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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Happy New Year 2012 Giveaway Hop!

Welcome to the Happy New Year 2012 Giveaway Hop.  Thanks to Babs Book Bistro for Co-hosting.

This Hop Start on Friday, December 30th and runs through January 3rd. 

Rather than offering one or two books that you may or may not want for a giveaway, I've opened up an entire bookshelf for your choosing! I've tried to include lots of variety, so there's something for everyone here. All you have to do is pick your top three choices (each person will only win one, but I'll try to get you your top choice)!

In case you can't see them well enough, the books to choose from:
I'D KNOW YOU ANYWHERE by Laura Lippman
WEST OF HERE by Jonathan Evison
DESIGNATED FAT GIRL by Jennifer Joyner
JULIET by Anne Fortier
THE DIVAS INDIA by Victoria Christopher Murray
THE DIVAS DIAMOND by Victoria Christopher Murray
I LIKE IT LIKE THAT by Cecily von Ziegesar
SIENNA SUMMER by Ann Chandler
PUCKER UP by Rhonda Stapleton
JUNGLE CROSSING by Sydney Salter
HUSH by Eishes Chayil
SWOON by Nina Malkin
FURY by Elizabeth Miles

Some are gently used, some are advance copies, and a few are even signed. This contest is open to anyone with a US mailing address. I'll give away one book from my shelf for every fifty entries I receive, so the more people you get to enter, the more books I will give away!

Fill out the following form to enter:

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

My 2011 Reading List

Each year I try to tally up the books I've read during the course of the year, just to keep track and share with anyone who's interested. This year was a hard year for me personally, and as you can see by my extensive list, I must have felt the need to lose myself a little in books.

These are listed pretty much in the order I read them. Believe it or not, I am not a fast reader. I usually try to whittle down to my top ten or so, but this year I'm having such a difficult time with it! There were SO MANY GOOD BOOKS. I hope to be back in the next day or two with some favorites, though probably more than ten.

A couple of these I have listed twice because, well, I read them twice this year. And at the time of writing this, there are still three books near the end I haven't finished, but I'm close enough to list them.

The List! Are any of your favorites on here? If not, what are some of your favorite books you read this year?

