Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wondering on Wednesday: Nook Color Update

As you all know, on November 18th the Nook Tablet came out with a sleeker look and added features. (Click here to see our post on the Nook Tablet).  But many people, such as myself, only just recently bought the Nook Color.  But do not fret my fellow Nook Color fans, because at some point in December, Barnes and Noble will be launching update 1.4 for those with the Color.  With the update to 1.4, you’ll be able to access Netflix, Hulu Plus, Rhapsody, Nook Comics, and much more.
But my big question is, if they’re allowing those with the Nook Color to eventually have the same features as the Nook Tablet, then what’s the point in upgrading?  Although it does have some new features, such as being lighter and having more internal space, it really isn't too much different.  As for those that don’t have a Nook Color, in my personal opinion, the Nook Tablet would be the better buy/upgrade.

So what do you guys think? Has anyone gotten the Nook Tablet?  Let us know!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Clockwork Prince- December 5th!

Well it’s that time of year again.  We’ve made it through Thanksgiving and Black Friday, today is the annual VS fashion show, and then there’s Christmas Eve and Christmas.  But in the mix of all of the fun holiday events Cassie Clare’s Infernal Devices Clockwork Prince comes out December 5th.  For me this book is highly anticipated, because not only is it at the halfway point for Cassie Clare’s other book, City of Lost Souls, coming out in May, but it’s the sequel from the best seller Clockwork Angel.



Did you guys read the first book, Clockwork Angel?  Are you excited for the sequel to come out?  Let us know!!!!
--m

Review: Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

“Magic is dangerous—but love is more dangerous still. 
When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London's Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos.
Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What’s more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa's power for his own...."
When Tessa is kidnapped by the Dark Sisters, she fears that she’ll be stuck with them and their torturous training until she is given to the Magister.  That is until a mysterious boy busts into her bedchamber and helps her escape.  The boys name is will and he’s a beautiful as her is powerful and mysterious and equally hot and cold.  With nowhere else to go, and her brother AWOL, Tessa has to seek refuge at the London Institute.  Now Tessa is torn between her feelings for the moody, broody Will and the interesting and kind James.  At the midst of everything they will go undercover to find out what truly happened to Tessa’s brother with The Pandemonium Club.  Clockwork Prince is a fantasy set in Victorian London, filled with action, wit, mystery, love, and betrayal. 

I was very pumped for Clockwork Prince to come out because I absolutely love TMIs.  And I have to say Cassie Clare has done it again.  I love that Clockwork Angel was from a downworlders, Tessa’s, point of view because you didn’t get that as much from the TMI series until the later books and even then, Simon isn’t a true downworlder to me.  I also like that it’s a prequel to the TMI series so you see some of the downworlders that were introduced in TMI series such as Mangus, Camille, and Tessa. You also get to meet the ancestors of the Lightwoods and Herondales.   

My rating for this book:

Cassandra Clare is the bestselling author of The Mortal Instruments and Infernal Device series.  She friends with fellow Author Holly Black, whom she often goes on book tours with.  She is a fan of the new hit series A Game of Thrones and she is currently residing in New York City.  To learn more about Cassandra Clare follow her on twitter! 

Did any of you guys check out ID?  What did you think? Let us know!!!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Giveaway: Pavarti K. Tyler

Alright guys, TODAY is the day!
We've teamed up with Bewitching Book Tours to bring you a fantastic giveaway!


My fellow H.P. Mallory Writers Club member: Pavarti K. Tyler is doing Cyber Monday Blitz.
The prize packs include:

- A print copy of Two Moons of Sera
- A canvas bag
- A Pavarti t-shirt
- A copy of Hush Hush in one Fallen in the other
- Shadow on the Wall Collectible Magnet
- Shadow on the Wall Note Cards
- Fighting Monkey Press Note Pad
- Shadow on the Wall promotional post card

Two of these prize packs will be rewarded and 5 e-book copies of Two Moons of Sera will be given away! (Physical prize packs are only shippable in U.S.)

Here is the link to the form where you can sign up. [Click me.]
And here are some pictures of the prize packs!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Weekend Roundup (11/20-11/25)

Happy weekend everyone!
I hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving and that those of you who were crazy enough to go Black Friday shopping made it out safe and sound with everything you were wanting. :)
Here's what you may have missed this week:

Sunday: Giveaway Opportunity!
Monday: Review: Betrayed by P.C. & Kristen Cast, Breaking Dawn Pt. 1 Movie Review
Wednesday: Kindle Fire Review
Friday: Feature: Lola James


Giveaway: This is THIS COMING MONDAY! And Pavarti has some pretty awesome prizes lined up! All you have to do is click here to sign up. And to find out full details of this giveaway, click here.
Good luck!!

I hope everyone has a great weekend. :)
J&M

Friday, November 25, 2011

Feature Friday: Lola James

Today I'm so excited to welcome a fellow H.P. Writer's Club friend to The Ink Puddle, Lola James for a guest post. Lola is the author of Bound to Remember, Book One of the Spellbound Series. Check out this summary:


"Vampires and Witches and Greek gods, oh my!

Toni is a young doctor that doesn’t remember she’s on the run from her past as the lover of the Greek god Hades! 

Ben is a nurse and vampire is trying to escape his recent heroism and finds himself working with Toni. Ben can’t believe his eyes; Toni has an uncanny resemblance to an old friend of his, Joanna. And Toni well she can’t help but find Ben irresistible.

Enter Kevin, Toni’s sexy but arrogant Ex. Kevin’s jealousy of Ben blinds him from his main objective, Toni.

With an unexpected kiss between Ben and Toni in front of Kevin heats things up for everyone, but cools when Ben’s “vampire” secret is revealed to Toni. 

Ben insists that Toni is in danger for knowing he’s a vampire and Toni knows that she’s not in danger; But to make Ben happy she enlists the help of her best friend, a self-proclaimed witch named of Annie. Annie is eager to help but she has a little more than magic up her sleeve and the results well you’ll just have to read and see…."


I don’t know about you but this is definitely on my TBR list! Now without further ado…
________________________
Judging a book by its cover?

What we don't judge books by their covers?

We've all been told not to judge a book by its cover but we know that we do. The truth is sometimes the cover is all we can judge. Let's say it's a new author, like me and you don't know anything about me, but you do like the cover of my book. You’re more than likely inclined to buy the book just based off the cover.

In this new wave way of reading with e-readers (okay maybe not that new), we only have an e-book cover to see. It's not like you can pick up the book look at the thickness of the book or pictures inside, nope just the cover. So for an indie author, like me a cover can make or break you!

I published my first book, Bound to Remember, about a month ago. I had a cover created by a professional artist and I Loved that cover. It spoke volumes for the story, so I slapped it on my book and put it on Amazon and Barnes & Noble but no one bought it. I had the good sense to have a backup cover just in case (and the advise of a fellow blogger/writer) so I changed my cover the same day and in a week I saw more sales. Now, can I credit jump in sales solely to my cover? No, but I truly believe the cover made a difference.

You see the cover is a picture into the author’s world. Whether it be a fantasy or reality the reader can see the characters, city, weapons, scenery, or something related to the book from the cover. For me as a reader this helps me when reading from a new author. It helps me understand the story better.

Now a little about me…

I have always loved reading and writing! I also love anything dealing with Vampires, Witches, and Greek Mythology. My stories emanate from my imagination and the fact that I’m a hopeless romantic! I write mostly Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy stories with suspense and a little humor.

In my spare time I travel, anywhere my husband takes me, I read, and I shop, mostly for shoes.

I have one book available now Bound to Remember and Fate's Design will be out by the end of November. Both the beginning of two Paranormal Romance/ Urban Fantasy Series with a twist.

If you are interested in learning more about me:

Email me: lola@lola.james.com
Visit my Website: www.lolajames.com
Follow me on Twitter: www.twitter.com/1lola_james
View my Blog: http://lolajames-author.blogspot.com
Friend me on Facebook: http://facebook.com/LolaJamesAuthor

Buy my book Bound to Remember on:  Amazon   Barnes & Noble   Smashwords

Smooches!
Lola

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wondering on Wednesday: Kindle Fire Review

I've been on Fire since last Friday and thought now would be a good time to see if you guys had any questions or concerns with purchasing this device. Here is my list of pros and cons:
Super Cool:
- Bright, colorful and backlit!
- Very quick
- "Bookshelf" layout for organization making the device easy to navagate through
- If Amazon doesn't have an app, chances are you can sideload it from the Android market fairly easily
- The price/ the size
- Great sound and picture for clear movie watching (Access to Hulu, Netflix and Prime)
- Magazine subscriptions/ kid books

Not So Super Cool:
- The glare when using my Fire outside or in a room with bright lights.
- No Hanging With Friends game
- No 3G. (No tablets have this though)
- The price for magazine subscriptions/ kid books
- A bit heavier

Overall, I think that this is the perfect tablet for someone who wants a simple, basic Android device. It also comes with a free month of Amazon Prime.  So I've been trying to find a good book to test out the new lending system Amazon has developed that you get when you subscribe to Prime but I have not found a single book in our genre outside of The Hunger Games series. That's a bit frustrating. The movies also don't seem to include much that isn't already on Hulu or Netflix and the TV series are mostly just season 1 that's available for free.

I was also stoked to get my school books on my e-reader. Turns out that no matter what site I get them on, the e-book rental is about $30.00 more than just renting the physical book. How does that make sense? So that won't be happening...
UPDATE on school books: This could be different for different people/ schools but when I went to get my books in e-format, I found out that it is in e-format, but not for your Kindle (or Nook). Instead you get it specifically for your computer. Their excuse is that e-readers are hefty enough devices to support textbooks with all of their photos and such. I don't think that's true but I don't make the rules...
No matter what, I won't be getting rid of my Kindle 3 Keyboard anytime soon. Nothing beats the lightweight, e-ink simplicity that baby brings to my life.  Not to mention how distracting it is to have all that extra stuff when you really need to be focusing on reading.

Have any of you gone out and gotten your Kindle Fire yet? What are your first impressions? Does anyone have any questions or concerns about the device?

Monday, November 21, 2011

Mainstream Monday: Breaking Dawn Movie Review

So, as you all know, Breaking Dawn came out this past Friday, and like for every other twilight movie, my family and I went and saw it.  It was much better than I expected considering that it was my least favorite book.  The wedding was beautiful, the wolf graphics were better, and the birth scene could give some horror movies a run for their money.  But, with it being the part one, much like Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, it was slow.  

Did you guys check out the movie this weekend?  What did you think?  I’m thinking part 2 will be a bit better and much more exciting.  Let us know.

--M

(You can also let us know if any of you went out and saw Happy Feet Two! C and I did and LOVED IT! -J :)

Review: Betrayed by P.C. & Kristen Cast

SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t read the other House of Nights books you should hold off on reading this review!
“Fledgling vampyre Zoey Redbird has managed to settle in at the House of Night. She's come to terms with the vast powers the vampyre goddess, Nyx, has given her, and is getting a handle on being the new Leader of the Dark Daughters. Best of all, Zoey finally feels like she belongs—like she really fits in. She actually has a boyfriend…or two. Then the unthinkable happens: Human teenagers are being killed, and all the evidence points to the House of Night. While danger stalks the humans from Zoey's old life, she begins to realize that the very powers that make her so unique might also threaten those she loves. Then, when she needs her new friends the most, death strikes the House of Night, and Zoey must find the courage to face a betrayal that could break her heart, her soul, and jeopardize the very fabric of her world.”

With the ninth House of Night book just coming out a little over a month ago, I do believe it’s time our blog started getting caught up. With that said, here’s my review on book two, Betrayed.  If you haven’t read book one, Marked then let it be known (again), THERE ARE SPOILERS.

Zoey Redbird is finally settling in at the House of Night.  She has a new great group of friends that are almost equally as gifted as she is.  She has a mega hottie for a boyfriend and has become the leader of the Dark Daughters.  Everything is falling into place.  That is until Loren Blake, a full vampire, teacher, and poet starts taking a special interest in her.  On top of that weirdness, Neferet, her mentor and the high priestess is off, Heath, her human ex-boyfriend, accidently became her consort, her mom and step-loser came to visiting day and ruined it, and at the end of her first Dark Daughter ritual her best friend and roommate, Stevie Rae, rejects the change and dies.  There has also been local deaths that are pointing back to the House of Night.  Now the only person that Zoey has on her side is Aphrodite, the biggest bitch in the school.

I Rate This Book:

I first read the house of night series a few summers ago while I was life guarding.  They were great summer books.  They’re also fast reads.  I flew through the first six books and have reread them a few times since.  Something that I like in these books is that after the first few the books change point of views several times.  I also like that there are always new characters being introduced, so even though there are multiple books it still keeps in interesting without people getting all jumbled up and confused.

The House of Night Series is written by P.C. and Kristen Cast.  P.C. cast has written several series and she has received several awards for them.  Kristin Cast is P.C.’s daughter and has written a few other series herself.  She currently goes to college in Oklahoma, where they both live.  To learn more visit www.pccast.net.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Giveaway Opportunity!!

We're teaming up with Bewitching Book Tours for a huge giveaway opportunity.



My fellow H.P. Mallory Writers Club member: Pavarti K. Tyler is doing a Cyber Monday Blitz, Monday, October 28th. The prize packs include:

- A print copy of Two Moons of Sera
- A canvas bag
- A Pavarti t-shirt
- A copy of Hush Hush in one Fallen in the other
- Shadow on the Wall Collectible Magnet
- Shadow on the Wall Note Cards
- Fighting Monkey Press Note Pad
- Shadow on the Wall promotional post card

Two of these prize packs will be rewarded and 5 e-book copies of Two Moons of Sera will be given away!

Here is the link to the form where you can sign up. [Click me.]
And here are some pictures of the prize packs!



Don't miss out on this great opportunity!

-J

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Weekend Roundup (11/14-11/18)

Here's what you may have missed on The Ink Puddle this week!

Monday: Random Twilight Facts, Review: Twilight
Tuesday: Review: New Moon
Wednesday: Twilight, OTHER current projects, Review: Eclipse
Thursday: Review: Breaking Dawn
Friday: Feature Friday Recall...

As you can tell, it was a week to celebrate The Twilight Saga since Breaking Dawn Pt 1 came out on Friday. How many of you have already seen the movie? What did you guys think? So far from my Facebook I'm hearing some pretty great things.

Concerning the Feature Friday recall, that whole thing was a mess and I'm so sorry you guys. But due to the situation, I had to take it down. I want everything on this blog to be full of integrity: our reviews, our posts, the people we guest. I want everything to be the best work I can bring to you guys whether it's so you know what books to check out, what e-reader to buy or how to do snazzy things on those e-readers. I'm pretty sure you guys will understand that. :)

Thanks and have a fantastic weekend!
J

Friday, November 18, 2011

Feature Friday Recall...

Some of you may have noticed that I had a post up earlier that is now deleted. I won't go into too many details but the author has gotten herself into a bit of trouble and Bewitching Book Tours was no longer backing her. As someone who could not promote what she was doing, I deleted the post.
 I hope you guys can understand my situation... it's all sticky and not something I was excited to do, but it is what was necessary.

Now, onto the cool news. I am officially a proud owner of the Kindle Fire! So be expecting a review post next week as well as some really cool tips you can use on your Fire in the proceeding weeks!

-J

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Review: Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyer



"'Breaking Dawn, the final book in the #1 bestselling Twilight Saga, will take your breath away.'

Twilight tempted the imagination. New Moon made readers thirsty for more. Eclipse turned the saga into a worldwide phenomenon. And now, the book that everyone has been waiting for... "


Bella Swan is marrying Edward Cullen, the [not so] man of her dreams.  She will soon become a vampire and leave the life and people that she loves behind her to spend an eternity with him.  The wedding, although a little outrageous for her taste and Jacob having wolf rages, was perfect.  The honeymoon was equally fabulous, she finally did the deed for the first time with someone that she loves and was going to be with forever.  She and Edward on a secluded Island with tons of things to do, but what Bella really wants to do is have sex with Edward, who refuses, again.  Other than that their honey moon is perfect as well.  That is until the impossible happens.  Bella misses her period and starts having strange cravings.  But that’s impossible, Edward is a vampire, and vampires do not reproduce that way.  Edward and Bella’s lives are about to be turned upside down and the forever that they thought that they would have together might be caught sort by a disaster.

My rating for this book:

[Spoiler Alert for those who haven’t read the book.]
When Breaking Dawn, the fourth and final installment of the Twilight series came out I was so excited I went to Walmart to get it at midnight.  Although it started out really good, it was my least favorite of the series.  I’m not really sure how I would have went about doing to story myself if I was Stephenie but I feel like a happy ending for everyone was way too forced with Bella ending up with the best of both worlds.  Although I myself usually enjoy books with weird aspects, this one was a little too weird for me.  But then again that’s what’s so great about the supernatural genre: anything goes.  
I did like how the book starts and ends with Bella’s perspective but in the middle it’s Jaocb’s point of view.  I also liked how all of the character’s finally come together and there are no more secrets which is the way I feel books are supposed to end.

Stephenie Meyer lives in Arizona with her sons and husband.  The Twilight series was her first and then she followed with a second book called  The Host, which is now be casted to become a major motion picture.

So are you guys going to see the movie tomorrow?  Tonight at midnight?  Are you bigger fans of the movies or the books?  Let’s get some discussion going!!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wondering on Wednesday: Twilight, Current Projects

Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart all supposedly have lives outside of the epic Twilight Saga. Here's what they've been up to and what movies to be expecting from them within the next year!

Robert Pattinson:
Bel Ami
"A chronicle of a young man's rise to power in Paris via his manipulation of the city's most influential and wealthy women." -IMDB
This movie is based of the novel Bel Ami by Guy de Maupassant.
Release Date: 2011




Kristen Stewart
Snow White and the Huntsman
"In a twist to the fairy tale, the Huntsman ordered to take Snow White into the woods to be killed winds up becoming her protector and mentor in a quest to vanquish the Evil Queen" - IMDB
Release Date: Summer of 2012


And I looked to see what Taylor Lautner is doing but he doesn't have much else other than Twilight lined up until 2013. So don't think I just forgot about you Team Jacob fans. :)
I personally am pretty excited about Snow White and the Huntsman. What about you?

Review: Eclipse by Stephanie Meyer

"...As Seattle is ravaged by a string of mysterious killings and a malicious vampire continues her quest for revenge, Bella once again finds herself surrounded by danger. In the midst of it all, she is forced to choose between her love for Edward and her friendship with Jacob—knowing that her decision has the potential to ignite the ageless struggle between vampire and werewolf. With her graduation quickly approaching, Bella has one more decision to make: life or death. But which is which?"
There were many things I enjoyed about this book, first and foremost, the action. The book starts out with a serial killer on the loose! I also liked how Stephanie finally approached the sexual tension between Bella and Edward. I thought the entire scene was beautifully written and well thought out. And of course, the vampires and the werewolves are at it again in their ancient battle against one another. Come on guys, Edward left and Jacob stepped in to fill the void, you can't blame him for that! One of the things that bothered me was the portrayal of Jacob. As a Team Jacob fan, I thought that book made him seem a bit insensitive and immature. And what is up with the idea of imprinting? It's like deciding someone's destiny for them, just doesn't seem fair.
Lastly, I'm left seeking and searching for more depth to Bella only to find a pouty teenager. By now, even years ago, the books had picked up enough hold on the publishing world that Stephanie could have deepened Bella, making her an inspiration for teenage girls to want to be instead of the whiny, insecure girl she still is. I think I just expected a bit more character development with her.

Nonetheless, M and I both think that this was by far the best book in the series. Somehow I found myself although annoyed, still captivated enough to finish off the rest of the series eagerly!

My Rating for this Book:

 
Stephenie Meyer first book was Twilight, which as we all know went on to become a best-selling series and movies.  She originally formed the idea through a dream where she saw a young man sparkling in the sunlight.
She is also author of the best-selling book The Host which is in the process of being made into a movie as well.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Kindle Fire

With the release of the Amazon's Kindle Fire today, who ran out and bought theirs?



I'm hoping to have one by the weekend. But even if I don't, I will still be posting tips and tricks that you can do on your Fire! I'll just have to steal Cory's to do so. :)

For those of you who have bought the new Kindle, what's your favorite thing about it so far?

-J

Review: New Moon by Stephanie Meyer

"In New Moon, Stephenie Meyer delivers another irresistible combination of romance and suspense with a supernatural twist. The "star-crossed" lovers theme continues as Bella and Edward find themselves facing new obstacles, including a devastating separation, the mysterious appearance of dangerous wolves roaming the forest in Forks, a terrifying threat of revenge from a female vampire and a deliciously sinister encounter with Italy's reigning royal family of vampires, the Volturi. Passionate, riveting, and full of surprising twists and turns, this vampire love saga is well on its way to literary immortality."

I found this book a bit crazy. After Edward's decision to step away to protect Bella, the first half of the book is Bella going insane over losing him. It feels like your typical breakup from your first love. Only her first love happens to be a sparkly vampire. But of course, some good does come from this... enter best friend Jacob who is there for Bella at just the right moment. I loved Jacob's relationship with Bella, it was so innocent and sweet. It wasn't nearly as intense and crazy as Bella's relationship with Edward. But the idea that Bella willing to take her life to try and have Edward to near her again, I felt like that went way too far.
Also, is it only me or is this age situation getting a bit out of hand? Personally, I think that I look much cuter now at 21 than I was at 18 so I'm just not sure what the huge deal was. Given, I wouldn't want to wait until I was 40 for my vampire lover to change me... but 20 isn't old!

This book for me, was an enjoyment to read when I was younger, (don't get me wrong just because of my iffy review.) but it was definitely a bit slow until at least halfway through the second portion. However, the ending had me standing on my toes, pumped to see where it went next. Now that the Volturi knows about Bella, what are they going to want? Can Bella save Edward from his own destructive self?

My Rating for this Book:

I found this book more of a transition type book than a real deal within the series.

Stephenie Meyer first book was Twilight, which as we all know went on to become a best-selling series and movies.  She originally formed the idea through a dream where she saw a young man sparkling in the sunlight.  She is also author of the best-selling book The Host which is in the process of being made into a movie as well.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Mainstream Monday: Twilight

With the Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 coming out Friday, for all you Twilight lovers out there, we’re doing a week of all things Twilight!  Today we’re going to do ten fun facts about Twilight.
  1. Rob Pattinson had to wear a nude man thong for the honeymoon sex scene.
  2. The honeymoon was filmed in Rio.
  3. Rob and Kristen thought the sex scene was awkward despite their friendship.
  4. Rob said that the birth of Renesme was weird and more like a horror movie.
  5. Over the past few months, Rob, Kristen, and Taylor left their hand prints and shoe prints at the Grauman Chinese Theater.
  6. The cast cooked, jammed, and played board games while working on the Twilight movies.
  7. Kristen Stewart apparently make phenomenal tortilla soup.
  8. Ashley and Kellen have been good friends since before the twilight series even began.
  9. Ashley Green originally auditioned to play Bella.
  10. According to gossip magazines, Rob and Kristen may or may not be dating.

There’s some fun facts to help get you guys through your Monday.  If anyone wants to add anything else feel free!

And I'll leave you on the note of the trailer, which I'm sure everyone has seen by now... :)

--M

Review: Twilight by Stephanie Meyer

Isabella Swan's move to Forks, a small, perpetually rainy town in Washington, could have been the most boring move she ever made. But once she meets the mysterious and alluring Edward Cullen, Isabella's life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn. Up until now, Edward has managed to keep his vampire identity a secret in the small community he lives in, but now nobody is safe, especially Isabella, the person Edward holds most dear. The lovers find themselves balanced precariously on the point of a knife -- between desire and danger. "

When I first read Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, I was a sophomore in High School.  I had always been into the fantasy fiction books but this was my first vampire books and I feel in love with the monsters.   Since then I’ve read The Vampire Diaries, The Sookie Stackhouse series, Anita Blake series, and many more.  I read Twilight in just a matter of days and flew through New Moon then had to wait months in anticipation for Eclipse, which became my favorite of the series.  I went and got Breaking Dawn at a midnight release and was extremely disappointed when I learned that Stephenie Meyer was no longer finishing Midnight Sun because some asshole leaked it on the internet.  Since then the movies have come out and my obsession has died down.  Maybe I’m just contrary and don’t like what everyone else does.  But Twilight will always have a special place in my heart.
When Bella Swan moved to Forks, Washington she didn’t expect to become Miss Popularity, let alone meet a guy.  But when she meets Edward Cullen her life turns upside down.  In a town that she thought she would be suffering silently in, she has found friendship and love.  But with the love comes a great price that could cost her, her life.  Twilight is a beautifully written story of first love with a new, sparkly take on vampires.

My Rating for this Book:

What I like about the twilight book is Bella and the fact that I find her very relatable. She is almost the universal teenage girl.  In Arizona she was uncool and invisible.  But in Forks she has all of these friends even though she still feels awkward and nerdy.  She’s clumsy, something that I can completely relate seeing as how I fall in the same spot on my drive way every year when it ices over.  She’s completely selfish and selfless all at the same time.  She is polar opposite of herself in a lot of ways at different points of the series but that allows everyone to be able to relate to her in some way.
I enjoyed the take on vampires and how the Cullen’s worked as a family unit, and my favorite one of the group had to be Alice by far. She almost seems to be the glue that holds things together.But there were a couple of things I didn't care for: I wish Bella had more confidence within herself, and I don't understand why vampires sparkle in sunlight. The writing was a bit young for my tastes as well, but that's speaking from a now standpoint versus when I began reading them in 10th grade.

Stephenie Meyer first book was Twilight, which as we all know went on to become a best-selling series and movies.  She originally formed the idea through a dream where she saw a young man sparkling in the sunlight.  She is also author of the best-selling book The Host which is in the process of being made into a movie as well. 

So how many of you guys read this series?  Fans?  Not so much?  Going to see the new movie?  Let us know!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Weekend Roundup (11/6-11/13)

Good Morning everyone,
Here's what you missed at The Ink Puddle this week!

Wondering On Wednesday: A new Nook Color is coming out and we have all the details!
Booking Through Thursday: You Respond: E-volution.
Review: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

Not a very busy week here, but we have more coming your way. Also, I'm working on the whole Twitter thing. I know I need to get on there but to honest, it confuses me. No more excuses. If I can put together a blog, I can network on Twitter. So expect by next weeks Weekend Roundup to have links on how to follow us there!

 And be sure to tune in next week, especially Friday because we have an interview with Daria from Demonsoul that will blow you away! Thanks to Amy Lunderman! If you can't tell, I'm so pumped for this.

Anyway, everyone enjoy your beautiful Sunday!
Until tomorrow,
J&M

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Review: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

Barnes and Noble Summary:
“When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder — much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing — not even a smear of blood — to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary's first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It's also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace's world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know. . . .
Exotic and gritty, exhilarating and utterly gripping, Cassandra Clare's ferociously entertaining fantasy takes readers on a wild ride that they will never want to end.”


I first discovered The Mortal Instruments series right around the time when the second book came out.  I immediately fell in love with the books and characters and it quickly worked its way up two my second favorite book series of all time.  So for those of you haven’t read the series yet I’m going to tell you about City of Bones, the first books in the series, by Cassandra Clare and show you what you’ve been missing out on.

Clary Fray is fed up with her mother’s over bearing nature.  If she’s so much as a few minutes late because well frankly that happens when you have to haul a cab in New York City, she’s basically grounded and doesn’t hear the end of it.  But when her mother tries to force her to give up her summer taking art classes at the infamous Tisch simply because “she needs to get out of the city” she’s gone too far.  Little did Clary know that when she storms out of that apartment life as she knows it will be changed forever.  After storming out of her apartment with her best friend Simon in toll, she happens sees the invisible murdering hoodlum, Jace, she saw the night before.  But while she’s confronting him she gets a frantic call from her mom saying not to come home and someone’s found her.  When she gets to her apartment she finds that her mother is gone, and her only chance at finding her is Jace and his family.  City of Bones is an exciting YA thriller with evil, romance, friendship, battles, vampires, werewolves and much more. 


My rating for this book:

5

I love that Cassandra Clare created this whole new mythological race that is absolutely refreshing in comparison to all the vampires and werewolf stories that are out now.  Something else that’s great is that she isn’t afraid to go to extremes with her plot twist to make the readers beg for more.  City of Bones is told just from Clary’s point of view but as you get further into the series although she’s still the main character you get a glimpse into the other characters minds as well. 

Cassandra Clare is the bestselling author of The Mortal Instruments and Infernal Device series.  She friends with fellow Author Holly Black, whom she often goes on book tours with.  She is a fan of the new hit series A Game of Thrones and she is currently residing in New York City.  To learn more about Cassandra Clare follow her on twitter! 


If you guys have not read this series you have to check it out!! You will LOVE it!
--M

Thursday, November 10, 2011

You Respond: E-volution

The question today for the Booking Through Thursday meme was do you own an e-reader? And if so, has it changed your reading patterns at all? But you guys already know M has a Nook and I have a Kindle. If you've read my post about how I became a blogger and what blogging has done for me, you'll know that it is because of owning my wonderful Kindle that I not only began reading again, but have The Ink Puddle.

So instead, I want to ask you guys a few questions:

-   Do you own an e-reader? 
-   If so, which e-reader do you have? / If not, why not? Do you plan on getting one?
-   Has it changed your reading habits at all?
-   And, how do you feel about paper books now that you've been using your e-reader?


We look forward to hearing your responses!
J&M

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wondering on Wednesday: Nook Tablet

Guess what Nook fans?! On November 18th, Barnes and Noble is bringing out the brand new Nook Tablet.  It’s the Nook Color, already noted “the readers tablet”, and then some.

Old Favorite Features:
  • Adjustable reading text so that you can make the font bigger or smaller.
  • Thousands of apps from the android market.
  • Nook Friends where you can share what your reading with your friends on Facebook or Twitter.
  • WiFi for web and email.
  • Free Nook Support anytime you need a little help.
  • Pandora already preloaded.
  • Syncs between your Nook and your Nook apps so you never lose your place.
New & Improved Features:
  • There’s now 16 GB of built in memory in addition to the expandable memory slot that we all know and love from the Nook Color.
  • The battery life has been up graded to “more than the Kindle Fire”, upgrading from the Nook Colors 8 hours of battery life to 11.5 hours of battery life with 9 hours for video viewing.
  • Nook Comics will provide a large selection of your favorites for the first time on e-readers.
  • Netflix and Hulu Plus are preloaded onto the Nook Tablet with free trials included so you can watch your favorite movies and tv shows with the tap of the screen.
  • With all of this new stuff added, you’d think that the Nook Tablet would be much heavier than the already sort of heavy Nook Color but it’s now thinner and lighter than not just the Nook Color but it’s a third lighter than the other leading tablets.
  • The Nook Tablet now has a built in microphone so that you can record yourself reading for your kids to replay later.  

So what do you guys think?  Is this in your purchasing future?  Although I’m excited Barnes and Noble brought out something new in time for Christmas, I personally don’t plan on upgrading, especially since they’ll be offering some of the upgrades that they’re putting in the Nook Tablet, such as HD entertainment, for the Nook Color, which is pretty awesome of Barnes and Noble.  
 
Love, your team Nook writer, 

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Weekend Roundup (10/31-11/4)

Here's what you missed at The Ink Puddle this week!

Monday: Review - Hollowland by Amanda Hocking and The Mortal Instruments Movie Update
Tuesday: Author Spotlight - Ann-Marie King Interview
Wednesday: Book Swim
Thursday: Amazon Prime- NEW Kindle Lending Service
Friday: Review - Happy Birthday to Me Again by Brian Rowe, Feature - Brian Rowe Guest Post

Giveaway: Our Halloween giveaway is now concluded and unfortunately, we did not make our goals so I no prizes are won this time. Don't worry though, I'm already in planning mode for the next giveaway. It will be sometime in December.

Updates: We are currently not taking anymore review requests until the first of the year due to finals, NaNoWriMo and holidays. We're going to spend the time catching up on requests made in the past couple of months that we haven't had the chance to get to.

Also, thank you for being patient with us. Due to this being the first week of NaNoWriMo I was able to still manage the blog a little bit and keep everything else in tact as well. I'm afraid the upcoming couple of weeks won't be as easy though. But from what I've noticed, I'm not the only one stepping back from the blog this week so I hope everyone out there doing NaNo is doing great. Good luck to all of you.

And you have a fantastic weekend. :)

Friday, November 4, 2011

Feature Friday: Brian Rowe

Today we have Brian Rowe, author of the Happy Birthday Trilogy, for a guest post!

How I create my stories usually differs with each book. There's always some elements of my real life in my stories, and all of my novels I've written so far have originated from events that have actually happened to me. Now, that doesn't mean I've actually aged seventy years in 70 days or anything; I'm still aging normally,  and just celebrated my 27th birthday. But I've always been interested in the obsession we have as a society with birthdays, and I wanted to explore that in this Birthday trilogy.

I don't brainstorm a whole lot, actually; I'm lucky enough to have creative inspiration all the time, and usually I have more ideas than I know what to do with. I really hate to sit at my desk and just ponder things. I like to go with my instinct and, whenever possible, let the voices of the characters guide the way. I never intended Happy Birthday to Me as a trilogy, but the ideas, and Cameron and Liesel especially,  just wouldn't leave my head. After I finished the first book, I simply felt like the story wasn't done. And It didn't take long to imagine the scarier Book 2 and the apocalyptic Book 3. I'm now so thrilled I wrote these two sequels, because they're the most fun I've had so far in writing fiction.

If Happy Birthday to Me were made into a movie, first of all, I'd hope it'd retain the dark edge of the books, and not be a G-rated tween fantasy film. The casting process is tricky to think about because the actors who would be perfect for these roles now would probably be too old if it took 3, 5, or 10 years to get the films made. But I were the casting director of the first book right now, I would have a blast in casting these roles. The easy choice for Cameron would be Zac Efron (he made a similar what-if film with 17 Again), but I'm a big fan of Glee and I actually think the adorable Darren Criss would make a great Cameron. Liesel is a red head in the books, and the perfect red head would be Emma Stone. For Wesley I really like the young actor Kyle Gallner, and for Kimber, Chloe Grace Moretz. I also think a big name should be cast for the Mrs. Gordon character, since she's arguably the most interesting adult character in the first book. Frances Conroy from Six Feet Under would be a great choice, as would Kathy Bates. 

I hope you all check out my YA trilogy Happy Birthday to Me! Book 2 is now available, and Book 3 will be available in December.

Brian