Sunday, May 31, 2009

Care To Comment?


Monster and I donate to a few charities on a monthly basis, and we donate to a unique one each month that we believe in.  July's charity is going to be Reach Out And Read, a 4-star Charity Navigator Charity.

For every comment IHM gets during the month of June, we're going to throw in an extra nickel for the cause.  It might not sound like a lot, but it only takes 20 comments to equal one dollar...

Some ground rules:

1) Duplicate posts don't count.
2) I ask for one comment per participant in my contests, so multiple comments on contest posts will be disregarded.
3) The comments must be left in June.
4) Replies count.  So if I reply to you, it counts.  If you reply back to me, it counts, and so on.
5) Spammers don't count.
6) I'd really prefer it if you actually said something in the comment... get interactive for the cause!

This starts up at midnight tonight my time, yeah, in less than an hour.  And comments on this post count!!  Ends June 30th 11:59 Arizona time.

Ambitious Edition: Meridian by Amber Kizer

Title: Meridian
Author: Amber Kizer
ISBN: 0385736681
Release Date: 8.11.09
Website: http://www.amberkizer.com

The Usual Questions:

Is this the first in a series?
I don't think so. UPDATE: Amber left a comment to let us know that it is potentially the first in a series. Thanks Amber!

What is the basic concept?
from Amber's website:
My name is Meridian Sozu. I am a Fenestra. I have always shared my world with the dead and the dying. But I really didn't understand what that meant until I turned sixteen and glimpsed my own mortality. . .

Sixteen-year-old Meridian has always been surrounded by death. As a child, insects, mice, and salamanders burrowed into her bedclothes to die. As she grew, the animals got bigger, and soon they were finding her at school to die in her presence. Meridian became an outcast, labeled by her classmates as Reaper, Gravedigger, and Witch. Each death she witnesses weakens her body, and loneliness weakens her spirit.
On her sixteenth birthday, she witnesses a deadly car crash. Though she’s untouched, Meridian's body explodes with the victims’ pain.

Before she can fully recover, Meridian is told that she's a danger to her family and rushed to her great-aunt's house in Revelation, Colorado. It's there that she learns the secret her mother has been hiding her entire life: that she is a Fenestra, the half-angel, half-human link between the living and the dead. It's crucial that she learn how to transition human souls to the afterlife and preserve the balance between good and evil on earth. But Meridian and her sworn protector and love, Tens, face great danger from the Aternocti, a band of dark forces who capture vulnerable souls on the brink of death and cause chaos. Dark, lovely, and lushly romantic, MERIDIAN introduces a powerful heroine who will entrance readers.

Is the cover art favorable?
Oh yeah.

What are some of the author's other works?
One Butt Cheek At A Time.

Notes:

On Goodreads, you can find the Prologue, and some information on Behind the Book.

Superman v. Batman... And the *WINNER*

Way back when I started the Enemies & Allies giveaway, I asked you all to enter by leaving a comment with who you like the best, Batman or Superman, and why. Well, ladies and gents, hold onto your boots, imagine that I'm speaking to you over a crackly 1950s radio about the impending showdown...

In the red corner, faster than a speeding bullet, strong enough to rescue a ship full of people, more than just a man, I present to you: SUPERMAN!

In the black corner, stealthier than a B-52, stronger than you, smarter than your average bat, I bring you: BATMAN!

Over the last three weeks they have battled an immense battle of words at the blog I Heart Monster. They've taken blows, and hits, and smacks and POW!s. You've been keeping your eye on them for a while. We want to know who will win the reader poll. Will it be close? Will it be a landslide? The votes are finally in! We'll return after this message with the announcement of the winner.

*This program brought to you by Alka-Seltzer*

All right folks, here we are. It came down to a tally of sixteen to five. Wait, here it is folks!The referee is walking out into the middle of the floor to announce the winner. He's grasping both of the superheroes' hands... I can't take the suspense any longer! It's BATMAN! He raised BATMAN's hand!!! BATMAN has won over the readers of I Heart Monster in a landslide victory! Sixteen to five.

All of you spectators who voted were entered in to win Kevin J. Anderson's new book containing The Dark Knight and The Man of Steel, Enemies & Allies. The Accounting Firm has brought BATMAN the envelope. BATMAN reaches for the microphone...

*static*
*brushshshwhooshbrush*
*tap*
*tap*


On behalf of my fans, I'd like to present this novel starring myself and the courageous Superman to...

*he opens the envelope*

bbx

It says here that bbx said of me, "Batman! Because he's a human being without super powers. He just is mega-rich and owns supertoys and gadgets :) "

Thank you very much, bbx, for helping me win this contest of popularity among blog readers. It means so very much to me.

With that, bbx, to claim your prize, email I Heart Monster with your mailing address and she will see to the delivery of the novel to your home. I'd stick around and chat with all of you lovely people, but gas prices seem to have gone up drastically and my Batmobile is a guzzler when left to idle. I should talk to Captain Planet about helping me find a more efficient means of transportation.

*whoosh of a cape*
*Batman is gone*

*Superman stands dignified in the corner*
*Superman walks over and picks up the dropped microphone*

*tap*

Thank you to the five of you who voted for me. I'd beat Batman in a real showdown anyway. I'm off to my Fortress of Solitude to sulk.

*red and blue flash*
*Superman is gone*


Well ladies and gentlemen, we hope you enjoyed tonight's entertainment, and hope you will participate and interact as much as you can at I Heart Monster. We'd like to thank our sponsors one more time before we sign-off...

*crack*
*someone turned off the radio*

Well, I guess you got sick of that. Sorry, just trying out a little something different to announce the winner, but I know I'm a total dork, so you don't have to tell me. Congrats bbx!!

