Thursday, July 28, 2011

Book Giveaway Contest!!

Today's post is in honor of an amazing writer and dear friend Laura Josephsen and the release of her fabulous, witty book, Confessions from the Realm of the Underworld (Also Known as High School), which was so fun to read that I finished it in one afternoon. :D ( I mean...the title is funny enough, eh?)

Sephie (short for Persephone) is in high school. *cringes* And as the oldest of six girls, she's got a huge weight on her shoulders: being the role model. Up until now, she hasn't been that concerned about it. They may bicker and fight and home life might resemble a mini-maelstrom, but at the end of the day, they would do anything for each other. (And Laura's got you loving them so much, you'd do anything for them, too!)

But Sephie's world begins to change, and we watch her take on hard challenges and grow stronger because of them.

Confessions contains a myriad of timeless themes we deal/dealt with in adolescence (and adulthood); it's about family and friendship and unconditional love and forgiveness and finding the strength inside yourself. Full of humor, love, and struggle, Confessions is a great reminder of what matters most in this life.

This is the first story I've read of Laura's, and I'll definitely be reading more of her work. She's got talent for writing engaging characters and for creating many laugh out loud moments - which I love. Thanks, Laura, for a great read!

Now...for the goods (you know that's really what you're here for :)  )

Laura's offered to give away a free, signed copy of her book to one lucky winner!

Here are the rules/stipulations/annoying-fine-print:
(1) You must be a follower of this blog.
(2) Most clever/unique/funny answer wins.
(3) "Retweets" and "blog reposts" get extra points :D

Please repost as a comment with blanks filled in (I couldn't help myself...):

You were awarded Professor of the Year at Hogwarts (yay you!) because you discovered ____(certain spell/charm/curse)__ which ___(what does it do?)__. And Mr. Filch __(his sentiment towards you).

Now...GO! Contest closes at 7PM, PST Wednesday, Aug 3rd, and the winner will be announced Friday, August 5th!

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa

WARNING: If you have NOT read the previous Iron Fey novels by Ms. Kagawa, and have any intent on doing so, read the following at your own risk...for, here there be spoilers. :)

I've just had the pleasure of reading Ms. Kagawa's final installment in her New York Times bestselling series, IRON FEY, and all I can say is...WOW.

Ms. Kagawa wasn't lying to us. If we thought we knew Ash before, we hadn't seen anything yet! And you'll be even more in love with him when you've read his story. Just you wait Team're in for a treat! *fans face*

If you remember, The Iron Queen left us emotionally conflicted (um, utterly distraught? ready to throw my Kindle?). We were relieved the war between Winter, Summer, and Iron ended and the Nevernever would survive, but there was just one little, itty bitty catch. Ash, our beloved Winter Prince, realizes he can't be with the woman he loves without it physically killing him. He simply cannot exist as a Fey in Meghan's Iron Kingdom (remember dear friends, iron is toxic to faeries). So, what does our dashing knight in shining armor do? Well, he sets out on a quest to find a way to be with the woman he loves, and, in the process, discovers that in order to be with her, he must become mortal.


The Iron Knight begins with Ash and the infamous and seemingly omnipresent Puck (who's just as hilarious and flippant as ever) seeking out a particular, annoying cat in hopes of finding a way for Ash to become mortal. What the Winter Prince needs is a soul, and the journey to gaining that soul is treacherous and agonizing and full of heart-wrenching discoveries.

With Puck and a few other surprise (ahem!) guests at his side, Ash faces his haunting past. We finally begin to understand the "ice" in "Ice-boy." Ms. Kagawa's writerly skill and prowess forces us to live Ash's torment and agony. We feel the weight of his decision and we are devastated when he finally discovers what he must sacrifice in order to be with Meghan Chase.

Filled with adventure, suspense, humor, and romance, The Iron Knight is sure to leave the reader completely satisfied. It is a perfect and beautifully crafted ending to the Iron Fey Series, and while I'm still coming down from my happy cloud, I'm sad to part with Ms. Kagawa's rich and exciting Fey world.

That is...for now. :) She's announced a SECOND Iron Fey trilogy starring Meghan's younger brother, Ethan. It'll take place several years after the first trilogy.

Thank you, Julie Kagawa, for introducing us to such a wonderful group of "friends" and sharing their fantastic journey with us. Can't wait for more!

The Iron Knight will be released in October 2011!

*If you like YA Fantasy, check out my book, GAIA'S SECRET. The sequel is coming soon!

Here's a link to my review for the rest of The Iron Fey series

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier

Gorgeous Cover!
I'll start with this. Ready? Picture it....

