Thursday, July 26, 2012

Proud & Heartfelt Goodbyes

It is with the greatest honor and regret that I find myself writing this post today. I have thought long and hard about this decision before deciding to act upon it. This is news to pretty much everyone except me but I have decided to give up book blogging for the moment.

I really sat down and reflected on why I started this blog and what I was wanting to get from it.

When I first started this blog it was because I was finding myself lost in book blog world and I wanted a way to be a part of the book community and surround myself with wonderful books and a place to talk about them. It wasn't for the free books or the "fame" it was for sheer self enjoyment. To be honest, I was also having a difficult time filling all my free time that I had found myself with and I missed blogging.

So the place I find myself in now is quite different then the place I was a little over a year ago. I work in the library now. Contrary to popular thought, this is actually detrimental to my book blogging because I work and talk books everyday and I love it, that means that blogging doesn't fulfill that for me anymore, it isn't something I turn to now. I am also overwhelmed with amazing new books of all genres and sometimes it exhausts my brain.

I also have a healthy balance of activity in my life now that includes work, friends, and getting to know a little bit more about myself. I am also trying very hard for a promotion at work on top of getting into new activities that fuel my geek life.

This has been a stellar year albeit it has been full of ups and downs. I don't intend to give up books (Such a thought is blasphemous!) and in fact I don't even intend to give up reviewing but I don't have the time to dedicate the other research for other posts and interesting information. I doubt this is a permanent step for me, I really love blogging but for now lay it to rest.

I would really love to keep in touch with every one of you; I am turning Goodreads into my source of reviews and connections. If you'd like, I would love to have you on my friends list there, so look me up! I'm also going to be a blog reader, even if I am the silent type.

Don't stop believing in the pixies :)

Love and hugs,
Leila

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Summer Spontaneity

What happens when you spontaneously go pick up your baby sister to come visit you for a week halfway across the state? Your blog doesn't get any love. But at least you had fun?! RIGHT!?! Haha, I just wanted to touch base and say that I appreciate your readership and I appreciate you for sticking by me when I know the regularity of posts isn't quite as steady or consistent as I would really like for it to be, but I am certainly trying to catch up!

I hope you are all having a wonderful summer (and Winter for my friends in Australia in their snow boots)!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: Iron Prophecy by Julie Kagawa


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Breaking the Spine that gives bloggers the chance to express their longing for books before they're released!

Iron's Prophecy by Julie Kagawa

Mark it To-Read: Goodreads
Pre-order: Amazon
Release: September 2012

Meghan Chase is finally getting used to being the Iron Queen, ruler of the Iron Fey. Her life may be strange, but with former Winter prince Ash by her side at last, she wouldn’t have it any other way.

But when they travel to the Summer and Winter courts’ gathering for Elysium, the oracle from Meghan’s past returns with a dire prophecy: “What you carry will either unite the courts, or it will destroy them.” Now Meghan faces a devastating choice that may determine the future of all fey—and her and Ash’s unborn child…

More on What's Inside:

More Reviews on The Iron Fey

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Mini-Review: Winter's Passage by Julie Kagawa

Winter's Passage by Julie Kagawa


Publisher: HarlequinTEEN (May 20, 2010)
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages (eBook): 49
Series: The Iron Fey (Book 1.5)
Read Next: The Iron Daughter (Book 2)
Source: Bought
ISBN-13: 9781426858321
Genre: Fantasy (Faeries)
Author: Website | Twitter | BlogSeries ReviewsBook 1 (4.5★) Book 2 (5★)Book 3 (5★) Book 3.5 Book 4 (4.5★)


Meghan Chase used to be an ordinary girl...until she discovered that she is really a faery princess. After escaping from the clutches of the deadly Iron fey, Meghan must follow through on her promise to return to the equally dangerous Winter Court with her forbidden love, Prince Ash. But first, Meghan has one request: that they visit Puck--Meghan's best friend and servant of her father, King Oberon--who was gravely injured defending Meghan from the Iron Fey.

Yet Meghan and Ash's detour does not go unnoticed. They have caught the attention of an ancient, powerful hunter--a foe that even Ash may not be able to defeat...

An eBook exclusive novella from Julie Kagawa.
_____________________________________________________________

Novella Mini Review:

Reading this novella after The Iron Knight, I see that it highlights the complexity of Prince Ash. It really conflicts with his love of Meghan and his loyalty to the court. Picking up exactly where The Iron King left off, we join Meghan on her journey to keep her deal with the Prince and return to The Unseelie Court. We are accompanied by our favorite feline but are hunted by a force older and wiser than faery it seems. The chase is just enough action that perfectly paces the book but it was rather abrupt and cut off, even for a novella. A great meanwhile read but not as charming as its counterpart, Summer's Crossing.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Reader's Advisory: The Hunger Games


If you liked...

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

You might like...

 

The Giver by Lois Lowry

A classic dystopian tale for young readers. I first read this book in the 6th grade and the story of Jonas was deep, provocative, and managed to stay with me for years. In this book, the world is perfect. Everything is predestined to maintain the control and no one can remember life before the change; no one except, The Giver. The Giver holds the memories of true life and now Jonas must fight to receive the truth and break away. Jonas is unsuspecting of the trials life dumps on him and with the strength we all find in Katniss, he steps up to the challenge.

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

People of all ages enjoy The Hunger Games. For older fans of The Hunger Games, I recommend this dystopic story of Offred. A popular tale from Margaret Atwood, this story shares the life of Offred in a world of religious dominance and harsh realities that have plausible repercussions. Do you fight for freedom when you remember your life before? Do you bend or do you break?