Friday, May 29, 2009

You're The Expert: Eating

I want to know what you do when you're in a good spot in a book and your tummy starts grumbling because you're reading? 

  • Is it hard for you to take eating breaks?
  • Are you talented enough to eat and read and flip pages all at once?
  • Are you afraid that you'll get food on your pages?
  • Do you read for so long that you forget to eat?
  • Is there a specific go-to food for you while you're reading?
  • Do you tend to eat healthier or junkier while you're immersed in a great book?
  • Do you read while you're preparing dinner or a meal?

Shareworthy: Friday, May 29 [Volume 1, Edition 9]

It's time for this week's superlicious stuff from around my world, so cool I deem it Shareworthy:

  • Check out the blog Worst Review Ever where authors share their worst reviews. I've gotten a few laughs out of it already and I've only been following this week. Thank you to Lauren Lipton for pointing it out!
  • Did you see the bit about how a Hollywood Zombie movie made on a $70 budget (yes seventy, like $70.00) made huge waves at Cannes?
  • Speaking of zombies, have you checked out BuyZombie.com? Fun site.
  • First contest I want to mention is Bree Despain, author of The Dark Divine, set to drop this December. She's having a really cool contest for new and existing followers on the 22nd of each month. If you go follow based on this email, be sure to tell her I sent you.
  • The second contest I wanted to share was Dull Boy over at Traveling to Teens. Check it out.
  • Lastly regarding contests, before next Shareworthy rolls around, four IHM contests will come to a conclusion. So if you're interested, make sure you enter the Enemies & Allies by Kevin J. Anderson contest by telling us who you prefer, Batman or Superman, the Cemetery Dance on audiobook giveaway (thanks Hachette!), Mating Rituals of the North American WASP (thanks again Hachette!) and the Emily the Strange Blackmail contest that you can enter by telling us why YOU are strange. Enemies & Allies and Emily the Strange are both open worldwide.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Minimal Investment: A Predicament by Edgar Allan Poe

Word Count: 3618

A Predicament
What chance, good lady, hath bereft you thus?
--COMUS.

IT was a quiet and still afternoon when I strolled forth in the goodly city of Edina. The confusion and bustle in the streets were terrible. Men were talking. Women were screaming. Children were choking. Pigs were whistling. Carts they rattled. Bulls they bellowed. Cows they lowed. Horses they neighed. Cats they caterwauled. Dogs they danced. Danced! Could it then be possible? Danced! Alas, thought I, my dancing days are over! Thus it is ever. What a host of gloomy recollections will ever and anon be awakened in the mind of genius and imaginative contemplation, especially of a genius doomed to the everlasting and eternal, and continual, and, as one might say, the -- continued -- yes, the continued and continuous, bitter, harassing, disturbing, and, if I may be allowed the expression, the very disturbing influence of the serene, and godlike, and heavenly, and exalted, and elevated, and purifying effect of what may be rightly termed the most enviable, the most truly enviable -nay! the most benignly beautiful, the most deliciously ethereal, and, as it were, the most pretty (if I may use so bold an expression) thing (pardon me, gentle reader!) in the world -- but I am always led away by my feelings. In such a mind, I repeat, what a host of recollections are stirred up by a trifle! The dogs danced! I -- I could not! They frisked -- I wept. They capered -- I sobbed aloud. Touching circumstances! which cannot fail to bring to the recollection of the classical reader that exquisite passage in relation to the fitness of things, which is to be found in the commencement of the third volume of that admirable and venerable Chinese novel the Jo-Go-Slow.

In my solitary walk through, the city I had two humble but faithful companions. Diana, my poodle! sweetest of creatures! She had a quantity of hair over her one eye, and a blue ribband tied fashionably around her neck. Diana was not more than five inches in height, but her head was somewhat bigger than her body, and her tail being cut off exceedingly close, gave an air of injured innocence to the interesting animal which rendered her a favorite with all.

And Pompey, my negro! -- sweet Pompey! how shall I ever forget thee? I had taken Pompey's arm. He was three feet in height (I like to be particular) and about seventy, or perhaps eighty, years of age. He had bow-legs and was corpulent. His mouth should not be called small, nor his ears short. His teeth, however, were like pearl, and his large full eyes were deliciously white. Nature had endowed him with no neck, and had placed his ankles (as usual with that race) in the middle of the upper portion of the feet. He was clad with a striking simplicity. His sole garments were a stock of nine inches in height, and a nearly -- new drab overcoat which had formerly been in the service of the tall, stately, and illustrious Dr. Moneypenny. It was a good overcoat. It was well cut. It was well made. The coat was nearly new. Pompey held it up out of the dirt with both hands.

There were three persons in our party, and two of them have already been the subject of remark. There was a third -- that person was myself. I am the Signora Psyche Zenobia. I am not Suky Snobbs. My appearance is commanding. On the memorable occasion of which I speak I was habited in a crimson satin dress, with a sky-blue Arabian mantelet. And the dress had trimmings of green agraffas, and seven graceful flounces of the orange-colored auricula. I thus formed the third of the party. There was the poodle. There was Pompey. There was myself. We were three. Thus it is said there were originally but three Furies -- Melty, Nimmy, and Hetty -- Meditation, Memory, and Fiddling.

Leaning upon the arm of the gallant Pompey, and attended at a respectable distance by Diana, I proceeded down one of the populous and very pleasant streets of the now deserted Edina. On a sudden, there presented itself to view a church -- a Gothic cathedral -vast, venerable, and with a tall steeple, which towered into the sky. What madness now possessed me? Why did I rush upon my fate? I was seized with an uncontrollable desire to ascend the giddy pinnacle, and then survey the immense extent of the city. The door of the cathedral stood invitingly open. My destiny prevailed. I entered the ominous archway. Where then was my guardian angel? -- if indeed such angels there be. If! Distressing monosyllable! what world of mystery, and meaning, and doubt, and uncertainty is there involved in thy two letters! I entered the ominous archway! I entered; and, without injury to my orange-colored auriculas, I passed beneath the portal, and emerged within the vestibule. Thus it is said the immense river Alfred passed, unscathed, and unwetted, beneath the sea.

I thought the staircase would never have an end. Round! Yes, they went round and up, and round and up and round and up, until I could not help surmising, with the sagacious Pompey, upon whose supporting arm I leaned in all the confidence of early affection -- I could not help surmising that the upper end of the continuous spiral ladder had been accidentally, or perhaps designedly, removed. I paused for breath; and, in the meantime, an accident occurred of too momentous a nature in a moral, and also in a metaphysical point of view, to be passed over without notice. It appeared to me -- indeed I was quite confident of the fact -- I could not be mistaken -- no! I had, for some moments, carefully and anxiously observed the motions of my Diana -- I say that I could not be mistaken -- Diana smelt a rat! At once I called Pompey's attention to the subject, and he -- he agreed with me. There was then no longer any reasonable room for doubt. The rat had been smelled -- and by Diana. Heavens! shall I ever forget the intense excitement of the moment? Alas! what is the boasted intellect of man? The rat! -- it was there -- that is to say, it was somewhere. Diana smelled the rat. I -- I could not! Thus it is said the Prussian Isis has, for some persons, a sweet and very powerful perfume, while to others it is perfectly scentless.

The staircase had been surmounted, and there were now only three or four more upward steps intervening between us and the summit. We still ascended, and now only one step remained. One step! One little, little step! Upon one such little step in the great staircase of human life how vast a sum of human happiness or misery depends! I thought of myself, then of Pompey, and then of the mysterious and inexplicable destiny which surrounded us. I thought of Pompey! -alas, I thought of love! I thought of my many false steps which have been taken, and may be taken again. I resolved to be more cautious, more reserved. I abandoned the arm of Pompey, and, without his assistance, surmounted the one remaining step, and gained the chamber of the belfry. I was followed immediately afterward by my poodle. Pompey alone remained behind. I stood at the head of the staircase, and encouraged him to ascend. He stretched forth to me his hand, and unfortunately in so doing was forced to abandon his firm hold upon the overcoat. Will the gods never cease their persecution? The overcoat is dropped, and, with one of his feet, Pompey stepped upon the long and trailing skirt of the overcoat. He stumbled and fell -this consequence was inevitable. He fell forward, and, with his accursed head, striking me full in the -- in the breast, precipitated me headlong, together with himself, upon the hard, filthy, and detestable floor of the belfry. But my revenge was sure, sudden, and complete. Seizing him furiously by the wool with both hands, I tore out a vast quantity of black, and crisp, and curling material, and tossed it from me with every manifestation of disdain. It fell among the ropes of the belfry and remained. Pompey arose, and said no word. But he regarded me piteously with his large eyes and -- sighed. Ye Gods -- that sigh! It sunk into my heart. And the hair -- the wool! Could I have reached that wool I would have bathed it with my tears, in testimony of regret. But alas! it was now far beyond my grasp. As it dangled among the cordage of the bell, I fancied it alive. I fancied that it stood on end with indignation. Thus the happy-dandy Flos Aeris of Java bears, it is said, a beautiful flower, which will live when pulled up by the roots. The natives suspend it by a cord from the ceiling and enjoy its fragrance for years.

Our quarrel was now made up, and we looked about the room for an aperture through which to survey the city of Edina. Windows there were none. The sole light admitted into the gloomy chamber proceeded from a square opening, about a foot in diameter, at a height of about seven feet from the floor. Yet what will the energy of true genius not effect? I resolved to clamber up to this hole. A vast quantity of wheels, pinions, and other cabalistic -- looking machinery stood opposite the hole, close to it; and through the hole there passed an iron rod from the machinery. Between the wheels and the wall where the hole lay there was barely room for my body -- yet I was desperate, and determined to persevere. I called Pompey to my side.

"You perceive that aperture, Pompey. I wish to look through it. You will stand here just beneath the hole -- so. Now, hold out one of your hands, Pompey, and let me step upon it -- thus. Now, the other hand, Pompey, and with its aid I will get upon your shoulders."

He did every thing I wished, and I found, upon getting up, that I could easily pass my head and neck through the aperture. The prospect was sublime. Nothing could be more magnificent. I merely paused a moment to bid Diana behave herself, and assure Pompey that I would be considerate and bear as lightly as possible upon his shoulders. I told him I would be tender of his feelings -- ossi tender que beefsteak. Having done this justice to my faithful friend, I gave myself up with great zest and enthusiasm to the enjoyment of the scene which so obligingly spread itself out before my eyes.

Upon this subject, however, I shall forbear to dilate. I will not describe the city of Edinburgh. Every one has been to the city of Edinburgh. Every one has been to Edinburgh -- the classic Edina. I will confine myself to the momentous details of my own lamentable adventure. Having, in some measure, satisfied my curiosity in regard to the extent, situation, and general appearance of the city, I had leisure to survey the church in which I was, and the delicate architecture of the steeple. I observed that the aperture through which I had thrust my head was an opening in the dial-plate of a gigantic clock, and must have appeared, from the street, as a large key-hole, such as we see in the face of the French watches. No doubt the true object was to admit the arm of an attendant, to adjust, when necessary, the hands of the clock from within. I observed also, with surprise, the immense size of these hands, the longest of which could not have been less than ten feet in length, and, where broadest, eight or nine inches in breadth. They were of solid steel apparently, and their edges appeared to be sharp. Having noticed these particulars, and some others, I again turned my eyes upon the glorious prospect below, and soon became absorbed in contemplation.

