Wednesday, June 30, 2010

One Question to Rule Them All

Lauren Baratz-Logsted's latest YA novel, The Education of Bet, is due out on July 12, 2010. To help promote, Lauren has been visiting a variety of blogs answering just one question at each stop.

Lauren of Shooting Stars: In the Education of Bet, Bet goes to school in the place of Will. If you had to pretend to be a boy to do something, what would you hope to accomplish?

Lauren Baratz-Logsted: Ooh, since females can do pretty much anything they want these days, at least in developed countries, that's a tough one. I know! I'd set a new trend! I'd be the boy who, if after a date I said I'd call the girl, I'd really call the girl. I realize that sounds like a small thing. But can you imagine how different male/female relations might be if the supposedly stronger sex actually did whatever they said they were going to do? Girls could stop fretting "Will he call or won't he?" and get on with the larger business of taking over the world.

Summary from Amazon:

When Will and Bet were four, tragic circumstances brought them to the same house, to be raised by a wealthy gentleman as brother and sister. Now sixteen, they’ve both enjoyed a privileged upbringing thus far. But not all is well in their household. Because she’s a girl, Bet’s world is contained within the walls of their grand home, her education limited to the rudiments of reading, writing, arithmetic, and sewing. Will’s world is much larger. He is allowed—forced, in his case—to go to school. Neither is happy.

So Bet comes up with a plan and persuades Will to give it a try: They’ll switch places. She’ll go to school as Will. Will can live as he chooses. But once Bet gets to school, she soon realizes living as a boy is going to be much more difficult than she imagined.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Interview with HUGE Actress Nikki Blonsky


I was recently given the opportunity to interview Nikki Blonsky (Hairspray) from the new ABC Family show, Huge. It was a lot of fun and she's such a sweet young lady. I love that she's happy with herself and believes so strongly in everyone else feeling the same.

The first episode premiered last night and though I missed a bit of it, it was really good. I think the characters are interesting and believable. I really do hope to continue with this one and see where it goes. Hopefully it will only become more intriguing to watch each week. Nikki is great as the "Why Should I Change?" Wil and Hayley Hasselhof is fascinating to watch. She's definitely a good actress. That's just two of the characters...the rest really round it out and make it more interesting. Huge has a lot of heart and some humor mixed in for good measure. Be sure to check it out.

Huge on ABC Family. Monday Nights at 9/8c

Conference Call with Lauren from Shooting Stars Mag (Plus a Few Other Questions from Others)-This is not the full interview. Email me if you want it all.

L. Becker: Who would you love to see work on the show either as a guest star or as a director?


N. Blonsky: Right now we don't know who Will's parents are because Will really hates her parents, because they are fitness gurus. They're the reason she's at this camp. They're very successful fitness gurus who send her to this camp because they don't approve of what she looks like. So she decides, well you know what, I'm going to go to camp and do it my way. I'm going to gain weight in camp. If we get any guest stars, I hope my parents would be played by someone really fit like John Stamos and maybe Ricky Lake.

L. Becker: In terms of meeting your fans, do you have any crazy or can’t-believe-this-happened stories that you've had to deal with so far?

N. Blonsky: When I was down in Australia, which I loved, I had a male fan down there who tried to rip my blouse off on the red carpet and then he asked me to marry him in front of the entire red carpet, in front of Zac [Efron], in front of everybody. What do you say when a guy asks you to marry him in front of 300 people? And I just said, "Thank you." It was kind of embarrassing.

Now for some other sites' questions!
 
L. Steinberg from Starry Constellation Magazine: Well you're a role model for the heavier set community. I have to say it was amazing for you to be photographed in a bathing suit for the advertising of this campaign. How did you feel when they were shooting you?


N. Blonsky: Oh, thank you so much. I have to say it was the most freeing experience of my life to be out there with just a bathing suit, you don't get barer than that unless you're doing Playboy and that's not happening anytime soon – not ever. So, I think it was the most freeing experience of my life. Growing up you always have those little things like, “I'm in a bathing suit and I really want to go to the pool, or I want to go to the beach, but I don’t want people to see me.” A lot of kids and adults still deal with that. I dealt with that for a very long time until I got the part of Will and it said, day one, first shot of the day, she's taking off her clothes, stripping down to her bathing suit, she's doing a strip tease.

When I saw the posters I was like, "Whoa,” I didn't know that it was going to be just me in the bathing suit." So, I'm actually headed back to New York soon and I'm really shocked because there's a full one in Times Square, so from a New Yorker it's really, really sweet.

K. Martinez from Extra Chicago: Obesity is becoming a major problem among teenagers in the U.S. today. Do you ever advocate losing weight or is it more about sending out the message of being happy with who you are and things like that?

N. Blonsky: Yes. I totally advocate of being who you are, loving who you are and living and let live. Just love what God gave you because He gave it to you for a reason. And you were made this way for a reason. If you were meant to be six foot tall, skinny blonde model, than you would have been. But I'm meant to be a 4’10” plus-size actress and I am perfectly okay and happy with that. I think if we all just accept who we are and love who we are I think we'll all be okay.

K. Martinez: I wanted to know you talked a little bit about the cut throat industry of Hollywood. Have you, yourself, ever had any weight discrimination against you or have you heard any stories or anything like that or run into anything like that?


N. Blonsky: Yes, I had an agent look me in the eye and tell me well if you want to get roles in this town you need to drop at least 100 pounds and I said, oh really? She said, yes, I looked at her and I said well you're not my agent and I walked away from her because if you don't get me then you don't get why I'm the way I am than you can't be part of my life. It's like, I am who I am and I'm proud of who I am and that's just how it is and this was when I was, I didn't have an agent when I got Hairspray so this is when I was, I don't want to say auditioning for agents, but seeing different agents.

N. Vlassoff from The Dead Bolt: In the scene from the first episode, Will asked why she should have to change. Can you talk about that thought process on how you approached the character?


N. Blonsky: Well, I think, Will doesn't want to change. Will is fine with who she is. She just wants to be left alone and listen to her music and drown herself in her rock-n-roll and her food and just be let be. It's true when she says, "Everyone wants us to hate our bodies." It's true because the media makes it seem as though you have to be a size two if you want to be an actress or that that's the normal size.

Kids read that and I've experienced meeting fans and family members, my cousins who are younger than me, who are like 10 and say, "Oh I have to go on a diet." I'm like, what? And they say, "Well, everybody in this magazine looks like this." I try and explain to them that what's in the magazines is not, sometimes, what's in real life.

