Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween Vlog!

Dead Books Epic Halloween Giveaway!

Alright guys I’ve had several book giveaway for my Dead Books Celebration with all books that have “Dead” in their title and today I have the best giveaway of them all!

What’s up for grabs:


  • A copy of Picture The Dead signed by Adele Griffin
  • A Picture The Dead T-shirt (Women’s Medium)

This book has to be one of the most beautfully made ones I’ve ever seen! The story along with the artwork makes this such a wonderful book, it’d be a great addition to your book collection!

Here is a sample of the beautiful artwork done in the book:


Truly awesome! So here’s how you can enter to win it!

There will be one (1) winner 
Ends Nov. 14th
Must be 13 or older
Must fill out the form below

Author Interview



Hey Everyone! Today is your last day to enter some of my Halloween Giveaways!

Win a signed copy of She Smells The Dead *International* Ends today!

Win a copy of Living Dead Girl *International* Ends Today!

I’ve also got two other giveaways running right now:

Win a copy of Dead Is Just A Rumor *US/Canada only* Ends 11/3

Win a signed copy of The Body Finder or a Body Finder Swag pack! *US Only* Ends 11/7

Also I’ve be posting my final epic Halloween giveaway soon! So look out for it :D


Saturday, October 30, 2010

Authors Interview: Adele Griffin & Lisa Brown

311468 77051
<Adele Griffin

Lisa Brown>

Today I have the wonderful authors of Picture The Dead, Adele Griffin and Lisa Brown! Their book, Picture the Dead, is a truly amazing book filled with a haunting story of love and loss and beautiful pictures drawn my Lisa herself, which adds so much to the story. Please welcome them and enjoy the interview!

Tell us a little about yourselves.

(Adele) I’m a small, sensitive, easily excitable person who has never really stopped believing that there are monsters under my bed.

(Lisa) I am very short. I am quiet until you get me talking. I am solemn until you get me laughing. I like to look at disembodied body parts in jars and taxidermied animals (I come from a family of doctors; we are not a squeamish people.) I drink unbelievable amounts of coffee. My favorite illustrator is Edward Gorey. I live in San Francisco, and I come from New England, so I am happy and surrounded by beauty all the time, but I feel guilty about it. I live in an old Victorian house with my husband and son and a parade of dead or dying goldfish.

How do you think you’d handle being haunted?

After I got over the initial horror, I would probably be deeply grateful to be haunted because it would bring me so many fantastic ideas for stories.

Believe it or not, fairly well. I am rarely surprised when unusual things happen to me, except when I am surprised that they do not happen often enough. A haunting would seem to fit that bill. On the other hand, I like to spend time alone, and having a ghost around one’s home would make that less possible.

What was the main inspiration for your book?

We were more inspired by each other’s wacky work, and wanted to do something collaborative.

There was this amazing exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2005: “The Perfect Medium: Photography and the Occult.” It was an exhibit of spirit photographs from the 19th and early 20th centuries; that is, photographs of ghosts. Adele and I were fairly obsessed with these pictures, and they were absolutely the primary inspiration for Picture the Dead.

(for lisa) How did you get into illustration?

There was no getting into it. I was just always drawing, from the time that I could first pick up a crayon. I had this professor in college who evaluated me based on the doodles that I had done in my notebook during class. I thought that he was angry with me, but it turned out that he just really, really liked my artwork.

I spent a handful of years pretending that I would be something else for a living: academic, magazine editor, graphic designer, but I finally gave up and became what I always wanted to be most of all.

If you could choose, what supernatural creature would you be?

I wouldn’t mind being a ghoul. I understand that ghouls are the scariest of the ghost kingdom, because of the whole living-in-burial-grounds, eating-flesh aspect. And if you have to be supernatural, be terrifyingly supernatural.

Oh, vampire, for sure. I am already quite pale, dislike the sun, and wouldn’t mind living forever. Besides, as I mentioned earlier, I have never been particularly squeamish. But I would miss melted cheese.

What do you think makes a perfect horror/fantasy novel?

I think it comes down to a mastery of pacing. The Shining is thirty years old, but show me a horror that can come close to the way Stephen King paces his horror. His is the master.

I always think that it comes down to the unknown. Things are far scarier when .

What’s one of your greatest Halloween memories?

Being nineteen years old, dressed up as a nun, speeding in a golf cart down the center of campus thinking: I will never be younger and sillier than I am now.

On a rainy Halloween night when I was a small child, walking up and down the hallways and floors of our apartment building in Queens, New York, knocking on every door. We didn’t even have to step outside, and it was a great haul.

What are some books you have recently read and/or recommend?

In YA I just read The Body Finder, Some Girls Are and Sea. In middle grade; The Girl Who Could Fly. In adult: Freedom, and next up The Peculiar Sadness of Lemon Cake. But it’s time to get my nonfiction motor revving…

This summer I loved “Welcome to the Goon Squad” by Jennifer Egan, “Citrus County” by John Brandon and “What Is Left the Daughter” by Howard Norman. And I just snuck off and read “Linger” by Maggie Stiefvater in close to one sitting. Now I’m starting a book called “Memoirs of a Sword Swallower.” Non-fiction.

Quick Fire!

Angel or Demon?
Angel with a Vendetta
Demon. Duh.
(me: Love that they choose opposites XD)

Fangs or No Fangs?
Maybe one, well-placed fang
Fangs. Better for biting.

Ghosts: Believer or not?
All the way, every day, I Believe
Open to possibilities.

