Monday, July 29, 2013

Beat the Heat Readathon!!


I came across a post about the Beat the Heat Readathon and thought it sounded interesting and like a good idea so I thought I would sign up! This Readathon sounded like a good fit for me because you just read as much as you want. And since I'm also taking a couple of classes this summer that sounded good to me. The Readathon is hosted by Auntie Spinelli Reads and Phantasmic Reads. To sign up for the Readathon just go to either one of their blogs and check out their post on the Beat the Heat Readathon. 

The Rules (as taken from the intro posts)
"- The Beat the Heat Readathon runs from July 29th through August 11th. What does this readathon entail, you ask? Well, read as much or as little as you want – the main point is to READ! You set your own goal, and for two weeks you read as many books as you can/want to reach your goal!

- There will be mini-challenges throughout the Readathon for participants, along with a grand prize giveaway at the end!

- Sign up at Auntie Spinelli Reads or Phantasmic Reads. You may join whenever you like, but to be eligible for our grand prize giveaway, you must sign up by August 5th.

- To join, all you have to do is make a sign-up post – even if it’s just a “Let’s do this!” thing – and add your post URL to the linky below! You can put your goals and progress (will be required for the final giveaway) in your sign-up post, or you can make it separate. Totally up to you! Feel free to copy and paste this handy little list for your post. We don’t mind. :)

- In order to enter for the grand prize, you must have a post to keep track of your progress so we can see that you participated."

My Goals
Finish Taste the Heat by Rachel Harris 

Read 50 more pages in The Vampire Diaries: The Hunters: Volume 1: Phantom 

Since I'm taking classes I didn't want to set the goals too high. If I read more than that that's great. If I end up reading less, that's okay too. My main goal is to finish Taste the Heat. Are any of you participating in the Beat the Heat Readathon? What are your goals? Would you like to participate? Go on and sign up! :) And have fun! :)

<3 Amanda Leigh

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Sizzling Summer Giveaway!!

I'm participating in an awesome event and giveaway this week! The event consists of many different types of things. Mine is a guest post. A character interview to be exact. And the giveaway is for two Kindle Fires with e-book prize packs! This event is hosted by YA Bound.Here is the link to the kickoff post:

My guest author is Meradeth Houston!

Book Blurb:

“They are everywhere, can be anyone, and are always the last person you’d expect.” When Tom stumbles across his grandfather’s journal, he’s convinced the old man was crazier than he thought. The book contains references to beings called the Sary, immortals who are assigned to save humans on the verge of suicide. They certainly aren’t allowed to fall in love with mortals. Which the journal claims Tom’s grandfather did, resulting in his expulsion from the Sary. As strange as the journal seems, Tom can’t get the stories out of his head; especially when he finds the photo of his grandfather’s wings.

Tom’s only distraction is Ari, the girl he studies with for their chemistry class.

Ari has one goal when she arrives in town: see how much Tom knows about the Sary and neutralize the situation. This isn’t a normal job, but protecting the secrecy of the Sary is vital. If Tom is a threat to exposing the Sary to the public, fate has a way of taking care of the situation, usually ending with the mortal’s death. While Ari spends time with Tom, he becomes more than just an assignment, but how far can a relationship go when she can’t tell him who she really is? When she finds out just how much Tom actually knows about the Sary, Ari is forced to choose between her wings, and her heart.

THE CHEMISTRY OF FATE is a companion to COLORS LIKE MEMORIES and is set before the latter takes place. It is geared toward an upper YA, or New Adult audience.
Find a copy at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, or the publisher MuseItUp Publishing.

Character Interview with Ari

Thanks for hosting me today! I’ll do my best to answer your questions as much as I can.

I know you’re probably a little nervous about what we’re going to ask you. Secrecy is a big part of your life, isn’t it?

-You could say that. [Looks around nervously] How much do you know?

Let’s just say we’re all pretty well informed around here. Don’t worry, you can be honest. It won’t get back to the Sary leaders.

-[Clears throat.] I guess. That’s pretty weird. You know that right?

Weird, or not, let’s get started. We’ll begin with something easy. Just what do you do, Ari?

-I’m a student at the local university. I just transferred here from California.

How about what you’re really doing here?

-[Sighs] I’m here investigating a guy who might know about some stuff he shouldn’t. The Sary. I need to make sure he doesn’t know anything, and isn’t talking to people about it.

Sounds like a pretty difficult job. What’s so important about him not knowing about these Sary?

-Um, we don’t exactly go around broadcasting what we do. Our secrecy is a huge deal. People who know about us tend to have accidents. So I have to find out if Tom has any ideas, or he’s in some serious sh—trouble.

Sounds serious! What exactly are the Sary?

-I can’t believe I’m doing this. The Sary, we’re cosmic suicide-prevention. Usually I go around trying to make sure mortals don’t kill themselves. Tom’s an exception to what I normally do. Not that it’s all happy fun and games.

That’s quite a hefty job for someone who barely looks eighteen.

-[Quirks an eyebrow] Appearances can be deceiving. Especially with the Sary.

So, tell us a little more about this Tom guy. Is he hot?

-It doesn’t matter if he’s hot or not…but he is. Even if he spends all his time studying. The best part? Oh, I don’t know why I’m saying this, but he’s one of those guys who doesn’t know he’s hot. Totally doesn’t try to be a jerk. Or show off. Or flirt….ever.

Am I sensing some frustration there?

-No! He’s a mortal. Sheesh. I’m not even supposed to notice if he’s totally hot. And funny. And sweet.

You’ve got it bad.

-[Groans and hides her face in her hands] Are we done here?

Sure, sure. Thanks for joining us today, Ari! Best of luck with your assignment. And Tom.

About the Author:

Meradeth’s never been a big fan of talking about herself, but if you really want to know, here are some random tidbits about her:

She’s a Northern California girl, but now lives and teaches anthropology in Montana.
When she’s not writing, she’s sequencing dead people’s DNA. For fun!
She’s been writing since she was 11 years old. It's her hobby, her passion, and she’s so happy to get to share her work!
If she could have a super-power, it would totally be flying. Which is a little strange, because she’s terrified of heights.
This is her second novel. The first book in the Sary Society series is COLORS LIKE MEMORIES and is available on Amazon.

Find Meradeth Online:

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Friday, July 12, 2013

Book Review ~ Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

Title: Neverwhere
Author: Neil Gaiman
Release Date: March 17th 2009 (first published 1996)
Published By: HarperCollins e-books
Page Amount: 275 pages, e-book

GoodReads Blurb:

Richard Mayhew is a young man with a good heart and an ordinary life, which is changed forever when he stops to help a girl he finds bleeding on a London sidewalk. His small act of kindness propels him into a world he never dreamed existed. There are people who fall through the cracks, and Richard has become one of them. And he must learn to survive in this city of shadows and darkness, monsters and saints, murderers and angels, if he is ever to return to the London that he knew.

My boyfriend recommended this book to me. I had never read a Neil Gaiman book before this. And I have no idea why. If all of his books are as good as this I was really missing out. This book was amazing! I loved it! I sat there trying to find something wrong with this book and I just couldn't. It was that good. 

I thoroughly enjoyed the story of this book. And it was well written and well executed. I really can't say too much about the story without spoiling it. It is a different concept than anything I have read about. It was very imaginative. That is all I will say. But I will talk about the characters. 

Richard Mayhew is our protagonist. He is a very good hearted man. He does several things throughout the book he never would have thought he would have been able to do. He was naive at times but I found him to be a very good and enjoyable character

Door is  another main character in this book. . She looks very innocent but has actually been through a lot. She is very strong, brave and independent. She was also good hearted. I enjoyed her character as well.

The marquis de Carabas is another important character in the book. I found his character extremley enjoyable. . He has a snarky, sarcastic, dry sense of humor that I really enjoyed. He gives the impression of not caring but I think that he really does care. He is probably my favorite character in this book.

There are other characters I could talk about but I'll keep those to myself. You'll have to read this book for yourself to see. I thought it was wonderful! I loved it! I give this one 5 stars!

<3 Amanda Leigh

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Book of the Month! (#2)

Book of the Month is a feature I decided to start on my blog. Each month I will spotlight a different book. I will try to do this the first week of each month. This month the book of the month is. . . 


Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

GoodReads Blurb:
Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers thirteen cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker, his classmate and crush who committed suicide two weeks earlier.

On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out how he made the list.

Through Hannah and Clay's dual narratives, debut author Jay Asher weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect teen readers.

My Semi-Quick Opinion:
I read this book two years ago now. I remember I read it during the months of May and June. This book deals with a very serious issue: suicide. I haven't seen this issue dealt with too often in Young Adult.  But I think it really should be. Many teens commit suicide or consider committing suicide. 

Obviously this book has some very heavy content. I like that is told in dual narratives. You get to see Clay's perspective as he listens to these tapes. Listens to the reasons why this girl decided to kill herself and his thoughts. You also see Hannah's perspective. You see this perspective when Clay hits play on the cassette tapes. 

You get frustrated with Hannah. You simultaneously feel sympathetic and frustrated. (At least I did). Sympathetic because she felt it had to come to killing herself and frustrated because you feel that she could have done something more. Reached out more maybe. (I'm also thinking of a specific scene here). 

Even thought the synopsis says it will deeply affect teen readers I think it would deeply affect any reader. And even thought the content is heavy I think that anyone should give this book a chance. (But perhaps you should be at least 12 or 13). Overall, phenomenal book. And I think you should most definitely read this.

<3 Amanda Leigh

Monday, July 8, 2013

Release Day ~ Taste the Heat by Rachel Harris ~ Recipe I'd Love to Make with My Sweetheart!!

Taste the Heat by Rachel Harris released today! In honor of this release Rachel Harris had the brilliant idea to post recipes! I believe the options were: a recipe you like to make or a recipe you would love to make with your sweetheart. (There may have been more options. I can't quite remember.) Anyway, the one I chose was a recipe I would love to make with my sweetheart. Actually, I have done just that. :) My sweetheart's name is Matt by the way. He has Nephropathic Cystinosis as well. We met in an online support group for adults with Cystinosis. (If you would like to hear more about that "story" let me know. I may post something here in that case.)

Before we get into the recipe let's see some more about this book. :) 


GoodReads Blurb:
One sexy fire captain. One Cajun chef, One combustible kitchen…

When chef Colby Robicheaux returned home to New Orleans to save her family restaurant, the last person she expected to reconnect with was her brother’s best friend and her childhood crush. As tempting as a sugar-coated beignet, Jason is one dish she doesn’t want to taste. Colby is counting down the days till she can leave the place where her distrust of love and commitment originated and go back to Vegas.

Fire captain Jason Landry isn’t looking for love, either. He knows he should focus on finding the perfect mother for his daughter, but when he first sees Colby, all grown up and gorgeous, he can’t help but be drawn to her. And when she suggests a no-strings-attached fling, Jason doesn’t want to say no.

As their relationship grows more intense, Colby finds that Jason isn’t as easy to leave behind as she thought. Could turning up the heat on something real be worth the possibility of getting burned?

This recipe is one of my absolute favorites. It's a well known Italian dish. It's become known as my signature dish. I love to cook. (Also, I'm Italian. And I was also raised quite Italian). Without further adieu, the recipe is:

Chicken Marsala:
1 lb thin sliced chicken cutlet
1/2 cup flour - add salt & pepper to taste
10oz package of baby bella mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 + 2 tablespoons butter (see instructions)
2/3 cup Holland House Marsala Cooking Wine
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup heavy cream (can substitute half & half or whole milk)
1 tablespoon parsley
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

Dredge chicken lightly in flour mixture; set aside.
Brown mushrooms in 2 tablespoons butter. Remove from pan.
Add 2 tablespoons butter to pan, add chicken, brown lightly on each side.
Remove chicken from pan.
Put mushrooms back in pan.
Add the Marsala wine and the water.
Add parsley and garlic salt.
Simmer 1-2 minutes.
Add heavy cream.
Simmer 1-2 minutes.
Put chicken in pan with sauce.
Simmer 4-5 minutes.

Serve over whole grain penne pasta.

I hope if you decide to make this recipe that you enjoy it! :)

About the Author:

Rachel Harris grew up in New Orleans, where she watched soap operas with her grandmother and stayed up late sneak reading her mama’s favorite romance novels. Now a Cajun cowgirl living in Houston, she still stays up way too late reading her favorite romances, only now, she can do so openly. She firmly believes life’s problems can be solved with a hot, powdered-sugar-coated beignet or a thick slice of king cake, and that screaming at strangers for cheap, plastic beads is acceptable behavior in certain situations.

When not typing furiously or flipping pages in an enthralling romance, she homeschools her two beautiful girls and watches reality television with her amazing husband. Taste The Heat is her adult romance debut. She’s the author of MY SUPER SWEET SIXTEENTH CENTURY and A TALE OF TWO CENTURIES. She loves hearing from readers! Find her at

I hope you enjoyed this blog post! If you enjoy romance I think you should check out Taste the Heat. I'm currently reading it and enjoying it. Also, there is a giveaway below!

This Release Day was organized by:

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Thursday, July 4, 2013

Blog Tour~ Anguish by Lila Felix ~ Interview and GIVEAWAY!!

I'm part of the blog tour for Anguish by Lila Felix! I got to interview Lila Felix for this post! But before we get to the interview, let's see more about the book!


Anguish was the status quo, until she walked in.
Breaker James Collins is confined in a prison of his own making. Scarred doesn’t begin to define his hell since finding out his girlfriend had cheated, stolen, and lied two years ago. It led to a single event—one that would blacken his days and his nights from then on. Since then, he hasn’t left his house, crippled by fear of people and any social interaction.
Ashland talks too much and has the voice of a meth-laden prairie dog, or so she’s always been told. She’s been called annoying and irritating all of her life and gave up on having friends for a long time. College has given her a new lease on a social life and she’s embraced who she is. But now she’s waiting for the one guy who can take her breath away and put up with her antics.
A simple note pinned to a corkboard will lead Ash right to Breaker’s solitary world and she will learn that just because a guy doesn’t fit her ideal, doesn’t mean she won’t fall head over feet in love.

Now that you know more about the book let's get to the interview! :)

Amanda Leigh: Have you always wanted to be a writer? If not, what made you decide to pursue writing?
Lila Felix: I have not.  I’ve always been a reader.  I decided to pursue writing because I wanted to tell my story, which is my first novel, Emerge.

Amanda Leigh: Anguish is in the Young Adult genre, do you have anything outside of Young Adult or would you ever consider writing outside of Young Adult?
Lila Felix: I will always write Young Adult or clean New Adult.  I can’t see myself writing anything else.  Maybe Paranormal Young Adult, but that’s it.

Amanda Leigh: What draws you to the Young Adult genre?
Lila Felix: I love the falling in love!  It’s priceless.

Amanda Leigh: Were you an avid reader as a child or teenager? 
Lila Felix: I picked up a Stephen King novel at the age of eight (horrible right?) and that’s when it began. 

Amanda Leigh: What was your favorite book as a child and/or teenager?
Lila Felix: I loved Anne Rice as a teenager. 

Amanda Leigh: What is favorite book today?

Lila Felix:  I can’t choose!  Anything young adult is great for me.

Amanda Leigh: Are there any particular authors or books that have influenced your writing?

Lila Felix: Shelly Crane, Anne Eliot, Rachel Higginson, Amber Garza.

Amanda Leigh: Could you tell us about your writing process?

Lila Felix: I just sit and write every single day.  No plan, no specific rituals, I just pants it!

Amanda Leigh: Do you have any little quirks or rituals you have to do while you write? (Certain snack? Certain beverage? Etc).

Lila Felix: Not really, I could write anywhere!

Amanda Leigh: Do you listen to music while you write? If so, what type of music?

Lila Felix: Absolutely!  I usually go for indie rock or singer/songwriter type music.  Right now I am loving Wild Child.

Amanda Leigh: If you could be any character from a book for one day who would you be?

Lila Felix: Maggie from Significance by Shelly Crane.

Amanda Leigh: Could you tell us a bit about what you’re working on now?

Lila Felix: Right now I am working on Caught In A Jam, Love and Skate #4 and Striking, #1 in the Forged In Fire series by myself and Rachel Higginson.

Thank you Lila Felix for stopping by the blog for an interview! I really enjoyed it and hope you did too!


About the Author

Lila Felix lives in the swamps of Louisiana with her husband and three boisterous children. She loves coffee, anything cinnamon and loves to cook. She is a big roller derby fan. When she's not writing, she's watching 80's movies, reading, and collecting duct tape.

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