Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Interview with Michelle Zink PLUS giveaway from Fire and Ice Photos!

Michelle Zink is the author of the Prophecy of the Sisters series and a very dear friend of mine. (I wrote a post about her for Author Appreciation Week, and you can find that blog post here.) I seriously cannot thank her enough for what she's done for me personally and for the YA community. Michelle was kind enough to agree to be interviewed for my blog! Let's get started!

Me: Where did you grow up? What was your childhood/high school years like?
Michelle:I moved a lot as a kid, living in Utah (twice), Washington (once), and California (twice) by the time I was fifteen. In fact, I only realized after I'd lived in my current house for about four years and felt so at HOME here that I'd never lived in a place more than three years until now. At the time, I hated moving so much. I wanted to be one of those people who graduated high school with my kindergarten class. But as time has gone on I've realized I was very well-suited to moving a lot. I'm sill a bit of a nomad. I love change, new things, new places, travel, and like all the things that happen to us in our lives, I don't think I'd be the same person if not for the childhood I had.

Me: Favorite book as a child?
Michelle: I don't remember my favorite book as a child, but as a teenager I loved Wuthering Heights! I also read a lot of horror by Stephen King and trashy novels like those by Judith Krantz and VC Andrews.

Me: Favorite recently read book?
Michelle: I'd have to say it's a tie between Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchette or Incarceron by Catherine Fisher. Both are incredible.

Me: What are some of the previous jobs you've had?
Michelle: Before I started writing I was pretty much always in sales or marketing. As a young professional, I worked for an electronics company and a travel company before settling into the technology consulting field where I stayed until I ditched my life to move to NY and write full time. Even in the business world, I was always writing! I'd beg for the task of writing marketing and sales letters even after I had a staff who could have done it.

Me: If writing weren't a possibility, what profession do you think you would have chosen?
Michelle: I would have loved to be an actress, but I think I'd be sick all the time because I get so nervous in front of people! Maybe I would have gone into some other aspect of film or music industries since I love both so much. But I really think writing really is my one and only.

Me:How much research do you do before (or during) you write a book?
Michelle: Not as much as you might think. I do enough to get started, and then I do the rest as I go. Even Prophecy of the Sisters, which is set in 1890, was to me always a fantasy that happened to be set in the Victorian era rather than historical fiction. I researched enough to get pertinent details right, but really didn't want to go overboard on that stuff because I didn't want to story to be bogged down in descriptions of the furniture, the gowns, stilted dialog, etc.

Me: What will you work on once the Prophecy series is done?
Michelle: Well, I'm always writing. I work hard at my writing, treating it just like a job where I can't sit back and rest on my laurels. I've never had a time when I've thought, "Okay, I'm done! I can take a break for awhile!" I finish one thing, revise it, and start something new. Consequently, I have six other books sitting on my hard drive right now. The book that I'm hoping will be the first in my next series, though, is a contemporary fantasy that I think of as Twilight meet The Dark Knight without vampires.

Me: Any pets?

Michelle:I do! I have a dog named Jessie. We adopted her from our local animal shelter after falling in love with her on the spot. Someone had abandoned her as a puppy with a broken leg, and by the time she was rescued, the leg couldn't be reset. It's bent at an awkward angle (she does get around okay, though) and she had been at the shelter for three months when we found her. No one would adopt her because of her leg, but we just adored her right away. Anyway, we took her to the vet to see if they could fix her leg surgically, but it's been too long. She'll have to live with the leg, but she has a great, happy disposition and we try to make it up to her with plenty of peanut butter treats. We also have a moody, aloof cat named Blue (because we had a dog named Red for 10 years)!

Me: If you could spend a day with any fictional character, who would it be?
Michelle: It would have to be one of the main characters from a Hemingway book, probably because so many of his were semi-autobiographical. I'd love to hang out with all the writers from the 1920s in a glamorous place like Paris.

