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Saturday, March 31, 2012
*****FINAL RATING: 4.85 STARS*****

CATCHALL
Because I am incredibly lazy and the worst procrastinator in the history of everything, this review has taken months for me to actually write. On the bright side, this is my second review today! I'm working on it, I'm catching up…but anyway. Circle of Fire was fantastic finish to Michelle Zink's Prophecy of the Sisters series. I loved every intense and soft moment of it. I reread it often, especially my favorite parts.

THE HEROINE
AMALIA MILTHORPE
Lia is such a fantastic heroine. I adore her very much. She makes hard decisions and handles them very well. She also knows her priorities and chooses her battles. Lia knows the difference between things that are worth it and things that aren't. I love her for being strong in the face of difficult things. She isn't perfect, but she's realistic and human.

THE LOVE INTEREST
DIMITRI MARKOV
*swoon*
...
...
...
Sorry. It's just that, oh, well, Dimitri is so hot. Ridiculously, insanely hot. He also has some of the sweetest and most romantic lines I've ever read. I love him for always being supportive but never condescending, strong but never pushy. He always seems to know just the thing to do. He's wonderful for Lia, too. Reading about Dimitri just makes my heart ridiculously happy. Dimitri is one of the most amazing male leads I've ever had the good fortune to read about. Everything about him is marvelous and, furthermore, scorchingly hot.

THE SISTER
ALICE MILTHORPE
Overall, we don't see as much of Alice as we do in previous books, and she is much less the focus of this book. What we do see of her, however, is shockingly revealing. We learn so much more about her, and why her heart is the way it is. We also learn she is indeed capable of love. Alice becomes a much deeper character in this book, becoming far more than just the villain.

THE OTHER SECONDARY CHARACTERS
There are so many other fantastic secondary characters, but none of them really exist enough in the book to say much more than a few lines about them, so to save everyone's time I won't mention them here. I will say only that all the secondary characters were fantastically developed and I loved each and every one of them. Each character offered something slightly different in a beautiful and marvelous way.

THE PLOT
The plot of Circle of Fire was full of intrigue and anticipation. Every moment felt like something new was being discovered. There was an exciting race for time involved, a shocking and untraditional betrayal, and heart-pounding romance.

The plot was exciting and had a lot of great substance to it. There were some things that were completely unexpected, and some things also that weren't. There was real surprise involved with some things, but I loved being surprised. It was a fantastic plot line, basically.

The plot was very thick and actually required me to do a lot of thinking. I couldn't just read simply through. There were real issues involved, and I really had to think about some things that were mentioned.

THE ROMANCE
LIA AND DIMITRI
I love, love, love Lia and Dimitri's romance so much. It is absolutely beautiful and smooth. It is also one of the sweetest romances I've ever seen. Dimitri is such a steady and wonderful guy, and he really is always there for her. He's definitely good for her, and it's easy to see that from the way they speak. Their romance is also explored much more in this novel than in Guardian of the Gate, and I loved that. Reading about their romance is enough to make any girl squeal with absolute delight. They're one of my favorite pairings, ever. Period.
SECONDARY ROMANCES
There are actually quite a number of secondary pairings, although some are more implied than explicitly stated. Still, I love this fact. Thinking about all the cute little couples puts a smile on my face. Sure, it's a little bit fairy-tale-like perfect, but hey, it's a book. If you take a closer look, the romances are also all different--sometimes by just a little, sometimes by a lot.

THE WRITING
Michelle has some of the most beautiful writing I have ever come across. It is gorgeous and flawless and absolutely lovely. Lia's voice is so desperate and real, and it really contributes to making her a much more genuine character. She speaks from her time period and sounds just the way I imagine her. The description is absolute beautiful and isn't overkill at all. It has also much improved from Prophecy of the Sisters, when it was already very, very good.

THE ENDING
This was the absolutely perfect ending to the trilogy. I smiled and I cried. I felt all at once both happy and sad. The ending wasn't annoyingly coincidentally perfect, and everything was exactly as it should have been. The focus at the end of the story is perfect, too. Lia finishes by first continuing to close the rest of the story for the reader, showing how everything will be afterward and how she will spend the rest of her life before ending with a few very deep, gorgeous, and contemplative thoughts.

WRAPUP
I adored this series, and will soon be reading the recently released A Temptation of Angels eagerly. Michelle Zink has herself a crazy fan who will probably follow her wherever she takes me. This tries as a whole was fantastic and could not have been better.

