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Sunday, August 31, 2008

Birthday Contest Winners!

First off, I’d like to give a HUGE thank you to all the lovely bloggers who helped me out with this crazy contest idea—I couldn’t have done it without you guys!! I can’t thank you all enough!!

After putting together all the entries, I had 250+!! So my thanks to everyone who took the time out to enter my contest, especially for those who tried to answer all of them! I had a fantastic birthday and really enjoyed this contest with all of you! Thanks for all your input, support, comments, & feedback! I really really appreciated all of it!

And now, without further ado, here are the winners, picked with assistance from a random # generator!

The winner of the signed copy of The Debs is Lucile!

The winner of a signed copy of Kandide and the Secret of the Mists (plus a poster & bookmark) is Mari!

The winner of a signed copy of Severed Ties is Rachael (a.k.a. The Book Muncher)!

The two winners of signed copies of The Elite are Alessandra and Jean. B.!

[EDIT] Unfortunately there was a bit of a misunderstanding so Liviania has been added to the winners' list for a copy of The Elite.


Winners, please drop me a line at with your address so I can get your prizes out to you! Please email me by Sept. 3rd, or I'll be forced to pick new winners.

Thank you to all publishers & authors who donated copies of their book for this contest!!

Congrats to all the winners! Thanks to everyone who took the time out to enter the contest—I really wish I could’ve given you all prizes!

Oh, and since some of you were interested in the answers to the riddles, here they are, in the order that they were put up on different blogs:

  1. The Book Vault

A young couple, a face-paced romance, a balcony scene, ill fated love, and death.

What book is this? Romeo and Juliet (William Shakespeare)

  1. Reviewer X
    When this relationship goes wrong,
    The boy writes a song,

    Once this tune hits airwaves,

    There’s a brand new craze!

    What book is this? Audrey, Wait! (Robin Benway)

  1. Presenting Lenore

The main character, a boy wizard, whose name is also part of the title, outwitted the villain who tried to kill him numerous times.

We learn an interesting story and truth behind an oversized canine in this novel—what book is this? Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (J.K. Rowling)

  1. The Compulsive Reader

The circles of hell hold tortures and punishment for different sinners.

The author takes a journey to this treacherous place with a renowned poet.

What book is this? The Inferno (Dante Alighieri) [I also accepted The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri)

  1. Maelstrom

Discovered during her shift at the local movie cinema, this starlet is flown to NYC for the first time and is soon the new face in fashion.

But an older model, whose name begins with the same let as the starring character, is not too pleased with this new threat. And this new starlet realizes fame has a darker side too…

What book is this? Violet on the Runway (Melissa Walker)

  1. From the Corner of Megan's Mind

She was #71 until she and her friends found a way to get her higher on the food chain. But the main character learns that the popular crowd might be full of more betrayals than glamour and true friends.

What book is this? The Market (J.M. Steele)

  1. Bookluver-Carol
    Two boys, who are not the simple humans they may seem to be, vie for a girl’s interest, but the one who was first in her heart leaves her behind in this novel—what book is this? New Moon (Stephanie Meyer)

  1. Book Review Maniac
    Vitrified for 10 years, the main character has trouble adjusting to her new life—especially since her formerly younger sister is now older—and married with a kid of her own. But her crush from 10 years ago, who was also vitrified, is about to rediscover the world with her.
    What book is this? I was a teenage popsicle (Bev Katz Rosenbaum)

  1. And Another Book Read
    The imperfects are sent away and a crumpledwing faery cannot rule the land in this novel.
    But the heir to the throne may have something to say about that soon, after she learns more about acceptance and selflessness!

    What book is this? Kandide and the Secret of the Mists (Diana Zimmerman)

  1. Booked Books

You better not fall asleep next to the main character of this book—or your dreams won’t be private any more!

Which book is this? Wake (Lisa McMann)

  1. Books and Love
    These girls are picking up their skirts and running through London trying to demystify the shadowy past of a dark gentlemen and trying to save their friend from an unwanted marriage so their ball can go on!
    What book is this? La Petite Four ( Regina Scott)

  1. The Story Siren

Four girls eagerly await their invitations into the event they’ve been waiting for all their life. Three are the closest of pals while the other is the snotty, meddling queen bee of the school.

But when some mishaps and drama ensues, will these four girls really be able to be “rosebuds” and debut?

What book is this? The Debs (Susan McBride)

  1. The Book Vault

The past may just come back to bite you.

A young lady seems to have it all—a hot boyfriend, brains, and a job at the town’s most popular restaurant. But if she’s with the boy she’s been crushing on since before high school, why the heck is she making out with another boy behind the restaurant where she works?! And if she’s so perfect and happy, why the heck does she keep lying to cover things up?!

And when a guy from her past comes back and has transformed from a nerd to a total hottie, things may just take a turn for the worse and be more confusing!

What book is this? Pants on Fire (Meg Cabot)

  1. Bibliophile Support Group

A community of genetically blind (they chose to be that way) exists harmoniously—or so it seems. Not long after a young boy in the community turns 13, he realizes that for some miraculous reason, has regained his sight. The community is not as peaceful as it seems—there are thieves, hypocrites, and other wrong doers. Now he must decide what to do, now that he has a gift that separates himself from the rest of his community.

