8.29.2010

Book Review: Serpent Tide by K.L. Fogg

Wesley Vandergrift wonders why he isn't like the other boys in his coastal South Carolina town. It's not easy being the son of an eccentric, billionaire mother. His life consists of big secrets in a big mansion and only one friend. Overprotected and insulated from the rest of the world, Wesley yearns for the kind of exciting outdoor adventures he sees on "The Snake Stalker"--his favorite TV program, starring the dynamic Jack Mackey.
Now through a twist of fate, Wesley meets someone who knows his hero Jack Mackey--a real-live relative. And soon Wesley finds himself in more of an adventure than he bargained for. Dare to take the plunge with Wesley on an exciting journey of shipwrecks, venomous snakes, and kidnappers. The legendary curse of the Serpent Tide will forever change Wesley's life--and, perhaps, yours.

Serpent Tide is a suspenseful book that had me on the edge of my seat almost the whole time. There is horse riding, dogs, engagement ring shopping, kidnapping, blindness, a famous TV star, and a crazy billionaire, which all make for an interesting read. You will immediately become Wesley's friend upon opening this book, along with his best friend, Amanda (no, not me, though I do like Wesley). This book is built on deception and when the truth comes out, everything comes crashing down. I really liked this book for quite a few reasons. First, there was no... supernaturalness. All these vampires and werewolves and fallen angels can be a little smothering after a while. Second, the characters are incredibly life-like. They are funny, entertaining, they can make you cry, and it feels like you know them. Third, I met the author before I read the book, and she was pretty awesome. That really doesn't have anything to do with the book, but I thought I'd throw that out there. Anyway, I've already read the rest of the series, and they were just as good, if not better (the third one is a personal favorite). If I were you I would start looking for these books. (They are a little hard to find, at least the first one is, so it will probably not be at your local library). Happy reading, and I'll tell you what I think of the second book in the series, The Widow's Revenge, sometime soon.

8.27.2010

Song Of The Week (early edition)


Exile by Enya
I made the video :)
Mia is in trouble because she doesn't have the reviews in yet so I'll post another one, unless you want a story. Let me know!

8.25.2010

Cinderella (chapter two)

Two weeks later the maids were in a frenzy, cleaning and re-cleaning the rooms, scrubbing the kitchen and washrooms until they sparkled, making the beds and fluffing the pillows. Mary Ellen was overseeing the work, a grim look on her face and her eyes pinched. When I asked her what was happening she just forced a smile on her face and told me my daddy was bringing home a surprise. I could tell she didn’t approve of this surprise by the way she gritted her teeth when she said it.


I snuck outside through the service door when Marry Ellen wasn’t watching to escape the meticulous maids and to visit my tree. The dogwood was up to my chest now, and pretty white blossoms were opening. I marveled for a moment at how fast it seemed to be growing then sat in the scanty shadow cast by the tree and leaned my head softly against the trunk, thinking about my mother and the way she would wrap her arms around me and stroke my hair. I smiled as I remembered how one day she had been remarking about how blond it was. “My dear! Where on Earth did you get such pretty blond hair!” she had said, sweeping me up in her arms. I remember giggling as she swung me around in circles and how we collapsed laughing on the floor. Then my father had come in the room, his eyes twinkling as he took in our figures sprawled on the floor.

I sighed as a wave of sadness over my mother’s passing threatened to engulf me. I bit my lip and thrust my chin out to hold back the tears. “Ella!” I heard someone call. I ignored it. “Ella, child, come on now, you must get ready for your father’s arrival!”

I sighed again and stood up. Mary Ellen always wanted me to look presentable for my father. I knew my father wouldn’t care if I turned up in just my skin, but Mary Ellen always would. I dusted my skirts off then traipsed my way through the orchard and back to the house, holding my head high.

Mary Ellen was standing in the doorway to the kitchen. She gave me an appraising look then nodded and ushered me in the house. She grabbed my arm and steered me into my bedroom.

