Thursday, August 30, 2012

Review: Vanish





Title: Vanish
Firelight # 2
Author: Sophie Jordan
Pages: 294
Release Date: September 6, 2011
Publisher: Harper Teen





Goodreads Description:

An impossible romance.
Bitter rivalries.
Deadly choices.


To save the life of the boy she loves, Jacinda did the unthinkable: She betrayed the most closely-guarded secret of her kind. Now she must return to the protection of her pride knowing she might never see Will again—and worse, that because his mind has been shaded, Will’s memories of that fateful night and why she had to flee are gone.

Back home, Jacinda is greeted with hostility and must work to prove her loyalty for both her sake and her family’s. Among the few who will even talk to her are Cassian, the pride’s heir apparent who has always wanted her, and her sister, Tamra, who has been forever changed by a twist of fate. Jacinda knows that she should forget Will and move on—that if he managed to remember and keep his promise to find her, it would only endanger them both. Yet she clings to the hope that someday they will be together again. When the chance arrives to follow her heart, will she risk everything for love?

My Thoughts:

Vanish was by far my favorite book in the Firelight series by Sophie Jordan. I finished Hidden before writing this review so I can say that with certainty. For me, the series as a whole was just okay but I did enjoy this book quite a bit.

Vanish picks up right where Firelight left off. Everyone is kind of on edge due to the events at the end of Firelight. There are a lot of things up in the air and everyone is filled with a sense of uncertainty.

One of the things I liked about Vanish is that since it picks up right where Firelight ended, things are immediately interesting. You don’t have to go through several chapters to get to the action. You are immediately there.

The second thing I liked, actually loved, about Vanish was Cassian. Seriously, I loved him! He is the reason that I enjoyed this book. He cares about Jacinda for all the right reason and she doesn’t even realize it! He was a good guy that tried to do the right thing for Jacinda and the rest of the pride. Although Jacinda always thought that Cassian was just like his father she realizes in this book that it isn’t the case. Honestly, I don’t understand why Cassian doesn’t leave her to be with Tamra. In this book I thought Tamra was the more interesting sister. Jacinda was too woe with me.

Again, Jacinda got on my nerves with her back and forth, flip and a flopping attitude. She was confused and conflicted. I get it! Every time Cassian is around we don’t have to have the same inner dialogue. I got tired of hearing about her missing Will but wanting to try to be with Cassian anyway. Then of course there was the guilt Jacinda felt about Tamra liking Cassian. That too was annoying. For those of you wondering, Will does make an appearance in this book so there is still hope for a Will/Jacinda outcome. 

The plot in this book was action paced and there was always something going on. I read it very quickly and was anxious to see how things would end. Vanish left off on another cliffhanger so I was glad that I already had Hidden there and waiting for me!


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Review: XVI





Title: XVI
XVI #1
Author: Julia Karr
Pages: 325
Release Date: January 6, 2011






Goodreads Description:

Every girl gets one.
An XVI tattoo on the wrist--sixteen.


Some girls can't wait to be sixteen, to be legal. Nina is not one of them. Even though she has no choice in the matter, she knows that so long as her life continues as normal, everything will be okay.

Then, with one brutal strike, Nina's normal is shattered; and she discovers that nothing that she believed about her life is true. But there's one boy who can help--and he just may hold the key to her past.

But with the line between attraction and danger as thin as a whisper, one thing is for sure...

For Nina, turning sixteen promises to be anything but sweet.

My Thoughts:

I had XVI on my tbr pile for like literally forever. When it first came out I was like, “Wow! That sounds interesting! I need to read this!” Then I’m not sure what happened exactly. I guess my tbr pile just got bogged down like it sometimes does and I never read it. However, when given the opportunity to host Julia Karr as part of the Authors are Rockstars Tour I decided that I had put it off long enough. So I read XVI and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Karr takes the world we live in, progresses the media’s exploitation of young woman only slightly and creates a dark and disturbing world that is not far off from the world we live in. Scary, I know!

