Monday, March 30, 2009

The Monday Muse: Cupcakes, An Awesome Author, and a Delicious Giveaway!

Welcome to this week's Monday Muse, and last giveaway of this month's March Madness feature (details below)! Today's amazing/wonderful/talented visitor is Laura Schaefer, author of The Teashop Girls! I've already conducted an interview with her here, but I thought I'd shake up the usual interviews with something more fun and Laura sharing a favorite recipe that you'd find at teatime at the Steeping Leaf, the teashop in Laura's book! So grab a cup of tea, a comfy seat, and have ingredients at the ready, because this recipe sounds seriously yummy.....
Laura's Apple Cream Cheese Cupcakes 

From Laura: "Here's a cupcake recipe I just made. It's something I invented by modifying an apple coffeecake recipe. The cupcakes turn out slightly messy, but delicious!"
8 tablespoons butter, divided
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon milk
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large tart apple, cored and chopped
1 (8 ounce) package of cream cheese, softened
1 cup sifted confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 F
2. Prepare a cupcake pan with paper liners.
3. Cream 5 tablespoons butter and 1 cup sugar. Add egg and milk and beat well. Stir in flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and apples. Batter will be stiff. Spoon into prepared cupcake pan. Bake about 25 minutes.
4. In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and remaining butter. Mix inn the vanilla, then gradually stir in the confectioners' sugar. Frost the cupcakes after they've cooled. Makes 12.
Yummy! Sounds great, Laura! I will definitely have to check that recipe you all know, I'm a big fan of cupcakes (especially carrot cake ones.....yum...). 
Interested in reading The Teashop Girls? Well, I have one beautiful, lovely ARC to give away, courtesy of Laura for the last March Madness contest (thanks, Laura!). Rules are the usual:
+1 for becoming a follower
+2 for already being a follower
+1 for posting on your blog
...To enter, post a comment here with your email address and your favorite dessert, tea, or teatime snack. Remember, all March Madness entries will be counted by April 6, so don't forget to enter to win books by Melissa Walker, Lisa Greenwald, and Kimberly Pauley as well!
Click here for a review of The Teashop Girls
Click here for a previous interview with Laura

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Parties and Potions

Title: Parties and Potions
Author: Sarah Mlynowski
Pages: 341
Delacorte Press, 2009
Genre: Contemporary Fiction/Fantasy
Recommended to: Teen girls, 12-16, who want a magical read
Rating: A!

   Life's good for high school sophomore Rachel Weinstein: last year, she learned her mom and sister, Miri, were witches, and over the summer developed powers of her own. Her longtime crush Raf Kosravi is finally her boyfriend, and together they take the place of the class's cutest couple. 
   Except this year, there's a new girl, Wendaline, in school--and she's a witch, too! Except she's totally clueless about the "notch" (non-witch, think "Muggle") world, and thinks it's perfectly acceptable to wear cloaks and pointy hats to class, along with disappearing in the blink of an eye, zapping herself into the cafeteria, and blabbing her secret to the whole school!
   But as well as being an all-around pain, Wendaline teaches Rachel and Miri about the teen witch world when the sisters sign up for Samsorta lessons--classes that prepare them for a magical type of debutante ball that introduces them to the witch world! As well as learning spells, potions, and witchy etiquette, Rachel and Miri meet other teen witches like them whose idea of "hanging out" is going to Paris for dinner, partying on the Golden Gate, poofing over to the Swiss Alps for skiing (on a school night!), and zapping themselves to Hawaii to catch some waves. The sisters even meet cute witch boys (aka warlocks)....but what about Raf, who doesn't even know Rachel's secret?
   I love this series. For instance, this book (the fourth in the "Magic in Manhattan" series), was fun from start to finish. I loved all the quirky new characters introduced in this novel, the creative spells, the funny witch lingo (norlock! Brixta! Samsorta!), and the sparkling creativity that made this book such a blast to read.
   Let's start with the atmosphere: Mlynowski created an awesome witch world that just glowed with so much originality that I wish I could be a witch so I could see all the fun places and experience all the things that went on in the story, from all the Simsorta parties, to Lozacea, back to Manhattan...
   I'll admit, when I started this one, I was thinking, The previous three books were so amazing, what if this one is terrible? I was pleasantly surprised. In fact, it was the best out of all of the books! I was worried about this book being repetitive, about Mlynowski not having anything new to write about, but the new characters and plot threads just made the novel so much more refreshing and unique from the rest of the series! Rachel really developed as a character, from kind of immature and whiny to realistic and fun to read about.
   At a glance, Parties and Potions looks like a big novel, but the plot moved quickly. There was always more action to come (I guess that's what life is like when you're a witch)!
   Overall, I am dying for more books in the series. *drops to knees* Please, Sarah, please!  One word to describe this one? Amazing. Or fun. Or hilarious. Enchanting. Fast. Light. Awesome! People who haven't read this series yet, you have a magical read in store for you! (:

PS. I won't be here for the next four days, but I'll be back on Sunday...So expect the weekly Monday Muse, giveaway (last one of March Madness!!!), and more reviews to come...Have a great end of the week! (:

Waiting on Wednesday!

