31 March 2011

{Help Wanted} Co-Blogger

By: Me My Shelf And I | 31 March 2011 at 10:56 AM | 14 Comments so far

I have literally been staring at my screen for, oh um...hours, trying to sort out what to blog about. I spent all of last night writing (17,500 words so far, thank you very much) But I have no book to review because of that. I know I NEED to read, but I WANT to write and thus I have a conundrum.

I don't like asking for help a lot. And when I'm getting help I tend to be all perfectionist like and irritating and things like that. For instance my husband isn't allowed to touch the laundry and frequently I have to rearrange things when he unloads the dishwasher. I'm not OCD, I just like things they way I like them. It is because of this that I have to force the next words out of my mouth...

I need help with the blog.

OMG, did I make it? Have I survived? *checks and counts limbs* Phew.

It's becoming more and more obvious by the bags under my eyes and the looks from my family that I am spreading myself to thin. Apparently, super mom can not actually cook, clean, drive kids to and from school, entertain toddler, plan a birthday party, get ready for vacation, write a novel, blog about YA novels she hasn't written, host giveaways, go to book club and still be able to recognize her husband at the end of the day. Maybe if I had those Electrolux appliances like Kelly Rippa did.....

I love this blog and I won't quit. I just need someone or someone(s) to help me fill the days that I can not post a review or something relatively entertaining to read while I get through this process of banging out my novel. And also let's face it, I read like a mad woman even if I wasn't writing my own book right now I would STILL need some help.

So I'm holding Interviews for a Co-Blogger. Read what I am looking for, and fill out the simple form at the bottom if you want to be considered. This will be a real interview process, this blog is my baby and I need to be able to trust the person I am handing the extra set of keys over to.

What I'm Looking for: (if singing this like the kids do with their want ad on Mary Poppins helps, go for it!)

  • Someone with a great personality
  • Someone familiar with Blogger asnd with previous blogging experiance (will train right person if I have to, but knowing it already is a bonus)
  • Someone who can read at least 1 YA novel, if not more a week and be prepared to write a review on it.
  • A self starter, and organized person. Someone honest and trustworthy.
  • Can be a blogger from another site but reviews must be original to MMSAI, no double posting.
  • Someone with time. You don't need lots but you will need some especially in the beginning.
  • Must be 18 or older to apply.
Please do not apply in hopes of learning how to get ARCS, because I don't really know. And don't join because you want to get them...If I do get any, it's dumb luck and I use them for giveaways. But I will let you enter giveaways

If you are still interested in applying fill out the form below.
I will run this for a week or so, and then announce the people in the running. By process of elimination I will have my blog readers help me choose who helps me out. So be ready to submit something eventually for them to all read!

CURRENTLY APPLICATIONS ARE NOT BEING TAKEN.


30 March 2011

200 Follower Celebration Giveaway!

By: Me My Shelf And I | 30 March 2011 at 2:56 PM | 13 Comments so far
Well, we've hit 200 followers -
thank you so much every one for showing your support!

To show you how grateful I am, I am going to giveaway one Barnes & Noble Exclusive copy of Cassandra Clare's City of Fallen Angels.

This is a WAY cool copy, check out the info below!

The B&N Exclusive Edition City of Glass, Book 3 of The Mortal Instruments series, Jace leaves a letter in Clary's room before he leaves for a life-threatening mission. The content of this letter has been the subject of much speculation among Mortal Instruments fans, but it has never been revealed until now. In the B&N exclusive version of CITY OF FALLEN ANGELS, Jace's letter to Clary will be enclosed in the book as a separate piece, designed to look as if it was handwritten on stationery. The letter will be folded with a removable seal. The letter itself will be gummy glued into the inside back cover. "



Now, since the book is not released yet, here's how it will work:
I have pre-ordered this book and will have it anywhere from the day it's released
(April 5th) up to 6 days after depending on shipping from Barnes & Noble.
As soon as it arrives I will ship it the same day to you!

All that's required to enter is that you are following the blog, everything else get's you extra entries! Thanks for stopping in to enter and GOOD LUCK!
Fill out the form below and be sure to stop by the Contest and Giveaways Page for full rules!

CONTEST ENDS 4/3
CONTEST CLOSED
Thanks for entering!

29 March 2011

{Book Review} Starcrossed

By: Me My Shelf And I | 29 March 2011 at 10:24 PM | | | | | | 11 Comments so far
Starcrossed #1
Format: ePub ARC
Pages: 310 (ePub)
Published: May 31, 2011
Rating: 5 Birds



How do you defy destiny?

Helen Hamilton has spent her entire sixteen years trying to hide how different she is—no easy task on an island as small and sheltered as Nantucket. And it's getting harder. Nightmares of a desperate desert journey have Helen waking parched, only to find her sheets damaged by dirt and dust. At school she's haunted by hallucinations of three women weeping tears of blood . . . and when Helen first crosses paths with Lucas Delos, she has no w
ay of knowing they're destined to play the leading roles in a tragedy the Fates insist on repeating throughout history.

As Helen unlocks the secrets of her ancestry, she realizes that some myths are more than just legend. But even demigod powers might not be enough to defy the forces that are both drawing her and Lucas together—and trying to tear them apart.

Confession: I almost passed up the opportunity up to read Starcrossed because of the comments on Goodreads and a few people told me I might not like it. Almost. After I scolded myself for being so simple minded that I wasn't even going form my own judgement on it I prayed it wasn't too late for that eARC. Thank 'Gods' it wasn't.

One small thing I want to do before I delve into my personal thoughts about this book it say something. And this is because some other reviews I have read about this book, and several others published lately actually have had this one little topic in it. So this is for all you Twilight fans out there. And Note that I am quite possibly one the biggest fans of them all so I say this with love and hope you get it through your thick, thick skulls. STOP COMPARING EVERY BOOK WRITTEN IN YA TO TWILIGHT.

