Monday, December 31, 2012

2013 NW Anticipated Reads

We are anticipating a lot of wonderful books in 2013, Candace and I are taking time to share with you the books that we are most excited to see be released. Do you have a list of books you are excited about? Share a link below.

Top 5 Favorites from Northwest Authors:
Candace's Picks:

The next book in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series by Laini Taylor. No cover or title yet though. ~ Even though I haven't read Days of Blood and Starlight yet, I know that once I do I'll be dying for the next book!

The Essence by Kimberly Derting (this comes out Jan. 1st!) ~ I really enjoyed The Pledge and am curious to see what comes next!

Dead Silence by Kimberly Derting~ I so need to know what happens next!

Anything by Lish McBride. Okay, so I'm not sure which book is coming out next (I know she has a contract for two that are not of the Necromancer series, but same world, I'm just not sure when they come out). So I'm just saying this, if something of hers comes out in 2013 I will be all over it!

Dracomachia by Rachel Hartman ~ Since I loved Seraphina I'm definitely excited to see what comes next!

I know that there are a bunch more that we don't even know about yet. And some that I accidentally missed. But I know that 2013 is going to be a epic year for Pacific NW authors!

Mel's Picks:

I am quite excited for The Essence by Kimberly Derting as well! I loved The Pledge and can't wait to find out what happens next to Charlaina. In fact, I was given a copy of this from my event coordinator at the bookstore I work. Already started it!

The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die by April Henry - I have lately read a handful of April's book's. They are interesting mystery books that I enjoy and recommend. If you want something that isn't your typical contemporary or dystopian check out her other books: 'Girl, Stolen', 'Shock Point' and 'Torched'. I've read and recommed them all.

The Dark Shore by Kevin Emerson is book two in The Atlanteans and I am enjoying this historically based book that talks about The Lost City of Atlantis.

Dear Cassie by Lisa Burstein is a companion novel to go along with 'Pretty Amy' which came out in 2012. I am sad to say while I have 'Pretty Amy' I have yet to grab it off my massive To Be Read pile. But I will definitely be reading it before 'Dear Cassie' comes out so that I am ready to read the Prom night story from Amy's friend's perspective.

The Last Dance by Kiki Hamilton - I love contemporary sport books and this is a book I am very excited to read. It comes out sometime in 2013. It is definitely on my To Read list!!

*Sorry I was unable to find covers for all the books as they have not been posted.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Candace Reviews Falling for You by Lisa Schroeder

Falling for You by Lisa Schroeder
Hardcover, 355 pages
Expected publication: Jan. 1st, 2013 by Simon Pulse
Source: Author

Rae's always dreamed of dating a guy like Nathan. He’s nothing like her abusive stepfather—in other words, he’s sweet. But the closer they get, the more Nathan wants of her time, of her love, of her...and the less she wants to give.

As Rae’s affection for Nathan turns to fear, she leans on her friend Leo for support. With Leo, she feels lighter, happier. And possessive Nathan becomes jealous.

Then a tragedy lands Rae in the ICU. Now, hovering between life and death, Rae must find the light amid the darkness…and the strength to fight for life and the love she deserves.
This review will also be posted at Candace's Book Blog.
This book was absolutely incredible.  It was such a perfect mix of light and dark and while the dark may sometimes get hard to read, it's mixed with so much light happy moments that the book never feels dark. It just feels beautiful.  Because Rae is such a beautiful person inside.  She deals with so much, but she gives so much.

Rae lives with her mother and stepfather.  Her mother ignores her most of the time and is more focused on keeping her husband happy.  The stepfather is an evil conniving man that you just want to throttle.  Straight away we see that Rae isn't happy at home, she has to make dinner every night for her stepfather and he's always a jerk about it, but things get progressively worse as the story continues.  At this time she meets Nathan, a new kid.  He's very good looking and her friends push her to go out with him and she does.  Straight away we see that she feels with her gut that something is wrong, that he's not as perfect as he appears, but she likes having someone and having her own boyfriend.  But as he becomes a stalker and a jealous jerk she realizes he's really not right for her.  This relationship was portrayed very well.  Nathan is someone we don't necessarily like, but we do feel sorry for him.  He doesn't have the best life either even though he has money and a mother and father.  But he's very selfish and only wants to talk about his own problems.  The whole time I was screaming at Rae to tell him that she has problems too!  Why is it always about him?  As Rae is dodging him and trying to survive her declining home life she starts getting to know Leo, an old friend, a bit better and starts to realize what a true friend is and what a good boyfriend would really be like.   

Rae works at a flower shop with two incredible people that we can't help but fall in love with.  This job is her retreat where she gets to get away from everything.  Then these notes start showing up with money enclosed asking for flowers to be delivered to certain people anonymously.  So when Rae goes to deliver these flowers she sees that these people need her.  They need someone to talk to, or to help, just to be there.  And she's such a selfless person that she spends time with them, even helps financially in one case even though she has nothing herself.  Rae also writes poetry and starts so many others writing poetry that she starts a sort of poetry revolution.  She sees she's not the only one hurting, that people should learn to share their true feelings and what they are going through so that people can lean on each other ran than keeping it all to themselves.  Rae is such a wonderful character, I may even say she's going in my all time most favorite characters ever.  She deals with so much but she goes out and helps others instead of dwelling on her own problems and situation.

Through the book we know that something happens that sends her to the ICU but we don't know what it is. I found myself guessing at what happened to put her there and is she okay?  I was desperate for answers and I cruised through the book in a matter of hours only setting the book down a couple times.  The entire book had me fully captivated.  I wanted that happy ending for Rae because she deserved it so, so much. 

After each of Lisa Schroeder's books that I read I always say, that's my favorite.  Well, I'm saying it again, that's my favorite.  But you know what?  I bet if I reread I would say each of the others is my favorite and so let's just say this ~ Lisa Schroeder is an amazing writer that puts such incredible emotion in her books and nails it on the head every single time, and ALL her books are my favorite.  Another thing to note is that this is her first YA book that is not in verse.  That's right, this book is not in verse.  But there is some of Rae's poetry in it, and Lisa's gorgeous writing is still there.  It's an incredibly powerful book and will certainly encourage you to be a better person and to always remember to pay it forward and do random acts of kindness.

Disclosure: I received this book as a gift from the author but all opinions expressed are my own and I was not paid or influenced in any way. 

Candace is a wife and mother to two. She’s blogged at Candace’s Book Blog since November 2008. She enjoys a variety of genres including anything and everything young adult, some adult urban fantasy, a little bit of adult paranormal romance, some historical fiction and reads lots of childrens books. You can find her on her blog at, twitter @candacemom2two and on goodreads.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

2012 Favorite NW Reads

At the end of this delighful year, Candace and I are taking time to share with you our absolute favorite books that we have read during 2012. Leave a link to your favorites list so we can stop by and check them out!

Top 5 Favorites from Northwest Authors:

Candace's Picks:

Necromancing the Stone by Lish McBride ~ This book has ended up on an all time favorites list. I completely fell in love! It's the second in the series, and the first is terrific, but this is even better! Fantastic world building and characters!

Falling for You by Lisa Schroeder ~ This one releases January 1st and I'm telling you now, rush out to get this book! It's beautiful, absolutely beautiful. I'm not sure I have read a book that has touched me the way this one did. That truly made me want to be a better person. 

The Right and the Real by Joelle Anthony ~ So real, so raw, and so amazing!

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman ~ I am a huge fantasy fan, and while this was a quieter fantasy as far as action goes, it was just as beautiful and was such a wonderful take on dragons. Loved it!

Salvation by Anne Osterlund ~ This actually comes out in January, and you'll see it featured here on the blog soon, but it is a stunning YA contemporary book that will simply blow you away!

We agreed to do five each, but I'm heartbroken cause there's one more that really needs to be on the list. So I'm saying it's a RUNNER UP, and that is:

The Last Echo by Kimberly Derting ~ This series is just getting better and better! I absolutely loved this third book in the series and can't wait to see what comes next!

I'm pretty sure that Days of Blood and Starlight would be on this list but unfortunately I haven't been able to squeeze it in just yet.

Mel's Picks:

I'm counting Cinder and Scarlet by Marissa Meyer as one pick. I read Cinder and immediately followed it up by reading the unreleased Scarlet. (2013 release)  Cinder and Scarlet are both amazing books and the storyline is easy to follow. The way Marissa adds in characters is fun and I love all the characters, even the bad boys.

Nameless, A Tale of Beauty and Madness by Lili St. Crow is the first book I've read by this author and it won't be the last. I stayed up late reading this because I could not put it down. My first thought was 'damn'. This is an amazing read! My second thought was, where does Lili live so I can go ask her for the next book!

First Comes Love by Katie Kacvinsky Stayed up til 1 am reading this book. I'm thinking that's a good idea of how amazing this book is. I really enjoyed the book and I want to go to Sedona now and hike around in 100 degree heat. Clearly I'm crazy but that's ok! Katie's books make me crazy and I encourage you to get crazy too.

The Lost Code by Kevin Emerson was my 'remembering what it was like to go to camp' book.  Although no way did I have an awesome and adventurous time that Owen had.  Looking forward to The Dark Shore (book 2).

Don't Breathe a Word by Holly Cupala was a surprise book for me.  I did not expect to be sucked into the storyline and feel empathy for Joy.  I learned a lot about what it might be like if I were to end up homeless.  Family comes from unexpected places.  I can't wait for Holly's next book.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Burgandy Ice Reviews The Escape of Princess Madeline by Kirstin Puliof & an interview!

The Escape of Princess Madeline
The Escape of Princess Madeline
by Kirstin Pulioff
ebook, 66 pages
Published November 5th 2012 by Malachite Quills Publishing


The Kingdom of Soron is known for many things, its rolling landscape, haunting history, fiery sunsets, and its beautiful princess. Princess Madeline woke on her sixteenth birthday to realize that her future had been planned out, a life full of privilege, royalty, and boredom... a life with a husband and knight champion that she did not choose. Using her charm, strength and stubbornness, she defies the King at every turn, determined to keep her freedom on her terms.

Freedom quickly turns to disaster as she finds herself seized by a group of wandering bandits. With the kingdom in turmoil over her capture- her Knight Champion eager to prove himself, a group of dedicated suitors determined to win her hand, and a group of exiled wizards join forces in the hunt to rescue her. Follow Princess Madeline in this adventure to find freedom and love.

My Review:

What a fun story!  Ever wonder what it would be like to have a dream room in a castle filled with pink-pink-pink?! Lol. And dances and princes and beautiful dresses... and brave knights and stern fathers who have more heart than they want to admit. This story is full of all the delightful dreams that would make a beautiful wallpaper.

Even the danger didn't feel dangerous to me. Rather it was exciting and different. Madeline might have been uncomfortable, maybe hungry, but she was discovering life in the woods full of bandits. Danger involves some uncomfy moments. Maybe a rolling-down-the-hill-helplessly moment, too. For good measure.

The romance is cute. Reminded me of a Disney movie with all the heart-swelling moments anyone could wish for. The mysterious monks... and the mysterious dreams... remain mysterious to me. The father is wonderful despite his gruff beginning. Madeline learns and grows a lot.

This is a very fun story for young girls who think they are ready for a little more adventure, but still sleep with their special pillows. (I have a special pillow, so I can say that.) I think this would be a fun story to read aloud, mother and daughter, too. Pretty much anyone who likes Disney movies and maybe even watches 'em over and over 'cause there's just not enough of 'em... anyone like that should definitely pick up this book!!


1. How did the book begin for me? What was the idea that sparked it all?

“The Escape of Princess Madeline” began as an escape for me. I actually wrote this book several years ago, while working at an office. That position didn’t fulfill my creative need to express, so on my lunch breaks, I began writing. One day, over my tomato and cucumber salad, as I was doodling in my notebook, a light bulb went off in my head. Suddenly, this story began unfolding in my mind … every day during lunch, I picked up where I had left off, and a month and a half later, the first draft was finished.

I have always gravitated towards the fantasy genre. Growing up, as an elementary youth, I wanted to be whisked away to a far off land with princesses and castles and knights, but what I found was that most fantasy novels were a struggle to read due to them being above my reading level. So when I began writing and as ideas began to flow through my mind, I really wanted to capture something that both a younger reader, a teen, and even an adult would enjoy. A story with aspects of magic, fantasy, and romance, with a positive tone and a quick pace.

2. Do you have a favorite scene? Or character?

How to pick just one… ha J. One of my favorites would be the Royal Ball. This is the first moment where Princess Madeline defies her father, and makes a stand towards her independence. I love the duplicity of the scene- the battle of wills between Princess Madeline and King Theodore, the conflicting emotions as suitors are presented, all this tension portrayed in such a beautiful setting.

Princess Madeline was fun to create. It was very important to me to make sure she was relatable and real. Yes, she is a princess, but above all, she is a sixteen year old girl. A girl growing up on the verge of her own life and her own choices. It was important to balance the hard and soft qualities of her – her rashness with intelligence, her stubbornness with strength, and her defiance with vulnerability.

3. Share something personal…

Besides loving fantasy, I have to say, I love Disney movies. They are full of enchantment, magic and positive messages. As a stay at home mom, every day I am challenged with teaching my children and reinforcing positive life lessons. It was after watching “Tangled” for about the 20th time, that I had my own epiphany. Somewhere along the line, growing up, I forgot about following my dreams and just focused on the responsibilities of being an adult. So now, when I watch a Disney movie, I make sure that I remember those lessons are also for me. We make a point to teach our kids they can do anything, accomplish anything, try anything, but it is also important to make sure we have not forgotten that lesson as well.

Besides that, I also have to mention this incredible thing about where I live. Living in Oregon, in the Pacific Northwest, I am blessed with beautiful forests, and natural wonders, but one of my favorites is Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach. I am a huge “Goonie’s” fan, and I absolutely love going to the beach and playing right beside the big Goonie’s rock. I still look at it and wait for One-eyed Willy and the pirate ship to sail away. J Some childhood memories never fade.

How fun!! I love the Oregon beaches. They seem so ready for magic and fairytales. It's so great how open you are to fantasy and "what if". Thank you for the interview!! And for writing such a whimsical story!!

About the Author:

Kirstin Pulioff is a storyteller at heart. Born and raised in Southern California, she moved to the Pacific Northwest to follow her dreams and graduated from Oregon State University with a degree in Forest Management. Happily married and a mother of two, she lives in North Plains, Oregon, and enjoys being a stay at home mom. When she’s not writing, she is busy with her kids, church and the family business.
Find & Follow:
Facebook: KirstinPulioffAuthor
Twitter: @KirstinPulioff
Amazon: Author & Book Page
Goodreads: Kirstin Pulioff

Note from Burgandy Ice:
I rec'd this book to review via this awesome Northwest Neighbors community... celebrating authors from the Northwest and authors visiting the Northwest.

I am relatively new to the concept of connecting with bloggers and authors that live near me. Lol. I'm not sure I even want to know how many authors have come my way and I didn't know it. Yikes!! Maybe I'll miss less of 'em with community help, hey?

Get Your Copy:

$5.99 Print/$3.99 eBook
Barnes & Noble

 Hi! I'm Burgandy Ice (secret stealth name: Laura) of Colorimetry. I own a business with my best friend & husband and we have four kids - 3 boys -n- 1 girl - and it's CRAZY around here!! I write obsessively & read constantly, so book blogging is totally awesome! I like YA Fantasy/Paranormal best, but love the classics, historical romances & the occasional automotive restoration manual. (?) I especially enjoy promoting books & meeting other book lovers.  Come say "hi!" - Twitter: @BurgandyIce, Facebook,
GoodreadsLibraryThingShelfariPinterest and  LiveJournal.  

Friday, December 14, 2012

Dear Cassie by @LisaBurstein Cover Reveal

What if the last place you should fall in love is the first place that you do?

You’d think getting sent to Turning Pines Wilderness Camp for a month-long rehabilitation “retreat” and being forced to re-live it in this journal would be the worst thing that’s ever happened to me.

You’d be wrong. 

There’s the reason I was sent to Turning Pines in the first place: I got arrested. On prom night. With my two best friends, who I haven’t talked to since and probably never will again. And then there’s the real reason I was sent here. The thing I can’t talk about with the guy I can’t even think about.

What if the moment you’ve closed yourself off is the moment you start to break open? 

But there’s this guy here. Ben. And the more I swear he won’t—he can’t—the deeper under my skin he’s getting. After the thing that happened, I promised I’d never fall for another boy’s lies.

And yet I can’t help but wonder…what if?

Dear Cassie by Lisa Burstein
352 Pages
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Release Date: March 5, 2013

Here's an excerpt from this excitedly anticipated story:

We kept walking on the lake trail, the bullfrogs croaking. There was also a humming in my ears from the nicotine.

It could only be from the nicotine. It had nothing to do with being outside, at night, alone with Ben. It had nothing to do with Ben coming to the cabin and taking me instead of Nez and it definitely had nothing to do with the stars above us shining like they were the sky’s tiara.

I stopped on the trail and looked up, taking them in, when all of a sudden bright colored lights exploded in the sky—fireworks, one after another, on top of each other, huge kaleidoscopes of light, like sparkling rainbow spiders. 

“How did you know?” I asked, my voice going softer, like if I talked too loudly they would stop. It was so beautiful, after weeks of so much ugly.

Ben turned to look at me, the colored lights in the sky turning his skin pink, blue, green. “I’m magic.” He shrugged. 
I geared up to tell him to fuck off, because that was some corny-ass shit, but then I realized that he really kind of was. In that moment he was able to actually make me forget being me. 

“I would try to kiss you,” he said, “but I’m afraid you’d kick me in the balls.”

“I probably would.” I laughed, the sky filling with noisy color like paint launching from a giant popcorn popper. “But like I said, it wouldn’t be about you.”

“I guess I’ll have to figure out how to make it about me,” he said, taking off his boots and socks and standing. “Come on.”

“There is no way I am getting near that water again,” I said.

“I’ll make sure nothing happens to you,” he said, holding his hand out to help me up.

I looked at his palm, open, waiting, just wanting to hold mine. For once, I didn’t think about anything except that there was a cute, sweet, smart-ass boy standing in front of me with his hand out.

I pulled off my boots and socks and took it.

We stood at the lakeshore, our hands still clasped, the water licking our feet, fireworks decorating the sky.

I turned to him. He was looking up, his mouth open in wonder like he was trying to swallow the moment.

It was definitely one worth keeping.

A little bit about our Pacific Northwest Neighbor:

Lisa Burstein is a tea seller by day and a writer by night. She received her MFA in Fiction from the Inland Northwest Center for Writers at Eastern Washington University. She lives in Portland, OR, with her very patient husband, a neurotic dog and two cats. Dear Cassie is her second novel. You can find Lisa on Facebook, Twitter and her Website.

If you are wondering about Lisa's first novel, Pretty Amy, check out the links below!

We reviewed it Here.

And check out other reviews about Pretty Amy

Purchase it online:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository | Powell's


In addition to the DEAR CASSIE cover reveal, Lisa is hosting an EPIC CONTEST to celebrate DEAR CASSIE’s cover reveal. Lisa wants you guys to share diary entries of your favorite fictional characters with me. That’s right, choose ANY character from books, TV, movies, a cereal box and write a 500-750 length diary entry from their point of view.

They will choose the top 5 and then let the masses vote on their favorite. The favorite will be published in the final version of DEAR CASSIE. You read that right, published with the author’s name! The additional four will win $20 book buying gift cards.

So get diary-ing! Send you entries to by January 1st!

Voting for the top 5 will begin January 7th, with the winner being announced January 14th!

Special thanks to Lisa Burstein and Heather Riccio, from Entangled Teen Publishing for letting us be a part of the Dear Cassie Cover Reveal!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

@becfitzpatrick @kresleycole @milesbooks @tonyahurley visit Portland 25 Oct

The sign at the front entrance announced the amazing event!
Pretty sure I was not the only one who took a photo of this sign.

From left to right is Elizabeth, Becca, Kresley, Tonya and Drew (model for Patch)

The format for this event was a bit different then most events I've been to.  There was a mic and it went back and forth between those in the audience and the authors.  Questions were asked of all the authors and Patch.  It was fun to hear their next projects, their thoughts on movie deals and more.

This is what happens when you take your own books, and books for two other people. At some point a slip of paper with your name on it ends up in the wrong name in it. 
And then you freak out and @screenamesbite Bella comes to your rescue with a cunning plan. 
And basically your whole group of 6 bloggers takes up as much of all the authors time as possible before moving out of the way so others can get their books signed and meet the authors. 

Unfortunately I do not have the photos of all 6 of us getting our photos taken with the authors as those were taken by a friend who hasn't given me copies. 

Oh and you stand around talking to Tracy, who happens to be Tonya's awesome twin sister. HI TRACY! And you hear horror stories from tour that you wish you had audio recorded to re-live later on.

Drew is the model for Patch.  He is on all four covers and we were so excited he was on tour.  It was fun to hear a bit about him.  He was sweet enough to sign posters and books.  Are you okay there?  Oh you are squealing...please stop.  I know it's exciting but ouch!  

If you missed out on the awesome Finale tour, I have no idea what to tell you.  But we do know that the authors are all working on new books:

Kresley Cole - The Arcana Chronicles, Book 2

Becca Fitzpatrick - Black Ice due out in 2014

Tonya Hurley - The Blessed trilogy #2

Elizabeth Miles - Eternity, The Fury Trilogy, Book 3

 (Click their names to go to their websites for more info) 

Monday, December 10, 2012

@libbabray comes to Portland for 'The Diviners' on 18th Oct

Libba was so hysterically funny, I'm pretty sure I started crying for laughing so hard.  @NovelNovice and I were in the front row and really enjoyed hear Libba share a story she wrote as a kid.  I wish she would record it as an AudioBook.  Actually I wish we had recorded her reading it live that night for an AudioBook.  She would stop periodically and interject comments about her story.  I'm really sorry to say if you missed Libba on tour you seriously missed out!

