Friday, December 14, 2012

Out of Reach Blog Tour: Guest Post

How do you find someone who doesn’t want to be found? A girl searches for her missing addict brother while confronting her own secrets in this darkly lyrical novel.

Rachel has always idolized her older brother Micah. He struggles with addiction, but she tells herself that he’s in control. And she almost believes it. Until the night that Micah doesn’t come home.

With nothing more to go on than hope and a slim lead, Rachel and Micah’s best friend, Tyler, begin the search. Along the way, Rachel will be forced to confront her own dark secrets, her growing attraction to Tyler…and the possibility that Micah may never come home.


What’s the best advice you can give writers to help them develop their own unique voice and style?

Developing a unique voice is something that I think a writer is always working on. I don’t know. I don’t know if that can really be taught. I love it when I read something and I recognize the author’s voice right away. Oh yes, this is Hemingway. See his short, clipped sentences. But this is something that takes time.

            What I’d suggest may seem counterintuitive, but for an exercise, I would try and copy the voice and/or style of an author you admire. Don’t worry, you’re not stealing or doing anything wrong. The writer’s work will become a great teacher. This will do a couple of things. It’ll really help you focus on exactly how the author has achieved his or her voice from the specific word choice, to sentence structure, to syntax and diction. Once you mimic it, you can vary it and try changing it. This will all help you in finding your own voice and style. I remember doing this once in a writing class for my MA. I took a section from Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried, which is a wonderful novel, by the way. It’s one where he’s basically listing off in a very syncopated rhythm the things the men had to carry in the arm, both physically and emotionally. Well, instead of writing about men in an army, I chose an elementary cafeteria and what the kids carried. I shifted the tone to a more humorous one, but I modeled O’Brien’s voice. I loved it and learned how to cut off the excess, to write tighter. I would suggest doing this process with a couple of different writers.


       ABOUT THE AUTHOR (Carrie Arcos):

Carrie Arcos lives in Los Angeles with her family. She writes young adult literature and is an adjunct professor. You can find more about her at




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Saturday, December 1, 2012

Book Review: The Tragedy Paper by Elizabeth LaBan

Title: The Tragedy Paper
Author: Elizabeth LaBan
Format: Ebook
Source: For review (NetGalley)

Tim Macbeth is a 17-year-old albino and a recent transfer to the prestigious Irving School, where the motto is, “Enter here to be and find a friend.” Tim does not expect to find a friend; all he really wants to do is escape his senior year unnoticed. Despite his efforts to blend into the background, he finds himself falling for the quintessential “it” girl, Vanessa Sheller, girlfriend of Irving’s most popular boy. To Tim’s surprise, Vanessa is into him, too, and she can kiss her social status goodbye if anyone finds out. Tim and Vanessa enter into a clandestine relationship, but looming over them is the Tragedy Paper, Irving’s version of a senior year thesis, assigned by the school’s least forgiving teacher.
The story unfolds from two alternating viewpoints: Tim, the tragic, love-struck figure, and Duncan, a current senior, who uncovers the truth behind Tim and Vanessa’s story and will consequently produce the greatest Tragedy Paper in Irving’s history.

When I found this book in the NetGalley newsletter, the cover interested me. I immediately checked out the synopsis. Once I read the synopsis, I definitely had to read this book. The best part was, I didn't have to request for the book, I got it immediately.

The Tragedy Paper by Elizabeth LaBan is a story within a story. It is about Duncan, who listens to the story of Tim through a bunch of CDs. I have to mention, I really enjoy stories within stories; they have this appealing charm to me.

The Tragedy Paper was very enjoyable for many reasons. First of all, the story of an albino was very intriguing. With Tim, we got to know about his life. We got to know about how people views him, how he reacts to the society and his being an "outcast". Tim was a very well-developed character, and his voice was genuine and interesting. Secondly, the writing technique LaBan used was refreshing and remarkable. Knowing about Duncan's story and listening to Tim's story simultaneously added up to the overall tone of the story. Readers will want to flip the pages, wanting to know what is yet to come. Because it is written in a very realistic way, readers will want to read more and find out what is going to happen with the characters.

In addition, the idea of the tragedy paper itself kept me wondering and wanting to know what it was. As the title suggests, The Tragedy Paper doesn't end happily. Without giving anything away, LaBan should be praised on how she handled her characters and the relationships. She should be further praised on how she revealed everything and everything wrapped up.

I'm not sure how to classify this book because it was many things. Mystery, contemporary, tragedy, experience, and life, all combined in one. This is a book that makes you think. Tim's voice is still in my head. Even though he is different than most people, he is wise, deep, and is understanding. Tim is one of the best characters written in YA literature. I liked Duncan as well, but I found Tim's story and character to be much more interesting.

Overall, stunning debut from author Elizabeth LaBan. This story will haunt you by its reality and poignancy.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Book Review: Auracle by Gina Rosati

Title: Auracle
Author: Gina Rosati
Format: Hardcover

16 year old Anna Rogan has a secret she's only shared with her best friend, Rei; she can astrally project out of her body, allowing her spirit to explore the world and the far reaches of the universe.

When there's a fatal accident and her classmate Taylor takes over Anna's body, what was an exhilarating distraction from her repressive home life threatens to become a permanent state. Faced with a future trapped in another dimension, Anna turns to Rei for help. Now the two of them must find a way to get Anna back into her body and stop Taylor from accusing an innocent friend of murder. Together Anna and Rei form a plan but it doesn't take into account the deeper feelings that are beginning to grow between them.

This is the first book that I've read about astral projection. In fact, I hadn't heard about astral projection before. To everyone who says fantasy/sci-fi books are trash, IN YOUR FACE! We actually learn things from these kind of books.

Anna has a gift. She can move out of her body and start wandering around. Even though she is warned not to, she still does. That's when everything goes wrong.

I really enjoyed this book. The main reason I enjoyed it was because of the fast-paced writing and the unique idea. Even if it might sound cliche, this book was way beyond that. This book makes you realize the importance of your body and soul. It will make you realize that your body is who you are. When Anna was out of her body, I was very fascinated by the idea of auras and how each person had a different aura.

I loved the friendship between Rei and Anna; it is a very sweet relationship. Friendship is an extremely precious matter in everyday life. Also, the humor was a plus to the awesomeness of this story. Suddenly something funny popped up. Rosati knows when to make you feel emotions.

Next thing I want to talk about is how Seth's story was realistic. It always saddens me and many other people when we see innocent people accused of something they haven't done. This book clearly expressed the journey of an innocent being convicted.

I'd like to also thank ms Rosati for writing a standalone novel. While I love series, I think they shouldn't be written as much as they currently are.

Finally, I have to mention that I really like the cover design. It's unique with an awesome blend of blue colors. The typography is fantastic as well.

If you are looking for a YA book that is not typical; a book that will suck you in from the first page, then this is the book for you. Unlike some recent YA books, this book's summary is not misleading at all. You will love it. I assure you.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Cover Reveal: Shadow of the Mark by Leigh Fallon


I started out life in South Africa. A year later my parents moved home to Dublin, Ireland. When I was older and realized my parents had moved me from exotic Durban, to sedate Rathfarnham, Dublin 16, I was rightly ticked off.

Giving up lions for sheep, I grew up in the foothills of the Dublin Mountains where I went to a convent school and had to contend with uniforms, gabardines, and nuns. When not dodging the beady glare of the Sisters of Mercy, I was devouring every book I could get my hands on.

I traveled all over Europe while working in banking and treasury, but I gave up my calculator in favor of a keyboard and haven’t stopped writing since. My first book, Carrier of the Mark, was published by HarperTeen in 2011.

Our home is in Cork in the south of Ireland, but we’re currently on loan to Massachusetts in the US where I continue to write books about magic, ghosts, and romance, with a bit of Irish flavor.

Life for Megan Rosenberg just got a lot more complicated.

While she evoked the air element, and her feelings for Adam intensified, a web of lies, deceit, and betrayal was spun around her. With the Order tightening its hold, and the reinstatement of the Mark Knights, Megan has more questions than answers as the Marked Ones grow in strength.

New people arouse suspicion, the DeRises start behaving strangely, and Megan begins to unravel a destiny shrouded in mystery. It’s a destiny the Order has struggled to hide, and a destiny someone from the past… far in the past, has already laid claim to.

Alliances will be made, and friends will be lost, as the Order’s dark secrets are revealed by the very thing they sought to destroy

About the cover:

I know, there's no mistaking it. This is definitely a Carrier Series cover, but that was the intention. After the amazing reception to the cover of Carrier of the Mark, HarperCollins wanted Shadow's cover to be instantly recognizable. And it is, but the new darker color palette reflects the darker tone that this installment brings, and the pink and purple really make it pop. I love it and think HarperCollins have done another amazing job. I hope you like it too.