The day: The beauty of YA and it's authors:

I proofread the awesomely awesome Julie's post on how YA authors are magical and it instantly did two thing: 1) Got me all teary-eyed. & 2) Made me think. So you should go read it. Like now. But come back!

YA is the most underestimated genre I've ever seen. People mock it, people don't understand it, adults barely even consider it real books. But they're wrong. They. Are. So. Wrong.

YA is beautiful, even more beautiful than the most literary literacy you could find and stuff in my face. It's beautiful to me. And that's the amazing thing about it. YA books have such an impact on my life, on the life of the teens (or teens at heart) reading it. Reading a book as an adult is different, reading a book was teen is something else altogether.

When I was 10, I read The Clique series by Lisa Harrison. I was in love. I'd wait and wait for the next book to come out, I fangirled over them once I bought them, I worshiped Lisa Harrison for giving me these books to read and enjoy. I don't read them anymore but the impact they left on me was immense.

Those books are the reason I write. I had written before, not big things, but when I read those books, they gave me inspiration. They gave me courage to pursue my dreams and not let anyone tell me that I couldn't do something. It wasn't the message in the books, or anything like that. It was the sheer fact that some person in the world was writing this book for me. Was writing it so I could pick it up and squeal and shout and giggle and jump up and down like a maniac in my room. She was writing for the world, writing to make little girls like me happy. And I wanted to do that. I wanted to make the world happy. That's what YA authors do.

Heh, I'm getting teary-eyed writing this post. YA shaped me, molded me into the person I am today. Teens haven't changed completely yet, we haven't grown, matured, experienced everything we want to. The joy you feel picking up a book, flipping through it's pages, is a part of your childhood. A part of who you are and who you can become.

YA authors are amazing, wonderful, brilliant people who understand us as teens and us as people. I've meet the nicest YA authors from Kiersten White, Shannon Delany, Anastasia Hopcus, Jackson Pearce and so many more who just want to talk to you. You read their books, you love it, it changes you, and they want to hear what you have to say!

They're the nicest people you could possibly meet! And they don't write for money, for fame, they write for us. Because they know that they can make a difference, touch into our very hearts and souls and make us feel special and amazing. You can relate to their character, which I think is the most surreal and wonderful part of reading YA. When you read adult novels in our age, we don't understand the characters. They're adults, they've lived there lives much more than we have. YA novels focus on ourselves, discovering ourselves, losing ourselves in the midst of the hardest moments in a persons lives.

I think being a teenager is the crucial point in people's lives. It's a moment where you can make mistakes, where you can take a wrong turn, but you can get back up again. You can do something wrong and it's not the end of the world. You can do different things, live different lives, meet new people and places and just live. Live and not worry about taxes and the rent and all those other "adult" things that they have to worry about. You can do whatever you want, do what inspires you.

So thank you YA authors, for understanding. For making me feel like I can fly, like I can run, like I can be anything I wanna be. If I just try. For making me feel like a can be a werewolf, a vampire, a faery, a graceling if I just believe. Imagination is the most precious thing a person can have. Thank you YA authors, for not losing that imagination that the world finds so rare and beautiful. Thank you for not keeping it to yourself and sharing it with the world.

Thank you & happy reading :)
-Harmony B.


The day in which stuff is in my Mailbox

Hey guys! I haven't done an In My Mailbox in SUCH a long time! June was a really dry book month for me but I'm expecting a lot of books coming in now so I'll be doing IMM every week!

Also, In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren


Sisters Red by Jackson Pearce sampler & tattoos: I squealed when I got this! This is the first contest I've ever won, so total squeal-age! Thank you Jackson!

Perchance to dream by Lisa Mantchev: Also won from a contest. Thank you, Melissa!


Firespell by Chloe Neill: Bought this early in June :) Loved it, already did the review!

Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston: I had already read the amazingness that is this, but the copy wasn't mine! NOW IT IS! :P

And yes, that is my book revisions with lots of self-put red marks in the corner of the picture.

What did you get in your mailbox this week?

Happy Reading!
-Harmony B.


The day: 2010 Debut Author Week: Wrap up!

Hey guys! 2010 DEBUT AUTHOR WEEK is now over! I hope you all enjoyed it because I loved planning all of this and meeting these new and awesome authors! If you need to be caught up, here are the links!

Day one: Denise Jaden

Day two: Wendy Delsol

Day three: Andrea Cremer

Day four: Anastasia Hopcus

Day five: Kiersten White

Answer me one question though: Did you guys like it? Would you like me to do this once a month? Or at least as much I could can! Let me know in the comments :)

Comment! Happy Reading!
-Harmony B.


The day: 2010 Debut Author Week: KIERSTEN WHITE!

