Top Ten Tuesday: Books With Names in the Title & Tips for New Bloggers

Hello everyone! Welcome back!
Don’t forget to enter my giveaway to win an audiobook copy of Cinder by Marissa Meyer!

Its that time of the week again were I post my Top Ten Tuesday post. Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish as a fun way for bloggers to interact with and get to know each other a little better.

The official theme of this week’s Top Ten Tuesday is Top Ten Tips for New Bloggers. But I’m in the mood to add to this theme and am also including ten Books With Names in the Title. So you get two Top Ten Tuesdays for the price of one! :)

Some of these are books I’ve actually read and some are books I’d like to read at some point in the future – I’ll add an asterick (*) next to the titles I have already read. Each book will have a blogger tip with it. Also, let me add that I’ve only been blogging for a little over a year, so I’m still a relatively new blogger too!

Adam Canfield of the Slash by Adam WineripAdam Canfield of the Slash by Michael Winerip* (MG)

New Blogger Tip #1: Create a Twitter account. This will enable you to get to know and interact with fellow book bloggers, which has been incredibly helpful for me!

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson LevineElla Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine* (MG)

New Blogger Tip #2: Be honest, but thoughtful and kind. You can say you didn’t like a particular book, but its not appropriate to turn your review into a bashing party. Its about the books not a personal attack on an author.

Zach's Lie by Roland SmithZach’s Lie by Roland Smith (MG)

New Blogger Tip #3: Visit other book blogs and comment. Its super helpful to visit other blogs to see what others are doing and to get to know your “neighbors”. If you leave a comment make sure it is a meaningful one (otherwise it seems like spam).

Aurelia by Anne OsterlundAurelia by Anne Osterlund (YA)

New Blogger Tip #4: Participate in bookish memes like Top Ten Tuesday, or In My Mailbox (or one of the many others). This is another chance to interact with other book bloggers and get to know the community you’re a part of. Link up with the meme so that others can visit your blog as well.

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie PerkinsLola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins (YA)

New Blogger Tip #5: Schedule some of your posts ahead of time. I have no idea why, because this seems to obvious now, but I didn’t do this for months. I would stress and stress at the last minute to get a post up when I had tons of time earlier that I could have written it and had it scheduled.

Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging by Louise RennisonAngus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison (YA)

New Blogger Tip #6: Post frequently and regularly. The more meaningful content you have the better!

The Great Wall of Lucy Wu by Wendy Wan-Long ShangThe Great Wall of Lucy Wu by Wendy Wan-Long Shang (MG)

New Blogger Tip #7: Share a little about yourself too. It’s good to let your readers know a little bit about yourself so you can help create strong connections. (I’m not the best at this but I’m trying!)

Suite Scarlett by Maureen JohnsonSuite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson (YA)

New Blogger Tip #8: Limit Your Scope. Are there specific genres you prefer over others? Are you a chick-lit blog, or a YA blog, or both? Focus on what you know and love so you’re not overwhelmed.

The Edumacation of Jay Baker by Jay ClarkThe Edumacation of Jay Baker by Jay Clark (YA)

New Blogger Tip #9: Read older books not just the brand new ones. Sure the new ones are shiny and pretty, but there are tons of awesome books out there that still deserve some love.

Welcome Callers This is Chloe by Shelley CoriellWelcome Caller, This is Chloe by Shelley Coriell (YA)

New Blogger Tip #10: If you’re not sure, just ask! Most of the book bloggers I’ve met online are pretty friendly and enjoy helping newish bloggers out. If you have a question about something, go ahead and ask. :)


Small Blogs, Big Dreams Giveaway Hop: Cinder Audiobook Giveaway

This giveaway is a stop on the Small Blog, Big Dreams Giveaway Hop hosted by hosted by Forbidden Passions Reviews & Walking on Bookshelves and runs from April 16- April 21, 2012.

