Sunday, December 30, 2012

Review: The Name of the Star by, Maureen Johnson

By, Maureen Johnson
Hardcover, 372 pages
Putnam Juvenile
September 29,2011

“Fear can't hurt you," she said. "When it washes over you, give it no power. It's a snake with no venom. Remember that. That knowledge can save you.” 

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.


**********

The Name of the Star is a spine tingling story that combines the history of London's  most terrifying serial murderer with a twist of a modern day ghost story. I loved it!  
Written in first person was a plus for me in this book. I really enjoyed Rory. She was spunky and a bit outspoken. She didn't quite fit in but not in the outsider sense.  I loved her upbeat personality that lighted the mood in this otherwise grim tale. I thought that  the characters in this book were interesting and likable. I enjoyed getting to know each one of them, from her roommate to her crush and even the one who hunted the town she now resides in. The characters all added to the story in a unique way that I very much enjoyed.
Even with our heartwarming main character, The Name of the Star is a bone chilling horror novel. The combination of old London and modern day high school is not to be forgotten. Lets face it, Jack the Ripper is fascinating. Everyone loves a good mystery and none can compete with the gruesome tale of The Ripper. Throw in some ghosts and you have yourself one heck of a story. The story line is interesting and will keep you guessing.
The Name of the Star is a tale you will not want to miss. With a mix of history, ghosts and a modern day plot, this book will have you turning pages until the end. I give The Name of the Star 5 Hoots, I loved the retelling of Jack the Ripper but with an entirely new spin and so will you!!

Where to find Maureen Johnson




Friday, September 28, 2012

Coming Soon: Whispers at Moonrise



 Shadow Falls Camp is back in session with the most explosive installment yet.  A shocking new threat will rock Shadow Falls—changing it forever and altering Kylie’s journey in ways she never imagined.

Even at a camp for supernatural teens, Kylie Galen has never been normal. Not only can she see ghosts, but she doesn’t seem to belong to any one species—she exhibits traits from them all. As Kylie struggles to unlock the secrets of her identity, she begins to worry that Lucas will never be able to accept her for what she is, and what she isn’t…a werewolf.  With his pack standing in their way, Kylie finds herself turning more and more to Derek, the only person in her life who’s willing to accept the impossible.

As if life isn’t hard enough, she starts getting visits from the ghost of Holiday, her closest confidante.  Trouble is, Holiday isn’t dead…not yet anyway.  Now Kylie must race to save one of her own from an unseen danger before it’s too late—all while trying to stop her relationship with Lucas from slipping away forever.   In a world of constant confusion, there’s only one thing Kylie knows for sure.  Change is inevitable and all things must come to an end…maybe even her time at Shadow Falls.


                             Ten Things You’ll Learn from Whispers at Moonrise

1. Kicking your boyfriend’s father’s butt might not be good for the relationship.
2. Sometimes following your heart means breaking some rules.
3. Getting trapped in a grave with three dead girls is not a walk in the park.  
4. Your parents breaking up sucks. Your mom having a boyfriend, and kissing him in front of you, sucks       BIG TIME.
5. When your boyfriend says one thing, but does another, what do you believe? His actions or his words?
6. You can’t always protect the ones you love. Sometimes the only way to protect them is to tell them the truth—even if it hurts.
7. When you are in love, you usually want to talk a lot more about your boyfriend than your girlfriends care to hear.
8. You shouldn’t mess with magic if you don’t know what you’re doing. Especially when someone could end up sterile.
9. Sometimes it is the little choices we make, and not the big ones, that define who we are.
10. Be careful what you wish for or you might end up turning a bright shade of red in the boys’ bathroom.





Sunday, June 3, 2012

Q&A with Cassandra Clare


1) Could you tell us a bit about yourself.

I have three cats. I have a big collection of “maps to places that never were:” a map of Middle Earth, a map of Sherlock Holmes’ flat in Baker Street, a map of Narnia, a reproduction of the Time Bandits map.

2) What was the inspiration for writing The Mortal Instruments?

