Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Tuesday in Tweets -7-

Hey, Everyone!

I know. I should be focusing on class right now. But I'm sneaking around to kindly remind you that today we are bombarding Twitter with talk of all things PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. I'll be joining the efforts around 7:30 my time, but be sure to use the hashtag #teamelsewhere or mention me @sommertales so that I can find your tweets.

Later, Loves!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Monday Mayhem -7- The Mayhem Gets Classy

Happy Monday, Elsewhere!

Today is a special, special day. We are entering Week 7 with the celebration of a classic. That's right! We are talking about the one, the original, the PRIDE AND PREJUDICE written by one of my favorite authors, Jane Austen.

I don't know, I guess I'm excited because this week, I'm challenging you guys to do the funniest Mayhem Challenge I could think of. If you read the April Calendar, you already know, but the challenge I present to you for a chance at this week's Mayhem Prize Pack is...


Yeah. The male species for some reason seems to get shy around this subject, so I just thought it would be cool if we forced the Mr. Bingleys and Darcys and Collins' and Wickhams in our lives to read the piece of literature that they fear. Isn't that great? I think it's flipping fantastic. Remember, you can read it for free right here. Maybe that'll be incentive enough for your bros.

So if you do attempt the Mayhem Challenge, you'll be entered to win an envelope filled with:
-A copy of PRADA AND PREJUDICE by Mandy Hubbard
-And a copy of the 2005 PRIDE AND PREJUDICE Soundtrack

If you're a dude, no, you cannot recommend it to yourself, Silly Billy. But you can recommend it to any other dude--- your dad, a friend, a blah, a blah. You get the idea, ya'll! You can give the ribbons to your sister, if you want, but be sure to snap a picture,  or make a video of your efforts and send it to myticketsomewhere@gmail.com. You can also make a Vlog Review or Response of the book in order to be entered, but be sure to leave the link in the comments below by THURSDAY, April 19th! Because that's when entries are due. Yeppers...

You could also submit something for the Wednesday Wanderings Challenge (details in the calendar so see the link above). Entries are due tomorrow if you want a second chance at that prize pack.

ANYWHO... As I said on Friday, the universe has sent a bunch of AWESOME PRIDE AND PREJUDICE hoopla my way this past week! Imagine my surprise when I saw this video by Hank Green talking about the very thing I needed to cause an uproar!

That's right people. At present, there is a webseries in the making that's reimagining PRIDE AND PREJUDICE in a 21st century context. Ain't that grand? Although they're taking LOTS of liberties with the content, I was still pretty pleased with the first episode.

What I love is that the cast is cute, the script is realistic, the content is pretty spot on, and it's a FLIPPING PRIDE AND PREJUDICE WEBSERIES! If you want to make sure they keep making episodes, subscribe to their YouTube channel and watch! It's that easy.

And agh! I'm taking up too much of your Monday. But rest assured, more goodies will be sent your way throughout the week and during our wrap up on Friday. So what do you think? Are you excited to start spreading the word about P&P? I hope so. But if you're not, why don't you check out this review (or mine!) before you go?

Have a great week!

What it is about PRIDE AND PREJUDICE

Disclaimer! This is not a review. I couldn't review a book for which I have a complete and total bias. I have seen nearly every adaptation for this story. I have read the original novel four times and that's kind of because I have a longing for it about once a year. Love is not a strong enough emotion to convey how much I enjoy the story. And the characters. And the writing. And the author, may she rest in peace.

I will, however, try to explain what it is about this story that makes me want to open it again and again. There are so many things about it that are wonderful, but the fact that it's a "classic" is not one that comes to mind.

I think the term "classic" can be a bit intimidating, first, and then misleading next. This book is not hard to read. The language is simple and fairly easy to follow and understand. And the situations then mirror, in a sort of way, some of the issues we face now. One of the reasons I would only hesitantly refer to this as one of my favorite "classics" is because it is so relevant in my life, at least, that I don't feel as if it's that far removed. I know it's not contemporary, but unless "classic" is referring to the insight and intellectual wisdom contained in the novel itself, rather than the timestamp that belongs to it, I'd rather not use the term. At least not here.

From the moment I first read about the Bennet family, I instantly felt a connection with them--- I instantly fell in love. The conversation between Mr. and Mrs. Bennet about the new neighbor and his fortune could have easily been one between my own parents once upon a time. The fact that I have four siblings, three of which are girls, helped me identify with having a hefty-sized family. The fact that my sisters and I have always been close made me understand the Bennet Sisters' dynamic. And then there was Lizzie who I couldn't quite relate to, persay, but who instantly became a rolemodel of the type of character I one day hoped to be.

Yes, I was an instant fan of Elizabeth Bennet, the one who would not marry unless for love, the one who stood her ground against a pompous Mr. Darcy, a silly Mrs. Bennet, and a Mr. Collins. Yes, I respected her instantly. I wondered what it was like to have that kind of confidence in oneself... to know what you wanted so passionately and so surely that settling was NOT an option. In the tenth grade, I had a certain level of self, but not like Lizzie's. But after reading "her" story... After watching her sisters and her friend fall or give up or wait around or take the first man who made an offer, I realized there was no other person I wanted to be but Elizabeth. I needed her courage, assurance, and over time, it was something that came. Thank God!

But the other characters in this story were equally as wonderful. I mean, even Lizzie had her faults. You have to understand that the book is called both PRIDE & PREJUDICE. You know she had to have at least one of those attributes, and neither of them are the most flattering terms. So yes, every character was flawed, but I think every character also had something good in them, too. Without too many spoilers, I can say that although Mrs. Bennet was silly and Mr. Bennet was passive-aggressive, they both cared about their kids. A LOT. And the fact that they were willing to do anything to see that they at least start on the path of a good life was one of those things that made me appreciate my parents a little more. I think I can also say that Darcy, though uptight and rude at the beginning does make a change. It's not a turn around, mind you, but you can see him lowering his barriers. And guys always ask me why I love the guy because he's an obvious {insert obscenity here}. But I tell them constantly that I don't like him BECAUSE he's a jerk. I like him because he's a jerk that admitted his faults and tried to change! And he didn't change for the girl, he changed for himself. And THAT good people of America, is freaking sexy (I meant admirable!).

Anywho, the story I think was told masterfully doing a wonderful job of balancing plot-driven madness and character-driven chaos that the two just meshed and the outcome of that was just an entertaining story filled with "truths universally acknowledged!" That's what I like about it best. At the end of the day, it's just a really good story, one that I could read or watch over and over again... that I can appreciate every time it's in my hands.