Please. I am very literally begging all of you. Stephenie Meyer carved out this genre, she made YA Paranormal Fantasy/Romance what it is today. She's the damned Christopher Columbus of it and did we go back and say the next guy who found land somewhere was ripping him off? I think not. Every book you read in YA Fantasy has a heart wrenching love story that faces many hard ships. A support group of people behind them, be they friends or family or both. Someone if not all of them will have super natural powers and/or be supernatural beings - this is, by definition YA Paranormal Romance!!! <--- extra exclamation points in hopes of that last bit really sinking in.

If you don't want a somewhat similar type plot line in all the books you read, pick a new genre and be done with it. You don't have to like Twilight, I won't make you. But you do have to get over this thing where you think everything written A.T. (After Twilight) is exactly like it.

*steps off soapbox*

Now, onto the main event - Starcrossed.
To start I want to mention that I really like a book that is just kind of right in the middle of something when it starts. 8 pages of landscape description does not a happy blogger make. With Starcrossed we start out with character development right from the get go. I love this. The more I know my characters me more I can actually be them, and I want to be my characters. I need it.

There are a lot of people to keep track of in this book, I'm not going to lie. But unlike I have with dozens of other books the author makes it easy to keep them straight. I can't fully pinpoint what exactly she does but I never once had to stop and go "Okay....that's the friend from school, but is it the one who likes her or the one who has a tail?" (kidding - no one has a tail in this book! LOL)

One of the characters I had a hard time with though, was Helen's father Jerry. It wasn't maybe so much him as it was the relationship between him and his daughter. It seemed, well it was weird. Where Angelini was trying to bring across the comfortable easy relationship between a father and daughter I sometimes kinda felt icky because their conversations were very much like "couples" would be. Not in a sexual manner, but phrasing and such just made me go..."ummm not for me". I had like 2 examples and for some reason my Nook decided that anything I noted before page 170 was not important. Stupid Technology.

The story line keeps you guessing, every time I thought I figured one thing out I was pointing in a new direction. I was on my toes the whole way through. I spent a great deal of time laughing at the hilarious banter between characters. I am actually really mad that I lost all my highlighted one-liners from pre-page 170 and will be going back for them. As often as I laughed, I had tears welling up in my eyes. I talked to this book like a movie patron who yells at the baby sitter on screen not to go into the basement. There are gut-wrenching heartbreaks, wonderfully romantic love stories. Curve balls you wouldn't see coming if you had a super human sight. It's just really got a little bit of everything....in fact I want to see this as a movie I think it would kick ass!

Let's wrap up - I'm giving Starcrossed 5 Birds!
I had chills, I had tears - this book did exactly what I pray ever book I pick up will do. Grab me and drag me in, make me not want it to end and have me thinking about it for hours after it's done. Also have me plotting how to sweet talk someone into getting me an ARC of book 2 when it's available...gah is it 2012 yet!?


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{Teaser Tuesday} 3.29

By: Me My Shelf And I | at 7:55 AM | 16 Comments so far
Teaser Tuesday is Hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading
Here's how it works:

*Grab Your Current Read
*Pick 2 Teaser Sentences from it (be sure to avoid spoilers!)
*Post it to your blog with title & author so other TT participants can
add it to their TBR list!
*Then, when you visit other TT, leave a link to your TT
in their comments.
Grow your TBR list and make new friends!


I think I am always JUST starting a book when TT rolls around! My teasers always come from the beginning of the books. I know, you're supposed to open up to a random page - but I don't want to spoil anything for myself by jumping ahead!!


"Did I do something wrong?" he asked tentatively.
"Of course not. Why would you ask that when I just cooked you dinner?"
"Becau
se usually when a woman spends hours cooking a complicated meal then just sits at the table with a pissed-off look on her face, that means some guy somewhere did something rally stupid" he said still on edge.

Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini p.31 (epub)



Leave me your TT in the comments so I can check it out too!


{Author Interview} Megan Duncan PLUS a Giveaway!

By: Me My Shelf And I | at 3:29 AM | | 6 Comments so far
I was honored to be able to read an advanced copy of Released by Megan Duncan this week and now I have the wonderful pleasure of being able to interview her as well! Not to mention as offer a ePub version of her book to one of my lucky readers!

MMSAI: Where did the idea for Released come from?
MD: The idea for Released came from my love of dystopian/apocalyptic books and movies. I spent some time researching what was currently available in that genre and found that many of the books were about zombies. I love zombie books, but I also wanted to put my own twist on things.

MMSAI: Why a demon apocalypse?
MD: I imagine that my answer to question #1 somewhat answers this one too. I chose to use demons because I feel like it offers a lot
more freedom to create the story. Plus I think demons are a lot scarier than zombies any day of the week. :-)

MMSAI: Will there be any sequels to Released?
MD: So far I am planning on one sequel to Released. As of right now I plan to title it Chaos, but that can change. I have only just started outlining it, but I am getting pretty excited about where I hope to take the story.

MMSAI: If so, when do you hope to publish it?
MD: I have a lot of other books in the works at the moment, but as far as Released, I hope to have one sequel out by the end of the year.
MMSAI: Are you like any of your characters?
MD: I think the character I am most like is Abby. She is a really tough girl, but struggles to get in touch with her emotional side without coming off as weak. She is very protective of those she cares about, and when push comes to shove she will do what she can to protect them, no matter how scared she is.

MMSAI: Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
MD: I think the best advice I can give is to never give up. If writing is your dream and passion don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it. My motto is: "Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts"

Thank you so much Megan for taking time to answer some questions for us! I has really been an honor! Me, My Shelf, And I looks forward to many more reviews of your future books!

Now ---- for a little bit more fun. Megan Duncan has generously offered to give one of my readers a FREE EPUB VERSION OF HER BOOK RELEASED! Simply fill out the form below.

Contest CLOSED.

