29 November 2010

Guest Post from Author Jason Letts

Why Men Don’t Read Paranormal Romance

Right now, Stephanie Meyer is sitting alone in a dark room, clutching a half-empty glass of red wine and wondering why men don’t read her stories. It haunts her, makes her lie awake at night. She just can’t figure it out. It doesn’t make any sense, she thinks. This has vampires, werewolves, the supernatural, and a good-looking leading lady, so why won’t they read it?

I’ll admit that I’ve never read Twilight. In fact, I’m pretty sure the book would burn my hand if I ever tried to touch it. For guys like me, who not only read but read young adult, the whole series is just naturally repellent. That’s not because of the story. Heck, it’s not even because it’s a romance. Here’s the reason most guys could never put into words: everything about Bella that makes the story attractive to women makes it unattractive to men.

It all does come down to the heroine and her personality. To figure out if men will respond to a female protagonist, you have to know the answer to this question: what do men find attractive in a woman? Can you answer it? A woman is sexy if she’s confident, motivated, talented, and independent. We want someone who is in control of herself, who can make decisions, who goes out and gets what she wants. Now, does Bella possess these qualities? I’m sure she has her moments, but for the most part she seems timid, shy, confused, and introverted. While that certainly speaks to women’s very human vulnerabilities, it is not the sort of thing that reaches out and catches a guy’s interest.

I hope you’re not taking this as an attack on Twilight. There are surely enough people out there doing that. Rather, this extends to all books in the young-adult and paranormal genres. Weak female characters are not going to get the attention of male readers. If you want to know what makes a strong female character, check out this hilarious flowchart. It turns out men will flock to paranormal romances as long as it has a powerful heroine. If you’re in any doubt about this, I’ll give you one example: The Hunger Games.

But you might say, The Hunger Games isn’t a paranormal romance! Taking a step back after completing the series, it’s pretty clear that it is. It turns out the entire political half of the story, which ended in a muted whimper, was really just there to keep the love triangle spinning. That leaves us with Katniss Everdeen, who for two books was mesmerizing and courageous. She was focused and outspoken, and it made The Hunger Games one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. A strong-willed girl like that makes me believe there were two guys chasing after her.

In my YA fantasy series, called Powerless, I’ve tried to create a heroine who is both intelligent and determined, though of course it takes some time for her to grow into it. It’s as if Hermoine were the star of Harry Potter, as one reviewer put it. In the story, Mira Ipswich has been hidden by her parents because she’s the only one without a unique, magical power. When she convinces them to release her, she has to overcome her limitation and find a way to reunite her family. I should make it clear that this is a fantasy adventure story and not a romance. It’s not until the forthcoming third book that innocent flirting and subtle feelings blossom into fledgling romances, which then keep a stranglehold on the story through its last two books. But I hope Mira proves to be an admirable character for both men and women alike. That certainly would be a great accomplishment.

So to the young-adult and paranormal authors out there who are racking their brains trying to figure out how to get guys to look at their stories, my advice is to toughen up your heroines. She doesn’t have to be a rampaging, murderous machine, but she should have some fight in her, a goal that is more than simply to find a man. Guys don’t want a girl who follows. We’d much rather someone who stands equal by our side.

I’d like to close with a huge thank you to Lisa for giving me this space! I’m very pleased to make an appearance and hold a giveaway on “A Life Bound by Books” (great alliterative blog name!), and I’m very grateful for her support. Thank you all very much for reading!


Jason Letts is the author of the Powerless series, which will see book 3, Powerless: The Stasis, released December 1st. To find more about his books, visit www.powerlessbooks.com

Or find Jason on Twitter.

Order any of Jason's books here - AMAZON


Title: Powerless Book 3: The Stasis
Released on December 1st, 2010

Don't forget - if you'd like your own FREE ebook copy of the first book in the series - Powerless Books 1: Synthesis - thing CLICK HERE TO TAKE YOU TO YOU TO YOUR FREE EBOOK COPY TODAY! Hurry, this limited time offer ends December 5th, 2010

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It's time for some winners! Four winners will each receive a FOUR pack of books! Candy Fairies Series By: Helen Perelman - Thanks to everyone who entered and a HUGE congrats to each of the four winners!!!




Robin K (Intense Whisper)

I Read Banned Books/Jen Bigheart

Melissa G

Bethie






I have emailed each of you and you have 48 hours to respond with your mailing addresses or I'll be forced to choose another winner and as always, I don't want to do that! So check your spam folders or if you didn't receive one,  please feel free to email me your details to claim your prize :)

Winner here are chosen via Random.org, unless otherwise stated. If you have any questions, please feel free to check my policy page or send a email with any questions you might have.

Congrats again to each of you and if you didn't win this time, no to worry... there's always another contest lurking right around the corner here.

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28 November 2010

In My Mailbox (40)

It's time for another week of In My Mailbox - here's a look at all the great books that arrived on my doorstep either by purchase, trade or for review. It's hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren. As always, thanks so much for hosting it Kristi!



This week, I bring you the last THREE weeks all rolled into one!


Purchased:

Night World, No. 3: Huntress, Black Dawn, Witchlight (Night World #7-9) By: L.J. Smith
Prey (Shifters, #4) By: Rachel Vincent

For Review:

The Iron Queen (Iron Fey, #3) By: Julie Kagawa
Night School (Blood Coven, #5) By: Mari Mancusi
Dark Moon (Wereling, #2) By: Steve Feasey
The Ex-Boyfriend's Handbook By: Matt Dunn
Past Midnight (Past Midnight, #1) By: Mara Purnhagen
Darkness Dawns By: Dianne Duvall

And some FUN Blue nail polish to help celebrate The Lost Saint (The Dark Divine, #2) By: Bree Despain! (Not pictured)

A HUGE thank you to - Dianne Duvall, Feiwel & Friends, Harlequin Teen, Penguin/Berkley, Sourcebooks and Egmont!!

