Thursday, November 29, 2012

Book Event: Ally Condie

Ally Condie is on tour promoting Reached, the last book in the Matched trilogy. Ally was also Blue Willow's last YA event of the year. There was a great crowd and as an added bonus my blogger friend Kate from ExLibris Kate interviewed Ally. Kate asked some really great questions. It was a full house, and was a great way to close the year. I have attached a few pictures I took during the event and to look back at the other events I have attended through out 2012 click the Book Pictures tab in the navigation bar above.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Dreaming of Summer Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the Dreaming of Summer Giveaway Hop! If you don't live in Texas you are probably wishing for warm temperatures. We have temperatures from high sixties to the eighties, so it feels like summer. If you are dreaming of beach reads I am giving away two fun books. For those who are first time visitors I want to welcome you, and for those who visit all the time thanks you!

From the creators of GOSSIP GIRL comes a fresh, edgy take on teenage romance. Three interconnected stories explore the different stages of love over the course of one summer on the seashore.

It's summer. It's hot. And it's time to hook up.

Cousins Ella, Beth, and Jamie are at their family's beach house, and they're gearing up for the wildest time of their lives. Sassy Ella is majorly crushing on a cute older boy -- who just happens to be her sister's new boyfriend. Meanwhile, practical Beth is surprised when she finds herself falling for her best friend George. And shy, creative Jamie gets her heart broken when her summer love abandons her.

Three girls, too many boys, and some seriously stormy all adds up to one unforgettable summer.

Popularity is as easy as a good secret.

Serena just wants to fly under the radar at her new school. But Serena is deaf, and she can read lips really well-even across the busy cafeteria. So when the popular girls discover her talent, there's no turning back.

From skater chick to cookie-cutter prep, Serena's identity has done a 180...almost. She still wants to date Miller, the school rebel, and she's not ready to trade her hoodies for pink tees just yet. But she is rising through the ranks in the school's most exclusive clique.

With each new secret she uncovers, Serena feels pressure to find out more. Reading lips has always been her greatest talent, but now Serena just feels like a gigantic snoop.

Official Rules:
No Anonymous Entries
Must have a US mailing address.
Following with a twitter account dedicated to giveaways will void entries.
Must be at least 13 years of age.
Winner has 48 hours to reply with a mailing address.
Must fill out the Rafflecopter form.

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Other blogs participating in the Dreaming of Summer Giveaway Hop:

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Review: Shadows by Ilsa J. Bick

Shadows by Ilsa J. Bick

Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

I really do think Ilsa's novels are so under everyone's radar. Do you ever read a book and then think "Wow, why is the world not going crazy over this series?" Well that's what Ilsa's novels are like! I'm not a big dystopia fan, because let's face it reading about the end of the world as we know it is really sad and sometimes depressing. So for me to not only pick a dystopia, but to read a series is pretty unheard of. With that said PICK UP Ashes and Shadows right now.

For audio book fans this is one you must get! Katherine Kellgren won the Audie award for Female Solo Narration. Katherine does the voices of the kids and her voice really fits every emotion and tense moment in the story. As far as narrators go Katherine has to be one of my top five favorites. In a world of HD, CGI, and 60 inch televisions we have come to depend on visual for entertainment, but after listening to Shadows the light bulb clicked and I could see how years ago people would sit around the radio mesmerized by just the audio. My normal commute to work is two hours and the entire time I listened to Shadows but it wasn't enough, so for a week I had lunch in my car listening to and saying ok just five more minutes!

You have to read Ashes first because Shadows continues right where Ashes left off. At the beginning of Ashes a sort of frequency went off causing all machines and computers to stop working. Everyone under fifteen stayed the same and didn't experience a change like those between the ages of sixteen and twenty. Teens seemed to take on these animalistic traits and start hunting and eating humans. Anyone who didn't go through some sort of change mainly people between the ages of twenty and sixty years of age just flat out died. Those over sixty were fine.

Shadows deals with what happens after the end of the world. How do you pick up what's left and start living again. Some turn into a militia, others start thinking of repopulating the world. Some are looking at experimenting to see what caused it all.

The story is told from multiple points of views. The main characters from Ashes are all separated and with no way to communicate with each other they assume the others are dead, but have hope.

