Monday, October 31, 2011

Review - Cold Kiss by Amy Garvey

"Cold Kiss is a riveting tale of love and loss with a distinctive paranormal twist, crammed full of so many emotions that it will leave you a complete and utter mess!"


Cold Kiss
Amy Garvey
304 Pages
Publisher - HarperTeen
Source - ARC from Hafsah (She. Is. AWESOME!)
September 20th, 2011

It was a beautiful, warm summer day, the day Danny died.

Suddenly Wren was alone and shattered. In a heartbroken fury, armed with dark incantations and a secret power, Wren decides that what she wants—what she must do—is to bring Danny back.

But the Danny who returns is just a shell of the boy Wren fell in love with. His touch is icy; his skin, smooth and stiff as marble; his chest, cruelly silent when Wren rests her head against it.

Wren must keep Danny a secret, hiding him away, visiting him at night, while her life slowly unravels around her. Then Gabriel DeMarnes transfers to her school, and Wren realizes that somehow, inexplicably, he can sense the powers that lie within her—and that he knows what she has done. And now Gabriel wants to help make things right.

But Wren alone has to undo what she has wrought—even if it means breaking her heart all over again.
Wow, this book killed me. But, in a good way.

 I feel as though i should stress why I loved Cold Kiss so much. Because there was no insta-love. There was no desperate kissing or any of that watered down YA stuff, but there was love. There was a slow love that was described by a down-to-earth protagonist who had a real understanding of love. "It wasn't love right away, but nothing is." My heart sang when i read this, folks! Wren is a smart, witty main character who took a step back and described her relationship with Danny is a way so deep and full of love, when i found out he was dead but not-dead, i died.

 The paranormal twist is genius and not overbearing. It isn't there in the book to sell, to make sure that it can get the PARANORMAL ROMANCE stamp and be bought. It isn't there as a filler. There is love, there is hope and grief and sadness in Wren's ability of magic. What she did in her desperation and fury after her boyfriend Danny died is well thought out, and the motive and want to bring him back is something you could relate to and something that was...real! Wren is a real girl, who has real problems, but also has a kick-butt ability and a zombie boyfriend. Yes, ZOMBIE!

 Everything was vivid in this book. The way things were said and explained brought depth and life to the characters that couldn't have been aroused in any way. There were no limits to Amy's vocabulary as she strung words together to create sentences that gave the characters so many layers in YA i haven't seen a lot recently!

 Every page of Cold Kiss ripped my heart out, every page brought a new emotion. One minute, the story had ripped my heart out and i was crying, but the next, i was smiling and feeling...happy. Cold Kiss is a riveting tale of love and loss with a distinctive paranormal twist, crammed full of so many emotions that it will leave you a complete and utter mess!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

In My Mailbox - 11 - The "It's So SHINY" Edition!

Time for In My Mailbox, created by Kristi at the Story Siren! This is a time to share books you got for review, from your library, or books you bought!

I had a good week this week!

For Review -

Cinder (Lunar Chronicles, #1)

Cinder by Marissa Meyer (ARC)
This one came in a SUPER SHINY PACKAGE OF AWESOME! A dystopian spin on Cinderella where Cinderella is a kick-butt cyborg named Cinder? YES!

The Secret Sisterhood of Heartbreakers

The Secret Sisterhood of Heartbreakers by Lynn Weingarten (ARC)
Doesn't sound like something i would usually read, but the cover is gorgeous and i felt adventurous! A tale of break-ups, friendship, and magic!

Remembrance (Transcend Time, #1)

Remembrance by Michelle Madow (Finished)
I got an eBook of this from Michelle for review, but i was being horrible about reading it and asked her if she could send me a copy in the mail. She did, and i'm reading it now!

Dearly, Departed (Dearly, #1)

Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel (NetGalley)
A zombie-steampunk-dystopian-romance-thriller? I THINK YES!!!

Bought -

Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick

Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick by Joe Schreiber
"Crammed full of car chases..." YES! And it's a male POV, which i love! This is a short book, too! Only 190 pages!!! Can't WAIT!



Deadly Cool by Gemma Halliday
Gemma is stopping by the blog soon for an interview, and this book looks AWESOME! A mystery with a spunky protagonist, YES!

What did you get in your mailbox? Link below in the comments!


Take Your Breath Away - Carrie Jones - After Obsession











Aimee and Alan have secrets. Both teens have unusual pasts and abilities they prefer to keep hidden. But when they meet each other, in a cold Maine town, they can't stop their secrets from spilling out. Strange things have been happening lately, and they both feel that something-or someone- is haunting them. They're wrong. Despite their unusual history and powers, it's neither Aimee nor Alan who is truly haunted. It's Alan's cousin Courtney who, in a desperate plea to find her missing father, has invited a demon into her life-and into her body. Only together can Aimee and Alan exorcise the ghost. And they have to move quickly, before it devours not just Courtney but everything around her.

Filled with heart-pounding romance, paranormal activity, and rich teen characters to love-and introducing an exciting new YA voice, Steven Wedel-this novel is exactly what Carrie Jones fans have been waiting for. Meet your next obsession.
***


Carrie Jones likes Skinny Cow fudgsicles and potatoes. She does not know how to spell fudgsicles. This has not prevented her from writing books. She lives with her cute family in Maine, but she grew up in Bedford, NH where she once had a séance with cool uber-comedian Sarah Silverman.

