Friday, May 30, 2014

The Only Boy by Jordan Locke

only boy tou




The Only Boy by Jordan Locke

The only boyMary is stuck in Section One, living with three hundred women in a crumbling hospital. She wonders what life was like two centuries ago, before the Cleansing wiped out all the men. But the rules—the Matriarch's senseless rules—prevent her from exploring the vacant city to find out.

Taylor's got a dangerous secret: he's a boy. His compound's been destroyed, and he's been relocated to Section One. Living under the Matriarch means giving up possessions, eating canned food and avoiding all physical contact. Baggy clothes hide his flat chest and skinny legs, but if anyone discovers what lies beneath, he'll be exiled. Maybe even executed.

Mary's never seen a boy—the Matriarch cut the pictures of men from the textbooks—and she doesn't suspect Taylor's secret. If she knew, she might understand the need to stop the girls from teasing him. If she knew, she might realize why she breaks the rules, just to be near him. Then again, she might be frightened to death of him.

Taylor should go. The Matriarch is watching his every move. But running means leaving Mary—and braving the land beyond the compound's boundaries.
Praise for The Only Boy

“It’s not a dystopia that does a good job—it’s a great book that happens to be a dystopia.”

Rachel Miller, Editor
“This book is one of the best of its genre I have read, it kept me gripped to its satisfying end.”

Janet Love, Amazon UK Reviewer
“If you like a different take on the dystopian genre then I would highly recommend this unique and amazing book.”

Tamara Bass, The Avid Book Collector



Jordan LockeAuthor Jordan Locke

Jordan Locke lives in Connecticut with his wife, two lively daughters and a well-behaved whippet. A graphic designer by trade, his creativity spilled over into the literary world. After years of writing, reading and learning the craft, his fifth novel, The Only Boy, brought him offers of representation from two well-known agents. Now, after the dog is fed and the kids are in bed, you will find him tapping away at the keyboard.


Blog Tour Giveaway

$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 6/8/14

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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#RT14 Recap & Giveaway!

First, I want to apologize for taking a while to get this post up. Two Words: Summer Reading.
Do I really need to say more?

I had a wonderful time at the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention in New Orleans this year. This was my first convention and it definitely won't be my last. (not every year though - every couple probably)

The convention itself was total chaos. I met lots of wonderful fellow booklovers and we bonded over the lack of structure and plenty of line waiting. We ended up going with the FAN-tastic day pass, which included the GIANT book fair, a few socials, and the night party (but not the Harlequin Party - i.e. the late party).

First off....the GIANT book fair!
Eeeek - Lisa Kleypas. She was one whole reason I went to RT14


YA author Stephanie Perkins - author of Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door

New Adult author Cora Carmack

Charlaine Harris

Gordon and Ilona Andrews

Maya Banks!!

What I learned from the Giant Book Fair - suitcases are not good for GIANT book fairs. I thought taking my books in a suitcase would be great since I was bringing in 24 or so from home to get signed. Good idea in theory, but not very practical. I met a fellow booklover in line who had attended previously and she said that she would never bring a rolling suitcase again. She said having to open it up to get the next book and put books back was a bitch....and she was right. I also felt terrible if I ran over toes...which I did....so I ended up carrying the suitcase in front of me like a shield. Even though I would not recommend the suitcase, doing just totes would also be terrible (unless you have ten or less books).

Still lots of fun and chaos!

Next on....the socials!

We were planning on going to Penguin's Lemonade Social with Ilona Andrews, Sylvia Day, Jaci Burton, and Maya Banks, but we skipped it. Why? Total chaos. I ended up in a never ending line just to purchase my books (I didn't move for 45 minutes in that line!). By the time I got out, the social was about to start and the line was EPIC. If you learn anything from this post about RT, know this...get in line first. We lined up for the Giant Book Fair at 7:30am - it didn't start til 11:00am (and we weren't first in line...they got there at 5:30am)

We decided food was more important and made the strategic decision to get in line for the Party instead of going to the socials. The party started at 6:15 and we lined up around 2:20....again, we weren't first in line!

I actually decided to slip into the next social with Lisa Kleypas, Eloisa James, and Juliana Gray: Get Your Tiara On! Everyone got to make their own tiara and get to meet these great historical authors. 

Me with Eloisa James, Juliana Gray and Lisa Kleypas at their Tiara Party. 

Book Cover Cookies! 
Me with my owl tiara.

Afterwards, I returned to my friend and the line. About an hour before the Party they called out that they needed volunteers to help set up for the party. We rushed in to find a room filled with pallets of BOOKS! They had tons of tables with ARCs on them and were even having sessions with the biggest authors. The authors were going to be signing FREE copies of the books...while supplies last. By volunteering, we were able to get a lay of the land and strategize more to see who had what. Another thing about RT, you must have a game plan. 

I had to catalog my books before I could shelve them (like a good librarian!). Poor Blue didn't know where to walk. 
Look at all the swag! So many books *heaven*

Overall, I had a blast. New Orleans, you are wonderful and slightly smelly, but I still wouldn't have missed it. Yes, it was chaotic at RT, but it was wonderful meeting all the new people and the authors. I can't wait to go again...in maybe 3 years or so. 

Now,  I have been talking about all this swag....you didn't think I forgot you? I got my readers a special prize! An ARC of Tiffany Reisz's new book, The Saint, which isn't sent to be released until July. I've been talking about Tiffany and her The Original Sinners series a lot lately. The Saint is the prequel to this series and is set when Nora is between 15 to 22 years old. 

Check it out....
In the beginning, there was him. 

Gutsy, green-eyed Eleanor never met a rule she didn't want to break. She's sick of her mother's zealotry and the confines of Catholic school, and declares she'll never go to church again. But her first glimpse of beautiful, magnetic Father Søren Stearns and his lust-worthy Italian motorcycle is an epiphany. Suddenly, daily Mass seems like a reward, and her punishment is the ache she feels when they're apart. He is intelligent and insightful and he seems to know her intimately at her very core. Eleanor is consumed—and even she knows that can't be right. 

But when one desperate mistake nearly costs Eleanor everything, it is Søren who steps in to save her. She vows to repay him with complete obedience…and a whole world opens before her as he reveals to her his deepest secrets. 

Danger can be managed—pain, welcomed. Everything is about to begin.

Yeah, you need this book! Enter the rafflecopter  below and I will pick one lucky winner on June 13th.

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Did you go to RT this year? Have you ever been to a national convention?
If you could see one author at a convention, who would it be?

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Weekend Reading

I hope everyone had a nice weekend - especially if you had Monday off (like me!). I decided to use this weekend to get a lot of reading done. I plan to post a recap of my fun-filled trip to RT14 soon.

Since I had 3 days off with relatively little to do (except laundry) I planned ahead on my reading. My goal was to read 8 books this weekend. I proudly informed BF of my goal, but he jokingly said that I wouldn't be able to accomplish it. Well that put me in competitive mode. Best way to get me to do something is to tell me I can't.

In this case he was actually right...kinda. I completed 7 books and started on the 8th, but I ended up crashing out Monday night. I am very proud that I finished my 7.

I have been on an Eloisa James kick for a while now because she will be coming to a local RWA's chapter in June. I was lucky enough to attend her Tiara party at RT as well (more on that later this week! - I promise). I read This Duchess of Mine which is the 5th installment in the Desperate Duchesses series. I enjoyed the series and I'm excited to continue with it. 

I am part of a local Forever YA Book Club chapter and Persepolis (vol 1. - 4) was our pick for April - yeah, yeah, yeah - I'm a little behind. I had actually read vol. 1 in grad school. It was nice to finish the series. 

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion is an adult fiction book (though some library in my county had it in YA) that I have been hearing a lot about. The fiction librarian at my library thought I would like it so she recommended it to me. Since I only read romance during the Summer (to keep me sane) I decided to give this one a shot. I thoroughly enjoyed it and was intrigued to learn that a sequel will be out this Fall called The Rosie Effect

I recently read Sarah MacLean's A Rogue by Any Other Name and loved it! I continued the Rules of Scoundrels series with One Good Earl Deserves a Lover over the weekend- sadly, it wasn't as good as the first novel. 

