Thursday, February 26, 2009

In Case You Missed It...

Author Catherine Ryan Hyde now has two video reading excerpts up from the following YA books. Click the titles to check them out!

The Day I Killed James --a review for this book coming soon!

Becoming Chloe

Also if you're a fellow Myspacer, don't forget to add her!

Rock This! Thursday

Title: Nick & Norah's Infinate Playlist
Author: Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
Genre: Young Adult

It all starts when Nick asks Norah to be his girlfriend for five minutes. He only needs five minutes to avoid his ex-girlfriend, who’s just walked in to his band’s show. With a new guy. And then, with one kiss, Nick and Norah are off on an adventure.

--I'm sure a lot of people have already read this book, maybe even seen the movie (I still haven't), if not - read this book! Told in alternating chapters, Cohn & Levithan cover a tale of two teenagers who are both recovering from crappy relationships. Driven by the best thing ever - music they take on the city of New York, and probably have the most exciting first date ever told.

Amber is rockin' out to No Doubt (who by the way is going on tour in a few months! whoot!)

Cheryl is rockin' out to

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Writer's Wednesdays

Even though we haven't been completely keeping up with the blog, with--like Amber said--life getting in our ways, we will try our best to add our Daily Slogan posts when we can.

I have two people that I became interested in. One is from and the other from

Rebecca from WritersCafe

AngstGoddess003 from Fanfiction -- she was having issues with one of her stories, so read Wide Awake on her LiveJournal


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Teaser Tuesday

So there is about thirty minutes my time (central) before Tuesday is over with - better late than never, right?

Like most of our posts with Teaser Tuesday we try to use this part as a more focused shout out for our Author of the Month. Since this is the last Tuesday of the month (we kind of missed most of last week and will probably be skipping some of the Daily Slogans - real life is kind of being a pest right now and getting in the way), we're throwing up a reminder to check out Amanda Marrone's newest book that is coming out this September!

Title: Devoured
Author: Amanda Marrone

Megan’s twin sister Remy died in an accident nine years ago, and she’s been haunting her ever since. Knowing how crazy that sounds, Megan keeps this secret to herself and tries to lead a normal life. But when she takes a summer job at Land of Enchantment to keep an eye on her new boyfriend and his lovesick best friend, Samantha, she meets fellow employee Luke who can see Remy, too. Things get even twistier because Megan’s new friend Ari is sporting a massive crush on Luke, who seems to be developing a massive crush on Megan…making for a love triangle that’s positively possessed.

Megan wants to keep her distance from Luke, but when Remy’s visions get crazy violent; she knows she needs his help. Because someone’s definitely in danger...the only question is who?

--I love the different supernatural elements Amanda is exploring with her writing. First vampires, then witches, and now a pesty ghost! Sounds good!!

If you want to read more about Amanda's books, don't forget to check out her website. Also we would like to thank her once again for taking the time in doing the interview for us! Hope you guys enjoyed seeing spots of her work this month!

In Case You Missed It...

Stephanie Kuehnert held a contest where readers were able to send in graphics or playlists to get a chance to win a copy of Ballads of Suburbia. And now all the entries are in, so click the link below and go vote to help her choose the winner!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Book Request

No cover, sorry.

Title: The Hate List
Author: Jennifer Brown
Due Out: September 2009

Five months ago, Valerie Leftman’s boyfriend, Nick, opened fire on their school cafeteria. Shot trying to stop him, Valerie inadvertently saves the life of a classmate, but is implicated in the shootings because of the list she helped create. A list of people and things they hated. The list her boyfriend used to pick his targets.

Now, after a summer of seclusion, Val is forced to confront her guilt as she returns to school to complete her senior year. Haunted by the memory of the boyfriend she still loves and navigating rocky relationships with her family, former friends and the girl whose life she saved, Val must come to grips with the tragedy that took place and her role in it, in order to make amends and move on with her life.

--I just read a mini interview on LJ with the 09er's, and it was the first time I heard of this book, but I want to read it...right now. One thing I love about YA is that some authors will take on the tough and sticky areas. With many subjects to tackle, this is one that I don't believe I have seen in a book before. That has my interest sparked even more.

I'll even be a little biased here and be giddy that the author is also from Missouri. I've never read an author from the same area as me...that probably sounded really dorky, but oh well.

If you want to read more about this author then check it!

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox was started by The Story Siren, and it's been fun to see what everyone is getting/reading - so we're jumping on the bandwagon!

