Saturday, October 25, 2014

Blog Tour~Cinder & Ella by Kelly Oram~Kelly's Top Ten Cinderella Adaptations


Hey everyone! I’m excited to be here today to tell you a little about my new book. Cinder & Ella is a modern spin on the classic fairy tale Cinderella. I love Cinderella. It’s always been my favorite fairy tale, and every since I started writing I knew I’d eventually write my own version of it.

I am what you might call a Cinderella junkie. I will read or watch every version of Cinderella I come across. Doesn't matter if I've heard of it or not. It doesn't matter what age it’s geared at. If it’s Cinderella, I have to read/watch it. I’m compulsive about it even.  So, since there are so many different adaptations, I thought it might be fun to list my top ten favorites for you. I’m going to combine both books and movies on this list since I love reading and watching the different versions equally.

My Top 10 Favorite Cinderella Adaptations… Starting with number 10!

10. Elle: A Modern Cinderella Tale (movie)
First of all I am a sucker for all cheesy teenie-bopper movies, but add in music and you’ve struck gold with me. (High School Musical and Lemonade Mouth anyone?) Also, Sterling Knight is a total cutie!

9. Ella Enchanted
The book or the movie, take your pick. I love both!

8. The Ugly Stepsister Strikes Back by Sariah Wilson (YA novel)
This is a cute, clean, fun adaptation told from the viewpoint of Cinderella’s stepsister. Loved it!

7. Cinderella (The Disney version) (movie)
Come on, it’s a classic. It’s also the reason I love the fairy tale so much. I loved Cinderella’s dress!!

6. Cinder (The Lunar Chrinicles #1) by Marissa Meyer (YA novel)
This one was great because it was so unique. I wasn’t sure I was going to like it at first because I wasn’t sold on the idea of cyborgs, (yes, you heard me right, this is a sci-fi retelling!) but I really loved it. Marissa is amazing and the book is fabulous!

5. Ever After (movie)
With Drew Berrymore. You know the one I mean. Such a great story! And who makes a better wicked stepmother than Angelica Houston?

4. Another Cinderella Story (movie)
Yes, this is a Selena Gomez movie and I’m not ashamed to say that I love it (and her) to death! Like movies and books about rockstars, I am also a sucker for Channing Tatum dancing. Loved the dancing in this movie, loved the main characters, and Jane Lynch is great as always!

3. My Fair Godmother by Janette Rallison (YA novel)
You aren’t going to find another book quite like this one. Fist of all, Janette is freaking hilarious. I love her books. She makes me laugh out loud all the time. And then there’s Chrissy. The fairy godmother from hell. This is a spin on Cinderella that you haven’t read before, so you really, really need to read it!

2. Cindy Ella by Robin Palmer (YA novel)
I love this book! It’s one of my favorites. This is a contemporary retelling. It’s a cute light fun read with loveable characters, a swoonworthy boy, and great writing. Robin has a series of retold fairy tales and they’re fantastic, but Cindy Ella is my favorite. (Again, with the Cinderella addiction.) If you like Cinderella retellings, you’ll love this book!

And my all-time favorite Cinderella retelling is…

1. A Cinderella Story (movie)
Three words: Chad Michael Murray! (Oh yes, I’m a fan.) But then add the cute and loveable Hillary Duff, and the brilliant beyond brilliant Jennifer Coolidge playing the hilarious wicked stepmother and you have one of my favorite movies ever. Also, did I mention this movie stars Chad Michael Murray???

CINDER & ELLA


It’s been almost a year since eighteen-year-old Ella Rodriguez was in a car accident that left her crippled, scarred, and without a mother. After a very difficult recovery, she’s been uprooted across the country and forced into the custody of a father that abandoned her when she was a young child. If Ella wants to escape her father’s home and her awful new stepfamily, she must convince her doctors that she’s capable, both physically and emotionally, of living on her own. The problem is, she’s not ready yet. The only way she can think of to start healing is by reconnecting with the one person left in the world who’s ever meant anything to her—her anonymous Internet best friend, Cinder. 
… 
Hollywood sensation Brian Oliver has a reputation for being trouble. There’s major buzz around his performance in his upcoming film The Druid Prince, but his management team says he won’t make the transition from teen heartthrob to serious A-list actor unless he can prove he’s left his wild days behind and become a mature adult. In order to douse the flames on Brian’s bad-boy reputation, his management stages a fake engagement for him to his co-star Kaylee. Brian isn’t thrilled with the arrangement—or his fake fiancée—but decides he’ll suffer through it if it means he’ll get an Oscar nomination. Then a surprise email from an old Internet friend changes everything.


About the Author:



Kelly Oram wrote her first novel at age fifteen—a fan fiction about her favorite music group, The Backstreet Boys, for which her family and friends still tease her. She's obsessed with reading, talks way too much, and likes to eat frosting by the spoonful. She lives outside of Phoenix, Arizona with her husband, four children, and her cat named Mr. Darcy.

Author Links:
Facebook ~ Goodreads ~ Twitter ~ Website

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Author Interview~Jay Stritch (Author of The Eight Worlds Chronicles)


Author Bio: Jay Stritch is a student of English Literature at Cambridge University and a lover of all modes of storytelling. She has recently published her first novel, 'Seven Minutes' told in the format of memory collections which trace the interweaving, highly eventful lives of a very interesting family. In her free time she enjoys water sports, skiing and has been known to belt out show tunes when she thinks no one's listening.

Previous Books by Jay Stritch:



New YA Book by Jay Stritch:



Nineteen year old Achill has never left his training camp on Mars. With the revelation that his mother was exiled from the strict system after he was born he feels even more pressure to prove his loyalty and status as a fearless warrior who doesn't think before he kills. That is until he, who has never been taught of love or freedom, is sent on a secret mission for which he must travel through the other seven planets and fight for survival. As his journey unfolds he will discover unknown truths, potential love and face the strangeness of the lives and culture of those raised so differently to him.  He may even uncover the timeless mystery of the man of a thousand faces. As tensions rise and the stakes are higher than ever Achill must decide who he is actually fighting for as he tries to understand both conflicts between the planets and also within himself.

