13 December 2011

Just For Kicks: Hair

Just For Kicks is a weekly meme held by me, The Authoress, that lets us share whatever random thing we want--whether it's book related or not is up to you.

09 December 2011

Blue Fire by Janice Hardy

Part fugitive, part hero, fifteen-year-old Nya is barely staying ahead of the Duke of Baseer’s trackers. Wanted for a crime she didn’t mean to commit, she risks capture to protect every Taker she can find, determined to prevent the Duke from using them in his fiendish experiments. But resolve isn’t enough to protect any of them, and Nya soon realizes that the only way to keep them all out of the Duke’s clutches is to flee Geveg. Unfortunately, the Duke’s best tracker has other ideas.  
Nya finds herself trapped in the last place she ever wanted to be, forced to trust the last people she ever thought she could. More is at stake than just the people of Geveg, and the closer she gets to uncovering the Duke’s plan, the more she discovers how critical she is to his victory. To save Geveg, she just might have to save Baseer—if she doesn’t destroy it first.

08 December 2011

The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan

Seven half-bloods shall answer the call,
To storm or fire the world must fall.
An oath to keep with a final breath,
And foes bear arms to the Doors of Death.

Percy is confused. When he awoke from his long sleep, he didn't know much more than his name. His brain fuzz is lingering, even after the wolf Lupa tol him he is a demigod and trained him to fight with the pen/sword in his pocket. Somehow Percy manages to make it to a camp for half-bloods, despite the fact that he has to keep killing monsters along the way. But the camp doesn't ring and bells with him. The only thing he can recall from his past is another name: Annabeth.

Hazel is supposed to be dead. When she lived before, she didn't do a very good job of it. Sure, she was an obedient daughter, even when her mother was possessed by greed. But that was the problem - when the Voice took over he mother and commanded Hazel to use her "gift" for and evil purpose, Hazel couldn't say no. Now because of her mistake, the future of the world is at risk. Hazel wished she could ride away from it all on the stallion that appears in her dreams.

Frank is a klutz. His grandmother says he is descended from heroes and can be anything he wants to be, but he doesn't see it. He doesn't even know who his father is. He keeps hoping Apollo will claim him, because the only thing he is good at is archery - although not good enough to win camp war games. His bulky physique makes him feel like an ox, especially infront of Hazel, his closest friend at camp. He trusts her completely - enough to share the secret he holds close to his heart.

07 December 2011

What should you cover in a review?

I briefly touched on this in my last article, How Do Review Styles Affect Site Traffic?  We all know that your review style is important, but what should actually go into a review?  Should you just provide a link to Amazon and let readers find out for themselves how many pages there are, who published it, when it was published, and other books the author wrote?

What about storyline?  What about summary?  Should you write your own, or copy and paste the one given by the publisher?  What about spoilers?  What about grading systems?

When I first started blogging almost two years ago, figuring out how to frame my review was tough--figuring out what went in the frame was tougher.

05 December 2011

Just For Kicks: Graphic-ing

Just For Kicks is a weekly meme held by me, The Authoress, that lets us share whatever random thing we want--whether it's book related or not is up to you.

01 December 2011

Blog Coding 101: Intro to Template Designer

Template Designer is a great way to easily customize the colors, fonts, and layout of your blog.

Blog Coding 101: Backgrounds

Backgrounds might be a bit trickier than just grabbing a code and sticking it in your gadgets.

But say you're new to the Blogger system and want to get yourself a nifty background that Blogger may not offer.  First, find a site that provides free backgrounds for blogger.  Here are a few I use:
All of these sites provides a free code that will put that particular background on your blog.

Blog Coding 101: Blockquotes

Now here's something fun.  "Blockquotes" is a short code that automatically formats what you put in quotations by using that quote (") button in the editing bar when you're creating a post.  You can get really creative with blockquotes, even getting them to match your blog theme.