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Breaking the Spine that gives bloggers the chance to express their longing for books before they're released!

The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna

Mark it To-Read: Goodreads
Pre-Order: Amazon
Release: August 28, 2012

Eva’s life is not her own. She is a creation, an abomination—an echo. Made by the Weavers as a copy of someone else, she is expected to replace a girl named Amarra, her “other”, if she ever died. Eva studies what Amarra does, what she eats, what it’s like to kiss her boyfriend, Ray. So when Amarra is killed in a car crash, Eva should be ready.

But fifteen years of studying never prepared her for this.

Now she must abandon everything she’s ever known—the guardians who raised her, the boy she’s forbidden to love—to move to India and convince the world that Amarra is still alive.

______________________________________________________

This book sounds fantastic. The plot synopsis is unlike any other book I have read and after I read Lauren DeStefano's Goodreads review of this book, it was sealed that I have to read it. Goodreads is also having a FirstReads giveaway for a few copies. Check it out on the Goodreads link when you mark it To-Read!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Review: The Woman in Black by Susan Hill

The Woman in Black by Susan Hill


Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group (October 10, 1983)
Age Group: Adult
Pages (Paperback): 164
Source: Library
ISBN-13: 9780307950215
Genre: Horror/Historical

Arthur Kipps is an up-and-coming London solicitor who is sent to Crythin Gifford—a faraway town in the windswept salt marshes beyond Nine Lives Causeway—to attend the funeral and settle the affairs of a client, Mrs. Alice Drablow of Eel Marsh House. Mrs. Drablow’s house stands at the end of the causeway, wreathed in fog and mystery, but Kipps is unaware of the tragic secrets that lie hidden behind its sheltered windows. The routine business trip he anticipated quickly takes a horrifying turn when he finds himself haunted by a series of mysterious sounds and images—a rocking chair in a deserted nursery, the eerie sound of a pony and trap, a child’s scream in the fog, and, most terrifying of all, a ghostly woman dressed all in black. Psychologically terrifying and deliciously eerie, The Woman in Black is a remarkable thriller of the first rate.
______________________________________________________


Overview: 

Don't go into this book expecting it to be the movie. Don't go into this book hoping for resolution. This book is extremely dense to read without any real events occurring. This book did not give enough of an experience for the effort that I put into sifting through the thickness of descriptors and historical atmosphere. A quick albeit disappointing selection.

Review:

There are times when we cannot remove the expectations that we have of something going into it and this book was an unfortunate victim of that scenario. I watched the movie for this book before even knowing it was a book and I kept the expectations of the relatively entertaining book when I went into this historical book. In a book to movie adaptation, we tend to think that the book is always better. In this instance, the movie should not only be given its own identity but I did find it better than the book.

Perhaps it is against my reading style but this book was written in a historical style that hinted at classic. This was the type of writing that focused on building atmosphere but instead makes the reading dense and heavy. This may or may not have effected the way that I experienced the haunting that this story focuses around.

The pacing that was used to setup the haunting was well done but there was an existing problem with the amount of actual events or action that kept the story propelled. I was also disappointed in the lack of resolution that came with the ending of the story. I wasn't looking for anything heroic or magnificent but the ghost story took some leaps in the end that were just ill placed.

Overall, this story was disappointing and not a fulfilling haunted story. It accomplished a historic and chilling tone but that was all that was successful about this selection.

Rating out of 5:

Monday, June 25, 2012

Literary Addicts Launch Event + KINDLE FIRE!

Welcome to the Literary Addicts Kindle Fire Event where we have teamed up with 10 Amazing Authors and several awesome bloggers to celebrate the
Grand Opening of Literary Addicts a Community for Book Lovers!

Please check out the Fantastic authors bringing the Kindle Fire Giveaway to you! Don't miss out on these great reads even if you don't have a kindle yet. You can download the kindle app for you phone, desktop, or ipad HERE. All of these books are less than a Starbucks Coffee!
Immortal Voyage Before the time of the great pyramids, there was a place like none other, a city of glass and metal rising from the depths of the ocean. Shrouded in mist, the island of Hy-Brasil and its capital Atlantis lay hidden from the rest of the world by its people, a race of long lived, interstellar nomads. Read more and purchase for only $2.99
     
Give Me - A Tale of Wyrd and Fae All she wanted was a vacation - but Dumnos offered a new life. Lilith Evergreen has always lived in the California desert, but when she receives an antique ring as a gift, she dreams of a castle by the sea, a magnificent tree at cliff's edge, and a mysterious woman who bids Lilith to come to Dumnos, a land of mist and rain. Read more and purchase for only $3.99 Paperback
   
Slow Boat to Purgatory (Slow Boat to Purgatory #1) Gaspar De Rouse, an immortal Knight Templar, a man murdered by his brothers for the secret he possessed, resurrected and given a second chance at redemption. Dominicus Bureau, a renegade priest, torn between his vows and the secret he pursues, a secret protected by an immortal. Alex Donovan, a modern day warrior thrust into an ages old war, a war between good and evil, heaven and hell.Read more and purchase for only $2.99 Paperback  
 
Mark of the Witch (Boston Witches Book 1) Magic flows through Jillian Proctor's veins as surely as blood, but so far her life outside Boston has been peaceful. William Morgan blows into Jilly's life like a hurricane, unleashing her magic and sending her out of control. Unknowingly, William brings an enemy who only wants to posses the power of the witch. Jilly must learn to harness her magic before she loses it - and everything in her life is destroyed. Purchase for only $2.99 Paperback 
 