Me: If I were to open your fridge, what would I find in there?
Michelle: Depending on the day of the week, it would be full (Mondays) of fresh veggies, salad stuff, fruit, yogurt, milk, bread, and lots to leftovers (I cook a lot). If it was Sunday, it would be empty. I only shop on Mondays and I have three teenagers. My boys, especially, demolish the contents of our fridge at an alarming rate!

Me: Any particularly embarrassing moments?
Michelle: I don't have a lot of these (probably because I just block them out!), but I did once tell Nicholas Sparks (in re: to writing) that "you just can't give up", not realizing that he was, in fact, Nicholas Sparks.

Me: What's your writing style like? Do you outline extensively?
Michelle: I don't outline AT ALL. I hate it. It makes me feel like I'm writing an essay, and then, when I inevitably hit "the Wall", I turn to the outline instead of stepping away and letting the story tell me where it needs to go. I just feel like good stories have a life of their own, and I can't listen to them well when I have an outline looming over my shoulder.

Thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy writing schedule to answer my silly interview questions, Michelle!

Here's Michelle's info in case you aren't following her:
Website and Blog

This contest is now closed!
And now on to the giveaway portion of this blogpost. Heather from Fire and Ice Photos has donated this beautiful photograph for me to give away!

I *love* this photo. Doesn't it remind you of the first cover of Prophecy of the Sisters?

Check out Heather's Blog, Twitter, Etsy, Facebook, and Flickr pages!!! Be sure to start following her and give her a big THANK YOU for donating our prize this go-around. :)

How can you win said prize, you ask? It's easy? Read the contest rules below.

Contest Rules:

* Simply leave a comment on this post (WITH YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS!!!!) to be entered! While I'd love for you to follow my blog or Twitter, I want you to follow me because you think I'm cool, not because I give away prizes and make following a requirement.

* Contest ends in one week on April 7, 2010 at Midnight CST.

* I will put everyone's comment in a hat/bowl/box and pick a winner.

* If you're picked, I will email you giving you the good news. If you do not respond to my email within 48 hours, I will have to pick another winner.

* This contest will be US only. :( I'll have more international contests in the future so keep checking back!

Good luck! Happy posting, everyone! :)

Waiting on Wednesday- Paranormalcy

This week's Waiting on Wednesday is...

Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
Release Date: September 21, 2010
Publisher: Harper Teen

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Sixteen-year-old Evie's job is bagging and tagging paranormals. Possessing the strange ability to see through their glamours, she works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency. But when someone--or something--starts taking out the vamps, werewolves, and other odd beasties she's worked hard to help become productive members of society, she's got to figure it out before they all disappear and the world becomes utterly normal.

Normal is so overrated.

I've been following Kiersten's blog for a while now and I can't wait for this book! Hopefully September will come quickly. :)

Kiersten's info:

Monday, March 29, 2010

Bucket List Item Accomplished!

Growing up I was obsessed with loved all marine life. Seriously. My room was decorated with a dolphin theme well into my teens. The man that is now my husband gave me a promise ring that was a dolphin (his eye was a tiny diamond). I wanted to be a Marine Biologist for years and years. Then I figured out to be a Marine Biologist you have to know how to swim, which is something I don't know how to do. I'm terrified to be in water over my head and seriously cannot float. I'd always wanted to go to Sea World, but never went as a child. When we moved to Austin two-ish years ago my first thought was that Sea World was in San Antonio. Well we finally were able to go this past weekend so I can now cross that off my Bucket List (I need to make an actual, physical LIST of my Bucket List items). We went to the Shamu show (which was crazy cheesy) and a show called Azul which I LOVED. It featured dolphins and Beluga Whales and was crazy fun. I also got to pet a dolphin! :) Here are a few pictures to highlight our trip. Enjoy! Happy Monday!!!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Fired Up Friday