AHHHHHHHH! Ok, I had to just get that out. I've raved about Paranormalcy a lot on Twitter and even a half-frantic post on here, because I.Want.This.Book.So.Bad :) Kiersten took some time off her craziness to answer my interview question! Paranormalcy comes out now in AUGUST (the 31st) instead of September! AH!

AND: You got questions? Ask them in the comments! She'll answer any questions or comments you'll have. AHH, ok some more excitedness xD

Summary: Evie’s always thought of herself as a normal teenager, even though she works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, her ex-boyfriend is a faerie, she’s falling for a shape-shifter, and she’s the only person who can see through paranormals’ glamours.

But Evie’s about to realize that she may very well be at the center of a dark faerie prophecy promising destruction to all paranormal creatures.

So much for normal.

-from her site (Don't lie to me and say this doesn't sound amazing)


If you had to live in a house with 3 fictional YA character, who would they be?

Dobby the House Elf, because I'm a rather unfortunate slob and I hate cooking (but I'd be very, very nice to him and pay him and stuff),
Continuing on a Harry Potter theme, Dean or Seamus or one of the other minor characters to whom nothing bad ever really happened, not because I especially love them but because I'd like someone who could side-along-apparate me and they seem like a safer bet than Harry, Ron, or Hermione, who always seem to nearly die
And finally, Evie from Paranormalcy, which I know is cheating, but she'd feel bad if I didn't list her. Plus, I think she'd be fun to hang out with.

What do you want to accomplish 10 years from now?
Ten years from now I want to still be writing and publishing books that people want to read, have happy, healthy kids (who will be teenagers--good heavens, let's stop thinking about that right now!), and have a positive impact on the world around me. Also, I want to grow eight inches. But somehow I doubt that's going to happen.

If you could say something to your younger writing self, what would you say?
"You're not good enough yet." But it's a good thing I didn't know it at the time, because if I'd had any idea how much work and rejection was in front of me, I probably never would have kept at it! So, perhaps ignorance is bliss? It's a good thing to start out writing starry-eyed and sure that because you wrote it someone will publish it. And then it's a good thing to learn and get rejected and learn some more until you really ARE there! So I suppose I wouldn't say anything at all, I'd just pat my younger writing self on the head and give her a cookie.
Hope you guys enjoyed it! Kiersten is so nice and it was such a pleasure to interview her!

Ok, guys! Ask questions and comment away! Happy Reading!
-Harmony B.


The day: 2010 Debut Author Week: Anastasia Hopcus!

Day four on 2010 DEBUT AUTHOR WEEK and we're still pumping! Today, I have Anastasia Hopcus, author of the amazing up-coming Shadow Hills, to asnwer our interview questions! Yay! Shadow Hills comes out July 13th.

Summary: After her sister Athena's tragic death, it's obvious that grief-stricken Persephone "Phe" Archer no longer belongs in Los Angeles. Hoping to make sense of her sister's sudden demise and the cryptic dreams following it, Phe abandones her bubbly LAA life to attend an uptight East Coast preparatory school in Shadow Hills, MA -- a school which her sister mysteriously mentioned i her lasy diary entry before she died.

Over there, Phe quickly realizes that something is deeply amiss in her nw down. Not only does Shadow Hills' history boast an unexplained epidemic that decimated hundreds of it's citizens in the 1700s, but its modren townies also seem eerily psychic, with the bizarre ability to bend metal. Even Zach -- the gorgeous stranger Phe meets and immediately begins to lust after -- seems as if he is hiding something serious. Phe is determined to get to the bottom of it. The longer she stays there, the more she suspects that her sister's untimely death and her own destiny are intricately lined to those who reside in Shadow Hills

- from website. (Ok, that sounds SOOOOOO amazing)


If you had to live in a house with 3 fictional YA character, who would they be?

Lena from Beautiful Creatures because she's strong and interesting; Simon from the Mortal Instruments because he's a great friend; Jamie from The Demon's Lexicon because he always has something witty to say.

What do you want to accomplish 10 years from now?

In ten years, I'd like to still be writing books that people enjoy reading. I'd also love to own some land in the area of Massachusetts where Shadow Hills is set.

If you could say something to your younger writing self, what would you say?

I'd tell myself to be patient and persistent. Nothing happens as fast as you want it to, but you can get published.


Thanks Anastasia for taking some time from your busy schedule (Shadow Hills realeases in like 2 weeks!) I hope you all enjoyed it!

I bet you guys think this is the last one, don't you? I haven't mentioned anything about Friday, and if I have I haven't mentioned who. Tomorrow is a secret, a secret that only four people (including herself and myself) know so GET EXCITED! Especially, since she'll answer ANY of your questions that you leave in the comments!

Comment! Discuss! Happy Reading!
-Harmony B.


The day: 2010 Debut Author Week: Andrea Cremer!