The Marriage Bargain Camille Chandler is a tabloid journalist whose career is right on track--until her boss sees a curious ad in the L.A. Trades. Wanted: Single actress for an extended gig abroad. France's mega-rich playboy Julian de Laurent is up to something and Camille's boss expects her to find out what. Who knew the eccentric gazillionaire was looking to hire a temporary wife? Read more and purchase for only $2.99
 
Descended by Blood (Vampire Born #1) Brooke Keller is a high school junior who has never spent much time living in one place. She is finally in a town long enough to almost snag the boy of her dreams, until her life is threatened after killing a fanged man in his attempt to kidnap her. Brooke begins a dangerous journey in an effort to find out who is after her and how to stop them. In a world with powerful and prejudiced vampires, Read more and purchase for only $2.99 Paperback  
  
Dirty Blood I killed a girl last night. I did it with my bare hands and an old piece of pipe I found lying next to the dumpster. But that’s not the part that got me. The part that scared me, the part I can’t seem to wrap my head around and still has me reeling, was that when she charged me, her body shifted – and then she was a wolf. All snapping teeth and extended claws. But by the time I stood over her lifeless body, she was a girl again. Read more and purchase for only $2.99 Paperback
 
Taming the wolf (anna avery series, #1) Attacked by a wolf while hiking in the mountains, Anna Avery's life just got a little hairier. Living in the Big Horn mountains in Wyoming, with a group of werewolves who are more animal than human, Anna must try to hold onto her human side. It's not easy when the alpha continues to persuade her into his bed, while another wolf is chomping at the bit to become her mate. To top it all off, dead bodies are showing up and ..Read more and purchase for only $2.99
    
Fearless (Kings Series) Tasmyn Vaughn didn't expect much when her dad’s job moved them to a small town in Florida; it was just another new school. But there is more to King than meets the eye, and soon Tasmyn’s ability to hear other’s thoughts is the least of her worries. Entangled in a web of first love, quirky and secretive townsfolk, magic and blood rituals, she discovers the town’s secrets aren’t just bizarre, they’re deadly. Purchase for only $3.99 Paperback
  
Secrets (Guardian Trilogy) While Olivia Martin observed life through her camera, the Abyss gazed back at her. She discovers mysterious men follow her around, people close to her are dying, and her dreams are no longer her own as she falls head over heels for a perfect stranger. A chance encounter leads to an obsession that could destroy everything she has ever known or loved. Olivia is about to find out there is a lot she doesn't know and sometimes what you don't know can kill you. Read more and purchase for only $2.99   These fine authors are bringing you this Kindle Fire Event via Promotional Book Tours and Literary Addicts This contest is open Internationally! Please fill out the form below to enter. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Reader's Advisory: Thirteen Reasons Why


Reader's Advisory is a new feature here at The Fiction Pixie. It is an opportunity to stretch my library legs, expand my book knowledge, and share older books with you that need some limelight! Typically, I expect this to come out Thursday but its been a rough start with life getting in the way and losing my notes, so here goes nothing!

If you liked...


Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

You might like....

 

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Told in the journalistic style similar to the one the experience Clay has with Hannah's tapes; this book is a moving and powerful coming of age story. With suicide, sex, experience and growth this book teaches the reader about finding themselves and understanding what they find.

Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson

Unlike the other two books that are told in a memoir-esque style about coping as survivors of suicide, this book is about finding the strength to overcome. Tyler is a boy facing a troubled home life, new found attention at school but through it all teeters on the thought of suicide. A powerful yet dark experience in taking your life into your own hands.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Review: Rage by Jackie Morse Kessler

Rage by Jackie Morse Kessler

Publisher: Graphia (March 15, 2011)
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages (Paperback): 213
Series: Riders of the Apocalypse (Book 2)
Read Next: Loss
Source: Library
ISBN-13: 9780547445281
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Author: Website | Twitter
Series Reviews: Hunger (2.5★)

Missy didn’t mean to cut so deep. But after the party where she was humiliated in front of practically everyone in school, who could blame her for wanting some comfort? Sure, most people don’t find comfort in the touch of a razor blade, but Missy always was . . . different. That’s why she was chosen to become one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: War. Now Missy wields a new kind of blade—a big, brutal sword that can cut down anyone and anything in her path. But it’s with this weapon in her hand that Missy learns something that could help her triumph over her own pain: control. A unique approach to the topic of self-mutilation, Rage is the story of a young woman who discovers her own power and refuses to be defeated by the world. 
______________________________________________________________________

Overview:

The accuracy that I can see in this series now is absolutely astonishing. I found this book to be emotionally devastating and heart wrenching for Missy. These book reach out to teenagers going through something like this and show them they're not alone and that is absolutely power in words.


Review:

This book takes realism and accuracy in fiction to a new level. It highlights all the things that give Young Adult fiction the name of being "too dark" but it does that because its real; these are things that teens face in the deep recesses of themselves and hide from the world. I was unsure of how deep and true Hunger could have been but this book clarified that Jackie Morse Kessler is gifted and dedicated to true storytelling.

As part of the series, this book can still function as a stand alone for someone who wanted to reach out for something their experiencing. In this book, we have our Kurt Cobain rocker, Death who is the one resounding connection through the books. It is his task to replace the Horsemen of the Apocalypse as the rider position opens. Missy's adventure is unrelated and irrelevant to the story in Hunger though it is lightly referenced and gives background to why War is vacant.

