Thursday, June 30, 2011

Teresa Frohock's One Question Blog Tour for Miserere

If Teresa found herself caught in the middle of a street brawl, which character from "Miserere" would she have with her as back-up? Why that character? (Thank you for being here, Teresa!)

Oh, Corrine, I just squealed when I saw this question! I love it.

If I could have any character from Miserere at my back during a brawl, it would be Rachael. She is a strong woman in every sense of the word. She is also mature enough to know when to negotiate and when to fight.

The woman is just bad to the bone and fears nothing, which also works against her. She thought she was indestructible, but Lucian brought her down, and she has never forgiven herself for her lapse in judgment.

Rachael is driven to prove herself, and when she sets out to accomplish a feat, she intends to excel. There are no half-measures for her—she will be the best or she will be nothing. Even when Miserere opens and Rachael is almost insane from her possession with the Wyrm, she believes herself in control. That, I suppose, is the ultimate insanity.

Towards the end of Miserere, the reader will get to see her fight. She is a street fighter. Forget all this ballet swordplay—Rachael knows how to gouge eyes and break noses, and she doesn’t hesitate to do so.

Rachael is awesome.

But I’m prejudiced.

You tell me what you think of her after you get a chance to meet her.


Raised in a small town, Teresa Frohock learned to escape to other worlds through the fiction collection of her local library. She eventually moved away from Reidsville and lived in Virginia and South Carolina before returning to North Carolina, where she currently resides with her husband and daughter.

Teresa has long been accused of telling stories, which is a southern colloquialism for lying. Miserere: An Autumn Tale is her debut novel.

Teresa can be found most often at her blog and web siteEvery now and then, she heads over to Tumblr and sends out Dark Thoughts, links to movies and reviews that catch her eye. You can also follow Teresa on Twitter and join her author page on Facebook.


Miserere: An Autumn Tale
(Night Shade Books / July 1, 2011)

Exiled exorcist Lucian Negru deserted his lover in Hell in exchange for saving his sister Catarina's soul, but Catarina doesn't want salvation. She wants Lucian to help her fulfill her dark covenant with the Fallen Angels by using his power to open the Hell Gates. Catarina intends to lead the Fallen’s hordes out of Hell and into the parallel dimension of Woerld, Heaven’s frontline of defense between Earth and Hell.

When Lucian refuses to help his sister, she imprisons and cripples him, but Lucian learns that Rachael, the lover he betrayed and abandoned in Hell, is dying from a demonic possession. Determined to rescue Rachael from the demon he unleashed on her soul, Lucian flees his sister, but Catarina's wrath isn’t so easy to escape. In the end, she will force him once more to choose between losing Rachael or opening the Hell Gates so the Fallen's hordes may overrun Earth, their last obstacle before reaching Heaven's Gates.

Read the first four chapters of Miserere FREE here.

Book Trailer Link:

The next interview in the blog tour will be with Megan Burke at Literary Life.

Previous interviews on the tour include All Things Books, Layers of Thought, and The Written Connection.

Blog Tour: Sharks & Boys - Kristen Tracy - Character & Author Tens Lists

Kristen Tracy is here today with a couple of character tens lists courtesy of the Teen Book Scene blog tour for her new release, Sharks & Boys. Thank you for being here Kristen! You can follow along with the tour here, or by clicking through the banner. Enjoy!

Top ten reasons why boys and sharks do not mix.

1. Sharks have rows of razor-sharp teeth.
2. Sharks have indiscriminate appetites.
3. Sharks are a deadly mix of omnivorous AND curious.
4. Sharks always win the hit-and-run attack.
5. Sharks always win the bump-and-bite attack.
6. Sharks always win the sneak attack.
7. Shark repellant doesn’t work.
8. A shark’s investigative bite may result in death.
9. You can’t reason with a shark.
10. Boys taste delicious.

Top ten reasons why you should never get stranded on a deserted island.

I’m not just going to speak for myself here. I am going to speak for all of humanity.

People need access to their computers.
People need tap water.
People need taco stands. (with salsa options)
People need new music all the time.
People need to watch soccer on television.
People need to go to the movies.
People need cupcakes.
People need to own dogs.
People need to ride roller coasters.
People need to watch Stephen Colbert.
People need beds, and society, and other people to love.

Top ten reasons why it’s GREAT not having a twin.

10. If you’re having a bad hair day you don’t have to watch an identical head of hair having a great hair day.
9. People don’t constantly inspect your face for a distinguishing mole to make sure that you are you and not your twin.
8. When you fall in love you never had to worry, will this person accidentally cheat on me one day because they confuse my twin for me?
7. You never have to decide (along with your twin) what to wear to the annual Twins Days Festival in Twinsberg, Ohio.
6. If your twin turns out to be a psychopath and ends up on national television, you yourself will never be confused with being a psychopath who ended up on national television.
5. You will never confuse a mirror for your twin in public.
4. If your twin grows up to be a jerk, you don’t have to worry about defending the reputation of your evil, jerk-twin for the rest of your life.
3. You will never be mistaken for and then harassed by your twin’s enemies.
2. You never have to try to stay the same weight or a lower weight than your twin in order to escape being referred to as THE BIG TWIN.
1. And the number one reason why it’s GREAT not being a twin, If your twin ever takes naked pictures that end up on the Internet, you never have to go around worrying that the whole world thinks they have seen your naughty bits.

I love these lists, Kristen!! Especially this last list! Thank you so much for being here today! 

Kristen can be found on her website, and on twitter


When 15-year-old Enid Calhoun follows her boyfriend Wick to Maryland for a party, fearful that he might be intending to cheat on her, she finds herself sneaking on board a houseboat where Wick and his friends plan to have a wild night. But before the boys discover their stowaway, a hurricane strikes, and the teenagers are carried miles from the shore and shipwrecked. What follows is a harrowing, yet heartwarming, story of survival, as the teens battle hypothermia, dehydration, man-eating sharks--and along the way, confront their own deepest secrets, including their catalytic roles in the disaster.
Synopsis taken from goodreads

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Blog Tour: Land of Corn Chips - Angela Carlie - Guest Post

Angela Carlie is here today with a guest post courtesy of the Teen Book Scene blog tour for her book, Land of Corn Chips. Thank you for being here, Angela! You can follow along with the tour here, or by clicking through the banner. Enjoy! 

A behind the scenes look at the making of Land of Corn Chips.

Hi Corrine! Thank you so much for having me on your blog today. You gave me several wonderful topics to choose from for this guest post and I had a hard time deciding.

Believe it or not, I’m a parent of a child who doesn’t like to read fiction. Gasp! I know, right? He does, however, enjoy reading non-fiction, especially books on historical events. So at least there’s that to be thankful for.

About two years ago I challenged myself to write a fiction book he would enjoy. He’s a football player, so there had to be football involved in this story. Nate, the protagonist in Land of Corn Chips, loves playing football.

When my son was a few years younger, I worked in a chip factory and he used to love visiting me at work. He’d want to ride on the forklifts and watch the workers load the chips into trailers. Chip factories are somewhat automated and he’d enjoy watching boxes of product travel along moving belts. Of course he was never allowed to ride on a forklift, but what if he could? He’d totally have a blast and Nate does exactly that in this novel.

What kid doesn’t go through a phase when he owns or wants to own every WWE figure available? My son and nephews absolutely loved WWE and knew every wrestler and would save their allowances and birthday money to buy all the figures they possibly could. I even took them to see a live WWE show once when it was in Portland. They thought the divas were hot and the action was awesome. Nate loves wrestling too and gets the opportunity to wrestle some pretty tough opponents.

Stir in a few gruesome scenes with blood and guts, some zombie kids, a couple crazy dictators who may or may not have magical powers, and a few flying dragons and you have a work of fiction kids will love. Including my son, the non-fiction reader.

Thanks again, Corrine. Have a nice day!

Thank you for this post, Angela! I hope your son enjoyed Land of Corn Chips! It sounds like such a fun read! Thank you for being here today! 

Angela can be found on her website, her blog, and on twitter.


