Picture drawn by Maggie Stiefvater, 2009. Header made by S.F. Robertson, 2010.
Click here for a list of mid-East Coast (PA/NJ/MD/DC/VA/NC) book events! (last update: 1/12/13)
Current Contests- None at the moment but hopefully soon!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

More Than Good Enough by Crissa-Jean Chappell

More than Good Enough by Crissa-Jean Chappell
"Half native. Half white.
One hundred percent nothing.

My mom doesn’t want me. My dad just got out of jail. They want me to go live with him on the reservation, in the Everglades. Trouble is, everybody there just ignores me.

At least I get to work with Pippa on my film project at school. We used to be friends when we were like twelve. Now that we’re hanging out again it’s like old times—except she’s way cuter.

The thing is, I don’t belong anywhere. I don’t fit in on the rez, and I suck at school. My dad thinks I’m an idiot, but Pippa thinks I’m all good.

I don’t know what to think. Am I bad news or am I more than good enough?"- summary from Amazon

I really enjoyed Chappell's debut and have been looking forward to more from her. I own her second book Narc, but couldn't find the time to fit it in though after reading this, I am going to have to make time. I absolutely love Chappell's writing and I feel like she's writing about characters and settings that no one else does but that needs to be written and told. I don't think I've ever read a book from a Native American's point of view; maybe I'm not looking hard enough though. But what I like is that while Chappell does bring in Native American traditions, it doesn't feel like that is all that defines Trent. He's still a regular boy that I think readers will relate to; the main aspect of the book is about finding your place in this world. The book is a quick read, and there is a sweet little romance in it.

Overall, I highly recommend this book along with Chappell's writing in general. Please check her books out; you won't be disappointed.

FTC: Received e-galley from Netgalley. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.

Monday, April 14, 2014

I See Kitty by Yasmine Surovec

I See Kitty by Yasmine Surovec
"Love that Kitty! The most adorable picture book of the year invites the very youngest cat lovers to find Kitty in the world around them.

Chloe loves kitties. She wants a cat so much that she sees Kitty everywhere she goes: at the bus stop, in her backyard, in the starry night sky, even in her dreams. From debut children's book illustrator Yasmine Surovec comes a story so adorable that if you don't already love cats you will by the time you're done reading it. In the tradition of iconic preschool books like Where's Spot?, I See Kitty uses bright, bold artwork to appeal to very young readers and charm them for generations to come."- summary from Amazon

As I'm sure you all know- at least long-time readers will- I love cats. So when an opportunity to get an ARC of this book showed up in my inbox, I jumped all over it even though I don't usually review picture books. I read it immediately upon receiving it, which wasn't too hard to do since it's a picture book.

I've loved Surovec's Cat vs. Human comics for a long time, and it seems like an ideal idea to write a picture book all about cats. She does wonderfully with it- the artwork is done very well (a more polished and broader look than her comic work) and the story is very easy to follow. In the middle section, it's all about finding the hidden kitty that Chloe sees, which I think will be fun for the young ones reading this book. I particularly enjoyed Kitty City and would like to visit there sometime.

Overall, this is a wonderful book to get your kids (or yourself at any age if you love kitties!) to get them started on the right track of loving kitties and not those dirty dogs. :)

FTC: Received ARC from publisher. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.

Friday, April 11, 2014

The Last Present by Wendy Mass

The Last Present by Wendy Mass
"Amanda and Leo have a history with birthdays. Now their friend's little sister, Grace, has fallen into a strange frozen state on her birthday, and Amanda and Leo must travel in time in order to fix whatever's wrong. As they journey back to each of Grace's birthdays, they start seeing all sorts of patterns . . . which raise all sorts of questions.

Amanda and Leo are going to have to unravel the threads of the past and present - and travel much further than they ever imagined - if they're going to save Grace. Luckily, a little birthday magic always helps in the charming and funny Willow Falls series by Wendy Mass, where everything is possible and there are no coincidences."- summary from Amazon

I simply adore Mass' books- they always manage to put a smile on my face and make me think about stuff. Even though these are middle-grade books, Mass never underestimates her readers and writes these thoughtful yet fun stories that are just so compelling to read. I'm always amazed at the topics she covers and the deft hand she writes them with.

I'm a little sad to see this series end but I think Mass did a great job ending it. It was wonderful being back with Amanda and Leo, going on one final adventure with them. There's some interesting twists and turns throughout the book, and a lot of Willow Falls history comes to light. It's really fascinating and such an enjoyable read.

Overall, another great book from Mass and I'm excited to read whatever she has up next!!

FTC: Received e-galley from Netgalley. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Tuesdays for the Taking + Excerpt Tour- The Taking by Kimberly Derting

I've got two awesome things for you guys today. First off, the weekly Tuesdays for the Taking question all leading up to the release of The Taking by Kimberly Derting on April 29! Then, I'm kicking off the Excerpt Tour with an exclusive excerpt from The Taking! How cool is that? First, here's some info on Derting's latest book:

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer meets The Fifth Wave in this chilling and explosive new series. The last thing Kyra Agnew remembers is a flash of bright light. She awakes to discover that five whole years have passed. Everyone in her life has moved on—her parents divorced, her boyfriend is in college and dating her best friend—but Kyra's still the sixteen-year-old she was when she vanished. In order to find out the truth, she and her friend Tyler (the only person who seems to understand her since she got back, he also happens to be her ex-boyfriend's brother) the two of them decide to retrace her steps from that fateful night. They discover there are others who have been "taken," just like Kyra. Only, Kyra is the first person to have been returned past the forty-eight-hour taken mark. With a determined, secret government agency after her, Kyra desperately tries to find an explanation and reclaim the life she once had . . . but what if the life she wants back is not her own?

Doesn't that sound so good?! I'm so excited to read this book. And I'm giving you all the chance to win an ARC of The Taking and some swag. The contest is open to US residents. All you have to do is answer this week's Tuesday for the Taking question on this post (or on Twitter when I post it there- use #TheTaking and @bookchicclub when you reply!)- What's your favorite sci-fi book? (I should also mention I suck at being creative and coming up with questions, lol).

Now it's time for the excerpt:

The silhouette of a little boy stood above me, shadowed by the glare of the sun behind him. I blinked harder, still trying to sort it all out, and I could see his expression then, a look of delight. He held one hand behind his back.

Spread out like marbles in front of my face, I saw an array of brightly colored candies that looked suspiciously like gum balls or mini jawbreakers.

“What are you doing here?” the boy asked, the hint of a slight frown shifting the planes of his freckled face.

I searched for an answer, and when I couldn’t find a suitable one, I asked one of my own, “What are you doing here?”
The boy looked back over his shoulder. “Waiting for my mom.” Past him, I saw the gas pumps and a small convenience store behind them. I squinted against the sunlight and read the sign: Gas ’n’ Sip. A woman was at one of the stands, filling the tank of her red minivan.

What the—the Gas ’n’ Sip, really? How the heck had that happened? When had that happened? I shoved the base of my palms into my throbbing eyes, trying to crush the pain away. Eyeing me curiously, the boy absently popped a piece of the candy or gum into his mouth from the hand behind his back as I struggled to sit upright.

It wasn’t easy. Apparently, I’d slept outside all night. And behind a Dumpster at the Gas ’n’ Sip no less. That panicky feeling shook me, and I glanced around uneasily, wincing as I realized that the rotting smell had been garbage.

“Robby!” The woman yelled, and the boy’s head whipped around.

“Gotta go,” he whisper-told me as if we’d developed some sort of bond and I required an explanation for his departure. “You want these?” He held out his hand, palm open to reveal his remaining candies: three red ones, a green, and four yellows.

I thought about turning him down. They looked sticky. But my mouth tasted like I’d just licked home plate, so I nodded instead.
He held them toward me, and I accepted his gummy offering as they peeled, rather than dropped, from his skin. “Thanks,” I said before he skipped away.

You can find the next excerpt on the tour by going to my friend Sara at Novel Novice!

Pre-order The Taking from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or IndieBound!

Kimberly is the author of the BODY FINDER series, THE PLEDGE trilogy, and THE TAKING (coming Summer 2014 from HarperTeen). She lives in the Pacific Northwest, the ideal place to write anything dark or creepy...a gloomy day can set the perfect mood. She lives with her husband and their three beautiful (and often mouthy) children who provide an endless source of inspiration.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Blog Tour- Into the Dark by Bree Despain

Haden Lord, the disgraced prince of the Underrealm, has been sent to the mortal world to entice a girl into returning with him to the land of the dead. Posing as a student at Olympus Hills High—a haven for children of the rich and famous—Haden must single out the one girl rumored to be able to restore immortality to his race.

Daphne Raines has dreams much bigger than her tiny southern Utah town, so when her rock star dad suddenly reappears, offering her full tuition to Olympus Hills High’s prestigious music program, she sees an opportunity to catch the break she needs to make it as a singer. But upon moving into her estranged father’s mansion in California, and attending her glamorous new school, Daphne soon realizes she isn’t the only student in Olympus who doesn’t quite belong.

Haden and Daphne—destined for each other—know nothing of the true stakes their fated courtship entails. As war between the gods brews, the teenagers’ lives collide. But Daphne won’t be wooed easily and when it seems their prophesied link could happen, Haden realizes something he never intended—he’s fallen in love. Now to save themselves, Haden and Daphne must rewrite their destinies. But as their destinies change, so do the fates of both their worlds.

A pulsating romance of epic proportions, Bree Despain’s The Shadow Prince will leave her fans breathless for the next book in the Into The Dark series.

1) How did you get the idea for the Into the Dark series?

The series was inspired by both the song “I Will Follow You Into the Dark” by Deathcab for Cutie and also by my love for all things mythology. The song got me thinking about the idea of following someone into the unknown for the sake of love—which then lead me to think about the Greek myths of Hades and Persephone, and also Orpheus and Eurydice. Because what’s a scarier unknown than the Underworld?

2) What are you currently working on? Can you tell us anything about it?

I am currently working on revisions for the second book in the Into The Dark series. I can’t spill much about it, but I can say that I am hoping there will be a couple of big twists that will take readers by surprise.

3) I've asked you before your favorite Jelly Belly flavor (it was watermelon), so now I'd like to ask your favorite snack to have while writing, or as a reward for writing?

Cinnamon Bears! I think they’re a Utah/Western US thing. For anyone who hasn’t had a cinnamon bear before, they’re kind of like a gummy bear but they’re spicy cinnamon flavored with a touch of sweetness. I especially like them dipped in melted dark chocolate. My doctor is trying to get me to give up my cinnamon bear addiction—but I really don’t think I can write without them!

4) What book(s) are you currently reading, or are about to start? Any 2014 books you're excited to read?

I’m currently reading SCARLET by Marissa Meyer and then the new Veronica Mars book is next in line. The 2014 book I am most excited about is SNOW LIKE ASHES by Sara Raasch.

Bree Despain is the author of The Dark Divine trilogy: The Dark Divine, The Lost Saint, and The Savage Grace. She rediscovered her childhood love for creating stories when she took a semester off from college to write and direct plays for at-risk, inner-city teens from Philadelphia and New York. She currently lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, with her husband, two young sons, and her beloved TiVo. You can visit her online at www.breedespain.com.