Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Interview: East4thStreet

Interview with Heather from East4thStreet
By: Lauren

Go and Shop

I'm so sorry for the delay in getting this posted. One of Heather's shirts was included in the Adult prize pack and I was supposed to have this up during the contest but it just ended last night (winners posted soon), so I really am sorry for the lateness. Holidays got in the way! However, please read this and lear your thoughts for Heather and be sure to stop by her shop if you don't win!

1. How did you first begin making these items? When did you decide to sell them?

Well, I've been designing and silk screening tshirts for the past two years but I only opened up my Etsy shop about four months ago. Etsy makes it so easy it was kind of a no brainer.

2. What are some of the phrases on your shirts, etc.? How do you come up with them?

Believe it or not, generally speaking I'm not really a fan of text on clothing so it has to be something that really resinates with me. My "be a little braver" tee came about one day when my sister read me a passage from a book she was reading. That phrase just jumped out at me and I knew I had to put it on a tshirt. It speaks to the power of the "baby step" . It's a lot of fun to wear, very empowering and the response is always so positive.

3. You had a shirt for adults and babies that said Oh Baby, Obama. How did you come up with this idea? You raised 200 dollars to send to the Obama campaign from selling these, so how successful was the idea?

Well, I guess that depends on how you measure success and I measure it several different ways. Financial is certainly one way, and in that respect, I'd say it was moderately successful. Keeping in mind that 200.00 was 20% of the total sales, and for this very small, home based business that opened up it's virtual doors just about four months ago,that is a respectable amount of tshirts.

I also measure success in terms of customer satisfaction and feedback. In this respect it was very successful. This little tee was ordered by people all over the country from some surprising places like Texas, Colorado, Florida and others. I even had my first international sale when someone in France ordered one for the little Democrat in their life. I got a lot of wonderful feedback and exposure that I might not have gotten otherwise. If you check out the "feedback" section in my Etsy shop you will see not only some lovely words but some pictures of the most adorable Obama supportors you will ever run across. So all around this aspect has been very gratifying.

And then I also measure success by how it felt, to me personally, to work in this idea, and in this respect I really couldn't have asked for more. On a very grassroots level, I got to contribute to and participate in, what might be the most important historical moment of my lifetime. This was my main motivation and it's been so fulfilling.

So all in all, was this idea a success? Yes.

4. Anything else you want to add?

Just Thanks so much for this lovely opportunity. I hope one of your readers has all kinds of fun in my "be a little braver" tee... or at least as much fun as do!

What? I Have a New Blog?

That's right...I have a new blog! Don't worry, Shooting Stars Zine isn't going anywhere. I call it a blog at times, but it's honestly more then that to me and I'd love to have an official site sometime in the future.

However, I had an idea and decided to start a new blog to try it out. The blog is called Bridge the Gap and you can find it here!

As you all most likely know by now, I am an American girl. However, I've begun falling in love with a lot of foreign things and I think it's awful that all these countries get American produced things, but we rarely get their stuff.

Anyway, this new blog is entertainment as well but focusing on things that are NOT American...or not totally American.

Right now, I have a letter to you all posted explaining more about the blog and my hopes for it as well as a guest post. Check it out. Leave your thoughts over there. Follow the blog if you wish!


Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Thank you Secret Santas!

This Holiday season, I participated in two secret santas that were a ton of fun! I'd love to continue them next year. First up, I was a part of the second annual Book Blogger Christmas Swap that Nymeth and Dewey (R.I.P.) put together. It was great seeing some new blogs and my Secret Santa got me the novel Prep, which I'm stoked about!! At first I didn't know who sent it, because they didn't leave a note or name on who they were...but I finally realized it must be my Secret Santa! :) Thank you so much! I wish I knew who you were!!!

prep book Pictures, Images and Photos

Next up is the secret santa I put together for some YA authors and bloggers. It's the same type of deal, but with people you know better and on a much smaller scale. It was a ton of fun and I'd really love to continue this next year as well with some new people. Thanks to everyone being so supportive of my idea though and participating!

Anyway...on to the reveal! My second secret santa was Brooke Taylor!!! Brooke, you seriously SERIOUSLY outdid yourself. I mean, wow! I was so shocked to get my package, but I loved it very much. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!

I got the novel Suicide Notes from Michael Thomas Ford, which I'd been wanting for awhile now. I can't wait to read it!

She also got me the memoir Without You by Anthony Rapp (who played Mark Cohen in the original Broadway cast and in the film version).

I Read That Book!!!!!!Good Book! Pictures, Images and Photos

I'm a hugeee fan of Rent and the character of Mark is my favorite and I also love his real-life counterpart, Anthony, so this was an amazing gift. Brooke was afraid I'd already have it, and to be honest, I did...but it's the hardback version and I love carrying around paperbacks more often, so this is a huge help for when I finally get a chance to re-read it!! I love it! :)

Now, I don't think I've ever mentioned my love of penguins, but Brooke sent me a little picture frame that could be an ornament in the shape of a penguin. It sooo cute and absolutely fits me! I adore it so very much!!!

Penguin Pictures, Images and Photos

My box (yes, a BOX) was filled with tons of little yummy goodies as well such as cute candy canes, chocolate, gum, etc.

Finally, Brooke included a copy of her novel Undone, which I've been wanting to read for awhile now. It looks amazing.

Again, thank you very much Brooke. You really outdid yourself and I'm definitely appreciative. It made my Christmas a little more fun for sure!!

Everyone else in the YA Christmas what you got if you have them!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Auction EXTENDED (Please Read!)

Hey everyone!

I decided to extend this auction until Friday at 11:59 EST. With the holidays last week, I figured it wasn't completely fair to quite end it yet. I want everyone to have a shot at bidding for this one if they want it. Use that holiday money for good! You donate to First Book, Drew will donate the same to the Point Foundation, and you ALSO get a sweet marked up a book...and I'm not just saying that. Drew did a great job. Come on everyone, bid!!

Don't forget the new blog for auctions too...Chelsea's is up as well. You can find the link in the previous post!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Updates + Wish List Wednesday (Late!)

Merry (Late) Christmas and/or Happy Holidays! I meant to post that I'd be away for a few days, but I completely forgot bad! I'm back now though and hopefully I'll have some things posted in the next few days. Since Wednesday was Christmas Eve and I was traveling via car for about 7 hours, I didn't get to post my next installment of Wish List Wednesday, but I'll include that at the bottom of this post!

However, before I get to that, I wanted to post some updates.

1. Chelsea and I have an actual blog for the auctions now, which will continue through January since we got some last minute additions!
Leave a Mark Blog!

There is an auction up from Chelsea already for Alive and Well in Prague, New York. HOWEVER, don't forget my auction which ends tomorrow at 11:59 EST, so you have about a day and a half left to bid, so pleaseee bid! You're helping TWO places but only paying once!!!!

Also, if you read Chelsea's blog too, you already know her mini announcement about the auctions and that's that we will be continuing them next year but HOPEFULLY with a new charity. We'll see how it works out! It was amazing fun working with First Book though and I wouldn't mind doing it again. :)

2. My first Wish List Wednesday was posted a week before Christmas Eve and I happened to get two of my items for Christmas. My sister got me the second season of Psych (still need the first) and the beret from Torrid (she got the idea for this one FROM my wish list, so hey, I guess it works! LOL)

WISH LIST WEDNESDAY (a little late!!!)

David Inside Out by Lee Bantle

I first saw this on Book Chic's blog and I thought it looked really good. Too bad it isn't coming out until May though....

Smart Casual Pictures, Images and Photos

Smart Casual by Kids in Glass Houses

I've been really enjoying KIGH for awhile now, and I would LOVE to have their album. I think it's more expensive to get here in the U.S. though.

Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging Pictures, Images and Photos

Angus, Thongs, and Perfect Snogging (DVD) based on the book Angus, Thongs, and Full Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison. I've read the first book and hope to read the rest ASAP, but I'd love to see the film! I thought it was supposed to be released in the U.S....? I'm not sure!

The All American Rejects - When The World Comes Down (2008) Pictures, Images and Photos

The new album from the All-American Rejects "When the World Comes Down." I'm in love with their single "Gives you Hell" and I really need to get this album. It's out now, by the way, so go and get it everyone!

And FINALLY, I want an album from a band called The Days. However, they don't actually HAVE one out at the moment, though I think they should release one in the Spring if I read that correctly. I'm loving their music, especially "No Ties." You can hear them on their Myspace!

And that's it! What did you get for the Holidays? Have a wish list of your own you want to share?
And don't forget to BID BID BID on the auctions. :)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Auction: The Screwed-Up Life of Charlie the Second

The next auction is for The Screwed-Up Life of Charlie the Second by Drew Ferguson.
This is a great book, and Drew marked it up so SO well. There is practically something on every SINGLE page. Believe me, it's a great keepsake and I honestly wish I could just keep it here with me! Included is a mix c.d. of the book's "soundtrack", some Charlie coasters, etc.

** HOW TO BID: Leave a comment on this post with the amount you want to bid for. The Leave a Mark Page for 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.

** 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.

** 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!

AUCTION ENDS: Friday January 2 at 11:59 EST
Yes, it has changed. I figured it deserved some more time, AFTER the holidays, so people can keep bidding!

NOTE: Whatever the highest bid is, author Drew Ferguson will match that amount for another charity called the Point Foundation

Basically this means that you should bid as much as you possibly can because not only will First Book get that amount (and you'll get an awesome marked up book) but the Point Foundation will get amount.

Deadly Little Secrets by Laurie Faria Stolarz

Deadly Little Secret
By: Laurie Faria Stolarz
Review by: Lauren

Camelia ended last year with a mysterious boy saving her life. As school is about to start once more, all she can think about is this boy and the way his touch made her feel. Her friends, Kimmie and Wes, think she should simply get it over it and move on with her life, but when Camelia finally meets Ben, she becomes too wrapped up in his world to let go.

Ben is a new student, having been homeschooled after his girlfriend died and everyone blamed him. But if he's so dangerous, why is he intent on making Camelia see she's in trouble herself? Camelia has been getting pictures taken of herself around town shoved in her mailbox and soon realizes that whoever this is is watching her closely.

The mystery of Ben's touch is finally explained to Camelia, who still isn't sure whether to trust him or not. Everyone in their town believes Ben to be a bad guy, but something inside Camelia wants to believe that they are all wrong. Ben insists he's trying to help and uses all his strength to prove he can save her.

Deadly Little Secret takes hold of you as soon as you start reading and doesn't let go until you finish the last page. As a fan of Stolarz, I was quite excited to read her latest work and I was not disappointed. Some people might complain that there wasn't enough mystery, but I honestly feel that it keeps you guessing until the climax.

Camelia's life is real and well-rounded, with parents and friends that are quirky, yet have troubles of their own. The one complaint that I would have is that the end seemded to wrap up a little too quickly and Camelia's reactions after the fact were a bit unrealistic...I would have thought she'd have taken more time to adjust back into everyday life. However, it's still a great story and I'm very excited for the sequel, Deadly Little Lies, to be released.

Deadly Little Secrets out TODAY!

Different Tastes: Lywan

Interview by: Lauren

His Myspace

Different Tastes are posts that deal with music, so far, that is a bit different then the usual Alternative/Pop/Rock we normally post about. In this case, it's a rapper by the name of Lywan. If this is your brand of music, be sure to leave a comment and check out the myspace to hear his music!

1. What is the writing process like when it comes to your music and lyrics?

Actually it's my life and things I went through and also things other people went mainly real life situations then when I piece together feel good songs. It's just a feelin the music takes me to different places.

2. Do you only write about personal experiences or do you take ideas from elsewhere?

That;s what I kind of explained in question 1. lol I'ts my experience and others everyday life.

3. If you could work with any other artist, who would it be and why?

Wow, it's a string of artists I would work with. I just love music and workin. Ok, audre 3000, kanya west, jay z, luda cris, jada kiss, jeezy, rick ross, fabulous,nas, common, the list goes on. I love the art. Most of these artists are different. That's what were lackin in hip hop. I love different. That's just rappers. I didn't touch the R&B yet.

4. Do you have any albums currently out?

I have the mix cd album called THE BIDDING BEGINS. That's for the industry cats
Any in the works? And the mix cd for the streets is in the making as we speak.

5. Anything else you want to add?

So if any body want to touch basis with me: Everybody should have a myspace page lol Even if you just lookin lol So ya'll want me to do shows or producers, if you have tracks, reach out to me. Thank you guys very much. Peace and love.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Jd Webb: A New Christmas Song to Sing!

Jd Webb
Review by: Lauren

Jd’s Website
Jd’s Myspace

Jd Webb is a Pop/RnB singer who is no newcomer to music, having been in groups such as Raze and Oasis Praise. Nowadays though, Jd is back and ready to take on the music world again, this time going solo.
Though you won’t be able to find his new album, “The Introduction”, until February 10,2009, Jd has released a Christmas single, “Everything I Need this Christmas” to hold you over for the time being.

Starting off, “Everything I Need this Christmas” gives the vibe of an orchestra, flowing into an upbeat song with amazing vocals. This is a beautiful song about the true meaning of Christmas, celebrating family and loved ones over the material items often associated with the holiday. Jd Webb has a wonderful voice and I’m definitely curious to hear more of his music. For those of you who are ready for some Christmas music but might be a little tired of the old classics, I would highly recommend this one! It’s sure to have you smiling and singing along!

You can hear “Everything I Need this Christmas” right now on Jd’s Myspace.
“The Introduction” due out February 10, 2009 from Infinite Music Group.

Prize Pack #3: Adults

For the Adult prize pack, we have another item donated from Bella Bejeweled. This time, it is the Bella, Love necklace inspired by the Twilight series. As I said for the YA contest, this is a great piece because you don't have to be a fan of the series to enjoy it!

Our next item in the prize pack is a shirt from a shop called east4thstreet. Heather has kindly donated this shirt. It's cute with a fun, motivational message: Be a Little Braver.

And finally, the adults get a book as well.
This one is The Safety of Secrets by DeLaune Michel, which was kindly donated by the author as well!

For those that don't know what this book is about, here is the summary:

"Now we're just alike." So begins Fiona and Patricia's friendship that warm autumn morning in first grade in Lake Charles, Louisiana, their bond forged ever closer by Fiona's abusive mother and Patricia's neglectful one. Their relationship is a source of continuity and strength through their move to L.A. to become actresses; through Fiona's marriage and Patricia's sudden fame. When husband and career pressures exact a toll, the women wonder if their friendship can survive. Then a dark secret from their past emerges, threatening to destroy not only their bond, but all they've worked for as well.

The Safety of Secrets is a beautifully written exploration of the bonds forged in childhood and challenged decades later, of the fulfillment of dreams and the damage they can cause, and of secrets being uncovered and the truth we find inside.

I will have an interview with the creator behind east4thstreet, Heather, up soon. I will hopefully have an interview with the author of The Safety of Secrets as well!

Deadline: December 30 at 11:59 EST

To Enter:

+1 for commenting
+2 if you already follow me (tell me!)
+1 if you follow me now (tell me!)
+5 if you buy something from Bella Bejeweled or east4thstreet (email proof of purchase to Lauren51990 AT aol DOT com)

Prize Pack #2: Teens and Young Adults

The first item in the Teen/Young Adult prize pack is a Twilight Inspired Dark Beauty ring from Bella Bejeweled.

What is awesome about this ring is that it's inspired by the Twilight series, yet it isn't obvious, so if you aren't a fan of the series, you can still enjoy the piece!

Next, we have The Debs by Susan McBride, which has been autographed for the winner. Included with this is a very cute lipstick case.

For those that don't know what this book is about, here is a summary (My review will be up soon. However, just know, that I highly enjoyed this novel and can't wait for the sequel!)

LAURA DELACROIX BELL—this dazzling trust fund girl’s size 14 figure doesn’t stop her from attracting the sexiest scoundrel in town, or the admiring eye of the Glass Slipper Club. However, a salacious secret could take her out of the running.

Michelle “Mac” Mackenzie—brainy, cynical, and maybe a tad judgmental, Mac would rather bury her nose in a good book than embrace her deb destiny. But being a debutante was her late mother’s dream.

Ginger Fore—this adorable tree-hugger wants to wear her grandmother’s vintage ball gown instead of splurging on an expensive dress. Yet when she gets tangled up with an older guy, Ginger will have plenty more to think about.

Jo-Lynn Bidwill—a former child beauty queen, Jo-Lynn is a bitchy vamp who makes it her mission in life to take out the debu-trash. And Jo-Lynn’s sights are set on Laura Bell.

December 30 at 11:59 EST

How to Enter:

+1 for commenting
+2 for already following my blog (tell me!)
+1 if you follow now (tell me!)
+5 if you buy something from Bella Bejewled (email me proof of purchase. Lauren51990 AT aol DOT com)

Us Ones in Between: "Winner"

And the winner of Us Ones in Between is Drew, who bidded 12 dollars for the book!

Go here:

And donate the money. Don't forget to email me your confirmation email so I can send you your book at the end of the month!

Sorry the link above isn't live...just copy and paste it in your browser.
Thanks for bidding!

The next auction should be up later tonight, so keep a look out!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Prize Pack #1: Little Girls

Again, I'm very sorry about the delay in getting this posted, and it's still only the first part of this contest! The rest will be up this weekend, I swear!

This first "gift basket" is for young girls. I won't say a specific age. I think everyone can decide that on their own based on the prizes.

First up, we have some nailpolish and nailpolish remover from Piggy Paint, which is a company that sells these cute polishes and removers that are "non-toxic, odorless, and kid friendly." The one included in this prize pack is this!


Next up, we have a $25 gift voucher from Hannah's Tutus. Whoever wins will have this emailed to you. It can be used at their site.

Finally, this prize pack will include 6 ladybug cupcake wrappers from Yummycuppycrafts. Her shop can be found here!

If you have a daughter, niece, granddaughter, goddaughter, family friend, etc. who you think might like all or some of these items, please enter this contest!

DEADLINE: December 30, 2008 at 11:59 EST
Ways to Enter:
+1 for commenting
+2 for following my blog already (just let me know!)
+1 for following my blog NOW (let me know!)
+5 if you go and buy something from one of these places (email receipt or proof of purchase to Lauren51990 AT aol DOT com)

Another item from Hannah's Tutus:


Thursday Thinker: Why do you Comment?

Winnie The Pooh Thinking Pictures, Images and Photos

I don't know if this will become a regular feature as well, but I hope so! I'm hoping to start some new things and spruce up the blog a bit. Feel free to answer these questions/random thoughts in the comments or post it on your own blog and let me know you did!

So, my first Thursday Thinker is about blogs and the art of commenting. I've been on many blogs and noticed that some have a TON of comments for pretty much all of their posts, but while others rarely get any. Now, I know some blogs are more known then others...but I was wondering something...what makes you comment? Do you read a lot of blogs regurarly and always comment? Just read? If you do read something, do you always comment or tend not too?
For the bloggers out there...I know we all love comments, but what does it mean to you if people do or do not comment?

Any other thoughts? Feel free to share them. I'm curious!

*I'm so sorry for the delay in the new contests, for those that even knew they were coming! I meant to post one of them today, but I was gone for most of it, so it'll be up tomorrow I'm sure. Let's just say: three prizes, for all girls, different ages.*

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Wish List Wednesday: New Feature!

I want to try and make this a regular feature, for the most part, but we’ll see how it goes. Instead of posting “Waiting on Wednesday” which is just books you want that aren’t out yet, I’m going to do a version called “Wish List Wednesday” which is books I want (whether they are out or not) as well as other items. Hence, it’s simply my wish list! Feel free to use this idea and link back to me, or post your wish list items in the comments!

torrid Pictures, Images and Photos

First up, I’d love this Black Leaf-Knit Beret from Torrid. I love this shop. I’m definitely not a size two and this store is amazing for that, providing sizes such as 12 and up. You get cute outfits without having to feel like you aren’t skinny enough! As for this hat, I have one similar to it but it’s purple and I’d love one that will go with anything!

Sadly, I can’t post a picture, but here’s the link:
How Cute

kate gosselin Pictures, Images and Photos

Next up, I really want the memoir Multiple Blessings: Surviving to Thriving with Twins and Sextuplets by Jon and Kate Gosselin.
If you’re confused as to who they are, they have their own show called Jon and Kate Plus 8 on TLC, and they have twin girls and sextuplets (three boys and three girls). It’s a very cute show and I really enjoy it. When I found out about the book, I knew I wanted to read it!

psych Pictures, Images and Photos

And finally, I want the Psych seasons on DVD. I think there are only two seasons out so far, but I’m not sure. I’m in LOVE with this show. I watch a lot of TV, I guess you could say, but I don’t really focus on a ton of shows, except for Psych. It’s pretty much my one and only “OMG! I MUST watch this!” program. If you haven’t seen this, I don’t know what you are waiting for. It has mystery and humor! What else could you want?


Reviewer X is having a Girl Week on her blog, celebrating girls and feminism. There are guest blogs, reviews, interviews, and of course…lots of contests:

Artichoke’s Heart

I Know It’s Over C.K’s guest blog “Women Need Choice”

Lock and Key

Braless in Wonderland

Ten Cents a Dance

Peeking Between the Pages has Tomato Girl up for grabs!

My Trendy Tykes is giving away the Vado Pocket Video Cam.

In the Shadow of Mt. TBR is giving away bookstore gift cards!

Harmony Book Reviews is giving away the book Far from You.

Yes, It’s My Real Name is giving away a Starbucks gift card.

Peanut Butter and Pickle Reviews has some Avon items up for grabs!!

This Full House Reviews is giving away the Avon Anew Ultimate Treatment Collection.

Carpe Libris Reviews has a Life Well Read Set up for grabs!

Alpaca Farm Girl is giving away a Home Depot gift card.

Mrs. Magoo Reads has her 300th Post giveaway!

The Story Siren is having a huge Thank You Contest!

Book Release Fun!

Lisa Schroeder, author of I HEART YOU, YOU HAUNT ME, is celebrating the release of her upcoming YA novel, FAR FROM YOU, and hosting a contest with LOTS of great prizes!

For three days leading up to the book's release date of December 23rd, you can watch VLOGs and hear some excerpts read from the book. The VLOG schedule is as follows:

Sunday, December 21st – Liv's Book Reviews -

Monday, December 22nd – What Vanessa Reads -

Tuesday, December 23rd – Lisa Schroeder, author - AND

Help spread the word, and you might win a fabulous prize!

Copy and paste THIS entire blog entry into your blog between now and December 21st, then come back to Lisa's blog at either Livejournal OR Myspace and leave a comment with the link to your blog and you will get TWO enteries to win a number of prizes.

Wondering what you might win? Here is the list (there will be multiple winners):

~ An Advanced Review Copy of THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH, by Carrie Ryan

~ An Advanced Review Copy of SOMETHING, MAYBE, by Elizabeth Scott

~ Young adult novel GIRL, HERO by Carrie Jones

~ Young adult novel, THE POSSIBILITIES OF SAINTHOOD by Donna Freitas

~ Young adult novel, UGLIES by Scott Westerfield

~ Pair of YA fairy tale retellings by Cameron Dokey (BELLE and BEFORE MIDNIGHT)

~ TWILIGHT movie soundtrack

~ $15.00 Barnes and Noble gift card along with some Harry & David's chocolate moose munch

~ And of course, a signed copy of FAR FROM YOU

For more chances to win, watch one or all of the VLOGs and leave a comment on that vlogger's page, and you get another entry. That means if you post the schedule on your blog AND comment on all three VLOGs, you can have FIVE entries for the contest!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tuesday Trailers: Based On...

Marley & Me based on the book of the same name:

Doubt based on the play:

Monday, December 15, 2008

Auction: Us Ones in Between

Alright, as you can see on the right sidebar, Chelsea is auctioning off Saving Zoe by Alyson Noel this week. However, for us to get all the books in by the end of December, we are auctioning off two books a here is mine: Us Ones in Between by Blair Mastbaum.

Auction Ends: December 21 at 11:59 P.M. EST (Sunday!)

** 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.

** 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!

Did You Know...?

the tale of despereaux Pictures, Images and Photos

A bit confused as to why Emma Watson (Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter films) is posing next to a lifesize version of Despereaux from the animated film due out this month? Well, it's because she's actually IN the film...or her voice is at least. She "speaks" the role of Princess Pea, or simply the young lady in the trailer that exclaims, "Are you a rat?"

There you have it! The first edition of "Did you know...?" So, did you?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sunday Selection: Marianas Trench

Sunday Selection
"Decided to Break It" by Marianas Trench

Saturday, December 13, 2008

For All You Twilight Fans...

Bella Bejeweled is run by Sarah, who makes very lovely Twilight-inpsired jewelry. You can find items that are obviously based on Twilight, while there are still others that are simply nice for anyone to wear.

You might remember, but we had an interview up with Sarah on the day Twilight came out (November 21) If you did not see it, then go here!

Today, I want to talk to you about a new item Sarah has in her shop. If you saw the movie of Twilight, you might remember Bella's blue bracelet.

Sarah had some requests to design a similar bracelet for fans to buy and it is now available in her shop.

Also, Sarah wanted me to let everyone know about a fun contest she has going on:

"I am also running a special in my shop where everyone who places an order in December gets entered in a drawing to win one of several really fun prizes."

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Auction: The Catcher in the Rye (Marked up by Sean Kanan)

Our next auction is the SECOND time that we have auctioned off a book that was NOT marked up by its author. This time it's, as you can see, The Catcher in the Rye. This copy has been donated to us by actor Sean Kanan, who most people might remember from the show The Bold and the Beautiful as Deacon Sharpe.

Know anyone who was a fan of his or the show? Are you a fan of Sean? This would make one unique holiday gift!!!

If you are new to the auctions....

1. You bid how much you want to pay for this book on THIS POST in the comment section. You must start the bid at 5 dollars and you can then go up in 50 cent increments, though you can bid more!
ex. $5, $5.50, $6, etc.

2. Highest bidder on the deadline is the winner.

3. They will donate the money they bidded through First Book's site, but you must do it through out section right here!
(Let me know if that doesn't work, though you don't need it unless you win or want to donate something anyway!) Written out the link is:

That should cover most of it. Any questions? Leave them in the comments or email me: Lauren51990 AT aol DOT com

Deadline: Sunday December 14 at 11:59 P.M. This one ends a little earlier then the previous ones did (less than a week) so get your bids in and spread the word!!!

Note: Chelsea, The Page Flipper, will have another auction running about the same time as this...we want to get them all in during December, so keep checking her blog too!
Link to The Page Flipper!

Monday, December 8, 2008

YKT: Starter for 10

If you saw my post about a week ago, you know that I wanted to start a new feature called “YKT” or simply “You Know Them.” These posts will deal with movies (for the most part) that feature an actor or actress (or even MORE than one) who you probably know from one thing or another…however, my posts will be dealing with movies that you might not have known this particular person was in, or simply have yet to see it. Make sense?

Well, my first movie is Starter for 10. I randomly decided to watch this British film a couple weeks back and LOVED it. I even made my sister check it out a couple days later because I really wanted to watch it again. It’s a very simple story, almost what you would find in an indie flick. The main story is about a boy named Brian who goes to university and tries to make it on the Challenge team. As the story goes on, the team trains to make it on the TV show “University Challenge” while Brian deals with his mom moving on since his father has passed away, trying to figure out his different relationships with Alice and Rebecca, and how to combine his old friends and life with his new one.

By now, if you haven’t already realized based on the picture above, you are wondering…who should I know in this movie? Well, the answer would be James McAvoy, who is mostly known for his role in Atonement. I have not seen this, but he does a great job in Starter for 10 as the geeky, but loveable Brian Jackson.

James is not the only person you may know in this movie however. I didn’t recognize this next person while watching the film, and I’m sure most people wouldn’t if they did not know beforehand. Our next addition for YKT is Dominic Cooper, who plays Brian’s friend, Spencer, from back home. Doesn’t ring a bell? Have you seen Mamma Mia? He just so happens to play Sophie’s love interest Sky.

Below, I included the trailer for Starter for 10 so you can check that out, as well as Dominic singing in Mamma Mia with Amanda Seyfried.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Twilight Companion by Lois H. Gresh

The Twilight Companion: The Unauthorized Guide to the Series
By: Lois H. Gresh
Stars: 3/5
Also reviewed for: TeensReadToo

Just like the title says, this is a companion to the Twilight series. If you are not already a fan, then this obviously won't be for you. It's wise to have read all four books as well, or you might find that some key points will be spoiled for you as you read along.

However, The Twilight Companion is a fun, interesting read. The author is very much a fan and allows you to easily relate to her and her writing. This is not a novel that analyzes or delves into everything Twilight. It's more about relating the Twilight world to other novels and films, as well as the myths surrounding vampires and werewolves throughout the ages.

The Twilight Companion is a fast and interesting read. Though I wasn't as interested in the quizzes included throughout the book, I highly enjoyed the history and facts.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Linky Love

Cutie Booty Reviews is giving away some Avon stuff!

Michele-only one L is having a fun giveaway!!

My Friend Amy is giving away Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual.

And Another Book Read is giving away an ARC of Paper Towns.

Temppatt is giving away a Khol’s gift card.

Bookish Ruth is giving away The Tales of Beedle the Bard.

Delectible Mommies is giving away a Home Depot gift card.

5 Minutes for Mom has a Home Depot gift card as well!

And Another Book Read is giving away The Other Side of the Island.

YA Connection is giving away She's So Money this week.

Common Sense with Money is giving away a Wal-Mart gift card.

Savvy Housewife is giving away a Kohl’s gift card.

Unexpected Bliss has a Target gift card up for grabs!

Forgetfulone is giving away an Amazon gift card.

Healing Expressions has a Holiday giveaway!

The Symposium is giving away The Tales of Beedle the Bard.

Metropolitan Mama has the complete Where’s Waldo? to give away.

Metropolitan Mama has a Lowe’s gift card up for grabs as well!

Brimful Curiosities has The Moon Shines Down book to giveaway.

Mudpies and MaryJanes is giving away a 10 Little Rubber Ducks basket!

Sage and Savvy is giving away the Disney Holiday Prize Pack Cd’s.

Great Deals Everywhere is giving away a Blockbuster gift card.

Saving Some Green is giving away Target gift cards.

Nine More Months has a giveaway for a nice lotion!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Okay, no fancy graphic, because my fingers are killing and I want this to be posted! hahah

The winners are...

Life After Genius: Deb!

Is It Just Me or is Everything Shit?

For this one, I said it had to get to 50 and over to give out all five books, but it's the Holidays and you all made it to 42, so as long as Hachette can send them, I'm listing five winners!

Wendy aka misswendiki
Tower of books

The American Journey of Barack Obama:

Rob Deger

Please email me your addresses by THIS friday night at Midnight. On Saturday, I'll pick new winners if I don't have someone's info! I'm trying to email most of you, but I might miss someone!

Movie Trailers: Animation

I hope to do this more often, but we'll see how it goes and whether or not people like to watch the trailers that are posted. Today's trailers are for two movies that are animated!

The Tale of Despereaux

"He named it Fluffy"

Seriously, how cute does this movie look? I always love the movies with animated mice, such as Stuart Little. Call me crazy, but they are just TOO adorable! I think this looks like a fun film that people of all ages could enjoy. It even has a great message, as most animated films do...Be Brave.
Trailer-wise, I love the discussion with the teacher or principal speaking to Despereuax's parents.


"You probably think this world is a dream come true...but you're wrong"

I have yet to read the actual book Coraline, but I've wanted too and hopefully can before seeing this film...if not, then definitely after it. This movie is directed by the same person that directed The Nightmare Before Christmas, which is pretty evident in the feel of the film. Yes, this is an animated film as well, but just like Nightmare, it's aimed towards the teen and up crowd in a lot of ways!

DISCUSS: Like the new feature? Planning on seeing this films?

Auction Winner!

Okay, wow, you guys! That's insane how much interest was in for this book. I'm super stoked, but really sorry about all the confusion...the times end at Midnight on the day OF. So since it was Tuesday, December 2, it ends at the END of that day, not at the beginning...I don't really count that as Tuesday...more like Midnight on Monday.

Anyway, since it ended ON midnight, that makes the actual winner Deety who last bidded 120 dollars. INSANE! Thank you so very much.

Donate your money through here: Our Section of the First Book site.

You will get a confirmation email once you do...send that to me (lauren51990 AT aol DOT com) and I'll write you back through there to show I recieved it and I'll try and mail your book out ASAP!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

E.P. Review: Crash Coordinates

Ansible by Crash Coordinates
Review by: Lauren
Band's Myspace

Ansible definitely revolves around a space theme, in a completely non-geeky way. The cover art, lyrics, and even the name, which comes from the novel Ender's Game, give evidence to this fact.

The album kicks off with "A Radiant Composition" which is energetic and catchy. You'll find yourself singing along to the line "She's the Grim Reaper in Me" by no time! Next up, the band movies into a more dance-y feel with the track "Beyond These Atlantic Tides." During this song, the vocals have a slight Gerard Way (My Chemical Romance) sound to them.

The third track "Reverie" slows things down a bit, leading you into my personal favorite "She Blinds Me like Medusa." The chorus is a definite sing-along! Nearing the end, the space references are kicked up a notch with "Torino Scale." Lyrics wise, it's one of the best in my opinion.

Finally, this album ends on a tight note. "Pompeii", based on the town that was ruined by a volcano, definitely uses its title correctly producing a big finale. It starts off with a nice, classical feel before really kicking off. As the final and longest song, it seems to put all aspects of the tracks beforehand into one.

Crash Coordinates has unique vocals and a new sound. It's very obvious they are trying to do their own thing, and I feel they put out a good effort in this album.

Guest Blog: Gregory Galloway (As Simple As Snow)

Guest Review from Gregory Galloway
Author of As Simple as Snow

His Website!

I’ve always needed noise to write. Like many writers, I worry about a blank page – where to begin – I worry about silence. Music actually helps me quiet those worries, organize the random thoughts and words in my head, and provides me with thoughts and ideas I didn’t have before. Sometimes it’s a contradiction to what I’m writing, other times it’s a direction, and there are times when it seems like a conversation or collaboration. Kerouac famously used jazz as a model for his writing; he wanted to recreate the rhythm and sensation of bop through language. I’m not that smart; I just want something that will help me put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard, depending on my mood).

I listened to a lot of music while writing As Simple As Snow – lots and lots in order to create the 3 mix cds that appear in the novel – but always seem to come back to a few pieces that helped me sustain the atmosphere of the book and just get things down on the page. Big Star’s 3rd, Sparklehorse’s It’s a Wonderful Life, Tom Waits’ Alice, Everybody Digs Bill Evans, Wilco’s A Ghost is Born and Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, and just about all of Joe Henry’s cds seemed to find their way to the player over and over.

Why these? I have more than a thousand cds, so why are these the ones I return to as my writing soundtrack? Besides the fact that I think it’s amazing music, I think it also has something to do with the familiarity of the music and the fact that I continue to find something new in it. The familiarity allows me to not have to give the music my full attention (I’ve done that already when I wasn’t writing) and be aware of it without consciously listening. And when I do listen, I hear a phrase, a word, a note that inspires me or leads me somewhere. While most of it is background, both Alice and Yankee Hotel Foxtrot wound up referenced in As Simple As Snow. Sometimes background becomes foreground. The other thing is that most of these cds have accumulated associations with them, some of them very personal, so having the music playing while I write allows me to access those emotions, memories, ideas -- some of which I hope comes through the page.

I listen to music all the time -- more than I write, that’s for sure -- so I frequently find new things to lead me to writing. Lately, I’ve been returning to Matthew Ryan Vs. the Silver State and Liz Durrett’s Outside Our Gates, as well as her song “Far From Home” from the AthFest anthology, which has been playing on my iPod over and over. I’m amazed by this music, and jealous of its ability to communicate in a few minutes things I struggle with line after line after line. I have a lot to learn, and am reminded every time I open my ears. I’m listening, I’m still listening.