Sunday, October 31, 2010
I love choreographed dances...
(wait until about 3 minutes into the video to see the dance...)
And flashmobs to high energy music
I think this was one of the original flashmobs
Even a little Glee in Rome
Now how can you not walk away with warm fuzzy feelings when a seemingly random act of entertainment was so well planned?
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Published: Sept 2010
Publisher: Harper Teen
# pages: 326
Copy provided by: Bought
With her rare ability to breathe fire, Jacinda is special even among the draki—the descendants of dragons who can shift between human and dragon forms. But when Jacinda’s rebelliousness leads her family to flee into the human world, she struggles to adapt, even as her draki spirit fades. The one thing that revives it is Will, whose family hunts her kind. Jacinda can’t resist getting closer to him, even though she knows she’s risking not only her life but the draki’s most closely guarded secret.
Romeo and Juliet meet dragons. Well, that's one way to describe 'Firelight'. Hunter meets hunted, love forever doomed, that's another. But describe it how you will, it was great fun to read! I loved it. Jacinda (Jace) is draki - not human, not dragon, but a hyrid of both, really. After being forced to leave her family home as a result of foolishly - and selfishly - breaking the rules, Jace, her twin sister Tamra, and her mother end up in the desert town of Chapparal - the antithesis of her beautiful mountain home. Her struggles to maintain her draki are what make up the story.
' 'Nothing like a barren environment to kill off a draki quickly. I should know." ' (41)
Ms Jordan's descriptions of Jace's discomfort in the blistering heat of the desert had me reaching for my moisturizer. I could almost feel the dry itching of her skin and her longing for the cool moist air of the mountains. Following the Romeo and Juliet analogy, I felt a certain amount of sympathy for Will - he seemed truly uncomfortable in his role as hunter, and was as much trapped by family expectations as Jace was, and I found myself rooting for the two of them almost from the very beginning.
' He smiles, nods, listens as she chatters, but I sense that he doesn't really care, that he's somewhere else ... or wants to be. Just like me.' (49)
Will's cousin Zander was very well written. There is an almost palpable air of danger about him that is obvious from the start.
'One with raven-dark hair shaved close to his head walks ahead of the other. His face is elegant, narrow and beautiful with dark, liquid eyes. Apprehension curls through me. His eyes are dead cold, calculating.' (60)
In fact, if I'm honest, there wasn't anything I didn't like about this book. The draki were a completely new idea that we haven't seen before inYA fiction and Ms Jordans writing made them seem very plausible. It was exciting in spots, creepy in some, hot in others (define 'hot' as you will) and all round good reading. Of course, now we have to wait until the sequel arrives to find out what happens to Jace and Will, and I couldn't find any indication of when that might be on her website. Regular readers will know that I hate to actually give away any of the story in my reviews, so I'll finish by saying -try'Firelight'. It's new, it's exciting and I'm sure you'll love it too.
PS Congratulations to the winners of our Firelight swag giveaway. Hope you enjoyed your loot.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Each week, participating blogs are asked questions to post and answer on their websites.
This week’s question –
I'm thinking that Curlypow would like a larger house to better display her collection...something with it's own personal library! Oh but wait...a bigger house means more cleaning, right?
Now for the best part...we are nearly at 125 followers and are so thrilled that we want to reward out followers with some SIGNED BOOKS!! Please check out our Smart Chicks Kick It Aftermath post. You must be a Google follower to enter and you can earn additional entries by tweeting (please include my ID @clderwee), blogging and adding us to a sidebar. The contest runs all month long but is open to U.S. and Canadians only. Sorry! We are going to start with one signed book to give away and then for every 25 followers we get, we will add another signed book and another winner! We will give away up to 7 signed books.You can find out more
**The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong
Evermore by Alyson Noel
Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr
Blue Bloods by Melisa De La Cruz
Tattoo by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Bring on the Night by Jeri Smith-Ready
Mistletoe (a collection of holiday stories with Melissa De La Cruz)
So here's what we are going to do....since we are Canadian, we will start with The Summoning (since Kelley is a Canadian author). Beginning at 125, for every 25 extra followers we get, we are going to add another book into the draw....one winner per book, all chosen at random and up to 7 books to give away.
