Sunday, December 30, 2012

Best of 2012: What I'm excited for 2013

Top 10 of 2012 is hosted by Lisa from A Life Bound By Books,Jessica from Confessions of a Bookaholic, Jaime from Two Chicks on Books and Mindy from Magical Urban Fantasy Reads. It is a week of looking back from the year that has been and looking forward for the next year. Today's Top 10 is Top 10 Books I’m Looking Forward To in 2013.

The Rules by Stacey Kade


This book sounds soo good!! It looks like my kind of read especially with how the plot sounds:D
 Altered by Jennifer Rush










Sunday, December 23, 2012

Stacking The Shelves (33)


 Review: 

Things I Can't Forget (Hundred Oaks #3) by Miranda Kenneally
Hooked (Hooked #1) by Liz Fichera
Beautiful Bastard (Beautiful Bastard #1) by Christina Lauren
Up In Flames by Nicole Williams *CURRENTLY READING*
Anatomy of a Single Girl by Daria Snadowsky
The S-Word by Chelsea Pitcher
The Rules (Project Paper Doll #1) by Stacey Kade

 Thank you Nicole Williams, Hyperion Teen, Sourcebooks Fire, Harlequin Teen, Random House US, and Simon & Schuster

Bought: 

Easy by Tammara Webber 
Backstage Pass (Sinners On Tour #1) by Olivia Cunning
Rock Hard (Sinners On Tour #2) by Olivia Cunning
Double Time (Sinners On Tour #3) by Olivia Cunning
Clash (Crash #2) by Nicole Williams
Elixir (Covenant 3.5) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday (66) Altered (Altered #1) by Jennifer Rush

Title: Altered
Author: Jennifer Rush
Pages: 336
Publisher: Little, Brown, & Co.
Release Date: January 1, 2013

Summary: (Goodreads)

When you can’t trust yourself, who can you believe?

Everything about Anna’s life is a secret. Her father works for the Branch at the helm of its latest project: monitoring and administering treatments to the four genetically altered boys in the lab below their farmhouse. There’s Nick, Cas, Trev . . . and Sam, who’s stolen Anna’s heart. When the Branch decides it’s time to take the boys, Sam stages an escape, killing the agents sent to retrieve them.

Anna is torn between following Sam or staying behind in the safety of her everyday life. But her father pushes her to flee, making Sam promise to keep her away from the Branch, at all costs. There’s just one problem. Sam and the boys don’t remember anything before living in the lab—not even their true identities.

Now on the run, Anna soon discovers that she and Sam are connected in more ways than either of them expected. And if they’re both going to survive, they must piece together the clues of their past before the Branch catches up to them and steals it all away.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Stacking The Shelves (32) Early Christmas Edition










For Review: 

The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd, from Edelweiss (Goodreads)
Just One Day by Gayle Forman, from Penguin Canada (Goodreads)
Mind Games by Kiersten White, from Edelweiss (Goodreads)
Nobody But Us by Kristin Halbrook, from Edelweiss (Goodreads)
Requiem (Delirium #3) by Lauren Oliver, from Edelweiss (Goodreads) *READ*
Revolution 19 by Gregg Rosenblum, from Edelweiss (Goodreads)
Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi, from Edelweiss (Goodreads)
Period 8 by Chris Crutcher from Edelweiss (Goodreads
Falling Kingdoms (Falling Kingdoms #1) by Morgan Rhodes (Goodreads) from, Penguin Canada
Infatuate (Gilded Wings #2) by Aimee Agresti from, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children's Book Group (Goodreads
Deep Betrayal (Lies Beneath #2) by Anne Greenwood Brown (Goodreads

Surprises from St. Martins Press:


Christmas in Cornwall by Marcia Willet
Ashes of Twilight (Ashes Trilogy #1) by Kassy Taylor

Tour: Thank you Simon Schuster+ Date Night Kit (not pictured)


The Vincent Boys (The Vincent Boys #1) by Abbi Glines *Read*

Won: 
Inheritance (The Inheritance Cycle #4) by Christopher Paolini *SIGNED*Thank you RandomHouseCA


Bought: *Employee Appreciation weekend*
The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds #1) by Alexandra Bracken 
Looking for Alaska by John Green 
Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
Touched (Sense Thieves #1) by Corrine Jackson  
Fated (Soul Seekers #1) by Alyson Noel 
Lies Beneath (Lies Beneath #1) by Anne Greenwood Brown 
Beautiful Darkness (Caster Chronicles #2) by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl 
The Vincent Brothers by Abbi Glines
Ashes, Ashes by Jo Treggiari
Forgiven (The Demon Trappers #3) by Jana Oliver
Foretold  (The Demon Trappers #4) by Jana Oliver

Guest Post: Feminism in The Friday Society by Adrienne Kress



Feminism in THE FRIDAY SOCIETY.

It’s easy just to look at the cover of THE FRIDAY SOCIETY and assume “This is all about girl power.” And that would be a correct assumption.  But there is more to supporting girls and women in the story than just the obvious kick-buttery.  Wait.  Kick Buttery.  Mmm. . . butter . . .

