Tuesday 31 January 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Book Club Picks

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature at The Broke and the Bookish.

I've always wanted to be in a book club.  I have never seemed to live near my fellow reader friends.  My mom has a book club, with tween girls.  They call themselves The Page Turners. How cute is that?!  They dress up as a character from the book, have an activity centered around the book, as well as a question and answer game.  Wish I lived close enough to participate! Sounds SO fun! These would be my top Book Club picks to read and discuss with other women!  

Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella
These is My Words by Nancy Turner
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
The Secret Life of Bee's by Sue Monk Kidd

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
The Widower's Wife by Prudence Bice

The Gable Faces East By Anita Stansfield

What would be your top Book Club picks?

Monday 30 January 2012

Review: Redwood Bend by Robyn Carr

Redwood Bend (Virgin River #18) by Robyn Carr
Publisher: MIRA Books
Pages: 384
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Pub Date: 28 Feb 2012
Format: ARC-Kindle

A special Thank you to MIRA Books and NetGalley for sending me this book to review.

Katie Malone and her twin boys’ trip along the beautiful mountain roads to Virgin River is stopped short by a tire as flat as her failed romance. To make matters worse, the rain has set in, the boys are hungry and Katie is having trouble putting on a spare. As she stands at the side of the road pondering her next move, she hears a distinct rumble. The sight of the sexy, leather-clad bikers who pull up beside her puts her imagination into overdrive.

Dylan Childress and his buddies are on the motorcycle trip of a lifetime. But the sight of a woman in distress stops them in their tracks. And while the guys are checking out her car, she and Dylan are checking out one another. In one brief moment, the world tilts on its axis and any previous plans Katie and Dylan might have had for their futures are left at the side of the road. WELCOME BACK TO THE RIVER.

I read Bring Me Home for Christmas over the holiday's and loved it.  I wanted more.  There are several books in the Virgin River series and I intend to enjoy every one. 

I enjoy the predictability of romance novels. I really do. Don't be fooled though, thinking that you'll know the whole story from the beginning. You won't. Redwood Bend promises several surprises to keep you interested. I found the characters well rounded and not as mushy gushy as some of the historical romance novels. I like this. I like my characters real. They had real issues and problems. The setting is what is truly beautiful about this story.Virgin River is a place I've actually dreamt about.  I'd love to live back in the country.  The people and the place make this story. 

I enjoyed the romance of it all.  There wasn't as strong of a love story as you might think.  It was the center of the story no doubt, but there was so much else going on as well. I actually wanted more of those tender moments between Katie and Dylan.  But, I love romance!

If you are wanting to give romance novels a try, then I would definitely recommend the Virgin River series by Robyn Carr. I'm loving them! 

Saturday 28 January 2012

The Series Appeal

There is a trend in the publishing industry at present.  That would be a series for books.  I'm not going to lie, I do enjoy a good series.  I like knowing I get 2,000+ pages of awesomeness of a story and characters I love.  I like knowing the story goes on and on.  I like to gorge myself on it  until I've had enough. Anybody with me? 

But, there is something I don't like. The waiting. I read a really good book, ends in an awful cliffhanger, and I spend the next year impatiently waiting what comes next. Then to find out there are 4 more books in the series and the next 3-4 yrs of my life will be waiting to find out what the heck happens. Know what I mean? I know you're doing it too. I'm kind of sick of it. 

I now have several series that I'm collecting, but not reading, until they are finished. I'll re-enter the story world when all the books are done and I can get the whole story at once. Some series I just can't help myself and I pick up the next book on release day.  But, I'm trying to hold out on some series and re-visit them when they've been finished.  

I'll tell you what I am liking these days, companion novels. Books like Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins and its companion novel Lola and the Boy Next Door. We have a few scenes with previous characters to see how they're doing, but we move on to new people, a new story. Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally is doing the same. Its companion novel Stealing Parker will be out later this year. Catching Jordan was tied up nicely for me. I can't wait for more of Kenneally's writing, but I'm glad there was resolution at the ending. 

There is also nothing wrong with stand alone novels. Shannon Hale, author of Princess Academy writes amazing stand alone novels. She has got it right! I think readers have gotten in the habit of thinking there will automatically being a sequel.  Maybe the author wanted to leave the rest up to our imagination? Maybe the story is finished? I like being able to close a book and feel good about the ending. 

