Saturday, July 31, 2010

Book Requests

Hi everyone,

Lately we've been asked by many if we allow book requests. The answer to that is absolutly! We love hearing from our readers and the more requests the better. Sometimes when a good book is out there, we might not see it since we have so much to do, and your help is truly appreciated.


Jennifer Murgia Interview

More Interviews everyone!

Today we have Jennifer Murgia, author of ANGEL STAR!!. Be sure to check out
Lemniscate, the sequel to ANGEL STAR, coming out on March!!

1. Are any of your characters based on anyone?

- Actually no, not specifically, although Teagan is a lot like me.

2. If you could be any place in the world right now, where would it be?

- Hmmmm, I've been wanting to go to Tuscany for a long time. I would love to sit outside with the cypress and olive trees, sipping wine and stuffing my face with bread!

3. How hard or easy was your publishing experience?

- I'll be honest, it's not the easiest of things. It took me nearly a year and I had to learn how to be very patient, telling myself that the right person was out there.

4. How does life as an author make you feel?

- So amazingly special! For one thing, it's been my dream since I was in elementary school and to finally achieve it is mind numbing! I have met so many wonderful people - other authors, bloggers, fans . . . it feels strange when I get fan mail!

5. Do you have any hobbies? If so, what are they.

- I LOVE to read and I'm never without a book and I love to bake bread. . . hmmm.... brings up Tuscany again, doesn't it?

6. Are you going to continue to write after you're done with the ANGEL STAR series? What should we expect?

- Absolutely! I've always made up stories, scenes, characters . . . you name it! Nothing will stop that! Besides, I have 3 books floating around my head as we speak. I can't wait to see where they end up!

Thanks so much Jennifer for this lovely interview!


Friday, July 30, 2010

Beautiful Creatures Review by Ana

Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she’s struggling to conceal her power and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps, and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.

Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town’s oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.

In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.

When I began reading BEAUTIFUL CREATURES, I didn't like it too much. The beginning was slow, but once I got in to the book, I was on a wild ride. I never wanted to stop reading this book. I loved it's world and I wanted to be apart of it. I began reading it slowly on purpose so I would never stop. There was so much emotions that I didn't know what was about to come.

The characters, I loved. Lena is protrayed perfectly as scared of what's going to happen when her sixteenth birthday arrives and Ethan is the perfect sweetheart. He cares for her and even though bad things happen, he doesn't leave Lena's side and sticks by her.

The cover of the book was very luring as the dark forest in the background and BEAUTIFUL CREATURES written in purple.

The ending is a huge shock. I found myself crying and scared, just as Lena was. I didn't know what was going to happen, and no matter how fast I tried to read so I could find out and get all the tension off my shoulders, I couldn't do it. I wanted to make sure I read everything.

Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl are two amazing debut authors I have come to love.

Overall, BEAUTIFUL CREATURES was an amazing book which I recommend you to read. You'll get pulled into its world - a world you'll never want to leave ever again.


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Bad Day

I woke up today with a horrible headache pounding on me and thought today was going to go by horribly. And by horrible, I meant not able to read or write. But luckily (and as I'm typing this) it all went away and not only did I get to read and write (my two favorite hobbies that I do everyday), I also have more book reviews to post up. I was just looking at my bookshelf and thinking to myself that I have so many books to review and I'm so excited. I'm really sorry if I've seemed not too around on Twitter or on the blog. I've just been so sick. But now that I'm better, I'm back. Also, I wanted to take this moment to thank the people who commented on our book reviews. Thank you so much and Rissa and I truly appreciate your kind words.


Shadow Kiss - Review by Rissa

It's springtime at St. Vladimir's Academy, and Rose Hathaway is this close to graduation. Since making her first Strigoi kills, Rose hasn't been feeling quite right. She's having dark thoughts, behaving erratically, and worst of all...might be seeing ghosts.

As Rose questions her sanity, new complications arise. Lissa has begun experimenting with her magic once more, their enemy Victor Dashkov might be set free, and Rose's forbidden relationship with Dimitri is starting to heat up again. But when a deadly threat no one saw coming changes their entire world, Rose must put her own life on the line--and choose between the two people she loves most


I honestly don't know where to start with this book, because more happens than I think any of us were expecting. As I said in my last review, the ending to Frostbite was not a cliffhanger, so coming in I didn't know what to expect, I had no idea how or where Richelle Mead was going to pick up the plot. Rose is recovering from the tragic events that unfolded in the end of Frostbite, but the reader may find her a different person. Her view on the world has changed, and she has been sobored (but not too much, she's still the edgy Rose we know and love!). It is the mark of a great author, I feel, when they can lead a character through the events of their lives and have them mature with the circumstances, while still maintaining the core characteristics that make them who they are. Rose may have grown up more, but she's still Rose. As far as plot originality, I give full credits because Shadow Kiss has an ending that took my breath away and left me utterly shell-shocked.


I, personally, love the cover of Shadow Kiss, but I might be slightly biased because my favorite color is deep purple! In all seriousness, the dark color reflects the stormy and unexpected themes that the book goes into, and the stormy sky in the background speaks volumes about the uncertain future for our heroine. This is the more recent cover, which I favor, but because I bought my copy a long time ago I have the earlier version of the book which has a cover featuring Lissa, Dimitri, and the phrase, "This time, Rose will have to choose between them." And choose, she will....


This story was not so much about introducing new characters, as it was about diving more into the ones we already know. As I mentioned before, Rose has been sobered, and is more mature, and people are starting to notice. She learns new things about her friendship with Lissa which may make or break her as a person and she is fighting with the inner darkness that is becoming more and more prevalent, as well as the visions which no one believes she is having. Her relationship with her mentor Dimitri takes a turn which will most definitely shape their futures.
Lissa and Christian are struggling to learn to control their powers, and who better to teach magic than the ever-reliable Adrian?
As our favorite characters struggle to learn more about themselves and battle their personal demons they must come together when they learn the scary truth that a great enemy has resurfaced, and a life or death decision will be made.
I truly liked the character developments that Shadow Kiss had to offer. I love how Rose is maturing from the rebellious teenager to an only-slightly-less rebellious guardian, as well as her illicit romance with Dimitri. They seem to be more on the same level now that Rose has experienced the pain that comes along with her duty, and Dimitri finally will have to deal with his feelings and make a choice from which there is no going back.
I've also completely changed my opinion about Lissa, especially now that she and Christian are together (yes, I know I'm a little slow, but I'm just now realizing how he brings her back down to earth). I love how she's trying to learn how to use her powers, and how she is willing to fight alongside Rose and defend herself.


