Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sunday Contest Slurry

Ends ???

Help choose reading challenge books and win a mystery ARC - Cindy at Princess Bookie

Ends 2/4

5 copies of Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen - Jenny at Wondrous Reads

Ends 2/5

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa plus swag, 5 winners - Elie at Ellz Readz

Beautiful by Cindy Martinusen-Coloma - Cindy at Princess Bookie

Ends 2/7

Dream Life by Lauren Mechling - Sophie at Mrs. Magoo Reads

Ends 2/8

3 copies of My Soul to Save by Rachel Vincent - Carrie at Carrie's YA Bookshelf

My Soul to Take and My Soul to Save, both my Rachel Vincent, plus 2 copies of My Soul to Save - Kristi at The Story Siren

Ends 2/9

3 copies of My Soul to Save by Rachel Vincent - Carol at Book-lover Carol's Reviews

3 copies of My Soul to Save by Rachel Vincent - Ashley at Books Make Great Lovers

3 copies of My Soul to Save by Rachel Vincent - Amy at Addicted to Books

Ends 2/10

3 copies of My Soul to Save by Rachel Vincent - Rachel at The Book Muncher

My Soul to Take and My Soul to Save, both by Rachel Vincent - Lenore at Presenting Lenore

Dream Girl or Dream Life, both by Lauren Mechling - Lenore at Presenting Lenore

Ends 2/12

My Soul to Take and My Soul to Save, both by Rachel Vincent, plus 2 copies of My Soul to Save - Sarah at GreenBeanTeenQueen

Wish by Alexandra Bullen - Steph at Steph Su Reads

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa plus signed swag - Tina at Fantastic Book Review

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa - Sherry at Flipping Pages for All Ages

Choice of 1 of four books - Sherry at Flipping Pages for All Ages

Restoring Harmony by Joelle Anthony plus swag - Briana at The Book Pixie

Ends 2/13

New Year's Contest with 10 books, 1 winner - Sophie at Mrs. Magoo Reads

Ends 2/14

Valentine's Day Giveaway with 5 books, 5 winners - Wdebo at The Electrical Book Cafe . . . and more!

V-Day Book Giveaway with 5 books, 1 winner - Steph at Steph Su Reads

Ends 2/17

First 3 books of the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan - Kari at A Good Addiction

Ends 2/21

Valentine's Day Book Massacre Giveaway with 30 books, 4 winners - Angela at Dark Faerie Tales

Ends 2/28

Blogoversary Giveaway with an increasing number of books and winners - Steph at Steph Su Reads

Signed copy of Silver Phoenix by Cindy Pon - Diana Dang at Stop, Drop and Read!

Added to the Pile + 25

Tricia at Llewellyn is awesome. A big thanks to her for these books.

Elizah Rayne is nothing like other fourteen-year-old girls. More interested in bird bones than people, she wraps herself in silence. Trying to escape the shadow of her gambler father, Elizah and her mother move into an old house that borders a cemetery. All her mother wants is for them to have "normal" lives. But that becomes impossible for Elizah when she finds a human jawbone by the river and meets Nathaniel, a strangely hypnotic and mysterious boy who draws Elizah into his world.

Only by forgetting everything she knows can Elizah understand the truth about Nathaniel - and discover an unimaginable secret.
(inside book blurb)

Contrary to today's sanitized depictions, the hobgoblins, imps, sprites, elves, and other magical creatures embodied in folklore can be quite nasty. Kenny Klein draws on folkloric record - ancient songs, stories of forest and field, legends, myths, and sagas - to reveal faeries' true nature: where they live; what they do; their desires, fears, powers, proclivities, and enchantments.

Entertaining and enlightening, this unique guide explores human interactions with Mab the Faerie Queen, Puck the prankster, Reynardine the fox man, Jenny Green Teeth, and an array of other legendary fey. It includes rituals and spells for faerie protection, tells the reader how to enlist faerie help in finding lost objects or gai
ning inspiration, and offers practical tips for those who dare to venture into the world of the Faerie. (book back blurb)

Everyone at Tess's new school warns her that Micah is bad news - a heartbreaker. And a girl named Daisy is acting like she owns him. Still, Tess can't ignore her attraction to this brooding, brilliant, friendless emo-guy who can turn on the charm - or heart-shredding scorn - at a moment's notice. Starting over in a new town after her parents' split isn't easy for Tess, and Micah feels like her first real connection. But then their bond suddenly feels like shackles.

Caught in an obsessive triangle of jealousy and codependence, can Tess learn to break away and find herself again?
(inside book blurb)

This evocative experiential guide reveals how you can immediately begin to transform your life by following the path of the shaman. Author Mike Williams, Ph.D., presents hands-on exercises and engaging true stories from decades of shamanic practice and academic study into ancient European traditions.

