Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween: Tessa Gratton reading Blood Magic

When I think Halloween I think of spooky books. So what better way to celebrate than to have Tessa Gratton read from her novel Blood Magic. I hope you enjoy this video it's from one of my favorite creepy chapters.

My Blood Magic Review:

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Review: The Iron Knight

The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa

Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

Short Version: If you haven't started this series then you should know that The Iron Knight is the fourth and final book in the Iron Fey series and I believe the series gets better as you read the books. The first three novels are told from Megan's point of view and for this final novel Ash tells the story. Author Julie Kagawa tells a unique fey story that will take you from holding your breath to holding back tears. I highly recommend this series.

Long Version:Only read this if you have already read the first three novels or you will be lost.
When I read The Iron Queen I thought it was the last book so about 2/3 into the novel I kept breaking down thinking this can't be the ending. I won't lie Iron Queen had me crying like New Moon and Shiver combined but for a 1/3 of the novel. It was not a pretty sight. So when I finished I was devastated until I found out there would be a fourth book. When The Iron Knight was released on NetGalley I was afraid to read it because The Iron Queen made me so emotional, but I also couldn't not read it.

Ash left the Iron Kingdom with a vow and he will travel until the end of the world to succeed or die trying. In The Iron Knight Julie really dove deep into Ash's past and held nothing back about how cruel he really was. At some points I questioned if he could be redeemed. While Ash is determined to get on with his quest he must turn to old friends if he is to even have a chance of surviving his quest. Some of the most difficult challenges Ash will face require doing nothing at all.

The details in the fey and creatures are so vivid they feel real. If you read carefully you will also find many hidden clues that shape the future of the story. If you are wondering if I cried, I did. THANKS FOR THAT JULIE! If you haven't started this series do so now and if you are unsure about this book I recommend you move it to the top of your "To Read" list!

Make sure to visit for The Iron Knight Blog Tour!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Slayer Blog Tour Stop

I want to thank C. J. Hill who is vlogging about her debut novel Slayers. I hope you enjoy the video and read about Slayers below and enter to win an autographed copy of Slayers below.

Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends; 1 edition (September 27, 2011)

Dragons exist. They’re ferocious. And they’re smart: Before they were killed off by slayer-knights, they rendered a select group of eggs dormant, so their offspring would survive. Only a handful of people know about this, let alone believe it – these “Slayers” are descended from the original knights, and are now a diverse group of teens that includes Tori, a smart but spoiled senator’s daughter who didn’t sign up to save the world.

The dragon eggs have fallen into the wrong hands. The Slayers must work together to stop the eggs from hatching. They will fight; they will fall in love. But will they survive?

Be sure to visit the other blogs participating on this tour and thank you to Heather from Fire and Ice for organizing the tour.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Cover News: Chained by Lynne Kelly

Chained has a cover!

I met Lynne Kelly at the Texas Library Association Convention in Austin and found out she is from Houston and part of the Class of 2K12. I see Lynne at local book events all the time and I offered to help the cover reveal for Chained. Chained is a middle grade novel and I think the cover is very sweet. Make sure to visit Lynne because she is hosting a giveaway to celebrate the cover and ARCs.
Congratulations Lynne! I love the cover!

About the book:
The touching story of a boy and an elephant who have a friendship that's stronger than any lock, shackle, or chain.

Ten-year-old Hastin's sister has fallen ill, and his family must borrow money to pay for her care in the hospital. To work off the debt, Hastin leaves his village in northern India to work in a faraway jungle as an elephant keeper. He thinks it will be an adventure, but he isn't prepared for the cruel circus owner. The crowds that come to the circus see a lively animal who plays soccer and balances on milk bottles, but Hastin sees Nandita, a sweet elephant and his best friend, who is chained when she's not performing and punished until she learns her tricks perfectly. With the help of Ne Min, a wise old man who seems to know all about elephants, Hastin protects Nandita as best as he can. Still he wonders--will they both survive long enough to escape?

For more on Lynne Kelly visit:

Audio Review: All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin

All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin

Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

I found an audio book that I enjoy! The narrator is the same person who narrated the Twilight Saga. I started listening to the book on my hour commute to work and then finished on a road trip to and from Austin. For All These Things I’ve Done is a dystopian novel told from the point of view of Anya Balanchine. Anya is responsible for her older brother, sister, and grandmother after her parents were murdered. The Balanchines are part of a mafia family who produce chocolate and in the future caffeine is illegal. Leo, her brother was in an accident that left him mentally challenged and she has to find a balance in how to take care of him but also not upset him. Anya also knows that she and her siblings must stay out of trouble because neither her brother nor her grandmothers are suitable guardians.

