Sunday, February 28, 2010

Just the Sexiest Man Alive by Julie James

A fabulously fun, romantic comedy from a dynamic new talent.

Nothing fazes Taylor Donovan—not in the courtroom and not in her personal life. So when she’s assigned to coach People’s “Sexiest Man Alive” for his role in the next big legal drama, she refuses to fall for the Hollywood heartthrob’s charms. Even if he is the Jason Andrews.

I had heard great things about Julie James and her books and turns out I agree with them! Of the few romance novels I've read in the contemporary genre I would say Just the Sexiest Man Alive is so close to the Chick Lit genre the line is blurred and I loved it. That said, I would say this is a great place for someone to start if they enjoy Chick Lit and are curious about the Romance genre but don't want to dive in head first.

I loved the character of Taylor, she's confident and good at what she does. She doesn't let her past problems with a cheating finance steal her confidence but it does make her guard her heart a bit. When she finds out she is being forced to (and I mean forced to- she tries to get out of it!) work with hot superstar Jason Andrews she doesn't make it easy for him and doesn't bow to his every whim like everyone else does. She treats him like an average joe and that sure catches his attention!

Maybe it's not completely believable that the sexiest man alive would only have eyes for Taylor but he does and it's a fun ride! I love that he tries to woo her and she won't have any of that, at first! This book doesn't have the naught bits of some other romances so it would make a great read for someone that isn't looking for that or maybe a younger reader as well.

This book I didn't want to put down and had a great time reading! I can't wait to check out Julie James other 2 releases!

Just the Sexiest Man Alive was released on October 7th 2008
Genre: Contemporary Romance
4/5 Stars
Got from bookmooch

Saturday, February 27, 2010

This Week In Books Or LOOK AWAY!


My First New York from the editors of New York Magazine
Facebook Fairytales by Emily Liebert
The Season of Second Chances by Diane Meier

The New Brighton Archaeological Society Book One: The Castle of Galmar by Mark Andrews Smith & Matthew Weldon

Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles

For review. Whoa these all decided to come at once!

The MacGregor Grooms by Nora Roberts


The Most Wicked of Sins by Kathryn Caskie
Pleasure for Pleasure by Eloisa James

Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas

Scandal in Spring by Lisa Kleypas

Sugar Daddy by Lisa Kleypas

The Truth About Lord Stoneville by Sabrina Jeffries

No Choice But Seduction by Johanna Lindsey
Scandalous by Lori Foster

My first venture to Half Price Books since my obsession with romance started! And I bought exclusively romance novels!


Cutting Loose by Susan Andersen
How to Tame A Modern Rogue by Diana Holquist

From a local used bookstore.

Heist Society by Ally Carter
The Line by Teri Hall

Branded by the Sheriff by Delores Fossen

Marrying For King's Millions by Maureen Child

Thanks Bookfairy G!

WTF by Peter Lerangis
The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove by Lauren Kate

My Boyfriend's Dogs by Dandi Daley Mackall
Entrapment by Michael Spooner

I got these in the Fall and Bookfairy G sent them back to me :)


Promise Me Tonight by Sara Lindsey
The Next Best Thing by Kristan Higgins

Went back to my local library, the one I barely ever go to, to look over some of the stuff they remodeled since I was there for about 5 minutes last week. Figured I had already bought all the good stuff off the sale cart last week but apparently not!

The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, and June by Robin Benway
Invisible Girl by Mary Hanlon Stone

Winter Longing by Tricia Mills

Plus by Veronica Chambers

Surprise package from Penguin! Really excited for the new Robin Benway release and also a new Tricia Mills book and I also love the new cover of Plus! Don't know anything yet about Invisible Girl... yet.

Just the Sexiest Man Alive by Julie James (already read this week!)
The MacGregor Brides by Nora Roberts



Marshmallows for Breakfast by Dorothy Koomson


Balancing Acts by Zoe Fishman
Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts

First one for a blog tour and the second from Amazon Vine.


Impetuous by Lori Foster (already read this week!)
Sweet Talk by Susan Mallery


Marrying For King's Millions by Maureen Child
The Cowboy's Christmas Miracle by Raeanne Thayne
(already read this week!)
Highland Scandal by Julia London
Not Quite A Husband by Sherry Thomas

Highland Beast by Hannah Howell, Heather Grothaus, and Victoria Dahl

A Courtesan's Scandal by Julia London

True Love and Other Disasters by Rachel Gibson

The Italian's Inexperienced Mistress by Lynne Graham

Tempt Me At Twilight by Lisa Kleypas

Thank you to Book Fairy S! I'm so excited for these!


The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan

For review. The Forest of Hands and Teeth underwhelmed me so I have hopes for this one that I will like it more.

To Pleasure A Lady by Nicole Jordan


Two Stuffed Magazines

Kristi of the Story Siren told me about these magazines full of stuffed cuteness so I had to buy them!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Bookish 4

Here's some Bookish news straight from my InBox, it's been awhile!

Cathy's Book App

I still need to read Cathy's Book by The Perseus Books Group, but have always been intrigued by the multimedia approach to storytelling the authors have used. And now they have taken it one step further but turning Cathy's Book into an App for IPhones and IPod touches! I watched the demo and I gotta say I'm jealous! And it's only 99 cents! Check it out here!

Awesome Adventure!

This is something cool that Harper Collins Children's Books has brought to my attention to promote some of their upcoming Children's titles. You can browse inside the books, play games and watch video related content. Check it out here I love that Maryrose Wood's The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place was included, I've got my eye on that one!

A Book and A Chat

I love to listen in on some of the A Book and A Chat interviews done by Barry Eva. Currently he's featuring some Young Adult Authors and Bloggers that you might be interested in. I'm particularly interested in hearing Julia Hoban author of Willow on March 2nd! And what's great is you can go back and listen to all the past interviews as well if you miss them live but if you listen live you can call in or type in questions. Overall it's a very cool concept!

