Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Spread the Flower Love Blog Tour!

Today we have Amy Brecount White, author of the very sweet book, Forget-Her-Nots (review of which will be coming soon but I will say I loved it!). Enjoy and don't forget to comment!

Not-So-Romantic Flashbacks

Thanks for the flashback moments, Harmony! This was really fun, and I can exactly feel what I felt then. Weird, huh? I think teens have a hyper-awareness of the world around them, so you always remember your teen years vividly.

Authors have a similar hyper-awareness of the world and the desire to explore it. Most YA and MG authors, I think, could give you blow-by-blow accounts of the highlights and lowlights of their teen years. Here are a few of my most memorable romantic failures:

Biggest Romantic Blooper:

My very first kiss. I still feel bad thinking about this, because he was very earnest. He was a really good friend, and we decided to try the going out thing. We kissed – pleasant but no sparks – and then he called me “Darling.” I started laughing and couldn’t stop. Darling? Really? But I wish I hadn’t laughed. Not that much. He was pretty crushed.

Biggest Turnabout (aka Sadie Hawkins) FAIL:

So senior year, I finally got the guts to ask this guy to the turnabout dance, when the girls asked the guys. He was a total surfer dude, with blonde locks over his eyes and deep, dark brown eyes. I had admired him from afar for years. So I asked and he said yes, and we started moving baby steps closer. Until he decided to go see his dad in California and surf instead of going to the Turnabout Dance in a streamer- festooned gym in Dayton, Ohio, with me.
But all my girlfriends were going, so I asked another guy … and another … and another … and another. Fifth one said yes. (Almost everyone had a date already, so maybe I should have stopped at #4.) The dance was okay at best, but I was with my friends. Here’s the kicker. We left the after-party, and he took me home. If we kissed, I don’t remember.
Then, the jerk went back to the after-party without me!!! Grrrrr. I don’t think I ever spoke to him again.

Biggest Déjà vu Moment:

I dated “Tom’s” -- guys named Tom, I mean. My two serious high school boyfriends were both named Tom. Then I dated two more in college. Weird, huh? But I didn’t marry a Tom.

Biggest Dreamy Twilight Zone:

I’ve been out of high school for a long time, but I still dream I’m there at least once a month. Or friends from high school I haven’t seen in ages show up in my dreams. And sometimes I still dream about the first guy I truly loved.
Yup, his name was Tom.

Biggest Dorky Dancer Move:

It was our senior prom for college, and we were all decked out. I got a little too into the music and dancing and accidentally whomped my date on the nose. Instant bloody nose. It took, like, ten minutes for the blood to stop, and his shirt was a mess. But he still married me.

Thanks so much for having me, Harmony!
As part of the blog tour, I had to choose a flower to give to my readers. I chose to give you guys a yellow tulip. One of the meanings of a yellow tulip is friendship. I know I count a lot of you reading this as my friends and for those I don't talk to much, I would love to become friends with. YAY for the amazing groups of friends that reviewing has created. :)
(To learn more about what to do with this flower, please check out this post on Amy's blog.)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

WILLOW out in Paperback!

Willow by Julia Hoban, which you might remember as my 2nd favorite book of 2009, releases today in paperback. For those who haven't heard about it, here's the summary:

Seven months ago, on a rainy March night, sixteen-year- old Willow's parents drank too much wine and asked her to drive them home. They never made it—Willow lost control of the car and her parents died in the accident. Now she has left behind her old home, friends, and school, and blocks the pain by secretly cutting herself. But when Willow meets Guy, a boy as sensitive and complicated as she is, she begins an intense, life-changing relationship that turns her world upside down.

Told in an arresting, fresh voice, Willow is an unforgettable novel about one girl's struggle to cope with tragedy, and one boy's refusal to give up on her.

You can get the book from Barnes and Nobles, Borders, and Amazon for 8.99 and from Book Depository for 7.99, as well as other places. If you haven't read it yet, I highlyhighly recommend you do. It's a book you'll never forget. If you have read it, you know how amazing it is so please consider either buying yourself a copy if you don't have one or buy one for a friend. Remember, books make great gifts.

If anyone does buy a copy and emails me the receipt (harmonybookreviews[at]yahoo[dot]com), I'll send you a swag bag full of awesome goodies!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Blogging Hiatus

Hey everyone,

I've decided to take a blogging hiatus. I don't know how long it will be...maybe a week, maybe two, maybe a month. I'm not sure. Blogging has become something I almost dread doing and I haven't been reading much which isn't how it's supposed to be. I'm hoping that if I don't feel like I *have* to read a certain book, I'll start being able to enjoy it as much as I used to. Plus, I really want to take a little time to focus on my writing and school right now.

Authors/publicists that have sent me books - Don't worry, the books you've sent me will get reviewed. If I have something scheduled with you, it will get posted.

I'll still be around, running the 1 ARC Tours and PAYA and answering emails and whatnot, I just won't be posting as much.


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore

Magic Under Glass
Author: Jaclyn Dolamore
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Rating: 9.5/10
Summary:Nimira is a foreign music-hall girl forced to dance for mere pennies. When wealthy sorcerer Hollin Parry hires her to sing with a piano-playing automaton, Nimira believes it is the start of a new and better life. In Parry's world, however, buried secrets are beginning to stir. Unsettling below-stairs rumors swirl about ghosts, a madwoman roaming the halls, and Parry's involvement with a league of sorcerers who torture fairies for sport. Then Nimira discovers the spirit of a fairy gentleman named Erris is trapped inside the clockwork automaton, waiting for someone to break his curse. The two fall into a love that seems hopeless, and breaking the curse becomes a race against time, as not just their love, but the fate of the entire magical world may be in peril.

