Monday, December 30, 2013

Best Book of the Year Awards ~ Best Paranormal Book!


Title: The Vampire Diaries: The Hunters: Vol. 1: Phantom
Creator: L. J. Smith
Release Date: October 25th 2011
Published By: HarperTeen
Page Amount: 416 pages, hardcover

I love this series, as I have said many times. And mostly because of my love for one of the characters. (I know that L. J. Smith didn't write these, but I just have to read them to finish the series and if she writes her own ending to the series I will read that too). I absolutely love Damon Salvatore. He is one of my favorite characters of all time. From the first time that I read about him in the first Vampire Diaries' books to now, I love him. He has many different dimensions to him. And he does bad and good things; I just find him such an intriguing character. Then there is his love for Elena, which is so easy to see, and he even develops to care for the rest of her friends and to care for his brother, again. So, really, I guess that my love of this series comes down to my love for Damon Salvatore. Personally, I give this one 5 stars! (Although I am likely biased because of Damon). 

Amazon Buy Link: http://www.amazon.com/Vampire-Diaries-Hunters-Phantom/dp/B00A3ZRP32/ref=sr_1_16?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1388511407&sr=1-16&keywords=the+vampire+diaries

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/hunters-gregory-marshall-smith/1104885401?ean=9780062017697 

L. J. Smith's Website: http://ljanesmith.net/ 

<3 Amanda Leigh

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Best Book of the Year Awards ~ Best Adult Book!


Title: Neverwhere
Author: Neil Gaiman
Release Date: March 17th 2009 (first published 1996)
Published By: HarperCollins e-books
Page Amount: 275 pages, e-book

I read more adult books this year than I usually do. (I'm reading The Help right now and if I were done these two books would be duking it out for this award).  They were all good, there wasn't one that I didn't like, this one just made the top of my list. However, I can't say too much without spoiling it for you. It is a fantasy novel. The concept was unlike anything that I have ever read before. But it was so well executed that while reading I found myself completely immersed in the world and believing what was happening. I think that this also had a lot to do with the characters. They were wonderfully done. Richard Mayhew, Door, the Marquis de Carabas, Hunter. They all had their own distinctive personalities that made them so real. You would get to know the character and think to yourself "Oh, that is something that they would do." and I think that it is wonderful when that happens; when you know the characters this well. I couldn't find one thing wrong with this book. I gave it 5 stars! You can see my full review here: http://girlwithapenandadream.blogspot.com/2013/07/book-review-neverwhere-by-neil-gaiman.html

Amazon Buy Link:  http://www.amazon.com/Neverwhere-A-Novel-Neil-Gaiman/dp/0060557818/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1388245543&sr=8-1&keywords=neverwhere

Barnes and Noble Buy Link: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/neverwhere-neil-gaiman/1100109136?ean=9780380789016

Neil Gaiman's Website: http://neilgaiman.com/

<3 Amanda Leigh

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Best Book of the Year Awards ~ Best Middle Grade Book!

 

Title: Love That Dog
Author: Sharon Creech
Release Date: 2001
Published By: HarperCollins
Page Amount: 106 pages, Paperback

This was a hard decision. It was between this and a non-fiction middle grade book that I read this year about Balto. But I just had to pick this one. I've actually read this book before; it was my favorite book in 7th grade. I saw it at Barnes and Noble and couldn't resist picking it up. I read it the next day. I love the format of this book. It's told in verse. The class is doing a unit on poetry and the book is written as little poems to the main character's teacher. It is just an absolutely charming story and it does have a few sad moments. There is also a very exciting moment at the end. I think that it is great that this book introduces younger readers to poetry. In the back of this book there is a section that has some of the poems that Miss Stretchberry mentions throughout the book. So, for all of these reasons, I think that this a wonderful middle grade book. I gave this 5 stars and you can see my full review here: http://girlwithapenandadream.blogspot.com/2013/09/book-review-love-that-dog-by-sharon.html

Amazon Paperback Buy Link: http://www.amazon.com/Love-That-Dog-Sharon-Creech/dp/0064409597/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1388244173&sr=1-1&keywords=love+that+dog

Barnes and Noble Paperback Buy Link: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/love-that-dog-sharon-creech/1100185957?ean=9780064409599

Sharon Creech's Website: http://sharoncreech.com/

<3 Amanda Leigh

Friday, December 27, 2013

Best Book of the Year Awards ~ Best Romance Book!

