Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Top Ten Characters I’d Like To Switch Places With For 24 Hours

It's a tough one this week on the Broke and the Bookish's Top Ten Tuesday meme. The question is which characters you would want to switch places with for a day. Most of the books I read there would be no way in hell I'd want to be in any of the characters' shoes. Fall in love with a vampire? No thank you. Fight to the death in a nationally televised tournament? Think I will pass if that's all the same to you. And if I see the name Anastasia Steele on anyone's list, I'm going to ask that you get a referral to a psychiatrist. Anyway, here's what I came up with:

Jesse from The Real Real by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus
I'm sort of a reality show junkie and think it would be fun to see what it's like to star on one.

Heaven from Stupid and Contagious by Caprice Crane
I always love books where the character works in PR, it always sounds like a fun job to me. Plus, Heaven seems to have no sense of personal boundaries which would certainly make it an interesting 24 hours.

Lizzie from the Queen of Babble Series by Meg Cabot
Lizzie's life always seems pretty spectacular to me. She had a rich French boyfriend and then later fell in love with the boy next door. She has plenty of gumption and always lands on her feet no matter what obstacles are thrown her way.  

Becky Bloomwood from the Shopaholic Series by Sophie Kinsella
I would love to be Becky for a day, just to have her credit card limit and spend exorbitant amounts of money on clothes without guilt.

Mia from the Princess Diaries Series by Meg Cabot
Since I grew up dirt poor, it always seemed sort of awesome to find out one day that you're a princess of some random country in Europe.

America from the Selection by Keira Cass
For this 24 hours, it would definitely have to be during the time when the palace isn't under attack. But I wouldn't mind experiencing the opulence of the palace, gorgeous clothing and a romantic prince for a day.

Cassie from the Secret Circle series by LJ Smith
Being a witch seems kind of wild and I wouldn't mind trying out some cool spells for a day.

Lucy from Good Luck by Whitney Gaskell
Yes, Lucy has her share of problems. But she wins the lottery and becomes an instant millionaire, how amazing is that?

Lola from Easily Amused by Karen McQuestion
Her neighbors sound awesome! Most of my neighbors I wouldn't want to meet alone in a dark alley, so she'd be someone I would trade places with for a day.

Kaitlyn from the Dark Visions Series by LJ Smith
I have a strong interest in psychics (pretty obvious since my book is about a psychic) and I always thought it would be fantastic to possess the ability to predict the future.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Review: The Duff: Designated Ugly Fat Friend by Kody Keplinger

Goodreads Summary:

Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn’t think she’s the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She’s also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her “the Duff,” she throws her Coke in his face.

But things aren’t so great at home right now, and Bianca is desperate for a distraction. She ends up kissing Wesley. Worse, she likes it. Eager for escape, Bianca throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with him.

Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out Wesley isn’t such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she’s falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.

Publication Date: September 7, 2010

This was sort of a random read for me after I came across a review of the book on Goodreads. It sounded like an interesting concept to me-a girl using a guy she hates as an escape from a messed up home life. The book had some high points that I found enjoyable, but also a few things that bothered me long after I put the novel down.

I think the author did a fantastic job creating a believable friendship between Bianca, Jessica and Casey. The feelings of inadequacy and jealousy can be commonly found in a lot of high school friendships. It wasn't hard to imagine a friend upset when you've been single for a long time and are no longer available to spend time with her once you meet a guy. It was also touching how her friends insisted they were the Duffs of the friendship. The book was great at exploring issues such as self-esteem and typical sexual mores.

Bianca had some sass which I always like in my main characters. She was able to dish it out to Wesley and I'm glad she didn't cry her eyes out (like I probably would have done in high school) when the school hot shot calls her the Duff (Designated Ugly Fat Friend). Instead she tells him off and throws a soda at him. I was also able to sympathize with her as she tried to block out the divorce of her parents and her father's drinking problem.

Wesley was a maddening character. I wanted so bad to like him, but I just couldn't for so many reasons. I could've probably gotten past the initial Duff comment and root for their relationship, but he nicknames her Duffy, even after they started sleeping together! The poor little rich boy thing too didn't make me feel like it was okay for him to basically sleep his way through the entire school. I really didn't expect Bianca to sleep with him as quickly as she had and it made me want to give her a hug for having such low self-esteem to do so.

The ending was a little too neatly tied up. However, the book definitely kept me reading and I would check out other titles from Keplinger.

Rating: Four out of five stars

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Stacking the Shelves and In My Mailbox-July 28, 2012

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews and features books you've added to your shelves, both physical and virtual. In My Mailbox from the Story Siren is another meme that highlights the books that bloggers have bought or received for review. If you are a new follower of my blog, make sure to enter my giveaway for a $25 Amazon gift card and two free ebooks. Only two days left! Entry form is here.


The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong

The Duff: Designated Ugly Fat Friend by Kody Keplinger

For Review via Netgalley and Edelweiss:

All You Never Wanted by Adele Griffin

Betrayal by Greg Olsen

Friday, July 27, 2012

Feature & Follow Friday-July 27, 2012

I'm again taking part in the very fun meme Feature & Follow hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. If you are a new follower to my blog, enter here for a chance to win an Amazon gift card and two free ebooks. To join the fun and make new book blogger friends, just follow these simple rules:

  1. (Required) Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Hosts {Parajunkee & Alison Can Read}
  2. (Required) Follow our Featured Bloggers
  3. Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing. You can also grab the code if you would like to insert it into your posts.
  4. Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say "hi" in your comments and that they are now following you.
  5. If you are using WordPress or another CMS that doesn't have GFC (Google Friends Connect) state in your posts how you would like to be followed
  6. Follow Follow Follow as many as you can, as many as you want, or just follow a few. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs. Also, don't just follow, comment and say hi. Another blogger might not know you are a new follower if you don't say "HI"
  7. If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love...and the followers
  8. If you're new to the follow friday hop, comment and let me know, so I can stop by and check out your blog!

Q: Summer Reading. What was your favorite book that you were REQUIRED to read when you were in school? 

