Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A Contest!

Hurry to enter this contest! Its ending soon!


Janette Rallison on how Life Imitates Art!

Janette Rallison so kindly agreed to writing on a topic for my blog! So, thank you Janette and readers, enjoy!

Life imitates art

When I first decided to write books, I always knew that there would be some story scenes that had roots in incidents from my real life. What I didn't realize was how many times I would write a scene or story line and then have something similar happen in my life (or just as often my oldest daughter's life) Really, it's happened with such regularity that it is a little bit spooky.

For example, there is a scene in Just One Wish
where Annika and Steve are driving down a highway in the middle of nowhere and their car stops. I'd barely researched and written that scene when my daughter and her boyfriend had car problems after a visit here when they were driving back to Utah. You'll all be glad to know that apparently I'd written a pretty accurate description of what happens when the transmission goes out. I also asked my daughter what her boyfriend said at the time and then used that as dialogue. (That is the type of loving mother I am--my child is stuck in the middle of nowhere and I want dialogue details.)

I have to say though, that the Orlando Bloom story surprised even me.

In Just One Wish, the main character Annika, goes off to Hollywood to try and track down a famous and incredibly handsome young actor. (And yes, I did imagine him to look like Orlando Bloom when I wrote it.)

But the first time she sees him she doesn't recognize him.

My editor did not buy it. He told me that if Annika was a fan and she'd done any amount of research on the Internet, she would know what he looked like, even if he did play a blond guy on the Robin Hood series. (Think Legolas from The Lord of the Rings. Ahhhh. Now stopping thinking of him and get back to reading my blog.)

So not long ago, one of my high school buddies emailed me. Without knowing anything about my conversation with my editor she told me the story of her encounter with Orlando Bloom.

Here it is in my friend Misty’s words:

I actually met Orlando Bloom. He was in Louisville filming the movie "Elizabethtown". Paramont had a temp office in the same building where I worked. I walked from one building through a pedway to another building with him and his dog, and we talked the whole time. He was a really nice guy.

The funny part was that I didn't know who he was. I knew the dog was Orlando's dog, because the security guard in the building had told me that they were letting him bring his dog in, but I didn't realize Orlando was the scrub walking the dog. I even asked him if it was Orlando's dog.

He looked at me to see if I had a clue in my head. Seeing that I didn't, he said that yes, it was Orlando's dog.

We got to the end of the hallway, and there was this guy with the movie signing folks in for second call backs for extras. I asked if I could go back to get some autographs, but he said no.

I said, "Well at least I got to pet Orlando Bloom's dog." I petted the dog again, and went on my merry way.

When I got back up to the office I told some folks about it. They asked what the guy who was walking the dog looked like. I described him (in my defense, he was dressed like he just rolled out of bed and grabbed what was on the floor).

This lady I worked with had taken his picture earlier that day with her cell phone. Much to my surprise, it was the dog walker. Another lady I worked with had a brother who was a stage hand working on the movie. She went out with him and some of his stage hand buddies. Apparently Orlando was telling everyone about the crazy chick who didn't know who he was, but knew who his dog was.

You know, he meets a lot of folks, but me, he will remember. Feel free to use this true, but unbelievable story in a future book. It is pretty funny.

Okay, it's me, Janette again. I have to say that it is funny. And just one more example of life imitating my writing. Thanks for taking the hit that time, Misty, and proving to me that yes, it could happen in real life.

(I think for my next book, I should write a story about an author who becomes fabulously wealthy and best friends with Orlando Bloom . . . it could happen.)

In My Mailbox (Late!!)

Sorry everyone that I'm a day late, but, I've been soooo busy with school and 4-H and life!

This week I got 4 books, which I must say is pretty good, not as good as some of my other weeks, but I'm happy!

"The Importance of Wings" by Robin Friedman
ARC or New: ARC from kind author! Thank you!!
This one looks really good, I'm looking forward to reading it!

"Lifting the Sky" by Mackie D'Arge
ARC Or New: New from Mackie D'Arge! Thank you so much!!
A YA book about horses, that alone promises that I'll like it!

"Sliding on the Edge" by C. Lee Mckenzie
ARC or New: ARC!
This one sounds really neat, thank you!!