I wanted to write something that would combine elements of traditional high fantasy — an epic battle between good and evil, terrible monsters, brave heroes, enchanted swords — and recast it through a modern, urban lens. So you have the Shadowhunters, who are these very classic warriors following their millennia-old traditions, but in these urban, modern spaces: skyscrapers, warehouses, abandoned hotels, rock concerts. In fairy tales, it was the dark and mysterious forest outside the town that held the magic and danger. I wanted to create a world where the city has become the forest — where these urban spaces hold their own enchantments, danger, mysteries and strange beauty. It’s just that only the Shadowhunters can see them as they really are.

3) Were there any personal experiences that went in to writing The Mortal Instruments?

Certainly living in New York City informed my writing process, but fortunately I've never been attacked by demons!

4) Was Chary's  character based on anyone or was she a purely made up character?

Clary Fray is named after two friends of mine, but she's a made up character.

5) What was your inspiration in the cover art for the MI Series?

I didn't have anything to do with the design!


10 Fun Facts:

1) Favorite color? 

Blue

2) Favorite Food?

 Sushi

3) Favorite song right now? 

Poison & Wine by the Civil Wars

4) Favorite Movie?

Blade Runner

5) Favorite Book?

Pride & Prejudice

6) Favorite author?

JRR Tolkien

7) Favorite place to write?

I like to write in coffee shops with friends

8) Somewhere you have always wanted to go?

Japan

9) Dream cast for City of Bones movie?



10) If you were to write another series, what would it be about?

The next one will be another Shadowhunter series, set in Los Angeles five years after the events of the Mortal Instruments take place. It's titled the Dark Artifices.


Monday, May 28, 2012

Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth

Veronica Roth
Hardcover, 487 pages
Katherine Tegen Books
May 3, 2011

“We believe in ordinary acts of bravery, in the courage that drives one person to stand up for another.”

In a future Chicago, 16-year-old Beatrice Prior must choose among five predetermined factions to define her identity for the rest of her life, a decision made more difficult when she discovers that she is an anomaly who does not fit into any one group, and that the society she lives in is not perfect after all.

****************



Beautifully written and extremely original, Divergent takes readers to a world all its own. You can feel the world around you slipping and transforming into the world created by Roth!

Divergent was by far one of my favorite books this year. It was such an original story that sucked me in until I flipped to the very last page. The details were stunning, Roth's writing style grabbed hold of you and refused to let go. There is nothing better then reading a book that transforms your world into the world you are reading. The words literally flowed off the page. Divergent was such an easy read.

The characters in Divergent were fantastic. Tris our main character was by far my favorite. Her transformation throughout the story was amazing to follow. We see her change and grow so much. I can not wait to she her strength in the next book. Four was also such an interesting character to read. He was so complex and it was fascinating to get to see all his layers and get to know his character. There was also a slue of supporting characters that you grew to love in their own way. Christina, Will, Al and even Peter had such complex stories. I loved each moment with them. 

It is not hard to imagine our world turning out like the world of Divergent which makes this book so interesting to read. Regardless of how people try to change themselves, Human nature will always come first. Divergent explores the ins and outs of that nature and you tend to find a persons inner desires show regardless of the price. I loved the realism of the story and how it was very relevant.  

Divergent is a great story that will hold on to you until the end and leave you wanting more. I give it 5+ Hoots for being a wonderfully original read that will have me reliving it's moments for many days to come. If you haven't read Divergent yet, I suggest you do so as soon as possible. 





Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Character Interview: Dawn form ReVamped + Giveaway



Steph: Hi Dawn, Thank you for joining me to day at The Thoughts of a Book Junky! How are you today?

Dawn: Hi Steph. Thank you for having me on your blog. To be perfectly honest, I’m having a bit of a rough morning. Brooke and Seth got into another fight today, so I’m just hoping that they don’t stake each other or burn down the cottage before I get back.

Steph: OK lets get started! How did you like growing up at the Scarlet house? Whats the best part about living there?

Dawn: The Scarlet House had always been my home, so it will forever hold a special place in my heart. Even though my father was the president, the guards and all of the staff members knew that I was not to be spoiled. And I liked it that way—I preferred to be treated like everyone else. If anything, at my father’s insistence, the tutors and the trainers were even tougher on me than any other students when it came to my training and education. The best part about living at the vampire president’s headquarters was having access to all the cool weapons that I got to play with!

 Steph: So you finally received your first assignment, How excited are you?

 Dawn: When my father finally gave me the assignment in Angel Creek, I couldn’t wait to get started! I had been waiting for that moment ever since I turned sixteen and was finally allowed to go out on my own missions. Even before then, I had always daydreamed about leaving the Scarlet House grounds and taking part in some serious butt-kicking. I think the guards were growing tired of being my training dummies, so I’m sure that they were happy as well.

 Steph: What did you think of Angel Creek when you first arrived?

Dawn: I thought the town itself was very small, but beautiful. I was a little worried that the mission would be too easy, but obviously I was very wrong in that regard.

 Steph: Were you nervous at all about being in charge of ReVamping the new guardians of Angel Creek? Ever have any doubts?

Dawn: I was much more excited than I was nervous. But upon meeting Brooke, Sophie, Hunter and Seth, yes…I do have to admit that I had some doubts. Actually, many doubts!

 Steph: What did you think of the 4 Vamps you had to train? Any of them ever get on your nerves?

Dawn: Nothing could have prepared me for the foursome! They really caught me by surprise. I expected to spend one or two days at most preparing the new guardians, but obviously that wasn’t the case. There were quite a few times that I had to restrain myself from breaking my own rule of “no hurting team members”. 

Steph: So Tell me a bit about Sebastian? ( Wink, Wink) oh and Ethan.. What about him?

Dawn: *Blush* I was promised that there wouldn’t be any questions about boys… Well, as you know, Sebastian and I kind of got off to a rough start. The moment I met him, I had to prevent myself from kicking his arrogant little butt! But after getting to know him and finding out about his family and his past…things have kind of changed… Ethan had also managed to cause quite a stir in my life. I was supposed to be in Angel Creek to work, so it was a bit unexpected to suddenly have two guys in my life.

 Steph: Two guys in your life. How do you feel about that?

Dawn: I’m still trying to get used to the idea of ANY boys in my life. As you know, my life in the Scarlet House and my training didn’t leave much time for thinking about guys. Now, having to face my feelings about two of them is more than difficult. Why can’t love be as simple as combat training?

 Steph: How has your life changed sense taking the assignment in Angel Creek? Are you glad you took the job?

 Dawn: On one hand, I’m very glad that I took the job because it brought me closer to this crazy group of misfits. Aside from Elisa, they are my first real friends. Once you get to know them, they really aren’t so bad. Well, except when they slack off on training to play video games, chase boys, read books, or play the guitar. At the same time, I keep thinking back to all the events that happened over the summer and I can’t help but wonder if perhaps things would be different today if I hadn’t taken that job...

 Steph: Any big plans for the future?

Dawn: Hopefully, there will be a lot of missions that involve butt-kicking, but don’t affect me personally. I’m still trying to deal with everything that happened this summer—especially all of the things regarding my family. The misfits, Sebastian, and Ethan are slowly helping me get through it all.

 Steph: Well Dawn it was great chatting with you. Thanks so much for stopping by!

Dawn: Thank you for having me! If you ever want to stop by Angel Creek and check out one of our training sessions, I would be happy to show you some moves.

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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Author Interview Julie Cessar

1) Could you tell us a bit about yourself?

 My background is in fine art and I’ve worked as a graphic designer and freelance painter. I’m a mother of three and for the past ten years I have worked part-time as a legal assistant. In between family stuff, work, painting, photography, scrapbooking, and writing, I recently started running and just completed my first half-marathon in October 2011. I love fancy coffee drinks, ice cream, wine, chocolate, really good pizza and dancing at the local pub. I’m pretty much an all-around goofball, am always wearing my rose-colored glasses, and I really do believe in fairy tales.

 2) Could you tell us a bit about Ruby Blue?

 Ruby Blue is a YA fantasy/romance book about your average ice-cream eating, garden-loving teenager, who is constantly being annoyed by her little brother, is best friends with possibly the only Goth kid in town and she has a big secret… she can see fairies. After possibly the hottest guy she’s ever known finally asks her out, she can barely manage a two-word sentence when bizarre incidents begin to strike their lakeside town. As an ancient myth unfolds, Ruby and her friends must tackle some extraordinary circumstances with her very ordinary abilities in this modern day fairy tale.

 3) What was the inspiration for writing Ruby Blue?

The idea has been with me for so long, that I actually don’t remember exactly how it came to me. I started to really love gardening (like my mom) about 10 years ago and I have always been drawn to the magic of fairies. After my son was born in 2004, I would work in the garden to get some “me time,” and that’s when I began to get the ideas for this story. I always thought it would be a children’s book, but as time went on, I realized that the story I wanted to tell was a bit more mature… and out came Ruby Blue.

 4) Were there any personal experiences that went in to writing Ruby Blue?

YES! Of course, embellishment was involved…Haha… But I definitely used a lot of my own experiences and thoughts that I had as a teenager when I wrote this book. In fact, the scene at the miniature golf place is partly based on a personal experience…

5) Was Ruby's character based on anyone or was she a purely made up character? What is she like?

 Ruby is definitely based in part on me and my quirks. I love gardening, being bare foot and ice cream. I also love my Chuck Taylors, although, I don’t have quite the collection that Ruby does. Several major differences: I don’t have the aversion to dresses she has; I LOVE coffee (she hates it); and I’m the youngest in a huge family of siblings, whereas she is the oldest and has only one brother. But, our personalities are very similar…she’s much cuter than me though.

6) What was your inspiration in the cover art for Ruby Blue?

 It’s funny you ask this… I actually went through about 30 different versions for the cover. Because my background is in design, I’m very particular. I started out with an entirely different concept… a tree-lined path in the woods, etc… Then, after photographing some driftwood on a beach up north, I decided to use one of those pictures and I scrapped the entire first round of covers. I super-imposed the tree bark over the image and did some effects on the photo to give a mystical appearance. I definitely wanted the earthy elements of flowers and trees to be a key concept of the cover, because that is a key element in the book.

7 ) Do you plan to have Ruby Blue as a stand alone novel or part of a series?

 I always intended Ruby Blue to be the first in a series of either four or five books…depending on how long it takes for me to get the story out. I actually have the second book of the series (“Deja Blue”) written and in the final editing stages. I am currently writing book three (“Sky Blue”) but I’ll have to wait and see if I can wrap up the story arc in book four or continue it on with a possible book five.

8) Who is your favorite character in the book? And why?

 Oh gosh! This is a tough one! I actually love all five of the main characters… During this process, they each have earned a special place with me. They all have unique personality traits that I’ve based on people I know and love in my own life… To pick just one is just too hard!

 9) If Ruby Blue was made into a movie, Who would be your dream cast?

Yikes! Talk about the ultimate dream! I actually haven’t given it too much thought, because I’m way too scared to think that far in advance… Hmmm… I was recently made aware of an actor named Matt Dallas, and he is almost exactly what I picture Brennan to look like (in photos where he has shorter/crazier hair). A reader told me that they could picture Bridgit Mendler as Ruby, and I agree that she is a great fit. I think Sterling Knight is the perfect Leo… but I’m at a loss for Jeremy and Nick. I can seem them crystal-clear in my head though!

 10) Do you write to music? If so, what is your favorite?

YES! I love listening to music when I write. In fact, I often repeat the same two or three songs over and over, if I’m writing a particular chapter/scene. It depends on the scene I’m writing as to what music I listen to. With “Ruby Blue,” I listened to a lot of Joshua Radin. Train, Lady Gaga and Katy Perry’s “Teenage Dream” played quite a bit too.

 11) What do you plan on doing in the future?

 Well, the immediate future holds me finishing the Ruby Blue series. I’ve had the ideas in my head for so long and I just need to get them out. I have an idea for another series involving angels swirling around in my head, but I won’t start writing it until I get Ruby all out on paper. I also plan to keep painting and taking photographs, so hopefully I’ll be promoting that too.

 12) What are you reading right now?

 I have a huge stack of books on my nightstand in the line-up. I’m currently reading a paranormal romance by Rose Pressey, and next in line is the latest Sookie Stackhouse book by Charlaine Harris, the new Betsy book by MaryJanice Davidson, and the latest House Of Night book by P.C Cast and Kristen Cast. The Hunger Games Series is in that stack too (I know…shame on me for not reading them yet!) And, a friend just gave me all of the Vampire Academy books to read…I just finished “Asylum Lake,” by R.A .Evans…that was a great horror/suspense read.

 13) Who are a few of your favorite authors? Oh mannn…There are too many to name! Brent Crawford, Stephanie Meyer, MaryJanice Davidson, PC Cast, JK Rowling, Charlaine Harris, Rose Pressey…Honestly, I love so many. I rarely read a book that I don’t like. If I don’t like a book, I stop reading it and don’t bother to finish.

 14) Anything you would like to add?

 First, I’d like to thank you for reviewing my book, and for the interview opportunity. I hope everyone takes a chance on “Ruby Blue” and can find the magic in it. It truly was a labor of love that was cultivated over a really long time… I look forward to reader feedback and am flattered to be featured on this site! If you love my story, I’d be honored if you shared it with fellow readers.

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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Author Spotlight: Rhiannon Paille



Interview with Rhiannon Paille Author of Flame of Surrender! 



1) Could you tell us a bit about yourself.

I'm a hopeless romantic. I also write books and I've been a professional psychic reader for seven years.

2) Could you tell us a bit about Flame of Surrender?

It's a story about love, the mistakes we make because of love and the dire consequences.

3) What was the inspiration for writing Flame of Surrender?

I've been trying to write an epic romance since I was 12. Ideas for FoS have been with me for about 14 years now and 6 years ago I decided to try to write it. It was really bad, but three drafts later and a lot of determination I think I got it right.

4) Were there any personal experiences that went in to writing  Flame of Surrender?

I don't think anyone would believe me if I told them what was true about this story and what wasn't.

5) Were  Krishani and Kaliel's characters based on anyone or were they purely made up? What are they like?

Kaliel and Krishani were based on the violet flame from eastern mythology and the ferryman from Greek mythology. Admittedly, there isn't a lot that can be discerned from what's been written about them, but they had their own story to tell.

Kaliel is innocent, shy, naive, brave, and passionate.

Krishani is withdrawn, private, passionate, strong, tortured, and rebellious.

6) What was your inspiration in the cover art for  Flame of Surrender?

I chose Kaliel for the cover because she's the focus of FoS. The photo used shows her relationship with the land, the fact that she talks to trees.

7) How many books do you plan to have in the Ferryman and the Flame series?

There are 6 and a half planned. Basically two trilogies and a novella.

8) Who is your favorite character in the book? And why?
 For me it's balanced between Kaliel and Krishani but I can't help but like Pux as well.

 9) If  Flame of Surrender  was made into a movie, Who would be your dream cast?
Ahh I've thought of this...

Dylan Minnette would make a great Krishani

Chloe Morentz or Elle Fanning would make a great Kaliel

Evanna Lynch would be a fabulous Shimma

James McAvoy would make an awesome Pux.

10) Do you write to music? If so, what is your favorite?

I used to write music, but it was never any good in my opinion. I have very eclectic tastes these days from Victoria Duffield and Nicki Minaj to Adele, Florence and the Machine, to Three Days Grace and Rise Against. I like a little bit of everything.

11) What do you plan on doing in the future?

I'm going to take over the world. No, I'm joking, I really have no idea. I suppose I'll continue reading minds and writing books until someone says I can't.

12) What are you reading right now?

Nothing, well I have a lot on the list but I'm just reading FoS for the umpteenth time.

13) Who are a few of your favorite authors?

Cassandra Clare
Erin Morgenstern
Lauren Oliver
Ruth Warburton
Julie Kagawa
Stephanie Perkins

 14) Anything you would like to add?

I'm also releasing a mini series called Last City on Earth, featuring a girl named Fable who found the Fountain of Youth and ended up immortal. Unfortunately she was the only one. She lives in Temperance, a city underneath the permafrost on Antarctica. Every year on Temperance Day the people try to kill her.

The first two parts of the series are up on kindle for 0.99 cents.

Thanks for having me on your blog Stephanie! I hope your readers take a chance on an Indie Author. :)

Namaste,
Rhi


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