A closet readers take on: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, Romance, Erotica, YA Fiction & Audiobooks

Friday, April 20, 2012

ADVENTURES IN RT: Teen Day Events & Meg Cabot's Underworld ARC Contest

(Scroll down for my Meg Cabot's Underworld ARC contest.)

I drove over 500 miles, carried 30+ books for 3 hours, lost 5 hours baking cupcakes for the Book Fair only to drop the box, and stayed up for 22 hours straight. Getting the chance to spend time with Rachel Vincent, Richelle Mead, Molly Harper, Jeaniene Frost, Jaye Wells, Nalini Singh, Laurie London, Chloe Neill, Jenna Black, Rachel Caine, Amy Plum, Yasmine Galenorn, and Allison Noel.....


On Saturday, I was lucky enough to attend the Giant Book Fair along with all of the Teen Day events: YA Author Speed Dating, Feeding the Fire: Conflict and Action in YA Novels, and Hyperion's Teen Day Party.

Our road trip began at 4:30 a.m. My 14 year old cousin and I packed the car with books, bags, author snacks (freshly baked chocolate chip and funfetti cookies to replace the cupcakes I made), and Red Bull (the breakfast of champions). After a four our drive and a stop at Cracker Barrel for breakfast, we finally arrived at the RT Convention. We thought arriving hour and a half early for the Giant book signing was going to be plenty early...we were wrong!

Once we finally got into the Giant Book Fair, it was mass ciaos. It was made worse by the fact that we went straight for YA Alley. You couldn't move a step without bumping into someone. It looked like there were over 1,000 people there to see the 300 authors signing. My cousin and I decided a split attack was best for this situation. I got in Richelle Mead's line, while she went to get an Anne Rice wrist band. This way we both took care of our biggest lines first. I'll have to admit that I have a massive fangirl crush on Anne Rice, since she introduced me to the world of sexy vampires literature as a teen!

Our second stop, was YA and Adult author Rachel Vincent. Over the past few years, she has become one of my favorite authors. Her books are thought provoking, heartbreaking, and action filled. I always look forward to speaking with her every year, because she is so sweet and always takes the time to chat with me. Getting to see and chat with her is always one of the highlights from RT.

The Giant Book Fair is always such an amazing experience. I finally get the chance to meet the people who live on my book shelf and in computer. This year, I decided to bring Rachel Vincent and other authors a little snack, since they sit for 3 hours signing and chatting. It was the least I could do. I made a box with the title of my blog on the cover. Every time I stopped to get a book signed, I tried to offer the authors a little snack. Once I finished getting my book signed, I just walked around handing cookies out to random authors I recognized. It even scored me a free book from Jessa Slade!

Other authors I was super excited to see: Molly Harper, Jeaniene Frost, Jaye Wells, Nalini Singh, Laurie London, Chloe Neill, Jenna Black, Rachel Caine, Amy Plum, Yasmine Galenorn, Kerrelyn Sparks, Jeanna C. Stein, Kelley Armstrong, and Allison Noel. Everyone was so sweet, and some of them actually remembered me from my blog. I also brought along several audiobook that I have reviewed to be signed, and the authors seemed to love seeing them.

After dropping off our singed books and swag, we attended the YA author seminars: YA Author Speed Dating and Feeding the Fire: Conflict and Action in YA Novels.  This was an amazing opportunity to get into the minds of these authors.  During YA Author Speed Dating you come in and  pick a table, then the authors rotate tables and are giving a couple minutes to sell you their book. I was lucky enough to be at a table of three other readers.  And before you even say it, I know I'm not a teen.  My cousins table was almost empty and author Saundra Mitchell was kind enough to offer me a seat.  We got to speak with Ann Aguirre, Jennifer Lynn Barnes, Jenna Black, Sarah Rees Brennan, Kiera Cass, Colleen Houck, Sophie Jordan, Stacey Kade, Aprilynne Pike, and of course Rachel Vincent.  I got some great new book recommendation, Plus Aprilynne Pike actually cave me her book! What a sweetie!

