7.31.2010

The day I meet Ally Carter and Melissa De La Cruz!!!

If you follow my twitter, you know i've been spazzing about meeting Ally Carter and Melissa De La Cruz on the 29th. And I went with my co-author (Hi, Eevee!) and it was AWESOME. Melissa and Ally are super funny and nice and awesome. We got there a bit late, so we didn't get to participate in the raffle which made me a bit sad because it was NECKLACES for the Keys to the Repository! That's awesome! And Gallagher Girl Iron-On Emblems. Which is also aweeesome! They answered questions about the books and writing and we're super helpful and just plain funny.



There was a HUGE line for the signing. Everybody ran to get to the front. I lost my co-author for a moment in a sea of people. It was EPIC. Sadly, I couldn't take a picture with them because they were running behind schedule and were gonna miss there flight.




That is HER. ALLY CARTER. That is my book. That is her signing MY book. *flails*




It's sideways because Blogger is stupid and won't let me rotate the picture. But that's Melissa! She's so sweet! She was talking to me and I had to take like a few seconds to like take a breath and respond. Lol, and then she said she'd heard of my blog. *dies*
And yeah, we all said our goodbyes and went to the YA section and they went through a secret exit hidden in the YA section. Lol, seriously.
And that was mt first signing ever! Got 4 books signed, 2 from Melissa, 2 from Ally and it was awesome!
And yeah, that's pretty much my awesomesauce day!
Happy Reading!
-Harmony B.

7.30.2010

Breaking Up Reading Week: Boys.Girls.Love. Oh My!

Last but not least, we have the awesome Kari from A Good Addiction (who is also my last critique partner :P) and she's here to talk about........

~~~


Harmony was crazy, err... kind... enough to let me take over her blog today. As if that wasn't weird enough, she's letting me talk about romance and relationships in YA. I considered doing a soapbox but... I'm trying to behave. So, maybe YA relationships are flawed. Maybe real boys can't live up to YA boys. But frankly, I don't read to find a boyfriend. I read because it's fun. So on the idea of couples... I am here to bring you my top ten YA couples. And why they are hot. Or perfect for each other. Or whatever other criteria I deem awesome enough for them to make my list. Keep in mind, this is based off books I've read so if you want to bash my head in for not adding someone, maybe I haven't read that book yet. Also... I am limiting myself to actual couples, not I think this person should actually be with this person (sorry, not touching the Team Edward/Jacob OR Peeta/Gale debates).


1.Caleb and Kate (Caleb + Kate by Cindy Martinusin-Coloma): I admit, the Romeo and Juliet aspect of this book did help with the appeal but most notable is how simple this pair is together. Yes, the hormones and attraction are there but they don't jump in bed at first sight. It's tough, and they face plenty of obstacles, but they ignore what their parents' say.

2.Doug and Zoey (Forget You by Jennifer Echols): This is a pair that just melds together. They need each other. They are a good match. The main problems in their way are their own. Not to mention, there might be some steam and spice any time they are next to each other.

3.Meredith and Andy (Such A Pretty Girl by Laura Wiess): This one is hard to explain but given their histories and the way their lives are intertwined... it is almost a heartbreaking relationship. There are feelings there but it's coming from a different direction. But at its core, these two need each other.

4.Michael and Regina (Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers): They shouldn't even be friends. The circumstances that push them together stink. But something comes out of it is that is fantastic and more than superficial looks. Something builds between these two. They are a real couple that has their battles, that struggles, and that has to learn to open up to the other one.

5.Alex and Brittany (Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles): The spark and fire between these two stands out the most. There is a chemistry there that drives them but underneath the hormones and lust is a strong bond. They're meant to be together. They fill in the gaps for the other. And they just might make pretty babies one day.

6.Lend and Evie (Paranormalcy by Kiersten White): There is an attraction between these two but what I like the most about this relationship is how simple and grounded it is. They don't jump right into 'I love you,' they don't think sex means love... they don't even think kisses mean nothing. They are awkward. They are unsure. They shift between being relaxed teenagers to stumbling over words and blushing. Maybe they're not "normal" but they're still teenagers. And still great together.

7.Jesse and Sam (The Girl Next Door by Selena Castrovilla): These two are facing things no one, regardless of age, should have to. Chances are, Jesse is not going to live. But Sam loves him. She has for a long time. They push the envelope with their relationship- at least for anyone that isn't in this situation. But what do you do when you're 17 and dying? This is a couple potentially bound for heartbreak but trying to ignore it. Trying to still live and experience budding romance. This is one of the most memorable couples I've read.

8.Ethan and Lena (Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl): Ethan is quiet. Keeps mostly to himself. Maybe even has a few issues of his own. But he isn't the kind to go with the crowd, particularly when Lena shows up. The start of their relationship is volatile but it smooths into something good. Something that fits them. I can't imagine them with anyone else because they work together. When one is weak, the other is strong- at least on the outside. They are facing some huge things but figure out early on with that easy clarity teens have that if they just try it together, they'll maybe make it through.

9.Cameron and Savannah (Delinquents by Suzanne Young): I know basically all of you haven't read this one yet. I know it doesn't come out until fall 2011 or later. But I've read a draft and this couple is something. Yes, Cameron is hot. Yes, he's rich. Yes, he is mysterious. But he's kind and sweet and a genuinely good guy. He isn't interested in Savannah to get her in bed or to string her along and embarass her. And Savannah... she doesn't spend time with him just for kicks. They have something undeniable, even in the face of everything else. They are dealing with their own things, trying to figure out each other, and trying to figure out themselves. And they are absolutely perfect for each other.

10.Adam and Mia (If I Stay by Gayle Forman): What better way to test a teenage love than put one of them in a coma? Will Mia stay or pass on is the central question of this book. And sitting there, hoping she does stay, is Adam. Maybe they had some rough parts in their relationship. Maybe things weren't going completely like they should. But maybe love really is the most important thing. And maybe Adam won't be the same if he loses her. This relationship is one of the most raw ones I've read and absolutely realistic and gripping.


(I butt in for a moment: How are Sam and Grace from Shiver not on this list? *tsk tsk*)

Those are my top couples, for various reasons... thanks, Harmony, for letting me take over for awhile. And thank you to her readers for actually reading!

-Kari

7.29.2010

Love is a temple, Love is the higher law: 'Breaking Up Reading Week'

The lovely Julie from Blogger Hearts Books (also a critique partner, fellow blogger, and awesome friend!) is here as part of
Breaking Up Reading Week
to talk about.....



A cliché is a trite or overused expression or idea. Clichés are in every book we read, but sometimes we don’t mind them. It all comes down to two factors.

A cliché is a cliché for a reason, we all know that. At one point it was an original idea and became popular and everyone loved seeing it. But today we see it and go “…Really? Really, AGAIN?” Other times, we don’t even notice it.

We could look at Twilight for example. It’s not an original idea, yet Stephenie did take a unique twist with it. I mean, who had ever seen a sparkling vampire? Now any vampire book is considered over done and worn out. But this process didn’t happen overnight. Several vampire books came out around the same time and also became extremely popular. But the vampire books I’ve read since Twilight, I don’t consider cliché because they were all well written and had very different plots (Vampire Academy, Blue Bloods, etc.). Not everyone feels the same way.

Then there’s the whole romance aspect. The supernatural creature that can’t be with their human lover but they do it anyway. It’s a plot some people complain about. It’s a cliché. Yet, there have been a couple books recently where I look at them and think “This is Twilight if Twilight had been written better.” And we come back to the execution completely changing my thoughts on a cliché. But not everyone feels the same way I do about them.

Yet other times, it doesn’t work. Another book I read recently had the book as a manwhore and the girl who just moved and they have an instant attraction but she doesn’t want to date a player and the mean girls convince her to play him. It worked in John Tucker Must Die. But the characters and writing just annoyed me to the point where I couldn’t even finish the book. Yet others loved this book.

A cliché is a cliché for a reason, yes. But whether it’s a good cliché or not depends on both the execution and the reader of the book.

-Julie *hides*

Recreate a cover contest

Hey guys, it's Harmony sneaking into Breaking Up Reading Week with something that has nothing to do with it!


I entered Princess Bookie's recreate a cover contest and even though, I have zero talent, I kinda like the final product!

This is the original cover we were supposed to recreate:

My version:

Picture credit goes to Photobucket and the rest was me on http://picnik.com

Happy Reading!
-Harmony B.

7.28.2010

'Breaking Up Reading Week' Things that go bump in the night

Today, we have the lovely, the wonderful, the insanely sweet Melina from Reading Vacation! She's here to talk to you guys about......

