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Coming Soon:
~Review: The Killing Woods
~Review: The Waiting Sky
~Review: A Certain Slant of Light
~Review: Timepiece
~Review: Infinityglass

Saturday, November 28, 2009

In My Mailbox (24)

In My Mailbox
So, I did a lot better than last week. I got some totally awesome books for review.

For review from Harper
~ARC The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting
~ARC Tangled by Carolyn Mackler
~ARC Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver (Squeels!)

For review from Author
~ Signed! Phantom Island: Wind by Krissi Dallas (So excited about this one.)

~As You Wish by Jackson Pearce (Fantastic Book Review)
~ ARC Scarlett Fever by Maureen Johnson (Sophistikatied Reviews)
~Evermore by Alyson Noel (Sophistikatied Reviews)
~Signed ARC The Naughty List by Suzanne Young, T-Shirt and swag (Suzanne Young)

Anonymous B-day Gift
~Crazy Beautiful by Lauren Baratz-Logsted

~Cruel Summer by Alyson Noel

Awesome Contests Ending Soon (Part 1)

~Book Reviews by Jess~
Prize: First 4 Blue Bloods books by Melissa de la Cruz
End Date: Midnight, November 29th EST
Open to: US & Canada
Extra Entires: Yes!

~The Undercover Book Lover~
Prize: Just One Wish and How to Take the 'Ex' Out of Ex Boyfriend by Janette Rallison
End Date: November 29 at 4pm (GMT+8)
Open to: US Only
Extra Entries: Yes

Enter Here!

~/- La Femme Readers -/~
Prize: Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston
Winners: 2!
End Date: November 30, 2009 at midnight
Open to: US and Canada Only
Extra Entries: Yes!

Enter Here!

~Book Addictions Gone Wild!!!~
Prize: Take Me There by Susane Colasanti and Dream Journal
Winners: 2
End Date: November 30th
Open to: US Only
Extra Entries: Yes

Enter Here!

Friday, November 27, 2009

2010 Challenges

The following is a list of all 2010 challenges that I plan to participate in. Note that my personal book choices are subject to change.

2010 Debut Author Challenge
Hosted by: The Story Siren

What is the 2010 Debut Author Challenge?

•The objective is to read a set number of YA (Young Adult) or MG (Middle Grade) novels from debut authors published this year.* I'm going to challenge everyone to read at least 12 debut novels! I’m hoping to read at least 30! You don’t have to list your choices right away, but if you do feel free to change them throughout the year. I will also be focusing on mostly Young Adult novels.

•Anyone can join, you don’t need a blog to participate. If you don’t have a blog you can always share your views by posting a review on, or any other bookish site.

•The challenge will run from January 1, 2010- December 31, 2010. You can join at anytime!

Sign Up Here!

So far, this is the list of books I'm planning to read for this challenge:

  1. Low Red Moon by Ivy Devlin
  2. The Naughty List by Suzanne Young
  3. Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
  4. A Golden Web by Barbara Quick
  5. Oriana's Eyes by Celeste Simone
  6. Heart with Joy by Steve Cushman
  7. Angel Star by Jennifer Murgia
  8. Firelight by Sophie Jordan
  9. Awakened by Ednah Walters
  10. Birthmarked by Caragh M. O'Brien
  11. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
  12. Restoring Harmony by Joelle Anthony
  13. Solid by Shelley Working
  14. The Line by Teri Hall
  15. Arson by Estevan Vega

2010 Young Adult Reading Challenge
Hosted by: J Kaye's Book Blog

1. Anyone can join. You don't need a blog to participate.
--Non-Bloggers: Post your list of books in the comment section of the wrap-up post. To learn how to sign up without having a blog, click here.

2. There are four levels:
--The Mini YA Reading Challenge – Read 12 Young Adult novels.
--Just My Size YA Reading Challenge – Read 25 Young Adult novels.
--Stepping It Up YA Reading Challenge – Read 50 Young Adult novels.
--Super Size Me YA Reading Challenge – Read 75 Young Adult novels.

3. Audio, eBooks, paper all count.

4. No need to list your books in advance. You may select books as you go. Even if you list them now, you can change the list if needed.

5. Challenge begins January 1st thru December, 2010.

My level of choice is Stepping It Up. Read so far are:
  1. A Golden Web by Barbara Quick
  2. The Pace by Shelena Shorts
  3. Restoring Harmony by Joelle Anthony
  4. A Match Made in High School by Kristin Walker
  5. Forever Changes by Brendan Halpin
  6. Dancing with Ana by Nicle Baker
  7. The Den of Shadows Quartet by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes
  8. Wherever Nina Lies by Lynn Weingarten
  9. The Heart is Not a Size by Beth Kephart
  10. Peeps by Scott Westerfeld
  11. Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston
  12. Merlin's Harp by Anne Eliot Crompton
  13. Darklight by Lesley Livingston
  14. Angel Star by Jennifer Murgia
  15. Me, the Missing, and the Dead by Jenny Valentine
  16. Kiss Me, Kill Me by Lauren Henderson
  17. Purge by Sarah Darer Littman
  18. Birthmarked by Caragh M. O'Brien
  19. The Miles Between by Mary E. Pearson
  20. Firespell Chloe Neill
  21. Break by Hannah Moskowitz
  22. Seth Baumgartner's Love Manifesto by Eric Luper
  23. Wicked Girls by Stephanie Hemphill
  24. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
  25. And Then Everything Unraveled by Jennifer Sturman
  26. The Broken Lake by Shelena Shorts
  27. Hearts at Stake by Alyxandra Harvey
  28. And Then I Found Out the Truth by Jennifer Sturman
  29. Ghost Ride by Marina Cohen
  30. Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
  31. The Queen's Daughter by Susan Coventry
  32. White Cat by Holly Black
  33. Bloodmaiden by Christine E. Schulze
  34. Tangled by Carolyn Mackler
  35. Firelight by Sophie Jordan
  36. Heart with Joy by Steve Cushman
  37. Girl, Stolen by April Henry
  38. Awakened by Ednah Walters
  39. Father of Lies by Ann Turner
  40. Mermaid Park by Beth Mayall
  41. Lure by Deborah Kerbel
  42. Kisses and Lies by Lauren Henderson
  43. Solid by Shelley Workinger
  44. Arson by Estevan Vega
  45. Enchanted Ivy by Sarah Beth Durst
  46. The Naughty List by Suzanne Young
  47. I Heart You, You Haunt Me by Lisa Schroeder
  48. Chasing Brooklyn by Lisa Schroeder
  49. Kiss in the Dark by Lauren Henderson
  50. Arctic Thunder by Robert Feagan
  51. Oriana's Eyes by Celeste Simone
  52. Fall for Anything by Courtney Summers
  53. Low Red Moon by Ivy Devlin