Weekly Dose of Crafts

As some of my twitter friends know I took my first of 2 knitting classes last weekend. I was shocked how much I approved with practice this week. The left swatch I made immediately when I get home from the class Sunday and the right was the same exact pattern but like a million times better, which I made on Wednesday! I have my second class this Sunday and actually a crochet class tomorrow. My goal with these classes is to one day be able to do this.

I've started following a lot of crafty blogs recently and sometimes they share projects and free patterns to try. This week I came across a very cute St. Patrick's themed embroidery pattern at So September. She gave some great tips and ideas including turning it into a Spring themed piece which I tried to do here. This was also my first experience using transfer paper to get the pattern onto the fabric. In the past I had tried disappearing pens (which I think would disappear before I finished!) and iron on transfers. I think next time I need to press harder but besides that it worked out great!

Lookalikes 90

Moby Clique by Cara Lockwood

Mean Girls by Hayley DiMarco

Eh. I don't love either of these, they both have A LOT going on. I guess if I had to choose Moby Clique.

Which do you prefer?

Thanks to Yan and Kelsey for pointing out this lookalike!

Have you spotted a Lookalike you would like to contribute? Send me an email!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Winner of In A Heartbeat

The winner of In A Heartbeat is Kelsy K!

Congratulations Kelsy, I have emailed you! Please respond back with your full name and mailing address by Saturday February 27th to claim your book.



To those of us who don't live in New York City, it's our dream to one day call it home - - and to those who do, they always have great stories to share, just like the ones in this book. My First New York is based on a recent New York magazine cover story of the same name. Contributors include Danny DeVito , Ira Glass, Keith Hernandez, Amy Sedaris, Albert Hammond Jr., Andy Samberg, and Parker Posey, among many others. I for one cannot wait to get my hands on it!

Do you think you can give these contributes a run for their money? Share your memorable first New York experience in under 500 words or less and you could be selected as one of 5 winners to receive a finished copy of the book. The entries will be judged by a Marketing Associate from Ecco and myself. The 5 selected winner's entries will be published here on Pop Culture Junkie. Good luck!

Fill out the giveaway entry form here with your contact information and memorable first New York experience (in under 500 words).

The giveaway is open to addresses within the U.S. only.

The giveaway will end March 3rd at 6:59 pm Central Time.

The 5 selected winner's entries will be published here on Pop Culture Junkie and will receive a finished copy of My First New York.

**Copy provided by publisher**

Visit the publisher's website for a full book summary.

"Waiting On" Wednesday 71

After the Kiss by Terra Elan McVoy

This moment changes everything.

Becca has been head-over-heels for Alec from the instant they met. He's a brainy jock with a poet's heart—in other words, perfect for her.

Camille is careful with her words and protective of her heart, especially since Chicago. Then a new boy in her new town catches her off guard with a surprise kiss.

Too bad that new boy is Becca's boyfriend, Alec.

Camille and Becca have never met, but their lives will unravel and intertwine in surprising ways as they deal with what happens after the kiss.

Released May 4th 2010

I still need to read the author's previous book Pure, but this one sounds like it might even be more my taste. Will be interesting to see how everything unravels.

What can't you wait for to be released?

"Waiting On" Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Willow by Julia Hoban out in Paperback today!

As some of you might remember Julia Hoban's Willow was my favorite book of 2009! And today it is out in paperback! Where does the time go, it seems like just yesterday the book came out in hardcover. If you haven't picked up a copy in hardcover here is your chance to get the paperback (my personal preferred book format) and to those of you who already have the book and haven't read it, pick it up tonight, you wouldn't be sorry. Well, you will be sorry it took you until now to start reading it!

You can also get the audio book format or a copy for your Kindle among other formats I'm sure!

And Willow also just recently made it's debut on Penguin's Point of View Books website! If you've ever trusted my opinion or taste get Willow!

Hardcover vs Paperback 69

Pure by Terra Elan McVoy



Promise. Betrayal. Confession. Revenge.

Tabitha and her four best friends all wear purity rings, symbols of the virginity-until-marriage pledge they made years ago. Now Tab is fifteen, and her ring has come to mean so much more. It's a symbol of who she is and what she believes—a reminder of her promises to herself, and her bond to her friends. But when Tab meets a boy whose kisses make her knees go weak, everything suddenly seems a lot more complicated. Tab's best friend, Morgan, is far from supportive, and for the first time, Tabitha is forced to keep secrets from the one person with whom she's always shared everything. When one of those secrets breaks to the surface, Tab finds herself at the center of an unthinkable betrayal that splits her friends apart. As Tab's entire world comes crashing down around her, she's forced to re-examine her friendships, her faith, and what exactly it means to be pure.

I have to applaud the designers that have worked on Terra Elan McVoy's books for Simon Pulse. The hardcover and paperback for this book go together while looking different and even her new book, After the Kiss goes with these two too. Way to make an author brand, you should be a GOOD example among all of the bad! Anyways back to why we are here, I think I like the paperback because the imagery suggestion is a little more subtle than the hardcover. I think it makes you think a bit more about the concept.

Hardcover or Paperback?

Have you spotted a Hardcover vs. Paperback you would like to contribute? Send me an email!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Attack of the Fluffy Bunnies by Andrea Beaty and illustrated by Dan Santat

When Joules and Kevin Rockman’s parents drop them off at Camp Whatsitooya on their way to an International Spamathon, the twins expect a summer of marshmallows, campfires, and canoe trips. What they do not expect is to defend the earth from an invasion of sugar-addicted, murderous, seven-foot-tall rabbits from another galaxy. Happily, the Rockman twins, veteran watchers of the Late, Late, Late Creepy Show for Insomniacs, are unusually well-prepared for dealing with monstrous beings from outer space. If only their fellow campers were so lucky.
Andrea Beaty, author of several very funny picture books and a mysterious novel, here reaches new heights of hilarity and verbal dexterity in a novel sure to become a camp—ba-dum-dum—classic.