Yes, I was definitely the dork that actually loved the books assigned in English class each year. A few of my favorites that I can remember include Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare, A Separate Peace by John Knowles, The Awakening by Kate Chopin, The Diary of Anne Frank and Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Review: Capturing Angels by VC Andrews

Amazon.com Description:
V.C. Andrews, queen of Gothic fiction for twenty-five years, explores a new genre in her women’s fiction debut—available exclusively as an eBook. A young mother struggles to keep her marriage together in the wake of her daughter’s kidnapping…and to keep hope of her return alive. Grace is the doting mother of Mary, an angelic five-year-old who charms everyone around her. But in one tragic moment at a local shopping mall, Grace looks down to discover that Mary is no longer at her side…and can’t be found anywhere. She and her husband wait by the phone for a ransom demand that never comes. For months Grace believes that Mary is somewhere, alive and safe, waiting to come home to her—but as her family and friends give up hope, Grace’s marriage begins to crumble. Only one detective, Sam Abraham, shares her determination to find Mary…but could his motives be less than altruistic?
As Sam and Mary work together to track Mary’s disappearance, they discover clues that this was more than a random kidnapping—and that Mary may have been special to more than just her mother…

Publication Date: August 7, 2012

This book was a lot different than I was expecting, but definitely in a good way. When I think of VC Andrews books I think of incest, child abuse and sexual awakening. The only aspect that was typical of the author's previous works was religious fanaticism. This book was more of a contemporary adult mystery that dealt with the despair of a mother who lost her daughter.

The suspense starts immediately as we witness Grace's frantic search for her daughter at a local shopping mall. You can feel her terror and frustration as she attempts to locate her to no avail. I enjoyed Grace's POV and I thought the author did a good job of creating a sympathetic character who goes through a range of emotions as she deals with the abduction of her child.

It seemed fairly obvious from the get go that religion has played a part in Mary's abduction. Grace's husband is devout along with her neighbor and the whole town seems to think of Mary as an angel sent from God. The philosophical debates are an interesting addition to the story along with Grace's complex relationship with God in the event of her missing child.

Besides the strong characterization of Grace, I immensely enjoyed the description of the police detective Sam. He was a wonderful character and I loved the intensity of the scenes between him and Grace. They had great chemistry and I thought it was swoonworthy how he risked everything to help bring her daughter home.
The ending disappointed me and I think that's what made this a four star read instead of a five star. I felt some elements were predictable and I wanted to know more about what exactly happened during and after the abduction of Mary. (Spoiler Alert)*** Although Grace's husband experiences an epiphany towards the end, I still didn't feel it redeemed his character and I couldn't help but wish things had worked out with Sam.***

I would definitely recommend this book and if the ghostwriter for the late author continues in this direction, I would certainly read future novels.

Rating: Four out of Five Stars

Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.   

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Review: Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins

Goodreads Summary:

Embrace the Forbidden

What if there were teens whose lives literally depended on being bad influences?

This is the reality for sons and daughters of fallen angels.

Tenderhearted Southern girl Anna Whitt was born with the sixth sense to see and feel emotions of other people. She’s aware of a struggle within herself, an inexplicable pull toward danger, but Anna, the ultimate good girl, has always had the advantage of her angel side to balance the darkness within. It isn’t until she turns sixteen and meets the alluring Kaidan Rowe that she discovers her terrifying heritage and her willpower is put to the test. He’s the boy your daddy warned you about. If only someone had warned Anna.

Forced to face her destiny, will Anna embrace her halo or her horns?

Publication Date: May 1, 2012

This was a very good book with the difficult task of tackling a world where angels and demons are trying to control the fate of humans. Angel and demon books can come off as hokey at times, but Higgins does an excellent job of world building. A few of the characterizations fell short for me, but overall a very enjoyable read.

What I liked the most was the chemistry between Kaidan and Anna. On the road trip they take together, you can feel the sexual tension between them. Bad boys always make interesting love interests and Kaidan fits the bill. He's sexy and dangerous and is basically pimped out by his father. Anna's internal struggle between good and evil creates plenty of suspense as you don't know what path she'll choose.

The pacing of the novel was good with enough action (especially in the second half) to hold my interest. I loved the appearance of the other Nephilim offspring and was able to sympathize with them since they were basically tortured into servitude by their fathers. The author didn't shy away from uncomfortable and horrifying visuals to get her point across.

I really liked Anna's relationship with her adopted mother Patti, but then I felt she lost credibility when she allowed her 16 year old daughter to travel across the country with a half demon she was meeting for the first time. (Spoiler alert) Another thing that bothered me was the practically insta-love that Anna experienced with Kaidan. I really didn't feel like he earned her affection and wished she showed a little more backbone. It was sort of off-putting for her to be happy on the night he stayed in the hotel room and wasn't out man whoring for the night. Plus, her seemingly endless depression after only a couple of days with him made me want to shake some sense into her.

I'm curious to see where this series goes and hopefully we'll see more growth from both Anna and Kaidan.  

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Top Ten Most Vivid Worlds in Books

Today's Top Ten Tuesday topic from The Broke and the Bookish is the most vivid worlds and settings in books. Most of the ones that come to mind are entries from the dystopian genre with a few exceptions. Remember to follow my blog if you are a new visitor for a chance to win an Amazon gift card and two free ebooks. Entry form is here.

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi-As part of this amazing YA novel, virtual reality is used to replace the horrors of being trapped inside protective domes.

The Road by Cormac McCarthy-I remember vividly the weekend I read this book. This horrifying dystopian world full of ash, hunger and cannibalism gave me nightmares each night.

Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard-I recently read this novel about zombies in 19th century Philadelphia and I really loved how the author transported you back in time by touching upon the customs and expectations of women during this period.

The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary Pearce-This novel about a not so distant future where biological engineering allows people to basically bring back the dead is not hard to imagine.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins-It's scary how easy it is to picture a world where children must fight to their death to appease a totalitarian regime. 

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare-The author expertly creates a world where demons and demon hunters live among us in this urban fantasy.

Birthmarked by Caragh O'Brien-I really could picture myself in this world where mothers are forced to hand over their babies to the rich and privileged. 

Across the Universe by Beth Revis-From the first page, you're drawn into a future where space travel to a new habitable planet is possible.

Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin-You can feel the despair and horror in this dystopian novel as a virus claims most of the population.

