Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Hi everybody!

It has come to the time of year when the Christmas decorations are out once again, the fairy lights twinkling on every building in the city, and the major sales going on in major retailers across the globe. While some of us, we wait for this particular time of the year for the amazing discounts (for those fanatic shopaholics; we all know there is a Becky Bloomwood in all of us!); some of us, marvel at the idea of friends and family from far and near coming together during the holiday season, sharing stories across delectable home-made dinner and of course, those beautifully wrapped presents waiting patiently under the Christmas tree. In association with the holiday spirit of giving and sharing as well as the major discounts and promotions, I decided I wanted to bring that to my blog with a Massive Year End Giveaway!

Yes! You heard right! I am hosting a Massive Year End Giveaway on my book blog! I have a huge hoard of goodies to share! So here is the list of goodies I have! I will be giving out TWO SETS to TWO LUCKY WINNERS in this giveaway! Also before this slips my ageing mind, big thanks to the generous authors who contributed the amazing stuff!

·         Evernight by Claudia Gray (autographed)
·         Stargazer by Claudia Gray (autographed)

·         Mistwood by Leah Cypress (autographed)
·         Losing Faith by Denise Jaden (autographed)
·         Forget Her-Nots by Amy Brecount White

·         Forger Her-Nots by Amy Brecount White (autographed)
·         Change of Heart by Shari Maurer (autographed)
·         Princess for Hire by Lindsey Leavitt (autographed)
·         Mistwood by Leah Cypress (autographed)
·         The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin by Josh Berk (autographed)
·         The Rise of Renegade X by Chelsea M. Campbell (autographed)
·         Losing Faith by Denise Jaden (autographed)
·         Tell me a Secret by Holly Cupala (autographed)
·         Sleepless and Fairytale by Cyn Balog (autographed)

·         Clair De Lune by Christine Johnson bookplates (autographed)
·         Tell me a Secret by Holly Cupala stickers
·         Forget Her-Nots tattoo by Amy Brecount White

Tempting aren’t they? Such a beautiful collection for the holidays. Imagine snuggling down under a comfy blanky reading. And to top it all, the bookmarks surely will keep the pages for you as you party all night long so you don’t have to frantically search for the part you stopped at the next morning. Now, to win all of these goodies which awaits you for a brand new owner, you just have to follow the Instructions, read and agree to the Giveaway Policy and Private Policy.

You need to comply with all of these instructions in order to qualify for this giveaway unless stated optional. You can also maximize the chances for winning by earning extra points (they will be stated).
  1.   Follow me on my blog. (If you are already a follower, just state the user name that you used to follow on the blog in your entry).
  2. You need to recommend a minimum of five ( to make life a little easier, I decided to change it to a minimum of 2 followers. The previous participants whom managed to recommend five followers shall get a bonus of three points for the other three ! ) of your family or friends to check out this blog and they must follow this blog. I repeat, they must follow in order for you to qualify! (You cannot recommend existing followers and repeat the name of followers who was recommended already (regardless by you or others). You need to send me the list of people you recommended and whom followed. The more who follows this blog under your recommendation, the better chances of winning! Each additional person who follows this blog under your recommendation earns you additional 5 points. So spread the news!)
  3. .Give me some comments on my book blog and the improvements we can put into works for the coming year! I love hearing from you because you are special! (optional. However this earns you another 10 points!)
  4. Post this giveaway link in two different places – Facebook, Twitter, Myspace and any other social networks. Sent me the links. (Each additional place gets you 5 points!)
  5. Just follow all the instructions above and send everything in an email with the title : ‘MASSIVE YEAR END GIVEAWAY!’ to thebooksbacklot@gmail.com. Remember to add your name, age at time of participating, mailing addy (I need the real one that works in order to sent you the prize if you win!) and of course gender. To be honest, I have problem with names. I get confuse all the time. So that helps! But if you are uncomfortable with that, just write ‘human’. I’ll understand.

                                               GOOD LUCK 

Giveaway Policy and Others
  1. You are allowed multiple entries for this contest but please do not repeat any of your previous entries. It doesn’t count! For posting the giveaway link requirement   ( number 4), if you are sending in more than one entry, you can repeat the social network as long as the link to this competition doesn’t appear on the same day more than once. Also, you are only entitled to ONE prize per person regardless of number of entries.
  2.    You need to be at least 13 years old at the time of participation to qualify for this giveaway. However, please get your parents consent before participating if you are a minor.
  3. Dateline is 10 am on 1 January 2011. ( Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia time) Late entries will not be entertained. Dateline has been extended to the 31st of January 2011, 10pm (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia time).
  4. Open to everyone regardless of the country as long as it exists. Please don’t write Narnia, Andalasia, or Hogwarts. (International level)
  5. The prizes for this giveaway will be sent out directly upon the confirmation of the winners and the completion of this giveaway.
  6. The winners will be notified by email (the same address used for entry). I may or may not post the results on the blog. 
  7.  I am not responsible for any prizes lost in the mail.
  8.  I am not responsible for any consequences, effects or implications caused by this giveaway. Enter at your own risk. Once the participant sent in his/her entry, they clearly read, understood and agreed to the policy and other regulations involved in this giveaway.
  9.   I hold the right to end this giveaway before its original deadline without any prior notice.
  10.  I hold the right to disqualify any entry as I see fit without any notification. All decisions on the winning entries are final and I will not entertain any disgruntled participants.
  11. Private Policy: I will not personally share any personal information received in any of the entries for this giveaway. I will not use the information received except only for the smooth flow of this giveaway such as announcing the winner and sending the prize. However, under some circumstances like a hacked account (some sick people actually tries to hack this blog for some god-knows-why reason), I cannot guarantee that your information won’t be leaked.
  12. I am not paid to do this giveaway and I won’t receive any monetary prize for hosting it either.


If you have any questions on this giveaway please contact me at thebooksbacklot@gmail.com.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Review on Sleepless, Interview with Cyn Balog and autographed bookmarks (soon) !

I know I have not updated my blog for a very long time now. I have been really busy and caught up with everything that has taken place over the last probably two months. First, I had a major examination so reading anything out of the syllabus was a big no- no. Then, my book blog was hacked. I needed some time to fix it. After that, the drama got bigger – my grand fell and got himself hurt, I was stranded in Bandung Indonesia for a few days due to Mount Merapi’s eruption which caused lots of flights to be cancelled and putting together the newspaper issue which I was supposed to head. That’s lots of work for a fifteen year old. I must say, I am really tired after all of it. Imagine my utter delight, when the school holiday started two days ago.
Today, I am going to share with you my thoughts on the book Sleepless by Cyn Balog, give you insiders knowledge on behind the scenes with an interview with Cyn Balog herself, and of course, a giveaway ! I have autographed bookmarks from the lovely Cyn Balog to share with you! (The bookmarks giveaway is in the following post! So stay tuned! )
Here’s the review and the interview. Bon appetite!

Review on Sleepless
I was sleepless for two entire nights as I read page by page of this book. I must say this is one of those books that keeps a person wide awake until they finish reading it. Even then, some might want to re-read again if you are those who read books over and over again. But for a person like me who rarely read a book twice unless it is my school text-book, I am happy to be done, move on, get some sleep and then write this review!
The story kick starts with Julia saying goodbye to Griffin, her annoying boyfriend. Little does she knows it will be the last time she sees him alive. When the newspaper calls her for a quote on Griffin, she thinks it was one of his silly pranks. It is only when she attends his funeral she realizes his dead. Griffin has died in a freak car accident.
Bret is after Julia.  He is Griffin’s best friend. Now that he is dead, Bret thinks he is free to show his true feelings towards Julia. But is Julia comfortable with his overboard advancements?
Eron is a sandman. Julia is his charge. He is responsible to seduce her to sleep each night. However, Eron seems to sense something amiss with Julia. After saving Julia’s life when she was a child, he knows he should not interfere again especially when his chance of finally becoming a human is again is so close. But Julia is in danger… Maybe Eron’s feeling for Julia runs deeper than a sandman’s after all. Will he risk everything again for her?
This book is definitely a page turner with suspense in almost every chapter. The story was so intricately woven that the action of each of the character affected the others. I was at the edge of my seat wanting to know what happens next…

Interview with author of Sleepless, Cyn Balog

1. Describe the live of a YA author in five words.
 The job I always wanted!

2. What was the inspiration behind Fairytale?
I was just tired of seeing girls finding out they were fairy princesses. I thought it would be much more interesting to see a macho guy learn that HE was the fairy.

3. What would be your first reaction if you ever found out that you are a fairy swapped as a baby and left in the human world ?
No wonder I'm so weird compared to everyone else!

4. Which was your favorite scene to write in Sleepless ?
Probably the scene at the end of the book, where Julia is realizing that Eron is not from the same time period that she's from. She offers him Oreos and Cheese-its and gets a blank stare.  I really loved putting Eron, a Sandman who died in 1910, up against the modern world! 

5. Which was the hardest character to build and grow in your books ?
I think it was probably Morgan from FAIRY TALE. She has a psychic power, and I was tired of all the books out there portraying people with psychic powers as outcasts. I knew that if anyone in MY high school had been a psychic, they'd be the most popular girl in school because everyone would want to find out their fortune! Because she has this power and has been hounded by the school constantly, she's jaded and really snarky and self-centered.  But deep down, she's not very confident because she realizes that without her power, she's nothing. So whenever you make anyone sarcastic you run the risk of certain people not liking them. And so I really tried to make it so that Morgan softened a lot and learned to put others before her.

6. If you could be a character in any fictitious book, who would you be and why ?
Oooh can I be Bella? I would like to have two really hot guys fighting over me.  And then eventually become a really hot vampire myself. 

7. Do you have any advice for budding authors out there ?
Everyone told me it was impossible to get published. It's far from impossible. In fact I think it is probable, as long as you don't give up.  Keep reading, keep taking the advice of those who have come before you, and don't let rejection or fear stop you.

8. If you could deem your life as a fairytale, how would you describe it ?
 I really don't care what comes before, just as long as I get to the Happily Ever After part.

9. Will you be publishing any books soon ? Are you currently working on any novels? What are the publishing plans like ?
Yes, I have two more paranormal romance novels coming up, STARSTRUCK in 2011 and LIVING BACKWARDS (tentative title) in 2012. I've already sent in a proposal for my next book after that to my editor and I'm hoping it gets picked up for 2013. I am obviously on a yearly plan with my paranormal romances.  I also have a dystopian novel I'm shaping up and a few more ideas I'm fleshing out.

10. Do you have anything to shout out to your fans and readers ?
 I love my readers and fans. They make doing this possible. So thank you!!

Thank you for reading ! I hope you enjoyed them as much as I had fun putting them together. And if you were wondering about the autographed bookmarks, fear not, I did not forget about them ! I will post the giveaway for the bookmarks together with a massive year end giveaway soon ! So keep checking my blog for updates on that one. I think you would definitely want more autographed swags from your favourite YA authors so I think it will be worth the wait. For now, let me catch some sleep...

Monday, September 13, 2010

Interview with Denise Jaden :)

Hi there dear readers !

It's been awhile since I last updated. Alas, I have been really caught up. And boy, does time flies when you are most of the time having quite a ball of a time ! This month featured author will be Denise Jaden the author of Losing Faith which not so coincidentally is released this month ! I was lucky enough to be able to contact Denise and have an interview with her ! Look below for more info about that ! Heres the interview ! Have  fun !

Denise Jaden

1. Can you tell and explain to us please, a little more detail on your book Losing Faith and what's the story about?

Losing Faith is a story about sixteen year old Brie, whose sister Faith dies in a tragic fall from a cliff. Through the bizarre and devastating mourning process, Brie discovers her sister held some pretty big secrets…some which may put her own life in danger.

2. What inspired you to write the book? When and how the idea and concept for the book came along?

I’ve always been secretly jealous of friends who have close relationships with their sisters. I’ve never had a sister myself, but have always been drawn to the idea of writing about sisters. Also, when I was sixteen, I lost a close friend in a car accident, and the whole idea of experiencing extreme loss at such a vulnerable age has always felt to me like a big area to explore.

3. Share with us the moment you found out your book was accepted and the publishers bought the rights to it. Give it the details on what your were doing, how you found out, anything ! Even the color of the shirt was wearing that day !

Well, to be honest, I was still in my pajamas when I found out! I live on the West Coast, so I’m three hours behind most of the publishing industry. When I opened my email and saw something from my agent, at first I assumed it was a rejection. But then I saw the subject line “Good News!” and let out a little yelp. I went on to read the body of the email, forwarded from the amazing lady who would become my editor: “I love it. I want it. Denise is super-talented.” Yes, I just about died right there. And screamed a lot. And did I mention that I had house-guests at the time? They were nice enough to bring champagne home later that afternoon.

4. When in preschool, your teacher would have asked you to draw the picture of yourself in twenty years from that time, did you ever picture yourself as an author? Or had you always wanted to be one ?

No, in my wildest dreams, I would not have expected to become an author. I never enjoyed writing or reading as a child or teen. It was firmly rooted in my brain as “work” until much later in life when a friend passed on an amazing book to me.

5. Are you a morning bird or an night owl? What time of the day do you prefer to write and work on your projects?

Neither. LOL. I wish I could do one or the other well, and I suspect when my son is older, things may change. But they may not either. I get up fairly early because I have to, but I’m always more than willing to stay in bed. I write in the afternoon while my son has either a quiet time or a nap. I think if I had the choice, I’d love to write first thing in the morning, as that always seems like when my creative juices are really flowing.

6. Is Losing Faith going to be a stand alone title or is there going to be more to continue in the future?

At this point, Losing Faith is a standalone title, but I do have ideas for a companion novel from one of the secondary character’s point of views that I am currently playing with. Tessa Lockbaum has been one of my favorite characters to write, and I’d love to tell more of her story.

7. What is the strangest thing that happened to you in your life?

I don’t know if this is the strangest thing, but it’s up there. When in London a couple of years ago riding a bus, my husband mentioned that a girl on the bus looked just like someone from my Polynesian dance troupe in years past. All of a sudden the girl hopped up, looked over at me, and screamed. Who knew that in a city of 60 million you could run into a friend you hadn’t seen in years!

8. Who's your favorite fictional character from a book? Why ?

I have a really hard time naming an all-time favorite. And to be honest, many of my favorites are the love interests and not the main characters. I love Wes from Sarah Dessen’s THE TRUTH ABOUT FOREVER and Wesley from Kody Keplinger’s THE DUFF and Dean in Sarra Manning’s GUITAR GIRL. But that’s just today. The books and characters that stand out in my mind are constantly changing.

9. Did anyone you know in real life inspired you to write Losing Faith?

Not really. Like I said, the experience of losing a friend certainly had an influence. And one of my secondary characters is vaguely inspired by a girl I knew in high school. But the book in itself was not inspired by anyone specific.

The cover of Losing Faith !

Thank you. I hope all of you enjoyed this interview and keep reading for next month's featured author !

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Interview with Shari Maurer, Author of Change of Heart

Hi, how are you doing ?

It's been quite a crazy starting of the month for me. Last week, my blog crashed and I finally got a chance to fix it today. Cross my fingers hope it doesn't happen again.

I am planning to have at least an interview with an author each month on my blog. I would hope to be able to host more than one author on my blog each month but my minimum would be one for now. For this month, I have an interview with Shari Maurer. She ventures into a slightly different yet amazing storyline with lots of heart. I think it is wonderful. To learn more about Shari and the things that inspire her check out the interview below :

Shari Maurer (Author of Change of Heart)

1. Can you share with us a little more on your background ? Have you always wanted to be an author? If no, then how and what inspired you to be one ?

After graduating college, I wound up in an MFA program in Dramatic Writing at NYU. An internship there led me to 6+ years at the Children's Television Workshop (now Sesame Workshop), working on international versions of Sesame Street and other children's programs, taking me all over the world. I kept working there after my daughter was born, but didn't want to travel and eventually realized I wanted to be home with her full time. During this time, my friend, Gerri Freid Kramer and I put together The Parents' Guide to Children's Congenital Heart Defects. My daughter and her son had heart defects that were repaired and we wanted to create a resource for other parents. I did a little writing here and there, but when my son went to kindergarten, I decided to take a class at the Institute for Children's Literature. This gave me a wonderful push back into writing.

So I guess that was a long way of saying I've always had writing in the back of my mind and only recently pursued it full time.

2. Did the place you grew up in, or the place you're living in right now inspired you to write ?

Change of Heart is set in New City, NY which is where I grew up and where I live now. I thought it would be fun to have a book set there. In fact, I was at both Rockland Lake and Twist N Shake yesterday--two of the places Emmi goes to in the book. That's cool !
3. Do you have a 'thing' you need or 'something' you do before you start writing away like a mug of coffee, nice music, a jog, etc ?

I was never a coffee drinker until I started writing, but now I really need to have it by my side. I've also started writing on a netbook. I found when I was on the regular computer I was too distracted by all the potential things I could do on the internet (Facebook, plan a vacation, check my kids' sports schedules, etc.)
4. When you write the characters in Change of Heart, was anyone of them based on someone you know in your life ?

Not really. But I did have the opportunity to speak to several transplant recipients and I occasionally borrowed something from them. Well, and if I'm confessing "borrowing", I do have a daughter and two younger sons, who like Emmi and her brothers, Jeremy and Eli, have the same beginning initials. And I may have borrowed a detail or two from their lives, but they resemblance ends there.
5. Writing about a girl with an almost perfect charmed life and then everything in her life is suddenly tumbling down so quickly due to a heart problem, was it difficult to picture the pain and the confusion in the characters? Did you experience or faced something like that in real life?

I tried very hard to imagine what it would be like to be a teen and have your life almost come to a halt. Luckily, I have not experienced anything as life altering.
6. Do you have a favorite book? If you do, why do you like it so much ?
To Kill A Mockingbird. Partly because I was always intrigued with all things southern (possibly why I went to college there) and partly because the story and characters are so amazing. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is my close second.
7. What works of fiction, authors or books have influenced you in your own writing?

When I was younger it was Judy Blume and Paula Danziger. As an adult, I love Sarah Dessen's books. I have kept them on my desk and will refer to them if I'm trying to figure out something about structure or characterization.
8. What do you enjoy most about writing?

The ability to lose all sense of time as you create a whole other world.
9. So how did the storyline for Change of Heart came about? Did the idea and concept for the story just 'popped up' in your head one day by chance ?

I had been watching a Discovery Health program on heart transplants (my husband is a doctor who cares for people waiting for hearts) and there was a girl on the show who haunted me. She was so brave and strong and probably a little scared, too. I started thinking about all of the "what ifs" of her life and Emmi was born.
10. Why do you choose to write for teens (YA genre) ?

A combination of YA being what I love to read and wanting to write a book for my daughter. My big hope was that my first book would be published while she was still in high school and could appreciate it--and it was!

One more thing I'd like to add. As I wrote this book and started to promote it, I was overwhelmed by the lack of available organs (not just hearts) for people who so desperately need them. My husband and I started working with the New York Organ Donor Network to register as many new organ donors as possible. Please consider registering. For more information go to www.donatelife.net. Thanks!

Thank you Shari for the interview! Thanks to my dear readers for reading this interview ! I hope you enjoyed it !

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Evernight Series by Claudia Gray

Book Title: Evernight
Author: Claudia Gray
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 327
Release date: May 2008
Source: Author/ Publisher
Sixteen year old Bianca is against the idea of moving with her parents to the Evernight Academy from the small town where she was raised. Her parents would be taking jobs as teachers at the academy so naturally Bianca would be a student there.
Evernight is a boarding school with most of its popularity consisting of sleeks, smart and almost predatory students. These students are evidently more than humans. Bianca doesn’t quite fit in with the other students in her school.
Like every other rebellious teen, Bianca plans to run away on the first day of school however she bumps into brooding Lucas who drills some sense into her plans of escaping. She instantly forms a connection with him, the only person in the eerie place who seems decent enough. But sometimes secrets can rip apart the little connections we have with the people we might love.
My thoughts on the book:
I’ve got three words to describe this book: - amazing, brilliant, enchanting.
The storyline is original and yet it is not entirely out from the latest trend of stories that continue to rake in millions of teen readers across the globe in this season of YA genre. This book is the type with the saleable storyline and yet it still retains its own ingenuity. Claudia is truly an amazing story teller. The story was written beautifully and it was captivating.
I especially loved the part where Bianca first met Lucas. It was so cute!

Rating : 4 ½ stars !

Book Title: Stargazer
Author: Claudia Gray
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 332
Release date: March 2009
Source: Author/ Publisher
In the second book of the Evernight Series, Bianca and Lucas face the harsh reality of their secrets and pasts.
Bianca has fallen irrevocably in love with Lucas. The only thing standing in between their relationship is the fact that Bianca is a destined vampire while Lucas is a Black Cross member, a cult sworn to slay vampires. When Lucas’s true identity is revealed, he is forced to flee the Evernight Academy.
However the star-struck lovers, Bianca and Lucas would stop at nothing to see each other and be together once again. Bianca sneaks out to meet up with Lucas no matter how dangerous their situation is. Keeping secrets and lies from both equally dangerous parties have their own grave consequences if one of Lucas’s and Bianca’s secrets is revealed to either party.
Soon, Bianca finds out that she isn’t the only keeping secrets in her family. When wraiths starts attacking the Evernight Academy and makes it clear that they are targeting her, Bianca learns the truth behind her existence.
My thoughts on this book:
The most adorably exhilarating modern day Romeo and Juliet tale I’ve ever read! This book was filled with so much suspense that I couldn’t stop reading it and when I was done, I wished I had the third book Hourglass!

Ratings: 5 Stars!

Book Title: Hourglass
Author: Claudia Gray
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 339
Release date: March 2010
Source: Self Bought
Bianca elopes from the Evernight Academy for real this time. After the fire that ravaged the academy, Bianca and Lucas seeks refuge in the Black Cross Camp.
Being a vampire while living with vampire hunters is a treacherous position to be in especially when Bianca has to go through the tough training and boot-camp lifestyle of being a vampire hunter. Bianca has to discreetly satiate her hunger for blood.
But one day her secret was exposed when she was careless. A friend closest to her heart has betrayed her. Once again Lucas and Bianca are on the run.
This time, they have the Black Cross, the members of the Evernight Academy and Charity hunting them down. To make things worse, even the wraiths seems to want their fare share of Bianca.
Will Bianca and Lucas survive the battle or will the last resort to save their lives be ‘changing’ into a being neither of them ever dreamt of being?
My thoughts on the book:
It’s always good to have a wickedly awesome twist at the end of the story when the readers expect it the least. Suspense and action kept me hooked on this series.
Bianca is just an amazing strong girl with perseverance and faith as large as the Pacific Ocean. I believe girls would be able to look up to Bianca and make her a good example of a fighter we all should embody as a part of ourselves in order to survive in this harsh modern day reality.

Ratings : 5 Stars!

(*I do not receive any form of monetary payment for the book reviews/interviews/giveaways done on this blog. Book reviews/interviews/giveaways are done out of my own initiative and willingness as well as those of the corresponding parties involved. Books reviewed are provided out of the kindness and generosity of various sources. To those sources that make the reviews possible I wish to direct my heartiest thanks to.)

Thank you for checking out my latest reviews! You are awesome for a blog reader ! Here's a smiley for you :)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

July's book review :)

Penitence by Jennifer Laurens

Book Title: Penitence
Author: Jennifer Laurens
Publisher: Grove Creek Publishing
Pages: 311
Release date: 25 June 2010
Source: Author/ Publisher


In this second book of the YA trilogy, Zoe faces more perils and complications. After saving her from a car accident in the previous book Heavenly, Matthias, Zoe’s guardian angel disappears from her life. Zoe, at a loss of the absence of Matthias soothing presence, believes that the appearance of Albert, Matthias’s father is to replace his son’s place. However what she doesn’t know is, Albert is after her soul. To complicate the situation, Zoe feels the weight of her brother’s worsening drug addiction, the frustration her family feels towards caring for her autistic little sister , and her best friend’s jealousy, bearing down on her shoulders. Will Matthias return to save her soul from his vengeful and sadistic father? 

My thoughts on the book

It would be very unfair to compare Penitence to another book or story because this story is just awesome by itself. Penitence has a voice of its own and its difference from the other books out there in the same genre is the strongest point in this book. I believe many of us sympathize with Zoe’s pending situation in the story while some of us can even relate to it in our some part of our lives. It is a very touching story, moving, a simply poignant page turner. I have to admit that this story left me wishing that I too, had a hot and sexy guardian angel looking over me to keep me safe.

Ratings : 5 Stars

Thank you for taking time to read my blog. I hope that you enjoyed reading this review on Penitence by Jennifer Laurens.

(*I do not receive any form of monetary payment for the book reviews/interviews/giveaways done on this blog. Book reviews/interviews/giveaways are done out of my own initiative and willingness as well as those of the corresponding parties involved. Books reviewed are provided out of the kindness and generosity of various sources. To those sources that make the reviews possible I wish to direct my heartiest thanks to.)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Flowers do Talk with Amy Brecount White

I have never met a person who loves flowers or gardening like Amy Brecount White. I can't possibly imagine sweating in the hot Malaysian weather gardening. But I know i love flowers especially red tulips !

Here's my interview with Amy Brecount white! Enjoy!

1. What inspired you to write a book on “Magic Flowers” ? How did the amazing concept to write on flowers begin?

I found a book on tussie-mussies (Victorian symbolic bouquets) and wanted to write a newspaper article about them. I never did, but I made a bouquet for a friend who had cancer. I wished my flowers messages could come true for her and started thinking, what if they really did?

2. I understand that different flowers signify different meanings. Do you have a favorite one? Why?
I adore gardenias, because they are simple, lovely and smell so wonderful. They mean "ecstasy and transport" in the language of flowers.

3. If you could be a flower which one would you be? Why?

Maybe a petunia because they bloom all summer long. Purple petunias are usually fragrant too! :-)

4. You visited the BEA in New York a few weeks back. How was it? Can you give us a little sneak peak on what goes on behind the scenes in the Author/Book World for those of us who live thousand miles away and unfortunately couldn’t make it for the event?
It was very exciting!!! I got to meet and hang out with lots of fun authors and bloggers, whom I'd met only online. And at the booths, they are passing out free books almost everywhere you turn. Pretty cool. Plus you get to visit NYC. I love the museums and restaurants especially.

5. Did you always want to be an author? If no, can you please share with us on how you realized that you wanted to be one?

I knew I wanted to be one when I was about 19 years old. However, I taught and wrote articles for many years before getting enough courage to write a novel. It's a leap of faith.

6. Is there going to be another book which will pick up from Forget-Her-Nots?

I'm hoping that my editors will be interested in a companion novel. My second novel, STRING THEORIES, has nothing to do with flowers, though.

7. Are we going to get a chance to read any of your latest projects soon? A new book perhaps?
I hope so!! My agent is doing a final review now.

8. Do you have a favorite book/author/movie that somehow inspired you to write Forget-Her-Nots?
I love Jane Austen, Kristin Cashore, and everything about gardens. I spent lots of time in gardens and reading novels that I admired.

9. When you write, what gets you in the writing mode? A comfy chair, a specific music, food?
Absolute silence. I need to be able to hear my characters talk. And some Earl Grey tea with milk. :-)

10. If you could be a character in a book, which character would you be and why ? Hermione Granger. She's so intelligent and a wonderful friend. Anne of Green Gables would be great fun, too.

11. Is the main character for Forget-her-nots somehow a reflection of you/a person you know?

I think all my characters have a part of me in them. Authors have to be able to imagine what it's like to be almost anyone.

Thank you Amy for the interview! To my readers, i hope you enjoyed reading the interview and learning more about the amazing author Amy Brecount White and her writing as much as i did doing it! :)

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Iron Daughter with author Julie Kagawa

Release Date:  1st August 2010
Published: Harlequin
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 361
Overall:  5 stars
From: publisher (netGalley

Review on The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa
I almost forgot how it felt like to read a book so mesmerizing that it kept you reading until you are far behind the last pages of it and are still flipping through the pages once more reviving your favorite parts of the story once more.  The moment I started reading the Iron Daughter, I couldn’t help myself from devouring the entire story in one day! I started reading this book in the morning and I carried my laptop (this book is a digital ARC) with me so I can read it even when I had dinner that night!
I was completely enthralled by the riveting tale and Julie’s amazing storytelling talent. Even though I didn’t get the chance to read the first book The Iron King, I still managed to keep up with the storyline in this book. The vivid flashbacks and explanations helped me a lot in understanding what I missed out in the previous book. This could very well be a standalone title.
In this book, Meghan faces a threat more life-altering than the Iron King attack. The book starts off with Meghan dreaming of herself killing her beloved Winter Court Prince, Ash. She is held in the Winter Court when she made a deal with Ash in the previous book. Ash treats her coldly and denies that he has ever had had feeling s for her before.
Then one day the Scepter of the Seasons is stolen from the Winter Court. As fate has it, Ash and Meghan is thrown on a perilous journey to retrieve the scepter before the war which may destroy both the Winter and Summer Court erupt. Together with help from a few allies, they save the scepter from the misuse of the new Iron King.
But what about Ash and Meghan’s relationship? Summer and Winter was never made for each other. Will their love for each other survive the nature and rules of their courts?
This is a must-read book!
Interview with author JULIE KAGAWA

1.When you were a little girl, have you always harboured the dream of being an author? Was it an ambition you always had in mind?

            Well, at first I wanted to be a veterinarian, but then I discovered how much math and science were required to become a vet.  And since numbers hate me, I decided then to become an author.

2. Why do you choose to be an author?

            Because I can’t not write.  Even when I’m doing everyday things, I’m thinking about writing. And since I can’t stop, I might as well do it for a living.    
3. Why did you choose to write YA ?

            I started off writing for adults, but since all my protagonists were teens, my agent suggested I write for YA.  I love it. I don’t think I’d ever go back to writing for adults.

4. Do you have a specific time of the day which puts you at much ease when you write? In other words, do you wake up right at the break of dawn to write or you write on late into the night like a night owl ?

            For me, writing is my job, so I start at a specific time in the morning, then write till five pm, everyday except weekends. 

5. What inspired the storyline of Iron King? Have you always wanted to write about Faeries?

            I’ve always loved fey stories, the dark, creepy kind.  When I started Iron King, I wanted a story that would show a different type of faery no one had ever seen before. So, the Iron Fey were born. 

6. Can you please share with us what goes on in the coming books?

            In The Iron Daughter, Meghan must make several hard decisions, most importantly the choice of who she loves more: Ash or Puck?  And in The Iron Queen, the war with the Iron fey finally comes to a head, and Faery will never be the same.

7. What are the publishing plans for the trilogy?

            The Iron Daughter will be out August 1st, 2010.  The Iron Queen will be released in the February of 2011. (CAN”T WAIT!)

8. Which character in your novel you favor the most? Which is the easiest character to write about ?

            I have to say Ash is my favorite, because I’ve always had a thing for dark, brooding Bad Boys who can wield pointy objects. ( I LOOVE BAD BOYS!)  But Grimalkin of course runs a very close second and was by far the most fun to write.

9. Did you face any trouble or being stumped for ideas when you wrote the book? If you did, how did you overcome it ?

            I wrote The Iron King for NaNo Wrimo, where you have to write 50,000 words in 30 days, so it all went by very quickly.  I usually skip over places I have trouble with, then come back to it when the first draft is done. 

Thank you Julie for the interview! Hope you enjoyed reading my review and the interview  :)
This post is for the month of JULY !