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Spellbound by Cara Lynn Shultz – Review

I was lucky enough to score an ARC copy of Spellbound from NetGalley last month and I enjoyed it immensely. As much as I obsess over YA, this might’ve been my first Harlequin Teen title. It certainly won’t be my last now. Here’s my two cents about this upcoming hit:

Spellbound by Cara Lynn Shultz Coming June 2011

Spellbound by Cara Lynn Shultz is the kind of YA that gets under your skin and holds on to you. From page one Schultz draws you in to her main character Emma Connor’s life.  Emma is the best kind of, and all too rare, character. Her life has been a complete nightmare for years, but she’s hopeful, not brooding. She’s tough, smart, and determined to take life in stride. She’s funny, humble and fiercely loyal.  She flat out rocks.

Faced with a new school after an accident, she goes to live with her aunt in New York City. She’s out of her element, her comfort zone, and frankly – her league. Lucky for Emma her younger cousin attends her new school and she’s more than happy to help show Emma around. Another bonus in this scenario is the melt-the-sun- hot-hottie, Brendan, who happens to come to Emma’s rescue on her first day at the new school.

Their eyes meet. The connection is felt. A few streetlights burn out. Some nasty dreams haunt her nights. Shultz keeps the details coming in a way that leaves you unwilling to put it down long enough to some of your own sleep.

Spellbound has enough angst, anger, heat and romance to be a killer, wish you could somehow eat the book to get the information faster romantic suspense. Then, Shultz takes that one step farther. She drops enough mysterious legends and speculations to fasten a guillotine of death over the budding relationship right when your nails are chewed thin. Have I even mentioned the detail of a centuries old curse?

Short version of this review: Spellbound is phenomenal. Brendan is so hot, you’ll wish he was real. Emma is so tough, you’ll want her for your best friend, and their romance is so powerful and timeless, you’ll model every future relationship after this one.

Spellbound gets a big pink kiss from me. Read it.

And the Winner is….

Congratulations to the lucky winner of the Spring Blog Carnival Hop & Giveaway!!!

Kris Summers

I’ve sent an email or tweet to contact the winner. If I do not hear from him/her within 7 days, I will draw another winner. Winners are selected at random by random number selector.

Thank you to all my new followers and friends and to everyone who entered or stopped by to check me out. I appreciate it more than you know. While you were enjoying the Hop, my family and I were soaking in some Orlando sun and dancing with the mouse. I guarentee there are som Magic Kingdom staff calling in sick this week to recouperate from the Lindsey family visit.

Thanks again to everyone who participated. Congrats to the winner and I’ll catch you on the flip side Mickey.

Spring Blog Carnival Hop & Giveaway! May 1st – May 8th

Welcome to the Spring Blog Carnival Hop & Giveaway!

All the blogs listed in the linky at the bottom of this post are participating, which means there are books and swag being given away all week long all over the web! Stop by the sites to enter. Many sites are hosting a Carnival game or activity where there will be challenges to enter, others like mine will have the usual set of rules to enter.

*I adore my international friends, but am stone-cold-broke, so I am unable to ship beyond the continental United States. I promise when I sell a ton of books and make some bank to do an international only giveaway. * True. *

This week I have the following books up for grabs. Be prepared to totally SQUEE and freak out your hubs, kids and coworkers. Here they are:

Up For Grabs:

Evernight  (book 1 in Evernight Series) by Claudia Gray

When the story begins in Evernight, Bianca has just left the small town where she’s spent her whole life. She’s a new student at Evernight Academy, a creepily Gothic boarding school where her classmates are somehow too perfect: smart, sleek and almost predatory. Bianca knows she doesn’t fit in.

Then she meets Lucas, another loner, who seems fiercely determined not to be the “Evernight type.” There’s a connection between Bianca and Lucas that can’t be denied. She would risk anything to be with him—but dark secrets are fated to tear them apart… and to make Bianca question everything she’s ever believed to be true.

Stargazer (Book 2 in Evernight Series) by Claudia Gray

Stargazer returns to Bianca’s story a few months later. Both she and Lucas will stop at nothing to see each other again—even if it means living a life of secrets and lies. But even as Bianca finds herself torn between two worlds, she soon discovers they aren’t the only ones keeping secrets. Will powerful forces within Evernight Academy keep her from deciding her own fate, or claim her forever?



The Summer I turned Pretty by Jenny Han

Belly measures her life in summers. Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August. Winters are simply a time to count the weeks until the next summer, a place away from the beach house, away from Susannah, and most importantly, away from Jeremiah and Conrad. They are the boys that Belly has known since her very first summer — they have been her brother figures, her crushes, and everything in between. But one summer, one wonderful and terrible summer, the more everything changes, the more it all ends up just the way it should have been all along.


Plum Lucky by Janet Evanovich

Stephanie Plum’s kooky Grandma Mazur finds a duffle full of money on the street and hightails it to Atlantic City. When Stephanie learns that the money was stolen from Delvina, a notorious Trenton mobster, she and her friend Lula head off in pursuit. In Atlantic City, the Jersey bounty hunter discovers she’s not the only one after Grandma after meeting Snuggy, an ex-jockey who originally stole the money and is convinced he’s a leprechaun. With her on-again off-again boyfriend Morelli tied up with a murder case and the sexy Ranger otherwise occupied, Stephanie turns to the mysterious Diesel for help. As she tries to keep Grandma safe and fend off the advances of Diesel amid the slot machines and craps tables, Stephanie realizes she may be in over her head. With her trademark wit, cast of eccentric side characters and hilariously absurd plot twists, Evanovich treats her fans to a delightful miniadventure sure to whet their appetites for the next full-length Plum escapade.

Gatekeepers by Robert Liparulo & Joshua Swanson

“Gatekeepers”is the third book in Richard Liparulo’s Young Adult ‘Dreamhouse Kings’ series.
The house talks. It breathes. And it’s hungry.
The Kings have been in the creepy old place, their new home, for only a few days, but they’ve experienced enough terror to last a lifetime. And the mystery is growing even more baffling. Shadowy and shifting, the big house conceals doors into other worlds that blur the line between memory and dream — and the slightest misstep can change history forever.
At least, that’s if they believe the trembling old man who shows up claiming to know them. ”There’s a reason you’re in the house, ” he tells them. ”As gatekeepers, we must make sure only those events that are supposed to happen get through to the future.” The problem is that horrors beyond description wait on the other side of those gates.

I had to throw in there at least one Stephanie Plum novel because I. LOVE. Janet Evanovich. I’ve said it many times. Stephanie Plum is my homegirl. I said it. I hope you love all these titles as much as I have.
1. To enter all you need to do is follow and/or “like” me by one of the do-hickys over there —–>
  • Like my author page on Facebook, or Follow me on Twitter, or Follow with Google Friend Connect or Networked Blogs

2 . Leave a comment telling me the number entries + 1 per like or follow- and be sure to leave a way to get in touch, your twittername, 0r email so I can contact you. You can also check back here on the 9th so see who won in case you forget to leave a way to contact you. I’ll post the winner then so everyone can cheer and celebrate with you!!!

Good Luck! Now, hit the rest of the blogs on this Mr. linky list and win some free books!!

Blog Hop & Follow Friday! 4/29

It’s time for the Blog Hop & Follow Friday again! I love this part of the week because  I’m meeting so many awesome bloggers, writers, readers *sigh*. So to all of you hopping with me I’m smiling widely like a doofus and waving frantically as always!!

Blog Hop is hosted over at Crazy-for-Books. These memes were created to help make the web smaller, and introduce us bloggers to one another. We can find sites and meet people and follow those we love! We increase our followers and we get some fun new sites to add to our dashboards too. Its a big win-win and I am thrilled to be taking part again this week.

So the question this week at Crazy for Books is:

Summer is coming quickly: What 2011 summer release are you most looking forward to?

Uh, this summer shall be made of awesome and here are three reasons why:

Passion by Lauren Kate






Forever by Maggie Steifvater






Original Sin by Lisa Desrocher




There are a few more titles I’m pretty excited to get my hands on in the next few months, but these by far are topping my list. Each of these is a continuation of a series. If you haven’t read the others, get busy because these sequels are COMING!!! (I’ve already preorder and will be in my driveway on their release dates waiting for the UPS man).

What are you guys waiting for??

Thanks everyone for stopping by! Leave a comment and tell me if you follow! I always follow back!!!

Writers Conferences = Go!

Writer’s conferences are an underutilized tool for aspiring authors and writers in general. There are of reasons for this, I think.  First, unpublished writers often think conferences are intended for published authors, or for authors “further” along in their process than they are. Second, published authors dismiss conferences as only worth attending if they’ll have an opportunity to sell their books there.

I hear both of these comments on line – frequently. It’s unfortunate because those writers are missing out on a great opportunity.  I’m headed to another conference next month, and I wanted to talk about what’s involved.

What is a writers’ conference?

Writers’ conferences are held in hotels and conference centers across the country. They’re attended by writers, authors, agents, editors, booksellers and readers.  Conferences normally run Friday night through Sunday morning with plenty of variations in between, of course.

Conferences offer writers a chance to meet others people in their position, experienced professionals in the industry, and maybe even their favorite authors. Agents and editors mingle with attendees, hold panel discussing, host breakout sessions on various topics related to the publishing, and join you at the table for meals.

Can’t I do all that online?

Yes, and no. I’ll start with the no.

Attending a conference will impact you as a writer. Taking that step psychologically pushes you into the glorious realization that you are in fact, a writer. This thing you do is for real. You’re a writer. Say it out loud and let it sit a minute. You. are a writer.

Meeting agents and editors face to face is important for your career. It takes away the mystery and regal impression we get online of them as untouchable rockstars while we are mere peasants. I saw one agent, who I really admired from stalking her online, wearing the same black capris and cream scoop neck sweater I’d worn the night before. Apparently publishing royalty shop at Macy’s.

In addition to getting a real idea of who those fancy people are AND getting your mind around the truth that you are a writer, you get to pitch!

You don’t have to, but if you have a completed manuscript, why wouldn’t you? It’s an opportunity to spend one on one time talking about your book. It challenges you, gets you way out of your comfort zone and gives you the chance to make a connection with that person who can get your manuscript on shelves.

Ok, also there is great food, awesome raffles to win, fun games and gatherings in the hotel bar afterwards, and you are guaranteed to make new connections with other writers. Also, at the book sale/signing you can get pics with your favorite authors.


The other answer Yes – You can find online conferences. One that comes to mind immediately due to my YA fascination is called WriteOnCon. WriteOnCon is free and it is phenomenal. I met my agent there last summer. You can pitch. You can attend live chats about childrens lit, meet agents, editors, publishers, and there are forums. I heart the forums. Writers are encouraged to enter their pitch, or query or opening pages for critique in the forums. The feedback is nearly immediate and it comes from everywhere. My WIP last years is now complete and being edited, thanks to the input I received last year at WriteOnCon. The seeds planted that week really spun my ideas into a full fledged series idea. So, if online and free is the only way for you, it’s absolutely possible and awesome. Google around and see what you find in your genre. If you write for kids, MG or YA audiences, try WriteOnCon. It’s coming again this summer and they meet once a month for a live discussion too!

How much do the not free ones cost?

Writers’  conferences range in price from $50 to a few hundred for the weekend. The price includes meals, but doesn’t include hotel accommodations though most will offer a lower group rate during the weekend of the conference.

Google conferences in your area. There’s bound to be one within a few hours drive, and then GO. Go with friends, a spouse, or alone. Be brave. Go. You will not regret it. I feel obligated to warn you: You will be so amazed at the experience that you will likely attend two next year even if you have to sell your pets and consign your clothes to get there.  Enjoy!

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