Delirium by Lauren Oliver-I think Oliver is a beautiful writer and I felt drawn into a world where love is a disease and there's a cure to get rid of it.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Second Sight Book Two Updates

Hi everyone! I haven't written any updates lately about Second Sight Book Two, so I thought I'd let you know how things are going. By the way, sales for First Visions have exceeded my expectations! Since the book's publication on May 1, sales have grown each month. I seriously love you guys! I felt sort of half out of mind when I decided to pass up the small press offers and publish the book on my own. Although I'll never know if the book would have done as well, at least I don't have to kick myself because I put in this huge marketing effort and was only able to sell a couple of copies.

As for book two, I'm finally able to really get back into writing it. I had to take a break to market First Visions, but it now has my full focus. I'm hoping to get the first draft done in the next couple of weeks and begin my first round of edits. With the pace I'm going at now, I'm shooting for a tentative release date of October 2. I worked with a speedy and efficient editor last time around, so I'm hoping for the same experience this time.

A few plot hints:
  • Kate continues to grapple with control over her visions.
  • She meets a new psychic who offers to help her control her visions, but his reasons may be less than altruistic.
  • There will be two new abduction cases she's asked to work on. One will involve a five-year-old boy who is taken from a shopping center in Washington. The other will be a case of a 24-year-old missing fitness instructor from Pennsylvania.
  • Jared and Kate attempt to have a normal relationship despite her unnerving psychic visions and her involvement in potentially dangerous investigations.
By the way, blog move has been successful so far and I've been working on rebuilding my following. Hope everyone has a great week!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Stacking the Shelves-July 21, 2012

Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews and is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!
If you are new to my site, make sure you follow my blog or like my Facebook page for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card and two free ebooks. Entry form is here.


Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins

Ebooks for Review via Netgalley and Edelweiss:

Capturing Angels by VC Andrews

Inbetween by Tara Fuller

Incarnation by Emma Cornwall

Friday, July 20, 2012

Feature & Follow-July 20, 2012

Feature and Follow is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. Gain more followers and find incredibly awesome blogs. If you do follow me, just leave me a comment so that I can make sure I follow back =) New followers are invited to enter my contest here for an Amazon gift card and two free ebooks. Check out the question of the week too below.

To join the fun and make new book blogger friends, just follow these simple rules:
  1. (Required) Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Hosts {Parajunkee & Alison Can Read}
  2. (Required) Follow our Featured Bloggers
  3. Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing. You can also grab the code if you would like to insert it into your posts.
  4. Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say "hi" in your comments and that they are now following you.
  5. If you are using WordPress or another CMS that doesn't have GFC (Google Friends Connect) state in your posts how you would like to be followed
  6. Follow Follow Follow as many as you can, as many as you want, or just follow a few. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs. Also, don't just follow, comment and say hi. Another blogger might not know you are a new follower if you don't say "HI"
  7. If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love...and the followers
  8. If you're new to the follow friday hop, comment and let me know, so I can stop by and check out your blog!

Q: Christmas in July! Someone gives you a gift card for two books (whatever that costs). What two books will you buy?

I have a lot of books on my Wishlist so this is a tough one. Right now I would have to say Rapture by Lauren Kate and The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong. I've previously read the rest of the Fallen series so I'm interested to see how it all ended despite hearing mixed reviews about the last book. I just finished a novella by Kelley Armstrong, the first time I read anything from the author. I really liked it so I'm anxious to check out her YA series.

    Thursday, July 19, 2012

    Review: The Selection by Kiera Cass

    Goodreads Summary:
    For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in the palace and compete for the heart of the gorgeous Prince Maxon.

    But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

    Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself- and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.

    Publication Date: April 24, 2012

    I love summertime books where you can get into the plot and even enjoy the book although there were a few major flaws.This is how I felt about The Selection. A couple of things didn't sit well with me, but I really got into the competition and who was going to win.

    In the beginning, America Singer (she's named after America and sings well) is involved with a boy Aspen who's in a lower caste than her. They want to get married, but there are rules preventing them from being together. Despite his love, Aspen insists America enter the Selection in order to help her family move up in the caste system. When she's chosen, he breaks up with her.

    Although heartbroken, America heads off to the castle to take part in the competition to win the prince's heart. She know she'll never love the prince, but goes because the palace pays her struggling family a stipend while she competes. A few awkward encounters with the prince ends up actually bringing the pair close and America starts to question who her heart belongs to.

    Since I wasn't a big fan of the whole melodrama surrounding her relationship with Aspen, I was glad when he was out of the picture. It was much more entertaining reading about the girls trying to win over the prince. In my head, I kept adding my own cliched lines that have appeared on The Bachelor. "I believe in this process." "I'm ready to find love."

    Maxon was a great character and I will definitely have a major meltdown if America doesn't end up with him. I'm embarrassed to admit I actually do enjoy stories where a handsome and rich prince falls in love with a girl because she has gumption. I also liked how America held onto her identity and wasn't afraid to be herself around the prince.

    The weakest part of the novel was the world building. A few things sounded very far-fetched to me (i.e. China invades the United States because we owe them too much money). Plus, there was no clear explanation on how this history created the caste system.

    And the ending just didn't work for me. It was open-ended and I feel the concept behind the book could have worked as a stand alone novel instead of a series. However, would I read the next novel? Absolutely.  

    Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

    Wednesday, July 18, 2012

    Liebster Blog Award

    The Inky Melody was kind enough to nominate me for the Liebster Blog Award! This award is for bloggers with less than 200 followers. Here are the rules to receive the award:

    1. Each person must post 11 random facts about themselves.
    2. Answer 11 questions the tagger has given you and give 11 questions for the people you tagged.
    3. Choose 11 people and mention them in your post
    4. Tell them you've tagged them
    5. Remember, no tag backs.

    Part 1: 11 Random Facts

    1. I LOVE musicals and sometimes bust out in song in an attempt to turn my life into a Glee episode.
    2. I have an eight year old pug and chihuahua mix (chipugua?)  named Roxy.
    3. I have a fear of someone hiding behind shower curtains and have to open them first before I use a bathroom.
    4. I hate when someone texts back "ok" or "k" to confirm they have received my text.
    5. I've tried every fad diet in the book including the horrible Master Cleanse.
    6. I have no idea what to name the sequel to my first novel.
    7. I only like to drink room temperature water.
    8. I've been dying my hair religiously since I was 16.
    9. My first freelance writing job was for a senior citizen magazine (I was 24 at the time).
    10. I have bad luck when it comes to laptops and usually need a new one each year.
    11. Although I lived a block from the beach, my family used to go to a lake 20 minutes away because we all hate waves.