Fired Up Friday is a new feature I'm starting on my blog. Every Friday I'll blog about things that inspire me, whether it's a photo, line from a poem, song lyric, or just a random thought. I've been feeling kind of down lately (just worn out from work/housework stuff I think) and I thought it would be good to try and think of things that make me happy and share them with others in the hopes of inspiring them as well. I'm not going to post much on WHY that particular thing inspires me. Sometimes I think that when you're inspired by something you either don't know why, or it simply needs no explanation. So here is what is inspiring me this week (in no particular order):

Smell of coffee brewing first thing in the morning



Fall Leaves

The Fray

What inspires you? Do you know something that would maybe inspire others? Discuss in the comments. Happy Friday, everyone!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Something's different

*prances around* Notice anything... DIFFERENT? *more prancing*

No, I didn't get a new collar or get my nails clipped (though I do love Lady and the Tramp), I *did* get a my own domain!!! The Husband bought it for me yesterday and I'm so excited. I am officially!!! Right now it's re-routing to my blog, but I'm hoping one day when I'm famous (ha) it'll come in handy. *more prancing*

And don't you just love Jock? He's so cute!!!

Waiting on Wednesday- Other

This week's Waiting on Wednesday is...

Other by Karen Kincy
Release Date: July 1, 2010
Publisher: Flux

Synopsis from Goodreads:
Seventeen-year-old Gwen hides a dangerous secret: she’s Other. Half-pooka, to be exact, thanks to the father she never met. Most Americans don’t exactly roll out the welcome mat for Others, especially not the small-town folks of Klikamuks, Washington. As if this isn’t bad enough, Gwen’s on the brink of revealing her true identity to her long-time boyfriend, Zack, but she’s scared he’ll lump her with the likes of bloodthirsty vampires and feral werewolves.

When a pack of werewolves chooses the national forest behind Gwen’s home as their new territory, the tensions in Klikamuks escalate-into murder. It soon becomes clear a serial killer is methodically slaying Others. The police turn a blind eye, leaving Gwen to find the killer before the killer finds her. As she hunts for clues, she uncovers more Others living nearby than she ever expected. Like Tavian, a sexy Japanese fox-spirit who rivals Zack and challenges her to embrace her Otherness. Gwen must struggle with her own conflicted identity, learn who she can trust, and-most importantly-stay alive.

Karen's Info::
Facebook Fan Page

This book looks made-of-awesome. I've been waiting on it for the longest and trying my hardest to find an ARC (no luck yet). Be sure to start following her and tell her I sent you! :)

Contest Winner!!!

Thank you so much to everyone who entered my giveaway of Perchance to Dream! I had 40 entries which is CRAZY PANTS. Instead of singing your praises for being MADE OF AWESOME, I will just go ahead and announce the winner. *drum roll please*


Congratulations, Jen!! I have contacted you and you now have 48 hours to reply with your mailing address. Hope to hear from you soon! And if you didn't win this time, stick around! I've got more things planned for the future. *is mysterious*

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Giveaway Reminder

Don't forget you have until MIDNIGHT TONIGHT (CST) to enter my giveaway for an ARC of Perchance to Dream by Lisa Mantchev. (Click Here to enter)

Monday, March 22, 2010

My first published piece

I was daydreaming writing the other day and got to thinking about getting published/the road to publication. I'm just getting started with my book so I've got a long way to go until I get to that point, but I still daydream about it often. As I was thinking, I remembered, "Hey! I've already been published!" I had completely forgotten about an article I had written that had been picked up by a newspaper.

This was a QUALITY PAPER, people. It was even stapled together, that's how top-notch we were. This was the once-a-year edition of my elementary school's paper (this was my second grade year). My teachers, Mrs. Boone and Mrs. Wade, encouraged us to write an article for the paper and they would pick only one to submit and go to printing. I was determined to be the chosen one (shameless Harry Potter reference, I can't help myself). I worked for nearly a week on my article. The night before it was due I got to thinking my article needed a little something extra to ensure my win. I decided a hand-drawn picture would be sure to do the trick. I worked on it for a few hours and was super proud. I turned in my article the next day and was picked to be in the paper!! Now I know you're dying to see/read my article. Go ahead. Laugh. Giggle. Snort. But know I AM PROUD:

Here's what the article says:

"On Thanksgiving we give thanks. The Indians taught the Pilgrims how to plant corn. On Thanksgiving we have a big Thanksgiving feast with turkey, corn, dumplings, dressing, and cranberry sauce. So you see, if it weren't for God the Indians and the Pilgrims we wouldn't be enjoying this holiday, Thanksgiving."

At the tender age of seven I had already had arguments with "editors." My last sentence originally said, "If it weren't for the Indians and the Pilgrims we wouldn't have this holiday, Thanksgiving." While I went to a public elementary school, I grew up in a very conservative part of the country so my school was very conservative as well. It was very common for our teachers to read the Bible to us, tell us Bible stories, etc. (This was the EARLY '90s) My teachers called me up to their desk and said they loved my article and wanted to choose it to put in the paper. However, they wanted to make a change and add God to my last sentence (making it God, the Indians, and the Pilgrims). I didn't have a problem giving God recognition, but I didn't want to change it. I was so hurt that they wanted me to change something about my article and didn't love it the way I loved it. I was in a pickle. Did I change just to be published? Or stand my ground and hope to still be published? I chose to give in. Would I do that now? I'm not sure. Maybe? It would definitely depend on what my (as of now, hypothetical) editor/agent wanted to change. I would hope I could trust my editor/agent enough to know they just want the best for me and my book.

I was also mad because I had to erase the last sentence and try re-write it in (these were the days when everything was hand written). In doing this, I had forgotten to put my commas in between God, Indians, and Pilgrims. I didn't see this until after it had already been printed and was so embarrassed. Hopefully nothing like that really happens to me! (Note to self... DON'T USE PLACEHOLDER TEXT!)

(And I'm not even going to discuss my wonderful drawing. Ha!!!)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

AA Week Tuesday: Michelle Zink

The author I chose to highlight today for Author Appreciation Week is Michelle Zink!

Michelle is the author of Prophecy of the Sisters (Little Brown, August 2009) and Guardian of the Gate (Little Brown, August 2010)

I seriously cannot tell you how many times Michelle has talked me off the edge (so to speak). Her never ending encouragement and happy thoughts have changed my outlook as a writer and a person. I look up to her so much. She's one of my biggest role models not only in the YA lit community, but in life. She's sound proof that IT CAN BE DONE. Yes you can hold a job and write a book. Yes you can have kids (and a LIFE!) and be a published author. Yes you can still be WHO YOU ARE and also call yourself a writer at the same time. Michelle is probably one of the most humble, down to earth people that I know.

So... to Michelle: Thank you for all you've done for me personally and for the YA community over the past year or so. I can honestly say that my life is changed and I am a better person for having "met" you. Thank you.

Monday, March 15, 2010

AA Week Monday: Jackson Pearce

The author I chose to highlight today for Author Appreciation Week is Jackson Pearce!

Jackson is the author of As You Wish (Harper Collins, Sept. 2009) and Sisters Red (Little, Brown, June 2010)

I think Jackson was the first author to ever friend me of her own accord (on Goodreads way back in the day, followed by Lisa Mantchev and Michelle Zink). I hadn't been on Goodreads for very long, and was just starting to stretch my legs in the YA community. I was ecstatic. I couldn't believe an author would friend ME! (instead of the other way around.) I had been to a few book signings of various authors, but none seemed to really take time to talk to their fans, so I assumed all authors were like that. I started following Jackson's blog and Youtube channel. She talked about Twitter on both, so I thought I'd give Twitter a try. Being on Twitter opened so many doors for me in the YA community, and I have Jackson to thank for originally getting me involved in it.