We also get an in depth look into how those that have changed are like. They no longer talk, but they do communicate. They are savages, but still show some normal traits like jealousy, lust, and familiarity. We also learn a lot more about the communities and the secrets they keep.

For those of you who thought there wasn't enough sexy times in Ashes, well Ilsa really provides it in Shadows. Let's just say careful what you wish for! There are very dark and creepy moments, but everyone is fighting a war of survival. War is never simple or pretty.

Shadows ends with a boom and an insane cliffhanger! Ilsa does a great job painting a picture of this crazy reality and she keeps you hooked until the very last moment. I can see a lot of our own history in this novel just set in the future. I honestly have no idea what to expect in Ilsa's next novel or even who will narrate it. All I can do is count down until the next book. Again pick this one up either in book or audio, you won't regret it!

Shadows was provided by Brilliance Audio for review.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Midnight Dragonfly Series Blog Tour

Thank you so much for hosting a stop along the Midnight Dragonfly blog tour! Today, after an informal poll on my Facebook page, I’m giving thanks for the character participants are most curious about: Dylan Fourcade: half Cajun/half Native American, standing six feet tall with piercing silver eyes, chin-length raven hair, and a knack for being in the right place at the right time…


1. What’s the best thing that’s ever happened to you?
It hasn’t happened yet.

2. What the most dangerous thing you’ve ever done?

3. What is the scariest thing that’s ever happened to you?
I was at the old abandoned Six Flags park in New Orleans East. I thought she was safe. She was supposed to be safe. But then my phone rang, and it was. Except she wasn’t talking to me—she was talking to him. And I knew. I realized I’d walked her straight into a trap. And now he had her. And I could hear him. I could hear him taunting with her, could hear her playing it cool and tough, trying to by me time. So I could get there. I started running. I was running, and then I could hear her running, too, shouting—screaming. And him. He was laughing. He was so sure of himself. So sure he was going to win. Then I heard the gunshot. Then…silence. And I knew. I knew I was too late.

4. What is your favorite dream?
That the past will never touch the future.

5. Your greatest fear?
Not being there in time.

6. Greatest regret?
Not being there in time.

7. What one trait do you most despite in others?

8. If you could change one thing, what would it be?
Trinity’s grandmother would still be alive.

9. Why?
Because Trinity would still be in Colorado, it wouldn’t matter what I remember, and there would be no chance of not being there in time.

A little more specific

10. Speaking of Trinity, what were you first thoughts when she showed up at your father's house?
I wasn’t thinking when I first saw Trinity. I was reacting. I’d come outside to see why the dogs, Gaston and Boudreau, were barking. The second I saw them tearing across the yard, I knew someone was about to get hurt, and that I had to stop them. The second I saw her, I knew why a dragonfly had landed on my wrist earlier that day. The second I started thinking, I realized it was starting, that life couldn’t stay paused, but wished she’d remained in Colorado. But I always knew she’d come back one day. No river can be stopped forever.

11. Do you think it is fair to Trinity that so many people around her (including you) are keeping things from her?
She deserves to live a life without shadows. She deserves to be happy. The more she starts filling in blanks and connecting dots, the darker her world becomes. I won’t lie to her, ever, but nor will I open doors before she reaches them.

12. Why did you react so strangely when she told you about Astral traveling to slip back into her dreams?
Sometimes it’s safer not to remember. We forget for a reason and remember when the time is right. Getting things out of order is when everything spins out of control.

13. Going forward, what do you think your relationship with Trinity will be? What would you like it to be?
Our lives have run parallel but separate for a long time. I don’t see that changing anytime soon, and I learned a long time ago—a very, very long time ago—that when you try to bend something that’s not ready, more often than not, it breaks. And that’s not what I want for her, to break.

Flash Questions

Favorite sound: Thunder
Least favorite sound: Fire
Favorite sight: Eyes when they first open, before reality slips in
Least favorite sight: Ashes
Favorite song Like a Hurricane
Books or movies? Books
Favorite book The Stand
Black and white, or fifty shades of grey? Infinite shades of grey
Turn on: Strength
Turn off Running
Trait most despise Cowardice
Einstein or Stephen Hawking? Hawking

Now that we know each other a little better, let’s get personal…

Hugs or kisses? Kisses
Do you think you’re a good kisser? There’s no thinking involved
Have you ever skinny-dipped? Is there any other way?
What do you wear to bed? Why would you wear something to bed?