The Meyers brothers are from Bedford, too, so you’d think it would make Carrie funnier, coming from Bedford N.H. Obviously, something didn’t work.

Carrie has a large, skinny white dog and a fat cat. Both like fudgicles. Only the cat likes potatoes. This may be a reason for the kitty’s weight problem (Shh… don’t tell). Carrie has always liked cowboy hats but has never owned one. This is a very wrong thing. She graduated from Vermont College’s MFA program for writing. She has edited newspapers and poetry journals and has recently won awards from the Maine Press Association and also been awarded the Martin Dibner Fellowship as well as a Maine Literary Award.



***


Did YOU ever get creeped out while writing your story?

Yep. All the time. I’m a wimp.

Do you like Halloween and decorating?

I LOVE Halloween, and we just moved to a house on a street that gets about 700 trick-or-
treaters, so I’m super excited, and sort of nervous that I don’t have enough candy.

Describe your book in THREE words?

Creepy things happen.

Do your friends or family ever read your book and tell you they got creeped out?

There’s this one scene that sort of creeps everyone out. I actually don’t think AFTER OBSESSION is too horrifyingly creepy. But that one scene... it involves a knife... it gets to people for some reason, which is a good thing, I guess.

What was the best part about writing a creepy story?


Knowing it wasn’t real! Although there are a couple of things in there that actually happened.

What interests you MOST about the theme of After Obsession: possession.

The lack of control. Yes, I have a certain lack of control whenever I see Nutella, but this is much bigger than that.

What do you hope readers feel when they read After Obsession? 

Oh my gosh, I hope they feel a whole bunch of things. Hopeful. Creeped-out. Happy. Scared. And that wonderful feeling where it's like spiders are crawling on your skin. No, not really. I'd feel guilty then.

What was the best part about writing After Obsession? 

Writing it with Steve. He was so much fun. 

How was writing with a co-author? What was the process like? 

It was SO great. We'd alternate chapters and whenever it was his turn, I'd keep opening up my email and going, "WHERE IS HIS CHAPTER? DOES HE NOT LOVE THE BOOK ANYMORE? OH NO.... OH NO..." So basically, I was liked an obsessed third-grader waiting for a text from a hot boy. Not that I like Steve that way. ;)

Did you and do you read ghost stories about possession, and also other scary subjects:) 

I have, yes. I used to all the time when I was little. I was a demented child who could never sleep.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Take Your Breath Away - Gretchen McNeil - Possess!








Fifteen-year-old Bridget Liu just wants to be left alone: by her mom, by the cute son of a local police sergeant, and by the eerie voices she can suddenly and inexplicably hear. Unfortunately for Bridget, it turns out the voices are demons – and Bridget has the rare ability to banish them back to whatever hell they came from.

Terrified to tell people about her new power, Bridget confides in a local priest who enlists her help in increasingly dangerous cases of demonic possession. But just as she is starting to come to terms with her new power, Bridget receives a startling message from one of the demons. Now Bridget must unlock the secret to the demons' plan before someone close to her winds up dead – or worse, the human vessel of a demon king.
***

Singer. Writer. Clown.

Gretchen is repped by Ginger Clark of Curtis Brown. Her YA horror/paranormal POSSESS debuts with Balzer + Bray for HarperCollins, August 23, 2011. Her second novel, TEN – YA horror/suspense about ten teens trapped on a remote island with a serial killer – also with Balzer + Bray is tentatively scheduled for a Fall 2012 release.

Gretchen is a former coloratura soprano, the voice of Mary on G4's Code Monkeys and she currently sings with the LA-based circus troupe Cirque Berzerk. She is a founding member of vlog group theYARebels where she can be seen as "Monday," and she is an active member of both The Enchanted Inkpot, a group blog of YA and middle grade fantasy writers, and The Apocalypsies, a group blog of 2012 children's debut authors.

You can find Gretchen on Twitter, Facebook, and on her blog.


***

What book or books did you get inspiration from to write a creepy book?

As I kid I always loved creepy stories. I still have my three volume set of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. Ghosts, fetches, shades, witches, goblins, etc. I love the feeling of the hairs standing up on the back of your neck, of being convinced you hear a monster in your closet or a demon scratching at the walls of your bedroom.

Did YOU ever get creeped out while writing your story?

Not so much as I wrote it but definitely as I was doing research. I read a lot of firsthand accounts of demonic possession, exorcism and demonology, usually right before I went to bed at night. Not a great plan.

Do you like Halloween and decorating?

Love Halloween! Best holiday ever! And I think fake cobwebs are the greatest decoration in the world.

Have you always enjoyed reading scary stories involving ghosts and other things like that?

I have, whether in folk tales and mythology or gothic fiction, I've been reading scary stories since I was a kid.

What do you hope readers feel while reading your book?

I want them to be scared, shocked, intrigued, excited. But most of all, I want them to feel like they cannot possibly put the book down.

