Tuesday: Books

Guest Blogger: Bethany Halle writing as Cassandre Dayne

We have a special guest blogger today, an author who wants to talk about epublishing with you guys! So... without further aduei I give you Bethany Halle.

Dare to Take the Plunge

    I’m so excited to be here and thank you to the delicious ladies at Twisted Fates for having me. Allow me to introduce myself. I write saucy and very spicy erotic romance stories and novels. A little secret, Cassandre is my pen name as I write in several other genres. I started writing when I was nine; having completed sixteen full-length novels by the time I was fourteen in the science fiction genre. No, (sigh) sadly I was never published and for some reason I didn’t truly give it everything I had until two years ago. Since I finally sat down and remembered the absolute love of writing, I have written approximately eighteen novels, sixteen novellas and somewhere in the neighborhood of twenty short stories. I say approximately because I have lost count!

     Currently I have two short story releases with Rebel Ink Press, Treats in a Plain Brown Wrapper and Her Sinful Long Legs with six more novellas/novels under contract. All of these are being released in e-book format. I know, there is that old debate about e-publishing. Well guys, look at the recent stats – sales of e-books out-grossed traditional publishing in 2010 and the blazing trend is only going to continue to grow. Aspiring writers, embrace the industry ‘cause it’s HOT! Think of it this way, not only can you see your story or book in publication more quickly, but also the royalties are higher, generally at 30 – 35%. True story – I was accepted with my first story by Rebel Ink Press on September 6th and my release date was November 1st. NOW – caveat here – they are newer to the industry so I did not have a long waiting line in front of me. The majority of e-publishers you can anticipate at least six to eight months and a series of revisions, but the process is still shortened from traditional presses.

     I’m going to sing praises to Rebel Ink Press – www.rebelinkpress.com. The publisher, Sheri Knotts and her staff, have been nothing but fantastic. If you are a romance writer of any genre, look at their submissions page. I’m including a cover that was designed by the very talented artist, Carl J. Franklin. He has given me five of the sexiest covers I have seen to date. I cannot say enough wonderful things about the talented crew. That being said, you as a writer have to do your homework IF you want to succeed. Gone are the days of a publisher promoting you. You are the marketing and PR team. You have to be organized and aggressive. You are the one that will make or break your career. If you honestly think that hearing the words…we love your writing and want to give you a contract…mean what they used to, you are wrong.

     But I have learned some wonderful things about the industry these past two years. Here are some tips if you are just getting out there. Join Facebook, and not to just socialize. Try and friend other writers and that will garner you publishers and editors. If you have something written, post a snippet – keep it clean!! Develop a fan page and invite, invite, invite!!  It doesn’t matter if you are published or not. You have to set it up right away. Post pictures and poems or thoughts and you will gain credibility. Once you are published, keep it up to date with the latest happenings – blog tours, interviews, post your covers and provide excerpts of your latest works.

     Next – yes twitter is not a bad thing – argh! Tweet your trials and tribulations and successes. Join a writing group. Whether you write romance or any other genre, there is a chapter in your area. Join it and participate. Not only will you learn tips and valuable information, but you also get to share your successes – however great or little. When you have been published, blog with friends and develop relationships. Guest blog with the wonderful people like Twisted Fates. Join yahoo groups and soon, you will have a circle of friends around you that encompass the globe! You will have criticism! Period. Get over it and use the ideas. Enter contests and pay attention. If they are all telling you the same thing, then… For me, I hate being told what I did wrong. Growl. But you know what? I am a much better writer because of the wonderful advice.

     For me, the road has been rocky, but such fun. In late July, I was asked as a favor to be a guest on a blog talk radio show with a children’s writer friend of mine that was the host. Our bantering was natural and easy. That led the owner of Robin Falls Red River Radio, April Robbins, to offer me a blog talk host position highlighting and interviewing writers and other talented artists in the fantasy/science fiction/murder mystery/paranormal genre. The Fire of Fantasy and Darkness was born under my real name, Bethany Halle.

     Two shows later and the owner realized I had been published in the erotic genre, which Robin Falls had never considered. April asked me to host a new show talking to writers, cover artists and publishers in the erotic romance genre. My first show, Dare to Take the Plunge, will air on January 31st at 6:00 pm EST with the entire crew and several writers from Rebel Ink Press (now known as family) as my first guests. I hope you will feel free to join in and listen – completely PG13!! The other cool aspect, the Board members of the Science Fiction/Fantasy Conference – Mysticon, heard my first Fire of Fantasy and Darkness show and asked if I would take the radio event on the road to their conference. You bet! My assistant and I are in Roanoke Virginia February 25th – 27th. If you are in the area – join us and please check out their site: http://www.mysticon-va.com/ for all things that go bump in the night! I am always looking for guests – if you are an author in any of the genres and would love to be on either of the radio programs, email me at behalle@comcast.net.

     For any aspiring writers, all authors will tell you the same thing  - WRITE. If you don’t, you won’t get published. Remember that no ideas are bad ideas. Read everything in your genre and you will gain more information and understanding more than almost any other teachings.

     For me, you can find me (18 only guys – sorry) at www.cassandredayne.com. My two stories and the others are out or coming out at www.allromanceebooks.com; www.bookstrand.com; amazon kindle and coffee time romance.

     But, as Bethany Halle – you can certainly visit www.bethanyhalle.com for a taste of my vampire world or join Bethany on facebook. A huge thank you to Em, Catie and Kim – you girls rock! Happy writing and reading to everyone. Our readers make everything worthwhile!!

Thank you to Bethany for stopping by! And anyone of age interested in checking out her stuff, I encourage you to do so, she's a really awesome lady. ^_^

Tunes: Saturday

Contest within a Contest

You should remember the band Cure For Caska, we bring them up occasionally. Well they're part of a competition, so to speak, to win a chance to perform at the Canada Music Week, $10,000 in Sennheiser gear and possibly do a showcase for a record label. The judges of the competition selected them to be 1 of only 20 bands eligible to compete.

Cool thing about this competition, not only does it rely on your votes to decide the winner, but you could be a winner as well. You’ll have the chance to win a trip for 4 to the festival (tickets, flights and hotel), spending money and Sennheiser prize packs for all; simply by voting.

Voting ends January 25th, 2011. So make sure you get in on it. It's simple and only takes maybe 5 minutes of your time. But you'd be giving yourself and the awesome people in Cure For Caska a chance at something big.

Create Your Account

1. Visit the account registration website at http://www.heariam.com/fans.asp.

2. Fill out and submit the form to create your free account.

3. Check your email to receive the password for your account.

4. Login to your account at http://www.picktheband.com/.

Vote For Cure for Caska

1. Make sure you are logged into your account.

2. Visit the voting page picktheband http://www.picktheband.com/index.php?cn=frontend/contest&co=cmw

3. Watch at least 30 seconds of their video in the “Watch and Rate” section of their profile.

4. After 30 seconds, a “Rate” bar will display under the video.

5. Put your mouse cursor over the image on the far right.

6. Click the far right image to give them a 5 Pick Rating.

7. Be careful not to accidentally click less than a 5 Pick Rating. ^_^

Share Cure for Caska

1. Make sure you are logged into your account.

2. Visit their profile at http://www.picktheband.com/band/Cure_For_Caska/

3. In the “Share” section of their profile, you can share them via email, Facebook, Twitter or MySpace.

Contest for you!
Because I want to give you added incentive to vote for them, after they announce the winner, I'll pick one person to win a $15 itunes gift card. So make sure you leave a comment here telling me you voted. You can vote there every day, meaning you can enter for a gift card through me every day.
+1 Comment saying you voted (up to 11 times)
Extra entries
+1 Tweet about voting for Cure For Caska (up to 11 times, one tweet a day will count)
+5 blog about voting for Cure For Caska

Thanks guys!

Top 10 in 2010

2010 was a great year for music, movies, and books. Lots of entertainment (granted, not all of it was good), lots of interesting stuff, and lots of love to share with you all. With the year drawing to a close, we looked back and picked out our favorites for you. So, here are our top 10 Albums, movies, and books from 2010. They're in no particular order, especially since there are three of us. Note: not all of them were released in 2010, just enjoyed then.

1. Helluva EP- Pinup Saints (Em)
2. A Note In My Pocket - Carter Hulsey (Em)
3. With Ears to See and Eyes to Hear - Sleeping With Sirens (Em)
4. Wait and Hope EP - Cure For Caska (Em)
5. Masterpiece Theatre - Marianas Trench
6. Science & Faith - The Script (Catie)
7. 11:59 - Ryan Star (Catie)
8. Hadestown - Anais Mitchell (Kim)
9. The Suburbs - Arcade Fire (Kim)
10. Blue Sky Noise - Circa Survive (Kim)

1. Dorian Gray (Em)
2. Ben X (Em)
3. Bright Star (Em)
4. Black Swan (Kim)
5. Inception (Kim)
6. Scott Pilgrim vs The World (Kim)
7. Deathly Hallows pt 1 (Kim)
8. Letters to Juliet (Catie)
9. Despicable Me (Catie)
10. Franklyn (Em)

1. The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff
2. Luna by Julie Anne Peters
3. Looking For Alaska by John Green (Em)
4. Radiant Shadows by Melissa Marr
5. Sing Me to Sleep by Angela Morrison (Catie)
6. Shadow Hills by Anastasia Hopcus (Catie)
7. Matched by Ally Condie (Catie)
8. Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride (Kim)
9. Angel's Blood by Nalini Singh (Kim)
10. The Marbury Lens by Andrew Smith (Kim)

Do you agree with our list? Disagree? Feel we missed anything?

Em: Such a bad blogger

I haven't posted in a while. I'm really really sorry for the neglect. I've been writing (which even that I haven't been able to do much of) and going through some emotional stuff. I’ve wanted to post, I have. But I didn’t have the energy to do so. For that I’m sorry. I have a ton of reviews and stuff coming in the future. I'm trying to get some interviews lined up for you and such. I just hit a low that was hard to dig my way out of. I'm still not out of it but I'm trying very hard to function regardless.

So I will leave you with simply a review for today and then on Monday and Tuesday I will have more for you guys. ^_^

Prelude To A Scandal
by Delilah Marvelle

Publisher and Publication date:  HQN (Jan 2011)
Pages:  384
Where to Purchase:  B&N / Borders / Amazon / Book Depository / Chapters
Genre:  Historical Romance
Setting:  London


Two things should be addressed immediately. One, Net Galley is amazing for having this for me to read early. Two, I think Delilah Marvelle is too good and her ideas are too big to be contained by HQN.

Having read Delilah's earlier work, I already knew I should expect a healthy dose of humor, sexual tension, and hot encounters. Her characters earn their encounters, pour their hearts out, and fill all the spaces with quips, barbs, and snark. I love how she takes two seemingly incompatible people and shows how they're perfect for each other without using cliche's or making it feel forced.

In this case she took two people living on the edge of society, but opposite edges. Justine was raised mostly in Africa while her dad made observations on the mating habits of wild animals (He was a scientist, not just some perv) and must learn how to be a member of 1820's London society by reading an etiquette book. Radcliffe is a Duke with skeletons in his closet and secrets down his pants (yeah I said pants instead of sleeves for a reason). She is niave yet quick witted and daring. He is a bleeding heart trying to appear heartless. And when you stick the two of them together as Delilah has you can't help but laugh and be in awe.

Prelude to a Scandal shows how tormenting addiction can be while showing how heartwarming having support is. I devoured it as quickly as I could and the second one can't come soon enough. Even if you're not a fan of romance, I think this book should be read by anyone who's ever battled an addiction. Justine might be able to get through to you too.

Favorite Quote:  "When I was much younger, and incapable of truly understanding, my father told me that when a man overindulges in any one thing, it means he is trying to compensate for something that is missing in his life."

What books have you read lately that you absolutely adored? Have you read anything by Delilah Marvelle?


Month of Thanks Giveaway

I know we've been lacking in posts lately. All of us are having things going on that are preventing us from forming coherent thoughts into posts right now. I'm putting a stop to my emotions running my ability to do what I enjoy doing, which is blogging. ^_^ But today I have a giveaway announcement from my friend and guest blogger, Terry.

Hello friends and neighbors,

Many of you may not be aware that Romance in the Backseat is offering a very special Month of Thanks this November.  The most exciting part is coming from Silver Publishing, a generous giveaway of $100 Grocery Gift Card.

November is a time to give thanks to those in our life who day in and day out make our lives better. To give thanks to friends and family that year after year support us. This year there are a lot of families and friends in need of some extra support and help. That is why Silver Publishing has so generously offered to help pay for a families Thanksgiving dinner.

Please share the news about this giveaway and join us to nominate someone in your life who could use the extra help. All nominations are private, our goal is to add some holiday cheer and some extra goodies to the table this Thanksgiving. 


I want to thank Silver Publishing for this amazing gift. Even if you and your loved ones are lucky enough to have a table of food waiting Thanksgiving day drop in and show your appreciation not only to Silver Publishing, but to the other authors who have come on the site this month and shared their tales of thanks.  To give us a little more cheer those authors have also offered a book giveaway to share with those you love.

Terry Kate
Romance in the Backseat



Visit Silver Publishing's Site to find out about their books - http://silverpublishing.info/

Kylie Brant's Giveaway

Deadly Intent


Lydia Dare's Giveaway

The Taming of the Wolf


Nicola Cornick's Giveaway

Whispers of Scandal


Kersten Hamilton's Giveaway

Tyger Tyger

Tunes: Saturday

Show Review: The Harmony Tour

For starters, yes this should have been posted yesterday. My week has been chaotic and I wasn’t home all day yesterday to get it up. By the time I was home I was so brain dead I could do nothing but watch TV. Even then, I’m not sure I remember what I watched.

The Harmony Tour… I saw this show twice. Tina and I went to the Orlando date on November 5th and the Fort Lauderdale date on November 7th. I will be talking about both dates throughout this post, if I don’t specify which, whatever I’m saying applies to both dates. ^_^

The show as a whole was pretty decent. There was good music and good vibes come from the stage. The crowd, however, is what killed it for me. I’ve been to some shows with some rude people and some annoying tweens. But this show beat them all for the amount of rude comments, annoying talkers, and ear piercing screams. Not many people seemed to care about the music as much as they cared about getting pictures of their favorite bands and talking crap about the acts they didn’t care to see.

If I look at only the music and take out the angst and rude energy that buzzed throughout the audience, it was a really good show. The opening acts thoroughly impressed me, the headliner was entertaining, and the music was everything I hoped it would be. But honestly, a big portion of going to shows is the experience and the energy. And that was lacking here.

And as per an anonymous commenters request, the set list for all the bands is at the bottom of this post. Enjoy!

Stars: Carter Hulsey
AKA Band most likely voted to start the night off right
Carter Hulsey is an amazing musician. He’s emotive, animated, and with a full band behind him very powerful. In Orlando people talked through his set and he still blew me away. In Ft. Lauderdale the people around me were saying he needed to get off the stage (I was tempted to “accidentally” elbow some of them), but I actually think he did better that night. He performed his single Black and Blue without a female vocalist in Ft Lauderdale and the amount of emotion and depth he brought was so amazing that my chest felt tight and I wanted him to sing all night. He was, in my opinion, the star of the show. I just wish he’d play for a more mature audience that could appreciate his musicianship and the raw energy he brings. I mean, going on tour with your friends has to be amazing fun, but I’m not sure how big his pay off is when the crowd is so shallow.

MacGyver: I Can Make A Mess Like Nobody’s Business
AKA Band most likely voted to survive in the wilderness with nothing but guitar string, a mic, and an amp
You may remember I was amazed by them at Warped Tour. I was thrilled to see them on the bill with a few of my favorites and I wasn’t let down. In Orlando it was just him and the drummer. In Ft Lauderdale he didn’t even have the drummer. Apparently the whole band got sick. And I have to say he blew my mind with his ingenuity. He looped his music, there on stage, through an amp. Electric, acoustic, backup vocals, rhythm, he did everything. I was riveted, even his stage presence was fascinating. He seemed rather dorky (the good kind) up there and had the most entertaining introductions. His melody’s are also rather impressive with some amazing lead ins to the songs. And again, the crowd was not appreciative of his skill and musicality. The people around me remarked on how cool it was that he did it all but then complained about how long it took him to set it all up. He played a shorter set in Ft Lauderdale than he did in Orlando because of doing so much alone. And they just talked crap the entire time.

Sex Kittens: The Maine
AKA Band voted most likely to make the ladies scream
I’ve seen The Maine open for We The Kings at USF and I’ve seen them headline their own show. They were Rockstars at those shows. This one seemed to be more about getting the audience riled up and ready to scream for the headliner. Normally they get the crowd involved (more than just singing along), normally they rock out more, and normally I’m thoroughly impressed. This time around I was a little let down. Garrett, the bassist, was the one rocking out on stage the most. I felt like they were holding back. And that could be entirely because of the audience they had. And I can’t say I blame them. They came out, played good music, got the ladies screaming (and drooling) and then let the headlining act come out and do their thing.

Entertainers: Never Shout Never
AKA Band most likely voted to put on an interesting show
Now, their music is fun and light. There isn’t much depth to it, just cheesy pop songs with a slightly folky edge to a few of them. They’re fun, sometimes have a good message in them, generally just happy music. That’s why they’re on the playlist I use to cheer me up. Watching them live is fun and enjoyable. They entertain, and I wouldn’t call it gimmicks since I assume it’s just them, being themselves, on stage. But it does lean a bit toward theatrical. Chris put on a Rasta hat, complete with faux dreads, while they played a reggae version of Trouble. Which was actually quite good. They played musical microphones during This Shit Gets Old. And they generally had fun and messed around on stage. They didn’t knock my socks off though. The swearing seemed like it was mostly for shock value and the antics seemed mostly to get a rise out of the crowd. They did have some kick ass transitions that I think went over a lot of the audience’s heads, but I enjoyed. The crowd sings almost entirely over the musicians and seems to thoroughly enjoy their antics as well. I’m just not sure if I’d pay to see them again, in part because of the annoying audience, but they were fun to watch.

Carter Hulsey:
1. Like A Bear
2. If It Feels
3. A Note In Your Pocket
4. Punchline
5. Black And Blue
6. Before We Go Down

I Can Make A Mess Like Nobody’s Business:
In Orlando-
(songs 1, 2, and 4 I couldn’t figure out, Sorry. I blame HoB's crappy sound system.)
3. The Best Happiness Money Can Buy
5. Ready Ankles
6. Old Man

In Ft Lauderdale-

1. Old Man
2. Ready Ankles
3. Ever So Sweet
4. Figure It Out
5. Body Like Mind

The Maine:
1. Intro (this song sounded familiar but I couldn’t figure out what it was)
2. Right Girl
3. Listen To Your Heart
4. Growing Up
5. Girls Do What They Want
6. Fuel To The Fire
7. Don't Stop Now
8. Into Your Arms
9. Inside Of You
10. We'll All Be (mash up with Color)

Never Shout Never:
1. Harmony (acoustic and solo)
2. Love Is Our Weapon
3. I Just Laugh
4. Piggybank
5. Trouble (reggae style)
6. On The Brightside
7. Sweet Perfection
8. Jane Doe
9. Can’t Stand It
10. This Shit Gets Old
11. I Love You 5
12. Cheatercheaterbestfriendeater
13. Big City Dreams
14. The past

If you're looking for some fun music and up for dealing with the crowd, I'd say it's worth the money just for the first two acts alone. Have you seen it? Or interested in seeing this show? Lemme know in the comments!

Em: Guest blogger Tegan

Hi Everyone! I am Tegan from Not your Faery Tale. This week I am doing a guest posting for you because Em is a bit out of sorts. Here is my post.

My Goals for this week are pretty simple. I really need to find a job, also I really want to Finish Anaisi Boys by Neil Gaiman and Clockwork angel, but I have been watching Bones and Doctor who, so I haven't been reading much.

"Passion. It lies in all of us. Sleeping. . . Waiting. . . and though unwanted. . . unbidden . . . it will stir. . . open its jaws and howl. It speaks to us... guides us... Passion rules us all. And we obey. What other choice do we have?" -Angelus Buffy episode 29
I chose this quote because I think we all have these passions, and no matter how much we give up on those passions those greater ideas in life, it is what guides us to everything we do in life.

You Found Me by The Fray
I have been playing this song over and over for a month, I love it, I don't really know why because I've never really been into The Fray.



R.E.D (Retired Extremely Dangerous)

So this movie made me laugh to no end. I was in stitches, which I wasn't really expecting. I thought I would like it, but I didn't think I would like it this much. The plot was good for a summit, shoot-em-up movie, which normally the shoot-em-up movies are not my style, this had the action. It was hilarious. There was this one part of the movie where John Malkovich is running after someone with a bomb/clock on him, and I was crying, it was so funny.

If you are in need of a good story (good shoot-em-up movie its no Tristan and Isolde) and a funny movie with lots of action along with a little bit of romance, you should really go out and see this movie.

This movie is rated PG.

Website: http://www.red-themovie.com/

Youth Adult:

Title: Hex Hall
Author: Rachel Hawkins
Publisher: Hyperion
Page Count: 323
Series: Hex Hall
Where to buy: Amazon B&N Boarders Book Depository  Chapters
Hex Hall, I wasn't expecting anything great, and I have to say I was wrong. This book kept me guessing from the start. I found that I could not put the book down, I was laying in bed for hours thinking about the book, trying to get to sleep. There were more then a couple occasions where I put the book down because I was so shocked about what happened.
Sophie is a good main character, yet I found her falling for Archer a little annoying, every bone in her body is screaming "don't go near him, he's a major bully." And yet, she is still drawn to him. That was annoying, Though I like Archer, and I think I might have a little bit of a name crush on him, I don't think that Sophie falling for him was believable, much like the insta-love we see in other books. I am sure if there was more substance to Archer and Sophie I would of liked it better. But Sophie and Archer was vital to the story line.

So this is a really good story and I really liked it, but I found the writing a little weak, and I feel like Sophie, who was I am guessing 15 really should be able to swear, drop an f-bomb every once and a while or sh*t. I found the story seemed older teen, but at the same time, the writing was very middle grade.

What'd you think? Interested in either book or movie?

Em: On Growing Pains

Yes, I was supposed to post on Monday.
Yes, I fail majorly.
Yes, I'm about to give you excuses.

But! They're valid ones.

I have had a major toothache. Add that to my allergies... and you end up with a mopey, cranky Em.

I'm honestly surprised I've managed to write over 1,500 words a day in my venture to make writing a habit. Which coinicidentally I decided to start November 1st. I am not doing Nanowrimo though. I'm just practicing making writing a habit.

Now that you know why I'm not posting...

You can expect a show review in the not so distant future. I'm going to a concert Friday and Sunday (yes, toothache be damned, I'm going). Also, I swear, no matter how I feel I will post next Monday.

Now... I need to go take Advil and lay down.
Hope everyone's week has been better than mine!
Tunes: Saturday

Show Review: The Summer Set Present - the Travelin' Show

Likely the first show I went to all year that wasn’t free (for me anyway). I clearly am a glutton for punishment because I pick shows where the average concert goer is generally younger than me (or a parent). This means I listen to a lot of “OMG Like… Can you believe what Sally said on her facebook page?!” “OMG Like, I know, right? Totally scandalous. I can’t, like, believe her.”* And that, frankly, leads for an unpleasant start to a night. Wherein I pray the sound system cooperates, the bands don’t suck, and the music is loud enough that I can’t hear their rude chatter throughout the show. And normally that is 100% the case.

Now that’s not to say it wasn’t the case here. But there was a band or two on the bill I knew I would not be thoroughly pleased with. I wanted to see Austin Gibbs again and The Summer Set (you’ll recall I missed seeing them at Warped Tour because of the EIY meet) badly enough that I figured I could let my brain turn off for a few songs. And for the most part that worked out well. The musicians that rocked, rocked hard. But the bands that did not suit my taste, crashed and burned for me.

I went to the Orlando date on the 24th, which was at the Backbooth. It's a small and cozy little venue and they played the most hilarious music between sets (like BSB, Spice Girls, and even a Rick Roll in there). I enjoyed myself despite being solo. If they haven't rolled through your city yet I suggest checking it out. Totally worth it.

Cue my ridiculous titles!

Lightweights: School Boy Humor
AKA Band most likely voted to set a low standard.
I don’t mean to pick on these guys. Really I don’t. But as an opening act you need to bring it hard and prove to people why they should be impressed with you as opposed to those guys they actually paid to see. And I feel like these guys didn’t do that. They mostly smirked at the crowd of girls and flicked their hair. There was some instrument playing going on, and some singing. But they were bordering on rude between the songs. I’ll quote for you.
Guitarist (or was it the bassist?) “Are any of you compensating?”
(crowd yells no)
Singer “Do you guys even know what Compensate means?”
(crowd murmuring)
Singer “Of course not! You guys are too young! I’m just messing with you.”
No guy… just no. And then they play a “new song” and the singer mumbled the verses while singing the chorus loudly. It gave me the impression he couldn’t remember the words. Now I’m not saying that’s what the case was. But that was how it appeared from my position in the audience. Not a band I’ll be willingly seeing again.

Sex Kittens: Austin Gibbs
AKA Band most likely voted to turn you on.
His music (and his delivery of said music) is just sexy. I’m not sure how else to describe it. Austin Gibbs gets on that stage and flirts with the crowd, banters with his band mates, and sings in that way that makes girls malleable. Even when singing a song about a haunted house (aka Creepshow) you can’t help but sway and smile and want him to keep singing. He exudes this charm and sex appeal that doesn’t detract from the music like it would with a lesser artist. I swear I will go to any shows this man does just to enjoy the aura he has mixed with his great tunes.

Rockstars: Mod Sun
AKA Band most likely voted to make you move.
I’m going to be totally honest. I was both excited and worried to see Mod Sun live. Especially when Pat Brown (from the now defunct band Sing It Loud) brought out two lamps that resembled joints. If you don’t know what a joint is, bless you for being so innocent I’m not about to explain it to you. Anyway, I was concerned he’d be like so many rappers and come out on stage lit and/or drunk and therefore rather incoherent. If he was either of those I couldn’t tell. Because he got on stage, bounced around the whole thing (and I mean the man even climbed on the divider to where some equipment was kept) and generally brought out so much positive energy and fun it was hard to not be amazed by him. And then he pulled out Pat Brown for a song they wrote together (which I went and bought when I got home) called Path Less Traveled. It gave me goosebumps. I listened to his music before, I became a fan that night. Would definitely see him live again.

Heart Throbs: Stereo Skyline
AKA Band most likely voted to become models.
You may remember from my Bamboozle review that I was not crazy about these guys. In fact, I could barely remember their set because I was busy wondering how they assembled a group of all blonde cute guys. This time around wasn’t much different. Their songs are cute and they have a catchy beat. But nothing about it grabs me. And all the smirks, hair flips, and provocative gestures further my feelings that they’re solely to make girls swoon. Feel free to disagree; my own best friend thinks they’re great. I however, am not blinded by good looks. They’re not my thing apparently.

Party Animals: The Summer Set
AKA Band most likely voted to bring it, hard.
While I am a big fan of their music, I wasn’t really expecting anything amazing. I’m so glad they blew my expectations away. Now, you might be wondering why I’d pay to see a band if I wasn’t sure they’d be worth it. I figured at least I’d get out of the house and hear some fun music, even if it wasn’t amazing. Brian Dales, the lead singer, can belt out some notes on that stage. And John Gomez, one of the guitarists, has a very impressive voice as well. He sang a piece of Where Are You Now and I’m pretty sure my mouth hung open momentarily. I wish he’d get to sing more often. But to top off two great singers, they harmonize extremely well. They did two covers, a partial of Free Falling (my favorite Tom Petty song) where John yet again impressed me, and the Posion hit Nothin’ But A Good Time. Fun and different and entirely entertaining, as a live show should be. I danced in place (I was solo, so I was yet again hanging out with my friend The Wall), sang along, and had a great time. They rock out on stage and get the audience to participate very well. With their second to last song, Passenger Seat, they even went completely unplugged (acoustic guitar, egg shakers, violin and no mics). They sat on the edge of the stage and got everyone to sing along. It was an incredible experience. You could feel the buzz of the crowd and the energy of such a nice song being shared in such an intimate way with the fans. I was thoroughly impressed by these guys and would definitely, without hesitation, see them again.
Their set list for those interested:
1: This Is How We Live
2: Punch Drunk Love
3: Girls Freak Me Out
4: Young
5: Where Are You Now
6: Free Falling (Tom Petty Cover) (Partial Play)
7: Nothin’ But A Good Time (Poison Cover)
8: Love Like That
9: Lights
10: Boys You Do
11: Passenger Seat
12: Chelsea

Overall it was a really good show. Like I said, the bands that rocked, blew me away, and the ones that didn’t, just fell very flat to me.

You ever seen any of these guys live? If you haven’t, would you want to?

*Note: I am not saying all teens talk like this. Several of you amazing readers, for example, are not in this group. I was referring to the “valley girl” type of girls who always, always choose to stand next to me and flaunt their awful language skills and their disregard for manners or the concept of Some-things-should-not-be-talked-about-in-public.

Em: Very Late Weekly Post

Oh how I loathe this headache. I went to a concert Sunday and I wanted to post the album review for the band on Saturday, so that you could see what I thought of the album before getting my take on them live. But headache from hell prevents many things, as you will notice in a moment. I almost didn’t get this up but I am determined to defeat this headache! Even if it means I post late.

I wrote nothing. Nada. Which angers me because I open the document every day. So! Starting Monday, November 1st I’m going to be following the advice on this site to try and make reading a habit. If you follow me on twitter you’ll probably see me tweeting about my progress throughout the month. And I’m not doing Nanowrimo because I want to finish this novel first. But I figure it needs about 50,000 words added to its current state. So I’m going to apply the write-like-crazy concept of Nano to my writing.

A word is not a crystal, transparent and unchanging, it is the skin of a living thought and may vary greatly in color and content according to the circumstances and time in which it is used. – Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.
I love words, and that’s the sole purpose of that. Normally I have life quotes and dream quotes but I wanted a word one. ^_^

You May Be Right by Billy Joel
This is mine and Kim’s theme song. As decided by me. So I figured it should eventually be the weekly theme song as well. ^_^

Due to my headache keeping me off the computer as much, I have gotten quite a bit of reading done. I’ll break it into two sections for you.


Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost
Publisher and Publication date: Avon (Nov 2007)
Pages: 358
Where to Purchase: B&N / Borders / Amazon / Book Depository / Chapters
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Setting: U.S.

I was hesitant to read this, even after meeting the author a couple times at both RT’s I went to. I have learned that just because an author is cool does not mean she can write something I’ll enjoy. Plus, I’d been in a reading slump and I was wary about picking up a romance novel, especially one involving vampires, as I am not a fan of them. Do not avoid reading this for any of those reasons.

I normally dislike vampire books. The vamps are romanticized these days and authors make them do things that make no sense, logically. I’d read one other story that had a half vampire character in it and the explanation as to how this is possible was short and forever bugged me through that series. This one explained it in a way that seemed plausible (although that could be because water content in the blood was brought in and once you start with the science I just nod and assume it’s correct). The vampires were scary and dangerous and sarcastic and I loved them for it.

Normally in a romance novel I keep track of the number of times an author uses certain cliché words, such as nub, thrust, member, quiver, climax, etc. Ms. Frost didn’t go that route and I greatly appreciated it. Her scene scenes were so much easier to get lost in without all the cheesy cliché terms that make me giggle in other novels.

Her characters were amazing in that I could walk down the street and bump into any of them. Cat drove me crazy with how much she irritated me and I wanted to smack her a million times. But her character arc was great and by the end of the book I respected her even if I didn’t agree with her. Her mother I still dislike. I get having a traumatic past but she’s way over the top and it’s maddening, but real. And Bones was great. Snarky, British, and persistent, just how I like my heroes. He was both hard and delicate, badass and adorable, irritating and lovable. I can’t wait to read the next one and see what’s in store for these characters because one book was definitely not enough of them.
Favorite Quote: “Really, luv, how dead do you think I am… ?”
Tagline: Sometimes you have to fight the undead with the half dead…

Lord of Pleasure
by Delilah Marvelle
Publisher and Publication date: Zebra (Aug 2009)
Pages: 352
Where to Purchase: B&N / Borders / Amazon / Book Depository / Chapters
Genre: Historical Romance
Setting: London, England

I expected something just as dirty and funny and steamy as the last book by Delilah I read. Instead I found a book full of heart. While both books were about love and how tricky it can be, this one seemed more heartfelt, more full of love and affection and less carnal and lusty. It was a big difference from her last one but not an unpleasant difference. I believe there are only two sex scenes in the whole book but the build up and the emotion that fills the spaces around them is completely worth reading.

Delilah writes characters that are funny and full of emotion and very real. I feel as if I could go back in time and find these people she wrote about. Lady Chartwell was beautiful in that she was hurt, she was innocent and yet not, and she was longing for something that felt impossible. Hawksford was hard on the outside yet soft on the inside, fragile in that he’d been hurt before and strong in that he went out of his way to make people feel even if what he made them feel was only carnal pleasure. And the way she builds relationships makes me look at my own writing and wonder if I’m doing it right. She twists and molds them into a living, breathing thing and I’m captivated from the start.

Even if you don’t like romance novels you should give anything but Delilah Marvelle a shot. Her tension, love, and humor is worth the embarrassment of reading a book with the word ‘pleasure’ on the cover.
Favorite Quote: "So, what is your definition of getting on with it? [...] I, for one, would love to know."
Tagline: His only wish is to satisfy again and again…


Nightshade by Andrea Cremer
Publisher and Publication date: Philomel (Oct 2010)
Where to Purchase:
B&N / Borders / Amazon / Book Depository / Chapters
YA / Fantasy
Vail, Colorado

Everyone I know loved this book, which makes me wonder whether it’s me or the book. But we definitely didn’t agree. It’s predictable and did a lot of telling rather than showing in my opinion.

Calla is an alpha, with four wolves behind her and soon to merge with Ren and his four wolves to make a new pack. She’s constantly talking about how strong she is and reminding herself she’s an alpha. Other than physically, I was never shown she was strong at all. Calla is torn between two men and weak toward both. She fights against Ren at least, but Shay just has to pout and she gives him what he wants. And then her own wolves keep secrets, ignore her, go behind her back, and she just sighs and shakes her head. This is not showing me this strong alpha in control of her pack I was told I’d get. The tagline even says she can control her pack and yet I never saw her control anyone, including herself.

All was not bad; I was consistently intrigued by Shay. Here is this human dropped into this world and he handles it rather well. He does not instantly accept things and he wavers occasionally on how well he’s willing to accept it all. I like that. I liked that he was strong and sarcastic and fun. The Keepers, while clearly not people I should like, fascinated me a lot and I want to know more about their world. I’m just not sure that’s enough to pick up the subsequent books when they come out. Because it does end with a rather large cliffhanger, so there is obviously going to be subsequent novels.

Favorite Quote: “I guess I’d better get my list out […] It looks like I’m about to add another forbidden act.”
Tagline: She can control her pack but not her heart

Have you read any of those books? What did you think about them?