30 October 2009

Review: The Dresskeeper By: Mary Naylus

Title: The Dresskeeper
Author: Mary Naylus
Publisher: Prospera Publishing, 238 Pages (November 30, 2009 - UK)
From: Prospera

Synopsis: When 13-year-old Picky's Mum forces her to look after Gran, who has dementia, she is accidentally locked in Gran's dusty old attic. There she finds a chest full of old clothes, and tomboy Picky is forced to don what appears to be a ball-gown when the freezing night temperatures hit. As soon as the dress is pinned together, Picky is transported back to the year 1700, where a man who appears to know her as Amelia is trying to kill her.

Managing to get the dress off just in time, Picky returns to the present with the dress covered in blood. Did the man kill the girl called Amelia? Will wearing the other dresses in the chest take her back in time too? And will she be in danger again should she try it? "The Dresskeeper" uses a contemporary 13-year-old viewpoint to explore this murder mystery, set in the early 18th Century

Review: 4 Stars - The Dresskeeper is a witty historical fiction, containing both a mysterious past and a modern voice that lets us see London's history through the eyes of a humorous teenage girl.

Naylus time traveling adventure is a page turner, leaving you wanting more and being surprised with what happens next. With a great balance of the past and Picky's current real life issues - between school and home life, the author makes you feel your not missing anything in either of her worlds. I myself felt as if I was being transported back to 17th century London right along with Picky and each amazing dress she put on. The writing made imagining the scenes in my mind easy and very realistic.

With just the right amount of both reality and fantasy made this story for me one I'd not only read again, but one I'd suggest to others in the future.

I enjoyed the Dresskeeper and will be on the look out for more by Mary Naylus. Her next novel - The Plaguemaker will be released in 2010.

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29 October 2009

Quick update and a HUGE thank you!

Hey guys!

I just wanted to say a HUGE thanks to all who have entered  my 50+ follower contest!!!! My first contest is off to a great start and I'm having a great time. If you haven't entered yet... CLICK HERE!!! Sometime next week I'll post the options the winners will get to pick from when it comes to the handmade bookmarks. That way everyone will have plenty of time to think it over and will be able to choose right away once the winners are picked.

Things have been crazy here online and in the RW, and with all the new followers over the last couple days, let alone the last week... I'm sure I've missed following a few of you. Sorry about that. Please post a comment here and let me know if I've missed your blog, OR if there's a blog out there that I should know about. Thanks!

If things keep going so well with the contest... let's just say.... I'm going to TRY to add a few other books and things for the winners to pick from. IF that happens, well.... we'll just see how things go before I change things up a bit. I have more up my sleeve for you guys, whether I use it for this contest, you'll just have to wait and see. :o)

Okay, I should be reading... so, I'm off to get to it. I'll post additional updates throughout the next couple days so be on the look out!!

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28 October 2009

My First Contest!!!!

50+ followers = time for a contest!
Now has turned into a 75+ followers contest!!!
Now is a 100+ follower contest!!!

And I’m finally here to post all the info for you! Since this is my first contest I’m going to keep it pretty easy to enter – the more entries, the better chance to win! And what might you win???





Skipping Christmas By: John Grisham
ttyl (Internet Girls, Book 1) By: Lauren Myracle
ttfn (Internet Girls, Book 2) By: Lauren Myracle
Plan B By: Jenny O'Connell
Blood and Chocolate By: Annette Curtis Klause
Just Listen By: Sarah Dessen
The Truth About Forever By: Sarah Dessen
Geek High By: Piper Banks
Blue Bloods By: Melissa De La Cruz
Something Borrowed By: Emily Giffin
Looking for Alaska By: John Green
Looks By: Madeleine George
The Other Side of the Island By: Allegra Goodman
North of Beautiful By: Justina Chen Headley
** As of 11/08/09 I've added in 6 books for the winners to choose from!! **
11/18/09 - I'll be adding in some surprise books - 2 that you won't know what they are. If your daring enough to pick surprise book 1 or 2, when they arrive you'll get to see what they are then. One is a book I've read and reviewed recently and enjoyed. The other.... I'm not telling you anything about it. I can't wait to see if anyone picks them.


*** And again....Updated winner info below! ***



I have one extra copy of each of the books shown in the picture above to give away.

The First Place winner will get to pick 3 of these books and will get a handmade one of a kind bookmark. (The bookmarks will be made by me and you’ll have many different styles and themes to choose from.) Plus some surprises!

The second place winner will get to pick 2 of these books and will get a handmade one of a kind bookmark. (The bookmarks will be made by me and you’ll have many different styles and themes to choose from.) Plus some surprises!

The third place winner will get to pick 1 of these books and will get a handmade one of a kind bookmark. (The bookmarks will be made by me and you’ll have many different styles and themes to choose from.) Plus some surprises!

The forth place winner will get a surpise book, out of the books that are left, along will get a handmade one of a kind bookmark. (Which you will also be able to pick from the many different styles and themes, again it's made by me) Plus some surprises!!

The fifth place winner will get a handmade one of a kind book mark. (Which you will also be able to pick from the many different styples and themes, again it's made by me) Plus some surprises!!!

Now I know I said I’d be doing something a little different with how the 2nd, 3rd, 4th & 5th place winners get picked – so here’s that info:

The first place winner will get picked by random draw using random.org. After the first place winner is selected, they then will be given the task of choosing a number between 1 and however many entries I end up with to select our 2nd place winner. The 2nd place winner will then be given the same task to pick 3rd place winner (and now you'll be picking what book, of the remaining books the 3rd place winner will win) and the 3rd place winner will get the task of picking the 4th place winner... and so on if more winners are added. All entries after the 1st place winner is selected will be mixed up, so the 2nd, 3rd and 4th place winners are picked fair and to assure everything is totally random.