Awesome Author Challenge 2010
Hosted by: At Home With Books
The idea behind this challenge is to read works by authors who have been recommended to you time and again, yet somehow you haven't managed to read any books by those authors. These are the authors that everyone else tells you are awesome, thus the "Awesome Author Challenge" title.

The Rules:
The challenge starts January 1, 2010 and ends December 31, 2010.

Crossover from other challenges is allowed.

Choose the level at which you would like to participate, post about it and come back and leave a link to your post in Mister Linky.

Titles and authors do not have to be predetermined, and can change at any time.

Books can come from any genre or reading level, the only requirement is that you have heard great things about the author, but haven't yet read any of their works.

The Levels:
Easy: Choose three authors and read at least one title from each author.
Moderate: Choose six authors and read at least one title from each author.
Challenging: Choose ten authors and read at least one title from each author.
Over-Achieving: Anything over ten authors.

My Level of Choice: Challenging
The following are my authors of choice based on rules:
  1. John Green
  2. Simone Elkeles
  3. Holly Black
  4. Maureen Johnson
  5. James Patterson
  6. Suzanne Collins
  7. Meg Cabot
  8. Cassandra Clare
  9. Libba Bray
  10. Richelle Mead

    Historical Fiction Reading Challenge 2010
    Hosted By: Royal Reviews

    Challenge Guidelines:
    1. Anyone can join. You don't need a blog to participate.
    --Non-Bloggers: Include your information in the comment section.

    2. There are four levels:
    -- Curious – Read 3 Historical Fiction novels.
    -- Fascinated – Read 6 Historical Fiction novels.
    -- Addicted – Read 12 Historical Fiction novels.
    -- Obsessed – Read 20 Historical Fiction novels.

    3. Any book format counts.

    4. You can list your books in advance or just put them in a wrap up post. If you list them, feel free to change them as the mood takes you.

    5. Challenge begins January 1st thru December, 2010

    Sign Up Here

    I am going with Fascinated and here are my 6 books:

    1. A Golden Web by Barbara Quick
    2. Wicked Girls by Stephanie Hemphill
    3. The Queen's Daughter by Susan Coventry
    4. Innocent Traitor by Alison Weir
    5. The Red Queen's Daughter by Jacqueline Kolosov
    6. Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Review: Ansel Adams in Color

Ansel Adams in Color by Ansel Adams (Photographer), Andrea G. Stillman, and John P. Schaefer (Editor)
Publisher: Little Brown
Pub. Date: October 21st, 2009
Pages: 168

Adams began to photograph in colour in the mid-1930s. He did significant personal or 'creative' photography in colour and his distinctive visualisation of a scene and technical mastery is immediately evident in these photographs. Overall, he made nearly 3,500 colour images, but only a small fraction have ever been published. Adams thought seriously about publishing his colour images but the task was not accomplished during his lifetime. The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust - with advice and counsel from John Szarkowski, former Director of Photography at New York's Museum of Modern Art; David Travis, Curator of Photographs at the Art Institute of Chicago and James Enyeart, former Director of the International Museum of Photography at George Eastman House--asked the distinguished master photographer Harry Callahan to select the best of Adams' colour work for publication in this book.

To start with, I realize this book is not of the YA category. However, I feel that there are probably still some of you that may be interested in this book. Also, this is my first time reviewing a book of this kind so my review may not be quite up to par.

As an aspiring photographer, I have been a fan or Ansel Adams magnificent work for a very long time. That being said, I was extremely surprised to learn of this beautiful collection of his color photography which I wasn't really aware that he had done. It almost made be embarrassed that I didn't know yet I called myself a fan and appreciator.

Ansel Adams in Color taught me the extent to which Ansel Adams practiced color photography. The fact that he had over 3,000 color transparencies was a bit of a shock. Ansel Adams is more well known for his black and white photography. One of the reasons for this is because of his aggravation with the technical limitations of color photography. The writing of this book was so informative and well done.

I was not surprised, however, by the outstanding quality of his color photography. His photos were absolutely breathtaking and captured a wide variety of locations including, but not limited to, Yosemite National Park, Yellowstone National Park, The Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Death Valley National Park, and Salt Pools of Utah. And that is just to name a few.

