Thursday, May 31, 2012

Point, Click, Love by Molly Shapiro


In Molly Shapiro’s fun and sexy debut novel, four women try to sort through the wild and complicated world of text messaging, status updates, and other high-speed connections.

Best friends and fellow midwesterners Katie, Annie, Maxine, and Claudia are no strangers to dealing with love and relationships, but with online dating and social networking now in the mix, they all have the feeling they’re not in Kansas anymore. Katie, a divorced mother of two, secretly seeks companionship through the Internet only to discover that the rules of the dating game have drastically changed. Annie, a high-powered East Coast transplant, longs for a baby, yet her online search for a sperm donor is not as easy—or anonymous—as she anticipates. Maxine, a successful artist with a seemingly perfect husband, turns to celebrity gossip sites to distract herself from her less-than-ideal marriage. And Claudia, tired of her husband’s obsession with Facebook, finds herself irresistibly drawn to a handsome co-worker. As these women navigate the new highs and lows of the digital age, they each find that their wrong turns lead surprisingly to the right click and, ultimately, the connection they were seeking.


Being of an age where I have seen the internet go from non-existence to an almost necessary part of life has been interesting to say the least.  So it goes without saying that I found the premise of this book fascinating.   Unfortunately, I found the story to be disappointing. 

There seemed to be an overall disdain of the internet which gave the book a feeling of overwhelming self-righteousness.  The message in the end is less prejudiced, but by the time I got to the end I felt that I had been beaten over the head about the evils of social media so much that there was nothing that could salvage the story for me.    

Usually, if I don’t enjoy the story of a book, I will at least like the characters.  Regrettably, that was not the case here.  Each character’s redeeming qualities were overshadowed by their less enviable characteristics.  It also didn’t help that the writing style felt almost clinical.  As if I were watching it from far away rather than truly getting into the head of the character.  And if you can’t feel personable with the character then how can you sympathize with them? 

Sadly, in the end, this book was not for me.


Nat

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (20)


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that highlights future releases that we are excitedly anticipating.



By Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan
Publication Date: June 6, 2012

Sometimes life gets messy.
After a rocky start in Spoiled, Brooke Berlin and her newly discovered half sister, Molly Dix, have settled into something like sisterly love, but the drama is far from over.
Now that Brooke's caught a taste of fame and her movie star father's attention, she wants to launch a blog that will position her as the ultimate Hollywood insider. But between schoolwork, party-planning committee meetings, and spa treatments, she hardly has the time to write it herself...
Enter Max McCormack, an aspiring author with a terrible after-school job pushing faux meat on the macrobiotic masses of La-La Land. Max reluctantly agrees to play Brooke's ghost-blogger for an impressive salary, and the site takes off, but how long can their lie last? In person, Brooke can't live up to the intellectual wit of openbrooke.com, and Max soon begins to resent hiding her genius behind a bandage dress-wearing blonde. Can the girls work together to stay on top, or will the truth come out and ruin everything they've built?

A Touch of Greek: Out of Olympus Book 1 by Tina Folsom

***

From Tina Folsom:

Romantic Comedy about Greek Gods

Selfish and gorgeous Greek God Triton is cast out of Olympus after seducing Zeus' mistress and can only gain reentry if he finds a woman who loves him for his kindness and selflessness, not his beauty. When the mortal Sophia - recovering from an eye operation and virtually blind - needs a home healthcare worker, he takes on the role, hoping she will be his ticket home.

While defending Sophia from an unknown adversary, Triton's protective instinct emerges. At the same time rival Gods do everything to doom him to failure. And even if Triton can win Sophia's love, will he throw it away to return home, or will he lose his own heart to the only woman who truly sees him?

A Touch of Greek is the first book in the humorous paranormal romance series Out of Olympus following the romantic adventures of four Gods: Triton, Dionysus, Eros, and Hermes.

If you have been paying any attention to the books I read this last year, you will know that I am a fan of mythology.  I also enjoy romances, so a romance about greek gods?  Completely in my wheelhouse.  This is the first in the series and features the god Triton, son of Poseidon.  The romance is okay, the heroine unremarkable, but what I really enjoyed about A Touch Greek was the friendship between Triton, Dionysus, Eros and Hermes.  A typically masculine friendship full of hyjinx, amusement at the trials of the others and threats of physical violence.  The relationship between the boys was humorous, realistic and thoroughly entertaining.  I look forward to reading the second in the series, A Scent of Greek featuring Dionysus and Ariadne. 

~Shel

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Peek in the Biblio-Bin (27)


Welcome to our Stacking the Shelves post! Stacking the Shelves (or as we like to call it, A Peek in the Biblio-Bin) has been created by the lovely ladies at Tynga Reviews.

Stacking the Shelves is a way for bloggers to share what books they have won, received for review, bought from the bookstore, borrowed from the library or friend, etc.

