Waiting On Wednesday – 42

Hello gentle reader,

Today I’m waiting on THE FOREVER SONG (Blood of Eden #3) by Julie Kagawa (expected publication: 15th April 2014 by Harlequin Teen). I enjoyed the first two books in this YA Fantasy trilogy (although THE IMMORTAL RULES was a bit slow-paced, THE ETERNITY CURE really grabbed me). And now I can’t wait to read the finale and find out what will happen to Allie and Zeke!

The Forever Song

From Goodreads:

VENGEANCE WILL BE HERS

Allison Sekemoto once struggled with the question: human or monster?

With the death of her love, Zeke, she has her answer.

MONSTER

Allie will embrace her cold vampire side to hunt down and end Sarren, the psychopathic vampire who murdered Zeke. But the trail is bloody and long, and Sarren has left many surprises for Allie and her companions—her creator, Kanin, and her blood brother, Jackal. The trail is leading straight to the one place they must protect at any cost—the last vampire-free zone on Earth, Eden. And Sarren has one final, brutal shock in store for Allie.

In a ruined world where no life is sacred and former allies can turn on you in one heartbeat, Allie will face her darkest days. And if she succeeds, triumph is short-lived in the face of surviving forever alone.

“Waiting On Wednesday” is a weekly event, hosted by book blogger Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

Have you read The Immortal Rules and The Eternity Cure? Is The Forever Song on your TBR list? What are you waiting on this week?

Book of the Week – 23

Hello gentle reader,

this week I’m reading Insatiable and its sequel Overbite by Meg Cabot (published in June 2010 and June 2011 by Harper Collins). It’s an Adult Urban Fantasy with vampires and romance.

Meg-Cabot-Overbite-and-Insatiable

I enjoy Meg Cabot’s books and I love vampire stories, so the only reason I waited this long to read this series is that Insatiable received bad reviews when it came out. I now wish I hadn’t paid attention to those reviews, because I really loved these books!

Meg Cabot cleverly re-tells Bram Stoker’s Dracula and sets her story in modern-day New York City. Her heroine, Meena Harper (!) is tired of fictional vampires invading her bookstore, her TV screen and her day job (she’s a writer for a soap-opera). She meets a Romanian prince and falls in love with him, until she realises he harbours dark secrets, like the fact he’s on the run from Vatican vampire-hunters…

Obviously, this isn’t your usual paranormal romance. Meg Cabot references the entire vampire mythology, from Vlad The Impaler to Sookie Stackhouse and Twilight. She mixes elements of a thriller (dead girls turn up in Central Park) with fun comedy moments.

It’s a truly enjoyable read, and I recommend it if you like well-written vampire stories.

What are you reading this week?

YA Summer Reads 2013

Hello gentle reader,

are you looking for a good YA book to read this summer? Here are a few suggestions…

born-of-illusion-teri-brown-new

Born of Illusion by Teri Brown (Published June 11th 2013 by Balzer & Bray) – Historical Fantasy

A Darkness Strange and Lovely

A Darkness Strange And Lovely by Susan Dennard (Published July 23d 2013 by Harper Teen) – Steampunk + Zombies

Courtship and Curses

Courtship And Curses by Marissa Doyle (Published August 7th 2012 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) – Historical Fantasy + Witches

Between the devil and the deep blue sea

Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke (Published August 15th 2013 by Dial) – Gothic Fantasy

The Dark Between

The Dark Between by Sonia Gensler (Published August 27th 2013 by Knopf Books for Young Readers) – Historical Fantasy – Spiritualism

Coldest Girl In Coldtown

The Coldest Girl In Coldtown by Holly Black (Published September 3rd 2013 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers) – Fantasy – Vampires

What about you? What are you reading this summer? Are these books on your To-BeRead list? Feel free to share your recommendations below!

Book of the Week – 14

This week I am reading What Kills Me by Wynne Channing (published June 2012 by Jet & Jack Press). It is a YA Paranormal romance. I don’t usually read that kind of books, but I won a copy on Kayla Curry’s blog during her Trick Or Tweet Giveaway. And it’s a story about vampires, so I really couldn’t say no to reading that book!

From Goodreads:

An ancient prophecy warns of a girl destined to cause the extinction of the vampire race.

So when 17-year-old Axelia falls into a sacred well filled with blood and emerges a vampire, the immortal empire believes she is this legendary destroyer. Hunted by soldiers and mercenaries, Axelia and her reluctant ally, the vampire bladesmith Lucas, must battle to survive.

How will she convince the empire that she is just an innocent teenager-turned bloodsucker and not a creature of destruction? And if she cannot, can a vampire who is afraid of bugs summon the courage to fight a nation of immortals?

