Friday, November 30, 2012

Guest post by Terri Morgan, author of Playing the Genetic Lottery

Today, I have a treat for you here on the's my very first author guest post! YaY! First, I'm so happy an author wants to guest post on my blog and second though I haven't read it (yet) this book seems like it will be really good! I've been interested in psychology type things since middle school, so Playing the Genetic Lottery by Terri Morgan seems like it would be something I'd find interesting. After reading Terri's guest post I'm really looking forward to reading Playing the Genetic Lottery and I hope you are too!

Pic and more info on Goodreads.

In my first radio interview after my novel, Playing the Genetic Lottery, was published the talk show host started off by lobbing me a softball. I had sent him the first six chapters of my book, which is a memoir-style novel of a 32-year-old wife and mother who grew up with two schizophrenic parents, to read before we talked on the air. Noting that a good half of the book covers my protagonist's teenage years, the first question he asked was if it was challenging to write from a teen's point of view.

"That was the easy part," I replied. “because I feel like I'm still in high school.”
Despite being in my 50s, I still have vivid memories of what it was like to be young. And since I have not yet reached senility, my memories of my teenage years are still very strong. Perhaps it's because I still am in contact with a lot of my friends from high school. Or, more likely, because one of my favorite sayings is "Getting older is mandatory, but growing up is optional."

That's an adage I've tried to live by. But before you envision a total slacker still living with their parents, using a scooter for transportation, and babysitting for pocket money, let me explain. I'm a responsible adult. I pay my bills on time, run my own business, and maintain a household. I use my turn signals when I drive, floss my teeth daily, and pay taxes. Inside this aging body, however, is an inner child who just wants to have fun. So, at the risk of blowing my adult cover, I'm going to admit it. I not only wanna have fun, I make it a priority.

So in addition to washing dishes, reading the newspaper and deciding how to vote in the upcoming election, I play with my dog and I play with my friends. I play outside, in my yard, at the beach or on one of the many hiking trails near my home. I play card games, go to movies, ride my bike, and I try to laugh as much as possible. And I remember what it was like to be a kid. I remember how wonderful it was to spend hours lost in conversation with a friend. The spine tingling excitement of my first kiss. How intensely certain songs touched my soul. I remember how good it felt to jump into a cool mountain stream on a hot day. I remember trying out new identities, like Ava does in my book when she changes her name to Caitlin.

My teenage years weren't all fun and games. I clearly remember how my emotions ran wild, and how impulsive and impatient I was. I remember how much I worried about my friends' opinions of what I wore, said, and did. I remember how my friends and I talked, using sentences full of slang and four letter words. I remember, with embarrassment, how immature I was, despite thinking at the time I knew everything. I remember being completely frustrated when my parents "just didn't understand." I remember reacting in irrational anger sometimes at minor irritants, like misplaced book. Fortunately most of the angst has faded, but a lot of the fun remains.
So channeling my inner teenager was easy. She's still a big part of me.

Terri Morgan is a freelance journalist from Soquel, California. She is the author or co-author of eight books, including many for young adults. Playing the Genetic Lottery is her first novel. When not working, she enjoys reading, surfing, romping with her dog, and shooting the bb gun her husband bought her for her 50th birthday. She can be found on the web at

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Let me tell you why I love me some YA! YAY!!

These are the reasons I love Young Adult literature in no particular order. Maybe I'm wrong on some of them but if that's the case I don't want to be right!

1. I am never, ever , never, ever gonna grow up! YUCK! (And I guess my reading preference reflects that!)

2. I firmly believe that YA authors have to work harder than adult authors to create as good of a story. An adult author can throw in a sex scene or extreme violence to amp up the excitement or use a whole bunch of cuss words throughout. A YA author doesn't have the option to deploy "cheap tricks" to get the job done. (Now I love me some adult fiction too, nothing like a good romance novel for mind candy! But some of the most thought provoking books I've ever read are YA.)

3. YA seems to be able to generate more excitement. (Such as events, release parties, blog tours, etc; it's just really cool world to be a part of!)

4. YA fans, bloggers, authors are some of the best people you can meet!

5. YA books make better movies and TV shows.

6. I read YA because I kind of want to remember my "glory days" of youth or wish I had such days.

7. Or...I want to remember why it's better not to be so young anymore.

8. The boys of YA are totally the most crush worthy. (And this is not creepy because they are FICTIONAL, after all.

9. YA is in a way more smexy than adult. The tension build-up in a good YA can not be beat.

10.  Stephenie Meyer, J.K. Rowling, John Green, Maggie Stiefvater, Jennifer L. Armentrout, Beth Revis and all the other great YA authors out there for giving me worlds I want to be a part of!

Click here for Beth Revis' contest post!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Teaser Tuesday (Nov. 27)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of 
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!

I got an eARC of Ten Tiny Breaths by K. A. Tucker from the author in exchange for a review. I've just started it but just the first little bit has me hooked. I'm so ready to read the rest of it! 

Cover and more info on Goodreads.

'“Just breathe,” my mom would say. “Ten tiny breaths … Seize them. Feel them. Love them.” Every time I screamed and stomped my feet in anger, or bawled my eyes out in frustration, or turned green with anxiety, she’d calmly recite those same words. Every single time. Exactly the same."

Ten Tiny Breaths -ARC by K.A.Tucker 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

OPAL Book Trailer Reveal

Warning! Hotness to follow! I can't read Opal! Daemon's my favorite!

No one is like Daemon Black.

When he set out to prove his feelings for me, he wasn’t fooling around. Doubting him isn’t something I’ll do again, and now that we’ve made it through the rough patches, well... There’s a lot of spontaneous combustion going on.

But even he can’t protect his family from the danger of trying to free those they love. 

After everything, I’m no longer the same Katy. I’m different... And I’m not sure what that will mean in the end. When each step we take in discovering the truth puts us in the path of the secret organization responsible for torturing and testing hybrids, the more I realize there is no end to what I’m capable of. The death of someone close still lingers, help comes from the most unlikely source, and friends will become the deadliest of enemies, but we won’t turn back. Even if the outcome will shatter our worlds forever.

Together we’re stronger... and they know it.

USA TODAY Bestselling author, Jennifer L. Armentrout, lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing, she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell, Loki. Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She also writes adult romance under the name J. Lynn.

Find Jennifer on: Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Website | Blog

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Teaser Tuesday (Nov. 20)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of 
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!

This week's teaser comes from Untraceable by S.R. Johannes. I've been wanting to read this book for months now and so far it's living up to my expectations.

Pic and more info from
"I drop my head and focus on my muddy boots to avoid Carl's stare. A frayed thread on the toe teases me. I fight the urge to bend over and tug on it.
No sense in making anything else in my life unravel."

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2

Edward hanging out in front of 
Cullen House in Forks, WA 
from our trip this past August.

If you know me at all, you know know I am a huge Twilight fan. I've been a fan since I saw the first movie. I know I was late getting into the game but better late than never right? So anyhow, I saw the movie and I was smitten. I almost immediately went out and bought the entire box set of books and proceeded to read them. Repeatedly. I was going through such a bad time personally in my relationship at the time that I clung to the series like a life line. I really don't know why. Maybe I wanted a love story in my real life, wanted to live it, for it to be real. But alas, it was not but somehow the books and movies reignited a passion in me. After I read The Twilight Saga, I went in search of similar books I would like and from there reading, movies, tv shows, and general geeking out have become such a huge part of my life. So, even as the Saga as we know is coming to a close, I will forever be grateful for what it represents for me.

From Our All Day Twilight Movie Marathon!
My hubs and I went to the Twilight marathon on Thursday, November 15. Yes, that's right 12 plus hours in the movie theater watching ALL the Twilight movies. (Does that man love me or what?) It was the first time I saw the first, original Twilight on the big screen! And I LOVED it. Of course I've watched my DVD 100s of times but the nuances on the big screen...ahhh! It was so good. Then we watched New Moon, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn Part 1 gearing up for Part 2. What a great way to spend a day, in a dark movie theater with my sweet hubby and my fav movies of all time!
Jackson Rathbone (Jasper Hale) & Me 
at the Breaking Dawn Part 1 Tour Stop
 in Atlanta, GA from last year.

