Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 Wrap-Up

Wow, I can't believe it's the last day of 2012! What a year! I started the blog, not knowing the first thing about book blogging, but jumping in anyway. The blog has changed and grown and I've met some awesome folks along the way. Plus I even found a local group of book bloggers here in Edmonton that I can meet up with in real life and talk books!

Here's my list of the best (and worst) books for 2012, followed by a wrap-up for my 2012 Reading Challenges.

Best Book Read in 2012:

Tie: Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier and Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Best Book Read and Released in 2012:

Frost by Kate Avery Ellison

Best Indie Book Read in 2012:

Tie: Frost by Kate Avery Ellison and Thorn by Intisar Khanani

Most Disappointing Book Read in 2012:

Broken by A. E. Rought

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Challenge Recap:

New Authors (15/15)
What an Animal Challenge (6/6)
A-Z Book Challenge (26/26)

TBR Challenge (5/15)
Completely Contemp Challenge (1/9)

I'm planning to repeat both the TBR Challenge (hopefully more successfully) and the A-Z Book Challenge in 2013, along with some new ones!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Review: Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side


Title: Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side
Author: Beth Fantaskey
Series: Jessica #1
Publisher: Harcourt
Publication Date: February 1, 2009


The undead can really screw up your senior year ...

Marrying a vampire definitely doesn’t fit into Jessica Packwood’s senior year “get-a-life” plan. But then a bizarre (and incredibly hot) new exchange student named Lucius Vladescu shows up, claiming that Jessica is a Romanian vampire princess by birth—and he’s her long-lost fiancé. Armed with newfound confidence and a copy of Growing Up Undead: A Teen Vampire’s Guide to Dating, Health, and Emotions, Jessica makes a dramatic transition from average American teenager to glam European vampire princess. But when a devious cheerleader sets her sights on Lucius, Jess finds herself fighting to win back her wayward prince, stop a global vampire war—and save Lucius’s soul from eternal destruction.

My Thoughts:

Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side is a fun YA vampire book.

Lucius drove me nuts for a lot of the book. He was so arrogant, especially at the beginning before being "Americanized". And later on he is such a jerk to Jessica! If I were Jessica, I would have given him a piece of my mind way sooner!

I loved how much Jessica grew throughout this book. In the beginning she is just a plain-Jane high school girl, but by the end, she becomes very brave and total kick-butt! I was so proud of her!

The vampire lore was somewhat watered down, with Lucius being able to go out in the daylight and not sleeping in a coffin or anything like that. However, Fantaskey added some additional lore, such as that a female vampire's fangs won't descend until she is bitten by a male. I actually wasn't a fan of this addition as it comes off kind of sexist (males don't have the same restriction).

Finally, Jessica's Guide gets a ton of bonus points for having some horse scenes! As a fellow (former) 4H member, I was super excited for any scenes with horses. Although that part of the book was mainly forgotten in the second half of the story. I think I'm still looking for the adult version of Pony Pals. Although a minor, nit-picky thing that bothered me was that Jessica's parents didn't agree with drinking milk because the cows were being exploited, yet they were totally fine with their daughter riding horses and keeping her horse in a stall.It just seemed a little inconsistent (coming from a farm girl who grew up on a beef ranch, so feel free to comment on my potential biases here).

Overall, I enjoyed Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side. However, I wasn't a huge fan of Lucius. There were a lot of traits that were swoon-worthy, but there were others I couldn't quite get past.

On the Cover: 

I like this cover, but there's nothing special enough to make me love it. 

Rating: 4 Hearts

Find the Author: Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Megan Likes (New) Books (14) / Reading Through My Bookshelf (12)

Megan Likes (New) Books

Megan Likes (New) Books is a personalize weekly meme inspired by In My Mailbox, Stacking the Shelves and Book Haul where I show off the new books and bookish items I've received lately.


The Art of Fiction by John Gardner

Thanks Mom!


Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier
Sapphire Blue by Kerstin Gier
Red Glove by Holly Black
The Painted Boy by Charles de Lint
Embrace by Jessica Shirvington

For Review:

A Shade of Vampire by Bella Forrest

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Reading Through My Bookshelf

Last Weeks Status: 78
Incoming Books: 3
Books Complete:1
Current Status: 80

Friday, December 28, 2012

Review: Broken by A. E. Rought


Title: Broken
Author: A.E. Rought
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Publication Date: January 8, 2013


Imagine a modern spin on Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein where a young couple’s undying love and the grief of a father pushed beyond sanity could spell the destruction of them all.

A string of suspicious deaths near a small Michigan town ends with a fall that claims the life of Emma Gentry's boyfriend, Daniel. Emma is broken, a hollow shell mechanically moving through her days. She and Daniel had been made for each other, complete only when they were together. Now she restlessly wanders the town in the late Fall gloom, haunting the cemetery and its white-marbled tombs, feeling Daniel everywhere, his spectre in the moonlight and the fog.

When she encounters newcomer Alex Franks, only son of a renowned widowed surgeon, she's intrigued despite herself. He's an enigma, melting into shadows, preferring to keep to himself. But he is as drawn to her as she is to him. He is strangely... familiar. From the way he knows how to open her locker when it sticks, to the nickname she shared only with Daniel, even his hazel eyes with brown flecks are just like Daniel's.

The closer they become, though, the more something inside her screams there's something very wrong with Alex Franks. And when Emma stumbles across a grotesque and terrifying menagerie of mangled but living animals within the walls of the Franks' estate, creatures she surely knows must have died from their injuries, she knows.

My Thoughts:

Wow. I feel so many things went wrong for me with this book. The first 80% of this book had me bored and waiting for the excitement. The last 20% was exciting, but I had trouble getting into it by that point.

I think one of the main problems for me with this one is that it wasn't what I expected. The first 80% was basically high school romance. Emma bounces from mopey (her boyfriend died a few months ago, fair enough) to flirty and back again like an emotional yoyo. There's serious instalove, although there is an explanation for it. There's a lot of mooning over guys and self-loathing, followed by a lot of neck-kissing.

I didn't mind Emma, but I didn't really connect with her either. I pitied her in the beginning as she mourned the death of her boyfriend, Daniel, but eventually I think I got a bit bored of her. As for Alex, he was nice, but too broken and possessive for my taste. So I didn't have a solid connection with either character and with chapter after chapter of romance and flirtation, I was a bit bored.

Things definitely picked up in that last 20% of the book, but I really wish that the action had been more evenly spread through the book. Overall, I found the plot to be very predictable. One thing that majorly bothered me was the villian. He was completed one-dimensional. A character whose only trait is being evil is no fun at all. I like hints of what drives a character to do bad things, not just a remorseless psychopath. And there's another character (trying to avoid spoilers here) that I still have no clue about his/her motives.

As you can tell, this book really didn't click for me. But the one thing that I did love was the idea. A Frankenstein retelling is so cool! I'm just really bummed about the execution. The premise alone bumped this one up an entire rating. However, there was way too much romance in this one for me. I was really hoping for a bit more substance and action

Finally, there were a couple things that drove me absolutely up the wall. First, Alex is constantly messing with Emma's hair. Like, he takes her hair out of a ponytail or braid at least 4 times throughout the book. Seriously bro-slice, the girl clearly has a reason for doing her hair a certain way, so stop messing with it. Honestly, if my boyfriend did that, it would drive me crazy! The second thing is that Emma is constantly describing the way Alex smells. Like leather and lightning. Seriously, lightning? I've never been struck by lightning, but I think it would just smell like burning hair. I asked my boyfriend what lightning smells like and he had no clue, but suggested it might smell like ionized air or ozone. Neither of which smell good.

Rating: 2 hearts

Source: I received an ebook in return for an honest review.

Find the Book: Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository

Find the Author: Goodreads | Website | Twitter | Facebook

Don't Just Take My Word For It: The Daily Prophecy


Sunday, December 23, 2012

Happy Holidays!!

I just want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas! Enjoy your holidays and I will be back blogging on December 27th!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Megan Likes (New) Books (13) / Reading Through My Bookshelf (11)

Megan Likes (New) Books

Megan Likes (New) Books is a personalize weekly meme inspired by In My Mailbox, Stacking the Shelves and Book Haul where I show off the new books and bookish items I've received lately.

