The Top Reads of 2016 From the PJV

The Top Reads of 2016 From the PJV

The PJVs 5-Star Reviews from 2016. We didn’t have as many as I thought…it was a tough year all around. But we did have some GREAT ones this year. Quality over Quantity!

Clicking on the image brings you to the PJV review. Thanks! XOXO Have a wonderful New Year everyone. See you next year!

What were some of your 5-star reviews this year??

New Releases 2017 – Ten Books Releasing I Would Murder, Steal, & Cheat for…

New Releases 2017 – Ten Books Releasing I Would Murder, Steal, & Cheat for…

Ten Books Releasing in 2017 I Would Murder, Steal, & Cheat for...

...just kidding.

I wouldn’t murder anyone. Maybe. You get the gist.

Book Cover Clicking Takes You To Goodreads

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas

The third book in the A Court of Thorn and Roses books is my most anticipated read of 2017.

Looming war threatens all Feyre holds dear in the third volume of the #1 New York Times bestselling A Court of Thorns and Roses series.

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit-and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.

As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords-and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

In this thrilling third book in the #1 New York Times bestselling series from Sarah J. Maas, the earth will be painted red as mighty armies grapple for power over the one thing that could destroy them all.

King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard

Third books in YA Fantasy are all the rage for 2017 – the next series stealer for 2017 is Aveyard’s Red Queen third installment.

In this breathless third installment to Victoria Aveyard’s bestselling Red Queen series, allegiances are tested on every side. And when the Lightning Girl’s spark is gone, who will light the way for the rebellion?

Mare Barrow is a prisoner, powerless without her lightning, tormented by her lethal mistakes. She lives at the mercy of a boy she once loved, a boy made of lies and betrayal. Now a king, Maven Calore continues weaving his dead mother’s web in an attempt to maintain control over his country—and his prisoner.

As Mare bears the weight of Silent Stone in the palace, her once-ragtag band of newbloods and Reds continue organizing, training, and expanding. They prepare for war, no longer able to linger in the shadows. And Cal, the exiled prince with his own claim on Mare’s heart, will stop at nothing to bring her back.

When blood turns on blood, and ability on ability, there may be no one left to put out the fire—leaving Norta as Mare knows it to burn all the way down.

Into the Fire by Jeaniene Frost

A fourth book in the Paranormal Romance genre is my hot pick, Vlad finally gets his happily ever after in the final Night Prince novel from Jeaniene Frost.

In the wrong hands, love can be a deadly weapon.

For nearly six hundred years, Vlad Tepesh cared for nothing, so he had nothing to lose. His brutal reputation ensured that all but the most foolhardy stayed away. Now falling in love with Leila has put him at the mercy of his passions. And one adversary has found a devastating way to use Vlad’s new bride against him.

A powerful spell links Leila to the necromancer Mircea. If he suffers or dies, so does she. Magic is forbidden to vampires, so Vlad and Leila enlist an unlikely guide as they search for a way to break the spell. But an ancient enemy lies in wait, capable of turning Vlad and Leila’s closest friends against them…and finally tearing the lovers apart forever.

Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray

Claudia Gray is a rock star author for me. Everything she puts out I must devour…this one I’m sure will surpass expectations. Science Fiction! Eeek.

Noemi Vidal is a teen soldier from the planet Genesis, once a colony of Earth that’s now at war for its independence. The humans of Genesis have fought Earth’s robotic “mech” armies for decades with no end in sight.

After a surprise attack, Noemi finds herself stranded in space on an abandoned ship where she meets Abel, the most sophisticated mech prototype ever made. One who should be her enemy. But Abel’s programming forces him to obey Noemi as his commander, which means he has to help her save Genesis–even though her plan to win the war will kill him.

Together they embark on a daring voyage through the galaxy. Before long, Noemi begins to realize Abel may be more than a machine, and, for his part, Abel’s devotion to Noemi is no longer just a matter of programming.