It seems to me that reality television really is going completely overboard these days with exploiting young women. In the guest post Julia does on my blog she gives the example of Toddlers and Tiaras and I have to agree with her 100%. What parent would let their child dress and act like that? Personally, I don’t understand why little girls from toddlerhood are being put in beauty pageants at all. A child that age has NO business putting on more make up than I wear and wearing clothes I wouldn’t wear. I just don’t get it.

Back to the book though, I thought the storyline was interesting and suspenseful. I was constantly trying to figure out who was telling the truth, who knew more than they were saying and how the pieces all fit together.

All of the characters in XVI were interesting, even the ones that I didn’t like (cough, Ed, cough). For the most part, I really liked Nina. She was a strong character. My only issue with her was that she wasn’t always confident in her beliefs. She knew she didn’t want to be a sex-teen but when Sal brings up being against the government she hesitates. Of course, she comes around I just wish she would have been sure from the beginning. Also, it got on my nerves how she thought that falling in love with Sal equaled becoming a sex-teen. Actually, it’s kind of sad that the media has drilled into her that she can’t have sexual feelings toward someone without being a sex-teen. She doesn’t get that there is a huge difference between falling in love with someone and being sexually attracted to them and wanting to have sex with the entire world.

While I liked Nina, my favorite character was Wei. I loved how she didn’t care about Nina and her friend’s class and that she knew how to defend herself. Sal was an interesting love interest for Nina. It was obvious to me that he cared about Nina even when it wasn’t always obvious to her. The only character that got on my nerves was Sandy. She just didn’t get it no matter what Nina and the others told her. Still, I felt bad for her.

The only thing about XVI that I wasn’t crazy about was the slang and abbreviations used. I get that authors do this to show the future’s progression. I mean if someone from the 1800’s heard the way we talked they would totally be like, WTF? Okay, obviously they wouldn’t be like that but you get the point, right? Still, I didn’t care for it.

In the end, the good definitely outweighed the bad! I can’t wait to read the second book in the series, Truth. I will definitely be making room for it in my reading pile soon! I know there is still a lot left to learn in the world Karr has created. I can’t wait to see all of the mysteries unfold and watch how Nina & Co. literally change the world.



Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday (16)




Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the Broke and the Bookish!

These are my Confessions….

1. I am severely OCD about my books. I hate having bent pages or broken spines. I am very careful whom I loan my books out to for this reason and I friends that won’t borrow from me strictly for that reason.

2. I do in fact have library fines. I’m honestly not sure how much the fine is but I know there is one. The sad part is it wasn’t even a book I checked out for myself. It was a book I checked out for my sister to do a literary analysis.

3. Over the years I have written numerous papers for friends and family members. These papers range anywhere from English papers to Reinstatement letters to scholarship essays.

4. I don’t always proofread my reviews, especially if I’m in a hurry. I do try to go back and read them later and correct any mistakes I make.

5. I buy waaaayyyy too many books. You know those Bargain Books Books a Million has? Yeah, I LOVE those. I buy a ton of those…even if I’m not sure I would love the book. Who can turn down $3 books? I don’t even mind that they have the black mark at the bottom because they are so cheap. I also buy a lot of ebooks when they go on sale.

6. In total I probably have about 50 books on my tbr pile. Someone please tell me they have this many also!

7. If a book is turned into a movie like say Twilight and the book is re-released with a movie cover I buy the movie cover as well. I have the hardcover of all the original Twilight books (except Twilight) and the movie cover of all the books as well. I'm really hoping they don't come out with a Breaking Dawn part two cover because three copies of the same book is going a little overboard, right? Actually, I have three copies of New Moon: hardcover original cover, paperback original cover and paperback movie cover. Anyone want a paperback copy of New Moon? I'll send it to you if you're in the US. Oh, and if anyone wants to send me a hardcover copy of Twilight I won't complain! ;) Seriously, if you are interested in either one email me abgafford@gmail.com

And that’s all I got.

What are your confessions??