    Part 2: Answer 11 Questions

    1. What is your favorite number between one and ten?
    2. Do you listen to music while you write? Or if you're not writing, then while you're doing schoolwork, or chores?
    Sometimes I do, it depends on my mood. For tough scenes in my book, I usually prefer absolute silence.
    3. Vanilla, chocolate, or strawberry, or does it matter for each kind of dessert (say, you like chocolate ice cream better than strawberry, but you prefer vanilla cake over chocolate)?
    Chocolate always!
    4. Do you mainly read one genre of book, or do you like to branch out?
    I prefer YA novels, but I do branch out. Other genres I enjoy include paranormal romance, contemporary romance, thrillers and the occasional historical romance.
    5. What is your absolute favorite genre (or two, if it comes down to that)?
    YA paranormal romance and contemporary romance
    6. What is your favorite time of day? What is your favorite time of day to read?
    I'm definitely a morning person, but I usually read at night once the little terrors go to bed.
    7. Nonfiction or fiction? Why? 
    Fiction usually, but I'll pick up the occasional crime novel.
    8. Of the core subjects (English, Math, Science, or Social Studies), which is your favorite? Why?
    English of course! Since middle school, I've been writing stories and have been an avid reader.
    9. Do you show your writing to other people easily, or do you prefer to have it perfected as much as possible before you share? Do you think your writing is personal on a deep level, and therefore you tend to keep it to yourself, or do you think that your writing is to be shared with the world, and therefore you'll easily hand it over for friends to read? Again, if you're not much of a writer, than how about your reading material? Will you show people what you're reading, or are you shy about it?
    I'm a spaz when it comes to sharing. I'd probably be more prone to sharing unfinished pieces with strangers than family or friends. My writing is so personal to me, so I would be really hurt if they didn't like it.
    10. Is there a certain type of animal that you love (or are obssessed about)? Is there a certain group of animals (such as cats and tigers and lions, etc. or wolves and dogs and meerkats, etc.)?
    My five-year-old son is absolutely fascinated by sting rays, so I've gotten really into them.
    11. Do you have any weird eating habits, and if so, what are they?
    I get kind of obsessed with chewing gum while I write and can go through a couple of packs in a sitting.

    Part 3: My 11 Questions
    1. City or country?
    2. What's your favorite part about blogging?
    3. What's your dream vacation spot?
    4. What writer do you admire the most?
    5. What's your favorite book of all-time?
    6. What's your favorite social networking site?
    7. How many books do you read on average per month?
    8. What book genre do you avoid the most?
    9. What's the last movie you watched?
    10. What's your favorite snack to have on hand when writing or reading?
    11. What's the best piece of writing advice you ever received?

    My 11 nominees (although I'm not sure how many followers everyone has):

    Jo Michaels
    The Adventures Within
    Have You Heard My Book Review?
    Books, College and Other Random Things
    The Queen of Teen Fiction
    Olivia's Bookaholic Life
    Just Can't Beat Books
    Book Nerd
    Purple Jelly Bean Chair Reviews
    T.L. Bodine
    Liberty's Yarn

    Tuesday, July 17, 2012

    Top 10 Underdog Love Interests in YA Novels

    On the Broke and the Bookish, the Top Ten Tuesday topic is what ten books you would recommend readers who like a certain novel. Since I did the Meg Cabot post a couple of weeks ago, I decided to do my own topic and discuss the best underdog love interests.
    I am actually a big fan of love triangles, but I usually end up disappointed by the book’s end. The guy I want the heroine to choose usually doesn’t have a chance in hell. The poor sap ends up either heartbroken by the conclusion of the series or the writer hooks him up with another girl (or child apparently in some cases like Jacob Black). Here are a few unpopular “teams” that I’m on.

    Jacob Black from the Twilight Series
    Ok, I see the draw of Edward. Amazingly beautiful and powerful sparkly vampire can seem enticing to any girl. However, I hated how Bella was around Edward. Her whole “he’s so beautiful, why is he with a loser like me mentality” grated on me. With Jacob, I felt they were both on more equal footing and she didn’t have to go through a transformation to be with him. Plus, I thought he was hysterically funny in the novels.

    Julian from Delirium Series
    Yes, Alex was pure awesomeness in the first book, but I found myself wanting Lena with Julian from the moment she met him in Pandemonium. I felt that it was very sweet how Alex opened Lena up to the possibility of love and she was able to do the same for Julian.

    Linden from the Chemical Garden Series
    Why do I love the rich polygamist over the sweet servant? For once, I have no idea. I should totally want Rhine to be with Gabriel, but I don’t. It’s not that Gabriel is particularly unlikable, but I think I enjoyed the author’s characterization of Linden far better.

    Damon from the Vampire Diaries Series
    The show deviates from the books and I believe this is in part to make it more plausible for Elena to choose either Stefan or Damon. Stefan is the obvious choice in the books, although I loved the dark comedy and heat Damon brings to the novels.

    Cam from the Fallen Series
    Anyone else find Daniel sort of annoying? I just never bought the damned love between him and Luce. However, the scenes with Cam are by far my favorite.
    Peter from My Blood Approves
    Ugh, this series makes me so mad. Jack seems sweet enough and very earnest, but why wouldn’t Alice be with Peter? It makes no sense to me. She had this blood bond with him and on top of that he’s described as all sorts of tortured and handsome.

    Heath from House of Night Series
    Poor Heath. I felt he always got the short end of the stick in this vampire YA series. Stark is okay enough for Zoey, but the human boy Zoey dated before she became a vampire has always been my favorite.

    Gale from Hunger Games Series
    I do like Peeta a lot, so this is probably the most difficult one for me. However, I felt that the connection between Gale and Katniss since childhood made them perfect for one another. Gale also seemed to have an inner strength that the troubled Peeta seemed to lack at times.
    Myrnin from the Morganville Vampires Series
    Shane is funny as hell, but I love the kookiness of vampire Myrnin. He’s very sweet when it comes to Clare and I think it would be nice to see her with someone besides Shane.

    Xander from Matched Series
    I don’t particularly care for this love triangle between Ky, Cassia and Xander, but if I had to choose one of the two guys, I would go with Xander.

