Thursday, April 30, 2009

Vamped by Lucienne Diver


Alrighty, here's one of the reviews I promised you. I just finished reading this one yesterday and I loved it! I really hope we get to see more of this world later.

the basics:

Vamped by Lucienne Diver
Flux
ISBN: 9780738714745
http://www.luciennediver.com


the story:

After dying in a car crash on prom night Gina wakes up in her own grave. As if it's not bad enough that she's stuck in a box six feet under ground, she appears to be wearing the most hideous dress in her closet. Gina manages to dig her way out and is greeted by the one responsible for her now undead state, Bobby former Chess club geek, now major hottie.

Bobby and Gina don't get much time alone together to sort out this whole being undead thing because they are quickly summoned (read: kidnapped) by Bobby's sire an egomanical female vamp named Mellisande. It seems Smelly Melli has something up her sleeve and Bobby is to play a major role in it. Meanwhile, Mellisande tries to relegate Gina to the background.

Gina and Bobby are not the only teens in town who are now undead. Mellisande's been busy and has a large number of newbie vamps stocked from the local high school. Gina isn't one to sit by and let others push her around. She is making a come-back and Smelly Melli had better just look out.

my thoughts:

I love, love, love vampire stories so I jumped at the chance to review this one. I'm so glad I did. Gina cracked me up from the very beginning. I mean who else's first thought after re-animating would be to find a stylist? Bobby and Gina are still in the early stages of a romance in VAMPED, you can see where they're headed, but it's not quite love yet. So I'm hoping this means there's more to come.

Watching Gina evolve through the story was great. She starts out admitting she's a spoiled rich kid, but towards the end, she's thinking about all of the other vamps around her. She's concerned about far more than herself.

Lucienne Diver's VAMPED has so much going for it. There's vampires, romance, action, mystery, horror, really this book cover all the genres. Given the way the book ended, I have to assume more is to come and I'll be first in line to get the next book, I'm telling you that right now.

So run, drive, bike, however you choose to get there, just get to your nearest bookstore (preferably Indie, but otherwise I recommend Borders...lol) and pick up a copy of VAMPED from Lucienne Diver today.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

You Recommend Wednesday - Blog Edition

Hello again everyone. Alright, so last week I recommended a blog to you. Now it's your turn to reciprocate. I especially want to see other YA blogs and yes you can recommend your own blog if you have one. However, any blog that you read and enjoy is game..about anything. :) I do enjoy a good blog post even if I am bad about remembering to go back and read again.

And hey, while you're here telling me about all those great blogs, make sure you vote in my poll about what review you want to see next. (You know after all those publisher/author request ones are done)

So go on tell me, what blog do you have to check out regularly?

Monday, April 27, 2009

Interview: Cheryl Renee Herbsman - author of Breathing

Hello again lovely readers! I've got another wonderful Monday interview for you. This week I'm talking with Cheryl Renee Herbsman author of the newly released book Breathing. Without further ado:

Tell us a little about yourself.


I live in Northern California with my husband and two children. When I'm not writing, I like spending time with my family, watching movies, hiking, reading, and having adventures. I especially love spending time at the beach. BREATHING, which comes out April 16th, is my debut novel.


What got you started writing? What brought you to YA?


Writing started for me as a place to get down on paper everything that was cluttering my mind, a place to be creative and explore who I was. Years later, I started writing fiction and found that most of the characters that came up were teens. I think the teenage years are such an intense time of life, when everything feels so huge and so much seems to be happening. That's what draws me to write about it. Plus, I think there's a part of me that will always be about fifteen years old.


Tell us about your most recent/ upcoming release?


Breathing is the story of Savannah Brown, who is 15 and a hopeless romantic (although she prefers to be called a hopeful romantic.) She falls in love with an older boy named Jackson and becomes convinced that he is the reason for the improvement in her severe asthma. When he has to move back home, Savannah is forced to learn to breathe on her own. It's a romantic story about following your dreams and finding your way.


Do you plot out in advance, or just start writing and see where things go from there?


I don't do any plotting out or outlines ahead of time. I usually start with a character and a setting and then just write. I will do character sketches along the way to help me know more about each character. (Some of these can be found on my website in the bonus materials section http://www.cherylreneeherbsman.com)


Many authors have told me their characters talk to them, and sometimes even have different ideas of where the story should go than the author. Do you hear your characters?


Definitely. Hearing the characters is an important part of the process for me. I heard Savannah in my head more clearly than any other character I've ever written before. That helped a lot to make the story, setting, and characters come across as real. I try to step out of the way as much as possible and let the characters lead.


