Monday, January 31, 2011

Book Cover Contest

CSN has wonderful things, from bathroom shelving, toys, shoes, and office supplies. They've been kind enough to offer a $35 dollar gift certificate to my readers.

-CSN for US and Canada only
-You DO NOT need to create a cover to be entered into CSN contest- just comment on this post to be enteredr
-Followers only please
-Ends 2/28/11 11:59PM EST
-You can get five extra entries by creating a cover for me! My new WIP is called When I Wake, my last name is Brandi Kosiner. The female main character has red hair, and will be in a coma. The male main character is a hockey player, black curly hair and blue eyes.

The winner:whenwake Cover Contest Entry Book Blogger Design

cover by Parajunkee, and I love it!!

Brandi recommends: For the Twilight lovers

Carissa started with some recommendations when she guest posted, and I thought I would make it more specific.

If you liked Twilight, you may also enjoy:

So- I know by now, that most people have a firm side of the line you stand on- you loved Twilight or you hated it. But I know that it got me back into reading, and since I have read hundreds of YA books. So never fear, there is a life after twilight, and I have some suggestions of what to read after Twilight.

Clicking on the title will take you to goodreads page, and a link to my review is below

Vampire AcademyVampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1) My Review HERE
Rose is the opposite of Bella, but I love her SO much.
She is strong and fierce.
And Dimitri is all you could want in a love interest
The Light of Asteria: Kailmeyr...The Light of Asteria: Kailmeyra's Last Hope (Kailmeyra, #1) My Review HERE
This is clean, such a beautiful love story.
The author has such power with her words,
and her storytelling will take you on an awesome
I recommend this because of the paranormal aspect and a hot love interest
My Review HERE
Amber Frost (The Lost Magic, Book One)
This is an indie author but deserves much more exposure. 
My review here
Born at Midnight (Shadow Falls, #1)
Born at Midnight (Shadow Falls, #1) My review here  This has an awesome  paranormal aspect
Unearthly (Unearthly, #1)
This has fallen angels instead of vampires, but there is an awesome main character and in interesting twist on the love triangle
Nightshade (Nightshade, #1)
Nightshade (Nightshade, #1) my review here An awesome take on werewolves, and a triangle I can't decide on!
Minder (Ganzfield, #1)
Minder (Ganzfield, #1) my review here What would happen if you could read the mind of the person you love? Minder is the book that can tell you!
The Iron King (Iron Fey, #1)
The Iron King (Iron Fey, #1) my review here This is about faeries. I'd never enjoyed fae before this book, but Meghan is a great main character, and Ash is dark, mysterious and HOT!
Here is another list I made, some of the same are listed on there, and some different ones as well.
So-- I will now turn it over to my readers- what did you enjoy after Twilight? What books made you feel the same things? Do you agree with my suggestions? 

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Review: Red Moon Rising by Peter Moore

Red Moon Rising (Hardcover) by Peter Moore
Red Moon Rising by Peter Moore

Being only half-vamp in a high school like Carpathia Night makes you awhole loser. But Danny Gray manages to escape the worst of the specists at his school. Thanks to genetic treatments he had as an infant, most people assume Danny's other half is human. Which is a good thing.    

Ever since the development of synthetic blood – SynHeme – vamps have become society’s elite, while wulves like his father work menial jobs and live in bad neighborhoods.  Wulves are less than second class citizens; once a month they become inmates, forced to undergo their Change in dangerous government compounds.

For Danny, living with his vamp mother and going to a school with a nearly all-vamp student body, it’s best to pretend his wulf half doesn’t even exist.  But lately Danny's been having some weird symptoms -- fantastic night vision; a keener-than-usual sense of smell; and headaches, right around the full moon. 
Even though it's easy to be in denial, it's hard to ignore evidence.  There's only a month until the next few moon, and Danny's time is running out.
Peter Moore speaks to adolescents in a voice that will have them laughing, set in a world that will get them thinking
Releases in US: Feb 8th 2011
1st in series
Received from publisher in exchange for honest review

*My Review*

        I enjoyed Red Moon Rising. It was refreshing to read a book from male POV, as this doesn't happen a lot in YA.
       I liked Danny and his friendship with Claire. It was nice to see a LGBT who was comfortable with herself and prominent in the book. I also liked that there were people fighting and unhappy with the species divide, and there were "halfings" and interspecies relationships.
       I liked how the relationship was sweet and not "instant love." It took backseat to the paranormal which was also refreshing. The involvement of the parents was also a positive in this book.

Saturday, January 29, 2011


IMMB is designed to promote blogger interaction and put new books on the radar. It is started by The Story Siren.

Do you review books? If so in Feb, you can get prizes for doing so, details below. I am co-hosting, I would love it if you sign up!