If you can't tell, I highly recommend this book. To everyone and their brothers. If you don't read it, you're not going to explode or anything, but I think it's worthwhile to read the original interpretation. Trust me... it's just as good as any adaptation you've seen or read and if you're anything like me, you'll think it even better.

Pride and PrejudiceBlurb from Goodreads:

When Elizabeth Bennet first meets eligible bachelor Fitzwilliam Darcy, she thinks him arrogant and conceited, while he struggles to remain indifferent to her good looks and lively mind. When she later discovers that Darcy has involved himself in the troubled relationship between his friend Bingley and her beloved sister Jane, she is determined to dislike him more than ever. In the sparkling comedy of manners that follows, Jane Austen shows the folly of judging by first impressions and superbly evokes the friendships, gossip and snobberies of provincial middle-class life.

Want to read this text for free? 

Visit Project Gutenberg and type in PRIDE AND PREJUDICE

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Sunday Post ~7~

Elsewhere News

  • Last week on Elsewhere, we spread the word about Sang Kromah's debut novel CONCEALED. This week, we turn back the clocks and pick up one of my favorite classics of all time: PRIDE AND PREJUDICE
  • Even though Jane Austen's no longer with us, we can still spread the word about her novel. I hope you take up this week's challenges! If you submit something, you're automatically entered to win this week's prize pack. 
  • Don't forget that if you don't have the money or want to buy this classic, you can find it on Project Gutenberg without risk and absolutely free. It's perfectly legal. I checked. :)
  • Also, the YouTube Mayhem videos and Liveshows have been cancelled until the summer when I have more time to deal with that technical aspect, but you can still do YouTube Vlog reviews of your own and send the link to me at myticketsomewhere@gmail.com OR put them in the comments of the Monday Mayhem post.
Reviews for Last Week's Releases

So last week this happened...
...And here's what people had to say about those titles...


*KILL ME SOFTLY by Sarah Cross
1. A 4 star review from our trusted Mundie Moms

BELLES by Jen Calonita 

1. Review from Rather Be Reading that helped me decide we're reading this.
2. Review by our trusted Novel Novice

1. Review from a smaller blog like us, Screen Spinster (admittedly, we're smaller, Elsewhere, but there's a certain level of appreciation, no?)

New Releases April 16th- April 22nd
*Most synopses are from Goodreads

The Last Echo (The Body Finder, #3)April 17th: THE LAST ECHO by Kimberly Derting (Book #3 in The Body Finder series)

In the end, all that's left is an echo...

Violet kept her morbid ability to sense dead bodies a secret from everyone except her family and her childhood-best-friend-turned-boyfriend, Jay Heaton. That is until forensic psychologist Sara Priest discovered Violet's talent and invited her to use her gift to track down murderers. Now, as she works with an eclectic group of individuals—including mysterious and dangerously attractive Rafe—it's Violet's job to help those who have been murdered by bringing their killers to justice. When Violet discovers the body of a college girl killed by "the girlfriend collector" she is determined to solve the case. But now the serial killer is on the lookout for a new "relationship" and Violet may have caught his eye....

Mister Death's Blue-Eyed GirlsApril 17th: MISTER DEATH'S BLUE-EYED GIRLS by Mary Downing Hahn (looks like a standalone)

Based on an actual crime in 1955, this YA novel is at once a mystery and a coming-of-age story. The brutal murder of two teenage girls on the last day of Nora Cunningham's junior year in high school throws Nora into turmoil. Her certainties, friendships, religion, her prudence, her resolve to find a boyfriend taller than she is - are shaken or cast off altogether. 

Most people in Elmgrove, Maryland, share the comforting conviction that Buddy Novak, who had every reason to want his ex-girlfriend dead, is responsible for the killings. Nora agrees at first, then begins to doubt Buddy's guilt, and finally comes to believe him innocent - the lone dissenting voice in Elmgrove. Told from several different perspectives, including that of the murderer, Mister Death's Blue-Eyed Girls is a suspenseful page-turner with a powerful human drama at its core

Grimalkin the Witch Assassin (The Last Apprentice / Wardstone Chronicles)April 17th: GRIMALKIN THE WITCH ASSASSIN by Joseph Delaney (Part of The Last Apprentice series, book one of which will soon be a "major motion picture" apparently)

"I'm coming for you, and nothing living or dead can stop me."

One witch is the most feared, the most ruthless, and the most deadly of all the witches in the county. If she hunts for you, she will find you. If you have crossed her, you don't stand a chance. She is the witch assassin, and her name is Grimalkin.

Grimalkin's one alliance is with Tom Ward, the Spook's apprentice. With Tom, she plans to rid the world of the most terrifying evil, the Fiend, who once did her great wrong.For the first time, fans of the Last Apprentice series will hear the story from Grimalkin's side, as she is hunted herself by creatures of darkness set on revenge.Grimalkin has never been defeated. But can she survive an enemy created for the sole purpose of destroying her?

GlimmerApril 17th: GLIMMER by Phoebe Kitanidis (seems like a standalone but by the way it's described, there may be series potential).

When Marshall and Elyse wake up in each other’s arms with zero memory of how they got there or who they are, it’s the start of a long journey through their separate pasts and shared future. Terrified by their amnesia, the two make a pact to work together to find the answers that could jog their missing memories. As they piece together clues, they discover they’re in the idyllic mountain resort town of Summer Falls, where everyone seems mysteriously happy, but as Marshall and Elyse quickly learn, darkness lurks beneath the town’s perfect facade. Not only is the town haunted by sinister ghosts, but none of its living inhabitants retain bad memories of anything—not the death of Marshall’s mom, not the hidden shame in Elyse’s family, not even the day-to-day anguish of high school.

Lonely in this world of happy zombies, Marsh and Elyse fall into an intense relationship...but the secrets they uncover could be the death of this growing love—and the death of everyone, and everything, they love in Summer Falls.

Where She Went by Gayle Forman in Paperback
Gone, Gone, Gone by Hannah Moskowitz
The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross in Paperback
Liberator by Richard Harland
The Unidentified by Rae Mariz in Paperback
Snow White and The Huntsman adapted by Lily Blake

In Theaters April 16th- April 22nd

The Lucky One movie posterApril 20th: "The Lucky One" 

Director: Scott Hicks
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Going to see it?: I'm tired of Nicholas Sparks adaptations. But I have to say this sounds more interesting than some of its predecessors. PLUS, Zac Efron. I mean, that should be enough for anyone, I think.

Description: U.S. Marine Sergeant Logan Thibault (Efron) returns from his third tour of duty in Iraq, with the one thing he credits with keeping him alive—a photograph he found of a woman he doesn't even know. Learning her name is Beth (Schilling) and where she lives, he shows up at her door, and ends up taking a job at her family-run local kennel. Despite her initial mistrust and the complications in her life, a romance develops between them, giving Logan hope that Beth could be much more than his good luck charm.

Think Like A Man movie posterApril 20th: "Think Like A Man"

Director: Tim Story
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Going to see it?: Yes. Yes, yes, and I'm not ashamed to admit it. I need some funny in my life. THIS looks like funny. 


Based on Steve Harvey's bestselling novel, "Think Like a Man" follow four friends who conspire to turn the tables on their women when they discover the ladies have been using Steve Harvey's relationship advice against them.

Goodbye First Love movie posterApril 20th: "Goodbye First Love"

Director: Mia Hansen-Love
MPAA Rating: Not Yet Rated
Going to see it?: Sounds good. I want to!

Description: French filmmaker Mia Hansen-Løve returns to Toronto after her critically acclaimed The Father of My Children with an acutely perceptive portrait of a bright young woman in the wake of her first  romance. Fifteen-year-old Camille (Lola Créton) is a serious, intensely focused girl who has fallen in love with cheerful Sullivan (Sebastian Urzendowsky), an older boy who reciprocates her feelings, mostly, but wants to be free to explore the world. When he leaves her to travel through South America, she is devastated. But over the next eight years, she develops into a more fully formed woman, with new interests and a new love—and the possibility that she'll be less defenseless when Sullivan enters her life again. Filled with scenes that showcase her extraordinary ability to evoke moods and feelings, Hansen-Løve takes the story of a girl’s first romance and makes it into a singular experience, familiar in its broad strokes and yet so specific that it feels uniquely personal.

And documentaries like "To the Arctic," "Chimpanzees," "Fightville," and "Marley"

And that's it for this weekend, Elsewhere! I wish you the best week, and I hope you'll tune in later for my "review" of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE!

Ciao, Bellas,

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Saturday Sights ~7~

Hey, Elsewhere!

Happy Saturday. Today, I'm kind of going to present you with a little bit of everything: giveaways, donation opportunities, bookish news, movie stuff, and... well, actually, that's about it.

FIRST, let's talk giveaways and donations! Give and take. That's what Momma always said Life was. "It's a game of give and take," she said. I don't know why we're talking about my mother, but, you know... it kind of fit. You're probably wondering why there's a picture of a man in a dog suit, here, but after you click the picture, you'll thank me bunches. YA author, Maureen Johnson, has offered to giveaway a signed book and a "creepy" note to anyone who pledges 50 Euros to help Simon as he runs in support of either the Guide Dogs or Leukemia and Lymphoma Research foundations just because! It's not a contest, she says. ANYONE WHO PLEDGES 50 EUROS will get that from her. AND as an added treat to those of us who can't afford to give that much, Maureen will host a random drawing for two people who have at least pledged 5 Euros to the cause(s). So there! A donation AND a giveaway. How perfect is that? Only Maureen could've thought up something that brilliant. Click the pic for more info!

NOW, let's talk books, or rather... let's talk about the things that are going on in the bookish world. On a happy note! the This is Teen tour is making a stop in Austin, Texas! Thanks to this post on Mundie Moms, I can actually inform you that Maggie Stiefvater, Elizabeth Eulberg, Siobhan Vivian, and David Leviathan will be at Book People, a bookstore on Lamar St. somewhere near you Texan-folk! If you click on the image of the This is Teen banner, you'll be taken to the Book People page that has more information. But I'm excited for you! It's THIS MONDAY, ya'll, at 7. It's times like these when I wish I lived in Texas. The only other times are when I'm talking to a friend of mine who lives there, and I wish I could actually TALK to her. You know? Speaking of talk, there's a lot of it going around the interwebs about the DOJ lawsuit against Apple for their ebook prices. There's this post by recently the agent-ed Krista Van Dolzer... There's the post she references, written by Nathan Bransford... Most of it, I don't have much time or energy to care about or understand, but the parts of it that I do seem... I don't want to say TRIVIAL, but something LIKE that. The thing is, people are paying for the books, and they're enjoying the books, and at least the authors and publishers are making money for those books. I think if we weren't such a greed-driven society, things like e-book prices wouldn't matter because Apple wouldn't be "overpricing" and the DOJ wouldn't be trying to sue the life out of them for doing so. But we are a greed-driven society and because we HAVE to put a price on everything--- air, water, and yes, even our creative and intellectual pursuits--- we run across issues like this. CONSTANTLY. Maybe you'll be able to make sense out of the argument and come up with your own views on the subject. If so, let me know, 'cause I'm lost.

FINALLY, I'd like to point you in the direction of Novel Novice's Saturday Post which is especially interesting this week as it goes into flipping details about JK ROWLING'S NEW BOOK!!! Sorry. Didn't mean to yell in your face there. But I was just freaking ecstatic when I saw that. Flipping. Freaking. Ecstatic. Click on their Saturday Post Banner to be whisked away immediately! Or, check out this Yahoo article on the "Avengers" movie "secret" that Robert Downey Jr. revealed. Or do both!

Haha! Okay. That's it for me this week. I know it was a mouth-full, but thanks for bearing with me. You know what I should do? Stop talking. Good idea, Desi; let's go home.

Have an awesome weekend and start reading PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, ya'll! In case you didn't know, this upcoming week is going to be EPIC. We'll be talking about one of my favorite books of all time AND, as if in response to the way I've set up my calendar this month, the universe has supplied me with ALL OF THE EPIC THINGS. I swear.

Talk to you tomorrow!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday Finale: CONCEALED

On Wednesday...
I showed you guys a song I wrote that was completely inspired by the themes in CONCEALED that I latched onto the strongest. I'd been searching for THE longest time for a song that could describe Bijou, and although I LOVE Lenka, part of me feels like I had to settle! I grumbled about it for a while--- about the fact that there SHOULD be a song already in existence that WAS Bijou Fitzroy. But when I realized there probably WAS one, and that I wasn't looking in the right places, I decided to write one of my own. I'm so glad you guys enjoyed it!

