Monday, March 25, 2013

Diane J. Reed Author Interview + Spring Fling Giveaway! (OPEN INT)

DIANE J. REED 

About the Author 
I write novels that are infused with enchantment, where characters dare to break through boundaries and believe in true love. I have a soft spot for artisans & outlaws of the heart, those of us who burn brightly to live each day as a gift--because it is! I'd love to hear from you, so feel free to visit my website or message me on facebook or twitter to share the whispers of your spirit.

Find the author:

Find Robin in the Hood here:

Rachel: Hey there, Diane! :)
So, I only have one question about the book and that is...
  • What was one of the most surprising things you learned while writing Robin in the Hood
You know, as you write and see your characters interact in different situations, you get to know them more deeply. For me, the biggest surprise of Robin in the Hood is how sensitive bad-boy Creek really turned out to be—and that he prayed for help to take care of the people he loves at Turtle Shores. At one time in my life I was a teacher for adolescent youth in a correctional facility, and many of those kids had been committing crimes to help provide for their families. It broke my heart! So I wanted to write a novel that did justice to their experiences and didn't portray all juvenile delinquents as unilaterally bad.

Rachel: So now, why don't we get to know more about you, shall we? :)

  • What do you think about the most? The past, the present or the future? Why?

None of the above! I'm a chronic daydreamer ever since I was a child (I used to get in trouble for that in school), so what I think about most is the interactions between my imaginary friends (the term I give my fictional characters : ). When I'm jogging out in the woods near my home, I'm always thinking about the imaginary worlds my characters live in—which is kind of a suspended-in-time, eternal present—and what they're doing there. I swear, I come up with the best scenes for my books while I'm jogging!

  • What's your worst/best memory of high school and why?

Oh, I cut class a LOT in high school and was always going on great adventures with my friends. We'd go ride horses or take a bus to a great city (just like the movie Ferris Bueller's Day Off). Things were much more relaxed back then—I don't think you could get away with it as easily now. We were also really good at faking excuses for the principal's office. Our tactics would never fly today.

  • What do you think is your best asset?
My best asset is by FAR my imagination and creativity. I firmly believe that's what makes life magical—a creative point of view. When you allow your mind to roam freely and treat everything as potent & magical, you can't help but view life as enchanting.

  • What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview? And the answer to that is?
I think it would be fun to hear from authors what is the most outrageous thing they've ever done. For me, that probably involves the time I rode a mustang horse from Mexico to Canada and back. I was just out of college and it took me a year. Believe it or not, it was for a job, so I was paid to do it. Yep, I'm a true cowgirl.

...And now for the Spring Fling Giveaway!!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

FOREVER ME by Thomas Amo: Review, Interview + Giveaway!



Author: Thomas Amo
Title: Forever Me
Published: October 11th 2012 by GothicTwist Publishing
Format: Kindle Edition
Source: Received an e-copy in exchange for an honest review
Forever Me is considered YA and NA. Suggested reading age is 14+


Hannah Richards isn't your typical 16 year-old at Wichita Falls High. Fashions, trends, cosmetics and style are unimportant to her. An avid reader, guitar player, classic movie and television buff, Hannah marches to the beat of her own drum. Visible only to her Father the town Sheriff, and her two best friends. Hannah lives a simple, un-pampered life as an "Eastie."


After coming to the aide of Taylor Monroe, a popular member of the ultra snobby "Stilettos" at school, Hannah's life beings spiraling out of control. As she starts spending more time with Taylor, her best friends abandon her, after a series of misunderstandings, causing Hannah to re-invent herself.


Hannah quickly gets caught up in a life much different than the one she knows, where status, glamour, makeup, appearance and acceptance become her masters. And what of the dark secret that haunts the streets of Wichita Falls?


Can Hannah survive the lies, deceit, jealousy and rage that are now waiting for her behind every corner? Will she succumb to the pressures of popularity? Or will she be crushed under the heels of the "Stilettos"?
~High school is hard enough just being yourself, let alone being someone you're not~

My Thoughts
As what you can see from the blurb, there's this popular group of girls in Wichita Falls High called the "Stilettos" and they consist of Shelby Farrell, Courtney James, Vanessa Chezwick, Madison Winthrop and Taylor Monroe. They are your typical 'mean but popular' kind of girls in school...
...seriously, I imagined Mean Girls the movie while reading about the Stilettos. Haha! 