Alive or Undead?
Decidedly pro-choice.
OK, wait a minute. Undead as in sexy vampire, yes, but not as a decomposing zombie.

Thank you two so much for doing this interview! Is there anything else either of you would like to say?

Thank you for these fun and funky questions, sheer Saturday morning entertainment.

You are very welcome.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

Author Interview: Dianne K. Salerni




Today I have author of We Hear The Dead, Dianne Salerni, on the blog!! I’ve gotten the chance to meet her in person and she is so wonderful and her book is amazing (look for my review soon)! So give a big welcome to her!


How did you get into writing?

I’ve been writing all my life. When I was in elementary school, I wrote stories in notebooks and passed them around for my friends to read. In fact, I was recently reminded of this because one of my fifth grade students this year is the son of an old classmate. When I was talking to my students about my lifetime writing habit, this boy raised his hand and called out, “I know! I know! My mom says she used to read your stories!” It was nice to know she remembered!

Where did you get inspiration for your book?

I was researching spiritualism because I wanted to write a story with a séance in it, when I stumbled across the Fox sisters. I’d heard of them before, but I always imagined they were old spinsters. I was shocked to discover they were only 14 and 11 when they became spirit mediums, and that these two adolescent girls fooled people all over the country. They were America’s first teenage celebrities! When I discovered that one of the sisters had a celebrity romance with a famous Arctic explorer -- AND that her romance caused a scandal because of her social class – I knew I had to write the story! (I wonder if the 1850’s press referred to Maggie and Elisha as Maglisha?)

Which of your character do you most relate to?

I relate most to Maggie Fox, who never intended for her little prank to turn into a national hoax. She was mischievous and clever, but she would not have chosen a life of deceit if her older sister Leah had not pushed her into it. Of course, she certainly loved all the attention once she became famous! There were a few scary situations that made her regret her lies, but it wasn’t until she fell in love with Elisha Kane that she considered turning her back on her sisters and leaving the spirit medium business forever.

If you could write a novel with any other author in the world who would it be?

I wracked my brains over this one. I’d love to write with a master of gothic fiction and ghostly mysteries, but I was trying to think of somebody still alive -- Mary Roberts Rinehart (1876-1958) kept coming to mind, but she was dead before I was born! Then I heard a student talking about Mary Downing Hahn, and I thought “Bingo!” Hahn has written timeless ghost stories, as well as historical fiction, although mostly for the MG level. It would be really fun to write a Teen ghost/horror/mystery with someone as accomplished as Hahn!

So I hear you have plans for complete world domination. Do tell.

Well, there IS a movie in pre-production, but I’m not sure if I can achieve world domination unless we get the cast of Twilight involved. Just kidding! Seriously though, I‘ve been working on a screenplay version of the Fox sisters’ story for over a year now, in collaboration with Amy Green, producer and owner of One Eye Open Studio. We are close to having the screenplay finished, and Ms. Green plans to seek financial backing for the movie this fall. And with all due respect to Kristen, Robert, and Taylor – I’d rather see someone more livelily than Kristen play Maggie, and my pick for Elisha Kane would be that Prince of Persia guy, Jake Gyllenhaal!

(Me: Wow that is wonderful! So when your book becomes an epically famous movie with a bunch of awesome stars you’ll send me tickets to the premiere, right? XD)

What are some books you have recently read and/or recommend?

I can highly recommend Picture the Dead, by Adele Griffin and Lisa Brown, another Sourcebooks Fire book that is historical and ghostly, as well as beautifully illustrated. The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting is another book I recently enjoyed. Something a little less recent, and probably not as well known, is a steampunk trilogy written by Kenneth Oppel: Airborn, Skybreaker, and Starclimber. Thanks to these books, I am developing an interest in steampunk fiction, which combines a little science fiction with Victorian age society – win/win for me!

Describe your book in one sentence.
When a young girl pretends she can speak to the dead, she finds herself trapped in a life of lies --until a love affair with a dashing hero offers her a possible escape.

Quick Fire!

Hot or Cold? Cold! I would rather be skiing than sweating!
Tea or Coffee? Coffee. But I’m not a fan of Starbucks.
Angel or Demon? Definitely demon. Demons are more ornery and offer the potential for so much more mischief!
Fangs or No Fangs? I think no fangs. Too many other vampires out there right now. I plan on staying away from them for awhile. Same with werewolves!
Ghosts: Believer or not? I really WANT to believe in ghosts. The world would be so much more interesting if they were real! But I can’t shake my skeptic side.

Thank you so much for doing this interview Dianne! Is there anything else you’d like to say?

I’m just happy I got the chance to meet you at PAYA 2010 last month! I thought that was an amazing event – incredibly successful in its first year, all for a good cause, and organized by a Teen reader! Wow! I can’t wait to see what happens next year, and I hope to see you there again!


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Cover Contest: Vote Vote Vote!

Hey everyone! Taking a small break from my Halloween posted to say that today is the last day to vote for the Matched Re-create cover contest over at Squeaky Books!! There are a bunch of wonderful covers entered and some really tough competition. Though, I’d appreciate it if you when over to voted! One lucky voter actually gets to win a prize pack! How cool, right?!