Traded:

Alpha By: Rachel Vincent

Won or Gifted:

None

So, that's it for me for the last three weeks! Some amazing titles I can't wait to read. So many great books, so little time..... but isn't that how it always works out? lol What did you guys get this week?

Also, I hope everyone in the US had a great Thanksgiving!!! Anyone go out shopping on Black Friday at 3-4am? LOL Get any good deals? Not me, I was fast sleep. I always say, maybe next year, but it never happens. lol Have a great week everyone.

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27 November 2010

Title: Powerless Book 1: The Synthesis
Author: Jason Letts
Publisher: CreateSpace, (October 13, 2010)
Order here: Amazon, Barnes and Noble

Synopsis: Mira Ipswich couldn't have ever known the startling difference that separates her from the rest of humanity. But when she discovers a strange anomaly in the midst of her seclusion, her parents are forced to reveal she exists in a world where everyone is imbued with a wondrous natural gift. Everyone except herself that is. Accompany Mira as her attempts to fit in among peers and understand her inconceivable condition embroil her with the dangerous forces threatening her homeland. Protected by nothing more than her imagination and ingenuity, you'll never find a superhero more like you.

The first book in the Powerless series is the tale of Mira’s turbulent and perilous entry into the world around her. And once she’s a part of it, nothing will ever be the same again.


Title: Powerless Book 2: The Shadowing
Author: Jason Letts
Publisher: CreateSpace, (August 30th, 2010)
Order here:Amazon, Barnes and Noble

Synopsis: If you were sent out into the world to learn of its evil, what would you expect to find?

In book two of the Powerless series, Mira and her friends must endure a period of apprenticeship, known as The Shadowing. This is their last chance to prepare themselves before they are thrust into the mysterious war, which no one seems to know anything about. While Vern, Aoi, Will, and Roselyn seek out pre-arranged mentors to help them develop their unique magical abilities, Mira—the only one without a power—sets off in search of the brilliant author of her science manuals, Flip Widget, who she learns was the doctor at her birth. For all they have to fear that waits for them in the future, they will find that the troubles they prepare for are much closer at hand than they think.


How would you like a FREE book? Yes, FREE, FREE, FREE! Author Jason Letts is celebrating the release of his third book in the Powerless Series by giving away the - Powerless Book 1: The Synthesis - to anyone who'd like it!!

Here's the rules and how to get your free copy:

You MUST complete the form for your copy.
No entries on comments please - comments are more then welcomed and loved, just no entries/requests in comments.
You MUST be at least 13 years old to request a copy of this book.
This giveaway is open INTERNATIONAL!
Giveaway ends: December 5th, 2010


Thanks Jason for asking me to host this giveaway!!
And be sure to check back on Monday for a Guest Post from Jason too!

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24 November 2010

"Waiting On" Wednesday is an event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. The purpose of this weekly event is to spotlight a soon-to-be-released book that you are very much anticipating. "Waiting On" Wednesday will also give bloggers an opportunity to share ideas for our TBR lists.


Title: Haven
Author: Kristi Cook
Publisher: Simon Pulse, 2011
Preorder here: Amazon, Borders, Barns and Noble, The Book Depository

Synopsis: One month into her junior year, sixteen-year-old Violet McKenna transfers to the Winterhaven School in New York’s Hudson Valley, inexplicably drawn to the boarding school with high hopes. Leaving Atlanta behind, she’s looking forward to a fresh start--a new school, and new classmates who will not know her deepest, darkest secret, the one she’s tried to hide all her life: strange, foreboding visions of the future.

But Winterhaven has secrets of its own, secrets that run far deeper than Violet’s. Everyone there--every student, every teacher--has psychic abilities, 'gifts and talents,' they like to call them. Once the initial shock of discovery wears off, Violet realizes that the school is a safe haven for people like her. Soon, Violet has a new circle of friends, a new life, and maybe even a boyfriend--Aidan Gray, perhaps the smartest, hottest guy at Winterhaven.

Only there’s more to Aidan than meets the eye--much, much more. And once she learns the horrible truth, there’s no turning back from her destiny. Their destiny. Together, Violet and Aidan must face a common enemy--if only they can do so without destroying each other first.


Title: Timeless
Author: Alexandra Monir
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers, 288 Pages (January 11th 2011)
Preorder here: Amazon, Borders, Barns and Noble, The Book Depository

Synopsis: When tragedy strikes Michele Windsor’s world, she is forced to uproot her life and move across the country to New York City, to live with the wealthy, aristocratic grandparents she’s never met. In their old Fifth Avenue mansion filled with a century’s worth of family secrets, Michele discovers a diary that hurtles her back in time to the year 1910. There, in the midst of the glamorous Gilded Age, Michele meets the young man with striking blue eyes who has haunted her dreams all her life – a man she always wished was real, but never imagined could actually exist. And she finds herself falling for him, into an otherworldly, time-crossed romance.

Michele is soon leading a double life, struggling to balance her contemporary high school world with her escapes into the past. But when she stumbles upon a terrible discovery, she is propelled on a race through history to save the boy she loves – a quest that will determine the fate of both of their lives.

Two more must reads for 2011. Haven - about a boarding school with students and teachers who have abilites... and Timeless, a book set in the past of 1910 and the present. I can't wait to read both. I'm loving how different all these 2011 books are sounding, which just makes me more excited and eager for next year. And the covers, WOW! The art departments at the publishing houses really are out doing themselves.

*covers are always subject to change.
*I am not compensated at all for any of the links within this page.

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23 November 2010

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Here's what you do...



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

Title: John Belushi is Dead
Author: Kathy Charles
Publisher: MTV Books, 320 Pages (August 24th 2010)
Order From: Amazon, Borders, Barnes and Noble, The Book Depository

Synopsis: Set in a glamorous and seedy Los Angeles, Hollywood Ending is a story that will make your heart skip a beat.

Pink-haired Hilda and endearing punk Benji, both seventeen, have an obsessive hobby—they haunt the places where Hollywood celebrities have died.

In rundown Echo Park, once the hub of the movie business, they find the squalid apartment where a second-rate silent movie star stabbed himself to death with nail scissors. Its current tenant is Hank, an old man with a mysterious past.

While Benji dives deeper into the cult of celebrity death, Hank and Hilda make an unlikely pair. Then Jake the screenwriter turns up. What’s his story?

"So what does a script doctor actually do?"

"We fix things. We all have our areas of specialty. Dialog, fight scenes, car chases. Mine is sex."

"Excuse me?"
(Pg. 144)

I'm really enjoying this book!! I should be finished with it and have a review up soon!

*I am not compensated at all for any of the links within this page.

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22 November 2010

Haunted Halloween 2010 Wrap Up!


Well, Haunted Halloween is officially over and we had a wonderful time! First, We'd like to thank all of the authors who took time out to write posts and to send donations. You all are amazing!! And we have to thank all of our readers. You guys made this event way more than we expected and we cannot thank you enough for visiting each day and leaving so many great comments. Now, it's time for the wrap-up!

Totals

2 Bloggers

+

65 Authors

+

2400 Comments

+

146 books given away!

=

An amazing book-ish Halloween!!



We also want to thank the following publishers for making many of the donations possible:













We also want to say a HUGE thank you to @Wrath_BDB & @Rehvenge_BDB and everyone else within the Black Dagger Brotherhood Twitter Role Play group for their stories, interview and helping to celebrate Halloween with us. We love to follow along with all the members of the group each night and we think everyone should follow along as well. Take a look at this link HERE to easily follow each member! 

We plan to have Haunted Halloween again next year and hope to make it even bigger than this year! We will be setting up an information post soon that will provide more information.

Thanks everyone! Hope you all had a great Halloween!

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Title: Five Flavors of DUMB
Author: Antony John
Publisher: Dial, 352 Pages (November 11th 2010)
Order Online: Amazon, Borders, Barnes and Noble, The Book Depository

Synopsis: THE CHALLENGE: Piper has one month to get a paying gig for Dumb—the hottest new rock band in school.

THE DEAL: If she does it, she'll become manager of the band and get her share of the profits, which she desperately needs since her parents raided her college fund.

THE CATCH: Managing one egomaniacal pretty boy, one talentless piece of eye candy, one crush, one silent rocker, and one angry girl who is ready to beat her up. And doing it all when she's deaf. With growing self-confidence, an unexpected romance, and a new understanding of her family's decision to buy a cochlear implant for her deaf baby sister, Piper just may discover her own inner rock star.

Check out my review - HERE


Interview with Author, Antony John -

Hi Antony, thank you for being here. Could you tell us a little bit about yourself and your upcoming novel Five Flavors of Dumb?

Hi Lisa! I’m a YA author and full-time stay-at-home dad. I used to teach music at university, so music has always been a big part of my life. (Specifically, I was a composer.) When I switched careers and became a YA author, I was determined to write a book about music. FIVE FLAVORS OF DUMB is the result!
 
I really enjoyed FIVE FLAVORS OF DUMB, was it tough to write a book about the deaf?

You know that saying “Ignorance is bliss”? Well, I think that applies to DUMB. When my wife suggested that I write about music from the perspective of a deaf person, I thought: “Yeah. Great idea. I should totally do that.” If I’d known how complicated deafness is, I might have changed my mind.

See, people think that losing your hearing is sort of like losing your sight. You just get a pair of glasses and you have 20/20 vision again. Only, a hearing aid rarely recaptures ALL lost hearing. Depending on the severity of the deafness, it may only enable the wearer to hear a fraction of all the sounds around us. I found all this out from talking to deaf people, audiologists, sign language teachers, etc. But getting it right in the book was another challenge entirely . . .

Above all, I had to imagine what it would be like to experience music not just as something heard, but as something felt. I was a professional musician before I began writing, and so I have a lot of knowledge about what makes music work the way it does. I couldn’t assume Piper would know what I know, or feel the same way about music as I do. Because of that, yes, it was tough to get inside her head; but it also gave me a real appreciation for the awesome physical power of music.

I imagine having your book published is exciting, how has the process been for you?

A dream. I began writing when I became a stay-at-home dad, mostly as a creative outlet to take the place of music. But then BUSTED landed me an agent and a publisher. DUMB followed, and now I have five books coming out with Dial/Penguin over the next few years. To me, the best thing about being a published author is that it gives me the opportunity to continue writing. I literally have dozens of ideas for books, and the thought that I’ll be able to write them all one day is thrilling.