Which book is this? Truesight (David Stahler Jr.)

  1. The Book Muncher
    A girl moves in with a relative in the Big Apple when her mother goes off to do research for her latest project. The leading lady of this story runs into the most popular, designer-clothes wearing girls in town on her first day! They happen to live in the same apartment buildings as she does! She eventually befriends this popular trio, but can hardly afford to keep up with these rich girls. Things don’t get any better when the queen bee’s ex-boyfriend starts going after the new girl.
    Which book is this? The Elite (Jennifer Banash)

  1. Squeaky Books

She was less talked about than her infamous sister, but she and her sister shared the same thing with a certain well-known figure from Great Britain , who was known for his numerous spouses and some drastic political moves. This novel features the girl who was overshadowed by her ambitious sister.

Which book is this? The Other Bolyen Girl (Philippa Gregory)

  1. Midnight Twilights Book Blog
    Alyss is most certainly not living in the perfect Wonderland at the moment—especially not with her power-hungry aunt trying to steal the throne!
    What book is this? The Looking Glass Wars (Frank Beddor)

  1. Jennifer Banash’s blog

Dead teenagers around the US …aren’t staying dead. They’re coming back for a second chance at life, but are heavily discriminated against.

Which book is this? Generation Dead (Daniel Waters)

  1. Liv's Book Reviews

Falsely accused of a crime, this teenage boy is sent to a “camp” where he must dig a hole of specific dimensions each day. Is there more to this drill than the character-correcting & character-building that the warden claims it’s for?
Which book is this? Holes (Louis Sachar)

  1. Hope's Book Shelf

Not comfortable with herself because she’s neither pure asian nor pure white, this girl goes to math camp for the summer and writes her issues and thoughts down in the form of math proofs. But when the other camp kids think her exotic and fantastic, this girl may just have a thing or two to learn about herself and finally accepting herself for who she is, inside and out.

Which book is this? Nothing but the Truth (and a few white lies) (Justina Chen Headley)

  1. In Bed with Books,
    A girl learns that she has psychic abilities and is asked to help find several missing children by a young cop. During her second mission, she is left shaken and does not wish to help find a group of kids that have been missing. But if she does not help, they may never come home.
    Which book is this? The Third Eye (Lois Duncan)

  1. Reading Keeps you Sane

In this supposedly peaceful and perfect community, all the memories of things that would otherwise disturb this otherwise perfect community are passed down through a chosen Receiver each generation.

Which book is this? The Giver (Lois Lowry)

  1. Melissa Walker's blog
    This tree has been there for a special little boy all throughout his life—from his days as a young spirited boy until the day he was old, helping him and providing him with what he wanted most, until she has seemingly nothing left to give.
    Which book is this? The Giving Tree (Shel Silverstein)

  1. Reader Rabbit

A young Hindu girl is widowed shortly after her arranged marriage was completed. Her parents-in-law’s main motive was not for their son to get married, but for them to get a dowry from the girl’s family so they could afford a trip for him to bathe in holy waters in a far-off city and hopefully be healed. But when this plan fails and her sickly husband dies, the girl’s selfish mother-in-law quickly abandons her in a city and this young girl struggles to get by. But her talent for embroidery as well as some people she meets along the way helps her along.

Which book is this? Homeless Bird (Gloria Whelan)

  1. Just Blinded Book Reviews

The future predicted in this novel is rather grim, but the year this future was predicted for (which also serves as the title of this novel) has already passed, and we have not fallen to the conditions that plague the fictional world of Oceania .

Which book is this? 1984 (George Orwell)

  1. Shooting Stars Mag

This story offers the tale that the first man to fly was not recorded because the short flight was used to save a life and a country, not just for show.

A brilliant boy who was wrongly imprisoned on the smaller of two islands was inspired by his murdered mentor to be one of the masterminds behind this fantastic flight!

What book is this? Airman (Eoin Colfer)

  1. The Ravenous Reader
    The one Ring to rule them all is finally destroyed in this novel, and a king finally returns to claim his throne.

    Which book is this? Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (JRR Tolkien)

  1. The Book Vault
    This teenager becomes a spy after his uncle, whom he thought held a boring bank job but was actually a secret agent, was killed. This is the start of his saga and spy adventures as he trains and investigates a man who is donating his ground-breaking computers to schools across London . With the intelligence agency believing that there is something sinister behind his hugely generous move, this young spy is sent to investigate.

    Which book is this? Stormbreaker (Anthony Horowitz)

Thanks to everyone who participated! And a special little shout-out to Lucile, who was the only one who got the riddle for August 24th correct! Thank you!

And for all of you who are wondering where my review for Death By Latte went, it'll be up again tomorrow. I just wanted to get this announcement up since it's already been delayed (unfortunately, my computer is still giving me issues, maybe I should've asked for a new computer for my birthday, huh?)!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Last Birthday Contest riddle!

This is the last leg of my birthday contest!