When Death enters the scene, we find Missy holding her family's dead cat in her hands, "You have blood on your hands". The mood is instantaneously set to be dark, brooding, and quite appropriately raged. Missy's life is a disaster in her eyes. Love gone wrong, family gone wrong, life is wrong and the only way to fix it is to bleed the bad out. Driven by such intense emotion, Missy wars within herself at the things she has been forced to face. Humiliated by her ex, estranged from her sister, and now empowered by the sword, she really is just trying to sort out the straight path for herself but it is messy and heartbreaking.

These books are incredibly short reads that pack an incredible punch and I would recommend them for anyone who needs to know they are not alone. As a previous self-injurer, all I wanted to do was tell Missy she wasn't alone and I want you to know it, too.

Rating out of 5:

Friday, June 8, 2012

Armchair BEA: Words of the Wise

 


So on this last day of Armchair BEA the topic is "Ask the Experts". Well I don't classify myself there at all haha, so I implore you my lovely readers to impart your advice upon my humble self. While I don't have much in the way of specific advice to expertise I will leave you with one thought:

Your blog is for you!

When you are no longer happy with the way your blog is going or if you no longer enjoy it, find out why and make the decision to change it or quit because something as lovely as reading or sharing your thoughts shouldn't make you unhappy.

I want you to know that I really enjoyed this week. I met a lot of new bloggers and I am excited to get to know each of them. Please feel free to drop me a line in my email or on twitter! I hope each of you enjoyed your armchair as much as I did and it seems like the week has ended so early. Best of everything to you!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Armchair BEA: Beyond the Blog


So today the topic up for discussion is how we go beyond the blog. Monetizing, freelancing, or other opportunities that come from our blogging. When I first thought about this I went directly back to the idea that I discussed in my networking post and I was a little bummed that I didn't have much else to say.

I don't have tips for monetizing, in fact I could use some. Being an Amazon Affiliate has wielded me a massive 4 cents. I don't have paid ads. I'm not even sure if I have enough clicks to host paid ads. So trying to talk about monetizing was not the way to go. Then I went meandering around and commenting when I left a comment that struck a cord and the idea popped into my head!

In my networking post yesterday, I wrote about how I felt my blog and book experience really helped give me an edge to get my job. Earlier, I was commenting about someone else having well rounded writing experience and is this type of experience that really can help give us the edge in an extremely competitive job market. So I explained that I when applying for bookish jobs (i.e. Library where I work now) I put book blogging on my resume. I've spoken to career specialists over my resume and they said it was an excellent idea because of its immediate relevancy to the posistion. I have worked countless hours on my resume and I have seen that it can be successful so I thought I would share with you the way book blogging appears on my resume in the hopes that it may help you as well. 

Book Review Blogger
              Lexington, Kentucky                                April 2011- Current
v  Employ high levels of professionalism contacting publishers and authors
v  Develop a strong knowledge of writing and grammar to create thorough reviews
v  Familiarize self with new releases of all genres within Young Adult fiction
v  Maintain a unique and personal creative space to store and display information
v  Demonstrate writing and analysis abilities to provide accurate and professional reviews to the public on popular teen selections
v  Read a thorough list of selections group to review and hone ability to provide recommendations


As you can see, this helps to show that books aren't just a job for me they are a passion; something that I dedicate my free time to as well. I also have recently found that I love resume counseling but don't have the extroverted personality to give connections enough for that to be a career option. But that is all I have, that little space on the page to take myself far beyond the screens of the blog! Best of luck to all of you!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Armchair BEA: Networking Off-Line




It is pretty much obvious that I have put this post off for the most part of the day because I simply didn't know what to do about it. I had some thoughts but when you look at yourself in the mirror and see the shy wannabe, the last thing you want to do is go online to your blog, your public space, and say I suck at networking.

After reading some other stories and posts (love you all for sharing btw), I realize I am not quite as bad as I thought I was but I still have a ways to go to really say that I have accomplished anything significant. So I thought I would tackle this post in different sections to cover some of my experiences and some of my goals.

Did blogging get me a job?

One thing that I can say I have done is make it no secret that I work in a library. When I see all these posts about networking and when I think about my own experience that is what I keep going back to. In a pool of qualified people, I go into my job interview nervous and extremely excited. It puts me one step closer to the dream job. This is where the blog comes in. I assume the questions are similar amongst all applicants but I am prepared for recommendations and to sum up the last great book that I read because I had recently reviewed it. And honestly, when I told them that I had decided to make books my career and that I read, review, and blog in my free time, I think it gave me an edge above the other applicants. It illustrated to my bosses that I was serious about my job and that I do love books.

Since then I have been given all the teen YA catalogs that I keep in my locker and all my bosses love my writing background and reference my blog frequently. I really do believe that blogging helped me get my job on top of my own merits and determination to enjoy my career choice!

The Iron Knight Launch Event

When The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa launched there was a launch event in Louisville, KY (her hometown). That is about an hour away from me so I hopped in the car with a friend and drove out to go and it was great. I mentioned my blog to her and I was a total herp derp. But I still had a blast!

 
Oh, why yes that is Prince Ash in our picture!

Goals

I would love to find people that are of the book bloggy nature around here. I don't like book clubs much because I have never found one that really suits me. I don't like reading a book because I have to but because I want to. I am in a local Goodreads group through the library but I have yet to see anyone who reads the things I could talk about.

Sometimes, when I see books get returned that I enjoyed, I want to rush out and find them and scream that they have good tastes in music and sometimes, if I come across them with the books in their hands, that is what I do. Minus the screaming part; I don't want to go to jail!

