Friday, February 27, 2009

Just Met: Ann Brashares

She's super cool, a little shy, and would be fun to hang out with.
She was at the Southbury, CT Borders. She came out and ask if people had questions. No one really said anything, then I asked how many books would be in the new series.

Upon reflection: there are questions I wish I had asked
1. Were you involved with the movies?
2. Did you visit the set?
3. What made you decide to create a new younger sisterhood?

I tried doing some research (librarian) online, I did find pictures of the 2nd movie premiere:
I LOVE meeting authors. Someone brought in a pair of jeans for her to sign. I wish I thought of that. I did ask her to sign Sisterhood 2 movie posters for summer reading prizes. And I upgraded from a ARC to a hardcover (both signed too). I'll give away my ARC as a summer prize as well.

What authors have you met recently?

Thursday, February 26, 2009


Phoebe lives a very lucky life: she has four best friends, two sisters, awesome parents, a great lifestyle - not to mention she's helping to throw the hottest party in town for her eight grade graduation. When her mom makes a mistake and loses her job, suddenly things start to change. Phoebe hides the truth from her friends, creating tension in the group. To make matters worse, the group looks like it might be breaking up. Some of the girls are more focused on high school boys and making the leap from middle school to high school with their popularity intact. Phoebe pulls out of the party without telling her friends the truth? Has she lost her friends forever on top of the all the family drama?

This is the first in trilogy about three sisters, who sometimes get along. The second book

comes out in May. Lucky is a great tale of friendship amidst family drama and finding out your true friends. I'm anxious for the next book in the series starring Allison. Plus I love the covers. Check out this quiz for the Gorgeous

Monday, February 23, 2009

Chatting with Kim Baccellia

1. What made you decide to write?
I've been writing since I can remember but it wasn't until much later that I decided to try to finish that novel I told my high school friends I'd write before 30. It took a little longer than that, but I did it!

2. Where do you write best?
In my writing room. It's up in the loft. You first have to go up a spiral staircase, which then has huge windows looking outside.

Sounds great, very picturesque.

3. Is there a topic you’ve always wanted to write about?
I always wanted to finish writing my story about growing up with a bipolar father. I'm a third of the way through it and hope to get back to it soon.

4. What’s one book you wish you’d written?
Wow, that's a tough one! I would have loved to have written THE THORN BIRDS or any of Diana Galbadon's novels.

5. What was the last book you’ve read that you’ve been recommending to everyone?
THE HUNGER GAMES. Very intense story that sucks you right in.
THE LUXE. I totally love these 1899 Manhattan meets GOSSIP GIRL books.

I LOVE both of these books, I can't say enough about them. I'm really looking forward to Catching Fire (the sequel to the Hunger Games) and while I'm looking forward to Splendor (the 4th in the Luxe series), I'm sad that it's ending.

6. How do you get your ideas? Do you use real events in your novels and if so, can you describe one?
I know this sounds cliche but a lot of my stories come from either dreams or what if questions. One of my projects SHATTERED ILLUSIONS is based very loosely on my teen years growing
up with a bipolar father.

7. Crossed Out comes out later this year, what can you tell us about it?
CROSSED OUT is a YA paranormal where Stephanie has a secret nightly extracurricular job. Throw in ghosts, a cutie neighbor with his own paranormal abilities, and the hot new kid.

Sounds intriguing

8. Are you working on a new project? Can you tell us more about it?
STEP STONE AWAY is about Jordan Lakes who loves romance and tales of her Aunt Alice. While at her grandmother's house, she finds something that might have belonged to Alice and that ends up putting a whole new twist on romance.

9. Name a celebrity, you’d love to have as a BFF
Either Kate Winslet or Nicole Kidman

10. Listing if your favorites: (add anything else fun you can think of)
Type of shoe--Love my mid heel flip flops. Also love cute flats. It's too warm here in So. Ca or I'd get a pair of cute boots.
Candy--Peppermint patties
Pizza topping--Canadian bacon, mushroom, and pineapple
Genre of books-depends on mood. Right now paranormals and romances
Singer and/or Song--Right now loving Britney Spear's CIRCUS. I also like Evanscence, and Linkin Park.
Restaurant--BJ Brewery
TV show --24

11. Have you ever heard “the future” from a psychic? Or are there any good stories behind those visits?
Oh, yes! I've been a few times to see psychics. My mother took all of us to see a psychic which was really amazing as this woman was able to tell me things that I hadn't told anyone, except maybe my journal. She also was right on the predication of my future. Very freaky. I could sense she had the ability to do this too.

