Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Win That Summer by Sarah Dessen

That Summer by Sarah Dessen
For fifteen-year-old Haven, life is changing too quickly. She's nearly six feet tall, her father is getting remarried, and her sister, the always perfect Ashley, is planning a wedding of her own. Haven wishes things could just go back to the way they were. Then an old boyfriend of Ashley's reenters the picture, and through him, Haven sees the past for what it really was, and comes to grips with the future.
In Sarah Dessen's very first novel, she taught us that the first boys are always the hardest. So, spill it ladies! (or guys, if guys are reading this blog), leave a comment with your email address telling me who you're first crush/love - whichever was. (Without both, your entry will not count.)
Mine was a boy named Anthony. I was about five years old and his grandma use to babysit me. We also got 'married' in front of the cable repair man. True story.
Contest will end July 6th at 9 pm central. This will only be open to those with a US or Canada mailing address.
I also wanted to say a HUGE thank you to everyone that participated in Sarah Dessen Extravaganza! I loved reading everyone's comments and a big hellooo to all the new followers. The giveaways have been a lot of fun, and I'll probably do something like this (well not Sarah Dessen books, okay, well maybe, ya never know!) in the future.

Thanks again!


Monday, June 29, 2009

Win Someone Like You by Sarah Dessen

Contest is now over. Thanks to all who entered!

Congrats to Fantastic Book Review for winning a copy of Lock & Key. And congrats to Julie for winning The Truth About Forever. A big thanks to everyone who left a book title with a character named Ruby in it. My goddaughter is one and a half so the picture book suggestions work out perfectly for now.

Someone Like You by Sarah Dessen

Halley has always followed in the wake of her best friend, Scarlett. But when Scarlett learns that her boyfriend has been killed in a motorcycle accident, and that she's carrying his baby, she's devastated. For the first time ever, Scarlett really needs Halley. Their friendship may bend under the weight, but it'll never break--because a true friendship is a promise you keep forever.

One thing I really love about this book is the friendship between Scarlett and Halley. So if you would like a chance of winning, please leave a comment with your email address telling how you met your best friend. Any entry without this will not count.

Little Dessen Trivia: Some of you might remember Scarlett who made an appearance in This Lullaby. She's the girl John Miller had a big ole' crush on =D!

Contest ends July 5th by 9 pm central time. This is only open to those with a US or Canada mailing address.


Sunday, June 28, 2009

Want a Copy of Along for the Ride?

Then you're in luck! Why you ask? Because Sarah Dessen's novel just so happened to debut at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list! Pretty freakin' awesome!

Sarah-Land is giving away not one but two copies of Along for the Ride for you and a friend! Click here to find out how to enter. And a very huge congrats to Sarah! It's well deserved!


Friday, June 26, 2009

Ballads of Suburbia Blog Party

I just finished reading this last night and my review will be up next month, closer to when the book officially comes out. I will say this, Ballads of Suburbia is one hell of a read and I highly recommend it.


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

YA Book Carnival: Giveaway for Lock & Key by Sarah Dessen

Contest is now closed. Thanks to all that entered!

I'm sure a lot of you have heard about the YA Book Carnival that is going on over at Shooting Stars Magazine. I've posted some past giveaways up this week, but I wanted to throw in a Dessen book just for this event.

"Ruby, where is your mother?"

Ruby knows that the game is up. For the past few months, she's been on her own in the yellow house, managing somehow, knowing that her mother will probably never return.That's how she comes to live with Cora, the sister she hasn't seen in ten years, and Cora's husband Jamie, whose down-to-earth demeanor makes it hard for Ruby to believe he founded the most popular networking Web site around. A luxurious house, fancy private school, a new wardrobe, the promise of college and a future—it's a dream come true. So why is Ruby such a reluctant Cinderella, wary and defensive? And why is Nate, the genial boy next door with some secrets of his own, unable to accept the help that Ruby is just learning to give?

For your chance to win a hardback copy of Lock & Key, leave a comment with your email address telling what book you've read recently that completely blew you away. Mine is If I Stay by Gayle Forman.

For some extra entries:

+3 for being a follower prior to this post

+2 for becoming a new follower

+1 per place you link this contest up

One of my goddaughters is named Ruby, so if you can drop a title of another book with a character named Ruby in it, you will get +5.

Contest will end when the carnival ends: June 27th and it only open to those with a US or Canada mailing address


Monday, June 22, 2009

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Publisher: Dutton
Released: April 2009
Pages: 208 pages

Seventeen year old Mia has a pretty good life. She has a great set of parents who understand her and a little brother that doesn't annoy the heck out of her. She has her best friend Kim who is always there. She also has a boyfriend, Adam, that seems like he'd do just about anything for her. Then she has her one true passion, playing the cello. Now she has to choose whether to stay in Oregon with the ones in her life or follow her dreams to New York. All of that soon fades when the unthinkable happens.

