Monday, December 28, 2009

2010 Debut Author Challenge!

Hey all! TheStorySiren is hosting this fabulous challenge!

I think it is very important to support debut authors! The challenge is to read at least 12 books by debut authors in 2010. That is going to be my goal with a hope to read more than that!

The Story Siren

Also as part of it I am supposed to list debut books I plan on reading. My list isn't extremely extensive yet, but as the year goes I hope to make the books I read and my TBR list longer!

1) THE DARK DIVINE by Bree Despain
3) THE MARK by Jen Hadol
4) MISTWOOD by Leah Cypress
5) A WHOLE NOTHER STORY by Dr. Cuthburt Soup (Just found out this one is being published in December now! So it doesn't count...)
6) THE SECRET YEAR by Jennifer Hubbard
7) SHADE by Jeri Smith-Ready
8) UNDER THE GREEN HILL by Laura L. Sullivan
9) SEA by Heidi R. Kling
10) BLEEDING VIOLET by Dia Reeves

I am very much looking forward to the new year and hope you all are too!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

I hope you are all having a wonderful holiday season and a break from work. Enjoy your family, give thanks for all the good things you have in your life, take some time to read a good book and we'll see you after the new year!

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Great Pesky Pisky Pixie Giveaway!

Say that blog post title 10 times fast and don't get messed, up! I dare you!

Okay, that was fun but it's not how you win this giveaway. So wipe the spittle off of your computer screens and here we go!

I am giving away a great combo pack as my last giveaway of the year! Win my ARC of GREEN by Laura Peyton Roberts and my ARC of CAPTIVATE by Carrie Jones! I'll even throw in a pack of pixie stix if I reach 55 followers before the end of the contest!

GREEN features a fey called Piskies (They grant wishes if you capture them, but watch out, they are VERY tricky and literal with their wish giving), and CAPTIVATE is of course about Pixies (the bad nasty type not the Tinkerbell ones).

So here's how you enter!

1) Leave a comment here in under 100 words tell me about an encounter you had with pesky piskies or pixies.

2) As always Followers get 2 extra entries (be sure to tell me in the comments that you follow publicly on the sidebar...and yes I do double check)

3) Tweet, blog, or Facebook about this and let me know that too, for another extra entry!

Good luck with those Piskies and Pixies, they can be pesky!

The contest is open until 11:59 PM EST December 31, 2009! (So REALLY the last giveaway of the year from me!)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

In My Mailbox (3)

This week I attended an Authorpalooza at my local B&N store, so I bought some books I've been looking at, and received one from a publisher!

Received from Publishers:
A WHOLE NOTHER STORY by Dr. Cuthburt Soup



Friday, December 18, 2009

Author Interview: Carrie Jones!

I am thrilled to share with you this short and to the point interview I did with Carrie Jones! I have SO many more questions I could ask her about CAPTIVATE, but they would all be spoilery! So I went for some fun ones! Enjoy!

MPB: NEED was a wonderful book! What new aspects of your paranormal world are brought in in CAPTIVATE?

Carrie Jones: That is so nice of you to say! Thank you so much. Sigh. I get soooo nervous about my books.

I think the paranormal world is expanded in CAPTIVATE as Zara learns more about how pixie hierarchy works and the depth of the paranormal influence in the world.

MPB: If you could eat anything you wanted right this very minute, what would it be?

CJ: Fried potatoes with guacamole or maybe strudel or maybe brownies or maybe just white grape juice. Can you tell I'm hungry?

MPB: If you had a whole day to do whatever you wanted what would it be?

CJ: I am no allowed to say because my mom reads this blog and she still thinks I am a nice girl.
*MPB Note: Your mom reads the blog! Cool! Hi Carrie's mom! ;)

MPB: Can you tell us anything about the next book in the series?

Well, I am writing it RIGHT NOW! And it is totally kicking my butt. It's very much a continuation of what happened in CAPTIVATE. It's crazy but I think I like it. I don't know how to tell any more without spoiling everything in CAPTIVATE.