“Mary Ellen, what is daddy bringing home?” I asked again. She paused in her search through my closet and sighed. “A very lovely surprise, I’m sure,” she said turning to face me. I didn’t believe her. She turned back to my closet and pulled out a lovely orange dress my mother had made for me with ribbons and little beads. She eyed it carefully then turned back to face me. She held it up to my face then nodded in a satisfied way. “Yes, this will do. Alice!”

Alice, a maid not much older than me with wildly curly orange hair rushed into the room and curtsied. “Yes ma’am?” she said while brushing a curl behind her ear.

Marry Ellen nodded at me. “Help me dress her, please.”

Alice curtsied again then rushed over to me and helped me pull the old faded blue dress over my head. Marry Ellen then pulled the lovely orange one on. The smooth silky fabric felt nice against my skin. Alice fastened the back up the grabbed a brush off my bureau and began dragging it through my hair. She sighed in envy. “Your hair is gorgeous,” she said. I smiled. “Thank you,” I said quietly.

I hear the sound of a carriage approaching through my opened window. Mary Ellen shrieked. “They’re here!”

I scrunched my brow in confusion, wondering who ‘they’ were then winced as Alice pulled my hair too tight into an orange ribbon. “Hurry, hurry, hurry,” Mary Ellen said, wringing her hands and almost dancing in anticipation, or was it frustration? When Alice was done Mary Ellen grabbed my arm and steered me back down the stairs and parked me in front of the door. She smoothed her skirt then looked at me. “Don’t slouch, child,” she said sternly, though not unkindly, while brushing a stay hair back up into the ribbon. She gave me an encouraging smile, and then the door opened.

Read the first chapter here.

8.24.2010

8.23.2010

Book Review: Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick


A Sacred Oath
A Fallen Angel
A Forbidden Love

Romance was not part of Nora Grey's plan. She's never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how hard her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her. Not until Patch comes along. With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Patch draws Nora to him against her better judgement.
But after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora's not sure whom to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is and seems to know more about her than her closest friends. She can't decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is way more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.
For she is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those who have fallen--and, when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost Nora her life.


You'll catch me saying this a lot, but I loved this book. At first I was thinking 'buying this was a waste of money' because the beginning reminded me of Twilight. I have nothing against Twilight, but it's a little annoying when you have ten million books that are just copies of Twilight. Anyway, almost right away I could tell this was not a poorly written copy of Twilight. The guy in this story, Patch, is dark, scary, mysterious, and yet instead of wanting to stay away from him, you'll find yourself wanting more, almost the complete opposite of Edward Cullen. You spend almost the whole book trying to figure out if he wants to kill Nora or protect her, and with an unexpected twist near the end, you find the truth of it all.
Now Vee, Nora's best friend, makes me laugh. I think every story should have a character like her. She's a good friend, a bad friend, an annoying friend, and the best friend anyone could ever have all wrapped into one. She's not afraid to take a chance, and not afraid to voice her opinion. She loves to have a good time, and she helps Nora the whole way through.
Nora Grey is an independent girl, again almost the exact opposite of Bella in Twilight. She makes an excellent main character. That's about all I can think of saying without telling you the whole book.
Have fun reading Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick and keep your eyes out for the sequel, Crescendo coming out mid-October.

Song Of The Week



Little Wonders by Rob Thomas

I love this song. If you don't recognize it, go watch Meet the Robinsons. Enjoy!

8.22.2010

Book Review: Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

There were no suprises
in Gatlin County.
At least, that's what I thought.
Turns out, I couldn't have
been more wrong.

There was a curse.
There was a girl.
And in the end,
There was a grave.


Lena Duchannes in unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps, and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.
     Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.
    In a town with no suprises, one secret could change everything.

Beautiful Creatures was a suprisingly good read. When I first saw the book, I thought it would be another one about vampires and werewolves with a girl who falls for a supernatural being. I was wrong. There were no 'vampires' or 'werewolves' and instead of a normal girl, there was a normal guy. This book had some funny parts and some sad parts but there were never any boring parts. If you're tired of supernatural romances where the girls are helpless and the guys do everything, this would be a good book to read.

8.21.2010

Mia G.

Ok so my friend Mia G. is the new book reviewer for my blog. Oh and she's also the co-writer of the Cinderella retelling I have the tendancy to post. To introduce her, we had a conversation via text messages that went something like this:

Me- "Hey Mia!"

Mia- "Yo."

Me- "What's up?"

Mia- "Nothing."

Me- "Sounds like fun."

Mia- "It is."

Me- "I bet. So... why did you want to review books?"

Mia- "Because I have nothing better to do with my superior ability to read."

Me- "Lol. Good answer. What's your favorite book?"

Mia- "Err, uhh idk! Too much pressure.. ima explode!"

Me- "Uhh, how about your favorite recent read?"

Mia- "I like everything."

Me- "Lol. What's your favorite snacky junk food thing?"

Mia- "Icecream!!!!"

Me- "Mmmmm that sounds good. Favorite movie?"

Mia- "Hmmm, the oceans series."

Me- "Hmmm, interesting."

And thats pretty much when it stopped being relevant. This upcoming week will include one, possibly two reviews by Mia and some more of that Cinderella retelling accompanied by a dress drawn by Mia for our Cinderella who is also known as Eleanor and Ella.

8.20.2010

Book Reviews!

Hey everybody! Good news! I got another person to do book reviews; my friend Mia! Sometime soon I'll be posting about her and then next week I'll put up her first review (Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater). So keep on the lookout for that! I'm still looking for reviewers so if you're interested let me know in the comments section of this post or on my facebook page (Amanda's Writings, become a fan!). In other news, I just ordered Lament and Ballad (also by Maggie Stiefvater) so keep an eye out for reviews of those too. Oh, and in preparation for Mockingjay (the third book in the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins) I will be re-reading and reviewing the first two in the trilogy, the Hunger Games and Catching Fire. One more thing, school starts next Thursday and as some of you might know I am taking a creative writing class so expect to see some of those assignments make their way onto my wonderfull blog. As always, comments, questions, critisizm, and tips are always welcome! Thanks for reading!

8.18.2010

Illusory Excerpt

Here is the exerpt of Illusory I promised :) I'm not so sure I like the title anymore, so if anybody has suggestions go ahead and comment.
   “A daughter of Kings proudly approaches, and how high she holds her head!”
    Madelene his bright green eyes with her cold blue ones and smiled, though with little friendliness. “Keen eyes you have, Master Prince.”
    He returned the smile then bowed his head slightly. “Nay, Lady, it is apparent by the way you carry yourself. No daughter of a farmer would walk as such.”
    Her smile widened slightly at his description and she eyed him carefully, learning what she could of him in this first meeting. He was courteous, she decided, and he certainly passed as a prince, but there was something about him that she couldn’t place her finger on. She put that thought in the back of her mind for the present, vowing to herself that she would find out what it was. “Well, Master Prince,” she said, “I suppose we should start at once.”
    He held her steady gaze with some amusement in his eyes. “Of course, Lady.”
    Madelene’s eyes narrowed minutely, then she turned back to her escorts. “Make ready to depart at once,” she commanded. There was many a “Yes, my Lady,” and “At once, my Lady,” and the horses were made ready and hers brought to her. She mounted her handsome chestnut horse then looked to see if the prince was ready. Much to her surprise and annoyance, the prince was already waiting for her at the start of the road. She turned her grimace into a smile that many would think charming, but it didn’t fool him. He grinned. “Shall we ride, Lady?” he said on top of barely controlled laughter. She did her best not to sneer at him. “We shall, Lord.”
    The spurred their horses and they shot forward, leaving their escorts and guards to follow behind them in the dust. While they rode, they did not speak. Madelene stole many glances at the strange prince riding beside her, trying to figure out what was different about him. He was not one to easily subject to another’s will, as she had found out, nor was he easily deceived. She almost resented him for it, but then remembered that this Lord was to be her husband, and thought it a good trait. He was not daunted by her, as most men were, but neither did he dislike her, which she thought odd. There was almost nobody who really liked her, except her father and her maid Rosella. Most thought her cruel and cold. She did not think herself cruel. Cold and proud was how she liked to hear herself described, but she was not cruel.
    They rode until the sun sank behind the horizon. When they could only just make out their hands in front of their faces, one of the escorts called them to a halt. They set up camp just off the road in a little grove of trees. When the tents were pitched and a roaring fire was blazing in the center of the camp, Madelene sought out Prince Maynard.
    She found him sitting by the fire on an old fallen tree whittling a block of wood. “Master Prince,” she said, coming up silently behind him. “Yes, Lady?” he said, continuing his whittling.
    “I wish to speak with you.”
    Maynard’s lips twitched upward at the corners. “Indeed, Lady. Come sit beside me and we shall talk,” he replied, patting the tree beside him. Madelene looked down at it with distaste. Maynard, sensing her hesitation, laughed silently. “It’s quite clean, Lady.”
    She glared at the back of his head for a moment then reluctantly sat herself on the log, with her head still held high. He looked up from his block of wood to see her and smiled. “Must you always hold your neck so stiff, Lady Madelene? It looks tiresome.”
    She glared at him again and he concealed a grin. When she didn’t relax he went on. “What do you wish to speak about?” he asked politely.
    Madelene glowered at him for a second longer then cleared her face of expression. “I wish to learn more of you,” she answered.
    He raised an eyebrow. “Do you really, Lady? I gathered that you already knew much of me, or guessed much.”
    She inspected his face for a moment before a small smile touched her lips. This prince didn’t miss much. “Indeed, Master Prince, there is much I have guessed about you, and it seems to be true, but I wish to know you better.”
    “Do you really?” he repeated softly.
    “I do.”
     He went back to his whittling. “Ask your questions, then,” he said, his voice back to normal.
    She paused for a moment, taken aback by his abrupt mood change. “What are you making,” she asked finally.
    The prince laughed. “That does not seem like the type of question one would ask to know someone.”
    “Well?”
    “I am making a seabird.” He held it up to the light of the fire and Madelene observed a carved wing and part of a head. She examined it closely. “You work quickly,” she observed. He shrugged. “My father is faster than me.”
    She looked closely at him now. “I didn’t know King Ebelard was a craftsman.”
    Maynard laughed. “Having a hobby such as carving does not make you a craftsman,” he said. “He carves little ships and animals to take his mind off things.”
    Madelene nodded. “My father calls councils for no reason other than to talk to take his mind off things,” she said. “It drives the noblemen quite mad.”
    He laughed again. “I would imagine so. What of your mother?” he asked.
    “My mother… I don’t know much of what my mother does. She doesn’t talk to me.”
    The prince looked at her in confusion. “Why not?”
    She looked away from the crackling flames and met his eyes. “She doesn’t like my presence,” she said. “Not many do.”
    He looked into her eyes and saw a faint sadness there. “Why would anybody not wish to be with such a lady as you?” he asked.
    She smiled slightly at his flattery, but it didn’t reach her eyes. “People whisper behind my back and think that I cannot hear them. They say I have cruel eyes, and that no good can come of a woman with cruel eyes. I’m sure they think I’ve murdered children in their beds.”
    Maynard frowned. “I do not think your eyes are cruel. You hide yourself behind a mask of coldness, am I right?”
    Madelene frowned slightly and a small crease appeared in her forehead, but she didn’t answer. Finally she looked away. Maynard stood up and dusted his trousers off. “Well Lady Madelene, I suppose I should get some sleep.”
    She nodded. “Goodnight, Prince Maynard.”
    He paused in his retreat and said, “Call me Bastion, please,”
    She smiled. “Goodnight, Bastion.”
    “Goodnight, Lady.”

8.16.2010

Book Review: Sleepless by Cyn Balog

       Eron De Marchelle isn’t supposed to feel a connection. He is a Sandman, a supernatural being whose purpose is to seduce human charges to sleep. While he can communicate with his charges in their dreams, he isn’t encouraged to–after all, getting too involved in one human’s life would prevent him helping his other charges get their needed rest.

