Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 Wrap Up

I'm doing a wrap up post of my New Years Goals and Reading Challenge of 2012.

My goals got thrown off track this year so this is what I accomplished.

1. Read 17 books in 2012.

2. Open an Etsy Shop.

What I did not finish was finish the first draft of my novel My Heart is Yours. But I forgive myself for this, because of uncontrollable circumstances. But I want to be done by the end of January.

I completed my 2012 Reading Challenge! Woohoo! Technically because I listed my book as "read" GoodReads says I read 18 books. I'm not sure about counting my own. So I read exactly 17 books this year. You can view which ones in the "Reading Challenge" tab. :)

I have ambitious goals for 2013. But I'll tell you about those later. What are your resolutions and/or goals? Let me know in the comments. Happy New Year! Here's to an amazing 2013!

(Off to work on my novel.)

<3 Amanda Leigh

Sunday, December 30, 2012

General Update ~ A Bit About Me and Cystinosis Too

I have to get used to doing general updates. Especially when I have a tendency to dissapear for a month at a time.

It is so strange to talk about myself. But I think some things are important. Let me give you some background. I have a rare chronic condition classified as terminal. I'ts called Nephropathic Cystinosis. It is extremely rare. The type I have is diagnosed during young childhood. There are only about 500 people in the United States diiagnosed with this. I believe about 2,000 world wide. This is the general definition from Wikipedia:

"Cystinosis is a rare genetic disorder[2] that causes an accumulation of the amino acid cystine within cells, forming crystals that can build up and damage the cells. These crystals negatively affect many systems in the body, especially the kidneys and eyes.[1]
The accumulation is caused by abnormal transport of cystine from lysosomes, resulting in a massive intra-lysosomal cystine accumulation in tissues. Via an as yet unknown mechanism, lysosomal cystine appears to amplify and alter apoptosis in such a way that cells die inappropriately, leading to loss of renal epithelial cells. This results in renal Fanconi syndrome,[3] and similar loss in other tissues can account for the short stature, retinopathy, and other features of the disease.
Definitive diagnosis and treatment monitoring are most often performed through measurement of white blood cell cystine level using tandem mass spectrometry."

I know. Some things are still hard to understand. But I wanted to give you something. Anywa, this condition also causes a whole list of secondary conditions. Thant just means conditions caused beacuse of it. I say I'm going to save most of this for my memoir, but I thought it was time to share some of the secrecy.

Due to my condition, I have a very weakened immune system. And whenI get sick, oh boy do I get sick. Total my entire life I've been in patient in the hospital 34 times. I'm 21 and a half. 2012 was not a great year. I was hospitalized 3 times this year. This time may well have been the worst though.

Do you know what electrolytes are? Well they are very important. First what happnened wasI got Pancreatitis. And then my electrolytes dropped. And then my muscles froze up and I couldn't move or talk. And I started halucinating. I came out of it, but then they spent the nest two weeks trying to get my electrolytes right.  One thing effects another and on. It is quite a process. I got out a few days before Christmas though. (For full details see my memoir.)

On to writerly things:

Since I've been home I have written 39 poems about my recent hospital stay. I'm toying with the idea of maing a collection out of all of these. This could be a forth coming project.

Today I finished typing all of these poems I wrote.

I have a renewed resolve to finish my Young Adult Romance My Heart is Yours. I worked on it today.

I was invited to speak at a high school. My first speaking engagement. Eek!

I started a facebook page for my book Thousands of Mornings. http://www.facebook.com/ThousandsOfMornings?ref=hl

I think that's it on writer stuff.

Here's some bookish Christmas stuff:

I got The Complete Collected Poems of Maya Angelou, Robert Frost: Complete Poems, Prose and Plays, a Barnes a& Noble gift card, a journal.

Here's something you may not know about me. I adore cooking. I got some "chef" stuff too"

An egg cooker.

A panini press.

Gourmet spices.

An apron.

If you want to see more about cooking and/or me on my blog let me know? I hope you had a happy holiday and have a happy new year. My next post will be about resolutions.

Thanks for reading.

<3 Amanda Leigh

Friday, December 28, 2012

I - yes I - have A YouTube Channel!

A while ago I started a YouTube channel and I forgot to post about it here! Oops! Well I have started one.. Remember, I'm just a begginer and the last few weeks have been...interesting. Amyway, I thought I should post my videos here too. So I'll give it a try.

Introduction to My Channel:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LeTs9RnDWaY

#FridayReads #1:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LtYpMyIAKMo

Okay, let's give this a go! Subscribe? Name of my channel is AmandaLeighYA. Thanks!

<3 Amanda Leigh

My Top 10 Books of 2012

I did this last year -compiling a list of my favorite books of the year- and had so much fun doing it. So I'm going to do it again. This year I read some more I'm proud to say. I'm not going to include my book because hey, I wrote it lol. Without further adieu, here it is. My top 10 books of 2012.


