Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year Everyone! :D

First, I do realize that not everyone has the same calender...so it's not New Years for everyone yet, but that's beside the point. Whether your New Year starts tomorrow or sometime else, I wish you nothing but happiness in the upcoming year! I hope that you accomplish those resolutions you set for yourself, and that your year is wonderful and happy and completely splendiferous (yes...I'm making up words, but I want to stress how awesome I hope everyone's year will be)!

Second, I've been a bit absent from the blog lately with finals and then the holidays starting...I'm a little burnt out to be honest, and I have an ever-increasing list of books that I need to review for you all that I hope to get to soon. I'll admit I've had a bit of reviewer's block though, so hopefully I can snap out of that soon. :P If you have any tips about getting out of reviewer's blocks, I would love to hear them. :)

Finally, I don't typically set resolutions to myself...I'm usually too lazy if I'm honest, but I think this year I shall, and maybe by sharing them with all of you I'll be motivated to actually go through with them all.

My Resolutions for 2013: 
  1. Don't dwell on things you can't change. Last year, my dog passed away and it's stuck with me all year long. I know I can't change it and I know that I can't bring him back, but I've still struggled to move past it. I don't know if I ever fully will, but I hope to try harder to not dwell on things that bother me, from my lost pet to grades that I can't change. I'm optimistic by nature, but my dwelling tends to bring me down sometimes unfortunately, so hopefully this year I can work on not dwelling on the bad so much and letting my optimism actually win. :)
  2. Stay in touch with friends. I tend to fall off the face of the planet when I'm stressed, so this year I'm going to try to not fall into my isolation bubble during those times. 
  3. Keep up in school. a.k.a Stop Procrastinating! It's no surprise that I love to read...but I'm not a huge fan of reading things that are assigned for school. I think it's the one form of authority that I like to rebel against. As soon as a book is assigned, even if I wanted to already read it, I tend to be all "I'm not reading that...I'll read what I want!"...it can be detrimental to keeping up with my school readings, so I'm going to try and motivate myself better. This also includes planning for essays. I really need to stop finishing them at the last minute...wish me luck for this one...I seriously need it. :S
  4.  Go to the gym. My friend, Amy, and I had planned to actually use our campus gym last semester...but we ended up only going once right near the end. Now we know where the change rooms are, so hopefully that'll help motivate us to go regularly! :P
  5. Save some money this year. I'm stealing this one from my Edmonton Book Blogger pal, Rola from xo' reads who made a list of her resolutions yesterday. I'm really bad at saving money, and I tend to spend it almost as fast as I make it, so this year I would really like to save. I buy a lot of things on a whim, so I'm going to think more before I buy things this year, and if I don't need something, I'll try very hard not to get it! I'm going to give myself a spending budget I think...maybe I'll make a list! I like lists. :D
  6. READ. This one's pretty straightforward and I'm sure I'll manage to accomplish it. ;) I hope to read lots, and I'll try to read even more than I did this year, but to accomplish my other resolutions I just may have to cut back on reading a bit. I do still want to make sure I read as much as I can though! :D

Alright, so those are my resolutions for 2013? I could've probably listed more, but I think six is enough. :P 

So, what are your resolutions for 2013? 
And what are you looking forward to in 2013?
A few things I'm looking forward to are Game of Thrones Season 3, Clockwork Princess, and the third Divergent book! :D

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Review: Georgetown Academy - Book 2 by Alyssa Embree Schwartz and Jessica Koosed Etting

 Source: Received a review copy from the publisher for an honest review.
Publisher: Coliloquy, LLC
Release Date: Already Released.
For more information visit: Coliloquy - Georgetown Academy.
Purchase Links: Amazon | Nook | Google Play Store

Blurb from Goodreads:
In the halls of Georgetown Academy, gossip and rumor abound. But when photographic proof shows up on the front page of The Huffington Post? Then it’s a national scandal.

While Ellie tries to put her life back together, Evan just might get everything she’s ever wanted—the perfect boyfriend and her dream career. But her loyalties will be put to the test when it turns out to be the very people she’s closest to who are standing in her way.

Brinley is determined to find out who is behind the photo leak, all while her own dirty secret spirals out of control. And California girl Taryn is sick of being walked all over and ready to start playing by the rules of D.C., for better or for worse.

In a world where reputation and appearances are everything, knowledge is power. But you’ll have to learn how to use it if you want to come out on top.

What’s Cool from Coliloquy:
As the Georgetown Academy girls get ready for Follow the Stars, authors Alyssa and Jessica let readers decide which of the main girls to follow. You’ll see scandalous behavior, unexpected liaisons, and secret betrayals...all giving you a different perspective as events unfold.

And don't forget to take the Georgetown Academy Quiz! http://bit.ly/VgUgMm

www.georgetownacademyseries.com



Wow...after the dramatic ending of the first book I should have been expecting the drama in this one...but it was even more intense than I expected!!!

This one was full of scandal, and showed the behind-the-scenes aspects of politics where various stories are leaked to the press...either by political opponents or by individuals themselves to save face. I'll admit, that little dirty secret aspect was really interesting and was one of my favourite parts. I liked seeing how different individuals spun stories in their favour...makes you wonder about what you hear on TV about real-life politics. :P

Along with the scandal, I enjoyed getting to know the characters better. Ellie is still my favourite, but she had a hard time in this one, and I'm hoping Book 3 will turn out better for her! I really liked getting to know a bit more about Brinley and Taryn's background in this one though. I really liked getting to see the different sides to the story.

All in all, I'm really enjoying this series. :D They're quick reads that keep you hooked, and the way that the different perspectives weave together keeps you interested until the very last page. Also, since the four characters are pretty different, there's bound to be at least one that you like the most and are rooting for. ;) I'd recommend this series to anyone who likes drama, especially if you like to get different sides of every story...and if you like seeing it all happen behind the scenes. ;D

Twitter: Coliloquy

This is the second Georgetown Academy book, so what do you think of the premise? 
 Personally, I like to indulge in reading some dramatic books every once in a while, so what about you? Are you a drama fan when it comes to your books?
And, what do you think of Coliloquy's stories? Do you think you'll try out one of their interactive fictions?

Monday, December 24, 2012

Make Believe Blog Tour: Multi-Author Interview and Giveaway!!


For the Make Believe Anthology blog tour I have all six authors from the anthology here in an interview for you! I've asked them all the same few questions, and here are their answers! :D

You can add the Make Believe Anthology to Goodreads: HERE
You can also find out more on J. Taylor Publishing's Website: HERE
Buy links: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Books On Board 

 First, I’d like to say thank you to all of the authors from the Make Believe Anthology for answering my questions, and for stopping by my blog! :D

Welcome!!

TERRI ROCHENSKI
Thanks!  ;)

So, how about you tell us a bit about yourself and about your story in the Make Believe Anthology?
I was a farm girl and now I’m a stay-at-home mommy to two little angels. I’ve got the best hubs on the face of the earth (for me anyway!) who works his butt off so I can raise our children. I write whenever I can – however I can – which isn’t a lot on most days.
My story for the MB antho, Sacrificial Oath, came about by the picture prompt, but it involved a LOT of phone time with my mother (BFF!!!) who is also my bouncer-offer if you will.   She helps me work through the jumbled ideas in my brain. I give her most of the credit for the premise of this story.

How does writing a story for an anthology differ from writing a novel or book?
Short stories are very fulfilling for me – especially since I have a hard time submerging myself in writing right now. A quick and easy fix for a busy writer-wanna-be. I just finished up a fantasy novel that is out with a few beta readers. It took me a few years to finish, but that’s because I moved twice and had 2 children all in the last 4 years.

What can we expect from you in the future? Any books coming out?
I’m hoping to have some luck with that fantasy novel I mentioned. Once it’s back from my beta buds I plan on spit-shining and subbing it out. In the mean time I’m working on another romance short. We’ll see if I get lucky on that one as well.  :)
Thanks for inviting me to stop by!!

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Terri Rochenski's Story in the Make Believe Anthology:
Sacrificial Oath
An impetuous act unwittingly makes Alesuela the fulfillment of the Sovereign’s Blood Oath to their Goddess. In five days, she’ll be forced to make the greatest choice of her life: become the virginal sacrifice already promised, or force the man she loves most to die in her place.

With an impossible choice in front of her, she searches for ways to undo the oath, and in her quest, finds not everything in her life is as she expects.


J. KELLER FORD

Thank you, Ambur, for having us on your blog!  It’s a pleasure to be here.

So, how about you tell us a bit about yourself and about your story in the Make Believe Anthology?
I’ve been writing ever since I can remember.  I’ve had a few poems and a story or two published here and there over the years, but THE AMULET OF ORMISEZ is my first short story ever contracted with a publisher.  I normally write YA fantasy, but when I saw the prompt for the Make Believe anthology, I figured I’d give it a shot.  It’s about a man, Lord Elton Fletcher, who returns home from war to discover his brother, Cayden, possessed by the Amulet of Ormisez, a magic stone forged to punish those guilty of malicious and unthinkable deeds. The talisman is a death sentence to its wearer unless Elton can acquire the key to break the spell. But there is another whose desire to possess the stone will not only impede Elton’s ability to save his brother, but could cost Elton his life.

How does writing a story for an anthology differ from writing a novel or book?
I think short stories are much harder to write than novels because you have to establish believable characters, create a believable plot, add believable elements to thwart the plot and then reach a believable conclusion in 10,000 words or less.  Novels provide the writer so much more room to develop a story.  I like writing short stories because it hones the writer’s craft of condensing.  

What can we expect from you in the future? Any books coming out?
I have several short stories I’m writing at the moment as well as a YA fantasy trilogy that I’m really excited about.  The first book is finished and I’m going through what I hope to be the final round of edits.  I also have parts of the second and third book written.  It’s all very exciting.
 
Links: Goodreads | Twitter  | Facebook | Blog
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J. Keller Ford's Story in the Make Believe Anthology: 
The Amulet of Ormisez
There is only one way to save Elton Fletcher’s brother from an insanity-ridden death.

After years away from home, fighting for his people, Elton returns to discover his only sibling, Cayden, possessed by greed and malice, and responsible for malicious, unthinkable deeds. Cayden, though, isn’t the only one afflicted by the Amulet of Ormisez, and Elton finds himself in yet another battle, where the price of failure could be his own life.


http://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1337053254p8/5832201.jpgLYNDA R. YOUNG 
So, how about you tell us a bit about yourself and about your story in the Make Believe Anthology?
I’m a writer of speculative stories, living in Sydney, Australia. When I don’t have my head down writing, you can find me on my Blog, Twitter and Facebook. My short story in Make Believe is titled Birthright. In short, it’s a paranormal romance about Christa who is so busy running from her life that she doesn’t realise she should be running for her life.

How does writing a story for an anthology differ from writing a novel or book?
Apart from the obvious difference of length, anthologies usually come with themes and guidelines so I find it easier to come up with an idea for an anthology story.  But at the same time short stories are harder to write than novels because there’s less time to develop characters, or explore a concept. Both present their own challenges and I'm a girl who loves a challenge.

What can we expect from you in the future? Any books coming out?
I’ll be writing more short stories since I love them so much, but I’m also working on some young adult novels, one of which I hope to finish early in the new year.

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Lynda R. Young's Story in the Make Believe Anthology: 
Birthright
Christa can mask the pain and hide the scars, but running from a birthright is impossible.

She’s tried to escape her grief by fleeing to a small town in Florida. Much to her frustration, the locals think they recognize her even though she's never been there before. To make things worse, a man named Jack spouts outrageous theories about her.

Both spur Christa to bolt, to start fresh yet again, but there’s something about Jack that intrigues her enough to stay. The only problem? Someone else wants her to leave, and they won’t stop until she’s dead.


Kelly SaidKELLY SAID
So, how about you tell us a bit about yourself and about your story in the Make Believe Anthology?
 Thank you for having me, Ambur! I'm Kelly Said, yes, that's my for real name, hehe! I live in Colorado with my husband and my snuggly bull terrier named Jayne (after Joss Whedon's character Jayne Cobb in Firefly :D). My story, PETRIFIED, is about about two people who meet under unusual circumstances and work together to solve a magical mystery.

How does writing a story for an anthology differ from writing a novel or book?
 Writer's have a limited word budget with short fiction, I think the stories in the Make Believe anthology were all around 10k words each, which means short fiction authors have practically one tenth the amount of word space compared to a full length novel to engage our reader. We have to move the story along at a quicker pace, which means making every word matter. I think writing short fiction is fun, it's a great way to learn to manage a word count budget as well as how to be compelling and concise in your descriptions, which, in my humble opinion is a skillset needed when making the leap to larger works. :)

What can we expect from you in the future? Any books coming out?
Thank you for asking, I'm currently working on a young adult novel, something that started off as a short story idea but has now progessed into novel territory. I'm in full on revision mode, which means things in the plot are changing, even as I type this! hehehe! So, it'll probably be a little bit before I start chatting about any details. I will say that each time I sit down to work on this precious, I do so with an excited grin. :)
Ambur, thank you so much for hosting me on your awesome blog, I had a great time answering your questions. ~Kelly :)

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Kelly Said's Story in the Make Believe Anthology: 
Petrified
A mysterious storm has replaced summer with winter, devastating crops and smothering Castle lands in snow. Prince Sterling August stands alone as a leader, lost in personal grief as well as a desire to help his people but with an inability to do either.

The answers he needs await him, but without Lochlyn, a woman who’s just as isolated as Sterling, he’ll never see what stands before him, cloaked in illusion.


Jennifer M. EatonJENNIFER M. EATON

So, how about you tell us a bit about yourself and about your story in the Make Believe Anthology?

I’m a mom of three energetic boys under 12, and I write as a form of therapy.  It’s my way of disappearing into my own little world.  My Story Last Winter Red is about a young woman who leaves everything she knows to find a husband, but ends up finding herself, instead.


How does writing a story for an anthology differ from writing a novel or book?

The big difference for me is writing within someone else’s parameters.  You can’t just go off on a tangent.  You need to stick to the requirements.  The biggest requirement is word count.  You’d be surprised how hard it is to cut your story down to 10,000 words when you go over!


What can we expect from you in the future? Any books coming out?

Oh, Yes!  My story Connect the Dots is featured in Still Moments Publishing’s “For the Love of Christmas” anthology.  And my story “A Test of Faith” will be out in early January, also from Still Moments.  Next year, I’m hoping you will see my Romantic Paranormal “Une Variente” and my YA Sci-Fi novel “Fire in the Woods”.  I’m hoping 2013 will be as great a year for me as this one has!

***
Jennifer Eaton lives on the East Coast USA with her husband, three boys, and a pepped up poodle.  She hosts an interactive website www.jennifermeaton.com aimed at making all writers the best they can be.  

Her Dystopian novelette “Last Winter Red” is available as part of the “Make Believe” Anthology from J.Taylor Publishing.  Her Christmas Romance “Connect the Dots” is available as part of Still Moments publishing’s “For the Love of Christmas” Anthology.  Both are available in ebook format from Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com and Smashwords.

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Jennifer M. Eaton's Story in the Make Believe Anthology: 
Last Winter Red
Emily is a Red, a woman whose sole purpose in life is to produce offspring. When her husband dies and leaves her childless, she risks her life and forsakes the safety of Terra—a disease-free city born after the nuclear holocaust. Beyond its boundaries, she knows, survives a man with whom she can be properly paired.
The Outside, though, holds secrets the government struggles to keep, and what Emily discovers on her quest for a mate will change her life forever.



J.A. BELFIELD

So, how about you tell us a bit about yourself and about your story in the Make Believe Anthology?
Thanks for having me, Ambur. Feels a little like I’m joining a new group. :p 

Um ... my name’s J.A. Belfield, I’m better known for my Holloway Pack series, and I’m the author of the Make Believe tale: Escort to Insanity. And I’m not quite sure what to tell you about that, other than it is pretty much exactly as the title suggests. When Nicole Harrington books herself an escort for the night, she gets way more than she bargained for—and whilst it’s not an insta-love tale where declarations are made, there is certainly potential for romance in the magical air. ;)

How does writing a story for an anthology differ from writing a novel or book?
This one’s easy. I’m told I have to stay within my word count. Which KILLS me! LOL As a total pantser, I have a tendency to waffle on and on and on .... and I can’t do that with a short story. It has to be concise. Fitting a beginning, middle, end, AND resolution into a fraction of the words allowed for a novel is hard work to a novelist. :)

What can we expect from you in the future? Any books coming out?
Well, whaddaya know ... the second full length instalment for the Holloway Pack, Blue Moon, released the same day as Make Believe, which means that’s hot off the press still. Resonance: Holloway Pack 2.5, a novella, is due for release in April of 2013, and Caged: Holloway Pack 3 will be hitting the stratosphere in August of 2013. As for beyond that? I’m working on it. ;)

Thanks so much for having me on your blog today, Ambur. As usual, it’s been an absolute pleasure. :)

Links: Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook | Website |
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J.A. Belfield's Story in the Make Believe Anthology: 
Escort to Insanity
From a charity auction, to a stroll in the park, to the craziest night of her life. Nicole Harrington can’t help but wonder how a simple event went so drastically wrong.

Of course, the male escort she booked is wholly to blame. Not only charming but shrewdly intelligent, Benjamin Gold drags Nicole into a platoon of unimaginable problems—ones from which she’ll have to find the courage just to survive.



GIVEAWAY

- INTERNATIONAL
- 1 Winner will get an ebook of the Make Believe Anthology
- Ends January 18th, 2013 at 12:00 AM (MST)
- The winner will be drawn with Rafflecopter, and will have 48 hours to claim their prize.
- The winner will be emailed their ebook and about being a winner (make sure to check your junk folder, you don't want to miss it!)

TO ENTER FILL OUT THE RAFFLECOPTER BELOW:




Additional Tour Giveaways:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Also, Random commenters during the tour will receive eBook copies of Either Jennifer M. Eaton's "For the Love of Christmas" or the Make Believe Anthology, so don't forget to comment if you'd like another chance to win. :)
 
You can find the rest of the tour schedule on J.A. Belfield's blog at this link.

Any thoughts?
Does this sounds like an anthology that you want to read?

Good luck to all of those who entered!

Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays to all! :D

Friday, December 21, 2012

V is for Virgin Blog Tour: Guest Post and Tour Giveaway!

Today for the V is for Virgin blog tour I have Kelly Oram with a guest post...so take it away, Kelly!

V is for Virgin: Cute or Controversial?

No matter how you look at it, sex is a hot topic. I knew when I started writing this book that the subject of waiting to have sex until marriage is something that most people have an opinion on.

 Obviously my main character Val chose a specific side, and, as a woman who waited until marriage myself, I happen to share her opinion. However, I respect that not everyone share’s my viewpoint.

I didn’t want people to get caught up in the controversy of waiting, so tried my hardest to write a book that people could enjoy no matter what their ideals on the subject are. The real message behind V is for Virgin isn’t about abstinence until marriage. It’s about standing up for what you believe in. It’s about making choices for you, and not giving in to peer pressure.

If I want my readers to take anything away from this book it’s this: Figure out who you are and then be true to yourself.


Kelly OramAbout Kelly Oram:

Kelly Oram wrote her first novel at age fifteen–a fan fiction about her favorite music group, The Backstreet Boys, for which family and friends still tease her. She's obsessed with reading, talks way too much, and loves to eat frosting by the spoonful. She lives outside of Phoenix, Arizona with her husband and four children.

Author description from Goodreads.


About V is for Virgin:
When Val Jensen gets dumped for her decision to stay a virgin until marriage, the nasty breakup goes viral on YouTube, making her the latest internet sensation.

After days of ridicule from her peers, Val starts a school-wide campaign to rally support for her cause. She meant to make a statement, but she never dreamed the entire nation would get caught up in the controversy.

As if becoming nationally recognized as “Virgin Val” isn’t enough, Val’s already hectic life starts to spin wildly out of control when bad boy Kyle Hamilton, lead singer for the hit rock band Tralse, decides to take her abstinence as a personal challenge.

How can a girl stay true to herself when this year’s Sexiest Man Alive is doing everything in his power to win her over?



TOUR GIVEAWAY!
$30 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Open Internationally
Ends January 6, 2013

To enter fill out the Rafflecopter Below (It's also available on the other blogs participation in the tour):


To follow the rest of the schedule you can find the schedule, here: 

I was a huge fan of V is for Virgin, and I think that Kelly Oram did an amazing job with showing her readers that it's okay to stand up for what you believe in even if it isn't something others agree with. :) I loved Val's story, and I definitely felt that she wasn't trying to persuade others to her viewpoint. She was trying to let them decide for themselves, and to help them realize that if they did want to wait to have sex, it was okay and that no one should make that decision except for you. So...I definitely think Kelly got her message across. :)

Have your read V is for Virgin yet? If you have, what did you think?
If you haven't read it, do you want to?