Monday, December 31, 2012

Song of The Week to End The Year!!!

I chose to post this song on this day because it’s New Years Eve. ‘In The New Year’ performed by The Walkmen is the perfect song to end 2012 and start 2013. This song came into my life during a dark time for me. The moment I heard lead singer Hamilton Leithauser belt out the chorus I had instant goose bumps and a tingle up my spine, I still do whenever I hear it. I imagine myself singing it out loud at the top of my lungs with open arms. Open arms for all the things that are right in my life. The love of my life, my children, family and friends all pass through my brain as I listen to the lyrics of this epic song that I hope others will love. How could you not? I connected to this song because for me I can hear the heart and soul of Hamilton Leithauser as he sings it. 

I chose to post the video and a live performance that is my favorite because you can see how much The Walkmen love to perform it. This song is meant to be played loud and cause a smile in your heart that will spark something inside of you. Whether it’s to take a massive big step in your life or realize how great your life is and tell the people in it that they matter to you and you love them. Can you tell that I hold this song VERY close to my heart? Well I do. Listen to the lyrics and play it today. I know you will absolutely want to listen to it over and over again. Happy New Year!









I encourage you to listen to more of The Walkmen. I love all of there albums because their music is amazing. Be sure to click on the links below for more info.


       

Saturday, December 29, 2012

End of the World as We know It by Iva-Marie Palmer Review and Giveaway

Tour Sign Ups: The End of the World as We Know It by Iva Marie Palmer


Today I Blog, You Read is an official stop on author Iva-Marie Palmer's blog tour. Read my review then enter to win one eBook copy of The End of the World as We Know It. Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter and don’t forget you can enter once a day by tweeting about the giveaway. 

The main reason why I HAD to read this book was because readers were comparing it to one of my favorite movies, The Breakfast Club. John Hughes broke the mold with his epic group of misfits that will forever be embedded in our minds and often replicated. I love that people are still inspired to do stories about the never ending social high school status that envelopes the teen world. Iva-Marie Palmer’s story however adds an alien invasion, a Gussy Me Up van, and an ending with nail biting worthy action.

Leo, Sarabeth, Teena and Evan are all original characters that are believable until the end. Each has their moment to tell their story and Iva-Marie Palmer provides excellent backstories that bind you to each of her characters. The End of the World as We Know It was never boring and easy to follow. It was long but I honestly never had a moment when I sighed and said, “When is this book going to end?” I think readers will actually want more of all of Iva-Marie’s characters like I did. 



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Summary:

They wanted to party like it was their last night on earth. They just might get their wish….

Meet the four most unlikely heroes ever:

Teena McAuley: Queen Bee, first-class problem solver, resident heartbreaker.

Leo Starnick: UFO conspirator, pizza delivery boy, all-around slacker.

Evan Brighton: Baseball all-star, extreme virgin, Teena-worshipper.

Sarabeth Lewis: Straight-A student, weekend hermit, enemy of the color pink.

When Teena locks Leo, Evan, and Sarabeth in the basement during her biggest party of the year, she doesn’t plan on getting trapped in the Loser Dungeon herself. She can barely imagine a night with these dweebs—let alone a lifetime. But when an alien invasion destroys their entire Midwestern suburb, it looks like these unlikely friends are the last people on earth. Now, it’s up to them to save the world….


I loved each of these characters in my own special way. Each has a surprise to offer any reader. I can’t really say who was my favorite because they all were. One thing that this book proves is that nothing is never as it seems. Opposites do truly attract and thank goodness because it makes for excellent reading in this case. Even though Leo is seen as a slacker he is pretty intelligent. He does flirt a lot but I never hated him for it. Maybe because his character doesn’t pull any punches. He is who he is and doesn’t apologize for it. Sarabeth has a flare about her that casts a definite vibe for the entire book. She is written as a leader and not a damsel in distress. This may be why I enjoyed the dialogue between these two. Sarabeth doesn’t fall for Leo’s wit and doesn’t fall for his crap like other girls.

Teena is set up as someone who readers will want to hate but may not be able to. At least I couldn’t. She is brutally honest, yet she isn’t with herself. She thinks she knows what she wants but surprises herself in the end. Everyone will love Evan. He is a natural hero. Too bad he doesn’t realize it himself. He has family obligations that cast him out of the social gatherings that you’d expect someone like him to be the center of attention. It was fun to read how author Palmer was able to pull him out of his shell.

I feel the theme of this book was relationships. Not just romantic ones but friendships. Sarabeth and Teena used to be great friends but because of the importance of popularity, that friendship fizzled. This is a very common occurrence with friends and Palmer did a great job addressing this issue. Leo and Evan’s relationship was delivered in an honest way as well. Guys seem to handle the friendship fizzle differently and I think Palmer nailed the difference between how Leo and Evan interact in the beginning of the book.

You may wonder how teens could be thinking about love when aliens have invaded their small town. There is a special little excerpt in the book for those people that I found incredibly funny. It sets the tone and addresses the audience that may find the book unbelievable and enables them to believe every word. I found this book to have a lot of humor and page turning action. Even at 400 plus pages I never had a dull moment. The book does have bits of drug and alcohol use but in my opinion didn’t go overboard. It is the end of world after all, what do you expect? I seriously loved the entire book and have no complaints. I would love to read more about Iva-Marie Palmer’s characters but don’t think another invasion is likely. Or is it?

