Wednesday, November 30, 2011

About Us: Jess - Official Reviewer / Interviewer




STATUS:  Official Reviewer / Interviewer.

AGE: 21.

STATE:  Kentucky.

DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN LESS THAN TEN (10) WORDS:  Pimptacular.

FAVORITE GENRE OF BOOKS:  I read anything I can get my hands on. I am not picky. As long as it keeps my attention, then I am good.

FAVORITE AUTHORS:  Keri Arthur, Gena Showalter, P.C. Cast, Laurell K. Hamilton, Nora Roberts, Sherrilyn Kenyon... and probably a bunch more, but I am horrid with names.

WHAT FICTIONAL CHARACTER WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE AND WHY?:  Apollyimi from Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark Hunter series. Because she is the Atlantean goddess of destruction who was cursed to remain in her own realm because the other god/goddesses were afraid of her powers.  Enough said.

WHO'S YOUR FAVORITE FICTIONAL CHARACTER?: Simi and Apollyimi.

WHY DO YOU LOVE TO READ?:  Growing up I had a lot of responsibilities.  I didn't really have a childhood or time to do anything else. I didn't have the best of times and reading was the only way I could escape.

HAVE ANY OTHER SITES?: Not currently.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

500 Follower Giveaway! (US & INT)

DETAILS
There will be two winners, international and US.
Winners will be chosen randomnly at the end of the giveaway.
The giveaway will run for two weeks.
Novemer 27th - December 11th.


TO ENTER
Since this giveaway is a thank you to our followers, you MUST be a GFC Follower of Starcrossed.  New or old, it doesn't matter.  So if you want to enter and you aren't a follower, the form is on the right sidebar.  You MUST enter your GFC name in the space provided, otherwise your entry will NOT count.  There a different ways to gain extra entries, but the only ones that are required are GFC Name and INT or US?


THE PRIZES
We would like to thank all of the authors, publicists, and publishers that offered up copies of their books for this giveaway.  A complete list of books and their providers will be at the bottom of this post.
Depending on where you live, you may not get all of the books listed.  Beneath each book you will find US and/or International.  (Even if you don't get all of them, you'll still get a lot. So don't fret.)

OUR CHOICES
Both of these books will be international as long as The Book Depository ships to your country.







BOOKS AND PROVIDERS
Mireille Chester
Journey
Crossover
Destiny

Elle Strauss
Clockwise

Nathan Christensen
Cedardale Court

Admiral J Press
My Sweet Saga

Georgia Cates
Blood of Anteros

Cindy C Bennett
Geek Girl
Heart On A Chain
Immortal Mine

Prudence Bice
The Widower's Wife
The Kissing Tree

Allison Kraft
Destined

Cedar Fort Publishing
Seers
Cinder and Ella

Marie Harbon
Seven Point Eight (limited/special edition)

Patti Roberts
Paradox - The Angels Are here

Heather Frost
Seers

In My Mailbox & Weekly Re-Cap

In My Mailbox was created by The Story Siren and inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie.

FOR REVIEW:

Fractured Light by Rachel McClellan
Falling In Between by Devon Ashley
Blue Sky Days by Marie Landry

WEEKLY RE-CAP
Sunday

Monday:

Tuesday
About Us: Darcus

Thursday
Interview: Jessica Gibson

Saturday
Interview: Elle Strauss

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Interview & Giveaway: Elle Strauss


ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I write time travel and merfolk chic-lit, light SF and historical YA fiction. I'm a married mom of four, and live in the beautiful Okanagan Valley, famous for beaches and vineyards. I'm fond of Lindt's sea salt dark chocolate and hiking in good weather. My YA rom/com time-travel CLOCKWISE is now available on Amazon, B&N and other sites!

INTERVIEW

Why choose to write about merfolk and time travelers?
I honestly don't know. I suppose the alternative is straight contemporary and I just wouldn't be any good at that. Likewise, straight paranormal. Writing time travel and merfolk allows me to combine the two.


Balancing being a mom of four and a writer must be tough, any advice for other mom's trying to give it a go with writing?
Writing with four children was definitely a challenge when they were younger. I basically set the afternoon from 1:00 - 3:00 while they were at school to write. So, that would be my advice, find a time, preferable the same time every day, maybe it's nap time, or during dance practice, but just make that time yours to write. Mine are older now and take care of themselves so it's not that hard any more. That's another thing to keep in mind, everything's a season. You may not have as much time now as you'd like, but your kids will grow and more time will open up. Just remember to enjoy them at whatever age they are!


Why YA as a genre?
I was writing about a boy growing up in Hitler Youth, and a writing friend of mine said,"That could be YA. YA's really hot now." I hadn't really heard the term YA before it got "hot". I just happened to be writing in the genre, and once I realized it, I settled in.


Which of your characters do you think are your favorite? Any of them harder than the others to write for?
Casey from Clockwise was definitely fun to write. It helped that my daughter was 15, at the time, the same age as Casey, so she made good research fodder. :)

Here at starcrossed, Darcus and I have different ways of getting thing's written out for NaNoWriMo, She has to type and I have to write it by hand first. Do you have a preference when cranking out the first draft?
There's no writing out by hand for me--I can't read my handwriting! My first drafts are almost always a glorified outline. I have to go back and beef it up a lot.


What made you decide the time for when Casey took her crush back?
We just moved to BC, Canada after living outside of Cambridge/Boston for a year. The ambiance of that place was still very vibrant in my imagination. Boston has so much history, it just made sense to take her there.


If you had to take your high school crush back in time where do you think you would land?
Hmm, high school was a long time ago for me, and though I can remember the emotions of it like it was yesterday, I can't imagine going anywhere with my high school crush.


Any advice for young girls/guys who have had their heart broken in high school?
Wow, these are hard questions! Best advice is to read about romance, but leave actual romance until you are much older. Focus on friends and your education. However, if you have already been heartbroken, your friends are your best source of comfort. Also a good book (probably not romance) and a tub of ice cream :) Just remember, that this too will pass. As Celine Dion so eloquently sings, your heart will go on.


If your children were time traveler's, what time would you like for them to go back to and be able to witness?
I suppose I'd like them to go back to the years I was a child/teen, so they could see simpler times and what life was like without technology. Or they could watch That 70's Show. :)


Do you have any last words you would like to leave with our readers?
The paperback version of CLOCKWISE is now available on Amazon, and the e-book is on sale for the holidays, only .99!
GIVEAWAY
We would like to thank Elle Strauss for giving us the chance to read and review her novel well as doing an interview for Starcrossed.

Elle has also been kind enough to give away a copy of her novel!

One winners will receive and eCopy of Clockwise.
This giveaway is international.
To enter please fill out the form below.
And please don't forget to read the rules and information at the bottom of the form!





Review: Clockwise by Elle Strauss

Clockwise
Learn more about Clockwise at ellestraussbooks.blogspot.com
This book was provided for free by the author for review.


SUMMARY:
A teenage time traveler accidentally takes her secret crush back in time. Awkward.
 
Boy watching with her best friend would be enough excitement for fifteen year old Casey Donovan. She doesn't even mind life at the bottom of the Cambridge High social ladder, if only she didn’t have this other much bigger problem. Unscheduled trips to the nineteenth century!
When Casey gets talked into going to the Fall Dance, the unthinkable happens--she accidentally takes Nate Mackenzie, the cutest boy in the school, back in time.

Protocol pressures her to tell their 1860 hosts that he is her brother and when Casey finds she has a handsome, wealthy (and unwanted) suitor, something changes in Nate. Are those romantic sparks or is it just ‘brotherly’ protectiveness?

When they return to the present things go back to the way they were before: Casey at the bottom of the social totem pole and Nate perched on the very the top. Except this time her heart is broken. Plus, her best friend is mad, her parents are split up, and her little brother gets escorted home by the police. The only thing that could make life worse is if, by some strange twist of fate, she took Nate back to the past again.

Which of course, she does.

REVIEWS:
I went into Clockwise with a feeling that I would enjoy it.  (Hence the reason I accepted the review request from Elle Strauss).  I was eager for some time to finally start reading it.

Eventually, I got my chance to read it.  Unlike most books, this one started off quickly.  I immediately fell into it and had no problems getting into the storyline.

Clockwise was very well written and a really good read.  I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and all the complexities that the author brought to life.  I would feinitely read it again in the future.

MEMORABLE QUOTES:


FAVORITE CHARACTER:
Nate.

RATING:
4.5 MOONS.
HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT.




I was a little unsure about this book, it seemed like it was going to be one of those rushed arc's I have been reading alot of. I was so glad that as I pushed through it, it picked up speed and I found myself unable to turn away.



After all, who hasn't had a crush on that one guy in highschool that you thought was out of there league?
I know that I couldn't imagine going back in time to the year she looped to, where women had no rights let alone a voice and befoe slavery was abolished. I was glad to see the struggle they both had to face when coming across such challanges and not changing time.

 
I think my favorite part of the whole thing was how it was tied together in the end. It was deffinatly a surprise for me.

MEMORABLE QUOTES:


FAVORITE CHARACTER:
Sarah.

RATING:
3.5 MOONS.
WORTH READING.


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Interview & Giveaway: Jessica Gibson



ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jessica Gibson is a stay at home mom Monday-Friday and a hair stylist on the weekends. Her love of reading led her to begin writing the book she always wanted to write.

INTERVIEW
Why choose the symbol of the star for the marked symbol? Any significant meaning as to the placement of it?
I was between a star and a diamond, and star won out due to popular opinion in my house. Plus, star's have always had significance with witches, so that was just an added bonus for me. In the series, all matched timewalkers have the same mark in the same place.

What made you decide on witches and immortals as your main characters?
I've always been drawn to the supernatural, and I wanted to write something that was a bit different. The idea of an immortal that wasn't a vampire was intriguing to me, so I went with it. Writing about witches is fun, because you get to play around with what you want their specific powers to be, and how they cast spells and what not. It's like playing dress up, but with words.

Which of your characters' did you find yourself rooting for the most as you wrote?
At first is was Jilly, mainly because she was the basis of the story. But, as I wrote the story, I really started to root for Caroline. I wanted her to find herself, and to realize what she was and what she could become. She had come from a bad place, and I wanted her to be empowered by what she was, and to really come into her own as a woman and a witch. I develop her story a lot more in the second book in the series.

What is your stance on reincarnation?
I truly think you only get this one life on earth, but I do believe in heaven for sure. I think it's our job as human beings to make this world better during our short stay on earth. Find what your good at, and make a difference.

Do you believe in love at first sight?
I 100% believe in love at first sight. I knew I would marry my husband after our first date. Sometimes you just have that instant connection with someone, and you just know with out a doubt that it's right.

Do you think that there are some loves that can transcend time and destroy all obstacles?
I'm such a hopeless romantic, I believe that love can conquer all. Whether that's time away, or some obstacle or person on the way. If you truly are meant to be with someone, love will find a way.

What was the most challenging part of writing that you came up against?
Sometimes for me, the most challenging part of writing is getting the story out of my head. A lot of times I can see where I want the story to go, but getting there is tough.

Is there any particular genre you have been dying to try writing for but just can't make yourself?
Maybe a trashy romance novel, I'm embarrassed to read the really trashy ones, so writing one would be even worse. Who knows, maybe I'll adopt a pen name and put one out :)

Any particular routine you have to follow when you write?
I have a 2 year old son, so I pretty much write whenever I can find a spare moment. One thing I always do when I write is listen to music. Michael Buble is one of my favorites to listen to while I write. He's got the perfect mix of moody and upbeat for me.

Are there any last words you would like to leave with our readers?
If any of you out there are aspiring writer's, follow that dream. I sat on the sidelines of my life watching everyone else play the game for too many years. My amazing husband finally gave me the push I needed to get off my butt and do something. I've enjoyed every bit of the process so far. So, follow your dreams, whatever they may be. Get in the game.
GIVEAWAY
We would like to thank Jessica Gibson for giving us the chance to read and review her novelsas well as doing an interview for Starcrossed.
Jessica has also been kind enough to give away a copy of her novel!
 
One winners will receive and eCopy of Marked.
This giveaway is international.
To enter please fill out the form below.
And please don't forget to read the rules and information at the bottom of the form!
 
 





Review: Marked by Jessica Gibson

Marked (Timewalker Saga)
Learn more about Marked on Goodreads.
This book was provided for free by the author for free.


SUMMARY:
Jilly's peacefull life changed in an instant. William came into her life like a hurricane, and nothing would ever be the same again.Jilly is a witch, and her powers are going to be pushed to the limits. But will they be enough to save the ones she loves?

REVIEW:
I liked concept of this book. Past loves finding one another and trying to beat the obsticals. Witches adn immortals, family in peril.

My only problem was, that it seemed rushed. That there wasn't really any emotion behind the charachters. It was Wham Bam thank you ma'am! One event after the other! Just when the action picks up it was so rushed I was left unsatisfied.

