Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (33)





"Waiting on" Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that showcases upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating!
I first heard about it from PageTurnersBlog.




I'm showcasing lots of books this week because they're coming out next week!


Shut Out by Kody Keplinger
Publication Date: September 5, 2011

Synopsis:
Most high school sports teams have rivalries with other schools. At Hamilton High, it's a civil war: the football team versus the soccer team. And for her part, Lissa is sick of it. Her quarterback boyfriend, Randy, is always ditching her to go pick a fight with the soccer team or to prank their locker room. And on three separate occasions Randy's car has been egged while he and Lissa were inside, making out. She is done competing with a bunch of sweaty boys for her own boyfriend's attention.

Lissa decides to end the rivalry once and for all: she and the other players' girlfriends go on a hookup strike. The boys won't get any action from them until the football and soccer teams make peace. What they don't count on is a new sort of rivalry: an impossible girls-against-boys showdown that hinges on who will cave to their libidos first. And Lissa never sees her own sexual tension with the leader of the boys, Cash Sterling, coming.

Inspired by Aristophanes' play Lysistrata, critically acclaimed author of The Duff (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) Kody Keplinger adds her own trademark humor in this fresh take on modern teenage romance, rivalry and sexuality.




The Beginning of After by Jennifer Castle
Publication Date: September 6, 2011

Synopsis:
Anyone who’s had something truly crappy happen to them will tell you: It’s all about Before and After. What I’m talking about here is the ka-pow, shake-you-to-your-core-and-turn-your-bones-to-plastic kind of crappy.

Sixteen-year-old Laurel’s world changes instantly when her parents and brother are killed in a terrible car accident. Behind the wheel is the father of her bad-boy neighbor, David Kaufman, whose mother is also killed. In the aftermath of the tragedy, Laurel navigates a new reality in which she and her best friend grow apart, boys may or may not be approaching her out of pity, overpowering memories lurk everywhere, and Mr. Kaufman is comatose but still very much alive. Through it all there is David, who swoops in and out of Laurel’s life and to whom she finds herself attracted against her better judgment. She will forever be connected to him by their mutual loss—a connection that will change them both in unexpected ways.

Jennifer Castle’s debut novel is a heart-wrenching, surprisingly witty testament to how drastically life can change in the span of a single moment.




All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin
Publication Date: September 6, 2011

Synopsis:
In 2083, chocolate and coffee are illegal, paper is hard to find, water is carefully rationed, and New York City is rife with crime and poverty. And yet, for Anya Balanchine, the sixteen-year-old daughter of the city's most notorious (and dead) crime boss, life is fairly routine. It consists of going to school, taking care of her siblings and her dying grandmother, trying to avoid falling in love with the new assistant D.A.'s son, and avoiding her loser ex-boyfriend. That is until her ex is accidentally poisoned by the chocolate her family manufactures and the police think she's to blame. Suddenly, Anya finds herself thrust unwillingly into the spotlight--at school, in the news, and most importantly, within her mafia family.



Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs
Publication Date: September 6, 2011

Synopsis:
Grace just moved to San Francisco and is excited to start over at a new school. The change is full of fresh possibilities, but it’s also a tiny bit scary. It gets scarier when a minotaur walks in the door. And even more shocking when a girl who looks just like her shows up to fight the monster.

Gretchen is tired of monsters pulling her out into the wee hours, especially on a school night, but what can she do? Sending the minotaur back to his bleak home is just another notch on her combat belt. She never expected to run into this girl who could be her double, though.

Greer has her life pretty well put together, thank you very much. But that all tilts sideways when two girls who look eerily like her appear on her doorstep and claim they're triplets, supernatural descendants of some hideous creature from Greek myth, destined to spend their lives hunting monsters.

These three teenage descendants of Medusa, the once-beautiful gorgon maligned by myth, must reunite and embrace their fates in this unique paranormal world where monsters lurk in plain sight.


Phew! We made it through! I won't say why I want each one cause that would take a long time ;). But seriously, they all sounds like awesome books, with great covers to boot!

What upcoming releases are you looking forward to?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Teaser Tuesday (28)

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme, hosted by MizB of Should be Reading. Just do the following:
Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
DO NOT INCLUDE SPOILERS (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away, so that you don't ruin the book for others)
Share the title and author so that other participants can add the book to their TBR list is they like your teasers!

