Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Breakfast with the Bookie: My Two Cents on Giveaway Hops

Breakfast with the Bookie is a semi-weekly feature here @ Badass Bookie which is making a reappearance in 2012. Every other Wednesday morning, let's all grab our teas and coffees to gather and discuss and share our opinions! Everyone is welcome to join and make sure you leave a comment to state your opinion. Don't be shy!

This Week's Topic - My Two Cents on Giveaway Hops

Okay so recently I did a Breakfast with the Bookie on Giveaway: Are We Bribing Our Followers and I guess this is like a follow-up discussion about Giveaway Hops. I mentioned briefly in the first post that one of my peeves is the "Must Follow on GFC" rule and that kind of carries on into this post. This week - I will explore further into the topic of Giveaways! Beware - major ranting ahead.

In theory the concept of a giveaway hop is great. Massive giveaway of books, short and beneficial to both  host and the entrees. In reality - it's a nightmare. There I said it - giveaway hops suck. There must have been point my blogging career where I liked them because I used to enter them all the time! And then I came to a revelation - I'm not going to be entering or participating giveaway hops EVER.


1) Too Many Giveaway Hops - If there weren't so many giveaway hops maybe I wouldn't be so put out with them but it's gotten to point where it's ridiculous. There are at least 3 every month! You can find a giveaway hop for every weird occasion ( Lunar giveaway hop...really?) and when there isn't an occasion to host one - let's just host one anyway! Honestly, I have nothing against all the wonderful bloggers who go out of the way to host them but the idea of the giveaway hop has been corrupted. 

2) They Clog Up Your Feed - I don't know about you but my dashboard looks like this three days out of five a week - Giveaway Hop,  Giveaway Hop,  Giveaway Hop,  Giveaway Hop, Review,  Giveaway Hop,  Giveaway Hop,  Giveaway Hop,  Giveaway Hop, Interview,  Giveaway Hop,  Giveaway Hop,  Giveaway Hop. What happened to book blogging? Where can I read some of these mysterious things called "reviews" and "interviews"?

3) Benefitting Who? - AGAIN. Must Follow on GFC - I'm sorry but I thought a giveaway hop is meant to be you know a giveaway hop. Not a chance to bribe followers! I completely understand that people want to get a little back for what they give but why force someone to follow you? Make it optional - you might find that people will become more willing to visit your blog and comment on non-giveaway posts

4) Waste of Time - Downside of so many giveaways to enter is that you spend the bulk of you sunday afternoon sitting there ENTERING THEM ALL. With so many hoops to jump - it takes 10 minutes give or take a few to just enter one of them! And then you ask yourself - how many times have you actually won? 0 and how many winners are there? 1 or 2. In the end - it's just a waste of time!

5) What Book is That? - I love discovering new books and all but a giveaway hop is meant to be about giving books that are desirable to read. I find blogs that giveaway E-Books I've never heard of and looks quite terrible or worse, non-fiction! I also find blogs who giveaway books that they don't want anymore - the terrible ones that you want to just burn... Seriously, what are you giving away?

In all - giveaways just don't make the cut for me and I know lots of people like them! That's perfectly fine - this is just my two cents :) And now, what's your two cents on giveaway hops?

Badass Bookie xx

Monday, March 26, 2012


Review Time! This novel's been sitting on the review pile for a week now and I think it's high time that I reviewed it! So I'm a little late to party being like the only person who hasn't read the book yet but still, this is a review for the minority who haven't read it and those who are interested in my thoughts *cough* everyone *cough*! Thanks to Bloomsbury for the review copy! :)

(Goodreads) Eleven minutes passed before Delaney Maxwell was pulled from the icy waters of a Maine lake by her best friend Decker Phillips. By then her heart had stopped beating. Her brain had stopped working. She was dead. And yet she somehow defied medical precedent to come back seemingly fine. Everyone wants Delaney to be all right, but she knows she's far from normal. Pulled by strange sensations she can't control or explain, Delaney finds herself drawn to the dying. Is her altered brain now predicting death, or causing it? 

Then Delaney meets Troy Varga, who recently emerged from a coma with similar abilities. At first she's reassured to find someone who understands the strangeness of her new existence, but Delaney soon discovers that Troy's motives aren't quite what she thought. Is their gift a miracle, a freak of nature-or something much more frightening?

The Short Story? - A thought-provoking psychological thriller! Refreshingly different debut that had my mind twisted into a knot and my heart thumping. Miranda's eerily beautiful debut is a must-read if you love your contemporary with a touch of the chilling supernatural. Unnatural, captivating, mind-bending and completely addictive - Fracture will haunt you long after the last page.

