Characters Interview from Of Light And Darkness

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What are your thoughts on Magic?
Charlotte:  I love that I’m special enough to know it exists.  Most of my kind don’t.  I don’t take possessing that knowledge lightly, but I do love that there are infinite possibilities.
How do you deal with your past when you know you have to change for the future?
Valek: My past haunts me on a daily basis.  I cannot escape it, nor do I wish to.  I reminds me every day of the monster I am.  Charlotte is a symbol of my future…and the kind of good I potentially could be.
What are your reactions to others’ assumptions about Vampires?
Sarah: I think they are all absolutely ignorant, and I love to slap the next creature across the face who states otherwise.  Vampires are simply misunderstood.  But, I suppose what you believe is your own prerogative.
If you could go anywhere else int he world where would that be and why?
Francis: I would take a nice trip to Tahiti.  I desperately need to escape all of this doom and gloom….granted, all the sun wouldn’t be the best thing for my complexion.
If you could be anyone else who would that be and why?
Charlotte: I’d want to be Evangeline…easy.  Everything would be so much less…complicated.
When one human stands before an army of impossible obstacles, the likelihood of overcoming them in this coming-of-age modern fairytale may result in war between light and darkness.

Abandoned as an infant in Prague, naive and strong-willed Charlotte Ruzikova was raised by one of the last Vampires left alive. As a human, she knows no other home than the one nestled deep in the woods of Eastern Europe, where Witches drew spells of enchantment, Phasers threw tea parties, and Elves are the closest in kin. Charlotte has lived her life in the dark with her Guardian, content to having him to herself and reveling in his attention, until she’s realizes she wants more…

Resident medical doctor and Vampire, Valek Ruzik fears the day his ward would come of age and blossom into a fine woman, and he is forced to confront his own motives as time is of the essence once his past catches up to him, and their lives become endangered…

As genocide and war threatens their secret society, the dictator in power is ready to wipe out Valek’s race, but Charlotte will not allow that to happen. Fighting for the only one she’s ever loved and truly believed in, she will do whatever it takes to save their love…before the sun comes up and light takes over.


Children’s Review: A Pocket Full of Kisses by Audrey Penn

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A Pocket Full of Kisses by Audrey Penn
Illustrated by Barbara Leonard Gibson
Publisher:  Tanglewood Press
Published:  June 25th 2006
Hardcover, 32 pages
Reading Level: 3 and Up

Following up her New York Times–bestselling picture book The Kissing Hand, Audrey Penn teams up with illustrator Barbara Leonard Gibson to tell the sweet-natured tale of Chester Raccoon, an older brother who wonders if there are enough kisses to go around between him and his sibling. When Chester expresses frustration with little Ronny, Mrs. Raccoon reassures him with kind words and a Kissing Hand. This tides Chester over until he spots Mama giving Ronny a Kissing Hand, too, and the bewildered raccoon wonders if Mama still loves him at all. But with more tender parenting and a special gift for just him, Chester learns that Mama’s love is truly never ending. With Gibson’s lush artwork bringing to life the adorable Raccoon family and their green-and-yellow-hued forest, Penn offers a reassuring ode to a parent’s love that will give any child ample doses of comfort. This read, published by the Child Welfare League of America, is sure to be a welcome addition to before-bed reading or parent-child sharing times.

“When somebody loves you, their kisses are like the sun’s rays – always there and always shining.”

Chester is a new big brother. At first Chester loved being a big brother, until his new baby brother started to play with his toys and getting all the attention. To remind him of her love, Mrs. Raccoon gives Chester a Kissing Hand. Chester is full of love until he sees his baby brother getting a Kissing Hand. Mrs. Raccoon soothes his sadness with a story about everlasting love!

A Pocket Full of Kisses is a perfect book for children who are going to become a big brother/sister. At first Chester doesn’t understand why Mrs. Raccoon has to share her love with his new baby brother, feeling left out. But he soon learns that Mrs. Raccoon’s love will never run out. For children who are expecting a new brother/sister this feeling is not uncommon. Audrey Penn wonderfully explores this giving a heart warming solution that children of all ages can understand and believe.

Barbara Leonard Gibson’s illustrations are absolutely gorgeous with warm tones and amazing detail. Her raccoons are so lifelike you want to cuddle up with them. A Pocket Full of Kisses is a wonderful book for families who are expecting a new addition and for children who may feel a little left out.

You can find Audrey Penn on her WebSite | Blog 
You can find Barbara Leonard Gibson on her WebSite



Releases This Week: November 27th to December 3rd

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Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally (12/1/11) **2011 Debut Author

Kiss of Frost (Mythos Academy #2) by Jennifer Estep (11/29/11)
The Merchant’s Daughter by Melanie Dickerson (12/29/11)

Legend (Legend #1) by Marie Lu (11/29/11)
Second Skin (Skinned #2) by Judith Graves (12/1/11)

A New Aspect

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When I started this site I reviewed a mixture of different types of books.  I reviewed fiction and young adult books and then for a bit I reviewed a few children’s books.  As a new Book Blogger I was finding my niche as we all do.  Now that it has been a few years I have been focusing on YA literature solely.  However, on GoodReads and Amazon I continued to review Children’s Books – as an aspiring Elementary/Special Education teacher I love reading Children’s Books.  I even write my own Children’s Books (FYI NaNoWriMo is kicking my butt!!)

So what is my point?  I’ve been debating for a while now whether to create an entire new review site devoted to Children’s Books or to include them again on this review site.  I don’t want to loose any readers/followers (if anyone actually reads my reviews lol) by adding children’s books.  At the same time I’ve been getting more requests to review Children’s Books and I want to share my thoughts on them beyond just GoodReads and Amazon. 

My decision??  I think I’m going to choose 2 days a week that will focus on Children’s Books.  I know I said I was on a semi-hiatus but my fellow book bloggers know how that really goes… Semi-hiatus really just means “I’m stressed and might be randomly absent”.  So lookout for my new inclusion of the site!  I’m excited!  Thank you to all my followers!  ❤ U all!

Tucson’s Teens Read – A New Book Blog, Sort of….

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Many of you (if any) might not know that I work with the Tucson Festival of Books – my local Book Festival.  Only after 3 years it is considered #4 in the Nation!!  For 2 full days you get to listen to authors speak, indulge in your passion (and for some of us addiction and obsession – -not me though *cough cough*) for books of all types. 

My role in all this?  I am the Teen Committee Chair.  This means it is my goal to connect Teens to Literature (YA in particular).  However, there are many like myself who are not teens but obsessed with YA Literature.  This is the first year that the Festival has had a Teen Committee – no pressure right?!

One of my main focuses this year is to bring Teens to the Festival and Literature via technology.  In this case a Blog just for Tucson’s Teens:

Through this blog Tucson Teens will be able to post their own reviews of books of YA Authors that are coming to the 2012 Festival.  Furthermore, aspiring poets of Tucson will be able to publish their works to the blog and share what they have written. 
So, what authors are coming??  Oh my! This is exciting!!
R.L. Stine
Jewell Parker Rhodes & Will Hobbs
Jessi Kirby & Robin Brande
T.A. Barron & Amy Fellner Dominy
Aprilynne Pike & Cynthia Leitich Smith
Janni Lee Simner & Ellen Hopkins
Courtney Rene & Adam Rex
Joshua C. Cohen & James A. Owen
I’m hoping this Blog will be successful and fun at the same time! 

YA Saves Sunday 8 – Cheryl Rainfield Special


I am very honored to have Cheryl Rainfield today as a Special Guest for YA Saves Sunday.  Cheryl’s literature has not only touched thousands of teens, adults, and readers but has touched me on a very personal level.  Her literature is one of the reasons why I started YA Saves Sunday.  Not only is her literature and writing timeless, but she is gracious, honest, and never afraid to speak her mind and the truth – all qualities we all should have.  So enough of me gushing about Cheryl, without further ado I give you the amazing 

Cheryl Rainfield on her new novel Hunted and using real life in fantasy literature

I love being a writer. I can use fiction and fantasy to draw out real truths that some people might not be able to hear otherwise. I think fiction and fantasy are powerful ways to talk about things that can be painful.

I’m a ritual abuse survivor; my parents were part of intergenerational cults. I know what it’s like to be tortured and exploited, to have mind control used against me, to have my life repeatedly threatened. I wove fragments of those experiences into HUNTED. I drew on my experience with cults, as well as societal oppression such as homophobia, sexism, racism, and made them a part of Caitlyn’s world. For me, the government ParaTroopers and the renegade Paras are like forms of cult and oppression–and I hope even if readers  don’t see that, that they will understand the oppression and root for Caitlyn to get free.

For me, HUNTED is a story of overcoming oppression (and cults), of breaking free, of finding your own inner strength and learning to trust others, and of creating a life for yourself where you like where you are and you feel good about it. It is a story of hope.


You can find Cheryl Rainfield at her Website / Her Blog / Twitter / Facebook

“I love to read. Books nurture me, helped me survive the abuse I endured as a child and teen. I also love to write. I write fantasy books and edgy, realistic fiction for teens.
My fantasy books often hold hope that I need, and feel others might need, too, while my realistic fiction is gritty, intense, and emotional. All of my books have fragments of the abuse I experienced. I write about some of the harsh things teens go through…things that I think shouldn’t be hidden. But I also write about healing, hope, and love, and finding courage and strength.
In SCARS (WestSide, 2010), Kendra must face her past and stop hurting herself before it’s too late. It’s my arm on the cover. There’s a lot of me in SCARS; like my main character, Kendra, I am an incest survivor, I used self-harm to cope, and I’m queer. In my teen paranormal fantasy, HUNTED (WestSide, Oct 2011), Caitlyn is a telepath in a world where that is illegal, and she must choose between saving herself or saving the world. Like Caitlyn, I know what it’s like to have my life threatened, to face oppression, to experience torture, and to break free from cult or from a group of oppressors. And I know what it’s like to have to decide between hiding my true self or being who I am, even if that means danger to myself. I drew on my experience with cults and ritual abuse in creating the world that Caitlyn lives in.
Books were my survival during my childhood, and my journey into myself. Books give me hope. I hope mine will give you hope, too, or something that you need.”

Releases This Week: November 20th – 26th

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The Future of Us by Jay Ashes & Carolyn Mackler (11/21/11)

Belle’s Song by K.M. Grant (11/22/11)
Unleashed (Wolf Springs Chronicles #1) by Nancy Holder & Debbie Viguie (11/22/811)

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