Once you understand the powerful forces of the unseen world, you'll learn how to apply the knowledge to your own life in a variety of practical ways: predicting the future and understanding the past, using dreamwork to find answers to problems, and clearing your house of negativity. You'll discover how to find your power animal and meet your spirit guides, journey to the otherworlds for healing and self-empowerment, and live in harmony with the world.
(book back blurb)

Massacring Valentine's Day, One Heart at a Time

Dark Faerie Tales is having a massive Valentine's Day Giveaway over at their blog and I'm killing two birds with one stone here: both creating a post to promote the giveaway and earn myself some extra points and satisfy a requirement to list my three favorite romantic couples or my favorite love story. So if you want to get in on the fun, just head on over to their blog and enter. But here's my deal -

I'm not a fan of Valentine's Day. I'm not a hater; I just find it an utterly pointless "holiday" that, in reality, commemorates death under the guise of love. Candy companies and Hallmark got all over this business and somehow linked Necco conversation hearts to martyrdom. A bit of a stretch to connect a crucifixion with 'ur cute' but there you go. Check out The History Channel's website for more information on the history of Valentine's Day.

With that being said, I'm also not very much a romantic. I don't read romances and any books I do read with romance in it, it's usually secondary to the overall plot so finding even one top couple, let alone three, is a little difficult for me. I could always default to Romeo and Juliet but much to the chagrin of many a teenage girl (or any human with a vagina, really), Shakespeare wasn't highlighting love in that play but the sheer irrationality of teenagers. Here's Romeo and Juliet in a nutshell -

Day 1:

R: OMG your're hot.
J: OMG you're hot.
R: I love you.
J: I love you.

Day 2:

R: Will you marry me?
J: Of course!

Day 3:

R: OMG you're dead! I can't live without you! *stabs*
J: *wakes * I'm alive! OMG you're dying!
R: Shit. *dies*
J: OMG I can't live without you! *stabs* *dies*

Yeah, Shakespeare was so ranking on teenage "love" it's ridiculous. Jack and Rose of Titanic? Same thing. Sorry. Two and a half days and she was ready to run off with some scullery boy? Stoopid. Romeo and Juliet part 2 but half the party lives. How about these teens wait 6 months and see if their loved one is still worth dying over? Three days? Not so much.

So, at the end of the day, my favorite romantic situation would have to be between Buffy and Pike (that's Pike, not Spike) from the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie released in the early 90s. Kristy Swanson and Luke Perry.

At first the relationship is antagonistic as so many teenager relationships are wont to be but the more they fall into their vampire hole together, the closer they get. Buffy has someone to confide her secret in, someone that she can lean on (superficially anyway since she can kick Pike's ass). They're not all googly-eyed the second they see each other. They don't fall madly in love with each other, but there's an undeniable attraction there. They shared experiences that no one else did. They coped in pretty much the same way and it's because of that that they have that connection. Granted, psychologically speaking people who enter romantic relationships spurned from traumatic experiences traditionally don't last but that's besides the point.

Pike helped Buffy have the dance she wanted when everyone else had abandoned her. He helped her through the death of Merrick when no one else was there. He helped her cope stepping down from the platform of superficiality and walking into the real world. He was there more than anyone else around her. How could you not like that?

Basically, it's a realistic relationship, or the beginnings of one anyway (excepting the vampires, of course). It's not over the top OMG I love you the second I see you! type of infatuation/lust that's highlighted so ravenously in YA today. It's just kind of there. Yeah, they like each other but let's see where this goes. They're not sending out wedding invitations yet.

So yeah, I'm not romantic, I don't really like romance and I don't like Valentine's Day but I think I've answered the question to the best of my ability.

Things I've Learned from Books + 39

Faeries are bi-polar and will turn on you on the head of a pin. Watch your back. They'll clean your house one second and run you through with their sword the next.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

80s Awesomeness! ~ 48

The Legend of Zelda!!!

Yeah, I come from a time when we had to blow in our video games to make them work. And work they did! Google did not exist to solve all our life's problems.

Anyway, Zelda! I wasn't a huge fan of Zelda, mainly because I kept getting stuck at a certain point and couldn't move beyond it. Usually I'd end up hurling my controller across the room . . . only to have it bounce back since it was still attached to the console. Zelda's still around so I don't think I need to explain it but it's certainly come a long way from it's original 1D super pixel status.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Freaky Friday :|: 48

Title: The Cemetery
Author: DE Athkins
Published: January 1993
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
At a Hallowe'en party with very exclusive guests, the disguised play a game of hide and seek in an ancient cemetery as midnight approaches. When someone is killed, all the partygoers can do is suspect each other - unless there is an unknown player. (from
Sounds kind of ordinary, run of the mill horror. Ancient cemetery. Not going to find too many of those unless you're in Egypt. Old, sure. But not ancient. Points for ambiance but premise? Meh.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Love, Love, Love

Because I know you have the song in your head after you read my blog title, right? And if not, you do now! See if you can spot the Stone . . .