UPDATE: We are now at 150 followers so we're adding another book! We will now draw for two winners for a signed book - Summoning by Kelley Armstrong and Evermore by Alyson Noel.
UPDATE: We are at 176 followers and yet another book to add!! We will now draw three winners for one of the following signed books - Summoning by Kelley Armstrong, Evermore by Alyson Noel and Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr. Seems fitting since these three were the 3 main authors throughout the entire tour eh? GOOD LUCK!!
- Please fill out the entry form to win and be a GOOGLE follower. There are a few extra ways you can get additional entries but you MUST leave your links in order for them to count. If you tweet, feel free to use - Win signed books by @melissa_marr @AlysonNoel @jenlynnbarnes @jsmithready @KelleyArmstrong @MelissadelaCruz http://bit.ly/cwI9w7
- Comments won't count as entries but are mighty appreciated.
- This contest is open to Canada and the USA (sorry International peeps. We'll have another contest in the future for you!)
- The deadline to enter is midnight EDT November 28th.
So since it's nearly Halloween, let's chat about this a bit. I personally do like to scare myself by watching horror movies but I since my hubby is a bit of a fraidy cat himself, I am often watching them on my own. I can't do it in a theatre but I do watch them by myself on DVD or television. Why do you ask? So that I can control the volume and mute the scenes that really scare me. Wimpy, yes. Think of it as "scare control". We all have our fears. Mine involve heights, clowns and bugs like centipedes and millipedes. What things are you afraid of?
I'm with Christinabean on the whole Halloween issue, but that's because my kids are past the age of wanting to dress up and go out trick or treating. I still haven't bought any candy yet, so I'm thinking we will probably be one of those dark houses that everyone hates. We used to make a huge production of it and I would sit outside on our decorated porch in my witches costume with the scary sounds playing, and I'd read by flashlight. But it's a case of 'bin there, done that' now. Sorry trick or treaters!
How to describe what I felt about this book? The first word that comes to mind is 'contradictory', but I think that 'conflicted' actually fits better. I'm really not sure at all whether I liked it or not.
I think I liked the story, I certainly finished it, and as readers of this blog are aware, I have no compunction in dropping a book if I'm not enjoying it. But, and it is a fairly big but, at the same time I didn't. See what I mean about conflicted? If I thought of Lenah as just a sheltered teen, the story was fairly believable. But as an almost 600 yr old vampire - forget it. There is no way that anyone with that much life experience - good or bad - would react the way Lenah did. The relationship between Lenah, the girl, and Justin, was quite enjoyable, but then something would be said that reminded me she was a vampire, and the whole thing fell apart. At least for me it did.
My favourite character was Tony - he was just perfect as the art geek who falls for Lenah and doesn't stand a chance - forever the best friend. Unfortunately, as soon as Lenah finds out Justin wants her, Tony takes a back seat. Justin was ok as the romantic male lead, but his easy acceptance of Lenah's declaration about being a serial killing vampire just didn't ring true - not for me anyway.
I really can't decide what it was that didn't work for me. I think it was a combination of things, but all in all the best I can say is, that for me, it was just OK. If anyone out there liked it, let me know. I'm curious to hear other opinions.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Now Eternal: More Love Stories With Bite presents all-new YA stories featuring vampires, the romantic heroes and heroines that still hold the reading public enraptured. A mix of writers from the first anthology and new contributors makes for a fresh new collection with all of the dark romance of its predecessor, and a book that’s sure to thrill vampire romance fans old and new.
I think I mentioned Eternal previously in our interview with the Smart Chicks authors. Jeri Smith-Ready has a story in this anthology and I had received an email newsletter from Rachel Caine mentioning it. One of the things that attracted me to this anthology was the cast (no pun intended) of authors involved in this project. Claudia Gray, Nancy Holder, Lili St Crow, Rachel Caine and Jeri Smith-Ready just to name a few. Sounds like it could be a great collection and it's available November 2nd!
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Now this was a creepy book. I read this last week while on vacation, sharing a room with my young daughter. Sure, reading via flashlight in the middle of the night might have added to the creepy ambiance but still, this was an enjoyable read ranking high on the scare factor.
