About Me

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Hi, I'm Jamie. I'm a writer, reader, and huge TV junkie. I just might post about all three here on this blog. Have a look around. And if you want, drop me an email and tell me what you think. Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

mega-awesome giveaway, folks!


The lovely Larissa over at Larissa's Bookish Life is hosting a 3rd Blogoversary & Christmas giveaway that you all should really check out. She's choosing multiple winners with multiple outstanding prizes. Don't hang out here...go see for yourself here!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Review: Lunarmorte by Sam Young


Welcome to my first book review! I've been wanting to begin reviewing some of the books I read for a while now, but I've never been able to find the time (we all know how that is, right?) But with this 4 day weekend, time suddenly presented itself! So, here's my very first review...


Page count: 298
Publisher: Vanguard Press
Publication Date: July 30, 2010

From Amazon.co.uk :

Amidst the magikal children of the ancient Greek gods lives a girl destined to bring their ancient war to an end. Caia Ribeiro has lived a life of isolation and mystery since the death of her parents and her separation from her lykan pack at the age of seven. Returning ten years later under the supervision of the pack's young leader, Lucien, Caia finds herself seduced by pack life and her enigmatic guardian. But when strange happenings lead to near exposure of their world, Caia begins to realize Lucien and the elders have been keeping unforgiveable secrets, leaving Caia to come to terms with the truth of her dark and unique heritage. Scarcely given time to adjust to her new reality, the war she believed stormed only on distant shores crashes on her doorstep, forcing Caia to put aside her conflict with Lucien in order to save them all from an old enemy and his relentless pursuit. Lunarmorte is the first book in a trilogy.

My review:

Pros:
I really enjoyed reading Lunarmorte. The plot, though not unique (it's about werewolves), is told in a way that doesn't leave the reader feeling like it's something they've read before. Caia is a great character that changes completely from the beginning of the book to the end and I rooted for her throughout the entire book. I really understood how she felt because her emotions were on the page - from anger to jealousy, happiness to rage...Caia expresses herself well.

The romance in the book will definitely have readers in the YA genre excited, with somewhat of a love triangle between Caia and two of her packmates: The loveable Sebastian, who genuinely cares for Caia and wants to be there for her; and Lucien, the young pack leader who struggles with his feelings for what he considers a child. These two hot-on-the-page wolves keep Caia spinning from one to the other all the way through the story. Since Lunarmorte is the first book in a trilogy, Caia's romantic interest has yet-to-be-determined, but my vote is for Lucien. He's sexy and powerful and the scenes between the two of them are riddled with sexual tension and tenderness all at once. Lucien cares greatly for Caia but has difficulty coming to terms with the attraction he has towards her...which makes for great reading!

The wolf pack is a great part of this story, too. Though I did find it a bit difficult trying to distinguish between all the names in the fairly large pool of characters, the main players in the pack are well written and held my interest. One of them plays a pivotal role in the plot's progression that was a twist I didn't see coming but that I really enjoyed.

Cons:
There aren't too many problems with Lunarmorte that I can point out - except that it ended and now I have to wait for the 2nd book!

One difficulty that took me a bit to adjust to was the difference in writing style from the US to the UK. Several words are spelled differently [favorite(US) vs. favourite (UK)] and different words altogether are used that posed a tiny problem getting into the story at the beginning. But once I adjusted I rarely noticed them any more.

The only thing I would have enjoyed more would have been an action-packed opening. I'm all for back story and setup, but I like to be dropped in the middle of action from the first page and then fed back story later on. This book did some set-up at the very beginning, but it was in no way discouraging for me. I simply read through it, and a couple pages in I got a feel for the story and was on my way to the end.

Rating:
Overall, I give Lunarmorte 3.5 stars. It was a highly entertaining read that kept me glued to the pages and eagerly anticipating the next installment. Well done, Ms. Young!



Wednesday, November 24, 2010

blog jog giveaway winner!

Thanks to all for stopping by and commenting during Blog Jog Day. There were lots of great blogs on the jog so I hope you all were able to visit many!

And for my giveaway, the lucky winner is...

Linda Henderson!!

I've emailed you, Linda, and you have 24 hours to respond before I have to pick another winner.

And for those of you who didn't win, no worries. Once I hit 200 followers, I'll be hosting another giveaway. And who knows, it may happen during the holidays...wouldn't that be a nice gift!


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Teaser Tuesday




Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS!
(make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away. You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers!


My Teasers:

She pulled at the chains and then looked at him wildly. "They're strong, husband. Small-time they may be, but they can't be killed easily."

- Lunarmorte by Sam Young, pg. 159



Monday, November 22, 2010

I need your help, guys

So when I opened my email this morning, I received a nice surprise...a partial request! *dances around stupidly*

I know, it's exciting, right? Who knows if it will lead to anything. But the fact someone out there liked my submission (it was a query with ch1 included) and would like to see more is great! It lets me know that I'm doing something right, right?

But, not all is good news in the email, I'm afraid. For you see, this particular person would like to see some more of my writing...in the form of a synopsis! *apologizes for no forewarning of the "S" word* Agh! I know, I hate them, too. But it has been requested, so therefore it shall be written.

But I - and I'm sure a lot of writers out there are with me - have no clue, really, how to write a synopsis. I mean, I know what it is, what purpose it serves, but as far as structure and length and the style in which it should be written is foreign to me.

So that's where I need some help. If any of you know where I can go to find some great synopsis-writing advice, could you please let me know? Maybe some examples of some good ones? I know I could just do a Google search, but I figured someone reading this out there has probably already found the gems in that Google list, so why not ask, right?

Thanks to you all, and wish me luck!!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

it's Blog Jog Day!




Hello all, and welcome to Blog Jog Day! It's an annual "running of the blogs" if you will, where lots and lots of people from all over Blogdom join in a "jogging" celebration to spread the word of what blogging is all about. You'll find blogs showcasing everything - not just the ones here in our little world of writing and reading - so please, join in the fun!

When you're done peeking at my site here, please go check out the next blog in the list, Subjective Soup, at http://subjectivesoup.blogspot.com and learn something new!

Remember joggers, if you drift away from the chain of blogs, simply visit the Blog Jog Day blog for a complete list of all participating blogs.

And one more thing...comment on this post between now and midnight CST on Tuesday November 23rd and you'll be automatically entered into my giveaway for a chance to win $10 in books from The Book Depository!

Happy Jogging!!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

will you jog with me tomorrow?


If you said "yes" to the question in the title, then stop by my blog tomorrow for National Blog Jog Day...a day when you can hop around to a huge list of bloggers and learn some pretty cool stuff!

So come by any time tomorrow, Sunday November 21st, and join in the blog hop! And I'm probably gonna be giving something away, so you won't wanna miss it!

look what I got!


This was a great week for checking the mail! This is a quick pic of what I received this week, thought I'd share with you all. I won each of these in blog contests (aren't contests great!).

L to R

Haunted Honeymoon by Marta Acosta - Haven't read it yet but heard it's great!

Twilight White by Stephenie Meyer - These are special only to the UK. So now I have a US and a UK set...awesome!

Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick - Oh I can't wait to read more of Patch!


Friday, November 19, 2010

old wip, new wip...cool whip!




So I, like thousands of others, am deep in the throes of NaNoWriMo. There's roughly a week and a half left and I have about 12k more words to hit the 50k. But what I'm doing this year - versus the time I entered a couple of years ago - is a bit different. I decided to take my finished MS and completely rewrite it. Yeah.

Old Wip
I knew after I finished my 2nd round of revisions that the story needed a major shift, so when NaNo rolled around, I thought it a perfect time to do what I felt needed to be done. I don't think, however, that I'll be completely done with the manuscript by the end of NaNo (the original version is 70k +), but I should meet the 50k goal (fingers crossed!).

New Wip
Apparently I thought that dealing with a complete MS overhaul wasn't enough to fill my free time, because I decided to start a new wip as well. Yeah, I'm crazy like that. This new wip is still in the beginning stages, however, and I don't have a deadline like NaNo, but I still feel some pressure to get it done. I don't know why I feel that pressure, but it's there; but I am really liking this new piece very much. Don't get me wrong...I love the characters and the story in my old wip, and I'm really enjoying throwing some new troubles their way. So even though it's crazy tackling two stories at once (at least for me it is), it's nice to switch back and forth from one to the other.

Cool Whip!
I know that most people turn to chocolate when they feel stressed but I have a confession to make: I don't really care for chocolate. (Remain calm everyone. Remain calm.). I like some chocolate, of course - Hershey's kisses and Reese's cups are the two that constantly nag at me - but I don't seek it out when I'm feeling overwhelmed. If I did, I'd be in serious trouble health-wise. No, my big thing when it comes to sweets is ice cream...oh how I love my ice cream! And don't even try to give me that sugar-free gunk in a box they try to pass off as real...I ain't buyin' it! I want the sugar-filled, fruit-filled, caramel-filled, whatever-filled stuff that packs on the pounds. Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!

