Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Becoming Chloe by Catherine Ryan Hyde (Review by Nora)

Plot Summary:

Wanda Johnston, aka “ Chloe”, has seen more in life than anyone should ever have to. It should be enough for her to have given up hope, but the problem is she hasn’t. Her problem is that she doesn’t seem to realize anything that’s happening around her; it’s like things click on an all too low level for her. Jordy, Chloe’s friend/caretaker first tries to forge a life in the city with her, but eventually has to flee on a mission. Jordy is determined to get Chloe to open her eyes to things and truly “see” the beauty in the world.

Review:

This book is expertly written, in a way that the reader can relate to both Jordy and Chloe. Actually, Chloe and I seem like we would make great friends. Her life’s happenings and troubles are big issues throughout the novel, but they make her all the more a round character. And Jordy’s determined and caring personality also gives him the air of a wonderful friend. The plot in this story is somewhat hackneyed, but still enjoyable. It’s a different view on the traditional “revival of the zest in life” theme. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who needs to be reminded of the beauty and loveliness in just being.

~Nora Green


Purchase Becoming Chloe here.
And/or visit the author here.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Winners of Name Game (and I Just Couldn't Resist)

I am very happy with the turn out for the Name Game- I wasn't 100% it would take.

But it worked out well enough that I believe I will continue it in the future. I'm certainly involved with music often enough. Of course, the songs won't always be so easy!

As guessed,
Danny Boy Here Comes the Sun- The Beatles What A Wonderful World- Louis Armstrong

After looking everything over, I felt the need not to have one winner, but...four! Kind of in honor of April, our fourth month. The winners were randomly chosen:
MssJos
iDogrocker
BN Book Blog (creds to Beth- not Nathan!)

Tower of Books


Winners will be contacted shortly. I'm planning on doing this next month (perhaps five winners?), so stay tuned...

NOTE to AUTHORS:
I noticed at least one author had entered this contest (I'm honored to have had this happen!). Honestly, though, authors get freebies. You guys write BOOKS. How incredible is that? So I'll do an interview/GB/etc. for you regardless of a contest. Just send an email here: not_so_cg[at]yahoo[dot]com, and we'll arrange something. The author I noticed will be emailed tonight along with the winners, but this offer is open to all authors.

Also, I may have mentioned that I ran in to a well-known country singer...

Recognize him? Because in all honesty, I didn't. If someone hadn't said something, I would've had no idea. I don't listen to much country.

His hair was longer last week than it was in this picture, but he really was this adorable.

Monday, April 27, 2009

What Happened to You?

Wow. It has been a while since I've posted. When I left two weeks ago, I forgot that I had another back to back trip following the first trip (I met someone very interesting to country music fans on the first trip- details after I've caught up). I returned yesterday with a pretty extreme sinus infection. But it's getting better...I think.

So the deal: this week I will be catching up on everything. I have a lot of April reviews that need to be posted and a ton of emails that need responses. I will be getting to that.

I just wanted to let everyone know that I haven't abandoned the site. And now I think I'll go take a nap. I feel like my head is going to explode.

NOTE: NameGame Contest announcements will be made tomorrow.

always,
~bella aire~

Friday, April 17, 2009

Win the Name Game 3

I'm gone this week (this post is scheduled), but I wanted to leave something to keep the blog busy. So I came up with this: a Name Game. The gist is, I'll post the lyrics of some of the songs I'll be immersed in during my musical weekend, and you'll guess the song title.

These are today's lyrics:
"I see trees of green, red roses too
I see them bloom for me and you
And I think to myself..."

Recognize them? If so, leave the title of this song and/or artist in your comment with an email address. You are on your honor not to look this song up via internet. But asking others about the lyrics or looking it up in a music book is alright.

The prize is simple- we will host an interview, guest blog, guest poem, and/or guest review here at the NSCG site for whoever wins. Plus, if the winner is a blogger, we will add them to our Fantabulous Blogs list and provide a link to their blog in the post featured here.

You do not HAVE to be a blogger to enter this. Regular readers can have their writing/responses featured on our site, as well.

There will be more lyrics up later.

NOTE: There will be only one winner for all the different Name Game posts.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Win the Name Game 2

I'm gone this week (this post is scheduled), but I wanted to leave something to keep the blog busy. So I came up with this: a Name Game. The gist is, I'll post the lyrics of some of the songs I'll be immersed in during my musical weekend, and you'll guess the song title.

These are today's lyrics:
"Little darling, it's been a long cold lonely winter
Little darling, it feels like years since it's been here...

...Little darling, the smiles returning to the faces
Little darling, it seems like years since it's been here...

...Little darling, I feel that ice is slowly melting
Little darling, it seems like years since it's been clear...

...and I say it's all right
It's all right..."


This song is much more upbeat.

Recognize them? If so, leave the title and/or artist of this song in your comment with an email address. You are on your honor not to look this song up via internet. But asking others about the lyrics or looking it up in a music book is alright.

The prize is simple- we will host an interview, guest blog, guest poem, and/or guest review here at the NSCG site for whoever wins. Plus, if the winner is a blogger, we will add them to our Fantabulous Blogs list and provide a link to their blog in the post featured here.

You do not HAVE to be a blogger to enter this. Regular readers can have their writing/responses featured on our site, as well.

There will be more lyrics up later.

NOTE: There will be only one winner for all the different Name Game posts.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Win the Name Game

I'm gone this week (this post is scheduled), but I wanted to leave something to keep the blog busy. So I came up with this: a Name Game. The gist is, I'll post the lyrics of some of the songs I'll be immersed in during my musical weekend, and you'll guess the song title.

These are today's lyrics:
"But when ye come and all the flowers are dying,
And I am dead, as dead I well may be,
Go out and find the place where I am lying,

And kneel and say an Ave there for me.


And I will hear tho' soft your tread above me,

And then my grave will warm and sweeter be.

For you shall bend and tell me that you love me,

And I will sleep in peace until you come to me."


This is an extremely sad and touching song. The story behind it is beautiful, if slightly depressing.

Recognize them? If so, leave the title of this song in your comment with an email address. You are on your honor not to look this song up via internet. But asking others about the lyrics or looking it up in a music book is alright.

The prize is simple- we will host an interview, guest blog, guest poem, and/or guest review here at the NSCG site for whoever wins. Plus, if the winner is a blogger, we will add them to our Fantabulous Blogs list and provide a link to their blog in the post featured here.

You do not HAVE to be a blogger to enter this. Regular readers can have their writing/responses featured on our site, as well.

There will be more lyrics up later.

NOTE: There will be only one winner for all the different Name Game posts.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Out of Town and And Update on Our Geek Boy

Many of the NSCGs will be out of town for the remainder of this week and weekend. Thus, some of our reviews will be pushed back. I hate getting behind, but there's no way around it. We aren't far enough ahead right now to schedule any review posts.

"Where are you going?" you might wonder.

We are actually going to two different places. I'm not giving out specifics, but there will be much music. Maybe I'll schedule some posts of the lyrics to some of the music I'll be immersed in to keep the site busy...

"What happened to Geek Boy?" you demand.

I actually gave him a book to read today. Viola and I loved it, though it was not of Karilee's taste. It is typically classified as "Girl YA", so I wanted to get his take on it.

"What book?!"
Um, yes. You will find out in his review.

*Angry glaring*
Stop that! I'm trying to implement some suspense here. Jeez.



...oh, dear. Not the talking with the imaginary readers again. I think it's time for bed.

But wait! I'm thinking of posting a geek boy picture whenever I write something about our Geek Boy. How's this?

"..."
"..."
"But that's Adam Brody...?"

Why, yes. I might have noticed that. But he played a geek boy in the OC, and, well...

Okay fine. I just enjoy posting pictures of Adam Brody. So he is the new face of our Geek Boy. They don't look extremely alike, but they are brunettes...


Hmmmm. Geek Boy may have wanted a say in his face. But I doubt he'll notice that all his posts have the delectable Adam Brody in them. At the least, it will take him awhile...

Monday, April 13, 2009

Geek Fest Summary March 2009

Geek Fest Author Notes


What did YOU think of Geek Fest? Would you like to see it happen again? What improvements could be made? Which posts were your favorites?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Short Note

Happy Easter to those who celebrate it! And happy after-Easter chocolate sales to all who love chocolate!

I'd like to thank everyone who follows or visits our site. You guys are truly fantastic. I suppose thanks messages are more for Thanksgiving, but now seems like a good time to me.

In this post, I'd really love to receive some feedback comments. I'm trying to focus on ways to improve the NSCG site, so (please!) comment away. This is the place to voice your opinion.

always,
~bella aire~

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Her Notorious Viscount by Jenna Petersen (Review by Bella Aire)

Synopsis:
Beauty and her beast . . .
Viscount Nicholas Stoneworth is infamous—even being mentioned in the same breath with him is enough to ruin a lady's reputation. Why, the man's spent years in London's underworld pursuing every sort of vice while parlaying his hard muscled body into fame and fortune as a fighter! With his brother's untimely death, Nicholas must assume the title and relearn the civilized ways of the ton . . . and proper Jane Fenton is more than willing to teach him everything she knows.
Circumstances may have forced Jane into the role of ladies' companion, but she knows the danger of associating with a notorious man like Nicholas, a man who could tempt any woman into certain scandal. But her brother disappeared into the same underworld four long years ago, and if she transforms the libertine into a gentleman, he will use his connections to find him. Still, Jane will not—cannot—lose control. She must ignore the promise of sinful pleasure in his eyes . . . and her own wild desires desperate to break free.

Review:
I'm really starting to believe that Jenna Petersen can do no wrong. I mean, a Beauty and the Beast romance set in Victorian England? It sounds like my own personal heaven.

Petersen's writing has a delightfully melodic tone to it. The words flow together beautifully to successfully paint each picture of the story. Readers are clearly able to see the difference in Jane and Nicholas' lives as well as the surprising similarities.

The secondary characters in this novel were particularly strong.


***Slight Spoiler***
Cousin Patrick was so interesting that I'd easily buy a book about what happens to him after Her Notorious Viscount. His role in the story is unusual and fresh. I felt bad for the way things turned out for him.
***Slight Spoiler Over***


As far as action goes, Notorious was a bit anti-climatic. However, anti-climatic is not a word I'd use to describe the romance in this novel. The ending was darling!

One thing that really added to this novel is that both Nicholas and Jane had lives before and outside of their romance. Their backgrounds were very strong, and this made the story three-dimensional, which can sometimes be difficult to create in romances.

Overall, Her Notorious Viscount was a thoroughly enchanting romance.

always,
~bella aire~



Purchase Her Notorious Viscount here.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Carter Finally Gets It by Brent Crawford (Review by Karilee)



Synopsis:
Meet Will Carter, but feel free to call him Carter. (Yes, he knows it's a lazy nickname, but he didn't have much say in the matter.)
Here are five things you should know about him:

1. He has a stuttering problem, particularly around boobs and belly buttons.

2. He battles Attention Deficit Disorder every minute of every day...unless he gets distracted.

3. He's a virgin, mostly because he's no good at talking to girls (see number 1).

4. He's about to start high school.

5. He's totally not ready.

Join Carter for his freshman year, where he'll search for sex, love, and acceptance anywhere he can find it. In the process, he'll almost kill a trombone player, face off with his greatest nemesis, suffer a lot of blood loss, narrowly escape death, run from the cops (not once, but twice), get caught up in a messy love triangle, meet his match in the form of a curvy drill teamer, and surprise the hell out of everyone, including himself.

Review:
I decided to mix it up for this review and post my chosen songs for this book before reviewing it. I usually only have one, however I felt it necessary to have two. Firstly is “Missed the Boat” by Modest Mouse, because I think the feel of it fits in perfectly with the attitude of Carter Finally Gets It. Second is “Revelry” by the Kings of Leon because in addition to the horribly ironic opening lines, the lyrics partially coincide with certain aspects of the book.

Now on to the review: Ooooh where to begin???? How about with a story.

I’m sitting in history class, so naturally I’m reading. I’m perfectly fine, thoroughly enjoying Carter when I get to IT. It being one of the abundant laugh-out-loud-hysterically-so-everyone-thinks-you’re-crazy parts (and yes I am aware that the last sentence is probably the least grammatically correct phrasing possible. But I love it. So ha.)

Point of my story: don’t ever, and I mean EVER, allow yourself to read Carter in the presence of others.

Other than that, Carter is by far one of the best books I have ever had the joy of reading. It was funny, but it had its moments of morality. (Those would occur after he fled the police, of course.) I loved everything: the plot, the main character (whose name is, shockingly enough, Carter), and I especially enjoyed seeing the change of Carter over time. Despite the fact that the book ended geographically where it began, a lot had happened in between, making the beginning feel as though it had actually been an entire school year away.

Crawford’s language is also something to rave about. It’s not just the *EPIC FAILS* and the humorous plot line. The slang words, and even some of the nicknames, are noteworthy. Although I never did fully understand what he meant by “horn dog”, I still chuckled to myself every time I read it. I'm impressed with Crawford's first book, and I just can't wait to read what he writes next!

The only real thing about Carter that I ever questioned was the thought process of little 14-year-old Carter. Because I, myself, am not and never have been a 14 year old boy, I was left wondering if they were actually as sex-driven and knowledgeable on said subject as Crawford made them out to be. (However, upon questioning of a friend, I ceased all doubts as far as that topic was concerned…)

As if you couldn’t already guess this from my review, I would highly recommend this book for anyone who might even consider reading a book. It’s full of laughs, cringes (as I reader I felt that one poor boy could only suffer but so much embarrassment), and most importantly, it still has a moral and a story line that goes somewhere. I hope you enjoyed my review and that you plan on reading Brent Crawford’s Carter Finally Gets It.

Sincerely,
Karilee



And here is a short note from Bella Aire, who insisted on having a say in this review:
Brilliant in it's humor, Carter Finally Gets It is an absolute delight. I can't remember the last time I laughed so much. Crawford's wit, peppered with hilarious thoughts that scream teenage boy, is unsurpassable. Booklist wrote: "Occasionally poignant and frequently hilarious, this will amuse scads of male readers. Grades 7-10." I, for one, believe Booklist seriously underestimated the groups of readers Carter will appeal to. I am neither a male reader nor in grades 7-10, but I loved this book. The same goes for Karilee. If Carter appeals to guys as much as it does to girls like us, I think it will gather many fans.

always,
~bella aire~



Carter Finally Gets It by Brent Crawford can be purchased here.

Beautiful Americans by Lucy Silag (Review by Angela)

Summary:

PJ: Penelope Jane’s fluent French comes from being raised near the Canadian border, yet now this troubled, stunning waif will use it to escape forever.
Olivia: She may be a born dancer, destined for success. But that doesn’t mean scholarship-worthy grades and long-distance boyfriends are easy. What’s that saying about best-laid plans?
Alex: With a tough-love New Yorker mom and absentee dad, this snarky fashionista is anything but innocent. While seducing the guy of the moment, she could be in for the worst fall of her life.
Zack: Now that he’s away from his conservative Southern upbringing, lovable, handsome Zack can have almost anything he wants in Paris. But what if what he wants most is…another boy?

Review:
This book was ok, but not one of my favorites so far this year. Beautiful Americans is told equally by each of the main characters, so the reader gets to see the thoughts of PJ, Olivia, Alex, and Zack. The book seems like it might go well when the four arrive in Paris. They meet at school and form a loose friendship, with Alex and Zack becoming immediate best friends and PJ always unsure whether to hang out with them or not.


However, the book goes downhill from there. Alex becomes totally unbearable, as she is shown to be a complete narcissist with no regard for who she is hurting or how much she is spending. Her whole story involves whining about some preppy boy not liking her and how her mother cut off her credit card (she is used to getting whatever she wants). I’m not even sure how she got into this “study” abroad program, as she always has to get Zack to say things for her in French to waiters and others. PJ has a more intriguing story line (she gets to live with a famous, rich, dysfunctional French family), but she is stuck in the past. She is the character with all the secrets, and she is constantly reflecting on them and mostly ignoring anyone who tries to be nice to her. The reader gets little pieces of PJ’s secrets throughout the book. Olivia is the goody-goody turned rebel who at first misses home and her boyfriend back in the U.S., but soon starts keeping secrets from her parents and possibly falling for another guy. Zack is a mostly likable character who doesn’t really do that much. Like Alex, he’s worried about getting a boyfriend, but that’s about it. The one character I like, Jay, isn’t in the book much but seems like a genuinely caring and understanding guy.


The characters do a lot of partying and hanging out. It seems like they’re there more for vacation than to actually learn anything (I know this is true for Alex). However, the story does get a little better near the end, accelerating to a mild cliffhanger involving PJ. For a debut novel, Beautiful Americans is actually pretty well-written. Hopefully the sequel (out in fall ‘09) will make the characters a little more likable and have a better story line as well.

~Angela


You can buy Beautiful Americans here.

Secrets of My Hollywood Life: Paparazzi Princess by Jen Calonita (Review by Angela)


Summary:


As the last season of Family Affairs comes to a close, prime-time teen star Kaitlin Burke is no closer to deciding what she wants to do after the show ends. Struggling with career choices and bummed over a ridiculous catfight with her BFF, Liz, Kaitlin is so mixed up she even starts to semi-bond with her archnemesis, Sky. Worst of all, she falls in with two of Hollywood's biggest party fiends when one of them asks her, "Don't you ever do what you want to do?" Shopping sprees and the Tinseltown nightlife seems fun at first, but soon Kaitlin realizes that being a paparazzi princess just might be her downfall.

Review:
I really love this unique series about Hollywood’s “It” girl with a twist. Kaitlin, the main character, may be a celebrity, but she actually has morals and tries to do what’s right. She seems like a normal person with real problems who just happens to be famous. The conflicts in her life are not superficial and are easy to relate to: her mom is controlling, she’s fighting with her best friend, she’s trying not to spend too much money in a wealth-obsessed society, she can’t let go of Family Affairs, everyone is pressuring her to get another role, and she’s the last of her co-stars to land a new show. She stresses out, just like any other normal teenager would under all that pressure. Add the paparazzi and two party-hoppers, and everything becomes even crazier! This book gives readers an inside look at Hollywood and is also really funny at the same time. The characters, especially Kaitlin, are all realistic and refreshing. I really love this series and can’t wait for the next book!


~Angela



You can buy Paparazzi Princess here.

Monday, April 6, 2009

An Interview with Jenna Petersen


Not only is Jenna Petersen a top-notch romance writer, she is also one of the nicest authors I've ever met (by email). Check out our review of Lessons From a Courtesan here. Our review of her latest release, Her Notorious Viscount, is coming soon. And if you're looking for writing advice, I highly recommend visiting the site mentioned in question #9. Thank you so much, Jenna, for stopping by!


1. When did you first start writing? Why?
I started writing in 1996 when I thought it would be “easy” to write a romance during college. It wasn’t. I returned to writing in 1999, though, and started to write full-time. The rest is history!


2. What was your road to publication like?
Bumpy? LOL I wrote a lot of books, I submitted a lot, I stopped counting rejections around 100ish. But I’m glad I went through all that because it toughens you up a bit.


3. Do you having role-model authors for your writing or critique partners?
Not really a role-model for writing itself. I think each author has to find the path for them on their own. I couldn’t write “like” anyone and get it to work. I do have authors whose behavior I respect a great deal. Teresa Medeiros and Jacquie D’Alessandro are both really genuine people and I hope I can be that way, too. As for critique partners, I do trade full, revised books with Kathryn Smith.


4. Do you have any writing habits/rituals?
I try to write at least ten pages five days a week while I’m actively writing a book. That keeps me on schedule which is good. Otherwise, I don’t really have rituals. I don’t listen to music while I write or only eat pears or anything.


5. Have you ever had any encounters with “writer’s block”? If so, how do you cure it?
I don’t really believe in writer’s block. Honestly, I think if I’m stuck I’m either just being lazy and need to push through it or I’ve gone off the track on the story. If I go back and tweak a little, I’ll almost always get “unstuck”. That’s just me, though.


6. What gave you the idea for Lessons From a Courtesan?
I had a very strong image of Justin looking across a room and seeing London’s Most Celebrated Courtesan and realizing it was his wife. Then I just wanted to know why and how they had gotten to that place.


7. Who/what inspires the villains for your novels?
I’m not sure I’ve ever been inspired by a “who”. Although I’ve probably had villains behave in a way I didn’t like to be treated before. LOL but I just try to give them the right motivation so that what they’re doing makes sense to them.


8. A lot of your books are historical romances- what influences your choice of time period?
Actually all my books are historical. And 90% of them are Regency-set. I just like that time
period the most.


9. If you could give aspiring writers any advice, what would it be?
Probably all my best advice is at my site for writers, http://www.passionatepen.com/ The site celebrates its ten-year anniversary this year and we’re having a HUGE celebration, so I hope readers and writers will stop by each month to see what’s new (the site is updated each week).


10. If you could name one song to sum up your past week, what would it be?
Baby Love. We just got back from Tucson where we got to spend a few days with our nephew who turned one this week.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Everything is Fine by Ann Dee Ellis (Review by Karilee)






Synopsis:
Stuck at home caring for her severely depressed mother and abandoned by her father, Mazzy has only the day-to-day dramas of her neighborhood to keep her busy. But between flirting with the boy next door and worrying about the fact that she's flat-chested, Mazzy has to face the fact that her mom is emotionally paralyzed by a family tragedy. As readers delve into the story, they'll eventually discover what it was that tore Mazzy's family apart, and they'll see what it takes to put it back together.

Despite its serious subject matter, Mazzy brings humor to the trying age of adolescence and gives readers just the kind of awkward, troubled, and endearing character they will gladly embrace.


Review:
Everything Is Fine is weird. That is neither a bad thing nor a good thing, rather an observation I have made as a reviewer. Rather than being divided into chapters, it is a series of what can loosely be called free-style poems. It is a relatively short read, however, in the hour or so it took to read, it delves deeply into the disastrously dysfunctional family of the main character Mazzy. (I hope you enjoyed my alliteration.)


The situations of Mazzy’s entire life are very depressing, without any hopes for a light at the end of the tunnel. She is caring for her mother who barely even wakes up, trying to push away people who keep trying to help, trying to ignore her father, and pining for the boy across the street. As the story progresses and Mazzy allows the reader further into her innermost thoughts, the events that brought her to where she is now are revealed. Everything is Fine’s Mazzy is not the kind of character that you silently weep for whilst reading about her. Instead of crying, the reader is left with this very depressed feeling in the pit of their stomach. Despite the depressing mood of the majority of the book, her life comes together just slightly in the end, leaving the reader to hope that everything will eventually be fine.


To an extent, I thoroughly enjoyed Everything is Fine. But I must admit that, typically, it is not my kind of book. However, it is very different from any book I have ever read, and I would definitely recommend reading it merely for the odd experience, if not for the heart-breaking story.

My Song for Everything is Fine by Ann Dee Ellis is “Stay Golden” by Au Revoir Simone.

Sincerely,
Karilee

Everything is Fine can be purchased here.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Lessons From a Courtesan by Jenna Petersen (Review by Bella Aire)


Our Jenna Petersen interview and a review of her newly released book, Her Notorious Viscount, will be up soon!


Synopsis:

Lesson #1: Every man loves a mystery.

A scandalous siren called "Ria" has electrified the ton. Every gentleman in London desires her; every woman envies her. And they are all desperate to know the secrets of the tantalizing, seductively beautiful courtesan. All except Justin, the Earl of Baybary. He knows all about Ria. He learned every inch of her tender skin, every taste of her luscious lips . . . on their wedding night.

Lesson #2: No man can make you lose control . . . unless you let him.

Though theirs was an arranged marriage, still Victoria surrendered to passion and gave herself to Justin completely. When he left her alone the next morning, she swore she would never again let him into her bed. Now, though she has other reasons for returning to the city, she enjoys tormenting Justin, letting him see the way other men lust for her. But keeping herself from him is such exquisite torture . . . and forgiveness will lead to an ecstasy unbelievably divine.


Review:

Can I just say I love Jenna Petersen’s male love interests? I particularly love how delightfully glowersome and wonderfully scowlful Justin is from Lessons of a Courtesan. His piercing glares are incredible. Love them. But most of all I love how Victoria reacts to her tall, dark and brooding hero. The girl has got a backbone.

Lessons From A Courtesan is everything one could want in a romance. The story line is incredibly fun, and the tension between Justin and Victoria is superbly well-built. This novel moved with a satisfyingly quick pace as the couple began to understand one another. There were confrontations and confessions. Victoria’s confession truly shocked me. I didn’t see that one coming. Our villain was the only character who really fell flat. There was little to no depth to him. However, Petersen’s great strength is in the actual relationship of Justin and Victoria; it seemed that our villain’s main purpose was to create an original reason for the couple to run into each other in a highly unusual circumstance, so there really was very little need for depth there. Petersen, like all great romance writers, has composed a splendid love story that many will enjoy. She has proved to be my favorite romance writer since Nora Roberts, though both have their own unique styles and strengths.

~bella aire~


Purchase Lessons from a Courtesan here.
Visit Jenna's fabulous website here.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Learn About Operation Teen Book Drop!

For more information contact:
Sara Easterly,
Publicist for readergirlz
Sara Easterly & Friends
sara@saraeasterly.com 206-632-8588


READING STIMULUS PLAN FOR HOSPITALIZED TEEN PATIENTSLAUNCHES JUST IN TIME FOR “SUPPORT TEEN LIT DAY” APRIL 16

Despite economic downturn, generous publishers have donatedthousands of young-adult books for readergirlz, Guys Lit Wire, and YALSAto deliver to teens in America’s top pediatric hospitals March 17, 2009 (Seattle, Wash.) – Teen patients in pediatric hospitals across the United States will receive 8,000 young-adult novels, audiobooks, and graphic novels next week as readergirlz, Guys Lit Wire, and the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) celebrate the third annual Support Teen Lit Day on April 16.

In its second year, “Operation TBD” (short for Teen Book Drop), puts free books donated by 18 book publishers into the hands of many teens most in need of escape, inspiration and a sense of personal accomplishment. Books with exceptional characters and fabulous stories can provide just that for teens and their families dealing with difficult, long-term hospital stays.

At a time when philanthropic giving is down, readergirlz co-founders have been inspired by overwhelming industry support for Operation TBD. “readergirlz is always looking for innovative ways to connect teens with literature, “ said Dia Calhoun, co-founder of readergirlz and acclaimed young-adult author. “We’re honored that publishers have supported this goal by giving so liberally this year.”

Operation TBD also aims to encourage all teens to choose reading for pleasure as a leisure activity, over other entertainment options. Inciting the broader teen community to participate in Operation TBD in its drive to spur reading on a national scale, readergirlz has launched a trailer on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/readergirlz) inviting teens and YA authors to leave a book in a public place on April 16. When visiting www.readergirlz.com, participants can download bookplates to insert into the books they’ll leave behind, which explain the surprise to the recipient and tell them to read and enjoy.

“This event is such a special one because it not only raises awareness about teen literature, but it also truly helps those teens most in need. Teens facing illnesses will be able to find an age- appropriate new book to read while in the hospital — teen books matter and not just any old book will do,” said Sarah Cornish Debraski, YALSA president. “Our thanks to the publishers, readergirlz, and Guys Lit Wire. It’s wonderful to unite with these organizations to forward this cause.”

Participating book publishers who have donated books or audiobooks include Abrams Books, Bloomsbury/Walker Books, Candlewick Press, Full Cast Audio, Hachette Book Group, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Hyperion, Milkweed, Mirrorstone Books, Orca Book Publishers, Peachtree Books, Perseus Book Group/Running Press, Random House, Scholastic, Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, Soft Skull Press & Red Rattle Books, TOKYOPOP and Tor/Forge/Starscape/Tor Teen.

“Putting the right book into the hands of a teen can turn that teen into a reader for life, “ said Suzanne Murphy, VP and Group Publisher, Scholastic Trade Book Publishing. “We are delighted to have the opportunity to help Operation TBD show teens firsthand just how much fun reading can be.”

Pediatric hospitals that have signed up to receive books include Phoenix Children's Hospital (Phoenix, Ariz.), Rady's Children's Hospital (San Diego, Calif.), Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Children's Hospital and Research Center (Oakland, Calif.), All Children's Hospital (St. Petersburg, FL), Children's Memorial Hospital (Chicago, Ill.), UM C.S. Mott Children's Hospital (Ann Arbor, Mich.), Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics (Kansas City, MO), The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Children's Medical Center in Dallas, Mary Bridge Children's Hospital & Health Center (Tacoma, Wash.) and Seattle Children's Hospital.

“Our teen patients here at Seattle Children’s loved the books donated through the Operation Teen Book Drop last year,” said Kim Korte, Child Life Manager, Seattle Children’s Hospital. “Books are a wonderful avenue for our patients to be distracted from the pain and stress of hospitalization. We are always in need of books and greatly appreciate the generosity of the publishers who donated.”

Everyone who participates in Operation TBD is invited to celebrate at the TBD Post-Op Party on April 16 at 6 p.m. Pacific Time on the readergirlz blog: http://readergirlz.blogspot.com.

About Support Teen Literature Day
For the third consecutive year, Support Teen Literature Day will be celebrated April 16, 2009 in conjunction with ALA’s National Library Week. Librarians all across the country are encouraged to participate in Support Teen Literature Day by hosting events in their library. The purpose of this new celebration is to raise awareness among the general public that young adult literature is a vibrant, growing genre with much to offer today’s teens. Support Teen Literature Day also seeks to showcase award-winning authors and books in the genre as well as highlight librarians’ expertise in connecting teens with books and other reading materials.

About the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA)
For more than 50 years, YALSA has been the world leader in selecting books, videos, and audiobooks for teens. For more information about YALSA or for lists of recommended reading, viewing and listening, visit www.ala.org/yalsa/booklists or contact the YALSA office by phone, 800-545-2433, ext. 4390, or email, yalsa@ala.org.

About readergirlz
readergirlz is the foremost online book community for teen girls, led by five critically acclaimed YA authors—Dia Calhoun (Avielle of Rhia), Holly Cupala (A Light That Never Goes Out) Lorie Ann Grover (Hold Me Tight), Justina Chen Headley (North of Beautiful), and Melissa Walker (the Violet series). readergirlz is the recipient of a 2007 James Patterson PageTurner Award. To promote teen literacy and leadership in girls, readergirlz features a different YA novel and corresponding community service project every month. For more information about readergirlz, please visit www.readergirlz.com and http://readergirlz.blogspot.com, or contact divas@readergirlz.com.

About Guys Lit Wire
Guys Lit Wire brings literary news and reviews to the attention of teenage boys and the people who care about them. Working to combat the perception that teen boys aren’t as well read as teen girls, the organization seeks out literature uniquely targeted toward teen male readers in hopes of bringing attention of good books to guys who might have missed them.

Ó2009 readergirlz

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