Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Vampire Crush A.M. Robinson


Source: Author



I swear, my life was always totally normal.


Normal house, normal family, normal school. My looks are average, I don't have any superpowers, no one's showing up to tell me I'm a princess—you get the picture. But when my junior year started, something not normal happened. There were new kids at school . . . new kids with a wardrobe straight out of a 19th-century romance novel, and an inexplicable desire to stay at school until sundown.

And on top of that, James Hallowell showed up. James, who stole my sandwiches in fourth grade and teased me mercilessly through middle school. James, who now seems to have the power to make my heart race any time he comes near.

But something weird is going on. Because James rarely goes out during the day. And he seems stronger than your typical guy. And he knows the new kids, all of whom seem to be harboring some kind of deep secret. . . .



Before you judge this book on the synopsis, wait. Vampire Crush is nothing like Twilight and I promise you that. I loved this book. I didn't really know what to expect from it since I too was worried it was going to be another Twilight, but it's not. It's full of action, adventure, and just plain fun. I enjoyed Sophie. She was a funny character and all she was trying to do was interview the new students who were totally freaking her out. Vlad was a total mystery to me. I kept wondering what is his problem? It seemed that one thing he said happened and all the girls were swooning all after him, espeially Sophie's sister.


Another great part about this book is the cover. I love the candy bat and the red velvet color in the background. It captures the book fully, but still leaves you with a question of what this book is going to be about.


Overall, I truly enjoyed this book and can't wait to read more of A.M. Robinson's work.



♥♥♥ 1/2


-Ana

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Forest of Adventures (Knight Trilogy #1) by Katie M. John - Review by Rissa


For seventeen year old Mina Singer, falling in love with an Arthurian Knight on a white horse was never part of the plan - especially being that she's an ordinary college girl living in the twenty first century.
As Mina finds herself catapulted into a land she believed only existed in the bedtime stories of her childhood, she soon discovers that Fairyland is not quite as innocent as she imagined.

The question is...who will come out alive?

Haunting, beautiful and sexy, The Forest of Adventures, is a dark romantic quest into the land of true and forbidden love.





The Forest of Adventures by Katie M. John is a beautiful story of an ordinary girl, Mina Singer, finds out that the life she once thought to be perfect is severely lacking. She realized this when she comes face to face with the handsome Blake Beldevier whose mysterious persona sweeps her off her feet, much to her dismay. What starts off as a hormonal/emotional struggle between right and wrong (can she choose this alluring new man over her faithful, loving boyfriend?), turns into a crisis in which Mina must step into a role she is totally unprepared for, and have to make choices that will break hearts, and shake up her destiny.


Originality


In reading this I found that Ms. John took a fairly well known plot, and added just enough details to make it come alive once more. Let's face it, there's only so many times one can read a story about a girl who realizes that her life is not what she wants it to be, but once you throw in a knight, Arthurian legend, a life-or-death major dramatic question, and Morgan Le Fay, you've got yourself an amazing story! I especially loved how Ms. John put so much detail and depth into Mina's thoughts about her boyfriend Sammy. As I was reading I felt like I was right there with Mina, experiencing her guilt, her indecision, and her sacrifice.


Cover


The cover of this book is alluring, and instantly made me wonder what it was about, and want to read more into it. The girl, who I presume to be Mina, is standing in a forest surrounded by trees, beautiful flowers, and a starry sky. It gives off a magical feeling, and sets the mood for the story. It is also a plot device for an important setting in the book.


Characters


I very much enjoyed Mina's character, and especially her dedication to Sammy, her boyfriend who she obviously cares for, even when she finds herself falling for Blake. Perhaps it's due to guilt, but I found it impressive that she openly admitted that she still cared for Sammy, and was willing to risk it all to save him, even though she truly loved Blake. I sometimes find female lead characters to be complely vapid, and I am happy to report that Mina broke the mold. I also loved her ability to verbally spar with Blake, she never gave into him too quickly and many times I found myself laughing at her antics.

Now, for Blake. Oh, dear Blake, how I love you. Handsome, honorable, romantic, brooding, how can one not be completely enchanted by him? With the character of Blake I particularly loved how Ms. John made the knight-in-shining-armor persona into the actual character of a knight. I also appreciated that he was far from being the perfect man, expecially given the "brooding" aspect of his character. There were several places where Mina is greatly frustrated/annoyed/ by this, as was I, but it made him all the more alive. After all, what's a handsome guy without a tragic backstory?

I'm grouping the last two characters together in this part, because I found that they were perfect foils to one another; these two characters would be Vivian and Morgan. I absolutely loved the character of Vivan; mysterious, selfless, motherly- and Morgan; evil, manipulative, and scheming. I really loved the author's take on these recognizable literary names, because it made them both more relatable.


Plot


The mysterious prologue is the first thing the reader will encounter upon opening the book (at least, I would hope it is!). I found it to be alluring and a perfect draw in, because one cannot help but wonder, 'what in the world is going on?' Well, you won't know for a while, but you'll definitely keep reading because you will want to find out!

"The pain is exquisite, the pain is love."
See?? Aren't you dying to read more??

I was so impressed by the way that Ms. John wove key plot points together, in a way that was entirely unexpected. For example, with the character of Sammy, in a million years I did not expect him to play the part he did. In the beginning he was the rather stereotypical and safe boyfriend but, in ways I can't explain for fear of ruining the surprise, his is the role that will test Mina's resolve...and her love.

As I have said in the past, I adore stories about knights, kings, chivalry, and magic. If you find yourself in loving the same themes, Forest of Adventures is the book for you! And, if it's not, check it out anyway, because you may find a new genre to love!

I found that the story had the perfect balance of Arthurian and modern themes, as well as msytery, plot twists and, as you may have guessed, adventure. Katie M. John has written into existance a world that the reader can easily get drawn into and will not want to leave.


Conclusion


Let me say this, the ending leave you absolutely breathless, in shock, and dying for more. I was stunned because the biggest plot twist in the book happens in the last few pages, so I will warn...don't get too comfortable because you will be blown away, and wanting more!


In conclusion, I truly enjoyed this book and I give it a rating of ♥♥♥♥

Contrary to Popular Belief, I AM still alive!

Hey everyone!

So, it's been a while but I'm finally back, and with good news; I've been accepted into my top choice college! That really is the story of why I haven't been around lately- for the last couple of weeks I've been swamped in school/college apps work. I only actually sent in one app, but as the Early Decision deadline was approaching I began to panic and think, "Oh no, what if I actually don't get in??" So thus, I began filling out other apps like a mad(wo)man, just in case. This proved to be unnecessary, because I was accepted but, as they say, better to be safe than sorry. All is well.

So, anyway! I have been working on reading books and setting up interviews for the blog, and as soon as I post this I'll be typing up a book review on The Forest of Adventures by Katie M. John (spoiler alert, it's a definite must read!).

I'm going to take this opportunity to say Merry Christmas to all, and I wish you much happiness in the New Year, and God Bless!

-Rissa

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Deadly Sister by Eliot Schrefer


Source: Publisher


Abby Goodwin is sure her sister Tabitha isn't a murderer. But her parents don't agree. Her friends don't agree. And the cops definitely don't agree. Tabitha is a drop-out, a stoner, a girl who's obsessed with her tutor, Clyde Andrews...until he ends up dead. Tabitha runs away, and leaves Abby following the trail of clues. Each piece of evidence points to Tabitha, but it also appears that Clyde had secrets of his own. And enemies. Like his brother, who Abby becomes involved with...until he falls under suspicion.
Is Abby getting closer to finding the true murderer? Or is someone leading her down a twisted false path?


