Monday, April 27, 2009

Fairest Of Them All Book Trailer

Hey
Last week I finished Fairest of Them All and I liked it so much I decided to make a book trailer for it. This is my first trailer but it was a lot of fun to make. I'll have to say picking out the songs and finding the perfect one that fit the story was my favorite part. In case you are wondering the songs are

- She's so Lovely by Scouting for Girls (when Oribella is the center of everything
- Beautiful by Christina Aguilera (when she realizes how her life is turning around
- Suddenly I See by KT Tunstall (when Oribella realizes her life isn't gone forever)
video
And please tell me your honest opinions. Since this is my first Trailer I totally support any open criticism. Thanks and Enjoy.
-Jill

The Winners (Finally!!!)

OK
I've finally taken the time to type out all your entries into the random list generator and then use the random number generator on that and the winner is...

Lucky #19
AKA The Not So Closet Geeks
(I'll be emailing you soon to for your address)

Just for fun I always do the generator twice to see who the "runner-up" would be (I always pick the first winner though) and the runner-up was the Not So Closet Geeks also for another entry (#28) I just thought that was funny. It means you are really meant to have this book.

Thanks to everyone who entered. I really appreciated it. There will be another contest soon
Thanks again
-Jill

So Let's Talk About Organ Donations with Jill Wolfson (A Guest Blog)

What do Phil Lesh (plays bass guitar for the Grateful Dead), former NBA star Sean Elliot, and world-class mountain climber Kelly Preston have in common?

Like Dani, the protagonist of my new novel, Cold Hands, Warm Heart, they are all organ recipients. Phil got a liver, Sean a

I’m here to bring up a tough topic today. It’s not the kind of subject that most people like hearing about. I mean, nobody wants to sit down at the dinner table and say, Hey mom and dad, if I die suddenly, it’s okay to donate my organs.

But this is a subject that we all do need to think and talk about. (Hmmm, maybe wait for dessert to be over before bringing it up). This month (April) is National Donate Life month, a time set aside to celebrate the tremendous generosity of those who have saved lives by becoming organ, tissue, marrow, and blood donors and to encourage more people to follow their brave example.

kidney and Kelly a heart.

To be honest, before I started writing Cold Hands, I didn’t know much about organ donation– other than the little box I checked when renewing my driver’s license.

But research for this novel turned into quite a journey. I wound up interviewing hospitalized teenagers waiting for organs and their nervous, hopeful parents. I hung out at the hospital school and talked to families and kids about their new life after transplant. One evening, I attended a “reunion” of pediatric heart transplant patients. What a sight – all these kids with their puffy faces from steroids running around in one big room, everyone celebrating the miracle that they were alive.

I also spent many hours crying and sometimes even laughing with donor families as they showed me photographs and described their decision to donate the organs of their loved ones.

After talking to all these people, I truly understood the importance of being a donor. If tragedy strikes, I know that I would want a part of me to live on and to give many other people a second chance at life. I hope you’ll read my new book and use it to start talking about this critical decision with your family and friends.

I’ll going to leave you with some numbers to think about:

n Nearly 100,000 people are on the national organ transplant waiting list.

n Every 12 minutes another name is added to the national organ transplant waiting list.

n An average of 18 people die each day from the lack of available organs for transplant.

And now for a lighter side to the topic of organ donation. Yes, there is a light side! In my novel, Dani, the girl waiting for a new heart, watches an old, classic horror film about a “hand” transplant that goes murderously awry. I remember how the movie freaked me out when I saw it as a kid. Now, it cracks me up. I posted the trailer to Hands of a Stranger on my blog at http://jillhwolfson.blogspot.com/ Check it out.

______________________________________________

Thanks for being here Ms.Wolfson!

I learned a lot!

If you haven't checked out her book (COLD HANDS, WARM HEART) do so now

If you still need a push read my review Here

O and the contest winners of a copy and a signed book plate will be posted momentarily

Thanks

-Jill

Interview with Tricia Mills

today we have the brilliant Tricia Mills, author of Heartbreak River, visiting us
_____________________________________
The Basics
1.When did you know you wanted to be> an author?
I honestly can't pinpoint a specific time, but I know the roots of it were there early -- as in when I was in elementary school. But I started writing my first book manuscript when I was in college. I got serious about submitting to agents and editors in 1996. Eleven years later, I sold Heartbreak River.

