Monday, September 30, 2013

S. E. Green's Cover Reveal:

S. E. Green was raised in Tennessee but now calls North Florida home. Killer Instinct is her debut young adult thriller. Find her at, or on Twitter @Shan_E_Green, or on her Facebook Fan Page.

She’s not evil, but she has certain. . . urges. 
Lane is a typical teenager. Loving family. Good grades. After-school job at the local animal hospital. Martial arts enthusiast. But her secret obsession is studying serial killers. She understands them, knows what makes them tick.


Because she might be one herself. 

Lane channels her dark impulses by hunting criminals—delivering justice when the law fails. The vigilantism stops shy of murder. But with each visceral rush the line of self-control blurs.

And then a young preschool teacher goes missing. Only to return. . . in parts.

When Lane excitedly gets involved in the hunt for “the Decapitator,” the vicious serial murderer that has come to her hometown, she gets dangerously caught up in a web of lies about her birth dad and her own dark past. And once the Decapitator contacts Lane directly, Lane knows she is no longer invisible or safe. Now she needs to use her unique talents to find the true killer’s identity before she—or someone she loves—becomes the next victim. . . .

Like the cover? It could hang on your wall....
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Sunday, September 29, 2013

Mini Review: Cool Creations in 35 Pieces

 The Good: A fantastic idea. I loved the variety of the creations from robots to animals to cities to furniture. I loved the creations - while it was a hard job picking out some favorites, I did it and they include: Space Shark, Intergalactic Capital, Electric Guitar, Camera, Steam Engine, Oogly, and Shocked Bunny. Great photos, funny names, and helpful instructions. There are not instructions for all of them, but figuring out how to build the other pieces is part of the fun. An interactive book that could provide hours of entertainment!

The Bad: I have an urge to build things with Lego and I have none in the house. A trip to the store might be in order.
Library Idea: Hold a Lego program and give everyone the same pieces. Have them all build something around a centered theme. Take pictures of all the various creations.

Source: Sent for Review

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Mysterious Saturday Review: First Degree Fudge

 * First in a new series *

After a disastrous marriage and a failed job, Ava returns home to start up a fudge shop. She's sharing her grandfather's bait shop by the docks.  She's hoping that the tourists won't be able to resist the smell of her fudge.

At a local fundraiser, Ava's hoping to catch the attention of a former movie star, she fails miserably.  First the star declines the fudge because she's allergic to chocolate. Then when Ava convinces her chocolate isn't in the fudge, she takes a tiny bite, but no more. Moments later she's discovered dead with a piece of fudge shoved into her mouth.

With Ava as the main suspect, she struggles to keep her good name intact, all while trying to uncover the real culprit.  
My Thoughts: While I liked this one, there were a few things that I didn't like.  The biggest being that I had an inkling of the identity of the murderer pretty early on. The other being, I wanted different types of fudge bring made because I loved reading about making it. The entire book made me crave fudge. I thought the church ladies and Ava's grandfather were sweet and funny. They all added humor to the tense situation. I like the small town charm and Ava getting back to her roots. I'm looking forward to reading more in this series.

Cover Thoughts: Cute
Source: Purchased.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Review: My Life Next Door

Sam's mom always put down the family next door - forbidding her daughters to have anything to do with them. To Sam, who watches them over the years, they seem like a perfect messy family - a far cry from her own stark house.

One day, while she's on the roof spying, one of the boys climbs up next to her. He's also 17, but since he goes to the public school, she doesn't know him. He intrigues her.

A few days later, she walks down their driveway to chat. It's the beginning of a beautiful secret relationship - until the unthinkable happens.
My Thoughts: I loved the dreamy feel to this summer romance. I love that Jase was the boy from next door and from a huge messy, funny, happy family. Most of all, I loved his family and wanted to spend time with them myself. I loved the how the romance blossomed and deepened. The climax through me for a loop, I wasn't expecting that. It made me angry and sad. Besides Jase's family, I didn't really like the secondary chracters. I was not a fan of Sam's mother. I wanted her to be more caring and not a perfectionist. I also didn't care for Tracey or Nan, but I found myself liking Tim after a while. I couldn't stand Clay; he made my skin crawl. He did show an interesting side of politics.  Overall, a great summer romance that reminded me of a Sarah Dessen book.

Cover Thoughts: Perfect
Source: My Library

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Meg Cabot at RJ Julia's

Meg Cabot was at RJ Julia's at the beginning of the week. Of course I rearranged my work schedule to be there! If you've been following the blog, you know that not only is she one of my favorite authors, but she's also the reason I became a YA Librarian. In grad school, I wasn't sure which librarian road I was going to take. I read the first Princess Diaries book and it changed me. I chose to be a YA Librarian because of the amazing books in the field. And it was right choice. So how could I pass up meeting her? It was a fantastic night.

We learned some secrets of her past. She started writing when she was very young, making up all kinds of stories.  She hated Math (as does Princess Mia). Here's a photo of her.

She was an Art Major in college. At first she thought of majoring in writing, but she met a boy at party who advised her against it. He said that majoring in something you love would crush your love for it. So she majored in art instead. (She ended marrying that boy after meeting him again years later). Here's one of her illustrations of laundry. 

She thought she would go to NYC and get an illustrating job.  That didn't happen. Instead, she found herself with a job at NYU in the dorm (much like Heather Wells - only there were no dead bodies).

When her father passed away, she realized that life was short. She didn't want to regret not trying for her dreams. The day she got home from the funeral, she started seriously writing query letters. She wrote query letters and started sending them in daily for two years. And got a pile of rejections in return. But rejections weren't the worst thing that could happen, so she kept trying. She has folders of manuscripts that will never be published.

She asked her friends for some advice after learning that her story about a girl finding out her mother's dating her teacher didn't have enough of a plot. She wondered if the girl should turn out to be a princess or be kidnapped by aliens. The princess plot won and the main character turned 14 instead of 30. 

For the Heather Wells books, she wanted an average woman. At the time, that was size 12 but it's now size 14. She used a lot of her background from her previous job in the series. Yes, people really did elevator surf. To keep more up to date on current student life, she reads blogs. When she's stuck with procedure questions, she calls her brother who works as a cop.  Other covers for the first Heather Wells book:

For the current cover, they couldn't find a male model who portrayed Cooper. The book covers in France for the series use a cake topper. That seemed like a fun alternative. I can't wait to read The Bride Wore Size 12

Here we are together with the cake topper from the cover!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

What's on My Hold's List (61)

My Librarian friend Jess from I Read to Relax came up with a great idea.  It's to highlight the books we read from the library. These are some of the books that are on hold  for me at the library.
Taste of Darkness: I'm a huge fan of the authors and I loved the first two books in this trilogy.
Case of the Time-Capsule Bandit: I heard the actress/author speak at BEA and it sounded really great.
Library Mouse: Home Sweet Home: Love these books. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday

This week's topic is  Top Ten Best Sequels Ever . I read a lot of series books and I admit that it's hard for me to take them as separate books - but I will try. I can't not choose my favorite Harry Potter book - because I love them all, but one for sure would be on the list.

Harry Potter
Crown of Midnight
The Elite
Dark Triumph
Perfect Scoundrels
Girl in the Clockwork Collar
Taken by Storm
Mastermind Plot
Pies and Prejudice
Sweet Legacy

What about you?

Tween Tuesday Review: Escape from Mr Lemoncello's Library

Mr Lemoncello made a fortune in game design - board games and video games. Now he's giving back to the community by building a fantastic library as their old library was torn down 12 years ago.

He's also giving the 12 year olds in the community the chance to win a spot for a library lock-in. The select few will gain entrance to the library before the public sees it and be able to participate in a contest to see who can find an alternative way out of the library (besides the front doors.)

Games, riddles, and puzzles will be used to solve the answer. At first, Kyle isn't interested, but as soon as he learns more about the event, he's eager for a chance to participate.  Soon he and other classmates are locked into the building.

Can they come up with a way out? Who will be clever enough to solve the ultimate puzzle?

My Thoughts: I loved this book - for the obviously bookish reasons, but also for the excellent story. As soon as I heard about this book, I knew I had to read it. I loved the bookish jokes, riddles, and the general love for books portrayed. I loved the puzzles and the clues the kids had to figure out. What an opportunity - it sounds amazing! Plus, the technology combined with new ideas for libraries was impressive. I would love to visit this library. I really liked Kyle - he was tricky, smart, and creative. I found Haley entertaining and clever. All the kids seemed clever - one wasn't too clever, one was easily manipulated, and one wasn't very nice at all. A perfectly wonderful nerdy book about the love of books and libraries!

Cover Thoughts: I get it - but I don't like it.
Source: My Library

Interesting Idea: This book talks about the most famous Children's Librarian in the world. I started thinking about famous librarians and of course I came up with Nancy Pearl, but I couldn't come up with the most famous Children's Librarian (or YA Librarian). But I love the idea of it!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Emmy Fashions 2013

I love looking at all the dresses each year. Here's a few of my favorites - this year I seemed to like more dresses than last year. Many of the women looked beautiful, even though I wasn't a fan of their dress.

Tina Fey:

Anna Gunn:

Allison Williams:

Ariel Winter:

Kaley Cuoco

Sarah Highland:

Carrie Underwood:

Allison Janney:

Cobie Smulders


Giuliana Rancic 

Anna Faris:

What were your favorite dresses of the night?

Review: To Be Perfectly Honest

Colette's mother is a major movie star - thus, Colette never knows who her real friends are. Are they the people who hang out with her who want the perks of her life? Are they the people who hang out with her for a chance to meet her mother? Does anyone like the real Colette?

Colette's been burned one to many times by people. So, she's become an expert at lying. If you're always lying, you can't get hurt.

She thought she had a perfect summer planned in Paris, until her mother announces that Colette and her brother are required to join her on location in the middle of nowhere California.

Once their, her mother becomes absorbed in her movie and in her life. Collette's stuck hanging out with her brother - not that that's a bad thing most of the time.

Ever since she met Connor, she wants some alone time with him, not dates with her brother as the third wheel. Could he be the best part of her summer?
My Thoughts: I was so happy to have a new Sonya Sones book - I love them. I'm a big fan of novels in verse and tore through this one. I felt bad for Collette - for not knowing who to trust in her life, for not being able to be herself, and for trying make the best of her summer. I loved her brother. The moments between them were sweet and I loved the birthday bit. There were a few twists that threw me as I wasn't expecting them. I completely LOVE the ending!

Cover Thoughts: I like it
Source: My Library.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Mini Review: Grumpy Cat

The Grumpy Cat spreads doom and gloom.

The Good: Grumpy Cat hates the world - in an entertaining, amusing way. The pictures are great. The content various between pictures, lists, word hunt, pop quiz, connect the dots, posters, and a grumpy cat reading list. A quick easy read that made my cry with laughter!

The Bad: It was too short! I wanted more.
Verdict: Read it for a laugh.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Mysterious Saturday Spotlight: Lucy Burdette

This past week, I hosted an awesome event at the library: Cookies and Crime -with author Lucy Burdette. A group of teens and adults sat around in a circle and talked about writing, crime, and of course food. I had been to one of her release day parties at R.J. Julia's and it was fabulous - so I knew it was going to be a great night.

Lucy introduced her book series - including those under her real name: Roberta Isleib. She got started writing golf mysteries and she started playing golf because her husband liked the game. Her next series starred a clinical psychologist who wrote an advice column. As a psychologist  herself, Dr. Rebecca Butterman was closer in character to herself. Her current series features a young woman who makes her living as a food critic in Key West.

Writing about a food critic means that Roberta and her husband have try the local cuisine in Key West. It's a tough job, but somebody's got to do it!  Roberta adds the flavor of Key West into her books. She told us about several entertainers in Key West.

She also talked about how her pets made it into her books, how she raffles off names of characters for charity, and how she makes Pinterest boards for the feel of the book, which sometimes helps the cover designers.

Because her books come out every 9 months, her writing process changes daily in terms of word count. She divides the time she has with a rough estimate of 70,000 words. Then she creates a weekly word count. Writing also happens on the two blogs: and
And or course there's time for cooking and baking for the recipes included in her books.

Then we talked food and cookies!

Some photos:

Once Lucy started talking, I forget to take more pictures. I really wanted one time!

The Book Table: if you haven't picked up one of these, they're great books!

The Cookie Table

Close Up of the Cookies

Friday, September 20, 2013

Review: Scorched

Trinity worries about keeping the family museum alive and the bills paid on time She sold her mother's ring for rent money, but instead of paying rent, her grandfather bought an egg for the museum.

It's supposedly a dragon egg. Annoyed, Trinity yells at him and makes him go home while she cleans up for the day.

Almost immediately, she spies a boy about to break the egg. She stops him.  As she's questioning him, men break into the museum. It's not clear what they want, but everyone seems interested in the egg.

The boy helps Trinity escape for the moment. She doesn't understand why she's on the run with this egg and why all these people want her.  Could it have something to do with the voice in her head?
My Thoughts: A start to a new fantasy series that's filled with action, danger, dragons, and a little romance. I like both the brothers - even though they hold very different views. I enjoyed figuring out their relationship. I loved the moments between Trinity and Emmy - especially flying together. The view from the future is horrific, but I love watching Trinity an the brothers struggle to make the world (and the future world) a better place and how they acted upon their ideas. I can't wait for more in this story.

Cover Thoughts: Love it - Love the cover without the jacket more - those scales!
Source: Signed ARC at BEA

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday Spinoff

This week's topic is Top Ten Books On My Fall 2013 TBR List - not including the books I'm currently reading or have out from the library or have ARCs from BEA. Fall for me means September thru November , which is when all these books come out. Here's my adult spin-off. 
Sum of All Kisses
No Good Duke Goes Unpunished 
Takedown Twenty
Read it and Weep
Bride Wore Size 12
Always on my Mind
Deadly Heat
True Spies 
First Degree Fudge
Candlelight Christmas

What's on your list?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Books I'm Dying to Read: November Edition

Here's a list of books I can't wait to get my hands on come November!

Palace of Spies: Historical Spies! 
Naturals: A stand-alone from Jennifer Lynn Barnes.

This Wicked Game: Voodoo and secrets
Pawn: New series where one girl must learn to become more than just a pawn in a terrible game
Fiery Heart: Love this series and that ending from the last book makes me want this one ASAP

No Good Duke Goes Unpunished: Love this series and excited for Temple's story.
Read It and Weep: Great cozy series...with a librarian solving mysteries.

Takedown Twenty: Love these book - lots of danger, action, and laughter.

Secret Agent Josephine in Paris: Love spy books and this one looks cute.
Red Knit Cap Girl to the Rescue: Loved the first book, looking forward to more adventures.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Tween Tuesday Review: Storm Watcher

Luke's always been afraid of storms, but it's gotten worse since his mother died from a freak lightning accident.  Now, his brothers are constantly teasing him. He can barely have a conversation with them. He's also not sure how to talk to his father anymore.

When he volunteers at a pet facility that breeds search and rescue dogs, he falls in love with a dog. It's a different type of dog than the kind his keeps, but it's the exact type of dog he was talking about with his mother before she died. The same type he wanted for his birthday - and it's still a search and rescue dog. His father won't speak about it.

The more he helps train the dogs, the more he thinks of owning this puppy. Can he change his father's mind?
My Thoughts: This book is different from other Maria V. Snyder books and I admit, it took me by surprise. But I wasn't surprised to find myself loving it. I felt for Luke - for all he's been through, for his guilt, and for the tough moments between him and his family. The family drama was both heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time. I loved the moments between him and the dogs. I like his developing friendship with Megan. I found the search and rescue parts very interesting. A fantastic heartwarming tale about a boy and his quest for a dog.

Cover Thoughts: I like it
Source: BEA Arc
Publication Date: October

If you think it sounds good, I have a signed ARC to give away!

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Top Ten Tuesday

This week's topic is Top Ten Books On My Fall 2013 TBR List - not including the books I'm currently reading or have out from the library or have ARCs from BEA. Fall for me means September thru November , which is when all these books come out. I'll do an adult spin-off later in the week. There are so many great books coming out, it's hard to pick just 10.
                                       Fiery Heart
Palace of Spies
Russian Roulette
Altantis Rising

What's on your list?