Wednesday, July 18, 2012

♫ ♫ Movin' On Up...♫ ♫


pugmoving1

Hi everyone!  I'm going to be absent from the blogging world for a while as we journey to our new home.  We are sad to leave Texas, but excited for our new venture.  I'm traveling with four dogs, a grumpy hubby, and a precious, but oh-so-talkative, teen... so I'm going to be a bit preoccupied. 



lulumoves1

I will be without internet access for a while, and I will miss you all so much!  Can't wait to get settled in so I can catch up on your beautiful blogs!
xoxoxo





Monday, July 16, 2012

Giveaway of ANNE EYRE: A novel by Summer Day

The fabulous Summer Day is giving away a copy of her soon-to-be-released novel ANNE EYRE.
To enter, just fill out the Rafflecopter form below. 
This giveaway is international and the winner will receive their digital copy of
ANNE EYRE by the August 9th release date. 


When eighteen-year-old Anne Eyre accepts a summer job at majestic Thornfield Hall, she meets the handsome Nathanial Rochester -
a man with a devastating secret. 
From the writer of Pride & Princesses and Wuthering Nights, ANNE EYRE is inspired by the classic, gothic romance, Jane Eyre.

If you have a chance, be sure and swing by Summer's Blog and show her some love.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Secret DMS Files of Fairday Morrow by Jessica Haight and Stephanie Robinson

I'm turning over my blog to my daughter Mckenzie Kate (aka Katertot) for the day.  She has a review and interview for you lovelies, today.  I'd like to thank Heidi at Rainy Day Ramblings for letting Katertot know about this book and putting these kind authors in touch with us.

A big thank-you to Jess and Stephanie for graciously sending Katertot a copy of their beautiful book, The Secret DMS Files of Fairday Morrow, and agreeing to her request for an interview. 

Here is my kiddo's review and very first interview!  Enjoy:






Title:  The Secret DMS Files of Fairday Morrow
Authors: Jessica Haight and Stephanie Robinson
Type:  Limited edition, author illustrated copy
Published: 2011

Katertot's Rating:
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Fairday Morrow is less than happy about moving to the quiet, country town of Ashpot, not to mention, utterly cheerless at the prospect of living in the crumbling, creepy old manor known as Begonia House. Nevertheless, that's exactly where she's headed.
Strange music coming from behind a padlocked door leads Fairday up a spiral staircase and into a secret room, where and ancient mirror, a brass key, and a strange picture of a red-haired lady are the first in a series of clues that will take Fairday and her friends in the Detective Mystery Squad, more commonly known as the DMS, on an amazing adventure that will challenge them in ways they never thought possible.
PhotobucketAs the investigation gears up, it becomes plainly obvious to Fairday that the danger is deadly serious. With a little help, which is found in some very odd places, the twisting tale begins to unfurl. Will the DMS be able to piece together the puzzle before it's too late?





Katertot's Review:
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Fairday Morrow is a twelve-year-old girl who has just moved to Ashpot, Connecticut, leaving her city life of New York, which includes her best friend Lizzy, behind. Having a hard time adapting to her new life, Fairday decides to battle her boredom by searching around her new home. Lizzy and Fairday have a detective group called the DMS - Detective Mystery Squad. Fairday thinks, if she were to find anything interesting, it would be a good excuse to invite Lizzy over for an investigation.


Once Fairday discovers several clues leading to… something, she can’t wait for Lizzy to visit so they can both investigate. After weeks of more boredom, dealing with school (at which she makes a brand new friend and member of the DMS, Marcus Brocket, and also a new adversary, Dif), and working through more investigations on her own, Fairday finally reaches the day of Lizzy’s arrival.




Marcus, Lizzy, and Fairday all set out on an adventure throughout Fairday’s house on the third floor… the floor of all the mysteries. Several things don’t make sense… a silver, engraved hairbrush, an odd photo, moving hair… what do all these things mean?

Ms. Jessica Haight and Ms. Stephanie Robinson answer all these questions and more, adding a unique twist to the story and keeping me guessing until the end. This was a wonderful, easy read, and I recommend it to, not just middle-graders, but to readers of all ages.

Thank you so much, ladies, for sending me your wonderful book for review!

Interview:

MK: What was your inspiration for the “infamous Begonia house”? Have either of you ever lived in a creepy, but interesting, house like that?

Jess: Yes! The story originated in a creepy house when I was just a kid. It all began at my grandparents’ house in Ridgefield, CT. Even my dad will swear that, when we were in the house, you could hear someone walking around upstairs when everyone that was supposed to be there was downstairs. My grandfather used to tell me that it was Ruby Begonia in her high-heeled sneakers. I can remember sneaking around the house, trying to catch a glimpse of her. My own imagination glammed up the shoes and developed the story around her. Initially, I wrote a rhyming children’s poem entitled Ruby Begonia and the High-Heeled Sneakers. That story continued to evolve, and I decided to turn it into a chapter book. I asked my best friend and book buddy, Stephanie, to co-author it with me, and the rest is history!

Stephanie: After Jess asked me to work with her on changing her poem into a story, the ideas began emerging from all over the place. We would meet, talk, brainstorm, and dissect each other’s ideas. Each time one of us shared something, we would spark new ideas in the other person. Some of the elements of Fairday’s story have appeared in my dreams and others that have happened in my everyday life. For a short period of time, I lived in a house that dated back to the 1700s. It was a house filled with mystery, hidden passages, and local lore. It wasn’t creepy, but it did give me a lot to think about and got my mind whirring!
 

MK: What was it like having two authors of a book? Were there ever any fusses over what to write?

Jess: Oddly enough, there wasn’t. Stephanie and I get along great, and we decided when we embarked upon this adventure that it would be about writing the best story that we could, leaving our egos out of it. We both value each other’s opinions, so it’s never been a problem.

Stephanie: Having two authors was an adventure that was exciting at every turn. Jess and I agreed early on that we would always be honest with each other and that we wouldn’t take things personally. We wanted to create the best story we could, and we knew that we would need to put our egos aside. Luckily, we have always had a relationship in which we could tell the other person exactly how we felt. Jess and I spoke daily about Fairday and the DMS. We flushed out characters, storylines, and everything else both in person and on the phone. Our meetings were always productive and helped us to be on the same page. We used Google Docs, which allowed us to write in one document from anywhere. I even worked on the book in Poland and during my travels to Yellowstone National Park. Usually, one of us would start a chapter and the other person would go in and start working their magic- adding, deleting, and crafting the writing until it was a blended expression of both of our ideas. It was a blast writing with Jess, and I am thankful to have her on this incredible journey!
 
MK: I loved Marcus and I was intrigued by Dif. Were either of these characters inspired by real-life people?

Jess: In a way, all of our characters are a mix of different people that we’ve known throughout our lives. Banner, particularly, is a close comparison to one of our high school friends, and Dif, well, he’s sort of a conglomerate of those mean kids that everyone has come across from time to time.

Stephanie:
As a teacher, I see many personalities in the classroom. It has been helpful to add elements to characters like Marcus and Dif from my observations. :) A friend of my husband’s family is called Brocket, and I have always loved the name. Jess and I borrowed it for Marcus because he deserved a cool last name, after all, he is Brocket the Rocket.  
 
MK: I absolutely love how Fairday got her name - Fairday T. Morrow. Was the saying mentioned in the book something someone really said? Or perhaps there is a significance behind one of your names or a friend’s name that inspired it?

Jess: I have no idea where her name came from. I was sitting at my desk, thinking about how to turn my poem into a chapter book, and the name Fairday just popped into my head. I don’t believe it’s an actual saying, though I have spent a lot of time on Cape Cod and around fishermen, so I may have picked something like it up there.

Stephanie: Although Fairday is a made-up name, we are both friends with people with the last name Morrow. I go to Nantucket every year, but haven’t heard the popular phrase on any of my visits. :)
 
MK: One of my favorite characters was Larry Lovell - he was an amazingly wise person and reminded me of my grandfather! Was he inspired by a real life grandfather or father?

Jess: Ah, Larry Lovell! I am so glad you asked this question. I love his character. He reminds me of a non-magical Dumbledore : )

Stephanie: When I picture Larry Lovell in my mind, I have a perfect image of a man that I used to wait on regularly at a retirement community. I mix him with a few other characters I have met in my life, and Larry starts to emerge. I love that he reminds you of your grandfather.
 
MK: This story was intriguing because I wasn’t sure where it was going - that’s always a sign of a good book in my opinion. How did you come up with such a unique storyline?

Jess and Stephanie: We decided book one in the Fairday Morrow series would stay true to Ruby’s story from the poem. Next, we weaved in the DMS and all the other magical attributes. Our in-depth talks involved a lot of brainstorming and one of us saying, “How about...?”. Each time, the story would shift in a new direction. The Secret DMS Files of Fairday Morrow was also read to two 5th grade classes who provided us with feedback through their thoughts, questions, and predictions. Their reactions helped us develop the pacing and build suspense. We are so grateful to those wonderful young readers!

MK: I found myself anticipating Ruby Begonia’s life story. I felt so sorry for her and what had happened to her and her family. I couldn’t help but wonder what could happen next for Fairday and her family (and friends)… Are there any subsequent books in the making?

Jess & Stephanie:
Yes! The Talking Library will be the next in the series, and the DMS is geared up for a real adventure. Fear not the unexpected!
 
MK: I want to give you both a big thank-you for the wonderful characters and storyline of The Secret DMS Files of Fairday Morrow! They had me thinking about the book whenever I wasn’t reading it. It was such a fun book to read - was it as fun to write? Did you have to do any research on any old myths or legends?

Jess & Stephanie: Thank you so much for taking the time to interview us. This series is a blast to write. We can relate so much to Lizzy and Fairday and have all sorts of adventures in mind for the DMS.

For The Secret DMS Files of Fairday Morrow we didn’t need to do much research, as we already had the premise for the storyline and the general idea of where we wanted to go with it. At times, we did research items like the stove and various technology to make sure that they were accurate for the time period. However, book two, The Talking Library, is a whole different mystery, and there will be lots of fun work to do!

Thank you again, ladies, for answering my questions and for my copy of The DMS Files.  This has been so much fun - until next time, everybody! Katertot out <3

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Teaser Tuesday (3): Intangible by J. Meyers

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.
Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


This week's teaser comes from the following book:


Title:   Intangible
Author:   J. Meyers
Published:  January 31, 2012


Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Twins Sera and Luke Raine have a well-kept secret—she heals with a touch of her hand, he sees the future. All their lives they’ve helped those in need on the sly. They’ve always thought of their abilities as being a gift.

Then Luke has a vision that Sera is killed. That gift they’ve always cherished begins to feel an awful lot like a curse. Because the thing about Luke’s ability? He’s always right. And he can’t do anything about it.



 

My teaser is:

"Just say it.  I can handle it."

"He's going to break your heart.  I saw it."

 
Uh, oh.  That's one protective brother!  I suppose she should listen, though -
with his visions, he certainly knows what he's talking about.  My question is WHO is going to break her heart??  I can't wait to find out!

I'd love to know what your Teaser Tuesday is! Leave me a link in the comments so I can visit you!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Zombie Survival Giveaway sponsored by Big Fish Games

The amazing folks from
are giving away some incredible prizes to FOUR lucky winners!  Prizes will include:


Three huge game packs (packs contain 5 games each):
Plants Vs. Zombies, Zombie Bowl-O-Rama, Grave Mania Undead Fever, Vampires Vs. Zombies, and Zombie Shooter


And awesome Zombie magnets:
zombie_repellent_the_shotgun_magnet-p147818956370435535en878_210
Grand prize winner will receive three books: This is Not a Test, The Zombie Survival Guide, and Infection; (1) game pack; and (3) Zombie magnets

2nd prize winner: (1) book - This is Not a Test; (1) game pack; and (2) magnets

3rd prize winner: (1) game pack and (2) magnets

4th prize winner: (3) magnets

I've heard amazing things about This Is Not a Test and I can hardly wait to play some of these games!!  A huge thank-you to Adam and to Big Fish Games for sponsoring this incredible giveaway!

Special thanks to Nyssa and Christie for the giveaway badge and graphics - you ladies rock!

Fill out the Rafflecopter form for your chance to win and don't forget to grab the giveaway badge for extra points!  Thanks for entering and good luck!

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

Glitch by Heather Anastasiu



Title: Glitch (Glitch #1)
Author: Heather Anastasiu
Publisher: St. Martin's Press

Expected Publication: August 7, 2012

Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository

My Rating:
ratingmagnolia-3-1-1.1






In the Community, there is no more pain or war. Implanted computer chips have wiped humanity clean of destructive emotions, and thoughts are replaced by a feed from the Link network.


When Zoe starts to malfunction (or “glitch”), she suddenly begins having her own thoughts, feelings, and identity. Any anomalies must be immediately reported and repaired, but Zoe has a secret so dark it will mean certain deactivation if she is caught: her glitches have given her uncontrollable telekinetic powers.


As Zoe struggles to control her abilities and stay hidden, she meets other glitchers including Max, who can disguise his appearance, and Adrien, who has visions of the future. Both boys introduce Zoe to feelings that are entirely new. Together, this growing band of glitchers must find a way to free themselves from the controlling hands of the Community before they’re caught and deactivated, or worse
.
 My Review:
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With such an enticing synopsis, I really expected to love Glitch. Unfortunately, there were a few elements that kept me from fully appreciating this book. I enjoyed the Matched-esque qualities that result in rooting for the characters to break the rules, while, at the same time, making the reader nearly sick with trepidation that they will indeed break them and get caught doing so.

The fear of being “deactivated” for having any human emotion is such a sad, yet intriguing, concept. Feelings are considered “barbaric” and “old world.” They’ve been stripped of everything - even color. I can’t imagine living in a world like that. 


“Beauty, happiness, they’re things so big they can’t capture them with their scientific words. It’s like what they used to call magic.”
*****
“Love shouldn’t exist, but it does. It’s the biggest anomaly, some might say the biggest defect, of the whole human race. But it’s the most beautiful anomaly.  I understand that now.

(Quotes are from the ARC of Glitch and are subject to change.)

 
I loved the technology the author wrote about: Communication panels embedded in forearms and forceps inserted deep into noses for hardware maintenance probes? Yes, please. I probably shouldn’t admit that these are a few of my favorite things.

Glitch was going well, but then, insta-love reared its ugly, unwelcome head. I’m all for falling in love, being the romantic that I am, but this was just too much too soon... even for me. This is fiction, so, of course, every detail doesn’t have to be 100% realistic, but I need to not be put off by it, either. There is an explanation for one character’s sudden and strong feelings, but I wasn’t convinced and wish it had been a slow-building mutual attraction instead.

Another problem I had with the story was the characters’ choice of expletives. Shuntin’ and crackin’ are used predominantly throughout the book, and, while I have no issues with the occasional curse, some variety in these exclamations would have been welcome.

After putting the book down for a few days, I picked it back up and the story pulled me in more than it had before. I was able to let the weird love triangle and insta-love slide for the moment, and I began to enjoy where the author was taking the story. After the ending, I would like to know what happens next for these kids, enough so that I want to give this author and the next book a chance.

Thank you to Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.    
 


 

 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Teaser Tuesday (2): Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.
Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


This week's teaser comes from the following book:


Obsidian (Lux, #1)
Title:        Obsidian (Lux #1)
Author:    Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publisher:  Entangled Teen
Published:  May 8, 2012


Starting over sucks.
When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I'd pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring.... until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.
And then he opened his mouth.
Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something...unexpected happens.
The hot alien living next door marks me.
You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon's touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I'm getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades.
If I don't kill him first, that is.

 

My teaser is:

"Run. The voice came in my head. Run now, Kat. Don’t look back.
 Run! I threw the car door open and stumbled out."

Well!  All I have to say is... girl better get to running!
I'd love to know what your Teaser Tuesday is! Leave me a link in the comments so I can visit you!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Exciting New Covers!

So, I've been away from the blogging world for a bit, and, while I was gone, I missed some exciting new covers! 

Here are a few of my favorites - just look at these beauties: 


Requiem
Sever
Deep Betrayal

There is one book here for which I would willingly give up a kidney if I could have it in my hands at this very moment.  I won't say which one, because I don't want to hurt the other books' feelings.  (Does anybody else ever feel that way... or am I just my own special brand of crazy cakes??)

I know that I will be reading all three of these amazing titles as soon as they are available!  What about you?  Do you have a favorite new cover/title you can't wait to get your hands on?