All her world's a stage.
Bertie Shakespeare Smith is not an actress, yet she lives in a theatre.
She's not an orphan, but she has no parents.
She knows every part, but she has no lines of her own.
That is, until now...

Welcome to Theatre Illuminata, where the actors of every play ever written can be found behind the curtain. They were born to play their parts, and are bound to the Theatre by The Book - an ancient and magical tome of scripts. Bertie is not one of them, but they are her family - and she is about to lose them all and the only home she has ever known."

Eyes Like Stars did not captivate at the start, but it was either read it or stare out the window for the three hour drive. I chose wisely.

The book gets off to a slow and confusing start - and admittedly, so much fantasy is not my thing, so maybe to others it won't be confusing at all. Anyway, we begin with Bertie in her room, which is a stage set and shortly thereafter we learn she's getting the boot from the theater... conflict right from the start.

I honestly can't tell you where the turning point was, but one minute I'm slugging along and the next I'm tripping over my dogs because I can't tear my eyes from the pages long enough to ensure safe passage from the car to the front door.

My favorite part of the book - other than the one-of-a-kind world Lisa Mantchev created - is the characters we get to meet in a new light. Ophelia and Hamlet from...well, Hamlet, the wonderfully obnoxious fairies from A Midsummer Night's Dream, MacBeth, pirates from the Little Mermaid...the list goes on and on. And don't worry, you don't have to be familiar with the plays to get all the jokes.

I've read reviews saying Bertie comes off younger than seventeen, I say many seventeen-year-olds are like Bertie, some are just better at hiding it. Bertie is wildly entertaining, a Queen of Improvisation, and caught in a love triangle right from the start. That's always fun!

I'd peg this a must read. At one point the story felt a little Inkheart-ish, but it was fleeting, leaving Eyes Like Stars a unique and entertaining read.

The Cover: Love it! The colors are amazing, the fairies seem ready to fly off the page and, come on, who doesn't want that hair!

We have an arc of Eyes Like Stars (so fair warning that it doesn't have the cool cover) offered in the MegaBook Giveaway that will have 23 winners so far. Go to the contest post if you'd like to enter. Good Luck!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Midnight Reflections (Giveaway Points Post)

Midnight Reflections
by Katrina Michaels
pub: April 2009
288 pages

Giveaway ALERT! If you've already entered the contest, a comment on this post (within 5 days of post date) gets you 2 extra entries in our MegaBook Giveaway. If you haven't entered yet, go to the contest post (or click on the contest link on the upper right sidebar) to learn about the giveaway and enter! Good luck!

All Tara Daston Wanted was a fun night out clubbing. But fun nights don’t normally include dying and waking three days later as one of the undead. Her best efforts to adapt to the new and bizarre life are complicated when a friend is killed by a creature neither vampire nor lycan. As more killings happen, Tara is drawn into the investigation where she meets Tom Duncan, the lead agent of the Preternatural Investigation Agency (PIA). Despite his resistance to her input, Tara refuses to back off, partly because she’s involved but also because he treats like a five year old and she enjoys riling him, and because they are both vampires. Once the killer takes a personal interest in her, Tara is forced to work with Tom and the entire agency to catch this cunning and brutal killer before he claims another victim, possibly her.

Midnight Reflections takes place in our current world…sort of. Everything is pretty much the same except for the fact that supernatural beings are an accepted norm. So when Tara is near death’s door after a violent moment with her boyfriend outside a bar full of vampires, it’s not unheard of for her to be turned into the living dead. Alexander becomes her ‘sire’ and she becomes his ‘childe.’ (That’s the spelling due to Alexander’s ancient age.)

She’s an orphan and he becomes a father figure who shows her the ropes of learning how to live her new undead life. We go through this transition time which slows things down but then the story picks up as the killings start. More action equals more interesting to me. I could have done without so much background of her acclimating to her new life.