But what I'm doing now is spreading the love with some blog awards!

From the mahvelous Elie at Ellz Reads I've been bestowed the Who Loves You Baby Award! Thank you so much! This award is designed with one purpose in mind. Pass this on to other bloggers who have awarded you in the past.

I'll send this one on over to Miss Cindy at simple life and reading, Steph at Steph Su Reads and Steph Bowe over at Hey! Teenager of the Year. Congrats!

Next up, the lovely Lucy over at Delightful Reviews has given me the Happy 101 Award! A huge thank you! Here are the rules it comes with: List 10 things that make you happy. Try and do at least one of them today. Tag ten bloggers that brighten your day. Link back to the person that tagged you.

10 Things That Make Me Happy -
  1. Writing
  2. Reading
  3. California
  4. Chilling with my dog
  5. Dreaming
  6. Feeling productive at work
  7. Vacations
  8. Book stores
  9. Helping others
  10. Sleeping
I'll definitely be doing (or have already done) a few of those things today! For my ten bloggers - Reading In Color, Good Books & Good Wine, The Pirate's Bounty, Rhiannon Hart, Ellz Readz, Flipping Pages for All Ages, Library Lounge Lizard, Wondrous Reads, Gofita's Pages and WORD for Teens. Congrats!

And last but not least, the awesome Nicole at WORD for Teens gave to me the Splash Award! Big, big thank you! The Splash Award, it is given to alluring, amusing, bewitching, impressive, and inspiring blogs.

I'm sending this one on over to Lucy at Delightful Reviews! Congrats, hun!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Book Wars (8)

Low turnout last week but the winner by a 2 to 1 vote was The Devouring! I haven't read Skeleton Creek yet but I think I would have voted for Holt too. For this week, it's gritty all the way. FIGHT!




Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The BSC is Coming Back!

Oh yeah. You heard that right. The Babysitters Club. Coming back. Not only are they re-issuing the original books but they're coming out with new ones and a prequel. If you were considered middle grade age anytime between 1986 and 2000, you know the win I'm reveling in right now. Not only did I have a shitload of BSC books, I had the board game and the sleeping bag. Ultimate cool, I know.

More than 200 BSC books were published during its reign, written by a few ghosted authors to meet the insane publishing demands this book called for (one a month, seriously!). Martin wrote a quite a few but no one could keep up with that schedule on their own!

The only issue I have with the books being re-issued is they're updated. That was the reason why I passed on my copy of Thirst, because it was updated. For kids that haven't had the BSC exposure, sure. I get it. But us oldies, I want my nostalgia, dammit! I want to hear them talking about VHS tapes, cassettes and phones with cords! But that's just me.

David Levithan, awesome man that he is, is heading up this new venture of re-releases and the publishing of the prequel. Oh yeah. Expect a HUGE surge in adult purchases of these books when they start coming out. Personally I'd seek out the originals but what an excellent way for two generations to connect. It almost makes me wish I had a daughter. And then the psychosis goes away and the meds kick in.

I really hope this spurns yet another generation of BSC fans. It's going to be such a refreshing addition to the reading landscape already out there. The plots aren't overblown or catty. They're just girls and their adventures in babysitting. Below is a side-by-side comparison of Kristy's Great Idea from the original to what's going to be re-released.

Personally I like the older one. :)

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Street Smart Psyhic's Guide to Getting a Good Reading by Lisa Baretta

First published in 2009.

What's the secret to getting the most from your psychic reading? Who better to ask than the Street-Smart Psychic? Lisa Barretta offers insider advice from the other side of the tarot cards, crystal ball, and tea leaves.

Sassy, candid, and spot-on, Lisa Barretta's guidance will help you choose the psychic that's right for you - astrologer, medium, tarot reader, or phone-line psychic - and steer clear of charlatans. True stories from Baretta's colorful career as a psychic reader reveal what to do - and what not to do - to build rapport with your psychic and get the best possible reading. (book back blurb)

I had just a slight ulterior motive when I requested this book from Llewellyn. One of my novels is about a psychic on Coney Island and this sounded right up her alley. I've been to psychics, and I know a small amount about them, but this book helped me to, well, get to the other side of the tarot cards so to speak. I was able to get inside my character's head via Barretta's workings of the field.