I discovered a new blog, These Pretty Words (http://theseprettywords.com/) and over on their blog they were doing Best of 2013 Awards. I thought that this was a great idea and decided to do my own awards. I've come up with four awards and today's is: Best Romance of the Year!


 

Title: Taste the Heat (Love and Games #1)
Author: Rachel Harris
Release Date: July 8th, 2013
Published By: Entangled Bliss
Page Amount: 191 pages, e-book

I have been a fan of Rachel Harris for a while now and this is the first book by her that I have read. I don't read many books that are exclusively romance books. Usually, they aren't my favorite type of books but I found myself thoroughly enjoying this read. It didn't read like "formula-romance" to me and I found myself connecting with the characters. The fact that food was largely involved probably had something to do with that (I love to cook and one of the main characters is a chef). I also found the male protagonist to be a wonderful character. And seeing him as a father figure made him all the more wonderful. This romance also had a lot of heart which I thoroughly enjoyed. something else that I enjoyed was that there were real issues in this book. The characters weren't perfect but they were perfect for each other and you find yourself routing for them. I would highly recommend this to any romance fans and anyone who wants to give the romance genre a try! I gave this 4 stars and you can see my full review here: http://girlwithapenandadream.blogspot.com/2013/09/book-review-taste-heat-by-rachel-harris.html

Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Taste-Heat-Games-Novel-Entangled-ebook/dp/B00DFFMYZ6/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1388168294&sr=1-1&keywords=taste+the+heat

Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/taste-the-heat-rachel-harris/1116060985?ean=9781622660940&itm=1&usri=taste+the+heat

Rachel's Harris' Website: http://www.rachelharriswrites.com/ 

<3 Amanda Leigh

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Book Review ~ For the Famished by Daniel Klawitter

 

Title: For the Famished
Author: Daniel Klawitter
Release Date: November 8th 2013
Published By: CreateSpace
Page Amount: 50 pages, paperback

GoodReads Blurb:
This collection promises to nourish those readers hungry for a contemporary poetry that avoids postmodern obfuscation in favor of intelligent accessibility, charm, wit, and lyrical sympathy. 

For The Famished is Daniel's third poetry chapbook and also includes an insightful review of his first book by John W. May and an interview the author did with Robert King of the Colorado Poets Center.

Review: 
I received this book from the author in return for an honest review. 

I very much enjoyed this collection of poetry. I read this cover to cover in one night; in one sitting. I found that Daniel Klawitter's poems were very approachable yet retained a lyrical quality to the writing. I was impressed by the author's use of rhyme. Klawitter really has some amazing ways of rhyming words. And what I mean by this is, what he rhymes a word with is not what you would expect; it is not the obvious choice at all. It is not even the second, third or fourth most obvious choice. They are rather obscure rhymes but rhymes that work beautifully. I have much respect for a poet who can pull something like that off. Also, Klawitter uses slant rhyme and internal rhyme in his poems to wonderful effect. It makes the poems have a smooth quality that someone who is not aware of things such as slant and internal rhyme will not realize why this is. (And the only reason I do is that I studied poetry in several college classes). Another technique that was used often was alliteration. This helped to give the poems a lyrical quality to them. Klawitter also successfully uses form to his advantage. 

When it comes to the variety of poetry in this collection, these poems run the gamut. There are serious poems and ones that are much lighter. It is a good balance of each in this collection with poems that are in between these. I read in a review - in the back of this book - that described some of Klawitter's poems as "heavy light verse". Discussing heavy subjects in light verse. I think that this technique can be used to much success. Klawitter does all of these very well in this collection. I would recommend this to any fan of poetry. As well as to anyone who has been wanting to get into poetry and is looking for where to start. A definite 4 stars! 

<3 Amanda Leigh

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Sharing One of My Poems With You

First of all, Merry Christmas Eve! 