Describe your book in THREE words?

Creepy, atmospheric page-turner.

What draws you to writing creepy stories?

I love the building of suspense – writing a scene with a shocking outcome or unexpected twist that makes the reader jump in their chair. It's like a musical crescendo, turning the tension up to such a fevered pitch where the excitement is palpable. Love it!

Do your friends or family ever read your book and tell you they got creeped out? 

Oh yes. In fact, I have a few friends who skipped over the dreaded doll shop scene entirely because they were too scared to read it!

Was there a certain KIND of creepiness you really wanted to incorporate into your story? 

I like the idea of making the city – in this case foggy San Francisco – as much of a character as the people who inhabit that world. The damp, heavy fog plays an important role in POSSESS, seeping into every crevice of the story just as it seeps into the folds of Bridget's school uniform skirt. I think it heightens the creepiness factor if the setting seems to go hand-in-hand with the terror.

What was the best part about writing a creepy story? 

There's a rather gruesome death that takes place in POSSESS that, as a writer, I literally didn't see coming until the moment I wrote it. I love it when the story takes on a life of its own and dictates what's going to happen!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Take Your BREATH Away - Kendare Blake - Anna Dressed In Blood!





Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.

So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father's mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. Together they follow legends and local lore, trying to keep up with the murderous dead—keeping pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

When they arrive in a new town in search of a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas doesn't expect anything outside of the ordinary: track, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he's never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, now stained red and dripping with blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

But she, for whatever reason, spares Cas's life.
I tire of writing these things in the third person. So. I write fiction, apparently mostly YA. I didn't know this, but like Stephen King says, writers are the last ones to know what it is they've written. My first novel,Sleepwalk Society is the story of four college age friends coming of age post 9/11, stumbling through friendships and love, trying desperately not to screw themselves over. My next two, Anna Dressed in Blood and Girl of Nightmares are teen horror. My short fiction can be found online in numerous places. 

But enough about that. When I am not writing or reading, you can generally find me sitting around wondering what the hell I'm going to do with my life. That, or being a gastronome, plotting a new recipe. Perhaps on a run or hike, playing tennis or watching Big Cat Diaries with my feline. This summer I have saved a total of three turtles during attempted road crossings.

What book or books did you get inspiration from to write a creepy book?

I read a lot of creepy. At least I did, when I was younger. Lately I've gotten back into with with Joe Hill. I drew some inspiration from the work of Caitlin R Kiernan. Mostly though, I wanted to play Silent Hill. But I was scared to. So I wrote something instead.

Did YOU ever get creeped out while writing your story?

Sure! That's one of the best parts! I mean, by the time I get to the scene, I know what's going to happen, but I don't know everything. I don't know where the bodies are going to show up, and what they look like. And when I find out, I can give myself a good case of the willies.

Do you like Halloween and decorating?

LOVE is a better word. Candy, candy candy, are three better words. I used to trick or treat and fill a pillowcase. I should do that again. This year marks the fourth in a row that my Halloween will be costumeless. I'm ashamed. I should set some kind of ultimatum for myself so this doesn't happen again next year. 

Have you always enjoyed reading scary stories involving ghosts and other things like that?

Pretty much. Ghosts, monsters, diabolical schemes, it's all fascinating. I remember reading Pet Sematary for the first time when I was about 13. It was so disturbing. Yay.

What do you hope readers feel while reading your book?

I hope they enjoy the characters. I hope they get a little yuck feeling in their guts when they read about the bodies. But mainly, I hope Anna and Cas get to their brains, and hearts.

Describe your book in THREE words?

Endearing dead murderess.

What draws you to writing creepy stories?

I don't know. Maybe the challenge of describing viscera? Maybe the adrenaline? Maybe I'm just weird and creepy and doomed to scare neighborhood children.

Do your friends or family ever read your book and tell you they got creeped out?


Yes! And it makes me so happy.

Was there a certain KIND of creepiness you really wanted to incorporate into your story?


The creepiness of anticipation. Oh, I love the buildup. The creepiness of the implied. What's in the corner, in the dark? Did that flash of light just illuminate what I think it illuminated?

What was the best part about writing a creepy story?

Going into the nighttime places and seeing what was there. Thank you so much for having me as a part of your Halloween spectacular! Embrace the scary season this All Hallow's Read!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Review - Fury by Elizabeth Miles





Fury
Elizabeth Miles
Publisher - Simon Pulse/Simon and Schuster
330 Pages (ARC)
Source - ARC Provided by Publisher
Release Date - August 30th, 2011


Sometimes sorry isn't enough....

It’s winter break in Ascension, Maine. The snow is falling and everything looks pristine and peaceful. But not all is as it seems...

Between cozy traditions and parties with her friends, Emily loves the holidays. And this year’s even better--the guy she’s been into for months is finally noticing her. But Em knows if she starts things with him, there’s no turning back. Because his girlfriend is Em’s best friend.

On the other side of town, Chase is having problems of his own. The stress of his home life is starting to take its toll, and his social life is unraveling. But that’s nothing compared to what’s really haunting him. Chase has done something cruel...something the perfect guy he pretends to be would never do. And it’s only a matter of time before he’s exposed.

