Thursday, March 31, 2011

Hoppin' away

Book Blogger Hop

Question of the Week: "Since today is April Fool's Day in the USA, what is the best prank you have ever played on someone OR that someone has played on you?"

I haven't pranked anyone but I have had many played on me. The worst(for me) was one my boyfriend played. We had went out and got burgers from this burger joint in my city. We came home to eat and I ran back to the kitchen to get napkins. When I came back and unwrapped my burger there was a big bite taken out of it. I was furious. I thought some worker at the burger place did it. My boyfriend came with me back to the burger place right then and there, and I was ready to let someone have it, only to to have my boyfriend admit right when we were waiting to see the manager that he did it. I was HUMILIATED but I couldn't help but laugh.

Question of the Week: What is the book that you really don't want to admit to loving??

Hmm...This is a tough question...I don't know if I can answer it but I will say this. I love Nicholas Sparks, and I've had a lot of people give me flack for that because they don't like him. Which is fine by me lol. Nicholas Sparks was one of the authors that reinvented by love for reading, and he is on my auto-buy list. Which means I will by his newest book without even knowing what it's about.
Happy hoping everyone! Be sure to check out my giveaways(up above). And leave your blog link in the comments so I can hop back. :)

Stay by Deb Caletti

Young Adult: 352 Pages
Release Date: April 5th, 2011
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Series: none
Source: Finished copy from publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon
Find the author: Website|Facebook

My Rating

Clara’s relationship with Christian is intense from the start, and like nothing she’s ever experienced before. But what starts as devotion quickly becomes obsession, and it’s almost too late before Clara realizes how far gone Christian is—and what he’s willing to do to make her stay.

Now Clara has left the city—and Christian—behind. No one back home has any idea where she is, but she still struggles to shake off her fear. She knows Christian won’t let her go that easily, and that no matter how far she runs, it may not be far enough....

"Will-It's supposed to be a good trait, a more determined and persistent version of determination and persistence. But Will and obsession-they sit right next to each other. They pretend to be strangers and all the while meet secretly at midnight" Clara Oates

This is my first Deb Caletti book. I don't know why it took me so long to read one because I have heard so many great things about her. I was worried that my expectations were going to be too high. I was unsure if she was going to live up to the hype that I have heard so much about...I was NOT disappointed! In fact my expectations were far exceeded.

Deb Caletti penned a gripping, honest YA novel about what happens when a relationship goes bad. When those warning signs and red flags are missed...or ignored. She never sugar-coated one moment. The story is fictional, but it is so real. Deb Caletti exposes the raw truth in Stay. First off, we are introduced to Clara, who is speaking directly to us, sharing her terrifying story with us. I liked Clara immediately, and throughout the book, I grew to care for her. She is a character that a lot of girls could relate to and is a very down to earth character. I had to remind myself numerous times that I was reading a fictional book, not a memoir.

Then we are introduced to Christian, who at first, seems perfectly normal. But then his true colours begin to reveal themselves. I loved how the book was written that whenever Clara discovered something for the first time, we did as well. She took us there with her and shared the entire moment.

The setting that the author created was perfect. I could see the sunny beach, and almost smell the sea. But I knew any moment that those gray clouds may come rolling in. She built and delivered the suspense flawlessly. I absolutely loved Stay. I think that it is a book all teenage girls should read, not to scare them from being in relationships but to assure them to listen to their intuition and follow their heart.

Final thought: Deb Caletti delivered a fantastic read. Stay is about Self-growth and discovery. It is about facing the ghosts of your past, and the ones to come in the future.

What I liked: Loved the beautiful, simple cover.
What I disliked: The scary truths that lay in this book. But thankful she is shedding light on it in a young adult novel.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Q&A with Lisa Schroeder!

Lisa Schroeder is a native Oregonian which means her childhood summers were spent camping, fishing, reading books (of course!) and playing in the sun, when it finally came out. These days, Lisa spends her summers, and every other part of the year, sharing all of the wonderful things Oregon has to offer with her husband and two sons. She is the author of numerous books for kids and teens, including CHASING BROOKLYN (Simon Pulse, 2010) and IT'S RAINING CUPCAKES (Aladdin, 2010).

Q and A with Lisa Schroeder

1. What is 'A day in the life of Lisa Schroeder' like?

Oh boy. I think my answer to this might put people to sleep. After I get up, I check e-mail and try to do a blog post if there's time. I get my kids off to school, and then it's some social networking time, answering e-mails, and if I'm in the middle of a draft or the middle of revisions, I tear myself away from twitter and I dive into that for a couple of hours before lunch. After lunch, I try to do more, but I'm such a morning person, that my energy level starts to fade. My kids come home and then I take my dog for a walk if it's not raining. I make dinner, help with homework, and hopefully get in a little TV time after that. The days fly by, but I love being a full-time author! It's only been a year and a few months that I've been doing the author thing full-time.

The longer I do this, the more non-writing things there are to do - like interviews, guest blog posts, mailing postcards and bookmarks out, answering fan mail, etc. etc. Some days it feels like I'm trying to juggle 25 balls in the air. It's fun, but challenging too.

2. Do you have any writing must haves (ie music, food, etc)

If a song inspires a book, which it has, I will listen to that song a lot. Sometimes I need music while writing, other times I need silence to really focus. It just depends. I drink a lot of tea while I'm writing - I find it soothing, and writing can be hard some days, so I need all of the soothing I can get.

3. Writing in verse is so unique and refreshing, is their a specific reason you chose that as a writing style for some of your work?

I wrote a number of novels *not* in verse before I wrote I HEART YOU, YOU HAUNT ME. None of those books were published. So when I started writing I HEART YOU, it wanted to come out in this sparse, poetic way and it scared me. I thought, I'm not a poet! But I went with it, because I liked what I had. And maybe I had discovered what I was supposed to be writing? I mean, how do we know until we try, right? What I've come to realize after writing four books this way now, is that for me, it's all about the atmosphere. Verse creates an atmosphere for the story that I can't get with regular prose. And it allows me to get at the emotional core of the story too. Some people write beautiful prose - paragraphs and paragraphs of prose that you want to wrap yourself in. I'm not one of those authors. Sometimes I envy that, but I think to be happy in this business, you have to figure out where your strengths lie and embrace them. For a long time, I thought of my books as weird. I don't think that way anymore. Yes, they are different, but different isn't necessarily a bad thing.