Who is your favorite character (of your own)?


I couldn't possibly choose. That's like asking a parent to choose who her favorite child is. You love each of them differently.


What hobbies do you have when you're not writing?


I love to read, especially YA. I enjoy hiking, hanging out with my family, going to movies, trips to the beach.


If you had not become a writer what would you have done instead?


I would always be a writer. I might not have been lucky enough to become a published author, but I would always write. If I hadn't been able to publish, as my kids got older, I probably would have been making a living in an area of counseling. But writing would always be a part of my life.


Where can readers find you online?


You can find me online at my website

http://www.cherylreneeherbsman.com

my blog http://blog.cherylreneeherbsman.com

on facebook http://www.facebook.com/people/Cheryl-Renee-Herbsman/1406434920

on myspace http://www.myspace.com/cherylreneeherbsman

the class of 2k9 http://www.classof2k9.com/

the 2009 Debs http://community.livejournal.com/debut2009/

Authors Now http://www.authorsnow.com/


Your turn. What question do you have for readers of Want My YA?


Here's my question for you: What element in a book most makes you want to turn the page: Is it suspense, caring about what happens to the character, humor, romance, emotion, or something else? What makes you turn the page?


Thanks again Cheryl for stopping by. :) I know I'm going to be looking for Breathing when I get to work. It sounds like a great book.






Friday, April 24, 2009

Mayden Chronicles Contest Winner

And we have a winner!

Liyana!!!! Woohoo you've won the very cool Mayden Chronicles water bottle. All you've got to do to collect your prize is email Robin: RobinRice at earthlink dot net

Thanks everyone who stopped by and commented. :) You all rock!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Contest Extension

Since it's no fun to make the random number generator choose from just three numbers, I'm extending the Mayden Chronicles contest through noon central tomorrow Friday 4/24.

So make sure you stop by http://www.maydenchronicles.com and come back here and tell me what you like about the site. Make sure you comment on the original Mayden post and not on this one. :)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I Recommend Wednesday - Mayden Chronicles Edition


I think my computer hates me. lol Lesson learned, post blogs the night before and schedule them to go up in the morning. Oh well, it's still early and my computer is cooperating for now. :)

Alright, I know Wednesdays are normally for "You Recommend" but it's my turn first. I've found a great blog called The Mayden Chronicles.

http://www.maydenchronicles.com

Author Robin Rice is writing the Mayden Chronicles in real time on her blog. Sounds crazy right? An author is actually allowing readers to see the first draft of her story. I've spoken with enough authors to know that the first draft can be a scary thing.

But think about this. How cool is that for a newbie writer (like myself) to see? When you get a little down and think your writing is crap, remember every writer has those days. The early drafts sometimes are crap. The important part is remembering to keep working, keep writing. It gets better. :)


The Mayden Chronicles site also features videos of author Robin Rice discussing the edits of each chapter as well as other writerly topics. Sometimes she brings other young authors on as guest bloggers as well.

Here's your assignment for today: Go to the Mayden Chronicles site (http://www.maydenchronicles.com), come back here and tell me what you like about it. Why? So you can win of course! Robin Rice has offered up a very cool Mayden Chronicles aluminum water bottle for one randomly selected commenter. Just be sure to leave your comments by 12:00pm (noon) Central time, tomorrow 4/23.

Here's the water bottle:

So go forth and spread the word.

Don't forget to come back and leave those comments! :) And as one last treat just to entice you further, here's the Mayden Chronicles trailer.






Tuesday, April 21, 2009

New Poll

If you look at the left sidebar you'll see I've created a new poll. On Friday I posted about some reviews I have coming up. Those books are among a small pile I have of author/publisher requested reviews. I'm working quickly to get caught up on those, but once they're done...what next?

I have several YA titles that I've purchased from the bookstore I work for and I'm asking for your help in figuring out which one to read first. All you've got to do is vote. Voting will continue until May 15th. With any luck I'll be all caught up by then and can get started whichever title you choose. :) So go ahead and start voting!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Interview: Leigh Brescia - author of the upcoming One Wish

I told you I'd actually have an interview this week. :) This week WMY is chatting with the lovely Leigh Brescia.


Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m a writer and lover of YA novels. I’m married and spend most of my day hanging out with my little girl. I teach online English Comp classes, full-time, from home. (I have the best jobs ever!) I like to sing, but can’t. I like warm, sunny days. I love the ocean and empty beaches. I have a weird thing with Sharpie markers . . . they smell *so* good!

Went to college, got a master’s, yada yada . . . I would *much* rather be a princess.

What got you started writing? What brought you to YA?

This is my standard answer, and I realize that it sounds so stalker-ish, but I have to say Sarah Dessen. She’s the first YA writer I encountered (saw the person before the books) and she was the one who made me realize that being a writer was something I could do. I fell in love with her stories and started to explore other YA novels, and felt that I had the right voice for the genre, so I went for it!


Tell us about your most recent/ upcoming release?

My upcoming release is called One Wish. It’s about a girl, Wrenn, who (more than anything else in the world) wants to be popular. The book is about her journey and the decisions she makes (the good, the bad, and the ugly). There’s a little bit of romance and a whole lot of drama (literally and figuratively), but in the end I think Wrenn is just like you and me in that she’s trying to figure it all out as she goes along.

Do you plot out in advance, or just start writing and see where things go from there?

Usually when I get an idea for a story I’ll sit down and start brainstorming. I do set up an outline, but I never stick to it. The novel clearly evolves as I’m writing. I use the outline for guidance, but I never get too attached.

Many authors have told me their characters talk to them, and sometimes even have different ideas of where the story should go than the author. Do you hear your characters?

Yes! I may be in complete control when the story begins, but my characters always take over at some point. I like when that happens, though. It gives me a break: I just sit back and try to tell their stories the best way I know how. I joke about hearing voices, but I really do hear my characters. They often show up after midnight , when I’m trying to go to sleep, and carry on complete conversations inside my head. I don’t mind too much, though, because they give me some pretty good ideas.

Who is your favorite character (of your own)?

My favorite characters right now are named Jaden and Parker. No one has met them yet because they’re in the story I’m currently working on. There’s some typical bad boy/good girl drama, but the underlying message is that you can never judge a person based solely on what you hear.

What hobbies do you have when you're not writing?

Honestly? I have little to no free time. My family, work, and writing take up most of my waking hours. I do try to get my five-minute Sudoku in every day—even if they do take longer than five minutes to finish. I enjoy watching movies, and I play the piano . . . I just wish I had more time to practice!

If you had not become a writer what would you have done instead?

In my dreams, I would have loved to be a dancer or an artist. While I do have some artistic abilities, I’m probably the clumsiest person I know, so the dancing thing probably wouldn’t work out for me.

Even so, I’m highly non-traditional in that I fully believe you should do what you love. I love to teach (from home) and I love to write, so my career choices are perfect. I don’t like answering phones, I don’t like cubicles, I don’t get along with copy machines very well, I hate pantyhose and skirts. . . . I’m clearly not cut out for 9-5 life or the *real* world, so I made my own way. I don’t think my parents believe that writing and online teaching are legitimate careers yet!

Where can readers find you online?

Everywhere! I can be found hanging out with the 2009 Debs (
www.feastofawesome.com), MySpace (www.myspace.com/leighbrescia), Livejournal (http://leighbrescia.livejournal.com/), and on FaceBook. I also have a website in the works: www.leighbrescia.com.

Your turn. What question do you have for readers of Want My YA?

I’d usually ask the typical: Team Edward or Team Jacob (lol) . . . but I’d like to know what kinds of stories you enjoy reading the most (Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Historical, Coming of Age, Romance, etc.).


Thanks so much Leigh, for stopping by. :) And thanks again to the lovely readers who make this possible. After all, no one is going to want to hang out at a blog with no readers. Feel free to comment and let Leigh (and me) know what kind of story you most enjoy.

Friday, April 17, 2009

In the Coming Weeks

I've never had a post like this before, but I figure if I write it, then my readers will hold me accountable. It's very easy to get behind on books to blog about. I have sooo many books that I can't wait to read and tell you about, but I have a small pile that authors and publishers are expecting me to blog about. So I'm holding myself accountable and counting on my wonderful readers to do so as well. If I tell you I'm going to blog about something and don't, well I'm going to expect some repercussions. :)


Here we go...Upcoming reviews:




Vamped by Lucienne Diver
Flux
ISBN: 9780738714745








Ratha's Courage by Clare Bell
Imaginator Press
ISBN: 9780974560366


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

You Recommend - Book Edition

Ok, so yeah typically my "You Recommend" posts are geared towards books, but oh well. Sorry I haven't been here much this week. Once again I didn't have an interview for this past Monday, though I do have two of them for the next two Mondays. :) Yay!

It's never too late to get in on the interview love. :) If you're a YA author and you're interested just send an email to wantmyya at gmail dot com.

