Product Details

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen; 1 edition (March 24, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061284408
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061284403

STARGAZER, like it's prequel, EVERNIGHT, starts off a bit slow at the beginning of the school year. Bianca watches her fellow classmates, most of them vampires, a few unknowing humans, as they arrive at the castle-like school of Evernight Academy--a sanctuary for vampires and a place where they can learn to live like humans and keep up with the times.
Bianca is only part vampire. Only once every few centuries do two full vampires give birth to a living child. Bianca needs to eat human food as well as blood and as she matures, her blood lust becomes stronger. One day, she will end a human life and complete her transformation, but something is stopping her--she's in love with a vampire hunter.


Lucas Ross, a Black Cross hunter. In EVERNIGHT, Lucas infiltrated the school in an attempt to discover why they were allowing human students to attend. He and Bianca fell in love before they knew what the other was.


This year, something else is attempting to breach the sanctuary of the school and Bianca doesn't know who she can trust. Even her heart is confusing her. Bianca and Lucas continue their secret romance with the help of the vampire, Balthazar, who is searching for his sister--a vampire being hunted by Black Cross.

STARGAZER has adventure, mystery and romance all neatly tied together with some supernatural fun. I can't wait for HOURGLASS, the third installment of the Evernight Series!

Holy writer's contest!

The Bookshelf Muse has hit 100,000 hits and in honor of that milestone, they are having a huge contest with a helluva lot of GREAT prizes for writers!

Go to their blog and check it out!

Melissa de la Cruz--Blue Bloods

Come check out the interview and chat with author of THE BLUE BLOODs series, Melissa de la Cruz at Bitten by Books!

Melissa is giving away a Signed copy of THE VAN ALEN LEGACY as well as a 3 book boxed set of the BLUE BLOODS series!

Wordle of Rockabilly Romance

I had seen this on literary agent, Nathan Bransford's blog, but I'd forgotten about it until my crit partner, Valerie, reminded me! I've created a word cloud for the entire novel.

New Look. Again.

I know, I know. I need to pick a layout and stick with it. One day, I will find the right one and it will be forever mine, but not today. Today, I have decided to give this blog a whole new look in honor of the completion of the first draft of ROCKABILLY ROMANCE! So here it is, the retro look.

Here's the 'just for fun' book cover I made.

Excerpt from Nano!

I've decided to post an excerpt from my NaNoWriMo project, Rockabilly Romance. If you haven't been paying attention, it is a young adult novel and it is in the very early stages of development, so even this passage is subject to change. I love the title though. If it gets published, I hope they don't change that :(

"I slowly turned to face him. Shadows fell in the hollows of his face. Tom was beautiful under the night sky, but he wasn’t Jesse. He wasn’t the boy I saw behind my eyes when I laid down at night. Still I wanted to kiss him. My lips pulled for his. I wanted to feel some kind of warmth, some physical connection to what my heart felt inside. But, no. It wasn’t fair to Tom. I turned back to my tree, running my fingers over the crude engraving. I didn’t want to leave it. Not ever. But I had to remember the reason I was here. Not the real reason, but the cover story."

Make ya wanna read it? Huh? Huh?

Quick update!

I realize I haven't blogged in a while. The reason being, I was away for three days visiting my family (my grandfather celebrated his 75th birthday!) and now that I'm home, I've been plugging every free minute between mothering and getting ready for the holidays, with my new novel project. You can see the little status bar over on the right beneath my profile that auto updates my word count from NaNoWriMo. So far, I'm doing all right. I know I won't be able to write from the 25th till the 29th, so I'm trying to get as much done now as I can to meet that 50k word goal by the 30th.

So far, I'm loving this story. There are a few elements I don't really care for, but I'll work on them later. For example, it is technically a romance (but not the Nora Roberts kind, more like the Maggie Stiefvater kind--although I'm a far cry from being that awesome) but I don't like the idea of the girl needing the guy to be happy. So far, that's pretty much the case. Now, in her situation, it's really out of her hands. There's a deeper reason for her need for said guy, but still, eh. One task I've given myself is to really establish the character of Jenna McBride before bringing in the guy. Another is to make sure the reader understands that Jenna realizes how pathetic her dependency on him really is. Third, is to make her dependency, not pathetic. Revisions will be epic. And I just really like to use the word "epic". I don't think they'll be that awesome.

As for book reviews, I finished reading SPEAK by Laurie Halse Anderson, but it's not a new release so I'm slacking on writing the review. I promise to do it after NaNoWriMo. I'm not reading anything right now. Can you believe that? It's not because I don't want to. I just haven't gone to buy more books recently. Probably a good thing. For my wallet and for my novel.


roduct Description from Amazon

Not all dreams are sweet.

For seventeen-year-old Janie, getting sucked into other people's dreams is getting old. Especially the falling dreams, the naked-but-nobody-notices dreams, and the sex-crazed dreams. Janie's seen enough fantasy booty to last her a lifetime.

She can't tell anybody about what she does -- they'd never believe her, or worse, they'd think she's a freak. So Janie lives on the fringe, cursed with an ability she doesn't want and can't control.

Then she falls into a gruesome nightmare, one that chills her to the bone. For the first time, Janie is more than a witness to someone else's twisted psyche. She is a participant....

About the Author

Lisa McMann is also the author of Wake. She lives with her family in the Phoenix area. Read more about Lisa at or be her friend at

I'm not a big fan of books written in present tense. I've read some great books in this format, but it takes a few pages to get me in to it. This one hooked me right from the start. The book starts out with Janie sitting in the library about to be pulled in to some random person's subconscious. For Janie, it's like walking by a wind tunnel and getting sucked in whenever someone nearby starts to dream.

The story is faced paced but also easy to follow. The characters are well rounded, the dialog is fun. I've noticed a trend with current Young Adult (YA) top picks and that's that the main character's parents are basically non existent. In this book I think it's fitting. There is something going on with Janie's mom and I want to keep reading to know what it is. Having absent parental figures tends to create a more self sufficient character and that's a trait I like to see.
Great read and I can't wait to pick up the next to installments of this series.

Leave A Mark Book Auction!

It's for a good cause, and worth checking out, especially for aspiring writers. Get the insiders look on your favorite YA novels with "Marked up" copies straight from the author!

Auction #4 is IF I STAY by Gayle Forman. You might remember my review of this book, but if not you can see it here.

I'm going to copy and paste from the auction blog. Make sure you DO NOT BID HERE. Any discussion or bidding needs to be done on the "Leave a Mark" blog, not mine.

Thank you everyone for making this year's auctions such a success so far. Remember to spread the word and start your bidding for the next Leave a Mark auction: If I Stay by Gayle Forman. This is one amazing book that was a huge hit in the YA world. I for one can't wait to read more by Gayle as well as see the movie version of If I Stay, which is to be directed by Catherine Hardwicke (Thirteen, Twilight, and Lords of Dogtown)!!!

Facts and Rules

-We have a new book up for auction every week or two and you leave your bids in the comments.

-Leave a Mark is all about marked up books. That means you aren't just bidding for a book you could buy in stores or a signed book you could get from a regular signing. These books have notes/behind-the-scenes looks into their story written by the author in the margins or on post-it notes, etc. It's up to them to decide how they "mark it up."

-Once the auction has ended for a particular book, we contact the highest bidder and they will donate their money to First Book through this link here:

-The winner will then get a confirmation email from First Book, which you will forward to my email : lauren51990 AT aol DOT com

-Once we have that, your book will be sent out either by me, Chelsea, or the author (if they are holding on to their book)

-The next auction will always start up as soon as possible after one has ended and the bidding starts all over again!

-You CAN bid on more than one book and you CAN win more than one book. This all goes to a great charity so we aren't stingy on who and win someone can enter

-By the way, since this IS charity, you can enter from wherever but the bids will be in American dollars so it's easiest for us to understand

-If you ever have questions, please email me: Lauren51990 AT aol DOT com or check out our sites: (this is me, Lauren) (this is Chelsea, my partner in crime of Leave a Mark)

Now, it's time to start bidding, so here are those rules...

1. The first bid must always start at $10 at least, but you can go higher for the first bid.

2. Each subsequent bid must go up in $1 dollar increments. Ex. $10, $11, $15...whatever!

3. This particular auction will end on Sunday, November 15 at 11:59 P.M. EST

4. More info on the book:

5. As an extra incentive, I am offering bonus points for my giveaways. Each time you bid (even if you don't win and even if you keep bidding on the same book) you will be given 5 extra bonus points into a giveaway of your choice on my site:

ex: if you bid two times on one auction, you get 10 points to do whatever you wish. Keep them for a future giveaway or add them all to one or split them up into many!

Remember, get in touch if you have questions and please spread the word about this. Link to the site. Make a blog post. Whatever! We want people to find some awesome marked up books and hopefully raise a lot of money for First Book. These auctions will all end at the end of December so keep a look out for who is coming up!

Closing of NYC Carriage Horse Industry

I understand why they want to do this, and I agree it is probably in the best interest of the city and most definitely the horses, but I will miss them. I have to find the photos from the last ride we went one :(

logo C:Documents and Settings nitaeDesktopNYCLASS_logo.jpg

November 4, 2009

ASPCA, NYCLASS Issue Statement on Future Closing of Carriage Horse Stables

Officials Say Alternative to Antiquated Industry is "Past Due"

NEW YORK--The ASPCA (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) and NYCLASS (New Yorkers for Clean, Livable and Safe Streets) issued the following statements after learning of the impending shut-down of some carriage horse stables to make room for affordable housing:

"We have said time and time again that neither the New York City environment nor current law provides carriage horses with the fundamental necessities to ensure their safety and well being, and this latest development further underscores the limitations that 21st century New York City has to offer such an antiquated industry," said ASPCA President and CEO Ed Sayres.

"The use of carriage horses in New York City is not only a safety hazard to city residents, tourists, pedestrians, motorists and the horses themselves, but horses must often work seven days a week in heavily congested traffic and extreme temperatures."

"It's time for New Yorkers to demand an alternative to carriage horses, specifically "green" (eco-friendly) replicas of antique cars—a proposal that would also keep carriage drivers from losing their jobs," added Jared Rosen, Executive Director of NYCLASS. "Housing such vehicles in New York City would be easier and less expensive than providing lodging for horses, which also requires storage for hay, feed, carriages and other equipment. Vehicles don't require the kind of maintenance that a horse does, and they would not have to be kept close to Central Park."

"Presently, the carriage horses inhabit prime real estate that could be used for more affordable housing for people, which the city desperately needs," Rosen continued.

The ASPCA and NYCLASS lauded the recent Comptroller's Follow-Up Audit Report on the Licensing and Oversight of the Carriage-Horse Industry, which detailed numerous infractions and violations on behalf of the industry as well as poor oversight on behalf of the City's Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) and Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DoHMH).

"The ASPCA, a privately-funded agency, continues to voluntarily—and at its own expense—do the city's job, monitoring activity and enforcing the regulations that govern horses' housing, care and welfare," Sayres said. "The city's taxpayers (knowingly or unknowingly) are subsidizing the very industry the city should be overseeing by allowing them to work out of city owned property, and revenues from their business are not subject to sales tax.

"The ASPCA and NYCLASS urge the City Council and Mayor's office to push for the much-needed and past-due phase-out of the carriage horses and the implementation of a safe, humane, environmentally friendly and economically viable alternative."

I hurt.

I haven't posted a life snippit in a while so here we go. You may have seen my post when my husband and I bought our new Harley Davidson motorcycle. Previously, we owned a HD Fatboy (yes, that's the model name) and we recently swapped the old boy for a Road King, a former NYPD bike.

I rode the Fatboy without any issues. It's a great bike, perfect size for me. It's heavy, but it's well balanced and handles with ease. Saturday was the first day I was able to get out and ride the Road King with my husband, me on the back, and Sunday I took it for myself. Today, everything hurts.