So, what do you think about series books? Companion novels? Stand alone titles? Let me have it! 

Friday 27 January 2012

Christy's Review: Allegiance by Cayla Kluver

Allegiance by Cayla Kluver
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pages: 512
Pub Date: March 2012

A special Thank you to Harlequin Teen for sending me this book to review. 

"Only I saw Narian for who he truly was: a young man with courage and an independent mind, and made to pay for what was outside his control. He couldn’t help his past any more than he could help the way those intense, deep-blue eyes pierced me and held me captive."

Bound to a man she cannot love, Queen Alera of Hytanica must forget Narian, the young man who holds her heart. For Narian is destined to conquer Hytanica at the behest of his master, the powerful magic-user known as the Overlord. Alera doesn’t truly believe Narian will fight against Hytanica—until Cokyrian troops attack with Narian commanding the charge.
Faced with the greatest betrayal a heart can know, Alera must set aside personal feelings and lead her kingdom through its darkest time. And when all hope, will and courage seem lost, she must find strength and remember that even the blackest night must have a dawn....
As I mentioned in my review of Legacy, by Cayla Kluver, I LOVE this series and practically inhaled both Legacy, and this sequel, Allegiance in one 24-hour period.

Allegiance picks up shortly after Legacy left off, with Steldor and Alera being crowned King and Queen of Hytanica. Alera is still in love with Narian and pretty much detests Steldor. Let me tell you, Cayla Kluver knows how to hook your attention! I had millions of questions, immediately after beginning this book: Can Alera forget Narian? Can Steldor be a good ruler in Hytanica and win Alera’s heart? And what’s going to happen with Narian? I was so wound up with anticipation that I couldn’t put it down and read this entire book in a day. Oh and the sexual tension between Alera and Steldor… let’s put it this way, it’s enough to make a girl say Edward and Bella WHO?

This sequel does not disappoint!! There were a few spots (continuity-wise) that confused me, but it may have been the lack of sleep (from reading the first book in this series all night long!) All in all, a great read. Miss Kluver develops both her characters and her storyline into maturity in this heartbreaking, action-packed tale about true love, honor, duty, and growing up. Can’t wait for book three!

Wednesday 25 January 2012

Review: Anew by Chelsea Fine

Anew by Chelsea Fine
Publisher: Acacia Publishing
Pages: 336
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Pub Date: Dec 2011
Format: ARC-Kindle

A special Thank you to Acacia Publishing for sending me this book to review.

Two years ago, Scarlet awoke in the forest alone, afraid, and unable to remember anything. Lost and confused, her life was a mystery...until she met a boy with a familiar voice. Gabriel has a voice from her past, and Scarlet's determined to remember why. She immerses herself in his life only to discover he has a brother he's kept hidden from her: Tristan. Upon meeting Tristan, Scarlet's world becomes even more muddled. While she's instinctively drawn to Gabriel, she's impossibly drawn to Tristan--and confused out of her mind. But as she tries to piece together her history, Scarlet realizes her past...might just be the death of her.

I have only moments ago finished Anew. I want more. I need more. What's going to happen?! Cliffhanger!! Let me just say that I was hooked from the first chapter. I knew it was going to be good!

Anew is a book about a girl who awakens with amnesia.  She has spent the last 2 yrs of her life trying to remember something, anything. Then one day, at a Kissing Festival, she see's someone she might remember.  I like kissing. I like even more that this book starts out at a Kissing Festival. I need to ask my local council if we can have a kissing festival.  Scarlet meets two brothers, twins, who know about her past.  But, how much are they willing to share? 

There is a paranormal aspect to this book that is pretty cool. I've not really read anything like this before.  Which I love. Vampire, Werwolves and Fallen Angels have been done to death. It is nice to get something original. There has been a  curse. It is a little complex and you don't understand it fully until practically the end of the book.  And even now I have a ton of questions. There is a love triangle! The heat is on! Nobody's feelings are out in the open in this first installment, so I just can't wait for book 2. I was practically willing Tristan and Scarlet to kiss. JUST DO IT ALREADY!! I am dying to know what happened in the past.  WHAT HAPPENED?!?!