        But he can’t deny that he feels something for Julia. Julia, with her fiery red hair and her sad dreams. Just weeks ago, her boyfriend died in a car accident, and Eron can tell that she feels more alone than ever. Eron was human once too, many years ago, and he remembers how it felt to lose the one he loved. Eron has always felt protective of Julia . . . but now, when she seems to need him more than ever, he can’t seem to reach her . . .
       Sandmen are forbidden from communicating with humans outside their dreams. But will Eron be willing to risk everything for a chance to be with the person he loves?

This book had an interesting concept. There aren't many stories about Sandmen, after all. I did have a few problems with this book, though. The plot line was conflicting and the end was way to predictable, making it lame. Sorry, but that's how it was. Predictable endings aren't always a bad thing, but it didn't work out so well in this book. This is probably not a book I will be picking up again any time soon.
 


Next up for review: Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater.

8.14.2010

:/

Hey everybody sorry I've been behind on my posts. I've been busy this week and today is my birthday! Happy birthday to me :) So anyway, for my birthday I got a Barnes and Noble gift card and you know what theat means: More Books!!!! On top of that, I pre-ordered Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins so keep your eyes opened for reviews of the Hunger Games trilogy. In the mean time, please enjoy and comment on this excerpt of a story I am currently writing. PS: Its not very good. yet.

Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea, I thought. The blood was rushing to my head and I could feel a rope burn around my ankle.



No, this was definitely not one of your better ideas. I could hear the laughter in the thought. I grinned, despite my situation. “Casper.”


Casper walked out from behind a tree and stopped in front of me. The amusement was obvious to see in his eyes. “Hello, Angie. Glad to see you’re hanging in there.”


I groaned at his bad joke. “So…” I said, “Are you going to let me down anytime soon?”


He scratched his head, pretending to think about it. “Well, I am rather enjoying the sight of you hanging from a tree by your ankle, but… alright.”


I rolled my eyes. Hurry, please. He grinned in response then began climbing the tree. My ankle was starting to throb. The branch I was hanging from started to shake when Casper reached it. I gasped when his hand grabbed my ankle. Your hands are cold, I thought reproachfully, which made him chuckle. He tugged at the rope for a moment then with a noise like a snap he was back on the ground again with his arms outstretched. Before I had time to take any of that in, my foot slipped through the rope and the wind was knocked out of me when I landed in his arms. He grinned at me again. “Hey.”


I glared back at him while I struggled to refill my lungs. “Put… put me… down…”


He laughed then set me on my feet. I gripped a tree branch to steady myself then bent down to rub my ankle. Angie?


I glanced at him out of the corner of my eye. Yeah?


Sorry.

I straitened back up to look him in the eye. We stood like that for a moment then I burst out laughing. “Yeah yeah, alright.” He grinned at me again. “Let’s get out of here.”

8.06.2010

Upcoming

Hey everybody! Its me Amanda and I just thought I'd post a list of the things I'll be posting about in the near future (meaning Monday).
  • A review of Shiver followed by it's sequel Linger by Maggie Stiefvater
  • An excerpt of my most recent story with the temporary title Illusory (I posted the beginning of it already)
  • A picture of a tree I drew (Its a very pretty tree)
  • A review of Incarceron by Catherine Fisher
  • A review of the Hourglass Door and its sequel the Golden Spiral by Lisa Mangum
  • Pictures of my Birthday Party
  • A review of Sleepless by Cyn Balog (I won an ARC)
  • A review of the Hunger Games, followed by Catching Fire and then the long awaited Mockingjay
  • Another excerpt from the Cinderella retelling
  • A picture of the marble staircase from the Cinderella retelling, along with a dress that is also from the Cinderella retelling (my co-writer Mia drew the dresses and I'm still undecided whether or not I should post my version of the staircase or hers)
That's all I have planned out for the moment. They will all be posted in more or less that order, depending on when my ARC of Sleepless arrives. Thanks for reading!

Search this blog!