Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Twitter & Facebook Release Party for LM Preston

Saturday March 31st is the Facebook Jam PARTY!

Also kicking off with a Twitter release party on Tuesday March 27th, sponsored by #AAMBCBookParty so follow that hashtag on 3/27 if you want to party more :-D

I'm so excited to announce the details about the star studded guest that will be running the party at my Explorer X-Beta Facebook Release Party!

Here's the PARTEE - link to here the buzz:

Spotlight Author Guest Hosts Keeping the Party Rolling will be:
LM Preston to kick it off - Yours Truly

12pm-1pm (EST) - LM Preston party kickoff

1pm-2pm - Willow Cross

2pm-3pm - Kymberlee Burks-Miller

3pm-4pm - C. Lee McKenzie and Willow Cross

4pm-5pm - Ashley Nicole

6pm-7pm - Alivia Anders

7pm-8pm - Alicia 'Kat' Dillman

8pm-9pm -KaSonndra Leigh

9pm-10pm - Kristi M Worrell

10pm-11pm - Shevi Arnold

The Party Rundown!

11 hour marathon of Spotlight Authors, trivia games, food, itunes gift cards, list of freebie party favors, interactive chatting, singing, dancing, nonstop games, music, prizes and free stuff!! Author segments each hour that are themed and more giveaways!!!

Virtual Tour Schedule for Explorer X-Beta More Prizes More Fun:

April 8th: Mariah @ A Readers Adventure
April 8th: The Plot Thickens
9th: Angie @ My Four Monkeys
10th: Glenda @ Book Reader's Heaven
11th: Krystal @ Live To Read
12th: Nicole @ Purple Peguin Reviews
13th: Shelia @ Shelia Deeth
14th: Luke @ Luke Reviews
15th: Andrea @ So Many Books, So Little Time
16th: Stormi @ Books, Movies, Reviews. Oh my! (Guest Post Only)
17th: Dee @ Book Zone

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Hunger Games - Movie Review (3 Degrees)

Today I'm doing something different. I'm giving you the review of myself and my 3 kids ages ranging in (11-17yrs).

IMBd Description:
2hr 22min‎‎ - Rated PG-13‎‎ - Action/Adventure/Scifi/Fantasy‎
Director: Gary Ross - Cast: Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Jennifer Lawrence, Wes Bentley, Woody Harrelson
Sixteen year old Katniss Everdeen volunteers in her younger sister's place to enter the games, and is forced to rely upon her sharp instincts as well as the mentorship of drunken former victor Haymitch Abernathy when she's pitted against highly-trained Tributes who have prepared for these Games their entire lives. If she's ever to return home to District 12, Katniss must make impossible choices in the arena that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

MY 11yr old's Review:
She didnt' read the book so she was excited to go see the movie with her older brother and sister. We purchased tickets for my oldest son to take them since My husband and I went to the midnight showing the night before. We debated allowing her to see the movie but felt that for her it wasn't over the top violent and she would enjoy it considering the things she likes to read. Well, she told us that she cried twice in the movie. That she really felt connected to Rue, but not so much to Katniss - more so with Katniss' sister. She did say that she really didn't understand why they would be so cruel as to make kids kill each other.

MY 17yr Old's Review:
He didn't read the book either, but absolutely loved the movie. He thought the love scene was okay. He also felt that the fighting was 'wacked' meaning not that great. He felt it could have been more suspenseful while the games took place. He said he didn't get the hunted feeling like he would in a horror flick or a flick where the main character is being chased for their lives. He said some of the stuff seemed unbelievable. But he added saying it was still a good movie.

MY 14yr Old's Review:
She read the book and said that they did a good job. Overall she would have liked to see more of the other districts. But she had not one bad thing to say about the movie and absolutely loved it.

MY Review:
In some ways I agree with my son. I really had a hard time connecting to Katniss portrayed in the movie. Her pliat and struggle wasn't exactly shown as well as it could have been but then - I still really enjoyed the movie.

4 out of 5 stars is our vote (even though my 14yr gave it a 5 out of 5) and would I take my 11yr old to it again. Probably not, I didn't like seeing her cry. Even though she said she loved it.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

John Carter - Movie Review

I was so excited to go see this movie. I mean I was biting at the bit to see it ... uhum...

