Friday, February 24, 2012

LDStorymaker's Conference May 4-5, 2012

2012 LDStorymakers Conference is coming soon!
Lovelovelove this conference.
You should go.
Go to this site and register.
I'll save you a seat!

Conference: May 4-5 2012
  • 2-Day Conference: $170
  • Friday-only Conference: $95
  • Saturday-only Conference: $75
Conference: May 4-5, 2012
  • 2-Day Conference: $170
  • Friday-only Conference: $95
  • Saturday-only Conference: $75
The Provo Marriott Hotel
101 West 100 North · Provo, Utah 84601 USA 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch

The wars that followed The Collapse nearly destroyed civilization. Now, twenty years later, the world is faced with a choice—rebuild what was or make something new.

Stephen Quinn, a quiet and dutiful fifteen-year-old scavenger, travels Post-Collapse America with his Dad and stern ex-Marine Grandfather. They travel light. They keep to themselves. Nothing ever changes. But when his Grandfather passes suddenly and Stephen and his Dad decide to risk it all to save the lives of two strangers, Stephen's life is turned upside down. With his father terribly injured, Stephen is left alone to make his own choices for the first time.

Stephen’s choices lead him to Settler's Landing, a lost slice of the Pre-Collapse world where he encounters a seemingly benign world of barbecues, baseball games and days spent in a one-room schoolhouse. Distrustful of such tranquility, Stephen quickly falls in with Jenny Tan, the beautiful town outcast. As his relationship with Jenny grows it brings him into violent conflict with the leaders of Settler's Landing who are determined to remake the world they grew up in, no matter what the cost.

Another post apocalyptic that is closer to what could happen in our future. China bombs use with the plague and millions die.
Stephen and his father are survivors and what is called Scavengers. They find bits and pieces of scraps that keep them alive with food and clothes and medical supplies.
After his dad is hurt, Stephen gets help and ends up at Settler's Landing where people actually live in houses, eat at tables and sleep in beds. And to top it all off, they even have school.
Along with the good of this place, there is some bad. Slavers live outside and they are dangerous.
The battle at the end was good.
Can Stephen get along with the Settlers? Will his dad get better? Will he find a place in his survivor heart for love?

To be honest, three days after I read this I couldn't remember the title, main character or plot. Not good. Then something in the news about a plague and it all came back. 

Rating: PG 13
V: Some fights, intense scenes
L: Not that I remember
S: No


Friday, February 17, 2012

Hourglass by Myra McIntire

One hour to rewrite the past . . .

For seventeen-year-old Emerson Cole, life is about seeing what isn’t there: swooning Southern Belles; soldiers long forgotten; a haunting jazz trio that vanishes in an instant. Plagued by phantoms since her parents’ death, she just wants the apparitions to stop so she can be normal. She’s tried everything, but the visions keep coming back.

So when her well-meaning brother brings in a consultant from a secretive organization called the Hourglass, Emerson’s willing to try one last cure. But meeting Michael Weaver may not only change her future, it may change her past.
Who is this dark, mysterious, sympathetic guy, barely older than Emerson herself, who seems to believe every crazy word she says? Why does an electric charge seem to run through the room whenever he’s around? And why is he so insistent that he needs her help to prevent a death that never should have happened?

Full of atmosphere, mystery, and romance,
Hourglass merges the very best of the paranormal and science-fiction genres in a seductive, remarkable young adult debut.

First line:
"My small Southern hometown is beautiful in the haunting way an aging debutante is beautiful."

Beautiful language.
Interesting premise.
Hot main guy.
Creepy ghostly apparitions.
Great cover.

Didn't like:
MC instantly falls for main guy and his lips, always about his lips

Rating: PG 15
S: lots of talk of lips
V: fights
L: Some

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Sean Griswold's Head by Lindsey Leavitt

According to her guidance counselor, fifteen-year-old Payton Gritas needs a focus object-an item to concentrate her emotions on. It's supposed to be something inanimate, but Payton decides to use the thing she stares at during class: Sean Griswold's head. They've been linked since third grade (Griswold-Gritas-it's an alphabetical order thing), but she's never really known him.