28 March 2011

{Book Review} Released

By: Me My Shelf And I | 28 March 2011 at 12:01 PM | | | | | | 4 Comments so far
Released
Author: Megan Duncan
Format: ePub
Pages: 260 (ePub)
Published: April 1, 2011
Rating: 4 Birds



After a demon apocalypse kills their parents and everyone they know, 17-year old Abby Phillips, her brother, Carter, and friend, Max flee their home to travel through what has become the wastelands of America. When radio transmissions of a resistance offering shelter and safety cease, Abby is tempted to give up. Struggling to overcome life-threatening obstacles in their dangerous journey,
Abby and her companions quickly discover there are much worse things lurking in the dark then they could have ever imagined


What a refreshing take on apocalyptic literature! Demons! Not zombies! Don't get me wrong I like me some zombies, but it's nice to switch things up once in awhile.

'Released' is the debut book by Indie author Megan Duncan, and she's definitely carving out a place for herself in the world of writers with this apocalyptic thriller!

Duncan has a way with imagery that I as a hopeful author, envy. One of my favorite descriptions she uses in the book is: "A sense of overwhelming dread crept through my body like thousands of tiny spiders crawling under my skin". Tell me you didn't shiver a little reading that? Gah, I hate spiders!

What I enjoyed most about this book was the realness of the characters. Language and emotion especially noted, it fit what they would be going through. Nothing is worse then reading a book and there's some God-awful creature about to kill/behead/torture the main character or some they love, and the phrasing comes out like "Oh darn. Guess that sucks a bit"

I'm sorry my sweet innocent readers, but the F-Bomb would surely be getting dropped and I thank Megan Duncan for staying true to this. Now, while my husband may note I tend to have a mouth like a sailor from time to time, it doesn't mean I think every book should be littered with cuss words. Just that this particular story would not have felt "real" had they not made an appearance here and there. And this is about how often they are in the book, just here and there. Used only to make a point.

I am giving Released a 4 Bird review, some things were a little predictable and I think maybe because there's only so many directions you can take a story like this. It was still a great thrill ride none the less, and the fact it wasn't about zombies helped up up a bird. I will recommend this book and will hound (no pun intended....read the book - you'll get it...lol) for a sequel!


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BE SURE TO WATCH FOR AN INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR MEGAN DUNCAN AND A GIVEAWAY OF AN ePub VERSION OF 'RELEASED' COMING SOON!

And Now A Reading From The Book of Gratton:

By: Me My Shelf And I | at 10:07 AM | | 5 Comments so far
Tessa Gratton, who I have the unbelievable privilege to meet last October, along with her Merry Sisters of Fate: Maggie Stiefvater and Brenna Yovanoff (and yes I will brag about this indefinitely) is getting set to launch her debut book Blood Magic.

To get you all pumped here she is reading chapter five. When you are done watching head over to her blog and enter to win an ARC of Blood Magic as well as an ARC of Hourglass by Myra McEntire



REMEMBER TO GO TO TESSA'S BLOG
AND ENTER TO WIN THESE GREAT BOOKS!


27 March 2011

{Book Trailer} Half-Blood

By: Me My Shelf And I | 27 March 2011 at 6:31 PM | 1 Comment so far
Check out this amazing book trailer for Half-Blood by Jennifer Armentrout




The Hematoi descend from the unions of gods and mortals, and the children of two Hematoi pure-bloods have godlike powers. Children of Hematoi and mortals well, not so much. Half-bloods only have two options: become trained Sentinels who hunt and kill daimons or become servants in the homes of the pures.


Seventeen-year-old Alexandria would rather risk her life fighting than waste it scrubbing toilets, but she may end up slumming it anyway. There are several rules that students at the Covenant must follow. Alex has problems with them all, but especially rule #1:


Relationships between pures and halfs are forbidden.


Unfortunately, she's crushing hard on the totally hot pure-blood Aiden. But falling for Aiden isn't her biggest problem--staying alive long enough to graduate the Covenant and become a Sentinel is. If she fails in her duty, she faces a future worse than death or slavery: being turned into a daimon, and being hunted by Aiden. And that would kind of suck.

{In My Mailbox} March 27th

By: Me My Shelf And I | at 8:09 AM | 17 Comments so far
In My Mailbox is a weekly meme, hosted by The Story Siren, held usually on Sundays that encourages bloggers to share what they bought, borrowed, or begged for this week.

To participate in IMM just head to your blog and let us know what you bought, begged or borrowed this week. The come back here and leave me a link in my comments so I ca
n check it out too!

Actually Arrived In My Mailbox :0)

These books arrived at the beginning and the end of my week. They are my first official physical copies of ARCS, and I won them both from various book blogs.
I had already read Delirium, and devoured Wither in a few hours after it arrived! Click below for the reviews I posted about them.



On "Mah Nookie" I got:



Released by Megan Duncan (which I am currently reading)

After a demon apocalypse kills their parents and everyone they know, 17-year old Abby Phillips, her brother, Carter, and friend, Max flee their home to travel through what has become the wastelands of America. When radio transmissions of a resistance offering shelter and safety cease, Abby is tempted to give up. Struggling to overcome life-threatening obstacles in their dangerous journey, Abby and her companions quickly discover there are much worse things lurking in the dark then they could have ever imagined.

The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab

The Near Witch is only an old story told to frighten children.
If the wind calls at night, you must not listen. The wind is lonely, and always looking for company.And there are no strangers in the town of Near.
These are the truths that Lexi has heard all her life.
But when an actual stranger—a boy who seems to fade like smoke—appears outside her home on the moor at night, she knows that at least one of these sayings is no longer true.
The next night, the children of Near start disappearing from their beds, and the mysterious boy falls under suspicion. Still, he insists on helping Lexi search for them. Something tells her she can trust him.
As the hunt for the children intensifies, so does Lexi’s need to know—about the witch that just might be more than a bedtime story, about the wind that seems to speak through the walls at night, and about the history of this nameless boy.
Part fairy tale, part love story, Victoria Schwab’s debut novel is entirely original yet achingly familiar: a song you heard long ago, a whisper carried by the wind, and a dream you won’t soon forget.