In Ascension, mistakes can be deadly. And three girls—three beautiful, mysterious girls—are here to choose who will pay.

Em and Chase have been chosen.
Fury is enthralling and engrossing, creepy, and fast-paced! It’s everything and MORE that a YA paranormal needs!

Fury has definitely been one of the most buzzed about books lately. I mean, come on, how could you NOT be sucked in by that simply gorgeous cover with the majestic girl with the hair that is FIRE! It’s my favorite cover of 2011, maybe my favorite cover EVER, and it’s so eye-catching you can’t help but pick it up! Everything about the presentation is unique and artistic, I don’t know how anyone could resist NOT picking up this book!

The beginning of this book is not a very interesting one. Sure, you can tell there is SOMETHING going on, but you barely feel it. I was sucked into the world of Ascension because Elizabeth has a very detail-oriented way of writing that is atmospheric and enthralling. I was a bit annoyed by the little details thrown in there that didn’t need to be there, but I wanted to love Fury, so I kept my hopes HIGH.

And I am so glad I did! Wow! Fury is completely enthralling! Every word had a purpose: to build an atmosphere that is real and tangible, an atmosphere that sucks you in! There’s always that BOOK where the atmosphere is so intense and real, and the world is so well built, the situations so vivid with characters so well fleshed out, that I don’t realize I’ve read ten pages so quickly until the chapter ends! I look and am like: WOW! Ten pages already?

Fury is creepy, folks! Wow! I was surprised at the creepiness! I mean, dang, it was really, really creepy. And, of course, I had to read it at 1:00 while there was a horrible thunderstorm outside. I should do it more often. The storm and book came together and made me completely creeped out! The way Elizabeth uses words to convey feelings in the reader is masterful. The girls, the Furies, are completely creepy! I got a tingle down my spine when they showed up! Atmospheric is the perfect word for the creepy!

No matter how much I LOVED Fury, there was a certain steamy scene that was just…gross. It helped the plot, it definitely, DEFINITELY helped the plot, but I just felt that it could’ve been dealt with better. It was like all of the sudden the clothes were off and I had to skim. It was all just kind of uncomfortable. Yes, I know, girl with fire red hair and silvery laugh is hot, but seriously, you’ve known her for a week, you met her at a GAS station, and you’re already going THERE.

The characters of Fury are in no way perfect. They’re far from it, but I mean, that’s the whole point! I could still feel sympathy for them though! They’re teenagers, and they’re going to make mistakes about their love and how they feel! Love can destroy. And I really liked that the characters didn’t, towards the end, go: OMG WHY ARE THEY DOING THIS I SAID I WAS SORRY! Because, duh, sorry isn’t enough! Characters were flawed, and it made them feel much more real and depth filled!

Fury is an atmospheric page-turner that you’ll want to read way before night comes! Be prepared to cry out in sadness, fear, and love! The book lives up to it’s cover and hype!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Take Your Breath Away - Elizabeth Miles - Fury





Sometimes sorry isn't enough....

It’s winter break in Ascension, Maine. The snow is falling and everything looks pristine and peaceful. But not all is as it seems...

Between cozy traditions and parties with her friends, Emily loves the holidays. And this year’s even better--the guy she’s been into for months is finally noticing her. But Em knows if she starts things with him, there’s no turning back. Because his girlfriend is Em’s best friend.

On the other side of town, Chase is having problems of his own. The stress of his home life is starting to take its toll, and his social life is unraveling. But that’s nothing compared to what’s really haunting him. Chase has done something cruel...something the perfect guy he pretends to be would never do. And it’s only a matter of time before he’s exposed.

In Ascension, mistakes can be deadly. And three girls—three beautiful, mysterious girls—are here to choose who will pay.

Em and Chase have been chosen.

***


Elizabeth Miles grew up in Chappaqua, New York, not far from New York City. She graduated from Boston University in 2004, and has worked ever since as a journalist for an alternative newsweekly. She has been honored by the New England Press Association and the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies. Elizabeth serves on the board of trustees of Portland Players, a community theater and second home. She loves pizza; she can often be found running around on stage while scantily clad; and a cold winter night in Maine is one of the creepiest and most beautiful things she can think of. Fury is Elizabeth’s first novel.


***

What book or books did you get inspiration from to write a creepy book?

Stephen King (a fellow Mainer!) is an inspiration, of course. His novels and short stories are studies in suspense and horror writing. I also read and enjoyed DARK HARVEST by Norman Partridge - a wonderful, dark, creepy little tale - while I was writing FURY, and I know that spurred my imagination. 

Did YOU ever get creeped out while writing your story?

Yes! That's how I know I'm on the right track - when I start to get nervous myself. For example, when I was writing "the hospital scene" (you'll know what I mean if you've read the book), I could actually feel my heart beating faster and goosebumps on my arms. 

Do you like Halloween and decorating?

I was a Halloween maniac as a child - I once made my mom allow me to have TWO costumes, one for school and one for trick-or-treating (Pippi Longstocking / gypsy). My family had a terrific tradition of going to our cabin in the woods and celebrating the HECK out of Halloween, complete with haunted houses, creepy walks in the woods, scary movies, the works. (Read more about this at /bookalicio.us.com/) 

Have you always enjoyed reading scary stories involving ghosts and other things like that?

Hmmm. Honest answer: I've always had an ambivalent relationship with ghost stories. I love them - it's a delicious feeling to be scared when you know in the back of your mind that you're actually safe - but I also hate them - I tend to get scared easily.

What do you hope readers feel while reading your book?

Afraid of the dark! 

Describe your book in THREE words?

Spooky, edgy, racy.
 

What draws you to writing creepy stories?

It's a fun challenge to write suspenseful scenes. I like how in scary stories, the stakes are constantly raised.

Do your friends or family ever read your book and tell you they got creeped out?

YES! I've had people tell me that when they were reading the book, a surprising sound made them leap off the couch!
 

Was there a certain KIND of creepiness you really wanted to incorporate into your story?
Great question. I think, in retrospect, I was going for good old-fashioned scary romp - atmospheric, with a few solid "BOO" moments. Many people tell me that they can picture Fury as a movie or a TV show and I think that makes sense - I tried to develop that type of "what's around that dark corner" feeling. 

What was the best part about writing a creepy story?
  
Being able to incorporate real, contemporary YA themes - bullying, romance, betrayal - with make-you-jump scares.

Take Your BREATH Away - Tuesday - Courtney King Walker - On The Fringe






Claire is struggling to overcome the murder of her childhood friend and secret crush, Daniel. Everyone else seems to be moving on with their lives, but she's still trying to cope. The fact that she finds herself alone and drowning on her 16th birthday isn't helping.

Neither is thinking she sees Daniel's face in murky water as she mysteriously resurfaces. But something happened during those four and a half minutes that will make her realize it was not just her imagination.

As Claire and Daniel try to grasp a possible reconnection, other grudge-holding beings have plans of their own. Now, the two of them have to decide if their fleeting relationship is worth the possibility of Claire being trapped on the fringe forever.

Beautifully told, On the Fringe intertwines fresh ideas about devotion, revenge, and the consequences that come with life and death.
***


Courtney King Walker grew up Walnut Creek, California building rocket ships and rafts out of cardboard just so she could go to the moon and Niagara Falls. But a trip across the border to Tijuana was as exciting as it ever got.

After being banned from the kitchen after a few too many catastrophes, she discovered a love for writing, music and art, and eventually earned her BFA in graphic design at BYU.

She has lived in St. Louis, Chicago and San Francisco, and now resides in Salt Lake City with her husband and four children where she continues to pursue all things creative, including writing, designing, composing music and baking, with an emphasis on making a killer piecrust.

***

What draws you to writing a ghost story?

I guess, maybe because ghosts are the one paranormal entity that are not completely fiction. I believe in ghosts to a certain extent, and guardian angels, too...so the idea of exploring the connection between the living and the dead is fascinating to me.

What book or books made you want to write a ghost story?

I love mysteries and gothic classics that give you a sense of dread, that get your heart pounding. Dean Koontz is my favorite author for scaring the socks off of me. His paranormal series "Odd Thomas" is a great one, as well as "What the Night Knows," which is absolutely horrifying. I also loved and was inspired by Justin Cronin's "The Passage," Dan Wells' "I Am Not a Serial Killer," and Carrie Ryan's "The Forest of Hands and Teeth."

Do you enjoy celebrating Halloween? Is it one of your favorite times of the year?

Halloween is awesome, though I'm not a huge costume fan. I used to love dressing up (see my recent post about 'Live Action Clue' at http://www.totalbookaholic.com/2011/10/haunted-halloween-with-courtney-king.html), but at some point in my twenties, I got old, boring and tired.

I love the season of Halloween. I love the baking - anything pumpkin and cinnamony, I love doughnuts and cider, I love an excuse to eat Almond Joys (wait - do you see a pattern here?). I love parties and decorations, though nothing too gross-out bloody or anything. I'm more of a mild Halloween-goer. The best is seeing my kids get all dressed up and excited and overwhelmed by all their candy.

As a young adult, did you read ghost stories or other creepy stories? Do you read a LOT now?

As a young adult, I WISH I read at all. I don't know what happened during my teenage years, but I only read what was required. I was a huge movie buff, however, and that included creepy stories like: "Ghost," "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," "Ghostbusters," "The Sixth Sense," and "Goonies." I wasn't a huge fan of slasher movies, though, - still can't even watch one on TV without closing my eyes. And funny thing - I can't handle any type of movie that pushes into demonic territory. That includes books, too (exception for Dean Koontz, for some reason). Basically I'm a wimp.

I do read a lot now. I love reading just about everything. I feel like something's off if I don't have a book to turn to at some point during the day.

Did YOU get creeped out while writing On the Fringe?

I didn't get creeped out because I think when you know what is going to happen and you understand the background of your characters, it makes them more real and their motives more complicated. I guess it makes them human - less supernatural. So, no - I didn't get creeped out, but sometimes I think that if the things that happened to Claire in the book had happened to me, I'd have had a heart attack.