    Monday, July 16, 2012

    Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah Maas

    Goodreads Summary:
    After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.
    Her opponents are men—thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the kings council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for three years and then be granted her freedom.
    Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilirating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her... but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.
    Then one of the other contestants turns up dead... quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.

    Publication Date: August 7, 2012

    Do you ever feel let down by a book that's getting a lot of buzz? I find that happens a lot with me. I pick up the novel and I end up disappointed that the book hasn't met my expectations. Luckily that isn't the case with Throne of Glass. The book was phenomenal on so many levels that I expect it will certainly sell a gazillion copies once released.

    Fantasy isn't usually a genre I enjoy because I usually get lost or bored due the extensive world building. I didn't find this happening while reading this novel. Maas gradually brings you into her world without info dumping right at the start. She did the same with her characterization of Celaena. 

    At first, you only know that she's a notorious assassin. As you get to know more about her, you discover that she's a very contradictory character who can be equally tough as well as feminine. She is able to kill a person within seconds, but also loves gorgeous dresses that make her look beautiful.

    The plot was well-paced with plenty going on over the course of the novel. Besides the competition for the king's assassin taking place, the reader is embroiled in a mystery to determine who is murdering the challengers. There's loads of action and some of the fight scenes were described in such rich detail, I actually found it hard to read them.

    As far as romance, I'm sort of torn over the love triangle aspect of the book. I liked both the playfulness between her and the prince and the quiet respect between her and Chaol, but I'm not sure who would make the better match. 

    All in all a fantastic read! I will certainly be eagerly awaiting the sequel.

    Rating: Five out of Five Stars 

    Thanks to Bloomsbury for an advanced copy via NetGalley for my honest review!

    Here's the UK cover. Any thoughts? I think I prefer it to the US version. Much more bada**.

    Friday, July 13, 2012

    Feature & Follow-July 13, 2012

    I'm joining in on Feature & Follow Friday again to help get more followers to my new site. I officially closed my old blog and added new ways to follow this one including Linky, Google Friend Connect and Networked Blogs. Don't forget to enter my giveaway here for a $25 Amazon gift card and two free ebooks after you follow. A question for the week is part of the meme and I included my answer below.
    To join the fun and make new book blogger friends, just follow these simple rules:

    1. (Required) Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Hosts {Parajunkee & Alison Can Read}
    2. (Required) Follow our Featured Bloggers
    3. Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing. You can also grab the code if you would like to insert it into your posts.
    4. Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for
      people to find a place to say "hi" in your comments and that they are
      now following you.
    5. If you are using WordPress or another CMS that doesn't have GFC
      (Google Friends Connect) state in your posts how you would like to be
    6. Follow Follow Follow as many as you can, as many as you want, or
      just follow a few. The whole point is to make new friends and find new
      blogs. Also, don't just follow, comment and say hi. Another blogger
      might not know you are a new follower if you don't say "HI"
    7. If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love...and the followers
    8. If you're new to the follow friday hop, comment and let me know, so I can stop by and check out your blog!

    Q: What drove you to start book blogging in the first place?

    I actually kind of just fell into it. I originally started my blog to market my novel and freelance writing projects. I've always been an avid reader, so I started to share a few quick reviews on books I was currently reading. However, I found I really enjoyed talking about books and got involved in more and more weekly memes including Top Ten Tuesday and Mailbox Monday. Although I still talk about my writing projects, the main focus on my blog is young adult books, paranormal romances and thrillers.


    Thursday, July 12, 2012

    Review-Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

    Goodreads Summary:

    "I won't tell anyone, Echo. I promise." Noah tucked a curl behind my ear. It had been so long since someone touched me like he did. Why did it have to be Noah Hutchins? His dark brown eyes shifted to my covered arms. "You didn't do that-did you? It was done to you?" No one ever asked that question. They stared. They whispered. They laughed. But they never asked.

    So wrong for each other...and yet so right.

    No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with "freaky" scars on her arms. Even Echo can't remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal. But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo's world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible.Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she'll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again.

    Publication Date: July 31, 2012

    Until I started reading this book, I hadn't realized how much my reading list had been lacking YA contemporary romances. It was a nice change for me and the book had a lot of high points which I'm sure will appeal to teens looking for a read with a lot of edge to it and without the same old cookie cutter main characters.

    What I Liked: The thing I liked the most was that both characters had messed up back stories, but they still had a lot of heart. Both Noah and Echo have seriously f***ed up family situations and this makes them both feel like outcasts. I like the way the author drew you in with realistic depictions and the mystery surrounding how Echo ended up with the scars on her arms. I found Noah much more likable than Echo for some reason at first, but she grows on you. Noah's dedication to his brothers really appealed to me and added a lot of depth to his character. The secondary characters were all okay with the exception of Mrs. Collins. I liked her guidance counselor character more than all the others combined. 

    What I Didn't Like: The drama around the characters' situations was a little over the top at times. And there were a few cliches and cheesy lines surrounding Noah being the so-called bad boy of the school. 

    Rating: Four out of five stars

    A huge thank you to Harlequin Teen for an advanced copy of this book through NetGalley!

    Wednesday, July 11, 2012

    Review-Bane by Trish Milburn (Coven #2)

    Goodreads Summary:

    To protect those she loves from herself, Jax will leave them all behind. She'll risk everything in a desperate search for answers.
    Jax Pherson fled the darkest of covens and from her own father's evil. For a brief moment, her courage was rewarded. She found everything she'd ever wanted. A normal life. An amazing boyfriend. An envy-worthy best friend .
    But her past put them all in danger, forcing a confrontation with the dark covens. In a life-and-death battle to save those she loved from the covens, Jax gained staggering power. Power so intense, so dangerous, she fears the darkness that now dwells inside her like a living thing.
    If she can't control the power, she may yet become as evil as the witches she conquered.
    With her friend Egan, Jax leaves all she's built and heads for the one place that might hold the answers she desperately needs to hold back the darkness-Salem, Massachusetts. Her research unearths a shocking discovery: the Bane, a secret group of witches dedicated to thwarting the covens.
    Jax desperately needs their help in her fight against the covens, but finding the Bane is easier said than done and takes all her skills and courage. As Jax gets closer, her dark powers begin to rise and control her actions. If she succumbs to the darkness, Jax may have as much to fear from the Bane as the evil covens and the determined hunter on her trail.

