Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Green Man by Michael Bedard - Review

The Green Man by Michael Bedard
Publisher: Tundra Books
Expected publication date: April 10, 2012
Recommended ages: 10-14

Goodreads Synopsis:
Teenaged O – never call her Ophelia – is about to spend the summer with her aunt Emily. Emily is a poet and the owner of an antiquarian book store, The Green Man. A proud, independent woman, Emily’s been made frail by a heart attack. O will be a help to her. Just how crucial that help will be unfolds as O first tackles Emily’s badly neglected home, then the chaotic shop. But soon she discovers that there are mysteries and long-buried dark forces that she cannot sweep away, though they threaten to awaken once more.

Kayla's Review:
O Endicott travels to Caledon to spend the summer with her elderly aunt, Emily, after her father takes off to Italy for research. Emily owns the otherworldly Green Man bookshop, and lives in the apartment above it. O dabbles in poetry during her stay, but she questions her decision to write it because so many poets are insane. But are the queer things occurring around the bookshop really poet madness, or is there some kind of evil afoot?

I was about halfway through The Green Man when I found out that it was a part of a series. However, I never felt as if I was missing anything because there were various flashbacks with sufficient backstory. I only had two problems with the book.  There were a few plot points that I felt did not lead anywhere, such as O seeing a young version of her father. It could have had a potentially interesting twist, but it only served descriptive purposes. My other issue was that the climax was very brief. I found myself asking, “Was that it?!” Other than that, I found this to be a very enjoyable read. The writing is lovely, and the pace is ideal for the young adult reader. I would even like to go back and read the previous two books in the series.

Received through Net Galley.

About the author:
Michael Bedard was born and raised in Toronto. His novels include Stained Glass, A Darker Magic, Painted Devil, and Redwork, which received the Governor General’s Literary Award, and the Canadian Library Association’s Book of the Year Award for Children. He has also written several acclaimed picture books, including The Clay Ladies, which received the Toronto IODE Book Award. His most recent project was a collection of short stories entitled, The Painted Wall. Michael Bedard lives in Toronto.    

Darian Wilk, Crazy Lady with a Pen, joins Krazy Book Lady

Darian Wilk, author of Love Unfinished and blogger at Crazy Lady with a Pen, is joining Krazy Book Lady! Darian understands indie authors because she is one! I am very excited to have her join us.

About Darian:
A fondness for books was not a natural occurrence for Darian as a child.  But after her mom forced her to sit and read, she quickly fell in love.  She immersed herself in the ever changing world of stories; where the hero was a villain, or where eternal love was just a page away.  She found her freedom in books; she could be anyone, go anywhere, all through the beauty of words on a page.  It was from that love of words that she found her passion in writing and published her debut novel, Love Unfinished.

Her favorite genres to read are women’s fiction/chic lit, mystery/crime, suspense, and historical romance.  She also enjoys general fiction, non-fiction, ‘clean’ romance, and the occasional YA.  When not reading, Darian spends her time writing, raising her two kids, being with her husband and relaxing with friends.  

Besides here and the Crazy Lady with a Pen blog, you can find Darian on her site, Twitter, GoodReads, and Facebook.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Concealed by Sang Kromah - Fun Facts & Excerpt

Concealed by Sang Kromah
Published: October 2011
Published by: The Little Things Publishing

Concealed Fun Facts
1.)    The background story for Concealed is a story that I started to develop as a little girl. It has changed so much since I first started to create it in the first grade.

2.)    Concealed takes place in the town I grew up in (Sykesville) and at the high school I went to. I thought, what better way to make the story more authentic than writing about the place I spent my teenage years? Of course I embellished A LOT, but hey, it’s fiction! 

3.)    When I first decided to write Concealed, Sebastian was British instead of Australian, and then I thought I’d be crazy for not making him Australian. I’ve had this life-long obsession with Australia my entire life. So while I wrote, I’d watch a lot of Aussie TV to help authenticate the lingo and slang, and now I’m even more obsessed.

4.)    When I was a kid, my parents told me a story about a Djinn and a little girl named, Femeni from their native country of Liberia, and I could never get that story out of my head, so I would write my own stories about Femeni for years until one day, I wrote a story about Femeni having a daughter, and that story is Concealed. 

5.)    Many of the characters in Concealed are named after people I know or have met before, but no one is anything like their character, except for Moh, who is named after my younger brother, Moh.

6.)    Writing Concealed is the reason I have such horrible insomnia. The creation of Bijou’s dreams and visions was the death of sleep for me.

7.)    A lot of times as I write, I feel guilty for the horrible things I do to my characters. You would think I hate them or something.

8.)    Like Bijou—I’ve spent most of my life being socially awkward, but Bijou is a whole different realm of weird.

9.) Bijou’s entire life has pretty much been lived vicariously through movie, TV, and literary characters, so she’s like a walking, talking pop culture reference book.

10.) Writing Concealed has made me somewhat crazy…I think. It’s seriously done some sort of damage. ;-)


Chapter 10: Whistling in the Dark

I opened my mouth to continue, when suddenly my eyes began fluttering lazily as an intoxicating haze surrounded me and I was no longer surrounded by my peers. The fire was gone and my only companion was the heavy fog that hid my surroundings from me.
Off in the distance, I saw a figure standing with its back towards me.
“Who’s there?” I yelled.
The figure did not answer; neither did it flinch at the sound of my voice. I waited for a few more moments, but still…nothing. Then I heard an odd noise. Someone was whistling.
I got to my feet and began walking towards the figure. The figure did not stir in the least, though I am sure that my approach was heard.
As I got closer, I could see that the figure was an unusually tall man wearing dark clothing; the broad shoulders made his gender clearly obvious. His head hung low, so I couldn’t make out any other features. I slowed my pace; not wanting to get too close to this strange man, and the whistling grew louder and louder.
“Excuse me sir, but is everything alright?” I asked, now only a few feet from this odd individual…still no answer.
He just continued standing there with his back turned as he continued to whistle louder and louder. And then it hit me; I had heard that song before, long, long ago, but where? The tune was so familiar, yet it was like a distant memory; maybe even from a dream.
“I’m looking for my friends. They were here just a little while ago…” He cut me off midsentence.
“Do you know what is said of whistling in the dark?” He asked in a hushed tone that made the hairs on the back of my neck to rise.
“Um no… I’m sorry I don’t know. I just need to find my friends, so I can get home.” I responded, slowly becoming aware that I may be in danger.
“Everyone?” His rhetoric was followed by a dark and sinister laugh. “Do you know your true home? You’re neither here nor there. So tell me, where do you belong?”
This man spoke in riddles. I was now officially confused. If I were a smart person, I would run away now! But there was a deafening silence as I contemplated whether to speak or not. I thought about slowly backing away from this frightening man, but my legs failed to obey.
The man slowly began to turn around, his head still bent.
This has to be one of my dreams. When he lifts his head, I’m sure it will be Sebastian, and then I will awaken.
But when he faced me, I still could not see his face. It hung very low, and the whistling began once again.
This time something even stranger began to happen. It was as if I were on the outside looking in. I was watching myself and had no control over my own actions. I began walking closer to him.
STOP! I tried telling myself, but it was no use. I was no longer in the driver’s seat.
I began humming the beautiful melody in harmony with him. I watched as my eyes closed and my mouth opened. I began singing in a voice that I didn’t recognize, “ce billet doux est toi, mon bijou.”
My eyes suddenly opened and my outer body experience ended; once again, I was in control. “Ce billet doux est toi, mon bijou,” I repeated, talking this time—not singing.
Where did those words come from? He continued whistling as I repeated the words to myself in French.
“This love letter is yours, my jewel,” I finally translated. Where had I heard this song before?
“So indeed it is you!”
I said nothing in return.
“You still offer me no answer to my first question,” he said. His voice was disturbing.
“What question?” My voice was raw, as if I hadn’t spoken in a long while.
“Do you know what is said of whistling in the dark?” He sounded as if his patience were worn.
“No, I don’t,” I answered hesitantly.
He began to sway from side to side. I fought hard to catch a glimpse of his face, but saw nothing.
I shouldn’t even be conversing with this weirdo. Dread rose in my chest causing it to ache.
“Whistling in the dark is an invitation for the djinn to enter,” he said in a whisper.
“The djinn? They’re not real.” As the words left my mouth, I had a feeling I was wrong.
“They’re as real as you and me,” he answered, reaching out for me.
“Sebastian, is that you?” I asked, still trying to see his face.
He did not answer. He grabbed my right wrist with hot hands and in that moment I knew this was not the boy from my dreams.
“Let go! You’re hurting me.” I fought hard, trying to free myself from his grasp, but he was too strong. The heat from his hand burned my wrist so badly I began to think I would see smoke.
“So the traitor has a name,” he yelled, his voice grew loud with curiosity. “Sebastian, is it?”
The stranger pulled me closer, my back facing him as his grip tightened. But something made him scream in absolute horror, forcing him to release me from the chokehold.
He screeched—obviously in some sort of pain—an imprint of an eye branded on his arm.
I ran, but my legs wouldn’t move as fast as I willed them to. Although I could not hear him pursuing me, I could feel his presence near. The smell of sulfur was strong.
My legs were tired now and I was completely out of breath. I stopped running, resting my hands on my knees—my breaths coming rapidly. I realized that I was back where I started—the sight of the bon fire—but the fog was gone now.
“I am weak, but you have revealed the traitor to me.”
My eyes opened widely and I gasped for air as if I had been holding my breath all the while.
I looked around, Sebastian to my left and Amina to my right. Everyone was once again sitting around the large bonfire. Where had they all come from?

You can find Sang Kromah on her site and Twitter.
To see the book blurb, please visit GoodReads.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Giveaway Hop: Forbidden Mind by Kimberly Kinrade

This giveaway is part of the Young Adult Giveaway Hop hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and Down the Rabbit Hole. There are a lot of great blogs participating in this hop. After you enter here, hop over and enter their giveaways too.  

Please also check out the other giveaways that I currently have. New giveaways start all the time. They can be located in the right sidebar.

My giveaway:
1 copy of Forbidden Mind by Kimberly Kinrade. If a U.S. resident, the winner will receive a print copy plus swag. If outside the U.S., winner will receive an eBook.

She reads minds.
He controls minds.
Together, they might get out alive.

Sam thinks she's months away from freedom. After spending her life in a secret school, rented out to the rich and powerful as a paranormal spy, she is ready to head to college like any normal eighteen-year-old.

Only Sam isn't normal. She reads minds. And just before her big going-away party, she links to the mind of a young man who changes everything.

Drake wasn't raised as a 'Rent-A-Kid.' He was kidnapped and taken there by force. But his exceptional physical strength and powers of mind control make him very dangerous, especially to Sam.

When they meet, Sam is forced to face the truth of her situation, and to acknowledge that not all is as it seems in her picture-perfect world. For what awaits her on her eighteenth birthday isn't a trip to college, but an unexpected nightmare from which she may not be able to escape.

To survive, they must work together.

But will their powers be enough to save them before it's too late?

How to enter:
Simply provide your name and email in the form below. Following is not required but is definitely appreciated. (If you enter other giveaways on Krazy Book Lady, please check out the requirements of each giveaway as some may be different.)

Additional optional entries: (for a total of 4)
+1 Follow Krazy Book Lady on Twitter or like on Facebook.
+1 Follow Kimberly Kinrade on Twitter or like on Facebook.
+1 Leave a blog post comment here or on my review of Forbidden Mind.

Giveaway details:
Giveaway is open internationally. (See details above.) This giveaway will run until midnight EST on January 31. Must be 13 or older to enter. Winner will be chosen using Winner will be emailed and this blog post will be updated to include the name of the winner. Winner has 3 days to contact me or a new winner will be selected.

Thank you for entering and good luck!

Sorry! This giveaway is now closed.

Winner: Persephone

Forbidden Mind by Kimberly Kinrade - Review

Forbidden Mind by Kimberly Kinrade
Published: September 2011
Published by: Evolved Publishing

She reads minds.
He controls minds.
Together, they might get out alive.

Sam thinks she's months away from freedom. After spending her life in a secret school, rented out to the rich and powerful as a paranormal spy, she is ready to head to college like any normal eighteen-year-old.

Only Sam isn't normal. She reads minds. And just before her big going-away party, she links to the mind of a young man who changes everything.

Drake wasn't raised as a 'Rent-A-Kid.' He was kidnapped and taken there by force. But his exceptional physical strength and powers of mind control make him very dangerous, especially to Sam.

When they meet, Sam is forced to face the truth of her situation, and to acknowledge that not all is as it seems in her picture-perfect world. For what awaits her on her eighteenth birthday isn't a trip to college, but an unexpected nightmare from which she may not be able to escape.

To survive, they must work together.

But will their powers be enough to save them before it's too late?

