Summer Reading…Had Me a Blast!

Good Morning Blogging Friends,

Today, I am excited to share with you the first post of my latest blog series: Summer Reading…Had Me a Blast. Each week for the rest of the summer, I will be sharing with you reviews of my summer reads. I will be reading and reviewing everything from nonfiction to YA to New Adult. And you might, just might, have a chance to win all of my summer reads later this summer with the release of my first YA Contemporary novel, The Language of Silence.

So, let’s get reviewing:

Book: Don’t Look Back by Jennifer Armentrout

Genre: YA / Mystery

Summary: Samantha is a stranger in her own life. Until the night she disappeared with her best friend, Cassie, everyone said Sam had it all-popularity, wealth, and a dream boyfriend. 

Sam has resurfaced, but she has no recollection of who she was or what happened to her that night. As she tries to piece together her life from before, she realizes it’s one she no longer wants any part of. The old Sam took “mean girl” to a whole new level, and it’s clear she and Cassie were more like best enemies. Sam is pretty sure that losing her memories is like winning the lottery. She’s getting a second chance at being a better daughter, sister, and friend, and she’s falling hard for Carson Ortiz, a boy who has always looked out for her-even if the old Sam treated him like trash. 

But Cassie is still missing, and the facts about what happened to her that night aren’t just buried deep inside of Sam’s memory-someone else knows, someone who wants to make sure Sam stays quiet. All Sam wants is the truth, and if she can unlock her clouded memories of that fateful night, she can finally move on. But what if not remembering is the only thing keeping Sam alive?

(Source: Amazon.com)

Review:

There are two things you should know about me. 1) I LOVE mysteries. Ever since being introduced to the works of R.L Stine and Agatha Christie, I have sought the perfect mystery. Which leads me to the second thing you should know about me—(2) I am freakishly good at guessing the endings of movies and books. Sixth Sense? Guessed it. Prisoners: Guessed it. With that being said, it should be known that I guessed the ending to Don’t Look Back within the first couple of chapters. This should not deter you from picking up the book. My crazy deductive skills are my cross to bear, and none of the students I shared the book with were able to guess the ending. But, if you share my affliction, I still implore you to give the book a chance.

51QnleMwlfLWhy? Because Armentrout has a knack for the teenage voice. She’s hip and fun without ever coming across as forced or fake. And she doesn’t shy away from tackling the issues that face young teens today. Instead of filling her novels with long bouts of brooding, introspective moaning (I’m certainly guilty of that), Armentrout deals with the hardships of teenage life with a bit of wit and a tongue-in-cheek attitude. And let’s be honest, she’s good with the heat. It’s part of the reason she is so popular with readers and the blogging community.

So, if you are looking for a fun, fast-paced summer read, this is a good mystery to pick up. Perfect for a day at the pool or beach.

From Book to Screen…Sizzle or Scream?—-Vampire Academy.

Good Morning Blogging Friends,

Today, I am here to write about the movie adaptation of Richelle Mead’s, Vampire Academy….what I loved….what I hated…and most importantly did the film sizzle or make me want to scream?

The Trailer:

I LOVE movie trailers. There used to be a show back in the day on E! called Coming Attractions. This was thirty minutes of nothing but movie trailers. I LOVED it so much that sometimes I would pop in a VHS (those things that came before DVD’s..ask your parents about them), and I would tape the program just so I could watch it over and over again. Needless to say, I am very critical of the way trailers are constructed. Trailers can make or break a movie at the box office. Consider the movie, The Village. Packaged as a creature feature, people were greatly disappointed to find out that instead of a tale of blood, guts, and bumps in the night, they were watching a psychological tale about the power of paranoia and society building (Let it be known, I think The Village is one of the most highly underrated movies of all time). The trailer unrealistically packaged the movie as something it was not and damned it in the process. I think the same thing happened with Vampire Academy.

As you can see, the movie is packaged as a watered down, vapid Gossip Girl lacking substance and wit. Needless to say, as a fan of the series, I was highly disappointed and wasn’t going to waste any part of my lowly teacher salary on seeing the film in theaters. Thank goodness for Red Box.

