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Monday, January 31, 2011

In My Mailbox...


In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren. Anyone can participate in IMM and you are not limited to only sharing books that arrive via your mailbox. You can also share books that you've bought or books that you've gotten at the library. You can find more information on how to participate in the In My Mailbox meme by visiting The Story Siren


This week in my mailbox...

Red Riding Hood by Sarah Blakley-Cartwright, Catherine Hardwicke


The body of a young girl is discovered in a field of wheat. Her flesh mutilated by telltale claw marks. The Wolf has broken the peace.

When Valerie learns that her sister has been killed by the legendary creature, she finds herself at the center of a dark mystery, one that has plagued her village for generations. It is revealed that the werewolf lives among them, and everyone in the village immediately becomes a suspect. Could her secret love Peter be behind the attacks on her town? Is it her betrothed, Henry? Or someone even closer to her?

As the men in the village hunt for the beast, Valerie turns to her grandmother for help. She gives Valerie a handmade red riding cloak, and guides her through the web of lies and deception that has held her town together for so long. Will Valerie discover the werewolf's identity before the town is ripped apart?

This is a dangerous new vision of a classic fairy tale, the happy ending could be hard to find.

When I saw this at the bookstore I had to pick it up because I am just dying to see this movie when it comes out in March.

If you haven't heard about it, here are some fantastic pics:





How fabulous does this movie look? I for one can't wait to see it.

Well that's it for this week. I know, I know it was slim pickings this week for my mailbox, but don't worry, there are some up and coming releases that will more than make up for it. So tell me...what's in your mailbox?

Monday, January 24, 2011

In My Mailbox...



In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren. Anyone can participate in IMM and you are not limited to only sharing books that arrive via your mailbox. You can also share books that you've bought or books that you've gotten at the library. You can find more information on how to participate in the In My Mailbox meme by visiting The Story Siren

This week in my mailbox...


Across the Universe by Beth Revis


Goodreads Description:
A love out of time. A spaceship built of secrets and murder.
Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.

Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone-one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship-tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn't do something soon, her parents will be next.

Now Amy must race to unlock Godspeed's hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there's only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.


Unearthly (Unearthly #1) by Cynthia Hand
Goodreads Description:
In the beginning, there's a boy standing in the trees . . . .

Clara Gardner has recently learned that she's part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn't easy.

Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place—and out of place at the same time. Because there's another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara's less angelic side.

As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she'd have to make—between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?

Unearthly is a moving tale of love and fate, and the struggle between following the rules and following your heart.


The Lost Saint (The Dark Divine #2) by Bree Despain
Goodreads Description:
The non-stop sequel to The Dark Divine delivers an even hotter romance and more thrilling action than Bree Despain's first novel. Grace Divine made the ultimate sacrifice to cure Daniel Kalbi. She gave her soul to the wolf to save him and lost her beloved mother. When Grace receives a haunting phone call from Jude, she knows what she must do. She must become a Hound of Heaven. Desperate to find Jude, Grace befriends Talbot - a newcomer to town who promises her that he can help her be a hero. But as the two grow closer, the wolf grows in Grace, and her relationship with Daniel begins to crumble. Unaware of the dark path she is walking, Grace becomes prideful in her new abilities - not realizing that an old enemy has returned and deadly trap is about to be sprung. Readers, raveous for more Grace and Daniel, will be itching to sink their teeth into The Lost Saint.

Awakened (House of Night #8) by P.C. Cast, Kristin Cast
Goodreads Description:
At the start of Awakened, the pulse-pounding eighth installment of the bestselling House of Night series, Zoey has returned, mostly whole, from the Otherworld to her rightful place as High Priestess at the House of Night. Her friends are just glad to have her back, but after losing her human consort, Heath, will Zoey—or her relationship with her super- hot Warrior, Stark—ever be the same? Stevie Rae is drawn even closer to Rephaim, the Raven Mocker with whom she shares a mysterious and powerful Imprint, but he is a dangerous secret that isolates her from her school, her red fledglings, and even her best friends. When the dark threat of Neferet—who is coming closer and closer to achieving her twisted goal of immortality—and Kalona returns, what will it take to keep the House of Night from being lost forever, and what will one desperate girl do to keep her heart from being irreparably broken?

Much more to come next week...So many books, so little time! Have a great day everyone!

Friday, January 21, 2011

You Need to Read Carrie Jones...

Over the break I caught up on a most intriguing series by Carrie Jones. What first drew me in was of course the cover I mean just look at it...

Isn't it just stunning? Now throw in a lovable character named Zara and a creepy stalker guy and you have a must read book. But don't take my word for it...
Need (Need #1) by Carrie Jones (Goodreads Author)

Goodreads Description:
Zara White suspects there's a freaky guy semi-stalking her. She's also obsessed with phobias. And it's true, she hasn't exactly been herself since her stepfather died. But exiling her to shivery Maine to live with her grandmother? That seems a bit extreme. The move is supposed to help her stay sane...but Zara's pretty sure her mom just can't deal with her right now.

She couldn't be more wrong. Turns out the semi-stalker is not a figment of Zara's overactive imagination. In fact, he's still following her, leaving behind an eerie trail of gold dust. There's something not right - not human - in this sleepy Maine town, and all signs point to Zara.

In this creepy, compelling breakout novel, Carrie Jones delivers romance, suspense, and a creature you never thought you'd have to fear.


The fun does not stop there. Here are the next two installments in the series:
Captivate (Need #2)


Entice (Need #3)

Aren't they just stunning? I left off the descriptions so as not to give anything away. The fourth installment is in the works and I for one cannot wait to get my hands on it. I will warn you, book three does end with a cliffhanger of sorts. I'm not against them, but you all know my skill of patience is a bit lacking at times.

How about you? What must read series have you read lately? Do you enjoy a good cliffhanger or would you rather have a resolution?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Character Building

A crucial element to any story is the characters that move about. Readers have to fall in love with these characters whether they are good, bad or oh so evil. I've found that if cleverly written, even the worst of characters can become a favorite.

As posted yesterday, I recently read On Writing A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King. Here are the tips on character building I pulled from the memoir that have helped me tremendously.

1. When out and about pay close attention to those around you and how they behave and record what you see. In other words, people watch. This is something I always do and it of course drives my family crazy. But what better way create real-life characters.

2. Keep in mind that in real life, no one is "the bad guy" or "the best friend." We all regard ourselves as the main character or the protagonist. Use this same attitude when creating characters.

3. Every character is an extension of you in some way, yes the rest is from your imagination. But whether you plan the action or not, a small part of you seeps in.

4. Make your characters behave in such a way that both helps the story and seems reasonable. Think about what we know about the character and what we know of real-life.

5. Make a bad character persuasive. For example, make your readers understand the reasoning behind their actions...this makes the character even more disturbing and real.

6. Remember, sometimes villains feel self doubt or pity. Sometimes the good guy is tempted to not do the right thing.

*Most important tip I took away from this book...If you do your job right, your characters will come to life and start doing stuff on their own.

So there you have it. These tips have helped me breathe new life into the characters in my current WIP and also resulted in a trip to the mall for a session of people watching. Much to my sons embarrassment! But hey, its all for the sake of the story so what can I say? We do what we have to do.

If you haven't read this book yet, I highly recommend. What each person takes away depends on what stage of your journey you are in. And were I to read it again, I'm certain I would take something else away entirely.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Must Read For Writers...

Scary stories and movies were a staple growing up in my house. My mother is a fanatic when it comes to the biting your nails, hide your face in your pillow and try not to scream type of movies. (I'm the one performing these acts not her.) You get the idea. The first scary movie I watched was Carrie based on the novel by the master Stephen King. Though it freaked me out, I loved it. So of course when I got older I simply had to read the book.

Having such an impact on the entertainment in my house growing up, when I stumbled upon his book on writing I knew I had found another must read. I flew through the pages in a day and even took notes. I never take notes when I read. As promised in my goals for the year, I will be posting about the tips I found most helpful. I didn't expect to get the inspiration and determination for my current WIP from one book. But I did.


On Writing by Stephen King
Goodreads Description:
"Long live the King" hailed Entertainment Weekly upon the publication of Stephen King's On Writing. Part memoir, part master class by one of the bestselling authors of all time, this superb volume is a revealing and practical view of the writer's craft, comprising the basic tools of the trade every writer must have. King's advice is grounded in his vivid memories from childhood through his emergence as a writer, from his struggling early career to his widely reported near-fatal accident in 1999 -- and how the inextricable link between writing and living spurred his recovery. Brilliantly structured, friendly and inspiring, On Writing will empower and entertain everyone who reads it -- fans, writers, and anyone who loves a great story well told.

If you have yet to read On Writing, I highly recommend it. The beginning is a memoir of his life followed by his tips on writing. Whatever stage you are on your journey as a writer you will find something to either help, inspire or push you in the right direction.

Monday, January 10, 2011

My Inner Editor

So I have this plan. A goal. One that I thought would be easy to keep up with.

My goal is to write something everyday. Whether it be one page or ten, I want to write every single day. What's the problem you ask?

That little voice that won't shut-up for five minutes. Yes, my inner editor.
I'm so excited that the ideas for my new ms are flowing freely right now and I want to make as much headway as possible before the self doubt sets in. But every time I sit down at the laptop, the editor begins to rant.

I'm so picky that I find myself rereading sentences and picking apart descriptions at every turn. The perfectionist in me wants to constantly check word choice and the fluency of each and every sentence. As you very well know this tends to throw a kink in the progression of one's writing.

But I managed to find a way around this little problem. It was a fluke really. I simply put my laptop away. I put it away and pulled out a clean notebook and my favorite purple pen. I know crazy right? But it works.

Now whenever I get a few spare minutes I write. I write and I don't even think about that pesky little editor that taunts me to go back and fix something that might be a little less than perfect. Why exactly this works I cannot begin to explain, maybe it's that blinking cursor or the empty document page staring back at me that cause my mind to freeze up when I use my computer. But writing long hand is working and for the moment I'm just going with it.

Scribbling away in my notebook has released some of the pressure and makes writing a little bit each day much more attainable and enjoyable. I now remember why I started writing again in the first place. It really is the best outlet for stress and I do love it.

So do you have an inner editor taunting away as you try to write? How do you silence yours?

Friday, January 7, 2011

On My Wishlist...


On My Wishlist is a fun weekly event hosted by Book Chick City. It's where you can list all the books you desperately want but haven't actually bought yet. They can be old, new or forthcoming. Mr Linky is always at the ready for you to link your own 'On My Wishlist' post. If you want to know more click here.

With so many fantastic books coming out I couldn't help but make out a wishlist for the immediate future. I realize that one or two of these have grazed the page of my list on prior occasions, but some books deserve repeating.

So here is my list for this week...

Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Goodreads Description:
A love out of time. A spaceship built of secrets and murder.
Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.

Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone-one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship-tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn't do something soon, her parents will be next.

Now Amy must race to unlock Godspeed's hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there's only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.


Unearthly (Unearthly #1) by Cynthia Hand
Goodreads Description:
In the beginning, there's a boy standing in the trees . . . .

Clara Gardner has recently learned that she's part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn't easy.

Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place—and out of place at the same time. Because there's another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara's less angelic side.

As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she'd have to make—between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?

Unearthly is a moving tale of love and fate, and the struggle between following the rules and following your heart.


The Lost Saint (The Dark Divine #2) by Bree Despain
Goodreads Description:
The non-stop sequel to The Dark Divine delivers an even hotter romance and more thrilling action than Bree Despain's first novel. Grace Divine made the ultimate sacrifice to cure Daniel Kalbi. She gave her soul to the wolf to save him and lost her beloved mother. When Grace receives a haunting phone call from Jude, she knows what she must do. She must become a Hound of Heaven. Desperate to find Jude, Grace befriends Talbot - a newcomer to town who promises her that he can help her be a hero. But as the two grow closer, the wolf grows in Grace, and her relationship with Daniel begins to crumble. Unaware of the dark path she is walking, Grace becomes prideful in her new abilities - not realizing that an old enemy has returned and deadly trap is about to be sprung. Readers, raveous for more Grace and Daniel, will be itching to sink their teeth into The Lost Saint.

Awakened (House of Night #8) by P.C. Cast, Kristin Cast
Goodreads Description:
At the start of Awakened, the pulse-pounding eighth installment of the bestselling House of Night series, Zoey has returned, mostly whole, from the Otherworld to her rightful place as High Priestess at the House of Night. Her friends are just glad to have her back, but after losing her human consort, Heath, will Zoey—or her relationship with her super- hot Warrior, Stark—ever be the same? Stevie Rae is drawn even closer to Rephaim, the Raven Mocker with whom she shares a mysterious and powerful Imprint, but he is a dangerous secret that isolates her from her school, her red fledglings, and even her best friends. When the dark threat of Neferet—who is coming closer and closer to achieving her twisted goal of immortality—and Kalona returns, what will it take to keep the House of Night from being lost forever, and what will one desperate girl do to keep her heart from being irreparably broken?

Well there you have it. So far my goal to put a dent in my TBR pile is not going so well. I'm reading. A lot. But as you can see it has been rather difficult to keep from adding to it. So what books are you dying to read? Did I miss any new releases that have to be added to my list?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Back To Work...

As I write this blog post I am willing myself not to complain, cry or break out the chocolate.

At least not yet.

My room has been moved and ready or not the children will be coming back today. Vacation was fabulous while it lasted, but all good things must come to an end right? So now its back to work and I decided that it was time to set some goals to keep me on track before things get too crazy.

Now I'm not much for making new year's resolutions. Mainly because I am terrible at keeping them. But when I'm not actively writing, I'm a complete mess. You may be laughing right now, but I'm telling the honest truth. Thoughts get jumbled in my head and I feel completely unorganized. You get the idea.

So to keep myself on track and out of chaotic trouble, here are my goals for the year...or at least the immediate future.

1. Write something everyday. I won't give myself a specific word count. It just doesn't work for me. Some days I write one page, while others I write an entire chapter. It all evens out. But I will write everyday.

2. Writing helpful blog posts. I've been blogging since the end of May and while I have less time to work on my writing, I love all of the people I've met and wouldn't trade that for anything. So my goal is to keep my blog fun while helping others along the way. I'm in no way an expert, but what I stumble across that helps me I promise to pass along to you.

3. Make a significant dent in my TBR pile. As you all very well know, the pile is just out of control and only grew over my vacation.

So there you have it. I know my goals will change throughout the year, but for now this will get me started. So what about you? Do you believe in resolutions? If so what are yours?

Monday, January 3, 2011

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren. Anyone can participate in IMM and you are not limited to only sharing books that arrive via your mailbox. You can also share books that you've bought or books that you've gotten at the library. You can find more information on how to participate in the In My Mailbox meme by visiting The Story Siren.

This week in my mailbox...

Rosebush by Michele Jaffe

Instead of celebrating Memorial Day weekend on the Jersey Shore, Jane is in the hospital surrounded by teddy bears, trying to piece together what happened last night. One minute she was at a party, wearing fairy wings and cuddling with her boyfriend. The next, she was lying near-dead in a rosebush after a hit-and-run.
Everyone believes it was an accident, despite the phone threats Jane swears were real. But the truth is a thorny thing. As Jane's boyfriend, friends, and admirers come to visit, more memories surface not just from the party, but from deeper in her past . . . including the night her best friend Bonnie died.

With nearly everyone in her life a suspect now, Jane must unravel the mystery before her killer attacks again. Along the way, she's forced to examine the consequences of her life choices in this compulsively readable thriller.


Once In A Full Moon by Ellen Schreiber

Beware of a kiss under the full moon. It will change your life forever.

Celeste Parker is used to hearing scary stories about werewolves—Legend's Run is famous for them. She's used to everything in the small town until Brandon Maddox moves to Legend's Run and Celeste finds herself immediately drawn to the handsome new student. But when, after an unnerving visit with a psychic, she encounters a pack of wolves and gorgeous, enigmatic Brandon, she must discover whether his transformation is more than legend or just a trick of the shadows in the moonlight.

Her best friends may never forgive her if she gives up her perfect boyfriend, Nash, for Brandon, who's from the wrong side of town. But she can't deny her attraction or the strong pull he has on her. Brandon may be Celeste's hero, or he may be the most dangerous creature she could encounter in the woods of Legend's Run.

Psychic predictions, generations-old secrets, a town divided, and the possibility of falling in love with a hot and heroic werewolf are the perfect formula for what happens . . . once in a full moon.



Sapphique (Incarceron #2) by Catherine Fisher

Finn has escaped from the terrible living Prison of Incarceron, but its memory torments him, because his brother Keiro is still inside. Outside, Claudia insists he must be king, but Finn doubts even his own identity. Is he the lost prince Giles? Or are his memories no more than another construct of his imprisonment? And can you be free if your friends are still captive? Can you be free if your world is frozen in time? Can you be free if you don't even know who you are? Inside Incarceron, has the crazy sorcerer Rix really found the Glove of Sapphique, the only man the Prison ever loved. Sapphique, whose image fires Incarceron with the desire to escape its own nature. If Keiro steals the glove, will he bring destruction to the world? Inside. Outside. All seeking freedom. Like Sapphique.

I hope everyone had a fabulous Christmas and that the new year is off to a great start for all of you. As for me, well that's an entirely different post isn't it?

Now it's share time...what did you get for Christmas?