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Monday, September 30, 2013


So, I ordered Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins  back on March 10, 2013. The order has been postponed. I got an email with my new anticipated delivery date. Umm...what? That has got to be the longest wait for a book to be published ever!!!


We now have delivery date(s) for the order you placed on March 10, 2013:

Stephanie Perkins "Isla and the Happily Ever After"
Estimated arrival date: December 31, 2037
If you want to check on the progress of your order, take a look at this page in
Your Account:

We hope to see you again soon!


Customer Service Department
Check your order and more:

Please note: This e-mail was sent from a notification-only address that cannot
accept incoming e-mail. Please do not reply to this message.

Now, if you actually look on Amazon's website, you'll see a much different expected release date.

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins (Dec 31, 2099)

Kindle Edition Available for Pre-order $9.78
Audio CD Available for Pre-order
Eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping.
$45.00 $33.27

Clearly I am going to be waiting on a lot of Wednesdays.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Stacking the Shelves - September 29, 2013

Wow, it's been a busy week for me. I am sorry I was not able to post anything this week. Work has been manic. And as work actually pays the bills and allows me to buy books.....

So, here we are, the last STS post of September. I hope you all got a lot of goodies.

Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

Elemental edited by Steven Savile and Alethea Kontis – The Tsunami Relief Anthology – Also stamped with the Columbus Metropolitan Library

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

Shadows by Robin McKinley

The Bride Wore Size 12 by Meg Cabot

Diary of a Dragon by Tad Williams

The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater

Through the Zombie Glass (The White Rabbit Chronicles) by Gena Showalter

The Unwritten: Tommy Taylor and the Ship That Sank Twice by Mike Carey and Peter Gross

Defy the Dark edited by Saundra Mitchell

Doctor Who Cyberman Bust & Illustrated Book by Running Press - It's really cool and currently sitting on my dresser...that is until Egg knocks it off.

Book I won!!!:
The Last Dark: The Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant by Stephen R. Donaldson - This is the first contest I won on Good Reads!!!  SO happy!

Audio Books:
Stardust written and read by Neil Gaiman

 Doctor Who Complete 7th Season

Kindle Books:
Impossible by Komal Kant

Ruby Red (The Ruby Red Trilogy) by Kerstin Gier and Anthea Bell

Well, that's it for this week.  TTFN!!!!!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Stacking the Shelves - September 22, 2013

 Well, this has been an eventful weekend. My niece came over for a sleepover Friday. We took her out for Mexican food then went to Home Goods to check out Halloween decorations. After that, we went to the book store because I have a coupon and I so hate to waste them. Brianna wanted to head over to her age section so Uncle Cam went with her so I could look. Didn't take long to pick up the book I wanted so I went back and found her and let him go look at what he wanted to.

We have always said we'll never say no to buying books. We may say no to a particular book, but we will never say no to books. So why is it that my 10 year old niece was only looking at hard covers? She didn't get that from me. While I do prefer hard covers and take every opportunity to say so to hubby, I don't think I ever told her that. So weird. But here I am figuring we can get her two or three books, paperbacks aren't that expensive, and she's picking up freaking $17.00 hard covers!!! It seems as if we are going to have to teach her the finer art of bargain hunting and ordering on line if she keeps wanting the more expensive hard covers.

But Uncle Cam said she could have a book, so how could I say, "Not that one, find one cheaper." The funny thing is that I have a lot of the books on the new title shelves. There were four bays of new titles and I was pointing out all the books I had, the majority from BEA. So then it was a guessing game. DO you have that? No. Do you have that one? No. Do you have that one? No. Do you have that one? Yes. Even though I pointed out all the books I had, she still had to ask if I had any of the books I didn't point out. So, she got off with a hard cover (I told her she could only have one hard cover) and a paperback and she decided she was going to put things on her Christmas wish list.

That was interesting to. I was showing her how to add things to an Amazon wish list. I was also showing her how to search for a book she likes and then scroll through the recommendations. Or how to go to the Books store, select Children's books and click on her age bracket. I showed her how to type in the name of an author and go to their store so she could see all the books the author wrote. She spent a bit of time Friday night going through all the middle school aged books I have and adding them to a list she was making so she could go home and add them to an Amazon wish list. Saturday morning I went up into the attic and found half a box of middle school books I've bought over the years. She was told she can read any of them she likes, but they are for here and not to take home.

She's not the best reader in the world, but it was just so cool to see her getting so excited about looking at books and wanting to read books. When she gets older, I have a whole slew of books she can transition to.

She stayed over Friday because we were all going to a family day where hubby does his Live Action Role Playing (or LARPing). And, before you ask, no, I am not succumbing. I went for Brianna and as a favor to hubby and I can say with certainty that I never would have expected to find myself at a LARP event, but it was fun. They had a scavenger hunt for the kids that lasted all day. The kids were finding treasure (gems and coins) and they all had foam swords. Although they were supposed to be killing the goblins, they would descend on any human coming near their savage little pack, including the owner of the camp ground. Then after striking him to the ground were shouting, "I'm checking his pockets! I'm checking his pockets!" They were looking for coins and gems. Too, too funny. Brianna seemed to enjoy her self at times and want to go home at other times, but it must have been a successful outing as she now has announced she'd like to go every month. Well, you're on your own, kid.