Anyway, Libba the Amazing, was in town to talk about her newest book 'The Diviners'.  Here is a bit about it from Libba's website.

Evie O’Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City–and she is pos-i-toot-ly thrilled. New York is the city of speakeasies, shopping, and movie palaces! Soon enough, Evie is running with glamorous Ziegfield girls and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is Evie has to live with her Uncle Will, curator of The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult–also known as “The Museum of the Creepy Crawlies.”
Libba also answered questions about all of her books and ended the evening by signing her books.  
I loved that she talked about the Gemma Doyle Trilogy which is my favorite set of books by her.  
I definitely will be re-reading them.

@NovelNovice with Libba Bray
Sara and I ended up near the end of the line but we had plenty of time to talk to lots of fun ladies including @Howling_Turtle :)

Myself and Libba Bray.  We bonded on twitter about Wilco before she came to Portland.
I am really upset because I forgot to wear my Wilco shirt.

 Libba signed this book with a reference to our mutual love for Wilco.  
Shot in the Arm is a song they recorded.

Thanks Libba for coming to Portland :) Can't wait to see you again soon.

You can find Libba online here and on Twitter.

Friday, December 7, 2012

@lainitaylor visits Powell's for 'Days of Blood & Starlight' release 6 Nov

Laini Taylor started her tour off at Powell's in Beaverton.  We were delighted to see her!

Here is some information about her newest book 'Days of Blood & Starlight' which is the second book in her 'Daughter of Smoke & Bone' trilogy.

Art student and monster's apprentice Karou finally has the answers she has always sought. She knows who she is--and what she is. But with this knowledge comes anoher truth she would give anything to undo: She loved the enemy and he betrayed her, and a world suffered for it. 
In this stunning sequel to the highly acclaimed Daughter of Smoke & Bone, Karou must decide how far she'll go to avenge her people. Filled with heartbreak and beauty, secrets and impossible choices, Days of Blood & Starlight finds Karou and Akiva on opposing sides as an age-old war stirs back to life. 
While Karou and her allies build a monstrous army in a land of dust and starlight, Akiva wages a different sort of battle: a battle for redemption. For hope. But can any hope be salvaged from the ashes of their broken dream?

 Laini read from 'Days of Blood & Starlight', showed us some pieces from the new jewelry line that goes along with the trilogy and answered questions for her readers.  Because I was enjoying her reading and laughing at the answers to the great questions of other readers I have no notes.  So you will have to take it from that you really should just READ THE SERIES!  Laini is awesome and easy to find on Twitter and her Website.

The jewelry line can be found Here. There are 22 pieces altogether and they are beautiful.  Personally I would love a Wishbone Necklace in silver.  The pieces come in silver, bronze, and brass.  Check out some photos below of a few pieces of her jewelry.

Wishbone Necklace
Adder Vertebrae Bracelet
Smoke & Bone Tooth Necklace

Laini Taylor is donating all of the monies she receives for the entire Jewelry Collection on sales through January 31, 2013 including Holiday Sales, to the Red Cross for the Hurricane Sandy Relief fund.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Candace Reviews Necromancing the Stone by Lish McBride

Necromancing the Stone (Necromancer #2) by Lish McBride
Hardcover, 342 pages
Published: Sept 18th, 2012 by Henry Holt
Source: Purchased

With the defeat of the evil Douglas behind him, Sam LaCroix is getting used to his new life. Okay, so he hadn’t exactly planned on being a powerful necromancer with a seat on the local magical council and a capricious werewolf sort-of-girlfriend, but things are going fine, right?

Well . . . not really. He’s pretty tired of getting beat up by everyone and their mother, for one thing, and he can’t help but feel that his new house hates him. His best friend is a werebear, someone is threatening his sister, and while Sam realizes that he himself has a lot of power at his fingertips, he’s not exactly sure how to use it. Which, he has to admit, is a bit disconcerting.

But when everything starts falling apart, he decides it’s time to step up and take control. His attempts to do so just bring up more questions, though, the most important of which is more than a little alarming: Is Douglas really dead?
 This review will also be posted at Candace's Book Blog.
 Excuse me for a moment... Oh, sorry- I just had to go do a bit more squealing... So far I just can't seem to get it out of my system.  All the jumping and happy dancing just isn't doing it.  So hopefully this over the top raving about this book will help a bit. 

I love, no, I ADORE, this book.  I loved Hold Me Closer, Necromancer, but it's not nearly as good as this book was.  This book had me laughing so hard I nearly peed.  But it also had me crying big fat crocodile tears.  Oh, don't worry, this isn't a sad book, not really.  It had a moment or two though.  And really, I just want you all to know that this book will really bring out the full range of emotions.  There were the laugh-so-hard-you-pee moments, the cry-till-you-run-out-of-tears moments, and the grip-the-edge-of-your-seat moments.  If you remember my review of the first book you may remember that I was expecting funny but not the serious.  I was actually expecting MORE funny though.  Well, that funny delivered in this one.  It made up for any lack of funny in the first (even though it still had plenty of funny).  

This book delivered on all fronts for me, but I'm starting with characters.  I love a good male POV and Sam is a fabulous MC.  He's funny (HILARIOUS inner voice) and he's kind, and sweet and he's just someone you can't help but love.  He's not perfect, but that makes him more real.  He makes mistakes, he doesn't see the whole picture sometimes, and he's not real kick ass, yet.  But he's getting there.  He's growing as a character.  

