Picture drawn by Maggie Stiefvater, 2009. Header made by S.F. Robertson, 2010.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

In My Mailbox- Week of March 22

After 4 takes, I FINALLY got a good one. You'll hear what happened in the previous first four takes when watching the vlog. I explain right at the beginning.

Coming up this week, I am going to have another bookstore picture post, my third SevenBookBabes video, and maybe another poll or a roundup of all the awards I've gotten recently. Also, check out my review of Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols on the myspace blog! Leave a comment too!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Second Vlog for SevenBookBabes + WTF?

Here is the second vlog for SevenBookBabes! Hope you all enjoy it!

And be sure to check all the other videos here: http://www.youtube.com/user/Sevenbookbabes

Before I get to the WTF part of the post, I just want to say thank you to Susan Rebecca White and Jessica Burkhart for both making posts all about me, inadvertently posting them on my birthday. 'Twas a lovely birthday present!

Also, I plan on compiling all (or at least most- there's a LOT!) of the awards I've recieved in the last couple weeks and will post about them here later this week, hopefully.

Now, finally the WTF post. So I do Google Alerts for myself and usually it's nothing really, just Google picking up my own posts on other peoples' sidebars. But sometimes it is an actual mention! Anyway, I got this one thing from Google Alerts that made me go WTF:


There is no commentary whatsoever explaining why I am on their blog. Just my own synopsis of what I talk about in the video. I'm just very confused about all of it. And the other thing is that there's like NO rhyme or reason as to what they post on there. Just go to the main page and scroll through the other videos- there is no connection whatsoever.

Also, I forgot to mention this in the vlog, but I have a funny story to tell in this week's In My Mailbox. It's very funny and a bit odd, but a definite first for me. And heck, maybe the whole blogging community.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Birthday Post

Today is my birthday and I have a busy day.

- Meeting with an insurance agent (my mom is tagging along to help)
- Eating lunch with Mom, then taking her to airport
- Interview at 2pm (possibly- I may cancel, only because the job site is over an hour away and I'm not sure I'd want to commute that M-F every week.
- Volunteering at library 3:30-5:30
- Errands with my roomie

Too many things to do. I don't like it. So make me feel better by leaving birthday wishes! :)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

In My Mailbox- Week of March 15 Parts 1 and 2 + Book Signing!

Here are my two In My Mailbox posts- the reason for the second one is explained in the second video, lol.

And now, the photo of Susan and I:

I hate how I look in this photo, especially my neck. What the heck is going on there? And my jacket's all crooked and just... ugh. I'm too critical of pictures of myself, lol. Susan however looks amazing and cute and everything. I guess anybody would pale in comparison standing next to her. What if I was between both her and her sister Lauren Myracle? Their combined cuteness and awesomeness would overshadow me- I'd be even more critical of myself in that hypothetical photo, like "Who let Quasimodo stand in between those two lovely, awesome ladies? ... Oh wait, that's me..."

Full (kinda) story of the signing in the first vlog- hope you enjoy it!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

First Vlog Post for Seven Book Babes + Poll Results!

Here's my first vlog for Seven Book Babes! To see the other videos from the other six babes, go here: http://www.youtube.com/user/Sevenbookbabes

Hope you like it!

And the results of the poll pretty much all pointed to two books and it's a tie!! Here's the official tally:

1) Just One Wish by Janette Rallison- 1
2) Freaked by J.T. Dutton- 2 (Thanks JT for commenting on my blog!!)
3) Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson- 7
4) Something, Maybe by Elizabeth Scott- 7
5) Highway to Hell by Rosemary Clement-Moore- 0 (Aw, no love for Maggie :( That's sad)

So the choice is down to Wintergirls or Something, Maybe and I'll go with whoever leaves the first comment on this blog entry with their choice.

Monday, March 16, 2009

What Should I Read Next?