Let’s delve, shall we?  What were some of the elements I actively included in TFS to make it a real story about feminism and strong female characters?

1. A strong female character is a strong character. 

What I mean is we have got to the place where, in an attempt to demonstrate that female characters are strong, we make them invincible.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with a girl/woman who can kick butt.  But to have her be the best without any flaws, any weaknesses, makes her less of a person.  Humans are flawed.  To create a female kick- butt character that always wins makes her as much of a type as the damsel in distress.  She is not a three-dimensional character.  And when you have books/films/television shows where you still have only a token woman, but now she kicks butt, that’s no better than when the token woman was there to be rescued.  She’s still a token.

What I wanted to create were girls who were kick-butt but also flawed.  Who made mistakes and overcame them.  Because, also, while it’s important to see girls/women as people first, their gender second, it’s just as important for girls/women to see that they can overcome making a mistake, that they are allowed to be flawed and they can still be totally awesome.  I blogged more about the art of creating a quality female character here: http://ididntchoosethis.blogspot.ca/2012/04/about-female-characters.html

2.  Three girls who actually get along and stuff.

Something else I’ve noticed (and I’m not the only one) is that even when one sees a strong female main character, she is often the only one.  Often she is surrounded by secondary female characters whom she doesn’t get along with, who represent negative qualities (let’s not get into the slut-shaming thing at this moment, but yeah, also that) not possessed by the main character.  Likely there will be secondary male characters whom the main female character gets along with better, who understands her better and whom she respects.  Usually too the other lead in the story (if there is one) will be male. 

There is also often the perpetuated stereotype that even when girls/women are friends, they are still mean to each other.  The term “frenemy” is only really ever used with regard to women and their relationships with each other.  Evidently we are supposedly always catty with each other, stabbing each other in the back, nice one minute, mean the next.  It’s not the same as the beauty that is the bromance.

Well, I call BS.  I’ve never had that relationship with my female friends. And I have a lot of them.  Some of them have lasted my entire life. Thus I wanted to have more than one female main character, and a story where girls/women interact with each other.  But I also wanted to represent a female friendship like the one I knew. The only one that, in my opinion, is actually friendship. I wanted to show girls who liked each other, supported each other, and got along with each other. Who were able to laugh together and work as a team. 

So that’s what I did.


3.  The Bechdel Test

What is the Bechdel Test?  This is the Bechdel test.  From Wiki:

The Bechdel test is used to identify gender bias in fiction. A work passes the test if it features at least two women who talk to each other about something other than a man.

The reason this test is important is that most contemporary works of fiction – be it film or literature – fail this test.  Women, as I said above, tend to be a prop in the story about a man.  To further complicate things, even films or literature about women and aimed at women fail this test, because ultimately the story is about finding a man, or their love lives, etc.  Women as gender-neutral.  Women discussing other issues other than romance or men. That’s a very rare thing indeed.  Which is why I love THE GOOD WIFE so much.

I should add that there is nothing wrong with a work being centered around romance and finding a man, but the problem stems from there being very few examples of women engaging with each other about anything else.

It’s pretty easy for me in general to pass this test with most of my writing.  First, I tend to write multiple female characters into most works I write, and second, my female characters tend to be working on something that has nothing to do with a particular boy.  I am not a romance writer, I am an action-adventure writer.  So it’s a lot easier for me to write something that has nothing to do with men.  Now this doesn’t mean I don’t have characters talk about boys too.  I mean, it’s very fun to talk about boys, and the girls in THE FRIDAY SOCIETY totally talk about them occasionally.  But they also talk about other things.  Like why all these scientists in London are being murdered . . . and how they can stop it.  And also how they can save the city from certain destruction.  And how they wish they could be something more than just assistants.  And stuff.


4. Being smart, logical and able to solve problems.

We’ve come to accept that girls can be smart.  This is good.  But there is still a lot of stereotyping when it comes to girls that they lack the ability to be logical or problem-solvers. I find it so truly bizarre – being a logical problem-solver myself, but also watching many, many other women being the same.  So it was important to me to show that my girls had these qualities as well.


5. The looks thing

So, I really struggled with this when creating my girls.  Should I go for the stereotype of the superhero as aspirational and make my girls conventionally attractive? Or should I go for my feminist message and make them still attractive (ultimately as cheesy as it sounds, I really do think there’s beauty in everyone), but more, you know, like how my friends and I were in high school: a bit of alright but also a bit of a teenaged mess (and I’ve never been, nor will I ever be, a size zero).