Here’s my cover:

Matched-CoverIf you like mine the best I would love your vote, but make sure to look at all the other beautiful covers too :D



Monday, October 25, 2010

Guest Review: The Dead and The Gone


Title: The Dead and The Gone

Author: Susan Beth Pfeffer

Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books

Pages: 321

Summary: Susan Beth Pfeffer’s Life as We Knew It enthralled and devastated readers with its brutal but hopeful look at an apocalyptic event--an asteroid hitting the moon, setting off a tailspin of horrific climate changes. Now this harrowing companion novel examines the same events as they unfold in New York City, revealed through the eyes of seventeen-year-old Puerto Rican Alex Morales. When Alex's parents disappear in the aftermath of tidal waves, he must care for his two younger sisters, even as Manhattan becomes a deadly wasteland, and food and aid dwindle.

     With haunting themes of family, faith, personal change, and courage, this powerful new novel explores how a young man takes on unimaginable responsibilities.

Review: Seventeen year old Alex Morales is a poor Puerto Rican boy who works hard and responsibly for his age. He plans on completing his senior year of college in his small New York school and going to college. When an asteroid crashes into the moon, however, his careful plans are crashed with it.

At first, nothing seems amiss, after all the moon is thousands of miles away from Earth. But he can't contact his mother, who's a nurse, or his father who's in Puerto Rico for a funeral. Soon panic, tsunamis, floods, and natural disasters cover the Earth, while people struggle to get and save whatever food they can find. Through pain and hardship, Alex tries his best to make sure his 12 year old sister and 15 year old asthmatic sister are well-fed and stay alive.

The Dead and the Gone is written in the third-person point of view, unlike the first book in this series - Life as We Knew It (you don't have to read the series in order), which was written in diary-format. Still, readers feel the personal connection with Alex, as he struggles to live and care for his two younger sisters. For edge-of-your-seat science fiction, I recommend picking up The Dead and the Gone right away.

This review was done by Hafsah from Icey Books. Thanks so much for the guest review Hafsah! Make sure to take a look at her blog to see more of her reviews!


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Dead Books GIVEAWAY: Win *signed* copy of The Body Finder!


Up for grabs here is a SIGNED copy of The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting and a swag pack! Thank you Kim for so kindly donating both the book and swag!

*US Addresses only
*Ends Nov. 7th

*There will be two (2) winners!
*First place winner will receive a signed (and if wanted, personalized) copy of The Body Finder.
*Second place winner will winner a The Body Finder swag pack.
*Fill out the form below!

Interview with Kim
The Body Finder Review
Kim’s Blog


Author Interview: Kimberly Derling


Today have the amazingly, talented author of The Body Finder, Kimberly Derling! I must apologize because this was suppose to be posted yesterday but it failed to publish the time I set it to (which made me very sad) but now it’s up and you can read the epic interview I had with Kimberly! Thanks so much for taking the time Kim!

So, how do you think you’d handle being able to sense dead bodies?

I’d be a mess. Seriously! I’m not brave, like Violet, I’m more of a run-away-from-danger kind of gal. So, dead bodies and murderers? Not so much!

What is your main source of inspiration for your books?

The original idea for The Body Finder came from my husband, who’s always throwing out these random ideas for books. But one day while we were driving, he said: “What if there was this kid who could find dead bodies?” (Of course, in his head it was a Middle Grade boy, because that’s how all of his stories start out.) But I liked the idea, and maybe just to spite him I changed the main character to a teenage girl, gave her a love interest (because I’m a girl!), and by the time we got home, I’d figured out most of the rules for the “echoes.”

If you could choose, what supernatural creature would you be?

I probably change my answer every time I’m asked this question, but I think I’d have to say…Mermaid. I know, how girlie and lame, right? But when I was little, I used to twist my legs together and pretend I had a tail when I was swimming. Plus, how awesome would it be to have a permanent seashell bra???

What do you think makes a perfect horror/fantasy novel?

Believability. I love to be scared. Love, love it! But it has to be believable. And not in the sense that it could really happen, I’m all for over-the-top storylines, as long as it captures me. Michael Crichton did an amazing job of this when he wrote Jurassic Park, which literally had me hanging on the edge of my seat for two days, terrified of dinosaurs.

If you could write a novel with any other author in the world who would it be?

Stephen King. Hands down the greatest storyteller of our time!

What’s one of your greatest Halloween memories?

When my son first started trick-or-treating (on his own, with me waiting on the street), he would just walk into people’s houses without knocking or ringing the doorbell. At one house, he actually opened the door, grabbed a handful of candy, and walked out before anyone could stop him. Fortunately, I knew all my neighbors, so they were forgiving to his little breaking-and-entering habit. ;)

What are some books you have recently read and/or recommend?

BEAUTIFUL DARKNESS by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, THE DEMON’S LEXICON by Sarah Rees Brennan, THE PASSAGE by Justin Cronin, MATCHED by Allie Condie, UNEARTHLY by Cynthia Hand, and A NEED SO BEAUTIFUL by Suzanne Young (which I got to read pre-ARC!).

Quick Fire!

Angel or Demon? Angel. (You meant me, right???)
Fangs or No Fangs? Fangs on me. No fangs on everyone else.
Ghosts: Believer or not? Closet believer.
Alive or Undead?

Thank you so much for doing this interview! Is there anything else you’d like to say?

Just that I had so much fun. And thanks for having me!!!


Friday, October 22, 2010

Book Review: The Body Finder


Title: The Body Finder

Author: Kimberly Derting

Publisher: HarperCollins

Pages: 327

Summary: Violet Ambrose is grappling with two major issues: Jay Heaton and her morbid secret ability. While the sixteen-year-old is confused by her new feelings for her best friend since childhood, she is more disturbed by her "power" to sense dead bodies—or at least those that have been murdered. Since she was a little girl, she has felt the echoes the dead leave behind in the world . . . and the imprints that attach to their killers.

Violet has never considered her strange talent to be a gift; it mostly just led her to find dead birds her cat left for her. But now that a serial killer is terrorizing her small town, and the echoes of the local girls he's claimed haunt her daily, Violet realizes she might be the only person who can stop him.

Despite his fierce protectiveness over her, Jay reluctantly agrees to help Violet find the murderer—and Violet is unnerved by her hope that Jay's intentions are much more than friendly. But even as she's falling intensely in love, Violet is getting closer and closer to discovering a killer . . . and becoming his prey herself.

Overall: 5 Stars!


He’s watching you. Out there, somewhere. Waiting for you to be alone, show a moment of vulnerability. Hiding in the shadows, blending into the darkness. Hunting you… Will he carry your echo?

Echoes, the aura of the dead that are left behind from a person who had been killed and it is Violet Ambrose who has the morbid ability to sense them. Ever since she was a little girl she had sense the echoes of died animals scattered through out the forests near her house but it’s one day she stumbles upon a girl buried in the woods that the realization of her powers are truly seen. Violet is now seventeen and has gotten use to her special power. That is until a series of murders start happening in her town and Violet along with her best friend, the totally smoking hot, Jay, are there to try and stop him… before he can get to her.

The Body Finder was an absolutely wonderful read! With a storyline like this I was ready for something different and boy did I get it. The characters in the story all had very descriptive and relatable personalities. One of the things that I was pleasantly pleased with is that the fact that Violet’s family knew about her ability to sense the dead. There are so many books out there where the main character has a big secret ability and hides it from his/her family. It left out the need to sneak around them and lie. Also, a very unique piece to this book is that there where chapters that switched POVs and went to the murderer’s mind! I was a little surprised by it but in a good way! Kimberly played it out perfectly and to be able to see the mind of a killer was spine-chilling. How she did it, I have no clue!

Though the murders and mystery plays a huge part in the book so does the romance! Jay was perfectly flawed and added some pretty steamy times for Violet. He was the hero for the hero, there when needed, though was pigheaded when needed most of all. The Body Finder will most definitely leave it’s imprint on you.

- The Body Finder -
Order a copy

- Other books by Kimberly -
Desire Of The Dead (Out March 15th, 2011)

- Find Kim -


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Guest Post: The Trouble with True Blood

flatvintagefairy Today, I have Steph from Fangs, Wands, and Fairy Dust here to talk about the topic of the The Southern Vampire Mysteries by Charlaine Harris vs. the TV adaptation, True Bloods. I haven’t read the series and with all the books having ‘Dead’ in their titles I had to include them in my celebrations! Thanks so much, Steph!


The Trouble with True Blood

True Blood versus the Novels it is based on, The Southern Vampire Novels

by Charlaine Harris

All of these books have Dead in the Title, The first was Dead until Dark and the second of what is now ten is Living Dead in Dallas.

By Stephanie Takes-Desbiens

Fangs, Wands and Fairy Dust

When I offered to do this guest post, I thought I really had the Sookie Stackhouse or Southern Vampire Mysteries books versus True Blood (based on) TV series sussed. That was until I began reading the books from the beginning of the series again to refresh my memory.

One of the chief complaints of folks who read my blog, Fangs, Wands and Fairy Dust, is that the show doesn’t follow the books to our satisfaction.

However, in reading I am finding the first two seasons quite closely adhered to the storylines Ms. Harris devised. Some additions were there, yes, but the main storylines are intact. The biggest deviations (not in any order) apparent to me are :

1. The role of Tara as a close friend of the family is hugely enlarged on the TV show.

Many people don’t like that Tara has this much importance. In the books, Sookie, the main character is a telepath and explains that she didn’t really have close friends because of her strange abilities. Tara has a lot to do with the second big difference:

2. Lafayette is killed at the beginning of Living Dead in Dallas, and while the character has remained gay, and slightly drag, he was not a big part of the books even before his death. His biggest part in the storyline was his death.

In the TV show, the sham-shaman, Miss Jeanette is killed in Lafayette’s stead. Because of his presence in True Blood story lines that interfere with the story lines in the book have to be invented to accommodate his presence. This includes a big part in the storyline being given to the sale of “V” or Vampire Blood. It affects the characterization of the denizens of “Hot Shot” a trashy area inhabited by were panthers. In the later books when they come up, they are not portrayed as particularly “bad,” or unclean, inbred, impoverished people. On the show they are portrayed with the classic taint of the phrase “White Trash.”

In this last season Lafayette’s role was expanded to include a Vampire for whom he sells drugs giving him a very expensive car, the addition of a boyfriend who is his mothers CNA at the loony bin to which Lafayette has had her committed. Lafayette (or LaLa) was saved by his charm, I am sure. We all love him! Ring, ring hook-ah, ring, ring.

3. The story of a mythological creature, a Maenad was a small part of Living Dead in Dallas. But the season before last revolved around the maenad, Maryanne. She also wanted to kill Sam in order to give life to Dionysus, but in the book, she and Sam ran through forest together and enjoyed each other’s company. On TV it is the maenad’s buddy, Eggs who is the killer. In the book, the maenad kills a bunch of individuals who are at a swapping party.

