Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Deep breaths


You guys!

The final proof of CASTE just came in. And it looks AMAZING! Looks like we're on schedule for a May 30th release date!

I can hardly believe it! :)


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A one-way ticket to Mars?

Did you guys hear about this one? My friend told me there's going to be a private Mars colony that's going to be started and you can win a spot on the one-way trip to the Red Planet.

Would you guys go? Why or why not?

Me? Not so much.


Monday, May 20, 2013

Love and Other Perishable Items by Laura Buzo

By: Laura Buzo
Genre: YA Contemproary
Rating: PG
Spoilers: None
Coffee Beans: 3/5
Cover: Plain-Jane, but appealing
Instalove Factor: Not present
My Personal Recommendation: Not a bad way to spend your time
Disclaimer: I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for this honest review

Publisher’s Summary
Love is awkward, Amelia should know.

From the moment she sets eyes on Chris, she is a goner. Lost. Sunk. Head over heels infatuated with him. It's problematic, since Chris, 21, is a sophisticated university student, while Amelia, 15, is 15.

Amelia isn't stupid. She knows it's not gonna happen. So she plays it cool around Chris—at least, as cool as she can. Working checkout together at the local supermarket, they strike up a friendship: swapping life stories, bantering about everything from classic books to B movies, and cataloging the many injustices of growing up. As time goes on, Amelia's crush doesn't seem so one-sided anymore. But if Chris likes her back, what then? Can two people in such different places in life really be together?

Through a year of befuddling firsts—first love, first job, first party, and first hangover—debut author Laura Buzo shows how the things that break your heart can still crack you up.

My Review
This book had its moments. It was good, but in the end rather un-impressionable and somewhat forgettable.
It’s about the Amelia, who’s just turned 16 and has fallen in love with an older boy she works with, Chris. The thing is, it will never work between them. Chris knows this, and Amelia knows this, but part of her still holds out hope. And part of him is sort of interested.

I think what appealed to me most about this book was the fact that the author was able to capture that part in a young girl’s life with such realistic accuracy. Falling for the older guy, knowing nothing’s going to come from it, but holding out hope for it anyway.

It’s told from two different points of view, Amelia’s and Chris’, so we get both sides of a situation and what’s going on inside their heads. In the end, you cheer for, somehow--beyond all socially accepted and legal odds--that they would find a way to be together. But that’s not realistic. The ending that the author wrote, however, is.

Happy reading, my friends!


Friday, May 10, 2013

Freebee Friday!

A friend showed this to me, It's pretty dang funny. Happy Friday!


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

High school flashback - the dangers of being "skinny" and "pretty". My response to A&F

Dove's beauty campaign

I was far from being the "cool kid" in High School. Which was a change from Jr. High where I was a cheerleader, on the volleyball team, basketball team, honor roll, yearbook, dated jocks, and was invited to all the parties.

For some reason, when High School hit, I wasn't any of those. I kept myself on the honor roll for a couple of years and was on the drag racing team, but gone were the popular crowds and "popular" parties. I went for guys that weren't good for me (show me a girl who hasn't), went to the parties that were for serious contenders only, and hung out with anyone I wanted to, regardless of their popularity caste. I didn't try to be popular, but I didn't try to be unpopular, either. I think it was just the natural progression of things.

I wasn't gorgeous, but I wasn't ugly, either. I am what I am today. Normal. Beautiful in my own way. As everyone is. I wasn't a size 0, but I wasn't a size 10. I was normal and healthy. But that makes things harder in High School.

I remember one time in particular, after school, I was walking down some stairs and in front of me was a super popular girl (we'll call her Jane) and her friend. Jane was what young girls would typically classify as gorgeous: Professionally highlighted, long hair, expensive make-up, a bleached, brace-straightened smile, size 0 (or 00) name-brand clothes. The whole package. It was known that her mom married rich men, went through their money, and moved on to the next. Well, she almost fell down the stairs. Caught herself on her friend and and looked back to see who had seen her.

Making eye contact with me, she said, to her friend while laughing, "I'm glad nobody cool saw me do that."

Things like that stick with a person, especially a girl, for a long time.

The point is this, that kind of stuff disgusts me, and should be repulsive to normal people. Yes, there are "cool" and "uncool" people out there. As well as fat, skinny, pretty, ugly, successful, failures, gay, get the idea. But to think that those "labels" define a person and offer value, to use it to classify and judge them just to make yourself feel more significant is wrong. Being pretty, skinny, successful, straight, and cool doesn't make you one iota better than someone who is ugly, fat, a failure, gay, and uncool. Or any other combination.

So, for Abercrombie & Fitch to make life harder for young people in an already difficult time who "don't have it all", who aren't popular or pretty, is disgusting. And this is why I don't shop at their stores or any of their affiliate's stores.

Listen up, girls:





IMO, and by his standards, he shouldn't even be wearing
his own clothes 
Don't let some jerk-off running a company with motives only to make a profit without giving any good back
to the community, tell you what your value is.

Don't let him tell you that just because you have wide hips or are the average size of a woman that you aren't good enough to wear his clothes or good enough period.

He's wrong. Plain and simple.

Now go out there and continue being amazing and gorgeous, inside and out.


15 Days Without a Head by Dave Cousins

15 Days Without a Head
Dave Cousins
YA Contemporary

Summary: Fifteen-year-old Laurence Roach just wants a normal life, but it’s far from easy with his little brother who acts like a dog and their depressed alcoholic mother. If Laurence can win the luxury vacation in a local radio contest, he’s certain his mum will finally be happy again. Then one night she doesn’t come home from work, and Laurence must face the reality that she might not come back at all.

Terrified that child services will separate him from his brother, Laurence does whatever he can to keep their mother’s disappearance a secret. For two weeks, he spins a web of complicated lies to friends, neighbors, and the authorities—even dressing up in his mother’s clothes to convince everyone she’s still around. But Laurence can’t hide the truth forever. He begins a desperate search for her, and that’s when the real trouble starts in this powerful story about family, forgiveness, and hope.

My Take: Laurence isn’t your typical 15-year-old. He lives in a run-down, small apartment infested with roaches, a brother who thinks he’s a dog at times, and an alcoholic mother. But that changes when Laurence wakes up one morning to find that his mom didn’t return home from work the night before.

Determined not to let outsiders know what’s going on, and telling himself and his little brother that, “Mom will come back soon”, Laurence lives the most dangerous 15 days he’s ever known. No money, running out of food, and a nosey neighbor that would turn them into social workers are the stakes he’s playing against. But he’s convinced he has a couple of advantages. One being the late night radio contest he’s been sneaking out to enter. If he wins, he wins a family trip to any vacation spot they want. He knows this win will bring his mom back from her drunken stupor and make them a family again. At least, he hopes it will. At the very least, it will put her in a good mood. The second ace in his hand is a girl from school, who keeps his secret and helps keep him and his brother alive.

Although a gloomy and serious story, Cousins manages to fill the pages with bits of humor and lightness that equal out the trials Laurence is experiencing. A touching story about sticking together as a family, forgiveness, and learning to trust again, 15 Days Without a Head is a great read.

Rating: I’d give this a solid 4/5 and rate the content as PG for some mild language and drinking.

Happy reading, my friends! 


Tuesday, May 7, 2013

True by Erin McCarthy

Erin McCarthy 
New Adult Romance 

Summary: When Rory Macintosh’s roommates find out that their studious and shy friend has never been with a guy, they decide that, as an act of kindness they’ll help her lose her virginity by hiring confident, tattooed bad boy Tyler Mann to do the job…unbeknownst to Rory.

Tyler knows he’s not good enough for Rory. She’s smart, doctor smart, while he’s barely scraping by at his EMT program, hoping to pull his younger brothers out of the hell their druggy mother has left them in. But he can’t resist taking up her roommates on an opportunity to get to know her better. There’s something about her honesty that keeps him coming back when he knows he shouldn’t…

Torn between common sense and desire, the two find themselves caught up in a passionate relationship. But when Tyler’s broken family threatens to destroy his future, and hers, Rory will need to decide whether to cut her ties to his risky world or follow her heart, no matter what the cost…

My Take: This is yet another one of those “tragic” romances in the emerging genre of New Adult, but it’s better than others I’ve read. With a storyline a cross between “Beautiful Disaster” and “Easy”, but with writing more like “Crash”, “True” is a good read for any fan of that genre. Fast paced and funny, there’s plenty of angst and drama to keep YA fans reading and romance to keep the older readers interested.

The main character, Rory, is what made the book. She was refreshing compared to the typical, damaged, willing-do-to-anything-to-get-the-guy, cookie-cutter female lead this genre produces. Rory was honest and doesn’t hide what she’s thinking or feeling from anyone. She tells it how it is, and as a result is a bit socially awkward. It was a very nice change of pace from the norm.

Despite the stereotypical setup this genre has, (good girl falls for bad boy, but bad boy isn’t good enough for good girl), it was set apart from the crowd. The writing was detailed and kept me interested. The characters more fleshed out. But, there was a lack of depth to the “threat” that faces Rory and Tyler’s relationship. I would have liked to have seen that played up and made into more of a strong secondary plot point. So much could have been done with that. Instead it just kind of fizzled and fell flat.

Rating: For this genre, I’d give it a solid 4.5/5. Compared to the other books I’ve read of all genres, I’d rate it more of a 3.75/5; still pretty strong. Content wise, this is a definite R for sex and some language.

The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa

The Eternity Cure
Julie KagawaYA Dystopian
Publisher’s Summary:
Allison Sekemoto has vowed to rescue her creator, Kanin, who is being held hostage and tortured by the psychotic vampire Sarren. The call of blood leads her back to the beginning—New Covington and the Fringe, and a vampire prince who wants her dead yet may become her wary ally.
Even as Allie faces shocking revelations and heartbreak like she’s never known, a new strain of the Red Lung virus that decimated humanity is rising to threaten human and vampire alike.
My Take:
Katanas, blood, revenge, and betrayal. What more could you want from a YA vampire dystopian?

“Eternity Cure” picks up right where “Blood of Eden” left off and keeps the momentum going until the very last page. I have to applaud Ms. Kagawa, once again, for her talents in writing and storytelling. Taking an overworked storyline, like vampires, and making it new, and fresh, and serious, is a hard thing to do, but she does not disappoint.

Just like “Blood of Eden”, “Eternity Cure” is filled with fights, blood, revenge, and betrayal. There’s even a bit of forbidden love to keep those romantics happy. But in the end, it’s a tough book with an even tougher female lead. Allie is everything a protagonist in a post-apocalyptic, vampire-run world: Brave, smart, leery, and rough; but not without a dark sense of humor and a little bit of humanity still intact.
I’ve said it before, this is, hands down, my favorite vampire series and my favorite of Julie’s books. Definitely worth the read.
Rating: 4.5/5, and a strong PG-13 for the amount of violence and blood between the covers.

Read more here:


Friday, May 3, 2013

Freebee Friday!

I was going to show this to you all last week, but lost track of time. So enjoy it today.

Happy Friday, my friends!


Thursday, May 2, 2013


How are all of you doing?

Me? I'm doing fantastic.

Baby is growing and will be here in 10.5 weeks and my book is less than a month away from being shoved out into the world!

I announced a little while ago that I'd decided to self-publish CASTE while still querying for an agent. The main reason for that was two-fold:

  1. Why the heck not?
  2. I felt like I was just sitting on my hands while querying and waiting for that elusive "yes".
I'd gotten several full requests, but nothing after that. Which is both encouraging and downright depressing. So, I decided to invest time and money into getting it done myself; and I have to say, I'm pretty darned excited. 

I have to wait for the proof to get back to me from the printer, and then do some online marketing/publicity/promo stuff (wish me luck with that), and then get to finishing the second in the series. 

This is kind of my first little, "Hey, guess what's going on?!" push. You are the first. Thanks for that. :)

That's all I have for now (oh, still wearing my heels through 7.5 months of pregnancy. I think that's pretty impressive).

Happy Thursday!