Sunday, July 31, 2011

Blog Tour: Six Moon Summer - S. M. Reine - Character This or That List

S. M. Reine is here today with a Character Preference list courtesy of the Teen Book Scene blog tour for her book, Six Moon Summer. Thank you for being here, S. M.! You can follow along with the tour here, or by clicking through the banner. Enjoy!

Answered as Rylie.

Summer or Fall? I like summer better so I don't have to go to school.

Camping with a tent, or cabin? I'd rather stay indoors, thanks.

Shopping for books or clothes? Clothes.

Steak or Fish? Steak. A big, juicy, dripping steak.

Dressed up, or dressed down? Dressed down.

Zombie or Unicorn? Unicorns!

Cappuccino or Hot Chocolate? Cappuccino. I love coffee.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Dark Angel? Buffy.

Heroes or Heroines? Heroes. There's nothing better than being saved.

Urban or Suburban living? Urban.

Fantasy or Contemporary? Contemporary.

Movie theater, or Home theater? Movie theater, so I can be alone in the dark.

Guy friends, or girl friends? Guy friends. Girls are catty.

Books or Computer? Can I have my cell phone?

Sense of smell or hearing? My sense of smell is really, really good.

Thanks for sharing your preferences with us today, Rylie! Thank you both for being here! 

S. M. Reine can be found on her website and blog, as well as on twitter


Rylie's been bitten.

She's changing.

And now she has three months to find a cure before becoming a werewolf... forever.

Rylie Gresham hates everything about summer camp: the food, the fresh air, the dumb activities, and the other girls in her cabin. But the worst part is probably being bitten by a werewolf. Being a teenager is hard enough, but now she's craving raw flesh and struggles with uncontrollable anger. If she doesn't figure out a way to stop the transformation, then at the end of summer, her life is worse than over. She'll be a monster.
Synopsis taken from goodreads

Friday, July 29, 2011

Blog Tour: Blood Ties - Mari Mancusi - Teenage Garage Sale

Mari Mancusi is here today with a Teenage Garage Sale Post courtesy of the Teen Book Scene blog tour for her newest release, Blood Ties. Thank you for being here today, Mari! You can follow along with the tour here. Enjoy! 


Doc Martens steel toe shoes, cherry red
I absolutely loved these shoes and felt so cool wearing them out. Even though they weren't exactly practical; my toes would always bang against the steel tips and bruise. But hey--sometimes you had to suffer for punk rock fashion. (Even though there was no practical reason on Earth I needed steel toes--not like I was going to get into a fight on the way home from school...) Today I prefer a pair of eight hole, non-steel toe, black Doc Martens boots. Simple, but effective.

CD player with 3 disc changer
I thought this was so cool--you could change CDs without ever opening the player. Unfortunately, I could never remember which CDs I'd put in which slot, so it was kind of a crapshoot. Also, now that I'm used to having thousands of songs at my fingertips, thanks to my iPod, I think I can safely get rid of this player.

Cure T-Shirt - Disintegration Album
My pride and joy concert t-shirt, even though I bought it at a used record store, not a concert. Sadly I didn't get to see the Cure live until I was in college. I did, however, go see a number of other awesome new wave and alternative bands in college. My favorite had to be Peter Murphy, former lead singer of Bauhaus, my favorite goth band. My friends' parents got us front row tickets to the show and he leaned down and sang lines from his son "Deep Ocean, Vast Sea" to me. Swoon!

Pair of skis
No good to me now because I gave up skiing in college to start snowboarding and never looked back. Mostly because all of my boyfriends were snowboarders (and skaters) and, at the time, I had it in my head that it was cooler than skiing. Now I just think it's more fun. Snowboarding also helps me avoid my two biggest problems on the slopes--crossing my skis over one another and losing them in a snowy crash, halfway up the mountain.

David Bowie Poster
This particular poster came free with an advertisement for Sassy, my absolute favorite teen magazine back in the day. I thought they were so cool to make David Bowie their pin-up, instead of, say, New Kids on the Block. Totally earned my respect. If only there could be a magazine like Sassy out there for today's teens. Something smart and cool that encouraged girls to be creative and independent, instead of always following the crowd and worrying about their hair and makeup.

Labyrinth VHS tape (very worn)
Speaking of Bowie, Labyrinth was definitely a coming of age movie for me and David Bowie became one of my first teenage crushes. (After pre-teen crushes on Michael Jackson (!?!) and Luke Skywalker.) I probably watched this film fifty times. Especially the end scene where David Bowie promises to be Jennifer Connelly's slave if she gives him her brother. Um, what an easy choice that would have been for me. Sayonara, kid!

Classic Mickey Mouse watch
Even back then, I was a huge Disney fan. Though it wasn't until I was in college and started working at the Disney Store that I became extremely obsessed with all things Mouse. I even moved to Orlando after graduation and got annual passes so my friends and I could hang out at the parks nearly every weekend. Young twenty-somethings at Disney--oh the stories I could tell! (Would probably get me banned from the parks for life!) Even to this day, I make it a point to go to Disney at least once a year. And I cannot wait until my daughter is old enough to appreciate the most magical place on Earth.

Love these garage sale items, Mari! ;) Thank you so much for being here today! 

Mari Mancusi can be found on her website, her blog, and on twitter


The final battle is brewing between Vampires and Slayers. But for Sunny McDonald, the true war is being fought over her heart.

Though now officially back in the arms of her vampire boyfriend Magnus, Sunny finds she still can't forget the gentle mortal Jayden who once saved her life. And when the darkness threatens to steal his humanity, Sunny finds herself with a choice. Stay true to Magnus and the Blood Coven or defy them in a desperate attempt to save Jayden’s soul.

Meanwhile, the Blood Coven is gearing up for its toughest fight yet--going head to head with a splinter group of Slayer Inc who's regrouping in Tokyo, Japan, still determined to take over the world. In dark blood bars and hidden temples, it'll be Vampires vs. Slayers in a showdown that could cost Sunny not only her heart...but also her very life.
Synopsis taken from goodreads.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Circle Cast - Alex Epstein - Blog Tour Review

How did an exiled girl become the most powerful witch in legend?

Britain, 480 AD. Saxon barbarians are invading, pushing the civilized British out of their own island. Morgan is the daughter of the governor of Cornwall. But when her father is murdered and her mother taken as the King's new wife, she has to flee to Ireland to avoid being murdered herself.

But Ireland is no refuge. She's captured in a slave raid and sold to a village witch. As Morgan comes of age, she discovers her own immense magical powers. She falls in love with a young Irish chieftain, and makes him powerful.

But will her drive for revenge destroy her one chance for love and happiness?
Synopsis taken from goodreads

Title: The Circle Cast
Author: Alex Epstein
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fantasy
Publisher: Tradewind Books
Publication Date: January 4, 2011
Format: E-book
Source: Received from author courtesy of Teen Book Scene. Many thanks goes to Alex Epstein and Teen Book Scene for sending me a copy of this book for review. I received a copy of this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review. 
Blog Tour: Teen Book Scene. You can follow along with the tour here, or by clicking through the banner located below the review. 
Look for it: Amazon
My rating: 4/5

Morgan is left bereft after her father is murdered by the High King. With Uter's sights set on bedding Morgan's mother, she is left with only one option; to run as fast and as far away from Din Tagell as she can, lest she become another casualty of Uter's reign. She flees to Ireland, vowing to return to wreak vengeance on Uter for taking both her father and mother away from her. Though she is taken captive, enslaved, and regains her freedom, her plan for vengeance is never far from her mind. 
The Circle Cast is a re-imagining of the lost years of Morgan Le Fay. Epstein brings to life a completely plausible and highly inventive way of life for the lost years of Morgan Le Fay. With the assumed name of Morgan, Anna leaves her mother as they realize that Uter would kill any children not his own. With Anna, now Morgan, on the run, a life living in the wilds of Ireland is more than likely to result in her enslavement as she explores her connection with the earth. 
The Circle Cast is set in such a time where Christianity is deemed a strange and foreign concept, and druids proclaimed that their gods were real and could help them with magic whereas the Christian God could not. With Christians spreading the word to the clans throughout Ireland, it was interesting to see how people reacted to them and the new God that they worshipped. Many rebelled against this new God and refused to believe in a God so different from their own gods. How Epstein integrates Christianity into Morgan's life and how she responds, or doesn't respond to it, really brings to life the conflict of the times, therein making Morgan's life at the time all the more uncertain. Her conflicted state of being wars with her connection to the earth and brings more realism to her struggles. She very much wants to avenge her father and mother, and finds the concept of grace and forgiveness foreign.
All in all, a thoroughly and imaginatively described world in which magic comes to life as it is channeled through Morgan, as she calls on her connection to the earth to help her in her time of need. History, and the early church history being spread across Ireland makes this a rich and informative read as well. We get to see a side of Morgan that isn't necessarily seen as she comes to terms with her identity and future. As an avid history fan, I absolutely loved this rendition of Morgan's lost years and am curious to see how Epstein would continue her story. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Girlz of Galstanberry - Garen S. Wolff - Blog Tour Review