2.What’s the best part of being an author?
The creativity. I love that I can make up a story in my head, put it down on paper/computer file, and hopefully readers will eventually read it and enjoy it.
3. What’s the hardest part of being an author?
When the story doesn't come out as great on paper as it is in your head. I've never had writer's blog, but I've definitely had to push my way through some difficult writing spots.
3. What’s the most surprising part of being an author?
When someone e-mails and tells you that they've read your book. It's awesome!
4. What is your typical day like?
They vary, but it's a fairly typical day:
8 a.m.- 9 a.m. -- Get up, get ready, make breakfast, answer e-mail and do some blog cruising/updating if I have time.
9 a.m.-Noon -- Work on whatever writing I need to -- new pages, revisions, etc.
Noon-1 p.m. -- Lunch and watch something on my TiVo to give myself a brain break.
1-? (3, 4 or 5 p.m., depending on deadline needs) -- Work on more writing stuff and possibly running errands.
5-7 -- Fix dinner, eat dinner with husband, watch The Daily Show with him.
7-10:30 -- Promotional stuff, e-mail, other online stuff, housework, writing if I need to, watching TV.
10:30-Midnight -- Go to bed and read sometime during this time frame.

About the Book
1 What inspired you to write Heartbreak River?
Part of it was inspired by a train trip I took to San Francisco. A portion of the trip was along the Colorado River in the western part of Colorado, similar to the setting of Heartbreak River. There were lots of people rafting, and I wondered what it would be like to grow up in a family that owned one of those rafting outfitters.
2. What was the hardest part to write?
I can't go into specifics without spoiling the book, but there's a scene near the end that was difficult to write. I think readers will know what it is when they get to it.
3. How long did it take you to write and publish this book?
It took from July 2007 until this month to see the entire process through. I started writing in July 2007 (it was bought on proposal, before it was written) and finished it sometime that fall. But it went back and forth between me and my editor for several sets of revisions before gaining final approval.
4.What is your latest project that you’re working on (if you can tell us anything)?
I'm doing revisions on Ice and Desire, my second YA novel, which is slated to come out in the summer of 2010.

Extra Stuff
1.What was your most memorable part of highschool?
Hmm, probably graduating. :) I was so ready to go to college.
2. What is your favorite part of writing?
When I get a brand new idea and start furiously writing down notes about it.
3. Why did you choose to write YA novels?
I think it was late 2004 maybe. It was on the advice of my friend Stephanie Rowe, who writes YA as Stephie Davis.
4. Do you have any advice to give to aspiring teen authors?
Peer pressure sucks. Don't let anyone pressure you into doing anything you don't want to. And really, truly believe that any of your dreams are possible. I wanted to be a writer. It took me a long time to accomplish that, but I didn't give up. I'm a huge believer in persistence.

5, 4, 3, 2,> 1…..
5 of your favorite books
A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray (and the sequels)The Mediator series by Meg CabotThe Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsThe Gardella Vampire Chronicles (series of 5 books, not YA) by Colleen GleasonTwilight by Stephenie Meyer
4 things you can’t live without
My husband, books, Supernatural (my FAVE TV show), spending time outdoors
3 things readers probably don’t know about you
I also write romance for Harlequin American under my real name, Trish Milburn.
I want to be an extra or have a small, walk-on role in a movie before I kick it.
I don't like to fly. I take Amtrak or drive most of the time.
2 of your favorite YA authors
Stephenie Meyer and Meg Cabot
1 other career you probably would have chose if you weren’t an author
National park ranger. I went to college to be a journalist, and I still write for a magazine part time.

-Tricia

Thanks for being here Tricia and sorry to everyone for not posting this up right away.
Thanks!
-Jill

Saturday, April 25, 2009

A&J Fest

Hey!
This weekend I won't be posting most anything at all.
I have a review to post, I missed posting yesterday's interview, I had contest winners to twll about, and I got 2 awards to pass on.
But none of that will happen this weekend.
This weekend is my town's Arts&Jazz Fest.
I'm there every single day from start to close (my dad owns a restaurant and has a booth at the A&J Fest and I work it every day)
So this weekend (besides this one quick post) I'll be MIA.
Enjoy your weekend!
I'll be back on Monday.
Thanks!
-Jill

O yeah! That also means I'll post my IMM next week.
Thanks again!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A Map of the Known World

By: Lisa Ann Sandell


(hey guy to make these easier to read and get without going through my whole rant I've added/changed a few things. My personal opinions not really relating to the book are in red, new things I've added are in purple, and the review is in brown. Thanks so much. Please leave your comments and why I'm at it please enter the poll that's on the left sidebar. Thanks again. -Jill)

Summary:

Cora Bradley dreams of escape. Ever since her reckless older brother, Nate, died in a car crash, Cora has felt suffocated by her small town and high school. She seeks solace in drawing beautiful maps, envisioning herself in exotic locales. When Cora begins to fall for Damian, the handsome, brooding boy who was in the car with Nate the night he died, she uncovers her brother's secret artistic life and realizes she had more in common with him than she ever imagined. (From Amazon)

Review:

Character Development: 9/10
Originality: 4/10
(I’ve read too many stories about death lately)

Plot/Story Line: 6/10 (same reason as above)

Ending:
9/10
Voice: 10/10
Recommendation: 10/10
Total Score: 48
Grade: A

Rating:
Cussing:
1/10
Drugs, Alcohol, Etc.: 1/10

Sexual Content: 1/10

Other:
# of pages:
272pg.
Written in:
first person narrative, teen girl

Released on:
April 15, 2009
Tone: heartwarming, sad, and very real to emotion

One Sentence Summary:

During her freshman year in high school Cora must learn to live in the aftermath of her brother’s death with a distant best friend, even more distant parents, and a budding relationship with the one boy who she knows she can’t have.

