Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Versatile Blogger Award

Aw... I'm always flattered and shocked beyond belief when I'm given an award. E and K at E&K Family Book Review have been sweet enough to think of me and give me this award. 

In order to receive this award, I must: 1) Admit 7 random things about myself; and 2) Pass the award along to 5 other Versatile Bloggers.

Here goes:
  1. Caffeine makes me sleepy.
  2. I am cranky beyond reason if I don't get enough sleep (meaning around nine hours... something that rarely happens.)
  3. Don't touch my stuff. You hear me? DON'T. TOUCH. MY. STUFF. I will be very angry if you do. Very possessive here...
  4. I like organization. Stacks of clean, white paper make me happy. I will not borrow notebook paper from other people in school because I want all of my paper to match.
  5. I hate the smell of cheese. I won't eat plain cheese, either, with the exception of cheese sticks. The rest has to be melted, baked, in a sauce, in a soup, et cetera.
  6. Vacuum cleaners annoy the crap out of me. Their noise. It just... *shudders*
  7. I like blue, purple, and silver. And sushi.
Well then. There we go! I'm starting to get sick of "random things about me." Can't we do something more interesting next time? Like, write a song about rubber ducks and choreograph a tango to it?

Anyways, I am giving this award to...

Teaser Tuesday (21)


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!
Personal Demons (Personal Demons, #1)
I close my eyes and push her face from my thoughts. I replace it with my boss, Beherit, Grand Duke of Hell and head of Acquisitions. I focus on the thought of what he'll do to me if I fail, hoping fear will take the edge off my obsessive desire.
     And it almosts works. I feel cold, black dread snake its way though my insides as I picture myself kneeling before Beherit and King Lucifer, awaiting judgement. But the dread shifts to despair that, if my existence ends now, I'll never know what it feels like to touch Frannie, to kiss her, to be with her.
~From Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers 

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, May 30, 2011

Author Interview: Tera Lynn Childs

Please give a warm welcome to the funny and super nice TLC-Tera Lynn Childs!
Hi, I’m Tera Lynn Childs and I write books for teens and other awesome people. My books have mythology (Oh. My. Gods. and Goddess Boot Camp and Sweet Venom) and mermaids (Forgive My Fins and Fins Are Forever) in them.      
3LB: Who or what inspired you to write? Do you have any role models?
My two inspirations would have to be my master’s thesis advisor who told me I was a very effective writer and brilliant historical romance author Julia Quinn. As for current authors whose writing I admire, I’d have to say Jaclyn Moriarty, Suzanne Collins, Ally Carter, and Susan Beth Pfeffer.
3LB: Create a haiku about your book, Forgive My Fins.
Is it sad that I had to look up the rules for a haiku? Okay, here goes:
Half-mermaid princess

Crush on Brody, bugged by Quince

A kiss gone awry
3LB: Do you have a dream cast for your book?
I don’t have a legitimate dream cast, because they are totally unsuitable as 
actors/for the roles, but I did have real people in mind when I wrote the book. For Lily, I had a very energetic picture of Shakira, with her crazy frizzy hair. For Brody, I pictured reality TV star Brody Jenner (whose name I totally stole for the character). And for Quince, I have a super-hot picture of Eric Dane (McSteamy from Grey’s Anatomy) on a motorcycle.
3LB: Are any of your characters or scenes based on people/events in your own life?
Everything and every character I write draws on real life experiences, to create a more realistic fiction world. But the one scene I tore directly from an actual event was the scene in Forgive My Fins in which Lily tells Quince she’s a mermaid. Not the confessing to being a magical creature bit, but the part where she points out the coquinas in the sand. When I was in Naples, Florida, where I got the idea for Forgive My Fins, I actually remember sitting on the beach and realizing that the shells don’t ride in on the waves, but burrow down into the sand. It really resonated with me, and it was perfect for the scene.
3LB: I gotta ask, do you have a book playlist? If so, how did these songs inspire your writing/book/characters?
With one exception (a book that I’m still working on) I don’t create book-specific playlists. I just create a playlist of music I’m into at the moment (it could be pop or showtunes or classics) and set it on shuffle. Right now I’m big on Adele and Florence and the Machine and deep, soulful music.
3LB: What’s next for you? What other books have you written?
The next mermaid book, Fins Are Forever, will be out this summer. Then, this fall, I’m starting a brand new trilogy about triplet monster-hunting descendants of Medusa. I like to call it Buffy meets mythology, with a little Parent Trap thrown in for fun. The first book, Sweet Venom, will be out September 6th.
3LB: If you had to live your life as an animal, what would you be?
Hmmm... I’ve always been fascinated by wolves, but I don’t think I could handle the tearing of raw flesh. Ew, vegan. At my core I’m a water baby, so I’d choose something in the ocean. A dolphin, maybe, if I could make the Caribbean my home.
3LB: What was your favorite book as a child?
I have three. From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg, The Egypt Game by Zilpha Keatley Snyder, and The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin.

3LB: What other hobbies do you enjoy aside from reading and writing?
Web and graphic design is one of my favorite procrastination techniques. I do my own website and bookmarks and I actually enjoy the design process. I also love to travel—and, barring actual travel, I love to plan travel. I go in and out of phases where I like cooking and crafts.
3LB: What three people/characters would you love to meet? (They can be fictional, dead, or real and very much alive!)
  • Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice
  • Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games
  • Australian YA author Jaclyn Moriarty
3LB: Tell us five interesting things about yourself.
  1. I’m a stereotypical Virgo.
  2. My first three years of school were in French.
  3. I’ve lived in 21 places, 11 states, and 2 countries.
  4. I moved to New York City for college at 17.
  5. I love watching true crime, mystery and detective television.
~~~
Thank you, Tera Lynn! For more information about TLC and her books, visit:
Forgive My Fins (Fins, #1)

Friday, May 27, 2011

Follow Friday and The Book Blogger Hop (21)

Notice: I will be at a church retreat starting Friday afternoon through Sunday afternoon. In My Mailbox post will be put off until Monday, as will the majority of other blogging/socializing. I need to take a much-needed break. :) Just taking the chance to breathe a bit before I jump into super-active summer blogging and planning my birthday palooza. :D


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:
How many books do you read in a week?? And in what format do you read them, or listen to them?
It really depends. On a good week, I could probably read, oh, five books. In a bad week, one, if any. I only read print books, since I like to read books at my own pace. The only time I've ever done audio books is in school. I'll read eBook or traditional, depending on the format I have it in. Usually traditional if I have both.

This week's question is:
What book-to-movie adaptation have you most liked? Which have you disliked?
Um... somehow, I don't have the ability to compare movies like I do with books. I just don't remember what movies I've seen. So because the last one is coming out soon, I'm just going to say that I loved the first Harry Potter the most. And well, I think most people can agree that the Eragon movie wasn't so hot, even though I love the books. I'm done here.

By the way, I hope everybody that went to BEA knows I hate them. Just letting you know. And to think I was just in NYC in March. I AM JEALOUS OF YOU AND HATE YOU ALL. I hope you brought me books. :)

Reviews:
Waterfall (ARC)
Cascade (ARC)

Author Interviews:
Tony Bertauski (eBook Tour)

Giveaways:
Splash into Summer Giveaway Hop- Runs till Tuesday!

Weekly Features:
It's Monday! What I'm reading/listening to...
Teaser Tuesday: Half-Blood by Jennifer Armentrout
Waiting on Wednesday: Torrent by Lisa T. Bergren


Have a fabulous weekend! Happy Reading!! 
School. Is. Out. Kind of.
P.S. Be sure to follow me on Twitter and friend me on Goodreads! And check out myFacebook page! :)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Review: Cascade (ARC)

Cascade (River of Time, #2)Cascade

Series: River of Time, #2
Author: Lisa T. Bergren
Reading Level and Genre(s): YA Historical Fiction
Features: Time travel, 14th century Italy
Publisher: David C. Cook
Publication Date: June 1, 2011
Source: Author/publicist for review
*Note: The text featured in this post is from an Advanced Reader's Copy (ARC). Changes may have been made in the final proof.
Photobucket 
Mom touched my underdress—a gown made six hundred years before—and her eyes widened as she rubbed the raw silk between thumb and forefinger. She turned and touched Lia’s gown. “Where did you get these clothes?”

Gabi knows she’s left her heart in the fourteenth century and she persuades Lia to help her to return, even though they know doing so will risk their very lives. When they arrive, weeks have passed and all of Siena longs to celebrate the heroines who turned the tide in the battle against Florence—while the Florentines will go to great lengths to see them dead. But Marcello patiently awaits, and Gabi must decide if she’s willing to leave her family behind for good in order to give her heart to him forever.
I didn't think it was possible, but Ms. Bergren did it. Cascade is even better than Waterfall. After reading the first book, I was super excited to read the next one, but also a little wary and had very high expectations. Ms. Bergren achieved them and beyond. This book does not lack at all in the strength of Gabi, the kindheartedness of Lia, the humorous jabs of Luca, and the pure hotness of Marcello. I have come to know and love each of the characters and consider them my friends, unless they happen to be very evil, like *cough* certain villains in this novel.


This book had even more action and adventure. More challenges are presented, much more danger is threatening our protagonists. The threat is no longer between the two rival families. It involves two very large cities of Italy, and could lead onto a full-fledged war. And that's not all. There isn't just a war between man here. The fearsome Black Plague has been caught, and may be the downfall of everybody. I mean, the humans were scary enough, but something nobody can fight? Great. (That was sarcasm, by the way.)