Eleven-year-old Nate Hansen never believed in dragons before an eccentric man with a purple-feather hat kidnaps him. Spirited to the Land of Corn Chips on the back of a mechanical yellow dragon, Nate must find a way to avoid being ground into compost. His only hope of escape is to earn the friendship of the local wrestling gang and zombie kids, and to believe in a parent he no longer trusts.
Synopsis taken from goodreads.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Blog Tour: A Scary Scene in A Scary Movie - Matt Blackstone - Teenage Garage Sale

Today, Matt Blackstone is here with a Teenage Garage Sale post courtesy of the Teen Book Scene blog tour for his upcoming release, A Scary Scene in A Scary Movie. Thank you for being here, Matt! You can follow along with the tour here, or by clicking through the banner. Enjoy!

$10 Tuxedo. I’d like to say that I bought one because of how frequently I was asked to esquire ladies to local dances. I can’t say that.

$8.50 Graphing Calculator. Not sure how to work the math buttons, but I know how to play Tetris.

$5.75 Saved by the Bell DVD. “I’m so excited and I just can’t hide it. I just . . . can’t.”

$5 Purple Easton Baseball Bat: My mom still refers to it as “the magic bat” because my baseball team miraculously hit balls out of the infield when using it. The nickname is rather mean when you really think about it.

$3.50 Blue Tuxedo Vest: I rocked it in style, though it wasn’t remotely close to being in style.

$2 Yellow visor. Seems liked a good idea at the time.

$1 Speedo. Yup, I was on the swim team for a year. I came last in every race. Even with the Speedo.

$.95 V8 Splash: This was the drink of choice in the Blackstone house. Sounds gross. And, wouldn’t you know, it tastes gross too.

$.50 Mariah Carey CD: Music Box. I liked the song Hero but hid the CD in my sock drawer so none of my friends would see it. There’s a hero . . . if you look inside your sock drawer . . . you don’t to be afraid . . .

$0 Hemp necklace. Take it. I’m ashamed.

Nice group of items at your garage sale, Matt! Thank you for being here!

Matt can be found on his website, and on twitter.

There is also an ongoing giveaway for 10 copies of his book now through July 31st. You can find that giveaway located here.


Rene, an obsessive-compulsive fourteen year old, smells his hands and wears a Batman cape when he’s nervous. If he picks up a face-down coin, moves a muscle when the time adds up to thirteen (7:42 is bad luck because 7 + 4 + 2 = 13), or washes his body parts in the wrong order, Rene or someone close to him will break a bone, contract a deadly virus, and/or die a slow and painful death like someone in a scary scene in scary movie. Rene’s new and only friend tutors him in the art of playing it cool, but that’s not as easy as Gio makes it sound.
Synopsis taken from goodreads.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Cinder and Ella - Melissa Lemon - Blog Tour Review

After their father’s disappearance, Cinder leaves home for a servant job at the castle. But it isn’t long before her sister Ella is brought to the castle herself—the most dangerous place in all the kingdom for both her and Cinder. Cinder and Ella is a Cinderella story like no other and one you'll never forget.
Synopsis taken from goodreads.

Title: Cinder and Ella
Author: Melissa Lemon
Genre: Young Adult, Fairytale Retelling
Publisher: Bonneville Books
Publication Date: November 8, 2011
Format: E-galley
Source: Received from netgalley, and Cedar Fort Publishing. Many thanks goes to Netgalley and Cedar Fort Publishing for sending me a copy of this book for review. I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review. 
My rating: 3.5/5

Cinder and Ella are left to take care of their family when their father disappears. Their mother focuses solely on work, and their other two sisters rely on them for everything. When Cinder heads to the castle to obtain a job, she doesn't realize that she is heading into dangerous territory. Ella soon is brought to the castle as well, however she has been brought under false pretenses and she will have to beware the evil prince. Will she be able to save herself and those she loves from the dangers that lurk around them? 
Cinder and Ella is a captivating fairytale retelling of the classic story, Cinderella. The only resemblance to the original tale are the characters names, Cinder and Ella. Cinder and Ella are both similar in personality, however they retain their individuality. Cinder is a sweet girl who will do anything for anyone without complaint. Ella is more spunky, and she stands up for herself and Cinder. Their home life is challenging to say the least, and it seems like Cinder is more of a doormat, until she leaves to find work at the castle. Ella on the other hand doesn't stand for all of the abuse that she and Cinder are put through by their siblings. 
It was interesting to see how the element of trees and their lives were intertwined. I just wish we could have had more background on that part of the story, or had that aspect fleshed out a bit more. I'm interested in how the story will evolve as Melissa Lemon has mentioned that the story isn't finished, and that she is working on a follow-up novel to Cinder and Ella. I'm intrigued to find out where she'll take the story next.
All in all, this is definitely a cute read, and I'd recommend it for tweens and teens alike. This isn't your everyday Cinderella story, and though there is a prince, he's not Prince Charming. Cinder and Ella have their work cut out for them if they want to work or live in the castle. Honorable knights with bumbling personalities will entice a laugh or two out of the reader as well. Although this was a bit predictable, it was still a cute read. 

Blog Tour: Aurora Undefined - Kate Hinderer - Tens List

Today, Kate Hinderer is here with a tens list courtesy of the Teen Book Scene blog tour for her book, Aurora Undefined. Thank you for being here, Kate! You can follow along with the tour here, or by clicking through the banner. Enjoy!

10 people that have inspired you.

I loved the idea of writing about 10 people who inspired me. Some people came to mind immediately. Others took some thought. But all of the people named below have helped form me into the writer and person I am today.

Paul Salsini – The best journalism professor I ever had. He taught me the importance of showing not telling. He taught me the great power that only a few words can have. He pushed me to go beyond the basics of writing to create my own voice.

Gemma Cremers – My high school advisor. She was the first person who believed I could be a journalist and it was a good profession for me to enter into. She also served as the newspaper advisor when I started the paper as a Junior in High School.

Madeleine L’Engle – The author I wish I could be. She wrote real life and sci-fi; but all her books were filled with real human emotions and experiences. She didn’t waste words and she made every scene count.

Maureen Melody – My high school history teacher who helped me see writing was a true talent of mine. She also helped me realize the importance of revealing the truth, even if it is hard to hear and hard to write.

Thomas Friedman – A journalist an The New York Times and author of the first non-fiction journalism book I ever read: From Beruit to Jerusalem. His experiences confirmed my love for the profession.

Oscar de la Renta – Random, I know. But this fashion designer is one of the reasons I love writing about fashion. He has a way of flattering the female figure and making women look absolutely stunning in everything he makes.

Louisa May Alcott – A revolutionary of her times, making money with her writings when women weren’t seen as true professionals. She not only made a living but also became one of the few female authors that goes down in history and is read by generation after generation.

Amanda Hocking – While, paranormal isn’t my personal focus, she has established something that all ebook authors strive for… notoriety for her online writings without a single traditionally published book. She’s an inspiration to every want-to-be author.

My Parents – I can’t leave them out! My parents helped me and inspired me along every step I took. And even now, while I’m on my own, they still encourage me and push me to be better.

What an awesome list! Thank you so much for being here today, Kate!

Kate can be found on her blog.


Aurora is entering her senior year and everything around her seems to be falling apart. Her best friend has joined the cool crowd and she struggles to grapple with the loss. But when tragedy strikes, Aurora realizes what loss is really all about and how moving on becomes a fight of the will, mind and heart.
Synopsis taken from goodreads.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Blog Tour: A Need So Beautiful - Suzanne Young - Summer Reads

Suzanne Young is here today courtesy of the Teen Book Scene blog tour for her new release, A Need So Beautiful. Thank you for being here, Suzanne! You can follow along with the tour here, or by clicking through the banner. Enjoy!

Summer Reads I’m Most Excited About:

With A Need so Beautiful coming out in the summer, I’ve had a chance to check out the other books in the Summer 11 season, and I have to tell you, I have my eye on quite a few of them. Here are the summer reads I’m most excited about!

Imaginary Girls- Nove Ren Suma

The Day Before- Lisa Schroeder

Hourglass- Myra McEntire

Possession-Elana Johnson

Luminous- Dawn Metcalf

There are a billion others, but I only have so much time! So these are on the top of my HUGE summer reading pile! What’s on yours???

Great selection, Suzanne! These are all on my to-read list, or have read and are amazing list! I hope you enjoy them when you do read them!! =)
Thank you for being here today, Suzanne! 

Suzanne can be found on her blog, and on twitter


We all want to be remembered. Charlotte's destiny is to be Forgotten...

Charlotte’s best friend thinks Charlotte might be psychic. Her boyfriend thinks she’s cheating on him. But Charlotte knows what’s really wrong: She is one of the Forgotten, a kind of angel on earth, who feels the Need—a powerful, uncontrollable draw to help someone, usually a stranger.