Time travel.
Dark haired hottie. *sigh* 

Is it a wonder I finished it in an afternoon? :)

German author Kerstin Gier managed to combine all elements in the first of her Ruby Red Trilogy! (translated to English this past May)

For 16 year-old Gwyneth, time-travel is real. At least that's what she's always been told. Her family had the fortunate (or unfortunate) circumstance of inheriting the gene. And, as predicted by Sir Isaac Newton, this gene would appear for the last time in her cousin, Charlotte. Charlotte was prepared all along for the day her time-traveling gene would express itself. The only problem is, the gene doesn't express itself in Charlotte, it shows up in Gwyneth. And the unsuspecting Gwyneth is thrust into 18th Century London with sneakers and her cell phone.

To make matters worse, she's got a time-traveling "guardian", 19 year-old Gideon de Villiers, who is arrogant, condescending, and...gorgeous. And the more the pair travel to the past, the more they realize they are part of a plot that could get them killed.

Unlike most "first books in a series" I've read, this one isn't a "stand alone". Nothing is really resolved. Throughout the book, the mystery builds and builds (I still don't really know what's going on), the ending is a romantic cliffhanger, and you are left desperate for the sequel (which, by the way, there is a teaser Chapter 1 at the end...that doesn't help either).

But, the story was so much fun - hilarious at times! - and I would recommend it to anyone wanting any of the said elements above. As for me, I'm impatient for Spring 2012!

Happy Reading!

Find it on Amazon here:

*If you like YA Fantasy, check out my book, GAIA'S SECRET. The sequel is coming soon!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

PLOTTING. It's not for the faint of heart.

As I'm in the throes of plotting my next story, I've come to a very, very painful conclusion.

"Plotting" is just a fancy way of saying that imaginary people have hijacked your brain, bound you in a choke hold and beaten you senseless, saying they'll only let you live if you write what they tell you.

So, what do you do? Well, you do what any sane person would do: listen to those imaginary people.

You don't sleep, you can't think straight, you can't even hold a normal conversation (those imaginary people start screaming when anyone else talks to you about anything else. They're slightly narcissistic. Slightly). Your brain is in another dimension for, oh, who knows how long. Will it ever return to Earth?  Shoot, it'll probably return and, with your new-found awareness, you'll realize you look all pasty and bug-eyed and your loved ones will start making Twilight comparisons (this has happened, on more than one occasion). 

And I love it.

Since misery loves company, I have a few questions for you masochistic writers out there...

Do you plot?...And if so, how long do you spend plotting? Where do your stories come they drop on you like an anvil?...Or do you pointedly ponder?

And a picture...
Sedona, AZ
(I think the desert is a lot like writing. It's stunning and unique and full of mystery, but if you spend too much time in it, it'll kill you.)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Saying Goodbye isn't Easy...

The past month has been emotionally trying for me. Many of you know the Hubby and I recently moved and, for obvious reasons, was full of sad "goodbye's". But one of those "goodbye's" came unexpected. And that "goodbye" was to my grandpa, who passed from this world on July 4th.

My mom called me on Thursday, June 30th, to let me know Papaw was dying. So, the next day, I boarded a plane to Paducah, Kentucky and prayed he would hang on just a little bit longer. And he did. I got to hold his hand and kiss his head of black hair (yes, even at 85!...he's Syrian). Even in his hospital bed, hooked up to oxygen, he was just as he always was - so happy to see me, full of love and kind words even though it exhausted him to say them. Including the second thing he said to me, which was, "Where are my grandbabies?" :)

All growing up we spent July 4th weekend with family - many times at Papaw's lodge by Kentucky Lake, setting off legal (cough...cough) fireworks. This time, I spent the entire day with my mom and uncles and aunts and cousins, all of us grieving together what we knew was eminent. The only one that wasn't sad was Papaw. He kept saying, "Don't you worry about me. I'll be fine. You take care of yourself." He was ready to go. He was eager to go. He was strong and encouraging and loving even in death.

And so he passed in his sleep on July 4th, 2011.

It's hard realizing he's gone. I can still smell his house, hear him snore from the family room, see him with that video camera attached to his eye--how I loathed that video camera back then, wearing jeans and a cowboy hat on the beach in Florida, hear his laughter - oh, how he laughed, see that blue Cadillac which, as a child, drove me to Toys R Us. He was the kindest man I knew, he'd do anything for anyone, he always smiled and laughed and said how much he loved you. And if you knew him it all you'd know he thought his children and grandchildren were the most beautiful in all the world (and to us granddaughters he called us "Beautiful" more than he called us by name...)

I'll miss you, Papaw. This world wasn't the same for having you, nor will it be the same for having you gone. Every memory I have I keep close and cherish, and I thank you for them. You've been a blessing in my life, and I've been lucky enough to call you my grandfather. You've left a legacy to a family that adores you and loves you and misses you already. But I take peace in knowing you're where you want to be. Saying goodbye isn't easy...but at least it's only temporary. We will see you again, and I'll look forward to it!

I love you, Barbara Leigh

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...