May 22, 2011

I'm going away ...

Hey everybody,

In four hours I leave for New York City.  I've never been!
The main reason I'm going is for Book Expo America.  I am so excited to meet some authors I love, and spend some time with some of my blogger friends!
Tomorrow (Oh my, TOMORROW)  I'm going to a public library for the Teen Author Carnival where I will get to meet Michelle Hodkin, Gayle Forman, Susane Colasanti, and more.  If I get lost at all it'll be tomorrow.  TAC is not exactly close to our hotel ...

I owe you all so much.  I have a couple of reviews to post when I get home, as well as some interviews in varying stages of completion.  Oh, the giveaways I have in store ... and I haven't even gotten to BEA yet!

I really don't think I'm going to sleep tonight.

I hope that I don't freeze up when I meet Sarah Dessen, because I LOVE her.

So, I'm going to try to sneak more books into my carry-on ... Have a lovely week!


May 18, 2011

Divergent Giveaway WINNERS


Now, I get to reveal the WINNERS of an autographed copy of Divergent by Veronica Roth.
(Wait, did she just say winners?)
YES, I just said WINNERS.
I love you and Divergent and Veronica Roth so much that I couldn’t just give away one signed copy of Divergent

I’m giving away 3.

Thank you to Veronica Roth, HarperCollins Canada, and Indigo Books & Music Inc. for everything.

WINNER 1:  Diana
WINNER 2:  Carina Olsen
WINNER 3:  Cary Cheyenne.

All winners must email me at to claim their copy!

Now, here’s the deal:  I leave for New York and Book Expo America, (I’m very excited), on Sunday.  Since I was only planning on giving away one copy I’m not going to mail the surprise extras until I’m home from the trip.

Super special side note!
I met Veronica Roth on The Dystopian Tour, but she wasn’t the only author there.
Veronica Roth and Lauren Oliver toured together.  Or, are currently touring together actually.
They are both great, and I am right in the middle of Lauren’s first novel.  (I’m very concerned for the main character at the moment).

I have a copy of Before I Fall AND Delirium to give away.  No official contest / giveaway has been started.  I want to finish Before I Fall and read Delirium before I give either away.

I’ll tell you more about The Dystopian Tour later!


May 14, 2011

Love List (4)


Another 14th has snuck up on me.   So, lately I love ...

Bookish people.
Meg Cabot's Princess Diaries.
Darren Criss.
Jeri Smith-Ready.
Glee's cover of "Somewhere Only We Know" sung by Darren Criss.
Helping people.
Divergent by Veronica Roth.
HarperCollins Canada.
People who forgive my ridiculousness.
Talking about The Vampire Diaries with my manager.
The people that care about me.
When my friend says, "Oh my sweet mittens."
My local Chapters.
Talking to people about Divergent.
The photo of Meg Cabot and I.
Meeting Meg Cabot (because I MET MEG CABOT).
The fact that my mom won't give my Glee soundtrack back, because she's listening to it.
The Splendor Falls by Rosemary Clement-Moore.
Glee's Prom.
Being able to rely on my coworkers.


May 6, 2011

Divergent Giveaway

Hello everyone!

I hope you all have had a great week.  I definitely have.

In two weeks I’ll be going to a book signing.  I’ll also be going to one next week, but that’s besides the point.  Now, back to the signing in two weeks.  It’s the wonderful Veronica Roth.  You know, she wrote a book called Divergent, you might have heard of it.  You haven’t heard of it?  Have you been living under a rock (or hiding under the covers from the weather)?
Anyway, I’m getting away from myself again.  I’ve seriously been like this all week, so you’ll have to get through my babbling to get to the good part.
I knew I was going to this event before I even read Divergent (starts the “Let’s see how many times I can say Divergent” game).  Divergent was a great read.  I’ve recommended Divergent to quite possibly too many people.  Divergent was just that good.  Once I calmed down some from my hysterics after immediately finishing Divergent, I couldn’t wait to go to this Divergent signing.
Guess what’s in it for you!  A signed copy of DIVERGENT!
I’m getting one copy of Divergent signed for me, and one for this giveaway.  (Giveaway’s the world you all have been waiting for).

This giveaway is international!
You must be a follower of this blog to be eligible to enter.
I want to know which faction you belong to.  You can do the FACTION QUIZ on facebook, or if you don’t have facebook there’s a list of the faction qualities here for you.
You'll get an extra entry if you promote this giveaway. So go ahead and tweet it, blog about it, facebook it. Just leave a link.
If you want to type a couple of sentences while playing the "
Divergent Game" you’ll probably get an extra entry.  (By probably, I mean definitely).