Amber's Mailbox:

We just started, so we don't exactly get lots of books in our actual mailboxes yet, but here is what I have bought as of recently:

Title: The Dust of 100 Dogs

Author: A.S. King

In the late seventeenth century, famed teenage pirate Emer Morrisey was on the cusp of escaping the pirate life with her one true love and unfathomable riches when she was slain and cursed with "the dust of one hundred dogs," dooming her to one hundred lives as a dog before returning to a human body-with her memories intact.

Now she's a contemporary American teenager and all she needs is a shovel and a ride to Jamaica.

--I first saw this book on myspace then just about everywhere else after that. When I saw the book trailer, I knew I had to get this! The plot is definitely one that interests me and I'm excited to see how it will all play out!

Title: What Would Emma Do?

Author: Eileen Cook

While juggling friendship issues (her best friend isn't speaking to her), a love triangle-turned-square (okay, maybe she shouldn't have kissed her best friend's boyfriend...but it was totally an accident!...sort of), and escalating mayhem in her small religious town (uh-oh...what would Jesus do?), Emma realizes she has to stop trying to please everyone around her and figure out what she wants for herself. It's time to start asking, "What would Emma do?"

--While I was at Barnes & Noble one night (actually looking for The Dust of 100 Dogs - they were out), I found this! I had seen it up on a few places, opened the first page, and was already loving it. The whole Are You There God? vibe is intriguing, and one I think I'll easily slip into.

Title: Dead Until Dark

Author: Charlaine Harris

Sookie Stackhouse is just a small-time cocktail waitress in small-town Louisiana. Until the vampire of her dreams walks into her life-and one of her coworkers checks out....Maybe having a vampire for a boyfriend isn't such a bright idea.

--When the book first came out, I read some of it, but was too wrapped up in MaryJanice Davidson's Betsy: Queen of the Vampires series to get myself in this one. I know the True Blood show is amazing - or at least that's what I hear, because I'm apparently the only person on the planet that doesn't have HBO. So when I saw this at Wal-Mart (my po-dunk's town only version of a book store), I grabbed a copy.

Title: In Too Deep

Author: Jennifer Banash

The Bramford building’s newest resident and small-town transplant Casey McCloy is adapting to life in the Big Apple and loving it. She’s got the look, the attitude, and a delish new boyfriend, Drew Van Allen. But she’s starting to have second thoughts as to whether the “New York” Casey is the real Casey. And she’s not so sure she likes herself much anymore. She’s not the only one. Madison Macallister has always had her Manolo Blahniks firmly planted on the top rung of the social ladder—until that corn-fed cow Casey stole Drew away from her and made her look the fool. So what if Madison wasn’t exactly dating Drew at the time? She wanted him. And everyone knows that Madison gets what she wants, like Drew—and a little revenge.

--Annnd....this last book I didn't buy, but was lucky enough to win a copy from Jennifer Banash's blog. (Even luckier that she still let me have it since I didn't respond - stupid life getting in the way of me and the computer.)First, I gotta say the cover is beautiful! This is the second book in The Elite series, and I have read many great reviews on it. Another one I'm excited to see how it all pans out!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

In Case You Missed It...

Amanda Ashby, author of You Had Me At Halo is having a kick butt blog party for her up and coming novel, Zombie Queen of Newbury High.

So what all does this mean? Well check out the link below to find out!

PS--I still cannot figure out how to put up videos on here. Am I having a duh moment or is just not do able? If anyone knows, do tell!

Cracked Up To Be by Courtney Summers

Cracked Up To Be by Courtney Summers

Released: December 2008
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
 Young Adult - Contemporary
Pages: 214
Source: Library

Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Perfect Parker Fadley isn’t so perfect anymore. She’s quit the cheerleading squad, she’s dumped her perfect boyfriend, and she’s failing school. Her parents are on a constant suicide watch and her counselors think she’s playing games…but what they don’t know, the real reason for this whole mess, isn’t something she can say out loud. It isn’t even something she can say to herself. A horrible thing has happened and it just might be her fault.


Now if you're like me and read a lot of book blogs, you've probably seen this one up about...oh everywhere. All the reviews for it are amazing. It got me thinking, can it really be that good? Because sometimes when everyone else finds something so great, I get horrible disappointed with all the hype.

When taking on how to write a story there are authors that show you the characters and those that tell you about them. This book definitely shows you, which made it all more real in a sense. I could picture this book like a movie playing in my head. See the characters for who they were, hear their voices, and all those other great things we as readers love. Out of the all the characters in the book I warm up to Parker easily...who really isn't exactly a warming character at first. Might be the sarcastic wit she holds that sucked me in. But she's got a secret and a major problem - only if everyone would just leave her the hell alone, she might finally be okay...or so she thinks.

The fact is that no matter how much Parker tries to shove everyone away, they're still there. Even though Parker is...ahem sometimes....they all still care, which made me care. Immediately I had to know why and what happened to make her like this.

The mystery behind this story is fantastic. There are little hints here and there, but not enough for me to really guess what it was. You will be hooked from the first chapter and unable to put it down. Unless you realize you have to be at work in four hours and have no clue what you just read in the last five pages because you're so tired. Then after you get off of work, you go straight home, hyped up on caffeine, and pick this book back up to finish it. Only to get to the end and realize how much it was worth it.

I love reading debut novels and Courtney Summers has swept me away. I cannot wait to read more from her! Oh and my only complaint is that the story ended. So to answer my own question in the first part of this review: Yes, it's THAT good!


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

In Case You Missed It.....

If you are like me, and aren't lucky enough to attend a book reading from Sarah Dessen - well I have some good news! She posted a v-log with a reading of her newest book, Along For the Ride.

Check it!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Teaser Tuesdays

Title: Revealers
Author: Amanda Marrone

Chapter One


I wake and turn to my window. The witch ball is rattling against the inside of the pane, glowing from a tangled spell within. I wonder which one of my so-called friends threw a hex my way? I watch the spell dance around in the spun glass, and hear the swoosh of brooms flying past, capes flapping. One, two, three soft landings rustle the leaves by the back door. The fourth hits the dirt hard, and I smile, thinking Dani better stop scarfing doughnuts or she won't be able to get off the ground much longer.

The ball bursts apart and glass clatters against the base-board. Margo. Damn her, she's always breaking them. I'll have to ask Mom to make the next one stronger.

I get out of bed and throw on a sweatshirt and jeans. I hope I'll be able to find a hat because it's getting too damn cold flying around on the stupid sticks without one. The last time I suggested we take a car, Zahara practically bit my head off-"We go by air or we don't go at all!" Like she's such the traditionalist. Ha! Wonder what her mother will say when she notices the tongue stud she's sporting? By the time I get downstairs, they're already walking into the kitchen. I wish my mom would keep the door locked or put up a do-not-enter spell, if only to keep Margo stewing out in the cold for a few minutes.

Dani waves at me. "Hey, Jules."

Sascha kneels and Nuisance jumps up in her arms, nuzzling his chin against her, purring madly.
I scan their faces-only Margo and Zahara seemed pissed. Their cheeks are bright red, and I breathe the smoky night air they brought in with them. "Hey, guys."

Zahara clacks her tongue stud on her front teeth, and runs her hand across her close-cropped black hair. "Nice bed head. Apparently you didn't know we were coming."

I run my fingers through my curls and look at the cauldron bubbling furiously on the burner-deep-purple steam flying up to the vent. "Mom! Why didn't you wake me up?"

My mom pads into the room and casts a glance at the pot. "Again? Didn't you girls go out a few nights ago?"

Margo rolls her eyes and snorts. "Um, it's not like they run on a schedule or anything."

Mom gives a half smile and shrugs. I hate she's taking that from Margo, but I'm no better. The more Margo and Zahara vie for Queen Bee, the more the rest of us seem to shrink in their wake. Well, not Sascha. Sascha seems to float outside the circle, only stepping in when things are about to break. But when did this happen to us? When did the need to pull rank get so strong?

Mom sighs as she heads to the stove. "There've been a lot more than usual." She reaches into a jar and tosses some herbs into the water until the steam runs clear. "Do you know who it is?" she asks.

Sascha nods. "Yeah, it's the guy who gutted that Wilkins lady last week. They tracked him down. Should be an easy job. Mrs. Keyes said he's at that bar by the river so we should get going before he drinks too much and passes out."

My mom cocks her head and purses her lips. "Sorry I wasn't keeping an eye on it, girls. There's a really good movie on and well, I guess I was hoping you'd get a few nights off."

Dani flicks her eyes at Margo and Zahara-then flashes a tiny smile at my mom. "It's okay, Mrs. Harris, my mom didn't see it right away, either."

"But she did see it," Margo says. "We didn't have to come fetch you."

"We're all together now," Sascha says quietly. "Let's just go."

"I need to find a hat first." I grab my wool cape from the coat rack and open the closet.

"For God's sake," Zahara says, "it's not that cold!"

I give her a hard look but close the door. "Fine."

Sascha squeezes my hand with icy fingers as we head to the mudroom. "You're going to wish you had a hat-it is that cold." Of course Sascha wouldn't be caught dead in a hat-she totally gets off on her long black hair swirling behind her as we ride. Like anyone is watching. But me, I'll take warmth over vanity, and it's not like a hat could make a dent in my curls.

"Bye, girls," my mom calls. "Be careful."

I fasten my cape, grab my broom, and follow them out. Sascha was right-it's freaking cold. The wind whips around my face sucking the warm air away. "Just a minute." As I head back into the house my broom jerks in my hand ready to fly, and I clutch the smooth handle to keep from losing my grip. I rummage through the bins in the closet and snag my purple hat. When I get back outside, Zahara's jaw is clenched tight- I hear her clacking the tongue stud impatiently on her teeth.

Margo smirks. "That's real stylish!"

I pull the wool down over my ears. "Thanks!"

We mount our sticks, and Sascha says, "I'll do it." She shakes her long hair so it fans out around her shoulders. "We fly in darkness for the good of all, let us pass unseen till we land again."

A shimmering fog envelops us and we're off. I tip my broom toward the sky and rise up. The frigid air cuts through my cape and I make a mental note to get my heavy sweaters down from the attic. Margo flies alongside me. "Your mother needs to get it together. Helena isn't going to tolerate this crap."

"Yeah, well, I wonder what Helena would think if she knew you were throwing her first name around like you're best buds? I was under the impression we were to call her 'Mrs. Keyes.' You broke another ball, by the way! What the hell were you trying to do?"

Margo looks down her thin pointy nose with wide eyes. "It was just a joke-the worst it could've done was give you a good jolt. And as of this weekend I'll be part of the inner circle, and I'm sure Mrs. Keyes will insist I use her first name." She grins, points her broom down, and shoots ahead next to Zahara.

I look behind, and pull my broom to fall back next to Dani. "Hey," I say. "How's it going?"

Dani shakes her head. "I've got a stupid chem test first period tomorrow. I really should be studying right now."

"Sorry I was late. I pulled an all-nighter yesterday and I crashed early tonight."

"It's okay, but Margo got all bent we had to come get you. Of course her mom is always watching their cauldron-always kissing ass." I laugh, glad to have Dani by my side-on my side. We ride a ways in silence and then I turn to her. "Things are so weird lately. I'm always afraid I'll say something wrong and piss Margo or Z off."

Dani nods. "We're supposed to be in this together, but . . ." She shrugs and looks ahead at Margo and Zahara. "My mom said this happened to them, too. She said it always does-I mean, there's only so long a bunch of girls can hang without getting on each other's nerves. But we have to try to keep it together. There's no one to take our places yet."

"They're making it harder to want to stay together."

Dani points her chin skyward. "Look at Miss Priss."

Sascha's flying higher than the rest of us-back stick-straight-hair stretching out behind her. "One good gust and she's gonna get blown off riding like that."

Dani draws in closer to me. "Connor's on cleanup tonight."

"I figured," I say, hoping I sound like I don't care.

Dani knows how much I like Connor, though. Of course, seeing as Connor and Michael are the only guys our age in the coven, there isn't a whole lot of choice. But Connor and I were inseparable until we hit seventh grade, and then our moms made it clear we needed some distance. I started hanging out with Dani, and Connor spent more time with Michael, but whenever we're together he sticks by my side and I hope he still thinks about me as much as I think about him.

"Who's helping?" I ask, hoping it's not Zahara's dad. All he does is complain about how bad his back is and how he really shouldn't be out at night in the cold.

Dani sticks out her tongue. "Michael. Let's hope he put some deodorant on today."

"Come on-Michael's a sweetie!"

"I know he is, but why haven't his parents told him his pits stink? I'd do it, but I don't want to hurt his feelings."

Sascha cuts down in front of us and points toward the parking lot. "There they are." I nod as we circle the lot and land next to Connor's van. The glamour hiding us blows away as soon as our feet touch the ground. Connor puts the window down. "Hey, what took you so long?"

Margo rolls her eyes. "What do you think? I hope your mom won't be upset."

Connor winks at me, and my stomach flips. "Don't worry, Jules, all she cares about is getting the job done. I'll call Michael; he's been buying the guy drinks inside."

I glance at Margo, her frown illuminated by the bar's neon sign, and try not to smile.
Connor punches the button on his cell phone and waits. "Hey! They're here."

