Follow Friday & Book Blogger Hop & TGIF

Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee.  This weeks featured blog is The Book Addicted Girl and the weekly question is:

Q. Let's step away from books for a second and get personal. What T-Shirt slogan best describes you?

At least 10 times a day, I am thinking this to myself!

I feel this 90% of the time too! LOL.

Book Blogger Hop is a weekly meme hosted by Crazy for Books This weeks question is:
“Highlight one book you have received this week (for review, from the library, purchased at the store, etc.) that you can’t wait to dig into!”

Sadly, I haven't recieved any books this week. I am trying to decide what to read next though. Wanna help?

I don't want to be left out when the movie comes out.

I've heard alot of good things about this series!

I've been in a witchy mood lately and I haven't read many good witch books.

Help me choose!

tgif is a weekly meme hosted by GReads!  This week's question is:

Character Envy: If you could be one character from a book, 
who would you choose & why?
I would have to say Cordelia from Betrayal: The Descendants #1. She is awesome, a goddess, very powerful. I just know once she regains her memory and harnesses her power, she will be badass.

Author Interview: Cindy C. Bennett & GIVEAWAY!!

I'm so excited that the lovely Mrs. Cindy Bennett agreed to let me interview her. I really love it when authors take time out of their busy schedules to answer our questions

1.   What inspired you to write Heart on a Chain?
Oddly, it was inspired by a real person—sort of. The story is not her story at all. However, this is how she inspired it: She lived not far from me, and was always outside swinging (she had a swingset just like Kate's). For years we watched her, whether it was a sub-zero blizzard, or a sweltering 100°, she would be outside swinging. It was fascinating, to the point that we would all come home and report on whether she'd been out there or not as we passed.
I had been thinking about her, and thinking about writing a book about her, when my own daughter made the comment, "We should write a book about her." We decided to do it together. Of course, the first question in beginning any story is why. Why was she always outside swinging? I imagined it was to escape, but escape from what? So I wrote the first chapter and handed it off to my daughter. After a couple days, she suggested I write the next chapter, which I did. After several times of this, she finally said, "Mom, you just write it. I'm not ever going to get around to it." So it's thanks to her that I began writing it, and thanks to my other daughter who would devour the chapters and demand more on a daily basis.

Oh, and, in case you're wondering, we eventually found out who that girl is. She has a wonderful, loving family. She has a slight touch of Autism, and her dad calls the swing her "thinking place," much like Eeyore’s. Ironically, her name is Kaitlyn, which I didn't know when I wrote the book.

2.       Heart on a Chain deals with issues of bullying and severe abuse, how did you approach these topics? Were any of the scenes particularly hard to write?

I approached with a sense of responsibility for the scene to not come across as comical, unbelievable, or to downplay it, on behalf of those who truly are victims of abuse, and responsibility as to the age of some of my readers, who could be upset if I were too graphic with the descriptions.

There are a couple of scenes that were particularly difficult. The scene where Kate shows up to middle school and the girls who had been her friends in grade school rebuff her. It’s a short, almost insignificant scene, but it was painful to write—because it happened to me, and it brought back all of those feelings of rejection, humiliation and depression. I almost left it out because it was so personal, but I wanted to show that having the acceptance or rejection of your peers can be so critical to how you view your self-worth—and that it really shouldn’t be. The Thanksgiving scene and the scene after Florida when her mother severely beats her were hard to write. It wasn’t easy to try to figure out how to tell it from the point of view of the person experiencing it, but I felt like we needed to see how almost clinical Kate has become about the beatings, because they are so commonplace. And when she gets the apology from one of her tormentors (I’m withholding the name to avoid spoilers) who then becomes a close friend, it was difficult to figure out how to make someone who’d been hateful become sympathetic. But in that case I wanted to show that sometimes people might be unaware of just how much damage they are causing by actions that may seem insignificant to them, but that once made aware, there is room for redemption, for making it right.

3.      Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Mostly that it is never okay to bully someone. You have no idea what is going on in someone’s life at home that might be the cause of them looking, acting, or dressing differently. Every person has value, and if you look a little closer, past the outward appearance, you would probably be able to see that. It might be cliché, but I think the Golden Rule (do unto others as you would have them do unto you) is…well, golden! :o)  Think about how great life would be if we all treated others as we want to be treated. Utopia, anyone?

4.   Henry is a character we can all love, is he based on anyone in real life?

He’s a composite of different people. He has a little bit of my husband in him, a little of both of my sons, a little of what characteristics we all imagine the perfect man to have. I’ve had people comment about him being too good to be true, but I want readers to remember we are seeing him through Kate’s eyes, and she sees him as perfect.

I did base his compassion and physical build on a commercial I once saw (yeah, I know, that’s weird). I think it was one of those “Pass it On” type commercials. A smaller kid in the hallway is bumped into purposely by someone bigger, knocking his books to the floor. A big kid across the hallway, wearing a lettermans jacket, good looking, obviously athletic and popular, sees it happen and crosses the hall. He stoops to pick up the books and hands them to the stunned kid, asking him if he’s all right. Clearly, the message really stuck with me.

5.   What book(s) are you reading now?

I’m reading several at once. I’m proof-reading four books for other authors, which means currently I’m not reading anything else. I recently finished Angel: A Maximum Ride Novel (love the series!), Beastly, City of Glass, Mockingjay (I can’t believe it’s the last book!), Frankenstein: Lost Souls, and Peril. I kind of go through spurts where I read a lot, then don’t read for a while, so that I can actually work and write myself.

6.   Who is your favorite writer? Why?

That’s a tough one. There are so many I love. For scares I like Dean Koontz and Stephen King (of course—is there anyone else???). For adult reads I like Diana Gabaldon , Jean Auel and Laura Kinsale (my guilty pleasure). For YA, which is my favorite genre to read, I like James Patterson and Suzanne Collins, of course, as well as Sarah Dessen, Tamora Pierce, Stephenie Meyer, Ednah Walters…I could actually make quite a long list of YA authors, but I won’t. Let’s just say there aren’t many I don’t like. 

7.   When did you first begin writing? Why? 

I think I’ve been writing stories since middle school. I just always had a love for making them up. But they were short, incomplete, and not very good. In high school, I had an amazing English teacher who each day had us write for the first 10 minutes of class on a specific subject. It became the highlight of my day. I knew then I wanted to be a writer. Actually having the guts to take the plunge and give it a try was a whole different story.

8.   What is your number one piece of advice for aspiring authors?

Go for it. Don’t let fear of rejection or failure hold you back. If you have a passion for it, and a talent, then just write. And, when you’ve finished a book: edit, edit, edit. That’s the not so fun part, but it’s so necessary. You can have a great story, but if your reader has to mire through misspellings and poor grammar, they will never finish reading it.

9.   What is next? Any new projects in the works? Please share.

I am writing a new book that’s slightly outside the norm for me. It has a supernatural element to it, which is not what I normally write. It’s about a girl named Niahm (pronounced Neeve) who lives in a small town, happy with her simple life. Then Sam moves into town, and turns her whole world upside down, including what she thought she knew to be the truth about humanity. I don’t have a title for it yet (I never have until the book is finished). I was hoping to have it ready to be published in August, but it’s looking more like September, now. Also, Geek Girl, which I had previously published and which was later optioned by Cedar Fort Publishing, is schedule for re-release December 8, 2011. Watch my website and/or blog for more details on both of those.

10.  Random question: If you were stranded on an island, what would be 3 inanimate things that you would take with you and why?

1.      My laptop, because I was stranded without it last summer for about a week with long days of sitting in a hotel room alone, and I nearly went crazy. I’m addicted to the thing!
2.      A solar power panel, to keep said laptop charged, for obvious reasons.
3.      A cot, so I could sleep up off the ground away from the bugs. I am completely creepy-crawly phobic. It’s sad, really for an adult to be afraid of such tiny little creatures, but what can you do?
I want to thank you, NaKesha, for the interview and the review. You have no idea how much I appreciate you spending your valuable time for me. Please visit me at my website http://www.cindycbennett.com/ or my blog http://cindybennett.blogspot.com/

Thank you so much Mrs. Bennett for taking the time to answer my questions. I'm with you on #10, I would need a cot too and maybe a air conditioner to plug into the solar panel as well. :) And now, for the giveaway. I just love this book so much and I want to make sure someone else gets the chance to read it.

Giveaway details:
 - Must be a follower to win.
Short and sweet!

Giveaway ends August 30th.
Winner will be announced on August 31st.


Click here to enter to win!


Book Review: Heart on a Chain by Cindy C. Bennett

17-year-old Kate has lived her whole life in abject poverty, with an alcoholic father and drug-addicted mother, who severely abuses Kate. At school, her second-hand clothing marks her as a target. Her refusal to stand up for herself makes her the recipient of her classmates taunts and bullying. That is, until Henry returns. Henry Jamison moved away six years earlier, just as he and Kate had begun to develop feelings for one another. He returns to find the bright, funny, outgoing girl he had known now timidly hiding in corners, barely speaking to anyone around her, suspicious of even him. Kate can't figure out what game Henry is playing with her - for surely it is a game. What else would the gorgeous, popular boy from her past want with her? Kate finally decides to trust Henry's intentions, opening her heart to him. Just when it seems he might be genuine in his friendship, tragedy strikes, threatening everything Kate has worked so hard to gain. Can Henry help her to overcome this new devastation, or will it tear them apart forever?

First, let me start by saying I'm not a crier. Ok, maybe on an occasional movie or TV show or possibly a sad commercial (like the Hardees commercial where the robot wanted the chicken sandwich but he didn't have a mouth so he couldn't eat it, that really made me sad) but I don't cry often and I've never cried reading a book. Until now. As I read this book and listened to this girl describe the bullying at school, heard her fear as she kept her head down walking down the hall afraid to make eye contact, as she fought just to eat her lunch without someone doing something to it, I was mad. I know kids can be mean but they were tortuing this girl for no good reason. Then for her to go home and have her mother beat her and send her to her room with no dinner, that was just too much for me. And the Thanksgiving scene, sigh, I'm reading and my throat is tightening up and tears are rolling down my face, I just couldn't imagine. This mother is abusing her child to the point of near death. And where is the dad? He floats in and out, mostly out, usually drunk. Heavy man, real heavy.

However, there is a silver lining and it's named Henry. He is a just a great boy. His family is awesome, mom, dad, sisters, grandparents, all of them, awesome. I was just crossing my fingers in the beginning, please don't let him be in on the others cruelty, please let his actions be geniune, this girl really needs a friend. I wasn't disappointed.

The one thing that Kate showed was strength, strength of character, strength of mind. She was timid and afraid but all she needed was one shoulder, one person to show her some compassion and she was able to use that to stand up. Cindy Bennett is a great writer. The topic was difficult but the writing wasn't. Kate's feelings and emotions were made plain. It was so easy to get lost in this book, even with the horrible subject matter.

Anyways, I recommend this book for EVERYONE. This was the first book I read by Cindy Bennett and after reading it I have to go get Geek Girl because if its have as good as this book then its a must read as well. GO READ IT!


Waiting on Wednesday (12): Fateful by Claudia Gray

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Fateful by Claudia Gray (TBR Sept. 13, 2011)
It's about a servant girl named Tess in 1912, who wants to escape from the house where she works, and most particularly the lecherous young lord of the manor. But that's not her biggest problem. While on a voyage to America, where she plans to escape and start a new life, she meets Alec, who's ruggedly handsome, fabulously wealthy, intelligent and yet so clearly troubled that she'd rather not fall for him, but she does. That also is not her biggest problem. Alec, it turns out, is a werewolf ... one cursed to change every night, unless and until he surrenders his independence and joins the Brotherhood, a pack of violently misogynistic werewolves who have been tracking him for months. You'd think that would be their biggest problem, wouldn't you? But no. Their biggest problem -- though they don't know it yet -- is that they're aboard the RMS Titanic.

I'm already a fan of Claudia Gray's writing and this book sound so good. Werewolf on the Titanic? I can't wait to read this!


Teaser Tuesday (9) and Tune In Tuesday (4)

Teaser Tuesday is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Here are the rules: Grab your current read. Open to a random page. Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page, and BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS!

Heart on a Chain by Cindy C. Bennett
"The mirror has become my enemy over the years, only required when I need to try to cover a bruise or black eye. Now I look in, pull my long, light blond hair back from my face, and try to see what Henry might see when he looks at me.
Rather unremarkable, I think. "  (page 41) 
Tune in Tuesday is hosted by Ginger at GReads. Hop on over there and join in the fun!

I heard this song at the end of last weeks episode of Switched at Birth. Then they played it again at the beginning of last nights episode. I really like this song.

Katie Costello - Stranger

Beautiful song!


Book Review: This Girl is Different by JJ Johnson

This Girl is Different by JJ Johnson
This girl is different... That's what Evie has always told herself and it s true. Home-schooled by her counter culture mom, she's decided to see what high school is like for the first time for her senior year. And what a year it is.

As it turns out, it s not just Evie who is Different. Lots of people are. Many of her assumptions about others are turned on their heads as she makes friends with kids her own age for the first time, discovers what's good and what's bad about high school, and learns lessons about power and its abuse both by the administration and by Evie herself.

Reading this book is like watching a feel good movie. It starts good, the drama builds, you question 'how is she going to fix this' then it all comes together nicely in the end.

It was refreshing to have such a thoughtful, intelligent girl as the man character. Evie is awesome! Her vocabulary, her ideas, her naïveté. It's all perfect and very believable. Martha, her mom is the coolest. Although, I would have liked to have her explain why she called her Martha instead of mom. I love the way she meets Rajas and Jacinda in the beginning, the "non" rescue scene. I spent the first half of the book loving them both, then mad at them, then back to loving them. Rajas especially.

Martha's hippie philosophy as well as strong ideas about freedom of speech, oppression and the Man are throughout this book. However, it is a book that all young people could learn from especially on the topic of bullying and self-expression. I'm a sucker for a quote and each chapter begins with great quotes from great minds in history, including my favorite quote from Albert Einstein. Only problem I found myself liking Brookner, despite what he was doing. I couldn't hate him for some reason. It was weird. He  should have been a little more slimy, I guess. And Ms. Gliss was totally Sue Sylvester, all the way, track suit and all.

Overall, the book was very enjoyable. I would recommended it for any and everyone, especially teenagers. There is social activism, a little romance, parent/child relationships, environmental consciousnes and even a cool cow. What's not to love? Go read it. FIGHT THE POWER!


Follow Friday & Book Blogger Hop & TGIF

Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee.  This weeks featured blog is We Fancy Books and the weekly question is:

Q. Name 3 authors that you would love to sit down and spend an hour or a meal with just talking about either their books or get advice on writing from?

Wiliiam Shakespeare. I have a  crazy slight obsessions with Shakespeare. The way he constructs sentences and dialogue, I just can't get enough. I'd like to pick his brain and just listen to him talk for a while. And of course, I would be writing down everything he says.

William Faulkner. I took a special topics English class in college which focused solely on the writings of Mr. Faulkner. It was the absolute best and worst class of my life. It was a graduate level class and it kicked my butt (still got a B tho). I've never had to read and reread one author so much to finally understand the true meaning of his words. The man is a genius.

"The aim of every artist is to arrest motion, which is life, by artificial means and hold it fixed so that a hundred years later, when a stranger looks at it, it moves again since it is life."
William Faulkner


JK Rowling. I haven't read all of the Harry Potter books, most are still on my TBR list. However, I admire her so much. The world she created, the frenzy she created. She is one author I rarely hear a bad word about. Very religious people are against the whole magic wizardry thing but they can't deny the talent and skill this woman has. If I could win a lunch date with any author, it would be her. Her imagination is amazing and I would love to dig all through it.

Book Blogger Hop is a weekly meme hosted by Crazy for Books. This weeks question is:

Q. What’s the ONE GENRE that you wish you could get into, but just can’t?

Sci-Fi. I just can't get into it. Outer space, aliens and all, just not my cup of tea. My hubs loves Sci-Fi. In fact, Dune is one of his favorites. I just can't get with it.

tgif is a weekly meme hosted by GReads!  This week's question is:

Bookshelf Tour: Where do you keep your books at home? 
Are they organized?
I'm totally organized when it comes to my books.
(Sorry for the blurry pic). This is my office/dining room area. My bookcases are filled to capacity. I organize them by genre, all the fantasy together, all the urban lit, together, all the Stephen King and Dean Koontz together (hubby's books). I wish I would have known this was the question I would have taken some more, better, pics. I'm looking to add another in the bedroom. This pic was taken 2 weeks ago and I now have a stack of about 10-15 books on the table. I can't wait until I have my house with an actual library. One day, I promise. One day!

Did you Follow, Hop or Participate?


WWW...Wednesday (1)

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading. To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…
  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you'll read next?
My answers:

What am I currently reading?
I'm almost finished with This Girl is Different by JJ Johnson. So far I really like the book. It's easy read, not too heavy which is perfect for me right now.
What did I recently finish reading?
I'm not a super fast reader. Tris and Izzie by Mettie Ivie Harrison was the last book I read and let me tell you, I was not impressed. See my review here.
What do I think I will read next?
I am so far behind on my reading and I've promised to read so many books but I've already started (sort of) reading Heart on a Chain by Cindy C. Bennett so I will continue with that next.
Did you participate? Comment with your link! 

Waiting on Wednesday (11): Lola and the Boy-Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.
Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins (TBR Sept. 29, 2011)
For budding costume designer Lola Nolan, the more outrageous, the outfit - more sparkly, more fun, more wild - the better. But even though Lola's style is outrageous, she's a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins move back into the house next door.

When the family returns and Cricket - a gifted inventor and engineer - steps out from his twin sister's shadow and back into Lola's life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.


Teaser Tuesday (8) and Tune In Tuesday (3)

Teaser Tuesday is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Here are the rules: Grab your current read. Open to a random page. Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page, and BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS!
I'm still reading This Girl is Different by JJ Johnson. Can I just say I love Evie!
"Sounds more like anarchy." [Teacher said]. I snort without meaning to. "No, I doesn't. But even so, what's so bad about anarchy? There are worse things. Fascism, for one. Authoritarianism." (page 109).              See! Love her!
Tune in Tuesday is hosted by Ginger at GReads. Hop on over there and join in the fun!
I heard this weird little song on the radio this morning for the first time. By the time it was over I was bopping my head, jamming along. My new favorite song!

Foster the People - Pumped Up Kicks

I've been in a music slump lately. Any new song suggestions? I really need some GOOD music to listen to. Comment with some suggestions. Thanks!


Follow Friday & Book Blogger Hop & TGIF

Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee.  This weeks featured blog is Angela's Anxious Life and the weekly question is:

Q. What do I do when I am not reading?
I write mostly. Or cook. Or hangout out with the hubs and the kid, eat nachos and watch bad reality TV. My hate hate relationship with reality TV has become a love hate relationship.

Book Blogger Hop is a weekly meme hosted by Crazy for Books. This weeks question is:

How/Where do you get your books? Do you buy them or go to the library? Is there a certain website you use like paperbackswap?
I wish I could go to the library but I don't like to give stuff back. I usually buy them either on Amazon.com or go to my favorite used bookstore McKay's. Have I told you about the wonderful awesomeness that is McKay's? McKay's is the best place in the whole wide world. It's a literary orgasm, I swear. They have music, movies and games there too but the books....Homer Simpson drooooooool.... Love it! You can spend all day Saturday in there, fill up a push basket with books and still only spend around $20. I'm an aspiring author but I would have no problem if my book ended up in the bargain section of that store. I love it that much. Plus, because of the prices I've been introduced to so many new authors and genres. It was there that I found out about paranormal romance, I didn't know there was a such thing and they had a whole section. Ahem, now that I've finished my non-paid advertisement for McKay's, to answer the question, I buy my books. :)

tgif is a weekly meme hosted by GReads!  This week's question is:

Book Blogger Appreciation: Which book blogs have inspired you 
or made a difference in your blogging experience?
Hmmm, good question. Well,
All About {n} was the first book blog I came across and I was like wow, this is awesome. I can do this too! Plus I love looking at other peoples bookshelves and she has a whole day set aside to nose through someones books!

Then I found PJ'sView, which I fell in love with instantly not just because its goth and purple but because of all the books and all the tips. You can't go wrong there.

It think I came across Bewitched Bookworm next and found out about collaborating and having more than one reviewer on a blog which I thought was a great idea.

A Cozy Reader inspires me to have cute blog because her blog is just so cute. It is actually cozy.

A Cupcake and a Latte inspires me to eat a cupcake and drink a latte while I read my book. I mean, why didn't I think of that? Seriously, though I really love her blog design too!

There are tons more blogs that I love. In fact, I haven't really come across one I don't like! Book bloggers are great!


Waiting on Wednesday (10): Shattered Dreams: A Midnight Dragonfly Novel by Ellie James

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Shattered Dreams: A Midnight Dragonfly Novel by Ellie James (TBR Dec. 6th, 2011)
Sixteen-year-old Trinity Monsour wants nothing more than to live a normal life. But that isn’t as easy as it seems. Trinity is different. She is special. She sees visions, and for those she’s seen, it’s already too late.
Trinity arrives on her aunt’s doorstep in New Orleans with virtually no knowledge of her mysterious heritage. She begins settling into life at a new school and even starts making friends. But all too quickly her dreams accelerate; twisted, terrifying visions of a girl locked in a dark room. And when the head cheerleader, Jessica, goes missing, Trinity knows she has no choice but to step forward with what she’s seen.
But people believe that Trinity has information about Jessica’s disappearance not because of a dream, but because she is involved. She is kind-of dating Jessica’s ex-boyfriend, Chase, and Jessica did pull a nasty prank on Trinity. Revenge seems like the likeliest scenario.
Nothing prepares Trinity for the dark odyssey that ensues while searching for Jessica, including the surprising romance she finds with Chase, or the shocking truths she learns, not just about the girl who has gone missing, but the past that has been hidden from her.


Great Giveaway

Check out this giveaway: Virtual Tour: Win the Books!

I'm so excited that 6 authors are coming to Nashville as part of a 8 city book tour from Asheville to Nashville. Check out the deets:

Nashville Tour Stop Information
DAY: August 8th
TIME: 6:30 to 8:30
PLACE: Barnes & Noble, Brentwood

Come out for a chance to meet six YA authors! After a moderated panel discussing YA literature, writing, and publishing, we'll be taking questions from the audience. Afterwards, we'll be signing books. Don't forget to enter for our big doorprize!
Can't Wait!

Teaser Tuesday (7) and Tune In Tuesday (2)

Teaser Tuesday is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Here are the rules: Grab your current read. Open to a random page. Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page, and BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS!

"Ms. Gliss confiscates my phone. 'The Fourteenth Amendment protects from illegal search and seizure,' I tell her. 'So you can't take my phone.' Ha! Schooled.
       Her forehead wrinkles, but she recovers quickly. 'The Fourteenth Amendment protects you in your own home. You're in my house now." (page 64).

So far, I love this book!

Tune in Tuesday is hosted by Ginger at GReads. Hop on over there and join in the fun!
I <3 FeFe Dobson and I'm so glad she has another CD out. I like to listen to her music while I write. Her look is also partly the inspiration for one of my characters.
FeFe Dobson - Can't Breathe

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