I think that some of the local bookstore stories I have heard today have been absolutely inspiring and it really has sparked my interest to visit the local stores for the purpose of networking.

And I really want to get the most out of Twitter & blog comments. I try to utilize it and I have the followers to do it but I never seem to get any return interaction from my readers/followers and it can be really heartbreaking. Especially when it is an open question that could really stimulate conversation or give readers an opportunity to effect the things on the blog. But it is a goal to keep at it. Nothing will change if I just give up.

I hope that you have tactics for networking that work for you because I know mine are always changing and adapting and sometimes, being an introvert, it isn't easy.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Armchair Giveaway! OLDIES BUT GOODIES!


Last year I hosted my first giveaway for Armchair BEA and gave away Summer & The City by Candace Bushnell. This year my focus on things that I want to feature is a little different and with my new Reader's Advisory feature, I am trying to feature some older books to bring back that good literature still exists even though we get wrapped up in the new and shiny. So this year I am giving away an older book from the following list:

  • Glimmerglass (2010) by Jenna Black
  • The Giver (1993) by Lois Lowry
  • If I Stay (2009) by Gayle Forman
  • Memoirs of a Geisha (1997) by Arthur Golden
  • The Wizard's First Rule (1994) by Terry Goodkind
  • Uglies (2005) by Scott Westerfeld

I think that covers a variety of genre and ages for hopefully everyone to enjoy something. Enter on the Rafflecopter below and check out the details:

  •     Contest Ends June 12, 2012 at 12:01AM EST
  •     US Only (Sorry)
  •     Must be 13 or older
  •     Extra Entries are available
  •     Fill out the Rafflecopter below to enter!
  •     Comments must be reported as entries
  •     Winner will have 48 Hours to respond or another will be chosen

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, June 4, 2012

Armchair BEA: Greetings!


Hey Armchairers! I am so excited to participate in the Armchair BEA again this year. I participated last year and had an absolute fantastic time. There were a lot of great events including fantastic daily topics, twitter parties, and it was in conjunction with my first giveaway. Last year was extremely successful for the event and for me as a participant so I am excited to see where this year goes. It is crazy to think that a year has already past though.

This year, instead of a standard "about me" introduction, we are going to be doing self-interviews and blog hopping to see everyone's answers and getting to know one another. Without further ado, my heart on a string:

Please tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? How long have you been blogging? Why did you get into blogging? Well, my name is Leila and I am 25 year old librarian wannabe. I am currently a Library Assistant and I absolutely love my job. My supervisors love the fact that I blog and it really initiates a lot of great conversation and people turn to me for teen recommendations lol. I have been book blogging for a little over a year now. I missed my blogoversary but that's okay, I want to focus on pushing past the obstacles and celebrate overall success. Okay, that is just an excuse for not noticing the time just past right on by.

I was originally a World of Warcraft blogger and I found that blogging was something I really enjoyed. I had that blog for over a year and I found that it was rather successful. After I quit playing, I reconnected with a love of reading and found I kept getting lost in book blog world and it just kind of snowballed from there and a year later, here I am.

Tell us one non-book-related thing that everyone reading your blog may not know about you. An interesting spot to be with a question like this. Do you go private? Funny? Cute? How about this, I am a sucker for comic book movies even though I have never read a comic book! I am a Marvel girl through and through and love The Avengers (GREAT MOVIE!) and The X-Men above most other comics!
What are you currently reading, or what is your favorite book you have read so far in 2012? I am a little extremely behind in my current reading with the holiday last week but I am trying to read Everneathe by Brodi Ashton. I'm also waiting to read City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare. So far in 2012, I absolutely adored reading Article 5 by Kristen Simmons and I have had the privilege to interview her as well, and she is just as pleasant and awesome as her book!

What is your favorite part about the book blogging community? Is there anything that you would like to see change in the coming years? The book blogging community is in a dynamic all its own. It is unlike any other blogging community I have been a part of. It is a great community to be a part of because you find people who enjoy reading the same things you do and it really can start a great dynamic and introduce you to knew people. If I had to say I would like to see some changes, I have noticed there can be hints of elitism in terms of people who do this and flaunt their success and brag about the things they get rather than simply sharing. I also, in my year of blogging here, have seen some pretty large explosions of drama that I hadn't really experienced in other communities and I'm not sure why that is but we all have one great goal to share great books!

Have your reading tastes changed since you started blogging? How? I came out of the gate when I reconnected with reading with guns blazing so to say. I got incredibly caught up on all of the new releases that were coming out in Young Adult lit that I really forgot about everything else that I enjoy. So my tastes have come back around to where I enjoy reading a little bit of everything again instead of just YA. I have found that I enjoy reading more horror stories as well and that hadn't been something I had every really explored so that is also exciting!

So now that I have poured my secrets, I wonder how authors feel after an interview haha. I hope to see you guys around for the rest of the armchair event and that you enjoy the event!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Reader's Advisory: The Best Books | Suggestions Wanted

So as I mentioned earlier this week, I am intending to start a new feature, Reader's Advisory, to help feature older literature. What I am looking for is YOUR input. What I need from you is some of the newer books that really stand out as the best in your opinion. It will be my goal to take these books and start up this new feature with recommendations! I am incredibly excited about this and can't wait to hear what you guys have to say!


PS. You can fill this form out as many times as you would like!



