Posts By: Heather

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Need by Carrie Jones

12 Jan, 2010 by in need, paranormal YA fiction, pixies, werewolves 2 comments

published December 23rd 2008 by Bloomsbury USA Children’s Books

details Hardcover, 306 pages

From Goodreads “Now fans of Stephenie Meyer and Melissa Marr have a new author to devour.

Zara collects phobias the way other high school girls collect lipsticks. Little wonder, since life’s been pretty rough so far. Her father left, her stepfather just died, and her mother’s pretty much checked out. Now Zara’s living with her grandmother in sleepy, cold Maine so that she stays “safe.” Zara doesn’t think she’s in danger; she thinks her mother can’t deal.

Wrong. Turns out that guy she sees everywhere, the one leaving trails of gold glitter, isn’t a figment of her imagination. He’s a pixie—and not the cute, lovable kind with wings. He’s the kind who has dreadful, uncontrollable needs. And he’s trailing Zara.

With suspense, romance, and paranormal themes, this exciting breakout novel has all the elements to keep teens rapidly turning the pages”

I chose this book because I am fascinated pixies and the photo on the cover pulled me in. Here’s the funny part…I got about three chapters into the book and something about the writing just rubbed me the wrong way. I thought to myself “this writing reminds me of the Fairy Path series I read a while ago.” Looked at the author, they are one and the same.

I wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt and give it another go. I really related to her character Nick. Only problem was I just couldn’t get past the Amnesty International plugs that seemed to be blatant advertising, the phobia repeating and the strange and obviously dumb decisions of the main character Zara. She keeps doing the exact opposite of what is smart, trying to be the martyr that she is. The writing and dialogue is very simple. I just couldn’t stay engaged as much as hard as I tried. If it weren’t for the one mention of sex and nudity, I think it would be a better middle reader rather than YA fiction. I enjoyed some of the character’s personalities (and the gold glitter), but I can only give it two out of five stars. Something about Carrie Jones’ style and I just don’t click, though I wish it did because I am interested in her subject matter of fairies and pixies. Not sure I will read Captivate, but I have heard other reviewers say they really love her stuff. So for another reader it may be a good match.

Carrie’s website:http://www.carriejonesbooks.com/my-awesomest-books/need/Here is the book trailer for Need…

Mom’s Monday "Otis" by Loren Long

11 Jan, 2010 by in Otis, picture books Leave a comment


published September 22nd 2009 by Philomel

details Hardcover, 40 pages

isbn 0399252487

From Goodreads…” New York Times bestselling author/artist Loren Long creates an unforgettable children’s classic.

Otis is a special tractor. He loves his farmer and he loves to work. And he loves the little calf in the next stall, whom he purrs to sleep with his soft motor. In fact, the two become great friends: they play in the fields, leap hay bales, and play ring-around-the-rosy by Mud Pond.

But when Otis is replaced with the big yellow tractor, he is cast away behind the barn, unused, unnoticed . . . until the little calf gets stuck in Mud Pond. Then there is only one tractor—and it’s not big or yellow—who can come to the rescue. It is little old Otis who saves his friend. It is Otis who saves the day. In a wonderful new palette, and in the tradition of classics like Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel and The Story of Ferdinand, Loren Long has crafted an unforgettable new story—and character—celebrating the power of friendship and perseverance. “

I picked up Otis a couple of weeks ago at Barnes and Noble because I have a special spot in my heart for anything red and retro, not to mention I frequently photograph tractors near my home. The illustrations are priceless and the story is heart warming teaching the importance of special friends. Sometimes old is in fact better than new. Five out of five stars for this soon to be classic!

Calamity Jack Launch Party

10 Jan, 2010 by in Nathan Hale, Rapunzel's Revenge, Shannon Hale 2 comments

From Goodreads…”Jack thinks of himself as a criminal mastermind with an unfortunate amount of bad luck. A schemer, a trickster …maybe even a thief? But, of course, he’s not out for himself he’s trying to take the burden off his hardworking mum’s shoulders. She’d understand, right? He hopes she might even be proud. Then, one day, Jack chooses a target a little more …’giant’ than the usual, and as one little bean turns into a great big building-destroying beanstalk, his troubles really begin. But with help from Rapunzel and other eccentric friends, Jack just might out-swindle the evil giants and put his beloved city back in the hands of the people who live there …whilst catapulting them and the reader into another fantastical adventure”

Let me start by saying that Shannon Hale is one of my very favorite authors. I have read all of her Books of Bayern series except for the newest one “Forest Born”, as well as Austenland and The Princess Academy. So when I hear that the King’s English was hosting a release party for her newest book I HAD to go! We learned a lot of interesting things about what a caper is, how comics go from beginning to end, and how it is to work with more than one author. Shannon and her husband even danced an interpretive dance to a song by “deep Forest” to show us what it means to collaborate. Some very exciting announcements were made about future Austenland projects, which I’m not sure we are allowed to share…but SQUEE!…. is all I can say.
Read more about Shannon’s launch week on her website http://www.squeetus.com/stage/main.html
and check out Nathan Hale’s REALLY cool website!

Shannon standing on Dean’s back…later she used him as a horse

Shannon and Dean at the signing table

Dean autographing our book

Shannon and Dewan “capering about” taught us what a true caper is!

Nathan Hale’s work for Calamity Jack…
the middle image almost became the cover for the book


Rapunzel artwork by Nathan Hale


The authors talking about the process of publishing their newest graphic novel

Trailer of Rapunzel’s Revenge, the first in the series

Fallen Archangel Chasing Brooklyn Contest

09 Jan, 2010 by in Uncategorized Leave a comment

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CHASING BROOKLYN CONTEST

Enter this awesome contest from Fallen Archangel http://www.fallenarchangel.com/home/featuredfiction.html

Courtesy of Simon & Schuster, we have 5 copies of this book to give away to US & Canadian Residents. (We have read it and it’s really GOOD!) Here’s how to enter….

Grab the Chasing Booklyn button ——>>
(the html code is below the button)

Place it on your Blog, Facebook, MySpace, or anywhere else you can think of 🙂 Post a link to each place you have posted it, in the contest thread in our forum. You will receive one entry for each place you post it.

Contest runs through Sunday, January 10!

Bright Blue Miracle

08 Jan, 2010 by in Shadow Mountain, YA fiction Leave a comment

“Seventeen-year-old Leigh Mason is not sure she’s ready to share her mom, her bedroom, and her little sisters with her new stepsister, Betsy. And she’s definitely not ready to share her best friend, who happens to be a boy!

Coping with a blended family is not easy for either Leigh or Betsy, especially during their senior year in high school. Each step brings them nearer to a crisis that will either send them running in different directions or bind them firmly together (which, let’s face it, would take a miracle).

Bright Blue Miracle is a new young adult novel that has everything a girl wants: a hero (more specifically, a really cute boy), a villain (who happens to be a stepsister), comedy, despair, pedicures, ice cream, love, hate, tennis, revenge, and, of course, a couple of surprises that might send you for some tissues.”

This was a fun-loving realistic look at how it would feel to combine families and share a room with what seems to be a “perfect” step-sister. Blending two households with teenagers is never an easy task! But Gamma makes it easier with her pedicures and hook ups. It’s a great book for teens with lessons of sharing your guy friends with their girlfriends. Jeremy handles things as every girl wishes he would and you’ll find your heart strings tugged. I give it a three out of five stars.