This week I'm reading Solid by Shelley Workinger. I'm almost done and really enjoying it. Here's my teaser:



I only knew it was in fact Bliss because she'd been standing next to me just seconds before and there hadn't been time or movement enough for her to have switched with anyone else. For a brief moment, she was encased in an unreal glow from the top of her blond locks down to her Sketchers. Then she disappeared completely into the glow, as if a shooting star had taken place of her body, morphing into the same hip-cocked, head-tilted pose.



Bit of a long one, and three sentences, but you needed the full effect with this one. The book is about a group of teens whose mothers were secretly experimented on with a chromosomal drug (while pregnant) by a rogue Army doctor. These teens are the products, and they're brought to a secret military facility to find out what effect the experiments have had on them. Click on the title above to go to the Goodreads page.

Feel free to share your teasers with me. I'd love to see what you're reading.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

In My Mailbox (27)




In My Mailbox is a weekly meme that gives bloggers a chance to share what books they've received in the last week. It's hosted by The Story Siren and you can find out more info about it here.





Got some awesome books this week!

Bought from Book Depository
The Eternal Ones by Kirsten Miller {Goodreads | Book Depository}
Delirium: Special Edition by Lauren Oliver {Goodreads | Book Depository}

For Review
All Hallows Moon (Seasons of the Moon #2) by S.M. Reine {Goodreads}
Thanks to the author for the ebook review copy!

THE ETERNAL ONES is a book I've been looking at and intending to buy for a while, but never did, so I grabbed it from The Book Depository the other week. I already have a copy of DELIRIUM, but the cover for the second book, PANDEMONIUM matches the special edition of Delirium, so I decided I had to get it. That, and there's an excerpt from Pandemonium in the back. I'll probably pass my original copy to a friend or giveaway. ALL HALLOWS MOON was sent to me by the author after I finished the first book in her series, SIX MOON SUMMER, and tweeted her about how much I loved it. I'll be done this one in a flash, I'm sure of it.

What did you get this week?

Friday, August 26, 2011

Review: Six Moon Summer by S.M. Reine

Title: Six Moon Summer
Author: S.M. Reine
Publisher: self published
Publish Date: April 29, 2011
Genre: YA, paranormal
Pages: 126 (ebook)
Source: From author for review
Series: Seasons of the Moon
1. Six Moon Summer
2. All Hallows Moon (September 9, 2011)
3. Long Night Moon (Spring 2012)

Synopsis:
Rylie's been bitten.

She's changing.

And now she has three months to find a cure before becoming a werewolf... forever.

Rylie Gresham hates everything about summer camp: the food, the fresh air, the dumb activities, and the other girls in her cabin. But the worst part is probably being bitten by a werewolf. Being a teenager is hard enough, but now she's craving raw flesh and struggles with uncontrollable anger. If she doesn't figure out a way to stop the transformation, then at the end of summer, her life is worse than over. She'll be a monster.


SIX MOON SUMMER was a lot more than what I expected it to be. The characters were great, the story was captivating, and it had an explosive ending. As soon as I finished it, I tweeted the author about how much I loved it and she offered to send me book 2, All Hallows Moon! I’m going to start it as soon as I finish this review :).

Rylie was a great main character, one that readers can relate to. She’s a city girl who has been shipped off to summer camp while her parents sort out their divorce. On top of that, she’s a vegetarian with only meat food options, and she’s being severely bullied. What I liked about Rylie was that, although she was a bit of a brat to begin with, when she found out that she’d been bitten by a werewolf, she didn’t deny it or freak out, she was just really confused. From that point, she does her best to figure out what’s going on with her and how she’s supposed to continue her life after camp, considering this new development.

Seth was her pocket book of answers, when he decided to show up. And even then, he would only give her bits of information at a time so she spent most of the summer trying to sneak out for transformations and trying to get info from Seth. I loved the mystery surrounding Seth. The big question was constantly: Why is he helping Rylie? That, along with other questions about who Seth really is, doesn’t get answered until the end of the story.

I liked Reine’s werewolves. Even after being bitten, Rylie isn’t condemned to be a werewolf forever. It’s only after the sixth moon (including new and full moons) that she will fully change. Although I had my suspicions about who the werewolf was that had bitten Rylie, there were also a few things I didn’t see coming. I like when that happens in the books I read. I really enjoyed Reine’s writing. Both her descriptions and dialogue were well done and kept me wanting to read. I have to say, I think her writing was at it’s best when she was describing the change. Check out this teaser to see what I mean. You can also watch the book trailer there.