Part THREE of the awesomely awesome week-long event: 2010 DEBUT AUTHOR WEEK! Today, I have the wonderful Andrea Cremer (great hair), author of the super hyped-about book Nightshade (which i'm crazy to read!) See it on October 19th!

Summary: While other teenage girls daydream about boys, Calla Tor imagines ripping out her enemies’ throats. And she wouldn’t have it any other way. Calla was born a warrior and on her eighteenth-birthday she’ll become the alpha female of the next generation of Guardian wolves. But Calla’s predestined path veers off course the moment she saves the life of a wayward hiker, a boy her own age. This human boy’s secret will turn the young pack's world upside down and forever alter the outcome of the centuries-old Witches' War that surrounds them all.
- from the site.


If you had to live in a house with 3 fictional YA character, who would they be?
I can't help it; I'm going with my favorite YA guys - Jace from Mortal Instruments, Nick from Demon's Lexicon, and Dimitri from Vampire Academy. Bonus if I can get them to fight over me ;)

What do you want to accomplish 10 years from now?

Let's see - well, Nightshade thus far will take me through 2012. I have ideas for a few more books that expand NIghtshade's universe, including a graphic novel. As a comic book geek it would be amazing to see my story illustrated. Beyond that world, I'd love to publish my steampunk series within 10 years too! To sum up: lots more books!!!

If you could say something to your younger writing self, what would you say?

Take risks. Believe. It will happen. The best things in life require hard work and facing your fears.


*drool* Oops sorry, Just Jace and Dimitri's name makes me happy :) If your not new to the blog, you know my mixed feelings towards the hot dhampir ;) Hope you guys enjoyed Andrea's interview, she was a joy to interview! (And that hair!)

Comment! Discuss! Happy Reading!
-Harmony B.


The day: 2010 Debut Author Week: Wendy Delsol :)

Part two of the awesomely awesome 2010 Debut Author Week! Today I have the lovely Wendy Delsol, author of the up-coming book Stork which you'll see in stores in October! Summary:

Oh baby! A hip heroine discovers that she has the ability to decide who gets pregnant in this witty YA blend of romance and the supernatural.

Sixteen-year-old Katla has just moved from Los Angeles to the sticks of Minnesota. As if it weren’t enough that her trendy fashion sense draws stares, she learns to her horror that she’s a member of an ancient order of women who decide to whom certain babies will be born. Add to that Wade, the arrogant football star whom Katla regrettably fooled around with, and Jack, a gorgeous farm boy who initially seems to hate her. Soon Katla is having freaky dreams about a crying infant and learns that, as children, she and Jack shared a near-fatal, possibly mystical experience. Can Katla survive this major life makeover and find a dress for the homecoming dance? Drawing from Norse mythology and inspired by The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen, debut author Wendy Delsol conceives an irreverent, highly entertaining novel about embracing change and the (baby) bumps along the way.

-from amazon (SOUNDS AMAZING!)


If you had to live in a house with 3 fictional YA characters, who would they be?

Hmmm. In the spirit of YA, I’m going to transport my sixteen-year-old self from across the chasm of time for this exercise. The young, time-traveling Wendy would love it, I’m sure; travel has always been an interest. And as I’m the fourth character in this scenario, here’s a little back story. At sixteen, I was the quintessential good girl: an all-A student, a rule follower (you’ll see ;), a joiner, funny, but kind of quiet (until you knew me). Yep, what this equation needs are some big personalities—some real characters. So, who better to invite than:
Alejandro (Alex) from PERFECT CHEMISTRY by Simone Elkeles. As if it needs explaining, he’s a heart-of-gold bad boy who would definitely shake things up. OK, it doesn’t hurt that he’s gorgeous, either. No smoking in the house, though, Alex. Let’s call that rule #1.
Aislinn from WICKED LOVELY by Melissa Marr. I could learn a thing or two from Aislinn’s grit and tough-as-nails determination. No faeries in the house, though, Aislinn. Rule #2.
Emma from WHAT WOULD EMMA DO by Eileen Cook. Because she’s hysterical and her list writing will come in handy for groceries. No bringing home (and kissing) other people’s boyfriends, though, Emma. Rule #3.

What do you want to accomplish 10 years from now?

Having just traveled back in time, it’s a little dizzying to go forward. Nonetheless, ten years from now I hope to have a small pile of books that represent my work. I hope those books have found an audience and have taken readers on a few adventures. Speaking of adventures, ten years from now I hope to have seen more of this fascinating world of ours. Australia is up there on my wish list. I am, by nature, a wanderer. So here’s hoping for good maps, good company, and a good pair of walking shoes.

If you could say something to your younger writing self, what would you say?