Halloween Question of the Day -

Favorite Halloween CANDY!
(Answer in the comments section!)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Take Your Breath Away - Monday - Jennifer Archer - Through Her Eyes!





Every ghost has a story to tell.

The last place Tansy Piper wants to be is stuck in Cedar Canyon, Texas, in the middle of nowhere, with a bunch of small-town kids. But when her mother decides to move to the desolate West Texas town, Tansy has no choice but to go along. Once there, Tansy is immediately drawn to the turret of their rickety old house, a place she soon learns has a disturbing history. But it's the strange artifacts she finds in the cellar—a pocket watch, a journal of poetry, and a tiny crystal—that have the most chilling impact on her.


Tansy soon finds that through the lens of her camera, she can become part of a surreal black-and-white world where her life is intertwined with that of mysterious, troubled Henry, who lived in the same house and died decades earlier. It seems their lives are linked by fate and the artifacts she found, but as Tansy begins spending more and more time in the past, her present world starts to fade away.
***

Fast forward through a few unsatisfying jobs, running a business with my husband, and two beautiful babies. I decide to stay home and raise my kids. While doing so, the old dream awakes and nudges me. I sign up for a night class in creative writing at the local community college. Soon I’m hooked. Six years, two completed novel manuscripts, a couple of children’s book manuscripts, four or five short stories, and a big fat folder of rejection letters later, I get “the call.” I’ve sold a novel! My contemporary paranormal romantic comedy “Body and Soul.”

Living The Dream: Being a published writer continually brings more fascinating people and fun experiences into my life. Some are real, some only in my imagination…. I remind myself daily how lucky I am to be able to do work I love. And, perhaps best of all, no pantyhose are required.

***

What book or books did you get inspiration from to write a creepy book?

I didn't turn to a particular book for inspiration, however I have been inspired by many books I've read in the past that have the creepy tone I love. Some classic books are REBECCA by Daphne du Maurier and Mary Shelley's FRANKENSTEIN. A more modern book that I found to be disturbing in a very good way is a YA novel called A CERTAIN SLANT OF LIGHT by Laura Whitcomb.

Did YOU ever get creeped out while writing your story? 

Yes! I made a soundtrack for the book that I often listened to while writing. One day, a particularly eerie song from the movie soundtrack IDENTITY was playing, and I detected a whisper beneath the music I had never noticed before. It said, "When I was walking up the stair, I saw a man who wasn't there." A chill literally ran up my spine when I heard that!

Do you like Halloween and decorating?

This might sound weird, but Halloween is my favorite holiday! I love the weather and the changing color of the leaves in October. I love seeing the kids in costume and all the legends that surround Halloween. I really love seeing all the pumpkin patches around town - they are so atmospheric. However, while I really enjoy all of the decorations I see around town, I'm not much for decorating my own house or yard.

Have you always enjoyed reading scary stories involving ghosts and other things like that?

Yes, scary stories have always been a favorite of mine. One slightly older book I have never forgotten is SANG SPELL by a wonderful author, Phyllis Reynolds Naylor. It isn't a ghost story, but definitely has the eerie tone that appeals to me.

What do you hope readers feel while reading your book? 

Most importantly, I hope they're entertained. I wanted to write a curl-up-under-the-covers-on-a-dark-rainy-night sort of story. I hope I succeeded!

Describe your book in THREE words?

Hmmm. Eerie. Romantic. Fun.

What draws you to writing creepy stories?
I suppose I'm drawn to write them because I love to read them. And I love watching creepy movies, too! The old, classic Alfred Hitchcock films are some of my favorites. It's fun to be scared when you know you're really safe. I don't like being scared in a real-life situation!

Do your friends or family ever read your book and tell you they got creeped out?
My husband and my oldest son both told me that one particular scene in the book really gave them the chills, and that they found the book, overall, to be creepy. Of course, I loved hearing that! 

Was there a certain KIND of creepiness you really wanted to incorporate into your story? 

Absolutely. I prefer more subtle, psychologically scary stories to slash and dashers. I wanted to incorporate that sort of understated eeriness into THROUGH HER EYES.

What was the best part about writing a creepy story?

Just the fun of it! I loved slipping into that otherworldly atmosphere each day.

Halloween Question of the Day -

What is Your Favorite Scary Halloween Creature?
(Answer below in the Comments section!)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Halloween at Reading Writing Breathing, and a Giveaway!


Take Your BREATH Away
A Very Reading Writing Breathing Halloween!

Hey there!

Halloween time is here! Pumpkins are being carved, costumes are being bought, candy is being eaten, and i wanted to celebrate here at the blog! 

Starting tomorrow (Monday) the 24th of October, i will be featuring a YA author of creepy paranormal fiction that deals with ghosts, ghouls, demons, and all that other good stuff!

Here's the line up!

  • Monday - Jennifer Archer, Author of THROUGH HER EYES
  • Tuesday - Courtney King Walker, Author of ON THE FRINGE
  • Wednesday - Elizabeth Miles, Author of FURY
  • Thursday - Gretchen McNeil, Author of POSSESS
  • Friday - Kendare Blake, Author of ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD
  • Saturday - Carrie Jones, Co-Author of AFTER OBSESSION
Awesome, right?