A few months ago I read (listened to) Cinder by Marissa Meyer as part of the 2012 Debut Authors Challenge and as part of the 201

2 YA Audiobook Challenge.  It’s a fun read and you can check out my original review of Cinder here.

Cinder audiobook by Marissa Meyer

The Prize: An audiobook copy of Cinder by Marissa Meyer!

I really enjoyed the Cinder audiobook and actually received it directly from the publisher so a HUGE thank you goes out to Macmillan Audio!  Since I’ve finished listening to it, I decided it was time to share the wealth and let someone else have the chance to enjoy this classic fairy tale retold.

In case you haven’t heard of Cinder (and didn’t see my review), here is a summary of the book.

A forbidden romance. A deadly plague. Earth’s fate hinges on one girl…

Cinder, a gifted mechanic in New Beijing, is also a cyborg. She’s reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s sudden illness. But when her life becomes entwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she finds herself at the center of a violent

struggle between the desires of an evil queen – and a dangerous temptation.

Cinder is caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal. Now she must uncover secrets about her mysterious past in order to protect Earth’s future.

Hopefully that whet your appetite!

Okay! So, how do you enter this giveaway? Well, there is just one step to enter. All entries must be completed by Saturday April 21, 2012  (midnight Eastern Standard Time).

Fill out the form below. Only name and email address are required – the other options just give you extra entries!

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This giveaway is only open to U.S. residents. I will announce the winner on Sunday April 22, 2012 on a special winner post. That person will have 48 hours to email me their mailing address or I will select another winner.

I’m really excited and hope you are too!

Don’t forget to visit Forbidden Passions Reviews & Walking on Bookshelves to see the list of other blogs participating in this Giveaway Hop!


In My Mailbox (12)

In My MailboxHello and Happy Sunday!

Every Sunday I bring you an In My Mailbox post, which is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren.  In My Mailbox is a fun way for bloggers to socialize and network their blogs, it’s also a great way to share the books they acquired during the week.

So let’s get to my mailbox!

Its been a crazy busy week in my household!  Between my school PTSA meeting, running errands,  our Small Group, the Rehearsal Dinner and Ceremony/Reception for the wedding my husband was in (best man) we were out almost every night! Amidst the crazy schedule that was this past week I did manage to get some reading time in and I also got some fun things in my mailbox!

On Wednesday night my husband and I were out running errands that took us to a bookstore where I just had to buy two books I’ve been craving for a while now. One, is a debut by Jessica Spotswood, called Born Wicked, which I wasn’t too interested until I saw the trailer (which you can watch here) and loved it!   The other is the fifth and newest book in Ally Carter’s awesome Gallagher Girls series, Out of Sight, Out of Time. I love the feel of brand new book jackets!  Plus I think both of these covers are completely lovely!


Born Wicked and Out of Sight Out of TimeBooks I bought

-Out of Sight, Out of Time by Ally Carter

-Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood

In the middle of a tiring (but good) busy week, after a long and exhausting day at work I came home to find a nice little package waiting for me! YAY!!

Turns out, the package was from MacMillan Audio, who sent me a review copy of the audio version of Death Cloud, the first book in Andrew Lane’s Young Sherlock Holmes series! The summary sounds super exciting with a fourteen year old Sherlock Holmes investigating two possible murders. I can’t wait to get to this one, so I’m sending out a HUGE THANK YOU to MacMillan Audio for being so generous!



Books I received

-Young Sherlock Holmes #1: Death Cloud by Andrew Lane

I’m pretty happy with all my new books to read and listen to. They should keep me busy or a while now!

What did you get in your mailbox this week?


Covert Ops: Only the Good Spy Young by Ally Carter

Well hello there!Only the Good Spy Young by Ally Carter

Lets talk about the fourth installment in one of my favorite series which I listened to as a part of the 2012 Young Adult Audiobook Challenge.

