Friday, August 31, 2012

Author Interview: Indian Maidens Bust Loose by Vidya Samson

Indian Maidens Bust Loose by Vidya Samson

East and West may meet, but sometimes they shouldn't. That's what
Nisha Desai's conservative Hindu family thinks when a black-sheep
American aunt and her trouble-magnet teenage daughters come to visit
them in India. The guests are seen as an invading force, equipped
with weapons of mass corruption.
But to Nisha, the rich aunt looks like a one-woman foreign aid program
and a way to escape the horrible suitors her father keeps foisting on
her. She makes every effort to charm the visitors. This is not an
easy task, for the aunt is a New Age space case, and the cousins’
appetite for disasters threatens to level the city of Ahmedabad. In
short order, the demented cousins instigate an elopement, a public
protest, and a riot that gets Nisha thrown in jail.
It's only when Nisha's father adopts a pet cow and convinces half the
city it's the reincarnation of a Hindu deity that the two families are
united in a common goal: to bilk thousands. The result is Madison
Avenue's idea of a religious experience, which is not a controllable
Indian Maidens Bust Loose is a hilarious romp in the land of cows,
curry, and the Kama Sutra.
Vidya's site:

Blkosiner's Book Blog Giveaway
- copy, open internationally
-Fill out Rafflecopter to enter
-Ends on 9/7/12 11:59 pm EST
-Make sure to check out and comment on our guest post below for an extra entry
-If you win a review on your blog and/or amazon is appreciated but not required.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

interview with Blkosiner's Book Blog

 buy Indian Maidens Bust Loose here:

and can check out my blog here:

--The Twitter version: tell us about your book in 140 characters or less.

Chaos ensues when an American family visits their staid Indian relatives. A demolished wedding, a riot, and a magic cow scam are the result.

--How did you get the idea for the story?

I grew up in Bahrain, a developed country in the Middle East. When I returned to India, I experienced some culture shock. Years later I got the idea of writing about an American family who visits their relatives in India and the culture shock and culture clash that result.

--Which character would you most/least like to have dinner with?

Hard to say, since there are several funny characters in my novel that I would enjoy spending some time with. If I had to choose one, well, many people have told me that my heroine Nisha is one of the wittiest and most charming characters they’ve ever met

--What are some of your favorite books? Do you still have much time to read?

I love reading and manage to still make time to read. I love novels that have humor in them, such as Jane Austen’s novels, or Alexander McCall Smith’s No. 1 Detective Agency series.

--Do you have any other works in progress? Any teasers or release dates?

I already have another book out there on the Kindle, one I co-authored with James A. Thomas. It’s a political thriller titled The Baby Game. And look out for Bras, Boys, and Blunders coming out soon on the Kindle. It's a Young Adult romantic comedy set in the Middle East.

--If a fairy godmother told you your life could be like a favorite book for 24 hours, which book would you pick and why?

I’d pick Pride and Prejudice, since it’s my all-time favorite novel. It would be interesting to experience a day in Regency England. And to meet Mr. Darcy--yum!

--Do you need anything to write (music, coffee, etc)? Are there any songs on your playlist- songs that inspired you or that were playing while you wrote?

No, I don’t drink tea or coffee; just never acquired the taste for them. And I find music distracts me when I’m writing.

--If you could have any superpower what would you choose?

No question about that. I’d choose to have the power to heal all illness and disease. What a cool power that would be.

--Besides writing, what do you like to do in your free time?

I love to read, of course, and I enjoy going to the gym to try to put some muscles and weight on my skinny frame.

--Is there anything else you want to add or say to your readers?

Keep reading; there is no other pastime which enables you to learn so much, vicariously experience so much, and travel to some many different places and cultures for so little money.

Lightning round: this or that?
Vanilla or chocolate?

Edward or Jacob?

Hockey or soccer?
I play neither and know little about either. Being Indian, I should by rights be cricket mad, but somehow that insanity never descended upon me.

Ebook or paper?

Salty or sweet?
I dislike very salty food and don’t have much of a sweet tooth either.

Beach or mountains?

Phone call or email?
Phone call.

Early bird or night owl?
Night owl.

Dog or cat?

