Cold is the New Hot….

Oh my heck…I finally got to finish Haven by Kristi Cook!  Not that the book was hard to get into (not the case at all)…but my goodness my peeps wouldn’t leave me alone long enough for me to read it!  Oh well, the good news is I finally got to read Haven.  I don’t know what it was that struck me about the book that I was so excited for it to be released this month, but something did and I am glad that I chose this book for my Debut Author Challenge read for the month of February.  And keeping true to myself, I am posting this on the very last day of the month.  I sometimes think that my procrastination is almost becoming a problem…but I will deal with that later.  On to the dish about Haven.

So here are the details from Barnes and Noble:

Product Details

  • Pub. Date: February 2011
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing
  • Age Range: Young Adult
  • ISBN-13: 9781442407602
  • ISBN: 1442407603

Synopsis

Violet McKenna isn’t a normal girl with normal teenage issues; she has more to contend with than most people could handle. Violet thought she was just crazy when she had a vivid vision of her dad’s murder. Her life started falling apart when her premonition came true. She’s had flashes of other events too. The problem was nobody believed her until she found a new school: Winterhaven.

At Winterhaven, Violet finally feels like she belongs. She quickly finds a close group friends and discovers that they too have psychic ‘gifts’—as do all the students at Winterhaven. But as soon as she feels settled she discovers the most intriguing and alluring boy she has ever met, and things quickly go awry. As the attraction between them grows, intense visions of the boy’s death start to haunt her. In her premonitions the secret he is unwilling to share begins to reveal itself. And to Violet’s horror, she learns that their destinies are intertwined in a critical–and deadly–way.

Here’s what I thought…

After really wanting to read Haven and finally being able to get some time to myself to read Haven, I can honestly say Kristi Cook’s Haven did not disappoint.  I wasn’t quite sure how things would go for Violet at  Winterhaven.  I really appreciated Violet’s naivety when others asked her “what her thing” was.  I must admit, it took me a while to catch on myself.  While I felt I had a pretty good about Aidan’s background, I was absolutely clueless of many others’ roles and significance.  I was quite suspicious of a few of Violet’s friends and acquaintances, not quite sure of who exactly she should trust or who would welcome her demise.

Aidan’s story is quite unique and I, quite honestly, was a little shocked at the end.  I don’t want to ruin it for anyone, but I love to have a little surprise in every book I read.  Aidan’s ending certainly offered up that surprise as well as a few more of Violet’s classmates.

I really liked the connection that Aidan and Violet had.  It reminded me of the genuineness and innocence of young love.  Sometimes we have a connection that no matter what it just never ceases.  Aidan, although he had quite an effect on a lot of women, he was deeply and truly connected to only one.

Ok…so here’s a little something that I couldn’t quite shake while reading the book.  I just couldn’t picture Aidan as a blonde.  No matter how hard I tried the image that I kept seeing was a young man, dark wavy hair…

Before I go on with my little spoiler part, I will recommend you pick up a copy of Haven and enjoy a story of young love with a little excitement and you too can figure out what it actually means by “Cold is the New Hot”… :)

NOW….

If you don’t want to have a little spoiler, then I suggest you stop reading HERE:

If I were to cast this movie, here is who I envisioned each character as I read the book.

MR. BLACKWELL:  Kirk Douglas

MRS. GIRARD:  Nicole Kidman

AIDAN GRAY:  Jonathan Groff (Jesse St. James, Glee)

The whole time reading Haven, these people in these roles is who I continuously saw.     Would love to know how you saw the characters in the story!

Enjoy….Cici

Oh, and by the way, don’t write hate mail to Kristi, I have already let her know she misspelled Cici (Cece as she had it)…  JUST KIDDING….now, really, ENJOY!!

February 28th, 2011 Books 2 Comments

Haven is out TODAY!

I am not quite sure what it is about this book, but I have been excited for it to be released so that I can FINALLY read it!  I saw Haven by Kristi Cook on a list of Debut authors and immediately was intrigued and knew that would be the book I chose for my February Debut Author Challenge read and review!

Haven is out today!!  Yeah!!  Here is a little bit about the book…

A chilling destiny she can’t escape.

A devastating love she can’t resist.

Violet McKenna isn’t a normal girl with normal teenage issues; she has more to contend with than most people could handle. Violet thought she was just crazy when she had a vivid vision of her dad’s murder. Her life started falling apart when her premonition came true. She’s had flashes of other events too–the problem was nobody believed her until she found a new school: Winterhaven.

At Winterhaven, Violet finally feels like she belongs. She quickly finds a close group friends and discovers that they too have psychic ‘gifts’—as do all the students at Winterhaven. But as soon as she feels settled she discovers the most intriguing and alluring boy she has ever met, and things quickly go awry. As the attraction between them grows, intense visions of the boy’s death start to haunt her. In her premonitions, the secret he is unwilling to share begins to reveal itself. And to Violet’s horror, she learns that their destinies are intertwined in a critical–and deadly–way…

Excited yet?????  I am!  Join me in reading this great book…let me know what you think!  My review will be coming soon!

Be sure to check out Kristi’s website www.kristicook.com and her Facebook page.


February 22nd, 2011 Books, Everyday, everything 0 Comment

A Good Place to Start

I am originally from Wisconsin and can’t help but get caught up in a few discussions regarding what is going on with it all.  Many discussions between my husband and I tend to grab the attention of my boys, who are 13 and 11.  It is nice to be able to discuss, not argue, the many sides of politics and government and share it with our kids.  They are allowed to express their opinions and ask questions and we try very hard to keep it open and fair.

After tonight’s discussion I started to think about how more parents can get their kids talking about government and politics without being one-sided and how to open up the floor for a natural flow of discussion.  It can be overwhelming for kids to discuss certain topics and hot-button issues, so we as parents need to give our kids a venue for open dialogue.  It made me think of one series that I read when son #2 was in 5th grade last year.  Together he and I had read Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix, it is the first in a series of seven of The Shadow Children Series. When my son and I read together he instantly wanted to make a comment about what was happening.  It was a light bulb moment for me!  He was looking for discussion, not just on the happenings in the book, but current events that he was able to tie to the book.  It was incredible.  We quickly moved on through the rest of the series and still talk about the book when topics remind him of certain elements of the series.

I recommend The Shadow Children Series as a good place to start opening up dialogue between parents and kids regarding current events, government and beliefs.  The series is available at most public libraries and school libraries.  There are some great resources available for the books on her site!

The following is the summary of the plot, courtesy of  Margaret Peterson Haddix’s site:

Luke has never been to school. He’s never had a birthday party, or gone to a friend’s house for an overnight. In fact, Luke has never had a friend.

Luke is one of the shadow children, a third child forbidden by the Population Police. He’s lived his entire life in hiding, and now, with a new housing development replacing the woods next to his family’s farm, he is no longer even allowed to go outside.

Then, one day Luke sees a girl’s face in the window of a house where he knows two other children already live. Finally, he’s met a shadow child like himself. Jen is willing to risk everything to come out of the shadows–does Luke dare to become involved in her dangerous plan? Can he afford not to?

First of The Shadow Children Series

February 18th, 2011 Books 0 Comment

Books With Love Winner!!

♥ ♥ ♥                                                                                   ♥ ♥ ♥                                                                ♥ ♥ ♥                                                                                     ♥ ♥ ♥

Thank you to all who participated in the Books With Love Giveaway!  I really enjoyed reading all of the comments!  I certainly have a few more books that are being added to my TO BE READ pile!  When I first wrote the post I knew my favorite love story was The Notebook, but then I was like…”oh wait, Twilight, no wait, Gone With the Wind was pretty good, oooohhh…”  There are so many great books and love stories, I can’t help but really fall in love with them all.  But truth be told, The Notebook touches me very deeply and is truly my favorite.

Sooooo….we do have a winner and it is……..

VAL

Congratulations and thank you for following!  Val has been contacted and has 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen!


February 17th, 2011 Giveaway Winners! 4 Comments

Real Life Issue…Guest post from Laura Kreitzer

Hello Literary-Folk!

My name is Laura Kreitzer, and I’m the author of the Timeless Series and the Summer Chronicles. This week I would like to alert everyone on a colossal crisis that’s gone unnoticed in the world: human trafficking. That’s why I’ve asked hundreds of blogs to be involved with spreading the word on this issue that’s become close to my heart.

As an author, and someone whose life is put in the spotlight, I keep most people at a distance. Only a handful of my friends know the whole me and the events from my past. But this week I’d like to share with you a part of myself that the outside world doesn’t see (and a part of me I don’t like to share). I was emotionally abused for five years by someone I thought loved me, my mind beaten into submission. Though the turmoil I went through doesn’t penetrate as deep as someone forced into slavery on the worldwide market for human trafficking, I can sadly relate in some ways: imprisoned, my life dictated down to what I wore, ate, where I went, whom I spoke to, where I worked, when I slept, bending to his every whim. He did not sway, even when I cried through some of the more traumatic things he had me do. I was a slave in my own home. In my desperation for freedom, I held out a gun and asked him to just end my suffering. I was desperate.

I can’t even imagine how many women (and men) in the world are in a similar situation. What’s even worse, I had it mild compared to the children that are sold for labor or sex. Surprisingly, the good ol’ U.S.A. is reported to be the host to two million slaves. Did you know this? Because I certainly did not; not until I was preparing to write my newest novel: Phantom Universe. The main character, Summer Waverly, was stolen as a child and sold as a slave to the captain of a modern-day pirate ship. From a loved child who only knew “time-out” as punishment, to being whipped into silence was something I knew nothing about. So I researched deeply into human trafficking and the psychological effects of torture of various types that one would endure in these circumstances. I felt shaken at my findings and knew I had to tell Summer’s story. (Read a sneak peek here.)

A storm began to brew in my mind; transforming, morphing, twisting, and expanding into this massive, black cloud. I had to bring this tragic atrocity to the forefront. My own emotional experiences, mixed with the research I did on human trafficking, made me feel an intense connection with Summer, and to all women who’ve been through this kind of brutality. The cloud ruptured and rained all over my computer one day. It took one month to write Phantom Universe, the first in the Summer Chronicles. I was so consumed by the story that I wrote nearly nonstop, only breaking for necessary tasks like eating, showering, and occasionally—very occasionally—sleeping.

Though the book I’ve written would be classified as Science Fiction, or as I’d like to call it, Dystopian, the emotions and psychological aspects are not Science Fiction—they’re real. Reviewers have said many amazing things about Summer, this character who is so real in my mind and who I cried along with as the words poured from my soul onto my screen.

“I admired Summer’s strength and ability to adapt,” says CiCi’s Theories. “I felt tied to her emotions,” Jennifer Murgia, author of Angel Star admits. And Tahlia Newland, author of Lethal Inheritance, remarks, “Summer is strong and smart in mind [. . .]”

Through her overwhelmingly horrendous past, Summer goes on more than just a physical journey in Phantom Universe, she goes on a psychological one as well; growing beyond her mute state to persevere and survive in a new world beyond the whip she’s so frightened of.

Now that the release date is here, I’m excited and terrified to share this story with everyone. I’m emotionally tied in every way to the words I’ve written, because they’re more than words. More than just a story on a page. Beyond the fictional aspects, there’s a real issue that needs to be addressed: human trafficking must be stopped. We shouldn’t sit idly by while this continues to plague us. Our world’s children—our nation’s children—are being affected. It’s time we take action!

Earlier this month Phantom Universe hit Barnes and Noble’s top 100 Best Selling list. I’ve decided to donate 10% of my sales from Phantom Universe, until the end of February, to the DNA Foundation.

“DNA hopes to help abolish modern day slavery, deter perpetrators, and free the many innocent and exploited victims. We are committed to forcing sex slavery out of the shadows and into the spotlight.

Freedom is a basic human right and slavery is one of the greatest threats to that freedom. No one has the right to enslave another person.”

—From DNA Foundation’s Website

I ask that you spread the word to everyone you know. Look around on the DNA Foundation website and find a way to get involved in ending human trafficking. Take action today. Everyone has a voice—you have a voice. Will you have the courage to use it?

February 15th, 2011 Books, Events, Guest Posts, It's Hot 5 Comments

We Have Some Winners!!!!

Yippee! Yahoo! Thank you to all of you who entered both the Follower With Love and the To Die For giveaways! I am so excited to announce the WINNERS!

The winner of the copy of To Die For by Christopher Pike is………..

3….Vivien

Congratulations!!   Thank you Scholastic for offering the copy of To Die For!

The winner of the Follower With Love blog hop giveaway Twenty Boy Summer package is………

NFMGirl

Congratulations!!

Both winners have been notified via email and will have 48 hrs to contact me with mailing information or another winner will be chosen!!


February 14th, 2011 Giveaway Winners! 0 Comment

Books With Love Giveaway!

Guess what? I am doing another giveaway! This giveaway is part of Once Upon a Twilight and Good Choice Reading‘s Books With Love Giveaway Hop!

I will be giving away I Heart You, You Haunt Me by Lisa Schroeder, a ruby red diamond (no, not a real one) paperweight aka desk bling, some book bling and a little chocolate love! Oh and a whatever else might find its way into the box!

All you need to do is leave me a comment letting me know what your favorite love story is. Leave a separate comment for each of the following for additional entries: follow of my blog with GFC (+1), follow me (@cicistheories) on Twitter (+1), tweet about the giveaway (+1) be sure to @cicistheories!

This contest is now closed! Winner will be announce soon!

Thanks for taking part!!

Happy Valentine’s!
Love,
Cici

February 14th, 2011 Giveaways! Yeah! 176 Comments

Follower Love Giveaway!

Oh my, oh my!  It is a giveaway!!  This fabulous blog hop event is being hosted by I am a Reader Not a Writer

200 blogs have linked up here to host a book related giveaway, so all you have to do is go through the list and enter each blog’s giveaway!  A little hint to make it easier…print off the list of blogs in the hop and cross them off as you enter them!  Enjoy and good luck! 

To enter to win TWENTY BOY SUMMER by Sarah Ockler, a $10 gift card to your choice of Barnes and Noble or Borders and some book bling and Valentine goodies!
*must be a follower of my blog*
Contest is now CLOSED….Winner Announced Soon!!!

February 7th, 2011 Giveaways! Yeah! 8 Comments

To Die For…2 Novels…AND Giveaway!

To Die For
by:  Christopher Pike
Ages 14+
Paperback
5.2(L)  x  0.2(W)  x  8.0(H) inches
Item #:SSO9780545264341
Weight (lbs): 0.2

copy for review provided by Scholastic

Description:

 courtesy of Scholastic:

This juicy volume features two classic Christopher Pike thrillers: SLUMBER PARTY and WEEKEND. In SLUMBER PARTY, mysterious events begin to unfold around a group of friends vacationing at a ski resort. As they become snowbound, things heat up…for the killer in their midst. In WEEKEND, another group of friends partying at a remote tropical beach manor are forced to confront an ugly event in their past – or suffer violent consequences in the present.
In each of these dream-vacations-gone-bad, not everyone is who they seem, and someone is bloodthirsty….

This double feature of romance, betrayal, and horror is to die for!

My thoughts…

I am a cover junkie…I will judge and buy a book for its cover, I do that with the titles too.  I know, there’s a cliche’ out there about that, but I believe in love at first sight too.  I really liked the cover and then I read that there were two novels in the book and was a little disappointed.  I was worried I wouldn’t get enough story.  I was worried over nothing.  Even though they were shorter than I like, they were both good. 

The first of novel in the books was Slumber Party and I really enjoyed it.  Of course, my timing was impeccable for setting the perfect scene.  It was all too real to read about the girls’ ski trip and the blizzard while home bound by the big blizzard of 2011 myself!   Thank goodness my only concern was whether or not I had enough chocolate and not whether or not I was going to be the victim of a murder!  It took me a few pages to get into it and to get all the characters and their stories straight, but once I got over that little hump, I really got into the mystery of the story.  I really started to think outside of the box and get on board with Lara’s suspicions of pyro-kinetics and spontaneous human combustion.  I suspected everyone of the girls, and boys, in the evil-doings that were beginning to happen at the “slumber party”.  I started to feel certain unease about each character as they made thier way through the story, even before I knew what the story actually was.  I really enjoy reading stories that grab me and keep me guessing and wondering.  I do not like a predictable book, and Slumber Party  certainly was not predictable. 

The second novel was Weekend.  It was equally intriguing, although a bit similar to the previous novel.  Which isn’t neccesarily bad.  I did really enjoy the addition of the “holy man”.  It certainly added an element of mystery and certainly became an integral part of the story.  It set a very unique setting for me and tied into the story nicely.  It was very imaginative and creatively written.  I was thoroughly surprised by the ending.  I absolutely love being surprised by a story’s ending! 

Overall, both Slumber Party and Weekend were great reads.  They both could have started off with a little more character clarification and information, but other than that both were suspenseful and enjoyable reads.

Thank you to Scholastic for providing the book for review!

**GIVEAWAY**

Is now CLOSED…Winner announced soon!!

Leave a comment to be entered for your own copy of To Die For, courtesy of Scholastic Books…

February 5th, 2011 Books 14 Comments
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Colleen's bookshelf: to-read

Of Mice and MenAnimal FarmWhere the Sidewalk EndsThe Great GatsbyThe Catcher in the RyeTo Kill a Mockingbird

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