Saturday, June 30, 2012

Interview with J. F. Jenkins

Today we're talking with YA author, J. F. Jenkins. Check out her new release: Legend of the Touched.

1.       What do you do when you are not writing?
When I'm not writing, I'm either reading, sleeping, playing a game, or working. Those are the staples of my life. Sometimes I'm going on a random adventure when I can find one in town. Or sometimes I make up my own random adventures!
2.        When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?

I started writing in middle school. Basically it was a bunch of silly but teenage angst ridden fanfic. Over dramatic, but still very entertaining to read when I'm bored. I don't have as many of them as I used to sadly. My first book I wrote around then, and it's sitting and collecting dust until I feel brave enough to work on it again and make it good.

3.       Do you work with an outline, or just write?

I do a little bit of both. I have to know at least a little of where I'm going otherwise I get frustrated, then stuck, then quit.

4.       Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?

My books all have a little bit of real life experiences in them. One of my series is set in a town much like the one I grew up in. Some of the teachers even have the same names which I promise was on accident. A few of my characters relationship experiences are based loosely on my own as well. A college professor of mine once said that the best stories are the ones that are already true and the ones that you can't make up. I tend to agree with him there.

5.       What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?

In my latest book that I just finished (and I won't say which because it's a huge spoiler), my main character discovers that one of his future children has come back to the past to help him. Talk about a rather interesting plot twist to have thrown at you.

6.       What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?

I think the hardest ones, are the ones that are the most ridiculous. Like telling people that the only good reviews I have are from my friends and other silly accusations. As for the best compliment? Just anything good is the best to me. It's great to hear that people appreciate and look forward to all of your hard work.

7.       How does your writing process look? Consistent with regular amounts of word counts daily/weekly… or more sporadic with a gush of words all at once and then a dry bed for a while?

I like to try and write during the day time, in the afternoon, because that's when I'm most awake and coherent. I also try to write every day and just do a bit at a time. More often than not I can get a draft of my novel written within a month, then I can edit, and figure out my next step from there. If I take too long on writing a book, I lose drive and motivation pretty fast.

8.       What sort of Starbuck’s coffee would your characters order? Simple coffee, complicated soy-non-fat-extra-espresso-half-caff-nightmare? 

My rich sarcastic boy likes frapacino's. The kind with lots and lots of sugar and whipped cream. Kind of strange but he enjoys the rush. Though most of my characters would say they're too good for Starbucks. They prefer the mom and pop coffee over the corporate sludge. ;)

9.       I always like hearing about books other authors read. Or, what books they read when they were kids? What were some inspiring books?

I'm not sure any particular book is one that I would call inspiring. They all are in their own unique way. Each book has something a writer can draw off of and that's why I read everything I can get my hands on. Books I read growing up though were: Animorphs, Sweet Valley High, and anything by Tamora Pierce.

10.   When was that point in your life that you realized that being an author was no longer going to be just a dream but a career you were going to turn into reality?

When I had my acceptance letter for my manuscript being taken by a publisher. That was it right there. Once that happened,my dream had been realized.

BIO:  J.F. Jenkins lives in Minneapolis Minnesota with her husband, son, and two cats. She graduated from Bethel University in 2006 with a degree in Media Communication with minors in both writing and film. When she is not busy writing, she spends her free time playing games, reading, and spending time with her family.

Twitter: @jfjenkinstweets

Monday, June 25, 2012

Taken by Jerry B. Jenkins and Tim LaHaye

So, after much searching online, I could not find a synopsis for this book. Since it's such a large series of books, they have just a synopsis type deals describe the WHOLE series. We didn't want that. So, I'll tell you a little bit about it in my own words. :)

This is the first book in the Left Behind Kids series, there is also an adult version. It tells 4 stories of 4 very different children and how they are all also connected in someway. When disappearances start to happen across the globe, it has been realized that the Rapture has begun. With their family's gone, Judd, Ryan, Vicki, and Lionel must hang onto their faith to get them through the next 7 years, the Tribulation. If not, they could end up in hell, without their family's. Taken brings the 4 children together and kicks off the series on a good note. 

