What's Next? 8.23.12

Here's how it works:
  • Every Thursday, select three-five books (not too many, not too little!) that you want to read but can't decide which one to read first. 
  • Post the cover, and if you want, the synopsis or even a random line from the book, for each of your selections. 
  • At the end of your post, ask readers to vote on which one you should read next! 
  • Even if you don't end up reading your readers' top choice, you'll know what the majority is excited for. 
Thanks to Iceybooks for hosting this meme!

I have 2 books to choose from this week. I am finishing up the last of a big Library stack!
Please help me pick which to read first!

Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr
A faery story. Book #1 of a series.

A World Away by Nancy Grossman
A story of an Amish girl and Rumspringa.

Just leave a comment with your pick! I love when people can help me decide!

What's Next? 8.16.12

Here's how it works:
  • Every Thursday, select three-five books (not too many, not too little!) that you want to read but can't decide which one to read first. 
  • Post the cover, and if you want, the synopsis or even a random line from the book, for each of your selections. 
  • At the end of your post, ask readers to vote on which one you should read next! 
  • Even if you don't end up reading your readers' top choice, you'll know what the majority is excited for. 
Thanks to Iceybooks for hosting this meme!

I've been busy and haven't done this meme in a few weeks, but I'm back at it!

Here are my next 3 book options. They're all part of series that I have started. 
Please help me choose!

The Dead-Tossed Waves (The Forest of Hands and Teeth #2) by Carrie Ryan

Forever (The Wolves of Mercy Falls #3) by Maggie Stiefvater

Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy #3) by Richelle Mead


Which would you read? Would you start the second book in a series, finish the final book in a series, or keep going with a series that has more books and a totally swoon-worthy guy?

Help!!! :) Just leave a comment with your vote and I will love you for helping me on my decision!

Review: Tiger Lily

Title: Tiger Lily
Author: Jodi Lynn Anderson
Source: Borrowed from my Library

Goodreads Summary and Cover:

Before Peter Pan belonged to Wendy, he belonged to the girl with the crow feather in her hair. . . .
Fifteen-year-old Tiger Lily doesn't believe in love stories or happy endings. Then she meets the alluring teenage Peter Pan in the forbidden woods of Neverland and immediately falls under his spell.
Peter is unlike anyone she's ever known. Impetuous and brave, he both scares and enthralls her. As the leader of the Lost Boys, the most fearsome of Neverland's inhabitants, Peter is an unthinkable match for Tiger Lily. Soon, she is risking everything--her family, her future--to be with him. When she is faced with marriage to a terrible man in her own tribe, she must choose between the life she's always known and running away to an uncertain future with Peter.
With enemies threatening to tear them apart, the lovers seem doomed. But it's the arrival of Wendy Darling, an English girl who's everything Tiger Lily is not, that leads Tiger Lily to discover that the most dangerous enemies can live inside even the most loyal and loving heart.
From the "New York Times" bestselling author of "Peaches" comes a magical and bewitching story of the romance between a fearless heroine and the boy who wouldn't grow up.
My Thoughts:
I'm not completely sure how to express my thoughts here, or even truly what I thought of Tiger Lily.

I did enjoy that the story was told from Tinker Bell's view. I think I missed out on getting to know Tiger Lily or Peter better, though.

Tiger Lily was a strong character. I wish that she would have had a little more emotion.

Peter. Oh, Peter. I'm disappointed in him.

I did like that Jodi Lynn Anderson kind of tackled the Christianity aspect...in a way. The character Phillip tried changing the tribe by instilling God (and the fear of) into their lives. His focus, and what made people doubt in the Shaman, Tick Tok, was that he dressed and acted like a woman. I could go on and on about my beliefs about this, but I shall spare you all!

I am glad that Tiger Lily had Pine Sap in her life.

It was really awesome the way that Anderson used the story of Peter Pan to build this pre-story. It was very clever!

My Rating:
I really did enjoy Tiger Lily. I just wish there was more emotion and connection with the characters for me.

Tiger Lily satisfies a part of the StandAlone Reading Challenge!

Review: Onyx

Title: Onyx (Lux #2)
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Source: Purchased

Goodreads Summary and Cover:

Being connected to Daemon Black sucks…
Thanks to his alien mojo, Daemon’s determined to prove what he feels for me is more than a product of our bizarro connection. So I’ve sworn him off, even though he’s running more hot than cold these days. But we’ve got bigger problems.
Something worse than the Arum has come to town…
The Department of Defense are here. If they ever find out what Daemon can do and that we're linked, I’m a goner. So is he. And there's this new boy in school who’s got a secret of his own. He knows what’s happened to me and he can help, but to do so, I have to lie to Daemon and stay away from him. Like that's possible. Against all common sense, I'm falling for Daemon. Hard.
But then everything changes…
I’ve seen someone who shouldn’t be alive. And I have to tell Daemon, even though I know he’s never going to stop searching until he gets the truth. What happened to his brother? Who betrayed him? And what does the DOD want from them—from me?
No one is who they seem. And not everyone will survive the lies…

My Thoughts:
I am seriously thinking that Jennifer Armentrout can do no wrong. Each book that I read of hers, I fall more in love with her writing and story-telling.

The kissing in this book...whoa momma! I sometimes felt like I was a peeping tom. Those scenes are THAT good!!!

Onyx continues where Obsidian left us. Katy has been left with some abilities from Daemon's healing after she was nearly killed. Onyx introduces a new character, Blake, who transfers to the school and immediately befriends Katy and lets her (and Daemon) know that he knows about her. Blake tries to help her control her new found powers and also tries to find out all that she is capable of doing.

In Onyx, we find so many betrayals and disappointments. There were a couple of times that I wanted to jump through the pages and strangle someone!

I am now anxiously awaiting Opal (Lux #3). I must know more about Dawson...and Will *hiss*. Oh, and of course, more of Daemon and Katy's relationship!!! YEAH! Hubba, hubba!

My Rating:
Just go ahead and get yourself a copy now. Go! Scoot! What are you waiting for? Move it!

Giveaway: Austen in August

Adam, @Roofbeamreader (http://roofbeamreader.net/2012/07/02/austen-in-august-sign-up-post/), has come up with a great idea for the month of August -- a reading event for Jane Austen novels and Austen themed novels! There have been quite a few books lately that take a spin off of Jane Austen's works.

There is no limit or any kind of challenge to Austen in August. It is more of a read for the love of Austen!

I wanted to share the love of a book I recently read, as well as the book in which it was based.
I am offering a copy of Diana Peterfreund's FOR DARKNESS SHOWS THE STARS (my gushing review!) and Jane Austen's PERSUASION, in which FDStS was based.

Only registered participants are eligible for this prize.

This will be an International giveaway and will end at 11:59PM EST on August 13. You must be a participant and signed up for the event on Adam's blog. Also, you must be at least 13 years of age. There will be one winner and the winner will receive both books. 
(Due to so many covers of Persuasion, I will allow the winner to choose the version he/she wants from 
The Book Depository, up to $15.)

Authors Are Rockstars: Author Guest Post

I am so very excited to be a part of the Authors Are Rockstars Tour hosted by Fiktshun and Two Chicks on Books. These ladies are also rockstars to me! I am so thankful for the opportunity to do this tour and getting to feature...

Myspace Glitter Graphics - http://www.sparklee.com
That's RIGHT! I pulled out the sparklies!
So creative! So beautiful! So smart! 

So, what makes Stasia Ward Kehoe a ROCKSTAR to me?

She is creator and a supporter of the Arts. Hooray for all forms of ART!

Dance is one of the most expressive forms of art, in my opinion. And when you can add music to a dance, it can cause so many emotions in a person. I would honestly love to see some of Stasia's choreography.

It is said that when someone wants to write a book, you should write about what you know. Stasia has definitely done that with AUDITION. She has created a verse novel (my first!) that flows perfectly! She graced us with a beautiful debut about a young girl trying to figure out what her dreams, aspirations, and her own voice were.

Stasia is also PRO-LIBRARIES!!!! Check out this YouTube video here. She has some wonderful tips for published authors to help educators and libraries.

If you have not read AUDITION, I say run, don't walk, to your nearest bookstore! Be ready for more of Stasia's work! I'm sure it will be a-m-a-z-i-n-g!

The topic for Stasia was "Writing AFTER the debut novel"

Here's what she had to say about it:
Before my debut novel, AUDITION, pubbed last year, people told me to “enjoy this time” because it was the “honeymoon period.” I laughed.  I’d been in agony since the book deal had been done. Revisions, edits, prepping for the blog tour, worrying about the “big day”…  How could this be a honeymoon?

Now I know that it was.  Not just because of the reality that publication proved my book to NOT be the NYT-best-selling, soon-to-be-a-movie runaway hit of which my mother was certain. (Don’t get me wrong, got some nice reviews and lots of readers seem to like it, but that’s not the same as earning out your advance, you know?)

The real reason that BEFORE-PUBLICATION feels like a honeymoon is because WRITING gets so much harder after you have reviews, sales figures, and a public identity as a certain type of writer in a certain type of genre.  Suddenly, you see yourself in phrases like “mid-list,” “contemporary-fiction” and “verse-novelist.” You’re in a tight little box surrounded by questions of whether the next book should be similar to the first, whether you should change your style in response to criticism, and whether your publisher will even print another book by you since on the first roll of the dice you didn’t exactly hit snake-eyes.

Writing has probably taken a back seat to promoting the book for a few months and when you get back to your desk, you discover that you don’t seem to be writing for YOURSELF, telling the stories that are in your heart, and focusing on your craft and your characters. As you try to resist the desire to repeatedly check your Bookscan stats and Goodreads ratings, your writing becomes strategic.  It’s not much fun anymore.  If you’re me, you probably even write a couple of hundred strategy-laden, heart-lackingly craptastic pages (cuz, um, those are words).

Don’t get me wrong.  Nobody succeeds in this business (despite the occasional weird braggy story you hear) without spending A LOT of time in front of a keyboard.  Write, revise, REWRITE, RE-REVISE, submit to your agent, RE-RE-REVISE…  This is not always a party.  But, in addition to being a job and a craft, writing is also a bit of an art.  And the rest cannot succeed without the artist in you being set free from the cages of strategy, criticism and Amazon rankings.

So, after some time (for me, sadly, months and not weeks), you take a long hard look in the mirror and ask yourself the BIG QUESTION: “Now that I’ve checked ‘publish a novel’ off my bucket list, do I really want to do this anymore?”  Another way to consider this: “If you were guaranteed that no one would ever publish your work again, would you still keep writing—and why?”

I was lucky enough to have a moment of clarity.  To remember that I’d been writing poetry and stories since eighth grade and gone unpublished for decades.  I wasn’t going to let a little thing like PUBLISHING A NOVEL destroy the essential writer-part of me.  I got back to my keyboard.  And I’m writing.  The next novel is still a bit of a work-in-progress but I know what I’m doing now.  Or, at least, I understand why I’m sitting here.
Stasia Ward Kehoe is the author of AUDITION (Viking) and a contributor to the upcoming anthology DEAR TEEN ME: AUTHORS WRITE LETTERS TO THEIR TEEN SELVES (Zest Books, October 2012).  She lives with her husband and four sons in Western Washington where she continues to write and choreographs the occasional musical.  Visit her online at www.swardkehoe.blogspot.com or @swkehoe on Twitter.

I want to thank Stasia for giving us such a great interview to read. It has been an honor to host you on my little spot on the web!
Also, a huge thank you to Rachel, Jaime, and Patricia for putting this tour together! Rock on!

RAK Wrap-Up: July 2012

It's time for July's RAK Wrap-Up!

This month, I sent:
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer (e-book) by Michelle Hodkin to Brianne (Memoriesovertakingme) Blog/Twitter **Happy birthday!!!*
Storm (e-book) by Brigid Kemmerer to Andrea (TheBusyBibliophile) Blog/Twitter **Happy birthday!!!**
For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund to Kristilyn (ReadingInWinter) Blog/Twitter

Slide (e-book) by Jill Hathaway to Katrina (BookishThings) Blog/Twitter

This month, I received:
Paranormalcy by Kiersten White from Katrina (BookishThings&More) Blog/Twitter

City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare from Kristilyn (ReadingInWinter) Blog/Twitter

I hope everyone enjoyed another great RAK month. I have! Thank you so much!