Dec 31, 2009


i wish you all the best!
and leave you with this: (watch until the end)

xo, ella

Dec 30, 2009

since i couldn't do an IMM last sunday...

this week i got:


A haunting tale of an Africa and an adolescence undergoing tremendous changes by a talented young Nigerian writer.
Fifteen-year-old Kambili's world is circumscribed by the high walls of her family compound and the frangipani trees she can see from her bedroom window. Her wealthy Catholic father, although generous and well-respected in the community, is repressive and fanatically religious at home. Her life is lived under his shadow and regulated by schedules: prayer, sleep, study, and more prayer. She lives in fear of his violence and the words in her textbooks begin to turn to blood in front of her eyes. When Nigeria begins to fall apart under a military coup, Kambili's father, involved in mysterious ways with the unfolding political crisis, sends Kambili and her brother away to their aunt's. The house is noisy and full of laughter. Here she discovers love and a life -- dangerous and heathen -- beyond the confines of her father's authority. The visit will lift the silence from her world and, in time, reveal a terrible, bruising secret at the heart of her family life. This first novel is about the promise of freedom; about the blurred lines between the old gods and the new; between childhood and adulthood; between love and hatred.
An extraordinary debut, Purple Hibiscus is a compelling novel which captures both a country and an adolescence at a time of tremendous change.

can't wait to read this one!
thanks mum!

Dec 25, 2009


I've recently discovered a very helpful and cool ning site: #YALITCHAT.

It was created by people who chat on Twitter using the #YALITCHAT hashtag. Clever right?

(from the site:)

#YAlitchat is a weekly chat held on twitter, Wednesdays at 9PM Eastern and attended by those involved in the book publishing business. Sometimes, we have the pleasure of readers, librarians and parents of teens, all wishing to share their point of view. This community is meant so serve as an extension of the weekly chats so as not to limit our communication to 140 characters and one hour and fifteen minutes. The community is available every day, all day. We write, read and live YA!

I was welcomed with open arms, and found some very useful tips about writing.

For those who write, there are groups where you can find Crit Partners, you can submit your MS's first five pages for review and feedback from the other members, basically, you can discuss anything YA!

I found great blog posts about agents, query letters, how to start your book with a great 1st chapter...

I've submitted my first five pages and received great feedback!

You should definitely go and take a look around. Might find something interesting.

Also, I wanted to point you to a group on the site: the YA(litchat) Review Board.
I was created for teens ages 14-18, to give feedback to YA writers. Basically it's like getting an online ARC. If you'd be interested in joining the network, and help out some really cool aspiring authors, then go here, and say I sent you!
The network is growing more and more everyday, and I dare say, soon it'll be a to-go place to find some really good advice, feedback and tips.
Click on the banner to go to the site!

Dec 23, 2009

Author Guest Post: Magic Note Cards, by Johanna Harness

i discovered Johanna through Twitter, and followed her for her tweets about writing, reading and anything related to books!

yesterday she shared a link with us on Twitter, and i asked her if it was ok for me to re-post her blog post here. she said yes! and here we are.

Magic Note Cards

I’ve been doing a lot of work with note cards lately, sighing and saying, “Ah, note cards. Is there nothing they can’t do?” Questions follow, condensed mainly into one basic question: “Why are you so in love with note cards lately?”

Most basic answer: note cards help me see the big picture.

Here’s what I do:

Whether revising or planning, the basic rule is one scene per card. If you don’t have scenes yet (early planning), go with one idea per card. You may want to identify this core stack in some way. Put a star in the corner, write in a different colored ink. Add a sticker or a post-it note.

Add to the stack: ideas, discarded scenes, themes, settings, new characters, old characters. Don’t filter. If it seems important in the moment, jot it down. Some of the cards will be thrown away or replaced with a better card. Some cards will go into a stack for later inspiration. Yesterday I went through more than 200 cards. Don’t limit your ideas. Add or delete cards any time you want. This is a fun, creative process--not life or death.

Now that you have your deck? Play.

Use more notecards as category cards. I like using brightly-colored note cards for this, but you can note the type of card in any way (different color ink, notation in corner--whatever). As you sort through your cards, you may find that some of the cards you’ve already written are category cards. You can pull them out and add them to your category cards as you go through your deck the first time.

Use category cards to ask questions.

Thinking about the order of your novel? Create a category card for each major section of your book. Then go through your deck and intuitively drop the card in the category where it fits. Based on this, are there scenes in your novel that are in the wrong place? Are there scenes that don’t seem to fit? (Do they need to be deleted?) Are there duplicate or alternative scenes?

Looking for individual character story lines? Sort by character and then arrange the cards.

Wondering about themes? Write a theme on a category card and sort cards according to theme.

Arrange your main cards on a plot arc and ask yourself if the energy of the scene fits the energy of the arc. (Building to major discovery? Tumbling toward conclusion?)

Sort cards by tone to see if you have outliers.

Sort cards to see relationships between characters.

One of my favorite activities: Does this scene fit in this book? (This is a particular weakness of mine.) Take the yes cards and fit them into chronology. No fit? Start again.

Want to see what your narrative will look like without a certain plot line? Remove the plot line from your basic cards. Want to add a plot line? Filter it in and see how it flows.

That’s all there is to it. One card per scene. Add ideas. Make category cards. Play. Ask questions of the cards, but don’t force answers. If cards or scenes annoy you, throw them in a discard pile.

I usually end up with a new base set of cards, arranged in the order the story is told. I’ll add tons of new notes to these cards, sometimes incorporating ideas from other cards. Sometimes I number the new cards and then add related cards under that number, eventually labeling those cards by scene number and letter (4A, 4B, 4C, etc.) When I’m writing or revising, I’ll look at all my notes and the related cards.

Then, if revising, save a copy of the original and apply changes to manuscript. Keep playing and evaluating. Are the changes improving the manuscript the way you thought they would? Keep an eye on the big picture. All changes should strengthen the whole. Practicing this craft sometimes means acknowledging when things don’t work. It’s okay to stop and start again.

Or, if starting a new book: know how each scene fits into the whole story. Avoid writing scenes that don’t fit with the whole. At key points in the writing process, stop and evaluate. If changes are made to the original vision, stop and find the whole again. Plan around the changes before writing more.

Okay, so note cards aren’t magic. They’re a tool. But what you do with them? That can be magic.
Wasn't that fun? Thanks Johanna for letting me share!

Click here to go to the original post.
Visit Johanna's Website.
Follow her on Twitter.

Dec 22, 2009

Happy Birthday Pretty Book! #5

Today's the release date for these amazing books!
Happy Birthday to all of you!
Can't wait to read you!

Stupid Cupid, by Rhonda Stapleton

Magic Under Glass, by Jaclyn Dolamore

The Dark Divine, by Bree Despain

Scones and Sensibility, by Lindsay Eland

Aren't these covers amazing?
Love them all :D

(all links lead to Amazon)

Blog Makeover for C'est Ma Vie

check out the latest blog makeover i made!
click on the button to go to my page and read the full post there.

xo, Ella

Dec 21, 2009

Secret Santa!

today i kind of got my SS present. i say "kind of" because i didn't actually get it, but i did get a gift certificate to buy a book!

Meg Appleby from Be the Change Bookclub is my Secret Santa, and since she couldn't send me a gift herself, she had the brilliant idea to get me a gift certificate.

i wished she wouldn't though, cause it was so hard to choose just one book, from so many that are great!

in the end, i chose Wake by Lisa McMann.
was it a good choice?

it'll take between 2 to 5 weeks to get here, said the site.
i'll just have to wait.

ps: i also won The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove from Willing to See Less! can't wait to read both!

Dec 13, 2009

Monkey Review: Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

Summary (from

Falling in love was never so easy . . .

or so deadly.

For Nora Grey, romance was not part of the plan. She's never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how much her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her. Not until Patch came along. With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Nora is drawn to him against her better judgment.

But after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora's not sure who to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is, and to know more about her than her closest friends. She can't decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is way more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.

For Nora is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen - and, when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost her life.
My Opinion:

I can now die happy, knowing I've read this amazing book. Yeah, I loved it that much.
Everyone was right, Becca has created a super dangerous but yet enticing world, and I couldn't help but to fall for Patch along with Nora.

Hush, Hush begins in 1565, introducing us to Patch and a boy called Chauncey. Patch forces the boy to take an oath, one that you cannot refuse to obey.

Fast forward to the present day.
We meet Nora Grey, simple high school student, and her best friend Vee Sky in a biology class. Enter Patch -whose last name we don't discover until half of the book's been read-. After Coach McConaughy decides it's time to make a new seating chart, Nora and Patch end up becoming each other's bio partner.

When Coach gives them their first asignment, it's clear from a start that school's the last thing Patch is interested in. While he certainly shows no interest in finishing his task, the same thing cannot be said about his interest in Nora.

So, they meet again. And again. And every time, sparks fly between them, undeniably real.
Nora is torn between the urge to escape him, and the need to kiss him.

Enter Elliot and Jules. Apparently rich kids, Elliot's transferred to Coldwater High School, and is now Nora and Vee's classmate. Jules remains in the background, barely making appereances. Which only makes him the more mysterious. As I read about him, I had a feeling there was just something wrong there. Hmm...

And now Nora's being followed. And there's someone in her mind... But who is it?

Nora'll find out the truth about Patch, even if it represents a risk to her life.
Because there's one huge reason why Patch is after her.
To kill her.
Because a fallen angel needs a human sacrifice to become human.
Will Nora make the ultimate sacrifice?

Monkey Rating: 5 Monkeys!

If this book is still in your To Be Read pile, GO READ IT NOW!
I know I'll read it again soon, when I find me a printed copy of the book.

How did I read this book you may ask? On E-Book format.
How are my eyes after reading it non-stop (how could I stop when I was dying to find out Patch's true intentions!)? OK. Now that I'm done. I only stopped reading to get some sleep, because my eyes were begging me to rest. Last night I couldn't tell the difference between an l and an I.

I'll always remember Becca for being the very first author I interviewed! Thanks Becca for being so nice!
Read the interview here.

Hush, Hush Related Links:

Becca's Site
Becca's Twitter
Official Fansite: Fallen Archangel
Order Hush, Hush from Amazon/B&N/Indiebound

Dec 9, 2009

Road Trip Wednesday #1

I've recently discovered a very cool blog: Ya Highway.
They've got this feature every Wednesday, Road Trip Wednesday, and I thought I'd participate in this week's RTW, since you don't have to be a contributor of that blog to do it, you can just join in!

From the site:
"Road Trip Wednesday is a "Blog Carnival", where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing or reading-related question and answer it in on our own blogs. You can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic."
This week's questions are:

1) What are the three best books you've read this year?
2) If you could meet one author (living or dead), who would it be?
3) What book are you most looking forward to in 2010?

1) The Hunger Games was definitely this year's favourite for me.
The Summoning (I actually listened to an audiobook) was amazing too.
And one I've just read, Uglies.

2) I'd love to meet J. K. Rowling. I'm a complete HP fan!

3) The book I'm most looking forward to in 2010 is the 3rd book from The Hunger Games trilogy! August 24th!

What are your answers to these questions?
Leave a comment!


Dec 4, 2009


i've started listening to the AB
(it's easier for me to get audiobooks, than getting books. no shipping costs)

i am LOVING it.

i had to share.

ps: i'm now a HS graduate! yay for me!

Dec 3, 2009

Audio Book Reading Challenge

I've deciced to join this Challenge,
basically because listening to ABs (audiobooks) is the best way to procrastinate there is.
You can be doing anything, or just chillin' listening to an AB on your mp4.

I'm participating by listening to 3 ABs
(level 1: Curious)

It begins on January 1st and runs through December, 2010.
You can join anytime!

Want to know more?
Click here and go to the original post.

Dec 1, 2009

Happy Birthday Pretty Book! #4

Today we officially welcome:


into the magic realm of Book Stores!


I'm really excited about this, and super anxious to read the book!

In the meantime,
will you join me in reading
the awesome interview one lovely Kami Garcia
and one beautiful Margie Stohl gave me?

Happy Birthday BC!
We're all very happy you're finally here :)
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