And I have, more asked then begged for:
(Oh, who am I kidding I did kind of beg...lol. Maybe I'll get lucky and get to read them early)

By Leigh Fallon

By Michelle Hodkin

What about all of you? What have you begged, borrowed or bought this week!!??

26 March 2011

{Books Review} Possessions

By: Me My Shelf And I | 26 March 2011 at 7:36 PM | | | | | Be the first to comment!


Possessions
Possessions #1
Author: Nancy Holder
Format: ePub
Pages: 320 (paperback)
Published: September, 3 2009
Rating: 3.5 Birds


The It Girl meets The Exorcist in this chilling, haunted boarding school tale

New-girl Lindsay discovers all is not right at the prestigious Marlwood Academy for Girls. Ethereal, popular Mandy and her clique are plotting something dangerous. Lindsay overhears them performing strange rituals, and sees their eyes turn black. It doesn't help that the school itself is totally eerie, with ancient, dilapidated buildings tucked into the Northern California woods, a thick white fog swirling through campus. There are hidden passageways, odd reflections in the windows at night, and scariest of all is the vast lake rumored to have captured the ghost of a girl who drowned many years ago.

What Lindsay doesn't yet realize is that Mandy and her cohorts are becoming possessed by spirits who have haunted the school for two hundred years. Spirits who want someone dead...

And that someone is Lindsay.

Before you rush to the comments section to ask, let me just get it out of the way. Since I have been asked this particular question at least 5 times since people found out I was reading Possessions.

No. It wasn't scary.

I was actually kinda disappointed in that fact. While I still found it highly engrossing and atmospheric, I really wanted to be scared senseless by this book and didn't deliver.

It has plenty of edge of your seat suspense, and I can see how it would make an amazing movie with the right director - Wes Craven would direct the crap outta this one!!! But, alas I just was not scared. In defense of the book, I don't think it was necessarily marketed as a horror, but more paranormal fantasy.

The protagonist Lyndsay is easy to identify with. Over analyzes things, somewhat post mental break down. Very average teen aged girl.

The "Mean Girls", as I call them because they very much remind me of The clique in that movie, are also nicely built. Even though there was about 7 of them I never felt like I was getting them confused, trying to sort out who was who. That was nice, it's always very distracting to read a novel that requires you to take notes just to keep track of who's who.

few things that were odd to me...Lindsay has sort of montage type moments happening in her head. Similar to how you would see thing flashing before someones eyes in movie. The are hard to visualize and smoothly read through. One moment you are reading a big paragraph about the description of a skull, out of no where she will say "burial shrouds" then shoot into how she feels.

We also have these "rundowns" so to speak like an odd diary/myspace update type of thing where it asks what she's listening to, how she's feeling, what's haunting her and some random quotes. I might be losing something in translation since I read it on a nook and the imaging that could have accompanied this may have helped make it make sense. In all honesty it was unnecessary and infrequent and therefore felt really out of place each time it did randomly pop up.

I'm going with a 3.5 Bird rating on this. It read slowly but was really engaging. I will read the second in the series not just because the author left me with no choice in the matter (hehe) but because I am genuinely interested. I would recommend this to be read.


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{Book Trailer} The Dark and Hallow Places

By: Me My Shelf And I | at 11:24 AM | Be the first to comment!
Squee - The Dark and Hallow Places by Carrie Ryan book trailer is up! Check it out!

Are you anxiously awaiting this book as much as I am?


25 March 2011

{Movie Giveaway} The Yellow Handkerchief

By: Me My Shelf And I | 25 March 2011 at 12:54 PM | | Be the first to comment!

I know, I'm a book blog...but movies so often tie into books that I plan to give away movies and movie swag once in a while as well.

Now, The Yellow Handkerchief with Kristen Stewart (as far as I know) is not based on a book - BUT my local movie store is closing so I snapped up 2 copies and want to give one away! Plus, I adore KStew! I picked up some other movie related things I'll give away at later dates.

Please note - This is a used copy, NOT brand new. I have played it to check it, and it woks great.

All you have to do to enter to win, is Follow This Blog.
Sharing it on Twitter/Facebook will get you an extra entry, but it's not required.

Fill out the form below - Contest Ends Monday March 28th at 7:00 pm CST


CONTEST CLOSED

Be sure to note, you must be at least 13 years old to enter and winner will have 72 hours to claim prize via e-mail, otherwise a runner up will be chosen. For more info on Terms and Conditions check my Contests and Giveaway page for all our rules.

{Cover Reveal} Hades - UPDATED Not The Real Cover!

By: Me My Shelf And I | at 9:09 AM | | 1 Comment so far
UPDATE:
**Alexandra Adornetto just popped over on Twitter to let me know this is in fact NOT the official cover. She has assured me the actual real cover will be out soon. Until then everyone, thanks for stopping in and let me know what you think the Official cover will look like, in the comments area.

It has to be said that Alexandra Adornetto's Halo series has some of the most beautiful covers I have ever seen. While I like Halo's cover more then this one, it's sequel, Hades it is still amazing!!!

From Good Reads:
Even the love of her boyfriend, Xavier Woods, and her archangel siblings, Gabriel and Ivy, can’t keep the angel Bethany Church from being tricked into a motorcycle ride that ends up in Hell. There, Jake Thorn bargains for Beth’s release back to Earth. But what he asks of her will destroy her, and quite possibly her loved ones as well. Can he be trusted in this wager? And what does Jake have Xavier believing about Beth’s fate that may result in an act of betrayal that will leave Bethany – and readers – wondering if Xav is so good after all?

Hades
Halo #2
Release Date - August 28, 2011

24 March 2011

{Book Review} Wither

By: Me My Shelf And I | 24 March 2011 at 9:10 AM | | | | 3 Comments so far
Wither
The Chemical Garden #1
Format: ARC
Pages: 358 (paperback)
Published: March, 22 2011
Rating: 5 Birds

What if you knew exactly when you would die?