"Why don't we head toward the river?" I say. As much as I'd love to stay with Connor, I need to concentrate on what we're doing.

Zahara nods and turns toward the sound of the water. "I'll bind him," she says to Margo.

Margo reaches into her cape and pulls out a small bag. "Here ya go." She turns to me as we wind our way through the trees. "Did you finish your Beowulf questions?" "Yeah."

"Can I copy them before class? I was too busy making binders for Mrs. Keyes."

"I guess." Dani tugs on my sleeve, and rolls her eyes. I'm pretty sure we're thinking the same thing-Margo's a kiss ass like her mother.

"Thanks," Margo says. "It took forever just to get a dozen done. I forgot how hard it is to roll the stupid things into a ball, and the damn paper is so thin it kept ripping when I tried twisting the top closed."

"It's got to be thin," Dani says, "so it'll break open when you throw it."

Margo glares at Dani and I know she's gonna give her shit for her habit of overstating the obvious. "Like I don't know that! I was just saying they're a pain in the ass to make!"

Dani purses her lips for a second, looking embarrassed. "Sorry."

Sascha puts her hand on Margo's shoulder. "This is a good spot."

We form a semicircle and wait. The river is full and noisy tonight-I hope it'll be enough to mask the sound.

"Here they come," Dani whispers.

"I want you to know I've never done this before," a man's voice says in the dark.

"Me neither," Michael says.

They come around a tree and he sees us.

"What the fu-"

"We bind you to the earth!" Zahara yells as she throws the wound paper to the ground at the man's feet. The ball bursts in a shower of blue light. Dirt, sticks, and decaying leaves bind together into snakelike tendrils, wrapping around his feet and twisting up his legs and around his waist to hold him in place.

I see him cover his round face as I blink away the echoes of light from my eyes. We draw closer to him-our arms stretched out to the sides to form a circle, energy leaping from our fingertips keeping the circle strong in case he's able to break free.

"What the hell's going on?" he asks, squinting at us. "Mike?"

"I'll go get the bag," Michael says, heading to the van.

"Hey, Mike!" The man struggles to move his feet. "Where are you going? Don't leave me."

"We hear you're a very naughty boy when the full moon comes out." Margo laughs.

"Let's just get on with it," Sascha says, sounding bored.

"Look, I don't know what you're talking about. I was just coming out here for-" He pauses and I wonder what Michael said to get him to come with him. Puffs of breath leave his mouth in short bursts. He pulls at his knees but the forest floor holds him tight.

"We have reason to believe you're responsible for some recent werewolf activity," Zahara says like she's a cop. "What do you have to say for yourself?"

"Shit," he says. "Look, I've never hurt anyone. I take precautions."

Zahara scoffs. "Funny, I think Annie Wilkins and Steven Gardener would beg to differ-if they were still alive, that is."

"Steven was before I got a watcher. And, and-Annie, that was an accident, I swear. I-I liked Annie-I never would've hurt her on purpose. Something went wrong, but it'll never happen again."

Margo nods her head. "Damn straight it'll never happen again."

"Come on," Sascha says, "let's just get this over with."

"He needs to show some remorse!" Zahara snaps. Margo looks at Z. "When do they ever show remorse?"

"Oh, my God, you're part of that group, aren't you? Oh, God no. I'll leave town, please," he begs. "Just let me go!"

Tears glisten on his cheeks. I hate when we drag it out like this, I hate how I start feeling sorry for them.

Zahara sighs. "All right, fine, let's do it."

The man smiles-he must think Z was talking about letting him go.

We all face our palms toward him and yell, "Reveal!"

Yellow light swirls around him forming a ball above his head. He looks at the sky with wide terrified eyes. I know he's feeling the change coming and instinctively searching for the round moon that isn't there.

"What did you do to me? This shouldn't be happening-it's not time!" he screams. "Please, just give me another chance!"

I want to look away but I never do. I need to see the change so I can steel myself for what comes next.

His face twists and expands into a long snout. I'm glad the water crashing behind us drowns the groan of bones growing at a remarkable pace. His clothes tear and drop. I get a glimpse between his legs, and feel my cheeks flush. Dark coarse hair grows, covering him, and he's complete. He snarls at us, jerking his muzzle from one person to the next, swiping the air with razor claws.
I reach into my cape pocket and take out my gun, freshly loaded with silver bullets. Arm straight-I aim at his chest and fire. We all step back to avoid the spray as he goes down. I don't watch his body change back, I want to remember him as the wolf and not the man-it makes it easier to sleep at night.

Michael walks past with the body bag. "Nice work."

"Anyone want to hang for a bit?" Connor asks as he helps Michael spread the bag.
Margo smiles. "Love to!"

Zahara lifts a flask from her cape. She takes a swig and hands it to Margo. "Me, too. We could head back to your house, Connor. Margo's got a bunch of binders to give your mom."

Connor looks at me. "How about you, Jules?"

I shrug, feeling drained. "I should head home; I'm tired and it's late."

He pouts his lips, and I almost change my mind, but Zahara and Margo exchange looks, and I don't feel like dealing with any more of their crap tonight. "Hey, Michael, what did you tell the guy to get him out here?" I ask, changing the subject.

Michael looks up and winks at me. "Blow job."

Shaking my head, I take the flask from Margo. The cool metal stings my lips as the brandy burns its way down my throat. I hate the way it tastes, but Zahara refuses to fill the flask with wine or anything else because "brandy is the traditional after-kill drink." Of course it doesn't help having Helena in charge, making sure things are ridiculously old school.

I hand it to Dani who takes a quick sip. "I've got a chem quiz."

Sascha holds out her hand and takes the flask. "I've got a French translation to finish." She takes a long drink and puts the flask in her cape. "You don't mind if I borrow this do you, Z? My mom noticed some of her booze was missing, and she cast a spell on all the bottles so they'll only open for her. But I'm going to need a little buzz to help me get through interpreting Le Petite Prince, c'est tres difficile pour moi!"

"Okay," Zahara say, "but don't drink the whole thing-I don't want Mrs. Keyes on my ass for going through her good brandy too quickly!"

She shoots an apologetic look at Connor, but he just smiles. He knows what a bitch his mom can be.

Sascha pats the flask in her cape. "Don't worry, a little goes a long way." She mounts her broom and heads up through the trees. "Later."

Michael and Connor grunt as they roll the man into the bag.

"What was his name?" I ask.

Michael wipes his sleeve across his forehead. "Uh, Jack."

Connor zips the bag up and stands, wiping his hands against his jeans. I look up at the sharp crescent moon. "Rest in peace, Jack."

Connor laughs. "You're such a softy, Jules! You sure you can't hang with us?"

"If she's tired, she's tired," Margo says.

Dani sighs. I wonder if she's waiting for Connor to ask her to come over, too. She crosses her arms across her stomach. "Well, like I said, I've got to study." She leans in and kisses everyone on the cheek, something we used to do all the time-now it looks awkward and forced.

"I'll go with you," I say, air-kissing Margo and Zahara. I squeeze Michael's shoulder, and then I put one hand on Connor's cheek and give him a long, wet, full-on-the-mouth kiss. He presses my lips with his and I pull away.

"Bye," I whisper. I mount my broom-my heart pounding louder than the water on the rocks. I look at Zahara and Margo, and try very hard not to smile in their wide-eyed faces. "Have fun, guys."

As we clear the parking lot, Dani bursts out laughing. "Oh, my God, Jules-you so rule! I can't believe you did that. Did you see their faces? Did you? And he totally kissed you back!"
I allow the smile to come now and wonder if he can taste brandy on his lips. I just hope there won't be hell to pay tomorrow.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Interview with Amanda Marrone

Author of the Month: Amanda Marrone
Amanda Marrone grew up on Long Island where she spent her time reading, drawing, watching insects, and suffering from an over-active imagination. It didn’t help that her father told bloodcurdling stories, and would take Amanda and her siblings for moon lit walks in the graveyard—the highlight of which involved having them march up to mausoleums and knock on the doors—alone. On more than one occasion, Amanda turned around to find they’d ditched her for laughs. (No, she didn’t find that particularly funny.)

Not surprisingly, she was extremely scared of the dark—living in fear of cats meowing at the door at night (she was sure they were really monsters pretending to be her cats), and things lurking in basements, attics, dark rooms, and closets.

Amanda successfully avoided monster attacks by leaving all the lights on in her house, and convincing other family members to let the cats in—eventually earning a B.A. in Education at SUNY Cortland. She taught fifth and sixth grade in New Hampshire, where she was known for putting on mini-musicals, and dissecting eyeballs and owl pellets with her students.

After taking a very early retirement to raise a family and write novels—some of which have vampires and other creepy creatures, Amanda now lives in Connecticut with her husband, Joe, two kids, two cats, a crayfish, hissing cockroaches, and their newest addition is Griffin, a havanese dog who can say "Hello" and "I love you". Check the links page to see Griffin’s YouTube videos where you can see him in action.

