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Monthly Wrap Up and Giveaway: May 2014

MAY-WRAP-UP

On the Blog

A lot of good stuff happened on the blog this month! My book club discussed Vicious by Victoria Schwab, which was a hit with two of us, a disappointment to one, and the fourth member of the gang hasn’t finished it yet. I shared my thoughts on The Secrets of Lily Graves, which was great, Stolen, which I also really enjoyed because ELENA, and The Corner of Bitter and Sweet. Mutant City was a let down, though. Why can’t I have an epic book about people with superpowers? Oh, wait, I do. Another let down was Don’t Call Me Baby, but The Art of Lainey and The Secret Diamond Sisters were good!

Tatum talked about a whole bunch of stuff this month, included the mermaid novel which wasn’t the hit she was hoping for: Deep Blue. She also ranted about Heart of Darkness, made me want to read Cane River RIGHT. NOW., and shared her thoughts on Cuckoo Song and The Geography of You and Me.

I shared my thoughts on the horrific/terrible/mess of an adaptation that was the Vampire Academy movie. Trust me, it was terrible. I also shared some things that surprised me when I visited the USA, and I started a new feature: Famous Last Words! On my Youtube channel I introduced a new feature called Genre Fix, which I’m thinking about bringing over to the blog. What do you think?

Me in May

Again, I have no life. I spent a lot of May either with a cold or with an eye infection, which are not fun. We had a couple of bank holidays so that meant I had a couple of long weekends! It was sunny in England for a few days, which was lovely. And, probably the most exciting of all, I joined the gym! My current plan is to go at least four days each week, and I want to tone my stomach before I go to Germany in July. I took a couple of days off due to the bloody eye infection (which meant I couldn’t go swimming) but I’m on track now and I can’t wait to do more! My gym offers some great group classes such as pilates, studio cycling, and body conditioning, so I hope to try all of those out at some point since they are free with my membership!

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Monthly Wrap Up and Giveaway: April 2014

APRIL-WRAP-UP

on the blog

If you are following me on Twitter or, I guess, checking my blog every day, you’ll have noticed that my host (I think, they weren’t very clear) deleted my blog for a couple of days. So that was the big thing that happened over here last month, and it nearly caused me to have a panic attack. Other than that, the usual reviews have been going up. Tatum adored A Breath of Frost, which makes me happy because this was an unsolicited review copy, but was a little disappointed by We Were Liars. She was NOT a fan of A Tale of Two Cities, which saddens me because I thought Dickens was a god. She also read Killer Instinct, which was a really bloody offensive book. She loved Rebecca though, along with The Museum of Extraordinary Things.

As for me, I reviewed Far From You which I absolutely adored and I will continue to push this book until the end of time. Nil was a little bit disappointing, because I didn’t feel it took proper advantage of the setting. Split Second wasn’t as good as Pivot Point, but it was still pretty awesome. I reviewed A Girl of Fire and Thorns, which was a fantastic read and I can’t wait to finish off this trilogy. Great was a fairly good read, especially as a Gatsby fan.

I took part in Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon, and read a lot of books. I’m proud of myself! I also posted my April/March book haul, which included a lot of books. I should probably go on a ban. Ha. For our book club we discussed (read: ranted about) Dare Me. It was not a good book. Don’t listen to Tatum when she tells you that it is.

And to wrap all that up, I launched a new feature: BOOKS IN MOTION. I’d been wanting to post movie reviews on the blog for a long time, and I especially wanted to post about book adaptations. The Divergent movie provided me with the perfect opportunity to do just that! I’m really excited about this feature, and to discuss various movies with you all!

me in april

As far as ~real life~ goes, I didn’t really do much! I’ve been going to work during the week, and relaxing over the weekends. Oh, I did have a fabulous Easter and ate twenty billion eggs (approx.), and I still want more. I returned to Booktube, which was both exciting and scary, but I got the most amazing response from my friends and viewers, so I’m thrilled to continue making bookish videos. I’m also in the middle of Skyrim, and trying not to buy any other video games until I’m at least 75% of the way through the main story. But I keep getting distracted by everything else and going off to do side quests and discover new places! Other than that, I’m mostly in awe over the fact that it’s already May, and my baby brother is going to be 13 this month. Agh!

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Giveaway: Altered or Erased by Jennifer Rush

In order to celebrate Erased finally being released, I’m hosting a giveaway! Woo! Cheers! Applause! Altered was one of my favourite reads last year, and Erased was just as good. There’s a lot more Nick, which is enough to make anybody excited. 
You can enter to win either a paperback copy of Altered or a hardback of Erased. There will be one winner. Giveaway is international, and will run for two weeks. All terms and conditions and other fancy things can be found in the Rafflecopter widget. Good luck everyone, and happy release day!