Royally Matched by Emma Chase

Holy Guacamole…I need this book now. Like now. Please. Please give it to me. I must have it. In my hands. Please??

Some men are born responsible, some men have responsibility thrust upon them. Henry John Edgar Thomas Pembrook, Prince of Wessco, just got the motherlode of all responsibility dumped in his regal lap.

He’s not handling it well.

Hoping to force her grandson to rise to the occasion, Queen Lenora goes on a much-needed safari holiday—and when the Queen’s away, the Prince will play. After a chance meeting with an American television producer, Henry finally makes a decision all on his own:

Welcome to Matched: Royal Edition.

A reality TV dating game show featuring twenty of the world’s most beautiful blue bloods gathered in the same castle. Only one will win the diamond tiara, only one will capture the handsome prince’s heart.

While Henry revels in the sexy, raunchy antics of the contestants as they fight, literally, for his affection, it’s the quiet, bespectacled girl in the corner—with the voice of an angel and a body that would tempt a saint—who catches his eye.

The more Henry gets to know Sarah Mirabelle Zinnia Von Titebottum, the more enamored he becomes of her simple beauty, her strength, her kind spirit… and her naughty sense of humor.

But Rome wasn’t built in a day—and irresponsible royals aren’t reformed overnight.

As he endeavors to right his wrongs, old words take on whole new meanings for the dashing Prince. Words like, Duty, Honor and most of all—Love.

Deadmen Walking by Sherrilyn Kenyon

A new series from Sherry? Yes. Please. And it has pirates… ooh.

Hell On Earth

When the Chthonians brought the primal gods to a truce at the end of their great war, part of the pact they forged was that the worst of the evil the gods had unleashed against each other and mankind would be forever banished.

But forever is a long time. And nothing can contain those determined to find a way back.

To catch evil, it takes evil . . .

While Thorn is able to contain the demons unleashed on the ground, the ones who prey on the innocent sailors and sea faring travelers are beyond his reach.

For the sake of humanity, he makes a shaky alliance with an old foe, Marcelina. In the form of the ship they sail upon, she assembles a team under the command of Captain Devlyn Nathaniel Bane, one of the most notorious and bloodthirsty pirates to ever sail the high seas.

Damned and murdered by his own, Bane is out for revenge. With his own secret agenda, he agrees to take charge of the motley crew of pirates and brigands, and to protect the seas from the preternatural terrors that seek to devour every unwary soul they can take.

Theirs is a sacred and deadly task, as they are hunted by their prey and human authorities alike. If they fail, the world will fall to the ancient gods of chaos, and anarchy will reign. Most of all, the Southern gate, where the greatest, most powerful darkness is imprisoned, will be opened and there will be no stopping it.

It’s yo ho ho and a bottle of high seas stakes where the souls of all humanity are the ultimate prize and bargaining chip.

White Hot (Hidden Legacy #2) by Ilona Andrews

I have been patient. Have I not been patient? When I stalked the loveable Andrews at a few (maybe more than a few) cons – I never once whined and asked when this would come out…when all they wanted to talk about was the latest Kate book – never once. I was a good girl. Please, can I have it now??

The Hidden Legacy series by #1 New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews continues as Nevada and Rogan navigate a world where magic is the norm…and their relationship burns hot

Nevada Baylor has a unique and secret skill—she knows when people are lying—and she’s used that magic (along with plain, hard work) to keep her colorful and close-knit family’s detective agency afloat. But her new case pits her against the shadowy forces that almost destroyed the city of Houston once before, bringing Nevada back into contact with Connor “Mad” Rogan.

Rogan is a billionaire Prime—the highest rank of magic user—and as unreadable as ever, despite Nevada’s “talent.” But there’s no hiding the sparks between them. Now that the stakes are even higher, both professionally and personally, and their foes are unimaginably powerful, Rogan and Nevada will find that nothing burns like ice …

Best New Releases of 2017

Roar by Cora Carmack

I can’t wait to check out this new series by Cora Cormack. Looks magical.

In a land ruled and shaped by violent magical storms, power lies with those who control them.

