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Are you an author in need of help and looking for an assistant on a full-time, part-time, or as-needed basis? Well, then I'm your gal! Learn more about the services I provide HERE.

Monday, April 30, 2012

#DaemonInvasion - Introducing Team DeLUX


As you all know the #DameonInvasion is upon us and I'm an Elite Street Team leader. Today I'm excited to introduce you to my awesome team...

~*~*~Team DeLUX~*~*~

Team Members: Sarah, Rachel, Brianne, Karen, Annabelle, Teresa, Michelle, Ashely, Orchid, Kish

Now I give you some fabby fab creations made by various members of Team DeLUX









Cover Reveal: CLOSED HEARTS (Mindjack Trilogy #2)


I'm super excited to be participating in the Closed Hearts cover reveal! I LOVED the first book in the Mindjack Trilogy, Open Minds, and cannot wait to read book two!

Coming May 23rd...
Closed Hearts (Book Two of the Mindjack Trilogy)
When you control minds, only your heart can be used against you.

Eight months ago, Kira Moore revealed to the mindreading world that mindjackers like herself were hidden in their midst. Now she wonders if telling the truth was the right choice after all. As wild rumors spread, a powerful anti-jacker politician capitalizes on mindreaders’ fears and strips jackers of their rights. While some jackers flee to Jackertown—a slum rife with jackworkers who trade mind control favors for cash—Kira and her family hide from the readers who fear her and jackers who hate her. But when a jacker Clan member makes Kira’s boyfriend Raf collapse in her arms, Kira is forced to save the people she loves by facing the thing she fears most: FBI agent Kestrel and his experimental torture chamber for jackers.
 
Release Date: May 23rd, 2012

Click Here to sign up for the Virtual Launch Party on May 23rd! There will be prizes, reviews, bonus content, did I mention prizes? Come join the fun!

PRAISE FOR
Open Minds (Book One of the Mindjack Trilogy)

Being a fan of dystopian and sci-fi in young adult books this was exactly the type of book I was hoping to fall in love with and absolutely did ...YA readers who love authors like Ally Condie, Veronica Roth, Lauren Oliver and others would be missing out if they failed to pick up Open Minds by Susan Kaye Quinn. Join Kira on her journey to save her fellow mindjackers and potentially change the landscape of her world forever.”
Danielle Smith, book blogger at There’s a Book

Susan plunges readers into a compelling and frightening world where nearly everyone can read minds when they come of age. The very idea makes me shudder. This is easily one of the best books I've read not only this year, but in recent years.”
Heather McCorkle, author of The Secret of Spruce Knoll

"Susan Kaye Quinn's Open Minds is an edge-of-the-seat YA sci-fi, where 16 year-old Kira dodges psychological bullets from all sides."  — Catherine Stine, author of Fireseed One

Open Minds $2.99 on Amazon, Amazon UK, Barnes&Noble, and iTunes

Susan Kaye Quinn, Author
Susan Kaye Quinn grew up in California, where she wrote snippets of stories and passed them to her friends during class. She pursued a bunch of engineering degrees and worked a lot of geeky jobs, including turns at GE Aircraft Engines, NASA, and NCAR. Now that she writes novels, her business card says "Author and Rocket Scientist" and she doesn't have to sneak her notes anymore. All that engineering comes in handy when dreaming up paranormal powers in future worlds or mixing science with fantasy to conjure slightly plausible inventions. Susan writes from the Chicago suburbs with her three boys, two cats, and one husband. Which, it turns out, is exactly as much as she can handle.  Way too often, you can find Susan on her blog, facebook, and twitter.

Susan’s Other Works
In His Eyes Anthology (includes Mind Games, a short prequel to Open Minds)
Life, Liberty, and Pursuit (a teen love story)
Full Speed Ahead (short afterstory to Life, Liberty, and Pursuit)


ARC Review: Welcome, Caller, This Is Chloe


TITLE: Welcome, Caller, This Is Chloe
AUTHOR: Shelly Coriell
PUB: Amulet Books                    PUB DATE: 5/1/12
FORMAT: ARC, 299 pgs
SOURCE: from pub in exchange for honest review





Big-hearted Chloe Camden is the queen of her universe until her best friend shreds her reputation and her school counselor axes her junior independent study project. Chloe is forced to take on a meaningful project in order to pass, and so she joins her school’s struggling radio station, where the other students don’t find her too queenly. Ostracized by her former BFs and struggling with her beloved Grams’s mental deterioration, lonely Chloe ends up hosting a call-in show that gets the station much-needed publicity and, in the end, trouble. She also befriends radio techie and loner Duncan Moore, a quiet soul with a romantic heart. On and off the air, Chloe faces her loneliness and helps others find the fun and joy in everyday life. Readers will fall in love with Chloe as she falls in love with the radio station and the misfits who call it home.