Amanda loves reading, going to Broadway shows, creepy crawly things, hiking, annoying her husband with show tunes, and is thinking about getting another tattoo. She is still scared of the dark.

Amanda’s first two books for teens, Uninvited and Revealers are available now, and her next book Devoured will be out in September of 2009. Her middle grade series The Magic Repair Shop Chronicles: The Multiplying Menace, Kobold Blues and The Shape Shifter’s Curse will be available starting in the summer of 2010.

1. Could you tell us a little about yourself?
I’m a recovering social and phone phobic. I’m much better now and no longer fear calling for hair cuts and pizza. I’m also a Broadway musical geek and listen to show tunes 85% of the time. I have two kids, and a talking dog, Griffin, who can say “hello” and “I love you”. I think I brag more about the dog than my kids.

2. With writing, was it always a dream of yours or was it something that you decided later on?
I always wanted to be a picture book writer and illustrator. I wrote two picture books and made dummy books, but the third one turned into a novel and I realized I loved the longer format. I never thought I’d attempt another picture book, but I’ve written two in the last nine months and my agent is shopping them around. I’m not trying to illustrate these, though, I can draw, but now that I know more about illustrating, I don’t think I have the chops to pull off a book and will leave that to the professionals.

3. Did you plan on writing YA or was that just where your editor thought your writing should be labeled?
Once I started writing novels—the main character in the first (which sold ten years after I wrote it) was twelve, but the idea for book two was definitely YA. Now my YA editor is hoping I’ll have a book a year which means some other ideas I’ve had in other age groups have to be put on hold.

4. When writing your characters, are any of them based on people who you know or have known? Or even yourself?
My first draft of Uninvited was filled with my friends from high school, but an editor wanted some changes so I made up all new characters with new dialogue. The main character—while I never felt like I was writing about me—has all of my phobias and fears. I do tend to use family names for characters without really thinking about it. Margo in Revealers shares a name with my stepsister. Unfortunately Margo in Revealers is a bit of a bitch, but I never even thought to about the name until my mom asked why I named the “bitch” in Revealers after my stepsister!! I just about died—the real Margo is super sweet and funny and nothing like the Margo in Revealers.

5. Out of all your books so far, which are you most proud of?
Not sure—they’re all so different and I like different things about each one.

6. We have noticed you have written Middle School books as well as YA. Out of the two, which do you enjoy writing the most?
That’s another tough question. I like that the middle school books are ‘clean’. There are some people who don’t like the content of some of my YA’s—I really can’t say which I enjoy more.

7. Is there going to be any adult fiction books in your writing future?
I’ve never thought about writing for adults and haven’t read an adult book in years. Yes, I’m missing out on some wonderful stuff, but I think I’ll be sticking with the younger fiction.

8. Being an author you must love to read. What could we find on your bookshelf?
I do love to read and my shelves are so full, they’re two books deep. Recent reads I’ve loved: Dramarama, Lament, Unwind, The Hunger Games, and a lot of nonfiction books on fairies and creatures. Going through a book on world mythology helped me come up with the idea for my next YA Van Helsing.

9. Could you give us a preview on any current and/or future projects?

I’ve got my magic repair shop series for middle graders and I just sold a new YA—Van Helsing (we’re going to give it another title) Rival teen vampire slayers and the thrill-seeking daughter of the lead singers of the kiddie rock band sensation The Disco Unicorns join forces to defeat the ancient demon vampire Lilith.

10. With your book covers, is your input required, or is it all out of your hands?

They ask me what I think, but it always sounds like it’s a done deal by the time they show it to me. I’ve been very happy with the covers, though, and I LOVE my new cover for Devoured!!!

11. Do you know what fan fiction is? If so, how would you feel about others writing about your characters?

I haven’t read any, but I know it’s out there. My son said he found a fanfiction of Uninvited but it felt too weird to check it out. I guess I don’t have a problem with it, but I don’t think I’d read any of it.

12. Do you have a ‘best’ and ‘worst’ moment in your career?

Besides selling the first book, the best was hearing my middle grade sold and that the editor wanted to make it into a three book series. Worst—my first bad customer review. Some people get really angry over books.

13. Have you met any of your fans, and if you have which is the most memorable?
I’ve had some wonderful emails from teens who make the nasty review feeling melt away. Recently two teens interviewed me for literature projects which was surreal.

14. How long does it usually take you to write an entire book from start to finish?
Now I can write a book in three months. But that’s a lot of BIC—butt in chair—hours, and my house gets really messy!

15. Do you have any advice for aspiring writers like ourselves?

Read, write and believe. I never once thought it wasn’t going to happen, even if friends and family gave up when it didn’t happen right away.
To find out more, check out her site at:

Thursday, February 5, 2009


Title: Getting In Tune

Roger Trott

Punk is coming - but it's not here yet...

It's the fall of 1976, and 20-year-old guitarist Daniel Travers’s life is a mess. His band, the Killjoys, is essentially going nowhere; the pills he’s popping are making him crazy; and the voices banging around his head have him convinced that he’s a bleedin’ quadropheniac. On top of everything, what he calls the Real Me, his true self, has disappeared—and he’s lost without it.

Then the phone rings, a new agent offering a weeklong gig at the exotic Mai Tai Hotel, in Puente Harbor, Washington. Told by the agent that Jimi Hendrix and Heart started out at the Mai Tai, Daniel sees the gig as his best chance to get the Killjoys on the road to success—and also to ditch his own troubles.

Getting in Tune is a novel that captures the fire of the rock ‘n’ roll dream as well as the dream that music can transcend chaos, that it can bring perfection to our daily mess. And for Daniel, it’s about finding—as his unlikely guru, the Who’s Pete Townshend, whispers to him—the Universal Chord, the perfect set of notes that blesses life with essential harmony.

A book full of the low grit of small-club rock ‘n’ roll and the high spirit that the music soars upon, Getting in Tune is an exciting read. Step in, can you hear it? The band is tuning up right now. . . .

---Now I haven't read this book - only the excerpt. It was enough to grab my attention and make me want to know much more about this rock tale, and everything that will come along with it. So go check it out here, and I bet you'll feel the same!

♥Amber is rockin' out to Flyleaf
♥Cheryl is rockin' out to Chris Cornell

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


We love reading fanfiction. Espeically those that involve a certain actor named Garrett Hedlund. It won't come as a surprise when you see a lot of fanfic authors that have stories featuring his movies. But as much as we love reading it...well we also love writing it.


This post we're going to feature ourselves and pimp our fics out!

Cheryl's Work

Amber's Work

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Teaser Tuesday

Title: Uninvited
Author: Amanda Marrone
Genre: Young Adult - Fantasy

When rejection comes back to bite you...

Jordan's life sucks. Her boyfriend, Michael, dumped her, slept his way through half the student body, and then killed himself. But now, somehow, he appears at her window every night, begging her to let him in.

Jordan can't understand why he wants her, but she feels her resistance wearing down. After all, her life -- once a broken record of boring parties, meaningless hookups, and friends she couldn't relate to -- now consists of her drinking alone in her room as she waits for the sun to go down.

Michael needs to be invited in before he can enter. All Jordan has to do is say the words....

Teaser from Chapter One:

I've wounded him and catch myself before a satisfied smile emerges on my face. I'm long past trying to understand what Michael does to me. Making me wish he were here in my room - in my bed - again, then the next minute making me relish the hurt in his voice. But I won't beat myself up for bruising his ego. He's made me his prisoner every night, and I'm glad when I can get a dig in.

"Damn it!" he growls, startling me. "I'm sick of talking. Let me in!"

He suddenly shifts his weight and slaps his palms against the glass. I flinch like it's me he's hit. I try to shrink away form him and sink back into the mattress. God, why did I say those things?

My mouth dries to the paper as I suck in the cold air pouring in over the sill. I make myself as small as possible and freeze into place. So far the window has barred his way. But that damn inch. I imagine him with new cat eyes that can see in the dark, noticing the currents of air playing around the opening. Does he know what I did - can he see? Is that small opening invitation enough for him to enter?

"Jordan," he croons. "I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. I didn't mean to scare you. I just miss you so much. I just want to be with you."

He jumps to the ground, and I melt into the bed.

I'm shaking, but I won't pull up the blanket. I need to feel the cold; I need to feel something besides the ache I get when he leaves me. I hate myself for wanting him, for feeling flattered it's me he haunts every night.

Three months now I've talked to him through the window. Three months I've conjured his face from the time when he was mine. I see his chestnut eyes, his brown curls, his white, white teeth, and full mouth. I put that face on over the shadows and imagine we could start over.

But the leaves are falling and soon Michael will sit on bare branches. Moonlight will finally find its way to his face, and I'll see what I know is true: that Michael is a monster.

I'm just afraid that one of these nights I might let him in.

---You can also read the first five chapters at: