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Monday, October 31, 2011

Must Read Monday (3)

Fans of Fiction

Hey Everyone, its time for another Must Read Monday acrostic puzzle. Congrats to last week's winners! This meme is hosted by the absolutely sweet Jenna @ Fans of Fiction. (You should really go and check her blog out!!!) This week's theme is LOVE.

                  He's like nothing she's ever known before,
               allUring, sensual, mysterious.....dangerous.
                  Still, Nora can't stay away from him.
                sHe knows trusting him would be foolish, but

                   His pull on her is magnetic.
    Trying to Understand the darkness surrounding him is unnerving
making her Seek answers to questions she should never ask.
              In tHe end, learning his secrets changes everything.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Wanderlove by Belle Malory

Lola Moori is hiding a secret she doesn't know she's keeping.

She begins to remember someone. Someone important. His name is Gabe…and whatever they shared, she could feel that it was epic.

Yet it seems Gabe wanted her to forget him. Forever.

The curse that repressed Lola’s memories for the span of several lifetimes is coming undone. But unfortunately for Lola, she discovers that some secrets are better left buried.

First off, a huge acknowledgement to Belle Malory and her debut novel, Wanderlove. Its a huge accomplishment and I was so excited to be a part of the reviewing process.

This book was amazing for quite a few reasons. The first one being that its not your typical read. The plot centers around gypsies, and personally, I've never read a book about gypsies, so its originality is superb. These modern gypsies have some traditional values, which is why the main character, Lola, runs away from her troupe to live with her grandmother. Now Lola isn't a normal gypsy, she is unable to recall any of her past lives, an oddity for her kind. This leaves the reader with a lot of questions as to what is going on with poor Lola which I loved. A good mystery always grabs my attention.
 and this one was addicting. For most of the book I was left guessing what was hidden in Lola's memories and why everyone was so set on keeping it hidden.

This book also had a huge heart throb. In walks Gabe, and boy did he get my heart pumping. Tall, dark, handsome and brooding---just my type. Gabe also holds a lot of mystery and makes you really question his relationship with Lola, how are they connected and what power does he hold over Lola's memories. I loved seeing the background of this relationship over the course of their many lifetimes, it really added depth to their bond. However, in present time the relationship between Lola and Gabe starts off rocky to say the least, which gave them some great dynamics. Every scene that involved Gabe's ex-fiance, Annika, just left me fired up! However, you can't help but root for Lola and Gabe to stay together. Their romance is palpable!

There is quite a bit of action interspersed in this book as well, which really gave it some spice. One scene in particular, involving a knife and fingernails, left me totally squeamish. However, what was even more perfect was how each of these scenes was resolved. You really can't blame a girl loving a knight in shining armor coming to the rescue!

Overall I really did enjoy this book and give it Four out of Five Stars! The writing style flows beautifully, especially between present day and Lola's memories. The story is very original; I really don't know a lot of books out there about modern day gypsies. I was surprised at several areas throughout the story and fell in love with Lola and Gabe's realtionship. The ending (epilogue) was killer and I'm so anxious to know what's going to happen next to Lola and Gabe!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Follow Friday (6)

Follow Friday is a really fun feature hosted by the wonderful ladies of Alison Can Read and Parajunkee. Its a weekly meme featuring two up and coming blogs and a book related question for other bloggers to answer. This week's questions is:

If you could have dinner with your favorite book character, who would you eat with and what would you serve?

OMGosh could this question be any cooler? Or harder to answer?! I would want to eat with basically everyone...and when I say everyone I really mean all the guys I have huge book crushes on. Even though I love me some good female MCs, I'd much rather be sitting across from a swoon-worthy guy with my heart beating a mile a minute while I tried not to embarass myself.

If I had to pick one character though, I would have to go with my original heart throb crush which would be Jacob Black from Twilight. Please don't hate me for still liking Twilight OR for not being an Edward fan. I've just been so in love with Jake since the beginning of this series. I'm way too playful for the serious guys, so I fall easily for guys that love to have fun, can make me laugh, and you can just goof off with. Therefore, dinner wouldn't be anything romantic, I'd probably serve good ole' Italian deep dish pizza, something much more relaxed so we could just hang out. Then maybe he could teach me a thing or two about dirt bikes....

Ok took this way to seriously! Hahahaha! What about you guys? Leave your links in the comments and I'd love to see who you'd dine with.

Dirty Little Secret (4)

Dirty Little Secret is a weekly meme hosted by us at Under the Covers. Every Thursday we get to know other bloggers and our readers more intimately by asking them a question hoping to reveal their dirty little secrets.  We hope that you will all join us!

To participate in the meme all you need to do is:

1. Be a follower of Under the Covers.
2. Create a post in your blog taking the meme image (code above) and copy instructions.
3. Answer the question we propose! This can be done in any way you like, post a video, write a post etc.
4. Then add your link below.

Non-bloggers: We want to hear from you as well!!!  Let us know your answer in the comments!

"If you could shapeshift into anything, what would it be?"

This is easy, I'd want to be a wolf! I'm way too playful and goofy to be a feline predator, so panthers and leopards were out for me. Even though wolves aren't necessarily cuddly, I'm much more of a dog person and would therefore love to shift into a wolf. It'd be so cool to join a pack and perhaps find myself a nice 'Jacob Black' wolf boyfriend.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Blogger in the Spotlight

Hey everyone, I've been spotlighted! Go and check out Danica Page's blog to read up on me and my favorite author Sarah Dessen. Big thanks to Danica for interviewing and taking the time to get to know me.

Here's the link!

Waiting on Wednesday

Mackenzie and Amy were best friends. Until Amy was brutally murdered.
Since then, Mac’s life has been turned upside down. She is being haunted by Amy in her dreams, and an extremist group called the Trackers has come to Mac’s hometown of Hemlock to hunt down Amy’s killer: A white werewolf.
Lupine syndrome—also known as the werewolf virus—is on the rise across the country. Many of the infected try to hide their symptoms, but bloodlust is not easy to control.
Wanting desperately to put an end to her nightmares, Mac decides to investigate Amy’s murder herself. She discovers secrets lurking in the shadows of Hemlock, secrets about Amy’s boyfriend, Jason, her good pal Kyle, and especially her late best friend. Mac is thrown into a maelstrom of violence and betrayal that puts her life at risk.
First off, look at that cover! Absolutely gorgeous. The premise of this book sounds thrilling as well. I love the hint of mystery and the adventure surrounding solving Amy's murder. I'm also excited to see another story about the werewolf virus (because I love those guys) and hope that this will be a crazy paranormal read. What do you all think of this pick? Leave your comments and links to WoW posts!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

The day Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London marks a memorable occasion. For Rory, it's the start of a new life at a London boarding school. But for many, this will be remembered as the day a series of brutal murders broke out across the city, gruesome crimes mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper events of more than a century ago.
Soon "Rippermania" takes hold of modern-day London, and the police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man police believe to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him. Even her roommate, who was walking with her at the time, didn't notice the mysterious man. So why can only Rory see him? And more urgently, why has Rory become his next target? In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, full of suspense, humor, and romance, Rory will learn the truth about the secret ghost police of London and discover her own shocking abilities.