This week Bel picked up some interesting reads:








What's in YOUR biblio-bin this week?

Monday, May 28, 2012

Lucky in Love by Jill Shalvis

****

From Grand Central Publishing (Hachette Book Group):

Mallory Quinn has had enough of playing it safe. As a nurse and devoted daughter, she takes care of everyone but herself. And as the local good girl, she's expected to date Mr. Right. But for once, she'd like to take a risk on Mr. Wrong. And who could be more wrong than Ty Garrison? The mysterious new guy in town has made it clear that he's only passing through, which suits Mallory just fine. Besides, his lean, hard body and sexy smile will give her plenty to remember once he's gone . . .

For the first time in his life, Ty can't bear to leave. Helping this sexy seductress-in-training walk on the wild side is making him desire things he shouldn't including leaving the military for good. As their just-for-fun fling becomes something more, Mallory and Ty wonder if they could really be this lucky in love. After all . . . anything can happen in a town called Lucky Harbor.

Jill Shalvis' books are hilarious, sexy and completely addictive.  Lucky in Love is no exception.  Mysterious Cute Guy?  Getting frisky in the attic at a charity auction?  Three messed-up, goofy friends that call themselves the Chocoholics?   What more could you ask for?  There is a scene in the beginning with the three girls, sitting on the floor of a diner eating chocolate cake made me laugh and then text my fellow BiblioJunkies - it's like Jill Shalvis was channeling us!

Lucky in Love is not my favorite Jill Shavis book, but as always, it was enjoyable.  If you are looking for a summer beach read, pick up Lucky in Love.  Stay tuned for  the next Lucky Harbor book, At Last coming June 26th.

~Shel



Lucky in Love Blog Tour - Interview With Jill Shalvis


Were are super LUCKY to be part of the Lucky In Love Blog Tour!  Jill Shalvis - the author of Lucky in Love and one of our very favorite authors EVER - shares with us the three most important things we had to know about her....

Bibliojunkies - Writers very often draw inspiration from their own experiences. Tell us one thing you have experienced that is just as hilarious as something we would find in your novels.  i.e swollen tongue syndrome every time you see a hottie or breaking into some hot guys house to eat his potato chips...

Jill Shalvis - Faking being on my cell phone to avoid talking to someone … only to have my phone ring.  Which I used in Simply Irresistible.  :-)

Bibliojunkies - What is one of your most favorite scenes you have written?

Jill Shalvis - Favorite scene from Lucky In Love is when the hero has to lead the heroine through a crowded attic all 007 style, and he pushed her up a ladder and all she can think about is can he see her undies and that she’s happy she’s at least not wearing her laundry day panties.

Bibliojunkies - If you could choose any fictional hero (that is not one of yours) to be your boyfriend, who would you choose?  We understand that this question might be tough for you since the heroes from your books are so delicious.

Jill Shalvis - Roarke or Ranger… don’t make me choose.


Don't worry, Jill.  Considering how much WE love our literary boys, we would never try to make you choose JUST one.

Visits these other sites taking part in the Lucky in Love Blog Tour.  You will find awesome reviews and chances to win a copy of Lucky in Love!



Buried By Books

In The Hammock Book Reviews 

The Book Girl

The Fiction Enthusiast

Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews

Just Another New Blog

A Tasty Read

A Bluestocking's Place

Cocktails and Books

Urban Girl Reader

Bodice Ripper Novels








Friday, May 25, 2012

Storm by Brigid Kemmerer

****1/2

From Kensington:

Becca Chandler is suddenly getting all the guys—all the ones she doesn’t want. Ever since her ex-boyfriend spread those lies about her.

Then she saves Chris Merrick from a beating in the school parking lot. Chris is different. Way different: he can control water—just like his brothers can control fire, wind, and earth. They’re powerful. Dangerous. Marked for death.

And now that she knows the truth, so is Becca.

Secrets are hard to keep when your life’s at stake.

When Hunter, the mysterious new kid around school, turns up with a talent for being in the wrong place at the right time, Becca thinks she can trust him. But then Hunter goes head-to-head with Chris, and Becca wonders who’s hiding the most dangerous truth of all.
The storm is coming…

This is an incredible debut novel.  Storm has everything I look for in a book - hot boys, supernatural abilities, a heroine that I don't want to smack around - a little humor, some drama and intrigue.  Storm is the first in the Elemental Series featuring people who can control the elements.  Storm introduces us to the Merrick brothers.  Chris, the youngest of the Merrick boys controls water and we meet him as he is getting beaten to a pulp by some other elementals.  Becca saves his butt and in return her life gets seriously strange. 

