Book Blogger Hop

I haven’t been at this whole book blogging thing for very long, but I’ve been reading my whole life.
And Jennifer over at Crazy-for-Books has this awesome weekly get-together called the Book Blogger Hop to help book bloggers and readers alike to find new blogs to read and follow.
This is my first time entering, and I’m excited to see who stops by!
I’m even more excited to get to explore some new blogs to add to my blogroll!
For those of you stopping by for the first time — welcome!
Be sure to come back to the site on Monday because that’s when a super-awesome giveaway starts.
Need a hint? Alright, alright. Here you go…
So excited to share!
Of course, if you’re a Facebook fan, you already heard about this.

Oh – and don’t forget to enter The Book Scout’s 550 Followers Contest! :)

Ok, I think that’s it for me.
Be sure to check out Jennifer’s blog and visit other book blogs!
Happy Friday!

Book Contests and Giveaways

As much as I’ve been reading lately, it would be nice to win some free goodies.
And I’m sure you guys wouldn’t mind the chance to win, too, right?
So, I’ve compiled a list of book blog giveaways and contests that I’ll try to update as I come across them in my Interweb wanderings.See it over there in my right sidebar? —->

I thought I’d also detail some of them for you here, so that you can head over to enter all edumacated and such.
There are five prize packages you can win:
#1 – A signed copy of Twilight by Stephenie Meyer and some keepsake journals
#2 – A signed copy of The Vampire Armand by Anne Rice
#3 – Signed copies of the first three Sookie Stackhouse books: Dead Until Dark, Living Dead in Dallas and Club Dead by Charlaine Harris
#4 – Signed copies of Christopher Moore’s Vampire Trilogy
#5 – Bram Stoker’s Dracula and The Vampire Book: The Encyclopedia of the Undead (unsigned)
Head over to Sara’s blog for the chance to win! Contest ends June 2.
You all know how much I *heart* vampires.Of course, I’d love to win the Twilight book, or the Christopher Moore books. Or, really, any of the prizes.

What an awesome giveaway, huh?

The contest is awesome for the aspiring writers among us. Kathleen is an agent, and some of these prizes would be an great foot-in-the-door for anyone trying to break into the ‘biz.
Prizes include: Three random YA or MG books from her stash. An additional prize will consist of the following: bookstore gift card, note for a query critique, note for a synopsis critique, note for a first chapter critique or an extra book.
Personally, I’d love to win the note for a query critique, synopsis critique or first chapter critique. No, I don’t have a manuscript stashed away, but I do have an idea or two floating around in my head…
Maybe I’ll be the lucky winner? Or one of you?
If you enter this contest, be sure to tell her that I sent you over. You’ll get an extra point for your entry! :)
*****Shade Giveaway from The Book Scout

Enter to win one of five free copies of Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready.

Also enter her 550 Followers Giveaway for the chance to win some ARC’s!


Prizes include signed copies of the following books:
Airhead by Meg Cabot
Looking For Alaska by John Green
Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan
Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway
If I Stay by Gayle Forman
Hero Type by Barry Lyga
Something Like Fate ARC by Susane Colasanti
I’ve heard good things about Looking for Alaska and If I Stay.
Be sure to check back later this week for a chance to win a signed book from *me*!
And trust me — it’s one that you won’t wanna miss!

Review: City of Ashes

City of Ashes is the second installment in Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series.
My review of City of Bones (the first book in the series) can be found here.
This second book was just as compelling as the first, which was quite refreshing! There were quite a few twists that I didn’t see coming and many questions were posed that I can’t wait to be answered!
Valentine returns in this installment to steal another of the Mortal Instruments to use in his war on the Clave.
He accuses the Shadowhunter government of corruption because of their willingness to protect and work with Downworlders, or part-demons like vampires and werewolves.
So, he raises an Army of demons to battle the Clave, and in so doing, commits a crime worse than the actions of the Clave.
This book is full of moral dilemmas — does Jace go against his father, the man who raised him to be the strong, unforgiving Shadowhunter he has become?
Does Clary stay with Simon, knowing her heart actually belongs to her brother?
And that’s just weird in itself. I’m sure there is hope for Clary and Jace, and I can’t wait to see the twist coming in that department.
 I love the strong characters in this series. I appreciate their uncompromising values. I know that sometimes, that’s not the easy route for an author.
But what really got me was the cliffhanger ending.
I couldn’t wait to pick up the next book in the series.
I can’t imagine how it felt to those who read this book when it first came out and had to wait for the next installment, City of Glass.
City of Ashes is available from Amazon here.

