Monday, January 28, 2013

"The Edge of Never" : Review

The Edge of Never
View the full version of this book online

 The Edge of Never

By: J.A. Redmerski
Genre: New Adult Fiction
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars 
 
Book Description:
 
Twenty-year-old Camryn Bennett had always been one to think out-of-the-box, who knew she wanted something more in life than following the same repetitive patterns and growing old with the same repetitive life story. And she thought that her life was going in the right direction until everything fell apart.

Determined not to dwell on the negative and push forward, Camryn is set to move in with her best friend and plans to start a new job. But after an unexpected night at the hottest club in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina, she makes the ultimate decision to leave the only life she’s ever known, far behind.

With a purse, a cell phone and a small bag with a few necessities, Camryn, with absolutely no direction or purpose boards a Greyhound bus alone and sets out to find herself. What she finds is a guy named Andrew Parrish, someone not so very different from her and who harbors his own dark secrets. But Camryn swore never to let down her walls again. And she vowed never to fall in love.

But with Andrew, Camryn finds herself doing a lot of things she never thought she’d do. He shows her what it’s really like to live out-of-the-box and to give in to her deepest, darkest desires. On their sporadic road-trip he becomes the center of her exciting and daring new life, pulling love and lust and emotion out of her in ways she never imagined possible. But will Andrew’s dark secret push them inseparably together, or tear them completely apart?
My Review:
 
I hesitated at first. I loved the cover but the book description didn't exactly draw me in. I read some reviews on Amazon and was quite confident that it would be a good read. So, I gave it a chance.
 
I loved the sense of adventure. The fact that Camryn took a chance and ventured out on her own without any direction. She pretty much used a baked potato to choose her destination. Quite funny by the way. Then she meets Andrew and the reader instantly falls in love with him. I know I did. He's so sweet.
 
They help each other throughout the book overcome their demons but it's apparent that Andrew is hiding something. When it's revealed it blows your mind. You think it's something not so crazy but it sure is. I was balling my eyes out at the end. I won't tell you why but the tears were happy as well.
 
Definitely a must read.
 
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If you want to read an excerpt of my soon-to-be-released YA novel, CULTURE SHOCK, click HERE for the prologue and chapter 1.
 
Culture Shock's cover reveal is coming soon. Stay Tuned. I love it! It really embodies the book perfectly. A bit of elegance with creepy/horror with a vintage twist. Love, love, love my cover designer. I would marry her if she wasn't already married.
 
Find out more about me on my website: http://jeanettepekala.com/
 
Follow me on Twitter or Pinterest: @JeanettePekala
 
Be my friend on Goodreads.com: Jeanette Pekala
 
***Advanced Reader Copies for CULTURE SHOCK should be out in a week. Please let me know if you're interested. I will also do author interviews, guest spots, etc.
 
Happy Reading,
 
Jeanette
 
Please feel free to comment. Good or bad. I appreciate every single one of them.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Culture Shock - Status Update

Culture Shock - Status Update



Even though it only took me three months to write Culture Shock, it has taken nearly a year to get to the point of completion.

Late last night, my cover designer and I were able to narrow down our vision for the cover. The image is awesome. Better than I could ever want. It conveys exactly what I wanted--an elegant  vintage horror. It also conveys the right amount of mystery which is important due to the nature of the story.

It took us so long to determine the text and text color. The font is perfect. Beautiful yet scary.  My cover designer is excellent and worked very hard to perfect my vision. I also had the graphic designer at my job take a look at it and she gave us an invaluable suggestion. Absolutely solved the problem we were having making it just right.

I've gotten some feedback on it already and I'm stoked with the responses I get from people. It's invigorating and refreshing in this lengthy process called fiction writing.

The cover should be completed today so I'll have a cover reveal soon. Then it's time to get down and dirty...formatting. Blah! I hate formatting. I do it at work when I update our website and compose certain documents for my organization and I dislike it every time. I wish I knew more about formatting when I started writing this piece so I could implement what the publishing process needed before this stage in the game. With the sequel of Culture Shock, Shock Wave, I've already starting formatting in between writing sessions (only when my creativity is lacking, otherwise I only focus on creating the most believable, exciting text imaginable).

Being new to this industry has been a bumpy road, but with research I've taught myself the in's and out's. After the cover is revealed and I lock myself in a bedroom for the weekend to format, I'll be releasing ARC's (advanced reader copies). If you're interested, please email me at jdpekala@gmail.com . I'm also available for interviews if you want some great content for your blog, please email me if you're interested in that too.

I'm becoming a goodreads author too after the cover reveal. It should be about a month to a month and a half for the actual release date of the final product. I cannot wait for the release date, but I'm being patient because I want to do this right.

If you have any extra advice for a novice author in this stage of the process (like how to create hype before the release date), please let me know. I would appreciate any and all advice.

If you want to read an excerpt of Culture Shock, please click HERE.

Find out more about me on my website: http://jeanettepekala.com/

Follow me on Twitter or Pinterest: @JeanettePekala

Thanks for Reading....Stay tuned for more updates.