As much as I love Lisa Kleypas (she was the whole reason I went to RT14) I have not read much of her contemporary work. I loved Sugar Daddy and Blue-Eyed Devil, but I haven't gotten to the Friday Harbor series. I'm more of a fan of her historical romances. I received Rainshadow Road (Friday Harbor #2) at RT14 so I couldn't wait to dive in. It was great - lovely romance and a touch of magic. If you like Jill Shalvis' Lucky Harbor series then you will definitely enjoy this series. 

I have tons of Harlequin Presents hanging around my house, so I decided to try Lindsay Armstrong's One Night Pregnancy - Nothing to write home about. 

Which brings me to my last book of the week - Tiffany Reisz's The Angel. *sigh* Last month I read the first installment in the Original Sinners series, The Siren.  My librarian BFF loves this series - as do a lot of other people! There were tons of fans at RT14 who were solely there to see "Tiffany!'. I couldn't wait to continue reading this series when I got home. Seriously - Soren! *sigh* I can't wait to read The Prince. If you are a fan of Tiffany Reisz - check back later this week. I have a present for some lucky winner!!

Did you read anything good this weekend?

Monday, May 26, 2014

Airel by Aaron Patterson and Chris White



Displaying Airel Tour Graphic.jpg

Airel
Airel: The Awakening is a young adult paranormal romance about the angel Kreios who falls so deeply in love with a woman that he chooses to fall from heaven to be with her. She gives birth to a daughter in Arabia, 1250BC. The girl is pursued ferociously, relentlessly by an enemy in the deepest darkness.



In present day, Boise, Idaho is just a girl: Airel. She's just your average high school student...who turns out to be anything but average. It's because of who she is, because of her ancestry, because of her lineage. Past and present collide as what has been twisted comes dangerously unraveled.




About the Authors

Aaron Patterson is a NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY bestselling author of over a dozen novels. He writes hard-boiled thrillers and young adult fantasy. He was home-schooled and grew up in the west. Aaron loved to read as a small child and would often be found behind a book, reading one to three a day on average. This love drove him to want to write, but he never thought he had the talent. He wrote Sweet Dreams, the first book in the WJA series, in 2008. Airel is his first teen series, and plans for more are in the works. He lives in Boise, Idaho with his family.
Chris White is an award-winning author and editor, and is co-author of the Airel Saga with Aaron Patterson. Chris also writes psychological thrillers under the nom de plume Jet Deaver, and has penned some short stories as C.P. White. He blogs occasionally about writing and the journey of the Christian artist at C.P. White Media Blog and lives in Idaho with his family.



Praise for the Book

“This is not your typical fallen angel story. It is one that has left me breathlessly waiting for the next one in the series.” --Sandra Stiles, Amazon review



“A beautifully written and crafted fiction about teenage innocence, faith, loss and love. A must read for teens and adults alike." --Vincent Zandri, International Bestselling Author of The Remains, The Innocent, and Concrete Pearl



“This was such a unique twist to the common way angels are portrayed…. The struggle between good and evil is the forefront of this great story!” – Courtney, Amazon review



Blog Tour Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 6/16/19

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Excerpts from Airel: The Awakening by Aaron Patterson & Chris White


----------------- EXCERPT ---------------------

“Nice shirt,” Kim said. She was my best friend, my shopping buddy. We were an unlikely story, the two of us, but that was what made it work. She glared at my shirt as she sat down next to me. “You took the tags off, didn’t you?”

“Called it,” I said.

She made a face to punish me for my insolence, but then took off on a whole different subject.

That’s my Kim.

“So,” she said, “you hear about the new guy yet?” She looked around and lowered her voice as if it was a crime to talk about a boy in class.

“Ah … no,” I said. “And what does it matter? It’s not like I care.” I rolled my eyes, assuming she was talking about the latest supposedly super-hot guy who had caught her momentary attention. Mostly it just gave her something new to talk about. Kim loved to talk—that much I could count on. I opened my history book and pretended to read, hoping she would drop the subject. I knew better.

“Come on, Airel. When he sees you, he’ll fall madly in love and beg you for your hand in marriage.” She giggled. She was always so energetic. Most people had their good days and bad days, their moods going from hot to cold, but not Kim. She was full speed ahead, no brakes. I had to admit, sometimes she was the only thing that kept me looking on the bright side of life.

“Speak for yourself,” I said. “You’re the boy-crazy one, not me. He is all yours. Just remember, they have cooties.”

She scoffed, but then quieted down as Mr. Brashear began the class. She propped her phone into her history book, pretending to read, and began texting whoever she was always texting. She had bazillions of friends, as far as I could tell. And though Kim even had friends at other schools and they texted back and forth non-stop, she and I had something special. I couldn’t imagine my life without her.

I kicked her leg and she grunted, dropping her phone. It clattered loudly on her desk, and I grinned an evil smile. She shot me the stink eye, threatening me under her breath.

I rolled my eyes at her, ending the episode.

I wanted to zone out in history, which was what I normally did. After all, this class was only about what had already been done, and how boring was that? I had my head down and was trying to will my headache away, but not having much luck.

“Ah, there you are,” Mr. Brashear said loudly, snapping me out of my trance. “Good of you to join us, Mr. Alexander.”

I looked up, trying to bring my vision into focus, fighting that stupid pesky headache.

“Sorry,” a voice said.

It was familiar to me.

“I don’t really know my way around the halls yet.”

My eyes focused. It was him.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Best Birthday Present Ever

My birthday was a few months ago and every year I have the same problem. People always ask me what I want and I never know. I end up asking for items I need around the house, but never anything I want. 

BF had been bugging me for a few weeks to make a decision on my birthday gift, but I couldn't think of anything. Finally in a huff I thought "All I really want are books."


I knew what I wanted! Here is how that conversation went...

Me: I know exactly what I want for my birthday.
BF: What?
Me: A trip to the used bookstore with your debit card.
BF: Do I look like an idiot?

We finally agreed on a set amount of money that I could spend in the store. This might seem like a silly birthday present, but books are a security blanket to me. Also, I had bought myself a wicked new bookcase for my birthday (after days of scouring Craigslist) so I needed more books.

First off, I do not buy books that I have not read and loved. You might be thinking "well, what about your Read All The Books Project?" Those books are from swag, free bins at the bookstore, gifts, etc. Very very very few have been bought by me.

Even though I am strict on what I buy for my personal collection, I still have several bookcases filled with books. But there is always room for more.

The day of my birthday I called the used bookstore probably about 15 times. We only had an hour and this store is huge! For us to make it on time for dinner I had to know exactly what was in stock. I cross referenced my Goodreads  with books I loved vs. books I already owned vs what the bookstore had.

And here is what I got!


  1. Dream Fever by Karen Marie Moning
  2. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
  3. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling
  4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
  5. The Bride Wore Size 12 by Meg Cabot
  6. Size 12 and Ready to Rock by Meg Cabot
  7. Size 14 is not Fat Either by Meg Caobt
  8. She's so Dead to Us by Kieran Scott
  9. Be with Me by Maya Banks
  10. The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels by Ree Drummond
  11. Daddy-Long-Legs by Jean Webster
  12. A Parchment of Leaves by Silas House
  13. How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming by Mike Brown
  14. The Ugly Duchess by Eloisa James
  15. The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch
  16. Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume (autographed)
  17. Tiger Eyes movie
Now here is where I made my mistake. Remember I told you I only had a hour? Because we had dinner reservations and since I had to work that day I was pressed to get home, change, and get on the way. Which means I left out an important step. Cross reference my bookstore list with some questionable books that I thought I might already own. This resulted in me buying 4 books I already owned. For the life of me I couldn't remember which Harry Potter books I owned. Well I bought the 3 books I already owned. Also, I got confused with the Karen Marie Moning books. When I got home I discovered that I already owned Dream Fever. Silly me! Luckily the bookstore let me return them.

Over all it was a great birthday and I'm very happy with all my wonderful books. 

Friday, May 23, 2014

All Lined Up by Cora Carmack Review

If you have read this blog before then you know that we are big fans of Cora Carmack around here! She has a lovely talent for creating characters that are real and dear to our hearts. In her new novel, All Lined Up, she introduces us to Dallas and Carson. They seem to fit together perfectly, but can they put all the outside forces aside to be together?

In Texas, two things are cherished above all else—football and gossip. My life has always been ruled by both.


