Sunday, November 30, 2008

Win-It-Sunday (Doesn't Have the Same Ring)

JUICILICIOUSSS REVIEWS is giving away Dark Dude.

A Bookworm’s World is giving away Katie Brown Celebrates.

Momma Findings is giving away a pack of Christmas DVD’s.

Come and Peek is giving away some baby items.

Thrifty Jinxy is giving away some cupcake shaped soap!

Coloradolady is giving away a very green Christmas basket.

La Petite Chic is giving away a Wii!

Modish has a huge November giveaway going on!

The Giveaway is giving away the Candy Cane necklace.

Super Coupon Girl is giving away a Wicked coffee mug.

NC Triangle is giving away some Crafts by Alice stuff as well as some Holiday Cards.

Chief Family Officer is giving away The Snow Bear book.

Author2Author is giving away the two Linda Gerber books.

Harmony wants some feedback on her site. If you found this out from me, please let her know?

Carol is giving away your choice of books up to 30 dollars!

Booking Mama is giving away the Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual.

Life as I Know It is giving away a Starbucks card.

Thrifty Jinxy is giving away a TJ Maxx Gift card.

St. Jude Letters

Hey everyone!

I know I posted (link on the left side) about the club I joined that raises money for St. Jude...anyway, the first letter writing party is THIS thursday and even though I'm in the club, I still need to write letters asking for people to donate money for St. Jude.

I thought I'd leave a little note on here to see if any of you wish to help out and/or have the means too...if so, leave me an email (lauren51990 at aol dot com) with your address and I'll mail you a letter so you can donate.

Please leave me a comment if you are emailing as well, just so I am aware it's coming. Remember, I need this BY WEDNESDAY!


Saturday, November 29, 2008

Songs of the Day: Stephen Colbert

Okay, we haven't had any songs of the day recently and I figured it might be fun to do some funny ones! Alas....STEPHEN COLBERT!

First up, we have a little song for a lady named Charlene...

A little too creepy? What about Colbert's "Another Christmas Song"?

Click here and listen all you want! WARNING: It plays right away!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Alice in Wonderland + New Idea

First off, the picture above is Johnny Depp in his role as the Mad Hatter. How awesome!

I got the picture from the Daily Mail and to read a bit more about filming, go here!

Also, according to, the Caterpillar will be played by Alan Rickman (Harry Potter, Sweeney Todd). I'm really quite excited about this.

What are your thoughts? Who else is excited for this film? (Too bad it's not coming out until like 2010...I don't think...)


Okay, instead of posting a new post about this, I figured I'd include it right here. I had this idea and wanted to see if anyone would be interested in the posts. I was thinking of reviewing movies that have actors and actresses are popular now or getting there...these movies, however, won't be their big ones, but ones they did before they got big or even little side projects they are doing now. What do you think? Any ideas on what to call this? I was thinking "YKT" or "You Know Them..."

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Auction: Poison Study

Maria V. Snyder ~ Poison Study Pictures, Images and Photos

Our next auction for Leave a Mark is Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder.
If you have not heard of this book or want to know, again, what it's about...then go here!

This book not only looks great, but Maria marked up it up if you are interested, please bid! Remember: ALL the money goes to First Book!

If this is your first time at the auctions, here are the rules:

** HOW TO BID: Leave a comment on this post with the amount you want to bid for. The Leave a Mark page on First Book is ONLY for the winner...if you bid the most, you donate through that site that amount and I will mail you the book.

**The first person who bids has to START at five dollars, so each book will sell for at least that much. If you want to bid above that, it has to go up in fifty cent increments, so people aren't going up by a penny or a dime.

Ex. Starts at five dollars, will go to five fifty, will go to six dollars, etc.

**We will give a loose finishing date for each book being auctioned, but it might change, so just keep checking the blog and make sure when it has ended or not. This will help us and you in the long run!

** ALL PROCEEDS will go to First Book, so keep that in mind!!
They have a page set up for us as well, where you will donate your money if you are the highest bidder. You can also feel free to donate aside from the auction, if you'd just like to help out First Book. The site is here: Leave a Mark Site!

** If you're the winner, we'll send you more information. But make sure to check back to see who wins, or leave a way for us to contact you!

Get bidding!

DEADLINE: Tuesday,December 2 at Midnight EASTERN

In Your Room Review + Q&A

In Your Room by Jordanna Fraiberg
Review by: Lauren

Molly and Charlie both had all their plans set for the summer holidays when their families drop the bomb that they will be switching houses. Molly heads off to Charlie's place in Colorado, while Charlie and his family take up residence in Molly's L.A. home. As the summer progresses, with Molly and Charlie staying in each other's rooms, the two get to know each other through emails and by living out each other's lives on a daily basis. Molly and Charlie start to slowly fall in love, but will it last? What happens when Molly meets someone from Charlie's past? And is Charlie falling in love with Molly, or her friend Celeste?

In Your Room was a unique twist on your teenage love story. Fashion girl Molly and bike riding Charlie have a lot more in common then what first appears, adding to the story and their connection to one another while living miles away. Jordanna Fraiberg wrote a fun, emotional, and different story in her debut. I can't wait for more and would love to see Molly and Charlie's story continued at some point, though it leaves off in a nice way.

And now, a Q&A with the author, Jordanna Fraiberg:

1. I'm very curious about how authors come up with their character's names. Any specific stories for In Your Room?

Well, I was not conscious of this as I came up with the names, but soon after I realized that Molly and Charlie were the names of two of my husband's favorite family pets. They both died before I met him, but I've heard the stories and seen the pics. Molly was a giant, lovable chocolate lab (similar to one my family had) and Charlie was the name of his beloved Siamese cat. Our Siamese cat, Emma (who sadly died before the book came out), was the inspiration behind Cheese the cat in the book. Even though they look nothing alike, "Cheese" was one of Emma's many nicknames.

2. Charlie's family is made up of two moms instead of a mother and a father. What made you decide to include this family dynamic in the novel?

