Saturday, July 23, 2011

~Author Interview~ Tabitha Suzuma author of Forbidden


Today the lovely Tabitha Suzuma is visiting my blog~sorry for the lack of posts lately but I'm really behind on my reading! I promise I'll make up for it soon~
She's the author of the amazing-heart-wrenching-impossible-love-story Forbidden wich I reviewed already HERE. Hope you enjoy the interview and leave your thoughts on the comments section

Thanks Tabitha for stopping by BookPics! hope you enjoy ;)

BP: First and foremost, when or how did you find out you wanted to become a writer?

I was six years old when I declared to my mother I would become a writer when I grew up. Then I stuck a picture on the cover of an exercise book and started writing a story about a blind boy. I absolutely loved reading and I wanted to be able to create my own stories.

BP: Now, I really have to tell you WOW, what an amazing book you wrote. I couldn’t keep away from it, even if it meant crying and suffering, but I was wondering how did you come up with the tittle FORBIDDEN? How did you now that was IT?

I must confess that the title Forbidden was not my choice. I wanted to call it something more lyrical like Too Close to Touch or The Distance Between Us. But my publishers insisted on the title Forbidden Love. I didn't want the title to alienate male readers so I absolutely refused to have the word 'love' on the cover. In the end we settled on a compromise with Forbidden.

BP: Also, I have to tell you that I hadn’t heard from your book before I read a review on a blog that completely left me begging for more, but what hooked me was the plot from the book. Could you tell us in your own words what the book’s about?
Forbidden is a love story between sixteen-year-old Maya and seventeen-year-old Lochan. They are brother and sister.

BP: I think I’ve been traumatized by your beautiful yet tragic story, so be honest, was it an easy book to write or did you have to struggle to come up with it? Would you mind telling us a bit about your journey throughout the writing of it?
Consensual incest was a subject I had wanted to write about for a number of years. I kept rejecting the idea because I thought there was a good chance the subject matter would never get past the 'gatekeepers' (booksellers, librarians, teachers, etc). I was only able to take the plunge once I had built up confidence in my writing ability through my previous four books. But even then I was terrified - not just that it would be deemed a subject unsuitable for teenagers but that I wouldn't be able to make it believable. I was also really afraid of being unable to make the reader care enough about the main characters so that they didn't reject them and their actions out of hand.

I was inspired by the desire to write a tragic love story. It came down to incest by a process of elimination. I wanted the book to be set in contemporary London and I needed the two teens in question to be old enough for their love for each other to be taken seriously. But I quickly realised that (fortunately) in modern-day Britain there are very few - if any - obstacles that could keep a couple in love apart. Cultural and religious difference maybe, but if the couple were determined enough to go against their families' wishes, they could always run away together. I needed something that would be condemned by everyone wherever they went - a relationship that could never be and moreover, was against the law.

BP: (tell me about it, it was an impossible love alright!) Are there any of the characters in FORBIDDEN based on a real life person you know? Personality, physical appearance, name, anything?
All the characters in my books are based on real people. I spend as much time exploring my main characters as I do planning the actual story. I think of it as 'casting' because that's essentially what it is! Either I trawl through images on the internet or I use someone I have met but don't know too much about. I need to have at least one photo of the person so that I can literally see him or her throughout the whole process. One example I can give you from Forbidden is the character of 5-year-old Willa. I based her on a British child singer called Connie Talbot 
(http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150605341685184&set=a.15075955183.72976.681050183&type=1&theater)

BP: (OMG!! she looks just as I expected, I think I'll cry again) This was my first book of yours that I read, do you have any more coming out soon? Can you share a bit about them/it or is it still TOP SECRET?
 I hope to have a book coming out next summer. I'm writing it at the moment and it's quite intense. It deals with bereavement - about a guy who loses his best friend (who is also his girlfriend) in an accident.


BP: Which was hardest to write from, Maya’s point of view or Lochan’s point of view?
Both had their challenges. I think overall, Lochan's perspective was toughest to write from because he was the one who suffered the most, and he is also the most complex character in the book.

