Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Author Interview: Brodi Ashton!

Okay not only is debut author Brodi Ashton's novel EVERNEATH one of my favorite books, she is one of my favorite people. She is gorgeous and made of awesome.

Since I have the hook-up I did this little interview with her to run with my review of EVERNEATH. Enjoy!

MPB: Your twist on a well known Greek myth (Persephone and Hades) is very unique. How did you come up with the idea?

BA: The story came first, before the mythology. I never really sat down and thought to myself, "How about I retell the story of Persephone, but make it totally unique." I'd been developing Nikki's story for a long time before I fully recognized the similarities between her plight and that of Persephone. So it was more a matter of making the myth fit with the story, than making the story fit with the myth.

MPB: If you had to choose, who would you choose to be with Cole or Jack?

BA: I'd be with Jack. But I'd go to Cole's concerts.

MPB: What has been the most important ingredient in your success?

BA: Perseverance. And some luck. But without the perseverance, the luck wouldn't have mattered.

MPB: Is there a writing snack that is indispensable to your writing?

BA: Diet Coke. Hands down, cups full.

MPB: How is book two going/What are you working on now?

BA: I am revising the sequel to Everneath, and I really love where book 2 takes us. If you've read book 1, you probably have a good idea of where book 2 takes us.

For more about Brodi and Everneath visit her at It is a great wesite for readers and writers too. Love her posts!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Review: EVERNEATH by Brodi Ashton (AKA my favorite read of the year)

by Brodi Ashton
Hardcover, 370 pages
To be Published January 24th 2012 by Harper Collins / Balzer + Bray
(And isn't the cover gorgeous?!)

Placement in the Pile: Top Picks!

Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath, where immortals Feed on the emotions of despairing humans. Now she's returned- to her old life, her family, her friends- before being banished back to the underworld... this time forever.

She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can't find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists.

Nikki longs to spend these months reconnecting with her boyfriend, Jack, the one person she loves more than anything. But there's a problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who first enticed her to the Everneath, has followed Nikki to the mortal world. And he'll do whatever it takes to bring her back- this time as his queen.

Oh my goodness!!! I received and read my ARC back in July, JULY!!! And I have waited all this time to review it because I wanted it to be closer to the release date. I don't want ANYONE to forget this one.

I have felt like I've been on a bit of a reading slump this year. I've read books I've enjoyed, and even reccommended, but they didn't WOW me. There are a bunch of books coming out this Fall that I have been excited for (mainly sequels) but this year has just

Then I got my hands on Everneath. Oh how I wanted it to be good. After the dry spell I'd had I just couldn't read one more book by someone I know and not be ravishingly in love with it. I hate being in that situation. And as Brodi's debut book, I wanted to love it.

I was not disappointed! I love, love, LOVE this book. I kept waiting for something screwy to happen, something I didn't like, or that didn't fit. I kept waiting for the story to take a turn that made no sense, or the heroine to be stupid about something and make me roll my eyes. None of this happened. Honestly, in my opinion this book is near perfect.

Brodi does an amazing job of making you care for the characters, all of them, even the bad ones. Nikki's voice is genuinely teenager, but she's no dumby. I think too often teenage characters are dumbed down because they are young. The fact that Nikki is not made her more real to me.

Jack is a great character. Easy to understand why Nikki couldn't forget him. And even though Cole is the "bad guy" you know there is something to him, something good. Something you want to know more about.

And I do. I cannot wait for this to come out in Jan. I cannot wait for the sequel. Seriously, I love this book! Save those holiday gift cards for this one. If you like YA romance with a paranormal twist, you'll love this book.

And be sure to come back tomorrow to read my interview with Brodi!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Why Are There Feathers in My Hair?

This is me and my author bud Sara B. Larson waiting for our pre-showing of Breaking Dawn part 1! We got to see it at 7pm last night with 72 more of my friends and friends of friends (it's good to have a brother who is the manager of a movie theater!).

I have to say I quite enjoyed it. Like the book I think this will be a more polarizing movie for the fans. It is slower paced, has less action, and has less sexual tension because well there's just sex. ;) But as Breaking Dawn was one of my fave books in the series for several reasons, this movie did a good job adapting to the screen. There were definitely laugh out loud moments, moments of quiet reflection, and a few moments of action.

It is certainly for a more mature audience than some of the others. And there were some who saw an editing mistake for something rated PG-13...did anyone see it? I didn't but I wasn't looking at Bella...

So if you've seen it, what did you think?

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Breaking Dawn Tour Videos

Before I get to the videos I had to share this picture of me. It is from the press, rights reserved for Megaplex Theaters, but that's me and my friend Teri there on the gate in the middle. I like this one cause you can see the crowd and really get a view of where we were!

I had to load these to youtube first because blogger was just NOT working! I was sad I didn't get some video of the red carpet...I totally forgot my camera did video. Sad, huh? But I hope you enjoy what's below!

First, here's the video of our local news coverage where you can see me talking to Nikki Reed while she's signing my ticket!!! But you have to click on the link for this one.

This is Aqualung singing one of his songs for us. (Sorry this one is so quiet)

This one is Lucy Schwartz doing her dancing and the beginning of a song with Aqualung

This is another part of that song from Lucy and Aqualung

And here's some of the Q&A stuff. This was them talking about getting into hair and make-up.

And this is them answering "What's the Funniest thing that happened on set?"

I hope you enjoy them!

Breaking Dawn Concert Series Salt Lake City!

My awesome book loving friend Teri won tickets the the Breaking Dawn Concert Series Tour show in Salt Lake City tonight! The last stop on the 5-city tour and it was so fun! As Twilight is definitely relevant to this blog, I thought I would share. Here are my pics! (Tomorrow I will try to post the few videos I got!)

This is me all dolled up to go in my red, white and black.

We got there fairly early and waited in line, getting progressively colder and colder.

This is me with Teri and some of her other friends that attended the venue. I love going to things like this and meeting new people! It's a bond that you can't get any other way!

This is me right there on the red carpet waiting for the Cullens to arrive! It was pretty darn awesome to be RIGHT there!

Here's my ticket. Teri actually had some extra tickets so that's what I had the actors sign. I will take some pics of those and post camera battery is so dead I can't even turn on my camera to attempt to take a pic.

My feet are the ones in the middle, so close to reaching the red carpet behind the barrier!

This group of people arrived and we weren't really sure who they were, but it was the band members to the three groups/singers that performed! The music was awesome.

All the celebs showed up in these awesome black cars, and I had to share because it is my friend's husband's company that provided these cars! It's a small world!

The first of the vamps to arrive was the ever handsome Peter Facinelli! Of all the actors there he seemed to take the most time going up and down the line making sure he could see as many people as possible and sign as many people's stuff as possible. Handsome and kind! Definitely a win!

Then came Nikki Reed. Beautiful as ever with a big smile on her face the whole time.

Then we were all glad to see Charlie Bewley who plays Dimitri, one of the evil Volturi.

And of course Jackson Rathbone the ever adorable Jasper. I've seen him do some other acting jobs and he really is good.

And my all-time favorite picture I got that night...Ashely Greene the GORGEOUS Alice. Alice has always been my favorite character. I know, I know, I'm a huge Edward fan, but he's my crush, she, to me is the most interesting character. And Ashely plays the part perfectly. This is her signing MY ticket. I told her she's always been my fave, and she was very kind to look up and pose for this pic. She is seriously even MORE gorgeous in person than on film, or even than in this picture. I think she's the most beautiful person I've ever met. Okay, maybe I have a girl crush on her too...just a little one.

Ashley and Jackson posed together for the press. It was a really great moment, wish they had turned around!

Heading into the venue The Rail in Sal Lake City! Inside they gave away posters (that would have been nice to have ahead of time for signing...) They were selling the CD which I had bought yesterday already (it's really good!) And it was all set up on stage for the bands and the cast to come out later!

Us with the stage. This is me, Teri, and her sister-in-law Hilery. It's fun to be a twi-hard fan!

On some big screens on the side they were playing some promo stuff, nothing too fabulous that I haven't seen yet, there was some interviewing going on...but they weren't playing the sound. But I had to get this shot of my man Edward. REALLY looking forward to this one!

Then the music began! And it was GOOD! Nothing to dance to cause it was all slower love song type stuff, but man these people are good live. This is Sleeping at Last performing one of his songs not on the album...kinda loved it. I will be looking for his music in the future!

Then he moved over to the piano and played the song from the soundtrack "Turning Page" which you might recognize from some of the previews. Good stuff!

Then the beautiful and very talented Lucy Schwartz came out to perform some of her original songs. Man these people can sing!

This is Lucy with some of her back up musicians. Some random trivia, the guitarists last name is Cullen. Kinda cool!

Then we got to hear from Aqualung. He was not only a GREAT singer but he was a great entertainer. Totally making us all laugh and have a great time. He even got Lucy to dance around on stage for a little bit.

Then Lucy and Aqualung did their song from the soundtrack together "Cold" which I got some video of (when I realized my camera did video!) and will post some of those later!

Then of course the crowning feature...THE CAST!!!! They came out and did Q&A. Nikki was apparently still cold from being outside cause she still had her coat on...but under that was an awesome dress that she only showed for the press photos. ;)

And a few more close up shots of the cast on Stage: Charlie Bewley, who was quite hilarious. He got the audience responding a lot and was really loving the British accent...who can go wrong? Most memorable quote from him "The best part about being the only carnivorous vampire is...eating little girls." He talked about how it's always more fun to be the bad guy. He grabbed Ashely's neck at one point, like he did in New Moon. And talked about how it was joining the cast post first movie.

Peter and Nikki were very outgoing with the crowd answering questions. Peter especially. I was very impressed with how much time he took with people. He answered a question about what they (the actors) like about Twilight fans, and he simply said "Everything. We know when we are on set that we are making these films for you. We think about you all the time. If it weren't for you we wouldn't be here and we know that. We love, love, love our fans!" Then Ashely said "This has been the biggest crowd we've had so far, so thank you Salt Lake City!" That got a huge roar.

There was also some great moments between Nikki and Peter. Aparently Peter likes to accidentally beat up on Nikki on set. And my favorite story? Nikki saying "Taylor's going to hate me for this, but there's a part where Rosalie makes a dog bowl and writes Fido on it. Taylor was pronouncing it FEEdo." Then Peter said, "Yeah, that's funny cause for about the first week of filming Twilight he kept calling me Car-lisle (pronouncing the s)".

Jackson answered a lot of questions on stage, he played some piano (just a few notes) talked about his band and answered that they will be going on tour in Europe, and will be back in USA and specifically might hit SLC in 2013. He did some banter with Ashely. He did also say that the one scene he wishes they had filmed was Jasper and Alice meeting. So he and Ashely kinda acted something out about them meeting. It was pretty funny (My camera had died by then, I was SO sad!)

And of course the gorgeous Ashely! She answered one of the first questions, about what was hardest about being on set. And she said the getting up at 5 am for a 7 am casting call to go sit in hair and make-up for an hour and a half. All of them are there for a really long time, and most of them wear wigs, which takes even longer to place and get secure.

In this film there will be dancing at the wedding and I guess there's a really cool flip lift that Jasper and Alice do that they were the ones doing, not their stunt doubles. So be sure to look for that!

And since it is morning and my battery is charged, I can show you the signatures I got!!!

This is Nikki Reed on the top and Peter Facinelli on the bottom.

And this one is Chris Bewely on the top and Ashley Greene and Jackson Rathbone on the bottom. (Kinda cool I got them both on the same ticket!)

It was such an amazing AMAZING night! It totally got me pumped for the movie next week! I'm going to a 7 pm pre-show on the 17th! I am so so excited!

Later today, videos will come. I just know this post was long as it I want another excuse for you to come back to the blog. ;)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Why to buy VARIANT today!

Check out this story that I just read. Check out the book and see if it's something you're interested in. It's always good to support authors!

Monday, November 7, 2011


by Carrie Ryan

Hardcover, 374 pages
Published March 22nd 2011 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers

Placement in the Pile: Top Picks!

There are many things that Annah would like to forget: the look on her sister's face before Annah left her behind in the Forest of Hands and Teeth, her first glimpse of the Horde as they swarmed the Dark City, the sear of the barbed wire that would scar her for life. But most of all, Annah would like to forget the morning Elias left her for the Recruiters.

Annah's world stopped that day, and she's been waiting for Elias to come home ever since. Somehow, without him, her life doesn't feel much different than the dead that roam the wasted city around her. Until she meets Catcher, and everything feels alive again.

But Catcher has his own secrets. Dark, terrifying truths that link him to a past Annah has longed to forget, and to a future too deadly to consider. And now it's up to Annah: can she continue to live in a world covered in the blood of the living? Or is death the only escape from the Return's destruction?

This is the third and final book in the FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH series by the fabulous Carrie Ryan. The whole series has captured me. My review for FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH was done on an old blog that there isn't access to anymore. But my review for THE DEAD TOSSED WAVES can be found HERE.

Each installment of this series gets more and more serious, and more and more dark. But in a good way. Of course as you get deeper into the Return, deeper into the infection and how it affects us as mankind you will find darkness and despair. But just as the books hold despair for humankind, they hold hope and romance that flourishes despite the dire circumstances all around.

What shocked me most about this book was the intense life that Annah has to survive. Just when I think her circumstances can't possibly get harder, they do. She is thrown around and beaten up in this book, but in the end there is hope!

I enjoyed the whole series so, so much. I hope you all give it a chance if you haven't already.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Book Signing Report: Ally Condie!

Recognize these books? That's right! I was super lucky enough to go to the book launch on Tuesday night for the fabulous Ally Condie's CROSSED second book in the MATCHED trilogy!!! I have been waiting for this one literally for years. Ever since I met Ally before MATCHED was even sold to the publishers back in gosh was that 2009?

Like most of the events I attend at this FABULOUS indie bookstore The King's English in Sugarhouse (a super cute neighborhood in Salt Lake City), Ally spoke for a little bit about her book and how she got there. Here's what she said! (as close as quotes can get from taking furious notes.
  • MATCHED was the fastest book I've written, CROSSED was perhaps the slowest and hardest.
  • The setting is very important to me in this book because it is someplace I have been and loved, the wilderness of Southern Utah

  • From the beginning I knew this would be Ky's book, but that was hard because he keeps things close to himself. He doesn't open up, sometimes he doesn't even admit things to himself.
  • There are some new characters in this book that you will meet early on. Vick was easy to write because I knew who he was, part my brother-in-law and part my brother
  • My BIL is one of those guys that if you're out in the wilderness and you need food, he'll say okay, grab a big gun and say "let's go"
  • my little brother knows a lot about wilderness survival and fishing. I do not. So I made a lot of phone calls.
  • At some points with all the survival stuff I thought to myself "How did I end up writing HATCHET?"

  • The there's Indie. Cassia needed someone to go on her journey with.
  • Indie is a loose cannon. She's like a tiger that people keep in their backyard in a cage and everything is okay...until it's not. She's like that Tiger. She's very unpredictable.
  • There is a painting in MATCHED that's important to Cassia, a landscape by Thomas Moran. Xander gave it to her at the end of the book as a "I know you" good bye present. There's a moment in CROSSED where Cassia experiences a landscape very similar to that painting (and Ally read that excerpt to us)
  • My mother was a painter and so was Ky's. I took a lot of her character from my mom. My mom used pastels. And I remember asking her once why she didn't use a medium like oils or something else that lasted longer. Her response was something I never forgot "I don't care how long they last, I just want them to be beautiful while they're there."

Then Ally took a few Q&As

Q: Can you talk about the inspiration for the covers?
A: They're awesome, and I can say that because I had nothing to do with it. (She went more into depth about the process of getting the cover)

Q: Why is the "R" backwards?
A: They wanted something to be off about the font of each cover. So the "A" in Matched is missing the line across it, and the R in Crossed is backwards.

Q: Is the third book finished? If so, which is your favorite?
A: That's like asking me to pick a favorite child, but the third book is newest and has had less time to misbehave, so right now it's my favorite. The draft is done, and needs editing and it doesn't have a title as of yet.

Q: If the first book was more Cassia's story, and this is more Ky's then is the third book more another character's story?
A: One might assume...I'm nodding significantly, but I can't say more.

Q: Which national park is your favorite?
A: Zion because that is where we went growing up.

Q: There's an event mentioned in this book that happened in Matched that everyone forgot. Do we find out what it is?
A: Without giving anything away all I can say is at some point you will find out.

It was SUCH a pleasure to see Ally again and support her! Her books truly are amazing, and I am not just saying that cause I know her and love her smiling face! Please check these books out! As soon as I finish reading CROSSED I will give you my review. I am trying to do NaNo and read at the same time (and take care of my 1 month old and 3 year old!) So I will try to hurry!