Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Project Tell Taylor

Michelle Madow's debut novel Remembrance was inspired by Taylor Swift's "Love Story" music video. She talked all about it in a blog entry a few months ago, discussing how Remembrance was inspired by Taylor Swift's "Love Story" music video. She even wrote a letter to Taylor Swift and sent it to her, along with a signed book!

It's been a few months now, and she has yet to hear back from Taylor that she received the letter and book. She really wants to tell Taylor about how inspiring she and her music have been to her, but since Taylor Swift is an international superstar, she’s a little hard to reach. This is where YOUR help comes into play! Michelle is giving away the biggest prize pack she's offered yet, and the ways to enter to win are by telling Taylor Swift about Remembrance.

The Goal: Get Taylor Swift to Tweet about Remembrance!"

This part of the hop we are supposed to say what inspires us. I can get inspiration from pretty much anywhere, even really mundane things. I think that inspiration is everywhere just waiting for us to find it!

Lizzie Davenport has been reincarnated from Regency Era, England ... but she doesn't know it yet.

Then Drew Carmichael transfers into Lizzie's high school at the beginning of the year, and she feels a connection to him, almost like she knows him. She can't stop thinking about him, but whenever she tries talking with him about the mysteries behind her feelings, he makes it clear that he wants nothing to do with her. Reaching him is even more difficult because she has a boyfriend, Jeremy, who has started to become full of himself after being elected co-captain of the varsity soccer team, and her flirtatious best friend Chelsea starts dating Drew soon after his arrival. So why can't she get him out of her mind?

Even though Lizzie knows she should let go of her fascination with Drew, fighting fate isn't going to be easy.

How to enter: Blogger is being evil to me right now and it is not letting me post javascript, so if you see a sign up sheet below, good for you, but otherwise I would suggest you go to another blog to sign up since they all have the same widget. I'm terribly sorry for my lack of techy skills!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Review: The Legends of Light

Title: The Legends of Light
Author: Gill Shutt
Publisher: Greyhart Press
My Rating: 4 TURTLES: A great read, I definitely recommend.
*This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

The Legends of Light by Gill Shutt is a sequence of six connected tales, each told in a separate poem. Ms. Shutt has crafted her stories to be enjoyed by adults and young adults who do not normally read poems, and hopes her book will encourage readers to try more poetry.
The poems are traditional high fantasy: Romantic tales of questing and love, of underground kingdoms and evil wizards. In keeping with this traditional theme, each poem has its own illustrated frontispiece.


I really enjoyed this book. I am a fan of poetry in general, but this was different from most poems that I have read. The poems all told a story, they were not abstract or vivid descriptions of nature – which I love as well – but this book reminded me of some of Tolkien’s poems from The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings.

In my opinion, high fantasy lends itself really well to verse because in high fantasy the characters often keep their history through song and poetry. I could really feel as though these poems were something that would have been recited in that world during a feast, and the more I feel like I am in the story the better for me.

My one complaint about this book is that the rhyming pattern was not consistent all of the time. Most of the time every other line would rhyme, but sometimes there would be stretches where there wasn’t rhyming at all, and then the rhyming would come back. (Soon after I initially posted this Ms. Shutt was kind enough to explain that it does rhyme, just not if you speak with an American accent like I do because the pronunciation is different). It didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the book, but at times it was a bit distracting.

The Legends of Light would be a wonderful book to read aloud, is appropriate for all ages to enjoy, and it is fairly quick since it is around one hundred pages. It would definitely be a good book for people who do not often read poems to get them interested in the genre. The Legends of Light was a great read and I recommend it to everyone, but especially if you enjoy high fantasy and poetry.

Hunger Games Read-Along Chapter Two

Hi Everyone! today is the chapter post for chapter two in the Hunger Games Read-Along! today's post is over at The Sagacity Quest!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Hunger Games Read-Along Chapter One

Today is the official kick-off of the Hunger Games Read-Along! Chapter one is being posted on by Louisa at Words I Write Crazy. She has a great question for all of you over there, so you should check it out!

I hope everyone is having a great day, and may the odds be ever in your favor!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Follow Friday

Q: Which book genre do you avoid at all costs and why?

A. I will read just about anything if I feel motivated, but one thing that I give a wide berth is "adult romance"/erotica. In reading, I want to discover all aspects of the story, character development, action, and I like a touch of romance as much as the next girl, but if the underlying point of the story is the sex... I don't know, I guess in my reading I want more substance than that. No offense to anyone that loves that genre - because I know a lot of people do- it just isn't personally my cup of tea.

My Hunger Games Read-Along (co-hosted by Sharon @ Obsession with Books) is about to get under way, so if you are interested in participating and/or signing up you can visit the read-along page and check out the sign-up sheet!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday

Hosted @Breaking the Spine

Description via Goodreads:

Eight years after Graceling, Bitterblue is now queen of Monsea. But the influence of her father, a violent psychopath with mind-altering abilities, lives on. Her advisors, who have run things since Leck died, believe in a forward-thinking plan: Pardon all who committed terrible acts under Leck’s reign, and forget anything bad ever happened. But when Bitterblue begins sneaking outside the castle—disguised and alone—to walk the streets of her own city, she starts realizing that the kingdom has been under the thirty-five-year spell of a madman, and the only way to move forward is to revisit the past. Two thieves, who only steal what has already been stolen, change her life forever. They hold a key to the truth of Leck’s reign. And one of them, with an extreme skill called a Grace that he hasn’t yet identified, holds a key to her heart.

I am so excited about this one! what are you waiting for this Wednesday?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

I have a Twitter account!

I just thought I would let all of you know that I now have a Twitter account for Howling Turtle! You can follow me HERE!

A reader's patience

I finished Clockwork Prince a few days ago and was absolutely IN LOVE. I liked CA, but it didn't grab me as the other books from MI, but Clockwork Prince.... (If you've read it you know what I mean).

After I finished I realized that to read the final installment I am going to have to wait over a year and a half!!! Sure in between that time I will have CoLS, but still. A YEAR AND A HALF! I know few other places I can go where this is a valid issue where anyone might actually care, so I just wanted to know if I was alone in this line of thinking?

Friday, January 20, 2012

Brief Giveaway announcement

I am merging my 300+ follower giveaway with the Hunger Games read-along, so now if you want to sign up for the giveaway, you can either click on the 300+ giveaway button or sign up for the Hunger Games giveaway!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Follow Friday

Q: What's the craziest thing you've ever done to get your hands on any particular book?

A. Gosh, I don't know. I usually get all my books in all conventional ways. The most unusual way I've ever gotten a book is when authors send me their books, because much of the world is not privy to ARCs and such. It's super exciting and fun, but in the blogosphere, I wouldn't say it's Crazy.

Along the lines of getting books, I am currently having my 300+ follower giveaway where I am giving away ecopies of Mortal Obligation and A Little Magic, they are both great books - so enter to get them while you still can!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Monday, January 16, 2012

WAE Network

Visit WAE Network

I just joined the WAE network (Writers, Agents, and Editors.) It is a site where all people of the writing and publishing professions can come together and network. It is also great for book bloggers, because it is also a place where authors come looking for promotion and are offering their books up for review. I've just started exploring, but I have been spending a lot of time in the Group section. I just thought I would let you guys know about it since it is turning out to be such a awesome book site!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

New York TImes: Young Adult Reviews

I was reading the New York Times Book Review today and saw that they had some articles on children books, which is unusual because they usually only have reviews on books aimed for older audiences such as biographies, historical fiction novels, and non-fiction. Not that there is anything wrong with those genres, but seeing as my genre of choice is YA, and usually the only mention of Young Adult Fiction in the NYT Book Review is the list of bestsellers at the very back, I was very excited to see these articles and thought I would share a few with you!

Book Review of Switched, by Amanda Hocking. (Which was written by Lauren Oliver - yes, that Lauren Oliver.)

Book Review of The Fault in our Stars and The Probability of Miracles

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Follow Friday/giveaway/read-along announcement

Question of the Week: Many readers/bloggers are also big music fans. Tell us about a few of your favorite bands/singers that we should listen to in 2012.

That's really hard for me to say, since I have a very broad taste in music. I have a thing for movie/movie trailer scores. I am actually not a huge fan of pop, but love alternative music like Coldplay, Florence + the Machine, the Decemberists, Scars on 45 - just to name a few. Below I have a video of one of the songs by Scars on 45, it is one of my favorites right now!

In other news, I have two announcements:

First of all, I have reached 300+ followers, and have put together a giveaway that you can enter by clicking on the button or HERE. It will end on Jan. 26th.

Second of all, I am currently putting together a read-along for the Hunger Games and I need co-hosts and post writers, and, of course, people interested in participating. If any of that sounds fun, I'd love it if you'd check out the page and/or email me! I am hoping to have giveaways and fun posts and a chapter by chapter read so our minds will be refreshed for the movie, and we can all be in constant party mode from late January to March 22nd!

Author Interview: Valerie Gillen

I am happy to welcome Valerie Gillen to my blog today. I recently read her book A Little Magic, and she was kind enough to agree to an interview, thank you so much Valerie!

Q. When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
A. I've been writing little stories since I was a kid (girls and their horses), and through high school. I've been writing on and off for many years, and have a few manuscripts stuffed in a drawer, like a lot of writers do. Maybe someday I'll take them out and see if they can be resurrected.

Q. Who is your favorite author? Why?
A. I loved Harry Potter for the interesting world JK Rowling built, and the characters. She really had you rooting for Harry to have a happy ending to his story, with all the terrible things he had to go through. Other favorites are Charlaine Harris, Kim Harrison, Jim Butcher and the Harry Dresden series, Nora Roberts, Alice Hoffman and Suzanne Brockmann. I think they all do great characters and if you don't care about the characters, you won't care what happens to them.

Q. What was your inspiration for A Little Magic?
A. Loving Harry Potter as I did, I wanted to write a YA set in the world of magic. I wanted to have the heroine be a stepdancer, as I am myself - I thought it would be interesting to have her do something that you don't see in every book. And I wanted to set the book in Vermont, my beloved home.

Q. What other projects are you currently working on?
A. I just put up a romantic short story called The Last Blind Date, and I have another short story I'm polishing up. I'm currently working on my next YA which is called Everything to Live For. It's about a girl who has suffered a grievous loss and loses her way in life; she's failing out of high school and doesn't see the point in going on. Then she discovers that an ancestor of hers was hung as a witch in 1700s Connecticut. And the adventure begins...

Q. Where is your favorite place to write?
A. Probably at my dining room table, facing away from the window so I can't get too distracted. Although, I did a fair amount of work on A Little Magic while at my daughter's gymnastics school while she was working out.

Q. What was the hardest part about writing A Little Magic?
A. I think probably like any writing project, the hardest part is when you get stuck and you can't think where to take the story next. It's easy to panic and go - uh, this is not working, I'll just toss it and start something else. Sometimes it helps to just step away for a few days, let your subconscious brain work it out. I tend to do that a lot when I'm walking my dog - think, okay, the main character is in this situation - what happens next? If you're at one point and you know where you want to end up, how can you get the character there? What needs to happen inbetween? I think sometimes if you let your imagination roam free without trying to put limits on it, the solution will come.

Q. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
A. Don't give up. It's hard to break into traditional publishing but now that we have the e-book option, it's opened up a whole new world for people. Rejection is hard, but if somebody takes the time to give you comments on how to improve your writing, take it to heart. Read other bestselling writers, try to see what it is about their stories that strike a chord with people. They say, write about what you know, and I think that's also true. Also, write what you would love to read. It's pointless trying to write the next breakout paranormal just to get on the bandwagon, if you don't read paranormal and don't like the genre.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Custom Reads

Custom Reads is a very cool website that provides book recommendations tailored to your personal preference of genre and category. I am a recommender on Custom Reads and thought I would tell you all about this new book site!
Signing up is very easy and I have provided a link to a video that explains everything HERE.
Custom Reads also allows you to follow recommenders, so if you decide to give it a try, you might want to consider following yours truly HERE.

I hope you're all having a splendid week!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Review: A Little Magic

Title: A Little Magic
Author: Valerie Gillen
My Rating: 3.5 TURTLES: A very enjoyable read, I recommend you check it out.
*Book provided by author in exchange for an honest review.


A Hidden Power: Stepdancer Siobhan Kelly didn't believe in magic - until the magic chose her.

A Promise Made: She's been warned magic is evil, but with her grandmother felled by a deadly curse, she must make a bargain with the local Fairie prince - the return of their sacred Jewel in exchange for her grandmother's life.

And it just might work too - if only she can escape the dark witch who's made Siobhan her prey in the hunt for a deadly blood spell.


A Little Magic is a fun, quick, Middle Grade/YA novel about a teenager who discovers she has an extraordinary power, and must help restore a sacred Jewel to the realm of Faerie.

Valerie Gillen added many entertaining elements into this story. I loved reading about Siobhan’s step dancing, even though it was not a central focus of the story, it was fun to learn a bit about that art form. Bartholome definitely added a lot of comic relief in the story too – what isn’t funny about a cat that speaks in a British accent?

I liked the fresh spin on magic that Valerie Gillen had in her story. I always love seeing the different versions of myths and fairytales, like the Fae, and how they get interpreted through novels. There was also a plot twist that brought the story together like the last piece in a puzzle that I didn’t see coming!

Overall, I would recommend reading this book if you are looking for a quick, entertaining read with a little magic thrown in! It would also be a great book for younger readers (around 8 and up) to enjoy as well.

300+ Followers!!!

I am so excited to announce I now have 300+ followers on GFC, and my other means of blog following!!! As you can see from the picture, I am going to be having a giveaway to celebrate, the details of which will be coming soon! I want to say thank you to all of you awesome followers who are interested in reading what I have to say and being so supportive through the years!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Follow Friday

Question of the Week: Go count the number of unread books sitting on your shelf. How many?

Answer: Gosh, a ton! I don't think I could count them all in a reasonable amount of time, but a little over ten on my bedside stand, and about fifteen ebooks that I haven't read yet. But there are a ton more on my bookshelves!!!

I am quick approaching my 300 follower giveaway! I would like your input: would you prefer for there to be one winner who wins a print book, or ten winners of ebooks?

Happy (almost) Friday!!!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New York Times Article: Christopher Paolini

In the NYT Magazine today there was an entertaining and informative piece on Christopher Paolini, author of the Inheritance Cycle. I have attached the link HERE . It was fun for me since I am reading Inheritance right now and am getting towards the end (200 page left in a 860 page book), but it made me think about how sad I will be once my time in Alagaesia is over. I have been reading these books not since the very beginning, but Eragon was a fairly new book when I first started it, and like all good series the last book is always bittersweet.