My Thoughts: Magic Under Glass is an absolutely amazing book. The first few chapters, while vital to the story, are not that exciting but once the story picks up speed, it never stops.
I'll admit to having my doubts about the romance because I didn't think it was possibly to show affection and romance between a human girl and glass. But Dolamore pulled it off in such a way that felt so real. I could feel the pain and worry and affection between the two of them, to the point it nearly brought me to tears a few times. The fact that Erris was simply an automaton didn't take anything away from the romance - it simply added to it.

The world that Dolamore created is absolutely beautiful. I was completely swept into the story until the very last page was turned and then I just wanted to start all over.

Overall, I highlyhighly recommend this. I think I'm going to be breaking my no-hardcover rule to go buy this one!

Cover Comments: Despite all the controversy, I absolutely LOVE the cover. It's gorgeous. I never really picked up on the fact that Nim was extremely dark-skinned because I skim those parts so I never had a problem with it until it was pointed out to me.
FTC: Copy provided by publisher.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Guestblog: Claire from Dream Life by Lauren Mechling

Today I have a special guest blog by the main character in Dream Life by Lauren Mechling. I haven't had a chance to read Dream Life yet but I read the first one and it was amazing. Enjoy!


Greetings and salutations, book lovers! I’m Claire Voyante, the main character of Dream Life, Lauren Mechling’s rip-roaring detective novel (and no, it is not immodest to say that about a book you didn’t write but in which you star—I checked in one of my grandmother Kiki’s etiquette books).

Dream Life is all about what happened after I found out my best friend Becca had just joined a super-exclusive, centuries-old secret society called the Blue Moons. I figured out how to wiggle my way into the club, and, of course, much drama ensued. I warmly invite you to check Dream Life out—it’s available at select bookstores or an Internet site near you.

When Dream Girl, the first book in the series, came out, my creator Lauren fielded questions from bloggers and journalists. Lauren is currently underground working on a secret project so I offered to step in and relief pitch. I’m taking a page from Ann Landers's book and writing an advice column. The questions came from fans of the series. The answers came from the heart.

(Warning: I don't have a degree in psychotherapy--use at your own risk!)

Dear Claire,

I know you’re supposed to like nice guys – and I do in theory— but I always end up going for the ones who are super hard to read, the modern-day James Dean bad boy types who don’t call when they say they will. I’ll just obsess over them and sometime I even confront them and ask them if they’re mad at me. They usually look at me like I’m crazy and never talk to me again.

I think this might be a problem. Is it?


Tassie Who Never Goes For The Super Friendly Type

Los Angeles


Yes. You have a problem. But you knew that already. Anybody writing to an imaginary person for advice knows that already.

Don’t worry—I can help you. I don’t have a magic abracadabra cure to rid you of your attraction to sulky jerks. But I can tell you that a lot of the guys who refuse to talk/smile/laugh/be nice are just weaklings who are afraid of calling because a conversation is a high-risk situation: after all, their inner emptiness might show through. And the nice guy types who have good manners and pockets full of jokes and can look you in the eye, well, they’re not necessarily as dorky as it may seem. I should know. I kiss one of those guys on the regular.

L’amour toujours!Claire


Dream Life by Lauren Mechling -- Trailer from Richie Williams on Vimeo.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Undead Much by Stacey Jay

Title: Undead Much
Author: Stacey Jay
Publisher: Razorbill (Penguin)
Source: Publisher
Rating: 9/10

Summary: Megan Berry—Zombie Settler extraordinaire—just wants Pom Squad to trounce Cheer Team in this freakishly funny follow-up to You Are So Undead to Me. But someone's turning coma victims into settler-resistant über-zombies—and everyone thinks it's Megan's fault! Well, except for super-creepy male cheerleader Aaron. (Ew!)

Meg's also being stalked by a hot—albeit undead— seer named Cliff. Can Cliff's premonitions help Megan stop a zombies-on-ice deathscapade and discover who's really behind the coma-killer crusade before an entire army of undead rise up? And when Megan's boyfriend Ethan grows jealous of Cliff, will it end their intra-settler romance?

Stacey Jay's snarky teen-speak is "dead"-on and hysterical! Ally Carter better get used to the smell of grave dirt . . .

My Thoughts: I was a major fan of You Are So Undead To Me so I couldn't wait to get my hands on a copy of Undead Much. I started it as soon as it came in the mail with high hopes and, thankfully, I was not disappointed.

You Are So Undead to Me is such a fun read. It's full of LOL moments but also has the action and romance to make it more than "just a cute little book". All of the new challenges Megan faced kept me turning the pages. The ending twist completely threw me off and I never saw it coming.

All of the characters grew so much in this book. Megan and Ethan were both so much more developed and some of the supporting characters began to have their personalities defined. However, I do wish that some of the other characters had also been developed more.

Jay has, once again, created a book that will make the reader laugh, gasp, and not want to put the book down until the final page is turned. I can't wait for the next book!

Monday, February 1, 2010

February's Here!

Wow. I can't believe we're already in the second month of the year! January completely flew by. I just wanted to say thanks again to all of the authors and bloggers that wrote guestblogs and to everyone that have entered contests and left comments. Some of the contests are still going on so be sure to enter the ones you've missed and comment on the guestblogs!

Regular posting will resume tomorrow!