Book Blast: Masters of the Veil by Daniel Cohen + Giveaway

Masters of the Veil by Daniel A. Cohen

Life can't get much better for Sam Lock. Popular, good-looking, and with a future as a professional football player. every guy at Stanton High School wishes he were Sam. That is, until his championship football game, when Sam accidentally links with an ancient source of energy known as the Veil and reveals his potential to become a powerful sorcerer. Sam is whisked off to Atlas Crown, a community of sorcerers who utilize the Veil as a part of everyday life. Once there, he trains beside a mute boy who speaks through music, an eternal sage who's the eyes and ears of the Veil, and a beautiful girl who's pretty sure Sam's an idiot. As it becomes clear Sam's meant for power magic-the most feared and misunderstood form of sorcery-people beyond Atlas Crown learn of his dangerous potential. An exiled group of power sorcerers are eager to recruit Sam, believing that he is destined to help them achieve their long-held goal. If they succeed, they could bring about the downfall of not only Atlas Crown. but all humankind.
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Can you tell us a little about yourself? I graduated with a degree in business management but I’m trying my best not to use it. Obviously I love writing, but really I just love books in general.

What inspired you to write about magic and sorcerers? Harry Potter. And others. But mostly Harry Potter. Like most everyone else, I am obsessed with Rowling’s work. Growing up, I was always the same age as Harry’s crew and I felt a special bond to him and his world. I knew I could never create something as world shattering at J.K. did, but I knew in the very least that I wanted my work to be in the same genre. I’ve also found out by trial and error that choosing to write about magic and sorcery is choosing to be free and chained at the same time. You can create anything you want, but you have to follow your own rules or the story doesn’t work. This genre can be unbelievably liberating and mind-bogglingly frustrating at the same time.

What do you do when you’re not writing? Rock saxophone. I’ve been playing tenor saxophone for about fifteen years now, but I still have a lot to learn. I actually just moved to Austin, TX (the live music capital of the world) to try my hand at the music scene. Turns out that everyone here is amazing so it’s going to be rough.
 
Who is your favorite character from your book and why? My favorite character is a young sorcerer named Glissandro Thicket. He’s a lanky, curly-haired sorcerer on the brink of adulthood. He was born without the ability to talk, but he somehow found a way to speak through playing music on his horn.

He’s based on a type of person that I feel like happens all too often. He’s talented, has a kind heart, plenty of wisdom, but because of certain life circumstances, he’s shy and lacks the self-esteem to shine as bright as he could.

Do you work with an outline or just write? I have an outline, but in the heat of writing things seem to always change. However the bones of the story tend to stay pretty close to what I have planned out.

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors? I know this is going to sound pretentious (and I apologize for it) but I have found that there is a huge difference between writing and being an author. I started as a writer, but I find myself slowly drifting to the other side. Writing is fun. Being an author can be horrible. If you’re serious about becoming an author, be prepared to sacrifice for your craft. I don’t mean to sound melodramatic, but real writing will consume you. The best advice I can give is be careful, and make sure to find time for friends, family, and real life. 

What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What’s been the best compliment? People tended to complain about the romance in, “The Ancillary’s Mark”. And they were right to. But it was a good thing. Since I was aware of my problem with romance, I concentrated on making it better in my next book, and even better in the next book (Children of the Veil).

Was there any scene or part in your book that was difficult to write? I was battling some pretty nasty demons while writing the first book, and some of them came out in the reenactment scene. I was actually climbing a mountain alone when I put that scene together. There were a lot of things in this book that hit very close to home with me, but it felt good to breath some of my own issues into the characters. For solidarity I guess.

If you were to go live on an island and could only choose 5 books to take with you, what would you choose?
  • The Name of the Wind
  • The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
  • The Giver
  • The Alchemist
  • How to Build A Boat Using Nothing But Island Materials
If Masters of the Veil were made into a movie, who do you picture starring in it? It’s funny that you should ask. I did a [guest post] over at Fiktshun where I cast the main characters. There’s even photos!
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Saturday, May 19, 2012

A Novel Idea!

Have you ever toyed with an idea and want to make something work but you just weren't sure about how to execute it? For a while now I have contemplated some things that I wanted to feature on this blog.

One of them is that I want to feature older books. I think that the book blog community is fantastic at hyping new books but what happens to a book when its 15 minutes of fame have passed? There are awesome books like The Giver (1993) by Lois Lowry, Speak (1999) by Laurie Halse Anderson, The Luxe (2007) by Anna Godberson or anything by Lurlene McDaniel that are worth reading too!

So that was goal one, to bring back around the life of the books. Goal two was that I would love to incorporate my librarianess. Now, I am not a librarian (cough|yet|cough) but I am a Library Assistant. One of my personal projects is shelf talkers where I write and promote features for new, albeit adult, books. As an LA, one of my overall job duties is promoting Reader's Advisory. What is Reader's Advisory? I take a given topic, author, genre that someone says they are interested in and poke around as to why they enjoy it and offer recommendations.

The brilliant baby of an idea? To have a Reader's Advisory feature here on the blog! I can take newer books that are popular titles and work on recommendations to highlight these older books. I don't intend to make my way to classics, but in the end...

Fiction never dies!

I'm pretty excited about this undertaking; I say that like it is some massive big deal but my epiphany for something funky fresh and something I have been wanting to execute for a while is pretty exciting! I hope you get something enjoyable and new out of it as well! I intend (cue another coughing fit) to get this out on Thursdays. Probably every other week but this can set up time if it interests you for a weekend read!

Be on the lookout!