Today was a day spent in PA looking for Halloween stuff. We went to a garden center that usually has really cool stuff, onto Peddler's village where they were having a Scarecrow Festival and a Scarecrow contest. From there onto New Hope and on home. It really was a perfect weekend to be out and about. The weather beautiful and Fall is finally arriving.

And with that I should probably get to the important stuff...The stacking of the shelves.

Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews.


Unspoken ( The Lynburn Legacy) by Sarah Rees Brennan

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black - I missed this one at BEA.

 Antigoddess by Kendare Blake - I missed this one at BEA as well.

Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carrigan - I got the sequel at BEA, but figured I should start with book 1.

The Taming of the Tights by Louise Rennison - Lawks a mercy!!  Tallulah's back!!

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

 Audio Book:
Neverwhere written and read by Neil Gaiman

The Muppet Movie (The Nearly 35th Anniversary Edition)

Friday, September 20, 2013

Friday Night is Movie Night - Sleepy Hollow on FOX Mondays

Halloween is upon us.  It's that time of the year to get your spook on.  I have already started preparing. Halloween is my favorite holiday to decorate for.  I love the macabre, creepy, spooky things I find and every year I add to my collection.

This year we have three spooky trees for the front yard, more lanterns to hang and a really cool pumpkin man in a mask to put on the porch.  Inside, my greatest acquisitions thus far have been a giant steam punk spider and a steam punk vulture.  And a couple more spooky smaller trees for indoors.

In order to prepare for the holiday, I am trying to read Halloween appropriate books.  For instance, this Halloween I am going to start The Graveyard book over and finish reading it this time.

In keeping with the theme for the season, what better way to get in the mood than to watch FOX's adaptation of Sleepy Hollow on the small screen.  I didn't know what to expect, but I'm pretty sure this wasn't it.  That's not a bad thing, believe me.

The story opens 250 years earlier where Ichabod Crane is a soldier fighting for General Washington. This is no mild mannered school teacher.  He's gritty, handsome, confident, courageous, a good fighter, all the things you won't find in Disney's version of the story.  He comes face to face with the demon who will become the Headless Horseman.  He shoots the mercenary, but he won't go down. They fight, the Horseman slices Ichabod across the chest, but before he collapses, he cuts off the Horseman's Head.

Cut to present day, and Ichabod is clawing his way out of a grave in an underground cave, ala Brandon Lee in the Crow.  Instead of our Ichabod having a Crow guide, he has an eagle to guide him. He makes his way above ground and walks onto a highway where he is almost run down and causes a car to swerve off the road.

The biggest surprise was finding Clancy Brown, The Kurgen in Highlander, in the show.  He gets a call to investigate a disturbance, so he and his partner take the call.  What they find is a local farmer that has been decapitated.  The kicker, the wound is cauterized.

Before you know it, heads are rolling all over the place, but who is the Horseman and how can he be stopped?

After making his way to town, the police arrest Ichabod on suspicion of the murders, but he seems to be the only one that has any idea about what is going on and the local police are going to need every weapon in their arsenol to stop this demon.

As a first episode goes, I was really surprised by how much I liked it.  All the elements of the original story are there, but they are just displaced into modern society.  Ichabod is convincing as a displaced soul seeing our modern marvels for the first time.

Abby is a tough, gritty cop that is tenacious in her pursuit of the truth, but she second guesses herself, not wanting to be called crazy for what she believes.

The story takes place in Sleepy Hollow.  For those of you not from the northeast, Sleepy Hollow is a real village near Tarrytown, New York, where I am sure George Washingtom slept.  As anyone from this area knows, George Washington slept around...a lot.  But I digress.

There is an Old Dutch Church, where at Halloween, there is a dramatic one man presentation of the Legend of Sleepy Hollow.  Next to the church is the ancient grave yard where there are actual Von Tassels buried. Yes, there were actual Von Tassels living in the area.

Not too far from the Old Dutch Church, there is Washington Irvings estate called Sunnyside. It really is a beautiful and quaint old manor house right on the Hudson River.

While the show most certainly was not shot on location, there are a lot of establishing shots of the area. While I don't live in Tarrytown, I do go up there for Halloween. Outside of Salem, I think they do it right. There is the Legend of Sleepy Hollow in the Old Dutch Church, Cemetary tours, Haunted Hayride, Great Jack-o-Lantern Blaze (over 10,000 pumpkins lit up) and a haunted village called Horseman's Hollow where if you're lucky, or perhaps unlucky, you just might see the Horseman, but don't lose your head.

So, first episode down. It did not disappoint. It was appropriately creepy. Good characters. Although I'm loathe to give too much away, I look forward to seeing where the plot will take us. It's a perfect diversion for this haunting season. Can't wait for next week!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Swoon Thursday

TGIT!  I need a good swoon. 

Today, I have been technologically challenged. Not challenged in a way that I was having a difficult time figuring things out. Challenged meaning technology was actually challenging me today and thumbing it's nose at me.  To start, I could not sign into the employee portal to clock in at work. SO, when all is said and done, it looks like I worked one minute. My boss will fix it, but still. Then every time I tried to run an application, I ended up staring at the screen for minutes while waiting for things to load, things to stop clocking, etc. Some of the applications I needed to do my work kept erroring out, so I pretty much got very little done other than eating more Cheez-Its than I should.

To make matters worse, no, let me take a step back. I have had my computer now for over two years. Mine, my very own. Hubby has one and I have one. I have had access to MS Office, but it was some kind of trial type thing. Hard to explain, but I didn't have full access to everything MS Office could do. Anyway, a few days ago, actually, I think it was Monday because Monday is always pants, (but I digress), all my Word documents and EXCEL spreadsheets changed from the MS Office icon to a solid orange page. When I clicked on the icon, I was told I could purchase or get a free 30 day trial. I had always thought I got MS Office when I got the computer, but I guess I didn't.

Anyway, I decided to try to purchase the software tonight. It was agonizing since there are three different options to purchase; two options are outright purchases and one is a month by month or a year plan, but you'd be paying every year. It was critical to get the software since my life is on EXCEL; my ledger, my bills record, MY WISH LISTS!!!!!! How was I supposed to know what books were coming out when??? I agonized over having to pay in excess of $100.00 just to click a button and have my documents magically unlocked. Smacks of extortion. Nevertheless, I now have access and can view my spreadsheets, so all is right again.

After such a frustrating day, though, it's nice to have something to swoon about. Today's swoon is from The Boyfriend App by Katie Sise.

Swoon Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by YA Bound @

Here's how it works. You take a book you're currently reading or recently read and share what made your toes curl and your heart race!!!

His lips touched mine and we melted into each other. His lips were so soft. They opened. and his kiss grew stronger and more insistent until I felt his body tighten against me. I couldn't catch my breath. It didn't matter how many times I'd fantasized about making out with him - it was so much better than anything I could've imagined. I wrapped my arms around his neck and returned his passion until I could hardly stand up. I was like a rag doll in his arms.

Monday, September 16, 2013

It's Just Another Manga Monday: Strobe Edge Volume 6 by Io Sakisaka

Well, today was complete and utter Pants. I forgot my pedometer at home. I needed to put air in one of my tires, but it was raining, so I drove all day on a low tire. And I couldn't get into any of my applications at work, so rather than work on my inventory reduction, I got to take an on-line training course about privacy and had no choice but to answer people's question since I had no valid reason to refuse. I kept thinking, "When I get home, I can sit and read." It's 9pm now, and I haven't opened my book yet. C'est la vie. Sometimes, it goes this way.

That's okay, because I get to write about my current favorite manga title, Strobe Edge!!!

Alison Can Read started a weekly Manga Monday meme which I have jumped on. I've been reviewing manga from the start, but it is nice to have a place were like minded Otaku can meet and share our favorites.

Warning: Spoilers!!!

Book Description (From Amazon):
A heartwarming story about first love that’s one of the most hotly anticipated new shojo series among U.S. fans.
What is love, anyway? Ninako Kinoshita’s friends tell her it’s one thing, but Ninako wonders what this mysterious feeling really is. When she meets Ren Ichinose, the handsome, enigmatic guy that all the girls worship, her life takes an unexpected turn. With just a few words and a smile, he changes her world...

A big change occurs in Ren and Mayuka’s relationship, leaving Ninako wondering what she should do with this news. Just as things seem to be moving forward, Ando confronts Ren about a past transgression. Will these two former friends be able to mend their rift?

Reads R to L (Japanese Style) for teen audiences.

My Review:
Well, things seem to be heating up a bit. Ren sees Daiki in the morning before school starts and Daiki tells him he has no hard feelings towards Ren because Ren and Mayuka broke up. However, they are overheard and soon the entire school is a buzz with the news.

Tsukasa and the other girls in class are talking to Ninako about it, telling her to make her move, that the other girls will start making a play for Ren. Ninako, however, can't feel happy about the situation. Since she knows Mayuka, she can't help but empathize with both of them understanding how tough the break up must be on both of them. She decides she can't make a play for Ren because he won't be ready. She understands he needs time to heal.

Sure enough, the girls start giving him notes, confessing their love and he gets a ton of Valentine's Day chocolates. He turns them all down, though, telling them he's not ready.

 Ando is still steadfast in his attention to Ninako. He stopped playing the field and seems to only have eyes for her. Knowing she is in love with someone else has gotten him quite frustrated, especially since the guy she is in love with is his arch rival.

Ando finally confronts Ren about his ex-girlfriend kissing Ren. They argue over it and Ren walks away. Ninako being in the right place at the right time worms the story out of Ren about what happened, although he mentions no names. He seems upset that he had a falling out with his friend. Ninako keeps asking Ren if he made up with his friend yet, which he hasn't, and then mentioned it to Ando. Since Ren didn't mention any names, Ninako has no idea he was referring to Ando.

Ando decides to go talk to Ren again. Are they able to patch up their differences?

And finally a new year starts and the gang is all back together for their second year with one new addition. Ren is in Ninako's class, much to Ando's dismay. What is in store for these two? Will Ren get over the break up with Mayuka and tell Ninako how he feels? Will Ando finally win her over? Or will Ninako only have eyes for Ren, especially now that she will be seeing him everyday.

Find out in the next installment of Strobe Edge due out November 5.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Stacking the Shelves

Nothing like spending a late summer day at the Renaissance Festival, but what a crowd! I haven't see it so crowded in probably about 15 years. I am exhausted and need to have a lie down, so let me get right to the meat of the matter.

We're all here to see what everybody else got in their mailboxes. Maybe something good? If it's a book, it can hardly be bad. 

Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

So here's my haul this week.

The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
The Hollow (Hollow Trilogy)by Jessica Verday - This one takes place in Sleepy Hollow

Infernal Devices Vol 2
Strobe Edge Vol 6
Demon Love Spell Vol 4
Midnight Secretary Vol 1
Arata: The Legend Vol 15

I hope you all got something good!!!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Swoon Thursday - September 12th

It's that time again ......

Swoon Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by YA Bound @

Here's how it works. You take a book you're currently reading or recently read and share what made your toes curl and your heart race!!!

This week's swoon is from Famous Last Words by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski. Only the names have been obscured to protect the readers from spoilers.

"I wish we had done this sooner."

"The band or the kiss?"


"I was waiting for you to get real about XXXX."

"And I was waiting for you to define what XXXX was to you."

"I told you. She wasn't my girlfriend. Nor was she ever going to be."


"You walked into the newsroom."

Well, that turned me to mush.  How about you all out there?

Monday, September 9, 2013

Confessions of a bookaholic, but what's that got to do with the price of books in China?

My mother has always been full of odd little quips; like "Here's your hat, what's your hurry?" or "Do you walk to school or carry your lunch?" One of her favorites when I was growing up was "What does that have to do with the price of tea in China?"

Now, I paraphrase, because I have to fit the occasion.

I used to work in a book store. I worked for 11 long years, 5 of them as a store manager. Although the pay was lousy and the hours bit the big one, especially during the Christmas shopping season, the company was almost always good (meaning my co-workers) and the perks of being able to borrow books and getting a decent discount almost made the rest of it worthwhile. I rarely borrowed books. Once I got something in my hand, I always had to own it, so I would borrow the book and then buy it because I couldn't bare to give it back.

What's that got to do with China, you ask? Well, I'm getting to that in a roundabout way.

When I left the bookstore, one of the things I had to get used to was not getting books at such a hefty discount. I had my Borders card and still got Border's coupons, but it was nothing compared to the employee discount. I had to learn moderation. I had to be more cautious about the books I bought. I became less willing to give a new author a chance because I had to pay more. Since I had to pay more per book, I was actually not able to buy as many, so I had choices to make.

And I got used to it. I was buying for a long time only those books by my favorite authors. I was buying a lot of manga, but I was getting that from where their everyday prices are generally 25% off retail. But regular books, not as much.

One of the other issues I had was that I had to buy the book in hard cover if available. While I do not need glasses to read, some mass markets had really small font and it was tiring to my eyes to try to read little bitty letters. Hard covers always had larger print. Back in the day, I was reading a lot more adult fantasy, well, that was when the genre had more depth than barbarian women, vampires and whatever flavor of the week epic fantasy was in stock. The choices I had were hard cover or mass market. The majority of genre books back then were not released in trade.

So, I had to buy hard covers. It became a habit I just never got out of. Also, they are sturdier, although, not so good for bath time reading.

Then something amazing happened, that made all my sacrifices unnecessary. Amazon, while going through a change in business plan, started discounting their hard cover adult books 34% for pre-orders. I believe the YA books used to be like 20%, but that changed eventually as well. The general price of YA hard covers was about 30% off.

Well, that was a bargain for me and an answer to my prayers. If I could get a deeper discount by pre-ordering my books, than pre-order I shall. Plus they had the lowest price guarantee, which they still do. So even if I bought it at 30% pre-order, if it dropped more before the book came out, I got the cheaper price.

I was pre-ordering books like crazy. I was, in some instances, pre-ordering books almost a year in advance. As soon as a book I really wanted was solicited, I would find enough other books coming out around the same time and order a few so I could get the free shipping. I had it down to a science, complete with spreadsheets and flip charts with pie graphs, color coded naturally.

I was happy and so would have been, but slowly over the summer, I've been noticing something. Something that may jeopardize my current way of life. I noticed the average discount slowly starting to get shallower and shallower. I would start to see a few books that were 32% pre-order and the next week, they would be at 29%, then 26%, sometimes down to 20%. There were some books I was waiting on to add books to the order, but by the time I was ready to order, the discount amount dropped significantly.

It started with a few books, but now the average discount for pre-ordering books is about 25%. Every so often I find something discounted at 40% like the Coldest Girl in Coldtown, which I ordered by the way.

While I realize 25% isn't that bad of a discount, it is hard to swallow when I am used to an additional 7 - 9% more off. And I find I am back where I was when I left the book store. I can't afford to take so many chances on books I don't know or authors I've never read. And I am now forced to find bargains where I can.

I used to be all about my books having to match. If I started a series in hard cover, I had to finish in hard cover. Nothing was worse for me that having a series start in hard cover and by the end the books were only released in trade. My dream library was always floor to ceiling, wall to wall hard covers. Not floor to ceiling, wall to wall mish mosh.

I can no longer afford to be as picky. Now I realize a 7 - 9% increase in book prices isn't much if one doesn't buy a megaton of books. But I do, or had, or something. So, I am now forced to come up with alternatives.

  • BEA is a great alternative. Free books as far as the eye can see. Read the book, blog about it. I get a free book and the publisher/author gets free publicity. Win / win.
  • Likewise ComicCon, which is next month in NYC. Got some great books last year, some of them signed as well.
  • I spend hours looking for books from Amazon Marketplace that I have on my wish list. I try to buy New if possible, but will also buy Like New. I always have to factor in the shipping cost of $3.99, so I can figure if I can get is secondhand cheaper than Amazon is selling brand new. I bought one second hand that was new and to my surprise, found it was an autographed copy.
  • I look for Kindle deals. I look at the daily deals every day. There are also the monthly deals. The first of every month, I check out all the Kindle deals for the coming month. I have been buying a lot more Kindle lately. But I comparison shop and try to find the book the cheapest way I can.
  • Wait for the book to come out in paperback. The purpose of buying in hard cover was because of the print. But I realized this week, that YA books go from hard cover to trade. Most are not released in mass market. I am somewhat backlogged on my reading and don't get to most of the books timely, so waiting until the books are available in paperback is a viable and cost effective option, unless it is one of my favorite authors and I must have the hard cover.
  • Put more books on Birthday and Christmas wish lists for my family. I've been doing that the past few years and generally get at least a few books.
  • Work bonuses. My company has issued pedometers where we can earn cash or credit for achieving certain levels in fitness. One of the options I can choose is an Amazon gift card. I'm not going to make that mark this year though. Not quite enough steps walked. New benefit year starts November first so in 2014 I'll be walking for books.
  • Look for bargain books in the local book store.
  • Renew my membership at Costco as their books are 40% off.

I haven't done NetGalley or Edelweiss as I don't like the idea of not being able to keep the ebook. If I invest the time to read a book, it's going to be something I want to read and I'm going to want to keep it, even if it is an ebook.

I'm sure there are alternatives I have not explored yet, so if any of you have any ideas, let me know. I love the blog posts I read with book deals. I have actually gone and purchased the book based on those posts at times.

Besides trying to find bargains where I can, I sense that I will once again have to learn moderation. I think I will be less likely to try new books and authors unless I am sure I am going to like it. Because of this, the book blogging community is going to be all the more critical for me.  Those reviews can help determine if I am going to buy the book or not.

So, what's all this have to do with the price of books in China? Not a darn thing, but it sounds like something my mother would say.

Happy Bargain hunting!!!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Stacking the Shelves

I know it's been a couple weeks. I can only say working 20 hours overtime does little for my social calendar or allow me much me time. Now that the extended OT is over, I find myself getting back into a regular routine. July and August were horrible months for me to try to keep up with my blog. September seems to be seeing me back on track. It was not a good summer as summers go, but the fall is now my favorite time of year.

So, no more excuses. It's just time to jump back in. In the words of an old friend, "Do or do not. There is no try."

And what better way to start than to jump in with a new installment of Stacking the Shelves.

Stacking The Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews.

My last post was August 25, so here is what I've picked up since then.

Dance of the Red Death (Masque of the Red Death) by Bethany Griffin - I have the first book signed (Thanks, Terri!).  I had been looking forward to this one coming out, but waited until I found it cheap enough through Amazon marketplace.

Purity by Jackson Pearce

Beautiful Decay by Sylvia Lewis - This is one I picked up on a whim at thet bookstore as I had a coupon burning a hole in my pocket.  There's nothing worse than having a coupn that you can't find anything to use it on.

Origin (Lux #4) by Jennifer L. Armentrout - Been dying for this one!!!  Of course, I haven't read Opal yet.  Perhaps I was waiting for this one to come out.

Star Wars: Jedi Academy by Jeffrey Brown - I was given a copy by a fellow blogger at BEA which I in turn gave to my 8 year old friend who loves Star Wars.  I had to get my own copy.

Starry Nights by Daisy Whitney - Missed this one at BEA, so was consumed by my need for the book.  Of course, I haven't opened it up yet.  Love the cover, though.

Ashes on the Waves by Mary Lindsay - I loved Shattered Souls and this one is based on the poem Annabel Lee

Sweet Legacy by Tera Lynn Childs

Glitter & Doom: A Masque of the Red Death Story by Bethany Griffin

Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy) by Anna Banks - Kindle August monthly deal - I've seen it, but thought little of it, but for $1.99?  Heck yeah.

Gargoyles Season 2 Part 2 - I loved the Disney Gargoyes TV show.  I had bought all the produced ones on VHS and had recorded all the other episodes from the TV.  Of course, those video tapes are kind of decrepit.  I was picking up the DVDs, but Season 2 was split in half.  Part One was released in 2005.  I've been looking ever since.  I finally got a notification from Amazon that Part Two was available.  Only, it was available from a secondary source selling it for $100.00.  Um, no.  Then I started to see it listed at a cheaper price.  I finally checked eBay and got myself a copy for about $25.00.  This was apparently only released as a selection of the Disney DVD club.

Happy reading!!!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Book Review: Famous Last Words by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski

It's still warm out, but there is that definite slight chill to the air that speaks of the approach of Fall. I can tell school is back in session by the number of young cheerleaders I see while I make my morning run to Dunkin Donuts.

Dunkin Donuts is full on Fall mode with their apple cider, two local football themed donuts, two varieties of pumpkin donuts and, my favorite, pumpkin muffins. They have that little bit of cinnamon powder and the drizzled icing. Just the right balance between sweet and spice. I swear I will not over indulge in them this season as much as I am sorely tempted to.

It's early in the day, well ish, and I live on a quiet enough street on the weekend. The depot is a block away, so trucks drive by all week long, but on the weekends, the only sounds I hear are my cat, Egg, yelling at me to pay him some attention, the crickets chirping outside the open window and the football game played in the field behind the houses across the street. I can hear the ref's whistles, the crowd screaming and the sound of cheering.

I was in the high school marching band and a baton twirler. For me, it could be warm outside and still warm enough to go to the beach, but even the beach would be deserted with no one but locals still soaking up the sun. However, nothing signaled the end of summer to me like the sounds of the first football game, complete with a marching band accompaniment.

As I sit here listening, I come to the realization that summer is indeed over and it is time for autumn to step to the fore, before the long cold of winter.

And so, I bring you my last installment of my Summer Fun Review Wrap Up.

Book Description (From Amazon):
In Famous Last Words by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski, sixteen-year-old Samantha D’Angelo has death on the brain. Her summer internship at the local newspaper has her writing obituaries instead of soaking up the sun at the beach. Between Shelby, Sam’s boy-crazy best friend; her boss Harry, a true-blue newspaper man; and AJ, her fellow “intern scum” (aka the cute drummer for a band called Love Gas), Sam has her hands full. But once she figures out what—or who—is the best part of her summer, will she mess it all up?

As Sam learns her way around both the news room and the real world, she starts to make some momentous realizations about politics, ethics, her family, romance, and most important—herself.

My Review:
Sam has taken a summer intern position at the local paper, the Herald Tribune. It is the only paper that still prints on the premises and while it may seem like a dream summer job, the problem is she is writing the obituaries. I think the job may have gotten to her because all throughout the book, she is writing people's obituaries, people that are very much alive. The story opens up with her writing her own obituary.

She is called intern scum by Harry, the editor in chief, and Moronica by Bernie, the copy-desk editor. Her partner in crime is AJ, who works in obits with her. The two scramble to fill the obits page, because if there are not enough people dying, they have to do a feature obit which entails calling friends and family for quotes, so they can do a feature on someone for the day.

Most of the action takes place in the newsroom. And like Ms. Doktorski's last book, there is not a whole lot of depth to the locations within the book. The background is not nearly as fleshed out as the characters, but it really works for her stories. They are, after all, all about the characters and the characters are very well defined.

Sam is spending her last summer of high school at the local paper. She is called an intern, but she does get paid for the job. Since she is low man on the totem pole, so to speak, she is assigned obits. She longs to do something a little bit more news worthy, so she does hit some of the reporters up with story ideas hoping she might get the chance to write a feature. She's a good writer. Unfortunately, she doesn't get to showcase her talents much in obits as the space allotted each person is relatively small and they just provide the stats of the person's life.

Her best friend is Shelby, who she is kind of mad at currently. They were at a party and Shelby went up to Rob McGinty, Sam's long time crush and told him Sam had a thing for him. The problem is Rob is dating one of the most beautiful girls in school. Sam is really shy and not very outgoing and Rob is totally out of her league. He seems nice enough to her, friendly, talks to her, but the group of friends he hangs out with are the typical stuck up popular crowd that belittle every one around them. Shelby, on the other hand, is a flirt and loves to party. She is constantly trying to get Sam to go out, but Sam isn't much for parties. Shelby has a hard time accepting the fact that Sam has a job and puts in a lot of long hours depending on the paper's needs. Shelby is currently unemployed and would like to keep it that way.

AJ is in college and a second year intern, so he's showing Sam the ropes. He also looks out for her, giving her rides home when they work late, monitoring the phone for calls from Shelby, etc. He is also the drummer for a local band called Love Gas, so when he's not working, he's practicing. Then there is the status of his relationship with Jessica. Jessica is a girl that keeps calling the paper for him, but he insists that she is not his girlfriend, she is his "I-don't-know." Sam seems to have a little thing for AJ and the ambiguity of his relationship with Jessica bothers her a bit. Perhaps what she needs is a boyfriend.

In walks Tony, another intern, who has been on vacation. He is Italian and drop dead gorgeous. She is immediately smitten with him as are all the women in the newsroom. However, she starts to believe there may be something there when he asks her to go get coffee with him. He is a big flirt, though, and while he spends time chatting up Sam, he is also talking to Alexis, one of the female photographers. AJ can't stand him and tries to warn Sam off. Harry and Meg, another reporter at the paper, think he's a no talent hack, but that doesn't dissuade Sam from her pursuit of him as potential boyfriend material.

Michael is one of the reports that Sam talks to and he covers City Hall in Paterson. He is talking about how the mayor is doing something shady, but he can't get any proof. He believes the mayor is creating jobs to give to friends, but the people don't actually work. One of the people he is trying to dig up information on is Sy Goldberg, but no one has seen him.

After Michael ends up in the hospital from kidney stones, Sam decides to try to help him out and tries to do some investigation on the side. She gets one small bit of information thanks to a lunch date with Shelby, which only serves to encourage her to keep up the investigation. She decides to follow the mayor and drags AJ along to her stakeouts as he has a car. But does she find the evidence she needs to prove something shifty is, in fact, going on?

Ms. Doktorski must be a local author, relative to where I live, as she references the Tick Tock diner which is on Route 3 in Clifton. I was thrilled to no end as I have spent many a night there, although my diner of choice is The Park West. I used to always see this little old lady at the Tick Tock with her caretaker. She stood out as she had sequined baseball caps in every color of the rainbow, so I could never miss her. She sparkled under the fluorescent lights.

There is also a reference to a pub called the Harp and Bard which is also in Clifton. I have spent many a night there as well. It used to be one of the best places around as there would be live Irish music playing on the weekends, Irish music pumping through the sound system when there wasn't live entertainment. They even used to have Irish wakes there, which were really a party. There used to be a little Irish gift shop through a side door, but that closed down years ago. They had one of the best beer selections in the area and a really good pub menu. It was sad for me when the business was sold. The new owners seemed okay at first, but slowly we saw things changing. The beer list kept getting shorter and shorter. Some of the best dishes on the menu would go out of season and never return. The large screens came out for Sunday football and the nail in the coffin for me was the Texas hold em tournaments. I know they need to make a living, but the place was turning into the kind of place I didn't enjoy hanging out in. I'm not even sure those owners still have the place. It's been a while since I've been there.

So, local towns and places I've frequented made me want to keep reading the book. I read the majority of the book in one sitting last week , finishing around 3am.

I really love her characters. They all seem very real. The heart of the story is the characterizations, the relationships and how the characters grow throughout the book. There is enough action going on to keep the book flowing and there is so much going on with the characters that it's hard to put down.

The book ends with the end of summer and Sam getting ready to go back to school for her senior year. So, this is the perfect cap to my Summer Fun Review Wrap Up. I hope you have all enjoyed!! See you at the beach!!!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Book Review: From What I Remember... by Stacy Kramer and Valerie Thomas

It is time for the next installment of my Summer Fun Review Wrap Up. I am just about ready to wrap it up just as I'm about ready to put my shorts in the attic and put away my sandals for another 9 months. But summer is not quite over yet, at least not for me.

This installment is a book I just happened upon in the book store while I was browsing. I wasn't necessarily looking for anything or perhaps I had something very specific in mind which I couldn't find. (Happens far too often. If it's a new book, why is it not on the shelf? But I digress.) Regardless of the reason, I picked up From What I Remember... by Stacy Kramer and Valerie Thomas along with a few other books and made my way to the café so I could peruse the first chapter of each and decide which I wanted to pick up. I believe I got no further than the first chapter of From What I Remember... and I knew I had to buy it. And now I will share with you...

Book Description:
Publication Date: January 7, 2013

Kylie Flores – class brain and movie addict – has been planning her big graduation day speech for three months. A scholarship student she would never dream of mixing with the likes of Max Langston – rich undeniably handsome and athletic but totally dead from the neck up. So it’s a total mystery when Kylie wakes up in Mexico with the hangover from hell in a bed she doesn’t recognise next to Max – and they are both wearing wedding bands…

Rewind 48 hours to find out just how and why they got there!

My Review:
So that is the set up. How did they get there? I had to know.

It's Graduation week, the day before the last day of school in fact and Ms. Murphy, the English teacher, is handing out a project that is due the next day. To make matters worse, she is pairing up the class randomly. Kylie, who is the Valedictorian and doesn't mind a last minute assignment is paired up with Max Langston, who she considers to be an arrogant rich kid. The paper is going to count towards the final grade, so Kylie doesn't want to skip the assignment like most of the senior class is planning on doing, Max, for instance.

Kylie is an outsider. She is more interested in studying and making her place in the world than making friends, but she has one friend, Will, who has appointed himself Kylie's fashion consultant, since Kylie doesn't make much effort in her appearance. She wears unflattering clothes and keeps her hair in a pony tail. As much as Will tries to improve her style, she is reluctant and resistant to it. Because she is a big geek when it comes to school work and she is not wealthy like the majority of the body of students at her high school, she is often picked on. Now she just counts the days until she can get to NYU and start her career in film.

Max, on the other hand, one of the popular crowd, is loaded and dating the most gorgeous girl in school, Lilly Wentworth. He is also captain of the football team and has lots of friends. Max is planning on skipping the assignment, but Kylie presses him to cooperate, agreeing to write his paper for him if he would just give her 10 minutes.

When Max doesn't show up for their meet up, Kylie decides to go looking for him. Finding him on the squash courts, she confronts him about about their missed appointment. Some words are spoken, one thing leads to another, Kylie goes nuclear and kicks Max's friend Charlie after he's made some really snarky remarks about where she lives. Max gets angry with her and tells her he's not doing the assignment and she stalks off after cursing him out.

Later that night, Max calls Kylie to apologize and tell her he'll do the paper, or rather, he'll give her what she needs so she can write both papers. They agree to meet at a coffee shop before school the next day.

Kylie is late to meet Max, but she gets coffee, settles down and asks him what the two most influential books he's read are. She's expecting him to mention some shallow easy reading kind of books, but he surprises her with a couple of books that are thought provoking and deep. Once he's given her the information she needs, he moves to leave, but Kylie is searching about the floor. Her back pack has been stolen and she races out the door of the coffee shop in pursuit of the thief.

That backpack is Kylie's life. It has her laptop in it which has her Valedictorian speech as well as a screenplay she is working on and she has no back up. She catches up to him, but he slips away and hops on a dirt bike. Max gets his car, picks Kylie up and offers to take her to school, but she refuses. After she cries about her computer, he offers to go after the thief with her. They follow the dirt bike until it meets up with a U Haul truck. The thief unloads his haul, gets paid and races off. Then the truck drives off.

Max again wants to head back to school, but Kylie wants to get out of the car and go after them. Reluctantly, Max decides he's give her a half hour and they go after the truck. They follow the truck to a convenience store and while the criminals are inside, Kylie and Max sneak into the van so she can get her back pack. They almost make it, but run out of time and get stuck in the back of the truck while the two guys get back in and drive off to who knows where.

What follows is either a trip down the highway to hell or the road to heaven.

I wasn't sure what to expect, but I liked the premise. I could relate to Kylie, not that I've ever blacked out and found myself not remembering a thing the next day. I found the characters of Kylie to be complex and interesting. Both of them have their own secrets they don't share and they are both guilty of bias of the other based on their own assumptions. But neither of them is what the other thinks.

Kylie is a little obsessive and seems to need to take charge. She has issues at home and loaded down with responsibility. She is also way too serious and doesn't seem to let loose much.

Max has it all. A perfect life. But what people don't know is that he is basically putting on a show. He acts the way people think he should act, but he is much deeper and thoughtful underneath it all. He has an over inflated sense of responsibility to every one around him, but he seems to be going through the motions. His life is not his to control and it doesn't matter what he wants to do. 

The road trip starts with Max resenting Kylie and blaming her for their current predicament. He's also scared, but doesn't want to show it. Kylie has to be strong and try to figure things out as it seems Max is incapable. As they are forced to travel on together they begin to confide in each other the issues that they are both dealing with and they come to understand one another, realizing that they are neither what the other at first assumed.

It is a beautiful story to watch unfold, like a morning glory opening up at the first kiss of the sun. You know how the story ends, well almost. It doesn't quite start at the end, but it is a wonderful journey to see how they get there and how they both transform. The story is at times heartbreaking, but at other times tremendously funny and well worth the trip.

Plus it's got a pretty darn good tag line: Ever wish your life was like a movie?

Well who doesn't? I know I do.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Swoon Thursday

Here it is, one of my favorite days of the week. Not only is it a work-from-home day which makes it feel almost like the weekend, but it is also Swoon Thursday and who doesn't like a good swoon after supper. Well, I did have a pudding, but there's nothing better than a nice swoon to round out the evening.

Swoon Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by YA Bound @

Here's how it works. You take a book you're currently reading or recently read and share what made your toes curl and your heart race!!!

This week's selection is from a book called Extracted by Sherry D. Ficklin and Tyler H. Jolley. I received the book courtesy of the authors and Spencer Hill Press at BEA this year. The book is due out November 12th. I encourage you to check it out and stay tuned for the Extracted Blog Tour coming this fall.

He grins and I can tell he's about to say something. Knowing Ethan, it will be some ridiculous quip that will make me rethink this. Before he can get a word out, I stretch up and press my lips against his.

He freezes, his heart stuttering under my fingertips. I pull back, sure I've done something wrong - crossed that invisible line. I've never kissed a boy before, not like this. A rush of heat floods to my cheeks, making me almost unbearably hot under his unreadable expression. I open my mouth to apologize.

"I-" He cuts me off by taking my face in his hands and kissing me. I run my fingers through his hair as he moans into my mouth. Everywhere we are touching, my skin burning until I'm sure I'm going to burst into flames. Moving his hands around my waist, he pulls me from the door and lifts me off the ground, carrying me over to an empty study table. He breaks the kiss long enough to gently set me on it.

"I told you that you couldn't resist me, " he jokes, his voice deep and rough. 

I sigh. "Well, everyone should get to be right once in their life."

Leaning into me, he touches the tips of his fingers to my bottom lip.

"We belong together, you know that, right?" he says, barely louder than a whisper.

I hope you enjoyed!!  TTFN!!!