Here are the Rules (which I am totally breaking):
Answers to questions:
Happy Saturday Bloggers! I’m very excited to share a few new ventures I will be undertaking with all of my lovely followers!
First of all, I will be doing my very first Author Spotlight next month on February 22nd featuring Christina Mobley, author of Elementris- book one of The Vangeretta Curse Series. The spotlight will feature information about Mobley and a review of Elementris, along with a synapsis of her soon-to-be-released second entitled Exposure. I’m thrilled to be working with Christina and hope this is the first of many author spotlights to come.
My second piece of news is that I will be adding a children’s page to my blog. As a mother of two youngsters, I’m a huge advocate of children’s literacy and would love to share my ideas and discoveries on ways you can get kids excited about reading. I’ll also highlight some of our favorite children’s books. I hope to get this page up-and-running sometime in the next month.
And finally, I’m pleased to announce that I’m launching my own proofreading business! As an author of several short stories, I know how difficult it can be to find someone qualified to review a manuscript. As an avid reader, I am truly surprised at the number of mistakes I come across in books these days- and I’m not just talking about self-published books here- big name publishers are putting out product that is full of mistakes! I know I’m not the only reader who finds these errors a little off-putting, but I also know that editing and proofreading services aren’t cheap. Many proofreaders out there charge an arm and leg to provide this service, but since I am just starting up, I have made my rates very affordable. My services entail an in-depth proofread with mark-up and a report of findings. At this time I won’t be offering developmental editing services but I hope to in the future.
Here is my website if you would like more information about my proofreading services and want to view my credentials: http://sary26.wix.com/smarshallproofreader#
I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend, happy reading! Sara
Seeing the preview for the move Safe Haven was enough to send me on a detour from my Sci-fi/Dystopian reading marathon. I absolutely adore Julianne Hough and cannot wait for the movie to come out next month. I have to admit that while I’m a big fan of movies such as The Notebook and A Walk to Remember, I’ve never read a Nicholas Sparks novel. Before reading Safe Haven, I sort of expected the typical formulaic plot and cheesy romance that is standard of some prolific writers. It seems that when authors are churning out one work after another, the uniqueness and quality of work diminishes. However, I don’t believe that is the case with Mr. Sparks- this book was absolutely lovely.
Katie arrives in the coastal town of Southport scared, hungry, and traumatized; her only possessions are the clothes on her back. She’s able to get a job waitressing and rents a broken down cottage in the woods where she hopes to start over. It is through Katie’s retelling of memories that we learn the truth about what happened between her and her abusive husband, Kevin. It’s understandable that because of her past, Katie must guard her identity and her heart no matter what. Avoiding eye contact and keeping a low profile are just some of the defense mechanisms she uses to keep going. A new life and the promise of new love unexpectedly find Katie when she befriends the young daughter of Alex, a widower who runs the local grocery store. The loss of his beloved wife to illness has left Alex the single father of two young children. He runs the small convenience store just down the road from Katie’s cottage and immediately takes note of her guarded, broken demeanor. Having been a military investigator, Alex is familiar and able to recognize the signs of abuse. Though he’s attracted to Katie, he gives her the space she needs and slowly gains her trust. She can see that he’s a loving, kind human being by the way he interacts with his children and his customers. As their relationship blossoms and Katie lets down her guard, we, along with Alex, find that she is not only beautiful on the outside but on the inside as well. She’s funny, kind-hearted, and intelligent in all the ways that matter. I felt like I could relate to Katie as a woman and a human being. When we're hurt by someone we love, our first instinct is to pull walls around our hearts. Learning to trust again is no easy task. Katie becomes a shining example of human perseverance and strength.
A really interesting character to keep your eye on is Jo, Katie’s neighbor and newfound friend. Jo and Katie’s interactions tread a thin line between friendship and bothersome/nosy neighbor. Jo’s role in the story goes from minimal to front-and-center, so be ready to be stunned! That’s all I’m saying about that.
A tender, heart-string-pulling romance evolves as Katie and Alex come to terms with their heartaches. The threat of Katie’s ex-husband finding her looms over her head and makes for an intense story. You will definitely be on the edge of your seat as the plot unfolds. For that reason I am giving this book 9 out of 10 on the Page-turner scale.
As stated previously, the film based on this book is due out February 14. I can’t wait to see it, and I will definitely be picking up more novels by Mr. Sparks!
I’d love to know what everyone thinks of the casts chosen for these films. Also, does it bother you when your favorite books become movie adaptations? (Movie release information and photographs were compiled from IMDB.com)
Publisher: HarperCollins January 3, 2012
Fantasy is one of my favorite genres, especially those geared towards young adults. I chose this book on my Kindle because it kept popping up as a recommendation, so I thought I'd give it a shot. I was not disappointed.
Under the Never Sky takes place in a futuristic world much different than any others I've ever read about. Mankind's existence is under constant threat from electrical storms. To stand a fighting chance, a group of people have built a city called Reverie made up of tunnels that protect them from the elements. To cope with never seeing the light of day, the tunnels have virtual realms in which people can live out their fantasies. They can also explore different time periods and places, virtually speaking. Due to their limited exposure to the elements (and life in general), their life expectancies have greatly expanded.
Our main character, Aria, comes from this technologically advanced world. She has the voice of and angel, genetically engineered by her mother of course. Nothing is left to chance She wears a Smarteye which allows her to take part in virtual existence, as well as communicate with others and organize herself. Think of having your computer or laptop screen appear on your eye and all you would have to do is simply think of something, and it would obey your command! How cool would that be? The Science Fiction nerd in me really appreciated Rossi's invented world.
I also enjoyed reading about the world outside of Aria's: a world full of primitive and savage people, where nature and mankind were in constant battle. If the lightening doesn't kill you, the cannibals or bloodthirsty wolves likely will. This is the only world that Perry, the male protagonist, has ever known. Perry is in fact dreamy. He's gifted and strong, sexy and irresistible.
I loved the dynamic between Aria and Perry when their journey begins. Perry is annoyed by Aria's haughtiness and sense of superiority. Having lived in "the real world" his whole life, he cannot relate to Aria on any level. As their stories begin to unfold, the pair find out they have more in common than they realized. The plot became more and more interesting as Rossi introduced new revelations and mysteries to the story.
After reading this book, I immediately pre-ordered Through the Ever Night, which comes out January 8th. I can hardly wait to find out what happens next! I give this book 8 out of 10 on the page-turner scale. It started a little slow (it takes time to set up imaginary worlds!) but picked up and was an absolutely delicious read.
Fans of Young Adult Fiction have a lot to look forward to reading this upcoming year. I've compiled a list of some of my favorite series I'm following and the release dates for upcoming installments. Hope you enjoy, and Merry Christmas to all!
Through the Ever Night
Release Date: January 8, 2013 (Got mine pre-ordered!)
Unravel Me (Shatter Me trilogy)
Release Date: February 5, 2013
Requiem (Delirium Series)
Release Date: March 5, 2013
Clockwork Princess (Infernal Devices Series)
Release Date: March 19, 2013
Untitled Book #3 (Divergent Series)
Release Date: September 26, 2013
These are just to name a few! The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin (Mara Dyer Series) is also due out sometime this next year.