Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Author Spotlight: Mary Lindsey


Please Welcome
Mary Lindsey
Author of
Shattered Souls

  1)     Could you tell us a bit about yourself?

Mary: I live in a house that used to be an art gallery on the Texas Gulf Coast with my husband, three kids, and a plethora of creatures, some of which could be considered pets.

  2)     Could you tell us a bit about Shattered Souls?

Mary: Shattered Souls is a young adult ghost story about a girl who can hear dead people. The full description of the book can be found HERE!

  3)     What was the inspiration for writing Shattered Souls?

Mary: I knew I wanted to write a ghost story. I also knew I wanted it to include an historical disaster that would produce a lot of unresolved dead guys. I toyed with the San Francisco Fire, the Civil War, World War II, but then, a high school student of mine told me she was reading a book for English that she hated. Trying to help her out, I offered to read it with her, like a buddy. She agreed, and I read Isaac’s Storm. It was amazing. I’d learned about the Great Storm of 1900 in high school, but the book made it real for me. I had my disaster. My enthusiasm for the Isaac’s Storm made it more tolerable for my student, but I’m still not sure she ever fell in love with it.
 4) Were there any personal experiences that went in to writing Shattered Souls?

Mary: All authors write from personal experience to some extent, I believe, but no; I’ve never seen a ghost. I did set the book in my hometown, so in that regard, it is based on personal experience.

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

Mary: She’s named after one of my students, but she’s a purely made up character. I’ve been told by my friends that she reminds them of me in her speech patterns and sense of humor. I’ll take that as a compliment?

6)     What was your inspiration in the cover art for Shattered Souls?

Mary: Because I was published by a large, traditional house, I had no control whatsoever over the cover. That’s probably a good thing, because Penguin did a far better job than I could have dreamed of doing myself. The cover is not only haunting and beautiful, it represents the book to a tee. The main character’s name in her past lives is Rose, so the fact she is shattering into rose petals on the cover is fantastic.

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

Mary: Alden is my favorite character. In fact, the original draft was in third person, with half of the story told from his point of view.

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

Mary: Yes and no. I write my rough draft to music, but do all my edits in complete silence. A complete playlist with quotes from the novel can be found HERE!

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

Mary: I plan to keep writing books! Right now I’m working on a modern Gothic based on Edgar Allan Poe’s last poem, “Annabel Lee.” It’s scheduled for release Summer 2013 by Penguin USA.

10) What are you reading right now?

Mary: A biography of Edgar Allan Poe called Everything Poe.

Thank you, Stephanie, for having me on your blog today. I enjoyed the interview.

Where you can find Mary:

Where to find Shattered Souls:

A thrilling debut story of death, love, destiny and danger Lenzi hears voices and has visions - gravestones, floods, a boy with steel gray eyes. Her boyfriend, Zak, can't help, and everything keeps getting louder and more intense. Then Lenzi meets Alden, the boy from her dreams, who reveals that she's a reincarnated Speaker - someone who can talk to and help lost souls - and that he has been her Protector for centuries. Now Lenzi must choose between her life with Zak and the life she is destined to lead with Alden. But time is running out: a malevolent spirit is out to destroy Lenzi, and he will kill her if she doesn't make a decision soon.





Saturday, February 11, 2012

Review: Mockingjay By Suzanne Collins

Suzanne Collins
Hardcover, 390 pages
Scholastic Press
August 24, 2010

“You love me. Real or not real?" 
I tell him, "Real.”


Young Katniss Everdeen has survived the dreaded Hunger Games not once, but twice, but even now she can find no relief. In fact, the dangers seem to be escalating: President Snow has declared an all-out war on Katniss, her family, her friends, and all the oppressed people of District 12. The thrill-packed final installment of Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games trilogy will keep young hearts pounding.


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

Mockingjay the final installment in The Hunger Games Trilogy was nothing short of breathtaking.  There was a huge mark to live up to in the final book and I believe Collins did beautifully. I must say I cried for about 75% of this book and for an hour afterwords. I am still unable to get this book off my mind and must say it is one of my favorite series of all time. 

Although I was unhappy with a few choices Collins made plot wise I very much enjoyed reading every page of this book. I had my heart ripped out a number of times and I could see why some readers did not enjoy this book as much as the others. Even though I was unhappy with parts of this book, I feel it made it all the more real. Life isn't always fare, and sometimes we don't get the fairy-tale ending. I really enjoyed that Collins gave us a book that was not all about pleasing the readers. It was real and it was raw. 

The characters in this book will live with me forever. I loved each and every one for there uniqueness. I wish we could have a spin off for each of them, I just couldn't get enough. With each turn of a page I was afraid for them and felt helpless in their struggles. I loved that through each book the characters grew and were still able to surprise me. I repeatedly got my heart torn out and was trying not to mess up the pages of my book with tears. 