    Publication Date:  May 31, 2012

    This is a tough review to write because I have a feeling the next book is going to be really good. However, not much happened during this sequel to White Witch and I couldn't help feeling a little let down. I like Milburn's writing style and I really enjoy the characters of Egan and Jax, but the plot in this one was kind of a snooze. 

    What I Liked: Jax and Egan continue to be my favorite characters. They are both good witches with dark undercurrents to their personalities. Ever since the showdown with Jax's coven in the last book, she has a hard time controlling her dark powers. Milburn was able to draw a realistic picture of Jax's inner struggle to keep the darkness from taking over. Rule and his family was also a nice addition to the series and I thought the Salem backdrop was a cool touch.

    What I Didn't Like: I understand that the characters need to research to find the answers they seek, but it was a huge portion of the book. I wished it could have been summarized quicker and have more action take place. Plus, the Keller and Jax relationship continues to be my least favorite part of the series. Keller's character is underdeveloped and I think this is why I'm not more invested in their relationship.  

    Rating: Three out of five stars

    Tuesday, July 10, 2012

    Top Ten Books I Can't Believe I've Never Read

    For Top Ten Tueday over at the Broke and the Bookish, it's a freebie week. I looked back over the past topics and decided to choose books that I'm surprised I never got around to reading. Here are the top books that I usually just end up smiling and nodding when friends are discussing:

    Harry Potter series by JK Rowling-I feel like a bad reader every time I hear someone mention these books. This is one of the rare occasions where I've seen the movies, but haven't read the novels. For some reason I can't get into epic novels, but enjoy the movies/TV shows.

    One Day by David Nicholls-I remember all of the hub-bub when this acclaimed novel came out. I actually have a very good reason for not reading it. I stumbled upon a spoiler that revealed the ending and couldn't bring myself to read it after that.

    The Help by Kathryn Stockett-I actually do have plans to eventually read this book and will not watch the movie until I do so.

    Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro-This book's description sounds super cool, I'm shocked at how long I have let it languish on my TBR list.

    Marley and Me by John Grogan-The thought of even reading this book makes me tear up, so I doubt I'll be able to even start it.

    The Shack by W. Paul Young-I had really wanted to check out this novel, but mixed reviews kind of put me off.

    Then Came You by Jennifer Weiner-I usually like her books, but I'm not typically a fan of stories told from multiple POVs without any initial relevance to one another.

    House Rules by Jodi Picoult-I went through an obsessive period where I read a huge number of Jodi Picoult books. Not sure why I haven't gotten to her latest releases.

    Black Dawn by Rachel Caine-I'm resistant to Kindle ebooks over the price of $10, so I think I'm just going to wait until a price drop for the latest Morganville Vampires release.  

    Crossed by Ally Condie-I really enjoyed the first Matched book, but I kind of forget what happened. I might re-read it before picking up the sequel.

    Monday, July 9, 2012

    Mailbox Monday-July 9, 2012

    As I moved my blog this weekend, it cut into both my reading and writing time. I did get some reading done poolside though yesterday and tonight I hope to work on book two of Second Sight. However, I did get a chance to buy a couple of new books and received several titles for review this week. Stop by Mrs. Q: Book Addict to take part in the meme this week.

    Books I Purchased:
    Requiem (Providence #2 by Jamie McGuire)- I read the first novel in this series a couple of months back. After not loving Beautiful Disaster, I was pleasantly surprised by this paranormal romance series about angels and demons.
    The Selection by Kiera Cass-This is one of those books I've had mixed feelings about for awhile. A lot of drama involving the author and some harsh reviews on Goodreads. I'm curious enough to see what all the hoo-ha is about.
    Shadows by Jennifer Armentrout-After reading Obsidian, I am anxious to check out this prequel about Daemon's brother and his relationship with a human girl.

    Books for Review:
    Confessions of an Angry Girl by Louise Rozett-A YA contemporary romance about a girl with family issues who gets involved with a bad boy who may or may not be dating a cheerleader.
    Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry-Another contemporary YA romance and by the sound of the description about another angry girl. The bad boy/good girl attraction sounds intriguing. Happy reading!

    Sunday, July 8, 2012

    New Blog Giveaway!

    Giveaway has ended. Congrats to the winner Gwynn! Starting tomorrow (8/1) I will be hosting a month long giveaway to celebrate the books of summer.

    To help promote my move from Wordpress, I'm hosting a giveaway for the heck of it. Follow my blog, like my Facebook page or Tweet about my giveaway to enter. If you're already following, lucky you! You get a free entry. Winner will receive a $25 Amazon.com gift card, an ecopy of my book First Visions: Seconds Sight Book One and an ebook of your choice (up to $12). Since I'll be emailing the prizes, it's an international giveaway. Contest ends July 31.

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Saturday, July 7, 2012

    My Blog Move

    Hi all! This will be my new site now! I'm moving all my old content from authorheather.wordpress.com and plan to close that blog some time next week. I added more HTML already and I love the following tools on Blogger!

    Friday, July 6, 2012

    How to Promote a Book on Twitter (Without Being an Annoying Spammer)

    Earlier in the week Storm Goddess Book Reviews let me stop by their blog as part of my promo stop for Bewitching Book Tours. Besides a review and giveaway, I also providing a guest post about using Twitter to promote your book. Check out the entire promo stop and leave a comment for a chance to enter my giveaway for a $20 Amazon gift card and an autographed copy of my novel. Details of the contest are here and the entry form can be found on my Facebook page.

    I’m sure you’ve come across a few irksome authors on Twitter: They start following you. You’re pleased to see you have a fellow writer following you and decide to follow back. Within seconds, your email inbox chimes letting you know Mr. Author has sent you a direct message on Twitter. Mr. Author invites you to download a free excerpt, use this coupon for a discount off his novel or purchase his novel on Amazon and write a review. Say what? I don’t even kiss on the first date, buddy and now I’m expected to spend my hard-earned cash on some random writer who follows me on Twitter?

    Not the best social media strategy in my opinion. Five gazillion Tweets a day about how your book is complete awesomeness isn’t going to win you many fans as well. However, Twitter doesn’t have to be a complete waste of an author’s time. Here are a couple quick tips:

    1) Make what you say count. You only have 140 characters, so make the most of them. Don’t overstuff each Tweet with too many hashtags, instead only stick with a maximum two. And definitely don’t continue send out a string of Tweets to complete a single thought.

