Monday, March 22, 2010

Trailer Tuesday (14)

This is an amazing trailer! Definitely a book I want to check out! Thanks to Vania for tweeting about this one!

Morpheus Road
by D.J. MacHale

Marshall Seaver is being haunted. In the first installment of this chillingly compelling trilogy, sixteen-year-old Marshall discovers that something beyond our world is after him. The eerie clues pile up quickly, and when people start dying, it's clear whatever this is - it's huge.

Marshall has no idea what's happening to him, but he's soon convinced that it has something to do with his best friend Cooper, who's been missing for over a week. Together with Coop's sister, Marsh searches for the truth about what happened to his friend, ultimately uncovering something bigger than he could ever have imagined.

Can't figure out how to embed this one... so I am going to link it!

Click HERE for the video (for now:))

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Amazing Giveaways!

Just wanted to remind you all that there are quite a few amazing giveaways going on right now! Check out the links on the right for some that are out there!

One that I am super pumped about is The Bookologists

Mega International and Fantastic YA Box Contest!

There are (3) boxes, each box contains (4) ARCs, there will be (1) winner who gets to pick one box.

Box 1:
  • Pegasus by Robin McKinley (ARC)
  • Raised by Wolves by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (ARC)
  • Sea by Heidi R. Kling (ARC)
  • The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, & June by Robin Benway (ARC)
Box 2:
  • My Invisible Boyfriend by Susie Day (ARC)
  • Linger by Maggie Stiefvater (ARC)
  • Tell Me A Secret by Holly Cupala (ARC)
  • Winter Longing by Tricia Mills (ARC)
Box 3:
  • Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles (ARC)
  • Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs (ARC)
  • Something Like Fate by Susane Colasanti (ARC)
  • Everlasting by Angie Frazer (ARC)

Make sure to check it out here as well as all the others! The Bookologist's contest ends on April 26th! Good luck everyone!

In My Mailbox (18)

Thanks (as always) to Kristi at The Story Siren for hosting this. I have gotten a lot in my mailbox over the past two weeks... sadly, not all of it was as lovely as this!

For Review
The Tension of Opposites by Kristina McBride
It’s been two years since Noelle disappeared. Two years since her bike was discovered, sprawled on a sidewalk. Two years of silence, of worry, of fear.

For those two long years, her best friend Tessa has waited, living her own life in a state of suspended animation. Because how can she allow herself to enjoy a normal high school life if Noelle can’t? How dare she have other friends, go to dances, date boys, without knowing what happened to the girl she thought she would share everything with?

And then one day, someone calls Noelle’s house. She’s alive.

A haunting psychological thriller taken straight from the headlines, The Tension of Opposites is a striking debut that explores the emotional aftermath of a kidnapping on the victim, and on the people she left behind.

Tangled by Carolyn Mackler
Jena, Dakota, Skye, and Owen are all at Paradise—the resort in the Caribbean, that is—for different reasons, but in Paradise their lives become tangled together in ways none of them can predict. Over the course of four months, through four voices and four stories, what happened in Paradise will change them all.

In this extraordinary novel, the Printz Honor–winning author brings us her most accomplished work yet. Tangled is a story of the secrets we keep, the risks we take, and the things we do for love.


Forget Her Nots by Amy Brecount White
When someone leaves three mystery flowers outside her dorm door, Laurel thinks that maybe the Avondale School isn't so awful after all — until her own body starts to freak out. In the middle of her English presentation on the Victorian Language of Flowers, strange words pop into her head, and her body seems to tingle and hum. Impulsively, Laurel gives the love bouquet she made to demonstrate the language to her spinster English teacher. When that teacher unexpectedly and immediately finds romance, Laurel suspects that something — something magical — is up. With her new friend, Kate, she sets out to discover the origins and breadth of her powers by experimenting on herself and others. But she can’t seem to find any living experts in the field of flower powers to guide her. And her bouquets don't always do her bidding, especially when it comes to her own crush, Justin. Rumors about Laurel and her flowers fly across campus, and she's soon besieged by requests from girls — both friends and enemies — who want their lives magically transformed — just in time for prom.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan

The Dead-Tossed Waves
by Carrie Ryan

Release Date: March 9, 2010
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 416

Gabry lives a quiet life. As safe a life as is possible in a town trapped between a forest and the ocean, in a world teeming with the dead, who constantly hunger for those still living. She’s content on her side of the Barrier, happy to let her friends dream of the Dark City up the coast while she watches from the top of her lighthouse. But there are threats the Barrier cannot hold back. Threats like the secrets Gabry’s mother thought she left behind when she escaped from the Sisterhood and the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Like the cult of religious zealots who worship the dead. Like the stranger from the forest who seems to know Gabry. And suddenly, everything is changing. One reckless moment, and half of Gabry’s generation is dead, the other half imprisoned. Now Gabry only knows one thing: she must face the forest of her mother’s past in order to save herself and the one she loves.

This is the companion novel to Carrie’s debut novel, The Forest of Hands and Teeth, and it blew me away just like the first one did. I love Ryan’s depth with the writing of her characters and plot. I was so drawn in with the first book that I had to read this the day it came out (read the post on the adventure to get it here). Her characters are real and jump off the page into your mind because of the characterization Ryan uses. So often we get lost in the plot and the characters almost become secondary to the story, as strange as that sounds. That is definitely not the case with The Dead-Tossed Waves.

Gabry is a character that is completely relatable to many because she has the normal struggles of a teenager, just on a much bigger playing field. She is trying to figure out who she is, where she belongs, and what she is supposed to do in life. She struggles to figure all of this out and has many obstacles in her way, but she comes out on the other side and we know that things are getting brighter for her.

I love that this is a companion novel and not a sequel. Honestly, I didn’t understand the difference at first, but now it is clear. We come back in contact with some of our original characters but we see a new story, new life, and new adventure in this novel. Ryan has done an amazing job expanding the novel and shining light into a whole new area of this story. I would love to get into her head and see where she goes to get all of these intricate details and ideas. She continues to blow me away.

The ending leaves me drooling for more and I can’t wait to see where Ryan takes us next. She makes the Upstate of SC PROUD!!!

Visit Carrie here for more goodies about her books and upcoming appearances.

Check out my review of The Forest of Hands and Teeth here.

And just for fun, here is the trailer for The Dead-Tossed Waves. I saw this in the movie theater when I went to see Remember Me and about fell out of my seat! I had never seen a book trailer in the theater and everyone in there started buzzing about it! Made me proud!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Happy Realease Day Carrie Ryan!!

What a day! The companion novel to Carrie Ryan's magnificent book The Forest of Hands and Teeth hit shelves today!

Gabry lives a quiet life, secure in her town next to the sea and behind the Barrier. She's content to let her friends dream of the Dark City up the coast while she watches from the top of her lighthouse. Home is all she's ever known, and all she needs for happiness.

But life after the Return is never safe, and there are threats even the Barrier can't hold back.

Gabry's mother thought she left her secrets behind in the Forest of Hands and Teeth, but like the dead in their world, secrets don't stay buried. And now, Gabry's world is crumbling.

One night beyond the Barrier...

One boy Gabry's known forever and one veiled in mystery...

One reckless moment, and half of Gabry's generation is dead, the other half imprisoned.

Gabry knows only one thing: if she is to have any hope of a future, she must face the forest of her mother's past.

Carrie is from my neck of the woods so it makes me super happy to see her so successful! Visit her site here to see more about her books and see where she is going to be during her tour. You can also read and excerpt from The Dead-Tossed Waves!

I have had quite a day trying to get this book in my pretty little hands! I called our local bookstore to ensure they had it and (GASP) they didn't even know it was released today... idiot tried to question me about it! I called the books store in Greenville and they did have it! So I packed my kids up and we went to Greenville (45 minutes away) to get the book! Before I left though, I checked my mailbox and inside I found..... CARRIE RYAN SWAG! I knew then that I was destined to get this book! So here is what my Carrie Ryan day amounts to...

