Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Guest Post: Author Lori Pescatore's First Book Signing of Human Blend

Today I welcome Lori Pescatore, Author of Human Blend, to share her first book signing experience with us as well as showing us pictures of the event!

Book Signing December 14th 2010


Doylestown, PA

Self Published Author: Lori Pescatore

Book: Human Blend




I had worked hard for this day. I promoted and sold myself and my book. The day of my first book signing for my first self published novel had arrived. I still went to work that morning; it was a normal day of teaching. My coworkers would stop me in the hallway asking me if I was excited. I was, of course, but calm at the same time. I thought I would be more anxious, but everything just felt right. My only concern was the weather. It was the coldest night of the season so far. To make matters worse, when we left for the signing it was snowing.



It was cold and a dusting of snow had settled on the ground when the time for the signing arrived. First on the scene was my dear friend Joyce. It picked up from there. My table was adorned with copies of my book and flowers sent there my friend Annie. Holiday wrapped candy kisses provided by friend Shari.



I saw many of my friends who came out to support me and was pleased with the number of people that I did not know that came out to check out the book. I sold 27 books and according to the bookstore, that was a decent number for any book signing.



The night was everything I hoped for and more. My husband and my youngest son where there to film and photograph the event. It was a wonderful experience for me. One I look forward to duplicating for the 2nd book in the series.



To all the readers out there, if you have an opportunity to attend a book signing, please do. It is a wonderful event that will put you in touch with other like minded readers and Authors.


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Thank you Lori for sharing your first book signing experience with Bookish Delights! I'm glad it went well! The pictures are wonderful.
I hope to attend an author book signing some day.

My interview with Author Lori Pescatore & Book Giveaway will be up soon as well as my Review of Human Blend!

Hope you all have a Happy New Year!!!!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Review: The Gargoyle Prophecies: The Savior Rises (Part 1) by Christopher C. Payne

Title: The Gargoyle Prophecies: The Savior Rises by Christopher C. Payne
Publisher: JournalStone (Oct 2010)
Paperback: 220 pages
Reading Level: Adult
Source: Publisher
ISBN-10: 0982811969
ISBN-13: 9780982811962
Rating: 3 Stars



SYNOPSIS (From Goodreads): With a tattered Raggedy Ann doll as her only companion, Stefani has spent her entire life immersed in self isolation. As a 10-year-old child she was the lone witness to her mother's murder. She vowed to find the man who robbed her of all she held dear in the world and ensure he suffers as she has before he takes his final breath.

Her childhood is consumed with training in the hopes of one day finding the scar-faced killer. But her world up-ends as her 21st birthday looms when she discovers she isn't the hunter. She is the one being hunted, and her predators are not human. Stefani finally opens herself up for the first time, allowing Dennis into her life, revealing her emotions to her hopeful protector. But her fear and confusion mount when he reveals he is a gargoyle - and she is, as well.

Dennis claims Stefani is the key to the future of the gargoyle world. She is the Chosen One, and she is in danger. Dark forces covet her imminent power and will use any means to steal it. Stefani's mind swims with peril she neither understands nor is sure she believes. She questions everything, including her grip on reality.

As Stefani battles the damned across the globe, she searches for answers about her identity. Is she truly the savior of an inhuman race or has her solitude and the trauma of her mother's death finally infected her sanity?


MY THOUGHTS: I love reading about anything paranormal, so I was excited about The Gargoyle Prophecies. But after reading the book, I realized that this book wasn’t entirely what I expected. We know from the premise that Stefani witnesses her mother’s murder and because of this experience, she wants to get revenge and find the killer. Her solitude is very evident, having lost her mother and she doesn’t trust anyone. She only has comfort in her Raggedy Ann doll that she had ever since she was a kid. But as she nears her 21st birthday, she meets Dennis, who she opens up to. But he tells her that he is a gargoyle and so is she. There is a prophecy that is involved and the whole story develops further from here.