I hopped on the bike fully confident in my ability to handle it. I started off great. Rode down the street and stopped at the stop sign. I leaned, ever so slightly, to position myself to turn around and head back...and I dropped it. It weighs almost 800lbs and I am seriously not equipped to hold it up. It's top heavy, sits a lot higher than a Fatboy and is way too big for me. Just the slightest lean caused it to fall over. Thankfully, we have crash bars on the front so I didn't scratch anything or hurt my leg, but I think I pulled every muscle in my body trying, and failing, to keep it from falling...ouch. I was fine yesterday, not even shaken up, but today EVERYTHING HURTS! :(
And that's my story.

Get Indians Out of the Cupboard!


I enjoyed reading this and wanted to pass it along. If you would like to discuss the topic, you may do so at the original post site.
And for those of you who don't know, November is not only National Novel Writing Month, it is also Native American Heritage months!

Get the Indians Out of the Cupboard

  • NOV. 9TH, 2009 AT 7:41 AM

Indians in the Cupboard? Perhaps some find this phrase offensive. I hope so because I want to spark discussion about stereotyping Native Americans.

A look at Alternative World Views: Whose stories? Whose voices? Contemporary multicultural books – where are they; who is writing them; how do we find them?

What is the problem?

Let’s look at three popular classics: Little House on the Prairie (Wilder ), Peter Pan (James Barrie, 1905?), and Indian in the Cupboard (Banks, 1980). These books are as popular today and used in classrooms as they were when first published.

All have characters that “resemble” American Indians – they have black hair, dark skin, the women wear braids, they live in tipis and carry tomahawks, bows and arrows. These characters are typical stereotypes. Stereotypes hurt children. Instead of expanding awareness and appreciation, stereotyping limits understanding and increases separation between people. Stereotypes build walls between “we” and “they.” Stereotyping in any form is poor substitute for getting to know individuals at a meaningful level.

The first goal of this discussion is to increase awareness of the subtle racism that exists in the literature we write for children.

A second goal is to increase awareness of the mis-information and perpetuation of inaccurate myths -- in our history books, nonfiction picture books, holiday books, and so on.

My third goal is to increase awareness of books that represent native people accurately as individuals who may live in cities or reservations, work in schools, hospitals or farms. Debby and I will suggest lists where you can find these books, the awards that celebrate them, the blogs that discuss them.

First comes awareness and then follows change.

Look at a photograph and listen with new ears.” Alberto Rios

Kathy Short (University of Arizona) speaks eloquently about attitude: “Teaching for intercultural understanding involves far more than lessons on human relations and sensitivity training or country units on only the most visible elements of culture, such as food, fashion, folklore, famous people and festivals…Interculturalism is not a unit, activity, or book, but an attitude of mind.”

I was about to read my book, Navajo Year, Walk Through Many Seasons, to my friend’s five-year old grandson. I pointed out that I live on the Navajo Nation Reservation. He looked up at me, eyes round, “Have you ever gotten shot by a bow and arrow?”

I explained that Navajo are friendly, like his neighbors. They don’t gallop around on horses shooting arrows. He interrupted –

“But what about their tipis?”

“Nope, no tipis.” He shook his head, frowned at me. Obviously I didn’t know what I was talking about.

“Indians live in tipis and shoot with bows and arrows. See, it shows it right here in this book.”

“What book?”

He showed me, Peter Pan. How could I argue with Peter Pan?

1. Stereotypes: The Indians in Peter Pan live in tipis, carry tomahawks, wear war paint. For many children these cartoon characters are their only image. There is no difference noted between the tribes, such as Navajo, Cherokee, Apache, Abenaki. Amazing that even today, books and films, videos continue to portray cartoonish caricatures – people with broad faces and long braids.

Stereotypes are not dead, nor are they dying. In a recent American Indians in Children’s Literature.blogspot (11/2009) Debbie Reese (Nambe Pueblo) lists dozens of stereotypes -- war paint, squaws, papooses, scalping, war paths and chiefs. Her list goes on and on.

2. Tokenism to full-board inclusion. Indian characters are included in folk stories about Thanksgiving and Columbus. What real Indian can you name? Their history and people are part of all American history, arts, sciences, sports, music, and authors/illustrators. The body of children’s nonfiction literature -- biographies, natural history, science, social science, athletes –includes very few American Indians or Alaskan natives. In the publishing world today, the smallest group of books is still books by or about American Indians.

The field is not all glum. Books are being written that celebrate American Indians as individuals, both in fiction and nonfiction. Joseph Bruchac has written hundreds of excellent books. Some outstanding examples include his picture-book biography, Jim Thorpe’s Bright Path, and A Boy Called Slow, the True Story of Sitting Bull, and his middle-grade historical novel, Hidden Roots. In The Absolute True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Sherman Alexie brings the unique voice of Junior who tells it like it is – being an adolescent and growing up in “two worlds.”

Past tense: Most published books about American Indians focus on the past as if these people have not continued to thrive and change. Just as people living in the Midwest no longer live in sod houses as described in the “Little House” series, people from tribes in the Midwest no longer live in tipis. Where are the books about contemporary heroes and heroines? Ask a child to name an American Indian and you might hear them say Pocahantas or Geronimo. What about writers like Michael Lacapa or Cynthia Leitich Smith; athletes like Notah Begay (golfer) or Jacoby Ellsbury (Red Sox baseball player) Artists like Alan Houser or RC Gorman, performers like Buffy Saint Marie or R. Carlos Nakai? Filmmakers like Sherman Alexie or Sandra Sunrising Osawa?

Where are the books that present accurate images of outstanding American Indians to inspire young people today? Why are there still stereotypes that present images of “savages” running around wearing breech cloths or war paint?

3. Inaccurate history: History books are written by the victors. As writers or teachers we can encourage the critical thinking skills of our readers. Look at history from both sides. Is Columbus a hero to American Indians? Why is the story of the “discovered people” seldom told from their point of view?

Marc Aronson says it well in this paragraph:

"Rather than examine famous peoples’ lives or historical movements critically, today’s children’s books often leave kids with little more than legends—George Washington and the cherry tree; Thomas Jefferson, the sage of Monticello, minus any mention of Sally Hemings, the young slave with whom current DNA evidence shows he fathered six children; our nation’s “glorious” Westward expansion, told exclusively through images of heroic whites and savage Indians. The point of overturning these and other myths isn’t simply to set the record straight; it’s to point out that our interpretation of history is constantly being challenged, debated, and revised. The only way we can bring that crucial message to young people is if we risk sharing our doubts about the very accounts they were taught in elementary school. If we do that, students may at first feel like they’ve been fooled. But just as in middle-grade and YA novels that turn fairy tales upside down and inside out, young people will have an opportunity to use what they’ve learned as a baseline to develop new, more accurate understandings—which is precisely what we want."

Vampire Academy

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Razorbill; First Edition edition (August 16, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159514174X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595141743

I've been wanting another good teen vampire series to read, and there are so many to choose from right now that it was actually difficult deciding what to read first. This series came recommended by my favorite book reviewer/blogger, Jess at so I decided it was a good place to start.

While I loved the characters of Rose and Lissa (I've always liked the name Vasilissa from Ukrainian/Russian folklore), it took me a few chapters to get into this one. It's written well enough and it's got a great hook for the beginning, but I'm a stickler for Vampire tradition. Mead has created her own world of vampires, something I've seen a lot of YA authors do when it comes to the undead, and while that is not necessarily a bad thing, for me it delays my interest in the story.

After a few chapters, I was hooked and fully emerged in the world Mead had created with Vampire Academy: There are two types of vampires--Moroi are mortal vampires and wield the earth's magic elements (fire, water, air, earth). Strigoi are immortal undead. They've gone to the dark side and lost their magic but gained strength and ferocity. They're basically the traditional vampire but they now carry an uncontrollable desire to drink from the Moroi. Then we also have dhampirs. While half-breeds aren't a new concept, having them as guardians that devote their lives to protecting the Moroi, is (I hate ending a sentence with the word "is" but for today, I'll deal).

Rose is a novice guardian and she's fully devoted to protecting Lissa, her best friend. In an effort to protect Lissa, from what Rose doesn't fully understand, she takes her away form the academy. The book begins with their return to St. Vladimir's Academy. They're back within the well guarded confines of the school, but danger may be even closer than it was on the outside.

Like I said, I thought it was well written. Mead is a very talented story teller and not once did the book feel dull. There's romance, secrets, scandal and vampires. Oh! And big sexy Russian vampires! Ya lublu, tebya, Dimitri Belikov. What's not to love? I recommend this series to all teen vampire fans.


Contests are awesome. If you haven't noticed, I put them in teh side bar to the right >>>>>>as often as I find them.

Author Lisa McMann is giving away a few copies of her latest book in the Dream Catcher series, GONE

Follow the link, read the rules and enter. Good luck!

About the book from the author's website:


    Janie thought she knew what her future held. And she thought she'd made her peace with it. But she can't handle dragging Cabel down with her.

    She knows he will stay with her, despite what she sees in his dreams. He's amazing. And she's a train wreck. Janie sees only one way to give him the life he deserves--she has to disappear. And it's going to kill them both.

    Then a stranger enters her life--and everything unravels. The future Janie once faced now has an ominous twist, and her choices are more dire than she'd ever thought possible. She alone must decide between the lesser of two evils. And time is running out...

    He reaches toward her, his fingers black and bloody, his eyes deranged, unblinking. Janie is paralyzed. His cold hands reach around her neck, squeezing tight, tighter, until Janie has no breath left. She's unable to move, unable to think. As his grasp tightens further around Janie's neck, his face turns sickly alabaster. He strains harder and begins to shake.

    Janie is dying.
    She has no fight left in her.
    It's over.

Linger, book 2 of The Wolves of Mercy Falls.

LINGER, the much anticipated sequel to NYTimes best selling author, Maggie Stiefvater's novel SHIVER, is set to release July 2010. Maggie has confirmed that she will be posting the official book cover AND the first paragraph on her blog tomorrow!
Be sure to check it out.


Product Details

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; 1 edition (October 27, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061626317
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061626319
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.8 x 1.5 inches

Product Description from Amazon

New beginnings.

Shocking revelations.

Unexpected endings.

A spring turns into summer, Elizabeth relishes her new role as a young wife, while her sister, Diana, searches for adventure abroad. But when a surprising clue about their father's death comes to light, the Holland girls wonder at what cost a life of splendor comes.

Carolina Broad, society's newest darling, fans a flame from her past, oblivious to how it might burn her future. Penelope Schoonmaker is finally Manhattan royalty—but when a real prince visits the city, she covets a title that comes with a crown. Her husband, Henry, bravely went to war, only to discover that his father's rule extends well beyond New York's shores and that fighting for love may prove a losing battle.

In the dramatic conclusion to the bestselling Luxe series, New York's most dazzling socialites chase dreams, cling to promises, and tempt fate. As society watches what will become of the city's oldest families and newest fortunes, one question remains: Will its stars fade away or will they shine ever brighter?

About the Author

Anna Godbersen was born in Berkeley, California, and educated at Barnard College. She currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Splendor, like all The Luxe novels, has a gorgeous cover for those of us who like a pretty book, and it's contents are no less appetizing. As the final chapter to the series, I was almost sad to finish it so quickly, but I am very pleased with the ending. I must admit, I would love to see more of the Holland sisters and even Penelope and the Broud sisters, but the series came to a satisfying close.

I wish I could go in to detail, but I don't want to spoil a single thing for anyone else. I'd read a comment elsewhere that gave away a huge part of RUMORS for me (it was a very simple comment, but it ruined the impact of the scene it referenced) and I wouldn't want that for anyone else. All I can say, is that I throughly enjoyed every word of every book in The Luxe series and that I thought everything that happened in the end, was just the way it had to be and the way it should be. Thank you, Anna Godbersen and Harper Collins, for giving us this story.
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