Mockingjay was such an unbelievably heart-wrenching read and I loved every minute of it. This series has changed the way I look at literature. Suzanne Collins is not afraid to go where no one has gone before and has come out with a trilogy that I will truly cherish. I give Mockingjay 5+ Hoots for being an amazing book and a fantastic finale to a truly horrifying and beautiful world. 

Friday, February 10, 2012

Catching Fire By, Suzanne Collins

Suzanne Collins
Hardcover, 391 pages
Scholastic inc.
September 1, 2009

“I wish I could freeze this moment, right here, right now and live in it forever.” 

Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark won the annual competition described in Hunger Games, but the aftermath leaves these victors with no sense of triumph. Instead, they have become the poster children for a rebellion that they never planned to lead. That new, unwanted status puts them in the bull's-eye for merciless revenge by The Capitol...




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


Catching Fire, The second installment in The Hunger Games left me breathless.  I thought to myself
 "There is no way this book can be better then The Hunger Games!" Well I was wrong. I, in a way felt lucky I waited so long to read this series because I didn't have to suffer through the wait between books... That must have been torture. I barely made it across the room to my book shelf for this book. I could not imagine waiting almost a year. Wow.. that probable sucked. 


Once again Suzanne Collins has created a world that has sucked me in. I have found myself reliving every frightening image on a daily basis.  I tore through the pages of this book in record time. Not caring if my laundry got done or if I ate dinner. I can say with absolutely certainty that I am completely obsessed with these books! 


The characters are ever bit as strong and now that Kitness and Peeta are home we are able to get to know all the people they left behind in District 12. Prim is one of my favorite characters. She reminds me so much of my little sister and her relationship with Kitness is one near and dear to my heart. She is so lovable and I adore every moment with her. Then there is Gale. Boy do I love Gale. Which is hard because I also happen to love Peeta. Collins did what many authors fail to do; give you a love triangle that is totally believable. In so many instances you tend to lean to one side or the other. But with Gale and 
Peeta my heart is completely ripped in half. I never knew which to root for because I loved them both. Both have great qualities and I can see Kitness's struggles. 
I also loved the introduction of a few new characters Finnick being my favorite. I really loved his so called charm. He really grew on me and I loved his humor. 


Catching Fire Put me through things that I never saw coming and at times made me want to through my book across the room because I could not believe what was happening. This book made me cry on a number of occasions. If I could add up all my Hoots for this rating I would. But  5+ Hoots will have to do. I can not stress to you the magnitude of this book and how much I loved it. I literally feel like a screaming school girl every time some one brings it up. if you have not read this series yet, I literally want to smack some scene in to you and scream "Wake Up, What are you waiting for!?!"  Go get it now!! It will change your life!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Hunger Games By, Suzanne Collins

Suzanne Collins
Paperback, 374 pages
Scholastic inc.
October 1, 2008


“Here your dreams are sweet and tomorrow brings them true, here is the place where I love you.” 

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. 

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister Primrose, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before — and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.


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

I struggled whether or not to review this book. Not because it was unworthy of a review but for the fact that many have already read it. But I was unable to resist. When a book like this one comes along, I feel there are not enough times you can hear about it. To sum up The Hunger Games in one word: Unforgettable. I fell in love with this book and still to this day it is in my thoughts. 


I bought The Hunger Games on a whim. I had heard it was a good read and had every intention of reading it. There it sat on my book shelf for the better part of a year until I finally decided to give it a try once I saw the movie trailer.  I guess you could say I still am kicking myself for waiting so long. Every so often you come across a book that truly changes your outlook on the world. This one did it for me and I am not sure if I will ever get over the haunting images that are scorched in my brain from this book.


The Characters in The Hunger Games are among my absolute favorite. From their truly original names that I loved, to the unbelievable pull I felt to each and every character, I can truly say every character in this book has a place in my heart. Kitness is by far my favorite heroine. She is the strongest character I have ever seen and I loved living through this book through her eyes. Peeta is one of those characters that grew on me. In the beginning he didn't have that much pull with me and at times I was weary of him. Not knowing if he was one to trust.  But as time when went on I feel for him as so many others have. 


The entire plot of The Hunger Games was so original that I never know what was coming and was surprised constantly as the story progressed. Let me warn you, The Hunger Games is not a book for the faint of heart. It was not a fell good type of book with a worm and fuzzy romance at the core. This book did have a grotesque plot and in all honesty it was one of the things I loved about it. Collins was not afraid to go into detail of the gory parts in this book. She gave you a true horror story. Everything about this book was so unique and it had a raw undertone that I absolutely loved.


The Hunger Games was by far my favorite book of the year. I give it 5+ Hoots and if I had a higher grading scale I would give it more. If you have not read this series I urge you to go pick it up...now! Don't be afraid if its not exactly in your comfort zone of reading style. This book will change your life and I will warn you, It's going to consume your life for a bit. 




  

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Thanks for hanging in there Giveaway!!!!


As most of you know I have been neglecting my blog these past few months.. This is due to a move to PA, my computer crashing :( and a few family matters that are now resolved!! YAY. 

Well.. I'm back. And let me just say Thank You to all my followers who have been very patient while I delt with life and stayed with me!!! YAY for you!! 

So as a big Thank You I wanted to do a giveaway.. A Thank You Giveaway!!

2 Followers will win there choice of a book and a crap load of swag
and 5 Followers will win a swag pack!! 

What do you have to do??

Be a Follower.. That's it.. 
If you wanna tweet it that's great but this is just a little thank you and I don't want you to
 have to jump through hoops for it!!

So just leave a comment and let me know what book you want
 ( a new one, or an old one, or one that isn't out yet... I don't care)
And leave your email so I can get in touch of the winner!!
Ends 2/20
Open International 

That's it. So Good Luck and Thank You for being such an awesome follower.. You Rock!! 

Review: Silence By, Becca Fitzpatrick

Becca Fitzpatrick
Hardcover, 438 Pages
Simon & Schuster
October 4, 2011


“I love you.” His voice was straightforward, affectionate. “You make me remember who I used to be. You make me want to be that man again. Right now, holding you, I feel like we have a shot at beating all odds and making it together. I’m yours, if you’ll have me.” 


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


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


Silence the third installment in the Hush, Hush series started off with a bang. Nora is dropped of in a cemetery with no memory of how she got there, or the last 5 months for that matter. She learns that she had been missing and has no idea where she was or who she was with. As Nora tries to reclaim her life she feels that she is being lied to. Things just aren't adding up and its up to her to figure them out.


As Nora goes in search of her memories she learns that everyone has been lying to her. Vee is keeping important information from her and it is wedging a gap in there friendship. Her mom is lying to her and on top of that she is dating her worst enemy, Marcie Miller's dad. And Hank Miller is not on Nora's good list. He seriously creeps her out. His overprotective dad act isn't fooling her. As Nora regains her memories, she comes to realize that things are missing and life around her is not as it seems.


I really enjoyed Silence. I really liked Nora's search for her memories. At times I wanted to scream at her and wanted her to get those  memories back, But the journey there was very exciting. Nora runs into all types of trouble on her quest to find out the truth. A group of super-human thugs who can do things she cant explain and a mysterious guy named Jeb who saves her life and makes her feel things her shouldn't be feeling about a complete stranger. Scott is also back and he has brought a lot of trouble with him. He is one of the few things Nora can remember and he helps her on her way to the truth.


All in all Silence was a fast pace read and I very much enjoyed reading it. I give Silence 5 Hoots. Getting through the unknown with Nora was very fun and figuring out that was going to happen when she finally figured out the truth was even better. I urge you to pick up this series and dive in. The Hush, Hush series is by far one of my favorites and I can not wait for the forth book Finale coming out October 13, 2012. 





Review: Crescendo by, Becca Fitzpatrick

Becca Fitzpatrich
Hardcover427 pages
Simon & Schuster
October 19th 2010

“Being with you never felt wrong. It's the one thing I did right. You're the one thing I did right.” 

Nora Grey's life is still far from perfect. Surviving an attempt on her life wasn't pleasant, but at least she got a guardian angel out of it: a mysterious, magnetic, gorgeous guardian angel. But, despite his role in her life, Patch has been acting anything but angelic. He's more elusive than ever and even worse, he's started spending time with Nora's arch-enemy, Marcie Millar. 

Nora would have hardly noticed Scott Parnell, an old family friend who has moved back to town, if Patch hadnt been acting so distant. Even with Scott's totally infuriating attitude Nora finds herself drawn to him - despite her lingering feeling that he's hiding something. 

Haunted by images of her murdered father, and questioning whether her nephilim bloodline has anything to do with his death, Nora puts herself increasingly in dangerous situations as she desperately searches for answers. But maybe some things are better left buried, because the truth could destroy everything - and everyone - she trusts. (Goodreads.com)


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

Crescendo, the second book in the Hush, Hush series blew my socks off. It was by far my favorite in the series so far. Filled with action, love, relationship drama and killer surprises that I never saw coming. Fitzpatrick is an amazing author who is able to captivate readers and suck them into the story. I was not only in her story but was living it for myself. 

As with Hush, Hush, the characters in Crescendo and among my favorite. Nora is still a strong heroine who knows how to take care of her self. She goes off and does things I myself probably would not attempt. She knows what she needs to do to save herself and the ones she loves. Vee, Nora's best friend is still one of my favorite characters. She has such a bold personality and a certain spunk that I absolutely love. Then we have Patch. He is every bit as swoon worthy as he has ever been and still will make you crazy with some of the decisions he makes.

There is also a few new characters in Crescendo that make the cut. Scott being one. He is an old friend from Nora's past and he makes it clear that being just friends wont cut it. While Nora struggles with her relationship with Patch drifting apart, Scott drifting closer and images of her dead father popping up all over the place, Nora has quite a bit on her plate. Not to mention Rixon, Vee's new boyfriend and Patches best friend, the trio are spending quite a bit of time together.. without Nora.

Nora is faced with new secrets from her past, figuring out things about Patch that even she didn't see coming and is stuck in the middle of an ancient war between the Fallen Angels and the Nephilim. With everything going on I could not put this book down. I give Crescendo 5+ Hoots. For being action packed and a hands down fantastic read. If you haven't read the Hush, Hush series I advise you start ASAP! You will not be disappointed!!



Read my review for Hush, Hush HERE!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Review: Darkness Becomes Her By, Kelly Keaton

Kelly Keaton
Hardcover, 273 Pages
Simon Pulse
Feburary, 22 2011

“I glanced up into round black eyes, ringed in yellow, but in some small part I saw humanity there. Sadness. It blinked. "Made," it said quietly, almost ashamed.”

A dark and lush paranormal romance set in a richly reimagined New Orleans—now in paperback!Ari can’t help feeling lost and alone. With teal eyes and freakish silver hair that can’t be changed or destroyed, Ari has always stood out. And after growing up in foster care, she longs for some understanding of where she came from and who she is.

Her search for answers uncovers a message from her long dead mother: Run. Ari can sense that someone, or something, is getting closer than they should. But it’s impossible to protect herself when she doesn’t know what she’s running from or why she is being pursued.

She knows only one thing: she must return to her birthplace of New 2, the lush rebuilt city of New Orleans. Upon arriving, she discovers that New 2 is very...different. Here, Ari is seemingly normal. But every creature she encounters, no matter how deadly or horrifying, is afraid of her.

Ari won’t stop until she knows why. But some truths are too haunting, too terrifying, to ever be revealed.
*****************

Darkness Becomes Her is a unique Paranormal read. Filled with Supernatural elements, a rotting city and a mix of memorable characters that will find there way into your heart. 

Ari is a seventeen year old girl who has been tossed around foster homes for most of her childhood. She has decided to go to the Rocquemore House to get answers about her mother. While there she learns that her mother committed suicide shortly after her birth. Now all she has is a box of her mothers old things and a letter that says "Run". With no answers and no where to go Ari decides to go to the only place she can think of, New 2, The ruined city that used to be New Orleans before 2 massive hurricanes devastated the city. Now Ari must find out the secret to who, and what she is.

Ari is a fantastic character. She is a strong heroine, which is sometimes hard to find. She knows how to take care of herself and will go to any length to find out the truth. I  will warn you, Ari has a bit of a diverse vocabulary. There are quite a bit of profanity in this book. But aside from that, I thoroughly enjoyed Ari's narration throughout this book. 

Darkness Becomes Her also offers a few very likable characters. Crank, who brings Ari in to New 2 is a little rough around the edges and Violet the little girl with the fangs who hides behind masks. I really liked Violet. She was very shy and awkward but she was a very interesting character to read about and I definitively liked her. I really hope to read more about her in books to come. Then there is Sebastian, Ari's love interest.  Sebastian is totally swoon-worthy. He and Ari are immediately drawn to each other, and I mean immediately. The relationship feels a bit rushed and I do feel that it was one of the few negative points to this book. Both characters seemed very guarded and  I feel it was a bit uncharacteristic for both of them to rush in to such a hot and heavy relationship.

Darkness Becomes Her was one of the most original stories I have read in quite some time. The mix of Witches, Vampires and Greek Gods was one both original and unexpected. There are quite a few twists and turns in this book and it definitely kept me on my toes.

Overall Darkness Becomes Her was a fast pace read with memorable characters and a unique story line. I give it 4 Hoots. I really enjoyed this book. I loved the way Kelly Keaton was able to describe the world through Ari's eyes. I almost felt like I was there, and I loved that. I do wish the book was a bit longer and the relationships were a bit more realistic. I did feel a bit rushed. But all in all it was a good book and I feel it would be liked among readers who enjoy Paranormal books. 


  

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