FINE.
Friday, March 30, 2012
*****FINAL RATING: 5.00 STARS*****

CATCHALL
I loved Unearthly. It was, easily, one of the best books I have ever read. But if I loved Unearthly, I LOVED LOVED LOVED Hallowed. I actually finished it in one day, not at like three in the morning, because I literally DID NOT PUT IT DOWN. Ever. Until I finished it. And I enjoyed every single second I was reading it, whether I was laughing or crying or something in between.

(Also, my boyfriend read this book and he totally loved it, even though he would never admit it. But he definitely did.)

THE HEROINE
CLARA GARDNER
Clara remains one of my favorite heroines to date. I love her so much. She's strong and human and isn't afraid to make the hard decisions. I love the way she's always ready for anything, whether she herself knows it or not. She's a fantastic girl who actually does things. I grew to love Clara more in this book even more than I did in Unearthly, and I loved her quite an awful lot then.

THE LOVE INTERESTS
CHRISTIAN PRESCOTT
I'm sorry, darlings, and I love you all, but I have to say that I'm totally Team Christian here. I think in this book it's pretty much impossible not to fall in love with him--he's so sweet, and so perfect, and so always there. I love the way we get to know him so much better in this book. Christian fascinates and intrigues me, and he has a story to tell too. Most assuredly one of my favorite characters, and I'm really looking forward to him in book three.
TUCKER AVERY
Well, it isn't that I don't love Tucker, because I do. I completely love Tucker. I just love Christian more. Tucker is very sweet in this book, although I'll admit at times he got on my nerves and I kind of wished I could slap him. But those moments were rare and don't detract from my overall feelings for him. He's a solid character, but unfortunately I felt I didn't see as much as him as I might have wanted to.

THE (REALLY HOT) BROTHER
JEFFREY GARDNER
I've said it before and I'll say it again: I love Jeffrey. I think he's my favorite character in this series, much as I love Clara, Christian, and Tucker. He has a mystery surrounding him that's incredibly intriguing and I always find myself wanting to know more about him. Can we have a novella or something told from his point of view, please? I really want to know more about him, and the place he was standing at at the end of Hallowed left me breathless. I want to know more, and I want to know more now.

THE MOTHER
MARGARET GARNER
I liked Clara's and Jeffrey's mother infinitely better in this book, although I still felt that she tried to hold too much information back from them when they really should have known. But overall, I was impressed with the way she was portrayed in this book.

THE VILLAIN
SAMJEEZA
Samjeeza is back to play the bad-guy role in Hallowed, yet he never feels overused or outworn. He's a fantastic villain who goes far deeper than what he seems to be on the surface, not a boring and flat two-dimensional character. He also seems to have a story untold, a story I'd love to hear.

THE PLOT
Oh, how I loved the plot of this book. It was fantastic and magnificent.

Romance. Danger. Testing.

Cliché-sounding, I know, but totally true in a non-cliché way.

Every moment something was happening. Something emotional, something intense, something magical and completely new. There was so much anticipation in the book I literally suffered breathing struggles in some places.

Some of the events shocked me, some pleased me, some made me squeal out loud and bounce up and down with extreme excitement.

We also discover some new things in this book about angels and Nephilim. A few of these revelations completely shocked me, but some of them I could sort of see coming a little. We learn something in particular that I suspected from the beginning, but then I was thrown into even more surprise but yet another similar but also different revelation. I can't stay one step ahead all of the time, and yes, I like it that way. I enjoy being surprised.

But every single moment had one thing in common: I loved them all. Even if there were a few moments I maybe didn't like as much, which is completely possible, I don't actually remember them, which goes to show that they were unimportant anyway.

The plot was excellent and kept me on an insane emotional roller coaster. I was literally a wreck by the end of this book, but in a good way. I loved all of the emotional moments, even the ones dealing with generally unpleasant topics. Everything about the plot was beautiful.