I think there are many ways to form a family and I wanted to show that as a normal part of Charlie's life. I didn't come up with it to be an issue in the book, but just a part of who Charlie is, to show that no matter how different our lives may seem, we're all alike in our desire for connection and love.

3. Molly loves fashion, while Charlie is big on riding his bike. Do you share any of these hobbies, or did you have to research information on them?

The answer is yes and no as to sharing the hobbies, and yes to research. I used to be an athlete, so I think that helped in relating to both Molly and Charlie's singular focus on their own respective passions. I do love putting outfits together but I've never made a single item in my life. And while I know the hills that Charlie rides in the book, I usually cover them on foot, so all my research was really helpful. I actually bought a bike this summer after I finished the book!

4. The book ends where it could be finished, or you could add a sequel. Any plans to continue Molly and Charlie's story?

I don't have plans for a sequel now, but if I can come up with a compelling reason to pick up their story at some future point, maybe I will...

5. Are you currently working on anything?

I am. I have another book forthcoming from Razorbill in 2010. It's also a love story, and I'm in the middle of writing it.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Twilight Movie Review!

TWILIGHT!!!!!!!!!! Pictures, Images and Photos

Twilight Movie Review
By: Lauren
Warning: A couple quotes from the film are included...but nothing huge!!!

Well, I saw Twilight at Midnight last night and I must say that I thought it was wonderful. When books are made into movies, I never expect them to be the same and simply don't make a big deal if things are missing or changed...but I must say that if you are one of those people, you shouldn't find too much to complain about. A couple of my friends even admitted that it stayed very true to the novel.

For me, I simply loved it and can't wait to see it again. I believe that for the amount of money they had, they made a great film.

Kristen Stewart is pure Bella. Clumsy and falling madly in love with what she shouldn't want.

Robert Pattinson, in my mind, was amazing as Edward. He's also really funny! ("Google it")

Nikki Reed as Rosalie was definitely "anti-Bella" and you really see it when Bella first meets the whole family.

Peter Facinelli played a great Carlisle. I think he definitely felt like a very kind, fatherly character and his interactions with Edward are great.

Kellan Lutz as Emmett was just hilarious in his role. I'm definitely excited to see more of him.

Jackson Rathbone, as Jasper, was really funny...funny, you say? Yes, funny. Remember, if you've read the books, Jasper has the hardest time out of all the Cullens being around humans.

Ashley Greene as Alice was adorable and sweet and simply a perfect Alice. I loved the graceful way she pitched the baseball during the family's looked like she a ballet dancer was playing.

I don't know the name of the guy who plays Charlie, but he was awesome! I think they picked a great person for that part...and you'll definitely want to see his first meeting with Edward.

Cam as James and the rest of the "bad" vampires are phenomenal and I love the bigger role they were given in the movie to build up the film's suspense.

As for the humans...Mike Welch as Mike Newton, Justin as Eric, Anna as Jessica, Christian as Angela, and again, don't know the name...but the guy who played Tyler...were all great. My sister said it best when she commented that their interactions with each other were just perfect. They honestly seemed like they were all friends and it was always fun to see them on the screen....definitely added a lot of the humor as well! ("The one who looks like he's always in pain is Jasper"-Jessica)

Again, I loved the film and I really really want to see it again and probably will two or three more times with various friends and family members. It's a fun movie with romance, action, and humor. If you've read the books, I hope you like it (and remmeber...this is not the book played out on screen, but it's still true to the heart of it) and if you haven't, go and enjoy this great film perfect for the Holidays.

So, have you seen it? What do you think? If you haven't, comment on the review or just leave your thoughts!!!

Twilight Jewelry: Bella Bejewled

Interview with the Genius Behind Bella Bejeweled, Sarah.
By: Lauren
Her Shop!
Photo credit: Amber Eyes necklace

Twilight has become a huge hit among many, going from the books to a movie (which is out today). Because of the huge fanbase, it's not hard to find all kinds of Twilight merch these days...but did you know that fans themselves are making their own jewelry based on the series?! The following interview is with Sarah from Bella Bejewled, who makes some lovely items! Please read on to find out more and if like what you read then check out her shop to see if anything catches your eye...if so, these would make an awesome Holiday gift for yourself and family/friends.

Also, be sure to stop on by in the beginning of December for some Holiday contests, where you should have a shot at winning something from this shop and others!

1. When did you start making your own jewelry?

Well, I've always been involved in creative things... I love to paint and sculpt. I started learning wire sculpture when I was about 12 years old, and that eventually led to some wire wrapped jewelry. I took a casual jewelry making class in college and have always made it for myself and friends, but never considered selling my jewelry online until about 9 months ago, when my friend Bernadette saw a segment on the Today Show about Etsy. She suggested I try it out, and the rest is history! Now I'm pouring myself heart and soul into this business, and I couldn't be happier.

2. Why did you decide to make items based around the Twilight series?
My first Twilight item was a black rose necklace on a strand of vintage pearls, that I made for my friend Tiffany (the Alice in my life!). I have always loved making things creatively and when I read the series, it somehow translated into necklaces and earrings in my mind. I decided after reading Eclipse to give it a try in a business sense, and took a few months to plan and produce before opening BellaBejeweled on Etsy. I think part of the reason I enjoy making Twilight-inspired designs is because I admire Stephenie Meyer's creativity so much. She took a commonly used genre (vampire novels) and approached it from such a fresh perspective. Her story is so powerful to me, and just so beautiful. Why shouldn't we have beautiful things to celebrate it?

3. How do you come up with the Twilight ideas? Do you get them as you read, or do they come to you afterwards?
My inspiration comes from a million different places! Sometimes the ideas come to me while I'm reading, and other times they hit me randomly - when I'm at the grocery store, or even sometimes when I'm asleep. I'm rereading the series (again!) right now, and I'm in the middle of New Moon. You can probably expect some new Jacob designs in the next few weeks as a result of that. :)

4. Do you personally have a favorite piece?

Oh, wow... It's nearly impossible to choose. I feel a genuine love for the pieces I produce and it's sort of like having a ton of children - I love them equally, but differently. I really like the "She Said Yes" necklace, and some of the Alice pieces that are coming soon. I have to say that some of my favorites are the pieces involving amber - it's a cool stone anyway, ancient and beautiful, which is sort of the way I see Edward. Plus, the multitude of descriptions in the Twilight series of Edward's smoldering gaze are really fun. I like what the amber pieces represent.

