Friday, August 31, 2012

Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin

Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin

"Everything is in ruins.
  A devastating plague has decimated the population. And those who are left live in fear of catching it as the city crumbles to pieces around them.
  So what does Araby Worth have to live for?
  Nights in the Debauchery Club, beautiful dresses, glittery make-up . . . and tantalizing ways to forget it all.
  But in the depths of the club—in the depths of her own despair—Araby will find more than oblivion. She will find Will, the terribly handsome proprietor of the club. And Elliott, the wickedly smart aristocrat. Neither boy is what he seems. Both have secrets. Everyone does.
  And Araby may find something not just to live for, but to fight for—no matter what it costs her."

My thoughts:
I feel the need to state that I am not a huge fan of dystopia. I've read ten or so dystopian novels, and truly enjoyed maybe three.
  That being said, Masque of the Red Death is now considered one of the three.
  I also must say that I'm unclear as to if this is considered dystopian. The people deal with a plague, and it's set in a earlier time (though the year is never mentioned. Women wear corsets, though, but guys wear pants and have tattoos...?) but it wasn't written in a historical-way.
  Alright, let's stop with this rambling.
  Masque was a very, very interesting novel. I've heard of, but never read the original text by Poe. But that doesn't mean I don't enjoy his work--he's one of my faves. I was completely ecstatic to start a YA novel that was a Poe retelling, because I've read retellings before (maybe even of Poe...IDFK I can't remember that shit), but this was my favorite retelling to date.
  Araby Worth lives in a society where a deadly plague...plagues the people (really, I couldn't come up with a better sentence?). The non-infected peepos wear masks (or masques, whatevs) that I picture as as gas mask, because those are so cool and creepy looking and unless you think of a half-mask there's nothing else to picture, as I can't recall a description.
  Araby herself is a bit...odd. She lost her twin brother a few years ago, so she's kinda 'numb' and does drugs and stuff so she can stop 'dealing' with the world. (Sorry. I'm belittling again. Oh wait, I don't use that word until the next paragraph...Continue reading, if you please...) She's also sworn (to god, herself, the nation? I'm unclear) that she will not allow herself to experience anything her brother didn't. (*Sigh* that was a rather boring tidbit of the story.)
  Anyways, not to belittle the story, but people are dropping like flies, and every damn page there is one or more dead people oozing puss and other nasty crap. Really. Like, dying in the streets and being hauled away in carts. Carts. God that's upsetting.
  Then there are two guys (of course, right? Love triangle. Pshttt. What upstanding YA novel doesn't have one?) one who is slightly psycho and one who is off-the-charts awesome (until like, the last few chapters) but I shall not distinguish between the two.
  Alright, summary-like thing done.
  I really liked...some of the characters (damn. I was gunna name my fave boy, but then I realized you'd figure out the good/psycho ones, so never mind). I also liked (to a point) Araby, but I hate her name. I have no idea how to pronounce it. I pretty much called her 'Arb' (rhyming with Barb) in my head when I wasn't mentally scanning over her name to not think of pronouncing it.
  Loved the story line. The idea of plagues running rampant was almost as cool as zombies running rampant, so I really enjoyed the novel.
  I must say (haha, I sound so lame saying that!) that I really got into the novel (like, entranced. Slamming my fists down on my armchair, exclaiming in outrage entranced)  during the last four or five chapters. I was seriously in awe and a little angry at the audacity and the courage the author displayed in those last chapters.
  Loved (most of) the characters, the writing was very good, and I'm dying here (though not of a plague, so don't start screaming in the streets or anything) for a sequel.
  (Without saying, "I must say" again, I have to point out that the cover is so bad. It doesn't look too bad on the interweb here, but in real life it's a mess. The girl's arm has a hue/saturation red-burn, her head is gone and looks F'ed, and the overall color is just...blah. The font is the only semi-acceptable thing about it. I hope the next cover isn't this boring.) 3/5 stars

Sunday, August 26, 2012

This Week in Books (53)