THREE WORDS: Cute But Lacking

MY REVIEW: I’m having the hardest time writing this review about Shelly Coriell’s Welcome, Caller, This Is Chloe, because I’m not entirely sure how I feel about this book. I didn’t love it, I didn’t hate it. It wasn’t fantastic, it wasn’t awful. 
*le sigh*

Chloe Camden has a big personality and heart to match. With her red curls, vintage shoes and sparkle Chloe is liked by everyone and with her big, happy family she has it pretty good. Until her two BF’s, Brie and Mercedes stop talking to her and spread lies about her, her new counselor nixes her JISP (junior independent study project) idea and she’s forced to work with the school’s struggling student run radio station and her grandmother’s debilitating disease causes conflict in Chloe’s big, happy family.  Chloe finds herself for the first time among a group of outsiders that don’t really want her there, but when she hosts a call-in show she soon finds herself popular again…but with popularity also comes trouble. The girl with the big personality and mouth must learn to listen if she’s going to save the radio station, salvage her friendships and just maybe get closer to the surprising Duncan Moore.

The story itself is entertaining, but I feel like the book as a whole can’t really decide if it’s a dramedy (drama/comedy) or full on lighthearted affair. There’s certainly a great deal of humor and cutesy romance, but the book also deals with some heavy stuff (drug addiction, depression, Parkinson’s Disease) and I just don’t think the story ever finds its balance between the lighthearted and the serious. But that’s not to say that the lighthearted elements aren’t fun, because they are, or that the heavy stuff isn’t deftly dealt with, because it is.

Chloe is a hard, but not impossible character to like. There’s something very dramatic and over the top about her and the way she thinks and talks is often eyeroll inducing, but the girl grew on me. In the first chapter, her BFF, Brie, accuses Chloe of being self-centered, and she kind of is…but not intentionally. She grows as a character, which is nice, but her over the top personality and need for attention never really goes away. I didn’t end up loving her, but I did find her endearing and I enjoyed her humor.

I really liked Chloe’s relationship with her grandmother. Coriell does a great job of exploring the pain and heartache that a disease like Parkinson’s has on the one afflicted and the ones that love them. Chloe’s growing romance with Duncan is also enjoyable and sweet. Duncan is definitely a guy that readers will find swoon-worthy, but also complex and layered.

The outcast bunch at the radio station are what really kept me interested in the story. I just wish that we were able to get to know these characters a bit more. I also really enjoyed getting to see the inner workings of a radio station and call-in show.

Coriell often sprinkles cute and clever little similes and metaphors throughout the book, such as using radio and food terms/lingo to describe Chloe’s life and situation, and I found this oddly delightful.

MY FINAL THOUGHTS: Shelly Coriell’s Welcome, Caller, This Is Chloe is a cute, entertaining enough read, but lacks too much (character development, a relatable main character, cohesive flow) to be a must read. Good, but not great.

MY RATING
3/5 Cupcakes

Find the author: Website / Goodreads / Twitter / Facebook
Purchase: Amazon / B&N / Book Depository
Young adult author Shelley Coriell writes stories about teens on the edge of love, life-changing moments, and a little bit of crazy. Her debut novel, Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe, will be released May 1, 2012 by Amulet Books/Abrams. A six-time Romance Writers of America Golden Heart finalist, Shelley lives in Arizona with her family and the world’s neediest rescue Weimaraner. When she’s not writing, she bakes high-calorie, high-fat desserts and gives speeches about the joys and business of writing. You can find her online at www.shelleycoriell.com.





Saturday, April 28, 2012

Goodie Basket (1): Weekly Book Haul and Recap


Goodie Basket...is a weekly feature hosted here at Word Spelunking that showcases all the goodies (books, bookish things, reviews, interviews/giveaways/guest posts, blog tours, etc) that popped up in the Goodie Basket that is Word Spelunking each week.

Welcome Cupcakes, to the first ever Goodie Basket weekly post! As you can see I will no longer be participating in IMM and will use this feature instead.
First up, let's see what bookish awesomeness I got this week...

WON

Walden Pond Press
I won this from the pub on Twitter and am so excited to read and review it, but I'm also glad to have been able to connect with the awesome people at Walden and I look forward to reviewing more of their MG books in the future.

FOR REVIEW

ARC  Three Times Lucky Sheila Turnage
Dial (Penguin)
sent from pub for review
I was so excited to get this in the mail, I actually squee'd! 

Anteater-Boy Dean Ammerman 
Kabloona
sent from author for review
This looks like a fun read!

EBOOKS FOR REVIEW
e-ARC  Flutter Gina Linko
Random House
sent from pub for review via Netgalley

eARC  Liar & Spy  Rebecca Stead
Random House
sent from pub for review via Netgalley

I want to thank Walden Pond Press, Dial, Dean Ammerman, and Random House for all the book goodies!

Weekly Blog Recap
Blog Tours/Interviews/Guest Posts
- Return To Eden Blog Tour: video interview question
Elemental Blog Tour: interview with author Emily White
                                    givaway: ARC, signed bookmarks
- Guest Post: S.M Boyce
Guest Post: Anna White

Cover Reveal

Giveaways
-Elemental Giveaway: ARC and signed bookmarks (US/INT)

Reviews
-Elemental by Emily White
-Insurgent by Veronica Roth

What's Coming Up This Week
Cover Reveal
-Closed Hearts (Mindjack Trilogy #2) by Susan Kaye Quinn (4/30)

Guest Post
-Scott Cramer: guest post and ebooks giveaway (5/1)

Reviews
-Welcome, Caller, This Is Chloe by Shelly Coriell
-Purity by Jackson Pearce
-Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock

Thanks for stopping by for the first Goodie Basket post! Please leave links to your weekly hauls/recaps (whether they be IMM's or your own weekly features) and I'll stop by :)

Friday, April 27, 2012

Replacing IMM With A New Weekly Feature At Word Spelunking: Goodie Basket

Hey, Cupcakes! So there's been a bit of drama in the last week or so among the book blogging community. I'm not going to recap or discuss the issues and events that stirred up the drama, as I'm sure most of you already know what's going on.

But, in the light of the events I've decided to no longer participate in In My Mailbox (IMM). Instead, I'll be doing my own thang! I introduce you to *drum rolllll*...


Goodie Basket...is a weekly feature hosted here at Word Spelunking that showcases all the goodies (books, bookish things, reviews, interviews/giveaways/guest posts, blog tours, etc) that popped up in the Goodie Basket that is Word Spelunking each week.


I will be posting the Goodie Basket weekly feature on Sundays (by 9am ET) every week. I will be using this feature to showcase the books and bookish things that I am sent or buy weekly and to recap all the weekly happenings on my blog and spotlight any exciting upcoming events/posts.

I'm excited about starting this new weekly feature and I hope y'all continue to stop by each Sunday, check out my Goodie Basket posts, and leave links to YOUR weekly haul/recap (whether they be IMM's, your own new/old memes, etc).

Be sure to come back Sunday, 4/29 to see my first Goodie Basket post!



ARC Review: INSURGENT by Veronica Roth


TITLE: Insurgent                          SERIES: Divergent #2
AUTHOR: Veronica Roth             PUB DATE: 5/1/12
PUB: Harper Collins                       FORMAT: ARC, 525 pgs
SOURCE: from the pub in exchange for my honest review




One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love. 

Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so. 
BOOK TRAILER



BEWARE: there are Divergent spoilers in this review

THREE WORDS: Twists and Turns…three more words: Trust No One

MY REVIEW: It’s safe to say that Insurgent is one of the (if not THE) most highly anticipated YA releases this year, so I was giddy with excitement when I received my ARC and gobbled it up quickly. In Divergent Veronica Roth offered readers such an explosive and thrilling story that it’s hard to imagine a sequel that would be able to capture the enthralling essence of the first book. Yet, Insurgent does just this; as a sequel it definitely does not disappoint.

The story picks up right where Divergent stops, with Tris, Four, Marcus, Caleb and the other survivors of the Erudite attack headed for Amity. In the aftermath of the attack, tensions between factions continue to intensify and war is imminent. Tris and Four find themselves traveling to each faction and even among the factionless to look for support against Jeanine. Tris finds herself faced with crippling grief, guilt, doubt, betrayals, and startling revelations, and she must find a way to embrace and accept her Divergence in order to save the ones she loves.

 Insurgent is a very busy book. A lot happens. A lot has to happen. And Veronica Roth continues to weave a complex, grand, thought-provoking and well developed story.

Roth’s world building is even more phenomenal and vivid in this book than in the first. I really loved getting a long and insightful look into each of the different factions and the world of the factionless as well. As characters and readers alike explore the different factions, Roth’s world is beautifully expanded and made that much more layered and easy to immerse oneself in completely. We really get to see just how impressive Roth’s world-building is as she introduces both Tris and readers to the very different cultures, religions and societal norms found within each faction.

One of the things I love best is not just the complexity of the story as a whole, but the complexity of each individual faction, then the even deeper complexity of each individual character. Each faction clearly has its own ideologies and rules, but Roth does a superb job of showing that there is no “wrong” faction or “more right” faction. There exist bad and good within each faction and perhaps within each character. I love that readers aren’t forced to choose a side or root for one particular faction; Roth makes it okay (integral even) for readers to find a little bit of each faction within themselves…perhaps we are all Divergent *stares off into the distance with my thinking smarticle thoughts look* 

Like the first book, Insurgent is very character driven, which is a good thing since Roth has created very compelling characters. I’ll admit that I have a very love/hate relationship with Tris. Don’t get me wrong, I love and admire her strength, compassion and feistiness. But she can be quite the arrogant person as well, something she admits, and there are times when this greatly annoys me. I do like that we get to see a more vulnerable, fragile Tris in this book. Her struggle with her grief, guilt and self-doubt is breathtakingly powerful and tangible. Four, who goes more by Tobias in this book, continues to be an incredibly intriguing and frustrating character, simply because it seems that for every one thing we learn about him there’s another mystery to uncover. Their relationship continues to evolve and take shape. I love that there is no love triangle…but this doesn’t mean they don’t have their obstacles to overcome. I’m very impressed with how realistic their relationship feels; there’s an understandable dependency between the two, but their feelings for one another do not consume their every thought or action.

There are many Twists and Turns that come in the form of character reappearances, deaths, betrayals, interesting character developments, and revelations. To be honest, there are so many twists and turns that they left me a bit dizzy, especially when it comes to betrayals and character twists. I love a character that keeps me guessing, but there are a few character betrayals/actions/developments that either left me reeling or wondering if they were included for pure shock value.  All the action, fighting, pain and mystery lead up to a big twisty revelation at the end (plus a heck of a cliff hanger). I think readers will either see this twist coming or not expect it all. Either way, it is a very clever and fascinating twist that opens up all kinds of possibilities…things are seriously about to get cray-cray!

MY FINAL THOUGHTS: Insurgent definitely does not suffer from the dreaded Sophomore Slump. Instead, the captivating story that began in Divergent continues to engross, intrigue and impress in this exciting sequel.

MY RATING

4.5 / 5 Cupcakes

Find the author: Website / Goodreads / Twitter / Facebook
Purchase: Amazon / B&N / Book Depository
Veronica Roth is only 23, so her bio will be short. She’s from a Chicago suburb. She studied creative writing at Northwestern University, and wrote DIVERGENT (Katherine Tegen Books, May 2011). The second book in The Divergent Trilogy, INSURGENT, will come out in May 2012. In the meantime she will spend endless hours browsing Wikipedia in her pajamas as she eats corn flakes. (Or some other kind of bland breakfast cereal.)



Guest Post: YA Author Anna White


Today author Anna White is stopping by to talk about how she using her book to help The Water Project. Anna is the author of the YA novel The Light and Fallen (Chronicles of the Nephilim)...

Lucian isn't sure what to expect when he steps over the banister separating Heaven from Earth. He opens his eyes in a new body, one with no wings, no knowledge of the future, and no special powers. All he remembers is his mission: to find a mysterious key. When he meets a human girl that he can't ignore he is forced, for the first time in eternity, to choose between duty and the pull of his heart. The future hangs on his decision, but he's fallen into a world where nothing is just what it seems.
*100% of the proceeds of this novel will be donated to The Water Project. 


Bring the Magic
by Anna White

I am a longtime reader of YA fiction, and one of my favorite genres is paranormal. I love the idea embedded in those stories that there is something magical, something mysterious and intangible, burning just below the surface. Books like Harry Potter and Twilight capture this feeling well. Just on the other side of the subway station, or in the next class over, there is something amazing.

As an author I hope to bring that magic too, both in my characters and in real life. Sometimes though, real life is hard. Growing up my vision of adulthood was to graduate, move to Africa, and work for an NGO. My parents thought I was crazy, I bought a map of the continent and hung it over my bed. Fast forward about twenty years, and I am married. I live in a brick house in a medium sized town. I have two children and a dog, and I have worked the same job for the past seven years. I am far, far away from Africa.

It was a post on a wonderful blog called Momastery that helped me reconcile my past goals with my present reality. In a post called “On Writing Your Life”, Glennon Melton described a family in crisis. In an effort to bring the family together and change the trajectory they were on, they made one common goal.  They decided, as a family, to build an orphanage. And they did it! They raised $25,000 to build an orphanage all by themselves. Incidentally, not only did they have a significant impact on others, but the process of reaching this goal transformed their family.

At the time that I read this, I was almost finished with my novel. I had subbed it out, and been rejected with the feedback that it was a little short for the genre, but I couldn’t let it go. I love the story and the characters, and I also started writing it when my second daughter was only five weeks old. It takes me about two hours per page, so the fact that I have a finished novel means that my whole family made a lot of sacrifices. After a lot of prayer, thought, and nail biting, I made the decision to self-publish the book and donate all the proceeds to a cause closely tied to my childhood dream.

The Water Project is a highly rated nonprofit that build long-lasting, sustainable wells in Africa. They involve the community in the development of the projects, and train members of the community to maintain the wells once the project is completed. I chose The Water Project over other, similar nonprofits for a few reasons. First, they have a 100% donation option where all funds go directly to a project (meaning no funds go to administrative costs.) They will also send updates and pictures of the project as it progresses from development to completion, a process that can take up to two years. This was important to me, because I want my family and my readers to see the impact that is being made, and of course to know that the money is being appropriately used.

I believe the desire to do something real and meaningful and lasting, something bigger than ourselves, is what YA fiction taps into. As a teenager, I felt like making a big impact was definitely possible, but the more I learn about the complexities of the world, the harder it seems. It’s true that the world is filled with huge problems, and it’s also true that I can’t solve them. But I can use what I’ve got, and right now that’s not money or time, it’s my novel. My new dream is to fund an entire well, which costs around $5,000. My novel has just come out and so far I’ve made about $30, so I have a long way to go. Baby steps! To be successful this truly will be a combination of the efforts of myself, my family, and the community of readers, and I look forward to seeing what happens.


Readers can email me at annawhitewrites@gmail.com or find me here:www.facebook.com/annawhitewrites
www.annawhitewrites.blogspot.com
@annawhitewrites on Twitter
I also have author pages on Amazon and Goodreads.

Anna is an author and counselor. She lives in Louisiana with her husband and two daughters, and can usually be found reading or writing something with a cup of tea nearby. She is currently at work on Divide the Darkness, the next book in the Chronicles of the Nephilim series.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Cover Reveal: Pyxis and Alight by K.C. Neal


I'm super excited to bring to y'all today the cover reveal of K.C. Neal's Alight: The Peril (Pyxis #2) AND the all new cover of Pyxis: The Discovery (Pyxis #1). I really enjoyed Pyxis and cannot wait to read Alight.

First up the new cover of Pyxis...

Pyxis: The Discovery (Pyxis #1)
Corinne lives an average teenage life working at her dad’s cafe, hanging out with her best friend, and trying to forget a falling-out with her almost-boyfriend Mason. Then she discovers she and Mason are haunted by the same dreams of a dark force that consumes everything in its path. Pursued by shadowy figures and a dangerous woman with secrets from the past, Corinne must find out who her grandmother really was. In her quest to unravel her family’s history, she learns she is destined to protect this world--and the dark world of her dreams. She races to find the answers she seeks before her nightmares break free.


Pyxis is FREE for Amazon Kindle today (4/26) and tomorrow (4/27)!
Pyxis on Amazon.com
Pyxis on Amazon.co.uk

Now the cover of Alight...


Alight: The Peril (Pyxis #2)
7/27/12
When Corinne learns who the second Guardian is, she must find a way to make peace with the last person in the world she wants to deal with. As she struggles, her nemesis unleashes an otherworldly evil, and a mysterious illness strikes Corinne’s friends. Faltering under the weight of her destiny, Corinne escapes to the dream world. There, she meets Zane, an Australian guy with a hot accent and a revelation that binds them together and alters the path of Corinne’s life. She throws herself into fighting for everything she loves, but just as she’s certain she will prevail, she’s robbed of what she needs most.




Connect With K.C. Neal Online 
Blog / Facebook / Twitter  / Goodreads / Newsletter

I love both covers! What do you think?! 

Tatted Thursday (8): Old School Books

Tatted Thursday is a weekly meme hosted here at Word Spelunking that features literary inspired tattoos .You can easily  participate by grabbing the picture above (or making your own) and posting your tattoo finds.

This week's tattoo finds are inspired by some older, but beloved books
(click on title to learn more about books)



Fahrenheit 451





WHADDYA THINK OF THESE TATS?!