I have to admit that there’s nothing quite like connecting with readers, too. I always try to write back to anyone who drops me a note, because writing is a really solitary experience, and it’s beyond amazing to know that someone out there is reading my book and—gasp!—enjoying it enough to write to me.

If you could pick two characters from any two books and put them together (not necessarily for romantic reasons), who would you pick and what do you think might happen between them?

Katniss Everdeen and Bella Swan. Katniss would kick Bella’s butt, but not before telling her to get over herself already and ditch the sparkly guy. Seriously, how long would Bella have lasted in THE HUNGER GAMES?


Thanks for stopping by Antony! It was great to have you.

Find Antony Online:

Website | Blog | Facebook



*I am not compensated at all for any of the links within this page.

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Title: Review: Song of the Moon (Artemis Lupine, #1)
Author: Catherine Banks
Publisher: Self Published, 294 Pages (February 19th 2010)

Synopsis: What if you found out that there was another world inside your own? What if all of the things you thought made you weird, actually made you powerful?


Artemis's life is changed forever when the mysterious man from her dreams, Ares, comes to claim her as his mate. The seventeen year old girl must find a way to adapt to her true life and accept her fate or run from it. She must overcome her fears and human ideals to give her self to the dangerous world, and man, that is her destiny.

You can now order this Song of the Moon in ebook format for $4.99!
Order here: Smashwords

You can also order the book.
Order here: Amazon

Be sure to check out my review HERE. And my interview with Catherine HERE.

Find Catherine online HERE

Be sure to keep an eye out for the next book in the series - Kiss of a Star in 2011.

*I am not compensated at all for any of the links within this page.

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21 November 2010

Title: Five Flavors of DUMB
Author: Antony John
Publisher: Dial, 352 Pages (November 11th 2010)
From: Antony, Thank You!

Synopsis: THE CHALLENGE: Piper has one month to get a paying gig for Dumb—the hottest new rock band in school.

THE DEAL: If she does it, she'll become manager of the band and get her share of the profits, which she desperately needs since her parents raided her college fund.

THE CATCH: Managing one egomaniacal pretty boy, one talentless piece of eye candy, one crush, one silent rocker, and one angry girl who is ready to beat her up. And doing it all when she's deaf. With growing self-confidence, an unexpected romance, and a new understanding of her family's decision to buy a cochlear implant for her deaf baby sister, Piper just may discover her own inner rock star.

Review: 4 Stars - Antony John’s Five Flavors of DUMB has a bit of everything. Highs, lows, family and all the troubles growing up with siblings, romance, teen issues, music with highlights that include some amazing and extremely interesting facts from musicians from the distant and not so distant past. John has taken a girl with a disability and made her into a hero of sorts, creating a character that has something to teach us all and does an amazing job doing just that.

Piper, our main character of the story is deaf. She lost her hearing at a young age and is the oldest child of three. Her teenage brother is a trouble maker, but had much to give to just who Piper was as a person. Her younger sister – an infant - was born deaf and without Pipers knowledge her parents raided her college fund to give her sister cochlear implant surgery to correct this defect.

All hell breaks loose – so to speak - leaving Piper feeling not only alone, but not knowing what to do to make her college dreams come true. In walk the members of DUMB. A band from her high school who just won a recently battle of the bands. She stands up to them and offers a deal that’s too good to pass up. Get DUMB a paying gig within a month and split the profits evenly or just walk away, no harm done. Piper thinks it’s easy, a no brainier so to speak. However, being deaf might just create a bit of a problem when you’re dealing with music and the musicians behind the music.

With a cast of characters or flavors as Piper likes to call them, trouble and up hill battles are right around the corner. How this quiet meek girl can turn this and her life around in just 4 weeks is anyone’s guess?

I enjoyed watching the characters come together when they needed each other most. I loved the walks down memory lane, learning about rock stars from the past who have long since left this world – all untimely. Piper is such an amazing character to read and I found that if I thought back to my teenage years I could more then relate too much she was going through. John has done wonders with this character and put just the right spin on things to make these teenagers feel more then real.

The romance was perfect and worked well fitting in with just who Piper was. It was great to see her change not only because of the members of the band and because of her love interest but also because of her family.

All in all – John has created a pretty amazing teen novel, finding just the right rhythm to have a hit on his hands. Fans of strong likeable characters and music will find much to love. I for one will be eager to read more from this author in the future and will be on the look out for his next novel. I highly recommend this book to lovers of YA – big and small. *note, there is some swearing in this book. Not all that much, but some, so please keep that in mind for younger readers.

FTC Disclaimer: I did NOT pay for this book, nor have I been compensated at all in any way or means for reading and writing this HONEST review.

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19 November 2010

Haunted Halloween: Winners!


Here is the last round of winners from Haunted Halloween 2010! Only a few to announce right now, but I have a few other contests still running and a few things coming up between now and the rest of the year, so keep an eye out.

Evernight By: Claudia Grey

Lisa ( Badass Bookie)

Exit Strategy By: Ryan Potter

Steph Sanders

The Black Dagger Brotherhood Box Set By: J.R. Ward

Kim - The Book Butterfly
Congrats to the winners and a HUGE Thanks to everyone who entered and to help make Haunted Halloween 2010 the HUGE amazing success that it turned out to be. Each of the winners have 48 hours to get back in touch with me with their mailing details. Also, please check your spam folders as hotmail sometimes doesn't like to play nice. If you haven't received an email from me, feel free to send one to claim your prize!

If you didn't win one of these, not to worry! I have a couple other contests running right now and some coming up before the end of the year. As always winners are chosen at Random via Random.org - unless otherwise stated. If you have any questions, please check my policy page or feel free to email.

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Title: The Jumper Chronicles: Quest for Merlin's Map
Author: W. C. Peever
Publisher: Savant Books & Publications, 296 pages (July 23, 2010)
Order Online: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Synopsis: Charlie is an awkward twelve-year old living a normal life till he is abducted and thrust into a world of ever-looming danger, a world of Magic, of Angry Gods, and Creatures that are should only exist inside of fairytales.  Charlie and his three friends must unravel the mysteries of their new found abilities, save the father Charlie has never known, and uncover a secret that will change their lives forever.

The Jumper Chronicles: Quest for Merlin’s Map is the first book in the Jumper Chronicles series by author W. C. Peever. Quest for Merlin’s Map has already caused a stir prompting Bookfinds to call it “the best young adult fantasy in a long time, and The Midwest Book Review to praise it as “a riveting read, very highly recommended.” You can purchase the first book in the series on Amazon.com and BN.com right now and in a bookstore near you after the new year. If you would like to know more, or join one of the many contests surrounding this book please visit http://www.jumperchronicles.com/.

Six thousand years ago the Norse Gods were forced to leave their creations on Earth to fight an epic civil war. They charged the Druids of Britton with the protection of the human race while they were away, imbuing them with all of their abilities. The Gods never returned, and their abilities were passed down through the ages. Twelve year old Charlie Burrows is one of the most powerful of these descendants; he just does not realize it. That is, until today. Now the fate of humanity and the life of the father he never knew lie in the balance as he and his new friends struggle to discover the truth about the object the Merlin hid in both space and time.

How would you describe The Jumper Chronicles?

I think it would be best to let Charlie describe the book, after all he is the main character.

“Hi, my name is Charlie Burrows. I am twelve years old and am currently running for my life, I really don’t even have time to talk to you, so I need to make it brief. Eight months ago I discovered that I was a descendant of the ancient Druids of England. Big deal right? That’s what I thought too until my best friend (also a descendant) Bailey stared to be able to hurl huge boulders in the air using her mind, and I was able to jump into alternative dimensions. Ya…we have x-men like abilities that our parents never told us about! Thanks so much mom. You would think they could have at least been honest with us when we asked them to check for monsters under the bed. ‘Yes dear, that is just an escaped troll from the fourth kingdom, animal control is on their way.” To be fair my father who disappeared when I was two is the one who should have told me, but like I said he disappeared. So I was transported, well kidnapped really to this huge castle in Scotland where they train freaks like me to be part of the Order…which is too hard to explain right now, because I have the entire Vanari (Bad guys) army trying to find me before I can decode this ancient map that Merlin (my great great…really great grandfather, left behind. So to cap it off, it has been a rough year of dealing with my new abilities, trying to pass algebra, finding a father I never remember meeting and trying to keep humanity alive. Ok that splintering wood sound is the front door of the castle, I have to run. If you want to learn more about me, than read this book, but you’re probably better off not knowing, because I have not had a solid night sleep since I learned that monsters under the bed are actually real.

Where did you come up with the concept of The Jumper Chronicles?

When Abby (my first daughter) turned one, my wife and I decided that I would “temporarily retire” from teaching high school science and become a full time stay at home father. The decision was completely voluntary on my part and made a great deal of sense considering the fact that she made a great deal more money than me. I thought I had it made, play with my daughter, wash a few dishes and watch Ellen with my morning coffee. What didn’t occur to me at the time was that I was going from teaching organic chemistry and advanced placement environmental science to playing with a toddler, listening to Barney, The Wiggles and Big Bird. At some point, my brain started to feel like oatmeal…and not the nice steal cut kind… I am talking instant just add water. So my wife suggested I write; it was always a simple pleasure of mine, writing, and reading. So I looked out of the window of my sea side house in Massachusetts, it was a cold night in early January, the snow was drifting in that lazy way it dances across the street…and I wrote this sentence “The Wind howled outside the small, colonial blue, seacoast home, as February bared its teeth in the small New England town of Marblehead.” I had no idea where I was going to go from there, no plan, nothing…slowly the story just took on a life of its own; every chapter I wrote was a surprise for me! It was like reading one of those chose your own adventure stories that I grew up with. I was enthralled, and I fell in love with Bailey, Tillie, Charlie and Mick. A great deal of the story you are reading today was not in the first draft, I had an enormous amount of editing and re-editing to do but I am pleased with the end result. So pleased that I have written the second book; Path of the Templar was planned however, not as much fun, but a better book for it!

When did you first know that you wanted to be a writer?

Would it completely shock you to find out that I had never in my life thought I would become a writer? It just never was on my mind as a possible path for me. Looking back over my life, I realize that I have always wanted to entertain people, I was the first to tell the ghost story around the campfire, the lead in all of my high school plays, the captain of my lacrosse team…I loved entertaining people, but I never thought I could make a living out of writing, because I am not a very serious person, I am a joker. In high school everyone in writing class tried so hard to be deep, the words “pregnant with meaning” were thrown around in every class. Everyone took themselves so seriously…I hated it! College was the same thing; I remember one night I was so sick of hearing about the new dark poetry readings that I stood up in the dining hall and announced that I would be reading from Harry Potter that night in my dorm. I got disgusted looks from all of the “serious” writers, as if I was the scum of the earth. But I had my reading, and to my surprise people actually showed up…not a lot of people, but people that I am friends with to this day.