The other chief complaints are about Sookie or Sookie and Eric, Bill or Alcide:

Sookie: In the books, Sookie is portrayed as a young woman hampered by her telepathy in many ways throughout her life. She was unable to go to college because of the mental noise. But, she is very intelligent, a bit naïve but intelligent. While Bill is her first, it isn’t because she doesn’t have a healthy interest in that department, it’s just that she was considered a freak and she could hear what the guy was thinking.

I don’t think we can say the same for TV’s Sookie. She doesn’t have the quotes from books that Book-Sookie comes up with. She doesn’t seem very bright, she pleads a bit too much for salvation. She doesn’t know when to stop bothering the poor bellboy. Book Sookie says that it isn’t her secret to tell, where TV Sookie wants to chat with him about it while she retrieves breakfast.

Book Sookie does NOT swear as much as TV Sookie. Some people disagree on this, but in Dead Until Dark she swears and then says she used one of her brother’s words. On TV she drops the F-Bomb rather frequently. Gran would be spinning in her grave.

Focus and Purpose: The show has too many story lines involving too many characters who aren’t Sookie. Book-Sookie is the southern, vamp-loving, Agatha Christie who solves crimes with Bill, Sam, Eric, etc. She finds clues that Rene is a serial killer, she locates a locked up Farrell and Godfrey/Godric, and figures out who killed Lafayette. The books each have plots that give Sookie Purpose.

On the show, Sookie is a sort of sexy waitress at a bar who has dated a vampire. Much of the show has little to do with her. The books revolve around Sookie like she is the sun. Without the focus the series is spinning out too many sub-plots and they rob the character’s purpose.

Book Sookie becomes inured to the modern world outside of Bon Temp more slowly than the TV character does. Book Sookie is a bit more unsophisticated than her TV counterpart, but she is much smarter.

After much buildup we didn’t see Alcide enough and when he did show up we didn’t see enough of him. In this same way we’d like to see more of Eric more often.

Smaller things:

1. Added and enlarged characters were not in the books or had a smaller part for a reason.

2. Arlene’s baby couldn’t POSSIBLY be Rene’s; he dies at the end of the first book and season. There were quite a few months, at least, between him being arrested/being decapitated with a shovel.

3. Book Eric kills Long Shadow, not Bill. Thus so much trouble ensues from a changing one character’s role. It is responsible for Jessica, and her relationship with Hoyt. It has an impact on Summer’s life too.

4. The Queen of LA storyline and the casting of Evan Rachel Wood. Queen Sophie is a genteel old Vampire. TV Queen Sophie is a vapid harridan but even she would have been more genteel that Evan Rachel Wood’s portrayal.

Finally, we (mostly women who read the books) are waiting for the hot stuff between Eric and Sookie. I am now in book three and it hasn’t happened yet. While we may want it for other reasons (her relationship with TV Bill is not all a modern woman would like), they are not being terribly unfaithful to the story line.

So, I am humbled to read that the main storyline, of the books isn’t too different from that of the series. There could be fewer Non-Sookie storylines, which would tighten-up the show. The differences are subjective and I think changing the personality and focus of entire characters is still an issue. A series based on a book does have to make changes. Otherwise, it would bore us to tears.

The bottom line is that any True Blood is better than none.

Once again thanks so much Steph! You should go stop by Steph’s awesome blog! She’s trying to reach 500 followers for her 50th on Nov. 3rd so go help her out!


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Dead Books GIVEAWAY: Win signed Dead Is Just A Rumor!


Win a signed copy of Dead Is Just A Rumor by Marlene Perez!
Thanks so much to Marlene for donating a copy!

US and Canada addresses only!
Ends Nov. 3rd
Fill out the form below

Dead Is The New Black Review
Marlene Perez Interview


Dead Book Review: Dead Is The New Black


Title: Dead Is The New Black

Author: Marlene Perez

Publisher: Harcourt Paperback

Pages: 190

Summary: Welcome to Nightshade, California; a small town full of secrets. It's home to the pyschic Giordano sisters, who have a way of getting mixed up in mysteries. During their investigations, they run across everything from pom-pom-shaking vampires to shape-shifting boyfriends to a clue-spewing jukebox. With their psychic powers and some sisterly support, they can crack any case.

Teenage girls are being mysteriously attacked all over town, including at Nightshade High School, where Daisy Giordano is a junior. When Daisy discovers that a vampire may be the culprit, she can't help but suspect head cheerleader Samantha Devereaux, who returned from summer break with a new look; Samantha appears a little . . . well, dead, and all the most popular kids at school are copying her style.

Is looking dead just another fashion trend for Samantha, or is there something more sinister going on? To find out, Daisy joins the cheerleading squad

Overall: 4 stars!

Review: One of the hardest things that I can think about in the writing world is mixing a mystery in with romance. Now, think about it, you have to have clues and hints scattered throughout the story, some mysterious happens, the problem solver, the problem starter, mind tricks and riddles, suspicious suspects… writing a mystery story is like trying to put together a thousand piece puzzle. Now add some romance action in there and we all know how complicated romances are… So what I’m saying is that I impressed with Marlene’s work! Dead Is The New Black has all the above mentioned and only in a little 190 page package!

The town of Nightshade is not normal. Really not normal. But Daisy’s family fits right in with her mom being a psychic and her too sister also possessing powers, Daisy is the only one without a psychic ability. A norm. And she couldn’t hate it more. There is a mysterious murder case that can’t be solved and Daisy is on the search for the person responsible. When the head cheerleader and Daisy’s ex-best friend shows up to school with deadly pale sink and wearing all black. Daisy knows something is up. With the help of her friend (and maybe something more) Ryan, she searches for clues to help led to the strange happens in her town.

This was a really enjoyable, quick read. It took me about a day to finish and I loved a good mystery book. Loved the relationship between Ryan and Daisy and all the cleverly places clues that helped unravel the secrets yet leaving room for more which I’m looking forward to in the next novels of the Dead Is series!

- Dead Is The New Black -
Order a copy here

- Other books In Marlene’s ‘Dead Is’ series -
Dead Is  State Of Mind (In Stores)
Dead Is So Last Year (In Stores)
Dead Is Just A Rumor (In Stories)
Dead Is Not An Option (Out Spring, 2011)


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Dead Books Author Interview: Marlene Perez


Everyone please welcome Marlene Perez, author of the “Dead Is” series! She was kind enough to give me some of her time to answer my questions. Thanks so much Marlene!

Tell us a little about yourself.

Im the author of several books for teens, including the paranormal mysteries series, DEAD IS. I live in Southern California with my family and a variety of pets. Im the youngest of twelve children and grew up in Iowa.

How did you get into writing?

I’ve written since my second grade teacher introduced the class to the journaling. I always knew I wanted to write but didn’t pursue it seriously until I was married with small children and working full-time at a university.

What is your main source of inspiration for your books?

I don’t know if inspiration is the right word. Maybe compelled? I feel compelled to write. And it’s never just ONE idea, but layers and layers of ideas that somehow, magically come together to become a novel.

If you could choose, what supernatural creature would you be?

This answer always changes depending upon what character I’m writing at the time. Right now? Maybe a witch. Or a psychic.

What do you think makes a perfect horror/fantasy novel?

The same as any other novel. Imagination, memorable characters, an intriguing plot, and that hard to pin down wow factor. I’m also extremely fond of a little dark humor in the novels I read.

If you could write a novel with any other author in the world who would it be?

I’m not sure I’d make a good co-author with anyone. I’m pretty bossy. But maybe S.E. Hinton or Judy Blume or Lois Duncan. If I can include those who are no longer of this world, I’d say Louisa May Alcott, Jane Austen or the poet Edna St. Vincent Millay or maybe Mary Shelley.

What’s one of your greatest Halloween memories?

Every Halloween is memorable! It’s one of my favorite holidays. But one year, my best friend, whose name also starts with M, and I dressed up as M & Ms. That was fun!

What are some books you have recently read and/or recommend?

I read a lot! Right now, it’s a lot of research books. I like Charlie Huston’s Joe Pitt vampire detective novels, Gail Carringer’s Parasol Protectorate novels. In YA, Laini Taylor’s LIPS TOUCH THREE TIMES and Holly Black’s WHITE CAT are two recent reads that blew me away. Actually, if there’s a vampire in it, I’ll probably read it. You can also check out my goodreads list, if you’re really curious about what I’m currently reading.

Quick Fire!

Angel or Demon? Demon
Fangs or No Fangs? Fangs
Ghosts: Believer or not? Believer
Alive or Undead? Alive

Thank you so much for doing this interview! Is there anything else you’d like to say?

Thanks for inviting me.


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Guest Post: I Love Halloween! Beverly from The Wormhole

Today I have Beverly from The Wormhole on my blog for a guest post on her love of Halloween. She is also holding an EPIC Halloween giveaway on her blog and there is a link at the bottom. Thanks so much for doing this post Beverly! Hope you  guys enjoy!




Halloween is my favorite holiday!  I know that most people would choose Christmas or maybe even Thanksgiving, but for's all about Halloween! 

I don't know when it started, but it's been that way as long as I can remember!  I have about 10 rubbermaid totes that are filled with decorations!  I usually started getting ready the first week in October so I can get the whole house decorated in a week or so.  I decorate EVERY room in my house for the event!  I usually theme each room: ghosts and witches in the kitchen, pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns in the bathrooms, skeletons, mummies, and vampires in the living room.  From there the themes spread out to general creepiness and Halloween ideas.  I have rolls of scene-setters that I put up on the walls to make the rooms look like castles and dungeons and such.  I cover all the windows in the front of my house with enormous black spider webs and giant spiders.  I live in the country now and so I don't get trick-or-treaters anymore, but I still have bins of candy laid out all over (although I have realized that the window ledges are now place for chocolate! Way too soft by the afternoons).  I have Halloween dishes, serving dishes, and both stemware and glassware!  I even put out some glow-in-the-dark plastic flatware shaped like skeletons and ghosts! 

I have a collection of Halloween clothes and dress in them for the week before Halloween and then I dress up as a witch every year (on the Friday before Halloween at school if the holiday falls on a weekend) and go out on the town! 


My favorite Halloween read is:

Big Pumpkin by Erica Silverman and S. D. Schindler


It has been a favorite of mine for years so of course my kids love it too!  When I was going to school in Winona, one of my assignments in my Children's Lit. class was to choose a story and do a read-aloud to a kindergarten class.  Since it was October, I chose Big Pumpkin!  I made a storyboard story out of it - I used a tri-fold presentation board for the setting and then made all the characters from the book out of craft foam.  My kids and I made a tape of us reading the story so I could play it while I "acted" out the story on the board.  It was amazing!  We all chose different characters and did the voices!  I dressed up as the witch to tell the story and was great! The little students loved it!  If you have never read this story, go check it out!


Stop by my blog – The Wormhole – and enter my Halloween Giveaway!

Happy Halloween!


Re-create cover contest: Matched

Enna over at Squeaky Books is having a Matched Re-create cover contest  and because I’m literally counting down the hours to Matched, I decided I’d go ahead an enter.

Original Cover:

7735333This cover is just BEAUTIFUL and I had to put some deep thoughts into what I was going to switch it up as. I’m actually very happy with the end result. I think (even though I’ve yet to read the book) that it is very fitting to the theme :)

My Cover:


So tell me what you think.  I get nervous with no responses! Good? Bad?! O_o


Saturday, October 16, 2010

Dead Books Review: Once Dead, Twice Shy


Title: Once Dead, Twice Shy

Author: Kim Harrison

Publisher: HarperCollins (USA)

Pages: 232

Summary: My name is Madison Avery, and I'm here to tell you that there's more out there than you can see, hear, or touch. Because I'm there. Seeing it. Touching it. Living it.

Madison's prom was killer—literally. For some reason she's been targeted by a dark reaper—yeah, that kind of reaper—intent on getting rid of her, body and soul. But before the reaper could finish the job, Madison was able to snag his strange, glowing amulet and get away.

Now she's stuck on Earth—dead but not gone. Somehow the amulet gives her the illusion of a body, allowing her to toe the line between life and death. She still doesn't know why the dark reaper is after her, but she's not about to just sit around and let fate take its course.

With a little ingenuity, some light-bending, and the help of a light reaper (one of the good guys! Maybe . . . ), her cute crush, and oh yeah, her guardian angel, Madison's ready to take control of her own destiny once and for all, before it takes control of her.

Well, if she believed in that stuff

Overall: 4.5 stars


Are you a dark reaper or light reaper?
Do you believe in choice or fate, because you can only choose one side.
But somehow Madison got stuck being on both.

Let me start by saying that I loved Once Dead, Twice Shy! It was one of those unique diamonds in the rough that told a story that was just dying to be written (pun intended). We first get introduced to Madison while she is trying to master “thought-touch” with her light reaper guardian, Barnabas. Barnabas was suppose to protect Madison from being killed by a powerful dark reaper but fail and is now trying to help her develop the powers she gain from stealing the amulet of the dark reaper that killed her. The beginning is a little confusing and you feel like you’re missing a lot of information, but you quickly become trapped in the new world that Madison has discovered she plays a big role in.

I loved all the characters in the book. Madison is like no character I have ever read before! From her short blond and purple hair to her unique way at looking at the world, she is a wonderful  voice to hear the story through. Grace, her guardian angel, was just so funny! She added some much needed humor to the dark elements in the story. Josh was a great love interest. I’m a big supporter of him and Madison. And I even grew to love Nakita, the dark reaper! I was so shocked at the big twist of events at the end of the book that I can’t wait to get my hands on the second book, Early to Death, Early to Rise!

I regret not picking this book up sooner. I had seen it on book shelves for so long and now I wonder why I continued to passing it up! You never know if that one book you keep passing by on the shelves is one that you will love. It’s all chance really. I pick up a book and I love it like a child! Is that fate bring me this book or was it my own choice of actions that lead me to finding it? Sometimes I believe in fate and sometimes I believe that my own choices bring me to the things I do, but I guess I would see myself as a dark reaper. That may sounds scary! But you guys should really pick up this book and see the what side you would fight for. It’s an adventure that kills ;)

- Once Dead, Twice Shy -
Order a copy!

- Other YA Books by Kim -

Early To Death, Early To Rise (Madison Avery #2) (In Stores)
Something Deadly This Way Comes (Madison Avery #3) (Out April 8th, 2011)
Prom Nights From Hell (In Stores)


Friday, October 15, 2010

Blog Hop!


It’s time for another BLOG HOP! The Blog Hop is a weekly meme hosted by the lovely Jessica at Crazy-for-Books! For more information on The Blog Hop head over to her blog.

Question of the Week:

When you read a book that you just can't get into, do you stick it out and keep reading or move to your next title?

I have this thing about how I really hate not finishing a book. It’s happened to me a few times, I’ll find a book I don’t really enjoy but when I decide I’m not going to finish it the book haunts me. I’m being completely serious. What if i kept reading? Would it have gotten better? Did I miss out big?  I’ll never know if I don’t finish it and that bothers me! Please let me know if I’m not th eonly one with this problem out there. So to answer the question directly, I’d probably stick it out.

Also make sure to check out my two giveaways going on on my blog right now!

Win a copy of Living Dead Girl! *International*
Win a copy of She Smells The Dead! *International*


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Dead Books Giveaway: Win a Copy of She Smells The Dead!


Dead Books Giveaway #1

Win a copy of She Smells The Dead by E.J. Stevens!


Ends Oct. 31th
Fill out form below!

She Smells The Dead Review
Interview with E.J. Stevens



Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Dead Book Interview: E. J. Stevens (She Smells The Dead)




Today I have E.J. Stevens, author of She Smells The Dead, here on mu blog! She was so nice as to do an interview for my Dead Books celebration, so everyone enjoy the interview!

Tell us a little about yourself.

I am a novelist and poet with a lifelong love of the paranormal, fascination with cryptozoology, Edgar Allan Poe obsession, and a wardrobe that has been deeply entrenched in the goth aesthetic since 1987. The upside to all of this is that my friends and family always know where to come for a chilling story, I am prepared to identify and classify a Wendigo, though admittedly he will likely eat me before I can reveal my discovery to the public in which case I will exist nevermore, and it is very easy to sort my closet by color.

How did you get into writing?

I grew up in a family of eccentric storytellers. Throughout my childhood we would sit together and tell stories, many times taking turns and picking up where the other left off. We were always competing to tell the most frightening or most entertaining tale. Writing became a later extension of my love for storytelling.

Where did you get inspiration for your book?

The idea for She Smells the Dead came to me as I was walking my corgi past an overgrown graveyard. A sudden breeze carried a strong, pungent smell and I suddenly wondered what it would be like to sense the dead through smell rather than by sight or sound.

What do you think makes a perfect horror/fantasy novel?

I feel strongly that a novel must have strong characters in order to be a truly wonderful, engaging read. Fantasy characters should be believable with at least some core characteristics derived from the real world. While my characters may have supernatural abilities, may not even be human, their physical reactions and emotional responses are based on my own experiences and observations. It is my hope that these characters seem tangible and relatable to readers.

If you could write a novel with any other author in the world who would it be?

I do believe I mentioned a bit of an obsession with E.A. Poe? I never entirely outgrew my affinity for this amazing master of the macabre. I am afraid that we would have to employ the services of a voodoo priest to resurrect Mr. Poe. Sorry dear, a bit too messy? Perhaps a medium could assist Mr. Poe in speaking beyond the grave, though I had been looking forward to working on our novel over tea.

So I hear you have plans for complete world domination. Do tell.

Now how, pray tell, did you learn of my plans? Oh dear, I do believe I have some minions to punish. Mwahahahaha!

What’s one of your greatest Halloween memories?

Halloween is my favorite time of year. I have so many wonderful memories. Many years ago, I was strolling through Salem just before Halloween and a group approached me asking when the tour began. Tour? They had mistaken me for one of the Haunted Salem tour guides. I was tempted to give them a bit of misdirection, my Halloween trick for the day, but ended up admitting that I was not a tour guide. I’m still not sure if it was my long black cape, bustle skirt, or make-up that led to their assumption, but it was all very amusing.

What are some books you have recently read and/or recommend?

As some of you may know, I have a book blog with a paranormal focus. My review pile is absolutely towering at the moment (just how I like it!). I recently read and would highly recommend Paranormalcy by Kiersten White, Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater, Tyger Tyger by Kersten Hamilton, and The Hollow by Jessica Verday. I also recommend the Vampire Academy, Iron Fey, and Mortal Instruments series to YA paranormal and urban fantasy fans.

Thank you so much for doing this interview! Is there anything else you’d like to say?

Thank you for having me here today at the Scarrlet Reader!

Please visit me at my blog ( Want to learn more about She Smells the Dead? Stop by the official Spirit Guide series website ( you’ll find links to reviews, giveaways, and more!


Thanks again so much to E.J.! Hope you all enjoyed the interview and look out for a chance to win a copy of She Smells The Dead tomorrow ;D

Also check out my review for She Smells The Dead HERE.

Where to find E.J.

Website     Blog


Monday, October 11, 2010

Dead Book Review: She Smells The Dead

8664283_thumb2 Title: She Smells the Dead

Author: E.J. Stevens

Publisher: Sacred Oak Press

Pages: 168

Summary: It's the beginning of senior year and Yuki's psychic awareness of ghostly spirits is threatening to ruin her life. Her ability to sense spirits of the dead isn't glamorous like the ghost hunting on television.


The smell impressions are becoming stronger. Yuki is being visited in her dreams, and she suspects that her friend Calvin is involved in something strange. To make matters worse her crush on Garrett is going unrequited, Yuki's friend Emma is on a rampage against bee oppression, and annoying Calvin Miller mysteriously disappears.

Will Yuki be able to focus her powers in time to save the lost soul who is haunting her? Meanwhile, who will save Yuki from following the spirits into the light?

Overall: 4.5 stars   


For some reason I had a really hard time thinking of what I was going to score She Smells the Dead. It had elements in which I both very much enjoyed and others not so much. But overall I was surprised at how much I loved this book! I mean that in a very good way. I had no idea what to expect from a book with the title She Smells the Dead and I was very happy with how it was all written and played out!

Yuki can smell the dead. She can smell the spirits of ghost that have not been able to pass over to the other side and are haunting in between the realms of the living and dead. It’s a strange gift, it’s a unique gift and she has learned to use it in a useful way with the help of her two friends Calvin and Emma. One of the things that I really think made this book was the characters! I can’t say that I didn’t like any of them. Calvin, Yuki’s best friend but maybe something more with a mysterious secret and good looks. Emma, Yuki’s vegan best friend who is on the constant rampage of how  people are killing animals and her skill with herbal medicines. Then, there’s Simon, who I just loved to bits! Read this book and find out his role in the book because it’s pretty freaking awesome. Let’s just say he’s a thirty-something man with good looks and a horribly flirty personality.

Through out the book Yuki is trying to help a spirit that seems to be haunting her, making her have the constant smell of vinegar in her nose. As she tries to solve the mystery of this man’s dead we also run into another person’s secret which was just another twist in the whole book. This book is part mystery, part romance, part adventure and all the things a person wants!

I loved the romance between Yuki and Calvin. It was very believable and sweet and I just want a Calvin for my own because he just sounds so yummy! At parts in the book I felt like the writing got a little repetitive and it was kind of hard to get into at the beginning but by the end I just wanted more more more! I seriously can’t wait for the next in the series, Spirit Storm!

A huge thanks to E.J. Stevens for sending me a copy of her book!

You can find E.J. on her WEBSITE and BLOG!

Order a copy of She Smells the Dead HERE!


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