Sunday, June 30, 2013

Please follow me on Bloglovin' - hope it's not too late!!

I'm usually not one to wait until the absolute last minute to get things done, but that is what has happened. About a month ago I added the Bloglovin' widget to my blog, but I didn't post about it, but I meant too. Now that GoogleReader is going away I ask my readers continue to follow me via BlogLovin'. Just click the link below. I'll thank you lots for it!!! 


Friday, June 28, 2013

Cover Reveal: My Unexpected Forever by Heidi McLaughlin

Heidi McLaughlin has given her readers a couple of teasers for My Unexpected Forever but today is THE DAY. We finally get to see the cover. Well . . . . . I was lucky enough to get a sneak peek. And I'm not ashamed to say that there were a few tears.The back cover really got me. I cannot wait to read Harrison and Katelyn's story. And now  . . .


Expected publication: September 2, 2013

I expected a life of music.
I expected to raise my son.

It took one look to make everything change.
I never expected happiness.
I never expected to find her.
I never expected to feel desire.
I never expected I’d be a family man.
I never expected to be loved.
I never expected to fall in love.
They say you should expect the unexpected. I didn’t realize my unexpected would be the forever kind.

Get the countdown widget below

Heidi McLaughling is offering My Unexpected Forever up for pre-buy for those attending the Naughty Mafia Rocks Vegas 2013. Pre-buy:

Pre-buy My Unexpected Forever for August delivery:

Heidi is the author of USA Today, Digital Book World, Amazon and Barnes & Noble Bestselling novel, Forever My Girl.
Originally from the Pacific Northwest, she now lives in picturesque Vermont, with her husband and two daughters. Also renting space in their home is an over-hyper Beagle/Jack Russell and two Parakeets.

During the day Heidi is behind a desk talking about Land Use. At night, she's writing one of the many stories planned for release or sitting court-side during either daughter's basketball games.
Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest | Tumblr | Facebook | Blog 

And if you missed them, check these out!!!

Lost in You - Out Now!

Forever My Girl - The Beaumont Series #1 

My Everything - A Beaumont Series Novella

My Unexpected Forever - The Beaumont Series #2 - September 1, 2012

A USA Today Best Selling Author

An Amazon Best Seller

A Barnes and Noble Best Seller


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Giveaway: Absent by Katie Williams

by Katie Williams
Published by Chronicle Books
Publication Date: May 21, 2013
Pages: 184
Ages: 14 & up

When seventeen-year-old Paige dies in a freak fall from the roof during Physics class, her spirit is bound to the grounds of her high school. At least she has company: her fellow ghosts Evan and Brooke, who also died there. But when Paige hears the rumor that her death wasn't an accident--that she supposedly jumped on purpose--she can't bear it. Then Paige discovers something amazing. She can possess living people when they think of her, and she can make them do almost anything. Maybe, just maybe, she can get to the most popular girl in school and stop the rumors once and for all.

I recently finished Absent and let me say that it is a book that everyone definitely should read. Katie Williams takes a ghost story and twists it all around, leaving the reader (yes me) wondering - did that really just happen? I'll have my review posted next week. Check out some early praise below and then enter my giveaway.
“Sharp, poignant narration will keep readers engaged and entertained.”—Publishers Weekly

"A thriller... which leads to an unexpectedly transcendent and moving finale.” —Kirkus Reviews

"Readers will be engrossed until the very end"—School Library Journal

“Compelling combination of ghost story, mystery, and unconventional romance.” —The Horn Book Magazine 
"A suspenseful mystery that sneaks up on you." —Booklist Online
Katie signing copies of Absent for the giveaway
Giveaway Details:
Must be 18 years or older to enter
Enter via Rafflecopter 
one winner will be selected
prize provided Chronicle Books 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you Chronicle Books for providing this wonderful book for the giveaway. 
Make sure to stop by the other blogs participating in the Absent Blog Tour.

Yesterday's Stop: Bananas for Books
Tomorrow's Stop: YA Book Shelf

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Bookstore Memories and writing A Trick of the Light by Lois Metzger

A Trick of the Light
By Lois Metzger
Published by Balzer + Bray
Hardcover: 208 pages
Available: June 18, 2013

Mike Welles had everything under control.
He was a good student, an outfielder on the baseball team, a good son, a loyal friend. But that was before. Now things are rough at home, and they're getting confusing at school. He's losing his sense of direction, and he feels like a mess.
Then there's a voice in his head. A friend, trying to help him regain control. More than that: The voice can guide him to become better and stronger than he was before, to rid his life of everything holding him back. To figure out who he is again. If only Mike will listen.
Writing with devastating power and precision, acclaimed author Lois Metzger gives us the story of one young man's battle with his own shadows -- a spare, stark, and vital tale of the way in which the things we build to protect ourselves can threaten to destroy us.

 A Trick of the Light is out today and I am honored to host author Lois Metzger on my blog. When I asked her to share her favorite bookstore memory from the perspective as a reader or a writer, she shared that they don't necessarily have to be separate. 

Welcome Lois Metzger!!

It was the year after college. I was living on Telegraph Avenue in Oakland, California, working as a "temp," which meant I got sent out on a new office job every few days. Mostly I was a typist, but I also filed, ran errands, answered phones, took messages.

On my block on Telegraph Avenue, there was a Laundromat I went to regularly and, right next to it, a tiny science-fiction bookstore I would linger in while the clothes were spinning. It was basically a narrow horseshoe-shaped hall with books floor to ceiling; you just made your way down one aisle and came back up the other way. There were ancient issues of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Astounding, Galaxy, and anthologies such as Harlan Ellison's Dangerous Visions, and musty old paperbacks, some of them Ace Doubles, which meant you could read an entire novel, flip the book over, and then read another novel. I don't even remember that store's name but it had a profound effect on me.

Now, I'm a science-fiction fan from way back. My junior year at the State University of New York at Buffalo, my writing teacher was the legendary SF (please, never sci-fi) writer Samuel R. Delany. He asked me if I'd ever heard of the Clarion Writers' Workshop, which was just for science-fiction writers. I said no. He told me to go there. So I did, for six weeks during the summer of 1975, at the campus of Michigan State University, in East Lansing. A new teacher came every week (my year, there were Samuel R. Delany, Joe Haldeman, Gene Wolfe, Roger Zelazny, and the final two weeks were co-taught by married writers Kate Wilhelm and Damon Knight). My classmates included Robert Crais, Kim Stanley Robinson, and Gregory Frost, who've gone on to great things (and I'm very proud and happy to say we are still friends after all these years). I also wound up living with Kate and Damon briefly; they had a bunch of kids from previous marriages and I always felt like one of them.

So for years I read a lot of science fiction, and wrote a lot of science fiction, but there was one writer who always scared me: Philip K. Dick. I thought he would be too "out there" for me, that his alternate worlds and shifting realities would make my head hurt.

One day, while doing laundry, I headed into that tiny SF bookstore. This time, at the end of the narrow hall, I picked up an almost-crumbling issue of Fantasy & Science Fiction. There was a short story called "We Can Remember It for You Wholesale." Wonderful title. And it was by Philip K. Dick. I bit the bullet, stood there and read it.

Okay, I was hooked. It was so imaginative, and funny, and had so twists and turns -- a bit dizzying, but it didn't make my head hurt. It has to do with implanted memories, and suppressed memories, and people who are not who they say they are. That story, later the basis for the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie Total Recall and the Colin Farrell 2012 remake of the same title, has inspired me to this day.

My new book, A Trick of the Light, is about a 15-year-old boy, Mike Welles, who develops an eating disorder. He has a voice in his head. This voice urges him on to destructive behavior. It tells him not to eat when he is famished. It tells him to exercise when he is exhausted. It tells him to reject the people who love him, because they are not trustworthy. This voice is the narrator of the book.

When I started writing A Trick of the Light, it was a more conventional narrative. Mike, from the beginning, had a voice in his head, which interrupted his thoughts and actions, but Mike told his own story. As the novel deepened and got more complicated, the voice became more of a presence and took up more "air time." Finally, in one of many rewrites, it became the narrator.

It occurred to me that this was kind of strange, to have the voice in someone's head be the narrator of a book. But I had read a lot of Philip K. Dick by then, including what's now my favorite of his, Time Out of Joint, about a man living in a totally fake environment (though it appears to be an ordinary, dull-as-dishwater suburb), surrounded by people who are all "in on it." So I figured, strange is okay. Strange is good. Strange is what makes the alternate world go round. I had found the way to tell Mike's story.

© 2013 Lois Metzger, author of A Trick of the Light

Author Bio
Lois Metzger,
 author of A Trick of the Light, was born in Queens and has always written for young adults. She is the author of three previous novels and two nonfiction books about the Holocaust, and she has edited five anthologies. Her short stories have appeared in collections all over the world. Her writing has also appeared in The New Yorker, The Nation, and Harper's Bazaar. She lives in Greenwich Village with her husband and son.

For more information please visit, and follow the author on Facebook

Saturday, June 15, 2013

It was a Good Week in Books (2)

Bookish things that grabbed my attention this week:
 And if that was enough:
Other happenings:

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Super Pop Blog Tour: My Top 7 Favorites of Super Pop and Giveaway

Super Pop! Pop Culture Lists to Help You Win at Trivia, 
Survive in the Wild, and Make It Through the Holidays  
by Daniel Harmon 
published by Zest Books
publication date June 4, 2013
288 pages

As David Letterman demonstrates on the Late Show, top ten lists are really funny. And we know lists are a great way to get organized, get things done, and streamline life’s many tasks. But now, pop culture expert Daniel Harmon takes a totally new approach to list making in his new book Super Pop! and organizes 500 movies, songs, video games, and books into top ten lists that not only have the power to entertain, but also to help create a new and better you!

Super Pop! offers a maximum-pleasure, minimum-effort way to become smarter, happier, and a little bit more likely to survive a shark attack. This wide-ranging collection organizes pop culture’s greatest hits—including blockbusting movies, bestselling books, platinum albums, and more—into hilarious, provocative, and weirdly edifying top ten lists, and provides quick-hitting commentary in the nearly 500 entries.

Praise for Super Pop!
“A weird, witty, endlessly entertaining compendium for the budding pop-culture aficionado.” - Kirkus Reviews
“This is a go-to resource for [those] looking to bone up on pop culture, sound interesting at a party, or craft the perfect playlist for a workout.” - Booklist
"This book is terrific fun just for browsing purposes. But as a source of potential teaching / discussion / writing ideas, it’s downright invaluable." - School Library Journal

My Thoughts

I love books like Super Pop that are full of trivia, fun facts, lists, and pop culture references. I always prided myself on having a vast knowledge of pop-trivia, but after reading Super Pop I discovered that I don't have it going on. At all. But this is a good thing because I've learned so many fun facts reading Super Pop and keeps me turning the pages to learn something new.

The lists are organized by five topics: "Be More Interesting", "Get Smart(er)", "Stop Doing It Wrong", "Find Happiness", and "Survive the Holidays" and the lists compiled are comprised of a books, movies, comics, music, tv shows, and podcasts. The variety of mediums within each list made them more interesting than lists that are usually comprised of the same medium which can become boring.

Super Pop is extremely entertaining and, for me, educational. I am the target audience because I want to "win at trivia, survive in the wild, and make it through the holidays". I've compiled a list of my favorite top tens that appear mostly in no particular order except for number one because THANKSGIVING: Ad Hoc Families That Will Do In a Pinch is my favorite list of the book.

My Top 7 Super Pop Top Tens
(because like ten, 7 is an arbitrary number)

Ad Hoc Families That Will Do In a Pinch

Read a Book and Try on Another Human Being

The Best Places to Hang Out for an Hour


Essential Literary Adaptions - For Both Information and Inspiration

Songs Guaranteed To Melt Your Frozen Heart

Touchstones for Quirky, Like-Minded People


Super Pop is also featured today at:

Check out the entire blog tour schedule:

Enter for a Chance to Win a Copy of Super Pop 
U.S. addresses only
must be 18 or older to enter

Find Zest Books, Super Pop, and author Daniel Harmon everywhere!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Review: 2 Days by L.B. Tillit

2 Days
by L.B. Tillit
Published by: Saddleback Publishing
Available: January 1, 2012
Pages: 198
Source: Publisher
Purchase from Publisher

Sixteen-year-old Neema Powell was always the best-looking girl in school. But right now she was a wreck. Her mother's sleazy boyfriend was towering over her screaming, "Get out!" And her own mother wouldn't even look at her as she walked out of the apartment into the dead January day. Neema knew that Nate, her boyfriend, would take care of her. I'll give Mom a couple of days to calm down. But those two days made all the difference, and Neema must draw from somewhere deep for the inner strength she will need.

My Thoughts 

I received 2 Days for review quite a while ago, read it, but didn't review it after reading it. I couldn't quite figure out exactly why it was difficult to put down my thoughts. I reread it again this past week and I am still struggling with sharing what I think about it, and now I think that I realize why. 2 Days isn't filled with all of the struggle and angst that I typically find (and enjoy reading) in a lot of contemporary young adult which resulted in a lack of emotional connection and believability.

2 Days opens with an argument between Neema and her mother (and her mother's boyfriend) and she is forced to leave her home with little more than the clothes on her back. While she isn't completely welcomed with open arms, she goes to stay with her boyfriend. Neema seemed so unaffected by the whole situation. This is where my issue lies with the story - she doesn't haven't any moments of freaking out, worrying about where she is going to live. I don't want to fault her for being this way because it is great to see this amount of strength and willfulness at a young age, but it just didn't seem realistic.

As the book cover and title suggests (and I don't think I'm giving anything away here), Neema finds out that she is pregnant after missing two of her birth control pills. Again, she reacts in a way that is unexpected. She immediately tells her aunt that she needs to go to the health clinic to find out for sure. On one hand, I respect that this approach is taken to show that a teenager can be mature and take action, but on the other hand, it just doesn't seem realistic.

The story continues detailing parts of Neema's pregnancy and shows how her relationships with her boyfriend, her mother, and her friends, change as a result of her pregnancy. This part I did find to be a more realistic portrayal of how a teenager's life can change when she decides to become a mother.  

2 Days reads like a diary which is something that I do like about the book. I like that Neema is a strong-willed character, but she was a little too no-nonsense at times. I would have liked to read more about her inner struggles, contemplating her decisions, rather than being so decisive about every choice she had to make. I think that would have helped develop the emotional connection I like to have with a story or a character. I know that this book will appeal to many readers, but it left me wanting more.

2 Days is from the Gravel Road Urban Teen Fiction series of Saddleback Publishing.  

Disclaimer: I received this Advanced Readers Copy for review from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. I did not receive any compensation for providing this review. Thoughts and opinions are my own.

Friday, June 7, 2013

It was a Good Week in Books

Bookish things that grabbed my attention this week:
And if that was enough:
  • Then Harlequin TEEN revealed the cover of Katie McGarry's next novel, Crash Into You. I just started reading Katie's Books (I'm now reading Dare You To) and have found a new author whose books I adore.  
Other happenings:
  • This was last week but I had to share this week: Anna Reads shares her Bookish Affliction: OLS - this made me crack up and realize that I may suffer from OLS too.
  • I shared some books from my shelves and a few others (not pictured) with my book club (and some patrons at Panera). ARCs of Audition and Jersey Angel are still up for grabs, email me if you are interested. U.S. addresses only and you must be 18 or older. First come, first serve.

    Thursday, June 6, 2013

    Discussion: Book Clubs

    I’ve mentioned here several times that I have a book club, Provisions and Paperbacks, and I’ve even shared some of our book discussions. Most recently was Jessica Park’s Flat-Out Love. The book club met this past Tuesday to discuss Nova Ren Suma’s 17 & Gone. (the discussion will be posted in the coming weeks) I’m going to a book signing for her at the end of the month and I picked it as our book club selection so that I would read it before the signing.

    I finished the book that night before and I was all ready to discuss the book, but when we all were together, I found out that half of the people hadn’t finished the book. This isn’t unusual because there is almost always one person at our meetings who hasn’t finished the book. As someone who hates spoilers, I don’t want to ruin the book for them by telling them the details. But we have an understanding that we don’t hold back in the discussion and there will be spoilers. And there were and one person said she didn’t think she would finish the book because now she new what was going to happen. This disappointed me because I think 17 & Gone is phenomenal - the writing and the storytelling is masterful. I think by the end of our meeting I had convinced her to finish it.

    When the discussion was over, we started to decide what we would read next. It is our practice for all of us to bring a suggestion and then we all decide from those choices. We can easily spend a good 20-30 minutes deciding what to read. We all have such different tastes in books and we really don’t want to shoot down anyone’s suggestions. We used to write down the titles and then draw them from the collection box. (We may start to do this again). We finally did pick a book. Finally.

    I know that many of you readers and bloggers have book clubs as well. Most recently I’ve read some blogs who had themed book club meetings for Suzanne Young’s The Program. They look like a lot of fun. I know that others of you organize book clubs for your library and bookstores. A lot of effort goes into these meetings and I want to host a themed book club some time soon. Right now we meet at Panera, but I want to make some of our meetings more personalized and specific to the books we are reading.

    If you are in a book club or host a book club, I’d love to know more it. Do you meet in a public place or at someone’s home? How do you decide which books to read for each meeting? Do you have a moderator or use discussion questions to prompt the discussion? How do you handle spoilers? Have you ever been to a themed book-club meeting?  If you’ve shared your book club meetings on your blog, please leave a link below so I can check it out.

    Monday, June 3, 2013

    One Year Later: The same familiar feeling

    Almost exactly a year ago I wrote a post called What I Want (and don't want) my Blog to Be where I expressed how I wanted more from my blogging experience and ways I want to improve my blog and interactions within the blogging community. If you didn't read the previous post, here's a little recap:
    • I want to share the books I love. I do this all of the time. Through "Now Recommending" in the sidebar, book blasts, reviews, Twitter, and my personal Facebook page.
    • I want to openly discuss books on my blog and get all spoilery. Instead of reviews, I include my book club "Provisions and Paperback Discuss (book title)" and invite my blog readers to openly comment and add to the discussion. I'd hope that this would generate some discussion (not just traffic) on my blog, but that hasn't happened. 
    • I want to get caught up on my back-logged reviews. This is still a problem. 
    • I want a greater sense of community. I'm not feeling that very much which is a main reason I'm even writing this post. Maybe this should be the first bullet point. 
    • I don't want followers who just stop by for giveaways. I have noticed that this has become less of an issue. That may be because I'm hosting fewer giveaways, but it may be attributed to the use of Rafflecopter.
    • I don't want this to be a place for just posting memes. OK, this one makes me laugh a little because I have cut back BUT I only posting two times last week and they were both memes.
    And here it is a year later and I feel THE EXACT SAME WAY. In my mind, it means that I must be doing something wrong. It makes me doubt my blog and what I am trying to do here. And sometimes it makes me want to quit. Yet I can't because I have all of the back-logged reviews and this is when the guilt starts to set in. But I've come to believe and understand that guilt serves no one just becomes something else to obsess over. 

    I still long for that greater sense of community. I comment on more blogs on a daily basis - leaving thoughtful comments trying to initiate some correspondence and create conversation. I respond to comments on my blog and interact with my readers as such as possible, either here or on Twitter.Yet sometimes, I feel like I'm trying to create something that means a lot to me, and I get no response, no reaction. Just void.  For those who do comment and correspond with me, please know that I do appreciate you and know that you are part of the reason why I haven't given up on this little ol' blog.

    I'm almost three years in and don't want to give this blog up. It does give me joy to have a place to share the books I'm reading. So what do I do now? 

    I have some ideas and hope that it will make blogging an even better experience for me.
    • Let go of the guilt with my back-logged reviews. Like I said before guilt serves no purpose. I took some action this week and FINALLY created a spreadsheet with all of my pending reviews. I don't know why I didn't do this sooner, but seeing an organized list makes it a little less overwhelming and a task I am eager to tackle.
    • I'm getting rid of yet another meme. I'm taking a break from Waiting on Wednesday. I'll share more about this in a future post (which I hope to complete this Wednesday).
    • I'm still going to keep putting myself out there - commenting on blogs, corresponding on Twitter, etc.
    • I'm going to put more of myself in my blog. I'm not sure exactly how I will do this, but I do know that most of the blogs that I really enjoy reading are by bloggers who share more about themselves. 
    I hope that taking these actions and making some changes will bring the joy back in blogging.  Thanks to everyone who's taken the time to read this far. If you have any advice or helpful suggestions, I would appreciate you sharing them.

    I feel better getting the out because it is something that has been on my mind for a while. 


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