Saturday, May 26, 2012

Japanese Folktales for Children: Book Review

            Japanese Folktales for Children by Ty Hulse is a collection of short stories. One tale is of a village and their kami. A kami is "a magical spirit which is usually helpful and which a person should respect." One day the kami looks in a stream and finds out he is ugly and runs away to hide his face. The kami brings good crops for the villagers so they must find a way to bring him back. Another tale is of a poor, little old woman who laughs all the time and makes the best rice dumplings so the people call her the "Laughing Dumpling." When one of her dumplings rolls off the table and out the door, she runs after it and ends up following the dumpling down a hole in the ground where her adventure begins. This is a cute little tale and I enjoyed it most of all. The tales flow quickly and are easy to read and understand. The illustrations are simple and charming. They look to be pencil drawings with great colors, sometimes vibrant and sometimes soft. I'm not an artist but I liked the artwork. They complement the stories well. I believe the author is also the illustrator. There are some typos in the text but I think that is due to the translation from Japanese to English. I have never really understood the meaning behind the stories of folktales wherever they originated, however I did enjoy these tales. 


Rating: 4/5

Recommend: I would recommend this book to everyone even though it says it is written for children.


Where to find: Zeluna.net, Amazon

Grambo Giveaway!

Beth Navarro is donating one (1) copy of Grambo to one lucky follower!! Just leave a comment with your email and Random.org will be used to select a winner on June 3rd!

Summary: (Beth's website)
Ryan’s Grandma seems like the average grandma, but he knows she’s hiding a secret, but it’s way bigger than he imagined. He stows away on one of her trips to find she is a CIA spy! Grandmas can do anything

How to Enter:
Leave a comment with your email

Who Can Enter:
followers of PrincessReviews

Number of Winners:
1

Dates to Enter:
May 26 - June 2
2012

Friday, May 25, 2012

Barefoot Girls Giveaway!


Tara McTiernan, author of Barefoot Girls, is generously giving away a copy of her novel, Barefoot Girls. To be able to enter, all you have to do is follow PrincessReviews! Just leave a comment with your email (so we know how to contact you) and you'll be entered. Random.org will be used to select the winner. 
This giveaway will be open for entries from May 25, 2012 until June 1, 2012. Good luck!! 


Dates to Enter:
May 25 - June 1

Who Can Enter:
Anyone who follows PrincessReviews

How to Enter:
Leave a comment with your email

What they Win:
Ebook copy of Barefoot Girls

How Many Winners:
1

Barefoot Girls by Tara McTiernan

When her hometown newspaper reviews Hannah O’Brien’s newly released novel, the nature of her book is called into question when the reviewer suggests it is a memoir depicting her neglectful alcoholic mother – Keeley O’Brien Cohen, the most beloved of the Barefoot Girls -  a little too accurately for fiction, citing rumors rather than sources. 

Deeply hurt and betrayed, Keeley cuts Hannah out of her life. Desperate, Hannah does everything she can to apologize and explain, but her pleas fall on deaf ears. Meanwhile, the rest of Hannah’s life starts to unravel, pushing her to risk her engagement to Daniel, the one man who had been able to scale the high walls around her heart. At the eleventh hour, the Barefoot Girls are able to convince Keeley to send Hannah the keys to the Barefooter house, the home and heart of their friendship. Barred from their clubhouse since she was twelve, Hannah grabs the chance to visit the little shack filled with memories and perched at the tip of Captain’s Island in the Great South Bay on Long Island, New York.

As Hannah battles to come to terms with her equally blessed and troubled childhood and understand her mother and her sister-close friends, she’s confronted with the power of forgiveness and the dangers of holding on to the past.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Kristine Cheney Giveaway Has Been Extended!

Kristine Cheney is willing to giveaway FIFTEEN (15) ebooks to the winners of this giveaway! The winners may selected which book they want: Spartan Heart Part 1, Spartan Heart Part 2, or Secret Santa. 
Random.org will be used to select the winners. Kristine Cheney will send you the .pdf copy of your selected ebook! 
All you have to do to enter is follow PrincessReviews, like Kristine's fan page on facebook, and leave a comment there saying you are entering her contest on PrincessReviews


Don't forget to leave a comment on Kristine's page saying you are entering the giveaway on PrincessReviews!!!!

Spartan Heart Part 1 (GoodReads):
Sent away to college in America, Evangeline swore she would never return to England. Anger loses its value when tragedy forces her home to assume ownership of the family's beloved Greco-Roman museum.
Placing a foolish, drunken kiss on a Greek statue in the museum's basement, Evangeline unknowingly frees a Spartan prince from an evil oracle's curse. Suddenly, her lonely life is invaded by the rakish man with knowing emerald green eyes who never eats or sleeps, and seems to know her every thought and feeling.
Falling in love is dangerous, especially when it's with a man who has already been claimed by the bitter oracle, Demona. From the moment of her kiss, Evangeline is swept into Dorien's world of mystery, danger, and passion. The oracle's fury only mounts as they unravel Demona's darkest secrets, but not before Demona finds out about their unborn half-breed immortal twins.
Demona uses her knowledge of the future to manipulate and destroy, but sometimes love has a will, and a heart, of its own.