Now, I've never shared one of my poems with you on this blog and I wanted to do that. Later I'll be sharing a poem from Thousands of Mornings and later from Holiday Hospital Stay Poetry Collection 2012. But today, I'm going to share with you a rough draft of a poem that I just recently wrote. Within the last few days. I've never shared a rough draft of anything that I've written on my blog. The one that I'll be sharing today is an acrostic poem using the first letters of my name. Including: Amanda Leigh and my confirmation name: Teresa.  I've highlighted the first letter of each line in pink so that you can see them forming my name. Here it goes:

Amanda Leigh Teresa

Author of two poetry collections

making her dreams come true, giving

all she can

never giving up

daring to keep going

amanda will never stop.


Loving with

everything she's got

in a world where so many have

given up on love of all kinds

her efforts to make the world a little better will not stop.


To some, writing may not seem

enough to do this, but if she can

remind people to love and live

every day, then

slowly, people will remember 

and pass on the message.


<3 Amanda Leigh

Monday, December 23, 2013

Two Giveaways Going On!

Hey everyone! Just wanted to let you know that there are two giveaways going on! 

There is one over on my Facebook page. The requirement to be able to enter is that you "like" my page. You enter by leaving a comment on the post starting with the words "I have an INTERNATIONAL giveaway..." There are two prize packs available. Each prize pack has: a signed bookmark, a signed postcard and a blank postcard. Full details on the post on my Facebook page. It is the third or fourth post down. https://www.facebook.com/AuthorAmandaLeigh 

There is also a giveaway going on on GoodReads for my second poetry collection, Holiday Hospital Stay Poetry Collection 2012. There are five copies available. The giveaway is open to the United States, Great Britain, Canada and Australia. Here is the link: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/72636 

Thank you so much to anybody who enters any of these and to anybody who "likes" my Facebook page, follows me on Twitter, has bought one of my books et cetera! 

<3 Amanda Leigh

Sunday, December 22, 2013

I Am in Awe of Evangeline Lilly's Writing

I am a HUGE fan of the television show LOST. I was on Facebook the other day and Facebook suggested that I like Evangeline Lilly's page (she played Kate Austin on LOST). Of course, I clicked on her website link. When I saw a page called "Musings" I had to check it out and see if it was a blog. It was. The first post that I come upon is a post about the book The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls (by the way, I most definitely want this book now). I was excited enough that this post conveyed that she loved to read but this post was also beautifully written. When describing the book she says "...every paragraph seemed to know itself better, and sing a little prettier, than the last."  How beautiful is that? It also sums up how I feel about my so many of my favorite books.

After reading this, I looked to the categories. Evangeline Lilly's blog is split into five categories: Watching, Reading, Doing, Feeling, Writing. WRITING? I immediately clicked on that. She likes writing too?! Well, she is certainly good at it. And here, I found out that she debuted her first book at Comic Con! She had a book signing at Comic Con! (By the way, is that one of the coolest places you've heard of to have a book signing?) It turns out that she had always wanted to be an author. I did some research and found out that she had published a children's book called The Squirckerwonkers. Further research told me that this was based on something that Evangeline Lilly wrote when she was fourteen that her mom had been encouraging her to try and publish it ever since.


Then I saw that on her website there was a link to The Squickerwonkers website. Of course, I had to see what this was all about. The first I checked to see if the book was available. Sadly, it is not right now. It's sold out. the copies she sold at Comic Con were limited edition, early copies. So instead, I clicked on the preview. (Also, I must mention that the art in this book is exquisite). I was intrigued by what I read and I believe in the foreword it was praised (I can't remember who by) as "magical". I just knew that I had to have this book. I went ahead and signed up for the Squircker Club and Squircker News. I'm eagerly awaiting when this book will be available.


Evangeline Lilly has some of her writing posted on her blog, though so I read that to tide me over. One of these posts was entitled "The Meadow - Chapter 1". It was again, beautiful. I hope that she chooses to pursue publishing an adult book in the future. I would love to read that as well. 


Evangeline Lilly's blog: http://evangelinelilly.com/musings/


The Squirckerwonkers website: http://evangelinelilly.com/thesquickerwonkers/

Friday, December 20, 2013

Cover Reveal ~ Othello by C. E. Wilson

 

Othello (Shakespeare for Everyone Else, #2)
by C.E. Wilson
Release Date: 2013

Summary from Goodreads:
Shakespeare’s work features some of the most memorable stories and characters ever created, yet for too many curious readers the combination of ultra-dense dialogue and unfamiliar historical settings make tackling the Bard’s work something between a tedious chore and a confusing mess of bird-bolts and quondam carpet-mongers.