Aurora Pavan comes from one of the oldest Stormling families in existence. Long ago, the ungifted pledged fealty and service to her family in exchange for safe haven, and a kingdom was carved out from the wildlands and sustained by magic capable of repelling the world’s deadliest foes. As the sole heir of Pavan, Aurora’s been groomed to be the perfect queen. She’s intelligent and brave and honorable. But she’s yet to show any trace of the magic she’ll need to protect her people.

To keep her secret and save her crown, Aurora’s mother arranges for her to marry a dark and brooding Stormling prince from another kingdom. At first, the prince seems like the perfect solution to all her problems. He’ll guarantee her spot as the next queen and be the champion her people need to remain safe. But the more secrets Aurora uncovers about him, the more a future with him frightens her. When she dons a disguise and sneaks out of the palace one night to spy on him, she stumbles upon a black market dealing in the very thing she lacks—storm magic. And the people selling it? They’re not Stormlings. They’re storm hunters.

Legend says that her ancestors first gained their magic by facing a storm and stealing part of its essence. And when a handsome young storm hunter reveals he was born without magic, but possesses it now, Aurora realizes there’s a third option for her future besides ruin or marriage.

She might not have magic now, but she can steal it if she’s brave enough.

Challenge a tempest. Survive it. And you become its master.

The more Henry gets to know Sarah Mirabelle Zinnia Von Titebottum, the more enamored he becomes of her simple beauty, her strength, her kind spirit… and her naughty sense of humor.

But Rome wasn’t built in a day—and irresponsible royals aren’t reformed overnight.

As he endeavors to right his wrongs, old words take on whole new meanings for the dashing Prince. Words like, Duty, Honor and most of all—Love.

The Alchemists of Loom by Elise Kova

I haven’t read a good steampunk in awhile…I’m looking forward to this one. New series. New author. Can’t wait.

Her vengeance. His vision.

Ari lost everything she once loved when the Five Guilds’ resistance fell to the Dragon King. Now, she uses her unparalleled gift for clockwork machinery in tandem with notoriously unscrupulous morals to contribute to a thriving underground organ market. There isn’t a place on Loom that is secure from the engineer turned thief, and her magical talents are sold to the highest bidder as long as the job defies their Dragon oppressors.

Cvareh would do anything to see his sister usurp the Dragon King and sit on the throne. His family’s house has endured the shame of being the lowest rung in the Dragons’ society for far too long. The Alchemist Guild, down on Loom, may just hold the key to putting his kin in power, if Cvareh can get to them before the Dragon King’s assassins.

When Ari stumbles upon a wounded Cvareh, she sees an opportunity to slaughter an enemy and make a profit off his corpse. But the Dragon sees an opportunity to navigate Loom with the best person to get him where he wants to go.

He offers her the one thing Ari can’t refuse: A wish of her greatest desire, if she brings him to the Alchemists of Loom.

The Deep End by Kristen Ashley

This sounds ridiculously good and sexy. Yum. Plus I love the name Amelie.

Enter a decadent sensual world where gorgeous alpha males are pleasure slaves committed to fulfilling a woman’s every desire. At the elite Honey club, no boundary will be left untested, and one’s darkest desires will become a sensual reality.

Olivier isn’t sure what he’s gotten himself into when he joins the Honey Club, only that a dark part of him craves the lifestyle offered by this secret, exclusive club.

When Amèlie invites Olivier to surrender, she pushes him to explore his deepest desires as a submissive. As they grow closer and find themselves falling harder than either of them anticipated, the truth about Olivier’s past could threaten the budding relationship they both long for.

Gripping and seductive, The Deep End is the first book in a sensational new series from bestselling author Kristen Ashley.

What are some books you’re excited about?

National Nude Day Celebration – Hottest Covers Ever!

National Nude Day Celebration – Hottest Covers Ever!

Today is National Nude Day! Drop those panties and let it all hang out. Not feeling like baring all? Then join me in celebrating with the hottest “bare” covers out there!

Hottest Book Covers

…Featuring scantily clad models…

Wicked Nights by Gena Showalter

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The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

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The Argument by Pepper Winters

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Hetch by River Savage

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Falling by E.K. Blair

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WANT by Emma Rider

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Pucked by Helena Hunting

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Mud Vein by Tarryn Fisher

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Chain Reaction by Simone Elkeles

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The Breaker's Concubine by Ann Mayburn

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Jersey Girl by Rhonda James

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#Swag by Cambria Hebert

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What are you doing for National Nude Day?

Patti went to ALA and here’s what she’s excited about!

Patti went to ALA and here’s what she’s excited about!

PJ header

What is ALA?

ALA is the American Library Association, and every year they have two major conferences:  ALA Midwinter and ALA Annual (in the summer).  This year, the annual conference was in Orlando, so my bestie, Hannah, and I hopped in the car for an awesome road trip!

I know there has been some recent controversy about a blogger who was greedy at ALA and other cons, and a sign at Macmillan Library booth asking bloggers not to take books that I didn’t see.  Hannah and I honestly had an amazing time – everyone was super nice and as excited as we were to talk about books!  I found I spent a lot of time talking to pubs and asking questions and I loved hearing what they were passionate about.   Hannah and I were both at RT 2015 and this was much more low-key and definitely less stressful.  I really hope that certain “blogger” hasn’t ruined it for everyone else who loves books and wants to attend cons like ALA.

It was hard to narrow it down to my 10 favorite discoveries and I am honestly surprised about what made my list (I never would have guessed that three graphic novels would be on this list!).  You will be seeing more of most of these here at PJV in the future in the form of reviews and such, but, without further ado, here are the 10 books I discovered at ALA that I’m most excited about:

Manga Classics!
Pride & PrejudicePride & Prejudice (August 19, 2014) –

“This adaptation retains all of the charm and fun of the characters and situations, and is a great way to expose those without the time or inclination to pick up the novel.”

“Good Comics For Kids (School Library Journal).”

Beloved by millions the world over, Pride & Prejudice is delightfully transformed in this bold new manga adaptation. All of the joy, heartache, and romance of Jane Austen’s original, perfectly illuminated by the sumptuous art of manga-ka Po Tse, and faithfully adapted by Stacy E. King.

Emma

Emma (June 16, 2015) – Just in time for the 200th Anniversary, Manga Classics: Emma brings Jane Austen’s classic tale of youthful folly and romantic exuberance to a modern audience with this beautiful, new manga adaptation. The impulsive match-making of Emma Woodhouse delivers both humor and heartache through the gorgeous artwork of manga-ka Po Tse (Manga Classics: Pride and Prejudice). – Manga Classics editions feature classic stories, faithfully adapted and illustrated in manga style, and available in both hardcover and softcover editions. Proudly presented by UDON Entertainment and Morpheus Publishing.

Patti says: I absolutely love the idea of turning classic novels into manga! In addition to Jane Austen, they had other titles like Great Expectations, Jane Eyre, and The Scarlet Letter, and more.  I think if you can find a new and interesting way to bring the classics to each new generation – go for it! (Of course I bought Sense and Sensibility; how could I resist?)

caravalCaraval by Stephanie Garber (January 31, 2017):

Before you enter the world of Caraval, you must remember that it’s all a game . . .

Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their ruthless father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the legendary, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.

Then, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation to Caraval finally arrives. So, Tella enlists a mysterious sailor’s help to whisk Scarlett away to this year’s show. But as soon as the trio arrives, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nonetheless soon becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with her sister, with Legend, and with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.

Patti says:  You guys, this has the beginnings of a story I’d love – a looming arranged marriage, a creepy carnival, kidnapping, and a deadly game. Yes, please.