But Charlotte never wanted this responsibility. What she wants is to help her best friend, whose life is spiraling out of control. She wants to lie in her boyfriend's arms forever. But as the Need grows stronger, it begins to take a dangerous toll on Charlotte. And who she was, is, and will become--her mark on this earth, her very existence--is in jeopardy of disappearing completely.

Charlotte will be forced to choose: Should she embrace her fate as a Forgotten, a fate that promises to rip her from the lives of those she loves forever? Or is she willing to fight against her destiny--no matter how dark the consequences.
Synopsis taken from goodreads.

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Day Before - Lisa Schroeder

Amber’s life is spinning out of control. All she wants is to turn up the volume on her iPod until all of the demands of family and friends fade away. So she sneaks off to the beach to spend a day by herself.
Then Amber meets Cade. Their attraction is instant, and Amber can tell he’s also looking for an escape. Together they decide to share a perfect day: no pasts, no fears, no regrets.

The more time that Amber spends with Cade, the more she’s drawn to him. And the more she’s troubled by his darkness. Because Cade’s not just living in the now—he’s living each moment like it’s his last.
Synopsis taken from goodreads.

Title: The Day Before
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: June 28, 2011
Format: E-ARC
Source: Galley Grab. Many thanks to the Galley Grab team for sending me a copy of this book for review. I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review.
Look for it: Amazon, Book Depository
My rating: 5/5

My review, in verse. 

There was a girl.
There was a boy.
There was a day.
The Day Before.
New realities
Converging under
The stars.
The rustle of the wind
Enticing, beckoning,
Follow me.
Waves roaring in,
Water lapping
Against the shore.
One girl. One boy. One day.
Experiences felt,
Committed to memory.
One girl, one boy. 
Heartbreaking reality,
Haunting faces.
Empowering moments.
I want to break free!
Always, tirelessly
Caressing the sky.
Unrepentant, embracing
New directions.
The Day Before.
Realistic and heartbreaking
In portrayal.
Goosebumps erupt
As time draws to a close
For one girl.
One boy.
One day.

Lisa Schroeder
Has done it
Turbulence erupts
As emotions
Break free.
Mesmerizing an audience,
held captive.
Rising for
A standing ovation.

Blog Tour: Bitter End - Jennifer Brown - Alex's This or That List

Today, Jennifer Brown is here with Alex, her main character from Bitter End. Alex is here giving us her preferences on a this or that list. This post is part of the Teen Book Scene blog tour for Bitter End. Thank you for being here today, Jennifer and Alex! You can follow along with the tour here, or by clicking through the banner. Enjoy!

Large group of friends but not really close to any of them OR only a few friends but you're really close to themOnly a few, but they’re the best friends ever. Forever friends, The Terrible Three, the three-headed monster—that’s Zack, Bethany, and me.

Go to the movie theater or wait for the movie to come out on dvdGo to the movie theater, especially if Cole’s in a romantic mood. He can really make the butterflies show up when he wants to. Our first kiss was at a movie theater!

Lipstick or MascaraLipstick, and concealer, but I don’t really want to talk about that. It’s embarrassing.

Sunrise or SunsetOh, man, sunset viewed from the top of the spillway, wrapped in Cole’s arms. So beautiful.

Sweet or SaltySweet.

Newspaper or BookBook…of poems.

Poetry or Short StoryAh, you read my mind! Poetry, all the way! I think maybe one day I’ll be a poet.

Day or NightNight. Daytime shows bruises too easily.

Computer or Cell PhoneCell phone, even though it makes it too easy for someone to know where you are at all times.

Bowling or Mini-golfingMini-golfing.

Country or Rock MusicRock music, but I do have a little bit of a soft spot for John Denver. He sang a lot about the mountains and Colorado, an interest we definitely have in common.

Spring or FallFall. Cole and I fell in love in the fall. Fall was a good time for us.

Quiet and reserved or outgoing and boisterous (can answer as both your personality or what you look for in a guy)I’m quiet and reserved, but my friend Zack is outgoing and boisterous, and it’s one of the things I love about him. And love to hate about him, too. But mostly just love.

Striped or Solid Coloured ClothingSolid.

Skirts or PantsPants.

Thank you again for being here today, Alex and Jennifer! 

Jennifer can be found on her website, and on her blog.


When Alex falls for the charming new boy at school, Cole, a handsome, funny, sports star who adores her, she can't believe she's finally found her soul mate-someone who truly understands her and loves her for who she really is.

At first, Alex is blissfully happy. Sure, Cole seems a little jealous of her relationship with her best friends, Zack and Bethany, but what guy would want his girlfriend spending all of her time with another boy? But as the months pass, Alex can no longer ignore Cole's small put-downs, pinches, or increasingly violent threats. As Alex struggles to come to terms with the sweet boyfriend she fell in love with and the boyfriend whose "love" she no longer recognizes, she is forced to choose - between her "true love" and herself.
Synopsis taken from goodreads.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Witch of Babylon - D.J. McIntosh - Blog Tour Review & Guest Post

The Witch of Babylon features John Madison, a New York art dealer caught up in the aftermath of the looting of the Baghdad Museum. It includes an elaborate puzzle that must be solved in order to locate a missing biblical antiquity and a spectacular lost treasure, as well as alchemy, murder, and the Mesopotamian cult of Istar. Alternating between war-torn Baghdad and New York, with forays into ancient Mesopotamian culture, The Witch of Babylon takes readers deep inside the world of Assyriology and its little-known but profound significance for the modern world.
Synopsis taken from goodreads.

Title: The Witch of Babylon
Genre: Adult Fiction, Historical, Religious Thriller, Suspense
Publisher: Penguin Canada
Publication Date: June 7, 2011
Format: ARC
Source: Received from publicist. Many thanks goes to Bronwyn from Penguin Canada for sending me a copy of this book for review. I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review. 
Tour: Penguin Book Tour. 
Look for it: Amazon, Penguin
My rating: 3.5/5

John Madison is still reeling from the death of his brother, Samuel, when suddenly, Hal, one of his longtime friends, is murdered. Madison is pulled into a terrifying game of historical and Biblical proportions when he realizes that Hal stole an artifact from his deceased brother, Samuel. When an arcane group comes after John for the artifact, he will have to track it down to save not only himself, but those around him. With danger lurking ever closer, he will have to solve the riddles left to him by Hal before he is pulled in too deep. What follows will unveil a complex yet famous myth hidden within the annals of history.  
John is a complex character. He lives his life in shades of gray, but he is not all bad. He is quite knowledgeable about certain elements pertaining to art and archaeology, however when tasked with figuring out the riddles given to him by his deceased friend, he struggles. He reaches out to certain people and entrusts the riddles with them, but they still take a while to figure things out. I found that dragged for me. 
However, the history used, and the amount of research that went into this book is phenomenal. I am an avid fan of anything historical and I love reading up on it. Though The Witch of Babylon does not necessarily have as staggering a reveal as The Da Vinci Code, it still has an excellent theological, and mythological premise. I was hooked when it first opened up and we started to get to the meat of the story. I loved reading about the history, as well as the action that follows as John races against time to save his life and the lives of those closest to him.
With complex characters, and an intricately woven plot, this is a fast-paced read. The mythological and theological ramifications just add to the story. Though The Witch of Babylon starts off slow, it ramps up speed as it keeps the reader invested in the outcome.
All in all, a thrilling race against time as John travels half-way across the world to find a hidden and stolen artifact. Those who enjoy religious thrillers, or thrillers in general are sure to enjoy The Witch of Babylon. 

Guest Post

Bad Guys Volume Two
By D.J. McIntosh

The clear split between good and evil in many thrillers makes for heart-pounding suspense but is a world carved into clear lines of black and white, hero and villain, the most satisfying  kind of read? On another blog I argue that a “bad guy” (or lady as the case may be) can be one dimensional, that is without any apparent redeeming features or an explanation of their motives other than being driven by “pure evil”, provided the author makes that character fascinating to us and unique. And we like to be scared out of our shoes by a really bad apple and then see the hero deliver the coup d’etat in the end.

It takes a very talented writer to deliver a villain who may be entirely blackhearted but captures our imagination all the same. Often, though, “bad guys” are cartoonish because we’ve seen them so many times before. You could almost list them: the greedy developer, the serial killer who embodies “pure evil”, the mean dowager fiercely hiding a family secret. The constant portrayal of some of these stock-in-trade bad guys can actually do harm in the real world. In political thrillers for example, villains frequently come from Arabic countries and the heroes from the west. We read almost nothing that reflects the great cultural and intellectual heritage of the Middle East. Another common “bad guy” is the eco-terrorist – the over zealous animal rights activist or despot who stdardly acts in order to save the planet. These characatures cast a pall over all environmental activists.

I think this is why novels where the lines of black and white merge to grey stand out so well. In his superb novel, The Meaning of Night, Michael Cox gave us a masterful portrait of a protagonist who commits fearful acts but whom, we desperately with hope will survive. I believe Cox achieved this because the “bad guy” has himself been grieviously wronged and the author makes us vividly aware of the man’s emotional pain.

Ian Rankin does a brilliant job of turning one of his lead characters, an assassin, into a compelling figure we have compassion for by telling his story in the first person and the “good guy” police detective in third person. Rankin adds the final touch by giving his protagonist a life threatening illness that draws us onside.

So what do you think? Do you like your villains to be thoroughly bad or is a touch of humanity more to your liking?

Blog Tour: Breath of Angel - Karyn Henley - Into the Past & Giveaway

Today, Karyn Henley is here with an Into the Past post courtesy of the Teen Book Scene blog tour for her recent release, Breath of Angel. Thank you for being here, Karyn! You can follow along with the tour here, or by clicking through the banner. Enjoy!

When I was five, I loved fairy tales. So I’m sure I would have recommended Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Cinderella, and Peter Pan. I also loved Rudyard Kipling’s Just So stories. I adored a book of poetry by Margaret Wise Brown, Nibble Nibble. My favorite poems were “The Fish With the Deep Sea Smile” and “The Sad Sliced Onion.” Other favorites: The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf, Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina, and Make Way for Ducklings and Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey. All these books gave me a love for lyrical, picturesque language and a sense of delight in the realm of story.
By age eleven, I had been through all the Nancy Drew books, which gave me a love of mystery and suspense, which I try to incorporate into my fantasy writing. What would I recommend at age eleven? The Prydain Chronicles by Lloyd Alexander, A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle, The Hobbit by J.R.R.Tolkein, and Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes by Edith Hamilton.
At age sixteen, I would have been reading A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula LeGuin and The Good Earth by Pearl Buck. But I was also very much interested in language and was studying French in school. My father gave me a nonfiction book called Eternal France, which I devoured. And I found a book called The Mother Tongue on my parents’ book shelf and thoroughly enjoyed reading it.
Around twenty? The Chosen by Chaim Potok, Rebecca by Daphne duMaurier, Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, ‘Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis, and his trilogy Out of the Lonely Planet, Perelandra, and That Hideous Strength.
I consider all these books to be classics. At least they are classics to me. I place them in age categories here, but they really transcend categories. I still read and enjoy them. As the saying wistfully says, “So many books, so little time.” I expect that the day I die, a book will lie beside my bed with a bookmark showing where I stopped reading.

Thank you for this awesome book list! I'm with you there on Nancy Drew! Thank you so much for being here today, Karyn! 

Karyn can be found on her website, her blog, and on twitter


The stranger’s cloak had fallen back, and with it, a long, white, blood-stained wing.

When Melaia, a young priestess, witnesses the gruesome murder of a stranger in the temple courtyard, age-old legends recited in song suddenly come to life. She discovers wings on the stranger, and the murderer takes the shape of both a hawk and a man.

Angels. Shape-shifters. Myths and stories—until now.

Melaia finds herself in the middle of a blood feud between two immortal brothers who destroyed the stairway to heaven, stranding angels in the earthly realm. When the feud turns violent and Melaia becomes a target, she finds refuge with a band of angels attempting to restore the stairway. But the restoration is impossible without the repayment of an ancient debt—the “breath of angel, blood of man,” a payment that involves Melaia’s heart, soul, and destiny.
Synopsis taken from goodreads.


Karyn Henley and her publicist are graciously providing Lost For Words with a bookmark for giveaway. 
Thank you, Karyn! 
Giveaway is open to US only. 
Giveaway will end June 30, 2011. 
Please fill out this FORM to enter. Comments, while appreciated, will not be counted as entries.
Thank you! =)