Happy Reading,

Jeanette


Four Nominations for the Liebster Award!

Four Nominations for the Liebster Award

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

How To Write A Better Book Review

How To Write A Better Book Review


I've compiled this article on my search to find ways to better improve the book reviews that I do here on my blog. I felt that my reviewing skills were lacking compared to others in regards to details. My reviews are very simple, but I would like to give the reader more. So here's my list to write better book reviews.

1) Don't read the book. At least, not yet. Instead, start by looking at it. Look for clues to the nature of the book you'll be reading. Is it a richly manufactured item aimed at collectors? What does the cover illustration indicate the book will be about? What sort of blurbs are included? How is it categorized by the publisher? All of these will tell you the book's target audience.

2) Don't read the book. At least, not quite yet. Instead, open the book and flip through it. Look at how the words are arranged on the pages. Start with the largest distinctions—the number of pages, the number of chapters, and so on. Then move to the size of paragraphs, how much of the book is dialogue, etc. This will tell you about the book's readability and how the author structured the book.

3) Build a framework for taking notes. You always focus better if you have something specific to look for and markers to pay attention to along the way. Start with the simplest things—the number of chapters, for example—and then move on to more complex tasks, such as questions you'll want to answer: "What makes this book a classic?" or "What made this book 'speak for a generation' like the introduction said it did?"

4) Read the book. And as you do so...

5) Pay attention. That isn't a disciplinary command like, "Don't let your mind wander!" Instead, pay attention to your reading experience. This is the first real challenge for most people. What caught your attention, and when were you bored? When was the book suspenseful? Which characters did you like, and why?

6) Review the book and take notes that let you explain its effects. This is the second tough step for most people. Remember that note-taking framework you built earlier? Now's the time to fill it in. Flip back through the book and write brief, purposeful notes. What happens in the first chapter—and what was its effect on you as a reader? When you passed from one part of the book to the next—chapter, section, or setting—what kept your attention? This is the part most people neglect, but it lays the foundation for the rest of the book review, so keep at it until you can do the following:
  • Explain how the book as a whole affected you.
  • Explain how the author achieved the effects he or she did.
  • Explain the relationship between form and content.
  • If it is fiction, explain the function of each character in the novel.
  • Explain the characters' relationships to one another.

7) Sum up the book. This is the easy part, and half of what most people think a book review is. Put the book in a nutshell. Keep summarizing it until you've got everything covered clearly. Use that to start your review.

8) Pass judgment. This is the other half of a book review for most people. Is this book good or bad? This is the time for you to say so. Put that second in your review—but use your notes from earlier to explain why and to make your judgment persuasive. Give specific examples, and move from passing judgment to explaining the book. That comes third.

9) Put the book in context. You might have been able to get this information from looking at the book's cover and introduction, or you might need to do a little research. What categories does this book fall into? Is it science fiction or fantasy? Is it the first of its kind or an imitation? The author's first book or fifteenth? Spend some time relating this book to others in its category to further explain the book and your judgment of it.

10) Check your aim. You've written your review. Now's the time to step back and apply this sort of reasoning to your own review. Did you explain every major aspect of the book? What was your target audience? And...you're done!

Hope these tips were helpful. If you have any tips to add that you use to write great book reviews, please feel free to share.

Read an excerpt of CULTURE SHOCK, my debut YA novel coming out next month.

Visit my website to learn more about me: http://jeanettepekala.com/

Follow me on Twitter or Pinterest: @JeanettePekala

Happy Reading & Writing,

Jeanette

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Fiction Writing Tips (for the Dedicated Writer)

Fiction Writing Tips



Writing a novel can be challenging at times, so here are a few tips to help you along the way. If you love what you do, it won't feel like hard work. Precise and thoroughly researched writing will enhance your craft and will deliver a better product.

The writing tips below focus on the technical and creative writing process rather than the business end of things. You can take a few of these writing tips or take them all. And add your own fiction writing tips by leaving a comment.

******

1. Read more fiction than you write.

2. Don’t lock yourself into one genre (in reading or writing). Even if you have a favorite genre, step outside of it once in awhile so you don’t get too weighed down by trying to fit your work into a particular category.

3. Dissect stories you love from books, film, and television to find out what works in storytelling and what doesn’t.

4. Remember the credence of all writers: butt in chair, hands on keyboard.

5. Don’t write for the market. Tell the story that’s in your heart.

6. You can make an outline before, during, or after you finish your rough draft. An outline is not necessary, nor is it written in stone, but it can provide you with a roadmap, and that is a mighty powerful tool to have at your disposal.

7. You don’t always need an outline. Give discovery writing a try.

8. Some of the best fiction comes from real life. Jot down stories that interest you whether you hear them from a friend or read them in a news article.

9. Real life is also a great source of inspiration for characters. Look around at your friends, family, and coworkers. Magnify the strongest aspects of their personalities and you’re on your way to crafting a cast of believable characters.

10. Make your characters real through details. A girl who bites her nails or a guy with a limp will be far more memorable than characters who are presented in lengthy head-to-toe physical descriptions.

