Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Review: Wings of the Wicked

Wings of the Wicked
by Courtney Allison Moulton
Angelfire, book two

Book Description:
Life as the Preliator is harder than Ellie ever imagined.

Balancing real life with the responsibility of being Heaven's warrior is a challenge for Ellie. Her relationship with Will has become all business, though they both long for each other. And now that the secret of who she really is has come out, so have Hell's strongest reapers. Grown bold and more vicious, the demonic threaten her in the light of day and stalk her in the night.

She's been warned.

Cadan, a demonic reaper, comes to her with information about Bastian's new plan to destroy Ellie's soul and use an ancient relic to wake all the souls of the damned and unleash them upon humanity. As she fights to stay ahead of Bastian's schemes, the revelations about those closest to her awaken a dark power within Ellie that threatens to destroy everything—including herself.

She'll be betrayed.

Treachery comes even from those whom she loves, and Ellie is broken by the deaths of those who stood beside her in this Heavenly war. Still, she must find a way to save the world, herself, and her love for Will. If she fails, there will be Hell to pay.
It's been a long time since I read Angelfire. I vaguely remembered the plot, but when I started Wings of the Wicked, it took me a little while to remember who some of the secondary characters were and what the situation was like for Ellie at home, etc. However, once I got past the first quarter or so of the book, I got sucked right back in to Ellie's lives - the one she has during the day, and the one she has hunting reapers at night.

I loved reading about the way that Ellie had to try to balance her daily school life with her duties as the Preliator. I can't imagine having to essentially save the world! I used to feel the same way when I watched Buffy: the Vampire Slayer on TV. I can't imagine having that type of duty and facing that type of danger every day. Incredible....and I'm sure, super tiring. I get tired just reading about it, LOL!

I got totally caught up in the action and drama of this book. The romance, the revelations, the reapers... and let me tell you, the ending of this book. WHOA. I tweeted the author the moment I put it down asking when book three comes out. I need it ASAP! There is a cliffhanger... a desperate cliffhanger...a don't hold your breath cuz you might actually die kind of cliffhanger... 

Monday, July 30, 2012

Review: The Scorpio Races

The Scorpio Races
by Maggie Stiefvater
Book Description:
Some race to win. Others race to survive.

It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line.

Some riders live.
Others die.

At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them.

Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn't given her much of a choice. So she enters the competition - the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.

I LOVED The Scorpio Races. It was lyrical. It was gritty. It was the perfect mix of folktale and old-style cautionary fairy tale that I just can't seem to read enough. There was romance in a very realistic way. There were killer water horses that were beautiful and enticing and thoroughly deadly. There were word choices that just sang in my ears. Stiefvater really knocked this one out of the park!

I also want to mention that I listened to this book as an audiobook and I think it was phenomenally done. The actors chosen perfectly suited their characters and the tone of the book was great on audio. My only problem was that when it came to nearing the end, I couldn't sit in the car long enough to finish it!! I finally broke down and read the last fifty pages or so.

I loved this book enough to give it a coveted GOLD STAR.

And...here is me echoing the words of those before me...
If you haven't read this one, yet, WELL WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? Read it. Really. 

Friday, July 27, 2012

Gold Star Interview: Alethea Kontis!

Hello All!

As you all know, when I LURVE a book, I give it a Gold Star Review here. Well, I was thinking of ways to liven up the blog a bit and had one of those fabulous epiphanies... I'm going to start, or at least attempt, to interview the author of each book that receives a coveted Gold Star! I hope you'll enjoy these quick, little interviews. :D

Today's guest is the fabulous Alethea Kontis! I'm so excited. Alethea's debut YA novel, Enchanted, is one of the BEST fairy tale mash-ups I've read, ever! You can check out my gushy review here.

Welcome, Alethea! Thank you so much for stopping by to chat with us. I have just a couple of quick questions for you:

1. How long did it take you, from first spark of idea to final proofs, to write Enchanted?

The original short story, "Sunday" (technically a novelette, since it was about 10,000 words), was written for a fairy tale contest held by my online writers group (The Codex Writers) in the summer of 2005. That story was published in Realms of Fantasy magazine in the fall of 2006. So it took a good seven years for that to go from being a handful of magical story seeds to a book on a shelf in the bookstore...but I had the opportunity to publish a few other books during that time. And seven is a magic number, so I'm okay with that.