I was able to meet Jackson at Twicon last year (Yes, I went to Twicon. Don't judge me). She came to speak on a panel about the road to getting published along with Mary who worked for Harper Collins. It was amazing to be able to meet her. She talks all the time about how awkward she is, but I didn't think she was that awkward. ;) She was sweet and funny (and has the most amazing luminous hair you've ever seen). She answered questions and then did a book signing for As You Wish. I was in the line to purchase my book when she said, "Is Stephanie here? Hey Stephanie... are you still here?" I froze. My immediate thought was that I did something wrong. Ha! I raised my hand meekly and she hands something to me, "Here's my room key, my room number is xx. Will you go and get another box of books for me?" So I go to Jackson's room, find her box of books (which wasn't light, by the way), and bring it back to the panel. I get in the line again and she signs my book, saying,

"Hey Stephanie! You rock so much for fighting You Tube battles and running to hotel rooms. You win at life!!! -Jackson Pearce"

(The You Tube thing is a long story which I won't get into, but is hilarious and awkward and funny.)

We ended up connecting via Twitter later in the day and I met her and Mary for dinner at the crappy, expensive hotel restaurant where we talked a little more in depth about her getting published. I probably asked her some stupid, random questions that I don't even remember anymore and looked like an idiot (I was at freaking Twicon after all). I told her I was working on my first novel-length piece and I remember her giving me encouragement to keep at it.

Jackson has given me so much advice over the past year. I can't thank her enough for the positive influence she's had on me as a writer. It's honestly probably because of her that I started writing again in the first place. So thank you, Jackson. :)

Author Appreciation Week

Fabulous author of Sea Heidi Kling came up with the idea of doing an Author Appreciation Week. Here are the "rules" from her website:

WHEN: March 15-19

WHAT: Write a blog post each day of next week about the authors you appreciate and why!

RULES: There are none. Be creative. If you want to pick five, pick five. Ten favorites? Go for it! Can't choose between your top twenty? Well, then you'll be doing a few a day. And they'll love you for it!

Avatars & Graphics: Feel free to use the one Sara from Novel Novice ( made, there's a few on Twitter, or make your own. Remember to credit the generous, book-loving artists!

What is an "author": Ideally, someone that has sold a novel to an established publishing house. I suppose it could be your cat, if she's purred her way into a contract. For our purposes let's do authors of YA/MG.

I think it's a fabulous idea! I'm a little late in the game since I had to work late last night, but I'm about to go work on my first author post now. :) Will you be participating? What are some of your favorite authors?

Friday, March 12, 2010

Unfinished Books

(Before I get into the meat of this blog post, I have to say that I am currently in The Coffee Shop Across The Street on my Mac. It's our first field trip out together. Connecting to WIFI and such was easy-peasy! I couldn't be more happier with my decision to get a Mac instead of a PC.)

I was thinking yesterday about books that I haven't been able to finish (whether I didn't like them or for other reasons). I could only think of one: Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway. I'm not sure what the deal with this book was/is. I had to read it for 11th grade English (we did mostly reading that year, was my favorite English year), and it was the only book I didn't like/couldn't finish. I don't remember anything about it, to tell you the truth. I asked around on Twitter what books people weren't able to finish and got the following titles:

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead (Which I loved, but admit took me a while to get into.)

Watership Down by Richard Adams (Made me remember I tried to read this in 7th grade and couldn't either.)

The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon (It's #5 in the Outlander series. Heard okay things about this series, but haven't read it yet.)

Eragon by Christopher Paolini (Took me FOR-EV-ER to get into this. Then made me remember I couldn't finish Eldest, the second in the series.)

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld (I own, but haven't tried to read it yet.)

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (Haven't read)

Graceling by Kristin Cashore (I LOVED THIS BOOK!)

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (Had to read in High School, honestly don't remember much.)

So my list has now grown to three books: Farewell to Arms, Watership Down, and Eldest. What books have you not been able to finish? What didn't you like about them? Do you think you could go back and re-read them? I think Watership Down was a little over my head at the time I tried to read it. Not sure about Farewell to Arms or Eldest.

Edited to add:

Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien (Read The Hobbit and loved it. I've tried multiple times to read Fellowship of the Ring.