Check out the trailer for The Dead-Tossed Waves too!

And now... I am off to read this book! Happy reading all!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Blog Tour: Angela Morrison

Happy Release Day to Angela Morrison!!!

Today I am honored to be hosting Angela Morrison as part of her blog tour on the most important day... RELEASE DAY!! I posted my review of Sing Me to Sleep yesterday (you can read it here if you missed it) and today I am happy to share with you more student created questions for Angela.

Angela is an amazing lady whom I have enjoyed getting to know over the past few months. When I started this blog right after giving birth to my second child, I came across Sing Me to Sleep on a blog and fell in love with it. I found Angela's email address and emailed her to let her know that I had featured it in my "Waiting on Wednesday" po
st (check it out here). Much to my shock, I got a replay and this is what I read in my email:
I make Penguin send me a box of ARCs so I can send them to middle school English teachers just like you.
I am not ashamed to say that I squeed like a little girl when I read that! I got the book and literally could not put it down (feeding Jaxon with one hand and reading with the other... I am sure there are pictures!). I am so glad that you can all get your hands on this amazing novel now and you need to RUN to the nearest bookstore and buy it! Thanks again to my students and their amazing questions. Angela, you are amazing and your patience with a crazy middle school ELA teacher is astounding! Now, on with the interview!!


How did it feel when you got the letter back from the editor saying that your book was good and would be published? -Patrick (7th grade)

It was pretty exciting. If a publishing house is going offer you a contract, the editor will call you on the phone. I was living in Switzerland at the time and my editor was in New York, so she sent me an email saying she wanted to talk. So I kind of freaked out for a day or so until she called. My stomach was in knots. I couldn't eat. I couldn't hold a conversation. When she did finally call, we were out! My kids called us on the cell, and we drove home as fast as we could so she'd still be at her office. I needed to call her on our international internet phone at home. That was for my first book, TAKEN BY STORM.

And the editor had a big surprise for me. They wanted to buy that and sign me up to write a second book for them. So I went from being excited to being shocked. SING ME TO SLEEP is that second book.

When you don't know what to write (hit a mental block) do you doodle or just start writing about anything? -Shamone (8th grade)

I'm lousy at drawing so I don't do that, but if you like to doodle that's a good way to let your mind relax. Writing about anything is good, too. Just keep going until you are writing something you like. Cut the stuff that you warmed up on. Sometimes, though, when you relax and don't think too much about what you are writing, you write the very best stuff.

Mental blocks happen when we are stressed and our brains are on fast mode. To be able to write--or create anything--you need to slow down your brain waves. I know it sounds hokey, but it's true. I swear by it. If you've got a mental block, take a nap. Serious. Scribble what is in your brain when you wake up--while you are still relaxed and dozy. Or put your assignment by your bed, read through it just before you go to sleep, and make sure you have pencil and pen right there on your nightstand table. When you wake up, write whatever you are thinking. Even if it doesn't seem to have anything to do with the assignment. Sometimes completely unrelated junk blocks us. Get rid of that and you can access great creative stuff. I do this all the time. That's how I wrote both my novels. No lie. (This is called "morning pages" and you can read lots more about them and writer's block in Julia Cameron's THE ARTIST WAY.)

It also helps to take a walk, go for a drive, or even go swimming. Just the right music helps me get my brain ready to write. I have to turn it off while I write, but I find a lot of ideas in good song lyrics.

What did you feel when you write Sing Me to Sleep? What emotions played a role in writing? -Chris T. (8th grade)

The material I worked with for SING ME TO SLEEP is so emotionally powerful that I was a basket case the whole time I worked on it. I cried so much I kept on having to stop and dry off my keyboard. I hope you feel all those tears as you read the book.

But there are many emotions in SING. I tried hard to make sure you experience those emotions right along with Beth--embarrassment, anger, confusion, passion, love, happiness, joy, sadness, devastation, hope. I'm eager to hear from readers what emotions they felt when reading it.

How old were you when you wrote your first book? -Marquez (8th grade)

I wrote my first book in fourth grade. It's called "Henry the Bookworm," and I still have the handmade copy I made of it. But it took me until my own children were mostly teenagers to finally write an entire novel. I went back to school to learn how to do it when my youngest son started grade school. If you are going to be a professional at ANYTHING, you need to qualify yourself. You need mentors, coaches, to teach you how to do it. I found that in a master's degree program where my teachers were all authors. It was the coolest school ever.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers? -Stephen (8th grade)

Yeah. Lots of advice. Check out my blog for writers on my website. Click on "liv2writ" for a start.

I always tell students when I speak at their schools that writing is just like any other endeavor. To be good at it, you have to practice A LOT! Read the kind of books you want to write. Study them. Write every day. Whatever you want. Especially when you're sleepy--when you've just woken up or before you go to sleep. Don't worry about spelling, grammar, punctuation. Just let it flow. You can add all that later. You will surprise yourself.

Find good mentors and listen to them. It took me three and a half years after I had my degree to finally find an editor. I got loads of rejections. But sometimes an editor would make a few suggestions that could improve the book. Those suggestions were gifts. I took them and rewrote my novel again and again.

While you are in school, you have teacher mentors who are there to guide you. Every red mark on your paper, every comment scribbled in the margin is a huge gift--of their time and talent. Don't get angry and waste their efforts. When they write on your paper, it isn't because they are angry with you or you blew it. It's because they care about you. They want you to get better and better at this wonderful mystery we call writing. Just because you don't get it right the first time, doesn't mean you'll never get it right. The beauty of writing is you get to do it over and over and over until your words sing. You only fail if you give up. You only fail if you aren't willing to revise it one more time.

Save everything you write. It is precious. Some day you'll be in my position and need that great source material!


Thanks again, Angela, for sharing this time with me on the blog and answering the questions and writing such an amazing book. Here's to all the success you deserve! Happy reading everyone!

In kindergarten I wanted to be a veterinarian and a mom. I planned to have ten kids and a hundred cats. Then in first grade, I learned how to write.
~Angela Morrison

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Sing Me to Sleep Review

Genre: YA Romance

Age Level: 8th grade and up

# of Pages: Hardcover 320

Publisher: Razorbill (March 4, 2010)

BETH HAS ALWAYS BEEN “THE BEAST”--That’s what everyone at school calls her because of her awkward height, facial scars, and thick glasses. Who could love a beast? Beth’s only friend is geeky, golden-haired Scott. That is until she’s selected to be her choir’s soprano soloist and receives the makeover of a lifetime. Suddenly, everyone wants a piece of Beth.

Things only get better when her choir travels to Switzerland and Beth meets the mysterious Derek. They have an incredible whirlwind romance that makes Beth realize, for the first time, she too can find love. She’s no longer The Beast. In Derek’s eyes, she’s a beauty. But then Scott makes a heartbreaking confession to Beth that leaves her completely torn. Should she stand by sweet, steady Scott or follow the dangerous passionate feelings she has for Derek?

And there’s an even bigger problem: Derek’s got a secret . . . one that could shatter everything.

Usually I run to my computer to do a review because I want it out there and am ready for others to see what it is all about. This book has caused me to throw a kink in those plans. This is the fourth time I have sat down to write this review and I still don’t think I am processing it all. I featured this one as one of my Waiting on Wednesday’s and contacted Angela to let her know. Lo and behold the wonderful woman that she is sent me a copy. I had to finish one that I was reading but it was motivation to get to this one. I read it in 2 days!! This was a beautiful, heart wrenching story that was so brilliantly written that it was easy for me to relate to Beth on many levels, fall in love with Derek right along with her, and feel Scott’s pain as he begins to feel the cold shoulder from the one he loves. I look at the cover and it brings everything back to me and I feel all the emotion again. I read A LOT and I don’t know that a book has ever had this kind of impact on me. Maybe others have and I just don’t remember it, but I can tell you know that this one will stay with me for a long time!