That was a very long analogy-story that did not answer your question. But I needed to express that I am not a writer, I am a story teller who puts his words on paper and binds them in a book. I am sure that all the “serious” writers would agree that I am not one of them. As I am equally sure that the Judith Blacks and Odd Bodkins (my favorite story tellers) of the world would welcome me with open arms.

What inspired you to create the character Charlie? Do any of Charlie’s characteristics, qualities, or childhood relate to your own?

My sister read the book and then immediately facebooked me with a question. “Is Charlie you? I mean you grew up without a dad; your best friends have always been girls; you went to a private school; you were kind of a dork…” I will stop there as she gets kind of personal! When I wrote Charlie, the only trait I thought I was giving him was the name of my grandfather, but what my sister said really hit me. I guess part of Charlie came from me. It was unintentional, and fully conceived by my subconscious, but…a good chunk of who Charlie is…is me.

If you could save one character from The Jumper Chronicles in the event of a disaster, which one would it be? Why?

{Laughing} Sorry, this was exactly the question that I asked myself when I was writing the second book…and I do something particularly {spoiler} to one of the characters in the book, based on the answer. Let see here. The selfish part of me wants to save Bailey, because she was based on someone I love quite a bit. But if I had to shove that testosterone filled, protective lion in the closet and save based on importance…it would have to be Charlie. Without him, well…Let’s just say this. Charlie is the key to everything, the fulcrum between good and evil…losing Charlie would unleash hell.

What is your favorite line from The Jumper Chronicles?

“Then we are in this together?” said Charlie

“Guess so,” they replied as one and walked to the dining hall, not to celebrate their victory but to toast their friendship.”

I will not tell you where in the book this falls, to avoid any potential spoilers, but to me these lines represent what this book is all about. Friendship. In the next book Mick makes a joke about a fellowship, and gets teased incessantly about being a Lord of the Rings geek, but I wrote it in there because that’s exactly the word that sums up the entire feeling of the book.

These kids have been thrown into a world of monster, vengeful Gods, backstabbing friends, and that’s just high school! Forget that they have super-normal abilities, they would not make it one moment alone. Mick can heal, Bailey can toss things with her mind, Tillie can see the future, and Charlie can get them to where they need to be to save their world. Separately their powers are useless, but together they have a chance, a slim chance, but a chance.

Life is all about the friends and family we have, because in the end that’s all that matters.

What advice would you give to budding writers?

Read as much as you can, and don’t limit yourself to general that you think you’re in love in, you will miss out on so many other books that are out there!

That’s the first bit of advice. The second comes from the five to ten pieces of writing that are sent to me every week, from fans who want help with their writing. Description is key! You should feel, smell, taste, and bleed with the characters that you read. I read so many chapters where I find myself creating a setting in my mind only to have that illusion crashed when the author finally decides to add a bit of description. It ruins the flow of the book. You as an author are in control of what the reader feels and sees… so TAKE CONTROL!

What does it mean to be a writer?

For me it means creating a world for my readers to escape into. Our lives can be boring, normal, busy, scary…well they run the gambit. But every once in a while it’s nice to just escape into a world not our own. For me I love YA fiction, because it seems that YA, is the only medium that takes our normal world, and can make it supernatural, and still make us believe that this supernatural world could possible exist. We muggles just can’t see Hogwards. The mist keeps us non Demi-Gods away from the empire states building’s real top floor. And Buffy’s sacrifice keeps the vampires from my door. It’s the writers job to create a world that suits every one of us, and it is up to we the readers to find that world.

What books are currently on your bedside table?

The Lost Hero, Artemis Foul book six, and Reckless are on my bedside table, and The Search for the Red Dragon, book two in the Imaginarium Geographica is on my ipod which I listen to doing chores around the house as a stay at home dad/servant.

What, or who, has been the greatest inspiration for your stories?

I grew up with C.S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, Susan Cooper, Norton Juster. They were more than writers, and more than story tellers, these men and women were world builders. Who could read their novels and not feel the brush of a mink coat across your face, hear the roar of Aslan, shiver with Bilbo in Gollum’s cave, and find the signs to save humanity in the world around us.

Later J. K. Rowling would be added to this list of world builders, and make it on my list of people who inspired me to put my stories to writing.

What are you currently working on?

Becoming super dad…the cape is being designed by the woman from The Incredibles… I hear it is FABULOUS! Editing book two PATH OF THE TEMPLAR, sketching out another series and pondering on Book Three of The Jumper Chronicles. Right now there is a lot on my plate, I love writing, I love my fans, but I do not want to miss a moment in my baby girl’s life, so they come first. That’s not to say I am not chained to my desk when their lights go out, it just mean I have my priorities where they need to be.

Bill, or is it W.C.?

{Laughing} I like Bill a whole lot better, W. C. was my publisher’s idea.

Bill, is there anything else you would like to add before I let you go?

Yes, thank you. I would like all of your readers ages 11-19 to know that Savant and I are holding a contest to find the next J.K. Rowling! You can find all of the information on my website www.jumperchronicles.com but basically you send me a chapter of your writing, and the best chapter wins the honor of being published! The last contest we ran for a cover artist was crazy, and we expect this one to be as well. After all, it would be a huge deal fro someone so young to be published, we are talking College applications to finding yourself an agent later in life! Anyhow I am really excited about it, so check it out. And thank you so very much for having me as a guest on your blog.

Cheers,

Bill

Thanks so much for stopping by Bill! It was great
to have you here.


Find W.C. / Bill Online:




TIME FOR A GIVEAWAY!

Enter to win a SIGNED copy of The Jumper Chronicles:
Quest for Merlin's Map!!

