Jan 30, 2010

In My Mailbox #4

Butterflies, by Susanne Gervay.

Coping with severe burns, the hospital and doctors is not easy when all you want to do is be a teenage girl.

Katherine was severely burnt in an accident when she was two years old. Now 17, she lives with her mother and 22 year-old sister. Their father left the family when they were very young. Katherine still needs regular skin grafts.

This is a moving and well-written tale of emotional and physical damage and Katherine′s need to overcome her fears. It is a positive story of individual strength and family love. Whether a person is physically damaged or ′perfectly normal′ life still has to be lived and the story of Katherine and her friends relates to all teenagers.

That's Why I Wrote This Song, by Susanne Gervay.

'That's Why I Wrote This Song' is the journey of four sixteen-seventeen year old girls and their relationships with their fathers - the good, the bad and the PSYCHO - and how that impacts on their relationships with boys, each other and their lives.

thanks susanne for sending me these two awesome books!
can't wait to read them.
susanne's an aussie author, and this is why i wrote this song will be reviewed here in feb.
stay tuned!

**IMM is a weekly event hosted by The Story Siren, and inspired by Alea, of Pop Culture Junkie**

Jan 29, 2010

Welcome To The Clock Monkey's Aussie Month!

First of all, I have to thank Hazel Edwards and Ryan Kennedy. It's because of them that I was able to put together this month, to feature these amazing authors, books and bloggers.

When I got Hazel's email, I had to double check, to see if it was really addressed to me, maybe she'd gotten a wrong address... I'd contacted her, but I wasn't expecting her to reply so soon. But when I realised that she had emailed me, I was thrilled. Thrilled because they (Hazel and Ryan) were willing to do an interview for my blog. My blog! I've been blogging for almost a year, but I still don't have as many readers/followers as some other blogs that are newer than mine.

So, we had the interview via email. And when it was finished, I posted it here. And I'll be posting it again this month. It's a really good one, about how to write between 2 people.

And then, I started getting more emails from other Aussie authors. They were all willing to do an interview. So, that's when I came up with the Aussie Month. I figured it'd be cool to feature them all in a special time.

I also asked some bloggers if they'd be up for it. And they said yes!

It's very nice to learn new things about other countries. And I think it's of the utmost importance to acknowledge those authors that are just as big as some US authors, but that don't get that much press outside their country.

Therefore, this month is to do just that, learn new things about this really cool county that is Australia.

If any of you, AU Authors, would like to have me over, for a few weeks... I'd love to go :) (but 1st, I'd have to get the money to do it).

Aussie Month Calendar

Feb 2nd: Author Interview: Kim Miller

Feb 5th: Blogger Interview: Holly Taylor

Feb 7th: Book Review: Tomorrow, When The War Began, by John Marsden (EBook Giveaway)

Feb 9th: Aussie Author Challenge

Feb 12th: Author Interview: Goldie Alexander

Feb 13th: Author Interview: Ryan Kennedy & Hazel Edwards

Feb 14th: Happy Birthday Pretty Book! (Aussie Edition)

Feb 16th: Blogger Interview: Steph Bowe

Feb 18th: Author Interview: Chrissie Michaels

Feb 20th: Author Interview: George Ivanoff (Book Giveaway for Gamers' Quest - International)

Feb 23rd: Book Review: That's Why I Wrote This Song, by Susanne Gervay (Lyrics by Tory Gervay) *Updated: Book Giveaway - International*

Feb 25th: Featured Author: Meryl Brown Tobin (Review by Chrissie Michaels; Poem by Meryl Brown Tobin)

Feb 27th: Author Guest Post: Laurine Croasdale *Updated: International Giveaway: SURF SCHOOL AND SURF SISTERS!*

Feb 28th: Author Guest Post: Kate Forsyth

**This list is submitted to changes during the month of February. There may be more things to add, or take.**

Remember, this is a month to expand our horizons, go beyond what we normally read.
Let's support non-American Authors as well as we support those that are Americans.
These authors have a lot to share with us, and I've asked them to recommend some fellow AU Authors, to help us find new and exciting stories.
So, help me spread the word! Tell everyone that Aussie Month is coming to TCM!