    2) Use Twitter to promote book giveaways. If you’re having a giveaway, you may require participants to follow you on Twitter or Tweet about the giveaway to enter. This is a great way to build more followers and bring more attention to your book.

    3) Develop good Twitter relationships with other authors. Retweet their posts and follow each one back. Reply back if a user comments on one of your Tweets.

    4) Schedule your Tweets. This can build your audience since international users may not be seeing your Tweets. I use Twuffer, but there are a ton of apps available.

    You really need to keep up with all social media platforms. Create connections on Facebook, LinkedIn, Goodreads and Pinterest to reach as many readers as possible. Don’t only post about your book. Share the love by commenting on other authors’ posts or even taking the time to share reviews on their novels.

    Feature & Follow Friday Meme

    The Parajunkee and Alison Can Read blogs host a weekly meme to help book bloggers get more followers for their site. If you're interested in participating, the rules are posted below and you can link up your blog on their sites. They also ask a weekly book themed question that I answered below.


    To join the fun and make new book blogger friends, just follow these simple rules:

    (Required) Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Hosts {Parajunkee & Alison Can Read}

    (Required) Follow our Featured Bloggers

    Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing. You can also grab the code if you would like to insert it into your posts.

    Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say “hi” in your comments and that they are now following you.

    If you are using WordPress or another CMS that doesn’t have GFC (Google Friends Connect) state in your posts how you would like to be followed

    Follow Follow Follow as many as you can, as many as you want, or just follow a few. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs. Also, don’t just follow, comment and say hi. Another blogger might not know you are a new follower if you don’t say “HI”

    If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love…and the followers

    If you’re new to the follow friday hop, comment and let me know, so I can stop by and check out your blog!

    Q: Jumping Genres: Ever pick up a book from a genre you usually don’t like and LOVE it? Tell us about it and why you picked it up in the first place.

    I had heard fabulous things about several YA sci-fi books, but I'm normally a run of the mill paranormal romance or YA dystopian novel kind of girl. I had read the Host a few years back and thought it was complete awesomeness. But nothing else in that genre appealed to me. Well, after reading the reviews for Obsidian by Jennifer Armentrout, I decided to give it a shot. Such an AMAZING book! I admit I'm sort of obsessed now and I'm counting down the days until the sequel comes out.

    Thursday, July 5, 2012

    Review-One Breath Away by Heather Gudenkauf

    Goodreads summary:

    In her most emotionally charged novel to date, "New York Times" bestselling author Heather Gudenkauf explores the unspoken events that shape a community, the ties between parents and their children and how the fragile normalcy of our everyday life is so easily shattered. In the midst of a sudden spring snowstorm, an unknown man armed with a gun walks into an elementary school classroom. Outside the school, the town of Broken Branch watches and waits.

    Officer Meg Barrett holds the responsibility for the town's children in her hands. Will Thwaite, reluctantly entrusted with the care of his two grandchildren by the daughter who left home years earlier, stands by helplessly and wonders if he has failed his child again. Trapped in her classroom, Evelyn Oliver watches for an opportunity to rescue the children in her care. And thirteen-year-old Augie Baker, already struggling with the aftermath of a terrible accident that has has brought her to Broken Branch, will risk her own safety to protect her little brother.

    As tension mounts with each passing minute, the hidden fears and grudges of the small town are revealed as the people of Broken Branch race to uncover the identity of the stranger who holds their children hostage.

    Publication Date: June 26, 2012

    This book was a very intense read for me. I'm the type of person that can stay up late reading about ghosts, vampires, etc. without any problem. However, put a man with a gun in a school and I'm a complete mess. One Breath Away will definitely keep you reading and I liked many aspects of the story.

    What I Liked: The suspense was there from the get go as you know an unknown man has entered a small town school with a gun. No one knows what he wants and I think the chaos that police feel during these situations make books like this captivating reads. I think Gudenkauf also did a great job at character development. In between each character's thoughts about the hostage situation at the school, you get to see tidbits of their past. It made me understand their motivations and lent believability to many of their actions. I also liked that although the threat seemed real, the author didn't use sensationalism as a way to draw readers into the novel.

    What I Didn't Like: Readers may thrown off by the multiple points of view that the book is told from. It took me awhile to get into the book since I kept feeling thrown off kilter by so many characters. The mystery aspect of the novel fell short for me. I thought it was pretty obvious from early on who the shooter was. I feel this was from being thrown too many obvious false leads over the course of the novel.

    Rating: Three out of five stars

    Wednesday, July 4, 2012

    Bringing the Funny-How to Add Humor to Novels

    This week I stopped by Fangtastic Books to discuss adding humor when you're writing. Check out the entire promo stop and leave a comment for a chance to enter my giveaway for a $20 Amazon gift card and an autographed copy of my novel. Details of the contest are here and the entry form can be found on my Facebook page.

    If you read my blurb for First Visions, you probably wouldn’t think there’s much room for humor in the novel. The basic plot is a psychic is enlisted to help on a case to find an abducted child. Not exactly knee slapping material. However, I think adding some levity to a novel can really diffuse the tension and prevent a book from becoming overly melodramatic.

    Here are a few tips:

    1) Create a character that says basically everything you wish you could. The character of Kate in First Visions is an uncensored version of me. My sense of humor leans towards the snarky and sarcastic side, but since I actually want to keep my friends, I never say half the things I’m thinking.

    2) Find inspiration in the people around you. Although I try not to base too many of my characters off of people I know (you know how many friends swear they are the bitchy girlfriend in First Visions?), I do add their quirks for some laughs in my stories.

    3) Decide on the type of humor you want to add into your novel. Some people may find toilet humor the highest level of hilarity while others find comedy in parody and satire. Kate is sarcastic which may not endear her to all readers, but I found it worked best for the story and the character. Kate’s best friend has a boyfriend Gage who is more a fan of low brow humor since it worked with his characterization.

    4) Make the situations you place the characters in funny. I think my strength lies in funny dialogue, but situational humor can also be great for a story. One instance in my book occurs when the detective tries to have a moment with Kate and takes her to feed the ducks. The geese end up charging her for the bag of bread and she has to run for cover. Other examples of situational humor in stories I’ve scene is mistaken identity (art professor thinks the handsome cop is at her studio for the nude model audition) or physical comedy (the princess makes her grand entrance into the ball by falling flat on her face).