Now on to today's post: What have you read recently that you recommend? I'll even let you venture out of YA for this one. :)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Dust of 100 Dogs by A.S. King




If you haven't yet, you should definitely check out the YAedge Bookclub. I just finished reading April's book The Dust of 100 Dogs by A.S. King. I'd been wanting to read this one anyway ever since I first heard about it (can't remember where, I think it was Twitter). As a result I was quite excited when D100D was chosen in the book club poll (especially since I'd already bought it). I just finished reading it, and I had to blog about it. This book is definitely worth the buzz I've been hearing.



The Dust of 100 Dogs
A.S. King
Flux
ISBN: 9780738714264
http://www.as-king.com/
http://www.thedustof100dogs.com/

from the publisher's site:

In the late seventeenth century, famed teenage pirate Emer Morrisey was on the cusp of escaping the pirate life with her one true love and unfathomable riches when she was slain and cursed with "the dust of one hundred dogs," dooming her to one hundred lives as a dog before returning to a human body-with her memories intact.
Now she's a contemporary American teenager and all she needs is a shovel and a ride to Jamaica.



The Dust of 100 Dogs is a very different story compared to the books I normally read. But I like that. Different is good. A.S. King has a writing style that I think I'm going to really enjoy. I like the way the story flows back and forth in time. We see Emer's life as a child in Ireland through her growing up and becoming a pirate; we also see her life as Saffron a modern teenager who has the knowledge of lifetimes past, but is still struggling to not be a loser. There are even little glimpses of some of her doggie lives and just a touch of practical advice when dealing with our canine friends.

There are many parallels between her two lives, but there are many differences also. Emer and Saffron are the same, yet they are very different women. They each yearn for something just out of reach, then when the opportunity arises they do something about their yearnings. The differences lie in how they go about it.

I am being intentionally vague here because this is one of those books where it is very difficult to not give too much away. Just trust me that this is a book that you've got to check out for yourself. I mean it; read it! The Dust of 100 Dogs held me enthralled. When I read the end I had to stop and blink and check again. I'd been so engrossed in the story that I just wasn't ready to leave it behind. I'm hooked on A.S. King and can't wait for more.


If you're interested it's not too late to join the discussions over at the YAedge Book Club. The first non-spoiler thread has been started and an interview with A.S. King should be posted soon. The final discussion including spoilers will be closer to the end of the month. http://www.yaedgebookclub.blogspot.com/

Friday, April 10, 2009

Eyecatcher: The Amaranth Enchantment by Julie Berry

I've got another Eyecatcher for ya today. Take a look.


The Amaranth Enchantment
Julie Berry
Bloomsbury
ISBN: 9781599903347






from the publisher's site:


When Lucinda Chapdelaine was a small child, her parents left for the royal ball and never returned. Ever since, Lucinda has been stuck in perpetual servitude at her evil aunt’s jewelry store. Then, on the very same day, a mysterious visitor and an even more bizarre piece of jewelry both enter the shop, setting in motion a string of twists and turns that will forever alter Lucinda’s path. In this magical story filled with delightful surprises, Lucinda will dance at the royal ball, fall under the Amaranth Witch’s spell, avenge her parents’ death, and maybe—just maybe—capture the heart of a prince.



Isn't that cover gorgeous? I actually found this one on Amazon. I don't typically shop there (not with having an employee discount at work), but I do like their recommendations feature and browse through it frequently. Just like the Eyecatcher I featured a few days ago, THE AMARANTH ENCHANTMENT is reminicent of a fairy tale, which is right up my alley. I'll definitely be looking for this one at work.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Special Report - A Few Weeks Late


Remember a few weeks ago when I told you that I had a special blog on the way? Well it took so long because I was awaiting pictures to accompany the post. Yeah they've been sitting on the camera this whole time. Whaddya want I don't own a digital camera so I don't know how to use those new-fangled things. :)

So this post was originally supposed to be titled "Best Birthday Ever!" but weeks later that doesn't seem to fit so well. The reason it was the best birthday? Because on March 16, 2009 I was at a booksigning for the fabulous PC and Kristin Cast. It was so cool! Though naturally very crowded.

I went with my friend and co-worker Brandi, who is responsible for bringing me over to the House of Night. :) We left for the Schaumberg Borders immediately after leaving our own Borders at 3:00, despite that the signing didn't start til 7:00. This was a good thing because not only did we get a bit turned around, but like I said the signing was a bit crowded, so getting there at the last minute was not an option.

Prior to the signing one of the bookstore employees was giving free henna tattoos to all the attendees. She was originally from India and had been doing henna since she was 18. Trust me, this lady knew what she was doing, the henna was gorgeous. Why the henna? Well, if you're familiar with the House of Night books then you know that when the characters become vampyres they develop intricate tattoos. For the majority of the characters the tattoos are on their foreheads and the sides of their faces; for Zoey, the main character, the tattoos are all over her body.

