Monday, April 30, 2012

Fated by Alyson Noel Promotion

With the release of FATED by Alyson Noel, fans can pre-order the book in any way (print, e-book, or audiobook) and submit their receipt so they can receive a pair of soul seeker inspired earrings - while supplies last.

The link for the rules for this amazing promotion can be found on the link below.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Angst You by Anne Tibbets

I don’t consider myself an expert in anything.  I’m good at a number of things: ping pong, typing, memorizing movie quotes, stringing words together into a sentence, giving unsolicited advice – but I’m not an expert, by any stretch of the imagination.

So, as I write this guest post about teen angst, I’m a little concerned you will think I’m some professional, and you should follow my advice instead of seeing a therapist, or a guidance counselor.  I’m not.  If you’re suffering severely, get some professional help.  But if you’re just trying to get through the daily grind of your teenage years, here are some pearls of wisdom from someone who has been there.

Take it for what it’s worth.

Speaking from my own experience, angst can be dangerous. It’s defined by Webster’s as a ‘state of anxiety,’ and there was a time in my early teens when I was very anxious about a lot of things.  My family life was falling apart at the seams, and because of this I was unable to focus on school, and therefore, my grades dropped dramatically, I grew depressed, I internalized all of these unspoken feelings, and as a result, I contemplated suicide.  For many teens out there, this kind of anxiety is overwhelming to the point of being deadly.

There is, however, a light at the end of the tunnel.  However difficult it is for a teen to imagine, much like the trailers and anti-bully campaigns say, ‘it does get better.’  As time progresses, as life goes on, as you and those around you grow and change, you eventually reach a point in your life when that terrible and horrible anxiety and angst from long ago is no longer so all-consuming and earth-shattering.  You succeed by enduring.

You might be saying, ‘that’s dandy, but how does that help me NOW?’ It doesn’t.  And here is my completely unprofessional, but experience-ridden advice, from a person who once kept a bottle of pills under her bed just in case she needed a quick get away…(Which I don’t recommend – by the way!)

1)      Find a muse

Some people sing.  Some people draw.  Some people dance.  Some people game.  You don’t have to be the best at it – you just have to love it.  This creative release, in my case, was music and writing, and they were instrumental in giving me a healthy escape from the terrors inside my household.  Try skateboarding.  Ride bikes.  Swim.  Play an instrument.  Join a book club.  Act in a play.  I’m not joking in the slightest.  Find something else to DO while everything else is crashing down.  Take it from one who knows: it helps.

2)      Get a day planner

Again, I’m not fooling.  Part of my problem with coping with my home life was the fact that I was totally and completely disorganized.  It wasn’t until I got into my late teens that a very wise advisor taught me how to create an hourly time manager, so I could plan when I was studying, when I was eating, when I was sleeping, when I was at rehearsal or when I was writing – you name it, I put it on the calendar.  I felt in control.  I was on top of it.  My grades improved because I was able to plan out when certain assignments would get completed.  It doesn’t have to be digital, you can make one yourself on a piece of notebook paper.  But I totally recommend a weekly, hourly breakdown, so you can get a grip on all that needs to be done.  And here’s a free tip: don’t forget to add in travel time!

3)      Find someone to talk 100% honesty

It can be a best friend.  It can be a school counselor.  It can be an Aunt or Uncle. A spiritual advisor.  A therapist.  Your Mom or Dad.  There has to be at least 1 person who you can bare all honesty, and be true to the truth.  That someone, when they ask, ‘How are you today?’ that you won’t just blow sunshine and say, ‘Fine!’ when you feel like dirt.  This is a hard person to find.  You kind of have to audition them.  Find one person, give them a taste of 100% you-truth, and wait a week to see what they do with it.  If it stays with them, and they don’t blab it all over, or start to treat you differently, try it again and see if they can do the same.  If you find this person, you have found gold, and you should treat them as such.  Don’t lose hope.  These people exist.  They can be hard to find at times.  But keep trying – because once you find someone like this – your whole perception of what’s really true, changes.  No joke.  It’s pretty amazing.

As I said before, I’m no expert on anything.  But I’ve been around the block, suffered a few blows in life (a few of them are in my new book SHUT UP), so take my advice to heart, and never give up.

Like food poisoning, teen angst doesn’t last forever.  It’s just while you’re in the middle of it, that it blows chunks.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Purity by Jackson Pearce

Publisher: Little, Brown
Age Group: YA
Source: Publisher

Before her mother died, Shelby promised three things: to listen to her father, to love as much as possible, and to live without restraint. Those Promises become harder to keep when Shelby's father joins the planning committee for the Princess Ball, an annual dance that ends with a ceremonial vow to live pure lives -- in other words, no "bad behavior," no breaking the rules, and definitely no sex.

Torn between Promises One and Three, Shelby makes a decision -- to exploit a loophole and lose her virginity before taking the vow. But somewhere between failed hookup attempts and helping her dad plan the ball, Shelby starts to understand what her mother really meant, what her father really needs, and who really has the right to her purity.

I first began this novel thinking it was short and a quick read, but I found it was a lot more than that. So much happened in this book. Shelby was a relatable character. She had just lost her mother and was left with three promises that she vowed to follow. But following them was hard because it led her to many decisions that she herself wasn't too sure of. Shelby and her dad are on the committee for the Princess Ball and Shelby starts realizing that she will have to break her mom's promises and she doesn't want to, so she goes out to just get laid. But throughout the book, Shelby finds herself and fights with herself. Shelby wasn't just some character, she was a character with feelings and you actually felt for Shelby. She was a character with humor and pain.

I found the book to be a great read, but I wouldn't call it a quick read because so much happened and you felt something for all the characters, especially Shelby and the book left you wanting to know how the Princess Ball was going to be like at the end.

The cover was simple, but sweet. I don't think you could capture the premise of this book in a more perfect cover. This is the first book I've read by Jackson Pearce, but I'm sure I'll be reading more in the future because her writing is great and her stories really speak to you.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Teresa Lo Interview

1. Your novel, HELL'S GAME has an interesting premise, how did you come up with it?

I grew up in Coffeyville, Kansas, and I had always heard stories about the Gateway to Hell in Stull, Kansas. For years, I had been trying to write a story that could incorporate the Gateway and a prank gone wrong, and recently, I finally merged that idea with the idea of a bizarre, high-stakes game of nightmares.

2. The road to publication is always hard, how was your road?

My struggle to publication has definitely been a hard one! I have been writing books since I was in high school, and I remember how I would query agents and publishers only to receive rejection after rejection. I ended up taking a break from prose and focused instead on screenwriting, but the desire to publish a YA novel was still inside of me. I took another crack at writing a YA novel over two years ago, and that effort, CHOP SUEY, was met with the same response as my high school efforts—which was rejection! This time, however, I didn’t get discouraged, and I ended up writing HELL’S GAME. Overall, the process for me to get to where I am today took over a decade and it was filled with a lot of people telling me, “No” and me telling myself, “Don’t stop.”

3. Are there any characters in HELL'S GAME that you are close to or resemble you?

When I was growing up in Kansas, I encountered a lot of racism, and I was very uncomfortable in my own skin. I used a lot of my memories to write the Asian-American character Kristin, and her character’s insecurity reflected what I felt about myself when I was her age. What I love about Kristin is that she starts off as a meek follower who bottles up her emotions, but throughout the book, she releases her anger to find the strength within herself.

4. What books have you read lately that have kept you on your toes?

I loved The Hunger Games trilogy, and it really inspired me to write something with a lot of action and twists and turns.

5. Can you tell us five things about you that no one may know?

1) I’m a middle child.

2) When I was a teenager, I had braces and head gear. It was very embarrassing, but at least my teeth are straight now.

3) I have a M.F.A. in Screenwriting from the University of Southern California.

4) I have a cat named Paige Turner.

5) I was an intern for The Late Show with David Letterman when I was an undergraduate in college.

6. If you could describe HELL'S GAME in three words, what words would you choose?

Action-packed. Suspenseful. Scary.

Be sure to check out Teresa Lo's novel HELL'S GAME!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Fallen in Love by Lauren Kate

Publisher: Delacorte Press
Age Group: YA
Source: Publisher

Unexpected. Unrequited. Forbidden. Eternal. Everyone has their own love story.

And in a twist of fate, four extraordinary love stories combine over the course of a romantic Valentine's Day in Medieval England. Miles and Shelby find love where they
least expect it. Roland learns a painful lesson about finding-and losing love. Arianne pays the price for a love so fierce it burns. And for the first -and last- time, Daniel and Luce
will spend a night together like none other.

When I first received the book, I didn't know if it went with the series or not. I know RAPTURE was the final book and then relaized FALLEN IN LOVE is book 3.5. I know waiting for RAPTURE is making me become more desperate everyday. Having FALLEN IN LOVE to read, gives everyone who has loved the FALLEN series something to read until the final book comes out.

The whole book has different stories from all our favorite characters and the first tiem they fell in love. With all honesty, my favorite was Luce and Daniel's story. I guess it's because I've loved both of them so much this whole time reading the series, that I never could wait until the next book came so I could find out what was going to happen to them. Plus, I really wanted to know more of their background and this book gives it.

The cover was again amazing and I've really loved the covers for this entire series throughout. But because the book was so small, it left me for more and once I was done, I knew I needed RAPTURE right away, but the good news is that it's almost out and we can read the finale.

If you can't wait any longer for the last book to be published, I recommned reading this because you get to go through everything with your favorite characters and hopefully it's a good filler for the in between time.