Saturday, March 23, 2013

ROBIN IN THE HOOD by Diane J. Reed: Book Review


Author: Diane J. Reed
Title: Robin in the Hood
Published:  by Bandits Ranch October 4th 2012
Format: Paperback
Source: Received a copy in exchange for honest review
"Is it any wonder I became a bank robber?” said Robin. 

But she never dreamed she’d fall in love…

15-year-old Robin McArthur thinks she has it all figured out when it comes to bilking her wealthy dad for guilt money as a substitute for his genuine affection. Until one day he suffers a stroke, and she learns the brutal truth.

They’re broke.

And everyone from bankers to bookies has come to collect. 
His only saving grace is what he reveals to Robin in between drools: He truly does love her, in spite of all his mistakes.

Panicked and desperate, Robin figures she has two choices. Either surrender to the pestering caseworker and live in a skanky foster home, or take a chance and sneak her dad out of the hospital to make a run for it. Little does she know that stealing a car and hitting the road means that before the day is through, she will rob her first bank. 
Now an outlaw, Robin finds a backwoods trailer park to hide her dad from authorities. There, she encounters Creek, a local bad boy who also commits crimes to provide for their motley neighbors. Realizing she could use Creek’s help, Robin proposes an ingenious plan—they should team up to rob banks together. But when their partnership leads to a romance that turns Robin’s world upside down, she soon begins to discover that people are more precious than pocketbooks, and real love means opening your heart to the kinds of treasures money can’t buy…


My Thoughts


I know Diane J. Reed got me in the first two pages.

Robin is just hilarious and witty! She knows how to put things in a different kind of light. She described her boarding school as: "It's simply the priciest. Quick translation: it's the swankiest prison for teenage girls that money can buy." 

I loved Robin in the Hood! The characters, the setting, the craziness, the magic. Everything! Oh, and how can we forget the feather... and Bender Lake. :)

Everything about it seems so dreamy, and it makes me want to live in their world, experience what it's like to become a bank robber (crazy right?! Haha) and save the people that I love. Maybe I'll feel guilty, but the reason for doing it is really worth it. The people in Turtle Shores are really worth fighting for.

Robin is the kind of girl who always gets what she wants. Designer clothes, luxurious bags, a cellphone studded with actual diamonds on it. Name it, she can have it. Except for one thing - a family who loves her and friends who care about her. It's definitely hard living a life like Robin. Just thinking about it makes me.. sad. I can't imagine having a filthy rich dad and dealing with my stepmother who goes around screwing guys half her age, I mean, I'd rather be poor and have a whole family than to have a life like that.

That's why I admire Robin so much. Okay, she may be a little pain in the ass sometimes because some of their bank robberies got busted because of her but she surprised me because she didn't act like a little rich girl in Turtle Shores. In fact, she was trying to fit in and not be a burden to them. Her decision to be on missions with Creek is a really big deal because it was definitely not a life that she was used to. Hello, in the first few pages of the book, she said: "Yes, nearer to my heart than Jesus is my most loyal BFF: cold, hard cash." so yea, I know what it feels like to be away from that kind of BFF. We all do, at some point in our lives, right?

Oh, and then here comes Creek. *squeals* And this is how Robin described him: "A tall guy, maybe a year or two older than me, in a black t-shirt and torn, faded jeans. His tangled, sun-bleached hair looked like it had never seen scissors, yet it framed his tan skin and piercing blue eyes like a rugged surfer's."

Creek is still a mystery to me. Yes, I think he is swoon-worthy based on how Robin saw him but I think that it would be better it the author told the readers more about Creek and his past. But nonetheless, he's still the savior of Turtle Shores and I salute him for that.

Okay, so I thought that the development between the protagonists was a little fast, but hey, they're young, they're teenagers, that's what they do. And you can really see the attraction between the two of them. It was undeniable. Also, as what I've mentioned above, I would love to know more about Creek, since I don't think I really got to know him that much in this story. There's so much more I want to find out about him. His mother, a mysterious girl in his past and how he ended up being in Turtle Shores. Also, I think it would be better if the book had a prologue, maybe a little bit about Robin's dad and his past. I have many questions and it keeps me wanting more, especially after I read the ending!

I love adventures and mysteries and so, the bank robberies were my favorite parts because I think I was really holding my breath while reading them! Damn, I'd really love to step into their world right now and go with them just for the fun of it. Haha! Sorry about my over enthusiasm about wanting to be in their world. But you can't really blame me. There are lots of people I want to meet in Turtle Shores and one of them is... *drum roll please* Granny Tinker! (You guys better watch out for her!)