The suspenseful escape and fight scenes aren't the only ones that will keep you reading. Each romantic scene sends chills down your back, too, only of a completely different kind. Once again, the romance between Gabi and Marcello is perfect. If they can't be together, I will be heartbroken.


I believe this book would be right for everybody, because it seems to have a bit of everything: humor and fun, adventure, romance. I just can't get enough of this series. It is pure AWESOME. Lisa T. Bergren has woven an enthralling literary net that will capture the eyes and hearts of many. Don't hesitate to pick these up! The covers are gorgeous! I couldn't stop turning the pages and I just couldn't put the book down. I almost screamed in frustration when I reached the end, because I simply cannot wait for Torrent!


Personal Thoughts (What I thought as a teen reader, not a reviewer)
Saints in Heaven, I can't wait for Torrent! Have I said that yet?


One thing: Lia, my dear, are you feeling ill? *places hand on her forehead* Luca has pretty much declared his undying love for you, and you're still being a stubborn mule! He's hot, he's funny, he's charming! He can joke even when falling in battle! You're perfect for each other!!!! *breathes hard*

Beginning Excerpt:
Mom freaked out when she saw us, of course.
     I couldn't blame her, with Lia in her medieval gown. And me looking like I'd been mauled by a bear. Especially when two meaty guards were hauling us into Dr. Manero's tent. "It's all right, Mom," I said, hands out, as she rushed toward us. Her face was white.
     "Lasiateli," she shouted in irritation -let them go- brushing the guards' hands off our arms, staring at the blood on me. "Girls, what in the-"
     "She's all right, Mom," Lia began. "It's not as bad as it looks."
     "It's okay," I said, pushing her hands away as she touched my undress -a gown made hundreds of years before- and tried to figure out what kind of wound had made me look like I'd been doused in ketchup. "I'm fine, Mom. Really."
     But her fingers remained on the raw weave of the silk fabric. Her beautiful blue eyes widened, then her narrow brows lowered as she rubbed it between thumb and forefinger and bent to study the weave. She turned and touched Lia's gown. "Where did you get these clothes?"
     "Mom," I whispered, "can we talk about it alone" Manero -Dr. Manero, my parents' long-time adversary, a bigwig with the Societa Archaeologico dell' Italia- was staring at us with a smug look on his face, as if he had us all exactly where he wanted us.
     "They were found in Tomb Two, Dr. Betarrini," he said, crossing his arms. I pictured him stuffing a cigar into his mouth, leaning back into a chair, and putting his feet up on the desk, hands behind his head. "You know what giving unauthorized persons access can do to one's site approvals."
     Mom frowned now and shook her head a little. "Impossible. They're never..." Her words faded as she saw the sheepish looks in our eyes. "No. Girls, tell me you weren't inside. No. Why?"
     "Mom, we need to talk to you alone," I said again.
     She stared at me, eye to eye -we're exactly the same height- and then at Lia, and finally at Manero. "Ci serve un' attimo." We need a minute.
     "What's to say? Yes, your papers are in order, but you clearly need my help here to secure the site. If your own daughters feel free to run roughshod over-" 
     "We were not 'running roughshod' over the site," I bite back at him. "We were just peeking in."
     He raised one dark brow. "Climbing inside hardly constitutes peeking."
     Mom looked at us in horror.
     "We need a minute, Mom," I said for the third time. "We can explain."
     She was getting that There's-No-Explanation-for-Trespassing kind of wild fury look in her eyes. The sort that usually left her sputtering before she found her steam and really let us have it.
     Lia saw it too. "Mom," she said, "can we go outside?"
     "No need," Manero said, chin in the air. "I shall leave you three to discuss your business. I'll return in fifteen minutes to discuss our busineszs."
     "Thanks for the warning," I muttered. He paused but did not turn, then left the tent.
     Mom crossed her arms and took a seat on a folding stool. "Start talking."
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.

Author Interview: Lauren Oliver


Please welcome the fabulous author of Before I Fall and Delirium, Lauren Oliver!
     Lauren Oliver comes from a family of writers and so has always (mistakenly) believed that spending hours in front of the computer every day, mulling over the difference between “chortling” and “chuckling,” is normal. She has always been an avid reader. 
     She attended the University of Chicago, where she continued to be as impractical as possible by majoring in philosophy and literature. After college, she attended the MFA program at NYU and worked briefly as the world’s worst editorial assistant, and only marginally better assistant editor, at a major publishing house in New York. Her major career contributions during this time were flouting the corporate dress code at every possible turn and repeatedly breaking the printer. Before I Fall is her first published novel. 
     She is deeply grateful for the chance to continue writing, as she has never been particularly good at anything else.

