Friday, September 30, 2011

Character Interview - Hartley from Deadly Cool (+ Giveaway)

Today,  Hartley from Deadly Cool by Gemma Halliday is joining us today.  Make sure to check out the giveaway after reading the interview.

1. Hi Hartley! Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to join us
today. What five words would your best friend, Sam, use to describe you?

Hi!  Thanks for having me here!  Okay, five words Sam would use to describe me…
1. loyal
2. caring
3.clever (Okay, maybe I'm putting words in her mouth here, but we did eventually track down a killer all by ourselves, so I'm gonna take a couple clever points.)
4. fun
5. tenacious

2. What first attracted you to Josh DuPont?

Dude, what wasn't attractive about him?  Like, every girl in school wanted to be with him.  He's got the total classic hot guy looks and totally great smile that could charm the pants off any girl.  Unfortunately, it has charmed the pants off a few girls.  Which is why I am no longer, officially, as of now, attracted to him.  (Much.) 
3. Good ol' Ben & Jerry pop up a few times while you were trying to clear
Josh's name. What's your favorite ice cream flavor?

Hands down, Cherry Garcia.  The blend of rich chocolate and light cherries is beyond awesome.

4. If you were forced to choose (pretend everyone had to be one or the
other), would you be a cheerleader or join the Color Guard?

Ohmigod, nightmare alert!  I'd sooner throw myself off the top of the parking structure at the mall than do either.  But, if I had to pick one… cheerleader.  At least they wear their skankiness right out there where you can see it.  The Color Guard girls are more closet skanks.  (Or in the case of Courtney Cline, the Color Guard leader, a dead skank in a closet.)

5. So Chase was just full of surprises! What was the most surprising thing
you learned about him?

I'll admit, I totally had him pegged wrong.  When I first met him, I thought total Bad Boy.  I mean, not that he doesn’t really kinda act like the proverbial Bad Boy at times, but as we investigated Courtney's death together, I found out that there is a lot more to him than that.  I guess the thing I was most surprised to find out about him is that he has a soft side.  (And soft lips, too, but that's a whole other story…)

6. Okay, one last thing before you go; You did a great job with helping to
find the real murderer, would you ever consider becoming a private
investigator ala Veronica Mars?

You know, the best thing about figuring out who actually killed Courtney was the satisfaction of fitting all the right puzzle pieces into the right slots and seeing it actually bring a killer to justice.  The worst part, though, was having my life in danger.  More than once.  I'm not totally a fan of that, so I'm not sure I have the guts it takes to be a real PI. For now, I'm going to stick to working on the school paper and investigating thing like what really goes into the school cafeteria's Monday Mystery Meat.  At least until another big story comes along…  

Now that we know a little more about Hartley, it's time for you to win something. As part of the blog tour Gemma Halliday is giving away several packs of Deadly Cool trading cards! To enter, fill out the form below (comments won't count as entries).

* This giveaway is international
* It will run through October 7th
* The winner will be posted in the am of October 8th

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Character Tweets - Characters from Frost

Twitter - such a fun way to keep up to date on what's going on in the blogging world and a great way to connect with bloggers, librarians and authors. Plus, it's a fun way to talk about books. But what about the characters? Have you ever wondered what it would be like if some of your favorite characters were on Twitter? What types of things would they tweet about, who would they be twitter friends with?

Marianna Baer, the author of  Frost, has provided the following Twitter conversations between Leena, Abby, Viv, David and Celeste. (spoiler free, of course, but if you haven't read Frost yet, what are you waiting for?)

Leenabobeena: Last coat of stain on new bookshelf! Bags packed! Can it be Sat already???

AbbyOhDear: @Leenabobeena So organized! Can't even find my bags. But moms baking up a storm. Be hungry!

VivParkerWhite: @Leenabobeena @AbbyOhDear In the Athens airport. Horoscope says good day for journey. Phew.

AbbyOhDear: @VivParkerWhite @Leenabobeena Yes, phew! I was all aflutter, waiting to hear.

Leenabobeena: @VivParkerWhite @AbbyOhDear You check with Orin, Viv? Horoscope might not be accurate enough. ;)

VivParkerWhite: @Leenabobeena @AbbyOhDear Ha. Ha. Speaking of Orin, can’t wait to show our you-know-whats!!!

AbbyOhDear: @VivParkerWhite @Leenabobeena Dear god, please tell me you didn’t get a tatt of your astrologer’s face.

Leenabobeena: @VivParkerWhite @AbbyOhDear SHHHHH!!!!! No discussion!!!!!!

