Picture drawn by Maggie Stiefvater, 2009. Header made by S.F. Robertson, 2010.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

In My Mailbox- Week of July 23 + Retrospective

I did a vlog this week. It cut me off in the end but I was done anyway.

Books Shown:

The Cowboy and the Princess by Lori Wilde (paperback, July 2012)
Lessons from a Scandalous Bride by Sophie Jordan (paperback, July 2012)
Waking Storms by Sarah Porter (hardcover, July 2012)
Love and Haight by Susan Carlton (hardcover, July 2012)
For What It's Worth by Janet Tashjian (hardcover, July 2012)
Crewel by Ginnifer Albin (ARC, Oct 2012)
Outpost by Ann Aguirre (ARC, Sept 2012)
Blood Magic by Tessa Gratton (hardcover from library, April 2011)
This is Not a Test by Courtney Summers (paperback, June 2012)
Crazy by Amy Reed (hardcover, June 2012; not shown)
The Unnaturalists by Tiffany Trent (hardcover, August 2012; not shown)

and here's my retrospective for the week:

Monday- I put up my final BEA 2012 recap and now I don't know what to post on Mondays!! Leave ideas in the comments if you have any!

Wednesday- I reviewed See You at Harry's by Jo Knowles, which is out in stores now.

Thursday- I helped reveal the cover of Senshi by Cole Gibsen, and am also hosting an international contest that ends this coming Friday evening at 9pm EST!

Friday- I took part in the Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone blog tour (hosted by Mod Podge Books!), so I reviewed the book and interviewed the author!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Blog Tour- Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone by Kat Rosenfield

Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone by Kat Rosenfield
"Becca has always longed to break free from her small, backwater hometown. But the discovery of an unidentified dead girl on the side of a dirt road sends the town--and Becca--into a tailspin. Unable to make sense of the violence of the outside world creeping into her backyard, Becca finds herself retreating inward, paralyzed from moving forward for the first time in her life.

Short chapters detailing the last days of Amelia Anne Richardson's life are intercut with Becca's own summer as the parallel stories of two young women struggling with self-identity and relationships on the edge twist the reader closer and closer to the truth about Amelia's death."- summary from Amazon

Wow, this is a really amazing debut. Rosenfield's prose is so atmospheric that it really makes you feel like you're in the small town. It's really a character-based story and I love that you really get to find out a lot about the characters.

The dual narrative is really interesting and I will admit that I always looked forward to Amelia's chapters. I wanted to know what happened! There's an interesting twist at the end that I really liked. But Becca's chapters are just as good, detailing her conflicting feelings and thoughts about her town, her boyfriend, and her future.

Anyway, definitely pick up this book. It's wonderful and I'm excited to see what Rosenfield has in store for her readers next!

and here's an interview with Kat:

1) How did you get the idea for Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone? Was it difficult to alternate the chapters between two different characters?

My idea for AMELIA actually began in the same place that the book does: with a dead girl who nobody knows, lying in the road on the outskirts of a small, isolated town. I think I've mentioned elsewhere during this tour that my book started out as a sentence instead of a story; I was doing a writing exercise in which you forget about the characters, the plot, the setting, and just try to come up with the most perfect, poignant, grab-em-by-the-throat first line you can. So it wasn't until after I'd written that line — which became the first line of the book — that the bigger idea of AMELIA started to take shape. I also didn't plan to use a dual narrative; it was something that just happened, organically, as I began to write. So while it was a challenge later on to figure out where and how to bring those narrative threads together, the actual act of switching between two perspectives felt very natural.

2) What is your favorite Jelly Belly jelly bean flavor(s)? Or, if you don't eat those, is there a snack you like to have while writing or as a reward for getting writing done?

I haven't eaten a Jelly Belly in... wow. Ten years, maybe? I'm not much of a candy person. I also tend to forget to eat when I'm working, so more often than not, I'll finish writing and realize that my entire nutritional intake for the day consists of, like, an almond. At which point I usually order pizza, not to reward myself, but because I can no longer feel my legs and need sustenance brought to me immediately.

3) What are you working on now? Can you tell us anything about it?

I'm still freelancing full-time as a writer for MTV's Hollywood Crush and Barnes & Noble's SparkLife blog, so I've got plenty to keep me occupied. And I'm also working on a second book. It... has words in it. (Sorry, not ready to share any more just yet.)

4) What book(s) are you reading now, or are about to start?

I'm between books right now; I just finished The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and I'm about to start Tara Altebrando's The Best Night of Your Pathetic Life.

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

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Cover Reveal- Senshi by Cole Gibsen

I've got a great cover to reveal to you guys today. It's the sequel to Katana by Cole Gibsen and it's titled Senshi, set for release in March 2013!!

Are you ready to see it?

Isn't it awesome?! I love it.

Not only am I helping to reveal the cover, but I also have an INTERNATIONAL GIVEAWAY too, courtesy of the author Cole Gibsen!

Cole runs her own Etsy shop and 1 winner gets their choice of something from the shop! All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on this post by Thursday, August 2 at 9pm EST. Like I said before, this is an international giveaway so anyone can enter! Good luck to all!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

See You at Harry's by Jo Knowles

See You at Harry's by Jo Knowles
"Starting middle school brings all the usual challenges - until the unthinkable happens, and Fern and her family must find a way to heal.

Twelve-year-old Fern feels invisible. Her dad is always busy planning how to increase traffic to the family business. Her Mom is constantly going off to meditate. Her sister Sarah, who's taking a "gap year" after high school, is too busy finding ways not to work; and her brother Holden is too focused on his new "friend" to pay attention to her. And then there's Charlie: three years old, a "surprise" baby, and the center of everyone's world.

If it wasn't for Ran, Fern's best and oldest friend, there would be nowhere to turn. Ran is always calm, always positive. His mantra "All will be well" is soothing in a way that nothing else seems to be. And when Ran says it, Fern can almost believe.

