Saturday, April 30, 2011

Four Giveaway Winners

Four giveaways just ended today, and I've chosen the winners! There was a total of five. 

The winner of an ARC of Voice of the Undead by Jason Henderson is...
Lexie @ BookBug, who says about zombies vs. vampires: "I totally prefer vampires. Way sexier!"

The winner of an eBook copy of Solid by Shelley Workinger is...
 
Aleetha!

The winner of a signed finished copy of Huntress by Malinda Lo is...
Huntress
Jamie!

The two winners of signed Teen Book Con swag are...
Teen Book Con
and
Tezza!

Congrats to the winners, and thank you to everybody for following and entering!

***The winners were chosen by random.org and have been notified. They will have 72 hours (until May 3) to reply.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Follow Friday and The Book Blogger Hop (17) - In Which I Rant About Royal Men and Others

WHOOO. It's Friday! This weekend will not be fun because it will be filled with LOTS of homework. But no matter, because I'm happy! (For now.) 


I could've made my post yesterday or even this morning, like I usually do, but how could I have THIS morning? I mean... with the royal wedding?!? I went to bed at eight o'clock pm (Yes, elementary school bed time!) and got up at four am to watch it. Sad to say, I actually got more sleep than I usually do. Well then... Anyways. Kate looked absolutely GORGEOUS. And William looked very happy and handsome. Oh gosh, all those Diana mentions... I wasn't born yet/too young to know her, but I still teared up! And Prince Harry looked dashing. He's still open, ladies! Hahaha. Oh, and Kate's brother! He's quite a looker, too. That whole Middleton family just has really good genes! Their mom could pass for a sister. And Pippa. Dang. Way to rock the Maid of Honour look, girl! I could go on ranting... but I won't. Best wishes to TRH Prince and Princess William Arthur Phillip Louis! 
So... on to blog news. 
First off, I've created a new RANT page that you can check out up there in the tabs bar. I haven't posted any rants yet, but I'm working on it! It's new, so work with me here. :)


Second, I've recently made a bunch of buttons for my fellow blogging friends out there. :) Take a look at those, and if you're less skilled at graphic designing than I am (HA!) check out my About Me/Contact/Wishlist page.


Speaking of wishlists, I've put mine up on the aforementioned page. I'd love to trade books with you guys! I don't have many on my own shelf that I'll give up, but I'll even BUY you a new book if I have to.


I'm now on Formspring! Haha, kind of random, but hey, I liked being asked questions! Just throwing that out there.


Last but not least, these are some bookish events that you guys should keep an eye out for! Two are in Houston... so for you locals! :D
  • John Flanagan at the Blue Willow Bookshop. I love this guy's books! Ranger's Apprentice? Absolute awesomeness. I think they're meant for middle grade boys... who cares?? Sadly, I can't go because it's a school night! *headdesks*
  • Debut Teen Author Book Signing with C.C. Hunter and Sophie Jordan in Pasadena, Texas. I've read both their books, and can't wait for the sequels! I might be there!! :D 
  • THIS IS FOR EVERYBODY: Seventh Star Press has launched an eBook campaign. Their eBooks are only $1.99!!! Holy crap. Go out and buy some books! They're available on at least Kindle and Nook. I don't know where else! 
And now, we can finally get to what you came here for.

It's Follow Friday and The Book Blogger Hop, hosted by Parajunkee and Crazy for Books (respectively)! Please comment and link your blog! I'd love to check it out!
This week's question is:
Keeping with the dystopian and apocalypse theme that seems to be running rampant on parajunkee.com, 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?
I HATE these questions!! They're so difficult! Ok, fine. Ten is better than the three or five I usually get.
  • The Holy Bible
  • The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis (All in one volume! Ha!)
  • ... Ok, I give up. The other books I have on my shelf are in series. That just doesn't work! Can I bring my Kindle?
I'm sorry. I cheated. *hangs head*



This week's question is:
Summer is coming quickly - what 2011 summer release are you most looking forward to?
Oh, gosh! There are so many summer books I absolutely can't wait for!!! One book that I've tried my absolute hardest to get (Ok, maybe not really. The bombs haven't come out yet.) is Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer. I must've annoyed the publisher out of getting it to me. I've also prodded and not-very-nicely poked Andrea for the book. Sigh... guess I'll just WAIT. SOME MORE.