From this, after some minutes, I was aroused by the voice of Pompey, who declared that he could stand it no longer, and requested that I would be so kind as to come down. This was unreasonable, and I told him so in a speech of some length. He replied, but with an evident misunderstanding of my ideas upon the subject. I accordingly grew angry, and told him in plain words, that he was a fool, that he had committed an ignoramus e-clench-eye, that his notions were mere insommary Bovis, and his words little better than an ennemywerrybor'em. With this he appeared satisfied, and I resumed my contemplations.

It might have been half an hour after this altercation when, as I was deeply absorbed in the heavenly scenery beneath me, I was startled by something very cold which pressed with a gentle pressure on the back of my neck. It is needless to say that I felt inexpressibly alarmed. I knew that Pompey was beneath my feet, and that Diana was sitting, according to my explicit directions, upon her hind legs, in the farthest corner of the room. What could it be? Alas! I but too soon discovered. Turning my head gently to one side, I perceived, to my extreme horror, that the huge, glittering, scimetar-like minute-hand of the clock had, in the course of its hourly revolution, descended upon my neck. There was, I knew, not a second to be lost. I pulled back at once -- but it was too late. There was no chance of forcing my head through the mouth of that terrible trap in which it was so fairly caught, and which grew narrower and narrower with a rapidity too horrible to be conceived. The agony of that moment is not to be imagined. I threw up my hands and endeavored, with all my strength, to force upward the ponderous iron bar. I might as well have tried to lift the cathedral itself. Down, down, down it came, closer and yet closer. I screamed to Pompey for aid; but he said that I had hurt his feelings by calling him 'an ignorant old squint-eye:' I yelled to Diana; but she only said 'bow-wow-wow,' and that I had told her 'on no account to stir from the corner.' Thus I had no relief to expect from my associates.

Meantime the ponderous and terrific Scythe of Time (for I now discovered the literal import of that classical phrase) had not stopped, nor was it likely to stop, in its career. Down and still down, it came. It had already buried its sharp edge a full inch in my flesh, and my sensations grew indistinct and confused. At one time I fancied myself in Philadelphia with the stately Dr. Moneypenny, at another in the back parlor of Mr. Blackwood receiving his invaluable instructions. And then again the sweet recollection of better and earlier times came over me, and I thought of that happy period when the world was not all a desert, and Pompey not altogether cruel.

The ticking of the machinery amused me. Amused me, I say, for my sensations now bordered upon perfect happiness, and the most trifling circumstances afforded me pleasure. The eternal click-clak, click-clak, click-clak of the clock was the most melodious of music in my ears, and occasionally even put me in mind of the graceful sermonic harangues of Dr. Ollapod. Then there were the great figures upon the dial-plate -- how intelligent how intellectual, they all looked! And presently they took to dancing the Mazurka, and I think it was the figure V. who performed the most to my satisfaction. She was evidently a lady of breeding. None of your swaggerers, and nothing at all indelicate in her motions. She did the pirouette to admiration -- whirling round upon her apex. I made an endeavor to hand her a chair, for I saw that she appeared fatigued with her exertions -- and it was not until then that I fully perceived my lamentable situation. Lamentable indeed! The bar had buried itself two inches in my neck. I was aroused to a sense of exquisite pain. I prayed for death, and, in the agony of the moment, could not help repeating those exquisite verses of the poet Miguel De Cervantes:

Vanny Buren, tan escondida

Query no te senty venny

Pork and pleasure, delly morry

Nommy, torny, darry, widdy!

But now a new horror presented itself, and one indeed sufficient to startle the strongest nerves. My eyes, from the cruel pressure of the machine, were absolutely starting from their sockets. While I was thinking how I should possibly manage without them, one actually tumbled out of my head, and, rolling down the steep side of the steeple, lodged in the rain gutter which ran along the eaves of the main building. The loss of the eye was not so much as the insolent air of independence and contempt with which it regarded me after it was out. There it lay in the gutter just under my nose, and the airs it gave itself would have been ridiculous had they not been disgusting. Such a winking and blinking were never before seen. This behavior on the part of my eye in the gutter was not only irritating on account of its manifest insolence and shameful ingratitude, but was also exceedingly inconvenient on account of the sympathy which always exists between two eyes of the same head, however far apart. I was forced, in a manner, to wink and to blink, whether I would or not, in exact concert with the scoundrelly thing that lay just under my nose. I was presently relieved, however, by the dropping out of the other eye. In falling it took the same direction (possibly a concerted plot) as its fellow. Both rolled out of the gutter together, and in truth I was very glad to get rid of them.

The bar was now four inches and a half deep in my neck, and there was only a little bit of skin to cut through. My sensations were those of entire happiness, for I felt that in a few minutes, at farthest, I should be relieved from my disagreeable situation. And in this expectation I was not at all deceived. At twenty-five minutes past five in the afternoon, precisely, the huge minute-hand had proceeded sufficiently far on its terrible revolution to sever the small remainder of my neck. I was not sorry to see the head which had occasioned me so much embarrassment at length make a final separation from my body. It first rolled down the side of the steeple, then lodge, for a few seconds, in the gutter, and then made its way, with a plunge, into the middle of the street.

I will candidly confess that my feelings were now of the most singular -- nay, of the most mysterious, the most perplexing and incomprehensible character. My senses were here and there at one and the same moment. With my head I imagined, at one time, that I, the head, was the real Signora Psyche Zenobia -- at another I felt convinced that myself, the body, was the proper identity. To clear my ideas on this topic I felt in my pocket for my snuff-box, but, upon getting it, and endeavoring to apply a pinch of its grateful contents in the ordinary manner, I became immediately aware of my peculiar deficiency, and threw the box at once down to my head. It took a pinch with great satisfaction, and smiled me an acknowledgement in return. Shortly afterward it made me a speech, which I could hear but indistinctly without ears. I gathered enough, however, to know that it was astonished at my wishing to remain alive under such circumstances. In the concluding sentences it quoted the noble words of Ariosto--

Il pover hommy che non sera corty

And have a combat tenty erry morty; thus comparing me to the hero who, in the heat of the combat, not perceiving that he was dead, continued to contest the battle with inextinguishable valor. There was nothing now to prevent my getting down from my elevation, and I did so. What it was that Pompey saw so very peculiar in my appearance I have never yet been able to find out. The fellow opened his mouth from ear to ear, and shut his two eyes as if he were endeavoring to crack nuts between the lids. Finally, throwing off his overcoat, he made one spring for the staircase and disappeared. I hurled after the scoundrel these vehement words of Demosthenes-

Andrew O'Phlegethon, you really make haste to fly, and then turned to the darling of my heart, to the one-eyed! the shaggy-haired Diana. Alas! what a horrible vision affronted my eyes? Was that a rat I saw skulking into his hole? Are these the picked bones of the little angel who has been cruelly devoured by the monster? Ye gods! and what do I behold -- is that the departed spirit, the shade, the ghost, of my beloved puppy, which I perceive sitting with a grace so melancholy, in the corner? Hearken! for she speaks, and, heavens! it is in the German of Schiller-

"Unt stubby duk, so stubby dun

Duk she! duk she!" Alas! and are not her words too true?

"And if I died, at least I died

For thee -- for thee." Sweet creature! she too has sacrificed herself in my behalf. Dogless, niggerless, headless, what now remains for the unhappy Signora Psyche Zenobia? Alas -- nothing! I have done.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Book Inspection: Mating Rituals of the North American WASP (+ Giveaway!)

Plot Sketch: Peggy Adams and her best friend Bex own a small bath products shop in New York. Bex is married to Josh, who still lives in the apartment down the hall from her. Peggy lives with her boyfriend of seven years, Brock, who just won't propose. Under a constant barrage from the everyday pains of owning a small business, they take a break for another friend's bachelorette party in Vegas. Peggy gets super drunk and falls. A stranger rushes to her to help her up. Enter Luke and the Little White Wedding Chappel. Luke is from New Nineveh, CT and is as WASPy as they get. He lives in the Silas Ebenezer Sedgewick House, built shortly after the Revolutionary War and added onto again and again. He lives there with his great aunt, Miss Abigail. Back to Vegas. Peggy wakes up to find herself in bed with this strange man, but still fully clothed. She sneaks out to find her friends have checked her out of her room and she's got to catch her plane home. When she returns to work, she gets a phonecall from Luke Sedgewick of New Nineveh and found out that actually, she got married to him while in Vegas. This is the tale of their marriage and its quirky little twists and turns.

Verdict: I Heart It. It's a nice relaxing story, a great summer read. I recommend it, however, I got frustrated with the characters because they don't communicate. I kept screaming at them, "Just talk to each other!" It wasn't an inconsistency or a misunderstanding of people on Lipton's part, it is true to human behavior; I just couldn't help myself from thinking, "Geez. Just talk." That was my only hang-up, and like I said before, it didn't have anything to do with the writing. I appreciated that even though it was an adult book, it was clean both language wise and sex wise. I honestly think it could have been rated PG.

The Gauntlet:

At what location does most of the story take place?
New Nineveh, Connecticut, USA

What is the main character's name?
Peggy Adams

Does I Heart Monster like the main character?
I do and I don't. It annoys me that she's so ignorant to herself, but I admire her spunk nonetheless.

How long did it take I Heart Monster to finish the book?
I read it over the course of 4 days.

Did I Heart Monster get stuck at any points in the book? If so, why?
No, but it took me longer to read than I thought it should have. It's not a page turner, but it's a good story. It's a relaxing read.

Is this a good read for Monster?
Nope.

What, if anything, would I Heart Monster change to make the book more interesting?
Nothing. I enjoyed it.

What was I Heart Monster's favorite line?
"An aphrodisiac will disappear, delusional, like permeanence of wealth..." you'll understand why it's my favorite when you read the book!

How many chapters were in the book?
26

Does the author have a website?
Yes: LaurenLipton.com

Stats:
Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: 5 Spot
Publish Date: May 29, 2009
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0446197971

Acquire It:


Notes:
GIVEAWAY!!
(open to residents of U.S. and Canada only please and no P.O. boxes, ends Monday, June 1)

Enter to win your very own copy of Mating Rituals of the North American WASP.

To enter, just leave a comment saying that you would like to enter. MAKE SURE YOU LEAVE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS!

Extra entries are as follows: (PLEASE leave ALL entries in the SAME post!)

+1 If you tell us your favorite bath product (since Peggy owns a bath products shop, I think this bit could be fun!)
+2 Join Lauren's fan club on Facebook (link above and tell me.)
+2 Visit Lauren's blog. Tell us the name of one of the characters that Lauren refused to change in her book, even though it was similar to other exisitng characters in similar works. (hint: click the tag that is the same as the book title on the sidebar to find the appropriate article)
+2 Existing Followers/Subscribers (tell me!)
+1 New Followers/Subscribers (tell me!)
+2 Link to this giveaway (leave link for me)

Other Blog Tour Participants:
http://thereviewfromhere.wordpress.com/
http://librarygirlreads.blogspot.com/ http://hiddenplace.wordpress.com/ http://kylees2009.blogspot.com/ http://www.devourerofbooks.com/ http://burtonreview.blogspot.com http://bookopolis.blogspot.com/ http://carolsnotebook.wordpress.com/ http://www.foreigncircuslibrary.blogspot.com/ http://www.xanga.com/bravehsgirl http://books-movies-chinesefood.blogspot.com/ http://inbedwithbooks.blogspot.com/ http://www.bookconfessions.com/ http://peekingbetweenthepages.blogspot.com/ http://www.readingwithmonie.com/ http://www.sheistoofondofbooks.com/ http://2kidsandtiredbooks.blogspot.com/ http://www.squidoo.com/bookbin http://www.acircleofbooks.com/ http://www.myspace.com/darbyscloset http://www.thisbookforfree.com http://dreyslibrary.blogspot.com/ http://cindysloveofbooks.blogspot.com/ http://lastexilewords.blogspot.com/ http://unmainstreammomreads.blogspot.com/ http://martasmeanderings.blogspot.com http://www.bermudaonion.wordpress.com/ http://bookinwithbingo.blogspot.com/ http://abookbloggersdiary.blogspot.com/ http://bookingmama.blogspot.com/ http://bookslovejessicmarie.blogspot.com http://www.thenovelbookworm.com/ http://proudbookworm.blogspot.com/ http://kayespenguinposts.blogspot.com/ http://booksiesblog.blogspot.com/ http://epicrat.blogspot.com/ http://cafeofdreams.blogspot.com/ http://purplg8r-somanybooks.blogspot.com/ http://luanne-abookwormsworld.blogspot.com/ http://www.thebookzombie.com/ http://thetometraveller.blogspot.com/ http://www.myfriendamysblog.com/ http://www.linussblanket.com/ http://donnasbookreviews.blogspot.com/ http://www.skrishnasbooks.com/ http://www.morbid-romantic.net/ http://www.writeforareader.blogspot.com/ http://www.brimfulcuriosities.com http://mindingspot.blogspot.com/ http://diaryofaneccentric.blogspot.com/ http://savvyverseandwit.blogspot.com/ http://danys-san.blogspot.com http://debbiesworld.wordpress.com http://www.bookwormygirl.blogspot.com

Our Terms: e-v-a-n-e-s-c-e-n-t, evanescent

evanescent \ev-uh-NES-unt\, adjective:
Liable to vanish or pass away like vapor; fleeting.

The Pen which gives. . . permanence to the evanescent thought of a moment.
-- Horace Smith, Tin Trumpet

Every tornado is a little different, and they are all capricious, evanescent and hard to get a fix on.
-- "Oklahoma Tornado Offers Hints of How a Killer Storm Is Born", New York Times, May 11, 1999

The accidentally famous. . . may write books, appear on talk shows, and, in so doing, attract even greater public attention. This type of celebrity status, of course, is brittle and evanescent.
-- Lawrence M. Friedman, The Horizontal Society
Source: dictionary.com

I know you've heard of the band, but can you use evanescent in a sentence? Comment with one.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Fun Summer Feature?

So I was thinking of a fun summer feature that I could do here at I Heart Monster. I'd love to get my readers a little more involved... so I thought I'd do a contest because usually contests motivate people to participate in the fun.

Before I launch the feature though, I'd love to hear some feedback on it from you:

Here's what I'm thinking - Solicit photographs from my readers of themselves reading a book in a super cool place during their summer vacation. I'd feature all of the photos that I receive during the week in a post either each Tuesday or Saturday (haven't decided which yet) with whatever caption the submitter sends in with the picture. Then at the end of the summer, we'd vote on who had the coolest and that person would win the prize. I think I'd allow multiple entries per person, but only one per week. And it'd be open worldwide.

So what do you think? Do you think that would be fun? Do you think you would participate? Do you think it's totally stupid? Tell me in comments or email me.

*Winner* BoneMan's Daughters Audiobook


Before I announce the winner of Ted Dekker's BoneMan's Daughters, here's a recap of who your favorite serial killers are:

Ted Bundy (x3!)
Jack the Ripper (x2)
CSI's Miniature Killer
Hannibal Lecter
Jeffrey Dahmer
Albert Finch


The winner of the BoneMan's Daughters audiobook, courtesy of Hachette Book Group is...

Wait for it...

Jorge

CONGRATULATIONS!

Jorge, please email me your mailing address! You didn't leave your email addy in your comment, so hopefully you're a faithful reader :o) If I don't hear back from Jorge in 48 hours, I will select a new winner. Thank you all for entering!

If you want to see my spreadsheet, email me.

Don't forget to enter our other giveaways:


Monday, May 25, 2009

Book Inspection: Perfect Girl by Mary Hogan


Plot Sketch: Ruthie Bayer is a small-town girl. She lives in Odessa, Delaware that just about died as a town when the railroad came through and made their shipping port on the Delaware River obsolete. Ruthie lives behind her best friend, Perry's house, where he lives with his mom. Ruthie also lives with her mom, and their renter, Mr. Arthur. Ruthie doesn't actually have a father - she had a sperm donor, literally. Perry did, but he left when Perry was about 2. Ruthie has decided that after being best friends with Perry for as long as she can remember, that she has a huge crush on him. Problem is, new girl aka Perfect Girl also has her sights set on Perry. Ruthie can't talk to her mom about it because her mom is way to overprotective, so she calls her Aunt Marty. Martine the Love Goddess to be more precise. She writes a column about men in a swank New York magazine. Only problem is, Ruthie's been forbidden to contact Aunty Marty. Read the book to find out more!

Verdict: I Heart It!! I laughed. I cried. I squealed. I almost threw the book. All in the course of less than 200 pages. I don't know if it's because I read this in the wee hours of the morning, but I loved this book. I literally couldn't put it down. It's witty. It's clever. It has a happy ending. It's a great, quick read and I recommend you pick it up if you like YA chicklit.