Cover Lover: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

If you're a fan of Shatter Me on Facebook, you get a lot of author interaction and updates. The one thing that is for certain from the updates is that Tahereh Mafi has been gifted with some absolutely stunning covers across several different countries. Here is a collection of all the beauty that can grace this book! It really is hard to choose a favorite as they really are all beautiful.

Favorite: French Cover


Italian | German | Swedish
US | Polish

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Debut Author Interview: Kristen Simmons, Article 5

It is an absolute honor to be hosting Kristen Simmons on the blog today with an interview! Her debut dystopian novel is a 2012 release, Article 5, and it is a phenomenal read! A great read for anyone who is a fan of the genre!

Kristen Simmons is the author of young adult fiction. Her debut novel, ARTICLE 5, the first installment of a dystopian trilogy, was published by Tor Teen in January 2012. Words cannot describe how happy this makes her. Kristen Simmons has a master’s degree in social work and is an advocate for mental health. She lives with her husband Jason and their precious greyhound Rudy in Tampa, Florida.


1. Can you sum up your book in 5 words or less? Oh boy, I'm notoriously bad at summing things up, but how about this: Teens hunted by moral regime! (That sounds sort of newspaper headline-ish, doesn't it?)

2. Article 5 has a setting in Kentucky and surrounding areas. As a Lexingtonian, I flailed and squeed as I don't get to experience knowing the setting like that often. Of all the places, what was it about Lousiville and Lexington that landed a special place in your book?
I LOVE that area. We lived there for about 6 years - during that time I wrote ARTICLE 5 and the sequel BREAKING POINT. It's this great, community-driven place - a clash of new, progressive ideals and traditional values. The people are friendly and welcoming, and yet there is such diversity of opinion in everything. It the was perfect place to stage a story about a girl who is learning what is really important to her.

3. Can you build up any expectations for us to live us desperate for Breaking Point? Well...I can tell you that the resistance is becoming more active, there's a daring rescue scene, and things are heating up between Chase and Ember.

4. Do you find your characters can upset you at times with their decisions or outlooks? Absolutely. Sometimes they drive me crazy. There were times I wanted to scream at them just to talk to each other! Communicate! It's not that hard! But it was for them. In ARTICLE 5, Chase and Ember struggle with things that have happened in their pasts. This doesn't make it easy to always make the right decisions. But, they live and learn, like we all do I hope!

5. How does it feel having your debut finally released? It feels like, ahhhhhh....at last.

6. People usually share the best advice they have ever been given about life, writing, etc. Have you ever been given terrible advice? Someone several years (yes, years) into the querying process told me to forget about it. If it (publication) hadn't happened yet, it probably wasn't going to. A couple years after that I wrote ARTICLE 5 and hey, it DID happen. So here's my advice to anyone working toward a goal: NEVER GIVE UP. It may take a long time, it may be painful, but in the end it will be that much sweeter when you get it.

7. What is your favorite book to movie adaptation? I think Hunger Games did a pretty good job! That and Harry Potter 3. For some reason, that movie stands out as a really nice adaptation of the book.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Review: The Poisoned House by Michael Ford

The Poisoned House by Michael Ford

Publisher: Albert Whitman & Co. (August 1, 2011)
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages (Hardcover): 319
Source: Library
ISBN-13: 9780807565896
Genre: Paranormal (Ghost Story)

Life can be cruel for a servant girl in 1850s London. Fifteen-year-old Abi is a scullery maid in Greave Hall, an elegant but troubled household. The widowed master of the house is slowly slipping into madness, and the tyrannical housekeeper, Mrs.Cotton, punishes Abi without mercy. But there's something else going on in Greave Hall, too. An otherworldly presence is making itself known, and a deadly secret will reveal itself---a secret that will shatter everything Abi knows.
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Overview:

I really did enjoy the atmosphere of this book and the story that was offered. Historically accurate, we have our heroine of the story, Abigail, facing the trials and tribulations of being a scullery maid to an overly hostile housekeeper in the mid 1800s. Unraveling a twisted but fragile plot, we get the haunting feel of this spooky story and the twists and turns of the hard mystery behind it all. What a pleasant stand alone read.


Review:

We find ourselves sent back into a dreary, historical London in the days of house masters, scullery maids, and extreme propriety. Michael Ford has crafted a daunting world with vivid and accurate descriptions for the time period that set up an daunting outlook for our story and our littler heroine, Abi.

Abigail Tamper is a young scullery maid stuck in the middle of a devastating situation. In addition to being the clutches of a rigid housekeeper and a maddening house master, Abigail finds herself alone after the death of her mother. She is starts as a broken young girl who finds herself poor and hopeless but when strange things begin to happen around the manor, she finds a hidden strength to uncover the mystery and solve the puzzles that surround her. In her sleuthing, not only does she uncover twists, turns and betrayals but evolves into being a determined young lady.

Ford did a wonderful job a creating a character that can connect to the reader. You can understand her pain, feel her fear, and hope for her to overcome the devastating truths she discovers. Other characters are not as intricately detailed and she doesn't really have much of a cast of support characters. It provides an interesting opportunity to really understand Abi and Abi alone.

Understanding Abi and her fragile situation is a major facet of understanding the entire story that is the underlying mystery here. In the beginning, I felt the plot was setting up for a shallow idea of what a haunting is or really can be. However, when it reveals more than just a haunting and that true mystery is what is lying behind this, it is more intense than a simple ghost story and it is extremely well crafted to be that puzzling mystery.

If you are looking for a cross-genre read, this covers ghost stories, mystery, and historical in one fatal, and well-crafted, swoop. I would recommend this to readers looking for a haunting story that doubles as a simple read.