But when their lives are unexpectedly turned upside down, Fern feels more alone than ever, and responsible for the event that wrenches the family apart. All will not be well. Or at least, all will never be the same."- summary from Amazon

Oh my gosh, this book is amazing. I've been meaning to read Knowles' work for a while now but only just got around to it now, with her fourth book. This is a wonderful middle-grade novel that really deals with death and the guilt and emptyness that it leaves in its wake. It's just such a realistic snapshot of a family, both before and after the accident- there's humor, heart, growth, and healing.

The relationships between all the characters were handled really well and it was interesting to see them go through this turmoil and turbulence. Knowles really knows how to deal with each character's grief and how that translates to their relationship with other certain characters.

Fern is a great main character and her voice was so real. Charlie was great too and I enjoyed seeing him interacting with people in various scenes because, as a toddler, he pretty much just says whatever and it's usually hilarious. I also loved the setting of a diner- it provided for some funny scenes.

Basically, this is a fantastic book and it really makes me want to read all of Knowles' books, past and future. Definitely check this one out!

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

Monday, July 23, 2012

Book Expo America 2012 Recap Part 4

This is the final BEA post and whew, it's been a journey! There's still a little bit left to go, so bear with me.

Before I start, I completely forgot about a few things that happened during Tuesday and Wednesday on the floor:

1) Upon arriving Wednesday, I immediately went to the Lerner booth to try and get an ARC of Skylark by Meagan Spooner. I wouldn't be around for her signing on Thursday since I had a train to catch but I really wanted the book. Meagan happened to be there right when I arrived at their booth and introduced herself after I asked about Skylark. It took some convincing, but they eventually gave me a copy (hardcover) and Meagan signed it right there for me. She was the sweetest!! I'm very sad I have to miss her book launch event! I hate being broke.
2) I got an ARC of Level 2 by my friend Lenore Appelhans! Once again, Justin Chanda, head of S&S Childrens Publishing, saved the day. I had tried to get one at BEA Tuesday, then at TAC, then again Wednesday morning sometime and lo and behold, I got one! He only had two left so I was so grateful I made it in time. And I say "once again" because I met Justin at ALA back in 2010 when they were giving out Zombies v. Unicorns ARCs (I had missed them at BEA the previous month). They were only giving them out at Holly Black's signing if you bought a book. I had the David Levithan/John Green signing to go to so wanted to try and grab an ARC before they were all gone. He initially said no and I was like "Ok, well thank you for your time!" (I'm not a blogger who gets upset at being denied), and talked to my awesome friend Meaghan until I had to go. As I went back through the S&S booth, they were getting out the ZvU ARCs and Justin said "Hey" and gave me one! I was so grateful and had no idea how high up he was at S&S. Then he saved the day again- he is one awesome, sweet guy!

Alright, back to Wednesday night. So I left the Javits and went back to the hotel. My roommates had left already, so I was by myself for this final night. I relaxed a bit and tried to read Hourglass by Myra McEntire on my computer, but I made the mistake of getting into bed under the covers to do it. After 3 days of non-stop action and little sleep, I was friggin' tired. I meant to just rest my eyes for a couple minutes, then go back to reading. I fell asleep for almost an hour (yes, with my laptop still in my lap), luckily waking up just 10 minutes after the time I had wanted to leave at to grab dinner before the rooftop party. I immediately rushed out and grabbed the subway down to near the Hudson, where the party was being held.
I wanted to go to Shake Shack while in New York City and there was one right near the party! It was fate. Not only that but when I walked up to go in, I saw Susane Colasanti and Elizabeth Eulberg sitting outside eating their own meals. I wanted to make sure it was Susane though before saying hi, so I ordered and then very slowly walked back outside, all the while staring at Susane. I came over to their table and said hi. We chatted for a while, then I had to go back inside to check on my food cuz my pager wasn't buzzing. Turns out they'd been calling it for like 10 minutes, but it never rang for me!! Anyway, the food was amazing, though I couldn't finish it all. But what was really amazing was that I was having dinner with SUSANE COLASANTI AND ELIZABETH EULBERG!!! I love these two authors (and all their books) and they're such sweethearts. It was great chatting with them about books, the weather (Susane is a weather expert, having been a former science teacher), their upcoming events together, and pretty much a bunch of other stuff. I loved it and hope they did too!

We then walked over to the Tribeca Pointe Building and took the elevator up, wherein Susane chatted with a person who lived there and said she was jealous of him for living there. Being in the solarium/on the rooftop was AMAZING, as you can see from my pictures, but they really don't do it justice. Susane and I pretty much went around the whole wrap-around and took pictures of everything.
Once that was done though, I fell into awkward mingling mode where I pretty much stand off by myself, sipping my champagne (which I'm not a fan of, but felt I needed to finish anyway- they had some Sprite or something too, so I refilled my glass with that, lol). I did get taken pity on by Charlotte Bennardo (such a delight to chat with), Tamara Ireland Stone (who says I was a delight, but I think she's lying, lol), and Alyssa Grosso (I told her I'd grabbed her book the previous morning and she was happy about that). I did also finangle myself into Meagan Spooner's chat with someone (cannot remember who, and I feel so bad about that!) and that was nice, though the bottom of my champagne glass fell off during the discussion- embarrassing! Meagan actually also came up to me later and told me to introduce her to people I knew, lol. Literally, right at that moment, Zoraida Cordova (who's lovely too) came by and said hi, so I introduced them to each other. We had a chat about how hard it is to mingle.

I also chatted with Andye and Amy of Reading Teen, Gretchen McNeil, Jenny Han, Julia DeVillers, Crissa Jean Chappell, and Lenore Appelhans but I also missed some people there! It was sad when I then heard about some authors and bloggers who had been there without my knowing! I left after a few hours, but not before I won something (notebook and signed poster!), grabbed a swag bag and got pictures with Gretchen, Crissa, and Elizabeth. It was such an amazing night and I was so happy to be a part of it.
I walked back to the subway by myself (Mitali helped me with directions), got back to the hotel, and started to pack because I had to bring all my stuff with me to the Javits as I was leaving straight from there to Penn Station. I put on my Hush Hush shirt and sang and danced around while I packed my books and clothes. OMG MY SUITCASE WAS SO HEAVY! I left out my Land of Stories tote cuz it was smaller than the others and would be perfect for what I needed the following day.

Thursday morning, I overslept a bit (my alarm didn't go off) and made it to the Javits about the time it opened. My first stop was the Entangled Booth because the previous day, I'd been chatting with Sara of Novel Novice and Tiffany Truitt and was told to get a copy of The Chosen Ones. But when I got there, nobody was at the booth, so I looked around a bit for a copy of The Chosen Ones that wasn't the display copy. I didn't find any, so I just took the display copy (making sure first it was the actual book) and then rushed over to Kirstie Alley's line. I'm not proud of what I did, but hey, at least I reviewed it (as part of a blog tour) and didn't sell it on ebay.
I luckily made it to Kirstie's line when it was still short. I was probably about 10 people back. I was near the cute boy from the Chris Colfer and Tim Gunn lines again, but was too shy to say anything. However, I did chat with a lovely lady (we exchanged business cards) while we waited in line. They said Kirstie wasn't doing personalizations, but she secretly was- she'd ask you what your name was when you got up there. I was too star-struck to say anything other than my name and thank you. If I had been able to say something, I'd let her know how funny I thought she was and how much I loved her. She's such a funny, outspoken lady and I love that! She was also only signing postcards of her cover with info printed on the back. But still, I have a Kirstie autograph now!

Since the Kirstie signing took WAY less time than I originally thought, I was able to stop by Alexandra Bracken's signing (so happy I got to say hi to her!) and Jackson Pearce's signing (apparently she saw me at TAC, but wasn't sure it was me so she didn't come up to say hi, lol). I also stopped by a couple booths since there wasn't much for me to do that day. I swung by Flux to see if they had any Narc goodies (tote bag, bookmarks, etc.) but they did not. I did swing by Little Brown's booth and was excited to see copies of Eternally Yours by Cate Tiernan left out! I thought I was going to miss that book drop, but I guess they did it early. I asked about Return to Me by Justina Chen, but was told ARCs hadn't been printed yet (BUT THEY HAD- I saw copies in various peoples' BEA hauls). That made me sad cuz I love Justina's books so much!
I then left a little after 11 so I could get to Penn Station to take my train back home. I went to the cab line outside Javits (my original plan of walking with my stuff would not have worked. AT ALL.). I shared a cab with a lovely lady who worked at a publishing house, but not in YA, though one of her co-workers is a YA author. I'm trying to remember which author it was because I had already received an advance copy of the book and was excited about it. Why didn't I write this down?! If I remember, I'll come back and edit.

Anyway, I took the train back home and all was well. Another AWESOME BEA. I can't wait for next year!!

Pic 1- An amazing view from the rooftop party
Pic 2- Elizabeth Eulberg and I!!
Pic 3- Crissa Jean Chappell and I!!
Pic 4- Gretchen McNeil and I!!
Pic 5- Kirstie Alley signing!
Pic 6- Alexandra Bracken signing!
Pic 7- Another amazing view from the rooftop party.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

In My Mailbox- Week of July 16 + Retrospective

I have a vlog this week, hope you all enjoy (a cat knocks over my camera, so there's that)! I also get cut off at the end, but I was done anyway, so whatevs.

Books Shown:

The Lost Prince by Julie Kagawa (ARC, Nov 2012)
Let the Sky Fall by Shannon Messenger (ARC, March 2013; thanks Kristi!!)
Tilt by Ellen Hopkins (ARC, Sept 2012)
Enshadowed by Kelly Creagh (ARC, Aug 2012)
The Unwanteds: Island of Silence by Lisa McMann (ARC, Sept 2012)
Counting Backwards by Laura Lascarso (hardcover, Aug 2012; two copies)
Miss Me When I'm Gone by Emily Asenault (paperback, July 2012)
Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes (ARC, Dec 2012; extra copy)
Black City by Elizabeth Richards (ARC, Nov 2012; extra copy)
The Innocents by Lili Peloquin (ARC, Sept 2012; extra copy)
Venom by Fiona Paul (ARC, Oct 2012; extra copy)
A Farewell to Charms by Lindsey Leavitt (not shown; extra copy)
The Stone Girl by Alyssa B. Sheinmel (ARC, August 2012)
I Heart Paris by Lindsay Kelk (paperback, August 2012)
Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian (ARC, Sept 2012; extra copy)
Don't Turn Around by Michelle Gagnon (ARC, Sept 2012)
And When She Was Gone by Laura Lippman (hardcover, August 2012)
The Curiosities: A Collection of Stories by Maggie Stiefvater, Brenna Yovanoff, and Tessa Gratton (hardcover, Oct 2012)

and here's my retrospective-

Monday- I posted Part 3 of my Book Expo America recap (hot guys abound!). Part 4 will be up tomorrow!

Wednesday- Stacy Kramer, co-author of From What I Remember, did a guest blog all about her cover story.