I’m also going to put it out there that I almost didn’t get a copy of Caraval -or get to meet the author- because I am not a librarian, but thanks to the extreme generosity of a total stranger (a librarian named Tina) I was able to do both.  I’d never met her before and probably never will again, but I will always remember her kindness and try to pay it forward as often as I can.

jerkbaitJerkbait by Mia Siegert (May 1, 2016):

Even though they’re identical, Tristan isn’t close to his twin Robbie at all—until Robbie tries to kill himself.

Forced to share a room to prevent Robbie from hurting himself, the brothers begin to feel the weight of each other’s lives on the ice, and off. Tristan starts seeing his twin not as a hockey star whose shadow Tristan can’t escape, but a struggling gay teen terrified about coming out in the professional sports world. Robbie’s future in the NHL is plagued by anxiety and the mounting pressure from their dad, coach, and scouts, while Tristan desperately fights to create his own future, not as a hockey player but a musical theatre performer.

As their season progresses and friends turn out to be enemies, Robbie finds solace in an online stranger known only as “Jimmy2416.” Between keeping Robbie’s secret and saving him from taking his life, Tristan is given the final call: sacrifice his dream for a brother he barely knows, or pursue his own path. How far is Robbie willing to go—and more importantly, how far is Tristan willing to go to help him?

Patti says:  I picked this one up by accident but the blurb grabbed me and I’m looking foward to reading Jerkbait. The story sounds original and I think this one’s going to pull at my heartstrings a little (or a lot). 

OutcastOutcast by Kirkman & Azaceta (January 28, 2015):

NEW HORROR SERIES FROM THE WALKING DEAD CREATOR ROBERT KIRKMAN! Kyle Barnes has been plagued by demonic possession all his life and now he needs answers. Unfortunately, what he uncovers along the way could bring about the end of life on Earth as we know it. Collects OUTCAST BY KIRKMAN & AZACETA #1-6.

Patti says:  I love The Walking Dead (not Fear The Walking Dead – let’s just be clear about that) and I had no idea Robert Kirkman had done a graphic novel about demonic posession (yay, right?) I think this one’s going to be really, really scary.

Vassa Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter (September 20, 2016):

In the enchanted kingdom of Brooklyn, the fashionable people put on cute shoes, go to parties in warehouses, drink on rooftops at sunset, and tell themselves they’ve arrived. A whole lot of Brooklyn is like that now—but not Vassa’s working-class neighborhood.

In Vassa’s neighborhood, where she lives with her stepmother and bickering stepsisters, one might stumble onto magic, but stumbling out again could become an issue. Babs Yagg, the owner of the local convenience store, has a policy of beheading shoplifters—and sometimes innocent shoppers as well. So when Vassa’s stepsister sends her out for light bulbs in the middle of night, she knows it could easily become a suicide mission.

But Vassa has a bit of luck hidden in her pocket, a gift from her dead mother. Erg is a tough-talking wooden doll with sticky fingers, a bottomless stomach, and a ferocious cunning. With Erg’s help, Vassa just might be able to break the witch’s curse and free her Brooklyn neighborhood. But Babs won’t be playing fair. . . .

Inspired by the Russian folktale Vassilissa the Beautiful and Sarah Porter’s years of experience teaching creative writing to New York City students.

Patti says:  Okay, I’m just excited for everything about Vassa in the Night. That blurb! That cover!  Sarah Porter is a new-to-me author but I have very high hopes for this book.

last true love story The Last True Love Story by Brandon Kiely (September 13, 2016):

The point of living is learning how to love.

That’s what Gpa says. To Hendrix and Corrina, both seventeen but otherwise alike only in their loneliness, that sounds like another line from a pop song that tries to promise kids that life doesn’t actually suck. Okay, so: love. Sure.

The thing about Corrina—her adoptive parents are suffocating, trying to mold her into someone acceptable, predictable, like them. She’s a musician, itching for any chance to escape, become the person she really wants to be. Whoever that is.

And Hendrix, he’s cool. Kind of a poet. But also kind of lost. His dad is dead and his mom is married to her job. Gpa is his only real family, but he’s fading fast from Alzheimer’s. Looking for any way to help the man who raised him, Hendrix has made Gpa an impossible promise—that he’ll get him back east to the hill where he first kissed his wife, before his illness wipes away all memory of her.