Shrinking Violet by Danielle Joseph
Coming out May 5, 2009

   High school senior Teresa Adams is so painfully shy that she dreads speaking to anyone in the hallways or getting called on in class. But in the privacy of her bedroom with her iPod in hand, she rocks out--doing mock broadcasts for Miami's hottest FM radio station, which happens to be owned by her stepfather. When a slot opens up at The SLAM, Tere surprises herself by blossoming behind the mike into confident, sexy Sweet T--and to everyone's shock, she's a hit! Even Gavin, the only guy in school who she dares to talk to, raves about the mysterious DJ's awesome taste in music. But when The SLAM announces a songwriting contest--and a prom date with Sweet T is the grand prize--Sweet T's dream could turn into Tere's worst nightmare...
Doesn't this just sound so amazing and unique? I love how fun and different the plot sounds from your typical YA book. I'm super-psyched about this one!

Stupid Cupid by Rhonda Stapleton
Coming out December 2009

   Felecity's no ordinary teen matchmaker...she's a cupid!
   Felecity Walker believes in true love. That's why she applies for a gig at the matchmaking company Cupid's Hollow. But when Felecity gets the job, she learns she isn't just a matchmaker...she's a cupid! (There's more than one of them, you know.)
   Armed with a hot pink, tricked-out PDA infused with the latest in cupid magic (love arrows shot through email), Felecity works to meet her quota of successful matches. But when she bends the rules of cupidity by matching her best friend Maya with three different boys at once, disaster strikes. Felecity needs to come up with a plan to set it all right, pronto, before she gets fired, and before Maya ends up with her heart split in three.
Doesn't this one just sound delightfully fun? I mean, how could you pass up a light, funny-sounding story about a teen cupid? In fact, it kind of reminds me of some of my favorite books, Sarah Mlynowski's Magic in Manhattan: magic, romance... Honestly, I'm dying for this one! Rhonda, got any ARCs to spare? (:
PS. Isn't the cover just adorable? And I love the titles: the other two books are called Flirting with Disaster and Pucker Up. Genius? I know!

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Monday Muse: Interview with Kimberly Pauley & Giveaway!

Today's Muse: Kimberly Pauley
Author of: Sucks to Be Me
Want to win a copy? Details for the "March Madness" giveaway below!
Bookworm: Welcome, Kimberly and Happy Monday! To start, will you please tell us what made you want to write about vampires?
Kimberly: Well, honestly, I'd never really "wanted" to write about vampires. I never would have thought that my first book would be about them, in fact! Shoot, if I'd known how big vampires were going to explode (I wrote the book in 2005 before Twilight), I don't know if I would've written it at all. But, basically, I had an idea that sounded fun and I ran with it. It was a lot of fun to write.

Bookworm: If you could meet any characters from your book, who would you choose?
Kimberly: Probably George because I really like his sense of humor. And Uncle Mortie, since I think he'd be a total trip.

Bookworm: How long did it take to write the novel?
Kimberly: Um...probably about 6 to 8 months, give or take. I was working on some other things at the time, so it's hard to say exactly.

Bookworm: What was/were your favorite book(s) of 2008?
Kimberly: That's a really hard question. Normally, it would be a really easy one, but we had a baby in 2008 and I didn't do nearly the reading I normally do. Not even close! It's hard to even remember a non-board book that I read! I did post a few reviews on YA Books Central, but this year I plan on reading much more and keeping track better, too. However, the last books I read were Scat by Carl Hiassen (great, as always), Anything But Typical by Nora Raleigh Baskin (loved her first book and I really liked this one too), and Losers by Matthue Roth (lots better than I thought it would be, very fun read). 

Bookworm: If you were a vampire, what would you miss most about the human world?
Kimberly: Sleep!

Bookworm: I'd have to agree....although it seems like we never get enough of it! (: So, what would your favorite thing be if you were a vampire?
Kimberly: Not gaining any weight! Well, and living essentially forever. As a writer, I just wanna KNOW what happens next. And next, and next, and next.

Bookworm: Who's your favorite non-Sucks to Be Me vampire character?
Kimberly: Hmmmmmmmmm. I stopped reading vampire fiction after I found out my novel was going to be published, so that makes this question a wee bit harder. Maybe I'll go weird and say Mina Harker from The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen...

Bookworm: So, what's next for Mina and the rest of the Sucks to Be Me
Kimberly: I'm working on the sequel now. The Vampire Relocation Agency (VRA) has a big change in store for her and Raven (remember Raven?) has really got it in for her. Serena is going to have some drama with a capital D and she also runs into a new vampire or two that she's not sure are friend or foe (but sure are cute).

Bookworm: Sounds very exciting--I can't wait to read on! Well, thanks so much for stopping by, Kimberly! I can't wait to see what happens next!
  Want to sink your teeth into a copy of Sucks to Be Me (trust me, you'll want to--it's that good!)? To enter, comment below with a way to contact you and your answer to the following question:
Who is YOUR favorite vampire character?
Remember, it's +1 for becoming a follower, +2 if you're already a follower, and +1 for posting about it on your blog/website. All March Madness contests end on April 6, midnight PST!
If you haven't checked out the other giveaways (for Melissa Walker's Violet in Private and Lisa Greenwald's My Life in Pink and Green), go on over right now (links in my sidebar)!
   Don't forget to check back next week for the last interview/giveaway of March! And have a great week. (:

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Thank You!

   Happy Sunday, everyone! I know, I know--I'm livin' it up and doing TWO posts today because I was nominated for a few awards and wanted to let everyone know how grateful I am! I am only nominating two people back for each award...keeping it simple, but even if I didn't nominate you, I STILL LOVE YOU!!! <3

First, I was nominated by Insert Book Title Here for the Sisterhood Award--many hugs back, thanks so much!
The Rules:
1) Put the logo on your blog/post
2) Nominate up to 10 blogs (hehe...) which show great attitude and/or gratitude!
3) Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.
4) Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
5) Remember to link to the person from whom your received your award.
And my nominees are....(Drumroll, please):
- Mrs. Magoo of Mrs. Magoo Reads simply because she is one of my BFFs and her blog ROCKS!
- Hope of Hope's Bookshelf because she is such a nice person, and has tons of great reviews!

The awesome Cecilia of The Epic Rat nominated me for the Proximidade Award. Thanks, I'm so honored (and isn't the icon pretty?)!
Here's the rules:
This blog invests and believes in the PROXIMITY--nearness in space, time, and relationships. These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement! Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers! Deliver this award to 8 bloggers who must choose 8 more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award.
And I choose:
- Shalonda of Shalonda's Blog because she is totally sweet (and has some awesome bookshelves...)
- GreenBeanTeenQueen because she is super-nice and has a great blog with really well-written reviews!

  Lastly, Hope of Hope's Bookshelf nominated me for the Your Blog is Fabulous award. Thanks so much, Hope!
I've already posted a list of the things I love/am obsessed with, so you can check that out if you want (I know, I know, I'm being totally lazy today!). I nominate the following people, who will also list their five addictions with the usual linkage and nominations on their own blogs:
- Kristi of The Story Siren because....well, she is fabulous!
- Alea of Pop Culture I really have to explain? (:

...Oh, and I'm sorry about my poor linkage to other blogs. For some weird reason, I accidentally deleted my URL bar on Safari on my computer and now I can't type in any URLs (or copy and paste them, for that matter).....any advice/answers? HELP!

In My Mailbox!

Inspired by Alea and started by the Story Siren, In My Mailbox explores the contents of a reviewer's mailbox weekly! Thanks, Kristi, this is so much fun!

From Random House:

Fate by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
   For the past two years, Bailey Morgan has lived a double life: high school student by day, ancient mystical being by night. As the third Fate, Bailey literally controls the fate of the world, but as Plain Old Bailey, her life is falling apart. She's got a tattoo that was supposed to be temporary (but isn't), friendships that were supposed to last forever (but might not), and no idea what her future holds after high school graduation.
   Then Bailey meets the rest of the Sidhe, an ancient race defined by their power, beauty, and sinister habit of getting what they want at any cost. But before Bailey knows it, she's being drawn into an otherworldly web more complicated than anything she weaves as a mortal Fate.
Oooh, this sounds so good! And isn't the cover just gorgeous? I love it! I haven't read the first book, Tattoo, so I just requested it at the library. Many thanks to Random Buzzers!

Highway to Hell (Maggie Quinn: Girl vs. Evil) by Rosemary Clement-Moore
   Maggie Quinn was expecting to find plenty of trouble with Lisa over Spring Break. Give a girl a bikini, a beachfront hotel, and an absent boyfriend, and it's as good as a road map to the dark side. But Maggie doesn't have to go looking for trouble. Trouble has started looking for her. One dead cow and a punctured gas tank later, she and Lisa and stuck in Dulcina, Texas--a town so small that it has an owner. And lately life in this small town hasn't been all that peaceful. An eerie predator is stalking the ranchland.
   Everyone in town has a theory, but not even Maggie's psychic mojo can provide any answers. And the longer the girls are stranded, the more obvious it becomes that something is seriously wrong. Only no one--not even Maggie's closest ally--wants to admit that they could have been forced on a detour down the highway to hell.
Yet another YA series (and another really cool cover!) that I need to sink my teeth into! I've heard of these books before, but I'll definitely have to check out the first now!

Just One Wish by Janette Rallison
   Seventeen-year-old Annika Truman knows the power of positive thinking. With a little brother who has cancer, it's all she ever hears about. And in order to help Jeremy, she will go to the ends of the earth (or at least as far as Hollywood) to help him believe he can survive his upcoming surgery. 
   But Annika's plan to convince Jeremy that a magic genie will grant him any wish throws her a curveball when he unexpectedly wishes that his television idol would visit him. Annika suddenly finds herself in the desperate predicament of getting access to a hunky star actor and convincing him to come home with her. Piece of cake, right?
I love how this one sounds! It seems like Janette Rallison always has the best plot ideas. I'm also using this book for an upcoming school book report, but I've been wanting to read it for a while. Thanks, Mom, for buying it for me at Barnes and Noble! (:

Random House also sent me Brutal by Michael Harmon and Surface Tension by Brent Runyon, but I'm feeling super-lazy, so I don't feel like typing up the summaries. (:

So, what did you guys get this week?

Friday, March 20, 2009

Celebrity Skin

Title: Celebrity Skin: Fame Unlimited
Author: Liane Bonin
Pages: 278
Berkeley Jam, 2007
Genre: Contemporary Fiction/Chick Lit
Recommended to: Girls, 13-16
Rating: B
Guest review by: Megan Daly

   Today, Taylor Christensen is hot, glamorous, and famous. Yesterday, not that much. Erin Kim knew Taylor when she was a big dork: braces, glasses, the works. She was there for Taylor when she needed a friend, and has been there ever since. Now that Taylor's star status is growing, she needs a friend more than ever to deal with her overbearing stage mom, paparazzi, and a bad boy. As Erin watches Taylor destroy herself, she struggles to tell the truth as it is.
   I loved how Liane Bonin, the author, brought Erin Kim, a normal teenage girl, into the life of a Hollywood star. This made the book feel more relatable, not just another "confessions of a Hollywood star" type of book. (Although I do love them). Coming from Erin's point of view, we get the other side of the story of a Hollywood star.
   When I first saw this book, I thought to myself, "Ugh. Bad cover. Looks a little weird." Very true. The cover and title are so off from the story. Celebrity Skin? No way. Anyways, I actually liked this book a lot more than I thought. I looked like just another chicklity, fluffy book, but some aspects were deep and sincere. So if you see this book at your local bookstore, go get it. But don't make a special trip.
   Thanks to Liane and the Faye Bender Literary Agency for sending me a copy! And more importantly, thanks to my (awesome, wonderful, amazing) friend Megan Daly for the great guest review. Both Megan and I love these guilt-free, fun Hollywood tales so I knew I'd have to feature her take on the book on my blog.
    Megan has recently started her own block, Chicklita, so be sure to check it out--she is one reviewer to watch! <3

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Waiting on Um...Thursday

Sleepaway Girls by Jen Calonita
Coming out May 1, 2009

   When Sam's best friend gets her first boyfriend, she's not ready to spend the summer listening to the two of them call each other "pookie".  Sick of being a third wheel, Sam applies to be a counselor-in-training at Whispering Pines camp in the New York Catskills. But what she doesn't realize is that it's not going to be all Kumbaya sing-alongs and gooey s'mores. If Ashley, the alpha queen of Whispering Pines, doesn't ruin Sam's summer, then her raging crush on the surfer-blond and flirtatious Hunter just might. At least she has playful Cole, who's always teasing her, but is oh-so-comfortable to hang out with, and the singular gang of girls that become fast friends with Sam--they call themselves the Sleepaway Girls.
Why do I want to read this one?
a) I love Jen Calonita (Secrets of My Hollywood Life...yay!)
b) I love light summer reads
c) I love summer camp fun!
I definitely can't wait for this one!!! (:

The Amaranth Enchantment by Julie Berry
Came out on March 3, 2009

   When Lucinda Chapdelaine was a small child, her parents left for the royal ball and never returned. Ever since, Lucinda has been stuck in perpetual servitude at her evil aunt's jewelry store. Then, on the very same day, a mysterious visitor and an even more bizarre piece of jewelry both enter the shop, setting in motion a string of twists and turns that will forever alter Lucinda's path. In this magical story filled with delightful surprises, Lucinda will dance at the royal ball, fall under the Amaranth Witch's spell, avenge her parents' death, and maybe-just maybe-capture the heart of a prince.
I know that this one already came out, but I'm definitely ordering it off of Amazon! I absolutely love fairytales, and doesn't this one sound amazing in particular? To anyone who's read it: How was it? Sigh. Another add to my humongous wishlist...(:

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Monday Muse: Interview with Regina Scott

Today's Muse: Regina Scott
Author of: La Petite Four (review here)
Bookworm: Welcome, Regina! For starters, please tell us what your inspiration was for the book. 
Regina: I had actually written another book, published in 1999, where an art teacher is required to play escort to four of her students when they visit a handsome earl over Easter holiday and ends up falling in love with the earl herself. La Petite Four were the four girls. Someone was threatening the earl's life, and Lady Emily and her friends ended up solving the mystery. I wanted to write their story ever since!

Bookworm: So, which girl of the La Petite Four are you most like?
Regina: Tough question. There's a little of me in all four girls. I look more like Lady Emily, I love fashion like Priscilla, I'm an avid reader like Ariadne, and I love to fence like Daphne.

Bookworm: If you traveled back in time to when the book was set, what would you miss most about the modern world?
Regina: Toilets. :)

Bookworm: What is your favorite genre of book?
Regina: Romantic adventure. I love a rollicking plot, but I just can't be satisfied unless there's a hero and a heroine falling in love in the process.

Bookworm: Describe your dream dress!
Regina: Another tough question. My costume collection already fills more than a third of my closet. I can tell you the one that I'm most in love with right now. My husband bought it for me for Valentine's Day. It looks rather medieval or perhaps 16th century pirate, with a corseted waist and a cutaway skirt that falls from the hips. It's made of heavy fuchsia satin embroidered with multicolored butterflies. In it I feel truly swoon worthy.

Bookworm: What is your favorite place to travel?
Regina: England. Now, that didn't surprise you, did it.

Bookworm: Will you be writing any more books for teens? Perhaps a sequel *winkwink*?
Regina: I hope so! My editor is considering a sequel to La Petite Four, but this was a very different book for my publisher, so they're waiting a bit before putting out a second. And I have a proposal for another young adult book making the rounds as we speak. Say a prayer!

Bookworm: Oooh, I definitely can't wait. Thanks for joining us this Monday, Regina! (:
Now...regarding March Madness:
Both Regina and I don't have any copies of La Petite Four to spare for giveaway for this week's addition to the contest, so I'm sorry about that. But don't worry. We still have two more Mondays in March, which means two more interviews/giveaways until the contest closes, so make sure to enter for your book of choice by MONDAY, APRIL 6! If you haven't already, go check out the Melissa Walker and Lisa Greenwald interviews for the chance of winning their book! See you next Monday!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Happy Sunday!

Hi everyone! I know I've been MIA for a while (4 days, but still) because I've had a nasty headache. ): So all I've been doing is watching movies, eating ice cream, and sleeping. And trying to make up schoolwork. 
Here's what's new:
- No Waiting On Wednesday this week. Just because I didn't feel like it. (:
- My mailbox hates me this week. So I didn't get any books=no In My Mailbox post.
- The Monday Muse author interview/giveaway may be a bit late this week, seeing as I just emailed the author with the questions. 
- ...But look forward to interviews and possible giveaways with Regina Scott, author of La Petite Four and Kimberly Pauley, author of Sucks to Be Me!
- I've moved the final day you can enter the March Madness giveaways to April 6, so if you haven't entered to win a copy of Melissa Walker's Violet in Private or Lisa Greenwald's My Life in Pink and Green yet, go check it out!

See you soon!
(: Bookworm

Thursday, March 12, 2009

La Petite Four

Title: La Petite Four
Author: Regina Scott
Pages: 235
Razor Bill, July 2008
Genre: Historical Fiction/Mystery/Romance
Recommended to: Readers 12 years old and up
Rating: B+

   Lady Emily Southwell and her three best friends Priscilla Tate and Ariadne and Daphne Courdebas (aka "La Petite Four") can take on anything together, whether it's an annoying classmate, an unfortunate outfit, or planning the event of the season. But when Emily is unwillingly engaged to the handsome Lord Robert pre-London Season instead of pursuing her dream of becoming a famous artist, she knows she's got to get out of it someway, so that she can attend Priscilla's coming-out Ball that could be the party of the year and follow her dream of painting--but how? La Petite Four hatch an investigation, following Lord Robert all over London to expose his dark side that could possibly break the engagement and save Emily from a terrible future....But when Emily meets a mysterious-yet-handsome man on Lord Robert's trail, she realizes that she really has to get out of marrying him...
   My thoughts: I really liked this one, from the glamorous balls to the suspense to the great characters! I loved Lady Emily's group of friends: the flirtacious Priscilla, scholarly Ariadne and energetic Daphne just simply boosted the plot and made it more fun. James was so lovable, while at the same time I hated the smarmy Lord Robert right from the start. They were all so realistic and strongly described, all with their own little quirks (accents, personality, etc) that made it so fun to read!
    Ms. Scott writes beautifully, with great descriptions, flowing dialogue, and a quickly-moving plot that really gets you flipping the pages towards the end.
   At some parts, I was a bit confused regarding all the twists and turns of the story, sometimes not making sense to me. My other problem was the climax: there was a ton of rising action, and then the climax was so short and kind of disappointing and obvious, with no real action and falling resolutions. The ending was a little too rushed and la-dee-dah happy ending-ish. 
   I have to hand it to Ms. Scott: Now I'm dying to read more books on the 180os "Season"! It's a good thing, because both Marissa Doyle's Bewitching Season and Sarah McLean's The Season are on my shelf! Yay! (:
   Overall, I was pleasantly surprised at La Petite Four. I couldn't stop reading, the plot was super-addicting towards the ends, and I particularly enjoyed the Lord Robert-stalking scenes--I loved how bold and smart Lady Emily and her friends were while at the same time not being stuffy and boring. Nicely done, Ms. Scott!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I Feel Loved....And Updates!

Thanks so much to Insert Book Title Here, KD of KD's Library, Ashley of Ashley's Bookshelf, and Stephanie of Juiciliciousss Reviews for nominating me for the I Love Your Blog Award. I feel so loved. (:

So, here are the rules:
1) Add the logo of the award to your blog
2) Add a link to the person/people who awarded it to you
3) Nominate at least 7 other blogs
4) Add links to those blogs on your blog
5) Leave a message for your nominees on their blogs

I love so many awesome blogs, so it's so hard just to pick seven. So here are my nominees:

Senfaye of A Maze of Books--she does an amazing job on reviews and interviews
Erika Lynn at Kiss My Book--she always comments on my blog and is so nice!
SpeedReader at My Favorite Author--I just love that blog, it's so pretty....
Jenny at Wondrous Reads--another great blog with a fun US vs. UK feature that I LOVE!
LisaMay from Look At That Book--I love her fun features and great reviews!
...I know, I know that's only five but cut me some slack....I'm totally tired! (:

Also, don't forget to enter the first two contests of my newest feature, March Madness!
Click here to enter to win a copy of Lisa Greenwald's My Life in Pink and Green
Click here to enter to win a copy of Melissa Walker's Violet in Private

Other News...
I'm almost done reading Regina Scott's La Petite Four and really liking it! Expect a review (and possibly an interview/giveaway) soon...

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Monday Muse: Lisa Greenwald and Giveaway!

Today's Muse: Lisa Greenwald
Author of: My Life in Pink and Green (review here)
Want to win a copy of MLIPAG? Rules at the bottom!
Bookworm: Welcome, Lisa! So, to start off, please tell us: Is My Life in Pink and Green based off of a personal experience?
Lisa: MLIPAG is a little bit based on personal experience. My grandfather was a pharmacist and my mom would help out at the store on weekends and during school vacations. I loved hearing their stories about pharmacy life.

Bookworm: How are you and Lucy alike? How are you different?
Lisa: I think Lucy and I are alike in some ways. We both worry and try to help and make situations better. But Lucy is a little bit more confident than I am. She doesn't get upset when people don't invite her to parties and I really do. I hate being left out. Lucy doesn't worry about stuff like that as much as I do. It's a little embarrassing to admit that, but it's the truth!

Bookworm: Who is your favorite character in the story?
Lisa: My favorite character is Sunny because even though she's not the narrator, she's a huge part of the story. She does so much to help Lucy and is such a good friend. I also really love her family.

Bookworm: I agree--Sunny is great! Anyway, if the book were made into a movie, who would be your choices to play each character?
Lisa: I think Abigail Breslin or Miranda Cosgrove would be good for Lucy, but they're getting a little too old for the part, so we'll see. I'd have an open casting call to find the perfect Sunny and Yamir. For Lucy's mom, I'd pick either Laura Linney or Mary Louise Parker. For Lucy's grandma, I first thought Mimi Weddell but now I'm thinking Ellen Burstyn. [Bookworm: I totally agree on Abigail and Ellen--they'd rock those parts!]

Bookworm: If you weren't an author, what profession would you choose? Would you want to be involved in cosmetics like Lucy?
Lisa: I'm not sure if I would want to be involved in cosmetics because I don't think I'm as good as Lucy is at doing makeup! But I would love to either work in a fancy hotel at the front desk, be a matchmaker or a job coach. I love helping people find jobs!

Bookworm: Speaking of cosmetics, what's your favorite lip gloss flavor?
Lisa: Definitely strawberry!

Bookworm: What is your favorite place to travel?
Lisa: I love traveling to warm places, where there's a beach and a pool, lots of lounge chairs, and warm sunshine on my face!

Bookworm: What book have you read recently and LOVED?
Lisa: I really loved Everything Beautiful in the World by Lisa Levchuk (and not just because we have the same first name!). I also loved Thanks and Have Fun Running the Country: Kids' letters to Barack Obama.

Bookworm: Sounds good! Are you planning on writing more books for tweens and teens?
Lisa: Yes, I am! I am working on a few different ideas right now. I love writing for tweens and teens and hope to do it forever and ever!
Thanks so much, Lisa, for the awesome interview and congrats on the book's release!
If you want to win a copy of My Life In Pink and Greem through my new giveaway feature this month, March Madness, comment below--March could be your lucky month!
Please leave me a way to contact you, and remember you get +1 additional for becoming a follower, +1 if you blog about the giveaway, and +2 if you are already a follower. Good luck!
(For more chances to win, visit the "News" section of Lisa's website--it's a great book, so you don't want to miss the chance to nab a copy for free!)