I liked that Christopher Payne uses a female as the lead heroine fighting against gargoyles. Even though I admired Stefani for being a strong character, I was never able to fully attach myself or really connect with the characters. The reason being that the whole aura of the book, the style of the writing is such that you question what is reality, or rather that Stefani questions this. I felt this hindered me from really getting to know the characters well since the plot is not straightforward, it’s very perplexing. And I wanted to know where the plot was going and understand it, so reading through this book was a little challenging for me. While the author purposely wrote the book this way because he had a very good reason for this, since it played into the heart of the story, it didn’t make it less confusing to read through style wise. There is a fine line between reality and the possibility that Stefani might be nearing insanity. But with the many twists and turns in the story, you just don’t know for sure. But then the final twist in the ending was so unexpected and powerful, that I had to redigest the book as a whole. This made the whole story much more meaningful. You will definitely be in for a surprise. Even so, I didn’t feel that the strong ending was enough for me to really love the book. I thought the majority of the story was just ok, but the ending was better - it was good. So the ending did help improve my rating for this book just a little.

The book was definitely full of adventure and action, but the gargoyle fight scenes were a little too graphic for me, being too gory for my taste. I also wasn’t very fond of the quality of writing. While this book wasn’t for me, I really do appreciate the author’s bold and unique attempt at a different style of writing. If you like reading clear cut books, this is not the book for you. But if you would like to try something different and dynamic, this might be the book for you, especially if you like reading paranormal books.


Friday, December 17, 2010

Jennifer Laurens Interview + Giveaway!



Today I would like to welcome Jennifer Laurens on my blog. She is the author of the Heavenly series, which includes Heavenly, Penitence, and Absolution. I recently read Heavenly and loved it! My review can be found HERE.


I also had the pleasure of interviewing Jennifer Laurens, which you can read below.



1. Tell us five interesting facts about yourself.
I used to work in the entertainment industry. I have four dollhouses I've made and collect for. I used to run a muffin business to make extra money when we were first married: Mrs. M's Muffins. I'd live in NY--Upper East Side-- if I could. I had anorexia when I was a teenager.

2. What is your favorite thing to snack on while writing?

LOL, right after the anorexia comment....um...I prefer drinking. Soda of any kind will do, but I prefer Rockstar.

3. Which five words best describe Heavenly?
Uplifting, inspiring, real, fresh, moving.

4. I learned that you have an autistic daughter. Did this experience inspire autism to be a part of the Heavenly series (Heavenly, Penitence, Absolution)?
Yes, it's actually our family story about our struggle dealing with a handicapped child.

5. How did you decide on writing Heavenly from the POV of a sibling vs a parent of an autistic child?
My daughters were teenagers, and Zoe is a combination of both girls. It seemed a natural place to start, since I'd lived through their challenges dealing with their sister.


6. If Zoe's autistic sister Abria could speak, what would she say?
In real life she DOES speak now.( YAY! ) She often repeats phrases--from things that make sense to things that don't make sense. She never fails to make us laugh. Her favorite phrase: "Hi Mom." - repeated at least 50 times an hour. No joke. Autism is about repetition.

7. The word "flamer" is used more than once in Heavenly. Can you define the term?
hahaha...another one of the local slang terms used in a derogatory way. Like you idiot -- or something much more graphic that I wouldn't use in a book.

8. Since you were familiar with autism, did you find that the Heavenly series required less research?
No research needed.


9. What advice would you give to the parents or siblings of autistic children?
That life gets better. Do everything you are mentally, physically and financially able to do for your child and leave the rest in God's hands. When you do that, the relief is unspeakable joy. Love and accept your child for who she/he is: a gift who will teach you and yours about unconditional love, patience, acceptance and charity. Who wouldn't want to develop those qualities?

10. In every difficult experience there is a upside. While I'm sure raising an autistic child has not been easy, how has raising an autistic child been a blessing for you and your family? And what has your autistic child taught you?
Answered above. And so much more. I thought the diagnosis was the end of life, back when she was originally diagnosed at age three. The process has caused me to question everything, exert all the human power I have within me only to come to the conclusion that God knows what he's doing. My puny mortal efforts cannot compare. My child, like all of us, is in his hands and I am so relieved that I don't have to carry the full weight of that burden alone anymore. This is not about anything particularly religious, except that I DO believe in God and in his ability and complete willingness to help me ( and my child ) out.

