Saturday, January 6, 2018

Reading List

Hi there,

Here are some of the books I read in 2017 that I LOVED. Let me know what you have read and loved and if there is anything you have read that is similar to books on the list below. I would love to hear your suggestions.

If you are looking for a list, I have some great titles for you to check out:

Picture Book:

Yo Soy Muslim by Mark Gonzales
Not Quite Narwhal by Jessie Sims
Malala's Magic Pencil by Malala Yousafzai
Fox and the Bike Ride by Corey Tabor
Bizzy Mizz Lizzie by David Shannon (and the Duck on a Bike/Duck on a Tractor books)
Love, Santa by Martha Brockenbrough
She Persisted by Chelsea Clinton (has a follow up book coming out with International ladies)
Keith Haring: The Boy Who Just Kept Drawing by Kay Haring
Lotus and Feather by Ji-Li Jiang
Journey, Quest, Return by Aaron Becker (It's a wordless trilogy)
Du Iz Tak? by Carson Ellis
Fannie Never Flinched by Mary Farrell Cronk (non-fiction)
Alice & Lucy will Work for Bunk Beds by Martha Brockenbrough
Any books by Andrea Beaty
Pond by Jim LaMarche
The Water Princess by Susan Verde
Tiny Stitches by Gwendolyn Hooks (non-fiction)
Any books by Anna Dewdney (she has a new one about a Little Excavator)
Little Elliott books by Mike Curato (super cute series)

Beginning Reader/Middle Grade

Maggie & Abby's Neverending Pillow Fort by Will Taylor (contemporary with magic)
The Many Reflections of Miss Jane Deming by J. Anderson Coats (historical fiction)
Vega Jane series by David Baldacci (historical feeling fantasy)
Superstar by Mandy Davis (boy on the Autism spectrum)
Chester and Gus by Cammie McGovern (boy on the Autism spectrum, but is from service dog's perspective)
A Boy Called Bat by Elana K. Arnold (boy on the Autism spectrum, first in series)
Dragons and Marshmallows by Asia Citro (magical creatures)
Withering By Sea by Judith Rossell (historical fiction in England countryside with a little magical element, first in series)
Threads by Ami Polonsky (adoption, contemporary, travel)
Breakout by Kevin Emerson (contemporary, 8th grade guy perspective)

Young Adult:

Odd & True by Cat Winteres (historical fiction, supernatural)
The Traitor's Game by Jennifer Nielsen (fantasy)
Grace and Furty by Tracy Banghart (fantasy)
The Valiant by Lesley Livingston (historical fiction series)
Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton (historical fiction/fantasy)
Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman (historical fiction, gold rush)
Forbidden series by Kimberley Griffiths Little (historical fantasy)
Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu (contemporary, strong women)
Reign the Earth by A.C. Gaughen (historical fantasy)
Berserker by Emmy Laybourne (Any books by this author are great for reluctant readers)
Girl, Stolen by April Henry (all books by her are amazing mysteries)
Without Annette by Jane B. Mason (LGBT fiction)
You Know Me Well by Nina LaCour (LGBT fiction)
Afterward by Jennifer Mathieu (contemporary, kidnapping, love her books)

Friday, January 1, 2016

Anticipated Books of 2016

I'm not going to lie, when I sat down to write this post it was almost harder to narrow down the list then it was to think of all the amazing books that are coming out this year by our amazing PNW authors.  I'm going to try and highlight the top of my list! (Links in the title go directly to the corresponding Goodreads page)

Finding Abbey Road (Exile #3) by Kevin Emerson (Young Adult title)
Okay, I totally read this already but HOLY CRAP I couldn't put it down. Seriously. I was supposed to start babysitting and all I wanted to do was continue reading Finding Abbey Road. It happens to be the final book in the trilogy but I was on the edge of my seat throughout reading it. I can't wait to buy the hardcover and re-read it a bunch more times. I have re-read all of the books in this trilogy a number of times and I always discover new clues to the mystery of the missing songs!

The Girl I Used To Be by April Henry (Young Adult title)

The ARC of this book is on my to-read pile on my desk at work.  I can't wait to read it as soon as I finish up a few other books that I have already started.  My first recommendation when teens ask for mystery recommendations are always whichever books by April Henry that we have in stock.  My favorite is Girl, Stolen which I re-read this past September.  If you want a book that keeps you on the edge of your seat while you shout to the main character about what she should do, pick up April's books.

I'm always surprised when I read Lisa's books.  When I read this, I was surprised by the vivid story and characters.  The imagery is beautiful and I wanted to jump into the world. I read the ARC of this some months back when I had an all Lisa week of reading 3 of her books in a row.  I wanted this book to be longer than it was; I could have definitely read more of this story!  

Welcome Thieves by Sean Beaudoin (Young Adult title)

Along with April's book above, this is another ARC on my desk waiting to be read.  Hopefully by the time this posts I will have started reading both!  I admit I am not usually a short story fan, but from what I have heard about this book I shouldn't miss out and neither should you!

Up To This Pointe by Jennifer Longo (Young Adult title)

Okay the ARC of this book was so hard to put down. A ballet dancer, Antartica, history, and heartbreak.  Don't miss this amazing book.  You will probably want to put on extra layers as you will feel the cold of Antartica.  Or maybe that was just me.

Pyromantic (Firebug #2) by 

I can't find a cover for this book but I've also read this one as an ARC and OH EM GEE you need to pick up Firebug and then prepare yourself for the hysterically funny quips, sarcasm and crazy times!  Pretty sure I couldn't sleep after I read this because I had a book hangover.

So, what books are you excited about?  I haven't had much of a chance to check out 2016 releases so tell me in the comments or via twitter!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Wondering what to do with those foreign editions?

It wasn't that long ago that I noticed that several authors end up with multiple copies of their books, not only in English but also foreign languages.  Which is awesome, until they look around and realize they really do not need 12 copies of each of their books in Mandarin or Russian.

So I did a bit of research and found a few places that would love donations.  There are several refugee  houses that provide multiple services to those who have recently entered the U.S. with very few belongings.  Some of these are right on the West Coast.  They are the ones I will list here, but if you don't live in the Pacific Northwest that might be a bit far for you to ship books.  A helpful hint is to do a search for Refugee House or International Rescue, along with a location.  You can also call your local schools and ask for the librarian.  Librarians are usually thrilled to add to their library or put those books in the hands of kids who do not speak english as a foreign language as a gift.

If you live in the PNW here are a few places to call or email about donating along with the languages they have requested.  Feel free to call for an updated list!

Northeast Emergency Food Program : Portland, Oregon
502-284-5470 and check out
Clients come from: Latin & South America, China (Mandarin & Cantonese), Vietnam, Russia, Ukraine and Somalia as well as other assorted places.

Tacoma Community House : Tacoma, WA
253-383-3951 and check out
Clients speak Russian, Spanish, Ukrainian & Vietnamese
Call or email them for the In-Kind giving form that they ask that you send with your donation

International Rescue Committee : SeaTac, WA (This organization has locations all over the U.S. so check out their website for the alternate locations)
206-431-0333 and check out
Clients speak Arabic, Nepali, Somali, Tigrinya, Eritrean, French, Spanish, Russian, Mandarin or other common languages.

Midwest Folks:

The Refugee Response : Ohio
206-236-3877 and check out
Contact Paul Neundorder at to ask about the languages they are seeking books in.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Blog Tour Review & Giveaway: All We Have Is Now by Lisa Schroeder

Welcome to the tour for All We Have Is Now by Lisa Schroeder! This is a young adult apocalyptic fiction that releases July 28, 2015 by Scholastic. ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

All We Have Is Now by Lisa Schroeder

From the author of THE BRIDGE FROM ME TO YOU, a groundbreaking novel about what matters most — when time is running out.

What do you do with your last day on earth?

There are 27 hours and fifteen minutes left until an asteroid strikes North America, and, for Emerson and everyone else who didn’t leave, the world will end. But Emerson’s world already ended when she ran away from home last year. Since then she has lived on the streets, relying on her wits and her friend Vince to help her find places to sleep and food to eat.

