Tuesday, August 31, 2010

NEVERMORE by Kelly Creagh Releases Today! [Giveaway - Closed]

We were lucky enough to get our copy a day early, and took that opportunity to tweet some pictures of the hardcover yesterday:
notice the super cool, slightly raised
UV spots on the cover, only visible
where the flash reflected.  They're across
the entire cover!
The back is so pretty that we totally
had to share it with you.  It doesn't have
the raised UV marks like the front, but is so
much prettier than most backs!
(You can follow us on Twitter for similar tweets, and also follow Kelly)

Four people who comment on this post today will be chosen to win a NEVERMORE bookmark, signed by Kelly.  I'll be choosing the winners when I wake up in the morning on Wednesday, so you have all night to leave a comment, and enter to win.  Open worldwide. (be sure to leave an email addy or twitter username so that we can contact you if you win if you don't have an email address linked to your Blogger profile)

If you missed our review, check out the Book Inspection for Nevermore, which posted yesterday.  Also, check out our Debut Interview with Kelly if you have the time!   And, scoop up a copy of Nevermore for yourself from AmazonBook Depository, or Changing Hands!

Top Ten Highest Paid Authors Fiscal Year 2010 [News]

10. J.K. Rowling ($10 million)
9. Nicholas Sparks ($14 million)
8. John Grisham ($15 million)
7. Janet Evanovich ($16 million)
6. Dean Koontz ($18 million)
5. Ken Follett ($20 million)
4. Danielle Steel ($32 million)
3. Stephen King ($34 million)
2. Stephenie Meyer ($40 million)
1. James Patterson ($70 million)

Read the full article for details or view the slideshow with short details, both from Forbes.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Nevermore by Kelly Creagh [Book Inspection] [YA]

Plot Sketch:  Isobel Lanley has it all.  She's got the BMOC football-player boyrfriend, Brad.  She's the top flyer on the Trenton cheerleading team that is in serious contention for Nationals.  All she has to do is pass her English class.  Mr. Swanson always gives Juniors a project. In fact, it's infamous.  But this year, he's decided to do things a little differently... he's assigning partners instead of letting his students choose.  They've got a ten-page paper to write and an oral presentation to give on an author/poet from their book.  Isobel eagerly awaits her name to be called, only when it is, she's speechless.  She is paired with Varen Nethers, that goth guy who sits in the back corner.  She quickly informs him that she's not doing all of the work.  He informs her of the same back.  They agree to meet and work on a project.  Isobel has a jealous boyfriend.  Varen has a jealous pseudo-girlfriend. What begins as a partnership blossoms into a friendship, and possibly more as they navigate the murky realities of their chosen poet's life, Edgar Allan Poe, and find themselves standing up for things, and people, they would never have dreamed of standing up for before.

Verdict:  Page Turner.  Suspenseful.  Horrific.  Freaktastic.  NEVERMORE will take you on a journey unlike you've ever experienced in a YA novel before.  It's an emotional roller coaster taking you from happy to anticipatory, frightened to encouraged, sad to hopeful.  Creagh takes her time developing the plot, giving the characters good motives for their actions and allowing you to feel like these are people whose actions and psychology you can comprehend.  She does a great job of describing a brand-new, scary, chilling dimension, so much so that I actually saw a Noc in a nightmare shortly after finishing this novel.  She adeptly weaves well-researched facts into edgy, dark fiction that made me look at some of Poe's darkest work from new perspectives.  This book is a YA horror, but don't let that YA part throw you because it takes YA horror to a whole new level of eerie, and it has elements of romance, mystery, suspense, and action, so you're sure to find at least one element to love. It's paced wonderfully, especially for a YA, and for a memeber of a series, it's quite long.  The ARC is just under 550 pages.  This is the first book in a planned trilogy.  I will purchase a copy of this for my shelf, and would recommend that you do too.

Location: I think they live in a town called Trenton.  I think Trenton is in Kentucky.
Main Character: Isobel Lanley.  I admire her.  I think she has a strong character, and has a talent to love easily, which is admirable.
Favorite Character: Varen Nethers.  I never thought I'd read about a goth boy that'd make me swoon.  Bravo, Kelly for writing a character so deep and complex and unique as Varen.  Though he might make the list of guys I wouldn't let my daughter date, I think I could argue him a place on the guys I'd want my daughter to date list as well.
Would Change: There were a few passages in the dreamworld sequences that confused me a little.  And at times I felt a little lost, not completely lost, but there were about four times in that sequence (which probably exists over 250 pages) that I had to backup and reread 3-4 paragraphs to figure out what was going on.  If it weren't for those instances, I would have NO complaints about the book.
Favorite Line: "He stared forward, unblinking, as a knife of blue lightning slashed the sky.  'No,'  he said." p. 543, ARC  This line made me go , "Oh I hope, I hope, I hope, I hope!"
Good for Monster? He could get into it.  Seriously.  He could.  But your guy who likes Poe?  He'll adore it.
People Who Will Like This:  Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Veronica Mars, lovers of mystery, The Poe Toaster, fans of the dark, people who like cats, people who love All Hallow's Eve
People Who Won't Like This: Torrance Shipman,  little kids, those who scare easily, annoying idiotic neighbors
Chapters: 50.  They are great lengths, make sense, and have titles.
Author's Websitehttp://kellycreagh.com
Acquire It:  Amazon       Book Depository       Changing Hands

Hardcover: 560 pages
Publisher: Atheneum
Publish Date: August 31, 2010 (tomorrow!)
ISBN-10: 1442402008

Note:  After you've read NEVERMORE, head over to Kelly's website and download your free copy of Emily Not Gone by Cemetery Sighs which appears in the book.  So very cool, Kelly, thanks!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Advice is Free. Spiral Bound Notebooks Aren't. [Saturday Steals]

I told you guys earlier this week that I was going back to school.  For one course.  Well, it was an interesting first day.  Let me tell you.  Besides being late and having my phone ring in class, I also had to parallel park with traffic coming behind me - so quickly and correctly on the first try - it wasn't the perfect parking job, but it worked.  I hoofed it to class and finally found the room because of all of the construction they're doing there was no easy way to get to it.  I was about fifteen minutes late.  I walked in about two minutes before the professor handed out syllabuses (syllabi?).  He proceeded to tell us that the only difference between our course at the community college and the same course at the university would be that we weren't paying all of the tuition.  In fact we were "paying 27% of our total tuition bill and the county was footing the other 4/5ths of it."

I was instantly more forgiving of Suzanne Collins and her train that took for. ev. er. to get from Appalachia to the Rockies going 250mph.  I mean, this college professor of creative writing just blew basic fractions.  I mean, c'mon.  27% is more like 3/4ths (which is really 25%) than 4/5ths (which is really 20%).  Writers are writers, not rocket scientists, right? They can make up math as they go.  But it made me infinitely more appreciative of the free-to-me education I got in elementary school where I learned how to convert fractions into percentages.  What a freakin' steal.  I didn't even have to get myself a college education to learn or remember how to do these conversions.  Lucky me!

I also found out during that very fun day in class that I needed to purchase/borrow/steal a collection of short stories to write a review for by the end of classes.  I was thiking in my brain, "Ha.  Got tons of 'em on my shelf already.  Score."  Then came the qualification, "...by one author."  Dang it.  I didn't have one of those on my shelf. Mine are all anthologies! And off the top of my head, I couldn't even think of a collection of YA short stories by one author. So, I got internet as soon as I could after my class and googled.  Cynthia Leitich Smith had an amazingly long list of short story collections she recommended.  Taking my lead from her, I found a collection: All Hallows' Eve: 13 Stories by Vivian Vande Velde.  Knowing I'm not going to be asking the author to sign it so I can give it away, I ordered it used from Amazon.  For $2.55 in hardcover, eligible for Prime and hence free shipping.  It was a total steal since the regular price for the hardcover is $17 and the paperback is even $8.99.

Then I found out - through completing assigned reading in the text - that I needed a spiral notebook to complete exercises and journal with.  I was all kinds of frustrated with myself for not anticipating this need.  I mean, all of the back to school office supply sales are completely over in my neck of the woods.  The kids have been back in school for weeks.  So I looked online at all of the ads and found nothing.  Then, Monster and I went to Target.  They had a stack of spiral notebooks sitting there with a 30% off sign attached.  I was anticipating 30% off of 1.79 which I had come to find out is the regular price for a one-subject spiral-bound notebook these days.  When I scanned it to see how much it was going to be at the register, it was 10¢.  Steal!  So I got a few more, just in case, and I also, per Natasha A.'s suggestion, snagged up a student agenda that was on clearance for $2.08.  Since we can't use phones in class (oh! the horror!) I can't use my trusty Droid calendar app, and this tip was a complete lifesaver.  Thanks Natasha!  All of the other advice was really great as well and really helped to calm my nerves.  You guys are amazing.  Thanks so much for taking the time to leave some tips!  They were my best steal of all this week!

That is my week of school-related and hence sorta bookish steals.  If you want to see what other people have stolen this week, head over to Archives of Our Lives.  Chelsie at The Mind of A Gus posted her bookish steal this week so check hers out too.  C'mon guys!  Add in your steals - you have all weekend to participate.  I wanna read about 'em.
Picture of books taken by me on Motorola Droid.
Android 2.2. Retro Camera App.  Little Orange Box Setting
Download it for free... it's awesome (and a steal)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Michelle Zink of Prophecy of the Sisters [Savvy Scribblers]

Please help me welcome the marvelous Michelle Zink to I Heart Monster today!  Michelle is the author of the Prophecy of the Sisters Trilogy, the first installment of which, Prophecy of the Sisters,  has been published in over 30 countries.  She lives with her children in upstate New York.  We're stoked to have her here!

About The Books

Alice and Lia are such totally different characters.  Can you tell us a little about your inspirations for both? 

Honestly, I didn't have an actual inspiration for the characters. All of my characters come to me more or less fully formed. Lia is the ultimate good person, but as the series continues, she'll struggle with her inner darkness as I think we all do. And while Alice is clearly the villain, she's a complex character that inspires empathy as often as she inspires hatred. But I really feel like I can't take credit for either of them!

You are one creative woman!  No inspirations?  We're amazed.  We'd like to know more about Henry's involvement in keeping The Prophecy and its implications safe, can you expound on that a little for us?

As Thomas Milthorpe came closer to losing himself to the Souls, he entrusted Henry with the secrets of the Grigori and the Sisterhood, knowing he would be the last person Alice would suspect of being involved. Although young, Henry, like his father, was a descendant of the Grigori and was equally committed to the task of keeping the world - and Lia - safe from Samael.

To keep Samael from entering our world, Lia has to travel out to other realms called the Otherworlds.  We'd love to know more about the Otherworlds and their inspirations.  You said you based them on Norse mythology, right?

I did! The Otherworlds in Prophecy of the Sisters started from my reading on the Norse Home Worlds. I obviously took liberties from there, but I loved the idea of a place where people could meet regardless of history, ethnicity, era (the boy Lia meets at the beach is actually from the future). I also liked the idea that the different worlds would mirror the various spiritual worlds in which we find ourselves while living out our lives. There are dark, shadowy places, those that are filled with joy, and those that seem familiar but unusual in a way we can't quite name. I find myself feeling all of these things at various times in my life.

We really love the character of James.  Can you give us any inside information on him that will help us understand him a little more?

A lot of people want James to be more complex than he actually is. But like all of us, he is who he is; A simple young man with a sincere heart but rather simple desires. There are concrete reasons that he is the way he is and reasons why his relationship with Lia plays out the way it does. Suffice it to say, I think everyone will understand when they read the third and final book in the series.

Oh we can't wait for book #3!  Tell us, which part of the writing/editing process do you most look forward to?

I adore drafting! It's such a stream-of-consciousness thing for me. I feel more like I'm channeling than creating, and it's pure bliss to let it all pour out on the page without too much thought about what's "right" or whether it's working or the details are all in place.

About Michelle

Describe yourself using five adjectives that have nothing to do with your career as an author.

Passionate, curious, caring, sincere, truthful.

Where in the world do you most want to travel?

Gah! You could not have asked me a more difficult question. I'm a total nomad, and if I didn't have kids I'd probably be moving every two years. There's pretty much nowhere in the world I DON'T want to go, but if I had to choose a #1, it would probably be Africa.

Tanzania is next on my big trip list!  What a fun coincidence!  If you were given the ability to be any character from any novel for a whole year, who would you pick to be and why?

Someone who travels a lot! LOL!

A genie hopped up out of this awesome old lamp you found at an auction and told you was the auction genie.  He's granting you three vintage steals.  What do you pick?

Shesten! You know me too well, I think. How did you know this is another impossible question?! As a former antique dealer, I'm a sucker for old furniture. It'd be hard to choose, but I think I'd say a chinoiserie breakfront, a massive farm table from somewhere in Europe, and a George Nelson sunburst clock.

Tell us something you're afraid of! 

Passing my life in apathy rather than fully living every moment.

Me too.  Thanks, Michelle for some fascinating answers to our questions and for taking the time to interview with us.  We totally ♥ you!

Michelle's first book, PROPHECY OF THE SISTERS is widely available and has two covers, one for the paperback and one for the hardcover.  The follow-up novel to PROPHECY is called GUARDIAN OF THE GATE and is avaiable in hardcover.  If you have not had the chance to read these books, I suggest you take the chance and check out Prophecy.  You can connect with Michelle on both Facebook and Twitter.  In addition to that, you can join the Prophecy community and check out Michelle's brand-new, swanky website, michellezink.com.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore Read Along [Read Along] [Giveaway] [Announcement]

Aliens are the new vampires.  

Or at least that's what we hear.

HarperTeen's I AM NUMBER FOUR by Pittacus Lore (really James Frey & Jobie Hughes) has already been snatched up by Hollywood (even before the book was released) and is releasing in movie form on Feburary 18th, 2011 starring Alex Pettyfer and Diana Agron.  Since the book is so popular and the movie is coming out early next year, we thought that we should do another Read Along!  Sound like fun?

For those of you who haven't participated in an I♥M Read Along before, what we do is split the book up into 65 pages per day over the course of a week.  Every day we get together and discuss what we've read by answering discussion questions and hanging out listening to what other people have to say and then responding to it.  It's pretty fun.  Here are both the book and movie teasers to pique your interest:

As if that's not enough to get you excited, check out iamnumberfourfans.com, where you can collect points to enter to win a trip for four to the movie premiere, read what seems to be the first nine chapters, and learn more about the characters, the authors, and news about both the book and the movie.  Sign-in with your Facebook account and start racking up points!

The Giveaway
The dates for this Read Along are set for November 7-13.  But to kick stuff off, we're doing an international giveaway of I AM NUMBER FOUR to get you guys excited for the book and the Read Along!  To enter to win a brand new hardcover of I AM NUMBER FOUR, all you need to do is leave a comment telling us whether or not you think aliens are really the new vampires, AND which you prefer, by October 27.  One entry per person, no extra entries given.  Open worldwide.  Be sure to leave some way for us to contact you in your comment (twitter id, email address, etc. and if your email is linked to your blogger account, you're good to go!).  You are not obligated to participate in the Read Along if you win the book, but we'd love it if you did!  GIVEAWAY CLOSED.

The Read Along
For those of you who already know that you want to sign-up to participate in the Read Along, all you have to do is register in the embedded form below.  This way, we keep your details private, but can access your email address to remind you about the Read Along as it gets closer.  As a special incentive to participate in the Read Along, all of the people who participate* will be entered to win a $20 gift card to the movie theatre of their choice so that they can see the movie when it debuts.  So what are you waiting for?  Get your copy today and enter to win one for a friend!

If you are reading this in a reader that does not support embedded frames or an email, please click here to fill out the form.

*Participation defined by contributing participation comments in at least 4 of the 7 Read Along posts. Registration alone does not qualify you for movie theatre gift card drawing.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Anastasia Hopcus on SHADOW HILLS [Blog Tour] [Interview Questions]

As part of the 28 Blogs in 28 Days Shadow Hills Blog Tour, we asked Anastasia Hopcus, the author, a few questions about her book and herself.  Please join me in welcoming Anastasia to I Heart Monster today!  Anastasia lives in Austin, Texas and SHADOW HILLS is her debut novel, published by Egmont USA.  Thanks for stopping by today, Anastasia! First, we'll start off with a little about SHADOW HILLS:
After her sister Athena's tragic death, it's obvious that grief-stricken Persephone "Phe" Archer no longer belongs in Los Angeles. Hoping to make sense of her sister's sudden demise and the cryptic dreams following it, Phe abandons her bubbly LA life to attend an uptight East Coast preparatory school in Shadow Hills, MA -- a school which her sister mysteriously mentioned in her last diary entry before she died.

Once there, Phe quickly realizes that something is deeply amiss in her new town. Not only does Shadow Hills' history boast an unexplained epidemic that decimated hundreds of its citizens in the 1700s, but its modern townies also seem eerily psychic, with the bizarre ability to bend metal. Even Zach -- the gorgeous stranger Phe meets and immediately begins to lust after -- seems as if he is hiding something serious. Phe is determined to get to the bottom of it. The longer she stays there, the more she suspects that her sister's untimely death and her own destiny are intricately linked to those who reside in Shadow Hills.
Now on to the questions. Anastasia, what made you want to write a story that took place in a boarding school?

I've always been really fascinated by boarding schools. There's just something so appealing about them. They're like little worlds, with their own rules and structure. The characters have a bit more independence than most teens, as well. They are there without their parents and siblings, and while they have to deal with authority figures and abide by their rules, they deal with them on a more adult basis. Your house mistress and school adviser don't look at you and see you as you were as a two-year-old. Plus, everything is right there together. If you want to hang out with a bunch of your friends and play games or watch movies, you can walk over to the SAC. You can see that cute guy you're crushing on way more than you would in a standard high school setting.

All the drama takes place in a small arena. In some ways, this is great for an author; you don't have to worry as much about cars and distance and the outside world. On the other hand, you have to find ways to open things up a little and create more movement so that your story doesn't become static or your characters stuck.

Was there any real-life inspiration for Dev Prep?

I had a picture in my mind of the way I wanted Devenish to look. I wanted red brick buildings, lush green quads and natural slate paths criss-crossing the campus. So, with this in mind, I went looking for schools that fit my mental image. A lot of the buildings I describe in my novel are similar to ones at Williams College in Williamstown, MA.

To design the curriculum, I read about courses at prep schools like Andover, Exeter, and Deerfield. From there, I developed and evolved the courses so they'd be in keeping with the advanced and rigorous education of Dev Prep. I'd have to say that overall, Devenish is most similar to Deerfield Academy, though the location of Shadow Hills would be a little farther north.

Well, we think it's great that Devenish is inspired by real schools!  Hey, tell us something...if you got to live in your book for one month, which character would you like to live as?

Well, it would be kind of fun to be Adriana and just say whatever I wanted, but then I'd feel really guilty afterwards when I went back to being me. And it'd be kind of interesting to be Toy because she's probably the least like me, except for her love of horror films. But, all in all, I'd have to say Phe. I'd really love to be as brave and spontaneous as Phe. Besides, she's the one dating the really hot guy. ;)

Hot guys are always the deciding factor, right?  I mean, how could they not be? *grin*  We're curious though, why did you name your main character Persephone?  Does it have any personal significance?
Hekate's wheel plays
a significant part in
Phe's story.

I like unusual names, and I like to create shorter nicknames from them---this may come from the fact that my name is Anastasia, yet I usually go by Stacy in day to day life. I liked the name Phe, and I thought that I could make it out of the name Persephone. I think maybe there was something larger at work, though, when I choose that name. Once I got into the story of Hekate---whom I hadn't read much about prior to writing this book---I realized how perfectly Persephone tied in with the myths involving Hekate. In fact, that was just one of several instances in writing Shadow Hills where things just seemed to fall into place. It was enough to give me a spooky, déjà vu feeling.

Sounds like it was spooky-awesome though!  Now for something totally random... if you could be any animal other than a human, what would you be and why?

A sea turtle. That way I'd get to live in the ocean, but I could still come up on land sometimes. Plus, they're really cute.

Thanks so much for stopping by I♥M today and responding to our questions.  We thoroughly enjoyed having you here and want you to know you're welcome anytime!

Shadow Hills is in stores now.  You can order the hardcover online from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, or my favorite Indie, Changing Hands.  Also, starting yesterday, the ebook is available through both Barnes & Noble and Amazon.  Keep your eyes out for our review coming soon!  You can catch Anastasia at her website, HopcusBlog, on Twitter, Facebook, and on Goodreads.  You can also catch the trailer for SHADOW HILLS on YouTube.  And if you haven't already, check out our Debut Interview with Anastasia right here on IHM.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Radiant Darkness Reading Guide [Book Groups] [Reading Guide]

This series features posts containing discussion questions for book groups, friends, families, etc. If you have not read the book, some of these questions may be spoilers, so read on at your own risk.  Feel free to post your answers in the comments section and start your own debate! 

Emily Whitman
Published 4.28.2009
Questions denoted with * were created by the author, Emily Whitman.

1. Can you equivocate Persephone's and Demeter's relationship with any relationships in your life or any perceived relationships in the public eye?
2. What do you think would have happened if Persephone had been offered a choice and had chosen to not go with Hades?
*3. What is the role of frienship in the book? If you were Persephone, would you have told Melita your true identity? When? How do secrets affect a friendship? What can make it hard to tell a person who you really are? 
*4. Who was responsible for the drought?
*5. Who did you relate most to in the book? Why?
*6. What's the role of nature in the book?
7. Did you learn anything you can apply to your life from the story?
*8. What is Radiant Darkness saying about the way we view life and death?
9. Why do you think the book is titled Radiant Darkness?
*10. The book changes things from the original myth--why? Is that legitimate? Is it still the myth if it's changed?

Don't forget to check out Emily's website, and our review of Radiant Darkness.  Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Ten Reasons Why I Could Wait to Read Mockingjay

Mockingjay, Schmockingjay.  Though I'm going to be forced to read the third book in Suzanne Collins' trilogy before the end of the month (my book group selected it as their book for early September discussion... I was overruled, or maybe I just gave in, I don't remember which) there are several reasons, ten in fact, that I was planning to wait until December-ish to read it.  I thought I'd share those with you today in anticipation of the release tomorrow.  Oh, and don't forget to check out the links below the post for some fun Mockingjay stuff.  These are the reasons I could wait, but I realize that you're not me, and I'm not trying to push these off as universal by any means:

1) I didn't ♥ THE HUNGER GAMES.  In fact, if you'll recall, I gave it a No Love rating citing that it was predictable, mathematically incorrect, and unoriginal.  So I wasn't excited for its sequels.  In fact, I'm sure I would have skipped CF if my friend hadn't insisted that I read it.

2) I didn't adore CATCHING FIRE.  Though I liked it a lot more than I liked THG, I was frustrated with characters' stupidity, it was still predictable, and the writing wasn't all that great.

3) A story in which the major conflict is whether or not the main character will die should not be told in first person.  That's a spoiler.

4)  The characters don't grab or engage me.  While Katniss is growing on me as a character, I hate whiny Peeta, and I feel like Gale is horribly underdeveloped.  I can't relate to them at all, and the sad part is that because of some personal experiences, I should be able to.  I've been accused of just not getting it, and that might be true.

5) My track record with ♥ing dystopian-themed books is abysmal.  I always think they're implausible and can't wrap my head around the reasons that the author says that society will devolve into whatever manic chaos they've depicted. This one especially.

6) I don't think these books deserve all of the attention they're getting.  Similar to the always-compared Twilight series, the reason these are popular is because of the passion behind the story, not its concrete plot, amazing characters, or stellar writing.  There are probably fifty series I'd recommend over this one.

7) My personality reads into this one a lot.  After discovering Twilight shortly after the first book came out, I couldn't wait until the next two arrived.  Breaking Dawn?  Sure.  I preordered it.  But it took me months to finish it.  Why?  HYPE.  THG as a series is over-hyped and after being so disappointed in book #1, I'm just waiting for it to let me down.

8) Let's face it.  To have a relevant outlook on YA today, you are forced to know about and read this series. If you don't, you're going to lose a very special relationship tool with everyone who reads YA.  I don't like feeling obligated to do/read something that I know going into I'm most likely not going to like.  That's what MJ is for me.

9) #FillionforHaymitch.  It's not gonna happen.  He ignored our pleas. So my heart hurts.  Nathan Fillion in the movie, playing Haymitch, may have been the only redemption for these books for me.  And that's sad.  *sigh*  (#FillionforHaymitch was a hashtag campaign that some of us launched on Twitter... he never even acknowledged us :o( )

10) If I waited to read it until December, I might have talked someone into telling me what happened instead of having to read the book.  Oh well.  Now I get to go to book group and sit on my side of the table while everyone else sits on the other side and I try to hold my ground.

So, those, my friends, are the ten reasons I could wait to read MOCKINGJAY.  But because I promised my copy to a friend as soon as it comes out, I will be forced to read it as soon as I get it, and then take it to her.  Oh the horrors.

For the record, I could probably point out 9 good things about THG series too, including the fact that they're reaching reluctant readers, they bring books into the news, they are a cautionary tale for those of us living in North America, the series makes a great family gift (which I have gifted a couple of times), and that they do have a great love triangle.(Team Gale! Peeta made the list of guys I wouldn't want my daughter to date)  But those things are just not enough to compel me to want to read it as soon as it launches - have to or not.

Update:  For those of you who just can't wait for tomorrow, here's a clip of Suzanne Collins reading the first chapter of MJ, just released by Scholastic today, and let me just say, as a hardcore Team Gale girl, I can only hope that the last part of this chapter is true!

Suzanne Collins pleads with fans to not spoil the third book.
Meet Suzanne tonight at the Books of Wonder launch party in NY.
Scholastic responds to Mockingjay Leak.
A Mockingjay Glossary.
Our Review of The Hunger Games
Our Review of Catching Fire
Me Reading The Hunger Games right next to North America's tallest waterfall.

Back To School [You're The Expert]

My darling readers,

I do not generally write posts and ask you for personal advice.  Really, I don't.  But today is special.  See, I'm going back to college (well, I'm enrolled in one class, if that counts as going back to college).  I haven't taken a class in eight (count them...) yes, eight years.  I know college has changed a lot since I left.   And I know that I'm going to be shocked and awed and probably beside myself with anxiety, because as I write this (which was on Friday) I've already got a fluttery tummy.  So.  I start tomorrow.  Commence with the advice, please.  Pretty please?  Remember, I've spent my time in the corporate work environment, though education-related, it was not by any means the same as school.  So slam me with tips and tricks and help me calm down, just a little.  I'll ♥ ya forever.  (probably will even if you don't leave me advice).


I Heart Monster

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Free Audiobooks: Tell Me A Secret & Wondrous Strange [Saturday Steals] [Freebies]

I ♥ free stuff.  I know you do too.  So, I thought I'd share my steals this week and give you the tools to get them for yourself... even if I didn't necessarily get these things for free.  Oh, and for those who turn their noses up at audiobooks, try one again.  It's free for goodness sakes.  Listen on your commute, or when you're at the gym.  You DO have time.  My favorite time to listen to them is when I'm sick, 'cause then it's like someone reading me a story.

The first one I did get for free.  I subscribed via RSS to Holly Cupala's TELL ME A SECRET podcast in which she will podcast the entire audiobook of her novel.  You'' receive it in chapter increments, one per day, and can either subscribe via RSS or iTunes.  Click the audiobook link in the top right-hand corner on Holly's site to subscribe. The RSS link didn't work for me, so I copied the link that popped up in the subscription popup's address bar, and manually added it to my Google Reader.  Just a heads up you might have to do the same.  You can only access this on Holly's website, and know that this is the first time that any novel by a major publisher has been made available for free this soon after publishing and via this method.

Now, I haven't read this one yet, and so I can't tell you whether or not it's great/bad/cheesy, but Miss Steph Su, whom I read and respect said this: "Wow. Just…wow. An unassuming concept for a story glows in the talented hands of Holly Cupala, who captured my attention on the very first page."  Since it just came out at the end of June, this is a grand opportunity for those of you who love YA lit.  I mean, c'mon.  It's free. And here below is the book trailer.  Take a gander and see whatcha think.

The second audiobook available for free right now is one I paid for.  But it's available this week for free.  I reviewed WONDROUS STRANGE yesterday (you'll recall I also stole a hardcover of the same title back in April), so head over and download your free copy while it's still available (US, Canada, & Open Market only).  If I'd have known about this free audiobook summer program before yesterday, I promise I would have shared.  I didn't.  Miss Pam of Bookalicio.us tweeted me that it was free somewhere and I had to research it and find it.  I paid $14.95 for it.  You can have an awesome book for FREE.  I don't hate you for getting cheaper than I did, I hate myself for not waiting.

So there.  Some awesome Saturday Steals that I get to pass along to you so that you can steal right along with me.  I hope you're having a great weekend, and I hope that you'll head over to Archives of Our Lives and check out the other Saturday Steals that people around the Blogosphere have stolen.  I especially hope you'll post your steals too 'cause it's made of awesome and I'd love to see your thievery, er, well, uh, close to thievery.

Peace, Love, and Free Audiobooks, I'm out.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Wondrous Strange by Leslie Livingston [Audiobook Inspection]

Size: 101 MB
Length: 7 hours, 1 minute
Author: Leslie Livingston
Narrator: Leslie Livingston

Plot Sketch: Kelley Winslow convinced her Aunt Emma to let her go to New York City to pursue her acting career.  She gets a job at the Avalon Grande as a stage hand where she's also an understudy in A Midsummer Night's Dream.  She all of the sudden gets thrown out of her understudy security blanket and into the leading roll.  She's prepared, but nervous and messes up all of her lines!  So, she decides she had better go to the park and practice.  While she's there, she meets a mysterious guy named Sonny who gives her a peach-colored rose.  She also rescues a horse from drowning in the pond (yes, a horse).  She gets home to her awesomely overpriced ridiculously small apartment only to be followed there by the horse and the horse somehow made its way into the bathtub.  The guy she met in the park sort of starts stalking her.  Throw in some classic faeriedom and you've got WONDEROUS STRANGE.

Plot Verdict:  The story was fast-paced, kept me intrigued and actually made me sit in my car for an average of at least ten extra minutes every time I got home.  I couldn't wait to see what would happen next.  The story is fluid and the language exact.  I am invested in the characters and can not wait to see where they go and how they grow in DARKLIGHT.  There were a couple of plot points that I did not understand like how Kelley was paying for the ridiculously expensive apartment, and I got a little lost during some sort of out-of-body experience she and Sonny experienced together.  Other than that though, I thought the story was wonderfully fluid and wholly creative.  I'd definitely recommend the book to you.

Narration Verdict: So, half way through the story, I finally got used to the narrator's voice.  Then, with about fifteen minutes left in the story, I realized that the author and the narrator were the same person.  Looking back, I can't imagine anyone else even coming close to reading the story correctly.  Livingston knew how long to pause and where to pause, and her acting skills come across in her voice with each character having their own intonation and even at times slight accent.  I would definitely recommend the audio version to anyone who might be looking for something a little more fun, a little more involved, and a little more engrossing than the run-of-the-mill young adult audiobook.  *Fingers crossed* she reads Darklight too.

People Who Would Love This: Nora from Hush, Hush, Annie from 90210, fey lovers, horse lovers, people who have an acting talent, Roger Clemens, New Yorkers
People Who Would Hate This: people who hate fantasy, Dog The Bounty Hunter, Wolf Blitzer, macho men (and not that Monster is a macho man, but he didn't particularly care for this one, which is why it took me so long to read it)

Purchased from Audible.com

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Al-Qaeda Calls Off Attack To Spare Stephenie Meyer [Gone Viral]

For those of you not familiar with The Onion, know going in that their news is not real.  It is meant to be a humorous take on current events.  

I saw this video from The Onion this morning and new I had to share it since it revolves around a book we all seem to have an opinion on, TWILIGHT.  And... mainly because I laughed out loud.

Al-Qaeda Calls Off Attack On Nation's Capitol To Spare Life Of 'Twilight' Author

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Hold Me Closer, Necromancer [Coming Soon]

Title: Hold Me Closer, Necromancer
Author: Lish McBride
ISBN: 0-8050-9098-3
Release Date: 10.12.10
Website: http://us.macmillan.com/holdmeclosernecromancer

The Usual Questions:

Is this the first in a series?
I think so.

What is the basic concept?
(from Macmillan's site)

Sam leads a pretty normal life. He may not have the most exciting job in the world, but he’s doing all right—until a fast food prank brings him to the attention of Douglas, a creepy guy with an intense violent streak.

Turns out Douglas is a necromancer who raises the dead for cash and sees potential in Sam. Then Sam discovers he’s a necromancer too, but with strangely latent powers. And his worst nightmare wants to join forces . . . or else.

With only a week to figure things out, Sam needs all the help he can get. Luckily he lives in Seattle, which has nearly as many paranormal types as it does coffee places. But even with newfound friends, will Sam be able to save his skin?

Is the cover art favorable?
I think it's great.  It's not like normal YA covers, but it's still eye catching and makes me wanna know more!

What are some of the author's other works?
this is her first!

Preorder It.  

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Contemps (@YAContemps) Site Launches Today [News]

Celebrate realistic YA with The Contemps!
Authors Brent Crawford, Hannah Harrington, April Henry, Kirsten Hubbard, Denise Jaden, Kody Keplinger, Jo Knowles, Lindsey Leavitt, Sarah Darer Littman, Michael Northrop, Sarah Ockler, Micol Ostow, Lisa Schroeder, Elizabeth Scott, Mindi Scott, Emily Wing Smith, Courtney Summers, Kristen Tracy, Melissa Walker, Sara Bennett Wealer, and Daisy Whitney (yes! That's a long list!) have banded together to launch a new website called The Contemps. These writers of Contemporary YA Fiction (hence the name Contemps) want there to be a place where they can all gather together and hang out and reach their readership.

They plan to post three days a week featuring stories from their teenage years, spotlights on upcoming YA Contemp Fic, and even posts discussing important themes and issues arising in the genre.

Fans of the genre should definitely check out http://www.thecontemps.com.  AND, for those of you who LOVE contests, if you sign-up for the challenge, promising to read their 18 novels, you'll be entered to win a set containing all 18 novels!  Just check out the Get Involved page at http://www.thecontemps.com.

You can also follow the group on Twitter.

Monday, August 16, 2010

S.E. Hinton Talks YA Lit [News] [You're The Expert]

I happened upon this awesome talk show from The Takeaway with S.E. Hinton of one of my all-time favorite YA books, THE OUTSIDERS, and I knew I had to share it. Not only is it awesome to hear Ms. Hinton talk about YA lit, it's got some great perspectives and some fun insights.  Oh, and did I mention it has S.E. Hinton?

My favorite part of the interview:
16-year-old intern: Do you think THE OUTSIDERS is still relevant to the new gen of kids?
S.E. Hinton: All I can say is that it sold better last year than it's ever sold. It's never been out of print. It sells better every year. I still get the same kind of letters as I did forty years ago.

I hope that you'll take the nine minutes and listen to the segment yourself... it's enlightening and enjoyable and you know I wouldn't recommend it if I didn't think it deserved your time.

While you're at it, why don't you tell us a couple of books that had an impact on you as a teenager?  We'd love to hear about yours.

Why Young Adult Books Matter on The Takeaway:

Saturday, August 14, 2010

$5.43 on 8-9-10 [Saturday Steals]

Does it matter that my Amazon order was $5.43 on 8-9-10? Probably not.  But I had to share. I thought it was funny.

Now, what did I get for my five bucks and forty-three cents?

First, I got a brand new hardcover copy of VIDALIA IN PARIS by Sasha Watson.
When Vidalia wins a scholarship to study art abroad for the summer, she can’t believe her good fortune. Paris is filled with surprises, including Julien, the nice bookstore clerk Vidalia should like as more than a friend, and Marco, the mysterious art dealer she can’t stay away from. By the time she finds out the truth about the paintings Marco sells, she’s fallen for him too hard to really care. But when his crimes threaten to involve her directly, Vidalia has to separate reason from passion.
That was a whopping $2.14.  Which is 87% off of list price.  Yeah, total steal.  It's still like $2.26 today, so if you want a copy, you should grab one now.

Second, since Monster found my Zune tucked away in a pocket in his car, and since Spyrrie chewed up my earbuds, I needed a new pair so that I could finish up listening to WONDROUS STRANGE.  I found a pair for $3.29.  That's a full 78% off of the list price of $14.95.  Score!  Of course, they've gone back up to $12.41 now, and before I could grab my parents a couple of pair, but I was totally stoked about my steal, and the fun sequential numbers of the total and the date, so I had to share with you guys.

So, what kind of steals did you guys get this week?  You should tell us all about them.  Write a post (or just leave a comment) and link up over at Archives of Our Lives where Camille hosts this fun meme.  It runs all weekend, so you still totally have time.

Friday, August 13, 2010

RADIANT DARKNESS by Emily Whitman [Book Inspection]

Plot Sketch:  In this retelling of "The Rape of Persephone,"  Emily Whitman imagines what it would be like if Persephone had really gone willingly with Hades to the underworld.  Classic myth states that the ground cracked open and Hades stole Persephone from her mother, Demeter.  In RADIANT DARKNESS, Hades and Persephone fall in love and Persephone goes willingly with him to the Underworld.  I don't want to ruin it for you, but those of you who know the classic myth will be able to fill-in the blanks from what I have told you.

Verdict:  I had to wonder why it took me so long to read this book!  If it's in your pile, move it up.  You may anticipate a difficult read, but it is not.  Whitman does a great job of making her characters, mostly Greek gods, sound like normal people without the heft of language that often accompanies characters from ancient realms.  She weaves bits of humor and romance into her story at just the right places, compelling you to keep reading.  While I would have liked to have seen a little bit more character development for Hades, the plot did an adequate job of filling in his holes.  My favorite part of the experience was that because of a couple of carefully placed scenes and elements, Whitman's version is just as plausible as the classic myth, with characters a lot more down-to-earth and relatable than in other, similar works. Steel yourself for death, destruction, and the many faces of love in this coming-of-age retelling you're sure to devour.

Location: mainly The Underworld
Main Character: Persephone
Favorite Character: I hem and haw around this.  The obvious choice is Persephone.  But I kinda adore Hades.  You never seem him depicted like this, never.  I really enjoyed him and honestly? I kinda crush on him a little.  (never thought those words'd come outta my head)
Would Change: Like I mentioned above, I would have liked to have seen a little more development for Hades, but I was satisfied with what I got.
Favorite Line: "If you love me," he whispers, "if you truly want to return to my side, and only then, eat." p. 219, hardcover
Good for Monster? I actually think that Monster would like RD.  If he didn't have such a huge line-up of fantasy to read, I'd probably make him read it.  Your guys'll like it if they're into the Greek myths at all.
People Who Will Like This:  educators, mothers, daughters, romantics, those with a degree in Classical Studies, people who like to see things from different perspectives.
People Who Won't Like This: people who don't like retellings,  purists, Zeus
Chapters: 50, and they're really pretty short, which makes this a great book to take with you places you'll have down time.  I read a lot of it in between rounds of a sporting event.
Author's Website: http://www.emilywhitman.com/index.php
Acquire It:  Amazon       Book Depository       Changing Hands

Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Publish Date: April 28, 2009
ISBN-10: 0061724491

Note:  Though this book stands alone and is not part of a series, I thought I'd let you know that Emily's next book, Wildwing, is coming September 21st.  Based on her writing style in RD, I'm eager to read Wildwing!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

What Do You Do When A Book Is Sooooooo Bad? [You're The Expert]

Book burningImage via Wikipedia
This week I picked up a book I was sent for review. I read just over four pages before hurling it across the room in anger and frustration. (reason #1 I can't own an e-reading device) Then I took a deep breath, talked myself down, walked over, and picked it up. I took it back to the couch where I was sitting and cracked it back to the fifth page and tried to start from where I left off. Three paragraphs later I chucked it again.

This book. *insert grunt here* It was wrong in so many ways. The grammar was horrible. The sentence structure deplorable. The word choice was amazingly... well, let's just say scary. The content was inflammatory and attacked something important to me. I wanted to scream. No, wait, I did scream. Twice. It perpetuates lies. It rapes religion. It is an embarassment to American grammar and quite frankly, publishing. (It's not self-pubbed) There's no way I'm going to actually write a review of this book. I mean despite the emotional unprofessionalism that's bound to cross my fingers, I have only read almost five pages. And, I'm not going to intentionally spend any more time thinking about its content.

I know what I want to do with this book [she says with disgust] (and might finally understand book-burners on an emotional level), but I wouldn't dare do it. I want to toss it in the trash, because I believe that's where it truly belongs, but I don't necessarily feel that's the right way to go either.

So. I'm asking you. Have you ever been in a similar situation? Given my situation, what would a normal rational person do? I know my emotions are piqued. I know I can't trust myself to be rational. So, c'mon. Tell me how it is. Seriously. Sock it to me.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

How Many Books Are There In The World? [News] [You're The Expert]

Short answer? 129,864,880

Long answer: Check out Inside Google Books' post on how they arrived at that number. Honestly, it's quite fascinating if you are a literary geek with a love for the scientific method. Their exclusions and concatenations and values and checksums intrigued me, but I won't pretend to regurgitate their method to you. It's lengthy.

My question: With there being almost 130 million books in the world, how many do you think you'll read in your lifetime?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

On Being Self-Published by Holly Christine [Guest Post]

Today help me welcome Holly Christine, self-published author of TUESDAY TELLS IT SLANT here at I Heart Monster.  We asked Holly to reflect a little on the process of self-publishing and what it's been like for her, and she's graced us with a great piece on the topic.  Join me in welcoming Holly!

If someone would have told me five years ago that I would self-publish a novel, I wouldn’t have believed them. Five years ago, I didn’t know or understand anything but the traditional path to publishing. I knew that I was supposed to query agents, find an agent, and then keep my fingers crossed that the right agent would get my work published. I thought that self-publishing meant shelling out thousands of dollars and loading up my car trunk with hundreds of books, setting up outside of the mall and trying to get people to take a chance on an unknown author.

I was wrong.

After I queried and waited around for agent and publisher responses for over a year, I decided that my first book was too creative to live in the nightstand drawer. I did a bit of research and discovered that not only could I get my work out there, I could do it for next to nothing. With Print-on-demand technologies such as CreateSpace and Lulu, there typically isn’t a start up cost. I think I spent something like $10 to get Tuesday Tells it Slant in print. Making the book available for Kindle and Nook was completely free. The eFormatting took a bit of time to figure out, but once I had it down, I clicked Publish and watched my words become available for purchase.

Because thousands are turning to this new wave of self-publishing every day, the trick to making a book successful is a well thought out marketing campaign. Because self-publishing establishes the author as writer and publisher, the earnings go only one way. This allows the author to price their work competitively, if not better, than similar traditionally published books. A wave of self-published authors had much success by pricing their work for Kindle sales for less than a dollar. As a Kindle owner, I look for bargains. I hate to purchase an eBook that costs just as much as the paperback... or worse, the hardcover. Major publishing houses later picked many authors up after they had proven the interest of the reader in their work. Still, the aspect of marketing and promoting a work may prove difficult for many authors. After I found some success with selling my book for Kindle, I turned to a publicist to aid in the process of marketing not only the book, but also myself as an author.