Last question…
If you were up for judgment with the possible outcome execution and your words about you were the only thing that could save you, what all would you tell us?

You can’t yank the sun from the sky just because it burns.

About Ellie James
Most people who know Ellie think she’s your nice, average wife and mom of two little kids. They see someone who does all that normal stuff, like grocery shopping, going to soccer games, and somehow always forgetting to get the house cleaned and laundry done.
What they don't know is that more often than not, this LSU J-School alum is somewhere far, far away, deeply embroiled in solving a riddle or puzzle or crime, testing the limits of possibility, exploring the unexplained, and holding her breath while two people fall in love.
Regardless of which world Ellie’s in, she loves rain and wind and thunder and lightning; the first warm kiss of spring and the first cool whisper of fall; family, friends, and animals; dreams and happy endings; Lost and Fringe; Arcade Fire and Dave Matthews, and last but not least…warm gooey chocolate chip cookies.

About the Midnight Dragonfly Series
Glimpses. That’s all they are. Shadowy premonitions flickering through sixteen year old psychic Trinity Monsour’s dreams. Some terrify: a girl screaming, a knife lifting, a body in the grass. But others--the dark, tortured eyes and the shattering kiss, the promise of forever--whisper to her soul. They come without warning. They come without detail.

But they always mean the same thing: The clock is ticking, and only Trinity can stop it.

Find out how in Shattered Dreams, Broken Illusions, and Fragile Darkness, available from Griffin Teen!

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To learn more about The Midnight Dragonfly Series Blog Tour visit:

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Guest Post: Sherry Soule

Okay, today’s entertaining guest post has a special feature from author, Sherry Soule! She has compiled a few of her favorite moments from the first two Young Adult books in the thrilling Spellbound series, BEAUTIFULLY BROKEN and MOONLIGHT MAYHEM. *pg numbers are from the mass-market paperback edition* Enjoy the excerpts!

Quote from BEAUTIFULLY BROKEN – pg 14 “Initial Glimpse”:

Trent turned his head, his gaze capturing mine. My face flamed, interrupting my ogling. His eyes widened, then narrowed. His arms dropped to his sides. Once those hypnotic green eyes seized mine, the atmosphere shifted, and for a moment, my heart ceased to beat. His gorgeousness silenced the thoughts and whirling emotions inside my head. The lingering anxiety from earlier vanished.
Finally, Trent turned away. I exhaled. He kept his head down like he had something to hide. Something he didn’t want people to see. Something he didn’t want me to see.

Quote from BEAUTIFULLY BROKEN – pgs. 77 -78 “Meet the Kitten”:

I leaned out the window and lifted the kitten. She purred and I rubbed her soft fur against my cheek, tension that had snapped my spine straight when I’d heard the eerie cry easing with the each rumbling purr. “Ah, poor baby. Are you hungry?” She loudly meowed.
Trent returned with a bowl of milk and set it on the floor. I lowered the kitten and watched her greedily lap the milk.
“She’s cute,” Trent said. “What should we name her?”
The ball of fluff raised her head, licking white drops off her mouth.
“Charm.” I hoisted the kitten and cuddled her in my arms.
Trent scratched her under her white chin. “Charm?”
“Yeah. It’s perfect.”
He scratched the cat behind her ears. “I’d rather have a dog,” he teased.
“Shhh, Charm will hear you.” I covered the cat’s pointy ears with my hands.
Trent grinned, taking the kitten from my arms and surprising me by kissing Charm’s head.

Quote from BEAUTIFULLY BROKEN – pgs. 86 -87 “A Kiss”:

I went to snatch my hand away, but Trent caught my hand in his, startling me. I looked up to see warmth on his face. His smile held the promise of happiness. He scooted closer and held my gaze for a breath, glanced down. He leaned forward, as if he had no control over his actions. I inhaled his nice, soapy-clean scent, and all coherent thought left my head.
His hands gripped my waist and Trent yanked me against him, his mouth covering mine in a deep kiss. The caress of his lips was softer than I’d imagined. An unfamiliar rush of excitement engulfed my senses. My hands wrapped around his neck, fingering his silky tousled hair. His moist lips seared a path from my lips to my neck, igniting a blaze of desire that flooded my skin everywhere his lips and roaming hands touched. Boys had kissed me before, but not like this. Never like this.
Yes, yes…this is what I want and yearn for—affection. To fall in an impetuous head-over-heels kind of love. Let myself go. Surrender my heart…