This book was an intense thriller. I don't usually read thriller, but this one blew me away. The writing was amazing and Eliot knows how to keep the reader engaged. Never did I run into a slow part in the book where I wanted to skip.


Abby Goodwin is your typical nice girl who does everything right, and there's her sister Maya who's the opposite of her. Maya's now accused of the murder of Jefferson and right after that you go on a roller coster. You won't know who to believe and you will not know who to trust. And let me say this, the ending will shock you completely! You will not believe what will happen and your mind won't even go there.


I loved the cover of this book and how it doesn't give away anything about the plot. It does make it seem mysterious, yet it captures the book.


Overall, if you're into mysteries/thrillers, this book is for you. It's the type of book that keeps you up all night to finish so you will know who was the person behind all of this.



♥♥♥♥1/2


-Ana



Saturday, December 11, 2010

Contest!


I have a new contest for everyone! One lucky winner will win a signed bookmark by Lisa Desrochers, author of PERSONAL DEMONS. I'm reading that book right now and it's amazing!! Also, you will win 2 temporary tattoos along with the bookmark. One tattoo says Team Luc and the other one says Team Gabe.


Okay, so now onto the rules:


1. The deadline for the contest is Decemeber 29, 2010


2. To enter, all you have to do is write to me at anarissachronicles@gmail.com with the subject "Personal Demons Bookmark" .


3. Just write your name in the body of the email.
Also, I will be announcing the winner on December 30, 2010 and you will receive an email from me.


Good Luck to everyone!!!


-Ana

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Lying Game by Sara Shepard


Source: Publisher


I had a life anyone would kill for.

Then someone did.

The worst part of being dead is that there’s nothing left to live for. No more kisses. No more secrets. No more gossip. It’s enough to kill a girl all over again. But I’m about to get something no one else does—an encore performance, thanks to Emma, the long-lost twin sister I never even got to meet.

Now Emma’s desperate to know what happened to me. And the only way to figure it out is to be me—to slip into my old life and piece it all together. But can she laugh at inside jokes with my best friends? Convince my boyfriend she’s the girl he fell in love with? Pretend to be a happy, carefree daughter when she hugs my parents good night? And can she keep up the charade, even after she realizes my murderer is watching her every move?

From Sara Shepard, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Pretty Little Liars books, comes a riveting new series about secrets, lies, and killer consequences.

Let the lying game begin.



Never have I ever read a book from Sara Shepard. I never even have read Pretty Little Liars (I know I'm dying to read that one). But once I read this book, I fell in love with it. The beginning was a little slow for me, but once I got into the book, it was a big total mystery with drama, but mostly mystery. The narrator is Sutton's ghost, but for some reason, I didn't catch on to that for a long time in the book. Emma was a great character. Being grown up in a foster care, I felt so bad for her. But as she went in with Sutton's family, I saw the love from them and a whole new experience for Emma.


I thought the plot was amazing. Most books I've read are about paranormal creatures from vampires to werewolves to angels. Reading this book for a change was great and Sara Sheaprd really does know her stuff.


The cover of the book was absolutly beautiful. HarperTeen alaways does amazing book covers, but this one had a feel of mystery in it which I adored.


Overall, this book was a great quick read which left me guessing until the end and I can't wait to read the sequal, Never Have I Ever.


♥♥♥♥1/2


-Ana

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Happy Birthday, Ana!!! :D

Soo, I see that she posted today, but made no mention to her 16th birthday...whattt? Unacceptable! Now, I'm rather scared to know that she now has the ability to drive, which makes me question the near proximity of our houses (kidding...kinda ;), but it is a very special birthday, and worth mentioning. Anyway, I wanted to post a Happy Birthday message to my best friend, Ana! I'm so glad to have such a wonderful friend in you-- from running around NYC in torrential rains, to seeing The Phantom of the Opera, to our various fictional guy obsessions (Damon Salvatore? MINE. haha), to creating this blog, to ranting about the many crazy people in our lives, I've had so much fun with you! :) I'm really going to miss you next year, but I know our friendship is will remain strong, and I look forward to many fun times in the future.
Happy Birthday!

Love,
Rissa =)

Torment by Lauren Kate


Source: Publisher


Hell on earth. That's what it's like for Luce to be apart from her fallen angel boyfriend, Daniel. It took them an eternity to find one another, but now he has told her he must go away. Just long enough to hunt down the Outcasts - immortals who want to kill Luce. Daniel hides Luce at Shoreline, a school on the rocky California coast with unusually gifted students -Nephilim, the offspring of fallen angels and humans.

At Shoreline, Luce learns what the Shadows are, and how she can use them as windows to her previous lives. Yet the more Luce learns, the more she suspects that Daniel hasn't told her everything. He's hiding something - something dangerous. What if Daniel's version of the past isn't actually true? What if Luce is really meant to be with someone else? The second novel in the addictive FALLEN series . . . where love never dies.



I don't know how to put my love for this book in words. I loved the first book and the second book was only better! Kate has an amazing way of writing that makes the reader get absorbed in and never want to let go. That's how I felt reading Torment. I felt so bad for Luce on how much she missed Daniel, and him being away, I missed him too.


The big fight at the end of the book was amazing. I'm not going to say much about it, but I will say the ending was a small cliffhanger and it will leave you breathless until Passion and Rapture come out.


The cover of this book was beautiful as always. Delacorte Press has done an amazing job on creating the covers of the Fallen Series.


Overall, if you loved Fallen, you will love Torment even more.


♥♥♥♥♥


-Ana

The Julian Game by Adele Griffin


Source: Author


All new girl Raye Archer wants is a way into the in crowd, so when ice-queen Ella Parker picks her to get back at her ex, the gorgeous Julian Kilgarry, Raye is more than game. Even if it means creating a fake Facebook identity so she can learn enough about Julian to sabotage him. It's a fun and dangerous thrill at first, but Raye hadn't counted on falling for Julian herself and igniting Ella's rage. As Raye works to reconcile the temptress Elizabeth with her real-life self, Ella serves up her own revenge, creating an online smear campaign of nasty rumors and trashy photographs. Suddenly notorious, Raye has to find a way out of the web of deceit that she's helped to build, and back to the relationships that matter. Adele Griffin's riveting novel explores the issues of generation Facebook: the desire to be someone else, real versus online friends, and the pitfalls and fallouts of posting your personal life online for all the world to judge.



The Julian Game was a light novel that really showed the dangers of being someone else online. Raye was a sweet girl and when she got the chance to be in the popular clique, she immediately took it, leaving her best friend for that day they were going to spend together. But being with the popular kids meant to Raye that someone was going to get hurt.


I enjoyed how the book's ending came out because I felt as though everything was resolved. I LOVED the cover of this book. It's so beautiful and it's exactly blue wigged Elizabeth. Putnam couldn't have done a better job with the cover!


Overall, I really enjoyed this book and recommend it to others who want to read about what happens when you expose yourself too much on the internet.


♥♥♥♥


-Ana

Friday, November 26, 2010

Where the Truth Lies by Jessica Warman


Source: Publisher


On the surface, Emily Meckler leads the perfect life. She has three best friends, two loving parents, and the ideal setup at the Connecticut prep school where her father is the headmaster. But Emily also suffers from devastating nightmares about fire and water, and nobody knows why. Then the enigmatic Del Sugar enters her life, and Emily is immediately swept away—but her passionate relationship with Del is just the first of many things that aren't quite what they seem in Emily's life. As the lies she's been told start to unravel, Emily must set out to discover the truth regarding her nightmare; on a journey that will lead her to question everything she thought she knew about love, family, and her own idyllic past.



When I finished this book, I didn't know what to think about. It had really captivated me and I waited a while before I sat down to write this review. Where the Truth Lies is a very powerful story about how one girl thought she knew everything, but she actually didn't.


Emily is a character who when you first take a glance at her, you know she has a perfect life, but underneath the surface, she's actually suffering from nightmares. She's the daughter of the headmaster, but later on in the book, you find out she's not as perfect and her life isn't the best. She suffers lies. She evern meets Del and at first she thinks he's the best person and he loves her and she loves him. Both there descriptions and dialogues were exactly how a teen would act and talk. Jessica Warman really stayed true to who her characters really were.


The book had a sort of mysterious plot which I enjoyed a lot. Also, the cover is amazing. Bloomsbury always does an amazing job with their covers and all I can give them is 5 stars every time.


Overall, I enjoyed this book and will be reading more books by Jessica Warman in the future.


♥♥♥♥ 1/2


-Ana

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!


I want to take this moment and wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving.


I have a lot to be thankful for this year. First of all, my parents who have always been there for me, my best friend Rissa who is like a big sister to me and someone I can actually talk to and she'll understad me. My little sister whom I love dearly and couldn't ask for a better sister, the wonderful authors and publishers whom I've befriended. It's only been less than a year and I've become close to them all. They're all so great! And last, but not least, my wonderful readers here on the blog. Thank you for visiting me here everyday. You mean so much to me and I want to give a big thank you to all of you!
I wish everyone nothing but the best!
♥ Ana

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Twin's Daughter by Lauren Baratz - Logsted


Source: Publisher


Lucy Sexton is stunned when a disheveled woman appears at the door one day... a woman who bears an uncanny resemblance to Lucy's own beautiful mother. It turns out the two women are identical twins, separated at birth, and raised in dramatically different circumstances. Lucy's mother quickly resolves to give her less fortunate sister the kind of life she has never known. And the transformation in Aunt Helen is indeed remarkable. But when Helen begins to imitate her sister in every way, even Lucy isn't sure at times which twin is which. Can Helen really be trusted, or does her sweet face mask a chilling agenda?
Filled with shocking twists and turns, The Twin's Daughter is an engrossing gothic novel of betrayal, jealousy, and treacherous secrets that will keep you guessing to the very end.



The Twin's Daughter is a very intriguing book and mysterious. I loved the English used in this book. It made me feel as though I was living in England, which I want to do a lot. Lucy was a fun character. When the book started, I didn't know how much I was going to like her, but I was suprised to see how well developed she was. She's a very caring girl who truly cares for her mother and her Aunt Helen, but the situation makes her think twice.


The book has a lot of details. Maybe if some of the details were cut off, the book would have been not as long and much easier to read. I did find myself skipping some details because it went on for a while, but other than that, the book is exciting and you get trapped in it.


I absolutly love the cover for this book. It's so eye-catching and it resembles the plot so well. The pink and the two shadowy - dark figures do represent mother and Aunt Helen very creatively.


Overall, I enjoyed this book and recommend it to anyone who wants to read something a bit different with a mystery involved.


♥♥♥♥


-Ana

Sunday, November 21, 2010

A Visitor's Guide to Mystic Falls


Source: Publisher


Vampires are hot right now, especially among teens, and The Vampire Diaries in a few short episodes became the CW’s most-watched show.

The Vampire Diaries brings together today’s best YA writers of the supernatural to talk about the show’s first season: the characters, the storyline, the magic, the town. From a history of the Salem’s witches from whom Bonnie is descended to family therapy for brothers Stefan and Damon, the anthology is guaranteed to keep Vampire Diaries viewers entertained—and make them see Mystic Falls, and the rest of the show, in a whole new way.

And the webmasters of Vampire-Diaries.net, a popular fansite for both the books and show, also provide a primer on what viewers should know before picking up the books.


If you know me, you know that I absolutly LOVE the Vampire Diaries. And when I found about about this book, I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. It's the perfect book and gift for any Vampire Diaries fan. I loved it how so many authors teamed up and expressed their love for the show and delved into it and I've been waiting for something like this for a long time.


I absolutly love the cover of this. I mean it can't get better than having pages from diaries, and vervain on the cover. That to me screams out Vampire Diaries. I don't know how more I can express my love for this book! Go out and buy it if you're a fan of the show. It won't disappoint.


♥♥♥♥♥



-Ana



Feather by Abra Ebner


Source: Author


Estella's magical life as an orphan was never easy, and at eighteen, she is finally free. In her desperate attempt to leave the city behind and unravel her strange talents, she flees to a secluded college nestled deep in the forests of the North Cascades. It is here that she hopes to escape her painful life, and forgotten past.
As classes begin, Elle struggles to find her place, until she meets Professor Edgar. Young, handsome, yet terrifying, Elle is suddenly intrigued. Despite her fear of him, she finds the strange attraction mesmerizing, dangerous, and somehow familiar. As their acquaintance grows, she is suddenly drawn further into a life she never knew she lived, in a place that finally feels like home. As her happiness returns, so do the demons of her forgotten past. It is here that she finds herself faced with the sacrifice of her life, and the beginning of a journey deeply rooted in our existence.
Feather takes us into the darkest regions of our soul, into a world where we only dream to exist. Book one of the series introduces us to this new world, a place closely rooted in our dreams, and a place we ve all been. Begin the journey your soul craves, in a world where warrior's spring from the earth and magic is all around us.



FEATHER is a book I've never read before. When I first heard of Abra Ebner's books, I immediatly wanted them. They sounded so good and I kept wondering, where has she been all my life? But once I started FEATHER, I knew Abra Ebner had talent.


I loved Estella's character. She's not obnoxious and she's not the type who hides away from everything. She's strong and courageous. Being an orphan was hard for her, but she was making her way through and met her friend Scott. Scott oh Scott. He was so adorable. I thought it was so cute how much he loved being around her and the secret crush he had for her. And then we meet Edgar. At first, I hated this guy's attitiude. I thought he was just plain rude and kept saying to myself, Estella can't fall for this guy, but as Ebner delves more into this guy, you begin to like him more. Ebner has amazing character development in this books.


The plot was very mysterious. I had no clue what Edgar was. At times, I kept asking myself if he actually was anything 'paranormal'. But to not ruin the suprise, you'll have to read the book to find out about who this mysterious Edgar is. But I'll tell you, you won't be disappointed.


I loved the cover. Ebner is an amazing artist to come up with it and this cover gets 5 stars!


Overall, I enjoyed this book a lot and can't wait to read more of Abra Ebner's work!


♥♥♥♥1/2



-Ana

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Interview with Eilis O'Neal

Hey everyone! So, today I have for you an interview with Ms. Eilis O'Neal, the author of The False Princess which will be out in bookstores on January 25, 2011. Link to the review; http://anarissachron.blogspot.com/2010/09/false-princess-by-eilis-oneal-review-by.html

So, without further ado, Ms. Eilis O'Neal!

How long have you been writing?

I started telling stories before I could actually write them down. Starting at about the age of three, I would tell my mother stories, and she would type them out. The first one I ever told her was about a frog who cried frozen tears because winter had come and he couldn’t swim in his pond anymore. It was all of three sentences long. But gradually, I started telling/writing longer stories on a regular basis. Then my mom would type them up, I’d illustrate them, and we’d give them out to my relatives as Christmas presents.



Who or what was your inspiration for becoming an author?

In general, my desire to become an author stems from the fact that I’m a total bookworm and have been since before I could talk. I’m one of those people who can’t go anywhere without a book, because there might be five minutes where I could be reading. So it wasn’t much of a leap to realize that I wanted to be able to write books that affected people the way that many books affect me. More specifically, I read Tamora Pierce’s Song of the Lioness quartet when I was twelve, and those books cemented in me the idea that I wanted to write YA fantasy novels.



What inspired you to write about this particular time period?

I’m a medieval/Renaissance nut. I would love to live somewhere where I could see castles on a daily basis, and my husband and I love to dress up and go to Ren faires. A lot of the fantasy books I read are set in that general time period. So, basically, I just like!



What did you have to research to properly portray the land of Thorvaldor?

One of the things I had to do some extra research on is the dyeing of cloth. Sinda’s Aunt Varil is a dyer, and at the beginning of the book, Sinda tries—fairly unsuccessfully—to learn this trade. I knew that I wasn’t going to be writing a handbook on dyeing, but I wanted the little snippets that I did include to be realistic. So I got books and poked around on the internet until I felt like I had enough basic knowledge that anything I said wouldn’t—hopefully—be too far from the truth.


How long did it take you to write this book from start to finish?

It’s been a few years, so it’s hard to remember exactly. But I think I started the first draft in early January of 2007 and finished it in October of that year. Then I revised for a long time. I think I was shopping it around for an agent by November of 2009. So, quite a while!



What was the publishing process like?

I got my agent the old fashioned way—a query letter and the first five pages of the book. Once he’d decided to represent me, he said there was a new (in the US) publishing house whose first list would come out in the fall of 2009, and that he thought it would be a good place to start. And, to our shock, Egmont USA accepted it! Which is, of course, something that totally does not normally happen, though I’m certainly glad it did. And I’m so glad that Egmont will be publishing the book, because everyone there is great.



How did you come up with the characters of Sinda and Kiernan? Were they inspired by anyone?

I knew that I wanted my false princess to be someone who never quite fit into the “normal” idea of what a princess should be. Someone quiet and bookish, a little shy. And once I had that, I also knew that her best friend would be someone who was very opposite—outgoing and witty, someone who could pull her out of her shell. They weren’t inspired by anyone in particular, though Sinda is probably more like me than anyone else in the book is, so I was able to write her pretty easily.



Who was your favorite character to write?

Of course, I love Sinda. Like I said, she’s the most like me. But I think that the two characters I had to the most fun writing are Kiernan and Philantha, because both of them make me laugh. Kiernan gets to be droll and witty and silly, and Philantha goes off on these weird bunny trails of conversations that are a hoot to follow. Whenever I had to write them, I ended up smiling.



Who was the most difficult to write?

There are several characters in the book who have ulterior motives. I’m not going to name names, because that would give things away, but it’s always hard to write people who are giving one face to your main character, but who you know will make a shift later. You have to not tip off the reader too much, but also lay the groundwork for making that shift plausible, and it can be a dance.



Do you have any future projects you can tell us about?

I do have some future projects, but right now they’re under wraps. Still, stay tuned!


Thank you so much to Eilis for a wonderful interview and, again, remember to look for The False Princess in stores 1/25/11!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Jump by Ginger Rue


Source: Publisher


High school junior Brinkley Harper is beautiful, wealthy, admired, and powerful—until the day she wakes up in the body of a classmate she wouldn’t be caught dead hanging out with.

Goth girl Miranda is everything Brinkley isn’t: she won't leave the house in anything but black, her family life is in tatters, she’s practically invisible at school, and she’s hiding a dark secret. As Brinkley experiences Miranda’s life from the inside out, she’s forced to consider the world from a very different point-of-view. But this won’t be Brinkley's last “jump,” and each time she lives a day in another classmate’s body, Brinkley not only begins to feel empathy for others, she also begins to glimpse the fears, vulnerabilities, and disappointments behind her own perfect façade. By experiencing the world as somebody else, Brinkley may finally learn to understand herself.



JUMP is a book that shows that if you walk in someone else's shoes, you'll see the true person and might feel more compassionate about them. Brinkely Harper was the most popular girl in school, but also the meanest and Miranda was the goth who Brinkely didn't like. But as Brinkely literally goes into Miranda's shoes and other girls', she begins to think differently about them because she's going throuhg what they are as well.


I loved the transformation of Brinkely throughout the novel. She started out snotty, but changed. Also, the characters in this book had personality. They weren't boring. They actually jumped out to you. At times, I would find myself in people's shoes as well as Brinkely was.


The cover of this book is absolutly gorgeous! It captures the entire essence of the book and even Brinkely and Miranda.


Overall, if you enjoy chick-lit and a book that shows people changing, this books for you.


♥♥♥♥


-Ana

iDrakula by Bekka Black


SOURCE: Author



The classic vampire story that started it all gets new life for a generation of connected teens

18-year-old Jonathan Harker is diagnosed with a rare blood disorder after visiting a Romanian Count. His girlfriend Mina and a pre-med student named Van Helsing team up to investigate the source of the disease. The teenagers discover a horrifying truth: the Count is a vampire. The harrowing events unfold through emails, text messages, web pages, Twitter feeds, and instant messaging-the natural modernization of Bram Stoker's original Dracula, which was written in letters, diary entries, and news clippings.


iDrakula was a book I didn't know how it was going to turn out, but I found myself finishing it very quickly. I loved how Black took the classic DRACULA and turned it into modern day. I was always waiting to see what was going to happen to Jonathan in the castle in Romania and reading this book in text and emails, made the book very fun. This is the first book I've read in sich form and I'm already liking it.


The characters were great. Even though the book was in text and emails, the characters still had personalities and I could hear them in my head talking. I loved the cover of this book. I would so pick this book up if I were at the bookstore. It's so creepy, but yet luring.


Overall, I really enjoyed this book and would recommend this book to anyone who wants to try reading a new writing style and who is in love with vampires.
♥♥♥♥


-Ana

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Russian Winter by Daphne Kalotay


SOURCE: PUBLISHER



A mysterious jewel holds the key to a life-changing secret, in this breathtaking tale of love and art, betrayal and redemption.
When she decides to auction her remarkable jewelry collection, Nina Revskaya, once a great star of the Bolshoi Ballet, believes she has finally drawn a curtain on her past. Instead, the former ballerina finds herself overwhelmed by memories of her homeland and of the events, both glorious and heartbreaking, that changed the course of her life half a century ago.

It was in Russia that she discovered the magic of the theater; that she fell in love with the poet Viktor Elsin; that she and her dearest companions—Gersh, a brilliant composer, and the exquisite Vera, Nina’s closest friend—became victims of Stalinist aggression. And it was in Russia that a terrible discovery incited a deadly act of betrayal—and an ingenious escape that led Nina to the West and eventually to Boston.

Nina has kept her secrets for half a lifetime. But two people will not let the past rest: Drew Brooks, an inquisitive young associate at a Boston auction house, and Grigori Solodin, a professor of Russian who believes that a unique set of jewels may hold the key to his own ambiguous past. Together these unlikely partners begin to unravel a mystery surrounding a love letter, a poem, and a necklace of unknown provenance, setting in motion a series of revelations that will have life-altering consequences for them all.


RUSSIAN WINTER was a book that I didn't know what to expect. I had never read anything like this before, but I was excited to delve into it. But once I began, I couldn't stop. This book was haunting, mesmerizing, and it took me into the past. Kalotay's writing flows.


Right on the second page, we begin to find out about Nina, a ballet dancer, and as the book goes along we learn about this necklace. Nina was a very different character from others I've read. First of all, she was an adult and I usually read YA books, but the pace this book had and the thrill ride it took me, I kept making time for myself to read it.


