Sunday, February 27, 2011

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is a weekly even hosted by The Story Siren.

I am trying to stop buying books...for a little while. Because, I've been spending a lot on books lately. So, I only have one book to talk about for my IMM this week! : )

From Random Buzzers:
The Magician by Michael Scott

I'm really looking forward to reading this one because I LOVED The Alchemyst!

What did you get in your mailbox?

Please leave your links so I can check out yours! : )
Thanks everybody!

Oh, and, I just want to let everyone know that I'm CRAZY close to having 100 followers!! I'm so excited! : )
So, I'm going to be having a giveaway once I get to 100! I don't want to post any details about it yet but it will be a follower giveaway because, well, it's to show some love to all my followers. So, be on the lookout for that in the next couple of days! Thanks guys.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Book Blogger Hop/Follow My Book Blog Friday

Book Blogger Hop is a weekly event hosted by Crazy for Books! : )

Book Blogger Hop

This week's question is:

 "Do you ever wish you would have named your blog something different?"
I've thought about it. Because Fay-Bay's book is a weird name lol. But, it means something to me so I'm glad that's what it's name is. I think, down the road, I might change it....but probably not lol. I named it Fay-Bay's Books because my name is Faye and everyone used to call me Faye Baby. So, I didn't want to call it Faye Baby's Books because then people might think it was for baby books. So, I came up with Fay-Bay!

Follow My Book Blog Friday is another weekly even but it's hosted by Parajunkee's View!

This week's follow question is:

Q. Share your current fav television show! Tell us a bit about it...

I watch a couple different shows so it's hard for me to pick one lol. I love 'True Blood' which I don't really feel the need to tell anyone about because, well, it's True Blood! lol. I guess I'll say that's it's a show that is based off of Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse series. 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Fury of the Phoenix by Cindy Pon

Reading Level: Young Adult

Paperback (ARC): 336 Pages

Publisher: Greenwillow/Harper Teen


Release Date: March 29th 2011

My Rating: 5/5

Ai Ling has been marked by the immortals, and her power is extraordinary-and as yet untamed. When Chen Yong, the young warrior she met on the road to the Emperor's city, decides to journey overseas to search for his birth father, Ai Ling-following her heart-daringly joins him in his quest. Fluid, exhilarating writing; a strong female lead; and a star-crossed romance make this a deeply satisfying conclusion to 'Silver Phoenix,' the book Meg Cabot called "an addictive gem."

'Fury of the Phoenix' is the second book in the 'Kingdom of Xia' books. It's incredible. I loved it more than the first one...if that's possible? lol. It was engaging in multiple ways and it never left me feeling....unsatisfied! 'Fury of the Phoenix' is completely captivating and it's an immaculate companion novel to 'Silver Phoenix.' I was compelled to read page after page! I always wanted to know what was going to happen next. Since I'm reviewing an ARC copy that I was fortunate enough to win (thank you Harper Teen!) and it's not released until March 29th, 2011-based on what Cindy's website says-I won't be including any quotes or giving away TOO much information. Which pains me because I want to tell you all everything!

'Fury of the Phoenix' basically picks up where 'Silver Phoenix' left off. There is a small time frame that is skipped over but I get the feeling nothing too exciting happened. And, anything that did, we are filled in on! Again, this story is (mostly) told through Ai Ling as she starts out on a new journey/adventure. I do have to say, that through 'Silver Phoenix' and 'Fury of the Phoenix' we always get to read about Ai Ling's overzealous love of food. Which is not a bad thing! It gives a little humor to the story through the sad parts. It just cracks me up that through all the turmoil and trauma, if she smells food, she's like a basset hound and can sniff it out. And man can she eat! lol. I love that about her! : )

In 'Fury of the Phoenix' we get to learn a great deal more about Silver Phoenix. I was super excited about it! I know that that's one thing that a lot of people were wanting so, you'll be super happy with 'Fury of the Phoenix.' Not only do we get to learn about Silver Phoenix BUT we also get to learn about Zhong Ye. There is a lot of in-depth information and stuff we get to read about. Particularly, how Zhong Ye went from being some nobody, farmer's son to the emperor's most trusted advisor. And, how Silver Phoenix gets thrown into all of it.

So, I don't want to give away too much. But, I do want to say that, for those of you who liked or loved 'Silver Phoenix' you will LOVE 'Fury of the Phoenix.' It's amazing! And, I really hope that Cindy is going to continue to write YA novels and that we will see more from her in the future. I love the way she writes! : )

Make sure you check out 'Silver Phoenix' if you haven't AND keep an eye out for 'Fury of the Phoenix' which is being release on March 29th 2011!!!! : )

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly even hosted by Breaking the Spine. It's a way for everyone to share what books that are being released in the future that they are excited about!

My Waiting on Wednesday is:

Familiar Origins
by B. Pine
Publication Date: 2011

From Goodreads:

Finally . . . After centuries of searching and waiting,The eight have all been born.The Draca Wards SagaIn a universe where dragons are supreme sentient beings, divination rituals and knowledge of human magical evolution has led to the belief that eight humans will be born with extraordinary supernatural abilities that will give them the power to challenge dragons. Divided into two factions-the Draca Debellos: conquerors of worlds to fuel their powerful magic, and the Draca Tueri: protectors of the worlds and their sentient beings-they tirelessly search for these gifted children to train and bond with to help in their eternal struggle and attempt to end their tenuous deadlock.Both sides are aware of how dangerously powerful they are due to their understanding and mastery of nature, magic, and science; following a rigid code of conduct. But they are also aware that their Creator has worked into the nature of the universe an anomaly-a balancing feature that can lead to the extinction of the entire dragon race. The key to overcoming the balance between Draca and the key to victory lies in the existence of these eight special humans. These humans have different combinations of powers based on the existing types of magic-psychic talents, spellcasting abilities, spiritual summoning, and elemental control. Beyond their magical abilities, what makes these eight particular humans so special is their unique ability to bond with dragons in a way that could provide both dragon and human with powers and benefits yet unknown by either race.Both Draca factions wish for nothing more than to bond with one of these special humans and tilting the balance of power in their favor. After centuries of searching and waiting, these eight predestined humans have now all been born-humans with the power to challenge the Draca and hold the fate of the world within their hearts and minds.Familiar Origins introduces the epic struggle between Draca factions and their search for the predestined humans. Follow the adventures, struggles, and development of these humans who have their innocence shattered at a tender age while trying to learn to live under the influence of powerful beings wishing to use them for them own ends, and growing up in a world of tragedy and horror, betrayal and deception.
What's your Waiting on Wednesday?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Winner of Zan-Gah giveaway!!

I recently hosted an author interview, which you can check out here. So, I need to post the winner of the contest.

Congratulations to Joyce W!!

Make sure you watch out for the signed copies of 'Zan-Gah: A Prehistoric Adventure' and 'Zan-Gah And The Beautiful Country' by Allan R Shickman in the mail!! : )

Sunday, February 20, 2011

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is hosted every week by The Story Siren. I love seeing what everyone gets so it's definitely one of my favorite weekly things! : ) It gives me new reading material ideas ha ha.

So, this week I received:

Marked by P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast (R.A.K. from Uniflame @ Uniflame Creates)

The Princess of Las Pulgas by C.Lee McKenzie
Mercy (ARC) by Rebecca Lim
A huge thanks to Kristen @ YA Highway

Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead

For those of you wondering what R.A.K. is, it's Random Acts of Kindness. It's a feature from the Book Soulmates. It's really an amazing thing and everyone should go check it out! You can find it here:
How big is your RAK? Random Acts of Kindness

What did you get this week? Don't forget to leave a link to your IMM! : )

Friday, February 18, 2011

Follow Friday/Book Blogger Hop!!!

So, it's time for another follow Friday and Book Blogger Hop. Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Crazy for Books. And Follow My Book Blog Friday is hosted by Parajunkee!

Book Blogger Hop
This week's question is:
"What book(s) would you like to see turned into a movie?"
There are a ton of books I would love to see turned into a movie.1 I would really like to see is
 Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
or Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead

If you are a fan of Science Fiction what is your favorite book? If you haven't read Science Fiction before...any inkling to? Anything catch your eye?

So, as it turns out, I'm not exactly a FAN of Sci-Fi although, I hold nothing against it. And I'd totally be willing to read some Sci-Fi type books. One book that I desperately want to read is Across the Universe. So, I definitely want to read at least one. And I'm sure there will be more! : )

Please comment and leave me a link to your FF. That way, maybe I can find out about some more Sci-Fi books to read! : )

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Silver Phoenix by Cindy Pon

Reading Level: Young Adult

Hardcover: 352 Pages

Publisher: Greenwillow/Harper Teen

ISBN-13: 978-0-06-173021-4

My rating: 5/5

No one wanted Ai Ling. And deep down she is relieved-despite the dishonor she has brought upon her family-to be unbetrothed and free, not some stranger's subservient bride banished to the inner quarters.

But now, something is after her. Something terrifying-a force she cannot comprehend. And as pieces of the puzzle start to fit together, Ai Ling begins to understand that her journey to the Palace of Fragrant Dreams isn't only a quest to find her beloved father but a venture with stakes larger than she could have imagined.

Bravery, intelligence, the will to fight and fight hard...she will need all of these things. Just as she will need the new and mysterious power growing within her. She will also need help.
It is Chen Yong who finds her partly submerged and barely breathing at the edge of a deep lake. There is something of unspeakable evil trying to drag her under. On a quest of his own, Chen Yong offers that help...and perhaps more.

I love 'Silver Phoenix' on so many levels, for SO many reasons. I love Chinese history and folklore which is included in 'Silver Phoenix.' Ai Ling's adventure was full of suspense, sadness, possible love, the paranormal, everything! It is packed with demons and spirits, which I LOVE! It was very easy to picture everything from the book. The places Ai Ling went and the people she spoke to just sprang to life in my mind as I read because of Cindy Pon's incredible writing!

The story is told through Ai Ling. She is a young woman and, in the beginning, her parents are trying to arrange a marriage for her but no one seems to take interest or want to be with her. Mostly because of her father's and the families reputation. Her father eventually has to return to the Palace and Ai Ling runs away to look for her father-and avoid having to marry a disgusting man.

Ai Ling's compassion and kindness are admirable. Despite all the horrific things that happen to her, she still has a conscious and tries to reach out and help people, even if they have done her wrong. For example, Fei Ming attempted to rape Ai Ling and she fends him off and hurts him rather badly. Regardless of what he tried to do to her, she still reached out to help him. She still healed him and saved his life.

I can relate to Ai Ling in ways that I usually can't with other characters. One of those things is her height issues. She's regarded as being "too tall" and I have also had that problem my entire life. So I feel like I connected to her more because of that. You never really read books were the main character has an abnormal quality. Not that I attribute being tall to abnormal. I'm just saying, usually female lead characters are flawlessly beautiful and oblivious to is....sometimes. I also never got the imression that Ai Ling was stunningly gorgeous OR  ugly. She, for once, was just average! I get tired of always reading about beautiful women/girls  who are always like "Oh, I am so average and boring, why would he be attracted to me?" Meanwhile, they are perfect: height, teeth, hair, eyes, attitude, completely flawless. It's AWESOME to read a book that I love that has an actual average girl in it! It's different, and I love different! : )

'Silver Phoenix' is a beautiful story. It's written in an enthralling way that leaves you wanting more. Especially between a Ai Ling and a certain someone!!! Ha ha. I won't spoil it and say who, but the whole time  I was like "AHHH!! JUST KISS ALREADY!" lol. If you haven't checked out 'Silver Phoenix' by Cindy Pon yet, I highly suggest that you do. And be on the lookout for her upcoming book "Fury of the Phoenix' which will be released in April, 2011. It's the 'Kingdom of Xia, book 2" so it's a continuation from 'Silver Phoenix' which I should be posting a review for really really soon!! AH! I can't wait to tear through it!

Has anyone else read 'Silver Phoenix' yet? What did you think? If you haven't, what are you waiting for??? : )

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine. Everyone posts what upcoming release they are anticipating.

My Waiting on Wednesday pick is:
Like Mandarin
by Kristen Hubbard
Publication date: March 8th

From Goodreads:
Like MandarinIt's hard finding beauty in the badlands of Washokey, Wyoming, but 14-year-old Grace Carpenter knows it's not her mother's pageant obsessions, or the cowboy dances adored by her small-town classmates. True beauty is wild-girl Mandarin Ramey: 17, shameless and utterly carefree. Grace would give anything to be like Mandarin. When they're united for a project, they form an unlikely, explosive friendship, packed with nights spent skinny-dipping in the canal, liberating the town's animal-head trophies, and searching for someplace magic. Grace plays along when Mandarin suggests they run away together. Blame it on the crazy-making wildwinds plaguing their Badlands town. Because all too soon, Grace discovers Mandarin's unique beauty hides a girl who's troubled, broken, and even dangerous. And no matter how hard Grace fights to keep the magic, no friendship can withstand betrayal.

What are you waiting for this week? Leave your link-And a comment-below so I can check your WoW out! : )

Sunday, February 13, 2011


This is my second week doing In My Mailbox hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.

I only got a couple of books this week which is fine with me. I'm still waiting for more AND I have a lot that I need to read and get caught up on! : )

This week I received from the author:
Textual Healing by Eric Smith

I bought:
Silver Phoenix by Cindy Pon

And a friend of mine gave me:
Resident Evil: Extinction by Keith R A. Decandido

So, that's what I got this week. What did you get? : )

Friday, February 11, 2011

Friday Book Blogger Hop!

Friday's Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Crazy for Books

Book Blogger Hop

This week's question is:
 "Tell us about one of your posts from this week and give us a link so we can read it (review or otherwise)!"

So, the post I have to tell everyone about is my interview with an author and book giveaway! I did my very first author interview this week and it was fantastic! I am also having my first giveaway for two signed books. So, I chose them because they are the first of (hopefully) many to come! : )

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Sorry for my lack of posting....

So, I haven't been posting anything in a while and I figured that I should explain why. Because I feel terrible! I haven't posted anything in 2 days!
I just celebrated my birthday on February 6th and-because he is so amazing-my husband drove me up to Canada to celebrate with my family! He had to work and I am staying here for a week. I brought a couple of books with me to read but I haven't had an opportunity to read them because I've been so busy. I started reading one but quickly realized that I haven't read the book before it (I thought I had) so I can't read it. And all my books are at home...and I won't be there till Saturday. So, it is Thursday. I'll try to post a Follow my book Blog Friday and stuff so that I'm not posting anything irrelevant for the next couple of days. Thanks guys! And sorry again. I seem to keep having issues, BAH! lol.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Reading Level: Young Adult

Hardcover: 480 Pages

Publisher: Harper Collins

ISBN-13: 978-0-06-172680-4

My Rating: 5/5

What if you had only one day to live? What would you do? Who would you kiss? And how far would you go to save your own life?
Samantha Kingston has it all: the world's most crush-worthy boyfriend, three amazing best friends, and first pick of everything at Thomas Jefferson High-from the best table in the cafeteria to the choicest parking spot. Friday, February 12, should be just another day in her charmed life.
Instead, it turns out to be her last.
Then she gets a second chance. Seven chances, in fact. Reliving her last day during one miraculous week, she will untangle the mystery surrounding her death-and discover the true value of everything she is in danger of losing.

Where can I start with this was immaculate! Incredible, amazing, fabulous, and all those good things! I loved 'Before I Fall' by Lauren Oliver SO much! It was, like I said, amazing. I heard so many good things about it so I knew I'd like it, I had no idea how much though. I was hooked immediately! This is another one of those books I couldn't put down. I seem to have a lot of those ha ha! But this one, without a doubt, is definitely one. It's like groundhog's day for teenagers with a twist. I loved it!

The story is told through Samantha Kingston who describes herself as:
Here are my good traits: big green eyes, straight white teeth, high cheekbones, long legs. Here are my bad traits: a too-long nose, skin that gets blotchy when I'm nervous, a flat butt.
 She then goes on to describe herself (and her friends) as high school royalty. The most popular girls. So, we can all predict how mean and terrible these girls are going to be.
Because we are popular. And we're popular because we can get away with everything.
Sam and her friends are a perfect example of how conniving, cold-hearted, and mean high school girls can be.

It's definitely refreshing to finally find a book that's not about a plain ol' girl who has some unknown attraction to some unaturally beautiful guy. She knows she's pretty, she knows her friends are beautiful, and she has the most attractive guy at her school. It's different. And every once in awhile, different is good!

Sam's struggles (both with herself and her friends) are unrelenting. The first few days that she repeats, she does terrible things to people, like Lauren for example. Sam asked to borrow a pen from her in Chem class during a quiz and Lauren got caught talking. At one point, her teacher is in the office with her threatening to call Penn State about it. All Lauren wants is for Sam to tell him what really happened and all Sam can say is "I can't help you." She's potentially ruining Lauren's life and for no good reason. But, she still has a conscience. So, every time she does some terrible thing, she is ridden with guilt. So she's not completely a lost cause.

Sam's transformation from snobby, popular girl to kind-hearted and caring is written so well, it's incredible! It's exactly what I think would happen in real life. I loved the day when Sam went nuts and did whatever she wanted. I bet that we all wish we could do that. Live one day knowing that we have an opportunity to live it over and no one would remember anything we did! lol.

There were parts in 'Before I Fall' that were so funny, I was literally laughing. I can't explain how much I really, really loved this book but I think I did a good job so far! When I was reading 'Before I Fall' I put everything else on the back burner just so I could read! I love it and it's definitely a book I can see myself rereading and I don't normally reread things.

What did you all think? Has anyone read Delirium yet? I'm planing on going out and buying Delirium today or tomorrow. I love Lauren Oliver's writing style so I'm really looking forward to it. Thoughts? Opinions?

Monday, February 7, 2011

Author Interview AND giveaway!

So, this is my first author interview and my first giveaway! : )
My interview was with Allan R Shickman and both him and the interview were great! I laughed at a lot of the answers. So, first, the interview:

First of all, I want to say thank you to Mr. Shickman for agreeing to do an interview with me!

Thanks for inviting me.  I rather enjoy being interviewed.  I guess I like talking about myself and my work.  The trick is to get me to stop.

1. Where did you get your inspiration from when writing both Zan-Gah novels?

A writer gets a big inspiration, and a lot of little ones along the way.  My big inspiration was from traveling across the American west.  The terrain was so different from what I am used to in St. Louis MO.  I always maintain that a change of geography is good for artists.  They get to see with fresh eyes what the residents are all used to and have long since stopped looking at.   Pikes Peak, seen from the prairie, and hovering up there in the clouds, can really blow away a newcomer.  If you lived in Colorado Springs all your life, you probably wouldn’t pay much attention to Pikes Peak.  Anyway, I started dreaming about problems of survival in the more barren places I saw.

As for little inspirations, I get them anywhere and everywhere.  I heard something about a certain species of bird on NPR not long ago that was quite useful in my new book because it triggered off a whole series of ideas.  It was just a chance listen, and it turned out to be really important.  Do you listen to National Public Radio?  You should. 

2. Are any of the characters from either novel influenced from yourself or anyone in your life?

Zan is modeled after my ideal self, and Dael is taken from my secret dark, antisocial  self.  I don’t suppose any writer creates a character that isn’t a part of him.  I am sure Charles Dickens dug into his own soul to find Ebeneezer Scrooge.  Where he got that terrific name, I can’t imagine.  I sometimes name characters after family or friends.  My nephew, Rider, provided the name Rydl.  I am naming my new villain after my brother-in-law—but I asked his permission.  He thought it would be funny.

3. What do you enjoy doing besides writing?

Eating and girl-watching.  And girl-watching while I’m eating.  But seriously, I like to cook.  I spend a lot of time following world and national events, and every once in a while I dash off a letter to the editor.  I have had a dozen in The New York Times.  

4. I read your bio and it sounds like you've done it all! Out of all the experiences you've had (actor, author, teacher, artist) which did you enjoy doing the most?


5. Are you currently working on anything else?

I have been writing a third Zan-Gah book.  It concentrates mainly on Zan's twin, Dael, who is seeking in his self-imposed exile to repair his shattered life.  He will go to live with the crimson people (already introduced in the second book).  I am going to call it Dael and the Painted People.  It is going really well, and I think my readers will like it.  Writing sequels is tricky.  People don’t always like the second or third book as well as the first.  They even expect a decline in quality.  I am pleased to say that lots of readers, though not all, have said that the second book was even better than the first.  I don’t want the quality of my books to decrease, or my inspiration to flag.  The coming book has some fresh ideas.

6. Have you ever travelled somewhere to research a location that you used in your novel?

I purposely made a trip to Onondaga Cavern to have the experience of being inside a cave and to gather details of information.  Deep within the cave it is (or once was) so dark that species developed without eyes.  It was fun to learn about and see that, and I used it in the first Zan-Gah.  My state, Missouri, has a considerable number of famous caves.  Exploring Onondaga was an experience to remember!

7. Have you ever experienced any sort of writers block? If so, how did you overcome that?

The first measure to overcome writer’s block is to sit down in front of the computer-word processor.  Actually, writer’s block has not been a great problem of mine.  I take lots of notes whenever ideas enter my mind.  All kinds of random ideas come to me during the day or night, and I jot them down before I forget them.  I use 3 x 5 cards, which can be arranged.  That’s the key.  When I am ready to write, I have hundreds of random ideas, by then sorted and put in order.  Numerous notes are at hand, starting with chapter 1.  No problem with writer’s block!  My biggest difficulty is working out the plot, but I am writing away long before I know how the book is going to end.

8. Is there anything you would like to tell your readers and/or fans?

Don’t read too fast.  The idea is not to get done with a book, it is to savor it—feel its emotions and enjoy its details.  I don’t want my readers to barrel through something that I wrote with tears in my eyes.  My mom used to say, “Don’t eat your food so fast, you aren’t even tasting it.”  Same with books.

9. Finish this sentence: "I can't live without..."

...Oxygen.        Awright.  I can’t live without a good laugh once in a while.  The paper didn’t come today because of snow, and I really missed the funnies.  Also, I can’t live without NPR.  Honest.

10. What's a normal day like for your when you are writing a book?

I write for a while in the afternoon, and continue after dinner deep into the night, mostly refining what I have written.  Then I run off a copy of my latest work and wake up my wife and ask her to tell me what she thinks of it.

11. Is there anything that you like to have close at hand when writing?

My cat—provided she doesn’t sit on the keyboard.  But I often go out with a pad to write over coffee somewhere.  I bring my stacks of notes, sorted and wrapped with rubber bands.  I don’t bring my cat, but I might leave behind a rubber band for her to play with.

12. What interview question are you most sick of answering? Don't worry about saying it if I already asked! : )

The one I am most often asked is where I got my inspiration.  I don’t mind answering that question, but I am afraid I have often repeated myself.  Maybe one of these days, just for variety, my answer will be: “I sold my soul to Satan, and he promised to make me a great writer—but he didn’t, the devil!”

I want to say thank you again, Mr. Shickman, for willing to do this interview with me. It's been an honor.
Thank you!  I feel honored to have been so enthusiastically received by Fay-Bay.
I'm so happy with the way the interview went! : ) And, I have to say that I'm super excited for the third novel in the Zan-Gah series!!!

And now for the Giveaway! : )
I'm holding a giveaway for a signed copy of both 'Zan-Gah: A Prehistoric Adventure' and 'Zan-Gah And The Beautiful Country.'