So I'm finishing up The Season by Sarah MacLean and Absolutely Maybe by Lisa Yee today, and the reviews will be up tonight. Then I'm starting on Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols for review later this week (probably Wednesday).

But what should I read after that? There's a few March releases left in my TBR pile and seeing all the other reviews of the same books has conflicted me and so I come to you guys to pose this question. Here's the list of stuff that I could read and review next:

1) Just One Wish by Janette Rallison
2) Freaked by J.T. Dutton
3) Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
4) Something, Maybe by Elizabeth Scott
5) Highway to Hell by Rosemary Clement-Moore

So go ahead and vote! I'll pick the winner once I get my review up for Going Too Far, which should hopefully happen Wednesday night!

Also, don't forget to watch my In My Mailbox vlog in the entry below this one!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

In My Mailbox- Week of March 8

Here's this week's In My Mailbox post. Fairly short for me, lol.

Books I talk about:

Swoon by Nina Malkin
Highway to Hell by Rosemary Clement-Moore
Fate by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Surface Tension by Brent Runyon
Brutal by Michael Harmon
Every Demon Has His Day by Cara Lockwood

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Fresh New Voice of YA- Amanda Ashby Guest Blog

Check out the myspace blog here for reviews of The Forest of Hands and Teeth and Zombie Queen of Newbury High.

First up, a big thank you to Book Chic for inviting me to come and play this week. Especially since he’s had me here once before and so he knows what I’m like. All I can figure is that he’s very brave or that he’s got his finger hovering over the delete button just in case!! (NOTE FROM BC: I think it's hilarious how both Amanda and I think we're gonna be booted from each other's blog when we do guest blogs/vlogs, lol). Anyway, since I’ve been given a carte blanche to talk about what I want (oh the power, how it tickles) I thought that considering my book is all about zombies that it might be appropriate for me to make a few confessions.

The truth is that I’m not a fan of horror movies. Well, I say not a fan, but that’s not entirely true – it’s just I normally find them so completely terrifying that I spend a good eighty minutes of any one movie, hidden behind the couch while asking my husband if it’s safe to look. I blame Doctor Who entirely. You see I grew up watching Doctor Who (we’re talking seventies and eighties here so please rid your mind of David Tennant and the gorgeous Christopher Eccleston and instead think Tom Baker).

Anyway, I spent my youth petrified that some weird alien with hairy eyebrows would come up to me and say ‘contact has been made’ and then I too would turn into a weird alien with hairy eyebrows. And don’t even get me started on the daleks. I actually carefully planned the two potential places that I could hide should there be a dalek invasion. Unfortunately, since I’ve got no firm assurances that there won’t be a dalek invasion in the future I can’t tell you where these places are in case I need to use them myself (did I mention that I’m not a sharer?)

Then as I got older the horror movies came and they were even worse than the hairy-eyebrowed aliens of Doctor Who. Especially the zombies who, no matter what you did, NEVER seemed to die and were eternally hungry. Not to mention all the blood (which by the way, when I was talking to a woman who was an extra in Peter Jackson’s Braindead, she told me the fake blood was actually a lot like Maple Syrup. I know. Crazy, right?!). Anyway, as my seventh grade teacher will tell you, when blood is around I WILL faint.

Right, so we’ve got a girl who doesn’t like horror movies and who faints at the sight of blood. No wonder my husband laughed his ass off when I said I wanted to write a zombie book. But the truth is that I wanted to write it from a normal girl’s perspective and I really wanted to make her reactions to the whole thing as normal as possible – which considering that I’m scared of zombies and so is my heroine Mia Everett – it really wasn’t that hard to do! So there you have it, my secret zombie confessions. But if you promise not to tell anyone else about them, I might - just might - let you know my secret dalek hiding spot, because I’m pretty certain it will work just as well when the zombies come…

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Fresh New Voice of YA- Interview with Carrie Ryan!

1) Check out Carrie's guest blog over on the myspace blog here, as well as Amanda Ashby's interview here, and don't forget to take a look at the excerpt vlogs here!

2) Is anyone going to that 40 Author Teen Signing event in NYC on the 22nd? If so, please let me know as I have a favor to ask of you!!

1) How did you get the idea for The Forest of Hands and Teeth?

There were a lot of things that just sort of came together in my head when I started writing The Forest of Hands and Teeth. I'd been talking with my fiancé about a world set generations after an apocalypse but I never expected I'd write anything set in that world - I just always saw myself as a chick lit writer and was actually writing a chick lit YA at the time.

But then I was walking home from work one day after reading an article about overfishing of tuna (random, I know) and I started to wonder what it would be like in our world if tuna was really really rare. I wondered what our descendants would think about the fact that everyone in our day has cans of tuna piled in our pantries. The first line for the book just popped into my head then and I was obsessed!

I wanted to know what could make us forget everything and what the world would be like not just months or years after an apocalypse, but generations later. That's pretty much what drove me to write the book.

2) What brought you to write for the YA genre? Had you been a fan before writing your novel, or are you still pretty new to it all?

I began reading YA again a few years ago, before I even thought about writing it. One of my friends read Uglies by Scott Westerfeld and kept talking about how wonderful it was and I picked it up. I loved it, read the rest of the series and started to ask for more recommendations. I'd always loved YA but just never knew much about writing it and suddenly I realized that there were these amazing books out there gathering lots of readers.

I also realized that because all YA is shelved together there are no real “rules.” I feel like with adult focused books you have to write a Romance or a Fantasy or a SciFi and adhere to the rules of each genre. But with YA you can mix them all! It was this amazing sense of freedom! I loved being able to draw upon conventions of each genre while still having the ability to ignore others - I think it's something that's made so many YA books so dynamic.

3) What book(s) are you working on now? Can you tell us anything about it?

Right now I'm working on revisions for The Dead-Tossed Waves which is a sequel or to The Forest of Hands and Teeth. It's set much later after the end of the first book and has a different point of view character which is pretty much all I can say about it right now! Once that's done I'll be starting on my third book for Delacorte which I hope will be another book set in that same world.

4) Are you anything like your main character Mary? Or are you more like another character in the novel? How much of yourself do you put into your characters?

It's funny, I don't think of myself like Mary and yet so many of the emotions, questions, fears she has are all things I've felt before. For example, there's one scene where she's pretty ready to just give up - things aren't going well for her and she starts to question what right she has to believe her dreams can come true. When writing that scene I pulled out an old email I'd sent to my fiancé when I'd gotten a rejection on a book and I wondered what right I had to believe that my dream of being published would come true.

Whenever I write I try to put myself in the character's shoes - I try to find a way to feel what they're feeling. Like when I had to write the scene early on where Mary's mother is dying I tried to think about how that would feel (utterly terrifying and horrific) and channel those feelings into the writing.

5) What is your favorite Jelly Belly jelly bean flavor?

I LOVE the sour ones (and am always excited when I find the little packets of only sour flavors!). But if I had to choose one it would be peach. At least I think that's the flavor - it's the orange with lighter orange specks. Maybe I need to go out and get a packet right now just to taste test…

6) What book(s) are you reading now, or are about to start?

I just finished Skinned, by Robin Wasserman and I loved it. Right now I'm just finishing Dull Boy by Sarah Cross and it is awesome. Impossible to put down!

7) Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Read and write. I think that reading helps you learn pacing and structure and what's out there. Writing… well, I feel like the actual sitting down and writing part is often not given enough priority. Also to remember the love - sometimes it can be easy to focus on things like getting published and forget why we write in the first place: because we love it!

8) What are some of your favorite zombie books and movies?

Too hard to choose! My favorite book is probably World War Z by Max Brooks. I think he did an amazing job with it, especially creating unique character voices. As for movies… probably George Romero's Night of the Living Dead (especially now that I've learned his point in the movie was to show the inability of people to band together against a common threat), Shaun of the Dead which has brilliant juxtaposition of humor, terror, and tragedy and the Day of the Dead remake cause, really, that just started it all for me!

Thanks Carrie!! Tomorrow, reviews of The Forest of Hands and Teeth and Zombie Queen of Newbury High will be posted on the myspace blog and then on Saturday, I'll be posting Amanda Ashby's guest blog here! So keep an eye out for them!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Fresh New Voice of YA- Excerpt Vlogs and In My Mailbox

Hey everyone!

Before I show off the vlogs, just a couple notes:

1) Go check out my interview with Amanda Ashby, which is filled with hilarious answers to my questions over here on the Myspace blog!

2) Both The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan and Zombie Queen of Newbury High by Amanda Ashby are both in stores now!! :)

3) I apologize for the lighting in the second vlog. I explain it all in the vlog itself. I hope to do a reshoot of it when I have the alone time.

4) Also, be sure to look at the concluding picture post that I posted last night- only 2 people commented so far!

And now, the vlogs!:

(This may still be processing, so watch the excerpts first!)

Monday, March 9, 2009

Two Cats, a Signing, and a Pizza Place (and by "pizza place", I mean "more bookshelves")

So here is the concluding post. The reason I am doing this and not the In My Mailbox vlog is because Youtube accepted my cat video but not my IMM vlog. It kept saying "An Unknown Error Occured." and wouldn't upload it. It made me SO MAD. I wanted to punch Youtube in the face.

Anyway, here are the rest of the pics:

This is a picture of our cat Maya up on the fridge from a few weeks ago. Isn't she cute? Here's another:

Alright, back to the books. Here's a picture of one side of the other bookcase I have:

This has a few notable exceptions: signed copies of Airhead by Meg Cabot, Frenemies by Alexa Young (for my birthday- she also sent a funny card which I found while I was cleaning... I need to find a place to put all this author stuff I get), my signed copy of Let It Snow that has sigs from Lauren and John but no Maureen yet (this is why I need to know who's going to the 40 Author NYC Teen Signing- I want someone to take my book and have Maureen sign it so I can have all three sigs in one book!!), The Summer of Naked Swim Parties by Jessica Anya Blau, Another Kind of Cowboy and Getting the Girl by Susan Juby (she also sent me a cute card too), and Graffiti Girl by Kelly Parra. Whew... that's a lot.

You can also see more CDs and a stuffed animal that my ex-bf Keith gave me at the top of the photo.

More photos of our cat Samson being cute on top of the fridge. I love him!!! :)

Highlights here include Ruby by VC Andrews, She Went All the Way by Meg Cabot (signed), Braless in Wonderland by Debbie Reed Fischer (signed). Ones that are obscured or have glare on them include: Cycler by Lauren McLaughlin, The Devil's Breath by David Gilman, A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini, and a Perfect Dark novel.

Also, on the right of the bottom box, there's an ARC of What They Always Tell Us by Martin Wilson. Last August, when the book came out, Martin contacted me about sending me a review copy and I said yes. I have a hardcover of it, which you'll see in a picture below. In cleaning up my room and putting books in boxes, I unearthed this ARC which had been laying in the bottom of a box under many books and another box. So now I have two copies. I got that ARC like either in late 2007 or early 2008, so by the time August 2008 rolled around, it had been LONG forgotten. Plus, it was part of a package filled with many other books and I forgot about a lot of them too, lol.

The one toward the left with the glare on it (next to 3 Willows) is Riding the Universe by Gaby Triana (ARC). Other books of worthy note include a signed copy of Peace, Love, and Baby Ducks by Lauren Myracle, Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev (this is actually the giveaway copy that I have yet to send out- I totally apologize to whoever is supposed to be recieving it from me!! My other copy has been lent out to a friend of mine.), Gorgeous by Rachel Vail, A Match Made in High School by Kristin Walker, a signed copy of Prada and Prejudice by Mandy Hubbard, and the uber-elusive ARC of Don't Judge a Girl by her Cover (GG3) by Ally Carter.

Yes, those are my feet, lol, and I'm in my PJ bottoms. Anyway, a lot of random books here. Highlights include a signed copy of Dust of 100 Dogs by A.S. King, an ARC of Rampant by Diana Peterfreund, You Are Here by Jennifer E. Smith, a signed copy of What Would Emma Do? by Eileen Cook, and an ARC of Love You Hate You Miss You by Elizabeth Scott.

I have no idea why this came out kinda blurry, but whatever. Yes, this is my closet. I recently put books in there so they wouldn't be all over my floor. There's also some audio books to the right of the photo and my high school yearbooks are right underneath them. Book highlights include Willow by Julia Hoban, Faketastic by Alexa Young, Once Dead, Twice Shy by Kim Harrison, Just One Wish by Janette Rallison (one of two), Discordia by Dena K. Salmon (right above Just One Wish), and above Discordia is my copy of Invisible Touch, which has an excerpt of my Graffiti Girl review in it.

Highlights here include the entire series of Kodocha and Sailor Moon, and a signed copy of Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen. Also, you can see the other side of the bookcase shown in an earlier photo.

This is a picture of Maggie Stiefvater signing a TON of copies of her debut book Lament at her Alexandria signing last Friday. Isn't that stack HUGE?! Also, notice the fun sign in the background advertising her event. And that's her harp Rory in the bottom right after having been put away.

I would actually have a picture of Maggie and I, but unfortunately, I am too shy, lol. But at least this time I chatted with her and I did take my camera out to take a picture. So it's a step up from last time! Maybe next time I meet up with her, I'll have enough courage to get a picture with her, lol. Anyway, I got to the signing about 25 minutes late, then spent 10 minutes looking around for Maggie and actually calling my parents to see if I had the right place, but no, it turned out Maggie was just hiding next to the cafe behind some bookcases. *sigh* Bad place for an author to be. Seriously, I'd been ALL OVER that whole store and didn't see her. If I couldn't find her while actually LOOKING for her, you can imagine how it would be for someone just browsing. Ah well. It just meant Maggie and I could chat a lot- I pulled up a chair and we talked books and other things and she played her harp intermittently. After the signing was over, we looked around the teen section for an urban fantasy book. She wanted to read Need by Carrie Jones, but they didn't have the book in the J section, but I found their copies in the New Teen Books display. It was a wonderful evening. Maggie rocks.

And now, the other side of my second bookcase:

This is my main TBR shelf of books to come, though as you saw in the other photos, there are tons of TBR books everywhere. Highlights include ... actually, there's way too many here. You can see all of them for yourself.

Phew! That's all the books that I've got here in the apartment. And then any new ones that come in you'll see on In My Mailbox!

Oh and I almost forgot the cute video. Here it is:

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Update on In My Mailbox

I just now threw up and am still recovering, so I don't have the patience to upload my video to my computer then wait for it to be uploaded to Youtube. It will be posted eventually (prolly tomorrow after I've rested). But here's the list of stuff I got:

Say the Word by Jeannine Garsee (ARC)
Miss Match by Wendy Toliver
Shrinking Violet by Danielle Joseph
The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan (ARC and hardcover- funny story here)
Swoon by Nina Malkin

See you all tomorrow.

PS Is anyone going to that 40 Author NYC Teen Signing thingy on March 22 or thereabouts? If so, let me know. I haz favor to ask.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Bookshelves, Packages, and Cats- Oh My!

Yes, it's the picture post you've all been waiting for, but it'll be shown over two parts. Yes, because I have that many books but also a lot of pics (and a video!) to show you that are not book-related. So here we go, starting off with a bookshelf pic and interspersing them with other pics:

Here is the top half of the bookcase that you see behind me in all the vlogs I do! As you can see, this has one shelf of the VC Andrews books (I have them in chronological order). You'll also see a shelf of CDs here too- feel free to take a gander at what kind of music I have. You'll see other CDs in other pictures too, lol.

Here is the stack of stuff that I talked about in this past week's In My Mailbox vlog. As you can see, there is a knife on the left with which to open the boxes, and my laptop is on the right. Doesn't my laptop look sleek and shiny? I love it!

And yes, that is my bed.

In a short photo session with my cat Samson, this was the best picture of the bunch (don't worry, there are better ones below and more in the next picture post). Doesn't it look like the kind of picture that you'd find in a yearbook or on a driver's license. By that, I mean, a horrible picture that, if Samson were human, he'd be embarassed about me posting on the internet for all to see. He is still cute though.

And yes, that is my hoodie hanging on the chair.

This was the beginning of my clean-up-all-the-loose-books phase that I went through this past week. I used the two Amazon boxes from the picture above to put books in! Having these boxes is helping a LOT. Some fun things of note include the UK edition of Pants on Fire by Meg Cabot (re-titled Tommy Sullivan is a Freak there) that I got from Meg when she was giving out copies of her books on her blog (I also got She Went All the Way, which will be in another picture), my copy of Breathing by Cheryl Renee Herbsman, a signed copy of Angel's Choice by Lauren Baratz-Logsted that I won in a contest on her blog a while back, and This is Not ChickLit, an anthology that I won from a readergirlz chat.

I just looked at this picture on my laptop just now and it made me laugh hysterically. Just because his head looks all 3-D like I'm wearing those silly glasses and his face is jumping out of the screen at me. This is from the second photo shoot, which was much more successful and included a VERY cute video, which I'll post next time. However, I can send you guys another video that is only 2 seconds long (because I forgot the camera was on video and not picture) but is still so adorable if you send me an email. My address is bookchicclub-at-gmail-dot-com. Obviously the at is replaced with @ and dot is replaced by . and all the dashes aren't there. The reason I can send it over email is that apparently, it's only like 600KB, lol.

And yes, that is the bread I eat.

I'm skipping over the next closeup of Samson's face (that'll be posted next time) in favor of this ADORABLE picture, which is also very similar to what he does in the longer video that I'll post next time. He is so CUTE!!! I love him.

And now, the final picture, featuring the bottom half of the bookcase seen behind me in the vlogs I do:

This is mainly my VC Andrews and Meg Cabot shelves. Highlights here include a signed copy of Ready or Not from when I met Meg at the National Book Festival in 2005 (I also had my copy of An Improper Proposal, seen in the top half of this bookcase, and signed as well), a signed ARC of Girl Overboard by Justina Chen Headley.

PS I apologize for the glare in some of these pics. I took them at night, so I only have my lamp on and so my camera has to do a flash, which sometimes ruins the picture.

PPS Showing off my VC Andrews collection here will be done in place of the final vlog I never got around to posting as part of the VC Andrews Vlog Trilogy since the video is 13 minutes long and I have no idea how to cut it in half so that I can post it on Youtube.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

In My Mailbox- Week of Feb. 23

Hey everyone! Here's the vlog for this week:

And I'll have two more Picture posts coming up this week, wherein I'll show off my bookshelves and book boxes and book piles! :) And these pics will also be interspersed (sp?) with some other pics of my cats, the packages pic I talk about in the vlog, and a picture of the stuffed animal that Davin got me.

Also, here's a few links of things over at my Myspace blog, posted in the last week:

Review of In Too Deep by Jennifer Banash plus an interview and contest (which ends Monday evening!) here.
Reviews of Project Sweet Life by Brent Hartinger and Jumped by Rita Williams-Garcia plus an interview with Brent here.
Review of Geek Charming by Robin Palmer plus an interview with Robin here.