If anyone has any questions, please email me at: alifeboundbybooks@hotmail.com

How to Enter:

+2 for following me. (you must be following me to be eligible to win.)
+1 for leaving a comment with your correct email information. If you don’t feel comfortable leaving your    email in a comment, please email me your information.
+2 for following my good friend Kari’s blog: There are worse things to be addicted to....
+1 for following me on twitter! @BoundByBooks (leave your twitter info please so I know who you are.)
+1 for posting, adding to a side bar or tweeting about this contest. (+1 for each of these you do, please post links.)

Everyone has a chance to have a total of 9 entries! I think that’s pretty good. :o)

*Please check my Contest Policy for all info and rules about contests here.*

DEADLINE to ENTER: November 20th, 2009, US ONLY! Sorry!!! Good Luck to everyone!

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27 October 2009

Teaser Tuesday (1)

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 “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!



“You invited me here to slay dragons, did you not? Well, That’s what I’m trying to do.”


Pg. 282, The Monstrumologist
By: Rick Yancey

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So, it's about that time. I'm just about ready to go. Figuring out a few last minute things... so tomorrow will be the day to kick off my first contest!!!

I'll tell you a little more to hold you over until tomorrows post. There will be 3 winners!! I'm giving away books and a few other prizes I'm sure everyone will enjoy. However to get everyone involved a little bit more picking winners 2 & 3 will be done just a little different. The main winner will be chosen at random using random.org and then that winner will get to help pick the second place winner and then the second place winner will get to help pick the third place winner. I'll explain more about this tomorrow, along with everything else. I thought I'd try this out and see how things go. I just wanted to make this first contest a little different and I think this might be a good place to start.

I'll have all different ways to earn multiple entries, so be ready!!

I'm looking forward to it, I hope everyone else is as well!!!

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26 October 2009

Review: Going Too Far By: Jennifer Echols

Title: Going Too Far

Author: Jennifer Echols
Publisher: MTV, 256 Pages (March 17, 2009)
From: Purchased from Amazon

Synopsis: HOW FAR WOULD YOU GO? All Meg has ever wanted is to get away. Away from high school. Away from her backwater town. Away from her parents who seem determined to keep her imprisoned in their dead-end lives. But one crazy evening involving a dare and forbidden railroad tracks, she goes way too far...and almost doesn't make it back.

John made a choice to stay. To enforce the rules. To serve and protect. He has nothing but contempt for what he sees as childish rebellion, and he wants to teach Meg a lesson she won't soon forget. But Meg pushes him to the limit by questioning everything he learned at the police academy. And when he pushes back, demanding to know why she won't be tied down, they will drive each other to the edge -- and over....


Review: 4.5 stars - What brought me to this book at first was the cover, then after reading the description I knew it was a must read. Jennifer Echols did an amazing job writing this story. It was a very refreshing read which I enjoyed and was hooked from the first page. I’ve never read anything by this author before and am glad to have found one of her books. The twists and turns were written amazingly! I didn’t even see half of them coming, and that to me, adds even more to a great story.

The characters were likable and relatable on many levels. Each of us having been through various things in life, either happening to yourself or someone close to you makes this a book a good pick for just about anyone. It was serious, humorous, heartfelt, heartbreaking and loving. Meg had such a hard shell that I was sure no one could crack into it, and found myself often thinking why she was like this. Little did I know what was about to happen. Officer After, or John was a character written with so many layer that between the two of them – Meg and John, it took most of the book and a bridge to remove them all to see who they really were.

For me the end of the book had me wanting to know what would happen next, but as I’ve said before and I’m sure I’ll say it again… isn’t that part of what makes a book good? Wanting more at the end? For those who have yet to read this, enjoy!

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Title: Hush, Hush
Author: Becca Fitzpartick
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, 400 Pages (October 13, 2009)
From: Purchased from Amazon

Synopsis: For Nora Grey, romance was not part of the plan. She's never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how much her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her. Not until Patch came along. With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Nora is drawn to him against her better judgment.

But after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora's not sure who to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is, and to know more about her than her closest friends. She can't decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is way more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.

For Nora is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen - and, when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost her life.

Review: 5 Stars - I really enjoyed this book and the whole idea of the story. I read it in one sitting and just didn't want to put it down. It was a nice change to read about fallen angels, and the storyline had drawn me in that I couldn't wait to find out what was about to happen next.

The characters were written in a way that really showed each of their personalities. Patch, at least for me was mysterious in ways that I never really got a clear view of him in my mind. Dressed head to toe in black with black eyes he always appeared more of a shadow, or a silhouette, someone that wanted you to remember them for how snarky they were instead of remembering them for what they looked like. Well, at least for me that's how I felt. I can understand why Nora would have been both drawn to him yet also wanted to run from him. With these feelings she seemed to always be a mixed bundle of nerves and emotions, always edger to try to sort them out, to make light of if all.

There were only a couple things throughout the book that had me questioning things, however for the most part none of them took away from the overall story in the least. It would have been nice to have a bit more background on the whole fallen angel thing and angels in general in the world that Becca Fitzpatrick has created for us. I just hope that we see more of that in the next installments. The only other thing was that I felt it all ended too soon! Isn't always a good thing when a book leaves you wanting more?

Action, mystery, love and a bit of suspense, helped to make this a great read. One that I'm sure I'll read again. I'm looking forward to the next in the series that, and as always, it won't be out soon enough. If you haven't read this one yet, be sure to pick it up soon. Happy reading!

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Title: U.P. By: R.A. Riekki
Publisher/Website: Ghost Road Press (236 Pages)

Synopsis from Amazon: From a bold new novelist comes a complex tale of friendship and brutality. Set in Michigan s Upper Peninsula, U.P. is the story of four teens immersed in an ugly world, one whose threat of violence is always simmering beneath the surface. R.A. Riekki s distinctive characters and their poignant quest for freedom is a swan song to lost youth, redefining the traditional coming-of- age-story. Four boys, four distinct narratives that converge into a harrowing and heartbreaking whole.

