Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Day Before Giveaway *ENDED* @lisa_schroeder

Featured Author for the Week - Lisa Schroeder

Today we are having a giveaway of The Day Before by Lisa Schroeder!  We are featuring Lisa through the week as we lead up to the release of The Day Before coming out in paperback!  Lisa has generously offered up one copy to one lucky winner!

About The Day Before:
Sixteen-year-old Amber, hoping to spend one perfect day alone at the beach before her world is turned upside down, meets and feels a strong connection to Cade, who is looking for his own escape, for a very different reason.

Find Lisa Schroeder:
Website | Twitter

The Giveaway: ENDED
One paperback copy of The Day Before *Big thanks to Lisa Schroeder!*
Open to US only
Must be 13 or older to enter.

To Enter: ENDED
Fill out the rafflecopter!  If for some reason it doesn't work leave a comment to let us know.

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It's Raining Cupcakes, Sprinkles and Secrets & Little Chimp's Big Day by @lisa_schroeder

Featured Author for the Week - Lisa Schroeder

It's Raining Cupcakes by Lisa Schroeder
Available in Hardcover, Paperback and as an ebook
208 pages
First published: March 9th, 2010 by Aladdin 

Description from Goodreads:
Twelve-year-old Isabel is dying to get out of her small town of Willow, Oregon, and travel like her best friend, Sophie. But when Isabel’s mother decides to open up a cupcake shop across town, Isabel is once again stuck in Willow for the summer…until she learns of a baking contest where the finalists get an all-expenses paid trip to New York City to compete in the final bake-off. But Sophie is also entering the contest, and Isabel’s mother has reservations. Can Isabel finally realize her dreams of leaving Willow without hurting two of the most important people in her life?

This review was first posted on my blog at Candace's Book Blog
Woo hoo! Lisa has done it again! This book was very cute, with fantastic characterization, and an unbelievable story line. And it wasn't fluff. This was about a very realistic girl that has to deal with family issues. No one dies or anything too drastic like that, but it's just normal family issues. I think every 12 year old girl can relate in so many ways to Isabel and the situations she's put in. I really felt a connection to Isabel and her life even though I'm 29 years old and was never in any sort of situation like her. I just really felt like she was easy to get. And her whole family was! Things weren't always easy for them and at times I wanted to scream at her mother, but the way Isabel handled things was realistic and showed what a great person she was.
This book had cute cupcake names for each chapter, like Strawberry lemonade cupcakes (I've been craving strawberry lemonade since I read that chapter). It also has fantastic recipe's that we can't wait to try out!
I think this is a fantastic book for middle grade girls, but my daughter (who's 5) also enjoyed it a lot. I only read her bits and pieces because I was so anxious to get through it, but this will definitely be a reread for us. I think this would be a fantastic book for a reluctant reader. It's easy to read and relate-able and it has life issues mixed in with a lot fun!

Sprinkles and Secrets is out and while I was too lazy to review it at the time I read it, I loved it as well!  This one is about Isobel's best friend, so it's a companion novel rather than a sequel. 

Sprinkles and Secrets by Lisa Schroeder
Hardcover, 208 pages
First published: September 20th, 2011 by Aladdin 
Description from Goodreads:

 In this companion novel to It's Raining Cupcakes, twelve-year-old Sophie has a dream come true when she's offered a TV commercial spot. She's not just happy about the opportunity, she's over the moon happy!

But then she finds out what exactly she'll be advertising: the delectable, ever-popular brownies from Beatrice's Brownies, which just so happens to be the number one competitor to It's Raining Cupcakes, a cupcake shop owned by her best friend, Isabel's, family.

Sophie has a tough choice to make: Follow her dreams or crush her best friend. What's a girl to do?

Little Chimp's Big Day by Lisa Schroeder
Hardcover, 24 pages
First published: September 7th, 2010 by Sterling
Description from Goodreads:

In the jungle, in a tree
Sits a little chimpanzee.
Mother said she'd be right back
But now the branch snaps with a crack…

And in a SNAP, Little Chimp is off on a big adventure-taking a watery ride atop a hippo, swinging on vines, and munching bunches of bananas. But as he goes bumping, jumping, and racing across the jungle, he never stops wondering: Where could Mother be?” Little Chimp may not know, but sharp-eyed kids will see that mommy has an eye on him all the time! An enchanting text filled with rhythm and rhyme, and sweetly charming illustrations. 
This review was first posted on my blog at Candace's Book Blog.
This is hands down my favorite children's book this year and perhaps EVER. As a parent it seems like kids always pick the books that aren't fun for the parents to read. This is one my kids love AND I love! Lisa Schroeder may be one of my favorite authors for her young adult books, but she is now one of my favorite children's book authors as well. And Lisa McCue is the best illustrator! These pictures are so cute!

This book is a joy to read as it rhymes so it's fun and easy because of the lovely flow. But the kids love it because of all adventuresome things that Little Chimp does. It's also an easier one to memorize so they can 'read' along with you.

The book has the message that even when your parents let you run and have grand adventures they are always watching over you, even if you don't know it.

The illustrations are great because you can see that the whole time Little Chimps mother is hiding but still watching him. Each page also has a caterpillar for you to find. So it's very interactive and the kids love looking for the mother and the caterpillar. The pictures are also vibrant and colorful. I wish I could get Lisa McCue to come paint a mural in my playroom!

*Note: I read and reviewed this book when it very first came out.  It's now a couple years later and this is still my favorite book to read to the kids.  They still love it just as much as they did when it was brand new to us!  I very highly recommend you pick this one up if you have kids or grandchildren.

Find Lisa on: Her webpage | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter

Disclosure:  All opinions expressed are my own and I was not paid or influenced in any way.  All the books were purchased. 

These reviews were done by Candace.
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, May 30, 2012

Candace Reviews The Day Before by Lisa Schroeder

Featured Author for the Week - Lisa Schroeder

Next week The Day Before comes out in paperback!  In celebration we will be featuring Lisa Schroeder for the next week.  Today I'm reviewing The Day Before.  Make sure you check in each day for more reviews and an interview and giveaway with Lisa Schroeder!

The Day Before by Lisa Schroeder
Hardcover (and paperback next week!)
First published June 28th, 2011 by Simon & Schuster
Sixteen-year-old Amber, hoping to spend one perfect day alone at the beach before her world is turned upside down, meets and feels a strong connection to Cade, who is looking for his own escape, for a very different reason.
This review was first posted on my blog at Candace's Book Blog

This is my favorite of Lisa Schroeder's books so far.  I'm a huge fan and really hesitate to say it this, but I'm pretty certain that she blew me away even more with this book.  It was beautiful and planned out perfectly.
She left us guessing as to what it was the day before OF, with only hints thrown in for the first while.  We can finally piece it all together but still don't know EXACTLY what's going to go down.  We get the pieces at the perfect moments and it was brilliant.  The romance in this book was amazing.  I could just imagine all of it happening and it brought me back to when I was a teenager.

I love verse novels and I read  any I can find but Lisa's are my favorite.  Her technique, her writing style, the emotion she puts in, her characters... she has it all down perfect.  And when I read her books they inspire me to write.  I use to write ALL the time.  Now as a mom I tend to use my time to read because it's easier to deal with interruptions (which are frequent).  But when I read Lisa's books I tend to feel a strong need to get some of my own emotions out and to create my own stories.  So that is huge to me and I have to say a big thank you to Lisa for being able to write a book that moves me like that.

I very highly recommend you give Lisa's books a try.  I love every single one of them, but if you don't know where to start I would recommend this one.  It's a contemporary book and is a very fast read since it's in verse.  It's gorgeous writing and once you've read one you'll want them all!  Even if you've read verse novels by other authors I still suggest you try Lisa Schroeder.  She has an easier style of writing and it tends to have this beautiful flow to it as others I've read have a completely different feel to them. 

I posted pictures and a video on my blog because I visited Newport Oregon (where the book takes place) around the time The Day Before came out last year.  If you want to check out those pictures and video they are HERE.

Find Lisa Schroeder on her Website/Blog and on Twitter.

Disclosure:  I received an advance copy of this book for review purposes.  All opinions expressed are my own and I was not paid or influenced in any way.

This review was written by Candace:
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, May 24, 2012

Feature and Follow Friday

Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read and is a way to hop around and visit lots of different blogs!

Novels, News and Notes is a new blog and run by a few different bloggers like me, Candace, who blogs at Candace's Book Blog.  And Mel who blogs at Shot in the Arm.  Sara from Novel Novice has helped with the header and author list.  We have a few other contributors as well and you can find them in the 'About' section.

Novels, News and Notes From Your Northwest Neighbors is a blog that specializes in young adult authors from the Pacific Northwest area.  We feature them in reviews, interviews, guest posts and with giveaways.  We also cover book events in the Pacific Northwest and have put together a book club for book lovers from the area to meet up.  While we specialize in authors from the Pacific Northwest, we do have content that most any reader of YA will enjoy.  So whether you live in this area or not I do hope you'll follow our blog and stop by frequently!  If you live in the Pacific NW and would like to be a contributor there's a link to sign up at the top of the blog, we'd love to have you!  Our blog is also not quite complete.  We're still working on our author list and we'll have a complete design in a few weeks. 

We do not have a GFC, but please subscribe by email or RSS (on the right sidebar) and/or follow us on twitter @novelsnewsPNW
You can also find me on twitter @candacemom2two and Mel at @shiploadofwilco

This weeks question is an activity:
Dreamcast your current read. 

Candace:  I am SO not good at this!  I'm not a big fan of books to movies most of the time and don't picture actors as characters unless I've watched the movie before the book.

My current read is The Sweetest Dark by Shana Abe.  This book is freaking incredible and I'm sure could easily be full of some awesome actors but I have my own people in mind who aren't real.  And describing them is rather difficult.  I suppose that  Emma Watson could possibly make a good Lora.  As far as the others I really have no idea!  But seriously, this book is AMAZING.  

Mel: Well right now I'm between YA reads and I started this romance on the bus this morning.  In fact my copy of this is an ARC so until a minute ago I had no idea what the cover looked like.  My idea of people to play the roles would be Clive Owen as Viscount Breckenridge only with contacts since the characters eyes are darker and Hayley Atwell as a blonde playing Heather Cynster.  I'd then have Colin Firth playing McKinsey who is the Lord who got Heather kidnapped. This is the first time I've attempted to do this and it was fun :)  I love romance books because they are good late night reads and they are relaxing.

The Dancing Reader Reviews Solo by Sarah Schofield @S_Schofield

 Solo by Sarah Schofield
Paperback, 272 pages
Published January 17th, 2012

Description from Goodreads:
As a military brat, Eliana Davis is no stranger to moving from place to place. However, moving in the middle of her sophomore year to the small Oregon town where her parents grew up is something she never expected. Knowing she will only be there for a year, she is torn between making new friends or keeping to herself. Will she listen to her heart or keep flying solo?
Review first posted on The Dancing Reader

I was beyond excited when Sarah sent this copy for me to review/read for pleasure. I had talked to Sarah a lot on Twitter. She's the one of the kindest authors I know, so receiving a copy of her debut novel was extremely fabulous. Not only was it a contemporary, but it's also about a girl who has a strong passion for dance. Sounded like my kind of read! I'm glad to say that not only did it not disappoint, but it is now one of my favorites of the year!

Solo starts off with a sophomore girl named Eliana Davis who is from California, but receives some not-so-happy news about her father, leading them to their move to Myrtle Creek, Oregon. Because she is only staying there for a year, she must decide if she's going to make close friends, or just stay distant from everyone, in order to keep her heart intact by the end of it all. Along the way, however, she makes new friends, enemies, and even a boyfriend.

Let me start off with my thoughts on the whole story in general. It was so, so sweet, like Sarah herself. Everything was so perfect and oh golly I just loved it. It gave me such a happy sensation. I couldn't help but feel all of the delighted emotions well up inside of me. This will leave you in a bright, cheerful mood. Best feeling ever.

The characters were certainly enjoyable. Eliana was so great. I definitely felt each and every emotion she felt--the worry, doubt, happiness, and wild side of her. Everything. I could connect with her so easily. And Lucas Andrews, I love you. Why can't there be more Lucas Andrews out there? Just all of the characters in general were perfectly molded. Eliana's mom, Casey (so sweet!), even Eliana's enemies, Sasha & Evan. And the romance between Eliana and Lucas? So precious.

Now, you'd think such a simple plot line would bore me, but for this story, it worked. I missed those days where I read stories about girls and their high school problems. This story took me back to those days, and the simplicity was just so pure and fantastic. It kept me reading and interested the entire time. Events like prom night, school talent show, you name it. I was intrigued.

All in all, if you are looking for a very light, fun, heartwarming read, Solo is perfect. It made my day from mediocre to merry & lighthearted. You won't be able to help but grin from ear to ear once you finish. I absolutely cannot wait for book two, Duo.

*Thank you Sarah for providing me with a copy free of charge for review/for pleasure. You can find Sarah at her website, Facebook, Goodreads, or Twitter.

This Review was written by The Dancing Reader:
I'm a teen girl in highschool who has a love for dancing and reading. I mostly enjoy Paranormal YA, contemporary, and dystopian! Truth be told, I am a sucker for romance. Every novel I read pretty much has to have SOME time of romance in order for me to enjoy it! =) On a different note, I first started blogging on The Book Barbies during late August 2011, but had to leave periodically for personally reasons. Soon enough, I came back late December 2011 with The Dancing Reader. You can friend me on Goodreads or follow me on Twitter.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday Coming To You From the Pacific NW!

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and is to spotlight upcoming titles.

Because this is a blog featuring authors from the Pacific Northwest each WoW we participate in will feature an authors from the Pacific Northwest!

This week it was easy to find some to spotlight.

The Almost Truth by Eileen Cook
Expected Publication: December 4th, 2012 by Simon Pulse

Sadie can’t wait to get away from her backwards small town, her delusional mom, her jailbird dad, and the tiny trailer where she was raised…even though leaving those things behind also means leaving Brendan. Sadie wants a better life, and she has been working steadily toward it, one con at a time.

But when Sadie’s mother wipes out Sadie’s savings, her escape plan is suddenly gone. She needs to come up with a lot of cash—and fast—or she’ll be stuck in this town forever.

With Brendan’s help, she devises a plan—the ultimate con—to get the money. But the more lies Sadie spins, the more she starts falling for her own hoax…and perhaps for the wrong boy. Sadie wanted to change her life, but she wasn't prepared to have it flipped upside down by her own deception. With her future at stake and her heart on the line, suddenly it seems like she has a lot more than just money to lose....

Find it on Goodreads, Eileen Cooks Website and Amazon

I love Eileen's writing!  She's so quirky and fun and her characters always stand out to me.  I look forward to each and every one of her books and this one just sounds amazing!

Girl of Nightmares (Anna #2) by Kendare Blake
Expected Publication:  August 2nd, 2012 by Tor Teen

It's been months since the ghost of Anna Korlov opened a door to Hell in her basement and disappeared into it, but ghost-hunter Cas Lowood can't move on.

His friends remind him that Anna sacrificed herself so that Cas could live—not walk around half dead. He knows they're right, but in Cas's eyes, no living girl he meets can compare to the dead girl he fell in love with.

Now he's seeing Anna everywhere: sometimes when he's asleep and sometimes in waking nightmares. But something is very wrong...these aren't just daydreams. Anna seems tortured, torn apart in new and ever more gruesome ways every time she appears.

Cas doesn't know what happened to Anna when she disappeared into Hell, but he knows she doesn't deserve whatever is happening to her now. Anna saved Cas more than once, and it's time for him to return the favor.

Find it on Goodreads, Kendare Blake's Website and Amazon

Have you read Anna Dressed in Blood yet?  If your answer is no then you must be getting on that!  I'm not into horror and I even loved it!  It had it's creepy moments and it definitely wasn't as scary as I expected.  I loved it and can't wait for Girl of Nightmares!

What are you eagerly anticipating this week?  Leave us a comment and we'll try our best to come check it out!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Holly Cupala & Joeëlle Anthony Giveaway Winners

We are excited to announce the winners to our very first Novels, News and Notes Giveaway.  Are you ready?  The winners are below!!

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Monday, May 21, 2012

Candace Reviews Glimmer by @phoebekitanidis

Glimmer by Phoebe Kitanidis
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published April 17th, 2012 by Balzer + Bray
Source: Gift

Description from Goodreads:

What if you forgot your identity and had to rely on other people to tell you who you were?

And what if to discover your true self, you first had to unravel a mystery so big and terrifying you were not sure you’d survive solving it?

When Marshall and Elyse wake up in each other’s arms with zero memory of how they got there or who they are, it’s the start of a long journey through their separate pasts and shared future.