~~~


Creatures have always been a part of my reading experience. I would even go so far as to say that they may actually be following me.
I can remember my parents reading fairy tales to me when I was younger. Magical stories of fairies, dragons, mermaids, giants, and unicorns. I would try to picture myself in the imaginary world of the good creatures. It was like a beautiful dream. But then, I would picture myself in the mysterious world of the eerie creatures. I usually ended up having a nightmare involving some sort of monster chasing me.
When I started to read books on my own, the creatures were still all around me. I discovered a world of happy fairies and sprites in the Rainbow Magic chapter books. As my taste evolved, I was drawn to the Harry Potter series because it brought a slew of frightening creatures to life. The stories were suspenseful and I lived for all those dreadful monsters.
No longer afraid, I now find myself seeking out stories with all sorts of creatures. Best of all, these creatures have many different interactions with humans and each other. For instance….

The Lightning Thief pits mythical creatures against the demigods.

The fey in The Iron King series seem almost mortal in their feelings.

Monster High centers on the children of monsters living in fear of their “normie” classmates.

Friendly mermaids live under the sea in Forgive my Fins.

In Spell Hunter, the fairies have lost their magic and they turn to a human for help.

I now welcome the mysterious creatures who are following me. They add the spice that makes a ho-hum story fascinating. And if I do end up a little scared, that’s okay too because I have a night light….just in case.