About the Author: Ron Riekki is the author of the bestselling Ghost Road Press novel U.P. The novel was nominated by National Book Award winner John Casey for the Sewanee Writers' Series. He also writes plays which have been performed in Massachusetts, Michigan, Texas, Virginia, and Illinois, and he was selected as a Tennessee Williams Scholar where he studied with Arlene Hutton and Pulitzer Prize-winner Lee Blessing. 

1. Could you tell us a little bit about yourself, the book U.P. and the characters in the story?

Whoa, how to do that in under 200 pages? Hmm. I'll take the easy out and go with some of the blurbs on the novel:

1989 National Book Award winner for fiction John Casey said, "I wish Kurt Vonnegut were alive to read U.P. He'd love it. He'd love it as much as he loved Breece Pancake and Deborah Eisenberg. I'm not just guessing. On my own hook I can say that R.A. Riekki's novel is a brilliant fierce rush--sometimes harsh, sometimes funny, always so immediate you can hear it. This book is alive."

And Taylor Antrim, author of The Headmaster Ritual, said, "R.A. Riekki's ramrod debut gives us four bewildered, lonely, sexed-up and pissed-off species of the American Teenage Male, guys who know what it feels like to bench-press to Slayer, long for a girl, nurse a grudge, get your first tattoo (and then regret it). U.P. is funny, sad, sexy, and, finally, like a Lord of the Flies moved to extreme Upper Michigan, scary as hell."

And when Thomas Mallon was a visiting writer at the University of Virginia, he read a large section of U.P. and when we were gabbing he called it the American Trainspotting, which I always thought was a pretty accurate description.

There are four main characters in the novel. Cräig is a metalhead with a sex addiction. J is a punk with cerebral palsy. antony is a hip-hop fan obsessed with seeking revenge. And Hollow is the narrator. The four of them have to survive a brutal winter and things that are even more brutal than winter.

To tell you about me, I'm a writer. That's sort of all I am in a lot of ways. I wish I was a husband or a boyfriend but I just write. Thank God I'm pretty good at it.

2. How did you came up with the idea for the book? Was it based on any real life experiences you'd had growing up?

I was talking with Sean Kinney recently, the drummer for Alice in Chains. We were at the Chateau Marmont (the infamous hotel where John Belushi died) after a recent Chains concert and I asked him who his favorite drummer of all-time was and Sean got kind of quiet, which is strange for him, as he's an exceptionally energetic guy. I've heard him described as--if I remember correctly--the Robin Williams of heavy metal. He's got a great sense of humor and is really animated, onstage and off. So for him to get a bit quiet was odd. But I realized after I saw his reaction how often he must get that question and how after awhile it stops being a question and you can go into a kind of robotic response that you've said a million times. Except Sean's not like that. Another guy tagged along into our conversation, a "suit" type and Sean seemed uncomfortable with that suit, because that's 100% not his style (at least based on my few hour interaction with him), so going into robot phase isn't something he likes to do. So instead he got quiet and gave me an honest uncomfortable response and then moved on with the conversation, more excited to talk about other things that were more personal to him, less rote.

I tend to be like that with this question. It makes me want to be quiet. Partially because I'm asked it so frequently. And I'm blessed to have done about a hundred interviews for U.P. I love doing interviews. So I have no complaints. But this isn't something I'm ever interested in with writers. Are there any autobiographical connections? I think I'm not interested in it, because I don't think like that. And that if I gave an honest answer, it would be so complex and lengthy and sprawling that it'd be Finnegans Wake, so internal to almost be nonsensical. I was asked that question earlier today for a really brief radio interview on WDBM in Michigan and I just answered, "No," because I realized there wasn't time for an honest response. And I have another written interview I'm doing after this one where I saw that the interviewer asked me the question again and I'm thinking what I'm going to write for it. I guess now I'm in a meta- phase where I talk about the question itself rather than answering it. Because the answer is no and I guess yes but not really but sort of but it's fiction and it really is fiction but I don't know. Probably my whole upbringing is in there, somewhere. In Negaunee, I was brutally attacked for no reason by a stranger when I was young and that happens to a main character in my novel in the first couple chapters, but he's beaten with a baseball bat and I wasn't and he gets revenge and I didn't. But I know that the pain from that incident I feel everyday in my life, both physically and emotionally and the book is probably how I cope with it, writing it out. Maybe that's why I don't like the question. It pokes at an open wound. What's autobiographical is painful. I sometimes feel nauseous when I'm asked this question, but maybe that's why the book has been Ghost Road's bestselling novel for 34 straight weeks, because it's written in a heart-on-your-sleeve manner. It's a very personal novel.

3. I read there's a possible movie project in the works for the book? Can you tell us more?

Well, one producer is definitely attached, Steven Wiig, who acted in Milk and Into the Wild. He loves the book. And two other producers are interested as well, but we're in the contract negotiation phase, so unfortunately I have to be a bit vague here. In a week or so, I'll be able to gab a lot more about this, and I can't wait to, because it's really been dream-like, getting to meet with some incredibly talented actors and actresses in L.A. who I never thought would know who I was, let alone be familiar with my novel. So I'm bursting to talk about it and I will once the contracts are done. As a matter of fact, a fun interview for you might be interviewing Steven once things come to fruition and he can talk about turning a novel into a film if you're interested. We'll see . . . But for now, it's really fun to meet with the level of talent I've been meeting with.

4. Since music was a huge part of not only the writing but the story and characters themselves, if you could pick out the songs, What would the perfect soundtrack for the movie be?

I love this question. I'm a HUGE music fan and as a matter of fact, when the book first came out, all of my interviews seemed to be with music radio shows because music is so central to the novel. I've talked about the soundtrack in quite a bit of detail with one of the producers and again I'm excited because, for example, I've got to meet with Alice in Chains and talk to Jerry Cantrell and get his autograph for my cousin Todd, who's a massive Alice in Chains fan. And I'd love Alice in Chains on the soundtrack, but the book is set in 1989/1990. And I won't talk about the bands and songs we're actually hoping for if all of this falls in line like we're hoping. Instead I'll list a side A and side B based on songs that are central to the characters:

SIDE A

"Angel of Death"--Slayer (Cräig)

"Eyes of a Stranger"--Queensryche (Cräig)

"Tear Down the Walls"--Fastway (Cräig)

"She Watch Channel Zero?!"--Public Enemy (antony)

"Treat Her Like a Prostitute"--Slick Rick (antony)

"Black to the Future"--Def Jef (antony)

SIDE B

"Cocksucker Blues"--The Rolling Stones (J)

"All Time High (from Octopussy)"--Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (J)

"Bodies"--Sex Pistols (J)

"Boys of Summer"--Don Henley (Hollow)

"Opposites Attract"--Paula Abdul (Hollow)

"Don't Worry, Be Happy"--Bobby McFerrin (Hollow)

Wow, I just spent a lot of time thinking about that list of songs. In parentheses are the character in the novel who would listen to the song. But I realize that that soundtrack would probably be too expensive for an indy film. But who knows. I have some friends too who are musicians and would love to include them as well--Jus Rhyme, Papa Wheelie, DJ SirReal, DJ Zack Daniels and Sinister Kane, Alastair Moock, Jeff Pilson of Dokken/Dio, The Fast Computers, Slow News Day, Matre. Man, I love music. Just thinking about it makes me feel energized. Come to think of it, it's amazing how strong of reactions I have to interview questions.

5. What are your essentials needed for writing? (from food/snacks/etc, to music to a favorite time and place for writing.)

I really learned to write in the military. During Desert Storm they shut off the phone lines, and this was pre-email, so the only way I had to communicate was through letters and writing took on for the first time this grand significance. That was the first time where I cared what I wrote. (In high school, I half-assed essays and got As and Bs.) But that military experience taught me to write in anything. I wrote U.P. on a piece of crap computer that was ten years older than what the other students were writing on. And I wrote A Portrait of the Artist as a Boogey Man and Hunger and the Ass--two novels that come out on Ghost Road Press in 2010--on computers in the twenty-four hour computer rooms at the University of Virginia, so I'd have drunk kids coming in at 2 a.m., cops coming in at 3 a.m., people cramming for chemistry finals in the corner, the printer breaking down and someone loudly fixing it, and I was prepped for all of that from writing while in the military. I've written just about everything I've ever written on either clunky bulky comically old computers I owned that were falling apart or else on university computers in busy obnoxious student labs typically very late at night to lessen the distractions. That also meant I had nothing to drink or eat except for water from a fountain, but I had to--and I mean had to--have one thing, a walkman, boom box, or later a headset to listen to youtube and drown out all the noise. When I wrote U.P., I listened to a lot of what the characters listen to--Pantera, Ice Cube, The Subhumans. It helped me to really get a sense of who they were, to have my ears filled with what I thought their ears would be filled with. And you don't hear anything else when Pantera is on.

6. What was the first memorable, life changing book you read and why?

Alice's Adventure in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass. Easily. I fell into that world. That was the first time that I started reading a book and the rest of the world, this world, melted away and that is so powerful for a child to experience. Imagination. It was beautiful.

7. Being that it's almost Halloween, could you tell us what would be the most frightening book you've ever read and what about it scared you most?

I like this question. Hmmm . . . I tend to rarely get scared. Which is probably why I'm a huge fan of Scare Tactics--I like to watch other people get scared.

I don't believe in ghosts. In fact, if there are any ghost TV shows out there, you know, those shows with night vision in haunted houses that are really just people wanting to get on TV and a few more guests at their bed and breakfast, I'd totally go on them, because I find them so scammy. Pure Scooby-Doo. My mom lives by a neighbor whose son heads one of those shows and I kind of have this feeling like I should dare him to have me on it, because they're so incredibly not scary. Any time I watch those shows I kind of groan inside. At least Scare Tactics realizes it's all smoke and mirrors. And movies tend to be the same--not scary. Gore isn't scary. It's just gross. I wish screenwriters understood that. And cranking the volume and having something pop unto the screen isn't really scary. It's rare when something frightens me from sheer amazing writing. I'd have to go with Macbeth. There was something so authentic to that story that it can actually scare me, at times. Because the fear comes from something deeper than sell-out scares.

My next novel is a horror novel--A Portrait of the Artist as a Boogey Man--but it's an experimental deconstruction of the horror novel, a mocking of it. I'm curious what readers will do with it, what the reaction will be. Then my fourth book (not currently under any contract) is also horror and it's also reactionary against the cliches of the genre. So this is something I've been thinking about--fear, that element of writing. Shakespeare got it. The ghost scenes in Hamlet are so well done.

And what I love about Macbeth is how original it is, how it predates so much horror. I'd say Christopher Marlowe's The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus is high on my list as well. The opening and ending if done well gives me those tingles of fear.

I'll add this. I'm exceptionally tall and like to act, so people tend to have me in their Halloween haunted houses. I'd done them in Michigan and Illinois and now in L.A. The one I'm doing now I'm playing an evil doctor and I do a scene with three amazing actors--Patricia Grant, Martha Mintz, and Nico East. They've all done TV shows. And the scene next to us has an actress who was on Oprah. So I love being with talented actors. But doing so many haunted houses has been great for me as a writer. I've picked up some fantastic tips on what scares people and what doesn't. I almost want to list them here, but I'd rather keep them for myself, my own little secrets that I hope to get on the page.