Rating out of 5:

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: Iron Legends by Julie Kagawa


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Breaking the Spine that gives bloggers the chance to express their longing for books before they're released!
 
The Iron Legends by Julie Kagawa

Mark it To-Read: Goodreads
Pre-Order: Amazon
Release Day: August 28, 2012 by Harlequin

Summer, Winter, Iron.
Together at last.


Dangerous faeries. Heartbreaking romance. Thrilling action and limitless adventure. The world of the fey has never been so powerful. This collection includes three novellas set in the world of The Iron Fey plus the expanded Guide to the Nevernever and exclusive information about Julie Kagawa's unforgettable world of Faery.


This book is an anthology of Winter's Passage, Summer's Crossing, and a new novella Iron's Prophecy. I can't wait to read this book and set this book and continue collecting this amazing series as they are simply stunning books both written and in looks!

More on What's Inside:

More Reviews on The Iron Fey

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Release Spotlight: Allergies, and Awesome You by Dr. Atul Shaw

Allergies, and Awesome You by Dr. Atul Shaw

"Allergies, and Awesome You” is a part of the Amazing Allergist’s Awesome Series that empowers allergic children to live and lead great lives, allergy-free. It is a by-product of the author’s extensive medical knowledge, vast experiences as an allergy specialist, and the desire to make a difference, one allergic child at a time.

About the Author:

Atul N. Shah, MD, FACAAI, FAAAAI, is a celebrated author of this AmazingAllergist book series, founder of www.AmazingAllergist.com, and the medical director of www.Center4AsthmaAllergy.com. He is a board certified allergist who has earned an honor of fellowships in both the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology and the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

He has personally treated more than 20,000 patients, made a significant impact on more than 100,000 lives as an allergist so far, and earned the nickname “AmazingAllergist” from his patients and peers. His work is rewarded daily with numerous compliments of smiling patients and their families. He has been recognized with various awards, including the America’s Top Physicians’ Award, the Patients’ Choice Award, and the Most Compassionate Physicians’ Award. He believes that every allergic child and individual has a potential to live a great life, allergy-free. His desire to empower allergic individuals translated into this series of books.






!~Win A Kindle Fire~!

Pump Up Your Book Tour and the AmazingAllergist are giving away a FREE KINDLE FIRE! Fill out the Rafflecopter form below to win! This giveaway is only open to U.S. and Canada citizens. Deadline is June 1 and announced on June 2. If you are the winner, contact Dorothy Thompson at thewriterslife (at) gmail.com or Tracee Gleichner at tgleichner (at) gmail.com. You have 48 hours to reply. If we do not hear from you in 48 hours, another winner will be selected. Thanks and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

City of Lost Souls Release & Trailer!

It is here! The time for the fifth book in The Mortal Instruments has arrived! City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare is hitting shelves today, May 8 from Margaret K. McElderry. This book is destined to be as great as the rest of the series and has flooded the world with awesome reviews and I cannot wait to read it. The fact that it comes out in the summer is a sweet timing to fulfill my TMI needs in between the Infernal Devices wait as well! Check out the magnificent trailer and be sure to read this summer hit!





The demon Lilith has been destroyed and Jace has been freed from her captivity. But when the Shadowhunters arrive to rescue him, they find only blood and broken glass. Not only is the boy Clary loves missing–but so is the boy she hates, Sebastian, the son of her father Valentine: a son determined to succeed where their father failed, and bring the Shadowhunters to their knees.

No magic the Clave can summon can locate either boy, but Jace cannot stay away—not from Clary. When they meet again Clary discovers the horror Lilith’s dying magic has wrought—Jace is no longer the boy she loved. He and Sebastian are now bound to each other, and Jace has become what he most feared: a true servant of Valentine’s evil. The Clave is determined to destroy Sebastian, but there is no way to harm one boy without destroying the other. Will the Shadowhunters hesitate to kill one of their own?

Only a small band of Clary and Jace’s friends and family believe that Jace can still be saved — and that the fate of the Shadowhunters’ future may hinge on that salvation. They must defy the Clave and strike out on their own. Alec, Magnus, Simon and Isabelle must work together to save Jace: bargaining with the sinister Faerie Queen, contemplating deals with demons, and turning at last to the Iron Sisters, the reclusive and merciless weapons makers for the Shadowhunters, who tell them that no weapon on this earth can sever the bond between Sebastian and Jace. Their only chance of cutting Jace free is to challenge Heaven and Hell — a risk that could claim any, or all, of their lives.

And they must do it without Clary. For Clary has gone into the heart of darkness, to play a dangerous game utterly alone. The price of losing the game is not just her own life, but Jace’s soul. She’s willing to do anything for Jace, but can she even still trust him? Or is he truly lost? What price is too high to pay, even for love?

Darkness threatens to claim the Shadowhunters in the harrowing fifth book of the Mortal Instruments series.


More on The Mortal Instruments:

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Insurgent Release & Trailer

Released yesterday is the long awaited sequel to Divergent by Veronica Roth. The second book in the trilogy, Insurgent, hit the shelves yesterday, May 1, almost a year to the day from her debut. Not only has this book flooded the community with amazing reviews but if it is destined to be anything like Divergent, it is going to be an absolutely stellar read! Check out the trailer!



One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

New York Times bestselling author Veronica Roth's much-anticipated second book of the dystopian Divergent series is another intoxicating thrill ride of a story, rich with hallmark twists, heartbreaks, romance, and powerful insights about human nature.


More on Divergent: