Monday, October 12, 2009

My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent

She doesn't see dead people, but…
She senses when someone near her is about to die. And when that happens, a force beyond her control compels her to scream bloody murder. Literally.
Kaylee just wants to enjoy having caught the attention of the hottest guy in school. But a normal date is hard to come by when Nash seems to know more about her need to scream than she does. And when classmates start dropping dead for no apparent reason, only Kaylee knows who'll be next…
My Soul to Take was a great read. It was the type of book I just couldn't put down; I wanted, no, needed to continue reading because I was so engrossed in the story.

It was very original. I'd never read, come across, or even heard of a story similar to this one. The concept of "bean sidhes" was one that I was unfamiliar with. But I was very interested in learning about these wailing, banshee creatures.

The storyline was filled with action and mystery. It was thrilling to be there when Kaylee slowly discovers who she really is. I wish I could tell you more about that but I don't want to spoil anything for you.

Kaylee was a very well-fleshed-out character. Vincent vividly describes her every thought, emotion, and feeling. You get to know her so well you feel like you've known her forever.

There are also romantic elements interwoven into the story. Kaylee's love interests do not overwhelm the story so if the romance aspect doesn't appeal to you, you needn't worry. It's definitely a nice part of the subplot but it's not a major part of the big picture. I, however, enjoyed reading about how Kaylee's predicament brought her closer to someone who knew what she was going through. Again, I wish I could tell you more about that person but I want to avoid spoilers at all costs.

Overall, I thoroughly liked My Soul to Take. Fans of paranormal lit will devour it. I do recommend it. Also, you can read the prequel, My Soul to Lose, for free here. The sequel, My Soul to Save, will be released on December 29, 2009.

4.5 out of 5 stars

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Secret Society Teen Ambassadors

Check out this cool promotion Tom Dolby, author of Secret Society, is hosting over at his site. Here's the info, pasted directly from Tom's blog:

Want to be a Secret Society Teen Ambassador? Submit your name and US/Canada mailing address to Tom between October 7, 2009 and October 19, 2009 and the Bradford Trust will pick fifteen winners at random. Each one of the fifteen winners will receive an Ambassador Initiation Kit in the mail!

What’s in the Initiation Kit?
“The Initiates were given what looked like tattoos at the nape of their necks.” A set of 15 temporary ankh tattoos for you and 14 Initiates. Give them out wisely!
stainiac.jpg “Anastasia took a sip of her martini, leaving a dark red lipstick print on her glass.” Your ticket to gorgeous lips and cheeks, TheBalm’s Stainiac Beauty Queen tinted gel blush (”a hint of tint for the lips and cheeks”)! A $15 value!

“A card was included with the package that simply read, ‘With compliments.’” A one-of-a-kind vintage New York postcard signed by Tom — use it as a bookmark!

fieldnotes.jpg “Patch and Nick used to play this game in class, where they would pass notes.” One beautiful, retro-styled Field Notes mini-notebook, perfect for writing down secrets! At the Bradford Trust, we’re crazy about these little notebooks. Normally, three are $10!

“Lauren started to open it, but Emily stopped her.” Last, but not least: a secret initiation tool — here’s a hint: it’s sealed with an ankh!

After I Get My Kit, What Do I Have to Do?

Once you get your kit, go initiate your friends into the world of Secret Society! Loan them your copy, or better yet, tell them to pick up one of their own. For a chance to win more, see the instructions below about the tattoos!

My Friends Love the Tattoos! What Do I Do Now?
In the future, we will be launching a contest in which to enter, you will need to submit a photo of four people wearing the ankh tattoos (yes, one of them can be you!). If you want to get a head start on that contest (hint: the prize is fabulous and involves music), snap some pics of your friends wearing those tattoos; remember, you have to show all four tattoos somewhere in the pic (think hands, wrists, ankles — or if you’re really adventurous, you can go for the back of the neck!). You can start submitting those pics via email to Tom, but we won’t be officially announcing the prize until later (some things have to stay secret!). A selection of the best photos will be published on; if you don’t want your photo published, please note that in your entry, and we will honor that request.

Are You Really Only Giving Away Fifteen Kits?
The Bradford Trust’s giveaway of 15 Secret Society Ambassador Initiation Kits will start today. The second giveaway of 15 will be announced later in the fall (if you read the book, you’ll understand why…), so stay tuned!

And Remember…
“There is power in being one of the first."

Mad Libs Love

I participated in the Haunted Blog Tour at Books Obsession. Check out my Mad Libs here!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Michelle Moran Guest Post & Contest

Why Cleopatra’s daughter?
It all began with a dive. Not the kind of dive you take into a swimming pool, but the kind where you squeeze yourself into a wetsuit and wonder just how tasty your rump must appear to passing sharks now that it looks like an elephant seal. My husband and I had taken a trip to Egypt, and at the suggestion of a friend, we decided to go to Alexandria to see the remains of Cleopatra’s underwater city. Let it be known that I had never gone scuba diving before, but after four days with an instructor (and countless questions like, “Will there be sharks? How about jellyfish? If there is an earthquake, what happens underwater?”) we were ready for the real thing.

We drove one morning to the Eastern Harbor in Alexandria. Dozens of other divers were already there, waiting to see what sort of magic lay beneath the waves. I wondered if the real thing could possibly live up to all of the guides and brochures selling this underwater city, lost for thousands of years until now.. Then we did the dive, and it was every bit as magical as everyone had promised. We saw the blocks that once formed Marc Antony’s summer palace, came face to face with Cleopatra’s enigmatic sphinx, and floated above ten thousand ancient artifacts, including obelisks, statues, and countless amphorae. By the time we surfaced, I was Cleopatra-obsessed. I wanted to know what had happened to her city once she and Marc Antony had committed suicide. Where did all of its people go? Were they allowed to remain or were they killed by the Romans? And what about her four children?

It was this last question that surprised me the most. I had always assumed that Cleopatra’s children had all been murdered. But the Roman conqueror, Octavian, actually spared the three she bore to Marc Antony:  her six-year-old son, Ptolemy, and her ten-year-old twins, Alexander and Selene. As soon as I learned that Octavian had taken the three of them to Rome for his Triumph, I knew at once I had my next book. And when I discovered what Cleopatra’s daughter lived through while in exile – rebellion, loss, triumph, love -  I absolutely couldn’t wait to start writing. I can only hope that the novel is as exciting and intriguing as the research proved to be. It may be two thousand years in the past, but a great love story, as they say, is timeless.

The death of Cleopatra was only the beginning...

Check out Michelle's blog at
Now for the contest:

Prize: A hardback copy of Cleopatra's Daughter by Michelle Moran & an ancient Roman coin complete with certificate of authenticity

To enter: Leave a comment with a valid email address

Extra entries:
+2 if you're already a follower
+1 if you become a follower
+3 make a POST about this
+2 link to this somewhere (must leave link in comment)

Open to: International! Anyone, anywhere can enter!

Ends: October 23, 2009 at midnight

Cybils awards info

I recently got this email from Alyssa at The Shady Glade:

Most of you have probably heard about the Cybils awards. If not, here’s a quick intro:

The Cybils are a group of awards given out every year by a group of over 90 book bloggers to reward books of the year based on literary merit (like the Newbery awards) AND popularity (like People's Choice Awards) for nine different categories. If you have a favorite book published this year by October 15th:

And here’s the reason for my email. This is my fourth year working on the Cybils, and it seems every year there are a bunch of lists along the lines of “why haven’t these books been nominated yet?” that pop up on blogs. So I’m trying to streamline the process by creating one giant What’s Missing post: If you’d be interested in sharing this link, I would be very grateful. I’d like to share this list with as many people as possible. And if not, that’s cool too. But I figured it didn’t hurt to ask. Thanks!

Please go nominate your favorite book of '09! I did!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Guest Review: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins reviewed by Tricia Mills

Catching Fire Keeps the Tension High in the Second Book of the Hunger Games Trilogy

Review by Tricia Mills

I think one of the biggest compliments an author’s book can receive if she’s writing a series is if someone finishes a book in the series and then immediately wants to start the next. That’s how I felt after reading the last page of The Hunger Games earlier this year, and once again when I finished reading the second in the series, Catching Fire, just a few days ago. I can’t believe I have to wait another year to find out what happens!

For those who are unfamiliar with the books by Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games is the first in the trilogy about 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives in a sort of dystopian world where people live in 12 poor districts around a rich Capitol that rules with an iron fist. Each year, one boy and one girl from each district are chosen by lottery to go to the Capitol and participate in the televised Hunger Games – mandatory viewing by all citizens. It’s a fight-to-the-death competition that means wealth and a life of ease for the winner and his/her family, but death for the other 23 participants. Joining Katniss from District 12, the coal-producing poorest of the districts, is Peeta Mellark, a boy she knows and who once gave her bread when her family was starving. Initially, they agree to work together even though they know they’ll eventually have to face off against each other. Complicating things is Peeta’s admission that he loves her – on air. Katniss believes it’s a ploy but plays along to get audience support and thus gifts to help her during the game. The public falls in love with this star-crossed couple, and the end result is a rule change that allows them both to win.

Catching Fire starts out several months after the conclusion of the Hunger Games depicted in the first book, and we see the aftermath of the first Hunger Games ever to have two victors and how the all-powerful Capitol is reacting to that and the actions of our heroine, Katniss Everdeen. She’s glad to be alive, but she’s suffering from nightmares caused by the brutality of the Games; guilt about those who lost their lives and how her life is now one of plenty while those around her still suffer; fear for those she loves; and confusion about her feelings for Peeta and for her long-time best friend Gale, who has been forced to go to work in the mines to support his family. On top of all that is the knowledge that what she did in the Games might very well have been the spark that ignites the districts into rebellion against a Capitol that forces them to send their children off to die in the Games each year. But of all the retribution the Capitol could have taken against her, she’s not prepared for what they dish out. Once again, she and Peeta are thrust into even more danger. I won’t go into specifics because I want you all to be as surprised and shocked as I was, to get the full effect of the situations and Katniss’s emotions.

These books are wonderful, truly the kind that keep you up reading way past when you should turn off the light and let your burning eyes have a rest.

Tricia Mills writes young adult fiction for Razorbill. Her first YA novel, Heartbreak River, was released in April 2009. Her second, Winter Longing, is set to release in the summer of 2010. Visit her at

Monday, October 5, 2009

Save Shrinking Violet!

Help Tere keep her voice!

Shrinking Violet is about an extremely shy high school senior trying to find her voice and reach her dream of becoming a DJ, despite the obstacles that stand in her way.

The book is about to go on back order and in order for more copies to be printed, more people have to place orders for the book.

Read more about Shrinking Violet:
High school senior Teresa Adams is so painfully shy that she dreads speaking to anyone in the hallways or getting called on in class. But in the privacy of her bedroom with her iPod in hand, she rocks out doing mock broadcasts for Miami's hottest FM radio station, which happens to be owned by her stepfather. When a slot opens up at The SLAM, Tere surprises herself by blossoming behind the mike into confident, sexy Sweet T to everyone's shock, she's a hit! Even Gavin, the only guy in school who she dares to talk to, raves about the mysterious DJ's awesome taste in music. But when The SLAM announces a songwriting contest, and a prom date with Sweet T is the grand prize, Sweet T's dream could turn into Tere's worst nightmare. . . .

Praise for Shrinking Violet:

"Bella, eat your heart out. Tere is the girl every young woman truly wants to be. . . . Brilliant work, Danielle Joseph." -Ellen Hopkins, New York Times bestselling author of Identical

"Danielle Joseph takes readers into the glamorous world of Top 40 radio, with a character who is both funny and relatable. Readers will cheer when Tere finds her voice!" -Alex Flinn, author of Breathing Underwater and A Kiss in Time

"A funny, romantic, and truly inspirational Cinderella tale for any teen who's ever been shy, loved music, or dreamed of going to the ball. Wait, that's pretty much everybody." -Gaby Triana, author of The Temptress Four

So here's how you can help:
Please tell anyone that you think might be interested to place an order now before it's too late. Guys, girls, grandmas. grandpas, you're never too old to read humorous teen fiction!

Danielle is also running a contest for those that want to have some fun! There will be four winners, each receiving a $25 gift certificate to iTunes or the bookstore of their choice.

So how can you win?
1. Post a review of Shrinking Violet on or B & 2 points
2 Blog, Tweet or Facebook about the Save Shrinking Violet Campaign 1 point for each mention
3. Take a picture of yourself wearing a sweater and mimicking the book's cover (you must have the book in the photo too). 2 points

Contest begins at 11pm on Thursday, September 24, 2009 and ends at 11pm on Thurday, October 15, 2009.
After you enter, you can either email Danielle at or leave her a comment on her blog at
http://daniellejoseph.livejournal. com/ under the entry, Save Shrinking Violet!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Back to School Week Contest Winners!

Here are the winners of the Back to School Week Contests!

Give Up the Ghost Swag Pack: Titania86

Never Cry Werewolf: Jessica Secret

Prize Pack donated by Becca Fitzpatrick: Kate

Susan McBride's Books: Wanda

The Elite series: Addicted Book Reader

Congrats! Please email me with your mailing info within 3 days!

Thanks to everyone who entered! For those of you who didn't win, I'll be posting a new contest very soon so be sure to check back.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

What do you think?

What do you think of the new layout? The old one was kinda boring and I felt like the blog needed a change. Please vote on the poll in the sidebar or leave a comment here with your thoughts!