ALA in NOLA Wrap-up and Show & Tell

I was fortunate enough to get to attend the American Library Association's annual convention in New Orleans. While I only got to go for one day, I'm so grateful for the opportunity to mingle with so many like minded book people.

This was a fabulous event. There were publishers, authors and yes, lots and lots of books.

My adventure began when I got in my car and drove MYSELF TO AND THROUGH the city of New Orleans. I think I might even be more proud of that than the actual convention. Driving in New Orleans = Scary for this country girl. But I made it and meet up with Rachel aka Parajunkee and Patti aka Book Addict who turned out to be two of the MOST AWESOME people in existence. I swear, those two just made the whole event that much better. I was also fortunate enough to meet up with Autumn from From the TBR pile, Jamie from Bookmarked and Christie from The Fiction Enthusiast plus several other bloggers.

Each publisher had their new and upcoming titles on display. I was pretty apprehensive about being just a measly little book blogger at a library convention but I was so surprised at just how well bloggers were received. I walked right up to publishers, introduced myself, told them I was a YA blogger and it was like BAM "Let me tell you about what we've got coming up/show you this book!" I met with so many wonderful bookish people who were very interested in getting to know YA book bloggers. That made me feel pretty awesome for all of us.

I think the award for the publishing rep with the most awesome went to HarperTeen. Hands down. She was so excited about each and every one of their books, wanted to know what I was into and introduced me to new titles that she swore I would love.

I caught several book signings. Ellen Hopkins (so nice), Julie Kagawa (absolute sweetheart), Ilsa Bick (very very cool), Mette Ivie Harrison (very nice) and Brenna Freakin' Yovanoff who exists on her own separate plane of AWESOME. Here is a picture of me and Miz Yovanoff. That's me grinning like an idiot because I just adore her.

So yeah, I carried what felt like 23234098298 lbs of books and I still haven't recovered full sensation in my shoulders. It was worth it because here is what I was lucky enough to find:

Starting at the top left corner:

Open Wounds by Joseph Lunievicz
The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff
Triangles by Ellen Hopkins
Ashfall by Mike Mullin
The Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon
Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick
The Gray Wolf Throne by Cinda Williams Chima
Supernaturally by Kiersten White
Darker Still by Leanna Renee Hieber
The Way We Fall by Megan Crewe
Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers
When She Woke by Hillary Jordan
His Mistress by Crhistmas Victoria Alexander
Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan
Juliet Immortal by Stacey Jay
The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
Legend by Marie Lu
Prized by Carah O'Brien
The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter
Tris & Izzie by Mette Ivie Harrison
Ashes by Ilsa Bick
Blood Wounds by Susan Beth Pfeffer
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
Dark Passages by M.J. Putney
The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross
Cut by Patricia McCormick
The Fox Inheritance by Mary Pearson
Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

This was an amazing experience. Loved loved loved it.

Today I Turn 21......

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Or rather I turned 21 on this day _____ years ago.

Things are busy busy around here what with that satanic Chemistry class and turning older and getting ready for ALA and packing for a week long trip to Florida and that satanic Chemistry class (it counts twice). I only have enough time to post that sentence and a picture of Shimmy, my special dog.

Waiting on Wednesday (16) Away by Teri Hall, The Space Between by Brenna Yovanoff

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine, in which we share the books that we are anxiously waiting to be released.

Away by Teri Hall

Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers
Date: September 15th 2011

From Goodreads:

After crossing the Line, Rachel finds herself in a world where survival is never guaranteed - a world where bizarre creatures roam the woods and people have strange abilities. Everything has gone to ruin Away and the survivors have banded into warring clans. Rachel finds her father being held prisoner by a tribe of Others, and she and her new friends set out to rescue him. But when they cross back over the Line, Rachel and Pathik make a foolish decision, bringing them into further danger that can only be resolved with an unthinkable sacrifice.

An adventure filled with life-and-death choices, dark conspiracies, and heart-poundingly suspenseful moments, this sequel delivers.

The Line was very good and I'm really looking forward to this one. Dystopian goodness right here.

The Space Between by Brenna Yovanoff

Publisher: Razorbill (Penguin)
Date: November 15th 2011

From Goodreads:

Everything is made of steel, even the flowers. How can you love anything in a place like this?

Daphne is the half-demon, half-fallen angel daughter of Lucifer and Lilith. Life for her is an endless expanse of time, until her brother Obie is kidnapped - and Daphne realizes she may be partially responsible. Determined to find him, Daphne travels from her home in Pandemonium to the vast streets of Earth, where everything is colder and more terrifying. With the help of the human boy she believes was the last person to see her brother alive, Daphne glimpses into his dreams, discovering clues to Obie's whereabouts. As she delves deeper into her demonic powers, she must navigate the jealousies and alliances of the violent archangels who stand in her way. But she also discovers, unexpectedly, what it means to love and be human in a world where human is the hardest thing to be.

This second novel by rising star Brenna Yovanoff is a story of identity, discovery, and a troubled love between two people struggling to find their place both in our world and theirs.

YESSSSSSS! The Replacement was EXCELLENT. Yovanoff's writing is phenomenal. I hope this one is just as creepy as the last one.

In My Mailbox (32)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren in which we share the books we received for the week.

Sea Change by Aimee Friedman
From Goodreads:
Sixteen-year-old Miranda Merchant is great at science. . .and not so great with boys. After major drama with her boyfriend and (now ex) best friend, she's happy to spend the summer on small, mysterious Selkie Island, helping her mother sort out her late grandmother's estate.
There, Miranda finds new friends and an island with a mysterious, mystical history, presenting her with facts her logical, scientific mind can't make sense of. She also meets Leo, who challenges everything she thought she knew about boys, friendship. . .and reality.

Is Leo hiding something? Or is he something that she never could have imagined?

The Education of Bet by Lauren Baratz-Logsted
From Goodreads:
When Will and Bet were four, tragic circumstances brought them to the same house, to be raised by a wealthy gentleman as brother and sister. Now sixteen, they’ve both enjoyed a privileged upbringing thus far. But not all is well in their household. Because she’s a girl, Bet’s world is contained within the walls of their grand home, her education limited to the rudiments of reading, writing, arithmetic, and sewing. Will’s world is much larger. He is allowed—forced, in his case—to go to school. Neither is happy.

So Bet comes up with a plan and persuades Will to give it a try: They’ll switch places. She’ll go to school as Will. Will can live as he chooses. But once Bet gets to school, she soon realizes living as a boy is going to be much more difficult than she imagined.

In Scandal They Wed by Sophie Jordan
From Goodreads:
What kind of woman would marry a man she only just met?

The kind with nothing to lose.

Long ago, Evelyn Cross sacrificed her good name, her freedom, and any hope for love. Now, in the remote English countryside, she struggles to survive and avoid the scandal threatening to destroy all she holds dear . . . until a sinfully handsome viscount arrives on her doorstep, offering marriage, salvation, and tempting her with so much more . . .

What kind of man would marry a woman he only just met?

The kind bound by duty.

Fresh from war, Spencer Lockhart returns home to claim his title and right the wrong his cousin perpetrated upon Evelyn Cross. In need of a wife, his marrying her is a small price to pay for duty. But when he meets her, the fiery chit is not what he expects to find in a ruined lady. As desire flares hotly between them, honor is the last thing on his mind . . .

What kind of man and woman would marry when they've only just met?

The kind who could ignite a scandal with just one touch.

What lovelies came your way this week?

Girl in the Arena by Lise Haines

Girl in the Arena by Lise Haines
Published October 13th 2009 by Bloomsbury

From Goodreads: It’s a fight to the death—on live TV—when a gladiator’s daughter steps into the arena.

Lyn is a neo-gladiator’s daughter, through and through. Her mother has made a career out of marrying into the high-profile world of televised blood sport, and the rules of the Gladiator Sports Association are second nature to their family. Always lend ineffable confidence to the gladiator. Remind him constantly of his victories. And most importantly: Never leave the stadium when your father is dying. The rules help the family survive, but rules—and the GSA—can also turn against you. When a gifted young fighter kills Lyn’s seventh father, he also captures Lyn’s dowry bracelet, which means she must marry him...

I've been wanting to read this one. It looked to have an interesting premise- not quite dystopian, rather set in modern times with a few twists. Gladiator competitions have become a major sport, just like football or hockey, only in Gladiator sports, the opponents in the arena fight to the death. Not really all that far fetched. We are a vile, violent race on the whole and I can think of a handful of people, just of my acquaintance who would happily put on their beer guzzling helmets and wave their giant foam fingers while two people hack each other to bits in the name of entertainment. If you look at it like that it's only slightly less civilized than football, and perhaps a bit more so than hockey :)

I'd like to clear up that even though, when one sees the title, one could speculate that this is merely a Hunger Games wannabe, but it's not. There are countless differences and very few similarities. I think perhaps the biggest difference (and perhaps the biggest plus for this novel) is that Lyn's story is entirely believable. A big multimillion dollar entertainment corporation owns and operates a sports association, profiting from all the publicity, advertising and merchandising that goes along with it. The fight to the death- not so unbelievable. It's happened in the past, and it happens today in other less demonstrative forms. I liked that. Lyn and her family lived in the suburbs, owned lots of needlessly high-tech, futuristic gadgets (just as we do and will), she went to high school and so on. I could really get into the story because for the most part, it's stuff I've seen first hand and could picture it. Except for the killing part.

I got a kick out of all the Gladiator culture, with its idiotic rules and regulations, and its people who believe in it wholeheartedly. It reminded me a lot of a religious cult and it was just as ridiculous.

I wasn't sold on the writing; it was rather flat. When I read I like to mark (yes by dogearing the bottom corner of the page) specific passages where the writing stands out to me, or if there's a quote that I know I want to share. I didn't find any memorable examples in this book and I was less than impressed by the fact that it took over 3/4 of the book to get to the point. When it finally did arrive at the "big event", it was rather anticlimactic. I was really hoping for a good fight.

Kudos for shamelessly writing some really gross stuff- dismemberment and suicide and humans trampling humans. And even though I shouldn't have been, I was very much team Uber.

The Raven Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt

The Raven Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt

Published November 1st 2006 by Warner Forever

From Goodreads: There comes a time in a woman's life when she must do the unthinkable - and find employment. For the widowed Anna Wren, that means taking a job as female secretary for the Earl of Swartingham. Secretaries are always male - never female - as Anna well knows but the real downfall of her career is the realization that she is falling in love with Edward de Raaf - the Earl. But when she realizes that he is going to visit a brothel in London to take care of his 'manly' desires, Anna sees red - and decides to take advantage of the opportunity to also take care of her 'womanly' desires - with the Earl as her unknowing lover. But the Earl has another reason for going to London. He is formalising his betrothal and trying (with little success) to forget about a secretary that has no right being female. Unhandsome, he knows that no woman wants him. Except for the mysterious lady with whom he spent two unforgettable nights at Aphrodite's Grotto, the most scandalous brothel in London. But when Anna's plan is revealed, a bit of blackmail is thrown into the mix, a proposal is rejected and even the Earl himself will be unprepared for the intrigues that ensnare them.

**This book contains Naughty Bits and you view it at...your own level of comfort. Tell your mom it's not my fault.**

First, this is another one of those romances that is on Miz Sarah MacLean's favorites list, a list you all know I see as gospel and since she hasn't steered me wrong yet, I'll keep on chugging until I finish the list.

And this is where I lose any remaining cool points (as many as a grown woman reading YA and smut can have) and emphatically proclaim: I LOVED THIS BOOK. NO, YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND, I LOVED IT.

I still don't think you get it. First I loved the main character. Anna is an impoverished widow who still has to find a way to feed her household. A lady simple does not work. Selling the odd bit of stitching and lace is acceptable but pounding the pavement in search of waged employment just isn't done. She inspires an understandably fair amount of gossip when she goes to work as the Earl's secretary. In those days, secretarial jobs (like most all jobs) were reserved for men! I loved how she slapped expectations and societal norms in the face and went to work. Being a lady is all well and good, but a lady still has to eat. She's practical, sensible and I applaud her for getting the hell up and doing what she had to do to feed her family. The fact that she's a woman in a man's job was really only an issue to the gossips. Edward, the Earl of Swartingham's expectations weren't very high- have neat handwriting and finish the work on time. Plus he pretty much wanted to do her from the get go (I would have told her to use this opportunity to ask for a raise).

What was unexpected was my affection for the Earl. He's painted as a very coarse, foul tempered, unpleasant sort of man and the references to his marked ugliness are numerous. His main appeal was his treating Anna as an equal and his desperate desire to be loved. And not just loved, but wanted. Rather a reversal of roles here- usually it's our heroine seeking emotional gratification whilst all our heros are rakes. Made my heart go pitty-pat.

Now for the naughty bits- When their mutual desire for each other becomes a bit more than either can handle, the Earl takes off to London to visit his favorite brothel in hopes that the ahem, distraction, will make him stop thinking about Anna. Anna, widowed several years now, from a husband who was an ass while he was alive, has long since believed herself to be immune to desire but she can't deny that she wants Edward. So, and here's were we all squeal because it's just TOO much, she does something a lady would never do (or would never admit to) and follows Edward to London where once disguised, she presents herself as his lady of negotiable affection.

While the story is told, Anna is reading from a little book that she found in the Earl's library called The Raven Prince. It was his little sister's book and it is a fairytale about a princess that marries a raven to fulfill her father's debt to him. During the day he is a bird but at night he comes to the princess as a man but she has no idea that her lover is in fact her husband. Curious as to who her lover is, she lights a candle to reveal him and breaks the enchantment. Having been discovered, he is forced by the spell he is under to remain a raven and flies away, leaving her...

Anna is a lady, but a poor one. Edward is an Earl and as such his future wife must be able to fulfill certain social and financial obligations. But none of this matters when his Anna comes to him disguised at night but we know what happened in the fairytale....

Beautiful story, imaginative, and wonderfully written. I didn't put it down until it was finished....then I ran out and bought the sequels, The Leopard Prince and The Serpent Prince.

Follow Friday (3)

This is a fun little feature hosted by Miz Parajunkee that promotes bookbloggy togetherness. One of those is probably not a word.

This week's question IS AN EASY ONE:

Q. The magic book fairy pops out of your cereal box and says "you and your favorite character (from a book of course) can switch places!" Who are you going to switch with?

That's simple. I am now Miss Cassandra Mortmain and I live in a perfectly lovely, yet mostly crumbling, elderly castle and I am writing to you from the kitchen sink...

"That is, my feet are in it; the rest of me is on the draining-board, which I have padded with our dog's blanket and the tea-cosy. I can't say that I am really comfortable, and there is a depressing smell of carbolic soap, but this is the only part of the kitchen where there is any daylight left. And I have found that sitting in a place where you have never sat before can be inspiring- I wrote my very pest poem while sitting on the hen-house. Though even that isn't a very good poem. I have decided my poetry is so bad that I mustn't write any more of it." - I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith

Stalk me:

Waiting on Wednesday (15) Second Grave on the Left, Anna Dressed in Blood

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine, in which we share the books that we are anxiously waiting to be released.

Second Grave on the Left by Darynda Jones

Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Date: August 16, 2011

From Goodreads:

Charley Davidson, Grim Reaper Extraordinaire, is back in this sexy, suspenseful novel of supernatural shenanigans

When Charley is rudely awakened in the middle of the night by her best friend who tells her to get dressed quickly and tosses clothes out of the closet at her, she can’t help but wonder what Cookie’s up to. Leather scrunch boots with a floral miniskirt? Together? Seriously? Cookie explains that a friend of hers named Mimi disappeared five days earlier and that she just got a text from her setting up a meet at a coffee shop downtown. They show up at the coffee shop, but no Mimi. But Charley finds a message on the bathroom wall. Mimi left a clue, a woman’s name. Mimi’s husband explains that his wife had been acting strange since she found out an old friend of hers from high school had been found murdered a couple weeks prior. The same woman Mimi had named in her message.

Meanwhile, Reyes Alexander Farrow (otherwise known as the Son of Satan. Yes. Literally) has left his corporeal body and is haunting Charley. He’s left his body because he’s being tortured by demons who want to lure Charley closer. But Reyes can’t let that happen. Because if the demons get to Charley, they’ll have a portal to heaven. And if they have a portal to heaven…well, let’s just say it wouldn’t be pretty. Can Charley handle hot nights with Reyes and even hotter days tracking down a missing woman? Will Cookie ever get a true fashion sense? And is there enough coffee and chocolate in the world to fuel them as they do?

If you read the first book, First Grave on the Right you'll understand why time needs to speed up so that August 16th is NOW.

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Publisher: Tor Teen
Date: August 30, 2011

From Goodreads:

Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.

So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father's mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. Together they follow legends and local lore, trying to keep up with the murderous dead—keeping pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

When they arrive in a new town in search of a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas doesn't expect anything outside of the ordinary: track, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he's never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, now stained red and dripping with blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

But she, for whatever reason, spares Cas's life.

How about something entirely new and different? I saw this about a month back and I've decided I WANT IT. Love the cover.

Stay by Deb Caletti

     Stay by Deb Caletti

     Published April 5th 2011 by Simon Pulse

     More at:

     First Line: First off, I've never told this story to anyone.

     It's true that very little, if anything, can compare to your first love. It's exhilarating- that sudden onslaught of a new emotion so intense you marvel at your heart's new found ability to feel something so exquisite. How is it possible to feel this way when you never even knew you could? You revel in it, drink it in, savoring every taste until you're drunk with it. For a time, nothing else exists but the insatiable need for this other person. You want more. You've never been so greedy.
     When Clara meets Christian, suddenly there are only two people left on earth. Neither can get their fill of the other. Hasty promises are made that they will love each other forever and for all she knew, when she said it, Clara truly meant she would never leave him.
     But Christian's ardent attention soon turns into jealousy. Every male is a threat to his relationship with Clara. Her friends exist only to keep him from her. In angry, hurt tones he accuses her of cheating and begins to scrutinize her every word and move, watchful for even a hint of deception. Soon, this love that Clara couldn't get enough of becomes suffocating. She wants out, even though Christian made her promise never to leave him, and he's not going to let her forget it.
"It's strange, isn't it, how the idea of belonging to someone can sound so great? It can be comforting, the way it makes things decided. We like the thought of being held, until it's too tight. We like that certainty, until it means there's no way out. And we like being his, until we realize we're not ours anymore."
Contemporary YA and I are only just becoming friends. I've long preferred things with a magical air and I dove head first into all the fantasy and paranormal YA floating around out there. Pure escapism, easy reads, for the most part, with very little emotional investment. It wasn't until I read Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher that I discovered what I was really missing. Since then, I've become rather infatuated with these contemporary, ahem, darker, depictions of young life. And though I'm much too old for the majority of them to relate, I can appreciate the lessons and wish I had learned them much earlier on.

Stay has a lesson for you. Love, even with all the goodness and wonder it brings, can be the most dangerous of emotions. It's sneaky about it too- its evil silently piggybacking its way in with the bliss that you're all too eager to invite into your life. You bask in it, never knowing what love has hidden behind its back.
"I've heard that people stay in bad situations because a relationship like that gets turned up by degrees. It is said that a frog will jump out of a pot of boiling water. But place him in a pot and turn it up a little at a time, and he will stay until he is boiled to death. Us frogs understand this."
     Clara found herself in a controlling relationship that had just begun to skirt the edges of violent when she finally decided to get out. Her father takes her away for the summer, telling no one where they've gone. Over the summer, away from Christian's incessant pleas for her to take him back, she's finally able to come to terms with what happened. And what almost happened. She's once again free to say what she likes, dress how she likes, and see who she likes without the constant threat that any wrong move could trigger an emotionally violent reaction.
     It's wonderful how she helps with her own healing. Clara has once again found herself, or rather, a battle weary but wiser version of herself. She knows now that someone who loves you, doesn't treat you like that, and she understands that Christian's illness was not her doing. She accepts what has happened and makes every attempt to move on.
     The writing is absolutely phenomenal. I got caught up in Clara's expressions and insights, some of which can just simply gut you. The story is told in both the past and the present, you see Clara's relationship with Christian first hand and you experience each moment of her recovery along side her. She makes new friends, and yes, even finds a new love and then next page you're right back in the past with Christian as his actions become more and more disturbing. You also, turn every single page dreading that on the next page, he finds her.
     I wonder, are all Caletti's books this intense? Can she portray this much realistic emotion and reaction in every book? I reread the last few paragraphs of this book again and again because I just couldn't get over how good Caletti's writing was. It was days before I could shake off the good-book-hangover brought on by her words.

I picked up Honey, Baby, Sweetheart because I'm anxious to see if this is the norm for her. I hope so.

Teaser Tuesday (11) Girl in the Arena by Lise Haines

"Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!"

Girl in the Arena by Lise Haines

No man is allowed to hold your dowry bracelet, except your father. If a man holds your dowry bracelet he's required, according to the GSA law, to marry you, Bylaw 87.

I'm suppose to post something today

I'm suppose to post something everday or I'll have to answer to Jillian, but even with the stack of books sitting beside me screaming "TALK ABOUT ME!" I really don't have anything to say.

We could talk about the book I started reading today. It's called Chemistry: The Central Science and it's about boredom and contains math. Now I do not speak math, and I say this with pride because really, who the hell cares what x equals? I'm also taking statistics, which is also about...math. That's two of the most boring books on the face of the earth right there. I'm submitting myself to this ridiculous torture because some part of me feels I need to further my nursing degree.

So I read about thirty pages of this equals this over this cubed divided by horse shit and now I've called it a night.

But I still have to post something. So I wrote you some academic hiaku:

i hate chemistry
it doth sucketh major balls
but i don't burn books

the only good thing
about this chemistry class
is blowing shit up

i do not speak math
because i possess a soul
math makes bunnies cry

if i leave my books
on the dining room table
ra might puke on them

In My Mailbox (31) WOW

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren in which we share the books we received for the week.

So, I had really planned to go to BEA this year. I mean really. But life happened last minute and that was that. Anyway, I was understandably bummed about missing the chance to breathe all that beautiful book air. But then, I came home from work on Tuesday and there was this box:

(Ra was very surprised as well...not that it's anything new. Everything surprises Ra. I call him Big Stupid. Most of the time he just stares into space and the other half he spends lying on his back in the middle of the floor watching the fan turn. He doesn't even know he's a cat. This week he thinks he's either a beach towel or a golf ball. Next week he might think he's the toaster or a bowl of petunias.)

So there was THAT THERE BOX and I opened it up and....

THIS WAS WHAT WAS IN IT! I went absolutely batshit BritBrit crazy. It was from a very nice book fairy and well...I just can't say thank you enough. I PLAYED with the stuff in that box for like two hours- like literally, this book talked to another book and then I made the bookmarks dance and then I lined everything up in order of size just to satisfy my OCD. I cherish each silly little bit of paper- even the ones that I have no idea what they are.

Beloved will not let me hang the romance calendar. He's a poop. But here are the books:

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

From Goodreads: Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages—not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out.

When one of the strangers—beautiful, haunted Akiva—fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa

From Goodreads: My name is Meghan Chase.

I thought it was over. That my time with the fey, the impossible choices I had to make, the sacrifices of those I loved, was behind me. But a storm is approaching, an army of Iron fey that will drag me back, kicking and screaming. Drag me away from the banished prince who's sworn to stand by my side. Drag me into the core of conflict so powerful, I'm not sure anyone can survive it.

This time, there will be no turning back.

Shut Out by Kody Keplinger

From Goodreads: Most high school sports teams have rivalries with other schools. At Hamilton High, it's a civil war: the football team versus the soccer team. And for her part,Lissa is sick of it. Her quarterback boyfriend, Randy, is always ditching her to go pick a fight with the soccer team or to prank their locker room. And on three separate occasions Randy's car has been egged while he and Lissa were inside, making out. She is done competing with a bunch of sweaty boys for her own boyfriend's attention

Then Lissa decides to end the rivalry once and for all: She and the other players' girlfriends go on a hookup strike. The boys won't get any action from them until the football and soccer teams make peace. What they don't count on is a new sort of rivalry: an impossible girls-against-boys showdown that hinges on who will cave to their libidos first. But what Lissa never sees coming is her own sexual tension with the leader of the boys, Cash Sterling...

Angel Burn by L.A. Weatherly

From Goodreads: Willow knows she’s different from other girls, and not just because she loves tinkering with cars. Willow has a gift. She can look into the future and know people’s dreams and hopes, their sorrows and regrets, just by touching them. She has no idea where this power comes from. But the assassin, Alex, does. Gorgeous, mysterious Alex knows more about Willow than Willow herself. He knows that her powers link to dark and dangerous forces, and that he’s one of the few humans left who can fight them. When Alex finds himself falling in love with his sworn enemy, he discovers that nothing is as it seems, least of all good and evil. In the first book in an action-packed, romantic trilogy, L..A. Weatherly sends readers on a thrill-ride of a road trip - and depicts the human race at the brink of a future as catastrophic as it is deceptively beautiful.
They’re out for your soul . . . and they don’t have heaven in mind.

I gave Ra the box. He stared at it.

ALA Conference and Exhibit 2011 in NOLA

So yesterday, quite out of the blue, I found out that the American Library Association's annual conference is going to be this month in New Orleans. Well I'm about an hour and thirty minutes from there so I'm going to go!

The closest thing I've come to an exhibit is the ones I was forced to go to in nursing school where they passed out all the pens. I never wanted for a writing utensil after that convention.

I'm more than a little bit excited at the prospect of getting another pen and breathing all that book air.

I love pens.

Anyone else planning to go?

The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa

The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa

Published August 1st 2010 by Harlequin Teen

From Goodreads: Half Summer faery princess, half human, Meghan has never fit in anywhere. Deserted by the Winter prince she thought loved her, she is prisoner to the Winter faery queen. As war looms between Summer and Winter, Meghan knows that the real danger comes from the Iron fey— ironbound faeries that only she and her absent prince have seen. But no one believes her.

Worse, Meghan's own fey powers have been cut off. She's stuck in Faery with only her wits for help. Trusting anyone would be foolish. Trusting a seeming traitor could be deadly. But even as she grows a backbone of iron, Meghan can't help but hear the whispers of longing in her all-too-human heart.

****Don't you dare read this if you haven't read the first book, The Iron King, it'll spoil your dinner and then you won't get any pie!****

Every girl wants to be a princess and for Meghan Chase her dreams came true on her sixteenth birthday. Turns out, she's the half faery daughter of the king of the Seelie court! She's a faery princess! She's...she's wrestling a snarling changeling who tries to eat her face when she realizes that her baby brother has been snatched by the Fae? Wait, what? This isn't a Disney movie where the faery princess gets everything she wants and lives happily ever after. This is the realm of the Summer and Winter faery courts, where the Fae behave just as they're meant to- viciously. She finds herself smack dab in the middle of an age old feud between the two faery courts, neither of which is happy to have a half human in their realms. Then there's the other court, the Iron Fey, a new bred of faeries with mechanical parts of iron, a metal that's deadly to the other Fae. And Prince Charming? Well when he pulled her into his arms at the ball and twirled her around the dance floor...he told her he was going to kill her.

Who the hell wants to be a faery princess.

When we last left Meghan, she had fallen madly in love with an assho- I mean Ash, a prince of the rival Winter court. She'd bested the Iron King, the one that was holding her baby brother captive. She even survived an attack by zombies. But perhaps the most reckless thing the daughter of Oberon, King of the Summer Court, did was to obligate herself to a Fae of the Winter Court. One does not make idle promises in the land of the Fae. Every pledge is a binding contract, and she has no choice but to go with Ash to the Winter Queen's court- where that rat bastard drops her off at his momma's house, then runs off to distance himself from Meghan "for her own good." He leaves. She's freezing. His mother's a witch. His brother's an evil asshat and any minute now Meghan is going to either get eaten or turned into an ice sculpture. And still she loves him.

My dear girl. A word of advice. When a man, (even one who's a devastatingly handsome prince who helped rescue your brother) leaves you "for your own good," you burn any of his crap he's left behind and date his best friend. You don't race across a frozen garden screaming "I LOVE YOU!" whilst surrounded by his relatives who all want to kill you. I'm trying to help you here Meghan. I'm trying to be understanding about your Ash fixation but it just keeps getting more and more hopeless. Ash saves her, leaves her, then almost kills her at least forty times in this book.