Brandi's hand is on the left, mine is on the right.







The moment finally came when Kristin and PC arrived at the store. There was lots of cheering. Kristin ran up with a camcorder in hand to record it all. :) Then began the Q&A session. I learned one thing very quickly, these women, especially PC, are hilarious. They were so much fun to listen to.






After the Q&A it was time to form the line and get our books signed. The line actually moved pretty quickly. Unfortunately due to the size of the waiting crowd there really wasn't any time for any real one-on-one talking with the ladies which is usually my favorite part of any booksigning. They were still really nice and Kristin even wrote "Happy Birthday" in my book. :)
Below is Brandi with the ladies.












































Above is me with the ladies. I'm not sure what's up with the goofy look on my face. I was trying not to smile too big and somehow I wound up not truly smiling at all.

Afterwards, Brandi and I were starving (or so it felt), so we rushed across the street to Woodfield Mall to get some food. And I mean rushed, they were closing in a mere half hour. Thankfully Jimmy John's is always quick. :)

All in all it was a blast, and I'm really glad I went.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Eyecatcher: The Poison Apples by Lily Archer

By now I'm sure you're familiar with my eyecatcher feature that I normally run on Tuesdays. Well I've decided to change things up a bit and make my eyecatchers a whenever-I-feel-like-it kind of thing. Sometimes a book may catch my eye on a Thursday but I'll forget about it by Tuesday. So now I'm just going to post them one at a time as I find them. :) They will always be differentiated from regular reviews by the header "Eyecatcher" before the title. Easy enough, yeah? :)

So now on to today's eyecatching book.


The Poison Apples
Lily Archer
Macmillan
ISBN: 9780312535964







from the publisher's site:


We all know the stories of Cinderella, Snow White, and Rapunzel. But have you ever heard of Alice Bingley-Beckerman, Reena Paruchuri, or Molly Miller? Of course you haven’t. Not yet. What these girls have in common with their fairy tale sisters is this: They are the stepdaughters of three very evil stepmothers. And they’re not happy about it. They think they are alone in their unhappiness until they arrive at Putnam Mount McKinsey, a posh boarding school located in lovely rural Massachusetts. Here is where they will plot their revenge. But first they have to meet.
This one caught my attention because of my love for fairy tales, whether traditional or modern. One of the advantages of working for a bookstore is finding great titles like this that I might not notice otherwise. Shelving is always my downfall. :) That's when I look at every single title and find so many books that I can't wait to read. Some day I swear I'll get all my books read. Really I will. In the meantime this is one more book to add to my "to buy" list. Check it out.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Interview: Umm...No One

Yep it happened, I'm 'bout out of interviews. :) I do have a few great interviews waiting in the wings, but at the request of the authors I won't be posting those until a bit closer to the release of their books (makes sense ya know).

So ya know what that means? I need more interviews! :) I'm sure you're familiar with the drill by now, if you're a YA author and you'd like to be interviewed send an email to me at wantmyya at gmail dot com .

Now I have an extra special request for my readers today. If you're a YA reader or an author wearing your reader hat, and you know of an author that you'd just LOVE to see WMY interview, do me a favor and email them. I assure you I'll be doing my own research and contacting some authors myself, but maybe you know of this great gem of an author that I haven't had the fortune to "meet" yet. Go for it. Send him or her an email and say "Hey, there's this YA blog you should check out. They're even looking to promote YA authors with a Monday interview feature." Or something along those lines. :) I'd appreciate it ever so much.

I'll even post the list of questions here, so any authors who feel ambitious can just copy and paste the questions without having to contact me first. Just email the responses to wantmyya at gmail dot com.

Tell us a little about yourself.


What got you started writing? What brought you to YA?

Tell us about your most recent/ upcoming release?

Do you plot out in advance, or just start writing and see where things go from there?

Many authors have told me their characters talk to them, and sometimes even have different ideas of where the story should go than the author. Do you hear your characters?

Who is your favorite character (of your own)?

What hobbies do you have when you're not writing?

If you had not become a writer what would you have done instead?

Where can readers find you online?

Your turn. What question do you have for readers of Want My YA?


And that's it. Also if you're going for the do-it-yourself thing and just emailing me your responses be sure to also include any cover images or promotional photos you'd like posted with the interview. And make sure you let me know if there's a specific Monday you'd like to be featured. I do my best to accomodate, otherwise it's first response, first post.

Thanks in advance to everyone. :)