Robin in the Hood is the kind of book that gives hope to other people. It is a story that will teach all of us that while we are living, we have all the chances in this world to make things better, and all the more, our lives better. And come on, who doesn't want to read a fun, light, interesting and magical book like this? ;)

QUOTES THAT I LOVE FROM ROBIN IN THE HOOD:

"Seriously, this guy was public enemy number one, a pure menace to women's health." - Robin

"There simply ought to be a law against anyone that beautiful running around wild and temporarily . . . unkissed." - Robin

"Because it took all of my willpower not to be slayed by his handsome presence in that pastel light." - Robin

"We're partners of the heart, Robin. That's all." - Creek

For my full review, go to my goodreads page here: Rachel's full review of Robin in the Hood

Tell me what you think of the cover, the blurb or my review in the comments. I would love to hear from all of you. :)

My Rating

..wait for our next post to win a copy of Robin in the Hood (yes, a fresh and new paperback) and for the Diane J. Reed's interview!

Stay tuned! ;)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Book Blitz & Giveaway : Disconnect - Imran Siddiq

Author: Imran Siddiq

Title: Disconnect

Series: Divided World #1

Published: February 22nd 2013

Website: www.imranwrites.com

Genre: YA Sci-Fi 
Even in space, love has boundaries

If all the Underworld has to offer is dodging junk and digging within filthy sewers then life is fast approaching a worthless state for Zachary, a 16-year old scavenger. Except one day, he discovers the imagery of a girl from Overworld that pulls his desire in wanting to know why she sounds so sad with her lavish lifestyle.

Zachary will seize the chance to meet her, and although hatred builds, with time, friendship and something he’s never felt, even for his parents, will grow.

Though nothing unbelievable can last without harm. The rulers of Overworld have plans for the Research Base that orbits Jupiter’s moon, Europa, and Underworld stands in the way.

Zachary must overcome boundaries and climb from darkness to light, but in doing so, he’ll uncover a twisted secret that may devour his new reason to live; Rosa.


Buy the book l Amazon l Barnes & Nobles l

Disconnect Book Trailer




The Author:

Imran Siddiq may have tried to leave Leicester a few times, but its become his place to wake up to two cats, freeze when the heating’s off and most of all, get down to writing. At a young age, his primary school teacher commented on his creativity and ability to tell stories. At the age of 29, during a night in the jungle, the bug inside awakened, and for the last 5 years he’s been sacrificing every second that he can to write. A veteran of writing festivals, a presence on Twitter and gobbling up all forms of Star Wars and Lord of the Rings, he hopes he can bring a smile to others in the same way that he had, aged 5, reading with a torch under his duvet. Imran’s preferred genre is YA Sci Fi, and he has a tendency to throw a droid in every novel.
Website l Facebook l Twitter

Enter the giveaway!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Review, Author Interview and Giveaway: UNFORESEEN by Sarah Bartsch




    Author: Sarah Bartsch

     Title: Unforeseen

     Format: eBook

     Source: Received an e-copy in        exchange for an honest review

     PublishedNovember 2012
      Miyako is that rarest of teenage girls in Japan, circa 1915: a Samurai warrior. As technology and war spreads throughout the west, threatening the isolated Japanese way of life, the Shogun -- who rules for the Silent Emperor -- seeks the key to the nation's survival. Miyako's first solo mission takes her through a mysterious portal into a world of bizarre dangers and exciting temptations, where clockwork robots serve their masters and the very air itself can kill. 
This is a stand-alone novella set in The Empires of Steam and Rust universe created by Robert E. Vardeman.

My Thoughts

"She felt lighter as though her shorn hair had been tangled up with worries and doubts and weights and then simply cut away."

Miyako is the protagonist in the story and I really admire the courage that she has shown in this story. Sarah Bartsch's narration made it easier for me to imagine what was going on, but on the downside, I think one must have a background knowledge about the 1915 Japan setting to understand some of the words used in the story.

There were so many revelations in the story and and readers will learn a lot of things about Miyako and her past as the story goes on.

3.5 out of 5 stars

Highly recommended for steampunk readers.



 Author Interview



Hello Sarah!