While it’s nearly impossible to replicate or improve on these works, it is (thanks to their timeless nature) possible to make them more accessible to a wider audience.

In this Young Adult retelling of one of William Shakespeare’s most memorable plays, join C.E. Wilson as she breathes new life into Othello, the second book in her series Shakespeare for Everyone Else.



About the Author
C.E. Wilson is currently living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with her husband and her two dogs and two cats. They are all the loves of her life. When she’s not writing young adult fantasy novels, she enjoys writing short stories on her Deviant Art page. She loves to write stories involving giants and little people (also known as GT) and nothing helps her to write more than Coca-Cola and glazed doughnut holes.


Author Links:

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Cover Reveal ~ Twelve Steps by Veronica Bartles

 

Twelve Steps
by Veronica Bartles
Release Date: 03/25/14

Book Summary:
Sixteen-year-old Andi is tired of being a second-class sibling to perfect sister Laina. There in Laina's shadow, Andi's only noticeable feature is her pretty awesome hair. And even that is eclipsed by Laina's perfect everything else.

When Andi’s crush asks her to fix him up with Laina, Andi decides enough is enough and devises a twelve-step program to wrangle the spotlight away from Laina. After all, great hair must count for something.

Step 1: Admit she’s powerless to change her perfect sister, and accept that her life really, really sucks. OK, maybe that's two steps in one.

Step 4: Make a list of her good qualities besides great hair. There have got to be at least three good qualities, right?

Step 7: Demand attention for more than just her shortcomings, and break out of her shell. Easier said that done, but worth the effort in the long-run. 


When a stolen kiss from her crush ends in disaster, Andi finds that her prince isn’t as charming as she'd hoped, and realizes she may need a new program--perhaps with less steps!

As cracks in Laina’s flawless façade begin to show, the sisters work together to find a spotlight big enough for both to shine.


About the Author
As the second of eight children and the mother of four, Veronica Bartles is no stranger to the ups and downs of sibling relationships. (She was sandwiched between the gorgeous-and-insanely-popular older sister and the too-adorable-for-words younger sister.) She uses this insight to write stories about siblings who mostly love each other, even while they’re driving one another crazy.   When she isn’t writing or getting lost in the pages of her newest favorite book, Veronica enjoys knitting fabulous bags and jewelry out of recycled plastic bags and old VHS tapes, sky diving (though she hasn’t actually tried that yet), and inventing the world’s most delectable cookie recipes.

TWELVE STEPS is Veronica Bartles's first novel.

Author Links:

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Cover Reveal ~ Unrequited by Emily Shaffer

 

UNREQUITED 
by Emily Shaffer
Release Date: 2014
NA (17+)
PARANORMAL ROMANCE

Book Summary:
UNREQUITED is Interview With the Vampire meets Meet Joe Black.

In the town of Belle Ridge there are doctors, lawyers and teachers... but there is only one vampire. Will Leighton has become an expert in making a life for himself amongst the unsuspecting small-town inhabitants, as the high school history teacher. He has spent hundreds of years crafting an identity and routine that make him feel almost human, but he is always missing that important final element, love.

Ashton Wallace is beautiful, smart, and angry. She was forced into an eternal existence, and now her family has moved her away from everything and everyone she knows. In Belle Ridge she is supposed to finish high school and start her life again, but how do you make plans for the next several centuries?

Will has never met another of his kind, and is immediately intrigued by Ashton. He longs to show her that the perceived vampire lifestyle, so popular in storybooks, is far from reality...but will she let him be a friend and guide in this new existence? Can Ashton accept Will into her life, or will she be led astray by a dark stranger with whom she shares an unknown connection?


About the Author:
Whether writing stories to entertain her younger siblings, or typing up an essay for a class, Emily Shaffer has been a writer for as long as she can remember.  Her stories may have changed from talking cartoon frogs to angsty young adults, but her goal to write a compelling story remains the same.  When not writing, she lives in Nashville and enjoys all the music, food, and excitement that city has to offer.  Her first novel, the well-received chick-lit title That Time of the Month was self-published on Amazon in 2012.  Her latest novel, as the others before, are fueled by diet soda and pie.

Author Links:

Cover Reveal Organized by:
 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Foodies Read 2014 Challenge!


I usually don't participate in anything but my own reading challenge that I set for myself (setting a number of books that I want to read for the year) but I found a couple of simple ones that sound really fun. Here is my post for one of them! 

The Foodies Read 2014 Challenge! Read books centered arounf food and/or drinks! I've shosen my level and I am going to be a:

Short-Order Cook: 1 - 3 books

I think that I even two that I will be reading! Lunch in Paris: A Love Story with Recipes by Elizabeth Band and Relish: My Life in the Kitchen by Lucy Knisley. They both look very good. This should be fun! Join up if you want! http://foodiesread2014.blogspot.com/2013/11/welcome-to-2014-edition-of-foodies-read.html

<3 Amanda Leigh


Friday, December 13, 2013

Book Blitz ~ Finding Joy by Jenni Moen - Upper Young Adult/ New Adult

 

 

Finding Joy
by Jenni Moen
Release Date: 12/13/13

Book Summary from Goodreads:
Love is patient. 

It can happen when you least expect it, where you least expect it, with whom you least expect it.

Love is kind.

But love may not grow out of kindness. It can happen with the person who hates you most because love knows no bounds. 

And it keeps no record of wrongs.

Love doesn’t hold a grudge.
Love forgives.
Love forgets.

But when the healing of your heart 
breaks the hearts of the ones you love …
it may seem impossible to

Find joy.


Buy Links:

Links to Remembering Joy:

Buy Links:


Advanced Praise:
"It was AMAZING! Loved it as much as the first book. These books are a MUST read! No clichés here." - Nereyda at Mostly YA Obsessed

 “An absolutely amazing sequel to Remembering Joy! Jenni Moen is one of the most gifted authors I’ve had the privilege to read.  This series is a favorite.” –Andrea at The Bookish Babe

“Absolutely fantastic.  This series is a must-read.” –Autumn at The Autumn Review

"5 stars! Just Wow! I really loved how this story came together!" - Gwen - Rebel Book Diva with Rebel Book Chicks

"Great conclusion to a beautiful love story." - Vanessa at Rebel Book Chicks

“A wonderful sequel to Remembering Joy. I loved how everything came together. It was perfect." - Ana (ARC Winner)

 

About the Author:
Jenni Moen lives in Oklahoma with her husband and three crazy, exuberant kids that have the potential to burn the house down at any moment. 
When she’s not chauffeuring kids around town, performing her mom duties as a short order cook and maid, or vacuuming for her fastidious husband, she hammers away at her keyboard at her big girl job as a patent attorney. While vodka and exercise have provided some relief from the daily grind, it is reading … and now writing … that are her true escapes.

Author Links:

***GIVEAWAY***
1 – Print book set of Remembering Joy and Finding Joy (US only)
3 – eBook sets of Remembering Joy and Finding Joy (INT)
a Rafflecopter giveaway 

Book Blitz Organized by: 
 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

WOW!

Yes, the title of this blog post is deceivingly simple. But the content will not be so simple. At least, to me it does not seem simple. Not at all. Now, it's a good thing. Don't get nervous.

I have wanted to be an author since I was eight years old. I've known for a while that this would be what I would be doing. Writing is such a great love of mine. It has been since even before I could write. I would make up stories and either tell them to my mom who would write them down (I would then proceed to draw the pictures) or I would act these stories out with my dolls. When I learned to write by myself I steadily kept a notebook. Now, this did have to do with school. We had to keep Writer's Notebooks. All throughout elementary school. Once I got to third grade I wrote in this notebook more than was required. (Which I am pretty sure thrilled my teacher. Also, I will talk about this teacher in another post because she certainly has a part in my journey of becoming an author). When I got to sixth grade, I got my first "real" diary and started to keep a steady journal that was not assigned for school purposes. I have been keeping a steady journal ever since and now twenty-four to show for it. And I wrote stories and poems all throughout middle school, high school and college. 