From the boroughs of New York, to the beaches of San Francisco, girls hail from all walks of life, to sport the violet blazer, pink beret, and coveted ‘Galstanberry Girl’ title.

The Galstanberry twenty acre estate, flanked by a magnificent rose garden and horse stables, rises up from the horizon like a French chateau with interconnected balustrades and high-spiraling turrets that seemed to touch the clouds. It was constructed in 1926 by Mr. Charles Galstanberry, an earnest gentleman that believed a son to be the only proper heir to the vast family fortune. Yet when Eleanor gave birth to their only child, Aundrea, not Andrew, he vowed to make her as academically astute as her male counterparts.

Decades later, 5 girls—a spoiled equestrian, funky B-girl, skilled ballet dancer, freestyle poet, and clever debater—from different cities, socio-economic backgrounds and ethnicities are admitted into Galstanberry Girls Academy, a now world renowned boarding school in Connecticut. Their varied personalities and backgrounds lead to inevitable drama and internal conflicts. However, with each triumph and tribulation, the girls grow, transforming themselves and the academy.

In the first installment of the series, readers will travel around the United States to meet these 5 dynamic girls and Galstanberry Academy.
Synopsis taken from goodreads.

Title: The Girlz of Galstanberry
Genre: Middle-grade fiction, Contemporary
Publisher: Wolff House Books & Publishing
Publication Date: October 10, 2010 
Format: Softcover
Source: Received from publicist. Many thanks goes to Caroline and Teen Book Scene for sending me a copy of this book for review. I received this book free of charge in exchange for an  honest review. 
Blog Tour: Teen Book Scene. You can follow along with the tour here, or by clicking through the banner located below the review. 
Look for it: Amazon
My rating: 4/5

The Galstanberry Girls Academy is a prestigious school for academically brilliant young ladies. With the onset of a new year, we travel across the country to meet five newly accepted entrants into the Galstanberry Girls Academy. With the girls coming from completely different socio-economic backgrounds, and diverse walks of life, conflict is sure to arise. Lillian, Brandi, Fei, Tabitha, and Nisha are all going to be Galstanberry Girls, and are looking forward to this new opportunity in their lives. 
Each of the five girls has a distinct voice and it was neat reading from their perspectives. It will be interesting to see how they react to each other as they all have very different personalities and assets that they bring with them. From debate to poetry, and break dancing to ballet, as well as a talented equestrian, it is easy to see why they were chosen to attend the Academy. How they enhance their skills and learn others will be interesting to see, particularly when they are thrown together in the same classrooms. 
I expected that we would see more of the girls at the Academy, however this book as the first in the series is an introduction of sorts. We go across the country to meet the girls as they are getting ready to leave for the boarding school, and we see how they finish up their last days in their respective homes, rather than meeting them all together at the boarding school.  
All in all, a cute read that I think a lot of middle-grade readers will enjoy. They will identify with at least one of the girls and will enjoy reading about the changes and challenges that come with the new rules at the boarding school. Though this book only has one chapter set in the school with the girls, it is set up for the second book to really bring the girls together so we can see how they will react to each other. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing how each of the girls reacts to each other and their new environment. 

Blog Tour: Love Story - Jennifer Echols - Book Picks: Current

Jennifer Echols is here today with a Current Book Picks post courtesy of the Teen Book Scene blog tour for her newest release, Love Story. Thank you for being here, Jennifer! You can follow along with the tour here, or by clicking through the banner. Enjoy!

Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn. One of my all-time favorite YAs.

One Night That Changes Everything by Lauren Barnholdt. A hilarious romantic comedy.

In Your Room by Jordanna Fraiberg. A girl’s family and a boy’s family swap houses for the summer, and the girl and boy e-mail each other and begin a friendship that turns into a romance, all without ever meeting each other. I loved this premise the first time I heard it, and the book was even better than I imagined. In fact, because writing this blog post reminded me of this wonderful book, I just sent Jordanna fan mail.

Wake by Lisa McMann. I loved this creepy, complicated paranormal romance.

The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting. Another paranormal romance with such a dreamy hero!

What a great list, Jennifer! Is it bad that I haven't read any of these yet? They're all on my list or on my bookcase though! Thank you for being here today, Jennifer!! =) 

Jennifer Echols can be found on her website, her blog, and on twitter


She's writing about him. he's writing about her. And everybody is reading between the lines..

For Erin Blackwell, majoring in creative writing at the New York City college of her dreams is more than a chance to fulfill her ambitions--it's her ticket away from the tragic memories that shadow her family's racehorse farm in Kentucky. But when she refuses to major in business and take over the farm herself someday, her grandmother gives Erin's college tuition and promised inheritance to their maddeningly handsome stable boy, Hunter Allen. Now Erin has to win an internship and work late nights at a coffee shop to make her own dreams a reality. She should despise Hunter . . . so why does he sneak into her thoughts as the hero of her latest writing assignment?

Then, on the day she's sharing that assignment with her class, Hunter walks in. He's joining her class. And after he reads about himself in her story, her private fantasies about him must be painfully clear. She only hopes to persuade him not to reveal her secret to everyone else. But Hunter devises his own creative revenge, writing sexy stories that drive the whole class wild with curiosity and fill Erin's heart with longing. Now she's not just imagining what might have been. She's writing a whole new ending for her romance with Hunter . . . except this story could come true.
Synopsis taken from goodreads

Monday, July 25, 2011

Blog Tour: The Circle Cast - Alex Epstein Talks Mythology, History and Writing & Giveaway News

Alex Epstein is here today with a guest post courtesy of the Teen Book Scene blog tour for his new release, The Circle Cast. Thank you for being here, Alex! You can follow along with the tour here, or by clicking through the banner. There is a giveaway attached to the tour as well. Anyone who comments on any of the posts will be entered to win an E-book of The Circle Cast. There will be a winner for each week of the tour. Enjoy! 

Mythology and History. How did that affect the writing of The Circle Cast and your vision of the book?

The Circle Cast is historical fantasy. I tried to get two things right: the times, and the magic.

I read a fascinating book by Geoffrey Ashe, The Discovery of King Arthur, that convinced me that the real King Arthur flourished around 470AD. He shows up in histories under the name Riothamus, but that just means “High King.” He probably wasn’t actually a king; the Celtic Brits were too fractious for that. He was probably just a war leader appointed by the various British tribes, who were desperate to stop a rising tide of Saxon immigration. And by immigration, I mean that each wave of Saxons would come, beat the pants off the British, and take their farmland, pushing them West into Wales.

There’s a brief time in British archeology and history where the History of the Saxons is suddenly very quiet – no victories to report – and the hillfort at Cadbury Castle is rebuilt in the Roman style, and a Romano-British leader named Riothamus may have been clobbering the Saxon footmen from horseback. That’s where King Arthur comes from, I’m convinced.

Which is great for my story. The medieval romances put King Arthur in medieval times; he’s a feudal king. 470AD is a much more interesting time. It’s a time when all bets are off. It’s just a hundred years after the last Roman legions marched off the island. The British elites must have thought of themselves as civilized and Roman. They probably spoke and wrote in Latin and, if they were very educated, Greek. They lived in a big world. They traded with Spain and probably had pen pals as far as Jerusalem. These illiterate barbarian Saxons must have seemed like the end of the world.

It’s also a time when religion is up for grabs. Christianity had been illegal in the Empire until only about two hundred years ago. Some of the Brits would have been Christian. Some of them would have been faithful to the old pagan gods. And many of them would have worshipped Jesus on Christmas and Lugh on Lugnasahd.

What makes all of this so great for my story is that Morgan is torn between the old ways and the new. People had different values in those days. To a pagan, pride was not a sin, it was a virtue. Vengeance was a righteous act. A son who did not try to avenge the murder of his father was not a saint, he was a coward. So one path open to Morgan is the old pagan path. To be true to herself, she has to seek revenge on Uter for murdering her father and taking her mother from her.

And there’s another path open to her. She can become Christian, and forgive. The problem is, who is she then? A lot of people gave up their old names when they converted. She wouldn’t be Morgan, heir to Tintagel, any more. She’d be, who knows, someone named Mary or Martha or Susan.

Arthur probably takes this path. He’s full of forgiveness and understanding, even when his best friend and his wife betray him.

But Morgan can’t. If she abandons her gods, she’ll lose her power. Worse, if she abandons her gods, she’ll lose her identity. And she’s an exile, practically an orphan. Her identity is all she has.

The interesting thing is that Arthur’s Christianity is what makes Camelot a shining ideal that enables him to unite the kingdom. But it also is his downfall. If he had been a little less forgiving, he’d have executed Guinevere and Lance. He’d have married again, and had more kids, and Camelot would have lived on.

Or, for that matter, if he’d a little more pagan, he could have accepted his bastard son Mordred as his heir, and instead of the battle of Camlann, in which the British knights slaughtered each other, father and son would have led them against the Saxons. The pagan Celts didn’t make such a big fuss about marriage. They didn’t have much of a concept of bastardy. And I’m not even sure they would have felt it was a big deal if Arthur wanted to marry his half-sister.

The great tragic characters have the virtues of their vices and the vices of their virtues. Morgan’s anger destroys her world, in the end, but if she hadn’t been angry, we’d never have heard of her. Arthur’s graciousness allows him to rule the squabbling Brits, but in the end he doesn’t have the ruthlessness he needs to finish off the Saxons.

Of course Camelot is a legend. But they’ve always felt very real to me. Real to the point that I can read a novel about Arthur and feel, but it didn’t happen that way! For example, I found The Mists of Avalon very frustrating because Morgan comes across as a gracious girl who’s very reasonable and only wants the best for everybody. But what makes her such a great character is that she’s not gracious, she’s not at all reasonable, and she only wants the best for her clan. In other words, she’s a pagan Celt.

So I tried to get the times right. I did a lot of historical research. I went to England and Ireland. I saw recreations of Celtic villages. The four-horned sheep are accurate. So are the huts without chimneys – chimneys came in around 1200 AD. Roman carts didn’t have axles. The Irish couldn’t ride horses because their ponies were too small to do anything but pull carts. Stuff like that. If there’s a detail that just feels odd, it’s probably accurate.

I really wanted to get the magic right, too. But I had two conflicting sources. We know something about pagan Celtic religion, but we have to piece it together. The Irish were illiterate until the priests came. The British learned to write when the Romans arrived, but Roman writers liked to equate Celtic gods with Roman ones, so they’d talk about the Celts worshipping Mars or Mercury. We have archeological shrines from the Continent with places for heads – the Celts were probably headhunters. I was fortunate that when I was first working on the novel, my first wife was working on her dissertation about the Celtic war goddess, known as Morigenos or the Morrígan. So Morgan’s religion comes from all that research.

But her magic would have been different. Morgan didn’t need to have faith in a higher power. She channeled power. So whatever her religion, she also had magic. She had a direct line to the powers of the earth.

Obviously, there’s no historical record of magic. Magic is secret, and silent, and not something you can write down. Also, it’s imaginary.

So I used contemporary Wicca. I did a lot of spiritual seeking when I lived in California. I wound up being initiated into a Wiccan coven. The closest I’ve ever experienced magic was watching a woman draw down the Moon. It really felt as if she’d invoked someone very old and very powerful inside of her. It really felt as if the circle cast around us was no longer entirely in our normal world, but between the worlds.

So that’s what I gave Morgan.

What I think historical fantasy gives that ordinary swords-and-sorcery doesn’t is a real grounding in detail. I love The Lord of the Rings, too, but why aren’t there any fields around Minas Tirith? What do the orcs live on, if there are thousands of them underground? I felt the more accurate I could make the historical parts of the story, the more real the magic would feel. I hope I’ve accomplished that.

Thank you for this insightful and amazing post, Alex! I'm currently reading The Circle Cast and loving it! 

Alex Epstein can be found on his website, and on his blog


How did an exiled girl become the most powerful witch in legend?

Britain, 480 AD. Saxon barbarians are invading, pushing the civilized British out of their own island. Morgan is the daughter of the governor of Cornwall. But when her father is murdered and her mother taken as the King's new wife, she has to flee to Ireland to avoid being murdered herself.

But Ireland is no refuge. She's captured in a slave raid and sold to a village witch. As Morgan comes of age, she discovers her own immense magical powers. She falls in love with a young Irish chieftain, and makes him powerful.

But will her drive for revenge destroy her one chance for love and happiness?
Synopsis taken from goodreads.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Blog Tour: Crush Control - Jennifer Jabaley - Teenage Garage Sale

Jennifer Jabaley is here today with a Teenage Garage Sale post courtesy of the Teen Book Scene blog tour for her new release, Crush Control. Thank you for being here today, Jennifer! You can follow along with the tour here, or by clicking through the banner. Enjoy!

1. My tennis racket. Spent all four years of high school playing jv then varsity tennis. Lots of good times, good friends and good memories.

2. My silver, rectangular 'boom box'. Ahh, the years of bad eighties beepop and nineties hair bands. Good times, bad music.

3. Cans and cans and cans of Aquanet hairspray that I bought in bulk because I irrationally feared that I might run out. That hole in the ozone? Yeah, probably my fault.

4. Giant poster of John Stamos. He's still cute, imo.

5. The wrinkled up, highlighted map of the Jersey shore. Yes, that Jersey shore. Only we spent our summers and post prom days walking the boardwalk of Seaside and Wildwood and LBI waaaaay before Snooki did.

6. Stacks and stacks of jeans. My bff said I spent the better part of my teen years on the quest for the perfect pair of jeans. I used to buy guy's Levi's because I preferred the low slung waist to the awful high waisted variety that was popular for us girls, then I'd have a tailor adjust the legs. See? I invented low-rise jeans way before the fashion designers.

7. My artwork. Really? Sell my artwork at a garage sale? Not hang on to it for sentimental value? Well, I'd keep some pieces - like the oil portrait I painted of my sister and me. Or the landscape I painted while watching the famous TV painter Bob Ross. But the other stuff? Yeah, I'd sell it. Trust me, my experiments in pastels were not pretty. And after my visit to France and I suddenly had the urge to paint impressionistic? Those can go.

Finally, 8. My bike. I spent many a day riding that bike. I didn't get my first car until after I graduated college - I know! Deprived! But I rode my bike all over the place - to jobs, to friend's houses, to the pool, to my boyfriend's. Man, I must have been in really good shape....

Thanks so much for having me! This was such a unique and thought provoking guest post! I really enjoyed recalling items that defined me and my teen years!

You are more than welcome, Jennifer! Thank you for being here and letting us peek at the items that would have graced your garage sale! ;) 

Jennifer Jabaley can be found on her website, her blog, and on twitter


Willow has spent most of her life as her mother's sidekick in a popular Las Vegas hypnotism show. So when she and her mom move back to their sleepy southern hometown to start over, she thinks she's in for a life of quiet normalcy. Except that her new life turns out to be anything but, when she kinda sorta hypnotizes Quinton, the hottest guy on the football team, to fall madly, deeply, head over heels in love with her. But what started out as an innocent way to make her best friend, Max, jealous soon gets way out of hand, and Willow begins to wonder if the mind - and more importantly, the heart - is something you can really control.
Synopsis taken from goodreads.

Blog Tour: Girl Unwrapped - Gabriella Goliger - Toni Character Interview

Gabriella Goliger is here today with her main character, Toni, courtesy of the Teen Book Scene blog tour for her book, Girl Unwrapped. Thank you for being here today, Gabriella and Toni! You can follow along with the tour here, or by clicking through the banner. Enjoy!

If you could change one thing about the world/your world. What would it be and why?

Toni: "My first thought was inequality of the sexes. It's so unfair that girls and boys are judged by a double standard. My second thought was prejudice against homosexuals. People judge us without knowing anything about us. But actually - since you are giving me godly powers - I wish I could erase narrow-mindedness in general so that we could all step in each other's shoes a bit more. Hey! Books help with that, don't they?"

What is your ideal date?

Toni: "Cute, smart, makes me laugh, gives me butterflies in my stomach and…, yikes, so far every date I've ever had was just like that at first and then revealed some icky surprises so I better add another ingredient: kindness."

What one song do you think sums up how you view your world/life?

Toni: "I'm going to have to dip into my future for this because my present (up to 1970) doesn't quite give me what I want. So I choose "Rise Up" by Parachute Club."

What's your favorite dinosaur?

Toni: "Gee, I'm glad you asked. I'm going to dip into the future again and choose one discovered by the Canadian Museum of Nature in 2001. In fact, maybe I'll be the one who identifies and names those bones. Why not? The sky's the limit when your life hasn't been fully written yet. So, my favorite dino is Vagacerops irvinensis, a horned vegetarian with a nifty frill on its head that lived about 65 million years ago in what is now Alberta. If you want to see one in the (reconstructed) flesh, click here:

Describe yourself in 5 words.

Toni: "Spunky, passionate, curious, honest, shy"

Thank you for being here today, and answering my questions, Toni and Gabriella! 

Gabriella Goliger can be found on her website


Girl Unwrapped is a girl's coming-of-age story set in 1960s Montreal about the burdens and blessings of history, the divided self, and the quest to be whole. Toni Goldblatt's awakening to taboo desire conflicts with her Holocaust-scarred parents' expectations. Yearning to reinvent herself, she flees to Israel in the wake of the 1967 war, but the Zionist dream doesn't save her; only on her return, when she discovers kindred spirits in the underground lesbian bar scene, does Toni begin to find her own path. Girl Unwrapped is a novel about love, isolation, and the search for personal truth despite the stranglehold of family.
Synopsis taken from goodreads.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Blog Tour: The Light of Asteria - Elizabeth Isaacs - Character Tweets & Giveaway

Elizabeth Isaacs is here today with a character tweets post courtesy of the Teen Book Scene blog tour her book, The Light of Asteria. Thank you for being here today, Beth! You can follow along with the tour here, or by clicking through the banner. Enjoy!

@Nora Edna, are you there? I logged you on before I left.

@Edna Sunny, I still feel uneasy about just typing something and then letting it fly out in space. You never know whose reading this thing

@Nora Remember when I told you that I had secured your page? No one can see it but the people who follow you, and you have to approve those.

@Edna I still don’t understand why we just can’t use the phone. It’s worked fine for 50 years.

@Nora because when I’m in class I can’t talk, and I might need to tell you something.

@Enda Sunny, that’s just plain rude. You’re not in class to talk to me but to learn.

@Nora Still, it’s nice to have.

@Rena What a primitive form of communication.

@Edna I thought you said that only you could see these.

@Nora No, I said only those that you’ve allowed to follow you can see them.

@Rena Should I not be on here? I fail to see the point.

@Nora Not all of us can talk by thinking, Reen.

@Edna Don’t think you should be typin stuff like that, Sunny. We don’t know whose watchin.

@Gavin Oh, I see you have Edna’s twitter page up and running. Wonderful!

@Edna Now this is just getting silly. Gavin can see my page now.

@Nora That’s because you approved him when we set it up.

@Edna Oh.

@Nora @Rena Did @Tark get his page set up?

@Rena He chose not to participate in this exercise, my lady.

@Edna He’s got a good head on his shoulders, that one. Reminds me of my cousin Jeb. Great swimmer, and a truck load of common sense.

@Rena LOL

@Edna who in the Sam Hill is Lol?

@Nora Edna, that stands for laugh out loud. It’s like shorthand.

@Edna well why not just say what ya mean? Kids today!

@Rena I should remind you that technically I am older than you.

@Edna and I should remind you that we are typing things that are flying God knows where.

@Nora Ed, your account is secure.

@Edna Secure my eyeball. If you need me pick up the phone.

Thank you for being here today, Beth, and thanks for this fun 'tweet' post!

Elizabeth Isaacs can be found on her website, her blog, and on twitter


Elizabeth Isaacs has graciously provided Lost For Words with 2 e-book copies of The Light of Asteria for giveaway. 
Thank you, Beth! 
Giveaway is International and will end July 28, 2011. 
Please fill out this FORM to enter. Comments, while appreciated, will not be counted as entries. 
Thank you!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Effie at the Wedding - Tracy Marchini - Blog Tour Review

Effie has a million reasons why she's not thrilled to be at her sister's wedding -- and the monstrously pink bridesmaid's dress isn't even on the list. When Effie finds herself locked in the bathroom, she thinks she might just stay there. After all, it's better than hearing from her mom about how often she's been to the buffet or how beautiful Ophelia looks in her wedding dress.

In this hysterical young adult short story, Effie will have to find a reason to celebrate... or get used to her porcelain throne.
Synopsis taken from goodreads

Title: Effie at the Wedding
Author: Tracy Marchini
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Short Story
Publisher: Squirrel Books
Publication Date: March 30, 2011
Format: E-book
Source: Received from author courtesy of Teen Book Scene. Many thanks goes to Tracy Marchini for sending me a copy of her book for review. I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review. 
Blog Tour: Teen Book Scene. You can follow along with the tour here.
Look for it: Amazon
My rating: 4.5/5

Effie is definitely feeling depressed. Her sister is getting married, and she's trying to stay away from her overly zealous relatives. She doesn't want to lose her sister but is scared that things will inevitably change. 
Marchini's characters are infused with humour. Effie wants her sister back as her sister is the negotiator in their family. With Ophelia getting married, Effie is worried that she won't have anyone to step in when her family gets too overbearing, as they tend to do. Coupled with her sensitivity in regards to her weight, and her relatives wise-cracks, she feels lost and miserable without her sister being around to step in. She has a wicked sense of humour though, and her comments throughout the short story had me cracking a grin or outright laughing. When trouble befalls our enterprising protagonist, we are left with bated breath wondering how she'll react to the situation. 
Marchini captures that feeling of bittersweet loss, when family dynamics change due to close siblings getting married and moving on to the next stage in their lives. The siblings left behind are left to wonder if they will still have as close a relationship as they had before the wedding. With Effie's mother, aunt and grandmother making comments, it's easy to see why Effie is left feeling so bereft. 
All in all a cute, and humour filled read as Effie travels the minefield that is Ophelia's wedding. Will she travel through it unscathed? Her dress might not, but she is making memories that she'll look back at fondly later on in life. Readers will enjoy and commiserate with Effie as they will find themselves relating to her various predicaments. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Blog Tour: The Girlz of Galstanberry - Garen S. Wolff - Tens List

Garen S. Wolff is here today with a tens list courtesy of the Teen Book Scene blog tour for her books from The Girlz of Galstanberry series. Thank you for being here today, Garen! You can follow along with the tour here, or by clicking through the banner. Enjoy!

10 reasons why it's great to go to Galstanberry Academy

1) Classmates are brilliant, driven & diverse girls (Remember: We RUN the world!)
2) The traditions- High Tea, Pearling Ceremony, HouseSisters, & more.
3) No Mom & Dad (Yay!!)
4) Galstanberry Fall Regatta & Winterball
5) Stylish Blazer & Beret!

6) You can be yourself
7) Sisterhood that extends beyond graduation.
8) Carillion Bell Tower
9) Inspiring Female Alumnae, Faculty & Staff

Two of the Galstanberry residence halls are name after these accomplished women.
Toni Morrison (left)-First African American woman to receive a Nobel Prize in Literature
Madeline Albright (right)- First woman United States Secretary of State.
10) The History
Thank you Garen for this awesome list, and for being here today!

Garen S. Wolff can be found on her website, and on twitter.


The Galstanberry team is hosting the Galstanberry Grand Gift twitter contest for US residents only. The prize includes:
1) Book #1
2) Book #2
3) Stickers
4) Bookmark
If bloggers want to participate, they just copy and paste the tweet below:

Follow @GalstanberryFan, and RT this for a chance to win the Galstanberry Grand Gift! #giveaway #contest

Once someone tweets this above phrase, they will be automatically entered into the contest. The contest ends July 29 @ 3 p.m. You can tweet it as many times as you want.