I know a lot of people don't believe in psychics and think the lot of them are just scamming gypsies but I can tell you, coming from a huge skeptic, they do exist. When I get a reading done, I give the psychic very little to work with, usually just a couple of key words, and they should tell me what I need to know from that. And they do. Across multiple psychics. While I'm not a psychic junkie like Barretta talks about, hopping from psychic to psychic in a matter of hours, I go to them every once in a while and some of the same stuff has come through across 3 of them over an extended period of time and at different venues. It's not like I openly tell them any of the information that they come out with. They just know. And yeah, sometimes it's freaky.

Before I read this book I kind of knew the gist of getting a reading. You have to be open and receptive to what you need to hear, not what you want to hear. That's a major thing. So is keeping your legs uncrossed. Crossing your arms and/or legs during a reading will cut the energy channels between you and the psychic which will limit the reading you have. I'm going to a psychic fair next month. I must remember that. But what this book did was give me greater insight to getting a psychic reading. Barretta knows her shit, and she knows her shit. And she attempts to teach the reader the good shit from the bad shit so you don't end up in deep shit.

This book would be absolutely excellent for anyone that's a psychic virgin. Never been to a psychic? Then read up. It's not as dentist appointment as you think. The better prepared you are for the reading (and I'm not talking about having your questions ready), the better reading you'll get.

Barretta really tried to hammer home certain points in the book, almost to the point of redundancy but I think she was just trying to reiterate how important these aspects were to the act of getting a reading. Follow them, and follow them good, and you'll be sure to get the reading you pay for. From what it's like on the client side to what it's like on the reader's side, plus behind the scenes shenanigans that you don't get to see, this book will give you a thorough view into the world of psychic readings and show you that it's not all hokum. But just like any business, it's not without it's con-artists either. Not only does Barretta show you how to get a good reading, but she keys you in on how to get out of getting a bad one. Always a plus for those psychic virgins out there.

Overall, if you're into this kind of thing (which I am, obviously) and are genuinely interested in getting a psychic reading, pick up this book first and see what it's all about. If you read it, I'm sure it'll calm your nerves about that initial table sit-down with the psychic that probably won't fit your stereotypical idea of a psychic. You'll not only help yourself get the answers you need, but you'll help your reader channel those answers through for you better. Plus Barretta says it all with a sort of sass that's undeniable. I swear she was at a psychic fair I went to a couple years ago (the same one I'm going to next month) and if she's there again, I'ma have to lay down some cash for her.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sunday Contest Slurry

Ends ???

Benjamin Manry and the Curse of Blood Bones by Owen Palmiotti - Nicole at WORD for Teens

Ends 1/28

2 signed copies of Silver Phoenix by Cindy Pon - Free Book Friday Teens

Ends 1/29

2 copies of Veracity by Laura Bynum - Kate at The Neverending Shelf

Strange Angels and Betrayals, both by Lili St. Crow - J Kaye at J Kaye's Book Blog

Ends 1/31

All Unquiet Things by Anna Jarzab - Alea at Pop Culture Junkie

Ends 2/1

Signed ARC of Of All the Stupid Things by Alexandra Diaz - Lauren at Lauren's Crammed Bookshelf

Paranormal Romance Book Pack with 3 books - Steph at Steph Bowe's Hey! Teenager of the Year

Ends 2/4

Signed copy of Marked by PC and Kristin Cast - Jenny at Wondrous Reads

The Mark by Jen Nadol plus signed swag - Tina at Fantastic Book Review

Ends 2/5

Signed copy of Sing Me to Sleep by Angela Morrison - Ashley at Books Make Great Lovers

Ends 2/11

Shadow Hills by Anastasia Hopcus swag - Adrienne at An Addicted Book Reader

Darklight by Lesley Livingston - Stormi at Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My!

Unseasonably Spooky Contest with 4 books, 3 winners - Right here on Bites

Ends 2/12

Signed copy of Sing Me to Sleep by Angela Morrison - Kelsey at The Book Scout

Ends 2/15

Signed copy of Wish by Alexandra Bullen - Rachel at The Book Muncher

Ends 2/18

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl plus swag - Lucy at Delightful Reviews

Ends 3/7

MegaBook Giveaway with a slew of books and winners - Teens Read and Write

Bites is One Year Old! How Am I Doing?

So my little blog that could is one year old today. Yay! It feels like I've accomplished so much as a blogger in such a short amount of time. It feels like it should be older or something. I have more than 460 followers, over 22,000 hits to my site and people that love what I do. I never expected so much from just a blog! Thank you everyone! It's because of you that I can even say any of that.