Vampire Diaries by L.J. Smith (Not sure what I didn't like. I think it just felt too dated for me?)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday- The Replacement

This week's Waiting on Wednesday feature book is...

The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff
Release date: September 16, 2010
Publisher: Razorbill

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Mackie Doyle seems like everyone else in the perfect little town of Gentry, but he is living with a fatal secret - he is a Replacement, left in the crib of a human baby sixteen years ago. Now the creatures under the hill want him back, and Mackie must decide where he really belongs and what he really wants.

A month ago, Mackie might have told them to buzz off. But now, with a budding relationship with tough, wounded, beautiful Tate, Mackie has too much to lose. Will love finally make him worthy of the human world?

Book Trailer:

Brenna's info:

This book looks amazing. I cannot wait to get my grubby hands on it! The cover, in my opinion, is brilliant. One of the best YA covers I've seen in a long time.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Interview with Lisa Mantchev + GIVEAWAY = AWESOMESAUCE

When I first started mingling with some of the YA authors on the interwebs (through Goodreads at first, then Facebook and Twitter), Eyes Like Stars author Lisa Mantchev was one of the first authors that took time out of her day to answer my never ending (and often stupid) questions about the writing/publishing process (and anything else I could think of). I thought it only appropriate that she the first author I interview for my blog! Let's get started:

Me:Where did you grow up? What was your childhood/high school years like?
Lisa: I grew up in Ukiah, California, a small town about two hours north of San Francisco that's famous for the Fetzer and Parducci wineries, pears, and the band AFI. I have very fond memories of my childhood, and in retrospect, high school wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it was!

Me: Favorite book as a child?
Lisa: Ballet Shoes, by Noel Streatfeild (and the entire Shoes series.)

Me: Favorite recently read book?
Lisa: Flora's Dare, by Ysabeau Wilce. It's the sequel to Flora Segunda, and I really love Ysabeau's world and wordplay.

Me: What are some of the previous jobs you've had?
Lisa: In high school, I worked at a country-western clothing store. In college, I worked summers at a mineral springs resort, as a would-you-like-take-a-survey girl at Blockbuster, and I tutored English SAT prep. Then after graduation, I taught English and theater at a bilingual private elementary school.

Me: If writing (and anything to do with theater) weren't a possibility, what profession do you think you would have chosen?
Lisa: I would most likely still be teaching... I really loved being around the kids.

Me: How much research do you do before (or during) you write a book?
Lisa: A LOT. I can lose days in research.

Me: What will you work on (besides edits) now that the third installment of Theater Illuminata is finished?
Lisa: I am actually revising the first in a retrofuturist NeoVictorian series (steampunk!) and I actually have a spin-off idea for the theater books, should readers prove interested in reading more set in that world.

Me: Any pets?
Lisa: Right now, we have three dogs, two outside cats, a lionhead rabbit, and a very silly goldfish.

Me: If you could spend a day with any fictional character, who would it be?
Lisa: Howl, from Diana Wynne Jones's Howl's Moving Castle.

Me: If I were to open your fridge, what would I find in there?
Lisa: The bottom shelf always has lowfat milk, multiple kinds of juice, and chicken and brown rice (for the dog with allergies). Veggies and fruits in the bottom drawers, condiments in the door. Organic brown eggs. Homemade yogurt. And a single leftover slice of chocolate ganache cake leftover from my husband's birthday.

Me: Any particularly embarrassing moments?
Lisa: I don't think I've ever been so mortified as the day I sat in some guacamole at a Cinco de Mayo festival. I was in fourth grade, and the boy I liked pointed out the mark on the back of my shorts!

Me: What's your writing style like? Do you outline extensively?
Lisa: Writing style tends toward the surreal, I think. And I do outline extensively, but I also fly by the seat of my pants, shifting and rewriting the outline as necessary as I write.

You can go to Lisa's website to find out more information about her books, read her FAQ's, and find out bounds of more information.

To thank Lisa for taking time out of her busy schedule for me, I'm giving away an ARC of the second book in the Theater Illuminata series, Perchance to Dream!

Contest Rules:
* Simply leave a comment on this post (WITH YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS!) to be entered! While I'd love for you to follow my blog or follow me on Twitter, I want you to follow me because you think I'm cool, not because I'm having a contest. :)

* Contest ends in two weeks on March 23rd, Midnight CST.

* I will pick a number using a random number generator.

* If you're picked, I will email you giving you the good news. If you do not respond to my email within 48 hours, I will have to pick another winner.

* This contest is international! Anyone can enter.

THE CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED! Thanks to all who entered!

Lisa, thank you again for all you have done (and continue to do) for me. I can't tell you how much you've influenced me over the past year or so. *major hugs* Now get to spreading the word, faithful blog followers! You have TWO WEEKS! :D

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Reading Recap, February 2010

I know I'm a few days late with my Reading Recap for this month, and I never posted a Waiting on Wednesday feature yesterday. You guys just don't know how close to death I have been (well, only figuratively anyway). I've had the COLD OF DEATH for almost a week. Today is the first day since Sunday I haven't had a fever over 100 and I have not seen my lunch for a second time (sorry for that lovely visual picture). Anyway, that being said I apologize for the lack of updates this week. And now to your regularly scheduled Reading Recap for February! :)

1. Incarceron by Catherine Fisher, 454 pages

2. Perchance to Dream by Lisa Mantchev, 384 pages

3. Shadow Hills by Anastasia Hopcus, 400 pages

4. The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum, 240 pages

Totals for February:
4 Books
4 Authors
1,478 pages

Year to Date:
13 Books
13 Authors
3,781 pages

I didn't do as well as I did in January, but I did start that new job and have been working more (i.e.-CRAZY) hours. I think I did pretty well to read a book a week. Hopefully I can pick up the pace in March! Happy reading to all!

I SEA Blue People

My very good friend Heidi has her debut book, Sea coming out in just a few short months. She has a contest on her blog where she is giving away TWO SIGNED ARCS! Check it out! If you remember, I did a Waiting on Wednesday feature on SEA a few weeks ago. Just to jog your memory, here's some info for you:

Haunted by recurring nightmares since her mother's accidental disappearance over the Indian ocean three years before, fifteen year old California girl Sienna "Sea" Jones reluctantly travels with her father's volunteer team to six months post-tsunami Indonesia. During her stay at the orphanage, she meets scarred and soulful Deni who is more like Sea than anyone she has ever met.

She knows they can't be together, so why can't she stay away from him? And what about her old-best-friend-turned-suddenly-hot Spider who may or may not be waiting for her back home? And why is her psychiatrist father so secretive about her mother's plane crash? The farther she gets from home, the closer she comes to the truth. And Sea's real adventure begins.

SEA is a richly woven story as turbulent and beautiful as the sea itself, plunging us headlong into the depths of loss, devastation, compassion, and hope. A touching and romantic debut about the redemptive power of altruism and the heart's capacity for love." Sarah Ockler, author of TWENTY BOY SUMMER

"From the first page of SEA, the reader is plunged into a world of love, loss, and hope. The heat between Sienna and Deni is mirrored in the steamy exotic setting of Indonesia. Once I started reading, I couldn’t put this book down. Sienna is conflicted and compassionate... I truly loved this book and can't wait to recommend it to all the teenagers I know!"
-- L.K. Madigan, William C. Morris Award winning author of FLASH BURNOUT

"From the opening pages of SEA, the hair stood on the back of my neck, as it does whenever I encounter a writer who really knows what she's doing with words. Tragedies and miracles coexist in this entrancing debut novel about the aftermath of a tsunami."
-- Jennifer R. Hubbard, author of THE SECRET YEAR

Sea comes out on June 10th! Be sure to preorder from Amazon or your favorite Indy bookstore.