The city’s quieter now that most people are gone, and no one seems to know what to do as the end approaches. But then Emerson and Vince meet Carl, who tells them that he has been granting people’s wishes. He gave his car away so a woman could take her son to see the ocean for the first time, and he gives Emerson and Vince all the money he has in his wallet.

Suddenly this last day seems full of possibility. Emerson and Vince can grant a lot of wishes in 27 hours — maybe even their own. 

Mel's Review

When I picked up All We Have is Now, I had been on a Lisa Schroeder binge.  I had just brought home and read her upcoming Middle Grade novel The Girl in the Tower, which isn't out until 2016.  I had LOVED it.  I wanted more.  More of the story, more words by Lisa.  I found my ARC for My Secret Guide to Paris (Feb 2015) and read that next.  I made the mistake of thinking I had read it already, but really I had read a two chapter preview early on.  So in four days I ended up reading both those books and All We Have Is Now.  Honestly, I wish Lisa had a few more books for me to read because I was dying for more!  Funny enough Lisa seems to put out multiple books a year so I am being ridiculous 

After reading about Violet (Girl in the Tower) and Nora (My Secret Guide to Paris) I was thrilled that I had a copy of All We Have is Now.  I admit, I didn't read the jacket flap.  As with most books I read, I wanted to be surprised by the story.  Jacket flap to me is similar to movie previews in that sometimes they share too much for me to go in to reading a book with no expectations.  I started All We Have is Now and boy was I blown away.  First of all, I love the name Emerson.  I also love that Lisa continually writes books that include poetry and prose.

I enjoyed the change of character perspectives.  It was a surprise to read from Carl's perspective as it added another layer to this already amazing story.  I think the biggest takeaway from this book was the message of kindness, responsibility and the sharing of your own personal story with others.  The personal story sharing actually reminded me of the ending to Corey Ann Haydu's book Life By Committee.  The willingness for the characters in this story to share their backgrounds and how they arrived at their mental and physical locations as we came across them was an element that added to the overall story. 

I can't say enough good things about this book.  Really you should run out and pre-order it RIGHT NOW!  And then you should pick up Lisa's other books and pre-order The Girl in the Tower.  Go ahead...I'll wait here for you.  I'll also be waiting here for Lisa's next book.  *sits down*



Make-A-Wish-for-the-Apocalypse- There’s just a little over 24 hours until a meteor is scheduled to hit the US. What do you wish for?

My wish would be to fly home and spend time with my family. Going fishing, riding the Gator, sitting outside on the porch swing and reading and playing board games. I'd read books to my nephews and help my mom make pasta with garlic bread, salad, and for dessert Tirimisu. It's what we have every Christmas, we are Italian, and it's one of my favorite meals. I would climb up into our apple trees and play hide and seek with my nephews. 



“Thoughtful, endearing, and surprisingly fun — a reminder of what’s really important in life.” –Suzanne Young, New York Times bestselling author of The Program

“All We Have Is Now is one of those books my teenage self needed — a thoughtfully crafted reminder that every moment is a gift and that we should be kind, especially to ourselves.” –Julie Murphy, author of Side Effects May Vary

“Heartwarming and hopeful. I’d take this book with me to the apocalypse!” –Amy Plum, internationally bestselling author of the Die for Me series



How did the idea for ALL WE HAVE IS NOW come about?

When I was in high school, I had a leadership class where we did lots of different activities and exercises. One of the most memorable ones was when we all sat in a circle and our teacher, Mrs. Smith, said something like: “Imagine the world is going to end in 24 hours. I’d like you to share with us how you would spend those last 24 hours.” What made it so memorable was how emotional people got as they spoke of the ones they love the most, or relatives they hadn’t seen in a while and wouldn’t be able to see again. It wasn’t long before almost everyone was crying. It was strange and kind of eerie, but also wonderful, because it was such a great reminder of what matters most. Of course, the class clown, a kid named Eric, gave us all a break from our tears when it was his turn and he said something like, “I’d find a girl and we would have a fun 24 hours, and that’s all I’m gonna say.”