Links: Facebook ~ Amazon ~ Goodreads


~Interview~

1. What made you decide to become an author?
I owe so much to books, so many escapes, joys, loves and so much learning. I guess I felt I wanted to give a little back, to be the one taking someone on a journey for once rather than the one sitting back and being led.

2. Could we have you describe your book in your own words?
It is a fantasy adventure story about a group of worlds which are is disarray due to the poor decisions of the original Gods who founded them. From the broken societies on each world come a series of damaged, misinformed and slightly lost characters who embark on a perilous journey across the worlds searching for hope and along the way find out truths about their pasts, secrets about the worlds and unexpected love.

3. Your book has a very interesting title. How did you come up with it?
Well the crux of the story hangs on a myth that circulates these worlds called ‘The Man of a Thousand Faces,’ who was said to be the son of the Gods bound to roam the worlds forever. And the truth behind the myth is a key element of the story.
I’m also fascinated by the many different sides we present to the world, who the world makes us and how we respond to that, all topics which are brought into the story. So in a way the title also encapsulates the idea that no one is just one thing we have the capacity to change, be changed and pretend.

4. Do you base any of the events in your book on your own life experiences?
This is a tricky one and in many ways I disagree with the old saying write what you know. I’m far more inclined to write what I don’t know. It’s far more fun and you get to open up a second life running parallel to your own rather than recounting the events of your own life which you already know. But, yes, of course elements of my own experiences seep in and reality overlaps the fantasy because no matter how elaborate the alternate world you’re writing about people will always be people with their weaknesses, hopes and struggles and that is what is fun to read and write about and it has to be taken from real life.

5. If you could do it over again, would you change things about the book?
There are a lot of characters and I wanted to spend more time with each of them, although they all get their stories and their moments they are also part of a bigger story. So I guess I wanted more time just allowing them to be but the action means they’re too busy most of the time just to have casual conversations.

6. Can you give us a sneak peek of your next book?
O.k, here is a cheeky little extract from the sequel, ‘The Queen from a Thousand Places,’ which is still currently in the editing phase...lets just say Mars is gathering its army:

They tell me I will die here, in this cell. This was Ricon’s only thought most days now. If he didn’t succumb soon they would kill him, he was sure of that. The cell was pitch black, lit by a burning torch only when someone came in to beat him and yell obscenities. He had been isolated in the rocky dungeon for what must be four days now although it was hard to tell in the constant darkness.
He wasn’t responding to training well and he hadn’t answered the Wise Warriors with respect. He had been disgusted at the thought of taking another’s life and didn’t see any difference between the marked and unmarked. All these things made Ricon a failure on Mars and now he was in a cell slightly bigger than his body as were the other marked captives who weren’t responding well to training. There was a loud clattering noise from outside his cell and a scream and Ricon winced at the thought of what could be taking place beyond the rocks. Suddenly his cave was flooded with light and he wrinkled his eyes against the onslaught which now more painful than the darkness.
 “You, warrior of the Virgo mark and supporter of the cause,” said a deep booming voice before him, he still had his eyes squinted as he muttered back, “Ricon will do just fine, thanks.” He received a slash across the face for that and the force of it pinned him back against the stone wall, he gritted his teeth and opened his eyes. One of the leaders, very tall with no hair and a black tally of his kills across his head was looking down at him. Dangling from his left hand was a girl who he set down in front of Ricon. She stood very still, her eyes vacant and staring straight ahead, staring through him. The leader then tossed Ricon a spear which he managed to catch. “You will kill her now.” He said it flatly, an order but not an emotional one, more like a statement. Ricon stared at him, horror struck. “She is not of the mark,” the leader continued, “so she is not one of us, she is useless, dead already to the cause. We don’t need her.” The girl nodded in agreement, encouragement almost and Ricon felt sick. “It is a great and noble thing to die for your planet,” the girl said in a monotone and knelt before him, her head bowed muttering, “For the cause.” Ricon’s grip on the spear was loosening, his hand clammy against the metal making it slippery. “I can’t,” he said flatly, he looked up into the leaders eyes, “she’s one of yours anyway she’s born on Mars,” he said thinking he could talk his way out of this. The leader spoke coldly, “she is unmarked. You are one of ours, you are one of us but you need training, we will look after you if you do as we say,” he gritted his teeth, an attempt at a smile, “But if you don’t we will have to break you before we train you.” He pointed at the still girl expectantly. Ricon raised the spear and for a moment thought he would plunge it straight through leader’s heart, but he knew he’d never get out alive. He threw the spear to the ground instead, “you’ll have to break me then.”

7. What is the hardest part of writing for you?
I guess that because everything stems from the authors imagination the fantasy worlds feel vivid and clear and sometimes you have to go back and make sure that the reader will get that same experience. I have completely neglected to mention the surroundings before because they are just there in my head when I read it back and people have to remind me that the reader won’t see it unless I write it down!

8. Is there a character in your books that you relate to closely?
This is the weird thing about writing, although you may only realize it belatedly, all the characters will tell a truth about the author. The good the bad and the ugly manifest themselves on every page so is it cheating to say all of them?
Probably. So in this book I’d have to say that I relate to Nadine the most, I’m a tryer and a people pleaser and take others words to heart just like Nadine. However she is also unaware of her own strength and influence gradually growing throughout the book into the person she was meant to be. (I've still got my fingers crossed for the latter in my own life.)

9. How do you get through writer’s block?
Leave the house, step out in to the world and listen to people. There is so much variation and interest and twisted histories and ideas bound up in everyone it’s impossible to walk down the street and not be inspired by someone, something or a situation.
  
10. Is there anything you’d like to say to your readers?
Nothing is just black or white and enjoy the book!

Book Spotlight~No Such Thing As Perfect by Sarah Daltry

NEWBANNERNO SUCH THING AS PERFECT

CONTEMPORARY REALISTIC YA

Author: Sarah Daltry

synopsis


perfectCollege was supposed to be perfect. She was supposed to be perfect. For Lily Drummond, life is about following the rules. To be specific, her mother’s rules. College fit into the plan – maintain perfect grades, date the perfect guy, and live the perfect life. On her own, though, Lily realizes that she doesn’t actually have a plan. Without being told what to think and do, she keeps making mistakes. Away from home, the perfect facade is beginning to shatter. When Lily herself starts to break, it’s the support of an unlikely friend that teaches her how much of a lie perfect really is – and how to be whole on her own terms.








  Release Date: December 12, 2014 (tentative) Preorders to be available in November unless something changes.




 trailer\










excerpt


 “My name’s Lily and James Naismith ruined high school for me,” I offer. It’s too hot in this room. The window fan is blowing nothing but heat over us, along with some old dust or dirt from the window. It makes the noise of plastic that is being asked to do more than plastic can do; the fan’s cheapness makes it too weak to be a fan and it groans with its own failure. I’m not good with social events. This is some kind of mandated floor meeting for all new students and I’m sitting in the middle of my RA’s room with ten other girls, all of us in pajama pants, and trying to sound interesting. “I mean, he didn’t personally. I think he died almost a hundred years ago,” I stutter. “So why don’t you explain how the inventor of basketball did ruin high school then?” one girl asks. She’s angry, but I don’t know her. I don’t know anyone, except my roommate Kristen and so far all I know about her is that she’s majoring in education, she brought the fridge, and she’s decorated her side of our dorm room to look like the inside of a Pepto-Bismol bottle. This girl doesn’t want to hear my story. She doesn’t want to be here, but I don’t, either, and now that I’m here, I was the one dumb enough to open my mouth. “It was gym class,” I try to explain. “I don’t know. Something about ed reform. We had homework and tests and all that in gym now and I’d been up all night writing an essay about James Naismith. I hadn’t slept and I was in a rush trying to make the bus that morning.” It had been cold, the rushing towards winter that mirrors the years that aren’t like this one. This is one where summer lingers and it resists every attempt to make it yield to fall. I remember the leaves were already falling that year, even though it was only early September. Some years it seemed like they were in a greater rush to die. In the moments between life, each leaf took its suicidal leap and fell slowly while no one noticed. We always only notice when they’re all dead and suddenly the sky hangs on us and we crave shade. The bus was about to pull away from the curb near my house and I cried out for it, running faster and slipping on a clump of leaves. The entire patch was squishy. I wondered as I fell if I had taken out a small family of worms in my descent. My outfit was ruined, but it wasn’t the clothes that scared me… “I tripped on leaves and fell on the driveway hard. The gravel left a slash along my cheek and it looked like someone had punched me. That was the day of school pictures, which we used for the yearbook and our IDs. Not to mention the fact that my mom…” I can’t finish. I don’t want to take about my mother. I certainly don’t feel like confiding in these girls about how disappointed she was that I had ruined everything. It wasn’t my fault that fall had come early, but I ruined the pictures and in her album of school photos, my freshman year still remains a giant, empty black page. A constant reminder that I will never be whole, never be perfect, never be what she wanted. “What about your mom?” someone else asks. “Nothing.” I don’t want to tell my story anymore. I want the fan to stop trying. I want it to be tomorrow and the day after and any day when I can start in the morning and get through to night without making a mistake. It’s dropped, though, anyway, because Ellie, the RA, turns to someone else who is pocketing a handful of condoms. “You don’t need to take them all,” she barks. “I have plenty, but other people practice safe sex, too. Unless you’re planning on having a massive orgy tonight, you can probably come back and get some later.” The condom hoarder blushes and returns half her pile and the floor meeting turns back to pointless small talk and ice breakers that no one wants to be a part of. The fan clicks another meaningless rotation. I’ve been a college student for six hours now and I’ve never been so lonely in my entire life.




bio
 
Sarah Daltry is a YA author, hardcore gamer, sarcastic nerd, and obsessive Anglophile who watches too much BBC TV. She is the author of Backward Compatible: A Gamer Geek Love Story, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock: A Modern Reimagining, Bitter Fruits, and the upcoming YA fantasy, Dust. No Such Thing as Perfect was inspired by Sarah's original Flowering series, but is a completely different take on similar concepts. When she's not writing, Sarah spends a lot of time with her Xbox and her cats.

links
   
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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Book Review~Onyx by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Title: Onyx
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Series: Lux #2
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Pub Date: August 12th 2014
Format: ebook
Pages: 328
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance, Science Fiction
Links: Goodreads ~ Amazon ~ Book/Author Site

Synopsis: Being connected to Daemon Black sucks…

Daemon’s determined to prove what he feels for me is more than a product of our bizarre connection. I’ve sworn him off even though he’s running more hot than cold these days. But against all common sense, I’m falling for him. Hard.

Our relationship issues aren’t out biggest problem…

The Department of Defense is here. If they ever find out what Daemon can do and that we’re linked, I’m a goner. So is he. And when a new boy shows up a school with a secret of his own, things get complicated fast. I need to choose between my own instincts and Daemon’s.

But then everything changes…

I’ve seen someone who shouldn’t be alive. Daemon’s never going to stop searching until gets the truth. What happened to his brother? Who betrayed him? And what does the DOD want from them—from me?

No one is who they seem. And not everyone will survive the lies.


Trailer

Rating: 6.5/10
Source: Bought

My Thoughts: 



I'm afraid this book gave me a case of Second Book Syndrome, which I believe is a first for me. It sucks because I really I really loved the first book! But this one was so disappointing that I even considered dropping it, which I hardly ever do. But I forced myself to go through with reading it all in the hopes that it might get better. Alas, my hopes were shattered and this book sucked big time.

Story: Wash, rinse, repeat, that is what the romance part of the story was. I was so sick and tired of all the miscommunications and "I don't love hims" and "It's the bond" and all the other excuses Katy was making. I really didn't get her reason for being so against the relationship. Sure, he was a jerk to you but come on! If you like him and he likes you back and he apologized and he's being nice then what the hell is the problem with you! I swear, Katy was so infuriating in this book! But more on that later. Now lets move on from the crappy romance and to the alien side of the story. Well hello love triangle, where have you been? Oh and I didn't see that one coming, the second guy being some supernatural thing too. (That was sarcasm BTW, if I wasn't able to convey it right.) There was so much stuff I didn't like in this book, I would be telling you half the book if I started listing them down. Lets just say the story was extremely annoying. And Katy sweety, if your instincts are telling you something's wrong please listen to them. And Daemon darling, if you have limited time you don't stand there and kiss your girlfriend and say cheesy lines. You grab her hand and you run!

Writing: The writing was okay. Compared to the story it wasn't that bad. But I did have some problems with it. Firstly, most of the time the writing was pretty detailed (which put me to sleep sometimes) but sometimes it skimmed over stuff which seemed so weird and out of place. I was like, did I miss something or skip over a paragraph? But no, the author decided to go on super speed through that part. One other thing that really bothered me was the way Katy addressed people in her head. She called them "the girl", "the boy", "the man", etc. If I know someone and was thinking about them in my head I would call them by their name not "the girl" or whatever.

Characters: Katy was such a huge disappointment in this book! Whereas I loved her in the first book, she was unbearably annoying in this one! She was so confused and it went on throughout the book which got so irritating. She was constantly like "I like him." "I don't like him." "It's my fault." "It's not my fault." "I'm doing the right thing." "I'm not doing the right thing." She was just so confused all the time that I wanted to slap her and tell her to be sure about her decisions for once! And Katy was so stupid. I cannot believe that she could be this stupid. She was just... ugh!

Daemon. *sigh* Daemon, Daemon, Daemon. I had such high hopes for you. Oh how I was fangirling so hard over you when I first met you read about you. But look at me now. I really couldn't stand you. Dude, you are such a jerk that even your good looks couldn't save you from being ugly. Daemon turned me off big time. He was being way too controlling. And what's with the 'ruining Blake's name' thing? It was funny the first few times but it got so annoying I wanted to slam a chair on Daemon's head. And I can't believe Katy kept correcting him! Like it's obvious he's doing it on purpose. Why keep correcting him? Isn't it better to just ignore him?

Blake was... well Blake was weird. I knew something was up with him from the get-go. Only Katy can be stupid enough to not realize that. Well anyway, there's not much to say about him. Or any of the other characters. I was so busy being frustrated with Katy & Daemon that I didn't really notice the other characters much.

Romance: Communication, people! Communication! That is the key to a healthy relationship. But apparently Katy & Daemon didn't get that memo. So they talked about everything else except their relationship. And both of them loved assuming what the other person meant, or needed, without directly consulting them. Because who needs to talk, right? When you can have so many misunderstanding by not talking.

Overall: This book was a HUGE disappointment! I don't think I'll be reading the next one. But it could only be me and you might actually like it. So if you do decide on reading it, I hope it doesn't disappoint you as much as it disappointed me.

About The Author:

# 1 New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Jennifer L. Armentrout Lives in West Virginia. 

All the rumors you heard about her state aren’t true. 

Well, mostly. When she's not hard at work writing, she spends her time, reading, working out, watching zombie movies, and pretending to write.

She is the author of the Covenant Series (Spencer Hill Press), the Lux Series (Entangled Teen), Don't Look Back (Disney/Hyperion) and a yet untitled novel (Disney/Hyperion), and new YA paranormal series with Harlequin Teen. 

Jennifer also writes New Adult and Adult romance under the pen name J. Lynn. The Gamble Brothers Series (Tempting the Best Man/Tempting the Player) and Wait for You. Under her pen name, she is published with Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Drama Review~Surplus Princess (Korean)

Title: Surplus Princess, The Mermaid, The Idle Mermaid
Writer: Park Ran, Kim Ji Soo
Director: Baek Seung Ryong
Main Cast: Jo Bo Ah as Kim Ha Ni/Aileen, On Joo Wan as Lee Hyun Myung, Song Jae Rim as Kwon Shi Kyung, Park Ji Soo as Yoon Jin Ah
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Fantasy, Romance
Original Run: August 7, 2014 - October 9, 2014
Duration: 60 min.
Original Channel: tvN
No. of Episodes: 10
Language: Korean
Links: MDL ~ Wikipedia ~ Viki/DramafeverTV Show/Drama Site

Synopsis: Ha Ni is a mermaid princess in the underwater empire, but she falls in love with Shi Kyung, and for him she becomes a human being and begins to live at the In Gyeo House. The house is for people who are preparing to land their first jobs. To permanently become a human being, Ha Ni must make Shi Kyung love her within 100 days.


Trailer: 

My Rating: 8.5/10

My Thoughts: I liked this drama so much! It sucks that it got cut so short and got ruined because of that.

Story: When I read the synopsis I wasn't really sure what to think about this one. It seemed absurd but interesting so I decided to give it a try. I loved it from the first episode! The story was unique and the writers definitely took a lot of risks but it was great! Even though it started out as Ha Ni looking for love and turned into Ha Ni looking for a job and many people didn't like that but I was okay with it. I loved all the parodies and references! It was all so funny! It was a really good blend of humor and seriousness. The sad scenes were sad and brought tears to my eyes, the funny scenes were funny and made me laugh out loud. It was all balanced out really well. Until they cut down the episodes and the writers were forced to rush the ending which ruined everything. But more on that later.

Actors/Characters: All the characters, even the minor ones, were awesome! And all the actors did a great job playing them!

I've only seen Jo Bo Ah in Shut Up Flower Boy Band. I always thought she was pretty but her acting was okay in SUFBB. So I was very surprised to see her do such a wonderful job in Surplus Princess! She was so funny and lovable! Her character, Ha Ni, especially at the beginning, was a spoilt brat. And I should have hated her. But I didn't. Because Jo Bo Ah made her character so likable and believable that I couldn't hate her. She was so endearing and hilarious and adorable! I loved her!

I loved Song Jae Rim! I'll admit I had never seen him or heard of him before. But I loved him in Surplus Princess! Not so much in the beginning, but Shi Kyung won me over after a few episodes. Song Jae Rim acted really well! And I loved his character! His character was well-written and had depth. I desperately wanted him to be the male lead. He had such great chemistry with Jo Bo Ah. 

Honestly, Hyun Myung felt more like a side character than a male lead. And he seemed more like a friend to Ha Ni than a lover. He was like an oppa to her, and I mean in a brotherly way. On Joo Wan was okay, I guess. I didn't like his acting much. Hyun Myung as a character was okay too. I never felt much for him. I often felt like the other side characters were more important than him. He did not seem like a male lead at all. 

The second female lead, Yoon Jin Ah, was so annoying and evil! I hated her! And that means Park Ji Soo played her well. But not well enough. I'm pretty sure somewhere through the hate I was also supposed to feel sorry for her. But I didn't. I only hated her. She was so low, I really couldn't feel sorry for her. Because all the decisions that got her where she was, she made them herself.

I adored all the side characters! I loved Hye Young! She was so cool and such a good friend! She was a really fun character and she and Big were so cute together! Ji Yong was so funny! I loved him! He was hilarious! Sun Kyu was awesome and the actor who played him did such a good job! Jin Ah's boss was so funny and awesome! And I loved the JH owner and her interactions with Ahn Ma Nyeo! Speaking of Ahn Ma Nyeo, how cool was he?! And Ahn Kil Kang did such a good job playing him! One of my favorite side characters ever!

Romance: I was really really hoping that the writers would take the other road, take this risk along with the others they had taken, and make the girl end up with the second lead. They had better chemistry and looked better together. I really loved Ha Ni and Shi Kyung. And the writers didn't have much time to develop Hyun Myung's and Ha Ni's story anyway. So why not take the already developed couple and make them end game? It's not like the ratings mattered anymore, the drama was already ending. But to my disappointment the writers took the conventional way. Oh well, we can't all have what we want.

Ending: I was really disappointed with the ending. Not only was it rushed,  I would've liked it much better if Ha Ni would've ended up with Shi Kyung. They also left it kinda open-ended. Don't get me wrong, they did resolve almost everything. But they ended it as if they were planning on a sequel and with answers they also left us with more questions.

Overall: I really loved this drama! Even though it was only 10 episodes long I really bonded with the characters and loved the story and humor. It was a great drama that I could relax to. I wouldn't particularly recommend it because the ending sucks but if you want something light with great humor then I think you should watch it.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Dust by Sarah Daltry~Pre-order Blitz

BANNER2
   Dust Cover   7372f-blogaddtogoodreads     synopsis
Who makes YOUR choices?
"I was once the type of person who was impressed by starlight; the type of person who would dance beneath glass ceilings and let the world swim in its loveliness. The sky reminds me of the parties we used to throw - parties like the one last night. The memories bring back the trill of harps and endless ripples of satisfied laughter. Now, though, when I try to recall what I felt, all I hear is screaming." In a world ravaged by war and oppressive forces of evil, a princess must fight to claim her bloodright and save her people. When the princess, Alondra, falls for the beautiful, blue eyes of a hooded stranger, it awakens in her a taste for freedom and an escape from her duty. But her parents have other plans; they have a kingdom to protect and Alondra must marry to ensure the peace between nations. Only what happens when your parents choose a cold-hearted assassin as your betrothed? As lies, illusions, and long hidden vendettas surface, the princess has to confront a very secret history. One that makes her realize that she not only risks losing her liberty, but also everything she has known and loved.
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dust
authorbio
Sarah Daltry is a varied author, known best for the contemporary New Adult series, 'Flowering', a six-title series that explores the complexities of relationships, including how we survive the damage from our pasts with the support of those who love us. Although the books are no longer in print, they are being rewritten and redeveloped for future publication. Please visit Sarah's website for more details.
As a former English teacher and YA library coordinator, Sarah has always loved Young Adult literature and 'Dust', an epic fantasy novel where romance blends with the blood and grit of war, is her second official foray into YA, following the gamer geek romantic comedy, 'Backward Compatible'. Most of Sarah's work is about teens and college students, as it's what she knows well.
Sarah's passion in life is writing - weaving tales of magic and beauty. The modern and vast social networking world is an alternative universe that she makes infrequent trips to, but when she does, readers will find her attentive, friendly and happy to discuss the magic of stories and reading. Please stop by and say hello anywhere Sarah is online! You can find these places at http://sarahdaltry.com
Sarah has moved back and forth between independent and traditional publishing. Her first novel, 'Bitter Fruits', is with Escape, an imprint of Harlequin Australia, and she signed with Little Bird Publishing in the spring of 2014.
Sarah has also written 'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,' a reimagining of one of her favorite poems in a contemporary setting.
She is an obsessive Anglophile who spends more time watching BBC TV than any human being should, as well as a hardcore gamer and sarcastic nerd.
You can also check out samples of Sarah's work at DeviantArt and Wattpad.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Book Review~Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

Title: Perfect Chemistry
Author: Simone Elkeles
Series: Perfect Chemistry #1
Publisher: Walker & Company
Pub Date: April 21st 2010
Format: ebook
Pages: 357
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Links: Goodreads ~ Amazon ~ Book/Author Site

Synopsis: A fresh, urban twist on the classic tale of star-crossed lovers.
When Brittany Ellis walks into chemistry class on the first day of senior year, she has no clue that her carefully created “perfect” life is about to unravel before her eyes. She’s forced to be lab partners with Alex Fuentes, a gang member from the other side of town, and he is about to threaten everything she's worked so hard for—her flawless reputation, her relationship with her boyfriend, and the secret that her home life is anything but perfect. Alex is a bad boy and he knows it. So when he makes a bet with his friends to lure Brittany into his life, he thinks nothing of it. But soon Alex realizes Brittany is a real person with real problems, and suddenly the bet he made in arrogance turns into something much more.
In a passionate story about looking beneath the surface, Simone Elkeles breaks through the stereotypes and barriers that threaten to keep Brittany and Alex apart.
Rating: 9/10
Source: Bought

My Thoughts: This book was so sweet! I loved reading Alex's and Brittany's story. I think it's been a while since I've shipped a book couple so hard but I loved Alex & Brittany together!

Story: The story was really good and interesting. If I hadn't been reading this along with my friend I would've finished this in one go. It was the perfect blend of romance, tragedy, suspense and humor. I loved reading Alex's and Brittany's story and was rooting for them from the start. This book really drew me in and I got very much invested in the characters and their stories.

Writing: The writing was great, it always kept my interest. The pacing was perfect as well. I loved how well the author described the characters' emotions. Some dialogues were really cheesy and I don't think anyone talks like that in real life but that was okay, even kinda cute.

Characters: All the characters were well-written and seemed so real. I really liked Alejandro but as a friend. It really seemed like he was a good friend and I really wanted things to work out for him. I was always cheering him on and whenever he felt sad, I felt like giving him a hug.

I really liked Brittany. I loved how she changed over the course of the book. I really admired her love for her sister. Brittany was a strong girl and I really liked her for that.

There were many side characters but none of them were too important. They were important to Alex's and Brittany's story but they didn't have their own story so I'm not sure what I should say about them. I really didn't like Brittany's parents and whatever excuses they make aren't enough to convince me that what they did was okay. The sad thing is I have friends who have parents like this and it hurts how I can't really help them.

Romance: The romance was the favorite part for me about this book. It seemed so genuine and I was rooting for Alex and Brittany so hard! They were really cute together. I loved how each helped heal the other person, each helped the other person be a better version of themselves.

Overall: I really enjoyed this book! The story was interesting and really well-written. The characters were great and the romance was epic! Highly recommended to anyone in the mood for a sweet romance and an awesome story.

About The Author:


Simone Elkeles is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of novels for teens. Simone’s books have won many awards including being YALSA Top Ten Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, being named to the YALSA Popular Paperbacks and Teens Top Ten lists, and added to the Illinois “Read for a Lifetime” Reading List. Simone also won the coveted RITA award from the Romance Writers of America for her book Perfect Chemistry. Simone is especially proud of the fact that the Illinois Association of Teachers of English named her Author of the Year. 

Simone was born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago, where she still lives today. Simone went to the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign and received her Bachelor’s of Science there in Psychology in 1992. She continued her education at Loyola University-Chicago where she received her Master’s of Science degree in Industrial Relations while working for a manufacturing company creating diversity programs for their employees.

She loves animals (she has two dogs – a labradoodle and a German Shepherd), kids (she also has two of those) and her family. In her spare time she’s the Hockey Mom for her kids hockey teams and is an active Girl Scout leader specially trained in outdoor education. She also spends time mentoring other teen and adult authors. (She also loves sushi, which you can probably tell by reading her books.) Simone writes about teens because she was a teen in the 80’s (when spiked hair and blue eye shadow were “rad”) and she loves writing about those exciting teen relationships and romances.


Extras:

The song High Above The Ground by Daughtry really reminds me of this book and Alex's and Brittany's story. Listen to it below and tell me what you think.


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Book Spotlight~Wildfire by Mary Lowry


Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing
Pub Date: October 7th 2014

Synopsis: Julie has an obsession with fire that began after her parents died when she was twelve years old. Her pyromania leads her to take an unlikely job as a forest firefighter on an elite, Type 1 “Hotshot” crew of forest firefighters who travel the American West battling wildfires. The only woman on the twenty person crew, Julie struggles both to prove her worth and find a place of belonging in the dangerous, insular, and very masculine world of fire (while also fighting against an eating disorder she's had since her teens). As her season “on the line” progresses so do her relationships with the strange and varied cast of characters that make up her hotshots team—and she learns what it means to put your life on the line for someone else.

Wildfire is a tough, gritty, and fascinating story from an exciting new voice in American fiction. Fans of the movie Backdraft or Cheryl Strayed’s memoir Wild will enjoy this fast paced debut.


Links: Goodreads ~ Amazon ~ Barnes and Noble ~ IndieBound ~ Author Site

Praise for Wildfire:

“I love this book. With stunning language and deep insight Lowry has written a novel that makes you feel, with nearly every sentence, that something big is at stake. It’s been a damn long time since a novel knocked me around and made me care this way. The hotshots’ world is exotic and specialized and the entry she offers is stunning and rare. But it is the heart of this book you will most want to know. Here is an original and special voice.”
—Anthony Swofford, New York Times bestselling author of Jarhead

“Mary Lowry’s Wildfire is one of those unique books that appear from time to time, a sort of Huck Finn meets Moby Dick, that is if Huck Finn was a spunky young woman and the white whale was a wildfire.”
—Craig Nova, author of All the Dead Yale Men and The Good Son


“Young writers aren’t supposed to understand as much as the prescient Mary Lowry. In Wildfire, she illuminates the cycle of life with a racing, insightful story.” 
—James C. Moore, New York Times bestselling author of Bush’s Brain

“Forget werewolves, vampires, and fantasy. Here’s a true-life adventure lived by a woman who gave up the security of her college life in Texas and entered the wild and wooly world of the hotshot firefighter. A tribute to the hard work and courage of hotshots everywhere.”
—Murry A. Taylor, author of Jumping Fire: A Smokejumper’s Memoir of Fighting Wildfire

“Mary Pauline Lowry’s incendiary Wildfire illustrates that women can both fight fire—and write fiction about the American West—on par with men. Bold, funny, iconoclastic, and devastating.”
—Sarah Bird, author of The Gap Year and The Flamenco Academy

Wildfire will not leave you unscathed. This brave and big-hearted novel about a young woman working on a foul-mouthed all-male forest fire crew in the Rockies takes the reader into a world none of us have seen and makes it indelibly real and totally gripping. I know nothing quite like it.”
—James Magnuson, author of Famous Writers I Have Known

“A vivid, evocative, and emotionally complex journey through a dangerous and beautiful world.”
—Lou Berney, Pushcart Prize–winning author of Gutshot Straight and The Road to Bobby Joe and Other Stories

Wildfire is the funniest, saddest, most harrowing, most exuberant novel I’ve read in years. Mary Lowry writes with an insider’s precision about the raucous camaraderie and dangerous work of wildland firefighting, but also with an artist’s insight into a lonely young woman’s determination to test herself, to belong to something, and to forge a life that matters.”
—Stephen Harrigan, New York Times bestselling author of The Gates of the Alamo

“Brilliant!”
—H. W. Brands, New York Times bestselling author of The First American and Traitor to His Class

Author Bio:

Mary Pauline Lowry worked for two years as a forest firefighter on the elite Pike Interagency Hotshot Crew based on the Pike National Forest in Colorado. “Hotshots are the best-trained and best-equipped wildland firefighters, sometimes referred to as the Navy SEALs of their profession” (Rolling Stone Magazine). As a Hotshot, Lowry traveled all over the American West with her crew fighting wildfires ranging in size from single tree lightening strikes to 20,000 acre blazes. Hotshot crews are “hand crews” that do not use water to fight blazes. Instead they dig a firebreak or “fireline” around the fire to deprive it of fuel. With her crew, Lowry hiked or was helicoptered in to fires and dug fireline for 15 hours or more a day. During fire season, she and her crew would work 21 days at a time fighting fire and camping out. 

Lowry left the Hotshot crew to attend graduate school, receiving an M.A. in English (concentration Creative Writing) from the University of Texas at Austin. Lowry has since worked in the movement to end violence against women as a counselor at a domestic violence shelter, advocate on the National Domestic Violence Hotline, and public policy analyst at the Texas Council on Family Violence.

Lowry is a native of Austin, TX, currently residing in Orange County, CA. She writes for xoJane and the Huffington Post. Her novel WILDFIRE, based on her experiences as a wildland firefighter, will be published by Skyhorse on October 7.


Monday, October 6, 2014

Book Review~Keeping The Dead by Tess Gerritsen

Title: Keeping The Dead/The Keepsake
Author: Tess Gerritsen
Series: Rizzoli & Isles #7
Publisher: Bantam Books
Pub Date: January 1st 2008
Format: Paperback
Pages: 446
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Crime, Suspense
Links: Goodreads ~ Amazon ~ Book/Author Site

Synopsis: HE HIDES
When an ancient mummy is discovered in the basement of a museum in downtown Boston, excitement starts to mount. Under the glare of a media frenzy, the mummy is taken to hospital for a CT scan. Forensic pathologist Maura Isles is invited to attend.

HE KILLS
As the CT scan proceeds everyone in the room leans in—and gasps in horror as an image of a bullet is revealed. Maura declares it a possible homicide, and calls in detective Jane Rizzoli.

HE KEEPS
When the preserved body of a second victim is found, and then a third, it becomes clear that taking lives is not enough for this terrifying killer. And that unless Rizzoli and Isles can find and stop him, he will soon be adding yet another chilling piece to his monstrous collection.

Rating: 8.5/10
Source: Bought.

My Thoughts: This is the first time I am reviewing a mystery novel so please forgive me if my review isn't that good.

Okay, so this book was pretty good. I haven't read a mystery novel in years so I don't really have anything I can compare this with but it was full of suspense and there were scenes that made my heart beat fast and really drew me into the novel so much so that I forgot about my surroundings. But those scenes weren't many and this book was made longer with descriptions that lost my interest.

Story: The story was pretty good. It was like watching an episode of CSI. There were many twists and turns I didn't see coming and it was fun reading them. I liked the archaeology aspect of the story as I have always been in interested in archaeology (I wanted to be an archaeologist when I was a kid) and I felt very happy when I understood all the medical terms (I'm a pre-med student). I wouldn't say the story was full of suspense but there were many surprising scenes. The first part of the book was a bit slow but it did pick up towards the end.

Writing: The writing was really good and did manage to keep my attention. It also made my heart race during the suspense scenes so that's a plus point. But there were sometimes too many details given about stuff that didn't matter and that sometimes made me lose my interest. It wasn't too much though and the story was enough to keep me interested. 

Characters: The characters didn't seem real. They felt very fictional. That's not something that bothered me but I thought I'd mention it here. I also didn't like reading about Rizzoli & Isles personal life but I'm pretty sure that's just me. Fans of the series, and if I had been a follower of the series then I too, would have liked that extra information. Understood it. But since I just picked up a random novel without reading the previous books I didn't feel any attachment to these main characters, neither did I feel like I needed any personal information about them. Since the characters felt fictional I didn't feel anything for them. But they were likable, the ones that were meant to be likable, and the bad guys were obviously unlikable. It was like watching a thriller movie. You don't feel any attachment to the characters, you are just interested in the story and feel for them what you are supposed to feel for them

Overall: This was pretty good as a standalone mystery novel and I did enjoy reading it. I would recommend it to medical thriller fans.

About The Author:

Internationally bestselling author Tess Gerritsen took an unusual route to a writing career. A graduate of Stanford University, Tess went on to medical school at the University of California, San Francisco, where she was awarded her M.D.

While on maternity leave from her work as a physician, she began to write fiction. In 1987, her first novel was published. Call After Midnight, a romantic thriller, was followed by eight more romantic suspense novels. She also wrote a screenplay, "Adrift", which aired as a 1993 CBS Movie of the Week starring Kate Jackson.

Tess's first medical thriller, Harvest, was released in hardcover in 1996, and it marked her debut on the New York Times bestseller list. Her suspense novels since then have been: Life Support (1997), Bloodstream (1998), Gravity (1999), The Surgeon (2001), The Apprentice (2002), The Sinner (2003), Body Double (2004), Vanish (2005), The Mephisto Club (2006), and The Bone Garden (2007). Her books have been translated into 31 languages, and more than 15 million copies have been sold around the world.

As well as being a New York Times bestselling author, she has also been a #1 bestseller in both Germany and the UK. She has won both the Nero Wolfe Award (for Vanish) and the Rita Award (for The Surgeon.) Critics around the world have praised her novels as "Pulse-pounding fun" (Philadelphia Inquirer), "Scary and brilliant" (Toronto Globe and Mail), and "Polished, riveting prose" (Chicago Tribune). Publisher Weekly has dubbed her the "medical suspense queen".

Now retired from medicine, she writes full time. She lives in Maine.


Website ~ Amazon ~ Wikipedia ~ Goodreads ~ Facebook ~ Twitter

Friday, October 3, 2014

Frostbitten Giveaway Winner


Congratulations to Danz on winning an ecopy of Frostbitten by Heather Beck!

Currently Watching

Despite the tests I'm currently watching a lot of ongoing dramas and TV shows. But I only get to catch up on weekends. Good thing a lot of them are about to end soon so I will have less to watch. I just don't have the heart to drop any. Here is the stuff I'm currently watching:

Dramas:

1. My Secret Hotel


This one's beginning to bore me. I was never invested enough to be frustrated and that is why I am just bored. The romance is all over the place and frankly I have stopped caring about it. I did like the mystery but it's given such less importance that now I don't care about that either. The only good thing about this drama are the OSTs. The songs are seriously very good and have been on replay on my iPod since they came out!

2. My Lovely Girl


Hmm... I don't now about this one. I am enjoying it but I feel like it's going to disappoint me. It's still too early to say, I've only seen 4 episodes. Rain is really good and Krystal is doing a good job as well. I liked her better in Heirs though but I think that was because of her character. I wish Myungsoo (L) was a better actor. He's adorable but his acting... Hoya's doing a good job though. And this is completely out of the blue but Sungyeol's brother (who plays one of the band members) is so much like him! I mean in the way he looks and talks.

3. Surplus Princess


I was actually quite enjoying this one. I'm sad that it got cut down to only 10 episodes. It is a fun drama. It has good humor and I am enjoying the story as well. I especially love Ha Ni and how Jo Bo Ah is playing her!I hope they end it well...

4. High School - Love On


This one is just so cute! I'm loving the story and even though the acting isn't that good, it's not cringe-worthy and it's always great seeing my Infinite boys. I like where the story is going and how real the characters feel.

TV Shows:

1. Once Upon A Time


The first episode was meh. With such an awesome season finale I was expecting a great season premiere but it fell a little flat. I'm sure it will pick up though. I'm loving the Frozen arc!

2. Supernatural


I know this hasn't premiered yet but it will next week and I do plan on watching it. I can't wait!!!! My mother can't wait either! This is the only show we watch together so I'm pretty excited. When I talk to her about other shows she doesn't understand a thing but Supernatural is something we both love so it's fun talking to her about it.

3. Reign



Wow! That was a great first episode! Mary is changing so much! I don't know if it's for better or worse... So many mysteries and threats! Bash <3 This season is going to be intense!

4. The Vampire Diaries


That was actually a pretty good first episode. That ending!!! But yeah, I actually enjoyed it and the mystery is really intriguing. I'm looking forward to this season,  I hope the writers don't disappoint.

Variety Shows:

1. It's Okay, Roommate


Only 1 episode has aired till now. I do like the new members, they seem fun (and funny!) but I'm going to miss the old ones as well. I hope this will be as much fun as the first season!

2. We Got Married (JungJung Couple)


I know this isn't ongoing but I am watching it... and I love these two! They are so adorable! They are a very different couple from what we usually see on We Got Married (not that I watch a lot of it). I love how they play games with each other but at the end of the day they really do care for each other. Jung Joon Young is so adorkably shy and super funny! And Jung Yoo Mi really has a lot of patience! They are not very cutesy and sweet. But they are unique and sweet in their own way.

I know, I know... I'm watching a lot. Really though, I have no idea how it got so out of hand! The thing is, one drama or the other (High School Love On, I'm looking at you) keeps postponing their episodes and then I pick up something new. Plus all the new TV show seasons are starting and that is why my list grew so much. And everyone needs variety in their life to laugh the stress away. So I ended up watching 10 shows at the same time. No wonder I don't have time for anything else... Tests on weekdays, shows on weekends...

Anyway, are you watching any of these? If yes, what do you think about it/them? What are you currently watching? Comment below and lets fangirl over Bash & Damon together! Unless you want to talk about how cute the JungJung couple is. ;)
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