Sunday, March 31, 2013

Review: The Friday Society

Charlie's Angels meet steampunk -- at least it tries. The one thing I love about Charlie's Angels is the bond the girls share but in this book, Michiko, who didn't speak English was left out which was odd because if anyone really had a reason to go after the bad guy it was her.

Adrienne Kress

The action scenes were suspenseful for a reader needing an adrenaline rush. And the chapters cleverly marked as 9 1/2 or 9 3/4. Adrienne Kress appears to be a very sophisticated writer in this picture and her magic rubs off on the trio of girls. I enjoyed reading about their gowns and fashion taste. But unfortunately the romance lacked depth with several gratuitous kisses that turned this BookCupid off.

Will there be a sequel? The ending seems to hint at it.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Hello Bloglovin'

Spring is here, time to clean and spruce up the blog.

With Google Reader getting shut down this summer, I decided to add bloglovin' to make sure I could keep in contact with all my fellow bloggers. Also wanted to wish you all a Happy Easter!!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Feature and Follow Friday: Caught in the Middle

Parajunkee Alison Can Read


Once you answer be sure to leave me your link so I can follow you back

Q: Tell us about the most emotional scene you've ever read in a book -- and how did you react?

The book is called The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. And there is a scene where Susie Salmon (a ghost) holds her father's hand in the hospital and her brother holds the other while the father lingers between life and dead. Both children want to claim the father on their side. Please Live -- Please Die --

I was crying the whole time!!! Which is strange for me since I usually laugh whenever I encounter something emotionally uncomfortable.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Review: Wicked Lovely

Fairies are both wicked and lovely

Personally, I've never seen one, unless I mistook it for a butterfly. But the ones in this book couldn't be mistaken for anything: they are human size. They feel love, hate, regret ... very much like we do. And at this moment, they are feeling pain. There is a savage battle between Winter and Summer Fey that for some reason puts, Ash, a regular high school girl in the middle. 

To be honest the Fey were given such a bad rep in the story, that I couldn't see them as anything other than an enemy. Even Donia, a sad and tortured Fey, couldn't get my sympathy. She was too passive. Instead, I concentrated on the on/off relationship between Ash and Seth, which sadly lacked depth as well.

Hopefully, the Fey are given better attention in the second book, Ink Exchange.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: The Big List

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish


Here is the list of books I'd recommend to all my fellow bloggers.

Anya's Ghost: If anyone is looking to spice up their reading with a graphic novel, this book is a nice start. The drawings are really well done and the character is tough, rebellious and absolutely adorable.

The Fault in Our Stars: If anyone wants to cry. Make sure you are in the mood for a sad/romantic story that will leave you weeping.
 White Oleander: Honestly, I would qualify this book as NA. The subject is violent and mature but the main character is a teenager and the theme is based around a coming of age story where one must struggle without any guidance.
 The Lovely Bones: This book is very intense emotionally. Although there is a movie, the film only brushed on the character of the mother, while the book really delves into it. Also, the ending might shock you.
 The Hunger Games: I believe this was the very first Dystopia I read (it took me a while to read The Giver).  The story is just incredible and I love to see a badass female lead.
Cinder: This book is a little jem. The first re-telling of Cinderella I really enjoyed. 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Review: Anya's Ghost

Poor Anya. Her life is going nowhere. Sean, her crush, is already taken by a pretty blonde, her mother keeps pressuring her to follow Russian traditions and her best friend, Siobhan, is not giving her the support she believes she deserves. 

And then to top this off, she falls down a well and meets Emily, a ghost of a murdered teen. Can things get any worse? Oh, yes!

This book was impossible to put down. For one thing, it was beautifully drawn, feeling more like a movie than a book. Anya was no Mary-Sue. She was tenacious, and stood up for herself. All she wanted was to fit in, something we are all familiar with. She reminded me a lot of Neil Gaiman's Coraline

I recommend this to anyone who is searching for a dark yet witty story.

Caught my Arrow # 10

Caught my Arrow is a meme similar to In my mailbox and  Stalking the Shelves featuring books that were purchased, borrowed or received that week.

Sick as a dog, I still managed to go pick up some books. It turned out to be a great idea, since I was stuck in bed and a good book came in handy.

I borrowed Shades of Earth from the library and came home to a copy of Cinder in the mail which I proudly added to my collection.

I also bought the set of Whatever After by Sarah Mlynowski fairy-tale retellings

And received Fate's Fable for review from T.Rae Mitchell. What a pretty cover!! I'm excited to start reading this.

What are you reading this week?

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Author Spotlight: How Fleur Gaskin survived the Modeling World

I'm so happy to be receiving author Fleur Gaskin today to promote her new YA novel, Arabelle's Shadows.

Everything in Arabelle's life is coming together. She has confidence, great friends, she's even dating Naak, a wealthy Thai socialite. But there are too many models in Bangkok. Arabelle’s broke, she can’t find an agent in New York, and Naak isn’t as wonderful as he first appears.

Slowly the Shadows creep back into Arabelle's mind, bringing with them thoughts of hopelessness and despair. The vile Shadows know something Arabelle's refusing to remember and, if she's not careful, they'll use it to destroy her.

Based on a true story, Arabelle's Shadows takes us on a journey through the struggles of growing up, not quite making it as an international model, and attempting to overcome a crushing depression.

                   Find it on Amazon                                               Find it on Goodreads 

Hi Fleur, thank you for being with us. Please do tell, what inspired you to write this book?

When I first started writing Arabelle's Shadows I simply wanted to show the world what being a model was really like. Sure, if you want to make it to supermodel status then your life becomes pretty glamorous but everyone who reaches the top 5% of their profession will end up with a pretty exciting life. Imagine being a chef in the Food Network vs being a chef in a diner. I wanted to tell of the difficulties and injustices most models face on a daily basis. 

Then I started writing and I found that the story was more about the difficulties of growing up and learning how to love yourself. The  world of modelling and travel became the setting for a tale of depression, friendship  inner chaos, and suicide. In the end, my inspiration for Arabelle's Shadows was to hope that, by reading the book, others would not have to go down the messy path I went down to find their peace.

Can you name some of your favorite authors?

My favorite author is Autralian John Marsden. His books discuss real issues in creative, fascinating, relatable ways. I've read the Tomorrow When the World Began series several times and continue to get more and more out of it. I think J.K. Rowling is a genius and I read Harry Potter whenever I feel lost or upset, it brings me a sense of understanding of this world. I can continue writing about authors I love all day. I simply love reading and have great respect for these storytellers. 

Any advice for aspiring writers?

Keep going! Writing a book takes a really long time. Don't be disheartened when your first attempts turn out to be less than perfect, no one gets it right on the first go, it's all about rearranging, reworking and polishing. Ask anyone who is willing for thoughts on your writing.  It hurts when you get criticism but ultimately other people's thoughts help you create better work.

What are you working on now -- or would you rather surprise us?

It's going to be a surprise. I can tell you it's going to be more light hearted and comical. Arabelle's Shadows was based on some dark points in my life --  often very difficult to write. This time I want to have fun, perhaps a little romance.

You can find Fleur Gaskin on:




Thank you for being with us Fleur, and good luck on all your future projects.

    Friday, March 22, 2013

    Feature and Follow Friday: I'm blushing

    Parajunkee Alison Can Read


    Once you answer be sure to leave me your link so I can follow you back

    Q: What is your guilty pleasure as far as reading? Is it a genre, or is it a certain type of book?

    I love reading those awkward love scenes where: the boy likes the girl and she likes him back but they can't say anything because the end of the world is coming, or there is someone in the middle who will get their feelings hurt. Or they are simply scared to reveal their emotions...

    Ah! I read those scenes a loud O_O

    Wednesday, March 20, 2013

    Review: Between the Lines

    When you read often, it's difficult sometimes not to crush on a character. But what if that character crushes back? Delilah thought she had gone crazy the day Oliver talked to her from the pages of Between the Lines, telling her how intriguing her world was and that he would love to come out of the book and be with her. 

    The story switches points of view from fiction to reality and strangely enough includes flash in scenes (where we can read actual parts of the book). I must say that Delilah is quite humorous and devoted to the book like the ultimate fan girl. Picoult and Van Leer had fun teasing the reader with several scares: What if the book gets damaged? Can Oliver come out? What happens if someone discovers their relationship? 

    The last chapter, however, seemed unethical to me. If you've read My Sister's Keeper then  you are aware that Picoult likes twisted endings.  Still, I found it exciting to know she wrote this with her teenage daughter. 

    All in all, this book was good family fun.  Recommended to fairy-tale lovers who enjoy a mix reading of Middle-Grade and YA.  

    Tuesday, March 19, 2013

    Top Ten Tuesday: SuperPile

    Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

    Super Pile

    Here is picture of my Super Pile of books I bought and never read. 

    Back when Lindsay Lohan was still sane, I purchased Anne of Green Gables and have yet to read it. At the rate this is going, I bet Lohan will get married, have two kids, even Dance with the Stars and Anne of Green Gables will still be on my night table. Oh the shame! 

    What books have you bought and forgotten?

    Monday, March 18, 2013

    Review: Slammed

    It's love at first date for Layken and Will. But unfortunately, it turns out Will is an impossible love for her and they must stand having to see each other every day while keeping their feelings apart. 

    I read this book practically in one sitting. And although I enjoyed watching the relationship between Layken and her mom, I didn't really see the connection between her and Will. For the most part, Layken was immature, succumbing to flirting with other boys so that Will could see she'd moved on. The worst was that she only had to wait ten months to be with him problem free. Sadly, the ending felt like karma.

    On the plus side, the poetry was a delight. The writing, incredibly good for a debut author. No repetitions, Balzac like explanations, unnecessary flashbacks... None of that. I will gladly read another Colleen Hoover book.

    Don't miss the sequel

    Friday, March 15, 2013

    Author Spotlight: It's your time to shine Steve Cypert

    I'm delighted to be receiving author Steve Cypert today to promote his new YA novel, Scapemaker.

    Following a couple of heartfelt tragic events, Matthew is compelled to investigate the unbelievable mysteries surrounding those events and is propelled into a whole new world. Matthew and his mother, Mae, are soon coerced into moving across the country for his father's strange medical needs. While attending his new school, Matthew comes to know the secrets that Daedree, an annoying girl from his former high school, has locked away. Matthew also meets Amber, a beautiful enigmatic girl who leads him to Mr. Xoner's classroom. While there, he learns the art of dreamscaping (which has been in the Namely bloodline for thousands of years). 

    Matthew will come to know of Nox Celare, otherwise known as The Sandman, who is after a special element called Magineum. Neck deep in skinwalkers, sandsleepers, zombies, soul feeders, ghosts, dream-world criminals known as “night terrors” and more, Matthew learns he is in over his head. Matthew must not only solve the mysteries surrounding those tragic events, but he will also have to protect the Magineum with his life and find a way to be with the one girl of his dreams. Filled with secrecy, mystery and a forbidden tangle of young love, this new life will lead Matthew to unbelievable characters with the most extraordinary abilities he could never have imagined.

                       Find it on Amazon                                               Find it on Goodreads 

    Hello Steve, it's a pleasure to have you here. Please tell us, what inspired you to write this book?

    Three years ago, this month, while I was recruiting employees at a local college I found myself very bored. I began to dwell on the kind of story that might be unique enough; something that might compete with the most popular of books. I had just seen a segment on TV with Will Smith -- he reflected on the ingredients that turned a movie into a blockbuster. He found that the most popular movies were science fiction and fantasy with elements of CG and movies with action and adventure. He went after those roles, beginning with Independence Day

    So, I decided to do the same thing -- respectively -- and came up with what I felt were the 7 most important ingredients in the recipe for a popular story.

    1) There needs to be an element of magic stemming from something supernatural, paranormal and/or fantastic.

    2) It has to be in the young adult genre that adults could also be drawn to. 

    3) The main characters need to be between the ages of 16 and 18 -- able to think like them. 

    4) The story's foundation needs to be rooted in a high school, linking the reader to the story through the reality of school, teachers, tests, classes and peers. 

    5) There needs to be a separate culture that the reader can get lost in with new spins on old character type, new lingo, and new places to explore; something to get people talking.

    6) It has to be epic with at least three or four books in the series. 

    7) The hero or heroine must have believable flaws. 

    I began to write my thoughts on pieces of paper. I thought up my main character and the teacher that would mentor him or be a guiding role. I thought about how to connect the dream world to those in the real world and vice versa. I thought of the antagonist for my story,  reinventing the Sandman as something a little different. I kept writing things down until I had a basic idea the path the story would take. I felt good about it. But it gradually became more and more complicated. It took me three years to piece everything together, editing and rewriting; doing away with all the contradictions I created along the way. But it was worth it. Scapemaker is an epic, young adult paranormal fantasy with twists and turns. I love what Scapemaker has become.

    Scapemaker is my baby!

    Can you name some of your favorite authors?

    My favorite authors are those that have inspired me from the things I did read and the accomplishments of what they did and who they are/ were in their own lives. I strive to be the kind of author that can inspire even those who are afraid to read.

    JRR Tolkien had an unmatched vision and knowhow to put his vision to words. I have yet to complete the Lord of the Rings saga and The Hobbit and plan to do so soon. But Tolkien had a superior gift as linguist and dreamer and I hold him up on a pedestal.

    I have also come to admire Amanda Hocking, who became very successful as an author of eBooks. She inspired me to actually pursue the path of digital authorship as a real possibility. From there I found out how to make paperback copies.

    I also have to mention my friend, Neal Moore, who became an author himself. He is not an author of fiction . But we grew up together and he has always pursued his dreams to the fullest. 

    Any advice for aspiring writers?

    Stop aspiring! Leave the aspiring behind or you will always be aspiring. Write something every single day, even if it's a sentence or two. Take the time to walk and ponder and you will be amazed at the inspiration you will receive. I am a religious man, so I say to take the time to pray and add to the pondering. Do the research that is needed; visualize the ending before you can visualize the beginning that will draw the audience in and make them want to read.

    What are you working on now -- or would you rather surprise us?

    I wasn't going to do this, but I feel that now is a good time to give a little insight into When the Bough Breaks, a novella I'm working on about 20-25 thousand words or so. The book starts out the father of an eight month old child climbing into bed. As he lies down to sleep, he can hear the soft and comforting sound of his baby boy breathing through the baby monitor receiver in his room.  After a few seconds he hears a strange but clear voice through the same receiver. He knows that there is no one else in the house. The voice softly whispers "Don't cry".

    Best of luck to you Steve and thank you for stopping by BookCupid. 

    Feature and Follow Friday: Solitude

    Parajunkee Alison Can Read


    Once you answer be sure to leave me your link so I can follow you back

    Q: Activity! Hopefully warm weather for most of us is here soon .. so tell us about your favorite outdoor reading spot or take a picture.

    I don't have a beach where I could dunk my toes into the warm sand and read, but I do have a park --  although I don't recommended dunking your toes in the water there, unless you like them nibbled. How kinky!

    Wednesday, March 13, 2013

    Review: God is in the Pancakes

    Does God appear to us through signs -- like a little bubble on a pancake telling us it's time to act?

    Grace hopes so. She desperately wants signs to tell her it's okay to date her best friend Eric, to forgive her Dad for leaving, to kill Mr. Sands who pleaded with her to end his misery. Boy, am I glad I'm not in her shoes. Forgiving someone is never easy, neither is trusting someone with your heart, but killing!!

    Believe it or not, God is in the Pancakes never really touches religion it simply mentions God (very, very few times) so even if you are an Atheist you might enjoy this. The story is well paced for a contemporary. A great addition is that author joined Isabelle to the mix -- the elderly man's wife -- making the story even more climatic. 

    Prepare to question everything you thought about Euthanasia. 

    Tuesday, March 12, 2013

    Top Ten Tuesday: Smells like Spring

    Spring is around the corner and with it comes all these anticipated new releases. Without further ado, here is my list of Spring Wants

    3. Unbreakable

    4. If I Should Die
    5. Towering
    6. All I need

    Monday, March 11, 2013

    Caught my Arrow # 9

    Caught my Arrow is a meme similar to In my mailbox and  Stalking the Shelves featuring books that were purchased, borrowed or received that week.

    This week I got a steal! I found all of these hardcover books (Anna and the French Kiss is a paperback) at Chapters for under 5$. Can I let you in on a secret? Except for The Dead-Tossed Waves, I have read all of them. But they are so good, I don't mind re-reading them.

    The Bad Queen
    Keep Sweet
    Anna and the French Kiss
    The Dead-Tossed Waves

    What are you reading this week?

    Sunday, March 10, 2013

    Review: Boys, Girls and other Hazardous Materials

    Remember all the high school drama? Well, this book will take you on a trip back in time: crushes that crushed back others that didn't, backstabbing friends, true friends, hazing, pressure to belong... You can even read some of Charlie's school news bulletin. Yup, it's high school alright.

    Is Charlie a mean girl? In a way, yes.

    She doesn't insult people or put them down, but she will stand by quietly while a friend hurts someone who didn't do anything to deserve it. People like that sometimes seem meaner than the bully itself -- if only they would have your back maybe the bullying would stop. It's important Charley finds her voice. Not everyone will hate her if she speaks her mind. I enjoyed watching her struggle and progress, and desist. Change is never easy.

    Will also made a nice male lead, dealing with his own pressure to make a sports team.

    This is the first book I read from Wiseman although I am a big fan of Mean Girls and appreciated all the research she put into this novel.  Her new book Masterminds Wingmen filled with stories and advice  for boys will be released on September 2013.

    Friday, March 8, 2013

    Feature and Follow Friday: Hot and Cold

    Parajunkee Alison Can Read


    Once you answer be sure to leave me your link so I can follow you back

    Q: What is a book you didn't like and all your friends raved about or what book did you love that wasn't popular?

    As a Bookcupid, my joy is to spread book love. However, it's impossible to love everything all the time and if you don't believe me ask Tom -- he is sleeping on the couch right now.

    I didn't like...


    To be fair, I read the first edition (not hardcover or paperback). I read it on the computer and it was filled with spelling mistakes. The premise was great, a troll, I mean you don't read that everyday... but the character kept switching from her home to her troll family back and forth. Until I couldn't hack it and offered to buy her a U-Haul. 

    I liked...

    Keep Sweet.

    It is not that raved about, but it should be. This little book of 215 pages is wrapped up with so much action, it's hard to put down. It took me one sitting to know this character would never leave me. We need more girls to be strong and brave like Alva Jane when she gets punished by a cult for kissing her lifelong crush. 

    Thursday, March 7, 2013

    Author Spotlight: It's your time to shine

    I'm happy to be receiving author Anna Adams today to promote her new YA novel, A French Girl in New York.

    Maude Laurent is a spirited 16 year-old orphan who grew up in a small, provincial town in North of France with a passion for piano and a beautiful voice. One day in Paris, she is discovered by an American music producer who takes her to New York to live with him and his close-knit family while producing her first album, with help from teen pop star, Matt. Maude will dive into a new fascinating world discovering New York City, music, family, love and the truth about her past. 

    Find it on Amazon

    Hello Anna, it's a pleasure to have you here. Please tell us, what inspired you to write this book?

    What inspired me for this book is my love for music first of all. That's why in this book Maude uses her classical music background to enrich her new pop career.

    But also what inspired me are the two countries closer to my hear, the two countries in which I grew up and became what I am today: France and America.

    Can you name some of your favorite authors?

    Anne Bronte for one -- she is a lot less famous than her two sisters, but I think she is the best of the three -- Charlotte Bronte, J.K.Rowling, George Eliot, Toni Morrison.

    Any advice for aspiring writers?

    Travel, travel, travel! In your own country in foreign countries, everywhere you can! It is an inextinguishable source of inspiration. 


    What are you working on now -- or would you rather surprise us?

    Surprise, surprise....

    Just kidding!

    Currently, I'm working on the sequel of the Maude Laurent series. In A French Girl in New York we get to know Maude on her road to fame. In the second installment, Maude will learn to deal with her newfound fame, she'll learn to assert herself and find her place in the music industry. Her romantic relationships won't be a smooth ride either!

    I'm also working on a short story that focuses on street art.

    Best of luck to you Anna and thanks for stopping by. You can follow Anna on:

    Wednesday, March 6, 2013

    Review: Ghostworld

    Enid and Becky are done with high school. This should be the time of their lives when they party and travel to the beach. But instead, they continue to hang out at the coffee shop and music stores, or just relax by the television having normal pointless talks. You can tell from the very start that these two are best friends.

    The problem: Enid doesn't listen to anything Becky says, constantly monopolizing the conversations. Treating Becky as if she were dumb and keeping mum on her plans after high school. Why would she do that? The answer is in the book.

    And that is a good enough reason to read this book. It's honest. Not all friendships are good for you, and it doesn't mean that because a person is extroverted that they are able to show their true emotions.

    Daniel Clowes also worked on the screenplay for the 2001 Ghostworld movie, and was nominated for an Award for best adapted screenplay.

    Tuesday, March 5, 2013

    Top Ten Tuesday: Series on my Mind

    Wanting is part of being human, and frankly I want books. Here are the series I haven't read and invade my dreams. 

    1. The Host:  I placed it on top because I want to read it before the movie comes out and I'm running out of time.

    2. Obsidian: It comes widely recommended and it has to do with aliens. 

    3. Under the Never Sky: Why are they hugging under the sky -- I don't know but I want to find out.

    4. The Forest of Hands & Teeth: I bought it when it first came out and keep in my bookcase, unopened.

    5. Daughter of Smoke & Bone: The cover drew me in.

    6. Anna Dressed in Blood: I've heard it's scary.

    7. Legend: Who hasn't read it -- me! I feel like I'm the only one.

    8. Darkest Powers series: As a fan of The Gathering, I think this one will do it for me as well.

    9. Mara Dyer series: I read so many good reviews from you guys. I need to read it.

    10. The Grisha series: The plot, the cover -- everything intrigues me about this one.

    Monday, March 4, 2013

    Caught my Arrow # 8

    Caught my Arrow is a meme similar to In my mailbox and  Stalking the Shelves featuring books that were purchased, borrowed or received that week.

    Whenever I go to the library I tell myself, just get one book, just get one book, but I always end up getting more.

    Yup, I went in for Wicked Lovely but had to arrow The Friday Society and Level 2 because if I didn't someone else would have and I couldn't live with that. Muahaha....

    I also got The Immortal Rules from Netgalley

    What are you reading this week?