Tuesday, December 3, 2013

DEFY by Sara B Larson ARC Tour

by Sara B Larson

Hardcover, 336 pages
To Be Published January 7th 2014 by Scholastic Press
Placement in the Pile:  Top Picks

Summary: A lush and gorgeously written debut, packed with action, intrigue, and heart-racing romance.

Alexa Hollen is a fighter. Forced to disguise herself as a boy and serve in the king's army, Alex uses her quick wit and fierce sword-fighting skills to earn a spot on the elite prince's guard. But when a powerful sorcerer sneaks into the palace in the dead of night, even Alex, who is virtually unbeatable, can't prevent him from abducting her, her fellow guard Rylan, and Prince Damian, taking them through the treacherous wilds of the jungle and deep into enemy territory.

The longer Alex is held captive with both Rylan and the prince, the more she realizes that she is not the only one who has been keeping dangerous secrets. And suddenly, after her own secret is revealed, Alex finds herself confronted with two men vying for her heart: the safe and steady Rylan, who has always cared for her, and the dark, intriguing Damian. With hidden foes lurking around every corner, is Alex strong enough to save herself and the kingdom she's sworn to protect?

Okay, this review would not be complete if I didn't tell you a little bit about Sara.  I've known Sara for 7 years now, and I can tell you this book is the culmination of just as, if not more years of work and love being spread onto the page directly from her heart.  I am so excited for her and her debut novel.  This book has a special place in my heart, as I know it does for her!

That being said, remember as a reviewer, no matter how I love the author, I have to be honest about the book.  Well luckily in this case I don't have to sugar coat things to tell you what I loved about DEFY!

Having read many of her other novels throughout the years I can tell you DEFY is the culmination of all she has learned from those endeavors.   Sara's strong point is the romance.  She always writes compelling romance with twists and turns in the individual character's story lines that affect the relationship. 

Yes, DEFY is a fantasy set in a unique jungle covered country, but it's the emotions and the relationships that are at the heart of this book.  The disgusting actions of the King force Alexa and her twin brother's hand when her parents are killed.  And Alexa has to live a lie.  She has to be strong, and in so many ways she is.  But she is also human, and feminine and those emotions have a way of breaking through when she is alone and allows herself to think her teenage girl thoughts.  The juxtaposition of her strong exterior and her tender heart made her feel real to me.  None of us are tough and strong all the time.  And I think teenage readers will appreciate her honesty with herself. 

The best part of the book is the pacing.  It just never stops.  You think Alexa has things figured out only for a wrench to be thrown into the mix.  Some of it I saw coming, some of it I didn't. 

Do yourself a favor and save those giftcards for a week after Christmas and go pick up DEFY!  If you enjoy fantasy and romance, this is a book for you!

Oh and I'm totally team Damian.  You'll have to tell me what team you're on when you read it!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Catching Fire, Ender's Game and Frozen Reviews

Well hi!  It's been a while.  I wanted to update you on a few of the movies I've seen that may appeal to my reader audience.  Also, wanted to get you looking at the blog again because tomorrow I have a BIG very cool review to post for an ARC Tour.  So be sure to come check that out!  Okay!?

On to the movies!

Okay, so this is a late post.  Most of you I'm sure have already seen this movie.  But I am going to write my review in the hopes that you will go see it if you haven't yet!

Catching Fire was so much better than the first movie!  From including things from the book that I thought were missing in the first movie, to smoother, non-motion-sick inducing cinematography. 

I was lucky enough to go see an early showing the Thursday before Thanksgiving, and it was so much fun.  I felt like I was holding my breath fro the full 2 1/2 hours, even though I've read the book!  Seeing it on the screen was a whole new experience.  And definitely worth seeing. 

Ender's Game is a book that I finally got to reading when my book club read it earlier this year.  There was so much I enjoyed about it.  And it definitely is something that our club had a lot to talk about. 

If you're a fan of the book I don't think the movie will disappoint you.  It was done well, the acting was all excellent.  You really feel for Ender and root for him in all of his endeavors.  I think if you haven't read the book there is probably some things missing that fill in the book and the secondary character developments that really help you understand those social interactions and how they affect Ender.  But otherwise it was a good adaptation.


Now for Frozen! 

Oh my goodness I loved this film.  I may have cried like 4 times.  And the music was very broadway-esque to move along the story telling, but to be extremely emotional as well. 

It was beautiful and fun.  My daughters both loved it as well.  I might just have to add some Frozen dress ups to our Christmas gifts this year.  Whether you are a kid at heart, or taking your kids, Frozen is definitely worth seeing in the theaters!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Giveaway Winner: ALL THE TRUTH THAT'S IN ME by Julie Berry

Sorry for the late posting about this guys!  Today was kinda a hard week over here.  Anywho!  Our winner chosen by Random.org is lucky #13...


Thanks to all who entered! And happy reading this weekend!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Giveaway Reminder

Today is the last day to enter for your own signed copy of Julie Berry's ALL THE TRUTH THAT'S IN ME!  Scroll down to the book signing report post to enter.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Review: JANITORS by Tyler Whitesides

by Tyler Whitesides
300 pages
Published August 1st 2011 by Shadow Mountain
Placement in the Pile:  Middle of the Stack
The magical, secretive society of JANITORS will sweep the country in the fall of 2011. Have you ever fallen asleep during math class? Are you easily distracted while listening to your English teacher? Do you find yourself completely uninterested in geography? Well, it may not be your fault. The janitors at Welcher Elementary know a secret, and it s draining all the smarts out of the kids. Twelveyear- old Spencer Zumbro, with the help of his classmate Daisy Gullible Gates, must fight with and against a secret, janitorial society that wields wizard-like powers. Who can Spencer and Daisy trust and how will they protect their school and possibly the world? Janitors is book 1 in a new children s fantasy series by debut novelist Tyler Whitesides. You ll never look at a mop the same way again.
So here's what's hard for me about this book.  It's clearly middle grade.  Which is fine and great, but middle grade isn't always my thing.  My issue with middle grade is usually the simplicity of the narrative.  It takes something really unique to get me interested in a MG.  However, when I heard about this series it's one I wanted to pick up.  
So when I was offered a review copy of book #3 and expressed that I hadn't read them at all yet, but was interested Shadow Mountain was kind enough to send me all 3!  Wow!  So here I am reading them for ya!  

The best part about JANITORS was it's pure unique-ness.  The theory of magic, and what is plaguing the schools and what a Janitor's job is (as compared to a custodian) was really intriguing. 

I think this is a book middle grade readers will love.  The characters are fun too and each wholly unique with their own set of quirks, which I loved as well.  I've only heard each book gets better, so as I read on I will let you know how I feel about that. But for now, I'd say if you like MG or have a child reading MG this is certainly a good one to pick up!

Plus, the cover art is really cool. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Book Signing and Giveaway! - Julie Berry ALL THE TRUTH THAT'S IN ME

I am so, so lucky to live where I do, and so lucky that Julie Berry usually travels here for book signings!  I met Julie years ago when I was pretty new to blogging and reviewed her fabulous debut novel THE AMARANTH ENCHANTMENT.  She is a lovely person and has been a dear friend ever since!

I was lucky enough to go out to dinner with her and another author friend of mine, Sara B Larson when she arrived in SLC on Friday night. 

Then I attended her SLC signing at The King's English bookshop in Sugarhouse.

Julie was beautiful and eloquent.  I just adore her!  Here's some pics and goings on from that event.

  • Julie told us that this was the third book she'd ever written, as part of her Masters Degree program at Vermont College.  After it had been rejected by a publisher she thought it would never be published again.  Years later they pitched it to 10 publishers and got 6 bids!  That's incredible!  It truly is an amazing book!

  • Julie talked about how when she was in Jr. High she had a stalker crush on a 9th grade boy.  She knew his schedule and it just made her day to see him in the halls.  Even though he probably had no clue who she was.  Didn't we all have crushes like that?  This sort of puppy love behavior had a big impact on ALL THE TRUTH THAT'S IN ME.  When you read it, you'll know why.  ;)

  • Perhaps my favorite thing Julie talked about was the idea of Judith finding her voice, and the theme of voice and silence.  This book teaches us to find our own voice and speak up for what is right.  I just adore it!. 

  •  I took my daughter with me to the event to get some of the SPLURCH ACADEMY books as well.  Julie is truly a talented author!
  • I just love this person so much!  I am so happy I could support her and this amazing novel!  And see those two copies, well guess what?  One of those is for one of you lucky readers!  So fill out the form below to enter to win your very own hardcover, signed copy, of ALL THE TRUTH THAT'S IN ME!

Giveaway open until 10/21/13 11:59 PM EST. *If you're new and want to follow the blog for the extra entry the follow stuff is down at the bottom.  Still need to figure out why all of my sidebar stuff is down at the bottom...

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

ARC Giveaway of DEFY by Sara B Larson (from her site)

Hey everyone!  I wanted to give you a heads up of an awesome ARC giveaway of my friend Sara B Larson's debut novel DEFY!  It's seriously going to be big!  So go check out the giveaway and good luck!  (P.S. isn't the cover pretty!?)


Monday, October 7, 2013

Review: ALL THE TRUTH THAT'S IN ME by Julie Berry

by Julie Berry

Hardcover, 274 pages
Published September 26th 2013 by Viking Juvenile

Placement in the Pile: Top Picks!

Four years ago, Judith and her best friend disappeared from their small town of Roswell Station. Two years ago, only Judith returned, permanently mutilated, reviled and ignored by those who were once her friends and family. Unable to speak, Judith lives like a ghost in her own home, silently pouring out her thoughts to the boy who’s owned her heart as long as she can remember—even if he doesn’t know it—her childhood friend, Lucas. But when Roswell Station is attacked, long-buried secrets come to light, and Judith is forced to choose: continue to live in silence, or recover her voice, even if it means changing her world, and the lives around her, forever. This startlingly original novel will shock and disturb you; it will fill you with Judith’s passion and longing; and its mysteries will keep you feverishly turning the pages until the very last.


Oh my goodness! This book was absolutely fascinating and beautiful. I simply could not put it down. The writing was lyrical, the voice so strong and unique. I love Judith and her strong will. She'd have to have one to be so amazing after all she's been through.

This book takes you through a journey of discovery to find out just what did happen to Judith. You know very little information at the beginning and literally are kept guessing of the entire truth until the end. Judith holds it all inside of her because of her fear that the truth she holds may destroy the people she loves, and because she just doesn't really know how to tell it. Keeping it from both reader and community, we follow her through her journey of self discovery, finding love, and making peace with her community that has shunned her.

This book deserves awards and praise far above what I can give. Pick this one up, you will NOT be sorry!

If you are in Utah, Julie will be signing books in Provo and Salt Lake City on Sat. Oct 12th!  For event details go to her website http://www.julieberrybooks.com/  and click on events.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Book Cover Reveal: THE ACCIDENTAL MARRIAGE by Annette Haws and Cash Giveaway!

I am happy to be part of this cover reveal day for Annette Haws!  First off, here's some info about the book!

Nina Rushforth was born with a silver spoon caught in her throat. She and her father have mapped out a future that includes a brilliant legal career, a marriage to an equally stellar attorney or Wall Street whiz kid, and eventually the production of three perfect children. A semester at St. Andrew's University in Scotland, was part of the plan, but falling in love with a handsome missionary was not.

Six months later, after Elliot returns from his mission and after a tumultuous courtship, Nina finds herself teaching at a junior high school, learning to keep house in a minuscule apartment, and living with a man who doesn't know any more about being married than she does. Intimacy, cooking, laundry, lesson plans, and a tug-of-war with a possessive mother-in-law prove to be more overwhelming than Nina can successfully manage. The newlyweds awaken to realize the head on the adjacent pillow belongs to a stranger.

This novel captures the heartbreak of young love caught in the turbulent social crosscurrents of the 70's, at a time when brave women struggled to find dignity and equality in the workplace, as well as peace at home.

Publication Date: December 10, 2013
ISBN: 9781462113743
Publisher: Cedar Fort Publishing

For more information on Annette check out her website  http://annettehaws.com/

And without further adeu, the cover!

And just for coming and checking out the cover reveal there's a $25 cash giveaway!  Just go to the link below!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Happy Book Birthday!

Happy book birthday to ALL THE TRUTH THAT'S IN ME by Julie Berry!  I will be reviewing it next week, but wanted to post it on here because opening week is an important time for books and this book is made of AWESOME!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

BLACKMOORE Giveaway Winner!

Thanks to Random.org we have our random winner,

Teri Christensen!

And our second place winner, who will receive a surprise book from my piles:


Thank you to all who participated!  It was a hard contest.  After all was counted up we had 235 entries! 

Winners look for a package in the mail soon!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Thursday Three

1) I wasn't gonna do a post, but thanks to my review and giveaway of Julianne Donaldson's BLACKMOORE (see previous post) I hit 300 followers!  Which is awesome!  Cause I have so much to bring to you in the next while!  So, as part of that I am going to give away another book, yet to be determined what book, to a second place winner from the giveaway!  So go check that out!

2) How do you feel about not finishing a book?  If the beginning is slow, or the story just isn't grabbing you, how long do you give a book before you put it down for good?  Have there been books that you've read that took a while to get into?

I felt that way about Stephenie Meyer's THE HOST.  I mean until page like 120 it was SLOW.  But once I got there past that internal information going on inside Mealine and Wanda's newly combined head, the action of the story started and I was really into it.

So now I hesitate to not keep going.  In hopes that it will get good in the end. 

What do you think?

3) So not book related, but who is so excited that Fall is pretty much here!  I sure am!  Halloween is one of my favorite holidays in the universe.  I am SO excited!

Happy reading this weekend you guys!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Book Tour and Author Signing Event for BLACKMOORE by Julianne Donaldson (Plus a Giveaway!!!!!!)

Big post today guys!  First, my review:


by Julianne Donaldson
Page Count: 276
Genre: Regency Romance
Book Brand: A Proper Romance
Published by Shadow Mountain

Placement in the Pile: Top of the Stack!


Kate Worthington knows she can never have her heart’s desire and so believes she will never marry. But Kate’s meddlesome mother has other plans. Kate journeys to the stately manor of Blackmoore on the cliffs above the seashore, where she must face the truth and the man that has kept her heart captive.

Set in northern England, Blackmoore is a Regency romance that tells the story of a young woman struggling to learn to follow her heart. With hints of Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters, Blackmoore is a page-turning tale of romance, intrigue and devotion.


Oh how I love Julieanne's books!

In this novel we find a young lady not so naiive in her world of social classes and how one can be ruined by unsatisfactory behavior from family members.  Kate has grown up in a not so happy home, and finds herself drawing closer and closer to her childhood friends, the Delafields.

However something changes in all of their relationships.  Sylvia's friendship turns cold, and Henry... well what can be said about Henry but SWOON!  But both Kate and Henry's mothers have plans of their own.  And Kate soon learns how far she is willing to go to set herself free of it all.

Blackmoore will not disappoint fans of all things regency and romance. 

Book signing:

Now here are some awesome photos of the book signing event the Julianne had at The King's English in Salt Lake City!  It was an open reception with some amazing handsome regency men to hang out with and take photos with, and Julianne looked absolutely beautiful! 

Me and Julianne!  She was just glowing!

Handsome man #1
The beautiful cake, and to the left there were awesome period treats, that I didn't manage to get a good picture of.
Handsome man #2.  He was my fave!  They were so fun!

Signing the copy of Blackmoore I'm giving away today!

Me and Julianne once more!

And last but not least!  A giveaway of one of my ARC copies! *Edited:  Giveaway closes on 9/17 11:59 PM MST, winner will be announced 9/18! (Another edit -- got my month numbers mixed up!)

Thursday, September 5, 2013

USA Today interview with Veronica Roth

I thought this was really great!  I am so excited for this movie, and for the third book!


Thursday Three

Today's Thursday Three is all about teasers, cause I HAVE been reading, I've just been reading things for specific date reviews that haven't happened yet!

1) Regency

2) Push Broom

3) Truth

Make of those what you will.  See you next week for some super exciting stuff!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Thursday Three

1) In a very non-book related activity, we've been playing a lot of our new Disney Infinity game over at our house.  My two girls are sick so my Kindergartener is home giving us lots of opportunity for play!  It's a super fun game and we are loving it! 

Easy enough for my 5 year old to play (mostly, sometimes she needs help, but she's not a big gamer and has never really played a game like this before -- so if your child is good on other games this would be perfect!)  but so entertaining enough  that my hubs and I have stayed up till past midnight the last few nights playing.  We had a good long laugh when we kept falling short on a challenge mini-game and at the end of one Jack Sparrow announced "Well that was horrible" just before the "Nice Disney narrator guy" said "Good try!". 

Plus, here's another little plug.  My husband helped code the game.  His company had a contract job with Avalanche (the main creators).  So go check it out!  And a hint -- buy the figurines NOW if you're gonna save the packs for Christmas or something.  They are on sale at walmart (but they don't advertise it in the store! They're just cheaper at checkout!)  Just an FYI. 

For more on the game go to: https://infinity.disney.com/

2) DOWNTON NEWS!!!!  I love this show!  And although I wasn't super in love with season 3...I am still very much looking forward to season 4.  Masterpiece has released the three new male cast members, and a bit of who their characters are.  Check that out here:


3) And lastly, do you remember that AMAZING movie I went to go see with my friends at Sundance?  AUSTENLAND?  Adapted from Shannon Hale's novel?  Well it's out in theaters and being released all around the country and I am SO excited to see it again!  Here's the link so you can find it in your neck of the woods!


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Thursday Three

1) Do you read books in verse?  I have read only a few and most of them I have loved.  The addition of verse to tell a story is like a living breathing element.  The words seem to mean more.  Their arrangement on the page a visual aid to the story. 

Some of my favorites are:  SONG OF THE SPARROW by Lisa Ann Sandell, GLIMPSE by Carol Lynch Williams, and our book club's pick this month INSIDE OUT AND BACK AGAIN by Thanhha Lai has been magical so far.  There's a reason it was a National Book Award winner!

2) I have been thinking about Harry Potter a lot lately.  I think I need to crack them open and give them a read again.  I think I want to start reading them with my daughter.  They are magical wonderful novels and I just adore them.  I wish she'd write something else for the children's world, or even like a Harry Potter the 2nd generation books! 

3) I absolutely LOVE book orders from schools.  It was something I loved participating in when I was in school, when I was getting my teaching degree, and when I was subbing.  Now my daughter is in school and I get her first book order and...

it was very underwhelming.

A list full of books that we already own or that she would have no interest in.  There's 2 books on the list I think I'll get.  But when I saw that flier I was hoping for more.  There was a time that book orders were a place for me to find NEW authors, NEW books.  Not just where to order the set of books of the movie that's coming out.   I sure hope they get better. 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Winner of LONGING FOR HOME ARC Giveaway!

And the winner of our most recent giveaway is:

Aimee Ratliff!

An e-mail will be sent shortly to get your mailing address (since I forgot to ask for that this time around). 

Thank you to all who participated, and stay tuned for more awesome giveaways soon!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Happy Book Lover's Day!

I wanted to send a big shout out to all my readers!  Today is book lover's day so grab a book and read today! 

Also, I was sent this really cool graphic to celebrate the occasion from http://ghergich.com Check them out for other cool graphics stuff!  And enjoy this one!

Book Lovers’ Day
Illustration by Ghergich & Co.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Blog Tour Review and Giveaway! LONGING FOR HOME by Sarah M. Eden

by Sarah M Eden

Placement in the Pile:  Middle of the Stack

Twenty-six-year-old Katie Macauley has placed all her hope in Hope Springs, a small town in the 1870 Wyoming Territory. But if she wants to return home to Ireland to make amends with her estranged family, she'll need to convince the influential Joseph Archer to hold true to his word and keep her on his payroll as his housekeeper despite her Irish roots. The town is caught in an ongoing feud between the Irish and the "Reds" the frontiersmen who would rather see all the Irish run out of town and the Irish immigrants who are fighting to make a home for themselves in the New World. When Joseph agrees to keep Katie on as his housekeeper, the feud erupts anew, and Katie becomes the reluctant figurehead for the Irish townsfolk. As the violence escalates throughout the town, Katie must choose between the two men who have been vying for her love though only one might be able to restore hope to her heart.

Sarah M Eden joins Shadow Mountain's list of Proper Romance authors in this heartwarming series that spans a list of romantic Historical Fiction novels. 

LONGING FOR HOME follows the story of Kate Macauley and her struggles between reconciling her past and returning to her home in Ireland, and accepting a future in America with the man she loves. 

I generally love stories about Ireland, and found the tale of Hope Springs, Wyoming's great divide between Irish, and the rest of the town interesting. 

What LONGING FOR HOME lacked for me was a sense of purpose in the romance.  What was there was done well, but the love triangle that is promised in the summary of the book is less of a triangle than a third interested party that never expresses his feelings and is never really an option. I kept waiting for something more to happen.  But it never did. 

That being said, I loved the love story that was there and was rooting for this character the whole time.

An enjoyable read, and I was happy to hear there will be a second book to see what happens to the town of Hope Springs  and to Katie's life after this one has ended, because I did want more!

And now it's time to enter to win my ARC of Longing for Home! Just fill out the entry form below!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Some not-totally book related info

My baby girl started Kindergarten today!  And she came home with a book from her teacher.  I am so excited to see her love of books and reading grow!  Sharing books with her is one of my favorite things!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Where do the weeks go?

Another week and I almost didn't post!  Gotta get better at that. 

We kinda had a family car emergency this week that resulted in me buying a new "Swagger Wagon"  AKA a Toyota Sienna.  I love my new car, and now I can relax and work on reading!

This weekend I am finishing my ARC of Blackmoore by Julianne Donaldson!  Be sure to come back next week for a long awaited "Clean off the bookshelf" giveaway! 

Happy reading this weekend!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Thursday Three

1)  Tonight is book club.  I LOVE book club, even when I don't get around to reading or finishing the book.  Well this time we read DIVERGENT by Veronica Roth.  One of those on my "to read" pile, that I just haven't gotten to yet. 

WHY DID I WAIT!!!!!!!!????

I will be reviewing what I thought of the book and maybe some of what my book club talked about tomorrow.  But until then, I ask.  What do you read for book club?

2) While we're on the DIVERGENT subject.  Check out this quiz and tell us what you get!  I'm Divergent leaning towards Candor.  (I took several other quizzes and got Candor 95% of the time). 


3) And while we're on the subject.  What do you generally think of YA books turned into movies?  Since Twilight and The Hunger Games did so well, many have been picked up.  But then Beautiful Creatures didn't do great in the US, so now studios are questioning doing more.  What are your thoughts? 

I don't think the movie ever really is better than the book.  But I have been pleased with many, even with upsetting changes.  What books to movies have you loved?  Which have you hated?  Are you going to go watch DIVERGENT?

Friday, July 12, 2013


Just wanted to say thanks for the comment love!  People are reading!  Yay! 

What are you reading this weekend?  I am reading my ARC of BLACKMOORE by Julianne Donaldson for the blog tour in Sept. 

Whatever it is:  Happy Reading!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Thursday Three

1) Monsters Univiersity. 

Did you see it?  Did you like it? 

I thought it was a great backstory to the characters we know and love.  But it was missing something that was magical about the first one.  That thing that Pixar has that makes you just fall in love with the characters and truly feel their heartbreaks.  My 5 yr old enjoyed it though so it will probably be something on the shelf in our home.  As far as Pixar movies go it's not the bottom of my list by any means, but it was just okay.

2) I know I have been slacking about blogging lately and I hope to change that.  1) cause when I actually do post, more of you read the blog.  Shocker.  2) because I have lots of books sitting on my shelves waiting to be given away!  But I need devoted readers to do that (hint, hint, if you comment I know you're not a lurker and are actually reading this).  And 3) because I am getting some awesome books to review and I am back in a "reading mood".  Pray it lasts people!

3) Remember that list of books I said I have to review?  Here's some hints as to what they might be:
Proper Romances
Janitorial Exploits

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Book Cover Reveal: INTO THE DARK: The Shadow Prince by Bree Despain

Oh I am in love!  I absolutely adore Bree as an author and I am so very excited for this one! 

Wanna know more?  Check out Bree's post and an ARC giveaway!


Friday, July 5, 2013

Book Signing and Review -- Natalie Whipple's TRANSPARENT

Okay, so this was forever ago, and I've been a horrible blogger, but I wanted to post because Natalie is made of awesome and her launch was so much fun!

Here's some of the snippets from her launch.  As usual remember I write these down as close to actual quotes as possible, but sometimes they get a little off. 

  • Dreams, i can see them but I didn't know how to achieve them (talking about writing)
  • It's like stars.  When they're far away they're nice to look at and you're not sure what they're like up close, and that can be nice.  
  • I went to college -- go for your dreams but have a back up plan was my mantra

  • Finished college and all I wanted to do was write, so I found myself at home with my baby and decided to start writing
  • I didn't know how to catch my dream.  I thought it might just fall out of the sky and into my lap. They don't do that.  You have to go out and get them.
  • Slowly I was ablet to catch this star thing and start bringing it down to me, but it was a lot of work.
  • This book was difficult (talking about TRANSPARENT) my agent said it all had to be re-written, so 1 chapter at a time I wrote it and sent it to my writer's group thinking they'd hate it, but they didn't.  I was reeling that star in slowly.
  • When I finished edits it sold to a publisher in 6 weeks, and that's when the dream got really real.  The star, the dream, got so real and so close.  
  • It's (talking about the dream) not just a pretty sparkly thing in the sky.  It's a huge burning ball of gas that could kill me, but I can't take it back because at that point gravity took over.
  • But I'm really glad I went for my dreams even though it's been pretty much the hardest thing in my life.  Don't let that stop you!
Isn't she awesome!  Now is her book awesome?  Read on!


by Natalie Whipple
Paperback, 350 pages
Published May 21st 2013 by HarperTeen
Placement in the Pile:  Reaching New Heights
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.

Think x-men meets mobsters in a dystopian world.  Yeah, it's cool.  
Natalie Whipple does a great job drawing you in instantly.  Fiona is a believable, likeable character.  A teenage girl with all the normal insecurities we can all relate to, even though she's invisible.  In fact her literal invisibility is what gives her the biggest connection to a real life teenager.  Don't we all feel invisible sometimes?
The pacing of the book was constant and I loved every minute.  
If you're in the mood for a good summer read this one is for you!  I am very excited to see what else we get from Natalie!  She's one to watch!  

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Jaime Richardson's CELEBRATE EVERY DAY

This is a much belated book signing report, so you might see me actually posting more often for a while.

My dear friend Jaime Richardson, blogger at sophistimom.com has a fabulous cook book that came out May 7, CELEBRATE EVERY DAY: Recipes for Making the Most of Special Moments with Your Family.

It is a lovely book with awesome photographs -- that she took herself, and stories to go with the gathering ideas and recipes. Jaime writes with such ease and really has great practical recipes made from scratch to treat your family to some awesome food.

I love the wind action on her hair in this shot!
Me and Jaime!  Love this girl, and her book!
Plus as a special bonus you get to see my real name in print!!!!  Jaime was so sweet enough to list me in her acknowledgements as I helped test some of the recipes before it was printed.  And oh man how I love them!  Like her herb garlic bread, and mint lime-aid, are fast, easy recipes that are just to die for that have become staples in our home!

Some of the delicious samples!  They were all to die for.  The plum tart, and the homemade granola

bars!  Oh my!
If you love to cook like I do, this is a GREAT book to pick up!

Friday, May 3, 2013

What I'm Doing Tomorrow

So I missed Thursday Three again, so look for that next week, but I wanted you all to know of an awesome event tomorrow.  If you are in Utah come to the King's English Bookshop at 2:00 for my dear friend Jaime Richardson's cookbook launch.  You will not be disappointed with her amazing book and recipes! 

She is the blogger of http://www.sophistimom.com/category/well-fed/  Which is one of the best blogs ever. 

I'll be posting pics and info from the event, but even more I'd love to see you there!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Thursday Three

1) I slack!  Wow has it really been an entire month since I've blogged!?  I need to do better!  What have I been up to that whole time?  2 family birthdays, 2 book club meetings, and reading my friends' manuscripts mostly, thus I can't blog about them!

2) One of my book club meetings was to go see The Host movie.  I'd give it a reaching new heights rating as far as movies go.  Having read the book it really had the same feel, quiet, internal struggles that mirror the external struggles of the humans around Wanda.  Not a lot of action, but some interesting moments depicting what it would be like to have two entities within one body, both fighting for control.  If you enjoyed the book it was worth seeing -- regardless of the bad reviews.  I didn't anticipate much.  And enjoyed it more than I thought I would.

3) Writing Conference season has hit Utah and I am sad to not be a part of it this year.  One of these days -- like blogging -- I will be a better, more consistent writer.  Until then, I read and adore authors.  ;)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Check this out!

One of my favorite authors, and favorite human beings for that matter, Julie Berry has a new book coming out in September and it looks so amazing!  ALL THE TRUTH THAT IS IN ME, is definitely on my to read list.  I can't wait to get my hands on it!

Check out the publisher's weekly post about it!


Saturday, March 9, 2013


I know this is like a sacreligious thing for someone who absolutely loves books inside and out -- I mean I love that I know about the entire process, the author's plight to not only write, but re-write, learn their craft from books, conferences and writing partners.  The stress of finding an agent, and then again a publisher, then more rewriting.  The fact that each and every book on the shelf stands for years and years of someone's heart and soul being poured out onto a computer screen! -- but I am not in a reading mood!

How do you get through those times? 

Monday, February 25, 2013

My First Sundance Experience -- AUSTENLAND!

I know this is very much behind, but I really wanted to share with you all the amazing experience I had supporting local author extraordinare Shannon Hale, and her awesome novel AUSTENLAND turned film.

 I was super lucky enough to have a friend that got tickets to go and invited me!  Woot!  I had been waiting for this one.

 Here's our group of Austen fans, Shannon fans, overall book fans!

 The BEAUTIFUL Egyptian theater in Ogden, UT.

 Jerusha Hess (the co-writer and director for the film), and author Shannon Hale taking questions after the show.  They talked about how much fun it was, some fun things that happened on set, and what's next for both of them.
 At the after party!

 Yeah, that's me and Shannon.  ;)  I've met her several times and she is just one of the most amazing people!

 At the after party they had these awesome actors dressed up in period garb.

And in fancy human sized bird cages -- swoon!

And the BEST part of it all!?  Sony bought the rights to the film that night, so AUSTENLAND the movie will be coming to theaters near you this summer!

It was absolutely hilarious.  Any lover of Austen, or even those who like to make fun of us Austen-lovers will absolutely laugh their heads off at this film!  You MUST put it on your to-see list!  I plan on going again!