MPB: If you met a hot young Pixie King, would you trust him?

CJ: As my best friend who is a police sgt would say, "Yes." I trust everyone. It is a really big problem for me. Like if you are standing in front of me with a knife and frothing at the mouth? I'd totally be all, "Hey honey, are you okay? Do you need some food? Want to talk?"
And after you lunged at me? I'd still probably invite you over for strudel.

Thanks so much Carrie! Now everyone save some of that Christmas money, or giftcards you get this year and go buy CAPTIVATE!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Review CAPTIVATE by Carrie Jones

by Carrie Jones
To Be Published January 5th 2010 by Bloomsbury USA
Hardcover, 257 pages

Placement in the Pile: Top Picks

*If you have not yet read NEED, you may want to skip the Summary, I will try to keep my review as unspoilery as possible...

Zara and her friends knew they hadn't solved the pixie problem for good. Far from it. The king's needs grow deeper every day he's stuck in captivity, while his control over his people gets weaker. It's made him vulnerable. And now there's a new king in town.

A turf war is imminent, since the new pixie king, Astley, is moving in quickly. Nick nearly killed him in the woods on day one, but Zara came to his rescue. Astley swears that he and Zara are destined to be together, that he's one of the good guys. Nick isn't buying it, though Zara isn't as sure -- despite herself, she wants to trust the new king. But it's a lot more than her relationship with Nick that is at stake. It's her life -- and his.

Wow! This book is a whirlwind. It takes you deeper into Zara's paranormal world and into the issues of dealing with her father and the other Pixies in her home town.

CAPTIVATE will do just that, captivate the reader with it's exciting new characters, shocking unexpected twists, and may make you start to re-think what you thought you knew about Pixies and their world!

True to form, it is a middle series book and leaves you completely longing for more, but at the same time it also leaves you totally satisfied with plot shockers that you weren't so sure about when they happened. (Vague enough for you?)

This is certainly a book you want to read! A fascinating sequel to one of the best paranormal books of 2009. Oh and the cover is equally as gorgeous as Need's!

Come back tomorrow for my fun short interview with Carrie!

I was sent this ARC by the publisher.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

NEED by Carrie Jones

This post isn't a full review, but as I will be reviewing the second book in the series I thought I would bring you up to date with this first book.

NEED is one of my favorite YA paranormal romances that I read this year. As an added bonus, it just came out in paperback with a preview for the second book included! It's a great book to add to your Christmas list to prep you for the fabulous sequel CAPTIVATE (which I will review tomorrow!)

HERE is the link back to my review when I was blogging over at MyFavoriteAuthor. And HERE and HERE are links to my two part interview with the ever hilarious and wonderful Carrie Jones!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Fun Contest!

If you all remember I reviewed and had a great guest blog by the great debut author Rhonda Stapleton! Well here is another chance to win her book, and two other really great books! (Ones I am anxiously wanting to read!)

Win 1) A signed copy of STUPID CUPID by Rhonda Stapleton, 2) a signed copy of THE DARK DIVINE by Bree Despain, and 3) a signed copy of SCONES AND SENSIBILITY by Lindsay Eland!

Go to all three Author blogs and do the fun scavenger hunt questions and win! Here are links to the blogs!

Good Luck!

Busy, Busy!

As I'm sure you've all noticed I have royally slacked in the blogging department lately. This time of year is busy for many of us, and it certainly has been for me!

But don't give up on me yet! I have one last amazing review and giveaway to share with you this year, then I will be out of town enjoying the holidays with my family. Stay tuned with us though, we haven't gone away forever, just so we can have time to regroup and enjoy our holidays too!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

You Tell Me!

Hey guys!

So I've been blogging for a few months here with my good friend Guinevere and so I have a question for you!

You tell me:
What would make this blog better?
What do you like that we do?
What could we do to get you to send your friends over to this blog?

Get talking people!