Here is what I got:

Red Moon Rising
From Hyperion

Love, Love, Love: Cupidity; Language of Love (Romantic Comedies)
From author for review

The Darlings Are ForeverThe Darlings Are Forever
by Melissa Kantor
From Hyperion
MercyMercy (Mercy, #1)
by Rebecca Lim
From Hyperion
DemonglassDemonglass (Hex Hall, #2)
by Rachel Hawkins
From Hyperion
Queen of the DeadQueen of the Dead (The Ghost and the Goth, #2)
by Stacey Kade
From Hyperion
The Near WitchThe Near Witch
by Victoria Schwab
From Hyperion

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Review: Return the Heart by T.K. Richardson

Return the Heart (Paperback) by T.K. Richardson
Return the Heart by T.K. Richardson

What if your gift was a curse?
To a casual passerby, Lilly Paige is anything but special. As a seventeen year old, she is faced with all the complications of a teenager, but deep down there is much more.
Lilly has a gift, though sometimes it seems to be a curse.
Lilly can peer into the hearts of others - their deepest, darkest secrets are there for Lilly to see - but to what end? Raised by aloof parents, Lilly has been independent her whole life, but soon she will need to rely on her friends to evade an evil that has sold her gift to the highest bidder on the black market.
Lilly and her four closest friends are immersed in a dangerous game of cat and mouse, that will not only reveal more about Lilly's gift, but also her link to an old Russian prophecy.
Can Lilly and her friends escape the danger that is so close they can practically feel it?
Where will their perilous journey lead them - to darkness or light?
Return the Heart, by T. K. Richardson, will take readers on a wonderful adventure filled with excitement, twists, turns, and revelations that will keep you reading from start to finish. Join Lilly on her quest to learn more about this dangerous gift.
Published in US: July 2010
1st in series: Shield the Heart (in revision)
Received from publisher for honest review


*My Review*

     Return the Heart is a wonderfully written first book, leaving me wanting so much more. 

     The character development made me keep turning the pages, Lilly was an awesome character, strong and brave, loyal, and just she had a vulnerability to her. I loved Claire-- her best friend, I would love it if she were mine. Seth is such a leader and soo desirable, I have yet another book boy that I would love to have a piece of. 

     The premise and the way that their gifts worked together was awesome, and unique. I don't know much about Russian mythology, but it is a really neat premise. The story weaved together beautifully, there were subplots that all worked together to make a rich and compelling story. 

     Return the Heart had action, romance, suspense, mystery, and spectacular characters. I wanted more, and didn't want for it to end.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Guess what I did today?

I printed out my novel for the first time. It's in a binder and my mom is currently reading it!! Such a surreal feeling!!!

Review: Haven by Kristi Cook

Haven by Kristi Cook
One month into her junior year, sixteen-year-old Violet McKenna transfers to the Winterhaven School in New York’s Hudson Valley, inexplicably drawn to the boarding school with high hopes. Leaving Atlanta behind, she’s looking forward to a fresh start--a new school, and new classmates who will not know her deepest, darkest secret, the one she’s tried to hide all her life: strange, foreboding visions of the future. 
But Winterhaven has secrets of its own, secrets that run far deeper than Violet’s. Everyone there--every student, every teacher--has psychic abilities, 'gifts and talents,' they like to call them. Once the initial shock of discovery wears off, Violet realizes that the school is a safe haven for people like her. Soon, Violet has a new circle of friends, a new life, and maybe even a boyfriend--Aidan Gray, perhaps the smartest, hottest guy at Winterhaven. 
Only there’s more to Aidan than meets the eye--much, much more. And once she learns the horrible truth, there’s no turning back from her destiny. Their destiny. Together, Violet and Aidan must face a common enemy--if only they can do so without destroying each other first.
Publishes in US: Feb 22 2011
1st in series
Source: Simon Galley Grab

*My Review*

   Haven is a well written novel that sucked me into Ms Cook's world. There is an awesome blend of paranormal featured and I liked how they all worked together to make a new story. 

     I think that Violet very much reminded me of me when I was a teen- very hot and cold, smart one minute making dumb decisions the next. And jealousy was very much a factor in some of those stupid decisions. 

     Aidan had me going with the "Aidan effect" too. Mysterious, devoted and hot. Who can resist? I don't approve of all of the secrets but I understand why in the end. 

     I've read other reviews, and yes there are  similarities to other stories, but that didn't take any of the enjoyment factor out, and then Ms Cook would throw in her own twist.I know that more is in the next book, so I am thirsting for the next one to be released already. 

     I really like the friendships featured in Haven. Violet's roomie is my favorite, she is intuitive and loyal- someone that I would love to have as a bff. Her other friends kinda blended together to me even though they were written well and had their own personalities. I do like how they band together. 

