Monthly Wrap-up: August

Looking back...
List of my August reads:
Leigh Bardugo - Siege and Storm (Grisha #2) 
PC & Kristin Cast - House of Night Legacy
Tera Lynn Childs -  Sweet Venom (Medusa Girls #1)
                           - "Grace in the Loft" (Medusa Girls #1.5)
                           - Sweet Shadows (Medusa Girls #2)
                           - Sweet Legacy (Medusa Girls #3)
Eoin Colfer - The Eternity Cube (Artemis Fowl graphic novels #3)
C.C. Dalton & Twist Literary - The Dark Secrets of Markham Savoy (Colebrook Confessions #1)
Renee Ericson - After Tuesday (These Days #1)
Abbi Glines - Sometimes It Lasts (Sea Breeze #5)
Hannah Harrington - Speechless
Rachel Harris - My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century (MSSSC #1)
                      - A Tale of Two Centuries (MSSSC #2)
Shannon Messenger - Let the Sky Fall (Sky Fall #1)
Cat Patrick & Suzanne Young - Just Like Fate
Rick Riordan - The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson graphic novels #2)
J.K. Rock - "Camp Kiss" (Camp Boyfriend #0.5)
                 - Camp Boyfriend (Camp Boyfriend #1) 
Natalie Whipple - Transparent (Transparent #1)

Looking ahead...
September releases I'm excited about:
United We Spy - Ally Carter
The Chaos of Stars - Kiersten White
This Song Will Save Your Life - Leila Sales
Sweet Legacy - Tera Lynn Childs
Steelheart - Brandon Sanderson
Fangirl - Rainbow Rowell

September TBR (not including books listed above):
How to Love - Katie Cotugno
Perfect Ruin- Lauren DeStefano
Hourglass - Myra McEntire
The Iron Traitor - Julie Kagawa
Steel Lily - Megan Curd
For Darkness Shows the Stars - Diana Peterfreund

There are several others I'd like to add to that list, but I'll keep it there for now. How about you? How'd you do in August: what did you read, what did you love? What are you looking forward to reading in September? Let me know!

Weekly Wrap-up: August 25-31

Why is it that the weeks where I read the most, I also add the most books to my TBR/actual bookshelf? I have a disease and the only known cure is reading!

And cowbell, obviously.

Completed:
Sweet Shadows (Medusa Girls #2) - Tera Lynn Childs: 4 stars.
Sweet Legacy (Medusa Girls #3) - Tera Lynn Childs: 4 stars.
"Grace in the Loft" (Medusa Girls #1.5) - Tera Lynn Childs: 4 stars
Seige & Storm (Grisha #2) - Leigh Bardugo: 5 stars: I think I just need someone to hold me right now. Review here.
Sometimes It Lasts (Sea Breeze #5) - Abbi Glines: 2 stars. *le sigh* I do this to myself, I know.
Camp Boyfriend (Camp Boyfriend #1) - J.K. Rock: 4 stars. So sweet. Review coming this week.

Currently Reading:
Hourglass ( #1) - Myra McEntire

New to my bookshelf this week:
Library:
Earthbound (Earthbound #1) - Aprilynne Pike
Reboot (Reboot #1) - Amy Tintera. I do own a signed copy of this, but my parents are taking it with them back to their house to reside with my full library.
Alice in Zombieland - Gena Showalter. ^Ditto.
Keeper of the Lost Cities - Shannon Messenger
Timepiece (Hourglass #2) - Myra McEntire

Bought:
Just One Day - Gayle Forman: I already own the hardback of this, but when I saw the paperback with the Just One Year excerpt at HPB, I couldn't resist. :)
Letters to Nowhere - Julie Cross

DRC:
The Iron Traitor (Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten #2) - Julie Kagawa
Witchstruck - Victoria Lamb
Sia - Josh Grayson
Inhuman - Kat Falls

Review: Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo


Rating: 5 stars
Pub Date: June 4, 2013
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co (an imprint of Macmillan)
Genre: young adult fantasy
Format/Source: ARC, obtained at TLA
Status: Second book in the Grisha trilogy


Disclaimer: I was given this ARC by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Summary:
Darkness never dies. 

Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land. She finds starting new is not easy while keeping her identity as the Sun Sumoner a secret. She can't outrun her past or her destiny for long.

The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling's game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her--or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.

Review-at-a-glance:
An engrossing and consuming sequel, Siege and Storm creates as many questions as it answers. Alina's loyalty and dedication to Mal, Ravka, the Grisha, and even her self will be tested, as will her powers. Readers will be begging for the sequel by the end. 

I.....I just don't know what to say right now. I think I may officially have PTSD after reading this book. You know that scene in 13 Going on 30 when Jennifer Garner starts freaking out over not being friends with Hulk and he goes to get her water and she yells that she also needs a fluffy pillow? That's me right now. I have a case of The Feels. So much happens in Siege and Storm that it's hard to decide what to say and where to start saying it!
I had a hard time putting the book down, even when I was finished reading it. Leigh Bardugo is a literary master who carefully crafts words into masterpieces. I really like the new characters in Siege and Storm, especially Sturmhond, but I'm glad that old faces came back too. It was hard to see Alina struggle to adjust to her new position and witness how that affected her relationship with Mal, but I have faith that things will work out well in Ruin and Rising. Keep reading for the full review.
 

Review: Let the Sky Fall by Shannon Messenger


Rating: 4 stars
Pub Date: March 5, 2013
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Genre: young adult paranormal romance
Format/Sourced: Hardcover, borrowed from the library
Status: First book in the Sky Fall trilogy


Summary
Seventeen-year-old Vane Weston has no idea how he survived the category five tornado that killed his parents. And he has no idea if the beautiful, dark-haired girl who’s swept through his dreams every night since the storm is real. But he hopes she is.

Seventeen-year-old Audra is a sylph, an air elemental. She walks on the wind, can translate its alluring songs, and can even coax it into a weapon with a simple string of commands. She’s also a guardian—Vane’s guardian—and has sworn an oath to protect Vane at all costs. Even if it means sacrificing her own life.

When a hasty mistake reveals their location to the enemy who murdered both of their families, Audra’s forced to help Vane remember who he is. He has a power to claim—the secret language of the West Wind, which only he can understand. But unlocking his heritage will also unlock the memory Audra needs him to forget. And their greatest danger is not the warriors coming to destroy them—but the forbidden romance that’s grown between them
.

 

Cover Reveal: Better Off Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg

I've been a fan of Elizabeth Eulberg since I fell in love with her hilarious debut novel the Lonely Hearts Club. Elizabeth's books are ripe with cute boys, strong and smart girls, wit, and also cute boys. Did I say that already? Doesn't matter. There are lots. It's worth a second mention. Elizabeth's novels are especially relatable. Her protagonists are unique and interesting young women, but they all possess that innate quality of being an Everywoman. That's why I'm really excited to share with you the cover of her newest novel, Better Off Friends. Ready?

Better Off Friends
by Elizabeth Eulberg 
Coming February 25, 2014
from Point
A Scholastic imprint

Summary:
For Macallan and Levi, it was friends at first sight. Everyone says guys and girls can’t be just friends, but these two are. They hang out after school, share tons of inside jokes, their families are super close, and Levi even starts dating one of Macallan’s friends. They are platonic and happy that way.
Eventually they realize they’re best friends — which wouldn’t be so bad if they didn’t keep getting in each other’s way. Guys won’t ask Macallan out because they think she’s with Levi, and Levi spends too much time joking around with Macallan, and maybe not enough time with his date. They can’t help but wonder . . . are they more than friends or are they better off without making it even more complicated?

From romantic comedy superstar Elizabeth Eulberg comes a fresh, fun examination of a question for the ages: Can guys and girls ever really be just friends? Or are they always one fight away from not speaking again — and one kiss away from true love?

Ooooh, ahhhh! Look at the shiny! I like that the cover isn't giving anything away. An overly handsy cover would probably encourage us to think that Macallan and Levi eventually get together. This cover is sweet and fun, but I think there's some tension here as well. I'm really looking forward to this novel. I'll read everything Elizabeth ever publishes. If you haven't picked up her other novels, please know that they come highly recommended by me.

Better Off Friends IS available for preorder on Amazon already, and you can add it to your Goodreads shelves here. If you're interested in learning more about Elizabeth and her amazing books, you can check out her website here. What are your thoughts on this lovely cover? Think you'll give it a read? Let me know!

I had the pleasure of meeting Elizabeth last year when she toured for Take a Bow. I hope to see her again very soon because she is hilarious both in writing and in person!

Waiting on Wednesday: The Chaos of Stars


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases.


The Chaos of Stars
by Kiersten White
Coming September 10, 2013
HarperTeen

Summary:
Isadora’s family is seriously screwed up.

Of course, as the human daughter of Egyptian gods, that pretty much comes with the territory. She’s also stuck with parents who barely notice her, and a house full of relatives who can’t be bothered to remember her name. After all, they are going to be around forever—and she’s a mere mortal.

Isadora’s sick of living a life where she’s only worthy of a passing glance, and when she has the chance to move to San Diego with her brother, she jumps on it. But Isadora’s quickly finding that a “normal” life comes with plenty of its own epic complications—and that there’s no such thing as a clean break when it comes to family. Much as she wants to leave her past behind, she can’t shake the ominous dreams that foretell destruction for her entire family. When it turns out there may be truth in her nightmares, Isadora has to decide whether she can abandon her divine heritage after all.

Why I want it:
1. I love Kiersten White. She's really funny and she's super nice and patient in real life, even when she's pregnant and at a massive convention and you fangirl all over her. Ahem. Not like I did that or anything.
2. Kiersten is also a really talented writer. She's entertaining and funny and creative. She writes awesome kickbutt girls and really cute boys, even when they're kind of invisible sometimes.
3. THIS COVER. Oh my goodness, I was waiting on this cover for what seemed like ages, and then when I finally saw it, I was shocked. It's beautiful. I want to hug it. If I were Kiersten, I would totally have a huge copy of this hung up in my house.
4. Mythology. Even more interesting, Egyptian mythology. That's not a topic often covered. I love Greek/Roman, sure, but Egyptian is foreign and exotic and NEW. 
5. The Paranormalcy trilogy was fun and mostly light-hearted. Mind Games is actually really dark and twisted. I never would have thought that those two worlds could come from the same person, but they did. I'm really intrigued to see where Chaos lands on the scale and where Isadora stands, closer to Evie or closer to Annie or closer to Fia. Luckily, the wait is not that long because this comes out in a whopping two weeks!

Why I think you should want it:
See above! Also, go read Kiersten's other books. You have time. Well, a little time.

Review: Speechless by Hannah Harrington


Rating: 4 stars
Pub Date: August 28, 2012
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Genre: young adult contemporary, realism, some romance
Format/Source: DRC from Edelweiss
Status: Standalone


Disclaimer: I was given this DRC by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Summary:
Everyone knows that Chelsea Knot can't keep a secret

Until now. Because the last secret she shared turned her into a social outcast—and nearly got someone killed.

Now Chelsea has taken a vow of silence—to learn to keep her mouth shut, and to stop hurting anyone else. And if she thinks keeping secrets is hard, not speaking up when she's ignored, ridiculed and even attacked is worse.

But there's strength in silence, and in the new friends who are, shockingly, coming her way—people she never noticed before; a boy she might even fall for. If only her new friends can forgive what she's done. If only she can forgive herself.

Top Ten Tuesday #12: Most Memorable Secondary Characters

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created by The Broke and The Bookish. Each week the girls at B&B think up a fun theme, and participating bloggers post their favorite 10 books in that category. This week's theme is

Top Ten Most Memorable Secondary Characters
Guys, I have a type. I am well aware of this, and no, I don't have a problem with it.
Can you guess what it is?

1. Emmett from Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. Words can't express how much I adore Emmett. I mean, he's big, tall, and ridiculously handsome. He's also hilarious and from the mountains of East Tennessee, just like me. The fact that Emmett was played by Kellen Lutz, who I fell in love with when he was the seemingly-stupid skateboarder from Accepted just made me swoon even more. You may hate the end of Breaking Dawn (or the entire book), but I think that had the field confrontation gone down differently, my poor Emmett would have been a goner. I can only be grateful that Steph spared him and, in the process, me. Oh, and Rose, I guess. Psh.

2. Eddie from Vampire Academy/Bloodlines by Richelle Mead. Poor Eddie hasn't had it easy. He was a pretty happy-go-lucky guy. Talented, but kind of a goofball and then WHAM! The guy gets kidnapped and used as a dhampir vending machine for the feeding pleasure of a sadistic douchenozzle of a vampire. Also, his best friend dies at the hands of the same douchenozzle vamp. He has major guilt issues and Gets Serious about his education and life in general. The guy is majorly loyal and incredibly masochistic. By the time Bloodlines rolls around, he's fallen in Like-with-a-capital-L with his charge...who is dating his closest friend. Talk about rough. I adore Eddie, and I only hope Richelle gives him his Happily Ever After. He deserves it! Can't wait to see how Eddie is played in the movies!

3. Henry from My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick. I mean, how could I not? I'm in love with Henry. I just want to cuddle him all the time. The kid is adorable and a certifiable genius. I still maintain hope that one day Huntley will write a spin-off about him all grown up. The kid is destined to be a total heartbreaker for sure.

4. Genya from Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo. I just really liked Genya. You could tell she'd been through some major crap in her life. I hope things turn out well for her. Her short story "The Tailor" shed a little light, which made me both more sympathetic and a little angry at her, but I have hope that she'll Do the Right Thing in the end.

5. Kenji from Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi. Such a prankster. He totally cracks me up. I love hearing Tahereh's stories about how she uses her brothers as inspiration as Kenji. I've heard her tell the "I can't hear myself talk" story like three times now and it never gets old.

6. Roar from Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi. Oh, Roar. I love you so. Big, loyal, kind, funny, but also surprisingly vulnerable. I love his and Perry's relationship, but I love him with Aria just as much. He's a total bro, in the best way. My heart breaks for him all the time, but it amazes me how he can just pick himself up and keep going.

7. Joey Cosentino from Winger by Andrew Smith. It never failed to make me laugh when Ryan Dean West would make some stupid comment or choice and Joey would always be there to keep him in check with a "grow up" or an eyeroll. Everybody needs someone with as much sense as Joey.

8. Ambrose from Die For Me by Amy Plum. Whenever there was trouble, Ambrose was there with a smile and some really big muscles as he ran around saying Katie-Lou. I wanted to smack him sometimes for being so blind, but he eventually got my not-so-telepathic message.

9. Hector from Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini. This guy. Like Emmett, he had the big brother role down. His complete devotion to his family, even when they literally all wanted to kill one another, is extraordinarily touching and inspirational. He never thought of himself, only of his loved ones, and he let his heart be open to new people to love. I don't want to give everything away, but Hector in Goddess made me sob uncontrollably.

10. Jack Dandy from the Steampunk Chronicles by Kady Cross. Oh, my. The accent. It's all about the accent. I actually have to say his dialogue aloud to get the almost-full experience. I have enjoyed every minute Jack has spent on the page. His relationship with Finley just cracks me up. "The Dark Discovery of Jack Dandy" was certainly intriguing. I haven't read Girl with the Iron Touch yet so I'm hoping the novella leads right in, and that Jack will be around for the remainder of the series.

11. I was remiss in forgetting another favorite so you'll have to forgive me for the late addition: Neville Longbottom from Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling. I was Neville fangirl way back in SS. I love that he always stood for the right, even when it meant standing against his friends. Neville is a boss. That is all.

And my all-time favorite secondary character:
Fred Weasley from Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling. I can't even. You guys know why. I don't have to tell you.

Honorable mention aka favorite secondaries who were upgraded to MCs: Adrian Ivashkov from VA/Bloodlines, Orion from Starcrossed, Jules from Revenants

I'm also REALLY loving the boys in the Medusa Girls (Sweet Venom) trilogy right now: Thane, Milo, & Nick. Also Sillus. Not quite favorites yet, but I adore them!

Well? Have you figured it out yet? Yes, I like the (often) big guys with big senses of humor. What can I say? Humor is sexy! Also, muscles, of course. Who is your favorite secondary? Have a TTT? Share in the comments!

Listmania Monday: Boarding School

Earlier this month, I did a Top Ten Tuesday post of my favorite boarding school books, but I figured I'd do a full list of the bunch. After all, I'm kind of obsessed with them. And school just started. I really do find boarding school fascinating since the experience is so vastly different from my own run-of-the-mill public school education. Also, I really do wish I could have attended a paranormal boarding school. Those seem like they would be a hoot and a half. Quite literally in the case of Hogwarts. there are owls there, you see.

Have a favorite? Did I miss one? You know where to let me know!

Funday: Book Superlatives

So Funday is an idea I've had kicking around my head for a little while. Every so often, I just want to share something silly with you guys or a little about me. With the updates I'm doing around the blog right now, I thought this would be a good time to start sharing Funday. Another inspiration is Jamie from Perpetual Page Turner, who has been talking about going through a blogging slump, which is something I can definitely relate to. So my first few Funday posts are going to be brought over from Jamie's Friday Fun posts. This week is all about

 Book Superlatives

Characters

Most Likely To Change The World
Amy & Elder from Across the Universe

Cutest Couple
Caroline & Chris from Just Like Fate

Class Clown
Kenji from Shatter Me

Most Likely To Become Famous For Their Athletic/Musical/Artistic Abilities
Athletic: Jordan Woods from Catching Jordan
Musical: Mia and Adam from If I Should Die
Artistic: Jules from the Revenants series

All Around Good Person
Griffin from the Steampunk Chronicles

Biggest Flirt
Jack Dandy from the Steampunk Chronicles

Most Likely To Be Fought Over
Will and Jem from The Infernal Devices

Mostly Likely To Be Friends Forever
the Gallagher Girls: Cammie, Bex, Liz, & Macy

Most Likely To Have Their Own Reality Show
The Weasley family from Harry Potter
This would SO end up on E! or Bravo

Most Unique
Luna from Harry Potter

Most Likely To Survive An Apocalypse
Cassie from The 5th Wave

Most Likely To Be A Villain
Jackal from The Eternity Cure

Biggest Wallflower
Jill Mastrano from Vampire Academy/Bloodlines

Most Likely To Break Your Heart
the Darkling from The Grisha

Most Changed
Juliette from Shatter Me

Most Likely To Get Arrested
Meg from Going Too Far

Self Proclaimed God/Goddess
Adrian from Vampire Academy/Bloodlines

Best Person To Bring Home To Mom & Dad
Jase from My Life Next Door

Books

Most Likely To Make You Cry 
Winger by Andrew Smith

Dares To Be Different (in world, plot, storytelling, etc.)
The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd

Best Dressed (pretty cover!)
This dress is from my favorite high fashion line ever.