What are you reading this week?

YA Halloween reads

What’s on my bookshlef ? 7

Are you looking for scary books that are suitable for Young Adult readers? On my bookshelf, you can find books with…

Zombies: Something Strange & Deadly by Susan Dennard

1876: the Dead are rising in Philadelphia and only a teenage girl in petticoats can stop them…

Ghosts: Uncle Montague’s Tales of Terror by Chris Priestley

Edward visits his Uncle Montague, who tells him some of the most frightening stories he knows. But the house around them is creepy and Uncle Montague’s tales sound more and more real as time goes by…

Vampires: Department 19 by Will Hill

Department 19 is a secret organization that deals with all things supernatural. With the help of its strange members, a teenager must save his mother from a powerful vampire.

Witches: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Blue comes from a family of witches, but she has no power of her own. The only thing she knows for sure is that she will cause her true love to die. Which wasn’t a problem until she met the Raven Boys…

Death: Abandon by Meg Cabot

A teenage girl escapes more the Realm of the Dead (the Underworld), only to find herself in a lot of supernatural trouble. With more romance than scary moments, this book will suit readers who enjoy YA Paranormal reads.

Any other books you’d recommend? Feel free to comment! And don’t forget you can still win The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman here.

100 Followers Giveaway! (closed)

*Giveaway is now closed*

Welcome gentle reader,

today my blog is 6 months old AND it has reached 100 followers, so I’m hosting a very special giveaway to thank YOU, my amazing followers. The giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY and it runs from today, Saturday, September 1st to Sunday, September 16th 2012.

ONE lucky winner will receive the TWO following books: Infinite Days and Stolen Night by Rebecca Maizel. Both books are new paperbacks (UK edition).

If you have been following my blog for a while, you know that I LOVE Rebecca’s YA series The Vampire Queen. I was lucky enough to do an interview with her a few months ago (you can read it here) and when Stolen Night finally came out in the UK in July, she OFFERED to send me a copy for myself AND a copy for a giveaway. That’s how amazing she is.

So in case you’re not convinced yet, I’m offering you a chance to read her awesome books. Stolen Night won’t come out in the US until January 2013, so this giveaway is open internationally.

You can watch the trailer for Infinite Days below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JXYJQgS2UHE

And you can visit Rebecca’s website here and her blog here.

Giveaway information:

  • The giveaway is open until Sunday, September 16th 2012 at midnight (BST time)
  • To enter please fill in the contact form below with your name and email. You HAVE TO be a blog follower to enter. Please state if you follow by email, WordPress or RSS feed.
  • If you’re a Twitter follower , if you like my page on Facebook or if you tweet about the giveawau, this will grant you an extra entry. Mention it below.
  • Entrants must be at least 13 years of age.
  • This giveaway is open Internationally.
  • The winner will be chosen randomly, notified by email and will have 72 hours to reply or a new winner will be chosen.
  • I am not responsible for items lost in the mail.
  • I hold the right to end the giveaway before its original deadline without any prior notice.
  • I hold the right to disqualify any entry as I see fit.
  • Privacy information: no information given for this giveaway will be used for other purpose than this giveaway. All information provided (names, emails and mail addresses) will be deleted after the giveaway.

Good luck and feel free to leave me a comment below…

Book of the Week – 11

This week I’m reading a vampire book again: The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa (first published in April 2012 by Harlequin Teen). I have never read Julie Kagawa’s other YA series The Iron Fey but I couldn’t wait to get my hands on her new vampire series Blood of Eden. Book 2 of this series, entitled The Eternity Cure, is scheduled to be released in May 2013. In the meantime, I suggest you check out Book 1…

From Goodreads:

“In a future world, vampires reign. Humans are blood cattle. And one girl will search for the key to save humanity.”Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a vampire city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten.

Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of “them.” The vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself is attacked–and given the ultimate choice. Die…or become one of the monsters.

Faced with her own mortality, Allie becomes what she despises most. To survive, she must learn the rules of being immortal, including the most important: go long enough without human blood, and you will go mad.

Then Allie is forced to flee into the unknown, outside her city walls. There she joins a ragged band of humans who are seeking a legend–a possible cure to the disease that killed off most of humankind and created the rabids, the mindless creatures who threaten humans and vampires alike.

But it isn’t easy to pass for human. Especially not around Zeke, who might see past the monster inside her. And Allie soon must decide what–and who–is worth dying for.”

Visit the Blood of Eden official website here.

What are you reading this week?

A Writer in the Spotlight – Ada Adams

This week again I was lucky enough to have a YA author give me an exclusive interview! The idea behind the “Writer in the Spotlight” feature is that published (and bestselling) authors are the best source of advice for us, would-be-published writers. Today’s interview is with Ada Adams, a debut author who also happens to be successfully self-published.