Unfortunately, I don't have the luxury of seven years to write the sequel!

2. If you could write a book under a pseudonym that no one would ever connect to you, are there any genres you would love to secretly explore?

I am a very lucky author in that I am already published in a myriad of genres without having to use a pseudonym. Score one for Princess Alethea!

When I was a teenager, I decided to be romantic and submit some of my stories under the pseudonym "Madeleine Mercer." Madeleine is the name of my maternal grandmother (and my middle name), and Mercer is the maiden name/stage name of my aunt, actress Ernestine Mercer, who passed away in 2011. Marion Zimmer Bradley sent back a scathing form letter with my rejection telling me all the reasons why I should NEVER EVER USE A PSEUDONYM. I was too scared by that letter to ever do it again.

*OMG. That is one of those letters that you both treasure and fear. I can't believe you have a letter from THE Marion Zimmer Bradley!!*

3. I LOVED that Enchanted incorporated bits from *so many* different fairy tales. Did you have a favorite growing up, one that always resonated with you?

My two favorite fairy tales growing up were "Snow White and Rose Red" and "The Goose Girl." I loved the story of the grumpy leprechaun with the long beard (who makes a brief appearance in Enchanted) and the Bear Prince...I actually cast Snow White and Rose Red as sisters of Seven Woodcutter (Five and Six), in a scene that got edited out. But never fear, they will be back!

"The Goose Girl" was just wonderful all-over...and the talking horse's head never bothered me one bit. Drops of blood and an evil maid overpowering the princess and her talking horse...what's not to love? And such great characters! Conrad was a clever boy to ferret out that something was wrong. The king was a clever man to listen to such a boy...and then to turn around and force the evil maid to offer up the idea for what later became her own punishment (also mentioned in Enchanted). Teaser: A good chunk of this storyline will appear in Friday's book!

4. If you could cross one thing off your bucket list tomorrow, what would it be?

I hate the term "bucket list." Mine is a "Princess List." You can find it here: http://aletheakontis.com/2010/05/the-princess-list/

The easiest thing would probably be to take a hot air balloon ride...but I'd much rather go spend Guy Fawkes Day in England. I miss England.

*Me too! I have family "across the pond," but we do NOT get to visit enough!*

5. Quick picks list:
Favorite vacation destination?
England. Specifically to visit my friends Kit McCormick, Jennifer Lee, Mark Newton, and Christian Dunn.

Favorite childhood book?
Goop Tales by Gelett Burgess. They Call Me Boober Fraggle by Michaela Muntean. The Nunga Punga and the Booch, by Jean Wilson Kennedy. The Tattooed Potato and Other Clues by Ellen Raskin. Gertie's Green Thumb by Catherine Dexter. How to Be a Perfect Person in Just Three Days, by Stephen Manes. Fairy Tales. Anything by Ogden Nash. I CANNOT PICK ONE, THERE WERE JUST TOO MANY. I've been a rabid reader since the age of three.

Favorite writing snack food?
Hummus and veggie chips. And that's all Sherrilyn Kenyon's fault.

Favorite clothing item?
My emerald green Dartmouth shirt. I didn't attend Dartmouth, but I visited there, and might have applied if it was less than $20K a year. Theodore Geisel went there. You may remember his as Dr. Seuss.

Thank you so much, Alethea, for letting us interview you. It was a pleasure!

For more information about Alethea and her books, check out her website at http://aletheakontis.com/

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Kissing the Pig

Yes. You did read that right. 

Want to know what Terri and I did at work today?  We kissed a pig!  @.@

Today was our Library's visit from Farmer Minor.  He loves to bring his potbellied pig, Daisy II, around to visit libraries...

Daisy II loves to hear pig stories.  So do his sisters, Lily-Pug and Dixie-Cup, the pugs.  Daisy II also loves to get pet and get hugs and sometimes, for very special people, Daisy II will share kisses!

As part of our summer reading program this year, Terri promised that if all the kids and teens in West Springfield read 4000 hours, she would kiss the pig.  Since we are almost there and will definitely have the 4000 hours by the end of next week, here is Terri keeping her promise!!

And, because it looked like it was fun, I decided to kiss the pig, too.

So, what exciting things did YOU do today? :P

Review: Dead End in Norvelt

Dead End in Norvelt
by Jack Gantos

Book Description:
Melding the entirely true and the wildly fictional, Dead End in Norvelt is a novel about an incredible two months for a kid named Jack Gantos, whose plans for vacation excitement are shot down when he is "grounded for life" by his feuding parents, and whose nose spews bad blood at every little shock he gets. But plenty of excitement (and shocks) are coming Jack's way once his mom loans him out to help a fiesty old neighbor with a most unusual chore—typewriting obituaries filled with stories about the people who founded his utopian town. As one obituary leads to another, Jack is launced on a strange adventure involving molten wax, Eleanor Roosevelt, twisted promises, a homemade airplane, Girl Scout cookies, a man on a trike, a dancing plague, voices from the past, Hells Angels . . . and possibly murder.

This was a strange and weirdly wonderful book. Told by Jack Gantos, this is a fictional autobiography...very weird indeed. These two months in Jack's life, have a very, very strange tone that kept me captivated even as I was trying to piece together exactly what was going on.

The story starts with a series of seemingly unrelated events. As the tale spins on, though, both Jack and the reader begin to piece things together and all these strange things meld into one wild tale! I couldn't wait to see what happened next...

I also have to tell you that I listened to this as an audiobook and the author reads it himself. Jack Gantos has this slightly quirky voice that just fit this book perfectly. It was a great audiobook! I am so glad I experienced the story that way. I highly recommend it.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Review: The Lions of Little Rock

The Lions of Little Rock
by Kristin Levine
Book Description:
Two girls separated by race form an unbreakable bond during the tumultuous integration of Little Rock schools in 1958.

Twelve-year-old Marlee doesn't have many friends until she meets Liz, the new girl at school. Liz is bold and brave, and always knows the right thing to say, especially to Sally, the resident mean girl. Liz even helps Marlee overcome her greatest fear - speaking, which Marlee never does outside her family.

But then Liz is gone, replaced by the rumor that she was a Negro girl passing as white. But Marlee decides that doesn't matter. Liz is her best friend. And to stay friends, Marlee and Liz are willing to take on integration and the dangers their friendship could bring to both their families.

This was a book I would never have picked up on my own, but boy am I glad that I read it! This book talks about the time after the integration of schools in Little Rock, Arkansas. I had no idea that the year after "The Little Rock Nine" faced such a hardship attending school that the town's government decided to actually close some of the schools so that they would not have to deal with the integration issue. It seems to be a part of that story that has hardly been told...

Levine tackles the story in an indirect and captivating way. The main character, Marlee, has an older sister that was attending the high school, but now is only offered correspondance courses for school since they shut hers down. Marlee goes to the middle school, which is still open, but has to deal with issues of her own. She is a shy, shy girl who hardly even speaks in school and it's not until she meets Liz that she learns to come out of her shell.

The problems? Well, it turns out that Liz is African-American, but her skin is so light that she was "passing" as white so that she could attend Marlee's school. When the truth comes out, Liz is expelled from the school and even worse, her family is threatened because they were "trying to be above their station." One of the boys that had tormented Marlee has an older brother that is making life both miserable and unsafe for the girls now. All Marlee wants to do is find a way to keep her best friend, but she's not sure how on earth she'll be able to do that!

This book touched my heart. It made me cry and it made me want to learn more about this time in Little Rock's history. It is a book definitely worth reading!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Review: Timepiece

by Myra McEntire
Hourglass, book two

Book Description:
A threat from the past could destroy the future.Kaleb Ballard was never supposed to be able to see ripples--cracks in time. Are his powers expanding, or is something very wrong? Before he can find out, Jonathan Landers, the man who tried to murder his father, reappears. Why is he back, and what, or whom, does he want?

In the wake of Landers's return, the Hourglass organization is given an ultimatum by a mysterious man. Either they find Landers and the research he has stolen on people who might carry the time gene, or time will be altered--with devastating results for the people Kaleb loves most. Now Kaleb, Emerson, Michael, and the other Hourglass recruits have no choice but to use their extraordinary powers to find Landers. But where do they even start? And when? Even if they succeed, just finding him may not be enough ...

Kaleb. Kaleb. Kaleb. Need I say more? If you've read the first book in the series, Hourglass, then I'm sure, like me, you were already half in love with Kaleb.  Such a great, broody hero. <3
Aside from the return of some rockin' romance, some awesome time travel and some amazing plot twists that keep readers on their toes, I cannot tell you how much I appreciated the change of narrator in this book. I loved Emerson and I still do, but Kaleb holds a special place in my heart...
Again, I could not put this book down! There were heartbreaking moments, there were spots where I couldn't stop grinning... there was a passage I loved so much that I tweeted it:
From p. 197
"Maybe." The word caught in my throat. How did she see the man that I wanted to be so clearly, instead of the ugliness that was really there?

"Why don't you believe me?"

...and it has another killer ending that is just making me want book three NOW!! Myra McEntire has found a truly devoted fan in me. :)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Review: The Traitor in the Tunnel

The Traitor in the Tunnel
by Y.S. Lee 
The Agency, book three

Book Description:
Queen Victoria has a little problem: there’s a petty thief at work in Buckingham Palace. Charged with discretion, the Agency puts quickwitted Mary Quinn on the case, where she must pose as a domestic while fending off the attentions of a feckless Prince of Wales. But when the prince witnesses the murder of one of his friends in an opium den, the potential for scandal looms large. And Mary faces an even more unsettling possibility: the accused killer, a Chinese sailor imprisoned in the Tower of London, shares a name with her long-lost father. Meanwhile, engineer James Easton, Mary’s onetime paramour, is at work shoring up the sewers beneath the palace, where an unexpected tunnel seems to be very much in use. Can Mary and James trust each other (and put their simmering feelings aside) long enough to solve the mystery and protect the Royal Family? Hoist on your waders for Mary’s most personal case yet, where the stakes couldn’t be higher — and she has everything to lose.

This was a great addition to The Agency series! It was drama-rama at its best in Victorian England. Mary dealt with family issues, job issues, romance issues....just issues everywhere!

I loved that Mary is so devoted to every case that she takes on that she is willing to work as a maid for weeks just to hunt out a thief. I really loved that it turned out there was much more going on than just petty theft in the castle! I admired the way that Mary held herself even as the Prince may have been trying to give her some unwanted attention...

I cannot wait to see what happens as Mary moves forward.  The Agency itself has taken a huge hit and I find myself anxious on the behalf of all involved! I am most curious to see what the future of spying looks like for these ladies... (and perhaps some new gentlemen!)

Most of all, I *CANNOT* wait to see what happens to Mary and James in the future! Their romance practically sparks right off the pages in this one and I lurve it.  Every stolen kiss, every bickering quarrel, every potentially dangerous moment when they could be caught spying together... <3 <3 <3!

I am totally hooked and cannot wait for the next intrepid adventure.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Review: What Happened to Goodbye

What Happened to Goodbye
by Sarah Dessen

Book Description:
Since her parents' bitter divorce, McLean and her dad, a restaurant consultant, have been on the move-four towns in two years. Estranged from her mother and her mother's new family, McLean has followed her dad in leaving the unhappy past behind. And each new place gives her a chance to try out a new persona: from cheerleader to drama diva. But now, for the first time, McLean discovers a desire to stay in one place and just be herself, whoever that is. Perhaps Dave, the guy next door, can help her find out. 

Sarah Dessen's books alway make me cry at least a little.  They are great summer reads and they are great for any time that you want something that will make you both smile and tear up. They deal with family and relationship issues in such a great way, too.

For example, in What Happened to Goodbye, McLean is dealing with her "issues" following her parents divorce. Rather than move in with her mom and her mom's new husband and twin toddlers, McLean chooses to live with her father...and that means moving from place to place for his job.  McLean loves the fact that they move, though, because it gives her the chance to reinvent herself in each place. 

When she finds a guy who really seems to get her, though, she finds that she suddenly wants to be "herself" again.  Can McLean rediscover who she was or wants to be today?

This book dealt with the fallout of McLean's parents divorce really, really well. What I loved most was that they were a family that finally pulled together in the end...around McLean... when she needed it the most.  I loved the restaurant setting and I loved the secondary characters that worked at Luna Blu. 

Another great book from Sarah Dessen.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Gold Star Interview: Jordan Sonnenblick!

Hello All!

As you all know, when I LURVE a book, I give it a Gold Star Review here. Well, to liven up the blog a little, I'm going to (try to) interview the author of each book that receives a coveted Gold Star! I hope you'll enjoy these quick, little interviews. :D

Today's guest is the fabulous Jordan Sonnenblick! I'm so excited. I've loved every one of his books so far, and you can find my original Gold Star Review of his newest book, CURVEBALL: The Year I Lost My Grip, here.

Welcome, Jordan! Thank you so much for stopping by to chat with me. I have just a couple of quick questions for you:

1. How long did it take you, from first spark of idea to final proofs, to write Curveball: The Year I Lost My Grip?

Each of my books takes between twelve and eighteen months from the “eureka” moment to the big nap when I am completely done with the project. Curveball was probably right around the eighteen-month mark, only because the deadlines happened to be very relaxed. Publishing is often rush-rush-rush kind of business, but for this particular book, we had about a year between the writing and the publication date. One very happy result of that was that the publisher, Scholastic, really got to lavish a lot of time and energy on the marketing of the book. That meant a great cover design, a lot of sending me to conventions to publicize the book, and even an awesome promotional video. I was thrilled -- writers love it when their publishers do stuff like that for them!

2. If you could write a book under a pseudonym that no one would ever connect to you, are there any genres you would love to secretly explore?

Hmmm ... I would secretly love to write superhero comic books for a year or two. Marvel, are you listening? *LOL, I would vote for that!!*

3. I really loved how you explored Alzheimer ’s disease, which affects so many families, in a touching and informative way, yet without sounding like a medical textbook. Was this based on research or personal experience?

Unfortunately, I didn’t have to do much research. My maternal grandfather, Solomon Feldman (who, incidentally, was also the inspiration for the character of Solomon Lewis in my book Notes from the Midnight Driver) was a dementia patient, and almost everything that happens with the grandfather in Curveball happened with him. Watching a loved one succumb to dementia is an awful, awful thing. Of course, it’s also a source of heightened emotion all around -- lots of laughter and love in with the terror and tears -- which means it’s a great source of literary material. And I suppose I keep coming back to my grandfather’s story because it’s personally cathartic. Dementia is so painful that I am still coming to grips with the slow loss of this man -- who was really my hero and mentor, both in his life before he started losing his mind, and in the courage of his fight right up to the end. *Thank you for sharing such a personal story with us. I'm glad he was able to inspire you!*

4. If you could cross one thing off your bucket list tomorrow, what would it be?

As soon as my first book, Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie was published in 2004, my bucket list became obsolete. My dreams in life were to live abroad, get married, have healthy kids, and write a book. Now everything else is just gravy.

Still, I suppose if some producer felt like making a blockbuster movie based on one of my novels, that would be A-OK with me.

5. Quick picks list:
Favorite vacation destination?

London or San Francisco; I’m a city person.

Favorite childhood book?

The Dark Is Rising, by Susan Cooper.

Favorite writing snack food?

Coffee, although I admit it’s not technically a food -- but it has more calories than most foods by the time I am done dumping cream and sugar in it.

Favorite clothing item?

Well, for writing, I like to wear any one of the dozens of middle-school t-shirts I have been given during school visits. They help me feel connected to my characters.

Thank you so much, Jordan, for letting us interview you. It was a pleasure!

For more information about Jordan and his books, check out his website at http://www.jordansonnenblick.com/

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Announcing... Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

Any fans of Cassandra Clare's Infernal Devices trilogy out there?  If so, hot off the presses for you...the cover and synopsis to the final book: CLOCKWORK PRINCESS!!

Publication date: March 13, 2013

In Clockwork Princess, Tessa and her companions travel all over the world as they race to stop the clockwork army before it's too late. As Jem's health worsens alarmingly and his friends search desperately for a cure, can Tessa choose between the two boys she loves — even if it means never seeing the other one again?

Monday, July 9, 2012

Mini Reviews: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel

The Warlock
by Michael Scott
The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, book five
Book Description:
In the fifth installment of this bestselling series, the twins of prophesy have been divided, and the end is finally beginning.

With Scatty, Joan of Arc, Saint Germain, Palamedes, and Shakespeare all in Danu Talis, Sophie is on her own with the ever-weakening Nicholas and Perenelle Flamel. She must depend on Niten to help her find an immortal to teach her Earth Magic. The surprise is that she will find her teacher in the most ordinary of places.

The Enchantress
by Michael Scott
The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, book six

Book Description:
The two that are one must become the one that is all. One to save the world, one to destroy it.

San Francisco:
Nicholas and Perenelle Flamel have one day left to live, and one job left to do. They must defend San Francisco. The monsters gathered on Alcatraz Island have been released and are heading toward the city. If they are not stopped, they will destroy everyone and everything in their path.

But even with the help of two of the greatest warriors from history and myth, will the Sorceress and the legendary Alchemyst be able to defend the city? Or is it the beginning of the end of the human race?

Danu Talis:
Sophie and Josh Newman traveled ten thousand years into the past to Danu Talis when they followed Dr. John Dee and Virginia Dare. And it’s on this legendary island that the battle for the world begins and ends.

Scathach, Prometheus, Palamedes, Shakespeare, Saint-Germain, and Joan of Arc are also on the island. And no one is sure what—or who—the twins will be fighting for. Today the battle for Danu Talis will be won or lost. But will the twins of legend stand together?

Or will they stand apart—one to save the world and one to destroy it? 

Okay, I read these back to back, so I'm going to review them together...and it's going to be somewhat short and vague because I don't want to spoil the end of the series for anyone.

So, here's the short and sweet version :
This series covers a LOT of action during a short period of time. There are a lot of characters to keep track of...finally in these two books, we get more character development. Especially in Josh and Sophie. You really begin to feel for the characters and hope they will find their true place in the world.

Want a book that will surprise you? There are a ton of twists and surprising developments in the final installment of the series. Scott wraps things up in a really fascinating and intricate way.

Fans of the series will be clamboring to finish this series and I don't think that anyone will be disappointed...

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Gold Star Interview: Deva Fagan!

Hello All!

As you all know, when I LURVE a book, I give it a Gold Star Review here. Well, I was thinking of ways to liven up the blog a bit and had one of those fabulous epiphanies... I'm going to start, or at least attempt, to interview the author of each book that receives a coveted Gold Star! I hope you'll enjoy these quick, little interviews. :D

To kick things off, I'm so happy to host Deva Fagan, author of the fantastic CIRCUS GALACTICUS! You can find my original Gold Star Review here.

Welcome, Deva! Thank you so much for stopping by to chat with me. I have just a couple of quick questions for you:

1. How long did it take you, from first spark of idea to final proofs, to write Circus Galacticus?

The first spark of idea actually came back in *rummages through journal archives* 2005 (!) when I wrote a draft of an entirely different book about a circus in space. While the core idea was the same (misfits forming a circus and traveling around the universe) it had an entirely different plot and cast of characters (for example, the Ringmaster was an elderly lush, and the main character was a girl who trained a pack of alien dogs). It was also a lot grittier, and written as adult science fiction. I really liked the idea, but it never really came together, so I set it aside.

It wasn't until the fall of 2008 that I came back to that core idea and had the notion to try reworking it with teenage protagonists. That was when the spark really turned into a bonfire, and I quickly wrote what would become CIRCUS GALACTICUS. It sold in the fall of 2009, and was published in November 2011.

It just goes to show that sometimes you just have to be patient with some ideas you love!

2. If you could write a book under a pseudonym that no one would ever connect to you, are there any genres you would love to secretly explore?

I'm actually working on a project right now that's a new direction for me. It's a character-driven YA fantasy, with a strong romantic element, and more of a serious, epic plot than my first three books, which are more light, humorous reads for slightly younger audiences.

It's been a very challenging project, but I've really enjoyed pushing myself to do something new! Especially as it's more in the vein of the types of books I loved best as a girl, like Robin McKinley's THE HERO AND THE CROWN, Meredith Ann Pierce's DARKANGEL, and Cynthia Voigt's JACKAROO.

3. I appreciate that Circus Galacticus wrapped Trix’s story up in one book, but I loved the characters and the Big Top so much…would you ever consider writing another book set in the same world?

Oh, it would be a dream-come-true to be able to tell the rest of Trix's story! I love these characters too, and would be thrilled to share more of their adventures, secrets, and ultimate destinies. Alas, publishing is a business, and so far the first book has not sold enough copies for the publisher to consider a sequel at this time.

There's a paperback edition of CIRCUS GALACTICUS on the way November 6th, 2012, though, so keep your fingers crossed that it finds more new readers, and we'll see what happens!

4. If you could cross one thing off your bucket list tomorrow, what would it be?

I'd say "Visiting New Zealand and Australia" but it's already tomorrow there, so that might cause some sort of time-paradox!

5. Quick picks list:
Favorite vacation destination?

Paris! Beautiful gardens and tasty pastries!

Favorite childhood book?

Oops, I already answered this above! So instead I'll tell you one of my favorite non-fantasy books, that I did NOT read as a kid, but wish I had: the Betsy-Tacy series by Maud Hart Lovelace. If you are a fan of Anne of Green Gables (like me!) you should most definitely check these out. They're based on the real life of the author, growing up in the early 1900s in Minnesota. They are all wonderful, but I especially love the high school era books, starting with HEAVEN TO BETSY.

Favorite writing snack food?

Does tea count?

Favorite clothing item?

Any of my Threadless T-shirts (http://www.threadless.com)!

Thank you Jessica, for having me stop by!

Thank YOU, Deva, for letting me interview you. It was a pleasure!

For more information about Deva and her books, check out her website at http://devafagan.com/

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Review: Paper Covers Rock

Paper Covers Rock
by Jenny Hubbard

Book Description:
At the beginning of his junior year at a boys' boarding school, 16-year-old Alex is devastated when he fails to save a drowning friend. When questioned, Alex and his friend Glenn, who was also at the river, begin weaving their web of lies. Plagued by guilt, Alex takes refuge in the library, telling his tale in a journal he hides behind Moby-Dick. Caught in the web with Alex and Glenn is their English teacher, Miss Dovecott, fresh out of Princeton, who suspects there's more to what happened at the river when she perceives guilt in Alex's writing for class. She also sees poetic talent in Alex, which she encourages. As Alex responds to her attention, he discovers his true voice, one that goes against the boarding school bravado that Glenn embraces. When Glenn becomes convinced that Miss Dovecott is out to get them, Alex must choose between them. 

I have to be honest and admit that I did not enjoy this book at all. I began it as an audiobook and hated it. Part of the problem for me was how slowly the book was going and that it seemed to lack cohesion...I picked up the physical book hoping that being able to see the breaks in Alex's "journal entries" would help me focus through the rest of the book. That didn't even help that much, though. Things went faster, but I still just could not get into the story. I found it mostly implausible and frustrating. I thought that Alex made a lot of poor decisions, letting himself be swayed by the wrong people, and that most of the bad actions in the book led to no consequences.

I guess this was just not the book for me.

Monday, July 2, 2012

What's On My Hold List?

Welcome back to
"What's on My Hold List?"
This is the July 2012 edition!

One of the most beautiful things about working at our Library is that I know what's coming out and what we'll be getting and I can put the books on hold right away!
These are some of the books that I'm currently waiting for:
by Kim Harrington
Sleuth or Dare, book 3

by Bethany Griffin
*If you click on each title, it will take you to the book on
Amazon.com for more information. :)*
So, these are the books I'm waiting anxiously to get my hands on...
what are YOU waiting for??