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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

February RAK Wrapup

This was my first time participating in the Random Acts of Kindness or R.A.K. that Book Soulmates host and it is a wonderful idea! A great way to meet new people as well.
I received Thirst no. 4 from Mary over at Sweeping Me

and I sent a gift to Danielle over at Romance Book Junkies that looked like this:

Review: Glimmer by Pheobe Kitanidis

by: Phoebe Kitanidis

Published by: Balzer & Bray
Released on: April 17th 2012
Format: Hardcover
352 Pages
Rating: 4/5

*Please note this review was based from an ARC.

  This being the first time reading Phoebe's work, I must admit I was quite impressed at how she can hold a reader's interest. Glimmer is a novel that from the very beginning, leaves you clueless and begging for answers.
  Glimmer takes place in a perfect town I myself found wanting to visit. Heck, I wanted to live there too. Except, Summer Falls isn't all that meets the eye. A deep and hidden mystery lies buried within this town. A mystery as to why Elyse and Marshall have awoke next to each other, and yet they must know each other, but have no recollection of anything in their lives up until this point. Finally busting out of the room they were apparently being held in, they set out to find who they are. It is Elyse that seems to have an ability that others in Summer Falls aren't gifted in. She can see the reason why everyone has these so called heat naps. The truth is, they aren't heat naps at all. They are being touched. By what exactly? You might not want to know.  Let's just say that it's what made Marshall and Elyse lose their memory in the first place. Trying to stop it isn't easy. Far from it, seeing as which that is what killed Marshall's mother. Together, they are going to give it one more shot. Even if it kills them too.

Received for review from HarperCollins.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Author Interview w/ Mary Lowry

I have had the great and wonderful pleasure to interview a woman who seems to be able to do it all! On top of that, her book, THE EARTHQUAKE MACHINE is released today! Please give a warm welcome to Mary Lowry!

Let's not waste another moment! Interview time. YAY!!!

1.) You are a very busy woman! What drives you towards your ambitions? Anything in particular?

I have two major ambitions in life (other than staying healthy and trying to be of service others). Those ambitions are to have adventures myself and write books with strong, complicated female protagonists. Those goals have taken me from river rafting through the rainforests of Costa Rica, to writing screenplays for Hollywood producers. I also want to inspire other women and girls to make art and experience life fully.

2.) With everything that you have already accomplished, what do you look forward to doing next?
After I’m done promoting THE EARTHQUAKE MACHINE, I want to work towards releasing my other novel THE GODS OF FIRE, which is based on my experiences as a forest firefighter. That novel has been optioned for film and is currently in pre-production.
3.) What inspired you to write The Earthquake Machine?
When I was 15 years old I ran away from my home in Austin, TX and made it all the way to Matamoros, Mexico. That made me think about what it would’ve been like to go deeper into the interior of Mexico. So Rhonda, the main character of THE EARTHQUAKE MACHINE travels all the way to the Mexican state of Oaxaca, all the while pretending to be a Mexican boy named Angel. I’ve also always been interested in the fact that traveling to remote locations is generally safer for boys than girls.
4.) How did you come up with the title?
The title refers to both a real life earthquake and a machine that Rhonda/Angel comes across on her adventures that literally rocks her world. I hoped for the title to have a double meaning; I was inspired by the title of Thomas Pynchon’s novel GRAVITY’S RAINBOW.
5.) How important do you feel it is to encourage young people that they
can do anything that they want if they set their minds to it?
I think this is particularly important for young women. I think people often don’t realize that there are still MANY careers that are male-dominated. I’ve worked as both a forest firefighter AND as a Hollywood screenwriter. Only 15% of forest firefighters and Hollywood screenwriters are women. Those are daunting statistics. So while it’s important to tell young women and girls they can do anything, it’s even more important to provide ongoing encouragement and support to them. I would not have kept writing if I hadn’t had amazing mentors; I would’ve gotten too discouraged along the way.
6.) What advice would you give young teens struggling with neglectful parents?
I would encourage young teens with neglectful parents to seek support and guidance from other sources. My theory is that though many teens may NOT find the love and mentorship that they need from their parents, they can seek to find it from other people such as teachers, siblings, aunts, uncles and friends’ parents. There’s no point in going to neglectful parents over and over for support those parents can’t or won’t provide. You can’t go to a dry well and expect to get water. But I feel there’s ultimately enough love and guidance in the world for everyone, even if some of it comes from unlikely places.
7.) How can we encourage others who are in need?
The first act of love is to listen. I think Paul Tilloch said that and I think it’s very true. There is incredible power in just showing up for someone and bearing witness. I worked for years as an advocate on the National Domestic Violence Hotline and over and over survivors of abuse told me that just being listened to, believed, and encouraged made a huge difference for them. We often can’t fix our loved ones’ problems, but we can offer tremendous emotional support.

Book synopsis:
The Earthquake Machine

The book every girl should read,
and every girl’s parents hope she’ll never read.