Author : Ada Adams

Genre : Young Adult, Science Fiction & Fantasy

Location: Toronto, Canada

Website : http://www.revampedbook.com

Twitter: Ada_Adams

Books : ReVamped (2012)

My interview (27/06/2012):

1. Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?

I’ve always loved to create stories. I was the type of child that could entertain myself for hours, simply by digging deep into my imagination. At the age of five, I became a full-time chapter book reader and started writing my own stories. My mom still reads them, although I don’t think that anyone else would be very interested in my early writing! When I was twelve or thirteen, I took a break from writing stories and began writing synopses—just synopses—for some reason! That was my period of contemporary mysteries, friendship stories, and cute boy characters with piercing blue eyes. High school creative writing courses solidified my passion for the craft, and I never looked back. I love that writing is so personal and creative; it’s a different process for every writer.

2. When and where do you write?

When I’m working on a project, I usually write full-time from around 8 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (with an hour or so lost due to fun online distractions). When I’m trying to finish a project (especially in the editing stages), I write all the time. Sometimes, I forget to eat and sleep. Most of my projects have been written in my office space, but ever since I moved to a new place this year, I find myself writing everywhere except my new office. I think it still needs some breaking-in!

3. Do you ever experience writer’s block?

I most certainly do. It usually doesn’t center around the overall plot of a story, but rather a small scene or a minor event. I find that swimming or running are my best “writer’s block” remedies.

4. What do you say to people who want to be writers?

I say “go for it”! I think writing is such a personal journey for each individual. It’s often very hard to give advice on the process, because what works for one writer may not work for another. My biggest piece of advice would be to love what you do, keep writing, and read. I love learning about new writers and their projects. I think it’s wonderful that our world is filled with so many diverse writers and readers.

5. Is it better to outline and plot your novel or “go with the flow”?

Once again, this is probably very different for each writer. Personally, I need to work with an outline (especially for a novel). I like lists and plans, so in order for the story to be the best it can be, I make sure to plot it out. However, while outlines are important, it’s also important not to be too rigid with them. I’ve often steered away from the outlined path simply because of a character’s action or motivation. I enjoy when my characters surprise me. They often make the story a lot better than originally planned!

6. Do you set goals for yourself as you write?

I outline the entire piece in “words per day” before I embark on a new writing project. Often, my goals are somewhat unrealistic; however they do help keep me on track.


On “ReVamped”:

7. To write this book, where did you get your inspiration from?

The main inspiration for this series came from my observation of the fact that our society is currently head-over-heels in love with vampires! This fascination has always been present, but it has grown stronger over the past decade. I wanted to explore what would happen if, because of our love for them, vampires decided to “come out of the coffin”.

I love that our world is filled with so many great books, films, and shows about strong, dark, sexy vampires, but I wanted to take a different approach to the genre. I wanted to put a humorous spin on vampires, and explore the world of misfits—the vampires who need a lot of “revamping” to even become decent human beings, let alone great vamps!

Originally, “ReVamped” was a TV show script. I was inspired by some great comedic shows and web series about life’s underdogs. However, the budget for shooting the project in the quality that I had envisioned was simply incomprehensible, so I let it sit on my computer for a couple of months. Soon, the characters began to invade my dreams—and even waking moments—and I simply knew that I would have to finish their story one way or another. Hence, “ReVamped” the novel was born!

8. Dawn: How did you come up with this character?

In most YA vampire novels, it’s somewhat rare for the main character to actually be a vampire. However, I really wanted Dawn to be unique. I created her to be strong, adventurous, and intelligent, yet to also have some quirks and weaknesses. I’m not a big fan of “perfect” characters, so I enjoy seeing Dawn make mistakes or be unsure of herself at times. (Hmm…I just divulged that I like to watch my character struggle? Does that make me a mean writer?)  Weaknesses also provide the character with opportunity for growth as the series develops. As well, Dawn is not the type of girl that “needs” a man in her life, so I didn’t want to rush any kind of romantic relationships when it came to the guys in the story. Even in fantastical stories, I think it’s important to have strong female role models that girls can admire or relate to.

Many readers have asked me if “I am Dawn”, and to that I have to say that all of my characters are completely fictional. Sure, I injected Dawn with my love for martial arts and adventure, but I would never be able to objectively write about a character if I saw them as myself or they reminded me of someone I knew. Dawn is 100% Dawn (despite “you know what”)). 😉

9. What type of music did you listen to when you wrote this book?

To be perfectly honest, I’m the type of writer that requires silence while writing. I get very distracted when I listen to music (especially songs with words in them) I did get inspired by certain songs (before and after the process). Florence and the Machine’s “Shake It Out” comes to mind when I think of Dawn’s journey (especially in the third book).