Monday, August 27, 2012

Review: Biting Cold plus Giveaway!







Title: Biting Cold
The Chicagoland Vampires #6
Author: Chloe Neill
Release Date: August 7, 2012





Goodreads Description:

Turned into a vampire against her will, twenty-eight-year-old Merit found her way into the dark circle of Chicago’s vampire underground, where she learned there was more to supernaturals than met the eye—and more supernaturals than the public ever imagined.And not all the secrets she learned were for sharing—among humans or inhumans. Now Merit is on the hunt, charging across the stark American Midwest, tailing a rogue supernatural intent on stealing an ancient artifact that could unleash catastrophic evil on the world. But Merit is also the prey. An enemy of Chicagoland is hunting her, and he’ll stop at nothing to get the book for himself. No mercy allowed.

No rules apply. No lives spared. The race is on.

My Thoughts:

I have been a HUGE fan of the Chicagoland Vampires since book one. Merit is by far one of the strongest heroines I have ever read and that’s what really got me hooked on the series. I love when a woman is able to take control and kick some serious butt. Merit does that in every single installment. Biting Cold was no exception.

While Biting Cold was not my favorite in the series, I still thoroughly enjoyed. There was plenty of action and suspense. Biting Cold takes place immediately following Drink Deep and I definitely recommend reading it before reading Biting Cold or my review for that matter.

Merit and Ethan begin the book very much together and very much in love. Of course, their relationship has never been easy and again Chloe Neill doesn’t cut their relationship any slack. Something comes up and Ethan wants to stay away from Merit. He still loves her but feels they need a break. I will admit this is one of the issues I had with the book. I really wanted Merit and Ethan to be happy for a whole book. I guess there is always House Rules, right?

Biting Cold does give us more insight into why Mallory did what she did. We see her struggle with good vs. evil. While Mallory was very much in the wrong for doing what she did, Biting Cold does at least allow us to understand why she felt she needed to do that.

I wish their would have been more Jonas in this book. He did make a couple of appearances but I felt like he should have gotten a little bit more page time. I really liked him in Drink Deep. I understand that with Ethan back, Jonas had to be put on the back burner I just wish Neill would have allowed Jonas and Merit a little more time to work on getting their relationship back to friendship. I must say though that Jonas was an absolute trooper about Merit getting back with Ethan which made me love him even more.

The action and suspense in this novel was excellent. The mystery surrounding Tate is finally solved while the houses issues with the GP only spiral even further downward.

Biting Cold was yet another great installment in The Chicagoland Vampires. Neill never ceases to throw twists and turns in the path of our heroine and our heroine in turn continues to roll with the punches. The conclusion of Biting Cold has me anxious for House Rules. I can’t wait to see where Neill takes the story next!



Giveaway!

If you haven't had a chance to read any of The Chicagoland Vampires here's your chance to win a copy of the first book in the series, Some Girls Bite. This really is a great series. I highly recommend it! Thanks to the publisher for donating a copy for giveaway. This giveaway is US Only. 

This giveaway has now ended! The winner chosen by random.org is Entry #12 Melissa! Melissa has already been emailed and confirmed. Thanks to everyone for entering!



Saturday, August 25, 2012

Authors Are Rockstars Tour: Julia Karr Guest Post & Giveaway


Hey Y'all! 

I am super excited to be a part of the Authors are Rockstars Tour hosted by the fabulous Fiktshun and Two Chicks on Books. I am even more excited (if that's possible) to be hosting Julie Karr!! She has prepared an awesome guest post below for y'all! Trust me y'all are in for a treat! But first I would like to take a couple of minutes to tell you why I think that Julia Karr is a Rockstar!

I heard about XVI a while back when it first came out, way before I was actively blogging. It sounded amazing. I thought the concept was fresh and original. I liked that she wasn't afraid to write a book about a very touchy subject. Somehow, XVI kept getting pushed down on my TBR pile. However, when I found out that she was going to be on the Author are Rockstars Tour and I would be hosting her, I immediately picked it up then immediately chastised myself for not picking it up sooner! 