Angela has done an AMAZING job with not only the plot and characters but the relatability of it all. We often read books because they let us escape and pretend we are the characters in the books. When it comes to Beth, I have the “been there, done that” shirt on. Not that I have ever been called “the Beast” or anything like that (at least I hope not) but that finding first love and figuring out who you are can be confusing, enlightening, amazing, and heart wrenching all wrapped into one. Angela has done an amazing job letting readers feel the raw emotion behind Beth—no matter which emotion that is. Often times when I put a book down because I can’t read it, that is the reason… the characters are not fully developed! I feel like Beth is my best friend now and I watched as she became a beautiful person on the outside to match her inside, fell in love with Derek, had to deal with more than she ever imagined, and in the end, found out who she truly was. (I am crying… again… now)

Derek and Scott’s words were both so poetic and profound throughout the novel as well. I was in band in high school so I kind of understood the whole music thing from that perspective, but I never knew about the competitive world of the amazing choir that Angela used as the backdrop of this novel. I have listened to the Amabile them and think about everything in this novel… again, I loose it! But it definitely didn’t stop me from downloading the CD and putting it on my iPod! This book’s soundtrack will always run through my mind!

I was not warned that I would need tissues so consider this your warning! Not just a few… THE BOX! Like I said, I don’t know that a book has ever had an impact this great on me and I was doing good holding it together until I got to page 290… and that is where I became a blubbery mess. I was an emotional basket case and had to keep wiping my eyes to see the last three chapters! I was a victim of the ugly cry and I am not ashamed to say that. I am glad that I was in the bed reading it and that everyone in my house was asleep. I needed to process on my own and having them around would have been bad!

I highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone- teens, parents, teachers, whomever. I can’t begin to tell what kind of impact it will have on you. Absorb every word, take in every line, and savor every moment!

Visit Angela Morrison at her website here.

Visit the Amabile Choir here and experience the amazing voices of these talented people.

Sing Me to Sleep hits bookshelves on March 4, 2010.... TOMORROW people!

Tomorrow is a big day because it is not only the release of Sing Me to Sleep... Angela will be here as part of her blog tour! I am so excited and honored to shared this day with her! Come back by tomorrow and check out what questions my students had for her!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday (17)

Thanks as always to Jill at Breaking the Spine for WoW!!

There are so many good books coming out this year! I posted the other day about the great ones coming out in March (check that out here) so I wanted to give you two others that have caught my attention.

by Robin McKinley
A gorgeously-written fantasy about the friendship between a princess and her pegasus

Because of a thousand-year-old alliance between humans and
pegasi, Princess Sylviianel is ceremonially bound to Ebon, her own pegasus, on her twelfth birthday. The two species coexist peacefully, despite the language barriers separating them. Humans and pegasi both rely on specially-trained Speaker magicians as the only means of real communication.

But it’s different for Sylvi and Ebon. They can understand each other. They quickly grow close—so close that their bond becomes a threat to the status quo—and possibly to the future safety of their two nations.
Isn't the cover of this one beautiful?! Pegasus hits shelves on November 2, 2010

Claire de Lune by Christine Johnson

Torn between two destinies?

Claire is having the perfect sixteenth birthday. Her pool party is a big success, and gorgeous Matthew keeps chatting and flirting with her as if she's the only girl there. But that night, she discovers something that takes away all sense of normalcy: she's a werewolf.

As Claire is initiated into the pack of female werewolves, she must deal not only with her changing identity, but also with a rogue werewolf who is putting everyone she knows in danger. Claire's new life threatens her blossoming romance with Matthew, whose father is leading the werewolf hunt. Now burdened with a dark secret and pushing the boundaries of forbidden love, Claire is struggling to feel comfortable in either skin. With her lupine loyalty at odds with her human heart, she will make a choice that will change her forever?

Another beautiful cover! Claire de Lune hits shelves on May 18, 2010.

Happy reading everyone!

Blog Design by Imagination Designs
Graphic by Giftseasonstore