1. The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games #1) by Suzanne Collins\
2. Mockingjay (The Hunger Games #3) by Suzanne Collins
3. Catching Fire (The Hunger Games #2) by Suzanne Collins
4. Chasing Brooklyn by Lisa Schroeder
5. territories of folding by T.C. Tolbert
No
Picture
Available
6. Poem by Emily Bronte
7. Jane Austen on Love and Romance by Jane Austen, edited by Constance Moore
8. Timelesss (Transcend Time Saga #3) by Michelle Madow
9. Remembrance (Transcend Time Saga #1) by Michelle Madow
10. Vengeance (Transcend Time Saga #2) by Michelle Madow
So, that is my list. In order too, that was hard! But I did it! I completed my reading challenge too! What about you guys? Did you finish your challenges? Did you read any of these? any make your list? Let me know! I'll be updating more soon!!! Happy New Year!! :)
<3 Amanda Leigh

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

And The Winner Is...

 I sent out an e-mail to the winner of my one year blog anniversary contest notifying them that they have won! I didn't do a post because I was exhausted. I was in the hospital for a couple of weeks. That's why it's all late and I've been gone. I will not put the winner's e-mail here, only their name. The winner is Dena Gard! Congratulations!!! Please look for the e-mail I have sent you and respond with the message you'd like your book to say and your mailing address within the next 72 hours. Thank you! Congratulations again!

<3 Amanda Leigh

Monday, December 3, 2012

Revised New Years Resolutions/Goals 2012

I always make an initial list of resolutions and end up revising them to ones I consider most important to me or to what I can realistically accomplish or some combination of both. I posted my original list of resolutions/goals back in January, so here is my revised one.

 
1. Read 17 books in 2012.
2. Finish the first draft of My Heart is Yours.
3. Open at Etsy shop.
 
Here is the list with what I have accomplished crossed off of it.
 
 
1. Read 17 books in 2012.
2. Finish the first draft of My Heart is Yours.
3. Open at Etsy shop.
 
 
So one more to go! Probably the hardest one on the list! Before I know it I'll be making my resolutions/goals for 2013! Which will very likely include editing!! Wish me luck, cheer me on!! :)
 
 
<3 Amanda Leigh


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

ONE YEAR BLOG ANNIVERSARY GIVEAWAY!!

Hi Everyone!!! Today is the one year anniversary of when I started my blog! So in celebration I'm having a giveaway! Here is what it will include.


A personalized signed copy of my book, Thousands of Mornings:


A signed bookmark:

 
 
 
A signed business card:

 
 
So there are the prizes! You have to be a follower of my blog and leave a comment on this blog post. This will be open from today until December 13 th 2012 at 11:59 p.m. I will post who the winner is here on my blog. You'll have 72 hours to e-mail me your name & mailing address (my e-mail can be found under the Contact tab above). Enter by using the Rafflecopter form below.  :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

<3 Amanda Leigh

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Book Review ~ Timeless (Transcend Time Saga #3) by Michelle Madow


Title: Timeless (Transcend Time Saga #3)
Author: Michelle Madow
Release Date: November 20th 2012
Published By: Dreamscape Publishing
Page Amount: 220 pages, paperback

Goodreads Blurb:
IT'S A RACE AGAINST TIME.

In Remembrance, Lizzie and Drew changed the course of fate so they could be together.

In Vengeance, Chelsea set fate back on its original, deadly path.

Now, strange things keep happening to Lizzie. Things that are omens of darkness to come. A curse has doomed her to die an early death, just as she did in her past life. To make things worse, even if she can figure out who cast the curse, it's irreversible. There's only one option left for her to save herself. It's crazier than anything she's heard yet, and to do it, she'll need Drew and Chelsea's help.

Because to make things right, they must go back to when it all began …


Review:
Oh, it is so hard to review things sometimes. I don't want to give anything away, but I want to spill all the details to you like I did to my mom as I was reading Timeless. Every time I took a break from reading I would be filling my mom in on what had happened.

Like I said, it's hard to review this without giving too much away. Lizzie and Drew are together, and it's great to see them together in this book. To see their interactions with each other and how they are as a couple now that everyone knows they are together.

It was also great to see Chelsea and Lizzie interacting after everything that had happened between them. Alistair also makes an appearance in this book and we learn about Drew's Memory Guide.

We know from the description they go back to 1815 England. During the Regency Era. To see the differences between then and the 21st century added to the story. There were also some twists I was not expecting. Things were already interesting but the twists helped to keep them interesting.

The whole story had a magical, fairy tale feel to it while maintaining the realism enough to keep you grounded in the story. I did feel the same feeling I do while reading fairy tales. It was nice to read something reminiscent of a fairy tale romance with time travel thrown in. It had a Disney-esque quality that made it all the more magical!