But of course, like the chocolate, I can only take it in moderation...you know, for my health. So to make a long story short (too late, right?) I have found a pretty good alternative to ice cream. Cool Whip.

'What?!' I hear you all screaming through my computer screen. 'Are you insane?' And I answer those questions with "Yes!" and "No!" respectively. If you've never tried this, give it a shot, okay? Take a container of Cool Whip (even though I hate the sugar-free ice cream, I love the fat-free Cool Whip, so I recommend buying it instead of the fat-filled stuff) and stick it in your freezer. After a couple of hours (if you can hold off that long, which I can't sometimes) pull it out and grab a spoon. Trust me...it tastes like vanilla ice cream! Yeah, crazy, I know. But give it a try and see if you like it. Believe me, it helps curb those sugar cravings you probably get when struggling with your writing. At least, it does for me.

So what about you all? Any weird cravings that you have while writing? And what are you working on right now? One wip? Two? More? Lemme know, and happy writing!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

do you know Livy?

First I want to thank you all again for such an outstanding 100 followers giveaway...you guys rock!

And as an additional little 'thanks', I thought I'd introduce you all to someone you may not have heard of...yet. Her name is Anne Michaud, and she's the brains behind a really cool site, Livy Parker's Journal. Anne has created a website from the point of view of her main character, Livy. There are several entries that you guys should go check out, but here's a sample of Anne's writing...enjoy!


The Raid Bell

There was the salty smell of the sea, cold waves hitting my calves, algae swirling around me. The sun was so bright, I’d never seen the sky so blue… and then Dad woke me up. It was the middle of the night, around three, when I heard it. Loud, crazy, all around the Macro: the Raid Bell. There was fear in his voice as he told me to get dressed and bring my identification papers, so I didn’t argue.

The first time it happened, I was ten and Dad was out on an assignment. Uncle Roger was teaching me the rules of chess in his penthouse. I remember how he turned white as a ghost when the first ring reached us – he FREAKED OUT, lost his mind in worry for Dad, and made me go underground without him. His driver came with us to the bunker under the building, everyone so scared, and I thought Dad was dead. I never cried so much in my life, stopped only when he came back the next day. He’d been stuck in another bunker under the Macro, unable to reach us until the Army had given the green light for everything to go back to normal.

Last night, well, last night was quite different. When we made it to the panic room, after many dark flights of stairs – both elevators had stopped working, one with people still inside - we were told our bunker was full. No kidding, I saw it; everyone was standing close together, in their pajamas, looking tired and frightened. They all recognized Dad, of course, but no one said anything. Famous journalist or not, everyone was the same here - trying to hide and avoid the enemy’s incoming planes. And like everyone else, we were both scared. A lot.

‘Where are we supposed to go? What are we supposed to do?’ My dad’s voice became loud, louder than the bell still ringing, getting louder with each minute. There was no need to panic, though; the Army had it all under control.

In a bullet-proof Humvee, we were transferred to another location further into the Macro, away from the coast, deep into the next district, near the factories. The ride was actually cool: no one in the streets, only military personnel running with weapons – plus, the lieutenant was SPEEDING. And I mean, motion-sickness speeding, especially when he turned corners and stopped suddenly to let Army trucks and Jeeps pass. Kinda fun, though, if you forgot about why we were driving so fast.

‘She’d hate it,’ Dad said, waiting for my answer.

‘She would,’ I agreed. As always, our little inside joke about Mother, the-one-who-shall-never-be-mentioned-out-in-the-open.

When we arrived there – I didn’t know where we were, it was so dark and the huge searchlights dancing in the sky were quite distracting - the soldiers made us run into what seemed like an abandoned building: a decoy. They opened the back door onto a curved tunnel, voices coming from beyond, the smell of dust mixed with fear.

Then the door opened on a group of refugees, like Dad and me, people who were caught outside where they shouldn’t have been, far from home or their designated bunkers. This one wasn’t full, and there was even hot tea and those instant coffee crystals Dad loves so much. Someone tapped my shoulder and I thanked whatever god that I’d had time to change out of my cartoon-sushi pajamas. When I turned around, I was facing ERIC.

Of all people, of all places. He’d been out with his friends when the alarm started ringing and the soldiers brought him here, like Dad and me. So I was the only one to get grounded after our little trip to the Civil Security station? Yep. Only Dad. Only me. Great.

‘You recover all right from Saturday?’ he asked me before I could stop him, before I could gesture to him to lower his voice and just Don’t Talk About Saturday. But oh too late.

Dad eyed him up and down then gave me his look: the one where his eyes go red and bulge like mad, as if I suddenly turned into some ghost with a chainsaw. He took one deep breath, chose to ignore Eric (everyone else, too, for that matter) and screamed, at the top of his lungs: ‘You got arrested with a boy?!’ My dad, you had to give it to him, he knew how to make a scene.

What happened next? I blushed (it was actually painful to feel my cheeks in FLAMES) and Eric just went to sit with his friends. I prayed and wished for the raid to be over soon. Twelve hours later, my genie finally heard me and we were able to leave. Dad? He didn’t even look at me for the rest of our stay. Instead, he did what he does best: he talked to his fans and ignored me.

My birthday is in a week. Hope he’ll forget about all this by then…

Monday, November 15, 2010

look what I got!


I just had to post a pic of the AWESOME gift I got in the mail when I got home tonight. The lovely Sam Young sent me her novel Lunarmorte that I won in a contest...but she went all out with the swag! I got the book (which is signed!), a Lunarmorte pen, a Lunarmorte notebook (that is identical to the book cover!), a Lunarmorte keychain and (not pictured cause it's too big) a Lunarmorte poster (which is signed!)!!

How cool is that? If you haven't visited Sam's blog, seriously...go check it out. And pick up a copy of Lunarmorte for yourself. I plan to read it next (right after I'm done with Nightshade!) and post my very first book review right here...so stay tuned for that!

we have a winner!! aaand a few extras!

So I have to start by saying how awesomely awesome (yeah, I said it twice) you guys made my 100 followers giveaway! I now have over 160 followers and there were roughly 95 comments entered for this drawing...how cool is that?

So as promised, I have one winner for the Grand Prize: all 5 Vampire Academy Novels!

But since you guys went above and beyond, I will too. I'm adding 4 MORE WINNERS! That's right, I've decided to increase the winnings 5 fold. Now before anyone gets confused, the additional 4 winners will only be getting 1 book - not 5! I'd go broke trying to buy 5 sets of the VA novels!

So without further ado, here are the winners in my 100 followers giveaway, beginning with fifth place and working my way up (you know, for dramatic purposes...)



5th place

Judit!
You win a copy of
The Vampire Diaries: The Awakening & The Struggle

by LJ Smith!



4th place

Michelle @ Clover Hill!
You win a copy of
Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief
by Rick Riordan!



3rd place


Michael Antonio Araujo!!
You win a copy of
Fat Vampire
by Adam Rex!



2nd place

Michelle Davidson Argyle!
You win a copy of
Paranormalcy
by Kiersten White!




and the Grand Prize winner of all 5
Vampire Academy novels is....







Ginger @ GReads!!!



Congratulations to all of the winners...you guys rock!


You have 72 hours to email me with your address before I must pick new winners, so hurry and contact me so I can send you your prizes! And thanks again to everyone for making this contest great.

And if you didn't win this time, don't worry. As you can see, I'm pretty close to 200 followers, so when I get there I'll be doing another big giveaway!!

it's officially over, folks!

My 100 followers giveaway has officially closed! I'll count up the comments from the beginning to midnight CST and I'll pick a winner tomorrow morning...so be on the lookout, and a HUGE thank you to all of you for making this giveaway a great success! Good Luck to you all!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

last day for a giveaway!


Today's the final day to enter my 100 followers giveaway, guys. You have until midnight CST TONIGHT to follow me, comment with your favorite book and spread the word somewhere in internet land.

** Be sure to comment on the contest post below this one!! **

So hurry and tell all your friends so they can take a chance on winning all 5 Vampire Academy Novels!

I'll be announcing the winner tomorrow. And just so you know...since my followers jumped WAY past 100, I'll be throwing in some surprise EXTRA winners, too! And if the number keeps climbing, I'll keep adding winners.

So spread the word!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

my 100 followers giveaway!!


First let me start by saying how awesome you guys are! I put out a message asking you all to go forth and spread the word, and boy did you. My followers quickly jumped from 75 to 101!! So a huge thank you for that!

And now, as promised, it's time to give away some loot! I have 5 Vampire Academy books sitting quietly on my bookshelf, just waiting for someone to read them (I already have). So it's time to get those babies in a box and get them shipped out!

For this giveaway, I'm gonna keep things rather simple. If you wanna be considered "in the running" for the 5 VABs (that's Vampire Academy Books), you only have to do two things.

Number 1: Comment on this post, telling me your favorite book (a great way to learn about books I've never heard of, right?).
And Number 2: Spread the word about my contest.

That's all you gotta do. When you comment, just leave me a link telling me where you mentioned this giveaway - Facebook, Twitter, wherever - and the name of your favorite book and you're in! And you're more than welcome to mention it in multiple places (thanks!), but I'm not gonna do the whole "extra points" thing. Just one entry per person, to keep it simple!

So, comment away guys. Tell me your favorite books, tell me where you mentioned this contest, and in 1 week, on Sunday Nov.14th at 12:00am CST, I'll close the contest and let Randomizer.org pick a winner! Easy peasy, huh? I'll announce said winner on Monday, November 15th, and that person's box o' books will be on its way!

And remember, it's open internationally, so for those of you who live outside the US who follow me, your comments are welcome (and thanks for the follow!).

And as an added bonus, if my follower list keeps growing, I just may throw in a second winner! Not sure yet what that prize would be, but it'll be good, too!

Friday, November 5, 2010

wanna go jogging?


If so, hop on board Blog Jog Day! It's a really cool way to meet some awesome people and blogs, and maybe even gain some new followers!

The event begins on November 21st at midnight, and I would bet there's gonna be some really great giveaways, so you're gonna want to get involved, right? And there's still time to sign up here, so don't wait...get jogging!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I smell a giveaway in our future!



So I've been absolutely surprised with that tiny little box on the right side of my blog. You know the one that says "Followers"? Yeah, I've hit 75! I can't believe it. You guys are totally awesome, and I can't say thanks enough. I promise that this blog is only gonna get better!

And speaking of better, why don't I throw a little something out there, you know, to say thanks. I'm thinking something black and white and "read" all over (yeah, I'm cheezy like that!)

I'm talking about a giveaway, people!

That's right, I'm gonna be holding a super-awesome contest/giveaway for all my followers! I love doing them, and what better way to say "Thank you for being a friend" (cue Golden Girls theme song) than with something free, right?

And since we're all about the books, of course the prize is gonna be a book. But, and this is a big one...I'm not just gonna give away one book, oh no. That would be oh-so-lame. No way...



I'm gonna give away 5 of them!!

Yeah, you read that right. I'm giving one lucky follower of mine 5 books! And which 5 books will that be, you may be wondering? Hmmm....

How about a set of the Vampire Academy novels! (boy I love exclamation points!!)

IT'S TRUE! IT'S TRUE! The winner will be getting all 5 Vampire Academy novels!! How cool is that? (they're not signed unfortunately, but awesome anyway, right?)

But, and my apologies go out to you, there is the tiniest of catches. To actually get this contest/giveaway on the road, I'm gonna need a little help from all of you. Nothing major, really. I just need you all to hit up your fellow blogging friends and tell them to come on over and visit my blog. And, of course, to follow me!

Because I'm gonna be the villain here and hold this awesome prize hostage until I hit

100 followers!!!

Yes, you read that correctly, too. Think of this post as a teaser. I won't actually be holding the contest/giveaway until that itty-bitty 75 turns into a great big 100. When that happens, I'll make a post telling you all about what you have to do to win these great books. So go forth, tell all your friends, and get them over here, pronto! And once I hit 100, it's on!!

note: Forgot to mention...IT'S INTERNATIONAL, TOO!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

it's a logline contest, people!

That's right. If you have a really cool logline for a novel you've finished (or one you're working on or one you want to write), then head on over to Chocolate Reality and sign up! The wonderful Steena is holding a logline contest for anyone interested, and the grand prize is a critique from Michelle McLean! How cool is that? The awesome Ms. McLean will be offering up either a query or 5-10 page critique for the winner, so go ahead and add your name to the list and compete...you know you want to!

And here is my entry into the logline contest...enjoy!

Title: Scarlet
Genre: YA Paranormal

Ava Prynne walks the line between super cool and total dork, desperate to be popular. But after a video of her being drunk and "flirty" hits the web and she's labeled the school slut, her dead-for-centuries cousin Hester takes over her body and exacts revenge for the women of Prynne.

(rewrite omitted by me...I'm gonna go with my gut and stay with the original!)