Click "Read More" To see the Giveaway



In My Mailbox - 10 - The Birthday Edition!

It's that time folks! IMM is here, and hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren! Time to share books i received for review, from the library, or books i bought or was gifted!

For Review -

Glow

Audiobook of GLOW by Amy Kathleen Ryan
I've been sent two ARCs of Glow, and then i got an email asking if i'd like to giveaway an audiobook of it! I said: OF STINKIN' COURSE! Dystopian Day giveaway? YEEEES!

After Obsession

After Obsession by Carrie Jones and Steve E. Wedel
Woo-hoo! First book from Bloomsbury! And what a dang awesome book to get! Carrie is stopping by the blog THURSDAY with an interview!

Dark Eden

Dark Eden by Patrick Carman
This one is for a giveaway as well! Thank you HarperTeen *fist pumps*

Private:  #1 Suspect (Jack Morgan, #3)

Private: #1 Suspect by James Patterson
So, Little Brown is awesome about the adult ARCs for my mom to read and review! When i opened the package and she saw it was the sequel to her favorite JP book ever (Private) she literally grabbed it from me:) She will be at the blog reviewing it again!

Bought -

Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna #1)

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
My grandparents treated me to a visit to the bookstore for my birthday, and i grabbed ANNA immediately! Kendare is stopping by the blog this Friday for Halloween!

This Dark Endeavor: The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein

This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppel
Another treat from my grandparents! The prequel to Frankenstein? WINNING!

Gifted -

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

YES! My mom, for my birthday, somehow figured out that i needed a finished copy of Mara Dyer since a detail changed (yes, Michelle tweeted me and told me i needed the detail that changed for the 2nd book) and i opened this and did a happy dance! SO PRETTY!

Have you seen my constant gushing of Mara Dyer? My review? Check it out!

Other Bookish/Birthday Things -



Business Cards
IKR! They're absolutely AMAZING! Hafsah at IceyBooks and IceyDesigns, who desinged my blog, did THESE! Melina at Reading Vacation bought them for my birthday! She's awesome, you know?

Amazon Gift Card

Barnes and Noble Gift Card

Half Price Books Gift Card

So, yes, i had an extremely amazing book week/birthday week! 

What did you get IMM? Link below and i'll stop by and leave a comment!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Review - Plague by Michael Grant







It's been eight months since all the adults disappeared. GONE.


They've survived hunger. They've survived lies. But the stakes keep rising, and the dystopian horror keeps building. Yet despite the simmering unrest left behind by so many battles, power struggles, and angry divides, there is a momentary calm in Perdido Beach.


But enemies in the FAYZ don't just fade away, and in the quiet, deadly things are stirring, mutating, and finding their way free. The Darkness has found its way into the mind of its Nemesis at last and is controlling it through a haze of delirium and confusion. A highly contagious, fatal illness spreads at an alarming rate. Sinister, predatory insects terrorize Perdido Beach. And Sam, Astrid, Diana, and Caine are plagued by a growing doubt that they'll escape - or even survive - life in the FAYZ. With so much turmoil surrounding them, what desperate choices will they make when it comes to saving themselves and those they love?


Plague, Michale Grant's fourth book in the bestselling Gone series, will satisfy dystopian fans of all ages.
I don't know what to say what i haven't said before. It's action-packed, it's liquid-fire adrenaline, it's romance, intrigue, holy-cow-awesomeness all wrapped up into a book that is not too long, but not too short. Plague is a truly amazing book, it makes it's predecessors pale in comparison. The stakes are even higher in this supernatural thriller full of Michael's familiar way of writing.

 The romance is kicked into overdrive on this one. When i say that, i don't necessarily mean it in a good way. I always loved how Michael kept Gone, Hunger, and Lies free of cuss words, and for the most part clean of the overly sexual themes that a ton (A TON) of YA books have. But within the first few chapters of Plague, there were a bit more sexual themes. It was rather jarring, and i have to say i felt a bit turned off. But, readers, don't let my jarring stop YOU from reading it! I know, teen angst happens. Teen are full of longing and lust for one another, i know, but sometimes YA books borderline adult in the sexual content, and i don't like it (and neither do my parents) :) Once again, though, the romance is absolutely intense and twisty, and i was full of bubbliness and angst just READING about our poor characters stuck in the FAYZ.

 Another more mature part of the book was the description. The deadly plague became quite disturbing towards the end of the book, and i found myself cringing at certain parts. Michael really knows how to take something from a page and make it 3D with his clever use of words and a prose that can only be deemed as his own! Another jarring factor, but it added a layer to the book that the others didn't have.

 The action. OHMYGOSHTHEACTION! I thought Lies got my adrenaline pumping, but Plague left me feeling like i'd just drank a gallon of coffee and injected pure adrenaline into myself (that's possible, right?) I mean, OH MY GOSH Michael, how in the world do you keep doing this? Leaving a character hanging off a cliff and switch to a character at gunpoint, then back, then weave them together to deliver an ending that is truly AMAZING?