I enjoyed the conclusion to the Transcend Time Saga very much and I can't wait for more books from Michelle Madow! I give Timeless 4 stars!

<3 Amanda Leigh

Monday, November 12, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?


It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey: http://bookjourney.wordpress.com/

Just Finished:
 
Remembrance (Transcend Time Saga #1) by Michelle Madow

 
Vengeance (Transcend Time Saga #2) by Michelle Madow
 
 
Reading Now:

Timeless (Transcend Time Saga #3) by Michelle Madow
 
 
Up Next:
 
Face the Music by Andrea K. Robbins
 
So what are you reading? Let me know in the comments!
 
<3 Amanda Leigh


Saturday, November 10, 2012

Book Review ~ Vengeance (Transcend Time Saga #2) by Michelle Madow


Title: Vengeance (Transcend Time Saga #2)
Author: Michelle Madow
Release Date: December 6th 2011
Published By: Dreamscape Publishing
Page Amount: 28 pages, ebook

Goodreads Blurb:
How far would you go to get revenge?

When Chelsea Givens discovered that her ex-boyfriend Drew dumped her to be with her former best friend Lizzie, she'd never felt so betrayed in her life. Then her new friend Shannon tells her she can help set things right. Chelsea's willing to listen, but what Shannon wants her to believe -- that she shared a past life with Drew -- is impossible. And what she wants her to do to get him back ... well, it's downright crazy.

Could Shannon be telling the truth? And if she is, what lengths will Chelsea go if it means making Lizzie pay?

Find out in Vengeance, the second part of the Transcend Time Saga.

*Vengeance is a 12,000 word short story.

Review:
Oh! How do I review this without giving away spoilers? I don't know, but I'm going to do my best. So a lot of this review is going to be the emotions I felt while reading.

You get more of a glimpse into Chelsea in this part of the story. I could tell in Remembrance how betrayed she felt and this story made that even more clear. She flet immensly betrayed and really, you can't blame her too mcuh for that can you? She also doesn't know about Lizzie and Drew's past lives.

The possibility of Chelsea having shared a past life with them is brought up in this story (I had a feeling this was the case while reading Remembrance.) I can't reveal to you whether or not she believes it or sees anything from her past life (you'll have to read it yourself to find out.)

Though we do get more insight into Chelsea there were a couple of things she did or thought that just seemed so superficial. And then, what she decides to do at the end of the story I just wanted to scream at her through the pages of the book "No! You don't know the whole story! You don't know what you're doing! STOP! DON'T!"  I wonder, if she knew the whole story, would she still have done it?

A great set up to the final part in the Transcend Time Saga. I hope everything works out for everyone involved. I give Vengeance 4 stars as well!

Now off to read more of Timeless!

<3 Amanda Leigh

Book Review ~ Remembrance (Transcend Time Saga #1) by Michelle Madow


Title: Remembrance (Transcend Time Saga #1)
Author: Michelle Madow
Release Date: July 25th 2011
Published By: Dreamscape Publishing
Page Amount: 162 pages, ebook

Goodreads Blurb:
Lizzie Davenport has been reincarnated from Regency Era, England ... but she doesn't know it yet.

Then Drew Carmichael transfers into Lizzie's high school, and she feels a connection to him, almost like she knows him. She can't stop thinking about him, but whenever she tries talking with him about the mysteries behind her feelings, he makes it clear that he wants nothing to do with her. Reaching him is even more difficult because she has a boyfriend, Jeremy, who has started to become full of himself after being elected co-captain of the varsity soccer team, and her flirtatious best friend Chelsea starts dating Drew soon after his arrival. So why can't she get him out of her mind?

Even though Lizzie knows she should let go of her fascination with Drew, fighting fate isn't going to be easy.


Review:
I think reincarnation is a terrific subject matter. I have always found the idea of past lives fascinating. That is what first drew me to this book.  I don't remember how I came across Michelle Madow or her books. But when I read about Remembrance I had to go download it on my nook. And then when I signed up to review Timeless I finally got around to reading Remembrance and Vengeance.

Remembrance took me longer to read than I would have liked. Every time I picked it up I realized I had other work to do and my responsible side won out. Luckily once I really got a chance to get into the book, I sat there reading and did not want to stop for anything. Even to make dinner (I love cooking, that's why that is saying something.)

I connected to the character of Lizzie because of her love of sketching/drawing and art. As well as the connection she felt to the book Pride and Prejudice. (I haven't read this book but I feel connections to many other books.) That made it easy for me to connect with Lizzie.

Jeremy did some things that I did not like at all and he did get on my nerves at times. I don't think he's a bad person, he was just so full of himself after being elected co-captain that it really got to his head. Chelsea does have that "Mean Girl" exterior to her, but I could tell how much her friendship with Lizzie really meant to her and that there was more to her than just looking pretty and being popular - at least I hope so.

