Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Book Inspection: Carpe Corpus by Rachel Caine

Plot Sketch: As the sixth in a series, there is a lot of backstory to this one. Without spoiling the others and giving away too much for this book, I guess I can safely say that Claire keeps her cool and becomes a pawn in the battle for who will rule Morganville. This installment starts on Claire's birthday, throughout it, we learn how the portals are operated and we learn more about quite a few of the vampires around town.
Verdict: I Heart It. I really do love this series. Carpe Corpus is fast paced, thrilling, and has a great ending, and left me wanting more. If you like YA vampire books, this series is definitely for you.

The Gauntlet:

At what location does most of the story take place?Morganville, Texas, USA

What is the main character's name?
Claire Danvers

Does I Heart Monster like the main character?
Yes, she just happens to be my favorite paranormal fictional character for those of you who were wondering.

How long did it take I Heart Monster to finish the book?
2 weeks! I know, pathetic! It wasn't the book though, it was the roadtrip. I had anticipated a lot of time for reading, 'cause I really didn't think that our roadtrip buddies would be as interesting as they were, but they rocked, and as a consequence to their rockage, I got almost zero reading done!
Did I Heart Monster get stuck at any points in the book? If so, why?
Nope, I just fell asleep out of pure exhaustion. Not from reading mind you.

Is this a good read for Monster?
I can see a lot of guys liking this series honestly. Even though the MC is a girl, there are a lot of strong supporting male characters and it's not a girly book.

What, if anything, would I Heart Monster change to make the book more interesting?
I don't think you could actually add more to it, it's jam-packed.

What was I Heart Monster's favorite line?
"Chaos, disorder, mayhem," Shane said. "Situation normal in Morganville."

How many chapters were in the book?

Mass Market Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Signet
Publish Date: June 2, 2009
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0451227190

Acquire It:


  • Amazon has the reading age as 9-12, and I think it may be a little more mature than is appropriate for that age group, especially since it has the f-bomb in it at least once.
  • Bitten By Books is hosting a Virtual Launch Party for Carpe Corpus, check it out! You can ask Rachel questions and enter to win a Sony e-reader!

Storybuilders: Lily The Frog Girl, & Edition 2

Lily The Frog Girl

Lily ran across campus screaming, "I hate my life! I hate my life!" She ran and ran until she bumped into her best friend, Caleb.

He squinted at her through his early morning coffee-less stupor, and said yawning "Woah, Lily, easy. It's only 8 in the morning."

"I don't care if it's 2 in the morning, Caleb." She pounded a fist on his chest. "I need to talk to you, now. Remember that thing I told you might happen? Well," she flicked back the bed clothes to reveal two bright green legs and Caleb's jaw dropped.

"Whoa!" he said, "You've turned into a frog girl! How? Who?" But before he could say another word Lily's long pink tongue snaked out to catch a fly next to his ear. He took a moment to furiously scratch the itchy bite before thanking her. "Wait a second... I thought you were running across campus- how did we end up in bed together?" Caleb asked.

"It's part of being a frogette," she replied, "we can alter space and time."

Caleb just stared at her, blinking. "You can alter... What the hell happened to you?!"

"My biology professor cast a spell on me because I failed the terminology quiz. The only way I can be cured is to go to the top of Mount Kanitiwachu and get the fire flower, but it has been wiped out by developers building a huge water theme park! What am I going to do?"

Caleb grinned. "Don't you think a water theme park would be ideal for you, given your... situation?"

"You are so not funny!" Lily said, smiling slightly and hitting him softly on the shoulder.

"Sure I am," Caleb said. But as he said this, he was wondering how he could come up with the money to get him and Lily to Mount Kanitiwachu, and if he needed to bring a jar of flies for her to eat on the way. "Lily," he asked, "are you sure you want to do this? this would be an adventure for us, are you sure?"

"AM I SURE??? Are you nuts??" Her face turning purple with rage, Lily leaped out of bed, shrieking incoherently in something that sounded like Farsi. Suddenly, the room around them flickered, and in its place, Lily saw Mount Kanitiwachu come into focus. She turned to Caleb and said, "Oh, I forgot about the space and time altering thing. This may be easier than we thought."

The End.

Thank you to notnessie, Ella, Aerin, Storyheart, Insert Book Title, Shelly, Laina, xtalcase, Jo, Jennie Lou, and vikkijam for participating!


Now, it's time for a new story!!!

Don't forget the premise... I'll start a story with one or two sentences. Then you, my lovely readers, come here and add on to the story in the comments section. Then each week, I'll post the last week's story and give you a new start.

The rules:

1. Each person can only add sentence.
2. You may not post two consecutive entries (otherwise it wouldn't be wiki-ish)
3. Let's try to keep it PG.
4. You can designate new paragraphs and time pauses if you want to.

This week's start:

Aaron got out of bed and went downstairs. His stomach was growling like it usually did when he woke up in the mornings, so he...

Monday, June 29, 2009

Audiobook Inspection: BoneMan's Daughters

Size: 9 CDs (Hachette Audio CDs)
Length: 10 hours, 26 minutes
Author: Ted Dekker
Narrator: Robert Petkoff

Plot Sketch: Ryan Evans has basically abandoned his family to serve his country in Iraq. As a Navy Intelligence Officer working for the Army, his job is to siphon intelligence and determine what is credible and what is not. Ryan sees the whole picture. On a routine jaunt into the field, Ryan's convoy is attacked and Ryan, the only survivor, is taken captive. On the home front, a convicted serial killer deemed BoneMan by a local paper, has been released due to a screw-up in the evidence. The man convicted as BoneMan is released, and immediately, a kidnapping happens again, this time, it's Ryan's adopted daughter, Bethany. Because of his torture in the desert and the circumstances under which he was tortured, Ryan becomes the prime suspect for his daughter's kidnapping.

Plot Verdict: I Heart It, but barely. It was a good story, but was very redundant and had a lot of loose ends that were not tied up. Monster and I believe that Dekker was trying to reach a word count because there are entire scenes that go nowhere and add nothing to the story. Ultimately, though most of the story is predictable, it is still a good story and definitely worth the time to listen. Be prepared to shake your head at law enforcement, nod along with Ryan Evans, and voice your opinion even though you know no one can hear you.