Fandango Blurb:
Edgar Rice Burroughs' classic tale of interplanetary adventure arrives on the big screen in this sweeping sci-fi spectacle marking the live-action debut of Oscar-winning director Andrew Stanton (Finding Nemo, WALL-E). Civil War veteran John Carter (Taylor Kitsch) was still haunted by the violence he witnessed on the battlefield when he inexplicably awoke on the distant planet of Barsoom (Mars). Upon learning that the inhabitants of Barsoom are bracing for a major conflict and that war appears inevitable, John finds out that love is a rare commodity on the Red Planet, and summons the courage to be the hero the Martians have been hoping for. Meanwhile, John falls under the spell of the enchanting Dejah Thoris (Lynn Collins), who struggles to suppress her compassion in a society known for its warlike ways. Willem Dafoe, Samantha Morton, and Mark Strong co-star. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

My Review:

After dragging my husband with me to the midnight showing of this movie, I have to say - I should have waited. It started off much different than I expected with the revealing of a will, a fortune to a guy who had to read a journal. As the guy was reading the journal you were took back in time where you meet John. It was just okay, kinda slow up til that point. Then he gets transported to ... Mars. Where there was like a fantasy / scifi feel to the movie. I really started to like John, but the love affair with him and the princess was just hoohum. The special effects were okay. And at that point this movie was only going to get a 2.5 planets out of 5. But the kicker came with the ending. A great twist that perked me up and made the rest of the movie worth it. So I bumped it up to a 3 planets out of 5.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Public School Library Conference (PLA) & My Book Booty!

I had a blast at the PLA last week. I signed over 80 books, gave away one of my new titles, met awesome librarians who invited me to their libraries and .....


The crowed at PLA wasn't as huge as the last ALA one I went to, but it was a nice size, not to hard to get to and had a wealth of vendors there that I wanted to check out.


Here's some of the great new titles represented - of which I got as a free ARC so look for the coming reviews.

The Chase by DiAnn Mills

Ursula Prism by Anna Block

172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad

The Lost Code by Kevin Emerson

All The Right Stuff by Walter Dean Myers

Tiger Lilly by Jodi Lynn Anderson

I know I'm going to love this one! I'm a Peter Pan Fan :-D

Heroes of Olympus by Philip Freemen

Code Of Silence by Tim Shoemaker

Insignia by S.J. Kincaid

Among The Ashes by Cheryl Denton

Reckless Heart (Amy Clipston Ya) by Amy Clipston

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


I did a recent middle school visit at a school and found that a child committed suicide in the school. Sadness. My heart broke for the school and the child. During my visit on the STOP THE VIOLENCE panel the kids asked all kinds of questions, but most of them focused around bullying.

This one question stuck firmly in my mind and made me remember something my grandmother used to tell me.


I used to hate when she reminded me of that considering I was a snarky teen who thought she knew it all. I had an opinion on everything and didn’t have a problem telling it the way I saw it – especially because people didn’t have a problem reminding me that I was “short”, a “four eyes”, a “square”, a “bastard”, had a uni-brow and much more.
Although it may seem innocent, teasing can stir the beginnings of bullying. I’ll take my own childhood example.
I was constantly teased for having a uni-brow and being fat. I mean, I was teased about this by my family, by friends, by teachers, heck even people I didn’t know.
My response usually was to just laugh it off. So those perpetrators thought that their teasing didn’t mean anything to me and that I Was In On Their Joke….but deep down inside, with all those people saying the same thing over and over to me – well, I started to think that what they said was true.
So, since so many people were ‘teasing’ me about my uni-brow and my weight, I started to hate those things about myself, because…THEY DIDN’T CHOSE TO SAY SOMETHING NICE – WHAT THEY SAID WAS MEAN, and even now as a writer – I have to fight the negativity and let only the positivity in. But at that time, I was a kid, and all any kid wants to do is – be accepted.
I figured I could change those things about myself, and the first thing I did was shave my eyebrows. Let me tell you – that didn’t go over too well. Everyone noticed and I got teased worst for it. I let them grow back.
My weight, well, I wasn’t fat, but I was chunky and at 14yrs old when I wanted a boyfriend like my friends had, I thought I could set off to drop some weight. Then the ‘teasing’ changed and people started giving me compliments, only thing was, I was losing weight to the point of near starvation, fainting, and anorexia. Thankfully I had a very aware grandmother, who stepped in, talked to me, explained to me how beautiful I was inside, that I had to eat and she made sure I did. She told me NO ONE WILL LOVE YOU IF YOU DON’T LOVE YOURSELF FIRST.
Wow – and she told me to LOOK IN THE MIRROR to REMIND MYSELF I AM LOVED. You know what, she did it with me that first day, and even more so after that, until one day – I started to do it for myself.
SO SHARE WITH ME HOW YOU HAVE OVERCOME BULLYING. How you don’t let negativity from nasty words affect you.