I'm so proud to have this wonderful book as part of my collection and I would recommend it to any appreciator of photography.

Writing: B+
Photographs: A+
Enjoyment: A
Recommendable: A-
Cover: A

Overall: A

I received this review copy from Hachette. Thank you!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Author Interview: Shelena Shorts

A little while back I had the honor of asking Shelena Shorts, author of The Pace, a few questions. Today I would like to share with you her answers. So everyone, here she is. Shelena Shorts! :D


The Book Pixie: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Shelena Shorts: I'm a little bit of everything. I love to keep busy, and I do a pretty good job of that! I'm a wife and a mother of three. I also work full time in the education field, and I read and write every single free minute I have! Oh, and I drink lots of coffee to keep it together. And sometimes chocolate helps too!

TBP: Give us a brief summary of your book.

SS: The Pace is a love story with a twist. Two twists actually! But primarily it is about Sophie and Weston and the challenges they face with who he is and being together forever. I'm a sucker for a love story to root for, so that is the premise, but I'm also a fan of creativity and thinking outside the box, so there is a unique element that makes Weston and their bond like no other.

TBP: What is it you love most about writing?

SS: My absolute favorite thing about writing is being able to read a story that I actually have a say in how it turns out! So cool, until I start fighting with the characters in my head about what I want vs. what they want. Then not so cool! LOL.

TBP: What inspired the premise for The Pace?

SS: I love to read stories with an unbreakable, but yet breakable bond, and so I started imagining what my ideal story would be like. From there, I had visions of Weston and his feelings for Sophie and everything else followed.

TBP: How long did The Pace take you to write?

SS: It took me about three months to write from beginning to end and then another two months to edit it. Once I saw the story unfold in my head, it flowed super fast and then I had to go back and clean up my mess of grammar, spelling and a zillion typos! (Wow, that's it? lol.)

TBP: Can you tell us if you are currently working on anything else at the moment?

SS: Yes! I'm wrapping up The Broken Lake and working on those edits. I also have another novel started, and I can't wait to devote more time to that. The lead guy in that one is definitely giving Weston a run for his money! (Ooooo! I can't wait!)

TBP: Any words of wisdom to those aspiring writers out there?

SS: I would definitely say write to get the story down first, and worry about making mistakes later. And don't be afraid to skip around in the story. When I get stumped on a certain section, I skip it and write another part and go back to it. Write what scenes you see in your head when you see them.

TBP: Who are your favorite authors? Young adult authors?

SS: I love Nicholas Sparks' ability to create a loving bond. I love Suzanne Collins' imagination. I love Stephenie Meyer's ability to suck you into fictional characters' lives. And I've just discovered Lucy Christopher. I'm not sure what I like about her writing yet, other than it just makes me wrestle with my own thoughts. It's great!

TBP: What are some of your favorite books? Young adult books?

SS: I love The Notebook, The Twilight Saga, Catching Fire, A Thousand Splendid Suns.

TBP: Where do you see yourself ten years from now?

SS: I have no idea! Two years ago, I didn't even have The Pace in my head, and now I'm working on a sequel! It's an amazing feeling, so I do hope to deliver many more! That might mean I'll be going to my son's football games with a laptop tucked under my arm, sneaking in a chapter at halftime!

TBP: Anything else you'd like to add?

SS: Just that I truly appreciate your interest in The Pace and all the wonderful feedback I've received from everyone. It's amazing, and I'm so grateful. Thank you all so so much!


I would like to thank Shelena for agreeing to do an interview. It was a pleasure having you on my blog.

Everyone be sure to show your appreciation by leaving a comment.

You can visit her website HERE.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Review and Trailer: Girl on the Other Side

Girl on the Other Side by Deborah Kerbel
Publisher: Dundurn Press
Pub. Date: October 30, 2009
Pages: 184
Age Level: 12-13+

Tabby Freeman and Lora Froggett go to the same school, but they live in totally opposite worlds. Tabby is rich, pretty, and the most popular girl in her class. But behind closed doors, her 'perfect' life is rapidly coming apart at the seams.

On the other side, Lora is smart, timid, and the constant target of bullies. While struggling to survive the piranha-infested halls of her school, she becomes increasingly nervous that somebody might discover the unbearable truth about what's been happening to her family.

Despite their differences, Tabby and Lora have something in common - they're both harbouring dark secrets and a lot of pain. Although they've never been friends, a series of strange events causes their lives to crash together in ways neither could have ever imagined. And when the dust finally settles and all their secrets are forced out into the light, will the girls be saved or destroyed?

After addressing the issue of cultural differences in Mackenzie, Lost and Found, Deborah Kerbel goes on to tackle the problem of bullying and social differences in Girl on the Other Side, her second novel for young adults. It is the powerful, gripping story of how two vastly different girls' lives collide and change forever.

Tabby and Lora were such utterly realistic and genuinely depicted characters that they could have easily been actual people. They were both very complex with neither of them being at all how they first appeared. I formed an instant connection and understanding with them, especially Lora. However, I was most intrigued by Tabby who surprised me with her slightly resentful feelings towards her own wealth and social status. She was far from the happy, care-free girl I was expecting, instead having her own share of sadness. Tabby and Lora are perfect examples of just how deceiving appearances can be.

And speaking of deceiving appearances, for such a small book in both size and length, Girl on the Other Side sure packs a punch. I found myself surprised by its depth, though I really shouldn't have been after having read Kerbel's first book. Girl on the Other Side was fast paced and even suspenseful, though not in the usual sense of the word. I was given only a taste at a time of what was going to happen next and still left wondering how, compelling me to continue until reaching the end.