Spartan Heart Part 2: (Goodreads)
Sent away to college in America, Evangeline swore she would never return to England. Anger loses its value when tragedy forces her home to assume ownership of the family's beloved Greco-Roman museum.
Placing a foolish, drunken kiss on a Greek statue in the museum's basement, Evangeline unknowingly frees a Spartan prince from an evil oracle's curse. Suddenly, her lonely life is invaded by the rakish man with knowing emerald green eyes who never eats or sleeps, and seems to know her every thought and feeling.
Falling in love is dangerous, especially when it's with a man who has already been claimed by the bitter oracle, Demona. From the moment of her kiss, Evangeline is swept into Dorien's world of mystery, danger, and passion. The oracle's fury only mounts as they unravel Demona's darkest secrets, but not before Demona finds out about their unborn half-breed immortal twins.
Demona uses her knowledge of the future to manipulate and destroy, but sometimes love has a will, and a heart, of its own.



Secret Santa (Amazon):
Holly Gordon’s estrangement from her family makes loneliness of the Christmas season hit close to home. Volunteering for the annual Ashton Falls Secret Santa Program is more than a comfort, it’s a blessing. Just knowing she’s able to help another hurting soul experience the joy of a heartfelt Christmas makes her own reality a tiny bit sweeter, that is, until Marcus Jenner ends up on her list.
Marcus Jenner is more than a bronze, muscled looker. This Chickasaw loner isn’t happy being placed on the town’s Secret Santa list. Suffering from the blow of a devastating loss, he has chosen to withdraw from living almost completely. For the life of him, he can’t figure why this pretty little blonde keeps bumping into him, calling him by name, and insisting on giving him presents. Unfortunately for Marcus, every time she does, a billowing cloud of havoc seems to ensue. Why can’t this uninvited vixen leave him alone?
They say time and fate have all of the answers. Holly, in all of her innocence, is drawn to Marcus like a moth to the flame. But Marcus has no intentions of submitting to the threat of his newfound feelings. A painful exchange pushes their lives into a pendulum chaos. His demand for privacy is granted by Holly’s hidden illness. Her sudden absence hits him hard, especially when the arrival of a stranger delivers the rest of his gifts. Right away, he knows something’s horribly wrong.
Love and selfless giving can rouse a wounded, sleeping heart. But sometimes a Secret Santa gets a few unexpected gifts of her own. 



This contest is open to anyone. 
Again, to enter, you must: 
Follow PrincessReviews
Go to Kristine Cheney's FB Page and Like
Write on the wall you are entering the Giveaway on PrincessReviews


This contest will run from May 24th to May 31st, 2012. 


Thank you and good luck! 


http://www.facebook.com/KristineCheneyFanPage

Catherine Lanigan Guest Post


Catherine Lanigan is the bestselling author of nearly thirty-five published titles in both fiction and non-fiction, including the novelizations of Romancing the Stone and The Jewel of the Nile, as well as over half a dozen anthologies, including “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Living your Dream”, “Chicken Soup for the Writer’s Soul”, “Chocolate for a Woman’s Heart”, Chocolate for a Woman’s Spirit”.  Ms. Lanigan’s novels have been translated into over a dozen languages including German, French, Italian, Spanish, Russian, Portuguese, Chinese, and Japanese.  Ms. Lanigan’s novels are also available on audio-cassette, CD and in E-books on Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.com.  Several of her titles have been chosen for The Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Clubs.  Her Vietnam war-based  novel, The Christmas Star,  won the Gold Medal Award Top Pick from Romantic Times Magazine  and has also won Book of the Year Romance Gold Award from ForeWord Magazine as well as Book of the Year Romance from Reader’s Preference.  Divine Nudges: Tales of Angelic Intervention and the second in Lanigan’s Angel Watch series of books, was published by HCI.  Allworth Press released Lanigan’s  “how-to” book on writing: Writing the Great American Romance Novel.  Lanigan recently completed NotMYkid, a non-fiction regarding teen addictions, which was commissioned by the NotMYkid foundation.  Lanigan has completed the third book of angelic interventions, Angel Tales, which is being published by Cedar Fort, Inc.  In addition, Cedar Fort will publish the next two books in Lanigan’s angel series, Angel Dreams and Angel Miracles.   Ms. Lanigan is working on a three-book series of Young Adult adventure novels, The Adventures of Lillie and Zane: The Golden Flute to be published by Cedar Fort, Inc. as well.   
     Ms. Lanigan is a frequent speaker at literary functions and book conventions as well as inspiring audiences with her real stories of angelic intervention from her Angel Tales series of books. She is an outspoken advocate for domestic violence and abuse and was honored by The National Domestic Violence Hotline in Washington, D.C.  She has been a guest on numerous radio programs including “Coast to Coast” and on television interview and talk show programs such as “Montel.  Catherine’s email is cdlanigan@aol.com . Visit her at www.catherinelanigan.com, on Facebook and Twitter.  