 Should i reiterate what i've said in all three reviews of each amazing book in the Gone Series? The cast of characters are absolutely stunning! I'm still flustered at how Michael gracefully plots each character's journey, no matter how small, and makes them come together in one cohesive plot that just makes your jaw drop! I've said it three times, and i'll say it again: He is the master of the cast of characters!

 Plague is definitely different from the other books in the series. The themes of teenage angst is amped up and those with a light stomach may not be able to handle some of the descriptions in this book. I didn't know i had such a good stomach, but i did, and i was ENTHRALLED with Plague. Michael delivers the fourth installment in my favorite YA series and he doesn't disappoint one bit!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

My Poem in Honor of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

So, as you know, i LOVED The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin. If you don't, then you don't follow me on Twitter or read my review of the book. It is the best book. Ever. Besides Shatter Me, of course, because Shatter Me IS THE BOMB! Both are equally amazing, and i love both of them equally!

 Well, Melina from Reading Vacation tweeted and said she was going to write a poem about Mara Dyer for her school poem, and i was like: I WANT TO TOO! So i did, and i want to share it with y'all! Comment what you, because i want to know. A lot.

The Shadows and the Memories

I see them in the mirror
They are shadows of what I once knew

An impossibly large and imposing pulley system announce our entry
into the hall that led to the first floor of patient rooms

When I open my eyes and look in the mirror
I see him there
and hope that maybe it could really be them

The piece semi-circled the board, sailing past
A
through
K
and crept past
L
It settled on
M

I reach my long, pale hand out
and touch the mirror where I see hisherhisher face
And the shadows shatter

Landed on
A
Zigzagged across the board
Cutting Rachel’s laughter short
R

There are memories there, where shadows used to
dance
Where they would whisper taunts in my ears
Telling me that I would never remember

Then back to the beginning to
 A

Because sometimes, memories are best left untouched
mysteries are best left
unsolved

My name is not Mara Dyer

Because when the shadows drop,
when the curtains are parted
and the memories flood
in

WARNING! AFTER THE PAGE BREAK THERE ARE SPOILERS OF THE AMAZING BOOK MARA DYER! READ ON WITH CAUTION!

Interview with Debut Author Lena Coakley!

Witchlanders







































High in their mountain covens, red witches pray to the Goddess, protecting the Witchlands by throwing the bones and foretelling the future.

It’s all a fake.

At least, that’s what Ryder thinks. He doubts the witches really deserve their tithes—one quarter of all the crops his village can produce. And even if they can predict the future, what danger is there to foretell, now that his people’s old enemy, the Baen, has been defeated?

But when a terrifying new magic threatens both his village and the coven, Ryder must confront the beautiful and silent witch who holds all the secrets. Everything he’s ever believed about witches, the Baen, magic and about himself will change, when he discovers that the prophecies he’s always scorned—

Are about him.
***

Lena Coakley was born in Milford, Connecticut and grew up on Long Island. In High School, Creative Writing was the only course she ever failed (nothing was ever good enough to hand in!), but, undeterred, she went on to study writing at Sarah Lawrence College. She lives in Toronto, Canada. Witchlanders is her debut novel.

***


Witchlanders is your debut novel, what is it like knowing anyone can pick it up and read it?

Thrilling, terrifying, exhilarating, mortifying…all at once!  I should tell you right off the bat that I’m not always very good at enjoying things.  When I got “the call” from my editor, Caitlyn Dlouhy, telling me that she was going to publish the book, she said, “One of the best parts about my job is telling an author we’re going to publish their first novel.  How do you feel, Lena?”  I knew that “filled with unnameable dread,” was not an appropriate response, but it would have been the honest one!  Now that I’ve spoken to other authors, I’ve learned that this isn’t so unusual.  Writing a book is very personal.  Of course I am absolutely thrilled that it’s out there and that it’s getting such a great response, but sometimes I still feel as if people are reading my diary.

What was your favorite part about writing Witchlanders?

There is nothing like those times when writing comes easily and your own words start to surprise you.  I’m addicted to it.  I can slog through many bad writing days for the fix of one good writing day.  I can still point to the scenes in Witchlanders that were written in one sitting.  I think they read more easily and flow more smoothly.  Unfortunately my ratio of good writing days to bad writing days is not always very good. 

What was the hardest part about writing Witchlanders?

Unlike many debut authors, I don’t have other unpublished novels languishing in a drawer; Witchlanders was the first novel I ever completed.  I learned to write by writing this book, and so it took me many years of writing and rewriting to discover my voice and figure out the story.  I’m quite certain I threw out at least as many scenes as are in the book.  It was a very laborious process. 

What book are you writing now that Witchlanders is out?

Right now I’m writing a historical fantasy that takes place in England in 1834.  I’m loving the research!

Is Witchlanders a series? If so, how many books are planned to be in the series?

I’d love to write a sequel to Witchlanders called Bitterlanders, which would be from the point of view of Falpian, who’s the secondary main character in the first book.  However, I only have a one book deal with Simon & Schuster, so we’ll have to see how Witchlanders does.

What do you hope readers will get from your book Witchlanders?

Well, first of all, I hope they get an enjoyable read!  If I can also manage to get readers thinking about the themes of racial and religious tolerance that run through the book, it will be a huge bonus.