BP: (Lochan was hardcore!) Also I have to confess I haven’t been able to get through the last 19 pages of the book, I just think I’ll cry to much and enter in a really sad/happy state but I’d like to know, what chapter from FORBIDDEN was the hardest for you to write?

The hardest part by far was writing the end: the final chapter and the epilogue. By then, I was so caught up in the characters and the story that it began to feel like I was writing a book about something that had really happened. In order to portray the characters' emotions convincingly, I had to experience them myself, which was really painful and frequently had me in tears. As you can guess, the book does not end happily and writing the ending was one of the hardest things I've had to do in my life. I found myself spiralling into deep depression and would often end up in tears and have to take a break and pace the house alone at night, sobbing. I could scarcely bear to re-read what I'd written and it got to the point that I was so caught up in the book that the story became more important and more vivid to me than real life. This eventually led to me having a breakdown.

BP: (ok so I'm not alone in the post-reading depression that go into me after reading Forbidden) I struggled to come up with a good enough review for FORBIDDEN, one that could tell people just how much I love this book and how it’ll be in my heart for eternity, Do you read your books’ reviews either good or bad? Why?
There have been so many reviews of Forbidden that it's been hard to keep up! For example online bookstores, blogs and book sites. Goodreads currently has almost 600 reviews! I have been impressed by the quality of many of these reviews, especially some of the ones on blogs, and I try to skim read each and every review and then post my favourites on my website. Writing a book is tough, and reading positive reviews is an important way to keep me motivated with my current book. Reading the negative reviews is also important because as a writer I need to know if there are aspects of my writing that readers don't like.

Now on to some less heavy stuff, sorry but I told you I’ve been traumatized.

BP: What was the last book you read?
Post-Birthday World, by one of my favourite authors, Lionel Shriver. 

BP: Could you describe yourself in 3 words?
Mad, passionate and obsessive! 

BP: Are you more of a coffee girl or a tea girl?
Coffee: I do most of my writing at night so I need the caffeine to stay awake! 

BP: Is there a book in your current reading list?
Never Let Me Go, by Kazuo Ishiguro 

BP: Favorite author/s?
Lionel Shriver, Maggie O'Farrell, Kay Redfield Jamison, Elizabeth Wurtzel, Marya Hornbacher, Michael Cunningham. In YA (which I don't read much of now) I was greatly inspired by KM Peyton, S.E. Hinton and Lois Duncan when I was younger. 

BP: Who inspires you?
My little brother Tiggy who is training to become a concert pianist at the Royal Academy of Music in London. (www.shinsuzuma.com)

Vasily Petrenko, close friend and conductor of the Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra here in the UK.
Video clips of people, films and performances that inspire me can be found on my website, here: http://www.tabithasuzuma.com/#/inspiration/4542288028 

BP: Favorite Music?
I love classical: Rachmaninov, Mozart, Beethoven etc. But when I write, I mainly listen to movie soundtracks which reflect the mood of the scene I am writing. 

BP: What’s the funniest thing a reader of yours has asked you?
'Are you the real Tabitha Suzuma?' 

BP: What do you think are your strongest and weakest points at writing?
My strongest point is probably characterisation. My weakest point is perhaps making enough distinction between narrators' voices. 

BP: Finally, do you have any random fact of yours that most people don’t know?
When I was a teenager, my hair was so long that it reached the back of my knees!


I really want to thank Tabitha since she wasn't feeling so well before or maybe even while answering to this tons of questions! but thanks again Tabitha for answering and taking the time and just for being awesome! hehe
don't forget to check out my review of Forbidden on my -Alba's reviews- album!! it really is an amazing book! one I hope you'll love and sherish just as much as I did!

On other news my Facebook page reached 500 fans so it might call a for a giveaway soon so stay tunned!!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

OMG!~CHAIN REACTION book Trailer by Simone FREAKING Elkeles!~

I can't die because now I've got to read the book. 
I completely mean it!
If you haven't read

 PERFECT CHEMISTRY (check my review HERE
OR
 RULES OF ATTRACTION(check my review HERE)


You are missing on some awesomeness BIG TIME!

So make up for that by watching the 
AMAZING-HOT-JAW/DROPPING-THRILLING 
TRAILER FOR BOOK 3
Now that it's almost time for the release of the book!

CHAIN REACTION





OK YOU CAN CLOSE YOUR MOUTHS NOW
SEE?!
PLEASE TELL ME YOU SEE WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT!

After meeting Alex Fuentes in Perfect Chemistry 
and 
Carlos Fuentes in Rules of Attraction 

GET READY TO MEET

LUIS FUENTES 
IN
CHAIN REACTION!!
Expected publication: August 16th 2011

Sunday, July 17, 2011

COVER REVEAL! The Sight by M.D. Christie


~taken from M.D.Christie's site HERE~



It's finally here! The OFFICIAL COVER for my upcoming YA Novel The Sight Book One of The Glamour Series!

This beautiful cover was designed by the great Donna Dull of 4Corners Press. I really couldn't be happier! 

The Official release date for The Sight is Midnight November 1, 2011 During The Witching Hour of Samhain!!



BLURB



Ever since the night of her Parents Disappearance eight years ago; 17 year old Ella St. John has known she was different.   

The CREATURE… did he take her parents that night, or was it a delusion?  

FLASHBACKS… Keep her from living her life.   

AUNT SAGE… Keeps secrets, does she know more than she lets on?   

The sudden feeling of BEING WATCHED…. What does it all mean?   

When Ella St.John Heads home from her shift at the Pink Java Cafe, she hardly expects to be attacked. Much less by the same creature responsible for her parents mysterious disappearance eight years earlier. This is Ella's first encounter with a dark creature of Murumendi; but it certainly won't be her last. Within moments Ella's life as she knows it is ripped away, forcing her to discover who and what she really is. Will she be able to handle the truth? 

The Sight Book One of The Glamour Series will take you on a Fantastical Journey of Love, Loss, and the Battle between Good vs. Evil.

AWESOME RIGHT? LOVING THE COVER! IF YOU WANT TO TAKE A LOOK AT THE PROLOGUE CLICK HERE!!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

~review~ Overprotected by Jennifer Laurens



--Everything you need to know about love is already inside of you-- 

I have to say I liked this book really much but didn't looooved it as I would have liked. 

I did love all the characters though didn't quite comprehend the whole secretive side that Colin had I still found the story compelling, A girl whose dad is obssessed with her safety, her wanting her freedom, a boy she used to hate, a lie for a life, and the best BFF she could have. 

I'm more than happy to have read this book, is the first Laurens' book I read and it didn't disappoint. 
Filled with everything a good story needs, you are left wondering what other thing can Ashlyn's dad come up with to keep her with him forever. 

Feelings- 
We all need our space, things happen and we have to get over them, love is inevitable, love can be a sick cruel thing, lies destroy as well as love, you're strong enough to overcome whatever you can. 

Nothing can stop you to do what you want. 

4/5 (again I felt it missed that little something to make it just awesome)

~2 books review~ Leaving Paradise & Return to Paradise by Simone Elkeles

LEAVING PARADISE



--"Are you following me?" she asks, but doesn't meet my gaze.
"Yeah," I say.
"Why?"
"Honestly?"
She looks at me, her eyebrows raised. I give her the only honest and true answer I have. "You're where I want to be."--


Oh My!!
Again...I was in this Simone Elkeles Marathon and couldn't stop until I read most of her books if not all!

Leaving Paradise was a really touching book, I love Elkeles' writing in this one as I did in her Perfect Chemitry books.
I started reading this book really?! without a single idea what it was about AND I looooooved it so much.

Starting with the name of the characters, Caleb(sigh) is one of my favorite male character names EVER so she hit home in there as for Maggie, let's just say I have a newly found sister whom I call that soI love it too.
The plot took me by surprise because I thought the main character along with the reason of the book's name wasn't the character I thought at all.