Bullying is a swiftly spreading problem in both schools and online. Girl on the Other Side's portrayal of bullying, and the lives of those involved, is so believable in not only dialogue, but in context as well. Kerbel wrote in such a way that I found the emotions and thoughts of the girls instantly familiar to me. It was so insightful to see how differently each girl viewed the same people and situations. Her use of imagery was also a great aspect of this book with everything being so well described that I could instantly form a mental image of it all, particularly the girls. I really couldn't have asked for more.

Girl on the Other Side had a beautiful, though slightly unexpected, ending. Normally when I read a shorter book, by the end I'm still left feeling like there could have been another good 50 or more pages. That was not the case with this one which actually felt longer than what it was. I was surprised by how perfectly everything fit into only 148 pages of actual story. I also felt the poems at the end were a great finishing touch.

Girl on the Other Side is an engaging and insightful story that I would recommend to anyone and everyone. Deborah Kerbel definitely has a knack for writing about the real and important issues in life and still making the story an enjoyable one. Though she's only written two book so far, I believe it is safe to say that she is definitely one of my favorite authors now. If you haven't read one of her books then you need to run, not walk, to the nearest book store or library and pick one up.

Characters: A
Writing: B+
Plot: A-
Ending: A-
Enjoyment/Likability: A
Recommendable: A+
Cover: A+

Overall: A-

You can read my review of Mackenzie, Lost and Found HERE.

Visit Deborah Kerbel's website HERE.

And for your viewing pleasure, the totally awesome book trailer for Girl on the Other Side.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

In My Mailbox (23)

In My Mailbox
Had a pretty good week in books this week.

For Review
~Lockdown by Alexander Gordon Smith (Henry Holt)
~The Espressologist by Kristina Springer (Henry Holt)
~Girl on the Other Side by Deborah Kerbel (Dundurn thanks to Deborah. Review tomorrow.)

~Fire by Kristin Cashore
~Confessions of a Not It Girl by Melissa Kantor
~City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

~The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova (The Neverending Shelf)
~Signed Stacey's Spellbook by Laurie Faria Stolarz and postcard (First Novels Club)

From Heidi (Thank you!)
~5 Sea bookmarks
~2 Sea buisness cards
~1 Sea Magnet

Author Interview: Anna Jarzab

Today I would like to introduce you all to Anna Jarzab. For those of you who don't already know who she is, I'll tell you. Anna is one of the tenners and her debut YA novel All Unquiet Things releases January 12, 2010. So everyone give a warm welcome to Anna.


The Book Pixie: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Anna Jarzab: I live in New York City, I work in publishing, and I read a lot. That's the most boring answer on planet earth, but it's the truth!

TBP: What is it you love most about being a writer?

AJ: I think it's fun to imagine what people's lives might be like. The characters are the heart of any book, not just mine but every good book ever written, so to create real, living, breathing humans is the most challenging thing to me. And it's not like you sit down and decide who this person is going to be--you get to know them by spending time with them, the same way you get to know real people that you meet. When you invent a character who you love, it's very rewarding.

TBP: What inspired the idea for All Unquiet Things?

AJ: I don't know if there was any one thing that inspired the book. The first version of the book I wrote had a tiny little mystery, but nothing like what the plot is now, so when I decided to go back to All Unquiet Things after abandoning it in its Version 1 state, I knew I had to rewrite it, so I thought bringing the mystery to the forefront would give the book a great spine, around which I could wrap all the nerves and muscle and flesh of the characters and their relationships and their emotional journeys. In Version 1, Carly died at the end; when I started brainstorming for Version 2, I decided to make her die in the beginning and then bring her in via flashbacks. But then, if Carly's dead in the beginning, who killed her, and why? And that's how the mystery plot was formed.

TBP: How long did it take you to write All Unquiet Things?

AJ: If you count all of the revisions I did with my editor, copyediting and proofreading, it took years to write. Seven! Oh my God that's a lot. Well, I wrote it once in college and it was terrible so I completely rewrote it when I was in graduate school, with a different plot and a bunch of new characters and everything, so it makes sense that it took so long, but still.

TBP: In your opinion, how is All Unquiet Things different from your average YA novel.

AJ: I wrote it? Every novel is like a fingerprint, completely unique to the person who wrote it, even if it seems just like everything else. I haven't read everything else out there, so I don't know if it's really fundamentally different than everything else, but I think the fact that I wrote it, in the place that I was, that it's filled with the things I thought and felt and people I created, makes it different. Also, I'm not sure how many YA novels are crime novels with such a grisly murder at the center--AUT probably isn't the only one, but I can't imagine it's that common.

TBP: What are some of your favorite YA books?

AJ: I mostly love the angsty stuff, the darker the better. Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson is a really wonderful, haunting novel. Justine Larbalestier's Liar is a really great thriller--I was so impressed by how well she pulled off such a tough premise. I love the Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins (who doesn't?), and I just read Hold Still by Nina LaCour (another YA set in Northern California, what what!), which is just a very quiet, beautiful novel. Oh, and Beautiful Creatures, which I just read and COULD NOT PUT DOWN. There are lots more! I read a ton of YA, so I'm always discovering new things.

TBP: Can you tell us if you are working on anything else at the moment?

AJ: I am. I'm working on this quasi-post-apocalyptic pseudo-mystery (as I've taken to calling it), and a book about a pair of estranged sisters who are far apart in age. I'm further along with the latter than the former.

TBP: Tell us a little more about the Russian nesting dolls that can be seen on your website and twitter page? (I actually own one and have read the part about them on your site but this is for those who haven't)

AJ: A few years ago, my parents went on a Baltic cruise for their honeymoon and they brought back a matryoshka doll (Russian nested doll) for my sister. I became really enamored of it and she let me have it. It sat on my desk the entire time I was writing All Unquiet Things and worked its way into the story. I realized that a matryoshka doll is a great metaphor for people, and for mysteries, and I decided to make them the theme of my website, because I wanted to hide extra content around the site and matryoshka dolls are all about hiding--and discovery. I've since acquired three more matryoshka dolls, and I'm sure I'll end up with more.

TBP: Anything else you'd like to add before you leave?

AJ: Just thanks for having me!


I would like to thank Anna for taking the time to do this interview. It is greatly appreciated. :) I loved reading your answers.

Readers, I hoped you all enjoyed getting to know Anna as much as I did.

You can visit Anna's website HERE.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Author Interview: Dia Reeves

Hello everybody. I recently had the honor of interviewing one of the ever so awesome Tenners. YA author Dia Reeves's debut novel Bleeding Violet will be releasing January 5th, 2010. She is here to tell us a little bit about herself and her writing experience. So everyone give a warm welcome to, Dia Reeves.


TBP: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

DR: My name's Dia. I like snacks, but I just got braces so snacking has become very tricky. I read. I write. I work at a library. And, oh yeah, I hate talking about myself.

TBP: How old were you when you realized that being a writer was what you wanted to do?

DR: About twelve or thirteen. That's how old I was when I read It by Stephen King and decided hey I wanna do that too. (I wouldn't read 'It' now much less at 12 or 13. lol.)

TBP: What do you love most about writing?

DR: Revising, weirdly enough. That's the stage where you really get into the meat of the story and start carving out the stuff that doesn't work and spicing up the stuff that does. I don't ever feel truly creative until I start revising.

TBP: How did you come up with the title 'Bleeding Violet'? (Great title by the way.)

DR: Thanks! But I totally can't take credit for it. My friend Susan Byerly Smith came up with the title based on the color imagery in the novel--the main character Hanna likes purple and her mother likes red. And, um, there's lots of blood and stuff. ;)

TBP: What inspired the idea for Bleeding Violet?

DR: I was just sitting around trying to think of something good to write about, and since I like crazy people and monsters, that's what I decided to go with.

TBP: Do you have a favorite scene or line from Bleeding Violet? What is it?

DR: My favorite scene is the one where Hanna's boyfriend, Wyatt, is showing off this supernatural ability he recently learned, and the two of them are just hanging out in this vacant lot, having fun. That scene always makes me smile.

TBP: Can you tell us if there is something else you are currently working on?

DR: I'm working on Strange Fruit right now--I'm almost ready to show it to my agent. It's about the two sisters of a convicted serial killer who fall in love with the sons of their father's last victim. So serial killers, monsters, romance--sounded like a great combination to me. ;)

Also, during NaNoWriMo 2009, I'm planning to bang out a rough draft of a third Portero book tentatively called Heartless. It's about a girl who was born without a heart who has to steal them from living people in order to survive. I haven't even written it yet and I can tell it's going to be freaky.
(I'm so excited!)

TBP: What is your favorite comfort food?

DR: Donuts, cookies, hot chocolate, chili, cheese. The real comfort is that somehow, I'm not the size of a house. ;)

TBP: Where is your favorite vacation spot?

DR: God, I haven't been on vacation in FOREVER. Anywhere outside of Texas would be nice for a change. Outside of the US would be even better. I'm in serious need of some culture.

TBP: If today were your last day, how would you spend it? Why?

DR: Just chillin' probably. Seems kinda stupid to spend my last day on Earth running around
trying to skydive and, like, run naked all across town. I'm all about taking it easy.

TBP: Anything else you'd like to say before you leave?

DR: xD

Thank you so much for letting me interview you. I can't wait to have a chance to read Bleeding Violet.

Everyone else, please be sure to visit Dia's website if you haven't already.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Guest Post: C. Lee McKenzie

I would like everyone to welcome C. Lee McKenzie, author of Sliding on the Edge, to my blog. Again. She is the first author I've been able to talk into doing a guest post. It seems the interviews tend to be more popular. Which she was also kind enough to do. lol. So here she is everyone, C. Lee McKenzie.


Someone at a book signing recently asked me where I came up with stories I've written and what my process was for getting those stories out of my head and onto the page. The short answer would have been, "Don't ask me." But I'm not into short answers, so I gave the question some thought and here's what I've come up with.

Stories come like clouds, usually when I least expect them and usually when I'm attending to other things, like brushing burrs out of my cat's fur. Some of these clouds are dark and filled with the promise of a storm; others are lovely white ones that come in spring and mist the air before scudding out of sight. Some look like mythological creatures or rabbits or faces that shift expressions while I watch. Once a cloud has settled in my brain it pretty much stays until I do something about it.

The problem is it stays day and night, mostly night, so when I'm trying to sleep it's shifting around in my brain, storming or misting or behaving like a unicorn or a satyr. Then my bed starts to fill with characters. They talk to me and to each other. Locations like cities or forests or horse ranches pop up like movie sets and suddenly these characters are in a place, their place, the one they expect me to create on a page, so they'll be able to have somewhere to live.

Then the question of, "What's this story about?" starts nagging at me. Who are these people yammering at me and what do they want or need? I usually wrestle that down by a one or two sentence premise. Once I have that I can start entering the words into a file. I do almost all of my writing on my computer, but during the early "wrestling" stages I'll make notes on just about anything, including the back of my hand--really.

The rest of the process is daily grind and euphoria, depending on how the writing goes. I look forward to plowing through to the end, so I can start the real delving and expanding. Rewriting is my all time favorite job, and I'm not being sarcastic. I have the main thread woven from beginning to end; next it's all about embroidery and texture. It's at this stage I really feel free from the mechanics of where, hen, how and why. I don't know if it makes sense, but this is the closest I can come to explaining how I feel.

While this topic is one that keeps coming up, I don't think readers or writers tire of hearing about the creative "process." Each writer is unique and that's what makes books the treasures they are. We can enter their world, look at life from a different perspective, and learn or enjoy so much every time we turn a page.

I love to hear how other writers "find" their stories and what their process is, so if you're on of those writer types, please share.

Thanks for this opportunity to appear on The Book Pixie. It's been great to be here.

Thank you so much for being here, C. Lee McKenzie. I loved reading about your creative writing process. The funny thing is it is actually a lot similar to my own.

I hope all of you readers of mine enjoy this guest post just as much as I did. Oh and if the words secret criteria ring a bell, you'll be sure to comment on this post. ;)

Click here to read My Interview with C. Lee McKenzie
Click here to read
My Review of Sliding on the Edge
Visit C. Lee McKenzie's
Website and Blog

Saturday, November 14, 2009

In My Mailbox (22) Last Week & This Week

In My Mailbox
So, I didn't do my IMM last week so this is a combination of last week and this week. Only Tin Grin and Gringolandia were received this week so I'm kinda glad I skipped out last week so this week's doesn't look so pitiful. :P

~The Market by J.M. Steele
~Where You Belong by Barabara Taylor Bradford (May give this to mom.)
~The Alchemyst by Michael Scott

For Review
~Signed! The Pace by Shelena Shorts (From Shelena)

Early B-day Present (Thanks RKCharron!)
~Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

Contest Wins
~ Signed! Gringolandia by Lyn Miller-Lachmann (Melanie's Musings)
~ Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey (Fantastic Books Review)
~ Signed! The Debs: Love, Lies and Texas Dips by Susan McBride (Princess Bookie)
~ Strange Angels by Lili St. Crow (Wondrous Reads)
~Beat the Reaper by Josh Bazell (Revenge of the Book Nerds on twitter)
~Tin Grin by Catherine Robinson (Same contest at Fantastic Book Review)

Bought and Received for My Contest (Not Pictured)
~Graceling by Kristin Cashore (Bought)
~Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater (Bought)
~ Signed! Sliding on the Edge by C. Lee McKenzie (Donated by C. Lee McKenzie)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Author Interview: C. Lee McKenzie

I recently got to interview a great author and thought I'd be nice and share it with you all. :P I would like everyone to give a warm welcome to C. Lee McKenzie, author of the YA book Sliding on the Edge.

The Book Pixie: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

C. Lee McKenzie: I'm a California girl who likes to travel and come back to my home state. I've lived for short periods of time in other parts of the world like New York, Hong Kong, San Diego, Laos, L.A. and Gilroy. Yep! Gilroy, the garlic capital of the world. Hang your steak out the window and it's seasoned for the barbecue. So you can see I've bounced around a bit. I finally settled into a mountain setting near the town of Los Gatos and I think it is my permanent place. I love yoga. I love hiking. I love to grow my own vegetables because they taste like vegetables and I know exactly how far they traveled to reach my kitchen. (Amen! Ain't that the truth.) I've always written something: lots of nonfiction, short stories for kids and adults, but Sliding on the Edge is my first ever novel.

TBP: Can you give us a brief summary of your book.

CLM: Abandoned by her mother, sixteen-year-old Shawna Stone cuts herself to control at least one thing in her life--emotional pain. She's thrown together with Kay, a grandmother she didn't even know existed. Each have secrets that stir mutual distrust until saving a doomed horse unites them and gives each a reason to live.

TBP: What do you enjoy most about being a writer?

CLM: Learning new stuff. Every time I start to write something I find out how much I don't know about the world I'm trying to create and I have to go exploring. For Sliding on the Edge, I had to talk to a lot of horse people. Most people love to share what they know, so then I also make new friends and that's a wonderful part of being a writer.

TBP: What or who inspired you to write Sliding on the Edge?

CLM: I read an article in my local paper about self-abuse. The article told about a Cornell-Princeton study that determined from a survey of almost 3,000 Ivy League students that 1 of 5 were self-abusers. That really got my attention and it continued to bother me enough that I finally wrote about it.

TBP: Would you ever consider having Sliding on the Edge made into a movie? Hallmark of Lifetime, perhaps?

CLM: Interesting question. Some people who have read the book remarked on how they'd love to see a movie version. I guess that would be okay. It would certainly be something I never thought of while writing the book.

TBP: Do you have a favorite line or scene from Sliding on the Edge?

CLM: That's hard to answer. I love the scenes between Shawna and Magic, the horse, but maybe the beginning is what I like the most. It starts with what I first thought when I read that article about self-abuse. "Something's wrong." That's the way I feel when I read about kids who cut themselves so they can have control over something in their lives or so they can 'feel' something other than 'nothing'.

TBP: Can you tell us if there is something else you are currently working on?

CLM: I've finished a second novel titled Princess of Las Pulgas. It's out to my readers now, so I'll probably have some tweeking to do, but I hope to have it ready by the end of the year. (Oh goodie!)