Finally, we got Breaking Dawn Part 2. Ah-ma-zing!!! It was soooo good! The perfect ending to a wonderful series. They did a good job of tying up the loose ends yet leaving a few open ended scenes that left me wishing there was going to be more. I think that's the right way to end something, where you still want more. I've heard lots of people talking about how they "changed" the end, it was a little different from the book but not in a way that detracts from the story. In fact, I kinda of loved it. I totally thought Part 2 was better than Part 1 but that's probably because there is more "action" in Part 2. Take that as you will. ;) I thought the movie was very will done and it made me proud to be a TWI-Hard fan!
I give Breaking Dawn Part 2  five stars out of five! It was EPIC! I simply MUST SEE IT AGAIN! SOON!!
Have you seen yet? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

A Foray into Forks

In honor of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 movie coming out TODAY (10 pm in theaters!) I'm going to post a few of our pics from our trip to Forks, Washington from back in August. I have to tell you, being able to go to Forks, see were Bella, Edward, and Jacob could have lived was sooooo awesome! Forks is a small, sleepy little town but I loved being able to feel like was living in the Twilight world! The sites in Forks are more similar to the descriptions in the book than what you see in the movies but still AMAZING! We did a tour of the town with Team Forks. They were knowledgeable, showed us all around and provided plenty of cheesy photo ops! This is just a few of our photos but hopefully it'll help us all get in the Twilight spirit! 

Edward, Bella, Clayton, Allison, Jacob and Mama at 
the iconic City of Forks Welcome sign!

Me and Edward in front of the 
Cullen House.

Jacob, Me, Hubs, Bella
hanging out in the back of Bella's Truck.

The Forks High sign as seen in the movie!

At the Treaty Line. No vamps past this point!

Me & Hubs sitting on a drift wood tree at
First Beach, La Push, Washington on the Quileute Indian Reservation much like Bella and Jacob might have done!

Well hubs and I are off to enjoy the 
Twilight Marathon!!!
Are you going to see Breaking Dawn Part 2 too? 
Any Twi-hard fans out there besides me?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Post YALLFest Photo Recap

The Hubs and I had such a great time at YALLFest. I really hope we get to go again next year!

We stayed in town for the night and enjoyed some local Charleston scenery on Sunday.

We went out to Folly Beach. I HEART the beach soooo much! No way I was coming this close and not putting my toesies in the sand!

It was really quite lovely out there! I could have stayed all day and then some!

We also in enjoyed a ride around town with Carolina Polo Carriage Co. 

And finished our time in Charleston at A W Shucks.
Where Clayton surprised me by eating some of these. Traditionally hubs has a "no oyster policy" but he seemed to dig these. And they were mighty tasty!

Now it is time to get to reading all those books we bought!

Audiobook Review: Will Grayson, Will Grayson

Cover and info from Goodreads.

Title: Will Grayson, Will Grayson
Author: John Green & David Levithan
Reading Level: Older Teens, (Amazon says Grade 9 & Up)
Genre: Young Adult
Fav Quote(s): "All sorts of yayness floods my brain. Love is such a drug." by John Green. 
“Need is never a good basis for any relationship. It has to be much more than that.” by David Levithan.

Hubs and I listened to the audiobook of Will Grayson, Will Grayson on our way to YALLFest this past weekend. It was just the perfect length to get us to Charleston and back, so about 7 hours. We were excited to have Will Grayson as our book of choice because we like John Green audiobooks (a post in which I discussed our love for The Fault in Our Stars) and were en route to meet David Levithan at YALLFest. So this seemed like a good choice for us! I really didn't know anything about this book before we began listening.

At first I thought it might be kind of odd listening to a book written by two different authors. The way the book is set up it totally works. Both main characters are named Will Grayson. Authors John Green and David Levithan alternate their Will's from chapter to chapter. So the first chapter is from John's Will and the second is David's Will and so forth and so on. The narrators of the audiobook did a fantatic job. Their voices were different and really helped us understand though the names were the same the Wills were different characters.

The story was wonderful. Both Wills are teenage boys and they end up having a chance meeting at a very unlikely place. Through circumstances their lives become somewhat intertwined. Both Wills grew in the course of the book and it ended with each being a better version of themselves. Will Grayson deals a bit with cyber bullying, homophobia, and mental illness. It's got some tough issues going on. But the issues a dealt with as much humor as possible and it is beautifully done.

Clayton's (aka, hubs) thoughts, "People want to be liked and respected for who they are, not what they are. Overall, Will Grayson deals with a lot topics kids these days are having to deal with. But it's done in a humorous way."

