Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Interview: Judith Graves author of Under My Skin Blog Tour!!!

I am so excited for my first interview, and with a debut author its so exciting!!! Check out her book here, on goodreads.

 Judith Graves is the debut author of the YA paranormal book Under My Skin, which is already in stores. Here's a little bit about Judith:
Judith Graves loves tragic romance, werewolves, vampires, magick, and all things a bit creepy.. She lives in a small northern Alberta town with her husband, one cat, and two crazy Labrador retrievers. Working in an elementary school library, Judith is often seen amidst stacks of books, reading, when she should be cataloguing. But don’t tell the boss! A singer/songwriter for more than ten years, Judith often writes songs from the viewpoints of her characters, and—since they are creatures of the night—this makes for interesting listening. 
 
First off, how completely exciting is it for you to be getting your book released?
Well, I could gush for pages, but I’ll just say…wowza, talk about surreal. People are commenting about my characters, like they’re actual, live people. I thought only I did that. It’s amazing. 

Can you tell us a little about your book?
Sure! Eryn McCain has a drug problem. Her parents have disappeared—they’re likely dead. And she’s run out of the drugs her father created to stifle her wild side, her wolven half—the dormant ability to change from human to wolf. She’s jonesing in a major way. Forget the shakes, Eryn has a yen for raw hamburger, she’s developed night vision and super-human strength, and she can smell a werewolf a mile away. To top it off, all this has made her dangerously moody. She’s trying to take it one day at a time, but her new home town isn’t a quiet, restful setting, beneficial for recovery. The town is a landmind of paranormal activity, and each encounter gives Eryn the high of a lifetime. She’s beginning the change—but thanks to her father’s chemical manipulations—she doesn’t know exactly what she’s changing into. Not the best time to strike up a friendship with a crew of teen hunters tracking her kind…no matter how hot their tall, dark, and dead-wrong-for-her leader, Alec Delacroix, may be.

What paranormal aspects does your book contain?
UMS has all kinds of cool paranorm beasties. Wolven shapeshifters, werewolves, windigo, witches – and those are just the “w”s! ;P

If you could be one character or paranormal creature, what would it be and why?
Any creature that can fly would be fun. I’m a white-knuckled plane passenger, but maybe if I were the one doing the flying, I’d enjoy the experience.

Why did you decided to write a paranormal YA book as your debut?
I was always the kid reading ghost stories or asking people about superstitions, etc. I love horror films with dark humour, lots of action, and characters you root for. I didn’t even think about what I was writing….paranormal stuff just fit.

What are your favorite young adult books or authors?
John Wyndham’s quirky little sci-fi book, Chocky, has always been a favorite. The idea of imaginary friends being something more…very interesting.

What inspired you to write this book?
I wanted to explore the idea of mythological creatures from different parts of the world having to duke it out over the last bit of unclaimed territory. I wanted characters who would be forced to choose sides. I wanted the lines between those sides to be very blurred and the characters to be conflicted. Hopefully UMS does a good job of laying this foundation for the series.

Do you have any favorite authors?
Lots! And more everyday. 23 of my new favourites are fellow classmates in the Class of 2k10 – a collective of debut young adult and middle grade fiction authors. I luvs them! www.classof2k10.com

Do you have any advice for other aspiring authors out there?
Join a critique group, start a writing group at school or at your public library. You’ll learn more about writing by reading/evaluating the work of other newbies. Read. Write. And don’t eat too much chocolate.

This interview was really fun to do, and great advice to those who are aspiring to become writers themselves. Though that advice about chocolate may be very hard to commit to. Thanks for visiting Black and Blue Ink today, I can't wait to read the book!!! 

You can find Judith Graves here:  
Official Website: http://www.judithgraves.com/ 
Her blog: http://wolfychicks.blogspot.com/
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3166590.Judith_Graves
Class of 2K10: http://www.classof2k10.com/author.php?id=06 
LeapBooks:  http://www.leapbks.com/judithgraves.htm

Under My Skin Trailer: 

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Review: Dedicaton by. Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus

Title: Dedication                                                       Author: Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus
Series: Stand-Alone
Age Range: 14+
Publication Date: June 5, 2007
Pages: 278
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Rating: 7.5/10