The next seminar was Feeding the Fire: Conflict and Action in YA Novels with Melissa de la Cruz, Kami Garcia, Richelle Mead, Alyson Noel, and Aprilynne Pike.  The panel spoke on adding conflict to books, how important it is to the story.  They spoke of emotional, romantic, and physical conflict.  As a reader, this session was very interesting.  We were able to get a peek behind the scenes on how our favorite books were written.  We live for those little nuggets of info!  We went ahead and skipped the third Teen Day seminars, so that we could relax upstairs and people watch.  Recommendation: if you wanna author watch, go to the hotel bar!

Next, we decided to get in line early for the Hyperion Teen Day Party.  It started to form pretty early, and we were happy we thought to come down ahead of time.  Our line was then split into two groups, teens and adults.  The teens were given a really nice messenger bag filled with YA books.  The adults were given their choice of two books from the giveaway table. I actually ended up with ARC of Meg Cabot's Underworld: Abandon Bk 2 (which I'm giving away below). They had set up a very nice party for us, including deep dish pizza, cupcakes, soda, and a cash bar for the adults (cause this is exactly what we need after a day spent with teenagers).  The party was crawling with YA authors.  I got the chance to hang out with Richelle Mead, talked fashion with Stephanie Perkins (who was stunning with her red hair and 50's inspired polka dot black and red dress), talked about stunning YA covers with Amy Plum, and played spot the author with Saundra Mitchell. Towards the end of the party, they gave away the extra goodie bags with the remaining books.  I ended up with may more then I needed!


All-in-all the party was a success!  I met lots of new authors, ended up with more swag then I could carry, and had an amazing time. I big THANKS goes out to Hyperion, EpicReads.com, the YA authors, the publishers for their donations, and most of all the party volunteers!

As always, RT was amazing!  I would recommend the convention to all readers and bloggers within driving distance.  I know dropping over $400 on a conference, as a reader, may be over the top, but they do offer cheaper options.  You can get one day tickets, weekend tickets, and special tickets for certain events.  My cousin and I attended RT for only $25...yes I said $25!  Teen Day was the best deal ever.  If you are a teen or know one, check out Teen Day next year!





Enter below for the chance to win an ARC copy of Meg Cabot's upcoming release: Underworld. The contest closes May 1, 2012 at midnight. The winner will be notified via e-mail and will have FIVE days to respond & claim their prize! This contest is open internationally.

Here is what you need to do:

  • In the contest entry box below, please leave your first name/last initial and e-mail address
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Rules and Legal Disclaimers:
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  • The winner has FIVE days, from the day I e-mail them, to claim your prize. Failure to contact me result in forfeit of your prize. At that time, I will choose either to re-award the prize to another entrant or not.
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(Scroll down in the box to fill in contest information)

Thursday, April 12, 2012


Soul Screamers Reading Challenge

I can’t begin to tell you how much I love Rachel Vincent’s Soul Screamers series. It is full of deep characters, strong relationships, and fighting for what is right. I'm so happy to be a part of Fiktshun’s Soul Screamers Reading Challenge.

Title: MY SOUL TO KEEP ( Soul Screamers 3)
Series: Soul Screamers (Bk 3)
Author: Rachel Vincent
Narrator: Amanda Ronconi
List Price: $17.95
Listening Length: 8 hrs and 41 mins
Program Type: Audible Audiobook Version (Unabridged)
Publisher: Harlequin Enterprises, Ltd. Audible.com
Release Date: June 1, 2010
Buy MY SOUL TO KEEP from Audible.com

My Ratings

Plot: 4.5/5
Setting: 4.5/5
Writing: 5/5
Originality of Plot: 5/5
Characters Development: 5/5
Ending: 4.5/5
Narration 5/5
Cover Art: 5/5
Likelihood to Recommend: 5/5

