Wednesday, April 16, 2014

"Waiting On" Wednesday: In the Shadows

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted here, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.
Hosted by Breaking the Spine

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:
In the Shadows 
by Kiersten White
illustrated by Jim Di Bartolo

Scholastic Press (April 29, 2014)

From the remarkable imagination of acclaimed artist Jim Di Bartolo and the exquisite pen of bestselling author Kiersten White comes a spellbinding story of love, mystery, and dark conspiracy, told in an alternating narrative of words and pictures.

Cora and Minnie are sisters living in a small, stifling town where strange and mysterious things occur. Their mother runs the local boarding house. Their father is gone. The woman up the hill may or may not be a witch.

Thomas and Charles are brothers who've been exiled to the boarding house so Thomas can tame his ways and Charles can fight an illness that is killing him with increasing speed. Their family history is one of sorrow and guilt. They think they can escape from it . . . but they can't.

Arthur is also new to the boarding house. His fate is tied to that of Cora, Minnie, Thomas, and Charles. He knows what darkness circles them, but can't say why, and doesn't even know if they can be saved.

Sinister forces are working in the shadows, manipulating fates and crafting conspiracies. The closer Cora, Minnie, Arthur, Thomas, and Charles get to the truth, the closer they get to harm. But the threat is much bigger than they can see. It is strangling the world.

Until one of the boys decides he wants to save it.

Told in an astonishing mix of art and words, IN THE SHADOWS collides past against future, love against evil, and hope against fear. The result is both a mystery and a masterpiece.


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Top Ten Bookish Things (That Aren't Books) That Karen Would Like To Own

Top Ten Bookish Things (That Aren't Books) That Karen Would Like To Own 

Grammar Grumble Mugs - Set of all six
Funny Book T-shirt Library Read Books Not Shirts T-shirt Gifts for Dad Screen Printed T-Shirt Tee Shirt Mens Ladies Womens Youth Kids

Bookmark set, number 10 and 11


Big Bad Wolf Metal Art Bookends - Free USA Shipping
Morozova's Collar

Shakespearean Insult Bandages
Highly detailed

Little Women Recycled Book Purse - Book Lover Gift - Louisa May Alcott Recycled Book


The Accidental Socialite Blitz!

The Accidental Socialite

Release Date: 04/15/14
Swoon Romance

Summary from Goodreads:

Quirky and clumsy twenty-two-year-old Paige Crawford arrives in London on a cold Saturday in January. Just when Paige starts to think that moving thousands of miles away from home with no real plan was a bad idea, Jason Frost appears. Confident and classy, Jason is the complete opposite of Paige and just what she needs in her life, or so she thinks.

But before their romance has time to blossom, Paige trips and falls into the arms of a mysterious man on a drunken night out. She’s snapped by paparazzi, and newspaper headlines the next day suggest that she’s having an affair with a married footballer.

Paige finds herself instantly elevated to tabloid celebrity status which isn’t exactly a picnic, particularly when trying to juggle her new job at Fashionista magazine, a catalog of dating disasters and a nagging doubt that she maybe she can’t conquer London after all.

When a trip back to Canada for Christmas reminds Paige why she left her old life behind, she returns to London with renewed vigor realizing that while jobs, flats and men may come and go, friends in London are forever.

About the Author

Growing up in Edmonton, Canada, a significant amount of Stephanie’s time was spent making up and acting out stories. She was studying to be an actress when she realized there weren’t any parts for women being written. So, Stephanie wrote herself a short screenplay just to be in it and quickly realized that writing was her true passion. She graduated from the University of Alberta with an English and Sociology degree and she also has a Bachelor of Motion Picture Arts from Red Deer College. She moved to New York on a whim after University and has written a variety of TV shows including an environmentally friendly lifestyle series and a tween magazine style show about celebrities. Stephanie moved to London in 2008 and aside from being obsessed with Eggs Benedict, shoes, Fruit Roll Ups and travelling, she also works in Children’s Television. 