I liked it guys! It was a quick read, which I love, and I like reading about fresh ideas. I felt the dialogue was believable, and I liked the characters. I'm looking forward to book 2 out this summer (possibly mid July). 

"Knowing death is nearby gives you a chance to live...deliberately."

Tuesday 24 January 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Book Settings

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature created at The Broke and the Bookish.

This Tuesday I'd like to share with you my Top 10 Favorite Book Settings.  I think a setting can really make or break a book.  I like my setting to literally take me away.  I want to feel I've gone away from my life for awhile and enjoy something different and/or new.  Let me share with you my Favorite Book Settings!

The Gable Faces East by Anita Stansfield
Australia. Horse Ranch. Hot, rich man. Historical setting. What is not to like?! The Byrnehouse-Davies Ranch is seriously a place I would love to visit. Heck, what am I saying?  I'd like to marry into the family so I could LIVE there! It doesn't exist really, but in my mind it is what I picture Australia to be.  It is a historical book, so it is set in the late 1800's.  I can not picture a better place and time!

Summertime, beach house, cute boys.  I now want a beach house because of this book. It is the ultimate beach read.  Perfect for your summer vacation!  It is YA Contemporary and I would have loved to grow up in such a beach town. It is picturesque! 

Fablehaven by Brandon Mull
Set on a Mythical Creatures Reservation.  Good and Evil creatures! This only will bring adventure!  I pictured it as a huge zoo for mythical creatures. Only the naked eye can't see them. They are hidden and only 'drinking the milk' will help you see them.  Every creature has their own lair so to speak, the descriptions are amazing! What a cool place to spend your childhood.

Harry Potter by JK Rowling
Come on?! Aren't we all still waiting for our Hogwarts acceptance letters?  Who wouldn't want to go to boarding school where you'd learn the Dark Arts, Eat amazing food, and get to learn magic everyday?  It is every child's fantasy!

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Set in Paris, France.  Boarding School.  I'm now mad my mother never sent me to boarding school abroad in high school. What was wrong with her?! I've been to Paris, and the descriptions are spot on!  The place will take you away as much as the love story!

Set in England.  Cherry gets to live in an old gypsy caravan in the backyard! I want one!!! I actually had dreams about that little caravan and how I'd decorate it.  It would be like camping every single day! Only cooler!

Austenland by Shannon Hale
Um, don't make fun of me OK.  I'd love to go to an Austenland type place where I could play dress up for a few weeks.  I think it would be hilarious and refreshing all at once!  Plus, England is gorgeous! 

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
Italy, India, and Indonesia.  This is a traveler's book.  I'd love to be the places she was.  She lived in those 3 countries for 4 months each. It is a dream of mine to be a traveler like she is.  She got to experience the people, culture, food, etc of all those places because she was there for so long.  I'd love that!

Princess Academy by Shannon Hale
In the mountains.  Academy for girls to learn to be a princess. Let me be honest, I would LOVE to go to an Acedemy to learn how to be a princess and hope to catch the princes attention so he'll choose me.  I think little girls around the world wish this.  What's not to like?!

The Widower's Wife by Prudence Bice
I have a thing for early 1900's Western books.  I don't know what it is about the great wild west that gets me.  The hardships the women endured or the simpleness of life? I can't get enough of this time period and place!

Do you ever get sucked in to the setting of a book?  What books have been an escape for you?

Monday 23 January 2012

Review: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
Publisher: Simon and Schuster UK
Pages: 452
Genre: Young Adult
Format: ARC-Paperback 

A special Thank you to Simon and Schuster UK for sending me this book to review. 

Mara Dyer doesn't think life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there. It can.
She believes there must be more to the accident she can't remember that killed her friends and left her mysteriously unharmed. There is.
She doesn't believe that after everything she's been through, she can fall in love. She's wrong.
I don't even know where to begin with this review, so I'll start with this; I have never read anything like this before in my life.  Cassandra Clare, author of The Mortal Instruments series, called it 'Haunting and Dreamlike' and she couldn't have been more right. I wasn't sure if I was in a dream or if things were really happening.  It's like The Beautiful Mind sort of thing.  This whole life was made up in the schizophrenia's mind.  I felt like I needed my own anti-psychotic! There were points where I didn't know who to trust.  Could I really trust Noah?  Was he the real deal or was his reputation correct?  I was dying to know what was actually going on with Mara.  Was she hallucinating or did those murders actually happen?  Did she need to be hospitalized?  I was also dying for Noah and Mara to finally kiss. What was taking so long?!?! It got to be 1:40am and I had 100 pages left.  I couldn't put the book down.  I decided to stay awake until I finished it at 3am. What a ride! I need the next book. 