     Dallas Cole loathes football. That's what happens when you spend your whole childhood coming in second to a sport. College is her time to step out of the bleachers, and put the playing field (and the players) in her past.
      But life doesn't always go as planned. As if going to the same college as her football star ex wasn’t bad enough, her father, a Texas high school coaching phenom, has decided to make the jump to college ball… as the new head coach at Rusk University. Dallas finds herself in the shadows of her father and football all over again.
      Carson McClain is determined to go from second-string quarterback to the starting line-up. He needs the scholarship and the future that football provides. But when a beautiful redhead literally falls into his life, his focus is more than tested. It's obliterated.Dallas doesn't know Carson is on the team. 
   Carson doesn't know that Dallas is his new coach's daughter. And neither of them know how to walk away from the attraction they feel


Sounds awesome right? Well it is! I couldn't wait to get my hands on the ARC of All Lined Up! I finished it in one sitting and I must say---Carson is pretty much perfect! Dallas is great as well, but there was something just so loveable about Carson. Carmack did a wonderful job with all their characters, but she broke the mold with Carson.

I'm a big fan of Carmack's because the level of angst in her stories is low and her characters have wit and true feelings.If you haven't read any of Cora Carmack's work then you are missing out! I would start with All Lined Up or Losing It, which was her first novel. 

Cora Carmack Bio:

Cora Carmack is a twenty-something writer who likes to write about twenty-something characters. She's done a multitude of things in her life-- boring jobs (like working retail), Fun jobs (like working in a theatre), stressful jobs (like teaching), and dream jobs (like writing). She enjoys placing her characters in the most awkward situations possible, and then trying to help them get a boyfriend out of it. Awkward people need love, too. Her first book, LOSING IT, is a New York Times and USA Today bestseller.

And here is a picture of Cora Carmack at the Romantic Times Booklover Convention this year in New Orleans! I was able to get my copy of All Lined Up autographed by here! 


Buy Links:

Links:

Website ** Twitter ** Facebook ** Author Goodreads ** Novel Goodreads


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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Spotlight: World Cup Mouse by Richard Seidman


“Where there’s a mouse, there’s a way,” says Louie LaSurie. But it will take more than lofty words for Louie to achieve his goal: to be the first mouse to play for France in the World Cup soccer tournament.




Displaying WCM-frontcover.pngWorld Cup Mouse (May 2014) by Richard Seidman is a comic, action-filled tale of friendship and pursuing one’s dream even when it seems impossible. For example, how can Louie ever manage to kick a human-sized soccer ball and not just the dried pea with which he has been practicing? How can he avoid getting squished by the thrashing feet of the giant humans? And can he overcome his own self-doubts and fiery temper? Aided by his best friend, François, and the human girl, Rose, Louie gives it his best shot.

Louie's ambition and personality are brought to life through Seidman’s words and artist Ursula Andrejczuk’s illustrations in this book for seven to ten-year-olds. “I love the humor and absurdity of Louie’s aspiration,” Seidman says, “and at the same time I admire his crazy determination and chutzpah. He inspires me, even as he makes me laugh.”


Seidman will contribute a percentage of the profits of each book sold to organizations that support youth soccer around the world.

World Cup Mouse releases just in time for the 2014 World Cup tournament that begins in June in Brazil.

Richard Seidman lives in Ashland, Oregon where he writes books for children and adults. For more information, go to www.worldcupmouse.com.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Blackness Awaits by @NormaJKarlsson


As he enters the room looking like death personified, lifeless and haunting, she knows…blackness awaits. 
Aaron Kavanagh is not to be trifled with. He’s powerful, commanding, fierce and currently homicidal. The only thing that matters in Kavanagh’s world is Shannon Kelly. She’s the beat of his heart (yes he has one) and the peace to the fury that constantly simmers within him. Without her, his life is empty and barren. Someone took what is his and he’ll stop at nothing to get her back.
Dylan Kellerman is lost. The love of his life has been ripped from him, leaving a tattered tortured shell of a man. On the brink of murderous insanity he must battle to find Shannon, even if she hates him. Dylan has betrayed her and he knows she won’t forgive his indiscretions. None of that matters now. All that matters is finding her. As long as she’s safe Dylan can continue to live a sad wasted existence without her by his side. Shannon brought Dylan back to life, without her in the world he’ll cease to exist.
Shannon Kelly is gone. Stolen from her home and loved ones, she must now fight. Fighting has never been an issue for her, but this is a new opponent that she isn’t prepared for…her past. When every reality she thought she knew is called into question, Shannon learns her life isn’t what she thought it was. With the promise of a future with Dylan stolen from her before her world implodes, Shannon must rely on the family that has protected her for the last thirteen years to come for her. She won’t win this fight on her own…Shannon is going to lose.
In this second installment in The Blackness Series, author Norma Jeanne Karlsson continues the story of Shannon, Dylan, and Aaron. If you have not read Blackness Takes Over, you need to start at the beginning. Karlsson weaves a story thick with drama and adrenaline. Fans of Kristen Ashley and Samantha Young will sure to love this new adult romance. Full of grit and sexiness, Blackness Takes Over and Blackness Awaits will suck you in as you dive into the world of Shannon Kelly. 

  

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Blackness Takes Over is Norma Jeanne’s debut novel. What began as an homage to the home town of a homesick Midwestern girl, unfolded a story of love, danger, humor, and trust. She’s currently working on her untitled sophomore effort. We can’t wait to see what thrilling saga she leads us through next!

Originally from Kansas City, Missouri, Norma Jeanne recently found herself relocating to the United Kingdom. Now living in Belfast, she took hold of the opportunity to kick the 9-5 job for a chance to become an author. The best part: working from her home office, she gets to spend more time with her cast of crazy characters (written and real).

In her free time Norma Jeanne is a voracious reader and consumes books as readily as meals. She is a people watcher by nature and uses her experiences in life, observed or otherwise, to build the worlds and characters that thrive in her books. A believer in the strength of the human spirit, Norma Jeanne writes the stories of people that persevere when all appears to be lost.

“Rage, rage against the dying of the light.” –Dylan Thomas

Website
  
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Book Nerd Tours

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Smile by Raina Telgemeier

    Picture it. 2nd Grade. Field Day….the moonwalk. Like every kid at my elementary school I was beyond excited about Field Day. All the games, prizes, and lack of classroom school was more than I could take. The crowning glory on all of this was the moonwalk. Who knew that this would be one of the worst mistakes I ever made. One minute I was bouncing my way high up and the next thing I knew I was being dragged down the empty hallways to the office. I didn’t understand what was going on until someone shoved a mirror in my face. My pink Minnie Mouse shirt was covered in blood and my front tooth was hanging by a thread…which I easily pulled out. It never dawned on me that this was a permanent tooth and I didn’t need to touch it. This day would start almost ten years of painful dental work. All because of a moonwalk.



     I didn’t think anyone understood this nightmare. Yeah, most of my friends got braces, but that didn’t cover what I was going through. All the metal, bridges, false teeth, and dental surgeries. They didn’t know. But Raina Telgemeier knew.


   A while back I picked up a copy of Smile at the thrift store. After I started reading I felt like Telgemeier was telling my story. Years of appointments with tons of different donists. Embarrassing retainers. Oh, it goes on and on. Telgemeier does a wonderful job of telling her journey through this middle grade graphic novel. I felt her pain, her embarrassment, because I had been there. Her pain was my pain! I know many adults can relate to Smile and not just because of dental work. Telgemeier touches on bully, crushes, and all things that middle school and high school bring, but she does it with wit and humor. It is impossible not to love Smile. We all can relate to that awkward phase in life, but it is important to reflect on it with a smile.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Best way to mend a book...

My coworker found a book that she thought needed a little mending. When she flipped the page she discovered that a helpful patron had already done some mending for us...



Not too bad if you ask me! 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

#RT14 here I come!

Adios, work! I'm heading to RT14! 

I have been looking forward to this for months. The Romantic Times Booklovers Convention in being held in New Orleans this year (just 5 hours from me!) and I'm going! I am not a romance writer at all, but this genre is by far my absolute favorite. I heard about this convention in November at my local RWA (Romance Writers of America) chapter's annual luncheon. I thought it would be pretty cool to go. What sealed the deal? When I saw that Lisa Kleypas would be there. Done!

Kleypas is right up there with Johanna Lindsey for me. After I had my initial fangirl freak out moment I began planning. I could not afford the entire convention. It was like $600 for the whole week, plus I'm not a writer. They have an extraordinary and massive book fair (perfectly named as the Giant Book Fair) at the end. Admission included the book fair (over 600 romance authors!) plus a day filled with workshops...all hosted by bestselling authors! The whole day is called FAN-tastic Day. How could I not go!  I was able to convince my sister, who has never read a romance book, that a weekend trip to NOLA was in order. 
Sadly, my sister had to back out a few weeks ago for work related issues. My friend, fellow librarian, and romance reader extraordinaire Morgan was able to step in and attend with me. We have planned a fun filled weekend with cemetery walking tours, ghost and vampire tours, and plenty of alcohol.  

To prepare for the Giant Book Fair, I have been strategizing over who I wanted to see. With over 600 authors, you cannot go in unplanned. Out of all the authors I have narrowed it down to 18 that I want to visit at the Giant Book Fair. I have also ordered them by who I should visit first. There are some pretty big names at the book fair and I don't want to spend the whole 3 hours in lines. 

1. Lisa Kleypas
2. Charlaine Harris
3. E.L. James
4.Jeaniene Frost
5. Maya Banks
6. Jamie McGuire
7. Tamora Pierce
8. Ilona and Gordon Andrews
9. Kresley Cole
10. Shayla Black
11. Cora Carmack
12. Stephanie Perkins
13. Jackie Morse Kessler
14. Tiffany Reisz
15. Jennifer Haymore
16. Tessa Dare
17. Melody Anne
18. Maya Rodale

If you are familiar with the list you might have realized that I left off some of the big names: Eloisa James, Lauren Willig, and Sylvia Day. I will be seeing these authors at smaller  events later on during the year so I wanted to save meeting them for those events. 

I have also been stockpiling on books. I originally thought I could only take two books. I agnoized over this decision and finally decided on Seduce Me at Sunrise by Lisa Kleypas and Colter's Woman by Maya Banks. A hard decision but these two are by far my favorites. Luckily though, my friend Morgan is an amazing librarian and did a better job at digger than I originally did. Instead of two books total, it is 2 per author. That takes it to a whole new ball game. I have been scouring amazon and my local used bookstore for weeks now. The final total is 24 books. 


  • Dead to the World (Sookie Stackhouse #4) by Charlaine Harris - 2 copies - My personal copy and a copy for my BFF.
  • The Duchess Hunt by Jennifer Haymore - Received this in my RWA Librarian Day Swag Bag last year and loved it!
  • Magic Bites and Magic Burns (Kate Daniels #1 &2) by Ilona Andrews
  • One Foot in the Grave and Grave's End (Night Huntress #2 & 3 - I already have number 1 and 7 signed) by Jeaniene Frost
  • A Hunger Like No Other by Kresley Cole
  • All Lined Up by Cora Carmack - They pushed up the release of the book but they were not able to get any copies to RT. Luckily, Carmack let me know and I was able to get a copy before I left.
  • Submit (Surrender #2) by Melody Anne 
  • Hunger (Riders of the Apocalypse #1) by Jackie Morse Kessler
  • Colter's Woman and Never Seduce a Scot by Maya Banks - I really wanted to bring Be With Me, which I have read several times, but I loved the romance in Never Seduce a Scot...I might bring Be With Me along anyways and change my mind. 
  • Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James
  • The Prince and the Angel by Tiffany Reisz
  • Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire
  • Seduce Me at Sunrise and Sugar Daddy by Lisa Kleypas - It Happened One Autumn was also a contender.
  • Delicious by Shayla Black
  • Beka Cooper: Terrier (for Morgan) and Alanna (not pictured - picking up from BAM in a few minutes) by Tamora Pierce. I have Trickster's Choice pictured but I've decided to take Alanna instead. 
  • Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins. 
See you next week! 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

All Lined Up by @CoraCarmack Release Day Launch



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New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Cora Carmack follows up her trio of hits—Losing It, Faking It, and Finding It—with this thrilling first novel in an explosive series bursting with the Texas flavor, edge, and steamy romance of Friday Night Lights.

In Texas, two things are cherished above all else—football and gossip. My life has always been ruled by both.

Dallas Cole loathes football. That's what happens when you spend your whole childhood coming in second to a sport. College is her time to step out of the bleachers, and put the playing field (and the players) in her past.

But life doesn't always go as planned. As if going to the same college as her football star ex wasn’t bad enough, her father, a Texas high school coaching phenom, has decided to make the jump to college ball… as the new head coach at Rusk University. Dallas finds herself in the shadows of her father and football all over again.

Carson McClain is determined to go from second-string quarterback to the starting line-up. He needs the scholarship and the future that football provides. But when a beautiful redhead literally falls into his life, his focus is more than tested. It's obliterated.

Dallas doesn't know Carson is on the team. Carson doesn't know that Dallas is his new coach's daughter.

And neither of them know how to walk away from the attraction they feel.

Excerpt:
There’s only one thing in the world I despise more than football, and he’s making his way down the stairs toward me.
My eyes flit around me like I’m scanning a battlefield instead of a blowout:fraternity banners, litter of red Solo cups, and a freshman pledge dragging around a trash bag playing reluctant maid. Part of me wants to keep doing that, to pretend like I didn’t hear him. But I can’t. If I ignore him, it will only prove to him that he still bothers me.
I face him as he steps off the last stair, crossing his arms over his broad chest and grinning at me. Levi. My ex.
He leans his hip against the banister of the grand staircase, and I spy not one but two girls  sitting halfway up the stairs, obviously upset that they’ve lost his attention.
Behind me I hear someone shout, “Ready. Aim. Fire!” and I know the beer guns are back in play.
“Alcohol and bad decisions, Levi? Can’t say I’m surprised to find you smack-dab in the   middle of that.”
He kicks off from the banister, swaggering a few steps closer. His dark hair and eyes are as striking as always. I’d fallen for him so hard my freshman year of high school: doodling our names together in my spiral, watching him play from the bleachers, wearing that monstrous mum he gave me for homecoming, beaming on his elbow at his junior prom.
The memory of all that just makes me nauseated now. But as Stella always says, hindsight is a pretentious, know-it-all bitch.
“You come here to make some bad decisions?” He moves closer, his voice pitching lower. Intimate. His gaze drifts down my body with an arrogant familiarity. “Because you know I can help you with that.”
Levi Abrams has been the cause of enough bad decisions for a lifetime.
Stella steps in, her voice colder than I’ve ever heard it. “I’m fairly certain she’d rather       sandpaper her own skin off.”
I nod and plaster on the fakest smile in my arsenal. “And then take a bath in lemon juice.”
Levi smiles back, and I’m pretty sure the bastard is enjoying this.
He’s bigger than when I last saw him. Bulked up. I guess that’s the difference between high school and college ball. But it’s not just muscles… he reaches out a hand like he’s going to touch my hair, and as I jerk back, even his hands seem bigger than I remember. A man’s hands, rather than those of the boy I knew. Or maybe his head got so big that his inflated ego overflowed to other parts of his body. Also a possibility.
I knew Levi was here when I chose Rusk University—hard not to when he’s the starting   quarterback—but I didn’t think I’d ever have to see him. Since Dad wouldn’t let me leave Texas, and only a handful of universities here actually have a true dance major, Rusk was the best option out of the schools to which I was allowed to apply.
Levi lets his hand fall away and turns to leave, but then stops to say over his shoulder, “You don’t have to pretend to hate me so much, you know. I’m here. You’re here. We could start fresh, D.”
Why does no one get that it’s impossible to have a fresh start when nothing has really changed? God, I knew that better than anybody because no matter how many new coaching jobs Dad took, every school ended up the same.
Levi is still a douche-bag who only cares about himself.
Dad still approaches parenting like I’m a member of his team.
And I… I’m still stuck. In my father’s shadow. In Texas. In this lame state school with a joke of a dance program. 
And now I’m stuck at my first frat party with the ex who broke my heart.
Yay college.


Cora Carmack Bio:

Cora Carmack is a twenty-something writer who likes to write about twenty-something characters. She's done a multitude of things in her life-- boring jobs (like working retail), Fun jobs (like working in a theatre), stressful jobs (like teaching), and dream jobs (like writing). She enjoys placing her characters in the most awkward situations possible, and then trying to help them get a boyfriend out of it. Awkward people need love, too. Her first book, LOSING IT, is a New York Times and USA Today bestseller.





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