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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Heavenly by Jennifer Laurens

BLURB:
  • Pub. Date: August 2009
  • Publisher: Grove Creek Publishing
  • Format: Paperback , 294pp 
copy received from Ms. Laurens as a birthday gift :)

BUY COPY HERE:


I met someone who changed everything. Matthias. My autistic sister's guardian angel. Honest. Inspiring. Funny. Hot. And immortal. That was the problem. What could I do? I did what any other girl would do-I fell in love with him. Zoe's sister darts in front of cars. Her brother's a pothead. Her parents are so overwhelmed; they don't see Zoe lost in her broken life. Zoe escapes the only way she knows how: partying. Matthias, a guardian sent from Heaven, watches over Zoe's autistic sister. After Zoe is convinced he's legit, angel and lost girl come together in a love that changes destiny. But Heaven on Earth can't last forever.

REVIEW:
Zoe's life at home is tough. With an autistic sister in Abria, a stoner brother in Luke and stressed out parents, she is trapped in misery. Her only solution... is to party and meet boys or drown her thoughts in loud music. Zoe love and resent her younger sister. She question why God has to give her to them, she blamed and do not understand why her parents do not want to bring Abria in a specialized facility where they can better take care of her. She was just mad all the time. Yet when her sister ran away and went missing for a few minutes; she was sick with worry. Both times she saw this stranger who found Abria. She was deeply suspicious of him, he was a stranger after all, but everything he comes near her, there is warmth, kindness and understanding. And then he told her that she is Abria's guardian angel.

I thought there it is, Zoe has lost her mind. With all the stress she had, her psyche has finally given up on her. She is hallucinating. But as I read on, there is really a supernatural essence in this book. Soon after meeting Matthias, Zoe begun to change; for the better. But there are consequences. I love how Ms. Laurens wrote the hardships of having an autistic member in a the family and how the family members dealt with so much pain. Not only it shows how truly special  special needs kids are but it also showed me another perfect example of patience and unconditional love. The ending was really good, surprising actually, I think I found my next favorite series.

SIDE THOUGHTS:
I only met one, she is an older sister of my friend; though she lives in their house; she is often left to the care of two house helpers. She loves to play with the fly swatter and throw tantrum like Abria. I see my friend play with her but I also see the frustration and hurt in her eyes every time she does something that would upset the balance of life at home. It is truly hard to understand someone with a different mental capacity as a normal person. Often times you do not know if they are hurt or if they are as frustrated as you are.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Spellbound by Cara Lynn Shultz

BLURB:
  • Pub. Date: June 2011
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Format: Paperback , 352pp
  • Age Range: Young Adult
  • Series: Spellbound Series
eARC from Netgalley for review

BUY YOUR COPY HERE:


What's a girl to do when meeting The One means she's cursed to die a horrible death?
Life hasn't been easy on sixteen-year-old Emma Conner, so a new start in New York may be just the change she needs. But the posh Upper East Side prep school she has to attend? Not so much. Friendly faces are few and far between, except for one that she's irresistibly drawn to—Brendan Salinger, the guy with the rock-star good looks and the richest kid in school, who might just be her very own white knight.
But even when Brendan inexplicably turns cold, Emma can't stop staring. Ever since she laid eyes on him, strange things have been happening. Streetlamps go out wherever she walks, and Emma's been having the oddest dreams: visions of herself in past lives—visions that warn her to stay away from Brendan. Or else.

REVIEW:
Anything that has love and warning signs in the synopsis always gets me. There is something about the forbidden and the dangerous that makes me want to read it. It also helped that the first five chapters seems like a chick lit. (I hate watching chick in movies, but for some reason I love reading about it in books.) I almost forgot that there is a supernatural element in this book, until Emma dreamed that she was in another time with her dead brother Ethan warning her to stay away from HIM.

I was so relieved that this wasn't a sappy read. I like Emma and glad that she new friends at Vince A; since her past years has been a trial. Loosing all the people in her family and having a alcoholic step father who almost killed her, no words can describe how sad that all seems.immediately I know that she'll be a strong character. Brendan on the other was equally likable. Mysterious and seems to have mood swings all the time. Defending her from school's resident d-bag; Anthony yet acting like he doesn't want to be disturbed by her the next day. Seriously, I was beginning to be annoyed and then Angelique, Emma's chem lab partner and witch craft practitioner, gave her a book with the answer to the mysterious item she had with her given by her brother. OH.MY.GOD, I was really surprised with what happened next. Reincarnation, Immortality, Black Magic, tragic love, etc. I already called it, the immortality part at least, yet I was not expecting the other events that came with it and the great price that these lovers have to pay.