Back in time again? Am I getting AAdvantage Miles? (It’ll take a few to get to Australia.) My advice to all young people is give yourself time and trust yourself to learn in your own individual way. As a young girl, I wasn’t the prototypic bookworm. In elementary school I was fidgety and distractible. My parents, to their credit, never made me feel less than my eager-reader older sister. And when in fifth and sixth grade I won creative writing awards, they praised and celebrated these small successes. I came to reading and writing on my own terms, thus it was a fun discovery. I feel incredibly lucky to have found a passion. I do hope STORK and its characters, Kat and Jack, tempt a few reluctant readers. That would make me very happy. But rule #4—no unborn souls in the house, Kat. The place is crazy enough.

Hope you guys enjoyed Wendy's interview because I loved it! Totally agree with her choices, expect Aislinn can bring Keenan into the house whenever she likes ;)

Comment! Discuss! Happy Reading!
-Harmony B.


The day in which I have a " 2010 Debut Author" week

Hi guys! I've been planning this for a while now, talking to some really nice authors to put this up! I call it:

2010 Debut Author Week!

Sounds exciting, right? Well pretty much, i'm going to have a chain of authors whose books debut in 2010 come over to the blog and talk a little bit about themselves and such. All authors get asked the same three questions and it was wildly entertaining to listen to their different answers! And at the end of the week (Friday) I'll have a special author interview where she'll actually answer your questions and comments on the comments! Ah, just thinking it gets me excited!

Ok, first up is Denise Jaden, debut author of Losing Faith (I WoW-ed this last last week if I remember correctly). It has a beautiful cover and summary: When Brie's sister, Faith, dies in a fall from a cliff, Brie's world falls apart. As she goes through the bizarre and devastating process of mourning the sister she never understood, Brie must also contend with increasingly distant parents, her boyfriend's betrayal, and her sudden outcast status at school. And once she's over the initial shock of Faith's death, Brie is encountering more questions than closure: Certain facts about the way Faith died just don't line up. She soon uncovers Faith's role in a dark and twisted religious cult...a cult that now wants Brie as a member.
Coming in September 2010 http://www.denisejaden.com/

Welcome, Denise! If you could live with any three YA characters, who would they be?

Kate Malone from Laurie Halse Anderson’s CATALYST – she’s clean and organized and would motivate me to stay in shape; Macy Queen from Sarah Dessen’s THE TRUTH ABOUT FOREVER – she would keep the house clean, I’m sure of it (are you noticing a trend here – I’m seriously looking for someone to help keep my house clean and organized!); and for a third, I’d choose one of my own characters, Tessa Lockbaum. She’s interesting and resourceful and a great person to have on my side.

Where do you want to be ten years from now?

Ten years from now, I hope my son will be graduating (I homeschool him, so that will be a big accomplishment for me too!) and I would love to have five more books on the shelves. I hope to have more than an hour a day for writing by then as well.

If you could go back in time, what would you tell your old writing self?
Well, actually I wasn’t a writer when I was younger. However, if I had been, I probably would tell myself the same things I tell myself now: enjoy the process and take a mental break from the business-side of writing every once in a while. Write what you love. Explore what you’re passionate about.

Thanks so much, Denise! Hope you guys enjoyed it, I enjoyed interviewing her!
Comment! Discuss! Happy Reading!
-Harmony B.


The day in which I get all deep ;)

One day, I was passing by Emily's wonderful blog (http://www.emilysreadingroom.blogspot.com/) and found a post Leah Cypress (author for MistWood) did on how the meaning of books change from when your a child to when your an adult. I commented on it with my opinion but the topic left a lingering feeling on me and I decided to create it into this blog post.

First though, i'm not an adult yet :P But there is one book that I read when I was little and now again:

There was a one I read once called The Giving Tree (picture at the left).

The Giving Tree.
It's the story of a small boy who is always playing around the tree (picking apples, resting in the shade). That tree brought him so much happiness and fun. Then he got older and started having "adult" problems. And he'd ask the tree for things and since the tree thought if he gave him those trees, the boy (now man) would play and be with him again. But he would take what he needed and leave, only coming back when he needed something. Pretty soon, all that was left was the stump of the tree.

When I was little, this was just a silly book about a tree and a boy. I was in about 2nd grade. I'm heading into 9th grade now (I know, freshmen) and to relive some old memories, I read it again. It had me at tears. I had grown up (at least a bit) and now understood the way the story worked.

It wasn't just a story about a tree! It was a a book about loving the things that make you happy and never taking advantage of the things and people that love you. The boy had taken everything from the tree (it's apples, it's lumber, it's branches) because the tree wanted the little boy that loved him back. I think if our old children toys could feel, they would feel the same way. Abandoned, left behind. All those barbies you never play with anymore, those dolls and trucks and those weird Baby Alive babies. They all got left behind as we grew up. The little boy grew up as well.