While another psychic was more of a joke. My husband went with me and tried to talk me out of it. Sure enough, the psychic told him to leave as he was bringing negative vibes to the reading. Needless to say, he wasn't too happy! The psychic then only told me really basic things and was wrong about how many kids I'd have. She told me two and I only have one. She also was wrong on some other things.

I still believe there are some people who do have this ability. I'm such a sucker for the whole paranormal thing, that I'll probably go see another one in the future.

Cool, I've always wanted to go to a psychic, but I haven't yet. One day...


I admit I mainly watched the Oscars for two reasons:
1. The Fashions
2. Hugh Jackman

I didn't see the movies that were nominated in the BIG categories. I thought that the Dark Night was snubbed from the Best Picture category. There are films I'd like to see based on the show - which was entertaining to watch. I liked the break of traditions.
Hugh Jackman looked great, had some great jokes, funny moments, and was very entertaining. I'd like to see him host again

As for the Fashion: here are some of my favorite dresses. It's harder for males - because there's only so much you can do with a tux/suit.

Friday, February 20, 2009


Two months have passed since Elizabeth Holland returned home and the horror still hasn't left her. People are curious about why she left town, why she came back, and what really happened at Grand Central Station. Much to their disappointment, she refuses to go out in society. If she must venture out, with instructions from her mother, she makes certain her sister accompanies her.

Diana is also nursing a broken heart - her one true love is now married. She finds herself avoiding his company, yet craving it at the same time. Penelope enjoys the hold she has over Diana at catching the husband she always wanted, but her marriage isn’t happy. In fact, it’s falling apart. Henry hates the fact that he’s married to someone other than Diana. He can’t look at his wife, is barely civil to her, and watches Diana. Diana understands the situation – or at least what Henry tells her. But is he telling the truth?

Mrs. Holland is pushing both girls back into society to make eligible matches in marriage. Can they achieve the social status their mother demands while nursing their broken hearts or will old rivalries, jealousy, and backstabbing friends keep the sisters from making their social comeback?

Another great read in the series. This book had me hooked, waiting to read about the next scandal. It's a very addicting novel.

Rumors: The next book in the series: Splendor will be out in October and will be the last book in the series.

I'm really sad about that, but I'm also anxious to see what Anna Godbersen will create next.

Laurie Halse Anderson - Speak Poem

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


How far would you go to protect your parents? Would you infiltrate an exclusive group hell bent on making an environmental impact - to report their antics to the FBI? To makes matters worse, she's already met the group - it includes the boy she's hoping will become her boyfriend. Ellie doesn't mind having an excuse to hang out with him, but she can't imagine what he'll say if he ever found out the truth. First, Ellie has to prove herself to the group before she's excepted. Then she goes on her first mission - destroying a car dealership selling SUVs. Ellie's in over her head. She knows that the environment is endangered and she genuinely believes in the points the group makes - but what happens when they start talking bigger? Is there a point of no return? Will Ellie ever be free from the FBI, this group, and get her life back on track?

A moving tale that speaks volumes about the environment without a preachy feel. The action keeps the tale moving quickly, while the reader waits for the other shoe to drop. An very enjoyable read with a great cover.

Check out the author's page for more details (also on a awesome story featuring Roald Dahl)

Also spread the love with the facebook flair:

Last Percy Jackson book unveiled

Here it is - and it BEAUTIFUL. I'm looking forward to the conclusion of this magnificant series. Read more about the cover here

show your love for the series with Facebook Flair:
(I know, I'm addicted to creating book flair)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Ida Mae Jones dreams of flying. Her father taught her how to fly and soon, she loves it. When her father dies, she keeps on dreaming. When the war hits, her brother enlists leaving her to stay home. She's going stir crazy staying home saving and rationing for the war. Ida Mae wants to make a difference. She thinks it could be her time when she hears about the WASP program (Women's Airforce Service Pilots). She doctors up her father's license to pretend it's hers and dresses in her best clothes. Ida Mae is terrified...because she's black. She knows that although it's a women's program, she's likely to be turned away. Her skin tone is light enough for her to pass as white, so she bites the bullet. Once she arrives at the training camp in Sweetwater Texas, she's scared to death of flunking out of the program, her secret of her skin tone will come out, or that she'll lose her new sense of freedom. Ida Mae relishes in the program. She forms new friendships while she serves her country, but deep down there's still tension in who she is and who she wants to become. Can she overcome all the odds to fly as a WASP?

