Monthly Archives: August 2012

Book Review: Frozen Heart by Annabelle Blume (@annabelleblume) #reviews

Frozen Heart
Frozen Heart by Annabelle Blume

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I brought this novella on the plane with me when I flew to California and I have to say, reading it made the time fly by. Before I knew it, I was at the end of the story and looking for more.

Im not one to give spoilers in reviews, so I will stay away from anything too specific, but will say that I loved the descriptions and Ms, Blume really did a spectacular job of describing the dystopian world Cressenda lives in. I was hooked from the first page, and really enjoyed the interactions between her and Beckett as the story unfolded. The romance developed nicely and I never felt any lags in the story or action. A really stellar read.

I will definitely be looking for more from this author.

View all my reviews

The Booker Award #writing #blogging #authors

Fellow published author and fellow Pen Sister, Claire Gillian has graceously nominated me for The Booker Award. HOORAY FOR ME!!!

*Insert fanfare and confetti*

This auspicious award targets literary and book-centered blogs, so I guess I technically qualify, even though I have been slow to post of late.

Thank goodness the rules for this one are simple:

1. post my top five books of all time,

2. post the Booker award icon,

3. and nominate other bloggers to do the same.

Alrighty… you asked for it.

My 5 favorite books of all time (before you give me any grief or laugh at my picks, remember… all time includes childhood)

1. Where the Wild Things Are – Maurice Sendak

2. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – C.S. Lewis

3. James and the Giant Peach – Roald Dahl

4. The Storm and the Splendor – Jennifer Blake

5. Love Betrayed – Patricia Rice

Obviously, the first three are from childhood. Each holds a special place for me and now count among my favorite stories of all time. The last two — each a historical romance — are two stories who shaped the author I am today. When I was in High School I ate romance novels for breakfast and sometimes read 3 or more in a week, and I was still in school and working a PT job at the time. Both authors were favorites and I have read countless books written by each of them. The two above are the ones, if forced, I would select as my favorite story written by each of them.

Now for the funnest part of this little game — Nominating others.

Here are my nominees:

Kelly Said
Lydia Sharp
Kastil Eavenshade
Jocelyn Adams
Stephanie Keyes

Indie Bookstore To Stock Copies of Call of the Sea #indie #books

Call of the Sea News:

I’m so excited to announce that Battenkill Books, located in my small town of Cambridge, NY will be stocking copies of Call of the Sea on their shelves.

I also have plans to stop in (hopefully very soon) to speak with the proprietor, Connie Brooks and discuss some author events, and maybe a book signing for all you local fans (most of which I am probably related to) out there.

As an author for a small, indie publisher, having my story embraced by my local booksellers has been really great. It brings a smile to my face to see the support for local artists and authors, and in turn makes me want to promote my local businesses even more.

Shop local, buy local and above all, ladies and gentlemen — READ LOCAL 🙂

*uses her best Bartles and James voice*

Thank you for your support.

~Rebecca

Inspiring Blogger Award: Pretty Neat *grins* #writing #blogging

So I learned yesterday that I was nominated for this “Inspiring Blogger Award” by a follower of the blog here. I was flattered and a bit confused at first. I mean, what did I do to inspire someone else? Nothing I had been aware of.

I guess, or at least based on the reasoning listed for the nomination, I “really help your fellow writer and that’s inspiring.” (works for me :P)

The rules for this one are pretty simple, so I am hoping I don’t manage to mess them up.

First off, my thanks to Pixiebubbles for the nod. You can find her blog here: http://lifewithchocolateandcoffee.wordpress.com You should stop in and say hello. It’s a lovely place to visit. 🙂

Now, for the hard part of this — Listing 7 little facts about yourself and nominating 15 other bloggers for the Inspiring Blogger Award. Oh, boy…

My Facts:

1. Growing up I actually thought I would be an Olympic Beach Volleyball player.

2. I babble when I am nervous.

3. I actually like spiders. They eat flies, and flies are my nemesis. *shivers*

4. I am a dog person. Cats are nice and all but I prefer canines. Also, the bigger and hairier they are, the more I seem to like them.

5. I HATE HATE HATE grocery shopping.

6. I was a terrible older sister to my siblings when it came to watching them when my parents went out. I am quite surprised some of them lived through it, actually.

7. My favorite color is green.

Hmm, that wasn’t near as complicated as I thought it would be.

Now, for the nominating…

I’ve selected these bloggers as ones who inspire me.

Kastil Eavenshade

Claire Gillian

Julie Reece

Jocelyn Adams

Amaleen Ison

Annabelle Blume

Stephanie Lawton

Emily Guido

Aimee Laine

Terri Rochenski

Kelly Said

Lydia Sharp

Anna Simpson

Jennifer Eaton

J. Keller Ford

Tag, ladies. You’re it!

Thanks to each and every one of you for being an inspiration to me.

Author Interview: Julie Reece (@JulieAReece), Author of Crux #YA #urbanfantasy #Crux

You are all in for a big treat today, as I managed to score a slot in the Blog Tour, as well as a little one on one time with the fantastic YA author, Julie Reece, whose debut release, CRUX is one the hot lists for summer releases.

Ms. Reece also happens to be one of my favorite people and an original member of the author group, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pens. (If you are ever curious who my favorite female authors of the day are, you simply need to check out The Sisterhood blog, and they are all there.)

My 17yr. old daughter, Casey and I were lucky beta readers of Ms. Reece’s novel, and we both just loved it. My full review can be found HERE, if you want to check it out. I would highly recommend the read to anyone who enjoys YA Urban Fantasy — or, well, anyone who likes YA in general. It was just THAT good.

Anyway, without gushing all over her pretty shoes, let me get right to it and introduce Julie Reece.

Me: Thanks for coming by, Julie.  I’ve been quite anxious to get you into the interview chair so I could really pick your brain about Crux.

Julie: *cringes* Oh boy…

Me: Don’t worry. I promise to be gentle. *grins* I’ll start slow and easy. What inspired you to write your novel, Crux?

Julie: My daughters. We started reading together and the more we read, the more we talked about story ideas, plots and characters-what we liked and didn’t like. I had so many ideas that were different than what was on the YA shelves, finally my daughters looked at me and said, “Yo, mom, write one yourself. We like the ideas and we think other people will, too.” So that’s what I did. I wrote the book I couldn’t find hoping others would like what’s in my wacky imagination, too! 🙂 It was scary to try, and I didn’t know if I could do it. I would think to myself, Be a quarter as brave as the heroine in your book, Julie. That’s what I tried to do.

Me: Well, I think you did one heck of a job with that – no doubt about it What sort of writer do you consider yourself? What I mean is, are you a pantser (like me) or a plotter?

Julie: Panster all the way, baby! I wish I was a plotter, I really do. I’ve tried, but when my characters whisper about going a different way than I’ve plotted for them, they can be very persistent. They’re a very rebellious lot and they usually end up getting their way 🙂

Me: Do you have any writing rituals or special processes you complete before sitting down to write?

Julie: Not really, the only thing I need is quiet. Library quiet to focus because of my ADD and other learning disabilities. I’m am easily distracted unfortunately. PS, I do like to hear birds singing, a cat’s purr, wind, rain or the sea. Those noises never bug me. Maybe because they are white noises???

Me: If you could only write in one genre for the rest of your career, what genre would you choose? Why?

Julie: Young Adult urban fantasy. Man, it’s hard to explain why I love this genre so much. It has everything! You can go anywhere and do anything with a teenager’s point of view. Everything is brand new and there’s a lot of hope and wonder and acceptance from a sixteen year old who’s experiencing different areas of life for the first time. Teenagers are brave and wise, then they do stupid stuff that they have to get themselves out of! I adore YA books!!!

Me: I have to agree with you there. I have become a big fan of the YA genre, especially after reading books like yours and Stephanie Lawton’s. I think I may already know this answer, but the readers may not, so I will toss it out there anyway. Which of the characters in your current release is your favorite? Why?

Julie: Well dang, that’s really hard. I guess it would have to be my heroine. Bird is the sum total of a person who has every reason to be bitter or give up and quit, but she doesn’t. I liked that about her. She’s a fighter.

Me: For sure. She is my favorite by far. Just love her to bits. I’d bet she’d be a grumpy bear in the mornings. What about you, though, Julie? Morning person or grumpy bear?

Julie: I’m sorry to tell you I am ‘Miss Mary Sunshine’ in the morning. I probably drive the rest of my family nuts being all happy pants in the early am but I turn into a pumpkin around 11:00 when my brain shuts off, so I guess it even out.

Me: Heheh — okay, back to the book questions for a little bit. What is the one thing about the book publishing process that has surprised you the most?

Julie: How much releasing a book into the world feels exactly like watching your five year old walk onto the playground at school. You are proud and nervous and you pray he will fit in and the other kids will like him!

Me: Speaking of other kids liking you… What group were you a part of in High School? Jocks? Nerds? Metal heads?

Julie: Um yeah. This is weird, but I sort of orbited all those groups. I was friends with everybody and didn’t really fit anywhere. School really sort of sucked for me, but I admit some of that was my own doing. I struggled in school and had a chip on my shoulder for a while over that, something I really regret now.

Me: I am amazed by how many writers I meet are sort of the same — fringers at the edge of the groups but not really being part of one of them. I can be an information nerd sometimes — but this isn’t about me 😛 It’s about you. Tell us one thing it would surprise us to know about you?

Julie: I love gardening, and have a phobia of sharks, spiders and clowns. If you dressed a shark up as a clown and gave him a pet tarantula on a leash, you would have the trifecta of my fears.

Me: What is next for you?

Julie: I have am editing a finished, 90k word,  YA historical paranormal romance novel. (This is actually this first book I ever wrote) I’m sending it out to my beta readers to see if they like it or its junk! 🙂 I have three (I know, yes three) other YA urban fantasy novels in various stages of completion I want to finish.

Me: Do you have any unique skills or talents? If so, what?

Julie: I’m a painter and I like to draw. I wish I was better at it and am basically a frustrated wannabe, but I love art! I might have been a wedding planner, decorator, or landscape architect. Anything creative, I guess. 🙂 I’m good with animals, and since I’m fairly good at figuring people out, I might have made a decent criminal profiler, then again, maybe not!

Me: Tell us something about your book we won’t find in the back cover blurb?

Julie: When I wrote it, I wanted to convey the idea of forgiveness and courage and trust and determination but most of all … hope. That no matter how bad your life is, if you wait one more day, something amazing might happen.

Me: Who is your favorite author and why?

Julie: I read Mary Webb’s ‘Precious Bane’ when I was in high school. It ripped my heart out, shredded it and then sewed it back together. I wanted to evoke that kind of feeling in someone else. *sigh* Now I love Cassandra Clare, when the writer inside me grows up, I want to write like her. There is a list of YA writer as long as my arm I feel that way about. I love their story telling and am jealous of their incredible genius.

Me: Coke or Pepsi?

Julie: Coke!

Me: If I were to look in your closet right now, would I find frills and lace or denim and tees?

Julie: Denim and tees … and pumps and bling. 🙂

There you have it folks. Thanks for stopping in Julie, and best of luck with your debut novel, though I don’t think luck with have much to do with its success.

For you readers out there, here is where you can learn more about Julie Reece, and where you can pick up your copy of her debut novel Crux.

From the Back of the Book:

She should have run. Now, she’ll have to fight.

Eighteen year old Birdie may be homeless, but she’s surviving, that is until a mysterious guy throws money in the air like a crazy game show host, and she grabs some with the idea she’ll be able to buy dinner that night.

In that singular moment, unassuming Birdie becomes the girl in everyone’s viewfinder. Thugs want to kill her. Money-guy wants to recruit her. The very hot, very rich, and very out of her league Grey Mathews wants to save her.

Birdie, though, wants nothing to do with any of them, until she realizes fate didn’t bring them all together.

Her heritage did.

Now, with only twenty-one days left, she’s got to decide whether to follow in the footsteps of those before her or risk her life for people she’s only just met.

Where to Buy:

Amazon.com

Barnes & Noble

Learn More about Julie by visiting her website: http://www.juliereece.com

As a thank you for stopping in, I will be sending a signed CRUX bookmark to 3 lucky random commenters. Just make a comment below, ask a question, whatever — just make sure to leave a way for me to contact you should you win, and that’s it — you will be entered in the drawing.