Ultimately I decided on aspirational because I did want to play to some of the superhero tropes (though it’s nice that my book is set in the past which means that curves were what was considered the height of beauty, so I didn’t have to make them a size zero to achieve this).  But what I also decided to do, to counter my “look it’s another book about pretty girls again,” was not have them be insecure about their appearance.  It’s something I find particularly frustrating in some books/films/TV shows.  There’s a girl who will go on and on about how plain she is, and yet at the same time all the guys are totally in love with her at first sight, etc.  Or worse, the character is described as “too skinny” and with wild hair or something, trying to make us think the character is unconventionally attractive, when we all know in this day and age skinny = ideal body type (which I don’t agree with in the least, but we know to be unfortunately true), and wild hair is usually just considered wonderfully thick and amazing.  And of course she’ll at some point find some dress that just looks fabulous on her, and her hair will be tamed and all will be stunned at how suddenly beautiful she is.

I think this attempt to make the main character not think she is pretty exists for a couple reasons. 

A) It demonstrates what we all feel: insecurity.  Whether we are on top of the world or not, having doubts about ourselves is natural in humans.  And let’s be perfectly honest, girls in particular feel insecure about their appearance thanks in no small part to the media that are constantly bombarding them.  It’s so hard to see ourselves as beautiful sometimes that whole self-esteem advertising campaigns need to be organized.

B) Girls are taught that being proud of themselves and saying so is being full of themselves.  That it is arrogant to think well of ourselves, and even more so to say it out loud.  Especially when it comes to our appearance.  We must achieve, but we must be humble about our achievements.  We must look like air brushed magazine covers, but we must not let anyone know we think we look good. 

So what I did was make it a simple fact.  My three girls are beautiful.  This does affect how the men around them interact with them, especially with Nellie, but as far as the girls go they neither obsess about how amazing they look, nor do they put themselves down.  They know they look good. It doesn’t make them superior to others, it’s simply a fact of life, now let’s move on to something more important.  Like London maybe getting blown up.

6.  The kicking butt thing.

Because despite what I said above, girls can and do kick butt.  Literally.  I know female fighters, stunt performers, and almost all of my instructors for my mixed martial arts cardio class at the gym are women.  I don’t like it when kick-butt replaces personality, but, darn it all, when it’s one part of a complex person, it’s totally and completely awesome.

Timeless by Michelle Madow Blog Tour: This or That


 

Summary of Timeless (Goodreads




IT'S A RACE AGAINST TIME.



In Remembrance, Lizzie and Drew changed the course of fate so they could be together.



In Vengeance, Chelsea set fate back on its original, deadly path.



Now, strange things keep happening to Lizzie. Things that are omens of darkness to come. A curse has doomed her to die an early death, just as she did in her past life. To make matters worse, even if she can figure out who cast the curse, it's irreversible. There's only one option left for her to save herself. It's crazier than anything she's heard yet, and to do it, she'll need Drew and Chelsea's help.



Because to make things right, they must go back to when it all began … and Lizzie discovers that the final events in her past life were more sinister than she ever imagined.



Timeless is the final part of the Transcend Time Saga.



The Transcend Time Saga is a Clean Romance suitable for anyone age 12 and up!



Quotes from Reviewers



"The combination of time travel, magic, and love makes Timeless an unforgettable page turner!"

-For Those About to Read



"Timeless had great twists, particularly towards the end. For something inspired by a Taylor Swift song, Michelle has come up with a great series!"

-Addiction to Words Reviews


Buy: Amazon|Barnes & Noble|Book Depository|Kobo


Author This or That



Day or Night?

NIGHT for sure! Although it depends on what activity I need to do. If I’m getting work done, I prefer the afternoon. But for going out with friends, I’m always more energized after the sun goes down.



Green eyes or Blue?

Green, since that’s the color of my eyes J



Greece or Italy?

Italy is my favorite place ever! I love Rome because of the ancient history. It’s also the home of my favorite building, The Pantheon. I’m going to Greece in the beginning of January, so I will be able to make a fairer comparison when I return.



Ocean or Mountains?

The Ocean! I’m not a water person, but I love looking at the ocean. I also enjoy reading on the beach. (Although for someone who lives 20 minutes from the beach, I rarely go.)



Thank you, Amanda, for having me on your blog for the Timeless blog tour!

Visit the tour schedule: HERE




Giveaway

In celebration of the Timeless Blog Tour, Michelle is giving away a Deluxe Transcend Time Prize Pack! This includes:
·         A signed paperback of Remembrance
·         A signed paperback of Vengeance
·         A signed paperback of Timeless
·         A gold Venetian mask

This giveaway is International.

About the Author:


Michelle Madow was inspired to write Remembrance after seeing Taylor Swift's "Love Story" music video while a junior at Rollins College in Winter Park, FL. The song and video gave her the story idea about a high school girl reincarnated from Regency Era, England. She handed in the first chapter as a homework assignment for class, and when her teacher and classmates wanted her to continue writing, she decided to go for it. By the end of the school year, her first novel was completed!

Michelle graduated from the Park School of Baltimore in 2005, where she always took two English classes each semester. She graduated from Rollins College in 2010, cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in English. At Rollins she was a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and a member of the International English Honor Society Sigma Tau Delta.

She received the Charles Hyde Pratt Award for Excellence in Creative Writing in 2010.

Michelle lives in Florida, where she is hard at work writing more novels for young adults.





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