10. What are you working on now? Is “ReAwakened” finished or still a work in progress?

I’m currently working on the rest of the “Angel Creek” series, as well as a few other personal projects. My main goal is to finish Dawn’s story within the next year. “ReAwakened” is almost finished. It’s currently being subjected to a lot of rewrites and edits—my least favourite part of the writing process (though often the most important).

Reading advice:
11. Which authors inspire you now? Any YA books you would recommend?

Overall, I’m a very diverse reader. I love the fact that there are so many talented YA authors out there (I still have many to explore)! I usually enjoy books with strong heroines like Katniss from “The Hunger Games”, and I’ve always been in admiration of J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series. Whether you’ve enjoyed the story or not, there is no denying that Ms. Rowling is immensely talented and extremely creative! “Harry Potter” was a book that instilled a passion for reading in so many young readers. Is there any greater accomplishment for an author?

On self-publishing:

12. Why did you choose to self-publish “ReVamped” and would you recommend self-publishing to would-be-published writers out there?

One word: vampires. It’s a genre that’s somewhat oversaturated at the moment, so I weighed my options of spending the next few years trying to pitch a debut vampire novel, or sharing it with my readers a little sooner. I really wanted to tell Dawn’s story, so I did a lot of research on self-publishing and decided that for this particular book, it was the way to go. However, I have many other projects that I would never allow to see the light of day unless they take the traditional publishing route. Self-publishing is not easy, especially since I am a perfectionist and strive to create the best product possible.

There’s a lot to say for the importance of agents and publishers in the industry. I believe that traditional publishers can aid in ensuring that the author’s best work is presented to readers. It’s not easy to pursue a self-published route, but if you choose to do so, my advice would be to make certain that your work and presentation is professional, your editing is good, and your pricing is fair.

I know that there is much discussion amongst the writing and reading communities when it comes to traditional vs. self-publishing, but personally, I’m not on either side of the spectrum. There are some amazing indie authors out there, just like there are some awesome traditionally published authors. Every single writer’s (and even novel’s) journey is different! As long as you love what you do and believe in your work, you’re already on the right track!

Thank you again for doing this!

Thank you so much for the wonderful interview questions, EM! I had a blast!

 

ReVamped is out now and you can buy it on Amazon.

Book of the Week – 9

This week I am reading ReVamped by debut author Ada Adams. I don’t usually read self-published books but since this one has been published in February 2012, I have only read enthusiastic reviews about it. And since it’s a vampire book, I had to check it out…

From Goodreads:

“A simple mission turned deadly.

Nineteen-year-old vampire Dawn has led a sheltered life within the confines of her father’s presidential headquarters. Upon being sent on a mission to revamp four goofy misfits into guardians of a peaceful little town of Angel Creek, Dawn believes that all her dreams have finally come true. What starts off as a simple task, turns into something unexpected, changing Dawn’s life forever and leading the action-loving, thrill-seeking vampire teen on a path of mystery, danger and intrigue.

When a human girl is kidnapped by a group of rogue vamps, Dawn discovers that there is more going on in Angel Creek than meets the eye. And it all connects to Ethan, the cute newcomer who seems too perfect to be true, Sebastian, the mysterious vampire with a turbulent past, and even Dawn herself. Dawn must not only succeed in revamping the troubled recruits, but must also prevent the vampire race from being overtaken by a malevolent villain who has a strange and obsessive fascination with her. As threat escalates, romance blooms, and ghosts from her past begin to surface, Dawn is sure of only one thing: her life will never be the same.”

Visit Ada’s website here.

What are you reading this week?

Book of the Week – 8

This week I am reading a vampire book! It has been a while since I read a book with vampires in it, so I picked Sunshine by Robin McKinley (2003).

From Amazon:

“Rae Seddon, nicknamed “Sunshine”, works long hours in her family’s coffeehouse, making her famous “Cinnamon Rolls as Big as Your Head,” Bitter Chocolate Death, Caramel Cataclysm, and other sugar-shock specials that keep the customers coming. She’s happy in her bakery—which her stepfather built specially for her—but sometimes she feels that she should have life outside the coffeehouse.

One evening she drives out to the lake to get away from her family, to be alone. There hasn’t been any trouble at the lake for years.

But there is trouble that night for Sunshine. She is abducted by a gang of vampires who shackle her to the wall of an abandoned mansion, within easy reach of a figure stirring in the moonlight. Sunshine knows that he is a vampire and that she is to be his dinner. Yet when dawn breaks he has not attempted to harm her.

And now he needs her help to survive the day…”

Visit Robin McKinley’s website here.