My review:
What do you do when your life has been filled with lies and things are not like what you have been told? This is what Sam has to sort through when she realizes her entire life has been even worse than she thought. She had come to accept living at Rent-A-Kid, not having a family, and doing as she was told on jobs where she used her powers of reading minds. All the while, she was planning for the day when she would be 18 and would be free to live her own life. When someone shows up who also has powers but did not grow up at Rent-A-Kid, Sam starts realizing things are not what they seem, and now she must figure out who she can really trust.

Forbidden Mind is a short, easy read. I was really intrigued by the whole idea and could not wait to read it. It is easy to like Sam right from the beginning and hope that everything works out for her.  Since this is the first one in the series, we are left at the end not knowing how everything turns out. On the downside, I did not like how it had "K" and "cuz," even though I am fully aware this is the common way for teenagers to write those words. Of course, this was just my own personal opinions, and others may not have a problem with it. Overall, it was an enjoyable read, and I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys YA paranormal.

A copy was provided by the author for review.

About the author:
Kimberly Kinrade was born with ink in her veins and magic in her heart. As a child, where others saw shapes in clouds, she saw words. But she was also an entrepreneur at heart. So when her business arrangement with the Tooth Fairy ended, she went pro by writing her fantastical stories and selling them to all her neighbors.

Fast forward…um…many years and many college degrees later… and she is now a published author after a long career as a journalist and freelance writer.

Though Kimberly has written in many genres and fields, she is most passionate about the world of the paranormal and fantasy. Her novels include (current and upcoming): Forbidden Mind (a trilogy), Death by Destiny (a trilogy), and The Reluctant Familiar (a series). She is also the author of Lexie World (The Three Lost Kids Trilogy), for children.

When she is not writing, editing and writing some more, she spends her time with her three little girls who think they are princess ninjas with hidden supernatural powers, their two dogs who think they are human, and the one man who is her soul mate and writing partner.

You can find Kimberly on her site, Twitter, and Facebook.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Velveteen Rabbit - Books That Made Me Love Reading

The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
*Read for the Books That Made Me Love Reading Challenge*

This was not the book that I had planned to read first for the challenge, but it suddenly hit me that it is almost the end of the month and I haven't read my book for this month yet. Since I didn't even have time to go the library, I searched for books from my childhood that I could get downloaded to my Kindle for free. So the picture shown isn't the actual edition that I read.

My review:
I loved this story as a child, and I still think it is very sweet. I think reading this when I was younger may have been part of the reason I never wanted to throw away any of my toys. My only complaint now is that I read the Kindle version, which is not illustrated. But that has nothing to do with the beauty of this classic children's story. There is a reason this story has been popular since first published in 1922.

About the challenge:
The Books That Made Me Love Reading Challenge is hosted by Emlyn Chand. She has challenged participants to read one book from their childhood each month in 2012. You can find out more about this challenge and prizes available by visiting Emlyn's site. 

A Million Reasons to Read a Book by Georgina Morales

Guest post by Georgina Morales

Since I started blogging, a little over a year ago, I’ve met a lot of people who either write books, or read books; either way, we all have in common our love for the written word. Then, today I came across a web dedicated to spread the love of reading not among those like us, but to light or non-habitual readers. It blew my mind. I’d never thought that the way to go would be to reach those who are non-lovers and try to convert them. The idea is simple enough and, though I’m not sure how successful it is, I think it is praiseworthy.

The movement is called World Book Night and it works like this: On April 23rd, UNESCO’s World Book Day, up to fifty thousand volunteers will go out into our streets and give twenty books to perfect strangers for free. The initiative started last year in the U.K. and Ireland successfully, and the idea is to see it expand into many more countries. The books are all paperback editions donated by several sponsors who also take it upon them to see the books delivered to the closest library of each one of the volunteers who will give them for free.

The organization is now in need of those volunteers who will reach the communities. The requirements are simple: Go out on Monday April 23rd and hand up to twenty books to perfect strangers or people you think are not frequent readers. You won’t have to pay a thing and you could change someone’s life for the better. I know books have helped me go through the worst time in my life.

Now, what I think would make this work even better is if you had access to a captured audience, say, a young reading group, or a knitting club… you know what I mean. A group where there could be a follow up but without pressure, that way the receiver might feel more compelled to actually read the book and not throw it under his/her bed.

Anyway, follow this link if you are interested in the movement and would like to contribute. Take care, and happy reading.

About the author:
GEORGINA MORALES is a horror writer, author of short stories and novels. Her works have appeared in Anthologies such as PostMortem Press’ ISOLATION: AN ANTHOLOGY OF NEW HORROR. Her debut novel PERPETUAL NIGHT explores the thin line between dreams and nightmares, reality and insanity. She’s also a reviewer for Dark River Press.

Born in Mexico City, Georgina was always divided between the world of the paranormal, the religious, and science, even as a kid. She studied medicine and through years in hospitals, she lived and heard all kinds of creepy tales. Now a writer, she portrays the world of the strange. Her interest in exploring her fears and how others perceive reality mixed with her scientific background and love for Latin American novels make her style unique and her stories a trip.

To know more about the author, follow her on her blog, Diary of a Writer in Progress, on Facebook, Goodreads, or Book Blogs.

Perpetual Night by Georgina Morales
Life at fifteen is complicated with hormones and belligerence but what if you throw in the mix nightmares that torment you even when awake? What if everything you hold dear threatened to slip through your fingers? PERPETUAL NIGHT follows Lilibeth Royster's search for the truth in a world where the here and the beyond get tangled; where every clue opens new horrors; where uncovering her secret might threaten more than her sanity, her life.

You can purchase Perpetual Night at Amazon, Smashwords, Postmortem Press, Barnes & Noble

Note: Because I was back and forth on if this cover would be appropriate to display since I try to keep the blog family friendly, I chose to not do so. You can see the cover at the sites above or on Goodreads. Thank you for understanding!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Meet the new Krazy Book Ladies - Kayla & Karon

It seems only fitting that my 100th post is made to introduce my two new Krazy Book Ladies, Kayla and Karon. It must have been fate that they both have K names, which goes perfectly with Krazy Book Lady. I am very excited to have both of them on board. I will still be here, but they will also be contributing reviews. Kayla is also bringing in the Top Ten Tuesday meme.

Kayla has suffered from bibliophilia her entire life. When she was a baby, she slept with her books instead of dolls and started reading at an unnaturally young age. Kayla realized early on that each book was its own little world and that she can be there as long as she is reading. Due to this, she has an embarrassingly large library of her favorite books – sometimes multiple copies – because she revisits her favorite worlds again and again. Some of Kayla’s favorite genres are science fiction, nearly all subgenres of fantasy, historical fiction, and horror. She has recently started reading young adult books and is enjoying every minute of it. Kayla also collects rare and autographed books. The prize of her collection is a first edition of a work published in the 1890s.