The little boy grew into a person who was busy to sit in the tree's shade, too old to climb it's branches, too mature to make crowns out of it's leaves. It's a metaphor really. I think what it's trying to say is that when people mature and grow into adults, they leave the imagination and the happiness behind. They focus of business, of making money, and not on the things that made them happy.

See, this is something I love about YA and YA authors. Because they are people who haven't let go of their imagination, of what makes them happy. They've held on to their childhood and molded it to make people like us happy. They are those adults that don't leave the tree behind. When i'm older, I won't leave the tree behind.

Writing this makes me want to read it again :) It's a really beautiful story, even though it's not long at all and has pictures and you can only find it in the children's section at the store.

Now I have a question for you guys. Will you leave the tree behind?

Happy Reading,
-Harmony B.


The day in which I have Perfect Chemistry

Sorry I haven't been posting reviews lately, I'm preparing for my first year of high schools and orientations and summer reading is taking up a lot of my time!


Perfect Chemistry
Simone Elkeles

When Brittany Ellis walks into chemistry class on the first day of senior year, she has no clue that her carefully created “perfect” life is about to unravel before her eyes. She’s forced to be lab partners with Alex Fuentes, a gang member from the other side of town, and he is about to threaten everything she's worked so hard for—her flawless reputation, her relationship with her boyfriend, and the secret that her home life is anything but perfect. Alex is a bad boy and he knows it. So when he makes a bet with his friends to lure Brittany into his life, he thinks nothing of it. But soon Alex realizes Brittany is a real person with real problems, and suddenly the bet he made in arrogance turns into something much more.
In a passionate story about looking beneath the surface, Simone Elkeles breaks through the stereotypes and barriers that threaten to keep Brittany and Alex apart.

I've had countless friends tell me to read this, seen it around hundreds of time, but finally when I saw on my good friend Julie's blog (http://www.bloggers-heart-books.blogspot.com/) I said THAT'S IT, and borrowed it from a friend.
And GEEZ, it did not disappoint. Perfect Chemistry had everything it was supposed to have: fast-paced action, romance, and everything in between. If your seriously doubting buying it, JUST DO IT. NOW. Seriously, like go. But finish reading first ;)
I loved Alex and Brittany's personalities. They were both stubborn, fiery, and did what you felt was right even if it hurt them.
The side characters really made me smile. Paco, Sierra, Isa, Luis. They all made me want to hug them :)
This is possibly one of my favorite contemporary books. No, IT IS!
There romance felt so real! They were a true couple, not one that were too controlled with each other (not by a long shot ;) but they also weren't "AHHHH take me away!" They're relationship was careful and beautiful and THE LAST CHAPTER MADE ME CRY!
Ah, even if Alex was a gang banger, he is high on my list of favorite guys.
The companion novel, Rules of Attraction, is already out!
Comment! Discuss! Happy Reading!
-Harmony B.


The day in which I win my first blogger award!

Hey guys, I interrupt me writing a review to bring you a special news bulletin!
I won a blogger award! Yay!


I've officially been blogging for three months on this very day! I'm so happy, because of all the things i've accomplished in so little time. I met some many nice people from having this blog (Authors, bloggers, etc etc..)! I've done my first (and second) interview, I got over 30 followers! I got a beautiful layout come by the amazing Bianca Nadine(http://www.nyxensadventure.blogspot.com/) and now, my first award!

I want to thank everyone for being so nice and supportive and actually, you know, commenting on my posts and reviews. I love hearing what you have too say! Also, thank you for following me, even if you don't comment :)

Thank you to Katie (http://www.misadventuresofateenagebookworm.blogspot.com/) for giving me this awesome award :)

Monday, June 14, 2010
Versatile Blogger Award!!!

Yep, that's right, I have just reviewed the Versatile Blogger Award from not just one blogger, but TWO bloggers. Thank you so much to My Neurotic Book Affair and Alison Can Read for giving me this award.

Here are the Rules:

1.Thank and link back to the person who gave you this award.

2.Share 7 things about yourself.

3.Pass the award along to 15 bloggers who you have recently discovered and who you think are fantastic for whatever reason! (In no particular order...)

4.Contact the bloggers you've picked and let them know about the award.

7 things about me:

1. I have an unhealthy obsession with purple & black covers. I've even been known to buy one just because it's those covers (Swoon case in point).

2. I am the youngest in my family, having one older sibling.

3. I'm very...loud would be the nicest way to put it. Everyone in a classroom could be talking, and i'll get yelled by the teacher, guaranteed.

4. I love to party :)

5. I have a co-writer, and we're currently writing a YA paranormal romance/fantasy which is almost ready for it's first total revision :)

6. There's a lot of stray cats in my neighborhood, and I have one named Princess that comes to visit. Yesterday, I found out he was a boy #fail.

7. My favorite book of all time is Graceling and my favorite cover of all time is Swoon (even if it's not near my favorite books)

15 bloggers:

Bianca: http://nyxensadventure.blogspot.com/

Melissa: http://www.melissas-bookshelf.com/

The Hiding Spot: http://thehidingspot.blogspot.com/

Emily: http://emilysreadingroom.blogspot.com/

Saslach: http://www.flippingpagesforallages.blogspot.com/

Nicole: http://www.wordforteens.com/

Beside them, I haven't actually found any new blogs lately :P Now, I must continue writing my review for Eyes Like Stars!

Happy Reading!

-Harmony B.


The day in which I have an amazing guest

Welcome to Shannon Delany's Start Your Day with Serial Tour! Shannon's debut novel (and first in her YA paranormal series) 13 to Life started as a winning cell phone novel written in serial segments. During the tour you can read bits of the book in order. Miss a day? Go on to Shannon's blog and check the link to the blog tour calendar in her sidebar.

She's so nice and sweet and her book just sounds amazing! Look at this summary!

Everything about Jessie Gillmansen’s life changed when her mother died. Now even her hometown of Junction is changing. Mysterious dark things are happening. All Jessie wants is to avoid more change. But showing a hot new guy around Junction High, she’s about to discover a whole new type of change. Pietr Rusakova is more than good looks and a fascinating accent—he’s a guy with a dangerous secret. And his very existence is sure to bring big trouble to Jessie’s small town. It seems change is the one thing Jessie can’t avoid…

Hey Shannon, and love having you here on Harmony's Radiant Reads! Have you always wanted to be a writer? If not, what did you want to be?

I always wanted to do something where I could express myself. Writing was one of my top choices but it (and art) didn't seem like steady enough employment , so they encouraged me into teaching. I loved teaching, but not all the headaches that go with the profession (once you've had to sit in a parent-teacher conference with a deputy present for your safety you kind of start wondering about your career choice--and that's only the tip of that iceberg). Eventually my husband and I moved north again and realized I was pregnant. I fell back into art and did a little writing on the side. My hubby went back into teaching. We moved farther north, got a farm and I did serious freelancing then--poof!--book deal!
Sounds amazing! If you had to live with three fictional YA characters, who would they be?

I'll absolutely cheat and use my own characters because I know what makes them tick (and what could potentially tick them off). I'd gladly be stuck with Pietr, Max and Amy. Jess and I are just similar enough in attitude we'd annoy the heck out of each other. But with Pietr I could have generally intelligent conversations. Max would just be fun to hang out with and Amy would keep me in line.
I'll allow that cheating, just this once! Besides your own character, who's your favorite? And why?

I adore Heather Brewer's Vladimir Tod (Eighth Grade Bites, etc.). I didn't think I would like him at first. He seriously irked me at first but then quickly grew on me. He's sensitive, has some major issues he's dealing with (that prophecy's no walk in the park!) and connections to Russian culture. Heather's stuff is an auto-buy for me now. If you haven't checked out that series, I definitely suggest you give it a look.
I certainly will! Ok, cell phone contest? How did that work and how did you feel winning something crazy like that?

It was crazy! I submitted two short chapters each day to Textnovel.com, had no clue where the story was headed (and letting the Rusakovas take the lead equals trouble) and was shocked when I won. I walked around in a bit of a daze when I was told. Everything happened really fast with interest from movie producers and publishers. I was seriously in a whirlwind for about two months.
That sounds crazy and so hectic! How's your writing schedule? Hectic?

I have a small farm and a small child, more than my writing schedule's hectic--life's hectic! ;-) But everyone can pretty much say the same thing. I write whenever I can. Notes are jotted down everywhere (which perturbs my hubby). When I'm on a deadline I buckle down and get serious. The moment my son's on the bus headed to kindergarten I throw it into high gear.
As a teen, did you go through a lot of what Jess goes though? (Besides the whole werewolf thing of course....of course right?)

LOL! I have weird stories from my teen years, but not werewolf-weird (not quite). Jess and I do share some similarities. I was an editor for my school paper and I did write the editorial Jess references in Chapter One (and nope, my fellow editors never ratted me out even when we were all grilled in the principal's office). I was a high level competitor in marksmanship starting at an early age. I got decent grades and was probably too self-absorbed (ah, my teen years ;-). I loved horses and rode when I could but am (unfortunately) allergic to them. The big, life-altering event Jess goes through (man, this is tough without spoilers...) was similar in many ways to something I went through just a couple years ago. And the nightmares Jess has--the reliving the fact you can't do anything to stop it or fix it? Been there. Done that. Just not exactly the same way Jess does it. But there are Jess and I are different (and many ways she's built off the teen experiences of others and just random stuff floating around my head).
Finally, what's your most recent YA read?

I'm finishing up fellow Class of 2k10 classmate Kitty Keswick's novel Freaksville. It's a cute book with a clever heroine, werewolf issues and a hot English boy who seems quite happy to spend time kissing. Oh, and there's some ghost action and peer issues and... Anyhow. I'm *nearly* done. :-)

Ah, thanks so much, Shannon! Now you can visit her blog at
http://www.shannondelany.com/ and you can also pre-order her book which comes out JUNE 22!

Shannon's hosting several contests during the Start Your Day with Serial Tour. The big contest will award one lucky winner with a royal amber pendant, pietersite jeweled bookmark, stuffed wolf, 13 to Life mousepad, pen, tote, signed poster, personalized copy of 13 to Life and both of the 13 to Life pins. All you need to do is comment at 13 of the blogs hosting Shannon during her 30 day tour. Everyone who does so will be entered into a random drawing. Winner may be international.

For information on the previous section, visit Pirate Penguin’s Reads! (http://piratepenguinreads.blogspot.com/)

13 to Life: Chapter 3, part L (used with the author’s permission)

My hand shook, holding the fork. I could tell without looking that Amy's fingers had gone white in her effort to restrain me. It was the most Pietr had spoken to me, and every word sliced like a knife.

Because he was right. Derek definitely wanted something

Happy Reading!

-Harmony B.


The day in which I saw cute cartoons

Well, an awesomely amazing author called Tessa Gratton, whose novel Blood Magic comes out in 2011, put up soooo many cute cartoons on her blog! It's to win an ARC of Linger, and i'm supposed to post one. But instead, since they're so cute, i'm posting all of them!

Visit her at tessagratton.com!

Aren't they adorable? Ah, and Tessa has cool hair :)

Happy Reading!
-Harmony B.


The day in which I throw a FireSpell

Thursday. O6.1O.1O

Chloe Neill

As the new girl at the elite St. Sophia’s boarding school, Lily Parker thinks her classmates are the most monstrous things she’ll have to face…

When Lily’s guardians decided to send her away to a fancy boarding school in Chicago, she was shocked. So was St. Sophia’s. Lily’s ultra-rich brat pack classmates think Lily should be the punchline to every joke, and on top of that, she’s hearing strange noises and seeing bizarre things in the shadows of the creepy building.

The only thing keeping her sane is her roommate, Scout, but even Scout’s a little weird—she keeps disappearing late at night and won’t tell Lily where she’s been. But when a prank leaves Lily trapped in the catacombs beneath the school, Lily finds Scout running from a real monster.

Scout’s a member of a splinter group of rebel teens with unique magical talents, who’ve sworn to protect the city against demons, vampires, and Reapers, magic users who’ve been corrupted by their power. And when Lily finds herself in the line of a firespell, Scout tells her the truth about her secret life, even though Lily has no powers of her own—at least none that she’s discovered yet…

Long summary for a short book. It's small, can fit into a purse easily, and is 246 pages of action-packed magic!
Lily is a loveable, stubborn and amazingly witty character. I loved her quick retorts and sarcasum, which were mostly directed to the "brat pack", those 3 popular girls that no novel in high school can do without. And I also love Scout, wish I had a frind like her. She was spunky, didn't care what other people thought, and a perfect blend of mystery and trust.
It was one of those reads where you just can't explain well but it made you squeal with excitment. It was the perfect blend of romance, tension, mystery, and magic all cooked into the same stew! The plot was fasinating, as was the hidden society in Chicago's oblivious streets. The Dark Elite are equal parts terrifying and thrilling and I loved immersing myself in it's complicated world. The Reapers, which are absolutely evil, sent chills down my spine and Enclave Three made me so want to be part of it.
Oh, and Jason. Ah, I loved him. His type of magic, I totally suspected right. When they said it, I was like: "I knew it!" And I loved Micheal as well. He made me laugh and he also spoke Spanish! Which is awesomely cool. Both of them were funny and cute and smart and just make me sigh :)

Comment! Discuss! Happy Reading!
-Harmony B.


The day in which I Wait on a Wednesday

Wednesday, O6.O9.1O

Losing Faith
Denise Jaden
September 7th

A terrible secret. A terrible fate.

When Brie's sister, Faith, dies suddenly, Brie's world falls apart. As she goes through the bizarre and devastating process of mourning the sister she never understood and barely even liked, everything in her life seems to spiral farther and farther off course. Her parents are a mess, her friends don't know how to treat her, and her perfect boyfriend suddenly seems anything but.

As Brie settles into her new normal, she encounters more questions than closure: Certain facts about the way Faith died just don't line up. Brie soon uncovers a dark and twisted secret about Faith's final night...a secret that puts her own life in danger.

comments: I heard about this book by seeing the cover on amazing and I fell in love. Seriously, isn't it amazing? This book sounds amazingg! It sounds mysterious and a bit dark and absolutely beautiful! Also, be expecting a little visit from Denise in the near future *wink wink*


The day in which I announce a contest!