11. Besides the Heavenly series, what other books have you written?
Falling for Romeo, Nailed, Magic Hands, A Season of Eden, An Open Vein, and a women's romance series.

12. Are you currently working on a new book?
I just finished OVERPROTECTED due out in April.

13. How can readers learn more about you and your books?
www.jenniferlaurens.com. I love meeting readers on Facebook, too so, come find me!


Thanks so much for joining us Jennifer! It was wonderful interviewing you.

Jennifer Laurens also has a blog, which you can check out at:
www.jenniferlaurens.blogspot.com


*****************************************************************************


HEAVENLY GIVEAWAY:


Jennifer Laurens has kindly offered one of my followers a copy of Heavenly, PLUS your choice of either a Book Bag, a T-Shirt, or a Key Chain (all of which are themed in the Heavenly series).



RULES:

Open To US Only
Must be a GFC follower
Ends December 31, 2010

TO ENTER:

In ONE COMMENT below, tell me you are a GFC follower, let me know which accessory you want (book bag, t-shirt, or key chain) and leave your email. If you decide to do any extra entries, make sure they are listed in the SAME comment.

EXTRA ENTRIES:
+1 Leave a comment on my Heavenly review by clicking HERE.
+1 Leave a comment about the interview with Jennifer Laurens (see interview above)
+1 Follow Jennifer Laurens Blog by clicking HERE.
+1 Follow Jennifer Laurens on Facebook by clicking HERE.
+1 Follow Jennifer Laurens on Twitter by clicking HERE.








Thursday, December 16, 2010

Review: Heavenly by Jennifer Laurens


Title: Heavenly by Jennifer Laurens
Publisher: Grove Creek Publishing (Aug 2009)
Hardcover: 294 pages
Reading Level: Young Adult
Source: Author for Review
ISBN-10: 1933963840
ISBN-13: 9781933963846
Rating: 5 Stars



SYNOPSIS (From Goodreads): I met someone who changed everything. Matthias. My autistic sister's guardian angel. Honest. Inspiring. Funny. Hot. And immortal. That was the problem. What could I do? I did what any other girl would do-I fell in love with him. Zoe's sister darts in front of cars. Her brother's a pothead. Her parents are so overwhelmed; they don't see Zoe lost in her broken life. Zoe escapes the only way she knows how: partying. Matthias, a guardian sent from Heaven, watches over Zoe's autistic sister. After Zoe is convinced he's legit, angel and lost girl come together in a love that changes destiny. But Heaven on Earth can't last forever.



MY THOUGHTS: Heavenly was a true delight to read! Very authentic. I would categorize Heavenly as realistic fiction with hints of the paranormal. The struggles that come with raising a child with autism is highlighted in this book. There is an incredible depth to this story, whose solid foundation comes from the fact that Laurens has a lot of personal experience with raising a child with autism. What I loved about this book was that it’s more than just a paranormal romance between Zoe and Matthias, who is the guardian angel of Zoe’s autistic sister Abria. There is much more substance to the book. It zooms deep into heart of the family’s issues revolving around Abria’s autism. The characteristics of autism, the details of what goes on inside this autistic household, the effects of autism on this family, as well as how individual family members unfortunately cope in negative ways (Zoe: partying/drinking and her brother Luke: drugs/pot), are all shown with such pure honesty and realism that you can’t help but be disheartened by what is going on. Especially how non-autistic children get unintentionally overlooked, since the autistic child requires so much care and attention. This story will definitely tug at your emotions. But on a brighter side, this story shows you the inspiring resilience of the human spirit when faced with difficulties and also teaches you that there is always room for personal growth - no matter how small. The family clings to hope and faith that they can eventually mend their broken family.

I also enjoyed the romantic aspect of the story. Aside from partying and drinking, spending time with Matthias is another escape from Zoe’s stressful life at home. So to her, being with Matthias is that much more heavenly when they are together. Their relationship develops organically in a very realistic way and over time. I loved how Matthias’ inner qualities - his intelligence and philosophical nature, being caring and protective - are qualities that Zoe is attracted to more than just his dreamy physical appearance, and this is the strong basis for them bonding so well. Their chemistry is easily visible. Heavenly establishes Zoe and Matthias’ love, but questions such as “Can they even be together?” and “What will the consequences be?” are some things that keep your interest as you are reading the story. As expected with many paranormal romances, there are obstacles to face in Heavenly as well. Who said loving a guardian angel was easy! The ending was a complete surprise, I didn’t see it coming. I am curious and excited about where the story will go from here. I will definitely be continuing the series to find out how the story unfolds. Penitence is book two and Absolution is the final book in the Heavenly series.