For Review:
Strands of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickerson
Entangled by Nikki Jefford
A Conspiracy of Alchemists by Liesel Schwarz
Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger
The 13th Sign by Kristen O'Donnell Tubb
Midwinter Blood by Marcus Sedgwick
Unremembered by Jessica Brody
Hiding Out at the Pancake Palace by Nan Marino
Soldier Dog  by Sam Angus
One + One = Blue by MJ Auch

Free ebooks:

Saving Mars by Cidney Swanson
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by J.L. Murray
Relatively Famous by Jessica Park

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Reading Through My Bookshelf

Last Weeks Status: 73
Incoming Books: 5
Books Complete: 0
Current Status: 78

I just finished exams this week, so I haven't had much time for reading lately.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Review: The Isis Pedlar


Title: The Isis Pedlar
Author: Monica Hughes
Series: The Isis Triology #3
Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: March 15, 200 (originally published January 1, 1982)


Michael Joseph Flynn has devious plans to cheat and corrupt the inhabitants of the planet Isis, and he appears to be on the verge of success. Few among the planet’s simple agricultural community can resist his magic firestone, his strangely delicious Ambrosia, and the Forever Machine. Only Flynn’s daughter, Moira, can unmask this smooth-talking pedlar. But can Moira avert disaster in time?

My Thoughts:

Overall, The Isis Pedlar is my least favourite of the Isis trilogy.I didn't feel the same connection to Moira that I did to Olwen in the first book, or Jody in the second. The dystopian aspects of Isis, which were very prominent in book 2 felt muted and less exciting now that so much time has passed.

So, I didn't have much of a connection with Moira and David felt one dimensional and boring, so that leaves us with our only really interesting character: Michael Joseph Flynn. But even then, I couldn't find any redeeming qualities to make me like him. And to be a fan of the rogue-ish spaceship captain not always working on the proper side of the law. But Mike was such a weak, despicable character, that I just felt pity for Moria for having such a shitty dad.

Oh, the instalove! I never noticed instalove when I read Monica Hughes when I was younger, but it is definitely some of the craziest instalove I've ever seen. Like they barely meet each other for one day, then David's ready to propose and I'm very lost. Did they even talk? But the book is so short at only 152 pages, that it's not enough space to put together a good love story, let alone have lots of adventure in the mix.

Finally, the ending just came together a little to neatly for my liking. Like BAM, everything is solved and nothing will ever go wrong again. When has that ever worked?

This review is coming off much more negative than I wanted it to, because, honestly, I enjoyed my re-read of the Isis trilogy, including The Isis Pedlar. It's a great cautionary tale about naivety and taking advantage of people. Overall, I recommend the Isis trilogy to young readers who want to get started read sci-fi.

On the Cover:

I'm not a huge fan of this cover, but I like how it's continuous with the rest of the trilogy. And it's better than the old one!

Rating: 3 stars

Source: Received as a gift.

Find the Book: Goodreads | Amazon

Find the Author (sadly deceased): Goodreads

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Always Me Blog Tour: Character Bios

By the summer, Tatiana “Nicky” Roman must learn to trust Xander Day if she’s ever going to discover the origin of her violent hallucinations. But centuries of being repeatedly murdered by him on July 17th are a little hard to forgive.

Over four hundred years ago, Xander thought the holy man’s prophetic words were as crazy as his eyes—that Alexander and Tatiana were destined to be together forever. But Xander misunderstood the mystic. He knows now forever meant forever taking the other’s life. If they never break the bloody curse holding them prisoners of fate, there will be only one outcome: death.

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I'm excited to be featuring Nicky's character bio as part of the blog tour!

Name:  Tatiana Nicole Roman
Age: 18
Hair/Eyes:  Long, chestnut hair/grey
Height: 5’6"
Likes:  reading, poetry, volunteering
Vices: chews her nails, a bit judgmental, tends to offend

History:  Nicky’s history is a colorful one that has always afforded her a life of privilege and comfort.  Born a princess, she’s often been removed from the crowd, held aloft.  Austere and spoiled, Tatiana started life with few redeeming qualities, but her gothic beauty and royal title gained her frequent forgiveness.  The day she happened upon the son of a dairy farmer would change her fate forever. 

Through all her different reincarnations, the life Nicky most closely resembles is when she was the second daughter of the Czar of Russia.  In this life she discovers volunteer and charity work; she becomes a more dutiful daughter.  Her family is very important to her, right to the end.  It would be this fateful ending that would strike a new fear within her heart in regards to her familiar dairy farmer’s son, now embodied as a Bolshevik guard.  It would also be the turning point when she learns to love others more than herself, though it comes at the price of never feeling love for Alexander again.  Or so she thinks.

Character Breakdown:  Years of enduring bloody, morbid nightmares and visions have caused Nicky to retrieve further into herself.  She battles losing her sanity every day.  She rarely lets anyone get too close to her.  She can still be spoiled and stuck up, but also shows that she can be caring and generous, giving much of her time and heart to the elderly.  Nicky takes her job as a dutiful daughter seriously; she's flawfully set in her ways.  That is until Xander comes into her life.  It might have taken four hundred years, but Nicky finally learns what true sacrifice is.

Awesome! Nicky sounds like a character who can definitely make an interesting book!

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Author Bio:
Kelly Riad is an American writer who graduated from Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas with a degree in journalism.  Because's she's always been a lucky little brat, her life has taken her all over the world from the hot, humid streets of Hong Kong and the crowded markets of Cairo, to the cobbles of Vienna and the ruins of Rome from where she has shamelessly stolen ideas and material for her stories.
She self-published her first young adult novel, Always Me, in September 2011.  Other Novels include Return to Arèthane and Prince of Arèthane.
For more information on Kelly's young adult fiction, visit


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (8)

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Seventeen-year-old Meg Fellowes is a wry, resourceful thief forced to join an elite group of female spies in Queen Elizabeth’s Court. There she must solve a murder, save the Crown, and resist the one thing that will become her greatest freedom–and her deadliest peril.

 For Meg and her fellow spies are not alone in their pursuit of the murderer who stalks Windsor Castle.

 A young, mysterious Spanish courtier, Count Rafe de Martine, appears at every turn in the dark and scandal-filled corridors of the Queen’s summer palace. And though secrets and danger are Meg’s stock-in-trade, she’s never bargained on falling in love…

Yep, this one sounds awesome!I'm totally in the mood for something with a historical theme. Too bad it doesn't come out until May!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

12 Days of Magic (Spellbound) Book Blitz - 2 Giveaways + Excerpt

Spellbound Book 1: Entangled - February 20th 2012Two months after dying, seventeen-year-old witch Graylee Perez wakes up in her twin sister Charlene’s body.

Until Gray finds a way back inside her own body, she’s stuck being Charlene every twenty-hour hours. Her sister has left precise instructions on how Gray should dress and behave. Looking like a prep isn’t half as bad as hanging out with Charlene’s snotty friends and gropey boyfriend.

The “normals” of McKinley High might be quick to write her behavior off as post-traumatic stress, but warlock Raj McKenna is the only person who suspects Gray has returned from the dead.

Now Gray has to solve the mystery of her death and resurrection and disentangle herself from Charlene’s body before she disappears for good.

Spellbound Book 2: Duplicity - March 20th 2012
If Graylee Perez thought sharing a body with her twin sister was bad, dealing with a duplicate of herself is two times worse. Gray the second doesn’t seem to get that Lee’s boyfriend, Raj McKenna, is off limits. Then there’s the problem of Adrian Montez. He expects one of the Grays to be his.

Nearly a year later, the council is onto them for past misdeeds; Lee, along with the rest of the coven, has lost control of her powers; and Gray is being stalked by what looks like the Grim Reaper.

If they work together, they may stand a chance of setting things right and making it out alive.

Spellbound Book 3: Enchantment - April 2013
In the third and final installment of the Spellbound series, Graylee Perez (the duplicate), goes to Spain for a summer of escape. There she meets new friends and comes face to face with her old adversary, Adrian Montez.

When Gray tries to setup a spell that will banish Adrian from her life, she inadvertently falls under a love spell instead.

Charlene returns, having hijacked a new body, for one final battle between the twins.


Today I'm excited to share with you an excerpt from the first book in the Spellbound series: Entangled.

IN THIS SCENE: After Graylee Perez is brought back to life she must pretend to be her twin sister Charlene while she’s stuck sharing her body. To “help” her out, Charlene has started a communications notebook instructing Gray on ‘How to be Charlene.’
“…for now I’m supposed to pretend to be Charlene?” Mom brought a notebook over. “Yes, and your sister left some notes to help you out.” Gray stared at the notebook a moment before taking it. She flipped it open.


No wearing your clothes in public. I will choose an outfit for you to wear to school on the days you’re me.

Hair must be worn down. No pig tails, pony tails, hair clips or goofy Princess Leia style buns on the side of your head.

No leaving the house without makeup. I have taped examples and tips in the following pages on how to create a smoky eye.

Gray flipped back to several pages of magazine print and step-by-step illustrated guides for creating a smoldering look. She flipped back to the front page.

No speaking to anyone at McKinley who isn’t on the approved list (see the following pages). Don’t even think about trying to visit with your old friends unless you want to get us committed to an insane asylum.

Absolutely no—UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES—having sex with Blake.


Gray looked up, her face still contorted. “Did you read this?” Mom was putting away the brown sugar. “No, Charlene told me not to.” “And you listened to her?” Mom looked directly at Gray. “She said it was private.” More like psychotic.

Nikki Jefford:
Nikki Jefford is a third generation Alaskan who loves fictional bad boys and heroines who kick butt. She writes edgy teen fiction, including the Spellbound Trilogy and Aurora Sky: Vampire Hunter.

Nikki married Sébastien, the love of her life, while working as a teaching assistant in France. They now reside in the not-so-tropical San Juan Islands, 70 miles northeast of Forks, Washington.

Author Links:

 a Rafflecopter giveaway
  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, December 17, 2012

Review: Tempestuous


Title: Tempstuous
Authors: Kim Askew and Amy Helmes
Series: Twisted Lit #1
Publisher: Merit Press
Publication Date: December 18, 2012


Recently banished, unfairly, by the school’s popular crowd, former “it girl,” Miranda Prospero, finds herself in a brave new world: holding dominion amongst a rag-tag crew of geeks and misfits where she works at the Hot-Dog Kabob in the food court of her local mall. When the worst winter storm of the season causes mall workers and last-minute shoppers to be snowed-in for the night, Miranda seizes the opportunity to get revenge against the catty clique behind her social exile. With help from her delightfully dweeby coworker, Ariel, and a sullen loner named Caleb who works at the mall’s nearby gaming and magic shop, Miranda uses charm and trickery to set things to right during this spirited take on Shakespeare’s The Tempest.

My Thoughts:

I found Tempestuous to be the kind of book you liked, but can't remember the details when you think about it a month later. That is to say, I found it to be enjoyable, but not particularly memorable.

Our heroine, Miranda Prospero, is a cocky high school student who has recently fallen from grace at her fancy prep school as part of a cheating scandal. In order to pay restitution, Miranda is stuck working a crappy job serving hot dogs at the mall food court. That's exactly what Miranda, along with her quirky co-worker, Ariel, is doing when the storm of the century hits, causing the roads to become impassible and stranding everyone in the mall.

Miranda has to contend not only with the dorky teens that work in the food court, but also with her ex-boyfriend and ex-best friends, who are also stranded in the mall. The public and private school teens polarize and pranks and mayhem ensue. But it's not all fun and games. A thief is loose in the mall and he or she isn't above assaulting potential witnesses, or worse.

As Miranda and Ariel, along with their fellow mall employees, including the mysterious Caleb, who Miranda finds herself manacled to, race to not only catch the thief, but also enact some revenge of Miranda's snotty private school classmates, they might just learn something about each other and themselves.

 Miranda is not the most likable heroine. She's cocky, manipulative and stuck-up. While she does do some growing though the book, I still wasn't a huge fan of her calculated and some-times insincere tactics. However, I still think her heart is in the right place and you really can't expect someone to change their personality overnight.

The secondary characters were fairly enjoyable and force the reader to remember than no one is simply a stereotype. I like Ariel, although I wish she could have had a bit more backbone and not been as devoted to Miranda as she was. Caleb was your typical loner-type, who had all kinds of onion-y layers that Miranda got to discover through the night locked in the mall.

I was surprised at how much happened in this relatively short book. It seemed like the pranks, jokes and close-calls were never-ending, although they did wrap up in the end into a neat little package.

The parallels to Shakespeare's The Tempest were fairly weak, although the resemblance came through in the character names (Miranda Prospero, Ariel and even Caleb, which is similar to the character of Caliban) and the idea of a storm marooning the characters.

While I didn't find Tempestuous to be anything ground-breaking or overly memorable, I still enjoyed it and am looking forward to reading Exposure, the next book in the Twisted Lit series.

On the Cover:

 I like the cover. It's not super amazing or anything, but I like it.

Rating: 3 Hearts

Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Find the Book: Goodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository

Find the Authors: Kim's Goodreads | Amy's Goodreads | Kim's Twitter | Amy's Twitter | Website

Book Trailer:

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Megan Likes (New) Books (12) / Reading Through My Bookshelf (10)

Megan Likes (New) Books

Megan Likes (New) Books is a personalize weekly meme inspired by In My Mailbox, Stacking the Shelves and Book Haul where I show off the new books and bookish items I've received lately.

For Review:
Florence - Ciye Cho
A Shimmer of Angels - Lisa M. Basso
Fractured Soul - Rachel McClellan
Confessions of an Angry Girl - Louise Rozett

Thanks to Ciye Cho, Harlequin UK, Month9Books and Cedar Fort!

Team Human - Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Rees Brennan
Variant - Robinson Wells
Fat Vampire - Adam Rex
Everneath - Brodi Ashton
Beastly - Alex Flinn
Die for Me - Amy Plum
Enthralled - Melissa Marr and Kelley Armstrong

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Reading Through My Bookshelf

Last Weeks Status: 67
Incoming Books: 7
Books Complete: 1
Current Status: 73

I went on a bit of a shopping spree this week, but they all sound really good and I don't plan on buying anything for a while!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Blog Tour: River's Recruit Author Interview

Series: Sanctuary Series, Book 1

Release Date Fall, 2012

Devastated by the death of his identical twin, Jonathan McKnight flees to the Sawatch Mountain Wilderness. He seeks redemption, but all he finds is trouble... and a beautiful young woman named River that belongs to a primitive and dangerous cult.

Jonathan wants to rescue River and taker her back to his world. River wants to recruit him. Fate has other plans for both of them.

River's Recruit (The Sanctuary Series)

I'm very excited be have Charlotte Abel on my blog today for an interview! Hooray! 

Hi Charlotte and welcome to Megan Likes Books!
 Thanks, Megan.

First, can you tell us a little more about the River’s Recruit?
Jonathan McKnight lost everything in Afghanistan. His left hand, his identical twin, his self-respect and his naive belief that good always triumphs over evil. Burdened by grief and guilt, he searches for redemption on a solo backpacking trip into the remote Sawatch Mountains of Colorado and discovers a secret tribe of shifters.

River, the beautiful young shifter that rescues Jonathan has been promised to a man she despises. A man that does not desire her and only wants to use her to achieve his own political goals. Jonathan is more than a romantic rival. He’s a threat to those goals. 

The only way to save Jonathan’s life is for River to take him as her recruit.   

As Jonathan learns more about the horrors of River’s cult-like society, he becomes even more determined to escape it, until he learns that River is responsible for everything he does and will be executed if he succeeds. 

Escape is not an option—unless Jonathan can persuade River to leave with him. And if she refuses? Well, then, he’ll just have to kidnap her.

Describe yourself in 5 words.
Introvert with a wild imagination.

What is the most important thing you’ve learned as a writer?
To never mention a projected publication date for any work in progress.

Can you describe your writing style?
 I started out as a seat-of-the-pants writer, letting the characters tell their own stories. I was just there to take dictation. Now, I outline first, hoping it will save time and require fewer drafts. So far, that hasn't been the case.

Who are your biggest literary inspirations?
Shelly Crane, Abbi Glines, Nancy Straight, Amy Bartol, Shannon Dermott, Nyrae Dawn and Michelle Leighton


What’s next on your writing agenda?
Finish the final book of the Channie Series, Finding Valor. Write the next two books of the Sanctuary Series, River's Remorse and River's Revenge. Then get started on the next series.

Any words of wisdom for aspiring writers?
Buy and study: Character and Point of View by Orson Scott Card; Writing Fiction for Dummies by Randy Ingermanson; and Story Engineering by Larry Brooks.

Thanks so much for stopping by!
You're welcome! Thanks for having me ;-)

About the Author:
Charlotte Abel was born and raised in Oklahoma where she met her soulmate, Pete. She chased him to Boulder, Colorado and finally convinced him they were meant to be together forever. They've raised three kids, two ferrets, three dogs and countless hamsters -- and are still happily married.
She's in love with "real" life and paranormal romance. When she's not reading or writing, Charlotte enjoys hiking, bicycling and primitive archery (although she's never shot at anything other than a target!)
Blog | Goodreads | Twitter

Thursday, December 13, 2012

End of the World Giveaway Hop
December 14th to 21st
Hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer
& My Life With Books

The Mayan Calendar Ends!
Does it mean the end of the World? 

Just to be sure, I've teamed up with awesome author Nina Post (who knows a thing or two about apocalypses) to give away her apocalypse books. Awesome right? There's a U.S. resident giveaway for a paperback copy of The Last Condo Board of the Apocalypse (with a sweet new cover). But wait, there's more! For our awesome international friends, there's a giveaway for ebook copies of both The Last Condo Board of the Apocalypse and The Last Donut Shop of the Apocalypse! Good luck everyone (assuming we survive).

a Rafflecopter giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Also, be sure to check out the rest of the awesome giveaways going on!

Dear Santa Wishlish

Today I'm excited to join the WinterHaven Sleigh Tour hosted by WinterHaven Books. This week, I am writing Santa a letter for my book wish that I hope to receive this season. To see who else has written to Santa, go to WinterHaven Sleigh Tour for a list of participating blogs.

 Dear Santa,

I hope everything is well with you, Mrs. Claus and all the elves. It's certainly felt like the North Pole here with all the snow we've been getting. I've tried very hard to be good this year and I think the only time I've slipped up has been to buy too many books. But there are still a few I'd love it if you could bring me!
  • Origin by Jessica Khoury
  • Hallowed by Cynthia Hand (paperback please - comes out Dec. 26, but maybe you can get an early copy. You know, because you're Santa!)
  • Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson
  • The Catastrophic History of You and Me by Jess Rothenburg
  • Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood
  • Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver (hardcover please)
  • Grave Mercy by R. L. LeFevers
  • Partials by Dan Wells
  • Croak by Gina Damico
  • Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard
  • The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
  • Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Mass
  • Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout
  • The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
  • Ashfall by Mike Mullen
  • Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
  • Wanderlove by Kristen Hubbard

Thanks Santa. Please say hello to Mrs. Claus for me and give Rudolph an extra reindeer treat!

Merry Christmas!

So, what are you hoping Santa will bring you this year?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (7)

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week my WoW is Stung by Bethany Wiggins. It sounds creepy and amazing! So excited for this one! I love the bug/needle cover. So creepy!

There is no cure for being stung.

Fiona doesn’t remember going to sleep. But when she opens her eyes, she discovers her entire world has been altered—her house is abandoned and broken, and the entire neighborhood is barren and dead. Even stranger is the tattoo on her right hand—a black oval with five marks on either side—that she doesn’t remember getting but somehow knows she must cover at any cost. She’s right.

Those bearing the tattoo have turned into mindless, violent beasts that roam the streets and sewers, preying upon the unbranded while a select few live protected inside a fortress-like wall, their lives devoted to rebuilding society and killing all who bear the mark.

Now Fiona has awakened branded, alone—and on the wrong side of the wall.

What are you waiting on this week?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Fang Girl Book Blitz

Fang Girl by Helen Keeble - September 11th 2012 / HarperTeen 

Things That Are Destroying Jane Greene’s Undead Social Life Before It Can Even Begin:

1) A twelve-year-old brother who’s convinced she’s a zombie.
2) Parents who are begging her to turn them into vampires.
3) The pet goldfish she accidentally turns instead.
4) Weird superpowers that let her rip the heads off of every other vampire she meets.(Sounds cool, but it doesn’t win you many friends.)
5) A pyschotic vampire creator who’s using her to carry out a plan for world domination.

And finally:
6) A seriously ripped vampire hunter who either wants to stake her or make out with her. Not sure which.

Being an undead, eternally pasty fifteen-year-old isn’t quite the sexy, brooding, angst-fest Jane always imagined....

Helen Keeble’s riotous debut novel combines the humor of Vladimir Tod with Ally Carter’s spot-on teen voice. With a one-of-a-kind vampire mythology and an irresistibly relatable undead heroine, this uproarious page-turner will leave readers bloodthirsty for more.

I'm excited to share with you an interview with author Helen Keeble!

What would you do if you woke up in a coffin and discovered you were a vampire?

Um, probably panic and cry in a very undignified fashion. I’m much less tough and resourceful than FANG GIRL’s Jane! But once I’d got a grip on myself, I’d do the same thing that Jane does – phone my family. Who wants to be a solitary creature of the night when you can go back home where there’s bed, broadband, and people who love you?

Do you work with an outline, or just write and go with the flow?

When I first started writing FANG GIRL, I was definitely just going with the flow. The first draft was actually written in just thirty days, as part of NaNoWriMo 2008 (National Novel Writing Month – a yearly challenge where people try to write a whole novel in a month). But given that it took me at least five drafts and an entire year to turn that rough manuscript into something coherent (let alone publishable), I’m now a firm convert to outlining.

Plus, of course, these days I have to outline, because my editor wants to know what I’m going to write before I write it, so she can decide whether or not to buy it! So my second book, NO ANGEL, had a fairly detailed outline… not that I stuck to it.

Which came first – the story or the characters? 

I always get a couple of characters first (in this case, Jane and her family), and then have to figure out what story to tell with them. Then it’s an iterative development – I create new characters to meet the demands of that story, but those characters in turn alter the shape of the story so I have to change that, which may mean I have to tweak the characters again… and round it goes!

If you could go to lunch with any author, who would you pick?

I can only have one? Peter S. Beagle, author of The Last Unicorn, which I have probably read more than any other book in my life. I, uh, may also have watched the animated film version every single week between the ages of six and eight.

If I could have lunch with more than one, then I’d want Peter S. Beagle, Steph Swainston, China Mieville, Dan Abnett, Sarah Rees Brennan, Terry Pratchett, Ursula Le Guin, Jacqueline Carey, and Cassandra Claire. Now that would be a literary party to remember!

Is there anything about you that would surprise your readers?

I may be a writer by night, but in the day I’m a professional engineer, developing software for industrial controllers. The cool (and terrifying) way of saying this is: “I design stuff that controls nuclear power plants!” The more accurate way of describing it is “I sit in a lot of meetings where people argue about tiny details in C++ code.” But either way, it’s an awesome job!

Can you give us any hints about book 2?

My next book (out in Fall 2013) is not actually a sequel to FANG GIRL – it’s another YA paranormal comedy with the same style of humour, but it’s not about vampires. It’s called NO ANGEL, so you can probably guess what romantic subgenre I’m poking fun at this time…

I’m working on a sequel to FANG GIRL at the moment, though can’t yet say when (or if) it’ll be released – whether or not my publisher, HarperTeen, decide to buy it will depend on how well FANG GIRL does! But I can tell you that the working title is THANK DOG, and in it Jane meets the inevitable hot shirtless werewolf… who is not quite what she’s expecting.

Helen Keeble:
Helen Keeble is not, and never has been, a vampire. She has however been a teenager. She grew up partly in America and partly in England, which has left her with an unidentifiable accent and a fondness for peanut butter crackers washed   down with a nice cup of tea. She now lives in West Sussex, England, with her husband, daughter, two cats, and a variable number of fish. To the best of her knowledge, none of the fish are undead.

Her first novel, a YA vampire comedy called FANG GIRL, is out 11th Sept 2012, from HarperTeen.

She also has another YA paranormal comedy novel (provisionally titled NO ANGEL) scheduled for Sept 2013.

Author Links:
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