The Earthquake Machine tells the story of 14 year-old Rhonda. On the outside, everything looks perfect in Rhonda’s world, but at home Rhonda has to deal with a manipulative father who keeps her mentally ill mother hooked on pharmaceuticals. The only reliable person in Rhonda’s life is her family’s Mexican yardman, Jesús. But when the INS deports Jesús back to his home state of Oaxaca, Rhonda is left alone with her increasingly painful family situation.

Determined to find her friend Jésus, Rhonda seizes an opportunity to run away during a camping trip with friends to Big Bend National Park. She swims to the Mexican side of the Rio Grande and makes her way to the border town of Milagros, Mexico. There a peyote- addled bartender convinces her she won’t be safe traveling alone into the country’s interior. So with the bartender’s help, Rhonda cuts her hair and assumes the identity of a Mexican boy named Angel. She then sets off on a burro across the desert to look for Jesús. Thus begins a wild adventure that fulfills the longing of readers eager for a brave and brazen female protagonist.

Author bio:
Mary Pauline Lowry has worked as a forest firefighter, screenwriter, open water lifeguard, construction worker, and advocate in the movement to end violence against women. Due to no fault of her sweet parents, at 15, she ran away from home and made it all the way to Matamoros, Mexico. She believes girls should make art, have adventures, and read books that show them the way.

A huge THANK YOU, to Mary for being here today! You can purchase THE EARTHQUAKE MACHINE at Amazon.

Monday, February 27, 2012

I want your opinion!

I've been working on some changes here and I want your opinion! Is there anything that you don't like? Is there anything you want to see on the blog? Anything that you like? I'm currently on a waiting list to get Uniquely Moi Books a fresh new look....and I can't wait! I'm just not sure when my name will pop up next on the list. Also, I've been contacted by a few different people about advertisements. If I accept more, this would mean more giveaways for you, but is that something you want to see on the blog? Is it worth it? I don't want to clog it up with tons of junk. But it would be nice to get some more income for giveaways. Your call guys! Also, for those of you that can't use GFC, would you like me to add another follower link? Linky List or Bloglovin?  I would love it if you fill out the form. Share your thoughts and opinions with me! Let me know what YOU want!
Please fill out the form here.

Review: Cycles by Lois D. Brown

by Lois D. Brown

Published by: Levanter Publishing
Released on: December 15th 2011
Rating: 4/5

 From the first page, CYCLES is blasting with action and suspense. It never stops or slows down until the end. Lois has written a very unique and intriguing read that many will love and enjoy. As you learn to know Renee and not only what she has came from, but about to go through, you can't help but soften your heart towards her.

  It all started when Dr. Dawson needed to go out of town, leaving Renee tending to his horse and to lock up when she was through. Obviously, Dr. Dawson felt the need to protect his things well, because he had a very high powered security system installed for his numerous trips away. However, nobody seemed to ever know where he went. No sooner than he left, Renee heard people creeping around and talking about busting in. Ah, with a little smart thinking, Renee hopped on the back of Dr. Dawson's prized horse and timed it just right. As the doors broke open, she charged at them. It's when she fell off the horse that put her in critical condition.
  Apparently, (and this is very, very odd I might add) Renee needed a blood transfusion. When her blood type was tested, it came back with very odd results. No one had ever seen anything like this before. She was going to die if she didn't get this blood but there was none to give. Suddenly, Dr. Dawson walks in, takes over and demands someone go to his house and bring the blood from his basement. He had taken it from her awhile back. Kept it there. Sounds creepy right? Hey, it saved her life!
  Once fully recovered, Renee started realizing that things weren't adding up. Too many run arounds, too many secrets, too many hidden truths. She wanted answers. It became obvious that everyone around her, including her parents and her doctor, where keeping secrets. Secrets about her. Unfortunately, it was way more than she had bargained for.

Received for review from the author.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

In My Mailbox (47)

What is "In My Mailbox"?In My Mailbox is a weekly meme. What is a meme, you ask. The simple description is  "an idea that spreads quickly." Usually the creator of the meme asks for other people to participate and ultimately link back to the person that started the meme. Memes shouldn't be confused with "features." There are some features that are somewhat exclusive to certain blogs, be courteous and don't steal content.

The idea of In My Mailbox is to bring books to the attention of our blog readers and to encourage interaction with other blogs.  Here's what I got this week, how about you?