The focus object is intended to help Payton deal with her father's newly diagnosed multiple sclerosis. And it's working. With the help of her boy-crazy best friend Jac, Payton starts stalking-er, focusing on-Sean Griswold . . . all of him! He's cute, he shares her Seinfeld obsession (nobody else gets it!) and he may have a secret or two of his own.

In this sweet story of first love, Lindsey Leavitt seamlessly balances heartfelt family moments, spot-on sarcastic humor, and a budding young romance.

First line:
"Nothing creates a buzz like an Executive Deluxe day planner."

Cute, clean romantic story.
Each character is unique, fun and entertaining. LOVED the counselor! A story about how life unexpectedly takes a turn but you can still find humor, love and comfort from those around you.

Rating: PG

Friday, February 10, 2012

Rearview Mirror by Stephanie Black

On a rainy night eight years ago, Fiona Claridge lost control of her car and crashed, injuring herself and killing her roommate, Mia Hardy. Now, she strives to keep the painful past at bay by staying burrowed beneath the demands of her job as a college professor in a small Ne England town.But when someone starts leaving her gift-wrapped boxes containing malicious reminders of Mia's death, Fiona's guilt and grief come flooding back.

First line:
"Sleet whipped Linda Taylor across the face."

I. Love. Stephanie.
She's the sweetest person ever with mad dog writing skills. Seriously. This girl can churn out the best suspense novels ever. And she always tricks me. I'm pretty good at picking out the bad guy. I did pretty good on this story too. But she threw a twist in, just like the last book.
I'm not gonna tell you.
I love how Stephanie gives a handful of suspects, all with excellent motives then one-by-one eliminates them with their alibis until you're left wondering "who the heck is the bad guy??"
Stephanie's awesome.
Buy her books.
Read her books.

Good, clean book. Read it in one day.

Rated PG13
V: yes but not graphic, just really intense
L: No
S: No


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Indelible by Lani Woodland

Sixteen-year-old Yara Silva has always known that ghosts walk alongside the living. Her grandma, like the other females in her family, is a Waker, someone who can see and communicate with ghosts. Yara grew up watching her grandmother taunted and scorned for this unusual ability and doesn't want that to be her future. She has been dreading the day when she too would see ghosts, and is relieved that the usually dominant Waker gene seems to have skipped her, letting her live a normal teenage life. However, all that changes for Yara on her first day at her elite boarding school when she discovers the gene was only lying dormant. She witnesses a dark mist attack Brent, a handsome fellow student, and rushes to his rescue. Her act of heroism draws the mist s attention, and the dark spirit begins stalking her. Yara finds herself entrenched in a sixty-year-old curse that haunts the school, threatening not only her life, but the lives of her closest friends as well. Yara soon realizes that the past she was trying to put behind her isn't going to go quietly.

First line:
"Being stuck in California rush-hour traffic wasn't nearly so bad when I had something to keep me busy."

Second book of Yara and the Pendrell school. 
Yara now understands her 'gift' and still doesn't really want it. Seeing and talking to ghosts isn't her idea of normal.
But her talents will help the school and students and keep them safe. If she can keep her self out of danger or getting killed.
Or possessed.
Yara doesn't realize how strong her powers are until she comes up against a very angry ghost. 

Ms. Woodland doesn't an excellent job in characterizations, plot, twists, storyline and pacing. I wanted to keep reading to find out what would happen to Yara and Brent. And who was the bad guy? And how were Yara and her friends getting out of this one??

The mystery, paranormal, romance and intrigue kept me reading.
Oh! And my name is in this book! I'm the flour sack baby. 

What I liked: 
Yara & Brent relationship
Flour sack (of course)