The pull and love of books is very strong, so Kayla became a librarian. She loves being able to promote reading in her community and sharing her passion with her patrons. When she is not working or reading, Kayla enjoys spending time with her devious five-year-old daughter, painting, cooking, writing, and stalking her favorite authors on Twitter.

Update: Unfortunately, Karon did not work out. However, Kayla is still providing reviews and the Top Ten Tuesday posts, and Darian has also joined us.

Top Ten All-Time Favorite Books

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

My Top Ten All-Time Favorite Books
Post by Krazy Book Lady Contributor, Kayla

This is Freebie Week for Top Ten Tuesday, so I chose to share some of my favorite books with you, so you can get to know me a little better. I have to be honest with you – just writing that title made me feel terrible. I have read many, many books throughout my life, so choosing favorites among them was quite difficult. Even as I would choose one, I would immediately change my mind because there was another that I liked, too. It was quite a schizophrenic experience for me due to the sheer amount of self- argument going on in my head. I finally put my foot down, made myself scrap some of the sci-fi/fantasy because that is not all I read, and managed to come up with the following titles. (They are in no particular order, because that would have meant even more arguing with the voices in my head.)

When I was in middle school (junior high), this was on my reading list. I was in the Gifted and Talented program, and the teachers knew better than to give us only one book to read. None of the students in the classes would have read it. Instead, we would get a list of about one hundred recommended titles, and then the teacher would show favoritism to whichever student had the most read on the list. It was a dirty ploy, but it had us all reading numerous books. I was the insufferable class pet, so I had read nearly everything on the list except for this book. I did not want anything to do with science fiction, but I read it to maintain my lead.

I was hooked in the first paragraph. The utter silliness had me laughing like an insane person within the first few sentences and then throughout the entire book. I am sad that the significance of digital watches has lessened, but I think most people who enjoy British humor will enjoy Adams’ finest work. The science fiction elements are there, but the story is more focused on the interactions between the characters and the little back stories that explain why things are happening the way they are. Here are a few of my favorite quotes from the book:

"I don't want to die now. I've still got a headache. I don't want to go to heaven with a headache, I'd be all cross and wouldn't enjoy it.” – Arthur Dent

One of the major difficulties Trillian experienced in her relationship with Zaphod was learning to distinguish between him pretending to be stupid just to get people off their guard, pretending to be stupid because he couldn't be bothered to think and wanted someone else to do it for him, pretending to be outrageously stupid to hide the fact that he actually didn't understand what was going on, and really being genuinely stupid.

For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much — the wheel, New York, wars and so on — whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man — for precisely the same reasons.

The quotes really do give you an idea of what to expect from the novel. It is a classic for a reason and well worth attempting to read.

The only reason I read this book was that I wanted to see if Pulitzer Prize winning books were really as good as everyone said they are. I force myself to read literary fiction from time to time in order to keep my brain sharp, and this was as good of a candidate as any. It was unlike any other novel that I have read in my entire life. The novel gives a greater insight to Dominican history, overflows with allusions to other literary works, has numerous themes, and the style of writing is what made it stand out to me.

I will not go on for as long about it as I did with Hitchhiker’s Guide, but I am not exaggerating when I say that this is the most beautiful and heartbreaking book that I have ever read and the best I’ve read this century.

3. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

This is an extremely short book, so I will not subject you to a long-winded explanation of why I think it is so awesome. Quotes again!

“To me, you are still nothing more than a little boy who is just like a hundred thousand other little boys. And I have no need of you. And you, on your part, have no need of me. To you, I am nothing more than a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But if you tame me, then we shall need each other. To me, you will be unique in all the world. To you, I shall be unique in all the world…” – Fox

Here is my secret. It is very simple: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.

Grown-ups like numbers. When you tell them about a new friend, they never ask questions about what really matters. They never ask: "What does his voice sound like?" "What games does he like best?" "Does he collect butterflies?". They ask: "How old is he?" "How many brothers does he have?" "How much does he weigh?" "How much money does his father make?" Only then do they think they know him.

You risk tears if you let yourself be tamed.

This book makes me ugly cry (you know, with the snot and sobs) every time that I read it. It is a book that I own multiple copies of, and I try to live by what I have learned from it. I have learned to not only treat other people well, but all living creatures. The main thing that I have brought away from this book is the idea that you are responsible for that which you tame.

4. The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice

After Interview with the Vampire was released as a movie, I fell madly in love with Brad Pitt. I was not nearly old enough for the content, but I sneaked into my mother’s Anne Rice collection. I do not know if I expected to find Brad Pitt lodged in the pages, but I found something else. The book version of Interview with the Vampire was very dull to me (Louis loves to whine), but I decided to try The Vampire Lestat. (I learned early on that people do not buy book series unless they believe they are good.) The creature that I found in the pages was delightfully wicked and such an enjoyable monster to read.

Under no circumstances would I recommend this to squeamish or conservative readers, but it is worth reading. I wouldn’t blame you if you skipped the first book in the series.

5. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle

I know I went on and on before about #1 bringing me over to the sci-fi genre, but I loved this book before I even realized how it was labeled. It is a book that I revisit quite often because I have always wanted to be a Murry. Charles Wallace is one of my all-time favorite literary characters, and I tell everyone that I will name my son after him if I ever have a boy. Though this book has many scientific themes, it is mostly about family. Everything each of the characters chooses to do is based on love.

I must say that I wanted to be an astronaut for a long time because I thought I should go search for Aunt Beast among the stars. My terror of heights turned me away from that eventually, but I studied physics in college much longer than was required for a history major.

6. Question Quest by Piers Anthony

This is the fourteenth book in Piers Anthony’s Xanth series, so there is really not much point in saying too much about this. Yes, it is stand alone, but I am one of those people who want to read all of the books first. I assume that you are too. If you are interested, pick up A Spell for Chameleon sometime. It is a great family-friendly series that is thick with puns, allegories, and hilarious nonsense. I read as an escape, and Xanth is my destination of choice. I have read the book the most out of the series, so I guess it’s my favorite.

7. Duma Key by Stephen King

I feel like Stephen King wrote this novel for me. I do not think many people who are not writers or artists will understand this book. Sometimes when I write or paint, it feels like it is coming from somewhere other than inside me. That is what happens in this book. Yes, this is a horror novel, but it lacks the gore and ick that other King novels possess. I usually recommend this book to people who come into the library wanting to try something different, but safe.

8. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

For fear of spoilers, I will say absolutely nothing except that you should read this book. It was required reading in one of my British literature classes, and I was hesitant to read it. I think it is safe to say that I am glad I did. I mean, it made my top ten!

What begins as a simple game if hide-and-seek quickly turns into the adventure of a lifetime when Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy walk through the wardrobe and into the land of Narnia. There they find a cold, snow-covered land frozen into eternal winter by the evil White Witch. All who challenge her rule are turned into stone. Narnia, once filled with all manner of Talking Beasts, Dwarfs, Giants, and Fauns is now a dark, joyless wasteland.

The children can only hope that Aslan, the Great Lion, will return to Narnia and restore beauty and peace to the land. But will the power of Aslan be enough to conquer the dark magic of the White Witch?

Honestly, that says everything you need to know. I wouldn’t be surprised though if you already know it and love it. It was one of my childhood favorites (like most of the list), and I’m currently reading this to my daughter. She is falling in love with it, so I think I just might keep her.

I am unsure whether it is this book that I love so much, or if it is Lewis Carroll’s beautifully insane writing. He manages to pay tribute to the terrifying old fairy stories by the Grimm brothers and their like while still entertaining and winning the love of children. Carroll is a word-smith and a world-weaver, and I do not believe there will ever be another like him.

Monday, January 23, 2012

An Ode to Bloggers by Terri Giuliano Long

An Ode to Bloggers - Guest post by Terri Giuliano Long, author of In Leah's Wake

Last May, a month or so after I began marketing my novel, In Leah’s Wake, a former agent told me that I would never sell 500 books. A rookie, I had no idea what to expect. When I published the novel, I’d dreamed of selling a 3,000 – 5,000 books, hoping healthy sales numbers would attract the attention of an agent or traditional publishing house for my next novel.

The agent had left New York, but she’d been in the business for a long time, and her words stung. I hung up the phone, heartbroken, depressed. Had I not been in the midst of my first blog tour, I might have pulled my novel off the market that day.

Determined to see the tour through, I soldiered on. On the tour, I met wonderful, caring people, book bloggers, whose kindness buoyed and sustained me.

Over the next few months, In Leah’s Wake appeared on hundreds of blogs. Bloggers opened their hearts and spread the word about this quiet literary novel. In August, In Leah’s Wake hit the Barnes & Noble and Amazon charts. Now, seven months after my talk with that agent, the book has been in the Amazon top 200 for over five months, and we’ve sold just shy of 80,000 copies.

Book bloggers rock! I don’t know how to say it any better. Book bloggers are the fairy godmothers and godfathers of the literary world. They invest their talent, their energy, and their time into reviewing and promoting books – and keeping dreams alive.

Even today, traditional media refuse to recognize or review indie books. In this very real sense, book bloggers are the heart and soul of the indie revolution. Their vision, their energy, and their determination have enabled this amazing populist movement to take hold.

Today, we have the great good fortune of hearing the funny, poignant, intelligent voices of new authors from around the world - voices that, just a few years ago, might have been silenced by the gatekeepers of the old guard. These voices reach into hearts and minds, forging connections, uniting us in a community of readers and writers, searching for and finding, through words, the better part of ourselves. Because, truly, at heart, this is what reading and writing is all about.

Here’s to you, book bloggers! You are and always will be my heroes!

About the author:
Terri Giuliano Long is the bestselling author of the award-winning novel In Leah’s Wake. Her life outside of books is devoted to her family. In her free time, she enjoys walking, traveling, and listening to music. True to her Italian-American heritage, she’s an enthusiastic cook. In an alternate reality, she might be an international food writer. She lives with her family on the East Coast and teaches at Boston College. In Leah’s Wake is her debut novel.

You can find Terri on her site, blog, Twitter, and Facebook.

This week, Terri and Inspired Quill Press (paperback edition), launch a newly edited edition of In Leah’s Wake. The newly edited novel features a new chapter and several new scenes, adding new connections and insights, and tightens the book, cutting 60 pages – all while maintaining the integrity of the original edition.

For more information, please visit her website: or any of these retailer sales. (Your local library or bookstore can also order the book through major distribution channels.)

Amazon Kindle / Amazon Paperback / Barnes & Noble / Indie Bound


Terri Giuliano Long
Pages: 368
Format: Paperback, Kindle
ISBN: 1456310542
Publisher: CreateSpace/Inspired Quill Press

***Newly edited by Sara-Jayne Slack, Inspired Quill Press***

The Tylers have a perfect life—beautiful home, established careers, two sweet and talented daughters. Their eldest daughter, Leah, an exceptional soccer player, is on track for a prestigious scholarship. Their youngest, Justine—more responsible than seems possible for her 12 years—just wants her sister’s approval. With Leah nearing the end of high school and Justine a seemingly “together” kid, the parents are set to enjoy a peaceful life…until everything goes wrong. Can this family survive in Leah’s wake?

Margot Livesey, award-winning author of Banishing Verona, calls In Leah's Wake "a beautifully written and absorbing novel."

When happens when love just isn't enough?

Recipient of the CTRR Award for excellence 
2011 Book Bundlz Book Pick 
Book Bundlz 2011 Favorites, First Place

Praise for In Leah’s Wake

"Sometimes scary, sometimes sad, and always tender."
Susan Straight, National Book Award finalist, author Take One Candle Light A Room

"In Leah's Wake is a beautifully written and absorbing novel."
Margot Livesey, Award-winning author of Banishing Verona

“Pulled me right along as I continued to make comparisons to my own life.”
Jennifer Donovan, 5 Minutes for Books, Top 50 Book Blog

“An incredibly strong debut, this book is fantastic on many fronts.”
Naomi Blackburn, Founder Sisterhood of the Traveling Book

The Facebook competition will run from January 23rd January to January 27th on Terri’s Facebook page, under the ‘Photo Contest’ tab: (  There are two $50 Amazon gift certificates available: one for the best photograph and one for the best caption.  Entrants can take a photograph of themselves with their paperback copy of In Leah’s Wake or showing the book on their ereader or laptop, or perhaps get family members and/or pets involved!  For the really creative, why not recreate a scene from the book?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Review: Alice Bliss by Laura Harrington & Where's Alice Bliss

Alice Bliss by Laura Harrington
Published: June 2011
Published by: Penguin Group

"Outside the back window Alice can see the outlines of the garden, some of the furrows visible under the snow, stretching away in long thin rows. She can't imagine doing the garden without her dad. It's his thing; she's always thought of herself as his assistant at best. She can't imagine doing anything without her dad and she starts to feel like she can't breathe. And then she looks at him. Just looks at him as he watches the fire with muffin crumbs on his lap.
'I'll write to you.'
'I know, sweetheart.'
'Every day.'"
--From Alice Bliss

When Alice Bliss learns that her father, Matt, is being deployed to Iraq, she's heartbroken. Alice idolizes her father, loves working beside him in their garden, accompanying him on the occasional roofing job, playing baseball. When he ships out, Alice is faced with finding a way to fill the emptiness he has left behind.