The Long Story? -  I REJOICE, at the short length of the book. Sitting under 300 pages I practically did a happy dance when I received the book in the mail. That said, Miranda has an amazing skill of fitting one  heck of a heart-pounding story in such few pages. What a powerful novel! I'm a huge fan of psychological thrillers because even if they do make you extremely confused at the best of times, they're dark and eerily creepy! One of the best things about Fracture is that Miranda has a very clear idea of her plot and she has the ability of depicting exactly what she means through few words. Get this, I did not get lost ONCE. It's an very original story, it's quite hard to explain the plot with ruining it for everyone so I'm going to say. If you like your contemporaries border-lining the supernatural - this one is for you. If you like a little mystery with your novels - this one is for you. If you like mind-benders and thought-provoking novels - this one is for you. If you liked Before I Fall or If I Stay - this one is for you. Capish? :D

The characterisation was fantastic. I know I say this for a lot of books but it's actually quite hard to find books with REALLY good characterisation. I felt I found that in Fracture, I really connected with Delaney. The voice Miranda has given Delaney is absolutely amazing, she's so real. A wonderfully developed protagonist, I can't find a flaw in Delaney, she's kind, shy, quiet, funny but more than anything she's flawed. That's what makes a great characters, the ones with flaws and Delaney was just the ideal protagonist. I LOVED Decker - what a great guy. I want a best friend like him! Troy, rubbed me the wrong way. I know he's meant to be mysterious and all but he kind of came off as a creep. However his personality eventually made sense as the book drew to a close. Overall, great cast - we have a protagonist, antagonist and a prince in shiny armour - what more to ask for?

Fracture is a must-read. Miranda has such a beautiful prose and narrative voice, it would a shame to give this remarkable debut a miss! A eerily haunting plot that explores the thin line between life, death and everything in between. A cast of characters that's both well developed and interesting and a unique YA voice that compels you to read faster and faster. Fracture is a delicious psychological thriller that will linger long after the last page.

What's it Worth? - Hand Over the Paycheck

Badass Bookie xx

Winter's Light

Review Time! I tried to get this up before now but time hates me ( I'm sorry Charlotte - please forgive me)! On the bright side - it's still a couple of months before the Australian release date. Winter's Light is the sequel to Winter's Shadow by M.J. Hearle which was a 2011 YA Debut. Everyone be very impressed because this book is written by a guy in a female perspectives. Thank-you Pan Macmillan for the ARC!

(Goodreads) Blake is gone. 

He sacrificed himself to save Winter, leaving her alone, unprotected... hunted. 

An ancient enemy is rising, but Winter is no longer the innocent girl who was fated to die at Pilgrim's Lament. She will not wait to be saved. She will do what she must to survive, even accept an unsavoury alliance with those who destroyed her love. 

In the gathering darkness, the enemy of an enemy is not always a friend, and Winter must find the strength to stand alone and fight for the one she loves. For she is the key to unlocking the secrets beyond the veil of shadows. 

And she is Blake's only hope.

The Short Story? - A fantastic addition to a deliciously enticing paranormal series! Hearle sure know how to write one heck of a cliff hanger! Winter's Light was a treat to read from cover to cover. Filled with mystery, action, sacrifice and loss Winter's Light completely blew me away! A sequel I would definitely invest in, Hearle hauntingly beautiful world-building will have you craving for more!

The Long Story? - I did a double-take when I first received the book - it's HUGE. Sitting at 440 pages, for someone like me who rarely ventures past the 350 page mark - I was a little unnerved. However Winter's Light had me hooked from page 1 and I was completely captivated by this well-written story. I think it's safe to say that I enjoyed Winter's Light more than Winter's Shadow. Romance takes a backseat  but it still plays a huge part directing the course of the novel. Hearle take us out of small town Hagan's Bluff and into France where Winter is faced with new challenges that will do anything to separate her from her beloved Blake. Fantastic twists and turns, completely unpredictable and filled with action. I'm especially impressed with the final showdown, Hearle has written a fantastic finale in which he has left as a cliff-hanger *shakes fist*! One thing is for sure though, I will be biting my nails waiting for the release of book 3! Extraordinary work!

I don't think I'm ever going to get over how well Hearle writes as a girl, I harbour secret theories about his gender.... but that aside, the characterisation was superb! From the moment we were introduced to Winter in Winter's Shadow, I've always taken a liking to her. She's quite timid and shy but she's got a heart of gold and her determination and faith and love really is something to be admired. She's a strong character and in many ways she's a heroine but I feel that at times she's a little bit of a damsel in distress. I think what Winter needs is martial arts lessons! But she's such an amazing character, I really admire her strength. I've taken a liking to Jasmine and Sam in Winter's Light, both play an essential role in the novel and their fierce friendship with Winter was touching.

In a nutshell - Winter's Light completely took me by surprise. I wasn't sure what I was expecting but it wasn't this beautifully crafted novel that makes some of the other YA paranormals I've read look like ... well, crap. Loved Hearle's world-building, the concept of the Deadlands and the Bane and everything in between was original and a delight for a reader's imagination. Fantastic characters that inspired me and make me want to jump in the pages and fight besides them. Winter's Light is an unputdownable novel that's a jewel amongst the rest. Two thumbs up!

What's It Worth? - Hand Over the Paycheck/ Break Out the Piggy Bank

Badass Bookie xx

Sunday, March 25, 2012

In My Mailbox #44

Morning Everybody! Or Late Night US Bloggers? It's that time of the week for IMM. In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren. If you're been with me for a while you would know that I'm too lazy to participate every week hence I participate every second week!