Overall: 43.5/45 = 96%

My Synopsis

Kaylee Cavanaugh first night out, after being grounded for a month, ended with a real bang. She was hanging out at a party with her bean boyfriend, Nash Hudson and the rest of the ‘shining throng’, better known as the popular kids. When one of Nash’s teammates and her best friends love interest, Doug Fuller, hit Kaylee’s car. Doug was under the influence, but it isn’t what you probably think. The jocks of Kaylee’s high school are taking a substance called Frost, better known in the Netherworld as Demon’s Breath. It is highly addictive substance, that can kill humans or maybe worse drive them insane. No matter how hard Kaylee tries to stay out of the Netherworld and it’s problems, they just keep finding her, With the help of Nash, Tod, and a cast of unlikely characters, Kaylee has to figure where the Demon’s Breath is coming from, and who is bring it from the Netherworld to her world before it’s to late. Kaylee has to proceed carefully, or she may lose something that she holds very dear.

My Review

I first want to applaud Rachel Vincent, for taking on issues that are very real to today’s teens. This book deals not only with drug use, but addiction and it consequences. It also deals with the pressure on teens to have sex. These issues may be wrapped up in the world of ban sidhe’s, but this situation could happen in any high school in America. Also, the teens is in series sound and react like real teens, not how an adult might thinks a teen would sound and react.

I enjoyed reading about how Kaylee is dealing with her relationship with Nash through out the beginning of the book. She’s questioning how he really feels about her. Are they soul mates? I mean forever is a long time when you are a bean sidhe. She’s questioning how far they should take their relationship physically. She’s also feeling the first stirrings of jealousy. I remember going through these same issues as a teen, and I can really relate to her character.

For me the stand out character from this book is Tod. He really steps up in this book. He does what has to be done, even risking the love of his undead life, to help Kaylee. Though he isn’t without his own faults (ie. crossing Nash over no questions asked and carrying unknown substances from the Netherworld to real world), but for me the reason behind the actions are solid. He’s the like the big brother Kaylee never had, and he seems to have soft spot when if comes to her. He may, at first, come a crossed as somewhat obnoxious and self centered. I see this as more of a smoke screen. With each book, we get to see more and more of who he really is, and I really like it.

I read the last chapter with my hand covering my mouth in complete and utter shock. All I wanted to do is cry for Kaylee. I just couldn’t believe what Nash did, though the signs were all there. I guess, I just saw Nash as Kaylee’s rock, the person she could always turn to for everything. That is probably why I didn’t see it coming, and neither did Kaylee. My heart broke after reading what Nash had done, and how he had treated Kaylee. His actions had so many awful consequences. Will Kaylee, in time, come to forgive Nash for his appalling behavior? I just don’t know, but I just hope that he can get himself together and be the man Kaylee deserves.

I can't say enough about how much I love the choice of Amanda Ronconi as the series narrator. She just has a down to earth feel to her voice. She also sound like a teen, and not what an adult thinks a teen should sound like. She has an amazing ability to convey every thing from the series deepest emotions and it's lighthearted moments as well! She really draws the listener into the series. The end of this audiobook left sobbing, and I can tell you that Amanda's spectacular narration was part of the reason.

The Soul Screamer books are getting better and better, with each book released. I can’t wait to review the next audiobook in this series!!!

Rachel Vincent's Books

Soul Screamers (YA Series):
0.5) My Soul to Lose (2009)
1) My Soul to Take (2009)
2) My Soul To Save (2010)
3) My Soul To Keep (2010)
4) My Soul to Steal (2011)
5) If I Die (2011)

Unbound Series (Adult Series):
1) Blood Bound ( 2011)
2) Shadow Bound (2012)

Shifters Series (Adult Series):
1) Stray (2007)
2) Rogue (2008)
3) Pride (2009)
4) Prey (2009)
5) Shift (2010)
6) Alpha (2010)

Related Websites

Buy MY SOUL TO KEEP from Audible.com
Rachel's Website
Rachel's Twitter
Rachel's Message Board