One second Mia is in the car with her family and the next she is standing outside on the road staring at her body. From then on she watches the people around her and reflects on her own life, memories and choices that have lead up to that moment. But the clock is ticking and now Mia has to face the biggest decision she will ever make. Does she stay?

If I Stay is not only one of the best books I’ve read this year, but hands down one of the best books I have read in a very long time. When I first started it, I wasn’t for sure what to expect. The beginning didn’t really keep me glued, but I continued to read, and then suddenly I was getting teary eyed (that was just on page 25.) So I knew this was going to be a tear jerker, but I had no clue how much it would really affect me.

The book is beautifully written and Mia in particular was a character I quickly became attached to. The relationship she has with her parents, grandparents, and baby brother were parts that I loved reading about. Her friendship with Kim and her boyfriend, how she synced them together, every bit of it was very real. That is why I became a blubbering idiot by the end.

Everyone knows life can change in a second. It’s something I don’t dwell on, but when it’s in your face, there’s no way to ignore it. It got me thinking how easily Mia could be me or friend or even a family member. I found myself having to take a few breaks because that's how much the book got to me and I cannot remember the last time that sort of thing happened while reading. There is no doubt about it. This book will definitely stick with you even when it's done. I highly suggest if you haven’t picked this one up, go out and get it. While you’re at it, you might want to grab a box of tissues.


Sunday, June 21, 2009

Winners + New Giveaway

To win a copy of Just Listen I asked everyone to tell me what their oddball music was or a list of five socks that rocked their socks and/or they could do both. I loved reading everyone's lists. The oddballs cracked me up because I saw some artists *cough Eminem cough* that are on my oddball music as well. There were some great songs on the 5 lists and some music I hadn't heard of, but I will be checking out.

Now I told everyone my oddball was Buddy Holly, but I forgot to make my list. So these five songs are ones that are currently rocking my socks because they're my mini-playlist to when I'm working on my someday-maybe-possibly-hopefully-(crosses fingers) novel.

01. Home Is Me by You Are Mine by Everly
02. Rise Above This by Seether
03. Tears in Heaven by Eric Clapton
04. Songs in My Pocket by Bethany Joy Lenz
05. Sympathetic by Seether

Annnd random.org picked the winner of Just Listen which was.....

(insert drum roll here)

Alexa!! (I thought it was cool that for her 5 song picks she had a song by Seether because I heart that band like no other *highfive*)

Onto Keeping the Moon where I asked to tell me one of your favorite places to go during summer. Back when I didn't have bills to pay, my favorite place to go was at my aunt's in California because it was always this huge road trip. Now....anywhere but home when I'm not being a hermit is nice.

For the winner, random.org picked..........

(insert another drum roll here)

Sab H!

Yay! I just need you to email me your address by Tuesday night Sab and the book is yours!

For this week's giveaway:

The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

Sixteen-year-old Macy Queen is looking forward to a long, boring summer. Her boyfriend is going away.She's stuck with a dull-as-dishwater job at the library. And she'll spend all of her free time studying for the SATs or grieving silently with her mother over her father's recent unexpected death. But everything changes when Macy is corralled into helping out at one of her mother's open house events, and she meets the chaotic Wish Catering crew. Before long, Macy joins the Wish team. She loves everything about the work and the people. But the best thing about Wish is Wes—artistic,insightful, and understanding Wes—who gets Macy to look at life in aw hole new way, and really start living it.


I know a lot of people have read this one, especially by the Dessen boy count, everyone loooveesss Wes. (*whispers* Dexter, people, Dexter!) It is one of my top favorites from all the other novels with all it's characters and the plot itself. Macy is so enjoyable to read and you get easily attached to her and want to stick up for her throughout the book.

I'm going to make this giveaway an easy one. Just leave a comment with your email address and badda-bing! You're entered! Deadline is June 28th at nine pm central and is only opened to those with a US or Canada mailing address.

Contest is now closed. Thanks all who entered!


Saturday, June 20, 2009

Review - Darkwood by M.E. Breen

Darkwood by M.E. Breen

In Howland, darkness falls so quick that people there have no word for evening. It's not the darkness that they fear, it's the kinderstalk, creatures that roam the forest killing those that enter it.

Annie is a more adventures twelve year old that lives under her aunt and uncle's care since her parents died. After her sister's death, all she is able to do is just survive there. Until one night she escapes before she is basically sold off. Out on her escape and the journey she now faces, she finds herself at a dangerous mine and later at the king's palace where things from her past suddenly become her future.