Jan 27, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday #7

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking The Spine

Radiance by Alyson Noel

Release: August 31, 2010

Synopsis: Welcome to the Here and Now

Riley Bloom left her sister, Ever, in the world of the living and crossed the bridge into the afterlife—a place called Here, where time is always Now. Riley and her dog, Buttercup, have been reunited with her parents and are just settling into a nice, relaxing death when she’s summoned before The Council. They let her in on a secret—the afterlife isn’t just an eternity of leisure; Riley has to work. She’s been assigned a job, Soul Catcher, and a teacher, Bodhi, a curious boy she can’t quite figure out.

Riley, Bodhi, and Buttercup return to earth for her first assignment, a Radiant Boy who’s been haunting a castle in England for centuries. Many Soul Catchers have tried to get him to cross the bridge and failed. But he’s never met Riley. . . .

I'm going to read Evermore as a part of the Read Your Name Challenge,
and this one sounds just amazing.

Aussie Month in February! Will you be here?


I'm really excited to be posting this,
I didn't want to until I was sure I had enough authors/bloggers on board.

But, here I am now, and I couldn't be happier!
College is just around the corner for me (school year starts in Feb/March for some, and ends in Dec, unlike in the North, but like in the place I'm featuring next month!), and this looks like a promising month for me.

Now, Aussie Month will officially kick off on Feb 1st, but I'm just so happy, I had to let you guys know in advance!

On Feb 1st, I'll be posting an Introductory Post about how this all started, and what's going to be happening around here for the month of February. How does that sound?

We'll be having:
Guest Posts,
and more!

So, if you're an Aussie Blogger or Author, if you have a review for an Aussie book you'd like to share, or anything related to Australia (doesn't have to be book-related),
leave a comment and we'll get in touch!

If any Aussie Author reads this, and would like to be featured/donate a book for a giveaway, email me. My email address is on the right sidebar.

Jan 25, 2010

Review: Purple Hibiscus, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Summary (from Amazon):

Fifteen-year-old Kambili is the dutiful and self-effacing daughter of a rich man, a religious fanatic and domestic tyrant whose public image is of a politically courageous newspaper publisher and philanthropist. No one in Papa's ancestral village, where he is titled "Omelora" (One Who Does For the Community), knows why Kambili's brother cannot move one of his fingers, nor why her mother keeps losing her pregnancies. When a widowed aunt takes an interest in Kambili, her family begins to unravel and re-form itself in unpredictable ways.

My Opinion:

Amazing book.
Really, this is a must read for everyone.

To read a story like this, told from the POV of an innocent 15-year-old Nigerian girl, is a strong and powerful experience.

I feel like I'm not doing this book justice with this review, but I'll try.

Imagine if your world consisted of doing what your told, no matter how dumb, and thinking it's the right thing to do. And it's right because He says so.
Imagine having to live by a schedule on a daily basis, with hours for study, and family hours. Everything organised, right?
But what about your freedom? Freedom of speech, of action.

This is the life of 15-year-old Kambili (Káhm-bili not Kahmbí-li). She thinks she's doing what God has planned for her, and what will make her Father proud. Never taking herself into consideration, but it's not like we can blame her. She knows no other way of living. That is until she goes to Nsukka to spend a few days with her Aunt Ifeoma.

Spending five days away from home can make all the difference in the world. Now Kambili is learning that there's more to life than picking out an English name for your Confirmation. Knows that there are things her Father is the only one to blame. And not even his acts of charity can make up for what he's done. Because what father punches her child to the verge of leaving her half-dead?

With the help and guidance of her Aunt Ifeoma, Kambili and her brother Jaja begin to accept that it's time to make a better life for themselves and their mother.

Monkey Rating: 4 and 1/2 Monkeys!

Chimamanda's Official Website.
Click on the Book Cover to go to its Amazon Page.

Jan 23, 2010

In My Mailbox #3

the betrayal of natalie hargrove, by lauren kate (paperback).
thanks to Ivana for having hosted the GA in which i won this!
and thanks to lauren for having signed it!
can't wait to start reading this!

beautiful, by amy reed (hardcover).
i actually already posted about this book, but i thought it deserved to be in a proper IMM post.
thanks to the YA Highway for having hosted the GA in which i won this!

that's all for now.
what'd you guys get?

**IMM is a weekly event hosted by The Story Siren, and inspired by Alea, of Pop Culture Junkie**

Jan 22, 2010


Behold... My Future

I will marry Lucas Scott.

After a wild honeymoon, We will settle down in Gatlin in our fabulous Mansion.

We will have 4 kid(s) together.

Our family will zoom around in a green Comet.

I will spend my days as a novelist, and live happily ever after.

whats your future

Jan 21, 2010


The Book Depository, you are not my friend.
i do not like you right now.
why don't you have arg in that list too?
you'd make more money, and more people happy.
please consider this, ok?
until then...

Jan 20, 2010

The Body Finder Trailer and Contest!

what an awesome trailer! i really, really wanna read this! (look over to my left sidebar, you'll notice something there)
kimberly's holding a great contest over at her blog. you can win one of TWO SIGNED arcs! double chance to win and it's open INTERNATIONALLY!

don't miss this chance to win one of the most anticipated YA books of 2010!

Read Your Name Challenge 2010

i'm joining this, where the challenge is to read your name in book title first letters, ultimately spelling out your name.

here i'll list the books i'll be reading/have read during the challenge.

i hope i finish it, because last time i didn't.

The challenge runs from Jan. 1st 2010, to Dec. 31st 2010. You may join at any time.

E: Evermore, Alyson Noël.
L: Looking for Alaska, John Green.
L: Love You, Hate You, Miss You, Elizabeth Scott.
A: Abarat (Book 1), Clive Barker.

(list may change during the course of the challenge)

i'm only reading 4 because i'm lazy/won't have much time when i start uni.

(thanks to
@typesetjez for helping me pick these books! thanks to Shweta for pointing out that LY,HY,MY is by ES)

in times like these, i do not like living in argentina

because it takes forever for the most awesome of books to get here! (according to some great book bloggers)
publishers: latin america exists too!

courtney summers (cracked up to be & some girls are) has just tweeted that she's releasing 2 more books. i've still to read the first two, which are not available in argentina. and it's not like i can buy them on amazon. i'm poor, people!
and i need to save for my new camera/uni (inclining toward the camera...). 1 north american dollar= 3,50 (maybe more) arg pesos. so if CUTB is worth 8,95 on B&N, to me it's 31, something + shipping. not good for my pocket.

if you are cool like i think you are, you'll let me borrow your copies of courtney's books.
i promise you'll get them back ^-^
maybe ¬¬

Jan 19, 2010

Happy Birthday Pretty Book! #6

The Mark, by Jen Nadol hits the shelves today!

Sixteen-year old Cassie Renfield has seen the mark since forever: a glow around certain people as if a candle were held behind their back.

The one time she pointed it out taught her not to do it again, so Cassie has kept quiet, considering its rare appearances odd, but insignificant. Until the day she watches a man die. Mining her memories, Cassie realizes she can see a person's imminent death. Not how or where, only when: today.

Cassie searches her past, her philosophy lessons, even her new boyfriend for answers, always careful to hide her secret. How does the mark work? Why her?

Most importantly, if you know today is someone's last, should you tell?

I won this book from The Book Resort, so I'll be reading it soon.
Can't wait!

Congrats Jen on your book release!

Jan 18, 2010

The Lonely Hearts Club Twitter Party!

Join Lonely Hearts Club author Elizabeth Eulberg and Amy of MyFriendAmy for a Twitter party Wednesday, January 20, between 8:30 and 9:30 p.m. EST!

  • Be sure to follow Elizabeth @ElizEulberg and Amy @MyFriendAmy before the party!
  • Join the fun! No one expects you or your tweets to be perfect; we’re just happy you made it to the party!
  • Anyone who tweets during this hour using #LonelyHeartsClub is entered to win a limited edition Lonely Hearts Club t-shirt!
  • Watch for questions from @MyFriendAmy and win awesome prizes including an iPod shuffle, $50 iTunes gift card or $25 VISA gift card!
  • To join the party, you can use our official party tweetgrid or just search #LonelyHeartsClub on Twitter.
  • Ask Elizabeth questions or chat with other partygoers about how excited you are to read LHC—just use the tag #LonelyHeartsClub in all of your party tweets! (This is added automatically in TweetGrid.)
  • Please don’t post any spoilers and don’t forget to pay attention to the time zones, the party starts at 8:30pm EST.
Doesn't it sound fun? I'll be there! Will you?

Mailbox Monday & It's Monday, What are you Reading?

Mailbox Monday is hosted by The Printed Page

Thanks to YA Highway for having hosted the giveaway in which I won this book!

Can't wait to start reading it, it's a hardcover (yay!) and the print is quite big, so I'm thinking it'll be a quick read.

I'm currently reading Tomorrow, When the War Began, by John Marsden;
and Purple Hibiscus, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
Loving them both.

Leave a comment telling me what you got/are reading.
I'd love to know, it's always good to know what to read next.

xo, Ella

Jan 12, 2010

Monkey Review: Explorer X - Alpha, by L. M. Preston

Summary (from PhenomenalOnePress):

For most kids, a trip to space camp is a trip of a lifetime, for Aadi it was life altering. After receiving a camp immunization needed for travel to Mars, Aadi finds that the immunization is the catalyst of an insidious experiment. Lucky for him, he was engineered to survive, thrive, and dominate. Without realizing he is being trained to conquer worlds, and manipulated under the guise of a camp, he unfolds the plot too late for a change of fate. Aadi’s world is shaken upon the revelation that life before camp was not what it appeared. This solidifies his plan to save them all from the company that seeks to control him, only for his rescue to end abruptly due to a freak accident on a field trip to Mars. The full experiment is set in motion when he and his co-pilot, Eirena, crash in a distant galaxy called Shrenas, where they change and realize the full extent of their power. Holding onto his humanity, in the midst of turning into a god is Aadi's biggest battle yet. This turn of events causes him to put his childish thoughts away, forcing him to accept his change, and to decide to save a world, or to do what he was trained to do, dominate it. In the midst his struggles with his changes, his power is coveted by the warring leaders of Shrenas, and he is forced to choose sides to save a life, or to save himself. A decision that may prove just how much humanity he has left.

My Opinion:

Explorer X - Alpha was my very first sci-fi book, and although it is a YA book, it was definitely
not a good book for me. I'm used to reading this genre, and when author LM Preston contacted me for a review, I said why not? I need to get out of my comfort zone from time to time.

This book's beginning was really slow for my taste, where I spent half of the book reading about Aadi and his friends at Space Camp, trying to find out more about why they were a part of an Experiment (called Experiment X). After the first 3/4 of the book, I did become attached to the characters, not wanting anything bad to happen to them. Let's not forget, this is the first in a trilogy, maybe that's why it was so slow to get into?

The writing was a little off for me, too. The character introduced themselves by saying: "Hello, my name is (Aadi)." After reading "Hi, my name is ..." ten times in a row, I started to get a little annoyed. It didn't sound like something a teen would say so often. I needed a "Hi, I'm ..." Sometimes less is more. Also, there were very few abreviations, which made the reading heavy. Sometimes, the kids sounded more like grown-ups than kids. I don't know if this type of writing is specific for the genre, but it was not my cup of tea.

Moving on to the story. We're immediately introduced to Aadi, our male protagonist, and join him in his entrance to Space Camp. Here he'll meet his new friends: Eirena, Raiko, Damien, Scott, Dakota and Tacitus. Aadi's relationship with Eirena begins as a competitive one, but it lets you know that they'll end up together in the end. Damien is your regular bad boy, very conceited. The rest of them were normal characters, with the exception of Tacitus, whom I'd like to find out more about. Overall, I thought the characters lacked depth. I would've liked to see more background to them.

In the last quarter of the book, the part I liked most, we finally see some action. Aadi and Eirena are thrown into an alien planet in the galaxy called Shrenas. Here they find allies... and enemies. They'll go through changes that'll turn them into something more than human and, while helping one of the races living in Shrenas win a centuries old war, they'll have to do everything in their power to find their way back home.

I confirm my previous suspicion: sci-fi is not a genre for me. I do like Star Wars, though.
But to those of you who do like this genre, I can tell you, you'd like this book.

Monkey Rating: 3 Monkeys

Visit the Website

About the Author:
LM. Preston was born and raised in Washington, DC. An avid reader, she loved to create poetry and short-stories as a young girl. With a thirst for knowledge she attended college at Bowie State University, and worked in the IT field as a Techie and Educator for over sixteen years. She started writing science fiction under the encouragement of her husband who was a Sci-Fi buff and her four kids. Her first published novel, Explorer X - Alpha was the beginning of her obsessive desire to write and create stories of young people who overcome unbelievable odds. She loves to write while on the porch watching her kids play or when she is traveling, which is another passion that encouraged her writing.

Jan 10, 2010

Super Awesome Contest for Aspiring YA Writers at Steph Bowe's blog!

Steph Bowe (soon-to-be-published-15-year-old-author) is holding a contest for Aspiring YA Writers at her blog!

She'll choose FIVE winners, who'll get a 5 pages crit from her. Isn't that awesome? I think it is.

If you don't follow her blog, you should. She gives great advice to aspiring authors. Plus, she 15! She's getting published at 15, how cool is that? I'm 17 going on 18, and I still have to finish my MS... :P

Click on the link below to go to her site.

Steph Bowe's Hey! Teenager of the Year: Super Awesome Contest for Aspiring YA Writers!

Jan 2, 2010

Sourcebooks Fire #YAlitchat Writing Contest

remember about this great site i told you about, #YALITCHAT?
well, turns out it's going to be the home site for a writing contest!
Sourcebooks is launching a new Young Adult division called Sourcebooks Fire and
we're celebrating for two whole months!

Submissions for the contest will run 2/1/2010 – 2/28/2010. YOU MUST BE A MEMBER OF #YALITCHAT TO ENTER.

Please follow the following directions carefully to submit a piece of YA fiction for consideration:

To participate in the contest, you MUST RSVP to the event.

Instructions on where to send submissions, as well as outlines for what they're looking for, will be emailed on Friday, January 29th. Instructions as to the email address you'll need for all submissions will be provided in that document.

Only submissions from people who’ve RSVPed will be read and judged to prevent multiple submissions.

In a one-page word document (standard 8.5 x 11 size, font size 10-minimum) include:
The title of the piece (less than 15 words) under a header reading “Title” A 250-word description of your novel under the header “Novel Description” A 100 word bio, under the heading “Author Bio” No additional information will be read by judges.

The Grapes of Wrath
Novel Description
The greatest novel ever written.
Author Bio
I am the world's greatest undiscovered YA author. Period.

Submissions will go through three rounds of judging. Georgia McBride, founder of #YALitchat will be the first-round judge, whittling down the entrants to the top 150.

These 150 entries will then be ranked on a scale of 1-10 by three Sourcebooks Fire editors. The top 20 submissions (calculated by adding scores) will be notified and allowed to submit a pitch letter and first 20 pages of their novel for further consideration by Sourcebooks editors, as well as YA literary agent Regina Brooks, founder of Serendipity Literary agency.

The top 20 entries will receive copies of Writing Great Books for Young Adults by Regina Brooks.

Depending on the number of submissions, winners will be announced at the end of March.

Authors can find out more about what the judges are looking for by chatting with Dan Ehrenhaft, head acquisitions editor at Sourcebooks Fire on January 6th, 2010 during #YAlitchat on twitter!

if you're a YA writer who wants a chance to get published, then this is the contest for you!

i'm definitely going to try to enter. who knows what could come out of this?

i just need to finish my ms, and i'm ready to go!

even if you don't want to enter this contest, you should definitely check out the site. it's a great place, a lot of known bloggers and authors have already joined and you can chat and learn a lot about the book publishing industry!

happy 2010 :)

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