One hot July night, Hendrix and Corrina decide to risk everything. They steal a car, spring Gpa from his assisted living facility, stuff Old Humper the dog into the back seat, and take off on a cross-country odyssey from LA to NY. With their parents, Gpa’s doctors, and the police all hot on their heels, Hendrix and Corrina set off to discover for themselves if what Gpa says is true—that the only stories that last are love stories.

Patti says:  This is another book I stumbled upon by accident! I was waiting to talk to the publishing rep about a book signing, and was browsing their titles when this one caught my eye – they steal a car and spring Grandpa from the old folks’ home!!! I was sold right there.

labrynthLabrynth Lost by Zoraida Cordova (September 6, 2016):

Nothing says Happy Birthday like summoning the spirits of your dead relatives.

I fall to my knees. Shattered glass, melted candles and the outline of scorched feathers are all that surround me. Every single person who was in my house – my entire family — is gone.

Alex is a bruja, the most powerful witch in a generation…and she hates magic. At her Deathday celebration, Alex performs a spell to rid herself of her power. But it backfires. Her whole family vanishes into thin air, leaving her alone with Nova, a brujo boy she can’t trust. A boy whose intentions are as dark as the strange markings on his skin.

The only way to get her family back is to travel with Nova to Los Lagos, a land in-between, as dark as Limbo and as strange as Wonderland…

Beautiful Creatures meets Daughter of Smoke and Bone with an infusion of Latin American tradition in this highly original fantasy adventure.

Patti says:  “Nothing says Happy Birthday like summoning the spirits of your dead relatives.” <– how’s that for an opener?  I love the idea of magic that backfires, and also the “in between” scares the crap out of me. We got to meet this author and she was so lovely and I might be a little in love with her 😉

DAD cov 3_2 3_3_16.inddDancers After Dark by Jordan Matter (October 18, 2016):

Dancers After Dark is an amazing celebration of the human body and the human spirit, as dancers, photographed nude and at night, strike poses of fearless beauty.

Without a permit or a plan, Jordan Matter led hundreds of the most exciting dancers in the world out of their comfort zones—not to mention their clothes—to explore the most compelling reaches of beauty and the human form. After all the risk and daring, the result is extraordinary: 300 dancers, 400 locations, more than 150 daring photographs. No clothes. No arrests. No regrets.

Each image highlights the amazing abilities of these artists—and presents a core message to the reader: Say yes. Embrace the risks and opportunities that life presents.

Patti says:  This is just cool. More of a coffee-table book but still… just so cool. It’s easy to forget how beautiful the human body is and this book is a wonderful reminder.

The Continent by Keira Drake (January 3, 2017):

For her sixteenth birthday, Vaela Sun receives the most coveted gift in all the Spire—a trip to the Continent. It seems an unlikely destination for a holiday: a cold, desolate land where two “uncivilized” nations remain perpetually at war. Most citizens tour the Continent to see the spectacle and violence of battle—a thing long vanished in the Spire. For Vaela—a smart and talented apprentice cartographer—it is an opportunity to improve upon the maps she’s drawn of this vast, frozen land.

But an idyllic aerial exploration is not to be had: the realities of war are made clear in a bloody battle seen from the heli-plane during the tour, leaving Vaela forever changed. And when a tragic accident leaves her stranded on the Continent, she has no illusions about the true nature of the danger she faces. Starving, alone, and lost in the middle of a war zone, Vaela must try to find a way home—but first, she must survive.

Patti says:  There was a lot of YA at ALA this year, and for some reason The Continent stood out for me. Sounds like it’s going to be a riveting read.