Drew was so mysterious throughout the entire book and we really don't learn a lot about him. He goes back and forth from wanting nothing to do with Lizzie to wanting to be involved in her life. And Lizzie gets even more confused because of this and the flashes of her past life she's having. Not to mention her relationship with Jeremy and that Chelsea is dating Drew.

It really is a very complicated situation and I could feel Lizzie's struggle with the emotions she was going through. It made me confused and angry and sad too. When Drew and Lizzie were together though, you could see and feel a connection. I think the situation was handled well by the writer. This was only the first part of the story so nothing was fully resolved. (The next part of the story, Vengeance, is told from Chelsea's point of view.) 

This was a very good book and I'd say I have to give it 4 stars!

<3 Amanda Leigh

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Book Review ~ Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades #1) by E. L. James


Title: Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades #1)
Author: E. L. James
Release Date: 2011
Published By: Vintage
Page Amount: 385 pages, ebook

Goodreads Blurb:
When literature student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating. The unworldly, innocent Ana is startled to realize she wants this man and, despite his enigmatic reserve, finds she is desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her, too—but on his own terms.

Shocked yet thrilled by Grey’s singular erotic tastes, Ana hesitates. For all the trappings of success—his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving family—Grey is a man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a daring, passionately physical affair, Ana discovers Christian Grey’s secrets and explores her own dark desires.

Erotic, amusing, and deeply moving, the Fifty Shades Trilogy is a tale that will obsess you, possess you, and stay with you forever.

This book is intended for mature audiences.


Review:
Sometimes you can only hear so much hype about a book before you finally give in and pick it up. (Or in my case, download it on my nook.) As was the case with this book. Even my friends who didn't read were reading this book and loving it.

Unfortunately I just wasn't impressed.

I don't understand the hype sorrounding this book. I've read books I have enjoyed much MUCH more than this. I really also don't understand why many women say Christian Grey is their dream man. Sure, he's rich and apparently hot, but those are really the two main "appealing" things I see about him. And I don't think that is enough for someone to be your dream man. There wasn't enough information given about him and his past for me to sympathize with him. At least not for me. Maybe there is more information given in later books, but I think there should have been more in this book. Ana also did not seem to want to be a part of a BDSM relationship. As far as I could tell anwyway. It wasn't the BDSM that bothered me. To each their own. But she didn't seem to want to take part in it. That's what I thought reading it.

I also wasn't very impressed with the writing style. It wasn't that marvelous. And honestly, the parts about her "inner goddess" drove me nuts. I just found it annoying and there was way too much reference to it which just made it even more annoying.

I was not impressed. It wasn't living up to the hype at all for me. I gave this 2 stars.

<3 Amanda Leigh

Book Review ~ The Hunger Games Tribute Guide (The Hunger Games Companions) by Emily Seife


Title: The Hunger Games Tribute Guide (The Hunger Games Companions)
Author: Emily Seife
Release Date: February 7th 2012
Published By: Scholastic Press
Page Amount: 128 pages, paperback

Goodreads Blurb:
The New York Times bestselling Hunger Games is now a major motion picture -- and here is the ultimate guide to the all the tributes in the 74th annual Hunger Games!

Here is the ultimate guide to the twenty-four Tributes participating in Panem's 74th annual Hunger Games. Follow the Tributes' journey from the Reaping to the Games, with a look at all the highlights along the way--the Tribute Parade, the stations of the Training Center, the interviews, and more. Get exclusive information about the Tributes' strengths and weaknesses, their weapons of choice, and their experience in the Capitol before entering the arena.


Review:
I picked this book up on a trip to Barnes and Noble when I went in looking for something else. This was on a table and I picked it up.

There's really nothing in this book that I didn't already know. If you've read the books and watched the movie (or even if you've only seen the movie) you know everything in this book already. There were some quotes throughout that weren't in the movie. Like quotes from Cinna about Katniss and Peeta's costumes for the Tribute Parade. The book is split up into sections and there are pictures throughout it. There is one section that gives details about each of the Tributes. The book stops right up to when the Tributes are about to go into the arena.

What I actually found really disturbing about this book is that it's written as a behind the scenes account of the Hunger Games for the people of Panem. Like something a citizen of Panem would buy to get a behind the scenes look. And that honestly kind of freaked me out. Because it just reinforces the horror of all of this that in that world someone would buy this for entertainment. That is just absolutely terrifying.

I give this book 3 stars.

<3 Amanda Leigh

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Manga Review ~ School Rumble, Volume 1 by Jin Kobayashi, William Flanagan (Translator)


Title: School Rumble, Volume 1
Author: Jin Kobayashi, William Flanagan (Translator)
Release Date: May 16 2003
Published by: Del Rey
Page Amount: 177 pages, paperback

Goodreads Blurb:
SUBTLETY IS FOR WIMPS!

She...is a second-year high school student with a single all-consuming question: Will the boy she likes ever really notice her?

He...is the school's most notorious juvenile delinquent and he's suddenly come to a shocking realization: He's got a huge crush, and now he must tell her how he feels.

Life-changing obsessions, colossal foul-ups, grand schemes, deep-seated anxieties, and raging hormones--School Rumble portrays high school as it really is: over-the-top comedy!


Review:
This was a cute manga. A cute read. It was a nice little something to read inbetween all my other books. Particularly after finishing the entire Hunger Games Trilogy, which is a series with very heavy subject matter. A nice little break is needed after that. At least it was for me.

I used to read manga more often in high school. This one was lent to me by a friend. I enjoyed the ones I read in high school more. In the synopsis it says "School Rumble portrays high school as it really is: over-the -top comedy!" I guess it was just a little too "over-the-top" for me.

I'd say I give this one 2.3 stars.

<3 Amanda Leigh

Monday, October 29, 2012

Book Review ~ Mockingjay (The Hunger Games #3) by Suzanne Collins SPOILER FREE


Title: Mockingjay (The Hunger Games #3)
Author: Suzanne Collins
Release Date: January 1st 2010
Published By: Scholastic
Page Amount: 390 pages, ebook

Goodreads Blurb:
Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she's made it out of the bloody arena alive, she's still not safe. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge. Who do they think should pay for the unrest? Katniss. And what's worse, President Snow has made it clear that no one else is safe either. Not Katniss's family, not her friends, not the people of District 12.

Review:
It seems like a lot of people were dissapointed with this book as a wrap up to the series. I wasn't. I thought it wrapped up the series pretty well. Jessica from the booktube channel Chapter Chicks described Mockingjay as "an experience." And I think that is a great way to describe it. It really is an experience. You go through a roller coaster range of emotions reading this book. It got it's claws in me and wouldn't let go.

It's hard to review this without giving something away.There are big events going on in this book. I cried, I smiled, I gasped, I laughed, I got angry, I got scared. I experienced an entire array of emotions.

This book also had an epilogue that wrapped everything up. I thought it was a good wrap up. It left me satisfied. Although there were some questions that weren't answered that I would have really loved to know the answers to. I also have to say that I absolutely adored the very last line of this book.

Again, I have to give this one 5 stars. This trilogy should absolutely be read.

And don't forget to go check out the Chapter Chicks channel! :) https://www.youtube.com/user/ChapterChicks 

<3 Amanda Leigh

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Book Review ~ Catching Fire (The Hunger Games #2) by Suzanne Collins SPOILER FREE

 

Title: Catching Fire (The Hunger Games #2)
Author: Suzanne Collins
Release Date: January 1st 2009
Published By: Scholastic
Page Amount: 402 pages, ebook

Goodreads Blurb:
Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has won the annual Hunger Games with fellow district tribute Peeta Mellark. But it was a victory won by defiance of the Capitol and their harsh rules. Katniss and Peeta should be happy. After all, they have just won for themselves and their families a life of safety and plenty. But there are rumors of rebellion among the subjects, and Katniss and Peeta, to their horror, are the faces of that rebellion. The Capitol is angry. The Capitol wants revenge.

Review:
Again, this is incredible. An incredible book. 

I think Suzanne Collins is really an incredible writer. I felt all the emotions that Katniss was feeling in this book. Her relationship with Peeta develops in this book. Also, President Snow has much more of a presence in this installment in the series. He is really a terrifying character if you think about it. I think he is the most villainous villain I've read about since reading about Lord Voldemort in the Harry Potter series. 

The districts are starting to rebel. (Don't worry, this isn't a spoiler. It says this right in the description of the book.) This is exciting, terrifying and dangerous. One scene in particular stands out in my mind - but I can't tell you here, that would be a spoiler. 

There was also an event in the book that I NEVER saw coming! It was one of the things that made me gasp aloud reading it. And I actually felt gripped by terror when I did. Another event I didn't see coming left me absolutely furious as well as terrified! And the book ends on a major cliff hanger.

I thought this book was terrific. I give it 5 stars. 

<3 Amanda Leigh

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Book Review ~ The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games #1) by Suzanne Collins SPOILER FREE


Title: The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games #1)
Author: Suzanne Collins
Released: January 1st 2008
Published By: Scholastic
Page Amount: 267 pages, ebook

Goodreads Blurb:
In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before-and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.
Review:
Honestly, how do I begin to review this book? What can I say that hasn't already been said? I don't know, so I'm just going to go into it. I LOVE this book! It was absolutely incredible. I had been avoiding reading it for a long time. Mainly because of all the hype sorrounding it. Then I finally gave in and read it. And then I understood all the hype.

The concept of this book is amazing and yes, disturbing. Some people came for the romance/love triangle in it. That was a part of it for me. Because I like seeing people's interactions with each other. However, I didn't realize how much social commentary is really in this book. It's definitely evident throughout it. That's probably what I found the most interesting. And I do have to say, if we keep going in the direction we are, I could absolutely see us at this point in 100 years.

This book really was incredible. I got so much more out of it than I expected to. I loved it. I gave it 5 stars.

<3 Amanda Leigh

Friday, September 14, 2012

Cover Reveal!! ~ Fireblood by Trisha Wolfe

I  am so excited today to be a part of the cover reveal for Fireblood (Fireblood #1) by Trisha Wolfe!!

 
 
 
Fireblood
By: Trisha Wolfe
Release Date: 10/8/13 Synopsis:
To save a kingdom, Zara must choose between a prince who could be the answer and a rising rebellion that threatens to take control.

When Zara Dane is chosen to marry Prince Sebastian Hart, son of the man who ordered her father's capture, Zara knows she must fight to save everything she loves from ruin.

Being betrothed to the prince means a life trapped behind the towering stone walls of the Camelot-forged realm. Under the watchful eye of the prince's first knight, Sir Devlan Capra, changing her future becomes difficult.

When an unlikely rebel reveals the truth about the deadly secrets that fuel King Hart's twisted world, Zara's path to rescue her father becomes clouded by deception. The Rebels clear her path by forcing Zara's hand with an ultimatum: sway Prince Sebastian to join the Rebels, convincing him of his father's evil nature, or they will take him out.

But Zara is uncertain about a future under the Rebels' command and where the prince's heart truly lies. She must decide who to trust, what to believe, and what she's truly fighting for before the king destroys all of Karm, including her heart .
Add To Your Goodreads To Read Shelf: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15841140-fireblood

About the Author:
Trisha Wolfe is the author of the YA Steampunk/Paranormal Romance DESTINY'S FIRE (Omnific Publishing) and the upcoming YA Sci-Fi Utopian FIREBLOOD from Spencer Hill Press, November 2013. Her published short stories have appeared in YA literary journals, Fantasy magazines, and anthologies. She has written four books in the past two years, and is currently working on a new YA Sci-Fi project.



Trisha Wolfe is the creator of YA Bound, a promotional blog for the Young Adult genre. Also a proud member of YALITCHAT.ORG, SCWW, and The Apocalypsies.
And she is also a business owner, partnered with her partner, her husband. When she's not busy doing all of the above, she is a wife and the mother of a gorgeous teen boy who's the sounding board for her male characters.

Trisha Wolfe's Website: http://www.trishawolfe.com/

Isn't that cover amazing? It's gorgeous! I can't wait for this book to release! Are all of you excited?? Congratulations Trisha!!!! :)

<3 Amanda Leigh

Friday, September 7, 2012

How I Plan to Review the Hunger Games Trilogy

I've caught up on my book reviews of all the books I've read this year. Except three. The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins. The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay.

I finished reviewing the other books I read this year and thought "How am I possibly even going to begin to review The Hunger Games Trilogy?" To be frank, it is quite a daunting task. They really are incredible books. I loved them. And sometimes it's hard to review something you're absolutely in love with without sounding like a fangirl. I'll do my best not to that and actually give coherent reasons why I love these books, I promise. Then of course is the problem of spoilers. It's also hard to review these books without spoilers.

So I decided to do two reviews for each book. Two for The Hunger Games. Two for Catching Fire. Two for Mockingjay. One will be spoiler free and one will be spoiler full. ;) I decided that's the best way to go about this. I'll try to post these reviews soon. :)

<3 Amanda Leigh

Monday, September 3, 2012

It's Monday! What are you reading?



It's Monday! What are you reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila of Book Journey at: http://bookjourney.wordpress.com/
 
 
Just Finished:
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Zenda 3: The Crystal Planet by John Amodeo, Ken Petti and Cassandra Westwood
 
 
Reading Now:
Torment (Fallen Series #2) by Lauren Kate

 
 
So what are you guys reading? Let me know in the comments! :)
 
<3 Amanda Leigh

Friday, August 31, 2012

Liebster Blog Award ~ Again! Kind of...haha just read the post...

A while ago I was tagged for the Liebster Blog Award. I tagged 10 people, including a good friend of mine, Fatuma. She has a few blogs but the one I tagged is: http://lifeisfunnyexceptwhenitsnot.blogspot.com/ 

And, since we're all rebels, she tagged me back! So this time I'm just going to answer the questions she asked. There are some fun ones in there! I like these questions!

1.What is your favorite fruit? 
Hmm, good question. Strawberries are great. But I really like pears and kiwi. Especially kiwi.
 2.Why do you blog? 