Thanks for having me and Happy Reading!
-Melina

7.27.2010

Something you just can't read without: Breaking Up Reading Week '

Next up we have the lovely Bianca Nadine from Nyxen's Adventures (who is also my critique partner) and shall be talking about........

~~~

Plots.


We love the good ones, hate the bad ones, and sometimes –if you’re like me –you hate the good ones because they just keep you wanting more. (but in a good way). There are simple plots but then there are those abstract plots that keep you on your feet throughout the whole thing, whether it be reading a book or watching a movie. If there's one thing a good book HAS to have, it's a good plot. Plots are one of the reasons why I read novels. Plots are there, along with characters, to keep the story moving from one point to the other. Without plots nothing would happen! No one wants to read about that when that probably happens in your everyday life. I know that’s my life. So, that’s why I read novels with amazing plots. I love the complexity of some plots, the ones that get me thinking even after I have finished the novel and the ones that actually make me think. It’s good to get away from reality and succumb to something other than my life.

In a plot you always have the rising action, climax, and falling action. Successful plot needs to have all of those, plus amazing creativity. You read a novel from beginning to end to see what will happen to the characters. Without the rising action you wouldn’t have a climax. Without the climax you wouldn’t have a falling action and without a falling action you would most likely be screaming at an inanimate object, furious that the author left off at a horrible place (sort of like a cliff hanger but worse.) Even the simplest of plots have those elements. And as I said before, plots the key element to making a story successful along with well rounded, believable characters. Everything is just how it’s written. Authors will go to extreme lengths to write you a novel with amazing characters and an astonishing, bone-chilling plot. And good thing they do, because I love to read them!

That’s all I have to say. Thank you Harmony for having me on your blog!
Happy Reading!
-Bianca (Nyxen)

7.26.2010

'Breaking Up Reading Week' But it GLITTERS...

Hey guys, it's Harmony! As I said in my In My Mailbox post, i'm out on vacation! I'll be back in a few days, so have no fear! Don't think you'll be without entertainment though, because you won't! Promise! I have a series of guest posts set up Monday-Thursday, with a finale of moi! I promised that every last week of a month, i'd do something special! So this month is:

BREAKING UP READING WEEK

This week, we're gonna break Reading for everything it is! Covers, plots, characters, cliches, and more! I have some fantastic bloggers all lined up for this week so may I introduce the first, Madeleine Rex! Maddy is awesome and one of my betas! And she's talking about........

~~~

(For those of you who thought I was going to talk about vampires, you're probably going to be disappointed.)


“Don’t judge a book by its cover.”


Though this little nugget of wisdom might have been affective a century ago, when book covers were primarily cloth and had little design, it’s a piece of advice that is more smirked at now than followed.

Publishers spend hours of time and many other resources to create covers that are alluring. In some cases that means misleading covers that readers find have nothing to do with the book at all. Why? Because we’re easily sold by pretty colors/people/glitter/fancy fonts. The appeal of anything pretty or mystifying, anything that begs the question Why?, or simply snags our attention while we’re glancing over bookshelves will, most likely, encourage us to pick the book up.

One of the reasons I assume publishers are dedicating more time, energy, and man-power to cover design is the absolutely astounding and overwhelming amount of books out there. We don’t have time to pick up every single one and read the first chapter, or even the synopsis. We’re busy people who are struggling to find time to read at all.

Book covers hugely affect our book buying and reading. Their purpose isn’t to protect the book from coffee stains, it’s to draw our attention, grab us, and entice us to pick the book up and read. The higher number of times a book is picked up, the more likely it is to be bought and read.

Many of the blogs I’m subscribed to have cover-related posts. Every week, they compare newly released book covers or covers that have caught their eye recently. Covers are distracting. The font on them is probably the biggest in the book. The picture the only picture. The color the only color. We say we’re done with picture books, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t susceptible to magic of pretty pictures.

On the other hand, book covers also enhance the reading experience. They can be misleading, but they can also serve as “warnings.” With covers that are done well and do say something about the actual story, we can tell that a book is for us. It’s our color of sparkle. Covers can speak to us on a subconscious level, remind us of things we’ve done or seen, or things we’d like to do. They can speak wonders for a book, or they can be a visual poem. They’re an art form. Images resonate with people. The smoking, blown-out candle on the cover of Looking for Alaska directly serves the book, acting as a beautiful metaphor. You can look at the cover, wonder, and yet never know that a significant facet of the story is staring back at you.

Glitter sparkles, catches our eye, and pulls us in. The synopsis determines whether or not we sign the contract, but the publisher already has us holding the pen.

--
Madeleine Rex
http://madeleinerex.com/

7.25.2010

In My Mailbox Vlog (2)

In My Mailbox was started by Kristi over at The Story Siren and inspired by Alea at Pop Culture Junkie




If that doesn't work go here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ZLtqrXx9Q8

FOR REVIEW:

Stork (ARC) by Wendy Delsol (THIS IS MY FIRST BOOK FOR REVIEW GUYS! AHHHHHHHH!)

TRADED:

The Dark Divine by Bree Despain
Virgin Territory by James Lecesne
(Thanks, Kelsey!)
What did you get in YOUR mailbox?
Happy Reading!
-Harmony B.

7.23.2010

The day: Top Ten YA Hotties ;)

Ah, admit it. The boys in YA just make you gonna swoon. They capture our hearts, and each are different (or the same) in many ways. You might see a trend in my Top Ten though :P Let me know if you spot it ;)


**this is in no particular order, I love them all the same ;)


Top Ten Boys:
1. Adrian, The Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
I LOVE THIS GUY. Seriously, I do! He's sardonic and charming and just makes me laugh! Yeah, he drinks and is very suggestive, but you know that down inside, he cares. He cares about Rose A LOT. Adrian swayed my heart! I was a Dimitri girl until he showed himself more and i've always loved his character since when he first appeared in Frost Bite. My favorite lines in the Vampire Academy series are mostly things he says and he's just over-all an awesome, charming guy!




2. Ari, Thief Eyes by Janni Lee Simmer
While this isn't one of my favorite books, it is one of my favorite guys. What I love about Ari besides being a bit of a smart-aleck and being a cool berserker is that he actually like cares. I don't mean in the way you guys think. In this book, heroine already has a boyfriend back home. But as soon as they both realize they like each other, he doesn't ravage her or anything like that. He steps back and goes, "You have a boyfriend and I don't want to be the reason you two break up." I thought that was very mature and it showed that he really cares about her and her life!









3. Po, Graceling by Kristin Cashore
How can he NOT be on this list? Seriously?! He's just soooo awesome *sigh*. You guys know this is my all-time favorite book of life so i'm probably gonna gush about him a little :P Ok, well let's start. He's kinda arrogant/a smart-aleck (which for some reason is a must for me. See the trend yet?) but it's not like mean and annoying. It's charming! And he's humble, even admitting that he knows Katsa can beat him in a fight blindfolded. How many guys do you know that will admit a girl can kick his butt? Even if it's true? Yeah, I don't know any! He's a sweetheart and caring and goes to great lengths for his friends and family.




4. Peeta, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Ah, my lovely baker boy :) If it wasn't obvious in my Why Am I Team Peeta post, i'm Team Peeta. He's so cute and sweet and proves you don't have to be tall, dark, and brooding to be a favorite! It's adorable that he's liked Katniss for a long time but hasn't had the guts to tell her and you know why? BECAUSE THAT'S REAL. There's lots of guys out there that like girls and don't have the guts to tell them! Like 99% of the population have that! Especially with girls like Katniss who are so headstrong and emotionally distant. So that's normal for him to be shy when he admits it and he's a totally charming awesome guy!

5. Sam, Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
This guy is perfectly emo enough that it's not annoying, which is awesome! He reads poetry and plays guitar and sings! AND he's a werewolf! He's awkward, which is again normal, and a lot of times he's unsure whether Grace wants him or not. Which is, again, normal! I'm all for abnormal, but I like human reactions that make sense.












6. Jace, The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare
If you have noticed in my Quotes from my Goodreads page, most of them are from this guy right here. I LOVE HIM. He's arrogant, a major smart-aleck, sarcastic, charming, and *squeee*. And yeah he's all of those things, which makes him awesome and laugh-out-loud funny, but he's also nice and complex and gets jealous and is bi-polar like pretty much every other dude out there! =P But he's just awesomely special!

7. Ash, The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
Cold, brooding, lovely. Nuff' Said ;)











8. Sonny, The Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston
I have expressed my love for Sonny in the review but i'll do it again here. Seriously! He kicks fey butt for a living! He's a human that has raised by King Obernon! But he also has a wonderful sweet side that gives him lots of brownie points with me. He's insanely cute and even though Kelley laughs in his face when he says she's a faerie, he's still determined to help her!



9. Luc, Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers
I can't say much about him since this book doesn't come out until September but OMG, *swoon* You don't know the definition of hot until you read Personal Demons. Luc is the epitome of hot-ness. Ah, and he's sweet when he wants to be ;) I joke around a lot with Lisa about him being so hot, he might burn my computer from talking about him so much ;)













10. Rhode, Infinite Days by Rebecca Maizel
Yeah, he doesn't come out much in the book, mostly in flashbacks and 23 pages in the beginning (in which I cried). He's so SWEET and and nice and even thought they were bonded just because he turned her into a vampire, he loved her anyway (and vampires can't even feel those kind of emotions, so that's big) And he did all of what he did (Infinite Days comes out August 3rd!) and sacrificed all of that because he wanted the best for her :)




Tada!! Any you guys want to add to the list? Put them below in the comments!

Happy Reading!
-Harmony B.

7.22.2010

The day: CONTEST at Total Bookaholic


Date: July 22, 2010 12:50PM
Venue: Confessions of a Bookaholic
Location: The United States
Description:
Hey everyone! Jessica is having "10 days of giveaways" on the blog! A new prize pack will be announced for the next 2 weeks. Most YA/some adult! The last prize pack will be international, the others are US only.

Each prize pack will contain at least 1 book, and some swag.

Some books/swag you will see are from Kimberly Derting, Sarah Dessen, Jordan Deen, Heidi R. Kling, Emma Michaels, Simone Elkeles, Claudia Gray, Richelle Mead, and many more!

Giveaways will end August 19th.
The first prize pack was announced today.

http://totalbookaholic.blogspot.com/

During the giveaway Jessica will be having author spotlights on those who were kind enough to donate for this giveaway :)

SO GO NAO! =P
Happy Reading!
-Harmony B.

7.21.2010

The day: EPIC ZOMBIE POST

Yesterday, I entered a war with Sarah from Sarah's Random Musing because she's Team Unicorn. I am (of course) TEAM ZOMBIE all the way!



10 Reasons to be Team Zombie:


1) Zombies have the awesomist movies ever. I mean, theres a wiki naming every Zombie movie ever. You know what happens when you look up Unicorn movies? The Last Unicorn. One measly movie. No wonder it was the last unicorn *shakes head*

2) When your obsessed about something, they call you a ____-zombie. Blogging-zombie, swag-zombie, reading-zombie, computer-zombie. They don't call you a Computer-unicorn. Cuz that's be lame.

3) Zombies even have COOL RELATIVES. Zombies have mummy cousins, which are totally cool. Unicorns cousins? Horses. Bo-ringggg!

4) Zombies can have there arms fall off and STILL LIVE. Sure Unicorns can heal themselves, but that takes a while people! And if a Unicorn's leg falls it, it's screwed!

5) Think about this: Zombies are kick-butt in movies, books, and real life too! Unicorns? They're only kick-butt in Rampant by Diana Peturfruend. Besides that? There's a reason they're extinct.

6) Zombies are in the Thriller music video! What music video are unicorns in for ages 8+?

7) Zombies can be versitale. Scary and friendly. Unicorns can just look magestic. What's the fun in that?

8) Zombies can dance (See point 6) > unicorns can trot around.

9) There are awesome books about zombies too! Hello, Forest of Hands and Teeth?

10) I'm in it, Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, Maureen Johnson, Carrie
Ryan, and Scott Westerfeld are Team Zombie too!

Did that convince you? Still a Unibie? It's okay, I'll still be your friend!

BUT ZOMBIES RULE!

Peace out and Happy Reading
-Harmony B.

7.18.2010

The day: In My Mailbox VLOG!

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.

Guys, I got so much stuff this week. SERIOUSLY. So I decided to do a vlog for IMM this week! Yay! Ok, tadaaaa. (P.S please tell me if i'm rambling or something because I tend to do that xD)



(If it doesn't work on your computer, go to this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-EeUGrnv08o)

Review:

The Thirteenth Chime by Emma Micheals

Bought:

The Hourglass Door by Lisa Mangum
Catalyst by Laurie Halse Anderson

Gifted:

Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers (THANK YOU KELLY!)
Evernight by Claudia Grey

Contests:

South Beach
Hollywood Hills
Sea Change
The Year My Sister got Lucky
French Kiss

All by Aimee Friedmen

NightShade by Andrea Cremer (!!!!!!!!)

Infinite Days by Rebecca Maizel

LOTS OF SWAG!

7.16.2010

The day: Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side

Who: Beth Fantaskey

What:
Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side

Where: Barnes & Nobles Amazon

When: December 1st, 2008

Why: Interest

How:
Borrowed


The undead can really screw up your senior year ...

Marrying a
vampire definitely doesn’t fit into Jessica Packwood’s senior year “get-a-life”
plan. But then a bizarre (and incredibly hot) new exchange student named Lucius
Vladescu shows up, claiming that Jessica is a Romanian vampire princess by
birth—and he’s her long-lost fiancé. Armed with newfound confidence and a copy
of Growing Up Undead: A Teen Vampire’s Guide to Dating, Health, and Emotions,
Jessica makes a dramatic transition from average American teenager to glam
European vampire princess. But when a devious cheerleader sets her sights on
Lucius, Jess finds herself fighting to win back her wayward prince, stop a
global vampire war—and save Lucius’s soul from eternal destruction


If you have never read this book before, get your butt to a bookstore and buy it! I HATE the summary, because it makes the story sound light and fluffy, and because of it, I had been expecting a chick-lit book about vampires. I. WAS. SO. WRONG. This book was perfectly angst, full of tension, consequences, all that good stuff. And it was surprisingly....dark. LOVED it!
The beginning pretty much starts out like any average vampire book. Girl does to school, blah blah blah, feels like something mysterious is going on, blah blah blah, THEN meets boy. But don't let that discourage you because Beth completely re-wrote this genre. Seriously, I never once went "Hey, this kinda sounds like _____ or _____" because it never did. Beth gave me a new, refreshing world with a unique take on vampires.
Jessica's character is strong, determined, and not annoying. Because really, there are a lot of heroines that just annoy. But she was logical and thought Lucius was high when he said she was a vampire, which actually MAKES sense! I love it when the heroine is shocked when they're love interest is a paranormal creature, because you are seriously not just going to go: "Oh, really? That's cool." Your going to either 1)Scream 2)Laugh or 3)Be in denial. Jessica was insecure (like most girls are), headstrong, and stubborn. Loved her.
And Lucius *swoon*. Is it weird to find him especially smexy when he's angry? He was a gentlemen, kind yet arrogant (which I kinda really love in fictional guys) and perfectly scarred. He wasn't emo and depressed all the time because of his past, but instead accepted it as part of him and didn't try to push it away. And he's perfectly dangerous ;)
I really, really, really loved this book. It was the perfect combination of love, freedom, consequences and the right to be one's self, not the person people have molded you to be.
I rate:
AWESOMESAUCE

Comment! Discuss! Happy Reading!
-Harmony B.


ETA:
I read my friend's review of Jessica's Guide and remembered something. I was a bit ticked off about the whole sob-plot with Faith and did not like it at all. That was something I did not like at all.

7.15.2010

Once Upon a Readathon Wrap up


I FAILED EPICLY PEOPLE!

Like seriously, epicly.

Day one:

Recieved crap-load of books.
Changed all my books from my lists to the ones I recieved.
GOT KIDNAPPED BY MY SISTER TO GO TO THE BEACH!
Started Personal Demons


Day two:
Didn't get any reading done because Tuesdays are Total Revision Lockdown days with the co-writer. She wouldn't dare let me sneak some reads into it. LOCKDOWN!

Day three:
FAIL, FAIL, FAIL!

I did manage to finish ONE book and it wasn't even on my list! (Feel the failness) which was Maximum Ride Number 5. My friend made me.


*Sigh*
Happy Reading and expect a Jessica's Guide to Dating on The Dark Side review!
-Harmony B.

7.12.2010

The day in which I kick off Emma Michael's Friday the Thirteenth Chime Blog Tour!

Hey guys! It's Monday, and I'm here to introduce the wonderful Emma Micheal's to the blog! She's a sweetheart and has an awesome book coming out called: The Thirteenth Chime.

I emailed her and asked if she wanted me to make a blog tour for her and she's been super sweet and nice ever since we met! This blog tour will be going on all the way until the release date, which is AUGUST, FRIDAY THE 13TH. Yeah, I know that's really cool!

If you guys wanna follow this blog tour, just click the button on the upper right corner and it'll take you to where we'll be posting the days! She'll appear on various blogs every 2 DAYS and you'll see seeing a lot of her on some of your favorite blogs!



The Thirteenth Chime:

No one knew of its existence until it was
removed from the attic upstairs.

In a beautiful house
that overlooks the sea, an antique clock has the power to change the course of their lives.

The power the clock resonates will not only force
Destiny and ex-boyfriend David on a journey into the depths of one man's mind long dead, but
into the mind of a man filled with hatred and bent on revenge.

With the
only clues to the nature of the clock having disappeared into the sea, Destiny and David must retrace the steps the man had taken into the darkness, before they fall prey to the trap he had set in motion over half a century ago.

Hatred never dies

Sounds crazy good, right? I'm excited to read it :)

INTERVIEW:

1) Hey, Emma! Welcome to Harmony's Radiant Reads! So you’re a book blogger turned author, how does it feel making that huge transition?

It feels wonderful! It's like when you are climbing a really big hill, you keep looking around and wondering if you will ever get to the top... it seems like such a hard climb. But it is so wonderful to finally make it to your destination! Now I just intend to hit the New York Times Bestsellers list so time to keep climbing!

2) Summarize your novel in 4 words!

True bonds never die.

3) So how'd you go about finding your agent? Any query stories to share?

Actually, I don't have an agent yet. I queried agents for over six months and I received nothing back but standard form rejections. No one even asked to see my manuscript! Then a dear friend pointed out that there was no way agents were basing themselves off of my writing as they hadn't read any of my work, so I took the plunge and submitted directly to publishers who would accept unsolicited work. I can't tell you how wonderful the responses have been! The difference is like night and day and I have been really grateful for the optimism and encouragement I have received.

4) Which one of your characters do you feel like you can relate to the most?

Probably Stephanie. I relate to her heart and spirit very much. I think others will agree with me, although there is no denying the deep bond between David and Destiny.

5) If you could live with 3 fictional YA characters, who would they be?

Willow from the new YA release of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (come on, it's Willow!), Hermione from Harry Potter so that I would always have someone to answer my research questions, and David, my YA lead guy (read "The Thirteenth Chime" to understand why).

6) Have you always wanted to be a writer? If not, what did you want to be?

Yes, I have always wanted to be a writer, although for a time I also wanted to be a surgeon! Sadly, my body is not capable of keeping up with the long hours of surgery, but at least I managed to succeed in one of my lifelong dreams and I must say I would rather get stay at home and create new worlds and novels from my comfy chair with my laptop than have to feel the weight of a human life on my shoulders in an ER. I feel really blessed and grateful for the way my life has turned out.

7) Finally, what's your most recent YA read?

Currently, I am reading Beautiful Dead by Eden Magquire.

Thank you for having me here at Harmony's Radiant Reads. Your wonderful support means so much. Thank you to everyone reading this and I truly hope you will enjoy The Thirteenth Chime!

~~~

Hope you guys enjoyed this because I really loved working with Emma and organizing this whole tour! Check out Emma's site or click the Blog Tour Button at the top for the next tour stops!

Happy Reading!
-Harmony B.

7.11.2010

The day in which I join my first Read-a-thon

Hello fellow earthlings. I have decided that I would join my first ever Read-a-Thon over at Lori's blog.

The Read-a-thon lasts three days, starting tomorrow. The goal is to...well READ!

Goal: 8 books (it'd be more but on Tuesday I can't read until the night time because it's total Revision day with the co-writer :)


1. Infinite Days by Rebecca Maizel
2. Evernight by Claudia Grey
3. The Thirteenth Chime by Emma Michaels
4. Catalyst by Laurie Halse Anderson
5. Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers
6. Prophecy of The Sisters by Michelle Zink
7. The Hourglass Door by Lisa Mangum
8. Rampant by Diana Peturfreud. (I actually read this one half-way but then my friend had to take it back.)


Anybody else doing this? :)


Wish me luck! Happy Reading!
-Harmony B.

7.10.2010

The day in which I get 13 to Life


Who: Shannon Delany

What: 13 to life

Where: Barnes and Noble Amazon Book Depository

When: June 22, 2010

Why: Been promoting like crazy, wanted my own copy. Also, Debut Author Challenge

How:
Bought


Everything about Jessie Gillmansen’s life changed when her mother died. Now
even her hometown of Junction is changing. Mysterious dark things are happening.
All Jessie wants is to avoid more change. But showing a hot new guy around
Junction High, she’s about to discover a whole new type of change. Pietr
Rusakova is more than good looks and a fascinating accent—he’s a guy with a
dangerous secret. And his very existence is sure to bring big trouble to
Jessie’s small town. It seems change is the one thing Jessie can’t avoid…

REVIEW:
I've raved about this endlessly on twitter, the blog and now it's finally in my possession. And it was everything I expected (which was it being totally awesome).
The first 50 pages were kinda slow for me and I was getting very worried that I wouldn't like it as much as I thought I would. But I persisted, because Shannon Delany is awesome and I had heard so many good things about this book! And it's a good thing I did because after those pages the plot and the action really started to pick it.

Shannon has a type of writing that isn't beautifully written, but it's real. Jessie's thoughts, emotions, reactions, all of them I felt were things I would have done or thought if I was in her situation. Even in paranormal romance, I like being able to relate to my characters and feel their pain. And I was able to do that with Jessie and Pietr. I will never be able to understand the full pain of their losses, but it helped how Shannon portrayed it. It helped me divulge better into the emotions and horror of losing someone you love...and being there to witness it.

While about werewolves, this is unlike any other werewolf novel I've read. The "mythology" around werewolves is scientific and surrounded by Russian culture. Though it doesn't explain a lot about how the werewolves came to be and more specific things about them, I'm eager to read and learn more about this and it didn't irritate me.

While I did find some secondary characters flat (the girls, for example), the ones I didn't find flat was the Rusakova family! They were all lovable (some more than others) and I just wanted to find out more! Especially Max. Please Shannon, let him be in Secrets and Shadows a lot more than he is in 13 to Life. I LOVED Max. And his words are my favorite quote:


"You have to hold your arm shoulder length or above, it really triangulates
the body."
Ah, he is such a dog (no pun intended...ok kinda) Alexi was also incredibly mysterious and I'm inclined to know more about him and his motives, since they don't get explained much in the first book.
I felt that the ending was a bit rushed, as if everything happened too neatly and quickly. But I guess it fit for it, because I couldn't imagine such a tension-heated action-packed werewolf-loving book with a slow ending!
So in the end I rate it: AMAZINGNESS
Comment? Discuss? Happy Reading!
-Harmony B.
p.s Sarah is such a stupid whore. Hate her, hate her, Hated her since the beginning. Urghh.
ETA:
I have 105 followers! AHHHHHHH! This is crazy surreal and amazing and unbelievable and I can hardly even look at my followers without happy dancing! Thank you guys so much for making that possible and a special thanks to the lovely Nicole and Julie for helping me throughout my blogger journey and shamelessly advertising me :P
And Thank YOU guys!

7.08.2010

The day in which I have Cover love at first sight (1)

A lot of people do features about covers but really? THEY'RE BEAUTIFUL! Most people judge books by there covers (don't lie) and it's a guarantee that you'll be more hesitant to pick up a book if the cover is ugly! So here, every THURSDAY, I shall do three covers which I fell in LOVE with at first sight :)


This week:














Halo by Alexandra Adornetto: Do I need to say anything about this beauty? Seriously, whoever designed this cover is a genius! The fact that the people are shadows give it a more mysterious feel than if they were visible, and the sunset (and the fact they look like they're about to kiss) hints at the romantic aspect of the story. And then seeing her wings and not seeing his makes you think: does he have wings? Very, very nice.

The Dark Divine by Bree Despain: Have a ever told you I have an obsession with purple-and-black covers? Like seriously, my best friend/co-writer makes fun of me for it all the time. I think every black-and-purple cover is GORGEOUS! Admit it, it's usually true. The position of the legs show uncertainty and shyness and the contrast of the pale legs with the purple and black just look BEAUTIFUL!

Torment by Lauren Kate: I just love all the Fallen covers. They're always so Gothicy beautiful. I mean, LOOK AT THIS! It's just....breathtaking. I'd buy this just to have that cover on my shelf! Honestly! :P The fact that her back is turned probably means she's not sure of who she is, and that many secrets are either being kept from her and by her. Interesting, very interesting ;)
So, what are some of your favorite covers?

Happy Reading!
-Harmony B.

7.05.2010

The Day: The Dark Divine Book Trailer

Ok, you wanna see some awesomeness?
I'M GOING TO SHOW YOU SOME AWESOMENESS!

video

Ok, was that not an AWESOME book trailer? It's been playing in movie trailers as well (which is super cool). You've all heard of The Dark Divine by Bree Despain (if not, you've been living under a very giant rock). The book trailer came a bit late (7 months after the book release) BUT since it's this awesome, I'm not complaining. ;)

Reviews for 13 to life coming up soon
Happy Reading!
-Harmony B.

7.04.2010

The day in which stuff is in my Mailbox (4)

Hey, guys! It's time for In My Mailbox! In My Mailbox is a way for bloggers to interact and to see what you got in the mail this week! It's hosted by Kristi from The Story Siren!

This week:
BOUGHT:

13 to life: AHHHH! Ok, you know I've been promoting this book like crazy with the tweets, being part of the blog tour, and just the other-all awesomeness that is this book! Sadly, the Universe tried everything possible for me not to get it BUT I DID! And I read it and OMG! :)

GIFTED:

Firelight: OH.MY.AWESOMENESS. Yes, yes this does come out in September. YES, it did arrive 3 days ago. And YES, it was SO awesome! Seriously, it's now one of my Top Four Favorite Books! *squeaaaaaaaaal* Oh and the boy, the boy!! *swoon* This was gifted to me by the lovely Jennifer from Crazy For Books!


Heavenly bookmark, and paper and thank-you card: OK this came in the mail (in a PINK envelope. And I stared at it in confusion. I hadn't been expecting this. My face = O.o. BUT then I remembered that I had given my address to the wonderful Jennifer Laurens and she sent me this! Yay, wonderful surprise! Thank you!

Noticed I got gifted by Two Jennifers. Hehe, hehe. ;)


Well, that's what I got this week! What did YOU get?


Happy Reading!
-Harmony B.

7.03.2010

The day in which I am Wondrous Strange


Who: Lesley Livingston

What: Wondrous Strange

Where:
Barnes & Nobles Book Depository Indie Bound

When: 12/23/2008

Why: Had already read it, wanted my own copy.

How: Bought



Since the dawn of time, the Faerie have taken. . . .

Seventeen-year-old actress Kelley Winslow always thought faeries were
just something from childhood stories. Then she meets Sonny Flannery. He's a
changeling—a mortal taken as an infant and raised among Faerie—and within short
order he's turned Kelley's heart inside out and her life upside down.

For Kelley's beloved Central Park isn't just a park—it's a gateway
between her ordinary city and the Faerie's dangerous, bewitching Otherworld. Now
Kelley's eyes are opening not just to the Faerie that surround her, but to the
heritage that awaits her . . . a destiny both wondrous and strange

Review:

I'm gonna say something: I HAVE AN OBSESSION WITH FAERIE BOOKS. Seriously, love them so much. And Wondrous Strange was no exception! I love love love loved it!

The thing that grabbed me the most about this book is the way Lesley weaved together perfectly the world of Theatre and the world of the Fey. The fact that she is performing in A Midsummer Night's dream which just happens to have Puck/Oberon/Titania in it made me laugh.

The plot was very unique actually, even though it does keep to the whole, "fey royalty" that goes on in most Faerie Books. But there's something special about it, the way Lesley writes about Faeries had me flipping the pages quickly to see what was next. I loved how she mixed so many myths, so many creatures in the plot, weaving them perfectly together so it didn't seem weird at all. THERE WAS EVEN A SIREN IN IT. If you guys didn't know, I kinda have an obsession with Sirens. I think they're cool :P

Now I'll talk about Kelley, because she was one amazing heroine. I mean, she was perfectly stubborn (because sometimes they're too stubborn and it's annoying.) Also I love how when Sonny tried to convince her he was a faery, she didn't just accept it or stare at him wide-eyed. SHE LAUGHED! Honestly, if someone told you they were a faery changeling, you'd laugh too! I would! She was head-strong, did what she believed was right, and even though she fumbled on her lines the first time around, is an amazing actress! I always love seeing pieces of the authors coming out in the characters. Lesley is an actress as well!

Speaking of Sonny, *swoon*. Can I have one? Like seriously, are they for sale? Because I WILL buy! I mean: he kicks MAJOR faerie-butt, he's insanely cute, and even though Kelley laughs in his face, he still helps her! Again, TOTAL SWOON-AGE!

The ending wrapped up nicely, and DEFINITELY wanting more. Good thing Darklight had already come out when I read it.

COVER: Do I even have to say anything about this absolutely BEAUTIFUL cover! I mean, it reflects Kelley perfectly and has that air of mystery that the words have as well!

My rating: AWESOMESAUCE. From the characters, to the plot, to the romance (which you know is a must for me), everything was AWESOME! I have no complaints from this book.

Comment! Discuss! Happy Reading!
-Harmony B.


p.s THIS HAS A KELPIE IN IT! If that doesn't convince you to get it, I don't know what will.

7.01.2010

The day in which I Book Blogger Hop (2)

Book Blog hopping this week to bring a little hoopity-hop spirit up in here ;) Geez, I sound insane. Hehe...anyway!

Here's the question i'm supposed to answer:


Hi, my name is Harmony (well...Harmonia) and I started blogging (I tell this story a lot) because the awesomely awesome Julie made me get off my butt. You see, I had wanted to blog for a really long time, but because i'm lazy and would have no idea what I was doing since i'm a techfail (still am), but she was all "It's fun! Do it!" and I was like: "Hmmm....I will!" And I did! And I love love love it! So Thank you Julie! :P

The book blogger hop is a way for bloggers to interact and meet new people and blogs! It's hosted by the AWESOME Jennifer so check her blog out too!
Writing up a review for Perchance to Dream right now!

Comment && Happy Reading!
-Harmony B.

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