Friday, November 25, 2011

Follow Friday #13

It is time for this week's Feature and Follow Friday, hosted by Parajunkee, and Allison Can Read. This is a blog hop that expands your blog following by a joint effort between bloggers.
This week's question is:
It's Thanksgiving Day in the U.S., so we want to know what you are thankful for - blogging related, of course! Who has helped you out along the way? What books are you thankful for reading?
First I am thankful for all the years I have been employed by the Barnes and Noble book company. It is through them that I got my first ARCs. I also met my friend Charlotte, who has her own blog: Charlotte's Web of Books and kind of inspired me to start blogging about books. Along my journey, I've learned lots about book blogging from people like The Story Siren, and even Parajunkee. Even non-book bloggers have helped, like another of my friends from the bookstore, Greg at The Confounded Cook, inspired me with his consistency and dedication to his blog. So many authors that I've met and talked to online through Twitter keep me going too. I also am a big fan of, another site I learned about from my friend Charlotte, that helps me get to read egalleys of books. And finally, I have to once again thank my bookstore job, as they allowed me to have a table in the store this past summer and fall that had my book recommendations as well as a sign advertising my blog. So that was really cool! And I want to thank Parajunkee for letting me be a featured blogger, and helping me to increase my blog following. I'm thankful for all the great bloggers I meet who share new book titles that I may not have heard of before.
So, what are you thankful for in your book blogging world?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

One Lovely Blog award!

Thanks to Samanth at The Written Escape for giving me the One Lovely Blog Award! I know many bloggers don't want to do awards, and I understand that it takes time to do this, but for now I'm grateful and will continue to participate as long as I have the time to do it.

Now it is my turn to award 15 other bloggers with this award. So here we go:

2. Christy at Love of Books

5. Giselle at Xpresso Reads

6. Nia and Nhien at Your Average Bookworms

I tried to not pick anyone who had an "award free blog" so if I did, I apologize, I didn't see where you said that on your blog. For those of you who I did nominate, you need to now nominate 15 of your favorite blogs to pass the award onto as well.

Waiting on Wednesday - Spellcaster by Cara Lynn Shultz

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event sponsored by Jill at Breaking the Spine, where we spotlight upcoming releases that we're eagerly awaiting.

This week I've chosen a book that I am eagerly awaiting for many reasons. Not just that I loved the 1st book, but that I got to meet the author last Friday when I was in New York, and now I'm even more excited! My book this week is called Spellcaster by Cara Lynn Shultz, and it is the sequel to Spellbound. In this 2nd book, Emma is hoping things will go back to normal now that she has broken the centuries old romantic curse keeping her and Brendan apart. She is now getting used to being a witch though. Still dealing with the cliques in her school, it is helpful that Brendan is the most wanted boy in school, and her boyfriend. But there is something else out there that still wants to break them apart, and get their own powers from them. The release date is next March.

The exciting thing? I got to read the prologue when I met Cara last week! And it was so intense and I can't wait to keep reading! When I was in New York I got to meet Cara, and even had a chance to hang out with her for a little bit. Later in my trip I made sure to go to the Belvedere castle in Central Park, which features in a very exciting scene in Spellbound, and get my picture with the book taken there. Cara was so nice, and it was so neat to learn about her and where these stories first came from. She gave me the bit of a push to get back to working on my novel that I was about halfway through when I ran out of time and motivation to keep writing. Meeting her only reinforced my thoughts that authors are my rock stars!!

What authors have you met, and do you feel the same way I do about them?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

The Name of the Star (Shades of London, #1)The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So I've been a fan of Maureen Johnson since I first began following her on Twitter. I even got her to reply to me one time, a long time ago though. I hadn't read her books yet, just knew her name from working in the children's department at the bookstore where I have a part time job. I immediately picked up her books once I saw how funny she was because I just knew anyone who could be so funny in 140 characters or less had to be an asesome writer. And she is really good. I've read her Scarlett series, 13 Little Blue Envelopes, and Devilish. And now I've read The Name of the Star, which I hear is going to be the first in a series. And I'm very glad to hear that because I really enjoyed this book.

I have also been fascinated by the Jack the Ripper stories ever since reading the book by Patricia Cornwell: Portrait of a Killer: Jack The Ripper - Case Closed as well as the movie From Hell which starred Johnny Depp, and the guy who plays Hagrid in the Harry Potter movies.

In this book, our main character is Rory, who is from Louisiana, but is now attending a school in London because of her parents traveling for their own jobs. She is attending a boarding school that just happens to be right near the whole Ripper scene. And, just as she arrives, someone has begun to imitate the Ripper murders. Rory also has some other weird things happen. She keeps seeing people that no one else sees. She soon realizes that she has the ability to see ghosts, one of which may be responsible for the new Ripper like murders. She also discovers she's not alone in having this ability and that she may be able to use it to help out and save more people from dying.

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Friday, November 11, 2011

Follow Friday #12

Feature and Follow Friday is a weekly event that expands your blog following by a joint effort between bloggers and it is hosted by Parajunkee and Allison Can Read.

This week's question is:

In light of 11/11/11 and Veteran's Day, tell us about your favorite soldier and how he or she is saving the world. Fictional or Real life.

This is a hard one. I don't actually know any specific soldiers out fighting right now. So I am going to go back to my grandpa and my uncles. All served in the military in foreign countries. My grandpa Moritz during the Korean war. So he is my favorite soldier, and he passed away several years ago, but I thank him for what he did in the past.

Who is your favorite soldier?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman

The Book of Blood and ShadowThe Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I got this book from Netgalley, and am so glad I did! I'm a huge fan of Robin Wasserman's books because of the Skinned series, which I think is now called the Cold Awakening series. But anyway, this is a really good book. It is one that makes me realize why I can never finish any of the books I start. The depth of the detail and the back story in this is incredible! I love books that use letters or flashbacks to historical diaries or events like this one does. In a way this is a Da Vinci Code type of book in that it brings in an ancient religious sect. I also like the sciencey part to it, as I am a science teacher. This was a big book, lots and lots of story to read. It starts out and says where it starts is the middle of the story. But really, while it is kind of the start of the whole 2nd part, the 2nd part is HUGE! Not in a bad way, just you get to that part and it's not really the middle of the book, just the middle of the story. I do like that it starts like that, so that you know kind of what is to happen, but you don't know just what will happen after that until you get to that part. I loved that I was kept guessing on whether the boyfriend, Max, was a bad guy or a good guy the whole time. So many clues led you back and forth. And the cousin, the unknown guy who shows up after Chris's murder, again, you don't know if he's good or bad. I kind of wanted to like Eli, hated him at first for how he talked to Nora, the main character, but as the story went on, really liked the love-hate relationship they had, I often enjoy those types of stories.

The story talks about an elusive machine that is supposed to get the maker/user in touch with God, it is called the Lumen Dei. The way it works at the end when they finally get it together is really good and totally adds to the whole story, and makes up for waiting all through the story to know what it will really do, although you're not left knowing what actually happens.

Great book, I'll be putting it as a staff recommendation at the bookstore where I work when it comes out in January.

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Waiting on Wednesday - Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that highlights upcoming releases we are eagerly awaiting.

Last week I veered off the path a bit with all the books I'd been waiting on in the past, but now were released, yet I hadn't had time to read them yet. This week I'll be back on track.

I didn't know until I posted about not liking the ending that Delirium by Lauren Oliver was going to have a sequel. Then I was a little better with the way it ended. So now, I'm eagerly awaiting the release of Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver.

I now know this is going to be a dystopian trilogy. In this book we continue with Lena Holloway from the first one. In this society, all people are mandated to get "the cure" which cures you of the disease of love. Lena fell in love with Alex though, and he with her, and they tried to make their escape. Unfortunately, Alex didn't make it (the reason I didn't like the ending), and now Lena must go on without him outside of the society. It is slated to be released March of 2012.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

November RAK

Well, I signed up to do RAK last month, and got 3 different books! It was awesome! I'm sure a lot of that was because it was my birthday month. However, I'm a little ticked at myself because I can't find the emails to remember the people that sent me the books. And I know I saved them just to have for this blog post! Well, I did send a book, a Nook e-book to one of the people that sent me a book. So you'd think I'd still have their information somewhere, but no, again, something happened and I can't find it. I wonder if when I was trying to save my school emails as they were changing our system at the district where I teach, if somehow they got mixed up in those emails and I'll have to search through that mess. Hopefully at some point I can find them, and come back and edit this post to give thanks publicly to those people who made it a great birthday month.

I received Hunger by Jackie Morse Kessler, which I've already read and reviewed. The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab, which is on the list to probably read later this month. And finally, The Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare, which I do still have the email from Erika at who sent this to me. I still have hers because the book came with a Karma seed for me to pass on. Which is part of why I am doing RAK this month. I need to pass this along. You can read about the Karma seed program here:

Here is my wishlist from

And my top 5 that I'm hoping for this month are:

Dark Eden by Patrick Carman

Crossed by Ally Condie

Darker Still by Leanna Renee Hieber

The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler

The Death Cure by James Dashner.

If you're interested in participating this month, here are the links you need:

To see who else is participating so you can choose who to send a gift to, go here:

Hope you'll join in as this is a great thing to be a part of.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

I'm thankful for Nancy Drew

I'm a huge fan of Beth Revis, I loved her debut novel Across the Universe. She is having this awesome contest in honor of Thanksgiving by asking fans to post about their favorite titles and the winner will receive all 19 of the signed books listed, as well as some awesome swag!

So I decided to do this, as hard as it will be to pick just one book.

One of my first choices would have been the author's first choice, the Narnia series. Like her, this was a series that I read over and over. I still have my copies of the books, and they are tattered and dog-eared, showing how much I read them and loved them. To me, a book that is loved isn't all pristine and perfectly new looking.

But I didn't want to be copying, so instead, I chose the book series that I really see as my entry into being the avid, obsessed reader that I am today. I remember one weekend, I think I was in about 3rd or 4th grade probably, we were at the JCPenney's outlet store across the Missouri-Kansas state line. We went there probably once a month looking for good deals. I remember stopping with my mom in front of a display of these yellow books. I don't remember the whole experience, but I think my dad went on with my brother while my mom and I stopped and looked. For some reason, she bought me a large number of them. I think at least 10 were bought at that time. I took them home, and devoured them. And soon bought almost all of them. I am missing a few, but still consider buying them at the bookstore I work at just to complete my set. I don't know what it is about them, but I loved stepping into the world. I loved the mystery, Nancy and her friends Bess and tomboy George. Her boyfriend Ned. It was like hanging out with friends. From this book I moved on to probably Narnia next, or maybe A Wrinkle in Time, another series I got sucked into and loved. But I am thankful that this series got me started on the path to loving reading the way I do now.

Gateway 2012-2013 Nominee 5: The Other Side of Dark by Sarah Smith

The Other Side of DarkThe Other Side of Dark by Sarah Smith

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this book. It is not really historical fiction, but it goes back and does get into some history and it is a ghost type story as well. In a way it reminds me just a little bit of Ghosts I Have Beenone of my favorite series ever when I was younger. I like that this has the history along with the ghost story. And I also enjoyed reading from the viewpoint of a teen boy who has a black father and a white mother. It was interesting to read his take on his father's crusade to get reparations. This book also jumped between viewpoints of Law Walker, and the "crazy" girl in town, Katie Mullen. It turns out that Law had a crush on Katie when they were younger, before she became the crazy girl. But his mother didn't let him ask her to the dance because she lived on the wrong side of the town. Law's mom and dad are well to do. Katie is not. In fact she lives with her step-father, because her father died in the military, and her mother died later. But now Katie sees ghosts. She wants to believe it is just hallucinations, until she draws one of the ghosts and when Law sees the drawing, he doesn't know how she knows what those things looked like. She has to come to terms with the fact that things in her past may not be quite as she has believed. And Law must figure a way to do what he wants and not completely disappoint his father who has his own plans for Law.

I really enjoyed this book. Couldn't wait to get back to it whenever I had to put it down. It was also nice that I had some extra time when I was reading this so that I did not have to take too long to read it.

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