Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Pick It Up, then Pile It Up Challenge Winner

Thank you to everyone who took the Pick It Up, the Pile It Up Challenge for the Bout of Books Read-a-thon. I loved seeing all of the TBR piles (or partial piles) and learning that I'm not the only one who has just a few too many books. What I thought was really funny was that most entries didn't include all of the TBR books or that entire bookshelves would be destroyed from moving all of the books around. (That's why I stopped piling them up for my picture.)

I hope that everyone did a lot of reading during the read-a-thon and made a dent in their TBR piles. And now for the challenge winner. After verifying all of the entries, the randomly selected winner is . . . .

 Hannah of Once Upon a Time

The winner has been notified. Please check your email!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

August RAK Wrap Up

Random Acts of Kindness
hosted by 
Thank you to all of the bloggers and book lovers that sent me books this month!
 Amanda at Letters Inside Out
 Michelle at Michelle's Book Blog
(I'm sorry I announced it incorrectly)
 A.J. at Collections 

Saturday, August 27, 2011

In My Mailbox (46)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme run by Kristi at The Story Siren which explores the books that have been delivered to our mailbox or doorstep or directly into our hot little hands
by Niki Burnham, Erin Haft, Sarah Mlynowski and Lauren Myracle
Hold Still by Nina LaCour
Ten Miles Past Normal by Frances O'Roark Dowell
Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
So Much Closer by Susane Colasanti
Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John

The Lighter Side of Life and Death by c.k. kelly martin (ARC)

I made another trip to the Green Valley Book Fair this week and come home will a lot of books that were on my wish list. The sales are so awesome, it was completely worth the 2 hour drive. 
I also received The Lighter Side of Life and Death as a Random Act of Kindness. Thank you Emily! I've loved participating the past few months and will continue to do as so for as long as I can.

Hope you all received the books you wanted! Happy Reading!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Love My Indie with Author Susan McBride

Love My Indie is a feature where authors, bloggers, and readers tell me about their favorite independent bookstores. I love the feeling I get when I go into an independent bookstore - like it is filled with hidden treasures just waiting for me to find them. Maybe one day I will have the chance to visit these amazing bookstores.

Showing some Indie Love today is:

Susan McBride, author of Little Black Dress

With all the talk of Borders going down and the gloom and doom about book publishing in general, I feel very spoiled to live in a city that has more independent bookstores than I can count on one hand.  We have such a great collection, in fact, that they’ve banded together to form the St. Louis Independent Bookstore Alliance.  Power to the booksellers, baby!  One of SLIBA’s founders is Vicki Erwin, Patron Saint of Authors and owner of Main Street Books in St. Charles, MO (a suburb of St. Louis). 

Vicki Erwin, owner - Main Street Books
I’ve known Vicki for a dozen years, and she’s one of the most positive, happy people. It’s impossible to meet her and not like her (unless you’ve had your heart removed). She’s worked myriad gigs in the book biz from sales rep to author, so she knows the industry inside and out.  Put simply, she hearts books, and she’s a wizard at selling them.  That’s one of the reasons bookaholics like me adore Main Street Books.  Not only is the store in a scenic spot on historic Main Street in St. Charles—with lots of lovely shops and restaurants and the Missouri River—but Vicki caters to literary tastes galore from children’s books to mainstream fiction and nonfiction to regional tomes and whatever else floats your boat.  And if she doesn’t have what you’re looking for, she can get it for you in a pinch.  I wouldn’t be surprised if she has a magic wand she keeps simply for that purpose.
Eileen, Angie and Susan

Main Street Books

 Since my earliest published days, I’ve loved doing events at MSB.  I’ve sat in a cushy armchair in full view of the front door to sign new titles, spoken with book clubs, lectured to writing groups, and greeted a busload of readers on a Bookstore Cruise.  Vicki has also helped me with off-site events, like when I addressed 300 breast cancer survivors at the Horizon of Hope fundraiser and when I spoke to a gaggle of educators at the Missouri State Teachers Association conference at Union Station.  If Vicki doesn’t wear a cape and Superwoman spandex beneath her street clothes, I’d be surprised.  How she does all she does and keeps that smile on her face boggles the mind.  

When I see the news of bookstores failing, I think of Vicki Erwin (and her fellow SLIBA booksellers) and realize all the things they’re doing right.  Vicki and Main Street Books are part of a community.  She is part of people’s lives.  And if anyone could figure out a way to bottle her positive energy and sell it on eBay, they’d make a million bucks.

Susan McBride is the author of Little Black Dress (William Morrow Paperbacks, August 23, 2011).  She can be found at or hanging out at MSB.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Pick It Up, then Pile It Up Challenge and Giveaway

Many of us joined the Bout of Books Read-a-thon because our To Be Read piles are Out Of Control. We see books we want, we pick them up, then we pile them up to be read one day -- some day.

Here is the challenge - Show me your To Be Read Pile

How to Enter:
Take a picture of your To Be Read books and post it to your blog or twitter, then leave a link in the comments
If you are not posting on a blog or twitter, list your TBR books in the comments or provide a link to Goodreads (or wherever you list your books)

The Prize:
Book of Your Choice Valued up to $15.00 from the Book Depository or B&

Contest Rules:
Must be 13 or older to enter
Must have signed up for the Bout of Books Read-a-thon
(the Master List will be checked)
One entry per person
Open to US and International
Ends August 28th  11:59 PM EST

One Winner will be selected randomly from all qualifying entries and announced on August 30th.

Here is my TBR Pile:
This is only about half of my TBR pile and now I'm embarrassed
Now show me yours!

Good Luck!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday - The Forgetting Curve

Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

The Forgetting Curve
by Angie Smibert
Published by Marshall Cavendish
Available: April 2012

Aiden Nomura likes to open doors—especially using his skills as a hacker—to see what’s hidden inside. He believes everything is part of a greater system: the universe. The universe shows him the doors, and he keeps pulling until one cracks open. Aiden exposes the flaw, and the universe—or someone else—will fix it. It’s like a game.

Until it isn’t.

When a TFC opens in Bern, Switzerland, where Aiden is attending boarding school, he knows things are changing. Shortly after, bombs go off within quiet, safe Bern. Then Aiden learns that his cousin Winter, back in the States, has had a mental breakdown. He returns to the US immediately.

But when he arrives home in Hamilton, Winter’s mental state isn’t the only thing that’s different. The city is becoming even stricter, and an underground movement is growing.

Along with Winter’s friend, Velvet, Aiden slowly cracks open doors in this new world. But behind those doors are things Aiden doesn’t want to see—things about his society, his city, even his own family. And this time Aiden may be the only one who can fix things . . . before someone else gets hurt. (from Author's website)

Angie Smibert just released this info on her website today. Yes, I have been checking it regularly. I am a fan of her debut novel Memento Nora and the follow-up sounds just a good. It sound like a lot of new characters are introduced in the novel and I am anxious to see how it all plays out. 

If you haven't read Memento Nora yet, you should and then wait, along with me for The Forgetting Curve.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Spotlight on: Little Black Dress by Susan McBride

 Little Black Dress
 by Susan McBride
 Published by William Morrow
 Available: August 23, 2011

Two sisters whose lives seemed forever intertwined are torn apart when a magical little black dress gives each one a glimpse of an unavoidable future.

Antonia Ashton has worked hard to build a thriving career and a committed relationship, but she realizes her life has gone off-track. Forced to return home to Blue Hills when her mother, Evie, suffers a massive stroke, Toni finds the old Victorian where she grew up as crammed full of secrets as it is with clutter. Now she must put her mother’s house in order—and uncover long-buried truths about Evie and her aunt, Anna, who vanished fifty years earlier on the eve of her wedding. By shedding light on the past, Toni illuminates her own mistakes and learns the most unexpected things about love, magic, and a little black dress with the power to break hearts...and mend them. 

Little Black Dress Book Trailer:

Susan McBride is the author of young adult, women's fiction and mystery novels. Visit her website at

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Bout of Books Read-a-thon: Starting Line

The Bout of Books Read-a-thon will begin in less than an hour (as I am writing this) and I've looked over some other participants' goals and they are very ambitious. I'm not going to lie, I'm a little intimidated. I decided to join the read-a-thon after seeing Amanda's tweet calling for participants and I offered to host a challenge. Having just completed a mini read-a-thon, I wanted to carry on the motivation from that. So here I am getting ready to start this one.

My Intentions:
  • Finish reading Shift by Jeri Smith-Ready
  • Read at least one review book
  • Read at least one e-book (sometimes I forget I have them)
  • Finish the last 60 pages of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (it will happen)
  • Host a Challenge and Giveaway on Thursday (hint: get your camera ready)
How Much Time I Will Read:
I hope to read during my lunch breaks and a couple of hours each evening. I've just returned to the gym so I won't alter that part of my routine. Plus I think it will help motivate me to make it through my exercise class if I know I have a great book waiting for me at home.

I will update daily on Twitter and have a mid-point post and finish post on the blog.

Ultimately my motivation for the read-a-thon is to have a good time, cheer on other bloggers/readers, and maybe move a few books from the TBR pile to the read pile. 

If anyone reading this still hasn't signed up for the Bout of Books Read-a-thon, what are you waiting for? Check out all of the details at On a Book Bender.

Below is the schedule of giveaways and challenges. I'm hosting on August 25th! Don't miss out!

8/22 — My Book Boyfriend Matchmaker Challenge and Giveaway, The Unread Reader
…………..Giveaway, Not Now…I’m Reading!
8/23 — BDB 1 and 2 by J.R. Ward Giveaway, Stacey Says and Cyndi Sews (Stacey)
…………..Surprise Giveaway, Tina’s Book Reviews
8/24 — Pick-a-Series Giveaway, Smitten with Reading
8/25 — Pick It Up, then Pile It Up Challenge and Giveaway, Actin’ Up with Books
…………..Fall ARC Giveaway (US/CA), The Reading Date
8/26 — The Book of Lost Souls Giveaway, On a Book Bender
…………..Tea Giveaway and Challenge, 25 Hour Books
8/27 — 1 book from the BD (up to $15) Giveaway, Rain Maiden Jen (On a Book Bender)
8/28 — E-book of Sleepers by Megg Jensen, Creative Deeds

In My Mailbox (45)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme run by Kristi at The Story Siren which explores the books that have been delivered to our mailbox or doorstep or directly into our hot little hands.

Shift by Jeri Smith-Ready

For Review:
All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin


Don't Breathe A Word by Holly Cupala (ARC)
And Then Things Fall Apart by Arlaina Tibensky (ARC)
Thanks Shanyn from Chick Loves Lit

Truth and Dare edited by Liz Miles
Thanks Jordyn from Ten Cent Notes

Carry Me Down by M.J. Hyland
RAK from Beth at Living a Goddess Life

Triangles by Ellen Hopkins
RAK from Grace at Words Like Silver

I seriously cannot believe the amazing week I had in books this week. Amazing trades and Random Acts of Kindness and a little treat of Shift that I got for myself (with a birthday gift card), I am a little overwhelmed with all of this awesomeness.  I've already started reading Shift and can't wait to dive in to the rest of them. (I've joined the Bout of Books Read-a-thon at On a Book Bender to do just that).
I want to say thank you again to Shanyn, Beth, Jordyn and Grace for all of the trades and gifts. I really appreciate your willingness to share your books with me.
I hope that everyone else had an amazing week in books and I can't wait to check out your IMMs.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Love My Indie with Grace from Words Like Silver

Love My Indie is a feature where authors, bloggers, and readers tell me about their favorite independent bookstores. I love the feeling I get when I go into an independent bookstore - like it is filled with hidden treasures just waiting for me to find them. Maybe one day I will have the chance to visit these amazing bookstores.

Showing some Indie Love today is:

Inkwood Books
Inkwood Books is the quaint independent bookshop on the corner on Armenia. That's how most people in Tampa know it. We think of it as a friendly place, where we can talk about books to our heart's content with the staff and pick up some new ones.

For most people, reading is a hobby or a way to relax. For me, it is a passion. At Inkwood Books, I am surrounded by people with that passion. In my childhood, my mom would always take me to Inkwood to pick up a Sunshine State book, or I'd beg to go across the street from our grocery store. Now that I'm a teenager, it means something more. One day seemed to change it all for me.

Before I really started going to Inkwood regularly,

I would associate Inkwood with tractors and my brother, and male models. My brother had won the "Get Caught Reading" poster contest the year before and we would joke around that he was a male model. He had been reading on a tractor. I had my AR gift cards to Borders, and I really hadn't bought my own books often.
It was really not until I started writing reviews and getting more passionate about reading that I started regularly going to Inkwood. And it was one day that really set that in motion.

On that day,

Nerves in the middle of my stomach, I pushed through the door to the shop. I clutched a wrinkled flyer in my hand, and I nonchalantly passed to go to the young adult corner. I looked through some of the paperbacks for a bit while my brother fished M&Ms from a jar, and my sister looked through some of the signed novels from months ago.

I heard the murmurs of my mother talking to Leslie while I surrounded myself with piles of books. I stared at the descriptions for ages, trying to decide which ones to get. I tried to act like I was just there to buy a books; in reality, I was incredibly nervous about what I was about to ask. Gathering my strength, I picked myself off the store and went to the counter, a book in hand. My mom's conversation drifted towards me, "...and she just started a blog. She's always been a reader..." and my heart nearly stopped.

Extending my flyer towards Leslie, I cleared my throat and asked, "Um, would you consider hanging this in the store?" She smiled warmly and said yes, she would. She was so excited to meet a girl so passionate about reading. My mom looked at the shelves across from the counter and gasped. "Grace, look at these!"

Oh my God. Oh my God. Oh my God. There was Juliet Immortal. And there was Supernaturally! There were advanced readers copies on a patch of shelves!

ARC shelf for reviewers

"I heard that a lot of people got this one at BEA," I mentioned, running my fingers over shiny spines and jealousy-inducing titles. "I really wanted this one. I've only just started, but I can't wait until I'm old enough and popular enough to start possibly receiving books for review."

"Oh, we went to BEA," Leslie exclaimed. "It was amazing!"

"How was it? I heard that Maggie Stiefvater, Sarah Dessen, Ally Carter, Richelle Mead, Ally Condie..." I proceeded to list some of the authors I had been stalking. Although my absolute favorite was Alexandra Adornetto - my hero - I knew that she hadn't been there. Leslie nodded enthusiastically and told me about her experiences. I was entranced.

"I'm so jealous!" I told her, "I'm planning on going next year if I can somehow save up enough for it."
"You could always go with us," she offered, "if we have an extra badge."

I felt my eyes bug out a little. I sat down on the floor and started looking through the ARCs. I told Leslie about how I had won a few, and gotten some on Random Buzzers, and I couldn't wait to review them. I loved reviewing. Blogging was so much fun and I figured that it'd help me improve my writing (I want to be an author).

I asked her about what books she got there. I gushed on about Forever and Tyra Banks being there and all the jazz that came with it. Leslie smiled, and left the room. I peeked around the corner and saw her talking with some of the other staff members (who I later found out were named Avery, Laura, Carla, Christian, and Amanda)  I continued happily looking through books, sorting them into piles based on which ones I wanted the most. I longed for them, but I assumed that I wouldn't ever get any books like these. I knew not to expect ARCs; there were bloggers much better and more experienced than I who were getting them.

I looked up as she walked into the room. In her hands, was a familiar looking red cover, with a silhouette of a forest. I knew it as the one I had spent hours on the computer stalking. "Do you want it? You can review for us. You can pick as many as you want. We're always looking for new reviewers." This was more than I had ever dreamed of. I looked at the cover, fondly tracing the raised design.

We dissolved into another conversation, one that I'm pretty sure involved the Children's Author Breakfast and the merits of a certain book. I left the book carrying several ARCs, books that I bought, and the light happiness that came with knowing that my blog would get bigger, and that I could always talk to Inkwood.

Inkwood's Young Adult section


I went back many times. Almost every week, I would BEG my mother if we could just swing by Inkwood for a few minutes, and sometimes she said yes. The problem with being thirteen was that I of course, couldn't drive and was therefore renegated to passenger. Every chance that I had, I went to Inkwood. I would chat with them, buy a few books (if my budget allowed it), drop off printed copies of reviews, and pick up some new galleys. I slowly learned the staff's names; had conversations about books and upcoming books; and I would ask them questions about the books I read.

They really helped my blog get going. My blog had been exposed to some of their customers and I reviewed the books that I bought and got for review from there on my blog.

I would go all the time. My brother sometimes came with me, and would fish M&Ms out of the jar while I chatted and browsed. I was saving up, but occasionally I would splurge and buy a couple books.

I would usually send Inkwood the link to my blog, along with my review and say what I thought of the book. I would usually tell my friends to go to Inkwood to get a certain amazing book, and then I was content with reviewing and reading.

After my review one day (in which I gushed about letting me review Forever although conclusions are always the hardest to write), I got this email:
Your enthusiasm is what makes bookselling the joy it has been for almost 20 years. We are thrilled to "rock your world". Don't wait so long between visits. Tell your brother I will fill up the M&M jar for him if he gives you a ride.

And then a few weeks later, I got the email of my life. Apparently Inkwood had talked about me to one of their favorite sales reps, because I was going to be meeting a Penguin sales rep in September (or October, I'm still not sure!). I'm so excited. I've never actually met a sales rep or anybody in the publishing business really.

Inkwood exposed me to so many new opportunities. They're unique because they gave me hope in my blog, they believe in it, and the staff dorks out over books with me :) The reason they are still here and Borders is gone is because Inkwood is a community and it's absolutely amazing. They even had an article written about them:

Inkwood is the friendly bookstore. It's one of those places where everybody knows you, where you can talk for hours, and where you share the same passions. They're unique and cozy and I love spending time there.


Visit Inkwood Books at

Thanks Grace for sharing your favorite independent bookstore. It sounds like you have developed incredible relationships with the staff and other readers. Your experience is just one example of why independent bookstores can thrive.  

If you're interested in participating in this feature, please send me an email at - I'd love to hear from you and discover your favorite indie bookstore!  


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Bout of Books Read-a-thon: 8/22 to 8/28

Who loves a good read-a-thon? I do, I do!

Amanda from On a Book Bender is hosting her first ever read-a-thon. The Bout of Books Read-a-thon begins on August 22nd and ends August 28th. The goal is to read as much as you want, for as long as you want. Just read. There will be some challenges along the way and some giveaways. I will be hosting one! If you want to join, just go to On a Book Bender and do it. It should be a lot of fun!

Mini Read-a-thon Wrap Up

The Lauras at The Reading Nook and Books are Precious Gems decided to participate in a read-a-thon. My TBR pile was out of control, so I joined them. I did a little bit of reading (which was to be expected) but not as much as I thought I would - I actually got out and had a life for a few hours. Here were my intentions for the read-a-thon:

1. Read The Treasure Map of Boys by e. lockhart
2. Finally finish Harry Potter and the Sorcer's Stone
3. Read at least one e-book (I'm not naming titles to keep my options open)

I did read The Treasure Map of Boys. Success!

I read about 30 pages of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone but I still have some left. I don't know if I will ever finish that book. What is wrong with me? 

I also wanted to read at least one e-book but that didn't happen because on Saturday, the last day of the read-a-thon, I found out that Ellen Hopkins (one of my favorite author's EVER) would be speaking at a library a couple hours away. I wanted to go and I still hadn't read Fallout, so I started that immediately. By the end of the read-a-thon, I'd finished somewhere around 100 pages. I didn't finish it before the event on Tuesday, but I still think I read more in those days than I would if I hadn't joined the read-a-thon.

All in all, it wasn't too bad, I didn't make a dent in the TBR pile, but reading is reading.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday - Audition

Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

by Stasia Ward Kehoe
Published by Viking Juvenile
Publication Date: October 13, 2011

When high school junior Sara wins a coveted scholarship to study ballet, she must sacrifice everything for her new life as a professional dancer-in-training. Living in a strange city with a host family, she's deeply lonely-until she falls into the arms of Remington, a choreographer in his early twenties. At first, she loves being Rem's muse, but as she discovers a surprising passion for writing, she begins to question whether she's chosen the right path. Is Rem using her, or is it the other way around? And is dancing still her dream, or does she need something more? This debut novel in verse is as intense and romantic as it is eloquent. (from Goodreads)

This story sounds like it will be very moving and one that I will absolutely love. And I love novels written verse - I think I've said that many times here - and that is an added bonus. It comes out in October, so I won't be waiting that long,  

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Top "Top Ten Tuesdays" I Should've Participated In

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This meme was created because they are particularly fond of lists. I am too so that is why I am participating this week.

I don't participate in too many Top Ten Tuesdays but I love them. The topics are always so fun but I can hardly ever think of ten of anything to complete the lists. So I was happy to see that this week is a Top Ten of Anything, so I can compile my top ten list of Top Ten Tuesdays I wish I had participated in.

In no particular order, here in my list:

Underrated Book:
You Are Not Here by Samantha Schutz

Book I Want to See Made Into a Movie: 
Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

Book I Wish I'd Read as Kid:
Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery:

Debut Book:
Freefall by Mindi Scott

Book Cover I'd Like to Redesign:
After the Kiss by Terra Elan McVoy

Book That Made Me Cry:
Ordinary Beauty by Laura Wiess

OK, this is embarrassing, (and maybe a little funny) but I can't even complete this Top Ten. Aaahh!!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

In My Mailbox (44)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme run by Kristi at The Story Siren which explores the books that have been delivered to our mailbox or doorstep or directly into our hot little hands.

These Things Hidden by Heather Gudenkauf (ARC)
RAK from Michelle at Michelle's Book Blog

Something, Maybe by Elizabeth Scott
RAK from Amanda at Letters Inside Out

Brother/Sister by Sean Olin (ARC)
RAK from A.J. at Collections

Hereafter by Tara Hudson (ARC)
from Ivy at Ivy Reads

For Review:
Unlovable by Sherry Gammon
from author

I am overwhelmed by all of the RAK love this week. Thank you so much to all of the bloggers who sent me these books and to all of those who offered. It was like receiving birthday presents all week long (my birthday was last week).  I really appreciate it!

And thank you to Ivy for Hereafter. I read an e-galley (and forgot to review it before it expired) so I wanted to have a copy of my own and was happy to see it available for trade at Ivy Reads. She's trying to get rid of some books and still has some for sale and ARCs up for trade. 

Such a great week! Now it's time to read!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Love My Indie - Call for Guest Bloggers

Love My Indie is a feature where authors, bloggers, and readers share their love for their independent bookstores. Over the past few months I have had some wonderful guest posts from authors and bloggers and have discovered some little-known and some well-known bookstores - definitely a lot of places I would like to visit.

In the past I put a call for guest bloggers on Twitter and received an incredible response but I also want to invite guest bloggers here to tell me about their favorite independent bookstores. If you are interested, please send me an email at actinupwb (at) gmail (dot) com to let me know. I am currently taking submissions for September and October.

If  you have missed any previous Love My Indie posts, check them out here:

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday - The List

Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

The List
by Siobhan Vivian
Published by Scholastic
Expected Publication: April 2012

An intense look at the rules of high school attraction-and the price that's paid for them.

It happens every year. A list is posted, and one girl from each grade is chosen as the prettiest, and another is chosen as the ugliest. Nobody knows who makes the list. It almost doesn't matter. The damage is done the minute it goes up.

This is the story of eight girls, freshman to senior, "pretty" and "ugly." And it's also the story of how we see ourselves, and how other people see us, and the tangled connection of the two.
(from Goodreads)

I cannot adequately say just how excited I am about this book. Siobhan is quickly becoming one of my favorite contemporary ya authors. Her last novel, Not That Kind of Girl, was incredible. So incredible that if you haven't read it yet, you must. Like now. And then sit and wait along with me until April when The List is published.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Mini Read-a-thon - August 8th - 13th

As I was going through my Google Reader, I came across a mini-read-a-thon. The Lauras at The Reading Nook and Books are Precious Gems decided to participate in a read-a-thon. My TBR pile is out of control, so I am joining them too. With an open invitation of "the more, the merrier", I'm definitely on board. The read-a-thon is from August 8th through the 13th so I should get a good amount of reading accomplished.

I do care for setting read-a-thon goals, but I will declare my intentions:

1. Read The Treasure Map of Boys by e. lockhart
2. Finally finish Harry Potter and the Sorcer's Stone
3. Read at least one e-book (I'm not naming titles to keep my options open)

Laura at The Reading Nook and Laura at Books are Precious Gems are both hosting giveaways along with the read-a-thon, so make sure to check them out.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

In My Mailbox (43)

 In My Mailbox is a weekly meme run by Kristi at The Story Siren which explores the books that have been delivered to our mailbox or doorstep or directly into our hot little hands.

Edited by Leah Wilson
The Near Witch by Victoria Schwab (signed)
Hourglass by Myra McEntire (signed)
Across the Universe by Beth Revis (signed)

Sean Griswold's Head by Lindsey Leavitt (ARC)
Thanks Lisa from Turning Pages

I just returned home from my road trip to the From ASH to NASH book tour with Victoria Schwab, Myra McEntire and Beth Revis. I purchased a copy of each of their books and picked up FNL Companion too. I'm sure I will want to watch it all over again. This was a great week for books and I will share more about the author event in a blog later this week. I also traded my copy of Shade (which I loved) for Sean Griswold's Head. I am determined to read all of The Contemps challenge novels and this is another one on the list. Lisa - thanks for the trade!! 

Friday, August 5, 2011

Maroon 5 Birthday Adventure

Cathy, one of best friends and Maroon 5 partner in crime, wrote about our Maroon 5 concert (mis)adventures on her blog. Because she's pretty clever and I couldn't say it any better, she agreed to let me feature it here:

It is no Secret that my friend Joli and I are a bit.....obsessed with Maroon 5.

And yes we have a bit of an Infatuation with Adam Levine....can you blame us?

For three of the last four years we have been lucky to have them tour during the month of August and therefore refer to their concerts as our joint birthday celebration. Usually I'm Losing My Mind with anticipation of the concert as soon as we know the tour dates. I get in an all play Maroon 5 music mode and often find that I Can't Stop listening to my favorite songs over and over again. And thank you (husband) for putting up with that.

Here's a brief look back at the birthday concerts:

In 2008

In 2010

And again this year.....

Notice how we mixed up the wardrobe a bit and where we were sitting.

I don't think anyone can top the picture that some nice guy behind us took at the concert in 2008. But this year the experience did get taken to a whole new level because we met the band! That's right we shelled out the money and we met Maroon 5.....Adam, Jesse, James, Mickey and Matt (and yes we're on a first name basis and plan to totally name drop whenever possible). Thanks guys, for A Little of Your Time! And we didn't act a fool....too much. But I will admit that while we were waiting it got harder and Harder to Breathe. I would like to blame that soley on the heat but I'm pretty sure there were some nerves involved. Finally after what felt like forever it was our turn. So we walked in, said hello and I told them I was excited about that show (what can I say I am a genius at conversation starters). Then I asked them to sign a copy of the picture I had from 2008.

Joli asked them to sign a birthday card I had given her last year with various Maroon 5 songs listed on the card and a small illustration of us screaming our heads off at a show....that may have included the phrase "Adam and his hotness"

Um, yeah it did include that line...because photos don't lie. (Makes Me Wonder if this helped or hurt the impression we made).

Anyway, here's where we get to the "too much" part.....we also signed a copy of the picture from 2008 and gave it to them.....Seriously, yes we did. It said "Your concerts are the best birthday gifts! Cathy & Joli" They did comment that it was a great picture. Jesse asked if photoshop was involved - Joli assured him it was not, and Mickey commented that Adam was working that picture. To which I replied "Yeah, he was!" That's when we were escorted out..and they said If I Never See Your Face Again...kidding!!!

Actually we briefly discussed when our birthdays were and then asked if they had plans to do another campus tour because we so enjoyed their show at Burruss Hall in 2009. They commented on what a fantastic theater that was to play in and I have to say it was probably one of the best shows ever! They had an amazing set list that included a cover of Alicia Key's If I Ain't Got You that I could just go on and on about.

But back to this experience....despite the heat, which was sweltering, The Sun just pounded down on us-----we had a blast! Gavin Degraw and Train also performed and we were thoroughly impressed with both - fantastic artists and amazing entertainers! We enjoyed a different perspective than we had at previous shows by sitting on the second row stage right. Which landed us directly behind one of the production cameras and therefore allowed us to have some jumbo-tron cameos....check that off my bucket list.

The concert was great! And I Can't Lie, as crazy as it was that we gave them an "autographed picture"....I think they thought it was pretty awesome.

And Joli and I had a blast together as usual. This Love of Maroon 5 is something we definitely share and I don't think the concerts would be the same if we didn't attend together. And we just crack each other up being "those girls," my cheeks hurt before we hit the North Carolina state line on the way to Charlotte from smiling and laughing so hard. I'm truly blessed to have her as a friend. HAPPY BIRTHDAY GIRL!

And kudos to those of you who recognized the titles of various Maroon 5 songs through out this post.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday - Thou Shalt Not Road Trip

Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

Thou Shalt Not Road Trip
by Antony John
Published by Dial
Expected Publication Date: April 12, 2012

When sixteen-year-old Luke's book, Hallelujah, becomes a national best seller, his publisher sends him on a cross-country tour with his unpredictable older brother, Matt, as chauffeur. But when Matt offers to drive Luke's ex-crush, Fran, across the country too, things get a little crazy. Luke thinks he's enlightened, but he really needs to loosen up if he's going to discover what it truly means to have faith, and do what it takes to get the girl he loves. (from Goodreads) 

I'm still waiting to read John's Five Flavors of Dumb. Here is another one to add to the list.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Tune In Tuesday (1)

A weekly feature hosted by GReads! that showcases music! Each week she posts a new or old song in hopes to gain more interest. Join in the fun and spread the love of music! If you want to participate, follow the link above and link up at her blog...then check out what everyone is sharing this week!

I cannot contain my excitement. I am going to see my favorite band -Maroon 5 - tonight! I'm going with one of my best girl friends, Cathy and we are all grins and giggles because we're actually meeting the band! I can't stand it. The is my 6th time seeing them and her 8th and we finally decided to shell out some bucks for the Meet and Greet. 

It has been Maroon 5, all play, all day for a few weeks now. Some songs on high rotation are Little of Your Time, Secret, Misery, Shiver, Sunday Morning, No Curtain Call and their latest, Moves Like Jagger. But one of my favorites to sing along to at concerts is Won't Go Home Without You. If you can stick it out through the shakiness of the live video, you will see that I mean!

I know Maroon 5 isn't a new band and this isn't a new song, but listening to their music always puts me in a good mood and I wanted to share my love for them.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Random Acts of Kindness - August Sign Up

In July I went a little crazy sending out Random Acts of Kindness and I don't see that changing in August! This month I will be checking out your wish lists and sending out some books and maybe some other surprises. Who knows?! If you want to pass on the book love to me, you can check out my wish list HERE! Anyone can participate. Check out how below.

  • Sign up each month that you'd like to participate.
  • Show off your participation by grabbing our RAK button :)
  • Create a wish list (on Amazon, Goodreads, or your blog etc) and post it in the Google Doc located in each R.A.K post for the month.
  • If you choose to do a R.A.K for someone, check out their wish list and contact that blogger for their address.
  • At the end of the month, SHOW US YOUR R.A.K!  Make a post saying 'Thank You' to whoever granted one of your wishes and share it with us :)
Let's keep our International bloggers in mind and in our hearts.
Remember, there's always the Book Depository and they offer FREE shipping!

 Easy breezy!!

Check out Book Soulmates for any additional sign-up information and links!

July RAK Recap

I had a lot of fun sending out Random Acts of Kindness this month. I love passing along books to readers who I know will love them. And as much fun as it is to send out book, it makes me just so, so happy to receive them too! This month I received:

Gone  (Dream Catcher, #3)

Gone by Lisa McMann
from Jen D. at Not Now . . . I'm Reading

Thanks Jen D. for completing the trilogy collection and Vanessa and Isalys at Book Soulmates for hosting!

Spotlight on The Siren by Kiera Cass

The Siren 
by Kiera Cass
Published July 7, 2009
Paperback - 276 pages

"You must never do anything that might expose our secret. This means that, in general, you cannot form close bonds with humans. You can speak to us, and you can always commune with the Ocean, but you are deadly to humans. You are, essentially, a weapon. A very beautiful weapon. I won't lie to you, it can be a lonely existence, but once you are done, you get to live. All you have to give, for now, is obedience and time..."

The same speech has been given hundreds of times to hundreds of beautiful girls who enter the sisterhood of sirens. Kahlen has lived by these rules for years now, patiently waiting for the life she can call her own. But when Akinli, a human, enters her world, she can't bring herself to live by the rules anymore. Suddenly the life she's been waiting for doesn't seem nearly as important as the one she's living now. (from Goodreads)

I wanted to share the book that I am currently reading but not necessarily reading for review. I received The Siren a couple of years ago for my birthday and have not yet read it. And as my birthday is right around the corner, I wanted to read it. It sounds completely different from anything I've ever read. I just started reading the first few pages, but I'm really excited to find out where this story takes me. I'm still getting used to the unusual names. Thankfully Kiera has a name guide on her website with the correct pronunciation. (I have a thing about unusual names - Katniss kept me from reading The Hunger Games for a long time. So stupid, I know.)

Oh and another cool thing about reading The Siren, is that Kiera Cass is a local author! Her newest book  The Selection will be published in 2012 by Harper Children's. You can learn more about The Siren and Kiera at


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