Matt will miss seeing his daughter blossom from a tomboy into a full- blown teenager. Alice will learn to drive, join the track team, go to her first dance, and fall in love, all while trying to be strong for her mother, Angie, and take care of her precocious little sister, Ellie. But the smell of Matt is starting to fade from his blue shirt that Alice wears everyday, and the phone calls are never long enough.

Alice Bliss is a profoundly moving coming-of-age novel about love and its many variations--the support of a small town looking after its own; love between an absent father and his daughter; the complicated love between an adolescent girl and her mother; and an exploration of new love with the boy-next- door. These characters' struggles amidst uncertain times echo our own, lending the novel an immediacy and poignancy that is both relevant and real. At once universal and very personal, Alice Bliss is a transforming story about those who are left at home during wartime, and a teenage girl bravely facing the future.

My review: 
Alice Bliss is growing up while her father is away because of the war, a reality that has happened to many families in the recent years. Alice was always very close to her father and now she is dealing with everyday life without his support. Plus, her mom is having a hard time dealing with her husband being gone, and a lot of the daily responsibilities of caring for her little sister has fallen on Alice. Alice has to learn how to cope with her father being away, on top of normal teenage problems, while letters come sporadically, calls become almost non existent, and then bad news is received with almost no information.

Alice Bliss is such a sad, poignant story. I cried so many times, I ended up reading with a box of tissues next to me. This is a book that so many families today will be able to relate to. I, thankfully, have not had to deal with a parent being in the war, but I was still touched deeply. Laura Harrington has captured the emotions felt by such an experience and portrayed them beautifully. I would recommend Alice Bliss to anyone.

About the author: 
Laura Harrington’s award winning plays, musicals, operas, and radio plays have been widely produced across America, in Canada, and Europe in venues ranging from The Zipper Factory in NYC to Houston Grand Opera to the Paris Cinemateque. She is the 2008 Kleban Award Winner for most promising librettist in American Musical Theatre. Harrington has twice won both the Massachusetts Cultural Council Award in playwriting and the Clauder Competition for best new play in New England. Additional awards include a Boston IRNE Award for Best New Play, a Bunting Institute Fellowship at Harvard/ Radcliffe, a Whiting Foundation Grant-in-Aid, the Joseph Kesselring Award for Drama, a New England Emmy, and a Quebec Cinemateque Award.

Laura teaches playwriting at MIT where she was awarded the 2009 Levitan Prize for Excellence in Teaching. She has also been a frequent guest artist at Tufts, Harvard, Wellesley, and the University of Iowa. 

You can find Laura on her site, Twitter, and Facebook.  

I am participating in Where's Alice Bliss? Since Alice Bliss was in Arkansas, we thought it was only right for the visit to include a trip to Razorback Stadium. (Alice Bliss went to call the hogs!)

My copy of Alice Bliss is now going to Ashley of The Bibliophile's Corner. You can follow this copy's journey through Book Crossing.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

In My Mailbox, vol. 12

In My Mailbox was created by The Story Siren.

Received for review:

Witch Hunt (The Hayle Coven novels, book 2) by Patti Larsen (Goodreads)
Demon Child (The Hayle Coven novels, book 3) by Patti Larsen (Goodreads)
The Wild (The Hayle Coven novels, book 4) by Patti Larsen (Goodreads)
Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown - exp. publication: June 2012 (Goodreads)
Starters by Lissa Price - exp. publication: March 2012 (Goodreads)
Slide by Jill Hathaway - exp. publication: March 2012 (Goodreads)
Lexie World by Kimberly Kinrade - Children's book (Goodreads)
Will Love for Crumbs - A Memoir by Jonna Ivin (Goodreads)

Received for a traveling ARC tour:
The Boy Project by Kami Kinard (Goodreads)
(Already reading because I have to get it sent on to someone else.)

What do you think about these books? What did you get in your mailbox this week?

Friday, January 20, 2012

Mandi Tillotson Williams, author of Mortimer Crump books - Interview & Reviews

Mandi Tillotson Williams is a 34 year old author/illustrator/mother of 3 from Florida with an imagination that is FAR from tame. She loves her family more than anything in this world. She enjoys doing anything that involves creativity. She also has a photography business as well. After experiencing a personal family tragedy-turned-miracle, she has decided to pursue her lifelong dream of writing for children.

You can find Mandi and Mortimer on their site, blog, Twitter, and Facebook.

Interview with Mandi:

Are you the illustrator for all of the Mortimer books? When did you start drawing?
Yes, I am the illustrator as well. I have always loved to draw since I was a kid but never really considered drawing my own illustrations or even pursuing publishing my books for that matter until after my youngest son was born. I want to share my poem and true story... this is WHY I am pursuing this dream of writing. (I attached the pic of my author page with the poem and pics of my son from the NICU and now)

How did you get the ideas for the Mortimer books? 
Actually as a child I had a HUGE imagination. At daycare I would tell my friends that I was from an undiscovered candy coated planet and that I came to Earth on an enormous bubble gum slide. I had some of the kids actually believing my story, LOL. This is where the idea stemmed from and Mortimer's last name Crump I used because I loved the movie Nutty Professer and their last name was Klump which I thought was funny so I somehow came up with Crump. Mortimer was just a name that matched the little boy I had pictured before writing the story.

When/how did you decide you wanted to be a writer? 
As I stated above, I have always loved to write and draw but my inspiration to move forth with the publishing process and getting my work out there came from the desire to share my miracle story of my son's birth with as many people as possible and I intend to do just that through my writing. My youngest was born 12 weeks early and had a Grade III IVH on his brain (bleed on both sides of his brain.) We were told devastating news one week after his birth that he may not walk or talk and would most likely have cerebal palsy. He had a 73 day long battle in the NICU but he is now 6 years old and thriving in so many ways. While in the NICU he overcame his brain bleed, he had 4 blood transfusions, 2 spinal taps, a hole in his heart, feeding intolerance, pneumonia, staph invention from being on the ventilator so long, apnea, hernia surgery and a few more standard preemie issues.  Looking at him now, you would never know he was a preemie. He does wear cute little blue glasses and he doesn't have stereo vision (3D vision) and still struggles with asthma but these are minor compared to what we were told in the NICU. I am so thankful.

