12.31.2011

Book Review: Borrowing Abby Grace AND a Giveaway!

Synopsis:                           Smart and sassy Abby Grace is a seventeen-year-old with a talent for getting out of trouble. Sent to repair the lives and loves of teenagers on the edge of disaster, Abby is the perfect girl for the job. She has everything going for her… except one thing: a body.

This fun and exciting episode is the third installment in an ongoing mystery series with a supernatural twist.

Borrowing Abby Grace Episode 3: Top of the Class

Abby finds herself in a boy’s body for the first time, where she has to fumble her way through a secret love affair, while getting to the bottom of a grade-tampering scandal that could send her to jail.

My Review: *I received a digital copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.* This has been my favorite episode by far. It had a bit more of a twist than the previous two, and I got to learn more about Abby. The episodes are short (around 60 pages each) and have kept me on the edge of my seat and left me wanting more at the end, especially at the end of Top of the Class. They're really fun and entertaining reads, and I can't wait for the next episode!

Borrowing Abby Grace puts a new perspective on mystery and supernatural, making them refreshing and continually entertaining. They read fast and hold your attention, and are realatable and funny. I really enjoy reading them!





Now for the giveaway. The author, Kelly Green, and her publisher have agreed to giveaway Amazon vouchers for all three episodes. This is open to U.S. only. Make sure you see my policy page before entering.

Entries: There are two optional entries, making a total of three possible entries. For the extra entries, you can follow Kelly at Twitter and Facebook.

Giveaway ends January 14th! Good luck! Fill out the entry form HERE.

Thanks  for reading!

Solid and Settling Giveaway winner

I'm back! And I've got lots to catch up on. I'll start with the winner of Solid and Settling.

The winner, chosen via Random.org is Emilee! Congrats! You should be getting your ebooks in your email sometime soon.

Coming up next is a review/giveaway.

Thanks for reading!

12.26.2011

Gone To Texas

Hey everyone! I'm on my way to Texas for a few days and I'm not sure if I'll have Internet. If I do, I'll be announcing the winner of Solid and Settling tomorrow, so don't forget to enter! I'll also be posting another review/giveaway so keep an eye out for that. If I can't post, then I'll be back in a few days.

Thanks for reading!

12.25.2011

In My Mailbox (8)

Hi everyone! In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi over at TheStorySiren.com. Its a fun way to share what books you've gotten in the past week and see what other's have gotten. This week I got a lot of books:



1. Inheritance
Yes! I finally got it! This was a Christmas present to my brother and I. Can't wait to get started!

2. The Night Circus
This was also a Christmas present (most of today's were). This one has had some great reviews!


3. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
Christmas present!


4. Trash
This one actually did come in the mail. I ordered it from RandomBuzzers.com



5. The Project
Also from RandomBuzzers.com



6. Distant Waves
Christmas present from a friend :)




7. Suite Scarlett
Another Christmas present from the same friend :)




8. Flipped
Last Christmas present. Same friend ;)



So it looks to me like I have a lot to read. I better get started! What did you get in your mailbox? Leave me links and I'll check them out!

Thanks for reading! Merry Christmas!

100 Follower Giveaway Winners

Thanks to everyone who entered, and thanks to all who followed Amanda's Writings! I know you're all dying to know who the winners are, so here we go:


1. Sarah Beth Durst package: Julie




2. Dash and Lily's Book of Dares: Trish (confirmed)








3. The Scorpio Races: Elise (confirmed)









I've emailed everyone, and if they haven't confirmed in 24 hours, I'll pick new winners. Thanks again to all who entered!

Merry Christmas!

12.24.2011

Last Chance: 100 Follower Giveaway

Today is the last chance to enter my 100 Follower Giveaway! I'm giving away three great packages:




1. Sarah Beth Durst package:


2. Dash and Lily's Book of Dares package:


3. The Scorpio Races package:



Head on over to my 100 Follower Giveaway to enter, and don't forget to check out my giveaway page for other giveaways!

Thanks for reading!

12.23.2011

Book Review: Accomplice by Eireann Corrigan

Synopsis (from Goodreads.com): They've gotten good grades - but that's not good enough. They've spent hours on community service - but that's not good enough. Finn and Chloe's advisor says that colleges have enough kids with good grades and perfect attendance, so Chloe decides they'll have to attract attention another way. She and Finn will stage Chloe's disappearance, and then, when CNN is on their doorstep and the nation is riveted, Finn will find and save her. It seems like the perfect plan - until things start to go wrong. Very wrong.
My Review: Well I didn't love it, but it was sort of an interesting read. The summary, by the way, is a bit misleading. First, it led me to believe that Finn was a guy. Nope. Finn's a girl. Second, it made me think that something was going to go horribly wrong with their scheme. Not quite. Nothing really goes wrong at all. Most of the book pretty much deals with how hard it is for each of the girls to keep the pretense up and how much of a jerk Chloe is.

Overall I was disappointed with the book. It didn't have as much action as I thought it would. I did like the end, though. Rather, the way it ended.

If you're looking for an easy, on-the-side read, this is a good one. If you're looking for something hard-core and itense, something to keep you on the edge of your seat, try something else.



Thanks for reading!

Winner: Far From the War

And the person who will be recieving a copy of Far From the War is....

Emilee Bogart!

Congrats! I've sent an email and you have 24 hours to respond before another winner will be chosen.

Thanks to all those who entered! Don't forget to enter my other giveaways, all found on my giveaway page!

Thanks for reading!

12.22.2011

Author Interview: D. Robert Pease

Hello everyone! As you may have noticed, I am part of the Noah Zarc blog tour. Noah Zarc is a middle-grade book by D. Robert Pease. You may have seen my review of it, but if you didn't, I loved the book! Along with reading and reviewing the book, I've had the opportunity to interview the author as well.  
Q: What sort of things did you draw inspiration from when writing Noah Zarc?

A: Obviously Noah Zarc is very, very loosely based on the account of Noah's Ark in the Bible. That was the jumping off point. But mostly the book is about family, and what lengths each member of the Zarc family will go to, to protect those they love. So the inspiration for this was my own family. I wanted my kids to know that I would do anything to protect them. Noah Zarc, Sr. acts as I would in his place. He is me. Or the me I would be if I lived 1,000 years in the future and had a time-traveling ship full of thousands of animals.

Q: How did you choose your characters' names?

A: Originally only the dad had the name Noah. Noah, Jr. had the name, J.J. So the three kids were Sam, Ham, and J.J. based on the three sons of Noah in the Bible: Shem, Ham, and Japheth. But then I had an editor tell me that since the story was called Noah Zarc, the main character should be Noah Zarc. That's when I made J.J. Noah. Then I had people say Sam and Ham having names so similar to each other confused them. So Ham was called Hamilton for most of the book. It fit his personality better anyway. Other names, like Adina, Draben and Haon's wife, Shalia all were names that I just kind of pulled out of the air. I liked the way they sounded. A bit foreign, but not so strange kids would stumble over their pronunciation. Oh, also Haon is obviously, Noah backwards. The reasons for this are discussed in much more detail in the second book.
 
Q: What was your favorite part about writing Noah Zarc?

A: My favorite part of writing in general, is when surprising things happen. I absolutely love it when I'm writing along and something unexpected happens. Like when the woolly mammoth charged out of the trees and rammed into the ship. I had no idea that was going to happen. So when it did, I had to figure out why. That's when I had to explore the whole relationship that Noah, Sr. had developed with the cavemen before Noah and his siblings arrived in the Ice Age.

Q: Do you have a plalylist for your novel?

A: This is pretty funny. I never thought of a playlist for a novel until today. Just this afternoon another author friend of mine, Emlyn Chand, posted a playlist to her novel, Farsighted. I didn't know the concept even existed. So no, sadly I don't. BUT, I do listen to music when I write. Almost exclusively the Lord of the Rings soundtrack (I am a nerd at heart). It's got to be music without any lyrics in it, or I get too distracted.

Q: There is a lot of time travel in Noah Zarc. Sometimes I had a hard time keeping track of it, and some of the characters did too. How did you keep track of it?

A: Well, I got lost at times too. But the main way I kept track is I have a whole timeline written out, with every major date in the book (in the series, in fact). So I can keep track of when, and where an event happens. The timeline is in chronological order, not the order it happens in the book, so it helps me to understand if there are events that happen later in the book that might change how things happened earlier.

Q: Can you tell us anything about book two?

A: The time travel question above is a good segue into this question. Book two is, perhaps, a darker book than the first one. It follows Noah as he tries to learn more about who Haon is, and what role he might have played in the Great Cataclysm that wiped out life on Earth. In the process, Noah starts to think maybe he could actually stop the destruction of Earth from happening in the first place. There's an overarching question of, can you go back and change time at all. Or is everything set in stone. You'll have to read it to find out where I come down on the issue. Also, there's a new character added that I thoroughly enjoyed, and Noah is faced with another big question, what constitutes life?

Q: How do you feel knowing people actually read and enjoy your book?

A: I'm tickled pink. Every once in a while I'll get a notice on Goodreads that says "John Doe is reading Noah Zarc." and it is just so cool to think, right this moment someone could be sitting down with a copy of my book open on their lap, reading. More than that, though, I love to hear from kids who have read it. I just love their simple way of saying things. "This book was awesome!" takes the cake as my most favorite review from a kid.

Q: Any words of advice for aspiring writers?

A: I feel funny offering advice for "aspiring writers" simply because I was one just a few short months ago. And to a great extent still feel like one. But, there are definitely things I've learned. One is, after you write the words "The End" the real work begins. Really. I had no idea how much work was to follow. I spent about two years working with beta readers getting the manuscript to the point I thought maybe it was ready to sell. Then I spent four months working with two editors on everything from completely reworking several parts of the story to deleting others, to adding yet more. It was an amazing process, and the book is so, so much stronger than it was before, but it was time consuming. I grew frustrated with how long it took. But in the end it was all well worth it. So that's my first piece of advice. Be patient. And don't take shortcuts.

Of course some people may say that I took a huge shortcut by self-publishing Noah Zarc, rather than finding a traditional publisher. But I don't look at it that way at all. I didn't choose self-publishing as a way to get my book out faster. I chose it because, for me, it was the better way to go. There are many aspects of publishing that I felt I could do myself. I'm a designer by trade, so I could do all the graphic work, website, cover art and such, myself. With all the distribution channels available now I don't need to be on the bookstore shelves. In fact I felt like everything I needed, aside from editing, I could handle myself. But one thing I didn't account for was just how much work marketing would be. I've spent basically the past four months working full time at it. So much that I've not had much time for anything else, including writing. That's all going to change the first of the year. I've got to get the sequel to Noah Zarc done. And I've got another project that I'm excited about I want to get back to as well.

Q: Is there anything you want readers to take from your book?

A: More than anything I just want people to have fun reading Noah Zarc. I didn't really set out to make any deep points, although I discovered some along the way. I really just wanted to write a frolicking adventure through space and time. I hope that's what people take away from it. If they come up with anything more than that, then bonus.


Well I hope you enjoyed that as much as I did!


Blog Tour Notes

Noah Zarc: Mammoth TroubleOVERVIEW
 Noah lives for piloting spaceships through time, dodging killer robots and saving Earth's animals from extinction.
Life couldn't be better.
But the twelve-year-old time traveler learns it could be a whole lot worse. His mom is kidnapped and taken to Mars; his dad is stranded in the Ice Age; and Noah is attacked at every turn by a foe bent on destroying Earth... for the second time.
Get your copy today by visiting Amazon.com (available in paperback or as an eBook) or the online retailer of your choice (more links below).

CASH PRIZES
 Guess what? You could win a $50 Amazon gift card as part of this special blog tour. That’s right! Just leave a comment below saying something about the post you just read, and you’ll be entered into the raffle. I could win $50 too by having the most comments. So tell your friends to stop by and comment on this post too!


GIVEAWAY
 Win 1 of 5 copies of the paperback version of Noah Zarc: Mammoth Trouble by entering the giveaway on GoodReads.
D. Robert Pease

THE AUTHOR
 D. Robert Pease has been interested in creating worlds since childhood. From building in the sandbox behind his house, to drawing fantastical worlds with paper and pencil, there has hardly been a time he hasn't been off on some adventure in his mind, to the dismay of parents and teachers alike. Also, since the moment he could read, books have consumed vast swaths of his life. From The Mouse and the Motorcycle, to The Lord of the Rings, worlds just beyond reality have called to him like Homer's Sirens. It's not surprising then he chose to write stories of his own. Each filled with worlds just beyond reach, but close enough we can all catch a glimpse of ourselves in the characters.
Discover ways to connect with the author by visiting his site at www.drobertpease.com

BOOK TRAILER



THANK YOU! for visiting. And don't forget to comment below for that chance to win the $50 Amazon gift card. And of course head on over to your favorite online book store and buy a copy of Noah Zarc: Mammoth Trouble, for you or for the kids in your life.
Amazon Paperback | Amazon Kindle | Barnes & Noble Nook | Apple iBookstore | Smashwords | Diesel eBook Store | CreateSpace Paperback | Amazon UK | Amazon France | Amazon Germany

12.21.2011

Book Review: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Synopsis (from Goodreads.c0m): Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers thirteen cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, his classmate and crush who committed suicide two weeks earlier.                                                                                On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out how he made the list.                                                                                            Through Hannah and Clay's dual narratives, debut author Jay Asher weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect teen readers.

My Review: Well this book definitely affected me. It was brilliantly written in a very impacting way. It addresses some very real and pressing issues that appear every day. It made the book very realistic and made even more of an impact on me. This is definitely not a happy book. It seemed very serious and very sad. It touched my heart and brought tears to my eyes.


This was definitely a well thought out book. I can tell a lot of time was spent on this. It has a very clear message. The author did a very good job of show casing the snowball effect. One thing leads to another and keeps on building and building until it's too late.


The characters were very well thought out, especially Clay and Hannah. It was sad for me to see how mean and horrible some people could be, and I think Clay felt the same way, but it's also sad to realize that that is the reality. It also shows how things that seem small and insignificant to one person could mean a whole lot more to another. It reinforced the concept of watching what you say. It shows what a big effect just some simple words on a paper can have on someone's entire life. It makes me want to be more careful and more caring about what I say and do.


I loved it. It was brilliant and beautiful and sad. I definitely recommend this book to everyone, no matter what you like to read.


On a happier note, I still have a lot of giveaways happening, and another one coming soon! You can find them all on my giveaway page.


Thanks for reading!

12.20.2011

Angel Evolution Winners!

And the winners of Angel Evolution by David Estes are....

Elise

Hellen

Julie

Emilee

I've forwarded the winners' email addressed to the author, so expect your e-books sometime soon!


Don't forget to enter the other ongoing giveaways! They can be found on my December Giveaway page.

Thanks for reading!

12.18.2011

Book Review: Settling by Shelley Workinger and a Giveaway!!!

Synopsis (from Goodreads.com): At the beginning of the summer, Clio Kaid was one of a hundred teens brought to a secret Army installation. But it was no ordinary camp and they weren’t ordinary kids…

Picking up where “Solid” left off, Clio and her friends realize that they aren’t ready to go home; they’re determined to stay on campus and continue their journey of self- discovery. But someone doesn’t feel the same way and will do anything to drive them away – even kill.

Friendships will be tested, abilities will evolve, and more secrets will come out as the teens race to stop the killer before he sets his sights on one of them…


My Review: *I received a digital copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.* I absolutely loved it. It was intense. I couldn't look away! It was fast-pased and exciting and intense! It was a great follow up for Solid (which I also loved). There were most of the same characters from Solid, and actually a few new ones. I liked how although this book is about genetically altered teens, there is still a lot of relatability to it. The characters still have normal issues to deal with in addition to the secret military instillation and genetic alterations and crazy killers. It made the book realistic. As with Solid, I loved the ways the characters interacted with each other. Settling picks up right where Solid left off and right away something happens. Things then start getting really complicated for Clio, the main character, and discoveries and changes are made. A little too complicated for the likes of the other characters. The climax was brilliantly drawn out and brought everything together nicely, even if it wasn't all that 'nice'. Of the two books so far, Settling was definitely my favorite.



The end left me hanging! I can't wait for the next book, Sound (coming summer 2012).

Here are some links if you'd like to learn more:


Now for what you've been waiting for... Another giveaway! This one is courtesy of Shelley Workinger, the author of the two wonderful books mentioned above. She is willing to give away one copy of Solid, and one copy of Settling! They will be e-books in either Kindle format or PDF. The entry form is below and includes to bonus entries if you follow Shelley on her blog and on Twitter (both linked above). One entry per person! Good luck to you all! The form will close on December 24th:




And with that I'd just like to remind everyone of the other giveaways happening right now here on Amanda's Writings, including an opportunity to win one of 200 e-books, and my 100 followers giveaway! You can find all of those on my December Giveaways page.

Thanks for reading!

12.15.2011

Still Taking Entries!

I have three giveaways happening right now here on Amanda's Writings, and they're all still open! We've got 200 e-books of Angel Evolution by David Estes up for grabs, a copy of Far From the War by Jeffrey David Payne, and then for my 100 follower giveaway, you can choose one of three packages:

1. Ice and Enchanted Ivy by Sarah Beth Durst
2. Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
3. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Two more giveaways are coming soon, so keep checking back for some great opportunities!

Thanks for reading!

12.14.2011

Book Review: Noah Zarc: Mammoth Trouble by D. Robert Pease

Synopsis (from Goodreads.com): Noah lives for piloting spaceships through time, dodging killer robots and saving Earth’s animals from extinction. Life couldn’t be better. However, the twelve-year-old time traveler soon learns it could be a whole lot worse. His mom is abducted and taken to thirty-first century Mars; his dad becomes stranded in the Ice Age; and Noah is attacked at every turn by a foe bent on destroying a newly habitable, post-apocalyptic Earth.

Traveling through time in the family’s immense spaceship, Noah, a paraplegic from birth, must somehow care for the thousands of animals on board, while finding a way to rescue his parents. Along the way, he discovers his mother and father aren’t who he thought they were, and there is strength inside him he didn’t know he had.

My Review: I loved it! It was a really fun and fast-paced read that had me on the edge of my seat. It was really very enjoyable. This is more of a middle-grade book, and while I usually read YA, I thoroughly enjoyed this one. It was a fun futuristic take on the story of Noah's Ark with space and time travel. I didn't understand all the time travel stuff, but most of the characters didn't either so it didn't really throw me off.

Noah is your average twelve-year-old kid... except that instead of playing sports or video games, he flies space ships and time travels and saves extinct marmosets. Noah and his family, the Zarcs, are charged with rescuing extinct animals from the past in order to repopulate the Earth where no one is currently living. Unfortunately for Noah and his family, not everyone approves of this calling and will do almost anything to stop them.

I enjoyed all the characters and seeing how they interacted. The plot, as I said before, is fast-paced and exciting, making it hard to put down. I loved the way it ended, and it left me wanting more! The next book in the series comes out sometime next year. To far away! I can't wait to read it!

Thanks for reading this review, and keep on reading for some awesome giveaway opportunities!

Blog Tour Notes

Noah Zarc: Mammoth TroubleOVERVIEW

Noah lives for piloting spaceships through time, dodging killer robots and saving Earth's animals from extinction.


Life couldn't be better.


But the twelve-year-old time traveler learns it could be a whole lot worse. His mom is kidnapped and taken to Mars; his dad is stranded in the Ice Age; and Noah is attacked at every turn by a foe bent on destroying Earth... for the second time.


Get your copy today by visiting Amazon.com (available in paperback or as an eBook) or the online retailer of your choice (more links below).


CASH PRIZES

Guess what? You could win a $50 Amazon gift card as part of this special blog tour. That’s right! Just leave a comment below saying something about the post you just read, and you’ll be entered into the raffle. I could win $50 too by having the most comments. So tell your friends to stop by and comment on this post too!


GIVEAWAY

Win 1 of 5 copies of the paperback version of Noah Zarc: Mammoth Trouble by entering the giveaway on GoodReads.


D. Robert PeaseTHE AUTHOR

D. Robert Pease has been interested in creating worlds since childhood. From building in the sandbox behind his house, to drawing fantastical worlds with paper and pencil, there has hardly been a time he hasn't been off on some adventure in his mind, to the dismay of parents and teachers alike. Also, since the moment he could read, books have consumed vast swaths of his life. From The Mouse and the Motorcycle, to The Lord of the Rings, worlds just beyond reality have called to him like Homer's Sirens. It's not surprising then he chose to write stories of his own. Each filled with worlds just beyond reach, but close enough we can all catch a glimpse of ourselves in the characters.


Discover ways to connect with the author by visiting his site at www.drobertpease.com


BOOK TRAILER





THANK YOU! for visiting. And don't forget to comment below for that chance to win the $50 Amazon gift card. And of course head on over to your favorite online book store and buy a copy of Noah Zarc: Mammoth Trouble, for you or for the kids in your life.


Amazon Paperback | Amazon Kindle | Barnes & Noble Nook | Apple iBookstore | Smashwords | Diesel eBook Store | CreateSpace Paperback | Amazon UK | Amazon France | Amazon Germany

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