Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Lost Hero - Read Chapters 1 and 2 now!

Borders has posted an excerpt of Rick Riordan's upcoming book, The Lost Hero.


I read them and now I'm even more excited! I love love love Riordan's Percy Jackson series. The Lost Hero takes place in the same world and it looks like we will be seeing some of the same characters. Woo hoo!!

What do you guys think? Anyone else planning on picking this one up on it's release day?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Contest! Win Where The Truth Lies by Jessica Warman

Where the Truth Lies by Jessica Warman

On the surface, Emily Meckler leads the perfect life. She has three best friends, two loving parents, and the ideal setup at the Connecticut prep school where her father is the headmaster. But Emily also suffers from devastating nightmares about fire and water, and nobody knows why. Then the enigmatic Del Sugar enters her life, and Emily is immediately swept away—but her passionate relationship with Del is just the first of many things that aren't quite what they seem in Emily's life. As the lies she's been told start to unravel, Emily must set out to discover the truth regarding her nightmare; on a journey that will lead her to question everything she thought she knew about love, family, and her own idyllic past.
This companion novel to Warman's critically acclaimed Breathless proves that sometimes the biggest lies are told to the people you love the most. (from Goodreads)

GIVEAWAY DETAILS
*Open to US residents 13 years or older (if you are under 13 please ask your parents to email me at WilowRaven@yahoo.com before entering)
*1 Winner
*Ends October 28, 2010 11:59pm EST
*Fill out THIS FORM to enter
*Extra entries for following (blog, twitter)
*Book will ship directly from the publisher -- thank you Bloomsbury for hosting this event!

BEA 2011 - Are you ready?!

Ok, I know May isn't for another 8 months or so but still! It's BEA baby!!
Just in case you're like me and like to plan ahead (for awesomeness!!) here is some yummy BEA goodness :) Enjoy!


SAVE THE DATE!
Book Expo America 2011 will take place at the Jacob Javits Center in NYC from Monday May 23, 2011 - Thursday May 26, 2011.

For those of you that went this year, that's an extra day folks! Another entire day on the exhibit floor. I don't know if my feet can take it! What about you?

Some awesome ways to stay informed:


Be sure to use #bookexpo when talking about the show



The offical source for BEA announcements and news

AND! Did you see? The FLOOR PLAN is already up on the website and is it just me or does it seem bigger? I have to find my BEA 2010 map!

AND! Don't forget about the Book Blogger Convention! The 2nd BBC will be held on the Friday after BEA, Reception Thursday night.

New format this year - BBC 2011 will be a series of workshops rather then a one-track convention. I'm supper excited!

You can even submit your own logo entry!

So, what do you think guys? Have I used enough exclamation points in this post?! Anyone thinking about BEA 2011 yet or am I the only crazy one?! Who's with me? :)

And in case you were wondering what I'm most looking forward to? It's seeing these wonderful, amazing people again! EleniJenniferTaschimaSherryLexie, and Sandy -- I miss you!!!! Hope to see you in 8 months!!!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Book Review: Songs For A Teenage Nomad by Kim Culbertson

Age: 14+ (my guess)
Publication Date: September 2010
Pages: approx 256
Series: no
Book Acquisition: received an ARC from the publisher

Book Summary:
After living in twelve places in eight years, Calle Smith finds herself in Andreas Bay, California, at the start of ninth grade. Another new home, another new school...Calle knows better than to put down roots. Her song journal keeps her moving to her own soundtrack, bouncing through a world best kept at a distance.
Yet before she knows it, friends creep in-as does an unlikely boy with a secret. Calle is torn over what may be her first chance at love. With all that she's hiding and all that she wants, can she find something lasting beyond music? And will she ever discover why she and her mother have been running in the first place? (from Goodreads)

Quick Thoughts:
A so-so read for me. The music element is superb, the story was interesting and made me want to turn each page but for me, the characters fell a little short.

What I didn't like:
It was hard for me to warm up to Calle, our protagonist. She's young (a freshman in high school) and at times she acts her age but sometimes she seems much older. It was hard for me to get a read on her. Her mom is all she really has, but she doesn't trust her. She doesn't seem to make friends easy but at her latest school she immediately clicks with an already established crowd and fits right in. She is constantly critical of her mother's choices when it comes to men (and rightly so) but she falls for a guy that pretty much treats her like dirt for most of the book.

That leads me to the main problem I had -- Sam, Calle's romantic interest. I didn't like him at all. He was a jerk and by the end of the book, I didn't feel like he had redeemed himself at all. It really bothered me how much Calle liked him, how hard she fell for him and how she didn't seem to mind the fact that he treated her with disrespect.

What I liked:
The music! Oh, the music was wonderful! I don't know how they could pull it off, but if Songs for the Teenage Nomad could be made into an audio book with all Calle's music included - I would buy it in a heart beat.

A year or so before the book begins, Calle started keeping a song journal. She describes it as snapshots of her life. Whenever she hears a song that triggers a memory, she writes it down. I so want to start doing this! This is what music does for me - it brings me back to a time and place in my life. I can remember details - smells, sounds, people - like it happened yesterday. Music for me is what it is for Calle. Memory keepers. I absolutely loved this aspect of the book!

Reminded Me Of:
A lot of elements from other contemporary young adult books -- lonely girl, new to town, troubles at home, secrets she doesn't know, falls for the hot guy, problems, mishaps, somewhat happily ever after ending.
The music element really makes this one unique though so I have hard time picking any one book it really reminds me of.

Who Would Enjoy It:
Fans of young adult fiction. Fans of music as a means to tell a story. No paranormal elements, no hidden weirdness. A pretty straight forward story that I think would appeal to not only teenagers but older readers (like myself) who feel the same connection between songs and memories that Calle feels.

Overall Rating:
3.5 / 5 Stars

Linkage Love:
Publisher's website
Author's Website
Goodreads

Monday, September 27, 2010

Banned Books Week Proclamation


WHEREAS, the freedom to read is essential to our democracy, and reading is among our greatest freedoms; and

WHEREAS, privacy is essential to the exercise of that freedom, and the right to privacy is the right to open inquiry without having the subject of one's interest examined or scrutinized by others; and

WHEREAS, the freedom to read is protected by our Constitution; and

WHEREAS some individuals, groups, and public authorities work to remove or limit access to reading materials, to censor content in schools, to label "controversial" views, to distribute lists of "objectionable" books or authors, and to purge libraries of materials reflecting the diversity of society; and

WHEREAS, both governmental intimidation and the fear of censorship cause authors who seek to avoid controversy to practice self-censorship, thus limiting our access to new ideas; and

WHEREAS, every silencing of a heresy, every enforcement of an orthodoxy, diminishes the toughness and resilience of American society and leaves it less able to deal with controversy and difference; and

WHEREAS, Americans still favor free enterprise in ideas and expression, and can be trusted to exercise critical judgment, to recognize propaganda and misinformation, and to make their own decisions about what they read and believe, and to exercise the responsibilities that accompany this freedom; and

WHEREAS, intellectual freedom is essential to the preservation of a free society and a creative culture; and

WHEREAS, conformity limits the range and variety of inquiry and expression on which our democracy and our culture depend; and

WHEREAS, the American Library Association's Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read is observed during the last week of September each year as a reminder to Americans not to take their precious freedom for granted; and

WHEREAS, Banned Books Week celebrates the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one's opinion even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular and stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of those unorthodox or unpopular viewpoints to all who wish to read them; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, that Red House BOoks (http://redhousebooks.blogspot.com) celebrates the American Library Association's Banned Books Week, and be it further

RESOLVED, that Red House Books encourages all libraries and bookstores to acquire and make available materials representative of all the people in our society; and be it further

RESOLVED, that Red House Books encourages free people to read freely, now and forever.

Taken from the American Library Association's Banned Books Week Proclamation.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

In My Mailbox - August 25, 2010

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren :)

Hello my lovelies! How was your week? Good I hope!
Two books for me this week!

For Review from the author
Awakened: Book One of the Guardian Legacy by Ednah Walters
A big thank you to Ednah! I've been hearing some good things around the blogosphere about this one and I can't wait to get started on it.

(from Goodreads)
Orphaned as a child and raised by an eccentric grandfather, Lil is concerned with surviving high school and is unaware she's a Guardian—a being with super powers charged with killing demons and protecting humanity. But when she meets Bran, a mysterious boy with amazing abilities, his psi energy unlocks her latent powers. 
But Bran has a secret that can destroy their growing relationship. He's part demon. But in her heart, Lil knows Bran is not evil. So when her grandfather is kidnapped by a powerful nature-bender and Bran is the only one who knows where he's being kept, Lil convinces the other Guardians to trust him, not knowing her grandfather is just the bait. And the truth that she discovers in the demonic enclave may just destroy everything she believes in, unless she makes the right choice—love and sacrifice.

Bought
Rot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry
The cover is even more wonderful in person! Woo hoo zombies!

(from Goodreads)
In the zombie-infested, post-apocalyptic America where Benny Imura lives, every teenager must find a job by the time they turn fifteen or get their rations cut in half. Benny doesn't want to apprentice as a zombie hunter with his boring older brother Tom, but he has no choice. He expects a tedious job whacking zoms for cash, but what he gets is a vocation that will teach him what it means to be human.

So, what's in your mailbox?

Friday, September 24, 2010

Book Review: The Twin's Daughter by Lauren Baratz-Logsted

Age: 14+
Publication Date: August 2010
Tags: family secrets, mystery, murder
Pages: approx 304
Series: no
Book Acquisition: received ARC from the publisher
My Rating: 3.5 / 5 Stars

Book Summary:
Lucy Sexton is stunned when a disheveled woman appears at the door one day... a woman who bears an uncanny resemblance to Lucy's own beautiful mother. It turns out the two women are identical twins, separated at birth, and raised in dramatically different circumstances. Lucy's mother quickly resolves to give her less fortunate sister the kind of life she has never known. And the transformation in Aunt Helen is indeed remarkable. But when Helen begins to imitate her sister in every way, even Lucy isn't sure at times which twin is which. Can Helen really be trusted, or does her sweet face mask a chilling agenda? 
Filled with shocking twists and turns, The Twin's Daughter is an engrossing gothic novel of betrayal, jealousy, and treacherous secrets that will keep you guessing to the very end. (from Goodreads)

Quick Thoughts:
I was a little disappointed. Not really the thriller I was expecting and I saw the twists coming. There were a few surprises but I felt that they were bogged down by the overall heftiness of the book. There was an unexpected romance aspect to the book that I found very sweet.