Besides the two Mortimer books reviewed here, do you have other books or are you working on others?
Yes, actually the second book in The Many Adventures of Mortimer Crump is written but I have to do the illustrations which is the hardest part for me. It is a really cute book though and I am sure Moritmer fans will enjoy it so I am going to get to work on it soon. I have also written another story as well about a little shape named Henrietta Hexagon. I am planning a shape series geared toward the younger kids and have gotten wonderful feedback on it thus far. I have illustrated 2 pages of it at this time. Last but not least, I am in the 3rd chapter of a chapter book as well.

When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a cartoonist for Disney World, so maybe I'm not too far off base. Lol.

What was your favorite book when you were a child?
I absolutely LOVED Shel Silverstein's poem books!! I also loved the Fudge Series. :o)

What is the best thing that has happened since your books were published?
I have been able to share my story of my son with a larger crowd and if I am able to help just one person that is dealing with this type of terrible ordeal I am more than happy to do so. I have also met several new author friend that I wouldn't have met otherwise.

What advice would you give to someone else who wanted to write children's books?
I say if it's something you are passionate about, GO FOR IT!! You can do anything you put your mind to! Also, I would go ahead and begin social networking and building a fan base now as that has been my best advertisement for my books.

What is a random fact about yourself that most people don't know?
My favorite cartoons as a kid were the smurfs and garfield and I still love them, also I LOVE to make up songs to well known music. I made up a rap to ICE ICE BABY for my brother's Lawn Business. It begins,
Alright, STOP listen to this factor
Micah's back with his brand new tractor
Something grabs ahold of me tightly
Mowin them yards daily and nightly
Will he ever stop?
YO! I don't know...
Fill up the tank ... and lets go.
(I won't write the whole thing here but you get the idea.)

The Many Adventures of Mortimer Crump: Mortimer's Sweet Retreat

Mortimer's Sweet Retreat is a children's story about friendship with whimsical rhyming. This book has a moral lesson, and is also a funny story. It has very cute hand drawn illustrations. I think young children would love Mortimer and this magical "candy land."

Mortimer's Book of What-Ifs (A Children's Rhyming Picture Book) (Goodreads)

What if you don't clean behind your ears? What if you hear a noise in the tub? These questions and more are humorously considered. Some of the answers may surprise you. Mortimer is hidden on each page for your child to find. Cute and funny with great hand drawn illustrations. Another Mortimer book that I think would be a favorite among young children.

Both books were provided by the author for review.

You can find both books on Mandi's Amazon page.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Airel-Arson-Pyxis Blog Tour - Review & Giveaways

This blog tour features 3 books, Airel by Aaron Patterson & Chris White, Arson by Estevan Vega, and Pyxis by K.C. Neal. Please see below for my review of Pyxis and for details on how to win a signed copy of Pyxis and for more information on how to win copies of all 3 books, swag, and even a Kindle!

Airel by Aaron Patterson & Chris White 
$2.99 on | £2.21 on Amazon UK
Airel is a story about an angel who falls so deeply in love with a woman that he chooses to fall from heaven to be with her. She gives birth to a daughter in Arabia, 1250BC. The girl is pursued ferociously, relentlessly by an enemy in the deepest darkness. In present day Boise, Idaho is just a girl: Airel. She's just your average high school student...who turns out to be anything but average. It's because of who she is, because of her ancestry, because of her lineage. Past and present crash in on each other in the final pages as what has been twisted comes dangerously unraveled.

Arson by Estevan Vega
99c | 86p on Amazon UK
Arson Gable feels like a freak. He can create fire. He never asked for it. He never wanted it. But he can't shut it off. Before now, three things were true: he both loved and despised his grandmother; his life was going nowhere; and he was alone. But when a strange girl--who feels more normal behind a mask than inside her own skin--moves in next door, Arson hopes to find something he's never had: purpose. Using what he fears most about himself, Arson must face his consuming past and confront the nightmare that is his present as he walks the fine line between boy and monster.

Pyxis by K.C. Neal
99c on | 86p on Amazon UK
Corinne lives an average teenage life working at her dad’s cafe, hanging out with her best friend, and trying to forget a falling-out with her almost-boyfriend Mason. Things take a strange turn when she uses her late grandmother’s food dyes for a bake sale, and her customers suddenly find her irresistibly alluring. Then she discovers she and Mason are haunted by the same dreams of a dark force that consumes everything in its path. Pursued by shadowy figures and a crazy woman with secrets from the past, Corinne must find out who her grandmother really was. In her quest to unravel her family’s history, she learns she is destined to protect this world--and the dark world of her dreams. She races to find the answers she seeks before her nightmares break free.

My review of Pyxis:
Corinne uses some food dyes that belonged to her late grandmother in some items she makes for a school bake sale. Only they are not really food dyes, and the students who eat the baked goods begin acting strangely. While investigating what the liquids really are and why they cause people to act differently, Corinne begins uncovering secrets which involve her. However, the only person who can give her the information she needs is her Aunt Dorothy, who has not been in her right mind and in a retirement home since the death of Corinne's grandmother.

Pyxis is the first book in the series and only the beginning of the story. In this one, Corinne discovers the pyxis and her starts finding out her role in all of it. We get to know Corinne, Ang, and Mason and are set up for the continuation of the story. Once you read this one, you will definitely want to read the next in the series. K.C. Neal has an easy to read writing style and has well developed characters. The story is engaging and provides a lot of suspense. I enjoyed reading Pyxis and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys YA fantasy.

A copy was provided by the author for review.

About the author of Pyxis:
Young adult fantasy author K.C. Neal is repped by herself and published by StoneHouse Ink. Her debut novel, Pyxis: The Discovery, has received enthusiastic praise from readers.

Most of her days are filled with some combination of writing, reading, gardening, working, and watching stuff on Netflix with her husband and their maltipoo, Oscar. She has an irrational fixation with L.A., and during occasional trips there she pretends her life is more glamorous than it really is ("Entourage" is her guilty pleasure). She likes to surf and hang out on sandy beaches, where drinks are served adorned with tiny umbrellas.

One SIGNED copy of Pyxis by K.C. Neal. To enter, just fill out the form below.

Giveaway details:
U.S. only. This giveaway will run until midnight EST on February 1. Must be 13 or older to enter. Winner will be chosen using Winner will be emailed and this blog post will be updated to include the name of the winner. Winner has 3 days to contact me or a new winner will be selected.

You can also win copies of the other books, swag, and there is a grand prize of a Kindle. Click here for more details.

Sorry! This giveaway is now closed.

Winner: Jessica M.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Blue Sky Days by Marie Landry - Review, Fun Facts, & Giveaway

*Today is the official release of Blue Sky Days by debut author Marie Landry.* 

Blue Sky Days by Marie Landry
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance

A year after graduating from high school, nineteen-year-old Emma Ward feels lost. She has spent most of her life trying to please her frigid, miserable mother - studying hard, getting good grades, avoiding the whole teenage rebellion thing - and now she feels she has no identity beyond that. Because she spent so many years working hard and planning every moment of her life, she doesn't have any friends, has never had a boyfriend, and basically doesn't know who she is or what she really wants from life. Working two part-time jobs to save money for college hasn't helped her make decisions about her future, so she decides it's time for a change. She leaves home to live with her free-spirited, slightly eccentric Aunt Daisy in a small town that makes Emma feel like she's stepped back in time.

When Emma meets Nicholas Shaw, everything changes - he's unlike anyone she's ever met before, the kind of man she didn't even know existed in the 21st century. Carefree and spirited like Daisy, Nicholas teaches Emma to appreciate life, the beauty around her, and to just let go and live. Between Daisy and Nicholas, Emma feels like she belongs somewhere for the first time in her life, and realizes that you don't always need a plan - sometimes life steers you where you're meant to be.

Life is wonderful, an endless string of blue sky days, until Nicholas is diagnosed with cancer, and life changes once again for Emma in ways she never thought possible. Now it's time for her to help Nicholas the way he's helped her. Emma will have to use her new-found strength, and discover along the way if love really is enough to get you through.

My review:
Blue Sky Days is a sweet, emotional love story. Emma has spent her life trying to please a controlling, emotionless mother. At 19 years old, she decides she is ready to take charge of her life and make changes, so she leaves home and moves to another town to stay with her Aunt Daisy. Aunt Daisy is much younger than her sister, and Emma has always had a good relationship with her. Emma almost instantly feels at home in Riverview and meets Nicholas the day after she gets there. She has never had friends or a boyfriend, so it is a new experience for you. But she falls in love with Nicholas right away, and they spend almost all of their time together. When Nicholas is diagnosed with cancer, Emma is there to support him with no hesitation.

Emma seems very mature for a 19 year old, and a few times, it seems like she is having too much reflection and self-realization for her age. There are many expressions of love that may be considered to be "cheesy," and this is even pointed out in the story. However, at the same time, it is just sweet that they feel such a connection to each other. This is a story of changing your life, falling in love, and supporting the one you love during the hardest of times. I enjoyed reading this story. You would like this book if you enjoy sweet love stories. You might not like this book if you enjoy fast paced stories.

A copy was provided by the author for review.

Fun Facts about Blue Sky Days - Guest post by Marie Landry

*I wrote the first draft of Blue Sky Days in 2004 when I was 20. It was only about 34,000 words and I knew it needed a lot of work, but I had no idea what to do with it, so I put it away. During the next seven years, I thought about it a lot, even as I wrote other stories and novels. When I finally brought it out again early in 2011, it seemed to take over my life. I thought about the characters night and day; they always seemed like real people to me, but they became even more real during those months of rewriting and revising. I tripled the word count, and came away with a story I was really proud of. But it did totally consume my life—I’d be doing something else and would hear Emma’s voice in my head, or picture Nicholas doing something, and would have to write it down and then work it into the story.

*Riverview, the setting in the book, is a fictional place in Canada.

*Emma has never done any traveling. She’s never been outside the province, let alone the country.

*I don’t like to name main characters after people I know, but I try to work in the names of some of my favorite people for minor characters. Emma’s middle name is Hazel, after my Grama who passed away in 2011 and was one of my best friends; the husband of the widow who owns the general store was named James, after my brother Jamie, who I’m very close to; and Emma’s dad was named Paul because that was my dad’s middle name.

*When I wrote the book in 2004, Emma’s last name was Stone, but when I started working on the book again in 2011, I realized there was an actress named Emma Stone, so I had to change her last name.

*Blue Sky Days was originally an adult contemporary romance, but after becoming a book blogger and falling in love with young adult books, I made a lot of changes and turned it into a YA book.

*Emma had never had a best friend until moving to Riverview.

*I’ve always pictured Sam, Nicholas’s dad, with a southern accent for some reason…even though he’s Canadian.

*Emma’s favorite band is U2.

*The painting I describe in Nicholas’s hospital room is actually a painting I own. When I was 17, I went to France on a school trip and my best friend and I were wandering around Nice one night and saw an artist on the streets painting with spray paint and sponges. It was the most incredible thing I’d ever seen—the paintings were gorgeous, and if I hadn’t seen them done with my own eyes, I’d never have believed he did them with spray paint. We each bought a painting, and mine is one of my most prized possessions.

About the author:
Marie Landry has always been a daydreamer. She has created imaginary worlds for as long as she can remember, so it only seemed natural that she would become a writer. With a passion for words that started in early childhood, Marie has written a varied range of works, and has been freelance writing since 2009. She resides in Ontario, Canada, and most days you can find her writing, reading, blogging about writing and reading, listening to U2, or having grand adventures with her two precious nephews.

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

One winner will receive a Smashwords code to download a copy of Blue Sky Days in the format of choice.

How to enter:
Just fill out the form below. (Please note, if you enter other giveaways on this blog, all giveaways may have different entry requirements.)

Additional optional entries: (For 4 total entries.)
+1 Follow Krazy Book Lady on Twitter or like on Facebook.
+1 Follow Marie Landry on Twitter or like on Facebook.
+1 Leave a blog post comment.

Please do not leave emails or usernames in the blog post comments. Please include usernames, etc, in the comments section provided on the entry form.

Giveaway details:
Giveaway is open internationally. This giveaway will run until midnight EST on January 25. Must be 13 or older to enter. Winner will be chosen using Winner will be emailed and this blog post will be updated to include the name of the winner. Winner has 3 days to contact me or a new winner will be selected.

Thank you for entering and good luck!

Sorry! This giveaway is now closed.

 Winner: Laura M.


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