When Cammie Morgan enrolled at the Gallagher Academy, she knew she was preparing for the dangerous life of a spy. What she didn’t know was that the serious, real-life danger would start during her junior year of high school. But that’s exactly what happened two months ago when Cammie faced off against an ancient terrorist organization dead set on kidnapping her.

Now the danger follows her everywhere, and even Cammie “The Chameleon” can’t hide.  When a terrifying encounter in London reveals that one of her most-trusted allies is actually a rogue double-agent, Cammie no longer knows if she can trust her classmates, her teachers—or even her own heart.

 In this fourth installment of the New York Times best-selling series, the Gallagher Girls must hack, spy, steal, and lie their way to the they go searching for answers, recognizing that the key to Cammie’s future may lie deep in the past.

I’m a major Gallagher Girls fan, as I’m pretty sure I mentioned in reviews of the earlier books.  The whole idea of growing up in a boarding school is interesting, but a boarding school for spies in training?!  Awesome!  Ally Carter’s books are those that I recommend to my students at school all the time; and I’ve been doing a good job because they’re all currently checked out! (Score 1 for the Librarian!)

First of all, let me just say that the first two books were on the lighter more fun side of the spectrum, while the third book added a bit more serious and intensity into Cammie’s life.  The fourth book, Only the Good Spy Young, picks up right where Don’t Judge a Girl by Her Cover, left off and builds right on top with even more intensity.  So, yes Cammie comes to realize just how dangerous the Circle of Caven really is, but Carter manages to combine the same lighthearted tones as the first two books, with a much more serious plot line.

It makes sense, as the girls get older they’ll be faced with tougher challenges.  That’s one of my favorite things about Only the Good Spy Young – more for real spying!  You’ve got Cammie and her friends following secret passage ways, and cracking codes while also breaking into to places that were built for keeping people out.  Because of all this spying, there is tons of action from the first chapter to the very last.  I was hooked right away and sat in my car to listen “just a little longer” on multiple occasions!  These girls are awesome and I wish I could join them on their covert ops!

Another reason I enjoyed this installment in the series, is because the reader gets more.  More spying (as mentioned above), but also MORE ZACH!  Finally! And we get more Zach and Cammie interaction!  I’ve always thought Zach was a super intriguing and mysterious character. I love how he always shows up when Cammie least expects it, but also when she needs him most. Plus, the way he calls her “Gallagher Girl” is so adorable.  Le sigh…

Did I have questions about Blackthorn? About Joe Solomon? About Cammie’s father?  About Zach?  YES! Pretty much since the first book!  Were a lot of my questions answered in Only the Good Spy Young? YES!

I enjoy this series so much that I had to run out earlier this week, before I had finished Only the Good Spy Young, to buy the newly released fifth book in the Gallagher Girls series, Out of Sight, Out of Time!  For now it’s sitting on my shelf, but it won’t be for long!  I can’t wait to find out if Cammie actually does what she says she’ll do at the end of book four (no spoilers!!)

As said before (in other posts) I recommend the entire Gallagher Girls series to anyone looking for a fun and action packed series to pick up, especially middle school aged readers and up. I also recommend listening to this series on audiobook.  They’re all narrated by Renee Raudman who does as fabulous job!

Author: Ally Carter

Publisher: Brilliance Audio (June 6, 2010

Format: Audiobook

Length: 6 hours and 37 minutes

Narrator(s): Renee Raudman

Series: Fourth in a series of five


Buy the Book: Only the Good Spy Young (Gallagher Girls Series)


Book Trailer of the Week: Out of Sight, Out of Time

Well, what do you know?! It’s Friday the Thirteenth. Interesting!

Out of Sigt Out of Time by Ally CarterI’m not really superstitious, so lets just get to the book trailer :p

Ally Carter’s The Gallagher Girls series has quickly become one of my favorite series ever. I pretty much devoured the audiobooks for the first three books in the series, I’d Tell You I Love You but Then I’d Have to Kill You, Cross My Heart Hope to Spy, Don’t Judge a Girl by Her Cover and am currently in the middle of the fourth book, Only the Good Spy Young. There is something lighthearted and fun to these books about Cammie and her friends in spy school, mixed in with some action and excitement! Come on; what girl doesn’t dream of being a spy at some point?!

Well, today’s trailer is for the fifth book in the series, Out of Sight Out of Time, which was just released in March. I just bought the book yesterday with Easter money from my mom (Thanks Mom!)! Check out the trailer in the newest edition of Ally Carter’s Gallagher Girl series.


Waiting On Wednesday (2): Reached

Happy Wednesday!

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine to spotlight the books we just can’t wait for!

Let’s talk about a book I’m waiting for – Reached by Ally Comdie. Reached is the pretty highly anticipated third novel
In the Matched series and it is set to release In November this year (2012).

20120411-072354.jpgNovember?! That’s soo far away! Can I wait that long? I guess I’ll have to!

Check out the summary for Reached below:

Cassia faces the ultimate choices in the long-anticipated conclusion to the New York Times bestselling Matched Trilogy

After leaving Society and desperately searching for the Rising—and each other—Cassia and Ky have found what they were looking for, but at the cost of losing each other yet again: Cassia has been assigned to work for the Rising from within Society, while Ky has been stationed outside its borders. But nothing is as predicted, and all too soon the veil lifts and things shift once again.

In this gripping conclusion to the #1 New York Times bestselling Matched Trilogy, Cassia will reconcile the difficulties of challenging a life too confining, seeking a freedom she never dreamed possible, and honoring a love she cannot live without.

Now to be honest, I adored the first book Matched, but did think the second book, Crossed, was a little too slow. Even though, I’m super excited to get my hands on a copy of book number three! I have to know that happens with Cassia and Ky and The Rising!

If your on a YA dystopian kick and you haves read the Matched series you should totally check it out! I promise that after you do, you’ll be waiting on Reached just like I am!


Top Ten Tuesday: Enchanting Fairy Tales Retold

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish to foster community among book bloggers. There is usually an official theme, and sometimes I go with it sometimes I don’t. Today is one of the times where I’m like Stevie Nicks and I go my own way!!! :p

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I am a massive fan of fairy tales. Thus, I’m a massive fan of fairy tales retold. I love when authors take a well-known fairy tale, mix in their own creativity, to come out with a completely unique and new story to enjoy. Over the years, I’ve read some that I wasn’t impressed with, and then I’ve also read those that totally enchanted me.

Today’s Top Ten list is broken up into two parts. The first is Fairy Tale re-tellings I’ve already read (and enjoyed), while the second half is some titles I’ve heard are fabulous but haven’t had a chance to read yet.

Already Read:

The Goose Girl by Shannon HaleThe Goose Girl by Shannon Hale

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson LevineElla Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

Cinder by Marissa MeyerCinder by Marissa Meyer

Just Ella by Margaret Peterson HaddixJust Ella by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day GeorgePrincess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George

Want to Read:

Liesl and Po by Lauren OliverLiesl and Po by Lauren Oliver

Wildwood Dancing by Juliet MarillierWildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier (I’m currently reading this one.)

Golden by Cameron DokeyGolden: A Retelling of Rapunzel by Cameron Dokey

Entwined by Heather DixonEntwined by Heather Dixon

Peter and the Star Catchers by Dave Berry and Ridley PearsonPeter and the Star Catchers by Dave Berry

Are you a fan of retold fairy tales? Can you recommend any I missed? I’d love some recommendations for future reading. :)


Divergent Nation: I Joined Team Amity!

Team AmityIn case you hadn’t heard the sequel to Veronica Roth’s dystopian Divergent, called Insurgent, will be released on May 1!

YAY!!! I’m so excited about this and have been waiting patiently for this one to come out!

I read Divergent, loved it (seriously LOVED IT) and reviewed it here. If you know nothing about Divergent, then check out the review to learn more about the five factions and basically what exactly this is that I’m talking about. :)

Insurgent by Veronica RothWell, here’s what Good Reads has to say about Insurgent.

One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.

Tris’s initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

You can also watch the book trailer for Insurgent here.
Sounds pretty awesome huh?!  Well, to help promote the release of Insurgent, Harper Teen has selected book bloggers around the country to lead each of the five factions.  I was not one of the original bloggers chosen to lead, but I did choose to join Team Amity!

The Amity faction is described as follows:

AMITY: 1. friendship; peaceful harmony.
2. mutual understanding and a peaceful relationship, especially between nations; peace; accord.
3. cordiality
So basically, this faction values peace, kindness and beauty above all else.
Why would I decide to choose Team Amity?  Well lets instead talk about why you should join the great faction that is Team Amity.
  • If you love music, art, and even reading fiction, you belong on Team Amity. We’re not just about peace, we’re also about enjoying life’s simple pleasures.
  • Our faction believes in common consent, and reaching decisions that everyone can agree on.
  • We are self-sustaining and have GREAT food.
  • And, of course, Four thinks we are beautiful.

If you loved Divergent and want to be a part of the Divergent Nation, then go ahead and join Team Amity!  We’d love to have you.  You can find out more about joining here.

And you can check out the current Amity Faction News here!

Also, if you join you can enter some exciting giveaways! Like the one being held at Emily’s Reading Room or here Hippies, Beauty, and Books!

And remember Insurgent by Veronica Roth is due on May 1, 2012!


Fairy Tale Awesomeness: Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier

Hi there! Who likes fairy tales?  I do and I recently read Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier.

High in the Transylvanian woods, at the castle Piscul Draculi, live five daughters and their doting father. It’s an idyllic life for Jena, the second eldest, who spends her time exploring the mysterious forest with her constant companion, a most unusual frog. But best by far is the castle’s hidden portal, known only to the sisters. Every Full Moon, they alone can pass through it into the enchanted world of the Other Kingdom. There they dance through the night with the fey creatures of this magical realm.

But their peace is shattered when Father falls ill and must go to the southern parts to recover, for that is when cousin Cezar arrives. Though he’s there to help the girls survive the brutal winter, Jena suspects he has darker motives in store. Meanwhile, Jena’s sister has fallen in love with a dangerous creature of the Other Kingdom–an impossible union it’s up to Jena to stop.

When Cezar’s grip of power begins to tighten, at stake is everything Jena loves: her home, her family, and the Other Kingdom she has come to cherish. To save her world, Jena will be tested in ways she can’t imagine–tests of trust, strength, and true love.Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier

Like I mentioned before, I love fairy tales.  I’m always a sucker for them. All the time.  This one had been sitting on my “To Read” shelf for a few years and I’m so glad I finally got to it because although it took a little for me to get into, once I was hooked, I was hooked!  Completely enthralled!

In Wildwood Dancing, Juliet Marillier masterfully weaves together multiple fairy tales giving this story its own unique appeal.  I can’t tell you which fairy tales Marillier uses without giving away major plot lines and twists, but I will say that the main one is The Twelve Dancing Princesses which has been one of my all time favorite fairy tales since I was a child.  In fact, the main reason I love this fairy tale so much is due to an animated show that used to be on Nickelodeon in the 90s when I was a kid.  Does anyone remember this series?  It was called Grimm’s Fairy Tale Classics and this particular episode was The Word Out Dancing Shoes.

I used to love when that episode came on!  Well, Wildwood Dancing reminded me  a lot of this episode!

One of the main things I really enjoyed about this story is the setting.  Marillier places her characters in Transylvania, a region in Romania, circa 1500 – right smack dab in the middle of the medieval era!  I love how Marillier pulled in the rich Transylvanian folklore to make her story stronger.  Wildwood Dancing combines historical fiction, folkloric fantasy, romance and drama all into one big bowl and mixes it all together to create fairy tale awesomeness.  Seriously.

Although this is a take on The Twelve Dancing Princesses, this story only has five. Jena, the main character, is a smart and opinionated  young woman who is used to being the practical one. She is, although not the oldest sister, the mother-like figure to them all; she keeps an eye on her sisters when they travel to the magical Wildwood on full moon nights.  Her main flaw, which Jena comes to realize, is her constant attempt to control everything, especially change.  Jena is both the traditional princess who follows rules and a more modern girl with some spunk.

I will say that the beginning of the story was slightly slow and difficult to get into, but once the story picks up you’re in for good.  I listened to the audiobook, as part of the 2012 YA Audiobook Challenge.  It is narrated by Kim Mai Guest and was enthralled.  I’m quickly realizing that Kim Mai Guest is my favorite audiobook narrator out there.  I’ve happened to listen to three or four books narrated by her and am constantly amazed at her range and ability to speak with difficult accents so well.  She’s kind of my audiobook idol. :)

Wildwood Dancing comes highly recommended to those who love fairy tales and fantasy, but I definitely suggest the audiobook because Mai Guest is a master at accents and this is her narration best!

Author: Juliet Marillier

Publisher: Listening Library; Unabridged (January 13, 2009)

Format: Audiobook

Length: 12 hrs and 52 mins

Narrator(s): Kim Mai Guest

Series: First in a series of two


Buy the Book: Wildwood Dancing


In My Mailbox (11)

In My MailboxHello and Happy Easter to you!

It’s that time of the week again, to spotlight all the tasty treats we  received whether it was in the mail, bought, picked up from the library or gifted. In My Mailbox is a weekly event hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.

This past week I went to Jacksonville to visit my parents for the night.  The weather had shifted while I drove the two and a half hours from Orlando and when I opened the car door it was so cold (colder than it had been in Orlando!  That’s driving two hours north will get you.  And for you actual Northerners, I know this is nothing compared to what experience on a regular bases!

Anyway, while I was visiting, my Mom who works in a children’s library gifted me with a set of three titles from the original Nancy Drew series. Thanks Mom!  I loved this series growing up so much and at one point had a copy of almost every title (not to sure what happened to those, I guess I’ll have to call Mom).  The Mystery at Lilac Inn by Carolyn KeeneThis set contained:

#4 The Mystery at Lilac Inn by Carolyn Keene

#5 The Secret of Shadow Ranch by Carolyn Keene

#6 The Secret of Red Gate Farm by Carolyn Keene

On Saturday I went to a baby shower for a good friend and the theme was children’s’ books.   We each had to bring a favorite children’s book along with the gift and there were little bookish decorations around the house.  These adorable little bookmarks were ours to take home, so I snagged two because you can never have too many bookmarks right?!

Baby Shower Bookmarks

Aren’t they completely adorable?  I think I’m going to have to laminate them at school so they’ll last longer.

My Kindle also got some action this week when I received a bunch of e-galley from NetGalley.

Thanks to Random House Children’s I now have:

Kissing Shakespeare by Pamela Mingle  Flirting in Italian by Lauren Henderson The Opposite of Hallelujah by Anna Jarzab The Little Woods by McCormick Templeman

Kissing Shakespeare by Pamela Mingle

Flirting in Italian by Lauren Henderson

The Opposite of Hallelujah by Anna Jarzab

The Little Woods by McCormick Templeman

Thank you to Disney-Hyperion for:

Breaking Beautuful by Jennifer Shaw Wolf Lucky Fools by Coert Voorhees

Breaking Beautiful by Jennifer Shaw Wolf

Lucky Fools by Coert Voorhees

Lastly (but not least!)  thank you to Lerner Publishing for

Skylark by Megan Spooner

Skylark by Megan Spooner

Overall, it was a fabulous week full of intriguing books that I was really excited to receive!  I look forward to see what you got in your mailbox this week and hope  you have a wonderful Easter!

I love reading comments, so please tell me what was in your mailbox!