My Review:
It was very easy for me to slip into the voice of Lucy and follow her around her strange family. A bit slow moving in the beginning, but overall I think the flow worked well for the story. I felt like I really got to know Lucy and her world.

This book is long and I have to say, I really thought the slow moving pace would get to me after a while. And I guess I kept waiting for it to get to me. I was almost done with the book before I realized that the pace wasn't bothering me at all! In fact, I couldn't wait to turn each page. Even though I was pretty sure I knew what was coming, the journey to get there was pretty fantastic.

So, a half and half book for me. Some things I liked, some things I didn't. Overall though, I would still recommend The Twin's Daughter to others.

Reminded Me Of:
Can't really say...It is a pretty unique story.

Who Would Enjoy It:
Fans of young adult gothic novels who are looking for a change of pace. No paranormal elements, no drastically weird or different characters or situations. The Twin's Daughter is pretty much all narrative fiction with twits, that even though I didn't particular enjoy, I do think other readers would.

Linkage Love:
Publisher's website
Author's Website
Goodreads

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Cover Love

I was in Borders tonight and I saw this:

Once a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough is now out in paperback and I absolutly love this cover!

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

This book will always hold a special place in my heart as it was the very first ARC I ever received! I love the story and I can't wait for Book 2.

What do you guys think?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Book Review: The Reinvention of Edison Thomas by Jacqueline Houtman


Age: 8+
Publication Date: March 2010
Tags: fiction, science, friendship, autism
Pages: 192
Series: no
Book Acquisition: bought used ARC

My Rating: 4 / 5 Stars

Book Summary:
Science geek Eddy Thomas can invent useful devices to do anything, except solve his bully problem. Eddy Thomas can read a college physics book, but he can’t read the emotions on the faces of his classmates at Drayton Middle School. He can spend hours tinkering with an invention, but he can’t stand more than a few minutes in a noisy crowd, like the crowd at the science fair, which Eddy fails to win. When the local school crossing guard is laid off, Eddy is haunted by thoughts of the potentially disastrous consequences and invents a traffic-calming device, using parts he has scavenged from discarded machines. Eddy also discovers new friends, who appreciate his abilities and respect his unique view of the world. By trusting his real friends, Eddy uses his talents to help others and rethinks his purely mechanical definition of success. (from publisher's website)

Quick Thoughts:
A fun book that I think younger readers could really get a lot out of.

My Review:
I've always been a science geek at heart, so I wasn't surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. Eddy was such a lovable character. Just getting through a normal day is tough for him. Not many people understand how his brain works sometimes, including Eddy himself. He sees things differently and sometimes when he acts on what he sees, he gets himself in trouble. It's never quite stated what form of autism Eddy has but overall, it doesn't really matter. For me, this book wasn't about a boy with autism, it was about a boy discovering who he is, making friends and learning to live his life.

It bothered me a little how Eddy didn't even realize he was being bullied. His friendships with Terry, Justine and Kip really made my day though. These were his real friends and it gave me such a good feeling seeing him discover this on his own.

All in all, a really great read by a great debut author. I'm really looking forward to more from Jacqueline!

Reminded Me Of:
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time. Not a MG book but the Eddy reminded me of Christopher, the autistic teenager in The Curious Incident who also has trouble understanding human emotion.

Who Would Enjoy It:
Young readers who are interested in reading about a kid their age who is seen as 'different'. Older readers too I think will benefit from reading Eddy's story.

Linkage Love:
Publisher's website
Author's Website
Goodreads

Monday, September 20, 2010

Speak Loudly

I disagree with everything Wesley Scroggins has said. Do you? 

Read his words here:

It's really hard for me to say much more then that. 

Scroggins doesn't care that we all think. He doesn't want to hear about how Speak has actually helped young people in this world and it makes me sad. There are others like him out there. Others who feel that their beliefs and their way of life are the only ways. It makes me sad because people like Scroggins can't see through others eyes. They won't listen and they won't try to understand because their beliefs blind them. 

I don't often speak about my beliefs here, and times such as this, when I do, I find it hard to say exactly what it is I'm thinking. It's almost unbelievable that we have come so far as human beings, yet such intolerance, ignorance and hatred still exists. 

I know I'm only one voice of many out there speaking loudly and I thank you for listening.

If you feel the same as I do, support books like Speak, support authors who write about important REAL issues, support banned books, and above all, support your loved ones. Teach understanding, teach love and never use your God, gods, goddesses, or other higher power as a weapon. 

Book Review: The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May and June by Robin Benway

Age: 12+
Publication Date: August 2010
Tags: sisters, family, supernatural powers
Pages: 288
Series: no
Book Acquisition: ARC from the publisher
My Rating: 3.5 / 5 Stars

Book Summary:
Three sisters share a magical, unshakable bond in this witty high-concept novel from the critically acclaimed author of Audrey, Wait! Around the time of their parents’ divorce, sisters April, May, and June recover special powers from childhood—powers that come in handy navigating the hell that is high school. Powers that help them cope with the hardest year of their lives. But could they have a greater purpose?
April, the oldest and a bit of a worrier, can see the future. Middle-child May can literally disappear. And baby June reads minds—everyone’s but her own. When April gets a vision of disaster, the girls come together to save the day and reconcile their strained family. They realize that no matter what happens, powers or no powers, they’ll always have each other.
Because there’s one thing stronger than magic: sisterhood. (from Goodreads)

Quick Thoughts:
A pretty good read, the personalities of the characters were a little stereotypical for my taste but April, May and June really do care for each other and it was nice seeing them figure this out for themselves.

My Review:
A mixed bag for me here. There were a lot of things I really liked, and a lot that I didn't.

April, May and June - three sisters with vastly different personalities. Unfortunately, they all got on my nerves a little. April is very much the oldest sister - a bossy, pushy, know-it-all who is contently telling her sisters what she thinks they should do, what they've done wrong and what she would do if she were them. May is the stereotypical middle child - ignored or forgotten about. Everything she says to everyone is sarcastic and it gets old quick. June is the youngest, and I have to say, one of the shallowest young adult characters I have come across in a very long time. More shallow then any 14 year old I have ever met. For a large part of the book, the sisters do nothing but argue, bicker and complain about absolutely everything. Really not my cup of tea.

It wasn't until about halfway through the book that I really felt invested in the story and it's characters. The sisters start to realize how important they are to each other and the book takes a turn. It starts to be less paranormal tale and more about the sister's relationships with each other. That really struck a cord with me.

The way the narrative was told was also a bit of a mix for me. In each chapter we get a different sister's point of view and narrative. A bit confusing for me at first keeping track of who each "I", "she" and "her" was since every sister almost exclusively talks about, thinks about and interacts with, her other sisters.

Overall? A good read. By the end, I was happy I had stuck with it. April, May, and June aren't perfect people but they are sisters and their love and bonds shine throughout this story.

Who Would Enjoy It:
Fans of young adult paranormal fiction who enjoy a hearty dose of real life family dynamics. The paranormal elements aren't that strong so I think readers who normally shy away from this genre would still really enjoy this one.

Linkage Love:
Publisher's website
Author's Website
Goodreads

Sunday, September 19, 2010

In My Mailbox - August 19, 2010

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren :)

I was really good this week and only bought 1 book! I was also a little bummed because I was expecting a few things in the mail and they didn't come.

AND THEN!

There is the awesomeness that is Brilliance Audio. I adore audio books and I have a couple of reviews in the works that will focus on this format specifically -SO how excited was I when this package came!

Here's what I got!

NEW Candlewick titles: 
Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta
The Magician's Elephant by Kate DiCamillo
My Worst Best Friend by Dyan Sheldon
Girl Parts by John M. Cusick
Beat the Band by Don Calame
Boys, Bears and A Serious Pair of Hiking Boots by Abby Mcdonald 
Sophomore Switch by Abby Mcdonald
Toby Alone by Timothee de Fombelle
Toby and the Secrets of the Tree by Timothee Fombelle
(3 others not pictured)

Did I mention I can listen at work? I can get in at least 20 hours of audio book wonderfullness into my work week! Woo hoo!
A big, big thank you goes out to Tim from Brilliance Audio!

Also this week:
Bought:
Immortal Beloved by Cate Tiernan
(from Goodreads)
New name, new town, new life. Nastasya has done it too often to count. And there’s no end in sight. Nothing ever really ends... when you’re immortal. But this time is different: Nastasya knows that this new town must hold her salvation—or her death.
Nastasya was born into darkness, and has embraced it her whole life. Four hundred years ago, a tragedy robbed her of her birthright, and she’s been living a lie ever since. Now, four centuries of exploring the depths and limits of dark power has left Nastasya feeling sickened unto death. If she continues down this road, she will end up as a very dark, twisted, evil thing—with unthinkable power. Or she can begin the long, painful road toward light, and reclaim the destiny that others tried to destroy.
They’re rare. You may have never met one, never sat next to one on a plane, never eaten in the same restaurant at the same time. But the Immortals are there. Have always been there. Will always be there. Moving among humans, playing out their own cursed fate. Sometimes subtly, sometimes with huge, sweeping implications for mankind. But no one will ever know. Except you.

Paperbackswap:
Pastworld by Ian Beck
(from Goodreads)
Pastworld is the greatest theme park ever devised. It's London - the real London - transformed into a living, breathing recreation of the Victorian era.
To Eve, a lifelong resident of Pastworld, horse-drawn carriages and gas lamps are modern technology. Eve doesn't even know she's living in a simulation - until she is forced to flee the only home she's ever known, and to confront the truth about her city and herself.
To Caleb, a tourist visiting Pastworld, the theme park is the perfect antidote to the stifling conformity and regulation of 2048. The gritty wildness of the past is thrilling - until he finds himself at the scene of a murder, holding the knife, and suddenly becomes a fugitive from an antiquated justice system.
And in the midst of it all, in the thick London fog, a dark and deadly figure prowls, claiming victim after victim. He's the Fantom, a creature both of the past and of the future, in whose dark purpose Caleb and Eve will find their destinies combined.


So, what's in your mailbox?

Friday, September 17, 2010

Author Visit: An Interview with Anastasia Hopcus

Today Anastasia Hopcus has been kind enough to stop by and answer some of her readers questions. 

A BIG WELCOME Anastasia!!



What is your favorite part about being a published author?
I like many things about it, but one of the most fun things is meeting book bloggers and readers.  I got to know many online, and then I was able to hang out and talk with some of them at the BEA.  After both my autographings here in Austin, I had coffee with several bloggers, and we talked for hours.  It was awesome. 


How do you come up with your character's names?
I really enjoy that process.  I go through lists of names online and try to find the ones that best fit my characters.  I can spend hours doing that.  I have a fondness for unusual names, but I also like to make sure the names are accurate for the time and place and type of person.  For instance, given that Phe was from LA and her mother had been a sort of New Age person, I felt that an unusual name would not be out of line for her, but Adriana, coming from her background, would have a more traditional, elegant name.  I tried to make sure that the names on the tombstones were appropriate for when and where they lived.  And, of course, Phe's name has special meaning in terms of the book.


Are your characters based on people you know?
That's something that readers are frequently curious about.  Little details about the various characters---things like what interests they have or a certain eye color, for instance---are taken from people I know.  But none of my characters are really based on anyone.  One of my favorite things is making up people and giving them a backstory. 


Have you, or do you like to, visit the places you write about?
Oh, yes.  I loved going to Massachusetts, which I had never visited before.  It's beautiful; I absolutely fell in love with the Berkshires.  I went all over the state, taking pictures.  Phe's memories from LA didn't require a visit, as I had lived there for two or three years.  I put Phe's home in Los Feliz, an area where I lived when I was in LA. 


Is Shadow Hills part of a series? If so, what can you tell us about it?
I hope Shadow Hills will become a series.  I'd love to explore the town and its residents more.  I want  to see Phe's and Zach's relationship progress and weather some problems.  I'd like to delve a little more into the past and reveal exactly why Phe was drawn to Devenish Prep and the town of Shadow Hills.  I definitely have a few more secrets up my sleeve. :) 

Have you read Shadow Hills yet?
His love captivated her... his secrets might kill her. 
Since her sister’s mysterious death, Persephone “Phe” Archer has been plagued by a series of disturbing dreams. Determined to find out what happened to her sister, Phe enrolls at Devenish Prep in Shadow Hills, Massachusetts—the subject of her sister’s final diary entry. 
After stepping on campus, Phe immediately realizes that there’s something different about this place—an unexplained epidemic that decimated the town in the 1700s, an ancient and creepy cemetery, and gorgeous boy Zach—and somehow she’s connected to it all. 
But the more questions she asks and the deeper she digs, the more entangled Phe becomes in the haunting past of Shadow Hills. Finding what links her to this town…might cost her her life. 

THANK YOU ANASTASIA!

For more tour stops, vist Anatasia's webiste

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Short Stories Review: The Eternal Kiss 13 Vampire Tales of Blood and Desire Edited by Trisha Telep

July 2009

There’s an allure to vampire tales that have seduced readers for generations. From Bram Stoker to Stephenie Meyer and beyond, vampire stories are here to stay. For those fresh-blooded fans of paranormal romance or for those whose hunt and hunger never dies, these stories have what readers want!
(from Goodreads)

If you like vampires in young adult fiction, this book should defiantly be on your TBR list. The line up of authors was enough to get me interested. I thought I would get tired of reading story after story about vampires but I was very much pleasantly surprised. Each story is so unique with each author presenting their own take on the vampire myth. Some stories take place in the larger world of already established series and some stories I really wish were already full length novels!

Overall Rating: 5 / 5 Stars
Here's the breakdown:
Author links are to their websites

*Falling to Ash by Karen Mahoney
Pretty typical vampires here. Seemed like a middle of the road type of story where you could tell you weren't seeing what came before or what comes after. Vampires and vampire hunters collide.

*Shelter Island by Melissa De La Cruz
Stars the vampire Dylan Ward who also plays a part in Melissa's Blue Blood series. A very small glimpse into the life of a vampire you wouldn't mind sneaking into your window.

*Sword Point by Maria V. Snyder
Italians, Karate, fencing, and good old fashion stake through the heart evil vampires.

*The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black
Creepy! Vampires are segregated in their own hellish, voyeuristic community. Very open ended - love it!

*Undead is Very Hot Right Now by Sarah Rees Brennan
Rock and Roll vampire looking for love in all the wrong places. Felt like a really good first chapter.

*Kat by Kelley Armstrong
Takes place in the world of the Darkest Powers series. Another young girl is running from the Edison group. Cool twist at the end.

*The Thirteenth Step by Libba Bray
Pretty creepy ending that I loved. Fairly typical vampires in hiding with some pretty cool 'recruiting' techniques.

*All Hallows by Rachel Caine
Takes place in the world of the Morganville Vampires. Haven't read this series yet but now I really want to! A great story.

*Wet Teeth by Cecil Castellucci
This was the only story I didn't really like. Very sad ending. Felt like it didn't necessarily need to be about vampires.

*Other Boys by Cassandra Clare
 I was pretty sure this was a typical hot vampire story until the end. Very cool! Made me wish it were longer.

*Passing by Nancy Holder and Debbie Viguie
Human vs. vampire war with a few twists. Worked really well as a short story.

*Ambition by Lili St. Crow
Lots of unanswered questions in this one! A very good read.

*All Wounds by Dina James
Loved this one! Vampire myth mixed with some supper cool fantasy elements. Currently a full length novel is in the works based in the world of All Wounds.

So! Overall? I really loved this anthology. A great collection of short stories by some really talented writers.
Some authors are new to me and I'm looking forward to reading more from them.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Mini Review: Zan-Gah: A Prehistoric Adventure by Allan Richard Shickman

Age: 12+
Publication Date: July 2007
Book Acquisition: received a finished copy from the publisher

My Rating: 4 / 5 Stars

(from Goodreads)
The hero, Zan-Gah seeks his lost twin in a savage prehistoric world, encountering suffering, captivity, conflict, love, and triumph. In three years, Zan-Gah passes from an uncertain boyhood to a tried and proven manhood and a position of leadership among his people.

Review:
I have to say, this was my first "prehistoric adventure" story. I was a little skeptical at first. I was very curious to see how the author went about telling a prehistoric tale.

We don't ever know exactly where Zan-Gah and his people live or even in exactly what time period they lived in. These facts, for me, are what made the story so compelling. I didn't need these facts. The imagry was amazing and the characters were so real to me.

This is a book I can see myself reading again and again. From the very first page I was draw into the story. I needed to know what happened to Zan-Gah and his people. The adventure he has is pretty amazing and I enjoyed it all.

I can see young readers, both boys and girls, really liking this story. It's different from most books out there and I think this would appeal to a lot of readers.

I have the second book in the series, Zan-Gah and the Beautiful Country and I'm very much looking forward to reading it.

**In my Mimi Reviews I explore older,sometimes obscure books I have found in my travels and wish to share with my readers**

Can you tell me?

In the course of blogging, learning the ropes, trying to get a handle on Twitter, I have discovered that I have a lot of questions about random things.

Occasionally, I'm going to pose a question to you. Something random but bloggy / social networky / techy in nature most likely. (what? those are all real words, I swear)

I'll post up answers in a few days - cause, maybe you don't know the same things I don't know...you know?

This week, I ask you:

Is there anyway to know the URL link of a post BEFORE it goes live?

If it makes a difference, I use Blogger. I often schedule posts ahead of time and when I need (or want) to share that post with someone, I wait until it is live and then click to it to get the link. Is there anyway to know what the link will be before it's actually posted?

Thanks guys!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Spaceheadz WINNERS!

Random.org has spoken!

Victoria 

and


Congrats girls! I have emailed you both :)

Interview with Ivy Devlin author of Low Red Moon + Giveaway

Today it is my pleasure to welcome author Ivy Devlin to Red House Books. She has been kind enough to answer a few of my questions.

After reading the interview, you can enter for a chance to win a copy of her new book, Low Red Moon.

Let's start simple - pen or pencil? Computer or paper?
Pen, for marking up printed-out drafts. And hands down, computer! I love the idea of writing on paper, but the computer makes doing everything much easier, at least for me.

I love the songs on your Low Red Moon playlist, how did you pick the songs?
Thank you so much! Some of them got taken down, which made me sad, especially because one of them gave me the book's title! (Low Red Moon by Belly) As for the songs themselves, some of them came to me when I was writing or revising, and others actually came from a really awesome cd my editor made for me when she sent me her editorial letter, which I thought was very, very cool!

What comes first for you when writing, the title or the story?
I got the idea for the story and came up with the original title, Red, at the same time.

Have you always loved books? As a writer, do you find it difficult to read while you write?
I am a true bibliophile--I never go anywhere without a book. Or two! I do find it difficult to read YA when I'm writing, though, which is sad because I love YA! Luckily, there's other good books out there :-)

You find yourself finishing the last book you will ever write - what would the last sentence be?"
The End.

Thank you so much Ivy!!

If you haven't already, check out the trailer for Low Red Moon





GIVEAWAY DETAILS
*Open to US residents 13 years or older (if you are under 13 please ask your parents to email me at WilowRaven@yahoo.com before entering)
*Ends October 4th 11:59pm EST
*Fill out THIS FORM to enter
*Extra entries for following (blog, twitter,) and for commenting on this post - which you may want to do before the form link sends you away ;) (and please say something that took some effort to think of :)
*Book will ship directly from the publisher -- thank you Bloomsbury for hosting this event!

A tale of heart-stopping love, death, amnesia . . . and dangerous creatures
The only thing Avery Hood can remember about the night her parents died is that she saw silver—deadly silver, moving inhumanly fast. As much as she wants to remember who killed them, she can't, and there's nothing left to do but try to piece her life back together. Then Avery meets the new boy in school—Ben, mysterious and beautiful, with whom she feels a connection like nothing she's ever experienced. When Ben reveals he's a werewolf, Avery still trusts him—at first. Then she sees that sometimes his eyes flash inhuman silver. And she learns that she's not the only one who can't remember the night her parents died.Part murder mystery, part grief narrative, and part heart-stopping, headlong romance, Low Red Moon is a must-read for teen paranormal fans. As breathless as Twilight and as spooky as Shiver, this is a book to be devoured in one sitting—by an acclaimed YA author making her paranormal debut under the pseudonym Ivy Devlin.

Remember to COMMENT below (if you like) and FILL OUT THIS FORM to enter!
Good luck everyone, thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

In My Mailbox - September 12, 2010

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren :)

One book graced my mailbox this week.

For Review by the Author
The Tree That Could Fly by Alma Halbert Bond
Can't wait to read it to my little one.
(from Goodreads)
The Tree That Could Fly" is a charming fairy tale of the old school, elegantly illustrated with paintings of classical style. The book has captivated the author's children, grandchildren, and young friends for many generations.





So, what's in your mailbox?

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Quick Check In

Do you know what BlogFest is? 
72 hours of book bloggy, giveaway madness! Hosted by A Journey of Books.
Red House Books is not participating BUT  if you have free time this weekend, you should defiantly check out some of the blogs and wonderful giveaways going on - it's seriously insane! 

If you haven't already - I have 2 current contests going on myself (one was suppose to end yesterday but I'll let it run through today). Enter to win Spaceheadz! or Guardians of Ga-Hoole.

I'll be back tomorrow with an IMM post and then next week I'll post up some reviews - I've read some pretty cool books lately that I can't wait to share with you.

Today is a day none of us will soon forget and as I look back at the last 9 years I'm truly grateful for my family and friends. 
Wishing you all the best today!


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Smart Chicks Kick It Tour

Oh how I wish I lived anywhere near these cities! Sounds like this tour is going to kick a**


Press Release:
SMART CHICKS KICK IT TOUR 
HITS THE ROAD SEPTEMBER 13, 2010
(August 12, 2010)  Unprecedented in terms of size, scope and its organization, the highly anticipated Smart Chicks Kick It Tour www.smartchickskickit.com launches an extensive North American tour on September 13th, 2010.  The ambitious twelve-city, two week tour features eighteen of today’s most buzzed writers of paranormal romance – from international bestsellers and award winners to the genre’s hottest newcomers.  

The Smart Chicks Kick It Tour is author-organized AND author-funded, with the 18 participating authors -- or “Chicks” -- coming from a wide variety of different publishers.  This ground-breaking approach will, for the first time ever, provide fans of the incredibly popular romance, fantasy and science fiction genres the opportunity to meet and talk to some of their favorite authors at one time, even though the authors publish with different houses.  Featuring six to nine Chicks at every venue, the author line up in every city will be different so no two events will be exactly the same.

In 2009 Melissa Marr, creator of The New York Times bestselling Wicked Lovely series, came up with the idea for the tour and, along with fellow author Kelley Armstrong, got to work pulling together a line-up of authors with books that had a central theme.  “Strong heroines, smart heroines, capable heroines...real girls with real strengths, not necessarily out there kicking butt, but able to handle themselves in tough situations. It’s a message that both Melissa and I care deeply about and that we thought would really resonate with our fans,” remarks Ms. Armstrong, The New York Times bestselling urban fantasy author of the Women of the Otherworld series and Darkest Powers trilogy.    

Melissa goes on to say, “We’re doing something really, truly unique and it feels great.  The support we have received from our fans, the booksellers and our publishers has been overwhelming.  We haven’t even hit the road yet for the 2010 tour and plans are already underway for Smart Chicks 2.0.”  Together with Alyson Noel (The Immortals series), Melissa and Kelley will be headlining the Smart Chicks Kick It Tour and appearing at all twelve events

Tour Schedule:
Smart Chicks Kick It Tour
September 13th, 2010 - September 25th, 2010

September 13th, 2010, 7 PM @ BOOKPEOPLE, Austin, TX
            Appearing: Kelley Armstrong, Melissa Marr, Alyson Noel, Holly Black, Rachel Caine, Cassandra Clare

September 14th, 2010, 7 PM @ B&N THE WOODLANDS, Houston, TX
            Appearing: Kelley Armstrong, Melissa Marr, Alyson Noel, Holly Black, Cassandra Clare, Kami Garcia, Rachel Vincent.

September 15th, 2010, 7 PM @ The Refuge, hosted by BLUE WILLOW, Houston, TX
            Appearing: Kelley Armstrong, Melissa Marr, Alyson Noel, Holly Black, Sarah Rees Brennan, Margaret Stohl, Cassandra Clare

September 16th, 2010, 6 PM @ Plantation Commons, hosted by LEMURIA BOOKS, Jackson, MS
            Appearing: Kelley Armstrong, Melissa Marr, Alyson Noel, Holly Black, Cassandra Clare, Jessica Verday, Sarah Rees Brennan

September 17th, 2010, 7 PM @ Scottsdale Civic Library Auditorium, hosted by POISONED PEN Phoenix, AZ
            Appearing: Melissa Marr, Alyson Noel, Kelley Armstrong, Holly Black, Sarah Rees Brennan, Kimberly Derting.

September 18th, 2010, 6 PM, Menlo Park Library, hosted by KEPLERS, San Francisco, CA
            Appearing: Melissa Marr, Alyson Noel, Kelley Armstrong, Melissa de la Cruz, Kimberly Derting

September 20th, 2010, 6 PM @ VROMAN'S, Pasadena, CA
            Appearing: Melissa Marr, Alyson Noel, Kelley Armstrong, Rachel Caine, Melissa de la Cruz, Rachel Vincent, Margie Stohl, Kami Garcia, Mary Pearson

September 21st, 2010, 7 PM @ Encinitas County Library, hosted by MYSTERIOUS GALAXY, San Diego, CA
            Appearing: Melissa Marr, Alyson Noel, Kelley Armstrong, Mary Pearson, Rachel Caine, Rachel Vincent, Margie Stohl, Kami Garcia, Carrie Ryan

September 22nd, 2010, 7 PM @ Ventz Concert Hall at North Central College, hosted by ANDERSON'S Chicago, IL
            Appearing: Alyson Noel, Kelley Armstrong, Melissa Marr, Jackson Pearce, Jennifer Lynn Barnes, Carrie Ryan

September 23rd, 2010, 7 PM @ BOOKS and CO AT THE GREENE, Dayton, OH
            Appearing: Alyson Noel, Kelley Armstrong, Melissa Marr, Jackson Pearce, Jennifer Lynn Barnes, Kami Garcia

September 24th, 2010, 7 PM @ JOSEPH BETH Cincinnati, OH
            Appearing: Alyson Noel, Kelley Armstrong, Melissa Marr, Jeri Smith-Ready, Jennifer Lynn Barnes, Margie Stohl

September 25th, 2010, 2 PM @ CHAPTERS BRAMPTON (Toronto) ON
            Appearing:  Alyson Noel, Kelley Armstrong, Melissa Marr, Melissa de la Cruz, Jeri Smith-Ready, Kami Garcia, Margie Stohl, Jennifer Lynn Barnes

What do you guys think? Anyone planning on going?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Giveaway: Win Guardians of Ga'Hoole: The Capture by Kathryn Lasky


When Soren, a young owlet, mysteriously falls from his nest one evening, he’s plucked up and taken to the sinister St. Aegolius Academy for Orphaned Owls. Once there, he must use his wits and bravery to escape his captors. If Soren can learn to fly, he might just be able to take refuge with a group of brave owls he’d thought only to be a legend—the Guardians of Ga’Hoole!

Details:
*1 Winner will receive a copy of Guardians of Ga'hoole: The Capture by Kathryn Lasky AND a combination travel pillow/reading light!
*Contest is open to residents of the US, 13 years and older.
*Ends September 28th at 11:59pm EST
*plesae FILL OUT THIS FORM to enter

About the author:
Kathryn Lasky is the Newbery Honor author of over one hundred fiction and nonfiction books for children and young adults. She lives with her husband in Cambridge , Massachusetts . You can visit her online at www.kathrynlasky.com








Other goodies:
Series Website

Movie Trailer


Enter Now! :)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Brooklyn Book Festival this Sunday

Well, I used to live in NY...and if I could make it down there this weekend I would! This festival looks awesome!!! The list of authors attending is mind blowing. Check it out!


BROOKLYN BOOK FESTIVAL’S YOUNG ADULT LIT AUTHORS TO PRESENT 
AT “THE STOOP”
Sunday, September 12, 2010
BROOKLYN BOROUGH HALL
209 JORALEMON STREET | BROOKLYN, NEW YORK 11201


Anyone going? I'll be there in spirit!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Book Review: The Poison Diaries by Maryrose Wood

Age: 12+
Publication Date: July 2010
Tags: poison, 18th century, historical fiction, secret gardens
Pages: 288
Series: 1st in a trilogy
Book Acquisition: ARC from BEA

My Rating: 4.5 / 5 Stars

(from Goodreads)
Jessamine Luxson lives with her father, Thomas, an apothecary, in an isolated cottage near Alnwick Castle. Thomas’s pride and obsession is his locked garden full of dangerous plants, which Jessamine is forbidden to enter.
When a traveler brings an orphan to their cottage, he claims the boy has special gifts that Thomas might value. Jessamine is drawn to the strange but intriguing boy, called Weed. Soon their friendship deepens into love. Finally, Weed shares his secret: He can communicate with plants. For him they have distinct personalities—and some are even murderous. From the locked garden the poisonous plants call to Weed, luring him with promises of deadly power.
When Jessamine falls inexplicably ill, only Weed’s relationship with the Poisons can save her. But Thomas is determined to exploit Weed’s abilities, even if it risks Jessamine’s life—or drives Weed to the brink of madness.…

My Review:
I gotta say, this one threw me for a bit of a loop. The book moved a long at a good pace, and I thought I had a handle on what was going on but then, pretty much all of a sudden, I felt like the floor at dropped out from under me. I was confused and disorientated and by the end of the book, I still wasn't quite sure what had happened.

Sound intriguing? Hope so, because I sure thought it was.

While, I don't know if I'm exactly happy with the twists, I am desprate for the next book! I'm dying to find out what will happen (what DID happen) and what other secrets the author chooses to share with us.

The characters were very well developed and easy to like (or hate) as the case may be. While the ending was a bit confusing for me, I did like the change in POV. It added a layer to the story that would have been lost if we only heard from one character the whole time.

I almost feel like I need to re-read the ending. Maybe pay more attention? I really do feel like I missed something. But like I said, I'm supper excited for the next installment! So much more could happen!

Reminded Me Of: Green Angel and Green Witch by Alice Hoffman. The backgrounds of the worlds and characters are very different but the overall setting was the same - small town, local somewhat secluded  family, green growing things that play an integral part in the story.

Who Would Enjoy It: Fans of fantasy who like a historical bases to their stories. Fans of mysteries who like twists and don't mind small cliff hanger like endings.

Books in the Series:
The Poison Diaries
Book 2 (Summer 2011)
Book 3 (?)

Linkage Love:
Blazer and Bray (Harper Collins Publishers)
Author's Blog
Goodreads

Tidbits:
*The Poison Diaries is based on a concept by The Duchess of Northumberland. As the mistress of Alnwick Castle in northern England, she has created the world-famous Poison Garden. For more information check out the websites for Alnwick Castle and the Alnwick Garden.