I loved the Merrick brothers (and really, who wouldn't).  Despite their supernatural abilities, the brothers act a lot like I would suspect brothers to act in their situation, with no female influence.  With the exception of Becca and perhaps Hunter, the remaining characters are not fully developed, but I assume we will learn more as the series progresses.  The series will follow the brothers and I am looking forward to figuring out where the author is taking the story.  

If you follow the blog, you know that I am incredibly stingy with my 5 star ratings.  The only one I have given was for Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan.  A book has to completely blow me away to get a 5.  I'm giving Storm 4 1/2 because it was really close to blowing me away.  I read it twice in one weekend - I just could not get it out of my head.  

You can see Michael's (the oldest Merrick brother) story in the prequel Elemental.  

 
Then join me in waiting anxiously for Spark, releasing August 28, 2012.  Check out yet another hot Merrick brother!


We are giving away a copy of Storm from 5/25/12 through 5/31/12 in the Spring Into Summer Hop, so enter for your very own copy of Storm to obsess over!  Also check out our Q & A with Brigid Kemmerer here.

~Shel


Horoscopes for the Dead by Billy Collins

* * * 1/2


Billy Collins is widely acknowledged as a prominent player at the table of modern American poetry. And in this new collection, Horoscopes for the Dead, the verbal gifts that earned him the title “America’s most popular poet” are on full display. The poems here cover the usual but everlasting themes of love and loss, life and death, youth and aging, solitude and union. With simple diction and effortless turns of phrase, Collins is at once ironic and elegiac, as in the opening lines of the title poem:

Every morning since you disappeared for good,
I read about you in the newspaper
along with the box scores, the weather, and all the bad news.
Some days I am reminded that today
will not be a wildly romantic time for you . . .

And in this reflection on his own transience:

It doesn’t take much to remind me
what a mayfly I am,
what a soap bubble floating over the children’s party.
Standing under the bones of a dinosaur
in a museum does the trick every time
or confronting in a vitrine a rock from the moon.

Smart, lyrical, and not afraid to be funny, these new poems extend Collins’s reputation as a poet who occupies a special place in the consciousness of readers of poetry, including the many he has converted to the genre.




I was a big poetry reader as a teenager but, as it often happens, my likes/dislikes changed over time and I lost my taste for it.  Not that I ever disliked poetry.  I just let other types of reading take priority.  I couldn’t tell you what made me decide to tackle this collection of poems but I am so glad that I did. 

Within this collection you will find the narrator reminding himself that life is short, time does not stand still, and we must always remember the things that give us the reason and hope we need to go on living.   

I experienced a whole gamut of emotions while reading this book.  The romance found in the poem Genesis made me smile softly.  The sadness in the title poem, Horoscopes of the Dead, brought tears to my eyes.  But what I appreciated most of all was the sarcasm and humor which is rampant through out. 

Although reflective, Billy Collins seems to have this wonderful desire to lighten the mood by poking fun at the world.  A perfect example of this is in the poem, Memento Mori. 


It doesn’t take much to remind me

What a mayfly I am,

What a soap bubble floating over the children’s party.



Standing under the bones of a dinosaur

In a museum does the trick every time

Or confronting in a vitrine a rock from the moon.



Even the Church of St. Anne, will do,

A structure I just noticed in a magazine-

Built in 1722 of sandstone and limestone in the city of Cork.



And the realization that no one

Who ever breasted the waters of time

Has figured out a way to avoid dying



Always pulls me up by the reins and settles me down

By a roadside, grateful for the sweet weeds

And the mouthfuls of colorful wildflowers.



So many reminders of my mortality

Here, there, and elsewhere, visible at every hour,

Pretty much everything I can think of except you,



Sign over the door of this bar in Cocoa Beach

Proclaiming that it was established-

Though established does not sound right – in 1996



The way I read this is that he is reflecting about being on the outside looking in until he realizes that life is short and he should become a participant rather than an onlooker.  A sentimental thought that I think most would agree with.  And had he left it at that, the reader probably would have said, “Hey, this is a nice reflective poem”.  Instead he ends the reflection with some sarcastic humor which left this reader thinking “this is fu-rickin’-tastic!”   

Memento Mori is just a small example of the greatness found in this collection.  If this is any indication of what I might find in other modern poetry collections, then consider me a born again poetry fan.



Nat



Thursday, May 24, 2012

Splash Into Summer Hop!



Welcome to the Splash Into Summer Hop hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and Page Turners Blog!  We are thrilled about our giveaway this time around.  Kensington Teen has graciously provided a copy of one of Shel's favorite books of 2012 so far - Storm by Brigid Kemmerer!  This is the first in the Elemental Series and a seriously fun read. 


Check out Shel's review.  Also, check out all the hot boys on that cover!  Do you really need to see more?  Well, if so, check out our Q&A with Brigid here.  You all know the drill by now.  Fill out the Rafflecopter below and check out all the other blogs participating for more great giveaways. 


