Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Interview: Lisa M. Stasse author of The Forsaken

Good afternoon blog readers! I have a very special post for you today. I had the wonderful opportunity to interview Lisa M. Stasse, author of THE FORSAKEN, whose debut novel releases today! I'm reading the book at the moment, and I have to say that it is fantastic so far. Before you read the interview check out the book trailer. :) 

Interested in reading the book yet? Or even more excited to read it now? Let me know what you think in the comments. Now here is the interview that I had a lot of fun formulating the questions, and just as much fun reading Lisa's answers. 

1. What is the most fun part of writing a book? 

The most fun part for me is when the characters start to come alive on the page like they're real people. And they start doing and saying stuff that surprises me. I love it when that happens. Another fun part of writing a book is trying to come up with new and cool stuff that people haven't read before (I love twists and turns, and putting surprises into a story).

2. What do you hope readers get out of reading THE FORSAKEN?

First, I hope they're entertained and feel like they got their money's worth! I am obsessed with books and spend most of my time reading and buying books (I'm also a librarian at UCLA, so I'm surrounded by books pretty much all the time). I definitely want anyone who buys and reads THE FORSAKEN to enjoy it and love the characters and the story. Second, on another level, I hope readers engage with some of the themes in the book: That you must persevere against all odds. That you must believe in yourself at times when no one else does. And that you must fight for what you believe in. Don't let anyone else speak for you—you must always find your own voice, even if it's hard or scary sometimes. My protagonist, Alenna Shawcross, learns along the way that she is much stronger than she first thought.

3. What’s a fun little fact about THE FORSAKEN? 

I wrote most of this book on my laptop between 2AM and 5AM over the period of about a year, a few pages at a time.

4. Use three words to describe Alenna.

Strong. Smart. Brave.

5. I heard that there are two main guys in your novel. Can you tell us something about them? 

Liam—the hunter—is a fierce warrior who is protective and open about his love for Alenna. David—the wanderer–is more mysterious and enigmatic. Part of Alenna's journey is discovering her true feelings about these two guys.

6. Who is your favorite male character in YA, and why?

Obviously Peeta from THE HUNGER GAMES is awesome, but I also love Miles (aka Pudge) from LOOKING FOR ALASKA by John Green. I think Miles is one of the more complex and well-rounded male YA protagonists.

7. Where is your favorite place to visit in the world? 

Ocracoke Island on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. It's pretty desolate, with tons of great beaches. My husband and I go camping there on the beach in the summer. It's a really great spot to reconnect with nature (we live in Los Angeles, so I really crave as much "nature time" as I can get!)

8. What is your favorite holiday?

I love traveling in general. My favorite vacation spots are generally beaches. I love the Bahamas and tropical islands in general. I get really down in the dumps when the weather is gray for long periods, so I'm always trying to get a lot of sunlight to stay upbeat and positive about life (I've always been that way—my parents say I always used to cry hysterically if it got gray and rained a lot when I was a little girl!) I love anyplace where's there's lots of sunshine and it's warm.

9. What is your most favorite scene in THE FORSAKEN (if you don’t want any spoilers you can just put an estimated page number for the start of the scene), and what song would be fitting for that scene? 

My favorite scenes are probably at the end of the book, where the book (hopefully) takes an unexpected direction! I don't want to put any spoilers in here, but there is some intense stuff at the end of THE FORSAKEN, when Alenna, Liam, David and her friends are trying to break free from the island. As for music, I listen to tons of stuff when I write. I was actually listening to the album "King Night" by the band Salem when I wrote those scenes (Salem's music is like this weird apocalyptic stuff—very creepy but great music for writing because most of it is instrumental.)

Thank you so much Lisa Stasse for answering my questions. They were a blast to read. Now I'll have to pay a little visit to Ocracoke Island next time I'm in the Outer Banks! Now that the interview is over, I'll just be over here picking up your novel and see where Aleena's journey takes her. 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins Book Trailer

If anyone that is Goodreads friends with me would know that I was very excited when I found/discovered Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins on BarnesandNoble.com for just $5! I really can't wait to get my copy so I can read it. The book sounds like it's going to be amazing. Plus, you can't really exept anything but awesome when it comes to the books HarperTeen (Harper Collins) publishes.

As for the trailer I really liked how it seems to capture the essensce of the novel. The only thing that bothered me was the girl's country accent. I'm from the South, and I really don't think us Southerners sound like that at all. Maybe it's just me and I'm use to everyone's accent.

