Thursday, November 14, 2019

Christmas Book Review: Royal Holiday

 * Book 4 in the Wedding Date series * 

Royal Holiday (The Wedding Date, #4)When Maddie's job takes her to England for Christmas, she asks her mom to accompany her. Vivian's excited to travel, especially since after the first of the year, things will drastically change at work. This will be her last vacation for a while. She's also proud of her daughter for her accomplishments. While Maddie's helping the Duchess, she'll be able to relax.

When she meets the Queen's Royal Secretary - the two of them hit it off. Soon, he taking her on private tours of the estate, horseback riding, and more.

Malcolm and Vivian talk for hours, spending as much time together as they can. But what happens when the clock strikes midnight and Vivian must return home? 
My Thoughts: I really enjoyed this book. I loved the Christmas moments and the festivities. I loved learning more about Maddie's mom. I loved her romance with Malcom. I loved the royal moments - meeting the Queen, seeing the palace, moments with the Duchess. I loved how Vivian and Malcolm couldn't keep away from each other, enjoyed their conversations, and helped each other with family and job drama. Another fun book in this series. 

Cover Thoughts: Seriously cute
Source: My library
Library Recommendation: Grab this holiday novel for your romance collection

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Picture Book Review: Grace Goes to Washington

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Grace learns about the different branches of government as she and the rest of the student council decide how to spend money from the school's fundraiser. Everyone has a different idea.

I loved this second Grace book. It talked about compromise, government, voting, and kindness. The message from the book is great. The illustrations are amazing. I loved the quote from Martin Luther King, Jr. about a kind world. There's also an author's note about getting involved. I hope there are many more Grace books to come.

A must have book for your school and public libraries.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: Bookmarks

This week's topic is favorite bookmarks. I have several that I love.  And I lost quite a few during the last two years because Emma got mad and chewed them up. 

Here are five bookmarks that I love. Two are from author friends.
Two were gifts.
And the pizza one is from a library.
I have lots of food bookmarks from libraries.
My favorite ones of those are the scratch and sniff ones. There's a s'mores one that smells delightful.

But there are really awesome ones on Etsy too. And they make great gifts!
Here are just a few of those:

Monday, November 11, 2019

If You Like Pins (18)

I haven't done one of these in a while and I've been reading some great books lately. 

So here are some new If You Like Pins!

Books Featured:
Countess Below Stairs

Books Featured:
The Rest of the Story
Small Town Hearts
I Wonder Who You Are

Books Featured:
One of Us is Lying
I Hunt Killers

Books Featured:
Give A Boy a Gun
Hate List

Books Featured:
Tweet Cute (upcoming)

Books Featured:
What Kind of Girl
Watch Us Rise
The Nowhere Girls 

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Embers of Memory Game

I was super excited about this game because I'm a HUGE Sarah J Maas fan.
I love that there's a card game because of a book series.

The art work in the cards is amazing.

It took us a little bit to get into the game.

We lost the game - with the way we shuffled the cards, winning was impossible.

How cool is it that a series of books became so popular that there's a game because of them?

I was surprised that the game was set before the Kingdom of Ash. I assumed it would be during Throne of Glass to hook more people into reading the book series.

I loved that it was a cooperative game, even though you're not allowed to speak about strategy. 

I really enjoyed played this game. Fans of the book will be interested in playing.

* Game sent for review

Friday, November 8, 2019

Book Spotlight: Awesome Achievers

Awesome Achievers in Technology by Alan KatzAwesome Achievers in Science by Alan Katz

Each book has twelve mini biographies about lesser known people who made amazing achievements in science and technology. The biographies are followed by humorous writings - sometimes poems, songs, comics, or  conversations.  Learning and humor go together well. 

The twelve people chosen are diverse. Readers might have heard of some of them (especially Sally Ride), but many will be new to readers. I loved learning about Roberta Williams as I played some of those computer games growing up. But knew nothing about her. 

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Christmas Book Review: How the Dukes Stole Christmas

How the Dukes Stole Christmas
Four novellas featuring four dukes from some of my favorite historical romance authors.

My Thoughts: I loved these stories. They were funny, sweet, charming, and entertaining. Meet Me in Mayfair mostly took place in one night during a ball. Louisa must find a titled wealthy man to fall in love with her in one night to save their family. The Duke of Christmas Present is all about second chances and chocolate. I loved the secret tunnel in that story. Heiress Alone reminded me of Home Alone - but set in Scotland. Her family won a house there and the daughters, except for one, are looking to be married well. The mother reminded me of Mrs. Bennett. Christmas in Central Park takes place in New York City, during the Gilded Age. There's a twist on the Duke in this one. I love how one bad idea snowballed until it became out of control. A fantastic collection of stories that I didn't want to end!

Source: Gifted
Library Recommendation: Grab this one for your romance section, your readers will thank you!

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Thanksgiving Picture Book Round Up

Here are some Thanksgiving reads - some for review and some for updating our collection. We don't have a lot of Thanksgiving picture books and the ones we have are a little bit older.

 I'm on the hunt for more, so if you have a favorite, please, leave me a comment!

Five Little Thank-Yous
Five Little Thank-Yous
A sweet board book about 5 things that make us Thankful for - perfect for sharing with little ones.
You can count your happy thoughts on one hand.
The artwork is charming.

Gobble Up, Snoopy! (Peanuts)
Gobble Up Snoopy
Snoopy is thankful for - his food dish being filled up. So he pens a thank you note to his food dish. It's funny and sweet and all about food and friendship. 

A Turkey for Thanksgiving
Turkey for Thanksgiving
This one is a much older story, which my boss urged me to read, about a group of friends getting together to share Thanksgiving dinner. But the hostess desperately wants a turkey for the table and her husband promises to track one down - which he does with a little help from his friends. 

While the premise seems a bit scary, this is a lovely book about friendship, food, and being together. 

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How to Catch a Turkey
When a turkey hears about a show, he get stage fright. He leads the entire school on a chase - from the coach to the principle. He goes from science class to the library to the recess yard - all before he mistakenly makes he way back to the stage where he'll have to face his fear. 

A cute story about facing your fears with fun illustrations.

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The members of the Fright Club are back and gathering for their Thanksgiving feast. They have their own way of doing things, but when Vladimir's family shows up, they take over the meal preparation. And it goes badly. Thanksgiving is ruined. 

A great story about expectations, family, and working together to make a memorable day.

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Duck and Hippo Give Thanks
Duck and Hippo decide to host an old fashioned Thanksgiving Feast. Hippo can't wait to have all the trimmings! He works hard baking, but his friends are late. When they show up, they all have a dish to add to the table. But it's not the dishes at a typical Thanksgiving Feast...

A sweet story about friendship, being different, and sharing. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: Autumn Vibes

This week's topic is Autumn Vibes. I love autumn - the leaves changing colors, the crunching of the leaves, and the cool brisk air. Here are some books that capture that feeling for me. Cozies have great autumn vibe covers!

It Happened One Autumn (Wallflowers, #2)Just Your Average PrincessDark Chocolate Demise (Cupcake Bakery Mystery, #7)A Killer Crop (Orchard, #4)The Diva Haunts the House (A Domestic Diva Mystery, #5)
PumpkinheadsKiller Crullers (Donut Shop Mystery, #6)

Not Yet Read: 
I haven't read these yet, but the covers give me major vibes
The Bakeshop at Pumpkin and SpiceA Killer Maize (A Farmers' Market Mystery, #4)Town in a Pumpkin Bash  (A Candy Holliday Mystery, #4)

Monday, November 4, 2019

Chatting with Meg Cabot

Anyone who reads my blog knows that Adore Meg Cabot and her books. I'll read anything she writes. I was super excited when I realized that she was going to be at BEA this past year signing Black Canary ARCs. 

Well, Amanda and I were almost late to the signing. Once we got our badges and dropped off our bags, we made a beeline for the booth. I was surprised to see there wasn't much of a line. I think there were two people in front of us. 

The line manager was holding up the book and said it was the last copy. My  face fell. Amanda graciously said that I should take the book. Luckily, the line manager found another copy for Amanda.

I'm excited to chat with the fabulous Meg Cabot all about the book that just came out last week!

If you could pick a superpower to have, what would it be?
 If I could pick any superpower, it would be the power to turn invisible! Then I could sneak into all sorts of concerts and eat in restaurants for free! And I could spy on everyone’s conversations. I would always know the truth about what was being said, especially by big corporations and world leaders! And of course I’d record these conversations and play them for the world. Oh, and of course I’d steal things I wanted, like art from museums. I didn’t say I’d be a GOOD superhero! 

That's a great superpower to have. 

What are the differences in the creative process between writing a novel and writing a graphic novel? I had no idea writing a graphic novel would be so different! It’s more like writing a screenplay (which I did for the movie Ice Princess starring Michelle Trachtenberg and Kim Catrall), although even more work, because you have to describe what’s happening in every single panel, including the facial expressions of the characters, what they’re saying, wearing, what’s going on in the background, etc. Fortunately DC held workshops in NYC taught by legends like Jim Lee. I’m so glad attended these – I learned so much! 

Oh, that's very different!

 I loved how Dinah's friends talked about everyday people making a difference. Has anyone recently made a difference in your life? 
I’ve been fortunate to have so many amazing role models in my life, everyone from my mom to my teachers to librarians who helped me find great books to read that I’d never have discovered on my own, to women I worked for—I always had amazing bosses who were very encouraging—all the way to when I became published and writers like Judy Blume and Tamara Pierce took me under their wing and gave me great advice. I’ve been so lucky in that way, and have always tried to make a difference in the lives of other young people whenever I could. 

Oh, I love the shoutout to librarians. I love it when people reach out and help others. 

I love how the book takes place during career week. What did you want do with your life when you were in middle school? 
Ha, thanks for noticing that! When I was Dinah’s age, I wanted to be everything from a veterinarian to a police detective to an actress to a writer. I was obsessed with Nancy Drew and animals and solving crimes, and spent most of my time going around my neighborhood writing down what my neighbors were doing (I thought a number of them were criminals). Eventually all these notes became books that happily for my neighbors will never get published as my handwriting is illegible. 

That's funny. You were like Harriet the Spy! Apparently I wanted to be a high school English teacher. Which I wouldn't chose today. Although I'd love to teach a college/graduate course on YA Literature. (So I guess it's kind of similar...)

I also loved the feminist concept of speaking up and controlling your voice. Did you have a moment in middle school (or high school) where you spoke up? Or wanted to speak up? 
I had a pretty bad lisp as a kid and got made fun of a lot when I spoke, so I was very shy – until I went through Speech and Hearing in 2nd grade. Then I gained a lot more confidence – so much so that my middle school principal told me I was the loudest kid in the whole cafeteria and that I needed to shut up! This was one of my proudest moments (I was only entertaining my friends, putting on a little show for them during lunch). That’s when I knew I’d probably be an entertainer of some kind when I grew up. What drew me to Black Canary is that she only has one superpower, and it’s her voice – and she uses it to make things right in the world, the same way I used mine to make people feel entertained. I think that’s a great message for not only girls, but all kids – you have a voice, and it’s not only okay, but important to use it to make change. This message especially resonates with me since for so long as a kid I was afraid to use mine. 

Such a great lesson in life! 

Thanks so much for chatting with me today, Meg!

And if you haven't read the graphic novel yet, don't wait! It's a fun middle school graphic novel about music, friendship, family, and finding your voice.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Walt Disney World Photos (5 and 6)

My husband and I recently traveled to Disney World, I thought I'd share some fun photos of our trip. Here are some pictures from our last two days there.

Pumpkin  Scarecrow

Inside Cinderella's Castle

Jacque and Gus Gus hiding

Castle Window


Breakfast View

The Sword and the Stone - will I be the next Queen?

Mulan and I hanging out

Finally got to see the library inside Beast's Castle.
Disappointing. No real books. Barely any book cases.

Nothing like my imagination from the movie:

Cinderella's Castle at Night

Treats from Pandora world

The Grand Floridian - where we had a tea

The tea goodies

I'm so happy to be here

Mrs. Potts


The Royal Couple.

And that's it, that concludes our photos. Hope you enjoyed looking at them!