THE ROMANCE
CLARA AND CHRISTIAN
It is no secret that I love Clara and Christian together. I think that they are a beautiful couple. The way their romance is developed in this book is also so smooth and lovely--it fits together like the pieces of a puzzle and is just perfect. It doesn't feel forced or fake, but completely natural in every way. It develops slowly but sweetly, growing in potency as time went by. It was absolutely convincing, and I adored it completely.
CLARA AND TUCKER
I also love Clara and Tucker together, because I can. I simply don't love them together as much as I love Clara and Christian. Still, this was a beautiful romance also. They had disagreements but got over them, and they weren't so sickly perfect that it got old too fast. Their relationship really developed in this book as opposed to Unearthly, and it was very nice to see that. I love the way they are together and how much they genuinely care for and love each other.

THE WRITING
Hand's writing continues to blow me away. Clara's voice was lovely in Unearthly, but it really matures and further improves in Hallowed. The description is beautiful and lush but still sounds conversational enough and not overly forced or stiff. I love the way Clara sounds like an ordinary teenage girl and not some sixty-year-old woman trapped in a young girl's body. The writing is flawless and I am left with no complaints, just a jaw dropped in admiration and amazement and shock.

THE ENDING
Wow. That was a mean way to end the book, but only because now I have to wait for months before I get to find out what happens next! I felt breathless by the time Hallowed was finished. The ending was absolutely perfect, though, all mean cliffhangers aside. I wouldn't have changed a thing about it. It was the absolute best ending possible. I could only guess about half of it, but the parts I could guess I was supposed to, and the rest of it was the surprise I had been eagerly awaiting.

WRAPUP
I'll be reading Untitled, of course! That's not even a question! Of course I'm reading it. I can't wait to see the title and the cover. I'm sure it will be as amazing as both Unearthly and Hallowed. Of this I have no doubt. I am insanely eager for the next book and am practically already counting the days. Oh, Unearthly book the third, please arrive sooner!

(On a side note, I think this may be the longest review I've ever written, which of necessity says a little something about the amazingness of this book.)

FINE.




Thursday, March 29, 2012

Hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer, Reading Away the Days, and Reading a Little Bit of Everything.

Time for yet another giveaway hop, because I clearly have a giveaway fetish. Not that that's a bad thing, especially for you.

This time, however, I'm going to spotlight a charity first.



Smile Train is a charity that I, or rather, my boyfriend, makes a large donation to each year. (I would, but my income is basically his, so technically I'm donating too.) Anyway, the point is, I came across this charity when I was maybe nine years old and it left its mark on me. Ever since, I've become almost obsessed with it, recruiting donators and more. So of course, it is my chosen charity to spotlight.

(And to avoid plagiarism accusations, I readily admit that the following quotes were taking directly from Smile Train's website.)

THE PROBLEM: Every year more than 165,000 children are born with clefts: most can't afford surgery. Clefts are a major problem in developing countries where there are millions of children who are suffering with unprepared clefts. Most cannot eat or speak properly, aren't allowed to attend school or hold a job. Being born with a cleft in a developing country is truly a curse. Every baby born in Uganda with a cleft is given the name Ajok which means literally, "cursed by God." Some newborns are killed or abandoned right after birth. The good news is that every single child with a cleft can be helped with surgery that costs as little as $250. It's a true medical miracle that gives a child back their life.

THE SOLUTION: Give a child back their future with surgery that costs as little as $250. Provide free cleft lip and palate surgery for hundreds of thousands of children around the world. That's what we do. We empower local doctors in developing countries by providing free surgical education. Smile Train can give a child a second life with survey that costs as little as $250.