TBP: Considering Sliding on the Edge's crossover appeal, would you ever consider writing novels for adults?

CLM: While the language in my book is simple, a lot of adult readers seem to respond to the story. In fact, mostly adult males like it and I was surprised. I mean the story is centered around two women, so I'm wondering if I've already written an adult book and just didn't know it. [Insert laugh here.] But to directly answer your question, yes. I'd consider writing for adults. It would certainly allow me more flexibility with language and I love to play with words.

TBP: It today was your last day, how would you spend it and why?

CLM: I'd go on a long hike. There's nothing more beautiful to me than a trail with a creek and lots of trees. Guess I'd pack a lunch and take a blanket and just keep on going until I saw "The End." (Gotta admit, I love that answer.)

TBP: Anything you'd like to add before you go?

CLM: I've enjoyed this journey from idea to book and I've enjoyed the people I've met along the way, people I would have never met if I hadn't glued my butt in the chair and written the story. I wouldn't trade this experience for anything, but of course, I would have done a lot of things differently. I've learned so much and like I said, that's what I love most in this business. Thanks for the interview. Your questions woke up my brain this morning. They were excellent.

And thank you C. Lee McKenzie. This interview wouldn't be as great as it is without your very well though out answers, which I greatly appreciate and loved reading. I'm sure my readers do as well. Plus I was able to get a great question idea from one of your answers. :D

Everyone stay tuned to my blog because on Sunday, there will be a guest post from C. Lee McKenzie that you won't want to miss.

Click here to read My Review of Sliding on the Edge
Visit C. Lee McKenzie's
Website and Blog

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Three Great Contests

The Undercover Book Lover is having three terrific contests!!!
All three will end November 14th! So you don't have much time.

Happy Birthday Penguin (Sandy)!!!!!!!!!!!

Happy Birthday Sandy! You are now 18 which means if your parents wanna try and tell you what to do, you can tell them to stuff it. Yay!!! Not that you would say that, but it is the freedom to do so if you choose that is so awesome! You can also now get tattoos and body piercings without permission. Come on, you know you wanna nose ring and penguin tattoo, but steer clear of the tramp stamps. :P lol. j/k

I hope you get tons of great books and other stuff that you really wanted and have a terrific Birthday! :D

Happy Happy Birthday
This Birthday Song's For You
Happy Happy Birthday
From Your Buddy to You.

As for everyone else, head on over to her blog and be sure to wish her Happy Birthday.

Review: The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove

The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove by Lauren Kate Publisher: Razorbill
Release Date: November 12, 2009
Pages: 248
Age Level: 16+/YA

A steamy Southern beauty makes one fatal mistake.

Natalie Hargrove would kill to be her high school’s Palmetto Princess. But her boyfriend Mike King doesn’t share her dream and risks losing the honor of Palmetto Prince to Natalie’s nemesis, Justin Balmer. So she convinces Mike to help play a prank on Justin. . . one that goes terribly wrong. They tie him to the front of the church after a party—when they arrive the next morning, Justin is dead.

From blackmail to buried desire, dark secrets to darker deeds, Natalie unravels. She never should’ve messed with fate. Fate is the one thing more twisted than Natalie Hargrove.

Cruel Intentions meets Macbeth in this seductive, riveting tale of conscience and consequence.

The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove was an utterly suspenseful and dark story of fate that kept me turning the pages for more.

I'd like to start by saying that Natalie was far from being a likeable character and that if I had have liked her, then what would that say about me? However, I think this was kind of the point. I don't think the author ever intended her to be a character that the readers could love or relate to. She is automatically recognized as being manipulative, shallow, and remorseless. Yet somehow, there is a deeper side to her and at times, I could even begin to understand her. She is a girl scared of going back to the world she came from and will do what it takes to make sure that never happens. I could also tell that, in her own way, she did feel guilty for what she did. The inicident at the dance is just one example that proves that. Sometimes I had to look closer to see the guilt she felt but it was there. So did I like her? No, not really. Was she a memorable and well written character? Definitely! Natalie had to be who she was to make this story work. Simple as that.

As for the other characters, I thought Mike was extremely gullible and easily controlled, or atleast until the end. I actually found myself taking more of an interest in, and I know this is kind of wrong, Justin. I'm not exactly sure why. Maybe it was because he was everything Mike wasn't. The more minor charcters were exactly that, minor. I feel this actually worked and even though they were minor, they were fairly well developed. Especially Double D. She had slowly gone from being demure and looking up to Natalie to a straight up, pardon my French, bitch. I was like, dang girl, where'd that come from!

The basic premise for The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove is very intriguing and I couldn't help wondering if the story would live up to it. Turns out that the synopsis almost didn't even do the story justice. This book was fast-paced, riveting, and beautifully crafted. I admit, that at times I kept asking myself, why this? Why that? Thankfully, everything was answered in the end.

I came to find myself really enjoying Lauren Kate's writing style. It had a bit of elegance about it and was very refreshing. I also felt myself able to visualize everything very easily.

The ending was not at all what I expected and I confess to being utterly shocked by what happened. Furthermore, I actually really liked the ending, in a strange way. It was dark and twisted, exactly what I would have hoped for from this book.

All in all, The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove was a thrilling, complex, and memorable read. I have a feeling this book is probably a bit of an acquired taste, however I would still highly recommened it. Thank you to Razorbill for sending me this book for review, I'm so glad you did. I'll definitely be re-reading this one in the future.