5. When you make the items, do you ever make double to keep one for yourself? If not, is there anything you have made to keep?

Absolutely! Each design is thoroughly "tested" by me and my friends and family before ever hitting the shop. :) I did keep one of the swirled vintage hearts from the "Edward's Heart of Gold" necklaces for myself, and the Amber Eyes set became my uniform for a while! Aside from the one of a kind pieces, you won't see a design in the shop that hasn't been worn by me at least once or twice. I love wearing the jewelry just as much as I love making it.

6. What is your favorite thing about the Twilight books and phenomenon in general?

Well, I think the phenomenon makes sense - the world Stephenie Meyer created is just that good! I love how faithful the fans are, and I think that's something really fun about making jewelry inspired by the series... we all have something in common because we all love Twilight! I think one of my favorite things about the books is just how powerful the story is. It connects to basically every reader, and it raises some powerful questions, too, like what the nature of love is, and how we should handle our lesser impulses. I've never met someone to who read the series and didn't love it!

7. Anything else you want to add?

I just want to say thanks so much for featuring my shop! Thanks, also, to the wonderful fans who have chosen BellaBejeweled over the past few months. It's been so much fun to work with fans that love the series as much as I do, and I'm touched by the support of the Twilight community!

Twilight's Own Eric: Justin Chon

Justin Chon Pictures, Images and Photos

Justin Chon
Interviews by: Lauren
Justin's Website!

In the past few months, I've interviewed Justin Chon, who is playing Eric Yorkie in the just released Twilight film, twice and I wanted to re-post both of those here again in case you haven't read it yet! This will be a little long, simply because I'm putting both interviews in one post...but please read and leave us your thoughts in the comments!
And see Twilight. Justin is hilarious as Eric!

1. You haven’t been acting for a very long time just yet, so what made you decide to start when you did? What do you most enjoy about being an actor?

I started acting because I thought it would be a fun and interesting job. When I was young there weren't many asians on tv so i thought it was an impossible dream but once i saw john cho in American Pie i told myself, alright ill give it a shot as a job and not a hobby.

2. Do you have a lot of people recognize you when you’re out? If so, what do they usually know you from?

haha, No not really. People will recognize me once in a while and its usually for either wendy wu or just jordan.

3. You played the role of Tony on the Nickelodeon show “Just Jordan.” When filming for a TV show, what was a typical day like for you?

Well, monday through wed we would have rehearsals. Thursdays and fridays were shoot days. It was just like a normal 9-5. After work I would usually go to an acting class.

4. You’ve acted on TV and for movies. Do you find you ever enjoy one more over the other?

I love all types of mediums including stage, tv, and film. But if I had to choose, I would say I like film the best because its like a summer camp. You meet all these new people, you work and live together and after its all done you say good bye and promise to keep in touch.

5. How do you prepare for your roles? Have you ever played a part that was difficult to get into at first?

I read the script many many times. I like to have a lot of time to let the role naturally sink into my bones. I think the most challenging role to date was my role in crossing over. Mainly becuase I was playing an immigrant and had a korean accent.

6. If you could have played any role in the history of movies, who would you pick and why?

These are good questions. Umm...i think I would have played I think his name was keno. in teenage mutant ninja turtles...I love those movies...hahaha

7. One of the next projects people can find you in is the movie Crossing Over. Will you give us a brief description of the movie and your role in it?

Crossing over is about different aspects of immigration. I play a korean immigrant teen whos having trouble adjusting to my new life in the US.

8. What was it like for you to be in a movie with such big name actors such as Harrison Ford and Sean Penn?

I didnt have any direct contact with either actor because there are different story lines. But i did meet Harrison Ford and he was super nice.

9. Who are some of your own movie idols?

Marlon Brando, James Dean, Johnny Depp, Mark Ruffulo, Robert Downey Jr.

10. You’ll be playing the role of Eric in the movie version of Twilight. Have you read the books? If so, had you read them before you got the part or when you were going out for the role?

I have read the books. And i did read part of the first one before getting the role becaue my friend had told me about it.

11. What was the audition process like for the movie?

I had to audition for casting, then audition for the director, then i had chemistry improv auditions with other actors and finally I auditioned with kristen Stewart.

12. Do you feel like you’re anything like Eric in real life? Who is your actual favorite character in the books?

I would say I'm similar in certain ways to Eric in that I try to keep it cool with everyone around me. He's sort of a mover and a shaker. My favorite character in the book is Emmet. He's just badass. He's so eager to kill enemies..

13. For this particular role, did you do any research on Eric and the novels?

Yes, I did do some research. and visited some of the online forums to get more info about everyone.

14. If you were given the chance to play one of the Cullen’s, who would you pick and why?

I would say I would play emmett...Like I said, he's is a bad ass mofo.

15. As far as you know, are there any plans of making New Moon into a movie as well? If so, do you hope to be in the sequel?

I have no idea at this point. But if there is I would love to be involved.

16. Personally, what books do you really enjoy? What are you currently listening too or watching?

Well, I enjoy reading biographies. I'm reading one on sean penn right now. I've been watching a lot of old movies like butch cassidy and the sundance kid and a ton of james dean movies. I've been listening to a lot of women artists these days like Meg and Dia and Sara Bereilles.

***End Interview One. Interview TWO up next***

Christian Serratos Angela Weber Justin Chon Eric Yorkie Pictures, Images and Photos

1.What was your favorite part about filming Twilight?

My favorite part about shooting twilight was hanging out with my cast members.

2.How much interaction takes place between you and the Cullens during the film? Who do you mostly associate with on screen?

I have no interaction with the cullens. I am mostly in contact with all the human characters.

3. What was the cast of Twilight like? Did you connect with anyone in particular?

Everyone was was very welcoming and nice. I ended up connecting with a lot of the cast including Mike, Anna, Jose, and Greg

4.Were there any behind-the-scenes stories or pranks that went on?

The behind the scene stories consisted of us just making fun of each other.

5.How long were you shooting for? What scene was the most fun or interesting to shoot and why?

I was there on and off for a month. I think the most exciting stuff to shoot was the car accident.

6.Did you prepare for the role of Eric in any way?

Yes, i did some special dance routines to prepare.

7.Have you ever been recognized on the streets by anyone?

Not for being in twilight. I dont really think i have a recognizable face.

8.Do you know if they will be filming New Moon yet? If so, when would shooting begin?

I have no idea.

9. What have been people’s reactions to the film, through the trailer and photos, thus far?

Everyone seems to be very positive.

10. Is there anything in particular from the book that you are excited to see on the big screen?

I want to see them flying through the trees.

11. Do you have any favorite lines, whether yours or someone else’s?

Not yet.

12. The tagline for the film is “When you can live forever what do you live for?” but if you had to come up with your own, what would it be?

It would be "Bella Falls in Love with Eric."

13. There are many Twilight bloggers on Youtube and fansites all over the web. Have you checked any of them out? Which ones and what did you think?

Yes, i have checked out a few. I like twilight lexicon and twilight moms.

14. If you had to come up with three songs for the Twilight soundtrack, what would they be?

They would all be rap songs by the wu tang clan.

15. Are you currently working on any new projects? What do you have planned, if anything, for the future?

I am a bum living day to day playing music and sleeping.

16. If you had to wish on a real shooting star, what would you wish for and why?

I would wish for everyone to have a sense of humor and not take themselves so serious. I think the world would be a better place.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Booking Mama is giving away the CBS’ Novel Adventures Books.

Booking Mama is giving away Katie Brown Celebrates as well.

Confessions of a Bibliophile has Any Given Doomsday up for grabs!

A Bookworm’s World is giving away Confetti Cakes for Kids.

Peeking Between the Pages has the CBS Novel Adventures up for grabs too!

Just Listen has some Melina Marchetta books up for grabs.

Everything Up Close is giving away Light and Soul candles.

Seven Dogs and a Baby is giving away Scrubs: Seventh Season.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Review: How to (Un)Cage a Girl

Francesca Lia Block Pictures, Images and Photos

how to (un)cage a girl by Francesca Lia Block
Review by: Lauren

Also reviewed for teensreadtoo

how to un(cage) a girl is a short collection of poetry for and about girls. Told in three parts, these poems deal with many facets of life that women must deal with from being a teen to being an adult. This is a book about life: the ups and downs, the pressure, the joys, the pain. This tiny book includes it all.

I enjoyed the book very much, and found the modern approach to poetry to be interesting and refreshing. It was a bit hard to understand at parts, but definitely enjoyable overall.

One of my favorite entries in this collection was one titled Media Queenz, which addresses all the singers and actresses that girls tend to idolize. I think the following line from this poem explains it best:

"where were our pradas? our pouts?
our captivating glances?
only later we would grow up
and realize that these women were just women"

This is a perfect novel for any girl who ever felt unworthy or like they didn't fit in. We are all our own people, and how to (un)cage a girl celebrates that.
With the holidays approaching, this small book would make a great stocking stuffer as well!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Twilight Week!

It's finally Twilight week...and if you are a fan, I hope you understand what this means!

I have a copy of the soundtrack at my house, and I must say, I think it's worth checking out if you are wondering about buying the album. I love most of the songs and even found a new favorite from a band I knew of fill you in on the loveliness of this, here is a video that simply plays the song.

"Spotlight" by Mute Math (twilight mix, I believe)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Film Friday: Let the Right One In

Let the Right One In

>Movie Website

I think this movie looks great and would LOVE to see it, but it's not being released anywhere near me. What do you all think? If it looks good and is playing near you, you should all go see it for me since I can't! :)


A fragile, anxious boy, 12-year-old Oskar is regularly bullied by his stronger classmates but never strikes back. The lonely boy's wish for a friend seems to come true when he meets Eli, also 12, who moves in next door to him with her father. A pale, serious young girl, she only comes out at night and doesn't seem affected by the freezing temperatures.

Coinciding with Eli's arrival is a series of inexplicable disappearances and murders. One man is found tied to a tree, another frozen in the lake, a woman bitten in the neck. Blood seems to be the common denominator – and for an introverted boy like Oskar, who is fascinated by gruesome stories, it doesn't take long before he figures out that Eli is a vampire. But by now a subtle romance has blossomed between Oskar and Eli, and she gives him the strength to fight back against his aggressors. Oskar becomes increasingly aware of the tragic, inhuman dimension of Eli's plight, but cannot bring himself to forsake her. Frozen forever in a twelve-year-old's body, with all the burgeoning feelings and confused emotions of a young adolescent, Eli knows that she can only continue to live if she keeps on moving. But when Oskar faces his darkest hour, Eli returns to defend him the only way she can...

Swedish filmmaker Tomas Alfredson weaves friendship, rejection and loyalty into a disturbing and darkly atmospheric, yet poetic and unexpectedly tender tableau of adolescence. LET THE RIGHT ONE IN is based on the best-selling novel by John Ajvide Lindqvist.

LET THE RIGHT ONE IN is the inaugural release in Magnet’s “Six Shooter Film Series,” a series of six films highlighting the vanguard of genre cinema from around the globe. Five films will follow over the coming months: Nacho Vigalondo’s TIMECRIMES (Spain), Ollie Blackburn’s DONKEY PUNCH (UK), SPECIAL (US), BIG MAN JAPAN (Japan), and EDEN LOG (France).