Title                                         Author

1. The Freak Observer            Blythe Woolston
2. The Education of Hailey Kendrick    Eileen Cook
3. Dirty Little Secrets            C.J. Omololu
4. The Lighter Side of Life and Death    C.K. Kelly Martin
5. Twenty Boy Summer            Sarah Ockler
6. Extraordinary                Nancy Werlin
7. Party                    Tom Leveen
8. Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List        Rachel Cohn, David Levithan
9. Savvy                    Ingrid Law
10. Freaksville                 Kitty Keswick
11. The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl     Barry Lyga
12. Personal Demons             Lisa Desrochers
13. Guyaholic                 Carolyn Mackler
14. Revolution                Jennifer Donnelly
15. Scumble                    Ingrid Law
16. The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner     Stephenie Meyer
17. Vegan, Virgin, Valentine         Carolyn Mackler
18. That Summer                Sarah Dessen
19. Good Girls                Laura Ruby
20. Beautiful                Amy Reed
21. Scarlett Fever                 Maureen Johnson
22. Days of Little Texas            R.A. Nelson
23. Fall for Anything            Courtney Summers
24. Matched                 Ally Condie
25. Bleeding Violet             Dia Reeves
26. Pretty Little Liars             Sara Shepard
27. Mockingjay                 Suzanne Collins
28. Sorta Like a Rock Star            Matthew Quick
29. The Secret Year                Jennifer R.  Hubbard
30. Girl, Stolen                April Henry
31. Invincible Summer            Hannah Moskowitz
32. A Girl Named Mister            Nikki Grimes
33. The Dark and Hollow Places         Carrie Ryan
34. I Know It's Over            C.K. Kelly Martin
35. Across the Universe             Beth Revis
36. Where the Red Fern Grows        Wilson Rawls
37. Please Ignore Vera Dietz        A.S. King
38. The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, & June        Robin Benway
39. Angel's Choice                Lauren Baratz-Logsted
40. Theodore Boone, Kid Lawyer        John Grisham
41. Between Here and Forever        Elizabeth Scott
42. The Summer of Firsts and Lasts        Terra Elan McVoy
43. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks    E. Lockhart
44. Where She Went                 Gayle Forman
45. Chasing Brooklyn             Lisa Schroeder
46. Will Grayson, Will Grayson        John Green
47. Pretty Things                 Sarra Manning
48. Crank                     Ellen  Hopkins
49. Swoon                     Nina Malkin
50. Restoring Harmony            Joelle Anthony
51. Five Flavors of Dumb            Antony John
52. Imaginary Girls                Nova Ren Suma
53. Drawing Conclusions             Donna Leon
54. Inconvenient                Margie Gelbwasser
55. Her and Me and You            Lauren Strasnick
56. Divergent                 Veronica Roth
57. Amy & Roger's Epic Detour        Morgan Matson
58. What Happened to Goodbye        Sarah Dessen
59. Fixing Delilah                Sarah Ockler
60. Save the Cat!                Blake Snyder
61. Jumping Off Swings            Jo Knowles
62. I'm Not Her                Janet Gurtler
63. Take Me There                Carolee Dean
64. Stolen: A Letter to My Captor        Lucy Christopher
65. Ballads of Suburbia            Stephanie Kuehnert
66. Hold Still                Nina LaCour
67. Down River                John Hart
68. You Are Not Here            Samantha Schutz
69. If I Tell                Janet Gurtler
70. Cryer's Cross                Lisa McMann
71. Bumped                     Megan McCafferty
72. Perfect                 Ellen  Hopkins
73. Like Mandarin                Kirsten Hubbard
74. Moonglass                Jessi Kirby
75. Lola and the Boy Next Door        Stephanie Perkins
76. The Replacement                Brenna Yovanoff
77. Burned                     Ellen  Hopkins
78. How to Save a Life            Sara Zarr
79. Virtuosity                Jessica Martinez
80. Anne of Green Gables             L.M. Montgomery
81. Illusions                 Aprilynne Pike
82. Don't Breathe a Word            Holly Cupala
83. Impulse                 Ellen  Hopkins
84. Unraveling Isobel            Eileen Cook
85. Amplified                Tara Kelly
86. Saving June                Hannah Harrington
87. Clean                    Amy Reed
88. Past Perfect                 Leila Sales
89. Anna and the French Kiss     Stephanie Perkins
90. Pieces of Us                Margie Gelbwasser
91. A Reliable Wife                Robert Goolrick
92. So Much Closer                Susane Colasanti
93. Invincible Summer         Hannah Moskowitz
94. Wanderlove                 Kirsten Hubbard
95. Tricks                    Ellen Hopkins
96. The Broken Thing            Peter Swift

Monday, December 19, 2011

GCC Presents Laurie Faria Stolarz and DEADLY LITTLE VOICES

I'm excited to highlight another member of the Girlfriend's Cyber Circut, who has a book releasing this week. DEADLY LITTLE VOICES by Laurie Faria Stolarz just released from Disney/Hyperion Books for Children.


Camelia Hammond thought her powers of psychometry gave her only the ability to sense the future through touch. But now she’s started to hear voices. Cruel voices. Berating her, telling her how ugly she is, that she has no talent, and that she'd be better off dead. Camelia is terrified for her mental stability, especially since her deranged aunt with a suicidal history, has just moved into the house. As if all of that weren't torturing enough, Camelia's ex-boyfriend, Ben, for whom she still harbors feelings and who has similar psychometric abilities, has started seeing someone else. Even her closest friends, Kimmie and Wes, are unsure how to handle her erratic behavior.
With the line between reality and dream consistently blurred, Camelia turns to pottery to get a grip on her emotions. She begins sculpting a figure skater, only to receive frightening premonitions that someone's in danger. But who is the intended victim? And how can Camelia help that person when she’s on the brink of losing her own sanity?


