Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Fairy Tale Retellings

This week's topic is favorite fairy tale re-tellings. It's clear in looking at this list, that I have some books to read.

Flunked (Fairy Tale Reform School, #1)Beauty Queen (Whatever After, #7)The Grimm Legacy (The Grimm Legacy, #1)The Storybook of Legends (Ever After High, #1)A Wicked Thing (A Wicked Thing, #1)
A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1)Princess of the Midnight Ball (Princess, #1)Dealing with Dragons (Enchanted Forest Chronicles, #1)Toads and DiamondsWild Orchid: A Retelling of "The Ballad of Mulan" (Once Upon a Time)

Monday, August 3, 2015

Mini Review: Her Campus: Guide to College Life

 Everything a girl needs to know before starting a new year or entering college.
The Good:
Chapter Checklists
Break out boxes with important information
Doesn't gloss over anything
Topics covered include: safety, relationships (from roommates to sexual), social life, talking with professors, mental health, and more

The Bad:
Just nitpicking, but I might have started this book with Roommates rather than safety.
Final Thoughts: This book is fantastic for libraries or great for graduation gift or off to college gift as it's a perfect way for a young girl to have her questions answered (especially the embarrassing ones). 
* Book sent for review.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Fall Programs (5)

 I know that Summer Reading is in full swing, but planning doesn't always take a back seat just because it's the busy season. So I thought I'd attempt to help and toss out a few ideas for fall - all from pinterest. Here are some great looking (and easy) recipes to test out with your teens perfect for Halloween!
Check out the rest of the series here

Vampire goodness

DIY Zombie Marshmallows

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Mysterious Saturday Review: Grace Cries Uncle

 * Book 6 in the Manor House Mystery series * 
Grace has finally agreed to DNA testing to prove if she and her boss are in fact related. Since she started work at Marshfield Manor, she's felt a connection to Bennett, but she isn't interested in being his heir. She doesn't want anything to change, but she would like to keep this information private.

With people showing up at the house asking questions, Grace becomes uneasy, especially when one of them turns up murdered behind her house.

So she's thrown for a loop when out of the blue her estrange sister appears on her doorstep. Liza claims that she left Eric (the man who was once engaged to Grace) and needs a place to stay. Grace reluctantly allows her sister to stay with them. Could her sister have something to do with this mess?
My Thoughts: I adore this series. I love the connection between Grace and Bennett. In this addition to the series, I enjoyed getting to know Liza. I was surprised by her and a little stunned by her actions. I hope we get more details in the next book.

I really enjoy the secondary characters - especially Frances (she's smart, sarcastic, almost thoughtful, a gossip, and loyal.) I admit even Hillary is growing on me. 

This book took a turn I didn't expect, which intrigued me all the more. I can't wait to see what happens next and how everything shakes out.

Cover Thoughts: Love this cover!
Source: My Library
Final Thoughts: Another win for Julie Hyzy. I love this series - great characters and enough actin and danger to keep me quickly turning the pages. If you haven't started this series, get on it!

Friday, July 31, 2015

Thoughts from a First Timer at RWA Nationals

Last week, I attended the national conference at RWS.
I was So happy to attend (And to check it off my bucket list).

I come from a different background - I have the blogger hat, the professional reviewer hat (VOYA), and the former YA Librarian hat (10 years). So I feel like I had a different experience than other newbie RAW attendees.
While I'm not new to writing, I am new to writing organizations/conferences.

New to Me:
  • So much support from strangers
  • Newbie ribbon
  • Everyone wants you to succeed
  • Not YA focused* 
  • Packed schedule (not much time for coffee breaks)
  • Volunteers ran things
  • More writers than I anticipated
* I write YA. In library conferences, they have tracks set up by age groups: Kids, YA, Adult. The set-up here was very different. 

Not New:
  • Everyone was happy to talk about books/authors
The Workshops:
  • SO many wonderful workshops
  • I took pages and pages and pages of notes
  • Inspiring
  • Several favorite authors presenting - learning from the best
  • Love sharing knowledge - from workshops to chatting in the halls
  • Fascinating and funny presenters
  • Lots of tips and tricks to test out
  • Knowing more rules (And when to break them)
  • Great for the soul - everyone is amazingly nice
  • Knowledge that no two paths are the same (what works for one person won't work for someone else)
What was Fantastic:
  • Workshops
  • Meeting so many authors I admire
  • Hearing the struggles and successes of authors
What was Hard for me:
  • I grabbed way too many books (mostly good, but carrying them was hard and now I need to find space for them in my house)
  • I had a hard time putting myself out there
  • Exploring the area
  • Having a food adventure
Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go write.
 I have so many new tips and tricks to add to my WIPs!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

More Spy Books

I'm over at the YALSA Hub Blog today talking about Spy Books with the release of Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation this weekend. Here are a few favorites that I didn't include because they were previously on the HUB or not part of a series or not temporary.
The Recruit (Cherub, #1)Stormbreaker (Alex Rider, #1)Alibi Junior High
I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You (Gallagher Girls, #1)Two Lies and a Spy (Two Lies and a Spy, #1)Also Known As (Also Known As, #1)Perfect Cover (The Squad, #1)

And some historical:

Maid of Secrets (Maids of Honor, #1)A Spy in the House (The Agency, #1)

Check out the YALSA blog post here
And be sure to tell me your favorite MG/YA spy book

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Blog Tour: The Veil

Seven years ago, the Veil that separates us from what lies beyond was torn apart, and New Orleans was engulfed in a supernatural war. Now, those with paranormal powers have been confined in a walled community that humans call the District. Those who live there call it Devil’s Isle.
Claire Connolly is a good girl with a dangerous secret: she’s a Sensitive, a human endowed with magic that seeped through the Veil. Claire knows that revealing her skills would mean being confined to Devil’s Isle. Unfortunately, hiding her power has left her untrained and unfocused…
Liam Quinn knows from experience that magic makes monsters of the weak, and he has no time for a Sensitive with no control of her own strength. But when he sees Claire using her powers to save a human under attack — in full view of the French Quarter — Liam decides to bring her to Devil’s Isle and the teacher she needs—even though getting her out of his way isn’t the same as keeping her out of his head.
As more and more Sensitives fall prey to their magic, and unleash their hunger on the city, Claire and Liam must work together to save New Orleans, or else the city will burn…
Good to Know:
About this series: There will be at least three books in the series
Tips on Writing: Getting published requires a great story AND execution. Your writing needs to be polished–and practice definitely helps. So does editing. Lots and lots of editing.
Favorite SeriesI love Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series, Rachel Caine’s Weather Warden series, Kim Harrison’s Hollows series, and J.D. Robb’s In Death series
Chloe's Reading List: This year's books
Check out the Trailer:

Sounds good right? Then check out the giveaways:
The fun doesn’t stop here. Want more chances to win? You can also enter THE VEIL Grand Prize Giveaway, which runs July 27 through August 7 on Chloe’s web site.
What is the Grand Prize Giveaway prize?
Fleur de Lis Amulet Pendant Necklace from New Orleans jewelry designer Mignon Faget
$50 Amazon Gift Card
THE VEIL 5″x5″ cloth screenwipe
THE VEIL tote bag
THE VEIL bookmark, sticker, and pen
Chicagoland Vampires bookmark, sticker, pen, keychain, and lanyard
Mini Giveaway from This Blog: 
The packet will include:
  • THE VEIL tote bag
  • THE VEIL 5″x5″ cloth screenwipe
  • THE VEIL bookmark, sticker, and pen
  • SWAG items