Berkeley, CA: Shattuck Cinemas
Encino, CA: Town Center 5
San Diego, CA: Hillcrest Cinemas
San Francisco, CA: Bridge Theatre
San Rafael, CA: Smith Rafael Film Center
Santa Cruz, CA: Nickelodeon Theatres
Washington, DC: E Street Cinema
Huntington, NY: Cinema Arts Centre

Denver, CO: Mayan Theatre
Cambridge, MA: Kendall Square Cinema
Baltimore, MD: Charles Theatre
Portland, OR: Cinema 21 Theatre
Philadelphia, PA: Ritz at the Bourse
Austin, TX: Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar
Dallas, TX: Angelika Film Center and Cafe
Seattle, WA: Guild 45th Theatre

Chicago, IL: Landmark's Century Centre Cinema
New Orleans, LA: Zeitgeist
Minneapolis, MN: Lagoon Cinema
Providence, RI: Avon Cinema

Louisville, KY: Village Cinema 8
Charlotte, NC: Manor Theatre 2
San Antonio, TX: Santikos Bijou @ Crossroads 6
Salt Lake City, UT: Broadway Centre Cinemas
South Burlington, VT: The Palace 9

Omaha, NE: Film Streams at the Ruth Sokolof Theater
Santa Fe, NM: The Screen
Nashville, TN: Belcourt Theatre

University City, MO: Tivoli Theatre
Columbus, OH: Gateway 8

Hartford, CT: Real Art Ways Cinema
Tallahassee, FL: Miracle 5
Indianapolis, IN: Keystone Art Cinema 7
Grand Rapids, MI: Urban Institute of Contemporary Arts
Taos, NM: Taos Film Society
Bend, OR: Pilot Butte 6 Theatres
Norfolk, VA: Naro Expanded Cinema

Freebie Friday

I normally post this as Win-It-Wednesday, but since it's's Freebie Friday today.
Don't forget to check out the new auction for First Book or spread the word to anyone you know who might be interested...and enter the few contests we have going on as well!

cindysloveofbooks is giving away the Hachette holiday entertaining book set!
The Tome Traveller’s Weblog has 3 copies of The Flavor Bible to give away.

Courtesy of Liv’s Book Reviews, here is the trailer for Bliss by Lauren Myracle:

The Things We Read is giving away Arsenic Soup for Lovers.

Bookshipper is giving away all the Novel Adventure (new show on CBS) books!

A Daily Dose of Toni is giving away a Twilight hoodie.

Book Chatter is giving away Pretty Monsters.

Write for a Reader is giving away The House on Tradd Street.

Peeking Between the Pages is giving away Broad Street.

Jenn’s Bookshelf is giving away Gods Behaving Badly and Any Given Doomsday

Sci Fi Guy is also giving away Gods Behaving Badly.

Bookroomreviews is giving away Tinsel Eye Shadow.

A Daily Dose of Toni

YA Connection is giving away the book Lock and Key.

Boston Bibliophile is giving away The Ghost in Love.

Chasing Windmills: Final Review!

Chasing Windmills by Catherine Ryan Hyde

Chasing Windmills is the story of Sebastian and Maria.
Sebastian has lived his whole life with only his father as company. He was homeschooled, hardly allowed out of the house, couldn't watch any movies, and much more.
Once Sebastian met Delilah, a person living in his apartment building, he soon begins to see the life that is out there and was never able to experience before.

Maria has lived with Carl since she was fifteen and has two kids with him, C.J. and Natalie. Carl has a bad temper though, and often screams and hurts Maria. She doesn't leave though. She doesn't believe she even can.

One night though, rididng on the subway, Sebastian and Maria see each other and it's simply love at first sight. The two slowly start to get to know eah other and decide that they want to run away together.

Chasing Windmills is a great novel, that I highly enjoyed. It gives you a lot to think about, such as why people are they way they are, why people tend to leave the ones they love, and why despite all this, everyone can survive. The book is a fast read, that keeps you interested all the way through. It's not filled with a ton of action, but that doesn't matter. Chasing Windmills is an interesting and emotional read, that I would definitely recommend.

While reading this book, I listened to a song and realized that it fit the book very least to me.
That song would be "Weird" by Hanson.
These are the lyrics.

And here is the video so you can hear the song for yourself. What do you think?

Hanson's "Weird"

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Noontime Book Chat: Chasing Windmills

Noontime Book Chat Day Four: Chasing Windmills
If you'd like to know more about these chats, then head over to J. Kaye's Blog!

Alright, so the book is winding up now....though I still have not finished yet. I'll be reading more later and tomorrow so that I can post about my full thoughts on the book as a whole when everyone else does for the Friday wrap up.

However, I did want to discuss one of the characters a little more...Delilah. We haven't talked about her too much when posting about our thoughts and she's definitely a great addition to the story.

I love that she's so willing to help Sebastian and make sure he lives life and can get out from under his father's thumb. It is a bit odd that she would, in a way, since he's still 17 and she's an you'd think she would be a little more cautious about helping. She doesn't, and I do think it's great because she's changing this young boy's life for the better.

Delilah is a great character and she has some amazing views on life. I always love reading her answers for all of Sebastian's many questions.

So...what do you think? Any thoughts on the character of Delilah?

P.S. If you've read this book before and aren't part of the Noontime Chat, it doesn't matter! Come and post with us!

Auction for First Book: H.R. of Bad Brains

The next auction for First Book is Oh, the Places You'll Go by Dr. Seuss. This one was autographed and even graded by H.R., who was the singer of Bad Brains.
Now, I'm sure some of you are wondering...Why this book? Well here is your answer: "He picked it because he loves Dr Seuss and it’s a positive message."

Since it's a picture book, it's not marked up like the others...but it's still awesome.
So, did you like Bad Brains or H.R.? Know someone who did? This would make a great present, so please bid and help First Book!!!

If this is your first time at the auctions, here are the rules:

** HOW TO BID: Leave a comment on this post with the amount you want to bid for. The Leave a Mark page on First Book is ONLY for the winner...if you bid the most, you donate through that site that amount and I will mail you the book.

**The first person who bids has to START at five dollars, so each book will sell for at least that much. If you want to bid above that, it has to go up in fifty cent increments, so people aren't going up by a penny or a dime.

Ex. Starts at five dollars, will go to five fifty, will go to six dollars, etc.

**We will give a loose finishing date for each book being auctioned, but it might change, so just keep checking the blog and make sure when it has ended or not. This will help us and you in the long run!

**If you are an author and want to mark up your book, please get in touch. We'd love to have you! If you don't have time or don't like to mark up books, feel free to get in touch about sending us any promo items to include with the books when people bid on them.

** ALL PROCEEDS will go to First Book, so keep that in mind!!
They have a page set up for us as well, where you will donate your money if you are the highest bidder. You can also feel free to donate aside from the auction, if you'd just like to help out First Book. The site is here: Leave a Mark site!

** If you're the winner, we'll send you more information. But make sure to check back to see who wins, or leave a way for us to contact you!

So, go ahead! Bid! :)

DEADLINE: This will end next Wednesday, MIDNIGHT EST!!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Review: Murder 101

Murder 101
By: K.B. Malewich
Review by: Lauren

Students are being killed, and nobody is quite sure how to go about finding the killer. Enter Candid, Echo, and their parents. The family work by going under cover and helping solve various cases that are a mystery to the local forces. For this one, the two teens are sent to the school where the girls have been killed, trying to find out any clues about what is happening, who will be next, and how to stop this before one of them end up as the victims.

Murder 101 has a great premise and when I first started reading it, it really reminded me of The Hangman's Curse with a family going undercover at a school to figure out a mystery. The book is a quick, fast read with a mystery that I didn't figure out beforehand, which is always a plus. The only real complaint I had about the book is that it seems to not be edited that well. I've read many ARC's (advanced reader copies) and am used to reading over mistakes. However, this book wasn't labeled as and ARC and it had more mistakes then normal ARC's do. After awhile, you do get used too it and can look past it to find a fun story, but it's a slight frustration at first.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Contest: Is it Just Me...?


It isn’t just you.

Written by Steve Lowe and Alan McArthur, with Brendan Hay, this is an encyclopedic attack on modern culture so hilariously bitter that it actually becomes uplifting. If you hate chick lit, Che Guevara merchandise, pop Kabbalah, cosmetic-surgery-gone-wrong-as-TV-programming, DVDs with ads you can’t skip, or any of a few hundred other insanely annoying modern things, then this book will finally lend credence to your frustrations.

Eligible: This is coming from Hachette, so once again you must live in the US or Candan and have an actual address. NO P.O. Boxes

Copies: There are up to 5 copies that you can win, but here is how I wish to do this. If I get ten entries for this, I'll give away one copy. Twenty...two. Thirty...three. Fourty...four. And fifty and up...five copies. So spread the word!

Ends: November 30 (that's three contests ending then! Be sure to enter!!)

Contest: The American Journey of Barack Obama

The American Journey of Barack Obama covers the candidate from his childhood and adolescence to his time as editor of The Harvard Law Review and his Chicago activist years, culminating with the excitement and fervor of the historic 2008 Democratic National Convention. The unfolding drama of Obama's life and political career is cinematic in scope, and never has it been presented so compellingly.

In addition to a powerful array of photographs that were taken by many of the country's greatest photographers (and some that were snapped, in the quiet moments, by Obama family members themselves), this book also includes a Foreword by Senator Edward M. Kennedy, an incisive narrative biography and original essays by some of our finest writers, including Gay Talese, Charles Johnson, Melissa Fay Greene, Andrei Codrescu, Fay Weldon, Richard Norton Smith, Bob Greene and several others. Many readers will find a new understanding of Obama. All readers will feel that they are bearing witness to a singular, undeniably American story.

Courtesy of Hachette, I'm giving away ONE copy of this book.

Eligible: Since it's coming from Hachette, this is ONLY open to those in the US and Canada, and you CANNOT have a P.O. Box. Actual addresses only.

Deadline: November 30

Sunday, November 9, 2008


Congrats Stars Pictures, Images and Photos

Perfect From Now On winner is AmandaK.
I just sent off an email, so please get me your address ASAP won You Do Not Talk About Fight Club. Please send me your address. If you don't have it to be by today, I will choose a new winner tomorrow! I have the other two winner's addresses!!!

Don't forget to enter the other contests and keep a look out for more to come.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Review: Life After Genius

Life After Genius by M. Ann Jacoby
Review by: Lauren
Contest: Want to win this book? Click the book cover in the right sidebar to find out how!

Teddy is a genius. He graduated high school early and would have graduated college at the age of 18. That's right...he would have. Instead, Teddy (now known as Mead) is back home and refusing to reveal why. With his mom trying her hardest to get answers out of him, his father believing he shouldn't work at the furniture/funeral home with him, and his uncle putting Mead down any chance he can get....what will happen on this journey home?

I've read a lot of people's thoughts on this novel and many have asked me to post what I think about the ending....

But starting at the beginning, I really enjoyed the book. Mead is smart, but has a great sense of humor that sees him through the rough times in life. College is a time of discovery for Mead, but only nearing the end of his senior year when he befriends a boy named Herman, who Mead soon realizes he should never have trusted.

This book was a fast, interesting, sad, and humorous read all in one. However, back to the definitely leaves you wanting more and I'd be fine with it if there was going to be a sequel, though I don't think there is. Certain things aren't totally cleared up and the ending was simply a cliffhanger of sorts.

Beyond that though, I would recommend the book. It's a unique idea with a great main character...Just keep the odd ending in mind.

***I've been reading a lot lately, so there should be two new reviews in the next couple days, and I'll be finishing another hopefully this week (which will have a contest with it) so keep an eye out!

Help Me Win This?

Here is the statement from Muk Luk's website about this contest they are holding. Obviously, I really really would love to win these...they are just plain amazing, so please add them and tell them I sent you okay? You have to say Lauren Becker though!!!

MUK LUKS® is looking for more friends, and this is your time to shine!!!

Recruit your friends, family, and even acquaintances to add MUK LUKS® as their friend on Facebook, and you could win a free pair of MUK LUKS® !!!

Who ever recruits the most people will receive a complementary pair of MUK LUKS® of your choice!

Make sure the friend requesting us mentions your name, so we can keep track of who has the most recruits!!

There's a leader board that will be updated daily so you can see what place you are in, and how many more people you need to talk to!

You have THIS WEEK, until FRIDAY to do this! That's when the contest ends.

Facebook Link

If you do this, please leave me a comment so I can thank you! EDITED THE LINK. Make sure you have the right one!!!!

Friday, November 7, 2008

St. Jude Fundraisers: Seeking Non-Monetary Donations!

St. Jude Pictures, Images and Photos

You might know this already, but I'm a big supporter of St. Jude. I think what they do is amazing and it's always incredibly heartbreaking to see the videos of all those sick children. Because I love St. Jude so much, I joined my college's club Up Til Dawn, where we raise money for St. Jude through letter writing parties (people come together through an event and write letters to friends and family and that's how we get our money). But for the parties and fundraisers (to build up our budget) we look for giveaways of actual prizes or gift certificates to give out. It's something fun to do and gets people more excited about helping out.

The reason I'm writing this on here is because I'd love to know if you are a business, author, musician, or simply someone who will like to donate something for us to use. If so, leave a comment with your email or email me here: lauren51990 at aol dot com. Let me know what you would like to give and if I think it'll work, I'll let you know!

Remember: These are all college students!

Thanks so much for reading!! Please post this with a link to my blog anywhere you like to get the word out!


Monday, November 3, 2008

Stephanie Kuehnert Interview with Mike Ness

Mike Ness Pictures, Images and Photos

Mike Ness, the lead singer/guitarist of Social Distortion has been a hero of mine since I first heard the self-titled Social Distortion album my freshman year of high school. Mike sings with raw honesty about real life. His songs about love, heartbreak, addiction, and being a punk trying to find his/her place in the world could have been a soundtrack for my high school years. When I saw his solo tour this spring in Denver, each song he sung gave me a story idea and I wished I could take notes and dance at the same time. My first novel, I WANNA BE YOUR JOEY RAMONE, opens with lyrics from “Don’t Take Me For Granted,” a Social Distortion song that Mike Ness wrote as tribute to Dennis Danell after he passed away in 2000. Dennis was founding member of Social D and one of Mike’s best friends and the song is about their boyhood dream of rock ‘n’ roll. I wrote I WANNA BE YOUR JOEY RAMONE as a female counterpart to that song, so I was thrilled when Lauren of Shooting Stars offered me the opportunity to interview Mike Ness right after my book came out this summer. I did the interview via phone while Mike was on the road on his solo tour. As I told him, I’m a novelist not a journalist, so my questions were from the perspective of a storyteller and a fan.

Stephanie Kuehnert (SK): What are some of your favorite books or what are you reading right now?

Mike Ness (MN): Well, I’m a very horrible reader. I don’t have very many regrets, but one of my biggest regrets is not really giving school a chance. So for me to read it takes extreme discipline. So I have to find books that are kind of, I hate to say it, but easy reading like Bukowski or I just finished this book about the New York Dolls called TOO MUCH TOO SOON about their tragic career. I’m able to read various crime books, just not too many Italian names. Right now, I’m trying to get through Dr. Laura’s BAD CHILDHOOD---GOOD LIFE and I brought another one with me [on tour] called THE DEVIL’S MUSIC, which is about the history of the blues. I’m not as well read as I would like to be. It’s something I’m trying to work on.

SK: I had this really amazing teacher in college, Joe Meno, who really taught the connection between song and story. He brought a boombox to class one day, had us listen to Johnny Cash and really look at those songs as storytelling. Your music has that characteristic too it, too. So, the stories you tell in your songs, do you draw inspiration from your own life or are there books, movies, or other songs that have inspired certain songs?

MN: Mainly it’s from my own life. I like to write fictionally and non-fictionally. In the recent past, I’ve learned that I can grab inspiration from positive stuff, not just negative stuff. That’s been enlightening for me because I always want to have a positive message, so I think it’s imperative to grab inspirations from positive things that you either experience or observe. But I look at being a songwriter as being a reporter. You report what you see and what you experience.

SK: You’ve got a lot of awesome tattoos. My tattoos have stories behind them. Can you tell us about some of your tattoos and the inspiration for them?

MN: Well, I have a really nice chopped ‘50 Mercury on my stomach and underneath it it says ‘Sick Boy’ and up above it is a Christ with a halo around him and on the left side of the chest is a devil woman on the right is an angel. And it’s kind of like some of my life stories and I’m not finished yet, but it means something to me.

SK: Are there any bands that have cited Social D as an influence that make you particularly proud?

MN: We’ve become good friends with Billie Joe from Green Day and I know the guys in Offspring and they’ve mentioned Social Distortion and [so has] Rancid, but one of the most surprising [fans of Social Distortion] was Bruce Springsteen. To be acknowledged by someone that huge—he’s one of the best storytellers there are—and that was just a big deal for me. Even though we come from different styles of music. I think that if you are always looking for differences you are going to find them, but if you look for similarities you’ll find them too.

SK: When I saw you on your solo tour in Denver, you acknowledged that three-quarters of Social D was on stage with you. So what’s the different for you playing as Mike Ness or playing as Social D, aside from playing different songs?

MN: I think Social D has a little bit more of an aggressive stance. I think this shows a different side of me, a little more sensitive. What I like about this is that people are there to see the songs and not just be king of the mosh pit. [With Social D] sometimes you get people coming for the wrong reason. If you’re coming to a show to show off how tough you are why don’t just save the money and do that on the street for free and find a worthy opponent? So this is refreshing to me, but it’s harder to play songs slow than it is fast, contrary to popular belief, so it requires a bit more concentration. And I don’t think we’re as loud so it gives me a chance to really sing more. But I don’t know, I love them both equally.

SK: One of my favorite solo songs is “I’m In Love With My Car.” My boyfriend is a fan of yours as well and in love with cars, too, and he’d kill me if I didn’t ask you about yours. How many do you have, what is your favorite, and why is it so special to you?

MN: I think I have 8 or 9 and I am unable to pick a favorite because each one of them is unique in its own way. I designed them and me and my friends built them. Some of them are radical customs. Some of them are mild customs. For me building a car and designing it is like writing a song. It’s another form of self expression.

SK: Last, I have the official Shooting Stars Magazine question for you. What you would wish on a shooting star for?

MN: I wish that our country would take tips from other countries, learn from them, and maybe we can become a better country that way. The John Wayne approach isn’t working anymore.

Stephanie's Myspace
Mike Ness' Website

Contest: Perfect From Now On

In honor of Bookroomreview's Bloggy Book Carnival, I'm giving away one copy of the novel Perfect From Now On: How Indie Rock Saved My Life by John Sellers

Author John Sellers Website!

Summary: John Sellers was powerless to resist the call of indie rock—once he finally heard it. In this hilarious and revealing memoir, Sellers meticulously charts his transformation from a teenage headbanger rebelling against his Dylan-obsessed father to a thirtysomething fixated on the obscure Ohio band Guided By Voices. Along the way, he commemorates the deaths of Ian Curtis and Kurt Cobain, makes a pilgrimage inspired by the Smiths, and riffs on Pavement and the other raucous bands that have ruled college radio since the 1980s. Packed with compulsively constructed lists, ridiculous formulas, and embarrassing confessions, this is a book for anybody who thinks that corporate rock still sucks.

How To Enter:

One Entry: Leave a comment with your email or blog link so I can get ahold of you if you win....and say WHY YOU WANT TO READ THIS!

Extra Entry: Listen to EITHER ONE of these two bands (you don't have to listen to both) and let me know who you listened too and what you thought (whether you liked them or not):

The Remorse Code
Pluto Revolts

Obviously, you don't all have Myspace and therefore might not be able to add them, but if you listen to the music, like what you hear, and HAVE a Myspace, definitely think about adding them...and feel free to let them know we sent you their way!

Deadline: Saturday, November 8 at Midnight EASTERN time.

Click here to check out the host of this Carnival, as well as find more links for other book giveaways!

P.S. Don't forget to read/comment on the interview that author Stephanie Kuehnert did with musician Mike Ness from Social Distortion.

Win-It-Wednesday (Early!!)

Win-It-Wednesday is up two days early because my last post is really long and there are a lot of contests going here we are!

Hey Lady! Whatcha Readin' is giving away a Signed Copy of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Author Keri Mikulski is giving away two books and a poster!

Bloggin Bout Books is giving away a Life Well Read box.

Books. Lists. Life is giving away a gift certificate to your choice of a bookstore.

Shh...I'm reading is giving away Dewey.

The Tome Traveller is also giving away Dewey.

Movie Room Reviews is giving away a Juno Scriptbook.

3 P's Mamas is giving away The Complete Idiot's Guide to Weird Word Origins AND Complete Idiot's Guide to Fun FAQ's!! to one winner in honor of the Bloggy Book Giveaways this week!

Now What Baby is giving away the Rakkiddo.

Elaina Reads is holding an awesome contest!
Bookshipper is giving away Secrets to Happiness.

Auction: The Meaning of Life

The next auction (where all money goes to First Book) is for The Meaning of Life: Rachel Riley's (not) DOING IT diary by Joanna Nadin.

Joanna is a british author and this book looks like a cute, fun read that reminds me of the Georgia Nicholson books (diary format, british girl, etc. etc.)

If this is your first time at the auctions, here are the rules:

** HOW TO BID: Leave a comment on this post with the amount you want to bid for. The Leave a Mark page on First Book is ONLY for the winner...if you bid the most, you donate through that site that amount and I will mail you the book.

**The first person who bids has to START at five dollars, so each book will sell for at least that much. If you want to bid above that, it has to go up in fifty cent increments, so people aren't going up by a penny or a dime.

Ex. Starts at five dollars, will go to five fifty, will go to six dollars, etc.

**We will give a loose finishing date for each book being auctioned, but it might change, so just keep checking the blog and make sure when it has ended or not. This will help us and you in the long run!

**If you are an author and want to mark up your book, please get in touch. We'd love to have you! If you don't have time or don't like to mark up books, feel free to get in touch about sending us any promo items to include with the books when people bid on them.

** ALL PROCEEDS will go to First Book, so keep that in mind!!
They have a page set up for us as well, where you will donate your money if you are the highest bidder. You can also feel free to donate aside from the auction, if you'd just like to help out First Book. The site is here: Leave a Mark Site!

** If you're the winner, we'll send you more information. But make sure to check back to see who wins, or leave a way for us to contact you!

DEADLINE: The auction will end THIS Saturday (12 A.M. Eastern), November 8.

Sunday, November 2, 2008


congrats Pictures, Images and Photos

The winner of The Dracula Dossier is Tetewa

The three winners of You Do Not Talk About Fight Club are:

Diana Dang
Bunny B

I emailed Tetewa, but the three winners need to email me themselves since I don't believe they left an email.
You all have ONE WEEK to get back to me with an adress or I'll choose new winners!

Thanks so much for checking out the blog and entering. I hope to see you around again in the future. More reviews, interviews, guest blogs, and contests to keep checking back!


Saturday, November 1, 2008

Updates: Everyone Read!

shopping Pictures, Images and Photos


You Do Not Talk About Fight Club contest has ended. The three winners will be announced soon.

The Dracula Dossier contest has ended. The one winner will be announced soon as well.

New Contest

You can win an ARC version of the book Life After Genius. Link on the right sidebar. Contest ends on November 30.

Shop for Free Contest: DEADLINE HAS CHANGED. It has been bumped up a month and will end on November 15, so you have a couple more weeks to enter. Don't forget! And if you don't know what this is...check the right sidebar for the link (it's a bag!) You might just want some of these prizes, after all!

Future Contests

A music-related book will be given away next week or so (just check back to see WHAT it is)
A copy of The Debs and a little other fun prize will be given away sometime, hopefully, later in November.
In the first TWO weeks of December, we will celebrate Christmas with a bang and some fun giveaways.
January will bring about a Happy New Year with a few giveaways and fun other stuff.

Keep checking back. Put the zine in your favorites. Follow us if you have a blog of your own. Add us on Myspace if you have that. Whatever, just keep in touch!!

Shooting Stars Myspace!