    Tuesday, July 3, 2012

    Review-Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard

    Thanks to HarperTeen and Edelweiss for an advanced copy for review!

    Goodreads Summary:

    The year is 1876, and there’s something strange and deadly loose in Philadelphia…

    Eleanor Fitt has a lot to worry about. Her brother has gone missing, her family has fallen on hard times, and her mother is determined to marry her off to any rich young man who walks by. But this is nothing compared to what she’s just read in the newspaper—

    The Dead are rising in Philadelphia.

    And then, in a frightening attack, a zombie delivers a letter to Eleanor…from her brother.

    Whoever is controlling the Dead army has taken her brother as well. If Eleanor is going to find him, she’ll have to venture into the lab of the notorious Spirit-Hunters, who protect the city from supernatural forces. But as Eleanor spends more time with the Spirit-Hunters, including their maddeningly stubborn yet handsome inventor, Daniel, the situation becomes dire. And now, not only is her reputation on the line, but her very life may hang in the balance.

    Publication Date: July 24, 2012

    This is actually the first zombie themed novel I read. For some reason, I've been avoiding them like the plague. I saw the movie 28 Days Later a few years ago and had nightmares for weeks so this may have something to do with it. But then I saw this cover and figured I'd give it a shot (so pretty, right? I want that outfit for myself!). I have to say I really enjoyed this book! I think Dennard really has a talent as a storyteller and I literally couldn't put the book down.

    The world building was done superbly in Something Strange and Deadly. I immediately felt like I was transported to 19th century Philadelphia. I liked how the expectations of women during that period were touched upon throughout the course of the novel.  The suspense begins from the get go as a zombie attack occurs while Eleanor is waiting for her brother to return home. Although the novel begins with the zombies, they aren't the central focus at all times. There are also elements of mystery as Eleanor tries to locate her brother and romance when sparks fly between her and the inventor for the Spirit Hunters. My favorite scenes were between Daniel and Eleanor since they had such great chemistry together.

    My one criticism would be I wish there were more character development for Eleanor and Daniel. I really felt the book just skimmed the surface and I'd like to understand their motivations better. (Slight spoiler alert) The book ends on a very depressing note which would have made me not like this novel at all. However, once I realized it was a series, I was able to calm down and understand it was just a gateway for the next book. I'm so excited to see what happens next!

    Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

    Monday, July 2, 2012

    Top Ten Books For People Who Like Meg Cabot

    For today's Broke and the Bookish's Top Ten Tuesday topic, you are asked what top books would you recommend for someone who is a fan of a particular author. I was going to choose Stephenie Meyer, but felt like that would be someone a lot of authors choose. Plus, I think Meg Cabot ventures into a lot of different genres, many of which I am a fan of.

    The A-List by Zoey Dean-This young adult series centers around a group of privileged students living in LA. The Airhead series by Meg, also provides a glimpse into how the rich and famous live.

    One for the Money by Janet Evanovich-If you like the Heather Wells series by Cabot, than you're likely to get a kick out of the Stephanie Plum series as well. Both books feature their own quirky cast of characters and the book mysteries are humorous and full of fun.

    Can You Keep a Secret? by Sophie Kinsella-This book always reminds me of the Queen of Babble series. The main characters both have a tendency towards over-sharing which leads to plenty awkward and hysterical situations.

    I Do But I Don't by Cara Lockwood-If you like the book Every Boy's Got One, you'll enjoy this story. Like Cabot's novel, protagonist finds love while trying to salvage a disastrous wedding.

    Forget About It by Caprice Crane-Crane's writing style reminds me of Cabot. This cute story is about a girl who pretends to have amnesia to get out of her sucky life and start over.

    Gossip Girl by Cecily Von Ziegesar-This series isn't afraid to be silly and I enjoy that about Meg's books as well. Sometimes you just need to turn your brain off and just go with the storyline.

    Frenemies by Megan Crane-I love Meg Cabot's books because they always feel like fun and breezy reads. Megan Crane's books are also like that for me. This one is about a girl whose good friend starts dating her boyfriend.

    Keeping the Moon by Sarah Dessen-Like Cabot, Dessen has a wonderful knack for telling coming of age stories.

    The Vampire Diaries by LJ Smith-If you like Meg's Insatiable series, then check out this series, even if you're a fan of the TV show. The books are completely different, but still absolutely wonderful.

    Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty-Another amazing young adult author. I think fans of The Princess Diaries would enjoy the hysterically funny Jessica Darling series.

    Making Time to Write With Kids

    I’m sure the following scene will sound familiar to other mothers who are writers:

    His hand reached for her and she felt his touch awaken something deep within her soul…

    “MOM! Luke is being mean to me!”

    “Hold on, boys, give me one second!”

    Her eyes drank in every inch of him and she knew this night would change her life irrevocably…

    “MOM! Luke is chasing me with a fork!”

    “Ok, ok, I’m coming.”

    Let me start off by saying I LOVE my boys. Being a mom is the most rewarding and awesome thing I’ve ever done in my life. But it can also suck out all of your energy. After a long day of taking care of two little ones under the age of five, I’m not exactly feeling the creative juices flowing (it’s more like I’m cleaning up the spilled juices). However, I think it’s very important to keep up with your writing and carve out time for it each day. Here are a few tips I can offer up:

    1) Invest in some Benadryl. No, I’m totally kidding. But if you’re lucky enough to have children that nap, take advantage of it. Even if the house looks like a bomb exploded, you can always straighten up later after you’re done writing.

    2) Work around their schedules. Kids are busier than most CEOs these days and it’s always good to have a notebook or your laptop on hand to do some writing during after-school practice sessions. Writing after they go to sleep is something that also works very well for me.

    3) Enlist help. Since I also write freelance articles, I treat any writing I do as a job. When the hubby gets home from work, it’s often daddy time. I slink off to my office while the boys get some bonding time in. Whoever you can get to help while you write, take advantage of it.

    4) Create small and achievable writing goals. Writing 5,000 words per day is not likely to happen when you have little ones at home. Instead, write in small spurts whenever you have the chance. It may be a pain to walk away, but novel creation doesn’t have to stop when you walk away from the computer. I always work out scenes in my head or find inspiration when I’m taking walks with the boys.

    Keep writing mommies!