Terrified by their amnesia, the two make a pact to work together to find the answers that could jog their missing memories. As they piece together clues, they discover they’re in the idyllic mountain resort town of Summer Falls, where everyone seems mysteriously happy, but as Marshall and Elyse quickly learn, darkness lurks beneath the town’s perfect facade. Not only is the town haunted by sinister ghosts, but none of its living inhabitants retain bad memories of anything—not the death of Marshall’s mom, not the hidden shame in Elyse’s family, not even the day-to-day anguish of high school.

Lonely in this world of happy zombies, Marsh and Elyse fall into an intense relationship...but the secrets they uncover could be the death of this growing love—and the death of everyone, and everything, they love in Summer Falls.

My Thoughts:
I actually read this book well over a month ago but it's still pretty clear in my head and that's definitely saying something since I read so much.  It was just such a unique story line it's not one you easily forget.  While the super strong impression is fading it's one I recommend when people say they are looking for something different.  This one definitely fits the 'different' category.

Right away I loved that I had no clue what was going on.  Normally I'm not for that, but it worked very well for this story.  Since we just see from Marshall and Elyse's point of views we only know what they know.  And since they know absolutely nothing, then we don't either.  And we are with them as they unravel this mystery.  As they discover this very weird town and all the secrets it has hidden.  

I loved the characters.  I loved the setting.  I loved the unique story line.  The writing was brilliant and the entire thing came together in a way that pretty much blew me away.  I very highly recommend this book!

Find Phoebe Kitanidis:

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book as a gift.  All opinions expressed are my own and I was not paid or influenced in any way.

This review was written by Candace
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, May 17, 2012

Follow Friday

Follow Friday is hosted by Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read and is a way to hop around and visit lots of different blogs!

Novels, News and Notes is a brand new blog and is run by a few different bloggers like me, Candace, who blogs at Candace's Book Blog.  And Mel who blogs at Shot in the Arm.  Sara from Novel Novice has helped with the header and author list.  We have a few other contributors as well and you can find them in the 'About' section.

Novels, News and Notes From Your Northwest Neighbors is a blog that specializes in young adult authors from the Pacific Northwest area.  We feature them in reviews, interviews, guest posts and with giveaways.  We also cover book events in the Pacific Northwest and have put together a book club for book lovers from the area to meet up.  While we specialize in authors from the Pacific Northwest, we do have content that most any reader of YA will enjoy.  So whether you live in this area or not I do hope you'll follow our blog and stop by frequently!  If you live in the Pacific NW and would like to be a contributor there's a link to sign up at the top of the blog, we'd love to have you!  Our blog is also not quite complete.  We're still working on our author list and we'll have a complete design in a few weeks. 

We do not have a GFC, but please subscribe by email or RSS (on the right sidebar) and/or follow us on twitter @novelsnewsPNW
You can also find me on twitter @candacemom2two and Mel at @shiploadofwilco

We have our first giveaway up and it's a big one!  Three different prize packs with books by Holly Cupala.  You can win Don't Breathe a Word and Tell Me a Secret (one audio too) as well as swag from her and Joelle Anthony.  Make sure you check it out!  It ends on Wednesday, so hurry!
This weeks question:
Summer Break is upon us! What would be the perfect vacation spot for you to catch up on your reading & relax?

Candace: I would love to just hang out in the woods.  My in laws have a hammock that's nice to lay in and is definitely in the woods.  But I'm so paranoid about a bear or cougar sneaking up on me that I can't really relax cause I'm so freaked out about it.  It would be really cool to go to a beach (not our beach, it's too cold on the North Pacific) and lay out and read.  Though I tend to be too distracted looking at the gorgeous scenery...

Mel: I would love to go back to Florida.  I love hot summer days and I love sitting or laying on the beach reading books.  I could spend days like that.  I'd also want to jump in the ocean occasionally to cool down and then have a glass of lemonade....

NW Events June Edition

With just under half a month to go until we are in June, we thought it was time for a round up on all the amazing events you could attend in the Northwest.  Leave us a comment below if you will be attending any of them!  We'd love to meet you. (All author names link to their webpage, all book titles link to the store hosting the event for purchasing)


Saturday, June 2nd
11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Got Books Event

Klindt's Booksellers is hosting it's 2nd Annual Got Books Event for Young Adults. Be sure to mark your calendars, as this event will be packed with fantastic authors to visit with, wonderful books and great giveaways.

Klindt's Booksellers
315 East Second Street
The Dalles OR 97058

Saturday, June 9th
6:30 to 9 p.m.
Fierce Reads Tour 

Jennifer Bosworth - Struck and the story Prophet
Marissa Meyer - Cinder and the story Glitches

Third Place Books
17171 Bothell Way NE
Lake Forest, WA

Sunday, June 10th
4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Fierce Reading Tour

Village Books
1200 11th St
Bellingham, WA

If you know of any events that are not listed here in the PNW please let me know and I'll add them!  Just drop a tweet to us at our Twitter.  

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Heidi's Review of The Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor

Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor
Hardcover, 432 pages
Published September 27th, 2011 by Little, Brown
Source: Purchased
Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages—not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out.

When one of the strangers—beautiful, haunted Akiva—fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

This review was first posted on Rainy Day Ramblings.
Five Stars: This is a literary masterpiece. Do not miss this book!