~~~
3LB: Who or what inspired you to write? Do you have any role models?
My love of reading inspired my desire to write. When I was little, I wrote early versions of “fan fiction”; when I finished reading a book I loved, I would continue to write its sequels, as a way of existing a little longer in that world. I have a ton of role models, including various authors I admire and my parents, both of whom inspired in me a love of literature and an intense creative orientation to the world. My sister is also a role model; as any younger sibling does, I absolutely venerate her.
3LB: Delirium is set in a futuristic world in which love is considered a disease. What was your inspiration behind that idea?
The idea for Delirium came from an essay I read by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, in which he wrote that all great books were about love or death. The next day I was thinking about that quote--particularly about how and in what form a modern love story could be told--while I was on the treadmill at the gym. I was simultaneously watching a news story about a flu outbreak that had everyone freaking out about the possibility of a pandemic, and I was kind of marvelling that people so easily go into panics about reports of these diseases, and at some point the two trains of thought--love, and disease--just sort of combined in my head.
3LB: Do you share personality characteristics with any of your characters? Did you put part of yourself in them as you they were being created on paper and ink?
Yes, definitely. I think that’s the only way to make characters feel real and also to feel invested in them—and hopefully get the reader to be invested in them too. I always say this, but I really do believe that novels are like dreams: every character is you.
3LB: What’s the hardest part of the novel to write? (By the way, the hardest part for me to read was the end. I was trying not to cry, because I was in class…)
I think the beginning and the end of any book are easy; I find everything else very, very difficult. That sounds kind of strange, but it’s true. Moving through that wilderness of the middle section, not knowing whether what you’re doing is good or bad or stupid or nonsensical, is so, so difficult. And it’s a phase that lasts for months and months!
3LB: If Delirium was to be made into a movie, who would you want to be in it?
Oh, dear. I don’t know! I never, ever see movies, so I’m a terrible person to ask. I’ve only seen two movies since January 2010!
3LB: Holy mashed potatoes, how have you survived?? Anyways, can you give us any hints on what’s going to happen in Pandemonium? ;)
Not a chance! I will say that it takes place in two different time frames, and Lena is the narrator.
3LB: What’s next for you? What other books have you written?
I’m in the middle of writing Requiem now, the third book in the Delirium trilogy. I have a middle-grade book called Liesl and Po coming out this fall, which I’m quite proud of. And I’m editing another untitled middle-grade, too, which will be published in Fall 2012.
3LB: If you were to go live on an island and could only choose 5 books to take with you, what would you choose?
Man, I hate this question! It’s so difficult. Probably Matilda, by Roald Dahl; The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, and The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides, as I could read them both endlessly; Remembrances of Things Past, by Proust, only because it would take me forever to get through it; and probably the complete book of the fairy tales of the Grimm brothers.
3LB: If you could have any supernatural ability, what would it be, and why?
I’m inclined to say read minds, but that would take much of the mystery and wonder (and yes, sometimes pain) out of life. So I would probably choose the ability to fly.
3LB: What do you do to unwind and relax?
I read, or I cook for friends.
~~~
Thank you, Lauren! It was great having you. For more information about Lauren and her books, visit:

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