Messy or neat?

Ninjas or pirates?

Other featured giveaways on my blog (for the full list, check right upper sidebar)

Check out the other giveaways on the hop:

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Freebie Friday

This idea is borrowed from Jen Ryland at YA Romantics.

I will be giving away a book today. I probably won't do this every week, but I will at least for today.

-Leave a meaningful comment on my review of Butter or Choke and mention Freebie Friday or simply say FF.  (A good way is to answer the question)
I appreciate comments on this post of course, but those are entries.
-One winner gets pick of books below
-US only unless you can pay for shipping minus $3 which is what I pay for media mail
-Ends Thurs. 9/6 at 11:59 PM EST

What's for grabs:
ARC Defiance by Redwine
ARC of Beautiful Lies by Warman
ARC of Mercy by Lim
ARC of The Vision by Nadol

Please spread the word! Tweet, facebook, blog, etc.

Review: Choke by Diana Lopez

Choke by Diana Lopez
A heartfelt novel about the disturbing "choking game" trend -- and one girl's struggle for self-acceptance.
If she could -- if her parents would let her -- eighth-grader Windy would change everything about herself. She'd get highlights in her hair, a new wardrobe; she'd wear makeup. But nothing ever changes. The mean girls at school are still mean, and Windy's best friend Elena is still more interested in making up words than talking about boys.
And then one day, Windy gets the change she's been looking for. New girl Nina -- impossibly cool, confident, and not afraid of anyone -- starts hanging out with Windy! Nina even wants to be "breath sisters." Windy isn't sure what that means, exactly, but she knows she wants to find out. It sounds even better than a BFF.
Windy is right, at first. Being a breath sister gains her a whole new set of friends, girls she feels closer to and cooler with than anyone else. But her inclusion in the new crowd comes at a dangerous price. Windy wants to change everything about her life ... but is she really willing to give up everything in the process?
Diana's site:
Published July 1st 2012 by Point
Source: from Diana Lopez for review and giveaway

Blkosiner's Book Blog review

     I totally related with Windy. Not in the popular crowd, but not really completely on the outside crowd either. On that edge and wanting to change so many things about yourself. I also related with the feeling of doing things I didn't necessarily want to but it sounded cool because a new friend thought it was fun.
     I felt for Nina. She really stood up for Windy and Elena, which warmed me to her, but I could tell that something wasn't quite right with her. I just wondered what was brewing under the surface, and Diana Lopez peeled back her layers slowly. Obviously she has the problem with the choking game, but you have to wonder what her motivations were.
     Elana is the best friend that is awesome. She is so nerdy and that completely appeals to me, as does her loyalty and ability to forgive.
     I also really appreciated the idea of finding yourself and looking for what you love and how to incorporate that into your career. We got to see it with Windy and her relationship with her parents as well as in her own life, working at the nursing home with Mrs. Vargas. By the way, I appreciated  so much the well written and close family relationships as well as the presence of Mrs. Vargas, Windy's adopt a granny.
     Diana Lopez writes with fluidity that got me lost in Windy's story and feeling for her as I read about her self discovery and journey into the dangerous. She also handles such a difficult subject with finesse.
    The ending is heartbreaking but a wake up call, and I couldn't really expect much different, although she did surprise me some by the end results.
    Bottom line: Important subject, handled well. Great MG read that can appeal to older readers as well.

My question to you, my lovely readers:
Have you or anyone you know played the choking game?

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Review: Butter by Erin Jade Lange