This is the story of an extraordinary girl. A girl with aquamarine hair, who lives between two worlds; two distinct existences separated by magical doors. Behind the doors is the mystical workshop of the sorcerer Brimstone. He is a chimaera, a being that is a conglomerate of animals. In his secluded and shrouded shop he strings together wishes, for he is the Wishmonger. Caught in a world embroiled in war he clings to a shred of hope. That glimmer of hope resides in Karou, the tall, beautiful girl, with cerulean locks of hair and tattooed eyes on her palms; reared in the clandestine workshop by Brimstone and his three chimaera companions. Beyond the doors is the mortal world, where she resides in Prague and attempts to draw her existence into her sketch books. Karou aches with loneliness, her insides hollow; a portion of her soul absent. Her story is a lost volume. A tale of star-crossed lovers, swept together by the fingers of fate. It begins on a battlefield, where two souls born as enemies collide. A wounded, dying seraphim and chimaera. A heartbeat, a quizzical look, a slight head tilt, a pause and a moment that changes everything. A whisper of destiny, a binding of a wound, a life restored and forever altered. A wisp of time passes and the two entities converge again and a tender, hopeful love blooms; it is a dream for peace, an end to war. Then the sprig of hope is crushed and lost, only emptiness remains. This is the story of a devil falling in love with an angel, but who is the devil and who is the angel?

What I Loved:
*This book is an astonishing, literary gem. Laini Taylor crafts her words into a story that is unique, phenomenal and ingenious. Her writing is like a gust of fresh air, that swirls and dances in your head and takes your breath away. I was continuously highlighting and clipping in my Kindle the abundant, gorgeous passages. Ms. Taylor is an author gifted beyond measure. You must experience her exquisite talent.
*The characters in this novel are so real and they possess layer upon layer of depth. Karou, the dazzling, azure haired beauty is smart, capable and independent. She is an artist extraordinaire. How I longed to peer into her sketchbook. Her life is a tangle of questions and she is adrift in a sea of loneliness. I was captivated by this girl, with the name that means hope and I found myself envying her blue hair. Akiva, the seraphim, is intimidating, haunted, his soul shattered. At first encounter he terrifies but when his glamour falls away there is a glimpse into his heartbreak, then he evolves and draws you in, and you grow to love him. Brimstone, the wizard of wishes, was my favorite character. He is wise, understanding, patient and a complexity. He is enigmatic and he wears his great secret around his neck. My opinion of him vacillated throughout pondering whether he was good or evil but in the end he touched my heart with his preservation of a life; a life that dared to love and hope.
*The setting; Prague shines in this story. I meandered through the maze of cobbled streets and ate at the Poison Kitchen. I floated in the air and peered down at the colored rooftops and shimmering lights that snaked along the river. I passed by the haunted graveyards, gazed at the gargoyles and statues around the historic buildings. This beautiful old city comes alive in the pages of the novel. When the story shifted to other locations, I longed to return to the streets of Prague. While I reveled in my travels to Prague, I was also intrigued by the fascinating world of the Chimaera and the Seraphim. I loved Brimstone's hidden workshop with it's jars of teeth and vast secrets. It exists in a world entrenched in an endless war. Two sides that have fought for so long they have forgotten many of the precursors that led to the fighting. Now all that they know is hate, bloodshed and death. Ms. Taylor weaves mythology and magic expertly into the creation of her worlds. She manages to reach out of the pages, grasp your hand and lead you into her vision.
*Finally the story. The main plot follows the story of the lovers is not revealed until late in the book. This book takes it's time building the worlds and sculpting the characters, then comes the exposure of the lover's tragedy. It touches your heart and tears into your emotions. It ultimately has you questioning the good and the bad; who is right who is wrong. This novel submerges into your mind.

And The Not So Much:
*I am stunned that this book is catalogued in the Young Adult genre. This is a book that eclipses beyond the Young Adult label. This is a literary work of art that should be appreciated by book connoisseurs, both young and old. I worry that many savvy readers may overlook this title due to the classification. Furthermore, the writing is precisely detailed and complex, it may be over the heads of many young adult readers.
*This book is bursting with an extended vocabulary. I highly recommend reading this with an electronic reader in order to define some of the terms, this will allow you to fully soak in the entirety of the story. Do not attempt to read this when you are distracted or weary; you cannot flitter through the words. You must take your time, read, savor and absorb this enticing tale.
*The had me gnashing my teeth and pulling my hair. The story concludes with just a splice of an epilogue. I was left suspended on the edge of the slash in the sky with a slew of unanswered questions. Ms. Taylor how could you be so cruel to leave the story so unfinished? The wait for the next book will be tremendously long.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone is a book that has reached the pinnacle level of my favorite reads shelf. I can only try to convey the intricate beauty of this haunting love story. I wholeheartedly recommend this masterpiece. Sweep away any and all preconceived notions before delving into this pages. This carefully crafted book is a stupendous achievement and it all begins with the simple line, "Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love....."

Favorite Quotations:

“The wind carried the memory of magic, revolution, violins, and the cobbled lanes meandered like creeks.”

“As she walked, clock towers across Prague started arguing midnight, and the long, fraught Monday came at last to a close.”

“Someone who would wait with an umbrella to walk her home in the rain, and smile like sunshine when he saw her coming. Who would dance with her on her balcony, keep his promises and know her secrets, and make a tiny world wherever he was, with just her and his arms and his whisper and her trust.”

“Have you ever asked yourself, do monsters make war, or does war make monsters?”

“Wishes are false. Hope is true. Hope makes it’s own magic.”

“whatever it was, it was as sweet as a patch of sun on a glossy floor and, like a cat, she just wanted to curl up in it.”

“Your soul sings to mine. My soul is yours, and it always will be, in any world. No matter what happens-”

“She is in love. It is bright within her, like a swallowed star.”

“No. Love is an element.” “An element. Like air to breathe, earth to stand on.”