Reviews:
Linger by Maggie Stiefvater
Running from Secrets by Stephanie Void

Author Interviews:
Stephanie Void

Current Giveaways:
ENDS TOMORROW! Teen Book Con Swag, US only
ENDS TOMORROW! Signed Huntress by Malinda Lo, US/CAN
ENDS TOMORROW! Solid by Shelley Workinger, Int'l
ENDS TOMORROW! ARC of Voice of the Undead, US only
Born at Midnight by C.C. Hunter, US only
Firelight by Sophie Jordan Swag, US only
D.F.T.B.A. 400 FOLLOWER GIVEAWAY, Int'l/US only
Personalized Prom and Prejudice by Elizabeth Eulberg, US only

Weekly Memes:
In My Mailbox
It's Monday! What Are You Reading and Song of the Week
Teaser Tuesday: Rosie by Mariam Maarouf
Waiting on Wednesday: Forever by Maggie Stiefvater

Have a fabulous weekend! Happy Reading!!
Fairy tales do come true. :) 
P.S. Be sure to follow me on Twitter and friend me on Goodreads! And check out my Facebook page! :)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Author Interview: Stephanie Void


Please welcome the author of Running from Secrets, Stephanie Void!
~~~
I’m Stephanie Void; I’m 24; I’m a New Orleans native and a current Bostonian; I write fantasy books.

3LB: Why did you want to become a writer? 

I started seriously writing when I was 14. I was staying at my grandmother’s house while my parents were house-hunting, so I had a huge amount of free time on my hands. I started thinking about characters, plots, and such, which was odd because I hadn’t written a short story in years. But I went with it and wrote the first chapter of my first novel (not this one) in the passenger seat of my mom’s car on a trip from North Carolina to Louisiana, where I discovered I really loved writing. I read a lot of writing books, took some classes on writing later, and haven’t stopped writing since.

3LB: What inspired you to write a story within a story? 

Honestly? The ideas for this book came together directly after a nap on a couch in a school library. Glamorous, right? It evolved from two ideas I already had: 1) to write an alternate-world story where the main character has some form of control over the world instead of just being along for the ride and 2) to write a story from the perspective of someone unlikely: a minion in the army of the bad guy. It grew from there.

3LB: If you were Bethany, what type of world would you have created? What if you knew you could go into it? Would you make changes? 

If I created a world I could visit, I’d put a landscape like the Grand Canyon in it. I’ve never been there (yet) but the pictures of it fascinate me.

3LB: Which character of yours are you most alike? Or did you put some of you in each one?
I’d say I am most like Bethany because I have felt like an outsider like she did and I based some of Linwood on places I’ve lived, but Bethany isn’t really me.

3LB: What’s next for you? What other books have you written? 

I have another book that will be finished this year, called Halfway. It is the beginning of a series I’m writing. It’s about two siblings: a boy who is kidnapped, then grows up inside a dangerous magical organization and his sister, who is determined to find him, even if it takes her into dangerous magical-mad-science territory. My beta readers are reading it now, so hopefully it will be ready very soon. I’ll be posting updates on my website!

3LB: Do you have any other hobbies that you enjoy? 

Oh, yes indeed! I enjoy oil painting, making my own clothes, martial arts, reading (of course), traveling (when I can afford to), singing, swimming, and photography. I also have a thing for doing things that are dangerous.

3LB: If you were to go live on an island and could only choose 5 books to take with you, what would you choose? 

My Edgar Allan Poe collection (one book), a Bible, the Lord of the Rings, an island survival guide, and a field medical guide for the inevitable injuries I would incur while exploring aforementioned island.

3LB: Time travel: Future or past? 

Can I pick both? Space travel, sailing ships, medieval castles... so difficult to choose!

3LB: Biggest pet peeves? 

My absolute biggest pet peeve would be restaurants that use some animal they serve there smiling on their logo (it’s pretty creepy when you think about it). Another one is movies that rely on visuals and ignore good plot development.

3LB: Tell us five interesting things about yourself. 

Sure! 
  1. I was homeschooled for 8 years. 
  2. I enjoy dying my hair purple, blue, pink, or blood red sometimes 
  3. I can do a really accurate Gollum voice 
  4. I’m a martial arts teacher in a super-hardcore martial art 
  5. I graduated college in combat boots.
3LB: Is there anything else you’d like to share? 
Hmmm. I’ve got a lot of writing projects coming up. I love indie publishing and that I can be a part of it. It has given me this huge burst of creativity, which I intend to put to good use!
~~~
Thank you so much, Stephanie! For more information about Stephanie, visit:
Running from Secrets

Waiting on Wednesday (16)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly blogging event hosted at 
Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week I'm waiting on...
Forever (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #3)
Forever
The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #3
By Maggie Stiefvater
Publication Date: July 12, 2011
~~~
The thrilling conclusion to #1 bestselling Shiver trilogy from Maggie Stievater.

In Maggie Stiefvater's SHIVER, Grace and Sam found each other. In LINGER, they fought to be together. Now, in FOREVER, the stakes are even higher than before. Wolves are being hunted. Lives are being threatened. And love is harder and harder to hold on to as death comes closing in.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

1,000 Follower Giveaway at Down the Rabbit Hole

It's always great when people celebrate their milestones with giveaways. :) (Hint hint, I am, too!) Amber at Down the Rabbit Hole has reached the big 1,000!!! Go enter her awesome giveaway, in which you can pre-order some pretty amazing books. 


Review: Running from Secrets



Author: Stephanie Void
Reading Level and Genre(s): YA Fantasy
Features: Alternate worlds, evil spirits
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: March 2011
Source: Author for review
Links to Buy: Kindle Store|NOOKBook
Overall Rating: 3

Bethany has never felt as alone as she feels in Linwood—until she dreams up Chime, a woman on the run because of a magic crime she didn’t commit. The dreams get more and more urgent, so Bethany tries to banish them by writing them down, only to discover she’s stumbled into the role of unwitting controller of Chime’s world. 

Chime is real here, and so is the possessed queen, minion army, mysterious professor, Vault Five, wind chimes with a secret code, child’s rhyme that can kill, the naked painting, and other things Chime’s story leads her to.

She has to fix the story without erasing Chime and her world, because if she erases Chime, she will die as well?
~~~
This book had me intrigued from the beginning. Alternate worlds? If you didn't already know, my all-time favorite series is The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. While the world in this book is not accessed by a closet or a painting, it's even more special because it was created by one person, who can travel (involuntarily) into both.

I really enjoyed the book in the beginning, because the idea that Bethany could be creating a whole world of characters and places simply by writing (a story within a story) really fascinated me, and I wanted to know what was going to happen next, since New Velerethland was in so much trouble. The plot was very original and the story kept twisting into new challenges and obstacles for Chime and Bethany. It was a very dark and perilous journey that our protagonists had to undergo, and it kept me fixed. (I really didn't want to be Bethany - she had so many bad things going on.) 

While the writing was very skilled, descriptive, and well-done, the reason I couldn't get into the story as much as I expected was because of the character development. The Queen Numuriu was probably the best-written character. She was troubled, and her body was being ripped apart by the spirits who wanted to take over. Every scene with her gave me the chills, whether she was herself, or possessed. 

It was the other characters that didn't capture me as much. Bethany was very strong and brave, but she was confused for much of the story, which confused me even more. She didn't really know where to go, or what was going on, even though she created the world. Also, I just didn't feel her as a teenager. I don't want to give anything away, but the situation with her sister, albeit a great addition to the novel, felt a little too mature for someone of Bethany's age. Bethany was a pretty likable character, but she seemed a little dull to me at times, with not much personality. Also, I don't know any high school student who would strip down for a boy she barely knew so he could paint her.

I'm a pretty big fan of romance, and I love it when it's present in a book (which is almost in all YA cases). When it isn't, I'm fine with that, too. However, if it's kind of there, as a fleeting moment, it disappoints me. The romance in this book was evident, but barely developed, and didn't seem very interesting. It didn't enhance the story at all. This goes for the relationships for both Bethany and Chime.

This book is great for anyone who enjoys a dark, adventurous story filled with dangerous monsters, quests, and villains. I see very high potential for this author, and I believe anybody from middle school to adult would like it, fans of Narnia especially.

First Line/First Paragraph/Beginning Excerpt:
The entire first chapter is on Stephanie Void's website!

Disclaimers: Per the FTC regulations, please note that iLive, iLaugh, iLove Books does receive books for review for free by publishers or authors. For every book reviewed – whether sent by publisher, author or books purchased, it will be graded with a clean and open mind. A free book received will not influence any opinion of the contents of the book.
Spoilers may or may not have been present in this review. While iLive, iLaugh, iLove Books does review honestly, reviews are not specifically checked for spoilers. Attempts at avoiding spoilers are made, but not all are removed or fixed. This disclaimer is a general statement placed on all reviews as a warning to those who read them.