I really loved this book. It's a topic that fascinated me when I learned about it during a college class: Introduction to Women's Studies. At the time, I wondered why this topic wasn't covered more in the high school class rooms/text books. It's such an inspiring program.
This book deal discusses the value of friendship, bonding in times of stress, the strength of friendship, racial and gender issues, and the deep ties of family. It was a quick engaging wonderful read.

It's been talked about quite a bit, both at the YA YA YAs (where you can read their review and also an interview with the author) and at the Librarian By Day blog.

Two other excellent books on the WASP program are Skies Over Sweetwater (fiction) and Yankee Doodle Gals (nonfiction).

Saturday, February 14, 2009



Go out and celebrate LOVE
I'm heading to Maine for the weekend
with my wonderful husband
He certainly spoils me
and it's wonderful
so I try to spoil him back
Spoil someone you love today
whether that's your significant other, your best friend, or your sibling.
If no one is spoiling you, then
spoil yourself

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Chatting with Amy Goldman Koss

Welcome Amy!

1. What made you decide to write YA novels instead of picture books?
I got a whole lot more free paper so could write more. No. that's a lie. Paper is never free. Except when I used to steal it from my temp jobs... a crime for which I shall no doubt roast in the great by and by. Actually, a wonderful editor (Cindy Kane) suggested it, (that I write a novel, not steal paper) and although the idea of writing all those WORDS seemed intimidating and impossible.... I tried it and loved it. And (so far -- fourteen novels later) there has been no turning back.

2. Where do you write best? On paper. I've tried writing on cookie dough but it was so messy and fattening. Jello was even worse.
Laughing as I imagine that...

3. Is there a topic you’ve always wanted to write about? It's all about me. Thinly veiled, but all those girls and boys, bad and good in all my books are Me Me ME! So, in answer to your question -- I'd like to write a little more about myself.

4. What’s one book you wish you’d written? For the money: Harry Potter. For the story: The Little Prince. For the coolness factor: Maus.

5. What was the last book you’ve read that you’ve been recommending to everyone?
Freak Show by James St. James.

6. How do you get your ideas? Do you use real events in your novels and if so, can you describe one?
That sound is me shrugging. Each book comes at me from someplace different. THE GIRLS wrote itself, and I just did the typing. GOSSIP TIMES THREE was inspired by a fabulous fight between my daughter and her two best friends when two of them liked the same boy. I begged for weeks until they finally SOLD me their fight. SIDE EFFECTS was partly a revenge piece, getting back at people who said stupid things when my daughter was sick, and partly so there'd be a funny, realistic cancer survivor book out there for people who are not just looking for a good cry. POISON IVY was the result of many many hours procrastinating work on other books, talking legal "what ifs" with my lawyer brother on the phone.

All of these tales are great. I really like how the girls sold you their story - very cute! I LOVED Side Effect, because it is so different from other books on cancer.

7. What do you have coming up next? Poison Ivy just came out in paper back (buy it!) and Side Effects will be out in paper next year. (plan to buy it!) He or she who buys both is absolutely one hundred percent guaranteed a happy, healthy, sexy and successful life. For real! And if you buy them in hard cover you'll be fabulously rich and famous as well!

8. Name a celebrity, you’d love to have as a BFF
Jim Henson, creator of The Muppets, except that he's dead.

9. Listing if your favorites:
Type of shoe -- none
Candy --- dark chocolate and black licorice.
Pizza topping -- artichoke
Genre of books --- lots
Singer and/or Song -- too hard.
Restaurant -- all
TV show -- don't have TV but love to watch The Daily Show in hotels.
Color -- all

Monday, February 9, 2009


Graceling has been so highly praised, that I needed to read it. I finally scored a copy and settled in, not really knowing what to expect.

Katsa is graced with the ability to fight. She can kill a man with her bare hands. Because of her skills, her uncle King Randa, uses her to frighten people into obeying his command. Katsa hates working for her uncle. When she rescues a king from the dungeons as part of the council's work, she has no idea that her life will change forever. When a relative of the man she rescued appears at court, she feels drawn to him. He's the first person to challenge her in a fight. Although she can pummel him, he makes her work. As their friendship grows, Katsa knows Po is leaving to search for answers. She can't bear the thought him him going without her. Katsa travels with him. Their path is as dangerous as their enemies. Can they survive the journey and face the the truth about the threat of the seven kingdoms.