Hello fellow nerds!
  Unfortunately for me, school starts tomorrow. DRATS! I have a bunch of lame-o classes, and I'm not taking a normal English class! I know, some of you are going "Lucky!" and others, like me, maybe, are going "Da fuck? WHAT?!"
  I selected to take American Literature this year. Last year I did British Literature, and I figured, 'wellll that was so fun, why not?'
  But the fates had other plans.
  My English (brit lit) teacher recommended me for (da da da...) Creative Writing!
  Now, I dunno how this happened. This class is being instigated for this year only (or it's the first year of it, and if it rocks then it will be added to the curriculum). I'm sitting here, unable to get any info on it, and I gotta say. I'm a little freaked!
  Do I have to write every DAMN DAY? AH! I dunno if I can take that!
  I'm taking, also, two science classes (I'm a nerd, I know). One is my required Chemistry and the other is my elected elective (haha) Computer Science. At least I have the same tech teacher as last year. She knew what she was doing (too bad I'm a Photoshop guru and I had to take a GIMP-using class. Lameeee!).

  But, it would appear that the fates, while being total bitches, have given me (and you) some of the best gifts publishing has to offer.
The following books release between today (August 26) and next Sunday (September 2).

(Note: I totally did not intend all those blue covers to be side-by-side.)

Yelling is over, pinkie swear.
  So, good luck if y'all are returning to school this week, and don't feel too panicked. The publishing gods, after all, have given us some BEAUTIFUL titles to wind down with.
  Now leave me alone. I've waited two weeks to start Sarah Maas's Throne of Glass, and I'm fully prepared to hole up in my reading nook for the rest of the day.
  Happy Sunday and reading, everyone! :D

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Title/Cover/Description/Release Reveal: THE ESSENCE by Kimberly Derting

I still had this book listed as 'Untitled' so, if you haven't seen any of the info, here it is!

I like it! The last one featured a black cover, so I think the red fits!

The Essence by Kimberly Derting (The Pledge, #2)
Releases: January 1, 2013

"Poor child. Poor, wretched child. You have no idea what you’re up against. No idea how to stop me, do you?

Though it has been months since Charlaina—Charlie—defeated the tyrant Sabara and took control of the Ludanian crown, Sabara has not disappeared. The old queen’s Essence has fused itself to Charlie’s psyche and is viciously fighting to overpower Charlie.

Balancing her new duties as Queen and battling both Sabara’s voice and a growing resistance to her rule push Charlie to the brink of exhaustion. She wants to be the same old Charlie she has ever been but now she is Your Majesty.

As Charlie journeys to an annual summit to meet with the leaders of nearby Queendoms—an event where her ability to understand all languages is the utmost asset—she is faced with the ultimate betrayal. And the only person she can turn to for help is the evil soul residing within."

Happy reading!

This Week in Books (52)

It. Is. A. Girl!
  My oldest sister is having a girl!
  So, not only do I have an adorable nephew (who starts kindergarten on Tuesday) but I will soon have a (sure to be awesome) niece!
  I am legit the best aunt ever.
  I bought The Hunger Games (movie) yesterday, did you? I'm about to set everything aside and watch this awesomeness all day. On repeat. I am that nerdy.

  Anyways, not in the mood to be online, so I'll get to it...

  This week, three books come onto our wonderful world of reading....

Happy reading! :D

Friday, August 17, 2012

Cover Reveal: Stolen Nights by Rebecca Maizel

I do so believe this cover has been changed...
I'm certain the release date has been changed, oh five bazillion times! Grr!

I like it. Maybe not as much as the first one, but hey, I think the original cover for this was better but I only vaguely remember it. (I thought I posted posts say I didn't. Weird. Unless this is some weird conspiracy and the publishers hacked my account and deleted it. Ohhhh...the plot thickens! Kidding! LOL)

Stolen Nights by Rebecca Maizel (Vampire Queen, #2)
Releases: January 29, 2013 (Very likely to change. It's changed like, 10 times this year)

"Lenah Beaudonte should be dead. But having sacrificed herself to save another, she finds herself awakening with strange powers that are neither vampire nor human—and a new enemy on her trail. In her vampire life, Lenah had thought that being human was all she ever wanted; but the human heart suffers pain, heartbreak and loss.

With her new powers growing and the dark force of the Nex after her soul, Lenah faces a choice: between the mortal love of gorgeous Justin, whose passion fed her human soul, and taking a different path to become the mistress of her own destiny, wherever that may lead..."

Temptation by Karen Ann Hopkins Giveaway; Winner!

The contest for one signed copy of Karen Ann Hopkins' Temptation just ended, and the winner has been chosen.
  The winner is...entry number 5: Erin D.!
  Erin, I just sent out your notification email, so please reply back within 48-hours before I have to choose a new winner.

Thanks to all who entered, and thanks again to Karen for allowing me to host the interview and giveaway!

Happy reading, everyone, and congrats, Erin!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Cover Reveal: The Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler!

I just marked this 'as to read' two days ago, and just noticed that since then, they've put up a cover!

This. Is. Just. Lovely.
  Seriously loving this cover! I would buy this book JUST for the cover...and then frame it on my wall because it's so CUTE!

The Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler
Releases: May 21, 2013

Description TBA. (Though I'm sure since it's Sarah Ockler it's bound to be awesome!)

Happy reading!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

This Week in Books (51)

Good morning, fellow nerds!
  I'm seriously loving the fact that summer is going so freaking quickly. (Wait. Did you get that? Do I need to make a sarcasm sign? hahah).
  My week's been...if not great then not bad. I'm desperately wanting this week though, because on Wednesday my older sister, Tori, finds out the sex of her baby! It's either gunna be little Dexter or little Peyton. I want a little niece, but I want a nephew that I can call "Dex" cause that's just awesome epitomized.
  I do have to slave over a hot stove tomorrow to make my younger sister's boyfriend's birthday cake (was that confusing? sorry!). But only because A) I'm getting paid to do it and B) he likes my cakes better than his mama's. Aww! What a complement! But hey, I'm use to it. I am, after all, the best baker in the WORLD! Kidding. I wish. But I think Duff Goldman has that in the bag. What the hell happened to Ace of Cakes?! That was my favorite Food Network show! Damn it, Cake Boss. Dammit! You took all the viewers. *Curses*

Anyways, four books release this week. Please. Stop congratulating me on the books I got in the mail. I DID NOT GET THESE IN THE MAIL. THEY RELEASE THIS WEEK. Jesus. I need to put it in the header, do I?

Happy reading, everyone! And don't forget to enter to win a signed copy of Karen Ann Hopkins' Temptation!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Cover/Description/Release Reveal: OATH BOUND by Rachel Vincent!

For all my adult-reading readers (urm...does that make sense?)...
  This is the first time I've seen this cover since I read the last in the series a few weeks ago (it was June 19, actually). So here it is:

I gotta tell you. This is one of my favorite series. I'm glad that I love all the covers, too!

Details, if you please...
Oath Bound by Rachel Vincent (Unbound, #3)
Releases: February 19, 2013 (you're killing me here)

"The Tower Syndicate will fall...
  The secret daughter of the head of an infamous Skilled crime family, Sera Brandt has hidden her past, her potential and especially her powers. But when a tragedy strikes her other family, Sera needs justice. And the only way to get it is to reveal her heritage– including a rare Skill– and take the reins of the Tower Syndicate from her cunning and malicious aunt.
  If he can figure out how...
  Kristopher Daniels might have the answer. He's fought the syndicate to protect his sisters, but he'd never realized just how close to the new heir he needed to get....
  And if they can survive.   Neither is used to trusting. But there's something between them that can't be ignored. And so Sera is on the run with a man she can't figure out, a target on her back and the new knowledge of just how powerful she really is...."

In case you didn't realize:

Happy reading, everyone! :)

Giveaway and Interview: Temptation by Karen Ann Hopkins!

Temptation by Karen Ann Hopkins (Like Karen and her book on Facebook! Click the links to be directed.)
Released: June 26, 2012 by Harlequin Teen

Synopsis (from Goodreads):
"Your heart misleads you.
  That's what my friends and family say.
  But I love Noah.
  And he loves me.
  We met and fell in love in the sleepy farming community of Meadowview, while we rode our horses together through the grassy fields and in those moments in each other's arms.
It should be
forever, easy.
But it won't be.
Because he's Amish.
And I'm not."

Today I have an interview with Temptation author Karen Ann Hopkins! Let's get started!

Interview Questions:

About the Author:
Me: Tell us a little about yourself.
Karen: I’m a single mom with five kids, living on a farm in the middle of an Amish settlement in northern Kentucky.  For over ten years I’ve been a horse-back riding instructor and equestrian drill team coach.  Writing takes up most of my time nowadays, but when I’m not typing, I’m either in the arena or hustling my kids to and from their many activities.