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Don't You Wish by Roxanne St. Claire

***


From Random House:

When plain and unpopular Annie Nutter gets zapped by one of her dad's whacked-out inventions, she lands in a parallel universe where her life becomes picture-perfect. Now she's Ayla Monroe, daughter of the same mother but a different father—and she's the gorgeous, rich queen bee of her high school.

In this universe, Ayla lives in glitzy Miami instead of dreary Pittsburgh and has beaucoup bucks, courtesy of her billionaire—if usually absent—father. Her friends hit the clubs, party backstage at concerts, and take risks that are exhilarating . . . and illegal. Here she's got a date to lose her V-card with the hottest guy she's ever seen.

But on the inside, Ayla is still Annie.

So when she's offered the chance to leave the dream life and head home to Pittsburgh, will she take it?

The choice isn't as simple as you think.


Don’t You Wish is definitely a lesson in “the grass is always greener” philosophy of life, because Annie desperately wants to be rich, beautiful and popular and once she gets it, she wants her old life back – sort of.

As Ayla, Annie tries, and fails, to keep the status quo. She messes things up with Ayla’s boyfriend (not much of a loss) and her besties (also not much of a loss). She befriends the social outcasts, such as Charlie, who is at the exclusive private school on a scholarship. Charlie is a brilliant science student heading to the ivy leagues. Once Annie confides in Charlie that she is not Ayla and has somehow ended up in Ayla’s body, Charlie kicks into science geek mode and attempts to help Annie find her way back home. Along the way, Annie discovers there is more to Charlie than meets the eye and the tragedies that have changed his life affect her deeply.

Don’t You Wish is well written with an incredibly interesting and thought provoking premise; however, I had a bit of a problem relating to Ayla/Annie. She’s a little self-righteous, especially for someone who was so desperate to be the popular girl. When she begins to think that she should stay in Ayla's dimension to "save" everyone, I was definitely rolling my eyes.  There are some complex physics principles involved, but overall the book is sweet and has an ending to satisfy the romantics out there.

Roxanne St. Claire is a popular and prolific mystery and romance writer and I can definitely see why, she is a talented writer. Don’t You Wish is her first foray into the world of YA. You can learn more about Ms. St. Clare’s books at http://www.roxannestclaire.com.



~Shel




















Wednesday, May 23, 2012

New Girl by Paige Harbsion

* * * 1/2





You’ve got her room. You’ve got her boyfriend. Are you walking in a dead girl’s shoes?

I’m New Girl. Ever since I arrived at exclusive, prestigious Manderly Academy, that’s who I am. New girl. Unknown. But not unnoticed because of her. Becca Normandy – that’s the name on everyone’s lips. The girl whose picture I see everywhere. The girl I can’t compare to. I mean, her going missing is the only reason a spot opened up for me at the academy.

And everyone stares at me like it’s my fault. Except for Max Holloway – the boy whose name shouldn’t be spoken, At least, not by me. Everyone thinks of him as Becca’s boyfriend … but she’s gone, and here I am, replacing her. I wish it were that easy. Sometimes, when I think of Max, I can imagine how Becca’s life was so much better than mine could ever be, And may be she’s still out there, waiting to take it back.


Paige Harbison has created a very engrossing world in New Girl. Upon her arrival at Manderly, our heroine is immediately cast as the New Girl – the less than worthy replacement for Becca Normandy. Her new roommate (and Becca’s old roommate) is immediately hostile to her. Every one on campus is either cold towards her or suspicious of her. It appears that Becca had cast such a spell over the student body of Manderly that the New Girl is instantly reviled and treated as an imposter.

I like how Harbison has the chapters weave in and out from the New Girl’s first person perspective to Becca’s third person perspective. It's done so effectively and seamlessly that it wasn’t until close to the end of the book that I realized that I didn’t even know New Girl’s name! This particular ploy is brilliant because it allows you to truly feel the lack of identity and isolation she experiences at Manderly. It’s an overwhelming feeling especially when you read of Becca’s time at Manderly and wonder how she managed to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes for an entire year. If anything I grew to really despise Becca – there is nothing redeeming about this very narcissistic, manipulative and vengeful girl. I was hoping for someone to take her down. It's amazing with how much I hated her, she didn't ruin the story for me. Instead her storyline only solidified my empathy and high opinion of New Girl and I rooted for her throughout.

Seriously, reading New Girl is like watching a very twisted soap opera where you’re yelling at the screen (as if the actors can hear you), wondering why on earth no one has caught on to what’s happening. It’s addictive and suspenseful. Yep if you eat up the ridiculousness that is Gossip Girl, and are a fan of Veronica Mars (my personal favorite), you’ll definitely enjoy New Girl! … Oh and I was completely caught off guard when New Girl’s name was mentioned at the end!