I blog for a couple of  reasons. I want to be a full time author and I heard that having an internet presence is really important for that. So that's the main reason. I also just really love it. It's fun.
 3. Do you like Asian dramas (esp. Korean)? *crosses fingers* lol 

I don't know if I like them, since I've never seen any. Any recommendations? lol
 4. What do you feel passionate about? 

A lot of stuff. Life. Writing, reading, art, photography, cooking, family, friends, nature, rare disease awareness, domestic abuse awareness, raising money for Cystinosis research and cancer research and  diabetes research and several other things, Psychology, environmental rights, animal rights. The list probably goes on...
 5. What are your career goals? Current or future. 

I want to be an author. And possibly write for a magazine, or work on a literary magazine. I do know I want to be a full time author though.
 6. If you had a dollar, what would you buy?
I don't know, what can you buy for a dollar these days? A lottery ticket maybe? Oh, or a chocolate bar, I like chocolate.

7. If you could write a book, what would it be about? 
Actually, I have a book out lol. It's a collection of poetry and photography.There's a link to it on the sidebar thing. But I am working on a novel right now. A young adult romance set in the 1960s that spans six years of the main character's life. From when she (Sam) is 16 to when Sam is 22.
 8. What's your favorite color? Why? 

My favorite is blue. All different shades of blue. However I do also really like teal ad turquoise. I like these blues because blue can show such a range of emotions. Blues can be happy, sad, mysterious. They are all beautiful and I love the color blue.
 9. What's your favorite movie or types of movies? 

I really like The Outsiders, and the Harry Potter movies, and the Godfather and Swing Kids and The Hunger Games. Mostly I like dramas.
 10. What's your favorite fictional character?

That's a very difficult question. Are we talking just from books? Or TV shows and movies too? Since I don't know, I'm going to answer with a book character. I think it would have to come down to Johnny Cade and Dallas Winston from The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton. Yes, I know that's two but I couldn't choose. If you want to know about TV and movie characters just let me know, cause I could go on about that too...lol.

<3 Amanda Leigh

Book Review ~ territories of folding by T. C. Tolbert

 

Title: territories of folding
Author: T. C. Tolbert
Released: March 2011
Published by: Kore Press
Page Amount: 33 pages, double-bind chapbook

Goodreads Blurb:
TC Tolbert's debut book of poetry uncovers the landscape of life ever in motion. In language flickering with love, loss, and liminality, and with adamantine accuracy, this work bridges many seemingly distant land masses: female and male, girl and boy, music and silence, body and space. Territories embodies the poet's transition “from woman to something less visibly female” and reveals the cyclic journeys of construction, deconstruction, and reconstruction of the person contextualized by an outward societal framework. “Having lived through the funnel both ways,” TC Tolbert acknowledges and bravely challenges traditional schemes of hegemony with a conscious commitment to the unique multiplicity of the self, who is at once (and always) transitory and timeless.

Review:
T.C. Tolbert came to Pace to read from territories of folding for a Vox event. You all remember me talking about Vox, right? Besides publishing a literary and arts magazine twice a year, we also host several events. Some of these events are always readings, and thanks to our faculty advisor Dr.Poe, we were lucky enough to have T.C. come to Pace to read from territories of folding. There were copies for sale at the reading. As soon as the reading was over I knew I had to buy one. T.C. signed it to me too!

 

I took this picture with my webcam so I'm not sure how good the resolution is. It says: "Dear Amanda, Thank you for coming & for being such a kick ass poetry advocate! Take good care of you, :) TC"

The poetry in this chapbook is really wonderful. T.C. has such a special ability with words. Words are put together in such a way that a word you'd once never thought twice about, suddenly seems magical. And when these words are put together the poetry and sentiment that comes out is equally as amazing.

Something unique about this chapbook is that it is a double-bind chapbook. First it opens to the left and then halfway through it opens to the right. It gives the chapbook a special feel. White space is also utilized throughout the chapbook very well.

I really enjoyed this chapbook and look forward to more work from T.C. Tolbert. I gave this one 5 stars and if you are a fan of poetry I highly advise you add it to your collection.

<3 Amanda Leigh

Book Review ~ Chasing Brooklyn by Lisa Schroeder

 

Title: Chasing Brooklyn
Author: Lisa Schroeder 
Released: January 5th 2010
Published by: Simon Pulse
Page Amount: 412 pages, hardcover

Goodreads Blurb:

Restless souls and empty hearts.

Brooklyn can't sleep. Her boyfriend, Lucca, died only a year ago, and now her friend Gabe has just died of an overdose. Every time she closes her eyes, Gabe's ghost is there waiting for her. She has no idea what he wants or why it isn't Lucca visiting her dreams.

Nico can't stop. He's always running, trying to escape the pain of losing his brother, Lucca. But when Lucca's ghost begins leaving messages, telling Nico to help Brooklyn, emotions come crashing to the surface.

As the nightmares escalate and the messages become relentless, Nico reaches out to Brooklyn. But neither of them can admit that they're being haunted. Until they learn to let each other in, not one soul will be able to rest.

Review:
I am definitely becoming a Lisa Schroeder fan. I read I Heart You, You Haunt Me during my freshmen year of college and loved it. Both of these books are written in verse. Being a big fan of poetry, I really love this form. I would love to take a crack at writing a book in verse one day.
 
Brooklyn writes letters to Lucca and they are included throughout this book. The letters are also numbered. I like that the actual letters were included in the book. Nico and Broklyn begin training for a triathalon together and this helps to take Brooklyn's mind off of things. But the nightmares still come and Gabe still visits. Nico and Brooklyn grow closer when they are spending time training for the triatholon.
 
 I really like both Brooklyn and Nico and the relationship that develops between them. It seems like something that could really happen. That their relationship could really develop like this. It wasn't far fetched. The writing was very good and very emotional. Even though this is heavy subject matter, the ending left me with a feeling of hope. I really enjoyed this book and am planning to get the rest of Lisa Schroeder's books very soon. I give this 4 stars.
 
<3 Amanda Leigh

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Book Review ~ Zenda 3: The Crystal Planet by John Amodeo, Ken Petti and Cassandra Westwood

 

Title: Zenda 3: The Crystal Planet
Author: John Amodeo, Ken Petti, and Cassandra Westwood
Released: May 11th 2004
Published by: Grosset & Dunlap
Page Amount: 144 pages, paperback

Goodreads Blurb:
When Zenda visits her cousins on the planet Crystallin, she is dazzled by this sparkling world of jewels. It's amazing to spend time on a world so unlike her own. The brilliant jems and dazzling people around her almost make Zenda forget about her own special gift for working with plants. But Zenda's talents are called upon when a shocking event helps her remember that all that glitters is not gold.

Review:
This is part of a middle grade series of novels. I'm not sure if it's supposed to be set in the future or not but it is definitely fantasy. It's a very cute read. Involving a lot of magic. There is also a lot of emphasis on plants, which I like, because I really like nature. 

This is definitely a book where there is meant to be a lesson learned by the end of it. Really, I can see several lessons in here. I like Zenda. She makes mistakes like anybody does, and even though this is set in a fantasy world they are mistakes a pre-teen in this same world would make. There are also some of Zenda's journal entries throughout here and I like that those are included. 

If I read this in middle school I know I would have really liked it. Now, as an adult, it is a cute, quick read and I enjoyed it. I gave it 3 stars. 

<3 Amanda Leigh

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Book Review ~ Jane Austen on Love and Romance by Jane Austen, edited by Constance Moore

 

Title: Jane Austen on Love and Romance
Author: Jane Austen, edited by Constance Moore
Released: February 1st 2012
Published by: Skyhorse Publishing
Page Amount: 128 pages, hardcover

Barnes and Noble Blurb:
Jane Austen left an indelible mark on the world of literature. Her novels set a benchmark for her era and have entranced readers ever since. In Jane Austen on Love and Romance, Constance Moore proves how well Austen understood the human heart and why her work, filled with genuine emotion and wit, has continued to touch romantics. So, if you want to live happily ever after with a dashing man who owns half of Derbyshire, then arm yourself with this Austen-tatious guide to flirting, courtship, and true love.

Review:
I have to admit, I've only read one Jane Austen book, Lady Susan. I really enjoyed it and have been wanting to read more of her novels for a while. When I saw this in Barnes and Noble I picked it up right away. It has quotes from all of Jane Austen's novels and even from some of the letters she wrote to people. There were some of the iconic quotes in there: "To be fond of dancing was a certain step toward falling in love." (Pride and Prejudice)  and “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” (Pride and Prejudice)

I enjoyed this book a lot and it made me really want to read Jane Austen's work, even more than I did before. I'm particularly eager to read Sense and Sensibility. Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book:

"I think you are in a very grave danger of making him as much in love with you as ever." Elizabeth Bennet, Pride and Prejudice

"There could have been no two hearts so open, no tastes so similar, no feelings so in unison." Persuasion

"My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you/" Fitzwilliam Darcy, Pride and Prejudice

"You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. . .I have loved none but you." Captain Frederick Wentworth, Persuasion

"She began now to comprehend that he was exactly the man, who, in disposition and talents, would most suit her." Pride and Prejudice

"A lady's imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony in a moment." Fitzwilliam Darcy, Pride and Prejudice

"[She] was one of those, who, having, once begun, would always be in love." Emma

"The more I know of the world, the more I am convinced that I shall never see a man whom I can really love. I require so much!" Marianne Dashwood, Sense and Sensibility

I give this one 4 stars.

<3 Amanda Leigh