Friday, December 31, 2010

Holiday Reading Challege -Completed

For this challenge, I read

1. Dash & Lily's Book of Dares
2. Snow Globe
3. Chesapeake Shores Christmas (no review - but excellent read)
4. Perfect Christmas
5. I'll be Home for Christmas (no review - an interesting read dealing with Time Travel)
6. Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor
7. Mischief of Mistletoe
8. Holiday Affair
9. Mrs Miracle
10. Diva Cooks a Goose (review coming soonish)

I really LOVE Christmas Reads and will participate again next year!

10 Things: Resolutions

I usually make these every year. I sometimes follow them, but more often then not, I drop the ball sometime during the year. However, here are my hopes for the blogs, books, and author meetings for the new year.

1. Blog most days - this I've been working on and with scheduling posts, it's very easy.
2. Read 365 books this year (2010 count = 350, so this might be do-able)
3. Expand my thoughts on my reviews
4. Post more pop-culture posts, including movie reviews and other items.
5. Comment on more blogs
6. Attend BEA for the third time
7. Not be shy about introducing myself to authors/bloggers
8. Come up with a one line zinger for an introduction
9. Finish editing the two novels from past year's NaNoWriMo wins
10. Send them off and find an agent

What are your bookish plans for the new year?

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Best of 2010

Here's my list for my favorite reads this year. By read this year, I mean I physically read them this year. They might not all be 2010 books - they may be older or might be coming out next year. Also some of these books might have worked for multiple categories, but I've chosen something else instead. As I've read 339 books so far this year, I surpassed my goal of 300. Woo Hoo! I read across genres, but you might tend to see a pattern here :)

*you can check out my lists from 2009 and 2008 and see how they've changed*

Best Cover: see this post
Best Fairy: Spell Hunter
Best Nonfiction: The Good, the Bad, and the Barbie
Best Adult Nonfiction: Cake Wrecks
Best Biography: Edith Wharton and the Brave Escape
Best Friendship turned Romance: Waiting for You
Funniest: Match Made in High School
Adult Funniest: Wicked Appetite
Book I should have read years ago: Ender's Game
Werewolf book: Raised by Wolves
Best Ghost: Shade and Wish
Best Art: Heist Society
Best Horse: City Secrets
Best Realistic: Karma Club and Something Like Fate
Best Adult Realistic: Harbor Lights
Best Science Fiction: Inside Out and Virals
Best Paranormal: Gimme a Call
Best Gothic: Prophecy of the Sisters
Best Craft: Hollow for perfume
Best Fantasy: Shield of Stars
Best Romantic Fantasy: Brightly Woven
Best Jane Austen Inspired: Prom and Prejudice
Best Adult Regency: Nine Rules to Break when Romancing a Rake
Best Travel: Anna and the French Kiss
Best Children's Book: Miss Brooks Loves Books (and I don't)
Best Verse novel: Chasing Brooklyn
Best Book I never would have read on my own: Fat Cat (Meg Cabot recommendation) and Daddy Long Legs (featured in the Mother-Daughter book club series)
Best Series Ending: 39 Clues - Into the Gauntlet and Enola Holmes
Best Witch Book: Hex Hall
Best YA Food Book: Scones and Sensibility
Best Adult Food Book: Glazed Murder
Best Princess: Princess for Hire
Best Tween Book: Athena the Brain
Best Tween series: Canterwood Crest and Allie Finkle
Best new series: the Daughters
Best Kiss: Anna and the French Kiss
Best Mythology: Middleworld
New Author to Watch: Elizabeth Eulberg and Stephanie Perkins
Best Hot Chocolate Romance: Dash and Lily's Book of Dares
Best Adult Hot Chocolate Romance: Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor and Call Me Mrs. Miracle
Best Action: Wildfire Run
Best Teen Mystery: Wherever Nina Lies
Best Adult Mystery: Truly Madly
Best Historical Fiction: Keeper of the Grail
Best TV/movie tie-in: Heat Wave
Best Spy Book: The Agency
Best Tear Jerker: Mockingjay
Best New Chapter in a Series: Only the Good Spy Young
Best Music: Lonely Hearts Club
Best Library: Grimm Legacy
Best Dragon: Firelight
Best Book that Reminds me of Childhood: The Summer Before

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Chatting with Helene Boudreau

Helene Boudreau joins us today to chat. Thanks for joining us!

What made you choose to write? Like a lot of people, my road to becoming a writer was a bumpy and detoured one. Sure, it was always something I wanted to do but for a long time it was just a pipe dream. About five years ago, I was at home with a two and four year-old and was debating whether I should go back to a very demanding job which I didn’t particularly enjoy.

But then I wondered, what would happen if I put in just as much effort into something I did enjoy? That’s when I really started writing with intent. The deal was, I would work my tail off and if I didn’t have a book published by the time my youngest was in school, I’d consider going back to ‘work’. My youngest is now in second grade, so I guess things worked out okay.

Where do you write best? Being the mom of two girls, I tend to write in the ‘in between’ moments like after dropping them off at school, getting them to Girl Guides, making dinner or helping them with their homework. Having a laptop really helps because I can take it with me to the library while they read books or sneak in a bit of revision while they’re at swimming lessons or art class. So, I guess the answer to ‘where do you write best’ is really wherever and whenever I can.

You’re the author of several nonfiction books as well, is it hard to go between fiction and nonfiction? It’s actually kind of nice to write both. Non-fiction appeals to me because I get to research and write about all sorts of cool topics, but it also requires a lot of creativity, especially when writing for kids. There’s also something equally cool about creating a world from your imagination and hooking a reader in that way. But again, fiction writing requires research and draws a lot from reality and real life experiences—at least for me.

I think that's great. I like the idea of writing about a bunch of different topics

How do you get your ideas? Do you use real events in your novels and if so, can you describe one? Like lots of other authors I know, ideas never seem to be in short supply. It’s usually finding time to write which is the limiting factor. Writing REAL MERMAIDS DON’T WEAR TOE RINGS was a mixture of ideas and many of those were inspired by real-life experiences. The setting for the book is based on a real town near where I grew up in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. It has a canal connecting a fresh water lake with the ocean and was really the inspiration for my underwater mer-world.

Oh, I like that!

How did you come up with your title? Coming up with a title for this book was really tricky. At first, I’d called it BIG SPLASH because my main character, Jade, is a bit on the heavy side and she was definitely making a big entrance in her mer-world. But that title was a bit too similar to another book that had just been released.

Then, I thought about calling it RHYMES WITH JADE but my critique partner kinda said, “Huh? You mean like ‘trade’ or ‘afraid’?”

Um, no…MERMAID! Mermaid rhymes with Jade…so, um, that idea didn’t fly.

Finally, I was having dinner with my sister and she was wearing this cute thumb ring, which led to a discussion about toe rings, which led to REAL MERMAIDS DON’T WEAR TOE RINGS.

Can you tell us a little bit about REAL MERMAIDS DON’T WEAR TOE RINGS?

First zit. First crush. First…mermaid’s tail?

If she hadn’t been so clueless, she might have seen it coming. But really, who expects to get into a relaxing bathtub after a stressful day of shopping for tankinis and come out with scales and a tail?

Most. Embarassing. Moment. Ever.

Jade soon discovers she inherited her mermaid tendencies from her mom. But this revelation raises a serious question: if Mom was a mermaid, how did she drown?

Jade is determined to find out. But how does a plus-sized, aqua-phobic, mer-girl go about doing that, exactly? And how will Jade ever be able to explain her secret to her best friend Cori, and her crush, Luke?

This summer is about to get a lot more interesting…

Here's the book trailer:

What did you do on your release day? My release day was December 1st but the official launch was at my local library a few days later. I love launching my books at the library because the children’s librarian there is so supportive, their book collection is amazing and the library itself is beautiful.

We’ve also been doing a ‘virtual’ launch of sorts and in a fun promotion for the holidays my publisher, Sourcebooks/Jabberwocky, is offering signed REAL MERMAIDS DON’T WEAR TOE RINGS bookplates for anyone who’d like to personalize their copies of the book. More info HERE.

Oh I Love the idea of having the launch at the library!

What’s up next? My next release is an early chapter book called WATER HAZARD, which is the second volume of my RED DUNE ADVENTURES series (Nimbus Publishing). It’s an eco-adventure mystery series for 7-9 year olds. In terms of new writing projects, I’ve got two young adult manuscripts on the go as well as the very first chapter of something brand new.

What was the last book you’ve read that you’ve been recommending to everyone?

I really enjoyed PLAIN KATE by Erin Bow and of course everybody’s probably heard of THE HUNGER GAMES trilogy by Suzanne Collins.

Are there any authors you’d love to meet? I would be completely intimidated but I’d love to meet Kate DiCamillo or Katherine Paterson. I love their books.

Do you have a favorite literary quote? “One of the few things I know about writing is this: spend it all, shoot it, play it, lose it, all, right away, every time. Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book, or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now.” — Annie Dillard (The Writing Life)

Listing of your favorites:

Candy: Chocolate covered raisins
Pizza topping: Meat-lovers
Genre of books: Funny!
Singer and/or Song: Top 40
Restaurant: Tex-Mex
TV show /Movie: Vampire Diaries or Big Bang Theory
Color: Red
Shoe: Flip-flops

Thanks for chatting with me today, Hélène!

*You can find Hélène on Twitter, Facebook and on her Website.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Tween Tuesday Review: Real Mermaids Don't Wear Toe Rings

Jade has the worst day ever. First she gets her period while shopping for bathing suits. Then because of a little white lie, she needs help from her Dad buying period supplies. He embarrasses her in front of a boy. She can't wait to just relax in the tub.

Unfortunately, her troubles don't stop there. After falling asleep in the tub, she wakes up to discover a mermaid's tail in place of her legs. Jade freaks out. Eventually, she changes back to human.

Soon, her Dad's forced to tell her that her mother used to be a mermaid. His answer raises all kinds of questions, but the most important one being "If Mom was a mermaid, how did she drown?"

Jade's father can't answer that question. Amidst friendship drama, boy troubles, and trying to understand the new side of her, Jade isn't going to rest until she uncovers the truth about her mother's mysterious death.

My Thoughts: A cute mermaid book with depth. It's a coming of age tale. It's a mystery. It's a friendship novel. It's a first crush novel. All of these combined make one fun read. There's danger, romance, family drama, funny moments, and sweet moments between a father and his daughter.

Cover Thoughts: Really cute! I love it.

Source: Publisher - Sourcebooks

Fun Fact: Stay tuned tomorrow for an interview with the author!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Review: Snow Globe

One snow globe changes the lives of three women. Kylie finds the antique snow globe in a shop during a girls' weekend. She's been having the worst luck lately. Her boyfriend dumped her for her sister. She doesn't have a job. Kylie will do anything to change her life around. When she hears the story behind the snow globe, she knows she has to purchase it. Maybe it can change her luck.

When she brings it home, she can see something different inside. There's a different toy store. With a little bit of research, she hunts down the very same toy store and goes there the next weekend.

Kylie meets a the new owner. He makes her smile. Could her luck finally be turning?

My Thoughts: This is billed as a novel - when in actuality it's three short stories intertwined together. While I enjoyed reading their stories, I felt cheated. I wanted more. I wanted to know more about the relationship, more about the change of heart, more about the new friendship formed.

Cover Thoughts: a pretty Christmas cover - but has little to do with the book.

Source: My Library

Challenge: Holiday Reading Challenge

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Winter Displays

Here are two displays at the library: book snowflakes and awesome winter reads. Enjoy


Saturday, December 25, 2010

Friday, December 24, 2010

Ten Things: Birthday Celebrations

Since it's my birthday and because I think Christmas is the most magical time of year. It might be because my birthday falls on the day before. With all the snow and the presents and the cookies, it's just the best week of the year. My family's always made a huge deal of my birthday. It was a hard time for birthday parties, though I do remember a few. Here's some of the my birthday memories.

30 days til 30 - posting of pictures on facebook by my mother. Some awesome pictures, pictures that I don't remember seeing, and some in that awkward embarrassing stage.
Hershey - My husband and I decided that instead of exchanging birthday gifts, we would take trips. My present a few years ago was a trip to Hershey park. It was a little bit before Christmas so the decorations were up, it was beautiful. We learned lots about Milton Hershey and chocolate, sampled lots of chocolate, bought unique gifts, and just had a blast.
Sixteen candles - for my 16th birthday, 16 candles lit up the room
21st birthday - my sister was in Wales getting her Masters. It was the first Christmas I didn't see her. It was horrible and I hated not having her there. But, I remember having drinks with my parents, including one she sent for the occasion called Dragon's Fire.
Birthday Sleigh Ride: my boyfriend (future husband) took my on a sleigh ride on my birthday. It was romantic, wonderful, and adventurous as he realized afterward that he locked his keys in the car.
Cookie decorating - this was an event at my birthday party in 5th grade. I loved it. Not everyone did...but I thought it was awesome. I love decorating sugar cookies
Year of the dogs - Each year for Christmas I begged for a dog. It was all I wanted. Instead, combined with Christmas and my birthday, I got 5 stuffed animals - all dogs. I thought it was awesome.
Sick: I seem to remember canceling a birthday party due to sickness - maybe the chicken pox or maybe strep throat. It was horrible.
This year for my birthday, we went to see the Boston Celtics play. We hadn't seen them since the Big Three came to be. Even though my favorite play (Rondo) was hurt, it was still fun and they did win, but it wasn't an amazing game.
Birthday Treats: each year, my family creates an amazing dessert - some I've been wanting to test and some are tried and true favorites. I had a lemon jelly roll, 3D tree, lemon pie, and lots of chocolate goodies. I wonder what this year will bring. *mouth waters*

* I wanted to grab some pictures from the past, but it's not working...*

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Review: Dash & Lily's Book of Dares

Two teens alone at Christmas in New York City - discover a new world.

Lily's parents went on vacation without her at her favorite time of year. Her grandfather left for Florida. Her brother's supposed to be watching her. He's in love. So in order to get her out of her shell, he writes down a set of instructions for a boy in a notebook and leaves the notebook in The Strand.

Dash finds the notebook and unravels the clues. Instead of playing along, he adds a dare to the notebook.

Lily sees the notebook for the first time and responds.

Chaos ensues. Dares are followed. Inner most thoughts reveal. Dash and Lily come to understand each other - on paper. Should they ever meet and see if they mesh in real life?

My Thoughts: I loved this book. What a great romance, but it's much more than a romance. Which is why for me, it wasn't a quick read. There was so much depth to the novel - the exchange of revealing thoughts, the pop-culture references, the book references, the obscure references that I probably didn't understand. I loved the dares: especially the one involving Santa Claus. I loved the exchange of the notebook. I loved the idea of Jane Austen thumb-wresting. I loved how the first meeting was terrible and the second meetings was hilarious. I laughed, I sighed with happiness, and I wanted my own Dash.

Cover Thoughts: Adorable! I love the heart-shaped snowflakes and the street signs.

Source: My Library

Fun Fact: I met the authors last week at R.J. Julia's. They were charming and hilarious. I cried from laughing several times. They were sweet enough to pose for a READ poster for me. Here's the creation:

Matt de la Pena was also there. He also posed for me - check out his poster.

Challenge: Holiday Reading Challenge

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Review: The Haunted

*Spoilers: If you haven't read The Hollow, don't read this review*

Abbey's recovering from her broken heart and nervous breakdown after learning the truth about Caspian. She relocates to her aunt's house, but is called back to Sleepy Hollow for a bridge dedication she must deliver in her dead BFF's honor.

Abbey isn't sure she can handle everything, especially when she sees Caspian for the first time. It's a relief to know she's not crazy. Soon, she's spending her summer scooping ice cream, studying science with Ben so she passes Chemistry, and hanging out with Caspian.

There's one moment where she thinks funny and sweet Ben could become something more than just a friend. Is he interested in her? It doesn't really matter because she can't stopping thinking about Caspian. Is she falling in love with a ghost? Could her destiny involve a dangerous life turn?

My Thoughts: I really loved this dark tale with humor, heartbreak, and a undeniable love between two people. It continues with the first book perfectly and I can't wait to read the conclusion with The Hidden. I love reading about the perfume. As Abbey unravels more and more about Caspian, she unravels more about her own future. I love watching her world change and be entwined in the Sleepy Hollow Legend. I absolutely LOVE hearing about the plans for her store. It sounds absolutely perfect to me.

Cover Thoughts: I love it - it's dark and mysteries and ties in well with the book.

Source: My Library

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tween Tuesday: This Totally Bites

*Tween Tuesday* is brought to you by the awesome GreenBeanTeenQueen

Emma-Rose Paley is the odd ball in the family. She hates pastels and loves black. She hates the sunshine and loves gloomy weather. When her mother invites her great-aunt Margo to help out with an exhibit at the Natural History Museum, Margo comes to town for the opening Gala.

Finally, Emma-Rose finds a kindred spirit or so she thinks. She wanders into the guest room late one night and discovers something that makes her skin crawl and makes her questions everything.

Could great-aunt Margo be a vampire? Emma-Rose researches the possibility and discovers that not only it might be possible, but Emma-Rose could be a fledgling herself.

My Thoughts: A spooky read filled with vampires, wild imaginations, best friends, boy drama, and a dance. I loved reading about Emma-Rose and her family. I loved the relationship between her and Henry. I loved how Emma-Rose took charge of the dance and made it something spectacular. And also how she inspired others to stand up too.

Cover Thoughts: I love how it captures the book. The outfit Emma-Rose wears to school one day - expressing her goth/punk style. I love the cityscape in the background along with the moon and the bats flying. It's mysterious, unique, and very cool.

Source: Inter-Library Loan

Fun Facts: Ruth Ames is actually YA author extraordinaire Aimee Friedman


Monday, December 20, 2010

2010 Reading Meme

I saw this over at Persnickety Snark and thought it looked fun! But after completing it, I realize that it's
1) almost impossible to answer
2) involves lots of brain power
3) and a great memory

Best Book of 2010:

This is way to hard for me to contemplate - but I'll have my annual BEST books up next week so check back....

Worst Book of 2010:
Nope, not sharing that one. Just because it's not right for me, doesn't me that someone else won't love it.

Most Disappointing Book of 2010:
again, not sharing that one.

Most Surprising (In A Good Way!) Book of 2010:
Fat Cat, I never expected to like it so much, but it was amazing.

Most Recommended-to-Others Book of 2010:
Probably the Agency series and Heist Society.

Best Series You Discovered in 2010:
The Agency: Spy in the House and The Agency: Body at the Tower

Favorite New Authors Discovered in 2010: How many can I name?
Elizabeth Eulberg
Y.S. Lee
Stephanie Perkins

Most Hilarious Read of 2010:
Wicked Appetite - adult
Match made in High School - YA

Most Thrilling, Unputdownable Book of 2010:
There are so many I devoured, so I'm just going to pick the last one: Prom and Prejudice

Most Anticipated Book of 2010:
Body at the Tower, followed by Anna and the French Kiss and Bright Young Things

Favorite Cover of a Book You Read in 2010:
See my 10 Things: Favorite Covers post

Most Memorable Character in 2010:
Too many to name....

Most Beautifully-Written Book of 2010:
Anna and the French Kiss for the angst and romance
Dash and Lily's Book of Dares for the thought provokingness and the humor
Rebel Hunter for the magic of the book

Book That Had the Greatest Impact on You in 2010:
To hard to answer, I've read over 300 books this year. Each book leaves a mark, yes, some deeper than others, but it's almost impossible to determine one book.

Book You Can't Believe You Waited Until 2010 to Read:
Ender's Game - my husband made me read it and he was right, it was amazing!

New Favorite Book Blog You Discovered in 2010:
All about {n}, Laura and Lisa Write, YA Bliss, Bookalicious Ramblings

Favorite Review That You Wrote in 2010:
I have no idea. But I do love when authors comment on the reviews I've written, that always makes my day.

Best Discussion On Your Blog in 2010:
something I don't understand from a publishing stand-point : YA novels about College

Most Thought-Provoking Review or Discussion On Another Blog in 2010:
I really thought the Speak Loudly posts were excellent - several made me cry. It's amazing how the blogosphere can come together

Best Event You Participated In During 2010:
10 in '10 Teen Chick Lit Challenge - loved reading the books and chatting with authors online. Hosted by Chick Lit Teens and Kay Cassidy

Best Moment of Book Blogging in 2010:
Speak Loudly

Best Bookish Discovery of 2010:
All about {n} and her Holiday Reading Challenge
This shirt
Book Blogger's Appreciation week
John Green teaches Fitness NERD-style
Library-Loving Blog Challenge

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Blog Tour: Kate Messner

Kate has a new book coming out. Sugar and Ice looks super cute. She's chatting with us here today. Welcome Kate!

What made you choose to write?
I’ve loved writing since I was old enough to hold a pencil. Research, too – I used to assign myself reports in the summertime and just loved spending time in the library. I went to Syracuse University for broadcast journalism and worked in that field for seven years before leaving to get my teaching degree, and that’s when I remembered how much I loved novels and began writing fiction for publication.

Where do you write best?

I have a writing room that we built out of an old storage area in the back of our house. It’s small – just big enough for a large desk and a wall of bookshelves – but it’s totally soundproof and has a beautiful view of Lake Champlain. That’s my favorite place to write.

Oh, it's lovely!

How do you get your ideas? Do you use real events in your novels and if so, can you describe one?

My ideas often grow out of experiences in my life as a mom and teacher. My first book with Walker/Bloomsbury, The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z. is about a 7th grade girl who leaves her science project to the last minute and ends up with one week to collect & identify 25 different kinds of leaves. That book is based on many of the funny stories I’ve heard my own 7th grade students tell about why their science project was late.

Ah the power of procrastination, I get a lot of those requests at the library. A week isn't too bad, often here the project is due the next day.

How did you come up with your titles?

Titles are tough for me, and usually the first title I come up with isn’t the one that eventually makes it onto the book cover. I brainstorm, along with my agent and editor (and often with anyone who will listen!) to come up with the perfect title to capture the spirit of a book. Sometimes, I brainstorm by writing down all the words and phrases that might relate to the book, then cutting them apart and quite literally playing with the words, rearranging them on my table to come up with possibilities I might not otherwise think of.

Oh, I like that - the puzzle effect!

Can you tell us a little bit about Sugar and Ice?

Sure! My daughter is a figure skater, so I spend lots of time hanging around the rink during her lessons, and I noticed that there’s some great drama surrounding the sport. I starting asking myself, “Hmmm…what if…?” And the rest is history.

Here’s the official jacket flap copy:

For Claire Boucher, life is all about skating on the frozen cow pond and in the annual Maple Show right before the big pancake breakfast on her family's maple farm. But all that changes when Claire is offered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity-a scholarship to train with the elite skaters in Lake Placid. Tossed into a world of mean girls on ice, where competition is everything, Claire soon realizes that her sweet dream-come-true has sharper edges than she could have imagined. Can she find the strength to stand up to the people who want her to fail and the courage to decide which dream she wants to follow?

It sounds great! I can't wait to read it :)

Do you ice skate? Can you do any fancy moves?

I can ice skate, but I can’t do anything fancy at all! I learned to do backward crossovers and spirals last year, and that’s about as brave as I’m getting for right now!

That meant that I had to do a lot of research to write Sugar and Ice. I spent lots of time interviewing coaches and skaters, watching lessons and competitions, and getting a sense for the language of learning to skate and growing in the sport.

What’s your favorite part about being a teacher?

Sharing books with kids!

I love this answer!

What will you did you do on your release day?

Release day was a school day for me, so I was in my classroom! We did have a terrific book launch party at The Bookstore Plus in Lake Placid the following weekend, which was fun because it’s right up the street from the Olympic Center, where the story takes place.

(I also signed some books to leave behind after the event, so if you’d like to purchase an autographed copy, just call the Bookstore Plus at (518) 523-2950)

What’s up next?

My next book release is actually the start of a chapter book series for younger readers! Marty McGuire, illustrated by Brian Floca, comes out from Scholastic in May. That’s followed by my first picture book, Sea Monster’s First Day illustrated by Andy Rash and coming from Chronicle this summer.

What was the last book you’ve read that you’ve been recommending to everyone?

For middle grade novels, I just loved Sharon Draper’s OUT OF MY MIND and Rita Williams Garcia’s ONE CRAZY SUMMER.

For YA novels that are more for the high school crowd, I’ve been recommending STOLEN by Lucy Christopher and HARMONIC FEEDBACK by Tara Kelly. Both are absolute page-turners with amazing characters.

Are there any authors you’d love to meet?

I’ve been lucky enough to meet many authors whose works I admire at conferences over the past couple years, including Judy Blume, who was one of my favorites growing up. I’d love to meet Beverly Cleary, who was my other favorite author when I was young.

Do you have a favorite literary quote?

I love this one, from Albus Dumbledore (and JK Rowling!) "It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities."

Great quote!

Listing of your favorites:

Candy-Sea Salt Caramels
Pizza topping – mushrooms, tomatoes, and jalapenos
Genre of books- realistic fiction
Singer and/or Song- Barry Manilow. (Stop laughing!)
Restaurant – Phaya Thai in Montreal
TV show /Movie – I….don’t watch TV. Or many movies really. Sorry!
Shoe- Running shoes, flip flops, or riding boots
Video Game – (Again…sorry. I don’t play video games and would be hard pressed even to name one!)

Anything I didn’t ask?

Nope – I loved your questions. Thanks so much! Maybe just add that readers can learn more at my

And the link to purchase the book is:

Thanks again!

Thanks for chatting with me, Kate!

Friday, December 17, 2010

10 Things: Favorite YA Book Covers 2010

Here are my favorite teen book covers from this year. I've read and LOVED these books. Part of the attraction - the cover. I'm going to be honest - I DO judge a book by it's cover. I think it's hard not to. As a librarian, there might be a book generating all kinds of buzz, but it the cover is unattractive, I know my teens won't read it. And I don't buy it. I don't feel bad about that because I hate spending money on books that teens won't read. The following cover stand out for me in various ways that peak my interest.

Anna and the French Kiss: Paris romance

Heist Society: Heist

Hex Hall: magic

Cinderella Society: Cinderella

Lonely Hearts Club: Beatles

Bright Young Things: Flappers - an era I know nothing about, but would like to...

Ice Claw: Action and lots of danger both from people and the environment

Match Made in High School: really different

The Agency: Body at the Tower: The dress and London setting

I was Jane Austen's Best Friend: Dress and romance

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Cover Reveal: The Hidden

I just got The Haunted. I can't wait to dive into that this weekend. The cover for the third book has just been released. It's gorgeous. I really love it! It comes out September 2011.

What do y'all think?

Happy Birthday Jane Austen!

As you know, I'm a HUGE Jane Austen fan. I studied in Bath, England for a semester in college just because of her presence there. We went to Chawton

*also I owe her a great debt - I started writing this fanfiction before moving on to other works. It's not completed, and I hope to finish it this year, but it started me on the serious path of writing. *

In honor of her birthday, here's my favorite read-a-likes of her work.

Teen books:

Prom and Prejudice: Just finished this book - AMAZING - modern day teen Lizzie and Darcy

Dashwood Sisters' Secrets in Love: Modern tale of the Dashwood sisters looking for love

I was Jane Austen's Best Friend: Jane Austen's cousin's diary of their live, including a romance

Scones and Sensibility: a modern day matchmaker who helps out at her parent's bakery

Pies and Prejudice: the Mother/Daughter book club tackles Pride and Prejudice while Emma spends the year in England.

Adult Books:

Bridget Jones's Diary: HILARIOUS! Loved the book, which is better than the movie.

Mischief of Mistletoe: I just finished this spy novel- about a friend of Jane Austen, who makes a cameo in the book.

Mr. Darcy's Diary: I love reading the tale from Mr. Darcy's perspective and this read is AMAZING

Mr Knightley's Diary: While, P&P is my favorite Austen read, I think Emma falls as a close second. I loved this tale of how Mr. Knightley fell for Emma.

Pride and Prescience: A great mystery series featuring Mr. and Mrs. Darcy

Darcy's Story: First book I'd read that took the story and turned it on it's head. I wanted more stories written from the Darcy/Bennet world after reading this one.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Adult Review: Perfect Christmas

Cassie wanted to find her perfect match. She wants it all: the perfect husband, the perfect kids, and most of all the perfect Christmas. In talking with her best friend, Angie mentions a matchmaker. He costs an absolute fortune and he's rude, but he's worth his weight in gold because he guarantees the outcome.

Cassie bits the bullet and contacts him for an appointment, Right away she finds him abrasive, arrogant, and annoying. Yet, she complies with his wishes to complete three tasks before Christmas. Each task will show him insight into her character.

As Cassie completes each task, she comes to realize love might already be in her heart...

My Thoughts: Another sweet holiday romance tale. I do love Debbie Macomber's way of storytelling. It doesn't matter that I knew the ending of the story, because the pleasure was reading it unfold. It was amusing, sweet, annoying, and wonderful in all the right places.

Cover Thoughts: Love it! It's the dinner table from one scene

Source: My Library

Challenge: Holiday Reading Challenge