Contest MONDAY! Yeah, I made up a feature :)

Contest MONDAY is a feature where I pretty much mention contests that are going on in the

blog-o-sphere. It'll be all book contests, because one) this is a book blog & two) books are cool.

Today's is the contest for an ARC of Hunger from ~La Femme Readers~

Join it! Enjoy! Comment! And Happy Reading!

-Harmony B.


The day in which things are not book-related

Sunday, O6.O6.1O

This doesn't have anything to do with books, nor book-related things. This has to do with people and animals and how they need our help.
The Oil Spill has affected all of the Gulf Coast and is now rapidly approaching Florida. I live in Florida, and a lot of us are really nervous about this. Florida major income is marine -related things and this could cause a huge downfall in our economy. Also, more and more animals are dying by the hour.

h2 days ago, 239 turtles died and 27 dolphins. Who knows how many died yesterday and today. People have found seagulls and pelicans covered in oil, unable to get themselves clean.

We can't turn back time, and make this not happen. But we can help those animals be rescued, and saved. this isn't mandatory, I'm simply asking if you'd like to donate. If you don't, it's fine. If you do, thank you so much.

Florida's trying hard to get this under control, but the oil's getting close. Too close for comfort.

Here's the link where you can donate to help the animals in the oil spill: https://online.nwf.org/site/Donation2?df_id=16662&16662.donation=form1

Thank you for listening, guys. And happy reading. And expect a book review of Jessica's Guide To Dating On The Dark Side by Beth Fantasky tomorrow.

-Harmony B.


The day in which i am Spirit Bound

Thursday, O6.O3.1O

I am so sorry for not posting for the past few days! I've been plummeted with exams and such and now i'm free :)

Spirit Bound
Richelle Mead
~ Penguin Books ~

Dimitri gave Rose the ultimate choice. But she chose wrong…
After a long and heartbreaking journey to Dimitri’s birthplace in Siberia, Rose Hathaway has finally returned to St. Vladimir’s—and to her best friend, Lissa. It is nearly graduation, and the girls can’t wait for their real lives beyond the Academy’s iron gates to begin. But Rose’s heart still aches for Dimitri, and he's out there, somewhere.
She failed to kill him when she had the chance. And now her worst fears are about to come true. Dimitri has tasted her blood, and she knows in her heart that he is hunting her. And if Rose won't join him, he won't rest until he's silenced her...forever.

Don't like that summary a lot, but ehh. Just saying, THIS IS THE BEST VA BOOK SO FAR! It had the perfect mix of romance, action, butt-kicking, friendship, and mystery all packed into one 489 pages of awesome!
First of all, oh my god the drama. Rose and Adrian (who I love love love!) are together and he actually makes her not think of Dimitri and her failed attempt at killing him so much. I know, totally sweet right? Now, Adrian is my favorite character in this series, my second being Christan, and third being Rose. Now Lissa's nice and all...but I don't really like her. Especially more so in Spirit Bound.

Well, Rose has finally graduated (with flying colors) and is going to the royal court to spend a few weeks before she gets assigned to her Moroi. Which she hopes is Lissa of course, but with all the things she did in the past four books, that's not such a good bet. Christan and Lissa are still broken up from Blood Promise, Adrian is still awesomely awesome and Rose is still pining for Dimitri. Oh and Dimitri's sending love notes/death threats. Lovely, correct?
A lot more is discovered over the Royal Court, things that weren't very established over the other books. You get a real inside look to how the system works and all the families. Tatiana (the ice queen) has a lot more layers to her than most people would think with the whole "Stay away from my nephew!" thing before, but she's a nice character and I ended up liking her.
Now the raging argument part of this post, Dimitri or Adrian. I actually stated my opinion on this in one of the comments but I'll put it again. I am now firmly Team Adrian. I have been since Dimitri turned Strigoi. Because in my opinion, Dimitri has done some horrible, horrible things as a Strigoi. Not only to her (mostly her) but to other people. And he will never be able to forgive himself. Not Dimitri and how he is. He won't forgive himself for almost turning her into a blood whore in Blood Promise. And Adrian is funny and sweet and hot and absolutely crazy about her. He's perfect for her in every way and they make an amazingly cute couple. And plus, he makes her happy. Like, real happy. While I love Dimitri, i'm firmly standing on this point.
This book was so exciting, I had too put it down sometimes because i'd feel out of breath. Haha :D
And the ending! Oh. My. God. Cliffhanger much? I flipped to the last page and was like "Oh geez, I have to wait until December?!?!?!" It leaves you practically hungry for more.
My rating: AWESOMESAUCE. Best out of all 5.
The next and LAST book: Last Sacrifice, comes out on December 7th.
Comment! Discuss! Happy Reading!
-Harmony B.


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