11. The most realistic and relatable characters are flawed. Find something good about your villain and something dark in your hero’s past.

12. Avoid telling readers too much about the characters. Instead, show the characters’ personalities through their actions and interactions.

13. Give your characters difficult obstacles to overcome. Make them suffer. That way, when they triumph, it will be even more rewarding.

14. Explore the human condition.

15. Make sure you understand the three act structure. Every story needs a beginning, a middle, and an end.

16. Memorize the Hero’s Journey. Use it.

17. Cultivate a distinct voice. Your narrator should not sound warm and friendly in the first few chapters and then objective and aloof in later chapters. The voice should be consistent and it should have a tone that complements the content of your book.

18. Give careful consideration to the narrative. Is the story best told in first person or third person? If you’re not sure, write a few pages in each narrative style to see what works best.

19. Is your story moving too fast for readers or are they yawning through every paragraph? Are the love scenes too short? Are the fight scenes too long? Do you go into three pages of detail as your characters walk from point A to point B and then fly through an action sequence in a couple of short paragraphs? Pay attention to pacing!

20. Infuse your story with rich themes to give it a humanistic quality. Examples of themes include sacrifice, redemption, rebirth, life and death, faith, destiny, etc. These are the big shadows that hover over your story.

21. Use symbols and imagery to create continuity throughout your story. Think about how the White
Rabbit kept popping up when Alice was adventuring in Wonderland or how the color red was used in the film American Beauty. These are subtle details but they give your story great power.

22. Every great story includes transformation. The characters change, the world changes, and hopefully, the reader will change too.

23. Aim for a story that is both surprising and satisfying. The only thing worse than reading a novel and feeling like you know exactly what’s going to happen is reading a novel and feeling unfulfilled at the end — like what happened wasn’t what was supposed to happen. Your readers invest themselves in your story. They deserve an emotional and intellectual payoff.

24. Focus on building tension, then give it a snap.

25. Enrich your main plot with subplots. In real life, there’s a lot happening at once. While the characters are all trying to get rescued from the aliens, romances are brewing, traitors are stewing, and friendships are forged.

26. There is a difference between a sub-plot and a tangent. Don’t go off on too many tangents. It’s okay to explore various branches of your story when you’re working through the first or second draft, but eventually, you have to pare it down to its core.

27. If you write in a genre, don’t be afraid to blur the lines. A drama can have funny moments and a thriller can have a bit of romance.

28. Make sure your setting is vivid and realistic even if you made it up.

29. If you didn’t make up your setting, then do your best to get to the location and see it for yourself before you finish your manuscript. If that’s not possible, get busy researching.

30. Don’t underestimate your readers. Assume they are as smart (or smarter) than you are.

31. Give the readers room to think. You don’t have to tell your story in minute detail, including each minute of the plot’s timeline or all of the characters’ thoughts. Provide enough dots, and trust that the reader will have fun connecting them.

32. Let the readers use their imaginations. Provide a few choice details and let the readers fill in the rest of the canvas with their own colors.

33. Don’t focus exclusively on storytelling at the expense of crafting compelling language.

34. Appeal to readers’ senses. Use descriptive words that engage the readers’ senses of taste, touch, and smell.

35. Apply poetry techniques to breathe life into your prose. Use alliteration, onomatopoeia, metaphor, and other literary devices to make your sentences sing and dance.

36. When rewriting, check for the following: plot holes, character inconsistencies, missing scenes, extraneous scenes, accuracy in research, and of course, grammar, spelling, and punctuation.

37. As you revise, ask yourself whether every paragraph, sentence, and word is essential to your story. If it’s not, you know where the delete button is.

38. Proofread carefully for grammar, spelling, and punctuation. The fewer typos in your final draft, the better.

39. Before your final revisions and before you send your manuscript out to any agents or editors, find your beta readers: join a writing group, take a fiction workshop, or hire a pro.

40. Do not send out your rough draft. Go through the rewriting process at least three times before handing it out to your beta readers. The stronger it is when you bring in editors, the stronger those editors will be able to make it.
 
41. Collect and use these and other writing tips in a file or in your notebook. When something about your story doesn’t feel quite right or if you sense there’s something missing, your notes and other resources might provide you with a solution.

42. Have fun. If you’re not enjoying writing, then maybe it’s not for you. If you’re not enjoying fiction writing, try something else like poetry, blogging, or screenwriting. Be open and you’ll find your way.

Did you find these writing tips helpful? Got any tips to add? Leave a comment!

*****
 
Read an Excerpt from Culture Shock, the first book in my debut series. Coming out later this month!
 
 
Follow me on Twitter or Pinterest: @JeanettePekala
 
Be my friend on goodreads.com: Jeanette Pekala
 
Visit my website at: http://jeanettepekala.com/
 



Tuesday, January 15, 2013

And Another...Liebster Nomination

Liebster Nomination #3




Thank you so much to http://hypervorean.blogspot.com/ for nominating me for the Liebster Award. I love blogging, reading and writing. It is a real honor to be nominated for an award for something you love to do. Thanks again! You're the best!

Rules of the Liebster Blog Award:
1. Thank your Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog and link back to the blogger who presented this award to you;
2. Answer the 11 questions from the nominator, list 11 random facts about yourself and create 11 questions for your nominees;
3. Present the Liebster Blog Award to 11 blogs of 200 followers or less who you feel deserve to be noticed and leave a comment on their blog letting them know they have been chosen. (No tag backs)
4. Copy and Paste the blog award on your blog.

Mini-Thank You Speech:
Thank you so much http://hypervorean.blogspot.com/ for nominating me for the Liebster Award. It's the readers that keep me blogging!

11 Questions from Hypervorean
1. What kind of books do you prefer to read?
YA Urban Fantasy is my fav genre, but it has to have a love story with plenty of adventure and action.

2. Which is the best book character you can think of and why?
Sydney from Bloodlines Series because she is fighting with her beliefs and going against the grain to what she believes is right.

3. Do you write yourself? In that case have you gotten anything published?
I do write. My debut series is coming out at the end of this month, Culture Shock. I'm currently writing the sequel and another separate standalone novel.

4. If you had to pick three favourite authors, who would it be?
Me, Richelle Mead, and Tara Sivec

5. Where do you stand in the ebooks vs. printed books discussion? 
I'm a sucker for cheap and easy so I've been pulled into the ebook phenomenon too, though I still love a printed edition.

6. Do you watch television? If yes, which series do you prefer?
I rarely watch TV, but a series I love would be True Blood.

7. What is your favourite hot beverage and when do you like to drink it? 
COFFEE...because I'm a caffeine addict and I drink it all day long!

8. What kind of music do you like to listen to?
Everything from hip hop to classical.

9. What do you do for a living?
I assist in community planning at a health council and write fiction on the weekends.

10. Which is the most interesting place you have ever travelled to?
Italy. Absolutely beautiful.

11. Which is your favourite Disney character?
Belle
11 Random Facts About Jeanette Pekala:
1. I rather read than clean.
2. I have a brother and a sister.
3. I'm a writer.
4. I hate talking on the phone.
5. I recycle.
6. My eyes have actually changed color in the past 2 years...I swear, from gray blue to aqua green.
7. I was a cheerleader for 10 years.
8. I play the piano.
9. My big curly hair takes me to five feet even...LOL
10. I'm an army wife.
11. I'm a Florida Gator fan!!!!

My Nominees (In no particular order):
1. Ankita at http://booklokcoffee.blogspot.com/
2. Kylee at http://babblingofabookaholic.blogspot.com/
3. Sophia at http://bookwyrming-thoughts.blogspot.com/
4. Amy at http://cafereads.blogspot.com/
5. Isabel at http://sabthebookeater.blogspot.com/
6. Leah at http://diaryofayanovelist.blogspot.com/
7. Annabel at http://leopardkittybooks.blogspot.com/
8. Jane at http://theperksofbeingaborkworm.blogspot.com/
9. Catherine-Catalina at http://thesocialpotatoreviews.blogspot.com/
10. C Connolly at http://fallintofiction.blogspot.com/
11. Divya at http://divyabisht.blogspot.com/

11 Questions for my Nominees:
1. What is your favorite dessert?
2. What is your favorite book/series of all time?
3. What character do you have the biggest crush on?
4. Where in the world would you most like to visit?
5. Angel or Devil?
6. Do you have pets?
7. What was/is your favorite subject in school?
8. What is your favorite foreign accent?
9. In your opinion from books made into movies, which movie best portrays the book?
10. Walmart or Target?
11. Which season do you prefer best (summer, winter, fall, spring)?

 

Another...Liebster Award Nomaination

Liebster Award Nomination


Thank you so much to Samantha at http://thoughtsofadreamer-sammy.blogspot.in/ for nominating me for the Liebster Award. I love blogging, reading and writing. It is a real honor to be nominated for an award for something you love to do. Thanks again! You're the best!

Rules of the Liebster Blog Award:
1. Thank your Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog and link back to the blogger who presented this award to you;
2. Answer the 11 questions from the nominator, list 11 random facts about yourself and create 11 questions for your nominees;
3. Present the Liebster Blog Award to 11 blogs of 200 followers or less who you feel deserve to be noticed and leave a comment on their blog letting them know they have been chosen. (No tag backs)
4. Copy and Paste the blog award on your blog.

Mini-Thank You Speech:
Thank you so much Samantha at http://thoughtsofadreamer-sammy.blogspot.in/  for nominating me for the Liebster Award. It's the readers that keep me blogging!

11 Question from Samantha
1. What's your current favorite book/series?
Vampire Academy

2. Do you let people borrow your books?
Yes, Literature should be shared by all.

3. Do you ever read ebooks? Or do you stick to paper?
Okay, I've become super addicted to ebooks lately. I feel guilty like I've cheated on a longtime lover...paper editions. Sorry baby, it was whispernet that made me do it.

4. Which character would you like to be?
Rose Hathaway (Vampire Academy)

5. Which character would you like to be your boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife?
Dimitri Belikov (Vampire Academy...Are you seeing a theme here? LOL)

6. What world would you like to slip into and live on forever?
That' s a hard one....I don't know! I like the world I live in.

7. Do you ever daydream about being a certain character or part of a story?
A lot of the adventurous scenes and love scenes draw me in on occasion.

8. What book got you into reading?
Gone With The Wind

9. What is your favorite genre?
Urban Fantasy (YA, of course)

10. Why did you decide to start blogging?
At first to make money, but now to give readers great reviews and writers support and resources and to promote and network my soon-to-be-released novel.

11. What's your biggest pet peeve?
Rude People.


11 Random Facts About Jeanette Pekala:
1. I rather read than clean.
2. I have a brother and a sister.
3. I'm a writer.
4. I hate talking on the phone.
5. I recycle.
6. My eyes have actually changed color in the past 2 years...I swear, from gray blue to aqua green.
7. I was a cheerleader for 10 years.
8. I play the piano.
9. My big curly hair takes me to five feet even...LOL
10. I'm an army wife.
11. I'm a Florida Gator fan!!!!

My Nominees (In no particular order):
1. Ankita at http://booklokcoffee.blogspot.com/
2. Kylee at http://babblingofabookaholic.blogspot.com/
3. Sophia at http://bookwyrming-thoughts.blogspot.com/
4. Amy at http://cafereads.blogspot.com/
5. Isabel at http://sabthebookeater.blogspot.com/
6. Leah at http://diaryofayanovelist.blogspot.com/
7. Annabel at http://leopardkittybooks.blogspot.com/
8. Jane at http://theperksofbeingaborkworm.blogspot.com/
9. Catherine-Catalina at http://thesocialpotatoreviews.blogspot.com/
10. C Connolly at http://fallintofiction.blogspot.com/
11. Divya at http://divyabisht.blogspot.com/

11 Questions for my Nominees:
1. What is your favorite dessert?
2. What is your favorite book/series of all time?
3. What character do you have the biggest crush on?
4. Where in the world would you most like to visit?
5. Angel or Devil?
6. Do you have pets?
7. What was/is your favorite subject in school?
8. What is your favorite foreign accent?
9. In your opinion from books made into movies, which movie best portrays the book?
10. Walmart or Target?
11. Which season do you prefer best (summer, winter, fall, spring)?


Liebster Award Nomination

Liebster Award Nomination

Thank you so much to Tiana at http://etherealbookreviews.blogspot.ca/ for nominating me for the Liebster Award. I love blogging, reading and writing. It is a real honor to be nominated for an award for something you love to do. Thanks again! You're the best!

Rules of the Liebster Blog Award:
1. Thank your Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog and link back to the blogger who presented this award to you;

2. Answer the 11 questions from the nominator, list 11 random facts about yourself and create 11 questions for your nominees;

3. Present the Liebster Blog Award to 11 blogs of 200 followers or less who you feel deserve to be noticed and leave a comment on their blog letting them know they have been chosen. (No tag backs)

4. Copy and Paste the blog award on your blog.

Mini-Thank You Speech:
Thank you so much Tiana from http://etherealbookreviews.blogspot.ca/  for nominating me for the Liebster Award. It's the readers that keep me blogging!

11 Question from Tiana

1. What kind of books do you like to eat?
Anything mature YA, Urban Fantasy, humorous Romance, and occasionally Chick Lit

2. Are you usually organized?
 Okay, this is going to sound strage, but here it goes. If you look around me house, you would say I'm not an organized person, but open hidden areas (like drawers or closets) and they are perfectly arranged and organized. Don't judge!

3. Who's your favourite author?
 Richelle Mead or of course, myself

4. How tall are you? (just to figure out whether I'm short or not :P)
 I'm a shorty...4 foot 10

5. What are your hobbies?
 Reading, writing, traveling, cooking, dancing and singing in the shower.

6. Do you like stickers?
 Being obsessed with Lisa Frank when I was a wee one, yes, I love me some stickers...still do!

7. Are these questions getting boring? (I'm really running out of them!)
 Nope, who doesn't like to talk about themselves. LOL.

8. Which is your favourite Disney character?
 Belle

9. Canada or the United States?
 USA, baby!

10. If you wrote a book, what would the title be?
 I have written a book and it is titled, "Culture Shock"

11. Can you think of better questions than these?
 Don't know yet...I haven't attempted to, but I'm sure I'm struggle too!

Random Facts About Jeanette Pekala:
1. I rather read than clean.
2. I have a brother and a sister.
3. I'm a writer.
4. I hate talking on the phone.
5. I recycle.
6. My eyes have actually changed color in the past 2 years...I swear, from gray blue to aqua green.
7. I was a cheerleader for 10 years.
8. I play the piano.
9. My big curly hair takes me to five feet even...LOL
10. I'm an army wife.
11. I'm a Florida Gator fan!!!!

My Nominees (In no particular order):
1. Ankita at http://booklokcoffee.blogspot.com/
2. Kylee at http://babblingofabookaholic.blogspot.com/
3. Sophia at http://bookwyrming-thoughts.blogspot.com/
4. Amy at http://cafereads.blogspot.com/
5. Isabel at http://sabthebookeater.blogspot.com/
6. Leah at http://diaryofayanovelist.blogspot.com/
7. Annabel at http://leopardkittybooks.blogspot.com/
8. Jane at http://theperksofbeingaborkworm.blogspot.com/
9. Catherine-Catalina at http://thesocialpotatoreviews.blogspot.com/
10. C Connolly at http://fallintofiction.blogspot.com/
11. Divya at http://divyabisht.blogspot.com/

11 Questions for my Nominees:
1. What is your favorite dessert?
2. What is your favorite book/series of all time?
3. What character do you have the biggest crush on?
4. Where in the world would you most like to visit?
5. Angel or Devil?
6. Do you have pets?
7. What was/is your favorite subject in school?
8. What is your favorite foreign accent?
9. In your opinion from books made into movies, which movie best portrays the book?
10. Walmart or Target?
11. Which season do you prefer best (summer, winter, fall, spring)?

Monday, January 14, 2013

Liebster Award

Liebster Award: Nomination


I've been nominated for the Liebster Award by two different bloggers. That is such an honor! How cool to be recongmized for something you love doing!

I'm going to recognize the nominators separately. Thank you again! You're awesome!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Walmart Pranks

Walmart Pranks


It's Random Topic Thursday again, folks. My topic today is "Walmart Pranks". These are things I have actually done while in a Walmart before. When I go to Walmart with my sister, cousin,
or friends, we get a little crazy and bored. This is especially true if we are up at my family’s lake house. This is true because there is not much to do in this particular little town except go to Wally World. So when we are in Walmart, we like to entertain ourselves. Here we go:
 
Condom Dropping: Get the biggest pack of condoms you can find and drop them in old peoples' carts when they're not looking. It's hilarious when they notice it or when other people notice it. Probably my favorite one.
 
Play Dress Up: Find the craziest, gaudiest things in the store and put them on. I once walked around with a red Angry Birds snow hat, a funky scarf, gloves with monkeys on them, the ugliest jewelry and Elton John sunglasses like it was normal. Try doing it in a group.
 
Spook the Patrons: Hide in the racks or on a shelf and bust out of them when someone is walking down your aisle. It scares the ever-lovin' crap out of people. Just avoid doing it to the elderly. You don't want to be the cause of a heart attack.
 
Make Noise: Various ways to do this. Turn all the radios in electronics to different obnoxious stations and blast the volume to ear-splittin' heights, set all alarm clocks to go off at once, or turn on every toy that makes noise down one aisle. It's a classic!
 
Sword Fights: Wrapping paper rolls make great swords.
 
Shopping Cart or Big Wheels Racing: Self-explanatory
 
Place Innocent Toys in Compromising Positions: I'll give you the example of what I've done. You know those light up Reindeer that suburbanites put on their lawns during Christmas time. Well, Walmart had a display of those babies one year. Well, let's just say I had one humping the other one and it was a sight to see. Got some great comments. See some folks are appreciative of my artwork from time to time.
 
This is a random topic but it will be making a comedic relief type scene in a book I'm currently writing. If you want to find out more about the YA book that will be released this month, CULTURE SHOCK, you can find an excerpt here
 
Follow me on Twitter or Pinterest: @JeanettePekala
 
Be my friend on Goodreads.com: Jeanette Pekala
 
Also, check out my website at: http://jeanettepekala.com/
 
SO, WHAT SORT OF CRAZY OR SILLY PRANKS HAVE YOU DONE AT WALMART? Please share....I love hearing from readers!
 
Love, Peace, and Chicken Grease,
 
Jeanette

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Cheapest eBooks Worth Every Penny

Cheapest eBooks Worth Every Penny


I've compiled a list of the ebooks I have on my kindle that were super cheap (the most expensive on this list being $3.99 and the cheapest being FREE), but worth every penny. Books that I've enjoyed thoroughly but have cost very little.

I love when I find a good book that is so cheap, so I thought I would share my list with you. Here you go:

The Rockstar's Daughter (The treadwell Academy Novels) by Caitlyn Duffy, Cost: FREE

Hopeless by Colleen Hoover, Cost: $3.99
See Review

Troubles and Treats (Chocolate Lovers #3) by Tara Sivec, Cost: $3.99
See Review

Checkmate (A Neighbor from Hell) by R.L. Mathewson, Cost: $0.99

A Demon Made Me Do It by Penelope King, Cost: FREE

Fire with Fire by Penelope King, Cost: $2.99

Twisted by Amity Hope, Cost: $2.99

Fall From Grace (Mad World) by Christine Zolendz, Cost: $1.50
See Review

Saving Grace (Mad World) by Christine Zolendz, Cost: $1.50
See Review

Her Best Friend's Brother by T.J. Dell, Cost: $1.99

Frosting and Futures (Chocolate Lovers #2) by Tara Sivec, Cost: $3.99
See Review

Snacks and Seduction (Chocolate Lovers #1) by Tara Sivec, Cost: $2.99
See Review

Perfection (A Neighbor From Hell) by R.L. Mathewson, Cost: $0.99

Playing for Keeps (A Neighbor From Hell) by R.L. Mathewson, Cost: $0.99

Spiked Snowballs and Flaming Cats by John C. Daly, Cost: $3.99
See Review

Into YA urban fantasy? Then you'll love my debut series coming out this month, CULTURE SHOCK. Read an excerpt here

Find out more about me on my website: http://jeanettepekala.com/

Be my friend on goodreads.com: Jeanette Pekala

Follow me on Twitter and Pinterest: @JeanettePekala

Happy Reading,

Jeanette


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Top Ten Can't Wait Books for 2013

Top Ten CAN'T WAIT Books for 2013


1) The Indigo Spell (Bloodlines #3) by Richelle Mead

2) The Fiery Heart (Bloodlines #4) by Richelle Mead

3) Requiem (Delirium #3) by Lauren Oliver

4) Walking Disaster (Beautiful #2) by Jamie McGuire

5) Frost Burned (Mercy Thompson #7) by Patricia Briggs

6) House Rules (Chicagoland Vampires #7) by Chloe Neill

7) Dead Ever After (Sookie Stackhouse #13) by Charlaine Harris

8) Boundless (Unearthly #3) by Cynthia Hand

9) Revealed (House of Night #11) by P.C. Cast

10) Biting Bad (Chicagoland Vampires #8) by Chloe Neill

I hope you enjoyed my top ten for most anticipated books for 2013. Feel free to comment or let me know if I've missed any that you think I should read. Love to hear from you.

Also, if you want to find out more about me you can visit my website: http://jeanettepekala.com/

OR, if you want to read an excerpt for my debut YA series, CULTURE SHOCK, you may do so here.

Follow me on Twitter or Pinterest: @JeanettePekala

Be my friend on goodreads.com: Jeanette Pekala

Happy Reading,

Jeanette

Monday, January 7, 2013

Review of "Hopeless" by Colleen Hoover



Sometimes discovering the truth can leave you more hopeless than believing the lies…

That’s what seventeen-year-old Sky realizes after she meets Dean Holder. A guy with a reputation that rivals her own and an uncanny ability to invoke feelings in her she’s never had before. He terrifies her and captivates her all in the span of just one encounter, and something about the way he makes her feel sparks buried memories from a past that she wishes could just stay buried.

Sky struggles to keep him at a distance knowing he’s nothing but trouble, but Holder insists on learning everything about her. After finally caving to his unwavering pursuit, Sky soon finds that Holder isn’t at all who he’s been claiming to be. When the secrets he’s been keeping are finally revealed, every single facet of Sky’s life will change forever.


 _____________________________________________________________________________

My Review:

At first you think it's this cutesy love story with an emotionless girl and a guy with multiple personalities trying to overcome their pasts and hurtful rumors. It really is a nice love story until it starts digging deeper and deeper. Toward the middle to end of the book there are so many surprises and twists that it boggles your mind. I couldn't put it down and couldn't believe some of the stuff happening. I was gasping aloud and cussing up a storm in some parts. I was going nuts toward the climax of the story.

I don't want to blow anything by giving too much of the story line, so you'll just have to read it for yourself. It's definitely worth it. I give it 5 out of 5 stars!!!!!

I hope you enjoyed this review and feel free to comment. I love hearing from you. Also, if you want to learn more about me and my debut YA series, CULTURE SHOCK read an except here

Visit my website at http://jeanettepekala.com/

Follow me on Twitter or Pinterest @JeanettePekala

Be my friend on goodreads.com Jeanette Pekala

Happy Reading,

Jeanette

Thursday, January 3, 2013

My First Bus Ride: The Terror!

My First Bus Ride: The Terror!


Let me just start off by saying that I understand bus systems in larger cities are a wonderful mode of transportation. Even in college my bus experiences were wonderful. Free or cheap transportation. Never worrying about gas or parking. It's great. Even some pretty original bus drivers to make the ride entertaining. In High School, I took the bus to school as well (the school bus, so I guess this doesn't count), but nothing compares to my first bus ride home on public transportation.

It all starts when I fall asleep at my boyfriend's house (ON ACCIDENT!!!!) and get grounded for a month afterward which included being grounded from my car. Total utter devastation for a seventeen-year-old girl.

Anyways, grounded from my car. Still have to go to school. I bum a ride from my neighbor who goes to the same high school I attend 15 miles away. Not too far normally, but with traffic it takes an hour. So we set out to school. As is good. I realize she's a lot of fun to ride with.

Then I have cheerleading practice after school and she can't wait around for me the extra 3 hours. My parents can't get me either, since they have to charter my sis and bro around who are a lot younger than I. So, I'm left with one option. To take to bus...dum, dum, dum.

Problem #1...I have no idea where the bus stop is. I figure I'll walk to the main road since my school is imbedded in a residential neighborhood. No biggie! I'll find one. The second I get to the main road I look up and there's a bus route sign. Oh thank God! I notice there's one on the other side too. How thorough. This is going to be great, I think to myself.

I wait for the bus on one of the busiest roads with my backpack for over an hour. No bus comes. I see a bus stopping on the other side of the road and think, "oh no! that's the one I need, since it's heading toward home". Oh well, I missed my chance there. I'll keep on waiting, a bus is bound to come any minute now. I would have checked the bus schedule on my phone these days but this is in 1998 people! Cell phones didn't have internet yet. They didn't even have texting. I didn't even have a color screen! So, I'm waiting and waiting and finally I see a bus coming. Yay!

I climb on and pay the fare. The bus is going in the opposite direction of my home and I know already this is going to be a long ride. I ask the bus driver where this bus is headed. She tells me to the beach then out to where I live. Great, I think, at least the bus will take me where I need to go.

The bus heads to the beach. I'm the only rider at this point. The bus stops in a McDonald's parking lot and the driver gets out. I wait twenty minutes. The driver returns and we are on out way back in the direction I came. We pass the bus stop that was on the other side of the main road where I was waiting originally.

Another hour in to the bus ride. The bus is half full and I'm sitting against the window dreading the bus route. It's going so far out of the way it's not even funny. This blows! At this point, my cell phone's dead so I can't even call my parents to pick me up along the way to end this torture. It's another hour in now. For a total of 2 hours. Double my trip if I were driving myself.

I'm starving and we are only halfway to my destination when the bus takes a sudden turn into the most dangerous neighbor. Before this there were rarely any riders, but now. At every stop there are several to the point that many of them have to stand. About 3 stops in I start to look around. I see a guy with a gun poking out of the waist band of his boxers (yes, I said boxers, not pants) and a bunch of guys with similiar bulges. Scantily clad women, a drug dealer where I see a little baggie change hands. The dealer even makes an exchange with the driver before he hops off. The new riders in this neighborhood don't stay on for long. A stop or two and they are off.

Here I am, the scared vulnerable teenage girl among many scary people. I see one of the scatily clad women doing blow off of a bus seat (no joke! This is not a work of fiction). I whip my head around just as a guy sits next to me and leans in. He's trying to hit on me. I'm trying to be friendly since I'm trapped in a bus with him. He tries to get me to go with him at one of the next stops, but I am adamant to stay on and get home.

Finally we are out of the scary part of town and the bus goes half empty. It takes another hour before I get dropped off at the bus stop that's closest to my house. I hop off and start walking fast since it's dark out now. I walk a mile and finally arrive at my driveway. I kneel and kiss it.

I bust through the front door just after 9pm and get bombarded with questioning from my parents. Concerned angry looks paint threir faces as I explain. Needless to say the very next day I got my car back, but only for school. I was still grounded but never had to experience the horror of public transportation in South Florida again. 

That was my true horror story with public transportation. If you have a horror story, please share. Love to hear from y'all.

Check out my debut novel coming out this month, CULTURE SHOCK. Read an excerpt.

Learn more about me at http://jeanettepekala.com/

Follow me on Twitter @JeanettePekala

Be my friend on goodreads.com: Jeanette Pekala

Happy Reading,

Jeanette


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Time for Writing

When do you find time to Write?


A popular question I'm always asked is: "When do you find time to write?". With 2 kids, a deployed husband and a full-time job I don't have much time, but I love to write. For things you love, you will always find time to do them.

When my husband is not on deployment, I take a couple of hours to myself and write. I either lock myself in my bedroom and go to town on my current piece or I hit up a coffee shop with a wifi connection.

When I'm at home and my husband is deployed leaving me sans babysitter, I wait until the kids go to bed at 8pm and then instead of watching TV like most Americans do, I write.

I couldn't tell you what popular shows are on TV currently. I haven't watched TV for enjoyment in several months. Maybe some Nick At Nite to shut the ol' brain down so I can sleep, but other than that nada, zip, zilch....

I can usually get in 2-4 hours writing each night by following this schedule. On particularly drained days or completely uncreative days, I opt out of writing because everyone needs a break, but I am also a firm believer if you want to be a writer, you need to write something every day.

One thing I want to point out is that I don't wait until 8pm to start thinking like a writer or about my current projects. I do that all day long. Just this weekend I was making homemade pasta sauce and an idea for one of my projects struck me. I had to put down the spoon and pull out my trusty black and white marbled composition book and jot down my idea while it was still fresh. Later that night I brought it to life on the page.

I'm excited that I may not have to type late at night anymore. My mom-in-law got me Dragon software for Christmas where you speak into a mic and it types it for you. I didn't even know such a product existed. I'm so thrilled I cannot wait to try it out.

If you have any comments or feedback on using Dragon software for writing let me know. I'd love to hear how it has worked out for you. I'll let you know how it works for me in a future post.

My new book, CULTURE SHOCK will be coming out before the end of the month. Click here to read an excerpt.

Follow me on Twitter @JeanettePekala

Be my friend on Goodreads: Jeanette Pekala

Find out more about me and my debut YA series, CULTURE SHOCK at http://jeanettepekala.com/

Thanks for visiting!!!!

Happy Reading,

Jeanette