Me: How did you get interested in writing?
Karen: Like many people, I’d thought about writing a novel, but I wasn’t actually inspired to do so until I moved into an Amish community in 2008.   My interactions with the young people of the community stirred the beginnings of Rose and Noah’s story in my mind.  I spent two years gathering experiential knowledge of the secretive culture before I took the leap and began writing TEMPTATION.

Me: What’s your writing process like?
Karen: Once I began TEMPTATION and its sequel, BELONGING, I wrote in a focused frenzy, unable to do much else during the few months spent on each novel.  I write from a stream of consciousness, doing no reviewing or revising until the work is finished.  After the last page is typed, I return to the first, and begin the arduous job of refining.

Me: Is there any particular kind of music that you like listening to when writing, or that helps inspire you?
Karen: Since the Amish listen to no music at all, I needed complete silence to write Noah’s POV.  During Rose’s chapters however, I’d either listen to or imagine the most current and upbeat pop music on the radio.  I can imagine Rose liking Rihanna, Katy Perry and Carly Rae Jepsen.  I personally enjoy a wide range of music, but find myself turning the volume up when Linkin Park, Maroon Five, Adelle, Mumford and Sons or Train come on.

About her book, Temptation:
Me: What inspired you to write this novel and why did you choose to write it?
Karen: I was inspired to write TEMPTATION from the observations I made between the Amish teens and the non-Amish ones that rode at my farm.  On many levels, the Amish teens are everyone else, and the connections that some of the kids were forming rose the question of the difficulty such a relationship would present.  Rose and Noah’s story is fictional, but I’ve witnessed several Amish young people leave their culture to be with an outsider.  In each case, they were shunned by their families.
The Amish world isn’t as cozy and quaint as most people believe.  They have problems like everyone else and the young people struggle with their identity and lifestyle on a daily basis.  Their story needed to be told.

Me: Why did you decide to write about a forbidden romance?
Karen: No matter what the genre, a good romance at the heart of it improves the reading experience.  Any future books I write will have a core romance pushing the story forward.

Me: What was the hardest thing to write about in this book?
Karen: Some of the aspects of the Amish culture are hard for outsiders to stomach.  The fact that the women have little rights within their society tops the list of why some readers will be turned off, but I wanted the story to be accurate, so I portrayed the Amish in my story as close to the real thing as possible, knowing it would ruffle some feathers.

Me: What was the easiest?
Karen: The romantic scenes between Rose and Noah were easy to write.  Young love is universal and capturing the essence of their attraction was fun.

Me: What was one of your favorite scenes to write about in the book?
Karen: My favorite and most dreaded scene in TEMPTATION is one and the same.  When Noah’s buggy is struck by the semi-truck on the country road, the description flowed into me unconsciously.  Being a lover of horses, it was a difficult scene to write, but also a powerful one to read, especially since many of my neighbors have been involved in tragic buggy/car wrecks.

Me: Your characters; tell us what inspired them.
Karen: Rose is a typical teenager, too young to be wise, yet having a strong sense of self-confidence.  Her attitude and intense emotions towards Noah are a direct result of losing her mother to cancer a year and a half earlier.  Noah is motivated by the love of his lifestyle and community.  He genuinely enjoys being Amish and feels that it’s the only life for him.  Noah respects his father immensely and goes to him for guidance throughout the story.

Me: What do you hope that the readers of your novel take from it? What should they learn?

Karen: I hope that readers will learn about the Amish, while enjoying an exciting romance story.  Whether a person is intrigued with the Amish lifestyle or hates the idea of living without technology, modern conveniences and with a complete lack of freedom, there is no denying that the culture sparks the imagination.

Random questions:
Me: Can you tell us anything about upcoming titles you're writing/have written?
Karen: BELONGING, the sequel to TEMPTATION, will be on the shelves in May, 2013.  I’m also working on a young adult fantasy set in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee and an adult Amish mystery.

Me: What book are you currently reading?
Karen: George R. R. Martin’s A Dance With Dragons.

Me: What is your favorite book?
Karen: It’s a three-way tie between Tolkien’s The Hobbit, Black Beauty by Anna Sewell, and Maia by Richard Adams.

Me: What author do you look up to most?
Karen: I’ve always admired Tolkien for creating the alternate universe of Middle Earth.