Friday- I reviewed Pilgrims Don't Wear Pink by Stephanie Kate Strohm, which is out in stores now!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Pilgrims Don't Wear Pink by Stephanie Kate Strohm

Pilgrims Don't Wear Pink by Stephanie Kate Strohm
"Libby Kelting had always felt herself born out of time. No wonder the historical romance-reading, Jane Austen-adaptation-watching, all-around history nerd jumped at the chance to intern at Camden Harbor, Maine’s Oldest Living History Museum. But at Camden Harbor Libby’s just plain out of place, no matter how cute she looks in a corset. Her cat-loving coworker wants her dead, the too-smart-for-his-own-good local reporter keeps pushing her buttons, her gorgeous sailor may be more shipwreck than dreamboat — plus Camden Harbor’s haunted. Over the course of one unforgettable summer, Libby learns that boys, like ghosts, aren’t always what they seem."- summary from Amazon

I thought this was the cutest book! It's such a quick read and I absolutely LOVED Libby's voice. It was such a joy to read this book. It was a bit predictable, mainly with the romance (which tends to happen in a lot of YA books) but it was still worth the trip to see how it all goes down. That's how it is for me- the romance may be predictable, but it's all about the journey. How does the author set this apart from other YA romances? How do these two end up together? That's what makes it interesting.

Anyway, I loved this book, especially Libby's friend Dev and the children she takes care of during the summer. I'm so excited that there's another book on the way. Definitely check this book out before the summer's over!

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

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Guest Blog- Cover Stories by Stacy Kramer (From What I Remember)

Apparently, it’s not unusual for a book to hit some cover hiccups along the way to publication but Valerie and I were blithely unaware of this fact from our previous experience. FROM WHAT I REMEMBER…is our second novel. Our first, KARMA BITES, a middle grade novel from Houghton-Mifflin Harcourt, was a fun, magical romp and from the moment we saw the fanciful, colorful cover, we were both smitten. The cover fit the book perfectly. Things never changed from idea through inception and we were naïve enough to think that it would always be that way…

Cut to two years later. Our newest book, FROM WHAT I REMEMBER…, is readying for publication with Hyperion, our new publisher, and we start to receive cover ideas. We’re told that a photo with four teens will be the cover. Personally, I don’t love it. I find it looks too much like a movie poster and since we already know the book will be a Paramount movie I think it’s odd to see four teens on the cover who won’t actually be in the film. Valerie, on the other hand loves it. It’s one of our first disagreements on the book. Usually, we are both on the same page (pardon the pun), which is probably why we make such ideal writing partners. Two heads, one voice.

A few weeks later, we get word that a new cover has been chosen. The four teens have been jettisoned in place of a more audacious choice. I love it immediately. Valerie, not at all. In the foreground is a girl’s hand, holding a red solo cup, bright red nail polish splashed on the tip of her fingers. In the blurred background is clearly a wild party, with a Mexican flavor. I liked the bold color, the raciness, the devil-may-care of it all. I thought it captured the high-octane, slightly skewed, romantic, Mexican adventure. Valerie worried that the statement might be glorifying teen drinking. We argued over it. But, in the end, Hyperion went with the new cover. I was all for it. Valerie was disappointed.

When reports came back glowing, people were loving the cover, Valerie warmed to it. All was well. And then, we hit a huge speed bump. Barnes & Noble did not like the cover. It turns out the teen drinking angle was a problem. They didn’t like what the cover conveyed. Not to mention, they thought it misrepresented that book (which is not entirely incorrect – the book is actually a lot more fun and a lot less dangerous than that cover indicated). A cover change was made and we returned to the original cover with four teens.

In the end, I’ve come around. I’ve learned to like the cover, if not love it. And Valerie is happy. Which makes me happy. All’s well that ends well.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Book Expo America Recap 2012 Part 3

I got to BEA Wednesday not too long before they opened so the line was very long. On my way to find my friends, I happened across two hot shirtless guys going down the line (with an S&S person following them taking pics) passing out postcards for Becca Fitzpatrick's Hush Hush series. The cover for Finale was being revealed that morning. I followed them for a bit before gathering my courage and asking the S&S lady if I could get a pic with them. She said of course and called them over. We had to find the right light first to take the pics and then she took two. I was able to make coherent sentences (and even make a joke!), which I did not expect. They then told me to tag them when I put the picture online but they didn't say what to tag them as. I asked S&S on Twitter and got no reply; they may not have liked me asking for their phone numbers too...

So as soon as I was let onto the BEA floor, I immediately went to S&S' booth for the Becca Fitzpatrick signing. I've been talking with Becca since before Hush Hush came out and we've been trying to meet up since then. I was SO EXCITED to hear she was signing, though I do wish it had been a poster of the Finale cover instead of a Hush Hush paperback (since I already have a signed ARC) but the T-shirt was an awesome extra. I love it. Anyway, Becca is amazing and so sweet. She recognized me, gave me a hug and we got a picture together. We only got to chat for a minute, but it was so nice to see her.

Since it was only a little after 9:30, I decided to go find the line for Sarah J. Maas' Throne of Glass, which started at 10. There was already a HUGE line for it, so I abandoned it and went to the Little Brown booth to try lining up for Chris Colfer. Technically, we weren't supposed to start lining up until 10:30 for the signing at 11, but we threw that out the window. I wanted to make sure I got a ticket- only 200 were handed out! I was number 45. While waiting in line, I got to chat with Pam, Rachael, Lenore, and probably some other people too, as they were passing by on their way to some other place.

In this line, there was a cute guy in front of me who I thought might be gay (mainly from how he acted and spoke. I know, I know, I shouldn't stereotype, but I do). Anyway, I found him on Twitter and he is. So I basically admired him from afar and remade a song in my head (Boy on the Dancefloor by Lisa Scott-Lee became Boy on the BEA Floor).

So eventually, the line started moving and I had my camera all ready. I was able to take a picture of Chris as soon as the booth came into view and then my camera DIED. I had batteries with me luckily, but it was a mad scramble to switch the batteries before I made it to Chris. He was signing just his name so the line moved very fast. I was able to switch JUST in time, but apparently the publicist didn't think so, hence why this picture now exists. I think it's hilarious. I had planned to give Chris my business card with my phone number written on the back, but as you can see in the picture, the table was pretty bare so I didn't feel comfortable doing it. I also don't know if I would've gone through with it anyway.

On the way out, they were handing out Land of Stories totes but as I was leaving, the tote lady was dealing with some crazy lady who wanted to cut in line or get a picture of/with Chris or something. When the publicist wouldn't back down, the lady marched off in an angry huff. I gave the publicist this look like "That was crazy, wasn't it?" and then asked in a meek voice, "Can I have a tote?" and she gave me one. YAY!

After that, I went into Tim Gunn's line since it wasn't too far into his signing. He was signing in the same aisle as Chris (3600) and I had to start at the 4200 aisle. I actually ended up right behind the cute boy, but was too shy to talk to him. I kinda stayed at the periphery of his conversations with other people, part of it but not really. It didn't take too long to get to Tim and he was the sweetest. He took the time to ask your name, take a picture, and just chat with you. He had asked previous people what they did for a living and I was excited for him to ask me because I could mention my blog and give him a business card (specifically, the one with my phone number, lol). But he did not, however I did do something equally, if not more, awesome- I made him heartily laugh. I had mentioned that I was so excited to meet him this year because 2 years ago, when he signed another of his books, he was ticketed but it was just too early for me to get up.

Then I went over to Penguin's booth for Marie Lu's signing of Prodigy. Well, kinda. There was already a line so I had to get to the end of it. It was ticketed and I was number 100 and no, I did not get a prize. Yes, I did (jokingly) ask. I also think an author/publicist that I know was running the line but I could be wrong. It was great to see Marie again (not that she remembered me, I'm sure) from when she did a signing for Legend last year. Once I got my signed copy, I went over and chatted with Becca Fitzpatrick (and completely forgot to get her to personalize my copy of Hush Hush!) and the lovely ladies from Fallen Archangel before having lunch.

After lunch, I stopped by signings for Flock by Wendy Delsol and Drink Slay Love by Sarah Beth Durst; it was lovely to see Wendy again and so great to meet Sarah after all this time (we've been chatting since her debut!). I then went to go stand in line for the ticketed signing of Eve and Adam by Katherine Applegate and Michael Grant. During that time, I found out about an upcoming non-fiction book about women in comedy coming out later this year. It's called We Kllled: The Rise of Women in American Comedy by Yael Kohen and the cover has like all my favorite women comics! I asked for an advance copy but they didn't have one. I will totally review that book though so expect an email from me soon, Macmillan! Anyway, the line moved really fast and I gushed to Katherine about how much I loved Animorphs and Everworld growing up, which I had no idea she and Michael wrote together. I can't wait to read this book because it sounds so interesting!

I then stopped by Dan Krokos' line in the autographing area, except it was like an hour too early and they wouldn't let me stand around and start a line yet. So I just kinda wandered for a minute and happened across Kate Ellison's signing of The Butterfly Clues. I of course made a fool of myself. First off, there was no one in the line (probably because Egmont did not advertise ANY of their signings; in the autograph book that they give us, for all of Egmont's signings, it was just TBA.) so there's me charging down the aisle with my big bag of books and I come up and tell her how much I loved the book and, like with Sarah Tregay at TAC, mentioned my review of it, like she would remember every single blogger's review, especially from 6 months ago. I was babbling a bit and she looked at me like I was insane. She politely said thank you and asked if I wanted the book personalized and she signed it. I said thank you and left, then berated myself for acting like a loon in front of yet another author. The list just keeps growing.

Anyway, I wandered around some more but around 25 minutes before Dan's signing, I decided to go back and I was not the only one waiting! There were already like 5 or 6 people in line. So I put my stuff down and waited for the signing to start. Dan remembered me from Twitter and thanked me for coming. I refrained from telling him how cute he is. I then went to Tamara Ireland Stone's line and I think I made a fool of myself, but I'm not entirely sure. I believe she asked me if I liked time travel, and I was like "Yeah, sure." or something like that. I don't remember, but it felt like a very awkward conversation at the time.

After Tamara, I got in line for Rachel Cohn. I love Rachel's books so much and am so excited to read Beta, however I'm not entirely sure how this picture came about. Most of the time, I just took pictures of the authors while I still had one or two people ahead of me. Only with authors I know do I ask to get a picture with them, or if they're a celebrity and I can do that. But Rachel and I only talked once several years ago when I asked about getting an advance copy of her book You Know Where to Find Me, so I don't think she would remember me. Either way, I've got this picture and it's great.

I then went to Susane Colasanti's line because the BEA website had given me false information about Lincoln Pierce's (Big Nate) signings. I thought he had one at 4 in the autographing area and he did not, so unfortunately I missed out on seeing him. While in Susane's line, I chatted with Kristi (The Story Siren) who was in the next aisle over for Julie Kagawa. Now, I already have a signed Susane book so I was mainly in line just to say hi and get a picture with her. Kristi does not have a signed Susane book so she gave me her name on a sticky note and I got a signed copy of Keep Holding On for her. We also both got up to our authors at the same time so I told Susane I was getting the book for her and then pointed, lol. Susane and I also got our picture together which we've been trying to do for the past two BEAs but we keep forgetting! But now we have it and we're happy.

Phew. So that was my Wednesday at BEA. I'm going to stop here and next week, I'll finish up with Wednesday evening and my morning on Thursday before I had to leave NYC for home.

Pic 1- Me with the two shirtless guys playing fallen angels. They were very happy to do the photo and did not appear to be creeped out by me.
Pic 2- Becca Fitzpatrick and I!!!
Pic 3- Picture of the Chris Colfer line (cute boy I'm referencing in the post is on the left in the black shirt with red lanyard; you can only see his back though)
Pic 4- Chris Colfer signing books and the publicist telling me to MOVE DAMN YOU MOVE!
Pic 5- This is a pic of where I started in the Tim Gunn line. He was in row 3600.
Pic 6- TIM GUNN AND I!!!!! OMG *dies right now*
Pic 7- Sarah Beth Durst and I!!!
Pic 8- Rachel Cohn and I!!
Pic 9- Susane Colasanti and I!!!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Contest- The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

"In a future world, vampires reign. Humans are blood cattle. And one girl will search for the key to save humanity.

Allison Sekemoto survives in the Fringe, the outermost circle of a vampire city. By day, she and her crew scavenge for food. By night, any one of them could be eaten.

Some days, all that drives Allie is her hatred of them. The vampires who keep humans as blood cattle. Until the night Allie herself is attacked—and given the ultimate choice. Die…or become one of the monsters.

Faced with her own mortality, Allie becomes what she despises most. To survive, she must learn the rules of being immortal, including the most important: go long enough without human blood, and you will go mad.

Then Allie is forced to flee into the unknown, outside her city walls. There she joins a ragged band of humans who are seeking a legend—a possible cure to the disease that killed off most of humankind and created the rabids, the mindless creatures who threaten humans and vampires alike.

But it isn't easy to pass for human. Especially not around Zeke, who might see past the monster inside her. And Allie soon must decide what—and who—is worth dying for."- summary from Amazon

The lovely people at Media Masters Publicity and Harlequin TEEN have offered up a hardcover copy of The Immortal Rules for me to give away on my blog to a lucky winner! All you have to do is leave a comment by Friday, July 20 at 9pm EST and you're entered! This contest is for US/Canada residents only. If your email address cannot be found easily (i.e. on a blogger profile or if I have emailed you previously), please leave it in your comment.

If there are questions, leave them in the comments and I'll answer them. Also, all comments are screened, so it will take a bit of time (but at least by the next day, though usually just a few hours later) before it will show up publicly. Check back to make sure your comment went through and that you're entered.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Blog Tour- The Chosen Ones by Tiffany Truitt

The Chosen Ones by Tiffany Truitt
"Life is bleak but uncomplicated for sixteen-year-old Tess, living in a not-too-distant future where the government, faced with humanity's extinction, created the Chosen Ones, artificial beings who are extraordinarily beautiful, unbelievably strong, and unabashedly deadly.

When Tess begins work at Templeton, a Chosen Ones training facility, she meets James, and the attraction is immediate in its intensity, overwhelming in its danger. But there is more to Templeton than Tess ever knew. Can she stand against her oppressors, even if it means giving up the only happiness in her life?"- summary from Amazon

I was urged to read this book by Sara of the awesome Novel Novice and I'm so glad I was able to snag a copy at BEA to read. I really enjoyed this book, but it wasn't completely perfect.

First, the bad cuz I'd like to end on good things. Now, I may have just not been paying attention (or have the right idea but don't know/believe it) but I felt like the world-building wasn't completely done. I was a bit confused on how females suddenly became infertile and how the human race will continue to keep building Chosen Ones if no one can reproduce. Maybe these will be answered in future books, but it was just a bit underdeveloped for me.

Aside from that, I really liked Tess' character and the way she behaved. I liked her interactions with James (my name!) as well as seeing how her relationships worked with the various people from her compound. There were some interesting reveals and I loved the twists and turns of the book. It was a fairly quick read and the pacing was handled pretty well.

Overall, I did really enjoy the book. I thought it was an interesting concept and I'm excited for Book 2 and hopefully there's a bit more background and history to flesh things out.

FTC: Received copy at BEA. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Book Expo America 2012 Recap Part 2

WARNING: It has been way too long since BEA so I may have forgotten some things (including people I met and chatted with!). I'm mainly going on what pictures I took and my autographing schedule.

The morning started off early and we got to the Javits a bit before it opened. I took the time to look through my schedule and the autographing book and make sure everything was still correct. On the way in though, I saw this group of people promoting Carnival of Souls by Melissa Marr. I felt weird taking a picture of them but luckily, they were standing underneath a billboard for The Diviners by Libba Bray. So I pretended to take a picture of the billboard.
The line to get into the Javits is MASSIVE. But it's not too bad once 9am rolls around. My first mission of the day was to go to: Flux, Egmont and Disney/Hyperion. I figured no one else would be going to those booths (instead flocking to Harper, Penguin and other big publishers) so I would have first grabs of ARCs and stuff. At the Flux booth, I chatted with a lovely lady about some of their books, like Hollyweird, and she told me to grab whatever I wanted. She then later rescinded that offer because they had limited ARCs, but it's not like I was going to shove all their books into my tote bag and run off. At least, not after she said that (I'M KIDDING). I grabbed ARCs of Narc and Demon Eyes as well as a finished copy of Ferocity Summer, which had expired on my computer before I had a chance to read it.

I then walked over to Egmont's booth. They had a couple ARCs out, but they didn't have what I really wanted, i.e. copies of Taken by Storm and Dark Waters. Their reasoning was that the books came out in a couple weeks. I'm like, "and your point is...?" You should still have more than just the display copies of your books! But they took my business card and should be sending them to me; we'll see if that happens. I grabbed two ARCs and then attempted to stop by Disney, but I was intimated and they had nothing out so I didn't ask them about anything.

I hightailed it over to the autographing area to get a signed copy of Because It Is My Blood by Gabrielle Zevin for my roommate, who read the first book in the trilogy last year. I however have not gotten around to it, which Gabrielle jokingly yelled at me about. I've promised her that I will read both books... which reminds me that I need to put them on my schedule somewhere. I also got into the lines for Emily M. Danforth (who thanked me for the interview I did with her) and Shannon Messenger (who remembered me from all the tweeting I did at her). After those three, I stood in the LONG line for Andrea Cremer's Rift and may have made a fool of myself in front of her by acting like a crazy loon.

I then left the autographing area for an in-booth signing. Malinda Lo was signing ARCs of her upcoming book Adaptation at the SFWA booth, who were a new exhibitor that year. It was great seeing Malinda again and she remembered me! It's always nice when that happens, especially when it's been two years since we had first met. After that, I went to another in-booth signing for a non-YA title. How weird! Except not, because it was for a comic strip collection I love ever so much- Pearls Before Swine. It was a pretty long line but moved fast. Stephan Pastis was really fun to talk to and he knew the Lynchburg paper (apparently he knows like all the papers where his comic is syndicated- it's FREAKY)! He asked me which character I wanted him to draw and I said Pig because I just love him so much and find him very amusing.

I then had some lunch down in the food court because I had quite a bit of free time. There was no place to sit so I stood up and ate my pizza. I reconnected with Susan and her posse, and got to hold an exclusive ARC of Shannon Messenger's Let the Sky Fall (which I now have, thanks to Kristi- yay!!). I may have pet it and contemplated stealing it, but I am a gentleman so I gave it back to Jessica.

Going back to the autographing area, I was going to get into the line for Gretchen McNeil, but decided not to when I saw how long it was. Instead, I got into the line for Lauren Oliver about 40 minutes before it started because it was taking place in the same row as Gretchen's. I was #6 in line! I decided not to do Gretchen's cuz I already had a copy of Ten and knew I'd see her later. Lauren Oliver was really nice though I feel really bad because I have yet to read ANY of her books, yet I have all of them. I need to get on that.

I caught up with Susan again and she introduced me and others to her contact at Disney and we got some ARCs. We also handed her our business cards. I got an ARC of The Darkest Minds because I wasn't sure I could make Alexandra's signing on Thursday. We then separated and I went back to the autographing area for signed copies of The Blessed by Tonya Hurley and the second Stella Batts book by Courtney Sheinmel. Courtney was such a sweetheart and recognized me and then gushed about me to her publicist. I've been reviewing her books since her debut came out (though I have yet to read All the Things You Are) and we've been in touch over the years. She's such a wonderful author. The publicist then exchanged business cards with me and agreed to meet at the booth when the signing was over so she could give me the first Stella Batts book and talk about possibly doing a giveaway, which is going on now! I also got an adorable Stella Batts tote bag!

Then, I walked on over to get into line for the Carnival of Souls book drop, happening right after Melissa's in-booth signing. I tried to get a picture of the whole blown up cover but there were WAY too many people in that area. After that, I went to Suzanne Lazaer's line to get a signed copy of Innocent Darkness.

I went back to the hotel, grabbing Subway on the way back (it was on the same block as our hotel) and watched Charmed while I ate. My roommates came back mid-way through the meal and we got ready to go to the Teen Author Carnival. I absolutely love the Carnival and was so sad I missed it last year. This year was so much fun. I went to two awesome, funny panels (one of which was moderated by the amazing Melissa Walker) and then chatted with a TON of awesome people.

I met Victoria Schwab (who still likes me despite my meh review of Near Witch, and whose book The Arcived I cannot wait to read!), Karsten Knight (cutie!), Scott Tracey (cutie!), Gretchen McNeil (so funny), Kieran Scott (who helped me get an ARC of the 3rd He's So/She's So book and was so sweet), Sarah Tregay (who was lovely even though she probably thought I was a loon for gushing about her book and then expecting her to remember my review of it from 6 months ago), and Crissa Jean Chappell (whose debut Total Constant Order I loved- and recommended to someone that night!- and think it's so overlooked; we hugged and she thanked me for all my support of her over the years. It was extremely sweet.).

I also got to see again authors Melissa Walker and Diana Peterfreund, as well as bloggers Mitali, Kristi, Yara, Brent (who I was sad I didn't get to see more of; we were always passing each other!), and Kendra. I'm sure I probably forgot some people and I'm sorry if I did. Leave a comment berating me!

I completely lost track of time and didn't end up leaving until 9:30pm. Now, why does that matter, you ask? Because I had another event to go to. Little, Brown was holding a speakeasy party to celebrate Libba Bray's The Diviners. By the time I got there (after getting directions from a McDonald's employee and my friend Tiffany), everyone I knew was gone and the party was basically over. I did get to chat with Libba Bray, who recognized me from our chat last year, for a few minutes and then had a bit of an awkward conversation with a lovely lady who put up with me and my non-mingling skills. I then fiddled with my phone a bit, trying to look busy, and then eventually just picked up an ARC and little goodie bag and left. I spent a total of 10 minutes there. I felt HORRIBLE that it looked like I had just shown up to grab an ARC. It's just hard to fit two events into one evening!

I trudged back to the hotel, got a bit lost (texted my roommates to ask what street our hotel was on, which caused me to feel the need to tell them that I was not drunk), but eventually made it back. I then chatted with my roommates about our days while I had a soda and finished off my AMAZING chocolate cake from the night before. Then I climbed into bed and went to sleep.

To see all my pictures (this is just a selection from each day), go to my Facebook album and leave comments!

Pic 1- The line behind me to get into Javits
Pic 2- Gabrielle Zevin signing copies of All These Things I've Done and Because It Is My Blood
Pic 3- Stephan Pastis signing a Pearls Before Swine collection
Pic 4- Courtney Sheinmel signing the second book in the Stella Batts series
Pic 5- A panel at the Teen Author Carnival, moderated by Melissa Walker
Pic 6- Karsten Knight and I!!
Pic 7- Scott Tracey and I!!
Pics 8 and 9- This is how I got into the speakeasy. I came down the stairs and hallway in Pic 9, then continued through the stairs at the back of Pic 8.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

In My Mailbox- Week of June 24 + Retrospective

I wasn't able to post this last week because of my power going out so I'm doing it today!

Books Shown:

The Edge of Nowhere by Elizabeth George (ARC, Sept 2012)
Burning Blue by Paul Griffith (ARC, Oct 2012)
Lucid by Adrienne Stoltz and Ron Bass (ARC, Oct 2012)
The Reckoning by Alma Katsu (hardcover, June 2012)
As Dead As It Gets by Katie Alender (hardcover, May 2012)
A Farewell to Charms by Lindsey Leavitt (hardcover, June 2012)
Anything But Ordinary by Lara Avery (ARC, Sept 2012)
Break My Heart 1000 Times by Daniel Waters (ARC, Sept 2012)
Dark Star by Bethany Frenette (ARC, Oct 2012)
Never Enough by Denise Jaden (paperback, July 2012)
Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols (hardcover, July 2012)
Origin by Jessica Khoury (ARC, Sept 2012)
Family Affair by Debbie Macomber (paperback, June 2012)
Bond Girl by Erin Duffy (paperback, June 2012)
Infinty Ring Book 1: A Mutiny in Time by James Dashner (ARC, August 2012)
Capture the Flag by Kate Messner (ARC, July 2012)
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater (ARC, Sept 2012)
Skinny by Donna Cooner (ARC, Oct 2012)
Magisterium by Jeff Hirsch (ARC, Sept 2012)
Drama by Raina Telgemeier (ARC, Sept 2012)
The Dark Unwinding by Sharon Cameron (ARC, Sept 2012)

and here's my retrospective:

Wednesday- I reviewed Size 12 and Ready to Rock by Meg Cabot, which will be out in stores July 10!

Friday- I reviewed the first two books in the Stella Batts series by Courtney Sheinmel, and am holding a contest for 3 winners to win a set of the first three books! Contest ends Friday, July 13 at 9pm EST and is for US residents only.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Stella Batts #1 and 2 by Courtney Sheinmel + Contest!

Stella Batts Needs a New Name by Courtney Sheinmel
Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow by Courtney Sheinmel
"Meet Stella Batts. She is eight-years old and she loves to write. She loves to write lists; like her favorite things and kids in her class. And she's writing her autobiography. Stella's favorite color is yellow and she LOVES fudge. As a matter of fact, there is a special fudge counter at her family's candy store because fudge is one of her favorite things to eat!

But Stella has just one problem---her name. A boy from her class keeps calling her 'Smella' after she trips on their class nature walk. ('I don't even want to say what I landed in, it was too gross, so I'm just going to leave out that part.'). So Stella decides there's really only one thing to do: she has to change her name. After all, how hard can it be to pick a new name? But it's not as easy as it sounds."- summary of Book 1 from Amazon

"One of the best things about having parents who own a candy store is getting to be an official taste-tester. When her dad brings home Magical Glow-in-the-Dark Chewing Gum, Stella can t wait to try it out especially since her younger sister is already blowing bubbles and making magic-gum wishes that come true. Except the gum seems to bring Stella bad luck. First she can t even blow a bubble, then she falls asleep chewing a piece of gum that ends up wadded in her hair, resulting in a drastic haircut. And now her best friend, Willa, announces she s moving clear across the country! It s hard to believe in any kind of magic when stuff like this happens. But Stella knows that when the going gets tough, the tough get going and that s exactly what she plans to do."- summary of Book 2 from Amazon

Oh, these books were adorable! I love Sheinmel's books so much and was so excited to get the first two books in her new middle-grade series at BEA. These were quick, fun reads. I love Stella Batts as a character and can't wait to read more of her adventures. Sheinmel's created such a wonderful voice for the series that just keeps the pages turning.

There's also some fantastic illustrations by Jennifer Bell and I love how she did some of the drawings. This is my first time, I think, reading a novel with illustrations and I loved it. It makes the reading experience a bit more fun.

Anyway, these are some great books and Sheinmel does a good job getting the problems and experiences of a third grader down really well. Book 3 is out this month and I've got a copy that I can't wait to read.

FTC: Received hardcovers from publisher at BEA (Book 2 is signed!). Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.

The publisher Sleeping Bear Press has offered up 3 sets of the first three Stella Batts books for a giveaway! All you have to do is leave a comment by Friday, July 13 at 9pm EST and you're entered. US residents only! Best of luck to all.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Size 12 and Ready to Rock by Meg Cabot

Size 12 and Ready to Rock by Meg Cabot
"Summer break . . . and the livin' ain't easy!

Just because the students at New York College have flown the coop doesn't mean assistant residence hall director Heather Wells can relax. Fischer Hall is busier than ever, filled with squealing thirteen- and fourteen-year-old girls attending the first ever Tania Trace Teen Rock Camp, hosted by pop sensation Tania Trace herself—who just happens to be newly married to Heather's ex-boyfriend, heartthrob Jordan Cartwright. But the real headache begins when the producer of a reality TV show starring Tania winds up dead . . . and it's clear that the star was the intended victim.

Grant Cartwright, head of Cartwright Records, wants to keep his daughter-in-law (and his highest-earning performer) alive. So he hires his oldest son, black sheep of the family and private investigator Cooper Cartwright—who just happens to be Heather's new fiancÉ. Heather should leave the detecting to Cooper. But with a dorm full of hysterical mini-divas-in-training, she can't help but get involved. And after Tania shares a really shocking secret with her, this reality suddenly becomes more dangerously real than anyone ever anticipated."- summary from Amazon

I have missed Heather Wells so much!! I loved the previous three books and was sad that the series was ending with Big Boned. But luckily, Meg answered the call of her fans and wrote a fourth book (and is working on a fifth for next summer!)!

Anyway, I absolutely loved this book and I really enjoyed coming back into Heather's world. The entire book was hilarious and while it wasn't exactly a murder mystery (really more of a let's-find-a-stalker-that-we-know-the-name-of type of thing), it was still very edge-of-your-seat suspense. There were also some great call-backs to earlier books.

If you haven't read these books, please do! It's a fantastic series and Meg does a wonderful job writing them.

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