“Happiness. It was the place where passion, with all its dazzle and drumbeat, met something softer: homecoming and safety and pure sunbeam comfort.”
Find the author:

Disclosure:  This book was purchased.  All opinions expressed were my own and I was not paid or influenced in any way.

This review is by Heidi:
Heidi is a blogger at Rainy Day Ramblings.  You can find more reviews at as well as other bookish goodness.  Follow her on twitter @rnydayramblings

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Review: The Right and the Real by Joëlle Anthony @JoelleWrites

The Right and the Real by By Joëlle Anthony
Hardcover, 288 pages
Released April 26th, 2012 by Putnam
Description from Goodreads:
Kicked out for refusing to join a cult, seventeen-year-old Jamie must find a way to survive on her own.

Jamie should have known something was off about the church of the Right and the Real from the start, especially when the Teacher claimed he wasn’t just an ordinary spiritual leader, but Jesus Christ, himself. But she was too taken by Josh, the eldest son of one of the church’s disciples, and his all-American good looks. Josh is the most popular boy at school too, and the first boy outside the drama geeks to give Jamie a second look. But getting her Dad involved in a cult was not part of the plan when she started dating Josh. Neither was her dad’s marriage to the fanatic Mira, or getting kicked out, or seeing Josh in secret because the church has deemed her persona non grata.

Jamie’s life has completely fallen apart. Finding her way back won’t be easy, but when her Dad gets himself into serious trouble, will Jamie be ready to rescue him, and maybe even forgive him?

When I went to Joëlle Anthony's book signing (read all about it HERE) she read a few pages in the beginning of the book and she read it so well, and picked such a perfect part to really show us the voice of Jamie, that I was hooked.  And it really pushed me to pick the book up right away.  And WOW, this book hooked me right off the bat.  It was a book that every single word really mattered to me.  Everything felt so important.  And it's not full of constant action or anything, it is a contemporary, but it was never boring.  And there was just so much beauty in this book, in her words and her subtle messages (yes, I got those messages!) that I devoured this.  I would have liked to take notes, but I did one time and that pause to do so was as much as I could do, I was too busy soaking it all up.

This book takes place in Portland, which is a bonus for me since it's local and there were a few places mentioned I'm familiar with.  But to be honest, it could have been any city, anywhere, and I would have connected with Jamie and her story just as well.

I loved Jamie.  I'm not exactly sure why I connected with her so well, but I guess it's just Joëlle's brilliant writing and ability that brought that on because I don't really have that much in common with her.  There were a few things, but I think mostly it's just that she's a character that everyone should be able to find some sort of connection with.  And even when she made mistakes and I was telling her that she shouldn't do that, I got it.  I knew why, I understood.  And that's what's important.  Characters need to make mistakes and not be perfect so we can relate to them, but we need to understand and I completely did.

There are a few subtle things in this book that I found were really important to me and I know they are important to the author as well.  And that's one thing I love, when an author can incorporate things they believe in without it being obvious.  Now I was going to mention a few things but I think it's important you go in to the book not knowing too much so that you can be surprised by each twist and turn.

I really hope you give this book a chance because this is definitely one of the best contemporaries I've read this year.  I loved the story, I loved the writing, I loved everything about this book.  It was a great emotional ride that got me riled up and angry one moment and giggling the next.  Just pick it up, you won't regret it!

5/5 stars!

Find Joelle Anthony on her website, and twitter.

We currently have a giveaway running, right here on Novels, News and Notes From Your Northwest Neighbors where you can win books by Holly Cupala as well as some great swag from Joëlle Anthony.  Make sure you check it out!

Disclosure:  I purchased this book myself.  All opinions expressed are my own and I was not paid or influenced in any way.

This review was written by:
 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.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Multi Winner Giveaway *ended* Win books by @HollyCupala

This giveaway has ended. 
Stay tuned later this week for the WINNERS!

If you didn't already know this Mel and I (Candace) went to see Holly Cupala and Joëlle Anthony last Saturday for an awesome signing!  Holly is a great friend of mine and I was really excited that she came down from Seattle to do a signing and visit us!  Not only was the signing absolutely AMAZING but Holly and Joëlle gave us a bunch of stuff to giveaway as well!  Isn't that great?  Make sure you check out the event recap HERE to check out the great pictures and hear all about the fun we had.

Prize One:
Hardcover *signed* Tell Me a Secret
Paperback *signed* Don't Breathe a Word
swag from Holly and from Joëlle Anthony, including a magnet and signed postcard

Prize Two:
Hardcover *signed* Tell Me a Secret
swag from Holly and Joëlle Anthony

Prize Three:
Audio of Tell Me a Secret
swag from Holly and Joëlle 

About the books:

Tell Me a Secret by Holly Cupala
It's tough living in the shadow of a dead girl. . . .
In the five years since her bad-girl sister Xanda's death, Miranda Mathison has wondered about the secret her sister took to the grave, and what really happened the night she died. Now, just as Miranda is on the cusp of her dreams--a best friend to unlock her sister's world, a ticket to art school, and a boyfriend to fly her away from it all--Miranda has a secret all her own.
When two lines on a pregnancy test confirm her worst fears, Miranda is stripped of her former life. She must make a choice with tremendous consequences and finally face her sister's demons and her own.
In this powerful debut novel, stunning new talent Holly Cupala illuminates the dark struggle of a girl who must let go of her past to find a way into her own future.

Don't Breathe a Word by Holly Cupala
Joy Delamere is suffocating...

From asthma, which has nearly claimed her life. From her parents, who will do anything to keep that from happening. From delectably dangerous Asher, who is smothering her from the inside out.

Joy can take his words—tender words, cruel words—until the night they go too far.

Now, Joy will leave everything behind to find the one who has offered his help, a homeless boy called Creed. She will become someone else. She will learn to survive. She will breathe... if only she can get to Creed before it’s too late.

Set against the gritty backdrop of Seattle’s streets and a cast of characters with secrets of their own, Holly Cupala’s powerful new novel explores the subtleties of abuse, the meaning of love, and how far a girl will go to discover her own strength.

Stop by and tell the authors Thank You on one of the following places they frequent.

Find Holly Cupala:

Find Joelle Anthony:

Now this blog is brand spankin' new and we really want to get the word out about it's existence.  I know it's under construction still, but I really want to start driving some traffic this direction.  For this reason we DO have some extra entries for you all to do just so we can get the word out there.

We do not have the google friend connect widget or Facebook, but you can subscribe by email or follow in a reader.  How, or even IF you choose to follow us is completely your choice.  But what we really want is your help in spreading the word.  I'm aware that not many care to post about contests on their blogs so here's what I was thinking.  For an extra entry into this awesome contest you can post this short bit on your own blog (along with the image):

Do you enjoy reading about book events and love seeing pictures taken at them?  Do you live in the Pacific NW, or even just love some authors that do?  Maybe you enjoy reading reviews/interviews/guest posts/giveaways and other goodies featuring authors from the Pacific NW?  And last of all, do you live in the Portland, Oregon or surrounding area and are looking for a YA book club?
The gals at Novels, News and Notes from Your Northwest Neighbors are looking for readers!  You do not have to live in the area to read the blog featuring the fabulous authors that we have in this corner of the world, they do not discriminate!  And right now they are giving away 3 fabulous prize packs featuring two awesome Pacific NW authors.  Go here to find out what you can win. 
Some (this is NOT a full list yet!) of the fabulous authors that you will find featured on Novels, News and Notes are:

Holly Cupala, Joelle Anthony, Stasia Kehoe, Lisa Schroeder, Colleen Houck, Kimberly Derting, Lisa Burstein, Inara Scott, April Henry, Maureen McQuerry, Cat Patrick, Conrad Wesselhoeft and many, many more.

So this is how it works:
You can get an entry just for stopping by +1
You can get 5 entries for copying the above image and paragraphs into a blog post and posting it. +5
You can get 3 entries for tweeting this post. +3
Open to US addresses only (sorry, we can't afford the shipping outside the country)
Must be 13 or older to enter.
Ends May 23rd, 2012

Enter in the Rafflecopter, comment entries will not be counted unless the rafflecopter isn't working.  Then say so in the comments please.

Disclaimer:  All items were provided free of charge by the authors.  We were not paid or compensated in any way.  We will be shipping the items to the winners but will not be held responsible if they are lost in the mail.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Don't Breathe a Word by Holly Cupala (review)

Don't Breathe a Word (paperback) by Holly Cupala
Released into the Wild on January 3rd, 2012 by HarperTeen
Page Count: 320

This book has been all over the place. I saw it at the bookstore, reviewed on several blogs and even in the Young Adult area of the library. After seeing it at the library I picked it up and thought the storyline was interesting. I was so excited to see that Holly was going to be visiting Powell's Bookstore in Beaverton for an Author Event and decided I would immediately read the book and attend. Turns out I was a little busy and read it the night before. When I say that, I mean that basically I was up all night reading it because I COULD NOT put it down. It was a great storyline. This story is not the easiest read but it does draw you in and lead you to a wonderful ending. I loved that Holly included so many local spots in her book. Having only moved here in October, I was happy to know many of the locations mentioned. Plus since I have just visited Seattle I was able to picture some of the places where the teens spent time.

The main character is Joy or Triste as she comes to be called, is a teen in a desperate situation who runs away to the streets of Seattle to escape. Not only is she running from an emotional situation she is running from her family.

Here's a blurb from the back cover:
'To escape, Joy sacrifices her suburban life to find the one who offered his help, a homeless boy called Creed. He introduces her to a world of fierce loyalty, to its rules of survival, and to love -- a world she won't easily let go.'

I was drawn into this book from the very beginning. Joy delves right into the problems she is trying to get away from while giving us memories along the way of what she's been dealing with. As she gets strong, I started cheering for her to stand up for herself and do what she thought was right.

I can not imagine what it's truly like to make the decisions that Joy and her street family make in this book. This sure did open my eyes as to what it's like to live on the streets and the decision that might lead a teen to end up there. I think this is a wonderful book dealing with a really tough issue. So I suggest you read it for yourself and see what I mean. And then I suggest you find a way to help the homeless in your area. Check out Holly's site for more information at and find ways to contribute at  You can also find Holly over on her Twitter.

***Disclaimer- I borrowed this book from the library. I am not being compensated nor was I asked to write about it.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.  

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Joëlle Anthony & Holly Cupala visit Portland

On Saturday May 6th at 2 p.m. at Powell's in Beaverton, OR we were honored to have the very lovely Joëlle Anthony and Holly Cupala visit for an author event to talk about their latest books.  Joëlle's new book is 'The Right and the Real' (shown above on the top right in red).  Holly's new book is 'Don't Breathe a Word' (shown top left with a face on the cover and yellow font)

Holly started us off with an introduction about herself and read an excerpt from her book that mentions Portland.  Thanks for the Portland shout out Holly!  Holly also mentioned that she has a new baby who is adorable by the way, and that she was lacking sleep.  Well we thought you were just great Holly and hope you get more sleep soon!

Joëlle shared from her first chapter, and warned us we needed to read the first 4 pages since she was starting on page 4.  :)  Joëlle also had some fun games where I was able to find a magnet on the bottom of a chair and won a lovely theo Mint Dark Chocolate bar.  She talked about how Fair Trade coffee and chocolate are important to her and her book.  After the event, Candace and I went to New Seasons and Candace bought 2 bars of chocolate. NOM.  I finally finished mine today and it was delicious.