Other March Madness giveaways:
Melissa Walker's Violet in Private!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

My Mailbox Loves Me

Thanks to the oh-so-awesome Kristi for inventing this fun feature that explores the contents of your mailbox on a weekly basis!
Here's what my (lovely, amazing, wonderful) mailbox brought this week:

Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev
   All her world's a stage. 
   Beatrice Shakespeare Smith is not an actress, yet she lives in a theater. She's not an orphan. but she had no parents. She knows every part, but she has no lines of her own. 
   Until now.
   Welcome to the TheĆ”tre Illuminata, where the characters of every play ever written can be found behind the curtain. They were born to play their parts, and are bound to the Theatre by The Book--and ancient and magical tome of scripts. Bertie is not one of them, but they are her family--and she is about to lose them all and the only home she has ever known....
Thanks SO much to Lisa Mantchev and Feiwel & Friends for sending me a copy. I was so thrilled when it came in the mail. I can't wait to begin! (:

Lipstick Apology by Jennifer Jabeley
  Sometimes a good-bye is just the beginning...
   When Emily Carson's parents die in a plane crash, she's left with nothing but her mother's last words scrawled in lipstick on a tray table: "Emily, please forgive me". 
   Now it's fall and Emily moves to New York City--where she attracts the attention of two very different boys: the cute, popular Owen, and her quirky chemistry partner, Anthony. With the help of some surprising new friends, Emily must choose between the boy who helps her forget and the one who encourages her to remember, and ultimately heal. 
Thanks so much to Hope, who is letting me borrow this fabulous-sounding book via YA Book Swap! I have been dying to read this one--it sounds amazing and I love how unique the plot sounds!

Coffeehouse Angel by Suzanne Selfors
   When Katrina spots a homeless guy sleeping in the alley behind her grandmother's coffee shop, she leaves him a cup of coffee, a bag of chocolate-covered coffee beans, and some patries to tide him over, never expecting this random act of kindness to turn her life upside down. The adorable vagrant, Malcolm, is actually a real guardian angel on a break between missions, and now he won't leave until he can reward Katrina's selflessness by fulfilling her deepest desire. Fame and fortune seem like the obvious request, but after two botched wishes, Malcolm knows Katrina is hiding something from him. But how can she tell him the truth, when her heart's desire has become Malcolm himself?
Thanks to Suzanne and Bloomsbury for sending me a copy. This one sounds (and looks) adorable, so I can't wait to begin!

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
   In Mary's world there are simple truths. The Sisterhood always knows best. The Guardians will protect and serve. The Unconsecrated will never relent. And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village; the fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth. But, slowly, Mary's truths are failing her. She's learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power, and about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness. When the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, she must choose between her village and her future--between the one she loves and the one who loves her. And she must face the truth about the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Could there be life outside a world surrounded in so much death?
   (From Random House). Wow. This one looks intense...yet good. I've never really read a zombie novel because, to tell the truth, they freak me out. It's not really my thing. But I've heard so much hype and positive reviews about this one, so it's hard not to give it a chance. We'll see how I like it....I love the cover, doesn't it make you want to read the book and find out what happens?

   It was a short week, but it brought a bunch of great books I can't wait to start!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

My Life in Pink and Green

Title: My Life in Pink and Green
Author: Lisa Greenwald
Pages: 267
Amulet Books, March 2009
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Recommended to: Girls, 11 and up
Rating: B+

   Twelve-year-old Lucy Desberg can solve nearly any problem, whether it's her best friend's crush, the homecoming queen's hair disaster, or fights between her mom and grandma. But when Lucy overhears that her family's pharmacy is in danger of closing, she knows she has to save it--but how? Then Lucy has an idea--why not use her skills in makeup (she wants to be the next Laura Mercier makeup mogul) to help benefit the pharmacy? Soon, Lucy has customers lining up out the door for all of the dances, parties, bat mitzvahs, weddings, and quinceaƱeras in Old Mill, but will it be enough to save the pharmacy? Lucy has a killer plan that won't only bring in more income for the family business, but it's also environmentally "green"--but how can she get her mom and grandma to understand that she's serious?
   First off, I loved Lucy. Even though she was just twelve, she had such great spunk and was totally savvy, a real businesswoman. She had a great head on her shoulders, and unlike other characters in middle-grade novels, she made a good point that didn't involve complaining and self-pity: instead of being whiny and obnoxious, I found her to be mature and understandable. 
   This book took me forever to read. The first few chapters were totally on-and-off for me, which I hate, due to buttloads of homework, school, and afterschool activities. Plus I don't really like slow beginnings. But once I actually had time to get into the book, I really started enjoying it: all of the great characters, flowing plot that lacked any bumps or confusion, and a unique storyline, which brings me to my next point.
   I loved how MLIPAG was so different from lots of books in the age group. I really liked how Ms. Greenwald incorporated going green into the story, but at the same time not making it boring or annoying. I liked how realistic the dialogue and narration was, and I was really satisfied with the ending. Hopefully there is a sequel in the future: I really want to find out what happens and how the *spoiler* eco-spa turns out! 
   Overall, brava to Ms. Greenwald for writing a creative, refreshing, fun, and light novel (with an adorable, awesome, fantabulous cover--don't you just adore it? The colors, the cucumbers with the recycling signs....)! Be sure to check out the Monday Muse author feature next week, which features Lisa: we'll be giving away a copy of My Life in Pink and Green, which you don't want to miss! 

March Madness: Violet in Private Contest!

