Dream Girl Banner

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

2013 Books

Now that Christmas is behind us (and I hope we all have warm memories of it) I feel like looking ahead to some books being released in 2013 that I'm itching to get my fingers on.

The first one, thanks to an excerpt in GoodHousekeeping: The Aviator's Wife by Melanie Benjamin. The excerpt was enticing and I was pleased to see Melanie Benjamin as the author. I really enjoyed her book The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb. I'm currently in a historical fiction mood. (reading The Age of Desire by Jennie Fields right now...a fictionalized tale of Edith Wharton and her midlife affair. Enjoyable and interesting thus far). The Aviator's Wife is about Charles Lindburgh and Anne Morrow. The book comes out the day after my birthday...in case anyone needed that little tidbit. Looks good. Must read.

Next is Shades of Earth by Beth Revis, which comes out the same day as The Aviator's Wife. This is the conclusion of the Across the Universe trilogy which I've been loving. It's YA sci-fi with a dash of romance and some thriller in there as well. Beautifully written, the first two books have been so good they make me jealous. Makes me grow as a writer to read them. Since the 2nd book was every bit as gripping as the first, I can't wait to see what will happen in the third.

Also, A Touch of Scarlet by Eve Marie Mont is coming out in March. She wrote the fabulous A Breath of Eyre and will be doing A Phantom Enchantment next...which is the one I'm really really dying for. But, A Touch of Scarlet will motivate me to finally read The Scarlet Letter, which I managed to get through school without ever having to read. I wanted to. I like Hawthorne. But I guess the time was never right. Now must be the time. So this one will be a treat for a number of reasons.

Finally, I'm excited for the release of my third picture book with MeeGenius. The text is final. The illustrations were completed last week (and they look simply stunning!!!). I'll be sure to shout from the rooftops when that becomes available for you. Speaking of such things, my incredible Pajama Girl illustrator has a new App available for Christmas, but it's never too late for a good story and great artwork. Please check out his Nativity Story.

I know this isn't a very big list. I'm going to need a lot of books for next year. What books are you looking forward to in the new year?  Please leave a comment and let me know!

Looking forward to 2013, I feel like good things are coming.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Merry Christmas GIVEAWAY!

The end of the year is upon us and holiday time is in full swing. I read several really great books this year so I thought I'd feature a few of them here should anyone care about the opinions of a librarian by day, writer by night.

In no particular order, my favorite reads of 2012.

A Million Suns by Beth Revis. (young adult) The second book in the Across the Universe series. It's my kind of sci-fi.The first book blew me away. The opening chapter was unlike anything I'd ever read and the rest of the book didn't let up. Book two didn't disappoint and the conclusion is due in January, one day after my birthday I might add. Definitely a trilogy worth reading.

Jiggy McCue: Murder and Chips by Michael Lawrence (middle grade) In full disclosure, this book was dedicated to me, which makes it the single greatest book ever written. But aside from that, it is a really fun murder mystery. Don't be fooled by the 'middle grade' designation. There is plenty of adult wit to hold the interest of any adult reader. Clever and fun, it'll keep you guessing. It's also the final book of the popular Jiggy McCue series. A fitting send off for the long suffering character, Jiggy McCue.

Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt. (adult/young adult crossover) "Wow." That pretty much sums up this beautiful book. Narrated by June, a 14 year old girl who is picking up the pieces after her beloved uncle, Finn, dies of AIDS. Finn was a free spirited artistic genius who also happened to be homosexual. A fact that was known in his family, but largely unacknowledged. This book is written so beautifully and the emotions are so raw and real that I didn't want to put it down. This falls into the category of books that I think everyone should read at some point. Very moving, you'll feel like you're watching something fantastic unfold while you read it. Definitely pay attention to this book and author.

Easter Ann Peters: Operation Cool by Jody Lamb (middle grade) In full disclosure, this book was written by a dear friend of mine and I'm in the acknowledgements section, which also makes this one of the greatest books ever written. But really, this book is striking in a similar way to Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. In this book, lively, unique and sweet Easter is trying to stop being a dork and make her 7th grade year shine. She makes a plan, Operation Cool, to help her achieve her goals. But as she starts making progress at school, her home life is falling apart due to her mother's battle with depression and alcohol addiction. The book skillfully balances Easter's hope and enthusiasm with her sadness, confusion and embarrassment. I compare it to Thirteen Reasons Why because it highlights the fact that people don't wear everything on their sleeves and you never know what other people are hiding. A positive message, powerfully written. It made me laugh and cry. Also a book that everyone should read.

Blind Spot by Laura Ellen. (young adult) How to classify this one? Powerful and unique, for sure. It's told by Roz, a young lady who's been diagnosed with macular degeneration. She wants desperately to just be normal, but as she fights against the accommodations she needs to make for herself, she finds herself in the middle of a murder case. What I really liked this about this book was the richness of the characters. Most of the main characters are troubled kids but this book makes them into real people. You get to see dimensions to them and view them as people coping with their disabilities or problems. And they don't all make good choices. Really great book. I would also recommend that people read this, if for no other reason than to get an idea for what it's really like to live with a disability. Very well done.

Since it's the gift giving time of year, I thought I'd give away an autographed copy of Easter Ann Peters: Operation Cool by Jody Lamb. All you need to do is leave a comment on this blog post with your email address and I'll pick a winner next Tues. and get the book shipped out to you. How do you like that? Merry Christmas!