Sunday, September 25, 2011


Hilary Duff with Elise Allen
327 pages
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Source: Borders sale

You can read the Goodreads summary here.

Clea, wealthy daughter of a doctor and politician turned photojournalist, starts finding strange pictures of a man in the photos she's taken.  Then, when she meets the man in real life she's surprised and together with her best friends Ben and Rayna, she tries to figure out the connection she has to the man - the connection her missing father seemed to have already figured out.

Before I read a book I usually skim some Goodreads reviews to get a feel of what other people thought.  What bothers me about Elixir is that even after reading it, so many people wrote it off with one star just because it was written by Hilary Duff.  I think that's unfair, and while the book wasn't the best YA novel I've read this year, it certainly is not deserving of only one star.

Basically what started as a good premise for a YA story was ruined with semi-poor execution.  Scenes jumped around too much, mainly at the end of the novel, the plot was not well developed and everything happened in a convenient linear timeline (I am referring here to the scene in Clea's father's office when she and Ben are searching for information before going to Japan) and then there were some other issues.  When Clea spoke or thought, there were at times words in CAPS with too many punctuation marks!!!  This made the novel seem a bit unprofessional.

Overall I liked Elixir a little bit, I thought it was a very quick, light read that shouldn't be skipped simply because Hilary Duff "wrote" it.

In My Mailbox (2!)

Well, what do you know, I'm back for more.  After my first attempt at IMM last week I decided I really enjoyed participating!  I got some great comments and some new followers as well, so I'm excited to bring IMM (2!) this week!

In My Mailbox is hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.

For review: 
Ace sent The Shadow Reader by Sandy Williams as a Goodreads win - sounds like a good book about the Fae

From the library waitlist:
The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson - so excited to learn what's in that last envelope

Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma - I've heard such good things about this and the cover is gorgeous

A Visit From The Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
Those Across the River by Christopher Buehlman

Swapped for:
Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
Triangles (ARC) by Ellen Hopkins
Lord John and the Brotherhood of the Blade by Diana Gabaldon

Well that's it for this week - once again, more books in than out!  There won't be an IMM next week because I'll be on vacation (woot woot!) but hopefully that vacation time will allow me to read tons!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Banned Book Week Giveaway Hop! - CLOSED

You know what sucks?  Censorship.  You know what sucks more?  Banned books.  But here's the good news, when people find out a book is banned they want to read it to find out why, so those books become more popular.  Suck on that censorship!  Some more good news?  I'm participating in I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and I Read Banned Books' Banned Books Week Giveaway Hop!

Enter to win a Platinum Edition copy of Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson below and don't forget you can go enter all the other hundreds of giveaways, too!

Speak is a very powerful novel, one I gave five stars to.  Ever since the terrible "Incident" Melinda has been unable to make herself speak out loud.  Attending class it torture while she tries to keep her deep, dark secret about why she's so depressed.  This was such an amazingly well-written novel that raises so many important issues.  If you haven't read it yet, you really need to enter this giveaway for a chance to read it.  It's such a classic of YA literature and for good reason.

The rules: Open to US only and you must be a follower of my blog to win.  You have until 11:59pm EST on October 1st to enter and I will choose a winner the next day.


Want to enter the other couple hundred giveaways?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Radleys

The Radleys
Matt Haig
370 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Source: Goodreads win!

You can read the Goodreads summary here.

The Radleys are a family of vampires living in the small English town of Bishopthorpe.  Everything is going along swimmingly until daughter Clara is overcome at a party and accidentally kills a boy who tries to attack her.  Now the Radleys must tell their children the truth - they are vampires - and they must clean up the mess Clara has inadvertently made.

STOP!  I know what you're thinking!  "OMG, another vampire novel?  I'll pass."  Don't pass!  Yes the book is technically about vampires, but the bigger picture is that The Radleys is a novel about family dynamics and interactions.  The only thing is that the family in this case just happens to be vampires.  It's really unlike any other "vampire book" that I've read.

I LOVED this book!  I loved everything about this book.  The characters are realistic and relatable - the children are outcasts at school and I think everyone who ever went to high school can relate to that.  The chapters are short and sweet, which makes it easy to just keep reading, even when it's 3:26 am and you know you should be sleeping (personal testimony).  I really enjoyed the different points of view, also.  Usually when a book has more than two points of view I don't care for it, but this book had at least five points of view and I loved it!  Each character had a distinct personality so it was easy to know which chapter belonged to whom.

Seriously, five stars.  I can't rave about this book enough.  One of my favorite books of the year and I'm thrilled to have won it.

PS: Amazon has this book listed at Young Adult, as do several Goodreads users, but I would classify this as adult novel that would also appeal to young adult readers.  There is one tiny sex scene that's only a few paragraphs long.  Aside from that there is, obviously, a lot of blood.  Not recommended for a twelve year old, but recommended for everyone else!  READ IT!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Becca Fitzpatrick
427 pages
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Source: library

You can read the Goodreads summary here.

Patch is acting really distant and hanging out with Marcie, Nora's sworn-enemy, and it's ticking Nora off.  Meanwhile, a childhood friend, Scotty, moves back into down with a new bad-boy rep.  Soon, Nora is trying to figure out who murdered her father, who is Black Hand really?

The other day at work a coworker of mine was reading Forever.  I asked her how she was liking it because I thought it was a letdown.  She then informed me that she thought Crescendo was a letdown.  Oh boy, I thought.  But now that I'm done reading it, I don't know why she felt that way.  Why do some people think this book was a bad follow-up to Hush, Hush?  (Seriously, that's not a rhetorical question; if you know please tell me.)

Granted, it's been a really, really long time since I read Hush, Hush.  I read it before I started my other blog I think, but I do remember liking it.  And I really liked Crescendo.  It drew me in right away and the action built as the book went on.  At first I was going to deduct a star because I didn't feel like there was a lot of angel action going on, but then I read Savannah's review from Books With Bite and it made sense - the book is called Crescendo and that's exactly what the plot does.  It builds and builds, the angel stuff gets a little more complicated and then at the end we're left with a big development and, naturally, the cliffhanger of the year.

I really enjoyed the relationship drama in this novel.  I always like it when the heroine questions her relationship - it makes her more realistic.  Though Nora and Patch broke  up at the beginning of the novel, it didn't bother me because it's just so obvious that it can't be forever.

Anyway, like I said I really enjoyed this book and I'm really looking forward to the next book in the series, Silence, as a result.

Minus one star because I still think Patch is the dumbest name in all of YA literature.  I can't picture a sexy guy with the name Patch, no way.  I was glad he revealed his real name at the end of this book.  We shall see how it continue when Silence comes out this October.

The Confession

The Confession
Beverly Lewis
286 pages
Publisher: Bethany House
Source: Borders sale

You can read the Goodreads summary here.

In this sequel to The Shunning, we find Katie Lapp, who now prefers to be called Katherine, living with her Mennonite relatives while she tries to figure out who she is after being shunned by her old order Amish community.  When she finds out her birth-mother is practically on her death bed, she travels to Canandaigua, NY to finally meet her before it's too late.

This is by far the best book by Beverly Lewis I've ever read.  It was even better than The Shunning!  There was so much in it for me to love.  I love that Katherine travelled to Canandaigua, which is somewhat near where I grew up.  I loved the setting of the lavish mansion, but most of all I loved the devious plot!  When Katherine arrives at her mother's she discovers her mother's husband has hired an impostor to pose at Katherine herself in order to steal Katherine's inheritance!  Drama, drama, drama, I loved every minute.

I also enjoyed that the plot moved quickly without much repetition, which is something that bothers me about some of Lewis's other works.  Overall, I just thought it was a fantastic read and I highly recommend it, even if you aren't normally into Amish novels.  It is the sequel to The Shunning, but I personally feel it can be read by itself and still have merit.

Now that The Shunning has been made into a movie by Hallmark, I can only hope it will be followed up by The Confession.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Stolen Life

A Stolen Life, A Memoir
Jaycee Dugard
273 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

You can read the Goodreads summary here.

You can't say you loved this book.  You might give it four or five stars like you would a piece of fiction you loved, but you can't love this book.  It's just gut-wrenching what this girl, now woman, had to endure starting at the age of eleven when she was abducted.  She was held captive by a pedophile for eighteen years, produced two daughters by him, and had only very small glimpses of the outside world.

A Stolen Life was eye-opening about what happened to Jaycee - a story I remember seeing on TV when I was little, and then more recently when she was found.  It was written haltingly because Jaycee has only a fifth grade education, but once I got used to her "voice" it became an enthralling page-turner for me.  Jaycee is a great storyteller and I think she could be a great author if she wanted to be.  I know this book was hard for her to write, she says so in it, and I'm so proud of her for getting her story out there and using it as therapy.

The little extras in the book really helped illustrate Jaycee's story.  There were pictures from her childhood, pictures of her daughters when they were little, as well as copies of her personal diary entries from two separate times during her captivity.

If you remember seeing this story on the news and ever wondered what happened to Jaycee, I highly recommend this book.  Frightening as it may be to read, it was definitely worth it.

Monday, September 19, 2011


Diana Gabaldon
1059 pages
Publisher: Dell

You can read the Goodreads summary here.

A short review...

In the third installment of Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series we find Claire desperately researching alongside her daughter for any indication that Jamie survived the Battle of Culloden.  When she learns he did indeed survive, she grapples with the decision to leave Bree and return to him.

Voyager had everything a good novel in this series should have - sex, blood, violence, disease, adventure, more sex and a bit of mystery.  Really there's something for everything and Voyager didn't disappoint at all.


Claire does in fact return to Jamie and from there they have adventures together, relearning about each other.  Of course I was happy to see Claire return to Jamie because their romance is epic and rightly so should continue.

Of the whole massive novel, the last six or so pages were my absolute favorite.  Naturally, the book ended at such a point where I immediately want to pick up the next in the series (Drums of Autumn) and start reading right away.  I had been waiting since Dragonfly in Amber for Jamie and Claire to end up in the Colonies, and where they landed specifically delighted me.  I have a feeling I'm going to like the next book even more.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

In My Mailbox (1!)

Let me just preface this by saying I have never participating in book blog memes before and this is my very first one!  The reason I haven't participated thus far is that I'm still a baby blogger in that I don't have many followers/hits and thus don't have much clout with publishers.  So this probably won't be a weekly thing here, but I just had to share with you what came in my mailbox yesterday....

In My Maibox is a meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.

For review:
Scholastic sent The Scorpio Races (ARC) by Maggie Stiefavater

Simon and Schuster sent The Radleys (ARC) by Matt Haig as a Goodreads win

Books I swapped for:
A Stolen Life, a Memoir by Jaycee Dugard
Coraline by Neil Gaiman
A Short History of Women by Kate Walbert
Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon


Jackson Pearce
310 pages
Publisher: Little Brown
Source: library

You can read the Goodreads summary here.

After being kicked out of their step-mother's home, Ansel and Gretchen end up on the road to anywhere and end up in the very small town of Live Oak, where they end up living with the local outcast-chocolatier in exchange for chores.  Despite the new chapter in their lives, Gretchen is still haunted by the loss of her twin sister all those years ago, when she was stolen by something in the woods.  But even having moved thousands of miles away, the mystery of what's in the woods stealing young girls is growing and Gretchen must act soon in order to save some lives.

Once again Jackson Pearce does a wonderful job taking a classic fairy tale and turning into a modern story with a quick, tense plot.  After reading Sisters Red earlier this week I was excited to see how she would spin the classic tale of Hansel and Gretel and to see her take on witches.  Sadly for me, the book didn't contain much in the way of witches after the first few chapters.

Still, it was a great story that contained a lot of the details of the classic tale, particularly a house that looks like it's made of candy.  Oh the candy!  There were so many delicious sounding treats in the book, I probably gained five pounds just reading it.  Chocolate covered Oreos and potato chips come to mind...

Sorry, got distracted by the yummy.  Anyway, Sweetly was a great retelling, just like its predecessor and I recommend.  I took a course in college about fairy tales, so retellings always interest me and I'll be on the lookout if Jackson Pearce comes out with another one.

PS: Can we comment on how this cover is just as gorgeous as the one for Sisters Red?  Whoever at Little Brown is picking these covers is doing a stellar job!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Giveaway Winner!

Congratulations.... ZOE!  

You've won a signed copy of Anna and the French Kiss!  I've contacted you via e-mail for you address and you have 72 hours to respond before I contact the runner up.  

Are you sad you didn't win?  Stay tuned because at the end of this month I will be doing another giveaway.

Computer Fail!

I didn't want to leave you all hanging with the giveaway, but last night around eleven pm my computer stopped working and I can't access everything from my phone.

My husband is taking it to the apple store tonight and either getting it fixed or... I dont know.  The point is I am hoping to be able to at least announce a winner tonight after my closing shift at work.  Otherwise it might have to wait until the weekend.

I am so sorry this happened at such an inopportune time.  Please bear with me!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Last chance to WIN!!

This is your last call for my Anna and the French Kiss giveaway.  Entries will be taken until midnight Eastern and then I will be drawing a random winner.  Winner gets a signed copy of Anna and the French Kiss and well as some other YA swag I picked up at the Decatur Book Festival.  Good luck!!

Sisters Red

Sisters Red
Jackson Pearce
324 pages
Publisher: Little Brown
Source: library

You can read the Goodreads summary here.

I had been hearing some positive buzz from other bloggers about Pearce's latest novel, Sweetly.  When I saw that it was second in a Fairytale Retelling series, I thought I would give the first book a read, which is how I came to read Sisters Red.

Sisters Red is a retelling of the story of Little Red Riding Hood - but it's so different from the classic story you heard as a child.  Rosie and Scarlett are sisters.  When they were very young, their grandmother was attacked and killed by a werewolf; the attack left Scarlett with horrible scars and minus one eye.  Since then, the sisters have been out with their friend Silas, baiting werewolves with their good looks and bright red capes, and then killing them to save the lives of other innocent girls.  When the wolves all meet in Atlanta to find a new wolf, they follow hoping for massive slaughter.

What I liked about this book was that it screams girl power, but I think it would also appeal to boys because of the the violent werewolf aspect.  There was some definite blood and guts in this book.  I also loved how loyal Rosie and Scarlett were to each other, straight through to the end of the book.  If I had a sister, I think that's what sisterhood would be all about.  Finally, aside from all the wolf-butt-kicking-girl power, I also really enjoyed the softer side of the book, that is the budding romance between Rosie and Silas.  It was so innocent and cute, and really balanced out the rest of the book.

I could totally see this being made into a dark fairytale movie a la Tim Burton.  Three stars and I'm looking forward to seeing what Sweetly has in store.

PS:  What an amazing cover.  I would hang that in a frame on my wall, that's how pretty it is.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Die For Me

Die For Me
Amy Plum
441 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: library

You can read the Goodreads summary here.

After their parents die in a car accident, Kate and her sister Georgia move to Paris, France to live with their grandparents.  Kate is still unable to shake off her depression after her parents deaths and prefers to spend her time alone, reading at a cafe.  Then one day she catches the eye of a strangely attractive young man that she feels like she's known forever and soon she's drawn into a world that she didn't even know existed.

After a bit of a slow start for me, this book sucked me in and I literally did not want to put it down.  Hence me ignoring most of today's football festivities while holed up on the couch, turning the pages as quickly as a could, hating to even put it down to pee.  Seriously.

What I enjoyed the most was the relationship between Kate and Vincent.  It wasn't like other YA novels where the two main characters fall instantly and irrevocably in love.  There was an immediate attraction between Kate and Vincent, but they both seemed to want to take things cautiously.  They even broke up for a bit partway through the novel.  On the whole, their relationship seemed a bit more realistic than those in other YA romances, or as realistic as a relationship can be with one partner being... undead.

I also enjoyed that aspect of the novel; I felt like Amy Plum set up a whole new world in her book.  They weren't zombies and they weren't vampires, they were simply undead and that came with a whole new set of rules that were very interesting to learn about and I'm looking forward to seeing that expanded as the series progresses.

What else did I love?  Paris!  The cover is gorgeous with a view of the Eiffel Tower, but I also loved the way Amy Plum threaded in different aspects of Paris into the novel, mentioning different cafes, museums, and bridges throughout the novel.  It makes me want to visit the city even more.

Four stars - I highly recommend!

PS:  Love books that take place in Paris?  Then you'll definitely want to check out my giveaway of Anna and the French Kiss!  You can enter here.  Anna and Kate both went to the same school... hmm, I wonder if they knew each other?

The Heavenstone Secrets

The Heavenstone Secrets
V.C. Andrews
438 pages
Publisher: Pocket
Source: Borders sale

You can read the Goodreads summary here.

This book sucked me in right away with its pure evil.  Cassie and Semantha have just learned that their mother is pregnant!  While it's a joyous time for everyone else, Cassie is angered by the news.  When tragedy befalls the household, Cassie takes over and forces Semantha into a roll that she is neither comfortable with, nor ready for.

Even though I knew just about everything that was going to happen before it happened, I was still drawn in by the intensity of the plot and the character of Cassie.  I knew whatever Cassie was going to say next was going to be deceitful but I still hung onto every word she said.  The only problem with Cassie was how redundant she was:  everything she said to Semantha was ended with the phrase, "We are Heavenstones, after all."  Cassie was a bit of a broken record by the end of the book.  An evil, deceitful, conniving, broken record.

Then there was the character of Semantha who was in every way the opposite of Cassie: quiet, reserved, and unsure of herself.  On the one hand, I feel terribly sorry for Semantha and all she had to put up with with her sister.  She was never allowed to be herself.  But on the other hand, Semantha is the naivest fourteen-year-old I've ever read about.  While there were times I wanted to give her a hug, more often there were times I wanted to scream at her and tell her to stand up to her sister and tell her father the truth.

Overall the book gets three stars from me, because I liked the plot and how the book wrapped up, but it lost stars for its predictability and repetitiveness.

There is a sequel, but this book stands totally on its own.  V.C. Andrews' novels are a unique breed and even though this was just published in 2010 (and thusly written by her estate and not actually by V.C. Andrews) I felt it kept the tradition alive and I recommend it if you're looking a book with purely evil character.

PS: Don't forget to enter my giveaway!  It ends September 14th, so time is running out to enter.  Enter here.

Thursday, September 8, 2011


Tara Hudson
404 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: library

You can read the Goodreads summary here.

Amelia is dead, but she doesn't know who she is or how she got that way.  All she knows is she died in the turbulent waters under the infamous High Bridge and she's still trying to get a handle on being a ghost.  When Joshua is tossed into the river and very nearly drowns, it awakens his Seer abilities and now the two are on a journey together to find out what the deal is with Amelia.  And why is that guy Eli so keen on, well, owning her?

The first thing that struck me about Hereafter was the the writing - Tara Hudson does a wonderful job at creating and setting up scenes and then describing them.  I was immediately drawn into the book by that, and then by the immediate romance between Amelia and Joshua, which had such a sense of urgency that I quickly turning the pages when I should have been asleep.

And then I noticed something - there was a lack of plot.  Sure we knew Amelia was a ghost and we were trying to figure out what her connection with Joshua and Eli was, but there wasn't much of a real plot until nearly the end of the novel when Joshua's sister must be saved.  So I would have liked to have seen more plot from the beginning, and I would have liked to have learned more about the grandmother and her group of church ladies who perform exorcisms.  Their role was too minor.

I get that it's a YA book and as such was focused on the young characters, but just because the book was written for teens doesn't mean we can't focus on some of the older characters.  And I mean this as a criticism of YA in general, not just Hereafter.

So three stars because I liked it.  It drew me in, but for no real reason.  If you're a YA paranormal romance junkie, this will be right up your alley and I recommend it.

PS: Don't forget to check out my current giveaway of a signed copy of Anna and the French Kiss plus some swag here.  It's super easy to enter.

Monday, September 5, 2011


It's my first giveaway on my blog!  I picked up some neat swag this weekend, as well as a shiny new copy of Anna and the French Kiss, which I had signed for one lucky winner.  Swag includes a few bookmarks, a Beauty Queens pin, two DBF pins, plus the first five chapters of Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor, which will be released at the end of September.  The book has raving reviews on Goodreads.

To enter, fill out the form HERE.  Winners will be chosen on September 14th.  You must be a follower to win.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Decatur Book Festival Recap


I had the greatest weekend ever, all thanks to the Decatur Book Festival.  As I mentioned in my previous post, my tentative schedule was bound to change and it did.  Here's what really happened:


  • Left home around 9:15am, later than I wanted.  After hitting up the ATM, our first stop was the Library Book Sale, which was swamped.  Didn't see any of the books I donated and that made me happy (because I assume they had already sold, not that they never made it out).  Spent nineteen dollars and got...

Four books for me...
and eight books for hubs.

  • Then we walked around the booths and saw some sights and picked up some cool t-shirts.
I'm totally wearing this shirt tomorrow.
  • After that, we headed over to the church and heard James Swanson talk about his books Manhunt and Bloody Crimes.  It was a really interesting talk about what most people don't know about what happened to Lincoln after he died and about Jefferson Davis on the run.  I knew a lot of the facts he mentioned because I have a degree in history, but it was still interesting to rehear.  Got Bloody Crimes signed.
  • Lunch at Sammiches N' Stuff.  Mediocre but fast, as usual.
  • Then it was over the library where I listened to Libba Bray crack hilarious jokes during her talk.  I couldn't even get into the overflow room and we left early to get in line for the signing.  It's a good thing we did because that line lasted hours.  I haven't read Beauty Queens yet, but it sounds great.
Libba Bray and me!
  • After that we had a bit of time to kill to it was off to Starbucks for sugar.  While hubs took a load off, I headed over to the emerging author stage and heard Anne Riley chat about her new YA book The Clearing and I had her sign a copy for me.  I didn't see anyone else around with a book for her to sign and that made me sad.  I believe it was the only YA book from the "emerging authors" that day, which is why I picked it up.  Eventually a review will show up here.
  • Then it was back to the library to hear the Zombie/Apocalypse chat with Jeff Hirsch and Jonathan Maberry.  It was a very interesting chat, even hubs enjoyed it.  I'd never heard of Maberry before, but I will definitely be checking out his books in the future.  Then I got my ARC signed like I wanted.
Hirsch and Maberry before the discussion
Didn't get a picture with Hirsch, but here are the three signed books.
  • After that we went back to the church for a discussion my husband wanted to see with Amanda Kyle Williams and Louise Penny called "Making a Great Murder Mystery."  It was because of the title he wanted to attend the talk and he decided to buy one of the books after.  When we went to have his copy of The Stranger You Seek signed, he realized he'd sold the author a TV last week!  Small world, huh?
The two books hubs got signed.
  • After that it was around 7pm and we were both ready for dinner.  We splurged and went to Ted's Montana Grill.  After that we went to Little Shop of Stories where I picked up a signed copy of Shine by Lauren Myracle because I had missed her chat/signing earlier in the day.

  • When we came home I took a shower (it was a hot, sweaty day and somehow my legs got covered in dirt) and reorganized our bookshelves.  The following are my new three whole shelves (74 books) of TBR.  But at least my TBR is all in one spot now.

SUNDAY - I spent the day by myself because hubs had to pull a shift at work, but I still had a fabulous day.
  • Went and saw Diana Gabaldon at Eagle Eye Bookshop.  Got there half an hour early and was lucky to find a parking space!  It was packed!  I bought a copy of The Fiery Cross (I own the first four books in the series but have only just started the third) and a copy of the 20th Anniversary edition of Outlander.  She had a great talk about how she got started writing her series, she read two excerpts from upcoming books, and then held a signing.  The lady in front of me in line was kind enough to take a picture for me.
I met Diana Gabaldon!  Squee!
  • It was 4:30pm by the time I left Eagle Eye, so I high-tailed it over to the Decatur Library where I had completely missed the panel Stephanie Perkins was participating in.  It was just letting out when I arrived.  I bought a softcover edition of Anna and the French Kiss for my giveaway and later heard that they'd had early, finished copies of Lola and the Boy Next Door!  I was so sad to have missed that.  It probably wouldn't have helped me, but I think they should have limited it to one per person - I saw girls in line with five copies of Lola to get signed.  Anyway, I met two really cool girls while I was in line and one was kind enough to snap a picture after the signing.
Stephanie was so great to chat with;
turns out she's a fan of Diana Gabaldon, too!
And then the day was over and I met my husband at home and we headed out to Joe's Crab Shack for dinner.  Whew, what a weekend!

My giveaway of book + swag will be posted at 8am tomorrow, so stay tuned!  It will run for about a week and you must be a follower to win.

DBF Post and Run

I'm on my way out the door, but I wanted to let you all know that I just got home from Day 2 of the Decatur Book Festival.  And I got some swag and a signed book...


Stay tuned for a super awesome giveaway that I'll announce tomorrow along with pictures of DBF and the awesome authors I met.  I also met some cool people waiting in line and did a tiny bit of networking for this here ol' blog.

So come back tomorrow!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Decatur Book Festival Prep!

Bookzilla photo stolen from the DBF FB page.
Note the grass,  we're in the midst of a drought here.

I'm so excited to be going to the Decatur Book Festival this year!  I've never been to a book festival before and I hadn't even heard of DBF before we moved here in January.  When the schedule was released I sat down with it and plotted out my day (we're only able to go Saturday, not Sunday) and found out that I would have no problem holing up in the Decatur Library from 11am to 4:45 pm.  

Needless to say, my husband was not okay with that.  So here's my current plan, which will undoubtedly change once we're in the thick of things:

9am.  Arrive, get a great parking space, attend library book sale and double current TBR pile.
10am.  Start wandering amongst booths, maybe score some cheap swag and buy a book or two.
Noon-ish.  Lunch.  Anywhere.  I'm hungry.
12:45pm.  Funnel cake?  Starbucks?  I need quick sugary energy because I got up early for a Saturday.
1pm.  More booths and heading over to the library when we get sick of walking in the heat.
4pm.  Talk with Jeff Hirsch and others.  Get ARC of Eleventh Plague signed.

You can click on that picture to make it bigger.  This is what I'm taking with: 
  • My road salt covered backpack from college.  I was going to take a really cute tote bag, but when I get sick of carrying it, my husband would prefer the backpack over the adorable tote bag.  Please note the Kermit the Frog keychain.  I love the Muppets!
  • DBF insert from the AJC which includes the schedule.
  • SmartWater!  Water + electrolytes = exactly what you need on a hot, sweaty day.
  • My ARC of The Eleventh Plague to get signed.
  • Coconut Mango sunscreen from Bath and Body Works.  There's no reason you can't smell good while fighting the rays.
  • Camera if I can find the missing SD card.
  • Tiny wallet - the less bulk I need to carry the better.  Just some cash and my Starbucks card.  Note to self: get cash before Saturday.  Last library book sale the ladies had to hold me as collateral while my husband sprinted (er, actually, walked) three blocks over to the nearest BoA ATM.
  • Some incidentals in the front pocket: tissues, chapstick, etc.
  • Note: the cat will not be attending DBF.  She just likes to be in every picture I take.  And finally...

  • See, I told you the cat is a photo whore.  This is the box we acquired at the last library book sale in May.  We weren't anticipating on buying so many books last time, but the Decatur Library book sales are always so awesome.  The box will be going with us!

That's all I'm planning on taking.  I've seen some people blog about the books they're taking with - up to twenty-five books!  Even if I had twenty-five books of authors attending, no way would I cart all that around in the heat and humidity!  That makes for one crabby Panda.  If you're going to be one of those people, please keep your slow moving rolling suitcase of books out of my way.

So that is the plan for Saturday.  If you see me and my backpack (I'll be the one with the cute red-headed husband) say hello!

Finally, some AWESOME NEWS!  I know a lot of people were disappointed to find out Diana Gabaldon was not on the author list for DBF this year, but guess what!?  She's going to be in town!  She'll be at The Eagle Eye Bookshop at 3pm on Sunday.  Eagle Eye is my favorite bookstore and in if you're in town for DBF and a Gabaldon fan, you should definitely stop by.  I'm hoping I can make it and get a 20th Anniversary signed copy of Outlander.

August Recap

Eh, it was a pretty decent month for reading; some ups, some downs.  I finally caught up on all the books I promised to review for people/Netgalley/Goodreads wins.  I also caught up on my library books (when it rains, it pours when it comes to library holds!) and now I'm back into reading books that have been stuck on my TBR pile for a year.  That makes me happy.  Of course, last night I added eight more books to my hold list at the library and two of them should be ready for me to pick up Saturday, which is good since I'll be there anyway for the Decatur Book Festival!  Squee!!  But more on that tomorrow.  Here's a list of the twenty-six books I read in August.

Still Missing by Chevy Stevers
Spellbound by Cara Lynn Shultz
Shoe Strings by Christy Hayes
How to Wash a Cat by Rebecca M. Hale
Kissing Comfort by Jo Goodman
Coffee at Little Angels by Nadine Rose Larter
Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn't Have) by Sarah Mlynowski
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
It Is Said by Edward Medina
The Ghost and the Goth by Stacey Kade
Becoming Marie Antoinette by Juliet Grey
Town in a Blueberry Jam by B.B. Haywood
Possession by Elana Johnson
Starstruck by Cyn Balog
I Loved You First by Reena Jacobs
Matched by Ally Condie
Books Can Be Deceiving by Jenn McKinlay
Bliss by Lauren Myracle
Rae by Chelsea Rae Swiggett
Forever by Maggie Stiefvater
Her Royal Spyness by Rhys Bowen
Radiance by Alyson Noel
Dark Lover by J.R. Ward
21 Proms 
Cosmopolis by Don DeLillo
Pilgrims Don't Wear Pink by Stephanie Kate Strohm

YTD books: 179
YTD pages: 58,816

On to September!