Hi, everyone, and welcome to the first March Madness giveaway this month! Melissa Walker has generously donated a copy of her novel, Violet in Private, to our contest. If you would like to enter, please comment here, at the original interview (sorry I didn't post these contest details with that post, I was still just figuring out how MM would work!).
+2 if you are already a follower
+1 if you are a new follower
Edit: +1 for linking on your website

You may enter up until (EDIT) April 6, when I will count the votes and announce the winners for all four weeks! Good luck!

Friday, March 6, 2009

March Madness: Awesome Authors & Great Giveaways!

Hi, everyone, hope you are enjoying the first week of March!
As you might have noticed, this week's Monday Muse interview featured Melissa Walker, the author of the Violet series. At the end of the post, I mentioned something called "March Madness" (no, not the men's basketball championship) that involves winning 4+ books....a month! So, I promised details...and here they (finally) are:

1) For every weekly author interview that I feature on my blog in the month of March, a copy of that author's book will be given away. There are four weeks in March, so that means four awesome giveaways, starting with Melissa Walker's Violet in Private!

2) You can enter the weekly contest by commenting on the interview with your email address, and you will earn 2 extra entries if you are already a Bookworm Readers follower, and +1 if you are a new follower. 

3) Winners for all four weeks will be drawn April 6, so you can enter up until then (midnight PST). 

4) If readers like this feature, it might just be staying....

Questions? Suggestions? Let me know! 
Here's the March lineup so far:

Melissa Walker, author of the Violet series (details for contest to come)
Lisa Greenwald, author of My Life In Pink and Green (Monday, 3/9/09)

Don't forget to check back every Monday for a chance to win some awesome books--March may be your lucky month! (:

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday Week 12!

Just One Wish by Janette Rallison
Coming out March 5, 2009 (tomorrow!)

   Seventeen-year-old Annika Truman knows about the power of positive thinking. With a little brother who has cancer, it's all she ever hears about. And in order to help Jeremy, she will go to the ends of the earth (or at least as far as Hollywood) to help him believe he can survive his upcoming surgery. 
   But Annika's plan to convince Jeremy that a magic genie will grant him any wish throws her a curveball when he unexpectedly wishes that his television idol would visit him. Annika suddenly finds herself in the desperate predicament of getting access to a hunky star actor and convincing him to come home with her. Piece of cake, right?

This one sounds so creative and cute. It seems like Janette Rallison always comes up with the best, most unique ideas for stories! I definitely can't wait to pick this one up--it sounds fun and sweet!

Monday, March 2, 2009

The Monday Muse: Melissa Walker

Today's Muse: Melissa Walker
Author of: Violet on the Runway (review here), Violet by Design, and Violet in Private (reviews coming soon!)
Starring in: A mini-interview!
Bookworm: Welcome, Melissa! So, tell us...What made you want to write a book revolving around the world of modeling?
Melissa: After working as a magazine editor and interviewing lots of models, I saw how glamorous--and also how dark--the fashion world could be. It was the perfect setting for a real girl to walk into and have life-changing experiences.

Bookworm: Are Violet or any of the other characters based off of any real-life people?
Melissa: Violet and I share a lot of likes and dislikes (I think most first-time authors put a bit of themselves into their narrators). Otherwise, some of the more colorful fashion characters are based lightly on people I've met, but no close friends. And I won't name names!

Bookworm: What was your favorite scene to write in Violet on the Runway?
Melissa: I loved writing the Roger-and-Violet scenes. I love them together.

Bookworm: Aside from the Violet trilogy and your upcoming summer romance, Lovestruck Summer, are you planning on writing any more books for teens?
Melissa: Yes! I'm working on a secret new book right now. I hope to take it out and see if any publishers want it this spring.

Bookworm: What are your hobbies outside of writing?
Melissa: Hmm....TV? Does that count? Okay, also: yoga, tiny cafes with good pastries, walking in the park near my apartment, Oprah, and I Heart Daily updates. Are any of those hobbies?

Bookworm: Yes, I would definitely say so. So...what's on your list of YA favorites?
Melissa: Too hard! I can't do it! The latest book that I LOVED was The Adoration of Jenna Fox, which happens to be the pick for March, so people should come join the book discussion if they've read it. And if you haven't: Pick it up! So good!
Many thanks to Melissa, and Happy March to everyone!
On the topic of Monday Muses and March, I'll be introducing a new feature called March Madness soon that involves a giveaway of a book for every author interview that I post....which means that I'll be giving away 4+ books monthly! Right now, it's still under wraps, but be ready for some awesome giveaways!  
Edit: Read the rules here, and then enter by commenting!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

My TBR Pile...

My TBR pile is trying to take over the world.
I have 42 in my stack and it's still growing....
...The paperbacks/ARCs

...And all of my hardbacks!
If you don't hear from me for a while, it's because my TBR stack ate me! :D

Publishers/Authors: I will get to your book ASAP and I'm sorry if the review's up late. School is totally overwhelming, and if it were up to me, I'd just skip it and read all day! (:

New Header!

  Thanks so much to the talented Sophie of Mrs. Magoo Reads for the lovely new header that she made for my blog--I absolutely love it: the coloring, design, font....
We are still waiting for approval on the images, but what do you think so far?