Riddle: This teenager becomes a spy after his uncle, whom he thought held a boring bank job but was actually a secret agent, was killed. This is the start of his saga and spy adventures as he trains and investigates a man who is donating his ground-breaking computers to schools across London. With the intelligence agency believing that there is something sinister behind his hugely generous move, this young spy is sent to investigate.
Which book is this?

Know the answer? Drop me a line at with:

“BDAY CONTEST” in the subject line and:

The Riddle:
This teenager becomes a spy after his uncle, whom he thought held a boring bank job but was actually a secret agent, was killed. This is the start of his saga and spy adventures as he trains and investigates a man who is donating his ground-breaking computers to schools across London. With the intelligence agency believing that there is something sinister behind his hugely generous move, this young spy is sent to investigate.
Which book is this?
Answer: (full book title + author)
The name of the site where you found the riddle: The Book Vault
Your site’s URL: (if you have one)

Get all your entries in by midnight (EST) tonight!!

[Edit] I'm having some computer issues that are getting fixed, so I'm not sure if I'll be able to post the winners tomorrow. I'll still be drawing the winners on time, so please get your entries in by midnight (EST) tonight! I'll post the winners as soon as I get the chance! Thanks for participating & a BIG thanks to all who helped me out with this!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

How to Be Bad by E. Lockhart, Sarah Mlynowski, & Lauren Myracle

Three girls, whose seemingly only similarity is that they all work their local Waffle House, are about to embark on no ordinary road trip. Jesse and Vicks are friends, but lately that friendship has been under some strain with Jesse’s uptight ways and Vicks’ more relaxed style and her missing her college-bound boyfriend. The third girl in this unusual trio is Mel, a privileged girl who for some reason works at the Waffle House as well—and surprisingly doesn’t flaunt her wealth much. Vicks is unhappy with Jesse’s unbending Christian ways and Jesse is rather disdainful of Mel and her wealth so how on earth will these three last the long drive to Miami and survive this excursion?

When Jesse wants to get away for a bit from the troubles at home and her mother’s embarrassing activities, she offers to drive Vicks to Miami so she can see her boyfriend, who hasn’t been calling her and has only sent a text message or two at unearthly hours of the night. Their Waffle House coworker, Mel, who was standing next to Jesse and Vicks when they discussed their possible road trip, invites herself along, with Jesse only agreeing when Mel offers to cover their trip’s expenses.

Before long, these three take off in Jesse’s mom’s old car, stopping to visit unusual sites like the smallest police station and a large stuffed gator named Old Joe. Not long after they exit the museum where Old Joe was (having broken in to see the old gator since the museum was closed), they encounter a cutie guy named Marco, whom they eventually end up giving a ride to. Marco, much to Jesse’s dismay, invites them to a party where Vicks and Mel get extremely drunk and have to stay over for a night. Being a Christian, Jesse does not drink and cannot wait to leave the next morning, but Mel and Marco have begun to warm up to each other, showing some real chemistry.

Already unhappy at the pervious night’s events, Jesse is furious at Vicks the next morning, and her opinion of Mel hasn’t improved either. But Jesse isn’t the only unhappy one. Arguments break out between Vicks and Jesse as Vicks is struggling with a drunken decision that she is starting to regret and Jesse struggles with what is going on with her mother. Things only get worse when a vicious storm breaks out and the trio is forced to look for somewhere to stay near DisneyLand. With their bickering almost as bad as the weather, the rest of this road trip does not look promising…

With three distinct characters and a road trip that you’ll never forget, Mel, Jesse, and Vicks have a lot to learn, not only about each other, but about themselves as well. And if only they could learn to be more forgiving, understanding and open-minded, their trip may prove to be a lot more enjoyable and fulfilling for all three of them!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

New read for today!

Looking for another great book to read before the summer ends? Check out The Debs by Susan McBride that hits bookstores today!! These privileged, fiery girls are on their way to debut at a classy ball, but they’ll have to survive the wait and get their invitations first!

Check out my interview with author Susan McBride here and my review here! Don’t forget to visit Susan McBride’s website either! Looking for a chance to win a signed copy of The Debs? There’s still some time to enter my Birthday Contest for which Ms. McBride has generously donated a signed copy of this fantastic start to a series on the Deb girls!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Sisters of Misery by Megan Kelley Hall

Maddie Crane lives in a small town, Hawthorne, though not as famous as Salem for its witch trials, brutally persecuted females that were different, all the same. Despite living in a town with such a haunting past, Maddie goes to her local school where she is among the Sisters of Misery, headed by Kate, a powerful and spiteful girl who will stop at nothing to keep herself at the top of the food chain. So far, the Sisters of Misery haven’t caused life-threatening havoc, but they have spread some nasty rumors and played some mean practical jokes that have driven a fair share of people to tears. Even though Maddie is part of this elite club filled with the most powerful and popular girls at school, Maddie has not always felt comfortable with them; they’ve played some cruel jokes on unsuspecting people that have left Maddie assailed by guilt many times, and their midnight excursions to Misery Islands and hard partying isn’t quite what Maddie would like to be doing, but she always tags along anyway.

When Cordelia LeClaire, Maddie’s cousin, comes to town, Kate is furious. Cordelia has an ethereal air and charisma about her that quickly steals some of Kate’s popularity, not to mention Kate’s on-and-off boyfriend’s attention! But with the arrival of her cousin and aunt as they move in with Maddie and her family, Maddie can’t help but feel drawn to them. With Cordelia and her aunt she begins to have fun and learn more about things like ruins, herbs, and fortune telling.

But Kate is less than thrilled at this new arrival and is out to get revenge on Cordelia to protect her popularity. But with Kate on one side and Cordelia on the other of this struggle, whose side will Maddie take?

When things escalate and a trip to Misery Islands ends in a disaster with Maddie unable to remember anything and Cordelia missing, will Maddie find her cousin? Or will she side with Kate and forget about Cordelia? Can she even find out what happened to her cousin, or have Kate and the Sisters of Misery really done something unspeakable this time? Has Kate and the Sisters of Misery gone past their usual pranks and shown their true twisted violent side?

Sisters of Misery was undoubtedly a chilling read. Well written and suspenseful, Sisters of Misery keeps you guessing as Maddie tries to solve the mystery behind Cordelia’s disappearance. With old superstitions woven in extremely well, Sisters of Misery makes for a haunting tale like no other. Although this is a well written book that I’m sure many will enjoy, I cannot say that I loved it, only because I was really unnerved and rather sickened by some of the things Kate and the Sisters did. This, of course, is not to say that Sisters of Misery is not a good book; it is extremely well written and Maddie’s character was especially well developed and realistic, but I’ve just not been a huge fan of such thrilling and chilling books since they tend to leave me with such eerie and haunted feelings!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Violet in Private by Melissa Walker

Violet’s back! Violet Greenfield, the high school wall-paper-girl-turned-supermodel, is thinking about leaving the modeling world again so she can concentrate on college. She’s finally going to Vassar after deferring her admission, and once she gets there—she loves it! She’s enjoying herself in class and has some fantastic room and suite-mates, including the bold Fan and the outspoken Kurt.

Violet’s discomfort with the modeling world has only been increasing since her Mirabella campaign where the designer claims she wishes to promote a healthy body image, but told Violet to lose five pounds before the shoots. Unhappy with the hypocrisy, and remembering that she has already been getting some mixed press over her myspace blog posts and other comments, Violet resolves to leave the modeling world for good.

But the one thing Violet is forgetting is that she still has a contract with Tryst models. Can she somehow find some campaigns to do that won’t make her feel so hypocritical?

At least Violet lands an internship with Teen Fashionista, a fashion magazine that once did a profile on her! But it doesn’t help that her BFF Roger’s girlfriend, Chloe, works at Teen Fashionista as well. And speaking of Roger, Violet can’t help but think back to their Barcelona adventure…could it be that she likes Roger? It doesn’t seem that fate is being too kind to Violet. Why is Roger being so difficult? Why did Violet have to finally realize she was in love with Roger after he got himself a girlfriend?!

The modeling side certainly has its hypocrisies, lies, betrayals, and darker side, but can Violet somehow be true to herself and promote a healthier body image that’s real? Or will she become another too-thin model that will stop at nothing to come out on top? And can she figure things out with Roger, or will she have to watch him and Chloe from the sidelines? College life and her new found friends may just help Violet learn more about herself and stand up for her values!

I loved this latest installment in the Violet series! Melissa Walker’s writing is wonderful and enjoyable to read, as always! It’s nice to see that Violet has matured so much; we may all have our insecurities, but Violet is finally learning how to deal with hers and make the best of her fame to promote a better body image. Melissa Walker has really created some fantastic, 3-D, completely believable and realistic characters that make her Violet series such a pleasure to read! Ms. Walker captures the emotions, thoughts, and actions of her characters brilliantly, which makes her series so much more realistic and amazing! Violet in Private is a must-read for all Violet fans and I would definitely recommend the Violet series to readers who haven’t picked it up yet!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Happy Birthday Amee!!

A huge "Happy Birthday" to Amee, aka The Ravenous Reader today!!

& a big thank you to her as well for helping me out w/ my own birthday contest!! =D

Other contests!

Looking for more great contests to enter?

  • Reading Keeps You Sane is hosting a 100th post contest with some great books you can choose from!
  • Liv is also hosting a 100th post/birthday contest; check it out here!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Susan McBride interview!

Susan McBride, author of The Debs, has kindly agreed to give an interview! I can't wait for Love, Lies, and Texas Dips, the sequel to The Debs, and for those of you who haven't read The Debs yet, I highly recommend it! For my review, go here, and for a chance to win a signed copy of The Debs, check out my Birthday Contest!
Thank you, Ms. McBride for this fantastic interview!


What inspired you to write The Debs?

A few years ago, while I was busy writing my Debutante Dropout Mysteries for HarperCollins, my agent had lunch with an editor at Random House who asked if she had any authors who could write about debutantes in the South for a YA series. Of course, my agent replied, "I have the perfect person," and she called me that day to ask if I'd be interested. It sounded great to me, as I'd lived in Texas for 20 years and knew plenty of debs. So I wrote a proposal for THE DEBS that featured four prep school seniors in Houston, Texas, and my editor at Random House loved it. It's been a lot of fun getting to know Laura, Ginger, Mac, and Jo Lynn, and it's a blast to write from each girl's point of view. There's so much to explore in their lives as they go through their senior year and juggle school, love, disappointments, cliques, family, and their deb duties. I don't think any of us ever forgets what it feels like to be seventeen, so I'm conjuring up a lot of emotions from my high school years (and even some real-life experiences) and using it all in these books.

Did you ever debut like the girls from The Debs will?

No, I never debuted, but I had friends who did, both in high school and college. I was invited to deb balls and assigned escorts, the whole drill. And since my five Debutante Dropout Mysteries have been out, I've heard lots of stories from debutantes all over the South. So I have loads to draw from when I'm writing about these girls and their debutante season. I'm always open to hearing new deb stories, too, if any of your readers have tales to tell!

When will the next installment of the series hit bookstores? Can you give us a little summary?

The second book in the series is LOVE, LIES, AND TEXAS DIPS, and it'll be out in June of 2009. The cover art is done already, and it's up on my web site if anyone wants to take a peek. Whereas THE DEBS introduces you to Laura, Ginger, Mac, Jo Lynn and their friends, families, and guys, LOVE, LIES, AND TEXAS DIPS moves everyone forward, increasing the tension and the drama. I hate to spill any of the storylines, as I'd like for it all to be a surprise. But I will let on that Queen Bee Jo Lynn still hates Laura's guts and desperately wants to take her down for good. Mac finally finds out what it's like to fall in love, only things might not work out quite the way she plans. Ginger has yet another encounter with a guy who may or may not be appropriate for her. And rumors fly, possibly terminating one deb's chances of making it to the Rosebud Ball.

Who was your favorite character to write about in The Debs?

It's so weird, because I initially thought Mac would be the lead character, and it turned out that Laura kind of took over. She's got such a big personality, and she doesn't fit the mold of what a Glass Slipper Club debutante should be. I loved that she was determined to fulfill her deb dreams anyway. She's very gutsy, and she doesn't care too much about what other people think. I have to confess that, evil as she is, I love Jo Lynn. Growing up in Texas with plenty of beauty pageant girls, I totally know where she's coming from and what made her the kind of person she is. So I'm looking forward to seeing her get a couple hard knocks and maybe grow throughout the series. Or perhaps she'll just get more evil. We shall see!

Do you have a favorite fashion designer?

I really love comfortable clothes that look good (and pack well when I travel). I'm pretty partial to Gap jeans and T-shirts. I used to go crazy at Arden B so I have a lot of cute jackets from there. But mostly I'm shoe-crazy. I have a favorite pair of Kenneth Cole that are hot pink with a little orange (I know that sounds gross, but they look great). They match perfectly with one of my Arden B jackets. In high school and college, I was all about Ralph Lauren. Now it's more whatever feels good on. I wear a lot of flip-flops in the summer!

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

Read as much as you can and try to figure out what makes the books you love work. Is it the characters? Is it the setting or the plot? Is it the writing style or voice? Don't try to emulate anyone else. Just be yourself and tell your own story in your unique fashion. Write whenever you can, even if it's jotting down your feelings in a journal every night before you go to bed. I think exercising your "writing muscles" is the only way to get better and better. Experiment with your prose and don't be afraid to take risks. If you're a girl and want to use a guy's point of view for your story, do it! I know people say "write what you know," but I find it's more like "write from your gut and your imagination." You can always research what you don't know. And hang in there! If you want to become a published novelist with a long career, it's a hard road (well, unless your dad runs a publishing company or you're a celebrity!). Stick with it and believe in yourself. If I hadn't believed in myself from the get-go, I wouldn't have lasted the ten years post-college that it took to get published in the first place. Good luck! Sometimes luck and being in the right place at the right time counts more than talent. If anyone has a question they'd like to ask, please feel free to email me through my web site at I read and answer all my emails, and I love hearing from young writers.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Choices By Katrina L. Burchett

Choices deals with an important topic that affects many teens: sexuality. Several teenage girls, Shauntice, Angel, LaKeeta, Bridgette, and Hope are dealing with the consequences resulting from their choices concerning sexuality. While Shauntice is a faithful Christian and believes in abstinence, Angel does not believe in God and has multiple partners because she feels neglected by her mother who is always working, and she has never known her father. Despite being a Christian, LaKeeta became purposefully pregnant before getting married, which is the complete opposite of Hope, a shy girl whose mother has controlled every aspect of her life. Bridgette is a strong Christian and firmly believes in abstinence. She looks down on other non-believers and those who do not have the same morals as her.

Although she has been abstinent, Shauntice has not been without temptation and the fight against it might be harder than she thought. Angel is with someone who doesn’t treat her right and while her friends tell her leave him, she can’t seem to pull away even when he keeps hurting her over and over again. LaKeeta has found out just how difficult it can be when one is pregnant. She and her parents have gotten into disagreements and she even loss a friend or two over the pregnancy—will she be able to make it through this tough time and take care of her child? Bridgette is losing more than a few good opinions with her unbending morals and inability to accept and tolerate those who do not share her beliefs and has been less than friendly to others that do not agree with her entirely. Hope is one of those girls that Bridgette has been cold to; Hope has been finding herself restricted and unhappy with her harsh mother, because it has made her unable to connect and talk to others. Each girl has her own struggles and everyone has something to learn, but can any of them be open-minded enough to succeed?

Life is rarely black and white, and most people do not see all the possible consequences for the decisions they make. To have morals and to stick to them is a good thing, but acceptance is also important. As some characters learn in this book, you shouldn’t deal in absolutes; you should be more open-minded and realize that your point of view isn’t 100% right and isn’t the only opinion out there—don’t shun others just because they don’t see things exactly the way you see it.

Choices deals with a subject that maybe touchy for some, but undoubtedly affects teens in some shape or fashion and may just get you to think your own choices over a little more. This novel also deals with religion, and readers who are religious themselves may find it easier to connect to and understand this novel, but Choices is an undoubtedly a thought-provoking book, as we all have our own struggles and choices to make.

Because of the mature content of this book, I would recommend that only older readers read this book.

I've been nominated!

Thanks to the lovely Liv from Liv's Book Reviews, I've been nominated for an award :) Thank you!! I'm really honored and touched! :)

The Rules:
1) Put the logo on your blog.
2) Make a link to the person who nominated you (see above).
3) Nominate at least seven (7) other blogs.
4) Add links to those blogs on your own blog.
5) Leave a message to your fellow nominees on their blogs.

And my lovely nominees:
Rachael from The Book Muncher because her site rocks, with some fantastic reviews, awesome contests (& even a list of other contests you can enter!), and other great content! She’s added more than a few great books to my TBR list!

Beth (Books and Love) because she’s such a sweet and friendly person who writes great reviews that are to the point and on target!

The lovely ladies at Reader Rabbit because they write some great reviews on some pretty sweet books! And because they were two of the first people I met when I first started The Book Vault and they were just friendly and helpful!

Presenting Lenore’s Lenore—her site has frequent posts, and when it’s not an awesome review, it’s on some other interesting topic that keeps you coming back to her blog for more!

The Page Flipper because she’s such a sincere and friendly person who I was lucky enough to get to know better, and because she’s written some cool reviews for her own site and for YABC!

Tasha of And Another Book Read, what can I say? Great reviews & nice interviews by a great person!

I really do have to nominate Liv (Liv's Book Reviews) back since she’s been really helpful ever since I ventured into this blogging business and really started out knowing not much! And she just writes some great reviews, hosts some awesome contests, and is just a lovely person!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Swifter, Higher, Stronger by Sue Macy

The games of the 29th Olympiad have already started in Beijing, and what better way to learn a bit more on how the modern Olympics started and learn cool facts and get some info on some of the well known Summer Olympians than to check out National Geographic’s Swifter, Higher, Stronger?

Taking the Olympic motto as its title, Swifter, Higher, Stronger provides background information on how Pierre de Coubertin helped the modern Olympics come alive. Although the modern Olympics had a humble start, the Olympics have now become a gathering of hundreds of nations and thousands of the top athletes in the world for weeks of competition and a chance for immortal glory. Swifter, Higher, Stronger is filled with information on history, key Olympics, some interesting records, past host nations, and information on some well known athletes, like Michael Phelps.

This guide made for a very interesting read and there were many fantastic color pictures! It’s up-to-date for the 2008 Olympics going on right now, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is looking for some background information on the Olympics!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

An interview with Kevin Krohn!

I got the opportunity to interview Kevin Krohn, author of a new, thrilling novel, Severed Ties! Check out my review for Severed Ties here, and don't forget to enter my Birthday Contest if you're interested in trying to win a copy of Severed Ties, Volume I!

1) What inspired you to write Severed Ties?

My storyline was inspired by my love for Kung-Fu revenge flicks. I wanted to take the concept and put it in a current setting with normal, everyday people.

2) Who was your favorite character to write about in Severed Ties?

My favorite character has to be the one the story revolves around, Nyne Harper. Female assassins are so fascinating to me, and to have one going through things we all can relate to like a first date, arguing with parents, and college made it really fun to write.

3) If you had to be one of your characters from Severed Ties for a day, who would you want to be least?

Well, besides the people who don’t make it all the way through the story, I would have to say Jason. Without giving too much away, I’ll just say he has to deal with some physical pain that I wouldn’t be able to make it through.

4) What do you think are the most important elements that make a book suspenseful and capable of keeping readers on the edge of their seats throughout the entire book?

It’s hard to keep a book suspenseful because each reader has a different level of what they would deem “suspense”. What some people consider a tense moment others may seem as tame. But to keep a reader engaged the suspense has to have a purpose in the storyline. You can’t throw in a twist just for the sake of a twist; it has to add value to the overall arc.

I like to think the suspense in Severed Ties remains constant because I don’t bog the reader down with a bunch of unnecessary information. I take a pretty basic approach to keep the action moving. I may tell you the character is standing next to a tree, but I am not going to give a few paragraphs to talk about what type of tree it is or the history of said tree. Yes, there’s a tree there…let’s move on.

5) When will Volume II of Severed Ties hit bookstores? Can you give us a sneak peek or little synopsis of Volume II?

I am looking to have Severed Ties: Volume II out by the end of October. Volume II will start up right where Volume I left off. Nyne will be looking to set things right in her life, and we will be meeting a few new characters.

6) Do you have a favorite place to write?

As cliché as it might sound, I like to sit and write at Starbuck’s. The opportunity to people-watch while I am there has gotten me out of some writing ruts.

7) Do you like listening to music while you write?

I love listening to music, but just can’t do it while I write. I can’t concentrate and my mind starts to wander if I have music on. But I am sure music is playing while I write at Starbuck’s, right? I haven’t noticed…maybe I can do it!

8) What are your favorite genres to read?

My favorite genres are suspense and true crime. Sometimes the craziest stories of fiction pale in comparison to that of true crime.

9) Any favorite YA books?

Max: The Dog that Refused to Die. I read this when I was a child and it seemed so profound to me at the time. Don’t know if it would still have the same impact now, but I loved that book. Who can’t appreciate a dog named Max that refused to die? I mean, c’mon…the title says it all! Go read this book! (Right after you read Severed Ties).

10) Your favorite spy/suspenseful movie of all time?

The two movies that come to mind are The Usual Suspects and Memento. They kept me guessing the entire time. The movie that had the biggest influence on me writing Severed Ties would be a Korean film called Oldboy.

11) Any advice to aspiring authors?

My only advice for aspiring authors is to write. Just write it. There are probably a lot of people that would want me to change some of the choices I made as far as the Severed Ties storyline. There are probably even parts that could be rewritten and reworked, but why? I take the original thought and go with it.

12) And a random question to top it off (since the games of the 29th Olympiad are going on!): Do you watch the Olympics, and if yes, what is your favorite sport to watch?

My favorite Olympic sport to watch is basketball. I am a big NBA fan, so watching the stars compete against the world is exciting. I am actually surprised at how into the Olympics I have gotten this year, Last night I watched the gymnastics and swimming, which I would usually have no interest in, but it was great.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Birthday Contest Riddle!

This is the next leg of my birthday book riddle contest! For more information on the contest, go here:
Each correct answer counts as an entry into the drawing on August 29th!
(Please enter by Aug 28th, midnight , EST)

The past may just come back to bite you.
A young lady seems to have it all—a hot boyfriend, brains, and a job at the town’s most popular restaurant. But if she’s with the boy she’s been crushing on since before high school, why the heck is she making out with another boy behind the restaurant where she works?! And if she’s so perfect and happy, why the heck does she keep lying to cover things up?!
And when a guy from her past comes back and has transformed from a nerd to a total hottie, things may just take a turn for the worse and be more confusing!
What book is this?

Know the answer? Send Dominique an email at with:

“BDAY CONTEST” in the subject line
The Riddle:
The past may just come back to bite you.
A young lady seems to have it all—a hot boyfriend, brains, and a job at the town’s most popular restaurant. But if she’s with the boy she’s been crushing on since before high school, why the heck is she making out with another boy behind the restaurant where she works?! And if she’s so perfect and happy, why the heck does she keep lying to cover things up?!
And when a guy from her past comes back and has transformed from a nerd to a total hottie, things may just take a turn for the worse and be more confusing!
What book is this?
Answer: (full book title + author)
The name of the site where you found the riddle: The Book Vault
Your site’s URL: (if you have one)

Please send a separate email for each riddle you answer!

Good luck!!

~side note~ I'd like to thank Liv for nominating me for the web award & appologize for the big delay on getting it up. Sorry! I've been in and out so much lately, I haven't had time to finish all my nominations! >.<" sorry! I'll have it up as soon as I can! :) Thanks again, Liv!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Undone by Brooke Taylor

Do you believe in fate? It would seem that dark angel Kori Kitzler and average-girl Serena Moore were destined to meet one day in eighth grade, in the bathroom. Ever since their meeting, the two become close friends, despite being seemingly opposites; Kori is the daring and mysterious one, while Serena more is not extraordinary, more cowardly and cautious.

Yet, Serena has followed Kori’s bold ideas; getting multiple piercings, sneaking out for midnight smokes, beers, and dare-devil tricks at the dam. But this pair is about to face something completely different that may just change their lives…

For one class, Serena and Kori have been instructed to “tempt fate” by writing 5 things down that they wish would happen, no matter how unlikely. Not a strong believer in fate, Serena blows off the assignment, not taking it seriously and believes that nothing will happen. She believes that Kori may have acted similarly with her own list, but when tragedy strikes, Serena finds herself with Kori’s list and finds herself the only person that could complete it. And the list wasn’t as ordinary and thoughtless as Serena had thought it would be. Can she complete this list and puzzle out her best friend’s last wishes, or will Kori’s deepest desires be left undone?

Serena cannot help but feel slightly clueless as to how and where to begin to tempt fate for Kori—and feel that she has just discovered a new and hidden side of Kori. But as Serena tries to complete Kori’s list, she will go on an unforgettable journey that will teach her not only more about Kori and her past, but more about her own past as well. Serena has some growing to do, some things to learn, and some believing to do, and her dark but fulfilling journey may do just that so she can learn to understand Kori’s views.

Undone was a bit of a dark novel, but very refreshing and thoughtful as well! It was undoubtedly well written and thought-provoking! A nice change from the more chick-lit type and drama filled books, I really enjoyed reading Undone and could hardly put it down until I had finished the whole book! I would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a darker and more thought-stimulating novel that may just get you thinking a bit more about your own life and your ways of tempting fate.

A very striking cover, don't you think? Melissa Walker did a cover story on Undone! Personally, I'm loving these cover stories--they really interesting behind-the-scenes look on how these covers came about! Check out Melissa Walker's cover story for Undone here!


I've been tagged by Midnight Twilights Book Blog, The Book Muncher, & Just Blinded Book Reviews!

What was I doing 10 years ago?
Probably was being your typical, timid first grader (or was I already in 2nd grade? I can’t remember).

What are five things on my to-do list today?
1) Watch the Olympics!
2) Write a couple reviews
3) Go to work
4) Study a lot (& do AP work)
5) Call my friend

Snacks I enjoy:
Can some of them be unhealthy? ;) Let’s see:
- Fruit
- Potato Chips
- Pocky
- Fruit snacks
- Chocolate
- Popcorn
- Cheese doodles

Places I've lived:
- New York (3 different locations)
- New Jersey
- Hong Kong
- Illinois

Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
- Get a new laptop
- Get an Ipod & speakers
- Pay for college & grad school
- Build my dream home
- Buy all the books I’d want & furnish my own private library at the above mentioned dream home!
- Give some money to charity
- Buy my parents a grand piano & a new house
- Take my family on a long trip to see the world
- Pay for my sister’s college tuition as well
- Go shopping (& buy a nice necklace)
- Buy a Prius
- Buy my parents a new car
- Go shopping
- Buy a bike
- Buy the best sports gear I can get & take more lessons
- Start my own fashion line
- Go to some live concerts
- Invest some money
- Help fund medical research
- Go watch future Olympics live!

And the people I'm tagging:
Bibliophile Support Group
From the Corner of Megan's Mind
The Story Siren
Presenting Lenore
The Compulsive Reader

Friday, August 1, 2008


Since my birthday is this month, I decided to host huge a contest! :D I have some fantastic books to give away, thanks to the generosity of many authors!!

Since I always loved riddles, I’ve (attempted) to write a few riddles about books. Each riddle has a few clues that refer to one specific book. For every riddle you give me the correct book title & author for, you get an entry into the drawing.

There will be a riddle every day for this contest, posted at a different site each day from today, August 1st to August 28th. The first riddle will be today, at my site. The last riddle will also be posted on my site on August 28th. The winner will be announced on my birthday, August 29th! Between the 1st and the 28th, there will be another riddle posted here on a random date, so keep you eyes out! Not all the riddles refer to YA books!
You may answer the riddles as you find them—you do not have to answer all of them nor answer them in order.

Once you find a riddle and figure out the answer, just send me an email with:

“BDAY CONTEST” in the subject line

The Riddle:
(copy & paste from the site you found it at)
Answer: (full book title + author)
The name of the site where you found the riddle:
Your site’s URL:
(if you have one)

Please do this and send me a SEPARATE email for every riddle you answer—each riddle you answer correctly & send me an email for will count as one entry into this contest.

If you blog/post about this contest somewhere, send me a separate email telling me so and you will get 2 extra entries.

Answer all the riddles and I’ll give you an extra free entry!

All entries must be recieved by Aug 28th, midnight, EST!
Sorry, this giveaway is only open to US residents.

Here are the books that will be given away:
- A signed copy of The Debs
- A signed copy of Kandide and the Secret of the Mists (and a book mark and poster featuring Kandide)
- A signed copy of Severed Ties
- 2 signed copies of The Elite

A HUGE thank you to all those wonderful people that posted my riddles on their blogs and to the ever generous authors who donated copies of their books! :D

So far, these sites will be posting riddles (sites are not in order):
And Another Book Read, Bibliophile Support Group, From the Corner of Megan's Mind, The Story Siren, The Ravenous Reader, Liv's Book Reviews, The Compulsive Reader, The Book Muncher, Reader Rabbit, Bookluver-Carol, Presenting Lenore, Booked Books, Book Review Maniac, In Bed with Books, Reviewer X, Reading Keeps you Sane, Squeaky Books, Hope's Book Shelf, Maelstrom, Jennifer Banash's blog, Melissa Walker's blog, Just Blinded Book Reviews, Midnight Twilights Book Blog, Shooting Stars Mag.

And here is your first riddle:
A young couple, a face-paced romance, a balcony scene, ill fated love, and death.
What book is this?

Francey giveaway winner

Thanks to everyone who entered the Francey giveaway!
I used a random # generator this time, and the winner is:

So Archana, please send me an email at w/ your address so I can get your prize out to you! Congrats!

& don't forget to enter my big August giveaway that starts today! =D

Series I Like

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis Divergent by Veronica Roth Firelight by Sophie Jordon Halo by Alexandra Adornetto Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Thanks to i'm loving books!


I receive review copies of books from publicists, authors and publishers for an honest review. I do not receive monetary or other compensations for posting reviews.