BLOG TOUR

What inspired you to want to become a writer?
A.      I wanted to be a writer ever since I read my first Brenda Starr comic strip when I was about six.

Any other books in the works or upcoming awesomeness?
A.      The Adventures of Lilli and Zane is a three book series.  The second book is titled “The Hunt for the  Olismocchi Treasure.  The third is “The Mysterious Myth of Giza”.  I hope to write twelve books in the series (or more) and end with the three kids going into outer space.
What is the ONE book everyone should read?
A.       Lillie and Zane are young adult genre, but if you are talking about my entire list of over forty books, it would be WINGS OF DESTINY.  Out of print….but you never can tell what the future will bring!

Favorite Quote?

A.      Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never - in nothing great or small, large or petty - never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense.  Winston Churchill.
What’s the best advice you have ever received?
A.       Tell your loved ones every day, ten times a day, that you love them.
If you could have any super power what would you choose?
A.      Flying.

What is your favorite movie?
A.      Romancing the Stone

What is your favorite cartoon character?
A.       Cinderella or Jac the mouse in Cinderella

What would you consider your style? 
A.       Jeans, diamonds and jeweled flip flops, which are as close to barefoot as I can get.

What is something about yourself that you consider unique or just plain weird?
A.       I talk to angels.  And dead people. 


About Her Book:
Teen treasure hunters, Lilli Mitchell, Zane McAllister and his techno-wizard, younger brother, Teddy, are coming into awareness of their incredible PSI powers as they comb Europe searching for seven ancient enormous jewels.  Powerful artifacts that will help them battle the evil and dangerous Bishop Carrington, a human monster who is determined to raise the lost continent of Atlantis from the blackest depths of the ocean. A devastating act which will destroy most of the surface of the earth. 


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Fat Chances International Giveaway

Jamie Wilsoncroft has generously donated three (3) copies of her new ebook, Fat Chances! To enter, you must be a follower of PrincessReviews. Just leave a comment with your email and Random.org will be used to select a winner on May 26th. Winners will be emailed the ecodes on May 27th. Codes are only good until May 27th.


Summary of book: (Amazon)
Annie Powers is eighteen and overweight. When her twin sister, Molly talks her into going to a Zumba class, all Annie expected was a lot of sweat and sore muscles. But when she laid eyes on the very handsome and muscular Zumba instructor, Cory Shields, not only did he leave her gasping for breath from the exercises, but also from their kiss.
Dazed and confused, Annie struggles to understand why someone like Cory would be attracted to her. At the same time, Cory tries to make her understand that she is just as beautiful on the outside as she is on the inside.
Annie knows she needs to learn to love herself before she can let Cory into her life. But can she?
"Fat Chances” will warm your heart and reminds us all that it’s what’s in the heart, not in the body, that counts.

How Many Winners:
3

Who Can Enter:
followers of PrincessReviews

How to Enter:
Leave a comment with your email

Dates:
May 23-26, 2012

Michael Loyd Gray Interview





1. What is "Well Deserved" about?

1.      Thanks for the opportunity to be on your site, Tasha. I’m honored.

Here’s the blurb on Well DeservedFrom the small-time dealer to the returning Vietnam vet, the townie grocery clerk and the new police chief, the folks of tiny Argus, Illinois, all know what they want out of life, but the paths to their desires are conflicted and unclear. In a narrative with all the clarity and determination of a prophecy, Well Deserved chronicles the struggles of these four people as they come to the stark realization that their paths are not solitary, but entwined, and their very lives hinge on one shared moment.

There are several reviews of my books at my new site: http://www.michaelloydgray.com

2. What is "Not Famous Anymore" about?
1.      And here’s the one for Not Famous Anymore:

Elliott Adrian, a famous actor of questionable skill, drinks too much and works himself to the bottom in Hollywood and emerges from rehab wanting to put the American Dream into reverse: he embarks on a journey to not be famous anymore and works his way back to his hometown of tiny Argus, Illinois. After a short exile in Loreto, Mexico, Elliott’s road trip takes him from Arizona to Arkansas and finally Argus, where he discovers the girl he was briefly married to in high school has a daughter he has never met. Along the way Fox News offers a reward for anyone who can find Elliott and once in Argus he discovers he can’t quite escape fame and must learn to straddle both worlds – Hollywood as well as Argus. A story about the value of fame and also discovering true self.