Thanks to modern science, every human being has become a ticking genetic time bomb—males only live to age twenty-five, and females only live to age twenty. In this bleak landscape, young girls are kidnapped and forced into polygamous marriages to keep the population from dying out.When sixteen-year-old Rhine Ellery is taken by the Gatherers to become a bride, she enters a world of wealth and privilege. Despite her husband Linden's genuine love for her, and a tenuous trust among her sister wives, Rhine has one purpose: to escape—to find her twin brother and go home.

But Rhine has more to contend with than losing her freedom. Linden's eccentric father is bent on finding an antidote to the genetic virus that is getting closer to taking his son, even if it means collecting corpses in order to test his experiments. With the help of Gabriel, a servant Rhine is growing dangerously attracted to, Rhine attempts to break free, in the limted time she has left.

Let me start with the cover, because after all I am quite the Cover Snob - it is beautiful and so unlike anything I have seen. Sure every book has a pretty girl on the cover these days but the added lines, and shapes connecting to one another - love it! On a little side note, doesn't this look a bit like a cross between Mandy Moore and one of the Olsen Twins?

The book itself had me from page one. I read it in a single day and carried it around with every where just in case the opportunity presented itself that I could have even a few minutes of reading. It's an amazing tale of survival, perseverance, and love.

Rhine has thick skin, she's stubborn and stand firm on her belief's and desires, yet she's trust worthy and loving and I really like this new trend I'm seeing in tough female protagonists. Its refreshing and empowering and I think this is something young woman need.

The book gets 5 birds from me for being new, fresh and strong. I am really looking forward to the rest of the trilogy!


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23 March 2011

{Book Review} Anathema

By: Me My Shelf And I | 23 March 2011 at 11:16 AM | | | | 4 Comments so far
Anathema
(The Cloud Prophet #1)
Author: Megg Jensen
Format: ePub on Nook
Pages: 584
Published: February 5th 2011
Rating: 5 Birds




Reychel is a slave girl surrounded by magic, lies and manipulation. Her best friend disappears in the middle of the night leaving Reychel to face her fifteenth birthday, the day her master burns his brand into the back of her bald head, alone. She's sheltered from the outside world and doesn't have any hope for escape, but when people desperate for freedom ask for her help can Reychel learn to believe in herself?

When I first opened this on my Nook I was struck by how many pages there were. it's listed as 620, the the story itself only takes up 584 - still I was like "Yikes I should have started this sooner". I figured that it would take me a few days to plow through between house work, and the kids and all those other "wifey" things I am to do around here.

Not the case at all. It was such a fast read that I was almost shocked when I turned the page to find the story was over. (THANK GOD it's a trilogy!!) In total it took me just a few hours to read, though that was split over 2 days since my youngest tried to gouge out my eyeball with her talon like fingernail yesterday, leaving me blinded for a few hours. No joke, I'm already blind in one eye and she managed to hit the good one. I'm investing in safety goggles from now on.

Anathema is an action packed thrill ride into a beautiful world I could only dream of being able to create. The characters are layered and deep, and just how I like them. It is really easy to become Reychel, to see things through her eyes and to feel what she feels. Jensen really excels at making you the main character so that you're not just reading the book but living it.

This is the kind of book I search out, the kind of book I dream of. I don't get caught up in grammar, or weather or not the editor missed a few things, you will very rarely find me complaining or noting on these topics here. While important for a writer, yes, I am blogging on behalf of the average reader. What I want, no...no...what I need is a book that can totally take me away, make me not care about the pile of laundry on the floor, the bad day at the office or the bills. I want an escape when I read. Isn't that what Reading Rainbow promised us all those years ago? Well, Anathema delivers!

Please stop over to Amazon and pick up a physical copy for $11.00, OR get it on your Nook or Kindle (an eReader!) for $2.99 <--- at that price, even if you don't like it as much as I did (which I highly doubt), what are you really wasting?
Want to win an autographed copy of it?



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{Interview} with Megg Jensen & Anathema Book Giveaway

By: Me My Shelf And I | at 9:09 AM | | 3 Comments so far
I have been lucky enough to get to know a few really great Debut Authors in the past month and I'm really excited to say I will be posting interviews and giveaways from them all in the coming weeks!

To start things off for my author interviews I am honored to introduce to you Megg Jenesen author of Anathema (The Cloud Prophet #1) Megg lives in Illinois with her family where she writes her fabulous stories and works as a journalist. Read on to learn more about this fabulous writer and be sure to enter the contest at the bottom for an Autographed copy of her book!


1) Where did the idea for Anathema come from?
We were driving to my parents' farm when my daughter Tessa told me she could see things in the clouds. I asked her what shapes she saw, but then she sighed and said, "Mom, I can see the future." Obviously she has my creative gene. It was that tiny conversation that gave me the initial spark for Anathema.

2) What was your writing process/schedule like
I'm an at-home mom of two. When I wrote Anathema, I relied on the times when Tessa was in school Luke napped. Otherwise, I wouldn't have had the time I needed to dig in. As for my process, I'm a pantser. I have an idea of where I want to start and where I want to end, then I allow the story to unfold organically. My characters don't always behave, but I've found that some of my best work comes from letting go.

3) what made you choose self publishing?
I attempted to find representation for a year, first for Anathema and then for The Sleepers (another YA fantasy). I can't even count how many fulls were requested & read, but nearly every rejection was the same: "You're awesome. Your book is fantastic. But..." After many, many, many great rejections, I really began to consider self-pubbing when my friend Karly Kirkpatrick jumped in. Once I decided I wanted to self-pub, I actually pulled my manuscript from the two agents who were still considering my full. Crazy? Perhaps. But I haven't regretted it for one second.

4) Are any of your characters like anyone in your real life?
Hmmmm, no, not really. I did steal names from people I know, but beyond that I don't know any of my characters in real life.

5) What's life been like since the book was released?
Chaotic. Crazy. Wonderful. This is the life I've always wanted and now I have it. How can I truly complain about any of it?