I’m really happy that there’s a second book in this series, because I am definitely not done with Rylie, Seth, and S.M. Reine’s werewolves and writing. To read the first page, or buy yourself a copy for $2.99 USD, visit SixMoonSummer.com. I'm off to read ALL HALLOWS MOON!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (32)





"Waiting on" Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that showcases upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating!
I first heard about it from PageTurnersBlog.




My Waiting on Wednesday this week:
Blood Song by Rhiannon Hart
Publication Date: September 1st, 2011

Synopsis:
I wanted to turn but I was held captive by the song on the wind. I’m coming, I told the voices. Please, wait for me.

When her sister becomes betrothed to a prince in a northern nation, Zeraphina’s only consolations are that her loyal animal companions are by her side – and that her burning hunger to travel north is finally being sated.

Already her black hair and pale eyes mark her out as different, but now Zeraphina must be even more careful to keep her secret safe. Craving blood is not considered normal behaviour for anyone, let alone a princess. So when the king’s advisor, Rodden, seems to know more about her condition than she does, Zeraphina is determined to find out more.

Zeraphina must be willing to sacrifice everything if she’s to uncover the truth – but what if the truth is beyond her worst nightmares?


That cover is really interesting... I love the bird with the smoke the most. It's intriguing and I want to know what it means. The story sounds like another different take on vampires, but it also seems like it's set in more of a fantasy-type world. Definitely something that caught my attention!

What upcoming releases are you looking forward to?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Teaser Tuesday (27)

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme, hosted by MizB of Should be Reading. Just do the following:
Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
DO NOT INCLUDE SPOILERS (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away, so that you don't ruin the book for others)
Share the title and author so that other participants can add the book to their TBR list is they like your teasers!

I'm currently reading Six Moon Summer, a self-published werewolf story by S.M. Reine. Here's my teaser:





This time, her fingers began to snap first. She dug her fingernails into her knee caps, gritting her teeth against the pain. When the claws began to bite into her skin, she clutched at the chains instead. Her claws made a metallic screech rubbing against them.




I have to say I'm really enjoying this story! Considering it's self-pubbed, I was worried about the writing/editing, but it's actually fairly well edited. Where I am now, there's lots of unanswered questions, so I can't wait to see what's going to happen.

As an added bonus (and because I haven't done this in a while), here's the book trailer for SIX MOON SUMMER!


Feel free to share your teasers with me! I'd love to see what you're reading.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

In My Mailbox (26)




In My Mailbox is a weekly meme that gives bloggers a chance to share what books they've received in the last week. It's hosted by The Story Siren and you can find out more info about it here.



Just one book this week! And I just HAD to go out and buy it. You know how it is ;)

Bought
Bargains and Betrayals by Shannon Delany {Goodreads | Book Depository}

I just finished Secrets and Shadows last week (the second in the 13 to Life series) and was so excited that the next book, Bargains and Betrayals, was due out a few days later. It was a bit of an adventure getting this book, but I'm super happy to have it sitting on my shelf waiting to be read. Check out what I thought of book one, 13 to Life, here; and here's my review for book two, Secrets and Shadows. If you haven't read the first book yet, I'd recommend avoiding my review for S&S until you do so. Which you should. But anyway...

What did you get in your mailbox this week?

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Review: Laney by Joann I. Martin Sowles

Title: Laney - The Brookehaven Vampires
Author: Joann I. Martin Sowles
Publisher: self published
Publish Date: October 30, 2010
Genre: YA, paranormal
Pages: 260 (ebook)
Source: From author for review
Series: The Brookehaven Vampires
1. Laney
2. Darkness

Synopsis:
In a small college town in Northern California, Laney Alexander leads a regular, uneventful life-that is, until the charming and alluring Oliver Knight enters her world. Who is this gorgeous and mysterious stranger? Or, rather, what is he? As Laney's sophomore year of college begins, so does an unbelievable adventure-including a love she didn't know she longed for. She soon learns that Oliver is not ordinary, nor is the rest of his family, including a sister who openly hates her and a brother who will stop at nothing for revenge. As she fights for her life, and Oliver's love, Laney discovers that the fictional world of vampires isn't so fictional after all. Nobody is safe, especially Laney, Oliver's most important priority, and he will stop at nothing to protect her. With her mortality at risk, and a commitment revealed that she, without a doubt, knows she wants, Laney's life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn...

When it comes to reading paranormal YA (which, lets face it, is pretty much 99% of what I read), I tend to veer more towards werewolves and angels rather than anything else. So, when Joann contacted me to read the first book in her vampire series, I figured I should give them vamps a chance.

Something that we don’t see too much in YA is more of a college setting. The majority of “young adult” novels are really just “teen” novels, with respect to setting and characters, so I liked that LANEY included a bit of an older demographic and was actually set after high school.

The story itself was really good, regardless of the love-at-first-sight factor which was a bit too quick in this one. One thing that I love about reading paranormal stories is the different takes that authors have on the various mythological creatures. Joann’s vampires are much more based in science. There’s one line in the story where being a vampire is compared to being a diabetic, they just need blood instead of insulin. At one point Oliver says, “We’re still people, just different.” I love that.

Although the love-at-first-sight was pretty quick out of the gate, the truth about the vampires was kind of drawn out. There were hints everywhere that were sometimes so obvious, I had to roll my eyes at Laney. I was hoping she’d catch on faster, especially when earlier in the story she blatantly said vampires, leprechauns, and unicorns could exist since no one has proven otherwise. I think that got me thinking she had an open mind, but there was no other evidence of it. My expectations were raised and not met in that sense. However, I think I may be biased because I knew there were going to be vampires, and so I was able to see the clues... But I still think I was led to believe she was open minded and then let down.

There was one big thing I didn’t like about this novel... the writing. It kind of seemed juvenile to me. There was lots of giggling and Laney was way too love struck considering she’d only known the guy for two days. There are a lot of instances where we got glimpses of Laney’s thoughts which were often highly exaggerated and, again, juvenile seeming (they were typically referring to the cuteness of Oliver and how much she wanted to jump his bones). When she stared reacting to her thoughts through things like giggling... I was irritated.

Regardless of the issues I had with the writing, I was able to make it through this book and enjoy it, too. It is an interesting take on vampires and I like that it’s set at a college with college-age characters. I haven’t decided yet if I’m going to read DARKNESS, the second book in the series, when it comes out. I am interested to see where the story will take Laney and Oliver, but I have to decide if I can get over the writing style first. Overall, I think that LANEY is a good story with interesting take on vampires. I’d recommend it if you are ok with writing that’s not perfect.

Visit Joann's site here to grab yourself a copy, ebook or print!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (31)





"Waiting on" Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that showcases upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating!
I first heard about it from PageTurnersBlog.




My Waiting on Wednesday this week:
Immortal Beloved (The Knight Trilogy #2) by Katie M. John
Publication Date: August 25, 2011

THIS TIME, THE DAMSEL MUST RESCUE HER KNIGHT IN DISTRESS.

As Mina Singer tries to piece together her broken heart, Blake's adventure in Egypt places his in serious peril.

As ancient and terrifying Egyptian rituals are ressurected by the sorceress Morgan Le Fay, Blake embarks on the most horrifying quest yet - one which no other mortal has ever survived.

This time, the damsel must rescue her knight in a terrifying race against death.

"Deeply moving, scary and thrilling, 'Immortal Beloved' is the compelling sequel to 'The Forest of Adventures."


I really, really enjoyed The Forest of Adventures when I read it in the spring. Something about the British writing and the Arthurian legend just pulled me right in. The first book ended really well and I'm excited to see what else is going to happen with these characters.

What upcoming releases are you looking forward to?

Review: Secrets and Shadows by Shannon Delany

Title: Secrets and Shadows
Author: Shannon Delany
Publisher: St Martin's Griffin
Publish Date: February 15, 2011
Genre: YA, paranormal
Pages: 320
Series: 13 to Life
1. 13 to Life (review)
2. Secrets and Shadows
3. Bargains and Betrayals (August 16, 2011)
4. Destiny and Deception (January 31, 2012)

Synopsis:
Nothing’s simple when you run with werewolves. Jess Gillmansen thinks she’s seen it all but her eyes are about to be opened to even more danger and a reality far more paranormal than she’s suspected. With Jess’s realization that the Rusakovas’ mother is still alive and imprisoned, the group’s choices become harder and trust more important. Lines are drawn and relationships change as the broken Rusakova family struggles to reunite long enough to free their mother and people who Jess always just took to be normal people show themselves to be much, much more.

***Warning, SPOILERS if you haven't read 13 TO LIFE yet!***

In the time between reading 13 TO LIFE and this, I think I forgot how much I loved Shannon Delany’s werewolves and her writing. In this book, there is so much going on for poor Jessie. There’s the CIA, the Rusakova’s mother in captivity, the Russian Mafia, Derek’s sudden interest in Jess, and worst of all, Pietr’s silence. It’s an emotional book, especially through Jessie’s eyes. And it doesn’t help that things just keep getting weirder.

As soon as I started this book and realized what Jess was going through, my heart was hurting. And it hurt throughout much of the book, too. I was so frustrated with the way Pietr was treating Jess. He was practically shoving her into Derek’s waiting arms, and it made me so sad! I just wanted to see Pietr and Jess together. Derek is a whole other can of worms. I don’t want to tell you much about him, but weird things keep happening involving him, and he’s not just your average high school jock.

Then there’s Wanda, the CIA agent undercover as a librarian, who’s also preventing the Rusakova’s from seeing their mother, and who’s ALSO dating Jess’s dad. Yeah. She was an interesting character in this book because she’s kind of a messenger between the Rusakova’s and the CIA. She’s clearly on the side of the CIA, but also wants to protect Jessie the way she thinks she needs to be protected, which is of course very different from the was Jess feels. As much as I liked Wanda for the role she played at the end of 13 TO LIFE, I really didn’t like her in this book. I sympathized with her, but I really didn’t like her. Don’t worry, though, I’m pretty sure that’s a good thing.

This book packs in just as much mystery, action, and romance as the first. Along with that, the reader gets to enjoy Shannon’s wonderful writing as she throws you from one intense situation to the next. Based on the way this book ended, I can’t imagine what will come next for these characters! BARGAINS AND BETRAYALS drops onto shelves today, and I can't wait to get myself a copy.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Teaser Tuesday (26)

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme, hosted by MizB of Should be Reading. Just do the following:
Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
DO NOT INCLUDE SPOILERS (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away, so that you don't ruin the book for others)
Share the title and author so that other participants can add the book to their TBR list is they like your teasers!

This week, I'm reading Laney by Joann I. Martin Sowles, the first book in a series about vampires. Check out my teaser:





Suddenly, I had a terrible feeling - like I was being watched, like there was someone there I couldn't see. My body tensed and I felt a scream on the verge of escaping. It was so stupid that I had stayed so late alone.





I hope that little bit of suspense has you interested in this book! The story is good so far, although I'm having a couple issues with the writing. I think it's just different and so that's hard for me to get used to. Either way, I'm interested to see where the story will go next!

Feel free to share your teasers! I'd love to see what you're reading.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Review: Wildefire by Karsten Knight

Title: Wildefire
Author: Karsten Knight
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Publish Date: July 26, 2011
Genre: YA, paranormal
Pages: 393
Series:
1. Wildefire
2. Embers and Echoes (Summer 2012)
3. Afterglow (Summer 2013)

Synopsis:
Ashline Wilde never received an instruction manual on how to be a 16-year-old Polynesian volcano goddess. If she had, it might have contained helpful warnings such as:

• Dreaming about your (thankfully) mortal boyfriend may cause your bed to spontaneously combust
• Oven mitts should be worn at all times during heavy make-out sessions

Instead, Ash has to learn these life lessons the hard way as her dormant powers erupt at the most awkward times. In the wake of a hometown tragedy, Ash transfers to Blackwood Academy, a boarding school nestled in California’s redwoods, where a group of fellow gods-on-earth have mysteriously convened. As if sophomore year couldn’t get any worse, her storm goddess older sister, the wild and unpredictable Eve, resurfaces to haunt Ashline. With a war between the gods looming over Blackwood, Ash must master the fire smoldering within her before she clashes with her sister one final time, which leads us to life-lesson #3:

• When warm and cold fronts collide, there’s guaranteed to be a storm.


I’m upset with Karsten because of the ending of this book. I’ve heard that’s a common sentiment upon finishing WILDEFIRE. And not because it’s bad, but because it’s a huge cliffhanger. And not like, the last few pages, but just the last line. I’m pretty sure I yelled “NO!” and slammed the book shut. So, that’s my warning.

The beginning of this book is explosive. It starts out with Ashline kicking another girl’s ass over a guy. First of all, it’s awesome that she’s kicking ass. Second of all, she must have some issues if she’s doing it over a guy (probably both anger and emotional issues). The first chapter really gives you a great idea of who Ashline is as a person and what her family situation is. I liked how the novel started out explosive, and then took a big step down. It really sucked me into the story because I wanted to know how the events at the beginning would affect the rest of the story.

The characters were all pretty fun. Ashline herself is a hardcore girl. All of the characters were different in their own ways, which is great. I loved the group of the six gods and goddesses. They made a good team even though they all kind of came from different groups. The one thing that I had trouble with was remembering each of their powers. I found myself having to jump back to one part in the book to remind myself which character was which God or Goddess. Either way, I did like how Karsten included a lot of different Gods/Goddesses. It wasn’t just the typical Greek or Roman ones; There was a Norse God, an Egyptian Goddess, among others, and of course a Polynesian Goddess. It was great to see some other cultures getting some attention as well.

The story itself was good. There was definitely a lot going on when you look at the book on a whole: Eve, Colt, tennis matches, the weird black things with a blue flame eye, Central America… And the majority of it occurred in the span of a week. Now that I’m done the book, I kind of wonder about some things that weren’t fully explained. I suppose that the following books will contain more answers. At least, I hope so. EMBERS AND ECHOES, book 2 in the series, is due for publication Summer 2012.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Blog Tour: Guest Post/Giveaway - Ted Saves the World by Bryan Cohen

Today, I'm happy to have author Bryan Cohen on my blog, talking a bit about his novella, Ted Saves the World. This is the last stop on the tour, so make sure you check out the rest of the tour here to increase your chances of winning one of four $25 Amazon gift cards! More details of the giveaway to follow.

Description of Ted Saves the World (Available for just $0.99):
A possessed cheerleader. A cursed gang of criminals. Mysterious telekinetic powers. An angry ex-girlfriend in gym class? One second, sophomore in high school Ted endures his first breakup in his favorite place in town. The next, a mysterious blue light turns him into a worldwide superhero sensation for taking down a posse of grisly murderers. As his views on YouTube increase and his friend Dhiraj tries to capitalize on the marketing potential, his dangers increase as well when a presumed-dead cheerleader begins taking a personal interest. Can Ted survive his first week as a superhero in the public eye? This novella is the first taste in a series of full-length novels about the adventures of Ted Finley and Erica LaPlante. The book is also available on Barnes & Noble and Smashwords for $0.99. Click here to add it to your Goodreads shelf.

Gratefulness
By Bryan Cohen

I've been very fortunate in my career as a writer. On this last stop on my Ted Saves the World tour, I think it's important to remember to be thankful of all the positive things I have going for me in this strange, creative endeavor that I've made a major part of my life.

Throughout all of college, I came up with a ton of ideas for writing and producing and I wasn't afraid to put those concepts up on stage in front of my peers and the community. That being said, I never even dreamed of releasing those ideas to a public at large and having thousands of people buy a book with my name on it. Heck, I didn't even know that such a thing was possible without a publisher. I am grateful for all the people who have written about self-publishing who have found success and shared their strategies with the world in the form of blog or forum posts.

I've always liked the concept of superheroes and I'd alternately watched Saturday morning cartoons and read comic books as a kid. It wasn't until watching the show "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" as a teenager that I realized that heroes could have major flaws and that they could have witty banter with their friends just like I did. By relating so much to the characters and situations presented, years later I was able to create my own high school superhero yarn in Ted Saves the World. I'm grateful to Joss Whedon and all the other writers, crew and actors who brought the show to life and helped to inspire me to create this project.

For a long time in life, I thought that I was dealt the short end of the stick. I wasn't particularly athletic growing up and I was made fun of for being a little pudgy around the edges. In high school, the other kids quickly grew taller than me and were more socially adjusted as well. Toward the end of my time at Upper Dublin High, I combined my intelligence with a desire to be involved in the social scene and thus was born my sense of humor. While originally a coping mechanism, I have cultivated this humor into a career as a writer and a comedian. I realize now that the things I wanted in life, to be a tall, muscular, girl-getting dude, weren't meant to be, but the traits I've gotten and worked with are really amazing in their own way. I'm grateful for becoming this wacky, funny guy who is able to write up a storm when necessary.

I also want to show appreciation all of the people who let me be a part of their blogs for this four-week stretch. I am grateful to be included and I'm so happy to be able to share my ideas with your readers. While writers go through thousands of words every week to create something incredible, today's post could have been summed up easily with the two most important words of the English language. Thank you.

**********

Biography:
Bryan Cohen is a writer, actor and comedian from Dresher, Pennsylvania. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2005 with degrees in English and Dramatic Art and a minor in Creative Writing. He has written seven books including 1,000 Creative Writing Prompts: Ideas for Blogs, Scripts, Stories and More. Contact Bryan through his Ted Saves the World blog, his Build Creative Writing Ideas site or Twitter.


Giveaway!
Bryan Cohen is giving away four $25 Amazon gift cards, one for each week of his month long blog tour. To enter, simply comment with your e-mail address. Bryan will draw the four names at the end of the tour, picking one entrant at random from each week’s set of blog posts. Entries will be counted through Monday, August 15th, 2011. Enter on as many sites as you want, follow the tour at Build Creative Writing Ideas. If Ted reaches the Top 100 on Amazon at any point during the tour, a fifth $25 card will be added to the giveaway.

Waiting on Wednesday (30)





"Waiting on" Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that showcases upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating!
I first heard about it from PageTurnersBlog.




My Waiting on Wednesday this week:
Elemental Reality by Cesya MaRae Cuono
Publication Date: August 11, 2011

Synopsis:
When Callie Pierce was ten, her mother disappeared without a trace. On the eve of her disappearance twelve years later, the Earth seemingly comes alive. The elements speak to Callie, and that's only the beginning. Everything she has ever known was a twisted fabrication to protect her. Now the truth is set free. Callie and her sister are more powerful than any Faerie ever born. Now they have to use their powers to save their mother and family from the evil hands of fate that threaten to tear them apart. Welcome to her elemental reality.

I have to admit, the first thing that caught my attention about this book was the cover. The colours are awesome, and I love the way her dress is flowing. The story itself definitely sounds like something I'd enjoy.

What upcoming releases are you looking forward to?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Teaser Tuesday (25)

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme, hosted by MizB of Should be Reading. Just do the following:
Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page
DO NOT INCLUDE SPOILERS (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away, so that you don't ruin the book for others)
Share the title and author so that other participants can add the book to their TBR list is they like your teasers!

I'm finally getting to the second book in the 13 to Life series, Secrets and Shadows by Shannon Delany. Here's my teaser:




A radio crackled. Maybe ten yards away. "Alpha to Bravo, do you have her?"

Crap. Have who? I sped up, moving away from the noise.

"Negative. The wolf has slipped the trap."





I'm slowly remembering what happened at the end of 13 to Life as I get through the beginning of SECRETS AND SHADOWS. I'm excited to see how this story continues to unfold.

Feel free to share your teasers. I'd love to see what you're reading!

Summer Giveaway Hop Winner!


Thanks to all who participated in this hop, both the hosts of giveaways and the entrants! I'm so beyond happy that I hit 400 followers during this giveaway hop! It makes me so happy to see that many of your looked around my blog while hopping by and liked what you saw. I hope I make you all happy an that you enjoy my blog. Also, thanks to all my old followers, too. I cherish you all!

I've chosen one winner through random.org. The winner is:

SweetShenanigans!

The winner has been emailed and has 48 hours to respond before I choose another winner.

If you didn't win, but would still love to get your hands on one of the books I was offering up, make sure you check out The Book Depository! They have great prices and free worldwide shipping!

I hope you all enjoy the rest of your summer!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday (29)





"Waiting on" Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that showcases upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating!
I first heard about it from PageTurnersBlog.




My Waiting on Wednesday this week:
Juliet Immortal by Stacey Jay
Publication Date: August 9, 2011

Synopsis:
The most tragic love story in history...

Juliet Capulet didn't take her own life. She was murdered by the person she trusted most, her new husband, Romeo Montague, a sacrifice made to ensure his own immortality. But what Romeo didn't anticipate was that Juliet would be granted eternity, as well, and would become an agent for the Ambassadors of Light. For 700 years, she's fought Romeo for the souls of true lovers, struggling to preserve romantic love and the lives of the innocent. Until the day she meets someone she's forbidden to love, and Romeo, oh Romeo, will do everything in his power to destroy that love.


I love a good retelling, and this one combines the awesome story of Romeo and Juliet with a paranormal element. What's not to love? And I love that cover. It screams "damsel in distress" and draws me right in!

What upcoming release are you looking forward to?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Review: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon

Title: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
Author: Mark Haddon
Publisher: Random House
Publish Date: July 31, 2003
Genre: YA, realistic fiction
Pages: 226

*Read for book club.

Synopsis:
Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. Although gifted with a superbly logical brain, Christopher is autistic. Everyday interactions and admonishments have little meaning for him. Routine, order and predictability shelter him from the messy, wider world. Then, at fifteen, Christopher’s carefully constructed world falls apart when he finds his neighbour’s dog, Wellington, impaled on a garden fork, and he is initially blamed for the killing.

Christopher decides that he will track down the real killer and turns to his favorite fictional character, the impeccably logical Sherlock Holmes, for inspiration. But the investigation leads him down some unexpected paths and ultimately brings him face to face with the dissolution of his parents’ marriage. As he tries to deal with the crisis within his own family, we are drawn into the workings of Christopher’s mind.

And herein lies the key to the brilliance of Mark Haddon’s choice of narrator: The most wrenching of emotional moments are chronicled by a boy who cannot fathom emotion. The effect is dazzling, making for a novel that is deeply funny, poignant, and fascinating in its portrayal of a person whose curse and blessing is a mind that perceives the world literally.



I got this book a while ago from my parents. I think I was in high school, because that would have been just after it came out. Although it sounded interesting, I was never interested enough to give it a go. This summer, it was chosen as one of the books that my friends and I were to read for our summer book club. I’m glad I finally took the time to read it!

I’ve heard this book is valuable to people who want to be teachers, and I understand why. It gives us a look into the mind of an autistic child. These students are often the ones who cause teachers a lot of grief and stress because they can be high-maintenance, but they are typically very bright children who just don’t understand social cues and therefore are misunderstood in society. The author of THE CURIOUS INCIDENT worked with autistic children, and his knowledge and understanding of them enabled him to write a magnificent novel.

It was interesting to read at first. I had to get used to Christopher as a narrator because he thinks so differently from me (and, I’m assuming, from the general population). I was also surprised with the amount of swearing in this book, and it made me glad that I didn’t read it when I was younger. But eventually, the plot starting catching me off-guard and about half-way through, I just got sucked right in. I really didn’t expect it to! But the next thing I knew, I’d spent my whole night reading the second half of the book. I had a hard time putting it down.

This book is so much more than the mystery of who killed Wellington, the dog. It’s more about the relationship between Christopher and his father, and how Christopher deals with the things life throws at him. One characteristic of children with autism, is that they aren’t very good with change. Unfortunately, Christopher has a lot of change to deal with, and he struggles a lot, but comes out as a stronger, more confident person.

I’m sorry, I feel like this review is just all over the place! This book is a great exhibition of the mind of a child with autism, and I think that it is beneficial to teachers to read this, especially if they have or ever will work with children who have autism. I think that a lot of people would benefit from reading this. It’s powerful to read and learn about how Christopher is, and then see what he can live through regardless of his disability. Thanks to Christopher, I’m willing to take whatever life throws at me, and be stronger because of it.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

FOREVER Giveaway Winners!


Thanks to everyone who entered my giveaway! I love seeing so many people that love the same books I do. I've chosen two winners through random.org. They are:

Megan from The Book Addicted Girl
and
Samantha R.!

You both have 48 hours to reply to my emails, otherwise I will pick different winners.

If you didn't win this time, I'm participating in the Summer Giveaway Hop and giving away one of a few awesome YA books. Make sure you check it out!

Have a great week everyone!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Summer Giveaway Hop


STOP #73!

Welcome to the Summer Giveaway Hop! It is hosted by Kathy of I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and Mary from Book Hounds and Forever Young (adult).

Each participating blog is hosting a book related giveaway! There are currently over 300 blogs participating, so make sure you check out the whole linky list below and enter lots of giveaways! The hop goes from now until Sunday, August 7th at 11:59pm EST.

For this giveaway, I've chosen some books I've recently read and enjoyed for you to win! There will be one (1) winner, and he/she will get to choose one (1) book from the following:


This giveaway is open internationally. I'll be ordering through The Book Depository, and so it is open everywhere that they ship to for free (Check here).