Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Out in August 2010: Want it Now??



The author of Audrey, Wait!, Robin Benway, is coming out with her next novel this August, 2010. It is called The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, and June and you could get an ARC way before that! Yeah Yeah, I bribe people but I find it gets you the most help AND it's my way of saying thanks for those that actually take the time and help me out. Oh, and I swear more posts will be going up soon...but hopefully you are enjoying all the giveaways anyway. :) So here we go!



-This is my "refer as many people as you can" contest.


-The Holey Donuts giveaway is ending this Sunday and I still need a lot of people to enter and say that I referred them. So you need to go here:



http://www.holeydonuts.net/ebusiness/contact_us.asp



Fill out the info (name, email...) and either in the subject or the actual entry box (or both!) put "Shooting Stars Mag" referred me.



That's it!



-Once you do this, you can leave a comment to say so and you're entered to win an ARC of Robin's latest novel. HOWEVER, to get a lot more entries...spread the word.



-Post this on your blog, twitter, facebook, tell friends/family, email people...if someone enters this giveaway and says YOU referred them here, you both get an extra point.



-That means...if you were referred, be honest and tell me who because you get a point too...and if you refer many people then you get lots and lots of points into this giveaway so you want to spread the word as much as you can.



-I'm afraid that this one is going to be open to the U.S. only because you have to be from here to enter the Holey Donuts giveaway. HOWEVER, no matter where you are from, you can enter the Book Lover's Prize Basket so don't forget that. I do love you all.



-If I win the Holey Donuts giveaway, this will be its own contest...if I do not, then a winner still gets this ARC but it will be put in the basket so only ONE winner for both giveaways. I hope that all makes sense.



Let me know if you have questions and get to spreading the word.



Ends: Sunday the 28th!

In other news, Willow by Julia Hoban which I LOVE and you should too is now out in paperback. If you don't own this, it's cheaper now so buy a copy for you or someone you know. If you do own this, get it for somone else then as well. You want this. You really really do. Believe me.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Valentine's Day Swap Goodies


Photo Source

I participated in the The Mommy Files Valentine's Day swap and it was a ton of fun. I apologize for the delay in posting this...it's not that I don't love what I got, I'm just so slow with these things and camera slow too so no ACTUAL picture but a list and one photo that show you want I got in general. :)

The blogger I had also had me so I got some lovely items from Katie of The Life and Times of a Teaching Mommy who got me some amazing items.

1. The books "Something Borrowed" and "Something Blue" by Emily Griffin

2. Really cute Valentine's Day towels

3. Ankle-length Valentine's Day socks that I'm wearing right now. So cute and comfy!!

4. Two pieces of candy chocolate with carmel heart and a Reese's heart. I ate the first one already (so good!) and am getting ready to dig into the next one.

5. A lovely note from Katie


I think I might be missing an item or two, but I put the box in my room so it's not by me right now and I'm blanking! Ahh!! I'm sorry. It was all really cute though. I love swaps and can't wait for the next one. It's fun "meeting" a new blogger. :0) I recommend them!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

28 Days of Winter Escapes: Gorgeous by Rachel Vail

Hey guys, Alicia here.

Today I am proud (and honored) to be a part of HarperTeen's 28 Days of Winter Escapes. Everyday in February they are giving away a signed book (some of which aren't out yet), and once a week, a free ipod touch! Pretty amazing, right? Today's featured author and book is GORGEOUS by Rachel Vail!



Here's an exclusive Q&A with Rachel!

1) Which of the Avery sisters are you the most similar to and why?

As I wrote each book, I thought, “This is the one who is most like me.” Like Phoebe in Lucky, I am happiest when I can be strong and generous and please everybody – and terribly awkward when I am the one who needs to ask for help. As Allison does in Gorgeous, I can get prickly when I feel vulnerable, though I am not as funny and much less likely to yell or strike out the way Allison does (which makes me envy her sometimes!) But maybe because I most recently finished Brilliant, the final book in the Avery sisters trilogy, I think probably I am most, at heart, like Quinn—a good girl with a hidden streak of outlaw inside her. . .

2) In Gorgeous, Allison thinks that she makes a deal with the devil. Have you ever wished that you could trade the devil for something?