Characters: B
Writing: B+
Plot: B+
Ending: A
Enjoyment: B+
Recommendable: B+
Cover: A+

Overall: B+

Happy Release Day The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove
and congrats Lauren Kate!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Huge Contest at Teens Read and Write!

Alyssa at Teens Ready and Write is having a super huge contest. She's giving away tons of books and there are going to be multiple winners. I don't say numbers because it is constantly changing to more and more of both. Some of the books are:

Glass Houses by Rachel Caine (Morganville Vampires#1)
Lost Girls by Robert Doherty
Saddled wth Trouble by Michelle Scott
The Wee Free Men by Terry Prachett
Midnight Reflections by Katrina Michaels
The Tales of Beedle the Bard by JK Rowling
Dragon House by John Shors
Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
Circle of Souls by Preetham Grandhi
The Shifter by Janice Hardy
The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong (Darkest Powers #1)
Marked by PC Cast
So what are you waiting for? Go ENTER! It ends 11/15

Veterans Day

I would like to dedicate this post to honor and remember all those who have fought for and served this wonderful country.

William Jessie Morris was my grandfather. We all called him Papa. He was enlisted into the US Air Force at the age of 15 after begging the recruiter and having his mom sign for it. He was in Communications and served in Korea, Lybia, Germany, and later Strategic Air Command Headquarters (SAC). He also acted as an intelligence courier. He received the Good Conduct Medal, was decorated for improving Communications between the US and Europe, and received numerous other medals. He later suffered from PTSD. In September of 2000, he lost the battle to rheumatoid arthritis.

These are the graves of three brothers who fought and died in WWII. One in Italy, one at Iwo Jima, and one in Germany. The older brother and the younger brother died within only three days of each other. The middle brother died a little over a year before them.

They gave their today for our tomorrow
Yet tho' thy smile be lost to sight
To memory thou art dear.

Guess what?!?

I hit 350 Followers!!!!!!!!!

Know what that means? It means another book will be added to the prize list in my Awesometastic Birthday Giveaway.

Do you know what book I'm adding? No, of course you don't so I'll tell you. An ARC of The Naughty List. Isn't that exciting?

If you haven't entered already then head on over and do so. It ends on the 16th so you haven't much time. And for those of you who have thank you and I apologize if you don't see your entry. I got it but just need to go through and approve a bunch of them. XD

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Author Interview: Jennifer Murgia

I would like to introduce you all to Jennifer Murgia, author of Angel Star, releasing May 18th, 2010. She was kind enough to let me interview her and I really enjoyed getting to know this lovely author.

The Book Pixie: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Jennifer Murgia: I’m the mother of two and am sort of a homebody – especially in the winter. If I could hibernate, I would! I’m soft-spoken. I love the smell of lemons. I’m never without a book and I’m addicted to coffee, which tends to make me chatty.

TBP: Give us a brief synopsis of your book.

JM: Seventeen-year-old Teagan McNeel falls for captivating Garreth Adams, her guardian angel come to earth. But where there is light, dark follows, and now she is torn between one angel's sacrifice and another angel's vicious ambition that threatens not only her life, but the lives of everyone she knows.

TBP: What is it like to have your first book published?

JM: It’s an amazing feeling! This has been my dream for a long time.

TBP: How did you react when you first discovered that Angel Star was going to be published?

JM: My publisher called with the offer and I was actually shaking! My son and daughter were home at the time and we all sort of jumped around and screamed, then I called my husband with the news. It’s still hard to believe ANGEL STAR is getting published!

TBP: What is it you love most about being a writer?

JM: I love creating new worlds. Scenes and conversations will stew around in my brain for a while, so I love having the opportunity to bring it out into the open and not keep it all contained. The story usually sprouts legs at that point and I often have to do all I can to keep up!

TBP: Do you have a favorite scene or line from Angel Star?

JM: I do! And here it is:

“Do you believe there is a heaven?” Garreth whispered, his face close enough I could feel his breath on my hair.

“Yes,” I whispered back. How could I possibly tell him that if heaven were here on earth at this very moment, it would be here. Now.

“And angels?” he asked once again. I could feel my pulse quicken, my heart racing behind my ribs . . . wings came to mind. I slowly looked up at him and asked what I knew was slightly irrational.

“Are you for real?”

TBP: What song do you think best suits Angel Star?

JM: Iris by the Goo Goo Dolls ~ although I was heavily influenced by Evanescence while writing. (Evanescence rocks!)

TBP: How did you come up with the names Teagan and Garreth?

JM: I always had a soft spot for the name Teagan. I had heard it somewhere and it stuck with me. Garreth is Latin for “light”, which represents all he encompasses.

TBP: Who in your life has made the biggest impact on who you are today? (Besides yourself.)

JM: I believe my husband, my parents and my grandmother all deserve to be given credit here, but I really need to say my children have made me who I am right now.
They're my perfect balance. We have structure, house rules, but yet we have crazy, silly moments that I cherish deeply. Being a mother has taught me to let go and be the real "me".

TBP: Anything else you'd like to add?

JM: I just want to say thank you so much for having me! This has been really fun! I also want to invite everyone to stop by my website from time to time as we wait for the release of ANGEL STAR.

I would like to thank you all for stopping by my blog and welcoming Jennifer. I would also like to thank Jennifer for the interview. I hope you all enjoyed getting to know her as much as I did.

About Me

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Georgia, United States
Hello all! My name is Briana, I'm 20, and I live in the beautiful state of Georgia. I love reading and photography.

My Partner in mean reading. :P

My Partner in mean reading. :P
Meet Rudy everyone!