"Look Both Ways" by Jacquelyn Mitchard
ARC Or New: New from author! Thank you so much!
I'm really looking forward to reading this one, and the cover is so pretty!!

Thats all for last week!!!

Last night I finished reading "Love You, Hate You, Miss You" and absoluetly loved it! Now I want to read, read, read a bunch more of Elizabeth Scott's young adult books!! She is such a good writer!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Want to win a copy of "A Countess Below Stairs?"

If so, you should check out this contest!!



Saturday, March 28, 2009

Book Review: "The Debs"

Enter a world of three best friends, and one enemy, and a yearning above yearnings to make it onto the Glass Slipper Club, all mixed into the warm Texan atmosphere and lots of boys to go around. However, as things start heating up for Laura with her enemy, Jo Lynn and it looks like because of one blow out she might not make it on the club after all, or will Mac's step mom come in and save the day? And what about Ginger with her trip to the police station after being used in a very un-formal way? It all comes down to one last things, will Laura, Mac, Ginger, AND enemy Jo Lynn all find themselves wearing the beautiful white gown that they have been looking forward to for years before?

When I went into reading "The Debs" by Susan McBride I had really high standards. I expected a lot from it. However, my expectations didn't quite get met as much as I had hoped. "The Debs" had some interesting parts that were original and fun to read that made you want to keep reading to the end of the book and find out what happened, but it seemed like the plot was not as well developed as I would have liked. I liked Mac a lot because of her down to earth nature that I think a lot of readers will be able to relate to. I do think that Susan McBride is a super good righter, as she puts a lot of details into her book, but I think that the story needed just a little bit better of a developed plot. Overall, I think that "The Debs" is a pretty neat book, and would make a good Summer read! I am looking forward to reading the next in the series, "Love Lies and Texas Dips" that's coming out in June, and "Gloves Off" that is coming in Spring 2010!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Book Review: Taken By Storm

Michael loves to dive. His love of water, his ability to dive, and strength from diving are probably a few of the only reasons the he survived the hurricane that killed both his parents, as well as almost everyone else in the little diner on the sea. He feels that it is his fault his Mother drowned and wishes upon wishes that things could be the same again, and that he could dive again. However, when Michael meets Leesie, things start looking up! Leesie is a Mormon and has set plenty of rules for herself to keep, some of them including keeping her feet on the floor, and not making out. However, sometimes rules are meant to be broken, right? Especially once Michael and Leesie start growing closer to each other and help each other in more ways that they didn't imagine. What will happen with Leesie and Michaels relationships? Will they learn to look forward to the future and except each others differences?

"Taken By Storm" is a great novel by Angela Morrison. Leesie and Michaels relationship was truly beautiful and the characters were easy to get attached to. You wanted things to go right for Michael and Leesie - even though if everything had gone right I know the story wouldn't have gone nearly as well as it did. Angela tells Michaels stories through dive logs and Leesie's through her written poems and chat logs, which is really neat! Sometimes Michaels character was a little bit frustrating though because of his prying on Leesie and how he was sad or mad a lot of times, which does make sense since his parents died, but I would have enjoyed it if there some more scenes where Leesie and Michael are both together having a good time. One of the things that I would change though is the suggested age to 13 instead of 12, which isn't that much of a difference, but it has some parts in it that girls 12 and younger might not enjoy as much! "Taken by Storm" is a book of love and death and breaking the rules at time. I know that pretty much everything I said about this book is good, but sometimes you cant even help it, right? I enjoyed it, and hope that you do to!

You can visit Angela Morrison's blog here:


I found a super contest!

Doesn't it look great?



Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I won an award!

Robin over at http://tvandbookaddict.blogspot.com/ has given me my first award!!! Eeek!! Thanks so much! Yipee!!

Here is how it works:

.Post the picture of your award on your blog
.Add a link to whomever awarded you on your blog
.Nominate a minimum of 7 other bloggers for this award
.Post links for the peoples blogs that you nominated on your blog
.Post a message on your nominees blogs letting them know that they won an award!

So...now for the part where I pick who to nominate!


Congratulations to everyone!! Enjoy!!

Book Review: "Shadowed Summer"

Book: Shadowed Summer
Author: Saundra Mitchell
Rating: 4 out of 5
Cover Rating: 3.5 out of 5

This Summer for Iris is going to be much different than any of her others, and probably not for the better. Iris and her best friend, Collete, have always pretended that they could do things with ghosts and spent time in the local graveyard hanging out, however, when one day a ghost actually talks to Iris, Collete's and Iris's summer changes and they start thinking twice about playing with the other side. Iris is haunted by the ghost, Elijah as he haunts her thoughts, dreams, and rips apart her room, searching for a certain note. As the summer goes on, Iris, Collete, and Ben try to unfold the mystery of Elijah's disappearance and face a lot of troubles because of it. What will end up happening in the end? Find out by reading "Shadowed Summer" by Saundra Mitchell!

I really enjoyed this book! It was a fast read with only 183 pages, however it was just enough to fit in everything that I, as a reader wanted to read about! I found the characters were well written and even though the story was about ghosts, you could still relate to it. However, it did seem like at times the story, especially when reading about the older ladies, was set in a older time period compared to the rest of the story. I really did enjoy this book though and I think it would make a great summer read!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Project PERK!

So, over at http://suzanne-young.blogspot.com/2009/03/project-perk_22.html Suzanne Young, author and blogger, has created a post that will happen every Monday. The idea? To make you happy!! So, even though the news can be depressing, she has decided to blog on funny, goofy, and just plain hilarious things! Plus, that's not all - she has invited other bloggers to join her!



Sunday, March 22, 2009

In My Mailbox!!

First of, I want to give credit to Alea at http://aleapopculture.blogspot.com/ and Kristi of the well known http://www.thestorysiren.com/ !! Thanks for giving us this chance to share all of our wonderful books!! Also, thanks to everyone that sent me books!

This week, was, well...amazing!! I received 22 books this week! My new record!

Here they are!

Received in the Mail:

-"Being Nikki" by Meg Cabot

Eeek!! Thank you so much, I am really excited to read this one since "Airhead" is one of my favorites!

-"Seven Tears Into The Sea" by Terri Farley

Phantom Stallion: Wild Horse Island Water Lilly

I didn't know I was getting this one! Thanks Terri!

"Love You, Hate You, Miss You"

"The Debs"

"Heartbeat for Horses"

"Prophecy of the Sisters"

"Spring Breakup"

"The Anatomy of Wings"

"Nothing But Ghosts"


"The Chronicles of Narnia"

"Shadowed Summer"

"Just another Girl"

"Taken By Storm"


For my brother!

I also received "Touch" by Francine Prose, however I was not able to find a photo of it!

The Bought:

"Geek Charming"


Only difference is that it is not a Kindle Edition.

Thanks Goodwill!

"Three Willows the sisterhood grows"


"The Luxe"

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Operation Teen Book Drop!!

Copied from: http://readergirlz.blogspot.com/
This promotion is on the above link! Enjoy!

"Dear readergirlz, the time has come for a contest! Actually, five weeks of contests!

Here's the deal: each week from now until Support Teen Literature Day on April 16th, we'll be awarding a package of books to one winner. To enter, you just comment on our blog posts (comments on older posts count - a point for each comment!) and get an extra ten points for taking up the week's challenge. Get ten more any time by becoming one of our blog followers!

Report your post on our blog with the URL (and get eleven points!). We'll keep track of the comments and urls and award the winners the following Monday. Books! Prizes! And you'll be supporting teen lit and hospitalized teens across the country.

This week's challenge:

Post the Operation TBD trailer on your blog (trailer below). Spread the word about Operation TBD!

All posts Monday 3/16 through Saturday midnight PST count toward this week's prize. Thanks to Shelli at Market My Words for the great idea!"

Friday, March 20, 2009

Author Visit! Sarah MacLean


Sarah MacLean was so kind and answered a bunch of questions for Garden of Books! She is the author of the fabulous "The Season." If you haven't already read it, I suggest it!


.What inspired you to write “The Season”?

Alex wouldn’t leave me alone. She popped into my head one morning, complaining about the dress fitting that would become the first chapter of the book. And she wouldn’t leave me alone until I’d met Vivi and Ella and Blackmoor of course . . . and then . . . I had to write it all down.

.What is the hardest part of writing a novel for you?

Actually sitting down and writing. It’s a lonely road—especially in the middle, when you’re far from the beginning and far from the ending and you’re not quite sure where you’re going or if you’ll end up where you’d planned to.

.Have you written any unpublished works?

Sure . . . I’ve got loads of first chapters . . . even some first few chapters. Sometimes you start with fantastic characters but they just can’t get it together enough to have a real story, and sometimes you start with a great story and the characters just aren’t into it. The magic happens when your characters are excited about their story.

.Are any of your characters based on real people? If so, why did you choose them?

I dedicated the book to the women in my life . . . because the truth is that all the women in the book, from Alex and Vivi and Ella to Nicola and the Duchess and Eliza are based, loosely on a patchwork of the women in my life. I guess I chose them all because you write what you know. And I know some wonderful women.

.What are the main reasons that you love the time period of “The Season”?

Oh, there are so many reasons . . . the manners, the clothing, the politics, the society, the titles, the men in cravats . . . but really it’s Jane Austen who started me down this road. So . . . I blame Jane.

.Do you have any tips for teens that want to become authors?

Writing is not an innate talent. It’s a learned, practiced skill. Write every day, even if it’s only 10 words. Read even more than that.

.Are you planning on writing any more books, and if so, are you planning on writing sequels to “The Season?” I know that if you do, I will read them!

I actually have three adult romances coming from Avon/HarperCollins next year...the first one is due to my editor in April...so I can tell you about that one! It's a Regency-set romance...the heroine is a 27-year-old spinster who has spent her whole life dreaming of adventure and romance...and finally decides to take matters into her own hands. She makes a list of the 9 things she would do if she didn't have to face society...or the consequences. And then she does them. Oh, and there's a dreamy rake in there, too.

As for sequels to The Season, I’d really like to tell Vivi and Ella’s stories sometime soon! I’m glad you’ll be looking for them!

.Which of your characters do you relate to the most?

Ella. She's bookish and klutzy and, also, a little bit clueless despite her complete and utter desire to be the cleverest person in the room. I’m a little like that. J


Hello fellow readers!

I wanted to let you know that the reason that I haven't been updating Garden of Books is because my family and I have been traveling back home to the cold weather from Florida!! So, I have some reviews to write! I hope that you will forgive :)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Book Review: Cracked Up to Be

Book: “Cracked up to be”

Author: Courtney Summers

Page Number: 214

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Cover Rating: 4 out of 5

Rented, bought, or won: Won in a wonderful contest (Thanks!)


“’It can’t be fixed, so let it go.”’(pg. 179) Parker Fadley was the popular girl, head of cheerleading, went, and was invited to parties, and tried to do everything perfect. She was tough on the cheer squad, and tough on herself, trying to get everything just right. However, after terrible disaster happens and she blames herself, Parker goes down hill. Now she is struggling in school, having to go to the school counselor, and on top of all of that, the new boy is falling in love with her. The question is, will Parker learn to move on and forgive herself? Will others learn to forgive her? Will she start loving and turn back into the daughter her parents used to know? The best way to find out is by reading the story, “Cracked Up to be” by Courtney Summers!”

Courtney Summers did a great job portraying the feelings of Parker throughout the story. It was neat how she included the flash backs which helped the reader understand why Parker is in the state that she is. I enjoyed this book, however it got a little frustrating how when it looked like Parker might just turn around for the better, it seemed like she always came crashing back down again. I think that it would have been nice if something really good came up for Parker in the story, making her a little happier maybe. Overall, it was a pretty good book but I do wish that there could have been a follow up, an afterward, with how Parker is doing and add a little bit more happiness to the story.

Now it’s your turn, what did you like and dislike about the book? Would you read it again?

Monday, March 9, 2009

Book Review: Just One Wish

Annika Truman loves her brother. However, now he is sick with cancer and she will do almost anything to help him believe and to make him happy, including getting a man terribly mad just to get a teen robin hood set, and driving four hours to California to try and convince the actor, Steve Raleigh, otherwise known by her little brother as “Robin Hood”, to grant her brothers wish of meeting him. Sound impossible? Well, Annkia has a way of getting what she wants. However, things don’t go quite as planned when the huge snake that she brings with to get past the security gets loose and her real identity is discovered. Will Steve turn Annika in to the police, or will he grant Annikas 6 year old brother his wish?

“Just One Wish” by Janette Rallison was a touching read. She used the perfect speed making the story glide along, keeping readers on their toes and wanting to read more. The story evolved around Annika trying to grant her little brothers wish, which was to meet Robin Hood. The only thing that I wish was different in this story was the ending, which wasn’t as satisfying as a reader would like, but it did make the story more realistic. I really like Janette’s style of writing and I am looking forward to reading more of her books!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Want your Blog to be spotlighted?

If so, you should check this contest out!


Thursday, March 5, 2009

Book Review: "The Reluctant Heiress"

Tiny Tessa doesn’t act like the heir of Austria, and she certainly doesn’t expect to be treated like one. She doesn’t have enough money and works for the Viennese opera company, which is all she really wants. Soon though, opportunities open up for her when Guy, a millionaire orphan turns up at the opera company searching for the perfect one to entertain not only his guests, but his soon to be wife. Throughout the story Guy discovers what his widowed fiancĂ© is really like, and discovers his love for Tessa. Max, a prince, is also poor and in love with Tessa, but she just doesn’t love him back, she loves Guy. Will the love affairs end up working out? Or will Tessa, Max, Guy, and his fiancĂ© end up marrying someone different, when there soul mates are already so close. Find out in “The Reluctant Heiress” by Eva Jhhotson.

I found “The Reluctant Heiress” very hard and confusing at first. However, once you get deeper into the story, you start figuring out who is who and what the characters are facing. It turned out to be a wonderful love story in the end, and had a satisfying ending. I found myself getting attached to Tessa and Guy, with their down to earth characters. I enjoyed reading “The Reluctant Heiress” once I started understanding the points and conflicts of the story, and I am looking forward to reading other books of Eva’s.

Monday, March 2, 2009

If you want to read "The Vampire Diaries".....

Look what I found! You can read the book online for free here:

Enjoy, let me know what you think!

Or...you can buy it here!

Model: A Memoir

Model: Memoir by Cheryl Diamond

Cheryl Diamond is 14, she wants to become a model. Shes pretty enough, actually, shes a little to pretty for some model agencies. She gets turned away because shes just a little to young, not enough experienced, and a little bit to short. However, when she comes to one certain agency, they love her. No matter that shes a few inches to short, she'll grow eventually. Everything is going wonderfully for her with this agency, they are treating her perfectly, they love her, she likes them. However, soon there agency has to close and shes back at square one. Cheryl waits until shes older, 16, and starts trying to find an agency again. She signs with one, and finds how much unfriendly they are compared to her former agency. Cheryl is rising to the top, and getting there faster than most. Her life is going good, until she signs with to do a fashion show, and a terrible thing happens to her and her job is ruined for the time. Will she be able to rise back to the top? Will she have to give up her modeling forever? Will her beauty ever be as it used to?

I loved this book. It is all true, and Cheryl has a extremely good writing style. Her writing makes you feel like you are right there with her. Her story is inspiring and teaches a lesson - reach for your dreams and never give up. This book isn't "clique" like you might think, since Cheryl is a lot more realistic than that. This book was wonderful! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Look at these contests!

I thought that this contest looks pretty neat!








The whole link wouldn't fit together so just copy and paste both links together into your address bar. Sorry about that!

In My Mailbox

First of all, I want to give credit to Alea at http://aleapopculture.blogspot.com/ for giving us this fabulous idea!!!

I had a very good week this week!

I got:

"Taken By Storm"

"The Reluctant Heiress" It looks so neat, and the cover is beautiful!

"Faery Rebels" I'm excited to read this one!

This one got me really excited!!! It looks good, dosen't it?

"Academy 7" Yipee!

Books I bought: None

All of these books look oh so good! I'm pretty sure that this weeks amount of books that I got are the most I've ever gotten in the mail in a single week!! Thank you so much to everyone that sent me a book!

Now its time to see what you got in your mailbox this week! Link to your post if you would like!