I did think there was a bit of over usage of "adult language" for my taste. I think the story would have been just as good if not better without a lot of it. I understand Will Grayson, Will Grayson is supposed to be from teenage boys' mindsets so I get the cussing, it was just more than I, personally, like to see in a YA novel. Also, if you are sensitive to the topic of homosexuality, be advised there are a handful openly "out" characters in this novel. And this novel stresses the equal treatment of people both straight and gay. Whether you have an opinion on the topic or not, I think we can all agree that bullying anyone for any reason is not acceptable. This did not affect the story in a negative way for me just wanted to mention that in spirit of full disclosure.

I give Will Grayson, Will Grayson 4 out of 5 stars. It's a great story. I was crying at the very end. I think sometimes, we all just want to know we are loved and appreciated. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

YALLFest Photo Recap # 2

In this post you'll see me pose with some of the best authors ever! I'm so happy I got a chance to meet them and speak with them for a few moments. And I am so honored that they took the extra seconds to snap a pic with me. As crazy busy as YALLFest was because there were SOOO many people there, all of the authors made me feel like there were glad I was there. None of them were ungracious or unkind even in the rush of things. That's why authors are ROCKSTARS! They love their fans and their fans know it!

And perhaps one of my favorite but yet unofficial events, was dinner with several really 
cool bloggers and authors!
Starting at on the left side that's my hubs Clayton,
then me,

YALLFest 2012 Photo Recap #1

This past weekend hubs and I spent some time in Charleston, South Carolina for YALLFest.
Let me just tell you, we had a blast! We got to meet several authors and get lots of books signed. We took a ton of pictures per our usual so I wanted to share them with y'all but there are so many I'm breaking them up into a couple of posts. Hope you enjoy the pics as much as we enjoyed taking them! 

The YALLFest website can be found here.

~Author Panels~

The ever talented Cassandra Clare!

Kiera Cass was such a good sport, we were at the end of her signing line and she was being rushed off to her next panel. But she was keeping it positive with a super cute thumbs up!

The movie based on their book Beautiful Creatures is comes out February 13, 2013!

You Tube singing sensation Abigail Ayala entertained us! Check out one of her songs here!

Authors do improv!

Teaser Tuesday- The Lying Game

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of 
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!

"Emma closed the closet again and rubbed her temples. 
There had to be something here. 
Some kind of proof of what Laurel had done."

~The Lying Game~
Sara Shepard

Friday, November 9, 2012

Educational Day Trip: Toccoa

Last Saturday hubs and I took day trip to the Toccoa, Georgia area. I wanted to share with you guys some of the pictures we took.

First, the historical site of Travelers Rest which used to be a stage coach inn. It was pretty cool walking around the grounds. And I was made aware of how grateful of modern convinces I am, namely electricity and indoor pluming. For more info on Travelers Rest click here.

We also visited the the Currahee Military Museum. This was pretty pretty awesome. They have some really amazing artifacts from World War II at this location. The white dress you see below is wedding dress fashioned out of a parachute! (Wow!)

We went out to the memorial at the base of Curahee Mountain and up the mountain. We just drove up but I can not even image the troops trying have to run the "3 miles up, 3 miles down!" in training for the War. While sitting at the top and looking over the valley I was overwhelmed with gratitude with all our military has done.

We had a really great day checking out some nearby historical sites. Sometimes you don't have to go very far to see new things. I recommend checking out the local sites around you. Make a day of being a tourist in your own areas!

And since this is usually a book blog...while we were in Toccoa I was reminded of a couple of books I already have sitting at home in my to-be-read stack! Now I'm even more excited to read them. So I'll share those with you as well...

Origin, author Jessica Khoury is from Toccoa! See Goodreads info here.

Fireworks Over Toccoa by Jeffrey Speakoff, Goodreads info here.

Where do you like to go for a day trip? Any good sites near you? Leave me some comments about great places to vist!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Beyond the Screens Blogger Meet Up Recap

If you recall this post, you'll remember I was excited about Beyond The Screens a local blogger meet up this past Sunday held here:

at great indie book store Avid Bookshop in Athens, GA. That's right, in the heart of Bulldawg country, home of the University of Georgia!

It was awesome to get to meet all different types of bloggers from the area. There were lifestyle, fashion, health, (potential) food, etc bloggers in attendance.

I think we had a pretty good turn out. Bloggers-a-plenty! Yay! And we have plans to meet up again soon. 

Here's a pic of the business cards I collected:

So many good blogs represented 
and here's a few more
links from other local ATH bloggers:

I hope I didn't leave anybody out 
between the cards and links.

Are you a Georgia blogger or specifically a blogger in the Athens, GA area? Let me know! 
Leave your links below: