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FLASHBACK FRIDAY (8): THE DAY BEFORE by Lisa Schroeder
Feb 28th, 2014 by Liza Wiemer

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To learn more about Flashback Friday, check out FICTION FARE!

8922087FLASHBACK FRIDAY (8):

THE DAY BEFORE

by Lisa Schroeder

Pub. date: June 28, 2011

Publisher: Simon Pulse

307 pages

This is free verse poetry,which I love. The novel is perfect for reluctant readers!

Purchase here: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, IndieBound

FROM GOODREADS: 

One moment can change everything.

Amber’s life is spinning out of control. All she wants is to turn up the volume on her iPod until all of the demands of family and friends fade away. So she sneaks off to the beach to spend a day by herself.

Then Amber meets Cade. Their attraction is instant, and Amber can tell he’s also looking for an escape. Together they decide to share a perfect day: no pasts, no fears, no regrets.

The more time that Amber spends with Cade, the more she’s drawn to him. And the more she’s troubled by his darkness. Because Cade’s not just living in the now, he’s living each moment like it’s his last.

MY REVIEW:

The Day Before is a lyrical YA novel that draws you in line by line and tells a powerful story of fear, love, emotional pain, and change as one girl discovers her family and one boy makes a sacrifice for his family. Ultimately, there is the realization that hope and strength given with love from one person to another can make all the difference when one has to deal with the difficult experiences of life. This is a fast read, one well worth every second of your time. Savor it.

About Lisa Schroeder:588558

From her website: Lisa Schroeder is the author of four teen verse novels including I HEART YOU, YOU HAUNT ME and its companion, CHASING BROOKLYN, FAR FROM YOU, and the Oregon Book Award finalist, THE DAY BEFORE. Her latest book for teens is a combination of prose and poetry and is titled FALLING FOR YOU. She’s also the author of the middle grade novels IT’S RAINING CUPCAKES, SPRINKLES AND SECRETS and FROSTING AND FRIENDSHIP. Her books have been translated into several languages and have been selected for state reading lists. She lives in Oregon with her husband and two sons.

Find Lisa on:

Website

Twitter

Facebook

HUGE CONGRATS TO LISA, who shared this announcement today on her blog:Screen Shot 2014-02-28 at 7.31.54 AM

LANDRY PARK by Bethany Hagen Blog Tour – Guest Post & Giveaway (US only)
Feb 27th, 2014 by Liza Wiemer

LANDRY PARK by Bethany Hagen9780803739482_medium_Landry_Park

BLOG TOUR & GUEST POST

Pub. Date: February 4, 2014

Publisher: Dial

Landry Park Synopsis:
In a fragmented future United States ruled by the lavish Gentry, sixteen year old Madeline Landry dreams of going off to the University. Gentry decorum and her domineering father won’t allow that. Madeline must marry, like a good Landry woman, and run the family estate. But her world is turned upside down when her childhood friend is attacked and she witnesses Gentry golden boy David Dana secretly helping a Rootless girl, in spite of the fact that the Rootless, who maintain the nuclear power the country relies on, are exposed to dangerous radiation. As Madeline begins to question everything she has been taught her whole life, rumors of war and rebellion begin to swirl amidst Gentry courtships and extravagant debuts. Soon Madeline finds herself and David at the center of it all. Ultimately, she is forced to make a choice: to stay with the Gentry—her family, her charmed life, and the estate she loves dearly—or to join David in the fight for Rootless equality.

Guest Post:

I knew from the very beginning of writing Landry Park that it had to feel both like the past and the future, and so incorporating elements of both came very naturally, almost unconsciously.  I started with the estates, knowing that they would be dependent on nuclear power and then using that caveat to structure the society.

I also asked myself, if there was a massive invasion and an ensuing civil war, if society changed totally and fundamentally, what are things that would probably stay the same?  What things would continue to advance?  I felt certain (perhaps I’m an optimist) that women would not allow a regression of their rights in any circumstance, which is why the inheritance system in Landry Park is a gender-blind form of primogeniture and it’s completely normal for a girl like Madeline to be groomed to be one of the most powerful people in the country.

I also (because I’m an optimist) couldn’t imagine a world where smartphones and tablets went away.  If I crashed on a desert island with no water and no food and a troupe of fellow survivors who had immediately turned to cannibalism in their desperation—the first thing I would do would be to build an iPhone out of coconuts and puffer fish spines.  So in my future, tablets are carried by everyone, pretty much everywhere.

In the end, I wanted the world to feel seamless.  I wanted the dresses to mingle effortlessly with the blue Cherenkov lanterns, the tablets to fit right in with tea and invitations stamped in gold ink.  I wanted modern day readers to be able to escape into the fantasy without feeling hung up on gender roles or even worse–lack of deodorant.

5stcnogjihkfueilknxqAbout Bethany Hagen:

Bethany Hagen was born and raised in Kansas City, meaning she can tolerate jazz for brief amounts of time and is offended by dry rub barbecue. She grew up reading Charlotte Bronte, Jane Austen, and all things King Arthur. When she’s not working at the library or running around with her kids and husband, she’s writing or thinking about writing. Landry Park is her debut book.

Find her on:

Twitter

Website

Goodreads

Buy LANDRY PARK here:

Amazon

Audible

Barnes and Noble

IndieBound

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FLASHBACK FRIDAY(7): VIRTUOSITY by Jessica Martinez
Feb 21st, 2014 by Liza Wiemer

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To learn more about Flashback Friday, check out FICTION FARE!

FLASHBACK FRIDAY(7):

10668038

VIRTUOSITY by Jessica Martinez

Published by: Simon Pulse

Pub. Date October 18, 2011

Summary from Goodreads:

Now is not the time for Carmen to fall in love. And Jeremy is hands-down the wrong guy for her to fall for. He is infuriating, arrogant, and the only person who can stand in the way of Carmen getting the one thing she wants most: to win the prestigious Guarneri competition. Carmen’s whole life is violin, and until she met Jeremy, her whole focus was winning. But what if Jeremy isn’t just hot…what if Jeremy is better?

Carmen knows that kissing Jeremy can’t end well, but she just can’t stay away. Nobody else understands her–and riles her up–like he does. Still, she can’t trust him with her biggest secret: She is so desperate to win she takes anti-anxiety drugs to perform, and what started as an easy fix has become a hungry addiction. Carmen is sick of not feeling anything on stage and even more sick of always doing what she’s told, doing what’s expected.

Sometimes, being on top just means you have a long way to fall.

My Goodreads Review: (Written April, 2012)

I picked up VIRTUOSITY because of three reviews on Goodreads: Hayden’s, HD’s, and Melina’s. After their awesome write-ups, I couldn’t resist. Among many things, Melina’s review talked about addiction to music and to prescription drugs, and she was correct. Hayden related VIRTUOSITY to his own experience, and HD loved the novel for its writing. All three of them connected to this novel differently and they were dead-on as far as a five star review. VIRTUOSITY definitely pulls at you with the power of music, the power of family, the power of love, the power of medication, the power of standing up for yourself, and the power of turning a wrong into a right, even knowing it could cost you something that you love – like becoming one of the best violin players in the world. Overall, this novel will leave you aching for Carmen and the pain she had to suffer to discover her inner strength, her love for playing violin, and her discovery into what is truly important. She has a huge weight to deal with, one so great that in the end what is most admirable about her is her guts, her determination, her inner strength. Toss into the equation a young man named Jeremy who not only is Carmen’s biggest competition, but is the heart of the conflict in her life. Love his raw honesty, his complicated personality!
VIRTUOSITY has it all: wonderful writing, a pull-me-in story arc, relatable characters, life-changing decisions. It’s a winner. Put it on your must-read list!

Buy it here:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

IndieBound

For more information on Jessica Martinez and her other novels, check out here website or Twitter.

BETTER OFF FRIENDS by Elizabeth Eulberg – LAUNCH PARTY Blog Tour & Giveaway
Feb 16th, 2014 by Liza Wiemer

whorublog_BetterOffTour

We’re celebrating the launch of

BETTER OFF FRIENDS by Elizabeth Eulberg

Publisher: Point (Scholastic)

Pub. Date: February 25, 2014

SIGNED copies can be pre-ordered or purchased after the Better Off Friends Launch Party on February 25, 2014 through Boswell Books by calling (414) 332-1181

Summary From Goodreads:EEshot copy

For Macallan and Levi, it was friends at first sight. Everyone says guys and girls can’t be just friends, but these two are. They hang out after school, share tons of inside jokes, their families are super close, and Levi even starts dating one of Macallan’s friends. They are platonic and happy that way.