There are a lot of questions that need to be answered for Annie to understand everything in her world. The plot itself wasn't too bad. Some of it was pretty predictable. The beginning starts off well, enough to have made me wonder what all was going on, but I felt that it slowed down a little too much for me. The side characters were also enjoyable and I liked reading about the sisters that Annie becomes friends with. By the ending, I'm guessing there is going to be a second book. This is more deemed for a middle school read, but I also think those that enjoy a darker fairy tale might like this one too. All in all it was an okay read, but not one of my favorites.


In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox was created by Kristi over at The Story Siren. Go check out her blog to find out more!

From Amy at Addicted to Books, I got a copy of Watersmeet by Ellen Jensen Abbot and an ARC of A Map of the Known World by Lisa Anne Sandell. If you haven't checked out Amy's blog yet, you should cause she's awesome.

From Shootings Stars Magazine I received two ARCs. Kiss & Hell by Dakota Cassidy and Salt and Silver by Anna Katherine. They both look really good and Kiss & Hell has a blurb from MaryJanice Davidson - looovvee her Undead Series.

From Suzanne Young (author of The Naughty List comes out in 2010 - it sounds really good!) I got a copy of Prom Dates from Hell by RoseMary Clement-Moore. I've heard good things about this series so I'm excited to start on it.

Reviewer X (Steph) had a huge giveaway where she had 50 copies of The Chosen by Carol Lynch Williams and I won one! This just came today and I'm thinking it's going to get booted to the top of the TBR pile.

Last, my copy of Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen came in from B&N. I already posted a review and encourage everyone to go get a copy.

Right when I was about to start this post, FedEx came and dropped this off for me.

More about that on July 1st.

That's all for me! What did you get this week?


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Rock This! Thursday - Concert Edition

Rock This! Thursday features books that are about or centered around one of our favorite things in life: music!

This week, I decided to expand and talk about another thing I enjoy doing: Concerts. I don't go to enough of them, but this summer I'm hitting up a couple, so I thought I would share with you one of my favorite concerts that happened in November of last year.

The whole thing was a last minute trip for my friends and I. Ashlynne had called me the night before saying she had four tickets to go see Rev Theory, Trapt, and Hinder. Of course I said heck to the yea! We called up Sara and Shell, they were down for the cause.

The concert was at The Shrine, a smaller venue that I love, in Springfield. One thing I enjoy the most out of a concert experience (depending on the bands of course) is being able to thrash around with the lights going, the music pumping, and the floor vibrating your entire body because it is so loud in there. Being able to jump around and scream your head off, it's just awesome.

Here are some pictures (they're not the best, but click to make them bigger):

Rev Theory. I only knew one of their songs and for the life of me, I can't remember what it was. But they were really good and the lead singer was super short like me.

Trapt became one of my new favorite bands that night.

Hinder. They were great and sounded awesome live.

Random highlights of what happened out on the floor that night:

001. Towards the end of the show, I looked over to see Ashlynne, who was kind of iffy when we first got there, getting down and playing the air guitar with some old guy to "Born to be Wild." The girl makes friends no matter where she goes.
002. Shell and I being doing "the Hinder" at the Hinder concert! What is the Hinder you ask? Well, if you have ever seen the lead singer in a video, you might recall that weird thing he does with his arm all the time. It's an inside joke, but quite funny for us.
003. Seeing Shell's mommy instincts kick in when she saw some little kid in the mosh pit and jumped in to save him. We're still not for certain if he wanted to be saved.
004. Ashlynne smokes Swisher Sweets and while she was jumping and smoking she happen to catch this guy's hoodie on fire. He was too busy rockin' out to notice. So while she was jumping, she smacked his arm over and over to get the fire out.
005. Sara taking a picture of Ash and Shell just so we could have a picture of the guy we thought looked like a Jonas brother.

But the best part of the night was of course rockin' out with my girls again!


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Review - Feast of Fools by Rachel Caine

Feast of Fools: The Morganville Vampires Book Four by Rachel Caine

Warning: If you haven't read books 1-3, this review will be containing some spoilers.

Every time I get to an end of book in this series, I stop and go, "whaaaaat?!" That is a very good thing too by the way. For our main girl Claire and her roomies, Michael, Eve, and Shane - they can never catch a break. Right when they want to just chill out, something else pops up. When you live a town ran by vamps, what else can you expect?

This time things are getting deeper when the arrival of Mr. Bishop. Now I thought Monica Morrell was crazier then heck until Myrnin came along. But they don't have anything on Mr. Bishop. You know in vamp movies the really old and terrifying vampire that comes along to kill everyone? That's kind of how I picture him. He also brought friends, Ysandre who has her eyes set on making Shane her lap dog and Francois who seems to be Bishop's lap dog. To add to the last thing Claire needs, her parents just moved to Morganville.

The arrival of Mr. Bishop has everyone (vamps included) on edge. As you read, you find out why no one is letting their guard down. Mr. Bishop is ancient, as in Amelie's 'father' and when a formal ball is announced, you just know things are not going to be good.

I enjoyed seeing a more...not so romantic side for Shane and Claire, but you can see their relationship kind of growing a lot since the first book. Plus I love the softer side of Shane when you see you how much he does care for her.
The story keeps up with the plot line, surprises happening here and there. It's becoming clear that you really do not know who to trust. One thing is that while the other three books kept me going where I never wanted to put it down, the middle of this one seemed a little slower than usual. The end made up for it with excellent twists, and I'm already on book five to see what is going to happen next.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Dessen Boys and Along for the Ride Winner!

First, Happy Release Day to Sarah Dessen!

Before I get to the winner, I want to thank everyone for entering and still entering in this month's giveaways. One of the extra entries questions was to tell which guy character you liked most out of her books. Going through them all it seems that Dexter (chea!), Wes, and Owen were the most popular hits. A lot of people were torn between either Dexter or Wes or Owen and Wes or Dexter and Owen or even all three! I tallied up all the entries (even counting the ones that almost couldn't choose) and thought I'd share the votes for you.

It didn't really surprise me because I know how big of a hit this certain book was. The number one Dessen boy is...

Wes with 21 votes!

As I continued to tally them up, I was getting giddy because Dexter was looking like he'd take second place, but the last couple of entries all went to another music man so the number two Dessen boy is....

Owen with 16 votes!

Then my boy Dexter came tumbling in with 14 votes! So, so very close!

There was one vote for Nate from Lock & Key. Another vote for Macon based off the How to Deal movie. (For those that haven't seen it, the movie ties Someone Like You and That Summer together.) I do believe I liked Macon a lot better in the movie than in Someone Like You. Sadly, no love for Nelson from Keeping the Moon. And I wasn't really surprised that no votes were cast for Rogerson or Sumner.

Thanks to everyone that added in their comments, it was fun reading them!

Okay, now I'll get onto the part everyone cares about. There were 202 valid entries which is the biggest number of people we've had for a giveaway here. Picked by random.org, the winner of Along for the Ride is....

(insert drum roll here)


Yay, congrats! Please make sure to check your spam folder just in case, and you have until Thursday night to get back to me.

If you didn't win, I really recommend going out and buying a copy. It's a very good read, see my review here. Also we still have Just Listen and Keeping the Moon up for grabs, and another giveaway will be posted soon.

Monday, June 15, 2009

New Video Discussion With Sarah Dessen

Some of you might remember reading about how Sarah Dessen took a trip to Michigan to video tape a discussion with a group of girls. The video is now up and you can watch it here. Don't forget tonight is the last night to sign up for Along for the Ride giveaway.

Win Keeping the Moon by Sarah Dessen

Contest is closed. Thanks all who entered!
Just one of the girls.

Fifteen year old Colie has never fit in. First, it was because she was fat. Then, after she lost the weight, it was because of a reputation that she didn't deserve. So when she's sent to stay with her eccentric aunt Mira for the summer, Colie doesn't expect too much. After all, why would anyone in Colby, North Carolina, want to bother with her when no one back home does?

But Colby turns out to be a nice surprise for Colie. Almost without trying, she lands herself a job at the Last Chance Bar and Grill. There she meets fellow waitresses Morgan and Isabel - two best friends who teach her what friendship is all about, and help her learn to appreciate who she really is.


This is another one of my favorites (yes, I love them all, but this is about number four on the list). Weight issues have always been present in my life, and I think when I read this book I was about Colie's age. So I was able to relate to a lot of it. It's a great story of a girl really finding herself and the person she wants to be while visiting this crazy little town of Colby.

If this book sounds good, just leave a comment telling me one of your favorite places to spend the summer along with your email address and you will be entered. You've gotta do both for it to count.

For extra entries:
+2 for being a follower prior to this post
+1 for being a new follower
+1 for each place you link this to
+1 if you leave a comment on Along for the Ride review

Giveaway will end Sunday (June 21st) at nine pm central time. This contest is only open to those with a US or Canada mailing address.


Sunday, June 14, 2009

Annnnd the Winner of This Lullaby is....

(picked by random.org)

(insert drum roll here)


Please send me your mailing address by midnight on Monday. Didn't win? We've still have Along for the Ride (ends tomorrow night) and Just Listen (ends June 18th) up for grabs. Plus five more books to give away this month so don't forget to check back!

Review - Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

Released: June 2009
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Genre: Young Adult - Contemporary 
Pages: 383
Source: Bought

Rating: ♥♥♥♥

It’s been so long since Auden slept at night. Ever since her parents’ divorce—or since the fighting started. Now she has the chance to spend a carefree summer with her dad and his new family in the charming beach town where they live.

A job in a clothes boutique introduces Auden to the world of girls: their talk, their friendship, their crushes. She missed out on all that, too busy being the perfect daughter to her demanding mother. Then she meets Eli, an intriguing loner and a fellow insomniac who becomes her guide to the nocturnal world of the town. Together they embark on parallel quests: for Auden, to experience the carefree teenage life she’s been denied; for Eli, to come to terms with the guilt he feels for the death of a friend.


Anyone that reads this blog knows I heart Sarah Dessen novels more than anything. I have read her books over and over. I know when I crack one open, I will meet tons of characters that I will end up loving. I also know I will easily slip into their lives and consume myself there for however long it takes to read the book - usually in one sitting. Along for the Ride did just that for me.

Being someone who has trouble sleeping, I could relate to Auden. Although I've never had any cool quests like she endures, I still know the frustration of what no sleep brings. Seriously, if you can conk out like it's nothing, I envy the heck out of you.

Auden missing out on her childhood plays a major role in this story. She basically became a wallflower at the age of five and never came out of it even in high school. Don't make the mistake that it made her very quiet and shy. For the most part she's not. She's really sharp and how the book is written, very smart. Being the reader, you can't help but be quick to judge like she is. You think you know how all these people are going to be, but the more you read, the more you see them all unfold with pleasant surprises.

It was very interesting to see how she reacted to this 'new world'. Thankfully for her, she was in Colby (Keeping the Moon fans will remember this place and will be nicely surprised about who all pops up) and was in a Dessen novel, so you know the other characters are going to be fun. Lots of fun actually. I want to gush about the characters in this book. Because I loved them and they were great to read, but if I do, I'll end up giving all the story away. I will say, it was so easy to seem them all - Heidi, Maggie, Leah, Ester, Adam, Wallace, even the baby sister Thisbe had her own personality.

Though the story wasn't all set on a romantic relationship - more so on family and growing - I've got to talk about Eli. Might I ask, where the heck is he at when I'm up all night? It wasn't the moments were I found myself sighing over him that drew me in. As you read the story, you hear his friends talking about the old Eli. How he was before what had happened, and with Auden, you see it. Even though I loved all their moments (and wished there were more). It wasn't their relationship that really made the book for me. It was Auden. How she dealt with her family. How her mother deals with the new side of her. How she gets to experience the simplest things that most people have done. All of it was perfectly written and very enjoyable as you watch her grow throughout her summer stay.

If for some crazy reason Sarah Dessen is reading this and is trying to decide on what some of the old characters are up to these days, I vote for someone hearing a Truth Squad song on the radio.


In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox was created by Kristi over at The Story Siren.

My luck usually sucks. But this past week or so, I've been winning giveaways and I couldn't be more excited.

Reviewer X (Steph) has a weekly feature called Pub Stories that she posts on Tuesday. From that I won:

The Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink

One good...One evil...Who will prevail?

Twin sisters Lia and Alice Milthorpe have just become orphans. They have also become enemies. As they discover their roles in a prophecy that has turned generations of sisters against each other, the girls find themselves entangled in a mystery that involves a tattoo-like mark, their parents' deaths, a boy, a book, and a lifetime of secrets. Lia and Alice don't know whom they can trust. They just know they can't trust each other.

From Presenting Lenore, I won these arcs:

-Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

-I'm a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to be Your Class President by Josh Lieb

-After by Amy Eftaw

-Peeled by Joan Bauer

-A Season of Gifts by Richard Peck

-Million Dollar Throw by Mike Lupica

-Hold Still by Nina LaCour

-Freak Show by James St. James

I also got in the rest of the Dessen books for the giveaways. Don't forget to check out the sidebar. This Lullaby ends tonight and Along for the Ride ends tomorrow.

That's all for me. What did you get this week?


Friday, June 12, 2009

Rock This! Thursday Giveaway

Contest is now closed. Thanks to all who entered!

Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

Annabel Greene is the girl who has everything. At least, that's what she portrays in her modeling shoots. But Annabel's life is far from perfect. Her friendship with Sophie ended bitterly, and her older sister's eating disorder is weighing down the entire family. Isolated and ostracized at school and at home, Annabel retreats into silent acceptance. Then she meets Owen - intense, music-obsessed, and determined to always tell the truth. And with his guidance, Annabel learns to just listen to herself and gains the courage to speak honestly. But will she be able to tell everyone what really happened the night she and Sophie stopped being friends?

I know it's not Thursday, but I think this giveaway is enough to forgive me right? I thought so. I didn't post this yesterday because I was hanging out with a friend that was visiting from out of state and....I got in a copy of Along for the Ride! Of course I was busy reading that. My review will be up tomorrow.

One thing Sarah Dessen is good at is writing boy characters that make me sigh. Owen is one of them. One of my favorite things about him is of course his love for music. Though Owen listens to some stuff I would have never considered music.

I am not a music snob. I will listen to everything and anything, but my favorite type has and probably will always be rock. I was trying to think of some type of music I listen to that would be considered kind of out there or oddball like, and the only thing I could come up with is the oldies. I know it's not in the 'Owen sense of music', but it does surprise a few people I listen to it. Especially Buddy Holly. I heart his music and love listening to it while I'm cleaning. So if you would like to win a copy of Just Listen do one of the following:

Give me a top 5 song list that completely rocks your socks


Tell me a band or musician that is your oddball

Don't forget to leave your email address along with one of the above for your entry to count.

Extra entries:

+1 for becoming a new follower

+2 for being a follower prior to this post

+1 if you link this contest somewhere (as many as you want, just leave me the link in your comment)

+3 if you do a 5 song list and tell your oddball music

PS - I hit some good deals and now all of Sarah Dessen's novels will be given away this month! Click the pic right there ----> (top right corner for when this post gets booted down) to see how you can score an extra five entries on one of her books or how you might have already.

Contest will be ending June 18th by 9 pm central time and is only open to those with a US or Canada mailing address.


Thursday, June 11, 2009

Take the Dare, Show You Care

Cynthea Liu is hosting Take the Dare: Show You Care to help raise money for a Title I school in her home state of Oklahoma. There are tons of things listed on the auction - like getting your work critiqued or even bidding on some books! By clicking here you can find out all the information.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Annnd the Winner of Not Like You Is....

Random.org picked number ten and that was...
(insert drum roll here)


Didn't win? We still have a couple contests going on so look right over there ---> and enter!


Review - Midnight Alley by Rachel Caine

Midnight Alley: The Morganville Vampires Book Three by Rachel Caine

Release Date: October 2, 2007
Publisher: NAL Jam
Pages: 256
Rating: 4 stars

Warning: If you haven't read the first two books, this review will contain some spoilers.

In the third installment of the Morganville Vampires series, Rachel Caine dives right back into the action. We meet back up with the four awesome roomies of the Glass House. Eve and Michael's relationship seems to be growing strong even with the certain new situation of Michael being a vampire these days. Shane on the other hand isn't taking too kindly to his best friend's decision and you have to wonder if they're friendship (one thing I love to read about because I can actually picture these two acting the way they do) will be able to last. Claire being the less hot headed like Shane (sighs) and less blunt like Eve (love her), seems to be stuck in the middle, not wanting to take sides, but also wanting to keep things at peace. Even though she is caring a few secrets of her own.

Claire has gained a stalker who is trying to bargain with a life of someone very close to her. Not to mention the killing spree of dead girls popping up everywhere. It's hard to stay above it all when your boyfriend's dad just rolled out of town after his killing spree. Good thing Claire signed that deal with the devil, erm I mean Amelie.

Having a psycho stalker or even having Monica (or as Claire likes to call her, Queen Bitch Monica Morrell) being nice (scary, I know) towards her isn't even Claire's biggest problem. Amelie decides it's time to put her genius brain to work and sends her to meet one of the most unstable vampires in Morgnaville. Mrynin, who we first heard about last book - the crazy whispers from the alley - is about ten shades more crazy than Monica. Depending on what personality he's hanging out in, Mrynin can be a very love able character. But there is something going on though. Something so big that even the top ranked vamps are getting a little uneasy about. When Claire finds out, what will she do next?

Midnight Alley was more on the lines of a filler book, but don't think that means it was slow or boring. No, it still is action packed and keeps you wanting to know more and more. All the voices to the characters stay true, and I loved how the book unfolds as if I were a bystander watching it all happen. This book has the plot rolling even more, and answers some questions that I had from the very beginning. You'll definitely be racing to get book four once you get to the last page of Midnight Alley.


Monday, June 8, 2009

My Attempt at Bookmarks

For the giveaways going on in June I thought it would be neat to throw bookmarks in with the prizes. I haven't made a lot yet because the lovely Wal Mart in my town no longer carries pre-cut bookmarks so I'll probably be using card stock in future ones. Anywhoo, I decided to do Sarah Dessen novels for them. This is what I've come up with so far (go easy on me, first time bookmark maker here):

The titles are: Just Listen, That Summer (I'm kind of proud of that one), Someone Like You, Keeping the Moon, and This Lullaby. I thought maybe doing some kind of quotes from the books would be a neat idea. So I gave This Lullaby a try, and the old saying 'less is more' couldn't be truer.