Feelings
It started pretty fast for me, I instantly got hooked on the story and couldn't put it down, not even to take notes for the review, hence the rattling and out-of-nowhere thoughts I'm writing now.
I got an insight of just how far family is willing to go to protect itself, the love of a brother can be infinite but has to be earned and appreciated at the same time. 
Life's not written on rock, therefore anything can change in the blink of an eye.

Learned
That sometimes we don't appreciate the sacrifices that are made for us to go on life without having to suffer much.
That being different doesn't mean bad.
And that you can't be eternaly judged by the things you've done in the past if you have already asked for forgiveness.
Again, love is one of the main characters in the story, along with never giving up on yourself because really?! you have no idea how strong you are until the situation is right on your face.
Love yourself above all else to be able to love any other person.

And that sometimes Leaving doesn't mean you're not seeing that person again, but rather be looking forward for when that person comes back, really there is no place like home.

5/5



RETURN TO PARADISE




--Maggie’s fighting for me. She wants to win me, fair and square. Doesn’t she realize she already has me, and doesn’t have to fight?--


Sequel to Leaving Paradise is soo different and yet the same as it, it's overwhelming.

After the obviously killing ending of Leaving Paradise I don't want to write any spoiler in this review, so I'll make it short.

When you love someone no matter where that person is, no matter how many lies, how many bits of your heart said person has broken, no matter the past-present-future, the tears, the laughs, the secret smiles, the lonelyness of being near and yet so far apart,REALLY count anything you want from that person, from hurting you soo bad you are scarred for life or from making you sooo freaking happy you think you've died and gone to heaven...the list really goes on.
NOTHING
repeating
NOTHING
Will be able to come between you two.

Introducing us to a bunch of new fun, disgusting yet fresh new characters...
Struggling with the, supposedly forgotten past. This book takes you to a complete other level of love, break ups, family, jail, friendship, and future at a really lovely small pace that lets you take in all of the beauty of life and all the possibilities that it holds for everyone.

-El amor todo lo puede-

5/5




Tuesday, July 12, 2011

~Cover Love~

PERCEPTION, is Clarity book #2 from Author Kim Harrington


~taken from Goodreads~


This hotly anticipated sequel to CLARITY delivers another dark, paranormal mystery. 

When you can see things others can't, what do you do when someone's watching you?
 



I SAY COMPLETE COVER LOVE PEOPLE, though I still love the first book's cover even more!







COVER LOVE N°2!


PANDEMONIUM, wich is Delirium book #2 by Lauren Oliver.




~taken from Goodreads~


Full of danger, forbidden romance, and exquisite writing, Lauren Oliver’s sequel to Delirium races forward at a breathtaking pace and is sure to appeal to fans who crave the high-stakes action of The Hunger Games and the bittersweet love story of Romeo & Juliet.



I just love the intensitiy of the girls' stare on the cover!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Interview, Author Margaret Sarah Bechtel


I just recently read and reviewed Margaret's 2nd book Learning in the Dark, you can check out my review ~HERE~.
And couldn't help myself, I really needed some answers maybe not the spoiler-y type of answers but answers nontheless!


So before the interview let's have you know a bit more about this awesome author.


Taken from here.



Margaret lives in Virginia with her family and golden retriever, Potter.
She is 30 years old and In The Land Of Winter is her debut novel. She loves to read. Twilight, Clan Of The Cave Bear, and Lord Of Rings are some of her favorite books. 
Margaret also enjoys 80's tv shows such as 21 jump street and The Golden Girls. However she is a full time GLEEK, and wacthes Glee over and over.



So you can now see, why oh why! I had to make an interview with this amazing woman!


NOW ON TO THE REVIEW!



BP: First of all thank you so very much to agreeing on making this interview and WELCOME to BookPics!                                                                               MSB: It’s my pleasure to do this with you!
BP: I can't start without asking when or how did you find out you wanted to become a writer? 
MSB: I’ve written stories since I was young, but I wrote my first completed novel when I was twenty-nine.  I was in the medical field training to become a nurse, and though I love the profession and respect it, it was not where I found my joy.  I wake up in the morning and I want to tell stories!


BP: I’ve read your 2 published books already and loved them both, how did you come up with both their titles?
 MSB: Learning in the Dark and In The Land of Winter?  In The Land Of Winter came partly just from the setting of the book, Scotland is a beautiful but harsh place to live and the other part was from Kate, she was so damaged and cold. Learning In The Dark came from the character Lynn, she was blind and trying to learn how adjust to her new world but it was also all the characters

BP: Could you tell us in your own and shortly words what your 2 books are about? 
MSB: In The Land Of Winter is about redemption and healing.  Learning In The Dark is about forgiveness.

BP: 
Would you mind sharing with us a bit of the process you went through in order to write both books?
 MSB: The first book, In The Land Of Winter, I dreamed about.  I dreamed Kate was trying to swim to a lighthouse a night in the freezing water of the North sea.  She just popped inside my head and heart and would not leave.  I’m actually writing a 2nd book with Kate, and I never planned on that all.  Learning In The Dark came from my own fear I guess, I always wondered how I handled it if I were to become blind.

BP: Are there any of the characters in your books that are based on real life people that you know?
 MSB: No…at least I don’t think they are. LoL

BP: After reading your second book I noticed some similar things between them, like how both female leading ladies are struggling with their past and learning to forgive, Did you ever thought you’ll be writing about this really hard topics on your books or was it something that just came to you one day? 
 MSB: The first book has some personal meaning to me.  The second book I just thought, what if the bad guys weren’t really bad?  What if you did something horrible but it was just a human mistake?  Could you still remain human in a sense and have a normal life?

BP: You, know that the one that got to me the most and even made me stop and think, look around me and even change my pov on some things was/is In the Land of Winter but Which was the hardest to write?
 MSB: In The Land of Winter or Learning in the Dark?  Learning In The Dark, there were four main characters, that had a lot of emotions and I wanted to give them their own chapters to get that across.  In The Land Of Winter was a darker book in many ways but it was easier to write from Kate’s POV because most of the most is just her and Lex stranded in that lighthouse, so their thoughts and feelings were more easely heard.

BP: Wich of all the characters from both books was the easiest to write and wich was the hardest?(I think I have an idea which was/is the hardest but no idea wich one would be the easiest since almost every character seems to be dealing with something, plus you can come up with some really sexy characters! ~sighs~Davis, Carter, and ~swoons~Lex) 
MSB: Kate felt like breathing to me, even though she is harder than I am. (In The Land Of Winter  Lex was just a warm ball of light, and the polar opposite of Kate, but their love gives me hope.)  Lynn was hard because I’m not blind but I had to write as if I were. Davis was just….hot, I don’t know where he came from,  (school giggles)  Carter was a sweetheart-  Sophie is the best friend everyone should have and I have to say I think she is my favorite in Learning In The Dark even though Lynn will probably be seen as the main heroine. *spoilery quote* Sophie and Davis together….WOW. *end of spoilery quote*

BP: Do you have any more books coming out soon? Can you share a bit about them/it or is it still TOP SECRET?  
MSB: I'm working on The Ten Kings Of Atlantis, it’s my first fantasy and based very loosely on a Greek Myth.  Confessions Of Lillian Maverick- is about a teenage girl who is dealing with the fact her mother is bipolar.  And Winters Return is the squeal to In The Land of Winter.  Kate and Lex are happy but soon the past comes back to haunt them.


BP: Do you read your books’ reviews either good or bad? And if you do how does it affect you? 
MSB: Well, a nice review is always great!  It always touches me when my words move someone, and they love my characters the way I do.  But a bad review, though they can hurt, and yes one for Learning In The Dark made me cry, isn’t really the end of the world.  It makes me want to do better and in the end I can’t please everyone.  I write novels because I love the story and I can only hope readers will like them too.  I try very hard not to take offense, because there are plenty of books I’ve read and didn’t like.



Now on to some fast facts.

BP: What was the last book you read?
 MSB: The Understory by Fisher Amelie


BP: Could you describe yourself in 3 words?
 MSB: Shy, loyal, and funny.  (At least that is what other people tell me.)

BP: Are you more of a coffee girl or a tea girl?

 MSB:Tea

BP: Is there a book in your currently-reading list?

 MSB: I’m reading Moby Dick, but I soon plan to read the percy Jackson series, and finish the Maximum Ride series.  I’ve read the first five.  I’m going to read The Ocean by Mia Castile for review very soon.  There are so many other books I have on my to-read list!  Like the Vampire Stalker and Laney, and Wisp! The List could go on and on!




BP: Favorite author/s?                                                                                                                                            MSB: J.R.R Tolkien, J.K. Rowling, Jean. M. Auel, and Cosette Riggs.
BP: Who inspires you?                                                                                                                                            MSB: Books in general and other authors.  I know when I have read a good book; because I’m like ‘Why didn’t I think of that’? That’s how I feel about the Clade Letters by Cosette Riggs.
BP: Favorite Music?                                                                                                                                                            MSB: I like all kinds really.  But right now I’m into Lady Gaga and Adele.  Adele’s album 21 is just stunning; and some of her songs help me when I'm writing Kate for Winters Return.
BP: What’s the funniest thing a reader of yours has asked you?
 MSB: Sadly, I can’t think of any! 
BP: What do you think are your strongest and weakest points at writing?  
MSB: I think I can write hard things pretty well, I’m pretty blunt in my style.  But I always worry about not having enough detail.  I think sometimes I can be an impatient writer, because I’m an impatient reader; I always want to get to the good stuff.

BP: Finally, do you have any random fact of yours that most people don’t know and you want to share? 
MSB: I love mustard and put it on odd things like carrots.  lol

Wow!I definitely didn't see that last answer coming!
Thanks Margaret S.Bechtel for answering my really weird questions, it was amazing having you here over at BookPics! Can't wait for your next books. I'm sure you'll keep surprising us more and more.
Guys don't forget to check out both of Margaret's books and page.
-Her Facebook Page, Margaret Sarah Bechtel FB page
-In The Land of Winter find it over at -Amazon-
-Learning in the Dark ~wich is now going through revision but still can find some info of it over at -Amazon-

Sunday, July 10, 2011

~Review~ Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles



Published April 13th 2010


When Carlos Fuentes returns to America after living in Mexico for a year, he doesn’t want any part of the life his older brother, Alex, has laid out for him at a high school in Colorado . Carlos likes living his life on the edge and wants to carve his own path—just like Alex did. Then he meets Kiara Westford...more HERE

MY REVIEW
—He cradles my face in his hands and forces me to look into his dark, sexy eyes filled with passion and desire. “You’re playin’ a dangerous game, chica.”
“I know. But I trust you.”—

First of all COVER LOVE BIG TIME!
+ 2
first for the cover being an actual scene in the book
second because the tittle of the book is used in the story line.

Wow!! even though you know how I felt about the spanish in the first book I’m glad Elkeles took it down a notch in this one…with just a few scenes that were a bit weird for me because ,again, of the spanish but enough of that.
I really just want to say how amazing this book was…how it shows you YET another insight as to what latin gangs mean in the US, how Love is really unexpected and incomprehensible, that sex is not the same as making love, and that someone helping you doesn’t exactly mean you’ll have to pay for that help.

This is the story of the second Fuentes brother, Carlos and how he struggles with not wanting to be like his brother while looking up at him. He is a trully cute/sexy/hot/stubborn character but it seriously cannot win against Kiara’s character wich is a funny/simple/straight forward/strong girl.
We watch them struggle with their own demons and inhibitions and in the end they prove to us that there are NO RULES OF ATTRACTION and that you can’t help it when you feel attracted to someone and feeling that you could wrap the universe in your fist and offer it to that special someone just for the fun of it.
True, Lovely, Hard, Sweet, Real, and Mezmering book that will not be on any shelf left for long but on the hands of those who buy looking for an awesome read.

5/5 (spanish)