Holly also talked about how she knows Joëlle

Candace of Candace's Book Blog with Holly Cupala

Holly signing 'Don't Breathe a Word'

Holly and Joëlle

We really enjoyed having the opportunity to hear both Joëlle and Holly share their books and time with us.  It was great fun and we really loved talking to them after the event as well as getting our books signed!  Thanks ladies for coming 3 hours south to Portland. We hope you come back soon!

If you missed Holly the first time she is COMING BACK to Portland on Saturday May 12 at 1pm over at A Children's Place!  Here are the event details.

You can find both these lovely ladies on Twitter: Holly and Joëlle

Spring Into The Future Event Recap

Spring Into the Future Event

These ladies were seriously a Hoot and a half. Yeah you heard me. A HOOT! 
They began discussing their books. 
Sharing what they were about to the new readers in the audience. 
Me thinks their minds were in the Gutters just a tad. 

When Anna Carey began sharing about her book she was calm as she described it. Til she got to where Eve runs away from her school and she "Meets a boy who....opens her up in a whole new way." .. * she then raises an eyebrow and repeats "opens her up. . in a whole new way!" And that was the audience cue to bust up laughing! .. Maybe you had to be there.

Up next was Tahereh Mafi. I was super excited to hear her talk because she is just hilarious to follow on twitter! She did not disappoint!! She gets into telling about her story. All of us totally entranced. And then she suddenly pauses, and her head snapped to the side and she went " ooooooh ... They brought Coffee!" (this is the above picture where they all began clapping at the employee bringing them said coffee) Coffee in hand she proceeded "'s a story about coffee "... *chuckles all around* Then HER mind followed Anna Carey's as she continues on with telling the audience what Shatter Me is all about " She gets a cellmate...and it's a boy... and... STUFF happens.." *she looks knowingly over at Anna Carey* And we all laughed more and more. 

Cynthia Hand continues with this highly amusing trend after she begins to tell the audience about Unearthly ' She meets a boy, and he is ... conveniently attractive. Funny how that works out." as she looks knowingly down the table at her fellow authors. 

I KNOW Veronica Rossi said something about boys as well. But she was first up, and my notebook wasn't out yet! I'm so sorry! 

Many questions were asked of the authors. And as long as they were non spoilery they willingly answered them all. Here is just a few! : 

When asked about TV show/ Movie Deals 

Veronica Rossi replied that WB has the option to The Under The Never Sky Trilogy. And that she believed all the other ladies with her had been approached about 
TV/Movie deals as well. They all confirmed this. 
- Which one would you love to see on TV or the big screen?!

When asked about how they come up with Character names the responses were: 

Anna Carey: Arden was a street sign she saw regularly. And Cylas was the name of her kindergarten. Eve is a biblical illusion. She then said she found out recently from her father that there was an Actress named Eve Arden. She felt this was confirmation that she gave the characters the correct names because she has always felt that Eve and Arden were two halves of a whole. 

Veronica Rossi: Roar is the name of a really good wine. - this brought on some chuckles between the authors. Aria is of course an Opera Singer. And Peregrine is a bird of prey (there was a much more in depth story that confirmed this name for her.. but I was unable to catch it all down on paper!) 

Tahereh kind of got off on a tangent.. Though it was HILARIOUS so I will of course share. But because of the add on story I'm unable to remember her reasons for the characters names! 

Shatter Me's Original Title was  * drum roll....*
Touching Juliette! 
Tahereh said she could not understand why she was being told she needed a new title. She loved it. Her Family loved it and it fit the story. Then she finally understood just how awkward the title sounded. And that it would bring up all kinds of questions. "Who's touching Juliette? Where? Does Juliette want to be touched!?" And if that was book #1 What were the titles of the other books going to be!? 
#2 Licking Warner?
#3 Washing Adam?

I think we can all agree we wouldn't mind a little of that in the upcoming books right? ;) 

Cynthia Hand then shared that Unearthly's Original title was Angel Blood. But then it was realized that it was much too dark for the story she had written. Her Character names come from family and friends. Christian and Tucker were names considered for her sons. She has a friend named Wendy and a friend named Corbet Fibbs (sorry if I spelled it wrong! I tried to track it down and failed)  And Clara was a name that she came up with when she was looking for something with an Old Fashioned feel.

What are the Hardest scenes to write?

*Cynthia Hand dislikes writing romance. 
*Tahereh Mafi on the other hand loves writing romance "Kissing scenes are always fun!" But dislikes writing scenes where people die.
*Anna Carey dislikes writing romantic/racy scenes. She feels uncomfortable and wants to give her characters privacy!
*Veronica Rossi loves kissing scenes. But dislikes writing scenes that are dark, unfair and unjust. 

OK so .. I may have focused on the more romance/boy related aspects of the event. But the authors did too! They answered many more questions. But that would be a MUCH longer blog post :) I loved seeing everyone that came out to the event. I saw a little boy shouting "MOMMA THAT"S CYNTHIA" and an elderly woman probably in her 80's carrying up a stack of books to be signed. It makes me smile to see the variety of readers and fans that these authors are gaining! 

I stayed behind to get pictures and some extra swag to share soon :) So now here are some pictures! 

 From left to right we have:
Ephrielle from Hope, Love, and Happy Endings 
Me ( Michelle ) from The Passionate Bookworm 
And Vy! from Vy's Blog 
All of us are Northwest YA Book Blogger's! I loved spending time with these ladies :)

Photos taken by Michelle, Vy's Father, and one B&N Employee :)