This one is also just gorgeous. Also, it's different!

Most Likely To Make You Swoon
the Awaken series by Meg Cabot

Loveliest Prose
Burning by Elana K. Arnold
 
Most Likely To Be A Favorite Of 2013
Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

Most Likely To Change The World (or change your life) 
Just One Day/Just One Year by Gayle Forman

Book You Are Most Likely To Keep Putting Off
Lux by Jennifer Armentrout

Most Likely To End Up As Christmas Gifts For Everyone You Know 
The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancey

Most Likely To Be Thrown
Requiem by Lauren Oliver
I just...I can't. This book made me so angry.

Most Likely To Be Reread More Than Once
everything by Jennifer Echols

Most Likely To Make You Read Through An Earthquake Because It’s THAT Engrossing 
Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Most Likely To Be Passed On To Your Children
Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys

Most Likely To Break Your Heart Into A Million Pieces
The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa

Most Likely To Brighten Up Your Day
Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

Weekly Wrap-up: August 18-24

Ahhh. The feel of free time, it is lovely. I spent much of this free time working on bloggy things, but I managed to read quite a bit. It was really weird going in btetween Camp Boyfriend and Let the Sky Fall, though. Contemporary to paranormal. At least they were in different formats!

Completed:
Speechless - Hannah Harrington: 4 stars. Really, really interesting. A good description of different kinds of bullying. I think a good read for everybody. Review coming this week.
Let the Sky Fall (Sky Fall #1) - Shannon Messenger: 4 stars. Review also coming this week.
"Camp Kiss" (Camp Boyfriend #0.5) - J.K. Rock: 4 stars
Sweet Venom (Medusa Girls #1) - Tera Lynn Childs: 4 stars. Another great series by TLC. Her books always make me smile.

Currently Reading:
The Boys Next Door - Jennifer Echols
Forget You - Jennifer Echols
Camp Boyfriend (Camp Boyfriend #1) - J.K. Rock

New to my bookshelf this week: 
Very small haul this week. I'm trying to actually finish some books on my TBR!
Library:
Hourglass (Hourglass #1) - Myra McEntire

Cover Reveal: Blindsided by Natalie Whipple

This morning the fabulous Natalie Whipple had an exciting tidbit on Twitter: the cover for Blindsided, which is the sequel to Transparent! Naturally, I had to snag it to share with all of you!

Blindsided
by Natalie Whipple
Coming January 2, 2014
from Hot Key Books

Summary:
What price would you pay just to look in a mirror? It's junior year of high school, and Fiona has definitely had enough of being invisible. It's pretty hard to have a normal relationship when the only photos of her and Seth show him kissing thin air. On top of that, old Arizonan gang tensions are threatening to spill over at any minute, which could put them all in serious danger. So when Fiona realizes that she and her friends know something that could change everything, she has to decide whether working with the criminal syndicates is too high a price to finally be seen.

I know what you're thinking. How did we go from that cool brightly lit cover with a faded image of a girl to a somewhat cartoon-y cover? Well, the answer lies in the publisher. Hot Key is Natalie's UK publisher, and this cover matches their version of Transparent. I know what you're thinking again. If Blindsided is being published by a UK publisher, how will I read it in the US? Never fear. The English rights were entirely bought by Hot Key so they're publishing it in the US and Canada along with the UK!

I think this cover is really cute. Sure, I wish it matched the US Transparent cover, but I'm not going to split hairs over matching covers when I'm just thrilled we're getting a sequel! When I started reading Transparent, it was a standalone, and I liked that. But by the time I finished, it had a sequel, and I liked that too. Transparent isn't an epic story about teens with powers overthrowing an evil system. It's about one girl who is trying to earn her freedom from her controlling father. It's also about her learning to be okay with herself and her past. Now, though, I like that Fiona is going to fight for her right to NOT be invisible. Blindsided might turn out to be a little more epic, and I'm really okay with that. What do you think?

If you were wondering, here are the US and UK covers for Transparent for your comparing pleasure.

Review: A Tale of Two Centuries by Rachel Harris


Rating: 4 stars
Pub Date: August 6, 2013
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Genre: young adult contemporary romance
Format: DRC
Status: Book 2 in the My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century series. At least one more book is in the works with the potential for more.


Disclaimer: An advance copy for this book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Summary:
Alessandra D’Angeli is in need of an adventure. Tired of her sixteenth-century life in Italy and homesick for her time-traveling cousin, Cat, who visited her for a magical week and dazzled her with tales of the future, Alessandra is lost. Until the stars hear her plea.

One mystical spell later, Alessandra appears on Cat’s Beverly Hills doorstep five hundred years in the future. Surrounded by confusing gadgets, scary transportation, and scandalous clothing, Less is hesitant to live the life of a twenty-first century teen…until she meets the infuriating—and infuriatingly handsome—surfer Austin Michaels. Austin challenges everything she believes in…and introduces her to a world filled with possibility.

With the clock ticking, Less knows she must live every moment of her modern life while she still can. But how will she return to the drab life of her past when the future is what holds everything she’s come to love?

Review: Just Like Fate by Cat Patrick & Suzanne Young


Rating: 5 stars
Pub Date: August 27, 2013
Publisher: Simon Pulse (imprint of Simon & Schuster)
Genre: young adult, contemporary romance, "sliding doors" alternate reality
Format/Source: DRC from Edelweiss
Status: Standalone


Disclaimer: This advanced DRC was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Summary:
Caroline is at a crossroads. Her grandmother is sick, maybe dying. Like the rest of her family, Caroline's been at Gram's bedside since her stroke. With the pressure building, all Caroline wants to do is escape--both her family and the reality of Gram's failing health. So when Caroline's best friend offers to take her to a party one fateful Friday night, she must choose: stay by Gram's side, or go to the party and live her life.

The consequence of this one decision will split Caroline's fate into two separate paths--and she's about to live them both.

Friendships are tested and family drama hits an all-new high as Caroline attempts to rebuild old relationships, and even make a few new ones. If she stays, her longtime crush, Joel, might finally notice her, but if she goes, Chris, the charming college boy, might prove to be everything she's ever wanted.

Though there are two distinct ways for her fate to unfold, there is only one happy ending...

Cover Reveal: Biggest Flirts by Jennifer Echols

As most of you regular readers know, I am a HUGE fan of Jennifer Echols's work. Yesterday, she finally shared the cover for her upcoming novel Biggest Flirts, and I knew I had to share it with all of you. Biggest Flirts is book one of her new young adult romantic comedy Superlatives series.

Biggest Flirts
by Jennifer Echols
Coming May 20, 2014
from Simon Pulse
A Simon & Schuster imprint

Summary:
The yearbook votes have been cast. Senior year is about to get interesting.

Tia just wants to have fun. She’s worked hard to earn her reputation as the life of the party, and she’s ready for a carefree senior year of hanging out with friends and hooking up with cute boys. And her first order of business? New guy Will. She can’t get enough of his Midwestern accent and laid-back swagger.

As the sparks start to fly, Will wants to get serious. Tia’s seen how caring too much has left her sisters heartbroken, and she isn’t interested in commitment. But pushing away Will drives him into the arms of another girl. Tia tells herself it’s no big deal…until the yearbook elections are announced. Getting voted Biggest Flirt along with Will is, well, awkward. They may just be friends, but their chemistry is beginning to jeopardize Will's new relationship—and causing Tia to reconsider her true feelings. What started out as a lighthearted fling is about to get very complicated…


Personally, I'm in love with this cover. It's goofy and fun, which perfectly encapsulates the feeling of flirtiness and high school. I also like that it's set apart from Jennifer's other books. Her other romantic comedies have a different style of cover. Major Crush, The Ex Games, and  The Boys Next Door all feature cartoony covers that sold well about seven years ago, but not so much anymore. Then Winter's Kiss, Endless Summer, and The One That I Want morphed into photographic covers, but they look more on the serious side. Also very dreamy and romantic. I like this switch to a more playful and realistic cover. If the covers for Perfect Couple (December 2014) and Most Likely to Succeed (August 2015) keep with this style, it'll set the Superlatives series apart, not just from other authors' work but from Jennifer's previous books as well, and that's really cool. What do you think?

Biggest Flirts is not up at Amazon or other book retailers yet for preorder, but you can add it to your Goodreads TBR list here. And be sure to check out Jennifer's official website here for information about all her other young adult, new adult, and adult books.

Waiting on Wednesday: Sweet Legacy + giveaway


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases.


Sweet Legacy (Medusa Girls #3)
by Tera Lynn Childs
Coming September 3, 2013
Katherine Tegen Books

Summary:
The stunning conclusion of Tera Lynn Childs's Greek mythology–based Sweet Venom trilogy is perfect for teen fans of Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson series.

The girls cannot hesitate as they seek the location of the lost door between the realms, even as monsters and the gods of Olympus descend on San Francisco in battle-ready droves.

Greer must use her second sight to step up and prevent anything from stopping her sisters' mission, even though a god is playing with her mind. Grace wants to trust her adopted brother, Thane; but will his secret put the girls in even more danger? And Gretchen has trained her sisters to stop the monsters, but her role as a huntress comes with more responsibility than she ever imagined.What will the girls' immortal legacy be? Three teenage descendants of Medusa must unite to restore balance to the world in this action-packed series with plenty of romance.

Why I want it:
Basically, I love Tera Lynn Childs. Her writing is fun and sassy, with tons of awesome mythology thrown in. Wins on all sides. Plus, she is crazy nice so I'm really happy to support her in any way possible.

Why I think you should want it:
See above. If you need more reasons, see below!

Bonus Giveaway:
RULES: Please see my giveaway policies in the Site Policies tab above. The rules are your responsibility. I reserve the right to disqualify any entries/entrants not in accordance with these policies.
Open to US/Canada.
Ends 12 AM August 28

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Review: Asunder by Jodi Meadows


Rating: 4 stars
Pub Date: January 29, 2013
Publisher: Katherine Tegan Books (an imprint of HarperCollins)
Genre: young adult dystopian fantasy, romance
Format/Source: hardcover library book
Status: book 2 of the Newsoul trilogy

Summary:
DARKSOULS
Ana has always been the only one. Asunder. Apart. But after Templedark, when many residents of Heart were lost forever, some hold Ana responsible for the darksouls–and the newsouls who may be born in their place.

SHADOWS
Many are afraid of Ana’s presence, a constant reminder of unstoppable changes and the unknown. When sylph begin behaving differently toward her and people turn violent, Ana must learn to stand up not only for herself but for those who cannot stand up for themselves.

LOVE
Ana was told that nosouls can’t love. But newsouls? More than anything, she wants to live and love as an equal among the citizens of Heart, but even when Sam professes his deepest feelings, it seems impossible to overcome a lifetime of rejection.

In this second book in the Newsoul trilogy, Ana discovers the truth about reincarnation and will have to find a way to embrace love and make her young life meaningful. Once again, Jodi Meadows explores the extraordinary beauty and shadowed depths of the soul in a story equal parts epic romance and captivating fantasy.
 


Top Ten Tuesday #11: Blog Helpers

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created by The Broke and The Bookish. Each week the girls at B&B think up a fun theme, and participating bloggers post their favorite 10 books in that category. This week's theme is

Things that make my life as a blogger easier

1. Goodreads. The best book site ever, seriously. I can read everything about a book without actually reading the book. I can label all my books, plan out my weekly, monthly, and even yearly tbr lists. I can find great recommendations for new books. I can enter giveaways for new books. I can talk about books with other readers. Love it.

2. Fellow bloggers. To all the bloggers who share books with me, to all the bloggers whose words inspired me to start my own, to all the bloggers keep me blogging, I say a most heartful thank you. Some of these wonderful people include Maura @ The Whimsical Mama, Alex @ Peace, Love and Fangirl, Marissa & Jasmine @ Beneath the Moon and Stars, Kari @ A Good Addiction, Karen @ Teen Librarian Toolbox, Kristin @ Cool Librarian Glasses, Katie @ Mundie Moms, Mia @ Gripped into Books, Anasheh @ A Reading Nurse, Sabrina @ I Heart YA Fiction, Shane @ Itching for Books, and many, many others. I apoligize to anyone I've left off the list!

3. Friends. My friends have been crazy supportive about my blogging, and it means the world. My "real life" friends have just been really awesome trying to keep me pumped up, and my primarily online book community friends, from readers and bloggers to authors to editors and publicists, have given such great advice. I'm really grateful to live in Dallas, where I actaully have real life book friends now too!

4. Rafflecopter. Let's face it. I wouldn't give half as many giveaways if I didn't have Rafflecopter. I know some people don't like it, but I just don't have time to moderate all entries and try to be unbiased picking a winner. I don't want to do pick-a-random number giveaways either. Rafflecopter is a nice medium. It's random, but it allows me to give extra entries to people who put in extra effort. #Winning

5. Twitter. The primary hangout of the bookworms. When I first got on Twitter, my password was ihatetwitter. Seriously. Maybe I shouldn't say that, but that's what it was (it has now changed, fyi). I thought the idea was stupid. But now, it's my primary method of communication with bookish friends and source of book news.

6. My tablet. I got it for Christmas this past year, and it has been the biggest help. Apps for all the things, it's light, it's portable, it's easily accessible. I'm officially in love.

7. APPS FOR ALL THE THINGS. Whether it's Twitter, Goodreads, Blogger, Kindle, my notes (where I jot things down at events!), etc, apps make my life so much easier!

8. The library. The Dallas Public Library is massive and amazing. When I realized I was moving to Dallas, I signed up for my library card immediately. It was over a month before I moved. I used my hometown library a lot as a kid, but mostly during summer. After I grew up some, I then mostly spent my money at Borders to buy my own books. Then, in college, it was Amazon (after Borders died *tear*). But now, I just buy the books I know I'm going to love, and I get 90% of the rest at the library. If I love it after I read it at the library, I'll probably buy it. I just don't have the kind of money to blow like I thought I did 8 years ago. So instead of me buying one copy, I encourage DPL AND my hometown library to buy copies of all the books I want, and between the two of them, they usually buy at least 10 copies of one book. I call that a pretty sweet trade-off.

9. Netgalley & Edelweiss. I know it's really expensive for publishers to print up and ship out physical ARCs. I mean, I host giveaways all the time, and it can really add up! I think it's wonderful that these websites exist to help get copies of books into reviewers' hands without anyone having to pony up serious money. Being so new, I wouldn't be on any publisher's top blogger list, but when they can send out more copies digitally, my being low on the totem pole isn't a problem.

10. My laptop. As much as I love my tablet (and I do LOVE it), it's really hard to type. The keys are small and easily confused so I have to type with my pointers. I'm a much faster typer with a full keyboard that clicks and physically moves and everything. Although I use my tablet to read and for apps and general internet-surfing, I type up 97% of my posts on my lappy.

11. Google/Blogger. I would be remiss if I didn't mention my site host. I know basic html and css coding, and Blogger helps take my basic knowledge and turn it into a real blog. I'm definitely a Google girl. Since I have an Android tablet and use Google Analytics, everything is really incredibly compatible.

And, because it's fun, here's my list of things that make my life as a blogger harder:
1. Work. Ugh. I need money to do things in Real Life and also to run MHALBB, but dang. Work gets in the way a lot.

2. My family. Bless their little hearts. I know they love me and support me, but they are literally clueless when it comes to what I do as a blogger. Most of them, when told about my venture blogging, say something along the lines of, "That's great, Mary. Now if only there were a way you could get paid doing something like that..." Thanks, guys. I know you have my best interests at heart, but dang. Can a girl just do something she likes and not have it be about the money? I GET PAID IN BOOKS, DANGIT. Sorry, guys. Please don't be offended that I kind of just called you out on the internet. You know I love you. I know you love me and always have my back. I just wish you had my back more on the thing in my life that makes me happiest right now.

3. Movies & tv. I love books, but sometimes I just want to veg. Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Amazon Prime are all detrimental to my reading time. Also the library because I pick up dvds there all the time.

4. My tablet. See above in the laptop section. It's really hard to type well on my tablet. You would be horrified if you read my raw transcripts from an event. Words are misspelled like crazy, and the whole thing is a huge shorthand-ish mess. I have to email the notes to myself so I can translate it, which requires a LOT of retyping and formatting.

5. My TBR list. You'd think the books on my to-read shelf would be helpful, but you would be wrong. Authors talk a lot about being distracted by slutty Shiny New Ideas when trying to write. Well, I get distracted from reading my "required" reading list (the books I Must Read for my posts & reviews) by slutty Shiny New Books. It's a good problem to have, to be sure, but occassionally it is a problem.

6. A social life. Let's be real. I have a pretty quiet social life as it is, but if I didn't have one at all, I would definitely be a better blogger. I think I have a pretty good balance right now, but sometimes I would rather just stay home and read than Do Things In Real Life.

7. Sleep. See points on work and social life. Sometimes I sleep when I should be working on my blog, and sometimes I blog when I should be sleeping. I want to do more of both.

What helps you read or blog better? Have a TTT post? Share in the comments!

Scorched Giveaway

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Scorched 
by Mari Mancusi

Pub Date: September 3, 2013
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Genre: young adult, urban fantasy, dragons

Summary:  
Trinity
Don’t leave me here... It starts with a whisper. At first Trinity thinks she’s going crazy. It wouldn’t be a big surprise—her grandpa firmly believes there’s a genuine dragon egg in their dusty little West Texas town. But this voice is real, and it’s begging for her protection. Even if no one else can hear it...
 
Connor
He’s come from a future scorched by dragonfire. His mission: Find the girl. Destroy the egg. Save the world.

Caleb
He’s everything his twin brother Connor hates: cocky, undisciplined, and obsessed with saving dragons.

Trinity has no idea which brother to believe. All she has to go by is the voice in her head—a dragon that won’t be tamed.

Giveaway Details:
 I had the pleasure of meeting Mari at TLA this year, and Soucebooks was nice enough to gift me with an extra arc, which Mari signed, to pass along to a lucky winner. Open to US/Canada 13+ from RIGHT NOW to 12 AM August 27. Again, please go over my giveaway policies in my Site Policies tab above. I do reserve the right to disqualify any entries that do not meet those policies. Good luck!

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Listmania Monday: Summer Camp

Well, I basically took the summer off from my Listmania Monday posts, but I'm getting it back on with a favorite topic: summer camp! School's about to start so I thought I'd pick one of the most iconic summer staple activities to feature this week. There's something about summer camp that is intrinsically entertaining. Movies and tv shows have capitalized on this with hits like Meatballs, The Parent Trap (both), Camp Rock, and my personal favorite: Heavyweights, and authors have long been in on the action as well.

Have a favorite camp book? Did I leave any off the list? Well, I know I left some off the list. I haven't read them all! Let me know in the comments!

Weekly Wrap-up: August 11-17

I'm FREE!!! I finished up summer camps yesterday, which puts me in the clear! Now I can spend my free time reading again! Oh, books, how I've missed you!

Completed:
Transparent (Transparent #1) - Natalie Whipple: 4 stars. Really interesting paranormal. I love books where humans have really cool powers. Review forthcoming.
Just Like Fate - Cat Patrick & Suzanne Young: 5 stars. Fan-freaking-tastic. I had no idea that this book was going to twist like it did or that I'd like it this much. Review forthcoming.

Reread:
Going too Far - Jennifer Echols: 5 stars. Always.

Currently Reading:
Speechless - Hannah Harrington
The Boys Next Door (Boys Next Door #1) - Jennifer Echols. I'm on my annual summer JE reread tour.
Letthe Sky Fall (Sky Fall #1) - Shannon Messenger

New to my bookshelf this week:
Library:
The Raven Boys  (The Raven Cycle #1) - Maggie Stiefvater
Sacred - Elana K. Arnold

Bought:
Nightshade - Andrea Creamer (HPB)
The Market - J.M. Steele (HPB)
Boy Shopping - Nia Stephens (HPB)
Return to Me - Justina Chen (HPB)
The Theory of Everything - Kari Luna (B&N)

DRCs:
Uninvited - Sophie Jordan
Speechless - Hannah Harrington
Poor Little Dead Girls - Lizzie Friend
All That Glows - Ryan Craudin
How to Love - Katie Cotugno
Across a Star-Swept Sea - Diana Peterfreund
Cruel Beauty - Rosamund Hodge
The Brokenhearted - Amelia Kahaney

Events Attended:
Reading & signing by Kari Luna for The Theory of Everything (aka the book with a panda on it!)

Friday update

Well, my friends, it has been an exceedingly difficult month for me, but I can say that I have survived! Today is my last day as a camp instructor at the museum where I work. Monday I will go in, and things will be more or less back to normal! Hooray! That being said, it's opened my eyes to some sad facts about my reading and blogging habits. Clearly, I need to be more organized in the likely event that something like this happens again.

No worries, though. I plan on sticking with my little lamb blog for the long haul. If anything, I have plans to make it bigger and better with more reviews, discussions, and posts in general. Also, giveaways.  They're kind of my thing. :) Speaking of, I've got one running right now; you should totally enter! Since it's going for another week and a half, I really suggest the daily Twitter entries. They'll really add up this time around!

Anyway, I want to thank all of you for sticking with me through the tough times. Your comments and tweets have kept me going when my demon charges students had me at breaking point.

Love and happy reading,
Mary

Waiting on Wednesday: United We Spy


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases. This is my first week participating, and I'm really excited about it!


United We Spy (Gallagher Girls #6)
by Ally Carter
Coming September 17, 2013
Disney-Hyperion

Summary:
Cammie Morgan has lost her father and her memory, but in the heart-pounding conclusion to the best-selling Gallagher Girls series, she finds her greatest mission yet. Cammie and her friends finally know why the terrorist organization called the Circle of Cavan has been hunting her. Now the spy girls and Zach must track down the Circle’s elite members to stop them before they implement a master plan that will change Cammie—and her country—forever.

Why I want it:
 I have been a fan of the Gallagher Girls since the first book, I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You came out. I was immediately hooked. Kickass girls + cute boys + spy stuff + really incredibly clever writing = I love this series. Being a fan since Day 1, the publication of United We Spy is really bittersweet. I'm really excited to see how it ends, but I'm sad because of the fact that GG is, in fact, finally ending. However, I know UWS will be fantastic. I have no doubt that Ally is going to knock this one out of the park.

Why I think you should want it:
Well, first, if you haven't read the first 5 1/2 books in the series, you should definitely start there. See above with the kickass girls + cute boys + spy stuff you'll actually think is real + clever writing. These books are funny and smart and ALL THE FEELS. Seriously, go read them now, and then you too can be waiting on United We Spy.

Bonus:
Since I met Ally at TLA this year, I may or may not have some signed GG books to giveaway at some point. That point may or may not be a few weeks closer to UWS's release date. In the meantime, feel free to grab the United We Spy official countdown clock!

 

Top Ten Tuesday #10: Boarding School Books

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme created by The Broke and The Bookish. Each week the girls at B&B think up a fun theme, and participating bloggers post their favorite 10 books in that category. This week's theme is

Top Ten Books Set in Boarding School
Okay, so boarding school wasn't the theme exactly, but it was pick your favorite setting and books within that setting. I'm a public school kid myself so I find anything different from my high school experience absolutely fascinating. I ADORE boarding school books!

1. Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. As if any other book could possibly be in the #1 spot on this list. Admit it: you, like me, are still waiting for either an owl or Hagrid himself to show up on your doorstep with your Hogwarts acceptance letter. It may be fictional (may. I'm kinda past the age for Howarts so I could possibly be a Muggle and therefore not allowed to see/know of the castle), but Rowling's words brought Hogwarts and its odd inhabitants to life with moving staircases, talking paintings, and disappearing rooms. This is pretty mucht the best ever, and I want to go. Not to Orlando, but to Real Hogwarts. Somebody make that happen, STAT!

2. Gallagher Girls series by Ally Carter. If I can't actually be a witch, I think spy girl is a close second. Sure there are cute boys, but GG focuses on the bond between sisters, both by blood and by skill. The creative little nuances and details Ally has slipped into the series makes me think that these could be real spy skills/maneuvers. I want to go to Countries of the World and Cove Ops too!

 3. Vampire Academy/Bloodlines series by Richelle Mead. VA is centered on a vamp school, and Bloodlines focuses on a school for humans so it's like Richelle has given us the best of both worlds!

 4. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. Man, why couldn't my parents have shipped me off to Paris so I could fall in love with a British-French-American boy?! You officially failed me, parental units! No witchcraft @ Hogwarts. No spy school @ the Gallagher Academy. No vampires @ St. Vladimir's. And now no Ettienne! Anna may not be chock full of supernatural or sci-fi creativity, but it IS brimming with contemporary realness. Can't wait for Isla!

 5. Winger by Andrew Smith. If you were totally oblivious to the other 5 posts (this year) singing Winger's praises, let me make it more plain. Winger is fantastic. I love getting the boarding school perspective from a boy this time. It's just not done very often, and Andrew Smith compltely nailed everything. Not just the boy perspective, but the whole high school scene is completely real, occasionally sad but often hilarious as well. Go read it now! I insist!

 6. Two of a Kind series featuring Mary-Kate & Ashley Olsen. This series started out as a tv show with the girls, their single dad, and their super-hip nanny. Hijinks ensue. The books start off that way--but then their dad and said super-hip nanny jet off on a research trip to the Amazon or something. MK & A are shipped off to an all-girls boarding school where romantic hijinks ensue with boys from the neighboring all-boys school. These stories are short and sweet, but I think they're pretty real. Mostly. So I'm a child of the 90s. I love everything the Olsens did. Don't judge me. You secretly do too.

 7. Princess Academy by Shannon Hale. PA is different from everything else on this list in that it wasn't overtly a romance. GG and ToAK both feature all-girls schools as well, but romance was a fairly big part of the books, while it plays a much smaller role in PA. It's about the true education and empowerment of girls. It's about not letting someone shame you for who you are and where you come from. It's about embracing yourself and your culture. If any of the Spice Girls ever read this, I'm sure the first thing they'd say would be: "Girl power!" Well, they say that anyway, but you know what I mean.

 8. Evernight series by Claudia Gray. Evernight is my favorite out of the bunch. I like another vamp-friendly school, but honestly it's totally different from VA. Major twist in this one!

 9. A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett. This is almost a horror story, but I love it. Sara Crewe is the poster girl for Making It Work. Tim Gunn would be proud. She's just a really positive character, and she helps her friends and even her "enemies" become aware of who they are. This book has a great message, and I'm glad it was one I read very early in my life.

 10. House of Night series by P.C. & Kristin Cast. I admit I haven't continued with this series. I just got tired of waiting for it after Burned. I'll probably finish it one day, but not until all the books were out. However, the first four novels are pretty good. Once again, vamp boarding school, but in the HoN universe, the rest of the world is aware of vampires and is NOT very friendly to them. For any adult readers, I find this most like True Blood because of the anti-vampire sentiment and sheer amount of drama.




Do you have any favorite novels set at a boarding school? Let me know in the comments! Have a TTT post? Feel free to share your link!
 

Blog tour: The Dirty Secrets of Markham Savoy

Rating: 3.5/5 stars
Pub Date: August 6, 2013
Publisher: Twist Literary
Genre: New/young adult contemporary dramatic romance
Format/Source: DRC, giveaway prize
Status: Book 1 of the Colebrook Academy series

I received The Dirty Secrets of Markham Savoy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review as part of the blog tour, which was set up by Shane from Itching for Books. The rest of the tour schedule can be seen here.

Summary:
COLEBROOK ACADEMY SERIES
 Markham Savoy is Colebrook Academy's most infamous student...
He's also the most attractive, most deviant, and most charming, but who's counting? Every Colebrook matriculant knows that Markham is in the business of making problems disappear. And Colebrook students have no shortage of problems. But his aid comes at a price—an obligation to one day repay the favor. Given the number of kids who get in trouble at Colebrook, Markham has a veritable army of willing minions to do his bidding. So the question is, after years of collecting and collating the secrets of his peers, what exactly does Markham have in mind?

Each installment of Colebrook Academy is told from the point of view of a different student. As these characters' lives intertwine, each reveals one of the shocking, interlocking secrets that will help Markham leave behind a legacy. A final coup de grâce that the halls of Colebrook Academy will never forget.

THE DIRTY SECRETS OF MARKHAM SAVOY, COLEBROOK CONFESSIONS # 1
Even though he safeguards the secrets of his classmates, Markham wouldn't be caught dead sharing his own, and he never lets romantic entanglements get the best of him. But when Piper Harrington marches into his life, he’s forced to give her something in exchange for her cooperation in his schemes--his very own Colebrook Confession. And that's not the only time Piper brings out an unexpected side of himself.

Will the dirty secrets of Markham Savoy be his crowning glory...or his undoing?

Sweat YA Tour Recap + giveaway

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Once again I attended an event at the amazing Irving Public Library, and it was just fantastic. Authors! Books! Bloggers! Descriptions of hot guys' abs! TV cameras! Wait, what? One of these things is not like the others...but seriously, there were tv cameras there, which was weird but awesome because the IPL is absolutely one of the best libraries I've ever been to, and the more word gets out about it, the more events they'll be able to host!

Personal note, please excuse the dark quality and lack of zoom on my photos. I forgot my camera and had to use my tablet camera instead. It doesn't have a flash or a zoom. Sorry!

Look at how cute everything is! Huge posters of the book covers (I managed to snag one for the giveaway!) and these massive HANDMADE tissue paper sunflowers everywhere. What with the checkered tablecloths, I felt like I was at a picnic!


Speaking of a picnic, I thought I was in heaven with the food!



Books + food = a very happy Mary. Lemon bars, sandwich wraps, and scrumptious cupcakes! I limited myself to one because I am a Good Girl. Okay, I had two cupcakes, but I had to try the white AND the chocolate. Don't judge me.

 After a few minutes of talking and chowing down, it was time for the Main Event!
L to R: Debra Driza, Shannon Messenger, Amy Tintera, Kasie West