  • When did you decide that you are going to be a writer?
I've written stories as long as I can remember, starting with hardbacks when I was four or five.  They were simpler books, a few pages each, bound in cardboard, handwritten single copies... But I made the decision to be a Writer! a couple years ago.  I'd been fighting it.  I got college degrees and day jobs, but making a living by writing is really all I want, and every day now I'm obsessing over the business and the art of being a genre author.  It's hard and complicated, and I love it.
  • Do you ever get 'stuck' while writing a story? What do you do about it?
Getting stuck happens a little bit of all the time, but I've found I need to push and write even though I'm insecure or confused or not inspired.  Then there are days I cut everything I did the day before because it was horrible, but that's just part of the process.  Sometimes I don't know a scene won't work until I write it out and realize--Miyako wouldn't do that!  Then I rethink it and "put on" the character's perspective and try again.

  • Describe each of the characters in Unforeseen with just one word.
Miyako: Relentless
Sook: Brilliant
Jin:  Devious

Let's get to the fun part!


When I dance, I look like…? 











What is one of your weird quirks?
It's not very weird for a writer to be an introvert, is it?  Um... on top of that, though, I like stale Cheetos. 

If you had access to a time machine where and when would you go? 
There are so many places and times that pop to mind, but after talking about it with my boyfriend, his first idea sounded great to me.   Now, if I get my hands on a time machine, I'm not giving it up easy, but my initial ride would be to Roswell in July of 1947 to see what really crashed there.

If you where running for office what would your campaign slogan be?
I don't really want the job, but if I'm running for President of the United States:  "Dystopian fiction--not my favorite.  Vote for Bartsch to save the world!"

Thank you so much, Sarah! :) a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, March 15, 2013

Do We Readers Have Rights Too?


Daniel Pennac a.k.a Daniel Pennacchioni is a French writer of the series La Saga MalaussèneNope, I haven't read his work but I DID read 'The Reader's Bill Of Rights' that he put together.
Yes! We, readers have rights too! So without further ado here's the list of OUR rights(Gosh!That feels so cool huh?) -

1. The Right To Not Read

1. The Right To Not Read - This is something that I have to work hard to believe.We read for pleasure. Because we love it. But sometimes we forget that there are people out there who wish to not do so.We have to learn to respect this.We have to learn that there are lots of people who do not have the time nor the love for books. Yes, books are wonderful things and personally I don't think I'd be able to live without them but there are those who might think otherwise.
This is not just something that applies to non-readers-Some of us, book lovers go through 'reading slumps' where we simply don't feel like reading. Do not feel guilty. It's your right.The right to not read.

2. The Right To Skip Pages

2. The Right To Skip Pages - There are two instances where I do this. One, when certain parts of a book feel repetitive and boring-I simply cannot bear to hear the protagonist go on and on about the eye color of that oh-so-swoony guy again. Second, when the book is so good that you simply have to know what happens between Warner and Juliette in Chapter 62. Go on take a peek. It's your right.
3. The Right To Not Finish

3. The Right To Not Finish - Oh yeah, remember that book where the MC goes on about guy next door with the jet black hair and emerald green eyes that makes her knees go weak while the entire universe is about to blown to smithereens by some freaky meteorite thingy?Feel free to put it on your DNF pile without an ounce of guilt. You do have the right.

4. The right to reread

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Review, Author Interview and Giveaway : The Color of Grace - Linda Kage

Author: Linda Kage
Title: The Color of Grace
Format: eBook
Website: www.lindakage.com
Source: Received an e-copy in exchange for a honest review 
Published: Aug 1st 2012 by Whiskey Creek Press

Meet sixteen-year-old Grace Indigo:

Hey. When my mother remarried after thirteen years of being a widow, I had to move to a new town and enroll in a new school. Suddenly thrust into an entirely different kind of life, I just wanted to go home. I didn’t want to meet new people, didn’t want to leave my old friends, didn’t want to become a third wheel to my mom and her husband...and I really didn’t want to see Ryder Yates again. Ugh, I still don’t know why I turned down that too-good-to-be-true boy who flirted with me when we were attending separate schools.
But honestly, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. It was worse.

Who knew becoming lost in a new life could help a girl find her true colors?

Rachel's Thoughts

This book is very heartwarming, touching and a light read. I enjoyed every bit of it. As you can see, I only read the book for a day, or maybe less than a day, because I can't seem to stop turning the pages.Okay let me tell you first why the title is THE COLOR OF GRACE. When Grace Indigo transferred to Southeast high school, their project for her Literature class was to answer this: "If you were a color, which color would you be? For your semester project, I want everyone to pick what color you are, and explain why."
THE CHARACTERS: Grace Indigo
 She is an ordinary girl, but with an extraordinary heart and mind. When Grace met Ryder, I was like...

Thursday, March 7, 2013

A New Design, A New Co-Blogger & A Giveaway!

A Relaunch?

