Thursday, January 31, 2013

Swoon Thursday #2

On one of my favorite blogs, YA Bound- - they do a little something called Swoon Thursday. And anyone can join in on all the fun! Here's the directions from YA Bound:

"From the book you’re currently reading, or one you just finished, tell us what made you SWOON. What got your heart pounding, your skin tingling, and your stomach fluttering. Shout it out on Twitter with the hashtag #YABound, post it here in the comments, or grab the adorable button above and share it on your blog! We want to know :-)"

Mine was much too long to post on Twitter. I just couldn't keep it down to 140 characters.

So here's mine:

"In three long strides, Chris was leaning into me, pressing my back up against the building  His palms flattened against mine, our fingers interlocking above my head. "Let me uncomplicate things for you." He closed his eyes, leaned his head forward, and pressed his lips against mine." 

~Face the Music by Andrea K. Robbins

<3 Amanda Leigh

Monday, January 28, 2013

Top 3 Female Characters of 2012

1. Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games Series by Suzanne Collins.
I love Katniss  Sure she's a little rough around the edges, but she is such a strong character. Going into the Hunger Games? In place of her little sister? Definitely my number 1 for the year.

2. Elizabeth Davenport from The Transcend Time Saga by Michelle Madow.
I saw some of myself in Lizzie. Her love of drawing and Jane Austen. She is also shy. She was a tame character and made mistakes but knew what she wanted and was also strong.

3. Chelsea Givens from The Transcend Time Saga by Michelle Madow.
Okay, Chelsea did make a serious mistake and had some flaws, but don't we all? Her loyalty to Lizzie in the end was really what redeemed her for me. She was a great friend to her. And hey, you can't help kind of loving that attitude. 

<3 Amanda Leigh

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.

Just Finished:

Torment (Fallen # 2) by Lauren Kate

Reading Now:

Face the Music by Andrea K. Robbins

Up Next:
Not sure. Maybe. . .

Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles # 1) by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

<3 Amanda Leigh

Friday, January 25, 2013

Top 3 Male Characters of 2012

1. Peeta Mellark from The Hunger Games Series by Suzanne Collins.
I loved Peeta. He was such a sensitive person and all he wanted to do was protect Katniss. I thought he was a very strong character as well.

2. Drew Carmichael from The Transcend Time Saga by Michelle Madow.
Drew did not necessarily start out likable. But once you know why he acted that way (and he stopped) his devotion to Lizzie was beautiful.

3. Nico from Chasing Brooklyn by Lisa Schroeder.
This was a beautiful book, And Nico was a beautiful strong person and I think just what Brooklyn needed. 

<3 Amanda Leigh

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Book Review ~ Torment (Fallen #2) by Lauren Kate

Title: Torment  (Fallen #1)
Author: Lauren Kate
Released: September 28th 2012
Published By: Delacorte Press
Page Amount: 452 pages, Hardcover 1st edition

GoodReads Blurb:
Hell on earth.

That's what it's like for Luce to be apart from her fallen angel boyfriend, Daniel.

It took them an eternity to find one another, but now he has told her he must go away. Just long enough to hunt down the Outcasts - immortals who want to kill Luce. Daniel hides Luce at Shoreline, a school on the rocky California coast with unusually gifted students: Nephilim, the offspring of fallen angels and humans.

At Shoreline, Luce learns what the Shadows are, and how she can use them as windows to her previous lives. Yet the more Luce learns, the more she suspects that Daniel hasn't told her everything. He's hiding something - something dangerous.

What if Daniel's version of the past isn't actually true? What if Luce is really meant to be with someone else?

The second novel in the addictive FALLEN series...where love never dies.

I read this one this year. Just finished a few days ago actually. Like I said, I read the first one 3 years ago and really enjoyed it. 4.5 stars.

This one lost a little bit of that steam for me. I still enjoyed it though. Maybe part of the reason was that I was still sick while reading it. I also tried to read this a while ago and got about a 1/4 of the way through and stopped. I picked it up again and I got back into it.

The new characters were good and quirky and I liked the addition of them. Shelby and Miles were pretty great. Old favorites like Arriane and Roland came back too- which was fun.
Daniel and Luce start to face difficulties in their relationship in this one. Besides the whole cursed-for-eternity-reincarnation-thing.

Luce starts to realize they have immense issues actually talking thing out.

Luce also starts to learn more about her past lives and hopefully this will help her and Daniel rework their fate this time around.

I did still feel the love between them. It is such an intense love. I think I feel it more from Daniel though. And I am still dangerously drawn to Cam. Is it bad I'm drawn to a demon? lol.

I hear the next book is an account of Luce's and Daniel's past lives together. I'm really looking forward to learning more about that. Excited to read that one. I really hope this series is not a disappointment.

I gave this one 4 stars.

<3 Amanda Leigh

Monday, January 21, 2013

Book Review ~ Fallen (Fallen #1) by Lauren Kate

Title: Fallen (Fallen #1)
Author: Lauren Kate
Released: December 8th 2009
Published By: Delacorte Press
Page Amount: 452 pages, hardcover 1st edition

GoodReads Blurb:
There’s something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori.

Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price’s attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword & Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah. He’s the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are all screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move.

Even Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce – he goes out of his way to make that very clear. But she can’t let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, Luce has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret...even if it kills her.

Dangerously exciting and darkly romantic, FALLEN is a page-turning thriller and the ultimate love story

I read this book about 3 years ago and I remember really enjoying it. It is also where my interest in the Nephilim began.

The main thing that drew me into this book was the feeling of undying devotion I got from Daniel and Luce. I felt it was really powerful in this one. And the concept of Luce being reincarnated throughout thousands of years just drew me in so much.

The struggle between the angels and demons was amazing to me and especially in the final scenes I could picture everything going on.

Cam was such an interesting character. And so enticingly dark. This whole book had a darkness to it that was deliciously enticing.

This series also has some of the most beautiful covers I have ever seen. I suggest you go experience this delicious dark tale. It really is "Dangerously exciting and darkly romantic." A delicious darkness (with light thrown in from Daniel and Luce's love - though even that was dark) not to be missed.
I gave this one 4.5 stars.

<3 Amanda Leigh

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Book Review ~ Howl and Other Poems by Allen Ginsberg, Introduction by William Carlos Williams

Title: Howl and Other Poems
Author: Allen Ginsberg, Introduction by William Carlos Williams
Released: first published 1956 (my edition release January 1st 2001)
Published By: City Lights
Page Amount: Paperback, 56 pages

GoodReads Blurb:
The prophetic poem that launched a generation when it was first published in 1965 is here presented in a commemorative fortieth Anniversary Edition.

When the book arrived from its British printers, it was seized almost immediately by U.S. Customs, and shortly thereafter the San Francisco police arrested its publisher and editor, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, together with City Lights Bookstore manager Shigeyoshi Murao. The two of them were charged with disseminating obscene literature, and the case went to trial in the municipal court of Judge Clayton Horn. A parade of distinguished literary and academic witnesses persuaded the judge that the title poem was indeed not obscene and that it had “redeeming social significance.”

Thus was Howl & Other Poems freed to become the single most influential poetic work of the post-World War II era, with over 900,000 copies now in print."

To be totally honest, I had to buy this book because it was in Gilmore Girls. And both Rory and Jess loved it. So I had to see what it was all about. I love Gilmore Girls. I am a lot like Rory I find. And I thought Jess was just awesome.

Allen Ginsberg is certainly a unique poet. He does not go by the "rules". His stanzas and stanzas breaks could be considered strange by some. He does not always use punctuation in the traditional way. I think this makes him a true poet. He was not afraid to color outside the lines. Something else I noticed was that he wrote much longer poems than I personally am used to reading. I enjoyed stepping out of what I am used to.

This is not at all for younger readers. I'd say you should be at least 16 to read this. There is a lot of language and imagery in it not appropriate for younger people. I'm sure his work was ridiculed in his time and it probably is still now. If you are easily offended do not pick this up. If you want to branch out, give it a try. Especially if you are a fan of poetry.

My favorites in this volume were the title poem, "Howl". "In the back of the real" and "Song". I'm glad Gilmore Girls exposed me to this and I decided ti pick this up. It was worth it. I'll have to check out more of his work. Recommended particularly for poetry fans - but not young readers. Give this one a try. Just keep in mind the language. Don't be shocked.

I think it was worth the read. I gave this one 4 stars.

<3 Amanda Leigh

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Book Review ~ Baby Proof by Emily Giffin

Title: Baby Proof
Author: Emily Giffin
Released: June 13th 2006
Published By: St. Martin's Paperbacks
Page Amount:  384 pages, paperback edition

GoodReads Blurb:
A novel that explores the question: Is there ever a deal-breaker when it comes to true love?

Claudia Parr has everything going for her. A successful editor at a publishing house in Manhattan, she's also a devoted sister, aunt, and friend. Yet she's never wanted to become a mother--which she discovers is a major hurdle to marriage, something she desperately wants. Then she meets her soul mate Ben who, miraculously, feels the same way about parenthood. The two fall in love and marry, committed to one another and their life of adventure and discovery. All's well until one of them has a change of heart. Someone wants a baby after all.

This is the witty, heartfelt story about what happens to the perfect couple when they suddenly want different things and there is no compromise. It's about deciding what is most important in life and wagering everything to get it. And most of all, it's about the things we will--and won't--do for love.

I have mixed feelings about this book. The writing style was simple, but not in such a way that it makes it feel "dumbed down". It was just in a quick read way. I think this a good quick read. The subject matter is different for me - I decided to branch out.

The main character Claudia is an editor at a publishing house. That was my main way to connect with her - through out love of books and editing and good writing. That's where I felt the main - actually probably only - connection with her.

Something about her rubbed me the wrong way. Some of the things she says in the book severely grate my nerves and I just can't get past these things.

There was a line (spoiler free) where she thinks to herself something to the effect of "She may fix sick people, but I enrich healthy people's lives."

She was talking about how she edits books. Why is that just for healthy people? I'm not healthy and books have immensely enriched my life. Why should only healthy people reap the benefits? Wtf dude?

Another line went something like "It was like having a terminal illness and then finding out there's a cure." Oh honey, it's nothing like that at all. No freaking way.

Lines like this made me feel Claudia was immature the word? I'm not sure. I just couldn't take this main character,

The story was good though and the writing style was also good. I wish I had known more about the side characters. The ending felt a bit abrupt and rushed though.

Still, there was something that I did not like and some things I did like that it earned a 3 star rating.

I'd give another Emily Giffin book a try.

<3 Amanda Leigh

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Teaser Tuesday # 2

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by MizB of Should be Reading at:
Anyone can do it. All you have to do is:
(1): Grab your current read.
(2): Open it to a random page.
(3): Share 1 or 2 "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page. BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS!!
(4): Make sure you also mention the author and title.

My teaser this week is from Baby Proof by Emily Giffin.

1- "I consider telling him that I was briefly dating someone, but reconsider when I remember that Richard has done some work on his books."

2- "She purses her lips, stares at me and shakes her head."

<3 Amanda Leigh

Friday, January 4, 2013

To Read in 2013

This year I want to read at LEAST 20 books,as I said. But I'm trying something a little different. I made a list of 20 books I am going to read this year. I thought I'd share them with you. They are in no particular order. Here they are:

Baby Proof by Emily Giffin
Face the Music by Andrea K. Robbins
Fathomless by Jackson Pearce
Sacred Hearts by Sarah Dunant
The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho
For the Love of Letters: A 21st  Century to the Art of Letter Writing by Samara O' Shea
My Ideal Bookshelf edited by Thessaly La Force, illustrations by Jane Mount
The Sell Your Novel Tool Kit by Elizabeth Lyon
Writing Great Books for Young Adults by Regina Brooks
The Complete Poems of Maya Angelou by Maya Angelou
Robert Frost: Collected Poems, Prose and Plays by Robert Frost
The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Anderson
The Collector by Victoria Scott
Destiny's Fire by Trisha Wolfe
This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen
My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century by Rachel Harris
Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire
The Help by Kathryne Stockitt
Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
Transcendence by Michelle Madow

What do you think? What are you guys reading this year? Any plans? Let me know! Happy New Year!

<3 Amanda Leigh

Book Review ~ Transcendence (Transcend Time Saga Bonus Packet) by Michelle Madow

Title: Transcendence (Transcned Time Saga Bonus Packet) by Michelle Madow
Author: Michelle Madow
Released: December 25th 2012
Published By: Dreamscape Publishing
Page Amount: 72 pages, nook edition
GoodReads Blurb:

- Sneak peak of Remembrance
- Bonus scene for Remembrance
- Deleted chapter from Timeless
- Character extras for Lizzie, Drew, Chelsea, Jeremy, and Hannah
- Author interviews
- Essays written by Michelle Madow about the series

The Transcend Time Saga is about a high school student named Lizzie who has been reincarnated from Regency Era, England, but doesn’t realize it until she meets her soul mate from the past and he triggers her memories to gradually return. The series began with Remembrance (published July 25, 2011), was followed by the short story Vengeance (published December 8, 2011), and concluded with Timeless (published November 20, 2012). The series has sold a significant number of copies, and has received much praise from reviewers
I absolutely love the concept for this book! As a writer and reader this bonus packet of material is like cookie dough to me. I could keep going back. The deleted scenes are something I've always been curious about. What's in the author's mind that didn't necessarily get into the final book?
The character biographies were amazing. Seeing extras about all of them makes me feel I know them more. Some of my favorites were Lizzie's Favorite Books, Lizzie's Favorite Love Stories, Chelsea's Favorite Makeup Products and Drew's Favorite Songs. Something else I loved was the favorite ice cream flavor and the analysis that followed.
The writer in me especially loved the interviews with Michelle about writing the Transcend Time Saga and writing in general. Her essays about her experience with independent publishing and the development of the Transcend Time Saga were so interesting to read. I love getting all of this insight. I am working on a novel right now. I've wanted to be an author since I was eight. Bonus materials like this only reaffirm my desire.
Michelle Madow has done a wonderful job compiling this bonus packet. If you want a look into the world of the Transcend Time Saga or want to know more about Michelle you have to put this on your list. Worth it for sure and a great addition to the Transcend Time Saga. I give this 4 stars!
<3 Amanda Leigh

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

And Now, Let 2013. . . BEGIN!!!! (Plus - Sneak Peek Into My Work In Progress)

Who gets the subtle Harry Potter reference? It's from the 4th movie "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire". Anyway, moving on.

Happy New Year everyone! It's 2013! I can't be;iev it and I'm so excited!This post is to show you all what my Resolutions/Goals are for 2013. It's an ambitious year. But I'll do it all this year, I will. On to my list.

1. Read at least 20 books in 2013. (Work from my list.)
2. Get my "Stay Gold" tatoo.
3. Finish the first draft of My Heart is Yours.
4. Edit My Heart is Yours.
5. Send My Heart is Yours out to literary agents and/or publishers.
6. Start selling my marinades and rubs.
7. Find or "make" another darkroom to use.
8. Organize my clothes and room.
9. Publish my second collection of poetry.
10. Make Thousands of Mornings available as an e-book.

Those are my resolutions/goals this year. I am going to do them all! I wrote a list of books to read this year too. And I'm determined to stick to it. In no particular order. I'll post that list later. Wish me luck on my resokutions.goals. Think I can do it? I do! :)

Now on to the sneak peek of one of my current works in progress. It is from the bovel I'm working on, My Heart is Yours. All it is is a picture. And I'm not saying anything about it except that it was my inspiration for something in the book. Here we go.

Okay, that's it for now guys. Bye! Have a great New Year's Day!
<3 Amanda Leigh