Now, I'm not going to say too much since I don't want to spoil anything, but I am going to mention how pretty thre cover is. When I first saw this cover, I immediatly thought of a ballerina and it had something to do with the necklace around her neck. And I was right. I found the cover perfect and it looks old, making the feeling of traveling to the past in Russia more real.


Overall, I enjoyed this book and recommend you to read it if you want something different and exciting.


♥♥♥♥1/2



-Ana

Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Pace by Shelena Shorts


SOURCE: AUTHOR


Weston Wilson is not immortal and he is of this world. But, aging is not part of his existence, and eighteen-year-old Sophie Slone is determined to find out why. In doing so, she could also uncover something about her own life expectancy that she may not want to know. Suddenly, immortality will mean everything and nothing all at the same time.
Intensely fascinating and rich with determination, The Pace brings together romance, mystery, and suspense in a compelling bond that is sure to have readers asking for more.


The Pace was a fantastic ride that never ends, and honestly I didn't want it to end. The book is never slow and I was always at the edge of my seat biting my nails waiting to see what was going to happen next.


Shelena Shorts knows how to create suspence, but not only that, I was also crying as I came to the end. I love it when a book makes me cry. It shows to me that it was full of emotions and this book was one of them. I felt my fingers trembling, but I loved the characters here. Sophie was such a careing person and all she wanted was to make things better and then there's Wes. A heart of pure gold and loves Sophie no matter what.


I really enjoyed all the research the book had, the letters from long ago and email exchanges between Sophie and Wes. It only made the characters more alive. The ending, I will warn you, is a cliffhanger and will leave you biting your nails off more for the second book THE BROKEN LAKE which is out now.


Overall, I loved this book and am dying to read the sequal!



♥♥♥♥♥


-Ana



Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Hourglass Door by Lisa Mangum


SOURCE: PUBLISHER



His past. Her future. Can love bring them together in time?

Abby's senior year of high school is going according to plan: good friends, cute boyfriend, and college applications in the mail. But when Dante Alexander, foreign-exchange student from Italy, steps into her life, he turns it upside down. He's mysterious, and interesting, and unlike anyone she's ever met before. Abby can't deny the growing attraction she feels for him. Nor can she deny the unusual things that seem to happen when Dante is around. Soon Abby finds herself drawn into a mystery whose roots reach into sixteenth-century Florence, and she uncovers a dangerous truth that threatens not only her future but the lives of those she loves.


There is only one word I can say for this book. Wow! I was mezmerized right from the beginning and I couldn't put it down. I never wanted to put it down. Abby was such a nice person and all the pain she felt, I felt as well. All the time I kepy wondering why would people even hurt her so much. But once Dante came in, I found someone else to fall for. There's so much about him and he's so mysterious and that only made me want to know more about him. His past has so much and this book was a very unique story.


Mangum has created a new plot in which fans of Alyson Noel's IMMORTAL'S Series will love. It was fresh and new and simply captivating. As you delve into the novel, you will see how much in influences the cover.


The ending made me cry and want to read the second book immediatly. It sort of is a cliff hanger, but it has a lot of emotion in it that when Abby began to cry, so did I.


Overall, this book was absolutly perfect and it has taken me on a ride I want to continue and never leave.


♥♥♥♥♥


-Ana

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Oh my gosh, you guys :\

Hey everyone! It's been a while, so here's a small update about my life at the moment.

I just signed onto my school account to see how my application processing was going, and was elated to see that my application to my top choice school has been sent in! I am very, VERY nervous, but I know I've done everything within my power, so I'm kissing the rest up to God (so to speak). Prayers are very much appreciated, I myself and hoping and praying for this with all my heart.

Senior year has been a wonderful time so far. I feel so blessed to be able to say that I am truly enjoying every moment. My work load is entirely manageable, some challenging classes (Pre-Calc ;__;), some enjoyable (AP English Lit!).

I have a bunch of new books in line to read and review, but please be patient with me. I have a lot of school work, as does Ana, so updates will be slightly more infrequent, but please know that we love this blog dearly and we fully intend to carry it for a good, long time! Thanks for sticking with us, and look out for more reviews in the future!

That's all for now,

Rissa.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Circle of Friends - Lori


SOURCE: AUTHOR


Dreaming of a Gold Medal, Lori had spent her entire life preparing to compete in the Olympics. Swimming was the only thing she knew and Lori poured endless hours into her training every day. She was focused, determined and had the attitude of a winner.
There was something missing, though. Lori was smart, beautiful and ever the optimist, but she was always alone. There was no one to share her victories with and to encourage her to greater heights. Then one fateful day she met a man who would change her life forever.

Through Jason, Lori discovers her inner strength and begins to overcome her fear and isolation. As his affections renew her hope, Lori’s joy and love ripples out to touch those around her. She realizes that one person’s passion and belief can make a difference.

Will it be enough to help her achieve her lifelong dream though? Or will the struggles and sacrifices be too much for love to survive?



This was such a great book about dreams. Lori had a dream of becoming an Olympic swimmer, and anyone who is into a sport a lot, knows that is a true big dream. Reading the novel, I found Lori a very sweet girl. I would totally be friends with her and so was everyone in the book. She believed in her dream so much that she continued towards it. Also, Wolfe has an amazing writing which pulls you in from the first page to the last and it stays with you.


I thought it was pretty cool how the book took the reader through her life when she got married to football star, Jason. Jason was also a very sweet person. Now, the ending I'm not going to say anything, but I'll say I loved it. If you have an Olympic dream, or any dream, this book's for you.


Overall, I enjoyed it and recommend it.


♥♥♥♥


-Ana

Not What She Seems




SOURCE: AUTHOR


When billionaire Steven Ashton couldn’t stand his high society social life anymore, he left the stress of New York on a vacation for his soul. The need to meet real down to earth people lead him to a small Nebraska town he remembered visiting as a child. He didn’t want to lie about who he was, but he couldn’t exactly tell them the truth.

Emily could have easily fallen in love with Steven, under different circumstances, but her past was catching up with her and she needed a new life. If the authorities found out about her, she could lose the one thing that meant everything, her four year old son.






This book was absolutly amazing! I loved it so much. It had all the great elements in it. Everytime I would begin reading it, I would get so caught up in it, I would forget about everything else.




Victorine knows how to make great characters. They were flawed, but the dialogue between them was real and so were they to me. While reading this book, I felt as though I was watching one of those mystery crime shows on T.V.




The entire time, I was at the edge of my seat. I was so excited, but nervous of what was going to happen next. I was dying to flip the page and the ending was sweet. I loved it and it wrapped up the book in a perfect bow.




Overall, this book was a great read and I'm not going to give away much because reading will be a thrill ride you don't want to miss.




♥♥♥♥♥




-Ana

Interview with A.Robinson

Today we have an interview with the very talented A. Robinson, author of the upcoming novel VAMPIRE CRUSH!


1. If you could time travel any time period in the world, where and when would it be?

I’ve always been interested in the British Victorian era, even though I’m sure the clothes would kill me and I would faint in the street. Still, there was so much happening in the world then, and Britain had its fingers in a lot of it (even if they were oftentimes bad fingers. Bad fingers!) And the some of the social customs, like the locks of hair and the mourning rings, are fascinating, even if they are, in fact, creepy.

Ultimately, I think this is probably why I think Vampire Crush has a Victoria-era vampire stalking around the hallways of the high school, filling out quizzes in magazines and wondering if she should give the boy she likes a lock of her hair.

2. Publishing is a hard business, how was your publishing experience?

This is embarrassing for me to say, but compared to a lot of writers out there, my publishing experience was pie. I knew my agent before she was an agent, and so I got to skip the soul-deadening process of querying. I know! I expect a piano to fall on my any day now to make up for all the luckiness I used while getting Vampire Crush off the ground.

That said, waiting for editors to bite felt like an eternity, and the rejection letters always seemed to come right when I was Having A Moment. But ultimately, it got sold to a great publisher and editor, so again, not much to complain about.

3. Are you a full-time writer?

I actually work in the publishing industry on the editorial side, writing copy and rejection letters. (Again, a piano! Any day now!) But the books I work with are a lot different than Vampire Crush. Fewer vampires, for sure.

4. How did you come up with the idea for VAMPIRE CRUSH?

I’m a big fan of the Edgar Wright/Simon Pegg movies Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, which take popular genres like zombies and buddy cop flicks and twist them into something that both pays homage to the genre and works as an example of the genre. . . . Basically, that is a complicated way of saying, I wanted to write a funny teen vampire romance. I started asking questions like, “What if the mysterious new guy who showed up at school one day was a jerk instead of your one true love?” and “How would you react if you found out that one of your best childhood friends (and okay, sort of crush) was now a vampire?” From that, the plot of Vampire Crush was born. We have Sophie McGee, an aspiring high-school journalist, who uncovers a dastardly plot led by her school’s hot new It Boy, while dealing with the return of a very changed James, the boy who used to steal her flip-flops and once surprise-kissed her in her family’s hammock.



5. Which character in VAMPIRE CRUSH do you most relate yourself with?

As predictable as it is, I have to go with Sophie on this one. She likes to make jokes to deal with difficult situations, which Sophie does in spades, especially when all these vampires start messing with her goal of being the next editor in chief.

6. What can we expect from you in the future in books?

I’ve been working on getting what I like to call “Random Ghost Project” off the ground. It’s either going to be about ghost hunters in early 20th-century New York or ghost ex-boyfriends in modern upstate New York.


Thanks for the great interview!

-Ana

Beathless by V.J. Chambers - Review by Rissa

Jason races into Azazel's life--sweaty, tortured, and hunted by covert forces. Even though her football-player boyfriend doesn't like it, Azazel is drawn to Jason. He's so complicated. He gets in fistfights, but always wins them--efficiently and thoroughly. He reads Plato and argues with their AP teacher. But he's also quiet and serious, haunted by a past he won't talk about. Azazel feels obsessed. She can't let anything get in the way of finding out Jason's secrets, not even her boyfriend, her friends, or her parents. Most importantly, no matter how dangerous Jason claims it is for her to be near him, she can't let him leave.

As menace begins to surface from even the most trusted and familiar places, Azazel finds herself flung into a whirlwind of sinister motives and clandestine proceedings. Though Azazel evades each escalating danger, her feelings for Jason may prove to be the greatest danger of all.



Originality

I can honestly say I have never before experienced a story line of that like Breathless by V.J. Chambers. The book starts off innocently, introducing the main character Azazel as being a relatively normal teenage girl who just wants a normal teenage life. However, fate does not seem to be on her side. All of what she once believed to be true is thrown to the wayside when a mysterious boy races into her life and turns it upside down. On top of that, Azazel will find out that her parents, her boyfriend, her best friend, and her entire town are plotting a surprise for her 18th birthday that will change the course of her life, forever.


Cover


The cover is mysterious, with a deathly red haziness as a screen over an image of a hand clutching a necklace with a hellish, fire-pointed star pendant. In the beginning of the story the reader will find themselves questioning it's relevance, but fear not, all shall be explained. Consider it forshadowing.


Characters

The main character, Azazel (10 points to whoever can get that pronunciation correct on the first try) is a normal high school girl with questionable morals (read: somewhat slutty). I cannot say I warmed to her personality, especially because she spends the first chapter trying, quite literally, to get into her boyfriend's pants. When he refuses (for reasons that seem honorable), she turns into an insecure, rejected little girl. But, I digress. Azazel does have her positive aspects. She goes along with her parents warmhearted welcoming of foster boys into their home, as family. She immediately takes pity upon the mysterious Jason, when she finds him fleeing from some unknown evil.
Now, on to Jason. It's pretty difficult to be opposed to an attractive guy who is super smart, and able to argue theology with people twice his age, especially while knowing that he is being hunted down and in danger. At first I felt very confused by him. He was a mystery, but in an understated way. As the story progresses the reader will be surprised at how he steps up and takes on the lead role.
I was impressed with the huge and shocking turnaround that many of the characters went through in the course of the book. I cannot go into the more specific details without giving away a large part of the plot, but Toby, Lilith, and Azazel's parents go through such huge character revelations that the reader will find themselves going back and rereading to figuring exactly what just happened.


Plot

To say that they plot was not what I expected it to be would be the understatement of the year. As I will later explain, I was unpleasantly shocked by some of the plot twists that surface. Azazel is your stereotypical teenage girl who thinks she has a normal life. Then, a chance meeting changes and twists that normal life until it is entirely unrecognizable. In a massive struggle of good vs. evil, and light vs. dark, Azazel will have to put all of her faith in the mysterious Jason and rely on him when every other person in her life seems to be an actor in a plot to ensnare her in their twisted plans.


Ending

I was actually surprised by the ending of the story, because while it does sum up the plot, it also serves to leave the door open, and answer just enough questions that those remaining make the reader curious to know what is waiting in the future for Azazel and Jason.


Final Note:

As you may know, I tend to include this Final Note when I have something else to say about a book that does not fit in under any of the other categories. When I opened this book, I had no idea what to expect. At most I figured that it would be a typical, "high school girl meets mysterious boy and together they fight off the forces of darkness" read. In some respects, it was. However, it took that theme and went much farther. I had no way of knowing that it would involve a Satanic cult, and horrific rituals that made me sick to my stomach. The main character and her best friend seemed to be nothing more than stereotypical teens, to whom I could not relate. Perhaps this may appeal to some, but it was not my cup of tea. I feel that the summary was incredibly misleading, and that is my warning to my young adult readers; this book is much more than it seems. Read with discretion.

Thus, I give the book a grade of

♥½

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Bleed by Laurie Faria Stolarz

Since all of you have been amazing supporters here at the AnaRissa Chronicles, I was wondering if you could support me on my new blog called Musings of A Story Lover. I think I'll be starting to blog there starting on Friday and it would be amaing if all of you could follow me there as a follower, because the more followers I have there, the more my blog will be successful.

Also, if you follow me there, I'll be hosting a contest. All you have to do is become a follower and just email me your name at storyloverbooks@gmail.com and you will be entered to win.

The prize is a swag pack of FIRELIGHT by Sophie Jordan (and this book is good!! So many crazed reviews about it)

So please follow me at www.musingsofastorylover.blogspot.com and please enter the contest. All of your support means the world to me!! :D

*GIANT HUGS*

-Ana


____________________________________________________________________



SOURCE: PUBLISHER


Over the course of a single day, the lives of ten teenagers will intersect in powerful and unexpected ways.

Among them are Nicole, whose decision to betray her best friend will shock everyone, most of all herself; Kelly, who meets the convicted felon she’s been writing to for years; and Maria, whose definition of a true friend is someone who will cut her. Derik discovers his usual good looks and charm won’t help him get the girl he really wants, while Joy, a fifteen year old waitress, hoping for true intimacy, narrowly escapes a very dark fate.

Seamlessly woven together, this collection of interconnected short stories paints an authentic portrait of today’s teen experience that is at once funny, moving, and often very haunting.





This book was not what I expected at all. I thought it was going to be boring about the lives of ten teenagers, but it far more than boring. I read this one in one sitting (it was short). But even though some books may be short, it doesn't mean you're able to read them quickly. I know I'm not. But Stolarz has something about her writing that makes you want to continue and it never gets boring. She knows how to keep her readers continuing her books and that's what I've come to love about her writing and her as well.





Now I'm not going to say much about the book since it will only give it away, but it was very enjoyable and at times I didn't know if I should be trusting a particular character. Now the cover, I thought was very simple and not the best one I've seen, but the title has a big meaning in the book as ou will see from each of the teenagers.





Overall, I enjoyed this book since it was a good quick-read.





♥♥♥♥





-Ana

____________________________________________________________________




Sunday, October 3, 2010

Shadowed Summer by Saundra Mitchell


SOURCE: PUBLISHER


Nothing ever happened in Ondine, Louisiana, not even the summer Elijah Landry disappeared.

His mother knew he ascended to heaven, the police believed he ran away, and his girlfriend thought he was murdered.

Decades later, certain she saw his ghost in the town cemetery, fourteen-year-old Iris Rhame is determined to find out the truth behind "The Incident With the Landry Boy."

Enlisting the help of her best friend Collette, and forced to endure the company of Collette's latest crush, Ben, Iris spends a summer digging into the past and stirring old ghosts, in search of a boy she never knew.

What she doesn't realize is that in a town as small as Ondine, every secret is a family secret.



Never had I read a ghost story like this one before. Actually, I never have read a ghost story. I always wanted to read one and this book did it for me. It was a mystery through out and I enjoyed following Iris into finding what happened to Elijah. I didn't even try to guess what was happening because everytime I did, something twisted everything and I was left guessing again.


Iris was a fun and well developed character. She was determined to find out the truth, but was also a great friend. She wasn't the type of character that was always getting herself into trouble or making stupid mistakes. She knew what to do, and did it right.


The ending. What a big suprise - a surpise I never thought would ever be in this book. I never even imagined it. That's all I'm going to be saying.


The cover was okay for me. Not my favorite, though. It seemed to old, but it does give you the creep factor and you know there is a ghost story in this book.


Overall, I enjoyed this book and am glad my first ghost story was this one because not only will I be looking out for more of Mitchell's work, but alos will be looking for more ghost stories.



♥♥♥♥


-Ana

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters by Natalie Standiford

Source: Publisher
The Sullivan sisters have a big problem. On Christmas Day their rich and imperious grandmother gathers the family and announces that she will soon die . . .and has cut the entire family out of her will. Since she is the source of almost all their income, this means they will soon be penniless.

Someone in the family has offended her deeply. If that person comes forward with a confession of her (or his) crime, submitted in writing to her lawyer by New Year's Day, she will reinstate the family in her will. Or at least consider it.

And so the confessions begin....



If you're thinking this book is going to be a big mystery, it's not. That was my first reaction when I first got this one, but even though it's not, it was really good!


The Sullivan Family find out that their very rich and powerful grandma (a.k.a. Almighty) will not be including them in her will since she soon is going to die. Now without her money, they basically will become poor. Almighty did say that she might change her mind if the person who hurt her comes to her with a confession by New Years Eve. So now everything begins.


The book is divided into three part, each of the Sullivan sisters confessing their story. And as you reach to the last sister, the confessions become more serious and you'll be gaping the entire time.


The ending was very unexpecting for me. I didn't think that was going to happen.


The cover was beautiful. The three girls are how I imagined the three sisters with their confessions right behind them at their grandma's house.


Overall, I enjoyed this book becuase it was an interesting read and who doesn't enjoy reading some good confessions?


♥♥♥♥1/2


-Ana

Monday, September 27, 2010

Ann Mauren Interview


Today for an interview, we have debut author Ann Mauren here with us! She's the author of IN THE SPOTLIGHT, a really good book that I think everyone should check out.



1. How did you come up with the idea for IN THE SPOTLIGHT?


Since I was young I’ve played a little game with myself where I pick a person out at random for observation—trying to come up with a story in my mind about who they are and what they are like from what little I can see of them in the time I have to watch them. It began for me as a kid trying to pass the boredom of time spent at hardware stores with my dad, or department stores with my mom, but I continued it later as a grown-up in situations like being in a mile long line at the BMV or while walking in a park or waiting at the post office. When I decided to write a story, this seemed like a natural premise to pursue and it was fun to take it further and imagine a whole scenario about watching a person for an extended period of time and slowly falling in love with their character. It was also fun to think of it through the eyes of the person who realizes they’re being watched and how they might react to such a thing. There’s nothing better than controlling the destinies of characters you love.


2. Publishing is a hard. How was your experience? Easy? Hard?


It’s hard—so hard in fact that I’m still scratching my head wondering how I of all people got away with it. That being said I must confess that self-publishing is relatively easy in comparison to mainstream publishing. Companies like CreateSpace and Smashwords make it basically free to publish your work, but the flip side is that you have to be innovative and diligent in creating strategies to market your book and connect with your particular set of readers. The hardest part for me has been to muster the courage to put my work out there for people to dissect and critique. I wish that everyone who posts opinions about books they’ve read could have the experience of writing their own piece and offering it up for review. I have a new appreciation and profound respect for other authors, both old and new.


3. What's your favorite thing to do in your free time?


Free time? Are you kidding? I have a baby and a third grader, a secular job and house to run…oh, and novels to write! Free time! As if! J Okay, I’ll confess that late at night when nobody needs their diaper changed, or their lunch made, or their shirt ironed, I love to curl up with a steaming cup of chai tea, get under a warm blanket in my favorite chair and read a good book. Make that a Kindle! My husband recently surprised me with one and now and totally I’m hooked! It’s the best thing since sliced bread (and it never gets stale!)


4. If you could time travel for one year, where would you go?


I’ve always been really curious about what life must have been like in the Garden of Eden—before that whole forbidden fruit thing went down, of course.


5. Can you relate to any of your characters?


Ellery is the character with whom I can most easily identify. The descriptions of her insecurities about making friends and speaking in front of other people are exactly how I felt when I was her age, and how I still feel today, to a certain extent. Other similarities are that I’m the reigning champion of Balderdash (a game of word definitions) in my family and that I have a ‘thing’ for state quarters. I have long blonde hair and brown eyes and my mother actually does scoff at the fat and cholesterol content of any given ingredient in a recipe…I could go on for quite a while here!


6. Will you be writing more books after Mayne Attraction?


I’m still working on the Mayne Attraction series but I have ideas for other stories all the time—especially when I’m trying to write for M.A.! It’s very frustrating, actually. What I’d really love is to team up with another author and write as partners. I used to think this was a weird notion and wonder how other authors made it work, but now I can see that there could be huge benefits: developing and refining ideas together, sharing the research and editing work, keeping up the excitement and/or morale, and each writer contributing their particular talents and expertise to the project. And of course the biggest benefit of all would be if this partner already had a bit of a fan following of their own. Then our fans could join forces! Would I mind being a sidekick? Not at all. “Holy spell check, Batman! To the internet for research—Let’s go!”



Thanks for the great interview Ann!!



-Ana

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Low Red Moon by Ivy Devlin


Source: Publisher
Avery Hood is reeling from the loss of her parents--and the fact that she can't remember what happened to them even though she was there.

She's struggling to adjust to life without them, and to living with her grandmother, when she meets Ben, who isn't like any guy she's ever met before.

It turns out there's a reason why, and Ben's secret may hold the key to Avery finding out what happened to her parents...

But what if that secret changes everything she knows about--and feels for--Ben?




What a book! I read this one in one day and actually stayed up all night finishing it because I couldn't put it down. LOW RED MOON is a fast paced love story that has you eating away its pages to find out more.


Avery Hood has just lost her parents and the way Devlin descibes her pain, it so real for me. It wasn't as though Avery was sad for losing them for just two pages and then was jumping in jpy because the hottest boy in town loves her. Her pain lasted throughout the entire book and her quest on finding who killed them followed. I was scared for her. Whoever had done it, (you'll be guessing until the end) wanted Avery dead as well. And when Avery descibes what happened that night, what she saw, all I could was cry.


The plot was pretty typical, but for me it doesn't matter. What really matters is if the story can grab my attention and take me on a ride until the last page. This book did it for me.


The ending, was perfect. Everything was solved and and I'll just say there is a happily ever after.


The cover is absolutly gorgeous!!!!! The red foil captures the story so well and when I first recieved this book, I kept on looking at the cover.


Overall, if you love werewolves and a good mystery/romance, this book is for you. It keeps the suspence until the very end.


♥♥♥♥♥
-Ana

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Silver Is For Secrets by Laurie Faria Stolarz


I'll make you pay . . .

School is over, and now Stacey, her boyfriend Jacob, and their friends have rented a beach cottage for the summer. No more stress, secrets, or stalkers. But then Stacey's nightmares return—predicting the cruel death of Clara, a mysterious girl with a secret. And now Jacob, the only one who understands Stacey's magic, is keeping secrets, too. Is he betraying Stacey's trust or protecting her from revenge and tragedy?



I absolutly love the BLUE IS FOR NIGHTMARES Series, but I was so disappointed with this one. For me, it fell short. The writing was good, but nothing captured my interest. It was the same plot over and over again. Stacey's nightmares begin again and everything will start anew with the kidnapping. I wished something new was going to show up in this book, but nothing did.


All the characters were the same, but I think the author didn't know what more to add in the series and was just dragging the books on. When I found out that there was a fourth and fifth book, I didn't even bother buying them.


Overall, the series disappointed me with this book and there's not much I can say about it.


♥♥♥


-Ana

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The False Princess by Eilis O'Neal - Review by Rissa

Princess and heir to the throne of Thorvaldor, Nalia's led a privileged life at court. But everything changes when it's revealed, just after her sixteenth birthday, that she is a false princess, a stand-in for the real Nalia, who has been hidden away for her protection. Cast out with little more than the clothes on her back, the girl now called Sinda must leave behind the city of Vivaskari, her best friend, Keirnan, and the only life she's ever known.

Sinda is sent to live with her only surviving relative, an aunt who is a dyer in a distant village. She is a cold, scornful woman with little patience for her newfound niece, and Sinda proves inept at even the simplest tasks. But when Sinda discovers that magic runs through her veins - long-suppressed, dangerous magic that she must learn to control - she realizes that she can never learn to be a simple village girl.

Returning to Vivaskari for answers, Sinda finds her purpose as a wizard scribe, rediscovers the boy who saw her all along, and uncovers a secret that could change the course of Thorvaldor's history, forever.

A dazzling first novel, The False Princess is an engrossing fantasy full of mystery, action, and romance.


It's pretty common knowledge among my friends and family that I'm a sucker for anything relating to the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and the like. In fact, I would spend every day at Medieval Times if that were humanely/financially possible (if you've never heard of Medieval Times, go ask our Supreme Overload Google it, you will not be disappointed, it's pretty awesome), but I digress. I was searching on GoodReads one day (see: http://www.goodreads.com/) and I came across this book by Ms. Eilis O'Neal. The summary alone had me sold, so I contacted her and she was kind enough to send me a copy. The book is set for release on January 25, 2011, so if you like what you read in this review I heartily encourage you to go over to Amazon and preorder yourself a copy!

Originality

In recent months I have discovered that it is becoming more and more difficult to find a book that isn't centered around cliché creatures or weak, whiny, heroines who cannot carry themselves through one chapter without falling to pieces. This is absolutely not the case with Nalia, or should I say, Sinda, the main character who is forced from her home by a cruel twist in fate, and left to make her own way in an unknown world. The world Ms. O'Neal creates is also a refreshing change, it has been a long time since I've been drawn into such a setting, rich with with royalty, castles, magic, sorcerers, and an evil that must not triumph.

Cover

The cover is a beautiful interpretation of our protagonist, Sinda. The necklace around her neck seems to portray the girl she was, or rather, the girl she thought she was. It is alluring and elegant, and it immediately draws the reader into the story.

Characters

(NOTE; because I don't want to give away too much of the plot, I will only be going into detail on a few characters who I feel I can safely describe without saying more than I should.)

The characters in THE FALSE PRINCESS are strong and multi-dimensional. They can definitely tell a story; they can make you love them, and they can make you hate them. Sinda is a strong girl, but even she cannot fight what has happened to her. When she is told the truth of her family and forced out of the castle, she experiences shock and an unfamiliar weakness. It is not until later when she is betrayed by a "friend," that she realizes that she has to be able to confront her problems ("Fool me one, shame on you-- Fool me twice, shame on me.").
Now, for Tyr. My gosh, I sometimes can't believe what a complete rollar coaster ride that boy put me through. I don't want to give anything away, but reader; be ready to feel Sinda's emotions right along with her-- the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Kiernan, on the other hand, is a definite favorite of mine. He is a funny, strong character who is not willing to give up his friendship (or is it more?) with Sinda simply because of the events unfolding. I loved his flirty nature, as well as the frequent references to how he drives his family insane with his antics.

Plot

When a girl finds out that the royal life she has been living is all a lie, how is she supposed to react? Most people would not be faced with this dilemma, but the same cannot be said for Princess Nalia of Thorvaldor. Due to a plot threatening the true princess' life, she is adopted as a stand in. On her 16th birthday she is sent away to an aunt she doesn't know; to a life she doesn't belong in. Sinda, which, she learns, is her new name, finds herself in the midst of a conflict, should she accept her fate or should she fight back? After all, 16 years is a long time to live a lie. She makes her decision, and an entirely new adventure opens up.
Again, I cannot give too much away, but let me say this of the rest of the plot; the villains are devious, you WILL be surprised, and if you can keep track of all of their schemes (and princesses) then you are a better girl than I. O'Neal did a wonderful job with a detailed conflict and I found myself having to reread some parts over to fully understand the complexity of the situation (but in an entirely good way, I found myself unraveling the story with Sinda, and enjoying every part of it.)
The only note I will make in respect to the plot is relating to the story of Sinda's family. I understand that they were not a major theme in the story, but when reading the section dedicated to their background, I felt like it went a little fast. It was not a major detail, but I would have liked more of an explanation about the people who shape Sinda's background.

Conclusion

Without giving away any detail, I will say that the ending of the story will have the reader on the edge of his or her seat, wondering what will happen to Sinda and the other characters as they fight to reveal the truth behind the scheming villains. Sinda will also have to decide her fate, and also take into consideration the direction in which her heart pulls her. If you like medieval stories of royally, romance, and mystery, this is one you will not be able to put down.

I wholeheartedly give this book a rating of ♥♥♥♥♥, it was a pleasure to read, and I hope you add it to your watch list-- remember, January 25, 2011!!

Apology

I want to say how sorry I am since I haven't been posting in almost a week. School just buried me with having at least 2 tests a day! I know crazy.

But tomorrow there will be a review


also.........



don't forget to enter the giveaway of FIRELIGHT by Sophie Jordan swag which includes a bookmark, postcard, and sticker!!!!

To enter all ou have to do is send me your name at anarissachronicles@gmail.com.


So goodbye for now and goodluck to everyone!! :D


-Ana