Thursday, April 30, 2020

Review: Flatshare

The Flatshare
Tiffy needs to leave her ex-boyfriend's flat immediately. But she doesn't have a lot of options. She loves her job in publishing, but it pays next to nothing. So when she spies an add for sharing a flat, it seems like it might be the best she can afford.

She'd be sharing a flat with Leon, who works the night shifts at a local hospice care center. He would take the flat during the day and she would have the flat nights and weekends.

When Leon's running late, he sends his girlfriend to meet Tiffy. In fact, it's several months before Tiffy and Leon ever meet in person. And that's only after they've been communicating through notes for months.
My Thoughts: My boss told me to pic this book up ages ago because it was really good. And she was right. I really enjoyed it. I loved reading the notes between Leon and Tiffy. I enjoyed the moments between them after they finally met. I felt terrible for Tiffy as she discovered the horrors of her ex-boyfriends and the lengths he would go to keep her around. I really liked Richie. There were so many reasons to like this book, I'm so glad I read it. I'm looking forward to the author's next book.

Cover Thoughts: I'll admit that I've put off reading this book because of the cover. But I really enjoyed the book.

The Flatshare

I like this cover SO much better!

Library Recommendation: A great book for your romance collection.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Picture Book Wednesday: Paper Kingdom

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Daniel's parents work as janitors at night. Usually they leave him with a babysitter or friends. But one night, there's no one to watch him. Daniel's forced to go into the office with his parents. He's so sleepy and he doesn't understand why people are so messy. His parents try to make the night fun, by creating a paper kingdom ruled by dragons and kings.

This is a sweet story about hard working parents and one family trying to get by. I loved how the parents created a fantasy world for their young son. I love how they advised him to be considerate, kind, and nice when he becomes king. It shows they are working hard for him. I loved the sweet author's note about the inspiration behind this story. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I wish I read as a Child

This week's topic is books I wish I read as a child. I grew up in the 80s. Some of these books have been made into a movie, so I know the story. But I've never read the books.

The Secret GardenA Little Princess

Are You There God? It's Me, MargaretAnastasia Krupnik (Anastasia Krupnik, #1)

The Agony of AliceBlack Beauty

Betsy-Tacy (Betsy-Tacy, #1)Matilda

The Chronicles of Narnia (Chronicles of Narnia, #1-7)Pat of Silver Bush (Pat, #1)

Have you read any of these? Which one should I read first?

Monday, April 27, 2020

Review: Flashback

Flashback (Keeper of the Lost Cities, #7)* Book 7 in the Keeper of the Lost Cities series *

Sophie gets herself into trouble - which lands her and Fitz in the hospital for weeks. Sophie's fed up always playing Defense and always being several steps behind the Neverseen. She wants to train a soon as she's able to. She wants to go on the offensive and earn a victory...or two.
My Thoughts: I fell behind in this series, but I'm determined to catch up before November. I loved Sophie's determination to start thinking outside the box and not to always be on the defensive. Of course, I loved the moments of friendship and catching up with favorite characters. I love how everyone is coming together to fight the common enemy. I really enjoyed Ro and Keefe's banter. Can't wait to see what happens next.

Cover Thoughts: Love the throwing star
Source: Purchased at a book event (Signed)
Library Recommendation: This book series is a must have for school and public libraries.

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Happy Poetry Month: Novels in Verse

 I quite enjoy reading novels in verse. I wrote up a column for VOYA about novels in verse in 2016. But I confess I haven't read many novels in verse lately. And I'm not sure why.

I did just finish this one:

White Rose by Kip Wilson

Here's one of the poems, that I enjoyed:

Last Year I read:
Voices: The Final Hours of Joan of ArcSHOUTThe Opposite of InnocentThe Poet X

I wrote up this blog post with some early favorite novels in verse (this was my version of Top Ten Tuesday before that was a thing)

Any novels in verse that you would recommend me?

On a personal note:
But first attempt at writing a book was a novel in verse. It's up on Swoon Reads if you're interested. It's about a girl during her first year of college. 

I like to dabble in poetry now and then. I haven't written much lately, but here are few older poems that I added to the blog.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Happy National Library Week

It's National Library Week - or as I like to call it a week.

I know things are vastly different this year in our celebrations.

But did you know that many libraries are offering digital cards if you didn't have a card?

You can use your library card to gain access to ebooks, movies, magazines, and so much more.

Many of us are also doing virtual programming. They're sharing information about the virus and activities for families to do together online. 

My library started a youtube channel where the staff has been creating videos. We've had pet week and now library week. Next week is farm week. Who knows what kind of videos we'll shoot next!

It's a different world out there, but libraries and librarians and library staff are doing their best to still connect with their patrons and still provide the services we can while keeping everyone safe!

So when America opens again and it's save, give some support to your libraries. Go in and check out a few books.

Until then, enjoy the videos.

Friday, April 24, 2020

Review: Queen's Assassin

The Queen's Assassin (Queen's Secret, #1)* First in a new duology*
Shadow has been training all her life with her aunts. But now she's told that she can not join the Guild. They said it's too dangerous for her; she's determined to prove them wrong.

Caledon, the Queen's Assassin, killed a man to save a girl in the woods. He's sent to prison, with a task to lay low until the Queen sends someone to break him out.

Shadow believes if she can convince Caledon to take her as an apprentice, then her family won't be able to stop her. She runs off to the prison and breaks him out. She bluffs her way into his life, desperate for a chance. Together, they attempt to uncover an enemy in a foreign court.
My Thoughts: I really liked this book. I enjoyed how Shadow ran off and created a new life for herself. I loved her determination. I enjoyed the banter between Shadow and Cal. I enjoyed the dual perspectives. I liked how they found themselves create a web of lies for their mission.  I was not expecting the final twist at the end - and I'm so curious as to see what happens next?

Cover Thoughts: Awesome
Source: Book sent for review
Library Recommendation: Grab this one for your teen collection - it's perfect for this year's summer reading theme.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

On Your Radar: The Diva Spices it Up (41)

Title: The Diva Spices it Up
Author: Krista Davis
Publisher: Kensington
Release Date: April 28, 2020

The Diva Spices It Up (A Domestic Diva Mystery #13)

Why It Should Be On Your Radar
* Fall Book
* Pumpkin and Apple Foods
* Mouth watering food shared
* Recipes
* Book Characters are like Old Friends
*Ghostwriting a Cookbook
* Mars is in trouble
* Fantastic Series
* Importance of Friendship
* Importance of Families
* Spies 
* Dead drops
* Good Neighbors

Another great addition to this charming series.
I love the cover!
** ARC sent for review

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Picture Book Wednesday: Yoga Books

I've been reading some YOGA picture books as I purchase them for the library.

Here are a few I enjoyed - each book has the same amazing illustrator. 

Hello, Sun!: A Yoga Sun Salutation to Start Your Day
Hello Sun:
This is a story about waking up and say good morning to the sun. The yoga poses are included in the story, but there's also a two page spread of the poses at the end of the book. I loved the bright colors and the gorgeous illustrations.

Good Morning Yoga: A Pose-by-Pose Wake Up Story
Good Morning Yoga:
Another waking up story, but this one includes instructions into the story pages. The fantastic artwork makes it easy to understand the flow of the yoga poses. Again there is a two page spread just for the poses.

Good Night Yoga: A Pose-by-Pose Bedtime Story
Good Night Yoga:
This is a bedtime story - this one also includes instructions in the story pages. This book talks about yoga to calm your mind right before bedtime - and also includes a spread of just poses. More amazing illustrations in this book.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Top Ten Tuesday: Book Titles

This week's topic is book titles that would make great band names. This was a fun list to create. Hope you like it!

Band Names from Book Titles:

Donut Dreams
Break the Fall
Simmer Down
Heart and Seoul
More than Just a Pretty Face
Lions of 5th Avenue
Sweet Mess
Not Like the Movies

Monday, April 20, 2020

Review: Every Reason We Shouldn't

Every Reason We Shouldn't (Every Reason We Shouldn't, #1)
At 16, Olivia is washed up figure skater. She and her partner took the junior level by storm, but couldn't make it at the senior level. After a humiliating showing, they hung up their skates. Egg went off to college and Olivia became a normal teenager.

But she's never been normal. When a young speed skater with Olympic dreams starts training at her parents' gym, Olivia begins to think she might want to start skating again. But does she have what it takes?
My Thoughts: I was so happy to see this is the start of a series because I didn't want this book to end! I loved Olivia, Jonah, and their school friends. I loved Mac. I enjoyed the sporty moments - and the talent and drive of both Olivia and Jonah. I love how Mac pushed Olivia out of her comfort zone. I wasn't a huge fan of any parents in the book, but I loved how the friends pulled together to form a family. I enjoyed how Olivia and Jonah's school friends didn't understand their dedication to skating or how they viewed high school life. Of course I enjoyed the romance. I can't wait to read more about these two amazing athletes. 

Cover Thoughts: Cute
Source: My library
Library Recommendation: A great sports book for your school and public library collections.

If You Like:

Saturday, April 18, 2020

In My Shop: Baby Shower Gifts

Spring in Baby Shower time!

While we practicing social distancing, you can still send along a fun gift.

Here are some items in my shop you might like to gift:

I have several but this one might be my favorite

Also board books make great gifts. I wrote up a post several years back about the kind of books I like to gift (and to make sure the parents don't have five copies of the same book). Or check out other board books I've talked about on the blog.

Friday, April 17, 2020

Review: Donut Dreams

Hole in the Middle* First Book in a new series *

Lindsay's world is rapidly changing. She's about to start middle school. She's learning to live without her mother, who died two years ago. She's starting to work at her family's donut shop. Lindsay's learning to create a balance in her life. She might be just like a donut, with a hole in her middle, but her friends and family are doing to do their best to help fill it.
My Thoughts: I really enjoyed this book. I liked learning about Lindsay's big family - and getting to know everyone who worked in the family business. With such a big family, I can't wait to read more about them in the next few books. I loved reading about the donuts, they made my mouth water. I enjoyed the tight bonds of friendship and family. This was a fun start to a new series.

Cover Thoughts: Cute - and it makes my mouth water
Source: ARC sent for review
Library Recommendations: Grab this book for your school and public libraries, especially where the Cupcake Diaries and the Sprinkle Sundays series are popular.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

On Your Radar: Saltwater Secrets (40)

Title: Saltwater Secrets
Author: Cindy Callaghan
Publisher: Aladdin
Publication Date: April 28, 2020

Saltwater Secrets

Why It Should Be On Your Radar:
* Fun Tagline (A story of two sisters, one summer vacation, and one big mystery for them to solve.)
* Half-Sisters
* Beach Town
* Smoothies
* Boardwalk
* Romance
*Growing Up - and things changing
* Summer Fun
* Environmental Issues
*Dual Persepctives
* Dual Timelines
*  That Cover!
* Police 

A totally fun middle grade for your school or public library collection
* ARC sent for review

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Picture Book Wednesday: Agent Lion

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There's a missing cat! Agent Lion is called to the house to solve the cat. But things don't go as the owners wish. They're not sure that Agent Lion really is the best detective for the case. The questions he asks are SO strange! Plus he's always hungry, even though he just ate. Can Agent Lion find Fluffy and save the day?

I really liked this funny charming picture book. I loved the illustrations. I love how this introduces young readers to the mystery genre. I know this is a book that I will be handing out to a bunch of littles. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Top Ten Tuesday: Sexual Assault Awareness Month

This week, I'm changing the topic up a little bit. As you know, April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. While I love reading these books, I hate reading these books. Yes they are empowering. But they are also heartbreaking. But they are so important for teens to know they are not alone. And it's not their fault.

for more resources! 

Some Books I've read:

Die for YouMoxieSome BoysSpeak
SHOUTVigilanteWhat Kind of GirlMaybe He Just Likes You
The Opposite of Innocent

Still to Read:
All the RageWhat Happens NextThe Way I Used to BeExit, Pursued by a BearYou Too?

I made a brochure for teens about reading recommendations. It includes books about sexual violence and assault, but it also includes romance books because I think it's great for teens to see positive relationships. There's also a playlist of songs about women - mostly about surviving but also about friendship. 

I have copies in my library - but if you'd like me to email you a PDF, leave a comment. 

Monday, April 13, 2020

Review: Of Curses and Kisses

Of Curses and Kisses (St. Rosetta's Academy, #1)* First Book in a New Series *

When Princess Jaya Rao discovers that her sworn enemy will be attending the same boarding school, she plans the ultimate revenge. She's going to make Grey Emerson fall in love with her and then smash his heart into a million pieces.

No one messes with her family - especially her youngest sister. She'll do anything to keep Isha safe. Yes, she believes in tradition and family honor. Those beliefs rules her world; she's not giving up until Grey's broken.
My Thoughts: I really enjoyed this story. I love that it's a Beauty and the Beast retelling. I loved how Grey and Jaya first met. I really enjoyed the school setting - and how it was in the middle of nowhere. I loved the balls and the parties - even though they didn't always end well. I loved the moments between Grey and Jaya - how they understood each other, how they started to share little moments, and how they started to let their walls down. I felt terrible for Grey - for the way his father treated him, for the way he never let anyone get close, and for the belief about the curse. I loved Isha and how she wasn't interested in cultural traditions; she just wanted to live her own life. I loved how she took control. I liked reading about the other students. Can't wait to return to the school and read the next installment.

Cover Thoughts: Cute
Source: My library
Library Recommendation: Grab this one for your romance section!

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Book and Movie Review: You're Bacon Me Crazy

Last weekend, the Hallmark Channel showed this movie - which is an adaptation of this tween book.

You're Bacon Me Crazy (Wish, #4)

Of course, they changed the storylines around a little bit, but the meat of the book is the same.

So the book features the main character of Tessa who helps out at her aunt's food truck. She loves coming up with new menu ideas. Her parents aren't crazy about all the time she spends there, especially when she forgets about school work other important things.

When a boy from her class starts working there too, things change. At first, Tessa can't stand him. But the more they talk, the more she understands him. Could there be a spark between them?

The movie is a little different. The romance switched to Tessa's Aunt Cleo and...the Bacon Guy. 

Both stories are sweet, charming, and of course full of bacon.

You might ask how a tween book became a Hallmark movie.
Well you're in luck, I was able to chat with Suzanne Nelson and here's what she had to say:

How did the book happen to be turned into a Hallmark Movie?
Scholastic Entertainment and the Hallmark Channel partnered to potentially adapt three Scholastic books into movies for the Hallmark Channel. I was so lucky that You're Bacon Me Crazy was one of the three books that was chosen. So much of that process happened "behind-the-scenes." I received updates from my Scholastic editors, but for a long time we didn't know with certainty whether a movie would definitively happen or not. You're Bacon Me Crazy was the second book I wrote in the foodie line for Scholastic. I wrote it back in 2014, which seems so long ago now, but this line of books continues to grow and reach new readers every year! It's a dream come true! What's great about the foodie line of books is that each book has different characters and different stories. They don't have to be read in any particular order, which is great for readers.

      Of course, I was absolutely thrilled when I received word that the "You're Bacon Me Crazy" movie was a-go! Having one of my books turned into a movies was a pipe dream, so it still seems so surreal. Movies can often take years to produce, so I was incredibly excited when I found out that "You're Bacon Me Crazy" would premiere this April! Once I received word that the movie was in production, everything happened with lightning speed. The filming in Vancouver took place over about a three-week period in February, and less than two months later the movie premiered on the Hallmark Channel! It's been a wild ride and so much fun to be a part of!

Wow that is very quick! And really cool.

Did you have any influence over the script? Make a cameo? Visit the set?
When a book is adapted into a movie, authors aren't usually directly involved in the movie's creative process. A movie is a chance for script writers, film producers and directors, and the film's cast to bring their own creative visions to the storyline. And thank goodness for that, because I have no experience with the movie industry at all! Ha ha. Script writing is SO different from novel writing, and I was glad to have another talented writer take on that task. Christopher Sey wrote the "You're Bacon Me Crazy" movie script and he did such a wonderful job of capturing the foodie fun and spirit of the book. I was lucky to be able to read the script before I saw the movie, and it made me so excited to watch it all come to life on the screen!

      Because the production and filming time for the movie was condensed into about a three-week period, I wasn't able to visit the set. It all happened much too fast for that. I would've loved to have had a cameo in the movie, though. I would've loved being a customer ordering a sandwich from Cleo's Kitchen or Gabe's Mo' Bacon food trucks! I would've ordered Cleo's meatball sub and Gabe's BLP sandwich!

      I had the chance to meet Natalie Hall, the actor who played Cleo in the movie, during an Instagram Live chat on the night of the movie premiere. That was so much fun! She's absolutely delightful--so kind and genuine. We chatted for a few minutes, which was great! She did a fabulous job of portraying Cleo in the movie. Cleo was one of my favorite characters from the You're Bacon Me Crazy book, along with Tessa. Olivia Steele Falconer played Tessa in the movie, and she was fantastic in her role, too. I loved the dynamic between Cleo and Tessa in the movie, and Tessa's wise teen words of wisdom in the movie made me grin. Tessa had one of my favorite lines from the movie, too: "Your food needs to be liberated from the narrow confines of bread." That was hilarious! It was also so great that Tessa was so in-tune with Cleo's crush on Gabe. At one point in the movie, she asked Cleo, "Are you crushing on Bacon Dude?" That had me laughing out loud. Leave it to the teen to have the stellar crush radar!

     Overall, the casting for the movie was perfect. Just thinking about it now makes me smile. I've watched the movie twice so far, and I know I'll be watching it many, many more times. It's just such a happy, feel-good movie, which is what I think we all need right now. 

For anyone who hasn't yet seem the movie, it's showing many more times on the Hallmark Channel during April and May. You can learn more about the movie and its showtimes here:

I would have ordered that meatball sub too. It sounded amazing.
Yes, if you haven't seen the movie, go watch it! It's super cute. And it might just make you hungry....

Would you have added anything to the movie?
Honestly, the movie was such a sweet treat, I don't think I would've added anything. Except maybe some chocolate! Ha ha. The scenes between Cleo and Gabe had a wonderful "Hall-spark"--that spot-on Hallmark Channel chemistry that make the channel's movies so charming. My favorite scene was when Cleo called Gabe using a fake New York accent and placed an enormous food order from his Mo' Bacon truck. She thought she was tricking him, but he knew it was her the whole time! That scene wasn't in the book, but I'm delighted it was in the movie! My book has a whole new life now in movie form! Of course, there are similarities and differences between the book and movie, but I love that we get Tessa's crush story in the book, and now we get Cleo's crush story in the movie. It's two sweet romances that intertwine. What could be any better than that?

I do like that we get to romance stories with the different forms!
And I loved that scene too, it was funny when he walked the order over to the truck.

What's your favorite bacon dish?
I love to eat bacon ON other food rather than just by itself. My favorite way to eat bacon is on a perfectly-grilled cheeseburger with BBQ sauce and onion rings on top. I also love it in salads and chicken sandwiches. My mom has this amazing family recipe for chopped broccoli salad that has bacon, dried cranberries, and pecans in it. I can't get enough of it! I invented some bacon recipes for my You're Bacon Me Crazy book, and also some before the movie's premiere. Out of all of those recipes, I have to say that the cheesy bacon BBQ crunch dip and the BLT special sauce were my top two favorites. Adding the sauce to a BLT gives it a fun little kick! All of those recipes are on my blog on my author website at:

Oh, great. I always love to read books about food, but it's even better if there are recipes!

What's your next book?
Pumpkin Spice Up Your Life: A Wish NovelMy next book in the foodie line for Scholastic is Pumpkin Spice Up Your Life, which will be out on September 1. Autumn is my favorite season, and that book is full of fall fun--hayrides, pumpkin-picking, leaf piles, and of course, pumpkin spice lattes! There's also a very sweet crush story in this book that I'm particularly fond of. I love the cozy dynamic between the characters Nadine and Daniel and hope readers will, too!

      There's also a tenth foodie book coming as well, but the title and storyline for that book are still top secret. I will say this: the mystery book centers on one of my favorite types of desserts, and I'm so excited to invent the recipes for it!

      In addition to the upcoming foodie books, my first picture book is coming out with ZonderKidz this fall as well. Over in a Stable will be out on October 6. It's a sweet Christmas counting book about the nativity, inspired by the classic song "Over in the Meadow." Since Christmas is my favorite holiday, I'm so excited about this book.

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     I'm also very excited that there's a paperback edition of my middle-grade novel, A Tale Magnolious, coming out this July. It's available in hardcover already, but a paperback edition will be lovely. The book is about an orphan named Nitty Luce, an elephant named Magnolious, and some magical seeds. It's a book very dear to my heart--full of magic and hope. I hope readers will scoop it up for summer reading!

A Tale Magnolious

These all sound great! Thanks for chatting with me!

And don't forget to watch the movie and read the book!

About the Author:

Suzanne Nelson is the author of dozens of middle-grade books, including You're Bacon Me Crazy, Cake Pop Crush, and the rest of the books in the foodie line for Scholastic, as well as A Tale Magnolious for Knopf Books for Young Readers. Her books are available for purchase online from Indiebound (, Barnes and Noble (, Amazon (, and in bookstores everywhere. Suzanne can be found on Twitter @snelsonbooks and on Facebook and Instagram @suzannenelsonbooks. Her website is