Any who, make sure you pre-order or grab Sweet Evil off the shelves May 1!

Update: On What I've Been Doing Lately

Hey Everyone,

I feel really bad for being away from my blog for so long. A lot has been going on in my life with school, relationships, and family. My grandfather recently was hospitalized, and it's going to take a while for him to get better. I'm not going to go into detail about the school and relationship ordeal. All I'll say is that I had a distraction and it made me fall behind in life. I'm happy to say that I no longer have any distractions and am on the path of where I want to be, which is working hard to get good grades in school and back to reading. 

Yes, I said BACK TO READING! Haha, in the book world not reading should be considered a crime. For 3-4 months I just couldn't get myself to read. Whenever I did read it would only be one page, and then I'd set the book down and not pick it back up for a while. I suppose this is what we call a major book reading slump? All that matters now is that I'm back to reading like I never took a break at all. To all the publishers/authors waiting for a review from me, I will have them posted as soon as I can. Thanks to all my blog followers for hanging in there with me. Love you guys! 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Brodi Ashton (Author of Everneath) talks about her book past

Hey everyone! I have Brodi Ashton here on my blog today to talk about the books she liked when she was 5, 11, 16, and 20 years old. Thanks Brodi for sharing with us the books you liked, and I assume still like today.  :) 
As for the Mr.Darcy part, I think we can all agree that a lot of the time the boys/men in fiction are way better than boys/men in real life. Haha! 


My five year old self would recommend the book ANIMALS IN WINTER. My mom told me that when I was three, I read my first words from that book. So at five, I would've considered myself an expert, and demanded all the other kindergarteners read it so they could be like me. My five year old self was very confident.

When I was eleven, I was probably obsessed with Madeline L'Engle's A WRINKLE IN TIME. Seriously, I wanted to BE Meg. And hang out with Cal. And travel to freaky worlds to fight IT.

At sixteen, I was obsessed with the book DRACULA by Bram Stoker. I fancied myself a very dark person, and sometimes to back it up, I would even wear dark eyeliner.  I remember the first time I read this book, starting with letters from Jonathan Harkness about his horrific encounter with a strange Count from Transylvania. It scared the living crap out of me.

It's important to note at this time that my mom was an English teacher, and basically all I had to read were the classics. 

By the time I was twenty, there was only one author for me. Jane Austen. I first saw the BBC mini-series of Pride and Prejudice around then, and I was a goner. I hardly dated, because no boy could measure up to Mr. Darcy. (Okay, at least I tell myself that's why I hardly dated.)


Well that's the end of this tour stop, but please be sure to check out all the other amazing tour stops as well just click here to see the full tour list. 

Here is the synopsis for Brodi Ashton's novel, Everneath: Last spring, Nikki Beckett vanished, sucked into an underworld known as the Everneath, where immortals Feed on the emotions of despairing humans. Now she's returned- to her old life, her family, her friends- before being banished back to the underworld... this time forever. 

She has six months before the Everneath comes to claim her, six months for good-byes she can't find the words for, six months to find redemption, if it exists. 

Nikki longs to spend these months reconnecting with her boyfriend, Jack, the one person she loves more than anything. But there's a problem: Cole, the smoldering immortal who first enticed her to the Everneath, has followed Nikki to the mortal world. And he'll do whatever it takes to bring her back- this time as his queen. 

As Nikki's time grows short and her relationships begin slipping from her grasp, she's forced to make the hardest decision of her life: find a way to cheat fate and remain on the Surface with Jack or return to the Everneath and become Cole's...

Want a copy? Well you're in luck, because Everneath will be released this Tuesday! 

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Short Review: Karma by Cathy Ostlere

Synopsis: On October 31, 1984, Indira Gandhi is gunned down by two Sikh bodyguards. The murder sparks riots in Delhi and for three days Sikh families are targeted and killed in retribution for the Prime Minister’s death. It is into this chaos that sixteen-year-old Maya and her Sikh father, Amar, arrive from their home in Canada. India’s political instability is the backdrop and catalyst for Maya’s awakening to the world. KARMA is the story of how a young woman, straddling two cultures and enduring personal loss, learns forgiveness, acceptance and love.

Book Details: 
Publisher: Razorbill (Penguin)
Pub. Date: 3/31/11
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 528

My Review:
Well this is going to be a really short review for a really long book. I liked that it was written in verse, and because of this I actually felt like I was reading it pretty quickly. There was only one problem I had with this book, it took me forever to get into it. When I did get into this novel I really liked it. The subject matter is based on true events and the story was just sad. It made me appreciate the life that I have. There was a little love story in this book and the connection between the MC and the boy was sweet. I would recommend this novel to anyone looking for a book written in verse. Nice debut from Cathy Ostlere. I can't wait to see what she comes up with next.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Review: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

Synopsis: Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?

Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan's life. She's stuck at JFK, late to her father's second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon to be step-mother that Hadley's never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport's cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he's British, and he's in seat 18B. Hadley's in 18A. 

Twists of fate and quirks of timing play out in this thoughtful novel about family connections, second chances and first loves. Set over a 24-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver's story will make you believe that true love finds you when you're least expecting it.

Book Details:
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (Poppy)
Pub. Date: Jan 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 236

My Review:
When I first saw the cover and read the synopsis for The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, I knew immediately that the statistical probability of loving this debut novel would be pretty high. And guess what, I was absolutely right! 

As soon as I got this book I quickly sat down to read it. The story was fast paced, and oh how I wish the book was longer than it was. In my opinion the book was too short. Well, really it was the ending that was too short. It has me begging for a sequel. I'd love to spend more time with all the characters. 

Jennifer E. Smith did a fantastic job on her debut. She excellently told a story about love. This is one of the many reasons why I love her book. The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight is not only about the romantic kind of love, but it's also about the love between family members. The dialogue between the characters was fun, flirty, serious, sad, and angry. The love interest, Oliver, made me laugh a lot because he was just so cute, charming, and funny. I can tell how Hadley fell for him. I mean come on he is BRITISH! Hadley was a great MC too. I was able to relate to her and sympathize with her. I was rooting for everything to work out for her. 

After reading The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight I am now a believer of chance and love at first sight. There were many great lessons I took from this book, like tell people how you really feel about them or you'll end up living with regret. Another lesson; there is always more to the story than what people believe too. If you're looking for a fun and cute book to read then this is the book to read. 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Review: Are You Going to Kiss Me Now? by Sloane Tanen

Synopsis (from Amazon.com): Being marooned on an island somewhere off the coast of Madagascar with five celebrities sounds romantic and glamorous, right?


You couldn't find people with fewer survival skills if you tried. Seriously. Cisco may have centerfold abs, but he can't even spell SOS. At least super-sexy Jonah seems to have a clue (too bad about the purity ring). If I'm stuck here much longer, these self-involved head cases might drive me crazy-assuming they don't insult each other to death first. It's like a group therapy edition of Survivor.

At this point, I'm pretty convinced that all celebrities should be caged in Hollywood and confined to the pages of US magazine. And, btw, if you're there, God, it's me, Francesca, and I really want to go home.


Book Details:
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Pub. Date: May 1, 2011
Format: Paperback
Pages: 354

My Review: The first thing I have to say about this book is that everything about it was misleading. The cover, the title, the synopsis... they are pointed to a fun, romantic comedy. In reality, what I got was a book full of bickering and I would say zero romance.

Its has been about a month or two since I finished reading Are You Going to Kiss Me Now? and I can honestly I say there is still a ton of mixed feelings present about this book. While it was not at all what I was expecting, I found myself glued to the pages. For some reason I can't explain or put my finger on while I didn't really like the book I just could not stop reading it! I don't recall a time where this has ever happened to me. So kudos to Sloane for accomplishing this feat.

Now, I'm about to talk about a mild spoiler! The ending was like the only best part of the story. While all the secrets the celebrities held are revealed and they all become close like a family, those two things almost made 300 pages of bickering and griping worth it. But I do understand how celebrities could be so miserable stranded on an island without all the luxuries they are use to having. Oh, and the actions of most of the celebrites and the main character were just awful. I really didn't like how they all took advantage of each other. I didn't like how and why the main character gave up her virginity.

Also, I felt that there was no plot. Sure they all wanted to get rescued but still I couldn't find any major or subplots. I don't know about anyone else, but I need a plot! If I were the publisher I would seriously consider changing the title of this novel.

Aside from all the things that were bothering me with this novel, I did find it somewhat enjoyable when I accepted the fact that it was not the book I was expecting to read. By the end I was able to sympathize with most of the characters. I found Jonah and his dad to be the most sincere people out of the bunch. Everyone was a wreck, but I was glad to see that they all took their experience on the island and changed themselves and their lives for the better.