Then on Thursday...
I explored the interwebs and found four different review-type things concerning CONCEALED. All of them are different (and one of them, I admit, isn't a review at all!), but the general consensus is that, although flawed, CONCEALED is a good read with a future plot-line that has tremendous potential. I can't speak for these other reviewers, but I, personally, am looking forward to seeing where Sang Kromah takes this series. The ideas expressed in this book are larger than life at times and aren't easy to pull off, but I trust this author to tell me a story, and I hope that the next book blows me away.

And now it's Friday! 
And as usual, I have TONS of goodies for you. Earlier this year, Sang did a blog tour for CONCEALED and luckily for us, that means we can see special interviews and material from her any time we want! Check out the link above to see a list of the participating bloggers and, if you're not sure about checking out CONCEALED, maybe something you see there will give you a little push!

Also, Sang has not only created a playlist for this book, but she's also done a "Casting Call" of what she imagines the characters to look like! I personally think both are fabulous, but I want to know what you think. If you read the book, do you agree or disagree with the choices? The soundtrack Bijou put together for herself is pretty flipping amazing, and gah! So many Bijous! I personally picture her differently than all of the options, but wouldn't it be AWESOME if Antonia Thomas played her? Excuse me for a second while I try not to answer my own question.

I've put together my own CONCEALED playlist featuring all the music from this week's Daily Doses AND a few bonus tracks. But I also put together a playlist of Sang's songs so that if ya'll wanted to hear them in a loop, you could. And I couldn't help it... I put two additional song in there to, in honor of the author and based on the conversations we've had on Twitter. Just know that some of the songs on our lists might be missing from the playlists because they're not on the website I'm using. I try to replace those when I can. So all of you who've seen Bijou's playlist, forgive me, in advance, for changing some of the songs. This is why I still suggest you check out Bijou's list and my Daily Doses for a more accurate portrayal of our playlists.

And finally, because I didn't do my usual Tuesday Tweets this week, I'll probably be tweeting about CONCEALED next week as well because GUESS WHAT? We're celebrating PRIDE AND PREJUDICE next week! And guess who's Sang Kromah's role model? YES! Jane flipping Austen! Oh... That's classic, that is. So yeah. We'll be doing THAT.

Take care, Elsewhere, and remember, you can start submitting Mayhem and Wanderings stuff for next week as of now! There won't be anymore Liveshows or YouTube videos until summer because life is getting on my nerves, BUT you can still submit ALL OF THE THINGS to myticketsomewhere@gmail.com if you're interested in fabulous prizes.


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Thursday Thoughts -6-

How ya'll doin'?

Thank you for your kind words regarding my song. Now are you ready to see some of the kind things people are saying about CONCEALED? Let's do this! Click a pic to see the review!

Review from a Wanderer named Maya...

Fun Facts w/ Sang at Krazy Book Lady...

Book Review in which CONCEALED earns a 4.5 out of 5...

Book Review similar to mine!

So have you checked them out yet? Are you even more excited to read CONCEALED now that you've heard differing points of views about it? Are you tired of me asking questions? Okay. I get it. But what I don't get is why you haven't started reading it for yourself, yet.

Tomorrow there will be a finale but no Liveshow. I just can't get my channel to work right and we've been having extremely low attendance anyway so I'll wait until Elsewhere has an audience of at least 20 before I try to conduct those again. Still, you won't want to miss the finale because as always, I'll have a bunch of goodies I didn't get to share with you earlier in the week. AND, I'm opening the comment section for discussion about CONCEALED, TEXAS GOTHIC, and/or SISTERHOOD II, so if you read any of those and are dying to talk, let us do so! Mañana! 

Hasta la bye, bye!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Wednesday Writes -6-

I'm really scatter-brained this week, Elsewhere. I thought I'd put that out there in case the lack of daily postings weren't enough of a tip-off.

But because this has been a bit of a weird week, I'm going to try to make it up to you with a song that I wrote that was totally inspired by CONCEALED. Yeah. That's right. I'm winning you over with the written word. You know you want to be wooed. I apologize, in advance, for the lack of WOWZA but... okay! I'm stalling. Here we go. Are you ready? Here we go. Are you ready?


"Underneath" -Deserae McGlothen

Broken heart, cluttered mind;
Drew you a map, but blurred the line.
Wish I could say that I was fine,
But I don't know anymore.

Start again in another place,
Cover my tracks, forfeit the race.
Don't know my past anyway.
No, I don't know anymore.

And they say I'm made for more
But I see the pitiful,
The crazy, confused me underneath.
And they know my history
But I know that I am me
I'm crazy, confused, see, underneath.

Dropped the baton, doubled back.
Won the crowd's love; lost the match.
I can't recover after that---
I can't keep running, anymore.

Had a nightmare, scared me stiff;
Saw the faces of foe and friend.
If I had known it'd come to this,
Well--- I wouldn't want to anymore.

And they say I'm made for more
But I see the pitiful,
The crazy, confused me underneath.
And they know my history
But I know that I am me.
I'm crazy, confused, see, underneath.
I'm crazy, and I'm just me underneath.
I-I'm scared, see, I need saving underneath.


So? Did you cry of shame and humiliation? I hope not, 'cause I worked really hard on that! You know what else I worked hard on? Catching up on the Daily Doses I missed! You can see Monday's, Tuesday's, and today's! at their respective links, or you could just visit My Ticket Home and browse through any and all of the doses! Also, if you're on Twitter, be sure to give the author @SangWrites a mention! I missed Twitter Tuesday, but we can Tweet any day. Thank the Lord!

Thursday's post might arrive late like this post, but I WILL get it up tomorrow. I've been stressing about classes BUT what I realized was that posting this stuff actually ALLEVIATES that stress. So why would I skip out on taking my medicine? I wouldn't. Or shouldn't. Yeah, you know what I mean.

Anywho, hope ya'll had an awesome day today! Do you have any CONCEALED, TEXAS GOTHIC, or SISTERHOOD inspired Mayhem going on in your life? Leave them in the comments and remember! Start thinking ahead about NEXT week's Wednesday Wanderings. Get a friend and spread the love! It's more fun if you have people causing Mayhem WITH you, I think.

Later loves,

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Book Review: CONCEALED

This is actually going to be a really easy review for me to write because I basically have the words I need to say MEMORIZED. I've read lots of reviews on Sang Kromah's debut novel, and several of them have summed up the novel in a single word like "unique," "magical," or I even saw in one, "brilliant."

Me? I don't think I have a word or phrase that can quite describe it. Reading CONCEALED often made me feel like I was being whispered to, and though there is definitely room for improvement as the series develops, it's those lingering whispers that make me happy to have picked up this book. I like hearing good stories, and I think you do, too.

I think a HUGE factor in what makes or breaks a book for any particular reader is the reading experience itself. If I'm in the right mood for a particular book, at the right time, and it's by the right author, I find myself extremely forgiving, and eerily enthusiastic about any and every thing about it.

Such was the case with CONCEALED. I stumbled across this bijou at a time when I really needed something... I don't know... adventurous. I'd been looking over something for a friend of mine, and I wanted to read something that was already in print, but similar to the concept of the manuscript we were tug-of-warring with... And lo and behold... CONCEALED. And  I was excited! At first. But it was WEIRD because I could've SWORN that, the day before, there was nothing on the market like his story so I was spooked, but ready to roll.

That was the first time I read the book, but the second time was just over a week ago shortly after a package came from TLT Publishing. They'd sent over a copy of the book! I was ecstatic and freaking out about Finals and again--- perfect timing. I devoured this 370 something paged gem in three? Maybe four days if you count the amount of time I spent in the wee hours of the "fourth" morning...

So my experience with this story has always been pleasant and YES. This is why I was able to gloss over a lot of its misdemeanors. Truthfully, it could've gone through another round of edits not for content, but for technicalities. There were passages of dialogue I wish I could've altered. There were paragraphs that, if moved around, might've made a scene flow better and words that were made adverbs when they were meant to be adjectives... there were misprints and nuances that would be glimpsed over by careless readers, but caught by the close reader. And Elsewhere, you know I'm a close reader. I like to get the most out of every story I read--- consume every single character, even down to the punctuation...

And it wasn't clean. It wasn't MESSY, but chances are, some of the mistakes will jump out at you. But, Reader, don't let them deter you. I can say that the world in which the CONCEALED universe is set is actually pretty wonderful. It is reminiscent of the tales of old--- the ones you might imagine hearing around a fire in a tribal village, or over a hot cup of cocoa with an elderly storyteller as your sole source of entertainment on "a dark and stormy night..." It's not clean, but it's not messy. It is clear that Sang Kromah KNOWS what she wants from this series, from her characters, and that she wants to make a connection with her readers through the art that preserves the human race: the telling and exchanging of stories.

I'd like to think of CONCEALED as a gateway for Sang who is an obviously talented writer and a not-so-undercover romantic that thinks BIG. The ideas in this story... the characters she's crafted... the stories that work their way through the text in a skeletal manner, like bones... the relationships, both romantic, and unromantic... They're the things I'll be looking for again in the next installment of this series. But I also have hopes that the next story will be even BETTER both in form, in delivery, and of course, in terms of the stakes. Although wow. This book went from a fight for normalcy to a fight for--- Well, if I said for Narnia, would you believe me? Probably not. So I guess you'll have to read the book for yourself in order to know what for and to read the super cool ending that no... not even I saw coming. You can find it at your local Barnes and Nobles, now, so seriously, what are you waiting for? The sequel? Right... me too.

My hope is that you'll fall in love with Sykesville, Maryland and the mythology Sang has crafted around the Concealed. I recommend this to those of you looking for a mystery with a romantic and paranormal emphasis. Because, at its core, CONCEALED challenges us to ask the question who is Bijou? Who can she trust? And it also asks us to wonder if knowing where you come from can compensate for or give value to knowing who you are. Yes. This book has hidden gems, mon amies! Do yourselves a favor; go dig them out.

Concealed Blurb from Goodreads:

When 16-year-old Bijou Fitzroy and her nomadic grandmother leave New York City to live in a home in the sleepy town of Sykesville, Maryland, Bijou thinks she will finally be able to live a normal life and be like everyone else. Things soon take a turn for the worse when the stories of the mythical creatures from her mythology class begin to take shape in Bijou's life.

Want more Sang Kromah? Click one.

The Sunday Post ~6~

Elsewhere News

  • Last week in Elsewhere, we celebrated Ally Carter's fifth book in the Gallagher Girls Series, OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF TIME. This week, we've switched gears, and have entered the quiet town of Sykesville to talk about Sang Kromah's unique debut CONCEALED. As always, in the review I post later today I'll hit on some of the things I liked and hope will be developed in the next installment, but DUDE. YES. If you're not up when I get around to posting it (around 9 or 10--- sorry! I have training!), you can check it out tomorrow or head down to your local bookstore to see what it's all about for yourself!
  • I forgot to put up the reading schedule yesterday. I'll try to do it tonight so it'll provide at least four days for hardcore reading (hardcore... Yeah, right!). 
  • Don't forget that there is still time to enter the Wednesday Wanderings contest and the Monday Mayhem contest for this upcoming week. Check out the April Calendar for ideas to win this week's Prize Pack.
Reviews for Last Week's New Releases

So last week, this happened last week...
And I forgot to tell you that TAKE A BOW by Elizabeth Eulberg came out on the first, and this YA thriller called I HUNT KILLERS has also hit the shelves.
So now that you know all of that, here are the reviews I've seen on all of the things for...

I HUNT KILLERS by Barry Lyga

*TAKE A BOW by Elizabeth Eulberg
1. A bunch of goodies on Novel Novice as it's currently their featured book.
2. An author interview with a Elizabeth Eulberg and book review on Mundie Moms.

FEAR by Michael Grant

BLACK HEART by Holly Black
1. A review found through Shelf Awareness.
2. Another review from Mundie Moms.
3. A review from Reading Teen.

PURE by Jennifer L'Armentrout
1. Character interview on its Mundie Moms blog tour stop. (Click to see even more goodies!)

*GRAVE MERCY by Robin LaFevers
1. Another review via Shelf Awareness.
2. Another review from Reading Teen.

*NOTE: The asterisk indicates I've already scheduled time for that book on Elsewhere. Get a head start! 

New Releases April 9th- April 15th
*All synopses are from Goodreads

The Book of Blood and ShadowApril 10th: THE BOOK OF BLOOD AND SHADOW by Robin Wasserman (as of now, a standalone.)

When the night began, Nora had two best friends and a boyfriend she adored. When it ended, she had nothing but blood on her hands. Chris was dead. Adriane couldn't speak. And Max, Nora's sweet, smart, soft-spoken Prince Charming, was gone. He was also-according to the police, according to her parents, according to everyone-a murderer. 

Desperate to prove his innocence, Nora's determined to follow the trail of blood, no matter where it leads. But Chris's murder is just one piece in a puzzle that spans continents and centuries. Solving it may be the only way she can save her own life.

Kill Me Softly*April 10th: KILL ME SOFTLY by Sarah Cross (I believe it's a standalone and yes, we'll be reading it.)

Mirabelle’s past is shrouded in secrecy, from her parents’ tragic deaths to her guardians’ half-truths about why she can’t return to her birthplace, Beau Rivage. Desperate to see the town, Mira runs away a week before her sixteenth birthday—and discovers a world she never could have imagined.

In Beau Rivage, nothing is what it seems—the strangely pale girl with a morbid interest in apples, the obnoxious playboy who’s a beast to everyone he meets, and the chivalrous guy who has a thing for damsels in distress. Here, fairy tales come to life, curses are awakened, and ancient stories are played out again and again. But fairy tales aren’t pretty things, and they don’t always end in happily ever after. Mira has a role to play, a fairy tale destiny to embrace or resist. As she struggles to take control of her fate, Mira is drawn into the lives of two brothers with fairy tale curses of their own . . . brothers who share a dark secret. And she’ll find that love, just like fairy tales, can have sharp edges and hidden thorns.

BellesApril 10th: BELLES by Jen Calonita (Standalone? I think?)

Fifteen-year-old Isabelle Scott loves her life by the boardwalk on the supposed wrong side of the tracks in North Carolina. But when tragedy strikes, a social worker sends her to live with a long-lost uncle and his preppy privileged family. Isabelle is taken away from everything she's ever known, and, unfortunately, inserting her into the glamorous lifestyle of Emerald Cove doesn't go so well. Her cousin Mirabelle Monroe isn't thrilled to share her life with an outsider, and, in addition to dealing with all the rumors and backstabbing that lurk beneath their classmates' Southern charm, a secret is unfolding that will change both girls' lives forever.

Lexapros and Cons*April 10th: LEXAPROS AND CONS by Aaron Karo (looks like a standalone and sound really cute. I think we should read it.) 

Chuck Taylor’s OCD has rendered him a high school outcast. His endless routines and habitual hand washing threaten to scare away both his closest friend and the amazing new girl in town. Sure he happens to share the name of the icon behind the coolest sneakers in the world, but even Chuck knows his bizarre system of wearing different color “Cons” depending on his mood is completely crazy. 

In this hilariously candid debut novel from comedian Aaron Karo—who grew up with a few obsessions and compulsions of his own—very bad things are going to happen to Chuck. But maybe that’s a good thing. Because with graduation looming, Chuck finds himself with one last chance to face his inner demons, defend his best friend, and win over the girl of his dreams. No matter what happens, though, he’ll have to get his hands dirty.

Dear George Clooney: Please Marry My MomApril 10th: DEAR GEORGE CLOONEY, PLEASE MARRY MY MOM by Susin Nielsen (standalone) 

Violet's TV-director dad has traded a job in Vancouver for one in Los Angeles, their run-down house for a sleek ranch-style home complete with a pool, and, worst of all, Violet's mother for a trophy wife, a blonde actress named Jennica. Violet's younger sister reacts by bed-wetting, and her mother ping-pongs from one loser to another, searching for love. As for Violet, she gets angry in ways that are by turns infuriating, shocking, and hilarious.

When her mother takes up with the unfortunately named Dudley Wiener, Violet and her friend Phoebe decide that they need to take control. If Violet's mom can't pick a decent man herself, they will help her snag George Clooney. In Dear George Clooney, Please Marry My Mom, Susin Nielsen has created a truly original protagonist in Violet and a brilliant new novel that will delight readers into rooting for her, even when she's at her worst.

Rotters by Daniel Kraus
Viola in the Spotlight by Adriana Trigiani 
The Anti-Prom by Abby McDonald
Chime by Franny Billingsley

In Theaters April 9th- April 15th

The Cabin in the Woods movie posterApril 13th: "The Cabin in the Woods" 
Director: Drew Goddard
MPAA Rating: R
Going to see it?: No. Just... no. Not only do I see absolutely no plot in the trailer, but I also cannot stomach horror. I don't care HOW CUTE the guys are!


Five friends go for a break at a remote cabin in the woods, where they get more than they bargained for. Together, they must discover the truth behind the cabin in the woods. If you think you know this story, think again. From fan favorites Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard comes 'The Cabin in the Woods,' a mind blowing horror film that turns the genre inside out.

The Three Stooges movie posterApril 13th: "The Three Stooges"
MPAA Rating: PG
Going to see it?: Probably not right away. Maybe on DVD or when it goes to the cheaper theater down the street because next week has a bunch of films I'm down for.

While trying to save their childhood orphanage, Moe, Larry, and Curly inadvertently stumble into a murder plot and wind up starring in a reality TV show. Peter and Bobby Farrelly finally get around to doing their take on the Three Stooges with this 20th Century Fox production. From a script they penned with Mike Cerrone (Me, Myself & Irene), the brothers' comedic take on the trio will not be a iopic, but rather a sampling of new slapstick adventures set in the present day.

Lockout movie poster

April 13th: "Lockout"
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Going to see it?: When I first saw the trailer, I thought no, but now... maybe?


Set in the near future, Lockout follows a falsely convicted ex- government agent (Guy Pearce), whose one chance at obtaining freedom lies in the dangerous mission of rescuing the President's daughter (Maggie Grace) from rioting convicts at an outer space maximum security prison.

Blue Like Jazz movie posterApril 13th: "Blue Like Jazz"
Director: Steve Taylor
MPAA Rating: Not Yet Rated
Going to see it?: No, but Claire Holt (aka EMMA from H2O: Just Add Water) is in it and that's the only reason I'm even mentioning this one to you guys 'cause it looks... weird...

Description: In 'Blue Like Jazz,' Don (Marshall Allman), a pious nineteen-year-old sophomore at a Texas junior college, impulsively decides to escape his evangelical upbringing for life in the Pacific Northwest at one of the most progressive campuses in America, Reed College in Portland. Upon arrival, Reed's surroundings and eccentric student body proves to be far different than he could possibly imagine from the environment from which he came, forcing him to embark on a journey of self-discovery to understand who he is and what he truly believes.

"Woman Thou Art Loosed: On the 7th Day" by Director Neema Barnette
"Monsieur Lazhar" by Director Philippe Falardeau
"Here" by Director Braden King
"L!fe Happens" by Director Kat Coiro

And that's it for this Sunday! I'll catch you later, Dearies! 


Saturday, April 7, 2012

Saturday Sights ~6~

Hello, Elsewhere! I promise to be brief.

This week and next week I have all day training sessions on Saturdays so if these are posted a little late, you'll know why. But then again, what is late? I figure, if it's up on Saturday, that's right on time. Do you know what I mean? Of course you don't know what I mean, what am I even saying to begin with?!

ChopsticksFIRST, as always, I want to present you with a giveaway opportunity. If you haven't been to your local bookstore in a while, you're missing out because there's a plethora of BEAUTIFUL books that are hitting the shelves. And among them is one called CHOPSTICKS and you're in luck! because there's a giveaway over at Confessions of a Bookaholic for JUST THE THING!

NOW, I must point you in the direction of Mundie Moms' 5 star review that has convinced me to read GRAVE MERCY on Elsewhere! That's right, ya'll. Get ready for May because I've got a bunch of great titles lined up. But there is no rule against getting a head start! GRAVE MERCY is in stores now, and guess what? It sounds GOOD. And if you're coming down off your OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF TIME high, this might be the best news you've heard in days because it's about NUN ASSASSINS (okay, not really, but KINDA). Check it out, yo!

FINALLY (see, I told you! Brief!) for those of you who are HA-UGE fans of Veronica Roth's DIVERGENT, have I got news for you. There's this really cool site called Divergent Nation that's gearing people up for the May 1st release of its sequel: INSURGENT. If any of you are #TeamDauntless, you should head over there and check out some of the blogs that are supporting this faction. Can you believe the release is less than a month away? I can't and I'm not even part of the fan-base, yet! But I will be. Soon. Berry, berry soon. I hope. :)

And that's it for this Saturday! What were some of the awesome sights YOU'VE seen this week? Don't forget that this upcoming week we'll be celebrating Sang Kromah's very cool debut CONCEALED and you are MORE THAN ENCOURAGED to participate in the celebration! You can start submitting your Wednesday Wanderings to myticketsomewhere@gmail.com from now all the way through Tuesday, and you should start thinking about creative ways to spread the word! Also, if you don't think CONCEALED is going to be your kinda story (which *ahem!* is going to be nearly impossible since it's pretty much "everybody's" kind of book), you can still hang with us by reading either TEXAS GOTHIC or THE SECOND SUMMER OF THE SISTERHOOD.

Now seriously. That's it. Have a wonderful weekend, Everyone, and get your geek on!


Friday, April 6, 2012


On Monday...
We caused some Mayhem by dropping GG5 inspired postcards in the bags and hoods of unsuspecting targets. At least I did. But you guys also got to enjoy a non-spoiler vlog review of the book AND I linked you up with a BUNCH of Gallagher related nonsense to hold you over until the next book hits the shelves.

On Tuesday...
I recruited ya'll to help me dazzle Twitter with our talk of OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF TIME, but it turned out to be one of those days when I talked to myself... again. It was okay, though, because I ended up being a bundle of nerves about my first day of classes and life just wasn't going so well. Thank GOD for that awesome contest by Marley Gibson. I mean, that was just the thing I needed to lift my spirits. Did you enter? I hope so because it was only for a limited time!

On Wednesday...
I showed you my pair of Traveling Pants. I don't get out much as you can tell from the illustration, but I know you guys do and guess what? You can make your OWN pair of Traveling Pants and WIN PRIZES for it! WHA?!?!?! Next Wednesday, I'd like to show some of your bookish spirit. Send entries over, yo, and get ideas from this month's calendar!

On Thursday...
I introduced you to Nicole who's just fabbity fab with knobs on. She wrote a review for OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF TIME and guess what? She's like you and me! A regular girl who just loves telling people about the awesome books she reads. I adored her review and think you should click on this screenshot RIGHT NOW so that you can read it. It was nowhere near as nitpicky as my review. I think, if you're wondering what your reaction would've been like had you NOT read my review, you should check out Nicole's immediately.

And now it's Friday!
And I have a bunch more yum yums for you on top of all the stuff we've already done! Oh yeah.... You didn't think I forgot about Holly Black's WHITE CAT, did you? Well I didn't and thankfully, neither did Novel Novice! In celebration of the release of BLACK HEART this week, these bloggers have been posting the coolest things regarding the Curseworkers world like:

1. All of the book trailers!
2. A quiz so you can determine what kind of worker you are!
3. And my favorite--- a writing contest where you can enter to win the entire set of Curseworkers books! And guess when this contest ends? The 30th of April! So you have the entire month to get to work. Seriously... can we just lift our hands in thanks and exclaim a whooping "Thank you Novel Novice!"?

Also, I've compiled a super duper OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF TIME Playlist from the music featured on the Daily Doses over at Home this week!

AND don't forget there's a liveshow tonight at 5 PM PST where we'll be talking about all of the books featured this week--- OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF TIME especially because yes! I have a lot to say!

Hope to see you there. Have a fabulous weekend and I hope your Passover and Easter holidays are truly... fabulous! Haha! I'm running out of words.

Lots of love,

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Thursday Thoughts -5-

Hey Guys!

So it's been a while since I've had thoughts from you guys, but I know that OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF TIME was one of those books WE ALL were looking forward to reading and it was one of those we all HAD to write reviews about. You all read my review already so I'm not going to blah about that. Instead, I want to point you toward the fabulous review done by Nicole because she wrote it, I think, THE DAY the book came out and made me even more anxious to get the book for myself.

Click the pic to see her full review!

BASICALLY, I love Nicole. I loved her review. I MUST talk to her about OSOT at some point in the near future. But you? You should go talk to her now so that SHE can convince you to read it since (I admit it!) I haven't been doing the best job of it, myself.

Also, don't forget there's a chat tomorrow at 5 PM PST. Seriously. Tomorrow. I swear. Pinkies crossed or whatever you do with them. Be there and talk with me! I have some questions for those of you who did read the book. I actually want to talk about it so warning to those of you who come just to keep me company! There might be some spoilers. Sorry in advance because I can't control the actual chatroom.

Love ya'll bunches and yo! Go read Nicole's review!!!!

(Gah! I know! SO GHETTO!!!!)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Wednesday Writes -5-

Hello, Elsewhere!

I know I'm late. But it's still Wednesday and to celebrate this week's books, I chose to make my own pair of traveling pants. I used Paint so forgive the sloppiness. But yeah! Here are five things I've done or am proud of or want to do. I hope you make your own pair and remember! You can enter next week's Wednesday Wanderings by using your creativity to respond to any of the books we're reading then. Why not get a head start? Visit the April Calendar for a few ideas!

Ciao Bellas! 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Tuesday in Tweets -5-


"Dancing with myself!..." 


Hey Everyone! It's Tuesday!

I have my classes up the wazzoo on Tuesdays which means two things:

1. I'm going to miss Jackson Pearce's Liveshow EVERY FREAKING WEEK!
2. I won't be able to Tweet ALL DAY--- only when I return from class at yeah. 7:15 in the evening.

That means that you all have to step it up for me! Be sure to Tweet the author of the week, share your thoughts, talk to each other, and use the hashtag #teamelsewhere as often as you can so I can find those Tweets later on. Remember, we're talking about OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF TIME by Ally Carter, WHITE CAT by Holly Black, and THE SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING PANTS by Ann Brashares. If you read any of these books, get your Tweeples talking! You can also mention me, @sommertales, in your Tweets if you have questions or insightful thoughts on any of the books and I'll reply as soon as I can. Because I love you!

Take care, all, and take with ye this awesome contest by Marley Gibson in celebration of her book RADIATE which releases this week (check out the Sunday Post to see other new releases this week!).

I'll be back later!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Monday Mayhem -5- The Mayhem Resumes

Out of Sight, Out of Time (Gallagher Girls #5)

Out of Sight, Out of Time (Gallagher Girls, #5)

Good day, Elsewhere! I hope we're finding you well on this glorious Monday.

The Mayhem Video is up and waiting for your chipper video responses. If you don't know what the Mayhem Challenge is this week, then great! You can watch it to find out! Or you can check out the April Calendar. It contains a cornucopia of wealth and knowledge and I hope you guys use the calendars often to keep yourselves in the know.

Speaking of being in the know... Did you know that Ally Carter has an official Tumblr, now? Every Friday, her assistant Molly puts up fan art that can be emailed to allycartercontest@gmail.com and there's a chance you can see yours featured there if you just submit! And guess what? The Wednesday Wanderers Challenge offers up a prize for just the thing. So if you create some fan art for this book, WHITE CAT, or SISTERHOOD I by midnight PST tomorrow, then you can send it to myticketsomewhere@gmail.com as well. Isn't that great?! It is. I know! For ideas and stuff, check out the April Calendar. What did I tell you? WEALTH OF KNOWLEDGE.

You know what else is good to know? What Liz, Bex, Zach, and Macey were really doing all that time that Cammie was away. And now you can actually find out! Enroll at Gallagher Academy and enjoy exclusive content for OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF TIME! And guess what? Ally loved the idea so much that it's likely she'll be releasing short stories before the release of the next installment. And even though that's a while away, a true Gallagher Girl knows how to wait. :)

In other news, OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF TIME was a bestseller on the NY Times Bestselling Series List. Congrats, Ally! But GG5 isn't the only book we're celebrating by a NY Times Bestselling Author. Holly Black, the author of WHITE CAT has had her fair share of awards and achievements. It might seem strange at first, but she was one of the authors hard at work on The Spiderwick Chronicles Series and it's spin-off, Beyond the Spiderwick Chronicles. And Ann Brashares can also boast of being a NY Times Bestselling Author. THE SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING PANTS sat at #1 on the list!

So as you can see, I don't recommend bad books, ya'll. Although I don't always love them wholeheartedly, every single book we read here is good! And has good merits! They're not always GREAT for everyone, but I do believe that all of them are meant to be great for SOMEONE. So start spreading the word, yo! Invite people to Elsewhere and more importantly, START HANDING THEM BOOKS!

Take with ye a lovely review of OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF TIME.

Have an awesome week, ya'll!

Read With Me! Week of April 2nd

Want to read with Elsewhere but not sure how or when to? Try this!

-Monday: Chapters 1-11 (pages 1-80)
-Tuesday: Chapters 12-22 (pages 81-155)
-Wednesday: Chapters 23-33 (pages 156-232)
-Thursday: Chapters 34-42 (pages 233- end)

*I don't have the book on-hand but use a guide similar to the one for OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF TIME. You need to do an average of 75 pages a day (not less! If you stop in the middle of a section, try to go over that unless the section is ridiculously long) in order to finish by Thursday. But remember! You have until Friday at 5 PM PST to finish so don't hurt yourself! Read at your own pace!

-Monday: Chapters 1-5 (pages 1-73)
-Tuesday: Chapters 6-10 (pages 74-162)
-Wednesday: Chapters 11-14 (pages 163-241)
-Thursday: Chapters 15-19 (pages 242-end)

*NOTE: If you have an edition other than the one linked to above, your page numbers might not be the same. That's why I included the chapters as well. Those remain constant, thank God!

If you would like to suggest reading material for Elsewhere, scroll down to the last section of this post called "RE: Choosing what to read..." 

And here are some general tips and my advice:

RE: The Book of the Week...
I personally read the Book of the Week the weekend before we celebrate it. That way, I can write my review on Sunday and talk about it with everyone all throughout that week. Sometimes, if I'm really excited for a story (like CONCEALED) I read it ahead. But I realize that the Book of the Week might not be for everyone, so now we have challenge books and for those, I wait until the actual week we're talking about them.

RE: The Series Challenge Book...
At the moment, the series challenge books have been for books in a series I've already read and am waiting to read the next installment for. During March, I wanted to re-read the Gallagher series but didn't have time, and was fortunate enough that we were such a small group no one really read those, either. This month is weird, too, because I WANT to re-read the Sisterhood series but kind of... can't (my sister has the series at home where they belong). Therefore, I don't have much advice on this at the moment. But next month, the series we're reading is one I haven't read yet, so hopefully I'll have more for you, then. Have any of you taken up the series challenge? What's your advice on doing the best you can to keep up with that? Do you have to choose one challenge over the other? Do you choose it because you prefer the series over the books chosen to be our main focus?

RE: The Wanderer's Challenge Book... 
I divide the book into four manageable chunks for Monday through Thursday. That way, I'll be able to discuss it in full at the Friday Livechat.

RE: Choosing which books to read...
Like I said, I know not all the books are going to be for everyone, but I honestly believe that all of the stories are good in some way. So what I suggest is doing your research--- getting a Goodreads account. Look up a few reviews or just read each of the synopses and see which books are better for you. You don't have to read all three to participate in the discussion. Just one will do and this is a chance for you to step out of your comfort zone and read different things in a place where it's safe to express your opinions and thoughts and likes and dislikes. Elsewhere is kind of our little secret right now. So take advantage of that and PLEASE, feel free to suggest reading material for us! Next month, I need suggestions for books that fall under the CONTEMPORARY, "UN"-ROMANCE, and DYSTOPIAN genres. Click on each to see an example of each genre--- an example that I would love to read, actually, upon your recommendations!