Attack of the Fluffy Bunnies is a extremely humorous novel/graphic novel hybrid for middle graders. Crazy giant bunnies that are sugar addicted and twins who's parents are obsessed with SPAM, and girls that are known as SmellyCat because they said their names all at the same time and that's what one of the characters heard... this author has a good sense of humor...

Aside from the humor I loved all the graphic bits mixed in from full panel pages or random advertisements thrown in, it really works for this book and helps break up the text.

I think this is a fun, humorous and suspenseful mystery for the younger set but adults might also have a good time with it.

Attack of the Fluffy Bunnies will be released on May 4th
Genre: Middle Grade
3.5/5 Stars
ARC provided by publisher

Sunday, February 21, 2010

This Book Is Overdue by Marilyn Johnson

Buried in info? Cross-eyed over technology? From the bottom of a pile of paper and discs, books, e-books, and scattered thumb drives comes a cry of hope: Make way for the librarians! They want to help. They're not selling a thing. And librarians know best how to beat a path through the googolplex sources of information available to us, writes Marilyn Johnson, whose previous book, The Dead Beat, breathed merry life into the obituary-writing profession.

This Book Is Overdue! is a romp through the ranks of information professionals and a revelation for readers burned out on the cliches and stereotyping of librarians. Blunt and obscenely funny bloggers spill their stories in these pages, as do a tattooed, hard-partying children's librarian; a fresh-scrubbed Catholic couple who teach missionaries to use computers; a blue-haired radical who uses her smartphone to help guide street protestors; a plethora of voluptuous avatars and cybrarians; the quiet, law-abiding librarians gagged by the FBI; and a boxing archivist. These are just a few of the visionaries Johnson captures here, pragmatic idealists who fuse the tools of the digital age with their love for the written word and the enduring values of free speech, open access, and scout-badge-quality assistance to anyone in need.

Those who predicted the death of libraries forgot to consider that in the automated maze of contemporary life, none of us—neither the experts nor the hopelessly baffled—can get along without human help. And not just any help—we need librarians, who won't charge us by the question or roll their eyes, no matter what we ask. Who are they? What do they know? And how quickly can they save us from being buried by the digital age?

This Book is Overdue is an exploration of what libraries and librarians are in the twenty first century. It's a love letter to librarians and what they are trying to do. Take two librarians and put them side by side, they could be completely different in appearance, personality, interests among other things. The definition of a librarian has grown so far to some it might not be recognizable anymore.

A wide variety of things are explored by Johnson in the book, from libraries that only exist in an alternative role-playing universe (Second Life) to librarians that blog and create zines, to librarians that are forced to deal with changes to their library they may or may not agree with to librarians defending their patrons against the FBI. There is a lot here, so much so that I'm not sure if I took it all in through this first reading, it's a book that is meant to be kept around and read again, I think.

There are definitely chapters and sections that interested me more than others like a section that talks about artists working together with librarians and it being filmed for the library's website, Julia Rothman a favorite blogger/artist of mine is mentioned. To librarians taking to blogs to share their frustrations and funny stories about... poop! Yes you read that right. Basically there is something here for everyone but everything might not interest you.

The book also provides you with lots of people, blogs, libraries etc to explore to learn more. I'd definitely suggest this for librarians and people that are interested in libraries and what their future looks like.

This Book is Overdue was released on February 2nd 2010
Genre: Non-Fiction
4/5 Stars
ARC provided by Amazon Vine

Saturday, February 20, 2010

This Week In Books Or Can Someone Find My Self Control? I Seem to Have Misplaced It. Permanently.


The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

For Keeps by Natasha Friend

Proof that a no mail holiday doesn't always mean a no books day! For review.


The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin by Josh Berk
Saving Maddie by Varian Johnson

For review. Excited!

Chocolate Ghostgirl Valentine with heart shaped headphones

How cute is that! Very nicely done with a "painting" of Ghostgirl on the chocolate! It's in honor of the upcoming Ghost Girl 3: Lovesick!


Blue-Eyed Devil by Lisa Klepas
Straight From the Hip by Susan Mallery

Sweet Spot by Susan Mallery

Sweet Trouble by Susan Mallery

Talk of the Town by Karen Hawkins

The Prince Charming List by Kathryn Springer

Love in the Time of Taffeta by Eugenie Olson

Everyone Else's Girl by Megan Crane

The library bookstore... and just wait it gets worse!

Something Like Fate by Susane Colasanti

For review! *squeal* There is something very right about the color palette of this cover. Thumbs up.

Mastered by Love by Stephanie Laurens (I partly had to get this because it had 3 post-it notes covering the part of the inner flap that shows through- lol!)
The Untamed Bride by Stephanie Laurens

Captive of My Desires by Johanna Lindsey

Ok these are not totally my fault. They came from my actual local library which I haven't been to in months. Had to stop in for a hold item for my sister and the sale shelf called to me!

Thursday: nothing


Hot Dish by Connie Brockway

Library, again. I went on Book Fairy business, it could have been much worse though!

Gone by Lisa McMann
Trackers by Patrick Carman

For review.

Saturday: nothing

Friday, February 19, 2010

GIVEAWAY: Wherever Nina Lies

I know I'm excited to read Wherever Nina Lies so here's your chance to win a copy for yourself!

Nina was beautiful, wild, and adored by her younger sister, Ellie. But, one day, Nina disappeared. Two years later, everyone has given up home that Nina will return, but Ellie knows her sister is out there. If only Ellie had a clue where to look. Then she gets one, in the form of a mysterious drawing. Determined to find Nina, Ellie takes off on a crazy, sexy, cross-country road trip with the only person who believes she’s got a chance—her hot, adventurous new crush. Along the way, Ellie finds a few things she wasn’t planning on. Like love. Lies. And the most shocking thing of all: the truth.

Book Website

Author's Website

Here is how to enter to be 1 of 3 winners of a paperback copy of Wherever Nina Lies!

Fill out the giveaway entry form here.

The giveaway is open to addresses within the U.S only.

The giveaway will end March 5th at 6:59 pm Central Time.

**Copy provided by marketing firm**

Lookalikes 89

A Field Guide to Burying Your Parents by Liza Palmer
Why the Sky Is Blue by Susan Meissner

I love the saturation in Field Guide so that will be my pick. So the question is was the barn added in or taken out? My money is on taken out.

Which do you prefer?

Thanks to Deborah for pointing out this lookalike!

Have you spotted a Lookalike you would like to contribute? Send me an email!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Winner of Dream Life!

The winner of Dream Life is Ashley!

Ashley, I have emailed you. Please respond with your full name and mailing address by Monday February 22nd to claim your book!

Snapped by Pamela Klaffke

Sara B. is losing her cool.

Not just in the momentary-meltdown kind of way—though there's that, too. At the helm of must-read Snap magazine, veteran style guru Sara B. has had the job—and joy—for the past fifteen years of eviscerating the city's fashion victims in her legendary DOs and DON'Ts photo spread.

But now on the unhip edge of forty, with ambitious hipster kids reinventing the style world, Sara's being spit out like an old Polaroid picture: blurry, undeveloped and obsolete.

Fueled by alcohol, nicotine and self-loathing, Sara launches into a cringeworthy but often comic series of blowups—personal, professional and private—that culminate in an epiphany. That she, the arbiter of taste, has made her living by cutting people down…and somehow she's got to make amends.

Snapped was sort of a mixed bag for me. At first I loved the author's humorous voice and the setting and the characters and in the end I did as well but in the middle it got a little bizarre. Let me explain, Sara goes off on these tangents in her mind where she thinks of all these horrible things that can happen and some of them were a little bit revolting. I think if that was toned down a bit it wouldn't have distracted me so much from what I liked about the book.

I really admire the originality of the author's voice and how she goes places others wouldn't dare though. I'm not sure if I exactly share her sense of humor though in the end, because while the book is listed as comical (specifically Sara making a fool of herself) I didn't find very much funny in that and it kind of stressed me out at times.

While Sara was hit and miss for me (though I do love what she decides to do with herself at the end!) one character I adored was an elderly lady she befriends by the name of Esther, anytime Esther was in a scene I loved it. I loved the stories she shared about her friend Lila and the things she did for Sara. I was also fascinated by Eva who I think really represented a different generation from Sara and was interesting to see them befriend each other and then clash.

Overall there is some really good stuff here but there were some things I could have done without. I will definitely watch to see what Klaffke comes up with next though!

Snapped was released on January 1st 2010
Genre: Chick Lit (sort of)
3.5/5 Stars
ARC provided by Amazon Vine

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Weekly Does of Crafts with a special guest!

Well, I haven't done much crafting lately, I guess I've been too busy hunting down romance novels for my new obsession!

But I did start and complete the embroidery to the left this weekend. It's a Sublime Stitching transfer (loved using a transfer) of a Black Apple piece.

Cute right?

Anyways back in January I conned asked my friend Dajana to feltie with me and I asked her to share her feltie and write a bit about her experience. Take it away Dajana!

I recently spent a few hours with Alea and her bag of felt, thread and cute "how to" books. We had ridiculous fun sketching, cutting up felt pieces and sewing them into complete little characters. The character I made is a little bearded man (because you just can't go wrong with bearded men, in my opinion). He had a kind of nautical quality and a red hat so we decided to call him Steve Zissou.

My overall impression of this felt-craft is that while it may seem simple, is quite involving and requires lot's patience and forethought. It's not something I'd be able to keep up on my own, but I'm definitely looking forward to some felt-time with Alea again.

Isn't Dajana awesome! Steve Zissou! Visit Dajana on her blog make awesome to see what else she's creating!

"Waiting On" Wednesday 70

Sincerely: Sincerely, Sophie; Sincerely, Katie by Courtney Sheinmel

Simon and Schuster Children's Catalog Summer 2010

Eleven-year-old Sophie Turner attends an all-girls private school in Manhattan. When Sophie's family falls apart and her best friend rejects her for a faster crowd, Sophie's only source of comfort is the distant voice of her school-assigned pen pal, Katie.

Eleven-year-old Katie Franklin lives in California. She is thrilled to be spearheading a charity project with her best friend Jake-but when Jake starts paying attention to another girl, a jealous and misunderstood Katie is left with one friend she can confide in-her pen pal, Sophie.

This realistic, gentle novel is a testament to the enduring power of friendship-ever from miles away.

Released June 8th 2010

This sounds too cute and sweet to be true and it's about pen pals awww. And the cover is just perfect, this is the type of cover art work we need to see MORE of!

What can't you wait for to be released?

"Waiting On" Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Interview with Yvonne Prinz author of The Vinyl Princess (28 Days of Winter Escapes)

Today I'm pleased to share an interview with Yvonne Prinz the author of The Vinyl Princess, one of my favorite books of 2009! To take part in the 28 Days of Winter Escapes click here! There are great contests for the featured books, polls, other interviews to visit, twitter icons, e-cards and more! Check it out!

All You Get Is Me


1. Allie, the enchanting music geek who dubs herself the Vinyl Princess in your new book, has a very impressive vinyl collection, a vast knowledge of music history, and strong opinions about music. How much do her musical preferences overlap with your own? Will you tell us about your own real-life music collection? How long have you been building it, and how much of it is vinyl?

Well, we’re from different eras. My music collection grew organically. As albums were released I went out and bought them. I still have the records I bought when I worked in a record store at Allie’s age. Allie was born too late for that, so by default she’s more of a real collector, a completist. She likes to hunt down every version of every record by the artists she loves. We both lean toward singer/songwriter stuff and the classics like Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin and Led Zeppelin and that whole era of artists Allie missed out on the first time around. As for new music, the indies, we pretty much like the same stuff. We’re both fans of The Decemberists, The National, Sondre Lerche, Bright Eyes, The Avett Brothers, Feist, Cat Power, and on and on. We both like old jazz like Miles Davis and John Coltrane and the old crooners like Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. My vinyl collection includes a lot of world music that Allie isn’t that keen on (yet). Her vinyl collection is actually bigger than mine. I’ve moved a lot more and had to downsize. I gave a lot of LPs away and I’m replacing them now, one at a time.

2. Allie works at Bob & Bob’s Records in Berkley, on Telegraph Avenue, a place that comes across as very alive, but also somewhat seedy and on the edge of ruin. Why set the story on such a street?

Telegraph Avenue is a unique spot. It has a very interesting history of anarchy and civil disobedience. People’s Park, which sits behind Amoeba Music and also Bob & Bob’s, is the site where much of the anti-Vietnam war demonstrations were held in the late sixties. The Black Panthers were founded near this spot, too. There’s tremendous tolerance there of street life and the eccentric characters that come with it. As a Canadian girl, I feel like it had a hand in raising me. The Telegraph Avenue of today is a different place. Many of the indie stores have disappeared and the vacancy rate is very high. To me it represents a microcosm of what’s gone wrong in America. The street is like a gritty character in the book. I like the way Telegraph constantly figures into Allie’s story. It adds texture.

3. Now that winter is upon us, what is your favorite music to listen to when the weather outside is frightful?

I always move back to the pale artists in winter, the bloodless crew: David Bowie, Lou Reed, Nick Cave, Pete Doherty, Ryan Adams, Jesse Malin, The Pogues. I also love bluesy, jazzy girls like Nina Simone and Sarah Vaughan when it’s gray out.

4. We know that you are an avid music listener, but it’s clear from your writing that you must also have a serious relationship with books. How did you find your way from the world of music into the world of books to become a writer?

I’ve always been a big reader, but when we opened Amoeba, we were across the street from two fabulous book stores, Moe’s Books (still there) and Codys (gone). I spent all my lunch hours in one or the other. The book/record community was very symbiotic. The booksellers lived in our store and we lived in theirs. Jonathan Lethem worked at Moes at the time. I started exploring authors like Lorrie Moore, Tobias Wolff, Jane Smiley, Andre Dubus, V.S. Naipaul, and Paul Bowles. Immersing myself in all the books inspired me to write. I’d written a lot of ad copy in Canada working for a TV station and then an advertising agency, but I was itching to write something longer than sixty seconds.

5. As someone with an ear for both music and books, can you pair a reading experience with a listening experience for us: one book and one album that would be better consumed together?

Okay, here’s a crazy one: The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles and Miles Davis’s Sketches of Spain. I’m not crazy about listening to music with lyrics when I read. I get too caught up in them and then I can’t focus on what I’m reading. Sketches of Spain has eerie overtones. It’s a very mysterious piece of music. The Sheltering Sky is a tale of innocents abroad in Algeria, and it’s filled with uncertainty and delicious twists.

Hardcover vs Paperback 68

Paisley Hanover Acts Out by Cameron Tuttle

Original Paperback

New Paperback

Always one of the popular kids, sophomore Paisley Hanover gets a rude awakening when she’s booted out of yearbook and into the badlands of drama class. Out of her element but only momentarily out of ideas, Paisley takes action—and an unexpected liking to her drama buddies. The result? An undercover crusade that could bring down the popularity pecking order, and Paisley along with it.

This is the story of how Paisley Hanover gets wise, gets bold, and gets into a hilarious mess of trouble. With a package as fresh and clever as Paisley herself— including a cool slipcase, a fabulous novel, and Paisley’s notebook of embarrassingly funny ideas and doodles—it’s the start of a series that embraces the “Un” in UnUsual.

This cover change UPSETS ME. It physically upsets me. Why take something so beautiful and original and turn it into something so genric. WHY! That's the wrongest of the wrong, they had something great and turned it into crap. I usually don't get worked up at all but WHY!? Don't get me wrong the new one is cute and everything but compared to the original it makes me want to cry. Again, why?!?!? I remember when the book was originally released there was a great website created in the same style, you could tell they were really into it and now this?!

From the description it sounds like Paisley is supposed to be a sophomore (not in middle school like I originally though) but really I don't care. I like the original! Are they throwing away the cool packaging I raved about here too?!

Hardcover or Paperback?

Thanks to Khy who also noticed this one.

Have you spotted a Hardcover vs. Paperback you would like to contribute? Send me an email!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Lead Me On by Victoria Dahl
Raw, animal magnetism…

…is a big red flag to prim and proper office manager Jane Morgan. After a rough childhood with a mother who liked her men in prison-jumpsuit orange, Jane changed her name, her look and her taste for bad boys. So why is she lusting for William Chase with his tattoo-covered biceps and steel-toed boots? The man blows things up for a living!

She gives herself one explosive, fantasy-filled night with Chase. The next day it's back to plain Jane and safe men.

But when her beloved brother becomes a murder suspect, it's Chase who comes to her rescue. And Jane discovers that a man who's been around the block knows a thing or two about uncovering the truth….

This is the third and final book in Victoria Dahl's Tumble Creek series and like others have told me it's the best (with Start Me Up coming in a close second for me)!

Just like the other two books in the series this book takes a closer look at Quinn's secretary/office manager/receptionist/part owner Jane that we are introduced to in Start Me Up. And there is a lot more to Jane than her prim and proper outward appearance. Turns out Jane isn't proud of her wild past or her family that is still a bit on the wild side. I really enjoyed seeing Jane try and be the truest version of herself throughout the book with the help of Chase.

Chase... so kind and sweet and so tattooed. I love how he had a few secrets of his own, good and bad that he reveals to Jane as their relationship progresses. And they were so good together helping each other and each others families. But of course Jane doesn't think Chase is the right kind of man for her, he reminds her too much of her past she's trying to keep under lock and key.

And also like the other two books this one had a bit of a mystery involving Jane's brother and a possible murder. I really liked that the author kept this mystery element alive through all 3 books. And I especially like that Jane can sure handle herself in a fight, with boxing! Go Jane!

Overall definitely a Victoria Dahl fangirl and I can't wait for her next book!

Lead Me On was released January 1st 2010
Genre: Contemporary Romance
4/5 Stars
Review copy from Amazon Vine

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Vision In White by Nora Roberts

Wedding photographer Mackensie "Mac" Elliot is most at home behind the camera, but her focus is shattered moments before an important wedding rehearsal when she bumps into the bride-to-be's encounter that has them both seeing stars. A stable, safe English teacher, Carter Maguire is definitely not Mac's type. But a casual fling might be just what she needs to take her mind off bridezillas. Of course, casual flings can turn into something more when you least expect it. And Mac will have to turn to her three best friends-and business partners-to see her way to her own happy ending.

This is my first ever Nora Roberts book, I thought the series sounded fun (4 lifelong friends living and working together) and thought I'd pick up the first two and start reading to see what she was all about.

Right of the bat I got Mac, appreciated her love of photography and loved reading about how she worked. And Quinn, can you say my dream man!! I was really pulling for them to work as a couple! And what I really appreciated about this story was that there was more to it than just their romance, it was about their families and friends too. It's important to me to have those secondary plots.

I thought the book started to lag in the second half. I got a bit sick of Mac's uncertainly about her relationship with Quinn and all Quinn became good for was to reassure Mac that their relationship was worth a try. It really started to get repetitive and annoying. I did like seeing Mac stand up to her mother with the help of her friends though.

Overall I think this is a fun start to a new series and I can't wait to check out the rest!

Vision In White was released on April 28th 2009
Genre: Contemporary Romance
3.5/5 Stars
Purchased from Borders

Saturday, February 13, 2010

This Week In Books Or Finally the Mail Decides to Come Again

So because of snow we didn't get mail for three days, Saturday, Monday and Tuesday. I finally figured it out Monday and shoveled out the mailbox only for the plow to go by and block it again for Tuesday. *sigh* The mail finally came Wednesday bundled with a note that said something like "Could not deliver, mailbox blocked". I don't remember this happening before, maybe someone else usually was shoveling out the mailbox in my family!


The MacGregors Alan~Grant by Nora Roberts
Under Her Skin by Susan Mallery

Lip Service Susan Mallery

Just Breathe Susan Wiggs

Cross My Heart by Carly Phillips

84, Charing Cross Road by Helen Hanff

Of course I found time to stop at the library!


Stitch-It Kit by Jenny Hart

Stopped at a craft store and they just so happened to have the now out of print Stitch-It Kit, i had to get a copy before they were gone! Used kits are going for $50 on amazon right now and I paid $23 for a brand new one!

4 Sublime Stitching pattern sheets, also from Jenny Hart

Some of these are from the artist series! I stuck in the picture the one I've decided to start stitching!

The Unwritten Rule by Elizabeth Scott

Borrowed this as part of a ARC tour!


The House of Tomorrow by Peter Bognanni

For review.


All issues of CROQ zine (forgot to picture)


Loves Me, Loves Me Knot by Heidi Betts
Full of It by Wendy French

The Devil Who Tamed Her by Johanna Lindsey

Can't Stand the Heat by Louisa Edwards

The Secret of Joy by Melissa Senate

Amigurumi! by Elizabeth A. Doherty

Happened to be near the Barnes and Noble with the used section so I had to stop in, got all of those used! Thought I would take the Amigurumi one to my upcoming Crochet class to see if they could help me!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Lookalikes 88

Candor by Pam Bachorz (UK Edition)

Stuck by Anneli Rufus

These both work but I like how Candor puts 99% of the focus on the image, I also like the orange color of the lollipop. I think they both are attention getting though.

Which do you prefer?

Have you spotted a Lookalike you would like to contribute? Send me an email!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Blog Tour: The Life of Glass by Jillian Cantor

Welcome to The Life of Glass blog tour! I'm pleased to host author Jillian Cantor today! Let's start with her guest blog!

Alea asked me to write about my writing rituals, and so I will confess, that I don’t actually have any writing rituals! I know some writers go to coffee shops or listen to playlists, or. . . I guess have actual things they must do and have in order to write. But for me, I need quiet. That’s it, just quiet and my computer. I like coffee, and if I’m writing in the morning and I have a cup, that’s nice, but not necessary. (There are plenty of times I write without coffee, too.)

Though quiet might not sound like a lot, at my house, it is. I have two little boys, both under the age of five, who I spend the majority of the day playing with, feeding, driving places, cleaning up after, etc. Quiet (and time on my own) is rare. And so I write in the afternoons for an hour or two when they’re napping. I write after they go to bed at night. Sometimes I write on weekend mornings when my husband is home to entertain them.

But I am usually trying to squeeze my writing into quick, fleeting pockets of time. The in-between spaces of life. There is no time for rituals or preparing myself to write. I just have to do it when I can, in those few rare hours a day where quiet prevails.

Maybe that’s the interesting thing about my “rituals” or my process, if you will. That I must be able to do it, on demand, when I can fit it in. My writing mantra over the past few years has simply been to set a daily goal for myself, whether it be a number of words or pages to write or a number of chapters to revise. I write these goals down, on scraps of paper, or sometimes, if I’m really feeling organized, on a calendar. And then I stick to them. I make myself stick to them. Even if I’m tired. Even if there’s a good show I’d rather be watching on TV. Even if I don’t feel like it.

Oddly enough, I’ve found I get a lot more done than I used to before I was so busy, back in those days before I had kids, when I actually had time and leisure to have some writing rituals. I think I get a lot more done because time feels a lot more valuable to me now, and so I’ve come to an understanding with myself on how not to waste it.

I’m curious, though, other writers – what rituals do you have? Are there things you need to have and do before you sit down to write, or like me, do you just have to squeeze it in when you can?

Thanks Jillian! Onto my review!

Before he died, Melissa's father told her about stars. He told her that the brightest stars weren't always the most beautiful—that if people took the time to look at the smaller stars, if they looked with a telescope at the true essence of the star, they would find real beauty. But even though Melissa knows that beauty isn't only skin deep, the people around her don't seem to feel that way. There's her gorgeous sister, Ashley, who will barely acknowledge Melissa at school; there's her best friend, Ryan, who may be falling in love with the sophisticated Courtney; and there's Melissa's mother, who's dating someone new, someone Melissa knows will never be able to replace her father.

To make sure she doesn't lose her father completely, Melissa spends her time trying to piece together the last of his secrets and finishing a journal he began—one about love and relationships and the remarkable ways people find one another. But when tragedy strikes, Melissa has to start living and loving in the present as she realizes that being beautiful on the outside doesn't mean you can't be beautiful on the inside.

This is a lyrical tale of love, loss, and self-discovery from the author of The September Sisters.

The Life of Glass is one of those books, one of those books that encompasses the whole high school/growing up experience and in my opinion the author does it beautifully.

At first glance I thought the book was going to be mostly about Melissa dealing with her dad's death and all the other things being sort of secondary plots but turns out her father's death was sort of the map that she experienced everything else on and it came together so perfectly. Melissa reads from her father's journal when she needs to feel close to him or just needs something, and one of my favorite parts of the book is inside that journal. Her father (and also Melissa) write these wonderful little stories of how couples met and got together (her parents, her parent's parents etc) and they were just so touching.

So as I mentioned the focus of the book is not just on Melissa and dealing with her grief but it's also about her family and how they move on, her friends (new and old in school) and finding love for the first time. I hated the way that Melissa's sister Ashley treated her and even her mother sometimes, they were sort of off in their own little world but what was really impressive was that Melissa didn't really care that she was not like them and did her own thing. Yes she grows and changes and finds more in common with them but she still remains her own person and I think that's one of the most important messages in the book.

And probably my favorite plot involved Melissa and her friend Ryan, they have been friends forever never thinking about anything more than hanging out and riding the wash and then new girl Courtney jumps in the middle of their friendship and turns everything upside down.

The Life of Glass is a wonderful book that covers so much and I definitely will be checking out Jillian's previous release and any other books she has to come!

The Life of Glass was released on February 9th 2010
Genre: Young Adult
4.5/5 stars
ARC provided for blog tour

And one more exciting thing!


Enter to win free copies of Jillian Cantor's books and cool prizes! One grand prize winner will receive two glass spirit stones (one for you, one for a friend) from Arizona, where THE LIFE OF GLASS is set, along with an autographed copy of each of Jillian's novels: THE LIFE OF GLASS and THE SEPTEMBER SISTERS. Two lucky runners-up will receive a signed copy of THE LIFE OF GLASS. To be eligible, send an email to with the subject line "The Life of Glass Giveaway". All e-mail entries must be received by midnight (PST) on February 14, 2010. The winners will be selected at random on February 15, 2010. Be sure to include your name and e-mail address with your entry (If you're under age 13, give your parent's contact info). One entry per person. Jillian Cantor's complete blog tour schedule can be found at Good luck!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

"Waiting On" Wednesday 69

My First New York: Early Adventures In The Big City

Who doesn't know someone who moved on a lark to New York - or plans to someday move there - and remembers or dreams of their own first, halcyon days in the big city? New York has always been the destination of choice for the tired, the poor, the hungry - as well as for the rich, the famous, and the well-fed. As the Census Bureau recently reported, even in these days of recession New York is gaining more residents than any city in America. Based on the hugely popular recent New York magazine cover story, "My First New York" features memorable and moving accounts of early adventures in the city by some of the legions of remarkable people who have called it home, including: Actress Lauren Hutton on jumping into a cab without a destination that first day in 1964 and saying the only New York place that came to mind: 'Tiffany's!' ; Artist Chuck Close on days and nights at Andy Warhol's nightclub, The Factory, in 1967; Chef Padma Lakshmi on arriving on Halloween night in 1974; "Saturday Night Live" producer Lorne Michaels on immediately buying what he deemed essential to wear in New York in 1975: a green corduroy jacket; Restaurateur Danny Meyer on arriving the night John Lennon was shot in 1980; Comedian Andy Samberg on shooting mice with a water gun in his first apartment in 1998; and, Actor James Franco on learning to take the subway in 2008. Other contributors include: David Dinkins, former mayor, 1933; Lorin Maazel, conductor, 1939; Yogi Berra, baseball player, 1946; Chita Rivera, actress, 1948; Jonas Mekas, filmmaker, 1949; Dan Rather, journalist, 1956; Larry Kramer, playwright, 1957; Tommy Tune, director and choreographer, 1957; Daniel Libeskind, architect, 1959; Liza Minnelli, singer, 1961; Nora Ephron, filmmaker, 1962; Tom Wolfe, writer, 1962; Judy Collins, singer, 1963; Bill Cosby, comedian, 1963; Danny DeVito, actor, 1963; Lauren Hutton, actress, 1964; Chuck Close, artist, 1967; Andre Aciman, writer, 1968; Mary Boone, art gallerist, 1969; Diane Von Furstenberg, designer, 1970; Padma Lakshmi, host of "Top Chef", 1974; and, Lorne Michaels, executive producer of "Saturday Night Live", 1975. It also includes contributors such as: Cindy Sherman, artist, 1977; Jann Wenner, editor and publisher of "Rolling Stone", 1977; Gary Shteyngart, writer, 1979; Danny Meyer, resturateur, 1980; Susanne Bartsch, party promoter, 1981; Colum McCann, writer, 1982; David Rakoff, writer, 1982; Harold Evans, editor-at-large of "The Week", 1983; Keith Hernandez, baseball player, 1983; Ira Glass, radio host of "This American Life", 1984; Naomi Campbell, model, 1986; Audra McDonald, actress, 1988; Mike Myers, comedian, 1988; Chloe Sevigny, actress, 1991; Amy Sedaris, comedienne, 1993; Rufus Wainwright, musician, 1994; Maggie Gyllenhaal, actress, 1995; Michael Lucas, porn star, 1997; Albert Hammond Jr., musician, 1998; Andy Samberg, comedian, 1998; David Chang, chef, 1999; Michel Gondry, filmmaker, 2001; Nick Denton, publisher of Gawker, 2002; Ashley Dupre, former escort, 2004; Aygness Deyn, model, 2006; James Franco, actor, 2008; and, TK, new arrival, 2009.Released March 16th 2010

Released March 23rd 2010

It sounds like this book was written for me, enough said. I will be buying it in Hardcover which is a rare rare thing for me to say!

What can't you wait for to be released?

"Waiting On" Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine!

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Blog Tour: In A Heartbeat by Loretta Ellsworth

Welcome to the In A Heartbeat blog tour! Today I'm excited to host Loretta Ellsworth! Let's start with her guest blog!

Thank you, Alea, for asking me to be a guest blogger. My blog post today is about cellular memory. When I first started researching heart transplants, I’d never heard of the theory of cellular memory, which is the idea that memory is stored not just in our brains, but at the cellular level. If every cell in our body has its own mind and if you transfer tissues from one body to another, then the cells from the first body will carry memories into the second body.

I read about many cases of heart transplant recipients who felt as though they’d inherited new memories along with their new hearts. I read about a woman who’d received the heart of a young man who’d died after being stabbed in his lower back. After the surgery she experienced shooting pains in her lower back. Her husband reported that during the night she’d have nightmares and wake up screaming, pointing to her lower back. I read about people who experienced profound personality changes, who suddenly started liking different types of music and food than before, and others who dreamed of their heart donors. In his book The Heart’s Code, Paul Pearsall described the case in which a young girl received the heart of a murdered girl and who had nightmares about a man attacking her. Her description of the man was so detailed – the time, the weapon, the place, the clothes he wore, that her psychiatrist decided to call the police, and they were able to arrest the man based on her description.

Candace Pert is a scientist who has been studying how chains of amino acids, called neuropeptides, send messages back and forth between the brain and the body. It used to be thought that neuropeptides only existed in the brain, but now they’ve been found throughout the whole body, especially in the heart. And the heart has been found to have its own complex nervous system, which influences the communication between brain and heart.

What scientists don’t understand is why some people claim to have these memories and others don’t. Many doctors feel that these experiences are just side effects of the immunosuppressive drugs that patients take. In some online blogs I read, patients stated that they don’t tell their doctors about these feelings even when they do have them. I doubt there’s enough known about cellular memory to draw any conclusions at this time. But it does warrant more research and transplant patients do need validation of their feelings.

After reading these accounts, I knew that this would be the bridge for my two characters – a heart that would connect them in more ways than just as a donated pump. Eagan, who is so different from Amelia, helps her learn to live life to the fullest by the personality traits she passes on to her. And those newfound traits end up leading Amelia back to Eagan’s family.

If you’re interested in learning more, here’s a link to a video about cellular memory and heart transplants:

And if you’re interested in organ donation, here’s another link:

Thanks Loretta! Onto my review!

When a small mistake costs sixteen-year-old Eagan her life during a figure-skating competition, she leaves many things unreconciled, including her troubled relationship with her mother. From her vantage point in the afterlife, Eagan reflects back on her memories, and what she could have done differently, through her still-beating heart.

When fourteen-year-old Amelia learns she will be getting a heart transplant, her fear and guilt battle with her joy at this new chance at life. And afterwards when she starts to feel different—dreaming about figure skating, craving grape candy—her need to learn about her donor leads her to discover and explore Eagan’s life, meeting her grieving loved ones and trying to bring the closure they all need to move on.

Told in alternating viewpoints, In a Heartbeat tells the emotional and compelling story of two girls sharing one heart.

In a Heartbeat was a fascinating book about love, life and making changes told from the viewpoints of two teen girls, Eagan and Amelia.

I love how both Eagan (an ice skater that hits her head on a board during a performance and dies) and Amelia (a girl with a bad heart that receives Eagan's heart) have such different lives and never actually meet but compliment each others stories and learn from each other. It's a beautiful story that is made all the better but the short chapters that switch back and forth from both of their viewpoints.

If I was asked to compare this book with another I would say it has a few similarities with The Everafter, at least when it comes to Eagan's story. They both reflect back on someone's life and look forward into the everafter.

I love how one heart, Eagan's heart brings these two families together and changes both girls for the better. Eagan is able to let go of her regrets and past and Amelia is able to blossom and start her new life with her new heart. It's a wonderful book that I would definitely suggest!

In A Heartbeat was released on February 2nd!
Genre: Young Adult
4.5/5 Stars
ARC provided by author for tour
Loretta Ellsworth's website

And something really exciting, a chance to win a signed copy of In A Heartbeat!

Here's how to enter to win a signed copy of In A Heartbeat!

Fill out the giveaway entry form here.

The giveaway is open to addresses within the U.S. and Canada only.

The giveaway will end February 23rd at 6:59 pm Central Time.

**Copy provided by the author**
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