The hardest part of being a self-published author is taking the first step. I realized that I became a business owner the moment I clicked the “Publish Now” button. And today, I have no regrets.

Thank you so much for those reflections, Holly!  We're delighted that you stopped by I Heart Monster and shared this with us today.  Readers: If you'd like to purchase a copy of TUESDAY TELLS IT SLANT, they're very affordable at Amazon.com.  Just follow the title link.    Find out more about TTIS in our Blog Tour post, published earlier today.  

Monday, August 9, 2010

Smart Chicks Kick It Tour [Book Signing Alert]

Normally, I tell you guys to mark your calendars at the beginning of the month when I know there are going to be tours in your area.  This time, I'm giving you more like five weeks notice 'cause you're not going to want to miss this if it's coming to an area anywhere near you!

The Smart Chicks Kick It Tour is so anticipated (by me), I just had to share.  It's been on my calendar since like February.  It's the brainchild of Melissa Marr and Kelley Armstrong (both authors we ♥), and here are the details from Facebook:
Our Tour, Our Way
Author tours are usually organized by the publisher. All we have to do is show up, which is great, but we started thinking maybe we'd like to try something different.  Organize our own tour, just the way we want it.  Pick the cities. Pick the authors. Organize the events.  So, in Sept 2010, we'll do just that.

It's Your Tour, Too
Setting up our own tour is great.  But it's not really about us.  It's about the readers--getting out and meeting them.  We'll be looking for input from readers to help us make this the kind of tour they want, too.  And because we can't get to every city, we'll also be setting up a virtual tour component.  We're still in the planning stages, but watch this page for more details.

Here are the cities to be visited in September:
13th 7 PM @ BOOKPEOPLE, Austin, TX - Kelley Armstrong, Melissa Marr, Alyson Noel, Holly Black, Rachel Caine, & Cassandra Clare

14th 7 PM @ B&N THE WOODLANDS, Houston, TX - Kelley Armstrong, Melissa Marr, Alyson Noel, Holly Black, Cassandra Clare, Kami Garcia & Rachel Vincent.

15th 7PM.  Off-site location TBD.  Hosted by BLUE WILLOW, Houston, TX - Kelley Armstrong, Melissa Marr, Alyson Noel, Holly Black, Sarah Rees Brennan, Margaret Stohl & Cassandra Clare

16th 6 PM Off-site location TBD.  Hosted by LEMURIA BOOKS, Jackson, MS  - Kelley Armstrong,  Melissa Marr, Alyson Noel, Holly Black, Cassandra Clare, Jessica Verday & Sarah Rees Brennan

17th 7PM  @ Scottsdale Civic Library Auditorium, hosted by POISONED PEN Phoenix, AZ - Melissa Marr, Alyson Noel, Kelley Armstrong,  Holly Black, Sarah Rees Brennan, Kimberly Derting, and Becca Fitzpatrick.

18th Time & Off-site location TBD, Hosted by KEPLERS, San Francisco, CA - Melissa Marr, Alyson Noel, Kelley Armstrong,  Melissa de la Cruz, Kimberly Derting, Becca Fitzpatrick, & Rachel Caine

20th 6 PM @ VROMAN'S, Pasadena, CA - Melissa Marr, Alyson Noel, Kelley Armstrong, Rachel Caine, Melissa de la Cruz, Rachel Vincent & Mary Pearson

21st 6 PM @ Encinitas County Library, hosted by MYSTERIOUS GALAXY, San Diego, CA - Melissa Marr, Alyson Noel, Kelley Armstrong, Rachel Vincent, Mary Pearson, Rachel Caine, & Carrie Ryan (I'm so totally tempted to try to go to this one too!)

22nd 7 PM @ ANDERSON'S Chicago, IL -  Alyson Noel, Kelley Armstrong, Melissa Marr, Jackson Pearce, Jennifer Barnes, & Carrie Ryan

23rd  7 PM @ BOOKS & CO AT THE GREENE, Dayton, OH -  Alyson Noel, Kelley Armstrong, Melissa Marr, Jackson Pearce, Jennifer Lynn Barnes, & Kami Garcia

24th 7 PM @ JOSEPH BETH Cincinnati, OH  - Alyson Noel, Kelley Armstrong, Melissa Marr,  Jessica Verday, Jeri Smith-Ready, & Margaret Stohl

25th 2 PM @ CHAPTERS BRAMPTON Toronto, ON - Alyson Noel, Kelley Armstrong, Melissa Marr, Jeri Smith-Ready, Jennifer Barnes, Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

So mark your calendars, become a fan of the tour on Facebook, check out the Tour's blog, and its website.  and get ready for a way fun, way epic tour! We can't wait.  Can you?

Saturday, August 7, 2010

I Am A Genius of Unspeakable Evil And I Want To Be Your Class President [Saturday Steals]

Yes, that's the title of a book.  Yes, it's the title of a book I bought.  Yes, it's the title of a Bargain Book from Amazon.  Yes, it is my Steal this week for my Saturday Steals post.  Why?

I paid $3.15 for the hardcover.  Though it looks like now it's gone back up to $6.80.  Sorry.  My savings was 81%.  Yipee!
Twelve-year-old Oliver Watson’s got the IQ of a grilled cheese sandwich. Or so everyone in Omaha thinks. In reality, Oliver’s a mad evil genius on his way to world domination, and he’s used his great brain to make himself the third-richest person on earth! Then Oliver’s father—and archnemesis—makes a crack about the upcoming middle school election, and Oliver takes it as a personal challenge. He’ll run, and he’ll win! Turns out, though, that overthrowing foreign dictators is actually way easier than getting kids to like you. . . Can this evil genius win the class presidency and keep his true identity a secret, all in time to impress his dad?
The author, Josh Lieb, is the Emmy-winning co-executive producer of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.  This is his debut YA novel.  Oh, and this book came out last October - it's less than a year old.  Great steal if you ask me.  I Am A Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to Be Your Class President at Amazon.

How did you guys do this week?  Did you get any great steals you wanna share?  Go write a post, then head over to Archives of Our Lives and add a link to it.  It'll be fun.  Promise.  While you're there, check out everyone else's steals too.  They're always fun!