Today I'm participating in a Random Act of Kindness Blitz, have a fabulous interview to share with you, and three books to give away.
First, I'll announce the winner of WHAT SHE LEFT BEHIND. I've got a surprise. Simon Pulse just sent me another book, so there's two winners. Yay!
The winners are VIVIEN and RACHNA!
The winners are VIVIEN and RACHNA!
Congrats! E-mail me your addresses so I can send you your book.
A smile. An encouraging word. A thoughtful gesture. Each day people interact with us, help, and make our day a bit brighter and full. This is especially true in the Writing Community.
Take a second to think about writers you know, like the critique partner who works with you to improve your manuscript. The writing friend who listens, supports and keeps you strong when times are tough. The author who generously offers council, advice and inspiration when asked.
So many people take the time to make us feel special, don't they? They comment on our blogs, re-tweet our posts, chat with us on forums and wish us Happy Birthday on Facebook.
To commemorate the release of their book The Emotion Thesaurus, Becca and Angela at The Bookshelf Muse are hosting a TITANIC Random Act Of Kindness BLITZ. And because I think KINDNESS is contagious, I'm participating too!
I'm picking Shannon O'Donnell who is a great friend who is always willing to share advice on blogging and her publishing contacts with me so I can try to get you guys more ARCs. And when I needed an extra beta read, she immediately offered to do it without me asking.
Shannon, for my RAOK gift, I'm sending you a $20.00 gift certificate to Amazon because I know you love to buy books.
I really appreciate Shannon who blogs at Book Dreaming. If you have a minute, please stop in and tell her how awesome she is!
Do you know someone special that you'd like to randomly acknowledge? Don't be shy--come join us and celebrate! Send them an email, give them a shout out, or show your appreciation in another way. Kindness makes the world go round. :)
Becca and Angela have a special RAOK gift waiting for you as well, so hop on over to The Bookshelf Muse to pick it up.
Now onto my interview.
Today I’m excited to interview Christina who blogs with Kristi at The Story Siren. If you’ve never read their blog, you’re really missing out because they have a fantastic book review blog. Kristi, whose blog this is, has done so much to promote middle grade and YA books, including starting her debut author challenge where bloggers commit to reviewing at least 12 debut books. I love their blog and recommend you check it out here.
Hi Christina. Thanks so much for joining us.
1. Please tell us a little bit about yourself, your school, and what you like to read.
My school is Avilla Elementary School in Indiana (same town as Kristi). Next year I will be going into East Noble Middle School in Kendallville. I like to read recommended books because even if I don’t think it will be good and someone recommends it, I will give it a shot. I like a variety of books, but most of the books on my bookshelf are paranormal or within that genre. I’m 12 and I like to talk a lot. My friends and I are obsessed with The Hunger Games. We all have the little figurines of the tributes. I’m trying to get all twenty-four tributes. J
2. My daughter's pretty obsessed with The Hunger Games too. And all the books I read are from recommendations of friends or book review bloggers like Kristi and you. Before you started blogging, how did you find out about the books you read? What about new books coming out?
I first started finding out about books at my library because every summer they have a summer reading program. Since I was going into 6th grade, they considered me a “teen reader.” Most of the books in the lists were series, so I got into teen books through summer reading. My mom has an Amazon.com account and for book recommendations, books in series come up, so that’s how I find out about books coming out.
3. You sound like an advanced reader so I can see you being drawn to teen vs. middle grade books. Tell us how you got to know Kristi and started blogging with her.
Well, my Grandma posted the link to her blog on my Facebook page so I decided to check it out. Then I found out she lived in the same town as me, which I thought was cool. I wrote her a letter and she wrote back, asking if I would like to be a guest blogger on The Story Siren. I wasn’t sure how to respond because it was a big opportunity. We started sharing emails and we arranged to meet at the library in our town. I decided then that I would like to be a guest blogger and I read some of the books she gave me and wrote reviews. I still haven’t read all the books she’s given me, but I plan to. Plus, I knew that if I didn’t become a guest blogger, I’d regret it. So, when I write a review I email them to her and she posts them up. J
4. Wow! You have an awesome grandma. And I can totally relate to the feeling of not wanting to miss an opportunity. That's how I felt when Casey posted that she was looking for a blog partner. It's such a great opportunity that I'm glad you didn't pass it up. Me too.
How has blogging changed what you read, if at all? What books are you waiting to be released?
Oh man! Blogging has changed my life so much and the books I read. Before I started blogging, I didn’t read that much. I started to actually take an interest in reading books in the summer of 2011. I read 16 books that summer. At that time I thought that was a lot, but now that I think about it, it’s not a lot compared to what I’ve read now. Now, most of the books I read I usually find on blogs, or I admin on a page on Facebook called “Confessions of a Bookaholic” and if I need a book to read or can’t decide what book to read, I’ll ask the people who like it and they give me really great recommendations.
The two books that I don’t think I can wait much longer for are Insurgent by Veronica Roth and City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare, and both come out next month!! I also can’t wait until Clockwork Princess too, but that a loooong ways away.
5. I've had a similar experience since I started blogging. I always read a lot but now what I read is governed a lot by who I'm interviewing here or what I want to give away. And I just got Insurgent from the library. Do you buy most of your book, receive ARCS, or get them at the library? How often do you go to a bookstore?
I buy, well my mom buys me books quite often, but my bookshelves have become fuller because of Kristi. She’s sent about 30 books and I appreciate that so much. So most of the books I own have been given to me from Kristi. I used to go to the library a lot, like 3 times a week, but now I never go. I go to a bookstore maybe every Sunday. It all depends because my grandma will take me to Barnes and Noble sometimes after church on Sundays, but not every Sunday because their books are EXPENSIVE!!!