I adored this book and never wanted the adventure to end. I'm anxious to read the rest of the books in the series.

Also check out the flair from facebook:


The following is taken from Cashore's webpage, she also has a blog.

Fire, Graceling's prequel-ish companion book, takes place across the mountains to the east of the seven kingdoms, in a rocky, war-torn land called the Dells.

Beautiful creatures called monsters live in the Dells. Monsters have the shape of normal animals:
mountain lions, dragonflies, horses, fish. But the hair or scales or feathers of monsters are gorgeously colored-- fuchsia, turquoise, sparkly bronze, iridescent green-- and their minds have the power to control the minds of humans.

Seventeen-year-old Fire is the last remaining human-shaped monster in the Dells. Gorgeously monstrous in body and mind but with a human appreciation of right and wrong, she is hated and mistrusted by just about everyone, and this book is her story.

Wondering what makes it a companion book/prequel? Fire takes place 30-some years before Graceling and has one cross-over character with Graceling, a small boy with strange two-colored eyes who comes from no-one-knows-where, and who has a peculiar ability that Graceling readers will find familiar and disturbing...

Fire comes out in October 2009 from Dial Books for Young Readers.


Book 3, tentatively titled Bitterblue and currently in progress, is a companion book to both Graceling and Fire and takes place in the seven kingdoms six years after Graceling. As you may have gathered, the protagonist is Bitterblue. Yes, Katsa, Po, & Co. appear in the book. :o) Writing it is killing me softly, except for when it's killing me with loud death agonies. The less said about it for now, the better.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Far From You

Alice's mom died of cancer. Now her father's remarried and her new stepmother is having a baby. Alice feels both unloved and neglected by this news. She can't bring herself to help out around the house or even help with the baby. All the rage inside is killing her and she has no outlet except her music. But people are starting to complain that her songs have been sad for too long and it's time for a change. How can Alice change the way she feels? Now, everything's locked inside. Alice's fighting with everyone in her life and she's not sure she can take it anymore. On they way home from forced road trip to her stepmother's family, Alice and her new family become lost and trapped in a huge blizzard. They have very little food, not a lot of warm clothes, and dwindling hope. Will they survive trapped in the car together?

Lisa Schroeder (Author of I Heart You, You Haunt Me) writes in verse. The poems are excellent, leaving the reader to feel the tension, the anger, the hopelessness of Alice's situations. This book is a fabulous, emotional read.

Witch High

Witchcraft in Salem doesn't just belong in the history books. Witchy teens are living among normals, but at school, things are different. Witch High is just your average high school - you have the jocks, the cliques, the queen B's, and the geeks. It's really the same, but add a dose of magic. Spells go awry, mean girls rule the hallways, lunchtime can be horrible, and there are always classes you don't want to take. Failing magical classes becomes a whole new kind of failing.

There are 14 tales centering around this high school. While I don't normally read short stories (I always think they would make better books), these were wonderful. They captured my attention. I only wish that some of the tales overlapped characters.

Try Also: Salem Witch Tryouts, Bras and Broomsticks, and the Sweep series

books to movies/tv

Ramona is coming to a big screen near year (from the bookshelves of doom)

Meanwhile, the CW has picked up L.J. Smith's Vampire series to adapt for TV (from the YA YA YAs)

I'm looking forward to seeing both of these projects.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

ABCs of Kissing Boys - from

Parker’s life is over.

She failed to make the varsity soccer team and now her friends are drifting further and further away, until her social life is nonexistent. But she’s not taking this lying down. She’s come up with a foolproof plan to regain both her spot on the soccer field and also her former BFFs. She’s going to pay the hottest guy in town to kiss her at the annual sports fair. His only condition – the kiss has to look real. Parker’s never been kissed, but she makes a deal with her neighbor. Even though he’s just a freshman, Parker knows that he might be her only hope. However, if the rest of the school finds out, her chance at redemption might be over before it begins.

With THE ABC'S OF KISSING BOYS, Parker learns the true meaning of friendship and love, as well as her own strength, in this delightful romantic tale.