6) What are you working on right now?
Anathema's sequel Oubliette. Then I'll finish the third book in the trilogy. After that I have another YA fantasy trilogy starting with The Sleepers, a contemporary YA with a girl who fights ninjas, and a stand-alone fantasy that could be YA or MG, I haven't decided yet. I plan on writing for the rest of my life and luckily I have more ideas than time.

7) Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Never give up and always be true to yourself. Write because you need to, because there's nothing else you'd rather be doing. Choose a publishing path that's true to what you want for your career. I don't think everyone should go indie, nor do I think everyone should go traditional. It's a HUGE decision - and not just an emotional decision, but a business decision. Don't ever jump into anything without your eyes wide open.

8) With out giving any spoilers away, can you tell us which was your favorite part of the book to write and why?
I loved writing the kissing scenes!!! Why? Because even though I'm thirty-five, mentally I'm still fifteen.

9) Tell us about your cover and how involved you were in the design process.
My amazingly beautiful cover was created by Robin Ludwig Design. I contacted her because I thought her portfolio was outstanding. I gave her an idea of what I wanted on the cover and she sent me some stock photos to review. Then I explained Reychel's eye color, how I wanted her to be more mysterious inside the cloak, and chose the title font. I sent it all back to Robin and when she sent my cover back to me, I cried. Seriously. I could never, ever have imagined anything more perfect. If I would have created my own cover, Reychel would have been an ugly stick figure.

~~ And finally, this was one of my favorite questions to ask when I worked in retail management YEARS ago, and I still love the answer that I get for it...so....Megg....

10) If you were a box of cereal what kind would you be and why.
Honey Bunches of Oats with Almonds. I'm sweet and a little nutty.


And now for the extra fun stuff -
Who wants a copy of Anathema?
I thought you did!
Simply fill out the form below and you'll be entered.
This contest is open to to US mailing address' only.

CONTEST RUNS MARCH 23RD TO MARCH 26TH 11:59 am, CST
you must be a follower AND Tweet the contest to be eliglble
(if you do not have a twitter feel free to share it on Facebook or your blog)

CONTEST CLOSED

22 March 2011

{Teaser Tuesday} March 22

By: Me My Shelf And I | 22 March 2011 at 9:08 AM | 13 Comments so far
Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading

Here's how it works:
*Grab Your Current read
*Open to a random Page
*Share 2 teaser sentences from that page
*BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS!
*Share Author and Title too so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR list if they like your teaser.

Don't forget to leave a link to your TT in the comments below




"I tried to ignore the other slaves gawking at me as they marched me down the hallway, but it was impossible. Every time I passed a slave, he or she would slow down and stare at me. Unlike Ivy's walk a few weeks ago, I walked with out friends surrounding me. Even the lowest of us were allowed friends to walk us to the branding ceremony. Our master was one of the few who allowed it. But no one have ever been led by gaurds with her hands bound. Until now.

Anathema is the debut book from author Megg Jensen and can be found on Amazon and also in ePub version for Nook and Kindle for the great price of $2.99. It's the first in The Cloud Prophet Series.

I actually haven't yet started this, I am planning on it today so it was tough for me to open the book and find something that wouldn't give anything away for me or you! I think I got a pretty good quote for being totally random. Plus, it's not all that easy to pick a random page when you're reading on a Nook...lol.

21 March 2011

{Book Review} Two Lives, One Diary

By: Me My Shelf And I | 21 March 2011 at 5:29 PM | Be the first to comment!
Two Lives, One Diary
a self-pub novella
Author: JM Array
Format: ePub on Nook
Pages: 60 on Nook
Published: November 26, 2010
Rating: 2 Birds

JM Array is a self published author from Puerto Rico who recently made Two Lives One Diary available in ePub format on the Nook and Kindle and things of that nature. He contacted me last week and asked if I would read his novella and let you all know my thoughts.
And hey, I have a book blog so it worked out ;0)


Before his 18th birthday Robert had never dreamed. As soon as he had his first dream, he realized that his dream world was similar yet different to his own world. He decided to record everything to keep track of what was going on. Before he realized it he had one simple diary, yet he was living two lives.

My first thought on this novella was that it had a great idea behind it. The idea of never dreaming, then when you do being able to live with in that dream and have it be everything you could dream of was amazing and, as far as what I had read in the past, never been done before.

I felt that JM has sold himself short on making this just a novella, and that he may have published it a little too early. With a little more editing, adding more descriptions and building his characters more would lead, very possibly to not just a full blown novel but a possibly trilogy.

What I felt the book lacked was firstly, character structure. I wanted to know more about Robert, I wanted to be able to really be him. This is difficult when I don't even know what he looks like, or what anyone else in the book looks like other then what gender they are or that they are 'pretty'.

Also, tragic yet highly interesting things happen through out and I craved more explanation, more detail, basically just....more. Do you see what I mean how this could have been a novel instead of a novella just with the addition of a few key things?

Some things I think may have been lost in a little bit of translation, in regards to launguage used by teachers, kids, teenagers and such . Maybe him being from Puerto Rico, and my being from Minnesota left a gap in the phrasing even if we both speak English. Some things didn't roll of the tongue or sound much like they should be coming out of a teenagers mouth, or didn't make sense at all.

This story has amazing potential. Maybe the next novella by JM will be a full blown novel! I really think he's got it in him!

I'm giving the book a 2 birds because the potential is there but it was lacking with descriptions and the characters needed to be more solidly built. I need to be able to get into the world the author is trying to put me in.




It's Monday, What Are You Reading?

By: Me My Shelf And I | at 10:21 AM | 3 Comments so far
It's Monday, What Are You Reading? This is a weekly meme hosted by Book Journey, One Persons Journey Through Books and Coffee. Each week we spotlight what we are reading, just finished reading or are planning to read.