Synopsis from goodreads:  What if your ex was famous and adored by millions? What would you do if you had one chance to make him regret his entire existence? How much would you risk? 
Kate Hollis's ex-boyfriend's face plasters newsstands and TV, the Internet, and the multiplex. Jake Sharpe is one of the biggest recording stars on the planet, and every song he's famous for is about Kate. For over a decade his soundtrack has chased her -- from the gym to the supermarket, from the dentist's office to the bars. Now thirty-year-old Kate gets the call that Jake has finally landed back in their Vermont hometown for an MTV special. The moment she has been waiting for has arrived.
On the eve of their prom, Jake Sharpe vanished, resurfacing when his song "Losing" -- about his and Kate's first sexual experience -- shot to the top of the Billboard charts. And the hits kept coming, each more personal than the one before.
Now Kate gets her chance to confront Jake and reclaim her past. But after eleven years of enduring protracted and far-from-private heartbreak, everyone in Kate's life has a stake in how this plays out. Kate must risk betraying the friends Jake abandoned, the bandmates whose songs he plundered, and her own parents, who fear this will dredge up a shared past more painful than any of them want to acknowledge. But after getting the call in the dead of night and jumping on a plane, can she turn back now?

Review: The dynamic duo of Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus have done it again by creating a funny and entertaining book for for chick lit lovers everywhere. The book is told from the main character's perspective in two time periods. Her high school years, and her life as an accomplished 30 year old with a score to settle.

Kate Hollis is out for revenge, on her ex-boyfriend Jake. Who has made his whole music career out of revealing what went on in their high school relationship, including her secrets and her personal family problems. Kate was a fun character. She seems so fearless. This could be her only chance at confronting her ex about basically exploiting their relationship in order to build his career, an she is ready to make the most out of it.

In the beginning I really didn't get what was going on in this book at all. It was just confusing to me, but after a while things started to make sense and I got a lot more into the book. The plot was interesting to say the least and it kept my nose in the book. I enjoyed the high school years part of the book more than the present day telling of the book. The high school sections were a lot more believable, and they seemed like real actions and emotions a high schooler would feel going through what Kate went through. Though when it came to the present day sections, I found it hard to believe that it was a thirty year old telling the story. I had to flip back to the beginning of the chapters many times to see if it was high school Kate talking or 30 year old Kate. Besides that, the book was enjoyable.

There were many ups and downs in the book, that throw you off whatever idea you will have about how the book will end. Jake and Kate went through a lot of roller coasters in their relationship that I think a lot of girls can relate to. Through the high school and middle school years, Jake was a wonderful character. But as he showed up in Kate's adult life, I started to question his compassion, and how he viewed women as a whole. You'll understand what I mean if you read the book.

In the end, I did enjoy this book. I loved how the book ended and I felt Kate finally womened up and became the strong 30 year old she should have been all along. 

I Recommend: this book to all Chick-lit fans! 

Characters:  6/10 
Plot: 7/10
Originality: 8/10 
Entertainment: 8/10 
Ending: 8/10 
Writing Style: 8/10 
Cover: 8/10
Total: 7.5/10



 

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Author Appreciation Week: Scott Westerfeld



Author Appreciation Week was started by the Author of upcoming YA novel Sea, Heidi R. Kling. Author Appreciation week runs from March 15 to March 19. All you have to do is write a post on authors you like, love, or just appreciate!!!

I really couldn't do a post on Author Appreciation week without showing great, hugely, immense appreciation for... Scott Westerfeld. Some of you may already know this if you've read my way too long About Me on goodreads, but I pretty much owe my whole book love, passion, obessession, whatever you wanna call it to Scott Westerfeld. I have to say, two years ago in middle school and every year before that,  I dispised books with a passion.  The only reason I ever touched a book was because of those Accelerated reader points my school did, I don't know if any other disctrict did it but basically you get points, then awards, for reading books then answering questions about them, and really who doesnt love an award. And even then it was only boring non fiction The History of the Airplane type books. It wasn't until my school had a book fair that I first picked up a YA book, Uglies by Scott Westerfeld. My friend had already read the book and she convinced me to buy it, and by 5th period I was in love.
Scott Westerfeld writes amazing, intense, realistic (though most are science fiction), gripping, they're not enough adjectives in my entire theasaurus to describe how amazing his books are. His Uglies Saga has everything I would want to read about in a series, and the books are filled with so many jaw dropping twists and turns, that I don't even remember sleeping when I read these books. They are impossible to put down. And they will forever be some of my favorites!!!

 Books
Uglies (Uglies Series 1)
Pretties (Uglies Series 2)
Specials (Uglies Series 3)
Extras (Uglies Series 4)
 Peeps
So Yesterday
The Last Days
The Secret Hour (Midnighters, #1) 
Touching Darkness (Midnighters, #2) 
Blue Noon (Midnighters, #3) 
 Leviathan 

Find him at:
 http://scottwesterfeld.com/blog/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scott_Westerfeld 
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13957.Scott_Westerfeld 

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Review: Hearts at Stake by. Alyxandra Harvey

Title: Hearts at Stake                                              Author: Alyxandra Harvey
Series: The Drake Chronicles
Age Range: 12+
Publication Date: January 4, 2010
Pages: 320
Genre: Paranormal, Romance
Rating: 9/10

Synopsis from goodreads: On Solange’s sixteenth birthday, she is going to wake up dead. As if that’s not bad enough, she also has to outwit her seven overprotective older brothers, avoid the politics involved with being the only daughter born to an ancient vampire dynasty, and elude Kieran Black—agent of an anti-vampire league who is searching for his father’s killer and is intent on staking Solange and her entire family.
Luckily she has her own secret weapon—her human best friend Lucy—who is willing to defend Solange’s right to a normal life, whether she’s being smothered by her well-intentioned brothers or abducted by a power-hungry queen. Two unlikely alliances are formed in a race to save Solange’s eternal life—Lucy and Solange’s brother Nicholas, and Solange and Kieran Black—in a dual romance that is guaranteed to jump start any romance-lover’s heart. 


Review:  Edgy, funny, romantic, Hearts at Stake was a refreshing new look into the vampire world. Told in alternating persepectives from the main character Solange, and her hilarious best friend Lucy, Hearts at Stake is a fun, romantic, and action packed read that all vamp lovers will enjoy having in their collections.

Solange, the main character is the first female vampire made/born in over 600 years. Now 15, like the rest of her brothers, she is to start her transition from human to vampire on her 16th birthday. Not only does she have to worry about possible dying on her 16th birthday, but also about the ancient prophecy she has to fufill. Staying 15 never sounded so good. 

One of my favorite parts of this book were the two main characters and how the author alternated their perspectives every chapter. They are such fun individual characters and they told the story seemed a lot more elaborate through them.

I adored the romance in this book. Both Lucy and Solanges romance were unconvential to say the least. A sweet case of falling for the one you know you aren't supposed to fall for. The romance was so fun and sweet. I have to say of the two pairs Lucy and Nicholas are my favorite couple. They are just so hot together and its that whole forbidden love thing that kept me hooked.

The plot was fast paced without leaving out any needed details. This was my favorite part of the book. There are so many characters, and types of vampires and new vampire legends I had never heard of but where explained. The plot is so intricate and engaging that after i finished the book, I felt like I just watched a full length action movie. The plot kept me on the edge of my seat the whole way through.

Overall this was a fun and enganging read. The characters were awesome, the plot was fast pace and kept me on my toes, and everything else just tied the book together perfectly!!!

I Recommend: this book to all vampire fanatics, romance lovers, and those who love fast paced action reads.


Characters: 10/10 
Plot: 9/10
Originality: 8/10 
Entertainment: 9/10 
Ending: 10/10 
Writing Style: 9/10 
Cover: 9/10
Total: 9/10

 

 

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Review: Boys, Bears, and a Serious Pair of Hiking Boots by. Abby McDonald

Title: Boys, Bears, and a Serious Pair of Hiking Boots   
Author: Abby McDonald
Age Range: 13+
Release Date: April 13th 2010
Pages: 304
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Rating: 8/10

Synopsis from Goodreads:  Jenna may hail from the ’burbs of New Jersey, but Green Teen activism is her life. So when her mom suggests they spend the summer at Grandma’s Florida condo, Jenna pleads instead to visit her hippie godmother, Susie, up in rural Canada. Jenna is psyched at the chance to commune with this nature she’s heard about — and the cute, plaidwearing boys she’s certain must roam there. But after a few run-ins with local wildlife (from a larger-than-life moose to Susie’s sullen Goth stepdaughter to a hot but hostile boy named Reeve), Jenna gets the idea that her long-held ideals, like vegetarianism and conservation, don’t play so well with this population of real outdoorsmen. A dusty survival guide offers Jenna amusing tips on navigating the wilderness
— but can she learn to navigate the turns of her heart?


Review: A coming of age, romance filled, fun contemporary book; Boys, Bears, and a Serious Pair of Hiking Boots is a book worth reading for every teenage girl. Jenna, a seventeen year old die hard enviormentalist has her self image reavaluated when she desides to spend the summer with her hippie godmother and her bitchy step daughter.

Jenna lives, eats, and breathes enviormental activism. She is Jenna the enviormentalist. Until she comes to Canada and begins to really see how people who are closer to nature actually view the natural enviorment they live in. In the beginning of the book I actually didn't like Jenna at all. I found her annoying and like a one note song (I don't think that is the right expression), everything about her was about enviormentalism and nothing more. Nothing unique or personal, just the enviorment. Which is a great cause to fight for, but you need to know who you are too. But as the book went on, she started to grow on me as she started "finding herself" (I hate the term "finding oneself" btw). She is actually a great fictional role model and really easy for every teenage girl to relate to. 

The guys in the book were guys. That says a lot. Closed off, non perky, exclusive guys. Though Reeve just started getting cuter and cuter and more appealing to me as the book went on. I loved Ethan, he was so nice, and unlike the others, seemed genuine towards Jenna.
  
In true coming of age fashion, this book mostly follows Jenna on her journey on making it through the summer in a new place, with new cute guys friends, a bitchy roomie, and an absent best friend who refuses to reply to texts. And she deals with troubles pretty well. This book covers what most teenagers go through during their high school years. Who they are, what they are doing, and what they are going to do. It is a great summer read that is relatable without being cliche. I highly enjoyed this book!

I Reccomend: this book to all fans of contemporary, coming of age stories, and/or enviormentalists. Also to all romance lovers and those in need of a summer or beach reads!!!


Characters: 8/10 
Plot: 7/10
Originality: 8/10 
Entertainment: 8/10 
Ending: 8/10 
Writing Style: 8/10 
Cover: 9/10 (I would've give it a 10 if there was a bear lol)
Total: 8/10

 


Monday, March 1, 2010

Wickedly Awesome Contest at Bloody Bookaholic!!!

Taschima has done it again. With an "Ridiculously Awesome" contest as she calls it!!! I have to agree, my whole wishlist is up for grabs over there. Run, Run Run, people, before time runs out!!! Contest ends April 18, 2010!!!


Some of the books you can win include: 

Bleeding Violet
Ash
Give Up The Ghost 
Hearts at Stake
Hush Hush 
and a bunch more... 


 

Review: O'Juliet by. Robin Maxwell

Title: O' Juliet                                                                    Author: Robin Maxwell
Age Range: 15+
Publication Date: February 2, 2010
Pages: 448
Genre: Romance, Historical
Rating: 9.5/10

Synopsis from Goodreads: Before Juliet Capelletti lie two futures: a traditionally loveless marriage to her father's business partner, or the fulfillment of her poetic dreams, inspired by the great Dante. Unlike her beloved friend Lucrezia, who looks forward to her arranged marriage, Juliet has a wild, romantic imagination that knows not the bounds of her great family's stalwart keep.

The latter path is hers for the taking when Juliet meets Romeo Monticecco, a soulful young man seeking peace between their warring families. A dreamer himself, Romeo is unstoppable, once he determines to capture the heart of the remarkable woman foretold in his stars. The breathless intrigue that ensues is the stuff of beloved legend. But those familiar with Shakespeare's muse know only half the story...


Review:  O'Juliet is a beautifully written novel that transforms the traditional story of Romeo and Juliet into an adventurous whirlwind of love, loss, and deciet.

Robin Maxwell does a beautiful job of recreating the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet into her own original plotline with characters that I can only describe as kick ass!!! I never read historical fiction. I usually find them boring and overly descriptive. This book had just the right amount of description to keep a great picture in my without distracting me from the plot. 

The plot may be a remake of that of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, but I can not say how original this book was. This book was action packed and filled with a romance that just felt so sweet and true; not rushed at all. I was just actually expecting a plain old romantic remake of Romeo and Juliet, but this book isn't all about romance. There is betrayal , decit, disgustingly annoying characters, and terrific loveable characters. The perfect blend of drama and passionate love, I coundn't get enough of this book.

Juliet Capelletti is a voice to be reckoned with. She is a strong role model who refuses to shrink down to the miniscule vision of women her society thrusts upon her. Throw at her an arranged marriage with a disgusting lying user, and she throws back at you a hidden passionate affair that she refuses to let go of, along with clever schemes to be with the one she loves. No one can stop her!!!

Romeo Monticecco, charming poetry writing Romeo. Sometimes I found myself frustrated with how calm he was in his horrid situations, but as softspoken as he was, he always had a plan up his sleeves that suprised Juliet as well as myself.

I was sad when this book ended. It seemed like the story could just keep on going and going and I wouldn't get bored with it at all. I loved the ending and everything about it. O' Juliet is one of my new favorite reads. It had so much romance, with equal amounts of drama, beautiful descriptions, strong interesting characters all packed into one book that I refused to put down. This book is based on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, but it is completely original on its own and I found myself actually forgetting that it is based on that play!!!

I Reccomend:  this book to all romance lovers. Any kind of romance at all this book will satisfy your cravings and have you begging for more. All lovers of historical fiction and lovers of the play Romeo and Juliet!!!


Characters: 10/10 
Plot: 10/10
Originality: 10/10 
Entertainment: 10/10 
Ending: 10/10 
Writing Style: 10/10 
Cover: 9/10 
Total: 9.5/10
 
 

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