Tuesday, June 29, 2010

What It Is To Be Canadian Videos

So it was my intention to post about only Canadian stuff for the week leading up to Canada day but with the new Harry Potter trailer and the news that the Vampire Academy has been optioned by a film I had to deviate from my original plan.  So for today I leave you with some fun videos......Enjoy!

Vampire Academy Film Rights Sold!

Preger Entertainment has acquired the film rights for the Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead.  To read the complete article click here. The article also states that Penguin/Razorbill has ordered a new spin off series of The Vampire Academy set to begin in 2011.

I am really excited by this news and I hope Preger Entertainment moves forward with this project soon.  The Vampire Academy is one of my favorite YA series and I think it could be adapted well into a film (mmmm Dimitri in the flesh). While The Vampire Diaries T.V series was well received by fans I am not a fan of the books and felt that of all the YA vamp genre books out there the series by L.J. Smith would not have been my first pic.  Of all the many YA paranormal books available which one do you think would be best suited to make the leap to film or TV? Are you interested in seeing a movie based on The Vampire Academy?

For more lists of books that have been made, in production or in development, check out The Book Guru's BIG List of Books Into Movies here and one of my recent posts with an update on the list of YA movies who's film rights have been recently optioned (all information was gathered from news articles or the Internet Movie Database).

Monday, June 28, 2010

Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Newest EPIC trailer

I am speechless.  I believe myself to be Canada's number 1 Harry Potter fan.  I have read the books countless times, I watch one of the movies most nights before I go to bed, my phone rings to the Harry Potter theme song, when I read Deathly Hallows I cried.... A LOT, I dressed up for the book releases and waited in line at midnight for my copy of the novel, I dress up for the movie premiers, I own my own wand and I quote the books and novels on a regular basis.......It may be a little sad, I know but Harry Potter is my happy place.  So I did a little freak out happy dance tonight when my husband called me over to show me the new Harry Potter special trailer for parts 1 and  2.  Enjoy friends :)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Review & Contest: girlSpoken from pen, brush & tongue

A woman from a Canadian publishing company called Second Story Press recently contacted me in regards to reviewing their catalog to see if there was any novels that I would be interested in reviewing.  Second Story Press is dedicated to publishing feminist inspired books for both adult and young adult readers.  While I primarily read fiction I have a soft spot for reading inspirational true stories written by young adults.  As a Child and Youth Worker I am always awed and inspired by the resilience of today's youth and saddened by the challenges they face.  While reading the poems and stories and taking in the beautiful artwork of young women in the book girlSpoken I was inspired by their strength, their wisdom and their understanding of the challenges facing young women today.  At times I cried as I read about their life experiences; experiences no individual should have to endure.  This book is mature, honest, inspiring, raw, heart-wrenching and uplifting all at the same time.  While at times I was shocked by some of the language used in this book by young women under the age of 18 it was still reflective of today's young women and the environment we are raising them in.  We need to teach our young women strong values, open dialogue with them about self worth, encourage them to question and be willing to really listen to them and value their opinions.

I hope you will consider purchasing this novel or entering the giveaway below because the stories of the young women within the pages of girlSpoken are the stories of young women all across the world.  Let their words inspire you to be the best you can be, to help advocate for change where change is needed and to embrace the wonderful, beautiful, woman that you are today. With the publishers permission I have included a poem from the novel girlSpoken below.  It is honest, shocking and reflective of how the media is influencing the self perception of young women.  Strong and suggestive language is included.

(Note: please continue to read on after the poem for more information regarding girlSpoken and the contest details)

I am Woman

I am woman. Hear me roar.
But hang on just one second,
I have to apply some lip-gloss and fix my hair.

How do I look, sir?
Do you approve?
Am I fuckable?
Do I turn you on?

We are so many things,
With so much more to offer
Than what we allow ourselves to show.

It wouldn’t be very ladylike of us to hold our own door open.
Now, sit up straight and cover your mouth when you cough.
Smile with your teeth (not your gums) and suck in your gut.

We’re tiptoeing through this world,
Watching our steps so as not to disturb.
We’re joining the ocean of expectations,
And we’re sinking like stones.
Applying red nail polish, I cover the imperfections
With the bloodshed of all those women
Who sacrificed themselves for the right
To be a woman in man’s clothing.

Our stomachs scream for change.
We kneel over toilets and plunge our fingers down our throats,
To gain control, to purge our frustrations,
Throwing-up everything that really matters
For everything that doesn’t.

Ashamed of my hypocrisy,
I’m screaming as loud as I can,
But my own hand covers my mouth.
I complain about my thighs, my ass, my nose, and apply make-up daily.
I’m running out of air. It’s getting cold and dark in here.
Illuminate me with your experience,
And teach me how to fly.
My wings are rusty, but it’s my turn
To leave the nest and all the rest
To glide along.