While Midnight Reflections has plenty of supernatural creatures, it is first and foremost a murder mystery. Think of it as a preternatural CSI. The PIA team that investigates the serial murders (by some sort of shifter) is made up of ‘special’ members. The leader, Tom, is a former police detective who started PIA after he was turned into a vampire. The rest of the group includes an empath, a werewolf, a pyrokinetic (she set fire to a guy who was trying to assault her) and a warlock for that magical touch.

The characters have their unique personalities and use a combination of their special skills as well as the usual science to analyze evidence and solve cases. Tara gets forced into the group when she sticks her nose into the case and the killer takes an unhealthy interest in her. The group is believable and the network of clues follows a logical path. Enough red herrings keep the reader guessing until the end.

The relationships within the team work well and Tara integrates nicely. She and Tom have a bit of a spark but no real romance is developed between them. They’re too busy trying to catch the bad guy but we are left with the impression that their relationship will bloom in the future.

The supernatural elements aren’t the primary aspect of the story. The plot definitely focuses its attention on being a who-dun-it murder-mystery-suspense-crime novel with supernatural elements, which spices it up and gives it an unusual twist.

Midnight Reflections is adult fiction but appropriate for older YA’s who want a creepy urban fantasy thriller. I've heard others say that it is very gorey but as an avid reader of this genre, I disagree. There’s no sex and very little cursing (and in comparison to some of the YA out there, this is easily a G-rating.) If you like CSI, you’ll enjoy this urban fantasy vampire version.

The Cover: I like the font, colors and eerie sky but as you know I'm not a big fan of seeing the character's face on the cover, so can't say I love it. However, it does get points for the creepy factor.

We have a copy of Midnight Reflections, signed by Katrina Michaels, offered in the MegaBook Giveaway that will have 23 winners so far. Go to the contest post if you'd like to enter!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

OMG! Giveaway Gone Wild! (Giveaway Points Post)

You've done it guys! Thanks so much!!! We've made it to 300 followers!

Greg, Jake and I didn't think we'd get so much support!
So...WOW... three guess we'll be adding more books! How about

-Eyes Like Stars ARC by Lisa Manchev

- Dead Girls Dance (Morganville Vamp Book 2) by Rachel Caine (book 1 is already in the contest)

- The Wizard Heir by Cinda Williams Chima

We've got 23, that's twenty-three winners!
And books already in the pile are...

Glass Houses by Rachel Caine (Morganville Vampires#1)

Lost Girls by Robert Doherty

Saddled with Trouble by Michelle Scott

The Wee Free Men by Terry Prachett

Midnight Reflections
by Katrina Michaels

The Tales of Beedle the Bard
by JK Rowling

Dragon House
by John Shors

by Maggie Stiefvater (ARC)

Circle of Souls
by Preetham Grandhi

The Shifter
by Janice Hardy (ARC)

The Summoning
by Kelley Armstrong (Darkest Powers #1)

by PC Cast

by P.C. Cast

Hush Hush
by Becca Fitzpatrick

by Gena Showalter

My Soul to Take
by Rachel Vincent

Sea Glass
by Maria V Snyder

Catching Fire
by Suzanne Collins

The Thief Lord
by Cornelia Funke

Sea of Monsters
by Rick Riordan

by Nancy Holder (ARC)

by Kristen Cashore

Pride and Prejudice
by Jane Austen

Midnight Charter
by David Whitley

Maximum Ride: School's Out Forever
by James Patterson

Children of the Lamp: The Akhenaten Adventure
by P.B. Kerr

Son of a Witch
by Gregory Maguire

by Lauren Kate (ARC)

The Hollow
by Jessica Verday (ARC)

Whew! That took a while to type out! If/when we make it to 325 Followers we'll add The Hunger Games since so many haven't read it. And something else great too! So keep those entries coming! Go to the Megabook Giveaway post to enter. And remember that commenting on posts like this one gets you 2 extra entries. The Hush Hush review post is just below this one or pick any others that interest you!

Good luck!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...