Nightspell by Leah Cypress

Tuesday June 28, 2011

by Leah Cypress
May 2011
Greenwillow Books
Goodreads: Here be ghosts, the maps said, and that was all.

In this haunted kingdom, ghosts linger—not just in the deepest forests or the darkest caverns, but alongside the living, as part of a twisted palace court that revels all night and sleeps through the daylight hours.

Darri's sister was trapped in this place of fear and shadows as a child. And now Darri has a chance to save her sister . . . if she agrees to a betrothal with the prince of the dead. But nothing is simple in this eerie kingdom—not her sister, who has changed beyond recognition; not her plan, which will be thrown off track almost at once; and not the undead prince, who seems more alive than anyone else.

In a court seething with the desire for vengeance, Darri holds the key to the balance between life and death. Can her warrior heart withstand the most wrenching choice of all?

Pontifications...I really enjoyed the awesome writing and originality of Mistwood so I was really excited when I received Nightspell in the mail for review. Although the stories are completely different I enjoyed this read every bit as much as the first!

The concept of a kingdom ruled and inhabited by mostly the dead risen from the grave to avenge their murders is so AWESOME! Just like Mistwood there is tons of mystery and're never quite sure who is on who's side and who really are the good guys???

If you're hoping for bits of Mistwood crossover, sorry....maybe in the next book? I hope so! I would love to see those characters mingle, lots of interesting possibilities there :)

The three main characters are siblings Darri, Callie and Varis, who are each used in various ways by their father and sent to eerie kingdom of Ghostland in hopes of a marriage proposal to unite their two lands. What they find when they arrive is that nothing is as it seems and that they are on their own against a plot that may or may not involve death to them all.

Both of these books are a must read for fantasy lovers! Appropriate for ages 13 and up.

***A Kirkus Starred review book.

The first book:

The Shifter is an immortal creature bound by an ancient spell to protect the kings of Samorna. When the realm is peaceful, she retreats to the Mistwood. But when she is needed she always comes.

Isabel remembers nothing. Nothing before the prince rode into her forest to take her back to the castle. Nothing about who she is supposed to be, or the powers she is supposed to have.

Prince Rokan needs Isabel to be his Shifter. He needs her ability to shift to animal form, to wind, to mist. He needs her lethal speed and superhuman strength. And he needs her loyalty—because without it, she may be his greatest threat.
Isabel knows that her prince is lying to her, but she can't help wanting to protect him from the dangers and intrigues of the court . . . until a deadly truth shatters the bond between them.

Now Isabel faces a choice that threatens her loyalty, her heart . . . and everything she thought she knew.

In My Mailbox (65)

Sunday June 25, 2011
In My Mailbox hosted by The Story Siren and inspired by Alea @ Pop Culture Junkie is a way to share what new books you get each week.  They can be books you borrowed from the library, bought, traded, won or received for review.

Woow, it has been awhile since I've participated in IMM....between preparing for BEA this year, my son's high school graduation and end of year stuff at the library, I've been a little, well, distracted :) Soooooooooooooooooooo it may seem like I have an abnormal amount of books but this is about a months worth! Here goes............

Wonder Struck by Brian Selznick....funny story about this one, every day I went to the Scholastic booth at BEA they had already ran out of review copies. I was super excited to find a nicely boxed one delivered right on my doorstep when I got home!


Thursday June 16, 2010

Okay, I know this is a little late but for some reason the end of year stuff here at school is getting the best of me this year! Ummm could it be that I'm trying to inventory over 10,000 books by myself while middle school kids who have ants in their pants to start summer are in here driving me crazy??!! Yes! That's it :) anyway....

The winner of the signed copy of Passion by Lauren Kate is..............

Spellbound by Books!

Congrats Melissa and thanks to everyone who entered!

Sparrow Road by Sheila O'Connor

Tuesday June 7, 2011

Sparrow Road
by Sheila O'Connor
May 2011
Putnam Juvenile
It's the summer before seventh grade, and twelve-year- old Raine O’Rourke's mother suddenly takes a job hours from home at mysterious Sparrow Road– a creepy, dilapidated mansion that houses an eccentric group of artists. Secrets surround the move. Raine cannot understand why her mother gives up her job in the city to work as a summer cook for the artists, why her mother is so familiar with Viktor Berglund, the owner and caretaker of the mansion; and why her mother will not allow Raine to accompany her shopping into the nearby town of Comfort .

Though sorely missing her grandfather, whom she and her mother left behind in Milwaukee,Raine tries to make sense of her new surroundings and eventually forges friendships with a cast of quirky characters including the outrageous and funky Josie.

