Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Book Blogger's Cookbook

The Book Blogger's Cookbook compiled by Christy Dorrity
Publication Date: June 6, 2011
Publisher: Dorrity Publications
Versions: kindle
Received from: publisher

Summary (from
Great books, bloggers, and recipes meet in this fresh and unique cookbook that helps you experience books, not just read them.

Books were selected from the author's book review blog and paired with delectable recipes like "Fairy Touched Calico Brownies" from the Fablehaven series by Brandon Mull, "7-Day Layer Dip" from Lauren Oliver's Before I Fall, and "I Hate Chocolate Cake" from Amanda Hocking's Switched. Mouthwatering photos complement every recipe.

The 2011 Book Blogger's Cookbook includes foreword by Amanda Hocking, authorof the USA Today Bestselling Trylle Trilogy and showcases over seventy reviews with links to book review blogs and author websites. Whether you're a food lover, an avid reader or a book blogger, there's something for you in the 2011 Book Blogger 's Cookbook.

I actually think this cookbook is a very good idea. I know whenever I read a book and they talk about a certain food (over and over)-I start to crave it. And now, foods stated in your favorite books, including: Wings, Shiver, Before I Fall, etc.-are compiled in this cookbook. Amanda Hocking starts the cookbook off with a note of endearment to book bloggers, which she has the utmost respect for. A very nice note that makes book blogging all the more worth it-it's nice to know that authors appreciate what we do every day.

Each recipe starts off with a picture of the book, and the book summary. Then comes the recipe with a delicious looking picture and very thorough instructions. And then the book bloggers come into play. A portion of their review is pasted after the recipe about their thoughts on the book. There are several book bloggers mentioned throughout (as well as a link to their blogs). Bloggers including: Tynga at Tynga's Reviews, Katie at Mundie Mom Book Reviews, Eleni at La Femme Readers, and many more.

I really loved looking through the cookbook at all the pictures and what book they're pictured in. This is a wonderful cookbook for book bloggers, and readers looking for some great novels to read.

And I couldn't help myself-I had to make the "Frozen Hot Chocolate" from Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater. I've read (and loved) Maggie's book and the Frozen Hot Chocolate was delicious!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A Need So Beautiful and Degrassi

The cover of A Need So Beautiful by Suzanne Young is beautiful. The yellow is so pretty along with the girl. But every time I look at the cover I can't help but to think of Degrassi. I used to be (and still am) a pretty big fan and Anya MacPherson, a character on the show, looks exactly like the model on the cover of A Need So Beautiful.

I thought this was pretty cool and wanted to share it with all of you guys. Do you see the similarities?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Some Very Pretty Covers!!!

I love covers, I really do. And from looking at at all the wonderful novels that will soon be coming out-I have seen many covers. I would love to brighten up your day from the prettiness of them.

A Lady's Lesson in Scandal by Meredith Duran

A Lady's Lesson in Scandal by Meredith Duran
Publication Date: June 28, 2011
Publisher: Pocket
Versions: paperback, kindle
Received from: publisher

Warning: This novel and review may not be suitable for younger audiences because of graphic scenes

Summary (from goodreads):
In gritty, working-class london, she does what she must to survive...

When Nell Whitby breaks into an earl's house on a midnight quest for revenge, she finds her pistol pointed at the wrong man-one handsome as sin and naked as the day he was born. Pity he's a lunatic. He thinks her a missing heiress, but more to the point, he'll help her escape the slums and right a grave injustice. Not a bad bargain. All she has to do is marry him.

A notorious ladies man could take her from poverty to opulence...but at what price?

A rake of the first order, Simon St. Maur spent his restless youth burning every bridge he crossed. When he inherits an earldom without a single penny attached to it, he sees a chance to start over-provided he can find an heiress to fun his efforts. But his wicked reputation means courtship will be difficult-until fate sends him the most notorious missing heiress in history. All he needs now is to make her into a lady and keep himself from making the only mistake that could ruin everything: falling in love...