P.S. TerryLynnJohnson, I still need you to e-mail me your mailing address or I will have to pick another winner for my Stupid Cupid ARC giveaway!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Review MAGIC UNDER GLASS by Jaclyn Dolamore


by Jaclyn Dolamore

December 22nd 2009 by Bloomsbury USA Children's Books (first published February 1st 2009)
Hardcover, 240 pages

Placement in Pile:

Reaching New Heights


Nimira is a music-hall performer forced to dance for pennies to an audience of leering drunks. When wealthy sorcerer Hollin Parry hires her to do a special act - singing accompaniment to an exquisite piano-playing automaton, Nimira believes it is the start of a new life. In Parry's world, however, buried secrets stir. Unsettling below-stairs rumours abound about ghosts, a mad woman roaming the halls, and of Parry's involvement in a gang of ruthless sorcerers who torture fairies for sport. When Nimira discovers the spirit of a dashing young fairy gentleman is trapped inside the automaton's stiff limbs, waiting for someone to break the curse and set him free, the two fall in love. But it is a love set against a dreadful race against time to save the entire fairy realm, which is in mortal peril.


An interesting read, and I definitely want to know what happens next. However, I had a hard time liking the right character for a while (the automaton was just kinda creepy for me at first), but by the end, I was totally rooting for him. I feel really bad for Hollin, and hope that a happy ending is in store for all of them. The writing was very beautiful, and the characters were intriguing and believable. It was on the shorter side, I would have been fine with another 50-100 pages. I guess I'll have to wait for the next one...

A fun, easy and unique read.

This was an ARC Aubrey received to review, we did not receive monetary compensation.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Review GREEN by Laura Peyton Roberts

by Laura Peyton Roberts
January 12th 2010 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Hardcover, 272 Pages

Placement in the Pile: Reaching New Heights

Turning thirteen starts off with a bang for Lily. Literally. A birthday present explodes on her porch . . . and soon after a trio of leprechauns (yes, leprechauns) appears in her bedroom. They whisk her away to a land of clover, piskies, a new friend, a cute boy, and lots of glimmering, glittering gold. A world of Green.

It turns out that Lily, like her grandmother before her, is next in line to be keeper for the Clan of Green, and in charge of all their gold. That is, if she passes three tests. And she has to pass them. Because if she doesn’t she may never get to go home again. She’ll be stuck with the Greens.


I have never read anything by Laura Peyton Roberts before but when I read about this one I was really excited for it. Laura's writing is witty, funny and definitely true to her thirteen year old character. You feel for Lily from the very beginning. Her awkward appearance, the mean girls disliking her, her desire for a friend.

Then, with a literal explosion Lily is taken to a whole new world where she learns about her family's past, the reason for her strange wide-set eyes, and about a family she never knew she had. Facing gold lusting leprechauns, piskies (and yes that is how it is spelled in the book), a rival clan, a cute boy, and lots of magic, Lily is in for a big adventure.

I thought the book started a little slow for me, but then quickly picked up once Lily was in the leprechaun's world. This is definitely a fun book and worth reading. Anyone who likes Irish folklore, or needs a good fun getaway book will like this one!

I received this ARC from the publisher.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Review THE VAN ALEN LEGACY by Melissa de la Cruz

The Van Alen Legacy (Blue Bloods #4)


Melissa de la Cruz

October 6th 2009 by Hyperion Book CH
Hardcover, 369 pages

Placement in Pile:

Middle of the Stack, inching towards Reaching New Heights


With the stunning revelation surrounding Bliss's true identity comes the growing threat of the sinister Silver Bloods. Once left to live the glamorous life in New York City, the Blue Bloods now find themselves in an epic battle for survival. Not to worry, love is still in the air for the young vampires of the Upper East Side. Or is it? Jack and Schuyler are over. Oliver's brokenhearted. And only the cunning Mimi seems to be happily engaged. Young, fanged, and fabulous, Melissa de la Cruz's vampires unite in this highly anticipated fourth installment of the Blue Bloods series.


Grrr, grrrrr, really, really, grr. Was this series not originally proclaimed to be a 3 book series? Or was I misled back in the day when I first read book 1 & 2 thinking the 3rd one (that was coming out in a few months at the time) was going to be the last one. So why did I just read the 4th one and it STILL DIDN'T END?! It was good, and I liked some of what happened at the "end" (but not all). BUT - it didn't really end, which bugged me. I'm fine if I know a series is supposed to be a five or six or seven book series - if I know that up front. I just don't understand how a 3 book series ends up being 5 (or more...)??? But it was good, and worth reading, and I would really like to know how this all ends...

As for the book itself, it's typical Blue Bloods - lots of fangs, lots of fashion, lots of fierce fighting (how's that for alliteration?) and lots of false leads. (ha ha, got one more in!) It's a great series, and a very interesting "take" on vampires in a genre that is bursting at the seams. As I said, I am very curious to see how it all ends. (And hoping that it will, indeed, end. Soon. Like the next book. Does anyone know how many more there are? For real?) The characters are great, and are always throwing the reader for loops. I love getting to know them better, and to see how the romance between Schuyler, Jack, and Oliver plays out. (As well as some other characters, too) There are so many questions - some get answered, but then even more questions pop up. It is face-paced and intense, and will leave you wanting the next book!

If you like snarky humor, high society, an interesting plot, and hot vamps, this is a great series for you.

This was an ARC we received to review. I received no monetary compensation to review this book.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Review ONCE A WITCH by Carolyn MacCullough

by Carolyn MacCullough
Published September 14th 2009 by Clarion Books
Hardcover, 292 pages

Placement in the Pile: Reaching New Heights

Tamsin Greene comes from a long line of witches, and she was supposed to be one of the most Talented among them. But Tamsin's magic never showed up. Now seventeen, Tamsin attends boarding school in Manhattan, far from her family. But when a handsome young professor mistakes her for her very Talented sister, Tamsin agrees to find a lost family heirloom for him. The search—and the stranger—will prove to be more sinister than they first appeared, ultimately sending Tamsin on a treasure hunt through time that will unlock the secret of her true identity, unearth the sins of her family, and unleash a power so vengeful that it could destroy them all. This is a spellbinding display of storytelling that will exhilarate, enthrall, and thoroughly enchant.

This book was really, really fun. I read it very quickly, and thought the writing was lyrical yet accessible. There really were some beautiful phrases, yet it remained true to the teenage character.

I really felt for Tamsin and the loneliness she felt amongst her own family. Gabriel is definitely drool worthy and the romance in the book is an added bonus to an already enjoyable read.

I almost gave it my highest ranking, but two things bothered me a little. Tamsin has a tendency to smoke cigarettes when she is stressed out and there was occasion when I was so caught up in the speed of reading the book that I had to go back and re-read stuff when the action was intense.

Magic, mystery, rivalries and romance. Once a Witch is a great book that leaves you satiated and longing for more at the same time. I for one hope there is a sequel coming!

*Materials Source: I got this book from the library.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A Chance to Do Something Good For the Holidays!

Hi guys! This time of year is hard for those who have little. It is also the time of year many of our hearts are opened to those in need. Here is a chance for you to do so!

The Story Siren posted THIS post on Monday. A story that is all too common that we may not even be aware of. A 200 home complex with many children has no local library for children to use, and many children in this area do not even have one book in their homes.

Well some really wonderful people decided to change that and began to fund a small library for the homes at an on site location with their own money.

Today, The Story Siren posted a wonderful contest! Not only does it allow you to do something good this holiday season, if that isn't incentive enough there are some really awesome prizes. You can read about that HERE.

Let's open our hearts this holiday season, whether it's for these children that need help, or something else more local that we know about.

And while we're on the subject PLEASE BUY BOOKS this holiday season! A slowed economy is hitting all of our author friends hard, and in turn the entire industry is hurting, making it harder to get good books published! I know books are my favorite gift to give and receive, you can help too!