I liked it everyone. I really did. I haven't ever read anything like this before and I felt very invested in the characters by the end. I'm still not quite sure happened at the end though! It all happened so fast! If you are looking for a 'haunting and dreamlike' story then this is it. 
"In my rush, I hadn't tied my shoelaces. Noah was now tying them for me.
He looked up at me through his dark fringe of lashes and smiled. The expression on his face melted me completely. I knew I had the goofiest grin plastered on my lips, and didn't care.
"There," he said as he finished tying the laces on my left shoe. "Now you won't fall."
Too late." 

Saturday 21 January 2012

Busting the Newbie Blues

Busting the Newbie Blues is an annual even hosted by Small Review.

I saw this book blogger survey at Good Books and Good Wine and thought I'd participate, even if it's late. I've been blogging for a few years and thought this would be a fun way to catch up with everyone.

1. When did you start your blog?

June 2009

2.  Do you ever still feel like a newbie?

No. I've been blogging for 2.5 years and I feel like I know what I'm doing with my blog.

3.  What has been the biggest challenge you've faced so far? Did you make any mistakes new bloggers can learn from?

Original content.  I had NO idea how this blogging thing worked.  It seemed every week a new feature was popping up on other blogs, taking all the ideas, and I had none! Or I'd have an idea, and before I could implement it someone would do it. It is hard to come up with something original that can be your own niche. I'm still looking for it. Maybe it's my discussions?

Of course, I made mistakes! Make sure to give credit where credit it due. Period.

4.  What did you find most discouraging as a new blogger?  How did you deal with this?

The numbers game.  There was a point when the blogs that started around the same time as mine did really took off but I was still left in the dust.  They were soaring, and I wasn't.  What was wrong with me and my blog? What was so great about theirs? Then I remembered that I started this blog for my family and friends.  They wanted a place they could come for all my book recommendations, and I was going to give it to them.  I still get super excited when friends find my blog and tell me they read one of my favorite books and how much they loved it. I do it for them.

5.  What do you find most encouraging?

When people comment.  I love feeling like I'm building a little bookish community right here on my blog.  A place where we can all discuss books and bookish things. I love comments!

6.  If you could go back to your newbie self, what five bits of information would you tell yourself?

Make friends
Watch your back
Be original
Don't worry about numbers

7.  What do you like best about the blogs you read? Have you tried to replicate this in your blog?

I love real reviews.  I don't like literary reviews at all. I like them short and sweet.  To the point. Did you like it or not? Tell me why? Don't spoil anything for me! I also love discussion posts. I love talking books.  I do try to replicate all this in my own blog. Why wouldn't I?! I post about what I'd want to read about here on my blog.

8.  What do you dislike about blogs you've seen? Do you try to avoid this?

Follow Hops and Follow Me Contests!! I'm actually shocked at how much this goes around.  There are new blogs that have over 1,000 GFC followers because they participate in follow hops and make people follow them for a giveaway.  Maybe that is a good way to get followers, but I'd rather people follow me because of my content not because they expect me to follow them back. I want people to WANT to follow me.  That they see something they like and want to come back and talk books with me! If this makes me have less followers, that's fine by me.

9.  How did you bring your blog to the attention of so many people?

Obviously, I haven't. I'm pretty small fry around the book blogging community.  But, my family thinks I'm huge! Social media has helped a TON! Get on Twitter (@SweetBookshelf)! I'm always there sharing much more than what's on my blog.

10.  When and how did you get your first ARC's? 

I'd literally just been blogging a few weeks and Lenore at Presenting Lenore found my blog and left me a comment. She offered to send me a few ARC's of my choice. I was flabbergasted. I couldn't believe how nice she was being. I didn't even know what an ARC was. I tried to pay for the shipping but she said no. She'll always be top notch in my book! I reviewed my own books or library books for a very long time. I don't even remember when I started receiving ARCs from publisher's. It just started happening. I'd do my blog without ARC's though.  It isn't as big a deal as people make it.  I still buy books and review them here! Sometimes I think it would be easier not having ARCs! They haunt me on the bookshelf. They stare at me while I'm on the computer.

Do you have any questions for me? Ask away!

Friday 20 January 2012

Christy's Review: Legacy by Cayla Kluver

Legacy by Cayla Kluver
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Pages: 496

I noticed his eyes. They were blue, sharp and intense. Despite the youthful glows of his suntanned face, his eyes were cold and unfriendly, suggesting he had great experience in the world and was now expecting the worst.

In her seventeenth year, Princess Alera of Hytanica faces one duty: to marry the man who will be king. But her father's choice of suitor fills her with despair.

When the palace guard captures and intruder—a boy her age with steel-blue eyes, hailing from her kingdom's greatest enemy—Alera is alarmed…and intrigued. But she could not have guessed that their clandestine meetings would unveil the dark legacy shadowing both their lands.
In this mystical world of court conspiracies and blood magic, loyalties will be tested. Courage won't be enough. And as the battle begins for everything Alera holds dear, love may be the downfall of a kingdom.

So… I was sent an advanced reading copy of the second book in this series, Allegiance. Five pages in, I was hooked. I hadn’t read Legacy yet and something kept nagging at me to read the first book first (brilliant, I know!)… so after becoming seriously hooked on the second book, I put it down ten pages in and downloaded Legacy.

I cannot even begin to tell you how enraptured I became with this book! I inhaled it. I tried, and failed, to put it down in order to sleep. I finished it overnight, then began the second book again, finishing Allegiance by the next evening. I can’t wait for the final book, Sacrifice!

What’s the big deal, you ask? There’s this girl. A Princess. Named Alera. She’s smart and pretty and has a great sense of self, and is coming to understand just what she is capable of as a human being. There are also these two guys. Narian and Steldor. Steldor is the Ego-driven jock of the story, amazingly handsome, smells irresistible; Alera is physically attracted to him and mentally repulsed by him. Narian is (to contextually quote the movie “Fools Rush In”) everything Alera never knew she always wanted. Narian’s got a sketchy past and there is impending doom on the horizon due to a prophecy surrounding Narian. Alera has to choose a husband by the time she turns eighteen and her father, the King, pretty much narrows her pool of eligible men to Steldor. What will Alera do?

This story is like every little girl’s princess fairytale in writing. It’s what we girls all secretly (or not-so-secretly) dreamed of when we were kids, role-playing with Barbie dolls and tea party sets (admittedly, I wasn’t a tea party girl, preferring to spin around on hot wheels). There are Kings and Queens and horses, duty, honor and palaces and mystery and HOT men (amazing love triangle) and just a hint of magic.

Get this book. I’m not kidding. If you enjoy a good Princess story you’ll love it!

NB: The author, Cayla Kluver wrote and self-published this book when she was 16! Wow!

Wednesday 18 January 2012

Touch of Power Blog Tour

Welcome to the next stop on the Touch of Power Blog Tour!  I'd actually never read anything by Maria V. Snyder before and now I have rushed to the Kindle store to see what she's got!  I am SO impressed.  I want more.  Here you'll find my review of her newest book, Touch of Power, and a mini interview.  Let's get this sweet party started!


Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder
Publisher: MIRA
Pages: 390
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Pub Date: Dec 2011
Format: ARC-paperback

A special Thank you to MIRA for sending me this book to review. 

What s the cost of a deal with the devil when you have the powers of a god? When Avry was growing up, Kazan was a prosperous land, rich in resources and served by a respected tribe of healers. Until the plague came. Developed by the poor territories to the north and west, the terrifying disease ravaged the people of Kazan and drove Avry s family away. Four years later, imprisoned for using her powers, Avry s beginning to lose hope, when a band of strange men break into her cell and steal her away. They need her special magic to save their prince. The Prince who ordered the plague s first release. Avry s freedom now rests on using her healing touch to save the very man who took away everything she loved...

Whoa whoa whoa! If you liked Graceling by Kristen Cashore then you are going to love Touch of Power! My mind is still on fire with this book!  I loved the preface.  A girl who can heal, but takes on the person's illness as her own to do so.  Avry is a selfless person to do such a thing.  Even though she heals faster than a normal person, she is still in pain.  That alone says so much about her character.  I like her. A lot. 