E. Brown from ABC Family: You found out that you got the role of Tracy in Hairspray in a pretty dramatic fashion. What about this time around? How did you find out that you were going to be Will and what was the first thing you did?

N. Blonsky: Well, it was actually pretty dramatic fashion as well this time around. My Dad just had spine surgery and I was wheeling him out of the hospital when my phone rang. It was my agent and he said, "How's your Dad?" And I said, "Well, I'm putting him in the car right now." He said, "How is he feeling?" I said, "Well, he's in pain but he'll be okay." He said, "Well ask him if he'd feel better if he found out that his daughter just landed the lead in the new series." And I just let out this scream like I did with the Hairspray one and I yelled, "I got the part!" and somebody in the parking lot yelled, "Who got shot?!" They thought somebody got shot and I was like, no, nobody got shot, I'm sorry, I'm an actress. I got a part. I'm sorry and my dad was like, "Congratulations ,Shorty," because that's what he calls me. Everybody was just so happy and my family was so elated. My dad was in so much pain but that eased his pain a little bit.

Monday, June 28, 2010

JEIJ Review/Giveaway: Coffee Cup Creations




Coffee Cup Creations


Review by: Lauren

Site: http://coffeecupcreations.com/

I recieved the Creme and Flowers Cup with the Chocolate Chip Cake mix inside. The type of mix I got is the picture above (but it was inside a baggie in the cup since I got the mug as well). You can buy a mix or soup all by itself or you can purchase the mug to make it in with the mix already inside. Both are really good deals so it's worth it to do the mug if you can.

Again, I reviewed the Chocolate Chip Cake mix. We put the mix inside a small bowl and added the other ingredients (you get a card that lets you know what's in the mix and what else you add/need to do to make the cake). You don't need much...table spoon, tea spoon, one egg, vegetable oil and vanilla.

My mom and I made this really easily. Once everything was mixed up in the bowl, we put it in the mug and stuck in the oven (which had been pre-heating). It only took about a half hour to make. We let it cool off for around another thirty minutes just to be sure. Once it was ready to go, my mom used a fork to get the cake out of the mug. You can eat it from the mug but if you want to share (which we did) it's super easy to get out and put on a plate.

The bad thing about our cake is that we realized we didn't have vanilla until too late. So for me, I think it needed it to make it a bit more sweeter. It was pretty good though and we put a bit of powdered sugar on top that I enjoyed.

My mom thought it was really good though and even wants to buy a couple in the future for little gifts. They really would make a wonderful token for those you wish to celebrate but not in an outrageous way...like a school teacher or hair lady for example.

As for my dad, he loved it and probably ate the most of the cake. I think this is something great to get him for a solo Father's Day or Birthday treat instead of getting a big cake, which would cost more and you might not eat it all. Plus, he can get exactly what he wants.

Overall, I'd say my family enjoyed this. I love the idea and hope to find more uses in the future to buy from Coffee Cup Creations. Thank you to them for being part of the Just Eat It June/July Event!

Prices-

Soup Mixes: $6.95

Regular Cup Mix: $4.95

Cups/Mixes: $9.95 except the Black Flower Soup Mug ($12.95)

Promotion Event Until August-

We are giving away a FREE Magic Mocha Pudding mix with any purchase. Just enter the code "freepudding" during checkout to receive the FREE Magic Mocha Pudding mix.



Giveaway-

Prize: Your Choice of Mix

Open To: U.S. (They only ship to the U.S. I'm afraid)

To Enter: Visit the site and let me know what you think sounds good!

Ends: July 9th, 2010

Extra Entries-

+1 if you follow the blog (leave a NEW comment)

+ 1 if you fan Coffee Cup Creations on Facebook (leave a NEW comment)

GLBT Book Giveaway + BookShelf Giveaway = Awesome!


Everyone likes to win things, right? Well I have a couple contests I want to let you know about...as well as some fun info for those in the U.K. and the U.S. (depending on where you are and what book you want).

Catherine Ryan Hyde

Want to win her upcoming YA novel (cross-over to Adults as well) Jumpstart the World? Then go here and enter away:

http://www.catherineryanhyde.com/blog/2010/6/17/time-for-a-giveaway.html

I know I did already. This one looks amazing, especially if you enjoy GLBT lit.

While we are talking about Catherine's books, I want to share this link because it lets the UK know how they can get a copy of Jumpstart the World for a discounted price and how the U.S. can get her upcoming adult novel Second Hand Heart for an amazingly discounted price. Believe me, this is great. Everyone should go and order right now with these type of deals and it supports Catherine so you know you want to do that right?!

Denise Jaden

Want to pick a book off her bookshelf? There are loads of fun items that I know a LOT of people want copies of, so you definitely need to hop on over and check it out. Oh, and be sure to follow her as she's known to have some fun giveaways often.

http://baskinex.blogspot.com/2010/06/my-bookshelf-giveaway.html


Final Note: If you DO enter, please tell Catherine and/or Denise that Lauren from Shooting Stars sent you. It doesn't mean anything so don't worry about giving me extra points or anything crazy like that. I just want them to know that I'm representin' and helpin' out. :-)

Be sure to read the post before this. It's a lovely guest post with some awesome playlist info for her novel. Oh, and there's a giveaway attached to it as well (if you visit her site for the info). Can't pass that up, right?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Eve Marie Mont Guest Post + Giveaway (Grand Prize for Book Clubs)

Guest Post with Author Eve Marie Mont + Giveaway On Her Site

First of all, thanks so much to Lauren for inviting me to guest post on Shooting Stars. When I read that she was a college student who had launched her own author promotion business, I was seriously impressed. Then when I asked her for suggestions for what to write about for my guest post, she mentioned something about music as an inspiration for writing, and I got really excited. When it comes to writing, I am definitely inspired by music, sometimes playing a particular song over and over again as I imagine a scene in my head. For Free to a Good Home, I wanted the songs to convey the journey Noelle takes to find love and ultimately, to find herself. Since the book takes place over the course on a year, with a chapter for every month, I also wanted the songs to convey the changes in season, along with the changes in Noelle.


Throughout the novel, Noelle is torn between two men—Jay, the ex-husband who no longer loves her, and Jasper, the adorable musician who might be perfect for her, if only she could get over Jay. As a veterinary technician, Noelle is used to sheltering and protecting animals, but this selfless compassion sometimes makes her a doormat in her personal life. So when Jay asks her to take care of his ailing mother, Noelle says yes even though the woman despises her! Jasper also has a gorgeous ex-girlfriend who won’t go away, making it difficult for Noelle and Jasper to make any progress toward a relationship. Of course, her trusty and lovable Great Dane, Zeke, keeps her company throughout as she tries to make sense of her life and figure out where she truly belongs.

While the descriptions next to each song in the playlist might not makes sense until after you read the book, the songs are organized around pivotal scenes. You can listen to the playlist on MySpace:

1. Reunion with Jay—Keane “The Frog Prince”

2. Christmas—Nat King Cole “The Christmas Song”

3. New Year’s party—Amy Winehouse “You Know I’m No Good”

4. Jasper’s band—Barcelona “Stars”

5. First impressions—The Shins “Phantom Limb”

6. Lunch at Marilyn’s— Howie Day “She Says”

7. Blithewold—Coldplay “Rainy Day”

8. Slow dancing—Billie Holiday “He’s Funny That Way”

9. 4th of July— Stevie Wonder “Don’t You Worry Bout a Thing”

10. August—Keane “Try Again”

11. Labor Day Weekend— Bruce Springsteen “Girls in Their Summer Clothes”

12. Halloween—Coldplay “Trouble”

13. Second chances—Daughtry “What About Now”

14. Thanksgiving—Erin McCarley “Gotta Figure This Out”

15. Christmas Again—Imogen Heap “Just for Now”

16. Full circle— Jason Mraz & Colbie Caillat “Lucky”

If the book sounds like something you’d enjoy, check out the National Pet Adoption Month giveaway contest on my website until July 18th. Also, if you’d like to read a sneak preview of Free to a Good Home, click here.

Right now, I am revising my second novel, a YA book inspired by Jane Eyre, and the playlist is up to twenty-one songs. It’s kind of an addiction.

Thanks again, Lauren! This has been fun!!

Lauren's Thoughts: Thank you so much to Eve for sharing a guest post here. I love books that have a playlist attached so it was really fun to see this one. I know the story I'm working on myself has a nice list of songs. It's great...really gets you into the book as a writer and a reader. I do hope you all check out her contest. If you're in a book club or want to start one with friends, you definitely need to enter!!!


Bio:

Eve Marie Mont lives with her husband, Ken, and her shelter dog, Maggie, in suburban Philadelphia, where she teaches high school English and creative writing. Free to a Good Home is her first novel.

Synopsis:

Noelle Ryan works as a veterinary technician at a New England animal shelter, helping pets find the perfect homes. If only it were as easy to find the same thing for herself. After discovering that she can’t have children—and watching her marriage fall apart after a shocking revelation by her husband—Noelle feels as forlorn and abandoned as the strays she rescues.


She can’t seem to get over her ex, Jay. Unfortunately, all Jay wants from her is a whopper of a favor: serving as a caretaker for his elderly mother, who still blames Noelle for the breakup. While Jay heads off to Atlanta to live the life of a bachelor, Noelle is left with only her Great Dane, Zeke, to comfort her. But when a carefree musician named Jasper gives her a second chance at life—and at love—Noelle comes to realize that home is truly where the heart is.

 
Amazon Associates: If you buy the book from the link above, I will get a small percentage. Thanks for supporting the blog!

IMM 6

In My Mailbox is a weekly event hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren who was inspired by Alea at Pop Culture Junkie.

Alicia here for another IMM. Pictures this time!

For Review:
Death Echo- Elizabeth Lowell ((surprise, not sure if I'll read))
Forbidden Sea- Sheila A. Nielson
Siren- Tricia Rayburn ((glad I got a copy since I missed it at BEA.))
Insatiable- Meg Cabot ((x2- will give one copy away.))
Infinite Days- Rebecca Maizel ((!!!!!! one of the best books I have ever read, a top 5 favorite. review coming soon.))
Grace- Elizabeth Scott ((second copy, so giveaway coming.))
Indigo Blues- Danielle Joseph
Kiss It- Erin Downing

Borrowed from Zoe:
One Night That Changes Everything- Lauren Barnholdt ((already read and loved.))

Bought:
Everlasting- Angie Frazier
I Now Pronounce You Someone Else- Erin McCahan
The Ghost and the Goth- Stacey Kade ((signed and met her!))
A Field Guide for Heartbreakers- Kristen Tracy ((signed and saw her again))
The Clearing- Heather Davis
The Tension of Opposites- Kristina McBride
Sisters Red- Jackson Pearce

Swag from the Prophecy Superfan:
5 Prophecy of the Sisters/ Guardian of the Gate (by Michelle Zink) bookmarks
2 very cute hair clips
rose pin
picture frame.

This is everything from the past 2 weeks. I've gotten other books for review and bought some since my last IMM, but I can't remember what they are.

Anyways, what did you get this week?

-Alicia

P.S.- Yes, the SEA contest is over and the winner has been picked. I've been busy and haven't had a chance to post and email the winner; the winner will be contacted tonight and the post will go up tomorrow. Also, yes, this is the start of normal posting from me. Expect a ton of reviews soon. And there will be a lot of contests coming up!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Friday Finds: Sherlock Holmes, Vampires, Kidnapping, Oh Dear!

I don't normally do Friday Finds, but I really should. I'm always finding new books online or in stores that I want to read. Some are already out, while others aren't (so it's not quite Waiting on Wednesday). These are some books I have found in the past week or so that I would love to read! Feel free to join in at Should Be Reading.

-Lauren


The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: Seance for a Vampire by Fred Saberhagen

Out: June 2010

When two suspect psychics offer Ambrose Altamont and his wife the opportunity to contact their recently deceased daughter, the wealthy British aristocrat wastes no time in hiring Sherlock Holmes to expose their hoax. He arranges for the celebrated detective and Dr Watson to attend the family's next seance, confident in Holmes's rationalist outlook on the situation. But what starts as cruel mockery becomes deadly reality when young, beautiful Louisa Altamont appears to her parents in the flesh as one of the nosferatu – a vampire! The resulting chaos leaves one of the fraudulent spiritualists dead, Sherlock Holmes missing and Dr Watson alone and mystified. With time running out, Watson has no choice but to summon the only one who might be able to help – Holmes's vampire cousin, Prince Dracula. Alternately narrated by Watson and the charismatic Dracula himself, Séance for a Vampire demonstrates that heroes are sometimes found in the most unlikely places. Saberhagen has recast Bram Stoker's paragon of evil into a noble, witty and chillingly powerful character.



I'd Know You Anywhere by Laura Lippman

Out: August 2010

From the above Amazon link, Booklist is the only "summary/review" I could find. I first heard about this book in Romantic Times which you should all subscribe too. They have a great, still building, YA section too.

Anyway, here is a bit from Booklist: After living in England, Eliza has returned to the Washington, D.C., area where she grew up with her successful husband and their sneaky 13-year-old daughter and sweet young son. Some might consider full-time housewife Eliza a throwback and oddly passive, yet as Lippman slowly reveals, she is actually a woman of considerable, if covert, wisdom and strength. Eliza’s story unfolds in two time frames. One exposes the profound complexity of her horrifying ordeal in 1985 when, at age 15, she was kidnapped and held hostage by Walter, a brooding, diabolically enthralling mechanic on a bloody spree, raping and murdering young women. The other tracks Eliza’s response when Walter, on Death Row just weeks away from his execution, manages to once again exert his sinister, manipulative powers.



Those are just a couple of my finds. What do you think?

CSN Stores Upcoming Giveaway + Extra Entry NOW!

Get To Know CSN Stores

CSN Stores has a collection of amazing sites with wonderful household items for the dining room to bar stools. It's crazy goodness.

I've done a couple reviews for CSN in the past, but instead of doing anothe one...I thought it was about time I really introduced you to them with a giveaway. This is just the information post, so it's not the main contest. However, if you read on...you'll find a way to get an extra entry right now!

Here is a set from Dining Room Direct that is super cute:


How chic, yet homey. Of course, I know not all of you will be looking for dining room furniture...but you can find all sorts of other items if you just look around from bookcases and on and on.

Extra Entry for the Upcoming Giveaway-

Leave a comment here with something you like from CSN Stores.

I believe this will only be open to the U.S. so sorry International readers. If I find out anything new, I'll post it in the official giveaway post.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Just Eat It June...and July!

Just Eat It June!

So it may be nearing the end of June, but it could just as easily be Just Eat It July. Sorry for the late start, but since nobody really knew about this...you didn't have to wait!

I'm tired of hearing about the next diet, the next way to lose weight, etc. etc. It's the summer. Go on vacation. Stay home and have a staycation and JUST EAT IT. No, don't be unhealthy and no, don't eat so much you get sick.

This idea is to simply enjoy the fun, yummy treats once in awhile. Just Eat it June...or Just Eat It July (especially with July 4th next weekend). Relax, have fun, and enjoy the goodies while you can.

I will be showcasing some fun sites and products through the end of July so if you want to be included, get in touch.

Do you have a business? Does someone you know have one? Tell them to get in touch!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

WoW: John Belushi is Dead by Kathy Charles

John Belushi is Dead by Kathy Charles

Out: August 24, 2010

Picked by Lauren

Summary: IN THE END WE ALL FADE TO BLACK.


Pink-haired Hilda and oddball loner Benji are not your typical teenagers. Instead of going to parties or hanging out at the mall, they comb the city streets and suburban culs-de-sac of Los Angeles for sites of celebrity murder and suicide. Bound by their interest in the macabre, Hilda and Benji neglect their schoolwork and their social lives in favor of prowling the most notorious crime scenes in Hollywood history and collecting odd mementos of celebrity death.


Hilda and Benji’s morbid pastime takes an unexpected turn when they meet Hank, the elderly, reclusive tenant of a dilapidated Echo Park apartment where a silent movie star once stabbed himself to death with a pair of scissors. Hilda feels a strange connection with Hank and comes to care deeply for her paranoid new friend as they watch old movies together and chat the sweltering afternoons away. But when Hank’s downstairs neighbor Jake, a handsome screenwriter, inserts himself into the equation and begins to hint at Hank’s terrible secrets, Hilda must decide what it is she’s come to Echo Park searching for . . . and whether her fascination with death is worth missing out on life.

Why I Want This?
 
First off, this is an MTV novel and I really love some of those...from Ballads of Suburbia to Perks of Being a Wallflower. Beyond that, doesn't it just sound great? Many people do become obsessed with the lives of celebrities and this type of fascination is very interesting. What a great concept! I really want to know more about these characters already, especially what Hank might be hiding.
 
What are your thoughts? Will you be "waiting" for this one? What else are you "waiting" for?!




With Eclipse coming out in a week, don't miss this interview!

Amazon Associates: Buy the book from the above link and I get a small percentage. Thanks for supporting!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Admit One: My Life in Film by Emmett James

Admit One: My Life in Film by Emmett James

Review by: Lauren

Copy sent from Author/Publicist

Official Summary: Set in Croydon, South London, in the 1980s, Admit One details how self-deprecating writer Emmett James escaped from the pains of adolescence by going to the cinema. Through wry wit and observation, the writer reflects, obsesses, and rages about film and its correlation to our pasts. Life soon imitates art, and the narrator finds that his true calling is in transcendence from one side of the screen to the other. He decides to leave England for the only place where he can realize his dream of becoming an actor--Hollywood.

We follow the narrator on his numerous adventures: as he jumps from forgery to pornography to crashing the Academy Awards under the alias of a nominated writer. All the while, the films that inspired each tale contextualize this humorous collection of stories. The narrator ultimately provides a unique insight into the fascinating industry of film, eventually himself stumbling into the biggest box-office grossing film of all time.



Review:

This is a very unique memoir, using the titles of films to head each chapter and give readers a look into the author's life at a certain point in time...which somehow relates to the title. It is humorous and fun, with some wonderful moments of dreams coming true.

Emmett has a lot of bad jobs trying to make it in Hollywood but he takes what he can, works hard, and doesn't give up. It eventually leads him to a part in Titanic and with some captivating stories that only someone who was part of the film would know. As a movie that I saw when I was young, it was fascinating to hear about how meticulous James Cameron was or what Kate Winslet went through to make the movie seem realistic. These moments are only two chapters in the whole book, however, but some of the most interesting to me.

I did like seeing chapters for other fun films such as The Karate Kid as well and how it related to Emmett's own life. He has a great way of writing that keeps the book moving with a lot of amusing moments. I would recommend something like this for older teens and up. It seems like something they would understand and relate too more as Admit One is a lot about growing up, keeping dreams, and doing what you love regardless of the trouble that comes your way.

I'm definitely glad I was able to read this book. It would be a fast, fun read for the summer.


Amazon Associates: Buy the book through the above link and I get a small percentage.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

4 Troops Music Review

4 Troops Album Review

By: Lauren

C.D. Sent for Review by Sony Music

Official Site: http://www.4troopsmusic.com/

Review:

4 Troops is quite literally three men and one woman who were in the U.S. Army and have now released an album together. The songs are all classics that many know and love, but with a new twist. Most of the songs are quite good, though some more than others. I'm a fan of the original "Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue" but this version is changed in certain places to fit the group and not sound as rowdy, if you will, as the other version. It's not a bad song with the changes, though it takes a bit to get used too.

Some of these songs took on a whole new or deeper meaning when sung by actual soldiers, such as "I'm Already There." It really does make you a bit emotional to listen and think of all the men and women who are away from their families. My brother is in the army, though he hasn't gone too far yet as he's just about to graduate Officer School but I definitely thought of him a lot while listening to this group.

One of my favorite songs and one that will resonate with most people is "For Freedom" as it talks about what everyday people are willing to do to keep our country free...become soldiers and fight for all of us. It's a wonderful song and I definitely recommend listening to that right away if nothing else.

This would be a great gift for Sunday's Father's Day as it communicates love. However, it would definitely be a wonderful fit for any father's out there that were actually in the Army.

Track List:

1. Bless the Broken Road
2. For Freedom
3. Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue
4. I'm Already There
5. Dance With My Father
6. Angel
7. Galveston
8. You Raise Me Up
9. You'll Never Walk Alone
10. Medley
11. Here We've Been
12. Raise Your Glasses



Amazon Associates: If you purchase this album from the link above, I will eventually get a small percentage. Thanks for supporting Shooting Stars Mag!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Sea Contest Update

Hi everyone,

Just wanted to give you all a quick update on the SEA by Heidi R Kling contest. The contest has now been extended until Friday, June 18 at midnight PST. The reason for this is that I missed Heidi's launch (worst l.i. ever is me), so I couldn't get a personalized copy. Instead, I'll see her on Saturday and get it then.

So if you haven't entered, go ahead and do so now. Original post is here, and the form to fill out is here.

-Alicia

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Product Review: Hairfree


Hairfree Review

By: Lauren

Items Sent by Owner for Review

Site: http://www.hairfree.bz/

Review: I recieved a round brush (picture above) and a flat brush for review, as well as another set for a friend. I ended up letting my sister-in-law and her mom try out a set. As for me, I used the flat brush more than anything as I don't really style my hair. The bristles were a bit hard when they hit your head, but if you have really thick hair, it's a little easier to stay in your hair and not get the scalp as much.

The magic of these brushes aren't so much the actual brush but what they do after. Each one has some kind of level that you push up and the bristles raise so all the hair that accumulates in the brush is raised up as well. I love this as it really does help get the hair free. I have a lot hair so it doesn't take long for my brushes to fill up. Genius idea!

My sister-in-law tried the flat brush as well and she agreed it was a bit hard but loved the concept as well. She had her mom try out the round brush and since she used it mainly to style and curl the bottom of hair, she really liked it. The bristles stayed in her hair and so she didn't feel the roughness.

Overall, these are definitely a fun idea. If you find your hair filling up your brushes quickly then you might want to look into these. In fact, these are often used as goodie bag items for big A-lister events. The owner had this to say:

"My brushes were included in the gift bag event at the Sundance film festival and the Miss America Beauty Pagaent. My brushes were also included in the gift bag event for the Bachelors wedding (the ABC TV show) in February and the gift bag event for the Oscars in March."

 
 
What do you think? Leave a comment!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Riding the Universe by Gaby Triana

Riding the Universe by Gaby Triana

Review by: Lauren

Also Reviewed for and Book From: http://www.teensreadtoo.com

Official Summary:

If Chloe Rodriguez fails chemistry, she loses the Harley-Davidson her uncle left her when he died, the only thing that matters to her. But she's falling for her peer tutor, Gordon, and her best friend, Rock, has suddenly decided this would be a good time to tell her his secret. Add in a burning need to discover her birth parents, and it's no wonder Chloe feels her world falling apart.

Review:

Riding the Universe is definitely one of those great, summer reads. It's intense like a hot summer's day but with enough breezy lightness so as not to overwhelm the reader. Chloe is a fun, relateable teen who is trying to figure out her own existence. She loves her parents but she is finding herself more and more curious about her biological parents (which definitely becomes a bombshell in her life when she does learn the truth).

Beyond that, she has even more problems going on that most teens could understand. Chemistry is mind-boggling hard and she needs to get a tutor or lose her late Uncle Seth's motorcycle. She can't let that happen, as it's the only freedom she has, so she agrees and finds herself immersed in goody-two-shoe Gordon's life. She likes Gordon, but her best friend Rock doesn't think he's right for her...but is this founded or pure jealousy? Riding the Universe rides the line between the two until the end when reality comes crashing down on a love-struck Chloe.

Free and fast, lots of fun.



Amazon Associates: Buy the book from the link above, I get a small percentage. Thanks for the support!

Contest: Sea by Heidi R Kling

Hey everyone, Alicia here! I'm not quite back to regular posting yet, long story short, I have graduated but I'm in the middle of finals right now(does that make sense to anyone, because I don't understand). Anyways, I thought I'd put an awesome contest up in the meantime. Do note: The BEA contest will be up soonish.

Today's contest is going to be very short. As in it will last for a day. Up for grabs? This lovely, awesome, fantastic gem of a book:


I read this book, months and months ago and fell in love from the very first sentence. (The fact that I know Heidi and see her all the time has nothing to with it, I swear!) If you've noticed, I haven't posted a review for it yet. That should be up sometime within the month, but if you want to read a gushy email I wrote to Heidi (spoilers were taken out!) click here.

Contest time!

ONE lucky winner will get: A signed *and* personalized copy of SEA by Heidi R Kling and 1 SEA "DARE TO LOVE" tank-top (click here to see pictures and sizes), SEA swag, plus other miscellaneous swag.

Contest dates: All day Friday, June 11 until Saturday, June 12 at 3:00 PST. EDITED TO ADD: NOW ENDS FRIDAY, JUNE 18 AT MIDNIGHT PST.

Open to: US only this time. Sorry international people, but I'm paying for this with my own money; maybe next time. EDITED TO ADD: One international person asked if they could enter if they paid for shipping and I told them yes. So if you live somewhere out of the US and are willing to pay for shipping, go ahead and enter. Feel free not to though.

To Enter: Simply fill out this FORM!

Good luck! Winner will be notified by email, and I *might* throw something else in.

-Alicia

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Crystal Allure Giveaway: Transplant Awareness



Crystal Allure is widely known for its collection of handmade beaded bracelets and fine handcrafted designer awareness jewelry in support of cystic fibrosis and organ transplant awareness. Their Transplant Awareness Ribbon Bracelet (B105) has been sold worldwide and is the centerpiece of their awareness jewelry collection.

Since 2003, designer, Stephanie, has been creating beaded awareness bracelets in support of cystic fibrosis and lung transplant awareness. Raising awareness of Cystic Fibrosis and Organ Transplant, specifically lung transplant, has always been important to her. Stephanie's oldest brother was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis at birth and battled the disease until he was 32-years old. At the time of his death, he was an eligible candidate on the waiting list for a double lung transplant. Each year thousands of individuals die because of the shortage of organs.

The Crystal Allure Awareness Jewelry Collection for Cystic Fibrosis and Organ Transplant, was designed in memory of her brother and because nothing like this existed, until now. Stephanie wanted to be able to offer these unique jewelry designs to support those who are dealing with these issues and their families. The Awareness Jewelry Collection offers unique bracelet designs that are handmade from the heart and offer stories of heartbreak, strength, courage and hope.

The Transplant Awareness Ribbon Bracelet (B105) was designed with beautiful emerald Swarovski Crystals, pearls and accented by sterling silver awareness ribbon blocks. It is finished with a butterfly charm because it has been said when someone receives a set of transplanted lungs, the new lungs look like a butterfly opening its' wings, when they take their first breath of new life.
*************


TO WIN: Leave a comment below noting one of your favorite items from the Crystal Allure jewelry boutique- that's it!

Open To: U.S., Canada, and UK

BONUS ENTRIES: (1) Help spread the word about the giveaway on your blog, twitter, or facebook & leave an additional comment here letting us know you did so! (make sure you add @crystalallure to your tweets so we can see them)

(2) Follow us/Fan us on our Facebook, Twitter or Studio Blog & leave and additional comment her letting us know.

**************

1 winner will be chosen randomly next Wed, June 16th and notified by email. Have fun and good luck!


Lauren's Thoughts: I wanted to say that when I first found Crystal Allure, I loved the idea right away. This is some cute jewelry, but it's great that it means something...especially to the one who made it. My mom actually had a kidney transplant about three years ago so the message immediately resonated with me. I hope you will take the time to check out Crystal Allure and enter the giveaway. Whether you win or not, think about supporting and buy something from the site. It would be a wonderful memento if you knew someone who had a transplant as well.

Interview: Pretty Little Liars' Laura Leighton



Interview: Laura Leighton

By: Lauren

Laura Leighton will be in Pretty Little Liars on ABC Family starting tonight at 8/7c. The show is based off the immensely popular series of the same name by Sara Shepard, so don't miss it!


1. What is it like being on another show? What are your hopes for Pretty Little Liars' future?

I'm very happy to be a part of the cast of Pretty Little Liars--I am enjoying playing a mom with a secret or two, and it's fun to once again be a part of a show that already has an audience anxiously awaiting it's premiere. I certainly hope the show finds a loyal and enthusiastic following. I would love to be a part of another long running series--especially since the cast and crew are fantastic!

2. For those that might not know much about the book and its series yet, what can you tell them about the show and your role in it?

I like to call it "Teen Noir". It's a show about a well to do community of teenagers and families, dealing with the recent discovery that the class Queen Bee who disappeared a year ago has just turned up dead. Her old friends (and their parents!) have secrets to keep, and the four friends are receiving texts from someone who seems to know everything. They wonder if it could be their friend Alison--is she really dead? or is someone else trying to scare them AND spill all of their secrets. My role is Ashley Marin, mother of Hanna. My daughter is the current "It" girl, but has recently been caught shoplifting. I try to sweep her crime under the rug by trying to "get on the good side" of the police officer on the case. I'm a single mom, struggling to maintain our reputation in the community, and trying to balance motherhood, my job, and making good choices for my family... A little edgy too, and of course I will have a secret or two of my own.

3. Have you read or looked over the actual books at all? Do you know anybody else that has?

I read a couple of the books after we filmed the pilot episode. I decided I didn't want to keep reading, because it was too much fun to be surprised by our scripts every week. A lot of what is in the books turns up on the screen, but there's plenty that will be new and different--it will be so much fun for fans of the books AND people who are just discovering the show. It's so fun, and literally gasp inducing in every episode. We all can't wait to learn what will happen next.


4. If you could play one of the teen girls recieving letters from "A" who would you pick and why?

It would be really hard to pick a one character to play, over another...Each one has a distinct personality, and a set of issues to deal with. I think the Hanna role is terrific--she has an internal struggle with her weight issues, and she is working hard not to slip up and lose her "it" girl status...She has a great vulnerability underneath all of her external confidence. I love that dichotomy. Aria is cool, too. She's sophisticated, and arty, and yet she cannot help her ill-advised attraction to her English teacher. What fun to play all that forbidden attraction! I also love the strength of Spencer-- she seems like she has it all and she's always in control, but she's rebelling against the very qualities that she also uses to succeed. A strong woman on the verge--very fun and complex Type A role. And Emily would be an amazing role to play: a girl venturing into unknown sexual territory, but not sure enough to even want to tell her closest friends. She seems sweet and unassuming, but she's sort of the bravest of them all. I love the idea of that deeply personal struggle.


See? I couldn't choose. I'd be happy to play em all!
 
 
Pretty Little Liars Summary:
 
When their best friend Alison mysteriously vanishes, four girls believe their secrets are safe forever. But when they begin to receive threatening messages from someone named "A," the truth may be only one text away. Filled with mystery, scandal, intrigue and nail-biting suspense, PRETTY LITTLE LIARS is based on the best-selling book series for young adults from Alloy.

Set one year after the disappearance of Alison, the manipulative and vindictive queen bee, it revolves around her four 16-year-old girlfriends — Aria, Emily, Spencer and Hanna — who have lost touch with one another until each begins to receive mysterious messages suggesting that Alison is watching them and knows every secret they are desperate to keep. Even after Alison's body is discovered, the messages don't stop….

Saturday, June 5, 2010

BEA Books

Hey everyone, Alicia here. I've been back from BEA for about a week and I just got my last box of books today. I haven't written a post about what I did in NYC and everything, since I'm not sure if anyone even wants to read about it. If you do, leave me a comment below and if enough people are interested I'll put one up.

Anyways, I thought everyone might be interested in knowing what books I got at BEA, so I made two vlogs showing you. Below the second vlog is a complete list of the books. Also, you may need to turn the volume up, I think I talked softly.







Books I got (in no order at all):

Before I Fall- Lauren Oliver*
Cum Laude -Cecily von Ziegesar*
Adios, Nirvana- Conrad Wesselhoeft
Annexed- Sharon Dogar
Zombies vs. Unicorns- Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier*
Notes from the Blender- Brendan Halpin and Tricia Cook
Intertwined- Gena Showalter*
Accomplice- Eireann Corrigan*
The Mockingbirds- Daisy Whitney
Sapphique- Catherine Fisher**
The Dark Divine- Bree Despain*
Matched- Ally Condie
Invisible Things- Jenny Davidson*
Ascendant- Jenny Davidson*
The Ivy- Lauren Kunze and Rina Onur*.**
My Soul to Keep- Rachel Vincent*
The DUFF- Kody Keplinger*
Girl Parts- John Cusick
Dark Song- Gail Giles
Fixing Delilah Hannaford- Sarah Ockler*.**.***
Bloodthirsty- Flynn Meaney
Delirium- Lauren Oliver*
Witches Kitchen- Allen Williams
Virals- Kathy Reichs
Middleworld (Jaguar Stones, #1)- Jon and Pamela Voelkel*
Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1)- Cassandra Clare
The Candymakers- Wendy Mass
I Am J- Cris Beam
You Killed Wesley Payne- Sean Beaudoin
Trance-Linda Gerber *.***
I Am Number Four- Pittacus Lore
Tangled- Carolyn Mackler*
The Replacement- Brenna Yovanoff
Hero- Mike Lupica
Immortal Beloved- Cate Tiernan
You- Charles Benoit
Paranormalcy- Kiersten White
TimeRiders- Alex Scarrow
Gifted #3: Here Today, Gone Tomorrow- Marilyn Kaye
Birth of a Killer (The Saga of Larten Crepsley)- Darren Shan
The Rise of Renegade X- Chelsea M Campbell*
Radiance- Alyson Noel*
Mistwood- Leah Cypess*
Leaving Paradise- Simone Elkeles
Gifted: Finders Keepers- Marilyn Kaye
Mostly Good Girls- Leila Sales
Hearts at Stake- Alyxandra Harvey
I’ll Get There. It Better Be Worth The Trip- John Donovan
The Kid Table- Andrea Seigel
The Sweetness of Salt- Cecilia Galante
Return to Paradise- Simone Elkeles
Halo- Alexandra Adornetto
Hush- Eishes Chayil
Hold Me Closer, Necromancer- Lish McBride
Guardian of the Gate- Michelle Zink
Revolution- Jennifer Donnelly*
Perfect Chemistry- Simone Elkeles*
Rules of Attraction- Simone Elkeles*
Monster High- Lisi Harrison
Secondhand Charm- Julie Berry
Where the Truth Lies- Jessica Warman
Low Red Moon- Ivy Devlin*
Firelight- Sophie Jordan*
Nightshade- Andrea Cremer*.**
Cate of the Lost Colony- Lisa M. Klein
The Eternal Ones- Kristen Miller*
Forget Her Nots- Amy Brecount White*
Raised by Wolves- Jennifer Lynn Barnes*
Beautiful Darkness- Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Dangerous Neighbors- Beth Kephart*
Virgin Territory- James Lecesne*
Grace- Elizabeth Scott*
Gunn’s Golden Rules- Tim Gunn
The Familiars- Adam Jay Epstein and Andrew Jacobson
Plain Kate- Erin Bow*

Prophecy of the Sisters/Guardian of the Gate Soundtrack- Kenneth Zink
Monster High Shirt
Glee Shirt

*= signed
**= doubles
***= from TAC

Remember if you want to see what the signatures look like, let me know. Also, stay tuned for a big contest!

-Alicia

Review/Giveaway- 101 Things I Learned in Film School by Neil Landau

101 Things I Learned in Film School by Neil Landau and Matthew Frederick

Review by: Lauren

Review Copy: Sent from Hatchette books

Summary (Hatchette Site):

How to set a scene? What's the best camera angle? How does the new technology interact with scenes? And how does one even get the financing to make a movie? These basic questions and much more are all covered in this exquisite packaged book on the film industry and making movies as a profession. Written by Neil Landau, an experienced screenwriter and script consultant to the major movie studios, this is the perfect book for anyone who wants to know about the inner-workings of this industry. Whether it's someone who wants to make movies as a full-timecareer, or just someone who is interested in film, this book covers it all.

Review:

Matthew Frederick started this series with 101 Things I Learned in Architecture school and now you can find ones about film, fashion, and even culinary school. These are handy books that would fit in most purses or bags...not too tall, but a little wide...and even has a nice red fabric binding. I think the style of books are fun and this one definitely gives it a more unique look.

As for the book in general, I've taken one film class in college and it definitely gave me a lot of the same bits of information, but with some new takes. There were even a few quotes as well and I love quotes. I think if you are curious about film, this would be a great book to get the basics from. Whether or not you want to go into a film career, this book is interesting and might even allow you to see the movies you watch in a different light.

I read this book in one day as each page isn't very long, though some shorter than others. I loved the drawings that Matthew Frederick added to each page. One side is the picture and the other is the fact or bit of information from Neil Landau. It's like a slightly humorous, fun picture book for grown ups in a way.

I think this is a really interesting series and I'm curious to see what else will be coming. I wonder if they can do a 101 Things I Learned as an English Major or something...I am one so it would be fun to have a book of things we should know.

Giveaway:

To Enter: What interests you most about films?

Open To: U.S. and Canada

Prize: 5 people will win a copy of 101 Things I Learned in Film School

Ends: Saturday, June 12th

Extra:

+1 if you follow this blog (leave a NEW comment or it won't count)



Amazon Associates: If you purchase the book from the above link, I will eventually get a small percentage. Thanks for supporting!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Premiere Episode Review: Royal Pains + Hilarious Rap!




Royal Pains Premiere Episode Review (Season 2)

By: Lauren

Airs: Tonight, June 3 at 10/9c (right after Burn Notice's Season Premiere at 9/8c)

Last summer, we left Royal Pains on a big cliff-hanger. Jill's husband was back and Jill/Hank was no longer an item, Divya had agreed to get engaged with her childhood friend in an arranged marriage, and Evan had left HankMed sinking money-wise. The very end of the episode? Well, Hank leaves Evan a message saying that he can't believe thier dad stole all their money. Dun Dun DUNNN! And now we're on to season two.

The first episode is a lot of wrapping up some of what happened in the finale. HankMed has a case with Spencer the Spaz, the infomercial king who swears he's not really a spaz...though they find him at his house hanging from the ceiling and even nail-gunned to the wall by the hand...but could it be something more? If you know Royal Pains, it normally is so you'll just have to keep wondering.

There is a lot of familial and father issues brought up in the episode. Spencer doesn't want to end up like his dad and Divya believes sometimes you just have to meet your family halfway. These are definitely good thinking points for the Lawson boys, especially when their dad shows up. Yes yes, we finally get to meet the elusive Eddie R. Lawson played by Henry Winkler. I, for one, am excited to see him in a guest role this season. Not much in the first episode...but the ending definitely leaves you DYING for more.

This episode isn't anything spectacular overall...you get a fun case, tension between the Lawson brothers, Evan's wonderfully stated humor, and even more about the mysterious Boris. It's a fun start to the new season and has a little bit of everything people seem to love about the series, or at least what I love. However, the ending definitely shows you this won't be just another summer feel-good. The season premiere should not be missed!! Get watching!

Below, you will find the Royal Pains Rap promotional video. You even get a small peek of Henry Winkler at the end. This video has me laughing everytime I see it, so watch and enjoy. Tell us what you think in the comments.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Danielle Joseph's Big "Indigo Blues" Contest


Become Part of the Band Song Contest

To kick off the release of Danielle Joseph's latest novel, Indigo Blues, she is hosting a mega song contest!

Record the original song that Adam and his band Blank Stare perform in Indigo Blues and you could be a winner! All entries must be received by 5pm (EST) July 1, 2010. Winners will be announced by July 12, 2010 on her web site.


INDIGO BLUES


Indigo, how could you let me go…

You drew me in like a figure in a coloring book

colored me blue, then ripped out the paper


and tossed it away...(Click Here for the Full Song)

Who's eligible: Anyone thirteen and older that loves to sing and resides in the U.S. or Canada. You may record the song solo or as a group, with or without instruments.



Choose ONE of the following ways to enter

1. Upload the song to Youtube and send the link to danielle @ daniellejoseph DOT com


2. Email the file directly to danielle @ daniellejoseph DOT com


3. Mail a CD to: Courtney Colton, Flux/Llewellyn, 2143 Wooddale Dr, Woodbury, MN 55125

Your entry must include the following:


l. This copyright permission: Indigo Blues © 2010 by Danielle Joseph. Used by permission. Flux Books www.fluxnow.com


2. Your name and mailing and email addresses

3. Parents' permission if you are under eighteen


PRIZE: The winner will receive a $25 iTunes gift certificate, signed copy of the book, and an Indigo Blues prize pack to include a Blank Stare concert tee, a limited edition Indigo Blues Rock Star Duckie and other fun items.


There will also be two runner ups, each to receive a signed copy of the book and a Rock Star Duckie.

The winning songs will be featured in Danielle Joseph's web site.


If you have any questions regarding the contest contact: danielle AT daniellejoseph DOT com


Be creative and have fun!

Indigo Blues © 2010 by Danielle Joseph. Used by permission. Flux Books www.fluxnow.com


Amazon Associates: If you pre-order the book from the link above, I will get a small percentage

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Jekel Loves Hyde by Beth Fantaskey

Jekel Loves Hyde by Beth Fantaskey

Review by: Lauren

Review Copy: Sent by Author

Summary (From Amazon):


Jill Jekel has always obeyed her parents' rules--especially the one about never opening the mysterious, old box in her father's office. But when her dad is murdered, and her college savings disappear, she's tempted to peek inside, as the contents might be the key to a lucrative chemistry scholarship.To improve her odds, Jill enlists the help of gorgeous, brooding Tristen Hyde, who has his own dark secrets locked away. As the team of Jekel and Hyde, they recreate experiments based on the classic novel, hoping not only to win a prize, but to save Tristen's sanity. Maybe his life. But Jill's accidental taste of a formula unleashes her darkest nature and compels her to risk everything--even Tristen's love--just for the thrill of being...bad.



To improve her odds, Jill enlists the help of gorgeous, brooding Tristen Hyde, who has his own dark secrets locked away. As the team of Jekel and Hyde, they recreate experiments based on the classic novel, hoping not only to win a prize, but to save Tristen's sanity. Maybe his life. But Jill's accidental taste of a formula unleashes her darkest nature and compels her to risk everything--even Tristen's love--just for the thrill of being...bad.

Review:

I think the end of the above summary is a bit misrepresentative of the novel. The whole "Jill taking the formula and unleashing her bad side" is a part of the novel and quite interesting but it's not a huge part of the novel. That doesn't mean anything about the overall story of the book, however, as it a wonderful read.

I've never read the original Dr. Jekel and Mr. Hyde though I've wanted to for awhile now...and this just makes me want to even more. Jekel Loves Hyde might sound like just another YA love story with a dash of paranormal elements but it's honestly not. Fantaskey has created multi-layered characters that are more than meets the eye and given them a unique problem to overcome.

Jekel Loves Hyde is a mix of dark romance, familial secrets, murder, and mystery. It's definitely it's own brand of Young Adult that I haven't read in most books. I would definitely recommend this novel to someone who is looking for something a big more edgy...and I meant that in the best way possible. I honestly enjoyed every moment of this book. It's something I'm sure I'd want to read again in the future, especially when I get the chance to read the original. It's not needed to enjoy this book but I'm sure it would make certain things more clearer and enjoyable.

One of the things I really enjoyed about this book is that Tristen isn't just there to be the mysterious love interest. He has a wild collection of emotions and one volatile past that unravels as you read. I especially like that his ending isn't spelled out...it allows people to know and wonder at the same time.

Overall, this was a really good book. I don't give most books ratings because it's hard and I'm not sure it really tells you much about the book but if I had to pick, I'd say around a 4/5. I definitely need to start reading Fantaskey's other novel Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side. I own it, so that's a step!


Amazon Associates: If you buy from the above link, I will get a small percentage.

Team Human: Eric Yorkie's Justin Chon



The following article is about up and coming actor Justin Chon who plays Eric Yorkie in the Twilight films.  


Luckily, I was able to interview Justin a few times in the past and I'm definitely rooting for him in whatever he does. However, in Eclipse, we apparently don't see Justin or the humans too much. I know I know...you want the paranormal creatures, but honestly, I find the humans a great part of the series as it adds humanity (pun intended) and humor to the overall plot-line.

What do you think? Read the article and discuss Justin as well in the comments!