The Gauntlet:

At what location does most of the story take place?
Odessa, Delaware, USA

What is the main character's name?
Ruthie Bayer

Does I Heart Monster like the main character?
I totally relate to Ruthie. I love Ruthie. Ruthie is a believable 14-year-old girl with all of the insecurities and frustrations that are appropriate for a girl her age. But she's got spunk and stamina, and that sets her apart.

How long did it take I Heart Monster to finish the book?
just over 2 hours.

Did I Heart Monster get stuck at any points in the book? If so, why?
Not at all.

Is this a good read for Monster?
Nope.

What, if anything, would I Heart Monster change to make the book more interesting?
Nothing.

What was I Heart Monster's favorite line?
"Stars, to me, are a waste of time. Unless of course, we're talking about Orlando Bloom." (she's talking about stars in outerspace)

"How could I ever be average when my father was only sperm in a syringe?"

How many chapters were in the book?
33 - and they're pretty short.

Does the author have a website?
Yes: MaryHogan.com

Stats:
Hardcover: 208 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publish Date: April 3, 2007
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0060841087

Acquire It:

Hardcover
Paperback

Operative Factors: Feedbooks


What is Feedbooks?

Feedbooks is a universal e-reading platform compatible with all mobile devices where you can download thousands of free e-books, publish and share your own content, and create customized newspapers from RSS feeds and widgets.


I've been trying out Feedbooks on my Blackberry Curve 8330 (which directs you to use Mobipocket Reader) and think it's great. It's basically a great way to get content that is already in the public domain or available via Creative Commons license to your wireless reading device whether it be a Kindle, Sony reader, iPhone, BlackBerry, or a slew of other devices. I'm enjoying it, and I think you will too, if you like to read on a wireless device.

What I Heart Monster Wants To Know:
  • Have you ever tried Feedbooks?
  • Have you ever tried Mobipocket?
  • Do you use a wireless reading device?
  • What wireless reading device do you use?
  • What are some of the advantages/disadvantages that you see concerning reading on a mobile device?

Sunday, May 24, 2009

*Winner* Trixy Trivia, Edition One

Trixy Trivia, Edition One 

Questions:

1. In what country did book binding originate?
2. In what city is the Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site?
3. What is the name of the cemetary in which Ralph Waldo Emerson is buried?
4. In what country is Beowulf set?
5. What is the modern name of the islands in which Homer's Odyssey takes place?

Answers:

1. India
2. Philadelphia
3. Sleepy Hollow
4. Denmark
5. Ionian

The winner:

Jo of Ink and Paper!

Jo has already been notified, and I have purchased her an Amazon.uk gift card. Bookmarks will go out on Tuesday! Congratulations Jo!!

Book Inspection: The Dawning of Power by Brian Rathbone

(This is my first post on I Heart Monster, so please bear with me!)
Plot Sketch: Catrin's life as a simple farm girl changes drastically when events trigger powers she didn't know she had. She is shunned by many of those who know her and finds herself pursued by an army from the Greatland known as the Zjhon who are trying to kill her because of some ancient prophecy. She is forced to flee with a few people to help her along the way while she fights for her life and struggles to master the new powers that she has found. Her journeys take her to many places and through the discovery of many things that mankind has forgotten in order to master the power she has and save both those that she loves and those that want her dead.

Verdict: I Heart It. It was unique among a lot of the books I've read. It had good vs. evil and the people fall in love thing that happens in just about every fantasy book, but it played itself out a lot differently than most. His writing style is not going to be one for everybody because, well, you know how sometimes you're reading along and not paying attention and the story can still make sense? This isn't one of those books. You have to pay attention to every paragraph at least. He throws these little breaks into the chapters and it will switch to a different character and place completely, sometimes to characters that haven't even been introduced yet. You'll have a two-paragraph section that if just breezed over, something later in the story won't make sense. I thought it worked, but you have to pay attention. It's not one of those books that you'll be able to put down and come back to unless you want to start over again.

The Gauntlet:

At what location does most of the story take place?
The planet Godsland.

What is the main character's name?
Catrin Volker

Does Monster like the main character?
Yes.

How long did it take Monster to finish the book?
4 days

Did Monster get stuck at any points in the book? If so, why?
No, but I could see how people could.

Is this a good read for I Heart Monster?
No. It's not really her genre.

What, if anything, would Monster change to make the book more interesting?
Probably nothing. Too much more interesting and it would be hard to follow!

What was Monster's favorite line?
I can't remember one.

How many chapters were in the book?
Since it's a trilogy in an omnibus,
Book 1: Call of the Herald (22 chapters)
Book 2: Inherited Danger (24 chapters)
Book 3: Dragon Ore (20 chapters)
A total of 66 chapters.

Does the author have a website?
BrianRathbone.com

Stats:
Paperback: 704 pages
Publisher: White Wolf Press, LLC
Publish Date: October 24, 2008
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0981871402

Acquire It:

Paperback

Notes:
  • This book was recommended to I Heart Monster for me by Ink and Paper fantasy reviews.
  • Ink and Paper has a post about the cover art that you should look at if you are interested in this omnibus.

Ambitious Edition: Give Up The Ghost by Megan Crewe

Title: Give Up the Ghost
Author: Megan Crewe
ISBN: 0805089306
Release Date: 9.15.09
Website: http://www.megancrewe.com/

The Usual Questions:

Is this the first in a series?
I emailed Megan and she says that right now it's a standalone, but she can't guarantee that she'll never write about the characters again!

What is the basic concept?
from Megan's website:
Cass McKenna much prefers the company of ghosts over "breathers." Ghosts are uncomplicated and dependable, and they know the dirt on everybody... and Cass loves dirt. She's on a mission to expose the dirty secrets of the poseurs in her school.
But when the vice president of the student council discovers her secret, Cass's whole scheme hangs in the balance. Tim wants her to help him contact his recently deceased mother, and Cass reluctantly agrees.

As Cass becomes increasingly entwined in Tim's life, she's surprised to realize he's not so bad--and he needs help more desperately than anyone else suspects. Maybe it's time to give the living another chance...

Is the cover art favorable?
Yes, I really like it.

What are some of the author's other works?
She has some short stories out, but this is her debut novel.

Special! Check out Chapter One over at Megan's website.

Preorder Give Up The Ghost.

To see our other Ambitious Editions posts, click here.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Audiobook Giveaway: The Cemetery Dance by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child

*ENTRIES CLOSED*
Thanks to the ever-awesome folks at Hachette Book Group, IHM has one copy of The Cemetery Dance by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child to give away!

Synopsis:

William Smithback, a New York Times reporter, and his wife Nora Kelly, a Museum of Natural History archaeologist, are brutally attacked in their apartment on Manhattan's Upper West Side. Eyewitnesses claim, and the security camera confirms, that the assailant was their strange, sinister neighbor-a man who, by all reports, was already dead and buried weeks earlier. While Captain Laura Hayward leads the official investigation, Pendergast and Lieutenant Vincent D'Agosta undertake their own private-and decidedly unorthodox-quest for the truth. Their serpentine journey takes them to an enclave of Manhattan they never imagined could exist: a secretive, reclusive cult of Obeah and vodou which no outsiders have ever survived.

If you'd like to enter to win this audiobook...

Required: Leave your email address in the comments section.

You must be a resident of the U.S. or Canada, and your address cannot be a P.O. Box.

Additional entries:

+1 Follow IHM on Twitter (existing followers count!)
+1 Tweet this giveaway (if you use the retweet button on this post, be sure to change the @tweetmeme to @iheartmonster)
+2 Become a fan of IHM on Facebook(existing fans get these entries too!)
+2 New Google Followers/RSS Subscribers
+3 Existing Google Followers/RSS Subscribers
+3 Link to this in a blog post/sidebar (leave address in comment)

Entries must be received by 11:59PM Arizona time on May 31st.

I Wussed Out

I did not make it to the top of North America's tallest waterfall to snap a picture of Hunger Games at the top. Nope. I could cite several reasons for why I didn't make it all the way to the top of the 2800 foot climb, but that'd be even worse than just admitting that I wussed out. So, Monster took a picture of me reading The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins really close to the waterfall, and still on the trail, about 1400 feet up.

I apologize to you that I made a comittment that I was unable to keep. Boy oh boy did I underestimate that trail and the time it would take to hike it. As punishment, I still can't walk correctly, and we did that trail on Tuesday! We did about 4 miles round trip of the 7.5 miles it takes.

If you're interested in other photos from our trip, check out these slideshows I created at PhotoPeach, which I've embedded here.

Yosemite: Flora & Fauna on PhotoPeach



Yosemite: Landscapes on PhotoPeach

Friday, May 22, 2009

Shareworthy: Friday, May 22, 2009 [Volume 1, Edition 8]

Every week I bring you things I've found around the blogosphere and web that I like and think I'll share with you. This week might end up a little on the slim side because I'm still catching up from Yosemite. Without further ado:
  • Quick, hurry, Diana Peterfreund is having a contest to win a copy of Sarah Cross's Dull Boy! All you have to do is tell her what your superhero name would be and you can be entered to win. There are more ways to enter too, like making yourself into a superhero... check it out, but it ends this weekend. I'd be Morpho and I made the picture you see here with the blue butterfly wings!
  • Rhonda Stapleton has the first chapter of Stupid Cupid up over at her blog. I'm really excited for this book, so I was especially excited when I saw the first chapter!
  • OCD, Rants, and Vampires linked to a Random House study on the book buying
    habits of Americans
    . I thought it was interesting, you might too.

In case you missed something at IHM this week:

  • Book Inspections galore! Evernight, Silver Phoenix, and Being Nikki.
  • Trixy Trivia deadline is extended until tomorrow at noon my time. It's open worldwide. If you're outside of the U.S., I'll purchase you an e-gift card from wherever you want for the equivalent of $5 USD.
  • Operative Factors this week focused on a visual dictionary - Lexipedia.
  • Minimal Investment was courtesy again of Rachel Caine, so awesome.
  • Enter to win Shanna Swendson's Enchanted, Inc. by guessing her #3 trav
  • el destination!
  • Milk will go sour if left in the refrigerator for six weeks, it's ineluctable.

Also, I've received two more awards!

I received the Enchanted Blog Award from both Kate at Another Book Blog Whore and Jo at Ink and Paper fantasy reviews. Thank you gals! You're both so awesome!


I'd like to pass this on to Shelly at Write for a Reader who just hosted an awesome Children's Book Week. If you don't read her, you should!

The only requirement for this award is that you share it with whomever you like, sharing the love is always a good thing. The blog has to show only one characteristic, caring. So, start sharing this enchanted award with five other bloggers. Let your bloggers know they have received this enchanted award. (Remember, fairies are fickle wee things, don't incur their displeasure by ignoring their gift.)


You're The Expert: Covers


We've all heard the old adage, "Don't judge a book by its cover."

Sometimes though, I find it hard to not judge a product by its packaging. Let's get real for a second. A cover is the book's packaging, right? Do you struggle as I do? A book's cover is the first thing that you see. It makes the first impression on you as to what the book's themes and content might be. The blurb often comes second to the cover.

I want the honest truth now:

Have you ever...
judged a book by its cover?
misjudged a book by its cover?
passed over a book solely because the cover didn't look interesting?
bought a book because of its cover?
been drawn to a book because of its cover?
seen a book whose cover has nothing to do with the story?
spotted a cover from across the store and picked up a book you wouldn't have if you wouldn't have spotted that cover?
hated the font of the book title?