Rules and How to enter:

You must be at least 13 years old to enter.
You MUST fill out the form - no entires in comments please. Comments are welcome and loved, just no entries in comments please.
This giveaway is open to US residents only.
Contest ends: Dec. 6th, 2010



This contest was made possible by the publisher, thanks so much!

*I am not compensated at all for any of the links within this page.

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Nothing like sitting poolside reading a good book! How about taking a seat up at the baron a counter stools for a drink to go along with that book? I don't know what you guys think, but it sounds like an ideal plan if you ask me. Now, I know for me I could go outside right now and sit and read in this nice Southern California weather, but wouldn't everyone love to hang out by a pool reading right now?

With CSN Stores you can find just about everything. Head on over and take a look. I know I'll be doing just that soon. This will be the first time I'll be reviewing something from them and I have no idea what I'll find, but I'm excited to start shopping soon. Don't worry guys, if I'm lucky enough to get offered another gift card, I'll put it out there for a giveaway.

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18 November 2010

Wondering who might have won the Black Dagger Brotherhood Box Set? Well, so am I! But... we'll have to wait just a tad longer. As mentioned - @Wrath_BDB will be helping to select the winner LIVE ON TWITTER! When might this happen? Here's the details and we hope to see you all there!

Friday, November 19th
shortly after 10:00PM EST - 7:00PM PST
*SUBJECT to change - if @Wrath_BDB's business takes him away, we might have to delay things.

Be sure to follow @Wrath_BDB to find out who wins!

Not to worry, if you can't make it or if you don't have a twitter account, I'll be posting the winner here on my blog soon after the announcement.

Thanks to everyone who's entered. And GOOD LUCK!

Do you have a twitter account? LOVE J.R. Wards Black Dagger Brotherhood? If the answer is yes to one OR both, be sure you follow ALL from the Black Dagger Brotherhood Role Play Group on Twitter. They are amazing and you have no idea just what your missing. So, be sure to follow today!

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17 November 2010

"Waiting On" Wednesday is an event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. The purpose of this weekly event is to spotlight a soon-to-be-released book that you are very much anticipating. "Waiting On" Wednesday will also give bloggers an opportunity to share ideas for our TBR lists.

   
Title: Shadowspell (Faeriewalker, #2)
Author: Jenna Black
Publisher: St. Martin's Press, 280 Pages (January 4th 2011)
Preorder here: Amazon, Borders, Barnes and Noble, The Book Depository

Synopsis: The Erlking and his pack of murderous minions have descended upon Avalon. The smoldering and deadly Erlking has his sights set on Dana and her rare Faeriewalker powers—but does he only seek to kill her, or does he have something much darker in mind?



Title: Famous
Author: Todd Strasser
Publisher: Simon & Schuster, 208 Pages (January 25th 2011)
Preorder here: Amazon, Borders, Barnes and Noble, The Book Depository

Synopsis: All Jamie Gordon wants to do is to take pictures of celebrities...and maybe to become famous herself. She's only fourteen, but already her pictures are sought after by fanzines and websites, and she's invited to all the best parties. And now she has the chance of a lifetime. She has been invited to spend a week with Willow Twine, taking pictures of the teen superstar's new chaste life. But when Jamie gets her hands on some sensational shots of Willow, she's suddenly in over her head. The pictures could make her career...and destroy Willow's. Everybody seems to want to get their hands on the photos, and Jamie has to decide what she really wants...and what she's willing to pay to get it.


Title: XVI
Author: Julia Karr
Publisher: Puffin/Speak, 272 Pages (January 6th 2011)
Preorder here: Amazon, Borders, Barnes and Noble, The Book Depository

Synopsis: In the year 2150, being a girl isn’t necessarily a good thing, especially when your sixteenth (read sex-teenth) birthday is fast approaching. That in itself would be enough to make anyone more than a little nuts, what with the tattoo and all – but Nina Oberon’s life has taken a definite turn for the worse. Her mother is brutally stabbed and left for dead. Before dying, she entrusts a secret book to Nina, telling her to deliver it to Nina's father. But, first Nina has to find him; since for fifteen years he's been officially dead. Complications arise when she rescues Sal, a mysterious, and ultra hot guy. He seems to like Nina, but also seems to know more about her father than he’s letting on. Then there’s that murderous ex-government agent who’s stalking her, and just happens to be her little sister’s dad."

Shadowspell - the sequel to Glimmerglass is one I really can't wait to read. I more then enjoyed Glimmerglass and I'm really looking forward to finding out more about the characters. As for the other two books in this week's WoW... Famous and XVI... from the covers to the synopsis, they both look and sound like must reads for 2011. I know I'm not alone in eagerly awaiting these titles....

*covers are always subject to change.
*I am not compensated at all for any of the links within this page.

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16 November 2010

Shadow Hills: Paperback Puzzle

How exciting that Shadow Hills is getting a brand new look with it's Paperback version! I know I'm always excited about covers, and since I loved this book... I was happy to hear about the change when it came to the paperback.

Being that I'm part of the Shadow Hills Street Team, I was given the chance to help out by revealing a piece of the cover. There are 12 different pieces, and 24 blogs who are participating. Along with the puzzle pieces we will be asking trivia questions for 24 chances to win, win, win! So, along with checking out the new amazing cover - get the trivia question right on each blog you visit and you'll be entered to win a signed Shadow Hills poster!

First.. here's one of the puzzle piece's -


And now for the trivia question:

What year was the epidemic in Shadow Hills?