“You’re just one big fat joke,” the voice hisses. 
I cover my ears, but the insults keep coming. 
“Just do it,” a voice whispers.  It’s followed by more voices, of different people.  They talk over each other and mingle together, producing one clear cut message – that I’m a waste of a life.   
I rock back and forth, trying to remain in control.  I smother my ears with the sheet.  Press my forehead against my knees.  Pound my heels into the floor, bracing myself for what comes next. 
Meanwhile, there’s a drilling sensation inside my head; it pushes through the bones of my skull, and makes me think that I’m going crazy.
“Please,” I whisper.  More tears sting my eyes.  I shake my head, wondering if maybe I’m already dead, if maybe the voices are part of hell.
Check out the book trailers:

Praise for the TOUCH series:

Texas Tayshas List, 2010 (DLS)

Children’s Book Council’s 2010 & 2011 Teen Choice Book of the Year Nominee

Reluctant Reader Quick Pick Nominees, 2010 & 2011, American Library Association

Teens@Random, Favorite Book of 2009 (DLS)

Gold Star Award,, 2009 (DLL)

"...lively first-person narrative.... CW-worthy dialogue, quirky secondary characters, romance and suspense: a winning combination" - Kirkus Reviews

"An engaging, eerie tale about the darker side of relationships - when it becomes a matter of life and death to know who your friends are." - KLIATT

“The book was full of shocking surprises and revelations, earning the book five stars. This is a must-read for fans of romance, suspense, and mystery because it won't disappoint.” – Teens Read Too (DLL)

"Laurie Faria Stolarz is a master creator of suspense and romance. Her words cause the heart to pound, the palms to sweat, the spine to shiver, and the stomach to flutter. The trepidation born from the anonymous threats will make the pages fly, and the palpable tension between Camelia and Ben as they attempt to ignore their hearts causes the fire to burn hotter." -

Author Bio: Laurie Faria Stolarz is the author of Deadly Little Secret, Deadly Little Lies, Deadly Little Games, Deadly Little Voices, Project 17, and Bleed, as well as the bestselling Blue is for Nightmares series.  Born and raised in Salem, Massachusetts, Stolarz attended Merrimack College and received an MFA in creative writing from Emerson College in Boston. For more information, please visit her Web site at

Laurie’s Guilty Pleasures:
Favorite snack: Popcorn with soy butter and lemon/pepper seasoning.
Touristy Trip: Paris.
Fashion addiction (at the moment): artfully torn jeans, tall boots, pretty scarves, and Michael Stars tees.
Dessert: Dark chocolate in almost any form - the darker the better.
Fast food: French fries at least once every few months (with lots of ketchup).
Beauty Binge: Aveda haircare products, which includes indulging in high-and/or-low-lights every eight weeks. Also, Caudalie skincare, Ineke perfume (Field Notes from Paris), Revitalash mascara, and Buxom Lips from Bare Escentuals.
Late-Night TV: Real Housewives of (wherever), Mad Fashion, Fashion Hunters.
Chick Flick: Never Been Kissed, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Juno, Green Card, Once, The Devil Wears Prada, Bridget Jones Diary, Thelma & Louise, Mean Girls, Moonstruck, Clueless, Under the Tuscan Sun, and anything with John Cusack.
Nightlife: Pilates in front of the TV (a regular occurrence), answering e-mail (also regular), and dinner and/or a movie out with friends (happens far too rarely).
Cheap Thrill: Window-shopping, tabloid magazines, buying a new lip gloss, a tall cup of coffee from Peet's or Starbucks.
Ultimate Splurge: G2O Day Spa for a massage.

Other Random Info:
Favorite Quote: Perseverance is key.
Favorite cuisine: Indian food – onion chutney, curried vegetables, and kashmir bread. I also love cheeseless pizza from Bertucci's.
Interests: Vegetarian cooking, holistic nutrition, aromatherapy.
Favorite Music: Adele, Fergie, James Blunt, Gavin Rossdale, Tori Amos, Sting, Sarah MacLachlin, Gwen Stefani, Black-eyed Peas.
Hobbies: Walking, napping, cooking, shopping, interior decorating.

For more information, go here:

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Galley Grab

I just wanted to pass along a quick update - apparently people are having trouble getting NEVER ENOUGH from Simon and Schuster's Galley Grab program. It seemed to have worked when I first posted the link (I downloaded a copy myself to make sure) but now people are having trouble getting it.

Rest assured, this is in the hands of The People That Know What To Do at S&S and I have high hopes that the problem will be resolved soon. Sorry to those of you who have had problems and/or gotten frustrated. More soon...

Friday, December 9, 2011

Friday Four!

1. It's December. I guess that's my only real excuse for not blogging more.

2. Well, that and the fact that I'm really enjoying writing these days. I sent a proposal for my companion novel to LOSING FAITH off to Agent Awesome this week. I'm eager to get back to my NaNo novel (have I mentioned how much I love this book??) but my mind has been nagged all week by a new story idea. So I'm taking a few days to bash out some of that, enough so I can remember it and come back to it another time.

3. My son and his two cousins (8, 8, and 6 years old) also took part in NaNoWriMo this year. I still don't have a combined word count between the three of them, but I'm thinking it might be up over 5000 words. I'm hoping to get their stories typed in and bound for them for Christmas (Shhhh, it's a surprise!)

4. I went Christmas shopping for the first time this year on Wednesday night and you know what surprised me the most? They have actual tea stores in the mall now. Small stores that sell nothing but tea. I was intrigued at how a store selling only tea could make it at the prices malls charge for space, so I went in. And okay, I'm kind of hooked. A friend of mine once told me that the definition of tea is = Smells amazing, tastes like water. But I've always been a big tea fan, and these Davids Teas? Pretty much the ultimate in flavor/aroma mixtures.  It is expensive (that's obviously how they pay for their expensive mall rent), but I admit, right now I want to give everyone tea for Christmas.

Have you been Christmas shopping yet this year? Any cool discoveries you've made?

Friday, December 2, 2011

Friday Four - Lots of Excitement!

1. First of all, I finished NaNo this week! Not only that, but I finished the book I was writing for NaNo, and let me tell you, it was a lot longer than 50,000 words! But it gets 8 year-old son completed his first attempt at NaNo. His goal wasn't 50,000 words, but he wanted to definitely reach over 1000. He made it to over 1600 words! And he's not done his story, so he's still working at each day.

2. In other exciting news...remember how I mentioned there could be an opportunity for bloggers to get easy access to a copy of NEVER ENOUGH (even overseas bloggers)??? Well, the opportunity is here! It has just been launched on Simon & Schuster's Galley Grab program. Follow this link to get your hands on a copy:
I hope you enjoy it!!

3. It's been a crazy-busy month between Nano, homeschooling, and moving my mom into her new house. But we're finally almost done with moving and her new place is beautiful. Yay!!!

4. It's December!!! Holy cow, I can't believe it! I"m a bit of a Christmas nut, and yeah, I've had my tree up all year, but my son now has it decorated and it's feeling very festive in our household. I think it's nearly time to break out the eggnog! We're off to our first little Christmas party this weekend. How about you? Have you decorated? Are you excited about any upcoming holiday parties?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

My First School Visit!

I mentioned on Twitter a few weeks ago that I did my first school visit just recently. It was a blast, and the kids were so great to get to know. There was around 60 kids--all grades 6-8--and they were ALL enrolled in NaNoWriMo! Isn't that the coolest thing ever?!

I talked to them a little about my experiences with NaNo, hopefully inspired them a little, and came home inspired myself--both to get my son writing during November, as well as to set up more opportunities to talk to kids about NaNoWriMo.

In between writing over 89,000 words this month, homeschooling my son, and generally keeping up with life, I didn't have time to visit any more schools, but I want to let all the teachers out there know well in advance that I'd LOVE to talk to you class next year about NaNo, hopefully in September or October, if you're interested in participating in the month-long writing stint. I'm happy to do Skype visits or local visits, whatever works best depending on location, but please do shoot me an email if you'd like to set something up!

And a couple of pictures from my recent event... (Notice their rapt attention and their very organized list of all their individual word count goals!)

Thanks again to Cheryl Angst for the invitation. It was great fun!