So, writing and story-telling have always been big parts of my life. When I was fourteen I wrote in a paper that I wanted to have a book published by the time that I was twenty. Well, that was much closer than I thought. But I did have a book published a month after I turned twenty-one. Thousands of Mornings, a colkection of original poetry and photography. I believe that this meant I had achieved my goal. I was only a month off. I think it's so incredible an wonderful that I did it. I did it.

And now, I have my second poetry collection out. Holiday Hospital Stay Poetry Collection 2012. I've put a giveaway up of this book on GoodReads. There are five copies available. Fifty-six people have entered the giveaway! Fifty-six! Fifty-six people actually took time to enter a giveaway for my book. That is so phenomenal to me. Truly amazing. Remarkable. I don't have enough adjectives. AND the book is now on the To-Read List of thirty people. Again, remarkable. People are actually interested in what I have to say. I feel that, this is one of the things that you strive for most as a writer. And it is just remarkable to me that this is all happening. It is truly a dream come true.

Thank you for reading and I hope that you all have a wonderful day and that you never forget your wonderful dreams! 



<3 Amanda Leigh

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

And the Winners Are...

Hello all! The two giveaways that I had up since November 27th are now closed. The hosts of At The Cool Table, Jenn and Ryan, (http://www.atthecooltable.com/) have notified their giveaway winner from the giveaway that they hosted. But, so we can congratulate them too, the winner of their giveaway is Myra W. Congratulations and enjoy! I'm reading Fast and it is great! So now, it's my turn to announce the winners from my giveaway! :)

Yes, winners. There were three things that I was giving away so there are three winners. I'll discuss the specifics of the prizes with the winners personally. So, without further adieu, the winners are...

1) Jennifer W.

2) Erik

3) Ciara B.

Congratulations winners! I will be contacting all winners by e-mail today. Winners will have 72 hours to respond. Congratulations again everyone! I hope that you enjoy the prizes! 

<3 Amanda Leigh 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Sharing a Video: YA Ink: Approaching Writing a Novel

Just thought that I'd quickly share this video from Mandi Lynn, author of Essence. I think it really shows how many different ways there are of starting a novel or story. Also, I will be having an interview with Mandi Lynn on this blog sometime this month, so keep an eye out for that!

YA Ink: Approaching Writing a Novel  

Mandi Lynn's website: http://mandilynn.com/

<3 Amanda Leigh

Monday, December 9, 2013

Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott ~ Bonus Scene Reveal!

Hello everyone! I am posting this much later than every other VMafia member has but I knew that I had to share it on my blog. It is a bonus scene from Victoria Scott's new novel (coming in 2014) Fire & Flood! You will not find this scene in the actual book! So enjoy it! :) 





FIRE & FLOOD Bonus Scene
Harper Shaw, Minor Character

The Brimstone Bleed started four hours ago, give or take. I’ve traveled as far as necessary for now, put adequate distance between myself and the other Contenders. There will be plenty who travel without stopping, without making a plan.

Idiots.

Like the others, I don’t know anything about this race, only that I need the prize—the Cure—more than I need my own beating heart. I can still remember my mother’s words as I left our home.

“I don’t know where you think you’re going, Harper,” she said. “But you can’t just leave us like this. Not now.”

But I did leave. It’s not like I could tell her about the invitation. Or explain what would happen next. Because the truth was, I didn’t know. Two days ago, I was lounging on my bed, listening to Linkin Park and watching MTV on mute. Today, I’m here, in a jungle, fighting to save the most important person in my life.

A caw rips through the late afternoon, and the dense canopy overhead rustles. I breathe in the smell of rich, damp soil that is almost invigorating. The air is thick and damp and clings to my skin, and everywhere I look is a plant I’ve never seen before. The world is a canvas of purple vines and orange flowers and greenery that swallows the ground beneath my feet. It’s both horrific and captivating at once.

Every few seconds, I stop to swipe insects off my skin. It doesn’t bother me. I’m not the squeamish type. The only thing I’m worried about is the egg in my Brimstone Bleed issued bag. A Pandora, the device said. An animal that will help me win this competition. My heart roars in my chest when the bag against my hip stirs once again.

Now that we’re alone, I drop to my knees and remove the egg. When I see a prominent crack down the side, my entire body buzzes with anticipation. I’ve never had a pet before. Not a dog, not a cat…not even a goldfish. And now I’m supposed to travel with an animal that could potentially save my life and Lillian’s? It’s hard to absorb.