Blog Tour: Override Guest Post and Giveaway

Today Heather Anastasiu, author of Override, is on my blog to talk about the hot topic love interests. What makes a good love interest? How did Heather work these requirements into her books? Find out below! And be sure to check out the giveaway, along with the other stops for this tour!

What Makes the Best Love Interest?

The love interest and love story is always going to be at the heart of any book that I write. When I come up with an idea for a book (or series), the first question I ask is what’s the love story going to be like and what obstacles am I going to throw in their path. For example, that big thing that happens at the end of Override was one of the first parts of the story I figured out when I was coming up with the idea for the trilogy three years ago!

I think of love interests as interlocking puzzle pieces – each character has needs (whether consciously known or not), that the lover fills. So I’ll make their characters very different, but so that they compliment each other.

For example, in Glitch, Zoe is trying to figure out what it means to feel emotion, and Adrien is a super passionate person. She’s so attracted to his passion because it’s everything she’s wanted since she started glitching. For Adrien, Zoe fills up all kinds of needs—being in the Resistance had worn down his spirit, that is, until he began seeing visions of Zoe. Seeing her as a leader gives him hope again when he needed it most, and then when he gets to know her, he realizes that he personally needs her too. He’s been alone for years, first with his mom, then in the Rez. But here finally is a girl he respects, who is a glitcher like him, and who awakens parts of himself he’d let go dormant. The passion for ideas and beauty and truth that Zoe is so attracted to only comes bubbling up to the surface because she is there to draw it out.

Through knowing each other, each is able to become their best selves. In Override, they meet different needs as each of them grows. This is something I’ve found true in my own life and marriage as well. My husband and I each have strengths that can counter and compliment the other’s needs. We are certainly not the same kids who met and got married at nineteen, but as we’ve both changed, we’ve managed to move together so that those interlocking puzzle pieces don’t come apart even in difficult times.

I think the best and most believable love stories follow this basic guideline. Think of Jack and Rose in Titanic. She’s longing for escape and for something that feels real and honest, and for Jack, she’s this beautiful rare thing that’s exploded into his wandering life. He sees a kindred spirit in her even though the confines of her society have tried to smother that spark.

And I guess that’s really the other necessary ingredient—spark. Chemistry. For whatever reason, even if it seems incomprehensible to others, two people have to click. Exploring that spark, that click, for me is one of the most fun parts of being a writer.


About Heather

Heather Anastasiu is the author of the young adult sci-fi novel, GLITCH (St. Martin’s Press/Spring 2012). She recently moved to Minneapolis with her family, and when she’s not busy getting lost exploring the new city, she spends most days writing at a café.

Links:


Override by Heather Anastasiu
Glitch #2
Release Date: February 12, 2013
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Buy: Amazon US | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository | Amazon UK

My review is going up on Thursday. It was amazing!

Zoe is free. She has escaped the enslavement of the Community, disconnected from the hardware that had controlled her every thought and emotion, and evaded capture by the Chancellor intent on killing her. She is finally free, but she is far from safe. 

Zoe and Adrien hide themselves from detection at the Foundation, an academy that trains teen glitchers to fight in the Resistance movement. Together, Zoe and her new team of superhuman fighters must risk their lives to rescue other glitchers and humans from the Chancellor’s control. Challenges abound at every turn, and Adrien, who has become silent, distant, and tormented by his visions of the future, only adds to the growing certainty of defeat. But worst of all, as Zoe’s team fights against impossible odds, distrust and betrayal leads to the terrible discovery that their greatest threat could already be lurking behind the safe walls of the Foundation. 

 Full of high-adrenaline action and shocking twists, Heather Anastasiu’s Override is an exciting continuation of this popular young adult trilogy.

Tour Schedule

Week One
Feb. 4th – Burning Impossibly Bright – Guest Post
Feb. 5th – Shortie Says – Interview
Feb. 7th – WinterHaven Books – Character POV – Adrien
Feb. 8th – The Girl in a Cafe – Interview

Week Two
Feb. 11th – Paranormal Reads – Review
Feb. 12th – Books of Amber – Guest Post
Feb. 13th – Paulette’s Papers – Review
Feb. 14th – The Book Belles – Guest Post
Feb. 15th – IB Book Blogging – Interview


Giveaway

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Have you read Glitch? What did you think? I loved it when I read it last year, and Override is also excellent! Loved it. I can’t wait to share my full thoughts on it later on this week.