Here are other bloggers talking about Bullying:

Nicole Zoltack - www.NicoleZoltack.com
PK Hrezo - http://pk-hrezo.blogspot.com

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

How Parties Change from Teen To Adult

Parties! Partee! Partay!

Well after watching Project X which has got to be one of the craziest party experiences moviewise ever I started to realize that the older you get the more boring the parties get.


My first memory of my birthday party was when I was around 5 yrs old. My great-grandmother actually gave me a Surprise Birthday Party. At that age it was the coolest thing I could have asked for. She had everyone hide - even the adults. And when I got home and she told me she had nothing planned for my birthday, everyone jumped out of their hiding place. I don't even remember the gifts I got I only remember that great experience.


Wow, when I think back to my first house party as a teen - wowsa! I had a blast, got my first kiss, did my first slow dance and danced in rythm with my girlfriends to show off in front of the boys. And jumped up and down waiting for the next party.


Now I have to admit - out of all the partying I've done in my life -the parties I went to in college was sweat on the wall parties. Man oh Man did I have a blast. I danced all night long (I loved to dance) and we did the soul train line, I was able to drink a bit (never drank to the point of drunkeness since it just wasn't safe and I loved being in control of my actions) but I love to party. The best were at these makeshift clubs called 'go-go's' where street bands played. Also, you couldn't beat a good fraternity party either.


Now as an adult, I don't even want to go to a party. Why? THEY ARE BORING...all people do now is sit around and talk, drink, and maybe - just maybe I can get someone to play cards. No more dance contest, sweat on the wall, singing outloud to the songs or break dancing.

See why I write YA - I want to relive the party. If you do then go check out the party movie of the year, PROJECT X


Saturday, March 10, 2012

THE LORAX - Movie Review

Who doesn't love a good Dr. Seuss Story?

From the creators of Despicable Me and the imagination of Dr. Seuss comes the feature Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, an adaptation of the classic tale of a forest creature who shares the enduring power of hope. The animated adventure follows the journey of a 12-year-old as he searches for the one thing that will enable him to win the affection of the girl of his dreams. To find it he must discover the story of the Lorax, the grumpy yet charming creature who fights to protect his world.

I must say I love the Dr. Seuss books but wasn't so impressed with past adaptions of his books. However, my kids really wanted to see this. Of course it was sold out on opening weekend. So we went this weekend instead. This movie had a good mix of adult humor hidden in with kid funnies and great colors. The characters were likeable, the movie had a great meaning, and it was actually fun for the entire family. I didn't waste the money seeing this in 3D because the colors were so vivid I knew we could enjoy it. I took a family vote and we give it 5 out of 5 Lorax because well there were some slow parts (from the mouth of my 8yr old). It had a great meaning.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Myth On Book Trends

So what's 'IN' this year as far as books? Dystopian? Faeries? Steampunk? Vampires? Werewolves?

Who knows these things? And the truth is ... somethings will always be a trend.


So when you go to the bookstores and find out that all the new books for the year has come in and now your beloved Vampire sagas are all gone does that means you are in love with a dying trend.

Bookstores and the public is fed what publishers produce. So if you have a hankering for something that is no longer NEW or FRESH you won't be finding that special book at the bookstore anymore.


I always wondered if the large publisher houses did research on book sale numbers, economic analysis on which books do well during what times, and serious pow-wows to determine based on actual data what they should be selling the next year. Like if Large pub 'A' is kicking out all of these teen Vampire series, Large pub 'B' should kick out Mermaid series. From where I'm standing ... they all seem to be grappling for the same things.


Personally after surveying my friends who are avid readers, my daughters friends who are insatiable readers guess what?! THEY PRETTY MUCH READ THE SAME STORIES - OVER AND OVER AGAIN.

For some reason my son is hooked on Zombie books - but get this they have to have certain characteristics or the kid won't even pick it up. The MC has to be male and a teen. There has to be a large death count, lots of action and a smidgen of a relationship with a girl.

My daughter's bent is a little wider, she likes faeries, sea creatures, magic - but no vampires or werewolves unless they don't show there bad side. She has to have a bit of romance in each, and doesn't like the love triangle thing at all. And you know what - she will read other things I give her, review it fairly but admit that it's not her thing.


Maybe all this means is that if you want to write/publish those Vampire books - you will have an audience for them and any other trend that you 'think' is dead. Because readers are creatures of habit. So maybe it's not about chasing that next big wave in publishing ... maybe it's about FINDING YOUR AUDIENCE.


Monday, March 5, 2012

The Pack - Retribution COVER REVEAL!!!!

I'm super duper excited! I know the book doesn't come out until September, but we are taking reviewers names now and it will be a featured book at the BEA this summer!

I have no words for the awesome work my artist created!

Here's the cover reveal of The Pack-Retribution

Tagline: Revenge has met its match, and she's got someone worth fighting for.

Revenge doesn't have a name, but has chosen a victim - Shamira. But she's never been the type to lie down and let someone hurt her family or her friends. In order to find the mastermind behind the threat to all she cares about, she must give up the one person who's found his way into her guarded heart, Valens.

Valens refuses to back off easily , and neither will Shamira's friends. They join forces with her in order to deal with a new enemy who seeks to kill everyone in Shamira's life that dared save the missing kids on Mars.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Odd Places I've Bought Books

I've purchased books in many different places.

Of course there's the typical Book Store. But where have you purchased books that you never would have thought to buy them.

Here's my list:

- Street Vendors: Lots of big cities have street vendors that thrive and have regular customers. I purchased many of my books as a teen from street vendors because there weren't many bookstores around.

- Out of someone's car: Yes I did. On a trip to NY and visiting the city, I purchased music and books out our people cars and .... big cloth bags that they dragged around.

- In Hawaii at Waipo Valley: Just before we went on a hike.

- A bar: I purchased a book that was themed in the bar. I purchased it since it was a murder mystery.

- The Flea Market: I visited the flea market in Baltimore and wanted to read some Urban books and boy they had a lot. So, I purchased quite a few. Also, I recently took my cousin there while she visited and she purchased some from there too!

- On The Subway - Metro Center, in DC: I started talking to some lady on the train and just so happened she was an author. I asked her if she had any of her books and she did. I bought it right there on the train.


Friday, March 2, 2012

Good Deeds - Movie Review

What can I say, I wanted to end the month of February with a Love story and an African American one since it was Black History Month.


I was pleasantly surprised with this one.

A successful, wealthy businessman, Wesley Deeds (Tyler Perry) has always done what’s expected of him, whether it’s assuming the helm of his father’s company, tolerating his brother’s misbehavior at the office or planning to marry his beautiful but restless fiancĂ©e, Natalie (Gabrielle Union). But Wesley is jolted out of his predictable routine when he meets Lindsey (Thandie Newton), a down-on-her-luck single mother who works on the cleaning crew in his office building. When he offers to help her get back on her feet, the chance encounter with someone so far outside his usual circle ignites something in Wesley. This one good deed may finally spark his courage to exchange the life that’s expected of him for the life he’s always really wanted.


I love a good love story. I also love seeing movies with people that look like me in them. That's why I suppose the Tyler Perry Movies have always entertained me. But this one I was skeptical about. Mainly because my husband didn't like Tyler's last two movies. My DH felt that Mr. Perry was a man basher and simply refused to accompany me and my friends to another one of his movies - OH, but this time I tricked him into going to this one. And you know what...we both loved it. Sure Thandie Newton didn't quite nail that ghetto slang, but we fell in love with her character anyway. Not only that, but there were 2 parts where we actually teared up. Lastly, it was tastefully done without raunchy cheating that you see in most movies. I truly enjoyed this one. It was rather mainstream also. I give it a 4 out of 4 stars (and so did my husband).