Graphic Requests

In need of something new?  Or are you just starting out and need some spiffy graphics?  Then send me an email: amelia.theauthoress(at)gmail(dot)com.

Note:  I do not charge for my graphics.  My services are free.

28 November 2011

Just For Kicks: NaNoWriMo Sign Off

Just For Kicks is a weekly meme held by me, The Authoress, that lets us share whatever random thing we want--whether it's book related or not is up to you.

24 November 2011

The Thanksgiving Post

Usually I don't jump on the bandwagon when it comes to holiday posts.  (I generally stay away from the mainstream.)  But I have a lot to be thankful for, and my blogger friends are among the top of them.

I'm not going to point out specific people (you know who you are anyway) but to anyone who comments on my posts, thank you.  :)  No matter who's commented or what they say, it always makes me smile.  I mean, at first.  Once I read the post and see who's commented, I generally smile more.  :)

This blog has been a great source of happiness for me.  Some of it may be hard won happiness and some of it bittersweet, but I've met fantastic people through this blog.  It's given me a chance to find other people who salivate in the bookstore as much as I do.  (Did you know I didn't have any napkins on me the other day?  How embarrassing, drooling in the YA section of Books A Million.)

So I'd like to say thank you for all my followers, who actually comment on my whacky, fan-girly reviews and other assorted posts.  And thank you, blogosphere, for giving me the opportunity to find something I actually like wasting my time on.  (Other than Robin Hood and Lie to Me.)

Now I've got to go fend off the inevitable crises that come with my mother antagonizing the kitchen.  All while A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving goes full blast in the background.



Happy Thanksgiving!

21 November 2011

Coming Soon: Recommendations from The Authoress

Image from WeHeartIt.com
Recommendations from
The Authoress

I love recommending books to people.  Luckily enough, people don't seem to mind my enthusiasm as I whip out a piece of notebook paper, hijack the closest pen and start writing down books they should read.  Usually, they don't mind the interrogation as I ask, "What books do you like?  You love that?  Then you'll love this!"  *insert me rapidly writing down titles of relevance*

"But aren't reviews already like recommendations?" you ask.

"Of course they are!" I say.

Yes, reviews are very similar in nature to recommendations.  The entire point of a review is to explain why you love a book so that other people will love it to.  Problem with me is?  I've got a nasty streak of morality in me.  I don't post spoilers in my reviews.  Ever.  Because I'm one of those people who HATES to read a review and come across a spoiler about the book.  Ew.  They're nasty.  I can't swallow those.  But lately, as I've come across so, so, so, SO many good books, I want to rant about them.  I want to reference specific scenes and point out exactly what turned me on.

Can't do that in a review.

Recommendations from The Authoress will be a semi-regular meme where I take one of my absolute favorite books that I've recently read and talk about why I love it.  Not in a book review format.  I will completely unleash my fan-girlyness in these posts.  I will rant, rave, and recount every moment the book made me buzz.

And I will also go into depth about why you should love it, too. ;)

These "memes" (for lack of a better word) will be, like I said, semi-regular.  The basis of the frequency of which I post depends on how good the books I've read recently are and if I have the time/energy to take out of my hectic senior year in order to write up a raving post about a book.

Important, Critical, Vital Note:  These posts will absolutely INCLUDE SPOILERS.  I will not hold back.  If you haven't read the book and don't want to know anything about it until you've read it for yourself, don't read those posts.  Until after you've read it, at least.  Because these posts will also be open calls for discussion.

You've been warned.

Still.  Because people are, well, human, I will still include a spoiler alert in every Recommendation post.  Just so you'll always be able to catch yourself if you find yourself straying.

Can't wait to get started!  Hope you'll join in on the hysterical raving discussions with me. :)

16 November 2011

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater


It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line.

Some riders live.

Others die.

At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them.

Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn’t given her much of a chance. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.

14 November 2011

Just For Kicks: NaNoWriMo Check In

Just For Kicks is a weekly meme held by me, The Authoress, that lets us share whatever random thing we want--whether it's book related or not is up to you.