8. Lastly, words of advise for aspiring writers?

The first person I showed U.P. to, a student at the University of Virginia, hated it, and told me to basically throw it away. The last person I showed it to, a professor at Western Michigan University, told me to "throw it away" in those exact words. I ignored him and submitted it to Ghost Road Press and within a month Matt Davis from Ghost Road sent me a contract. The book's been their bestseller in fiction since February 2009. And there's strong interest from three producers to turn it into a movie. All because I ignored the haters. That's my advice. If you want to do this, get ready for a lot of rejection. A lot! And if you get through it, well, Ann Beattie, who is included in the Best American Short Stories of the Century, called me at my home to tell me how much she loves the novel. If I would have thrown it away, I wouldn't have any of this. You have to believe in yourself even when others don't.

Thank you so much for doing the interview Ron, I'm really looking forward to reading your book!
 
Ordering Information: Amazon.com, Barns and Noble or check your local book sellers.

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25 October 2009

A Life Bound By Books Blog Awards

10/25/09 - I was lucky enough to win my first awards tonight from the girls over at B.A.M. Book Reviews. Thank you girls!!! Here they are -






11/05/09 - Thanks to Enna Isilee of Squeaky Books for the great award! I need to give these out myself now. I'll have to work on that. Thanks for the award!


11/09/09 - The girls over at B.A.M. Book Reviews have given me another award! Gotta love those girls... a HUGE thank you goes out to them <3!


12/01/09 - Award from Peace Love & Pat Book Reviews... the Honest Scrap Award!
You can check out the post with my Honest Answers Here.



12/07/09 - I was given another award! Thanks to The Sweet Bonjour for the award!


1/2/10 - The Book Vixen was handing out awards and I was lucky enough to get one. A Huge THANKS goes out to her.




1/03/10 - Nikki From Wicked Awesome Books passed A Honest Scrap award my way! Thanks Nikki!! if you scroll up on this page a bit, you'll see a link to my Honest Scrap post.

                                                           


date ? (sorry I can't seem to find the date! ack!) - The Sweet Bonjour was nice enough to give me an award the Happy 101 award! Thank you so much, that was so "sweet" of you!

                                                    
3/7/10 - Thanks to Kel from The DemonLovers Blog for giving me the Stylish Blog Award!!
                                                   
                                                                 

3/13/10 - The Bodacious Blogging Award was given to me by Busy Moms Who Love to Read. Thanks for this one! I appreciate it!


                                                 


3/21/10 - Cherry Mischievous passed on the Humane award. Thanks so much for this one!


                                                      

4/02/10 - ReaganStar & Matthew from Star Shadow awared me the Beautiful Bloggers award. Thanks guys! That's so nice of you!!!

                                                  


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I thought I'd post a picture and show everyone my monster. Well that's what I've been calling it anyways lol. We finally were able to get things halfway arranged back into the room I've been working on all week. So here in this picture you can see just what I'm talking about.......

It's floor to ceiling and almost 9 feet tall!! and it's I think almost 7 week wide and 14 inches or so deep. I LOVE IT!!!! It's just amazing! Now to wait until the paint dries. Well, it is dry, BUT since I'll be putting a bunch of books and things on it and I don't want anything to stick... so, I'm giving it an extra long time to really dry hard. Next weekend I'll be filling it up and I'll be sure to post pictures again then. For now.... I'll be sitting and looking at it trying to figure out just how I'm going to use each shelf. lol (sorry about the random things sitting around the edge of the shot, it's still kinda crazy around the rest of the room you can't see.)

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Here's my first IMM, brought to us by Kristi at The Story Siren - I hope that this is going to be the first of many. So here goes.

All books purchased from Amazon.


The Maze Runner By: James Dashner
Monstrumologist By: Rick Yancey
Girl in the Arena By: Lise Haines
Matters of the Blood By: Maria Lima
Going to Far By: Jennifer Echols
Crash Into Me By: Albert Borris
Prophecy of the Sisters By: Michelle Zink

Sorry the pic is a little funky and don't mind the card reader in the back ground lol. So far I've been able to read Going to Far and really liked it... a review should be posted for it and the others I need to catch up on tomorrow. Also, I'll be posting my first author interview!! Exciting! :o)

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24 October 2009

Mini Contest!

Princess Bookie has givin us a mini challenge on her blog for another great contest/giveaway!!! Check it out and give it a try.....

Post The Mini Challenge On Your Blog and link it back to me so everyone can participate:


Name 8 Of Your Favorite Things (not all books either LOL)

Princess Bookies List:

1. My Boyfriend of course
2. Books
3. Chad Michael Murray
4. Twilight
5. Chicken Lips (with ranch)
6. One Tree Hill
7. Hello Kitty
8. DVDS



You can do 5 or 8, its your choice, I had trouble narrowing it down! LOL

(mix it up, be creative)


Here's My List:

1.My husband
2.His british accent (lol)
3.Books
4.Eric of True Blood
5.Getting off of the plane after flying to the UK
6.Starbucks
7.Hearing other peoples funny yet embarrassing stories
8.My face and stomach hurting after having a great laugh with family or friends

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23 October 2009

Contests-a-thon over at Princess Bookie's Blog!

It's a contest party over at Princess Bookies Blog! Head over to join in on the fun and enter in some amazing contests! Keep and eye out throughout the weekend for even more!!

My answer to an entry question:

The Unwritten Rule by Elizabeth Scott
Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves
Dark Divine by Bree Despain
Voices Of Dragons by Carrie Vaughn

Why do I want these books? I've been reading about them for what feels like months now and CAN'T wait to read them! They all sound amazing and so different then anything out currently. I just can't wait to read them all!!!

Click here to check it all out and enter, enter, enter!

*** Be sure to read the contest rules before you enter***

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22 October 2009

Twitter & Goodreads

Who Tweets? Follow me on Twitter here -

http://twitter.com/BoundByBooks

or locate me by name - BoundByBooks

Who's on Goodreads? Or Twitter? A comment with your info would be great!

Thanks.

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20 October 2009

It's a Contest!

Hey, Hey... It's another contest over at Eleni's Blog - /-La Femme Readers-/ !! It's 2 books perfect for this time of year, or really anytime of year if you love all things Vampire and Werewolves.


Here's what one lucky winner will receive:


Good luck everyone!!! And enjoy if you win!!!

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15 October 2009

Review: Bite Me! By: Melissa Francis

Title: Bite Me!
Author: Melissa Francis
Publisher: HarperTeen, 304 Pages (July 28, 2009)
From: Purchased on Overstock.com

Synopsis: AJ Ashe isn't your typical seventeen-year-old vampire—as if there is such a thing! She's stuck in the middle of a huge fight between her two BFFs. Her ex-boyfriend—whom she's still totally in love with, by the way—is now her stepbrother. A former classmate—who, um, she may or may not have turned into a vampire—is stalking her. And now, apparently, the fate of humankind lies in her little undead hands. What ever happened to the good old days, when all a vampire girl had to worry about was the occasional zit and hiding her taste for blood?

Review: 3 stars - Bite Me! Was cute. Had an interesting storyline which kept the pages turning as the story progressed. The characters are likeable and interesting. There were a couple laugh-out-loud moments which just added to everything as a whole. When I first read the description about the book, I thought it sounded like a fun read and that's just what it was.

It does have some "fluff" to the story, but didn't bother me nor did I feel it took away from the story. Really, there was more mystery then anything else. Over all the characters and story were fun and the end left me wondering what would happen next? I will be sure to read the sequel - Love Sucks! - out in 2010.

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Title: Blood Promise (Vampire Academy, Book 4)
Author: Richelle Mead
Publisher: Razorbill, 512 Pages (August 25, 2009)
From: Purchased from Amazon

Synopsis: How far will Rose go to keep her promise?



The recent Strigoi attack at St. Vladimir’s Academy was the deadliest ever in the school’s history, claiming the lives of Moroi students, teachers, and guardians alike. Even worse, the Strigoi took some of their victims with them. . . including Dimitri.

He’d rather die than be one of them, and now Rose must abandon her best friend, Lissa—the one she has sworn to protect no matter what—and keep the promise Dimitri begged her to make long ago. But with everything at stake, how can she possibly destroy the person she loves most?

Review: 4 stars - I do really love reading this series. It's always a rollercoaster ride of emotions that the author seems to hit just right. The characters are well developed as the plot and story changes, they change and adapt. Who ever knew that Dimitri could be written evil and done so convincingly. It was amazing, his transformation and the plot wrapped nicely around him. And Rose with her struggles to come to terms with things was just.... perfect.

I would have given this 5 stars however I felt that at times in the beginning and the middle of the book the story stalled while Rose just kind of wandered and really just questioned the same thing over and over again. I don't want to give to much away so I'll leave that there.

One major thing for me that the story was lacking was Adrian. I understand that this wasn't his story, it was far from anything really about him, but to me he's such a strong character that's been introduced to us that I felt he was lacking a bit. A character that has changed and not for the better is Lissa. I just have one question, what's happening to her? By the end was anyone else wondering what's going on with her?? I almost am wondering if there's more going on that we don't know about yet. At least I hope that's the case, because if this is the true new Lissa.... I'd like some of the old one back please.

All in all this was another great installment of the series, which left me wanting more and more. The end of the last page left us on somewhat of a cliffhanger, nothing compared to the previous book, but none the less there was a little one there. I look forward to the next book in the series - Spirit Bound next year, which as always can't come soon enough.

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12 October 2009

Faye over at Ramblings of A Teenage Bookworm is having a contest!! Head on over to her blog to enter and check it out! The winner gets to pick 4 books, and there's some great ones to choose from. Be sure to enter before it closes on Nov. 15th, 2009. Good luck to everyone! And be sure to: Click here to go enter!!

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10 October 2009

Review: His Eyes By: Renee Carter

Title: His Eyes
Author: Renee Carter
Publisher: Outskirts Press, 196 Pages (August 28, 2009)
From: Purchased from Amazon

Synopsis: Amy Turner's about to graduate from high school and all she wants is a job. Actually, all she wants is to find a way to pay for college. Amy certainly isn't looking for love when she answers an ad to baby-sit a boy-she just needs the cash. But the job has a catch: The boy is blind...and he's her age.


Tristan Edmund may be hot, but he doesn't want Amy's help. Or so he thinks. After being blinded in a horse show-jumping competition, Tristan spends his days in the dark, refusing to accept his disability. Much to his annoyance, Amy bursts into his life and drags him into the light. But just as the two begin to see something in each other, Tristan's beautiful ex-girlfriend shows up. Will the temptation be too much, or will Tristan choose the girl who really sees him?

Review: 3 1/2 stars - I heard about His Eyes about 2 weeks ago now and pretty much ordered it right on the spot. It sounded so different - two teens the same age, a boy who recently was in an accident and looses his sight and a girl who is hired to "baby sit" him by his mother. Tristan comes from money and Amy who is just looking for some money to help pay her way through college takes the job with some reluctance.

With each character so different you could see not only the tension but the attraction to each other they had. Tristan who had everything so easy in his life now needs to learn how to live as a blind person. With Amy's help he starts to come out of his shell until his ex-girlfriend comes into the picture and creates problems.

The story was good, short and sweet. I would have liked it to be longer to better develop the characters and the story. Some things just happened to fast to actually be believable. Anyone looking for a short and sweet read should look into picking this up.

