Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Review - Moonglass by Jessi Kirby

Title and Author: Moonglass by Jessi Kirby
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Publication Date: May 3rd, 2011
Paperback/Hardcover: 232
Genre: Young Adult

I read once that water is a symbol for emotions. And for a while now, I've thought maybe my mother drowned in both.

Anna's life is upended when her father accepts a job transfer the summer before her junior year. It's bad enough that she has to leave her friends and her life behind, but her dad is moving them to the beach where her parents first met and fell in love- a place awash in memories that Anna would just as soon leave under the surface.

While life on the beach is pretty great, with ocean views and one adorable lifeguard in particular, there are also family secrets that were buried along the shore years ago. And the ebb and flow of the ocean's tide means that nothing- not the sea glass that she collects on the sand and not the truths behind Anna's mother's death- stays buried forever.

Once I read the summary of this book, I immediately wanted to read it and I have to say I enjoyed it quite a lot. The characters, the ocean and the almost overwhelming feeling of loss drew me in completely.
Moonglass is the story of Anna, a teenager haunted by the night of her mother’s death. When her father decides to move because of his job, Anna leaves her grandmother and friends behind and moves with him. While making new friends, Anna discovers there’s a lot she doesn’t know about her parents and, most of all, she starts learning about life itself.
I liked Anna and I think it was easy to relate to her and understand why she felt like she did. As the plot developed Anna learned accept and make peace with things she already knew but couldn’t admit.
The friends Anna makes are great as well. Ashley, Jillian and Taylor all bring something to the story. They are all very different from one another and it was nice reading about their developing relationships with Anna. I have to say I especially liked Taylor and his relationship with Anna. He was a nice guy and, even though his relationship with Anna never takes central stage in the book, I liked reading about them together. They fit well together.
The ocean plays a big part in this book, which I appreciate. The ocean is an extremely strong force.
Moonglass is well-written and a captivating read. This book can be happy and sad almost at the same time. It is emotional, mysterious and funny at times as well.
I think anyone will be able to relate to Anna and want to read about her struggle to deal with all her feelings of loss and blame and with the changes in her life.
All in all, Moonglass is a wonderful book. It is a fast, entertaining and captivating read. It made me want to be able to walk the beach in search of sea glass and, of course, moonglass. :)
If you like YA and the beach, you will definitely en joy this book. If you have suffered a loss, I think you will be able to relate to Anna and her feelings as well. Either way, I would recommend this book to everyone out there.

Rating: Somewhere Between Worth Your Time and Must Read (4 ½ Stars)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! 
This week I m reading:

Breakfast in Bed by Robin Kaye

"He took a deep breath and let it out slowly. One of his exes, a yoga instructor who had incredible flexibility (which led to equally incredible sex) once told him that breathing deeply relieved stress. Unfortunately, it wasn't helping now. All it did was make him wonder what kind of perfume Becca wore and why he found himself standing close enough to get a whiff. She was a damn witch.
The woman wore a Mona Lisa smile, that one that says I know a hell of a lot more than you ever will, and I can't wait to use it to torture you."

What about you? What are you reading right now?

Monday, August 29, 2011

Cover Smackdown - Legs and Feet

It's time for another Cover Smackdown!

This time I’ll show you 15 covers with the focus on legs and feet. I want you to fill in the form below and vote for your top 5 covers. You can vote for those covers until Friday.
I’ll post the results on Saturday along with a little giveaway. Once the feature is over there will be another big feature giveaway!

Like before every time you fill one of the forms, and let me know which covers you prefer, you’re immediately entering the surprise giveaway! You can get a lot of entries if you participate every week.

Now, the covers:
01 02 03

04 05 06

07 08 09

10 11 12

13 14 15

So, Remember this is about the covers and not the books themselves!
So, if you want to participate, fill in this week’s form. Vote for your favorite covers. It is open until Friday (Septmeber 2nd).

You’ll notice in the form that you need to tell me which your 5 favorite covers are of the ones pictured above. That will count as one entry. Extra entries can be won by spreading the word about this feature and giveaway.

Good luck and thank you for participating! This is International!

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:
Moonglass by Jessi Kirby
Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohen & David Levithan

Currently Reading:
Breakfast in Bed by Robin Kaye
Fixing Delilah by Sarah Ockler

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

Cover Smackdown - Flowers Giveaway Winner

Hello! So, do you want to know who the winner of the Cover Smackdown - Flowers Giveaway is?

According to

The winner of a pair of flower earrings from ValerieOriginals is:

Entry #510: Brenna (everafter...)

Congrats! I'll contact you soon!

Author Weekend Giveaway Winners

So, I have winners for the Kimberly Derting and Lisa Vaughn Author Weekend Giveaways.

  • Chosen by, the winner of the swag pack signed by Kimberly Derting is:

Entry #20 : Seesen
  •  Chosen by, the winner of the e-copy of The Gifted Ones by Lisa Vaughn is:
Entry #05: Kathleen Ball

Thanks for participating!

Author Weekend Giveaway

Another Author Weekend Giveaway! Here are the details

One winner will win:

The following map ring from BrassAndChain (the winner gets to choose the city). Go check this store out and heart it if you can. :)
In Wake Unto Me the main character travels to France so I thought a map ring would be cool.

All you have to do to enter this giveaway is fill in the form below.

Extra entries:
- Be a GFC follower and leave a comment on this post letting me know you follow the blog.
- Be a Twitter follower. (@c_cass189)
- Follow Lisa Cach (@lisacah)
- Comment on my interview with Lisa Cach - HERE
- Go to BrassAndChain and heart the shop
This giveaway is open until Saturday, September 3rd
This giveaway is open Internationaly.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Auhtor Interview

I sent a few questions to Lisa Cach and she kindly answered them! :)

I hope you find the interview and Lisa's answers interesting. If you haven't done so already, you should go read Wake Unto Me. It is a great story!

1 - Tell us a little bit about yourself? 

LC: I’m married to a man I got engaged to within three weeks of meeting, have no kids, love to travel, am learning to paint, I play the piano when I’m angry and garden when I’m happy.

2 - Have you always wanted to be a writer?

LC: I wanted to be many different things, among them a lawyer, a journalist, a marine biologist, a photographer.  In my late teens ‘writer’ began to float to the top of the list.

3 – I think Wake Unto Me is a very interesting and unique story. How did you come up with it? What inspired you to write it? 

LC: I love ghost stories, the spookier the better, so that was part of it.  A dim memory of a short story I read in my high school French class also inspired part of the twist in the book.  Inspiration comes from all over:  a painting I saw in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence fifteen years ago, castles I visited in France, a deck of tarot cards...  And memories of my own time in high school and of my days at Mount Holyoke College, a women’s college, also played a part.  The character Naomi was based on a roommate of mine, who really was an Ashanti princess.

4 – There’s a historical component to Wake Unto Me. Did you have to do a lot of research while writing the book?

LC: I had to take a trip to France.  Oh, poor suffering writer, to have to engage in such research!  :)  The best part of traveling for research — as opposed to looking things up online or reading books — is that I’m much more likely to stumble upon unexpected information and, thus, unexpected inspiration.  Plus, 101 different questions about a setting can be answered by ten minutes of standing in one spot, in person (what does the ground look like? What type of vegetation grows here? What birds do I hear? What sounds predominate? What are the people like?).

5 –Wake Unto Me is set in a haunted castle. If you could visit a true haunted castle, would you do it? Would you be disappointed if the ghosts didn’t show up?

LC: I have visited supposedly haunted places, and even stayed at a B&B in what was supposed to be the haunted room.  And yes, I was disappointed that no ghosts showed up!  Or rather, I was somewhat disappointed that I did not have a ghost ‘experience.’  There is a difference between the two.  The first presumes ghosts exist, while the other presumes the experience of seeing a ghost exists, but may have a different explanation than the reality of spirits.

6 – Do you relate to any of your characters? If yes, how so? 

LC: Like Caitlyn, I think all of us, myself included, have struggled with feelings of not belonging, and of needing deeper connections with other people.

7 – If you could have a paranormal ability, which ability would that be? 

LC: I can never decide.  Time travel would be cool, though; it would also be super convenient for researching my books.

8 – I really like the cover of Wake Unto Me. What do you think about it? 

LC: I like it, too, although there was one point in the design process where they accidentally put the heroine’s hands on backwards.  If you’re curious, you can see that version in my post about cover art:

9 –  Are you working on a new book right now? 

