Thursday, July 17, 2014

11 Birthdays by Wendy Mass



11 Birthdays
by Wendy Mass
narrated by Kathleen McInerney
Scholastic Audio
Library Copy
2009

Book Jacket Summary
GROUNDHOG DAY meets FLIPPED in this tale of a girl stuck in her birthday.

It's Amanda's 11th birthday and she is super excited -- after all, 11 is so different from 10. But from the start, everything goes wrong. The worst part of it all is that she and her best friend, Leo, with whom she's shared every birthday, are on the outs and this will be the first birthday they haven't shared together. When Amanda turns in for the night, glad to have her birthday behind her, she wakes up happy for a new day. Or is it? Her birthday seems to be repeating itself. What is going on?! And how can she fix it? Only time, friendship, and a little luck will tell. . .

My Thoughts
  Amanda Ellerby and Leo Fitzpatrick share the same birthday but after their epic fight they now share the same problem of being stuck in a time loop. They are reliving their eleventh birthday over and over again! They need to figure out how to break the cycle and how to be friends again. I really like the premise of this story but I am a sucker for a Groundhog Day scenario in my TV shows. Lessons learned and friendships mended make a great story. Wendy Mass has made an engaging story with Amanda having her first birthday party sans Leo, her former best friend. She is definitely moping around the first day and thinks everyone is playing an elaborate practical joke the next day she wakes up and it is her birthday again.
  This is the first of a series about the town and the magical old lady who seems to cause a ruckus in the children’s lives but in a good way. It is a good book and also delves into how growing up can change a person, especially when your best friend is of the opposite sex. Middle school is hard for that to continue easily. It also has a lesson in cause and effect plus taking a risk when the slate will be wiped clean the next morning. Is it really a risk to do something when there is no consequence? Mass explores this and growing up in this short book. It is an excellent read or listen in my case!

Book Pairings
Pie by Sarah Weeks
The Magic Half by Annie Barrows
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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Hipster Fashion by Karen Latchana Kenny

18354014
Hipster Fashion
by
48 pages
Lerner Publications- NetGalley
April 2014 

Book Jacket Summary
Is your style…

• quirky and clever but relaxed?
• a combo of flowy and structured pieces?
• an unconventional mix of patterns, accessories, cuts, and textures?

Then you've got that hipster vibe! Good thing you have lots of style experts to look up to. Stars like Miley Cyrus and Emma Watson are always pushing hipster fashion to the next level. With a few hip style staples and a splash of originality, you can create your own super trendy hipster fashion. Find out about the clothes, accessories, and hairstyles that radiate hipster fashion—and discover how you can use them to create your own eclectic style!

My Thoughts
Could You Be A Hipster? Well then you can take a look at this book and see what the trends of hispterism are all about. Apparently you wear quirky clothes with a retro and ironic twist. Be sure to put on your black rimmed glasses and converse shoes! But above all be sure to be carefree to pull off the quirky ironic look. This is a how to guide on how to dress and act like a hipster. Fun and filled with cute clothes. I flipped through this wanted almost every look. There were a few that were a little too out there for me but I can see teens wearing these! In fact I see college students all the time dressed like this.

My favorite part is seeing the celebrities that are considered hipster. Especially since I am still not exactly sure what being hipster is all about but I can look to the stars for inspiration!

Who's Got the Look:
-Emma Watson- likes a one-of-a-kind flair with unusual details with a hipster-chic style. Plus she is Hermione Granger! How can you not want to look like her?
-Ryan Gosling- V-kneck Cardigans, shaggy or scruffy look. A look for all out hipster boys!
-Tavi Geviason!!! I am a super fan of her blog and her TED talk. Is is an inspiration and not just in clothes.
-Zooey Deschanel has the retro flair! Also super cute and quirky!
-Solange Knowles- flayaway cardigans with retro patterns underneath. Style!


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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Flora and the Flamingo by Molly Idle

15791063
Flora and the Flamingo 
by Molly Idle
44 pages
Wordless Picture Book
Library Copy
Feb. 2013

Book Jacket Summary
In this innovative wordless picture book with interactive flaps, Flora and her graceful flamingo friend explore the trials and joys of friendship through an elaborate synchronized dance. With a twist, a turn, and even a flop, these unlikely friends learn at last how to dance together in perfect harmony. Full of humor and heart, this stunning performance (and splashy ending!) will have readers clapping for more!

My Thoughts
This can either go really short or really long. The short version goes like this: Squeee! It is adorable and you must check it out! The longer version is as follows:
This interactive book is a must for any young dancer. Don't let all the pink dissuade you from showing it around to everyone because it is a 2014 Caldecott Honor book and it is fun. The book starts out with a flamingo gracefully landing on a lake with cherry blossoms all around. A little girl slowly progresses into the page and they dance. The flaps show slight movements of Flora and the flamingo. Hence the name. 
I would really want this one for my own personal library because the illustrations are exquisite with a fluid style that makes the dance movements look alive. Plus I can keep the flaps nice. The cherry blossoms add a wonderful frame and they fall gracefully across the page. Definitely add this one right away!

Book Pairings
Flood by
Shadow by Suzy Lee
 The Secret Box by Barbra Lehman

    
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Friday, June 27, 2014

Honey Queen Book Blitz

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Honey Queen
Release Date: 05/31/14
Summary from Goodreads:
Love is honey sweet, but it comes with a fatal sting . . .

Melaina Maris needs wings to fly the gap between loving Sam and her family’s ancient curse that forces carnal love and then kills the male lovers. She won’t let the same fate that killed her father befall another. She refuses to allow her goddess-created bloodline to continue. But there’s no easy way out, especially after the curse turns her into the Honey Queen—savior to honey bees—intensifying her charms.

To help her fulfill the curse’s demands in the least harmful way, her grandmother takes her to mate with terminally ill Boyd. But Boyd’s gay. And an expert in mythology. Instead of having sex, Melaina learns how she might summon the goddess who created the first ancestor bee-charmer and cursed her bloodline. Melaina's magic—tears to save honey bees from endangerment—could be enough to persuade the goddess to end the curse. But an unexpected discovery soon changes that hope, spinning Melaina into a swarm of love, friendship and death.


Available from:
Amazon

About the Author
Christina Mercer is an award-winning author of fiction for children and young adults. She took Writer’s Best in Show at the 2012 SCBWI CA North/Central Regional Conference, was a Semi-Finalist in the 2010 Amazon Breakout Novel Award Contest, and won Honorable Mention in the 21st Annual Writer's Digest Self Published Book Awards. She holds a degree in Accounting from California State University at Sacramento and a Certificate in Herbal Studies from Clayton College of Natural Health. Christina resides in Northern California enjoying life with her husband, two sons, four dogs, and about 100,000 honeybees. 


EXCERPT:
The kiss of a sting sends heat up my arm. I don’t flick away the stinger. Instead, I watch the barb pulse like a heartbeat as it unloads its venom. Pleasure and guilt war within me. I’ve never before felt the sensation of a sting, as if a swarm buzzed through my veins. Nor have I ever murdered one of my own. But life with our honey bees changed last summer. Now our connection to them is even more twisted, morphed into a love-hate battle I wish would end.   

“I know,” I say with partial regret, as squadrons of bees swoop in to investigate their sister’s death. The banana-like scent of alarm pheromones fills my nose. I pull on my glove, deciding not to kill any others or further tempt fate. Even one sting raises my risk of becoming like Mom, crazy with need, using alcohol to replace her addiction to bee venom. But I had to understand what seduced my mother. I had to taste the pleasure that deceives, so that I know firsthand what I’m fighting against.

I wait until the buzzing heat of the sting fades, ignore the temptation to expose my flesh again, and continue to work the hives. Three colonies down, three more to go—just enough to pollinate our fruit orchard and release the pheromones Gran, Mom, and I need to stay alive.

A part of me misses the rows of hives that used to make up our apiary, how spring’s arrival was like a big party with a million honey bees as our guests. A bigger part of me misses my mother who, before last summer, danced in the orchard every morning and sang to me every night. Now it’s my turn to come out here in the morning and greet bees that would kill her in a wing’s flutter but that we both depend on for life.    
 
Giveaway:
1 ebook of Honey Queen (INT)
1 "Honey Bee" swag pack (USA). Swag will be bookmark, buzz card, beeswax lip balm, honey sticks, honeybee charm.



Thursday, June 26, 2014

Bloomsbury Spark’s Six Month Sparkiversary +Giveaway



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Sparkie 6 Month Anniversary


DELIVER ME


The Sound of Us


The Art of Falling


Positively Mine

 
Until We End


Pride’s Run

Secret of Isobel Key

Her Secret Inheritance

Road to Somewhere

Beyond Our Stars

My Soon-To-Be-Sex Life

MapMaker’s Daughter
 

Author Interview 


What has been your best experience since the release of your book?


Ashley Poston: Definitely all the support on Twitter and Facebook! I never thought I’d have so many people out of the blue just tweeting me to tell me how much they loved my story! It means a lot to me. I think every author has one story that’s their “baby” and mine is The Sound of Us. While it’s a very funny, very light-hearted YA/NA crossover (think Fangirl), its tackles some heavy-hitting stuff that’s pretty personal to me. And it’s surreal and wonderful and thrilling to read how much other people enjoyed it!

Caroline Dunford: I loved seeing the face of my heroine Sharra on the beautiful cover. She is just as I imagined her.

Cat Kalen: I am thrilled with reader response. I heard from students who were using my book for their school reports and it thrilled me.

Christine Duval: Really it is more than one moment. It is all the times women have come up to me, written to me, tweeted to me about how Positively Mine reminded them of their own situations. Many are women who were teen moms or who found themselves unexpectedly pregnant in college. I am so moved that something I created has had meaning in another person’s life.

Frankie Brown: Meeting so many wonderful people! The Sparkies are a wonderfully sweet, vivacious group, and the online YA book community is a ton of fun.

Jen McConnel: Listening to the amazing audiobook for the first time! My narrator, Carolyn Bonnyman, has the perfect voice for the story, and I could listen to her all day long. It’s funny, too; when I was revising the sequel, I heard it in her voice. She’s become an integral part of my story, and I’m so glad!

Jenny Kaczorowski: The moment my book popped up in my local library’s eMedia collection! More than any other publishing dream, I’ve always wanted to have something I wrote in libraries. I stumbled across it by accident and nearly screamed.

Jenny Morris: Reading people’s reviews and knowing they totally got our story. It’s still crazy to me that a total stranger is reading something that I wrote and relating to it.

Judith Tewes: My title isn’t out in the world yet (releases in July), but I’ve had a blast supporting my fellow Bloomsbury Spark authors as each new title has launched.

Kate Jarvik Birch: It might sound a little sadistic, but hearing that my book has brought someone to tears is one of the best feelings EVER—it’s also pretty awesome to hear that I’ve made them yell and cheer, but for some reason the tears feel like the biggest payoff.

Kelley Lynn: Fans (Eep! I still can’t believe I have fans…haha) contacting me wanting to talk about the book. I actually had one twelve-year-old girl somehow get a hold of my phone number. She called me and in this really sweet, shaky voice, asked how she could get a signed copy of my book. It was just so flattering and is totally the reason I do this.

Marie Langager: It’s an awesome feeling when you connect with readers. Especially when they’re in a country you’ve never been to!

Theresa DaLayne: Since my book doesn’t release until mid-August of this 2014, I probably haven’t had it yet. THE EDGE OF YOU is my new adult debut, and although Ron and Lilly’s story isn’t full of rainbows and gumdrops, it’s real. I think my favorite part about writing the story was reliving my years spent in Kodiak Island, Alaska, where I grew up. A few characters, like Lori for example, play a small but beautiful role, and are depictions of real people. It was an honor to incorporate part of my life into the story that will be shared with so many others.


What is the best thing about being part of Bloomsbury Spark?


Ashley Poston: Definitely the authors. We’re like one big family. I’m thankful and so very glad to have met every single one of them. They’re all so talented, and they’ve enriched my life more than they know!

Caroline Dunford: Everyone has been so warm and welcoming.

Cat Kalen: The support from Meredith and all the authors. Everyone is so giving, helpful and wonderful, not to mention talented!

Christine Duval: The enthusiasm of everyone involved with it! It has been so amazing watching Spark grow under Meredith’s guidance and I feel I’ve made a bunch of new friends on this journey. I love hearing about everyone’s successes and learning what’s coming next while watching our readership grow.

Frankie Brown: Again: the people. Meredith is incredible, and everyone at Bloomsbury--from the social media team to the cover designers--is passionate about what they do. It's infectious. 

Jen McConnel: It’s so hard to pick one thing, but I’d have to say that the sense of community is amazing. The authors, the team at Bloomsbury, and our fearless leader, editor Meredith Rich, all come together to create a wonderful, enthusiastic literary family.

Jenny Kaczorowski: The support! Meredith is an amazing editor, the cover artist for FALLING is amazing, and the other Spark authors are fantastic! Not only are we publishing siblings, but friends. I love having so many people with me on this journey!

Jenny Morris: The Sparkie Family. Meredith connected all of us together and the other authors really are amazingly supportive, and the best cheerleaders.

Judith Tewes: Bloomsbury Spark is in good hands with our editor, Meredith, and I love how she’s willing to take risks in her selections for this new YA / NA line. Spark titles (and authors) are ones to watch!

Kate Jarvik Birch: Being part of the Spark family has introduced me to a tight knit group of fantastic writers, all of whom support and buoy one another. Plus, it’s given me a chance to read some pretty stellar books by my fellow authors.

Kelley Lynn: Can I say everything? Everyone on the Bloomsbury Spark team is so wonderful. Meredith, and her supporting cast are the best. And the other authors in this family are so talented and nice. It’s just such a wonderful community to be a part of.

Marie Langager: I feel so lucky to be a part of this group of fantastic authors. So much support and so much fun. You really get to be a part of something special and make friends along the way!

Theresa DaLayne: My publishing career has had its peaks and valleys, but being a part of Bloomsbury Spark is most definitely a peak. My editor, Meredith, and the talented cover art department have worked hard to ensure I love the cover to my book. That’s something invaluable. And my fellow Sparkies are just about the best group of young adult and new adult authors I’ve had the honor of working with. With only six months under Spark’s belt, the future of our growing family is bright!

What are you working on now?


Ashley Poston: The sequels to THE SOUND OF US, actually! WE OWN THE NIGHT follows Ingrid, who hosts a late-night radio show to escape the reality of her small-town life, and finds herself drawn to a regular caller who is trying to escape his own life, too. It’s like Sleepless in Seattle if the main character was Rebel Wilson. YOU BURY ME is about two ex-best friends who find themselves on a road trip to complete a bucket list their late friend left behind. I’m really excited for both of them, and I hope you are, too! While they’re not direct sequels to Junie and Roman’s adventures in love, JuRo definitely make appearances (and maybe some other lovely secondary characters, too?)

Caroline Dunford: I have stories I'm working on, but I don't tend to reveal anything until the time is right!

Cat Kalen: I’m working on Pride Unleashed and Pride’s Pursuit the follow up books to Pride’s Run.  

Christine Duval: The sequel to POSITIVELY MINE! The first draft is done, I am happy to say, and I am getting ready to send the detailed synopsis off to Bloomsbury!

Frankie Brown: A lot of different things! Stay tuned...

Jen McConnel: I’m shifting gears out of NA mode for awhile, and focusing on revising the second book in my YA fantasy series from Month9Books. It’s fun to flip flop between contemporary with a touch of paranormal and full-on fantasy, with witches and gods and goddesses popping up like whack-a-mole. GODS OF CHAOS, the sequel to DAUGHTER OF CHAOS, is due out next March...squee! There’s always another story to be told, and I can’t wait to see what comes next!

Jenny Kaczorowski: I am working on two follow-ups to THE ART OF FALLING, set in the same high school but following different characters. THE TRICK TO LANDING is about Summer, a semi-pro skateboarder trying to build a new life after a DUI. After moving to Oceanside, she meets Bastian, a brilliant photographer fighting for a future beyond the bleeding disorder that defines his life. Their romance is messy and painful, but very sweet. THE RHYTHM OF BREATHING follows Abby, Bria’s best friend in FALLING. When she kisses Jackie, the drummer in a metal band, on New Year’s Eve, she expects it to be a one-time fling. Instead, she finds herself head over heals for a boy with a dark past, deep scars and exactly what she needs to confront her own issues.

Jenny Morris: I am working on a story outline for a follow-up to ROAD TO SOMEWHERE. It follows Charlie to college and Lucy in her last few months of high school. Kelly Lynn and I are excited about the possibility of continuing the sisters’ story. I’m also working on another collaboration called REMEMBER. It’s Romeo and Juliette meets Total Recall.

Judith Tewes: I’m gearing up for the release of MY SOON-TO-BE SEX LIFE, can’t wait for the blog tour madness to begin.

Kate Jarvik Birch: What am I NOT working on now? I’m just finishing up co-writing a middle grade novel about unlikely friends navigating middle school while trying to discover whether magic is real. I’ve got another YA novel, PERFECTED, coming out July 1st from Entangled Teen and I’m busy writing the sequel, which is due out next year. I’ve got some picture book projects in the works and still need to find the time to write the screenplay I’ve been marinating for years. Phew, I’m exhausted just thinking about it!

Kelley Lynn: Jenny S. Morris and I are working on the sequel to ROAD TO SOMEWHERE. We just love being back in Charlie and Lucy’s world! I’m working on the final edits for another edition to the Bloomsbury Spark family, ONE WISH AWAY, which is a science fiction twist on the ‘when you wish upon a star’ theme. I’m also negotiating a contract for another YA Contemporary and my super duper agent, Jamie Bodnar Drowley, and I are putting the finishing touches on a YA Thriller so we can start submitting that soon. Busy, busy, busy J

Marie Langager: I’m finishing up a project that has been a long time in the making. Imagine a protagonist who’s a little bit like Jo March but hears voices and is very, very angry. She’s viewed by many as odd and unfixable. In this character’s world the Archbishop teaches her to stay away from the lying peddlers of magic. This book is madness, magic, darkness, and lots of cool new magical weapons!

Theresa DaLayne: I’m working on a few projects at the moment. One is a new adult story about a nineteen-year-old California socialite with a kleptomaniac habit that gets her in big trouble. It started out as a fun, rich-girl-gets-forced-into-being-a-maid kind of story, but when my main character meets a kind-hearted guy with a humanitarian streak, her eyes are opened to a whole new world. That’s where the real life change happens, and I can’t wait to see where my agent puts it! I’m also working on the first of a new adult thriller series, tentatively titled, GLACIER PEAK. It’s totally different than anything I’ve ever written in the sense that most times, my heroine grows into her role as a leader. In this story, my main character struts into the story with a snarky attitude, the mouth of a sailor and a hair trigger temper. When her father goes missing, she sets out on an epic five-day hike through the wilderness to find him. And when she meets a guy covered in tats with a hidden agenda, the temperature in the tent goes from zero to smoldering. It’s all set in the rural mountains of Washington State, where the weather is unpredictable, the wild animals are hungry, and the romance is ice-melting.

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