4. Finish this sentence "I can't live without..."

I can't live without books. Right now I literally have stacks and stacks of books waiting to be read. I can't imagine my life without them. I have learned how to be a writer by being a reader.

5. If you could only recommend one book to me, what would it be?

FLASH BURNOUT by my dear friend, L.K. Madigan. I miss her everyday. But I still have her book here and will share it with people as often as I can.

6. What books are you looking forward to reading this year?

Wow, so many! All of the books on the Contemps site ( because I'm a contemporary YA lover at heart. BETWEEN SHADES OF GRAY by Ruta Sepetys came out last week, and I've been dying to read it for a long time. A NEED SO BEAUTIFUL by Suzanne Young, which comes out in June. DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE by Laini Taylor. IMAGINARY GIRLS by Nova Ren Suma. Too many books, too little time!

Thank you so much, Lisa! It was a pleasure having you!

Thanks so much for having me!

Where to find Lisa:Website | Facebook | Twitter

Buy her books: Amazon Book Depository

Monday, March 28, 2011

Author Spotlight: C.C Hunter and a giveaway!

The Crazy Bookworm is thrilled to welcome C.C. Hunter, author of the upcoming book that releases tomorrow, Born at Midnight!

First off, Thank you so much for stopping by The Crazy Bookworm!

C.C.: And thank you for having me visit you and talk about my new book. I’m so excited to be here. Nothing makes me happier than talking about writing and my characters. In so many ways, they are like my children. I’m so proud of them.

What inspired you to write Born at Midnight and to make it into a series?

C.C.: Good question. I can’t speak for all writers but for me, I get my inspiration from either life experiences or the world around me – articles I’ve read, conversations I’ve overheard in restaurants (yes, I’ve been known to eavesdrop LOL) even a particularly beautiful sunset. But that’s not really how Born at Midnight and the Shadow Falls series were born.

I had written a humorous paranormal novel before I sold my funny romantic suspense novels to Dorchester. While my paranormal novel didn’t sell, it captured the attention of several editors. One of them was Rose Hilliard at St. Martin’s Press. After my fifth novel was published, she contacted my agent, asking if I would consider writing a Young Adult paranormal series. When I said I’d love to give it a shot, she planted the seed of an idea in my mind with two words: “paranormal camp.” Now, that’s all she said but it was enough. I took those two words, “paranormal camp,” and went to work. I created my own supernatural world, my own characters, and my own plot. And I’ve had a blast doing it, too.

Tell us a little about Born at Midnight/Shadow Falls road to publication

C.C.: Well, after I got those two words “paranormal camp,” I got busy reading and studying every Young Adult paranormal novel I could get my hands on. The YA market is vast and there are so many different types and tones of novels, especially in paranormal. I wanted to figure out what made some of these novel big hits with readers. And I wanted to make sure that the story I plotted would suit the genre, as well as my writing voice. My light romantic suspense novels written under my real name Christie Craig are filled with humor, but can be very suspenseful, even serious in places, and have likeable characters with heart. Anyway, I came up a plot and a varied cast of characters who would fit into my new supernatural world, and would best suit my writing voice. While my YA Shadow Falls series is a bit darker than my adult romance novels, my humor and character depth both play a big part in penning these books.

If you could invite any 5 people to dinner (alive or dead, real or fiction) who would you invite?

C.C.: Okay, this is a hard one. The first person I’d like to invite to dinner is my Great Grandmother Plummer Bronson. . She passed away when I was young and there are so many things I’d love to ask her. She was considered a healer and people actually came to her house to have their fortunes read. Plus, she was just one great lady.

Next, I’d invite Oprah Winfrey. And I bet I’m not the only one, either. Oprah is such an inspiration to women everywhere. She came from humble beginnings but just look at all she’s accomplished. I really admire her. You know, I almost appeared on her show several years ago. I had written one of the lead essays in the Chicken Soup for the Mother’s Soul 2, and I was on the list to appear, but got bumped when someone else more famous showed up. And, yep, I might just ask her if she remembered bumping me during our dinner party. LOL.

My third and fourth are fictional characters. I’d invite Bella from the Twilight series, mostly so I could ask her what the heck she was thinking when she chose Edward over Jacob. LOL. Okay, seriously, I get why she did it but Jacob was one hot werewolf!

Then, I’d choose Holiday, the camp leader at Shadow Falls. I like Holiday and I know she has some secrets she’s not sharing with me. Maybe I could loosen her tongue over dinner.

And finally, I’d invite Andrew W. Marlowe. He’s the creator of Castle, one of my favorite TV shows. I’m inviting him for purely selfish reasons – I want to know when Beckett and Castle are getting together. LOL.

Where is your favourite writing place and do you have any must haves?(music, snacks, etc)

C.C.: I have an office, which is really more of a study. I have floor to ceiling bookshelves filled with my favorite books, a comfy sofa and a couple of arm chairs, in addition to my desk and chair. I have French doors that lead outside to the patio and backyard, so when I find myself at a loss for inspiration, I can usually find it by taking a peak out those doors.

As for my “must haves” for writing, I’d say peace and quiet. When I get pulled into a story, I block out the rest of the world and usually lose all track of time. (Just ask my son and husband about their overcooked dinners. LOL.) Normally, I don’t listen to music when I write. It’s not that I don’t enjoy music – I do. But when I’m writing, I can’t listen to music with lyrics because it’s just too distracting for me.

If you could be a supernatural creature, what would you be?

C.C.: You know, I get asked this one a lot but no matter how many times I’m asked it, it’s still hard for me to answer. I’ve made some changes to the mythology for many of my supernaturals in the Shadow Falls series. Some of them, like vampires, shapeshifters, and werewolves, can be scary but once you get to know them as characters, they all have some good qualities, which is what makes it so hard for me to choose. Kylie told Holiday once that if she had a choice, she would be either a witch or Fae. I think I might have to agree with her. Drinking blood doesn’t appeal, and morphing into a werewolf isn’t something that I’m totally up to doing.

Are you working on anything now? If so, can you share a little something about it?

C.C.: Well, I’m working on Taken at Dusk, Book 3 of the Shadow Falls series. I can’t give away too many details but the book picks up where Book 2, Awake at Dawn, leaves off. Kylie’s journey of self-discovery continues; she’s learning a lot about herself and the two guys who are vying for her attention. A new spirit is haunting her and it’s just as puzzling as the last two. However, Kylie will blown away when discovers who this ghosts is. Kylie also finds out she’s not the only one who’s dying to uncover her secrets. The danger is ratcheted up, and Kylie may be forced to face the death of someone she has grown to care about. I really hate killing people. I mean I’m from the Deep South, and by nature, we’re just polite people, but killing is part of my job as a writer. In Book Two, I knocked off a few people, but I didn’t like them too much, so it wasn’t that hard. LOL. Okay, seriously, they were minor characters and I hadn't bonded with them yet. This one, if it happens the way I foresee it, will have me sobbing for weeks.

Thank you so much, C.C! It was a pleasure having you here!

C.C.: Thank you for having me. Stop by my website and blog often. I also just wanted to remind your readers that on March 15, Turned At Dark, a short story introducing the Shadow Falls series, will be available at On March 29, the same release day as Born at Midnight, my short story Turned At Dark will be released as an ebook on all sites, such as BN, Borders, Sony, Googlebooks, IBookstore


C.C. Hunter grew up in Alabama, where she caught lightning bugs, ran barefoot, and regularly rescued potential princes, in the form of Alabama bullfrogs, from her brothers. Today, she's still fascinated with lightning bugs, mostly wears shoes, but has turned her focus to rescuing mammals. She now lives in Texas with her four rescued cats, one dog, and a prince of a husband, who for the record, is so not a frog. When she's not writing, she's reading, spending time with her family, or is shooting things-with a camera, not a gun.

C.C. Hunter is a pseudonym. Her real name is Christie Craig and she also writes humorous romantic suspense romance novels for Grand Central.


C.C.Hunter has been kind enough to giveaway a copy of Born at Midnight to one lucky winner. Open internationally. She will also giveaway a swag package to one lucky U.S Winner. Just fill out this FORM and a winner will be chosen using on April 4th, 2011. Good luck!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

In My Mailbox

Books Mentioned
13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Linger by Maggie Stiefvater(Rak-Thank you Pamela!!)
Lost Voices by Sarah Porter
Contest/author chat prize from Linda Francis Lee(Note my crazy dogs playing during that part)

What's in your mailbox?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Hoppin' time!

Book Blogger Hop

Question of the Week: "If you could physically put yourself into a book or series…which one would it be and why?"

I just recently read 'Wake Unto me"(Review below) and absolutly LOVED it! It was so magical and suspensful. The romance was page-turning. It would be awesome to physical live what Caitlyn experienced in that book. I wouldn't might entering the 'Twilight' world either. It wouldn't be too bad meeting Edward, Jacob or Dr. Cullen ;)

Question of the Week: Inspired by the inane twitter trend of #100factsaboutme, give us five BOOK RELATED silly facts about you.
I had a lot of fun taking part in that on Twitter! Now, 5 book related facts about me:

1. I loved reading as a child but once I hit about middle school I stopped for some reason. The Twilight Saga and Nicholas Sparks re-invented my love for reading

2. I love reading at the gym. The gym is my "Me" time and reading just adds to the experience. Makes the elliptical a lot more enjoyable!

3. Sometimes I like the movie more than the book. For example, The Time Traveler's wife and The Notebook. I loved both books but I liked the movie more.

4. I'm ashamed to admit this but I haven't read The Mortal Instruments series or The Harry Potter series but I do own both sets. *embarassed*

5. I have no idea how many books are waiting to be read from my bookshelf. I'm to nervous to count, I feel bad for all of them:( But they will get read!!

Happy hopping bookworms! Be sure to leave your link so I can visit back. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wake Unto Me by Lisa Cach

Young Adult: 304 pages
Release date: March 31st, 2011
Series: None
Source: Review copy from publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon
Find the author: Website|Twitter

My Rating

A haunted castle, a handsome young man dead for four hundred years, one heck of a scary portrait of a witch, and a treasure hunt -- not to mention a princess for a roommate! -- all await 15 year old American girl Caitlyn Monahan when she earns a scholarship to a French boarding school. There are secrets behind the stone walls of Chateau de la Fortune, buried for...moreA haunted castle, a handsome young man dead for four hundred years, one heck of a scary portrait of a witch, and a treasure hunt -- not to mention a princess for a roommate! -- all await 15 year old American girl Caitlyn Monahan when she earns a scholarship to a French boarding school.

There are secrets behind the stone walls of Chateau de la Fortune, buried for centuries along with the mystery of who killed Raphael, the charming ghost who visits Caitlyn at night. But as Caitlyn unearths the history of the castle, nothing scares her as badly as the secret she learns about herself, and the reason she was chosen to come to the Fortune School.

And nothing breaks her heart as badly as falling in love with a dead guy

"Some people say that love itself is the most powerful magic"

I waited a while before writing this review because I was hoping the words would come to me. I could easily say that this book was amazing, or incredible but those seem so simple compared to what the book really was. This book was...Stunning. It soared way beyond the expectations I had for it. There are so many characteristics about this book that I loved.

The Storyline: I obviously loved the book because of it's unique storyline, but Lisa Cach created something so much more than a simple story. She created such a beautiful world that it was nearly impossible to stop reading. You are whisped away back and forth between 16th century and 21st century France. The more Caitlyn learns and discovers of the castle and her surroundings, the more the book comes alive.

Characters: It has been a long time since I came across such incredibly vivid characters in a book. Each character had something to offer to the story and the book itself. It would have been incomplete had just one character been missing. It is hard to believe that Caitlyn, Raphael and the Chateau de la Fortune are fictional. They were so vibrant and alive. I immediately fell in love with Caitlyn and Raphael, it is hard to put into words what kind of characters they are. They are truly special, and will stay with you long after you've finished reading the book.