Me: Can you share some advice for aspiring authors?
Karen: The three P’s: Passion, Persistence and Patience. 

Thanks for joining me today, Karen!
   Along with this interview, I promised a giveaway, right?
  Here it is folks! Enter to win a signed copy of Karen's book, Temptation!
  All residents of the U.S. qualify, and all you need to enter is a name (we all have one, right?) and an email! You can earn extra entries in the specified fields, but remember, those aren't required to enter!

Contest is open to U.S. only, and open until Friday August 17, 2012

Good luck, and happy reading! :D

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Showtime by Chloe Kayne ARC Giveaway: Winners!

The random number generator has spoken up about our two winners of Chloe Kayne's Showtime.
  Drum roll please...
  And they are numbers...4 and...28: Jennifer K. and Autumn G.!
  I'll be emailing both of you ladies shortly, so keep your eyes open! You both will have 48-hours to reply back before I chose new winners.

Thanks to everyone who participated, and thanks to Chloe Kayne for allowing me to run the contest!

Happy reading, and congrats!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Cover Reveal: CONFESSIONS OF A MURDER SUSPECT by James Patterson & Maxine Paetro

I just got Nevermore, the final Maximum Ride adventure, and lookie what I found!

LOVE IT! I was totally fangirling when I saw the cover. I'm so, so sad that Maximum Ride is ending! I can't wait for this new series!!
  Also, there is an excerpt of this title in the back of Nevermore, if y'all are interested! (It may also be on James Patterson's site, but idk.)

Confessions of a Murder Suspect by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
Releases: September 24, 2012

"James Patterson returns to the genre that made him famous with a thrilling teen detective series about the mysterious and magnificently wealthy Angel family . . . and the dark secrets they're keeping from one another.
On the night Malcolm and Maud Angel are murdered, Tandy Angel knows just three things: 1) She was the last person to see her parents alive. 2) The police have no suspects besides Tandy and her three siblings. 3) She can't trust anyone--maybe not even herself. Having grown up under Malcolm and Maud's intense perfectionist demands, no child comes away undamaged. Tandy decides that she will have to clear the family name, but digging deeper into her powerful parents' affairs is a dangerous-and revealing-game. Who knows what the Angels are truly capable of?

Sunday, August 5, 2012

This Week in Books (50)

Not much going on this week, so we'll get to the releases!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Giveaway & Interview: Showtime by Chloe Kayne

Showtime by Chloe Kayne
Releases: September 1, 2012
Where I got my copy: Author, for review
Click here for my review

"The grandeur of the traveling circus is at its peak in the early 1920s when sixteen-year-old Laila Vilonia is searching for an escape from her bleak future. Behind the gates of the legendary Marvelle Circus, she is thrust into a mysterious world she never knew existed—a paradise populated with outcasts. It’s in this glamorous new home that Laila sparks a controversial romance with notorious sideshow performer, "The Disappearing Man," and learns just how dangerous her new life can be.

Touring the picturesque eastern coast of America, Laila’s immersed in friendship, vaudeville, festivals, sequins, and serial killers. But behind the curtain, a sadistic plan is brewing that will crack the very foundation upon which she’s become so dependent."


Today, I have a giveaway and an interview with YA author of Showtime, Chloe Kayne!
  Let's get started!

About Chloe:
Me: Tell us a little about yourself.
Chloe: I’m 23 years old, vegan, just graduated college, and have a pole dance studio in Minneapolis.
Me: How did you get interested in writing?
Chloe: I used to write stories and plays all the time as a kid, but I never stuck with anything long enough to finish it. So I’ve always liked writing and telling stories, but more recently, it was my friend Alex telling me he was writing a book that got the idea in my head.
Me: What is your writing process like?
Chloe: I usually get ideas bits and pieces at a time. So I write out as much as I can as notes or even entire scenes. I try to write a synopsis before I get too far so that I can work from an outline. But the outline is only a rough guide; I don’t stick to it too much. It’s just nice to have something to aim for and keep me on track.
Me: Is there anything that inspires you to write (music, a TV show, movie, etc.)?
Chloe: Music, big time. (One of the bigger plot threads of Showtime was inspired by Lady Gaga’s “Bloody Mary”) I always brainstorm while I’m running and listening to music, so music inspires almost everything I write.

About her book, SHOWTIME:
Me: What inspired you to write about a traveling circus?
Chloe: A couple years ago, I started training in aerial arts (silks, trapeze, Spanish web, lyra, etc.). I loved it so much; it’s all I wanted to talk about—except no one wanted to listen. Around the same time, I saw an episode of the TV show Oddities where they were talking about procuring items from the 1930’s Coney Island Sideshow. I thought it would be interesting to hear what the performers’ lives must have been like, plus I could talk about aerials to my heart’s content!

Me: Since the circus is still in full swing here in 2012, what made you set it in 1918?
Chloe: 1918 was smack in middle of the golden age of circus. Circus (and, to a lesser extent, vaudeville) was the main form of entertainment in America before silent films became popular. I knew right away I wanted to write about a circus in that prime era when entire towns would shut down so residents could enjoy “Circus Day,” and crewmen would construct whole villages and arenas overnight. (That kind of efficiency was unheard of in those days. Even the U.S. Military—in preparation for WWI—studied with Ringling’s canvas men on the streamlined system of setting up and tearing down, and how to load everything into just a few hundred train cars.)
Me: What was the hardest thing about Showtime to write?
Chloe: Because it is a traveling circus and I write random scenes and piece them together, at the end of my first draft, I had my work cut out to string the scenes together and make sure that they all corresponded with the location (I made up a route book of their stands), the weather/season, and even the day (which corresponded with the 1918 calendar).
Me: How about the easiest?
Chloe: Seth is both my favorite character and he was the easiest (and most fun) to write.
Me: What was one of your favorite scenes to write about in the book?
Chloe: Halloween!
Me: Laila’s background is less than perfect. And for that matter, so is just about everyone else’s! What made you write your characters this way?
Chloe: I didn’t do it consciously, and I’m not quite sure why it happened unconsciously. I think I considered Marvelle to be a refuge for a lot of the characters, so their backstories just dropped into place.
Me: Are there any characteristics with your cast of characters that you yourself share?
Chloe: Jodelle and I value loyalty above all, Laila and I share questionable taste in guys, and I love animals as much as James and Florence.
Me: The aerialist acts in Showtime that Laila performs are very, very detailed. I feel like I’m sitting ring-side at an actual circus! How did you learn about this, and make it believable?
Chloe: Thank you! Since I do aerials, the details were taken from that.
Me: What do you hope that the readers of your novel take from it? Is there anything they should learn?
Chloe: That with every step you take forward, you’re pushed a couple steps back (like the tightrope, get it? Haha). But as long as you keep walking, you’re still advancing.

Random Questions:

Me: Can you tell us anything about upcoming titles you're writing/have written?
Chloe: I’m working on Spotlight, the sequel to Showtime, as well as an unrelated book called Into the Shadows. I’m really excited about Shadows because it’s written from the POV of the villain. I was wondering if a villain could hold a story, and it turns out; they can as long as you have who would essentially be the “protagonist” thwarting their plans. There won’t be much sympathy for the main character, though, so I might be the only person to enjoy this book. Oh well.
Me: What book(s) are you currently reading?
Chloe: Wake by Amanda Hocking, Fallen by Lauren Kate, Prince of Thieves by Chuck Hogan, and Garden of Lies by Eileen Goudge. Plus like three or four nonfiction circus and sideshow books, because that stuff’s just interesting!
Me: What is your all-time favorite book?
Chloe: I have a few. J Shadow & Bone by Leigh Bardugo. Insurgent by Veronica Roth. Dark Places and Sharp Objects, both by Gillian Flynn. And the Harry Potter books (especially Azkaban and HBP).
Me: What authors do you look up to the most?
Chloe: Gillian Flynn, Chuck Hogan, JK Rowling, and Veronica Roth. And I love Eileen Goudge’s style of writing.
Me: If Showtime were to be made into a movie, who would you cast as Laila? As Dex?
Chloe: I would choose actors who are unknown, but for visual’s sake—I think Katie McGrath looks similar to Laila and Logan Lerman kind of looks like Dex. (And then I would make them dye their hair even blacker because a pet peeve of mine is black-haired characters with “off black” or dark brown hair in movies. GARH! I’m-talking-to-you-Snow-White-and-the-Huntsman. Harry Potter’s not even getting away from this one unscathed…)
Me: If you could spend one day with any one person, living or dead, who would it be and why?
Chloe: Trent Reznor, preferably while he’s recording an album. Because I can’t comprehend how musicians take what’s in their head and make it real. I can type so much faster than I can think, so it’s kind of easy to get the words just how I picture them. But with music, I feel like if you heard a tune in your head; by the time you nailed it just right on the guitar or piano or whatever, you’d have forgotten how you originally intended it to sound.
(I think I just answered my own question…I don’t play any instruments, but those who do might feel the same way as I do about typing!)
Me: Can you share some advice for aspiring authors?
Chloe: The tidbit that helped me the most was when I read somewhere that you don’t have to start at the beginning when you’re tackling a new project. Just write whatever part you can see most clearly at the time and work to string other scenes around it.
If you need to rework the scenes later because they don’t work with the storyline once you’ve found it, that’s fine. I’ve found that every scene counts, whether it makes it into the book or not.
Oh, and I see a lot of people getting hung up on how many words per day they write (or don’t write). Quality over quantity, remember!

Thanks, Chloe, for joining us today! Showtime releases September 1, 2012.
Scroll down for your chance to win one of two ARC copies!
Contest closes August 8, 2012 (winners will be chosen/contacted August 8)

Thanks again to Chloe for joining us!
Good luck, and happy reading, everyone!

Showtime by Chloe Kayne

Showtime by Chloe Kayne
Releases: September 1, 2012
Where I got my copy: Author, for review

"The grandeur of the traveling circus is at its peak in the early 1920s when sixteen-year-old Laila Vilonia is searching for an escape from her bleak future. Behind the gates of the legendary Marvelle Circus, she is thrust into a mysterious world she never knew existed—a paradise populated with outcasts. It’s in this glamorous new home that Laila sparks a controversial romance with notorious sideshow performer, "The Disappearing Man," and learns just how dangerous her new life can be.

Touring the picturesque eastern coast of America, Laila’s immersed in friendship, vaudeville, festivals, sequins, and serial killers. But behind the curtain, a sadistic plan is brewing that will crack the very foundation upon which she’s become so dependent."

My thoughts:
We've all felt it. That itch to get away. In Chloe Kayne's Showtime, main character Laila actually has the courage to do so. But not in any small sense, mind you. Oh, no. This girl joins a traveling circus as part of her quest to get away from a horrible family life.
  Set in the pre-depression year of 1918, Kayne introduces us to a world shrouded in talent, mystery, and the undulating, relentlessness of circus performers.
  But under all the glam and glitz, lies a cache of secrets, lies, and murder. (And that's all I have to say about that. Sorry. I watched Forrest Gump last night with my ma...)
  Anyways, now to my favorite part of reviewing...Character profiles!
   Laila Vilonia was a very likable character. She gives readers a fresh new voice to read about, and c'mon. Her background is enough to make even me feel sorry for her. Now, some people frown upon pity. But I find that my own pity towards a character makes me think of them as more tangible and real. Laila gave me a sense of...not pity really, but a bit of shame towards her past. I wanted to see her grow and succeed in a life away from home (does this make sense? Dude, I dunno. But I'm trying to make sense here!).
  Her new band of friends included a cast that is as easily relatable and likable as Laila herself. Kayne throws in enough drama and tears that makes these friendships seem to be stronger than the short amount of time that they've known one another.
  Oh, and don't let me forget the always mysterious "Disappearing Man"! As if that title isn't enough to clue you in, the love interest in Showtime, Dex, is one hella hard character to like. I say this with absolute fondness, btw. Dex is hard to like because of a few things a) we never really learn too much about him, b) Laila seems to be iffy about her own feelings towards him c) he is considered dangerous by everyone else in the book, and d) I'm totally Team James.
  Team James, you ask? Sierra, is there another love triangle? NO, dear reader, there is not! Thank the lord on that, but I just legit loved James more because he cuddled with tiger cubs (aw!!), wasn't gay, and is cast as a total hottie. Also, there is probably no chance of him ever being in a love triangle with Laila and Dex. But still.
  Loved the story, loved the characters, and just to make this a little more interesting for ya, I'm including my FAVE little quote (said by my favorite man, James, on page 105 of my uncorrected proof):
  "You're here because you had no other choice," ... "You don't join the circus to fulfill your own dreams."
  Simply enchanting, is it not?
  Can't wait for more from this author!
   (4/5 stars)
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