Eventually they realize they’re best friends — which wouldn’t be so bad if they didn’t keep getting in each other’s way. Guys won’t ask Macallan out because they think she’s with Levi, and Levi spends too much time joking around with Macallan, and maybe not enough time with his date. They can’t help but wonder . . . are they more than friends or are they better off without making it even more complicated?

From romantic comedy superstar Elizabeth Eulberg comes a fresh, fun examination of a question for the ages: Can guys and girls ever really be just friends? Or are they always one fight away from not speaking again — and one kiss away from true love?

REVIEWS:

“…a pitch-perfect rom com. With a nod to When Harry Met Sally, rising YA romance writer Eulberg situates relatable characters in realistic situations. There’s depth, too… A humorous and cozy story about friendships and relationships, and the oh-so-fine line between them.”
– Booklist

“Reminiscent of When Harry Met Sally, Eulberg’s account of an evolving relationship offers witty banter interspersed with pangs of unrequited love. …their roller-coaster relationship provides plenty of entertainment and romantic thrills along the way.”
– Publishers Weekly

“Can a guy and a girl ever really be friends, as in ‘friends, but just friends?’ This is the question that animates this delicious, delightful romantic comedy. Readers will devour each chapter, narrated in Macallan’s and Levi’s alternating voices, correct in their confidence that Eulberg is going to deliver on her promise of an enormously satisfying story.”
– Children’s Literature

MY REVIEW:

I absolutely loved, loved, loved, loved this novel, and since it’s set in Wisconsin, it made it even better. Levi, as my friends at Swoony Boys Podcast would say, is totally swoon worthy!

Macallan and Levi relationship goes through many roller coaster rides. Sometimes their perspectives and values don’t match up, but ultimately there’s no doubt that they were made for each other. But are they “better off friends?” Readers will cheer them on & you have to read the book to find out what happens.cheeseball

Told in alternating points of view, BETTER OFF FRIENDS IS contemporary YA novel perfection. <3 <3

FOOD:

Cheese Ball

Cheese Ball

There’s something else that is absolutely delicious about this novel, and that’s the food!!!!!

Wisconsin is known for all sorts of cheese, and Macallan and Levi enjoy plenty of dishes that have cheese it it. Fried string cheese?  Cheese curds? – Welcome to Wisconsin. Elizabeth Eulberg included her mom’s cheeseball! I made it  and shared the recipe for our WI/IL Author/Blogger/Librarian luncheon back in December, but I’ll share the recipe again here:

 

BACKSTORY:

Better Off Friends came from a conversation my editor, David Levithan, had with one of his colleagues, Erin Black, who said she was looking for a YA story like When Harry Met Sally… that grapples with that age old question: can a guy and a girl really be just friends? When David mentioned it to me, I called dibs.Over the course of a year (while I was writing Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality), I thought about how I could tell the story in a fresh way. I went back toWhen Harry Met Sally… and loved that it’s a story that takes place over a long period of time so you can really see the relationship develop between those two characters. So I knew that I wanted Better Off Friends to be over the course of a few years as well as have little moments of the characters bantering throughout the book so the reader can see right from the beginning the kind of friendship they have.I began to slowly develop the characters of Macallan and Levi, and map out their friendship through five years. When I began writing the book, I decided on a whim to have it set in Wisconsin, which ended up becoming a character of its own. As someone who grew up in Wisconsin, it was fun to set a book in a place that I have such affection for. This also provided me with countless ways to insert my love for the Green Bay Packers (from Levi’s last name, Rodgers, to the various teachers names throughout the book). GO PACK!

Writing this book was a lot of fun, but it also made me cry in a few places. I’m really proud of Better Off Friends and hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it.

GREAT LINKS:

Blog Tour: (Check out each link for a separate post and giveaway of a signed copy of BETTER OFF FRIENDS!)

Feb 16 Liza – WhoRuBlog – Review & some more recipes & giveaway of a signed book http://www.WhoRuBlog.com
Feb 17 Sarah – Novel Thoughts  – Review and and giveaway of signed book  http://www.novelthoughtsblog.com
Feb 18 Jaime and Erin – Fiction Fare – Quotes from the book with Wisconsin references & giveaway of a signed book http://fictionfare.blogspot.com
Feb 19 Andrea – Mrs. Payan Reads – History of Culvers and giveaway of a signed book http://mrspayanreads.blogspot.com
Feb 20 Erica – The Book Cellar – (still to be determined) & giveaway of a signed book http://thebookcellarx.com
Feb 21 Heidi – YA Bibliophile – Irish references and giveaway of a signed book http://www.yabibliophile.com
Feb 22 Rachel – As told by Rachel – Pictures of places mentioned in the book from Wisconsin and giveaway of a signed book http://tigerlilyrachel.com
Feb 23 Kelly – Belle of the Literati – WHEN HARRY MET SALLY: Can girls and boys be friends? Kelly is asking her friends for for their thoughts! http://belleoftheliterati.blogspot.com
Feb 24 Jillian – Heise Reads and Recommends – Reviews from Students & giveaway of a signed book http://www.heisereads.com

We’ll be tweeting: #BetterOffInWI @ElizEulberg

GIVEAWAY: One signed copy of BETTER OFF FRIENDS (US/Canada Only)

 

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FLASHBACK FRIDAY(6) Valentine’s Day Edition – FIRST COMES LOVE by Katie Kacvinsky
Feb 14th, 2014 by Liza Wiemer

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To learn more about Flashback Friday, check out FICTION FARE!

15814564FIRST COMES LOVE

by Katie Kacvinsky

Published by HMH in 2012

From Goodreads: 

Like his name, Gray is dark and stormy. Dylan, a girl always searching for what’s next, seemingly unable to settle down, is the exact opposite: full of light and life. On the outside, they seem like an unlikely couple. But looks can be deceiving and besides, opposites attract.

What starts as friendship, turns into admiration, respect and caring, until finally these two lone souls find they are truly in love with each other.

But staying in love is not as easy as falling in love. If Dylan and Gray want their love to last, they’re going to have to work at it. And learn that sometimes love means having to say you’re sorry.

My review – posted May 2013

I was totally captivated by Gray and Dylan, two very different individuals drawn together in a powerful and loving relationship that seems to heal both of them in different ways. Gray is dark and miserable. Dylan is boisterous, happy, enthusiastic. She helps bring Gray out of his shell and live. I love that Dylan doesn’t want to be anything but herself. She’s straightforward and honest. First Comes Love is a fast, enjoyable read. It’s also told from both Dylan and Gray’s perspective, which I love.
Yes, I recommend for anyone who enjoys a love story!

February 14, 2014 – After all this time, these characters continue to stick out in my mind. It’s an unusual love that they share for one another, deep, raw, supportive, and sometimes quite painful as they take on their own adventures in life. But I love them, flaws and all. I am so glad that Katie continued Gray and Dylan’s story. She did so in Second Chances, which I also highly recommend. This May, Katie will be releasing the final book in this series, Finally, Forever. I am very much looking forward to it!

To Purchase:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Amazon (Second Chances)

 

SECOND CHANCES (First Comes Love, #2)15996019

From Goodreads:

Can two drastically different, imperfect people be perfect for each other?

It’s been four months since Gray and Dylan have seen each other. Dylan’s been traveling in Europe, while Gray has college, baseball, and a life rooted in one place. Gray’s determined to forget Dylan, the girl he fell in love with in First Comes Love. Besides, how do you make a relationship work with an independent loner?

Just when he decides he’s over her, Dylan makes an unexpected entrance back into his life, hoping their steamy romance can start right where it left off. Gray realizes you can tell your mind to do one thing, but you can’t always convince your heart to follow. Dylan realizes she finally has to make a choice between freedom and her relationship with Gray.

Hilarious, intense, inspiring, and emotional, Second Chance shows that love is a journey, and there are never clear road signs or maps to guide you along. You can only navigate with your heart.

My review:

<3 <3 <3 <3 <3<3 <3 <3 <3 <3<3 <3 <3 <3 <3<3 <3 <3 <3 <3<3 <3 <3 <3 <3<3 <3 <3 <3 <3<3 <3 <3 <3 <3<3 <3 <3 <3 <3<3 <3 <3 <3 <3<3 <3 <3 <3 <3<3 <3 <3 <3 <3<3 <3 <3 <3 <3<3 <3 <3 <3 <3<3 <3 <3 <3 <3<3 <3 <3 <3 <3<3 <3 <3 <3 <3<3 <3 <3 <3 <3<3 <3 <3 <3 <3<3 <3 <3 <3 <3<3

What can I say except I once again fell in love with Dylan and Gray and cannot wait for Katie Kacvinsky’s last book in this trilogy, Finally, Forever.

Things that I love about this series:

1. How quirky Dylan is.

2. How Gray accepts and loves Dylan the way she is and doesn’t want to change her.

3. That there is hope for this once-in-a-lifetime, ever-after type of love.

4. Gray’s awesome friends.

5. Sweet romance. Even though my heart was left aching inSecond Chance I have HOPE for Dylan and Gray – see #4.

6. A series that crosses between the YA and NA market!

Thank you, Katie. Looking forward to the last book.

FINALLY, FOREVER (First Comes Love, #3)

Will be released May, 2014

For more information about Katie Kacvinsky, check out her website.  She has a Valentine’s Day giveaway going on right now!!!

Cover Reveal of the new YA novel: FERAL by Holly Schindler
Feb 13th, 2014 by Liza Wiemer

Cover Reveal of:

FERAL by Holly Schindler

Publisher: Harper Collins

Pub. Date: August 26, 2014

 

Feral HC copy

From Goodreads:

It’s too late for you. You’re dead.

Those words float through Claire Cain’s head as she lies broken and barely alive after a brutal beating. And the words continue to haunt her months later, in the relentless, terrifying nightmares that plague her sleep. So when her father is offered a teaching sabbatical in another state, Claire is hopeful that getting out of Chicago, away from the things that remind her of what she went through, will offer a way to start anew.

But when she arrives in Peculiar, Missouri, Claire quickly realizes something is wrong—the town is brimming with hidden dangers and overrun by feral cats. And her fears are confirmed when a popular high school girl, Serena Sims, is suddenly found dead in the icy woods behind the school. While everyone is quick to say Serena died in an accident, Claire knows there’s more to it—for she was the one who found Serena, battered and most certainly dead, surrounded by the town’s feral cats.

Now Claire vows to learn the truth about what happened, but the closer she gets to uncovering the mystery, the closer she also gets to discovering a frightening reality about herself and the damage she truly sustained in that Chicago alley. . . .

With an eerie setting and heart-stopping twists and turns, Holly Schindler weaves a gripping story that will make you question everything you think you know.(

Pre Order it here: AMAZON

Add to your to-read list here: GOODREADS

Holly Schindler: Website

New Cover Reveal & Review: THE LAST LETTER from YOUR LOVER by Jojo Moyes & Giveaway (US only)
Feb 11th, 2014 by Liza Wiemer

A Very Special Valentine’s Day read from one of my favorite authors:

THE LAST LETTER from YOUR LOVER by Jojo Moyes & Giveaway (US only)

Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books

Last Letter cover.med

From Goodreads:

A sophisticated, page-turning double love story spanning forty years-an unforgettable Brief Encounter for our times. 

It is 1960. When Jennifer Stirling wakes up in the hospital, she can remember nothing-not the tragic car accident that put her there, not her husband, not even who she is. She feels like a stranger in her own life until she stumbles upon an impassioned letter, signed simply “B”, asking her to leave her husband.

Years later, in 2003, a journalist named Ellie discovers the same enigmatic letter in a forgotten file in her newspaper’s archives. She becomes obsessed by the story and hopeful that it can resurrect her faltering career. Perhaps if these lovers had a happy ending she will find one to her own complicated love life, too. Ellie’s search will rewrite history and help her see the truth about her own modern romance.

A spellbinding, intoxicating love story with a knockout ending, The Last Letter from Your Lover will appeal to the readers who have made One Day and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society bestsellers.

Award:

Romantic Novel of the Year (RoNa’s) Award (2011)

Purchase:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

IndieBound

Audible

My Review: 5/5 stars

Jojo Moyes once again proves that neither time nor distance can put out the flames of true love, love that doesn’t just connect bodies, but souls.
Take Jennifer Stirling and Anthony “Boot” O’Hare. Anthony, a reporter for “The Nation,” joined Jennifer and her wealthy husband Laurence at their home on the French Rivera. From their rocky beginnings in 1960, a friendship and love is forged between Anthony and Jennifer, one that can’t be destroyed in twisted metal and broken dreams. There are no true winners or losers in this novel, just lives lived, lives lost and lots of navigation through life’s trials and tribulations along the way.

One of Jojo’s established strengths in her writing is connecting the past with the present, intertwining lives with similar situations and objects. In THE LAST LETTER FROM YOUR LOVER, the object, of course, is a letter that ties the generations: Jennifer and Anthony in 1960 to Ellie and Rory in 2003. The parallels are so fascinating and at the same time heartbreaking. But Jojo has this way of taking heartbreak and smoothing the rough edges so that the reader is left satisfied and hopeful. This is a remarkable talent, one that makes Jojo a storytelling star.

Jojo Moyes is one of those writers that has created a body of work that collectively is masterful and insightful into the human spirit. I would normally say that every novel must stand on its own merit. That’s absolutely true. Yet, in Jojo’s case, she has established herself as an author who has immortalized characters who will stand the test of time. Having read ME BEFORE YOU, HONEYMOON IN PARIS, THE GIRL YOU LEFT BEHIND and now THE LAST LETTER FROM YOUR LOVER, I see the connections between themes she explores in her novels, and even the characters. To me, that is a tremendous gift and the reason why I recommend reading everything Jojo writes. Obviously, readers may relate better to certain characters, but there is no doubt that if you read for more than the pleasure of entertainment, there is a lot to be gained from the insights Jojo illuminates in her stories. She opens the readers’ eyes to the serendipities of past and present, the lessons to be learned from the past and how they can alter the present and the future. At the same time, her novels remind us that we’re fragile beings, and even though we have only one life to live, what we do, what we create can be a major part of the future. To leave a mark.Me Before You.Cover

Jojo Moyes most definitely leaves a mark, one that will be read and seen for generations to come!

Jojo Moyes C Phyllis ChristopherTO LEARN more about Jojo Moyes:

Her Website

Facebook

 

Giveaway: Two winners – one will win ME BEFORE YOU and another will win THE LAST LETTER from YOUR LOVER (US only) Ends February 17, 2014, 11:59 p.m. CST. Thank you to Pamela Dorman Books for providing this giveaway.

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FLASHBACK FRIDAY (5): MANDY by Julie (Andrews) Edwards
Feb 7th, 2014 by Liza Wiemer

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To learn more about Flashback Friday, check out FICTION FARE!

FLASHBACK FRIDAY (5): MANDY by Julie (Andrews) Edwards

Publisher: HarperCollins

Original Pub. Date: 1971

 

From Goodreads: 

Today's cover.

Today’s cover.

The magic of finding a home Mandy, a ten-year-old orphan, dreams of a place to call her own. Escaping over the orphanage wall to explore the outside world, Mandy discovers a tiny deserted cottage in the woods. All through the spring, summer, and fall, Mandy works to make it truly hers. Sometimes she “borrows” things she needs from the orphanage. Sometimes, to guard her secret, she even lies. Then, one stormy night at the cottage, Mandy gets sick, and no one knows how to find her–except a special friend she didn’t know she had.

The original cover in 1971. Notice how the author name is listed as Julie Edwards. Andrews was left out.

The original cover in 1971. Notice how the author name is listed as Julie Edwards. Andrews was left out.

My review:

MANDY was the book that had the most influence on me as a kid. It changed my life. It may have saved me from pits of despair. I purchased it with my own money. I remember standing in front of the shelves of books at Walden’s trying desperately to decide what book I wanted. MANDY called to me. And all these years later, I still have the first edition. It sits on my “favorite books” shelf and still means so much to me. Because when I was a child, I needed a place to escape. I couldn’t escape what was going on in my home, but I could escape into a world created by Julie Andrews Edwards. I wanted to be Mandy. I envisioned myself an orphan, finding that shell cottage, and making it my own. I saw myself being “found” and adopted by an amazing family. I think, in some ways, this book saved me a little bit by giving me a sense of hope that good things could happen to people in horrible circumstances. MANDY was my THE SECRET GARDEN.

When Trish Doller mentioned MANDY in WHERE THE STARS STILL SHINE, I knew I found a kindred spirit in Trish. I loved WtSSS that much more for it!

MANDY is a classic. It’s been over thirty years since it’s publication, but it still holds the same magic and charm and escape that it did then. I highly recommend it for anyone who loves MG novels or just wants to know what a true classic book means! For me, MANDY is it!

An Unexpected Encounter with Tim Federle, author of BETTER NATE THAN NEVER & Giveaway
Feb 4th, 2014 by Liza Wiemer

How a Special Encounter with Tim Federle, author of BETTER NATE THAN NEVER and FIVE, SIX, SEVEN, NATE,  Led to this Giveaway!

To order a signed copy of BETTER NATE THAN NEVER or FIVE, SIX, SEVEN, NATE or TEQUILA MOCKINGBIRD 5446689call Boswell Books at (414) 332-1181

Today, I had an unexpected surprise. I was writing in Starbucks—attached to Boswell Books—when Hannah, one of the wonderful booksellers, came over to me and said, “Liza, come meet Tim Federle. He’s here signing books.”

Blink. Blink. What?? Tim Federle is at Boswells? Did I miss an event? No. Tim was in town visiting schools. I was deeply touched that Hannah thought of me.

After exchanging hellos and a handshake, Tim and I had a few minutes to talk while he signed away. He’ll be attending BEA this year, but not for his MG books. Hopefully in the not-so-distant future, Tim will have a picture book coming out. Details to come. I congratulated him on receiving a Stonewall Book Honor Award and an Odyssey Honor Award (for the audiobook) from ALA. He was at home in his pjs watching the live feed when it was publicly announced. Love that! (Mid-January, I was at an event with WI librarians to discuss and predict which books would win awards at ALA – BETTER NATE THAN EVER was one of them.) I watched the event live too, but not in my pjs. 😀

13414183We talked about how amazing it is to receive those royalty checks – I received one in the mail yesterday for my adult non-fiction book that was published in 1997 through Random House.  Thank you Stuart! (The amount could be used to cover dinner for two, and I am tremendously grateful! It’s amazing to still receive checks after all these years.) Discussing the book publishing process also got a few minutes of our time, sharing a little bit about our experiences.

Tim has a personality that radiates kindness and generosity of spirit. Despite the bitter cold of Wisconsin, our brief moment left me much warmer. Thank you so much, Tim! Now, I want to share that warmth with you!

I have a signed copy of BETTER NATE THAN EVER! (US or Canada only)

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ALIENATED by Melissa Landers, Book Birthday Celebration & NOOK Giveaway
Feb 4th, 2014 by Liza Wiemer

Alienated-newcvrBook Birthday Celebration of ALIENATED by Melissa Landers

& NOOK Giveaway

Isn’t this COVER GORGEOUS!!!!!

From GOODREADS:

Two years ago, the aliens made contact. Now Cara Sweeney is going to be sharing a bathroom with one of them.

Handpicked to host the first-ever L’eihr exchange student, Cara thinks her future is set. Not only does she get a free ride to her dream college, she’ll have inside information about the mysterious L’eihrs that every journalist would kill for. Cara’s blog following is about to skyrocket.

Still, Cara isn’t sure what to think when she meets Aelyx. Humans and L’eihrs have nearly identical DNA, but cold, infuriatingly brilliant Aelyx couldn’t seem more alien. She’s certain about one thing, though: no human boy is this good-looking.

But when Cara’s classmates get swept up by anti-L’eihr paranoia, Midtown High School suddenly isn’t safe anymore. Threatening notes appear in Cara’s locker, and a police officer has to escort her and Aelyx to class.

Cara finds support in the last person she expected. She realizes that Aelyx isn’t just her only friend; she’s fallen hard for him. But Aelyx has been hiding the truth about the purpose of his exchange, and its potentially deadly consequences. Soon Cara will be in for the fight of her life—not just for herself and the boy she loves, but for the future of her planet.

REVIEWS:

“The storyline is out of this world and character development paired with authentic voice is superb. Filled with intrigue and suspense, this book will appeal to both sci-fi and contemporary YA fiction fans.” –VOYA

“Interstellar relations heat up in this start to a new romantic science fiction series. Landers [explores] larger social, ecological, and ethical issues in this tense, fast-paced read.” –Booklist

Melissa1

“The perfect blend of sizzling romance, action, and suspense.” –#1 New York Times bestselling a

uthor Jennifer L. Armentrout

“Smart, funny, and epic. I am now awaiting contact from planet L’eihr.” Julie Cross, bestselling author of Tempest.

“Intergalactic exchange students? Yes, please! I fell in love with this story and couldn’t put it down.” Jodi Meadows, author of Incarnate.

About Melissa:

Melissa Landers is a former teacher who left the classroom to pursue other worlds. A proud sci-fi geek, she isn’t afraid to wear her Princess Leia costume in public—just ask her husband and three kids. She lives outside Cincinnati in the small town of Loveland, “Sweetheart of Ohio.” For more information, or just to say hello, visit www.melissa-landers.com.

Find her on Twitter, Facebook

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