6. I'd love to have Kristi send me some books. She has such good taste in books. And I don't go to the library as much either. I do miss that. I know you must read some blogs because you found Kristi and The Story Siren. Which ones do you read regularly? Do you read any teen book blogs, author blogs, or author or publisher websites? Become a fan of an author on Facebook? Why?
I have a couple blogs that I keep up on everyday because I sign up to get e-mails of their posts. So, I look at a Mortal Instruments Series blog (catch the theme? I love those book!) I also look at the YA Sisterhood. I like a lot of blogs and authors on Facebook. I like Willow Cross, Michelle Warren, and Lauren Kate.
7. Have any of your teachers recommended any blogs or websites to your class or to you?
No, not really. They don’t really do that, but I think they should because we have so much technology. My school corporation just gave kindergarten through first grade iPod touches, the second through fourth graders get iPads, and fifth grade through high school get laptops. I think they should recommend blogs to my class though.
8. Wow! That's awesome that your school gives kids all that technology. I wonder if your language arts teachers in middle school will start suggesting blogs or websites for you to check out. You'll be able to recommend some to your teacher, including your own blog. I bet they'll be impressed.
Are there things your favorite authors could do that would make you more likely to visit their website, their blog, or become a fan on Facebook?
Oh yes! If the second book came out less than a year from the first one!! I know they can’t do that but there have been some books that I have read and they just leave you hanging and you’re like “What?!?! I need the second book now!” and it doesn’t come out for like two years. If I’ve read their book and I love it, then I’ll definitely get on their blog and follow them and like them on Facebook.
9. That's great to know that you'll check out the author's blog and Facebook page. Most of the kids I've interviewed wouldn't do that. Have any authors visited your school? Who? Is there anything you’d recommend that an author do to make their presentation more interesting to you and other kids at your school?
No, I wish though. The kids at my school don’t read as much as I do and when I tell them how fast I read a book, they stare at me like I’m an alien. J They should make a book trailer for their book, which most books do have those, and show it at their presentation. Then, maybe then more kids would read it. J
Don't worry, you're not weird. You're really cool. And I found my daughter and her friends really started getting excited about books in middle school and now high school. So there's hope your friends will catch up to you. Thanks Christina for sharing all your advice.
Next here are the books I'm going to give away today. If you click on the title, you can read the description from Goodreads.
First I'm giving away Lissa Price's debut book STARTERS.
Lissa Price has created an amazingly unique dystopian world filled with mystery and hard choices. This world has only kids under 20 years old and who have no rights and people 60 and older who live to such long lives that they do all the work because everyone else has died. And the fact that the people older than 60 can rent a teenager’s body is one of things that makes the story so different.
Callie is such a great character—very independent yet vulnerable in her fierce protectiveness of her younger brother Tyler. And it’s because of her love for Tyler and her desire to save him that she decides to let someone rent her body. As creepy as the idea of renting your body is, it was fascinating seeing all the secrets and mysteries Callie uncovers while she let an elder rent her body. I couldn’t put the book down. It was so full of twists and mysteries I wanted to figure out. I can’t wait for the sequel.
Second up is TOUCH OF POWER by Maria Snyder. I’m a huge fan of Maria Snyder and was so excited when I won Touch of Power. Avry is a strong, compassionate main character who has been living on the run alone. When she’s kidnapped by Kerrick and his band of helpers Loren, Quan, Flea, and Belen, they want her to heal Prince Ryne. But there’s a problem. She hates him and refuses to cooperate.
It was fascinating watching her relationships change with her captors as they journey across the Nine Mountains to where Prince Ryne is hidden. The world Maria Snyder creates is rich and there are many mysteries uncovered, including Avry’s relationship to her family, who is good in the fifteen kingdoms, why she hates Prince Ryne, and who Kerrick really is. This is another one that I’m anxiously awaiting the sequel.
And the last book is FRACTURE by debut author Megan Miranda.
This was an interesting mix of contemporary with perhaps a slight paranormal ability. I found this to be a really fast read. Delaney falls into icy pond while walking with her best friend Decker. He pulls her out but not before she dies. And she stays dead for eleven minutes. When she comes too, everyone is amazed that she shows no effects of being brain dead. And they try to go back to normal.
But Delaney knows something's different. She now can sense death. And she meets Troy, a 19-year-old boy who also survived a coma. I enjoyed watching Delaney take charge of her life in ways she hadn't before as she tries to come to terms with what it means to come back from death and figure out where Troy and Decker fit into her life.
Want to win a fabulous YA mystery with a touch of paranormal or an awesome new middle grade mystery series? Enter my giveaway for Kim Harrington's new books. There's going to be 3 winners. The link is at the top of the blog.
Here's what's coming up next. On Wednesday, I'm participating in debut author Misty Provencher's blog tour for her debut book CORNERSTONE and giving away two copies of her books. Then next Monday I'm interviewing debut author Marissa Burt and giving away an ARC of her middle grade fantasy STORYBOUND. Wednesday next week I'll be interviewing Stephanie Guerra and giving away an ARC of her YA book TORN.
And in June I have two awesome interviews you won't want to miss. On June 4th I'm helping Elana Johnson celebrate the release of SURRENDER. It's one of the most awesome second books in a series that I've read. I'm giving away my ARC (only because I bought a book for my daughter and me. She loves it too and would not let me give it away otherwise). On June 11th I'm interviewing debut author Jennifer Bosworth and giving away an ARC of STRUCK, another awesome book.
And don't forget our Tuesday Tips tomorrow and Casey's Agent Spotlights on Thursdays.
Hope to see you on Wednesday!