VivParkerWhite: @AbbyOhDear You’ll have to wait and see! :P

AbbyOhDear: @Leenabobeena @VivParkerWhite You guys remember if there's a fridge in the common room? Or is Frost House too old to even have electricity?

Leenabobeena: @VivParkerWhite @AbbyOhDear Very funny. Yes there's a fridge. And microwave. And even indoor plumbing!

AbbyOhDear: @Leenabobeena @VivParkerWhite Shocking! I guess we might survive living there.

Leenabobeena: @VivParkerWhite @AbbyOhDear Can't believe we finally have singles. Halleluja!

KatetheGreat: @Leenabobeena HEY!!! I can hear you, Leena Thomas! You saying you don't want me back??

Leenabobeena: @KatetheGreat No!! Of course not. Will be terribly lonely til you return! Will hate having single! :)

KatetheGreat: @Leenabobeena Sure, sure. I won't let the door hit me on the way out.

Leenabobeena: @KatetheGreat Don’t worry! We won’t have fun without you, K. Viv, Ab and I will be waiting in Frost when you return! Promise.


ThisDavidLazar: @Celestialbeing Hey, you’re online? You okay? Why aren’t you answering phone/texts?

Celestialbeing: @ThisDavidLazar Because I’m dead and they only have wifi, not cell service, in heaven.

ThisDavidLazar: @Celestialbeing Heaven? Really? I’d always thought…

Celestialbeing: @ThisDavidLazar Good point.

ThisDavidLazar: @Celestialbeing Sooo…..?

Celestialbeing: @ThisDavidLazar Phone is out of charge. Charger at home. Nurse brought be laptop to use.

ThisDavidLazar: @Celestialbeing I’ll bring charger today. You got a delivery. Big box from someplace called Re-evolution?

Celestialbeing: @ThisDavidLazar Great. Pigeon skeletons I ordered. Can you put with stuff to go to school?

ThisDavidLazar: @Celestialbeing And Barcroft called. You’re living with someone named Leena Thomas in a dorm called Frost House.

Celestialbeing: @ThisDavidLazar Leena? Huh. Never heard of Frost. Weird.

ThisDavidLazar: @Celestialbeing You know her? This a problem?

Celestialbeing: @ThisDavidLazar Living with anyone is a problem. You’ll like Leena. She’s hot.

ThisDavidLazar: @Celestialbeing Not my main concern with your roommate. You okay living with her?

Celestialbeing: @ThisDavidLazar We were lab partners last year and both survived. I guess we’ll make it through this.

Celestialbeing: @ThisDavidLazar Strange I’ve never heard of dorm. Frost? You’re sure?

ThisDavidLazar: @Celestialbeing Yup. Frost. On Highland St.

Celestialbeing: @ThisDavidLazar Still don’t know. Whatever. How bad could it be?

A big thanks to Marianna Baer and her cast of characters!

Leena Thomas’s senior year at boarding school begins with a shock: Frost House, her cozy dorm of close friends, has been assigned an unexpected roommate: confrontational, eccentric Celeste Lazar. But while Leena’s anxiety about a threat to her sanctuary proves valid, it becomes less and less clear whether the threat lies with her new roommate, within Leena’s own mind, or within the very nature of Frost House itself. Mysterious happenings in the dorm, an intense triangle between Leena, Celeste, and Celeste’s brother, and the reawakening of childhood fears, all push Leena to take increasingly desperate measures to feel safe. Frost is the story of a haunting. As to whether the demons are supernatural or psychological . . . well, which answer would let you sleep at night?

Friday, September 9, 2011

Review - Frost by Marianna Baer

Frost by Marianna Baer
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: September 13, 2011
Source: borrowed from Midnyte Reader

Frost is definitely a keep all the lights on and possibly have some sort of background noise playing while reading type of book. 

Leena Thomas is starting her senior year at Bancroft Academy. Thanks to some persuasion and a little luck, Leena and her best friends are going to live in Frost House - a cozy, four person dorm on the edge of campus. But before they can settle in, Leena learns that eccentric, antagonistic Celeste Lazar will be living with them during the fall semester. Within days, strange things start happening at the dorm. Small things at first, things that Celeste blames on Leena and her friends, sure that they want her to leave. Leena attempts to keep the peace between the residents of Frost House, but soon stranger things start to happen and Celeste insists that she feels someone is watching her, wants to hurt her. As more odd things happen and Celeste becomes more insistent that the house itself is causing them, Leena finds that she doesn't feel as safe or at home as she once did at Bancroft, except for when she's at Frost House. Can Leena work out where the threat is coming from before it's too late?

Before, I read Frost, I had heard (read) that creepy was the perfect description for this book. After reading, I will add my voice to those who have called Frost creepy. It's creepy in the same way you might feel when you repeatedly look over your shoulder because you are convinced that someone is looking at you even though no one is there. Mixed in with the creepy, there was an interesting mystery and the slow realization that the narrator might not be as reliable as you initially thought.

Leena seems like she is a pretty together girl. She started a peer-counseling program at Bancroft, she has a close group of friends, likes design and do it yourself projects. As things start to happen at Frost, her reactions had me worrying about her. Then there were the pills, the self-medication, which made me question just how much of the story the reader was really seeing. How skewed was Leena's version of what happened?

Marianna Baer does a great job of keeping the reader guessing. It isn't very clear who or what was behind the goings on at Frost House and getting the answer to this mystery kept me turning the pages. Even after the ending a good number of questions remain, but I'm okay with that. I look at Frost as a book that makes the reader question if they believe in ghosts (or some type of supernatural entity) and/or haunted houses.

One thing that did bother me was the adults. The house counselor, Ms. Martin pretty much states that she expects the girls to look after themselves and to only go to her for emergencies, which seems a bit extreme. Yes, the girls are seniors, so theoretically they could have been mature enough to handle a lot, but at the same time they are still teenagers. It makes me wonder if Ms. Martin had been more available, would Celeste have felt comfortable telling her about her concerns. And then there was the Dean of Students, who at first seemed almost like a parental figure to Leena, but as the book goes on becomes more and more disappointed with her actions and appears to distance herself. But, again since the reader sees everything from Leena's point of view, exactly how involved was Dean Shepherd in Leena's life?

Overall, Frost is a wonderful addition to the psychological/mystery/supernatural category. I would recommend Frost to those who like their scary stories on the creepy side.

Thursday, September 1, 2011


This is extremely late, but I wanted to announce the winners of the "It's My Party" giveaway.

The winner of Imaginary Girls is

Sarah W

The Winner of The Near Witch is


The Winner of Misfit is

Dazzling Mage

Congrats to all the winners!

Review - A Need So Beautiful by Suzanne Young

A Need So Beautiful by Suzanne Young
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: June 21, 2011

Charlotte has always felt the need to help people; people she didn't know. It started out as an occasional thing, but now it's a daily occurrence. The pull, the compulsion, knocks the air out of her and forces Charlotte to find the person she is supposed to help. Charlotte tells her boyfriend, Harlin, and best friend Sarah, that she is having asthma attacks. But, Sarah thinks she's psychic and Harlin can't stand the lying, he thinks Chelsea is cheating on him. Charlotte's not sure what they would think if the learned the truth. The she learns what is really causing what she calls "The Need" and what will happen to her. Now, Charlotte must decide of she is going to fight to stay with her friends and family or let everything play out as it's supposed to, no matter how hard it is. 

A Need So Beautiful
is one of those books where you just have to know what comes next, what's in store for the characters and how they deal with what happens. It is very much a character driven book and Ms Young has written all of the characters in such a way that I could see them and hear them as I read. The characters were also very realistic. There were no perfect characters, even Chelsea had her flaws, but that made me like her even more.

Another thing that I really liked was that even though Chelsea and Harlin are in a relationship (and how great is it that they are already together when the book starts?), the majority of love in this book isn't romantic love but love of friends and family. Okay, yes, we do get to see Chelsea and Harlin together and understand what they see in each other, but I liked that Chelsea had friends and a family, albeit a foster family, that cared about her and were present in her life.

Ultimately, A Need So Beautiful is about sacrifice. Would you be willing to sacrifice everything in your life for the greater good? This is Chelsea’s dilemma: does she give into the Need and her fate or does she stay with Harlin and her family? And at the same time, there is discussion about faith, not in an in your face way, but it was definitely there. It made me think long and hard about what I would be willing to give up in my life, how my faith colors my choices.

A Need So Beautiful offers a different take on paranormal because it felt more like a contemporary story with paranormal details. At heart it is about a girl trying to figure out who she is, so it read very much like a contemporary novel to me. I'm not sure that this review conveys exactly how much I loved this book. I read it in one sitting and was just amazed by it. It made me cry and think and stayed with me long after I read the last page. And that ending! It raised so many questions, while giving Chelsea's story in this book a definitive ending. I, personally, can not wait to read A Want So Wicked.


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