Just Finished Reading: Ugh, I'm a horrible book blogger this week. The answer to this is nothing. Before you get all judgy on me it was my husbands birthday and I had someone arrive from out of town so I haven't had the time to dedicate to my reading (or my writing for that matter)

What I Am Reading Right Now: Well, when I pick up Mah Nookie, no later than tomorrow I will be starting 2 Lives...One Diary by self published author JM Array, followed by Anathema by Megg Jensen (another self published), and then I'll be reading Possessions by Nancy Holder.

What's Up Next?: After I'm done with those three I think I'll hit up Nightshade by Andrea Cremer because I haven't yet read it. Also, I'll be reading Wither when my ARC arrives that I won (squee!) After that who knows, maybe another amazing author will contact me looking for a review of their book *cough cough HINT HINT*

What's your list? Leave me a link in the comments section so I can check it out!!!


19 March 2011

Saturday Inspiration - Autographs

By: Me My Shelf And I | 19 March 2011 at 9:52 AM | | 3 Comments so far
Saturdays Inspiration is coming to you in the way of things I have that inspire me :0) Namely a few of my favorite book autographs.

Since I got "Mah Nookie" (remember, say that like Bill from True Blood) for Christmas my collection of physical books has significantly started to thin out. I only now buy what I want signed because I have them all on my fantastic portable library!

And since I've spent far too too much time this week writing and not reading *gasp, how dare I* I don't have any reviews for you, I thought I would show off a little. First is something I'm sure you already know I have, the books signed from The Dark Days of Supernatural tour:




And last, is something that does not belong to me but I have been lucky enough to have on my shelf for several months. I am sure my beautiful friend Liz will want this back soon, now that she's completed her move. I will be sad to see it go, but having it on my shelf even for that amount of time was still really freaking cool!!

This is a copy of Twilight, gifted to her, autographed by the cast. It's not any ordinary signing, this was obtained for her on set of the first movie, before anyone but the book lovers knew about the movie.
You can see that it was so unknown still as Kristen Stewart put her characters name under hers so no one was confused! LOL. If only she knew Bella and Edward would become household names....

18 March 2011

In Which I Meet 4 Awesome Authors

By: Me My Shelf And I | 18 March 2011 at 8:15 AM | | 10 Comments so far
St Patrick's Day was last night.

What were you doing. Drinking?

Yea well I was hanging out with all my friends and 4 amazing authors! See, now I bet you and your hang over are jealous, aren't you?

Thought so.

The night began with the gathering with of Bloggers at Old Chicago, and gathering of course is always used when there are only 3 of us.

We waited however to take a photo until a bunch of us were together, so as not to seem so lame *he he* WE are so not lame!


Along with my new blogger friends, were my long time friends, book club members and all around best girls you could ever know! (someone thinks she funny and snuck a book in that doesn't belong..can you see it?)


And of course, what you all have been waiting for (who wants to look at me any way?) here's the ladies of the hour, in a rather non flattering photo that they may take time to tweet me about in fact (sorry!)


Each of the Authors, Leah Clifford, Claudia Gray, Courtney Allison Moulton and Kimberly Derting (L-R) chatted a few minutes about themselves and read form each of their books.

Then they all answered questions and signed books, gave us swag. Indulged us as we hung around after for photos and more questions and we're all around amazing!


I decided that a t-shirt was in order for this night so I picked my favorite quote from Leah Clifford's debut book A Touch Mortal: "The water's not even blue, jackass" and away I went with photoshop and some iron on print offs :0) Here's what it looked like


And Leah LOVED it, I was so excited - she even brought me some amazing earrings that are totally symbolic of her book. Big hoops with a skull, a heart and an angel wing on it! Here's Leah and I - the earing are hiding under my hair. Sorry. I'm sure you will see them soon, because I LOVE them and will wear them every where!


It was an amazing night, with amazing people. Thank you to all the amazing ladies who came out and gave their time to meet us, and all their other waiting fans.

17 March 2011

Dark Days Tour - TONIGHT!

By: Me My Shelf And I | 17 March 2011 at 1:23 PM | 2 Comments so far
It's here, it's finally here. The Dark Days of Supernatural Book Tour.

At 7 o'clock myself and 25 others (according the constantly inaccurate Facebook RSVP page) will gather at Barnes and Noble to hear some great authors speak and get some autographs.

Appearing tonight is:
Courtney Allison Moulton (Angelfire)
Claudia Gray (Evernight Series)
Leah Clifford (A Touch Mortal)
and
Kimberly Derting (The Body Finder Series)

I have my books packed up, my t-shirt made with a favorite quote from Leah Clifford's A Touch Mortal, and I'm set to go....now if it wasn't still several hours away!

I am also going to be meeting up with some other book bloggers from Minnesota! Yay! This is only my second event with authors, and my first where I will be have been an "official" blogger.

Keep your eyes peeled for photos and updates coming through our Twitter feed tonight through out the meet up!

16 March 2011

{Book Review} Meant To Be

By: Me My Shelf And I | 16 March 2011 at 8:09 AM | | | 4 Comments so far

Meant To Be
(Meant To Be #1)
Author: Tiffany King
Format: ePub on Nook
Pages: 169
Published: March 18th 2011
Rating: 5 Birds

My fingers tread lightly as I write this review. It is safe to say I am just as terrified to write it as self published author Tiffany King is to read it. This will be her FIRST review outside of family. I will be the first blogger to officially blog about it. To put it mildly, that's a big responsibility for me, but also a huge honor as she hand picked me to be one of the first.
I suppose I should get down to business, Tiffany is probably reading this in panic trying to find where I either praise or trash her book...we''l just breath Tiffany...and hold on tight - here we go!

Krista Miller feels like she has lived her entire life in a glass box with her every emotion on display. She can’t help feeling like a defect as her sensitivities have made her socially inept and without any real friends; the one exception being the boy that visits her each night in her dreams.
Krista’s emotions are put to the test when a move to California triggers a devastating change to her fantasy world. The nightly comfort that the boy provides has now become a recurring nightmare as he is taken from her by an unseen force.

Struggling to appear normal, Krista enrolls in a new school and finds it to be nothing like she thought. Her new life is sent spiraling out of control from a strange connection with a boy, Mark, who claims to know all her secrets.

As Krista begins to explore the emotions that Mark evokes in her, secrets from their past about their shared connection threatens to separate them just when they have found each other.

Let's start with the cover art (no Tiffany not to prolong the wait....) Meant To Be's cover art was hand drawn by the very talented Brittany M. King. It's hard to see in the small sample I have but the background detail of The Boardwalk is UN-REAL! I swear if you look close enough you can even see a small child throwing up on the tilt-o-whirl.
After I finished the book last night I just stared at the cover art for awhile going "Ohhhh!" and "I see!" as little bits all fell into place for me. This cover really is the embodiment of the story with it it's (electronic) pages.

Speaking of the story with in the (electronic) pages...

I'm at a loss for words. When I enjoy a book and when I book throws me for a loop as many times as Meant To Be did I struggle to properly relay it to you. Let's see what I can blather on about with out giving anything away, shall we?

I was taken away at first shot with the setting and description of the surroundings in this story. It's detailed and beautiful. You are never left wondering where you, or in one case even where bathroom is. (I will laugh to myself on that last bit for a while - read the book and you'll giggle too!)

Krista, along with the other characters are very well structured. They all have a unique personality, they don't blend together. And they all have amazing back stories Tiffany manages to bring in with out them seeming out of place. If there's nothing I hate more then, all those other things that irritate me, I hate back stories that are randomly plopped into the plot.

The story itself is complex and deep but very well explained. It's like a winding staircase, as long as you keep moving forward you can't get lost but each step takes you deeper and deeper in.

I have racked my brain trying to figure out how Tiffany came up with all this. I really thought I knew where things were headed, but no, no, no I was tossed a curve ball so fast about midway through that I literally smacked my husband who was playing x-box next to me and went "Nah-Uh!!! Way to go Tiff!". Luckily my husband is used to my random outbursts so he smiled and continued his game.

Cut to a few hours later where I'm reading by the light of Mah Nookie next to my sleeping husband in bed, and curve ball #2 comes wizing past. That time when I smacked him, he wasn't as happy.
And oh yes you heard me right, curve ball #2! Half way through when I thought I knew where things were going but it turned out I was wrong....well I was wrong then too. Sign.

This book was a great ride (get it...ride..hehe. Oh jeeze read the book so you find this funny too please.) It takes you every which way, slaps a new twist on something I didn't think could be changed and leaves you guessing the whole way through. I promise if you buy this book you will not be disappointed! And speaking of buying, Meant To Be will be available exclusively on Amazon March 18th! I'll link when I have one.

Congrats Tiffany, and thank you for the honor of being among the first to read your debut novel!


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15 March 2011

{Book Review} The Adoration of Jenna Fox

By: Me My Shelf And I | 15 March 2011 at 8:53 AM | | | Be the first to comment!

(Jenna Fox #1)
Author: Mary E. Pearson
Format: ePub on Nook
Pages: 266
(Hardcover)
Published: April 29th 2008
Rating: 2 Birds


As I start this review I haven't yet given it a bird rating. I'm torn and I hope to work it out as I move through typing it out.

Who is Jenna Fox? Seventeen-year-old Jenna has been told that is her name. She has just awoken from a coma, they tell her, and she is still recovering from a terrible accident in which she was involved a year ago. But what happened before that? Jenna doesn't remember her life. Or does she? And are the memories really hers?
This fascinating novel represents a stunning new direction for acclaimed author Mary Pearson. Set in a near future America, it takes readers on an unforgettable journey through questions of bio-medical ethics and the nature of humanity. Mary Pearson's vividly drawn characters and masterful writing soar to a new level of sophistication. ~ Goodreads.com

Sigh. I don't know where to begin. I don't want to give this book a bad review, because it doesn't necessarily deserve it, yet I don't think it deserves a participially good one either. Sorry, this is a mildly spoilery review. If you skip the end of my review, which talks about how I felt about the ending - you'll be ok.

I didn't like the way it was written. The flow felt robotic and sterile. - "Mom said sit. So I sat. Do I like to sit? I must." A lot of very short sentences. This helps give insight into the protagonist, Jenna but I think that they could have portrayed her just as well with less of a choppy writing style. At some points a WHOLE page would be one to three word sentences stacked on top each other and I felt like I was reading some really poorly written haiku or a Toddlers First Book of Large Words or even a non rhyming Dr Seuss Book.

To even out the distaste I had for the writing, it was very beautifully set. Descriptions of the surroundings were very crisp and made it very easy for you to put yourself right in the book. I love this. Sometimes I find it hard to get into a book simply because I can't figure out what the author is trying to tell us by where he/she is putting me.

But then, we have equal parts perfectly built characters and equal parts not. Jenna, her family and even Ethan having nothing left to wonder about. You know why the do what they do. Dane on the other hand, is clearly not even needed in this book. There's build up to meetings with him and yet you get no explanation other that "That boys not right". I think that the author put him in a position he was too small to fill. A handful of wonderfully made characters all brought tumbling down by the of just one? Yikes.

And lastly, the ending. Oh the endings. I know these have to be hard. Wrapping up a million lose ends and making everyone happy. Knowing this makes what I'm about to say kinda hard and I feel badly but it must be done: I hated the ending.

This book I now see (which I SWEAR wasn't here last night when I looked) is set to be a series. How? The author wrapped the whole book up, including quite, QUITE far into the future, in about 5 pages. It was almost like reading an episode of Full House where something horrible happens and all it takes to fix it is a 45 second talk fro Danny Tanner, a hug, and some lame back ground music.

I feel....ripped off? Is that the best way to put it? I invested time and energy to read, to become a part of this book and then I get an ending where the cumulation of an entire book, all the questions, issues, they are all mashed together in a summary of an explanation at the end. *pouts*

I'm giving this book 2 Birds. The story was there and it was interesting. The writing was "meh" and the ending was *sobs thinking about it* not there at all.


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