Waiting on Wednesday (20): Black City by Elizabeth Richards

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

I just found out about this book today. It looks very good!
Black City (Black City Chronicles #1) by Elizabeth Richards (TBR: Nov 13, 2012

A dark and tender postapocalyptic love story set in the aftermath of a bloody war

In a city where humans and Darklings are now separated by a high wall and tensions between the two races still simmer after a terrible war, sixteen-year-olds Ash Fisher, a half-blood Darkling, and Natalie Buchanan, a human and the daughter of the Emissary, meet and do the unthinkable—they fall in love. Bonded by a mysterious connection, that causes Ash’s long dormant heart to beat, Ash and Natalie first deny and then struggle to fight their forbidden feelings for each other, knowing if they’re caught they’ll be executed—but their feelings are too strong. When Ash and Natalie then find themselves at the center of a deadly conspiracy that threatens to pull the humans and Darklings back into war, they must make hard choices that could result in both their deaths.

November is a long way away but I still can't wait to read this book.

Visit Xspresso Reads to read the first chapter and enter a giveaway for a copy of this book! 


Teaser Tuesday (21) and Tune-In Tuesday (22)

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!

Just Listen by Sarah Dessen
"As I felt my feet under me, I reached for the wall, trying to get my bearings, my fingers only barely raking some solid surface before he grabbed the waistband of my jeans and turned my around to face him. Instinctively I put my hands out in front of me, shielding myself, but he pushed them aside, roughly, and then I was down." (page 264)

Tune in Tuesday is hosted by Ginger at GReads. Hop on over there and join in the fun!

I've been on a Kelly Clarkson kick lately. I love her new song but it's made me want to listen to a few of the older ones I loved too! 

Kelly Clarkson - Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You)
LOVE LOVE this song!

Kelly Clarkson - Addicted
This song is on my writing soundtrack for this book I have been working on FOREVER.

Kelly Clarkson - Hear Me


In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox was inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie and hosted by TheStorySiren. 

I got these books from the thrift store. I mean I maybe paid like $5 total for all six of these books. Isn't that awesome? I never thought about buying books at a thrift store but this one had a huge book section. So I'm happy. I've been wanting the Vampire Diaries Series for so long and now I have the first four books. We know how obsessed I am about the show and its not coming back until the end of March :O. I hate these mid-season breaks. What's up with that? Anyways moving on.  I have yet to read the first two books in the House of Night Series (which I bought a long time ago), now I have the 3rd and 4th books plus Tempted. Lastly, I got Drawing Down the Moon about the real witches in the world. 

I have a lot of reading to do. Can't wait!! 


Friday Feature and Follow & TGIF

FF 2012 Feature & Follow #83
Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read  This weeks featured blog is Oh! For the Love of Books and the weekly question is:

Q: Activity!!! Take a picture or describe where you love to read the most…

Most of the time, I read in my bed. It is never usually this neat though and there is usually a big fluffy kitty cat curled up sleeping in there somewhere too!

When the weather is nice I sit on my patio and read. I've lost track of many hours sitting out there reading.

Really, I look forward to our planned Spring/Early Summer trip to the cabins where I can do some reading the peace and quiet of the forest while the boys go fishing. I can't wait!


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

Required Reading: Which book from your school days do you remember reading & enjoying? Is there a book published now that you'd like to see in today's curriculum for kids?

I remember having to read and dissect Lord of the Flies and Beowulf. I mean we had questions on each chapter and essays and everything. I felt like I knew everything it was to know about those two books. The teacher that assigned The Great Gatsby wasn't as anal. We read it in class then got to watch the movie with Robert Redford and Mia Farrow. I really enjoyed that book and movie. 

I think the kids should still have to read the "classics" like we did. I don't want to get away from that language and style. However if I had to chose, I would say 13 Reasons Why and Hunger Games. 


Teaser Tuesday (20), Tune In Tuesday (21) and Top Ten Tuesday (12)

Man I have been trying to blog ALLLL DAY. I had to download Google Chrome which I really don't like just to get Blogger to work, Sheesh! 


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! 

Just Listen by Sarah Dessen
"Your mother isn't feeling well," was all my dad would say when we asked after her as we sat around the dining room table, my mother's place glaringly empty, or when she didn't emerge from her room all day, the only view of her a lump under the covers, barely visible in a sliver of light from the drawn shades. "We all just need to do the best we can to make things easy for her until she feels better. Okay?" (page 32)

Tune in Tuesday is hosted by Ginger at GReads. Hop on over there and join in the fun!

I don't know why I like this song, I just do! 