Blogging is an amazing thing.Seriously.Trying to put into words how awesome this whole experience had been for me is pretty much impossible.

Blogging has given me the opportunity to rave and rant about books without sounding like a complete retard.And when I discovered that I wasn't alone in my craziness?Heaven.I started back in November,the welcome and support from all other bloggers and other lovers of all things book-ish has been awesome.
But.There's always a but isn't there?The whole 'meeting other bloggers,chatting with all my fave authors and stumbling across new books' thing has been epic.But I'd be lying if I say that all of it has been great.All those bazillion review requests,blog tours,social networking and all the other things that I unwittingly signed up for has been draining.
With a full time job and a life outside the blogosphere(quit smirking-I do have one) it has been tough to post regularly and meet the deadlines.And the worst part?I had to cut back on my blog-stalking and reading time! *gasp*

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Promo & Giveaway : I Am Alive - Cameron Jace

Author:  Cameron Jace

Title: I Am Alive

Series: I Am Alive #1
Published: May 23rd 2012 
Format: eBook
Every girl dies - not every girl really lives.

Sixteen-year-old Decca Tenderstone feels captivated when she meets Leo, who is arrogant, silent, beautiful, and shoots almost every one he meets.
 
The usual boring girl meets badboy story... hmm... with a twist ...

They live in a dystopian future in Los Angeles where every sixteen-year-old is ranked on a scale from one to ten to determine their future. Outranks, who are considered a danger to society, are forced to attend the Monster Show, a brutal sacrificing ritual that is broadcasted worldwide on live TV, where rebellious teens are labelled Bad Kidz or Monsters and get to fight for their lives in deadly games.

To prove that you're still alive you have to scream I Am Alive every six hours. Lower your voice, and you're dead.

Decca doesn't need Leo's company. She has secrets of her own. While they both can't stand each other, she will find out why she doesn't fit into any rank.

Nothing will stand in her way as she has to make choices concerning love, life, staying alive, growing up, and finding out who she really is.


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

IT'S SC STEPHENS DAY TODAY!



Our rock star book boyfriend is back!!!



Finally! The long wait is over!! It's March 5, 2013. And... *drum roll* 

Reckless is here!

HAPPY RELEASE DAY TO SC STEPHENS! *happy dance*


I am very lucky to be one of the few who got to read Reckless before its release date because it was sold earlier here in the Philippines in some of our book stores (yes, thank you Fully Booked!). 
So, here's the blurb from Goodreads.

"Can love survive when life gets Reckless?



When the band hits it big, Kiera and Kellan must ask themselves: Can their love for each other survive the constant pressures of superstardom? The friendships they've formed, the new family they've found, and the history they've forged will all play a part in helping them navigate the turbulent waters of the band's exploding popularity. A greedy executive hell-bent on success, a declining pop star looking for an edge, and a media circus that twists lies into truths are just some of the obstacles the lovers will have to overcome if they are going to remain together. Fame comes with a price-but will it cost Kiera and Kellan everything?"



Buy the book:

Find the author:


I don't think I'm supposed to say anything about it yet, so what I'll do for today is post some of the quotes that I love from Thoughtless and Effortless. 
From Thoughtless:
“We’ll try…we’ll try to stop hurting each other. We’ll take this easy. We’ll go slowly.” 

Kiera: “Do you still love me?” 
Kellan: “You would never believe how much.”

“I thought I could leave you. I thought distance would make ‘this’ go away, and it’d get easier, but it hasn’t.” 

“Being apart from you is killing me. I feel lost without you."

"I've thought about you every day ... I've dreamt about you every night."

"I don’t know how to let you back in. I don’t know how to keep you out either."
“I know we've taken things slow, but I still want to move forward…with you.”  

“I don’t care what you do, Kiera, I just want you with me.”

“Not being yours isn’t an option anymore." 

“And we promise that no one comes between us. That we…belong to each other, and only each other."

“I’m not doing anything, baby. I love you. I’m being faithful to you."

But, if for some reason we’re not closer, if something has gotten between us, please, I’m begging you…don’t give up on me. Stay. Stay with me. Work it out with me. Just don’t leave me…please."

*loooong sigh* These quotes make me love the Thoughtless series even more. So, tell me, what are some of your favorite quotes from the series? Hit me with some comments! :) I'd love to hear from all of you especially those who's also obsessed with Kellan like me. Haha!

PS: Wait til Friday/Saturday, that's the time when I can post quotes when I asked SC! :)

Photo: Yaaay my live signature :)