REPORT CARD:
  • 725000+ free cleft surgeries have transformed poor childrens' lives in the past 12 years
  • 39000+ free virtual DVDs distributed to medical professionals
  • 320+ surgeries a day; every 5 minutes a life is changed thanks to donors like you
  • 24% average yearly program growth
  • 58 number staff members
  • 84 number of countries in which Smile Train has helped children
  • 1000+ free medical articles & publications we make available
  • 1100+ number of Smile Train partner hospitals
  • 1400+ number of Smile Train medical conferences
  • 2200+ number of partner surgeons
  • 120000+ total number of free cleft surgeries we will provide this year
  • 2.4 million free "Smile Pinki" DVDs provided (order your own "Smile Pinki" DVD for FREE here)
  • 30 million households which have received useful information on cleft lip & palate
REAL HEROES: January 6th, 2012, New York, NY—Smile Train, the world's leading cleft charity with over 2200 partner surgeons operating in over 1100 partner hospitals in over 80 countries, today announced that it has performed its 250000th cleft repair surgery in China, since it began operations there in 1999. All 250000 surgeries have been performed by local Chinese surgeons.
Smile Train was founded in 199 with the mission of providing every child born with a cleft the same opportunities in life as a child born without.
This milestone, marked by three consecutive reconstructive surgeries performed simultaneously by three local surgeons in three operating rooms in General Coal Hospital in Beijing, China, reflects the impact of the Smile Train model and how small donations can make large change in childrens' lives. Seven celebrities from different professional fields were also on hand to to celebrate this surgery milestone, including Kun Jiang, Zhao Ming and Zhou Zhibo. Charles B. Wang, Co-Founder & Chairman commented on the charity's milestone accomplishment: "Our collaborations with locally-based surgeons and partner hospitals around the world enable us to help so many children in need. We are so proud to have achieved this record-breaking number of surgeries in China  as we strive to reach a goal of 750000 surgeries performed throughout the whorl by June 2012."
Smile Train closely collaborates with the Ministry of Health of the People's Republic of China (MOH), the China Charity Federation (CCF), the Chinese Stomatological Association (CSA), and partners with 397 hospitals throughout the country.
Smile Train uses the latest technology to provide efficient surgeries to children around the world. The organization created the first virtual surgery software for cleft and produced an entire library of advanced 3D animations used to train thousands of surgeons around the world.
"With a donation of $250 we are able to provide a child with a second chance at life and are thankful to have such dedicated people working to improve the lives of these children," said Priscilla Ma, Smile Train Executive Director. "We also thank our generous donors for making this possible."

PRAISE FOR SMILE TRAIN:
  • "Excellent safety and quality record."
  • "…One of the most productive charities—dollar for deed—in the world." New York Times
  • "Largest cleft charity in the world, helping more children with cleft lips and palates than any other organization."
(End of shameless quoting from the website.)

Heard enough? Want to donate to my favorite charity? CLICK HERE!

I will, of course, understand 100% if you don't donate. Not all of us are lucky enough to be able to donate hundreds of dollars to all of the blogs on the blog hop, and picking and choosing will be necessary. Still, if you could donate even a few dollars I would be so, so, so grateful. At the very least, I would love if you could order a "Smile Pinki" DVD. I mean, come on, it's free. And no one doesn't love free stuff :)

But chances are, most of you are only here for my giveaway, so let's get to that!

As always, I will be using a random number generator to select the winner, who will be given 48 hours to respond. If I have not received a response after 48 hours, I will choose a new winner. I will continue to do so until I have reached a winner. This particular giveaway will close on April 4, 2012 at 12:00 P.M. PST.

For this giveaway, I will have one winner. I'm feeling generous after donating to Smile Train, so I'm giving away an ereader. I happen to know that everyone prefers a different type of ereader, so the winner will each get to select which device they would like to receive from me.

Two guidelines as usual:
  1. You must be at least thirteen years of age. If under eighteen years old, please have a parent's/guardian's permission before entering.
  2. This giveaway is open internationally, because who cares about shipping when there are children who don't even have proper lips out there? (Dropping a not-so-subtle hint to donate…that's the last one, though. I promise.)
Time to enter, darlings!


Lovelovelove,




And don't forget to check out the other featured charities in this hop!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Yesterday's post was a loveliness of negativeness. You all deserve so much better, but then again I do write my negative reviews so that people will actually read them. But today, I'm dedicating my post to gorgeous books with gorgeous covers. Enjoy the love!

Just your average boy-meets-girl, girl-kills-people story... 

Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead. 

So did his father before him, until his gruesome murder by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father’s mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. Together they follow legends and local lore, trying to keep up with the murderous dead—keeping pesky things like the future and friends at bay. 

When they arrive in a new town in search of a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas doesn’t expect anything outside of the ordinary: move, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he’s never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, but now stained red and dripping blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home. 

And she, for whatever reason, spares his life.


Read my review of Anna Dressed in Blood here.


In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has at last found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when rogue forces in the Clave plot to see her protector, Charlotte, replaced as head of the Institute. If Charlotte loses her position, Tessa will be out on the street and easy prey for the mysterious Magister, who wants to use Tessa's powers for his own dark ends.
With the help of the handsome, self-destructive Will and the fiercely devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister's war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal. He blames them for a long-ago tragedy that shattered his life. To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist-shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors, from the slums of London to an enchanted ballroom where Tessa discovers that the truth of her parentage is more sinister than she had imagined. When they encounter a clockwork demon bearing a warning for Will, they realize that the Magister himself knows their every move and that one of their own has betrayed them.
Tessa finds her heart drawn more and more to Jem, though her longing for Will, despite his dark moods, continues to unsettle her. But something is changing in Will; the wall he has built around himself is crumbling. Could finding the Magister free Will from his secrets and give Tessa the answers about who she is and what she was born to do?
As their dangerous search for the Magister and the truth leads the friends into peril, Tessa learns that when love and lies are mixed, they can corrupt even the purest heart.
In the beginning, there's a boy standing in the trees . . . .
Clara Gardner has recently learned that she's part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has a purpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn't easy.

Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place—and out of place at the same time. Because there's another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara's less angelic side.
As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she'd have to make—between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?
Unearthly is a moving tale of love and fate, and the struggle between following the rules and following your heart.
All three of these books are fantastic and highly, highly, highly recommended.
Lovelovelove,




Psst…as a reward for you actually reading to the very end of this post and an apology for the negativeness of yesterday, I'm doing a little bit of a bonus giveaway with no strings attached. All you have to do is send me an email with your name and I'll enter you in a giveaway to win all three books of the books listed here. This giveaway is lasting only a limited time. At the end of April 1st, 2012 PST, this giveaway will close and I will contact the winner, giving he or she 48 to respond to me at which point I will choose another winner. Please follow my giveaway guidelines.
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Today's post is being dedicated to three books that I've read because they have beautiful covers, then turned out to be not-so-good or even bad. Tomorrow, of course, will be dedicated to three books with gorgeous covers that were not a disappointment. I do understand that there are people out there who like these books, and I respect that, but it is also my right to say that I did not like these books. If you liked the book, don't read my negative review. Simple!

Fans of Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver and Becca Fitzpatrick'sHush will relish this intense paranormal love story featuring Romeo and Juliet, literary history's most tragic couple, who meet again, not as true lovers, but truly as enemies.
The most tragic love story in history . . .

Juliet Capulet didn't take her own life. She was murdered by the person she trusted most, her new husband, Romeo Montague, a sacrifice made to ensure his own immortality. But what Romeo didn't anticipate was that Juliet would be granted eternity, as well, and would become an agent for the Ambassadors of Light. For 700 years, she's fought Romeo for the souls of true lovers, struggling to preserve romantic love and the lives of the innocent. Until the day she meets someone she's forbidden to love, and Romeo, oh Romeo, will do everything in his power to destroy that love.

"These violent delights have violent ends
And in their triumph die, like fire and powder,
Which as they kiss consume."
—Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare


Read my review of Juliet Immortal here.



Can there truly be love after death?
Drifting in the dark waters of a mysterious river, the only thing Amelia knows for sure is that she's dead. With no recollection of her past life--or her actual death--she's trapped alone in a nightmarish existence. All of this changes when she tries to rescue a boy, Joshua, from drowning in her river. As a ghost, she can do nothing but "will" him to live. Yet in an unforgettable moment of connection, she helps him survive.
Amelia and Joshua grow ever closer as they begin to uncover the strange circumstances of her death and the secrets of the dark river that held her captive for so long. But even while they struggle to keep their bond hidden from the living world, a frightening spirit named Eli is doing everything in his power to destroy their newfound happiness and drag Amelia back into the ghost world . . . forever.
Thrilling and evocative, with moments of pure pleasure, "Hereafter" is a sensation you won't want to miss.
If Naomi had picked tails, she would have won the coin toss. She wouldn't have had to go back for the yearbook camera, and she wouldn't have hit her head on the steps. She wouldn't have woken up in an ambulance with amnesia. She certainly would have remembered her boyfriend, Ace. She might even have remembered why she fell in love with him in the first place. She would understand why her best friend, Will, keeps calling her "Chief." She'd know about her mom's new family. She'd know about her dad's fiancée. She never would have met James, the boy with the questionable past and the even fuzzier future, who tells her he once wanted to kiss her. She wouldn't have wanted to kiss him back.

But Naomi picked heads.
 After her remarkable debut, Gabrielle Zevin has crafted an imaginative second novel all about love and second chances

I really am sorry for the negativity, darlings. I didn't have a very good day to day, which is obviously carrying over into my blogging. I'll make it up to you in the week that follows, my loves, I promise!
Lovelovelove,

Monday, March 26, 2012
Remember yesterday's Covermance post featuring Bethany Griffin's Masque of the Red Death? Well, look, darlings, look! Here is an absolutely gorgeous interactive cover! I've had a lot of fun with it. I've also included a little excerpt that I think you'll all enjoy!



     The basket swings lightly back and forth, and he shudders. I open my eyes and look at him. He's beautiful. Completely beautiful with his eyes closed, leaning forward. He pulls me towards him without opening his eyes. 

And, I know, I have like a billion giveaways going on. Plus, my last giveaway that just ended involved a chance to win a preorder of this book. But I know so many people who are so excited for this book, and I wanted to give people another chance to win. So for this giveaway, enter to win!

For this giveaway, I'll choose the winners using a random number generator per usual. Let's have…oh…hmm. How many winners should we have? Three winners? I want to give more than one copy away. How about five winners? Five winners sounds good. Five winners it is. As usual, winners will be given 48 hours to respond before I choose a new winner. Oh, and this giveaway will close on April 20, 2012 P.M. PST.

As always, a few guidelines. I'll make a giveaways page soon so I don't have to do this every time, but it'll work for now.
  1. You must be at least 13 years of age. If under 18 years, please have a parent's/guardian's permission before entering.
  2. This giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY as long as The Book Depository ships to your country. (Is your country on the list? Click here to find out.)
Time to enter!


Lovelovelove,

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Everything is in ruins. 

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





PREORDER MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH!
  
Why be the sheep, when you can be the wolf?

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.

Ismae's most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?




PREORDER GRAVE MERCY!
  
IN A FUTURE WORLD, VAMPIRES REIGN. HUMANS ARE BLOOD CATTLE. AND ONE GIRL WILL SEARCH FOR THE KEY TO SAVE HUMANITY. 

Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a vampire city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten.

Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of them. The vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself is attacked—and given the ultimate choice. Die… or become one of the monsters.

Faced with her own mortality, Allie becomes what she despises most. To survive, she must learn the rules of being immortal, including the most important: go long enough without human blood, and you will go mad.

Then Allie is forced to flee into the unknown, outside her city walls. There she joins a ragged band of humans who are seeking a legend—a possible cure to the disease that killed off most of humankind and created the rabids, the mindless creatures who threaten humans and vampires alike.

But it isn't easy to pass for human. Especially not around Zeke, who might see past the monster inside her. And Allie soon must decide what—and who—is worth dying for. 


PREORDER THE IMMORTAL RULES!
  
Saturday, March 24, 2012
Hello, darlings! I'm sure you all remember my review of Zombie Love: The Outbreak. Of course you do. If you don't, I will say that it is a fantastic book and that you should go read my review right now.

But obviously, this is not the only reason I'm posting. I took some time and interviewed Eric, the author of this fantastic book. He's brilliant, did you know? I had a wonderful time hearing what he had to say and I'm sure that you will too!

Also, I'm giving away a copy of Zombie Love: The Outbreak because I know that there are many of you out there who would enjoy reading it very much. So read the interview and enjoy, then enter to win.