Quote from MOONLIGHT MAYHEM – pgs. 85 -86 “Nervous Belly”:

Luna Pizza wasn’t super busy yet, when the door opened and swoon-worthy Trent Donovan sauntered into the restaurant with a guy I didn’t recognize, which meant I had no place to hide. I felt the air whoosh from my lungs. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. When I opened them, I swear my body froze. My heart stopped beating. A volatile, relentless thrill shot through my veins, and I shuddered. Messy blond hair, startling emerald eyes, cocky grin on his face…

Quote from MOONLIGHT MAYHEM – pg 224 “Hero Intercedes”:

His hands flickered upward, and before I knew it, they were cupping my face. So, damnably fast now. Demonic-like fast. Trent reeled me closer. Our foreheads joined. He held me, while I trembled in his arms. I was vaguely aware of Evans and Maxwell watching, although it didn’t seem important. Nothing seemed important whenever he did this. It felt like we were enclosed in our own personal bubble made only for the two of us. Trent murmured something in my ear. We stood like that until my shaky legs gradually regained strength. I shut my eyes and pretended my body wasn’t sizzling with heat because Trent stood so close. My hormones always decided to rebel whenever he put his arms around me. And it wasn’t totally awkward and uncomfortable. No, it felt like the best thing I’d experienced since before Dad’s death. And that’s saying a lot.

Quote from MOONLIGHT MAYHEM – pg 224 “Zombie Encounter”:

Her pale brow furrowed. Her skin veiny and colorless. Sheesh, she’s a hot mess. Zombie Girl tilted her head and raised her arms. “Ashley—hag!”
“What! Did that corpse just call me a hag?” Ashley sounded more like her usual bitchy self.
“No, I think she means hug. It’s zombie lingo. I’ve read online that zombies can be affectionate, but hugging one often leads to, well, having your brains eaten,” I said.
“Yuk!” Ashley backpedaled, scrunching her thin face. “Beyond gross.”
Zombie Girl giggled, but it sounded choked, a mere gurgling rumble in her throat. She had these nasty bloody scrapes on her arms and legs. Her right calf had deep teeth marks. Her feet were dirty and bare, her movements jaunty and slow.
I wanted nothing more than to hug Ashley and tell her everything would be okay, but I wasn’t sure it was true. I blinked several times. Didn’t help. Yup, she’s real.
“Nobody panic.” I tugged the cell phone from my pocket and dialed Evans. He answered on the second ring. “We have a situation. No, more like an undead situation,” I said, then listened to him bark orders. I hung up and faced the girls. “We need to go without being seen. ‘Cause Kayla will freak people out.”
“Ya think?” Ashley snapped.
“I’m hangrah.” Kayla patted her stomach. She had this whole pale Goth look going for her now. She needed a fresh spray tan—and quick!
“I bet she’s hungry. Zombies eat, um, flesh or brains, right?” I said. “God, I hope she wasn’t a vegetarian.”
Ashley made a face. “Morbid much?”

Places you can cyberstalk Sherry Soule:
Official Website:
Twitter: @WriterSherry:

Thank you so much for letting me chat up my YA series with all of you. It’s been an honor to share my favorite moments from the first two books in the Spellbound series. If you haven’t seized your copy of BEAUTIFULLY BROKEN yet, please do so. More thrilling and spooky adventures await you! I Hope you all enjoyed this post, now go feed your mind and read a book! Preferably mine.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Audio Review: Personal Effects

Personal Effects by E.M. Kokie

Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

In Personal Effects Matt's brother T. J. is killed in Iraq. First of all, Matt's family is completely broken. His mom had a breakdown and left Matt and T. J. with their retired military father. Their father is hard on them and wants both of his boys to enlist in the military. After T. J.'s death things get worse for Matt. His dad has violent outbursts and Matt learns to watch for the signs.

When T. J.'s personal effects are returned his dad won't let Matt see them. This isn't up for discussion, but Matt can't let it go. He eventually breaks into T. J.'s things and finds out that his brother was in a relationship. Matt doesn't get how T. J. never mentioned it. He also finds a letter that T. J. didn't get to mail to his girlfriend. Matt decides he will deliver it for his brother. Matt knows that his father will never be ok with it so he skips town.