    I like one line- cold is the new hot! A few scenes had me fanning myself and wishing for more steam, not the cold shower lol. 

   This is a great debut and I can't wait to read more from Ms. Cook.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Talk to me Tuesday

Hosted by Melissa at I Swim for Oceans

This week's question: Do you have any specific literary pet-peeves in the genres you read and why?

YA has so much to offer, and what one author does well, another doesn't. Or after a while it starts to feel overdone. 

For example, Melissa's pet peeve- love triangles. I totally agree with her and think they have been done so many times that if I see it, I sigh. There are ones that I liked such as Nightshade, Matched and Unearthly, which to me felt like they had a new spin,  or they are ones where I truly had a hard time chosing. 

Another thing that comes to mind is the lack of parental presence. I realize that in real life, there are parents that work all the time, or are seemingly uninterested in their kids lives. I don't need a lot of parents in YA, but I do love it when they are involved. 

What about you?? Agree or disagree? What pops into your mind?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Review: Secrets and Shadows by Shannon Delany

Secrets and Shadows (13 to Life, #2)
Secrets and Shadows by Shannon Delany

Nothing's simple when you run with werewolves. Jess Gillmansen thinks she's seen it all but her eyes are about to be opened to even more danger and a reality far more paranormal than she's suspected. With Jess' realization that the Rusakovas' mother is still alive and imprisoned, the group's choices become harder and trust more important. Lines are drawn and relationships change as the broken Rusakova family struggles to reunite to free their mother - and those who Jess thought to be normal people show themselves to be much, much more...
Publishes in US: Feb 15th 2011
2nd in 13 to Life series
Source: Around the World Tours

*My Review*

      Secrets and Shadows takes us deeper into Jessie and Pietr's worlds. Jessie is a believable main character, and I can relate with her reactions, emotions and decisions. 
      Pietr is still desirable but ever so frustrating. I can understand where he is coming from when more of his reasoning and story comes out, but still!!!! 
      Max and Cat play more in this story and I like them as much as Jessie. 
      S&S has same issue of taking a bit to pick up as I remember with 13, but I know that before halfway in I was eager to turn the page, wanting to find out what happens next. There is somewhat of a conclusion, but I am already itching to get my hands on the next book.

I would love to hear what you think of my review and/or this book or series. 

Saturday, January 22, 2011


IMMB is designed to promote blogger interaction and put new books on the radar. It is started by The Story Siren.

Do you review books? If so in Feb, you can get prizes for doing so, details below. I am co-hosting, I would love it if you sign up!

Here is what I got:
Won $15 certificate from Barnes and Noble from A Girl and Her Book
Secrets and Shadows (13 to Life, #2)
Secrets and Shadows by Shannon Delaney
Purpose (Soul Savers #2)
Purpose by Kristie Cook won from Lavender Lines

Return the Heart
Return the Heart by TK Richardson received from publisher for honest review

Friday, January 21, 2011

Giveaway: The Princess of Las Pulgas and Interview with C. Lee McKenzie

The Princess of Las Pulgas
As part of Teen Book Scene, I have C. Lee McKenzie here, author of The Princess of Las Pulgas and Sliding on the Edge. She has graciously agreed to answer some questions for us today, and we have a giveaway!

--The Twitter version: tell us about your book in 140 characters or less.
C. Lee McKenzie hikingCarlie Edmund has everything, then suddenly almost nothing. 

--How did you get the idea for the story?  

The truth is that I’d just sold my first book, Sliding on the Edge, and I’d planned to take that to the New York SCBWI conference for a special pre-conference critique. Well, there was no sense in having something critiqued when it had already been sold, and I didn’t want to waste my $50, so I sat down and wrote this: What would happen if an upscale family suddenly lost everything? How would they rebuild their lives? Then I wrote the opening scene so I’d have something for the pre-conference session. This was before the economic downturn, so what I didn’t anticipate was that Princess would be so topical. Sorry about that. I hope I didn’t contribute to the economic woes here in the U.S. Me and Madoff! Yikes. 

--Which character would you most/least like to have dinner with? 

It’s always the minor characters that I don’t have a chance to really flesh out that fascinate me after I finish writing a book. In Princess, I’d really like to have dinner with Dolores. She has some things I’d like to hear about. What’s her family like in that little house with the plastic toys on the lawn? What gives her the calm strength that even K.T. respects? What does she want to study after high school? Will she have a chance at college? These are the questions I’d like her to answer over a really juicy hamburger.  

--What are some of your favorite books?  

Every time I have to choose a favorite book or even several I go in circles. Novels: Anything by H.S. Hinton. Norris. Austen. Or how about my favorite essayist, E.B White? I love Steinbeck, Styron, Guterson--especially his Snow Falling on the Cedars. You can see I have an eclectic set to choose from. In the end I have to say I have so many favorites and I look forward to finding more each time I pick up a book.  

--Do you still have much time to read?  

Not as much as I'd like. It seems as if writing has taken over a lot of my reading time. Still I do read, but instead of taking the time during the day, I'm apt to end my day with a good book just before I go to sleep. 

--Do you have any other works in progress? Any teasers or release dates?  

I've just wrapped up another YA which is still not really titled. This one will have a male protagonist. Somehow it just turned out that a boy worked as the main character in this this story. I haven't submitted this one one yet, so there's nothing to say, except I hope someone likes it enough to give it a shot at being published. As to teaser here's a short synopsis: Hutch Mc Queen, isn’t stupid; he isn’t a bad boy either. Shackled by poor vision and poor reading skills, he squeaks through classes with his talent for eavesdropping and memorizing what he hears. For almost sixteen years he’s been trapped between an abusive mother and an absentee father. As he struggles to find a way out, he lands in one mess after another. Then Maggie happens. A retired school teacher, whose “tough love” never allows one of her pupils to fail, she’s determined to give Hutch the way out that will work. But she may not have time.  Alzheimer’s disease is steadily stealing her keen mind. 

--If a fairy godmother told you your life could be like a favorite book for 24 hours, which book would you pick and why?  

That's easy. I'd pick Alice in WonderlandWhat a glorious adventure that would be. I'd love to talk to the caterpillar and the Cheshire Cat, play croquet with the Queen of Heartsor take tea with the Mad Hatter I've always wanted to be Alice for a day. Twenty-four hours would be heaven.

--Do you need anything to write (music, coffee, etc)? Are there any songs on your playlist- songs that inspired you or that were playing while you wrote?  

I can't have any music on when I write. And while I love music and enjoy it often, it doesn't inspire my writing. Now, coffee, yes. That's always a good way to kick start a writing morning. 
--If you could have any superpower what would you choose?  

Flight. I'd love to soar over the mountains and skim the ocean's surface. Aerial views are so spectacular and exciting. They jiggle your brain and make you see things differently. If I could I'd be a Maximum Ride kind of kid.  

--Besides writing, what do you like to do in your free time? 

I practice yoga. I hike. I love to dig in the dirt and see things I plant grow. Those are three things I do when I'm not writing. 

--Is there anything else you want to add or say to your readers? 

I suppose I'd like to say thank you. I appreciate when people take their time to sit with my books and read them. Those that take even more of their precious time and write reviews deserve hugs. As a writer I spend a lot of time alone, so feedback on what I've produce is greatly appreciated.     

Part of tour with Teen Book Scene

And now for the contest:

-What? The Princess of Las Pulgas
-Where? US only please
-Who? Followers only
-When? Ends 1/31/11 11:59pm EST
Fill out the FORM

Extra entries may be gained by spreading the word (+4 blog, +2 each twitter, facebook, etc) and +2 each for meaningful 
(at least 2 sentences, not just saying Great review.) on my review of Princess, or the on interview

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Wanna grab my butt? er... button?

LOL. One of my friends emailed me saying they grabbed my butt. er button. And I couldn't resist using it as a post title.
In all seriousness- I have a new button on right sidebar- you should totally grab it. It came with my new blog design from Ashley- and I would love to see it on your blog :)

I also added code for your convenience and a plug for Ashley if you like what you see!



Review: The Summer I got a Life by Mark Fink

The Summer I Got a Life
The Summer I Got A Life by Mark Fink

Andy Crenshaw’s summer just went into the toilet. His father got a new job and cancelled their dream vacation to Hawaii. Andy and his older brother, Brad, are shipped off to a farm in Wisconsin to stay with an Aunt and Uncle they hardly know. Brad has little use for Andy, except to torment him. 
What begins as a minor disaster turns into a life-changing experience. Andy discovers a whole new world and has his first blush with love in the person of Laura, a piano prodigy and town celebrity. Laura is a remarkable girl, who, despite having to deal with a major life trauma, is funny, resilient, full of life, and to Andy’s delight, just a little crazy. 
Andy’s adventure includes chasing a pig through a mall, surviving a near-death driving lesson, and coming face to face with his first dead guy. He also has a side excursion with his brother that will redefine their relationship forever. 
Published in US: Nov 2009
Stand alone novel
Source: Interlibrary loan

*My Review*

 The Summer I Got a Life is a quick and easy read. It is from the male point of view, which is something I don't see often in YA, so that gets points from me.

 Andy has a voice that kept me interested, and there are some great mishaps that make me laugh. His aunt and uncle are a hoot. I like how him and his brother finally bond and find middle ground.

 Laura is an awesome character, strong, talented, and she doesn't let being in a wheelchair define her. The romance between her and Andy is sweet and builds at a realistic pace for a summer romance.

I would love to hear what you think of this book and/or my review.