Today I Blog, You Read is an official stop on author Iva-Marie Palmer's blog tour. Read my review then enter to win one eBook copy of The End of the World as We Know It. Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter and don’t forget you can enter once a day by tweeting about the giveaway. 

INTERNATIONAL GIVEAWAY

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Author Links:
Iva-Marie Palmer's website: http://ivamariepalmer.com/
Iva-Marie Palmer on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ivamariebooks
Iva-Marie Palmer on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ivamarie

Book Links:

Friday, December 21, 2012

Song of The Week!

So I know I haven’t posted and song picks for two weeks so I will make it up to you by posting four mini playlists. They don’t have the full songs because I used the iTunes widget tool thingy. That way if any one likes the song they can just click and buy or research the artist on their own. Most of it is all Indie and a special Christmas music playlist that isn’t annoying, at least to me. Hope you enjoy and always find new music here at I Blog, You Read.


                             



                             

Thursday, December 13, 2012

My Interview with Amy Helmes & Kim Askew, Authors of Exposure and Tempestuous.


First I would like to thank both Amy and Kim for stopping by I Blog, You Read to discuss their books Tempestuous, scheduled for release on December 18th and Exposure that will be available January 18th. Let’s see what these talented authors have to say about their experience writing together and their books from their Twisted Lit series, Tempestuous and Exposure.


Amy Helmes (left) & Kim Askew(right)



1. Were there any experiences or challenges that you can share about your process in co-writing together that would interest writers and readers?

We check our egos at the door, so any challenges that present themselves are pretty easy to tackle. We mostly just find ourselves laughing a lot! Neither one of us can imagine writing these books without the other person — it’s definitely a “two brains are better than one” philosophy. The best part of the writing process is the instant gratification of getting each other’s feedback. We alternate writing chapters, so getting to see what the other person has done with a section is always such a treat!

2. I think Craig Mackenzie is a fantastic version of Macbeth because you have brought him to a level that teens can identify with as far as social status. What do you feel teens will learn from your lead characters?

Shakespeare’s Macbeth is basically a sociopath by the end of the play, and that’s definitely not the direction we wanted to take with Craig! He needed to be relatable, and he also needed to be the sort of guy our very smart and pragmatic protagonist, Skye, would be in love with. He’s charismatic, but also very flawed. One of the big lessons Skye learns over the course of the book is how very arbitrary popularity is in high school, and we hope that’s a message that will resonate with readers, as well.

3. Instead of going with an actual high school for your setting in Tempestuous, you went with a shopping mall. What went into the decision of picking such a fun and unpredictable setting?

We agonized over the decision of where to set the story. In Shakespeare’s version, the characters are all stranded on an island. We thought about going the literal route (maybe an island during Spring Break?) but it didn’t seem quite right. Since the events in The Tempest kick off with a storm, we eventually started to think about snowstorms and where you could potentially get stranded. The instant the word “mall” entered our brain, the entire book fell into place for us.

4. Tempestuous and Exposure are two very different books but both entertaining. Do you have anymore William Shakespeare adaptations in the works and when can we expect them?

We’d love to adapt them all! We’re currently working on our version of Romeo and Juliet. It’s such a favorite saga for so many people that we wanted to tackle it sooner rather than later, and we think our version has a very unique angle! We also are eager to delve into King Lear and Henry IV, among many others.


5. How does it feel to know that some teens out there may be introduced to William Shakespeare for the first time through your books?

Shakespeare can be intimidating, to say the least, so we’ll be thrilled if our books help people find his work more accessible. By the same token, we want readers to know that you don’t need to know anything about Shakespeare to find our books entertaining. We wrote the novels with both Shakespeare fans and Shakespeare-phobes in mind!

6. Out of Shakespeare’s entire world of characters my favorite is Mercutio. When I think of Romeo & Juliet I immediately picture Mercutio in my mind because I just feel his death scene is epic, at least for me. Do you have any favorites and why?

Yes, we completely agree about Mercutio! Sometimes the “entourage” characters are almost as intriguing (if not more so) than the heroes. That’s why Tom Stoppard’s movie Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead is so fantastic. Stoppard takes two minor characters from Hamlet and tells the story from their perspective. We played with that idea when we created Skye Kingston, the heroine in Exposure, who is the female equivalent of Macbeth’s friend Banquo. We really liked the character of Banquo and wanted to explore his role in a unique way.

7. If you could ask William Shakespeare one question, what would it be?

We would forever put to rest that annoying debate, “Was Shakespeare really Shakespeare?” by getting the answer directly from the Bard himself.

8. I just want to say that I loved Tempestuous and Exposure and sincerely thank you both for allowing me to interview you, is there anything else you two would like to share with readers?
           
We’re so happy you love the books! We’d like to thank you for giving us the opportunity to chat with you, and we hope your readers will love the series as much as you do.

Be sure to stop by Amy Helmes and Kim Askew's blog Romancing The Tome and check out this cute video that they put together to promote their fun books.