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Showing posts from November, 2011

A Weekend Away with Me Means...

I have the wonderful opportunity to go away this weekend with some great Homeschool Moms, some I know really well and others I'm just getting to know.  (I can NOT tell you how excited I am!) None of these women have spent 24/7 with me so I thought it best to give them an idea of what to expect. I'm always on my best behavior when I'm away from home (just like I've trained my boys to be) but you never know what can happen when you put a bunch of women together, especially those of us who spend all day, every day with our offspring. I e-mailed them an open letter that said this...Dear friends (who are brave enough to spend 24/7 with me this weekend), here's a few things I thought you should know because I *hearts* you!

1) I'm prone to random dancing & singing which may occur at any time of the day or night.
2) My dancing skills FAR outweigh my singing abilities.
3) If you choose to approach me in the a.m. before I've had a cup of coffee, you are doing …

"The Way We Fall" (ARC) ~ Megan Crewe

Thank you to NetGalley and Disney-Hyperion for this ARC.  "The Way We Fall" is a modern day nightmare because it could very easily happen.  As I was reading, I thought back to the swine flu epidemic that broke out just a couple years ago and the panic that virus caused.

How do you hold onto to hope when all that you love is gone and a deadly virus threatens to take away what little remains?  What do you when your part of the world is spiraling out of control, those left behind doing whatever they can to survive with no help in sight?  Well...you write everything down - every detail so that once you're gone someone, someplace will know exactly what happened. 


There's a strange virus attacking the small Canadian island that Kaelyn lives on.  It starts off like any normal illness that lasts only a few days but there's a catch.  After you get the itch that won't stop, a cough that won't go away, the fever that never breaks, you begin to speak your mind (with …

Top 10 Awesomesaucers I'd Wanna Talk Turkey With

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, books and cupcakes, here are the top 10 YA Awesomesausers (aka Authors) I'd love the chance to talk turkey with.  Each of these Authors have positively impacted my  imaginative life this past year and for that, I'm thankful.  
If they were to come for a turkey chat feast, I'd most likely serve up some cupcakes because that's what I "do".  They write, I bake. 
Our turkey would probably look a little something like this...



In no particular order...
1) Veronica Roth ~ "Divergent" was my absolute FAVORITE book of 2011! I read all 487 pages in 24 hours, something I had never done before. Ever. In doing so, I earned myself another nickname, "rapid reader" and have since taken to reading books at lightening speed. (I'm convinced this is some sort of super power.) Thank you Veronica for giving us Tris who was so inspiring in her bravery and desire to be true to herself that I decided to dress up as her …

The Death Cure (Maze Runner Trilogy Book 3) ARC ~ James Dashner

James Dashner = genius!

"The time for lies is over." The problem? Whose telling the truth and whose telling more lies? Thomas knows WICKED has lied to him before, when they sent him into the Maze and again when they dropped him into the Scorch. He knows they've used those closest to him as weapons of betrayal in attempts to collect data for their "cure" blueprint but now they say he and the other Gladers need to trust them one last time.

This much anticipated final chapter in The Maze Runner trilogy is filled with action, and edge of your seat suspense that will leave you wondering who can really be trusted right up to the last page. Alliances will be formed, friendships will be put to the ultimate test and choices made that beg the questions, "Are the lives of a few worth losing to save countless more? and Do the ends always justify the means no matter what?"

The Trials are finally over, the Gladers, having survived both the Maze …

"Hallowed" (Unearthly #2) ARC ~ Cynthia Hand

Check out the dual covers. One shows Clara and the other shows Christian.  One question... Where's Tucker?! 


Thank you Netgalley for this ARC.  "Hallowed", the second book in the "Unearthly" series picks up where the first book leaves off which is shortly after the two fires, one of which destroyed Tucker's land and claimed both his truck Bluebell and his beloved horse, Midas.  Clara, feeling conflicted about having not fulfilled her purpose when she flew off to save Tucker begins to wonder if she'll be punished in some way as a result. She's also become more aware of the tension brewing between the White Wings and the Black Wings but is unsure how she fits into it all.

Clara would like nothing more than for everything to go back to the way it was before the fires and though she knows that's not possible, she can't even get her hair to to co-operate. (That's why God invented hats girlfriend!)  It's developed a mind of it's own …

"Before I Die" ~ Jenny Downham

If you knew you only had a few months left to live, how would you spend them?  Would you wallow away the time feeling sorry for yourself or would you make a bucket list of all the things you still wanted to do and start checking them off?  For 16 year old Tessa, this is her reality and her time is running out thanks to the big "C".  Instead of giving up to death, she makes a "Before I Die" top 10 list of the things she wants to do before she's gone forever and with the help of her BFF Zoey, she might just get them all done, unless her Dad stops her.

I expected this to be an emotionally charged book but I had no idea it would be full of hilarious, romantic, bittersweet and heart wrenching moments too.  In order to accomplish the tasks on her list, several of which are illegal, Tessa will have to try to keep from getting caught not just by the law, but by her Dad as well. 

She writes her list on her bedroom wall and the #1 item on her list is "to feel the we…

"Sound Bender" (ARC) ~ Lin Oliver & Theo Baker

Do you ever stop and listen to the sounds around you? I mean really listen? The ticking of a clock? The rhythmic sound of tires running over pavement? When you're listening to a song, do you only hear the lyrics or do you hear the sounds all the other instruments are making? How about objects? Do you hear the sounds they make? Can you hear the danger in them? Twelve year old Leo Lomax can.

Click here to read my full review

The Power of a Cupcake

Yesterday, I gave away 125 homemade cupcakes at the carnival celebration of "Tabitha's House", a ministry that was started by a lady in our church 13 years ago.  Tabitha's House provides support for our local community whether it's through their thrift store, food pantry or the backpacks in the fall for kids who are in need.  Each year they put on a family friendly carnival in their parking lot with lots of music, games and food and it's all free! I have my little cupcake business on the side and was asked if I would be willing to donate cupcakes for this years event and I jumped at the chance!

Baking cupcakes usually takes me to a happy place and provides me with a creative outlet much in the same way scrapbooking does for others.  I have playlists that I listen to on my iPod while I bake specific flavors (much like authors do while writing) and there tends to be dancing involved - lots of dancing for which my family makes fun of.  I do everything by hand, a…

"A Promise of Safekeeping" (ARC) ~ Lisa Dale

This was another good read from Netgalley!  Interesting storyline, complex characters and positive themes of facing the truth, forgiveness and second chances.

Lauren sends Arlen to jail for a crime he doesn't commit and he loses nine years of his life as a result.  Will, Arlen's best friend, spends those years hating the woman who ruined his friends life and thus, had a negative effect on his own.  When she shows up in his store looking for Arlen, Will isn't too quick to let her back into Arlin's life or his own.  Lauren claims she's only seeking forgiveness for her mistake but Will doesn't trust her as far as he can throw her.  (Not, that he's throwing her anywhere.) 

But when his hopes for Arlin's reacclimation into society aren't going as smoothly as he'd hoped, Will decides to give Lauren a chance but only if he gets something out of it.  He needs short term help "picking" for his antique store and she needs access to Arlen so toge…

"Crossed" (Matched Trilogy #2) ~ Ally Condie

This book kept me awake at night, or at least it felt like it. My dreams were filled with helping Cassia as she first risked escaping her work camp to search for Ky and then as they journeyed through the Carving, climbing, running, and hiding, in their struggle to reach either the farmers or the Rising before the Society caught up to them. (not saying they did)

In this much anticipated sequel in the "Matched" trilogy, "Crossed", picks up where "Matched" left off and we find Cassia still willing to do whatever it takes to find Ky even if it means risking her life. We're introduced to new characters in Vick, Eli and Indie and while we see very little of Xander (insert disgruntled sigh), we learn he has a secret he's been keeping from Cassia.

Cassia, along with the others will face quite a few obstacles as they attempt to cross the Carving which I imagined to be similar to the Grand Canyon. Throughout her journey, she's discovered a strength …