Wow, The Name of the Star was not what I was expecting. This was a really eerie and uncanny story. I don't really know what I was expecting going into this book, but the creepiness of this book- unexplained murders, Rippermania, secret government societies, and some unmentionable paranormal aspects were not it. With that said, I really enjoyed this book. It had elements that I haven't seen in other stories, such as the underlying plot surrounding Jack the Ripper murders in London. It was a superb play on a very controversial and popular event, twisting it into such a cool part of this story.

I really enjoyed reading Rory. A strong main character always makes a book that more enjoyable. Rory is the stand alone American at a London boarding school and it shows. She's progressively learning the ins and outs of living in London and fitting in with her new foreign classmates. Rory cracked me up on several occasions. Her struggles with field hockey were hilarious and I loved all the background stories about her family back home (especially cousin Diane and her angel collection). My favorite thing about Rory though was that she is portrayed as a typical teenage girl. She's got her insecurities, and is nervous about being the new girl, which makes her so relatable to the reader. She really just seemed like an average girl, one who I'd love having as my own roommate!

Rory's relationship with her roommates, Jazza and Boo (nicknames) is also really sweat and endearing. I loved how easy and close Rory and Jazza got. It really made me miss my own roommates from college! I also thought that Rory and Jerome were a very cute couple together, although I would have liked to see more progression between the two. Their realtionship seemed to take a back seat to the paranormal elements of the book and therefore didn't leave as strong of an impact on me. Jerome especially didn't really peak my interest throughout the story and it was only when he was with Rory that I really remembered him being a character.

What really sold this story for me was the Rippermania. The hype around the mysterious murders and trying to figure out how the "copy cat" was going around unseen was such an adrenaline rush. I loved the build up to each murder and the hidden messages that the Ripper left behind. I really felt like I was trying to solve the clues along with Rory. Then, when we meet up with Stephen and Callum, and learn what Rory truly is, woa, did the story start getting intense! I loved the ending, which I won't give away, but be prepared for such a rush! Again, we're left with a sort of cliffhanger, but I'm very happy to see that there will be more in this Shades of London series.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Must Read Monday (2)

Fans of Fiction

It's time for another Must Read Monday hosted by the ridiculously sweet Jenna from Fans of Fiction. This meme is a creative way for bloggers to share their favorite books through an acrostic puzzle of their own design! Its a lot of fun to come up with and I urge everyone to go out and participate. You never know what book you can come across!

  • Must become a follower to participate.
  • Follow the two winners from last week to participate.
  • Grab my button to place in your post.
  • Make sure you have a backlink in your post to each weekly post I put up, not just to my website.
  • Where it says your name please include name @ blog name and your main genre in parentheses. Ex: Jenna @ Fans of Fiction (YA)
  • Your exact post URL is the one that goes in the linky box, not your website.
  • This meme is for BOOK BLOGGERS ONLY.
  • Don't just hop around; leave comments! We all love reading what others have to say.

This week's theme is Paranormal

Nightmares become reality for cheerleader Isobel
English project pairs a reluctant Isobel with the 'gothic' Varen
Varen is passionate about Edgar Allen Poe
Everyone at school is against a frienship between the two opposite teenagers
Romance blossoms between the unlikely couple
Many nightmarish obstacles are in the way for Varen and Isobel
Otherworldly creature's from Poe's works begin to haunt Isobel
Race to save Varen from the dark grasps of a Poe nightmare
Every second counts

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Follow Friday (5)

Woot Woot Follow Friday Time!
Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. This is a wonderful feature which brings bloggers together in an effort to expand their blogs. This week's feature blogs are The Bursting Bookshelf and Book Savy Babe, so go and check them both out and Follow away!
Question: What superhero is your alter-ego?

I don't know a lot about superheroes. I was never one for watching those kind of shows for some reason so this is a really hard question for me to answer. I guess I would go with Catwoman? She gets to wear a full leather ensemble and some sick boots. I kind of like cats too. Ohh this is awful, I'm really nothing like her! I'd just like an excuse to get close with Batman =)

Leave links to your Follow Friday posts (hopefully they're better than mine) and I'll come check them out!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick

The noise between Patch and Nora is gone. They've overcome the secrets riddled in Patch's dark past...bridged two irreconcilable worlds...faced heart-wrenching tests of betrayal, loyalty and trust...and all for a love that will transcend the boundary between heaven and earth. Armed with nothing but their absolute faith in one another, Patch and Nora enter a desperate fight to stop a villain who holds the power to shatter everything they've worked for—and their love—forever.

I've been saying this for awhile, and I'm going to say it again here, I LOVE Patch. I mean, look at that cover!Now that I've got that out of the way...on to the review!

Silence has upped the bar once more in the Hush, Hush series. I'm delighted to see that with each book the story is getting better and better as we delve deeper and deeper into the mess between Fallen Angels and Nephil. This book is much darker than the previous two and the desperation and struggles to keep Nora alive and safe is even greater. There is a prevalent air of mystery and darkness to this book as we see a much nastier side of the Nephil and the Black Hand. Its really helped with the progression of the story as we now see Nora and Patch in the middle of this otherworldly war and the intensity has just been amped up!

What I loved even more was that the story (for me) was truly unpredictable. Fitzpatrick has added some great action sequences, awesomely choreographed fight scenes, and some heart pounding mysteries that will keep you thinking long after your done reading. There are several instances where you're left guessing what just happened and who is responsible which drives me crazy in the best way possible. It makes you want to turn the pages even faster and get lost with the story- racing to the end to find out what's happening.

The romance in this story has also heated up. I really don't want to give too much away, but we get to see Nora and Patch's relationship rekindle into a much deeper and loving connection than ever before. I didn't think it was possible, but Patch's hotness has intensified and some of his lines just melt your heart. There's one scene in particular, in a club (just picture Patch dancing) that made me just want to swoon! I will also mention that we finally get to see into Patch's bedroom and you won't be disappointed!

I urge everyone who hasn't read this series to go and pick up the first book Hush, Hush and get to reading. I'm so excited that Silence won't be the last of Nora and Patch because the ending left a lot of room for a continuation. (I nearly died reading the last 20 pages or so!) This series is simply amazing and breath takingly romantic and will make you wish you had a fallen angel of your own. Its without question that I give Silence 5 out of 5 stars!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Interview with Belle Whittington

Thank you Belle once again for taking the time to be a part of this interview! I truly appreciate your request for my review of your debut novel, Cicada. It’s quite an accomplishment and I know you must be overjoyed!
It’s my pleasure! I’m so happy to have the opportunity to visit your blog and share a little bit of myself and Cicada with your readers!  It took about a year to write Cicada, and I was truly glad when it was finished…not because I was tired of writing it, but because I could move on to the next stage with the characters and what they will become.

Many authors find the writing process to be such a roller coaster ride of joy and frustration. What was the process of writing Cicada like for you?

Writing Cicada was actually an easy ride. I don’t recall any frustration while writing, because the story just lent itself to me, and the characters led the way. I merely recorded on paper what I saw play out in my imagination. Now, the editing process…well there’s a story of headaches and frustration…

I’m going to be completely honest with you, cicadas creep me out! (Any bug does for that matter!) Why did you choose these creeptastic creatures for your book?

First off, let me just say that I love the word “creeptastic”! May I borrow that from you for future use? (Hahaha sure thing!)

Actually, in East Texas, cicadas are called locusts…even though they aren’t locusts at all. I guess I’ve always been enamored by those little bugs. Their buzzing sounds take me back to summer vacation, when school let out and we played outside all day long in the woods. They remind me of happy, carefree times when the worlds seemed full of endless possibilities and life seemed simple.

As to why I chose the analogy of the cicada for my book…hmmm…how do I say this without giving away spoilers? Let’s just say that there aren’t really any “bug” cicadas in Cicada. There is, however, an underlying parallel of sorts.

There’s definitely a paranormal/sci-fi theme in Cicada. What made you decide to write for this genre? How much research did you have to put in to making this story a success?

I’ve always had great affection for sci-fi, so it sort of just came natural to write within that genre. In fact, many of the stories I wrote as a child and teen were sci-fi. But paranormal fiction whispers magic to me, and it just feels right to include it in my stories. Paranormal fiction gives readers (and writers) the chance to escape from the norm and enter into a world that is not quite possible for mortals to enter. And that is why I love it so much.

I am a research junkie, so I enjoyed the research that I did about cicadas (even though there are none in the book). I also enjoyed the research I did on a mysterious little village called Cândido Godói, Brazil for this novel. Readers can expect to see lots more of that village in the sequels.

Living in the northeast just outside of big cities I don’t frequent ranches too often. In Cicada, Blair’s grandparents own a ranch and are having experiences with crop circles. Ever experienced anything extraterrestrial like that yourself?

Yes, actually I had one such experience when I was 13 years old. I was on one of my adventures in the woods with my dog, Dusty. We made our way through the woods to a neighboring pasture and crawled through the barbed wire fence. When we got to the top of one of the rolling hills in the grassy field, I realized I was standing in the middle of a giant circle imprinted in the pasture grass. No one had ever told me about crop circles at that time in my life, so I just thought it was an odd occurrence that there was a strange circle in the tall grass. Now that circle is forever memorialized in a YA novel, Cicada!

I have a soft spot for nerdy guys in books, so I took to Everett the “bug boy” right away. Who was your favorite character to write?

I do, too! Oh, yes. Everyone seems to really love Everett!

Hmm… Who was my favorite character to write… Believe it or not that is a very difficult question to answer. Each one of my characters is so dear to me. Each one of them has a very important future ahead of them in the sequels. Each one of them is an important piece of the puzzle.

But as I was writing the very end of Cicada, it was Everett who broke my heart the most. So I guess that, in the end, he was my favorite one to love. But it was Blair who was my favorite to write. And I can’t wait for readers to see what her future holds!

The relationships in this book are so sweet! I especially enjoyed the closeness between Blair and her brother Andrew. Was that inspired by any sibling bonds you have yourself? For that matter, are there any personal touches of your own life that snuck into Cicada?

I’m so glad the friendship and love between the characters translated off the page as you were reading! I love the bond between Blair and Andrew. And, yes, I was definitely inspired by some of my own experiences of growing up as the youngest in the family. Andrew has a lot of my brother, John’s, qualities. And, believe it or not, he’s got some of my sister in him, too! (but don’t tell her I said that!)

There’s a lot of the energy of my youth in Cicada. My friends and I had lots of adventures in the woods and pastures of East Texas. And there’s one very special person in Cicada. My Daddy. Grandpa is based on him.

When reading any book I love to picture the story as if it’s a movie in my head. If you could cast anyone to play your main characters, who would they be?

That’s a great way to enjoy a book! And this is a fun question to answer! Before I begin with my list, let me just say that I didn’t necessarily have these actors in mind as the characters unfolded. These actors just seem to loosely fit the actual characters in Cicada… drum roll…..

* Blair: Amanda Seyfried

* Andrew: Zac Efron (I love him!)

* David: Kellen Lutz

* Natalie: Lucy Hale

* Everett: Carter Jenkins

The ending of Cicada definitely left a lot of open doors for the sequel. What can we expect in the future for Blair and her friends? I’m anxious to see what’s going to happen next to poor Everett!
This is a tough one to answer without giving spoilers. Yes, I did leave open a lot of doors at the end of Cicada. Sorry about that! There just wasn’t any way around it. However, I think readers will really like the sequel, Firefly, because by the end of the book, a lot of questions will be answered. And I will say this…I have actually written the end of Firefly, and even I was shocked at how it ended!

Oh, Everett…what can I say? He becomes even more important as the story continues…

Lastly, what advice do you have for aspiring authors?
I know this sounds cliché, but my advice for aspiring authors is to read, read, read! Read lots of different kinds of literature! You never know from where your inspiration will spring! Then write, write, write! Oh! And listen to great music, too!  But above all--learn to people-watch! That’s where you’ll find inspiration for your characters!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Must Read Monday (1)

The very sweet Jenna from Fans of Fiction is starting up her very own meme called Must Read Monday. Check out the link below to learn more about this meme!

Fans of Fiction

It's a really fun spin on recommending books to other bloggers by making an acrostic puzzle based on the week's theme. It helps bloggers learn a little bit more about a certain book in a very creative way! This week's theme is a favorite dystopian pick.
Here's mine:

          sTrong main character
           Hatred for the Capitol
sacraficEs everything for sister

           Humanity is tested in every way possible
       coUntry split into districts
           No independence
cannot Go against the capitol
     forcEd lottery into the games
death bRoadcasted on tv

         fiGht to the death
           Alliances are key to survival
           Murder guarantees freedom
       lovE triangle complicates a lot
           Surviving is everything

This book is my FAVORITE dystopian novel out there. Hope this gives you some great insight for those of you who haven't read it yet =)

Now go out and make your own puzzle for other bloggers to learn about possibly new dystopians in a new and exciting way. Make sure to link back to Jenna's page too!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

In My Mailbox (8)

Heyooo, another IMM post from Lost Amongst the Shelves! This is one of my fave memes because its the best way bloggers get to show everyone one books they got for the week. And basically makes me insanely jealous of all the cool books everyone gets. It's hosted by Kristi from The Story Siren.

So this week I FINALLY got the Amazon order that I've been dying to get my hands on for what felt like forever. Turns out that since the books I ordered made the box so heavy they had to deliver it a littler later than expected (because they were all hardcovers). That's how bad my impulse shopping is. So here are the books...

(A certain someone had to get his camera time- that's my baby Jack!)

Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick
The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon
A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies
The Mephisto Covenant by Trinity Faegen

Author request (ebook)

Wanderlove by Belle Malory

That's it for me! Tell me what you got this week and leave a link to your IMM. I'll be sure to go and check it out =)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Giveaway Announcement!

Ahhhh I've hit the 200 follower mark!!!! You know what that means? There will be 2 winners for my very first giveaway! Each winner will be able to choose a $15 book from The Book Depository =) Remember that you can tweet about the giveaway once a day for more entries if you've already entered. (Giveaway ends November 1, 2011)Check out the details  in the link above!

Thank you all so much for the support these past 2 months. I'm having a blast meeting fellow book crazies lovers like myself! I look forward to making many more friendships and reading a ton more books. Good luck everyone!


Cicada by Belle Whittington

Summertime had always been carefree and fun for Blair Reynolds and her friends--until they came upon something that was not human. As the group of friends band together in a fight for their lives, Blair's true love becomes something more than human...something unnatural. And their existence relies on their ability to keep a secret.

Cicada is a really fun and fast read that is making me miss summertime... a lot. It follows a group of friends for the summer, with the focus on the main protaganist Blair, in a small town in Texas. I loved the closeness of this group of friends, how when faced with the scary reality of a certain situation (don't want to give too much away) they stick together and look out for one another at all costs. That was probably my favorite part of the book. Blair's older brother, Andrew, was especially protective of his sister and showcases such an intense bond with his younger sister that makes me wish I had an older brother to tag along with! Then there was also Everett, bug boy, who captured a soft spot in my heart being the science nerd that I am!

The plot of this book is something definitely new to me, since I haven't picked up a lot of sci-fi, so I was treading in unfamiliar territory for the most part. I found the story to be an original and unique creation that would peak the interest of those who like the extraterrestrials. Its very nice to see a story that strays away from the typical vampire/werewolf/faerie character. I thought the concept of the cicada was VERY creative and portrayed in a very different and creepy way! There is a definitive air of mystery to this story that give the readers (and characters) a real sense of unease...I don't want to give too much away! I will say though, that from the first page you truly feel like you're part of the secret.

I did feel as if the story was a little too quick though and I would have liked to have seen a little bit more progression in the plot. The summer just seemed to fly by! If it were to have slowed down a bit, I think that there could have been some great potential to delve a little bit deeper into the story and how certain scenarios came to be. A lot of the times we were simply being told what had happened, instead of being shown and that caused me to be a little disconnected. I will say that the ending was sadly sweet and really does envoke some heart wrenching emotion! I also wish there was a bit more detail in certain descriptions. After finishing the book I'm having a little trouble picturing what certain characters look like in my head.

Overall, Cicada is a quick read that has opened the door to a potentially new and inventive twist to the sci-fi/paranormal genre. I haven't read another story quite like it and look forward to seeing where the sequel, Firefly, will take you. I'm crossing my fingers for a happy ending for Blair, Andrew, Everett and the rest of the gang!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Follow Friday (4)

Woot Woot Follow Friday Time!
Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. This is a wonderful feature which brings bloggers together in an effort to expand their blogs. This week's feature blogs are Life Between Pages and Confuzzled, so go and check them both out and Follow away!
Q.If you could have characters from a particular book meet and form an epic storyline with characters from a particular TV series, which would you choose and why?

Arrrghh I don't know why, but this questions is stumping me! Probably because I riddle my brain with mindless reality shows instead of thought out tv series. Jowever, I am completely obsessed with The Walking Dead on AMC and since the season premier is coming up this Sunday I would love to see a cross between that tv series and the characters from Vampire Academy. How epic would that be seeing Rose, Dimitri and everyone else battle against hoardes of zombies?! Maybe its just me, with my sick zombie obsession, but I could totally see Rose kicking some major zombie bootay! St. Vladimir's could double as a vampire school and training grounds for the zombie apocalypse. Sprinkle in some Rose and Dimitri romance and what more can a girl ask for?

Dirty Little Secret (3)

Dirty Little Secret is a meme hosted by Under the Covers and has readers give up some of their dirtiest little secrets! Anyone can participate so go and checkit out!

To participate in the meme all you need to do is:

1. Be a follower of Under the Covers.
2. Create a post in your blog taking the meme image (code above) and copy instructions.
3. Answer the question we propose! This can be done in any way you like, post a video, write a post etc.
4. Then add your link below.

Who is the villian you love to hate?

I've got to go with Under the Cover's answer on this one, its got to be Lash from The Black Dagger Brotherhood. He's the most maniacal and evil character out there. I've never read someone so sick and twisted before! Some of the stuff he comes up with is just down right nasty, but that just makes him one of the greatest villains ever. Although we haven't seen him for awhile in the series I have a feeling he'll be coming back for some vengance and when he does its just going to get uglier. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Eve by Anna Carey

The year is 2032, sixteen years after a deadly virus—and the vaccine intended to protect against it—wiped out most of the earth’s population. The night before eighteen-year-old Eve’s graduation from her all-girls school she discovers what really happens to new graduates, and the horrifying fate that awaits her.

Fleeing the only home she’s ever known, Eve sets off on a long, treacherous journey, searching for a place she can survive. Along the way she encounters Caleb, a rough, rebellious boy living in the wild. Separated from men her whole life, Eve has been taught to fear them, but Caleb slowly wins her trust...and her heart. He promises to protect her, but when soldiers begin hunting them, Eve must choose between true love and her life.

I could read dystopian books all day long <3 Seriously, its something about that dramatic end of the world fight to survive feeling that gets my adrenaline pumping whenever I read a dystopian book. In Eve, I definitely had moments where I was completely enthralled in the story and survival of the main character, Eve. After discovering that she is basically living in a prison which is prepping her to become a baby making machine, Eve decides to run away into the wilderness of this new world where disease has wittled down the population to almost nothing. Here, Eve meets up with Caleb, and the adventure begins!

What I loved about this book was that its raw and gritty. The story really envelops the feeling of a ravaged country without law or order. Outside the walls of the school's safe compound is wilderness and terror that Eve has never experienced. We see the country torn apart and basically destroyed in a very descriptive and terrifying setting that makes the story come alive! It may be a little frustrating seeing how Eve handles her new surroundings and she makes some pretty dumb decisions, but I had to remind myself that she grew up with certain beliefs and knowledge engrained into her head, so everything is wildly new to her. That doesn't mean that her choices, purely based on logic, aren't a little annoying.

This story isn't my favorite dystopian book, but I did enjoy the relationship that develops between Eve and Caleb. As we all know, I can't stand an insta-romance, and the progression from friendship to romance is slow in Eve and therefore to my liking. The real focus on the book is Eve's flight and survival while evading capture. It is here that I was won over by Eve. In these heart-pounding moments where we see Eve struggle to slip away and survive that I was really thrilled with the story.

Overall, I give this book 4 out of 5 stars. I do believe that there could have been a bit more background information provided for this story to really develop this dystopian world, but I was satisfied with the book. I also was really shocked by the ending, and have a feeling that this leaves the door open for an even better sequel!

Lost Amongst the Shelves 1st Giveaway!

It's been approximately 2 months since starting up my blog, Lost Amongst the Shelves, and I cannot even begin to describe the overwhelming support I've received. Even cooler are the friendships that I've started to make with fellow bloggers who have reached out to me. Its just been so nice having people to talk to who get just as excited over a book as I do!

To say thank you to all my followers I am holding my first every giveaway! The winner will receive a $15 book of their choice from The Book Depository!
  • It is International as long as The Book Depository ships to your country
  • This giveaway is opened October 11, 2011 and will close November 1, 2011
  • Participants must be 13 years or older to enter
  • You must be a follower to enter this giveaway
  • You can grab my giveaway button on the side of this blog
  • A winner will be chosen randomly and emailed
  • If I reach 200 followers before the end of this contest a SECOND winner will also be chosen!
Good luck and thank you again to all my followers for making my first 2 months as wonderful as it has been.

* I've noticed that the giveaway button hasn't been working. Thanks to Jenna from Fans of Fiction, I got the right code and have fixed it. It should be working now! For those of you who already tried to post with the old code I won't expect you to try again with the new. Your entries will still count =)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Teaser Tuesday

Ok, so I haven't done a Teaser Tuesday in awhile, but I thought I'd switch it up this week. This meme, hosted by Should Be Reading is really easy and fun to participate in. All you have to do is:
  • 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!
Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs

"Do not be the crazy girl in the room. If I'm going to wind up in a nuthouse Monday morning, I want to enjoy my last days of freedom." pg 70

Monday, October 10, 2011

Isle of Night by Veronica Wolff

When Annelise meets dark and seductive Ronan, he promises her a new life-if she has the courage to chance the unknown. Now, she's whisked away to a mysterious island and pitted against other female recruits to become a Watcher-girls who are partnered with vampires and assist them in their missions. To survive and become a Watcher, Annelise has to beat out every other girl, but she's determined to do so, because to fail doesn't mean dishonor-it means death.

I've heard a lot of people describe this book as a cross between Vampire Academy and The Hunger Games, and that isn't really far off. The story follows high school graduate Annelise off on this wild adventure to a secret island where she is trained to become a Watcher for an old cult of vampires. The school is very seclusive and its basically a fight to death to be awarded one of the coveted spots as Watcher. Training involves everything from proper etiquette to physical combat. The girls are competitive and down right nasty because everything is at stake to win one of these spots.

I found the plot of this book to be just a tad far fetched, but I can understand that its fiction and so of course its going to be unrealistic. However, at certain times I was just questioning Annelise's judgement and asking myself, "Really?!"  This was mainly in the beginning of the story when Annelise is whisked away to the island without really a second thought. For the majority of this book I could overlook these parts simply because everything else rocked!

Wolff really mastered the art of story telling with The Isle of Night. The flow of this book is great and it really feels like you're reading a story as it progresses and not some retelling over the course of a week. We get to see Annelise develop and grow throughout each chapter while at school from this anxious cast out into a cool and confident warrior. This development also includes her friendships with Yas and Emma, which were so sweet. There wasn't any forced friends or enemies for that part, everything just seemed really natural and thats what I loved about this story.

Now of course the easiest way to win me over is with a dashingly hott male lead, and boy did Ronan fit that description. Accent? Check. Physique? Check. Mystery? Check. This guy just had it all. He definitely reminded me a lot of Dimitri from VA in that he is one of Annelise's instructors but has a deep connection with her and therefore takes a special interest in training her. The chemistry between the two was steamy, but not over the top, which I can appreciate since I HATE when things are rushed. I am so looking forward to more of Ronan in the future of this series.

I am seriously addicted to this story. There was great action, especially at the end, which really gets your blood pumping and adrenaline rushing. The vampires are so creepy, especially Master Alacante, and leave a lot to be questioned in the role of Watcher. I have definitely fallen in love with the characters of this book, especially the relationship between Annelise and Ronan, which I can tell will be facing a lot of obstancles in the near future. Most importantly, I NEED to know who is going to survive till the end and make it as a Watcher! Giving this book 5 stars (despite the far fetchness) because the story is just thrilling!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

In My Mailbox (7)

Hello everyone! Its time for another IMM post. This is a meme where bloggers share what books they got over the course of the week. It's hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren and is super awesome!

This week I was a little lazy and didn't pull out the camera to take a picture of the books I got. (Oh, well). I got two books! I'm still waiting on my order from Amazon to come in so I'll save those books for next week's IMM. Hopefully they'll be here by then!