LC: I’m juggling the revisions to my June 2012 adult romance (a funny, Cinderella-themed beach read set in Pebble Beach, California) with a sequel to Wake Unto Me, called Foxfire.

10 – Is there anything else you would like your readers to know?

LC: I love hearing from readers! Feel free to visit me on Facebook ( or say hello in email at

Thank you so much, Lisa! :)

Review - Wake Unto Me by Lisa Cach

I posted my review for Wake Unto Me on this blog a while ago so here it is:

Title and Author: Wake Unto Me by Lisa Cach
Publisher: Speak
Publication Date: February 4th, 2011
Paperback/Hardcover: 337
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal

Lisa Cach

As you know, today's posts are dedicated to Lisa Cach. Let's get to know Lisa and some of her books a little bit better:

Author's Bio:

"Lisa Cach is the award-winning author of more than twenty romantic novels and novellas, ranging across sub-genres from Paranormal, Historical, Contemporary, and Chick Lit, to Young Adult. Her novel “Dating Without Novocaine” was named one of Waldenbooks’ “Best Books of 2002,” and she is a two-time finalist for the prestigious RITA Award from the Romance Writers of America.
Lisa Cach was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, where she still lives today. Her professional background includes teaching conversational English in Japan, and several years working the graveyard shift on a mental health crisis line. She has traveled to the foothills of the Himalaya, the jungles of Borneo, the Carpathian Mountains of Romania, and the painted caves of the Perigord Noir, in France. She has sailed the Caribbean as a working crew member of a research schooner, and the Bering Sea as a guest on a small ship.
Her love of travel has lately given way to pursuits closer to home: cooking, gardening, drawing. And, of course, reading. Her favorite book has always been Charlotte Bronte’s “Jane Eyre”, while the only book to ever give her nightmares was Arthur Conan Doyle’s “The Hound of the Baskervilles.”

Lisa Cach's Books: (You can check goodreads to learn all about Lisa's other books)

Title and Author: Have Glass Slippers, Will Travel
Publisher: Pocket
Publication Date: August 30th, 2005
Paperback/Hardcover: 320
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Single twentysomething seeks Prince Charming.
Those without royal castles need not apply.

Inspired by a famous talk show host to "live her best life," out-of-work tech writer Katy Orville flies off to London to find the man of her dreams. But in order to catch a prince, she has to shed her all-American girl image and transform herself into a hip, fashionable heiress. Can she really pull it off? Will she?
At a society wedding, it seems like a dream come true when a handsome man in a formal kilt begins a hot pursuit, clearly smitten with Katy. Unfortunately, Will Eland is more interested in rebuilding some old estate in the countryside than in partying with the aristos — how can she be attracted to Mr. Handyman when she's looking for a nobleman? But appearances can be deceiving, as Katy well knows. Sometimes a prince is disguised as a pauper — and sometimes an ordinary bloke is really a duke. And she hopes that playing make-believe hasn't ruined her chance for happily ever after....

Title and Author: A Babe in Ghostland
Publisher: Pocket Star
Publication Date: December 26th, 2006
Paperback/Hardcover: 368
Genre: Paranormal Romance

Megan Barrows has retired from a brief career as a ghostbusting psychic and now uses her sixth sense to fill her Seattle antiques store with objects with happy pasts. After once nearly having the soul sucked out of her by a malevolent spirit, she prefers a quiet life.Case Lambert is a real estate prospector who restores old houses, then sells them for profit. He has just bought a dilapidated mansion so amazing that he wants to keep it for himself, but the house appears to be haunted. Seriously haunted. A few inquiries lead him to Megan Barrows.
Megan at first refuses to help, but Case is a master of persuasion. Moving into the mansion, they discover that one of the ghosts has a thing for Case -- and there may be even more amorous spirits inside this veritable paranormal vortex. But it soon becomes clear that no one -- dead or alive -- can stop Megan and Case from ending up in each other's arms. . . .

Title and Author: Wake Unto Me
Publisher: Speak
Publication Date: March 31st, 2011
Paperback/Hardcover: 304
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal

A haunted castle, a handsome young man dead for four hundred years, one heck of a scary portrait of a witch, and a treasure hunt -- not to mention a princess for a roommate! -- all await 15 year old American girl Caitlyn Monahan when she earns a scholarship to a French boarding school.