Often. When I’m stuck in traffic, late for a meeting – or I’m rounding a corner and see I’m about to bump into an old boyfriend while looking my very worst – or every time a new book is about to come out, I’ve definitely been tempted to offer up my soul or at least my (unused) new tennis racquet in exchange for a fantastic outcome. Despite, like Allison, not believing in him. And I am not sure what I got in the bargain, but he definitely possesses my cell phone.


3) What characteristic do you think is a must-have in a boyfriend/girlfriend?

The key is not any particular trait (though we all have our quirky weaknesses, don’t we?) It’s not even just how much you like the person. The must-have? Ask yourself this one simple question: How much do you like yourself when you are together? Do you tend to feel grouchy, nasty, worried, inhibited? Relationship fail. Or, do you feel especially confident, maybe even gorgeous, and most important—happy? Ahhh. . .


4) When you notice someone from across the room, what is it about him/her that jumps out at you? (Eyes, hair, laugh, etc.)

Usually for me it is a quality of paying attention. If somebody is really looking, fully listening, there’s an intensity of engagement that I find pretty irresistible.


5) Winters in New York can get pretty chilly. What do you do to beat the blustery winds and freezing temps?

I hate the cold!!!! This year I bought myself a coat so long and puffy I look like I am walking around in a sleeping bag.

------

Be sure to check out the website for your chance to win, or click on the widget below!




Thursday, February 18, 2010

Take Two Guest Reviews: Bracelet & Dress!

Lauren Says: Sisters Hayley and Page are helping with some reviews today so you get their age-appropriate thoughts on these items! Leave them some comments below!

Charm Bracelet review by Page

Site and Item Source: http://highintencity.storesecured.com/


Thoughts:

I just love the bracelet. I wear it every day, 24/7, except in the shower and at night when I have to go to bed. I gotta say...you people out there should really get this bracelet. It's awesome, pretty, cool, and has the best charms ever!

Dress Review by Hayley

Source: The designer...contest win. If you made this, leave a link to your shop!

Thoughts:

1. Made me feel like a princess

2. I love all the ruffles in it

3. It was a beautiful, I love it.

4. When I first wore it, I didn't want to take it off

5. I also like the design


Monday, February 15, 2010

Heist Society Winner

Hi, everyone!

Thanks for entering the contest! 115 people (and 90% of them were old or new followers!) from all over the world entered the contest. And when I say all over, I mean all over! Besides the many people from the US and Canada, there were people from Africa, Spain, Germany, the UK, India, Australia, Brazil, and tons of other places, which I think is awesome! I was blown away by the number. Hopefully I'll have another contest coming up soon that'll be international again. I do have another one planned, but I'm not sure if I'll keep it strictly US or worldwide, we'll see.

Anyways, the winner was Kay! I have already contacted the winner and they have 2 days to reply, and if they don't then I pick a new winner.

Until next time,
-Alicia

EDITED TO ADD: The winner never replied, so I picked a new winner! Congrats to Cherry Mischievous. They have 2 days to reply.

Book Lover's Prize Basket: International Giveaway

Alright, so I told some people that I was planning another giveaway as a "Thank you SO much" to those that entered the Holey Donuts giveaway saying I was the referral. And here it is!

Photo Source

This one is all about the book lovers since most of the people that follow me and entered on my behalf are book bloggers or book lovers, so sorry if you aren't (I still appreciate you) but if you are, then I hope this is fun.

U.S. Entries

To Enter: You still have to enter the Holey Donuts giveaway (though go ahead and enter now if you already did) so to do that you go here: http://www.holeydonuts.net/ebusiness/contact_us.asp
and fill out the information to send them an email. The subject and even the entry should read "Shooting Stars Mag sent me" and then you're good!
If you have questions, get in touch. Leave a link on THIS POST once you enter the Holey Donuts giveaway and you will be entered for the book lover's "basket." The link to enter the White Cat by Holly Black ARC is in this post too:

Enter Here!!


International Entries

I'm afraid I don't know if people outside of the U.S. can enter the Holey Donuts giveaway. Therefore, if you are international, you must post about this giveaway on your blog (if you have one) or on twitter/facebook/etc. (if you do not). I'd love help spreading the word to people that might not follow my blog or find out about this so that's where you all come in. Leave a link to where you posted about this (or let me know if you can't link it) and you're entered too!!


Ends: February 28, 2010
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And finally...the prize!
I don't want to say exactly what will go in the Book Lover's prize "basket" for a couple reasons...one being that I'm not entirely sure yet...and another is that I think it'll be fun to be able to add things later on. I need time to think about this!

Very Possible Ideas though:

-at least one book
-hopefully at least one ARC
-book store gift card
-bookmark (s)
-author swag
-maybe some other gift cards if I find they work
-book/writing related items


Feel free, in your entry comment, to let me know what YOU would like to see!!


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Seven Degrees of Valentine's Day: Movie Review


Valentine's Day Movie Review

Written by: Lauren

By no means is Valentine's Day an amazing film. It is, however, a fun film to see for a girl's night out or such. I saw it yesterday with my mom, sister, and sister-in-law and for the most part, we all enjoyed it. My mom and I seemed to like it a lot more than the rest because it did drag on a bit and you actually felt the length of the film. However, it was cute for the most part with plenty of humor to keep your attention.

One of the things that will definitely get viewers into the theater is the huge list of notable actors and actresses from George Lopez to Julia Roberts to Ashton Kutcher to Taylor Swift and Taylor Lautner. If the movie hadn't had such big names, it might not have been as interesting as a film overall, and I believe it would have dragged on a lot more than it had.

I loved that this film dealt with the happy and annoyed thoughts concerning this festive day. It's not always a happily-ever-after for people either, and you see that with some of these characters, but for others, it can be. I also enjoyed that Valentine's Day is celebrated by kids, teens, adults, and seniors...just like in real life. You really get a range of ages and a variety of ways that one can be "in love."

My final thoughts...this is a cute film. It's happy, sad, funny, and true. It's full of actors that you love and ones that you are sure to love after this. I call it the American version of Love Actually, so if you liked that film, you're sure to like this.

Seven Degrees of Valentine's Day-

This film is packed full of stars and I found it amusing how many of them are connected in other ways as well.

Patrick Dempsey and Eric Dane are co-stars on Grey's Anatomy

Julie Roberts is Emma Roberts aunt

Ashton Kutcher and Topher Grace co-starred on That 70's Show


And there are apparently a few actors from the Princess Diaries from Anne Hathaway to Hector Elizondo. I know of one other for sure that is from the film, but in all, my sister believes there to be four. Then again, Garry Marshall did direct both films. So can you find them all??

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Gone by Lisa McMann Review + Giveaway!

Gone by Lisa McMann

Review by: Lauren

Book Source: Publisher

Summary (from Amazon): Things should be great for Janie--she has graduated from high school and is spending her summer with Cabel, the guy she's totally in love with. But deep down she's panicking about how she's going to survive her future when getting sucked into other people's dreams is really starting to take its toll. Things get even more complicated when she meets her father for the very first time--and he's in a coma. As Janie uncovers his secret past, she begins to realize that the choice thought she had has more dire consequences than she ever imagined.

Review:

Gone is the third and final novel in the Wake series and personally, I believe this was quite a good novel. Janie has a big decision to make and her thought process felt realistic for someone in her position who didn't choose what life has given her, especially given that she's a teenager.

Cabel is still a wonderful literary boy that I would love to date, but he is a little less perfect in this novel...and I felt this was good. Sometimes I hate how great guys in books seem because it doesn't match up to a lot of people in real life. However, in Gone, Cabel is still a good guy who doesn't want to upset Janie by voicing his worries but he's a little more likely to snap and say the wrong thing at the wrong time...like guys, and girls, can do at times.

Just like the rest of the series, Gone is a fast read. There isn't a lot of mystery to this one...beyond what Janie will ultimately decide. I did like that we got a new look into Janie's mom beyond a drunk lady who happens to share the same house as our heroine. It gave us a way to feel more sympathy for this lady beyond the fact that she is sick.

Next part could be slightly spoilery!

It would have been cool if Janie and Cabel had another undercover mission, since the only one Janie was actually involved in occured during Fade. I can see why it wouldn't have fit in the overall premise of Gone but a selfish part of me still wishes we saw a little more of that aspect of the series.

Overall, I did enjoy Gone and I'm sad to see the end of Janie's journey. I'm really glad that Lisa McMann has a lot more books ready for us...it'll be nice to see something new from her for the first time! I can't wait!!

Giveaway (books from the publisher, will be mailed by me):

To Enter: Why do you like/want to read this series?

Open To: U.S. only I'm afraid. Shipping sucks these days!!

Ends: March 15

Winners: 2
Prize: Both winners will get a paperback copy of Wake and a hardcover of Fade (you'll have to find a copy of Gone on your own!)

Note: If I can, I'll try and get at least one book for each winner autographed by Lisa on March 2 when I see her in person!!!

Extra: 2 extra entries (leave TWO NEW comments) if you enter this giveaway:

REMEMBER!! You do not need to enter the White Cat giveaway if you do not want the book...you can get extra entries JUST FOR entering the Holey Donuts giveaway with my blog name as your referral. But if you want the ARC, you need to enter the donut giveaway too. This ends on February 28 though, so enter fast or you forfeit extra entries for this giveaway!

Giveaways going on for Gone:




Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Review: Skin MD Shielding Lotion

Photo Source


Skin MD Face, Hand, and Body Shielding Lotion Review

By: Chris (Lauren's Mom)

Source: A 4 oz. bottle of Skin MD was sent for review. No other monetary gain was recieved and this has no basis on the review

Like:

+texture
+handy bottle
+kept my arms and legs moist all day, never had to reapply
+easy to put on: smooth

Dislike:

-had to reapply often on my hands (I have extremely dry hands though, and it is hard to keep them moist)

-I enjoy a small scent, but I understand why a lot of people don't like it so this is good for them

Monday, February 8, 2010

Heist Society: Ally Carter Giveaway



Hey everyone!


On the 4th I went to the Ally Carter signing in San Jose, which was the first stop in her Heist Society Tour. Ally is incredibly sweet and nice, and I am so glad that I went. Since Heist Society doesn't debut until the 9th, the bookstore had copies available early (!!!!). Ally told us about the book, and answered a lot of questions--most of which I can't remember because I'm dumb. I can tell you: Heist Society will be a series. She is getting ready to start working on the second book soon, which makes me really happy because the book was amazing.


I was also the last person to get my books signed. As soon as she sat down to sign, everyone swarmed to her, so I decided to just sit and wait. Good thing I did because I got to talk to her amazing editor, Jen. I gushed a lot about Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins (which is a fantastic book, everyone get it in March!) which Jen edited. We also talked about different things, and it was just amazing to talk to her. When I finally got my books signed, I talked to Ally (who, again, is sooo sweet) and I met her publicist, who was also really nice and amazing. This was probably one of the best author events I've ever been to!


Giveaway Timeee!


Prize: 1 signed hardcover of HEIST SOCIETY by Ally Carter.


Open to: Everyone! All you international peeps can enter!


Ends: February 14 at midnight pacific time.


To Enter: Simply fill out the FORM.

-Alicia


Sunday, February 7, 2010

Giveaway: White Cat ARC + $250 Holey Donuts Card!


White Cat by Holly Black (Due out May 2010)
Summary:

Cassel comes from a family of curse workers -- people who have the power to change your emotions, your memories, your luck, by the slightest touch of their hands. And since curse work is illegal, they're all mobsters, or con artists. Except for Cassel. He hasn't got the magic touch, so he's an outsider, the straight kid in a crooked family. You just have to ignore one small detail -- he killed his best friend, Lila, three years ago.

Ever since, Cassel has carefully built up a façade of normalcy, blending into the crowd. But his façade starts crumbling when he starts sleepwalking, propelled into the night by terrifying dreams about a white cat that wants to tell him something. He's noticing other disturbing things, too, including the strange behavior of his two brothers. They are keeping secrets from him, caught up in a mysterious plot. As Cassel begins to suspect he's part of a huge con game, he also wonders what really happened to Lila. Could she still be alive? To find that out, Cassel will have to out-con the conmen.

Holly Black has created a gripping tale of mobsters and dark magic where a single touch can bring love -- or death -- and your dreams might be more real than your memories.


Giveaway-

I know I'm not the only one who is excited about Holly Black's new Curse Workers series, the first of which is White Cat. Therefore, I figured this would be a nice book to do a giveaway for...if you help me out.

You see, Holey Donuts (amazing, by the way...and good FOR you) is doing a giveaway where you all can win big as well as me. If I get the most people to enter their giveaway and put my blog name in the entry, then I'll win $500. Times are tough for everyone these days and my family is no exception in certain ways and without going into details, it would mean a lot if I could win this for my parents. So if you're willing to help out, then please enter their giveaway. If you do, then come back here and be entered to win an ARC of White Cat.

If you already have this book, feel free to still enter the Holey Donuts giveaway. No need to turn that down.

To Enter: Follow the directions at the following link to enter the Holey Donuts giveaway and then leave a comment HERE to let me know you did: http://shootingstarsmag.blogspot.com/2010/02/you-read-my-review-now-win.html

Open To: U.S. only I believe...if you hear different, feel free to enter but I don't want to get International hopes up.

Ends: February 28

Extra:

+1 follow the blog (leave a NEW comment)

+3 write about this on a blog...be sure to leave a link to THIS post (leave 3 NEW comments so I don't miss any of them!! )

Saturday, February 6, 2010

You Read My Review, Now WIN!


Photo Source

HOLEY DONUTS! would like one lucky readers to win the February Love Assortment consisting of 4 boxes of our latest, best selling, super yummy Holey Donuts! Low Fat Treats and $250 Holey Donuts! store credit good for 1 year.

Enter to win by going here http://www.holeydonuts.net/ebusiness/contact_us.asp. You will need to put the name of our blog (Shooting Stars Magazine) in the subject line as well as your name and email address in order to enter. You don't have to put much in the comment section...just enter me in the donut giveaway or something, but make sure OUR blog name is listed so they know we referred you! Please only enter once.

Holey Donuts is amazing, as you can see if you go and read my review that was posted not too long ago so entering this giveaway would be a good idea. They will send emails with new products and deals so even if you don't win, you might find a good time to buy some for a good price. And if you DO win, you get amazing donuts and store credit for a year that would be perfect for a party of some sort! If I refer the most people then I'll win $500 which would be for my family as they could really use it at the moment (not to go into it much) and it would be a wonderful surprise. So please help me!!!


Now if you do enter, I want to say thank you so you can go and enter to win Holly Black's new novel White Cat (out May 2010 so this is an ARC version):

I will most likely have another giveaway up soon to say thanks again so keep an eye out!! I appreciate it.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Demetri Martin and Sarah Silverman "Back to Back"



Tomorrow night should find you watching Comedy Central as Important Things with Demetri Martin returns at 10 and The Sarah Silverman Program is back at 10:30. A whole hour of hilarious goodness! Who can resist that these days??

As for me, I really like Demetri Martin and would love to check his show out more. I tried to when it first premiered but got a bit sidetracked so must get back to that. He's a funny guy. What do you all think? Any Sarah Silverman fans here?

Fun little music video with Sarah and Demetri, "Back to Back"

The Sarah Silverman Program
Back to Back Music Video
http://www.comedycentral.com/
Joke of the DayStand-Up ComedyFree Online Games


--Lauren

Monday, February 1, 2010

Giveaway: My Soul to Save (3 Winners)


Sources: I was asked to give these away by Big Honcho Media, they were not purchased by me. The picture above was sent from them.

Book Site: http://soulscreamers.com/soulscreamers/index.php?q=T1035



Prize: 3 people will win a copy of My Soul to Save


Open to: U.S. only, unless you have a U.S. address you can send your book to should you win.



Enter: What about this series sounds good? Did you read My Soul to Take, what did you think if so?


Extra: Leave another comment if you comment over here. I want to see what people think of this new idea!


Ends: Monday, February 16


Summary:

Book 1 of The Soul Screamers series -- My Soul to Take -- was released this past summer, and readers found out why Kaylee Cavanaugh screams bloody murder when someone’s about to die.

In Book 2 – My Soul to Save – when teen pop star Eden croaks on stage and Kaylee doesn’t wail, she knows something is dead wrong. She can’t cry for someone who has no soul.

The last thing Kaylee needs right now is to be skipping school, breaking her dad’s ironclad curfew and putting her too-hot-to-be-real boyfriend’s loyalty to the test. But starry-eyed teens are trading their souls for a flickering lifetime of fame and fortune in exchange for eternity in the Netherworld—a consequence they can’t possibly understand.

Kaylee can’t let that happen, even if trying to save their souls means putting her own at risk.

Soul Screamers: The last thing you hear before you die.