The Letter Writer (from

Harriet knows her place in society. She’s the half-sister of the plantation owner. She does little jobs and writes letters for his mother. She notices the differences in treatment of all people and has a hard time dealing with the injustice. When Nat Turner comes to work at her plantation, she finds herself drawn to him. His God seems quite different from her brother’s. When he asks for her help, she doesn’t refuse him. What she doesn’t realize is the part she might play in changing history.

This gripping tale imagines the story of the bloodiest uprising of slaves in American History.

5 stars

Monday, February 2, 2009

Chatting with Allison Van Diepen

1. What made you decide to write?
I’ve always been a dreamer, and have spent much of my life watching made-up movies in my head. That made me a storyteller from an early age. I wrote my first full-length manuscript when I was fourteen, and I knew then that I wanted to be a published author one day. Writing novels is simply the most exciting thing I’ve ever done, and I’m hooked for life.

2. Where do you write best?
At home at my computer. When I lived in New York City, I wrote in cafes to get out of my tiny apartments. I work full time as a high school teacher in Ottawa, Canada, and write evenings, weekends, and – thank God – summer vacations. Now I have my own office at home. I use music to put me in a certain frame of mind. Raven was written to romantic ballads and frenetic dance music.

3. Is there a topic you’ve always wanted to write about?
Time travel’s definitely in the cards at some point. I’ve had this story about a girl going back to Ancient Rome in my head for years. I hope I write it soon.
Sounds Intriguing

4. What’s one book you wish you’d written?
MONSTER by Walter Dean Myers. It’s a riveting story written in screenplay format.

Great Book - love the format

5. What was the last book you’ve read that you’ve been recommending to everyone?
BEHIND THE EYES by Francisco Stork, a powerful coming of age story of a Mexican-American teen. I’m really looking forward to his next novel, MARCELO IN THE REAL WORLD, which is already getting starred reviews.

6. How do you get your ideas? Do you use real events in your novels and if so, can you describe one?
STREET PHARM and SNITCH were inspired by the happenings in the Brooklyn high school where I taught; I couldn’t have written those books if I weren’t there, in the thick of it. RAVEN comes from a far more personal place, especially in terms of Nicole’s family situation. I think most writers channel some of their personal demons into their writing, whether they’re willing to admit it or not.

An example of a real event would be the riot in SNITCH. It was parent-teacher conference day, and all of the students were let out at noon (normally their schedules were stratified so they didn’t all leave the school at once). A fight broke out in the midst of the crowd, and what proceeded was a massive brawl. It spilled out onto the streets, stopped cars, and even involved drivers. I watched in awe from a third floor window with a security guard standing beside me. She turned to me and said, “You think I’m getting involved in that?”

7. Your new book, RAVEN is coming out. Can you tell us a little bit about it?
RAVEN is the story of Nicole, who works underage at a dance club and is part of a breaker crew called the Toprocks. Nicole’s brother was a high achiever who became a meth addict and that situation has shattered her family. She seeks comfort in Zin, the head of her breaker crew, whom she’s madly in love with. But Zin has a dark secret… here's the book trailer

This looks amazing!

8. Are you working on another project?

Always! I’m writing two books for MIRA’s new YA line, due out in 2010. They reflect my lighter side (I really do have one, I promise).

9. Name a celebrity, you’d love to have as a BFF.
I can’t decide between Kathy Griffin and Eckhart Tolle.

10. Listing of your favorites:
Type of shoe: I don’t know anything about shoes, as my friends always point out. So I guess my answer is sneakers.
Candy: Marshmallow hearts.
Pizza topping: Pepperoni. How’s that for original?
Genre of books: These days, YA urban fantasy. But I’ll read anything that hooks me in the first few pages.
Singer and/or Song: Right now I’m listening to Dangerous by Kardinal Offishall.
Restaurant: Sweetgrass, a bistro here in Ottawa that makes Aborginal and Caribbean cuisine.
TV show: Dexter and 24.
Color: Blue like South Pacific waters.

Look for Raven out February 10th and thanks for chatting with us Allison!

Fall in Love with a Great Book

Fall in Love with a Great Book! the theme of our big display at the library this month. Despite a rocky start (One gentleman walked by the display as we were setting it up. He took a close look at the books and pronounced them "sissy" books.), the books have been flying off the shelve. I had to restock half the adult portion this morning.

My two Loves are books that I currently can't get out of my head.

What are yours?