  • I’m sure you get this question all the time, but I have to ask. What is it that inspired you to write a book?
  • I felt that zombies as a genre had become locked in a place where people immediately understood zombies and knew to just shoot them in the head. I thought that in the real world, in our world, if your brother became a zombie, you would want to know more about what happened to him and how you could help. Just like any debate, I think people would choose sides. Some would want to exterminate, and some would want to find a way to cure or help.
    • When you first began to write, what was your biggest fear concerning writing?
    My biggest fear was that coming from a world of writing screenplays, would I be able to carry my love for writing to a longer form. I think that is a large part of why the book is short and very “to the point”. I am used to writing action. It was hard to slow down and build a story.
    • Tell us about the process involved in book publishing.
    The path that I chose with self-publishing was to go through Amazon and use the tools they had to offer. The downside was the self-editing. Even after multiple passes by myself as well as my girlfriend taking multiple passes at it, we still find errors. My best friend did the cover design, which I think is vital to standing out as a self-published author. There are literally books upon books written about this subject, so I will keep it brief, but it takes about as long to get your book ready to publish as it does to write it. If it doesn’t, then it’s not ready.
    • When did you know you wanted to write books and what convinced you of it?
    I’ve been writing since the seventh grade. I mostly wrote short stories and poetry until I hit college and started writing screenplays. After doing that for a few years, I found myself craving the long form again. A screenplay is great, but in the end your screenplay becomes a movie that may not be your vision. When you write a great book, you are putting the entire story in a person’s head, and they can take it and run. Each person takes something different away from it, which I love.
    • Was The Outbreak your first idea for a novel, or were there others that came before? If so, what were they?
    The Outbreak was actually one of five ideas. I don’t want to spoil the others, because I would like to return to them at a later date, but once I realized Zombie Love could be a trilogy, I really just couldn’t resist it. The others are a little more serious, personal, and dramatic. I wanted my first series to be light hearted and fun to read.
    • I imagine you are working on future installments in the Zombie Love series. How is that going? Any spoilers for us?
    I am currently working on the second book, The Road, and the third will be next year. It is going great! The one spoiler I would like to pass along is that Daniel is going to have a little competition for Summer’s heart, and the new person is not dead, so he has an advantage. We will see how that plays out.
    • Does music inspire you when you write? What do you listen to when you write and why?
    Oh man, music is key for me while writing. Not so much for inspiration, but for matching the mood of what I am writing. I have my set of movie soundtracks that I use for various sequences. The Hanna soundtrack is my go to for more energetic sequences or action scenes, and my personal favorite right now is the Drive soundtrack. Loved the movie, and love the soundtrack. The key for me is instrumentals; lyrics just get in the way of my thoughts.
    • What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
    Write. Write in your free time. Write like it’s your job. If you can’t be writing, be thinking about writing. Writing, just like any skill, takes practice, and the more you do it, the better you will be. And research other authors. I always enjoy researching popular authors because as you learn about them on a personal level, you find that they aren’t superhuman. They are just people who work really hard at their passion.
    • Do we get to learn more soon about how the zombies were created?
    We won’t be learning too much else about how the zombies were created, but we will learn a lot about how they are spreading, and how it happened. The genesis of the zombies will remain a cure gone wrong.
    • Anything you can tell us about the new character you introduced at the end of The Outbreak?
    I would love to tell you all about him, but all I can say is that he is in the second book, and he plays a very big role in it.
    • Do you consider Daniel similar to yourself? If so, how? Is he based on someone else?
    Daniel definitely has some similarities to my teenage self. Most of my characters have aspects of myself in them, but I try to not let that go too far, otherwise, you have ten characters who are all the same. Daniel definitely reminds me of myself in high school though.
    • Was it difficult to write mostly the point of view of a female character, Summer?
    I will leave that up to the readers to decide if she feels real or forced. I actually really enjoy writing as Summer, I think she is awesome. I hope that people like her as much as I do.
    • The villains in your novel are mysterious. Will we ever get a deeper view into their world?
    Books two and three will be revealing a lot about the villains, especially because the villains will be changing, expanding, and adapting. There will be a lot more than the men in black coming for Summer and Daniel.
    • The Outbreak involved drama regarding coming-of-age confusion and death. Did you feel it was a risk to write about such deep subjects in an otherwise humorous novel?
    Not at all. I feel that great humor is grounded in a serious world. I did want the book to be fun to read, but I did not want it to be forgettable and silly. Also, as the second and third books come to life, the serious subjects will still be present. There will still be my weird sense of humor present, but we will be dealing with very serious subjects; watching a loved one wither away, jealousy, religious fanatics. It’s going to get interesting.
    • Totally random, but just one last question: do you prefer the word sparkle or glitter? In all honesty.
    I would much prefer sparkle, because it is something sort of intangible. Glitter just makes me think of cheesy celebrations with people throwing glitter. Also, sparkles makes me think of that old Simpsons episode with "Mr. Sparkle!" Most readers may be a bit young for that reference, but oh well.

SO. Tell me that wasn't fantastic.

(And that last question? Talk about good taste!)

And now for the giveaway! It will close on April 13, 2012 at 12:00 P.M. PST. I will choose the winner with a random number generator and contact them via email. I will give them 48 hours to respond, and after 48 hours a new winner will be chosen. I will choose a winner every 48 hours until I receive a response.

Just a few guidelines:

  1. You must be at least 13 years old. If you're under 18, please have a parent's/guardian's permission before entering.
  2. This giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY as long as The Book Depository ships to your country. (Is your country on the list? Click here to find out.)

Lovelovelove,

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