I liked the idea of the story I just wish it was developed better.

MEMORABLE QUOTES:


FAVORITE CHARACTER:


RATING:
2 MOONS.
JUST NOT FOR ME.



Tuesday, November 22, 2011

About Us: Darcus - Official Reviewer / Creator



STATUS: Official Reviewer / Creator.

AGE: 22.

STATE: Kentucky.

DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN LESS THAN TEN (10) WORDS: I'm a random girl that loves randomnly creative things.

FAVORITE AUTHORS: Charlaine Harris, Stephenie Meyer, Alyson Noel, Anne Rice, R.L. Stine, and J.K. Rowling.

WHAT FICTIONAL CHARACTER WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE AND WHY?: I don't think I would want to be any fictional character. All the books I read, my favorite characters are always getting hurt, saving the world, or something along those lines. I'm clumsy enough as it is. I think I'll stay me, that's who I was born to be anyway.

WHO'S YOUR FAVORITE FICTIONAL CHARACTER?: That is like asking what my current favorite book is. It's constantly changing. Every time I open a new book, I fall in love with a new character. So I have a different favorite for every book that I've read.

 WHY DO YOU LOVE TO READ?: Life has never been and never will be easy. It gets really rough and for me, reading (as well as writing) is an escape. I can forget about my own problems for a while and lose myself in the world of someone else. I can fall in love with new people, and learn different things, go different places for a while.

 HAVE ANY OTHER SITES?: Darcus Murray - An Aspiring Authors Journey

Promo Spot & Giveaway: Cedardale Court by Nathan Christensen

Cedardale Court

Cedardale Court is a neo-gothic murder mystery with enough fools and old flames to keep you happily mixed up for most of a long weekend. When Canner Connelly and his daughter, Chloe, move in with their Uncle Henry, and a simple drainage problem turns a normal Sunday morning into a slightly darker affair, it's not easy to tell where everyone might end up, or if they'll even make it at all.











WHERE YOU CAN BUY IT


ABOUT THE AUTHOR
 Nathan Lee Christensen was born and raised in Oregon's Willamette Valley; an existence begun in the vinyard laiden wine country of Dundee, and finished somewhere in the grass seed fields of Linn County. Now, he is a stay-at-home parent for his beautiful daughter, merely a stone's throw from the Pacific Ocean in Northern California. His early influences range from the Nate the Great books and Harvey's Marvelous Monkey Mystery to Batman comics and Murder, She Wrote; while his favorite contemporary authors are William Goldman and Christopher Moore. He hopes to continue writing, at least as long as he is capable, and has committed to creating more mysteries, due out every October 7th.








GIVEAWAY



One winner will receive an eBook copy of Cedardale Court.

This giveaway is international.


We do not require you to be a GFC Follower, but if you are, you will receive an extra entry. Please put your GFC follower name in the extra info box of the form. If you do not post your name, your extra entry will NOT count.


Don't forget to read the rules and information at the bottom of the form!

(If Rafflecopter is not working, please just comment with your name and email.  Also your GFC name for extra entry.)
 





Monday, November 21, 2011

Review: Zeph's Awakening by Serena Yates

Zeph's Awakening
To learn more about Zeph's Awakening visit serenayates.com
This book was free on GoodReads.


SUMMARY:
Zeph is a deeply closeted high school student who is much better at dealing with academics than he is with his fellow students. When two jocks who normally ignore him invite him to a party at the lake, he knows something is wrong. They don't take no for an answer and soon Zeph is in much deeper water than he can deal with - literally. He realizes it is time to make some changes when Charles comes to the rescue... 

REVIEW:
I really liked the beginning. I felt for Zeph and what his classmates put him through, though the events yet to unfold were pretty obvious. Afterwards, when he met Charles, the story became a little unrealistic and I found myself losing interest in it. The ending is very rushed and not very smart of Zeph.

 
MEMORABLE QUOTES:


FAVORITE CHARACTER:


RATING:
2 MOONS.
JUST NOT FOR ME.

 



Saturday, November 19, 2011

In My Mailbox & Weekly Re-Cap

In My Mailbox was created by The Story Siren and inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie. 

WON:
Hillserpent Academy by Richard Denney
Sweetly (and a lollipop!) by Jackson Pearce
Unforsaken by Sophie Littlefield
 
 
GIFTED:
Violet Fury by Richard Denney (from the author)
The Boys of Summer by Richard Denney (from the author)
 
 
FOR FREE:
A Dark Kiss of Rapture by Sylvia Day
 
WEEKLY RE-CAP
Sunday
 
Tuesday
 
Wednesday
 
Thursday
 
Saturday

Geek Girl Blog Tour

Geek Girl by Cindy Bennett
We were very excited to take part in this tour.  The experience was amazing and we couldn't have been happier with the people and Cedar Fort Books.  Don't forget to stop by all the other blogs/sites participating in the tour!
GEEK GIRL by CINDY C. BENNETT
Geek Girl
Learn more about Geek Girl at cindycbennett.com
This book was provided for free by the publishers for review.

SUMMARY:
Jen's life of partying and sneaking out has grown stale. So on a whim, Jen makes a bet to turn Trevor, a goody-two-shoes geek, into a "bad boy." As she hangs out with Trevor, however, she finds it's actually kinda fun being a geek. But when Trevor finds out about the bet, Jen must fight for the things she's discovered matter most: friendship, family, and, above all, love.

REVIEWS:
I really liked this book, you quickly get under the main charachter's skin and start to understand why she makes the decision's she makes.

Growing up the way I grew up, I have expierenced both issue's. My life wasn't the easiest so I started to gather toughness around me like a shield, alot like Jen did. Granted mine didn't end happily with someone piercing that shield, or multiple person's in the story, and bringing down that wall but the story has a great message of hope. That when you love someone, you love them for them, not because of how they look, or who their friends are. Being different can only be exciting.

I was so proud of Jen's foster family for pushing through and never giving up. I wanted to stand up and applaud when I saw that they had kept all the money they recieved for caring for her and gave it to her. To many times I know of families that just have kids or take kids in for the money and the emotional impact can be devistating. I like how they never gave up on her dispite how nasty she was, they recognized that she had, had a rough life and that sometimes it takes a while for someone's gaurd to let down.

I also expierienced Trevor's dilema, and I know how much it can hurt to have someone date you as a joke, or a bet. This book gave me an insider's look at how the other person might have been hurting.

For once I was glad of the happy ending. It was done in just the right way, that towards the finale I was smiling in anticipation of what I hoped would come.



MEMORABLE QUOTES:

"Mrs Brady/Cleaver herself answers the door,freshly rolled out of an old sitcom. She has pants on instead of a dress, true, but she is weraing an apron, her hair and makeup perfectly in place, subdued, a string of pearls at her throat completing the picture-perfect image. She can't quite hide the flash of shock and disgust on her face when she see's the thing that's standing on her porch, but she recovers quickly."

"There, now we can have our own dance, with no one to bother us or judge us."


FAVORITE CHARACTER:


RATING:
5 MOONS.
ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT!



I absolutely loved this book.  Jess recommended it a while back, but I had never heard of it.  I looked into it and thought it sounded interesting.  I decided to give it a try.  I was super excited when I saw that Cedar Fort was holding a tour for it.  I imediately signed us up.  I didn't jump right into the book but waited until it was closer to our tour stop.  I regret this decision.  I should have read Geek Girl as soon as I received it for review. 

I applaud Cindy C. Bennett for writing a very realistic book.  I found the characters very believeable and Jess and I commented that it felt like we were in high school again.

One thing that draws Jess and I closer and made it easier for us to slip into a smooth friendship is the fact that both of us grew up in less than ideal environments with a less than ideal sense of family.  The two of us had it hard and even though Jen's character in the book has an even more horirble childhood than both Jess and I, it was one of the thikngs that drew us in and made us enjoy the book and relate to what she was going through.  This book was a great read and I recommend it to anyone that has yet to read it and enjoys contemporary YA.

MEMORABLE QUOTES:


FAVORITE CHARACTER:
Trevor.

RATING:
4.5 MOONS.
HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Cindy C Bennett was born and raised in beautiful Salt Lake City, growing up in the shadows of the majestic Rocky Mountains. She lives with her husband, two daughters, and two dogs. She also has two sons. She volunteers her time working with teen girls between the ages of 12-18, all of whom she finds to be beautiful, fascinating creatures. When she’s not writing, reading or answering emails she can often times be found riding her Harley through the beautiful canyons near her home (yes, I ride a Harley and no, you'd never know it to look at me!).