One Sentence Review:

This novel is filled with a strong and true voice that dominates the pages with imagery, emotion, and well developed characters.

Written Review:
Lisa Ann Sandell is a master with words. Her writing captures your attention immediately. I was a little disappointed with the story line because lately I’ve been reading a lot of stories over the topic of death but this novel had a lot more depth than most of those books. Raw emotion covered every page. I felt horrible for her relationship with her parents and her disappearing relationship with her best friend at a time she needed one the most. Things were handled in this novel in real time which made it slow to me at some points but it didn’t stay that way long. Her relationship with Damian took a while to get going and once it did I didn’t really feel good about it until later on. (I don’t know why so don’t let that turn you away from this novel.) The scenes were portrayed perfectly through the imagery which was very necessary in a book like this that put a lot of focus on art and the look of her town. I could visually see the town in my head and it didn’t take long before I was there too (don’t you love a book like that. One you totally get caught in. That really makes a book for me.) I liked that even though Cora’s brother died I could still relate to her as a freshman in high school on that first intimidating day. I liked that her personality was still there along with the tragedy of it all. The ending was good too. It wasn’t a perfect happily ever after but it was realistic which I loved. And it didn’t leave any loose strings (that’s a huge pet peeve of mine about books whether it’s part of a series or not. Isn’t it everyone’s?) Overall I really enjoyed this book. It showed deep emotion and true feeling while still being realistic. There are some faults with this books (like some characters seem too flat at points, etc.) but It is definitely worth reading

Thanks
-Jill


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

My So Called Glamorous Life (Guest Blog By Gayle Forman)

The brilliant Gayle Forman, author of IF I STAY, is visiting us today with a very funny and interesting guest blog. Enjoy!
________________________________________________

Because I write for a living, and have books that appear in bookstores, and on the jacket of said books there is a picture of me looking somewhat presentable, people have this conception that I somehow lead a very fabulous and glamorous life.

I find this endlessly amusing.

Because this could not be further from the truth. Take this morning as an example. After I dispensed with my mom duties—which today entailed registering my daughter for kindergarten, a Very Big Deal, and then dropping her off at preschool—I came home and finally had to admit that the smell of cat pee emanating from the littler-box vicinity was not just from the litter box itself, but the surrounding floor and wall. So I spent the next twenty minutes on my knees, holding my nose and scrubbing. I love my cat Scottie, but like a lot of boys, his aim is terrible.

Four days ago, my novel If I Stay came out and had reviews in newspapers and there were flowers delivered to my door and a fancy dinner that night. But that was for one day. The next day, it was back to real life. And real life is this: It is taking care of my family and dealing with my house. And then it is writing.

After the cat pee was cleaned, I took a shower, which is unusual for me so early in the day. Most days, I simply get my daughter dressed, make her cinnamon toast, make her lunch, send her off to school (her dad takes her) and head straight for my computer, still in my pajamas, and work until it is time to go pick her up from school. I often don’t bother showering. Hair washes have low priority (especially in winter when it’s cold and I don’t allow ample drying time before I have to venture out into the elements). I often forget to eat lunch, which is why I have taken to making smoothies for breakfast, so at least I can drink a quick morning meal before I get down to working and neglecting to feed myself.

Because when I’m writing, when I am good and deep into a novel I’m working on, I can get totally lost in the best of ways. As lost, I hope, as my readers are when they open the cover of one my books. This is why I love what I do. Why every single day I am grateful that I have stories in my head to tell, the ability to put them onto paper, and that people like you are out there and willing to read them.

But the life of a writer, it is not one of glamour. It’s one of solitude, of a daily grind, of hardcore self-discipline. Of getting up, putting on the coffee, turning on the computer, feeding the cats, feeding the kids, sending them to school, and getting to work, and if you’re lucky, loving the work. The work is where the glory is. Not the glamour. Because the glamour—at least in my experience—is non-existent.

A lot of budding writers ask my advice on how to get started, so in case it’s not clear that this is a Blog Post With A Moral, I will spell it out: How you get started writing is by writing. Or, to quote an old journalism professor of mine who is also a very successful author: A real writer is one who writes. Even if she has to clean the cat pee first.
__________________________________________________
Thanks for visiting Ms.Forman.
-Jill

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Interview with Darlene Ryan

Today we have Ms. Darlene Ryan, author of 5 Minutes More, visiting with an interview
__________________________________________

The Author


1. When did you know you wanted to be an author?
I’ve been writing for a long, long time. I placed third in a poetry contest in grade 3! As a kid I didn’t understand that people actually wrote books for a living. It wasn’t until I was at university that I considered the possibility.

2. What’s the best part of being an author?
One of my favorite things about being an author is being able to make a story turn out the way I want it to.

3. What’s the hardest part of being an author?
Wondering if anyone else is going to like the story.

4. What’s the most surprising part or being an author?
That some days I don’t feel like writing. (I do it anyway.)

5. What is your typical day like?
I start work after my daughter leaves for school. I check my email. Then I look in my date book to see if there is anything I need to do before I start writing, like research. I write for about an hour, then break for a snack and a cup of coffee. After that I work until lunch. I go for a walk every day after lunch—it’s great for sorting out plot problems. Then I write until my daughter gets home.

The Book

6. What inspired you to write Five Minutes More?
The idea for Five Minutes More has been stuck in my head for years, so long that I can’t even remember where the idea came from in the first place.

7. What is your all time favorite part of Five Minutes More?
I like the ending and I like the scenes with D’Arcy’s best friend, Marissa.

8. What was the hardest part to write?
There’s a scene near the end of the book between D’Arcy and her mom that was a lot harder to write than I expected.

9. How long did it take you to write and publish this book?
Years…literally. It took a long time to write because I could never get the story to work the way I’d envisioned it. The finished manuscript went to my editor over a year ago.

10. What are you working on now?
I’m working on an adult novel and another young adult novel.

11. What is your favorite part of writing?
The rewriting. (Honestly.)

Other : Fun Stuff

12. Why did you choose to write young adult novels?
I’d always liked reading them, even as an adult. I went to a workshop with Kevin Major—who is a terrific writer, by the way—and he encouraged me to finish the book I had taken to the workshop. That became my first YA novel, Rules for Life.

13. Do you have any advice to give to aspiring teen authors?
Read, read, read. Make sure you know basic grammar and spelling.

14. Anything you want us to know about your life in general?
I’m not as serious as my books tend to be. I love music although I can’t play a musical instrument and I can’t sing.

5, 4, 3, 2, 1

5 of your favorite books.
Only five?
1. Love you forever—Robert Munsch
2. Hate you—Graham Mcnamee
3. The Darkyn novels—Lynn Viehl (Yes I know that’s a series of books. Is that cheating?)
4. Welcome to the Monkey House—Kurt Vonnegut
5. The Monkey’s Raincoat—Robert Crais
Love, hate, vampires and monkeys

4 things you can’t live without
1. Soy milk
2. My insulin injector pen
3. CD player
4. Books

3 things your readers probably don’t know about you
1. I have two screws in my left foot.
2. I was chased out of Tianianmen Square by Chinese soldiers.
3. I make a great chocolate cake.

2 of your favorite YA authors
Kevin Major and Graham Mcnamee

1 other career you would have chosen if you weren’t an author
Artist or TV director. Whoops, that was two.

In My Mailbox (5)

Today was my first really super week in a long time. Actually its my first super two weeks since this post is for last week too.
I never really had time to do an IMM post last week since it was Easter and all and I was too busy ruining my Easter shoes riding a four-wheeler across a muddy farm.
Anyway...
Last Week I got....


1. Milestones
By: Samira Hodges


2. My Big Nose and Other Natural Disasters
By: Sydney Salter


3. Riding the Universe
By: Gaby Triana



This week I got.....






4. Hate List
By: Jennifer Brown





5. Once Dead Twice Shy
By: Kim Harrison



6. Skunk Girl
By: Sheba Karim





7. Don't Judge a Girl By Her Cover
By: Ally Carter
(I totally screamed for 10 minutes straight when I saw this!!!!!! I am so totally shocked and excited!!!!!)

That's All! What did you get?
Thanks!
-Jill
(sorry for all of this picture mess but blogger just wasn't being cooperative today)

Tweet Tweet

Yep I've fallen under the pressure.
I've gotten a twitter.
It's on my sidebar if you don't want to click the link but if you do its

http://twitter.com/readingisbliss

Check it out and follow me!



Please....

Thanks!
Jill

Friday, April 17, 2009

King of the Screwups



By: K.L. Going

Summary:

Liam Geller is Mr. Popularity. Everybody loves him. He excels at sports; he knows exactly what clothes to wear; he always ends up with the most beautiful girls in school. But he's got an uncanny ability to screw up in the very ways that tick off his father the most.
When Liam finally kicked out of the house, his father's brother takes him in. What could a teenage chick magnet possibly have in common with his gay, glam rocker, DJ uncle who lives in a trailer in upstate New York? A lot more than you'd think. And when Liam attempts to make himself over as a nerd in a desperate attempt to impress his father, it's his "aunt" Pete and the guys in his band who convince Liam there's much more to him than his father will ever see. (
From Amazon)

Review:
Character Development:
5/10
Originality: 10/10
Overall Enjoyment:
5/10
Ending:
9/10
Voice: 7/10
Recommendation: 6/10
Total Score: 42
Grade: B


Rating:
Cussing:
6/10
Drugs, Alcohol, Etc.: 5/10
Sexual Content: 4/10
Aimed at: 13 and up


Other:
# of pages:
310pg.

Written in:
first person narrative, teen boy

Released on:
April 6, 2009
Tone: funny and unique

Written Review:
I liked this book but it definitely wasn’t my favorite. I wasn’t expecting this book to have as much depth as it did but it made the novel so enjoyable. It went behind Liam’s family problems through Liam’s memories. The flashbacks made me more sympathetic to Liam and his situation. Liam and his father have such a harsh relationship. It made me want to reach through the pages and give Liam a hug for not having a good relationship with his father. Going describes a very dysfunctional family in such a way that makes it hard to dislike Liam. After going through such tough times (even while being super rich and popular) Liam’s antics are easily blamed on trying to conform himself to anyone he isn’t. This book is filled with humor as Liam tried to make himself “unpopular” to become more acceptable to his dad and of course as the title suggests, there are a lot of “Screwups”. With “Aunt” Pete and his glam rock buddies’ opinions on anything and everything Liam learns to get through his emotional past and become the person he wants to be. This book was written very realistically with hope, humor, and raw emotion that made the story very real. I’d recommend this book more to guys than girls though it’s acceptable for both. If you are looking for a powerful and moving novel filled with humorous touches and advice this is the book for you.

Check it out!
Thanks
-
Jill

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Cold Hands, Warm Heart

By: Jill Wolfson

Summary:
Dani was born with her heart on the wrong side of her body. In her fifteen years of life, she’s had more doctor’s appointments, X-rays, and tests, and eaten more green hospital Jell-O than she cares to think about. Fourteen-year-old Amanda is a competitive gymnast, her body a small package of sleek muscles, in perfect health. The two girls don’t know each other, don’t go to the same school, don’t have any friends in common. But their lives are about to collide. (From Amazon)


Review:
Character Development:
8/10
Originality: 9/10
Overall Enjoyment: 7/10
Ending:
8/10
Voice: 8/10
Recommendation: 9/10
Total Score: 49
Grade: A

Rating:
Cussing:
3/10
Drugs, Alcohol, Etc.: 2/10
Sexual Content: 1/10
Aimed at: 13 and up

Other:
# of pages:
256pg.
Written in:
first person narrative, teen girl
Released on:
March 31, 2009
Tone: sad, hopeful, and educational

Written Review:

I really loved this book. I liked how throughout the entire book another part of the Organ Transplant process was revealed. We saw from the delivery man’s perspective, the nurse’s, the donor family’s, and of course, the patients. Each view let us see another aspect of the long process that comes with transplants. The characters were developed really well. Even Amanda had a distinct personality that was exposed through emails and assignments on her computer. Yes this novel was predictable but that can be easily looked past. This book was very original and informed me of a whole new life I wasn’t very aware of before. It was sad and discouraging at times to hear Dani’s thoughts of death and “What Ifs” but her thoughts really opened up questions that we can all relate to. The book had a great message and was very touching. It was written beautifully and with much planning. We got to learn about every person and prayer that were affected by this process. I finished this novel with a better understanding of the whole donor and transplant process and the most sincere and upmost respect for anyone involved in something like this. Overall this is a quick read on a heavy subject that everyone should check out.

_______________________________________

Be sure to check out my contest to win a copy of Cold Hands, Warm Heart and a signed book plate

It closes on April 20th so if you want to enter, enter now!

Also check back on April 27th to read a guest blog by Jill Wolfson

Thanks

-Jill

Guest Blog On Creativity By Katie Alender

Today we have Katie Alender joining us.
She's the author of the fabulous new book Bad Girls Don't Die coming out April 21
and you know what she's pretty fabulous herself!
Read and Enjoy!
Thanks
___________________________________________
Yesterday, I was talking to one of my co-workers, and it came out that I had written a book. He asked what kind it was. When I described it, he said, “Ohhhh, fiction. So you’re creative.” He then went on to tell me about his own book idea, which is non-fiction. And I thought, you're writing a book, too... you don't think you're creative?

I know a lot of people who seem to think there’s a magical gene for “creativity”—some people have it and some don’t. Those who have it live as writers, artists, musicians; those who don’t are accountants, bankers, corporate executives.

The thing is, I don’t think this is true at all. I think every single person has the potential to be as creative as they want to be. The problem is, you have to take time to train that part of your brain. It’s not really training it how to be creative, but rather, that it’s okay to be creative.

A lot of the people who claim they aren’t creative follow it up by saying they’re more logical. This bit really confuses me—creativity means taking the energy to look at things from different angles. What could be more logical than solving a problem by considering all of the various angles?

I don’t mean to sound like a creativity snob. It’s actually kind of the other way. I don’t like to hear people say they don’t have the capacity to be creative. I don’t want to keep people out of the creativity club—I want to throw the doors open and invite everyone inside. It’s just that there are people who think they have no place inside.

As a writer, I think words have tremendous power. Especially when we tell ourselves things about the way we are or aren’t, or things we can and can’t do. “I’m bad at math” or “I’m too fat” or “I couldn’t write a whole book.” The thing I’ve learned as I’ve gotten older is that not only are most things well within my reach, but sometimes it’s a lot more fun to try the things I’m not sure I’ll be good at. Because then it’s an adventure, and you get to feel proud of yourself if you succeed.

Another one of my co-workers decided, when he was well into his grown-up years, that he wanted to learn how to play the violin. His teacher seemed really worried when he struggled with his lessons, until he finally asked her why.

“I’m afraid you’ll get frustrated and quit,” she said.

He replied, “Are you kidding? I’m having the time of my life!”

It took me two years and many drafts of writing my novel, BAD GIRLS DON’T DIE, to realize that I might actually be able to sell a book and be a published author. It was my husband who put the idea in my head. Before that, I honestly thought that it was a goal that was totally beyond my reach. I thought there was no way someone like me could achieve something like that. But then I decided to try, and now I’m just days away from the release of my book.

So, do you consider yourself creative? Do you want to be a writer, an artist, a musician? Or do you want to be a banker, a mathematician, an insurance broker? Whatever you want to be, you can use all of the tools you possess—whether you think they’re creative or logical or what—and give it your all. Don’t limit yourself to being one way or another, and don’t hold yourself back.

And always, always be open to new adventures. It took me too long to realize that that’s where most of the fun is!

Thanks so much for having me as a guest, Jill!
________________________________________
Thanks for being here!
-Jill

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Another Award!

Hey everybody!
I got another award.
I love awards so much.

Awards make me smile because getting an award means I'm doing something right and that spending all my time reading and thinking about reading and thinking about reviews and thinking about contests and other ways to make y'all happy is totally worth it.

So that makes me happy.

(by the way a new review...or two...will be posted tomorrow)
Anyway.....

This award is from Jessica at Chick Lit Teens.
It's a pretty awesome site so if you haven't already checked it out go now.

The award is given to new blogs and newly discovered blogs. I'm going to pass the award on to two awesome blogs that are fairly new or newly discovered:

This is a big decision for me.
There are so many blogs I just found that I view as lovely.
But if I have to narrow it down to the top 2 blogs I'll pick...

(OK I know that neither of these blogs are really all that new but technically I'm new to blogging since I started in January which makes these blogs new to me)

Now the winners

-Simply Books
-Books Make Great Lovers

Congratulations!
Your blog truly is lovely!

Thanks
-Jill

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!


Hey everybody!
I just wanted to wish you a Happy Hoppin'Easter!
There probably won't be an In My Mailbox Post today because I'm spending this whole day with family and candy and fun which means no time to post it (I barely have time to post this) so I'll most likely post it by tomorrow or late tonight.
I hope your day is filled with as many Easter egg hunts as you can manage, too many sweets, and perfect weather (here in Texas we're having the biggest thunderstorm ever!AND it's supposed to last all day! It was perfect just 2 days ago and now THIS! My cute Easter dress... yea somehow I doubt I'll be able to wear that. It's so not perfect here but anyway...) while your surrounded by the ones you love.
So that's all for now...
Happy Easter!
-Jill

Friday, April 10, 2009

Writing Teen Wish Fulfillment By: Janette Rallison

Today we have the amazing Janette Rallison, author of Just One Wish, visiting us.
Enjoy!
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I admit that in a lot of ways my latest book, Just One Wish, is writing the story teens wish could happen—a girl goes to Hollywood to find a hot actor (Think Orlando Bloom, Robert Pattinson, or insert your own idol) to convince him to visit her sick brother before his surgery. I will not give away the plot, but I will say: romance follows.

I would have loved to do this (not the sick brother part, but the hot TV star part) when I was a teenager. I had a huge crush on Richard Hatch, the original Apollo in Battlestar Gallactica. I could wax nostalgic for quite a while about Richard Hatch, but I will spare you. Sigh . . . *Janette suddenly gets all dreamy* . . . Where was I again? Oh yes, writing the book Just One Wish.

The reviews for this book have been good, but a few of them have said in a dismissive manner, "Of course the idea that a girl could go to Hollywood, find the hot teen movie star, and have him fall for her is completely unbelievable."

Which always gives me pause for thought. Which part, I wonder is the most unbelievable--that she finds him or that he falls for her?

I actually researched this book by talking to a woman who used to be Harrison Ford's assistant. (She is now the assistant to another hot celebrity. What a cool job that would be! How come the career counselors in high school never mentioned this as a possibility?)

Did people sneak onto the sets? Oh yes. And she had some interesting stories about that too. Was it as easy as I made it sound in my book? Easier, actually. I made the main characters in my story have to work and rely on a bit of luck to get in, but that was because a) it made for a more suspenseful story and b) I didn't want to tell would be star-stalkers the easy way to sneak onto sets. It just didn't seem like I should be encouraging that sort of behavior.

Do movie stars ever fall for normal people? That we doubt this, says something about our society, don't you think? We somehow believe deep down that stars are not real people. They do not put their pants on one leg at a time, but simply stand in their room and wait for fairies to zap designer clothes onto their bodies.

I haven't done a survey but I imagine for every Brad and Angelina couple in Hollywood, there are famous people paired with normal people. For a while George Clooney's girlfriend was a woman he met when she waited on his table. Jonny Carson married a woman who he met walking on the beach--and by the way, she found out where he lived and purposely walked on the beach by his house in hopes of meeting him.

So go ahead and be cynical. I’m a romantic at heart and I think it’s all believable.

-Janette Rallison
http://www.janetterallison.com/
http://janette-rallison.blogspot.com/
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Thanks so much Janette! Be sure to read Just One Wish which released on March 5th.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Contest Time....Again!

Hey everybody!
I've got a new contest!
Do you want to win a copy of

Cold Hands, Warm Heart
By: Jill Wolfson

I've already read my copy (you'll win my second copy) of Cold Hands, Warm Heart (the review will be up soon) and I really enjoyed it. It is a great book to read. I strongly suggest checking it out if you haven't already.

The Details of the contest are...

WHO can enter:
residents of the U.S. only because I can't afford to send things out of the country. Sorry.

WHAT to win:
1 copy of Cold Hands, Warm Heart

STARTS: Today April 8th

ENDS: Monday April 20th

HOW to enter/get extra entries:
+1 for commenting on this post
+1 for commenting on another post (comments on posts after the birthday post won't be counted)
+2 for taking my survey (link is at the top of the page) (its anoynmous so email me/comment and let me know you took it or it won't be counted)
+1 for following/already following
+2 for posting about this contest on your blog
___________________________________________
+7 chances to enter

***O and make sure to leave your email so I can contact you if you win. Thanks***

***I use the random list generator w/ the random number generator so you can lump everything you did in one comment but be sure to let me know everything (and it'd be helpful to list how many entries you get) or I won't count it (except on comments on other posts. I'll automatically add those to the contest unless its stated otherwise in the comment)***

Enter and Enjoy
Thanks
-Jill

Monday, April 6, 2009

Real Friends (By: Samira Hodges)

Today we have the lovely Samira Hodges, debut author of Milestones, visiting us with a guest blog.

_______________________________________________________

Dear Mom and Dad,


I know it may seem strange to you, having me write this letter, but it’s something that needs to be done. There is something that needs to be explained, something that has been brushed under the rug for far too long…and it’s my fault. There was a fight years ago, between you and me. A fight that lasted too long. A fight that redefined our relationship, one that made you think somewhat less of me, I think. One that made you misunderstand me as a person. One that made me almost hate you. The fight stemmed from the time I decided to leave home for college. You had always wanted me to stay close to you, to go to the local college, follow in your footsteps, and accept the scholarship. And I had always humored it. I’d never had a problem with it. But things changed. Right before my decision was due, my life changed in a way I never thought possible. It was turned upside down and I wasn’t ready to explain. I wasn’t ready to talk about it. I wasn’t ready to face anything. I just wanted to run away. And I did. Without any justification, I left. And finally, years later, here’s why.


The truth is my decision had nothing to do with you. It had everything to do with my so-called friends at the time. You remember them right? There was Claire, Gina and Carla. We were supposed to be inseparable. Supposed to be friends for life, confidants, sisters. But the difference between “being” and “supposing” is clear to me now. Supposing has the word “posing” hidden in it. So the friends, confidants and sisters bit? Obviously, none of it turned out to be true. I still don’t know what happened (and truthfully, I don’t care), but they turned on me. One minute I was happy and comfortable and ready to go to college with my so-called friends. The next minute, I had no friends. I actually had no one. I was made a laughing stock. I was an out-cast, a loner. These were roles I was so unfamiliar with. I couldn’t wrap my head around it. How could I go from miss-popular to miss-outsider in five minutes? How could the people who claimed they love me, hurt me so badly (over and over and over again?). What happened? If they didn’t want to be friends with me, why were they so mean about it? Why couldn’t they just be honest with me? Why deliberately hurt me? Were they always this evil? Or did I bring it out in them now? Why not just let me be? Why not just let me go? Why did they go out of their way to be hurtful and rude, day after day? Did they ever love me at all? Or was it all just a farce? My head was spinning and I was hurt and confused. I didn’t understand. I didn’t get it. I didn’t know.

Of course, now I know. Now that I’m in my thirties and married with children, it all seems so simple. Now that I’m watching my kids go to school and make their own friends, it all seems so clear. And now that I’ve surrounded myself with good people, I know the meaning of a true friend. The thing is, mom and dad, I had to leave for college. It was a must. I had to get out of that small town and get away from that toxic scene. I had to spread my wings and find myself. And I did. I so did. I’m sorry I couldn’t talk about it before. It was too difficult and I just needed you to trust me. And truth be told, it took me a long time to get here. But I can talk about it now. I can also reflect on it. I can discuss it at lengths. I can analyze. I can realize and I can also breathe a huge sigh of relief. Because the truth is, Claire, Gina and Carla did ME the favor by dumping me. Years later, I’m shining, I’m thriving, I’m happy and guess what? They’re not. They are still in the same high-school rut. They haven’t evolved. They haven’t moved. They haven’t accomplished anything. They are still the same miserable and immature people they were back then. It’s sad but it’s also true. And me? It took me many years, but I finally understand the true meaning of friendship now. I finally understand that I get to choose my friends. Friends aren’t just people who fall into your lap. They aren’t just people you have nothing in common with or people who you are constantly fighting with. They aren’t people who hurt you (deliberately or not). They aren’t people who bring you down, who can’t understand you, who are jealous of you. They aren’t any of those things. Real friends accept you for who you are. Real friends want what’s best for you. Real friends drop anything to be there for you in a heartbeat. Real friends feel remorse. Real friends want to be your friend as badly as you want to be theirs. Real friends are as the cliché goes, “the family you choose”. After high-school, I carefully handpicked my friends. I changed my entire approach. I evolved. So for the record, I’m sorry. I’m sorry for leaving without an explanation. I’m sorry I made you wonder about me. I’m even sorry if I worried you. But maybe now you’ll understand my decision a little bit better. Or maybe you knew all along. Because the funny thing about all this is that I think I knew all along too. I knew all along that I was meant for more than those people and more than that life.


I was meant to be happy.


And I am.


Love always (your daughter),


Jane Burkhead.

______________________________________________________



So what do you think? Be sure to check out Samira on her own blog at http://sahodges.blogspot.com/ and don't forget to check out Milestones when it releases in August

Sunday, April 5, 2009

In My Mailbox (4)

This week was slow again but I absolutly adore the one book I got.
1. Peace, Love, and Baby Ducks
By: Lauren Myracle


Growing up in a world of wealth and pastel-tinted entitlement, fifteen-year-old Carly has always relied on the constancy—and authenticity—of her sister, Anna. But when fourteen-year-old Anna turns plastic-perfect-pretty over the course of a single summer, everything starts to change. And there are boys involved, complicating things as boys always do. With warmth, insight, and an unparalleled gift for finding humor even in stormy situations, beloved author Lauren Myracle dives into the tumultuous waters of sisterhood and shows that even very different sisters can learn to help each other stay afloat. (from Amazon)
Thanks.
-Jill

Friday, April 3, 2009

The Winners

Hey guys sorry I'm announcing this so late but I just got back from a track meet and I'm pretty much wiped out. But on to the winners...

The winner of the fabulous 5 books(see below) from the fabulous author (Samira Hodges) is...

JENNA W.
you have already been contacted so check your email missy!
and because the lovely Ms.Hodges is SO nice she has decided to include a runner up who will win a copy of Just One Wish by Janette Rallison
The winner of that book is...
KATIE J.
You have also already been contacted so same message above goes to you. Check your email!
Congrats to the winners and on behalf of Samira Hodges I gladly thank every single one of you who participated.
Anticipate another contest real soon.
Thanks and goodnight.
-Jill
o I almost forgot remember to check back on April 6th for a guest blog by this wonderful fabulous amazing author who has graciously donated these books
(AKA Samira Hodges)
Also don't forget to pick up Milestones when it releases on August 15th
OK now that's really all
Goodnight!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Birthdays

Hey everybody!

I need your help.
I am trying to plan something for the month of May but without help from y'all it's not going to work. And trust me it would be in your benefit for this to work.

I am planning something revolving around...
BIRTHDAYS

Especially birthdays in May
I am trying (and failing) to find YA books about birthdays or authors with a birthday in May or even fellow book bloggers with a birthday in May. If you know a book, author, or blogger that fits into that category please either comment below or email me at readingisbliss@gmail.com to let me know. This would help me out so much. Thanks

-Jill