Radiohead - Lotus Flower

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
Top Ten Books I'd save If My House Was Being Abducted By Aliens

1. My Leather Bound, Gold Trimmed Complete Works of Shakespeare
2-7. All My Faulkner (that's like 5-6 books)
8. Complete Works of Langston Hughes
9. Coming of Age by Lorri Hewitt (just because it was the book that started my obsession with reading)
10. Probably the Twilight Series (but I will just count it as one)


Follow Friday & TGIF

FF 2012 Feature & Follow #83
Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read  This weeks featured blog is http://beefcakeandbabes.com/ and the weekly question is:
Q: BeefcakeandBabes Asks: I like unique names for characters and am looking forward to coming up with some when I start writing. What’s the most unique character name you’ve come across?
I have to agree with our host, I love the names in the Black Dagger Brotherhood, Rehvenge, Zsadist, Rhage etc. Their names give you insight into their personalities. I love what JR Ward did with their names so unique and powerful.

tgif is a weekly meme hosted by GReads!  This week's question is:
Book Blogger Pride: What do you take pride in when it comes to blogging?
I take pride in all of my work. I'm actually kind of anal when it come to it. Everything must be just so perfect. I'm way into the aesthetic of the blog. I want it to look nice. Visually pleasing and all. I have a problem with errors. I must correct any error that I find or it will bother me. I just want everything perfect.
I'm afraid I pick over my words too much when it comes to book reviews. I know that authors work hard on their work and I find it difficult to criticize. I take pride in being able to be honest but not degrading or mean. I'd hate to hurt anyones feeling just because of my own. So as a blogger I take pride in the appearance and presentation of my blog as well as my honest yet uplifting opinion.

Book Review: What's Wrong With Me? by Daree Allen PLUS Author Interview

Whats Wrong with Me?: A Girls Book of Lessons Learned, Inspiration and Advice by Daree Allen (released Feb. 14, 2012)
Today’s age of everything-goes media messages and in-your-face sexuality has led to many teen girls grappling with self-esteem and self-worth. What’s Wrong With Me?: A Girl’s Book of Lessons Learned, Inspiration and Advice guides girls through their young adulthood by teaching lessons shared from the author's experiences.

This book is a very good book and I wish I had it as a teenager. It would have come in handy. I wasn't one of those headstrong, confident teenagers that you see on TV these days. I was shy and quiet and unsure about everything. In Daree's book, she covers every issue you can think of relating to adolescence and young adulthood. I especially like how she has each chapter broken down into what's wrong with your feelings, your family, guys, friends etc. Within one small book she gives you all the advice you need to hear during your teenage years. Like most teenagers though, I doubt it would all sink in and resonate but as an adult reading this book I totally agree with most of what she advices. My only problem with the book, in her ambition, she covers too much. Every piece of advice you have heard is within these pages which causes the book to be a little general, maybe a little broad. Nevertheless, give this book to your teenage daughter and she can defininately find inspiration and advice on how to deal with anything life has to throw at her. There is even a reflection journal that goes with the book that would be great addition.

Ms. Allen presented herself in this book with personal stories of her adolescence even including short passages from her own journal growing up which I feel give this book even more appeal. It is not like a self help "do this, don't do that" type book. It is like sitting down and talking to a big sister who tells you what she went through and how you can get through it too. Like I said, I would recommend this book for any teenage girl. Everyone can find something within it that they relate too.

On to the Interview...

Q. What inspired you to write "What is Wrong With Me?"

A. The new book "What’s Wrong With Me" is a part-memoir and part self-help young adult guide to encourage teen girls and young women in various areas of life, in an easygoing, conversational style. The messages in this book educate and empower young women in every facet of their lives, including: accepting their identity, dating relationships, dealing with toxic friends and family members, avoiding or delaying premarital sex, building self-esteem, developing a positive attitude, dressing for success, setting goals, spending money wisely, handling anger and depression, and embracing their singleness, and discovering their life purpose. There is also a companion journal where you record your thoughts on the concepts from the book and begin your own practice of journaling.

The "What's Wrong With Me?" book set (book and journal) started out from a session with my former life coach, but the deep need for me to write it came from the lost girl I used to be. The books are something I needed back in the day when I was growing up. I felt so misunderstood, unloved and out of place. I didn't have a mentor to guide me and rely on, and although I became a Christian at age 10, I didn't fully accept everything about what comes with a relationship with God. So all of these elements had a hand in motivating me to produce "What’s Wrong with Me?" My target audience is teen girls, starting from age 13. Young women in their 20s+ also enjoy the book and find value in it, especially with regard to my advice on your self-esteem and dating relationships.

Q. Are you strictly a nonfiction writer or have you written any fiction?

A. Nonfiction is where I am right now. My publishing company's mission reveals the focus of the kind of writing I wish to produce and acquire from others:

Kharacter Distinction Books was established in June 2011 with the objective of publishing inspirational books to empower young and old alike. Our purpose is to shed light on the written works of talented authors of color that deserve attention from the readers they serve to enrich and enlighten. We strive to publish works by authors who have a unique perspective, a story to tell, and need a positive vehicle in which to drive their message home with compelling authority. We aim to establish collective conversation and theories that provoke thought. We advocate works that explain our culture; that illuminate, inspire, challenge us to pursue and draw closer to God.

Q. Are there any projects that you are working on next? If so, please share?

A. This book is the first release from my publishing company, Kharacter Distinction Books. In the next two years, I'd like to write another book of my own about relationships, ghostwrite a book for someone who hates to write, and publish other authors. The next book project:

I am writing another nonfiction book that focuses on the perspective of single Black fathers in America. There is so much emphasis on single mothers in the Black community (which is fine—I am one and I identify), but I want to bring Black families together for those who want that. The Black community is struggling so much because of broken homes.  I want to tell the single dads’ side of the story, through the many voices of the real Black America. If you are interested in contributing via an interview, you can contact me at info@dareeallen.net for more details.

Q. How long have you been a writer?

A. I started writing in junior high school (sometimes referred to as "middle school" these days). As a technical writer for the past 12 years, writing and updating software manuals, writing can become very rote and routine. I've been blogging for the past few years and freelancing for various websites and magazines. Doing so keeps me sane and lets me express my other interests creatively. But these two books are the first time I've really given so much of me, on my own terms.
 Q. Your book offers alot of advice to teenage girls. If there was only one piece of advice you could share with them, what would it be? Why?

A. When you believe you can do something, nothing can stop you except you. But first you've got to believe it, then you create a plan, and you have to act on it. Every step of the way may not be smooth, but you will learn and grow because of it. And when you look back, you'll see your progress. I want to encourage all of your readers to BE the change you want to see in others. It will get better. If you can see it in your mind's eye, you can do it!

Daree Allen is an authorpreneur, young adult esteem advocate, speaker, and goal-getter in Atlanta, GA. She has published articles on a variety of topics as a freelance writer and blogger, and is the author of the new teen mentoring book entitled, "What's Wrong With Me?" in which she discusses her own childhood dealing with self-esteem, premarital sex, family and personal relationships. Find out more about her work at www.dareesinsights.wordpress.com and www.DareeAllen.com.I'd like to thank Ms. Daree Allen for allowing me to review her book and for taking the time to answer my questions. Please check out her website for more information!


FF 2012 Feature & Follow #83
Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read  This weeks featured blog is Book Chow Down and the weekly question is:
Q: What would your prefer: reading your favorite book over and over again until you got sick of it OR reading 100s of mediocre books? And why?
I would have to read my favorite book over and over again. Mediocre books don't keep my attention long. The hard part about this question is that I don't have a favorite book. Most books become my favorite for a while then I'll read something else and that book will become my favorite then the cycle continues.

tgif is a weekly meme hosted by GReads!  This week's question is:
Love Stories: What are some of your favorite fictional love stories?

Isabel and Varen in Nevermore

Noah and Allie in The Notebook
Zsadist and Bella in Lover Awakened


In other news....

My blog has been neglected lately due to other ventures in my life. I enjoy photography so much that I've decided to try to make some money at it. Ever since I went to Bettinger's Photography to get my senior pictures done umpteen years ago, I've wanted to start my own photography business. Eventually I would like to get to the point where I have a studio space and work it full time but for right now I'm having fun shooting on location at the park on weekends.


Book Review: That Day in September by Artie Van Why

We all have our stories to tell of where we were the morning of September 11, 2001. This is one of them. In "That Day In September" Artie Van Why gives an eyewitness account of that fateful morning. From the moment he heard "a loud boom" in his office across from the World Trade Center, to stepping out onto the street, Artie vividly transports the reader back to the day that changed our lives and our country forever. "That Day In September" takes you beyond the events of that morning. By sharing his thoughts, fears and hopes, Artie expresses what it was like to be in New York City in the weeks and months following. The reader comes away from "That Day In September" with not only a more intimate understanding of the events of that day but also with a personal glimpse of how one person's life was dramatically changed forever.
When I was younger I often wondered what would be our tragedy. I would hear the older people in my family talk about where they were when Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated or what they were doing when they heard President Kennedy was killed. I wondered what moment in history would happen that would stick with me the rest of my life and allow me to have that "I remember what I was doing when that happened" moment. September 11, 2001, I got that moment and so did Artie. That tragedy affected everyone even people like me who were hundreds of miles away just watching it on TV but Mr. Van Why was there, in the building, at the center. His memoir is very well written and easy to follow. His words transport you to the epicenter of the tragedy in a very raw and authentic way. I felt like I was there on the street with him living the moments as well. This book isn't over done, its the perfect length and gives you all the details you need in a petite package. Artie was able to relate the situation without being overly emotional or dramatic, it was all very matter of fact. Yet, I felt able to connect to him and the day and all of the people he came in contact with. Only downside, I really want to know what happened to the man in the street. Did he survive?


I'm Back!! Teaser Tuesday (19)

As you can see my TBR stacks have grown and grown. I've been doing alot of work on my photography business! Yay! Anyways, I'm going to get back to reading and blogging. On to Teaser Tuesday....

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

What's Wrong With Me? A Girl's Book of Lessons Learned, Inspiration and Advice by Daree Allen
"I was ashamed of being smart because it interfered with my perceptions of my attractiveness." (page 5)

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