When we see female points of views we judge them for being clingy or weak and maybe I haven't read enough male point of views, but I got annoyed with Matt for being really clueless at times. The abuse from his father made him weak and sheltered him from the world. There is one point where he trusts a girl from his hostel and I wanted to yell STRANGER DANGER! He also found it really hard to stand up for himself even when it came to a girl. Matt also has these really clueless moments when it comes to girls.

Towards the end I felt sad for T. J. and Matt. You see Matt discovering this life that T. J. had and he wasn't a part of it. He thinks T. J. is gone and nothing will ever make it right. There are twist and turns you never see coming and while there is a lot of emotional pain it's definitely worth the read.

I really feel like Personal Effects is very different from anything in YA today. I also love that it's told from a male point of view. I do believe that readers, especially reluctant readers, will have a hard time getting past the first half of the book. At times it felt like it dragged on and a few times I thought about walking away from the book, but half way through, the story really grabbed me and never let go. So if you can over look the first half being slow then you will get a great story.

Audio Book Review: I think Nick Podehl did a great job as the narrator. I felt he really became Matt and he did a great job as Matt's dad and other characters. You really feel like you are in the story. As for the packaging I wasn't crazy about each CD in an individual paper envelope. Normally I like the binder type packaging, because I listen in the car so the CD's are easier to find instead of pulling all the envelopes out and having to find the right CD, which I would not recommend doing while you're driving of course.

This book was provided for review by Brilliance Audio.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Book Event: Laini Taylor

If you follow me on twitter then you might have seen me fan girl the very moment I got the information that Laini Taylor would be in Houston! Working for Blue Willow Bookshop has a number of perks and one of them is that I get to create the event pages, so I get the scoop on who will be in town before just about anyone else does. And if you haven't heard me say it before, I'll say it again; Laini is an amazing story teller! I actually met her last year at ALA in New Orleans, but I hadn't read her books so I said hi and told her I loved her pink hair. When I finally read Daughter of Smoke and Bone I kept thinking OMGosh I met her and I didn't even know how amazing she was! I was lucky enough to ask Laini how she got the idea for Zuzu's performances and she told the story of these giant marionettes shows where the marionettes were the size of buildings and that she could really imagine that in the story. Below are a few pictures I took at the event:

Giante marionettes that Laini mentioned:
Source: via laini on Pinterest

Must see this article on these giant marionettes:

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Audio Review: Beneath the Glitter

Beneath the Glitter by Elle Fowler and Blair Fowler

Rating: 2 of 5 Stars

I really wanted to like this one. I mean the cover is all pink and glittery and I love contemporary novels, but Beneath the Glitter had so many faults that I don't know where to begin, let's start with the narrator. Kate Rudd as the narrator was over pronouncing almost every word, it was really bad and it made it really difficult to stick with the story. Just as I would try to get lost in the story I felt her reading these very crisp words. At some point her voice really changed and I think it really made it easy to be annoyed with the story.

The story itself felt really predictable. Ava and Sophia London are sisters who live together and are best friends who never have problems. Then they get a deal to start a makeup line and all these misunderstandings happen, but they manage to pull it together in the end. I felt the sisters had no depth and there were so many holes in who they were. Like did only Sophia go to college? Where did they work before this makeup deal? Do they really get along twenty-four-seven? Sophia and Ava are in their twenties and have a house rule that guys never come over. Is this realistic? How can they afford their lifestyle? Don't get me wrong I'm a fan of fun light hearted books, but I didn't feel any of these questions were answered.

When the girls start having problems they never speak to each other. They talk about how close they are to family, but you never see a conversation with another family member or advice about how to handle the fighting. Not once do their parents come to visit or  go to their makeup launch. When Ava and Sophia both end up in the tabloids neither of them get a call from their mom.

Sophia talks about being the responsible one and goes out and gets wasted at a work event. At the end of each chapter they list Lon-do's and Lon-don'ts, which got annoying and I fast forwarded through most of them. I never got why Sophia never named her kitten. Also, Ava became so wrapped up in her Hollywood crush turned boyfriend Liam that I couldn't stop rolling my eyes.

I felt the cliff-hanger was thrown in as a last ditch effort to maybe pull readers back in. I will say that I can't see myself giving book 2 a chance. I'm giving Beneath the Glitter 2 stars because I feel it had potential and the cover is really pretty, but the story completely flopped for me.

Beneath the Glitter was provided for review by Brilliance Audio.

Monday, November 12, 2012

"Clear Your Shelf" Giveaway Hop!

This giveaway hop is perfect! I am running out of room my shelves so in order to buy new books I have to give some away! One lucky winner will get signed copies of Sisters Red and Sweetly by Jackson Pearce.

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Sisters Red
Scarlett March lives to hunt the Fenris--the werewolves that took her eye when she was defending her sister Rosie from a brutal attack. Armed with a razor-sharp hatchet and blood-red cloak, Scarlett is an expert at luring and slaying the wolves. She's determined to protect other young girls from a grisly death, and her raging heart will not rest until every single wolf is dead.

Rosie March once felt her bond with her sister was unbreakable. Owing Scarlett her life, Rosie hunts ferociously alongside her. But even as more girls' bodies pile up in the city and the Fenris seem to be gaining power, Rosie dreams of a life beyond the wolves. She finds herself drawn to Silas, a young woodsman who is deadly with an ax and Scarlett's only friend--but does loving him mean betraying her sister and all that they've worked for?

As a child, Gretchen's twin sister was taken by a witch in the woods. Ever since, Gretchen and her brother, Ansel, have felt the long branches of the witch's forest threatening to make them disappear, too.

Years later, when their stepmother casts Gretchen and Ansel out, they find themselves in sleepy Live Oak, South Carolina. They're invited to stay with Sophia Kelly, a beautiful candy maker who molds sugary magic: coveted treats that create confidence, bravery, and passion.

Life seems idyllic and Gretchen and Ansel gradually forget their haunted past -- until Gretchen meets handsome local outcast Samuel. He tells her the witch isn't gone -- it's lurking in the forest, preying on girls every year after Live Oak's infamous chocolate festival, and looking to make Gretchen its next victim. Gretchen is determined to stop running and start fighting back. Yet the further she investigates the mystery of what the witch is and how it chooses its victims, the more she wonders who the real monster is.

Gretchen is certain of only one thing: a monster is coming, and it will never go away hungry.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Audio Review: Monument 14

Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne

Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Wow Monument 14 is a gripping story, but sort of creepy. A natural disaster on the East Coast causes a ripple effect through the US. On top of it technology fails causing chemical plants to release toxic gases that affect the population based on blood type.

Dean lives in a world where technology has never failed, until one morning when they're on their way to school. The teens have no idea what to do without adults or their phones to hear what's going on. Lucky for them they get stranded near a superstore so once the panic wears off they realize that they can survive for a while.

At first they go wild, but then start to establish a society where each person has a job and task. Since they also have elementary school kids with them, they are forced to be strong for them and basically become their parents. On the one hand if you have to be stuck in a disaster area you think "well at least we have supplies", but on the other side you think "how long will I be stuck here?"!

There are moments where things get intense and moments that will gross you out, but overall I think Emmy Laybourne spun a great story and I can't wait to read the next book in this series. I highly recommend picking this up!

Audio Book: Todd Haberkorn is a terrific narrator. The entire time I felt like I was right there with them. The signs of a great narrator are forgetting that someone is telling a story and feeling like you are right there in the action.

Monument 14 was provided by Brilliance Audio for review.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Local Authors: CC Hunter, Sophie Jordan, and Joy Preble

Recently three of Houston's local authors did an event at BN in The Woodlands, TX. I love supporting my local authors, so I was happy to go see Sophie Jordan, Joy Preble, and CC Hunter. They shared the best stories about their personal life and their books! If they are ever in your area go see them and pick up their books!

For more event pictures click the Book Pictures Tab.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Daemon Invasion - Vote for Houston

Houston needs your votes! Cities are competing for the Opal Release Party with Jennifer L. Armentrout and Pepe Toth (AKA Daemon Black Cover Model) and Houston is a few votes behind! I asked my friend Stacy from Girls in the Stacks to help us spread the word! So watch this video and then head over to Entangled and vote for Houston. Even if you don't live in Houston you should still vote for us, because if Houston wins the Houston Book Bloggers will be giving away over 30+ books.

Vote Here:

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Review: Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor

Days of Blood & Starlight by Laini Taylor

Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Favorite New Character: Ziri who loved Madrigal when he was a boy. He stole my heart!

Favorite Quotes: "Don't I deserve to finally be free of you?"

"His smile it was wrong. Like something he'd learned from a book."

This is a book about war. Karou is dealing with who she is now and with the memories the wishbone returned. Karou holds herself responsible for the loss of her people and knows that it's all because she loved Akiva. And now she's working with the most unlikely person to make up for it. You feel her guilt driving her and she gets lost in her work. I have never seen a character so broken and how different she was from Daughter of Smoke and Bone. The fact that the book is told from a number of points of views makes it hard to follow at first, but once you get use to just trusting Taylor's writing you will just follow along.

Laini Taylor is an amazing storyteller. I will say that Days of Blood & Starlight is a much darker and somber book than Daughter of Smoke and Bone. The tone of the book reminded me of the feeling I had with Mocking Jay where a positive future doesn't seem like a reality. I can't wait to see where Laini Taylor will take us next in the series.

Source: ARC via Netgalley

Monday, November 5, 2012

David Levithan and Maggie Stiefvater

Ok I'm not even going to lie, the moment I found out that Mr. David Levithan* and Maggie Stiefvater were coming to Houston together I kind of had a fan girl moment. Dash and Lily by David Levithan is one of my favorite books and I still remember the moment I sat at Borders and read the first five pages of Shiver and was hooked. Not to mention that Luke, from Lament, is one of my favorite guys.

I tried to keep the fan girl to a minimum, but I did remind David of the time he asked me to stop taking pictures at an event because it was so quiet. Maggie told me in the signing line that Tessa Gratton's new book, The Weight of Stars, that's coming out in 2013 is phenomenal.

It was so great catching up with Joy Preble, Kristin Rae, Jessica Capelle, @DJ_Librarian, and Hip Mamma Jen at the event.

*Yes David is so amazing that when I speak of him I call him Mr. David Levithan.

New Blog Look!

Wondering is something different? Well the answer is YES! My friend Lisa mentioned she was starting a blog design company so I said give my blog a makeover! I loved my black and white design, but for the past few months I have been wanting a change. Lisa did a great job finding the perfect font and colors. For inspiration I gave her a few pictures of dresses, furniture and even china patterns that I loved and said run with it! I think she did an amazing job and I could not be happier! Also she did everything in less than two days!

A million thanks to Lisa and if you are looking for a makeover hurry over to her site! Do you love it?

Lisa Fay Designs

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Guest Post and Giveaway: Stealing Parker

When thinking about interview questions or a guest post with Miranda I went through a lot of ideas, but I really wanted to know from Miranda was what Parker was like before Stealing Parker begins. You can find my review of Stealing Parker here and read on to find out what Miranda has to say about Parker.

Interview with Parker before Stealing Parker!

Who is your biggest influence in life?
My older brother, Ryan. In high school, he was star of the baseball team and made great grades. He got into a great college - Vanderbilt. My parents are so proud of him. I want to make them proud too.

Tell me about your best friend?
My best guy friend is Drew. He's on the baseball team and the football team, and he wants to be an ESPN reporter one day. Drew and I love having Harry Potter movie marathons together. My best friend is Laura. She's the star pitcher for the Hundred Oaks softball team. We love dressing up and doing makeovers together. We go to church together too.

What's your dating life like?
Kind of non-existent, unfortunately. I've liked a few guys, but nobody really rocks my socks off yet. Yes, I just said rocks my socks off.

What's a typical Friday night when you aren't playing softball?
I like going to Jiffy Burger with the guys or going to the football game. If Drew doesn't have a football game, we have Harry Potter movie marathon night! Oliver Wood is hot.

Any plans for playing softball in college?
I hope so! I made the varsity team both freshman and sophomore year, so I have high hopes I can make it onto a college team like my mom did.

Favorite activity?
Painting my nails weird colors.

Favorite memory?
At camp when I was a kid, we received mail from our families. But if anyone got more than 3 pieces of mail in one day, we had to sing a song in front of the entire camp. And of course, my parents sent me 15 postcards in one day. I had to sing Twinkle, Twinkle, but I loved knowing how much my parents loved me.

What the most exciting thing, to you, about becoming a senior?
I'm really excited about softball. I want to see our team go far this year.
I'm also excited about Prom and the Winter Wonderland dance. I hope I meet somebody who I want to go with.

I want to thank Miranda Kenneally for doing this wonderful guest post and Source Books for providing the giveaway copy to one lucky winner!

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Thursday, November 1, 2012

November What I'm Reading

Here is my schedule. 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:

Listening to:

Reading Soon:

Just Finished:

Spooktacular Giveaway Winners

I want to thank everyone who entered the Spooktacular Giveaway Hop!

Entry 61: Jessica Reid
Entry 1: Beth DeRenzis

The winners have been notified and have 48 Hours to reply by email with a mailing address or a new winner will be picked. Thanks for entering and check back soon for the next giveaway!

Dear Teen Me Trivia - Update

Are you ready for a Dear Teen Me Trivia? I asked the following authors to share a fun fact about their teen selves. Can you guess who said what?

Fact 1: Jessica Spotswood

When I was little, my great-grandma had this amazing pink bedroom that just wowed me. So when my parents built a new house, I decided that I wanted burgundy carpet and burgundy curtains. Then I inherited this amazing bedroom set - white and gold furniture with a canopy bed and matching bookshelf, vanity, desk, and dresser. It was amazingly girly, and it stayed that way until I went away to college and my parents moved.

Fact 2: Done Tate

My nickname was Devas, as in Devas-Tating! I worked at a hamburger restaurant, and one evening --my clumsy teenage self -- I accidentally overturned an 8-foot hamburger griller onto it's side. There was a loud crash that echoed all through the mall, and one knew quite what to do. Someone yelled, "Tate, you are Devas-Tating!"

Fact 3: Ilsa J Bick

My parents never let me watch any television, at all, other than educational stuff like National Geographic and The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau. Which completely blew because I had no clue what everyone in school was talking about.

Fact 4: Katherine Longshore

The only time I ever sneaked out of the house in high school was to participate in a National History Day competition at the local university. I had to sneak out because my parents thought I was doing too much - clubs, grades, drama, yearbook, etc. etc.

Fact 5: Charles Benoit

I lost every fight I was ever in - but I did learn to take a punch!

Fact 6: Mary Lindsey

I had no fear of reptiles or creepy crawlies growing up. As a teen, my neighbors would call me to come "get rid of" (or from my perspective "rescue") snakes from their yards.

Fact 7: Stephanie Pellegrin

When I grew up I wanted to train the whales and dolphins at Sea World. I realized you probably needed to know how to swim to do that, so I decided to major in meteorology (which I didn't do!).

Fact 8: Sean Beaudoin

One fun fact is that I used to be a roustabout at the circus. And I think cotton candy is evil.

Fact 9: P.J. Hoover

Was captain of the varsity cheerleading squad and a member of the astronomy club.

Fact 10: Miranda Kenneally

I drove an aquamarine LeBaron convertible with a white top and I thought it was the most badass car ever. (It wasn't)

Fact 11: E. Kristin Anderson

I was the Southwestern Maine Class A Track & Field. 1600 meter Racewalk Champion in 2000.

Fact 12: Jessica Lee Anderson

I tried writing my first novel in high school, but given my past writing flops, I didn't want to tell anyone about it and kept my manuscript pages hidden under my dresser.

Fact 13: Geoff Herbach

Fact: Along with playing football, I also played cello. My junior year, my neck grew from lifting weights. My orchestra shirt barely buttoned. My bow tie strangled me. While performing, I swallowed and my adam's apple moved up and down and that made my bow tie bounce. People in the audience laughed, because my bow tie kept bouncing. Soon, I was swallowing in rhythm to the song we played, so that my bow tie bounced in time. The audience roared. At the end, my orchestra teacher smiled and bowed and then walked over to me and whispered, "I am going to kill you. Do you understand?" I swallowed out of fear and my bow tie bounced. He thought I mocked him. "Get off my stage," he hissed. I missed the rest of the concert just because my neck was too big.

I want to thank Zest Books, Miranda Kenneally, and E. Kristin Anderson for letting me be part of the Dear Teen Me Blog Tour! I also want to thank the wonderful authors who made this post possible. Dear Teen Me is available today so pick up a copy!

Leave your guesses in the comments and come back later today for all the answers!