Honestly, there was hardly anything that I disliked about Heavenly, but if I had to nit-pick, Zoe reprimands her brother Luke for how he deals with his family issues, when she was coping in a negative way as well. But this just shows that she loves her brother and doesn’t want him to ruin his life, even if she is dealing with things in a bad way.

Heavenly is more of a slower paced book, which was fine because I was interested in what I was reading and it allowed me to really digest the information. I think what made me attached to Heavenly was the fact that I have autistic cousins, so I was able to really relate to this book. It was nice knowing that my aunt and uncle and I (when I visit) have witnessed and experienced the same kinds of issues that Abria’s family experiences in Heavenly. And it reaffirms that we are not alone in having to deal with the struggles that autism places on a family. I highly recommend this book, not only to people who are dealing with autism in their family, but to others who want to learn more about it. And for those who crave paranormal romances, while you may find this one to be a little more subtle and innocent, it is definitely more profound than many paranormal romances I have read, making it one to not be forgotten.


Check Out This Epic Contest



Beth Revis, the author of Across The Universe (Released 1/2011), is having an Epic Contest on her blog. There will be 100 prizes and there are lots of ARCs of Across The Universe included in the prizes as well as great swag. If you are interested, check out the contest on her blog by clicking HERE.

Deadline to enter her contest is December 20, 2010.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Review: Delirium by Lauren Oliver


Title: Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Publisher: HarperCollins (Feb 2011)
Hardcover: 448 pages
Reading Level: Young Adult
Source: NetGalley
ISBN-10: 0061726826
ISBN-13: 9780061726828
Rating: 3.5 Stars



SYNOPSIS (From Goodreads): Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn’t understand that once love -the deliria- blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the governments demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Holoway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy.

But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love.



MY THOUGHTS: Delirium was a good read, but not an amazing one. Delirium is the first book I’ve read by Lauren Oliver, so I wasn’t familiar with her writing style. While Oliver’s prose is unmistakably beautiful and her premise is very unique, I felt that her writing was heavy, lacking conciseness. As a result, the extensively detailed and descriptive nature of her writing slowed down the pace of the whole story tremendously. At times I found myself skimming through passages just to get to the main storyline with dialogue.

Delirium is a dystopian romance novel in which love is considered a disease, also known as amor deliria nervosa. So everyone is scheduled for the cure at the age of eighteen, but Lena tries to defy this system, falling in love at seventeen years old. The cure is supposed to create order, stability, and happiness. But the actual cure or the procedure isn’t explained in depth in the book. It was just glazed over, so it left me wanting more.

As for the “forbidden love story” between Lena and Alex, I never really felt a strong chemistry between the two of them. This was possibly due to Oliver’s overbearing world that she created in Portland with strict rules, set curfews, patrolling regulators(similar to police officers), and a fenced in city. Instead of making Alex and Lena’s love story more enticing because it was forbidden, this strict world took away from the beauty of that love. I felt that I wasn’t able to really appreciate the relationship between Alex and Lena, which was always in secret or hiding, with constant fears of being caught. They were never able to fully express their love for one another in public since love was forbidden. Otherwise they’d risk severe punishment, such as the crypts(jail) or execution. So because their love was prohibited, this was more of a cautionary tale.

What I liked about this story was that it stresses to fight for what you believe in, to fight for love, regardless of the consequences. I think this is a wonderful message. I loved how the Invalids - the people who live in the Wilds that defy the cure and love freely - are a strong example of this motto. I would probably be an Invalid as well had I lived in this world myself. Delirium is full of hope, persistence, and courage, but it was also heartbreaking at times. The ending left lots of unanswered questions from Lena’s past, so I never really got full closure. But overall, I liked Delirium. It was an inspiring story.