What Worked:

Jeesh. Almost everything. The beauty of a crap trailer is that I went in with low expectations, and I came out wonderfully surprised. The highlight of the film had to be its star. She was wonderful, throwing out quips and snide comments with the ease of a Sarah Michelle Gellar in Buffy the Vampire Slayer—a skill that not all actresses could pull off.

Another point of praise comes with the film’s pacing. Sometimes, and don’t kill me book fans, the narrative became bogged down with back story and lore, and the film, mostly due to the ease of the medium itself, provided audiences with the needed information without weighing the story down.

I also, kinda, just liked the way it looked. The fight scenes rocked and the editing was masterful. For a low-budget film it never came across as cheap.

What Didn’t Work:

Again, I am expecting riots, but I didn’t dig the actor who played Dimitri. If anything, I was way more into and interested by the acting choices made by the actor who played Christian. It’s weird until the very last scene, I didn’t feel any connection between Dimitri and Rose…but then that scene totally blew me away. I kept thinking…where the hell was all that chemistry before?

Verdict – Sizzle or Scream?

Sizzle. Overall, I thought this was a pretty faithful and fun adaptation of a story I really dug. I recommend it to fans of the series. I only wish it made more money because they set up a pretty awesome cliff hanger, and I would definitely pay some of my lowly teacher salary to see more.

Even the Fatally Flawed Deserve to Fall in Love….

Even the fatally flawed deserve to fall in love…what the heck does that mean? Soon, you’ll have over 200 pages to help you find out. I am thrilled to announce….coming-soon

that’s right…I signed a book deal with Evernight Teen. Continuing my run with the wonderful world of small, dedicated, and author-centered and author- friendly publishers,  I have accepted a deal to publish my first YA Contemporary novel, The Language of Silence.

I will, of course, release more details into the world when I am allowed to, but what I can share right now is that I am super excited. This is a story I really love, and I am anxious to share it with the world. Dark. Gritty. Raw. And not always pretty. The Language of Silence follows two teenagers who learn that even the fatally flawed deserve to fall in love.

 

It’s The End Of The World….

…as I know it, and I feel fine.

Well, actually, I feel a plethora of dizzying, contradictory emotions as the end of my first books series, The Lost Souls Trilogy, comes to an end. I, no doubt, someday, will write quite a tome exploring my first voyage into the publishing world, but today I’m here to share some news.

Merci!

Almost two years ago, Entangled Publishing sold the Lost Souls series to a publishing company in french-speaking Canada. Last week, I received my copies of :

  Les Êtres artificiels - 1     Les Naturels - 2

That’s right! I am now published in two languages. Granted, I don’t speak a lick of French except what I learned from watching multiple viewings of Moulin Rouge, but I’m still geeking out over the concept.

Pre-order Creators now for only 99cents:

Yes, you read that right. Right now, you can pre-order the ebook version of Creators for less than a dollar. The final installment in the series will be released to you on the novel’s release date, April 28th. You can order the print book version soon! But while you are waiting for that link to go live, order those ebook versions at a huge discount.

Click here to order from B&N

Click here to order from Amazon

CREATORS Blog Tour:

The CREATORS blog tour will run both here on my personal blog and  slew of YA-centered blogs from April 21st to May 2nd.

Entangled Teen’s 12 Days of Kickass Event!

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Join us in celebrating Entangled Teen’s 12 Days of Kickass Event! This event is going to be a blast!

We are joining together to share some exclusive content with you all! There will be 2 teams, The Smartass Team who will post a good or swoon worthy deleted scene or an excerpt and The Badass Team who will post a villainous deleted scene or excerpt. And the cool part is we’ll be posting on each other’s blogs! The party starts on December 2nd and goes all the way to December 13th! We will wrap up the event with our monthly twitter party on December 13th 9 PM EST/6 PM PST as well! Each day will have 2 posts from us along with an EPIC giveaway!

So how do I join in you ask? It’s easy just follow along with the tour and find the hidden word (it will be highlighted) in each post and fill out the Rafflecopter form! What can I win you ask? You can win one of 2 Kindles (valued at $69) and we’re giving away 5 sets of 5 Entangled Teen Print Books US Only, and 10 Entangled Teen eBooks International! Also we will be giving away more books and Amazon and Barnes & Noble Gift Cards during the twitter party! That means 2 people will win a kindle, 5 people will win 5 of our amazing print titles, and 10 people will win eBooks!

Today, I am excited to host an exclusive excerpt from Kelly York’s, HUSHED:

 Technically I should have something for Made of Stars, but I’ve had so many people want to see how “Team Ever” (Archer and Evan) from Hushed are doing after the events of the book…and who am I to say no? Besides, it’s almost Christmas and you have to admit, they’d be damned cute around the holidays. ;) What do you think Archer and Evan have in store for them?

“Welcome home, Archer.”

From the moment I step through the door, it’s obvious Evan went through painstaking measures to set this up. The air smells like gingerbread cookies and burnt sugar cookies. There are a few gifts under the tree. The apartment is immaculate, and that right there tells me he put thought into this. I know Evan, and I know his tendency of throwing dirty laundry on the floor, books and games on the coffee table, and week-old dishes left soaking in the sink.

This is the first time I’ve seen a home outside of the care facility in nearly a year. That facility was home, in the technical sense of the word, and now here I am, in a strange place I’ve only heard about, knowing that this is now where I will have to rebuild my life. At first, stepping out of the facility doors was a relief. Now, without that structure and security it feels sort of like the ground is tipping underneath me and nothing is coming into focus.

Nothing except for Evan’s face. He’s watching me with his hands wrung together as I set my bag down inside the door, and it occurs to me how important this is. Bringing me home. My first impression of the place we’ll be sharing. I’ve never lived with anyone aside from my parents, and the thought of doing so now is terrifying, but how can I do anything other than smile when I’m looking at the soft curve of his lips and the hopefulness in his eyes?

“I like the tree,” I offer lamely, because this putting-my-feelings-into-words thing is still a work in progress. But the tree is nice. “Though the ornaments look like a five-year-old made them.”

Evan follows my gaze to the colorfully lit Christmas tree near the sliding back door. It glimmers, starkly out of place in his (our?) bare living room. “No, I think I was like…ten. Is that bad? We can buy new ornaments, if you want.”

I quickly say, “No,” and reach for his hand without thinking. Because I want to touch him. Because I feel I haven’t gotten to do nearly enough of that over the last eleven months. Because I spent so long feeling like I didn’t deserve it and, truthfully, I’m still not sure if I do. “Leave it like it is. It’s very…you.”

He grins, corners of his eyes crinkling. “Aw. Are you saying my badly painted ornaments and macaroni Santas are endearing?”

I try not to sound indignant. “I guess.”

“You’re getting sentimental, Archer. Who would have guessed?” His fingers tighten around my hand, thumb soothing across my knuckles. He doesn’t give me a chance to protest before pressing his mouth to mine, gently at first, and then more insistent when I lean into him like I’ve been starved for this for months. (I have.) He doesn’t give me a chance to tell him that I will gladly be sentimental for him, because Evan will always be home to me.

 Hushed_500HUSHED By Kelly York

Eighteen-year-old Archer couldn’t protect his best friend, Vivian, from what happened when they were kids. Since then, he’s never stopped trying to shelter her from everything else. It doesn’t matter that Vivian only uses him when skipping from one toxic relationship to another. Archer is always there, reeled in and tossed out, waiting to be noticed.

Then Evan Bishop breezes into town with a warm smile and calming touch, and Archer can’t deny his attraction to him. Evan is the only person who keeps him around without a single string attached. And the harder Archer falls for Evan, the more he sees Vivian for the manipulative hot-mess she really is.

But Viv has her hooks in deep, and once she finds out Archer’s dark secret, she threatens to expose the truth if she doesn’t get what she wants.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Goodreads

About the Author

Kelley York was born in central California, where she still resides with her lovely wife, step-daughter, and cats, while fantasizing about moving to England or Ireland. She has a fascination with bells and animals, is a lover of video games, and likes to pretend she’s a decent photographer. Her life goal is to find a real unicorn. Or to at least write about them.

Kelley is a sucker for dark fiction. She loves writing twisted characters, tragic happenings, and bittersweet endings that leave you wondering and crying. Character development takes center stage in her books because the bounds of a person’s character and the workings of their mind are limitless.

website | twitter | facebook | goodreads

Haven’t read today’s other post? Stop by Kelly York’s blog and check out my excerpt/deleted scene.

Giveaway Details:

2 Kindles (valued at $69) US ONLY

5 sets of 5 Entangled Teen Print Books US Only

10 Entangled Teen eBooks International!

(no purchase necessary)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And here’s the post schedule so you can follow along each day!

12/2/2013            Kendra Highley will host Rachel Harris with a Smartass post.

12/2/2013            Rachel Harris will host Kendra Highley with a Smartass post.

12/3/2013            Christine O’Neil will host Vivi Barnes with a Badass post.

12/3/2013            Vivi Barnes will host Christine O’Neil with a Badass post.

12/4/2013            Karri Thompson                will host Danielle Ellison with a Smartass post.

12/4/2013            Danielle Ellison  will host Karri Thompson with a Smartass post.

12/5/2013            Princess Sophie will host Cecily White with a Badass post.

12/5/2013            Cecily White will host Princess Sophie with a Badass post.

12/6/2013            Jolene Perry will host Lea Nolan with a Smartass post.

12/6/2013            Lea Nolan will host Jolene Perry with a Smartass post.

12/7/2013            Victoria Scott will host Sara Hantz with a Badass post.

12/7/2013            Sara Hantz will host Victoria Scott with a Badass post.

12/8/2013            Kelley York will host Tiffany Truitt with a Smartass post.

12/8/2013            Tiffany Truitt will host Kelley York with a Smartass post.

12/9/2013            Melissa West will host Cindi Madsen with a Badass post.

12/9/2013            Cindi Madsen will host Melissa West with a Badass post.

12/10/2013         Rebekah Purdy will host Shea Berkley with a Smartass post.

12/10/2013         Shea Berkley will host Rebekah Purdy with a Smartass post.

12/11/2013         Lisa Burstein  will host Jus Accardo with a Badass post.

12/11/2013         Jus Accardo will host Lisa Burstein with a Badass post.

12/12/2013         Renee Collins will host Tracy Clark with a Smartass post.

12/12/2013         Tracy Clark will host Renee Collins with a Smartass post.

12/13/2013         Chloe Jacobs will host Brooklyn Skye with a Badass post.

12/13/2013         Brooklyn Skye will host Chloe Jacobs with a Badass post.

We’re super excited to share all of these awesome posts with you and make sure to follow along on twitter and Facebook using the hashtag #12DaysOfKickass!

Back to Reading Contest & Super Deal on Books 1-2

Like millions of teachers and students, I will be returning back to the classroom, and I thought this needed to be celebrated with a MAJOR book giveaway….and other fun goodies for all my fellow fans of Young Adult Literature.

What Do You Win: One lucky winner will receive copies of the following books (Only US residents need apply)-

IMG_20130821_123536

Enter by clicking on the link below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

More Goodies: And that’s not all. Entangled Publishing and I are excited to announce that from August 23-26 books 1-2 of The Lost Souls Series (Chosen Ones and The Naturals) will be available for Kindle, Nook, and Apple for only 99 cents. That’s right.  For less than a dollar, you can join the world of Tess and James before the final book in the trilogy hits store in April 2014. You can purchase the books from Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.

CREATORS Cover Reveal

I am excited to return to the blogging world (yes, my summer goal is to get better at this)  to announce that in a few hours some of the coolest blogs around will be hosting the cover reveal for book three in the Lost Souls Series: The Creators.

Not only will over one hundred of the most bangarang (can you tell I’m thankful?) blogs in the reading world help welcome the cover for the final book in my first series into existence, but each of these blogs will showcase an excerpt from the novel itself! Pretty rad. All James and Tess fans should be pleased. Hint. Hint.

And that’s not all! You can now pre-order Creators for your very own collection!!! And that’s still not all. If you pre-order Creators before July 14th and send your confirmation code to tiftruitt@gmail.com, you will be entered to win one of three Mortal Instruments posters signed by Cassandra Clare.

IMG_20130702_211533

 

So, check back tomorrow for the big reveal!

Best of 2012 (Books, Movies, and Music)

Books

Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone

The Pledge by Kimberly Derting

Music

Tegan and Sara – Closer

Matt & Kim – Let’s Go

The Lumineers -Ho Hey / Stubborn Love

Mumford and Sons – I Will Wait

Awolnation- Sail

Calvin Harris / Florence Welch – Sweet Nothing

Florence and the Machine – No Light, No Light

Frank Ocean – Thinking About You

Alt-J – Fitzpleasure

Ellie Goulding - Lights (Bassnectar remix)

Rhianna – Diamonds in the Sky

Muse – Madness

Childish Gambino – Heartbeat

Philip Phillips – Home

Usher – Climax

Trey Songz – Heart Attack

Royal Teeth – Wild

Movies

Silver Linings Playbook

Prometheus

Spiderman

Les Miserables

Looper

Nano, Running, and Living Life

November 1st marked the start of National Novel Writing Month! The task:

National Novel Writing Month is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing on November 1. The goal is to write a 50,000-word (approximately 175-page) novel by 11:59:59 PM on November 30.

Valuing enthusiasm and perseverance over painstaking craft, NaNoWriMo is a novel-writing program for everyone who has thought fleetingly about writing a novel but has been scared away by the time and effort involved.

As you spend November writing, you can draw comfort from the fact that, all around the world, other National Novel Writing Month participants are going through the same joys and sorrows of producing the Great Frantic Novel. Wrimos meet throughout the month to offer encouragement, commiseration, and—when the thing is done—the kind of raucous celebrations that tend to frighten animals and small children.

In 2011, we had 256,618 participants and 36,843 of them crossed the 50K finish line by the midnight deadline, entering into the annals of NaNoWriMo superstardom forever. They started the month as auto mechanics, out-of-work actors, and middle school English teachers. They walked away novelists.

Source: http://www.nanowrimo.org/en/about

Sounds daunting, no? I have quite a few close friends who have joined in on the challenge. We have formed a writing group that meets officially every two weeks at a bangin coffee shop (though a few of us meet up unofficially when we feel the writing bug bite). For many of my friends, this is their first time attempting a novel, no less attempting Nano.

Thinking about on my own writing expirences…I have some advice for all my nano-ers out there…and get ready…cause I am going to metaphor it up.

1) Don’t over do it. The idea of writing every single day for thirty days is just insane. I ran my first 10k last weekend…and did I run the entire thing? Heck no. I walked when I needed to. Did it take away from the joy I felt when I crossed the finish line in my home-made dino hoodie? Heck no. You have to pace yourself. Otherwise, you will burn yourself out, start to hate writing, and produce complete crap. I write like I run. One day on and one day off.

2)There will be days you will fall. And maybe you won’t make your goal…but you went out there and tried…and next year, you’ll get that much closer. If this is what you love, never give up.

3) It’s the end of the year—live with no consequences. The best writing comes from life lived. Don’t lock yourself away this month…get out there and say YES. Don’t let insecurities and socially constructed morality hold you back. LIVE, LIVE, LIVE. You want something, go for it. You can worry about the consequences in 2013. Say yes to that persistent bad boy you know you shouldn’t go on a date with….get in your car and just drive and see where it takes you. Laugh. Live. Love. Don’t let the past or doubts or what others think hold you back. The BEST writers write what they know…and how can you learn anything if you shut out the world?

You have joined the author world…and if you let it, it will take you on an interesting journey.

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