The Vanishing Game by Kate Kae Myers (Goodreads | Amazon)
Illumine by Alivia Anders (Goodreads | Amazon)
Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick (Goodreads | Amazon)
Threads of Life by Jessica Kristie (N/A)
Relatively Close by Judy Serrano (Goodreads | Amazon)
When She Woke by Hillary Jordan (Goodreads | Amazon)
Fever by Lauren DeStefano (Goodreads | Amazon)
The Weepers: The Other Life by Susanne Winnacker (Goodreads | Amazon)
Starters by Lissa Price (Goodreads | Amazon)

Review: Stay With Me by Paul Griffin

Stay With Me
by Paul Griffin

Published by: Dial Books
Released on: September 8th 2011
288 Pages
Rating: 3/5

 What first interested me in this book is the synopsis. Looking for a great romance, I thought I had found the perfect one. Unfortunately, that did not happen. I don't think the synopsis fit the book well. If I had a better inclination of what it was about before reading, I might have a different thought perspective.

  Mack lives with his father who could really care less about what goes on with him, unless he's been drinking and feels the need to let out a good rant. He has dropped out of school, has a bit of a criminal record along with a short temper when set off, and the only thing he has going for him is that he is crazy about dogs, and seems to have a rare skill where he connects on a whole other level with dogs. Everyone has told him that he can get paid much more than what he does if he would just go to training school. Sadly, Mack is lacking in self confidence. I mean, growing up the way he did and with a father who doesn't care, I can't say I don't blame him. Shoot, the boy feels like there is nothing left out there for him. Scrounging up a delivery job to work, along with the dog walking, yep, that's Mack's sad life.
  Then there is Cece. This girl has set her head high, and aimed her goals there too. For a girl like Cece, this can be done, but with an alcoholic for a mother it just sucks sometimes.  It's when Mack and Cece meet, and meet again, and then meet yet again that they finally get the idea that they really like each other. Hmmm, maybe if they would've listened to Cece's brother, who happens to be Macks best friend by the way, this could've happened a long time ago! But, I guess sometimes we have hard heads and things just take time.
  The one thing that is different about Cece and Mack is that Cece does not like dogs. Can't say I don't blame her, seeing as which she was attacked when she was younger. Over time, Mack insists that he will win over her heart with a rescued dog that he found in a fight on the streets. The deal is made, and things are looking great for the both of them. That's until Mack finds the unexpected and his anger flares like never before. Things go too far. Now it's too late.

Purchased at Amazon.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Author Interview w/ Meredith Zeitlin

Today at Uniquely Moi Books, I have the wonderfully kind and most lovely, Meredith Zeitlin! Meredith is the author of FRESHMAN YEAR & OTHER UNNATURAL DISASTERS. I have had the pleasure of interviewing her, finding out a little scoop on Meredith, and getting her to spill some info about her new book, which releases March 1st!

Ready? Here goes!

1.) When did you first have the idea for FRESHMAN YEAR AND OTHER UNNATURAL DISASTERS? 

Way back in 2004, I used to babysit for an amazing little girl named Zoe... who is now taller than I am, by the way. (Why?!?) Anyway, I would read her YA books while she did her homework... and with few exceptions, I found myself very bummed out by them. I thought they seemed cookie-cutter and not very well-written and, most importantly, not at all the sources of comfort I grew up with, which were filled with relatable characters who were awkward and desperately trying to figure things out. Instead these were all about super rich and sophisticated kids, the likes of which I certainly never met when I was fourteen. I'd spent a lot of time with Zoe and her friends, and also had plenty of fodder from my own high school experiences to draw on, so I thought: Why not sit down and start writing something? So after a great deal of procrastination (like, two years worth), I did just that. I sat down in my living room, started typing the first sentence, and just went from there - no real plan, just a voice in my head.

2.) Can you share with us, a most horrendous and embarrassing thing that happened to you in high school? 
 Isn't the book enough for you people?!!? Yep, it's true - about 90% of the stuff that happens to Kelsey is based on things that actually happened to me. Names and details have been changed, but for the most part, almost all the disasters are mine. But let's see if I can think of something that's not in the book, since you asked... 

I started at a new school my freshman year, an all-girls' private school. Being new is never easy, but it was especially hard because many of these girls had been friends since these were babies and cliques were pretty tightly formed. The first week, I was happy to have started making friends and, to get a couple of the girls in my homeroom to laugh, I started writing notes featuring improvisational limericks about the teachers. (I know, I'm an idiot - I admit it. But I was trying to be cool!) This would've been a big hit - IF one of the girls hadn't tossed them at the end of class as we walked out (cracking up pretty conspicuously) and IF the teacher hadn't for some reason I have never understood taken the notes out of the trash and read them and IF she hadn't been, unbeknownst to me, the MEANEST TEACHER IN THE WORLD. She somehow knew I had written the poems and never forgot it. Ask anyone in my graduating class and they'll tell you she absolutely loathed me. The worst part? She was the Lit teacher, and brilliant. Oh, cruel irony... and total disaster.
3.) I loved how you didn't go into bullying when it so easily could have. Was this intentional?
Well, I really did base Kelsey's experiences on my own, and while the Julie character in my life did bully me to an extent - pretty similar to what you see in the book - it was NOTHING like some of the stories that have been made public recently. I think that ultimately, this is a comic story, so something that got too serious or scary wouldn't have really worked for the book. I did want to show hints of that sort of thing (like with Julie, or the incident at the party with the guy who tries to push Kelsey too far sexually) because not everything IS funny in real life, but the tone of the book had to stay on the light side.
4.) Please share with us how you came up with some of the crazy and embarrassing things that happened to Kelsey. 
Like I said, almost everything that happens to Kelsey in the book is based on experiences from my real life, which happened at about the same time. I am, and have always been, disaster-prone. I just thought back - and sometimes asked my friends to remind me of things I'd banished from my memory! - and boom: I had a book.
5.) Did you have any other names for the title?
 Yes. The original title was “The World vs. Kelsey Finkelstein” - and that was long before I’d never heard of Scott Pilgrim! Later it was “This Just In: Kelsey Finkelstein is Freaking Out.” But editors have mysterious ideas about what will work, and they wanted me to think of something else...
6.) How did you come up with the name of the book?
 I did a LOT of brainstorming. My friends helped. I discovered the David Cross show, “The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret” (which is AMAZING, btw) and I thought that title was brilliant, so I tried to think of something with a similar feeling to it. I submitted lists of ideas. They all got a thumbs-down. Then my editor came back and suggested “Freshman Year and Other Unnatural Disasters” - a title I had submitted months earlier that they rejected! I said, “Definitely. It’s genius. I’m glad you thought of it.” And here we are today. Sometimes, you gotta play along.
7.) I loved how Kelsey always had a positive attitude no matter what happened to her. Can you share with us, your outlook on how important it is for teens to have a high self esteem?
I think it's very important and so incredibly hard to achieve high self esteem at any age, but especially for tweens and teens. The pressure is enormous to fit in and succeed and look a certain way... I certainly struggled with it myself. Even Kelsey spends a lot of time with a million thoughts in her head, doubting her choices and (especially after the incident with Sam at the party) thinking bad things about herself. Kels is really lucky to have a supportive network of people in her life, which helps her keep her chin up and keep trying. I purposefully gave her a lot of obstacles so that readers could see her come out the other side even stronger. I think that any way I - or any writer - can get the message to teens that it's okay to make mistakes, that NO ONE is perfect, that everything can be a learning experience... is worth exploring. I don't there's a magic trick that will make a teenager suddenly have good self-esteem, but I know that for me, when I was that age, reading books about characters I could relate to (who were also awkward or confused or trying to find their way) really helped me see that I wasn't the only one who was a hot mess. And that's the real reason I wrote this book: to put another character out in the world that would make some girl somewhere think: "Ok. I'm not the only one. I don't have to be perfect, and I can still totally get through this high school craziness."
8.) Was there anything you wish you had added or could change to FRESHMAN YEAR AND OTHER UNNATURAL DISASTERS?  
There were so many drafts of this book, and so many different KINDS of drafts - so I think over the course of the editing process, everything that could've been changed GOT changed. Kelsey originally had four besties, but that was considered too many friends, so poor Sara got bumped off. (Sorry, Sara!) For one draft my editor wanted a totally different narrative structure, so I rewrote the entire book in article form. Then that got scrapped. (The very FIRST draft was actually written in the past tense, with embedded dialogue.) One version had a subplot about Travis being a child star, which was fun but ended up being distracting. JoJo's storyline changed - she wasn't gay in the original version of the book, but the idea came to me and I thought it was just right for her character. Cassidy had a different way of speaking for a while that I fought against changing (I lost). Ben was about six different guys - he also had a sister at one point who was Kelsey's friend, and then her enemy... there were a LOT of changes on a very, very long editing road. I think after all of that, I'm really happy with the finished book exactly as it is. So no, I wouldn't change anything... because I kind of already did!
Thanks so much Meredith! I loved having you!
You can find Meredith on Twitter @zeitlingeist
And find out more about Meredith and her new book:
Let's not forget the Facebook fans!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Highly Anticipated Book Bellwether

This is the very first edition of the Book Bellwether here at Uniquely Moi Books! So just what is it? The Book Bellwether is my collection of, simply put, highly anticipated books that are to be released! I want to share them with you along with their information. I hope that you find them as appealing as I do! I hope you enjoy this new feature. And would love to hear all feedback.

Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters
by Meredith Zeitlin

Due for release: March 1st 2012
Published by: G.P. Putnam

I have had the privilege to review this one and just loved it. This books was so much fun to read! Very easygoing, while the main character went through struggles and always looked for a positive side through her struggles.

Kelsey Finkelstein is fourteen and FRUSTRATED. Every time she tries to live up to her awesome potential, her plans are foiled – by her impossible parents, her annoying little sister, and life in general. But with her first day of high school coming up, Kelsey is positive that things are going to change. Enlisting the help of her three best friends — sweet and quiet Em, theatrical Cass, and wild JoJo — Kelsey gets ready to rebrand herself and make the kind of mark she knows is her destiny.

Things start out great - her arch-nemesis has moved across the country, giving Kelsey the perfect opportunity to stand out on the soccer team and finally catch the eye of her long-time crush. But soon enough, an evil junior’s thirst for revenge, a mysterious photographer, and a series of other catastrophes make it clear that just because KELSEY has a plan for greatness… it doesn’t mean the rest of the world is in on it.

Kelsey’s hilarious commentary throughout her disastrous freshman year will have you laughing out loud—while being thankful that you’re not in her shoes, of course...

by Lissa Price

Due for release: March 13th 2012
Published by: Delacorte Books for Young Readers

The cover on Starters is the first thing that caught my attention. I had to read the synopsis to find out more. It is so simple, yet so enticing. Once I had read the synopsis, I knew I had to read it. I recently downloaded it from NetGalley. I just haven't had the time to dive into it just yet.

Callie lost her parents when the Spore Wars wiped out everyone between the ages of twenty and sixty. She and her little brother, Tyler, go on the run, living as squatters with their friend Michael and fighting off renegades who would kill them for a cookie. Callie's only hope is Prime Destinations, a disturbing place in Beverly Hills run by a mysterious figure known as the Old Man.

He hires teens to rent their bodies to Enders—seniors who want to be young again. Callie, desperate for the money that will keep her, Tyler, and Michael alive, agrees to be a donor. But the neurochip they place in Callie's head malfunctions and she wakes up in the life of her renter, living in her mansion, driving her cars, and going out with a senator's grandson. It feels almost like a fairy tale, until Callie discovers that her renter intends to do more than party—and that Prime Destinations' plans are more evil than Callie could ever have imagined. . .

by Jessica Shirvington

Due for release: March 6th 2012
Published by: Sourcebooks Fire

When I first discovered Embrace, I had read the storyline and just fell in love with the idea. I am very eager to read this one!

It starts with a whisper: “It’s time for you to know who you are…”

Violet Eden dreads her seventeenth birthday. After all, it’s hard to get too excited about the day that marks the anniversary of your mother’s death. As if that wasn’t enough, disturbing dreams haunt her sleep and leave her with very real injuries. There’s a dark tattoo weaving its way up her arms that wasn’t there before.

Violet is determined to get some answers, but nothing could have prepared her for the truth. The guy she thought she could fall in love with has been keeping his identity a secret: he’s only half-human—oh, and same goes for her.

A centuries-old battle between fallen angels and the protectors of humanity has chosen its new warrior. It’s a fight Violet doesn’t want, but she lives her life by two rules: don’t run and don’t quit. When angels seek vengeance and humans are the warriors, you could do a lot worse than betting on Violet Eden…

Pretty Crooked
by Elisa Ludwig

Due for Release: March 13th 2012
Published by: Katherine Tegen Books

This is one I feel like I have had on my 'to read' shelf since forever. I love new and different and that is exactly what Pretty Crooked describes. I also had the pleasure to review June of Rock by Elisa and loved it. I loved her writing. I'm so anxious for this one!

Willa's secret plan seems all too simple.

Take from the rich kids at valley prep and give to the poor ones.

Yet Willa's turn as Robin Hood at her new high school is anything but. Bilking her "friends"—known to everyone as the Glitterati—without them suspecting a thing is far from easy. Learning how to break into lockers and Beemers is as hard as she'd thought it would be. Delivering care packages to the scholarship girls, who are bullied just for being different, is more fun than she'd expected.
The complication Willa didn't expect, though, is Aidan Murphy, VP's most notorious ace-degenerate. His mere existence is distracting Willa from what matters most to her—evening the social playing field between the haves and have-nots. There's no time for flirting, especially with conceited trust-funders like Aidan. But when the cops start investigating the string of thefts at Valley Prep and the Glitterati begin to seek revenge, could Aidan wind up being the person that Willa trusts most?

by Jill Hathaway

Due for release: March 27th 2012
Published by: Balzer + Bray

This is another one that I have had the pleasure of reviewing, put wanted to share with you because of it's fabulousness! I loved this book and can't help but share great things with great people!

Vee Bell is certain of one irrefutable truth—her sister’s friend Sophie didn’t kill herself. She was murdered.

Vee knows this because she was there. Everyone believes Vee is narcoleptic, but she doesn’t actually fall asleep during these episodes: When she passes out, she slides into somebody else’s mind and experiences the world through that person’s eyes. She’s slid into her sister as she cheated on a math test, into a teacher sneaking a drink before class. She learned the worst about a supposed “friend” when she slid into her during a school dance. But nothing could have prepared Vee for what happens one October night when she slides into the mind of someone holding a bloody knife, standing over Sophie’s slashed body.

Vee desperately wishes she could share her secret, but who would believe her? It sounds so crazy that she can’t bring herself to tell her best friend, Rollins, let alone the police. Even if she could confide in Rollins, he has been acting off lately, more distant, especially now that she’s been spending more time with Zane.