There are secrets behind the stone walls of Chateau de la Fortune, buried for centuries along with the mystery of who killed Raphael, the charming ghost who visits Caitlyn at night. But as Caitlyn unearths the history of the castle, nothing scares her as badly as the secret she learns about herself, and the reason she was chosen to come to the Fortune School.

And nothing breaks her heart as badly as falling in love with a dead guy.
You can find Lisa at:

Cover Smackdown - Flowers Giveaway

As I said before, I'm hosting a giveaway relared to the cover smackdown - flowers.  Here are the details:

  • One winner will win: 
The following earrings from ValerieOriginals. Go check this store out!

Cute, aren't they?
All you have to do to win is participate in the Cover Smackdown feature going on this blog.
So, if you already filled any of the past weeks forms you have already entered this giveaway.

Extra entries:
- Be a GFC follower and leave a comment on this post letting me know you follow the blog.
- Be a Twitter follower. (@c_cass189)
- Go to ValerieOriginals and heart the shop
This giveaway is open until Sunday, August 28th.
This giveaway is open Internationaly.

Author Weekend Giveaway

A new Author Weekend Giveaway! Here are the details

One winner will win:

The following earrings  from MyWisteriaCottage. Go check this store out and heart it if you can. :)
I thought heart earrings were appropriate when it comes to Other Words for Love.

All you have to do to enter this giveaway is fill in the form below.

Extra entries:
- Be a GFC follower and leave a comment on this post letting me know you follow the blog.
- Be a Twitter follower. (@c_cass189)
- Follow Lorraine Zago Rosenthal on Twitter (@lorrainezr)
- Comment on my interview with Lorraine Zago Rosenthal - HERE
- Go to
MyWisteriaCottage and heart the shop
This giveaway is open until Saturday, September 3rd
This giveaway is open Internationaly.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Author Interview

Lorraine Zago Rosenthal was kind enough to answer some of my questions.

I'm sure you'll find Lorraine's answers very interesting and, if you haven't done it already, you should definitely go read Other Words for Love. I loved the book and I think you will too. :)

1 - Tell us a little bit about yourself?

LZR: My name is Lorraine and I’m originally from NYC—which is my favorite city. I enjoy reading, watching and reviewing films, listening to music, and exercising. I also have a bit of an addiction to reality TV! And I wrote a novel called Other Words for Love.

2 - Have you always wanted to be a writer or did you consider choosing a different career? (I know you have a B.A in Psychology, which is greatJ)

LZR: Thank you! I began writing at a young age and had initially planned to major in English in college, but instead chose to study psychology because it was also a subject that interested me. I really enjoyed studying psychology, and this knowledge assists in fiction writing. To create believable characters, you have to consider their background, experiences, and everything else that affects them emotionally. I never planned to work in the field of psychology, and I later went on to earn graduate degrees in education and English. Throughout my academic career, I was always writing and hoped to become an author.

3 - Other Words for Love is a very emotional, moving and heart-breaking story. What inspired you to write it?

LZR: I’m a character-driven writer, and the characters were what inspired me. Ari and her family were in my mind for quite a while before I fully understood Ari’s story and began to write it. When that story came to me, I just wanted to tell it and to share it with readers. I was also inspired by the concept of “limerence,” which is an important aspect of the story.

4 - Why did you choose New York during the eighties as the setting for your book?

LZR: That question has a long answer! I chose New York because I’m from there and I know firsthand what it’s like to be a teenager in that city. I also chose NYC because it’s an interesting and exciting place filled with history and opportunities, and because there’s such a sharp socioeconomic and cultural divide between those who live in the boroughs and those who live in Manhattan—a theme that is present throughout Other Words for Love and in Ari and Blake’s relationship.

There are a few reasons why I chose to set the story during the 1980s. It seemed to me that the 1980s were a neglected era in YA fiction. The only other YA novel I know of that is set during this decade is The Carrie Diaries. There is YA fiction set in the 1800s, 1920s, etc., so why not the 1980s? This decade is as valid historically as any other, and I believe that no time period should be restricted from the YA genre. There are stories to tell from the viewpoint of young people in every era.

I thought that if teens could identify with historical fiction—time periods with cultures and values so different from now—then they could easily relate to a time period that they didn’t live through but wasn’t all that long ago. The ideals of the 1980s weren’t exactly the same as today, but they weren’t completely different, either. I also thought that adults who read YA fiction and lived through the 1980s might connect with the story.

But the main reason I set Other Words for Love in the 1980s is that the story wouldn’t work in the present day. As I mentioned, culture and values weren’t radically different then, but they weren’t exactly the same as today. For example—in the novel, Ari’s sister has a baby when she is seventeen years old, and although teen pregnancy isn’t encouraged now, I think it has less of a social stigma than it had during the 80s. There was no “Teen Mom” on MTV back then! Ari is more embarrassed about her sister having been a teen mother than she might be today, and Evelyn’s choices are extremely disappointing to her parents.

Also, the issue of AIDS is prevalent throughout the novel. Although AIDS unfortunately still exists, it is better understood than it was during the 80s, when it was new and many people didn’t fully comprehend how it could be contracted. There was an undercurrent of hysteria when AIDS first appeared, and this is present in Other Words for Love.

Finally, although Ari is intelligent and mature, she’s also more innocent than most girls her age would be today—for various reasons. For example, the internet didn’t exist during the 1980s, so teens didn’t have as much access to information as they do now. The 1980s were more conservative than the present time—just take a look at how teens were represented in the media back then as opposed to now.

5 - Did you find it difficult to write some of the characters?

LZR: I wouldn’t say that it was difficult, but it was certainly challenging because my goal was to create characters with complex personalities and traits that aren’t all positive or all negative. Blake’s brother, Del, was a challenging character to develop because there are so many sides to him. He’s a slick womanizer and the black sheep of his family, but he’s also emotionally wounded from his mother’s death and because he knows that his father doesn’t approve of him. He’s envious of Blake and has a hard time hiding it, and yet he cares about Blake, too. He also sees Blake’s flaws when other people—especially Ari—overlook them. He does some things that Ari finds surprising.

The most challenging aspect of writing this novel was getting inside the mind of the main character. So much of what takes place in the story has to do with Ari’s feelings and perceptions, and it was therefore necessary to unearth the reasons why she feels and perceives things as she does. We are all the product of our experiences, and I wanted Ari’s actions and reactions to make sense based on her experiences. In order to depict this in a credible way, I had to create her life—her interactions with her family, her friends, and her peers—in a manner that would explain why she is so affected by her relationship with Blake. Another challenging aspect was portraying Blake as a sympathetic character even though he ends up damaging Ari. He also required a strong back-story to explain his actions.

6 - What is your favorite scene from Other Words for Love?

LZR: I honestly enjoyed writing every part of this book. I loved creating Ari’s character, her family, and her surroundings. It was fun to write the scenes when things are going well between Blake and Ari and she’s on top of the world, and it was challenging and interesting to write the scenes in which she goes through an emotional breakdown. I really liked writing the scenes between Ari and her mother, too. But if I had to pick a favorite scene, I’d say it’s the last scene with Ari and Blake. It’s filled with complex emotions and hope—it’s the type of scene that can make you smile, cry, or both. 

7 - I’ve seen a lot of great reviews for your book. Were you surprised by how well it was received?

LZR: I was hoping for a good response but because fiction is so subjective, I knew that not all readers would give my novel five stars. I have therefore been pleasantly surprised and very grateful for the immensely positive response.

8 - What would you say is your favorite thing about the eighties?

LZR: I would say that my favorite thing about the 1980s is the music. There was a lot of great music back then, especially from English artists who had a very distinctive sound.

9 – Do you have a favorite author?

LZR: I admire so many authors. I recently read Cures for Heartbreak by Margo Rabb, and I was really impressed by her talent. One of my all-time favorite authors is Emily Bronte. I love Wuthering Heights because of its emotional intensity and Bronte’s ability to make me understand and sympathize with characters who aren’t necessarily likeable.

10 – Is there anything you want to say to your readers or that you would like them to know?

LZR: I would like to acknowledge the wonderful bloggers and readers who have been so supportive of Other Words for Love. I have received overwhelmingly positive feedback from those who have read the book, and it’s so rewarding to hear from readers who have connected with Ari and her story. Thank you, everyone! And please feel free to contact me anytime, because I love hearing from you.

Thank you, Lorraine for answering my questions! :)
I'll be hosting a new Author Weekend Giveaway later today so stay tuned! :)