So come on, girl, let’s fight.
It’s not over yet.
To every female doctor, lawyer, priest and mother,
I bow my head and thank you for the inspiration.
Talk to me, women.
I’m ready and willing to listen.
Don’t be ashamed of your age,
Be proud of your wisdom.
Because you, me, she
Are choking on magazine advertisements.
We’re being poisoned by the ink
That sinks into our bodies,
That’s programming us with
“21 ways to please your man? & “15 steps to a firmer stomach.”

To all women with whom I’ve been blessed to converse,
I say this:
There is hope. It’s never to late.
If you just open your eyes and see that we have so much to offer this world –
You and me.
For, I am woman. Hear me roar
(as I sneak into the bathroom and kneel on the floor).
                                                                Caitlin Hutt, 18
                                                                (page 95-97 girlSpoken)

Title: girlSpoken from pen, brush & tongue
Author: Numerous
Publisher: Second Story Press
Published: October 31, 2007
Format: Trade Paperback ($19.95 CDN)

From the Publisher:

From pen, brush, and tongue, girls and young women (ages 13-19) speak their truths, tell it like it is, and call for change. This collection of creative works is an exploration of young women's identities, self-expression and voice. Their voices are quirky and flirtatious, strong and adventurous, outraged and scared —and often are searching for truth. Taken collectively, the girls pieces read like a whispered conversation between friends. The contributors want to tell other girls that they are not alone in what they're experiencing as they navigate adolescence. Each contributor invites you into a piece of her life.

Giveaway Details: Thank you very much to Second Story Press for offering a copy of this novel as a giveaway on my blog!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The BIG List of Canadian Books/Series & Authors

Below you will find two lists.  List one will include my favorite books and series by Canadian authors as well as books suggested by friends and readers.  List two will simply be a list of Canadian Authors, however, the second list is not intended to include every Canadian author that ever was.  The author list is is a compilation of authors who's work I have either read, am familiar with, has been recommended to me or been suggested by a reader.  If you have a favorite Canadian book, series, or author and it, he or she is not listed below please feel free to comment or email me and I would be happy to edit this list to include them!

Canadian Books or Series


A Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood  (Guru Recommended)


Darkest Powers Series by Kelley Armstrong (Guru Recommended)
1. The Summoning
2. The Awakening
3. The Reckoning


Five Days of the Ghost by William Bell (Guru Recommended) 


Little (Grrl) Lost by Charles de Lint (Guru Recommended) 


Otherworld Series by Kelley Armstrong (Guru Recommended)
1.  Bitten
2.  Stolen
3.  Dime Store Magic
4.  Industrial Magic
5.  Haunted
6.  Broken
7.  No Humans Involved 
8.  Personal Demon
9.  Living with the Dead
10. Frost Bitten
11. Waking the Witch


The Blue Girl by Charles de Lint (Guru Recommended)


Waifs and Strays by Charles de Lint  *
Watch by Robert J Sawyer

Author List


Armstrong, Kelley *
Atwood, Margaret  *


Bell, William *


Cowan, Lesley Anne


de Lint, Charles *
Coupland, Douglas


Gladwell, Malcolm


Huff, Tanya 


Jennings, Maureen


Kay, Guy Gavril


Laurence, Margaret
Leacock, Stephen


Montgomery, L.M.


Rowen, Michelle


Sawyer, Robert

Canadian Author Spotlight: Charles de Lint

Author: Charles de Lint
Website: Click here
Known For: Charles de Lint is considered to be the father of urban fantasy
Books: For a complete list of novels by Charles de Lint click here
Age Group: Charles de Lint has books written for both adults and young adults
The Guru's Favorite de Lint books: The Blue Girl, Waifs & Strays & Little (Grrl) Lost (see below for more information on these novels)
For more information on Charles de Lint click here

Title: The Blue Girl
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Published: 2004
Format: Paperback ($10.00 CDN or less)
Age Group: Young Adult
Click here to browse inside this book

From the Publisher: 

Imogene is a tough, independent-minded teenager who's just arrived in the city of Newford. Although immediately shunned by the popular crowd, she's managed to make two friends: Maxine, a somewhat straitlaced smart girl who's similarly outcast; and Adrian, the ghost of a nerdy boy who died in a mishap caused by the cheerfully amoral, prankish fairies who live in the high school. Adrian, who's desperate for Imogene to like him, tries in vain to convince her that fairies are real; but while Imogene's prepared to believe in ghosts, her credulity is already stretched to its limits. Adrian asks the fairies to help him open Imogene's eyes, but unfortunately, Imogene's new enlightenment comes with a potentially devastating price. While targeted toward a younger audience, fans of de Lint's adult works will enjoy this addition to Newford lore, and will be pleased by the cameo appearances of characters from several previous novels.

Title: Waifs and Strays
Publisher: Penguin USA
Published: 2002
Format: Hardcover ($ 25.99 CDN) & Paperback ($11.50 CDN)
Age Group: Young Adult
Click here to browse inside this book

From the Publisher: 

Charles de Lint is a thirteen-time finalist for the World Fantasy Award, and eight of his books were chosen for the reader-selected Modern Library Top 100 Books of the Twentieth Century. His best-selling and award-winning work has always featured teenage characters. Here, at long last, is a collection of his stories about teenagers-a book for teen and adult alike. From the streets of his famed Newford to the alleys of Bordertown to the realms of Faerie, this is speculative fiction that will tranfix and delight, that will make readers think and feel and keep reading. Waifs and Strays is a must-own for de Lint fans, and an ideal introduction to his work for newcomers. Charles de Lint is a thirteen-time finalist for the World Fantasy Award, and eight of his books were chosen for the reader-selected Modern Library Top 100 Books of the Twentieth Century. His best-selling and award-winning work has always featured teenage characters. Here, at long last, is a collection of his stories about teenagers-a book for teen and adult alike. From the streets of his famed Newford to the alleys of Bordertown to the realms of Faerie, this is speculative fiction that will tranfix and delight, that will make readers think and feel and keep reading. Waifs and Strays is a must-own for de Lint fans, and an ideal introduction to his work for newcomers. Charles de Lint is a thirteen-time finalist for the World Fantasy Award, and eight of his books were chosen for the reader-selected Modern Library Top 100 Books of the Twentieth Century. His best-selling and award-winning work has always featured teenage characters. Here, at long last, is a collection of his stories about teenagers-a book for teen and adult alike. From the streets of his famed Newford to the alleys of Bordertown to the realms of Faerie, this is speculative fiction that will tranfix and delight, that will make readers think and feel and keep reading. Waifs and Strays is a must-own for de Lint fans, and an ideal introduction to his work for newcomers.

Title: Little (Grrl) Lost
Publisher: Penguin Young Reader Group
Published: 2007
Format: Paperback ($10.00 CDN) Hardcover ($22.50 CDN)
Age Group: Young adult
Click here to browse inside this book

From the Publisher:

When T.J. and her family are forced to move from their farm to the Newford suburbs, she makes an unexpected new friend—Elizabeth, a punked-out teen runaway with a big attitude—who also happens to be a "Little," standing just six inches tall. Her family lives inside the walls of T.J.'s house. T.J. and Elizabeth soon forge a prickly friendship that's put to the test when each girl finds herself in dangerous territory, without any way to help the other. Both have to learn the hard way whom to trust, and how to rely on their instincts and find kindred spirits. Little (Grrl) Lost is Charles de Lint at his captivating best.

The Book Guru's Opinion:

Charles de Lint is hands down my favorite Canadian author.  While many authors write excellent novels within the urban fantasy genre not all are believable the way de Lint is.  Charles de Lint brings to life young adult protagonists in an seemingly effortless way while they explore and develop their individuality in the most extraordinary of circumstances.  His writing flows so smoothly and from beginning to end he engages the reader in a beautiful and unique story that brings the most fantastical elements of our imagination to life.  If you have not had the pleasure of reading a Charles de Lint novel please consider one of the above novels or browse through a complete list of his work here.  Don't forget you can click the link to browse inside all three of the books above.  If you have any comments about this author or if you have read one of his novels please share by commenting below!

Count Down To Canada Day!

July 1, AKA Canada Day, is just around the corner so to celebrate in my own special way I will be rolling out a new feature on my blog that will spotlight my favorite Canadian authors.  Leading up to July 1 I will be posting almost every day highlighting my favorite authors and novels as well as some recent finds and hopefully inspiring you to check out what Canada has to offer!  If you have a favorite Canadian author please feel free to comment or email me with the name of a novel or of the author as I will be starting a new "BIG" list of Canadian authors. Check back soon for my first post spotlighting one of my favorite authors, Charles de Lint.  It is said that he helped to pioneer the urban fantasy and mythic fiction genre so if you are not familiar with him you'll have to come back to learn more!

The Book Guru

Monday, June 21, 2010

Today In My Mailbox I Found....

The Search by Nora Roberts.  Thank you very much to the Penguin Group Canada for sending me the newest Nora Roberts book!  Its very hot in my part of Ontario Canada today so I set aside an hour or two between house chores to drink some iced tea and read a few chapters.  I can't say that I get excited for a Nora Roberts book the way I do when one of my favorite authors releases a new book but I am always certain I can count on Roberts to sweep me away for a few hours into a romantic, enjoyable, and entertaining story.  Five chapters in I am engaged by the plot and eagerly waiting for things to steam up between the two main characters.  Look for my review of this novel on July 6, 2010 and if your interested in more information about The Search please read on!

Title: The Search
Author: Nora Roberts
Publisher: Penguin Group
Release Date: July 6, 2010
Format: Hardcover ($31.00 CDN)
Age Group: Adult
Copy: Provided by Penguin Group Canada

From the Publisher:

To most people, Fiona Bristow seems to have an idyllic life-a quaint house on an island off Seattle's coast, a thriving dog-training school, and a challenging volunteer job performing canine search and rescues. Not to mention her three intensely loyal Labs. But Fiona got to this point by surviving a nightmare... 


Several years ago, Fiona was the only survivor of the Red Scarf serial killer, who shot and killed Fiona's cop fiance and his K-9 partner. 

On Orcas Island, Fiona found the peace and solitude she needed to rebuild her life. But all that changes on the day Simon Doyle barrels up her drive, desperate for her help. He's the reluctant owner of an out-of-control puppy, foisted upon him by his mother. Jaws has eaten through Simon's house, and he's at his wit's end. 

To Fiona, Jaws is nothing she can't handle. Simon, however, is another matter. A newcomer to Orcas, he's a rugged and in-tensely private artist, known for the exquisite furniture he creates from wood. Simon never wanted a puppy-and he most definitely doesn't want a woman. Besides, the lanky redhead is not his type. But tell that to his hormones. 

As Fiona embarks on training Jaws, and Simon begins to appreciate both dog and trainer, the past tears back into Fiona's life. A copycat killer has emerged out of the shadows, a man whose bloodlust has been channeled by a master with one motive: to reclaim the woman who slipped out of his hands...

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Mailbox Overflow

Today is a great day!  I got two packages in the mail today from Canadian Publisher Second Story Press and HarperCollins Canada.  Thank you very much to both publishers for sending me these books so soon after I requested them.  I can't wait to start reading, reviewing and recommending these great books to my readers!

Courtesy of HarperCollins Canada

Title: Once Dead Twice Shy (Book #1)
Author: Kim Harrison
Series: Madison Avery Series
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Published: May 15, 2009
Format: Softcover ($11.99 CDN) 

Click here to browse inside the book!

From the Publisher: 

My name is Madison Avery, and I'm here to tell you that there's more out there than you can see, hear, or touch. Because I'm there. Seeing it. Touching it. Living it.

Madison's prom was killer-literally. For some reason she's been targeted by a dark reaper-yeah, that kind of reaper-intent on getting rid of her, body and soul. But before the reaper could finish the job, Madison was able to snag his strange, glowing amulet and get away.

Now she's stuck on Earth-dead but not gone. Somehow the amulet gives her the illusion of a body, allowing her to toe the line between life and death. She still doesn't know why the dark reaper is after her, but she's not about to just sit around and let fate take its course.
With a little ingenuity, some light-bending, and the help of a light reaper (one of the good guys! Maybe . . . ), her cute crush, and oh yeah, her guardian angel, Madison's ready to take control of her own destiny once and for all, before it takes control of her.

Well, if she believed in that stuff.

Title: Early to Death Early to Rise
Author: Kim Harrison
Series: Madison Avery Series (Book #2)
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Published: Mary 25, 2010
Format: Hardcover ($18.99 CDN)

Click here to browse inside the book!

From the Publisher: 

Seventeen, dead, and in charge of heaven's dark angels-all itching to kill someone.

Madison Avery's dreams of ever fitting in at her new school died when she did. Especially since she was able to maintain the illusion of a body, deal with a pesky guardian angel, and oh yeah, bring the reaper who killed her to his untimely end. Not exactly in-crowd material. It's amazing that her crush, Josh, doesn't think she's totally nuts.

Now Madison has learned that she's the dark timekeeper, in charge of angels who follow the murky guidelines of fate. Never one to abide by the rules, she decides it's time for a major change to the system. With the help of some unlikely allies, Madison forms a rogue group of reapers who definitely don't adhere to the rules of the heavens.

But as she grapples with the terrifying new skills that come with being a timekeeper, Madison realizes she may not be prepared for what lies ahead-unless she gets some seriously divine intervention.

Title: Radiant Shadows
Author: Melissa Marr
Series: Wicked Lovely Series
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Published: April 12, 2010
Format: Hardcover ($18.99 CDN)

Click here to browse inside the book!

From the Publisher:

Hunger for nourishment.
Hunger for touch.
Hunger to belong.
Half-human and half-faery, Ani is driven by her hungers.

Those same appetites also attract powerful enemies and uncertain allies, including Devlin. He was created as an assassin and is brother to the faeries' coolly logical High Queen and to her chaotic twin, the embodiment of War. Devlin wants to keep Ani safe from his sisters, knowing that if he fails, he will be the instrument of Ani's death.

Ani isn't one to be guarded while others fight battles for her, though. She has the courage to protect herself and the ability to alter Devlin's plans-and his life. The two are drawn together, each with reason to fear the other and to fear for one another. But as they grow closer, a larger threat imperils the whole of Faerie. Will saving the faery realm mean losing each other?

Alluring romance, heart-stopping danger, and sinister intrigue combine in the penultimate volume of Melissa Marr's New York Times bestselling Wicked Lovely series.

Title: Wondrous Strange (Book #1)
Author: Lesley Livingston
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Published: December 16, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperbound ($9.99 CDN)

Click here to browse inside the book!

From the Publisher:

Kelley Winslow is living her dream. Seventeen years old, she has moved to New York City and started work with a theater company. Sure, she's only an understudy for the Avalon Players, a third-tier repertory company so far off-Broadway it might as well be in Hoboken, but things are looking up-the lead has broken her ankle and Kelley's about to step into the role of Titania the Faerie Queen in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream

But Faeries are far more real than Kelley thinks, and a chance encounter in Central Park with a handsome young man named Sonny Flannery plunges her into an adventure she could never have imagined. Sonny and Kelley find themselves drawn to each other-and into a terrible plot that could spell disaster for both New York and the Faerie realm alike.

Courtesy of Second Story Press Canada 

Title: Hear Me Out: true stories of Teens Educating And Confronting Homophobia T.E.A.C.H
Author: Various
Published: October 13, 2004
Format: Trade Paperback

From the Publisher: 

More and more gay teens are speaking out about the realization of their sexuality, and about the consequences-the reactions of friends and families, schoolmates and society in general. These heartfelt memoirs, originally presented orally in schools, speak poignantly about the lives of young gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and transsexual people today.
Title: Girl Spoken: from pen, brush, and tongue
Author: Various
Format: Paperback with colour illustrations ($18.95 CDN)

From the Publisher: 

“Being a teenage girl is not for the weak”

From pen, brush, and tongue, girls and young women (ages 13-19) speak their truths, tell it like it is, and call for change. This collection of creative works is an exploration of young women’s identities, self-expression and voice. Contributors have spoken from city streets, suburban bedrooms, prairie farms, and reservation schools. Their voices are quirky and flirtatious, strong and adventurous, outraged and scared — and often are searching for truth. Taken collectively, the girls’ pieces read like a whispered conversation between friends. The contributors want to tell other girls that they are not alone in what they’re experiencing as they navigate adolescence. Each one invites you into a piece of her life as she makes her mark.

Thank you again to Second Story Press and HarperCollins Canada for these lovely books!  I can't wait to get reading.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Wind Warrior by Cynthia Roberts

Periodically I like to come out of my reading comfort zone and try something new so when debut author Cynthia Robers approached me about doing a feature on my blog for the upcoming release of her novel Wind Warrior I seized the opportunity.  I have only read the first few chapters of Wind Warrior but thus far Cynthia Roberts descriptive writing style has caught my attention. I am eager to cozy up with a cup of tea and further explore the interesting story of visionary Leslie Michaels.  Wind Warrior is a debut novel for Roberts and is the first in the Iroquois Series set to be released June 15th.  Please take time to check out the book trailer below with further information regarding the author and the book to listed below.

Title: Wind Warrior
Author: Cynthia Roberts
Publisher: Tate Publishing
Format: Paperback
Release Date: June 15, 2010
Purchase At: Amazon or Barnes & Noble


Leslie Michaels is a visionary, and only those close to her know of her special gift and the visions that come when her mind and body surrender to sleep. Fate has a way of righting many wrongs, and for Leslie it is a destiny that changes her life dramatically. But not before she is forced to flee into the wilderness to escape a murderous trapper bent on claiming her for his very own. Faith and a strong will to survive are her only companions, until she encounters Winnokin, the handsome Seneca war chief who first came to her in her dreams. Not only does he prove to be her rescuer and protector, he teaches her that tragedy can breed happiness and the passion to live and love deeply once again. Wind Warrior plunges readers into the intimate depths of a relationship that unfolds like a live drama before their eyes while painting an insightful and intriguing portrait of Native Indian life in the 1800s. It is a story of longing, of a wanton need to survive all odds, and a love so strong it conquers human evil. Wind Warrior expresses with cunning words the simple, raw human emotions that hold readers spellbound and captivate their hearts.

Author Biography:

 Hello everyone.  Like all of you, I lived and breathed reading romances … it filled many long, lonely evenings when my husband worked nights in law enforcement and I was raising our children Jason and Alyssa (now 31 and 29).  It proved my constant companion later when my “Cinderella” marriage of twenty-five years came to an unexpected end.  There is a quote I heard once I can’t remember verbatim but goes somewhat like … “There is no greater loss than a love once known.”

I’m a true believer that when tragedy strikes and you’re standing at the edge of a fathomless abyss and all you see is darkness looking back at you, faith lies in knowing one of two things will happen.  You can either let fear consume you, roll up into a ball and waste away or, you can take a leap of faith and learn how to soar like an eagle.

I’ve always had a passion for writing from that very moment a Crayola was placed in my hand and throughout my career in marketing, public relations and sales writing creatively came easy.  When my marriage ended at the age of 45, life as I knew it was never the same.  It was a time of unrest, uncertainty, losing friends and family and financial ruin because I also found myself jobless which continued nearly two years. 

Wind Warrior became my salvation.  One evening I sat in front of the computer and decided to write instead of read and figured all I could do was fail.  It proved my therapy back then but not quite up to par to win the favor of publishers.  I received so many rejections I could have wallpapered a small room in my house and almost gave up on my dream.  That is, until I realized it just wasn’t my time.  I needed to live through and get beyond the pain in my own life before I could transform that experience into the kind of passion and emotion I wanted my readers to feel personally through my writing

I chose to write an historical Indian romance because the first fiction I ever read was a novel from Cassie Edward’s Savage series and instantly became hungry to read more.  I tracked down every one of those babies; let me tell you, until I read them all.  However, every one I read from that point on was based on a Plains tribe.  I wanted to focus on a tribe indigenous to my area and decided to write a series based on the tribes that make up the Iroquois League of Nations here on the east coast.  Their warriors were the fiercest ever known to strike terror in the hearts of early settlers from Pennsylvania to Canada.  They were referred to as "People of the Longhouse" because their families lived together in wooden structures upward of 40 feet long.  They were an extremely powerful nation that was sadly torn apart by the American Revolution.  I fell in love with the simplistic beauty of their culture and folklore.  We could learn so much from our Native American brothers and the reverent love and respect they have for everything that is natural and of this earth.  They knew how to live in balance with plants, animals and the natural elements ... never taking more than what was needed to sustain their people and way of life. 

Wind Warrior  will officially be released on June 15th and available now for purchase through Tate’s website.  It is my heartfelt hope readers will find it as enthralling to read as it was for me to research and bring to life.  Book #2 Captive Heart is finished and expected to be released the end of this year. 

Now that the writer in me has been unleashed look out world!  If I can leave my beautiful five grandchildren any legacy, it will be the strength, conviction and passion put into every story I bring to life.  Please stay tuned for future projects which will include a series introducing contemporary shape shifters and two mainstream romance thrillers entitled Pawn For Malice and The Keeper’s Watch.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Books In To Movies Update

After seeing that some of the casting for Uglies by Scott Westerfeld had been completed I was compelled to check out if there was any additional information on books that I know are being made into movies as well as checking out to see if any production companies had optioned the rights for any other of my favorite books.

Turns out Lionsgate optioned the rights for The Hunger Games and were quoted as saying,

“THE HUNGER GAMES is an incredible property and it is a thrill to bring it home to Lionsgate. This is the exactly the kind of movie I came to Lionsgate to make: youthful, exciting, smart and edgy. We are looking forward to working with Nina and Suzanne to create a movie that satisfies audiences’ hunger for high-quality entertainment.”

When looking into the matter further I can only see that there is an anticipated release date scheduled sometime for 2011.  

An untitled House of Night project is categorized as in development but a article on the matter is available here

Wings by Aprilynn Pike is also scheduled as in development with Miley Cyrus set to play the lead....not all that excited by that. 

The Mortal Instruments series was optioned by Unique Features and has secured financing and a screenwriter.  The suggested release date should this series should it go from in development to in production would be 2012.  Click here for more information. 

Universal Pictures has acquired the screen rights for Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr.  Again it is categorized as in development with a suggested date of 2012. 

Unique Features picked up the film rights for Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater.  Find more information about this on Maggie's webstie 

I just nearly lost my bananas when I read that Bitten by Kelley Armstrong has (for some time) been optioned by Warner Brothers and guess who they have listed as starring Elena?  Angelian Fricking Jolie!  Admittedly I can't picture her as Elena but I love Angelina Jolie....Make her blond and maybe just maybe I can stretch my imagination. 

Its unbelievable how many adult and young adult novels are being made into movies.  While I truly enjoy seeing a book brought to life on the big screen it always has me a little scared.  "They" did an outstanding job with The Lord of the Rings and the Harry Potter series and I hope if any of the above novels stated as in development or in production come to fruition "we" will not be disappointed.

Uglies Casting?

Periodically I brows the Internet Movie Database looking for updates on casting and production of my favorite books.  Today while browsing the status of the movie version of Uglies by Scott Westerfeld I noticed that they completed some of the casting.  The release date still says 2011 but gives no other indication on how things are progressing.  I think they chose well casting actor Kaya Scodelairo as Shay as she seems to have a cold edgy look.  I can be convinced that actor Lucas Till could be David but I am not as sure about India Eisley playing Tally.....What do you think?

Tally Youngblood played by India Eisley

Shay played by Kaya Scodelairo 

and David played by Lucas Till

Review: Moonlight: A Dark Guardian Novel by Rachel Hawthorne

Title: Moonlight Book #1
Series: Dark Guardian Novel
Author: Rachel Hawthorne 
Publisher: Harpercollins Publishers
Published: February 23, 2009
Format: Trade Paperback ($9.99 CDN)
Age Group: Young Adult
My Copy: Purchased by me for the Kobo E Reader ($5.89 CDN)

From the Publisher: 

I see him and know what this turmoil inside of me means: He's the one. My forever.

Kayla is the nature lover, the all-American beauty who can't understand why she's so drawn to distant, brooding Lucas. Adopted as a young child, she has no way of knowing that she's inherited a terrifying-and thrilling-gene that will change her life forever.

Lucas is dangerous, gorgeous . . . and a werewolf. As leader of the Dark Guardians, shape-shifters who gather deep within the state park, he has sworn to protect his pack. But when Lucas finds his true soul mate, his love could put them all in harm's way.

As Lucas and Kayla struggle with their feelings for each other, a greater danger lurks: Humans have discovered the Dark Guardians and are planning their destruction. Kayla must choose between the life she knows and the love she feels certain is her destiny.

My Review: 

At 320 pages Moonlight, the first book in the Dark Guardian series, is a quick read but it's packed with romance, suspense, and a new take on shape shifters. This series is definitely geared for young adults and although the majority of books I am currently reading are from the young adult genre I found this book to be a little young for me.  

As a protagonist I feel Kayla authentically represents your average teenage girl dealing with complex and unexpected obstacles.  Although at times Kayla is portrayed as insecure and vulnerable her personality is balanced with courage and loyalty.  I think Lucas caters to that unexplainable attraction young women have to "bad boys" and it feeds the fantasy that maybe that bad boy just needed the right girl to come along. 

I really enjoyed that the majority of the book takes place in the wilderness.  I am an avid camper so the thought that while hiking through the  woods there could be a human in wolf form following me sends shivers down my spine! 

I really love the history of shape shifters that Hawthorne delves into periodically throughout the progression of Moonlight.  Additionally she reveals just enough about the supporting characters to excite the reader for the additional Dark Guardian novels.  As a reader I love when an author explores other characters within the series and I look forward to reading Dark Guardian three, Full Moon.   

My Rating: 3/5

Custom Domain Name!

Hello my lovely readers!  Today I officially customized my domain name and I can now be found at www.thebookgurugirl.com!  People kept asking how they can find me on the internet and this will be soooo much easier :)  Thanks once again to Parajunkee for her tutorial on how to customize your domain.  It was easy to follow and very quick.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Review: Fallen by Lauren Kate

Title: Fallen
Author: Lauren Kate
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Published: December 8, 2009
Format: E Copy ($10.49 CDN) Hardcover ($22.99 CDN)
Age Group: Young Adult
Book: E Copy purchased by me  for the KOBO E Reader

From the Publisher: 

There's something achingly familiar about Daniel Grigori.

Mysterious and aloof, he captures Luce Price's attention from the moment she sees him on her first day at the Sword & Cross boarding school in sultry Savannah, Georgia. He's the one bright spot in a place where cell phones are forbidden, the other students are all screw-ups, and security cameras watch every move.

Even though Daniel wants nothing to do with Luce--and goes out of his way to make that very clear--she can't let it go. Drawn to him like a moth to a flame, she has to find out what Daniel is so desperate to keep secret . . . even if it kills her.

Dangerously exciting and darkly romantic, Fallen is a page turning thriller and the ultimate love story.

My Review: 

If I had to sum up this book in three words those words would be mysterious, tragic, and romantic.  I devoured this novel fairly quickly primarily because I wanted to uncover the mystery of who and what Daniel Grigori is and what his connection is to Luce.  As a protagonist I found Luce to be completely believable and absolutely likable. Although she presented herself as scared and somewhat hopeless there is an inner strength to Luce that is revealed throughout the novel as she pushes her comfort zones to confront her obstacles. Throughout most of the novel Daniel is a confusing character who's behavior is questionable but his mysteriousness and Luce's unexplainable reaction to him leaves the reader in suspense.  I really enjoyed the supporting characters in this novel as their often odd and quirky personality traits added an authenticity to the plot line. 

Although the publishers synopsis does not reveal much about the plot of this novel the book trailer reveals that there is an ancient war preventing Luce and Daniel from ever being together and hints at the existence of angels.  For those of you who enjoy love triangles then this book delivers however from the beginning of the novel I felt that there was something a little sinister about one of the characters...I'll leave it for you to figure out who.

I will say that I found the teachers at the Sword and Cross as well as the environment to be a little unbelievable.  The Sword and Cross seemed more like a desolate orphanage for unwanted children then a boarding school that Luce's parents would willingly send her to receive support.  While at the school the students are expected to attend regular classes however there is no description of counseling services that I would expect out of any school that caters to troubled youth.

Regardless I found Fallen to be an excellent novel filled with themes that I love and enough uniqueness to have me captivated from beginning to end. I eagerly anticipate the release of the next novel in this series, Torment due to be released in September 2010.

On somewhat of a side note I find the covers of Fallen and Torment to be stunning and a true accurate reflection to the atmosphere of the novel and the main character Luce.  So often I either dislike a book cover or find that if a cover depicts the main character it does so in a misleading way. 

My rating: 4/5

Book Trailers:

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Harry Potter Sneak Peak

Nothing thrills me more then when I read that first line of a Harry Potter novel and immerse myself in a world I wish existed.  While browsing the internet I came upon a new trailer for Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 1.  On somewhat of a side note I had it in my head the movie was being released in July.  Needless to say I was beyond disappointed when I realized it isn't being released until November.  Alas these teasers will have to satisfy me.  Hope you enjoy this as much as I did!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Review: Bullet by Laurell K Hamilton

Title: Bullet
Author: Laurell K Hamilton
Published: June 1, 2010
Publisher: Penguin Group Canada
Format: Hardcover ($33.50 CDN) Discounts available @ Chapters Online & Amazon
Age Group: Adult
Book: Provided by Penguin Group Canada
Click here for a complete list of other books in this series

From the Publisher: 

"The music came back up and the next group of little girls, slightly older, came out. There was a lot of that in the next hour and change. I liked dance, and it was no reflection on the kids, but my will to live began to seep away on about the fifth group of sequined children... " 

Anita Blake is back in St. Louis and trying to live a normal life-as normal as possible for someone who is a legal vampire executioner and a U. S. Marshal. There are lovers, friends and their children, school programs to attend. In the midst of all the ordinary happiness a vampire from Anita's past reaches out. She was supposed to be dead, killed in an explosion, but the Mother of All Darkness is the first vampire, their dark creator. It's hard to kill a god. This dark goddess has reached out to her here-in St. Louis, home of everyone Anita loves most. The Mother of All Darkness has decided she has to act now or never, to control Anita, and all the vampires in America. 

The Mother of All Darkness believes that the triumvirate created by master vampire Jean-Claude with Anita and the werewolf Richard Zeeman has enough power for her to regain a body and to immigrate to the New World. But the body she wants to possess is already taken. Anita is about to learn a whole new meaning to sharing her body, one that has nothing to do with the bedroom. And if the Mother of All Darkness can't succeed in taking over Anita's body for herself, she means to see that no one else has the use of it, ever again. Even Belle Morte, not always a friend to Anita, has sent word: "Run if you can..."

My Review:  

*Warning: This novel has a high volume of sexual content and this novel and my review may not be appropriate for young readers.  Read at your own risk!* 

Before I get to my review I would like a moment to gush and tell you that throughout this novel I had to repeatedly put this novel down and fan myself before I spontaniously combusted.  When I finished the novel and my husband asked what I though about it I was momentarily speechless.  This novel is very, very naughty and very, very, very delicious....

Onto my review!

I have had the pleasure of reading the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter Series for more years then I can remember and she is one of the few authors who's characters have become like old friends.  Some protagonists I am able to identify with because I see myself in them but I don't see myself in Anita; for me that is what is so thrilling about her as a character.  While reading an Anita Blake novel you can escape to another exciting world where all the dark desires you have and those you didn't even know you have can be explored.

In the beginning of the series there was more of a focus on Anita as a necromancer, the solving of a paranormal crime, and the development of her romantic life.  As many readers of Hamilton know, throughout the series the level of sexual content has increased dramatically which has had mixed reviews.  At times I have felt that the sexual content has overshadowed the main plot of her novels but despite this I am never disappointed because Hamilton writes erotic sex scenes better then anyone else I have ever read. 

The newest addition to this Anita Blake Series, Bullet had the best balance of sexual content and paranormal plot lines that I have read in this series to date.  Readers be aware that Hamilton takes Anita's sexcapades to a whole new level of eroticism.  While reading the sex scenes in this novel I felt like a naughty voyeur and many times I felt myself blushing.  Much of the reason for this progression seems to be because Anita has become more accepting and comfortable with the Ardeur, the men her life, and her own needs.  The level of sexual content is also necessary because Anita gains power for herself and her people through sex and with the unexpected return of The Mother Of All Darkness Anita, her loved ones, and the entire population of humans and paranormal people alike will need Anita and those she is connected with to be at their most powerful if they have any hope of defeating her.

This book also delves back into the history of vampire and shifter lore and further explores the politics of the paranormal world Anita lives in.  The characters I have come to love are spotlighted well throughout the novel and an old romantic love of Anita's that I had all but written off makes a surprising comeback.  New characters are introduced that I was at first apprehensive about but surprisingly I feel that they help to complete an already large family unit and I can't wait to see their characters develop in future books. 

This book was tantalizing, suspenseful, erotic, and very well written.  Hamilton's ability to describe scenes in such vivid detail allow me to see into her world better then any other author I have ever read in the paranormal urban fantasy genre.  This novel exceeded my expectations by engaging me from beginning to end and I expect that future novels in this series will do the same.

If ever we create a personalized virtual reality system I know the first place I am going to visit ;) Hello Nethaniel, Jason, Jean-Claude, Asher, and Micah...which way to the bedroom?

My Rating: The highest I can give!