Enmeshed in a terrifying web of secrets, lies, and danger and with no one to turn to, Vee must find a way to unmask the killer before he or she strikes again.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Winners announced...

I recently had a couple giveaways end, and haven't shared the winners yet. Here they are:

The winner of Daphne and the Mysterious Girls Bathroom Society is: Reviewing Shelf

The winners of Stirring up Trouble are:
Rachel Vessar
Amy @ Book Loving Mom
April Hays

Guest Post w/ C. Jayee Cohen

Today on the blog, we have the wonderful C. Jayee Cohen, author of
A Night Below New York. The topic today? I hope you love it! (It is the month for love after all.) Here it is...

The Unexpected Romance

I'm an unabashed romantic, in every sense of the word. And what really gets me going (and has since childhood) is the unexpected romance. A romance between two people who have no business being together, but get together anyway, usually in spite of themselves.

To get an idea what I mean, imagine a romance between the school quarterback and head cheerleader.


But now imagine the quarterback and a bookworm, or the cheerleader and the class punk; and, all of a sudden, it becomes interesting.

In almost every book I've planned there's an unexpected romance. It may not be what the story is about per se, but it's always there, just underneath the surface, looking for any reason to show itself.

This is true for my current book, A Night Below New York, a modern-day Arabian Nights tale. In this story, Sahara is kind of an introverted and awkward girl, who graduates high school a year early and goes off to college, where she meets Rex, who's handsome and extroverted and popular. They have nothing in common but their majors, which they have chosen for completely different reasons, but still, there's a spark from the moment their eyes meet. A spark they fight, and one that causes lots of conflict. But the spark refuses to go away nonetheless.

Perhaps you yourself have been involved in an unexpected romance. I know I almost always fall for the least likely person, who is usually someone I really shouldn't be falling for; and, even though the results haven't, up until now, been the stuff of forever after, I can't imagine changing.

What would be the point?

Anyway, thanks for giving me a little piece of your time.


C. Jayee Cohen

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Review: Never Eighteen by Megan Bostic

Never Eighteen
by Megan Bostic

Published by: Graphia
Released on: January 17th 2012
200 Pages
Rating: 5/5

  I felt as if I had been awaiting for this one to be released for years. I had anticipated it so much, and so when it finally arrived on my front door and I laid eyes on how tiny this book is, I found myself a little dumbfounded that it was so small. I know, I know, it makes me sound a little shallow to make judgements but my point in sharing this is because undoubtedly, this book will be in my top ten this year. Megan Bostic has written this novel and filled it with such compassion, heartache, true friendship, and pure love. 

  As I began the journey, reading about Austin and wondering just what it is he had planned, not only was I eager to know what happens next, but saddened because I was a little closer to the end. Megan holds your interest by letting you know that Austin has something seriously wrong with him, as he reaches out to others in need around him. He wants to help others realize that they have the chance to make things change. They have a life to make a difference and that it should not be wasted.
  Austin has his best friend Kaylee take him to visit all the people he wants to reach out to and do all those last minute things he never got a chance to. He only wants them to make something of their lives because he doesn't have that chance. He's only seventeen and this will be the end for him. He sees them struggling and reaches out. It is up to them if they will change, as Austin only comes to approach each individual and help them recognize what their issue is and how they can better themselves to lead a much happier life. It isn't a thing to waste and it saddens Austin to see his friends struggle with their lives.
  It's Kaylee that makes a difference in Austin's life. He has always wanted more from her but never wanted it to interfere with the great friendship that they have. It's when all feelings are finally laid out exactly as planned, that Austin's biggest regret is that he never spoke up sooner. As I reached the end, tears streaming silently down my cheeks, I knew I was coming closer to the end of Austin's life. But did his life make a difference to anyone else? Austin held so much love for everyone around him. I sure hope so.

Purchased from Amazon.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Guest Post w/ Elle Casey & Giveaway

Today on the blog I have with us, Elle Casey, author of Wrecked. Not only is she here to visit and share about a member of Wrecked, she has been ever so kind enough to give away three copies of her book! Yay! Let's get started!

Hello readers!  I’m Elle Casey, a guest poster (author of WRECKED) here at Uniquely Moi Books.  Thanks so much for having me.  Today I’m going to talk about one of the characters in my book WRECKED, a Young Adult Action/Adventure novel – which I describe as a cross between The Breakfast Club and The Swiss Family Robinson.  The character’s name is Jonathan Buckley.

Jonathan is one of four teenagers who go on a cruise together and then ultimately end up stranded on a deserted island.  As an author, often I define the characters for my stories through a process of combining personality traits of several people into one ... usually people I know personally, people I’ve seen in movies or television shows, or people who somehow are invented in my subconscious and end up in my crazy dreams at night. 

Jonathan, as one of the protagonists in WRECKED, is inspired by a few people: my sixteen-year-old son, one of the characters on the television show Bones, and one of the characters in the movie Galaxy Quest (I will let you blog readers guess who those two characters are! Feel free to comment below with your guesses.)  My son cringes when I say he’s one of my inspirations because Jonathan really is a nerdy kid; but he lives up to his full potential by the end of the story – and that’s the piece of him that reminds me of my son – so it’s all good.

What I love about Jonathan is that he’s pretty much oblivious to his nerdiness.  He does his thing, he follows he passions, and he shares his enthusiasm of discovery and knowledge with anyone standing nearby.  He knows he often gives ‘too much information’ but he doesn’t care.  He’s just enthusiastic about science and the world around him and he doesn’t let petty concerns like what other kids will think about him bother him; he just follows his heart and believes the best about people, even when they clearly have different priorities and don’t act so nice towards him. 

What’s great about Jonathan in this book is that in the beginning he seems weak and not cool, but as the realities of being on a deserted island without adults and the conveniences of modern life really hit home, everyone soon realizes how awesome of a guy he is and how important his passions are to their very survival.  What used to be, “...too much information, Jonathan,” becomes, “...what else do you know about this, Jonathan?” 

There are a lot of ‘Jonathans’ out there in the world who are underappreciated and disrespected.  Unfortunately, there is so much peer pressure for teens – to conform, to act a certain way, to look a certain way – that it’s hard to be someone like him and be admired.  That’s why I loved this book for him; he was able to be himself and end up being the hero that everyone counted on for survival.  If my book causes one person, somewhere in the world, to better appreciate a Jonathan in his or her life, it will have been a worthwhile venture for me to write this novel. 

Thanks again to Uniquely Moi Books for inviting me over.  If you’d like to learn more about WRECKED, or my newest series WAR OF THE FAE, a Young Adult Fantasy series, please visit me at  I’d love to have you as one of my readers!

Thanks so much Elle!
Now for the giveaway:
You must be 13+
Ends March 1st

Cover Reveal: Inbetween by Tara Fuller (Kissed by Death #1)

When I first laid eyes on this cover, I was left speechless. It is simple, yet breathtakingly beautiful. I do hope it captures you as it did to me. Not only that, but the synopsis sounds fabulously intriguing! I do hope you add this one to your shelves! Inbetween by Tara Fuller is a YA Paranormal Romance that will be published by Entangled Publishing and due for release on August 7th, 2012.

by Tara Fuller

Since the car crash that took her father’s life three years ago, Emma’s
life has been a freaky—and unending—lesson in caution. Surviving
“accidents” has taken priority over being a normal seventeen-year-old, so
Emma spends her days taking pictures of life instead of living it. Falling
in love with a boy was never part of the plan. Falling for a reaper who
makes her chest ache and her head spin? Not an option.

It’s not easy being dead, especially for a reaper in love with a girl fate
has put on his list not once, but twice. Finn’s fellow reapers give him
hell about spending time with Emma, but Finn couldn't let her die before,
and he’s not about to let her die now. He will protect the girl he loves
from the evil he accidentally unleashed, even if it means sacrificing the
only thing he has left…his soul.

Inbetween is available for preorder now at Amazon here.

And you can also add it to you Goodreads shelf here.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Guest Post w/Kelan O'Connell & Giveaway

Today I have the most talented Kelan O'Connell, author of Delta Legend. I must admit, I just adore the cover of this one! It is very striking to the eye! Kelan has also been generous enough to give away five ebook copies of Delta Legend! Now, before we get started, I must say, If you are a guy and you read this, I really want to hear your comments!!! (Everyone else's too of course)

If You Build It ... by Kelan O’Connell

I was raised with three older brothers, no sisters. I wasn't a tomboy, but I could hold my own with boys for the most part. When mixing it up with my brothers, it would never be said that I fought fair. What I lacked in physical strength, I made up for in cunning... along with biting and scratching. I'd say my greatest strength as a kid was my ability to wiggle out of a stronghold or a confined space. The fact that I was petite only encouraged my brothers to see how many different physical spaces I might actually fit inside of. Needless to say, I spent a good deal of time in lockers, dresser drawers, and laundry hampers. Shockingly, I am not claustrophobic. Desensitization training—it works.

So, you can see how creating a male main character for my book, Delta Legend, wasn't completely foreign territory for me. While I knew I could never pull off writing a first-person narrative for Calvin, I had no doubt I could effectively represent him in all his guy-ness. And in a YA literary world brimming with strong dynamic female MC's, I was eager to break from the pack. Oh, there's plenty for chicks of all ages to relate to in Delta Legend—Mei Li handily carries the female dynamic of the story, no problem. But beyond my choice of a male protagonist, I was determined to write a book that BOTH sexes could relate to and embrace. Maybe even connect over.

If you're reading this guest post, chances are you're female. And not surprisingly, three months after self-publishing Delta Legend its primary audience remains female. Why? Well, as a whole, us gals are simply the more voracious readers. We're also more connected and tuned-in to what's new, what's hot, what's coming down the line in the world of All Things YA, thanks to great Book Blogs like this one. But I'd dearly love to see more guys join us in this passion for reading. They seriously need to figure out that reading is not only entertaining escapism for them, it's downright sexy to us. Think about it: Guy reading a book while drinking a latte outside a coffee house or guy standing around texting. Who's hotter? Please. So, what's it going to take to get more of them to see the light? Two things, really.

1. More YA and YA Crossover novels guys can relate to (If you build it ...)
2. Cool, smart, savvy YA-lovin' women steering guys in the direction of great reads. (This part will require some finesse, not unlike coaxing a squirrel to eat from your hand, or luring E.T. with Reese's Pieces.)

Hey, I've done my part. I've even stocked Delta Legend with the literary equivalent of a HungryMan Dinner: fishing, WaverRunners, beer, speed boats, wake boarding, along with hearty servings of carnage, action, and laughs. Did I mention beer? Now here's your part: Get out there and recommend Delta Legend to a guy. Go on, I'm authorizing you to use my book to strike up a conversation with the opposite sex—like that cute guy in geometry, or the sexy-geeky one who works in the marketing department. You know, the one who recently broke up with his girlfriend?!?! Yeah, HIM. I just set you up with the perfect conversation starter, and one that's got a shelf life.

You're welcome.

You can find more Kelan musings at The first six chapters of her debut YA Crossover can be found at

To enter to win 1 of 5 ebook copies:
You must be 13+
Ends February 26th

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Cover Reveal: Gravity by Melissa West

I want to share with you today, a most beautiful and delectable cover, along with all the fabulous details! Gravity is due to be released in October of 2012, written by the lovely Melissa West, and published by Entangled Publishing.

In the future, only one rule will matter:

Don't. Ever. Peek.

Seventeen-year-old Ari Alexander just broke that rule and saw the last
person she expected hovering above her bed - arrogant Jackson Locke, the
most popular boy in her school. She expects instant execution or some kind
of freak alien punishment, but instead, Jackson issues a challenge: help
him, or everyone on Earth will die.

Ari knows she should report him, but everything about Jackson makes her
question what she's been taught about his kind. And against her instincts,
she's falling for him. But Ari isn't just any girl, and Jackson wants more
than her attention.  She¹s a military legacy who¹s been trained by her
father and exposed to war strategies and societal information no one can
know - especially an alien spy, like Jackson. Giving Jackson the
information he needs will betray her father and her country, but keeping
silent will start a war.

Gravity is available to preorder at Amazon now.
Also, don't forget to add this one to Goodreads!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Cover Reveal: Capture by Brina Courtney

This is the second novel in Brina Courtney’s Cryptid Tales series.  The first, 4.5 star Reveal, is on sale now for $1.99, Capture will be released at the end of March.
Reveal’s Description: High school senior Shay Tafford leads a less than normal life. Hiding her ability to speak to ghosts from her family and friends is one thing, but discovering there's a beautiful boy named Hugh who has the same gift is an entirely different problem; especially when she's been crushing on him for weeks. Since her life's not already chaotic enough, her only confidante- a boy ghost- has disappeared as thoroughly as her father did twelve years ago. With Hugh's help, Shay must find the answers she needs in order to save the people she loves from disappearing- forever.
You can follow Brina on facebook or twitter for updates on the official release date for Capture. Also, feel free to add it to your Goodreads 'to read' list! Capture's synopsis will be released soon!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Review: Slide by Jill Hathaway

Jill Hathaway

Published by: Balzer +Bray
Released on March 27th 2012
256 Pages
Rating: 4/5

Please Note: This review was based from an ARC

  I absolutely love what Jill has given us with this novel. A page gripping suspense that you won't put down until you're finished. A deep and emotional journey through the hard and rough life that Vee has no choice but to deal with as she struggles with her life, and the rare issue she has to deal with. She could give in, and pop pills all day, could run to her father and complain of her many issues that she has, but she doesn't. Vee has such a strong backbone and such strong will to go through every day as things seem to get worse for her. Jill Hathaway has made Vee a character quite like no other. Just what can she do?
  Vee has the ability to enter other peoples minds for short periods. Let me also say that she certainly doesn't do this by choice. I might also add that she is a narcoleptic so it's when she's fighting sleep the most that the 'slide' happens. This is what she has labeled it. Her mom had narcolepsy too. Vee would love more than anything to talk to her. She passed away though. Vee can't help but wonder if she ever went into other peoples minds.
  It's something that Vee can learn to deal with, (has) learned to deal with until she slides into someones body and watches as she realizes that whoever it is just murdered her sisters best friend. It was made to look like suicide and that's exactly what the cops said in the police report. As Vee starts to slide again she knows she can't let this happen like the last time. She is the only one who can stop it. But can she?

Received from HarperCollins for review.