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Title: Crazy Beautiful
Author: Lauren Baratz-Logsted
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 208 Pages (September 7, 2009)
From: Purchased from Amazon

Synopsis: In an explosion of his own making, Lucius blew his arms off. Now he has hooks. He chose hooks because they were cheaper. He chose hooks because he wouldn’t outgrow them so quickly. He chose hooks so that everyone would know he was different, so he would scare even himself.


Then he meets Aurora. The hooks don’t scare her. They don’t keep her away. In fact, they don’t make any difference at all to her. But to Lucius, they mean everything. They remind him of the beast he is inside. Perhaps Aurora is his Beauty, destined to set his soul free from its suffering.

Or maybe she’s just a girl who needs love just like he does.

Review: 4 Stars - Crazy Beautiful is a story told in alternation chapters between Lucius and Aurora who in each of their own ways are damaged from their past. Two teens drawn to each other on their first day at a new school. As this is a new telling of a Beauty and the Beast story we learn early on in the book that Lucius lost both of his hands in an explosion of his own doing. He chooses to have hooks because he wouldn't grow out of them as quickly and he also in some ways wanted to punish himself for what he had done. The reason for his loosing his hands was briefly touched on and I would have loved to hear more about what actually happened.

Lucius and Aurora are teenagers who are looking for friendship, love, understanding and a place in the world. I enjoyed how refreshing Aurora was in the fact that she didn't just go with the flow and become a follower as most of the other minor characters did when it came to Lucius. I enjoyed her as a heroin for Lucius and felt that they fit together perfectly.

This story was a quick read with a little of everything... even some funny moments that I caught myself laughing out loud. When I first heard about this book, I couldn't wait to read it. Needless to say the title was fitting, the writing well done, characters likable... nothing within the pages from beginning to end let me down except for the fact that I would have liked just a bit more of the story. To all who have yet to find this book - enjoy it when you do.

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Title: Breathless
Author: Lurlene McDaniel
Publisher: Delacorte Books, 176 Pages (May 12, 2009)
From: Purchased from Overstock.com

Synopsis: What is the toughest request anyone can be asked to fulfill?


Travis Morrison is a champion diver and one of the most popular kids at school. On the first day of summer vacation, while boating on the lake with his friends, Travis attempts a silly stunt dive that goes wrong. He fears he has broken his leg. Instead, his trip to the hospital reveals he has a rare form of cancer, and to save him, the doctors tell his parents they must amputate. In an instant, Travis’s life and the lives of everyone around him are forever changed.

Travis is determined that he and only he should decide the course of his life. He has a plan, but he can’t carry it out alone. Will he convince one of his friends to fulfill his most important request?
 
Review: 3 1/2 Stars - This story is told from four different and unique perspectives - Travis, Emily the sister, Cooper the best friend and Darla the girlfriend. Each of the characters different points of view and how they related to each other with what was going on with Travis was written well. With the four different characters getting a chance to tell their point of view from a different angle the author covers many of the different choices one might or could make in such a horrible situation.

I found this story depressing due to the sensitive subject matter and the raw emotions written within each of the characters. It made me think what I REALLY would do if put in this situation. The author is correct in saying that we all might think we know what we would do, however until we are put in that actual situation we'd surprise ourselves at what we would actually do.

It was a quick read that was written extremely well for such a hard subject matter and the story itself gives a person so much to think about. If you haven't read this book be aware that its controversial subject matter is raw as are emotions, you might want to have a tissue handy.

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07 October 2009

Review: Perfect Chemistry By: Simone Elkeles


Title: Perfect Chemistry
Author: Simone Elkeles
Publisher: Walker Books for Young Readers, 368 Pages (December 23, 2008)
From: Purchased from Overstock.com

Synopsis: A fresh, urban twist on the classic tale of star-crossed lovers.


When Brittany Ellis walks into chemistry class on the first day of senior year, she has no clue that her carefully created “perfect” life is about to unravel before her eyes. She’s forced to be lab partners with Alex Fuentes, a gang member from the other side of town, and he is about to threaten everything she's worked so hard for—her flawless reputation, her relationship with her boyfriend, and the secret that her home life is anything but perfect. Alex is a bad boy and he knows it. So when he makes a bet with his friends to lure Brittany into his life, he thinks nothing of it. But soon Alex realizes Brittany is a real person with real problems, and suddenly the bet he made in arrogance turns into something much more. In a passionate story about looking beneath the surface, Simone Elkeles breaks through the stereotypes and barriers that threaten to keep Brittany and Alex apart.

Review: 5 Stars - I don't know even where to start with this review. I've wanted to read this book for awhile and finally ordered it and read it almost the second it hit my hands. What more can I say but it was amazing. The characters were alive within the pages of this book. They were real in the sense that I think everyone could relate to both Brittany and Alex.

You wouldn't think that a gang member would be anything like the rich girl from the other side of town, but you'd be amazed at just how it all... clicks.

From the first page to the last I wanted nothing but more of this story. I wanted to know what would happen next, but at the same time I didn't want the story to end. If you’re thinking of reading this book and believe that it's only about two star-crossed lovers, then you’re wrong in believing that. The story of Brittany and Alex is so much more then just a love story. It's about trust, honesty with others and yourself, it is just full of so many life lessons, and more then I could even begin to list here.

What made this book even more perfect were the alternating point of view chapters. As a reader we were able to learn more about each character and not only who they really were, but what they both really wanted out of their lives.

What more can I say but read it! I know that this is one of those books that I'll be reading and enjoying over and over again. I would recommend you grab this book and read it soon, you won't be disappointed. I know I'm looking forward to reading more from this author.

ETA: It looks like there will be a sequel! Just visited the authors website and it shows - Rules of Attraction , sequel to Perfect Chemistry, May 2010!!! I can't wait!

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Title: The Devouring
Author: Simon Holt
Publisher: Little Brown Young Readers, 256 Pages (June 1, 2009)
From: Purchased from Borders

Synopsis: "When dark creeps in and eats the light,

Bury your fears on Sorry Night.
For in the winter's blackest hours,
Comes the feasting of the Vours,
No one can see it, the life they stole,
Your body's here but not your soul..."

THE VOURS: Evil, demonic beings that inhabit human bodies on Sorry Night, the darkest hours of the winter solstice.

When Reggie reads about the Vours in a mysterious old journal, she assumes they are just the musings of an anonymous lunatic. But when her little brother, Henry, begins to act strangely, it's clear that these creatures exist beyond a madwoman's imagination, and Reggie finds out what happens when fears come to life.To save the people she loves, Reggie must learn to survive in a world of nightmares. Can she devour her own fears before they devour her?

The Devouring is an engrossing tale of terror that will have you wondering: what if your worst fears became your living nightmare?

Review: 4 Stars - After hearing so much about this book and it's sequel, I finally picked them both up and read this first in the series right away. Needless to say I was pretty creeped out and had to put it down for a day before picking it back up again. I think the main problem I had was that I started reading this while I was alone, in the dark with the only light coming from my book light.

The story held my attention creep outs and all…. The more I read, the more I wanted to find out about Reggie, her 'lost' brother Henry and Reggie's best friend Aaron. Simon Holt's idea for this story and the "Vours" was a great one and was something I'm glad to have not to have missed out on.

If not for the creep factor I would have been able to read this in one sitting. As with this ending, I look forward to it's sequel to see just what happens next. If you like scary, creepy books with a good story and a touch of something different, then this is without a doubt the series for you.

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04 October 2009

Title: Megan Meade's Guide to the McGowan Boys
Author: Kate Brian
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, 288 Pages (September 5, 2006)
From: Purchased from Overstock.com

Synopsis: Boys. 7 of them, to be exact. Megan is used to moving from place to place -- it's typical for an army brat. But she drew the line at South Korea. She insists on staying in the States to finish her last two years of high school. So her parents made arrangements for Megan to live with their friends, the McGowans...and the McGowans' 7 sons.

Turns out, living with 7 boys might as well be a foreign country! The boys are messy. They are cliquey (who knew?). And worst of all, two of the oldest boys are H-O-T. (A problem considering they are supposed to be Megan's "brothers.") Megan is definitely in enemy territory. She needs to win over the boys' hearts without totally crushing her own. And when Megan starts falling for one of them, sibling rivalry takes on a whole new meaning.... What is a girl to do?

Review: 4 Stars - Cute story. Show's how a person - girl's and boy's grow while going through various dramas throughout their teen years. How girl's and boy's are some what similar in how they do things - just both go about it in different round about ways.

It was a fast read that left me wanting to see more into the 2 year stay that Megan had at the McGowan house. What came between her and the crush she had on one of those 7 boys???

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Title: The Good Girl's Guide to Getting Kidnapped
Author: Yxta Maya Murray
Publisher: Razorbill, 272 Pages (January 7, 2010)
From: Publisher

Review: 3 1/2 stars. The main character, Michelle Pena or Princess P was born into a gang family - her mother head of the 99's & her brother head of the Snakes.

In her early teen years both mother and brother were jailed for various gang actives, leaving Michelle to feel she had to fend for herself upon entering the Foster Care system. Moving from home to home - finding out that there is more to life then gangs, Michelle turns to school and running with the track team. While her and her best friend KiKi are both trying out for a scholarship to a prep school, people from Michelle's hidden past - members of the Snakes kidnap them both to hold them for ransom.

Michelle and KiKi need to make some hard choices while being held to survive, leaving many questions as to which road they would choose to take. The decisions in my mind were often hard but written well in the fact that they showed the reader that not all choices in life are the right ones and not everyone will agree with what might be right for you. However, I did feel that if Michelle did indeed want a better life, some of her choices should have been a little harder to make, maybe taken a little more thought.

I felt the ending was a tad rushed - the last few pages were somewhat confusing. The main character makes promises to do one thing, but I felt there was never a clear choice made. If this is the type of ending the author was going for, then it worked well in leaving the reader questioning things. I just felt that the characters and reader needed more closure then was given.  Overall it was a interesting story that kept me entertained in a world that I can say I knew nothing about. Future readers enjoy!

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In accordance with FTC Guidelines, I have not received any monetary gain for any information posted within the pages of this website/blog. Any and all information has been provided by the publisher, author and or publicist for free. Content is also based on purchases made by myself or of my guest reviewer(s). Any and all opinions expressed within the pages of this website/blog are solely my own or those of the authors of any and all guest reviewers(s) or guest bloggers.



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About Me

Hi, I’m Lisa and I'm a proud bibliophile.

I enjoy reading and reviewing a variety of different books within the Young Adult, "New Adult" & Adult genres/categories. If you have any questions or if you are an author or publisher and would be interested in promoting a book, please feel free email. You can find my email under the "mail" button or under the contact link at the top of the page.

I look forward to hearing from you!


Authors, Publishers & Publicists

Have a book you'd like me to review or Promote? How about doing an Author Interview? Or maybe a Guest Post? Great! I'd love to! For more information about having your book reviewed here, please follow this link for more information:

Reviews, Interviews, Guest Posts and Contest.

Guest Reviewer Jenny

Guest Reviewer Jenny
Click for info & links to her reviews!

My Ratings

When I review I rate from 1 to 5 stars, 5 being the highest rating. I review based on many different things from the writing, to the story - to the characters and how I can relate to them or how they are developed. I also review based on if an author has worked their magic and was able to draw me into a story so deeply that I don't want to put the book down. If you would like me to review a book, please contact me or view my Contact Information and Review Policy for further details.

5 Stars - I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!
4 Stars - I Really liked/Loved it.
3 Stars - I liked it/Was pretty good.
2 Stars - It was, eh okay.
1 Star - It just wasn't for me.

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