Narration Verdict: I Heart It. Robert Petkoff did an awesome job of oral interp in this audiobook. His narration is what kept us listening to the story through the parts that we did not like, and what ultimately brought us back after we had paused our listening for a couple of days. Petkoff did an amazing job and I'd love to hear more of the audiobooks that he will narrate in the future. Bravo, Robert Petkoff.

Blog Tour: The Devlin Diary by Christie Phillips

Description from Publisher:
London, 1672. The past twelve years have brought momentous changes: the restoration of the monarchy, a devastating plague and fire. Yet the city remains a teeming, thriving metropolis, energized by the lusty decadence of Charles II's court and burgeoning scientific inquiry. Although women enjoy greater freedom, they are not allowed to practice medicine, a restriction that physician Hannah Devlin evades by treating patients that most other doctors shun: the city's poor.

But Hannah has a special knowledge that Secretary of State Lord Arlington desperately needs. At the king's Machiavellian court, Hannah attracts the attention of two men, charming courtier Ralph Montagu and anatomist Dr. Edward Strathern, as well as the attention of the powerful College of Physicians, which views her work as criminal. When two influential courtiers are found brutally murdered, their bodies inscribed with arcane symbols, Hannah is drawn into a dangerous investigation by Dr. Strathern, who believes the murders conceal a far-reaching conspiracy that may include Hannah's late father and the king himself.

Cambridge, 2008. Teaching history at Trinity College is Claire Donovan's dream come true -- until one of her colleagues is found dead on the banks of the River Cam. The only key to the professor's unsolved murder is a seventeenthcentury diary kept by his last research subject, Hannah Devlin, physician to the king's mistress. With help from the eclectic collections of Cambridge's renowned libraries, Claire and historian Andrew Kent follow the clues Devlin left behind, uncovering secrets of London's dark past and Cambridge's equally murky present, and discovering that events of three hundred years ago may still have consequences today....

My Observations:
  • I Heart It.
  • It is a slower read than I am used to. That does not mean that it is hard to read, just that Phillips seems to make each word really count.
  • Phillips isn't wordy, her style is descriptive, but concise. Don't expect to spend three pages reading about the embelishments on the doorknobs.
  • Every word is important. There'll be no skimming from you... no dozing off for a paragraph and picking up from there. If you do, you'll have to re-read.
  • The story is intriguing from the prologue. I didn't want to put it down!
  • Think historical fiction involving both France and England in the 1660s, with some refreshing girl power twists.
  • Great attention to historical details.
  • The plot flip flops between the 1660s and modern day at Trinity College, which I found a little confusing and unecessary at times, and at others, I found it amazing... call me fickle!

Check out the Book Trailer:

Other Blog Tour Participants:
S. Krishna’s Books: www.skrishnasbooks.com
All About {n}: www.bookwormygirl.blogspot.com
Jenn’s Bookshelf: http://jennsbookshelf.blogspot.com/
Beth Fish Reads: http://bfishreads.blogspot.com/
Booking Mama: http://bookingmama.blogspot.com/
The Literate Housewife Review: http://literatehousewife.com/
Book Soulmates: http://booksoulmates.blogspot.com/
Chick With Books: http://www.chickwithbooks.blogspot.com/
Gimme More Books: http://gimmemorebooks.blogspot.com/
We Be Reading: http://webereading.com/
Book Bird Dog: http://www.bookbirddog.blogspot.com/
Bookin’ with “BINGO”: http://bookinwithbingo.blogspot.com/
My Friend Amy: http://www.myfriendamysblog.com/
Books and Needlepoint: http://booksandneedlepoint.blogspot.com/
A Working Title: http://awthome.wordpress.com/
Must Read Faster: http://mustreadfaster.blogspot.com/
Shhh I’m Reading: http://shhhimreading.blogspot.com/
Debbie’s World of Books: http://debbiesworldofbooks.com/
The Tome Traveller’s Weblog: http://thetometraveller.blogspot.com/
Write for a Reader: http://www.writeforareader.blogspot.com/
A Sea of Books: http://aseaofbooks.blogspot.com/
I Heart Monster: http://www.iheartmonster.com/
Pick of the Literate: http://bookrevues.blogspot.com/
Kingdom Books Blog: http://kingdombks.blogspot.com
Drey’s Library: http://dreyslibrary.blogspot.com/
The Jaydit Reader: http://jayditreader.blogspot.com/
A Book Bloggers Diary: http://abookbloggersdiary.blogspot.com/

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Ambitious Edition: And Then Everything Unraveled

Title: And Then Everything Unraveled
Authors: Jennifer Sturman
ISBN: 0545087228
Release Date: 07.01.09
Website: http://jennifersturman.com

The Usual Questions:

Is this the first in a series?
Don't think so. Edit: But I was wrong. It is the first in a series! Thanks for letting me know Jennifer!

What is the basic concept?

Delia Truesdale has no idea her life's about to change forever. She's too busy enjoying the California summer. Her internet tycoon mother, T.K. Truesdale, is out of town, and that means Delia can spend all her time at the beach, surfing. That is, until everything unravels.
Her mother suddenly goes missing, and everyone thinks she's dead - excpet Delia, who knows T.K.'s way too organized to simply disappear. But Delia's still sent to New York to live with her two aunts - a downtown bohemian and an uptown ice queen.

And in case that's not bad enough, she also has to deal with a snooty new school and trying not to fall for the wrong guy. Oh, and finding her mother.

As she delves deeper into the tangle of conspiracies and lies surrounding T.K.'s disappearance, Delia begins to suspect that the wrong guy may be the right guy...and that some secrets - especially the dangerous ones - were never meant to be unraveled.

Is the cover art favorable?
Totally. I think it's great!

What are some of the author's other works?
Jennifer has written other adult novels (The Pact, The Jinx, The Key, The Hunt), but this is her YA debut!

Order And Then Everything Unraveled

Saturday, June 27, 2009

*WINNER* Trixy Trivia Edition Two!

1. Seth Graham-Smith has already begun work on another novel about which American president?
The correct answer: Abraham Lincoln (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Slayer) BUT, I am also accepting George W. Bush because Seth Grahame-Smith (who is a different author, but I'm in a generous mood) is writing one about him. With one letter difference between the two authors, I think it only fair to accept both answers. They would in Jeopardy, right?
2. Name one audiobook I have given away on I Heart Monster.
At the point that Trixy Trivia was started, I had given away both BoneMan's Daughters and The Cemetery Dance
3. What is the name of the book that Monster reviewed for us in May?
The Dawning of Power by Brian Rathbone
4. What well-loved fantasy author passed away in early June?
David Eddings
5. What is the name of the book that I reviewed that I am saving to share and discuss with my daughter if I have one?
Willow by Julia Hoban
6. Where did I go on my last trip that warranted a Trixy Trivia contest?
Yosemite National Park, California, USA
7. What is the name of the first Shakespeare play I am reading for the Summer Shakespeare Contest?
As You Like It
8. What is the name of the website that I get all of my audiobooks from?
Accepting both Librivox and Audible
9. What author had a Twitter Party to promote their book launch this month?
Sarah Ockler, author of Twenty Boy Summer
10. Which book inspection did you most enjoy since you've been reading IHM? (bonus! no one can get this one wrong!) NO WRONG ANSWERS HERE (and thanks for all of the kind words!)

Where does that leave us? Oh yeah, we need a winner. This time, I got six entries to my pretty little contest. It's hard to believe that only six of you wanted to win this fabu prize, but I guess it is a little more involved than just commenting. Thank you to Jo, Katie, Melissa, Bella, Mya, and Prodhi for entering. You guys are awesomesauce and a half.

The winner's favorite book inspection was my inspection of Willow. How fun, 'cause that was definitely my favorite book of the month (and I'm working on some interview questions for Ms. Hoban right now... keep your eyes out for Savvy Scribblers with her next month!)

Congratulations MYA!!!! I've already emailed you, just drop me a note back with your address and the book you would like me to order for ya.

You're The Expert: Recommendations

So, I was flying home on Wednesday and I was finishing up Carpe Corpus by Rachel Caine (which took me an obscene amount of time to finish, btw) and all of these people kept asking me what I was reading (I counted six in the airport and four on the plane for a total of ten). Don't get the wrong idea here, I love to talk books with people. And it seemingly never failed that after I say, "Yeah, READ THESE!", that same person asked me, "What other YA vampire novels are out there that you would recommend besides Twilight?" (Obviously the publishers are missing a mark here by not catering toward adults!) It seems that whenever I'm caught reading in public, (even if I'm not taking pictures and submitting them to a contest) I am asked these questions about whatever genre I'm reading.

What I Heart Monster Wants To Know:

  • Does this ever happen to you?
  • Do you have a select few books that you recommend to people for a certain genre?
If yes...
  • What's the genre and what are they? (multiple genres and lists encouraged!)
  • Has this set changed in the last year?
If no...
  • What do you tell people who ask you for a recommendation?
(You're the Expert has now moved to Saturdays!)

Books I Do Not Heart *WINNERS* (a really bad poem)

All these books I do not heart,
They'd just sit here gath'ring dust.
Hence a contest I'd thought smart
'Cause for these you might just lust.

Marked is the first volume I give,
And now Laina is the winner!
Laina, tell me where you live.
(She is no contest beginner)

The second is a book called Bleed;
I announce it is Popin's prize!
Your address is what I now need,
To send this package to you guys.

Secrets to Happiness is last
Kate is the winner of this one
Send me your addy super fast
And to the post office I'll run.

Thank you for participating,
Everyone. I hope to see
You back here anticipating,
More great content from me for free.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Shareworthy Friday, June 26, 2009 [Volume 1, Edition 11]

Friday is the day that I get to show you the fun stuff that I've found around the web all week. Since I've been gone for a while, I haven't nearly caught up on all of my reading. In fact, I haven't hardly started because it all feels so overwhelming. But, there are a few things that I have found spiffy and want to share, I deem them Shareworthy:
  • Emily the Strange is having a Get Strange or Get Lost Contest. check it out. (ends July 16th.
  • Also, Jessica Gruner will be having a "nerdy online book party" to discuss The Lost Days, the first Emily Strange Novel that came out earlier this month. I'm going to try to make it... no guarantees though. Check it out for yourself on Sunday at 7pm Pacific.
  • Want a sneak peak of Bree Despain's The Dark Divine? Chapter One is online!
  • Earlier this month, I got to participate in Dissecting Perfection's YA Summer Playlist. It's got some great tracks on it and you should totally check it out.
  • I did an Ambitious Edition on Megan Crewe's Give Up The Ghost... and now she has fragrances to match the characters in her novel. How cool is that?
  • I stumbled on this video over at Lisa Mantchev's blog. It made me laugh and laugh and I just had to embed it here for you guys to see. It's CC Licensed and done by Rebellious Pixels.
  • Lastly, I have a whole slew of contests going on right now! Check them out on the sidebar and make sure to enter soon, before time runs out!

Audiobook Giveaway: The Juror by George Dawes Green [Abridged]

Description: Annie Laird is Juror 224. A sculptor with a career going nowhere. A single mother struggling to raise a son. A good citizen who has been summoned to what looks like a rountine tour of civic duty. But the trial she is called to serve on is no ordinary trial. It is a mob trial, whose outcome has been meticulously orchestrated by a man of insidious power and deadly precision. A man who lives by the teachings of Lao Tsu...whose magnetism is irresistible...whose mind is as brilliant as it is twisted. He is know to some as the Teacher, and he's set his sights on Annie Laird.

Pulled into the most chilling depths of the criminal underworld, Annie will be seduced by double-edged promises, stalked by the spector of terror, then, finally, driven to a shocking decision by the most basic motivation a woman can know. THE JUROR is a tour de force of crime and obsession, evil and innocence -- a story that taps into fears so primal they linger long after the last page has been read.

Listen to an exerpt.

Thanks to Hachette, I have a copy of this audiobook to giveaway!

To enter, just comment. If you want to be notified when you win, leave your email address in the body of your comment.

For an extra entry, use the retweet button on the top of this post to tweet this giveaway.

Good Luck! Ends July 10, 2009 11:59PM Arizona time.

Audiobook Giveaway: Swimsuit by James Patterson [Unabridged]

Description: Syd, a breathtakingly beautiful supermodel on a photo shoot in Hawaii, disappears. Fearing the worst, her parents travel to Hawaii to investigate for themselves, never expecting the horror that awaits them.

LA Times reporter Ben Hawkins is conducting his own research into the case, hoping to help the victim and get an idea for his next bestseller. With no leads and no closer to uncovering the kidnapper's identity than when he stepped off the plane, Ben gets a shocking visit that pushes him into an impossible-to-resist deal with the devil.

A heart-pounding story of fear and desire, SWIMSUIT transports listeners to a chilling new territory where the collision of beauty and murder transforms paradise into a hell of unspeakable horrors.

Audio Exerpts

Thanks to Hachette Audio, I'm giving away 2 copies of this audiobook.

To enter, just comment. (leave your email address so that you can be contacted if you win in the body of your comment)

For an extra entry, tweet this contest using the retweet button on the top of this post.

Good luck!

Ends July 10, 2009 11:59PM Arizona time.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Audiobook Giveaway: The Bourne Deception [Unabridged] by Eric Van Lustbader

Overview: After Bourne is ambushed and nearly killed while in Indonesia, he fakes his death to take on a new identity and mission- to find out who is trying to assassinate him. Across the globe, an American passenger airliner is shot down over Egypt. A massive global team lead by Soraya Moore is assembled to investigate the attack. When Bourne's search for his would-be assassin intersects with Soraya's search for the group behind the airplane bombing, Bourne is thrust into a race to prevent a new world war. But it may already be too late.

Listen to an exerpt.

Thanks to Hachette Book Group, I have a copy of this great title to giveaway.

To enter:

Leave a comment with your email address. It's that simple.

Extra entry if you tweet this giveaway using the retweet button on this post. Just say you did it, simple enough. The button will now auto-insert @iheartmonster into your tweet. Thanks to @michellecaberte for the hack! Check out her SEO blog!

Deadline: July 10, 2009 11:59PM Arizona Time.

Audiobook Inspection: The Summoning

Size: 123 MB (Audible)
Length: 8 hours, 34 minutes
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Narrator: Cassandra Morris

Plot Sketch: Chloe Saunders is small for her age. If you saw her, there's no way you'd guess she was fifteen. She's at school one day and decides that it'd be no big deal to spend one period in the bathroom instead of in class. A man, horridly disfigured who must be substituting for the school janitor approaches her. She screams. She runs away. The school restrains her and demands that she be put in a group home for psychological evaluation. Her loving aunt and detached father decide to put Chloe in Lyle House, where Chloe is diagnosed and where she can rest and where she can accept her diagnosis. The events at Lyle House turn out to be nothing short of exhausting, and lead her to believe her diagnosis is bunk.

Plot Verdict: I Heart It! Tune into this audiobook for twists and turns and a great story that left both Monster and I wanting more, immediately. I was listening to this while I was driving and Monster was finishing up Elenium by David Eddings (RIP) and when he joined me about one hour in, he became immediately enthralled. We did not turn it off save to get out and do our hikes and the things that we had planned to do. While we were in the car, we listened faithfully. When it was over, we both cursed me for not downloading the Awakening when I was home and could have easily done so. We're going to be listening to the Awakening seperately because neither one of us can wait for the next time we're together.

Narration Verdict: I Heart It. At first, the little kiddie voice was irksome for me, and later I found out for Monster too, but once you learned more about Chloe, it all started to fit. It grew on me. At the end of the book, I wouldn't have changed a thing. Cassandra Morris narrates the Awakening as well and I am looking forward to hearing her interpretation. I think she did a stellar job!

Books I Do Not Heart Giveaways

So, while I was creating the posts for these giveaways, I totally screwed up the dates on them. I am REALLY sorry. I tried to change the dates, but couldn't get it done correctly because either a)I'm just plain inept b)my calendar was from 2008 c)I got sucked through a time warp or d)all of the above.

So, please accept my apology for the date mishaps. I feel very ashamed.

To correct this mistake, I'm extending the deadline to enter through tomorrow at noon Arizona time. If you wanted to enter, but thought it was over in May, just enter today, or tomorrow morning. I've added links to the cover pictures below, so you can click through to enter. So sorry for any inconvenience.

You Know I Heart You,

I Heart Monster

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

(giveaway) Book I Do Not Heart: Secrets to Happiness by Sarah Dunn

While I'm on vaca, I'm giving away books I didn't like, so keep your eyes open for "Book I Do Not Heart" posts where I'll be giving away books that just weren't for me.

I did review this one, but as you'll recall, I did not enjoy it. The characters just didn't speak to me and I couldn't make myself care.

As always when sponsored by me, this is open worldwide. Entries close on June 25th 11:59pm, Arizona time and winners will be announced in an aggregate Books I Do Not Heart Giveaways post on June 25th.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

It's Storybuilders Time!

Welcome to a new weekly feature here at I Heart Monster, Storybuilders. The idea of this post is to get you involved and to get your creative juices flowing! Participation is a MUST for this to work.

I'll start a story with one or two sentences. Then you, my lovely readers, come here and add on to the story in the comments section. Sound fun? I think it does :o) Each week, I'll post the last week's story and give you a new start.

The rules:

1. Each person can only add one sentence.
2. You may not post two consecutive entries (otherwise it wouldn't be wiki-ish)
3. Let's try to keep it PG.
4. You can designate new paragraphs and time pauses if you want to.

This week's start:

Lily ran across campus screaming, "I hate my life! I hate my life!" She ran and ran until she bumped into...

Monday, June 22, 2009

Top Ten Countries Visitng I Heart Monster

I thought you might find it interesting to see how many countries are represented in the stats of people who visit I Heart Monster...

Total number of countries that have visited IHM: 58

Top Ten Most Visitng Countries:

1. United States (2,527)2. Canada (276)
3. United Kingdom (259)
4. Singapore (74)
5. New Zealand (66)
6. Philippines (54)
7. Argentina (49)
8. Belgium (47)
9. Australia (38)
10. Germany (19)

Also, I am proud to announce that I have had at least one visitor from all 50 states now!

Top Ten Most Visiting U.S. States:

1. Arizona (574)
2. California (257)
3. New York (213)
4. Texas (186)
5. Washington (108)
6. Illinois (102)
7. Ohio (72)
8. Florida (71)
Virginia (71)
9. Connecticut (69)

Thank you so much to everyone who has visited. I mean it from the bottom of my very deep heart!

Why don't you comment and let me know if your country or your state is represented on the list or give a shout out to someone. Like I'm about to do...