Together, Raine and Josie decide to solve the mysteries of Sparrow Road–from its haunting history as an orphanage to the secrets of its silent, brooding owner, Viktor. What bond holds Lillian and Viktor together? Who are the orphans Lillian talks about? What brought the orphans to Sparrow Road, and where did they go when they left?

As Raine discovers her artist self, and she passes the days writing the story of an orphan boy, Lyman, who lived in the mansion; however, intertwined with Lyman’s story is Raine’s search for missing pieces of her own life. Raine’s life is turned upside down when her mother reveals the truth about their move to Sparrow Road.

I really enjoyed this coming of age story that is part mystery but mostly a heartwarming tale about relationships and the mending of broken bonds. Perfection! I recommend it highly for ages ten and up :)

***Kirkus Review starred

Passion by Lauren Kate...Signed Hardcover Giveaway!!!

Friday June 3, 2011

Passion (Fallen #3)
by Lauren Kate
June 14, 2011
Goodreads summary: "Every single lifetime, I'll choose you. Just as you have chosen me. Forever."

Luce would die for Daniel. And she has. Over and over again. Throughout time, Luce and Daniel have found each other, only to be painfully torn apart: Luce dead, Daniel left broken and alone. But perhaps it doesn’t need to be that way. . . .

Luce is certain that something—or someone—in a past life can help her in her present one. So she begins the most important journey of this lifetime . . . going back eternities to witness firsthand her romances with Daniel . . . and finally unlock the key to making their love last.

Cam and the legions of angels and Outcasts are desperate to catch Luce, but none are as frantic as Daniel. He chases Luce through their shared pasts, terrified of what might happen if she rewrites history.

Because their romance for the ages could go up in flames . . . forever.

Sweeping across centuries, PASSION the third novel in the unforgettably epic FALLEN series hits stores Tuesday 14th June 2011.

Win a Gorgeous New SIGNED Hardcover
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spread the news and tweet :)

Contest ends on June 10!
Good Luck
and thanks for stopping by!

Kinda Late New York Trip and BEA Summary

June 2, 2011

Wow! I can't believe its already June and it seems weird that the trip I have been planning for months has come and gone. Talk about a whirlwind vacation! We had a blast and enjoyed every minute of being in New York!

With this being my first trip to BEA I certainly learned a lot and what changes I would make when I go again. First of all I definitely need to get there earlier! We arrived Monday afternoon but I missed a few early publisher events that I had been invited to that happened early in the morning before we got there. I will also make sure the hotel we stay at has free internet! Seriously for the amount of money I paid to stay at the Westin I couldn't believe they wanted me to pay DAILY for internet! I mean really, even the Holiday Inn has free WiFi! So due to my refusal to pay for internet...(hey I have to draw the line somewhere!) I didn't give the daily updates that I planned on. So here is a very brief summary of what I did!

As a first year attendee all I can say is WOW! When I first arrived there was quite the line...
I met some very nice people while waiting! 

I loved the steps walking up to the show...these books are super popular in my library!

I spent a lot of time in autograph lines and I always felt like the people behind me were silently sending me messages...."hurry, hurry, hurry!" In fact, that is a pretty good motto for the whole show! I did take a picture of Alexandra Bracken signing Brightly Woven because she has a whole group fans in my library who adore the book.

 I waited in plenty of lines and talked to plenty of people but next year I think I'll be a little bit more prepared. 

I know there has been quite a bit of chatter on Twitter and other blogs about the rudeness and grabiness of some BEA attendees and I have to admit I did experience this debacle here and there but not enough to ruin my entire experience!

I think what stands out the most is when I was waiting in line to get a signed copy of Passion by Lauren Kate (Fallen #3) when a lady with smaller publisher in a booth near Random House freaked out on someone for taking books off their shelves and sticking them in her bag. I stood there with my mouth literally wide open in shock as the lady righteously informed the attendee that her books were for people "in the business" not people who just wanted free stuff. Now I'm sure the lady from the publisher is a nice lady....I could tell she had just had ENOUGH!

I know that I was very careful to only pick up stuff that I knew I would read and review. I DID pick up a few adult titles from Harlequin because I got mixed up and thought it was when Rachel Vincent and Gena Showalter were signing there YA titles but I didn't feel too bad considering I'll buy those titles for the library :) Here's what I picked up...

Yes, I am super excited about all my great reads...there are some awesome YA AND middle grade books coming out soon!

Now here are some picks of some of the stuff I saw and did in NYC!!!

Carmines has the BEST stuffed mushrooms EVER!
All I can say is.......AWESOMENESS!!!