The egg cracks again, and I freeze. My hands hover over the iridescent shell, unsure of what to do. But this Pandora doesn’t need my help. It’s eager to escape its prison, eager to fulfill its destiny. I admire its tenacity already, but my stomach churns wondering what my Pandora will be like. Will it be ruthless? Endearing? Will it make it so that I don’t feel utterly alone?
The egg burst open and I fall back, a gasp escaping my throat. I glance around to ensure we are alone. And when I look back, my hands shaking, my eyes widening, I see it—


A feather. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Short Story Review ~ Cat Calls by Cynthia Leitich Smith

 

Title: Cat Calls
Author: Cynthia Leitich Smith
Release Date: December 23th 2010 (first published December 22nd 2010)
Published By: Candlewick 
Page Amount: 16 pages, NookBook 

GoodReads Blurb:
Tiffany's grandmother sees something wild in her future -- but is 16-year-old Tiffany prepared for the powerful shape it will take? When she takes over her grandmother’s fortune telling booth for a day, some really strange things happen… CAT CALLS is a short story by New York Times Bestseller Cynthia Leitich Smith -- set in the same dark universe as her novels Tantalize, Eternal, and Blessed.

Review: 
I am a big fan of Cynthia Leitich Smith. The first book of hers that I read was Tantalize and I remember being completely enthralled with it. But that is a review for another day. 

I enjoyed Cat Calls. I enjoyed Cynthia Leitich Smith's writing style. I always have. And I found that Tiffany was very fun to read about. She had a somewhat snarky personality that came across well on the page. And watching her interact with other people was really fun. 

I liked the grandmother character as well. She had a very mysterious air about her from the get-go. Like she knew something about Tiffany that Tiffany didn't. And, yes, she certainly did. 

Now I won't tell you what that something is. You'll have to read the short story to find that out. (Did I mention that it's a FREE short story?) But I will say that it threw me when Tiffany found out what this "something" was. She was just too accepting of it. I feel that one would have questioned it more. So that did bring the rating down some for me. But it was a very enjoyable short story and I'm glad that I read it. 3.5 stars! 

<3 Amanda Leigh

Friday, November 29, 2013

BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!!!! And Thanksgiving Post!!

I posted this on my other blog, http://lifeofachronicbibliophile.blogspot.com/, but I couldn't help posting this here as well. ;)

First of all, I want to wish you all a Happy Belated Thanksgiving! I hope that it was wonderful and you enjoyed it with people that you love! For so many of us, there is so much to be thankful for. Sure, I have Cystinosis and have to take upwards of 90 pills and about 800 ml of liquid medication a day. Plus all of the prepping meds et cetera that comes with it. But when I was born doctors told my parents that I wouldn't make it to sixteen. And here I am now, twenty-two.  So I'm thankful for that. Also for friends and family that understand as much as they can what I go through. As much as I dislike doctors sometimes, them too. At least those who have treated me for years and those who listen to what we have to say. My sweet little kitten, Sawyer. I'm thankful that I got my bachelor's degree. I am so thankful that I'm doing something that I love. I've wanted to be an author since I was eight. And my dream is coming true. Sure, it's a lot of work. And hey, sometimes I'll complain just a bit about all the other stuff that comes with it besides the writing, but I love it. Every minute of it. I really do. And now. to get the big announcement (that's why I have saved this for last) I'm thankful for my wonderful Matt. Who, just last weekend. proposed to me! :) In front a fair amount of people, I may add. Of course, I said yes. :) What a surprise. ;) So there's mu big announcement! We're engaged!! :D Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Hanukkah!!!


<3 Amanda Leigh

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Second Giveaway of the Day ~ Two Year Blog Anniversary Giveaway! ~ NOW CLOSED ~

Can you all believe that I have successfully kept up this blog for two years? I personally can not believe that I have managed to keep up a steady blog for this long! I think that is a great accomplishment! And I'll say it again, I can't believe that it has benn two years! So, to celebrate, I am giving away things to YOU! Yes, another giveaway! This one is continental US only though. I'm sorry, guys. (To see an international giveaway in a few days, make sure to like my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorAmandaLeigh Just a little something for reaching 100 likes. :)


GIVEAWAY!