We have the reemergence of the Iron Fae, who break into the Winter court and steal the Scepter of the Seasons, a faery relic that is passed between the two courts to usher in the change of the seasons. Without it, spring can not give way to winter and vice-versa and it affects everything, even the human realm. Queen Mab declares war on Oberon, naming him as the thief and the two fairy courts prepare for battle. No one believes Meghan's claim that the Iron Fae stole the scepter, no one has ever seen them and neither of the monarchs want to believe in the existence of these deadly Fae. To stop the impending war, and clear her father's name, Meghan sets out to find the scepter and the new Iron King.

We meet so many interesting characters in this book. Leanansidhe was my favorite new addition. She's a powerful Fae who was banished by Queen Titania and now lives in the human world. She's so charmingly evil and surprisingly one of the only helpful fae that Meghan has encountered. IRONHORSE IS BACK. AND HE TALKS IN ALL CAPS. Love him. And Meghan runs into an enchanted human man living as a "pet" in Leanansidhe's house, and something about him bothers her- almost as if she should remember him but the memory is...missing. *BIG GRIN* That there was a teaser.

I freakin' love this series. I really do. Kagawa's world will not let you leave and you won't want to once you start reading it. So it's probably a bit confusing when I say, that as much as I'm loving this series, I really didn't get this book. It had SO MUCH going on and it felt packed and busy at times. We had everyone and everything from the last book as well as a slew of new somebodies and somethings. And I liked them, but the story line ran just on the edge of too much. It had too many notes.

"Your work is ingenious. It's quality work. And there are simply too many notes, that's all."

Bring on book three!

Especially in the month of June

Here are the lovelies that I'm looking forward to this month!

Tuesday June 7, 2011

  • Nyx in the House of Night: Mythology, Folklore and Religion in the P.C. and Kristin Cast Vampyre Series (House of Night) by P.C. Cast- Goodreads
  • Is this totally pointless? Yes. But I wantz it anyway.
  • Forgotten by Cat Patrick- Goodreads
  • She can only remember the future? Oh yeah. I'm in.
  • Hereafter by Tara Hudson- Goodreads
  • This is Miz Hudson's first novel. Ghosts! Visit her website and show some love- Tara Hudson
  • Displacement Thalia Chaltas- Goodreads
  • If you've read Because I Am Furniture then you already know how powerful her writing is. I'm really looking forward to this one, regardless of the fact that I know it will be an emotional roller coaster.

Tuesday June 14, 2011

  • Hourglass by Myra MacEntire- Goodreads
  • Again...GHOSTS!
  • The Bad Queen: Rules and Instructions for Marie-Antoinette by Carolyn Meyer- Goodreads
  • Not a new release, just the PB and a reminder to myself that I really want to read this book. I find this time in history immensely fascinating. So much scandal. Lurve.
  • The Lost Crown by Sarah Miller- Goodreads
  • A novel about Anastasia and the Romanov family.
  • Ordinary Beauty by Laura Weiss- Goodreads
  • From the author of Such a Pretty Girl. Absolutely amazing writer.

Tuesday June 21, 2011

  • Smokin Seventeen by Janet Evanovich - Goodreads
  • Miz Janet releases every Stephanie Plum book right around my birthday, every single year. Sometimes it even comes out on my birthday. This is one of those times. She wrote this book for ME ALONE. I'm actually really excited because something different is suppose to happen...a third man is going to show up in Stephanie's life. Time for Morelli or Ranger (TEAM MORELLI) to either shit or get off the pot, so to speak.
  • The American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin- Goodreads
  • I read a review somewhere that said this is a great book to read if you are suffering from Downton Abbey withdrawal, which I am.

Tuesday June 28, 2011

  • Silk Is For Seduction by Loretta Chase - Goodreads
  • A dressmaker and a Duke. Well, uh, yeah. Duh. I hope there's some smooching.
  • Just One Season in London by Leigh Michaels - Goodreads
  • In this book someone will "sell herself to the highest bidder..." I bet there's smooching...and naughty bits.

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I read excessively and hoard books like a greedy dragon. Theoretically, I also plan to use them to barricade myself against the forthcoming zombie apocalypse.

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