I really enjoy historical romance novels. But I've never read a book by Meredith Duran (even though she's one of the most popular historical romance writer)-and I was pleasantly surprised. Nell lives her life working at a tobacco factory for a few coins a week. She is poor and her family, especially her step brother, doesn't treat her well. Nell is a realist but part of her wishes she were rich and doesn't have to worry about earning enough to put bread on the table. One day her mom tells Nell to see her father, and she does-pointing a gun to his sleeping form.. But her father is dead and Simon St. Maur is the man she is pointing the gun at, who is also extremely naked. Simon soon has a proposition for Nell-she can have anything she wants...only if she becomes his wife.

Nell is probably one of my favorite female lead characters. She is truly strong and doesn't care about what other people think. Simon is the typical "alpha" man and they go very well together. He is very protective over her-which melted my heart. And even though the ending was predictable-I loved every second of it.

Will I reread it?
Yes, I know this will be one of the historical romance novels I will pick up in a few months when looking for a mood raiser. I really enjoyed this and hope you will give it a try.

This novel was sent to me by the publisher, in exchange for an honest review and no compensation.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Self Publishing and the Stereotypes that Go Along With it!

There are two major ways to get your novel published-and that is either by Traditional or Self publishing. Going the traditional route is very hard-and almost impossible to get an agent and even if you have a great agent that is excited about your work-it doesn't mean you're going to get published. There are many reasons people decide to self publish. Some of them are money, not being able to get an agent, and having more rights. Self publishing isn't a negative thing. But there are negative stereotypes that go along with it.

For example:

1.) The book is a piece of poop which is why they didn't get an agent in the first place
First of all, you don't know if a piece of writing is "poop" unless you actually read it. And just because they couldn't get an agent doesn't mean their work isn't any good. Agents are very selective and mostly only take on work that they think will sell. But the manuscripts agents pass on-could be the next bestseller. You should read Amanda Hocking's blog-who self published many novels and now because of the books she has sold through amazon and other online booksellers, she has an agent and has just received a seven figure deal with a publisher. 

2.) The price is low, which means the book isn't good
I know many people don't think this, but I used to. A few months ago I would search through amazon looking for more werwolf books. I found a lot, but some of them were only 99 cents. I was a little iffy, because why would they price the book so low? They do it for the readers! If they can make the price of the book low and still make profit, why wouldn't they? 

3.) Don't buy it because there's no editing
I have to admit that reading through Amanda Hocking's My Blood Approves, it had a lot of misspelled words and structure issues. And because of that there are a lot of negative and downright mean reviews about it on Amazon. I know people can state their own opinions, but you shouldn't put author's down. I don't even think it took away from the novel either. I actually really enjoyed it. And self published authors do edit their work-a lot. Just because some people can't afford an editor-doesn't mean the book isn't good.

I'm not trying to put anyone down or categorize people in any way. I'm just stating what comes along with self publishing. And I feel it's wrong. But I shouldn't be talking because I was the same way-I never even looked the way of indie/self published books. But ever since I've read Lunarmorte by Samantha Young, My Blood Approves by Amanda Hocking, and Verity by Claire Farrell-I have been looking for more and more self published books that I'll be able to cherish. I also see under many book bloggers "review policy" posts that they don't accept self published novels to review. I know some bloggers state that because they have enough books coming in the mail already. But I'm sure a few bloggers fall to the stereotypes that come along with self publishing. I just ask that the next time you upgrade your "review policy" that you think twice before you eliminate a whole group of authors just based on how they publish their novels.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

My Blood Approves by Amanda Hocking

My Blood Approves by Amanda Hocking
Publication Date: March 17, 2010
Versions: paperback, kindle

Summary (from goodreads):
Teenager Alice Bonham's life feels crazy after she meets Jack. With his fondness for pink Chuck Taylors and New Wave, he's unlike anyone she knows. Then she meets his brother, Peter. Even though he can't stand the sight of her, she's drawn to him. Falling for two guys isn't even the worst of her problems. Jack and Peter are vampires, and Alice finds herself caught between love and her own blood.

I know a lot of people have different opinions on this novel. I felt it was well written and very interesting. One night Alice and her best friend are walking home after trying to get into a club, when a group of men start harassing Alice. But a boy, by the name of Jack, comes to their rescue and before long Alice starts hanging out with the mysterious Jack several times. Jacks not normal, girls look at him like they're hypnotized and he keeps a lot of secrets from Alice. Alice doesn't mind, though, because she likes being around him, it calms her. But then she finds out he's a vampire and that she's connected to their family. Before long, her whole view of the world changes.

Like I said earlier, there are a lot of mixed reviews about this book. Some people have posted very cruel remarks on which I thought didn't deserve it-no one deserves to be put down. Most of the negatives about this book are grammar, since Amanda Hocking self published this novel, the editing isn't the best. And I have to agree that it could have been better but it doesn't take away from the concept of the novel. The second concern is that it's a copy of Twilight. I saw the similarities when reading, especially at the beginning, but how can you not have similarities when the book is about vampires! There's only so many ways you can go with it.

Will I reread it?
Probably not, but I will gladly read and enjoy her other novels. Amanda has made it big and has a large fan base-and I can see why. Her writing captures the teenager voice and her characters are very interesting. I would recommend this to any "Twilighter".

Claire Farrell Interview-Author of Verity

I recently discovered a new werewolf novel and fell in love with it from the first chapter. I bought the book at midnight (probably not the best idea) and stayed up until 4 am. I really enjoyed the story line and characters and can't wait until the sequel comes out. Here's a little information about Verity by Claire Farrell:

Verity by Claire Farrell
Published: April 24, 2011
Versions: kindle

Summary (from goodreads):
Perdita Rivers has spent her entire sheltered life being told what to do. Lately, she's felt ready for a change and the universe seems to agree. Her new best friend's brother is the boy of Perdita's dreams. Literally. Even though he plays hot and cold, she's sure there's more to it, but she's kind of distracted by the sense she's being followed-not to mention the rumors of wild animal sightings that seem to mean more to her new crush's family than they should. Perdy's on a mission to find the truth but maybe the truth is the danger she should hide from, after all.

And then here's the interview from the wonderful author, Claire Farrell:

1.) When did you first know you wanted to be an author?
I’ve always wanted to be a writer.  Telling stories in one form or another has always been my idea of fun.  It’s never been a choice; the stories pester you until you set them free.  J 
 2.) What was your inspiration behind Verity?
Verity was probably the first novel I finished (years ago), and that was because I fell in love with the characters.   It’s been rewritten a few times since it began.  Werewolves are my absolute favourite paranormal creatures, and at the time I couldn’t find many y/a books in which the werewolf was one of the main characters, so I decided I had to write about them.  I didn’t want the full-moon sort, and I set out to write a specific story, but it took on a life of its own.
I quite liked the idea of a reluctant werewolf, and I had to come up with why he was a werewolf which in turn led to the sister who desperately wanted to be the thing he despised about himself.  I needed a girl to see the real him, someone who could discover herself in the process.
I did a lot of research on ancient werewolf legends because I wanted to see if any would fit in with the ideas I had.  Some were dead-on, and I managed to fit them in without changing what I already had. 
 3.) Why did you decide to self publish your books?
 I’ve always wanted to write, but the publishing industry never really interested me.  Even the books on the bestseller lists in Ireland were never the sort I liked to write.  I have never queried, and the idea of writing fiction as a job felt like an impossible dream.  I don’t have the mindset or personality to write to a specific formula, or be bound by a contract, and the idea of writing a book under a time limit freaks me out, quite frankly.  I knew that typical trade publishing wasn’t for me.
I kept writing, but not as frequently in my late teens and early twenties because of work and starting my own family.  I had already written a couple of novels, but the thought of other people actually reading them didn’t occur to me so much.
By the time I started to hear about the new interest in ebooks, I had received a Sony ereader as a gift.  I totally turned my nose up at it until I tried it, and you couldn’t pry it out of my hands.  I put serious consideration into self publishing ebooks, and when Amazon allowed international writers to publish on their platform, I decided to group up some old short stories and publish them as a collection.  I wanted to experiment, and it went so well that I realised it was absolutely for me.  I haven’t regretted it once.
 4.) What are the titles of your books that you have self published and where can you purchase them?
 Verity is my young adult paranormal romance.  Thirst and Taunt are book one and two in my urban fantasy (Ava Delaney) series.  I also have three short story collections: One Night with the Fae, Sixty Seconds, and A Little Girl in My Room & Other Stories which are probably not suitable for younger readers. My ebooks should be available on Amazon, Smashwords, Kobo, Apple iBookstore, Barnes & Noble, Sony ebookstore, and Diesel.  I’m working on paperback versions of Verity and Taunt.
 5.) What genre do your books fall category to?
My published novels are urban fantasy and young adult paranormal romance; my published short stories are mostly horror and urban fiction.
 6.) What are the positives of self/indie publishing?
 You make all of the decisions, and sales reporting is quick and transparent.  Complete creative control is a huge deal, and it means you aren’t relying on anyone else.  For me, it’s a worthy sacrifice.  If your book isn’t doing well, it’s because of something you did/didn’t do, and that’s easy to change. Everything is immediate and relatively simple.  There’s a huge community of indie publishers willing to work together and help each other.  There are no secrets.  The best part is the feedback from readers.  There will always be people who won’t read indie books, and that’s something I completely understand, but the amount of indie fans out there is kind of astounding.  Like indie music, it is the fans who propel books to the top of the charts. 
 7.) What are the negatives of self/indie publishing?
 You make all of the decisions.  J  You generally don’t have a team behind you, no marketing help, and no real platform at first.  Any help you receive tends to come with a price.  It can be scary trying to make the best decisions when you don’t have experience in publishing and marketing.  Plus, it is a LOT of work.  It’s not the easy way out.  You're working against a bit of prejudice, and most writers don't have the full set of skills you need to publish a book, so hiring work can be expensive at first.  It's a huge learning curve, and it's hard to get noticed amongst so many great writers.
 8.) When is your next novel coming out?
I planned on releasing a new y/a book with a male protag, but as I’ve been asked when sequels are coming out, I think I should probably stick to my current series.  I’m hoping to release the sequel to Verity next, possibly before Christmas.
 Thanks again Claire for doing the interview. You can buy Verity on ebook at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Sony Ebookstore.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Spring Into Summer Read-a-Thon Updates

I will be posting all of my updates throughout the next two days on this post so it won't fill up other people's blog rolls!!!

Report #1
1. Well, I didn't read as much as I hoped I would. But I was cleaning and catching up on writing. So this is when the real reading begins.

  • Total Books read: 0
  • Total pages read: 147
  • Books read since last update: 0
  • Pages read since last update: 82
  • Total Time Read: 2 hours 15 minutes
  • How I'm currently feeling: I feel ready to get down to more reading. I'm going to try to read through the whole night
2. I've only read Where I Belong by Gwendolyn Heasley (and I'm not even done with it) but I'm enjoying it. 

3. My favorite mini challenge was the story maker-it was really fun to read everyone's stories (a lot of them were very creative!)

4. My favorite thing about the read-a-thon is all the fun mini challenges

5. I think my least favorite thing about the read-a-thon would have to be probably not having enough time to read-but that's mostly my fault

6. I'm not on track to meet my goals, but I'm still determined to finish five books

7. Yes, I will be participating tomorrow. My new goal is to stay away reading the whole night! 

Update #3:

  • Total books read:0
  • Total pages read: 65
  • Books read since last update: 0
  • Pages read since last update: 0
  • Total Time Read: 65 minutes
  • How I'm currently feeling: tired and like I want to read a lot more than I'm doing right now

Mini Challenge: For this challenge, I have to write 100 words or less into a story using the words: Shaman, Lime, Laser, and Goat. Sounds fun, right?

So here it goes:

Rick Shaman and Lester Goat have always been somewhat uncomfortable with each other. Most of that time was spent at family dinners with Shaman and Goat sitting across each other, making faces at each other while eating their peas. Their parents were talking about school transportation and maybe using the idea of carpool. Shaman made a face at that, not wanting to spend any more time around Goat. And Goat didn't look much happier, they both looked horrified while looking at their parents. But then they looked at each other and something changed on their faces-agreeing on something. They both nod their heads once before Shaman grabs a lime out of his lemonade and hands it under the table to Goat. Goat then places the lime on his spoon, aiming at his mom. Before letting it go, Goat looks at Shaman and smiles, Shaman smiling in return. Returning to his task, Goat lets the spoon fling the lime like a laser and lands directly on top of his moms head. She's startled with a shriek but Goat and Shaman continue to smile at each other-the start to a friendship.

Lol, okay that was pretty fun. I love writing so this task wasn't difficult at all. I hope everyone else is doing well on the read-a-thon. I wish you the best of luck!

Update #2:
  • Total Books Read: 0
  • Total Pages Read: 65
  • Books Read Since Last Update: 0
  • Pages Read since last update: 65
  • Total time read: 65
  • How I'm currently feeling: I'm feeling a little overwhelmed because I have to clean the house today and fill out my college forms so I hope it doesn't affect the read-a-thon

Mini Challenge: Here is my wordle-I've never done this before but it was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed this mini challenge:
Wordle: Smitten With Books

Sorry it's so small but whenever I tried to make it bigger-it gets blurry. I made this wordle by typing in my blog, Smitten With Books, website address

The Read-a-Thon has started (and I'm two hours late)-go figure!

I didn't get much sleep last night (I couldn't fall asleep until four thirty) so I overslept but now that I'm awake-I am ready for the Spring into Summer Read-a-Thon.

These are the books I'm planning on reading:

1. Lunarmorte by Samantha Young
2. Nightshade by Andrea Cremer
3. Where I Belong by Gwendolyn Heasley
4. Between Here and Forever by Elizabeth Scott
5. Need by Carrie Jones

This is my goal over the next thirty hours, I'm planning on reading these five books. I don't even know if it's possible but that's my goal.

How is everyone else doing on the read-a-thon?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Spring into Summer Read-a-Thon (I'm Participating!)

I really enjoy doing read-a-thons. I've only participated in a few during the school year but now that school is out (and summer is finally here) I will have a lot more time to read. And let me tell you-I am planning on reading a lot (well hopefully).

This read-a-thon is hosted by SQUEAKY BOOKS-you can press on the link and it will take you directly to the information on her site about the read-a-thon.

The Spring into Summer Read-a-Thon will start 8 AM MST on Friday June 17th and will end at 8 PM MST on Saturday June 18th. So if you count all those hours up, there will be thirty six hours to read until you drop. Sounds like fun, huh?

And if I persuade you to sign up, when filling out the form, if you put my blog name in saying that I'm the one that told you about the read-a-thon-we will both receive five extra entries to win a $25 gift card.

You only have one and a half day to sign up-so go over to SQUEAKY BOOKS HERE.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married by Marian Keyes

Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married by Marian Keyes
Release Date: April 30, 2002
Versions: hardcover, paperback, kindle

Summary (from goodreads):
Lucy Sullivan is getting married, or is she?

Lucy doesn't even have a boyfriend. (To be honest, she isn't that lucky in love.) But Mrs. Nolan-a local psychic-has read her tarot cards and predicted that Lucy will be walking down the aisle within the year

Lucy's roommates, Karen and Charlotte, are appalled at the news. If Lucy leaves it could disrupt their wonderful lifestyle of eating take-out, drinking too much wine, bringing men home and never vacuuming. They might even have to-God forbid-clean up the apartment to lure in a new roommate. Lucy reassures them that she's far too busy arguing with her mother and taking care of her irresponsible father to get married.

And there's the small matter of no boyfriend. But then Lucy meets Gus, gorgeous, unreliable Gus. And she starts to wonder if he could be the future Mr. Lucy Sullivan. Or could it be handsome Chuck? Or Daniel, the world's biggest flirt? Or even cute Jed, the new boy at work?

Maybe the idea of Lucy Sullivan getting married isn't so unlikely, after all.

I really enjoyed this book, and by that I mean I loved this book. It was written so well and had a whole bunch of humor that made me laugh out loud. Lucy's probably my favorite female heroine because she's strong and knows what she wants in life. Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married by Marian Keyes starts out with Lucy's coworkers dragging her to Ms. Nolan to get their cards read. Lucy's very hesitant and doesn't believe in fortune telling but when Ms. Nolan announces that she'll be getting married before the end of the year-it freaks her out a little. Lucy's never had a very long relationship. But when she meets Gus-she wonders if he's the one. But then there's Daniel-whose bachalor status doesn't stop Lucy's roommate from going after him. Daniel and Lucy have been friends for a long time so Lucy starts wondering why he keeps asking her to do things with him-and why she's starting to like it.

The only flaw in this book, which isn't a major flaw, is Gus. His character is portrayed as being annoying and clingy. And he's always drunk or ditching Lucy. But Daniel-I liked Daniel. He's a guy that can take care of Lucy and put up with her charms. The scenes in the book fly past and by the last page, you'll be wishing Marian Keyes wrote twice as much.

Will I reread it?
Yes, I actually have read it around four times already because I really enjoy the book. I love Lucy's and Daniel's friendship as well as Lucy's parents who are a little eccentric. I recommend this book to any fans of Kristan Higgins.

Nightshade in Paperback out Today!

I have some very exciting news: Nightshade by Andrea Cremer comes out in paperback today (June 14th, 2011). This is an exciting event for me because I only read Nightshade once, about a year ago (and it was the ARC copy from an ARC tour) so I don't remember what happened in the book but I did really enjoy it. So-now I'm thinking about going to Borders tomorrow to purchase my own marvelous copy.

Here's the paperback cover for Nightshade by Andrea Cremer:

I am absolutely in love with this cover-I like it way better than the hardcover/ARC cover even though that was very pretty, too. So everyone go out and buy Nightshade in paperback!

Monday, June 13, 2011

A New Favorite Author

I am an avid reader and I have certain authors that I hold high.  Rachel Hawthorne, Sarah Dessen, Elizabeth Scott, Courtney Summers, and Lisa McMann are among my favorites and whenever they release a new book, I am at Borders the next day. It takes a lot to make an author a favorite of mine, so I'm happy whenever I welcome a new writer to my to-be-read pile.

And I have added a new one recently. She is one of my top three favorite authors right now (at this time) and I can't get enough of her books. Her name is: Samantha Young and is the writer of the Lunarmorte series.

I love werewolves which is the basis of her trilogy and they are written so fantastically-I have reread them several times. I feel that Samantha Young is one of those special writers that come around only once in a while and she deserves to be praised.

Here is the first book of her Lunarmorte trilogy:

Lunarmorte by Samantha Young
Release Date: July 30, 2010
Versions: paperback, kindle

Summary (from goodreads):
Amidst the magical 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 packs 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 unforgivable 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.

Please give this book a chance, I am positive you will love it and soon find Samantha Young's writing to wiggle it's way into your heart. Here is the book on