It's magical. The author created an enchanting, ghostly world, while taking you on a intense hunt for treasure. My mind was running wild trying to figure out the clues and mystery myself. Each time I would think I had figured it out, a twist came out of nowhere and took me in a completely different direction. The most magical aspect of this book though is the love story. It is one of the most romantic love story's I have come across in a long time. Falling in love with a man in your dreams? Sounds hard to pull off but the author did it flawlessly. Every flutter and heart ache Caitlyn felt, you could feel too. Like I said before, Raphael was unlike any character I have read, his words leaped off the pages. Caitlyn and Raphael's love was beautiful and tragic all at once.

I could go on and on about this book but I won't. There is so much wonderful in Wake Unto Me that it should be discovered by you while reading it. This is a must, must read! I will definitely be re-reading it again in the future. Chateau de la Fortune is a place I want to revisit.

What I liked: Hmm...Everything!
What I disliked: That it ended. I can only hope that there will be another book, so I can read more about Caitlyn, Raphael and the Sisterhood of Fortuna.

Author Spotlight: Sandra Edwards

The Crazy Bookworm is thrilled to welcome back Sandra Edwards, who has stopped by The Crazy Bookworm blog a few times to share with us her latest projects. Enjoy!

Tell us 5 things about yourself

First, let me say thanks for having me back again. It’s always a pleasure. Now...5 things about me...I’m a Yankees fan. My favorite color is pink. I love rock-n-roll. I’m fascinated by reality TV. I love old black and white movies.

Describe yourself in 3 words

Control-freak. Honest (sometimes to a fault). Dependable.

If you could invite any 5 people(dead or alive, fact or fiction) to dinner, who would you invite?

My grandparents. Rod Serling. And probably a couple of my characters (which can change on a given day), right now I’d say Ava Valentine and Dexter Stone (from my upcoming book Staked).

What is a "day in the life" of Sandra Edwards like?

Honestly...? Very boring. lol. Sometimes I feel like I’m chained to a computer all day and half the night trying to get things done (promo, writing, socializing. lol)

Finish this sentence "I can't live without..."


I've read 3 of your books: Incredible Dreams, Crazy for you and Broken Wings and have loved them all! They have such great and unique storylines. Where do you get your inspiration from?

I get inspiration from just about anything. I can hear a song and become inspired (Crazy For You), see something on TV or an intriguing photo with an unusual story and the seeds are planted (Incredible Dreams), and of course my own imagination (Broken Wings came from an old college project).

Do you have any writing must haves(i.e music, snacks, etc)

I have a bowl of “trail mix” (walnuts, Raisinets, and white chocolate chips) at my side at all times. I always need noise (aside from my hubby trying to talk to me about motors and car parts and such. lol) in the background. It can be the TV if I’m not doing anything to specific or creative. If I’m creating the actual story, I prefer my iPod.

If you could bring life to one of your book characters and spend the day with them, who would you chose and why? My pick is a toss up between Jack Baker or Roxanne Simon

It’s hard to choose just one of my characters; I find them all interesting. Yours are great choices, though. I’d love to chat with both of them. I could definitely spend a day with Roxanne Simon to hear her thoughts on life and what makes her tick. I’d also love to hear some of Jack’s stories about the 1940s.

Are any of your characters based on real-life people?

No. To date, all my characters were born solely from my imagination.

Aside from reading and writing what do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

I love watching movies and playing video games (mainly RPGs).

If you could go back into time and live in any era, where would you go?

I’ve always had a fascination with the 1940s. I’d go there.

Do you have any guilty pleasures? if so, do share :)

Junk food. lol

Are you working on anything now? Can you share a little?

I am working on two WIPs right now. The first is a paranormal romance I’ve titled Staked (the first book in the Time Brokers series). It’s a story about a time traveling bounty hunter. It’s already received kudos by finaling in and winning a few RWA-sponsored unpublished contests.

The second is a sweet contemporary romance titled Saving Katya. It’s a reunion story about a pair of Olympic skating champions who haven’t seen each other in eight years.

Crazy Quiz

Favourite food?

I do have a soft spot for lobster.

Favourite all time movie?

It’s a toss up between Casablanca and From Here to Eternity.

Favourite book as a child?

My favorite “childhood” book I read during my teen years called A Long Way Home From Troy by Donia W. Mills.

As a child, What did you want to be when you grew up?

Since about the age of 12, I’ve always wanted to be a writer.

If you could become any animal, what would you be?

Definitely a pampered cat.

Thank you so much, Sandra. It is always a pleasure!

Visit Sandra's official website to learn more about her wonderful books!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Between Shades of Gray Release!

 Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys releases March 22nd, 2011. This book is a rare gem. I also had the pleasure of interviewing the author. So to honour the book release, here is a reposting of my review, and the link to my interview with Ruta Sepetys. Enjoy!

Pages: 352

Publisher: Philomel Books

Release Date: March 22, 2011

Source:Review copy from author

Buy the Book: Amazon

My Rating:

Lina is just like any other fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl in 1941. She paints, she draws, she gets crushes on boys. Until one night when Soviet officers barge into her home, tearing her family from the comfortable life they've known. Separated from her father, forced onto a crowded and dirty train car, Lina, her mother, and her young brother slowly make their way north, crossing the Arctic Circle, to a work camp in the coldest reaches of Siberia. Here they are forced, under Stalin's orders, to dig for beets and fight for their lives under the cruelest of conditions.

Lina finds solace in her art, meticulously—and at great risk—documenting events by drawing, hoping these messages will make their way to her father's prison camp to let him know they are still alive. It is a long and harrowing journey, spanning years and covering 6,500 miles, but it is through incredible strength, love, and hope that Lina ultimately survives. Between Shades of Gray is a novel that will steal your breath and capture your heart. (Goodreads)

Between Shades of Gray is a heartbreaking, hauntingly beautiful story. Written like a memoir the book chronicles the Vilkas family who are removed from their home in Lithuania during Stalin's Reign and are eventually taken to a camp in Siberia. I have read quite a few books that surround the Holocaust but this is the first I have read that spoke of Stalin's reign. Like Lina, the author created a vivid picture, the pages come alive with the horror and the pain, but also with the hope and the love.  Sepetys told the story like it really was, never sugarcoating a moment. The book is heart-wrenching, you almost have to resist peeling your eyes away from the pages because the horror described is difficult to read at times. The book may be based on fictional characters but the terror that is described in this book are real. People lived the same lives that Lina shared with us and endured.

Ruta Sepetys created such a riveting and memorable cast of characters. Each tells their own story and you begin to care for and fall in love with all of them. This book is not just a book about the horror that occurred during Stalin and Hitlers time. It is about a mothers love, the distance she will go to protect her children. It is about a family's love and loyalty. Between Shades of Gray is a story about survival. Pain, heartache,  hope and strength. If I had to sum this book up in one word I would say this book is...Krasivaya.

Ruta Sepetys discusses her upcoming novel, Between Shades of Gray from Penguin Young Readers Group on Vimeo.

Giveaway: Emily and Einstein by Linda Francis Lee

He was a man who didn’t deserve a second chance. But he needed one…
Emily and her husband Sandy Portman seemed to live a gracious if busy life in an old-world, Upper West Side apartment in the famous Dakota building. But one night on the way to meet Emily, Sandy dies in a tragic accident. The funeral isn't even over before Emily learns she is on the verge of being evicted from their apartment. But worse than the possibility of losing her home, Emily is stunned when she discovers that her marriage was made up of lies.
Suddenly Emily is forced on a journey to find out who her husband really was . . . all the while feeling that somehow he isn't really gone. Angry, hurt, and sometimes betrayed by loving memories of the man she lost, Emily finds comfort in a scruffy dog named Einstein. But is Einstein's seemingly odd determination that she save herself enough to make Emily confront her own past? Can he help her find a future—even after she meets a new man?

Linda Francis Lee is a native Texan now calling New York City home. Linda's writing career began when her article "There Is No Finish Line" was published in her university's quarterly magazine. But she got sidetracked from writing when she started teaching probability and statistics. Later she found her way back to writing, and the Atlanta Journal Constitution called her breakout novel, Blue Waltz, "absolutely stunning."

Now Linda is the author of nineteen books that are published in sixteen countries around the world, in languages as diverse as Japanese and Russian. Two of her most recent novels are in development for feature films, and she is in the process of co-developing a television series set in her beloved Texas. Lee's next novel, her twentieth, is a large work of fiction about the redemption of a man, and will be released in 2011.

When Linda isn't writing, she loves to run in Central Park and spend time with her husband, family, and friends. She loves to hear from readers. You can reach her at

I am giving away an arc copy of Emily and Einstein to one lucky winner.

To Enter:
*Must be 13 years of age or older
*Canada and US only. Sorry!
*Fill out this FORM
*Giveaway ends April 4th, 2011.

Good Luck!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Hoppin' away/Follow Friday

Happy Friday everyone! It looks like Spring is slowing approaching Canada because we have had some great weather here in Ontario*knocks on wood*. I hope all of you had a great week!

Book Blogger Hop

Question of the Week: "Do you read only one book at a time, or do you have several going at once?"

I usually only read one book at a time, but sometimes I'll read two. I can't go beyond that because I'll mix up characters and plots. I also like to be connected with my book, and reading to many prevents me from doing that.

Question of the Week: How did you come up with your blog name?

I had 3 blog names in total. First one was Cathy's Corner, then second was 'The Blah Blah Blog' then finally 'The Crazy Bookworm'. I decided on The Crazy Bookworm because it I'm a bookworm, and I'm Crazy about books :)

Have an awesome weekend everyone, and happy hopping! Be sure to leave your blog links in the comments so I can visit back :)

Author Guest blogger-Marian Perera

Dogs of a different color

I was wondering what to write for a guest blog, so I looked at the front page of the Crazy Bookworm blog for inspiration. And the post about dogs grabbed my attention at once. Pets have a way of doing that for me.

Despite liking dogs, I’ve never actually had one. I’ve lived in small apartments all my life, with no one around who could walk the dog if I was sick, or busy writing. A cat will be an option later when I own my own place. But I did have an aquarium when I lived in the States, and my favorite fish was a betta – a Siamese fighting fish.

He had sapphire scales and evil little red eyes. He terrorized all the other fish, and if I ever put my fingertips into the tank he would try to bite them. I called him Demon and adored him. He always got dibs on brine shrimp when I bought them.

Maybe it’s Demon – long since gone to the great fish tank in the sky – who made me interested in the even more exotic pets of speculative fiction.

These animals can be companions, sounding boards and guardians like their real-life counterparts, but they can also have dark sides. In Harlan Ellison’s short story “A Boy And His Dog”, Blood is an intelligent and telepathic but amoral dog, genetically engineered and struggling to survive in a post-apocalyptic world. He’s loyal to the boy of the title, but he’s by no means a cuddly compliant Lassie.

Slightly closer to that particular archetype are the orphaned direwolf cubs in George R. R. Martin’s novel A Game of Thrones. A family finds a dead she-wolf in the snow, and beside her are five cubs, one cub for each legitimate child in the family. But the children’s bastard half-brother finds a sixth cub some distance away – a silent, red-eyed albino which might have been driven off by the others.

And the direwolves, each raised by a different child, grow up to be reflections of their owners in many ways.

Physically altered dogs may be unnerving, but it would be even more intriguing to change their behavior and social structure – things we tend to take for granted even when a dog looks a little different from the norm. In our world, some dogs are a sign of status. In another world, that could still be the case, but it would be decided by the dogs, who choose their household or master.

Or what about personal protection dogs who keep their owners in line? Rather like having a gun that will shoot anyone attacking you – but will also target you if you happen to shoplift.

My novel Before the Storm is set in a land which combines Victorian England with medieval fantasy. The hero’s cousin Susanna has an unfeminine interest in business and trade, and needs more than just a chaperone as she goes about her daily work. So she gets a dog instead – and that dog is from another land named Lunacy. As a result, it’s got two heads and is called a maddog, but is devoted to her.

She just needs to feed it twice as much.

 Marian Perera studies medical laboratory technology (final year of college!) when she isn’t writing. Her first novel, a romantic fantasy called Before the Storm, was just released in paperback, and she blogs about writing, publication and every step between the two at Flights of Fantasy.

Links :

To my website :

To my blog :

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Strings Attached by Judy Blundell

Young Adult: 320 Pages
Published: March 1st, 2011
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Series: None
Source: Finished copy from publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon

My Rating

When Kit Corrigan arrives in New York City, she doesn't have much. She's fled from her family in Providence, Rhode Island, and she's broken off her tempestuous relationship with a boy named Billy, who's enlisted in the army.

The city doesn't exactly welcome her with open arms. She gets a bit part as a chorus girl in a Broadway show, but she knows that's not going to last very long. She needs help--and then it comes, from an unexpected source.

Nate Benedict is Billy's father. He's also a lawyer involved in the mob. He makes Kit a deal--he'll give her an apartment and introduce her to a new crowd. All she has to do is keep him informed about Billy . . . and maybe do him a favor every now and then.

"Things made sense here because nobody cared--If you were hot, you chopped off you shirtsleeves; if you were tired, you drank a pot of coffee; if your heart was broken, you went out that night and sang the pieces of your heart out onstage. Easy" -Kit Corrigan

The premise of Strings Attached does not do the book justice. This book packed a lot of punch! It definitely surprised me, I was not expecting to enjoy this book as much as I did. There was a twist and turn around every corner, making me fly through the pages. It was nearly impossible for me to put down the book because I just had to know what was going to happen next.

The author did a fantastic job at creating her characters. Each was so diverse, with powerful personalities. Kit was a wonderful character to read. I immediately fell in love with her. She was a strong, stubborn 17 year old but she was vulnerable underneath her tough exterior. Delia was another unique character, but that's all I will say, she is to be discovered on your own. From Jamie, to Da, From Billy to Nate. The entire character cast was entertaining and one-of-a-kind.

Aside from the mystery and suspense Strings Attached also has a lot of heart. Inside this book is a great love story, not just between Billy and Kit, but between Da and his wife and the love of a family. The author knew just how to explain the feeling of love. The "stop in your tracks, and lose your breath" kind of feeling. The knowing of doing anything you have to, to protect the ones you love. The beauty and pain of the love stories in this book definitely had me reaching for a tissue(or a few).

I love being transported back in time, and this book did just that. Taking you to 1950 New York, during the Korean war. I could almost hear the Jazzy notes of the club's music and the taps of the dancing girl's shoes. It was a fantastically written book, that took you on a journey through time. Strings Attached is packed with heart and soul, with mystery and page-turning suspense in between. It is a beautiful story, one that shouldn't be missed.

What I loved: The 1950's era. The love story

What I disliked: The premise. It is just enough to perk someones interest but this book deserves the attention and I think the premise may hold it back a little.

Waiting on Wednesday-The Beginning of After

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking The Spine

Sixteen-year-old Laurel's world changes instantly when her parents and brother are killed in a terrible car accident. Behind the wheel is the father of her bad-boy neighbor, David Kaufman, whose mother is also killed. In the aftermath of the tragedy, Laurel navigates a new reality in which she and her best friend grow apart, boys may or may not be approaching her out of pity, overpowering memories lurk everywhere, and Mr. Kaufman is comatose but still very much alive. Through it all, there is David, who swoops in and out of Laurel's life and to whom she finds herself attracted against her better judgment. She will forever be connected to him by their mutual loss, a connection that will change them both in unexpected ways.

Fans of emotionally true and heartfelt stories, such as Sarah Dessen's THE TRUTH ABOUT FOREVER and IF I STAY by Gayle Forman, will fall in love with Jennifer Castle’s incandescent debut novel...a heart wrenching, surprisingly witty testament to how drastically life can change in the span of a single moment
Releases September 6th, 2011 by HarperTeen

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Book Chat anyone?

Hey fellow bookworms!

I hope this Tuesday is treating everyone well. Finally some great weather has hit Ontario, Canada! The sun is shinning and the snow is melting!

As bloggers and readers of blogs we all know how fun it is to talk books. The excited feeling we get, and the adding to our ever-growing "To read" pile, but I would love to chat to you guys in real time. I was wanting to host a book chat on my blog. Open to everyone. I think it would be a great idea to get everyone together and just blab about books. The good, the bad, and the ugly. Sound fun? I don't have a date set because I want to make sure I can give everyone enough notice. I just wanted to get the idea out to you and see what you guys thought about it. Any and all feedback is welcome!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Author Spotlight-Ruta Sepetys author of Between Shades of Gray

I'm thrilled to welcome Ruta Sepetys, author of Between Shades of Gray. She was kind enough to stop by The Crazy Bookworm and answer a few questions for me. Enjoy!

CB: I loved that the book was written like a memoir. Why did you chose to write it from 15 year old Lina's point of view?

RS: Thank you!

Adolescence can be a difficult and intense time. Many of the survivors I met were young when they were deported and I was very affected by the things they told me they experienced during their teen years in Siberia. I hoped that making the main character a young girl might add additional dimension to the story.

CB: In your video you discuss your meetings with survivors, visiting an actual train car that was used for deportations and visiting a soviet prison. What was it like meeting with the survivors and visiting those places?

RS: Meeting and interviewing survivors was an incredible experience. But it was also difficult. It was very painful for some of the survivors to discuss traumas that had been dormant for so long. My heart absolutely ached as they wept, telling me their stories. Because the Baltics were Soviet occupied until 1990 - for over fifty years - people were not able to speak about what happened. Speaking of deportation or the gulags meant immediate arrest or imprisonment. Survivors learned to keep painful secrets and lived in fear for over fifty years. I stood in one of the train cars that was used for deportation and I was shocked at how small it was. Somehow I imagined it would be larger. And to think that so many people were packed into those cars for so long, it was horrific.

CB: Your father is a Lithuanian refugee, how did he feel about Between Shades of Gray? Has he read it?

RS: Yes, my father fled from Stalin when he was a young boy. He's read the book and is so pleased that the story is being told. I think what pleases him most is the fact that publishers around the world have also picked up the book.

CB: Describe the feeling you had when you first found out Between Shades of Gray was going to be published

RS: I can't even characterize it as a 'feeling.' It was a reaction of such unfiltered joy and disbelief that I just started screaming and crying, and I mean really screaming. I'm surprised the neighbors didn't call the police. My poor agent had to listen to me sobbing and shrieking over the phone for a long time.

CB: What was the hardest/best part of writing this book?

RS: The hardest parts were researching and also living in the emotions of fear and loss as I was writing the book.

I cried a lot while working on the initial drafts. The best part about writing the book was working with my editor and publisher. The revisions suggested by my editor, Tamra Tuller, had an enormous impact on the book. She's so insightful and it was thrilling for me to work with her on the manuscript. I was actually sad when the revision process ended!

CB: Were any characters based or loosely based on the survivors you met?

RS: The characters are fictional, however, many situations they experience were things actually told to me by survivors.

CB: What gave you that final push to write Between Shades of Gray and tell the story that so few knew?

RS: I had written a humorous middle-grade novel and was looking for an agent. I sent the finished middle-grade manuscript to Steven Malk at Writers House. For some reason, at the last minute, I enclosed ten pages of Between Shades of Gray in the envelope. Steven Malk called me and said that although the middle-grade novel was interesting, he felt the voice in Between Shades of Gray was more authentic and that was what I should focus on. So I changed gears and wrote the book. I owe so much to Steve Malk for that insight and advice!

CB: Would you like to see your book come to the big screen?

RS: Oh, that would be a dream for any writer. But I think historical fiction - especially one with a young protagonist - might be a tough sell in Hollywood.

CB: Between Shades of Gray is a very powerful book. It describes in great detail the horrors that people had to endure. Did it ever become difficult at times to write certain parts?

RS: Yes, I think my heart cracked into a million pieces several times while writing the book. The experience left me with a reverence for life and also pondering questions such as, "Who Survives?" and "What does it take to bear the unbearable?"

CB: What are you hoping your readers take away from Between Shades of Gray?

RS: I hope that readers might think about the real people who endured the Soviet terror. I wrote the book, but the story belongs to the people who experienced it. And many other countries, like Poland, suffered terribly under Stalin. I hope that readers might be inclined to research that era a bit, so the other countries that were affected might also be recognized. Joseph Stalin killed over 20 million people during his reign of terror.

CB: If you had to describe Between Shades of Gray in 3 words, what would they be?

RS: Hope. Love. Freedom.

CB: Are you working on anything now? Can you share anything about it?

RS: My publisher, Philomel, just bought my next book. It's historical fiction and takes place in the US during the 1950's. I'm so excited to work with them on it!

CB: Is there anything you would like to say to your readers?

RS: I feel so incredibly grateful to each and every person who reads Between Shades of Gray. Perhaps together we can finally bring this story out of the dark.

CB: Thank you so much Ruta for taking the time to answer my questions! The Crazy Bookworm is thrilled to have you. You are welcome back anytime!

RS: Thank you so much for having me, Cathy!!

Born and raised in Michigan, Ruta Sepetys is the daughter of a Lithuanian refugee. The nations of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia disappeared from maps in 1941 and did not reappear until 1990. As this is a story seldom told, Ruta wanted to give a voice to the hundreds of thousands of people who lost their lives during Stalin's cleansing of the Baltic region.

Ruta lives with her family in Tennessee. Between Shades of Gray is her first novel.

To read my review on Between Shades of Gray click HERE

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Weekly Wrap Up/Between Shades of Gray Interview tomorrow

I hope everyone had a great weekend! Here is everything that went on this week at The Crazy Bookworm

Dark Mirror by M.J Putney

Author Spotlight:Felicia Rogers
Interview with a Blogger-iLive iLaugh iLove Books

There hasn't been an In My Mailbox post this week or last week because I haven't been feeling the greatest but I have received some great books that I do want to share with you. Next week I will be back to doing In My Mailbox!

*Ruta Sepetys, author of the wonderful book Between Shades of Gray is stopping by The Crazy Bookworm tomorrow for an interview! I am thrilled to have her. I hope you stop by to check out the interview. Between Shades of Gray releases March 22, 2011...I strongly recommend it! Here is my review

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Blog hoppin'/Follow Friday

I can't believe it is already friday! This week went by very fast for me, I hope it did the same for you :)

Book Blogger Hop

Question of the Week: "If I gave you £50 (or $80) and sent you into a bookshop right now, what would be in your basket when you finally staggered to the till?"

Oh gosh!  My wishlist grows more and more everyday but here are a few that have been on there for a while: 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher, Crank by Ellen Hopkins, Across the Universe by Beth Revis, 13 to life by Delany Shannon, Looking for Alaska by John Green and Hungar by Jackie Kessler. I'm sure after hopping around today my wishlist is going to grow to a frightening size!

Question of the Week Q. Just like Ashley said (love it) "Ashley the girl..." who are You the Boy/Girl, instead of You the Blogger?
I loved the way Ashley put that question, too! As 'the girl': My name is Cathy, I'm 23 years old and I am a huge animal lover. I own 3 dogs and run my own Pet Spa. I did a post about them on Monday. I also have an amazing boyfriend that I've been with for 5 years(He is my Edward...Yes, I said that!) Aside from reading I love movies. I recite movie lines way to much(I've been told). One of my favourite things to do is walk, it may sound boring but it clears my mind, rejuvenates me, and it gives me that quality time with myself. I also enjoy music of all kinds but I'm a big lover of oldies music, especially the 50's-60's music era.

I hope all of you have a wonderful weekend! Be sure to check out my 500 followers giveaway on my right sidebar. The giveaway ends today(Friday) at 11:59 pm. So today is your last chance to enter. Good luck!

Happy Hopping!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Dark Mirror by M.J Putney

Young Adult: 306 Pages
Published: March 1, 2011
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Series: Dark Passage(Book 1)
Source: Finished copy from publisher
Buy the Book:Amazon
Find the author: Website/Facebook

My Rating

Lady Victoria Mansfield, youngest daughter of the earl and countess of Fairmount, is destined for a charmed life. Soon she will be presented during the London season, where she can choose a mate worthy of her status.
Yet Tory has a shameful secret—a secret so powerful that, if exposed, it could strip her of her position and disgrace her family forever. Tory’s blood is tainted . . . by magic.

When a shocking accident forces Tory to demonstrate her despised skill, the secret she’s fought so hard to hide is revealed for all to see. She is immediately exiled to Lackland Abbey, a reform school for young men and women in her position. There she will learn to suppress her deplorable talents and maybe, if she’s one of the lucky ones, be able to return to society.

But Tory’s life is about to change forever. All that she’s ever known or considered important will be challenged. What lies ahead is only the beginning of a strange and wonderful journey into a world where destiny and magic come together, where true love and friendship find her, and where courage and strength of character are the only things that determine a young girl’s worth.

M.J Putney penned a refreshing, magical book. Creating a lovely reading experience. You are transported back and forth through time, visiting the 1800's and then the beginning of WWII.

Lady Victoria Mansfield(Tory) is the daughter of an earl. She discovers that she is a mage, her blood tainted with magic, but instead of being accepted by her family, she is punished, and immediately sent to Lackland Abbey. The boarding school is a place where other magelings are sent by their families to be cured of their magical abilities, you are taught how to suppress your magic.

The book started off a little slow for me, but that didn't last. The book picks up quickly. The author did a fantastic job at the character development. Each character is introduced smoothly, not overwhelming you with unnecessary descriptions and details. Tory is a very strong character. She is not bossy or arrogant but she will stand her ground firmly. Putney did a great job at keeping the writing style true to the era. The words flowed nicely and the language was classic and simple. The book is geared for young adults but I believe any age could enjoy this book.

The premise for this book definitely peeked my interest but I was still unsure about what I would find inside the pages. The book definitely surprised me. I knew I would enjoy it, but I didn't know how much I was actually going to like it. It's magically adventurous storyline, charming characters and simple writing style made it easy for me to love the book. I looked forward to relaxing on the couch, and being whisked away into the world M.J Putney created for us. It was a great getaway! This book has so much to offer, time travel, romance, magic and adventure...What's not to enjoy? I would definitely recommend this book, there is something for everyone. Can't wait for book 2 in the series The Dark Passage coming in September 2011.

What I loved: The charming and likable characters. The enjoyable reading experience
What I disliked: The slow-paced beginning. Didn't really pick up for me until she arrived at Lackland Abbey.

Author Felicia Rogers-Guest Blogger

Felicia Rogers, born and raised in the southern part of the United States, is a Christian wife and mother. She is just your average, ordinary woman, with a side interest-- writing. For eleven years, every waking moment of her life was consumed with changing diapers, wiping noses, and kissing scrapes. But now that her children have grown and she enjoys a modicum of freedom, in addition to taking care of hearth and home, she writes! She enjoys adding a flavor of realism and humor to her all too real romance stories. For what is love without a little laughter?

How I became an author is an interesting story. Sometimes I think it happened by chance, by accident, completely without my help. Although if I calculate all the hours I’ve invested into my writing, I realize that’s not exactly true.

About two years ago, I told my cousin I wanted to write a romance novel. I’ve read romances in every genre for years. At one time about five years ago, I’d tried to write one, but it never made it past the editing stage. When I informed my cousin of my plan, she encouraged me. Said it would be a joint effort. I didn’t know at the time she would become unable to help me and I would be completely on my own.

I went on to finish that manuscript and I sent it out to several agents and publishers but it never made it past the first stages. Disgruntled and looking for new ways to get my work out there, I stumbled across a forum post for Solstice Publishing’s Celebrate the Season contest. I was waiting to hear from a publisher on my manuscript at the time so I set all my other ideas aside and started work on a submission. In two weeks I had written a novella of about 13,000 words and submitted it for the contest. Now all I had to do was cross my fingers and wait.

Within a few weeks I discovered I was one of five winners and my novella was going to be published! This gave me renewed hope that anything was possible.

Currently my published works include, The Holiday Truce (included in the Celebrate the Season book), The Key (paranormal romance novel), and The Perfect Rose (a contemporary novella).

Here is a little more about each of my published works.

The Holiday Truce

Lena Phillips and Frank Campbell are headed to Colorado for a professional conference. The couple is far from being friends, however, and bickering is one of their favorite pastimes. On their way, they find themselves on a country road and, because of their arguing, they have an accident. They are lost and alone. Will they be able to resolve their differences in order to survive? Will facing the elements allow them to discover their true feelings for one another? Follow Lena and Frank as their love is revealed in a permanent truce.

The Key

A teenage girl suffering from a family tragedy, Maddie Clevenger is oblivious to the ancient mystery surrounding her. She’s young and incredibly unlucky, in life and in love. She should be enjoying her senior year of high school, but instead she is tormented by a reoccurring nightmare and a very real stalker. But all that changes when Chase Donovan, an Air Force brat with a protective streak, shows up at school. Will Chase be the key to helping her solve her stalker problem? Will he be the key to solving the mystery surrounding her family’s past?

The Perfect Rose

Abandoned by his wife and left to raise a child alone, Caleb Reed falls short of the ideal work-from-home dad. He needs a woman to help him, in every sense of the word. At the suggestion of a friend, Caleb agrees to hire Ariel Lauren on a trial basis.

As an orphan, Ariel has more issues than just how to make it on her on. Yes, she needs the money that Caleb offers her, but more than anything she finds she desires his love. One calamity after another befalls her and jeopardizes her new job and her chance at having a family. Will they decide to continue life alone or will the magic of the holiday bring them together?

More information on me or my books can be found at my website:, including excerpts and book trailers. Or on my Facebook fan page: And last but not least, I can be contacted at:

Thank you so much for stopping by, Felicia!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Teaser Tuesdays/Giveaway Reminder

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by Should be Reading
•Grab your current read

•Open to a random page

•Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

•BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

•Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

"So the quicker I learn to control my magic, the sooner I can go home?"

"Yes." Elspeth gave a slanting, enigmatic glance. "If that's still what you want"

"Of course that's what I want!"

"Don't be so sure," Elspeth said softly. "Desires change."

-Dark Mirror by M.J Putney. Pg 49

Also, I wanted to remind everyone that my 500 followers giveaway ends this Friday(March 11th). The contest is open to everyone. If you have a mailing address, you can enter! The prize is an arc copy of Through Her Eyes by Jennifer Archer that comes out in April 2011.

Check out the right side bar to enter or click HERE

Happy Reading!
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