The Rules:
-You must be 13 or older to enter.
-Contest Deadline is February 20th, 2011
-You don't have to be a blog follower but you'll gain an extra entry if you are.
-If you twitter about the giveaway, I'll give you +1 entry and if you blog post about it I'll give you +2 entries
-The contest is only open to residents of the US and Canada only!
-I'll be forwarding the winning address to the publisher, Earthshaker Books, and they will send out the books to you.
-Only ONE entry per person!

Thanks guys and good luck to everyone who enters! : )

Sunday, February 6, 2011

In My Mailbox

So, this is my first time doing In My Mailbox (IMM) that The Story Siren runs! I figured I would give it a try. Even though I don't get many books in my actual mailbox haha. But, you can share any books that you received for review, got from the library, bought from the store or won in a contest. So, here we go! : )

From contests:
The Fury of the Phoenix by Cindy Pon-thanks to Harper Teen

From the Library:
Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
Dead in the Family by Charlaine Harris
The Host by Stephenie Meyer

What I bought:
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
The Iron King by  Julie Kagawa

The Vampire's Promise by Caroline B. Cooney

I think that's all. Although I'll be going out again today to get more books because it's my birthday and that's what I want ha ha! But, that's all for this week! Thanks for stopping by! : )

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Internet, birthdays, and giveaways!

So, I'm happy to say that I finally got internet again, YAY! lol. It was a hassle and frustrating and for a while, there was a possibility that I might not even be able to have internet at my new house. But, luckily for me, everything worked out. So, I just wanted to let everyone know that I do have internet so I will be posting more reviews and stuff. I have fallen significantly behind on my reading and I now have a ton of books to read because I have this terrible habit or ordering them online, or buying a book every time I go out somewhere. So they just pile up and up and up ha ha! And, being that I just moved, I'm still unpacking and cleaning and all that fun stuff so I have fallen very behind.
And, I think I might fall even more behind. Tomorrow is my birthday and I'm going to be travelling to Canada for a week to spend it with my family and stuff. So, of course I'll be reading there, but I might not be able to post as often as I'd like. But I thought I could have a grace period...because tomorrow is my birthday and all ha ha.
Oh, and very, very, soon I will be posting an author interview with Allan Shickman AND I will also be having my first giveaway! So make sure you all watch out for that! : )

And one more thing, everyone should head over to the Book Soulmates page and sign up for this AMAZING new feature they have called:
How Big is your R.A.K? Random Acts of Kindness
It's an absolutely incredible idea and I love, love, love it! I don't know why but I LOVE buying things for people and gifting things to just makes me feel good lol. So, please head on over there to get all the info on R.A.K. it's incredible, you'll love it!

Thanks guys, and as always, Happy Reading! : )

Friday, February 4, 2011

Zan-Gah And The Beautiful Country by Allan R Shickman

Reading Level: Young Adult

Paperback: 160 Pages

Publisher: Earthshaker Books

ISBN-13: 978-097903571-5

My Rating: 4/5
Well past the middle of the night Zan felt a shaking of his shoulder as he slept, and then an impatient foot kicking at him. Instinctively grabbing for his spear, he looked up and saw the orange glow of a torch, and as his eyes adjusted to the invading light he recognized his brother's ghastly face. Dael's dangerous brow was furrowed, and the vein of his forehead bulged under the old scar. His teeth were clenched, and his eyes darted nervously back and forth. His every motion expressed a profound agitation, and Zan knew that what he had been dreading had come.
"It is time, Zan. Let us go!"
"Where? It's dark!"
"I want to find where the river comes from." 
The volcanic turbulence that shakes Dael's mind carries him to vicious extremes. It is Zan's task to calm his brother and lead him away from thoughts both destructive and self-destructive. But even the paradise of the Beautiful Country will not erase them.

Let me start off by saying that 'Zan-Gah And The Beautiful Country' was infinitely better than I had predicted. I always seem to have the same thought process about books. That the first one is always going to be amazing and then the series will just get worse as it goes but that was not the case with 'Zan-Gah And The Beautiful Country.' This book takes you on an emotional roller coaster. One second you're happy and everyone's celebrating a pregnancy, a new beginning, an impossible victory. The next minute, everyone's crying because Dael lost control again, there was a death-or two-or there is going to be a war. There is just SO much going on in this book but it's never overwhelming.

Within the first 10 pages of 'Zan-Gah And The Beautiful Country' I was tearing up. There is a heartbreaking stream of events that happen with poor Dael and the results of those woes puts everyone in the Ba-Coro clan in imminent danger. Dael is uncontrollable! His story really pulled me into this never know what he is going to do next. I have been thoroughly impressed with Shickman's writing in both 'Zan-Gah: A Prehistoric Adventure' and in 'Zan-Gah And The Beautiful Country.' His literary skills are immaculate!

In the second installment of the Zan-Gah series, we get to meet Pax. She is Zan-Gah's wife. She is a hunter and her grandfather (the Great Elder) allowed her to hunt with him even though it was frowned upon because Pax is a woman. Zan, being the lovable, good natured, equal rights person he is, encourages his wife to hunt because she loves it and he doesn't care what people think. Dael in particular gives Pax a hard time about hunting. Claiming that she is a man and always using any opportunity to laugh at her expense. In all fairness, Dael seems to hate everyone.

I keep talking about Dael because he intrigued me the most in this book. At one point in the first book, Zan-Gah spotted a rock that he called to thinking it was his brother. It looked exactly like him-or Zan himself because they are twins. In this book, the rock is mentioned again by Zan:
Yet how much Dael resembled (not only physically!) that unfeeling column-rigid and unyielding, hard-and how different it was from what Dael formerly had been!
I can't express how completely out of control Dael was in this book. He has completely lost it! He's mean to everyone-especially Rydl. And I have to agree with Zan-Gah when he makes a brilliant observation about Dael, claiming that Dael is not in his right mind. I really want to use a quote here but it would give a lot away from the first and second book so I decided not to. I don't like to spoil books for people!

I love the way all the characters have developed from the first to the second book. For example, Rydl was raised by the wasp men. Yet, he's an incredible person in book 2. He turns out to be quite the little inventor creating all sorts of miraculous things and teaching people.

'Zan-Gah And The Beautiful Country' is a perfect sequel to 'Zan-Gah: A Prehistoric Adventure.' I highly suggest that everyone check it out. I was a little unsure of the series at first but now I'm glad to have had the opportunity to read it. I love finding hidden gems!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Still no internet! BAH!

Ok, so I just wanted to keep everyone updated on my situation so you all don't think I just disappeared! Like I said, I have TERRIBLE luck with internet, cable, and phone people. Let me tell you what happened.
Yesterday morning (February 2nd) the guy from Verizon was supposed to come and hook up our phone, internet, and cable. They said, they'll be there between 8am and 11am. We confirmed the appointment via email before we moved because we would have no services once we did. So, I sat there and waited.....and waited....and waited. Then my husband comes home for lunch (at 1:30) and says, I called Verizon. Apparently, they forgot that they were supposed to hook up our phone because they tried to call the number that they were installing for us just to make sure we are home. Of course, it's not connected because we just moved here AND there's no phone. Because we "didn't answer or were unavailable" they cancelled our appointment. WHAT? lol. I'm just so...shocked. I mean, what can I really say to that?? They tried to call a number that they were coming here to hookup. I mean...why? Don't they take notes? We were transferring our service, clearly we have no phone or anything. UGH I'm very frustrated. So, needless to say, I have no phone, internet or cable at my apartment. And Verizon said they were going to expedite our installation. They said they would call us back. That was 23 hours ago. Terrible, just terrible.
Fortunately for me, all the little coffee shops in my area provide free wi-fi when you are there. So I can use their internet temporarily to notify everyone of why I'm not back yet. And I probably won't be for a few more days. GREAT!
On the plus side, I did receive my ARC copy of 'Fury of the Phoenix' by Cindy Pon in the mail today-I'm SO excited! So, I can't wait to read and review it! : ) I'll try to hop around to everyones page and see what's going on while I have the opportunity! Thanks everyone! Sorry for the delay!

Happy Reading! : )