Reggie, the main character of the book is such a brave character. She does ridiculous things in order to save her little brother from a Vour, a demonic being that takes over her brother's body. Half the time I wasn't sure if Reggie was incredibly brave or incredibly stupid. There are a couple other characters who work with her to research the Vours. Holt has set up the story nicely to continue onto the next book in the series. I found the flow of the book to be steady, initially starting out with a prologue that really grabs the reader's attention and holds it until the end of the book. My copy included the first two chapters of Soulstice so of course I'm dying to read the next book in the series.
The author played up on a couple things to make this story so scary. First of all, demonizing an innocent child is hard to watch. Think of movies such as Poltergeist and the Exorcist. Watching a child turn into something evil really tugs at your emotions, especially if you have children of your own or small brothers and sisters. The second element in this novel that brought the story alive were the descriptions of the Vours. There was enough to give you an idea that it was an evil demonic being but it is the reader's imagination running wild that made the story scary.
The poem at the front of the book says it all -
When dark creeps in and eats the light,
Bury your fears on Sorry Night.
For in the winter's blackest hours
Comes the feasting of the Vours.
No one can see it, the life they store,
Your body's here but not our soul.... (pg. 4)
If you are looking to up the scare factor, you might even want to try this book in audio if it is offered. I imagine listening to the story would be very creepy.
Still looking for more on The Devouring? Check out the trailer on this page.
The second book in this series is called Soulstice and I will definitely be looking to read this one. Book 3 called Fearscape just came out on October 5th. Perhaps I'll try it but this time with the lights on....
Celebrated designer Amy Butler's most coveted products are her handbag sewing patterns. In Style Stitches, Butler presents an array of new bag designs for her fans across the globe. The book offers 12 basic patterns with enough variations to achieve 26 unique looks. Ranging from chic clutches and delicate wristlets to pretty hobo bags and handy coin purses, with instructions for altering dimensions, straps, and embellishments to get the desired look, each project incorporates Butler's fresh, modern style and attention to detail. With illustrated step-by-step directions, a comprehensive techniques section, and a bound-in pocket filled with the patterns themselves, Style Stitches is an essential and fashionable addition to every sewer's library.
This wonderful book by Amy Butler gives you directions and patterns for 12 different bags - but change the sizes and you have 26 possibilities - change the fabrics, and the possibilities are endless. The patterns are listed in the book in order of difficulty. They are all shapes and sizes and have many different functions. There are shopping bags, handbags, check book covers, coin purses, clutch bags and more.
The book is packaged with a hard cover and is spiral bound, so it will lie flat - a must when you have to refer to it mid-stitching. All the patterns are included in a pouch at the back of the book. The instructions are very clear and the diagrams are well-labeled and precise. All-in-all a wonderful book for sewers. I'm hoping to get started on the Cosmo bag (that's the one on the cover) in the next couple of days. I'll let you know how it turns out.
Monday, October 25, 2010
Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she’s struggling to conceal her power and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps, and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever. Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town’s oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them. In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.
I know Christinabean has already posted a review of 'Beautiful Darkness' but I just had to let you know what an enjoyable experience it was listening to Beautiful Creatures'. With all the amazing books that have been released in the last year it is really difficult to pick a favourite, but for me, it has to be 'Beautiful Creatures'. There was just something about it that drew me in from the very first page and wouldn't let me go.
When we got an arc of Beautiful Darkness, Christinabean and I had almost came to blows over who would read it first. I finally gave in, on the condition that I got to keep it afterward - seemed like a good deal to me, right! Anyway, I decided that if I wasn't going to be able to read it before the publication date, I would reread the first one, just as a refresher. I got lucky and it was available on Overdrive and I downloaded it onto my Ipod. What a fantastic week or so I have had listening to this story.
I don't know how many of you listen to audio books, but if you do, you will be well aware that all is not equal in the land of audio. Most audio books are good, but some just stand out from the crowd - whether it's the narrator, the story itself or the extras, I'm not sure, but some are definitely better to listen to than others. Beautiful Creatures on audio was downright astounding.