For my one year anniversary I'd like you guys to do a little evaluation of me. It's totally anonymous so say whatever you feel like saying. Just fill out the form below and I'll post the results in a couple of weeks. Again, thank you all for letting me stick around for a year! Here's looking forward to the next one!

Things I've Learned from Books + 38

Don't piss off faeries unless you enjoy living in your own personal Hell.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

80s Awesomeness! ~ 47


The original that every kid could transform in a nanosecond and every parent hurled across the room in frustration. Transformers so weren't just for boys, either. In fact, I think I had this very same one. I also had a Canary yellow Volkswagen Beetle that transformed too. That one was my favorite but this one was the biggest I had. Just like every good 80s toy, it spawned its own cartoon and, obviously, it's made a reappearance recently. But nothing can beat those old school Transformers.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Freaky Friday :|: 47

Title: The Ripper
Author: DE Athkins
Published: October 1992
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Pages: 176
It started out as a game. A game of hiding and seeking. A game of hunting and weeping. And before anyone knew what was happening, someone was killed. The game was over. And the only suspects they had were each other--unless there was else out there . . . someone who was still playing the game.
The cover definitely freaks me out. Not sure about the premise but it has potential. I'd be disappointed if it didn't live up to the freaky on the cover, though. Not really sure how I feel about this one. Interesting . . .

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Unseasonally Spooky Contest!

My contest section is a little lonely up there and I did say I was going to have a 300 followers contest how long ago? I was waiting for something that never arrived, hence the delay. But it's about time now.

What's up for grabs?

Vampire Stories edited by Richard Dalby

The Lovecraft Necronomicon Primer by T Allan Bilstad

Your Neighborhood Gives Me the Creeps by Adam Selzer

The Vampire's Assistant movie release omnibus by Darren Shan (here, here and here)

Click the links to see my reviews. There'll be three winners! The first place winner will get their choice of two books. Second place will get their choice of one book that's left and the third place winner will get the remaining book. Sound good? Then fill out the form below to enter!

Open to US residents only and will end on February 11th at midnight. Good luck!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Book Wars (7)

These wars seem to end in landslides! Shiver was the book that came out on top last week. Now it's the battle of the spooks. FIGHT!

Skeleton Creek series


The Devouring series

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Lovecraft Necronomicon Primer by T Allan Bilstad

First published in October of 2009.

Meet the creatures of the Cthulhu Mythos. Denizens of the dark but brilliant imagination of HP Lovecraft. The collection of horror and fantasy he penned during his short lifetime is a legacy that has terrified and inspired generations of fans. Lovecraft's tales reveal the horror of seeing what has been hidden from humanity for good reason.

Written for those curious about Lovecraft and his work, this illustrated guide presents detailed descriptions of twenty-nine of the monsters, creatures, and gods that inhabit Lovecraft's macabre fictional universe, without any spoilers that could ruin a future read of his stories. It also includes an introduction to the man regarded as the father of American horror.
(book back blurb)

As someone that has never read any of Lovecraft's work (bad horror fan, bad), this book was a perfect fit for me. I knew about the Mythos, or I should say I knew of it. I've heard of the Necronomicon but I had no idea it was written by Lovecraft. People were afraid of it when I was growing up. I remember my friend buying it and her mom, literally, tore it up and torched it. Little did I know it was spawned from the demented mind of a solitary writer.

The only thing that irked me a little bit was the voice of the author. At times he tried to reiterate the horror that these creatures incited by using repetition to kind of drive the point home. I think that's something that would work if spoken but written, I think, it just kind of stumbles along awkwardly. And when it's done multiple times throughout the book, it just kind of annoyed me. I'm pretty sure that was the whole kitsch of the book, kind of like an older time story telling but repeating something doesn't hit home the scary for me, especially if what's being said in and of itself isn't scary. The author was prone to doing it every time he felt the need to drive a particularly horrifying point home, which was a lot. I could have lived without that. The creatures and the world spoke for themselves.

Other than that, it was a fascinating look into the world of Lovecraft. Boy was that guy demented. You know, I think everyone can have a vivid imagination but only someone with true creativity can turn a vivid imagination into a bonafide world that can scare the crap out of you. I actually started to believe some of the Mythos as it was being told to me. The connections made between the real world and this supposed imagination were eerily real and made me question that perhaps Lovecraft knew something we didn't.

I'm not a religious person so I believe that the Bible is nothing more than a long-standing story book written by a bunch of guys a couple thousand ago. They just happened to be convincing enough (or forceful enough) in their tellings that people started to take these stories as fact, as sacrosanct. As holy. L Ron Hubbard succeeded in doing the same thing with his science fiction novels. A modern day writer succeeded in telling a convincing enough story for people to believe that what he was saying was actually true. I don't see much difference between Mr. Hubbard and the authors that wrote the Bible. In that same vein, who's to say Lovecraft wasn't on to something?

What I've read in this book and how the author is so convincing in his descriptions of these creatures, on how they function, how they act, what they're planning that who's to say Cthulhu isn't waiting under the ocean with the giant squids until the alignment of 2012 to rise and kill us all? Sounds kind of ludicrous, but so does a guy walking on water and feeding a mass of people with fleshy bread.

My point is, the realism with which these creatures are talked about, how they're related to our waking and dreaming worlds, makes them that much more terrifying. Sure, as they stand alone they're pretty creepy. Who wouldn't shy away from something with a face full of tentacles? But it's not the creatures themselves that are terrifying but the horrifyingly realistic world they could live in that is. What if . . .

If anything, aside from making me sleep a little lighter, the book's made me want to read Lovecraft like an addict seeking heroin. He's always been on my radar as a horror writer. I've just never actually gotten to him. And I want to start with The Dunwich Horror. The author wouldn't even talk about what that was. As if that would keep me away from finding out about it! I started watching the TV movie version on Syfy but that didn't amount to much more than Gouda. I want the real thing. I want the horror story.

So, if you're a Lovecraft virgin and are interested in finding out just what he's all about before diving headfirst into his terrifying world, then be sure to pick up this book. It's an excellent sampling of his creatures. Just enough to equally entice and scare you, but not enough to keep you away from reading them. Just read with with the light on. Most of Lovecraft's creatures are dark dwellers and I wouldn't want you to accidentally conjure one or anything. That wouldn't be good.

Stand Up For What's Right - On Your Own Terms

The underlying issue with this post is the cover for Magic Under Glass not accurately representing the character between the covers. Obviously not the first time this has happened. Whitewashing sucks, plain and simple. If publishers would just accurately represent what the writer wrote on the cover, we wouldn't have this issue. They assume the reading public wants model-looking white people and only that, otherwise they won't buy the book. Readers should feel pandered to and they should feel patronized by it. It's insulting to think that publishers think so little of their reading public.

But the issue I want to discuss is how bloggers treat each other in such a case. Some are rather peeved that this book didn't get the attention that Liar had a few months ago so they're "calling out" bloggers and are "disappointed" and "upset" with them for not giving this the attention" it deserves."

To them, I've failed as a blogger because I haven't brought attention to this most recent issue. I'm a disappointment. Never mind I've never even touched the book let alone picked it up and read it. I've still failed.

Bite me.

There's a reason why I don't support PETA. Their intentions are good but their methods absolutely suck. Negativity should never, ever touch a cause. What makes you think I'm going to help you after you poke me in the eye? Or cover me in red paint? Or tell me I've failed?

Seriously, people. We're readers. A lot of us are writers. We understand the power that words can have. So why do people think that slapping down other bloggers will help their cause? Why do they think that inviting people to "call out" bloggers that don't bring attention to such things based solely on their own interpretations of how it should come about will help them? I may be a masochist (maybe that was a little TMI, oh well) in some areas of my life but don't berate me than then turn around and expect me to help you.

These people are leaning heavily on big bloggers like Kristi at The Story Siren to get her to stand up and scream with them, all while telling her she's not obligated to do so. So is she obligated or not, because you're contradicting yourself. I don't know one blogger that runs their blog based on bowing to pressure from other bloggers. We're a community. We support each other; we don't bully each other. Yes, those big bloggers have bigger voices than a lot of us but piss them off and just as many people will see their frustration at the situation as you want to see the stance for the cause.

I don't run my blog based on other people's expectations of me. I don't bow to community pressure, basically because there's next to none. If someone else thinks I've failed because I haven't lived up to their expectations of how I should react, fine. Whatever. Not my fault as I didn't set their expectations of me. They did that all on their own. Just don't expect me to help. Negative reinforcement doesn't bode well with me. One of the reasons why I'm not in the military.

Like PETA, I have no doubt in my mind the intentions of these people are nothing but good. It really is a cause to stand up for. But their methods blow. Hard. This is why negativity should never touch a cause. It detracts from the real issue at hand. Whitewashing sucks. Bloggers chastising other bloggers for not doing what the other feels they should sucks even more. I'll stand up how I want to stand up on my own blog. I don't need someone else telling me how I should do it and then telling me I've failed because I haven't. Yeah, that's a real motivating factor to get me to do what you want me to do.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sunday Contest Slurry

Ends ???

Hunted by PC and Kristin Cast - Dannie at Opinionated? Me?

Wish by Alexandra Bullen - Carol at Book-lover Carol

Ends 1/19

$150 Visa gift card - Lauren at Lauren's Crammed Bookshelf

Ends 1/21

Explorer X-Alpha by LM Preston plus swag - Andrea at So Many Books, So Little Time

3 signed copies of Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood by Eileen Cook - Free Book Friday Teens

Ends 1/22

2 copies of Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl - Blog with Bite

3 copies of The Lonely Hearts Club by Elizabeth Eulberg - Carrie at Carrie's YA Bookshelf

Darklight by Lesley Livingston - Carrie at Carrie's YA Bookshelf

Ends 1/23

E-book of Ruby by Amanda Taber - Sherry at Flipping Pages for All Ages

Ends 1/25

3 copies of The Lonely Hearts Club by Elizabeth Eulberg - Runa at One Reader's Trash is Another Reader's Treasure

Signed copy of The Last Surgeon by Michael Palmer - Lenore at Presenting Lenore

3 copies of The Lonely Hearts Club by Elizabeth Eulberg - Cheryl and Amber at Just Your Typical Book Blog

Choice of Book Depository book - Carol at Book-lover Carol

Ends 1/26

A Match Made in High School by Kristin Walker plus swag - Cindy at Princess Bookie

Ends 1/27

Choice of one signed Blood Coven book by Mari Mancusi - Elie at Ellz Readz

3 copies of Boys, Girls and Other Hazardous Materials by Rosaline Wiseman - Kristi at The Story Siren

Ends 1/28

All Unquiet Things by Anna Jarzab - Tina at Fantastic Book Review

Sing To Me by Angela Morrison - Kristi at The Story Siren

Ends 1/29

700 Followers Contest with 3 winners and 3 books of choice - Tina at Fantastic Book Review

The Secret Year by Jennifer Hubbard - Mitali at Alley of Books

Ends 1/30

3 copies of The Lonely Hearts Club by Elizabeth Eulberg - Rachel at The Book Muncher

Ends 1/31

Signed copy of From the Shadows by EJ Stevens plus swag - EJ at From the Shadows

4 signed copies of My Soul to Save by Rachel Vincent - Teen Libris

6 copies of The Espressologist by Kristina Springer - Sophie at Mrs. Magoo Reads

Ends 2/8

Set of Cathy's Book series books by Jordan Weisman and Sean Stewart - Sophie at Mrs. Magoo Reads and Cate of Sparrow Review

Ends 2/9

Betrayals by Lili St. Crow - Callie at Handle Like Hendrix

Ends 2/10

Darklight by Lesley Livingston - Eleni at La Femme Readers

Ends 3/15

Jekel Loves Hyde by Beth Fantaskey trailer contest for a bunch of prized - Beth Fantaskey's Official Site

Ends 3/19

YA Trio Contest with 3 books - Cherry at Cherry Mischievous

Added to the Pile + 24

Just one book this week, from Sourcebooks Fire/Jabberwocky for their upcoming blog tour in February and March. They offered up two but I just decided on the one as the other didn't interest me so much. This is actually a re-release of a book that came out in 1995 that kind of got lost in the mix. Sourcebooks is hoping they can stoke the fire again for it.

Nivienne never thought she'd be in direct contact with barbaric Humans - let alone help them. She's only heard stories of the evil that occurs outside the forest. But her dear friend Merlin has brought word that Arthur's kingdom - where Humans dwell - is threatened by the Saxons. If Nivienne doesn't help, it could be the end for her own peaceful home. Nivienne must now learn to trust the Humans and her heart. Even more difficult than going to war alongside your enemies is discovering you are falling in love with them. (book back blurb)

Things I've Learned from Books + 37

Psychic phone lines aren't really all that bad . . . sort of. Just beware of the hokums. Your gut is a powerful tool, dude.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Jekel Loves Hyde Contest!

If you haven't heard already, Beth Fantaskey is having a huge contest for her upcoming release of Jekel Loves Hyde. All you have to do (hey, for some people, it is that simple!) is create an eligible book trailer for her book and you can win signed copies of not only this book, but Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side! And on top of that, the winning trailer will become the official trailer for the book. Awesome, right? Just check out Beth's website for more information on how to enter and what you can win.

And the winner is . . .

Okay, that dur dur dur that's entering my contests multiple times is now doing it using multiple names but the same email address. Because I made that last post regarding outing this person not too long ago and well after the start of this contest, I won't name her now. If she does it for my next contest, I'm putting her up on a billboard.

The winner of The Book Thief by Markus Zusak is . . .


Congratulations! I've already sent you an email. And a big thanks to everyone that entered!

80s Awesomeness! ~ 46

What was known as quite possibly the worst longest running Broadway musical ever, Cats was a phenomenon. Experts still don't know why. Nor do they know why I saw it three times by 1990 and was the White Cat (pictured front, on her knees) at least twice for Halloween. Yeah, I loved this damn musical. Had I seen it as an adult, I'm sure I would have done a O_o but that didn't stop me from having a small Cats collection that included sheet music, the soundtrack as I believe a poster. And multiple show programs. My favorite musical ever.

If you couldn't tell, they're junkyard, feral cats. I can't remember if there's an actual plot to the show or if it's just random snippets from particular cats' lives and all their lives in general. But I do remember the ascension of one cat to heaven. At least I think. I can't remember if she was the one that sang 'Memory' or not.

My favorite Cat . . .

Friday, January 15, 2010

Freaky Friday :|: 46

Title: Mirror, Mirror
Author: DE Athkins
Published: April 1992
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Pages: 160
Offered a chance to have it all--beauty, popularity, and more--Dore jumps at the chance, but her pact with her new friend, Luci, may have cost her her soul. (from
Eh. I've heard it before. I read a set of vampire books by Caroline B. Cooney that sounded just like this. But this cover is pretty freaky. Not like I liked mirrors to begin with. Now I'm just a little more tweaked out by them. Great. Cool MC name though. Not too common.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Vampire Stories edited by Richard Dalby

First published in 1992.

At once glamorous and loathsome, vampires are among the most memorable figures in the literature and film of the horror genre. These undead beings, possessed of the supernatural powers of metamorphosis and hypnotism, stalk the night for the blood of the living. They have fascinated and terrified generations of writers and readers. Here are 18 bone-chilling tales of these bloodsucking creatures of the night, written by some of the most distinguished writers of the genre.

From premier writers including Anne Rice and Bram Stoker, the stories in this collection represent some of the finest horror writing spanning the past two centuries. Here are gothic melodramas set in Russia and Germany, as well as more modern twists on the vampire legend that take place in contemporary England and the United States. These are tales of decadence, lust, and loathing; they capture the dark side of the human psyche, dead and undead. Making few concessions to the squeamish, the tales in this collection will keep readers awake at night. (book flap blurb)

Well, I wasn't kept up at night but these shorts were definitely some of the better ones I've read in the more "classical" collections. I was a little put off by the introduction by Peter Cushing who wrote the forward. He mentioned that Vlad Drakul means "the Devil" when, in fact, it means "the Dragon" and is spelled with a 'c.' See this article for more information. Ask the people of Romania and Vlad the Impaler is actually a hero to them. He didn't randomly impale people on spikes for shits and giggles as people are so wont to think. He protected his people from an invading force. Vlad Dracul impaled his Turkish enemies on spikes all long the road leading up to his castle. When the general of the opposing army came to attack and saw all of his men dead and dangling all the way up to his enemy's door . . . well, would you stick around?

Anyway, back to the stories. Aside from the forward (written, I'm sure, for effect more than accuracy), these stories were pretty freakin' good and damn inventive. And lo! No glittering! Sure there was that slug-like vampire (really it was more of a misty thing in the amorphous blob shape of a slug) and then Christine with fangs (it was a racing car that drained your blood through your feet when you gassed it), not to mention the one about the Mona Lisa. How freakin' cool was that! But you're curious now, huh? But no glitter. Chagrin.

Of course, there were your standard vampire stories in there too. What irks me is that as much as I don't like Anne Rice (I'm not a fan of authors that treat their own fans like shit) and I really don't want to like her writing, some of it is just amazing, including her story in this book. For a short story, she included enough to set the tone and get the point across but it wasn't as heavy as her novels. At least it couldn't stop open a door.

Of course, the older stories were a little more difficult to get through, especially the ones with solid blocks of talking heads (basically they were nothing more than one guy telling a rambling story in huge blocks of dialogue, blah). A couple turned out to be pretty decent but there were also a couple that I really don't need to read again.

What I liked best about this collection was just how different the stories were. Considering how, now, we're in a time where every vampire out there blends into one another, it was so refreshing not only to read about true-to-form vampires in their element, but such vastly different types of vampires (from the standard blood drinkers to the psi-vamps to more ghostly beings to seemingly inanimate objects). It makes me wonder if our current culture (not just in the last couple of years but spanning back a generation or so) has become so inundated with a certain type of vampire that we're beginning to be unable to see outside of the box. The inventiveness of these stories just flabbergasted me. I loved them. And they makes me want to see Daybreakers even more!

I found this book on the bargain shelf at Barnes and Noble. If you can scrounge a copy, I'd recommend snagging it and reading for yourself. More classical vampire fans (for these story lack much of the romanticism and general contentment of current vampires, plus these are considered "adult," as in not YA, stories) will get a huge kick out of this book.

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