I've been a horrible slacker on reading this past week and a half. You can blame a friend of mine that told me to watch Friday Night Lights and I have been hooked on that show. I didn't think I would really like it because I'm not a big football person, but holy friggin' moly one look at Tim Riggins (Taylor Kitsch) and I was sold! So now I'm going to go have my own read-a-thon so expect reviews to be posted soon!


Win a Copy of This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen

Contest is now closed. Thanks to all who entered!

The science of breaking up...

When it comes to relationships, Remy doesn't mess around. After all, she's learned all there is to know from her mother, who's currently working on husband number five. But there's something about Dexter that seems to defy all of Remy's rules. He certainly doesn't seem like Mr. Right. For some reason, however, Remy just can't seem to shake him. Could it be that Remy's starting to understand what those love songs are all about?


Out of all the books Sarah Dessen has written (excluding Along for the Ride, haven't read it yet, but I am getting more pumped that it's coming out in about a week now!), This Lullaby, has been my number one pick. I've probably read this book about fifteen times or so. I love Remy's character. She sharp, she's blunt, and she knows what she wants. Being a sucker for a romance per say story, Dexter was the perfect fit for this book. He's a musician (hello!), clumsy, and manages to crack me up in about everything he does. There are tons of more reasons why I love this story, but really, you should go grab a copy (or enter here) and see for yourself. Oh and one more thing: Hate Spinnerbait!

Here's how you can enter:

The day Remy was born, her father sat down with his guitar, and came up with it, right there in a room at a Motel 6. An hour of his time, just a few chords, two verses and a chorus. He'd been writing music all his life, but in the end it would be the only song he was known for.

To win a copy of This Lullaby tell me one song that reminds you of yourself or someone you know. Include your email address in your entry please!

For extra entries:

+1 for becoming a new follower

+2 for already being a follower

+1 for linking this contest (as many places as you want, one entry per link), please leave a link

You can also check out this post here to find out how you can get five extra entries on one book of your choice. Or how you might already have a surprise entry, go check to see if your name is on the list!

Giveaway is only open to those with a US or Canada mailing address and will end Sunday, June 14th at 9 pm central time.


Annnd the Winner of Dreamland is....

(insert fake drum roll here)


Thanks to random.org for picking out the winner of Dreamland, the first giveaway this month for Sarah Dessen Extravaganaza! Didn't win? Check out those links right over there for a chance to win something --->


Sunday, June 7, 2009

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox was a meme created by Kristi over at The Story Siren as a fun way to share what everyone got.

I had a happy mailbox this week. In contests, I received:

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

In a single moment, everything changes. Seventeenyear- old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall riding along the snow-wet Oregon road with her family. Then, in a blink, she fi nds herself watching as her own damaged body is taken from the wreck...

A sophisticated, layered, and heartachingly beautiful story about the power of family and friends, the choices we all make—and the ultimate choice Mia commands.

Evolution, Me and Other Freaks of Nature by Robin Brande

Your best friend hates you. The guy you liked hates you. Your entire group of friends hates you.

All because you did the right thing.

Welcome to life for Mena, whose year is starting off in the worst way possible. She's been kicked out of her church group and no one will talk to her—not even her own parents. No one except for Casey, her supersmart lab partner in science class, who's pretty funny for the most brilliant guy on earth.

And when Ms. Shepherd begins the unit on evolution, school becomes more dramatic than Mena could ever imagine . . . and her own life is about to evolve in some amazing and unexpected ways.

Ballads of Suburbia by Stepahnie Kuehnert

Kara hasn't been back to Oak Park since the end of junior year, when a heroin overdose nearly killed her and sirens heralded her exit. Four years later, she returns to face the music. Her life changed forever back in high school: her family disintegrated, she ran around with a whole new crowd of friends, she partied a little too hard, and she fell in love with gorgeous bad-boy Adrian, who left her to die that day in Scoville Park....

Amid the music, the booze, the drugs, and the drama, her friends filled a notebook with heartbreakingly honest confessions of the moments that defined and shattered their young lives. Now, finally, Kara is ready to write her own.

--With this, I also got the soundtrack to Ballads (a very awesome choice of songs by the way), and a signed copy of I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone.

For review:

Stealing Margo by Chad Perry

When Baltimore attorney Margo Capolini is abducted by a well-meaning, West Virginia hillbilly, she is plunged back into her unfinished life as an 80's singer- a treacherous underworld of rock music, predatory characters, and heart-wrenching tragedies. News accounts of Margo's brush with death propels her into the national spotlight, where she finds herself in pitted against the adult daughter she abandoned at birth- in a contest that can have no winners. Do past mistakes have a life of their own? What lies beyond death? What was it like to be an 80's female pop star? Stealing Margo is driven by spiritual mysteries, unfulfilled desires, and the overpowering love for a daughter Margo has never known. Like racing a Porsche on a West Virginia back road, when Stealing Margo reaches its destination, you'll know you've been for a ride.

The bought:

Books 3-6 of the Morganville Vampire Series by Rachel Caine. I did a happy dance when those came in too.

That's all for me, what did everyone else get?


Thursday, June 4, 2009

Rock This! Thursday

Ballads of Suburbia by Stephanie Kuehnert

Kara hasn't been back to Oak Park since the end of junior year, when a heroin overdose nearly killed her and sirens heralded her exit. Four years later, she returns to face the music. Her life changed forever back in high school: her family disintegrated, she ran around with a whole new crowd of friends, she partied a little too hard, and she fell in love with gorgeous bad-boy Adrian, who left her to die that day in Scoville Park....

Amid the music, the booze, the drugs, and the drama, her friends filled a notebook with heart breakingly honest confessions of the moments that defined and shattered their young lives. Now, finally, Kara is ready to write her own.

I've been anticipating this book for a while now. I absolutely loved Stephanie's first novel, I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone, and had a feeling that her next release was going to be just as good. I won an ARC of Ballads through a contest Stephanie held on her blog for spreading the word. I have no shame in saying I did a complete giddy dance when it came in the mail. I probably should be reading the other books in my TBR pile, this one got bumped up, and so far it is excellent! Make sure to look out for this one next month or you can even save a few dollars if you pre-order from Amazon or Barnes & Noble.


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

More Along for the Ride Stuff - Yay!!

First, if Sarah-Land reaches 2,000 members by Friday, the first two chapters of Along for the Ride will be released! So what are you waiting for? I know you want to join because well um, it's Sarah Dessen and it's awesome. So click here and sign up!

Also look at the new video! I am loving it!

Find more videos like this on Sarah-land
*crosses fingers that her order from B&N will for some crazy reason arrive early....like as in tomorrow*

Giving It Away For Free - You Don't Want to Miss This!

Giving It Away For Free
(the only time Momma would approve)

Serena Robar is giving it away for free the entire month of June. That’s right. A book a day, every day in honor of her latest book release Giving Up the V. All you have to do to is sign up for her newsletter and you are entered to win. Enter once and you are in the running to win a book every day the entire month of June.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Review: The Dead Girls' Dance by Rachel Caine

The Dead Girls' Dance: Morganville Vampires Book Two by Rachel Caine

Release Date: April 7, 2007
Publisher: NAL Jam
Pages: 256 pages

Claire Danvers has her share of challenges - like beina a genius in a school that favors beauty over brains, dealing with the homicidal girls in her dorm, and above all, finding out her college town is overrun with vampires. On the up side, she has a great roommmate (who tends to disappear at sunup) and a new boyfriend named Shane...whose vampire-hunting dad has called in backup: cycle punks who like the idea of killing just about anything.

Now a fraternity is throwing its annual Dead Girls' Dance and - surprise! - Claire and her equally outcast best friend, Eve, have been invited. When they find out why, all hell is going to break loose. Because this time both the living and the dead are coming out - and every body's hungry for blood.

In the second book, Rachel Caine keeps the ball rolling. This series is like crack. Once you start reading, you cannot put it down, and you are fiening for the next. (Not that I know what crack is like by the way, I'm just guessing here.)
The worst of what Claire's problems seem to be is that Shane's half-psycho dad is back on a revenge mission, and it looks like they all seem to be in the way. Then you add Monica who is still ten shades of crazy, plus a whole bunch of other stuff swinging out of left field that I can't mention because it will ruin the book for you, but that's exactly what I'm loving out of this series! There was only one thing that I predicted on what was going to happen. Rachel Caine does a great job of keeping you on your toes with this one.
Character wise...I'm still loving everyone. You can see the slight changes and the effects of what's going on in the town on how everyone is acting. One thing I enjoyed was seeing Eve being a force of nature you really wouldn't want to mess with especially if it involves her friends. Claire is still a great character to see this world through, and might I mention I am somewhat pleasantly surprised that she maintains a forgiving heart so to say. Michael...holy crap! *zips lips because everything will be spoiler related* And Shane...I just love him. End of story.
There has been some choices made and some secrets revealed which only means crap is going to be hitting the fan in Morganville! And I for one am excited to dive right into once my order from amazon comes in the mail. (Sorry if this is kind of fangirl like, but expect that in future reviews dealing with this series.)

Sarah Dessen Talks About Along for the Ride