My Two Week Hurl -

For Review -

ARC Freshmen Year and Other Unnatural Disasters by Meredith Zeitlin
ARC The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa
ARC Storm by Brigid Kremmerer
ARC Of Poseidon by Anna Banks
ARC Silhouette by Thalia Kalkipsankis
172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad
A Witch in Winter by Ruth Warburton
Surrender by Lee Nichols 

( Thanks to Penguin US, Harlequin Teen CAN, Allen and Unwin, Hardie Grant Egmont, Hachette and Bloomsbury!)

Bookie's Thoughts -

OKAY WHAT A FANTASTIC TWO WEEKS! I'm pretty sure this is the most amount of ARCs I've ever gotten in one hurl! I'm SO excited to The Immortal Rules - dystopian? yes please, vampires? not so much, but Kagawa is a brilliant author and I'm sure I will love it! Freshmen Year - I've heard so many great things! Storm - Brodie's got me all excited! OF POSEIDON - *faints* OMG DID I REALLY GET AN ARC?. 172 Hours on the Moon sounds brilliant and I can't wait to read it - like seriously it's awesome sounds like Across the Universe but on the Moon.... A Witch in Winter sounds  superb and Surrender - I need to get my hands on Book #2 before reading this one! :D

That's it for me this week! Link me to your IMMs and HAPPY READING!

Badass Bookie xx

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Out of Sight, Out of Time

Review Time! Today is the Australian ( and INTERNATIONAL) release date for Out of Sight, Out of Time by Ally Carter, the fifth book in the Gallagher Girls series! If you haven't read the books then crawl back under that rock and don't come out until you have! BEST BOOKS EVER! Thanks to Hachette Children's for the ARC and lovely finished copy too! :)

(Goodreads) The last thing Cammie Morgan remembers is leaving the Gallagher Academy to protect her friends and family. But when Cammie wakes up in an alpine convent and discovers months have passed, her memory is a black hole. The only traces left of Cammie’s summer vacation are the bruises on her body and dirt under her nails. All she wants is to go home. But even the Gallagher Academy now holds more questions than answers as Cammie and her friends face their most difficult challenge yet. With only their training and a few clues to guide them, the girls go in search of answers on the other side of the world. But the Circle is hot on their trail and will stop at nothing to prevent Cammie from remembering what she did last summer.

The Short Story? - I'm convinced that Ally Carter works not-so-secretly for the CIA because the only way she can come up with these genius plots is if she's lived through them! The world would freeze over the day Carter writes a book that's less than perfect. Out of Sight, Out of Time was a heart-poundng adventure from cover to cover. If you like boys, spies, unpredictable plots and saving the world than I suggest you get down to the nearest bookstore!

The Long Story? - I can't even begin to describe how good this book was. From the first word - I was hooked. Completely addictive and exciting, Carter has artfully woven a story about a teenage anaesthetic spy, an international terrorist organisation and your typical boyfriend problems all in one. Brilliant and unpredictable plot - Carter never fails to please. Out of Sight, Out of Time is probably my favourite book of the series so far. Secrets revealed, agendas uncovered, memories resurfaced and a cliff hanger ending that's got me itching for Book #6. Carter is a brilliant writer with  beautiful prose, a vivid imagination and wonderful story-telling skills. One of my favourite authors, I wouldn't expect anything but the best from Carter!

Cammie is a wonderful protagonist. Over the course of 5 books I have grown to admire this wonderful girl. She's strong, confident and funny. Cammie continues to develop as a character throughout Out of Sight, Out of Time. We see a change in Cammie after she loses her memory yet this memory loss as helped her to overcome some obstacle and help her become a better person. Romance isn't a huge factor of the novel - it's one aspect in which I strongly admire Carter for. The ability to write such wonderful novels without the overuse of romance to lure YA readers. However, Zach always a man of mystery makes my heart squeeze every time he appears. It's clear that he cares about Cammie and let's face it - they could very well be the next Mr. and Mrs. Smith ( even though they're spies not assassins!)

I've got nothing but good for Out of Sight, Out of Time! I don't believe that anyone can find fault in Carter's writing! Excellent, original and unpredictable plots, amazing characterisation, a teasing romance and some of the best writing I've ever read. Carter's books just get better and better. If you're not hooked onto these books already - you need to be! Ally Carter, you're a saint!

What's it Worth? - Break Out the Paycheck

Badass Bookie xx

Monday, March 19, 2012


Review Time! I realise it's been a while since I've posted a review! I've been buried under a pile of work that's been piling up and I'm finally digging myself out of it! Fated by Sarah Alderson was a February YA release, her 2011 debut Hunting Lila made it to my top 10 of last year and I was excited to read this one! Thanks to Simon and Schuster for the review copy!

(Goodreads) What happens when you discover you aren't who you thought you were? And that the person you love is the person who will betray you? If your fate is already determined, can you fight it? 

When Evie Tremain discovers that she’s the last in a long line of Demon slayers and that she’s being hunted by an elite band of assassins –Shapeshifters, Vampires and Mixen demons amongst them – she knows she can’t run. They’ll find her wherever she goes. Instead she must learn to stand and fight. 