Hey Arizona! Thanks for being my home state and my single largest supporter! You guys are super smokin' hot (literally).

Want to see your country or state's flag up here? Tell your friends to come and visit us!

You know I heart you,

I Heart Monster

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Ambitious Edition: The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin by Josh Berk

Title: The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin
Authors: Josh Berk
ISBN: 0375856994
Release Date: 02.09.10
Website: http://joshberkbooks.com/

The Usual Questions:

Is this the first in a series?
Nooe, but Josh is working on another title that will be released in 2011.

What is the basic concept?

Being a hefty, deaf newcomer almost makes Will Halpin the least popular guy at Coaler High. But when he befriends the only guy less popular than him, the dork-namic duo has the smarts and guts to figure out who knocked off the star quarterback. Will can’t hear what’s going on, but he’s a great observer. So, who did it? And why does that guy talk to his fingers? And will the beautiful girl ever notice him? (Okay, so Will’s interested in more than just murder . . .)

Those who prefer their heroes to be not-so-usual and with a side of wiseguy will gobble up this witty, geeks-rule debut. (from Goodreads)

Is the cover art favorable?
Yes, it has that classic look with a twist. I heart it.

What are some of the author's other works?
I think this is his first.

Preorder The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

(giveaway) Book I Do Not Heart: Bleed by Laurie Faria Stolarz

While I'm on vaca, I'm giving away books I didn't like, so keep your eyes open for "Book I Do Not Heart" posts where I'll be giving away books that just weren't for me.

Bleed was too mature for my taste. I found that I just didn't care about the characters. The book has a little water damage on the back, but is in pretty good condition. I just pulled a wetwipe out of the carton, and put the book down on a corner of the wipe and didn't realize that the book was absorbing the water. It was a clean wetwipe, no ickiness, but did a little damage to the book.

As always when sponsored by me, this is open worldwide. Entries close on June 25th 11:59pm, Arizona time and winners will be announced in an aggregate Books I Do Not Heart Giveaways post on May 25th.

Friday, June 19, 2009

You're The Expert: Reading With Animals

So last week when I was still at home, I was chilling out on the couch and I was trying to read, but one of my cats, Wynk, wouldn't let me. She kept laying on my book and demanding attention, so that prompted a curiosity...

What I Heart Monster wants to know:

Do you have a beloved pet that ever tries to keep you from reading?
If so, what do you do to get them to leave you alone?
What kind of pet is it?
What is the pet's name?
Tell us a story about reading with your pet?

(4/5 of my kitties are pictured above... gray glow eyes is Munchie, white and black is Snapdragyn, gray black stripeys is Larkspyr and the white and gray one is Wynk)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Minimal Investment: The Mattress by Ella Press

This week's Minimal Investment post comes to us all the way from Argentina! Thanks to Ella for sharing this one with us!

The Mattress
by Ella Press
Word Count: 1375

My head is spinning. I feel like I've been kicked by a horse. Twice. I don't remember where I am, or how I got here. Everything's so bright, it hurts my eyes. I close them, but the light spots are still there. It's hard for me to breathe, so I inhale softly, trying to soothe my breathing. I'm lying down, on something soft, but I have no idea what it could be; light's too bright, I can't see a thing. So I try to listen to my surroundings. Silence. I can't hear anything. I don't feel anyone.

My body aches. I think.

I don't remember what happened last night. just that I was in a bar. And that the girl with the red dress was staring at me again. She looked like someone I used to know, that's why I invited her a drink once. I think she really likes me. But I wasn't looking for anything at that moment. I don't think I'll be looking for anything or anyone for a while.

I remember her face. And I get angry at myself for starting to lose it. But the girl's still there, and she's smiling at me. I don't return the smile, so she drops her eyes, ashamed.

I remember the time when I was with her. Her simle was the prettiest smile in the universe. But it's slipping away from my memories. When was the last time I saw her? I don't know anymore. All of our pictures were lost in the journey. I had one in my wallet, but a drunk man stole it from me. There were just twenty dollars in it. And the picture. That hurt.

I don't remember claerly what happened to her, just that one day she was gone. And I was angry at her, for not having told me she was leaving. And at myself, for not having known what she was thinking, to be able to stop her.
The matress I'm lying over –I think it's a matress, it feels like it's one- sinks under the pressure of a new being.

Vainilla. And cherries.

“Sophie,” the word comes out of my mouth in an exhale.

“Here I am, Ethan,” she says. “Open your eyes, the light from the headlights won't bother you anymore.”

Sophie was right, the light was gone. But I opened my eyes too quickly, they were burning. The memories just kept slipping away.

Her eyes. Her most beautiful caracteristic. They were green like marijuana, she said. The memories were starting to come back. And her smile was just like I remembered it. It had been to long since I had last seen her.

“When did you come back?" I asked her.

“I didn't come back, you found me.”

I had been thinking about her last night, maybe in my state of intoxication I had found her somehow.

“How loag ago did I get here? How did I get here?” The answers to these questions kept avoiding me.

“You didn't get here yet. But don't worry about that now. We have some more time.”

I didn't understand what she'd meant, but I didn't ask her anything else either. The only thing that mattered to me was that I could finally see her. And talk to her. And...

I reached out with my hand and brushed it against hers. Her skin was warm and soft. Sophie closed her eyes to my touch. Her breathing was becoming heavier, as I traced her curves with my fingers. My heart exploded with happiness, and the lust lost in the way had learned to use its map to get back to me again.

I quickly got up, sitting beside her. I brought her closer to me, and she held me with her doll-like arms. I kissed her neck, just below her ear. I could feel her heart beating just as fast as mine. She let out a sigh of desire. She she kissed me under my chin.

With one of my hands I brushed one of her breasts.

And we lost ourselves in one another. Once more.

Lying on the matress. We stared at the ceiling that wasn't there. No walls no windows no doors. Nothing. The matress, white, was still there.

White. The lights. They were shinning with more intensity than before, I rolled over, my face over the matress.

“What is this place? Where are we?”

“We're everywhere, and nowhere,” she simply responded.

My heart was starting to fail. I felt an itch, the echo of something more. I brought my hand up to my chest, the itch persisted.

“Again, higher,” the voice came from not so far away.

Fearing that the intensity of the light could hurt my eyes, I asked Sophie where that sound came from.

“You can look, the light cannot hurt you.”

Sophie had never lied to me before, but after having gone like that, I wasn't sure if I should believe her or not. I decided to listen to her, just so I wouldn't offend her. Slowly, I rolled back over myself, on the matress, and I opened my eyes. As usual, she was right.

And my heart was aching.

“Why did you leave without letting my know? Why didn't you call me, or leave me a note?”

Sophie had always been a very forward woman, so she didn't look down when she answered me.

“I didn't know what to say to you, nor how you were going to take it. I knew I had to leave and that you would try to stop me. Even if I had explained to you the reasons for my departure a thousand times, you wouldn't have understood me. And don't tell me it's not like that,” she added when she saw me open my mouth to reply, "because I know you. I had to leave on my own, without anyone trying to persuade me to stay.” She frowned, getting upset. “I couldn't take it anymore, E. Do you get it? It was too much.”

Of course I understood her. I felt the same thing.

I nodded, and she replied by doing the same gesture.

“You still don't know where we are, do you?” she asked me.

I shook my head in denial, from one side to the other.

“We're in the hospital, see?” she said pointing to a group of doctors that surrounded a patient. They looked pretty busy, trying to save that stranger. The man in question was really bruised, covered in blood.

“What happened to him?” I asked Sophie.

“A driver didn't see him, and he ran over him.” The tone of her voice sounded just like if I had just asked het the time.

“Do you know what you're going to do?” she asked.

“With what?”

“Look at that man a little closer. Doesn't he look familiar?”

He did look like someone I knew, I just couldn't remember from where.

“It's you, E. That man is you."

I leaned over the doctor that was bent over the man.

“Hmm, yeah. I think I knew it from a start. It doesn't surprise me."

“Now you remember what happened last night?” Sophie asked me.

“Yes, I remember now,” I breathed. The memories were coming back to me in a batallion, fighting amongst themselves. Wanting to come first. My mind spun again.

The lights from the hospital -or the headlights?- blinded me. Everything my body received, I could feel too.

“There's still a connection between both. It's up to you to go back or not,” she told me, looking at me in the eyes.

“What would happen if I chose to stay?”

“If that were your choice, you'd be with me. And this time I wouldn't go anywhere. I'm right where I wanna be.” She smiled at me. Inviting me to stay.

The doctors were still fighting to rescue the ruins of my body. Suddenly, there was nothing more to be done.

I turned to look at Sophie, who smiled, guessing my decision.

She took me by the hand, and together we flew away.

Far away.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

How many times can I say "Um?"

You guys, such a cool thing..

Storyheart had me as a guest on A Book and A Chat yesterday. You HAVE to check it out! You just have to. Okay, well you don't have to, but you'll be missing out if you don't!

You can listen to the show at


on Storyheart's blog at


or download it so you can listen to it over and over and over again at


Our Terms: POP QUIZ!

Want to check out how you're retaining all of those new words you learn each Wednesday?

Take the pop quiz to find out!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

(giveaway) Book I Do Not Heart: Marked by P.C. & Kristin Cast

While I'm on vaca, I'm giving away books I didn't like, so keep your eyes open for "Book I Do Not Heart" posts where I'll be giving away books that just weren't for me.

I only made it through 150 pages of Marked when I realized that the book just wasn't for me. I was going to write a review, but now its been so long (since April!) since I read it, I decided not to. I can tell you that my reasons for not liking it were based on my religious beliefs, and my abhorration of the church people being called "People of Faith." I kind of felt persecuted while I was reading it. So you're asking, "Why are you telling me this now?"

You might want my copy? And I also have the next book in the series as well that I'm giving up, Betrayed. Both have been owned only by me. Betrayed hasn't even been cracked open. Marked has been sitting on my windowsill for months, so it's a bit dusty.

So, if you want to read these and haven't had the chance to yet, just drop a note in the comments section to enter to win them. Make sure to leave a way for me to contact you, email, twitter, you know, your intergalactic phone number, something. This is for both books, Marked & Betrayed.

As always when sponsored by me, this is open worldwide. Entries close on June 23rd 11:59pm, Arizona time and winners will be announced in an aggregate Books I Do Not Heart Giveaways post on May 25th. (Sorry about the date typo before!!)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Operative Factors: What Should I Read Next?

What Should I Read Next? is a nifty website that allows you to enter the title of a book that you liked and it will provide you with a list of similar titles that you may like.

For instance: I entered Glass Houses by Rachel Caine and it gave me this list of similar titles:

Succubus Dreams - Richelle Mead
Curse The Dark - Laura Anne Gilman
Curse the Dawn - Karen Chance
Darkling - Yasmine Galenorn
The Struggle - Lisa Jane Smith
Vampire Kisses 3: Vampireville - Ellen Schreiber
Comments No Man's Bride - Shana Galen
Rogue - Rachel Vincent
Embraced By Darkness - Keri Arthur
At Grave's End - Jeaniene Frost

Then at the bottom, you can register, simply by entering your email address and you will be able to call upon lists and select multiple lists to cross-reference.

I think it's pretty nifty.

Why don't you give it a try the next time you want to find a book similar to another one that you've liked?

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Ambitious Edition: Another Faust by Dina and Daniel Nayeri

Title: Another Faust
Authors: Dina and Daniel Nayeri
ISBN: 0763637076
Release Date: 8.25.09
Website: http://www.danielanddina.com/site/

The Usual Questions:

Is this the first in a series?

What is the basic concept?

One night, across four cities, five children disappear. Years later, five enigmatic teenagers appear at an exclusive New York holiday party with their strange but beautiful governess, Madame Vileroy. Rumor and mystery follow the Faust children to the elite Marlowe School, where their presence brings unexplainable misfortune.

Using a series of “gifts” given to them by Madame Vileroy, the children are able to soar to suspicious heights at Marlowe. The gifts seem child-like in their simplicity. The governess teaches them to cheat, steal, hide, and lie; ‘harmless’ she calls them, though they are much more. For the vicious over-achiever, reading an unsuspecting mind is simply to cheat. For the reclusive pariah, the gift of stopping time is just another way to hide. And who but an aspiring writer can weave a convincing lie?

Soon, Madame Vileroy’s gifts become darker and more complex. Living in a gray home designed to cultivate and corrupt them, they are enveloped in the side effects of their own addictions. They live cursed lives, making deals with the devil as they claw their way toward their goals….that is until two of them begin to uncover secrets more shocking than their most unforgivable sins. A modern retelling of an ancient dilemma, Another Faust recreates the story of the Faustian bargain. Set in present-day New York, but spanning the centuries, it is a chilling tale of ambition, consequences, and ultimate redemption.

Is the cover art favorable?
Oh totally. This is one of those where you see the cover and you're like, ooooo. I wanna read that.

What are some of the author's other works?
I think this is their first.


  • Become a fan of the book and the forthcoming series on Facebook.
  • Follow Dina on Twitter.
  • Follow Daniel on Twitter.
  • Win a signed galley by visiting their blog and pre-ordering Another Faust.
  • Watch the trailer:

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Trixy Trivia: Edition Two

Wait! What? Didn't we just have Trixy Trivia last month?!?  Alas, it is true, I am setting out on another journey, a longer journey, but to where?  I do not exactly know.  I know that I am flying into Salt Lake City and that I am going on a 2-legged roadtrip, but to where? I am not sure.  So since I won't be around to reply to your comments, I am going to reward you for still commenting and hanging out here at I Heart Monster with this contest. (and as this posted, I am on my way to the airport!)

I will be checking in with you guys on the 16th and 17th and I am going to be interviewed by Storyheart on Blog Talk Radio on the 16th, so do not fret, I will be back in touch mid-way through the entry period for this edition of Trixy Trivia.

The winner of this edition's Trixy Trivia will receive a nice little note from me with (5) I Heart Monster bookmarks which I think are pretty cool.  They'll also receive their paperback book of choice from Amazon.com with a $10 limit.  So, here we go ladies and gents...  enter and get them all right for a chance to win.  If you don't want this fabulous prize, enter anyway so that you can learn!  The answers to all of the questions can be found here at I Heart Monster.

Email answers to iheartmonsterATiheartmonsterDOTcom and be sure to put Trixy Trivia in the subject line.  This contest, as always when sponsored by me, is open worldwide.

1. Seth Graham-Smith has already begun work on another novel about which American president?
2. Name one audiobook I have given away on I Heart Monster.
3. What is the name of the book that Monster reviewed for us in May?
4. What well-loved fantasy author passed away in early June?
5. What is the name of the book that I reviewed that I am saving to share and discuss with my daughter if I have one?
6. Where did I go on my last trip that warranted a Trixy Trivia contest?
7. What is the name of the first Shakespeare play I am reading for the Summer Shakespeare Contest?
8. What is the name of the website that I get all of my audiobooks from?
9. What author had a Twitter Party to promote their book launch this month?
10. Which book inspection did you most enjoy since you've been reading IHM? (bonus! no one can get this one wrong!)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Mini Book Inspection & Blog Tour: Secrets to Happiness by Sarah Dunn

Plot Sketch: Holly Frick has just endured the worst kind of breakup: the kind where you're still in love with the person leaving you. While her wounds are still dangerously close to the surface, her happily married best friend confesses over a bottle of wine that she is this close to having an affair. And another woman comes to Holly for advice about her love life--with Holly's ex!

Holly decides that if everyone around her can take pleasure wherever they find it, so will she. As any self-respecting 30ish New York woman would do, she brings two males into her life: a flawed but endearing dog, and a good natured, much younger lover. She's soon entangled in a web of emails, chance meetings, and misguided good intentions and must forge an entirely new path to Nirvana.

From the author of The Big Love, Secrets to Happiness is a big-hearted, knife-sharp, and hilariously entertaining story about the perils of love and friendship, sex and betrayal--and a thoroughly modern take on our struggle to be happy. (forgive me for not writing my own!)

Verdict: No Love. I did finish this book, but I just couldn't bring myself to care about the characters. I just really didn't care what happened, and didn't enjoy the story. I didn't connect with the characters at all. The writing is adequate, this book just wasn't for me. That doesn't mean that you won't like it though! I also didn't like the fact that the chapters weren't numbered, 'cause I didn't have any idea where I was in the story.
Other Blog Tour Participants:

http://nevernotreading.blogspot.com/ http://www.writeforareader.blogspot.com/ http://www.acircleofbooks.blogspot.com/ http://abookishmom.blogspot.comhttp://bfishreads.blogspot.com/http://zensanity.blogspot.com/http://scribevibe.blogspot.com/http://thereviewfromhere.wordpress.com/http://www.iheartmonster.com/http://peekingbetweenthepages.blogspot.com/http://hiddenplace.wordpress.com/http://books-movies-chinesefood.blogspot.com/ http://thisbookforfree.com/ http://bookopolis.blogspot.com/ http://mindingspot.blogspot.com/ http://www.amberstults.com/http://bookingmama.blogspot.com/http://confessionsofaromancebookaddict.wordpress.com/http://bookslovejessicamarie.blogspot.comhttp://chikune.com/bloghttp://luanne-abookwormsworld.blogspot.com/ http://www.foreigncircuslibrary.blogspot.com/ http://cafeofdreams.blogspot.com/ http://purplg8r-somanybooks.blogspot.com/ http://www.squidoo.com/bookcase http://www.readingwithmonie.com/ http://enroutetolife.blogspot.com/http://www.bookthoughtsbylisa.blogspot.com/http://cindysloveofbooks.blogspot.com/http://danys-san.blogspot.com http://www.myspace.com/darbyscloset http://epicrat.blogspot.com/ http://thetometraveller.blogspot.com/ http://jennsbookshelf.blogspot.com/http://www.linussblanket.comhttp://dreyslibrary.blogspot.com/http://wendisbookcorner.blogspot.com/http://booksiesblog.blogspot.com/http://savvyverseandwit.blogspot.com/http://bookinwithbingo.blogspot.comhttp://everydayiwritethebook.typepad.comhttp://booksandneedlepoint.blogspot.comhttp://www.bookwormygirl.blogspot.com

Thursday, June 11, 2009

20 Things in 20 Days: Clue #1

To celebrate the launch of Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler, I’m blogging clue #1 for the 20 Things in 20 Days Scavenger Hunt, where participants answer clues and challenges to earn points toward the 20 Things grand prize! Get a clue June 11-30 at 20 Things in 20 Days!

Today’s clue:

Sea glass is featured throughout Twenty Boy Summer, including on the cover. Main character Anna’s collection of sea glass is very special to her. It reminds her of the ocean and of her brief time with Matt, who once promised Anna the hand-made blue sea glass necklace he used to wear. For 20 Things clue #1, tell us in the comments (include your email or blog link!) about something of yours that holds symbolic or sentimental meaning. It might be a piece of jewelry, a souvenir from a trip, a gift someone gave you, a toy or collectible -- anything special. 2 points. 1 extra point for taking a picture of your item and sending it to Sarah Ockler!

Wait... today's a bonus clue day!

For a chance to earn more points, check out today's bonus clue at Book Blather!

Savvy Scribblers: Cindy Pon

This month's edition of savvy scribblers features Cindy Pon, author of Silver Phoenix: Beyond the Kingdom of Xia. According to Cindy's site, cindypon.com, she is "a stay at home mom and when she's not writing or painting, she likes to read, daydream, travel, eat and watch films in the theatre, and she loves pastries, chai lattes and taiwanese food!"

If you haven't read Silver Phoenix already, you really really need to. I'm serious. Or, you could enter to win it below too! I want you all to know that I started reading it with serious reservations because I was not fluent in Eastern culture, but I seriously loved it!

Cindy, thanks for being here with us for this interview! Let's get started, shall we?

About the Book:

IHM: Are there really books called "The Book of Making" and "The Book of the Dead" or texts similar to these in Chinese culture, or are they complete fiction?

CP: no, there are not. those are made up. =)

IHM: Can you explain a little about Chinese naming conventions?

CP: from experience, most chinese people
have three characters in their name. the first character would be
the family name (or last name by our convention). but they don't go
around being called by their surname.

thus, my heroine's name is "ai ling". her family name is "wen".
so her whole name is "wen ai ling".

my heroe's name is "chen yong". his family name is "li".
his whole name is "li chen yong". (he DOES introduce himself
as li chen yong at one point in the novel.)

there are some cases where a person only has ONE character
for his name. then often, their family name is included in the name
all the time. this is the case with "li rong". "rong" is his name and
"li" is his family name--the same as chen yong--as they are brothers.

yeah, i had to make it complicated. but it stays true to conventions. =)

IHM: Regarding pronunciation, are there any guidelines we should know about? For instance, how would Xia and Xian be pronounced?

CP: too hard to go into alas. pronunciation is difficult without actual classes
in mandarin. but xia would be pronounced like she-ya, spoken quickly.
and she-yen for "xian".

IHM: Is there any significance to all of the banging of heads that takes place throughout Silver Phoenix?

CP: it is a person humbling himself to god or his elders or whomever
is higher than him in status. often, a way of apologizing or of showing

IHM: What religion would Ai Ling and Chen Yong have practiced? Also, what roll does ancestor worship have in that religion?

CP: chinese religion is based on both taoism as well as buddhism
amd confucianism. and altho based on chinese culture, what they do
believe in is an amalgam of these things--the idea of reincarnation
(buddhism) or filial piety (putting family over self) from confucianism.
or reverence for ancestor spirits and immortals in taoism. i think they
are all touched upon in Silver Phoenix!

About Cindy:

IHM: What made you decide to start taking Chinese brush painting lessons?

CP: i had a coworker who took it for over a decade. she showed me her
portfolio and i was just so...inspired. art is beautiful. and i've always been
drawn to color and vivacity and nature. there's a lot of that in chinese brush

IHM: What was the biggest culture shock to you when you moved to America with your family?

CP: i think probably that i couldn't speak a word of english. when you're six years
old and you took all those years to master a language (chinese), it's a shock to
go somewhere completely new and not be able to understand what was being
said or speak back. it made a big impression on me.

IHM: Imagine the world is coming to an end (via zombies, vampires, global disaster, etc.), and the only things you have left to burn to keep yourself warm are books. Which would you burn first?

CP: which book would i burn first? haha!
the dictionary comes to mind, as it's big. but i'd
hate to lose that. it'd have to be a giant chemistry
or physics textbook i think. ha!

IHM: Can you share with us one thing that you can't leave the house without?

CP: tissues. ha! so unglamorous.

IHM: You write beautifully about bravery and courage and honor, may I ask who your real life hero is?

CP: my mother. she shows me how to be a heroine.

IHM: Thank you Cindy, for being here with us today.

CP: thanks so much for having me, shesten! this was a super fun interview!!

And, as a special bonus, I bring to you:

top ten television shows Cindy loves:

america's next top model
make me a supermodel
gossip girl
housewives of nyc
project runway
the millionaire matchmaker

Now, to enter to win a copy of Silver Phoenix, you need to make a guess as to one of the shows that Cindy and I both watch. Yep. How fun, right? I've talked about my shows on twitter, I talk about them on Facebook, and I talk about them on my personal blog (which if you've been paying attention, I've linked to exactly twice). So there are some places for you to find cheats, or you can simply guess OR I'm sure you can catch me on Twitter and coerce me into answering some questions that might help you decide which ones are the same! I'll tell you that we have 4 in common, so all you have to do is guess one of the four. You may guess once. Wrong guesses get one entry. Right guesses get 2 entries!

The winner will receive a copy of Cindy's debut novel, Silver Phoenix: Beyond the Kingdom of Xia, brand spakin' new from me, as well as a signed bookplate and a bookmark featuring Cindy's brush painting, from Cindy. How cool is that? This is open worldwide! Please make your guess by June 30, 2009.

Get to guessing!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Our Terms: l-o-q-u-a-c-i-o-u-s, loquacious

loquacious \loh-KWAY-shuhs\, adjective:
1. Very talkative.
2. Full of excessive talk; wordy.

The meeting went on for hours, accommodating loquacious bores who were each allowed their say.
-- Andrew Sullivan, "Gay Life, Gay Death", The New Republic, December 17, 1990

In drawing a sharp contrast with the loquacious Ginsburg, her new lawyers appeared for just a few moments and said virtually nothing to reporters before retreating into the building.
-- Peter Baker, "Lewinsky Replaces Ginsburg", Washington Post, June 3, 1998

Source: dictionary.com

Charles Dickens is the most loquacious writer in the history of mankind.

You know you want to write something about someone who is loquacious too! Comment!