While juggling taking care of her family and finishing school the unexpected happens. Anya finds a guy who she is crazy about and who doesn’t know about her family. While she might be smitten with Win he happens to be the son of the DA. His father is not happy with the fact that his son is dating a mafia princess. He even goes as far as to ask Anya to stay away from his son or he could make her life difficult.

Zevin did a great job of describing New York in a futuristic setting and I feel as if I could see myself walking around in the settings in the book. I wasn’t crazy about the fact that Anya quotes her father over and over, but I think it’s her way of keeping his memory alive. I can’t imagine being a teen and having so much responsibility and I think Anya deals with it by cutting off her emotions. As for me I would probably be guarded if I didn’t become a coffee addict. There is so much suspense, deception and twists to the novel that kept me hooked.

For more on Gabrielle Zevin visit:

Monday, October 24, 2011

Book Events: David Levithan

If you have ever asked me for a book recommendation then it's a safe bet that I yelled Dash and Lily's Book of Dares and maybe fangirled a little a lot but said you should read it. I have seen David Levithan twice once at TLA and I was the first person in line and then at the Austin Teen Book Festival where I sat front row and took about 100 pictures of him. In reality the chances of me making a fool of myself were small because I was up close for maybe 5 minutes at most.

Well just a few days ago David came up on the Blue Willow event calendar and I just about panicked. See I kept wanting to say OMG come see him I LOVE HIM from the Blue Willow twitter but knew that I had to keep the fan girl in. David was came out and was all smiles then proceeded to read from Every You, Every Me and then opened the floor to questions. Early on he asked for people to take a few pictures and put the cameras away. During the Q&A I snapped a few shots but kept worrying that he would yell at me lucky for he he didn't.

David mentioned that his next collaboration will be with Andrea Cremer, author of the Nightshade Trilogy. David is also Maggie Stiefvater's editor so I asked what was it like to work with her and he said she was wonderful. He also said that Will Grayson, Will Grayson was written early on in both David and John Green's careers. When asked if he is tempted to edit the work of those he collaborates with he said no that he knows when to wear his writer and editor hat.

So did I make a fool of myself? I left the lens cap on when I asked fellow blogger Tillie to take a picture. Oh then she realized that I left it on the art filter. I tried to take a picture of him signing the wall but could only get his backside so I didn't take the picture. Over all I was afraid to speak for fear of acting like a crazy person.

It was great to see author Joy Preble and local bloggers Hip Mama Jenn and Tille.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

10 Dating Tips from Tamara Duricka Johnson

I'm pleased to welcome Tamara Duricka Johnson, author of 31 DATES IN 31 DAYS. When I received the review request I quickly did the research and found that I could relate to Tamara and I was interested in reading 31 Dates in 31 Days. Instead of a traditional interview I asked Tamara if she would do a guest post on dating tips. Trust me when I say 31 days is a really fun read.

10 Dating Tips from Tamara Duricka Johnson, author of 31 DATES IN 31 DAYS

First dates tend to be awkward. That’s just their nature. But hopefully these tips will help ease the pain and allow for more fun.

1. When it comes to finding people to date, never underestimate the power of friends and social media. Your friends (and their friends) are great resources for meeting new people. If you choose to use online dating sites, remember that those are intended to be used for introductions, so be sure to meet in person as soon as possible.

2. Plan something simple, fun, and in a public setting. Instead of the standard dinner or movie date, I recommend opting for a local activity. Whether you choose to head to a museum or take a bike ride around a park, a new activity provides a shared experience and offers both you and your date constant fuel for conversation.

3. Set some boundaries. Before your dates, decide your own rules. How much will you limit your alcoholic intake? How late can you stay out? What are your restrictions for physical intimacy? If you set your boundaries ahead of time, it will be easier to remain committed to them if questionable moments arise during your date.

4. Tell friends where you’re going and when you expect to be home, especially if you’re meeting a stranger. This is an important safety precaution.

5. Try sticking to these Three R’s:
  • Relax - This is just a date. It’s a meet-and-greet, not a job interview or your wedding day. Think of this as meeting a new friend instead of a potential partner.
  • Respect - Even if this person isn’t your Dream Girl or Prince Charming, she/he may very well be someone’s someday. This person has taken the time and effort to meet you, so show respect.
  • Romance – Be kind. From the Golden Rule, to Karma, to the Third Law of Physics, we have been taught that what you present comes back to you, and the same goes with love. My personal motto is this: “If you want love, give it away.”
6. Sometimes it can be difficult coming up with good conversation. Try using the same tools journalists and business gurus use when first meeting someone.
  • Use the K.I.S.S. Principle. This comes from the acronym, “Keep it simple, Stupid!” Stick to light, easy, non-confrontational topics. After all, you’re just getting to know each other.
  • Use the 5 Ws (and one H) Ask questions that begin with who, what, when, where, why and how. These words are crucial when gathering information. They help formulate open-ended questions, allowing those you’re with to share more personal information about themselves.
  • Use the S.E.E. Factor Smile, make Eye contact, show your Enthusiasm.
7. Listen. Avoid dominating the conversation. Allow the other person to contribute.

8. Share your stories. Open up and be willing to share details about your life, your interests, or your family. Remember to think of talking to your date as if you’re just meeting a new friend.

9. After the date, instead of focusing on whether you want to see that person again, consider these questions: Did I enjoy my time? Did I learn anything about myself? Did I respect myself and my boundaries?

10. Write down your thoughts and impressions. This will help you realize if you’re learning anything from your dates and will help keep you honest if you tend to idealize your past.

I want to thank Tamara for taking time to stop by and share her dating wisdom. I am currently reading 31 Dates and enjoying the journey. If you want to learn more about 31 Dates in 31 Days visit:

The Scorpio Races Winners

The two winners of the Scorpio Races are:

Capillya and Jessy

Winners have been notified and have 48 hours to reply with a mailing address. I want to thank everyone who entered and remember to come back soon for the next giveaway.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Book Events: Tara Hudson

I attend a lot of events so I plan to start sharing pictures and details about those events. Tara Hudson is a debut author with the Class of 2k11 who wrote Hereafter. Tara participated in the mega tour Dark Days of Summer which stopped in Austin. Oh if you are wondering I drove 3 1/2 hours during the week to go to the Dark Days event and drove back that same night. More recently Tara recently stopped at Murder by the Book in Houston and here are a few pictures. Also if you want a signed copy contact Murder by the Book.

To learn more about Tara visit:

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Book Events: Erin Morgenstern

Have I mentioned how lucky I am to live in Houston? It's huge book events like those hosted by Blue Willow Bookshop and Murder by the Book that make living here AMAZING. This week there were 7 big events on my radar. What kind of events are on my radar? Kid lit, middle grade, young adult and fiction. I want to share some of the photos and notes from the book event I attended for debut author Erin Morgenstern. She wrote this little book called Night Circus which has already been optioned by Summit, who is working on getting the producer of the Harry Potter movies to sign on to the project. The foreign rights have been sold to over 30 countries and Erin pulls in a huge crowd. I haven't read the book yet because I wanted to pick it up at the signing but everywhere I go I hear wonderful things about it and I plan to read it in the next few weeks.

Erin started the project through National Novel Writing Month and when asked how much of the book changed from when she originally wrote it for NNWM she said that it's "about 400 pages well imagine 350 changing completely." Fans also wanted to know if she was worried that the movie wouldn't do the book justice, but she explained that she herself took her book, shredded it to pieces, and put it back together. Her job was done at writing the book and the movie wouldn't change that. Erin believes that film can take the story to a new level that can't be told in the story and vice versa, the movie could never tell the story like the book could. When asked about casting she said she is more interested in the costumes and the details.

When hearing Erin speak she reminds me a little of Maggie Stiefvater in that both are painters and are described as being very visual people. Erin said when planning a scene she can see every detail down to the lighting.

When talking about the publishing business she felt like she learned so much. She wasn't aware that so many ARCs would go out and was really surprised when she had people lined up to meet her at BEA. Erin originally named her working file Night Circus and it was never changed. She is extremely happy with the cover. During the taping of Night Circus audio Erin was able to sit in and listen.

I'm really excited to read this book and I hope you enjoy these pictures. Also if you want to buy a signed copy call Murder by the Book I'm sure they have have a few signed copies available. Thanks to the wonderful staff at Murder for a great event!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Winners of Stupid Fast and The Pull of Gravity

kaymay09 is the winner of The Pull of Gravity
Sayomay is the winner of Stupid Fast -Did not claim prize
Lili is the new winner of Stupid Fast and has been contacted and 48 hours to reply

Thanks to everyone who entered! The winners have been notified and have 48 hours to reply with a mailing address. If you did not win don't forget to enter the Scorpio Races giveaway!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Giveaway: 2 Copies of The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

I'm happy to share with you that Big Honcho Media will be giving two of my readers a copy of The Scorpio Races! I'm in the middle of reading this book and I can tell you that I love it! If you are wondering how you enter simply read the rules below and fill out the form.

About the book:
From Maggie Stiefvater, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Shiver series (over 1.7 million copies in print!), comes a brand-new, heart-stopping novel. With her trademark lyricism, Maggie Stiefvater turns to a new world where a pair are swept up in a daring, dangerous race across a cliff – with more than just their lives at stake should they lose.

Enter to win @this_is_teen’s ScorpioRaces Twitter Sweepstakes! Prizing includes limited edition custom necklaces & autographed copies of the book. Get more details

4 starred reviews:
“A taut, chilling, romantic adventure [that] comes to a pitch-perfect conclusion. Masterful. Like nothing else out there now.” - Kirkus, starred review

“A book with cross-appeal to lovers of fantasy, horse stories, romance, and action-adventure, this has a shot at being the next YA blockbuster.” - Booklist, starred review

“As a study of courage and loyalty tested… it is an utterly compelling read.”- Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Stiefvater sets not one foot wrong as she takes readers on an intoxicating ride of their own.”- Horn Book, starred review

For more information visit:

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Interview and Giveaway with Gae Polisner and Geoff Herbach

I still have a ton of footage from my interview with Gae and Geoff but I wanted to show some of the outtakes and post a giveaway. One person will win a copy of The Pull of Gravity and the other will win Stupid Fast.

  • US/Canada Only
  • Winners will be picked 10/16
  • Following not required but appreciated 

You can find Gae online here:!/gaepol

Geoff can be found here:!/geoffherbach

Class of 2k11 News

Did you hear the Class of 2k11 graduated and by graduated I mean all the books are out in the world! I feel really lucky to have featured the Class of 2k11 here on my blog all year long.  They are celebrating by doing a final giveaway on their blog. They are giving away 2 prize packages one to a school or library and the second to someone who comments on their blog post.  So hurry over to and comment!  Also if you can't think of a school nominate Southmore Intermediate, Pasadena ISD in Houston TX. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

My Life Undecided Winner

The winner of My Life Undecided is Tiffany Drew!!! Tiffany has been contacted and has 48 hours to reply with a mailing address or a new winner will be chosen! Thanks for participating and a new giveaway will be posted soon.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

My Life Undecided Giveaway

I met Jessica Brody when Pen Fatale came to Houston and let me tell you she is so much fun. When I was contacted and offered a copy of her book to giveaway I jumped at it! Check out the video and then see details on how to enter below.

To enter:
Jessica is really funny so share a funny story with us.
US/Canada Only
Leave a comment with your contact info
Winner will be announced and notified October 11th
Winner has 48 hours to reply with a mailing address

For more on Jessica visit:

Special thanks to Macmillan and Zeitghost Media for providing the giveaway copy!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Review: The Pull of Gravity by Gae Polisner

The Pull of Gravity by Gae Polisner

Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

Before I get started, I want to say that The Pull of Gravity by Gae Polisner made me cry! Gae can go from wacky to emotional in the flip of a page. When we first meet Nick he is surrounded by chaos. His father has lost his job and he spends his days on the couch sleeping and gaining weight. Nick’s neighbor Scoot was once Nick’s best friend, but he is sick and spends most of his time at home. Nick also distanced himself from Scoot because he just wants to be normal. Nick is pretty normal except he gets really high fevers that sometimes cause him to have hallucinations.

During one of his fevers Nick feels he is being attacked so he runs out of the house and tries to climb a water tower. Scoot sees him and calls to him causing Nick to react before he can get seriously injured. Nick’s parents fight about how close they came to loosing Nick and his dad sets off on a quest to walk to New York City in hopes of changing his life. While this might be great for Nick’s dad, Nick can’t help but feel that his dad has bailed on him.

Jaycee, Scoot’s friend, hopes that Nick will help her find Scoot’s dad who left when Scoot was young and started getting sick. Scoot confided in Jaycee that he would like to see his dad before he passes away. (Insert tears) Jaycee and Nick work together to find details and agree to find Scoot’s dad. During the journey we find out the bubble that is Nick’s life and how much he grows as a person. He learns not only about himself, but about his family and Jaycee.

Jaycee reminds me a lot of Lorelai Gilmore from The Gilmore Girls because she is quirky and can always figure out what to do or say next. You will come to love Nick, Jaycee, Scoot and the adventure they go on! I love the Of Mice and Men and Star Wars references through out the book. My only regret is that I waited so long to read it. I loved The Pull of Gravity so much and I hope you pick it up soon. This will be one of those books I re-read again and again.

For more on Gae visit:

Monday, October 3, 2011

October To Read List

So here is my schedule of what I plan to read this month. Feel free to join me and then we can discuss. Also I am always up for taking recommendations. If you check my blog often you will find I add and remove books just depending on my moods. What are you reading or looking forward to reading this month?

Currently Reading:

To Read:

Finished Reading:

Happy reading!

Banned Book Winner

Thanks to everyone who participated in the Banned Book Week Hop! The Winner is Dominique! Dominique has been contact via email and has 48 hours to reply or a new winner will be picked. Thanks to everyone who participated and remember a new giveaway will be up soon!