But when the half-human, half-Shadow Warrior Lucas Gray - is sent to spy on Evie and then ordered to kill her before she can fulfil a dangerous prophecy, their fates become inextricably linked. The war that has raged for one thousand years between humans and demons is about to reach a devastating and inevitable conclusion. Either one or both of them will die before this war ends. 

If your life becomes bound to another’s, what will it take to sever it?

The Short Story? - A solid read. I liked Hunting Lila better but nevertheless Fated was an enjoyable read! A couple of things here and there that I would have changed but overall a very solid read. Alderson has ticked all the requirements of a good paranormal romance - I was looking for a little more originality with the romance aspect but the world-building definitely makes up for it! Fantastic novel, if you're a fan of "the star-crossed lovers" plot - this one is for you!

The Long Story? - I liked it but it didn't take my breath away like Hunting Lila - I felt it was too ordinary. I expected... more. After reading Hunting Lila which was truly brilliant, I felt Alderson has taken a step back with Fated. Don't get me wrong, it was enjoyable and exciting but for an author who wrote such a original debut to slip into "YA PNR" ranks - it's kind of degrading! However I have to praise Alderson on her world-building skills! In terms of a paranormal romance, I think she's really nailed to originality factor! Her supernatural beings are unique and I loved how she's woven the unnatural into a small town and in turn created an epic setting for a showdown between the hunters and the hunted! In terms of a plot, it was exciting, predictable yet fun and the ending suggests an awesome sequel which I can't to read!

I had a problem with the characterisation. I would have enjoyed Fated a lot more if I felt I would connect with the protagonist. It saddens me to say that I couldn't relate to Evie at all. She was just so angry ALL THE TIME. She's not a happy person and while the backstory suggests that she doesn't have a reason to be, I would have liked to see a little more light and shade in her personality. Quite frankly, I don't know why Lucas was in love with her because she was - for the lack of a better word - a bitch. Maybe this is what they call 'blind love' but I just didn't see the appeal in her! I DID like Lucas though! He had control over his emotions and he had that 'dark and mysterious' appeal and what he did for Evie ( why?) was really sweet! The romance was a nice touch, would have liked to see a little more build up but it was cute!

Overall, it was a fantastic novel but a little flawed. I really thought the characterisation let the novel down.   If I liked Evie, I would have liked the novel so much more! However it was a great plot and like I said, the world-building was spectacular. It's original and it will stand out among other YA paranormals. I'm sure whatever Alderson has planned for us next in this series will wow me because she's a truly fantastic writer!

Rating - Squeeze into the Budget* 

Badass Bookie xx

*This one comes down to personal preference that - read the review THEN read another review and then another before you decide whether it's worth your money.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Debut of the Month - All About Croak + Giveaway!

Book Profile

Name - Croak (Goodreads)
Author - Gina Damico
Genre - Paranormal
Release Date - 20th March 2012
Available - The Book Depository

Sixteen-year-old Lex Bartleby has sucker-punched her last classmate. Fed up with her punkish, wild behavior, her parents ship her off to upstate New York to live with her Uncle Mort for the summer, hoping that a few months of dirty farm work will whip her back into shape. But Uncle Mort’s true occupation is much dirtier than that of shoveling manure. 

He’s a Grim Reaper. And he’s going to teach her the family business. 

Lex quickly assimilates into the peculiar world of Croak, a town populated entirely by reapers who deliver souls from this life to the next. Along with her infuriating yet intriguing partner Driggs and a rockstar crew of fellow Grim apprentices, Lex is soon zapping her Targets like a natural born Killer. 

Yet her innate ability morphs into an unchecked desire for justice—or is it vengeance?—whenever she’s forced to Kill a murder victim, craving to stop the attackers before they can strike again. So when people start to die—that is, people who aren’t supposed to be dying, people who have committed grievous crimes against the innocent—Lex’s curiosity is piqued. Her obsession grows as the bodies pile up, and a troubling question begins to swirl through her mind: if she succeeds in tracking down the murderer, will she stop the carnage—or will she ditch Croak and join in?

The Insider's Scoop
How I Pitched Croak

I met my eventual agent at a pitch conference, which was a four-day workshop extravaganza wherein people from all over the country came to work on their pitches and present them to real live editors from real big publishing houses. I was absolutely terrified, because at the time, no one had read my draft of Croak. Not a single person other than me knew what my book was about. Even my husband was in the dark until the very night before the conference, when I pitched it to him. He nodded in a stoic manner and said little (as he always does), so even then I couldn't tell if it was a good idea or not.

But it was too late. I had sent in the check and I was going to the conference, dammit. On the first day we went through some brief introductionss, and then the workshop leader gave us a speech about how there's pretty much no way in hell any of us are going to get published. But not in a mean way - he was just giving us the cold, hard facts. And I actually appreciated that. All of the research I had done, the books I had read on how to get published - they all said it was hard, but ended with some sort of YOU CAN DO IT! cheerleading routine. It was refreshing to hear something along the lines of "Well, there is a small chance that you will be successful, but it is very small. And it will take a TON of work. So you better be in this for the long haul."

From there, we began to pitch our ideas to the group, one at a time. To be honest, it felt a lot like American Idol, or any one of those other talent reality shows. We'd get up in front of everyone, show them our stuff, and then prepare to be judged - and judged with brutal honesty. But again - that was a good thing. Mine, unlike several others, was met with relatively positive reactions, and it was only then that I started to think, hey, maybe I could make a run for this thing after all.

The next day we started pitching to actual editors, and holy banana, that was scary. It was even worse than the day before, because these were people who could actually get you somewhere, who could very well be the key to your ENTIRE FUTURE. So, you know, no pressure or anything.

Fortunately, the editors all liked my pitch. UNfortunately, none of them specialized in YA. So it seemed that the whole thing had been for naught, except that I got a lot of good feedback out of it and the motivation to keep going in the right direction. person who had been sitting in on the pitches - a woman that had been introduced, but I hadn't been able to hear who she was - started to pipe up and say that she loved my pitch. And then she gave me her card. Turns out she was an agent who DID specialize in YA, and by the time I got home that evening, she had already emailed me to request the full manuscript. And then I DIED.

Fast forward many moons later - and here I am with a book! And even though I literally just typed out how it all happened...I'm still not really sure how it all happened. Insanity.


Gina is giving away a signed ARC of CROAK, a scythe pendant, and some bookmarks!

Rule of Entry -
- International
- Ends 16th of April
- Must be 13 or older
- Optional Entries :
   * Leaving comment on either of Gina's posts +1 each
   * Follow Me on Twitter +1
   * Follow Gina on Twitter +1
   * Tweeting Giveaway +1
   * Follow Badass Bookie +2

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Debut of the Month - All About Gina Damico ( Croak)

Debutante Profile

Name - Gina Damico 
Debut - Croak
Genre - Paranormal 
Website - HERE
Blog - HERE
Facebook - HERE
Twitter - HERE

I grew up under four feet of snow in Syracuse, New York. I received a degree in theater and sociology from Boston College, where I was active with the Committee for Creative Enactments, a murder mystery improv comedy troupe, which may or may not have sparked an interest in wildly improbable bloodshed. I have since worked as a tour guide, transcriptionist, theater house manager, scenic artist, movie extra, office troll, retail monkey, yarn hawker and breadmonger. Croak is my first novel. I live in Boston with my husband, two cats, and a closet full of black hoodies.

Dream Debutante Dress -  I'm a huge fan of Lady Gaga and her outrageous style so great choice Gina!

Notes from a YA Debutante

Ten Items I Own, One From Each Area Of My House:

1. Living Room: a statue of a rooster
When I was living in New York, I left my apartment one morning and saw this little guy sitting outside my gate. I thought he was cute, but I was late for work so I kept going. When I returned several hours later, however, he was still there - and I knew that he and I were meant to be. His name is now Percival Ulysses Cock and he sits atop my DVD collection of Lost.

2. Dining Room: a 100+ board game collection

My husband and I really like board games. Most of them are his, but I've got a few in the mix too. We even had a board game theme at our wedding. NERD ALERT

3. Kitchen: garlic roll

Oh this is just the coolest thing. You peel the garlic and put it into this little wheel with blades in it, and then two more wheels on the bottom let you drive it around like a toy car, and voila - the garlic gets chopped! Thanks, Martha Stewart.

4. Pantry: Keurig coffee maker
I'm pretty late to the coffee party. I hate the taste of the stuff, so my whole life I never drank it before. Then one day I was feeling daring - either that, or my taste buds took the day off - and I tried drinking a whole cup. I hated it so much, the whole darn thing, but I did enjoy the crazy high that followed. So now I drink it somewhat regularly, but only for the sweet, sweet drug within.

5. Bedroom: Simpsons poster

You've probably seen it before - it's all the characters on the show (or at least a goodly percentage of them) all standing for a group photo against a yellow background. I love The Simpsons - even now that the episodes are less than stellar, I still watch, because I've been watching since I was five and how could I not?

6. Bathroom: world map shower curtain

As a soft core geography fan, I find this to be the perfect way to both get clean and learn the capital of Kyrgyzstan all at the same time. (Bishkek!)

7. My office: used bowling pin
I bought this for two dollars at a bowling alley, and now it lives under my desk. I like to put my feet on it or cradle it in my lap while I'm working. I don't know, it's just so cuddly.

8. My husband's office: an Oscar the Grouch needlepoint
Okay, technically I don't own this because it was a gift, but I did make it. I lovingly hand-stitched Oscar holding up a sign that says "Go Away", and Will lovingly put it up on his door to keep me out of his office. Jerk.

9. Basement: an office chair
I bought a cheap office chair from IKEA, which is usually one of my favorite places on earth. So it pains me to have to put baby in the corner, but the wheels wouldn't wheel unless you put weight on them. So if you wanted to just move the chair out of the way without sitting in it, you'd have to drag it across the floor and make a terrible nails-on-chalkboard noise. FAIL.

10. Porch: a house plant

This is also from IKEA. I thought having a plant in my office would be a nice way to brighten it up, and since this plant was from the As-Is section (the pot was slightly damaged), it was half off. Well, turns out my cat loved it too, so much so that he couldn't stop eating it, and then he just went ahead and knocked the whole thing over. So yeah. It's a porch plant now. 


Bookie's Note:  O-kay! Everyone you've just met our March Debutante - Gina Damico! Gina, thank-you for the interesting ( and completely unique) guest post! I'm not going to lie - I'm extremely jealous of your board game collection! I love Monopoly, Cluedo, Pictionary and I'm a complete nut when it comes to board games but no one ever wants to play! Perhaps we should schedule a play date? :D And all my lovely readers, if you want to find out more about Croak and even win a Signed ARC come back tomorrow!

Badass Bookie xx

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Breakfast with the Bookie: ARCs - The Do's and Don'ts'?

Breakfast with the Bookie is a semi-weekly feature here @ Badass Bookie which is making a reappearance in 2012. Every other Wednesday morning, let's all grab our teas and coffees to gather and discuss and share our opinions! Everyone is welcome to join and make sure you leave a comment to state your opinion. Don't be shy!

This Week's Topic: ARCs - The Do's and Don'ts'?

One of the perks of being a book blogger is ARCs. For those who don't know what they are ( although who doesn't!) they're Advanced Reader Copies. Often a publisher would produce a small quantity of books months earlier to it's release date and distribute them to librarians, booksellers and book bloggers. Basically, we read and review the book prior to the release date to create a hype or just to make others aware of the upcoming release. 

There is this whole controversy regarding ARCs and I thought it'll be cool if we all created a list of the Do's and Don'ts' regarding them! I've listed a few things below that I think are important. 

Do - Feel grateful when receiving an ARC whether from a publisher, author or blogger! Remember to thank them!

Don't - Feel obliged to receive ARCs. Quite frankly, you're not. We're not. You are not entitled to them so don't parade them around, don't whinge when you don't receive one and definitely don't persist people for one! 

Do - Think carefully before requesting an ARC. They're very expensive to produce and if you're requesting one just for the sake of requesting one - you shouldn't! Show a genuine in the book, do some research, READ THE BLURB and have a good feeling that you'll enjoy it!

Don't - Request an ARC that you know you're not going to enjoy or you're not going to finish. I often know before reading a book whether it will be my cup of tea or not! Do not request an ARC based on it's cover, popularity or whether other bloggers received a copy or not!

Do - Put thought into your review. Don't just write the first thing that comes to mind and definitely don't write a 400 word synopsis and then say "I liked it - read it!" at the end. That's not a review. If you don't like the book - not slam it. Talk about why, talk about the parts you do like and recommend it to the people you think WILL like it.

Don't - Not review the book, if you're like me and you are a slowish reader with not a lot of time that's fine! BUT don't request an ARC and not read it! Always keep in mind of the book you haven't read before you request new ones! :) 

That's a list of six do's and don'ts' any that should be added to the list? Pop them in the comments!

Badass Bookie xx

Sunday, March 11, 2012

In My Mailbox #43

Morning lovelies! I'm doing rush job this morning because I WANT TO GO SHOPPING in 30 minutes! I'm itching to buy new clothes! In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren. Basically we share the contents of our mailbox - I only participate every second week ( because I'm lazy) hence it's a two- week edition!

For Review -

Revived by Cat Patrick ( Isn't the cover just gorgeous!)
Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
Out of Sight, Out of Time by Ally Carter ( Finished Copy!)
Losing It by Julia Lawrinson
Choker by Elizabeth Woods
ARC Winter's Light by M.J. Hearle
Steve Jobs: The Man Who Thought Different by Karen Blumenthal (Swap?)
Your Voice in My Head by Emma Forrest ( Swap?)

(Thanks to Hardie Grant Egmont, Hachette, Hachette Children's, Simon and Schuster, Pan Macmillan and Bloomsbury!)

Swap/ Gifted -

I'm Not Her by Janet Gurtler
Wish by Alexandra Bullen
Shadow Hills by Anastasia Hopcus
Switched by Amanda Hocking

( Thanks to Skye @ In Good Books and K!) 

Big two weeks! So many great books to read - Winter's Light is next up for me after I finished Fated which is taking me ages to read with all this work I'm drowning under! I can't wait to read Pandemonium after someone blurted a spoiler out on twitter *cough* Celine *cough*! Choker sound brilliant - huge fan of psychological thrillers that screw with your head and I've already read Out of Sight, Out of Time which is was AMAZING! (Review to Come!) Little confused about why I received a biography and memoir from Bloomsbury buy if anyone is interested in them - pop me an email!

Link me darlings! :)

Badass Bookie xx

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Book For Sale/ Swap :)

I've got some duplicates and ARCs of books on my shelf and I really want to get rid of them because they're taking up space that I need! I've got these books up on the Aussie Swap Group on Goodreads but since I have no takers there - I thought I'll offer them to you guys! International swappies and sales welcome :)

ARCs are for swap, Finished copies for swap or sale :)

ARCs -

Fateful by Claudia Gray ( I can get signed for you if you want!)
Hades by Alexandra Adornetto
Out of Sight, Out of Time by Ally Carter

Finished Copies - 

Embrace by Jessica Shirvington ( Paperback - Brand New)
City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare ( Paperback - Brand New)
Exile by Jakob Ejersbo ( Paperback - Brand New)
Firelight by Sophie Jordan ( Hardback - Brand New)
Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick ( Paperback - Brand New)
Daniel X : Volume One MANGA by James Patterson ( Paperback - Brand New)
Steve Jobs : The Man Who Thought Different by Karen Blumenthal ( Paperback - Brand New)
Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler ( Paperback - Brand New)
A Girl Like Me by Penny Matthews ( Paperback - Brand New)
Swerve by Phillip Gwynne ( Paperback - Brand New)
The Three Love for Persimmon by Cassandra Golds ( Paperback - Brand New)
Your Voice in My Head by Emma Forrest ( Paperback - Brand New)
Monster Republic by Monster Republic ( Paperback - Brand New)

I'm looking for -

ARCs of 2012 YA Release or Finished Copies of 2011/2012 YA Release

For Sales -

Paperback - $5 (AUS) + Shipping
Hardbacks - $8 (AUS) + Shipping

Email me at callmeghostgirl (AT) yahoo (DOT) com (DOT) au :)

Badass Bookie xx

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Breakfast with the Bookie: Giveaways - Are We Buying Our Followers?

Breakfast with the Bookie is a semi-weekly feature here @ Badass Bookie which is making a reappearance in 2012. Every other Wednesday morning, let's all grab our teas and coffees to gather and discuss and share our opinions! Everyone is welcome to join and make sure you leave a comment to state your opinion. Don't be shy!

This Week's Topic: Giveaways - Are We Buying Our Followers? 

Okay so that's the questions, are we buying our followers with giveaways? Recently I've noticed that a lot of new blogs have grown in follower population excessively. We're talking two months blogs with 1000+ followers. Taking a look around these blogs I see a good effort into reviewing books, participation in memes and good blogging overall but more than anything I see giveaways. And that's gotten me thinking, are we ( bloggers) using giveaways to buy/ bribe people into following our blogs? 

Quality not quantity. I can't emphasis this enough - your followers doesn't reflect the quality of your blog. You might have 5000 followers but do they follow you because a) you host epic giveaways or b) you actually blog good stuff? Same goes with publishers, sure they look at your stats but they look at contents too. Let me sum it up - Your Followers Doesn't Reflect Your Blog Contents. Honestly, I would rather follow a less blog with great reviews, interesting interviews and funky contents then a blog loaded with giveaways. 

I can not tell you how much it ANNOYS me to click on a giveaway link and then find this message "must follow via GFC" - firstly why must we follow you to enter a giveaway if you can guarantee we'll win? Following your logic, if we don't win we should just unfollow you blog. It's gotten to the point where now I hardly ever enter giveaways. There are SO SO SO many hoops to jump it's not funny. One blog required people to follow on blog, twitter and email in order to enter the giveaway. IT GOES WITHOUT SAYING I GAVE THAT BLOG THE FINGER! 

I'm not saying you shouldn't get a little back when you're putting money into giveaways but you should always give the option. The only giveaway I've EVER used the "must follow via GFC" condition was my blogoversary/ followers giveaway and that was a giveaway FOR my followers. Sure, I have hoops attached to my giveaways but I always give the options of - "do as much as you want or as little". 

In all - basically I'm just ranting but seriously followers aren't everything and I mean GOOD ON EVERYONE for having giveaways but let's keep the secret agenda out of the picture aye? :) 

What's your opinion?

Badass Bookie xx

Monday, March 5, 2012

Carrier of the Mark

Review Time! Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon was another one of the 2011 left behinds. I intended to read the debut last year but there was so much to read and so little time, I just never got round to it! Luckily I managed to squeeze it into February so now I can review it for everyone else! ;) Thanks to Harper Collins for the review copy!

(Goodreads) Their love was meant to be. 

When Megan Rosenberg moves to Ireland, everything in her life seems to fall into place. After growing up in America, she's surprised to find herself feeling at home in her new school. She connects with a group of friends, and she is instantly drawn to darkly handsome Adam DeRÍs. 

But Megan is about to discover that her feelings for Adam are tied to a fate that was sealed long ago—and that the passion and power that brought them together could be their ultimate destruction.

The Short Story? - Nothing like Twilight. Next time you meet anyone who says "Carrier of the Mark is like Twilight" tell them "Badass Bookie says you're a moron". Carrier of the Mark is a beautifully written debut with an extraordinary plot and wonderful characters. Fantastic characterisation and culturally enriching, Fallon has written a remarkable paranormal romance to be enjoyed by all!

The Long Story? - Comparing Carrier of the Mark to Twilight is like comparing McDonalds to a three course gourmet meal. Firstly just so EVERYONE understands - Twilight did not INVENT the "forbidden love plot" hence do not compare every "forbidden love plot" book to Twilight! Carrier of the Mark wasn't perfect but it doesn't deserve to be compared to Twilight ( unless you're looking at it through a positive light). The novel has an extraordinary plot with a unique setting. I loved how Fallon weaved celtic myths with fiction. Not only is it culturally enriching, it's enjoyable as well! The novel started out really well, I loved the plot and the complex idea of "Carrier of the Mark" and how it's related to all the the elements. My only "complaint" is that I thought the ending was rather an anticlimax ( like Twilight) - there was this huge build up and I expected a huge showdown and when it didn't happen I was left a little bit disappointed. Nevertheless, very enjoyable - Fallon writes beautifully!

 Same goes with characterisation. Adam isn't a sparkly vampire - I ACTUALLY like him and Megan is a fantastic protagonist who can stick up for herself and well, let's just say she doesn't whine. I adored Megan as a character, she had a sense of humour, she was sweet without being too sweet, she could stick up for herself and she could make her own decisions. Adam was a huge sweetie, I can't help but picture him as the perfect boyfriend - all chivalry and caring! However the one who stole my heart was Rian! Rian is Adam's brother and he completely nails the "bad boy" role and you know what? I'm a sucker for the bad boys... Overall, fantastic characterisation and again - nothing like Twilight!

In a nutshell - Carrier of the Mark was a pleasure to read! With fantastic characters and a wonderful plot, Fallon has written a remarkable debut that I enjoyed cover to cover! I can't wait to see what the sequel brings because I need another fix of the brilliant romance and Rian ;) Exciting, captivating and original - Carrier of the Mark is not to be missed!

What's it Worth? - Hand Over the Paycheck

Badass Bookie xx

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Original Sin

Review Time! I'm finally getting on top of my TBR pile - this week I managed to read THREE books! Might not sound like a lot but to me that's HUGE! I finally got around to reading Original Sin by Lisa Desrochers, I read Personal Demons as a 2010 Debut and I never got around to reading the sequel until now! Thanks to Pan Macmillan for the review copy!

(Goodreads) Luc Cain was born and raised in Hell, but he isn’t feeling as demonic as usual lately—thanks to Frannie Cavanaugh and the unique power she never realized she had. But you can’t desert Hell without consequences, and suddenly Frannie and Luc find themselves targeted by the same demons who used to be Luc’s allies.

Left with few options, Frannie and Luc accept the protection of Heaven and one of its most powerful angels, Gabe. Unfortunately, Luc isn’t the only one affected by Frannie, and it isn’t long before Gabe realizes that being around her is too…tempting. Rather than risk losing his wings, he leaves Frannie and Luc under the protection of her recently-acquired guardian angel.

Which would be fine, but Gabe is barely out the door before an assortment of demons appears—and they’re not leaving without dragging Luc back to Hell with them. Hell won’t give up and Heaven won’t give in. Frannie’s guardian exercises all the power he has to keep them away, but the demons are willing to hurt anyone close to Frannie in order to get what they want. It will take everything she has and then some to stay out of Hell’s grasp.

And not everyone will get out of it alive.

The Short Story? - Is it just me or did everyone else like Original Sin so much better than Personal Demons. I liked the first book but I LOVED this one! Fantastic plot, great character development and enough drama to rival any episode of Gossip Girl! Well-written and comfortable to slip into, Original Sin is a big treat for everyone!

The Long Story? - My thoughts on Personal Demons are a little rusty but I remembered liking it BUT it was overly amazing! However I can honestly say I enjoyed Original Sin from cover the cover. Dark, seductive and addictive, the novel is filled with drama, good vs. evil and steamy romance! The plot is more intense, complex and not so heavily focused on the love life of Frannie and Luc. Original Sin focused on the bigger picture, a build up to what will be an epic showdown in the final book of the trilogy. A heart-pounding adventure filled to the brim with uncovered secrets, ultimate betrayals, double-faced liars and one heck of a cliff-hanger! Desrochers has written an electrifying sequel that hopefully leads to an even better finale! Looking forward to the next book!

As I mentioned in the Short Story, there are some really good character developments going on in this novel. I can't really remember my first impressions of Frannie but she has toughened up and she can now hold her own. Add that to her sweet personality and you have a great protagonist. I didn't really like Luc in Personal Demons because he was such a "guy" and I wasn't convinced of the romance between Frannie and Luc but throughout Original Sin, readers got to see a different side of Luc and NOW I'm convinced that he really cares about Frannie. This also means I've kinda changed from Team Gabe to Team Luc ( although I still completely adore Gabe there is no denying the attraction and "rightness" of Frannie and Luc). There are other developments in the cast but I'm not going to mention them because I don't want to spoil it!

In a nutshell, a) read this book because it's brilliant and b) I apologise for the choppy review - this is what happens when I leave books on the review pile for too long. Desrochers has truly gotten it right this time and I can't not wait to read the next book in the trilogy! Great plot, fantastic characterisation and well-written! Original Sin is a heart-pounding, unputdownable new take on Heaven and Hell!

What's it Worth? - Hand Over the Paycheck

Badass Bookie xx