Leave a comment with all or some of the above info to enter!
You do not need to leave an email address. I will post who wins, and they will have 48 hours to contact me. If they fail to contact me within that 48 hours another winner will be chosen.


You can read my DIVERGENT REVIEW.  There are no spoilers.

Abnegation is for the selfless.
Dauntless is for the brave.
Candor is for the honest.
Erudite is for the intelligent.
Amity is for the peaceful.

I belong to Candor.

I love Divergent, so I'm happy that I get to share it with you.

Good luck!


May 5, 2011

Author Interview: Holly Black

Holly Black is an author (for those of you who didn't already know). She is best known for The Spiderwick Chronicles. She also wrote magnificent Modern Faerie Tales -- Tithe, Valiant, Ironside -- and is currently writing a dark trilogy called Curse Workers -- White Cat, Red Glove, Black Heart. Holly creates worlds that lift off right from the page and into the reader's heart. I am happy that I was able to ask Holly some questions for Read & Riot.

Read & Riot:  Favourite book?
HOLLY:  I don't think I can pick just one.
R&R:  Favourite author?
HOLLY:  Tanith Lee, Emma Bull, Ellen Kushner, Charles de Lint, Neil Gaiman, Angela Carter.
R&R:  Favourite artist?
HOLLY:  Um, Charles Vess, Brian Froud, Alan Lee, Tony DiTerlizzi, Ted Naifeh, James Jean, Dave McKean.
R&R:  Favourite TV show?
HOLLY:  Right now, probably TRUE BLOOD, but I am also very fond of WHITE COLLAR.
R&R:  Favourite movie?
HOLLY:  I really love BRICK -- noir tropes played out in a high school setting -- and I was just thinking about A COMPANY OF WOLVES, which is an amazing Angela Carter adaptation.  But I always have a special place in my heart for LEGEND and LABYRINTH.
R&R:  Vampires or werewolves?
HOLLY:  I love both so much that I can't choose.  One of the first folklore books I ever read was about lycanthropy, but my middle school research paper was on vampire folklore, so I have been fond of them for as long as I can remember.
R&R:  What’s one item you should throw away, but probably never will?
HOLLY:  A grubby stuffed cat named Thomasina that I've had since I was a kid.
R&R:  Which of your fictional characters do you relate to the most?  How so?
HOLLY:  Probably Corny, because like him, I always wanted to travel to the world of faerie and I am sure that, also like him, I am totally unprepared for it.
R&R:  Do you know how your Curse Workers series is going to end?  You’re going to kill Cassel aren’t you?
HOLLY:  Muahahahahaha!

R&R:  How did it feel seeing The Spiderwick Chronicles the big screen?  Or did you not see it?
HOLLY:  It felt very strange -- it was as though my characters had been off doing things I didn't know about.  But it was also amazing -- all Tony's drawings and my words actually come to life.
R&R:  Do you find short stories or novels harder to write?  I have a friend who HATES writing short stories.
HOLLY:  I find short stories harder, but I am starting to feel like I am getting the hang of them.
R&R:  Do you prefer creating new supernatural species (or worlds) or know ones?  There are a lot of myths about faeries, but none about curse workers (that I’ve seen anyway).
HOLLY:  There are fun things about creating a magic system and fun things about drawing on folklore.  Both require creative work and research, but they are different kinds of work.  I would hate to be able to one do one as I like doing both so much.
R&R:  What helps you when you have writer’s block?
HOLLY:  Cassandra Clare has this really smart answer for this.  She says that writer's block isn't the problem itself, but a symptom of the problem and that when blocked we have to figure out why.  It could be that I've made a wrong turn in a story, or that I am telling it from the wrong point of view or with the wrong protagonist.  Or it could be that I don't know enough about my story.  But whatever it is, once I figure that out, I will be able to go back to writing.
R&R:  What advice would you give aspiring writers?
HOLLY:  Read a lot, write a lot and, if you're like me, find a critique partner.  Someone who likes the kind of stuff you like and who can keep you honest and keep you on track and tell you when what you write is working and when it isn't.  Not only is that stuff valuable, but learning to be a better reader and critiquer of *their* work will help you look more objectively at your own.
R&R:  What’s the best and / or strangest thing a fan has given you?
HOLLY:  The strangest thing was a dead spider.  The best is really just enthusiasm and love of the books.  I love seeing the t-shirts and vids and art.  I love talking about the characters.
R&R:  What do you do when you’re not writing?
HOLLY:  Mostly reading and traveling.  Throwing theme parties.  Also, playing with my cats.
R&R:  Was there a time when you didn’t want to write or be a writer?
HOLLY:  Nope.

R&R:  How did you come up with the idea for Tithe?  It was brilliant.
HOLLY:  Thank you!  I started with this image of a girl in iron chains that were burning her wrists.  It was just this thing that came to me out of nowhere -- just a couple of lines -- and I extrapolated from them that maybe iron burned her because she was a faery.  I also had this story about a girl who discovered that she was a changeling.  In putting those things together, I got to TITHE.
R&R:  How does it feel being in a bookstore and seeing your stories up on the shelves?
HOLLY:  It feels at once very good and also like I have stumbled upon something that belongs to me in a public place and I should snatch them all up and take them home.
R&R:  I think about the fact that I’m able to communicate with authors that I admire, and I can’t believe it.  How does it feel to be able to speak to your readers?
HOLLY: It's one of my favorite things.
R&R:  What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
HOLLY:  Jane Yolen once told me never to turn in a book before it was ready.  She was right.

Thank you Holly for taking the time to answer all my questions.

Since you're here you can check out my Red Glove Review!
You can visit Holly on her website, or find her on twitter!

May 4, 2011

Book Review: Shift

Title: Shift
Author: Jeri Smith-Ready
Series: Shade Trilogy
Length: 367 pages
Publisher: Simon Pulse (an imprint of Simon & Schuster)
On-Sale Date: May 3, 2011
Format: Hardcover

This review contains SHADE spoilers.

Logan has loved Aura since he can remember, and Aura loved him back.  Unfortunately, their relationship ended abruptly when Logan mixed alcohol with cocaine.
As someone born after the Shift, Aura can see spirits.  Logan, unable to pass on, stays in a somewhat convoluted relationship with the girl he can’t let go.
Zachary, the new Scotsman in school, is very much alive and attracted to Aura.
During the first book, Shade, Aura was unable to let go of Logan or deny her feelings for Zachary.
When Logan attempted to pass on, he couldn’t because he was tainted.  Instead, he turned into an angry spirit unable to find peace, a shade.
Shift begins with Aura calling for Logan.  She couldn't let him go, and wouldn’t believe he was gone.
She may be ready to help Logan do whatever needs to be done for him to pass on.  She might even be ready to have a new beginning with Zachary.  However, nothing is easy when it comes to Logan (or Aura or Zachary).
While Aura might be ready to sort out her love life, she is not prepared for the changes that are bound to come.  Aura desperately needs to know what happened to her mother a year before she was born.  Why was Zachary the Last person born before the Shift, and why was Aura the First?  Why can everyone born after Aura see spirits?

Shift left me feeling content.
For the first time, I cried out of happiness.
Time is always the issue.  Either the timing was off or there was never enough time.  Sometimes there was even too much time.  Frankly, you just wanted the timing to be perfect for once.
A reader could really connect with the characters’ right from the start of the series, so during this second installment the reader was nothing less than attached.  The emotions of every character were reflected in my own emotions.  This book and its characters made me emotional, because I could empathize.
The vulnerability of every character was astounding.  They kept working through their fears, but their actions were like anyone else, not like fictional characters.  They failed and were scared and wanted to give up.  Sometimes they did give up, but that didn’t last.  These characters were not meant for failure.  Usually curiosity got the better of them making them unable to surrender.
All of these characters had such heart.
Of course the entire plot encompassed an unorthodox love triangle (it might be accurate to say love square or love pentagon, but that’s besides the point).  Logan, although dead, had a presence that was very much alive.  Any reader couldn’t deny that he loved Aura very much.  So much that it mildly bordered on obsessive and possessive.  Zachary was the healthier choice for Aura, because his heart was still beating.  Zach wasn’t a better man than Logan.  Zach was kind and compassionate while Logan was sweet and captivating.  Both boys were a friend to Aura, and she needed them both.
It was a little heartbreaking to read Aura’s narration.
Although Aura was frustrating she made the right decisions.  There were times that I shook the novel, because I wanted to get through to her.  Aura made mistakes, and denied certain inevidabilities.
Jeri Smith-Ready had seemed to take her stories in a direction I never would have expected.
There was always more conflict hidden away and waiting to pounce.  Many mysteries were uncovered in Shift, but too many were created or left unanswered.  I remain unsure how this story will tie up with the last part of the trilogy, but I definitely look forward to finding out.
There was always something more to Shift.  There was something underlying that I could not put my finger on.

I’m not ready to leave Aura, Zachary, or Logan.  Actually, I’m not prepared for them to leave me.

Premise: 5/5
Plot: 5/5
Writing: 4/5
Characters: 5/5
Overall: 5/5

Disclosure: I received a finished copy in advance from the publisher. Receiving this book early did not influence my review in any way.