There is seriously so much going on here. So much to like I don't even know where to begin. The characters all have such good personalities. Author Maria Snyder gave a sense of humor to even the smallest of characters.  You get to learn about the main characters pasts, and how they are changing now, and then by the end of the book the people they have become.  I LOVE good character development! It truly makes a story for me. Let's not stop there though. The plot alone is so creative.  There were so many things going on one after another.  I was forming my own solutions in my mind and hoping for a way to save the day.  I did not see what was coming, ever! The romance. If you read my blog at all you know I'm in love with the romance of it all.  I was wondering if there ever would be any! I kept feeling it, hoping for it, wishing for it to come true before it was too late. It made the story all that much better.  

You know how I hate spoilers, so I won't say any more.  If you've been looking for a great book to start off 2012, this is it!! I'm already itching for the next book in the series.  Oh, and saying that it is a sequel doesn't mean there is a cliffhanger. I hate cliffhangers. Thank you Maria Snyder for tying it up neat for me.  I didn't have to throw the book across the room.  Now I can peacefully await the next book and its awesomeness! 

"...things happen that are out of your control.' 
Kerrick gave him a tight smile. 'You mean I'm not omnipotent?' 
'You're not even semi-potent.' 
'Is that even a word?' Kerrick asked. 
'He probably means you're impotent,' I offered."

***************Mini Interview***************

Blog | Website

For those who haven't read A Touch of Power let them know they can expect.  Give us a little blurb if you will.

Touch of Power is a fantasy novel about a healer set in a world that is recovering from a deadly plague. Avry’s world has blamed the plague on the healers and has hunted them down.  She is finally caught only to be rescued by a group who wants her to heal their Prince.  The group's leader, Kerrick, knows the healers aren't to blame for the plague and that she could do some good for a change instead of hiding. Unfortunately, she believes this Prince is the one who started blaming the plague on the healers so she isn't risking her life for some pampered Prince. As they travel to the Prince's hidden location, they're pursued by others who have realized having a healer around might just be a good thing for them, but not necessarily for her.  

Your readers can read the first chapter of Touch of Power here: http://www.mariavsnyder.com/books.php

What is the best part about being a published author?  The worst?

The best part is communicating with my readers! The emails I receive are wonderful and meeting them at book signings is very rewarding.  The worst are nasty reviews.  I don’t mind a bad review if it’s obvious the reviewer put time and thought into it and actually read the book, but those that are outright nasty are the worst!

Do you have a bucket list? If so, what are some of the items on your list?

To buy a motorcycle (I already have my license), to get another dog, to travel to all the wonders of the world, both natural and cultural, and to buy a house at the beach.

What are some of your favorite books?

Here are some of my favorites:
The Gate to Women’s Country by Sheri S. Tepper
Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
The Ladies of Mandrigyn by Barbara Hambly
Jaran by Kate Elliott
Soulless by Gail Carriger

Where and When are some of your upcoming events, so we can get our books signed!

This is my schedule so far – I’m always updating and you can find the current information here:http://www.mariavsnyder.com/appearances.php

January 18, 2012 Book Signing and Discussion with the Watch the Skies Book Club ( at the Midtown Scholar Bookstore, 1302 North Third Street, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, 17102) 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. 

January 28, 2012 Book Signing at Books A Million (5125 Jonestown Road, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, 17112) 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. 

February 4, 2012 Book Signing at the Cupboard Maker Books (157 N. Enola Road, Routes 11 & 15, Enola, Pennsylvania, 17025. 717-732-7288). 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

March 17, 2012 Participating in the Liberty States Fiction Writers' Create Something Magical Conference (Renaissance Woodbridge Hotel, 515 Route 1, South & Gill Lane, Iselin, New Jersey 08830) Please go to the website to register and for more details. They'll have both a reader and a writer programming tracks so you don't need to be an aspiring writer to attend :) There will also be a book signing from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. that's open to the public. The conference runs all day and there's a party after the book signing!

May 18 - 20, 2012 Participating in Pennwriter's Annual Writers Conference and this year I'm the Saturday Keynote Speaker!! Lancaster, PA.

*****WIN AN iPAD!*****

Create a video review of A Touch of Power and be in with a chance of winning an iPad!

Maria V. Snyder has teamed up with top teen mag Mizz to give you the chance to win an iPad and be the official book review for MizzMag TV to boot! All you need to do to enter is make a video review of A Touch of Power. MIRA Ink is giving away free review copies to the first 50 people who get in touch, so visit facebook/MIRAInk for more details on how to get involved! Also, check out Mizz Mag TV at www.youtube.com/user/MizzMagTV for an exclusive video of Maria talking about her new Healer series!

Tuesday 17 January 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I'd Recommend to Someone Who Doesn't Read...the Classics

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish

I thought long and hard about what genre I would choose for this Top Ten Tuesday. I don't know about you, but I had to read several classics in high school.  I know I didn't fully appreciate them then.  When you have to read something for a grade, it kind of takes the fun out of it, doesn't it? Over the years I've gone back to these and re-read them.  WHOA! Holy good books Batman! What have I been missing?! If you've never read any of the classics, let me show you my top 10 that you should start with. I hope you'll choose one or two to enjoy and appreciate. 

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
There is something magical about this story.  I have 4 sisters, no brothers, and I always felt that I was a part of the March family.  I've even called my mom "Marmee" since I read it when I was 16.  

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
If you read and enjoyed (or even saw the movie) The Help, you'll love To Kill a Mockingbird.  There is warmth and humor here.  The story is told through the eyes of a 10 yr old.  What is seen in the neighbourhood.  There are some hard issues present of rape and racial inequality. It has been on several Banned Books lists. Which makes it extra special, don't you think?

Lord of the Flies by William Golding 
If you like dystopian novels, then this classic is for you.  I read this in high school and LOVED it.  I was so interested what was happening to these boys.  I learned a lot about human nature and individual welfare vs common good. Superb! 

Persuasion by Jane Austen
Everyone seems to have read Pride and Prejudice or Sense and Sensibility but never Persuasion.  This is my favorite of Austen's novels.  I like to think everyone deserves a second chance and that love never dies.  Austen's writing is in a class of its own as well. Enjoy!

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
If you like a good mystery then this is your classic!  There are always a million different things going on, and you seriously don't see some of the twists and turns coming!  I've always felt sorry for Jane Eyre.  Her life before Mr. Rochester (and some during) was sad.  She seemed numb to feeling.  Mr. Rochester helps her know she is worthy of feeling and love as well as his equal. 

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
This is another dystopian novel written in 1953.  It is about a future American society who has outlawed reading and burns books.  Erie right?! This book has also been on many banned books lists and has been the recipient of book burnings. Ironic isn't it?! It is a fascinating read!

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
Great expectations it is!  This is a character development kind of book. Pips that is.  We see him from a young orphan to a Gentleman.  What he does with his upbringing and money.  

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
Oh my goodness! I read these books when I was 12 yrs old.  My older sister Katie was in love with them, and I wanted to know what was so great.  I wanted to be in on the secret.  So my best friend Jessica and I read them.  I read all 8 books in 7 days.  These books started my love affair with reading.  Someday I will visit Prince Edward Island.  

Harry Potter by JK Rowling
This obviously isn't an old classic, but a new one.  HP will go down in history as the best selling series of all time.  JK Rowling is the first (and only) billionaire author.  She made reading, glasses and red hair cool. If you haven't read this series, you are missing out on a ride of a lifetime!

Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
I read this in High School.  I actually loved it then as I do now!  Twain paints a picture of Mississippi life.  


Here is a list of classic books I've not read but are on my list:

North & South by Elizabeth Gaskell-if you've ever seen the movie, how can you NOT want to read this book?!
1984 by George Orwell- think The Hunger Games. I've heard they are very similar. 
Enders Game by Orson Scott Card- Sci Fi. My sister Becca swears by it.
The Call of the Wild by Jack London- the protagonist is a dog in the Alaskan Tundra. Sounds interesting!
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald- A book about the roaring 1920's, sign me up!
Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens- a work of satire on the shortcomings of the government and the society of that time.  It is about a debtor's prison.  I LOVE the film mini series! 
Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell- my mom says Scarlett is a true b*tch in the book, way more than in the movie. I'd like to read that!

What is your favorite classic? Or what is a classic you would like to try?

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