Sunday, October 25, 2009

Just a bit of a warning/update thingy

Hey guys!

I just wanted to let everyone know that despite my computer issues (as explained in todays IMM), tomorrow I will be scheduling a few new reviews and when those go up I will be unveiling a new review system and the use of actual stars! And while that may or may not sound like much to you guys, for me getting some pretty little star graphics is fun and makes me happy. I've spent quite a long time looking through reviews and of other sites that I absolutely love and have come up with the categories that I think are most important in a review and I hope you guys will like what I'm doing. I would greatly appreciate any feedback you guys have :)

And I am about to start work on getting some pretty menu buttons to make my blog not only easier to navigate, but also look a bit more professional (at least that's my goal). So things will change up a little bit on that front too.

Thanks so much guys!
Samantha

In My Mailbox *16*

Created by The Story Siren who was inspired by Alea.
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Hey guys, this week I have no picture. Many of you who follow me on Twitter, know this already, but for those of you who don't I will tell you why I have no picture. There's two reasons actually. First, my forever loving sister brought home the virus from Hell and poisoned not only me, but also my mother, so we've both been laid up in bed most of the week being all feverish and congested and icky (I am FINALLY feeling somewhat better today). Second, for some reason my lovely little laptop decided that it didn't want to work anymore. It has now decided that it doesn't want to find the hard drive for reasons unknown to me and so now I have to get it all sent back and what not. This laptop being the sole creature that keeps me working, so now I am using a much slower laptop that I don't like near aas much as mine, but whatever.
But I did get a couple of things this week and I will tell you what they are!
For Review:
Fallen by Lauren Kate (So excited and was quite surprised when I got it in the mail this week. It made me smile through my sickness :P)
Randomly:
Hush, Hush poster!! (The lovely people at Simon & Shuster read my mind, got my smoke signals, or maybe saw the form I sent for the contest they were having to get one and were just forever lovely to send me one! And boy is it GORGEOUS!)
That's what I got this week, what was in your mailbox?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Books I Crave *5*

This is a weekly meme, hosted here, that was inspired by Kristi over at The Story Siren and Jill over at Breaking the Spine, with help from Laina over at Laina Has Too Much Spare Time.
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*All summaries are from Amazon, unless noted otherwise*

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han
Release: Out Now!

Some summers are just destined to be pretty

Belly measures her life in summers. Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August. Winters are simply a time to count the weeks until the next summer, a place away from the beach house, away from Susannah, and most importantly, away from Jeremiah and Conrad. They are the boys that Belly has known since her very first summer -- they have been her brother figures, her crushes, and everything in between. But one summer, one wonderful and terrible summer, the more everything changes, the more it all ends up just the way it should have been all along.



Dirty Little Secrets by C.J. Omololu
Release: February 2, 2010

Everyone has a secret. But Lucy’s is bigger and dirtier than most. It’s one she’s been hiding for years—that her mom’s out-of-control hoarding has turned their lives into a world of garbage and shame. She’s managed to keep her home life hidden from her best friend and her crush, knowing they’d be disgusted by the truth. So, when her mom dies suddenly in their home, Lucy hesitates to call 911 because revealing their way of life would make her future unbearable—and she begins her two-day plan to set her life right.
With details that are as fascinating as they are disturbing, C. J. Omololu weaves an hour-by-hour account of Lucy’s desperate attempt at normalcy. Her fear and isolation are palpable as readers are pulled down a path from which there is no return, and the impact of hoarding on one teen’s life will have readers completely hooked.


Violet Wings by Victoria Hanley
Release: Out Now!

For Zaria Tourmaline, the three years without her mother and brother have been lonely ones, living with a cold and distant guardian while she completes her education. Just as she is ready to join the world of adult fairies and genies, she finds a spellbook written entirely in her mother’s hand. But this treasured object is not safe from a new enemy, a fairy with more power than Zaria ever dreamed existed. Only among the humans–who must never know fairies and genies exist–can Zaria hide the spellbook; but hidden magic, it turns out, can expose a fairy in ways she never thought possible.



Read My Lips by Teri Brown
Release: Out Now!