Teaser Tuesday (16)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
My teaser:
Rosie
"I couldn't register anything that had happened during that period of my life; the world may have gone through disasters and I wasn't aware. Or I was, but it was soon erased. All I could remember was that I was here, in Egypt, with my brother. The details of those months were something I would probably never know."
~~~
"Shot.
Everything went black.
*
Warmness enclosed me sweetly, sending jolts of satisfaction through my whole being, words that my ear longed to hear echoing around me, ensuring the safety I could feel."
~Locations 412 and 2244 on Kindle from Rosie by Mariam Maarouf

PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT with either the link to your own Teaser Tuesday post, or share your two 'teasers' in a comment here (if you don't have a blog). Thanks!

Monday, April 25, 2011

It's Monday! (13)

It's Monday!!! Yay! I twisted the meme a little bit. Rather than just sharing what I'm reading, I'm also sharing what I'm listening to! Presenting to you...
Most of us are fans of music. Whether you can skillfully play an instrument, love to listen to the radio, or sing to the showerhead, music is present in all of our lives. What song do you want to share with everybody this week?

My song of the week is...

"Marry You" (Glee cover) by Bruno Mars
I chose this in celebration of this Friday's big royal wedding! :)

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading, is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week.  It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list.
I love being a part of this and I hope you do too!  As part of this weekly meme I love to encourage you all to go and visit the others participating in this meme. There's also a contest involved! Just go to the host blog, Book Journey, to get the details.
These next couple of weeks on the blog I will be catching up on review books rather than reading library or bought books (heh.) So... these books you may have not heard of, but be sure to check them out! :)
Read:
Linger (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #2)
 Linger (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #2)
By Maggie Stiefvater
Currently Reading:
Running from Secrets
By Stephanie Void
Planning to Read:
Rosie
By Mariam Maarouf
Please comment and share what you read/are reading/plan to read! I would love to check out your blog! :)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Royal Wedding Giveaway

How many of you are excited about this Friday's "Wedding of the Century?" Raise your hand! How many of you don't know what that is? Do you live under a rock?

One thing I'm wondering is... how do they determine THE "Wedding of the Century" when a decade of this century has barely passed? Just... just wondering.

Anyways. To celebrate this lovely couple here...
...the fab Girls Without a Bookshelf are having an amazing romance giveaway! Up for grabs:
  • Tris & Izzie (Mette Ivie Harrison) 
  • Chain Reaction (Simone Elkeles) 
  • Love Story (Jennifer Echols) 
  • Epic Fail (Claire La Zebnick) 
  • The Vampire Stalker (Allison Van Diepen) 
  • Lola and the Boy Next Door (Stephanie Perkins) 
  • Illuminated (Erica Orloff) 
  • Winter's Shadow (M.J. Hearle) 
  • Jessica Rules the Dark Side (Beth Fantaskey) 
  • Ripple (Mandy Hubbard) 
Whoo! So awesome. There will be two winners!! Go enter! :D

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Winner of Nightshade Giveaway

Whoo! The winner of my interview and giveaway with Andrea Cremer has won a signed finished copy of Nightshade!! And that is...
Comment #135 - Minhchieu, who is "totally TEAM REN. He's not the typical sweet guy that everyone always ends up rooting for. He's a leader with a strong bite and fierce attitude"


Congrats to the winners, and thank you to everybody who entered! Better luck next time! :)

***The winner was chosen by random.org and has been notified. They will have 72 hours to reply.

In My Mailbox (12)


In My Mailbox is a meme designed by The Story Siren and inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie to promote blogger interaction and put new books on the radar.

Sadly, I didn't get that many books this week, so there won't be a video. BUT. I got this super-duper AWESOME shirt from Harry Potter World that my friends got me and I had to show it to you, so I'm making an IMM post this week rather than waiting till next. 

Books Received:
13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson (FREE for Kindle! Don't know if it still is...)
The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan, signed!!
Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare (Duh.) for school
Thank you Random Buzzers for TFoHT!

And the shirt (taken from Google)...
SQUEE. I LOVE IT. If you can't read it, it says "I Served Time in Azkaban. APPROACH WITH EXTREME CAUTION. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO USE MAGIC AGAINST THIS PERSON."

HAHAHAHAHAHA. Omg. I laughed so hard. Thank you, Holly and Megan! Love ya, besties!

So... What did you get in your mailbox this week? Leave a comment and let me know! :)

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