The story is narrated by Kevin T Collins and he just made the book come alive for me. His southern accent for Ethan was enough to make your knees weak. Everyone was there in the flesh, so to speak - Lena, Ethan, Link, Amma, Uncle Macon, everyone - and I felt as if I could almost reach out and touch them. The bonuses on this recording were the fantastic sound effects. Remember how Lena can affect the weather? Well the sounds of rain, thunder, wind etc were right in there. Fires crackled, glass shattered, doors creaked and slammed - WOW. I think I can say quite truthfully that, for me, this was the best audio book I've listened to yet.
If you've been toying with the idea of trying audio books and you enjoyed Beautiful Creatures, try it out on audio. It was sooooooo good.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Katniss Everdeen, girl on fire, has survived, even though her home has been destroyed. Gale has escaped. Katniss's family is safe. Peeta has been captured by the Capitol. District 13 really does exist. There are rebels. There are new leaders. A revolution is unfolding. It is by design that Katniss was rescued from the arena in the cruel and haunting Quarter Quell, and it is by design that she has long been part of the revolution without knowing it. District 13 has come out of the shadows and is plotting to overthrow the Capitol. Everyone, it seems, has had a hand in the carefully laid plans -- except Katniss. The success of the rebellion hinges on Katniss's willingness to be a pawn, to accept responsibility for countless lives, and to change the course of the future of Panem. To do this, she must put aside her feelings of anger and distrust. She must become the rebels' Mockingjay -- no matter what the personal cost.
Well, I finally got 'Mockingjay' from the library and found the time to read it. I feel as if I'm the last person at the party, if you know what I mean, but at the same time, now that all the fuss is over, I'm looking at it with slightly fresher eyes - does that make sense?
What can I tell you about 'Mockingjay' without giving away any spoilers? It's really, really good! Sorry! I'm sure most of you are already aware of that fact. Well for one thing, I was never sure exactly what was going to happen. Every time I thought I had worked something out, it changed. And was it just me, or did anyone else think that Katniss spent more time in hospital than any person has a right to. The poor kid - she always seems to be getting hit with something.
Throughout the entire book I felt this vague feeling of unease - wondering when the plug was going to be pulled, which of course it was, at the end, metaphorically speaking. Christinabean mentioned in her original review here, that it is not a book for younger teens and I fully agree with her on that point. 'Mockingjay' is filled with high octane action and it doesn't pull any punches. People die, left, right and center, and they don't die nicely. It really tells the story of human weakness - shows how nobody is perfect, how we all struggle with our own demons. The story was heartbreaking, but had a sense of inevitability to it. It made sense, felt right, in the end.
My favourite quote comes almost at the very end, and I don't think it's a spoiler - it just seems to sum everything up for me -
'So after, when he whispers, "You love me. Real or not real?" I tell him, "Real" '
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Hanna simply wants to be loved. With a head plagued by hallucinations, a medicine cabinet full of pills, and a closet stuffed with frilly, violet dresses, Hanna's tired of being the outcast, the weird girl, the freak. So she runs away to Portero, Texas in search of a new home.
But Portero is a stranger town than Hanna expects. As she tries to make a place for herself, she discovers dark secrets that would terrify any normal soul. Good thing for Hanna, she's far from normal. As this crazy girl meets an even crazier town, only two things are certain: Anything can happen and no one is safe.
Friday, October 22, 2010
I started 'The Candidates' at 10.00 pm last night and finished it at 11.30 am this morning. Could not put it down. I loved the characters, the suspense, the romance, the uncertainty - in fact the whole shooting match. Everything about it seemed real to me, even tho' it is basically a variation on the 'X-men' theme. It was so much fun to read.
Dancia has powers that she doesn't know how to control, but isn't inclined to abuse them - just a nice, sweet girl who tries to avoid the spotlight and blend into the background, rather than hurt people.
'Thank you, oh thank you. He must have hit the steering wheel, because a crack ran down one lens of his sunglasses, and a thin line of blood connected his eyebrows. But he was alive.' (36)
Jack is the good-looking, bad boy, that you can't help but like - tortured, but with a reason.
'I cringed. Jack was using his cold, I-don't-give-a-crap voice, the one I'd heard him use on Trevor and teachers who tried to get him to behave in class.' (140)
Cam is the good-looking, good guy that you crush on, but there's something not quite right about him. That sense of 'not-quite-right' is almost palpable and I just loved it.
'We made our way out of the library, my hand tucked inside Cam's. I ran through a hundred different reasons why he might be holding my hand, none of which involved his everlasting love and devotion.' (114)
I really wasn't sure what was going to happen with the 'triangle' of Dancia, Jack and Cam, and without giving away anything, I found myself really pleased with the way things turned out, although I am sure that there will be major twists in the follow-up - 'The Watchers' - which I think is due out next August, but don't quote me on that.
A wonderful start to a new series. Can't wait for the next one.
Each week, participating blogs are asked questions to post and answer on their websites. This week's question comes from Becky who blogs at Becky's Barmy Book Blog:
"Where is your favorite place to read? Curled up on the sofa, in bed, in the garden?"
Thursday, October 21, 2010
This is a captivatingly beautiful story. One blogger put it perfectly – Mean Girls meets Groundhog Day. Imagine re-living the same day 7 times and then realizing that each day you relive, you need to learn something from it. Each time Sam relives this one day, she peels back the layers of who she really is and the things that matter most to her. It’s as if popularity has turned her into a superficial Barbie doll and along the way, she's lost her true self. I'm sure this happens to many of us growing up.
Ms. Oliver writes rich text and illustrates each scene beautifully. Her writing is magical and the words in her books really capture the imagery you need as a reader to fully immerse and invest yourself in the story. I was surprised to see this book at my friend's house as she hasn't been reading for awhile. Her boyfriend's SON recommended it to her. Now, to hear that boys are reading this book as well really puts the novel in perspective. Yes, the main character is female but her journey can be applied to anyone - male or female.
This story had such an affect on me I wrote to Lauren on her Facebook page to tell her how much I was moved by her novel. Believe it or not, she wrote me back. I was stunned. It was a beautiful message and I was thrilled that she would take the time to correspond with me one on one. Then, she sent me some signed bookplates. I follow her on Twitter and watch her blog for posts but I will always remember how kind her words were and appreciate the time she took to acknowledge my message. She was on tour at the time and I was floored that she did this. I know that as authors, you are busy writing, on a tour schedule, doing interviews and living your lives outside of your books but readers are the ones who will connect with your words and building the relationships with those readers is how you will remain successful. There are so few stand-alone titles anymore, (most nowadays are series) and sometimes it is hard to find one worth reading. Read this one. I think it will be worth your while. Lauren, I cannot wait to read Delirium.
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Summary (by Goodreads):
Nine of us came here. We look like you. We talk like you. We live among you. But we are not you. We can do things you dream of doing. We have powers you dream of having. We are stronger and faster than anything you have ever seen. We are the superheroes you worship in movies and comic books—but we are real.
Our plan was to grow, and train, and become strong, a ...more Nine of us came here. We look like you. We talk like you. We live among you. But we are not you. We can do things you dream of doing. We have powers you dream of having. We are stronger and faster than anything you have ever seen. We are the superheroes you worship in movies and comic books—but we are real.
Our plan was to grow, and train, and become strong, and become one, and fight them. But they found us and started hunting us first. Now all of us are running. Spending our lives in shadows, in places where no one would look, blending in. we have lived among you without you knowing.
But they know.
They caught Number One in Malaysia.
Number Two in England.
And Number Three in Kenya.
They killed them all.
I am Number Four.
I am next.
I had only seen inklings of this book around the blogsphere in the past few months and to be honest, the cover doesn't really scream out to me but when I saw the movie trailer for this, I thought - hmmm...looks a little more interesting. I admit it. I am influenced by the media. In fact, if it is dinnertime and I see a KFC commercial, I suddenly feel like having chicken. Looks like those marketing people have got me all figured out...
Check out this trailer and tell me if you're interested. Having handsome Alex Pettyfer as eye candy doesn't influence my decision either....ummm...errr....not...at..all....
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
This is one of the most unusual and hard-hitting retellings of a fairytale that I have yet to encounter. When you read this book you are instantly transported back to the horrors of World War II and you find yourself in the middle of a nightmare. It is so powerfully written that you have to almost physically pull yourself back to the present. I find it quite hard to actually describe the book - the summary above works, but there are so many levels to this book. To tell you more would be to spoil the effect of the story. Really, the only thing I can say is -read it. For those of you out there who like fractured fairytales and haven't read this, please try it and then tell me what you think. I really would like to know.
Monday, October 18, 2010
Christinabean is on vacation this week, so I thought I would let you know what I got in my mailbox this week. Check out these covers below. What a great haul. My chequebook is now complaining loudly, but it feels like I just won the lottery.
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Grace has spent years watching the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf—her wolf—watches back. He feels deeply familiar to her, but she doesn't know why.
Sam has lived two lives. As a wolf, he keeps the silent company of the girl he loves. And then, for a short time each year, he is human, never daring to talk to Grace...until now.
For Grace and Sam, love has always been kept at a distance. But once it's spoken, it cannot be denied. Sam must fight to stay human—and Grace must fight to keep him—even if it means taking on the scars of the past, the fragility of the present, and the impossibility of the future.
I like the cover of the book but I’m not sure why it took me so long to read it. I’m sorry it did. Since I've read Shiver, I have also finished reading Linger (2nd book of the Wolves of Mercy Falls). I still need to do a review though.
So let me tell you about Shiver. It is a love story. An all out romantic love story about a girl and a wolf. If you let it, the words will caress you and trap you in their embrace. The characters in the story feel real and believable and I love the lyrical elements sprinkled throughout. Originally I wanted to do this post in some kind of lyrical presentation but honestly, I'm not sure I could do it justice without being embarassed. Maggie writes beautifully and Shiver is a wonderful book to read if you want a book that will pull at your heartstrings and have you rooting for a happy ending.
The main thing that sets this book apart from other novels is it's appearance. The book is printed in blue ink on the inside. Ninety-nine percent of all others are black. Linger is in a dark green ink and her 3rd book, Forever will be in red.
Maggie makes reference to music a lot in this book and Sam is incredibly lyrical. Her writing reminds me a bit of Lauren Oliver's Before I Fall in that it flows like a song. Ms. Stiefvater makes many references to song lyrics that Sam makes up in his head. If ever she runs out of steam writing terrific series, she could always find work as a lyricist or a muse. This woman is amazing. Oh, and I haven't even begun to talk about the work she can do with a Sharpie. Is it fair for someone to have so much talent?
I had an opportunity to chat with her for a bit via Facebook when Indigo/Chapters had an online interview session with her. Fans could ask her questions in a live ‘chat’. It was very cool....
Be sure to check out all of the books in the Wolves of Mercy Falls series -
<-----This is the cover of the newest title (Blogger is messing with my formatting right now...
The cover for Forever was announced just a few weeks ago. I love the continuity of this series....I will be continuing with Forever when it comes out in July 2011!!
Friday, October 15, 2010
Each week, participating blogs are asked questions to post and answer on their websites.
This week’s question (and I'm so honored that they chose my question this week) –
This week's question comes from Christinabean who blogs at The Paperback Princesses.
"When you read a book that you just can't get into, do you stick it out and keep reading or move to your next title?"
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Mass Market Release: Oct. 5, 2010
Copy provided by: Bought
Deciding that true romantic heroes are a thing of the past, Eloise Kelly, an intelligent American who always manages to wear her Jimmy Choo suede boots on the day it rains, leaves Harvard's Widener Library bound for England to finish her dissertation on the dashing pair of spies the Scarlet Pimpernel and the Purple Gentian. What she discovers is something the finest historians have missed: a secret history that begins with a letter dated 1803. Eloise has found the secret history of the Pink Carnation the most elusive spy of all time, the spy who single-handedly saved England from Napoleon's invasion.
The Secret History of the Pink Carnation, a wildly imaginative and highly adventurous debut, opens with the story of a modern-day heroine but soon becomes a book within a book. Eloise Kelly settles in to read the secret history hoping to unmask the Pink Carnation's identity, but before she can make this discovery, she uncovers a passionate romance within the pages of the secret history that almost threw off the course of world events. How did the Pink Carnation save England? What became of the Scarlet Pimpernel and the Purple Gentian? And will Eloise Kelly find a hero of her own?
I first read 'The Secret History of the Pink Carnation' back in March of 2005, not long after it's original release in February. I've always enjoyed historical novels and I thought it looked intriguing. Besides, the title reminded me of one of my favourite books 'The Scarlet Pimpernel' by Baroness Orczy, and the Scarlet Pimpernel was mentioned in the blurb - I just had to try it. How glad I am that I did - I had fun with this book from start to finish. It's witty, exciting, romantic, adventurous and downright funny in places.
You're really getting a two'fer with this book. We have the story of Eloise, who is trying to finish her dissertation, escape her bad luck, and find out if heros really do exist. Then there is the historical story of the Pink Carnation, which takes place during the Napoleonic wars and is full of excitement and intrigue.
History has identified the Scarlet Pimpernel and the Purple Gentian, but no-one has ever been able to identify the Pink Carnation, and Eloise finds herself in London chasing clues. After meeting Mrs Selwick-Alderly, she is given access to a series of letters that will eventually lead to the identity of the elusive 'carnation'. Eloise has to navigate her way through the English countryside and cope with English 'upper crust' and at the same time the Pink Carnation is trying to save England from France. The two stories mesh seemlessly, and at times I had a hard time remembering that it is all fiction.
One of the best things about this novel to my mind is the fact that the story trancends age barriers. It is totally appropriate for teens as well as adults. There are a few sexual references, but nothing explicit (a fact that was confirmed by Ms. Willlig herself - thank you), and for any older teens out there who enjoy historical fiction I highly recommend this novel. It is a great transitional novel for those of you who have finished all the YA historical titles and don't know what to try next.
In fact, I highly recommend the series. Secret History is the first, closely followed by: 'The Masque of the Black Tulip'; 'The Deception of the Emerald Ring'; 'The Seduction of the Crimson Rose'; 'The Temptation of the Night Jasmine' and 'The Betrayal of the Blood Lily'. 'The Mischief of the Mistletoe' is due out later this month and 'The Orchid Affair' is due Jan. 2011 - I have to add those last two to my Christmas list. Check out THIS LINK to find out more about all the titles in the series. Now that Secret History is out in a mass market edition it makes it more affordable for teens and I'm certain you will absolutely love it. Give it a try and let me know what you think.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Together they can face anything Gatlin throws at them, but after suffering a tragic loss, Lena starts to pull away, keeping secrets that test their relationship. And now that Ethan's eyes have been opened to the darker side of Gatlin, there's no going back. Haunted by strange visions only he can see, Ethan is pulled deeper into his town's tangled history and finds himself caught up in the dangerous network of underground passageways endlessly crisscrossing the South, where nothing is as it seems.
What a fabulous read! I was up until 1:30am reading this book so that I could post a review before it was officially released. I definitely recommend reading Beautiful Creatures prior to reading Beautiful Darkness. Even if you have already read BC but it has been awhile, you really do need to re-read it. I found that the first 50 pages I was having trouble remembering everything that had happened. It is not a series that you can just jump into. Kami and Margie have built up the story, setting and characters throughout both books. Beautiful Darkness weaves the story more intricately. Trust me, you won't be disappointed if you re-read BC first.
How these two authors co-write together is beyond me. This story has so much depth on so many levels. The struggle between Lena and Ethan is very real. You see their relationship tested in new ways and you never really know if he should stay or if he should go. I love how the story is from Ethan's point of view. It makes the series much more encouraging for guys to read. I was telling my husband about The Caster Chronicles last night and he might even give it a go. (In the 20+ years I've know him, I've never seen him pick up a book....now THAT'S saying something!)
I love reading supernatural books but this one is so different than your regular werewolf and vampire series. It has elements of magic, culture and history. It is rich with generational mysteries that seem so plausible and real. Reading book 2 of the Caster Chronicles, felt like a crescendo was building in my brain up until Chapter 34...and then I had that "aha" moment of understanding. It is a long journey but oh so worth the wait.
On the authors -
Margaret and Kami started writing Beautiful Creatures on a DARE from Margie's oldest daughter. Imagine a dare turned into a NY Times best selling book. They are currently #5 on the list with Beautiful Creatures. Congratulations ladies!
At first when we met Margaret at the Smart Chicks Kick it Tour, she seemed so shy but as she got warmed up, we realized what a hoot she is. She even came by through the line up to sign our books and take pictures as the rest of the authors were at the table signing. It was very sweet. We were disappointed that we were unable to meet Kami as she was ill for the last part of the tour but she is a loyal Tweeter and I have gotten a few messages from her. If you don't already, you should follow them on Twitter - Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. You can also find out more about The Caster Chronicles here.
On a totally different note, Jennifer Lynn Barnes (Raised by Wolves) was at the same signing with Margaret Stohl and I just found this quote so IRONIC as I was reading....
(Amma talking about Link)
....She felt bad for Link. "Can't believe that boy has to live in a house with that woman. He'd be better off if he was bein' raised by wolves."
Tangent ends here....
I found a few fan-made trailers on YouTube for Sixteen Moons, the lyrics of the poem were made into a very catchy song by Michele McGonigle. This was my favorite because it seems more professional looking than the others and the sound quality was much better. Be forewarned though, the filming is rather dark and it is a bit hard to see.
Las Vegas is gone—destroyed in a terrorist attack. Black Hawk helicopters patrol the skies over New York City. And immersive online gaming is the most dangerous street drug around. In this dystopic near-future, technology has leapt forward once again, and neuro-headsets have replaced computer keyboards. Just slip on a headset, and it’s the Internet at the speed of thought.For teen hacker Sam Wilson, a headset is a must. But as he becomes familiar with the new technology, he has a terrifying realization. If anything on his computer is vulnerable to a hack, what happens when his mind is linked to the system? Could consciousness itself be hijacked? Before he realizes what’s happened, Sam’s incursion against the world’s largest telecommunications company leads him to the heart of the nation’s cyberdefense network and brings him face to face with a terrifying and unforeseen threat.
Publisher: Tor Teen
"At any hour of the day or night, millions of people around the globe are engrossed in multiplayer online games, questing and battling to win virtual gold, jewels, and precious artifacts. Meanwhile, others seek to exploit this vast shadow economy, running electronic sweatshops in the world’s poorest countries, where countless “gold farmers,” bound to their work by abusive contracts and physical threats, harvest virtual treasure for their employers to sell to First World gamers who are willing to spend real money to skip straight to higher-level gameplay. Mala is a brilliant 15-year-old from rural India whose leadership skills in virtual combat have earned her the title of “General Robotwalla.” In Shenzen, heart of China’s industrial boom, Matthew is defying his former bosses to build his own successful gold-farming team. Leonard, who calls himself Wei-Dong, lives in Southern California, but spends his nights fighting virtual battles alongside his buddies in Asia, a world away. All of these young people, and more, will become entangled with the mysterious young woman called Big Sister Nor, who will use her experience, her knowledge of history, and her connections with real-world organizers to build them into a movement that can challenge the status quo. The ruthless forces arrayed against them are willing to use any means to protect their power—including blackmail, extortion, infiltration, violence, and even murder. To survive, Big Sister’s people must out-think the system. This will lead them to devise a plan to crash the economy of every virtual world at once—a Ponzi scheme combined with a brilliant hack that ends up being the biggest, funnest game of all."
I have to be honest that I haven't read any of the above, but all of them sound really great. I don't know if there are any guys out there that read our blog, but if there are, and you have read any of the above, we'd love to hear your take on them. I am just waiting for my copy of Rot and Ruin - zombie fun - so keep your eyes open for my review soon.
Monday, October 11, 2010
So let's just start with our day...Curlypow arrived at my house and we drove out to Brampton together. I think it took us about 1 1/2 hours to get there. We arrived at around 11:30 for the 2:00 signing and believe it or not, all of the seats were taken. People were already lining up.
|These girls didn't manage to get seats but were at the very front of the line up and they went all out in their Smart Chicks attire. They were all very sweet to pose for me and they had Smart Chicks Kick it plastered all over their tanks and bottoms.|
|Here's a picture of all of the books we got signed from the visit. That's 26 books. See the pile to the right? That's for YOU to win. Keep watching for our next giveaway, coming up soon.|