What I didn't like:
um, nothing really. 
A few editing errors

Rating: PG 13
L: Don't remember any
S: Kissing
V: fights, angry ghosts, bad guys

25% test (p.99):
"...more juicy Waker secrets. That faulty belief had led Cherie to spy on Vovo more than once.
"So, what makes you think my friends need the necklaces."
Vovo threw an amused grin at Cherie, who hadn't been as stealthy as she thought.
"I've had a dream of darkness settling at Pendrell again. Although it didn't so much settle as raise from the ground." She cocked her head to the side thinking. "I'm not sure what it means yet, but I decided your friends should have them, just in case."
"You had a dream too?" I sat up tall and held her gaze. "About a fire?"
"Yes. I dreamed of the fire, but I also had a vision of the darkness." She shivered and paled slightly before pointing to the jewelry again. "I want you to hand them out to everyone who's close to you. I made some boy pieces too."
I pulled the box close and inspected the contents again.
"This is cute," I said, holding up what looked like a surfer necklace with a single large bead in the center and smaller ones worked into the knotted cord. I could see Brent wearing it. "I'm glad these will protect my friends but what about me? Isn't there something I can do to keep this ghost away from me? I don't want anything to do with her, and I certainly don't want to be waiting around for her to reappear."
Vovo rubbed her hand across her forehead, her shoulders slumping. "There is nothing you can do but wait. Fique tranquila."
"Stay calm?" 
She kissed the top of my head. "We'll keep you safe and figure this out."
"So should we prepare to banish her?" I asked, dropping the necklace back into the box. Banishing a..."

Friday, February 3, 2012

2011 Whitney Finalists

Click HERE to download a PDF of the 2011 finalists
Click HERE to purchase tickets to the 2011 Whitney Awards Gala on May 5th at the Provo Marriott


Before I Say Goodbye
Gifted The Evolution of Thomas Hall The Walk: Miles To Go
The Wedding Letters
Rachel Ann Nunes Karey White Kieth Merrill Richard Paul Evans Jason F. Wright


Daughter of Helaman
Fires of Jerusalem
Isabelle Webb: The Pharaoh’s Daughter Letters in the Jade Dragon Box
Miss Delacourt Has Her Day
Misty Moncur* Marilyn Brown N.C. Allen Gale Sears Heidi Ashworth


Borrowed Light
Captive Heart
Count Down to Love Not My Type
The List
Carla Kelly Michele Paige Holmes Julie N. Ford Melanie Jacobson Melanie Jacobson*


Acceptable Loss
Bloodborne If I Should Die
Rearview Mirror
Anne Perry Gregg Luke Jennie Hansen Stephanie Black Traci Hunter Abramson


A Night of Blacker Darkness
I Don’t Want to Kill You
No Angel
The Alloy of Law: A Mistborn Novel
The Lost Gate
Dan Wells Dan Wells Theresa Sneed* Brandon Sanderson Orson Scott Card

Youth Fiction—Speculative

My Unfair Godmother
Shifting Slayers Tuesdays at the Castle
Janette Rallison Bethany Wiggins C.J. Hill Jessica Day George Robison Wells

Youth Fiction—General

Girls Don’t Fly
Miles From Ordinary
Pride & Popularity
Sean Griswold’s Head
With a Name Like Love
Kristen Chandler Carol Lynch Williams Jenni James Lindsey Leavitt Tess Hilmo*

Of these finalists, the following titles are also eligible for Best Novel by New Author 2011:

  • Daughter of Helaman by Misty Moncur
  • Gifted by Karey White
  • No Angel by Theresa Sneed
  • The List by Melanie Jacobson
  • With a Name Like Love by Tess Hilmo

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Persuasion by Rebecca H. Jamison Blog Tour!

Happy day! I get to be part of PERSUASION blog tour!
I have a dear friend who is all things Austen and I asked her to be a guest reviewer today.
Take it away Mrs. LeBuck!

Rebecca H. Jamison's Persuasion: A Latter Day Tale was an easy, breezy read on a otherwise cold weekend.  Her story echoes Jane Austen's Persuasion well enough that I could easily anticipate the general story line, but the updated new twist kept it fresh as I read.  I especially enjoyed the "new" ways of getting the characters where they need to be.  For example, the accident at the beach was a pleasant surprise, as was the back story given to the character of William.
Jamison's version of Anne Elliot has her own modern issues to deal with, including her work, her car, her friends and roommate.  But the relationship issues Jane Austen gave her original heroine ring true in the modern version--her father's financial issues, her sisters' selfishness, and her own self-doubt.  Played out within an LDS morality, the romantic entanglements work very well too, even in the modern settings.  I could sense her longing for a husband and family life without seeing her as a sappy, unrealistic, washed-up spinster.  And Anne's attitude never felt defeated.
Overall, I appreciated the clean but still romantic  twist on a story I adore from Jane Austen.  Perhaps this new telling will hook younger readers into seeing the brilliance of the character driven novel without the need to spice it up and out of my personal rating's window.