Review: City of Bones

City of Bones (Mortal Instruments)
Lately, I’ve been frequenting the Nest Book Club message board, and it has again sparked my love of reading.
I’ve found many, many great books over the last few weeks from the ladies over there and I’ve decided to start writing reviews of the many books I read.
This is the first of those reviews.
But first, I have an admission to make: I *love* young adult fiction. Particularly, supernatural fiction.
Remember this post, when I waxed poetic about my love of vampires?
The Twilight Saga was only the beginning, my friends.
I picked up City of Bones by Cassandra Clare on Sunday. I *could not* put it down. 
It was a great, quick read. I liked that the “supernatural”-ism of the book was nontraditional — I’ve read books about vampires and fairies and werewolves *plenty.* 
And there are those beings in this book, too.
But the main focus is on Shadowhunters (aka Demon Killers).
I liked that I got to see a new world and learn about new things.
The story takes place in New York and focuses on your average teenage girl with a guy best friend who dotes on her. 
Clary’s first clue that she is not as normal as she seems occurs when sees a trio of Shadowhunters (who are invisible to all the other humans around).
Her mother is kidnapped and Clary is whisked away into a part of this world that she never knew existed. 
The characters are easy to relate to and I was intrigued by the mysterious, hunky Jace.
I won’t give too much away, but the story focuses on Clary’s efforts to save her mother and uncover her true identity.
It’s action-packed, with a bit of romance tied in. Just how I like it. 
This is the first book of four in the Mortal Instruments series.
I highly recommend it!

Review: Dead in the Family

As you all know, I *love* vampires.
Remember when I waxed poetic about my love here?
I’ve read *all* of the Sookie Stackhouse books by Charlaine Harris.
And I couldn’t *wait* for the release of the next in the series, Dead in the Family.
I seriously read it within two days of its release.
Now, I don’t want to give away any spoilers for those of you who aren’t as far along in the series as I am. Let’s just say that Sookie has a few issues to deal with in the beginning of this book, and she seems to be battling depression. That’s quite a chance from the usually peppy and chipper Sookie we all know and love.
But I liked the chance to see a little more depth in her character. I could totally relate to her feelings.
And Eric! Oh my, do we get to learn more about him. And his feelings! Squeeeee.
There’s even some insight into Bill and his past.
This is definitely a book about feelings.
I did, however, have a few things I didn’t really like about this book. There are *a lot* of “issues” on the periphery in this book. But nothing ever comes of any of it. There’s a lot left hanging, and I can only assume that Charlaine Harris is prepping for a *huge* action-packed follow-up.
Overall, this was not one of the better books in the series. But I think it’s an essential read to learn more about the characters. And that’s the part I love — getting to know these characters.

The book is available from <leo_highlight id=”leoHighlights_Underline_0″ leohighlights_keywords=”amazon%20com” leohighlights_underline=”true” leohighlights_url_bottom=”http%3A//” leohighlights_url_top=”http%3A//” onclick=”leoHighlightsHandleClick(‘leoHighlights_Underline_0′)” onmouseout=”leoHighlightsHandleMouseOut(‘leoHighlights_Underline_0′)” onmouseover=”leoHighlightsHandleMouseOver(‘leoHighlights_Underline_0′)” style=”-moz-background-inline-policy: -moz-initial; background: none repeat scroll 0% 50% transparent; border-bottom: 2px solid rgb(255, 255, 150); cursor: pointer; display: inline;”>Amazon.comhere. Protection Status