Butter by Erin Jade Lange
A lonely obese boy everyone calls "Butter" is about to make history. He is going to eat himself to death-live on the Internet-and everyone is invited to watch. When he first makes the announcement online to his classmates, Butter expects pity, insults, and possibly sheer indifference. What he gets are morbid cheerleaders rallying around his deadly plan. Yet as their dark encouragement grows, it begins to feel a lot like popularity. And that feels good. But what happens when Butter reaches his suicide deadline? Can he live with the fallout if he doesn't go through with his plans? With a deft hand, E.J. Lange allows readers to identify with both the bullies and the bullied in this all-consuming look at one teen's battle with himself.
September 18th 2012 by Bloomsbury
Source: Netgalley
image and description from Goodreads
    This is such a unique premise. Morbid and shocking, but I couldn't look away. Butter had some major issues, his weight, the bullying, the way they almost seemed to see him as a mascot, as well as his self-esteem, but he is a likable narrator, and it felt seamless being in his head. 
     At first I couldn't see his appeal to Anna but as the story went on, I could understand that it didn't in fact come from nowhere or from purely physical aspects, even though that is certainly a factor. It broke my heart their different interactions.
    I really like how Butter didn't seem to want the readers pity, he wanted their respect and to look past the outside. It really was just telling a story. Yes its about obesity, yes it is about bullying and being bullied, yes it has a message in it, but it is honest, it is gritty and it is thankfully laced with hope even in the darkest moments.
    That said, this is a dark book. It deals with bullying, suicidal thoughts, and other mature themes with some gritty, disgusting scenes. But Erin writes it beautifully in a manner that I just could not stop reading until I found out what happened to Butter. 
    Bottom line: I've never read anything quite like it and I couldn't look away.

Find Erin:

My question to you, my lovely readers:
Would you watch something like this, like a train wreck you can't look away from?
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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday 8/29

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted over at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. I also feature books that may have already released, but I am anxiously waiting to read.

This week, I'm featuring:

Product Image 
by Sharon Flake

Award-winning author, Sharon G. Flake, presents a powerful novel about a teen boy and girl, each tackling disabilities.
Autumn and Adonis have nothing in common and everything in common. Autumn is outgoing and has lots of friends. Adonis is shy and not so eager to connect with people. But even with their differences, the two have one thing in common ? they’re each dealing with a handicap. For Autumn, who has a learning disability, reading is a painful struggle that makes it hard to focus in class. But as her school’s most aggressive team wrestler, Autumn can take down any problem. Adonis is confined to a wheelchair. He has no legs. He can’t walk or dance. But he’s a strong reader who loves books. Even so, Adonis has a secret he knows someone like Autumn can heal.
In time, Autumn and Adonis are forced to see that our greatest weaknesses can turn into the assets that forever change us and those we love.
Told in alternating voices, Takedown explores issues of self-discovery, friendship, and what it means to be different.
Release: Oct 1 2012
What are you waiting on?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Author Interview: Everything Left Unsaid by Jessica Davidson

Everything Left Unsaid
Everything Left Unsaid by Jessica Davidson
"I wait for him, the cold seeping through my clothes, until it finally dawns on me that he's not coming back. And I wonder why he chose her instead of me? Why he went looking for her when I was right there."
Tai and Juliet have been best friends forever – since they met at kindy and decided to get married in first grade.
They understand each other in the way that only best friends can.
They love music, beach walks, energy drinks and, they are slowly discovering, each other.
As they dream of adventures beyond the HSC – a future free of homework, curfews and parents, a life together – their plans are suddenly and dramatically derailed.
For Tai is sick.
And not everything you wish for can come true.
A poignant story of first love, hope, grief, family, and the twistedness of life.
image and description from

interview with Blkosiner's Book Blog

--The Twitter version: tell us about your book in 140 characters or less.
Friendship, senior year, beach walks, music, love, life and loss.
--How did you get the idea for the story?
I quite often find myself wondering things like- 'what would happen if...', or 'I wonder what it would be like if...', and sometimes one of those things becomes a story, with enough words to fill a book.
--Which character would you most/least like to have dinner with?
River and Hendrix- they were so much fun to write.
--Do you have any other works in progress? Any teasers or release dates?
I'm always writing, but at the moment I'm just enjoying practicing the craft [of writing].
--What book(s) is your book’s “cousin”? (Similar set-up or style)
'The Fault In Our Stars' by John Green has a similar theme, 'Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist' and 'Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List', both by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn are books with alternating POV narrative.
--What are some of your favorite books? Do you still have much time to read?
I agree with Stephen King who said that if you don't have the time to read, you don't have the time-or the tools- to write. I read a lot- a minimum of two or three books a month. I don't know if I could pick favourite books though- it seems a bit like choosing a favourite child!
--If a fairy godmother told you could be put into the world of your favorite book for 24 hours, which book would you pick and why?
It's not my favourite book- see above- but as a child I was always hoping to stumble across Enid Blyton's Faraway Tree.
--Do you need anything to write (music, coffee, etc)? Are there any songs on your playlist- songs that inspired you or that were playing while you wrote?
Usually just a laptop- though I do find myself making a playlist specifically for what I'm working on. The playlist for Everything Left Unsaid was a lot of fun- there was everything from Placebo to Taylor Swift. When I'm working to a deadline or I'm exceptionally tired (I have three small children), then caffeine is a necessity.

--If you could have any superpower what would you choose?
I've always thought invisibility would be fun.
--Besides writing, what do you like to do in your free time?
Well, I have three small children, so 'free time' doesn't really exist at the moment and even grocery shopping solo feels like a vacation. But I love wandering around in bookstores, and making bread.
--What is one thing you would tell your 15 year old self?
There's nothing wrong with you- there's a lot wrong with the world you live in.
--Is there anything else you want to add or say to your readers?

Lightning round: this or that?
Vanilla or chocolate? Chocolate.
Edward or Jacob? Hmm. Next?
Hockey or soccer? Soccer.
Ebook or paper? I like- and have- both.
Salty or sweet? I want both- in the form of salted caramel anything.
Beach or mountains? Beach.
Phone call or email? Email.
Early bird or night owl? Night owl.
Dog or cat? Cat.
Messy or neat? Neat.
Ninjas or pirates? If they look like Johnny Depp, then pirates.
My question to you, my lovely readers:
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Monday, August 27, 2012

Review: The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead

The Golden Lily (Bloodlines, #2)
The Golden Lily by Richelle Mead

The second thrilling installment in Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy spinoff series
Tough, brainy alchemist Sydney Sage and doe-eyed Moroi princess Jill Dragomir are in hiding at a human boarding school in the sunny, glamorous world of Palm Springs, California. The students--children of the wealthy and powerful--carry on with their lives in blissful ignorance, while Sydney, Jill, Eddie, and Adrian must do everything in their power to keep their secret safe. But with forbidden romances, unexpected spirit bonds, and the threat of Strigoi moving ever closer, hiding the truth is harder than anyone thought.
Populated with new faces as well as familiar ones, Richelle Mead's breathtaking Bloodlines series explores all the friendship, romance, battles, and betrayals that made the #1 New York Times bestselling Vampire Academy series so addictive. In this second book, the drama is hotter, the romances are steamier, and the stakes are even higher.
Published in US:  June 12th 2012
Source: bought
2nd in Bloodlines series, 1st is Bloodlines (read my review HERE), 3rd is The Indigo Spell and it releases Feb 12th 2013
Blkosiner's Book Blog review
In a few words: Awesome with a side of Adrian

   My biggest complaint about this book was the tortuous (to my heart) ending, and the lack of updates on my beloved Rose. And since Richelle has done this to me before, leaving me hanging and wanting so much more, I really expected it, though I have some awesome things to hold on to until Indigo Spell is released. As far as Rose, I know that this series isn't above her, it's about Sydney and Jill, along with smoking hot Adrian, but through Dimitri I hoped we might get a small guest appearance or something... But, that might just make it even harder to let go.
    So, notice that my biggest complaints were really praises for Richelle's writing? Yeah, safe to say that I totally enjoyed this book. Sydney is such a different main character from Rose, but she is still compelling, and it is such character growth to watch her struggle against what she has been taught her whole life and what she sees with her eyes, and feels with her heart. Are humans really capable of being as evil as vampires? Would you take a room of vamps that you trust over a group of humans that seem to be out to get you? Her answers were once crystal clear, but now, more and more she is changing.
    It is really hard to write the review without spoiling anything, but I loved to watch Sydney and Adrian. Getting the closer view into Adrian and what he is dealing with is exactly what I wanted at the end of Vampire Academy, and this series is delivering. His one-liners are fantastic, and we get to see a deeper and more intense side of him that VA only hinted at.
    I love Richelle Mead's young adult books (I haven't tried the adult ones yet, so can't speak for them), and she does not disappoint with this fast paced, page turning sequel and spin off.

My question to you, my lovely readers:
Have you ever been in a relationship when you wanted there to be sparks/chemistry but there wasn't?
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Saturday, August 25, 2012

Stacking the Shelves, IMMB, and The Sunday Post

Stacking the Shelves, IMMB, and The Sunday Post
Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews,  check it out and sign up  here

IMMB was started by Kristi at The Story Siren. Check it out and sign up here

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~ It's a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.

What I got:
from author for review and giveaway

source: netgalley
review coming soon

Everything Left Unsaid
Source: Pan MacMillan
Seeing Cinderella
source: trade

Big batch of sent but not read, and not sure if I can. These are many authors who I've hosted or will in the future. These are from all different times and I've been meaning to post but haven't.
Power Within
Angela's Coven
World of Ryyah: Birth of the Half Elves
Tip of the Spear: U.S. Marine Light Armor in the Gulf War
Ugly to Start With

The Followers
Darkride (Darkride Chronicles, #1)
Turned (The Vampire Journals, #1)
She Speaks to Angels (AngelFire Chronicles, #1)

What are you reading? Any of my books new to you or have you read any of my books? If so, what did you think?
Also, feel free to link up your blog and mailbox post.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Review: Speechless by Hannah Harrington

Speechless by Hannah Harrington
Everyone knows that Chelsea Knot can't keep a secret
Until now. Because the last secret she shared turned her into a social outcast—and nearly got someone killed.
Now Chelsea has taken a vow of silence—to learn to keep her mouth shut, and to stop hurting anyone else. And if she thinks keeping secrets is hard, not speaking up when she's ignored, ridiculed and even attacked is worse.
But there's strength in silence, and in the new friends who are, shockingly, coming her way—people she never noticed before; a boy she might even fall for. If only her new friends can forgive what she's done. If only she can forgive herself.
Publishes in US: Aug 28th 2012
Source: netgalley
Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon | The Book Depository

Blkosiner's Book Blog review
    This is one of those books that leave you speechless. There was such character growth in Chelsea it was unbelievable, and the secondary cast of characters was amazing.
    I started out not really liking Chelsea, but I think that was the whole point. It was so hard to watch her make such bad choices, but then completely redeem herself by making a very hard one... One that ended up alienating her from her friends, who then turn to bullying her. She decides to take a vow of silence that changes her so much. I can't imagine the resolve it would take to go as long as her without speaking. But she made such an impact on me that when my husband or kids would talk to me after I was reading, I would stare at them and think that I wasn't supposed to be talking. Then I would remember it is Chelsea and not me... I was that engrossed.
    As for the secondary characters, there was the good and the evil, and both were done so well. Asha was so amazing. I loved her bubbliness and her willingness to befriend Chelsea. I loved watching their friendship grown and what Asha brought to the story.
     I loved the tight knit bunch at Rosie's the local diner, and how that quickly became essential to Chelsea's life now that she was cast out of her circle of friends. The relationships with Sam and Andy the friends and boyfriend of Noah, the boy who was injured indirectly because of her but ultimately helped by Chelsea by her actions. I loved the interactions with Chelsea and Sam, and his bravery for opening himself up to her.
     As far as Kristen, she is the it girl, and every bit what I couldn't stand yet somehow found myself envying in high school. Beauty, circle of friends, yet could and would turn on them in an instant. I never knew just how cruel it went though because there were moments when I thought I saw the glimmer of hope for growth in her, and then I wasn't sure if it was dashed the second that she opened her mouth.
     This was a deep novel about speaking up for what's right, learning when to keep a secret, the power of friendship, bullying, self identity including being gay, and also featured involved parents and issues with the dad losing a job. Hannah Harrington weaved it all intricately, tactfully and powerfully into Speechless.
     The moments where Chelsea had "aha" moments about herself, her actions and when she finally stood up for what ultimately got her into the mess were so powerful.
     Bottom line: emotional story sprinkled with sarcasm, witty and light moments. Speechless has a touch of romance and characters that are dynamic and beautifully written.


Find Hannah:

My question to you, my lovely readers:
What's the longest you've gone without speaking? Was it easy or hard for you?
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