The story opens rather innocently, with Rose sneaking out of her dorm to take a walk. She is caught by Dimitri, who, rather than sending her back, beings to talk with her. All is going well until Dimitri encounters another guardian and Rose hears news of a trial, for none other than the evil Victor Dashkov. Infuriated, Rose is prepared to move heaven and earth in order to ensure that Dashkov is thrown into jail until the end of time. On top of this, she begins to see someone from her past, and these impossible sightings begin to take a turn for worse when Rose realizes that no one else can see this mysterious, yet all-too-familiar appirition. Not only do people start questioning her sanity, but Rose herself starts to wonder if she is losing her mind. Add in a fortune teller and and extremely vague tarot cards, and Rose has found herself in a difficult situation with no clear way out.
Throughout the course of the book, Rose finds herself becoming closer to Christian, especially when circumstances force them to work as a team. This unlikely friendship proves to be extremely beneficial when an unexpected attack corners them and they have to trust each other to save not only themselves, but the ones they love.

The ending of Shadow there any just way of describing it? I think not. I was utterly unprepared for the curve ball plot twist that was thrown at me. I give it the highest rating possible, because in a million years I never expected the ending to be what it was, and I was so incredibly excited for the next book to come out, because I had to know what was going to happen! I really can't say anything, but this book will most definitely test fans of the series. Rose will have to make the biggest choice of her life, between duty and emotion, logic and love. True VA-a-holics will be dying to read more, if they can cope with the shock!

Because of the incredible amount of work and plots put into Shadow Kiss, along with an epic ending and some stellar scenes with our favorite couples, I give this book a rating of ♥♥♥♥♥.

Edit from Yesterday...

So, I didn't get to post my review on SHADOW KISS but I'm typing it now, as we speak :D Okay, okay, maybe not as we speak, as I don't have another pair of hands, but I'm working on it. I have a veeery good reason as to why it's late, but it's a surprise! I'm working on something for the blog and it's going to be awesome and I'm really excited about it, and I was up until 2AM last night working on it.
Enough procrastinating, and I will have the blog up soon, also, I started THE ANGEL EXPERIMENT and I'm already loving Max :) She seems like a great heroine!


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I finally caved....And other news!

Hey everyone! Well, I did it. I caved. I bought the first book in a series that has been screaming out to me for ages, THE ANGEL EXPERIMENT, the first book in the MAXIMUM RIDE series by James Patterson. I have heard that this man is a genius, so I'm really excited to read, and you'll be the first to know if I liked it. I'll be reviewing it as soon as I finish. Also, I finally have a review schedule- I'm going to be posting my reviews Wednesday nights and Sunday nights/Monday mornings. I work a little better when I have deadlines so hopefully this will be smoother. My review which will be posted later on tonight is going to be my response to SHADOW KISS by Richelle Mead (foreshadowing, this book is a heartbreak and a half, but wonderful all the same!)
Also! I am SO excited to read Angel Star by the wonderful Jennifer Murgia. Ana has it right now, but I'm absolutely dying to read it, I hear it's awesome (yes, I know I'm slow on that...).
Well, that's all for now. I'll have a review posted in a few hours!

Lemniscate Cover Reveal

Today we have the cover of the exciting sequel to ANGEL STAR - Lemniscate!!!

Here's the synopsis:

For Teagan, these last few months have been heaven on earth—especially now that Garreth, her boyfriend and guardian angel, is earthbound. But perhaps Garreth is becoming a little more “human” than either of them expected.

Now, Teagan must realize that her world is once again about to shift, as she questions the faith she held in others against those once considered enemies.

In this continuation of Angel Star, Lemniscate will draw you even deeper into the world of dark and light as Teagan realizes the angel who could possibly save them all is the one angel she feared the most.

Doesn't it sound exciting? What do you think of it?


Dark Flame Review by Ana

Ever is trying to help Haven transition into life as an immortal. But with Haven drunk on her new powers and acting recklessly, she poses the ultimate threat—exposing their secret world to the outside. As Ever struggles to keep the Immortals hidden, it only propels Haven closer to the enemy—Roman and his evil companions

At the same time, Ever delves deeper into dark magick to free Damen from Roman’s power. But when her spell backfires, it binds her to the one guy who’s hell-bent on her destruction. Now there’s a strange, foreign pulse coursing through her, and no matter what she does, she can’t stop thinking about Roman—and longing for his touch. As she struggles to resist the fiery attraction threatening to consume her, Roman is more than willing to take advantage of her weakened state…and Ever edges closer and closer to surrender.

Frantic to break the spell before its too late, Ever turns to Jude for help, risking everything she knows and loves to save herself—and her future with Damen …

In the forth installment of Alyson Noel's IMMORTALS Series, I found it a bit weak. I love the IMMORTALS series and Alyson Noel is my favorite writer, but I felt nothing was resolved here and the book just went on and on. I felt bored while reading it and it didn't mesmerize me the way EVERMORE and BLUE MOON did.

Ever continues to make more mistakes and I still feel like yelling at her. I felt as though she never learns her lesson. But at least here, she understood that she was making far too many mistakes, but as always, she continued. The characters were different for me. Haven was completely evil and changed in a couple of chapters, we didn't have a lot of Miles to sooth everything, Damen was barely in the picture, and Roman surprised me. I'm not going to say how because it is a spoiler, but I did wish the characters didn't have such a dramatic change in them.

One good thing still was the cover. The IMMORTALS have had such beautiful covers that I always wait to see them. I love Haven's face in the background because it shows her change.

Overall I liked this book, but it far from my favorite.


Alyson Noel Interview

Hi everyone,

I'm so happy to say that for today we have the wonderful Alyson Noel for an interview here on the AnaRissa Chronicles!

1. Your novels really deal with teenage pain and they seem so real, what's your secret?

The teenage years make for such a defining time in our lives, which is one of the reasons I love writing about them. It’s a time filled with so many great moments, painful moments, first-time moments, and attempts to define ourselves and our place in the world—it’s just ripe for storytelling! I often steal from my own life to create my characters and their stories, and having had a pretty tough adolescence I draw a lot on those memories and how it felt to experience the things that I did, then I try to parlay those feeling into my books.

2. How did the IMMORTALS Series come about?

THE IMMORTALS was also born from a painful experience, namely grief. Five years ago I lost three people I loved in five months and shortly after that I nearly lost my husband to leukemia (he’s in full remission now). Going through that time of intense grief and fear got me thinking a lot about life and death, mortality and immortality, and the ties that bind us to our loved ones long after they’re gone, and Ever and Damen’s story was born from there.
At the time, I was under contract to write SAVING ZOË and CRUEL SUMMER (both books that explore grief and change in their own way), but I was so driven to write Ever and Damen’s story that I worked on it as a side project whenever I could carve out a little time for it, and eventually sold it to my publisher as well. The funny thing is, it wasn’t until I reached the end of EVERMORE that I realized it needed to be a series, and it was somewhere in the middle of writing BLUE MOON that I knew exactly how the series would end—now it’s just a matter of getting there!

3. For me, getting accepted by a publisher means a lot. How was your publishing experience? Hard or easy? Has it become easier with publishing the IMMORTALS?

Looking back and listening to other’s stories—I think my publishing experience was both hard and easy!
Hard because I had no idea what I was doing, I didn’t know any other writers, and back in late 2001 when I first started to get serious about my writing, there wasn’t near as much info on the Internet as there is now. So, basically, I made every single newbie mistake you can think of (and more!), though I did take a lot of online writing classes, read a lot of writing books, and slowly started to figure it out.
Easy because I was led to my first agent via a fellow writer (the talented Susanne Dunlap) from one of those writing classes, and when he told me to read STORY by Robert McKee to get a handle on my structure and plot problems, it all clicked into place, and some months after, we sold my debut novel, FAKING 19, to St. Martin’s Press and I’ve been writing for them ever since.
I’m under contract with St. Martin’s now for a total of 21 books (including my new, just announced, upcoming YA series, THE SOUL SEEKERS)—11 of those are published, 3 are in production, 1 I’m writing now, and the rest are still to be written. I feel really lucky to work with such a great editor and to have such a great publishing team behind me—it really feels like home to me!

4. What is the one place you wish you could go to?

Oh, I love to travel, and while I’ve traveled a lot (I was a flight attendant before I became a writer) there are so many places left to explore—though I would really like to visit Summerland—without having to die to get there of course!

5.What are your hobbies?

I don’t really have any hobbies per se, but when I’m not writing I enjoy reading, traveling, going to movies, the beach, visiting with friends, art museums, fancy dinners with my husband . . . the usual things!

6. What are some things people don't really know about you?

Hmmm, let’s see . . . That I have a thing for shoes, yet pretty much live in my slippers—that I love to sing along to my favorite classic rock songs while I’m driving my car—and that I really do prefer frozen yogurt to ice-cream!

Thanks so much for the interview, Ana!!

You're so welcome Alyson! I'm so excited for NIGHTSTAR to come out and RADIANCE as well!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Angel Star Review by Ana

Seventeen-year-old Teagan McNeel falls for captivating Garreth Adams and soon discovers that her crush has an eight-point star etched into the palm of his right hand-the mark of an angel.
But where there is light, dark follows, and she and Garreth suddenly find themselves vulnerable to a dark angel's malicious plan that could threaten not only her life, but the lives of everyone she knows.
Divinely woven together, Angel Star takes readers on a reflective journey when one angel's sacrifice collides with another angel's vicious ambition in a way that is sure to have readers searching for their own willpower.

Jennifer Murgia's debut novel, ANGEL STAR, captured my interest from the start. I loved Teagan. She shared many characteristics with me and I felt very close to her and closer to the book. I never wanted to stop reading this book, but as we know, a book must end. I had heard so many good reviews on this book and when I began reading I understood why. It's like Jennifer Murgia put a spell in the book that once you get a hold of it, you fall in love with it.

The characters were real. They had real feelings and acted like their personality was. Teagan was a sweetheart and who wouldn't want to be friends with her. I don't want to say too much about her and Claire or I'll spoil the surprises the book offers and let me tell you, they're good! Garreth. What more can I say rather than a hot angel I wished was mine. He's so sweet and just reading about him made me feel as though he was next to me and making me feel happy. And finally we have Hadrian. Even though he's evil, the way Murgia described him, I sort of fell for his evil trap. I have to admit he is hot as well.

The plot that Murgia creates makes you want to be in it. You feel worried about the characters and at times, I was left in shock. There are events you don't even see coming in the book.

I loved how the cover had the star that Garreth had on the palm of his hand and without spoiling the ending, all i can say is I cannot wait for the sequel. Jennifer Murgia showed what an amazing author she is in her debut novel and I will definitely be reading more of her work in the future. ANGEL STAR was a thrill to read and I totally recommend it.


Monday, July 26, 2010

Blue is for Nightmares Review by Ana

Stacey's junior year at boarding school isn't easy. She's not the most popular girl at school, or the smartest, or the prettiest. She's got a crush on her best friend's boyfriend, and an even darker secret that threatens to ruin her friendships for good. And now she's having nightmares again. Not just any nightmares – these dreams are too real to ignore, like she did three years ago. The last time she ignored them, a little girl died. This time they're about Drea, her best friend who's become the target of one seriously psycho stalker. It started with weird e-mails and freaky phone calls. Now someone's leaving Drea white lilies – the same death lilies that have been showing up in Stacey's dreams. Everybody thinks it's just a twisted game . . . until another girl at school is brutally murdered. There are no witnesses. Worst of all, no one has a perfect alibi. With everyone as a potential suspect, Stacey turns to the one secret weapon she can trust – the folk magic taught to her by her grandmother. Will Stacey's magic be strong enough to expose the true killer, or will the killer make her darkest nightmares come true?

This book was a real thrill to read. I was scared to look back or even move incase there was someone watching me and ready to grab me. I was scared reading this book, but I couldn't stop because it was so good! This book was actually the first book I read by Laurie Stolarz. Ever since, I've been in love with her books.

The characters in BLUE IS FOR NIGHTMARES are so real. I really felt a connection to Stacey because she not only seemed like the type of person I would befriend, but she was a real teenager and talked like one as well. This is the spetacular part about Stolarz's writing. She gets teenagers and writes them out perfectly.

The cover is unbelievable. It gives you a sense of what the book is about and it has this creepy feel on it with the blue candle that's melted and the light that was just blown off and the writing on the background that says, "I know your secret".

The ending was satisfying, but makes you want to scream as you're reading. My palms were getting sweaty until I finished the entire book.

Overall I recommend this book if you want a mystery that keeps you up all night.


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Kiersten White Interview

Good afternoon everyone!

Today we have another exciting interview with the author of the upcoming PARANORMALCY!!!

Please welcome Kiersten White

1. What is the one place you would love to visit? Why?

I'd love to visit most everywhere in the world, but I'd really love to go back to England. My husband and I spent just a few hours in London on our way to Romania this summer, and it was so much fun walking around and seeing all of the history. I'd love to go and spend more time there wandering museums and go up into the countryside, too.

Plus, then I could pretend to be Elizabeth Bennett and force my husband to scowl like Mr. Darcy.

2. How did you come up with the idea of Paranormalcy?

I'd been wanting to play around with more fantasy and supernatural elements in my writing. I wondered what you would do if you wanted to keep vampires from hurting people without actually killing the vamps, which led to the International Paranormal Containment Agency, which led to Evie. Once I got her voice the rest fell into place!

3. Publishing is hard. How was your publishing experience?

It was definitely a journey. I queried off and on for a year with a disastrously boring middle grade novel. Then I wrote my first YA novel and signed with my fabulous agent, Michelle Wolfson, for that one. It took me forty-five query letters and three-and-a-half months to find her. I wrote Paranormalcy while that first book was on submission. It didn't sell (which was very devastating, getting rejections back month after month and slowly losing the hope we'd sent it out with), at which point I went back and spent a couple of months editing Paranormalcy. Within a week of sending it out we had interest, and within three weeks it sold to HarperTeen in a pre-empt. So, it was a lot of work to get there, but the destination was definitely worth it!

Post-book deal things have been wonderful. I couldn't ask for a better editor or publisher. It's certainly a lot more work than I expected, between the increase in emails, the details that I need to attend to, the edits, and working on projects I hope will come next. But it's all good work, so I can't complain.

4. Do you have any more books coming out after Paranormalcy?

Yes! Paranormalcy has two sequels, the first of which is called Supernaturally and will be out Fall of 2011. I also have a ghost book that I hope to sell sometime this winter. It's about obsession, and kissing, and fire ants. Pretty much in that order.

5. What research, if any, did you do for Paranormalcy?

I researched a lot of traditional mythology and supernatural creatures. I wanted to use the older ones, or at least put a more traditional slant on them. It was really fun reading up on all of them--it's amazing how creative cultures get with their scary stories!

6. If you could sum Paranormalcy in 5 words, what would you say?

Sometimes normal is the weirdest!

Thanks so much for this great interview Kiersten! Be sure to check Kiersten's novel, PARANORMALCY, coming out on August 31, 2010!!


Friday, July 23, 2010

Interview with Laurie Faria Stolarz

Hey everyone,

Today we have an interview with the lovely Laurie Faria Stolarz, author of the BLUE IS FOR NIGHTMARES Series, and the TOUCH Series. Be on the lookout for the third book DEADLY LITTLE GAMES coming out!

1.You've had much success with your first novel, BLUE IS FOR NIGHTMARES. How does all this success make you feel?

I feel so lucky to be able to do what I love for work. I’m so grateful, and it’s surreal to think of all the people who’ve read my work.

2. How did you come up with the concept for your new series, The TOUCH series?

I wanted to write a story where the main character has to struggle with the idea of falling in love with someone who could potentially be dangerous. I tinkered with this concept in the first three books of my Blue is for Nightmares Series [(Blue is for Nightmares (Llewellyn 2003), White is for Magic (Llewellyn 2004), and Silver is for Secrets (Llewellyn 2005), as well as in Bleed (Hyperion 2006)]. In Bleed, in particular, there’s a young male character who was convicted for the murder of his girlfriend. His next relationship consists of pen pal letters he exchanges with a young girl while he’s in prison. Without giving too much away, the relationship is briefly pursued once he is released, but I wanted to bring this concept to another level.

Additionally, I wanted to continue experimenting with the supernatural (which I also use in my Blue is for Nightmares Series as well as in Project 17), showing how we all have our own inner senses and intuition, and how with work we can tap into those senses and make them stronger.

I started researching different types of supernatural powers and discovered the power of psychometry (the ability to sense things through touch). The concept fascinated me, and so I wanted to bring it out in a character, showing how sometimes even the most extraordinary powers can also be a curse.

Lastly, I wanted to apply these concepts to be part of a series. I love the idea of growing a main character over the course of several books.

3. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would it be?

I’d love big cities. I Paris and New York City so much! I’d love to be at a little café near the Luxembourg Gardens right now, drinking coffee and watching people go by.

4. Publishing is hard. How was your experience in publishing BLUE IS FOR NIGHTMARES and then your other novels.

My initial path to publication was a rough one. I approached editors and agents at the same time, trying to target those who worked with writers like me (namely, writers who wrote in the young adult supernatural genre). It took me a long time to sell my first novel. I have a folder filled with rejection letters – over a hundred. My favorite one is from an editor who said: “While this is an interesting project, I do not feel it is strong enough to compete in today’s competitive young adult market.” That same young adult novel, BLUE IS FOR NIGHTMARES, has sold over 200,000 copies, has been translated into numerous different languages, and has appeared on many different award lists, not to mention it’s been optioned for film. When I speak to young people and aspiring writers, I always tell them this story, that if I had stopped persevering, after I received my first – or my 40th rejection letter – I may never have been able to enjoy the success of my series. After I sold my first novel, things got easier, so I’m always telling people to persevere.

5. What's your favorite hobby?

I love yoga, healthy-cooking, dancing, long walks, decorating, and spending time with friends.

6. Will there be more of the TOUCH series? Are you going to start anything new after it?

There are five books in the series planned. I’m currently working on DEADLY LITTLE VOICES, the fourth book. I’m also working on the third book in The Amanda Project (

Thanks so much for this great interview Laurie!


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Oh So Heavenly!

Hi everyone,

Today we have Jennifer Murgia taking on the blog for the day as she's our guest blogger!!! How amazing!

Take it away Jennifer!

I’m so excited to be guest blogging today on the AnaRissa Chronicles! This is such a great little blog and I want to thank both Ana and Marissa for having me.
Let’s talk about my favorite fictional character right now – angels! I think it’s safe to say that angels have stolen first place and are the paranormal being of the moment. Everywhere we look Guardians, Fallen, the Seraphs . . . are making appearances in YA books these days. Is there a reason? Absolutely! It’s time for them to shine! I’ve noticed there is a time and place for characters belonging to the speculative fiction genre and each one happily takes their turn. From wizards to faeries, to werewolves and vampires, witches to ghosts . . . each one has respectfully taken center stage and now the phenomenon seems to be angels.

I’ve been asked many times why did I write a book about angels? Quite honestly, it wasn’t intentional. The story of ANGEL STAR chose me, popping into my head one evening which such amazing force, I had to write it all down. The notion of unconditional love and a forbidden romance clutched my heart and so the role went to Garreth and Teagan, a Guardian and his human charge. But most stories need conflict to challenge the characters, so it only felt right to create my villain, Hadrian, another angel with destructive intentions but a mind and soul more complex than that of just an ordinary fallen angel.

If I had to sum it up in one word what ANGEL STAR is really about it would be balance. Good doesn’t survive long without evil trying to mess it up and dark is only constant until the light seeps its way in. Vice versa. Over and over again. It’s about finding who you are and how you should deal with issues, whether you’re human or angelic. It’s about realizing even an ordinary human can cope with extraordinary things – that you don’t always have to search for something out of our world, it’s inside us all along.

LEMNISCATE, the sequel to ANGEL STAR, releases March 21, 2011. Will there be more in store for Teagan and Garreth? You bet! But be warned, LEMNISCATE is darker, it dives deeper into what we think we know and plays with your head a little!

Cannot wait for LEMNISCATE. I'm so glad angels are getting up there because hey, we have to admit they're hot!


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Deadly Little Lies Review by Ana

Last fall, sixteen-year-old Camelia fell for Ben, the mysterious new boy at school who turned out to have a very mysterious gift--pyschometry, the ability to sense the future through touch. But just as Camelia and Ben's romance began to heat up, he abruptly left town. Brokenhearted, Camelia has spent the last few months studying everything she can about psychometry, and experiencing her own strange brushes with premonition. Camelia wonders if Ben's abilities have somehow rubbed off on her. Can the power of psychometry be transferred?

Even once Ben returns to school, Camelia can't get close enough to share her secret with him. Despite the romantic tension between them, Ben remains aloof, avoiding contact. Then when an unexpected kiss leads to a frightening argument, Camelia makes the painful decision to let Ben go and move on. Adam, the hot new guy at work, seems good for her in ways Ben wasn't. Adam is easygoing, and seems to really care about her.

But when Camelia and Adam start dating, a surprising love triangle results. A chilling sequence of events upturns secrets from Ben's past--and Adam's. Someone is lying, and it’s up to Camelia to figure out who—before it’s too late.


DEADLY LITTLE LIES gripped me right from the start. Once Ben left and Adam came in the picture, I was suspicious. I had begun not to trust anyone any longer because in Laurie Stolarz's novels, anyone could be the bad guy. Especially the ones you least expect. And even though Adam was nice and sweet I had my eye on him.


The covers for the TOUCH series have lately been beautiful! This time, it was winter in the cover and the girl with the heavy jacket and red umbrella seemed to fit the novel in a perfect way. Like Camelia - who should she trust?


Laurie Stolarz is a master in creating lovable characters. While reading the book, I felt as though I was in there and talking to the characters myself. They were so real. They talked like teenagers and not like robots.


The mystery and suspence here made me read this one in a couple of hours as well. Stolarz knows how to grip the reader from the first page and leaves you guessing until the end.


I'm not going to say too much about the ending because I don't want to ruin the suprise, but it is shocking and intense. That's all I'm going to say.......

Overall, amazing novel and I do see myself later on rereading the TOUCH Series.


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Deadly Little Secret Review by Ana

Some secrets shouldn't be kept...
Up until three months ago, everything in sixteen-year-old Camelia's life had been fairly ordinary: decent grades; an okay relationship with her parents; and a pretty cool part-time job at the art studio downtown. But when Ben, the mysterious new guy, starts junior year at her high school, Camelia's life becomes anything but ordinary.

Rumored to be somehow responsible for his ex-girlfriend's accidental death, Ben is immediately ostracized by everyone on campus. Except for Camelia. She's reluctant to believe the rumors, even when her friends try to convince her otherwise. She's inexplicably drawn to Ben...and to his touch. But soon, Camelia is receiving eerie phone calls and strange packages with threatening notes. Ben insists she is in danger, and that he can help--but can he be trusted? She knows he's hiding something... but he's not the only one with a secret.


DEADLY LITTLE SECRET had parts which was totally original and totally the style of Laurie Stolarz, but it also had a part in there which made me think a bit of TWILIGHT. For example, in the opening of the book, the main character, Camelia, gets saved from being squashed by a car by this mysterious person. And later on we find out it's Ben, even though he does deny saving her life. It also reminded me a bit of Stolarz's BLUE IS FOR NIGHTMARE book, which was a great read.


I love the creepy feeling you get from the cover when you look at the girl in the old vintage dress. The background is spring, but her lying next to tree makes me wonder, is she alive or dead?


Camelia was a very well developed character. I liked how she didn't rely on people too often and didn't do too many stupid things. She could take care of herself in any situation and didn't need to follow Ben around begging him to do everything for her. Wes and Kimmie were hilarious especially Kimmie. She is the friedn everyone wants who makes you laugh all the time and is there for you when needed. She really does a good job taking care of Camelia when she begins receiving the threatening notes. And finally, we reach Ben. He's mysterious and you'll love his care for Camelia. I'm not going to say too much about him because all will be revelaed in the book.


I liked the plot Laurie Stolarz came up for her new series. It truly kept me on the edge of my seat wanting to see what happened next. Stolarz once again showed that she is a master in mystery. I read this book in a couple hours and can't wait for the next one.


The ending of DEADLY LITTLE SECRET wrapped up the book in a good way. It wasn't one of those huge cliffhangers that has you biting every inch of your nail off or ripping your hair because you can't wait a whole year until the sequal comes out. (I've been there before). It still makes you want to continue reading more about Camelia and Ben, but leaves you satisfied.

Overall I enjoyed this book and totally recommend others reading this one. Laurie Stolarz is a great author as I have mentioned and her work is something to look foreward to!


Project 17 Review by Ana

High atop Hathorne Hill, near Boston, sits Danvers State Hospital. Built in 1878 and closed in 1992, this abandoned mental institution is rumored to be the birthplace of the lobotomy. Locals have long believed the place to be haunted. They tell stories about the unmarked graves in the back, of the cold spots felt throughout the underground tunnels, and of the treasures found inside: patients’ personal items like journals, hair combs, and bars of soap, or even their old medical records, left behind by the state for trespassers to view.

On the eve of the hospital’s demolition, six teens break in to spend the night and film a movie about their adventures. For Derik, it’s an opportunity to win a filmmaking contest and save himself from a future of flipping burgers at his parents’ diner. For the others, it’s a chance to be on TV, or a night with no parents. But what starts as a playful dare quickly escalates into a frenzy of nightmarish action. Behind the crumbling walls, down every dark passageway, and in each deserted room, they will unravel the mysteries of those who once lived there and the spirits who still might.

When I first bought PROJECT 17, I didn't know what to expect with this book. I just thought of it as a book. I know it's too general, but I never had read anything like this and was nervous and excited at the same time, but I'm glad I did read this one. It was unexpectable. You're guessing on everything until the end and will be scared while reading this. This book is full of emotions and I warn you now - do not read in the dark.

I did that and I couldn't sleep. Stolarz did an amazing job incorporating the haunted history of Danvers Mental Asylum into a fast paced, quick read book. So many things happen in the book and it's like watching a horror movie when you tell the main character (s) "don't go in the closet", and they still do.

Laurie Faria Stolarz continues to remain one of my favorite authors and I will certainly be reading more of her exeptional work!


Monday, July 19, 2010

Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side Review by Ana

Marrying a vampire definitely doesn’t fit into Jessica Packwood’s senior year “get-a-life” plan. But then a bizarre (and incredibly hot) new exchange student named Lucius Vladescu shows up, claiming that Jessica is a Romanian vampire princess by birth—and he’s her long-lost fiancé. Armed with newfound confidence and a copy of Growing Up Undead: A Teen Vampire’s Guide to Dating, Health, and Emotions, Jessica makes a dramatic transition from average American teenager to glam European vampire princess. But when a devious cheerleader sets her sights on Lucius, Jess finds herself fighting to win back her wayward prince, stop a global vampire war—and save Lucius’s soul from eternal destruction.

When I first bought Jessica's Guide, I thought it was going to be a fluffy cute book about a girl who falls in love with a vampire, but let me tell you. It was a whole lot more than fluffy. It had some gothic elements in it and I was blown away at how good this book was! Jessica was a very good protagonist. I liked how the author didn't make her into some skinny prom queen. She was normal and a size 10. I was glad at seeing that and Jessica was no clutse. She was smart and didn't let some extremly hot Romanian vampire seduce her right away. She was going to check this guy out.

Now lets get to Lucius Vladescu. What more can I say than hot European. He was what every girl dreams about and you see the struggle he goes through, but loves Jessica at the same time so much that his love for her conquers all his anger and fear.

The cover was really cute and it seemed to me it was a scene in the book. Only if they showed Lucius's face.


Frostbite - Review by Rissa

Rose Hathaway's got serious guy trouble. Her gorgeous tutor Dimitri has his eye on someone else, her friend Mason has a huge crush on her, and she keeps getting stuck in her best friend Lissa's head while she's making out with her boyfriend, Christian. (So not cool).

Then a massive Strigoi attack puts St. Vladimir's on high alert, and the Academy crawls with Guardians--including the legendary Janine Hathaway...Rose's formidable, long-absent mother. The Strigoi are closing in, and the Academy's not taking any risks. This year, St. Vlad's annual holiday ski trip is mandatory.

But the glittering winter landscape and the posh Idaho resort only provide the illusion of safety. When three students run away to strike back against the deadly Strigoi, Rose must join forces with Christian to rescue them. Only this time, Rose--and her heart--are in more danger than she ever could have imagined...


So, let me start by saying this is my absolute favorite book in the entire Vampire Academy series. As with Vampire Academy, Richelle Mead takes the reader on an incredible journey in which surprises lie around every corner. Without giving away any spoilers (which is very hard, so many major plot points are extremely unexpected!) I will say that this book had me loving some characters and absolutely hating others. The reader really feels what Rose goes through as the books progresses.


I've searched many times for a definite answer to the question of who is on the cover of Frostbite, but no one seems to know for sure. I am under the impression that the girl is Lissa (due to her blonde hair), but the guy I am not so sure about. Due to his red eyes it only makes sense that he would be a Strigoi, but I can't say any more than that for fear of a spoiler. In the back corner, there is a picture of the ski resort that serves as the setting for much of the book. Despite the confusion of who is who, I think the cover gives off a cold, mysterious feeling, which absolutely sets the mood of the book.


Several new characters are introduced in Frostbite, perhaps the most important being Adrian Ivashkov, the flirty, affluent "bad boy" with an obvious crush on Rose. Let me say right now, I love Dimitri, but after meeting Adrian...let's just say Dimka had some serious competition! However, that's not to say that Dimitri doesn't get some more attention himself! Christian Ozera's aunt Tanya proves to be a real thorn in the side of our dear heroine (Rose), when she reveals an obvious crush on Dimitri. Tanya is definitely a love/hate character, she's completely awesome, but Rose is entirely jealous of her because Dimitri pays her so much attention. We will also encounter the mother of our own, ever charming, Rose. Janine Hathaway and her daughter are most definitely at odds, and Frostbite will reveal the familial relationship that made Rose who she is.
The reader will find a new relationship with Mason, who steps up to claim a major character status, and reveals a crush on Rose, as well as Mia, who proves to be more than the one dimensional mean girl we once thought her to be.
Mead also delves deeper into each individual character, and we get to know more about Rose, Lissa, Dimitri, Christian, and the rest.


The story opens with Rose going to take her Qualifier which will decide if she is well on her way to becoming a Guardian. Unfortunately, when she and Dimitri arrive at the testing ground (which is a Moroi family residence) it is discovered that there was a massive Strigoi attack and the family, along with their guardians, have been slaughtered. This puts a definite damper on the fun of the holiday season, as all the remaining Moroi and terrified about the encroaching danger. The school moves them all to a ski lodge over their winter vacation, but everyone is still on their guard. Rose and her friends in particular are increasingly restless and upset that none of the Guardians are acting in retaliation, but when some choose to act out they are met which tragic results.
Romance and jealousy are abound as Rose and Dimitri battle their starcrossed emotions, along with family drama, darkness, magic, and a shocking ending which will strike all.


There's not much I can say about the ending, because anything would be a major spoiler, and trust me, you don't want it to be spoiled. It's enough to say that some hearts will be broken, choices will be made (for better or for worse), and Rose will have discovered exactly how devastatingly serious her life as a Guardian can be. While this book doesn't have much of a cliffhanger, the final line will DEFINITELY leave you wanting more.

I don't usually give books a perfect score, because often I feel that anything can be improved on, but I honestly loved Frostbite, and I would definitely recommend it to any fan of the series, so in my opinion, Frostbite gets a full ♥♥♥♥♥!

Bad (but productive) day!

Hey everyone :( Unfortunately today has not been a happy day, I haven't been feeling very well so I haven't really left my bed and my best friend has been my heating pad, but on the (very ironic) flip side, it has also been one of the most productive days of my entire summer vacation! I read two chapters of "The Jungle" for summer reading (I will never eat another hot dog as long as I live!) and I finally got through all of Faure's Fantasie on my flute. And now, I am writing my review of Frostbite, the second book in the Vampire Academy series. It will be posted shortly! So, bad day? Or really uber-productive? You tell me~

Also, check out Ana's interview with up and coming author, Andrea Cremer, author of NIGHTSHADE which is coming out October 19, 2010!

Andrea Cremer Interview

Today I have the wonderful Andrea Cremer for an interview. Andrea is the author of NIGHTSHADE which is coming out October 19, 2010!

1. Did you always want to be a writer?

Yes! I have always wanted to be a writer, but I didn’t give myself permission to try writing full-time until I was in a horseback riding accident two years ago. I ended up with a broken foot and couldn’t do anything all summer. Since I was stuck on the couch 24/7 I decided it was now or never in terms of giving writing a novel a real shot. Once I started writing I was hooked and there was no going back.

2. Is NIGHTSHADE your first novel? How difficult was the writing process for it?

NIGHTSHADE is my first novel. The hardest part of writing is when I get impatient with myself and don’t let the story unfold the way it needs to. I write very quickly and I get frustrated if I think something is taking longer than it should. But I’ve found that it’s a mistake if I ever try to force myself through a difficult scene. I have to let the story take its time.

3. Describe NIGHTSHADE in a sentence.

Nightshade is a seductive, coming-of-age tale, focusing on Calla’s struggle between loyalty and passion as she uncovers dangerous secrets involving powerful witches and wolves-of-the-magical-sort.

4. Publishing is a hard business. How was your publishing experience? Easy or hard?

I’ve been really, really fortunate in my publishing experience. I have brilliant agents and a wonderful publisher and editor – they all feel like one big family now. The hardest part of getting my novel to publication was how scared I was to put it out there – it felt like sending my heart out into the world to be stomped on. I was lucky enough to land in good hands and have had an amazing time!

5. How does it feel to be an author? Do you have another job besides writing?

To be honest I often have a hard time believing I'm an author - it really is a dream come true for me. I still have another job. I have a Ph.D. in history and I’m a professor at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. I’m juggling writing, research, and teaching so my life is very busy. The hardest job I ever had was being a teaching assistant in graduate school because I was making very little money while racking up loans, learning how to teach, and taking Ph.D. coursework at the same time.

6. If you could travel to one place in the world, what would it be and why?

The answer changes daily - usually it's Italy because I love Italy and would jump at the chance to go there. But at the moment I'm really missing New York and so if I could be in Manhattan right now I would. Otherwise I'd head to LA because my brother lives there and I'm missing him too!

Thank you so much for the interview!


Hourglass Review by Ana

Bianca will risk everything to be with Lucas.

After escaping from Evernight Academy, the vampire boarding school where they met, Bianca and Lucas take refuge with Black Cross, a fanatical group of vampire hunters. Bianca must hide her supernatural heritage or risk certain death at their hands. But when Black Cross captures her friend—the vampire Balthazar—hiding is no longer an option.

Soon, Bianca and Lucas are on the run again, pursued not only by Black Cross, but by the powerful leaders of Evernight. Yet no matter how far they travel, Bianca can't escape her destiny.

Bianca has always believed their love could survive anything . . . but can it survive what's to come?

HOURGLASS is the third installment in the EVERNIGHT series and I was dying to read this book. After the cliffhanger in STARGAZER, I wanted to know what was going to happen, but I was disappointed with this one. The writing was good, but to seemed to take forever to get to the point and the book for me drug on.

Lucas and Bianca kind of annoyed me, especially Lucas as he was being not himself. He had totally changed up and Bianca kept on getting sick. But Charity was a good character to have in this book. She brought live energy and her evil nature made me worried and brought me back to the edge of my seat again.

Also seeing Balthazar coming again made me a very happy person! :)

I will be reading the four and final book in the series - AFTERLIFE.


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Stargazer Review by Ana

The vampire in me was closer to the surface . . .

Evernight Academy: an exclusive boarding school for the most beautiful, dangerous students of all - vampires. Bianca, born to two vampires, has always been told her destiny is to become one of them.

But Bianca fell in love with Lucas - a vampire hunter sworn to destroy her kind. They were torn apart when his true identity was revealed, forcing him to flee the school.

Although they may be separated, Bianca and Lucas will not give each other up. She will risk anything for the chance to see him again, even if it means coming face-to-face with the vampire hunters of Black Cross - or deceiving the powerful vampires of Evernight. Bianca's secrets will force her to live a life of lies.

Yet Bianca isn't the only one keeping secrets. When Evernight is attacked by an evil force that seems to target her, she discovers the truth she thought she knew is only the beginning. . . .

The second book in the amazing series by Claudia Gray hit right at the target of amazement! I don't know where to begin here. So many things happen and the entire time reading I was on the edge of my seat waiting to see what happens. I was worried about all the characters and everything is developed beautifully. You get to know Bianca, Lucas, and Balthazar a lot more here in the second installment.

The ending though will amaze you, especially the last few lines....
No more said because I don't want to give away anymore spoilers, this book was a great continuation of the series and I give a big hug to Claudia Gray for making this so amazing!

Good job Claudia!!

But again, the cover was still a bit disappointing because it didn't change much from the first one.

♥♥♥♥ 1/2

Book Grading System Change

Hi everyone,

The AnaRissa Chronicles are changing up their book grading system. We no longer are going to grade books by the old way using the numbers. We now are using hearts!

♥ = Not good. Not recommended you read.
♥♥ = Okay, but will not be rereading.
♥♥♥ = Good.
♥♥♥♥ = Great! One of the top books on the bookshelf. Recommend you read.
♥♥♥♥♥ = Amazing!! Will reread and one of the best books ever read!

News from Rissa

Hello everyone, it's Rissa. So, it miight be a little strange hearing from me, because normally Ana is the one updating, but I'm finally back. Between vacation and, well, life in general, I've been a little lax on my writing. But now I'm back! My laptop charger kinda crashed and burned so for a few days I'll be sharing the desktop with my family but starting now I will be here a lot more often (and according to FedEx the charger is coming home to Mommy on Wednesday, so I am VERY happy ;) ). Anyway, just a brief update from me, and I can't wait to write more. And a huge thanks to my best friend Ana for doing so much on this site and on our Twitter! :)

Evernight Review by Ana

Bianca wants to escape.

She’s a new student at Evernight Academy, a creepily gothic boarding school where her classmates are somehow too perfect: smart, sleek and almost predatory. Bianca knows she doesn’t fit in.

Then she meets Lucas another loner, who seems fiercely determined not to be the “Evernight type.” There’s a connection between Bianca and Lucas that can’t be denied. She will risk anything to be with him, but dark, ancient secrets are fated to tear them apart… and to make Bianca question everything she’s ever believed to be true.

EVERNIGHT is the first book in a four book series by debut author Claudia Gray. The summary was what lured me in into reading this book. I love vampires and vampire books are still at the top of my list and I'm not tired of reading them and am always open to reading more.

This one was good! Not only is the plot composed of many twists and turns, but there are so many questions still not solved here and that is what makes this book oh so good. I was so torn between the two main guys here - Lucas and Balthazar. I loved both of them but I have to say that Balthazar has a whole lot more charm and manners than Lucas.

This was a book I was seriously going to continue in the series. But what I was disappointed in was the cover. It didn't seem like it matched the book a whole lot. I wished maybe they could have put like an academy in the back ground and maybe smoke and Bianca there.

Overall, this book was good and I totally recommend reading this one.


Guest Blogger News

Hi everyone,

I have some great news!! The amazing Jennifer Murgia - author of ANGEL STAR - is going to guest blog here on the AnaRissa Chronicles!!!

I hope you can join us because I'm just as excited as you are!

♥ Ana

Friday, July 16, 2010


This isn't about the book Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer or the movie, it's about the real eclpise I saw last night. It was beautiful and I'm sure many of you saw it as well. I tried taking a picture, but since the moon is so far away from Earth, it was impossible to capture the shadow. Also, I don't have a high tech telescope camera.

But the moon was was gold like I've never seen it before, but then again I don't look at the moon to often though it is beautiful.

It was in a cresent shape and you could see the part of it that was hiding in the eclipse. Now I don't know whether it was a solar or lunar eclipse (I learned about them in thrid grade but now have forgotten), but whatever it was, I was so glad I saw it.

♥ Ana

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Vacation Update

Hey everyone,

I just came back from vacation and boy do I have a lot to tell.
Well, let's start on the first day I came. There were so many people in my hotel and I was like whoa. There's no room in the pool for me, but they all left the next day. It was still crowded from July 4th weekend.

Oh and did I mention the hot guys there!! :D

So after that was the beach and I'm an absolute horrible swimmer and cannot save my life no matter what danger I'm in. So I decide to be strong on go in the ocean (let alone my fear of some creature popping up and eating only me) but it wasn't bad at all if you don't count the amount of times I was screaming my head off because the water was cold and I was too scared of the waves coming towards me even though they weren't strong enough to knock me over.

But the lifeguards were hot! Young and hot and I kept on looking at them and then falling on my face because I didn't see the waves behind me (the further you swan, there were no waves, but I can't swim and no one wanted to hold me because they were afraid I was going to drown them with me as well.)

And then I got attacked by seagulls. Yes Seagulls! I had food with me and I guess they thought it smelled good and loved following me. And there I was afraid I was going to get eaten by a seagull. And even when I didn’t have any food, they still followed me.

But in the end, I did learn how to swim (sort of) and I had an amazing time and ate lobster and crabs and went to wonderful restaurants where the food was amazing!!

But this morning while I was still in the hotel pool, this new lifeguard came to me and told me to dive in the 5 foot deep side of the pool. Even though he was a nice guy and talked to everyone, I still grabbed a good hold of my chair in case he decided to throw me in the water. And when everyone put their heads underwater, they came out fine, me - I had my nostrils filled with water. haha

But I had an amazing, relaxing time and wished it never ended, but sadly everything has an end and so did my wonderful vacation.

But being with my family meant everything.

Oh and did I mention when I got on the elevator, I almost knocked over a very cute guy. Yeah it was embarrassing and my mom was right there and saw it. :)

♥ Ana

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy July 4th!

Hi everyone,

Today I don't have a post to put up, but I just want to wish everyone a happy July 4th!

♥ Ana