All the side characters, from the pukis James, to the best friend werebear, Ramon, to the were hound/werewolf sort-of-girlfriend.  They all delivered.  Each and every character has a distinct personality and I couldn't help but love each and every one.  Now, there are a ton of new characters in this book, but they are more background then forefront.  But they add a lot of humor to the book.  And they just stand out with their ridiculous personalities.  These new characters are a full range of supernatural creatures.  From gnomes, to minotaurs, to big foot and chupacabra.  There's not much, if anything, that's been left out. But instead of it being too much, it's just right.  I think that's because this book is a bit over the top.  Some things are slightly ridiculous, some are more tongue-in-cheek humor.  But it all just goes so well, so perfect.
The plot side of things also delivered 100%.  We see things from more angles than Sam so we know when things are right in front of him, when he needs to open his eyes and see what's going on.  We see when someone might be betraying him (even though we're not sure cause it seems like there's more to it...) and we scream out to warn him.  We know that things aren't going to be pretty cause we see them coming before him.  This is because we get chapters (short ones) with the bad guy.  So we get an idea of what he's planning.  At the same time we see some of his memories and it explains some things about why he became what he became, etc.  It humanizes him a bit more and we see him as more than just a villain.  I love when authors do this.  And in this case we don't exactly grow to like him, but we see him a bit differently.

I honestly cannot possibly recommend this book any more highly.  It's one that I actually wanted to turn over and just start rereading again.  And how often does that happen?  I am totally in love with these characters and this world and I will scream to the world "READ THIS BOOK!" for many months (probably even years) to come.  And I really hope the author is writing more.  I really don't know as the book is pretty well tied up and there's not really any (or many) strings left open.  But there's always more that could be done and I have my fingers crossed that it's one that goes on...and on... and on...

One thing I want to point out is that while this is marketed as YA, and fits that fine as far as appropriateness goes, the characters are college age and on their own.  It also has a tad bit of a feel of adult urban fantasy.  I say it's a perfect mix of YA urban fantasy and adult urban fantasy and that just elevates it even more for me.  I probably wouldn't recommend this for younger readers as there's some heavy stuff going on and it gets a bit bloody in the first book.  There's also a bit of bad language (but what teen doesn't hear bad language everyday?).  I guess I'd say if a person is super sensitive to content you may want to be cautious.

This is going on my favorites of 2012 list, FOR SURE.

Candace is a wife and mother to two. She’s blogged at Candace’s Book Blog since November 2008. She enjoys a variety of genres including anything and everything young adult, some adult urban fantasy, a little bit of adult paranormal romance, some historical fiction and reads lots of childrens books. You can find her on her blog at, twitter @candacemom2two and on goodreads.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Guest Post with Linda Benson and Giveaway of Walking the Dog

 Today we have Linda Benson is on the blog with a Guest Post as well as a giveaway!

Can animals help kids get through difficult situations with their undivided love? I believe many of us can attest to this. Do animals in stories make hard topics easier for young people to read about and sort through?
My newest novel, Walking the Dog, at first glance appears to be about the soulful looking dog on the cover. Make no mistake, there are plenty of dogs in this story: therapy dogs, animal shelter dogs, rambunctious teenage dogs, and even one independent orange cat. But the main storyline is about two kids, Sophie and Jared, and their attempts to deal with some very adult problems. Told in Jared’s voice (a typical kid who struggles with math and has a pesky kid brother) - here is the first paragraph:

Rumors float around about Sophie from the day she arrives. We hear things whispered in the hallway and on the playground. Most kids don’t change schools this late in the year, when we can almost taste summer and freedom. Sophie got transferred here to get out of a difficult situation. Something bad happened to her.

Want more? A short synopsis:

Jared is smitten when his teacher seats the new girl, Sophie, right next to him. Even with the scar running up the side of her face, Jared thinks she’s the most beautiful girl in the entire fifth grade. But why did she transfer here so late in the year? Rumors say something bad happened to her.

Jared and Sophie become friends while walking the guidance counselor’s new puppy, but when his parents object to this arrangement, Jared fabricates a series of elaborate lies to meet Sophie on the sly. But little brothers can be pests. First Petey lets the orange cat loose at the animal shelter where Jared and Sophie have been secretly walking the dogs. Then Petey turns up missing.

And Sophie's past finally catches up with her.

Walking the Dog is a hopeful, coming-of-age, animal-filled friendship story that also deals with bullying and the aftermath of child abuse. It’s a short novel that packs a punch, and I hope you’ll give it a try today. Available as an ebook almost everywhere – only $2.99.




Musa Publishing:

Linda Benson is the author of several middle grade and young adult books, including Walking the Dog, Six Degrees of Lost, The Girl Who Remembered Horses, Finding Chance, and The Horse Jar.

Her passion for nature and animals often finds its way into her writing. She has been a veterinary assistant, zoo keeper, race track groom, realtor, children’s librarian, and owned both a native plant nursery and a saddle shop.

Ms. Benson lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and a variety of animals, all of them adopted. When she's not petting a dog, cat, horse, or donkey, traipsing through the woods, or enjoying a good glass of wine, she's most likely working on her next book.
To find out more -
Visit her website:

Linda is giving away one ebook copy of Walking the Dog to one lucky winner.
Open internationally.
Must be 13 or older to enter.
Ends 11/25/12
Just leave a comment to enter.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Candace Reviews North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley

 North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley
Hardcover, 373 pgs.
Published Feb. 1st, 2009 by Little, Brown
Reading Level: Young Adult
Source: Purchased

As he continued to stare, I wanted to point to my cheek and remind him, But you were the one who wanted this, remember? You're the one who asked-and I repeat-Why not fix your face?

It's hard not to notice Terra Cooper.
She's tall, blond, and has an enviable body. But with one turn of her cheek, all people notice is her unmistakably "flawed" face. Terra secretly plans to leave her stifling small town in the Northwest and escape to an East Coast college, but gets pushed off-course by her controlling father. When an unexpected collision puts Terra directly in Jacob's path, the handsome but quirky Goth boy immediately challenges her assumptions about herself and her life, and she is forced in yet another direction. With her carefully laid plans disrupted, will Terra be able to find her true path?
Written in lively, artful prose, award-winning author Justina Chen Headley has woven together a powerful novel about a fractured family, falling in love, travel, and the meaning of true beauty.

This review was first posted at Candace's Book Blog.
We all have books that hit us profoundly.  Ones that may have us bursting into tears at random moments even when we're not even reading the book just because we thought of something in the book that was so sad, or so amazing or just so perfect.  Books don't have to be sad to make me cry.  And this was one of those books.  I cried a little in the first half, which was definitely darker and more full of bad things,  but cried lots in the second half which was full of discovery and more happier moments.  It was the discovery of them finding bits and pieces of themselves, of them remembering, of them discovering that really moved me to tears.  
This book is about Terra and Terra has a birthmark on the side of her face.  It's big and purple and very very obvious.  She's an expert at hiding.  Not only her face but from her father who is very verbally abusive. He's a bully and he spends his time putting down his wife and his child and ordering them about to do his bidding.  He is cruel and he made me so so angry.  I felt so bad for Terra and almost even worse for her mother who had to deal with him even more.  This story is not only Terra's, it is her mothers as well.  She's completely lost herself and eats for comfort, resulting in lots of weight gain and a very low self esteem.  And her husband is constantly nagging at her and calling her names.  She feels like she has no choice but to stay with him and has no strength left to do anything else.  At least that's what she thinks....
Terra and her mother run into Jacob and his mother {nearly quite literally} and this unexpected event created an unexpected friendship which leads their lives in completely unexpected directions.  This is a friendship {Jacob and Terra as well as Jacobs mother and Terra's mother} that is certainly life changing.  And while Jacob has a bit of his own journey to embark on he becomes a rock for Terra.  He is more laid back and go with the flow while Terra is a planner and has to have things prepared ahead of time.  Jacob helps her in discovering what is important and what true beauty really is.  
All the characters in this book were amazing.  They all had their own journey's of self discovery.  While it's told from Terra we still watch what the others go through, especially her mother.  I actually loved how the author told it through Terra but still managed to do a fantastic job in making it about so much more then just her.  This is the kind of book that even adults who don't read YA may enjoy, mothers especially. 
This is a book that resonates.  That really sticks with you.  Days, weeks, months, even years later you'll remember bits and pieces of it and the wonderful messages that come through and it'll give you just a little bit of strength to push you through whatever obstacle you may be facing at that time.  It reminds you about what beauty really is.  It gives you strength to pursue dreams you may have been afraid to go after.  It reminds you to follow your heart.  
This was a pretty clean read with little to no swearing, no sex {just a little kissing} and no physical violence {just verbal abuse but with no cursing}.   
This is a book that goes on my top 10 list.  Yes, I loved it that much.  Please, please, please do me a favor and read this book.  Tell your mothers, your sisters, your friends.  Tell the world, read this book.  
Note: I reviewed this almost exactly one year ago on November 11, 2011.  I still remember the book very well (which is rare since I read so much) and it still affects me the way it did back then.  It really is an amazing book if it stuck with me so strongly for over a year.
Find the author on her website.
And in looking her up I discovered she has a new book coming out! I have been waiting, so this is GREAT news!
Expected Publication is Jan. 15th, 2013.
Nothing is going as planned for Rebecca Muir. She's weeks away from starting college--at a school chosen specifically to put a few thousand miles of freedom between Reb and her parents. But her dad's last-minute job opportunity has her entire family moving all those miles with her! And then there's the matter of her unexpected, amazing boyfriend, Jackson, who is staying behind on the exact opposite coast.
And if that isn't enough to deal with, mere days after moving cross-country, Reb's dad drops shocking, life-changing news. With her mother and brother overwhelmed and confused, Reb is left alone to pick up the pieces of her former life. But how can she do that when everything can change in an instant? How can she trust her "perfect" boyfriend when her own dad let her down? Reb started the year knowing exactly what her future would hold, but now that her world has turned upside down, will she discover what she really wants?
Justina Chen, the acclaimed author of North of Beautiful, has created a moving and powerful novel about the struggles that arise from betrayal, the uncertainty of life after high school, and the joy that ultimately comes from discovering what's truly in your heart.
Doesn't it sound amazing?!

Candace is a wife and mother to two. She’s blogged at Candace’s Book Blog since November 2008. She enjoys a variety of genres including anything and everything young adult, some adult urban fantasy, a little bit of adult paranormal romance, some historical fiction and reads lots of childrens books. You can find her on her blog at, twitter @candacemom2two and on goodreads.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Lost Code: Book 1 of the Atlanteans by @KCEmerson

The Lost Code (The Atlanteans #1) by Kevin Emerson
Hardcover, 435 pages
Published May 22, 2012 by Katherine Tegan Books
Source: ARC from bookstore I work at

In the year 2086, Camp Eden promises summer “the way things used to be,” back before the oceans rose, the sun became a daily enemy, and modern civilization sank into chaos. Located inside the EdenWest BioDome, the camp is an oasis of pine trees, cool water, and rustic charm.
But all at Camp Eden is not what it seems.
No one will know this better than 15-year-old Owen Parker. A strange underwater vision, even stranger wounds on Owen’s neck, and a cryptic warning from the enchanting lifeguard Lilly hint at a mystery that will take Owen deep beneath Lake Eden and even deeper into the past. What he discovers could give him the chance to save the tattered planet. But first, Owen will have to escape Camp Eden alive…

Do you remember going to camp when you were younger?  I do, I went to Abraham Lincoln camp in Iowa when I was 12 or 13.  I still remember the horse back riding, swimming in the lake, creating crafts and learning gymnastics.  What did you do at camp?  I'm going to guess that your camp was not held in a Dome of some sort.  Or even that you had to be part of a drawing to win a place there.

Owen is one such lucky camper.  He wins a chance to experience a place with grass, swimming in a lake and seeing bugs he's never seen before.  Well, if you call the experience Owen has at Camp Eden as lucky after reading this story then we will have to talk.

I started this book a few days after I met Kevin, the author you silly people, at Wordstock in Portland.  It was interesting to hear his camp stories and see photos, yes ACTUAL photos of his cabin mates at camp.  After hearing Kevin talk about his camp days and 'The Lost Code' I was intrigued.  I wanted to find out what happened at Camp Eden.  Plus, Kevin is a really funny guy, so I knew his book was going to a fun read.

The book starts out with Owen drowning during his swim test.  Well, come on people, he lives, so I'm not ruining a plot line here.  Owen is injured when he makes it out of the lake and things change.  He is injured but talked into lying by Lilly, the hot lifeguard.  Well come on, this book is from Owen's perspective and he thinks she's hot.  So of course, he does what she asks and lies to the Doctor who is checking him.  This event is what turns the book into a thriller.  Okay there is a little bit of romance and a ton of adventure.  Sneaking out in the middle of the night, building confidence, and exploring places that are dangerous.  This is my kind of book.  It has everything to keep me reading.

The characters, Lilly, Owen, Dr. Maria, Leech and Paul, the camp director, are all interesting and have great backstories.  Throughout the book I enjoyed trying to figure out if the different characters were going to be someone to trust or not.  I was definitely surprised by a few of them, when it turned out they were the opposite of what I thought originally.

I went away from this book tweeting to Kevin about how excited I was to read the next one, 'The Dark Shore', which comes out next May 2013.  I think I might end up moving to Seattle and camping on his doorstep in order to get a copy.  But at least he is near Theo Chocolate so I will have sustenance!

About the author: Kevin is the author of the OLIVER NOCTURNE series and CARLOS IS GONNA GET IT. His next novel, THE LOST CODE, the first book in the Atlanteans series, comes out in May 2012 with Katherine Tegen Books. His next middle grade novel, THE FELLOWSHIP FOR ALIEN DETECTION, comes out in January 2013 with Walden Pond Press.

Kevin is also a musician. His current project is THE BOARD OF EDUCATION, where he writes imaginative, poppy songs about elementary school and life in the spirit of Schoolhouse Rock.

Find Kevin at: Goodreads and Twitter and of course his website!

Disclosure: I picked up this ARC at the bookstore I work at and all opinions expressed are my own.  Unfortunately, Kevin has not bribed me with Theo Chocolate to write this review.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Lindsey Lost Review by Suzanne Marie Phillips

Lindsey Lost by Suzanne Marie Phillips
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published September 13, 2012 by Viking Children's
Source: ARC from my bookstore

The Bourne Identity meets I Am the Cheese in this taut thriller

Even though Micah’s a star pitcher, his older sister Lindsey is the real deal—a runner so good, she has a shot at the Olympics. The two of them urge each other on, and are each other’s best support. Then the unthinkable happens: Lindsey is murdered, and Micah may have been the last person to see her. But he can’t remember what happened, no matter what their parents tell him, no matter what the police say. Did he witness his sister’s murder—or commit it? Can he recall the truth before his life is sentenced to end, too?

Ok first of all I am in love with this cover.  I love the creativity in the 'font' they used for the title.  In fact, take a minute and look at it yourself.  Go on, I'll wait.   What do you think of it?  It's quite enjoyable when covers include non-typical fonts.  Anyway, onto the book itself.

Micah and his older sister Lindsey are both strong in their sports, baseball and running, respectively.  Micah is given more freedom then his sister which is obvious at the beginning of the book.  He is worried about Lindsey who doesn't seem quite herself.  The real question is which pressure is getting to Lindsey the most?  Coach Kelly (her running coach), her father (seriously he is stressful to me!) or her boyfriend  Reed (who doesn't understand why Lindsey turned him down for prom) or maybe it's something else?

This book is completely from Micah's point of view.  I enjoy reading from his point of view, he includes his school day, thoughts about his girlfriend Vivian, and trying to remember what exactly happened when his sister Lindsey doesn't come home.  Micah deals with traumatic memory loss.  His greatest fear being that he killed Lindsey himself.  But as he relives again and again more of what happened that day the twists including others surprised me into reading this book as quickly as I could.  I wanted to know did Micah kill her?  If not him, who had the greatest motive?

You will want to read this story to find out what really happened the day Lindsey was lost.

Find more here about Lindsey Lost or see what other people are saying about the book: Goodreads

***Disclaimer- I did not buy this book, I was able to get the ARC of it from the bookstore I work at. I am not being compensated nor was I asked to write about it. All thoughts and opinions are my own.