3. Which did you enjoy writing more?
I liked writing both for different reasons. With Well Deserved I had fun with multiple points of view—the four main characters keep crossing paths and it was fun to write a chapter as one person experienced events and then to write the next chapter from the perspective of one of the other four. Not Famous Anymore was fun because being famous is sort of an American obsession and I wanted to explore that through the eyes of an actor. 

4. Have you always wanted to be an author?
 I would say I wanted to be a writer from some point after high school. I flunked out of college the first time – too much partying! But a few years later I went back and finished from a better university and then I became a newspaper reporter for ten years. After that I went to graduate school and now I write novels. But as early as junior high school, I loved to read and sometimes wondered about writing, too, but not seriously enough at the time to really try it.

5. How did you decide to become an author?
I think it decides for you. If writing is really in you, and you love the feeling you get from writing, then you sort of have no choice—you’re a writer. You have to write. You become a storyteller and want to tell people stories and want them to enjoy them.

6. Do you like steak or pork chops more?
I actually prefer fish—lake trout, salmon, rainbow trout. I was in Savannah, Georgia, last year and ate some delicious flounder. And I had great salmon last year in Los Angeles. 

7. Do you have any pets?
Two cats—EH and Suzie Lucifer. Both are big and orange but not related. Both were homeless when I found them. EH is about 18 and doing great. Suzie Lucifer is a little over a year old.

8. Which character in any of your books do you most relate to and how?
I’d say Art Millage, the police chief in Well Deserved, even though he’s a police chief and I likely would never have been cut out for that kind of job. I like him, though—he’s a compassionate and honest person. He has some standards and works hard to maintain them.

9. How many books have you had published?
Not Famous Anymore and Well Deserved, but my young adult novel King Biscuit is due out in June or so by Sol Books. My agent, Pauline Vilain in The Netherlands, is trying to sell three other novels I have written – Fast Eddie, Blue Sparta, and The Last Stop (sequel to Well Deserved). I have also written the screenplay version of Not Famous Anymore.

10. Thank you! Is there anything else you'd like to say?

Yes—here’s the blurb for my young adult novel King Biscuit:

In Michael Loyd Gray’s young adult novel King Biscuit it’s the summer of 1966 and seventeen-year-old Billy Ray Fleener has a plan. His goal is to escape the conservative gravitational pull of tiny Argus, Illinois, and experience the real world. He sets off on a road trip for Helena, Arkansas in Mississippi River delta country to visit the grave of his beloved Uncle Mitt, killed the year before in Vietnam. Along the way Billy Ray meets President Lyndon Johnson, Elvis Presley, a con man, militant nuns, a would-be rock band called Gravy is Groovy, and becomes the youngest ever music producer at the King Biscuit Flour Hour blues festival. King Biscuit is a young adult novel about coming of age.

Thanks, Tasha!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Princess Stories Real Bible Stories of God's Princesses Book Review


Princess Stories Real Bible Stories of God's Princesses by Carolyn Larsen. This is a great book to show young girls that they are special and that everyone has a gift to give from God. I wished I had this book growing up. You hear about the great men of the Bible, but I never knew all the wonderful women of the Bible. It also encourages young girls and builds confidence in showing how each woman was special in God's eyes and his plan. Each story tells of a different princess in her own words about her life. For example, there is The Forgiven Princess (the woman at the well) and The Brave Princess (Rahab). The illustrations are colorful and girly. There are also Princess Ponderings that ask your little princess thoughtful questions such as "Have you ever been very brave? What happened?"
My daughter loved this book and almost read it all the way through when she first received it. It is very easy to read and understand.

Rating: 5/5

Monday, May 21, 2012

How To Write Killer Fiction: Book Review


How To Write Killer Fiction by Carolynn Wheat is an excellent introduction to writing mystery and suspense novels. I was only vaguely aware that mystery and suspense could be two distinctive types of works though closely related. In a mystery, whatever kind, there is a puzzle for the hero to solve. In a suspense, it is a "nightmare" for the hero to survive and come out a changed person. There have been a few books that merged both types, but for the most part they stay separate.
Wheat is very readable, clear and entertaining as she talks you through what makes a mystery a mystery and suspense a suspense. The only thing I was lost on was arcs. But this was not a book about the technical parts of writing like arcs and characterizations and themes. This book teaches the parts of the journey that a mystery/suspense hero makes and how to keep your readers interested and guessing how the hero will solve the crime and/or make it to the end. I highly recommend this to any fiction writer. It has a lot of good advice that crosses genre lines.
I borrowed this book from the library. I've had it for like 2 months. I'm going to go buy my own copy. This is a great writing tool!

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Herr's Snack Factory

Picture found on Google Images. I did not take this picture and am in no way claiming it as my own.