~ Bel


Waiting on Wednesday (19)



Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that highlights future releases that we are excitedly anticipating.


By Jennifer Estep
Publication Date: May 29, 2012

I’ve seen so many freaky things since I started attending Mythos Academy last fall. I know I’m supposed to be a fearless warrior, but most of the time, I feel like I’m just waiting for the next Bad, Bad Thing to happen. Like someone trying to kill me—again.

Everyone at Mythos Academy knows me as Gwen Frost, the Gypsy girl who uses her psychometry magic to find lost objects—and who just may be dating Logan Quinn, the hottest guy in school. But I’m also the girl the Reapers of Chaos want dead in the worst way. The Reapers are the baddest of the bad, the people who murdered my mom. So why do they have it in for me?

It turns out my mom hid a powerful artifact called the Helheim Dagger before she died. Now, the Reapers will do anything to get it back. They think I know where the dagger is hidden, but this is one thing I can’t use my magic to find. All I do know is that the Reapers are coming for me—and I’m in for the fight of my life.




What books are you eagerly anticipating?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Dark Frost by Jennifer Estep

****1/2
From Kensington:

I’ve seen so many freaky things since I started attending Mythos Academy last fall. I know I’m supposed to be a fearless warrior, but most of the time, I feel like I’m just waiting for the next Bad, Bad Thing to happen. Like someone trying to kill me—again.
Everyone at Mythos Academy knows me as Gwen Frost, the Gypsy girl who uses her psychometry magic to find lost objects—and who just may be dating Logan Quinn, the hottest guy in school. But I’m also the girl the Reapers of Chaos want dead in the worst way. The Reapers are the baddest of the bad, the people who murdered my mom. So why do they have it in for me? It turns out my mom hid a powerful artifact called the Helheim Dagger before she died. Now, the Reapers will do anything to get it back. They think I know where the dagger is hidden, but this is one thing I can’t use my magic to find. All I do know is that the Reapers are coming for me—and I’m in for the fight of my life.

Dark Frost is the third in the Mythos Academy series.  In this installment, Gwen is dealing with attacks by Reapers; a task given to her by Nike, the goddess of victory; a confusing relationship with hottie Spartan Logan Quinn and attempting to stop the rise of Loki, the god of chaos, who wants to send the world into chaos and darkness.  That's enough to distract any girl, even my favorite Gypsy. 

Dark Frost is the darkest and best of the series thus far.  Gwen faces challenges by the Reapers and her friends.  At the end of Kiss of Frost, Gwen finds out who killed her mother.  In Dark Frost, she wants revenge, but is she strong enough to face and defeat Loki's champion? 

Dark Frost is full of intrigue and suspense - keeping you enthralled and leaves you wanting more.  Unfortunately, Crimson Frost is not scheduled out until January 2013!! 

~Shel

Monday, May 21, 2012

Peek in the Biblio-Bin (26)



Welcome to our Stacking the Shelves post! Stacking the Shelves (or as we like to call it, A Peek in the Biblio-Bin) has been created by the lovely ladies at Tynga Reviews.

Stacking the Shelves is a way for bloggers to share what books they have won, received for review, bought from the bookstore, borrowed from the library or friend, etc.


Here is what The Bibliojunkies picked up this week.  A big THANK YOU to NetGalley, Random House, Harlequin, Flux and Grand Central Publishing for these galleys!




















Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
At Last by Jill Shalvis
Lucky in Love by Jill Shalvis
Demon Eyes by Scott Tracey
The Goddess Legacy by Aimee Carter
Every Day by David Levithan
The Blood Keeper by Tessa Gratton
Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill







Tell us what's in YOUR Biblio-Bin this week!

Q & A with Brigid Kemmerer Author of the Storm (Elemental Series)

Today I am very happy to welcome Brigid Kemmerer, author of Storm, the first book in her Elemental Series.





Becca Chandler is suddenly getting all the guys—all the ones she doesn’t want. Ever since her ex-boyfriend spread those lies about her.

Then she saves Chris Merrick from a beating in the school parking lot. Chris is different. Way different: he can control water—just like his brothers can control fire, wind, and earth. They’re powerful. Dangerous. Marked for death.

And now that she knows the truth, so is Becca.
Secrets are hard to keep when your life’s at stake. When Hunter, the mysterious new kid around school, turns up with a talent for being in the wrong place at the right time, Becca thinks she can trust him. But then Hunter goes head-to-head with Chris, and Becca wonders who’s hiding the most dangerous truth of all.
The storm is coming…


And find out how it all began in the ebook exclusive prequel, Elemental. 


Earth, Fire, Air, Water – they are more than you dream.
 As an air Elemental, 17-year-old Emily Morgan doesn’t have much power. That’s okay—she knows what happens to kids who do.