Rate: 3 out of 5 stars

Okay, I can't lie, I really enjoyed this book. It's definitely a great series to have your preteen/young teen children read. I was really interested in seeing how the authors would bring the 4 children together, how they were going to connect, and that was really cool! I give them kudos for that. I read this book mainly because my best friend has the whole series, and I figured I could just steal them all from her to read. :) And yes, I will finish to series, I've grown a connection to the characters. The story is interesting, creative.

What I didn't like was the writing. I felt as if it was very poor. I think that the authors have a great story line here, the book has great potential, but the writing. I just didn't like it. Yes, I realize this not the adult version, so, it has to be possible for younger children to read. I get that. But, even when discussing these books with my English teacher, who has read both the adult and children series, she agreed that both sets of books have very poor writing. Honestly, I think that's what knocked this book down to a three. The idea of the book is wonderful! I just think the writing needs a little bit of work

This book is perfect for maybe children who are part of a family of faith and don't quite understand, or need more explanation. It's very straight forward and could easily lay it out for children. I've started the second book, and it does kind of get more confusing, in that aspect. As I've talk to my best friend, she tells me as the books progress it gets even more confusing, because they bring in so many new characters that it's kinda hard to keep track of different peoples stories. But, as of the first book, I don't see that being a problem. Like I said, I plan on finishing the series, which I believe has 10 books, not positive. 

But, if you're looking for a good book for your children, and you feel comfortable with them reading about religion, the Rapture, and things of that nature, I recommend this book for you for your children. :) I think that if they are in their older teens, I could recommend the adult version more. Although I haven't read it, multiple people told me that I should have read that version instead, which I probably will.  It's a great read, and the story actually seems to move very quickly! 


Thursday, June 14, 2012

At What Cost Release!

Hey guys! Today is an awesome day, and no, not because it's the only day this week that I don't have a regents exam. Today is awesome because it's the book release of At What Cost. 

I'm excited about this for lots of reasons. A. The author is one of the most amazing people I have ever met. B. She used to be my middle school English teacher. C. After years of  her hard, hard work, she deserves the most amazing release day ever. D. I know deep in my heart that  I am going to love this book.

Here's the synopsis: During her junior year, sixteen-year-old Maggie Reynolds expected to shop for prom dresses not maternity clothes. Now, instead of studying for the SATs, she’s reading, What to Expect When You’re Expecting. Maggie’s ‘Mother Dearest’ lives in fear that Maggie will somehow taint the family name, so Maggie can’t turn to her for help. Meanwhile, her father is oblivious to anything but his 9-9 job. And her boyfriend, Justin? She’s pretty sure he’ll stay by her side. 

While Maggie wrestles with her options, Justin offers a solution: abortion. It would solve all her problems quickly, easily, and effectively. And her parents would never know, which means they won’t throw her out and cut her off like they’d always threatened if she got herself knocked up. But an easy decision becomes difficult when Maggie’s aunt discovers her secret and sets out on a mission to stop the abortion, putting a kink in Maggie’s plan. Now Maggie must decide which choice she can live with: abortion or teenage motherhood. Either way, it’ll be a tough road to travel.

Sounds awesome right? Show J. Andersen some love! 

You can like her on Facebook here.
Buy At What Cost here, or here or here
 follow here on Twitter here
Check out her website here

I believe that it's only available for e-readers as of right now, but, keep your eyes open for hard copies.

Thanks for stopping buy, make sure you follow Sleep. Eat. Read., and support J. Andersen.

And to my Mrs A. Congratulations. You deserve this more than anyone I know! ♥

Be kind to one another! 


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Dust Lands by Moira Young

Synopsis: Saba has spent her whole life in Silverlake, a dried-up wasteland ravaged by constant sandstorms. The Wrecker civilization has long been destroyed, leaving only landfills for Saba and her family to scavenge from. That's fine by her, as long as her beloved twin brother Lugh is around. But when a monster sandstorm arrives, along with four cloaked horsemen, Saba's world is shattered. Lugh is captured, and Saba embarks on an epic quest to get him back.
Suddenly thrown into the lawless, ugly reality of the world outside of desolate Silverlake, Saba is lost without Lugh to guide her. So perhaps the most surprising thing of all is what Saba learns about herself: she's a fierce fighter, an unbeatable survivor, and a cunning opponent. And she has the power to take down a corrupt society from the inside. Teamed up with a handsome daredevil named Jack and a gang of girl revolutionaries called the Free Hawks, Saba stages a showdown that will change the course of her own civilization.Blood Red Road has a searing pace, a poetically minimal writing style, violent action, and an epic love story. Moira Young is one of the most promising and startling new voices in teen fiction.
Rating:  3 out of 5
Honestly, the only reason that I read this book was because it was chosen to be read for our school book club. Any other day, I don't think that I would have picked it up off the shelves. But, I was a trooper and finished it anyway.
I'm not going to lie, the book was good. But, there were some things that really bothered me. Like the way they spoke. I understand not having perfect grammar, but I tried and tried to get used to the way they spoke, and still, at the end of the book, I hadn't gotten used to it. For me, that kinda took away from the book. And Saba. Her character REALLY annoyed me. I was hoping it would be something that I would get over, but I just didn't. She was soooo clingy to her brother. Overly clingy. I mean, I get it. If one of my siblings was taken away by some weird people I didn't know, I'd run after him too. I'd care. I'd be worried. But the way all she thought about was Lugh, how she totally pushed her little sister aside. She needed help too. She was suffering too. Saba just really really bothered me throughout the whole book. 
But, besides that, and a few other things, I really enjoyed this book. The plot was great. When I first started off, I was kinda concerned. This girl traveling days and days to try and find her brother. How was the author going to keep it interesting? But, she did it. Between cage fighting, and crazy worms, she made it work! 
Oh, and the relationship between Saba and Jack. It was adorable! Kinda child like. Like 12 year olds, they didn't really act their age, but it was cute! 
I think I'd have to say that my favorite character was Nero. Yes, the crow. He watched over all of them all the time. He was always there whenever they needed anything. To get a message sent, to be all lovey. He was just there, and I liked that about him. :)
When it comes down to it, this book definitely wasn't a 5 star book, and with all the things that really bugged me, I couldn't give it a 4. I'm also curious. I'm pretty sure that this is going to be a trilogy. I'm not sure what more she can do in two more books. I think I'd be up to reading them just to see what she does, how she can make it interesting.
In the end, it wasn't the plot that got me, that was GREAT. It was the characters. They really bugged me, and I couldn't really connect with any of them. When I'm reading a book, connecting with characters is a big thing for me, and this book lacked in that department.
But, if you like fighting, and cute couples, and fighter chicks, you might like this book!


Monday, June 11, 2012

Past Due-- Elizabeth Seckman

If you follow my other blog,, you may have already  read about my friend Elizabeth and her new book, Past Due. If not, check it out! 

I am SOOOOO excited to have Elizabeth Seckman with us today. And because she's such a good friend, I'm going to put her on BOTH of my blogs.  I met Elizabeth online through a mutual writing friend. She's been a wonderful encouragement in my own writing and today, I get to celebrate with her. You see, she just released her debut novel, PAST DUE. Today, she's answering a few questions for us so we can get to know her a little better.

Here's a little about PAST DUE:
The Blurb 

Jenna Austin is a young, widowed artist raising a teenage son on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. As the costs of living in paradise rise, she struggles to make ends meet. Life isn't easy, but she manages.

When her car breaks down, she trudges on. She assumes life can't get any more complicated than it is. But it can...

Chance brings her nose to well-formed chest with Tres Coulter, the handsome, affluent aid to Governor Hunt. Jenna and Tres share a history; they also share a love they thought long lost.  Their lives are about to be altered forever as the deceptions of the past transform the very foundation of the present. 

The price of happily ever after may be too steep to pay once the past comes due. 

1.      What do you do when you are not writing?
          --Laundry. And make food. What is it about kids thinking they have to be fed?

2.       When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?

         --I started my first book in 2001. Wrote four more, then in 2010 decided I better start husband threatened to make me get a real job if I didn't start trying to sell.

3. Do you work with an outline, or just write?

        --Outline. Sort of. I keep a notebook on each story. I keep all the story details in it. The synopsis, a timeline, character sketches, plot ideas, and research information. 

4.   Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?

          --Getting someone to take a chance on me. I got several requests, but the general consensus was...the book was good; but maybe not break-out novel worthy.

5.      Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?

         --They really moved the lighthouse. And Jenna is patterned after my sister, Cathy. This book was requested by her as a gift for her 25th wedding anniversary. She wanted a love story centered around the moving of the Cape Hatteras light in 1999. "Past Due" was the result.

6.   What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?

         -- The epilogue. I like to wrap things up completely. I guess I'm a writer with controlling tendencies.

7.      What project are you working on now?

         --I have several. I like to work on a few books at a time. It helps me not to be too close to a work. Setting it aside and working on something else gives me better perspective.

8. What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author?

        --Honestly...everyone has been really professional. I'm expecting my first heart break to come from a reviewer. What has been the best compliment? Any time a reader says they like it, that's what I'm writing for. If the reader is pleased, I'm a happy girl.

9. Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?  

        --Write. If at first you don't succeed, write, write again.

10. You write romance...Are there any love scenes? If so, what did your husband say when he read them?

        --LOL. First one he read he complained that it was lame and reflected poorly on him. Geesh...the pressure!

11. What's your writing environment like... couch/desk, dog at feet, handwrite/type?

        --Office chair and a desk. One dog at my feet, one behind the chair, and the cat keeps watch from the printer. Such loyal fans. 

12. What sort of Starbuck’s coffee would your characters order? Simple coffee, complicated soy-non-fat-extra-espresso-half-caff-deal?

        --Simple coffee.

And the bonus question...Milky Way or Snickers?

        --Snicker bars over Milky Ways. I even named a dog Snickers. She was a good dog. RIP sweet little mutt.

Be sure to check out Elizabeth's book here:

Barnes and Noble:

All Romance E-Books


World Castle

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Crazy Dangerous by Andrew Klavan

Hello all, 

Today we're taking a look at a new book by Andrew Klavan called Crazy Dangerous. If you don't have it on your TBR lists, get out your pens and write it down or type it in or list it on Goodreads or whatever it is you do for your TBRs. For today's post, we get to see a little more intimately into the life of the writer.

We writers all have a special place where we go to allow the muse to work. For some it's a quaint coffee shop, for others it may be a favorite chair. For Andrew Klavan, he's got himself an awesome workshop. :) 

Writing Place

I have a workshop in the backyard of my house.  It’s only a small shack but it has just enough room for me to do what I need to do:  sit and work, pace, lie down and read on the sofa from time to time.  I’ve got it decorated with framed jackets from some of my books.  And there’s a framed print of Caravaggio’s painting “The Inspiration of Saint Matthew,” with the angel whispering in St. Matthew’s ear while he sits writing at his table. Not that I compare myself to St. Matthew, but I do think of good writing as a matter of inspiration:  something that is breathed into you from somewhere else. I really like my workshop because I’m off by myself there, but I can always wander into the house and have lunch with my wife or get something from my bookshelves. It’s a good arrangement.

Award winning author, screenwriter and media commentator Andrew Klavan is the author of such internationally bestselling novels as True Crime, filmed by Clint Eastwood, and Don’t Say A Word, filmed starring Michael Douglas. Andrew has been nominated for the Mystery Writers of America’s Edgar Award five times and has won twice. His books have been translated around the world. His latest novel for adults, The Identity Man, has been praised by Nelson Demille as “fast paced, intelligent and thought-provoking; a great read!” Television and radio host Glenn Beck says “Andrew Klavan never disappoints…one of the best illustrations of the power of redemption that I’ve ever read.” His last novel Empire of Lies was about media bias in the age of terror, and topped’s thriller list. Andrew has also published a series of thrillers for young adults, The Homelanders, which follows a patriotic teenager’s battle against jihadists. The books have been optioned to be made into movies by Summit Entertainment, the team behind the mega-successful Twilight film series.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

New Member and Rochester Teen Book Festival!

       Hi guys! I'm Jordan, the newest Read Between the Lines member! Some of you may know me from my old blog, Sleep.Eat.Read. I noticed that since my swim season started, I stopped posting as frequently as I used to, so I, being the silly person I am, shut down the blog. Now, I regret it. Because I miss it. Tons! Luckily, I have connections to people like Mrs. A! (Okay, I really mean Jessie, the currently blogger for Read Between the Lines. BUT, she was my middle school English teacher first, so she will forever be Mrs. A to me. So when I say Mrs A, know that I am referring to her.:)) Anyway! Mrs A so kindly let me join Read Between the Lines, this way I can still be involved with the book blogging that I love! So, thanks Mrs A! :)
      So, before I talk about how amazing TBF was let me tell you a little bit about me. Hmm. Let's see. Well, I'm a almost senior in high school, I'm at the end of my junior year. I absolutely LOVE reading, maybe even more than breathing. I'm always reading a book, no matter how much time I have. (Which probably isn't a good thing when it comes to studying for tests and stuff) I even drove from New York, where I live,  to Texas just for a book fesitval. Which totally rocked, BTW. I may have also skipping Prom for the Rochester TBF. Again, totally rocked. What I REALLY want to do is get together with some of my other YA blogger friends and have a blog run by 4 or 5 of us. Hopefully that can happen soon. I'm the quiet one at school, but loud around people I'm comfortable with. Although I love TONS of authors, and TONS of books, there is something about Heather Brewer, A.S. King, and Ellen Hopkins. What they stand for. What they are passionate for. I connect, and it makes me love them all the more. Hmmm. What else. I'm always listening to music, and when I graduated, I  plan on going to school to become a school psychologist. Well, I think that's about it! Now, onto TBF!
       Okay! So! There is this AWESOME event that takes place at Nazareth College in Rochester, NY. Lets look at pictures.



         You can't tell me that doesn't look awesome. :) The event was an absolute blast. The day is broken up. In the morning, it starts with a parade of authors. Then, book sales. After that, an opening session, including all of the authors, and all the attendees. Then the authors split up. Some in groups, some by themselves. There are 3 sessions throughout the day, unless you choose to skip lunch, then you can attend 4. I, of course, skipped lunch. Who needs lunch when you can hang out with Laurie Halse Anderson?  
          I decided that I would go to the following sessions: Laurie Halse Anderson, A.S. King, Jenny Han and Melissa Walker, and Amy Holder and Gae Polisner. They all totally rocked! Laurie talking about her life, which is actually VERY motivational. Jenny Han and Melissa Walker played fun games, and Amy Holder and Gae Polisner and  talked about the road to publication. But, like I said before, there is something about A.S. King that I totally love. Besides being made of awesomeness, how passionate she is about what she does astounds me. She talked about self love, bullying, and packing suitcases. Not a REAL suitcase. Our own personal suitcase. She talked about not letting others pack our suitcases for us by what they say or do to us. It made me think twice. And the message REALLY stuck with me. Amy, thanks for that. It's definitely made me see things differently. Seriously. 
       All together, the even totally rocked, and I will be going next year, and the year after that, and the year after that. So, if you are at all local, the even is TOTALLY free, and it TOTALLY rocks, so you should go. I always have so much fun! (Thank you TBF twitter account for all the pictures. :))

      Well guys, along with the guest posts that and tours that Mrs A does, Ill should be posting things like book reviews, possibly tours, guest posts. Things of that sort, so make sure to stop by more often for things from both of us! 

                                          Happy Reading! :)