Popularity is as easy as a good secret.

Serena just wants to fly under the radar at her new school. But Serena is deaf, and she can read lips really well-even across the busy cafeteria. So when the popular girls discover her talent, there's no turning back.

From skater chick to cookie-cutter prep, Serena's identity has done a 180...almost. She still wants to date Miller, the school rebel, and she's not ready to trade her hoodies for pink tees just yet. But she is rising through the ranks in the school's most exclusive clique.

With each new secret she uncovers, Serena feels pressure to find out more. Reading lips has always been her greatest talent, but now Serena just feels like a gigantic snoop...


Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
Release: Out Now!

It is the cusp of World War I, and all the European powers are arming up. The Austro-Hungarians and Germans have their Clankers, steam-driven iron machines loaded with guns and ammunition. The British Darwinists employ fabricated animals as their weaponry. Their Leviathan is a whale airship, and the most masterful beast in the British fleet.

Aleksandar Ferdinand, prince of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, is on the run. His own people have turned on him. His title is worthless. All he has is a battle-torn Stormwalker and a loyal crew of men.

Deryn Sharp is a commoner, a girl disguised as a boy in the British Air Service. She's a brilliant airman. But her secret is in constant danger of being discovered.

With the Great War brewing, Alek's and Deryn's paths cross in the most unexpected way...taking them both aboard the Leviathan on a fantastical, around-the-world adventure. One that will change both their lives forever.


Now, what books do you crave?
If you would like to participate in this meme, just link back to me and leave the link to your post in the comments! You can find the specifics here!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Waiting On Wednesday *12*

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It's a weekly look at upcoming releases that we're excited about!

This week's book is one that just looks and sounds fabulous! The cover is just amazing AND it's a Tenner book! And everybody knows the Tenner's are just awesome! So of course I'm excited!

Bleeding Violet
by Dia Reeves
Release: January 5, 2010

From Amazon:
Love can be a dangerous thing....

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.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Teaser Tuesday *5*

Hey! So I know that I've not done Teaser Tuesday in what seems like forever, but it's back! And I will be too. Since my trip to Nashville, I didn't get great news and I've been dealing with a lot of that, so I've kind of checked out on a few things. But I miss those things, and it wasn't doing me any good, so I am back! Thanks so much for being patient with me, it's not been an easy time personally. But starting this week, things should go back to normal! Anyways, on to Teaser Tuesday!

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along by checking out rules and whatnot at the link above!

I like most of the blogosphere have been infected by the dreaded reading slump! But I'm pulling myself out of it (er, trying). This weeks book is one that I waited and waited on and I am totally loving it so far!

"He was more handsome than any man she had ever seen, but like the other riders, he was pale as a ghost. When he spoke, she was stunned that she could understand him, and he said, "You must go back."

Author: Malinda Lo
Title: Ash
Page: 33-34

Saturday, October 17, 2009

In My Mailbox *15*

Created by The Story Siren who was inspired by Alea.
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This week wasn't as eventful as others, but that's very okay with me since I'm starting to be afraid that my stacks (yes plural) of review books are going to eat me in my sleep! But since I've become victim to this dreaded reading slump, and just as I THOUGHT I was coming out of it, I had to go to the dentist and that made things worse. SO. Onto the book I got this week, and I was VERY excited for this one and the other stuffs I got!

For review:
Little Black Lies by Tish Cohen

Goodies:
Gorgeous bookmarks from the sweet Julie Kwagawa for The Iron King! And she was kind enough to sign one for me! They are beautiful, aren't they?
I also got a sweet letter and an Ancient Roman coin from the lovely Michelle Moran (author of Cleopatra's Daughter). Which makes me even more excited to read! I'm hoping to do that soon!

That's what was in my mailbox this week, what was in yours?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Winners!

So I was going to announce the winners of my contest to win ankh tattoos on Monday, but if you follow me on Twitter then you know I went to the denist on Monday and haven't exactly felt great since. But I am back and feel somewhat better today and I have the six winners!

*drumroll*

The winners are:
Haleyknitz
Nina
Sara
ReaderGirl321
Insert Book Title
The Bookologist
I want to thank all of you that entered! The winners have been contacted and have 48 hours to get back to me with their address or I will pick a new winner.
Thanks!

Waiting on Wednesday *11*

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It's a weekly look at upcoming releases that we're excited about!



I am just dying to get my hands on this! It looks so good! And the cover is so pretty and elegant looking, while still looking dark and mysterious.

by Bree Despain
Release Date: December 22, 2009
From Bree's website:
A prodigal son
A dangerous love
A deadly secret . . .
I stood back and watched his movements. Daniel had that way about him that could shut me down in an instant. . . . I kicked the gravel a couple of times and worked up my courage again. “Tell me . . . I mean . . . why did you come back? Why now, after all this time?”

Grace Divine, daughter of the local pastor, always knew something terrible happened the night Daniel Kalbi disappeared—the night she found her brother Jude collapsed on the porch, covered in blood. But she has no idea what a truly monstrous secret that night really held. And when Daniel returns three years later, Grace can no longer deny her attraction to him, despite promising Jude she’ll stay away.

As Grace gets closer to Daniel, her actions stir the ancient evil Daniel unleashed that horrific night. Grace must discover the truth behind Jude and Daniel's dark secret . . . and the cure that can save the ones she loves. But she may have to lay down the ultimate sacrifice to do it—her soul.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

In My Mailbox *14*

Created by The Story Siren who was inspired by Alea.
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This week I got 3 books and an audiobook! This will be my first attempt at an audiobook since Freshman Honors English...I hope this goes better than The Red Badge of Courage did. Ah, I'm sure it will, it is Hush, Hush after all. And my MOM is even going to give it a listen!

For Review:
Crossroads by Steven Nedelton
The Total Tragedy of a Girl Named Hamlet by Erin Dionne

Won:
Willow by Julia Hoban (SIGNED!!) (Contest at Bookworming in the 21st Century, Thanks Kristen)
Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick (audiobook) (Twitter contest by @HushHushFan who runs Fallen Archangel, A Hush, Hush fansite)


Now, the books in the picture above I actually got last month(ish) from Kristi's wonderful Books for Grabs, and kinda forgot about including them until the other night, so I thought I would include them this week in there own pretty picture. And yes you do see a dog butt and another dog's head above them. Those are just two of my babies!

From Kristi, The fantastic Story Siren:
Never Cry Werewolf by Heather Davis
Karma for Beginners by Jessica Blank
If the Witness Lied by Caroline B. Cooney

From Yan, The awesome Books By Their Cover:
The Tear Collector by Patrick Jones
Rumors: A Luxe Novel by Anna Godberson

That's what was in my mailbox, what was in yours?

Friday, October 9, 2009

Become a Secret Society Teen Ambassador!!!

So, the awesome Tom Dolby, author of Secret Society, is holding a contest for Secret Society Teen Ambassadors! Now what is a teen ambassador? All you have to do is go to the website at the end of this post and enter your name to Tom and you will be entered to win one of fifteen Initiation kits!

These kits includes:
  • “The Initiates were given what looked like tattoos at the nape of their necks.” A set of 15 temporary ankh tattoos for you and 14 Initiates. Give them out wisely!
  • “Anastasia took a sip of her martini, leaving a dark red lipstick print on her glass.” Your ticket to gorgeous lips and cheeks, TheBalm’s Stainiac Beauty Queen tinted gel blush (”a hint of tint for the lips and cheeks”)! A $15 value! (and it's sold at Sephora!)
  • “A card was included with the package that simply read, ‘With compliments.’” A one-of-a-kind vintage New York postcard signed by Tom — use it as a bookmark!
  • “Patch and Nick used to play this game in class, where they would pass notes.” One beautiful, retro-styled Field Notes mini-notebook, perfect for writing down secrets! At the Bradford Trust, we’re crazy about these little notebooks. Normally, three are $10!
  • “Lauren started to open it, but Emily stopped her.” Last, but not least: a secret initiation tool — here’s a hint: it’s sealed with an ankh!

This is the first of a number of giveaways that Tom and the Bradford Trust are doing for these Initiation kits. So if you don't win this time around, keep an eye out because later in the fall there will be fifteen more kits up for grabs!

So head on over and enter!

For entry and more information, go HERE!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday *10*

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It's a weekly look at upcoming releases that we're excited about!



What can I say? I love music, so this one immediately attracted me. Then there's the cover that is just an awesome motion shot. Love it! Can't wait to read it!

by Yvonne Prinz
Release Date: December 22, 2009
From Amazon:
Summer is here, and 16-year-old Allie, a self-professed music geek, is exactly where she wants to be: working full-time at Berkeley’s ultra-cool Bob and Bob Records. There, Allie can spend her days bantering with the street people, talking the talk with the staff, shepherding the uncool bridge-and-tunnel shoppers, all the while blissfully surrounded by music, music, music. It’s the perfect setup for her to develop her secret identity as The Vinyl Princess, author of both a brand-new zine and blog. From the safety of her favourite place on earth, Allie is poised to have it all: love, music and blogging.
Her mother, though, is actually the one getting the dates, and business at Allie’s beloved record store is becoming dangerously slow—not to mention that there have been a string of robberies in the neighbourhood. At least her blog seems to be gaining interest, one vinyl junkie at a time….

Sunday, October 4, 2009

In My Mailbox *13*

Created by The Story Siren who was inspired by Alea.
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This week I got quite a few books and I also found some books that I got a couple weeks ago, but there wasn't enough room in the picture...so I will include those next week! So, here's the breakdown:

Review:
Lady Macbeth's Daughter by Lisa Klein
Lips Touch by Laini Taylor
The Well by A. J. Whitten
Hybrid by Angie L. Reed
Girl In The Arena by Lisi Haines
Ash by Malinda Lo
When The Snow Fell by Henning Mankell
Archenemy by Frank Beddor
Sphinx's Princess by Esther Friesner

Won:
Heat Wave by Richard Castle (I love Castle on ABC, so I'm so excited!!!!)

Bought:
The Tattoo Design Directory by Vince Hemingson (Not pictured) - I'm not really interested in getting a tattoo anymore, but this thing has some really facinating stuff in it aboout the different cultures and meanings and all that. It's really cool.

That's what was in my mailbox, so what was in yours?

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Interview with Tom Dolby + Extras!

So I had the honor to interview Tom Dolby, author of the fabulous Secret Society! So let's get started with the interview:

Samantha: What about secret societies made you so interested in writing a novel about them?

Tom: I've always found secret societies so intriguing -- since none of us actually know what goes on inside them, just about anything could happen to my characters!


Samantha: If you were stuck on a deserted island with three of your characters from Secret Society, which three characters would it be and why?

Tom: So I have to pick three out of four! Well, I think I probably relate to Nick, Phoebe, and Patch the most. I love Lauren, but I think those three are my favorite.


Samantha: This books seems to be different from the other books you've written. How different was it writing this book than it was writing the others?

Tom: It was very different -- it's a very fast-moving book, and I had also never written a book from four different character perspectives. I like that it shifts from one to another -- it makes you realize that how we experience the world is mostly about from which perspective we are seeing it.


Samantha: What authors have inspired your writing and which authors are on your favorites list?

Tom: This novel was inspired by classic adventure stories, and also classics like JD Salinger and F. Scott Fitzgerald. I also love the work of writers like Scott Westerfeld and Melissa de la Cruz, who are writing adventure and mystery stories in a contemporary vein.



Samantha: Are there certain things you like to do to get inspired? If so, what are some things you do?

Tom: I like to take as many walks as I can, and to exercise regularly -- it's so important to get out of your head so you can get back into it.



Samantha: There are so many secret societies out there, fictional and nonfictional, were there any of those that you pulled from to put together "The Society"?

Tom: Definitely -- I did a lot of research to find inspiration, from Skull & Bones to the Masons.



Samantha: What are five random facts about you that readers wouldn't typically know?

Tom: I am obsessed with our new dog, Woody, who is absolutely adorable; I mostly drink iced tea; I only write in a certain kind of notebook each day; I love staying in hotels; and I can't live without a good thesaurus.


Samantha: Is there a specific reason you set Secret Society in New York and not somewhere else, like Cambridge or New Haven?

Tom: I wanted to write about a high school level secret society that affected a number of students, and NY was the perfect playground for that -- New Haven would have been fun, but perhaps a bit too close to the Yale secret societies.



Samantha: Is there anything at all you can give us about The Dendur Conspiracy?

Tom: Well, for one, it's still not officially titled (though I loved that title!) so it will be called something else. It picks up right where the first book left off, so I promise not to leave everyone hanging for too long!

Tom Dolby is the author of the novels The Sixth Form, The Trouble Boy, and the Secret Society series, including the novel Secret Society and its upcoming sequel. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Village Voice, and the San Francisco Chronicle. Tom was born in London and raised in San Francisco. Tom is a graduate of the Hotchkiss School and Yale University, where he received his BA in the history of art. He currently divides his time between Manhattan’s West Village and Wainscott, New York, where he is working on the next book in the Secret Society series, as well as a novel for adults.

For more information on Tom and on Secret Society, check out the following links:
Secret Society Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/bradfordtrust (which is really awesome!)


For those of you that have stuck around to read the entire interview, I have an extra surprise! In addition to this wonderful interview, Tom graciously sent me a few awesome temprorary tattoos. Which have the signature ankh from the back of the model's neck on the front of the novel, above the ankh it says Secret Society and below it says "Get Initiated October 2009".
I have 6 bundles of 3 tattoos each to giveaway (One tattoo for you and two to "initiate" your friends)!

So there will be 6 winners! To enter this giveaway just leave a comment that says "I want to be initiated into The Society." Along with your email address so I can contact you. This contest will end at 11:59 PM on October 10, 2009.
The contest is open Internationally.
Winners will be notified on October 11, 2009. Enjoy!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Broken by Alyxandra Harvey-Fitzhenry

Author: Alyxandra Harvey-Fitzhenry
Category: Contemporary
Release Date: October 1, 2008
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Everyone has felt broken at one point in their lives, some more broken than others, but broken none the less. Ash Perrault has felt that way since her mother died, but now her world is changing and she has every reason to be angry.

Her father’s fiancĂ©e, Ella, is moving in, with her two daughters, Katie and Julia; Ash’s best friend, Mouse, is keeping a secret from her; and Seth, the guy she is “seeing,” is embarrassed to be seen with her. But on top of all that, she has the problem of glass breaking around her when she’s not even near it.

Alyxandra Harvey-Fitzhenry has tried to make Broken a modern-style Cinderella story, but that attempt wasn’t quite successful. The only character that was well developed was Ash, and the only character that was even enjoyable was Mouse. The rest just seemed like people to fill in holes of chaos in Ash’s world.

Even Ash is kind of a clichĂ©, aside from purple hair and 90s clothes, she is the outcast, art student who is misunderstood and gets in trouble. Seems like the typical teen angst novel. The writing is average at best and jerky at worst. Seth is the normal high school jock, at the top of the school, cheerleader ex-girlfriend. Ella gets called her stepmother, while Katie and Julia are called her stepsisters, even though the marriage hasn’t take place yet (that just irked my nerves).

The storyline isn’t even all that original, the outcast girl, she gets the football player (why are they always football players??), and she’s tormented by the cheerleading mean girls. It seemed like the author watched Mean Girls (Lindsay Lohan/Rachel McAdams, movie we’ve all watched more than once, even if we won’t admit it) and Clueless (Alicia Silverstone/Brittany Murphy, a movie every 90’s kid has seen 100 times) way to many times. Honestly, who really says “as if” anymore?

I like the cover, the idea, and the fact that it was a really quick read, but the story was pretty bland and typical. Plus the fact that there wasn’t really a resolution or even an explanation to the breaking glass thing, just really irks my nerves too. If there had been a resolution and better character development, then I could have gotten past the mediocre writing, but there was none of that.This may be something that other people like, but personally it’s not my thing. I would rather count ceiling tiles than sit through reading Broken again…and that in my opinion is just bad.