Saturday, May 31, 2008

Mark it Up May: Jaime Adoff

Okay, so this was supposed to go up yesterday, yet I didn't really have a ton of time...since it was my Birthday. :0)

SOOO...even though today is the last day of May, this contest will go until Monday, June 2 at Midnight EST, so enter enter enter.

Prize: Signed/Slightly Marked Up copy of The Death of Jayson Porter by Jaime Adoff.
What do I do? For this one, you have a shot of entering THREE different times.

One Entry: Leave a comment.
Two entries: Post about the book/contest somewhere and give me a link/explain what you did.
Three Entries: This has to do with a previous book we reviewed...Wicked Game by Jeri Smith-Ready. It is out and we want to spread the word, so post the playlist on her myspace:

or simply post SOMETHING about the book somewhere. Just send the link in for proof.

There you go, THREE ways to enter! :)


Winner: Violet on the Runway

And the winner is....

Email me or message me your info and I'll get that to Melissa. :)

Last day for Tantalize contest, so don't forget to enter! :)


Thursday, May 29, 2008

Summer Fun

If you check out author Gaby Triana's Myspace page, you can get the chance to win her book in VERY CUTE bag...along with a 25 dollar gift card to Starbucks. Sounds pretty sweet, huh? Yeah, it is! What else do you need for the summer after all?

So here you go...Check it outtt!
And if you don't win, check out the book anyway. It's called The Temptress Four.

Click Click

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Such a Pretty Girl/Leftovers Winners

And the winners for these two marked up books are...

Such a Pretty Girl: Livinia
Leftovers: The Book Muncher

Congratulations! Email or message me your information and I'll get that out to Laura!

Don't Forget To Enter The Other Two Contests. ONE LAST CONTEST should be up tonight or tomorrow!
Check out our interview with Thomas Fahy and our new review of Luna. More to come this month (I HOPE!) and lots more for June (including some music stuff!).

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

GLBT: Luna by Julie Anne Peters

Luna by Julie Anne Peters
Review by: Lauren

Regan is desperate for her own life: a good family, a circle of friends, and perhaps even a boyfriend. She wants to feel like her life is normal, except she has to deal with something that she can’t tell anybody about. Her brother, Liam, is transgender. He lives his life day to day in a boy’s body, but longs to look like the girl he feels like on the inside. Regan keeps the secret, and allows Liam to transform nightly into Luna, but as she gets older, the secret becomes harder and harder to deal with.

This book is told in the point of view of Regan, but I felt her bond with Liam was strong enough to allow us to understand his emotion’s as well. I loved the flashbacks that Regan had about her childhood throughout the book. They were strategically placed to allow us a bigger insight in to their lives and struggles.

Luna has a unique storyline when dealing with Liam, but most people can relate in some way to the siblings. Regan and Liam aren’t that much different from each other, for they both wish to be loved and accepted. I enjoyed this book immensely and felt that Liam’s struggles were dealt with in a nice, realistic way. I only wish that we could continue their story and find out what happens to Regan and Liam in the future. Luna is funny, thought-provoking, and emotional.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Mark it Up May: Laura Wiess

That's right! THREE MARK IT UP MAY CONTESTS GOING ON AT ONCE! And you have a chance to win one of two that's 4 tries at winning a book! Sounds good, right?

Ends: May 27 (A Tuesday, I believe...let me know if that's wrong)

What to do? Promote the books! Post about it somewhere. Tell someone about the book. Anything you can think of! If you are EXTRA creative, I'll even give you an extra entry. PLEASE: State if you wouldn't mind either book, or if you are just trying for one!

Prize: A Marked up Copy of Such a Pretty Girl or a Marked Up Copy of Leftovers.

Winners: Two

Get going! Spread the word!

Mark it Up May: Melissa Walker

Our first Mark It Up May contest made people tell at least one author about the all did an awesome job...and the Melissa Walker was even interested in being a part of this fun month, so enter here for your chance to win a MARKED UP COPY of her book Violet on the Runway.

End: May 30th (Next Friday)
What to do? Post the following widget somewhere to help promote the third book in the series!
THEN: Comment on here providing a link to where you posted it.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Interview: Thomas Fahy

Thomas Fahy
Interview by: Lauren

Thomas Fahy has been writing for awhile, but has just recently released his first YA novel, The Unspoken. We talked to Tom about YA writing and more!

1. The Unspoken is your first YA novel. Did you always plan on it being for that age group? If so, what made you want to write a YA novel?

Yes. The original concept for The Unspoken came from my reaction to the use of fear by the Bush administration to manipulate the public after 9/11 and to curtail civil liberties. I started thinking about the long term ramifications of this, and I wanted to write a book about the ways in which fear can manipulate people. I felt that focusing on teenagers—who are excited about the future but also scared by it (the uncertainties, the responsibilities of being on their own, etc.)—would be an interesting way to go.

2. How did you come up with the idea for The Unspoken? Do you normally come up with ideas as a whole or just bits and pieces?

Well, I was doing some research about cults and religion in nineteenth-century America, and I came across Jon Krakauer’s Under the Banner of Heaven (among other things). I thought that using a cult as the backdrop for the book would work nicely with my interest in writing about fear. As far as my ideas are concerned, I tend to map out the entire project up front. Sure, it changes along the way, sometimes significantly, but I like to have a general map to being with—even if I take lots of detours or get lost (so to speak).

3. Do you have to have silence to write or do you prefer music or noise? Do you type everything out or use a notebook?

A combination of the two. Sometimes, I need silence to hear the voices of my characters. At other times, I like the way certain music can inspire me or reinforce the mood of a particular scene. My first adult novel, Night Visions, was a thriller/mystery about Bach’s Goldberg Variations. As you can imagine, I listened to that piece hundreds of times while working on the manuscript.

I carry a journal with me most of the time—to write down ideas, scenes, or questions that I want to explore. At this point in my life, I type everything out. Throughout high school and college, I wrote everything on a yellow notepad. (Most of my students find this hard to believe. They can’t imagine growing up without the internet—just as there are times when I have trouble remembering what life was like without it.) Now my laptop is my yellow notepad.

4. How long does it normally take you to write the first draft of a book? Or how long has it taken in the past?

It depends on the book and the project. I tend to draft a YA novel in a few months, then I put the manuscript aside for a while—to get some distance from it and to get feedback from other writers. But taking a book from the first sentence to publication is a long, arduous process, and it can (and often does) take years.

5. What is your advice for aspiring writers?

Keep reading! Read whatever you can get your hands on, take classes that challenge you to learn more about your craft (language, literature, grammar, etc.), and make writing an active part of your lives. Keep a journal or try to do some kind of writing every day.

6. What do you feel is the best compliment for a writer to receive?

That something is beautiful.

7. If you could have written any book, what would it be and why?

Well, let me list the first few that come to mind:

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby
Jeanette Winterson’s The Passion
J. M. Coetzee’s Disgrace

I honestly believe that these novels are perfect works of art, and I reread them regularly. Without them, I wouldn’t be a writer myself.

8. Who are some of your own favorite authors? What are your favorite books?

Well, I should probably answer this question in regards to the genre that I’m currently working with. Back in grade school, I loved Arthur Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie stories, and I couldn't get enough Stephen King and Raymond Chandler in high school. After that, I found myself drawn to books like Perfume and Chronicle of a Death Foretold—works that play with the genre effectively and beautifully. I think all of these writers have shaped my work in the horror/mystery genre.

9. Are you currently working on anything at the moment? Anything you can share about it?
My next thriller, Sleepless, is about a group of students in a secret society that try to figure out who or what is responsible for an epidemic of sleepwalking that is causing teens in a small town to kill each other. It’s pretty wild, scary stuff. That’s coming out next year (2009).

10. If you could wish on a shooting star, what would you wish for?
For the humanitarian aid in Myanmar to reach those who need it most.

Review: Suitte Scarlett

Suitte Scarlett
By: Maureen Johnson
Review by: Lauren

Suitte Scarlett is the latest novel from author Maureen Johnson. Scarlett just turned fifteen, but instead of being awarded a fantastic vacation away from home (like all her other friends) she is given a suite in the hotel she lives in to take care every other Martin in the family when they turn fifteen. This isn't too bad until she meets her first guest that she must cater too, Mrs. Amberson, who will be stayling all summer long! Though Scarlett believes this will be another boring summer, things start to get crazy with Mrs. Amberson along. She almost gets arrested for shoplifting, must keep helping to save her brother's production of Hamlet and his chances of ever making it as an actor, fetching Mrs. Amberson more tea then she could ever need, and even falling for a boy along the way! Get ready New York: Scarlett is taking over!

This is my first novel by Maureen Johnson, but by no means will it be the last! I loved Suittee Scarlett from the very beginning, immensely enjoying the characters and adventures. Scarlett and her brother, Spencer, have a great relationship with amazing witty comebacks. You'll find yourself laughing along and wishing you had their relationship with your siblings! The book is hilarious, thought-provoking, and fun! I'm thrilled there is going to be a sequel. So if you've read Johnson's work need this one as well...and if you haven't, then get too it! It's the perfect book to start you out on!

**Courtesy of

Monday, May 19, 2008

Mark it Up May: Tantalize

Our next contest is for the book Tantalize by Cynthia Leitich Smith. Again, the book is marked with little comments from Cynthia as you read along. Along with this book, you get a Sanquini's t-shirt (Sanquini's is a restaurant in the book), along with a couple other goodies.

Since this prize is a bit bigger then the others and the ones still to come...I will give you the rest of the month to enter. So this contest will be ending on Saturday, May 31 at Midnight, Eastern Time.

So that's the prize and the timeline...but what do you have to do?!

Name three singers, bands, or groups that you like...and hey! who knows? Maybe you'll see something on them in the future!
That's it!
Feel free to spread the word though to anybody you know. :0)

Again, a couple more Mark It Up May contests are coming, so keep a lookout.

WINNERS OF LAST CONTEST AND GLBT CONTEST: Prizes will start going out this week! Sorry for the wait, especially the GLBT contest.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


The winners for the first marked up books are:

Back Talk was won by Award

The Secret Life of a Teenage Siren was won by Bunny B.

Please email your information to me by Saturday at Midnight Eastern Time and I'll get the books out as soon as I may take bit, but you WILL get them.


More Mark It Up Contests to come!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Other Contests

I'll try and post more as time goes on, but for is a list of some other contests that are NO WAY related to case you haven't already heard of them.

Book Lover Reviews Contest.
Suggest a book on the list for a library and suggest a book for yourself to win! That's it!
Go here: Contest

Monday, May 12, 2008

Librarians/Book-Related Jobs?

Hey Everyone!

Chelsea (The Page Flipper, Kristi (The Story Siren) and I have decided to use some of the reviews/interviews/etc we have for our blogs and put various issues together for, hopefully, each month and allow people to print off the issue...essentially forming a 'magazine' for anything and everything book related (YA and Adult).

What we need from everyone though is to know what YOU think about the idea. Do you go to your library a lot and would you be willing to print off copies to put on tables?
Are you a librarian yourself and feel your branch would be willing to put copies in the library for people to pick up?
Are you a teacher and would be willing to put issues in your classroom for students to look at/take with them (when school is in session, of course)?
Are you part of a bookclub that would like to have issues to check out?
Any other book-related jobs?

Let us know! We're hoping to have our first issue ready sometime in June (and don't worry, everything in the issues WILL go on our respective blogs too), so please comment us/email us/message us/etc and let us know if you'd be willing to hand out copies or print off copies when the issues are ready to go?

Those should all be right, so get in touch with us!

Lauren (Chelsea and Kristi!)

Book Review: Wicked Game

Wicked Game
By: Jeri Smith-Ready
Review by: Lauren

Ciara Griffin can never escape her past, as much as she might wish she could. Her parents are in jail and she’s finally trying to try something different for a career, interviewing to be an intern at a radio station, WVMP. Once hired, she is let in on the big secret of the place: all the DJs are vampires and host radio shows while most people are asleep with music from the time period they were turned in. The vampires use the music to keep a hold on their past, for if they don’t, they will begin to fade and become nothing more then robots. Ciara eventually learns to accept the kooky circumstances of the station, but things can never stay simple for her for too long. First, she begins a relationship with Shane, one of the DJs (and vampires!) and then she must bring forth her conning skills to help save the station from being sold, which would mean disaster for the six vampires who find residence and safety there.

Wicked Game was an exciting, sexy, and humorous take on the vampire story. A lot of the myths show up in the book, but with various twists on some of them. I found the characters equally amazing and repulsive, based on their personalities. Ciara is a well-rounded character who you get to really know throughout the novel, along with vampire Shane, who is sure to be the next it vampire on the literary scene. I loved this novel and can’t wait to continue reading about this odd bunch. In one sentence: It’s Twilight for adults!


GLBT: Vintage-A Ghost Story

Vintage: A Ghost Story
By: Steve Berman
Review by: Lauren

When you and your best friend Trace are fascinated with anything and everything gothic, you wouldn’t think that ghosts would cause you any worry. Wrong. The narrator (who is never given a name) finds himself seeing the ghost from the legend of Rt. 47. At first, he’s highly attracted to him, but soon realizes the dangers of carrying on a relationship with not only the dead but the jealous. With Trace’s help, the two try to find the best possible way to help Josh move on. A new love interest occurs between the main character and Trace’s brother, Second Mike, along with trying to unravel the mystery surrounding their older brother, the first Mike.

Vintage is a quick, thrilling read. It was a perfect mix of romance, friendship, mystery, and suspense. The various emotions are clearly shown, pulling you into the lives of this group of clear misfits. Even with the company of ghosts, this is still a great coming-of-age and growing into yourself novel. I loved it and highly recommend to anyone interested in a companion, yet supernatural story. All I wanted to know at the end was, where’s the sequel?


Sunday, May 11, 2008

Contest: Mark It Up May

We just had our very first contest a few months ago and the prize was The Comeback Season by Jennifer E. Smith. Not only did the winner get that fabolous book, it was also marked up by Jennifer herself. That means she made little notes about the book..throughout the book. People seemed to like the prize a ton and I know I enjoy marked up books I've been given by friends that I decided to make this month Mark it Up May. We will be holding various contests throughout the month...sorry for the late start!...and you have a shot to win a great marked up book!!

Authors: Do you like the idea? Email/message us and let us know! Feel free to use the idea yourself. :)

Since we started late, we'll be giving away two books, but to TWO DIFFERENT PEOPLE!

The prizes: Marked up copies of Back Talk by Alexandra Richards and The Secret Life of a Teenage Siren by Wendy Toliver

Timeline: It starts today (Happy Mother's Day!!!) and will end THIS Wednesday, so don't waste any time!

What do you have to do? To be entered to win one of these books, you must do TWO THINGS.

One: Tell an author about the mark it up idea.
Two: Tell someone else about the contest and/or books in the contest.
THEN: Tell us who you told in a comment and you'll be entered.

ALSO (PLEASE READ): If you don't mind either prize, say so! But if you only want to be entered for one book, TELL US PLEASE!


Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Keaton's Bamboozle Update

hey y'all!
i just recouperated from bamboozle, with a good 18 hour nap that was 3 days due. I actually did a 5 day extravaganza, doing the Long hair dont care tour on thursday, at the ICC in boston. It was really nice to see valencia play the icc again. ive loved watching them grow as a band over the past 2 or 3 years. i cannot wait until their new album drops, its really going to be incredible.
then on friday, i went to the official last The Recieving End of Sirens show, at Lupos in providence, with therefor i am, and envy on the coast. Guys, watchout for Therefor I Am, I am certain that there are big things in their future. Ive been seeing them live a lot lately, and i love it. I cannot handle being in the crowd, because its just too intense for me, even in the smallest of venues. Envy was amazing as they always are, and im seriously loving their new setlist, with the addition of X Amount of Truth, introducing Vultures. And TREOS, was just unreal. They played 21 songs, and then replayed planning a prison break at the end. I knew casey was going to be a part of the unofficial last show on may 5th, but had no clue he would be a part of this show, and my jaw literally fell from the balcony down to the floor when he hopped out onstage. Knowing that i would see them on sunday and monday, my emotions were still at an all time high.
Saturday was day 1 of bamboozle. I worked the AP tent, so maybe you saw me there.the best bands i saw on saturday were Dr Manhattan, who finally put on a set that sounded as good as their cd, if not better, Tokio Hotel, who i saw for kicks, just because theyve been european teen sensations for a year, The Pink Spiders, who also finally put on a really good set, and SNOOP! SNOOP IS THE MAN. STRAIGHT UP!
Sunday was definetely the better of the 2 days. I got to see lauren for a bit which was more than a treat, and put some of our ~*boozle editions~* on the photo finish table. I was sidestage for all the bands i saw, and it was fabulous. The dear hunter blew me away, as did you me and everyone we know, four year strong, and paper rival. Treos' set was by far the most touching. There were grow, hardcore men tearing up. It was heartwrenching.
This year was my first bamboozle and it was simply mindblowing. It made me want to go on a tour so badly! Speaking of which, next summer, my best friends and i have decided to get a booth on warped where we want YOU to tell us your craziest stories from going to shows, from roadtripping to stage diving, and we'll take the best of the best to put in a book we'll get published.
ok ok, my blog is coming to an end. On monday, i went to the unofficial last treos show, featuring Shit the Tights (hit the lights), Trannys In Asia (therefor i am) and The Red Eye of Solomon (the recieveing end of sirens). It was bitter sweet, because everyone was so happy to see this band play with all of their might, but knowing it would be the last time was hard to handle.

to check out pictures from all of these shows, go to, my friend Dan's photography site. He's been featured in AP and National Geographic, and is the man!

GLBT: Josh Aterovis Interview

Josh Aterovis
Interview by: Lauren

Josh Aterovis, author of Bleeding Hearts (review in April) and Reap the Whirlwind, who is also a contributing writer on the site

You have two novels out featuring the character of Killian Kendall. Do you feel that your books are a good mix between dealing with the characters’ sexuality and the overall story of the novel?

[Josh Aterovis] In the first two books, the main characters (Killian in Bleeding Hearts and Will in Reap the Whirlwind) are dealing with self discovery and coming out, so their sexuality plays a very central role to the overall story. The mystery plays an equally important role, however, so I’d say it’s a good mix. In later books, Killian’s sexuality won’t be as front and center except for the fact that he dates boys instead of girls.

Are there any plans to release any more novels following Kendall? Are you currently working on anything at the moment?

[Josh Aterovis] The plan is for the Killian Kendall series to be around for quite a while. Marcia Muller was a big influence on me and I’d love to see my series age as well. I’d like for Killian to age throughout the series, and continually grow and evolve, just as we all do as the years go by. I’m currently working on getting the third Killian Kendall book, called All Lost Things, published and I’ve just recently started work on a new one.

What are your thoughts on GLBT literature these days? Are there any you would recommend, whether for young adults or adults?

[Josh Aterovis] I think GLBT literature is in a kind of weird state of flux right now. On the one hand, there are more talented, creative GLBT writers out there right now than ever before, and they’re putting out books in every imaginable genre from mystery to fantasy to romance. GLBT books have really come into their own over the last decade. It’s not just coming out stories or sad AIDS or drug addiction tales anymore. On the other hand, it seems like there are less and less places for us to get these books published. One of our biggest and best GLBT fiction publishers closed in 2007, and many other presses have vanished over the years. The big publishers often aren’t willing to take a risk on gay fiction, especially genre fiction. If it’s not Literature (with a capital “L”, don’tcha know) they don’t want it.

Recently, I’ve really enjoyed Eric Arvin’s books and N.L. Gassert’s The Protector. For young adults (and adults too!) I can’t recommend Brent Hartinger enough. His Geography Club series is just wonderful. And, of course, Alex Sanchez and David Levithan are also great.

Beyond just books, how do you feel the GLBT community is represented in the media?

[Josh Aterovis] I think we’re woefully under-represented. Just take a look at GLAAD’s report “Where We Are On TV” or’s fantastic, in-depth investigative report “Gays in Primetime.” There are currently only five regular gay characters on network television right now, and none of them are main characters. There are no lesbians at all, no bisexual characters that I know of, and only two transgender characters. We finally get two gay teen characters on daytime TV, Luke and Noah on As the World Turns, then the show neuters them. Two teenaged boys dating for months and they haven’t kissed on screen once since before they started dating. The couple is treated very differently than the straight couples on the show, that’s for sure. There’s no denying it’s discrimination.

Cable is a little better, but the ratio is still far away from being anything close to fair representation. Of course, other minorities have been complaining about this for years and not much has changed for them either. And it’s not much better in the movie theaters. After Brokeback’s huge success, we all hoped it would mean more big budget Hollywood movies about GLBT people, but it just hasn’t happened. The best we got last year was I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, and trust me, nobody was happy with that.

Along with being an author, you also write for the website, which features articles, interviews, and the like about gay and bi men in entertainment. How did you get involved with the website? What are the best parts of being a part of a site such as AfterElton?

[Josh Aterovis] I used to write an opinion column called “Heart to Heart.” It touched on a wide array of topics, but all of them had to do with GLBT issues. One particular piece was about the lack of gay characters on TV, and the editor Michael Jensen read it and emailed me to see if I’d be interested in writing for the site. Of course, I jumped at the chance. It’s a lot of fun, and I’m honored to be a part of such a quality site. (One of our writers recently won an award from GLAAD for his investigative report on gay men in broadcast news.) The best part would have to be getting to do interviews with people I watch on TV every week. I get to ask all the questions everyone is dying to ask but usually never has the chance.

What would your general advice be for someone who might be struggling with their sexuality and/or coming out?

[Josh Aterovis] Be honest. With yourself first, and then, when you’re ready, those around you. You can never be truly at peace if you’re living a lie day in and day out. Seek out people you trust to help you on your journey. Having a strong support network makes coming out a lot easier. I definitely believe the most important thing, though, is to just be yourself.

If you could wish on a real shooting star, what would you wish for?

[Josh Aterovis] My pageant answer would be for equal rights for all people. My selfish answer would be a spot on the New York Times bestsellers list. LOL

GLBT Month( Now Months!)

That's right! We didn't get enough time in April to include everything we wanted, so we are continuing in the month of May.
Please check under the April tab to check out all the stuff there as well though...please leave comments if you read something!

And since I've had a lot of people ask me what GLBT even means, check this site out if you aren't sure either:

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Bamboozle 2008 + May Stuff

Well, I'm back from Bamboozle. It was amazing, even though I was only able to go on Sunday. I met up with Keaton for a bit, and she put some Bamboozle special issues (some older stuff mainly on one page) on the Photo Finish Records table, and that was pretty sweet to see. I don't know how many people took one, but if you did...who knows?...then leave us a comment!! We'd love to know!
Anyone else go to Bamboozle/wish they could have/been before/planning on going in the futre??
I went last year for my first time (making this my second time, very good math!) and like I said, it was great. I saw some awesome bands and IT DIDN'T RAIN LIKE IT SAID IT WOULD!!! So yay for that!
Obviously, I'm sure we will write up some various reviews from Bamboozle, since I was there one day and Keaton was there look for that this month.
GLBT month in April was awesome, but we didn't get everything more to come..including a few things that ARE NOT that will still continue this month, again with just regular May issue things.
We have some SWEET contests coming up. I'll try and post information about that as soon as I can, since we have a few that will happen throughout the month..all books again...though I do want to do another type of contest in the near future, since all of them SO FAR have been any ideas? Anyone want us to hold a contest for them? Or donate a prize? Whatever, let us know!

That's about it. Leave some comments. Come and add us on Myspace too!!

And check out the old posts too! Always feel free to leave your thoughts on those as well.

Lauren (And the rest!)