Author Links:

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The Accidental Socialite excerpt:

It was 3 A.M. and all I wanted was a cheeseburger.
“Miss, we only sell Big Macs after midnight,” said the McDonalds employee. My stomach grumbled. My diet since I got off the plane had consisted mostly of Champagne, Vodka, and seared tuna.
“Yes, I understand that and I will pay for a Big Mac, but I would like a cheeseburger, so can you, like, remove a patty and mid bun and hold the secret sauce? Please?”
“Miss, I am sorry but we do not have this item.”
Liar. He didn’t look sorry. I immediately wanted to get on the next flight home. It rained cheeseburgers in Canada.
A tall, drunk and incredibly beautiful blonde South African girl appeared at the till next to me.
“I’ll have a hot dog.” That was my new best friend, Lucinda.
We walked out of McDonalds with a small fries to ‘split’, which really meant Lucinda was going to watch me eat them. As I was elegantly shoving eight fries into my mouth at once, not unlike a four-year-old, a swarm of camera wielding hyenas approached. One flash triggered the rest and little white dots burned into my retina. I stumbled, almost dropping my fries.
What was going on? I looked for the celebrity garnering all this attention. I couldn’t believe my luck, I was about to spot someone famous on my first day in London! But when Lucinda slapped the second fist full of fries out of my hand and pulled me towards a taxi, I realized with confusion that the so-called celebrity was me.

1 ebook of The Accidental Socialite + $10 Amazon Gift Card (INT)

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Monday, April 7, 2014

Cover Reveal: Shattered by Mari Mancusi +Giveaway

Displaying Shattered Cover.jpg
Look at how beautiful this cover is!!!! Thank you Sourcebooks for the opportunity to share it with my readers.

releases September 1, 2014
A firey, action-packed installment in Mari Mancusi’s heart-pounding Scorched trilogy.
Trinity, Connor, and Caleb are trying to stay under the radar, holed up in an abandoned West Texas farmhouse. Their only problem is Emmy: a baby dragon that’s growing like crazy. When Emmy is caught on tape and the video goes viral, they find themselves on the run again. Their only hope comes from an old map leading to a man who has come from the future to help them. But with the government hot on their heels and Caleb’s growing addiction to spending time in the Nether world, will they be able to reach him in time? And will keeping Emmy safe end up being too high a price for Trinity to pay?

Marie Mancusi is an award-winning author of novels for adults and teens, including Gamer Girl (Kids Indie Next Pick, ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers) and the Blood Coven vampire series. In her free time she’s a two-time Emmy award-winning television producer.  A graduate of Boston University, she now lives in Austin, Texas with her husband and young daughter.

Award-winning author Mari Mancusi will be at the Texas Library Association Conference on April 10 where she will be participating in a New Adult panel in the morning with acclaimed authors such as Cora Carmack, Sophie Jordan, Molly McAdams, and Jessica Sorensen.  She will also attend Texas Teens for Library on the same day and will be signing books at the Sourcebooks booth that afternoon at 2:30pm.  So if you plan to attend, be sure to stop by booth 1132!

Special giveaway of magic dragon egg pendant


Guest Review: Deadweather and Sunrise by Geoff Rodkey

Deadweather and Sunrise
(The Chronicles of Egg, book 1)
by Geoff Rodkey
Pub: 2012
295 p.

Summary: It's tough to be thirteen, especially when somebody's trying to kill you.
Not that Egg's life was ever easy, growing up on sweaty, pirate-infested Deadweather Island with no company except an incompetent tutor and a pair of unusually violent siblings who hate his guts. But when Egg's father hustles their family off on a mysterious errand to fabulously wealthy Sunrise Island, then disappears with the siblings in a freak accident, Egg finds himself a long-term guest at the mansion of the glamorous Pembroke family and their beautiful, sharp-tongued daughter Millicent. Finally, life seems perfect. Until someone tries to throw him off a cliff.
Suddenly, Egg's running for his life in a bewildering world of cutthroat pirates, villainous businessmen, and strange Native legends. The only people who can help him sort out the mystery of why he's been marked for death are Millicent and a one-handed, possibly deranged cabin boy.
Come along for the ride. You'll be glad you did.

Thoughts: This book is kind of like The Pirates of the Caribbean as imagined by Roald Dahl. There is a stark quality to the world in which Egbert lives and an edge of dark humor to the way he tells his story that puts me very much in mind of Dahl, though I've heard it compared to Lemony Snicket as well. But even with that darkness (or perhaps because of it) I would not hesitate to place this book in the hands of a middle grade kid, and actually would feel much more comfortable sharing this with them than watching, for example, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. For all that Egg finds himself caught up in a war between pirates and other, more controlling forces, the author is mindful of his audience. Swear words are bleeped and gore is glossed over, but the book never talks down to its reader. If you are not a 13-year-old raised on a volcanic island there are several plot twists that you will probably see coming, but Egg's narrative voice is refreshing and honest and he treats the reader as an equal in his adventure.

This series is also an example of why I love adventure-fantasy epics. Fantasy doesn't exist in a world of rainbows and unicorns where bad things only happen to people who deserve it, and it doesn't have to exist in a world of darkness where evil overlords sap all the joy from life and death is the only guarantee. Fantasy tells tales of people who have problems much like our own: overbearing mothers, abusive siblings, parents who lie, and people who will stop at nothing to get what they want. Fantasy is for teaching children how to stand up for what they believe in, how to deal with life when you don't win the day, that real friends are the ones who stand by you when everything gets dark, and that sometimes fighting isn't your best option. The world is a dark and scary place, and kids know that and should be aware of it, but they should know also that there are people who can be trusted, and allies are sometimes found in the most unlikely of places.


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Uncovering Cobbogoth Book Blitz

Uncovering Cobbogoth (Cobbogoth #1)


Release Date: 05/13/14

Summary from Goodreads:

Norah Lukens needs to uncover the truth about the fabled lost city
of Cobbogoth. After her archaeologist uncle’s murder, Norah is asked to
translate his old research journal for evidence and discovers that his murder
was a cover-up for something far more sinister.

When she turns to neighbor and only friend James Riley for help, she realizes
that not only is their bitter-sweet past haunting her every step, but James is
keeping dangerous secrets. Can Norah discover what they are before its too late
to share her own.

About the Author
Hannah L. Clark is the
author of the YA fantasy-adventure "Uncovering Cobbogoth." It is the
first book in a planned 7 book series. It will be released by Cedar Fort Publishing on May 13, 2014.
Hannah lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with her husband and son.

Author Links:
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1 $50 Amazon gift card (INT)


“Norah Lukens,” said a voice close behind me.
I froze, closing my eyes. It had been nine months, but I’d have recognized his voice anywhere. I slowly turned around. “James? “My voice came out in a strangled sort of whisper.
He grinned shyly at me from the pavilion door.
All I could do was stare. It was like I was seeing him for the first time. I noticed the delicate crow’s-feet that still creased when he smiled, his slightly crooked bottom teeth, the way his chocolate-brown curls peeked out of his backward baseball cap, fringing his tanned forehead. Those kind, deep-blue eyes. He was virtually unchanged, except for the scruff from a couple of days dusting his dimpled chin and upper lip—just the way I’d seen him so many times during my runs over the last nine months. Only this was less disturbing because he was actually here. He was real.
In and out, Nor. In and out. I struggled to get my bearings as my heart hammered against my rib cage. The strange pull I hadn’t felt since last summer was already taking hold of me.
James offered me his hand. “Welcome home, Nor.” He had the subtlest hint of a Bostonian accent; he always sounded so laid back—cool—even when he was angry. And he was the only person who’d ever called me “Nor.”
“Right. Thanks,” I mumbled. Our hands met, and I was shocked by the heat. He was uncharacteristically warm. Then that familiar sense of home spread through my fingers, heading straight to my heart. The flush I always got in his presence crept to my cheeks.
When our eyes locked, James smiled easily. “Geez, what’d they do? Starve you over there?” He held my arm up and out in order to look at me. “You’re skin and bones.”
I lowered my eyes. I was kidding myself if I really thought he wouldn’t notice. I’d dropped twenty pounds at Dunstan before the hallucinations stopped. Why did Uncle Jack ever think this was a good idea?
James cleared his throat and shocked me by squeezing my hand.
I looked up at him—his eyes were intent on my face.
“You okay?” he asked.
“Um . . . yeah, sure.” It wasn’t until he cleared his throat again, then shifted slightly, that I realized I was still gripping his hand. “Oh! Sorry.” I quickly dropped it.
James chuckled.
Get a grip, Nor! Cool and distant—that was the plan. I dropped my eyes and passed him to gather my things.
James got there first. “These all your bags?”
“Yeah, but I can—”
He snatched up the suitcase and backpack in one hand, the duffle in the other, leaving me nothing to carry.
“Thanks,” I mumbled and followed him back to the car.
James went straight to work packing up the trunk while I slid into the passenger seat. Once I’d buckled myself in, I scanned my brain for any “safe” topics of conversation—topics that didn’t include anything even mildly hinting at last summer. By the time James was sitting beside me, I decided my best chance at not tearing open old wounds was to close my eyes and pretend to be tired from my trip. That way neither of us would feel obligated to speak.
It seemed that this was exactly what James was hoping for. I felt him glance over and let out the faintest sigh. Then, without a word, we pulled away from the curb.
Thank goodness this was going to be a short ride. Unfortunately, that didn’t stop the first of many memories from rushing in, shattering the fragile barrier I’d been building up to protect myself all year.
“You ready?” James asked.
We stood side by side in the driveway of his house. There was a car parked there. It belonged to the hospice nurse who came last summer, Tuesday through Thursday, to help Gram. James wanted to care for his grandmother by himself, but Gram insisted on hiring help to give him a few nights off each week.
James motioned for me to go ahead of him up the winding drive to my own house. I was wearing my hair long and straight that night—something I’d started doing since James mentioned he liked it that way. Subconsciously—or perhaps consciously—I hoped he’d find a chance to run his fingers through it like he had once before.
James stayed behind me for the first leg of the path. I was still in the beginning stages of discovering my feelings for him and consequently felt shy.
From the side, I saw a pensive smile hitch up the corners of his mouth, exposing my favorite dimple.
We were by the hydrangeas, on the way up to my porch when I felt something tug at my head. I turned. James was there, holding up a strand of my hair. He shrugged. “You got snagged on some flowers.”
My face felt hot, and I fumbled for something to say. “Y-you know, you didn’t need to walk me home,” I said. “I’m sure there’re a million things you’d like to do tonight.” We were just reaching the top of the stairs leading to the porch.
“A million things? Like what?”
“I don’t know. Hang out with your friends, go see a Sox game, go play a game . . . ,” I offered.
James just shrugged, fiddling with his baseball cap; we were at my door now. “I could do all of those things, sure, but I’d rather be with you.”
“Y-you would?” I was facing the door, my hands trembling to get the key in the lock. But I could see the reflection of his face above mine in the window. He was still smiling. Why hadn’t I noticed the effect he had on me until recently?
James reached up and placed his hand on my shoulder, turning me to face him. I was so terrified, yet excited at the same time. None of it made sense to me.
“Didn’t you know that, Nor?”
I shook my head. His hand was still on my shoulder, and he took a step closer to me.
“How could I not, when you’re the only person who’s ever made me feel this way?”
I gripped the doorknob. “Um, what—what way’s that?”
James chuckled, completely bewildered. “You’re the only girl I’ve ever liked and not known what to do about it.”
I leaned back against the door. “Don’t know what to do? What do you mean?”
He took another step closer, letting his hand slide down my arm till it gripped my hand. “I know what I want to do, but I’m not sure if I should.”
I swallowed. “Oh?”
“And yet . . .” James leaned forward.
But then the door gave way.
I stumbled back, my only anchor being James, who tightened his grip on my hand. Then I spun around.
Uncle Jack stood in the doorway, a smile that didn’t reach his eyes plastered on his face.
“Nilla. James.” He let his gaze slide from one of us to the other until it lingered on our joined hands.
Mortified, I quickly dropped James’s hand and moved past Uncle Jack into the house. “I’ll see you later, James,” I called just before darting up the stairs.
That night was the first of several sleepless and confused nights concerning James Riley.
I shook the memory away. It was one of many I’d tortured myself with the last nine months, trying to understand how I could have misinterpreted his actions. I truly believed he cared about me . . . as a friend, at least. No matter how many times I replayed the events of last summer, I couldn’t convince myself that he didn’t.

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