Like Michael Merrick. He’s an earth Elemental, one with enough power to level cities. Which makes him sexy, dangerous, and completely off limits. At least according to Emily’s family.

But her summer job puts her in close contact with Michael, and neither of them can help the attraction they feel. When forces of nature like theirs collide, one misstep could get someone killed. Because Emily’s family doesn’t just want her to stay away from him.

They want him dead.



About Brigid:
Brigid Kemmerer was born in Omaha, Nebraska, though her parents quickly moved her all over the United States, from the desert in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to the lakeside in Cleveland, Ohio, and several stops in between, eventually settling near Annapolis, Maryland. Brigid started writing in high school, and her first real “novel” was about four vampire brothers causing a ruckus in the suburbs. Those four brothers are the same boys living in the pages of The Elemental Series, so Brigid likes to say she’s had four teenage boys taking up space in her head for the last seventeen years. (Though sometimes that just makes her sound nuts.)

Brigid writes anywhere she can find a place to sit down (and she’s embarrassed to say a great many pages of The Elemental Series were written while sitting on the floor in the basement of a hotel while she was attending a writers’ conference). Most writers enjoy peace and quiet while writing, but Brigid prefers pandemonium. A good thing, considering she has three boys in the house, ranging in age from an infant to a teenager.

While writing STORM, it’s ironic to note that Brigid’s personal life was plagued by water problems: her basement flooded three times, her roof leaked, her kitchen faucet broke, causing the cabinet underneath to be destroyed by water, the wall in her son’s room had to be torn down because water had crept into the wall, and her bedroom wall recently developed a minor leak. Considering SPARK, book 2 in the series, is about the brother who controls fire, Brigid is currently making sure all the smoke detectors in her house have batteries.


So without further adieu....

BiblioJunkies:  When did you begin your writing career?

Brigid:  I first started writing seriously in high school. My friends and I would write longhand on notebook paper, and then trade pages back-and-forth to read and comment in the margins. I still have three or four loose-leaf notebooks full of those old stories. It doesn’t seem like we were writing all the time, but we must have been, because I distinctly remember pulling out my story binder in Calculus during senior year, just to get some extra paper, and the teacher said, “No. No more writing stories in my class. This is math.” (And I loved math!)

BiblioJunkies:  What sparked your first idea for The Elemental series?
Brigid:  The first novel I wrote in high school was about four vampire brothers named Michael, Nicholas, Gabriel, and Christopher. It was a silly story, but I still have most of it on paper. When I really began to take writing seriously in my twenties, I wrote a few books but was unable to find a literary agent or a publisher. I couldn’t get those four brothers out of my head – but I didn’t want to do vampires again. I started tossing around ideas that would work with the number four: four horsemen of the apocalypse; four leaf clovers; four, four, four. The four elements of earth, air, fire, and water seemed to work best—and I had a lot of ideas how I could make it fun. What teenager wouldn’t want to be able to control the elements?

BiblioJunkies:  What was the most difficult issue you encountered in writing the book?
Brigid:  Writing from the point of view of a teenage boy (but I think I pulled it off).

BiblioJunkies:  If you could summarize your thoughts on Storm in a couple of sentences, how would you describe it?
Brigid:  Storm follows Chris, who at 16 is the youngest Merrick brother.  When he meets Becca, she's saving him from getting beaten up in the school parking lot.  Chris' life is full of action and adventure and paranormal excitement - but at its root, it's a story about family, brotherhood, and standing up for yourself. 

BiblioJunkies:  What’s your advice for an aspiring author who would like to become a published writer?
Brigid:  Read as much as you can. Then write as much as you can. Then read some more—especially unpublished manuscripts. That will really help you hone your eye for learning to self-edit.

A huge Thank You to Brigid Kemmerer for taking the time to come play on our blog!  Stay tuned - later this week we will have our review of Storm AND we will be giving away a copy of Storm for our stop in the Splash Into Summer Giveaway Hop beginning Friday, May 25, 2012. 

~Shel

Friday, May 18, 2012

Dark Kiss: Nightwatchers #1 by Michelle Rowen

* * *



I don’t do DANGEROUS.

Smart, ├╝ber-careful, ordinary Samantha – that’s me. But I just couldn’t pass up a surprise kiss from my number-one unattainable crush. A kiss that did something to me … something strange. Now I feel hungry all the time, but not for food. It’s like part of me is missing – and I don’t know if I can get it back.

Then there’s Bishop. At first he was just a street kid, but the secrets he’s keeping are as intense as his unearthly blue eyes. If he’s what I think he is, he may be the only one who can help me. But something terrifying is closing in, and the one chance Bishop and I have to stop it means losing everything I ever wanted and embracing the darkness inside me…

Nightwatchers: When angels and demons must work together, something beyond evil is rising …




In Dark Kiss, the first installment in the Nightwatchers series, Michelle Rowen introduces an interesting take on angels and demons. Without giving the plot away because I really do like how the author has developed it, I’ll do my best to give you a brief overview.