I’ve always been fascinated with meteors and asteroids. The one that happened over Russia in 2013 was slightly terrifying, seeming to come out of nowhere and creating a huge blast in the sky, injuring over 130 people. As I thought about writing a book that dealt with that question of – how would you spend the last 24 hours – this seemed like a unique premise to play with.



Lisa Schroeder is the author of over a dozen books for kids and teens, including the YA novels I Heart You, You Haunt Me and The Bridge From Me to You. She loves tea and cookies, flowers, family hikes, books and movies that make her laugh and cry, and sunshine. Living in Oregon, she doesn’t get nearly enough sunshine, but the hikes are amazing. You can visit her online at on Twitter at @lisa_schroeder. 

AUTHOR ONLINE: Website | Facebook | Twitter



The author will be giving away $40 Powells e-gift card (US) OR a signed copy of All We Have Is Now (INT) to the winner of the below Rafflecopter. The giveaway ends August 5th.

This event was organized by CBB Book Promotions.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Blog Tour: Review & Giveaway~ ARRGH! by Stacey Campbell

Thank you for stopping by my tour stop for ARRGH! by Stacey Campbell. This is a middle grade fantasy adventure and the tour runs January 5-9 with reviews, interviews, guest posts and excerpts. Check out the tour page for the full schedule!

About the Book:

ARRGH!  by Stacey Campbell, 270 pages Forced to remain silent after being kidnapped by pirates Christopher must find a way to save an innocent merchant ship’s captain and his daughter from the evil grasp of Captain Redblade proving that friendship and family are worth fighting for no matter the costs.  

Amazon | Goodreads | B&N | Book Depository | IndieBound


    I was so excited when I received a copy of ARRGH! to read.   When I started ARRGH! I was immediately captured by the funny characters, both human and non-human.  Yes, that's right because there is a talking mouse in this book.  He helps Christopher, who has been kidnapped, by boosting his spirits and bringing him food.  Plus he is a brilliant side kick helping Christopher to navigate through difficult waters...hehe since he was kidnapped by pirates and is on a ship...waters get it?  Sorry, I couldn't resist.  The adventure and excitement of Christopher's journey will keep you reading until late after bedtime.  I wouldn't mind a sequel to this adventure.  I highly recommend this book for families to read together and for kids to read on their own.  I know your family will enjoy this story because I can't wait to read it to my nephews!

About the Author:

Stacey R. CampbellStacey R. Campbell lives in the Pacific North West with her husband, three daughters, three dogs, and a pet turtle named Todd. She is a graduate of the University of Washington. At the age of seven Stacey was told that she would never be the writer she dreamed of being because she is dyslexic. Finally Stacey found that she could not look her children in the eyes and tell them that they could be what ever they wanted to be if she did not do the same. Now Stacey can’t stop writing and loves to help children pursue their own dreams. Stacey is the young adult author of Hush, A Lakeview Novel and Whisper, A Lakeview Novel. ARRGH! is Stacey’s first middle grade book.
For more books from this author, visiting information, and author events please visit Stacey at:
You can also learn more about Stacey R. Campbell on
Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest  | Goodreads

$20 Amazon Gift Card (INT)
2 paperbacks of ARRGH! (US)
ebooks of ARRGH! (INT)
Ends Jan. 21, 2015

a Rafflecopter giveaway
This event was organized by CBB Book Promotions.

About the Reviewer:
Mel is a bookaholic as well as loving music. She just recently moved to the PNW area from the Midwest and has been enjoying exploring the whole area, including the Coast and downtown. She has been blogging at Shot in the Arm since May 2008 but has had a couple other blogs before that at various places around the web. Young Adult is her favorite genre but she loves to read most other genres including Romance, Fiction, Sci Fi and some Historical Non-Fiction. You can find her at her blog, her twitter and on Goodreads. Stop by and say hi!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Blog Tour for The Ever Afters by @shelby_bach

We are excited today to have Shelby Bach stopping by to tell us a bit more about Tethanill or as we humans call it Fey Fudge. YUM!  I'm hungry for some right now.  
In fact if you stopped by From The Mixed-Up Files blog stop you saw the recipe for the Fudge.  YUM!

If you aren't familiar with Shelby's books here are the amazing looking cover.  
Personally I think they based the main character on Shelby when she was younger.

Today we have a special guest, some of you may know Lady Aspenwind.  
Today she is here to give us some background information on Tethanill.  
Here we go! (Click the Recipe if you want to see it bigger!)

History of Fey Fudge

We Fey have been drinking chocolate as long as the Mayans, but it was the Aspenwind clan that invented Tethanill, what you call—somewhat demeaningly—“Fey fudge.” In the sixteenth century, soon after the Europeans brought back cocao beans from the Americas, chocolate had grown very popular among wealthy humans. This included, of course, many of the Characters of Ever After School’s European branch.

During this period, our Unseelie patrols routinely captured Characters trespassing through our lands on quests in Atlantis, and more than one tried to buy their freedom from King Nesivar with chocolate. It didn’t work, of course. (King Nesivar is the father of King Navaire, but though he was not as famous or as tyrannical as his son, he was still a very unpleasant individual.)

In any case, upon every offer, King Nesivar merely took the Character’s chocolate and threw the human into the Unseelie dungeons to await rescue or death, whichever came first. On one of these occasions, when the bribe was attempted, King Nesivar told the Character that a chocolate drink was too common to earn his favor. “If you could produce an inhalable vapor or a solid foodstuff for me to enjoy, perhaps then your chocolate might have earned you leniency,” he added before the Character was carted away to the dungeon.

It is very likely that King Nesivar said this merely to taunt the Character, but my great- great-grandmother, Lady Winaila Aspenwind, thought that solid chocolate—something as tasty as the drink but irresistibly smooth and creamy—might be a fine treat. For three months, she labored and experimented with her serving elves until she finally settled upon a recipe that matched her vision. Then she cut a small piece, marched it up to King Nesivar, and offered it as a gift to the Unseelie monarch. Both he and the court’s official tastetester were immediately infatuated with the dessert. King Nesivar even demanded more Tehthanill. Lady Winaila Aspenwind said that she would bring him some just as soon as he freed all the Characters from the Unseelie dungeons.

I wish I could say that my great-great-grandmother was motivated by a fondness for humans as strong as my own, but I’m afraid that her mercy was a clever means of spreading the word about her new recipe. Soon after the prisoners’ release, the entire magical world was talking about the chocolate that could sway kings and unlock dungeons, and Tehthanill was in high demand. The Aspenwind clan gained much wealth by this recipe, and to this day, it is one of the most profitable Fey exports. Though a human Character at an American college developed a vastly inferior, magic-free version almost a century and a half ago, no one outside of the Unseelie Court has seen the original recipe...until now.

If you are awesome *peers at you* YUP you are, 
you should stop by New Leaf Literary for the Giveaway of signed copies of 
The Ever Afters first three books in the series. GO HERE

If you  missed the other parts of the tour you should check it out!

November 3 – Middle Grade Mafioso 
November 4 – From the Mixed-Up Files 
November 5 – Log Cabin Library 
November 6 – Amanda K. Thompson Blog 
November 7 – Novels, News, and Notes (HEY THAT'S US!)
November 8 – Green Bean Teen Queen

Want to know more about the author? 

Shelby Bach was born in Houston, Texas and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina, but while writing THE EVER AFTERS, she moved almost as many times as her main character. She came up with the idea for the series right before she left New York City, and she finished the first book, OF GIANTS AND ICE, in Montana— the second, OF WITCHES AND WIND, back in Charlotte. Driving up the West Coast to research the settings for the third book, OF SORCERY AND SNOW, Shelby fell in love with Portland, Oregon and settled there. She would love to set up a Door Trek system in her apartment to visit her family and friends around the country, but she makes due with much slower and less fictional transportation. These days, while finishing up the fourth and final book, she also works part time for a real-life afterschool program. It is strangely similar to the one where her stories are set—except the students study math instead of fairy tales.

How to find Shelby online:
Visit Shelby online
Shelby on Facebook
Shelby on Twitter
Shelby on Goodreads

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Sound of Letting Go by @swkehoe Blog Tour

Please excuse our late posting of this fun tour stop, 
as it should have posted on August 4th.

THE SOUND OF LETTING GO Blog Tour: Author Stasia Ward Kehoe chats with SR Johannes about happy hours and exotic animals

I’ve just wrapped up a fabulous week at NOVELNOVICE.COM, during which I discussed what happens FIVE MONTHS AFTER a novel is published, the writing process, my over-expressive eyebrows and other vital topics. Now, I’m thrilled to be taking my THE SOUND OF LETTING GO Summer Blog Tour (click that, you know, ‘cuz there are giveaways) on a virtual summer road trip with some of the most talented, wonderful and hilarious writers I know.

Today, I’m delighted to introduce my Pacific Ocean-adjacent book buddies to a dynamo from that OTHER coast. I first encountered SR Johannes, marketing maniac and powerhouse self-pubbed author, through online writer friends. Years later, I finally met her IN THE FLESH at an SCBW LA conference. Yes, there were cocktails. Yes, she is hilarious. Yes, you should totally invite her to your next happy hour. But, at least you can join us here on the interwebs today. Where exactly, you ask…

SWK: Where have we set up our fantasy beach chairs? 

SHELLI: Navarre Beach in Florida 

SWK: What are we drinking? 
SHELLI: Extra Dirty vodka martinis :) 

SWK: Bottoms up! And speaking of liquids, what are you doing to drain the joy from your summer? 

SHELLI: Trying to balance promoting new book with job with kids. (The pool and my friend's incessant happy hours aren't helping either :) 

SWK: Other than the aforementioned martinis, what puts joy back into your summer? 

SHELLI: Listening to my kids laugh at the pool and carrying my new Kindle Paperwhite with me wherever I go :) 

Here’s a bit about Shelli’s latest book, UNSTOPPABLE

Out in the marshes of the Everglades, Grace and her friends rescue an abused—and endangered—Florida panther. When the panther runs off, Grace follows it to Uncle Bob's, a seedy roadside zoo that illegally exhibits endangered and exotic animals. Before she can rescue the panther, she and her friends are kidnapped by the ruthless owner and dragged deep into the Everglades for a hunting challenge.

Only this time, Grace is the prey.

Shelli shares her thoughts on the interwebs at her websiteFacebooktumblr and twitter!

Wondering about Stasia Ward Kehoe and her latest book?


For sixteen years, Daisy has been good. A good daughter, helping out with her autistic younger brother uncomplainingly. A good friend, even when her best friend makes her feel like a third wheel. When her parents announce they’re sending her brother to an institution—without consulting her—Daisy’s furious, and decides the best way to be a good sister is to start being bad. She quits jazz band and orchestra, slacks in school, and falls for bad-boy Dave. 

But one person won’t let Daisy forget who she used to be: Irish exchange student and brilliant musician Cal. Does she want the bad boy or the prodigy? Should she side with her parents or protect her brother? How can she know when to hold on and when—and how—to let go? 

About Stasia Ward Kehoe:

Stasia Ward Kehoe grew up dreaming of becoming a professional ballerina but she didn't grow quite enough (she is 5'4") or have sufficiently good knees (they are peppered with surgery scars) to achieve this goal. Instead, she went to Georgetown University from which she received a semi-unintentional BA in English. After working at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, and Random House Publishing in New York, City, and receiving her MA in Performance Studies from New York University, she married a dude who looks just like Clark Kent (the hot geek who turns into Superman), had four awesome sons, and moved to the Pacific Northwest where she now lives. She then started writing with a vengeance, publishing her first young adult novel, AUDITION, in 2011. She advises not being too specific in your long-term goals however, if you decide to write a book, sit on your backside and don't get up until you have (a) died of starvation or (b) written the words "the end." THE SOUND OF LETTING GO is her second novel and her short-term plan is to write another so, as you read this bio, she's likely got her fingers glued to a keyboard. Stasia also enjoys artichokes, chocolate (but, come on, who doesn't?), parentheticals (obviously) and turning on her car to an explosion of pop music because the last person to drive it was one of her teenagers--especially if the song is about heartache and healing and has a good dance beat.

Find her online: