Monday, November 30, 2009

Final Details about 25 Guests of Christmas

Tomorrow begins the 25 Guests of Christmas @ Reading Is Bliss and before I kick it off tomorrow I'd like to get all the details clear here. Also, you'll probably be seeing me refer to the 25 Guests of Christmas as 25GoC so if you see that, now you know what I mean.
  1. Each day one or two authors or bloggers will guest with a holiday related post. Maybe it's a favorite recipe, maybe a favorite song, or memory, etc.
  2. Some authors (and one blogger) have generously joined in with the Christmas spirit and donated prizes just for you! *Look for contest details below*
  3. Other things that will be included during 25 Guests of Christmas are some of my favorite recipes, songs, movies, and books.
  4. There should be buttons available to grab soon and please do grab them as soon as their available so we can spread the holiday cheer
  5. Reviews and other posts will continue as normal. Whenever I have one I will immediately post it without change.
  6. Please Please Please comment! Even if you aren't entering the contest. Just so I know whether this was a success and whether or not to continue this next year. Thanks in advance for that

Contest Stuff:

  1. To make it easier to keep track of, ALL CONTESTS WILL CLOSE ON DEC.25
  2. Again to make this easier, there are only 2 ways to enter
    +1 comment W/ YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS
    +1 follow me (same points rewarded for current or new followers)
  3. I will not be shipping out prizes so you actually have a chance of getting them at a decent time. People giving them away will also send them
  4. You can enter as many contests as you want
  5. Winners should be announced and emails should be sent by the 30th. since I'm not sending the prizes out I can't guarantee when they will be shipped
  6. All Contests are open only to the U.S. unless otherwise stated. Sorry.

That's all for now! Stay tuned for a wonderful Countdown to Christmas!

Thanks so much and Happy Holidays!


Sunday, November 29, 2009

Secret Project Revealed


I hope everyone's Thanksgiving was wonderful!

Now for those of you who don't already know this December I'll be hosting...
The 25 Guests of Christmas
Each day there will be one or more guests (either an author or blogger) who will be sharing some of their favorite things about the holidays. Some will even share their book or other goodies with you!
There will be more details later with all the little requirements for contests and such but for right now I just wanted to let y'all know what was going on and why I've been kind of MIA for a while as I organize all this and enjoy my own holiday traditions.
You should be seeing changes pop up here and there as we grow closer to December 1rst but they are all temporary. Everything should be back to normal on this blog after December but for now, enjoy the simple changes.
So be ready for lots of Christmas-y Fun starting December 1rst and ending the 25th.
Thanks so much and Happy Holidays!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A (Kinda) Secret Project

Hey Everybody!

Just thought I'd let you know that I'm working on a (kinda) secret project that's not really that big of a secret because I'm about to give you a huge hint and I've asked a lot of people that could possibly follow this blog to help me but still....

Those who don't know about it will find out very soon but in the meantime here's a hint...

What holiday is coming up soon?

......Okay okay I know Thanksgiving is coming up very soon and I'm very excited but that's not what I'm getting ready for and it's not what this project is about so keep thinking...

Give up yet? Here's another clue. During this happy time a big jolly guy (I'm not naming names here but he wears red and flies reindeer....but you know that could be anybody...) comes to visit and gives out PRESENTS FOR EVERYBODY...well if you're good (or at least lucky).

More on this later. but let me tell you-it's definitely worth getting excited about. Check back soon for more details.

thanks and happy (almost) Thanksgiving!


Monday, November 16, 2009

The Vinyl Princess Review

Title: The Vinyl Princess
Yvonne Prinz
Release Date: December 2009

Summary from Amazon:
Summer is here, and 16-year-old Allie, a self-professed music geek, is exactly where she wants to be: working full-time at Berkeley’s ultra-cool Bob and Bob Records. There, Allie can spend her days bantering with the street people, talking the talk with the staff, shepherding the uncool bridge-and-tunnel shoppers, all the while blissfully surrounded by music, music, music. It’s the perfect setup for her to develop her secret identity as The Vinyl Princess, author of both a brand-new zine and blog. From the safety of her favourite place on earth, Allie is poised to have it all: love, music and blogging.
Her mother, though, is actually the one getting the dates, and business at Allie’s beloved record store is becoming dangerously slow—not to mention that there have been a string of robberies in the neighbourhood. At least her blog seems to be gaining interest, one vinyl junkie at a time….

Outlined Review:
Character Development: 10/10
Originality: 9/10
Hookability: 7/10
Ending: 9/10
Voice: 9/10
Recommendation: 8/10
Total Score: 52
Grade: A

Age Appropriate Rating:
Cussing: 3/10
Drugs, alcohol, etc.: 2/10
Sexual Content: 1/10
Violence/Disturbing Images: 3/10

Written Review:

I couldn’t help but love The Vinyl Princess. Though the whole novel was great, one of its strongest points were the characters. They each had such a definite personality whether they were major or not. Allie was very strong, witty, and passionate. Her clever voice narrated the whole book and the way she described a scene unfolding or a new unusual character that walked in to the store is what really pushed this novel over the top. You could tell that the author was a vinyl princess in her own way too and owning her own indie record store probably helped to develop those eccentric characters that shopped at the store.

Even though I am in no ways a music buff, I could really relate to Allie. Just like she has a passion for old records, I have a passion for books; just as she finds her “community” of other vinyl lovers through her fanzine and blog, in a sense I find my community of those who love YA novels through my blog. Her passion is what all of us can relate to in one way or another. Well that and the fact that she’s a teen girl facing most (if not much much more) of the same dilemmas we all face.

Like I said before, I am not a person who knows music at all. The mention of albums and artists went right over my head and I didn’t fully understand all the references until I shamelessly googled them. But none of that stopped me from enjoying this novel. Enough other stuff happened which kept the story moving at a very realistic pace. And even though it all happened over the course of one summer the whole book flowed flawlessly.

Romance was never the main theme of this novel but I wasn’t expecting it to be so that wasn’t a disappointment at all. The amounts of romance it did have were very well done though. The novel mainly toyed with the idea of finding the “perfect love” and all of the trouble that goes with it. Allie’s relationship with her mom was so cool because her mom was going through all of the dating stuff (again) at the same time as Allie and Kit making them relate a bit more to each other and even making Allie have the upper hand a few times because of her so called boy knowledge. It was funny to see their backwards roles that they played in a not-so-typical mother-daughter relationship.

The Vinyl Princess got me hooked from the very fist page with its sharp voice and intriguing characters. Though I really enjoyed it I know that people with a strong passion for music, especially for older classics, would enjoy this all the more because they would understand all the references to albums that I didn’t fully get. The ending had all the aspects you would want also. It tied up any loose strings and gave a great conclusion to Allie’s story while also making the reader want to spend more time with her and the rest of the characters.

Overall this is a realistic and humorous novel with true heart and great passion for music. The witty tone, incredible characters, and strong prose get you hooked from the beginning and keep you wanting more. Though those in love with music as much if not more than Allie would enjoy this the most, I recommend it to anyone wanting to get into the mind of a passionate teen with a fresh voice and plenty of adventures to share.

O and check out her blog and even sign up to recieve a fanzine and a button (I have one, It's awesome) at

Thanks so much


Friday, November 13, 2009

I Can't Keep My Own Secrets: 6 Word Memoirs by Teens Famous and Obscure

Title: I Can’t Keep My Own Secrets
Author: edited by
Larry Smith and Rachel Fershleiser at Smith Magazine
Release Date: September 1, 2009

Summary from Amazon:
One life. Six words. What's yours?

True tales of love, loss, good friends, and bad hair days filled Not Quite What I Was Planning, the New York Times bestselling first book in the Six-Word Memoir series—and an international phenomenon. Some of the most compelling were by teens, so now SMITH Magazine has compiled a book written entirely by these bold, brash truth-tellers. From cancer to creativity, prom dates to promiscuity, and breaking hearts to breaking laws, the memoirs in this collection reveal that often the youngest writers have the most fascinating stories to tell.

Met online; love before first sight.

Hair's pink to piss you off.

I fulfilled my awkwardness quota today.

I'm seventeen, engaged, and not pregnant.

My mom had my boyfriend deported.

Late for school every single day.

According to Facebook, we broke up.

Written Review:

This review is a little harder to write then some of my past reviews because this isn’t a book to sit down and read from cover to cover (though you most definitely could do that without getting tired of it a bit). There are no stable characters, plot line, or voice like a typical novel would have. But that’s all because this isn’t a typical novel.

SMITH Magazine has captured so many unique stories in just a few short words in just one short book. There are those that make you laugh, those that make you think, those that make you happy, those that make you sad, and those few memoirs that are so relatable that you read them again and again, wondering how some teen from somewhere you don’t know has put your whole life into six words with as much depth and honesty as they did.

I recommend every teen to have a copy of this book to read and remind yourself that you aren’t alone in all of your struggles and emotions. I applaud these teens for having the ability to share so much of their life when their restricted to only six little words.

Overall, I CAN’T KEEP MY OWN SECRETS is a quick read that is entertaining and heartbreaking and then entertaining again. With such a vast array of teen writers (and there truly are some talented ones in there) there is easily something for everyone to relate to and everyone to enjoy.

This is a book you can read over and over, each time discovering something new and refreshing. It’s another great addition to the 6 word memoirs collection and I definitely recommend buying a copy if you don’t already have one.




P.S. Did you know that another fellow blogger (The Compulsive Reader) has her very own entry that made it into the book!?! I think the whole book’s worth checking out just for that...

P.P.S. Check out the trailer. It's really well done and definitely gives you a taste of what this book is like.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Guest Post

A Guest Post by LM Preston, author of the upcoming YA novel, EXPLORER X-ALPHA


Trusting your own gut feelings is one of the best gifts we possess. We all get that little ‘twinge’ when something just isn’t right. When that happens…LISTEN TO IT! Trust yourself or your ‘gut’ some call it. Trust it at all times, it will never steer you wrong.

When I was young I lived in the inner-city. The neighborhood I called home, had gangs, drugs, muggers, killers, and lots of kids and family nearby. However, with all of these things present, I didn’t realize that my gut instincts were strengthening with each day I played outside, walked to school, to the bus, or traveled the city alone.

I never understood why my grandmother, affectionately named NaNa, didn’t want me to leave my block to go to the store alone. Or why, I wasn’t allowed to cut through the alleys to get to my cousin’s house, and the numerous lists of things I was told to watch out for.

My main character in EXPLORER X – Alpha realizes that something isn’t quite right with the immunization he is given. Aadi takes the initiative as asks the Doctor why it is being given to him. In addition to this finding, Aadi confirms his concerns with others.

Here are some steps to take in trusting yourself in all things;


When you are in a situation with a friend or an adult, and you get that feeling that something isn’t quite right, then you are most likely correct. Learn yourself, and test this ability.

Take this example for instance. Your friend tells you that you should sneak out to go to that great party that so-and-so is going to, but you feel this tickle in your tummy before you hesitate. This is your gut talking to you. It’s telling you … hold on … don’t jump into this.

Listen to it. Find out how your gut talks to you. Think of all those times you got into major trouble, and ponder over what you felt just before you did the deed that got you into that mess. That’s how you learn how your psyche talks to you.


Never, ever, feel like you don’t have the right to ask a question. Asking a question only gets you in trouble when it hasn’t been asked, or the person of whom you are asking the question doesn’t want to give you an answer.

Don’t think I’m right on this? Test it, and think back to times when the person of whom you asked a question reacted negatively. In most cases, it is because they don’t want to give you an answer.

Asking the question is never, ever wrong. You have the right. So use it when you are in those situations where your gut is telling you that something is just not adding up.


When something doesn’t make sense, or the story just sounds down right disjointed, and your gut is telling you that something is off. Then trust your gut, something is off.

This is a saying my Nana used to tell me when I would give her a scenario of what a friend told me, or did to me.

“Honey, if it doesn’t add up, it won’t add up. Something is definitely not right with that story.”

Do you know in each instance she said this, she was absolutely correct.


If you get that feeling something isn’t right take action.

In EXPLORER X – Alpha Aadi and Eirena, his co-pilot investigated their gut feeling that something is off about their camp with their team. They find that terrible things have been done to them.

There are several ways to take action. Here are some;
- Just tuck the knowledge away, and wait for the truth to reveal itself. Believe it or not this happens a lot in life. The truth has a way of coming out. Sometimes it happens quickly, and sometimes it takes a long, long time.
- Ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask questions in order to get the answers you want. You can ask anyone questions, and that may solve the mystery.
- Run away or stay away. If you are in a situation where an adult or a peer appears to be leading you in a direction that you feel is not safe. Run. There is no harm in running away from or staying away from someone.


Realize that you have control of your destiny. No matter what happens to you in your life, you can learn from it all and become a better person. Making the same mistakes will become harder the more you learn to trust your gut instincts, and yourself.

by: LM Preston,
author of EXPLORER X - Alpha

Audi0 Prologue

Chapter One

Book Trailer:

Comments are appreciated. Thanks so much.


Monday, November 9, 2009

The Naughty List

Title: Naughty List
Author: Suzanne Young
Release Date: Feb. 4, 2009

Summary from Amazon:
As if being a purrfect cheerleader isn’t enough responsibility! Tessa Crimson’s the sweet and spunky leader of the SOS (Society of Smitten Kittens), a cheer squad–turned–spy society dedicated to bringing dastardly boyfriends to justice, one cheater at a time. Boyfriend-busting wouldn’t be so bad . . . except that so far, every suspect on the Naughty List has been proven 100% guilty!

When Tessa’s own boyfriend shows up on the List, she turns her sleuthing skills on him. Is Aiden just as naughty as all the rest, or will Tessa’s sneaky ways end in catastrophe?

The Naughty List. Is your boyfriend on it?

Outlined Review:
Character Development: 10/10
Originality: 10/10
Hookability: 8/10
Ending: 9/10
Voice: 10/10
Recommendation: 10/10
Total Score: 57
Grade: A+

Age Appropriate Rating:
Cussing: 1/10
Drugs, alcohol, etc.: 2/10
Sexual Content: 5/10
Violence/Disturbing Images: 0/10

Written Review:

The Naughty List overflowed with cuteness and I could not get enough of it. Tessa’s always sweet, always perky voice and polite ways made you forget all previous cheerleader stereotypes. I loved her cute phrases and the way she looked at the others if they swore. Because kittens do not swear. It’s bad form.

And though The Naughty List was so strawberry smoothie, it did have a few frustrating moments where I just wanted to bang my head against the wall and yell “mash potatoes and gravy!” Especially anything involving Christian. I just had a hard time seeing Christian as this amazingly handsome guy. To me he seemed just a little too forward with his feelings. Especially with someone so clearly not interested. But Tessa being the Smitten Kitten she is, was always polite and o so kind even when he tried to hit on her for the thousandth time! And though Christian got on my nerves, Aiden most definitely did not! He was the most perfect guy that makes you believe that there are caring, non jerkish guys out there.

There was a great balance between the missions and every day cheering life. I liked how the mission reports, equipment order forms, and any other SOS related announcements were intermingled throughout the book. Plus, the wording of the mission reports was so professional and clever and perfectly summed up the case in just one page.

O and I haven’t even mentioned the originality of this book! Have you ever read a story about amazingly kind cheerleaders whose job is not only to be “spirit saviors” but to catch all the cheating boyfriends in the school while maintaining good grades and character at all times! Goodbye cheerleader stereotypes! Hello Smitten Kittens!

The ending was so sweet. It left you satisfied with a conclusion but at the same time eagerly waiting for more time with these characters and SOS. It truly was the best unhappily ever after ending ever!

Overall, The Naughty List is a wonderful start to the series. It’s a completely purrfect novel that is way too cute for words. I am eagerly awaiting the sequel—summer seems so far away when you have something you are looking forward to, doesn’t it? Packed with drama, jealousy, and totally cute phrases, I strongly encourage anyone looking for an absolutely adorable book with tons of kitten power to check this one out in February.


comments are appreciated. thanks so much.