Cara Lynn Shultz is a great story teller. Like my favorite authors, her writing will give you so much excitement and emotion. I gasped, sigh and had a little shock with what this book offered. It is a must read for all junkies of YA and supernatural.
CymLowell

Monday, June 27, 2011

Witches of East End by Melissa de La Cruz

BLURB:
  • Pub. Date: June 2011
  • Publisher: Hyperion
  • Format: Hardcover , 288pp 
where I got my copy? Amazon

The three Beauchamp women--Joanna and her daughters Freya and Ingrid--live in North Hampton, out on the tip of Long Island. Their beautiful, mist-shrouded town seems almost stuck in time, and all three women lead seemingly quiet, uneventful existences. But they are harboring a mighty secret--they are powerful witches banned from using their magic. Joanna can resurrect people from the dead and heal the most serious of injuries. Ingrid, her bookish daughter, has the ability to predict the future and weave knots that can solve anything from infertility to infidelity. And finally, there's Freya, the wild child, who has a charm or a potion that can cure most any heartache.


REVIEW:
I do not know what to expect of this novel. The Beauchamp women are bound by the White Council's law not to use their magic for something bad that happen, for what seems like eons of years ago; chapter 15 came and went without any solid explanation, clues are left here and there but still nothing. Then there it is, the Salem witch trials. I was beginning to think it was not as big as the build up. I did like how Ms. De La Cruz introduced her characters. Freya, the wild child; impulsive, energetic and fun. She is my Freya and her troubles with her fiance's brother. Very scandalous and intriguing, personally I would have liked it if she resist, it was a very bad thing to do, but it adds flavor to the book. The way Killian draws in Freya will make you suspicious of the Gardiner brothers. Ingrid, the Librarian who cannot resist to help people and who seems to have a different past. Then there is their mother, Joanna, lonely and feel left out by her two daughters, missing his son and still mad at his husband who did not defend them during the "trial" those years ago. I understood them and liked them. Then people began to disappear right after they basically said, "Screw it, I am done not using my powers."

The way Ms. De La Cruz wrote the book has an old feel to it, the tone and words she choose made me thought that I was reading the novel from the past not modern day North Hampton. If not for the mention of Freya's music choices and mention of other modern stuff, I could get lost thinking it was set in another time. For a witches that had some hardships before, you would think that these women would be subtle in using their magic but no, they were crazy. Freya commercialized her potions disguised as a cocktail drink, and Ingrid accepting "clients" to help women get pregnant, make their husband faithful to them, etc. Joanna showing her young charge; her true identity. It was a very bold move. Aside from that there were also steamy scenes, lots of secrets, laughs, love and suspense. The ending left a huge cliffhanger and the twist offered an excellent shock. It was a very entertaining read, I LOVE IT; a GREAT start for Melissa De La Cruz' adult series. I can't wait to read the next one.

INTERVIEW: Gail Carriger

 Today, here at Peace Love and Reviews, I am interviewing, Gail Carriger, author of the only Steampunk-Paranormal novel, that I read, The Parasol Protectorate Series. 
        What are you currently reading right now? 
    Right now I am reading The World Without Us by Alan Weisman, and various books on Victorian etiquette. Unfortunately, I rarely have time to read fiction these days.

When I go to your website all I see is everything steam punk from the web design to your photos, does this mean, you have everything steampunk in your closet? Home?  
Actually, quite the opposite. I love steampunk and I will dress steampunk for conventions but I'm not certain I could live with it, too fussy. I'm one of those people who could quite happily exist in a room with big windows, white carpets, and bare counter-tops ~ minimalist to an extreme.
Two of my favorite steampunk pieces from my own collection.
  
Are there any of Alexia’s character trait that mimic your own?
Actually, I think Alexia is more like the person I wish I could be. I am afraid I am far less practical and far more silly than she.

 On your Parasol Protectorate series, who is the character that is most complicated to write? 
Madame Lefoux, definitely. I love her but her motives are often in question yet I want the readers to like her, this makes her very complex to write.

If this were to have a movie / tv adaptation who would you like to play the part of Alexia and Lord Maccon?
 I have a guest blog on this subject here: My Book, the Movie

What else do you want your readers to know? Consider here your likes and dislikes, your interests and hobbies, your favorite ways to unwind — whatever comes to mind.
 I'm really organized as a writer. I like outlines and editor guidance and lots of beta readers. I edit myself very strictly, with much red pen action. I think readers often think of us writers as crazy, creative, artistic beasties, but I'm more practical than that. I guess I want people to know that other kinds of writers are out there. Oh, and I play a mean game of pinball.

CONTEST LINK here
 BOOKS IN THE PARASOL PROTECTORATE SERIES:
Soulless
Changeless
Blameless
Heartless
Timeless

Upcoming Sightings (from gailcarriger.com)


Heartless book launch party at Books Inc, Opera Plaza at 7 pm on Friday July 8, 2011 in San Francisco, CA.

Heartless book launch signing at Kepler's Books at 7 pm on Tursday July 14, 2011 in Menlo Park, CA.

Reno, NV for World Con (August 17 ~ 21, 2011). Confirmed! Preliminary schedule: Thu 2 ~ 3 pm Futuristic Fashion & Wearable Art Panel; Thu 7 ~ 8 pm Adventures in Ceramics Archaeology: a Field Report Presentation; & Fri 11 ~ noon Urbane Fantasies vs Urban Fantasy Panel, plus perhaps an autograph session and/or a kaffee (of should we say tea?) klatch.

Guest of Honor at FenCon in Dallas, TX (September 23 ~ 25, 2011)! There is a Facebook page for the event. (Gail's thrilled to do her very first GOH gig.)

Frankfurt Book Exhibition (October 12, 2011) in Frankfurt, Germany. Not yet entirely settled but I should be there with my agent the day before and the first day of the event.

TeslaCon in Madison, WI (November 19 ~ 20, 2011) where she gets to meet George Mann, so exciting.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Book Blogger Hop (2)

Hosted by: Crazy-For Books

“When did you realize reading was your passion and a truly important part of your life?”

I was 8 years old, it was Sweet Valley High and then I upgraded to my sisters' bookshelves and got introduced to Ann Rice, Sidney Sheldon and other authors and titles not suitable for my age.
My parents does not read for fun, to bond with them, I read the newspaper.
When I read it is like I am being catapulted into another dimension. The background noise does not bother me, I won't know what's happening until someone shake me or literally pry the book from my hands.
Even then I would keep a book diary and I would write how I feel about the book and what I dislike about it.
 I can't always travel or go on a exotic vacation or be this person now and be another one the next week. So books in my solution. It takes me everywhere and made me feel, what the characters feel.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Dark Parties by Sara Grant


BLURB:

  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (August 3, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • Release date: August 02, 2011
eARC for review from Netgalley.

PRE-ORDER YOUR COPY HERE:


Sixteen-year-old Neva has been trapped since birth. She was born and raised under the Protectosphere, in an isolated nation ruled by fear, lies, and xenophobia. A shield "protects" them from the outside world, but also locks the citizens inside. But there's nothing left on the outside, ever since the world collapsed from violent warfare. Or so the government says...

Neva and her best friend Sanna believe the government is lying and stage a "dark party" to recruit members for their underground rebellion. But as Neva begins to uncover the truth, she realizes she must question everything she's ever known, including the people she loves the most.



Book Trailer: NEVA by Sara Grant (Dark Parties) from Sara Grant on Vimeo. With English subtitles.

REVIEW:
Another dystopain novel to be released this August.Neva and her best friend Sanna has organized a Dark Party, or simply put a group of rebels, trying to get the word out that the Protectosphere's government is a bunch of liars. They say that beyond their electric fence is nothingness and toxins that can kill anyone, there are even carcasses of animals surrounding it to enunciate the dangers. They alter history and delete names of people who made a difference. They even control the news!

Neva have this pink journal from her grandmother who disappeared without a trace many years ago. She is not the only one missing, Neva compiled a list of missing people, which posed as a danger to her and her family. Sanna and Neva decided to take action and made their first sign or protest. But the government altered it and used it for their own benefit, soon after, Neva started working in her father's office which had proven to be more dangerous because now she is in the inside and her rebellious and curious nature was just unleashed. There is a boy in the story, something to be always expected even in the darkest of times The romance part is mostly what gives hope for the dystopian characters because now they have more to live for. The problem is this boy is forbidden not because of government laws but of girl code. Plus she kind of have a boyfriend in Ethan, even if the status is complicated. It kind of made me not like Neva a little bit but I see why and how she is drawn to him. Plus Neva is just headstrong and brave that I squased that little defect in her emotions.

The Dark Parties is full of twist, suspense, and mystery. It is hard to guess what is going to happen next. I find it hard to stop reading, what got me is the anticipation, I was too curious to find out what Neva will do to uncover the truth.

Pottermore announced



What do you guys think?

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Leonard Hilley II

ABOUT:
Leonard D. Hilley II is a native of Ohio.  Born in Middletown in 1966, his family moved to Alabama when he was six months old.  At the age of three he was reading books.  By age eleven he wrote his first novel.

Leonard spent most of his youth exploring the bluffs, meadows, and woods in the Pleasant Hill community near Fort Payne, Alabama.  When he was ten years old, he viewed Dr. McKabe's insect collection and immediately his love for biology was birthed.  He collected and reared butterflies and moths for many years.

Leonard currently lives in the mountains of Kentucky with his wife and two children where he is busily working on more novels, a screenplay, and a children's picture book.


How did you came up with Predators of Darkness?  

Simply put: this was a gift from my muse.
I didn't have any set idea for this novel, no characters, plot, etc.  Just one night before I went to bed, the opening sentence came to me.
"Dropping a cat from the top of a ten story office building was not the best way to remain hidden, but it was necessary."
It was so intriguing I had to write it down.  I never expected it to be a series, either.  In fact, I thought it was one book.  A few months after I finished it, the characters decided to converse again, and the next thing I knew, I had book two.

What are your inspiration for the creatures written in the book? 

Morton, the cat, is a class act in himself.  He is perhaps the toughest character to write.  He only visits when he chooses to, and when he does, believe me, I take notes.  He's an even bigger character in book 2: Beyond the Darkness.

Do you relate more with Lucas or Daniel?  

Daniel.

In what characteristic?  

Like him, I don't like the pressure of being the one in charge of major decisions, but when it's necessary I'll do the best I can with what I have.

How many books are you planning to write for this series?  

I'm currently working on the fourth book in the series.  I can foresee a fifth, but after that will strictly depend on whether the characters still have unfinished business to attend to.

What can we expect on the coming books?  

Book 4 deals a lot more with genetic alterations but will be dark and  intense action.

Are you a fan of Sci-Fi, Horror, Post-apocalyptic and the likes? Which one is your favorite movie?  Book?

Yes. I love Underworld simply because of the darkness to it and it's one of the best directed movies I've seen. Book?  This would be a tie between Koontz's Watchers and Mr. Murder.

ANNOUNCEMENTS:
Currently Predators of Darkness: Aftermath is only available via Kindle/Nook/eReaders (@$2.99!), but  this will be available in paperback next week.

Note to readers from L. Hilley II: 
Although each book in the series can stand alone, I'll keep Predators of Darkness: Aftermath at $2.99 because the background information in that novel is essential.

Where to find Leonard Hilley II: Facebook PageBlogger, GoodReads, Twitter

 WORKS:



 ***GIVEAWAY** 
win 1 of the 3 eBook copy of Predators of Darkness: Aftermath
(PDF, .mobi, or ePUB)
Anybody can join, following is not required but it will be greatly appreciated.
Please leave your e-mail address on the comment box.
EXTRA ENTRIES: (optional)
+2 if you are a follower
+2 leave a comment for Leonard Hilley II
+2 leave a comment on review for Predators of Darkness: Aftermath
+2 Tweet about this interview/giveaway.

International giveaway, ends 07/01

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Predators of Darkness: Aftermath by Leonard Hilley II

BLURB:

•Pub. Date: May 2011
•Publisher: Leonard Hilley II, via Smashwords
•Sold By: SMASHWORDS - EBKS

PDF copy provided for review 

YOU CAN DOWNLOAD E-BOOK HERE:

The desolate streets of downtown Pittsburgh in 2073 are a reminder of the missile attack that forever changed the lives of the surviving scientists and students hidden in the fallout shelter of Helmsby's Genetic Research Center. Believing themselves to be the only survivors, they station themselves inside the center until food supplies near depletion. Thinking the fallout has lessened, they emerge three years later to discover strange creatures patrolling the streets in search of human flesh and blood. The creatures possess the ability to shift their genomes and alter their appearances by realigning their genetic sequences. Daniel Hutchinson, their leader, teams with Lucas Ridale and together they set out to scavenge the area for food and supplies with the hope to find other survivors. But Daniel's most recent journey uncovers mysteries more frightening than the shifters. He discovers the tip of Pittsburgh has been fenced off from the rest of the area. Low-flying helicopters observe the streets, making him ponder the question: Were the shifters released as simply part of a military experiment with humans being their prey?

PREVIEW:
Pittsburg, PA 2073 was the location and the year of the story. Per synopsis above, the missile attack somewhat created creatures that can shift and no they are not that ones we read in our paranormal novels. They do not turn into Jacob nor other hunky man that a heroine can fall in love with. A cute cat that can turn into a monster that uses their talons and  teeth to rip you apart. These creatures are like those mutated monsters made by the Umbrella Corporation, vicious and predatory. Another problem Daniel, his best friend, Lucas and the other survivors face; these shifters actually have an intellect that seems to evolve, similar to the human brain. They ambush people and set up a trap for them. Scary right?

This book is a breed between science fiction and post-apocalyptic genre. Mutated creatures, clones, a struggle for epic survival, a bio-genetics engineering company called TranGen Corp., nuclear holocaust and more. I am really surprised on what this book offered. The world in chaos portrayed was so depressing yet it is filled with action, suspense and mystery. You see and feel what the characters are going through. And you even see what's inside the mind of some creatures. Truly horrifying and unique. I enjoyed every page and would recommend it to all lovers of horror, sci-fi and mystery. For mature readers only.

Waiting on Wednesday (3)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Breaking the Spine.
that spotlights upcoming releases that we are eagerly anticipating! Want to participate? Post your own WOW entry on your blog, and leave your link at Breaking the Spine. Here's my pick for this week.....

TITLE: Au Revoir, crazy European Chick
AUTHOR: Joe Schreiber
RELEASE DATE: October 25, 2011 





Ferris Bueller meets La Femme Nikita in this funny, action-packed young adult novel.

It’s prom night—and Perry just wants to stick to his own plan and finally play a muchanticipated
gig with his band in the Big Apple. But when his mother makes him take Gobija Zaksauskas—their quiet, geeky Lithuanian exchange student—to the prom, he never expects that his ordinary high school guy life will soon turn on its head. Perry finds that Gobi is on a mission, and Perry has no other choice but to go along for a reckless ride through Manhattan’s concrete grid with a trained assassin in Dad’s red Jag.
Infused with capers, car chases, heists, hits, henchmen, and even a bear fight, this story mixes romance, comedy, and tragedy in a true teen coming-of-age adventure—and it’s not over until it’s “au revoir.”

THOUGHTS:
I saw this in one of the WoW participants last week, and I thought to myself... I got to spread the news.
The title is awesome, I was drawn to it, and then I read the synopsis, and it says... Nikita (I love the show), Big Apple, trained assassin, mission, heist, car cashes, the whole shebang that says this is an espionage book, which is my actual spelling of fun and adventure. I am dying to get my hands on this. Please please please let me know if there is a contest or if there is an eARC on Netgalley.


What's your "waiting on" pick this week?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Teaser Tuesday (3)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! 
Predators of Darkness: Aftermath
Leonard Hilley II
MY TEASER:
Lucas ran his fingers through his hair and asked. “How is Maria?”
“That‟s right. You don‟t know.”
“What?”
“Randy‟s dead. He was killed about an hour ago.”
“How?”
“A flying shifter.”
“Oh, shit. It had wings? Did you see it?”
“Yes.”
Lucas frowned. “I thought Dr. Helmsby said . . .”
Daniel nodded. “He didn‟t think they‟d evolve with wings for decades.”
“Damn.”

Giveaway: Pretty Little Liars Season 1 DVD

***CONTEST CLOSED***
In lieu of the second season, I am giving away the season 1 DVD Box Set of  
Pretty Little Liars season 1.


ABOUT THE SHOW:
When their best friend Alison mysteriously vanishes, four girls believe their secrets are safe forever. But when they begin to receive threatening messages from someone named "A," the truth may be only one text away. Filled with mystery, scandal, intrigue and nail-biting suspense, Pretty Little Liars is based on the best-selling book series for young adults from Alloy. Set one year after the disappearance of Alison, the manipulative and vindictive queen bee, the one-hour drama revolves around four 16-year-old girlfriends --Aria, Hanna, Spencer and Emily -- who have lost touch with one another until each begins to receive mysterious messages suggesting that Alison is watching them and knows their most private details they are desperate to keep hidden. Suddenly, living in their picturesque suburban community is far from perfect as secrets, lies and betrayals threaten everything they hold dear. Even after Alison's body is discovered, the messages don't stop....

SPECIAL FEATURES:

  • "Pretty Little Liars: Two Truths and a Lie " - Discover some fun facts and fictional fallacies about the cast.
  • "It All Started with a Little Lie: Making Pretty Little Liars " - Discover how the pages and characters of Sara Shepard’s novel became this can’t miss TV series.
  • "Little Secrets from the Set " - Catch up with the cast and crew of summer’s hottest show as they bring us several juicy behind-the-scenes secrets from the Pretty Little Liars set.

HOW TO ENTER:
  • Fill out the form
  • You must be a follower.
  • Let us know your favorite Liar and why. ---> leave this on the comment box
  • if you haven't seen this show, let us know why you want it.
  • Additional Entry: +2 Tweet about this contest (click icon located at the bottom of the post.)
  • US winners only.
  • Must be 18 & over to join.
  • Contest ends: 07/12/11

      Monday, June 20, 2011

      Movie: Red Riding Hood

      SYNOPSIS:
      • Genre: Romance, Suspense/Horror, Adaptation
      • Running time: 1 hr. 40 mins.
      • Theater Release: 03/11/11
      • Rating: PG-13
      • Director: Catherine Hardwicke

      For decades, the people of the village of Daggerhorn have maintained an uneasy truce with the werewolf, who prowls at every full moon, by offering the beast a monthly animal sacrifice to quench its appetite. But under a blood red moon, the wolf changes the stakes by taking the life of one of their own.

      REVIEW:
      I missed this on theater and I kind of regret it. I bet the big screen experience would have been much more rewarding but nonetheless, the DVD experience is quite good. I like it when they get the idea of a fairy tale and turn it into a very dark adult version. I love what they've done with the story. The big bad wolf is now a big bad shifter. It is smaller than the Twilight pack but equally stronger. Red, or Valerie (Amanda Seyfried), here in the movie, has two admirers. Her best friend and love Peter (Shiloh Fernandez) and a man she's betrothed, Henry (Max Irons), equally hot and have something to offer. It seems all fine and dandy, as a love triangle should be until Valerie's older sister got killed by the wolf. Your eminence, Solomon (Gary Oldman) came to the rescue, but really he was just an old man blinded by his own revenge. I was truly fascinated. I could have gone with a happy ending, but what the hell, I also like how the story ended. The twist was good as the people, including Valerie, tries to figure out who amongst them is the wolf. A lot of people think the movie sucks, too bad for them. This one worked for me well.

      The soundtrack was excellent! The musical score was fitting to all the scenes, eerie and creepy. My favorite track is, Fever Ray - The Wolf, I could not get enough of it.

      Q&A Transcipt: Troian Bellisario of Pretty Little Liars

      Troian Bellisario, plays Spencer Hasting on ABC Family's Pretty Little Liars 
      airing on Tuesdays @ 8/7c

      Peace Love & Reviews: I have a question submitted on Facebook by a fan.  They wanted to know if you    knew who A is or is that being kept secret from the cast by the producers?
       Torian Bellisario       Oh, my gosh, I feel like I could answer this question a million times and nobody would ever believe me.  They will not tell us who it is.  To be honest I don’t even think they know who it is.  I don’t mean that they don’t have a few different choices, but every time I speak to them they are keeping their options as open as possible.  I think that—maybe Marlene, our executive producer and our creator of the show has a hard fast choice and she’s now working towards that, but I remember there was a time in the writer’s room where they told me she has six different options for people that could be A.  

      Other Questions Asked in Q&A


      I hope you all are getting a lot of good use out of that pink golf cart.
      T. Bellisario              Yes, I actually had no idea about it.  It was just a very funny occurrence when they told me that we had got the Twitter followers and we’d all done it.  I really had no idea what they were talking about so I just kind of showed up to set one day and this beautiful pink golf cart and everybody was really, really excited so I got really excited.  It was like a nice little surprise.

      We’ve certainly seen a really great evolution for Spencer’s character since Season One.  Not even just with her family, but of course through relationships with her friends, the Liars, and of course with Toby as well.  I was wondering if you can talk a little bit about the evolution of Spencer through those three aspects?
       T. Bellisario              It’s funny, it’s actually kind of difficult for me to speak about her evolution just because I’m steeped in it and I just feel like there is so much more that she can do.  I think Spencer’s biggest evolution has been being able to let go in terms of she’s learned through getting her friends back how to keep friends and how to be supportive.  I think Spencer because of the family that she grew up with has a very strong and black and white sense of what is right and what is wrong and she sometimes thinks that she can control other people.
                                           She’s learned to kind of just be supportive of her friends and not let that get in the way of their friendship.  I still think she has a long way to go with that in terms of being judgmental of other people and I think her biggest lesson in that was her relationship with Toby.  She really ran the gamut as far as thinking that he was the one who killed Alison; he was the one who might be involved with A, and he was their mortal enemy and now there is nobody she holds closer than her friends and Toby.

      Last episode we found out that Ian might still be alive.  How does that change the dynamic between Spencer and Melissa?
       T. Bellisario              Well, it’s funny because I totally understand where Melissa is coming from.  This is the father of her child.  This is the man that she saw herself being connected to for the rest of her life.  To hear the possibility that he could have killed somebody in the past and attempted to kill her sister—there is almost a safety and finality in his being dead.
                                           If he is alive—if she does, and he comes back and she now has the opportunity to choose between believing me and absolving him and choosing to go with him or believing me and getting away from him or you know destroy her relationship with her sister and leaving with a murderer.  Her allegiance is to this man.  It just makes things a lot more complicated than if he were to be dead and then we would just be dealing with Melissa mourning him.  It only makes things more twisted, as all things in Rosewood end up being.
      Do you think that Spencer tries to put herself away from the girls or tries to hide who she is a little?
       T. Bellisario              I don’t know, I guess I feel like their relationship is a myriad of different things.  Of course, when you consider it from a bunch of different aspects, I think when you consider Spencer’s coolness factor in the group she’s probably a bit of a pariah.  As I’m coming to realize throughout the script, Spencer is really the sort of Nancy Drew of the group.
                                           She’s the one who’s always got a dedication to and she kind of plays that by default especially because of the things that are going on in her family with Melissa and Ian, but there is a lot of—with Aria and her relationship with her family, the family’s problems that are going on, but also her relationship with Ezra.  Hanna is struggling with relationship issues and finding herself within the relationship with Caleb, and also the relationships with her mother and father.  It’s the same thing with Emily.
                                           Spencer definitely, I think, has these familial issues that there is something that she’s not willing to let go of in regard to Alison’s death.  I think Spencer, because she’s a control freak, she’s the one who takes A the most harshly.  She cannot stand having someone play her like a puppet.  I think in that sense that’s where Spencer kind of fits in with the group, is that she’s always the one who’s willing to run out into the woods in the middle of the night if it means finding another clue.  Where I think some of the other girls might just want to forget about it, leave it alone, let’s not play this game anymore and that she just can’t let that go.

      How are you personally different than or similar to your character?
       T. Bellisario              Well, Spencer and I are very similar in that when I was Spencer’s age I was very studious.  I was the valedictorian of my class; my academics meant everything to me and my family put a lot of pressure on me to do well, but it was also mostly coming from myself.  I felt that I had to be the best and the brightest at everything otherwise I wasn’t worth anything.
                                           I think Spencer definitely feels that and that’s something that I have grown out of.  I’ve only grown out of it with age and by having life experiences and that’s more important to me.  Spencer hasn’t had those life experiences yet.  She’s truly steeped in the middle of trying to be perfect in every way.  I would say that that’s the biggest similarity and difference between Spencer and I.  I hope one day Spencer will get to go through the sort of life-rocking experiences that I have that make you re-evaluate what’s really important and get off your own back a little bit.

      A is almost kind of like a super villain on the show, so I was wondering, what would you say are Spencer’s super powers and her vital super hero accessory?
       T. Bellisario              That’s great.  Well, the interesting thing about Spencer, Spencer has a whip-smart intellect.  It’s both her super power and it’s both her kryptonite because she is able to, I think, almost be ahead of A at certain points and come up with plans to try to trap A or to try to trick A.  So she has this incredible mind that’s able to get the girls as close as they possibly can to discovering who A is, or discovering how to protect themselves at the last minute.
                                           That also is, like I said, her greatest weakness because her mind works so fast sometimes she doesn’t take a moment to think and determine the difference between A’s red herrings and A’s actual moves.  Just as often as Spencer is right about something she also grabs something that A gives her and runs with it and it’s hugely wrong.  It’s what she did with Toby when she just adamantly went this is the guy; this is who killed Alison with finding proof and she was very headstrong about it and it got them into nothing but trouble and it was something that she had to come around and accept that she was completely wrong on.

      Is there is story behind how your parents came up with your name?
       T. Bellisario              Yes, it’s actually an old family name, a family surname.  My great grandmother was Maria Giuseppe Troian Bellisario—it means woman of Troy.  So I’m fortunate enough that in a family full of Michaels and Nicks and Davids, I got a pretty epic, historical name.

      Does your family have a nickname for you?
       T. Bellisario              Everything.  Usually people call me T or one of my friends call me T-Rizzle—anything with T, T-bone, T-bird, T-Rex, whatever.

      Spencer has been in so many life-threatening experiences - how do you, as an actress, mentally prepare for these kinds of scarier scenes?
       T. Bellisario              It’s quite hard, because to be honest we’re always having our lives threatened.  There is always something that if it were actually happening to you, if the things that were happening to the girls were happening to me I feel like I would just need a break and I would ask my parents to commit me to a mental institution and just leave me there for my own safety.
                                           You can’t play that all the time.  There are moments when A threatens the girls and it’s just a nuisance and there are moments when A threatens the girls and it throws Spencer into a rage.  It’s like as human beings we don’t ever have one reaction so I think it’s determining where we are in the story, what was the last time A tried to get under our skin, what are the stakes at this present moment and really connecting to all of those things to determine is this truly a scary moment.  Or is this a moment where I completely lose my self-composure or is this a moment where all four of us are in the jungle and we’re all being scared and if I go to pieces everybody else goes to pieces so Spencer has to be stronger.
                                           That’s what gets you out of the moment of oh, my God, I just have to feel scared again because I might jump off a cliff if I thought that that was the only way that I was going to be doing this acting for however many seasons this show is going to be running.  It’s not just about that, it’s about what are the circumstances?  Am I completely alone?  How much fear do you show when you’re alone?  Is it more, is it less?  It’s those things.  

      What do you do when you are not filming?  I know that you spend a lot of time with the other girls and I was wondering if there was anything that you guys like to do when you have free time on the set?
       T. Bellisario              Oh free time on the set.  For me personally, I try to sleep if there is any free time because we’re all really tired all the time pretty much so sleeping is a big thing.  I also try to write and to just to work on other projects that I am trying to keep afloat while I’m doing this. 

      When you’re reading the script do you find yourself getting surprised by what’s happening?  Do you have oh my gosh moments about realizations and events that come up in the show?
       T. Bellisario              Absolutely.  Now I’ve spent over two years as Spencer and so when something happens to her it’s very close to my heart.  Even when something happens to the other girls that I really love, I love being surprised and the great thing about the show is that I’m guaranteed one of those oh my gosh moments when I’m alone reading the script all the time.  That’s why we’re always so excited and so antsy to get the script.

      You’ve done some movies and some live theater and some smaller television roles in the past – how are you enjoying this larger role on a regular basis in comparison?
       T. Bellisario              Yes, it’s very, very different.  I was actually just speaking to this really wonderful guy on our crew last night about this because even though I grew up in TV, I studied theater.  One of the things that I love about theater is that you have a huge rehearsal process to explore one section of a narrative of a play.
                                           One of the hardest things for me is—not hard as in difficult, but hard as in I feel like something can be left behind in the speed of television, but then again it’s also the excitement of what you’re doing.  You really only have a couple of takes to get it.  You’ve got to bring what you have to the table and your opinion and everybody is there to play fast and hard and you just try to do the best you can under the circumstances.
                                          The other thing that I’ve learned that I feel is the most important thing about this job for me is that I’ve learned truly how to carry on.  When you’re working ten months out of the year on something there are going to be times when you have bad days.  There are going to be times when you aren’t tough enough.  There are going to be times when you’re sick and I think a lot of people have a lot of ideas about how glamorous it all is and how fun it all is. 
                                           Sometimes it’s just making sure that you are giving everybody what they need and you’re doing your best job for the show, and you’re trying not to want to die from 104-degree fever and to keep up good morale for the crew.  I’m not saying it’s a terrible experience, I’m just saying I think that’s what this show has taught me is how to be a professional.

      I’m an avid guitarist myself and I notice that you do play guitar.  What type of music do you like to play?
       T. Bellisario              Oh my God, that’s so sweet of you to say that I play guitar.  What an exaggeration!  I’m only saying that because I literally started teaching myself guitar what was a while ago, but I really have not gotten to - really taken to it as much as I would like to.  As far as guitar goes, I mean I originally started playing guitar so that I could just play myself—one of my favorite bands, Bright Eyes, song. 
                                           Then that morphed into trying to play an Elliott Smith song, and so I could play myself Arcade Fire songs; it really was just sort of I wanted to be able to do that because whenever anybody sits down in front of me and picks up a guitar and music comes out it’s like one of the most magical things.
                                           If I could one day be capable of doing that it would be really, really exciting, but as far as music goes, yes, I really—my favorites are probably Bright Eyes, Elliott Smith, Arcade Fire, and the White Stripes.  I think Jack white, especially on the guitar is a god.  He’s crazy. 

      The show has become so known for its fashion and style - have you been able to keep any of the things you’ve worn on the show or like what’s your favorite piece you’ve worn on the show?
       T. Bellisario              No, everybody always asks me that question and they’re like, “Oh, my gosh!  You must have such great clothes.”  I’m like no I go home in pajamas every day.  We unfortunately are not allowed to keep anything and that’s because they want to keep it in case they have to revisit the item or we want to pull it up later.  It’s like these girls really don’t go shopping all the time and yet they never wear the same outfit so they have to repeat certain pants and certain shirts and items like that. 

      What has been the favorite piece that you’ve gotten to wear on the show or outfit?
       T. Bellisario              I don’t know.  Honestly, I always have a favorite piece and then I spend an entire episode in it and I want to get it off my body and burn it.  Just because it’s like you find the most amazing outfit or dress or coat and you’re like this is amazing; I will never get sick of this and you won’t unless you wear it straight for seven days for 14 hours a day.  Then trust me, you’ll want to burn it. 
                                           It’s really hard for me to think because I always remember in the beginning of certain episodes I’m like this is the best thing Spencer’s ever worn and then by the end of it I’m like, please never make me wear that. But, I will say we do have awesome outfits coming up; the clothes are adorable and really insane.

      Spencer has a very defined sense of style - what’s an outfit we’ll never see her wear, something that you can think of that is just like not Spencer at all that you would think would be fun?
       T. Bellisario              Oh, that’s hard, maybe a giant clown suit.  I feel Spencer can go so many different ways.  I feel like Spencer could totally traipse into Aria’s closet and put something on and be a bad girl for a day.  She could even go into Hanna’s closet, probably less into Hanna’s closet, but she can always—in some aspects she dresses down and she is a little bit more casual like Emily. 
                                           Spencer trades hats very easily.  She can go very high-brow very prim and proper or she can just be wearing like literally sweats after field hockey and just be the same girl—that’s what’s kind of cool about Spencer is that it’s not really her style that defines her, Spencer defines her style all the time.

      If you could give your character Spencer one piece of advice what would it be?
       T. Bellisario              Chill out.  Seriously, take a chill pill.  Life is too short and you need to spend one night maybe going to the movies instead of like sneaking around the house and trying to find Ian.  Maybe sleep, maybe find time to do your homework.  I don’t know how Spencer maintains such good grades and like literally never does her homework.

      I know that your family comes from a great pedigree, great acting.  If you couldn’t act what profession would you be in?
       T. Bellisario              That’s actually kind of funny because I remember when I first wanted to act my parents were supportive, but it was that they were like please if you can find something else in the world, don’t do this.  So it wasn’t even they’re like oh we’ve been waiting for you to arrive, welcome to the family business kind of thing. 
                                           If I could do anything else, in a fantasy world I’d be rock star.  I mean who doesn’t want to be a rock star?  I think that was a quote from Sam Shepard and Sean Penn when they were making the so-called disaster The Late Henry Moss somebody asked them what they would do if they couldn’t be actors and writers and they were like, “What we’d always want to do—be rock stars, because that’s what everybody wants to be.”
                                           When I was younger, I had a very intense obsession with death and I was fascinated by forensic scientists, but also morticians.  I had this draw to work with the dead in some sense so maybe I would go back to that.  I don’t know.

      When you’re not working on your own show what other TV shows do you watch in your time off?
      T. Bellisario              I have not had cable for the past five years and I really never watch TV.  The only show that I really ever got into was when I got all five seasons of Six Feet Under on DVD in college and that became my obsession.  Now I’m really trying to keep up with Game of Thrones because I read the pilot and I auditioned for it and I fell in love with it.  I think they’re doing such an amazing job.  Yes, I guess that’s really the only show that I keep up with, but I’m really more of a—if I have time I want to go see a movie because I like that containment.
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