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Friday, June 14, 2013


Guys...Guys...I mean Girls too...I mean...Everybody:D
I posted over at Sporty Girl Books, but had to post here too.

The Catherine Murdock of The Dairy Queen Series, my all-time favorite sporty read, is going to let me interview her when her new book, Heaven is Paved with Oreos, releases this September. Also, her favorite Sporty Read is here.

I feel like this

So...if you have any questions for the amazing Catherine Murdock, add them in the comments or shoot me an email.

Talk about packing power. I could pack my whole house, if I could get off this computer!

Okay, okay, I'm going:D

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

My All-TIme Favorite Sporty Girl Book + Giveaway

I'm not here today, but am posting over at Sporty Girl Books. I hope you'll check out my favorite sporty read and enter our mega launch giveaway (rafflecopter below as well). Click here to find my contribution.

Happy Tuesday, All.

Back to packing for me.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, June 7, 2013

GFRR: Natalie Whipple's TRANSPARENT

The last of my Golden Five Recent Reads is Natalie Whipple's Transparent. I talk about meeting Natalie at LDStorymakers here.

I've been following Natalie's blog Between Fact and Fiction for a few years now and I appreciate how real she is. (I will not embarrass myself by admitting how many times I've read her posts on submissions.) I wish I had her gift for drawing. Here and here you can find scenes she's drawn for Transparent.

Natalie let me choose between an ARC of the English version or the British version with extras in the back. I chose the British version. We talked about how different the covers are and British humor. I don't know if you can tell, but in the British version her underwear has blue hearts. Apparently the cover artist went through three colors before settling on the blue.

On Goodreads:
Plenty of teenagers feel invisible. Fiona McClean actually is.

An invisible girl is a priceless weapon. Fiona’s own father has been forcing her to do his dirty work for years—everything from spying on people to stealing cars to breaking into bank vaults.

After sixteen years, Fiona’s had enough. She and her mother flee to a small town, and for the first time in her life, Fiona feels like a normal life is within reach. But Fiona’s father isn’t giving up that easily.

Of course, he should know better than anyone: never underestimate an invisible girl.

My Take:
This was another GFRR I kept pausing while reading marveling at all the brilliant she'd set up. The reasons for the many super powers, the radiusure meds, the various super powers and mafialords. I'm jealous of her seamless world building;) Sometimes I read books in first person and still don't feel inside the characters head. Not so with Fiona. I understood her needs and struggles and the trial of never being able to see yourself, to not even know your own hair color. I don't want to give any of the brilliant twists away, but know that they were each perfect, that I crushed on ALL the guys and that I was totally submersed in her world. If you haven't already, I hope you'll get your hands of this newly-released golden read.

Have you read Transparent yet or do you follow Natalie's blog? Love Kdramas like she does? What super power would you most want to have? I've always thought being Elastigirl would be perfect for mommy me, but when I was younger it was always the desire to fly. 

If you liked GRFF, please let know me in the comments and I'll make sure to do this feature again.

Of note: today is the Donation Bomb for Ben Wolverton. Details here.
Next Tuesday is my first post on Sporty Girl Reads. I hope to see some of you over there:)

Thursday, June 6, 2013


Thanks for Jackie and Dani for this bloghop. My favorite hero and villain come from the same movie/book: The Princess Bride. As Janette Ralston said as LDStorymakers, "You're hero is only as strong as your antagonist."

Today's Golden Five Recent Read is Lisa Graff and her book, The L & C of Bernetta Wallflower. Instead of the traditional headshot I couldn't resist showing this picture of Lisa finding her books in the library. That's gotta feel great, right?

Bernetta Wallflower is having the worst summer on record. After her ex-best friend, Ashley, frames her for running a school-wide cheating ring, Bernetta can't convince anyone that she's innocent. Her parents ground her until her tonsils grow back, and she's not even allowed to go to her father's magic club, Trunk Number Eight, where she performs every Saturday as a magician's assistant. But what's most terrible of all is that Mount Olive, the private school Bernetta has attended since kindergarten, has decided to take away her scholarship for seventh grade. If Bernetta wants to return to school, she'll need to find $9,000 in three short months. It seems hopeless . . . until Bernetta comes up with a plan that involves a lot of lying, a little bit of trickery, and a mysterious stranger with chocolate-brown eyes.

This is a comic and touching story about losing your footing and finding your way again from the author of "The Thing About Georgie."

My Take:
Such a fun read. The characters had so many great quirks. I'm a total sucker for an MC that loves to read. Not only does Bernetta love reading, but she chews the edges of her books, so her favorite copies have very little white space around the text. And all the names she called her little brother, Collin. Even the nail polish with her older sister. (Okay, I admit it, I'm in love with her entire family) I would have LOVED being in middle school with Bernetta and hanging out at her house after school watching her dad perform magic tricks. Even if you don't normally read MG books, I hope you're give Bernetta a try. My words aren't enough to express how Golden this read was.

Note:Although this book was in the YA part of my library, Bernetta is twelve years old, so I would consider this book upper middle grade.

Have you read Lisa Graff? This is my first of her books, but she has a bunch of good ones out there and like the authors I've highlighted thus far this week in GFRR, I'm looking forward to devouring more of Lisa Graff's books. I'll try not to chew on the edges.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

IWSG and GRFF: VIRTUOSITY by Jessica Martinez

Insecure Writers Support Group convenes the first Wednesday of every month. Established by Alex J. Cavanaugh it allows us to show our insecurities and buoy each other in the process. 

I'm so busy packing that writing is taking a back seat. I squeeze in a bit of time when I can (in those wee hours) but I don't feel the pressure to write. This move has been a good distraction from the reality of my writing life. So I have less time to dwell on my insecurities:D But check back with my in August once we're settled in. I'm sure my multitude of insecurities will rear their ugly heads again. In the meantime, if you missed Veronica Roth's inspiring speech at the BEA Children's Author Book Breakfast, may I encourage you to take the time to watch it. I hope she inspires you as much as she did me. She's the last speaker (skip the 1st 15 or so minutes, it's a loop of ads until the speeches start.)

Next up in my Golden Five Recent Reads is VIRTUOSITY by Jessica Martinez. This is one of the books I picked up at LDStorymakers last month, so I have a signed copy:D. (Jessica was one of the presenters at the conference.)

From Goodreads:

Now is not the time for Carmen to fall in love. And Jeremy is hands-down the wrong guy for her to fall for. He is infuriating, arrogant, and the only person who can stand in the way of Carmen getting the one thing she wants most: to win the prestigious Guarneri competition. Carmen's whole life is violin, and until she met Jeremy, her whole focus was winning. But what if Jeremy isn't just hot...what if Jeremy is better? Carmen knows that kissing Jeremy can't end well, but she just can't stay away. Nobody else understands her--and riles her up--like he does. Still, she can't trust him with her biggest secret: She is so desperate to win she takes anti-anxiety drugs to perform, and what started as an easy fix has become a hungry addiction. Carmen is sick of not feeling anything on stage and even more sick of always doing what she’s told, doing what's expected.

Sometimes, being on top just means you have a long way to fall...

My take: 
This one was another fast read. I kept pausing and telling my husband how utterly brilliant Jessica is. Talk about writer envy, I definitely had it. I played the viola (in addition to the piano) growing up, so I understood the jargin and though I was never that good, I understood the pressure to perform. I absorbed this book. Carmen's awkwardness, her relationship with her mother, everything about so hot, you-could-play me, Jeremy, I loved it all. My only complaint, it ended too abruptly for me. I could have used a few more pages, one more for sure on her last decision. Read this book, you will not regret it. Oh, and to my CP who'd heard it was racy. Jeremy is hot, but minimal language and no sex involved. 

I'll be reading The Space Between Us ASAP. I'm on a book freeze until we move. We're not even buying food, guys. We're seriously trying to get rid of everything.

 What's your favorite recent read? Have you read Jessica Martinez yet?

Tuesday, June 4, 2013


Next up in my Golden Five Recent Reads is PERFECT CHEMISTRY by Simone Elkeles. This is my first read of hers, but it won't be my last. She's a NY Time and USA Today bestselling author of three series (for a total of eight books) with a new series, Wild Cards, out October 1st.

From Goodreads:

A fresh, urban twist on the classic tale of star-crossed lovers.
When Brittany Ellis walks into chemistry class on the first day of senior year, she has no clue that her carefully created 'perfect' life is about to unravel before her eyes. She's forced to be lab partners with Alex Fuentes, a gang member from the other side of town, and he is about to threaten everything she's worked so hard for: her flawless reputation, her relationship with her boyfriend, and the secret that her home life is anything but perfect. 

Alex is a bad boy and he knows it. So when he makes a bet with his friends to lure Brittany into his life, he thinks nothing of it. But soon Alex realizes Brittany is a real person with real problems, and suddenly the bet he made in arrogance turns into something much more.

In a passionate story about looking beneath the surface, Simone Elkeles breaks through the stereotypes and barriers that threaten to keep Brittany and Alex apart

My take:
It had a definite West Side Story feel to it. Alex is one bad boy even I couldn't resist, doing what he has to do, putting on a show to protect his family, and messing with the rich girl because he can. I was pulled into this steamy romance and literally (and yes, I'm using this term correctly) read this book in one sitting. I could not put it down. It felt real, I never once questioned if something could or would happen. The gang dynamics, the Spanish (which I know none of, but could still understand), the high school life. Mrs. Elkeles did her research and she knows how to write one compelling story. If I, Miss Cheerleaders are evil, can connect toBrittany, the captain of the pom squad, and care about her and her sister, you know Brittany was written well. She was real. The dual POV totally worked. Elkeles is a master. I would read anything she writes as quickly as I can get my hands on it. Highly recommend. 

Have you read any of Simone's books? What's your favorite?

Monday, June 3, 2013

GFRR: INSOMNIA by J. R. Johansson

First up for my Golden Five Recent Reads is this freaky book. Isn't that cover creepy? It's the opposite of Jenn's smiling face:D

 I'm usually a light and fluffy reader. I need to escape reality and read something to make me laugh out loud--and preferably cry I'm laughing so hard, but when I heard about Jenn (aka JR) Johansson from one of my CP's, I had to get my hands on her book. The cover is oh, so creepy, as in, it might give me nightmares if I dare open the book, and I wanted inside that head. So I checked out Jenn's blog and signed up for an ARC-she emailed me that it was available at NetGalley and I signed up immediately. INSOMNIA was the first book I requested. The cool thing about reading INSOMNIA is that I read it while at LDStorymakers where I met Jenn (see this post). She's such a kind person. And I even got one of her swag pill bottle filled with sleeping pills, I mean my current favorite treat: Jelly Flops.

From Goodreads:
It’s been four years since I slept, and I suspect it is killing me.

Instead of sleeping, Parker Chipp enters the dream of the last person he’s had eye contact with. He spends his nights crushed by other people’s fear and pain, by their disturbing secrets—and Parker can never have dreams of his own. The severe exhaustion is crippling him. If nothing changes, Parker could soon be facing psychosis and even death.

Then he meets Mia. Her dreams, calm and beautifully uncomplicated, allow him blissful rest that is utterly addictive. Parker starts going to bizarre lengths to catch Mia’s eye every day. Everyone at school thinks he’s gone over the edge, even his best friend. And when Mia is threatened by a true stalker, everyone thinks it’s Parker.

Suffering blackouts, Parker begins to wonder if he is turning into someone dangerous. What if the monster stalking Mia is him after all?

My take:
I don't want to give anything away, but know that the ending wasn't anything I'd expected (YES!) and I felt for the the severely flawed MC Parker even as he stalked poor Mia and deepened her already messed up life.  And the dream walking, normally I skim dreams when I'm reading, but when Jenn writes them, there's no skimming on my part. I'd compare INSOMNIA to the Wake Trilogy by Lisa McMann, but with much less violence, language, and no sex:D  Get your hands on this book, guys, you won't regret it. INSOMNIA releases June 8th from FLUX.

Come back tomorrow for the next in my Golden Five Recent Reads.

And Sporty Girl Books Mega Launch Giveaway is live.  If you follow my blog you already have points in the rafflecopter. I hope you'll check it out:)