Sunday, February 27, 2011

Cover Vs Cover

So, last week there was a tie between three covers of The Forest of Hands and Teeth. :D

This week's cover comparison is: Unearthly by Cynthia Hand

                       US Cover                                            Australian Cover

Both covers are very pretty but I have to say I love the Australian one. There's just something about it that draws my attention. From the colors to the girl's position, I think it's perfect.

What about you? What do you think? Which one is your favorite cover? free polls
Which cover do you prefer?
US Cover Australian Cover   

Friday, February 25, 2011

Author Interview - Shelly Frome

 Author Interview

As I promised here is the interview with Shelly Frome the writer of The Twinning Murders. I hope you’ll enjoy it.
Professor Emeritus of dramatic arts at the University of Connecticut, Shelly Frome is a former professional actor and theater director.  Mr. Frome's writing credits include a number of national and international articles on topics such as acting and theater, profiles of artists and notable figures in the arts. In addition, Frome has written books on theater and film and mystery novels, his newest release being The Twinning Murders

-When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
SF: I first discovered I enjoyed writing fiction at an early age in Miami, Florida during a school period called Study Hall. To while away the time, I began writing adventure stories, ending with the phrase “to be continued,” and passed each episode along to some of my classmates who also found they had no homework or anything to study.  Their enthusiasm prompted me to write additional installments which seemed to go on and on.  I don’t recall whether any of the stories ever came to a final conclusion. Later on, I wrote short stories and then I started writing plays during a summer course at Ohio University. Later on, when some of the plays were either produced or published and a noted instructor at The University of Illinois mailed me a critique informing me that I definitely had “writing gifts,” I began to think of myself as a writer as well as an actor, director and college teacher.

-What inspired you to write your first book?
SF: My first literary effort was inspired by a play I wrote entitled Sun Dance for Andy Horn. At the time I was interested in the question of identity as it relates to one’s heritage. By the same token I was reading about the plight of Native American Lakota Sioux Indians who were living a hopeless existence on a reservation in South Dakota and exploited by the powers that be.  Imaginatively, I thought of a contemporary rite of passage, a sun dance taken from the days of old when the Lakota were a thriving, noble people, living on the Great Plains in relative freedom. I subsequently found the play form too limiting, my actors not quite able to embody my vision, the stage inadequate to express the sweep of the storyline and the “inner landscape” of my central character Andy. And so I turned to the somewhat limitless powers of the novel

-Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
SF: What I find particularly challenging in writing fiction is reading a third or final draft  straight through as though I were a reader picking up a book for the first time. Is it going much too fast? Have I left out some important exposition? Have I forgotten something or assumed something that needs to be underscored or repeated? Is there too much to keep track of, too many subplots, too many characters? Or is there a pivotal character that I’ve taken for granted who has to be further developed? Is there too much interior monologue that should be dropped in favor of the proliferating action and so forth?

-What was the hardest part of writing The Twinning Murders?
SF: The hardest part of writing The Twinning Murders centers on the juxtaposition of dualities—e.g., the U.S. and the U.K., trans-Atlantic twin villages, amateurs and professionals, nature and open space vs. the machinations of developers, good weather and bad, working class and the gentry, spontaneous and sincere characters and guarded and duplicitous characters  . . . How can I incorporate this dynamic while not drawing attention to it and making sure the action unfolds and appears to be self-generating leading to an outcome that is surprising yet inevitable?

-Which of your characters is your favourite?
SF: Though it’s hard to say which character was my favorite, there is no doubt that I was always engaged by Emily’s integrity and heartfelt involvement. Unlike the army of female amateur detectives, especially the armchair variety starting with Miss Marple, Emily had no fondness for puzzles nor did she start out to do investigating of any sort.  It all began because a great wrong had been done to her beloved mentor and the powers that be seemed to be turning a blind eye. Through a proliferating set of experiences while, at the same time, trying to carry out her duties as a tour guide, she found herself duped, bound and determined and the only person with enough foresight and hindsight to eventually see to it that things were put right.

-Which of the characters would you most like to invite to dinner. Why?
SF: It would be fun to invite Miranda Shaw to dinner and discover how she carries on her juggling act. To find out how close she’s come to being discovered by her barrister husband in London or her present lover’s wife as she continues to flit back and forth over the pond, keep herself fit and beautiful, remodel property and sell it on both sides of the Atlantic and maintain her languid, blas√© facade.  Not only how she does it but why? Is it all an exciting game or does it have something to do with encroaching age or just plain boredom?

- If you had to write the book all over again, would you change anything?
SF: Because this venture has been through the proverbial mill, I’m happy to say that there is no facet of this book I would like to change.

- Is there any message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
SF: Underlying it all, there are the games people play and a point when some of these games  can become deadly and require the services of someone who may be a novice but who cares enough and just won’t quit in order to bring about a bit of truth and justice in this world.

-Do you have any advice for other writers?                                              
SF: I find that a keen sense of place, character and given circumstances all play a vital role in energizing and fueling an entire novel. For instance, given my firsthand experiences in  Dartmoor, my understanding of pixilated Pru’s character and Emily’s integrity and professionalism, it was inevitable that there would be a set piece involving the wild Dartmoor ponies, encroaching fog and a sudden dip in temperature, ancient stone circles and legends of Devon pixies leading travelers astray and Emily’s hunt for Pru before it’s too late.

- Is there anything specific that you want to say to your readers or that you would like them to know?
SF: In fact there was a pristine upland close to my house replete with all manner of wildlife. One day as I was walking my happy-go-lucky golden retriever (who was transformed as Oliver in this tale) members of an urban development corporation located close to New York City came by and decided it would make an ideal site for the construction of 170 townhouses and all that would go with it. That, indeed, the housing market was now ripe “for a killing.” Needless to say, that decision was the perfect catalyst for this mystery.     

Thank you so much to Shelly Frome for taking the time to answer my questions.

Review - The Twinning Murders by Shelly Frome

Title and Author: The Twinning Murders by Shelly Frome
Publisher: Beckham Publications Group
Publication Date: September 27, 2010
Paperback/Hardcover: 228 Pages
Genre: Fiction, Mystery
The Twinning Murders is a modern day classic mystery centering on the ventures of Emily Ryder, a thirty-something rambler and tour guide. The story opens just before she embarks on this year's Twinning ritual exchange. It's between her historic New England home and its sister village deep in Dartmoor, a wild upland area in the west of the county of Devon, England. Emily becomes personally involved in a suspicious death.. A few days later, at the Twinning itself, her main client meets the same fate. As Emily's world continues to unravel, and though she has little help, she finds herself compelled to piece together the games being played on both sides of the Atlantic.

This book was sent to me for an honest and fair review by Naomi at UK and Beyond Book Tours.
Emily Ruder is a tour guide in Lydfield in Connecticut, specialized in taking clients to England. The book begins when Emily is getting ready to take a group to Lydfield in England for the annual Twinning Exchange, an event to celebrate the connection between the two “twin towns”.
Before they make their trip, though, an acquaintance of Emily’s - Chris Cooper - is killed in an accident. Emily is worried his death was more than just an accident since the Gordon Development Company has purchased an expanse of land with the intention of building a condominium community there and Chris Cooper was the head of the town’s Planning Committee and was killed just before the voting to approve the project took place.
When another person shows up dead under suspicious coincidences, Emily knows there’s something wrong and decides to find out just what that is.
All in all I enjoyed this book. The characters are all very well developed and eccentric. The plot is extremely well written, interesting and reads fast.
The Twinning Murders mystery has a certain Agatha Christie feel to it, which I loved. This story is all about greed, money and power and in the end I was quite surprised.
I would recommend this book to any mystery fan.

Rating: Worth Your Time

I'll post an interview with Shelly Frome later today! :)

Blog Hop (14) & Follow Friday (16)

Book Blogger Hop
The Book Blogger Hop is a meme sponsored by Jennifer at Crazy For Books.

This week's question is:
"Do you ever wish you would have named your blog something different?"
No! Not yet anyway! I like the name of this blog. :)

HI! Welcome to my blog! I am participating in Follow Friday hosted by Parajunkee's View.
Hop on please leave comment, link your blog, and follow, and I will follow you as well.
This week's question is:  
"Share your current fav television show! Tell us a bit about it..."
Right now my favorite TV show is definitely Glee. Why? I love the hilarity of it all! Plus, I really enjoy the songs. I know a lot of people don't like the show's versions of some songs but I actually do. It's a great way to bring attention to some songs that are not as well known as they should be.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Review - Anna and The French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Title and Author: Anna and The French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Publisher: Dutton
Publication Date: December 2, 2010
Paperback/Hardcover: 372 Pages
Genre: Young Adult, Romance
Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris—until she meets √Čtienne St. Claire: perfect, Parisian (and English and American, which makes for a swoon-worthy accent), and utterly irresistible. The only problem is that he's taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her almost-relationship back home.
As winter melts into spring, will a year of romantic near-misses end with the French kiss Anna—and readers—have long awaited?

There’s a certain je ne sais quoi to this book that makes it an amazingly cute and romantic read.
Anna, an all-American girl is shipped off to School of America in Paris by her father. She doesn’t speak French and she feels completely lost until she meets a group of friends who immediately welcome her. They drag her out of her dorm room so she can see Paris and she slowly starts to feel comfortable.
As the main character Anna is extremely relatable and reliable. She's definitely not perfect and I like that in a character. Her emotions are real and so are the ways in which she expresses them.
Etienne St Clair is a great character as well. He’s adorable, loyal, sensitive, fun and irresistible in his own way. He has this British accent but he’s actually American and a little French as well. One thing I really liked about him is that he’s not described as being perfect like so many other main male characters. He’s short, he is afraid of heights and he bites his nail. All of his faults only make him more adorable, though. He’s caring and attentive, plus he clearly loves his mother. How cute is that? I simple feel in love with Etienne.
All the secondary characters were very well written as well and added something to the story.
I loved the way Anna and Etienne’s relationship developed. They didn’t immediately fell in love. They started out as friends. They talked, they flirted and eventually, they realized they were in love. There was no rushing and it was all very realistic.
Anna did realize Etienne was good looking right from the start but she also quickly realized he was much more than just another pretty face.
This book isn’t all about romance, though. There’s also some drama thrown in there to make things more interesting.
The whole book is very well written and I especially love the way Stephanie Perkins managed to describe several famous places in Paris.
All in all, Anna and The French Kiss is a very well written and realistic romance. The characters and their emotions feel real and it’s easy to relate to them.
I was afraid this book wouldn’t live up to the hype surrounding it but it definitely did. Anna and The French Kiss is a wonderful read.

Rating: Must Read


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Cover Vs Cover

So, last week people chose the US Paperback cover of If I Stay as their favorite. :D

This week's cover comparison is: The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

               German Cover                                  UK Cover

            US Hardcover                              US Paperback

I have to confess I'm not crazy about any of these covers. I do like the UK cover, though. It's simple and pretty.

What about you? Which cover do you prefer and why? free polls
Which cover do you prefer?
German Cover UK Cover US Paperback US Hardcover   

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Blog Award

Hey! My Blog just got another award. Yay! Thank you to Kero's Book Blog for this award.

What to do when receiving this award:
1. Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award and his or her blog link.
2. Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you've newly discovered.
3. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

And the 15 great blogs I'm passing this award to are:

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Review - Anyone Can Die - James LePore

Title and Author: Anyone Can Die by Jame LePore
Publisher: The Story Plant
Publication Date: February 22, 2011
Paperback/Hardcover: 46 Pages
James LePore’s first novel, A World I Never Made earned raves from reviewers, readers, and fellow authors alike. Blogcritics called it, “An outstanding first novel, and a wonderful thriller.” Bella Online said, “I highly recommend this compelling suspense story filled with vivid characters and haunting storylines. A story that will stay with the reader long after the final pages.” And M.J. Rose, the acclaimed author of The Memorist said A World I Never Made was, “A compelling page-turner & one of those wonderful books with characters as strong as the story and a story worth reading. Don’t miss it.”
Now LePore returns to the characters of A World I Never Made to present us with three suspenseful and unforgettable stories. (goodreads)

Anyone Can Die is a small book of 46 pages where you can find three short stories about four different characters.
In this small book James LePore provides the background for the characters of A World I Never Made, his novel. I haven’t read that book yet but Anyone Can Die definitely made my interest peak.
This short book includes three vignettes. The first story features a young newlywed couple who make love for the first time in their hotel room and then go to New Mexico where a confrontation with some  Indians take place.
The second story takes place in Paris where we meet Meg Nolan, the daughter of the couple mentioned above, a girl who’s in a relationship with a rich guy and who, after an incident, asks a street pimp to help her get rid of the son of one of her friends who attacks his mother.
The third story is about Max, an FBI agent who saw his step-father kill his mother when he was a child. As adult, Max himself kills his step-father and as a FBI agent he’s in charge of the Megan Nolan case and eventually falls in love with her.
All three stories were very well written and captivating and I was extremely intrigued by all of them. They managed to make me want to read the novel since I want to find out what happens to these characters.
In my opinion, this is a wonderful way to promote a novel and to provide the readers with extra information about the characters and explain some of their actions and reactions.
I’m sure anyone who reads Anyone Can Die will enjoy it and want to read A World I Never Made.

Rating: Worth Your Time

Thank You Tracee from Pump Up Your Book Promotions for the opportunity to review this book.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Recent and Future Releases

February 1:

          Delirium                   The Iron Queen                Consumed
       Good Reads                 Good Reads                  Good Reads

February 3:

       The Locket
      Good Reads

February 8:

    The Iron Witch              Where I Belong                        Pink
      Good Reads                  Good Reads                   Good Reads

          Cloaked                   Cryer's Cross                    So Shelly
      Good Reads                 Good Reads                   Good Reads

    Red Moon Rising
        Good Reads

February 15:

         Angelfire               Desires of the Dead     Secrets and Shadows
      Good Reads                 Good Reads                   Good Reads

February 22:

    The Iron Thorn         Darkness Becomes Her      Darkest Mercy
     Good Reads                   Good Reads                  Good Reads

Monday, February 14, 2011

It's Monday, What Are You Reading?

This weekly meme is hosted by Sheila at One Person's Journey Through a World of Books.

Read this past week:
Across The Universe by Beth Revis 
Anna and The French Kiss by  Stephanie Perkins

Currently Reading:
Sparkling Cyanide by Agatha Christie

Matched by Ally Condie
Dracula in Love by Karen Essex

What about you? What are you reading and are you enjoying it?

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Cover Vs Cover

So, last week people chose the US cover os Dash and Lily's Book of Dares as their favorite.
This week's cover comparison is: Hold Still by Nina Lacour

                               US Paperback                                          US Hardcover

Once again I actually like both covers this time but if I had to choose one, I would choose the US Paperback I love the colors and the girl's position. Both are pretty covers, though.

What about you? Which cover do you prefer and why? free polls
Which cover do you prefer?
US Paperback US Hardcover   

Friday, February 11, 2011

Blog Hop (13) & Follow Friday (15)

Book Blogger Hop
The Book Blogger Hop is a meme sponsored by Jennifer at Crazy For Books.

This week's question is:
"Tell us about one of your posts from this week and give us a link so we can read it (review or otherwise)!?"
Unfortunaltely I didn't get the chance to post a lot this week so I'll just leave you with my review for Across The Universe by Beth Revis. You can find it HERE.

HI! Welcome to my blog! I am participating in Follow Friday hosted by Parajunkee's View.
Hop on please leave comment, link your blog, and follow, and I will follow you as well.
This week's question is:  
"What is your favorite romance hero-type? Stereotype wise. Do you like the strong silent type or the brute macho man?"
I think I prefer the strong silent type. For some reason I like the bad boy with a good heart. ;)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Review: Across The Universe by Beth Revis

Title and Author: Across The Universe by Beth Revis
Publisher: Razorbill
Publication Date: 11 January, 2011
Paperback/Hardcover: 398 Pages
Genre: Young Adult, Sci-fi

A love out of time. A spaceship built of secrets and murder. 
Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.
Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone-one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship-tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn't do something soon, her parents will be next.
Now Amy must race to unlock Godspeed's hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there's only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.

I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this book since I first heard about it and I’m so glad to have finally been able to read it.
Amy is frozen for a 300 years trip across the universe to a new planet but when she is awaken too soon, things start to fall apart. She quickly finds out her awakening was not an accident and that someone on the ship is trying to kill some of the frozens, including her parents.
This story is told in duel perspectives by Amy and Elder, which kept me interested since I wanted to know what both characters were thinking and feeling.
Amy is a likeable character. She’s strong and fights for what she believes. She suddenly found herself in a place completely different from what she was used to and struggles to adapt. In a way, it was easy to relate to her since her emotions were real.
Elder was born in the ship but he’s not so different you can’t relate with him as well. He’s curious, smart and maybe a little bit rebellious. He doesn’t want to do what Eldest tells him to, he just wants to find the truth. He’s the next in line to run the ship but still decides to help Amy. Plus, it's obvious he's very interested in Amy right from the start.
When it comes to the secondary characters, Harley was definitely my favorite. He’s Elder’s best friend, an artist with a kind and sweet personality.
Eldest was a bit terrifying and became more and more as the story developed. The Feeders were scary in their own way as well.
The plot was fun, interesting and easy to follow. My only small problem with the plot is that the mystery part isn’t really a big mystery. I could tell what was going on and who was responsible for it.
One think I really liked was how Beth Revis was able to create this great new world inside the ship.It was easy to see how things changed and evolved during the years. Revis really did a wonderful job in creating a whole new world inside a ship that is both different and not so different from our own world.
Beth Revis writing style is amazing and is able to make the characters and their emotions seem real, something not every author is able to do.
All in all I really enjoyed this book. The characters are interesting and the plot is engaging and well written.
This is a great debut novel, an engaging and fast read, that I’m sure anyone who likes Science Fiction as well as Young Adult books will be able to enjoy immensely.
Rating: Somewhere between Worth Your Time and Must Read   (4 1/2 Stars)