Eve by Anna Carey (bought)
Cicada by Belle Whittington (thanks Belle!)

That's it for me this week! What did you guys get? Leave comments with links to your IMM and I'll go and check them out =)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Faerie Ring by Kiki Hamilton

The year is 1871, and Tiki has been making a home for herself and her family of orphans in a deserted hideaway adjoining Charing Cross Station in central London. Their only means of survival is by picking pockets. One December night, Tiki steals a ring, and sets off a chain of events that could lead to all-out war with the Fey. For the ring belongs to Queen Victoria, and it binds the rulers of England and the realm of Faerie to peace. With the ring missing, a rebel group of faeries hopes to break the treaty with dark magic and blood—Tiki’s blood.
Unbeknownst to Tiki, she is being watched—and protected—by Rieker, a fellow thief who suspects she is involved in the disappearance of the ring. Rieker has secrets of his own, and Tiki is not all that she appears to be. Her very existence haunts Prince Leopold, the Queen’s son, who is driven to know more about the mysterious mark that encircles her wrist.
Prince, pauper, and thief—all must work together to secure the treaty…

I'm normally a huge fan of historical fiction. It's been this crazy passion of mine since I started reading the Dear America series back in the sixth grade. Something about warping history and making it into a fantastical new world is so captivating. That was the main reason I enjoyed The Faerie Ring. Hamilton delves deep into the slums of Victorian England and creates this realistic depiction of what life would be like as an orphan pickpocket during that time period. The streets, the gardens, the palace, everything is just perfectly described so it feels like you've boared a time capsule and shot straight back in time. And what's even cooler, is that these places Hamilton describes, like the cottage in St. James Park, are real. Its just an added flare that gives this story its spark of history.

However, I was a little bit iffy on the story itself. I really loved the concept, of a Faerie Ring binding a truce between humans and fey, and that said ring being accidentally stolen by an orphan named Tiki. As a result, both the fey and humans are scrambling to find the ring and protect or destroy the truce, trapping Tiki in the middle. I just felt that the potential was there, but the story fell a little flat. To me, it just seemed like there was a lot of fillers between these great scenes and not enough flow, almost as if the story was a little too choppy. There would be a huge scene and then a lull until something else happened. And I understand that stories can't always be action packed 100% of the time, but for me, The Faerie Ring had a little too much down time and not enough happenings. I just wanted a little more.

What I did love about the story was the characters. Every single character in this book leaps off the page and has their own voice. I love that kind of development. Tiki of course was my favorite, being this spirited, take charge, and very loving orphan who cares for her rag-tag family. She's selfless and isn't whiny about her situation, but works herself to the bone to keep the other orphans alive. What I loved more was that she was a risk taker. She didn't fawn over Reiker and do whatever he said, and instead, made her own choices based on what was best for her family. It was really invigorating having such a strong female voice.

Overall this book was a fast read with a cutesy happy ending. I never really got any heart pumping or blood racing feelings from the book, but it was enjoyable none the less. I give it 3 out of 5 stars, for originality and spirited characters. I would have liked more action between the humans and fey, but was satisfied with the combination of history and fantasy. There were some unanswered questions at the end, so a sequel seems plausible, and hopefully the plot will pick up!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Follow Friday (3)

Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. This is a wonderful feature which brings bloggers together in an effort to expand their blogs. This week's feature blogs are A Never Ending Fantasy and Jagged Edge Reviews, so go and check them both out and Follow away!

Question: If you could pick one character from a book, movie or television show to swap places with, who would it be?

 Ready for most unoriginal but honest answer ever? HERMOINE! This girl has got the life. She's muggle born, so grew up with all the technological amenities of the real world, but finds out that she's also a witch. And a genius witch! Who wouldn't want her life? I mean, she gets to go to school at Hogwarts, learn all these amazing spells, is kickass smart and is bffs with The Boy Who Lived. I love this girl! I'm not too hot for Ron, but I could deal, as long as I had the magic.

I have some honorable mentions for this week's question. Clary from the Mortal Instruments or Tessa from Infernal Devices mainly because I love Jace and Will from those series. Plus, both girls are strong, kickass heroines who live some pretty crazy lives fighting demons. Then there's Mary from Lover Eternal by J.R. Ward. Again, I'd want her life just so I could shack up with the sexy vampire Rhage. Lastly, I'd love to switch with Anna from Anna and the French Kiss. Yes, I love me some St. Clair, and I sound like some hormonal teenager only wanting the guys (ehhmm I'm no longer a teen) but I also love that she got to study abroad in PARIS! That's like my dream. To emerse myself in a foreign country, find a bunch of new boarding school friends, and experience a crazy new adventure together. And yes, find a cute guy with an accent- I won't lie.

So please Follow away and I'll be sure to return the favor!

Dirty Little Secret (2)

Ohhhh time for another reveal....Dirty Little Secret time!
Dirty Little Secret is a weekly meme hosted by Under the Covers.
Every Thursday we get to know other bloggers and our readers more intimately by asking them a question hoping to reveal their dirty little secrets.

If you could jump into a time travel machine and it takes you to back when you were a kid, what would your tv be playing then?

Well, I grew up in the 90s on nickelodeon when cartoons were actually funny and had some thought put behind them (as much as cartoons can). So, if you were to time travel with me, my television would definitely be blasting some Rugrats or Hey Arnold. I LOVED those shows as a kid. When I was a little bit younger I was a bit more into Rugrats. Huge Chuckie Finster fan until they went and ruined the show with all those new kids and then tried to make them into teenagers. Why fix it if it isn't broke?! Then when I got a little older I graduated into Hey Arnold. Now that cartoon was awesome- favorite episode was when the kids go on a field trip to the opera and Arnold falls asleep and has this dream where everyone is in Carmen. I can still sing some of the lines from that episode. HILARIOUS!

Just recently, on my 21st birthday, one of my roommates bought me all of the Hey Arnold seasons on DVD. Can you tell how big a nerd I can be? Some weekend mornings we would lay around in our pajamas and just watch that show for hours. Anyways, now cartoons are pretty lame and when I babysit I end up putting on the old school nickelodeon so I don't want to gouge out my eyes/ears from the crap that kids watch now. Needless to say I'll be hanging on to these Hey Arnold DVDs for when I finally have kids.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn’t believe in fashion . . . she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit -- more sparkly, more fun, more wild -- the better. But even though Lola’s style is outrageous, she’s a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood.

When Cricket -- a gifted inventor -- steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.

Well Perkins does it again, she's created the sweetest and most realistically relatable love story. I didn't think I could love another story half as much as I loved Anna and the French Kiss, but Lola was just as amazing. Its a completely different story, so it would be unfair to compare the two, but I fell just as much in love with the story and characters from Lola as I did with Anna.

I absolutely loved Lola's character. Normally, I'm so invested in the male love interest that I forget to connect with the girl, but with this book Lola completely captures my focus. She's creative, eccentric, bold, and care free. Since I'm a typically shy and introverted girl, I was fascinated with Lola's personality and individuality. She's like no character I've ever read before. And then when Lola is with Cricket? I loved it. They were a sweet and fun couple that made my heart melt. Cricket was just another ideal guy who I fell in love with. His determination to prove he's not the same guy was so endearing. And the fact that he loved Lola for her individuality was so cute. I just don't know how Perkins can do it again and again and create these amazing guys that just make it so easy to fall in love with!

What was even cooler about this book? WE SEE ANNA AND ETIENNE! Ahhh I was so excited when they made an appearance...and then another...and another! I was assuming they'd make a cameo or get a quick reference, but no, they were actual characters in this book. It worked out perfectly, because they didn't steal the spotlight, they were strong supportive characters and we get just the right amount of updates.

Lola and the Boy Next Door is a fun and quirky love story that is just as enjoyable as Anna and the French Kiss. Perkins is able to create such a drastically different, but just as wonderful, story that you can't help falling in love with. Each character stands out on their own and only adds to the funkyness of the story. I absolutely love everything about this book- the wardrobe, setting, characters, love, and quirkiness of it all. This is definitely another 5 star book that just sucks you in and makes you love every character in it!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday

Whoo Top Ten Tuesday from The Broke and Bookish! This week's list is...Top Ten Book Endings That Left Me With My Mouth Hanging Wide Open! I've been looking forward to this particular TTT because the majority of my favorite books have endings where my mind feels like confetti because it literally blew it. So here we go...

1. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin- I'm still coming off the high from this book. The ending was incredible and such a cliffhanger! I've got so many questions still and can't wait until another book to learn more.

2. Delirium by Lauren Oliver- My heart seriously broke at the end of this book. I'm not much of a crier, but this book made me shed some tears within the last few pages. Again, I'm anxious for the sequel so I can learn what's happening next!

3. Any Harry Potter Book by J.K. Rowling- Every one of these book had my mouth hanging open. What's even more noteworthy that either you 10 or 50 years old, the story literally sucks you in and hooks you. The twists and turns and surprises of these books are unparalleled and each ending was magical for everyone.

4. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins- Ok, so my mouth was open for pretty much this entire book. This time it was because of the pain, tradgedy, and gruesomeness of the story. But I absolutely loved it.

5. The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom- I read this book when it was on Oprah (I think) and there was all this hype. This is definitely a story whose ending really sticks with you. Its very though provoking and made me analyze a lot about myself, based mostly on the ending. Again, this is another emotional read, but so very enjoyable.

6. Divergent by Veronica Roth- Holy cliffhanger! So much action leading up to an ultimate climax and the story just keeps going! I'm dying to know whats going to happen next. My jaw is still hanging open for this book.

7. Last Sacrafice (Vampire Academy #6) by Richelle Mead- I honestly did not see the ending coming for this book. There was such an intense lead up to this story, and the entire book was action after action, emotion after emotion, all leading up to such a crazy ending. I absolutely love it when an author can surprise me and Mead definitely did with Last Sacrafice.

8. Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare- Just like with Last Sacrafice, I did not see the ending coming for this book. For books, its so hard to hide the bad guy and make an unpredictable ending, but I can confidently say that I was shocked as to who the bad guy was in this book. Utterly blown away by the ending and am anxious for December's release of Clockwork Prince.

9. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare- Clare does it again for me in City of Bones. I didn't remotely think for a second that the story was going to end like it did. I was so shocked when the relationship between Clary and Jace was revealed and was literally left reeling by the ending. Double kuddos to Clare!

10. Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick- Woa. Woa. And woa. This book's ending was insane. It literally had me on the edge of my seat and trying to guess what was going to happen next to Nora. I have such an investment in Patch, and that last scene? It felt like out of a movie and I was just yelling to know what was happening! Gotta love those cliffhangers.

What books ramsacked your mine, like these did to me? Leave your comments with links to your Top Ten Tuesday posts and I'll make sure to check them out!

Monday, October 3, 2011

You Against Me by Jenny Downham

If someone hurts your sister and you're any kind of man, you seek revenge, right? If your brother's been accused of a terrible crime and you're the main witness, then you banish all doubt and defend him. Isn't that what families do? When Mikey's sister claims a boy assaulted her at a party, his world of work and girls begins to fall apart. When Ellie's brother is charged with the crime, but says he didn't do it, her world of revision, exams and fitting in at a new school begins to unravel. When Mikey and Ellie meet, two worlds collide. Brave and unflinching, this is a novel of extraordinary skillfulness and almost unbearable tension. It's a book about loyalty and the choices that come with it. But above all it's a book about love - for one's family and for another.

I had You Against Me on my bookshelf for quite some time, and don't have a real reason as to why I hadn't picked it up sooner. This was right up my alley! This story is a very sweet romance between two teens who should absolutely hate each other. The fact that they overcome such insurmountable obstacles to be together makes this story addicting and engrossing. The entire time while reading You Against Me I just kept rooting for Ellie and Mikey!

The characters in this book are so real. Their development is so well detailed that you feel as if you actually know them, despite being fictional. Ellie is a very kind and obedient girl, with an abundance of knowledge and an intense loyalty to her family. Mikey is the boy from the wrong side of the city. His family isn't well off, and so he is charged with the responsibility to take care of his sisters. To do this, Mikey works incessantly in an attempt to keep everyone afloat. Individually, both characters are so strong and their personalities are vividly explained, but together, their relationship is so much stronger. They compliment each other so well and sacrafice everything so they can be together. It's the type of love any girl would be jealous of.

This story is definitely geared towards an older audience. There are some mature themes, specifically Karyn's sexual assault. However, this story isn't completely focused on the unforgiveable wrongdoings of Ellie's brother and Karyn's rape. Its an emotional story spotlighting the affects this situation has on the families involved. The contrasting reactions are raw and riveting and the entire story just sucks you in. What I love most though, is that throughout this story you'll be asking yourself, "What would you do?" Every page just invokes another question and analysis of your own morals and choices.

Although the story between Ellie and Mikey is beautiful, You Against Me is defintiely about much more than pure teenage love. It's gritty and emotional and very realistic. Not everybody gets their happy ending, but I honestly loved that about the book. I give it 5 out of 5 stars and have become an avid fan of Jenny Downham!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

In My Mailbox (6)

It's time for another In My Mailbox! This meme is hosted by Kristi at the Story Siren and is a way for bloggers and readers to share which books they received over the past week. I'm very excited for this week because I went a little book crazy and there were so many amazing releases. I had little self control.

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephenie Perkins
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
The Faerie Ring by Kiki Hamilton
Sweet Venom by Tera Lynn Childs
Isle of Night by Veronica Wolff

For Review:
Happy Birthday to Me by Brian Rowe (thanks to Brian Rowe)
Happy Birthday to Me Again by Brian Rowe (thanks to Brian Rowe)

A very fun haul this week and I still have like 6 books from amazon that haven't arrived yet! (I told you I went book crazy). Leave your comments with links to your IMM posts below and I'll make sure I check them out =)

Interview with J.D. Thompson

Hello everyone, I'd like to invite J.D. Thompson to my blog today! She is a debut author and I reviewed her first book, Silver and Stone, earlier this week. You can find that review here! I was very lucky to ask Thompson a few questions and she very graciously answered them! It was such a pleasure communicating with Thompson and she made my first author request such a pleasant experience.

Silver and Stone is a fresh new twist in the Paranormal genre of Young Adult books! How did you come up with such a new and original story line? How much research was involved with this story?

To be completely frank, I intentionally sought out to write something different. I had read a string of very similar YA novels, all of which seemed to have vampires in them, and couldn't help but feel bored of it all. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed most of them. The problem was they all felt the same. So I started to think of what I would like to read and what would be interesting to see in the paranormal romance genre that hadn't been overdone yet. That's where Lucas came in, followed closely by Alexis. Most of the research I did was for Lucas, as I tried to incorporate some mythology into my own storyline.

What was the most difficult part of writing Silver and Stone? What was the easiest?

At first, finding the time to write was the most difficult. I had just recently had a baby and had yet to learn how to balance it all. I found myself writing at all hours of the night while the baby was sleeping, or even typing with one hand as she slept in my arms. It got easier as she grew older to say the least.

Creating the character's and the world they live in was by far the easiest when it came to writing Silver and Stone. They all had their own personalities and quirks from the get go and sometimes it felt as though they were writing themselves. They took on a life of their own, and I was just the one putting the words on the screen.

Describe the writing process for you. From start to finish, how long did it take to write Silver and Stone? Where is the ideal setting for you to get your work done? Any necessary caffeinated beverages?

While any caffeinated beverage is welcome, my preferred drink is a nonfat skinny latte from a local coffee shop in town. I love them, and if they weren't so expensive, I would have ten a day. When you're a mother of a very energetic toddler with a full-time job and a side career, the coffee definitely plays a major role in your writing process. The best setting for me is at my computer desk in the evening since my house quiets significantly after dark and I rarely get interrupted. I do also write off my laptop, but I tend to get easily distracted if I sit anywhere in proximity to a television. Silver and Stone took about five months to complete, though in the beginning I wasn't writing nearly as often as I did towards the end. Personally, I think writing is like a muscle. If you don't practice and do it often, it's harder to get into.    

I love it when the end of a book has an "ahaaa" moment! Your book by far had the greatest reveal at the end. How hard was it to create that build up without giving everything away?

Admittedly, that was one of my biggest concerns as I wrapped up Silver and Stone. Had I given too much away? Had I not giving enough away? Was I leaving my readers confused? It was hard. I knew I wanted the pieces to fall together only in the last few chapters. Ending the book with several loose ends yet to be tied was also deliberate. There is so much about the Bloodlines series that will only truly make sense in the last installment. I want to keep the readers guessing until the very end.

I really enjoyed the individuality and development of each character in this book. No one fell flat! Do you model any of your characters after people in your own life?

Without realizing it, I put a lot of myself into Alexis. I was first told this by a close friend who pointed out many similarities between the two of us. Her dry sense of humor along with the way she rationalizes every situation she is thrown into closely mirrors my own personality. However, I do believe Alexis is very much her own person. And obviously, the drama in our lives differs greatly.

Speaking of characters, who was your favorite character to write?

Hands down, Lucas was my favorite character to write in Silver and Stone. His inner conflict between good and evil throughout the entire novel was so fun to explore. And in my eyes, Lucas's character only gets more interesting as the series evolves.

When I read, I like to picture the book as if it is a movie in my head. If that is the case, which actors/actresses do you feel would portray the main characters Lucas, Alexis, Logan, and Amber best?

Lily Collins is one of my favorite up and comers in Hollywood and I think she would be a nice fit for Alexis. She's certainly talented enough to carry the weight of the role and the camera totally loves her.

Selena Gomez as Logan would be adorable. It's a little Disney for my taste but then so is Logan.

If Jennifer Lawrence went red she would be a shoe in for Amber. The girl is absolutely stunning.

The most difficult to cast would be Lucas. I can think of some slightly older actors that would meet his description more accurately, however if I'm to stay in the appropriate age group I would go with Douglas Booth.

I loved the setting of Weatherford Preparatory School! Having gone to a private (all girls) girls school myself I can relate to the gothic surroundings. How did you come up with such an elegant and classic setting?

Weatherford Preparatory School is loosely based on Bishop's University located in the Canadian city of Lennoxville, Quebec. The campus is beautiful and definitely encompasses the historical feel I was going for. I used certain aspects of the school that I enjoyed, and let my imagination run free from there.      

A lot of high school stories center around football as the main sport attraction. Why lacrosse for Silver and Stone?

Being from Canada, I nearly chose hockey as the school sport. The problem with hockey was that the story begins in September and, unless Holler Creek was located in the North Pole, it would be nearly impossible to have an outdoor rink at that time. Hockey and lacrosse share some similarities, which is why I ultimately went with the latter.

Without giving too much away, what does the future look like for Alexis and Lucas?

There is no doubt that the series will be a rollercoaster for the pair. Alexis will continuously be struggling between who she is and who she should be, and how Lucas fits into the mix does nothing but complicate matters.

What advice do you have for aspiring authors?

The publishing world is a rough place for first time authors and it's easy to get overwhelmed by it all. Be prepared for a lot of closed doors. Don't get discouraged when submissions get rejected, because every writer gets a rejection letter at least once in his career. And above all keep writing.