The first few chapters were a blast because I had no idea what was going on. I love a good set up that way    you’re just itching to have any kind of explanation just so you can deduce who the good and bad guys are. Samantha as the heroine is your average teenage girl who lands herself in the middle of trouble because of that one alluring kiss, the result of which has led to a string of creepy events and disastrous consequences. She unwittingly ends up falling in with a group of angels, led by Bishop and demons, led by Kraven, who are working together to stop a sinister threat in the town of Trinity. Something or someone has been feeding on people’s souls and it’s now up to this unlikely group to find The Source.

There’s definitely evil at play and as much as Samantha may want to revert back to normal, her new hunger and abilities have made that unlikely. She strikes a deal with Bishop to help him and Kraven with their mission in hopes that they can help her with her situation. Of all the characters in the book, I liked Kraven and his sarcastic sense of humor the most. Really – coming from me, is anyone surprised by this? Task at hand aside, both Bishop and Kraven have their own personal agenda and Samantha becomes a point of contention between them. Even though she becomes an integral part of their mission, her inexplicable abilities have them on edge. They’re not exactly sure what to make of her much less trust her. And this motley crew of good and bad that’s been charged to save the souls of the people in this town can also be volatile at times. At some point each of these characters has to come to blows with one another.

Aside from serving as a cautionary tale of accepting kisses from longstanding crushes, there’s plenty of action, betrayal, misguided moments and surprise revelations that could make your head spin just a wee bit. Dark Kiss is a fun read that adds some new dimension to the world of angels and demons. You know something has to be going terribly awry for them to be (not so) willingly working together. You also gather that there's something bigger at stake than just what's going on in this one town. After reading Dark Kiss  which provides some answers but a whole new host of questions and problems  I'm eager to know what other bits of intrigue will be added to the mix as the series progresses.

~ Bel


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Unbreak My Heart by Melissa Walker

* * * * 1/2 

Sophomore year broke Clementine Williams’ heart. She fell for her best friend’s boyfriend and long story short: he’s excused, but Clem is vilified and she heads into summer with zero social life. Enter her parents’ plan to spend the summer on their sailboat. Normally the idea of being stuck on a tiny boat with her parents and little sister would make Clem break out in hives, but floating away sounds pretty good right now. Then she meets James at one of their first stops along the river. He and his dad are sailing for the summer and he’s just the distraction Clem needs. Can he break down Clem’s walls and heal her broken heart? Told in alternating chapters that chronicle the year that broke Clem’s heart and the summer that healed it, Unbreak My Heart is a wonderful dual love story that fans of Sarah Dessen, Deb Caletti, and Susane Colasanti will flock to. (Taken from Goodreads)


Last year I read Melissa Walker’s Small Town Sinners which was a religious coming of age story.  It ended up not being my cuppa but no matter how much I disliked the subject matter and the story, I couldn’t deny the fact that Melissa Walker is an amazing author.  When I heard she had another book coming out and that it was a cotemporary romance I was absolutely thrilled.   

Melissa Walker doesn’t pull any punches in this book.  There are no false hopes.  There are no promises of perfection that is so easy to find in fiction.  Every single person in this story makes a mistake.  Some are disastrous and some are barely noticeable.  The story brings home the fact that not a single one of us is perfect and we will all screw up at least once in our life.  What’s important, though, is what we do with the knowledge our mistakes give us. 

This book brought back lots of memories. We’ve all been there one way or another.  We have all hurt or have been hurt.  And when we are teens we feel like those hurts are the end of the world and there is no redemption.  In this story, Clem did something really horrible.  She betrayed a friend in one of the worst ways possible.  And that betrayal doesn’t necessarily deserve forgiveness.  And when you do something like that and you KNOW that you were in the wrong, how do you move on?  How do you start over?  It’s hard to figure that out.  Especially when you are young and you bottle it in and don’t confide in someone.  As Clem’s summer progresses, she learns to trust her family and new friends with what has turned her world up side down.  And in doing so she doesn’t necessarily earn forgiveness but she learns that life does go on and it does get better. 

I loved this story.  It was honest without being brutal.  Hopeful without being dishonest.  And romantic without being unrealistic.  If you are a fan of Contemporary YA, I can not recommend this book enough.  This book is definitely a Top Ten contender for 2012.


Nat

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (18)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that highlights future releases that we are excitedly anticipating.


By Anna Banks
Publication Date: May 12, 2012

Galen is the prince of the Syrena, sent to land to find a girl he’s heard can communicate with fish. Emma is on vacation at the beach. When she runs into Galen—literally, ouch!—both teens sense a connection. But it will take several encounters, including a deadly one with a shark, for Galen to be convinced of Emma’s gifts. Now, if he can only convince Emma that she holds the key to his kingdom . . .

Told from both Emma and Galen’s points of view, here is a fish-out-of-water story that sparkles with intrigue, humor, and waves of romance







What books are you anticipating?



Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Vicious Deep by Zoraida Cordova

***
From Sourcebooks Fire:

For Tristan Hart, everything changes with one crashing wave.

He was gone for three days. Sucked out to sea in a tidal wave and spit back ashore at Coney Island with no memory of what happened. Now his dreams are haunted by a terrifying silver mermaid with razor-sharp teeth.

His best friend Layla is convinced something is wrong. But how can he explain he can sense emotion like never before? How can he explain he’s heir to a kingdom he never knew existed? That he’s suddenly a pawn in a battle as ancient as the gods.

Something happened to him in those three days. He was claimed by the sea…and now it wants him back.

The Bad:
The beginning of Vicious Deep is a little difficult and confusing.  Tristan is completely confused in the beginning, so I suppose it was only fitting that I was too, but it made getting into the beginning difficult.  The book picks up after the first few chapters though, so do not despair.  I also wish there had been some additional character development.  Even Tristan feels a little one dimensional at times.

The Good:
Given that English was not the authors first language, I'm fairly impressed with the writing.  Vicious Deep is a unique and intriguing take on mermaid lore.  The mermaids and mermen are portrayed as beautiful, of course, but also as terrifying in that beauty.  This world co-exists with the human world, but is hidden from view by the Sea King.  Cordova's world also includes other mythological creatures that help or hinder Tristan in his quest, opening up a ton of possibilities for the series.  The ending of Vicious Deep sets up the next adventure for Tristan and his gang of merry mermaids and men as they set sail on the high seas. 

If you are a fan of mermaid stories - Tempest Rising, Forgive My Fins, etc., pick up Vicious Deep.  It is definitely worth the read.  Check out our guest post by Zoraida Cordova, as she dishes on the 10 books she would want if she were stranded on a desert island.  Also, make sure you enter to win your very own copy of Vicious Deep!

~Shel

Giveaway & Guest Post - Zoraida Cordova Top 10 Books To Read When Stranded on a Desert Island


Zoraida Cordova, author of the novel, Vicious Deep is our guest blogger today!  Zoraida was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador.   Vicious Deep is Zoraida's debut novel, which features some very beautiful and very terrifying mermaids.  Today she is telling us what ten books she would want with her to read if she was stranded on a desert island.  Take it away Zoraida:

Top Ten Books to Read when Stranded on a Desert Island: If you are going to be stranded, may as well find something to pass the time. Just make sure you plan ahead…
#1 would have to be HOW TO SURVIVE ON A DESERT ISLAND. Because, really, if I don't survive, I won't get to read #2-10. 
#2 Beauty Queens by Libba Bray, obvi. 
#3 A collection of fairy tales from around the world.
#4 The Harry Potter series, because I'll need a little hope to keep me going. 
#5 Montana Sky by Nora Roberts. Don't you roll your eyes at me. Deserted islands get lonely.

#6 Still Life With Woodpecker by Tom Robbins because every word is beauty. 
#7 Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown. Partly because I'd like the company of merpeople. Partly because I'd like to read it before I get stranded. But also because I can't say I want to get stranded with my own mermaids ;) 

#8 Buffy the Vampire Slayer, season 8 graphic novels. When facing the forces of darkness (strike that), nature, I'd ask myself, What Would Buffy Do? 
#9 The Essential Neruda. Pablo Neruda was exiled to an island where he fell in love and wrote poetry. Maybe I'd get the same inspiration. 

#10 A blank notebook, to write my own stories.

To celebrate the release of Vicious Deep, Sourcebooks Fire has graciously donated a copy for a giveaway!  Enter using the rafflecopter form below.  The giveaway will run from 5/15/12 through 5/19/12.  See the fineprint in the rafflecopter form for the legal mumbo-jumbo.  Thanks for stopping by and a huge thank you to Zoraida Cordova and Sourcebooks Fire!  

~Shel
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, May 14, 2012

A Peek in the Biblio-Bin (25)



We are now taking part in Stacking the Shelves! Stacking the Shelves (or as we like to call it, A Peek in the Biblio-Bin) has been created by the lovely ladies at Tynga Reviews.

Stacking the Shelves is a way for bloggers to share what books they have won, received for review, bought from the bookstore, borrowed from the library or friend, etc.

Here is what The Bibliojunkies picked up this week:







City of Souls by Cassandra Clare

Darkness Becomes Her by Kelly Keaton

Hot Item by Carly Phillips


Embrace by Jessica Shrivington


What did you add to your Biblio-Bin this week?