Fill out the form to enter to win a signed Shadow Hills Poster!
US only - Ends Nov. 20th 12:01am Central
(10:01pm Pacific | 1:01am Eastern)



Yesterdays hosting blogs -
I Just Wanna Sit Here and Read! | Candace's Book Blog

Be sure to check out my BFF's blog who's also hosting today - Confessions of a Bookaholic

Tomorrow's blogs -
A Good Addiction | I Heart Monster

Find Anastasia Online -

Website | Blog | Twitter | Shadow Hills Facebook Page

Where to Buy Shadow Hills Online

Indiebound | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | The Book Depository

You an also check out my 5 Star review of Shadow Hills - HERE

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12 November 2010

Review:the Jumbee By: Pamela Keyes

Title: the Jumbee
Author: Panela Keyes
Publisher: Penguin, 400 Pages (October 14th 2010)
From: Publisher/Media Company, Thank You!

Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Esti Legard spent her childhood in the Shakespearean world of her famous father, and when he died, she knew she could never give up acting. After she and her mother move to a Caribbean island for her senior year, she realizes that nothing at her new school's theater department is quite as it seems. Stunned by the death of a fellow student on her first day of class, Esti is soon surrounded by legends of the wicked jumbees that haunt the West Indies. She finds herself snubbed by the school’s star actress and relegated to a minor part in Romeo and Juliet.

Only her intriguing new friend, the elusive Alan, shares her passion for Shakespeare. Hiding in the dark recesses of the theater, he leads Esti deep into her own soul to explore the limits of her talent. When Esti's childhood best friend moves to the island and back into her life, however, Alan disappears. Rocked by growing accusations of befriending a jumbee, Esti realizes she must find out who – or what – Alan really is. She is soon forced to defy everyone and everything she’s ever believed in, as she plunges into the mysteries of Shakespeare and the legends of the West Indians, discovering shocking truths about her own past that will forever shape her future.

Review: 3.5 Stars - The Jumbee By Pamela Keyes is a modern retelling of the classic – The Phantom of the Opera. Fans will easily find much to love about the characters and story as Keyes found ways to make this classic all her own.

Set in a culture rich in legends and superstitions on an Island in the Caribbean I questioned just how this would work for such a tale. I admit that it took me until about halfway through the book to truly get into things when it came to both story and characters. I had a hard time figuring out just how this even resembled the Phantom of the Opera and also connecting with each of our main characters. I believe I had a hard time because of the culture and their superstitions and how much these and the classic story overlapped. I did more than enjoy learning about the culture and their superstitions, I just felt a bit confused with that part of the story and how it would all come together and what part it would play in this retelling.

Each of our main characters – Esti, Alan and soon Rafe – They were a bit… flat in the first half of the book. I didn’t feel I had any connection with them and I truly believed that came from my confusion. The second half of the book each of the characters seemed to change and become more alive. I understood more of Esti and her want to know just who Alan was and if he was a true Jumbee or an actual person. And then Alan seemed to change as well and more of the puzzle pieces fell into place as the story continued to progress. Rafe might not have been a character that was throughout the whole book, but I felt he was part of the reasons both Esti and Alan’s characters came more real so to speak.

If not for the second half of the book, I wouldn’t have been able to give it the rating that I did. I would have enjoyed it even more so if there would have been an epilogue letting us know what happened a year from when the story concluded. I’d like to have seen more of how Esti came out further from behind her fathers shadow and lived more in the present instead of his fame in the past. Also, I finally felt bad for Alan in those last few pages of the book. I wondered what would happen to him as well.

All in all, the Jumbee is perfect for anyone looking for a modern retelling of the Phantom of the Opera. Keyes has taken the classic and infused it with tales from the Caribbean Islands and created something completely different from anything else I’ve ever read.

FTC Disclaimer: I did NOT pay for this book, nor have I been compensated at all in any way or means for reading and writing this HONEST review.

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11 November 2010



So, it's that time of the week again where I have some winners to announce. Exciting, right! I'm excited for each of you! And sadly, I had to choose a couple new winners after not hearing back from some last week. And with that... here are the winners!

So, it's that time of the week again where I have some winners to announce. Exciting, right! I'm excited for each of you! And sadly, I had to choose a couple new winners after not hearing back from some last week. And with that... here are the winners!
Infinite Days By: Rebecca Maizel Prize Pack

Germaine Dulac


Shade By: Jeri Smith-Ready

Megan Kyser


Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side By: Beth Fantaskey

MicheleP/MACH


The Ghost and the Goth By: Stacey Kade

Erinberry


$75.00 CSN Stores Gift Certificate

Nicole


Cate of the Lost Colony By: Lisa M. Klein

Taylor/The Library Lurker




NEW WINNER YA PRIZE PACK #2

Kendra Smith


NEW WINNER Claire de Lune Signed Bookplace

Emilie


NEW WINNER of a Signed Bookmark from Lauren Oliver

Jill of The O.W.L.



Congrats to everyone on their win!! A HUGE Thank You goes out to everyone who entered. You have 48 hours to respond with your mailing information of I'll have to choose another winner. And I don't want to have to do it again! If you did not receive an email from me, please send one over to claim your prize! Be sure to check your spam folders as well. Sometimes Hotmail doesn't know how to play nice with other email providers. All winners are chosen via Random.org unless otherwise stated.

If you didn't win this time, not to worry! I still have a few contests running, so be sure to check out what contests are still running at the top center here. If anyone has any questions, please feel free to email.

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FTC Disclaimer:

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.

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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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