Sunday, February 27, 2011

Review: Memento Nora by Angie Smibert

Memento Nora
Series: Memento Nora #1
by Angie Smibert
Publication Date: April 1, 2011
Published by Marshall Cavendish Children's Books
Pages: 184
Source: Requested from Publisher
Purchase Amazon / Indiebound 

(from Goodreads)

On an otherwise glossy day, a blast goes off and a body thuds to the ground at Nora's feet. There are terrorist attacks in the city all the time, but Nora can't forget.

In Nora's world you don't have to put up with nightmares. Nora goes with her mother to TFC--a Therapeutic Forgetting Clinic. There, she can describe her horrible memory and take a pill to erase it so she can go on like nothing ever happened. But at TFC a chance encounter with a mysterious guy changes Nora's life. She doesn't take the pill. And when Nora learns the memory her mother has chosen to forget, she realizes that someone needs to remember.

With newfound friends Micah and Winter, Nora makes a comic book of their memories called Memento. Memento is an instant hit, but it sets off a dangerous chain of events. Will Nora, Micah, and Winter be forced to take the Big Pill that will erase their memories forever?

Angie Smibert's remarkable debut novel takes readers on a thrilling ride through a shadowy world where corporations secretly rule and consumerism is praised above all.

My Thoughts

There is nothing scarier than a dystopian novel that is only one or two steps away from the reality of the world we live in today. While reading Memento Nora, I was really freaked out by the reminder that almost all of our movements are traceable - by mobile phone, internet, purchases, and ways that I can't even imagine - there isn't any anonymity anymore.We are always being watched even though we may not know how much we are being watched or by whom. Can you sense my paranoia here? Um yeah, just a little bit.

Memento Nora is set in a future plagued by a terrorist threat called the Coalition who've claimed responsibility for several attacks and numerous bombings. These events have become so common that the Therapeutic Forgetting Clinic (TFC) was created to help people deal with their post-traumatic stress. People just go into the clinic, tell all of their worries that they want to forget, pop a pill and presto-magic all of their worries are erased. Oh and the best part is that every time they go to the clinic to forget, they earn points which serve as currency to buy "glossy" things. 

Told through Therapeutic Statements, the book begins with Nora describing her "glossy day" out with her mother when the top floor of the building they are walking beside blows up and the body of a man falls right in front of her. Having witnessed this, her mother has taken her to the Therapeutic Forgetting Clinic so that she can have this horrific memory erased. But the strange behavior of Micah, another TFC patient, and her mother's shocking confession, convinces Nora that she may not want to forget it all and she fakes taking her pill. Her run-in with Micah, and their friendship that follows, allows Nora to realize that her life may not be as glossy as it seems (and may never really have been). 

I loved how the story is told from the perspectives of Nora and her friends, Micah and Winter as they try to figure out who is behind the Coalition and all of the mysterious bombings. Filled with intrigue and danger, and with a kick in the consumerist's pants, Memento Nora hits a little too close to home. 

Memento Nora is the 2011 debut novel of Angie Smibert. It will be available April 1, 2011 from Marshall Cavendish publishing. More information can be found on the Memento Nora website at

Disclaimer: I requested this book for review from Marshall Cavendish and this review is based on the Advanced Reading Copy. I was not compensated in any way other than the ARC provided for review. Thoughts and opinions are my own.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

In My Mailbox (24)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme run by The Story Siren which explores the books that have been delivered to our mailbox or doorstep or directly into our hot little hands.

For Review:
All About Daisy by O'Dell Hutchison
Finding You by Kristen Kehoe

Tell Me a Secret by Holly Cupala
Friend is Not a Verb by Daniel Ehrenhaft
Don't Sleep with Your Drummer by Jen Sincero
Freeze Frame by Heidi Ayarbe
I Can't Keep My Own Secrets: Six-Word Memoirs edited by Smith Magazine
Gentlemen by Michael Northrop
Where I Belong by Gwendolyn Heasley
Great Philosophers Who Failed at Love by Andrew Shaffer (signed)

This was another big week for me in books for 2 reasons. I "discovered" and my husband took me on a shopping spree at Fountain Bookstore. BookCloseout has so many books that have been on my wish list that I couldn't pass them up. I've been listening to the free Tell Me a Secret podcast on i-Tunes - (if you haven't checked it out yet, do so immediately because it's wonderful) but I wanted to have the actual book too, and now I do. I kind of went a little overboard again, but the discount prices were just too good. I actually purchased 3 more books for future giveaways and aren't listed here.

Then this week we were in Richmond for my husband's job, so of course we had to stop by Fountain Bookstore. As soon as we walked through the door, he tells me I can get 5 books. I only picked 3, not that I couldn't find 5 books, but I felt a little guilty (and I should) because I thought I was trying to limit the number of books coming in the house until I made a massive dent in my TBR pile. So I think it's time for another book buying ban. I won't post about that too much (because there really isn't much more to say). 

So now that I feel guilty, self-indulgent, and am hanging my head in shame, I can't wait to see what you got in your mailbox.

And the Winners Are . . .

The winners of the Literary Giveaway have been selected. There were 74 entries and using, four winners were selected. The winners are:

#17 pixie13 - chose Lolita
    #34 Flora - 2nd choice - awaiting response
#44 Juana E - 3rd choice
#11 Amy S. - 4th choice


All of the winners have been notified by email. If you see your name here, please check for your email from me and confirm your book selection. If a winner has not responded to the email as requested, a new winner will be selected on March 5, 2011.

 This will be the last blog hop giveaway I participate in for a couple of months but I will still be hosting other book giveaways. Thank you to everyone who has visited my blog or is now following my blog. I really appreciate it.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Love Your Indie?

I live in a small town where we don't have any independent bookstores. And this saddens me to no end. (Well we do have a coffee shop that has a "used book nook")  Don't get me wrong, I do like my local Barnes and Noble and Books-a-million, but I love the feeling I get when I go into an independent bookstore - like it is filled with hidden treasures just waiting for me to find them. This is probably why any time I visit a new town or city, I always search out the local indie scene.

I've thought about this for a while and alluded to it in previous posts and after visiting Fountain Bookstore again this week, I've decided that I'd like to host a new feature on this blog - Love Your Indie. I'd like to invite any bloggers or readers of this blog to share their favorite independent bookstore in their own post. Depending on the response, I would like to feature a new post once or twice a month.

If you're interested in participating in this new feature, please send me an email at - I'd love to hear from you and discover your favorite indie bookstore!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday - Dead End

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

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is: 


Dead End
by Jason Myers
Published by: Simon Pulse
Date: June 14, 2011


Dru and Gina are young, in love, and can’t wait to get out of Marshall, Nebraska, a town where bloodline means everything and whoever has the money makes the rules. But all their dreams are shattered when Gina has a monstrous run-in with the son of the richest man in Marshall—an incident that leaves her broken, battered, and violated. 

Driven by rage, Dru and Gina take matters into their own hands, and quickly find themselves in over their heads. Without any other options, Dru and Gina are on the run. But there’s more chasing them than they think, and love might not be enough to save them. (fromGoodreads)

I've read Jason Myers's other books Exit Here and The Mission.  They are very different from many of the books that I read - the tone and the language. They are raw and explosive. I'm looking forward to what Jason writes next.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

And the Winner Is . . .

The Winner Is . . .

She has won my Letting Go Giveaway #2: From Books to the Big Screen

There were 29 entries and using, number 14 was selected. Congratulations Cheryl! Thanks to everyone who stopped by my blog and entered. I'll have another Letting Go Giveaway soon -this one will likely include YA titles.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

In My Mailbox (23)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme run by The Story Siren which explores the books that have been delivered to our mailbox or doorstep or directly into our hot little hands.

This week's IMM is subtitled "Why I have the BEST brother-in-law EVER!"

Cryer's Cross by Lisa McMann

Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King

Teenie by Christopher Grant
Thank you Random House/Random Buzzers

This week was awesome. I received Cryer's Cross from my brother-in-law and it's a pretty funny story how that happened. I just recently joined Simon and Schuster's Galley Grab and was loading the book that was offered to me which was Cryer's Cross. After I downloaded it, the message alerted me that I had 45 minutes to read it. My jaw just dropped. What? But why? Then I remembered that you can only access the book until the day it is published (which was going to be in 45 minutes). So I just accepted the fact that I was going to miss out on it and would just buy it some time later.

The next  morning, I was still thinking about the book so I checked out Lisa's McMann's website and saw that she was going on a book tour. Knowing that Lisa wouldn't be coming near my town, I still wanted to see where she was going to go. I about lost my "stuff" when I saw that she was going to be signing at Mysterious Galaxy bookstore in San Diego that very night. This is definitely not near my house (I am in Virginia), but it is very close to where my brother-in-law lives. So I sent him a text in a flash (forgetting the 3 hour time difference) and he agreed to do it - no hesitation, no questions asked! He really is the best. After some tweeting and a little more texting (and a phone call to Mysterious Galaxy confirming that Lisa would be there and there would be plenty of books available), we were all set (and Lisa knew that some guy was coming to get a book signed for his sister-in-law - thanks Twitter).  So here he is with Lisa McMann and my signed copy of Cryer's Cross!

Here's a little FYI for all of you Melissa Marr fans. If you are in San Diego or near San Diego, Melissa will be at Mysterious Galaxy on Wednesday, February 23rd. If you have the chance, you should check it out. It is a great indie bookstore. I'll be visiting again this summer and it makes me happy just thinking about it - yes I am a dork. I know it and I don't care.

If you're still reading this, thanks! (I probably should have done a vlog) I can't wait to check out what you got in your mailbox!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Literary Giveaway Blog Hop

This Literary Giveaway Blog Hop is hosted by Leeswammes' Blog. Between now and Wednesday, February 23rd, you can hop to 25+ different book blogs, all offering one or more giveaways of books or bookish items. All books will be literary (non)fiction or something close to that. Giveaways are either International (Int) or limited to a particular country (e.g., USA).

Since this will be my last blog hop until May (at least that is the plan), I wanted to give away 4 books to 4 winners. The books I am giving away are:

Links to Goodreads:
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
Jazz by Toni Morrison
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan

The books I am giving away are from my personal library. I like to call them "Used but In a Good Way." There will be four winners. The first winner chosen will have their choice of books, the second winner will choose from the remaining books and so on. If you would like a chance to win these books, just fill out the form below. Good Luck! CONTEST IS CLOSED

Once you have entered my contest, hop on over to these other blogs!
  1. Leeswammes (Int)
  2. Teadevotee (Int)
  3. The Book Whisperer (Int)
  4. Uniflame Creates (Int)
  5. Bookworm with a View (Int)
  6. Stiletto Storytime (USA, CA)
  7. I Am A Reader, Not A Writer (Int)
  8. The Bookkeeper (Int)
  9. Chinoiseries (Int)
  10. Ephemeral Digest (Int)
  11. bibliosue (Int)
  12. ThirtyCreativeStudio (Int)
  13. Nishitas Rants and Raves (Int)
  14. Roof Beam Reader (Int)
  15. Actin Up with books (USA)
  16. Sarah Reads Too Much (USA)
  17. Book Journey (US)
  18. The Blue Bookcase (Int)
  19. Read, Write and Live (Int)
  20. Silver’s Reviews (USA)
  21. Graasland (Int) – From Saturday evening onwards
  22. Teach with Picture Books (USA)
  23. Books in the City (Int)
  24. thebookbee (Int)
  25. The Scarlet Letter (USA)
  26. Seaside Book Nook (USA)
  27. Chocolate and Croissants (Int)
  28. write meg! (USA)
  29. Indie Reader Houston (Int)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Guest Post: Laura Kreitzer, author of Phantom Universe

 Hello Literary-Folk!

My name is Laura Kreitzer, and I’m the author of the Timeless Series and the Summer Chronicles. This week I would like to alert everyone on a colossal crisis that’s gone unnoticed in the world: human trafficking. That’s why I’ve asked hundreds of blogs to be involved with spreading the word on this issue that’s become close to my heart.

As an author, and someone whose life is put in the spotlight, I keep most people at a distance. Only a handful of my friends know the whole me and the events from my past. But this week I’d like to share with you a part of myself that the outside world doesn’t see (and a part of me I don’t like to share). I was emotionally abused for five years by someone I thought loved me, my mind beaten into submission. Though the turmoil I went through doesn’t penetrate as deep as someone forced into slavery on the worldwide market for human trafficking, I can sadly relate in some ways: imprisoned, my life dictated down to what I wore, ate, where I went, whom I spoke to, where I worked, when I slept, bending to his every whim. He did not sway, even when I cried through some of the more traumatic things he had me do. I was a slave in my own home. In my desperation for freedom, I held out a gun and asked him to just end my suffering. I was desperate.

I can’t even imagine how many women (and men) in the world are in a similar situation. What’s even worse, I had it mild compared to the children that are sold for labor or sex. Surprisingly, the good ol’ U.S.A. is reported to be the host to two million slaves. Did you know this? Because I certainly did not; not until I was preparing to write my newest novel: Phantom Universe. The main character, Summer Waverly, was stolen as a child and sold as a slave to the captain of a modern-day pirate ship. From a loved child who only knew “time-out” as punishment, to being whipped into silence was something I knew nothing about. So I researched deeply into human trafficking and the psychological effects of torture of various types that one would endure in these circumstances. I felt shaken at my findings and knew I had to tell Summer’s story. (Read a sneak peek here.)

A storm began to brew in my mind; transforming, morphing, twisting, and expanding into this massive, black cloud. I had to bring this tragic atrocity to the forefront. My own emotional experiences, mixed with the research I did on human trafficking, made me feel an intense connection with Summer, and to all women who’ve been through this kind of brutality. The cloud ruptured and rained all over my computer one day. It took one month to write Phantom Universe, the first in the Summer Chronicles. I was so consumed by the story that I wrote nearly nonstop, only breaking for necessary tasks like eating, showering, and occasionally—very occasionally—sleeping.

Though the book I’ve written would be classified as Science Fiction, or as I’d like to call it, Dystopian, the emotions and psychological aspects are not Science Fiction—they're real. Reviewers have said many amazing things about Summer, this character who is so real in my mind and who I cried along with as the words poured from my soul onto my screen.
“I   felt tied to her emotions,” Jennifer Murgia, author or Angel Star admits. “I admired Summer's strength and ability to adapt,” says CiCi’s Theories.  And Tahlia Newland, author of Lethal Inheritance, remarks, “Summer is strong and smart in mind [. . .]”
Through her overwhelmingly horrendous past, Summer goes on more than just a physical journey in Phantom Universe, she goes on a psychological one as well; growing beyond her mute state to persevere and survive in a new world beyond the whip she’s so frightened of.

Now that the release date is here, I’m excited and terrified to share this story with everyone. I’m emotionally tied in every way to the words I’ve written, because they’re more than words. More than just a story on a page. Beyond the fictional aspects, there’s a real issue that needs to be addressed: human trafficking must be stopped. We shouldn’t sit idly by while this continues to plague us. Our world’s children—our nation’s children—are being affected. It’s time we take action!

Earlier this month Phantom Universe hit Barnes and Noble’s top 100 Best Selling list. I’ve decided to donate 10% of my sales from Phantom Universe, until the end of February, to the DNA Foundation.
“DNA hopes to help abolish modern day slavery, deter perpetrators, and free the many innocent and exploited victims. We are committed to forcing sex slavery out of the shadows and into the spotlight. Freedom is a basic human right and slavery is one of the greatest threats to that freedom.  No one has the right to enslave another person.”  —From DNA Foundation’s Website
I ask that you spread the word to everyone you know. Look around on the DNA Foundation website and find a way to get involved in ending human trafficking. Take action today. Everyone has a voice—you have a voice. Will you have the courage to use it?

I want to thank Laura for contacting me and asking me if she could provide a guest post here to share her message. 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Spotlight on Phantom Universe by Laura Kreitzer

Phantom Universe

by Laura Kreitzer

Publisher: Obsideon Mountain Publishing

on February 15, 2011

Summary: Sold into slavery to pirates at the young age of four, Summer learns to survive the rough seas of subterfuge and thieves through silence. When the boat she's lived on most of her life is destroyed, Summer finds herself washed up on the shore of a new world, a phantom universe full of the bizarre and extraordinary. She meets Gage, the one boy who understands the girl with no speech. But when their lives are put on the line, will Summer finally call out? Or will all be lost in the fathomless depth of silence?

Doesn't this book sound so good?  Haunting? Yes, and I cannot wait to read it.

Phantom Universe, Laura Kreitzer's newest novel is released today. As she was writing her novel, Laura researched human trafficking and its psychological effects on the victim, which included sexual abuse and torture. I don't know too much about this issue and wanted to know more. To learn more. To do more. During the release week of Phantom Universe, Laura will be guest posting on various blogs to help raise awareness of human trafficking. Laura's guest post will be featured here on Thursday.  I hope that you will all stop by to read it and then get a copy of Phantom Universe of your own.

Monday, February 14, 2011

And the Winner Is . . .

The Winner Is . . . 

Ricki at Reading Challenged

Ricki has won Hard Love by Ellen Wittlinger for
my Follower Love Giveaway Hop.

There were a total of 111 entries and using, number 68 was selected. Congratulations!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Letting Go Giveaway #2: From Books to the Big Screen

I've recently decided that it is time to let go of some books that I have been holding on to for a while. Simply put, I have too many books and not enough space for them all. If you want to know the whole story, you can read my Letting Go post.

This Letting Go Giveaway is "From Books to the Big Screen." I don't think an explanation is needed. The books I am giving away are: 

 Bridget Jones' Diary by Helen Fielding
Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason by Helen Fielding
The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus

 Again, the books I am giving away are from my personal library. I like to call them "Used but In a Good Way." If you would like a chance to win these books, just fill out the form below. CONTEST IS CLOSED

Saturday, February 12, 2011

In My Mailbox (22)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme run by The Story Siren which explores the books that have been delivered to our mailbox or doorstep or directly into our hot little hands.

For Review:
The House of Tomorrow by Peter Bognanni

Delirium by Lauren Oliver
The Anatomy of Wings by Karen Foxlee
(Random Buzzers Buzz Bucks)
 Phantom Universe by Laura Kreitzer
Used but In a Good Way:
 Beginner's Love by Norma Klein

I had another great week for books. I got the much anticipated Delirium and now I can find out what has brought so many bloggers to tears. I haven't started reading it yet but it is nearing the top of my list. 

A funny thing happened on Thursday. Several people emailed me and IM'd me about a used book sale that was going on in town. I didn't plan to go, but after the third invitation (from my aunt who I rarely get to spend time with) I decided to go, just to check out what they were offering. Let me just say, they were offering a lot! I could have left with arm-loads (my aunt did), but I'm working on the impulse buying (and the hoarding) and I almost made it out of there without any books at all. But (because there is always a but) when I saw Beginner's Love by Norma Klein I didn't want to pass it over. I'd remembered reading Jennifer O'Connell's post at YA Outside the Lines and how these books shaped O'Connell as a reader and a writer and I just couldn't pass it up. The book was only fifty cents so I don't feel guilty about it at all.

I can't wait to see what everyone else got in their mailbox this week. Happy reading!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Interview: Ashley Hope Perez author of What Can't Wait

Ashley Hope Perez is the author of 2011 debut novel What Can't Wait. It the story of a girl who is about to graduate high school and is trying to decide what is best for her future - continuing down the path that her family expects her to or finding out what she wants for herself.
 A few weeks ago, I read and reviewed What Can't Wait here at Actin' Up with books. If you missed it, you can find it here.

I wanted to know more about Ashley and her motivation for writing (and reading) and she was kind enough to agree to an interview. I had a ton of questions.

Welcome Ashley!

About your book:
   * What was your inspiration for What Can't Wait?
My students in Houston! I tried to write the book they wanted to read but couldn’t find. They shared stories with me that shaped the world I created for Marisa. They were also the very first to read drafts of the novel and give me their comments. For all these reasons, the book is dedicated to my students.

   * One of my favorite things about What Can't Wait is the family dynamic and how it affects the decisions that Marisa makes. In a lot of recent young adult literature, family takes a backseat to the story (at least in the books I've read) Why was it important for you to write a story where the family is also a main character?
This is a fantastic question. The “easy” answer is that for Marisa, family is such a big part of her life—and its challenges—that it simply must be part of the story. Also, I had some hard experiences in my family life (illnesses and more private disasters) while I was in high school, and I remember feeling that there was no way I could talk about them with anyone. I think there’s some of that for Marisa—a feeling that her home life is different from everyone else’s. 

   *  Marisa's sister definitely has her own story to tell. Have you considered writing a book about her?
I haven’t, but I do know a lot more about Ceci than what ended up in the book. I do a lot of character discovery exercises before I start “really” writing, and I have pages on Ceci. So that’s definitely a starting point! I think, though, I’d be more likely to write a sequel that follows Marisa into life after high school.

   * I think that What Can't Wait is a book that for teens as well as adults (their parents). As you were writing, was this something that you considered or hoped to achieve?
I consider myself a writer for teens first and foremost, but I think What Can’t Wait would be an amazing starting place for many important conversations between teens and their parents. I would love to see the novel in a mom-daughter book club, for example. 

On writing:
   * Have you always been a writer? Did you keep a journal or write stories or poetry when you were younger?
Yes, yes, yes, and yes. I’ve always loved writing. If anything, I’ve become a little more peaceful about the process. In high school, I would stay up all night for several days in advance of turning in a paper or story. I used to worry that every piece of writing was going to be my last, that somehow I would never be able to pull it off again. 

   * What is your favorite writing environment?
I like a quiet place, a good notebook, a good pen, and my laptop. Because I often grab my writing time wherever I can get it, I try not to be too picky about other things. Mainly I try to position myself so that interruptions are at a minimum. I turn off my phone when I can and disable the Internet on my computer.

   * Do you save everything that you have written? Or do you delete/trash anything that you consider unusable? (I ask this because sometimes I think my writing is so horrendous that I don't want any evidence that it even existed and I trash it.)
I almost never throw anything away. On the one hand, I never want to lose something I might be able to use. On the other, crappy first efforts are reassuring in that—when they turn into something readable—they’re proof that we don’t have to get things right the first time. I know what you mean, though, about the sudden shame that rereading an early draft or failed effort can bring. I nearly got a stomachache when I reread the first pages of what is now What Can’t Wait.

Random questions about books:
   * I read in another interview that you hope that What Can't Wait is a "gateway" book for readers to discover what books they like to read. What was your "gateway" book?
I think it was Margaret Atwood’s A Handmaid’s Tale. This is no longer a favorite book for me, but at the time, I was amazed and entranced. I think it was the first book I read as a writer, and I copied out sentences from it to see what it would feel like to have written them.

   * Do you have any comfort reads? - a go-to book that you read because it will make you feel better or is filled with characters that you loved or want to revisit?
Oh, of course! One is kind of obscure: William Goyen’s The House of Breath, which is a lyrical novel that was the first to make me feel that my birthplace (East Texas) might be a source of beauty in literature. I also love The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy, which is a heartbreaking novel that spirals around a disaster. My favorite non-fiction book, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek is by Annie Dillard. One passage from “The Present” actually inspired my one and only tattoo... you can read more about it on my blog here:

   * Searching for new books to read is a small part of my love for books. What are some determining factors when you are selecting new books to read?
I love to read the New York Times Book Review, although I’m on a temporary diet from buying new books until I finish my PhD exams in May. When I am choosing books, I read the first page as well as a random passage. I also love swapping recommendations with friends and online on goodreads and facebook. 

Some of my favorite YA authors are Matt de la Peña, Jenny Downham, Sherman ALexie, and Markus Zusak (I love The Book Thief). I’m looking forward to reading fellow Carolrhoda Lab author Blythe Woolston’s The Freak Observer and Julia Karr’s XVI.

   * As an English major, I would think it would be safe to assume you read a lot of books for school (and for pleasure). But is there one book or author that you wish you would have read and can't believe that you haven't yet? (Mine is Jane Austen)
I can completely relate! I actually had a very untraditional mix of classes for my English degree, and so it wasn’t until graduate school that I read some of the great books of the English tradition like Tristam Shandy, Clarissa, Great Expectations, and Wuthering Heights. I actually read Joyce’s Ulysses for the first time just two weeks ago. 

I can’t believe it took me so long to read Daniel Defoe’s Moll Flanders, which I thought was wonderfully witty. 

My trick for getting to classic works I’ve been putting off is to listen to them on audio book. Give it a try with Austen! I bet her dialogue is fantastic to listen to.

   * Can you tell me about your latest novel or any works in-progress?
Well, my second novel is currently under revision, but it will be out in 2012, also with Carolrhoda Lab. The Knife and the Butterfly follows two teens through the aftermath of a deadly gang fight in a Houston park. There’s Lexi, a troubled girl from a working class background who hangs with a street gang for protection. And there’s Azael, a romantic drifter essentially orphaned by his mom’s death and his father’s deportation to El Salvador. The truth of what happens eventually draws them together in a surprising yet powerful way.

I have an idea for a third novel and have been doing some research for it, but I’m very superstitious about discussing ideas when I haven’t started writing yet, so that will have to wait! 

Thanks so much for the interview, Joli. It was a blast to talk shop with you! Readers who’d like to read more of my thoughts on reading, writing, and living can check out my blog:

 What Can't Wait is the debut novel of Ashley Hope Perez and has a publication date of March 1, 2011 (but Ashley says it's available now!).

Carolrhoda Lab
Barnes and Noble

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Follower Love Giveaway Hop

I love it when my followers check out my blog. I love it when non-followers check out my blog. For these simple reasons, I am participating in the Follower Love Giveaway Hop hosted by I Am a Reader, Not a Writer. I love to share my books with everyone, so even though this is a follower hop, you do not have to be a follower to enter. This giveaway is open to the US and Internationally. One winner will be selected.

This time I'm giving away Hard Love by Ellen Wittlinger

Hard Love comes from my personal library. I like to call it "Used but In a Good Way." If you want a chance to win, just complete the form below. There are over 200 blogs participating in this hop, so I've made it really simple. Good Luck! CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED

Now that you've entered my contest, check out all of these!

Monday, February 7, 2011

And the Winner Is . . .

The Winner Is . . .

She has won Gossip Girl Books 1-5 as part of my Letting Go Giveaway.

There were a total of 26 entries and using, number 3 was selected. Congratulations! I hope you enjoy your books! 

Saturday, February 5, 2011

In My Mailbox (21)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme run by The Story Siren which explores the books that have been delivered to our mailbox or doorstep or directly into our hot little hands.

The Big Crunch by Pete Hautman
Dawn by Kevin Brooks
Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater (signed)
The Fates Will Find Their Way by Hannah Pittard

The Replacement charm bracelet

I Know It's Over tote bag
Thank you C.K. Kelly Martin

BADD by Tim Tharp
Thank you RandomHouse/RandomBuzzers

This week was full of treats for me. I went to a 30 Seconds to Mars concert at The National in Richmond, VA. The venue is awesome and there isn't a bad seat in the house. Well there aren't any seats because it's standing room only (aside from the balcony). The concert was so much fun and the energy of the crowd was crazy.

While we were in Richmond, we visited Fountain Bookstore. I had never been there before but made it a point to check it out. As I've mentioned before there aren't any independent bookstores were I live, so when I visit a new town, I like to check out the local book scene. The owner, Kelly, was very attentive and gave me a few book recommendations while I was there and even recommended a great place to have lunch. I loved visiting the store and will stop in the next time I am in town.

Since I couldn't pass up giving an indie bookstore my business, I ended my self-imposed book buying ban a day early and got some really great books. They are supposed to be my Valentine's Day gift from my hubby. He told me to get five which I thought was excessive (haha) and picked out only four.I guess he doesn't know that I have Delirium coming in the mail.

I also won some fun treats which arrived this week. I won BADD from Random Buzzers. I love the paintball themed cover. I also received a The Replacement themed charm bracelet from Brenna Yovanoff and I Know It's Over tote from C.K. Kelly Martin. I received the book a few weeks ago, and the tote just came this week. I love it! Thank you all so much!

I can't wait to see what you got in your mailbox this week.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Tuesday Teaser (10)

From  The Outside Boy by Jeanine Cummins (page 21)

I'd never seen him so still before, not even when he was sleeping. And that stillness was a small gift. It allowed me to press Grandda into my memory like clay into mold.

 Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read and open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


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