10 November 2011

Tossed Out At Sea: A Windows Live Writer Lament

There once was a girl
Whose blog was her world
Then Mac came along
And sung a good song
Now she's left out in the cold.

09 November 2011

This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppel

The purest intentions can stir up the darkest obsessions.

In this prequel to Mary Shelley's Gothic classic, Frankenstein, sixteen-year-old Victor Frankenstein begins a dark journey that will change his life forever.  Victor's twin, Konrad, has fallen ill, and no doctor can cure him.  Unwilling to give up on his brother, Victor enlists his beautiful cousin Elizabeth and his best friend, Henry, on a treacherous search for the ingredients to create the forbidden Elixir of Life.  Impossible odds, dangerous alchemy, and a bitter love triangle threaten their quest at every turn.

Victor knows he must not fail.  But his success depends on how far he is willing to push the boundaries of nature, science, and love—and how much he is willing to sacrifice.

08 November 2011

Teaser Tuesday (22)

Click for more info

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

05 November 2011

Got Questions for Darby Karchut? Ask 'em here!


For centuries, rumors have abounded of a lowly caste of supernatural beings known as the Terrae Angeli. Armed with the power to control Earth, Fire, Wind and Water, these warriors secretly serve as guardians for mortals in danger.

But for one young angel-in-training, Griffin, life is hell as a cruel master makes his apprenticeship a nightmare. On the verge of failing, a new mentor, Basil, enters his life and changes it forever.

Taking on the identity of father and son, Griffin and Basil forge a special bond where honesty and trust go hand in hand to secure Griffin’s destiny as a Terrae Angeli. Griffin’s belief in himself and the love of a mortal girl are the perfect combination in overcoming the darkest days of his life. But will it be enough for him to succeed?

For Griffin, it’s time to angel up.
The author of the awesome novel Griffin Rising has been around these parts before.  Back in June, she kindly stopped by the blog for an interview and she's back again.  This time, I won't be asking the questions (mostly…might sneak something in hehe).  YOU will be asking the questions.

03 November 2011

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages--not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out.

When one of the strangers--beautiful, haunted Akiva--fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

31 October 2011

Just For Kicks: NaNoWriMo Kick Off

Click for more info

Just For Kicks is a weekly meme held by me, The Authoress, that lets us share whatever random thing we want—whether it's book related or not is up to you.

27 October 2011

Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick

When silence is all that's left, can the truth finally be heard?

Nora Grey can't remember the past five months of her life.  After the initial shock of waking up in a cemetery and being told that she has been missing for weeks—with no one knowing where she was or who she was with—she tries to get her life back on track.  Go to school, hang out with her best friend, Vee, and dodge her mom's creepy new boyfriend.

But there is this voice in the back of her head, an idea that she can almost reach out and touch.  Visions of angel wings and unearthly creatures that have nothing to do with the life she knows.

And this unshakable feeling that a part of her is missing.

Then Nora crosses paths with a sexy stranger, whom she feels a mesmerizing connection to.  He seems to hold all the answers…and her heart.  Every minute she spends with him grows more and more intense until she realizes she could be falling in love.  Again.

26 October 2011

The Academy by T.P. Boje

Have you ever wondered where you go when you die? Meghan is 16 when it happens to her. She wakes up on a flying steamboat on her way to a school run by Angels in a white marble castle. On the boat she meets Mick who has been dead for more than a hundred years but still looks like he is a teenager. He helps her through the difficult beginning at the new school in a new world filled with heavenly magic. One day some of Meghan's roommates find a mirror in the cellar of the school and they persuade her to go through it with them - well knowing it is strictly against the rules of the school. Meghan ends up back on earth where she meets Jason. But Jason is in danger and Meghan knows something important. Soon she is forced to choose between the two worlds. The one she belongs to now, and the one she left.

25 October 2011

Teaser Tuesday (20)

Click for more info

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

19 October 2011

The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray by Chris Wooding - NR

Thaniel, just seventeen, is a wych-hunter. Together, he and Cathaline - his friend and mentor - track down the fearful creatures that lurk in the Old Quarter of London. It is on one of these hunts that he first encounters Alaizabel Cray. Alaizabel is half-crazed, lovely, and possessed. Whatever dreadful entity has entered her soul has turned her into a strange and unearthly magnet - attracting evil and drawing horrors from ever dark corner. Cathaline and Thaniel must discover its cause - and defend humanity at all costs.

18 October 2011

Teaser Tuesday (19)

ss_teasertuesday copy

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

17 October 2011

Just For Kicks: Reading Schedules

Click for more info
Just For Kicks is a weekly meme held by me, The Authoress, that lets us share whatever random thing we want—whether it's book related or not is up to you.

13 October 2011

The Shifter by Janice Hardy

Nya is an orphan struggling for survival in a city crippled by war. She is also a Taker—with her touch, she can heal injuries, pulling pain from another person into her own body. But unlike her sister, Tali, and the other Takers who become Healers' League apprentices, Nya's skill is flawed: She can't push that pain into pynvium, the enchanted metal used to store it. All she can do is shift it into another person, a dangerous skill that she must keep hidden from forces occupying her city. If discovered, she'd be used as a human weapon against her own people.

Rumors of another war make Nya's life harder, forcing her to take desperate risks just to find work and food. She pushes her luck too far and exposes her secret to a pain merchant eager to use her shifting ability for his own sinister purposes. At first Nya refuses, but when Tali and other League Healers mysteriously disappear, she's faced with some difficult choices. As her father used to say, principles are a bargain at any price; but how many will Nya have to sell to get Tali back alive?

12 October 2011

How do review styles affect site traffic?

What are you looking for in a review?  Why?  What makes or breaks who you look to for reviews?  How do we, as bloggers, know what to put in our reviews to get more people to our site to read them?

If you're like me, review style is a big deal when I'm in the process of choosing who I want to go to for reviews.  I love finding new books to investigate and read, but I don't want my time wasted. 

11 October 2011

Teaser Tuesday (18)

Click here for more info

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

10 October 2011

Just for Kicks: College (Part 2)

ss_justforkicks2 copy

Just For Kicks is a weekly meme held by me, The Authoress, that lets us share whatever random thing we want—whether it's book related or not is up to you.

08 October 2011

The Gray Wolf Throne by Cinda Williams Chima


Han Alister thought he had already lost everyone he loved. But when he finds his friend Rebecca Morley near death in the Spirit Mountains, Han knows that nothing matters more than saving her. The costs of his efforts are steep, but nothing can prepare him for what he soon discovers: the beautiful, mysterious girl he knew as Rebecca is none other than Raisa ana’Marianna, heir to the Queendom of the Fells. Han is hurt and betrayed. He knows he has no future with a blueblood. And, as far as he’s concerned, the princess’s family killed his own mother and sister. But if Han is to fulfill his end of an old bargain, he must do everything in his power to see Raisa crowned queen.

Meanwhile, some people will stop at nothing to prevent Raisa from ascending. With each attempt on her life, she wonders how long it will be before her enemies succeed. Her heart tells her that the thief-turned-wizard Han Alister can be trusted. She wants to believe it—he’s saved her life more than once. But with danger coming at her from every direction, Raisa can only rely on her wits and her iron-hard will to survive—and even that might not be enough.

The Gray Wolf Throne is an epic tale of fierce loyalty, unbearable sacrifice, and the heartless hand of fate.

07 October 2011

Blood Magic by Tessa Gratton


It starts off simply.

Draw a circle ... place a dead leaf in the center ... sprinkle some salt ... recite a little Latin ... add a drop of blood ...
Maybe that last part isn't exactly simple. Yet somehow it feels right to Silla Kennicott. And nothing in her life has felt remotely right since her parents' horrific deaths. She's willing to do anything to uncover the truth about her family—even try a few spells from the mysterious book that arrived on her doorstep ... and spill some blood.

The book isn't the only recent arrival in Silla's life. There's Nick Pardee, the new guy next door who may have seen Silla casting a spell. She's not sure what he saw and is afraid to find out. But as they spend more time together, Silla realizes this may not be Nick's first encounter with Blood Magic. Brought together by a combination of fate and chemistry, Silla and Nick can't deny their attraction. And they can't ignore the dark presence lurking nearby—waiting to reclaim the book and all its power.

28 September 2011

The Poison Diaries by Maryrose Wood

In the right dose, everything is a poison. Even love . . .

Jessamine Luxton has lived all her sixteen years in an isolated cottage near Alnwick Castle, with little company apart from the plants in her garden. Her father, Thomas, a feared and respected apothecary, has taught her much about the incredible powers of plants: that even the most innocent-looking weed can cure -- or kill.

When Jessamine begins to fall in love with a mysterious boy who claims to communicate with plants, she is drawn into the dangerous world of the poison garden in a way she never could have imagined . . .

23 September 2011

The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson


Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness.

Elisa is the chosen one.

But she is also the younger of two princesses. The one who has never done anything remarkable, and can’t see how she ever will.

Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs her to be the chosen one, not a failure of a princess.

And he’s not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies, seething with dark magic, are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people’s savior, and he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake.

Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young.

Most of the chosen do.

Whoops! I'm back…

You might've noticed (maybe not) that I haven't posted in almost ten days.  I've had to move back my "Blood Magic" review THREE times.  Then, I went to post a review earlier in the week (something that had been scheduled but mysteriously never posted) and I had a crapload of trouble with Blogger's new interface.  Seriously messed up my formatting.  So that's why today I'm posting up my review of "The Girl of Fire and Thorns" by Rae Carson because it was a seriously awesome book and it is OUT NOW.  So you should go buy it.  Yeah.  For realz.

Again, I apologize.  I will be spending this weekend catching up with blog stuff.  I have some stuff to send out.  OH!  Which reminds me.  There's seven days left on my 100 Twitter Follower Giveaway.  Might wanna go enter into that, too.  Thank ya.

16 September 2011

13 September 2011

Teaser Tuesday (17)

ss_teasertuesday copy

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

12 September 2011

Just For Kicks: Boys

Just For Kicks

Just For Kicks is a weekly meme held by me, The Authoress, that lets us share whatever random thing we want—whether it's book related or not is up to you.

07 September 2011

Wolves, Boys, and Other Things That Might Kill Me by Kristen Chandler

KJ Carson lives an outdoor lover’s dream. The only daughter of a fishing and wildlife guide, KJ can hold her own on the water or in the mountains near her hometown outside Yellowstone National Park. But when she meets the shaggy-haired, intensely appealing Virgil, KJ loses all self-possession. And she’s not sure if it’s a good thing or a bad thing that they’re assigned to work together on a school newspaper article about the famous wolves of Yellowstone. As KJ spends time with Virgil, she also spends more time getting to know a part of her world that she always took for granted . . . and she begins to see herself and her town in a whole new light.

06 September 2011

Teaser Tuesday (16)

ss_teasertuesday copy

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

03 September 2011

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead


St. Vladimir’s Academy isn’t just any boarding school—it’s a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They’ve been on the run, but now they’re being dragged back to St. Vladimir’s—the very place where they’re most in danger. . . .

Rose and Lissa become enmeshed in forbidden romance, the Academy’s ruthless social scene, and unspeakable nighttime rituals. But they must be careful lest the Strigoi—the world’s fiercest and most dangerous vampires—make Lissa one of them forever.

30 August 2011

Teaser Tuesday (15)

ss_teasertuesday copy

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!