I felt the book hit on some very interesting subjects. Many people might not believe or might not want to believe that the world in XVI is even remotely close to the world we live in today. I must wholeheartedly disagree. Julia does an excellent job explaining this below so I won't go any further into detail. 

You should be able to see my review for XVI next week. Once it's up I'll update this post with the link. I have a couple of other books that I have to read but I fully intend to squeeze Truth in sometime in the very near future. If you haven't read this book I sincerely suggest you give it a try. You will not be disappointed. 

Oh, and by the way if you are interested in reading Julia's series, Julia has been kind enough to offer a signed copy of XVI and Truth for a giveaway. (US only) Seriously guys, I am super jealous! Anyways, check out Julia's guest post then enter the giveaway! Also, be sure to check out all of the other stops by clicking here!

Guest Post


I am so thrilled to be a part of the Authors ARE Rockstars blog tour! And many thanks to Ashley & Wholly Books for asking me to guest blog.

One of the things I get asked a lot is how I came up with the future I envisioned in XVI and Truth, and, if I think the world could head that way. I have pretty strong feelings on this – because, unfortunately, I think the world of XVI is way to close already. And, here’s my reasoning…
The Media / Advertising is already legitimizing sexualizing young girls.

Toddlers & Tiaras. OMG! Tell me it isn’t so. The way these little girls are costumed, coached, and taught to perform is a little to the left of disgusting. No 4-to-6 year old should be strutting around like Dolly Parton, complete with fake boobs and a fake butt, singing lyrics that are meant to come out of the mouths of grownups. And tell me why any little girl wouldn’t think she was beautiful, period?! (One of the contestants said she needed to dress up like that so the judges would think she was beautiful. GAH!) This show makes me want to puke.
The spread in the January 2011 issue of French Vogue caused a huge stir, and rightly so. Sure, as young girls lot of us played dress-up – but these pictures (in my opinion) go way overboard and sexualize these child models. (Judge for yourself if these are appropriate images for girls 10 and under)

Advertising in general gives us the ‘model’ to look at that corporations are promoting. It is all about making money for the company without consideration of what the product(s) being sold (be it looks, clothes, things, etc.) may (or may not) do to the consumer and their society.

In XVI’s world, not only are the girls being primed from a very young age to see themselves first and foremost as sexual beings, but boys are being raised to believe that is how all girls are. So, when “sixteen” arrives, girls are ready (or not) – and boys expect them to be. Period.
To me this is not a far cry from what we see now.
To get off that soapbox for a second…
Surveillance

In the world of XVI, surveillance is everywhere. People are constantly monitored. What prompted me to include this in XVI are the details about security camera usage in Chicago (the most watched city in the United States.) (Check out the story here 
)
Women’s Rights

Women’s rights are under an historic attack as far as I am concerned. When I see how various state governments and national politicians are seeking to tell women what they can and can’t do with their bodies – well… years ago I burned my bra protesting women’s second-class-citizen status. And, by gosh – where are the militant girls today? Do women not realize The Equal Rights Amendment was never signed?  
http://www.equalrightsamendment.org/  . How could we let that ball be dropped? Don’t women deserve the same rights as men? Well, I think we do – but if we don’t do something about it, the world of XVI feels like it’s already here!
So, those were some of the things running through my head as I was writing XVI and Truth. I wonder what readers think? Do they see it as too far-fetched or too close for comfort?


Find Julia Karr

Giveaway



Julia has been kind of to donate a signed copy of XVI & Truth to one winner. Thanks for stopping by & Good Luck! :)

Giveaway Details:
* US Only
* Giveaway ends 12:01 on 9/1
* One entry per household please!





a Rafflecopter giveaway
Friday, August 24, 2012

Review: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight





Title: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight
Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Pages: 236
Release Date: January 2, 2012






Goodreads Description:

Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?

Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan's life. Having missed her flight, she's stuck at JFK airport and late to her father's second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon-to-be stepmother Hadley's never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport's cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he's British, and he's sitting in her row.

A long night on the plane passes in the blink of an eye, and Hadley and Oliver lose track of each other in the airport chaos upon arrival. Can fate intervene to bring them together once more?

Quirks of timing play out in this romantic and cinematic novel about family connections, second chances, and first loves. Set over a twenty-four-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver's story will make you believe that true love finds you when you're least expecting it.

My Thoughts:



I thought the Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight was a fun, quick read. I loved the idea of the book. Falling in love in an airport in less than 24 hours…add in a cute British guy and you’ve got me hooked.

I thought the characters were very interesting. Hadley and Oliver both have their own set of personal problems. Oliver somehow manages to get Hadley to tell him all about hers but we never really see what’s going on with Oliver until later in the book. I honestly can’t blame Hadley for resenting her father for leaving her mom and her for another woman. Seriously, who wouldn’t be mad about that?

I loved Oliver. He was so sweet, caring and understanding. Not just anyone would be able to get Hadley to open up so quickly to them. Also, I must admit the whole British then definitely pulled me in. What American girl does have a special place in their heart for a cute, quirky guy with a British accent?

The story line in The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight was so-so. I loved the parts with Hadley and Oliver but I felt like the story focused too much on Hadley’s family issues. I understand the need to explain what’s going on with her but I just thought that it was supposed to be more of a love story (based on the title) and at the end of it I didn’t feel like it lived up to the title. Was there a love story? Yes. What the love story the focus of the book? Not really. My complaint is that if you are going to have two characters fall in love in 24 hours. That should be it. We shouldn’t have so much “extra drama”.

Overall, I really enjoyed The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. The characters were interesting and the story was quick and easy to read. I literally read it in a few hours. Let’s face it though, the book had me with the premise of falling in love in an airport. If only….


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Review: Firelight




Title: Firelight
Firelight #1
Author: Sophie Jordan
Pages: 326
Release Date: September 7, 2012




Goodreads Description:


A hidden truth. 


Mortal enemies. 


Doomed love.


Marked as special at an early age, Jacinda knows her every move is watched. But she longs for freedom to make her own choices. When she breaks the most sacred tenet among her kind, she nearly pays with her life. Until a beautiful stranger saves her. A stranger who was sent to hunt those like her. For Jacinda is a draki, a descendant of dragons whose greatest defense is her secret ability to shift into human form.


Forced to flee into the mortal world with her family, Jacinda struggles to adapt to her new surroundings. The only bright light is Will. Gorgeous, elusive Will who stirs her inner draki to life. Although she is irresistibly drawn to him, Jacinda knows Will's dark secret: He and his family are hunters. She should avoid him at all costs. But her inner draki is slowly slipping away—if it dies she will be left as a human forever. She'll do anything to prevent that. Even if it means getting closer to her most dangerous enemy.
Mythical powers and breathtaking romance ignite in this story of a girl who defies all expectations and whose love crosses an ancient divide.

My Thoughts:


I had heard so many great things about the Firelight series by Sophie Jordan. I even had a close friend that had read the story and really enjoyed it. I wasn’t sure about it but I received a copy of the final book, Hidden at the Romantic Times convention so I thought I should at least give it a shot.

While I did like the book, I didn’t love it. There were several things about the book that made me feel this way but the thing that drove me crazy was the back and forth between Will and Jacinda. It was constantly; I can’t stay away from Will. No, I have to stay away from Will. And this back and forth wasn’t just with Jacinda. Will did the same way. Oh, Jacinda we can’t be together it’s too dangerous. My family is too dangerous. Then the next day, I’ve decided we can’t stay apart. I can’t live without seeing you. It was exhausting. I mean seriously make a choice and stand by it!

That being said I did read this book fairly quickly. It had a fast paced story and kept me reading (always hoping it would get better). There were some interesting elements. I liked the idea of the draki and the hunters. I also liked that the guy that saves Jacinda in the beginning turns up at the school she moves to. However, I felt that was a little unbelievable. Later, an explanation is given but still I didn’t buy it.

Most of the characters were just kind of blah to me in this book. I didn’t make strong connections to any of them. I hope that Jacinda grows into a stronger character in upcoming books and makes a choice and stands by it!

In the end, I thought this book was just okay. I think this book would appeal to fans of the Nightshade series by Andrea Creamer. I started this book but didn’t love it so I put in down. I got about halfway through it though and these two books have the same feel to them. I will pick up the next two books and I’m hoping that I will like them more!


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (15)


Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.


Title: 
Days of Blood and Starlight
Author: Laini Taylor
Expected Publication: November 6, 2012
Why I'm Waiting: I recently listened to the audio book of Daughter of Smoke and Bone and absolutely loved it! I immediately looked to see if there were any ARCs and was so sad to see that there wasn't. I loved it so much I was actually going to request a book from a publisher which I have yet to do! I guess I'll have to pick a different book to be my first request. 

Goodreads Description:
In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed "Daughter of Smoke and Bone," Karou must come to terms with who and what she is, and how far she'll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, mysteries and secrets, new characters and old favorites, Days of Blood and Starlight brings the richness, color and intensity of the first book to a brand new canvas.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone was declared a "must read" by Entertainment Weekly, was named a Best Book of the Year by Amazon.com, and The New York Times called it "a breath-catching romantic fantasy.
"


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday (15)


Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the Broke and the Bookish!

Top Ten Favorite Books I've Read during the Time Span of my Blog

Since starting my blog I have read some amazing books. I wish I could list every book I've read and loved but since this is a top 10 post I will limit myself to ten! Each book is linked to my review of the book.

The Selection by Kiera Cass- I know this book caught a lot of heat with some Twitter/Goodreads drama but I absolutely loved this book and can't wait for book two!

Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan- If you are looking for a great action adventure book, look no further. This book is for you!

The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa- Honestly, I love everything this woman writes! She is an amazing author. I honestly can't express how much I loved this book!

Of Poseidon by Anna Banks- A great mermaid book that had me on the edge of my seat the entire time!

Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare- I didn't love Clockwork Angel but Clare sold me on the series with Clockwork Prince. I just wish there wasn't such a long wait on Clockwork Princess.

Ten Things We Did (And probably shouldn't have) by Sarah Mlynowski This is just a flat out funny book. I can't tell you how many times I actually laughed out loud at this book. People were definitely giving me some funny looks!

Florence by Ciye Cho Another excellent mermaid book. The descriptions were absolutely beautiful and the story was full of twists and turns.

Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver - I loved Delirium but somehow I loved Pandemonium even more. I can't wait for the final book!

Destined by Aprilynne Pike- Excellent conclusion to a great series. It really was the perfect ending!


If I Die by Rachel Vincent- My favorite book of the series! I loved it!
Monday, August 20, 2012

My Indie Monday (1)


MY INDIE MONDAY is a meme all about Independent and Self Published Authors. Who they are. Where to find them. Why you should read them.

My Indie Monday is hosted by Me, My Shelf and I!

Hey Y'all!

Today I have the pleasure of having Ciye Cho author of the recently released Florence (which I loved! see my glowing review here). I really can't express how good this book is. Whether you love merpeople or not you should read this book. To make it easy for you I have two giveaways listed after the interview. The first is International and it's for an ebook of Florence. This giveaway is being graciously sponsored by the author. But I loved the book so much I wanted to give something myself. Unfortunately, this giveaway is US only. It is for a paperback copy of the book. So here's a little information about Ciye Cho and Florence. Hope you enjoy!


Book Description:

Seventeen-year-old Florence Waverley is out of her depth. Literally. Kidnapped and taken below the waves to the mer world of Niemela, she is the ultimate gift for merman Prince Kiren: a human familiar tied to his side. But nothing is what it seems amid the beauty and danger of a dark ocean.

Every Niemelan has a role to play, from the mermaids who weave towers out of kelp to the warriors who fight sea monsters. But in trying to survive, Florence will end up in the middle of a war between the mer and the Darkness. A conflict that will push her between two brothers: Kiren, the charmer inexplicably drawn to both her and the monsters; and Rolan, the loner who has been pushing her away since the day they met. But in order to take a stand--and find out where she belongs--Florence will have to risk it all: her life, her heart... and her very soul.








Hi Ciye,

Thanks so much for taking a minute to answer some questions for me. There
are so many questions that I want to ask but most of them are spoilery so
I know we can’t have that! I did manage to come up with a few that aren’t
though so let’s get this interrogation, I mean, interview started.

It seems like Florence came along right at the time a million other mermaid
books popped up. Obviously, you were working on it before this became the
new trend so why do you think Mer books have become so popular as of late?

I think it all stems from the fact that merpeople never fail to enchant human beings.
I strongly believe that most people are already fans of mermaids and mermen,
whether they'll admit it or not. Merfolk are mysterious, dangerous, beautiful in
unearthly ways, and often very tragic.

I wrote "Florence" while I was inside a bubble (or rather, an imaginary coral
dome surrounded by deep-sea volcanoes), so I had no idea how many mer books
were out there. But I'd like to think that "Florence" presents a unique take on mer
mythology... something that I hope readers will find vivid, unusual, and wondrous.

Your books have some of the most beautiful/detailed/imaginative
descriptions. How do you come up with them?

I'm a chronic daydreamer. I've spent my life daydreaming about being someone else,
living somewhere far away, and doing something otherworldly... so I guess that's
where my descriptions and ideas come from.

One of the main themes that I took away from Florence was the emphasis on
becoming less materialistic. Do you think the world as a whole has begun to
put too much emphasis on material items? Was this an issue you were trying
to point out or was it accidental?

It was never an intentional message, but I definitely think that mankind has become
far too materialistic. As for "Florence", it seemed natural to make the Niemelans a
non-materialistic culture. (For example, how can they be materialistic when their
kelp towers double as food?) The merfolk in Niemela live in a coral dome at the
bottom of the ocean... so all they have is each other and the corals and animals that
they care for.

Personally, I thought there was a lot of unresolved threads at the ending of
Florence; a war was approaching and one character’s fate was left hanging in
the balance, however, I did see on other peoples blog that they thought things
were somewhat resolved. So just to clear things up…will there be more books?
And if so, how many books will there be and when can we expect book two?

I plan to write another two more. Book two will see Florence Waverley enter the
life path challenges... a decision that will throw her into a deep sea maelstrom of
mystery and danger. There's going to be a lot of adventure and romance. And of
course, some new characters! (I hope to be able to release the second book in October or November 2012.)

What are you working on now?

The sequel to Florence. The working title is "Luminaire"

Avid readers’ favorite books seem to change week to week based on what
they’ve read recently or what kind of mood they are in (at least that’s how I
am) What’s your favorite book right now?

My favorite book right now is actually a graphic novel. Or rather, a series of GNs.
Does that count? It's Neil Gaiman's "Sandman" series. I read them when I was a kid,
and I'm getting lost in them all over again. "Dream" is one of my favorite fictional
characters of all time.

Now, on to the this or that portion of the interview. If at any time you don’t
have a preference you can choose neither.

This or that:

Coke or Pepsi: Neither
Chocolate or Vanilla: Chocolate
Early Bird or Night Owl: Early Bird
Harry Potter or Twilight: Twilight (currently reading Breaking Dawn.)
Answer to Previous or The Hunger Games: The Hunger Games (Team Finnick!)
Vampires or Werewolves: Vampires
Zombies or Unicorns: Unicorns! (Unicorns trump everything... except merpeople)
Twitter or Facebook: Twitter
MAC or PC: PC
Ebook or print: Ebook


Now, for the giveaways! Ciye has generously donated a ebook copy of his book, Florence. This giveaway will be International. For my part, I am giving away a print copy of Florence. This giveaway will be U.S. only!



a Rafflecopter giveaway



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