On May 10th, I went to the Herr’s Potato Chip Factory in Pennsylvania. We went with school on a field trip. It had been my second time to the Herr’s factory, but my first with school, or rather, any group at all.
Upon first arriving at the factory, not much seemed familiar, but it had been a while since my last visit, so I guess that was to be expected. So, you walk into the factory and there is a gift shop off to the right and a café off to the left. Chipper’s Café is what it’s called. A bit of to the left but still mainly centered is a set of doors leading to a theatre. This is where the tour begins.
When you first start the tour, you go into the theatre and watch a short, 10-minute video on the history of the factory and the company. Did you know that Herr’s Potato Chips is now Herr’s Food, since it now produces more than just potato chips? But one thing that I did catch that was not entirely correct was that before the movie started, just like in a movie theatre, they had little facts and tidbits on the screen. One of them said that the first flavor of potato chip that Herr’s created was the Salt and Vinegar flavor, but in the history film, they stated that the first potato chip flavor Herr’s created was Barbeque. Maybe they created them both around the same time, or maybe someone made a simple mistake.
After the movie, you are taken to see the making of pretzels in a separate building from everything else. You are then taken back into the main factory to see how they create tortilla chips and popcorn. Later you see how it is all ‘purified’ and packaged. You then continue the journey to the part most anticipated – the potato chip part. Once we left the movie theatre and entered the actual factories, the tour I previously took at the factory came back to me, so I assume that the movie is somewhat new, or it was just a bit uninteresting to me at the time, so I did not bother to remember it.
Anywho, we spent quite a while in the factory and it was quite interesting how the potato chips are made. They separate the chips into sizes so that big ones go into bigger bags, and smaller ones go into smaller bags. Chips with green or brown spots are taken out – well, most of them anyway – even though they are completely safe to eat. The green spots are simply sunburns on the potatoes and shows that some part of the potato was grown above ground. The brown spots are just extra sugar that was in the potato. When they are cooked, the extra sugar crystallizes, creating a brown spot. Personally, the brown spots have always been my favorite, and I guess now we know why! Also, if the chip is folded or bent, that is simply because they sometimes get folded or bent on a separator or a slicer or something and they cooled that way. I always love the folded ones the best, too. I guess I just like the misfit chips.
Then we were given samples, my favorite part. Of course I remembered the hot potato chip samples from the last time. Thank God they didn’t get rid of them! Just five (5) minutes prior to us consuming the warm potato chip, it was a part of a whole, uncooked potato. It’s pretty amazing how a potato can become a delicious chip in less than 5 minutes.
I had a good time and I would definitely do it again. I would totally recommend this tour to people. It wasn’t a very long tour. We were told it was going to take an hour, but we had our phones away so I’m not sure if it was an hour long or not, but I assume it was. I learned a lot and it was definitely better than being in school all day!


Location: (Herr's Website)
Herr Foods Inc.
20 Herr Drive
Nottingham, PA 19362-9788
If you would like more information,
you may contact us by phone at:
1-800-63-SNACK(1-800-637-6225)

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Dragon's Pupils: The Sword Guest


Title:
The Sword Guest

Author:
Martin Chu Shui

Series:
Dragon's Pupils

Book:
1

About the Author: (Goodreads)
No info provided.

Summary: (Goodreads)
The story centers on Liz, born of half Australian and of half Chinese descent. Growing up in Australia, she isnt very interested in her fathers ancient Chinese stories. She is concerned with problems that are far more contemporary such as environmental issues, and particularly her friends handsome brother who is an environmental activist. But her disinterest in Chinese culture changes when her two worlds collide, after a catastrophic accident sets thousands of ancient monsters loose near her home. Suddenly Liz must learn many new skills and call on all of her Chinese heritage if she is to prevent the monsters from destroying Earth. Helped by her twin brother and best friend, Liz sets out to discover why the monsters exist and how to stop them. When she is injured in a battle, she must travel to China to seek a cure that is spiritual as much as it is physical. But can she find the old man who can help her before the monsters catch her? How will she manage in a country that is so strange and yet so familiar? And can she learn enough about a world she has ignored to stop the monsters in time?

I'd Recommend to...
Teens interested in Chinese culture

My Rating:
4.3/5

My Thoughts:
Liz and her twin, Henry, and their friend, Sue, are going to save the world. But it might take a while.
Sue's older brother, Fred, is Liz's dream guy. He's big into saving the environment and stuff. Liz and her friends go to a protest about blowing up the local mine with Fred and the rest of the EPP. But unfortunately, the mine gets blown up, releasing tons of monsters that have been stored below the mine in magical jail cells. Vampires and aliens are also alive in this part of Western Australia, as Liz and the gang soon find out while picnicking for Liz and Henry's 14th birthday. Their grand master, Li Ping, one of the Jian Ke Trinity, saves them but gets wounded. She then teaches them all they must know to survive and save the world in a three-year dream that truly only lasted one night. But when Liz herself gets injured, and Sue and Henry need to make some major decisions, will they come out the victor? Or will they die trying? You should totally read this if you wanna know.
This was a pretty good book. I read it in about 3 days, give or take. But I wasn't like reading non-stop lol. It was actually quite interesting and held my interest.
Liz had to leave to go to China for a part of it, and all we heard during that time was about what was happening to Liz, not Henry or Sue, even though it was written in 3rd person omniscient, not 1st person. I would have liked to be updated on what was going on back in Australia while Liz was in China. There were a few other places I think there could have been a bit more expansions, but overall it was a good ebook.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Accepted

Movie:
Accepted

Starring:
Blake Lively, Justin Long, Jonah Hill

Rating:
PG-13

Length:
90 Minutes

Genre:
Comedy

Release Date:
August 18, 2006

Writers:
Adam Cooper, Bill Collage

Director:
Steve Pink

Summary: (IMDb)
A high school slacker who's rejected by every school he applies to opts to create his own institution of higher learning, the South Harmon Institute of Technology, on a rundown piece of property near his hometown.

Rating: (IMDb)
6.4/10

My Rating:
4.7/5

I'd Recommend to..
High Schoolers with nothing to do.

My Thoughts:
Accepted is about a group of kids who can't get into college so they decide to make up a college to please their parents. Soon they start getting intuition checks and need to open a real college, so they do. Or at least they try to. It's a really strange college. Then some people from the real college up the road come and try to by the fake college. They won't sell so the true college makes them go to the Board of Education for the state where they have to prove they can be a real college.
We watched this movie on the way to the Herr's Potato Chip Factory on a bus. Usually that would mean it would just play in the background and no one would pay any attention to it. But that was not the case. I started off ignoring it, but then somehow it managed to catch my attention and I ended up watching the whole thing. The whole bus was silent because we were all watching it - a rare thing to come across with a bus full of High Schoolers. It was a good movie. It was funny. It was interesting. But it cussed a lot, so that's something to be aware of.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

J. Meyers Interview!



1. What is Intangible about?
 
It's the story of twins Sera and Luke who have special abilities. Sera can heal with a touch of her hand and Luke can see the future with absolute accuracy. Luke has a vision that Sera is killed, and they have to figure out how to stop it from coming true--something they've never been able to do. They also learn that their world is not what they thought.
2. Which character from Intangible do you most relate to?
I actually feel like I relate to all of them and not one of them more than any others. I think it's because I've spent so much time in their heads (the book is written from multiple points of view), looking at their world through their eyes. And each character is a part of me or I am a part of him/her because I created them.
 
3. Which author do you aspire to be like?
 
I would love to come up with wonderfully wacky characters like Sarah Dessen does, write laugh-out-loud funny and magificent dialogue like Aidan Chambers does, create incredibly intricate worlds like Laini Taylor or Frannie Billingsley do, or entertain and entrance people all over the world like JK Rowling has. Though I would like to do all that as me, not as a replica of anyone else. ;-)
4. What is your favorite band?
 
At the moment, I'm totally digging Jason Mraz.
5. Team Edward or Team Jacob?
 
Ummm...neither.
6. Are you still friends with any of your High School friends?
 
A few. It's nice having friends that go back that far.

7. How many books have you written?
 
Intangible is my debut novel. Previously I co-authored two parenting books.
8. Do you have any pets?
 
Not at the moment. Last winter our dog died--he was just shy of 17 years old. It was very sad to lose him. My kids are just now starting to ask about getting dog again. I'm sure we'll do that in the somewhat near future.
9. Thank you! Is there anything else you'd like to say?
 
Thanks so much for having me here! It's been a real pleasure. :-) And if anyone's interested in learning more about the world of Intangible, stop by my site: www.jmeyersbooks.com. And please say hi if you do. I'm really loving connecting with people from all over the world that I never would have known otherwise. :D

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Wild Seed: Book Review

Wild Seed by Octavia E. Butler
*may contain spoilers*
Wild Seed is the story of Anyanwu, a shape-shifter, and Doro, a spirit that must continually take over other people's bodies in order to survive. Both are immortal. Anyanwu has found a way to control every aspect of her body and heal her own sickness and aging. She can also  change her body to become a man or woman or animal. Doro was once alive but now is just a spirit destined to jump from one body to the next, taking over that person and thus killing them. Unable to find anyone like himself, Doro "lived" for centuries behaving like a selfish "god", seeking out others with unusual abilities to breed a kind of super-supernatural being, holding their lives in his hands. In his search, he meets Anyanwu and tricks her into leaving her home in Africa and going to North America. Their battle of wills rages for a century as Doro is unable to control Anyanwu and yet unable to live without her as she is unable to live without him.
This was the most imaginative book I've read in a while. When I was explaining some parts to my sister, I really began to realize the depth of Ms. Butler's world. It was our world, but these character existed on a level that most people would never encounter. The main character Anyanwu is so strong and wise and yet a bit naive when it comes to Doro. Butler balances these two characters against each other so well that you can sense the chemistry between them as you read. I was very impressed with the story and the writing. I borrowed it from the library and when I finished, I went and bought myself a copy and recommend it to anyone who reads.


Rating 5/5

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Mary Cunningham Interview


Tell us about your new book!

I'm thrilled with Cynthia's Attic: Legend of Lupin Woods (Book Five). I believe it's the most exciting story, yet.

First, a little explanation of the series: Twelve-year-old best friends, Cynthia and Gus, discover a magic trunk in Cynthia's Attic that sends them through time having adventures and solving mysteries with their ancestors.

Much to the dismay of Cynthia and Gus, mysteries previously solved are coming undone! Aunt Belle is missing…again! Cynthia’s great-grandfather, Beau was never found, and their nemesis, the evil circus clown, Blackie, appears to be, once again, making life miserable for everyone. This storyline gives me the opportunity to bring back some of my favorite ancestors and characters. Since part of my family is from France, I place the time-traveling duo in a small French village and send Gus, alone, to fend off danger in a terrifying woods.

What inspires you to write?

For someone whose family traces back to the late 1300s, genealogy  led, quite naturally, to my time travel series. Ancestors are scattered throughout the books portraying some very interesting characters. While not perfect, I suppose this is my way of making up for the fact that, as a child, I didn't pay enough attention to my grandparents' stories about their parents and grandparents; something I'd love to do today. Instead, I've sent Cynthia and Gus back in time on journeys their ancestors might have enjoyed.

 What genre of music is your favorite?

I used to write country music, so I lean toward that, but I also love blues, classic, and 70s pop (shows how old I am!).

What other authors do you look up to?

J. K. Rowling's writing gave me permission to write "outside the box," and let my creativity go in directions it may not have, otherwise. J. R. R. Tolkien was also a huge influence along with H. G. Wells (Wow! Initials are running amok!). Other 'tween and YA authors I admire are Kerry Madden, Kate DiCamillo, Kirby Larsen and so many more!   

Chicken Noodle or Wonton Soup?

I enjoy both, depending on whether it's homemade. One of my favorite all-time Chinese restaurants, Golden East Garden, is in East Brunswick, NJ. Their Wonton soup is the best I've ever had! My mouth waters just thinking of it! Okay…what was the question? LOL!

What are some of your hobbies?

I used to enjoy playing sports, but now I'm pretty much into watching, especially my Indiana Hoosiers (college basketball). I do enjoy a round of golf every now and then, and walk every day, especially with our adopted Shih-Apso puppy, Lucy. While the up and down hills in West Georgia are challenging, the calorie-burning benefits are priceless. I also enjoy water aerobics in the summer.

Which character in your new book are you most like and why?

I ran a contest to bring a new character into Legend of Lupin Woods! I asked readers, on Cynthia's Attic Blog,  about their favorite character in previous books and why that character was special. A young woman named Veronika, who lives in Siberia, won with her choice of Molly, the little brown 'clue-digging' dog  from The Magician's Castle. Veronika lived in France for a while, which is a destination for Cynthia and Gus in the Book Five, so her character evolved naturally onto the pages!

Who is your role model?
That would be my dad. Aside from being a fabulous writer and journalist, he was kind, honest to a fault, and non-judgmental; something we all need more of today. He had a wonderfully dry sense of humor that I've been known to borrow from time-to-time. I wish he had lived to see the series come to print, but I still feel him standing over my shoulder as I write.

Dogs or Cats?

You probably already know that from the question above. My family has always had dogs, so I'm partial. I love all animals, however.

Thank you! Is there anything else you'd like to say?
Here's a short blurb for Cynthia's Attic: Legend of Lupin Woods (Book 5).
Cynthia and Gus have solved a lot of mysteries across time, but something is seriously wrong and things are beginning to unravel.
Aunt Belle is missing…again! Cynthia’s great-grandfather, Beau, was never found! And now they are wondering if Blackie is still making life miserable for Lilly and Annie.
This time, the twelve-year-old girls journey into a strange woods full of frightening creatures and dark secrets in search of answers.
From Aunt Belle's cottage to a small village in France, they meet new friends and discover a connection to New Orleans that may lead to the devious source behind these alarming developments. Or bigger trouble.
Mary Cunningham Bio: Like Cynthia and Gus, my childhood best friend, Cynthia and I grew up in a small, Southern Indiana town…the setting for the series. Not one summer day passed that we weren’t playing softball, hide and seek, badminton, or croquet with friends in the vacant lot behind Becky’s house.
In my attempt to grow up, I joined The Georgia Reading Association, and the Carrollton Creative Writers Club. When giving my fingers a day away from the keyboard, I enjoy golf, swimming and exploring the mountains of West Georgia where I live with my husband and adopted furry, four-legged daughter, Lucy. Together we’ve raised three creative children and are thrilled with our 2 granddaughters.
At last count, I’ve moved 9 times to six different states (all after the age of 36), and aside from the packing and unpacking, it’s been a great experience, having made some very dear and lasting friendships. My non-writing time is spent showing power point presentations on gathering ideas and the writing process to schools and libraries.
Visit Cynthia's Attic Blog for a schedule of The Legend of Lupin Woods Blog Tour!
Thanks, so much, for inviting me to share in your Blogaversary! For information on the series and other books and short stories, please visit me at: Mary Cunningham Books: http://www.marycunninghambooks.com

Buy Links:
Amazon
Kindle
Smashwords Ebooks
B & N Book Nook
OmniLit

Youtube Cynthia's Attic Series For Tweens video: embed

Monday, May 14, 2012

Lawn Mower Magic


Title:
Lawn Mower Magic

Author:
Lynne Jonell

Illustrator:
Brandon Dorman

Series:
A Stepping Stone Book

Book:
2

About the Author: (goodreads)
Lynne Jonell is the author of three novels and seven picture books for children, published by Henry Holt and Penguin/Putnam. Her first novel, Emmy & the Incredible Shrinking Rat, won the Minnesota Book Award, and her most recent novel, The Secret of Zoom, is a Junior Library Guild Selection. Her books have received starred reviews in Horn Book, Kirkus Reviews, School Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, Booklist, and Sesame Street Parents, and have been published in eight languages. She teaches writing at the Loft Literary Center, is married and has two sons, and lives in Plymouth, Minnesota. She will launch a new chapter book series with Random House in 2010, beginning with Hamster Magic, and is currently working on the third in the Emmy & the Rat series, titled Emmy & the Rats in the Belfry, to be released in 2011.

About the Illustrator: (goodreads)
no info found

Summary: (Goodreads)
With a POP! and a puff of smoke, the Willows' lawn mower calls it quits. A new mower will cost their parents a lot of money, money Derek had hoped to borrow for a train ticket to visit a friend. Luckily Derek and his brother and sisters find a rusty push mower tucked away in the shed. It doesn't look like much, but it turns out that it's been soaking up magic for years. And it's hungry for grass!
Can Derek earn his ticket? Maybe . . . if he, Abner, Tate, and Celia can keep the magic mower under control!
Lynne Jonell follows up her Junior Library Guild selection, Hamster Magic, with a second story of the Willow family's rowdy run-ins with mixed-up magic.

I'd Recommend to...
4th-Middle School

My Rating:
4.7/5

My Thoughts:
Derek and his brother and sisters just moved into a new house built on top of a old mine. Magic seems to be everywhere. One day, Derek's dad's lawn mower stops working. Derek needs a train ticket back to his old neighborhood for his best friend's birthday party, but they cannot by a new lawn mower and the train ticket. Derek and his brother and sisters find a lawn mower that works by itself because it is full of magic. It takes them on some crazy rides as they cut the grass. But all the grass gets cut, so Derek gets his train ticket.
It was a nice story, but I don't think families behave as well as the Wilson's behaved together in this book. I know me and my sister don't. But maybe it had something to do with the magic involved. A few times it mentioned a previous encounter with magic involving a hamster, but it never really explained what happened, so I suggest reading the first book before reading this book.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Blogariffic Blog Hop Giveaway!


I created this blog hop to help celebrate the blogaversary of PrincessReviews, so thank you to all of our followers, and may many more become followers! :) 
I've decided to give away Premium Iron-On Rhinestones. The only requirement for you to enter is that you must follow PrincessReviews, and sorry, but this is a USA and Canada only giveaway. You have from May 13th to May 19th to enter. To enter, just leave a comment with your email so we know how to contact you if you are the winner. Random.org will be used to select the winner. 

What You Win:
Rhinestones Royalty Iron-On

How Many Winners:
1

Who Can Enter:
followers of PrincessReviews

How to Enter:
Leave a comment with your email

Dates:
May 13-19, 2012

  • Premium Iron-On Rhinestones Kit
  • Style: Printed Word "Royalty" with Skull and Crown Graphics (approximately 8" x 7")
  • Just Peel It, Iron It and Wear It!
  • Includes:
  • 1 Large Premium Iron-On Rhinestone Design and Instructions


Don't forget to check out these other blogs on the blog hop!:

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Crystal Dreams Guest Post - Great Minds Think Aloud

crystal
NEW TO GREAT MINDS THINK ALOUD INDEPENDENT PUBLISHING
CRYSTAL DREAMS
BY
KATHERINE SCHNEIDER
To be released on May 12th on Amazon.com & Createspace
SYNOPSIS:
Fifteen year old Kat had dreamed about a world full of crystals for as long as she could remember. It never occurred to her that such a world might actually exist until she found it. And what she found was more than crystals she found friendship, love, mystery, and murder in a world that had been torn apart long ago in The Shattering.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Kathy Schneider grew up in Smithsburg, Maryland. She graduated from a St. Mary’s College of Maryland with a degree in Mathematics in 2009. She now lives near Baltimore with her baby, a beagle named Stig.