Life AfterThe Life After by Joshua Hale Fialkov * Gabo (January 28, 2015):

Jude’s life is nothing special. It seems like every day is just a repeat of the last one, until one day, he meets a woman and can suddenly see into her past — revealing that he is actually in Purgatory for suicides. Now that he’s awake, he and the legendary Ernest Hemingway are on the path to change things in the afterlife for the better. Of course, that might not sit very well with the bigwigs down below or up above. Can just a few people change the course of billions of souls? Collects the first five issues of the ongoing series.

Patti says:  I honestly surprised myself with how much I enjoyed the Graphic Novel aisle at ALA. The rep brought this one to my attention as one he really liked and after reading the blurb and talking with him, I had to agree it sounds promising – hanging out with Earnest Hemingway in the afterlife? I love it!

Of course I couldn’t pick only 10 books!  Here are two more that speak to me on a personal level:

poetry protestOf Poetry and Protest by Phil Cushway and Michael Warr (June 21, 2016):

Included in this extraordinary volume are the poems of 43 of America’s most talented African American wordsmiths, including Pulitzer Prize–winning poets Rita Dove, Natasha Tretheway, Yusef Komunyakaa, and Tracy K. Smith, as well as the work of other luminaries such as Elizabeth Alexander, Ishmael Reed, and Sonia Sanchez. Included are poems such as “No Wound of Exit” by Patricia Smith, “We Are Not Responsible” by Harryette Mullen, and “Poem for My Father” by Quincy Troupe. Each is accompanied by a photograph of the poet along with a first-person biography. The anthology also contains personal essays on race such as “The Talk” by Jeannine Amber and works by Harry Belafonte, Amiri Baraka, and The Reverend Dr. William Barber II, architect of the Moral Mondays movement, as well as images and iconic political posters of the Black Lives Matter movement, Malcolm X, and the Black Panther Party. Taken together, Of Poetry and Protest gives voice to the current conversation about race in America while also providing historical and cultural context. It serves as an excellent introduction to African American poetry and is a must-have for every reader committed to social justice and racial harmony.

Patti says:  Poetry about social justice, civil rights, essays on race in America – I think that Of Poetry and Protest is going to touch many people, including myself, in many ways. And I think that’s a good thing.

 

 

drowned cityDrowned City: Hurricane Katrina & New Orleans by Don Brown (August 4, 2015):

On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina’s monstrous winds and surging water overwhelmed the protective levees around low-lying New Orleans, Louisiana. Eighty percent of the city flooded, in some places under twenty feet of water. Property damages across the Gulf Coast topped $100 billion. One thousand eight hundred and thirty-three people lost their lives. The tale of this historic storm and the drowning of an American city is one of selflessness, heroism, and courage—and also of incompetence, racism, and criminality.

Patti says:  I think many of you know that Rachel and I are in New Orleans and when I saw the author was going to be signing copies of Drowned City, I knew I had to postpone my trip home from ALA to meet him.  I have not had a chance to read the book yet but am always curious to see how the city and the people of New Orleans are portrayed in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. (I cannot believe it’s already been 11 years.)

So, what upcoming books are you excited about?

I’m embarrassed to be a book blogger…

I’m embarrassed to be a book blogger…

I used to be proud to say I was a book blogger. Five years ago, when I attended a con, I would declare my status of book blogger with pride. I would say what blog I owned and I would get happy nods. I would get smiles. I would get authors pushing their cards into my hands, I would get books pushed on me.

I feel like some old lady. “I remember when…” blogging was in it’s prime. Then one scandal rocked our world after another. And it keeps happening. Now something happens, and I’m all, oh yeah – that’s every year after BEA and ALA. Or – oh yeah, she wasn’t as bad as that YA Blogger – you know, She Who Must Not Be Named. But, now it’s not fun anymore. Now, it’s trickled out of our little world and into the world we love, the world of authors, publishers and publicists. Now when you say blogger, it’s not an interesting thing, you’re just another person trying to get a free book. We’ve been stereotyped.

And we deserve it.

I hate saying that. Maybe a good portion of us are in it for the love of books. But a lot, especially the ones that rat the cons and are our PUBLIC facade are in it for what they can grab. The truth of the matter is, that if 10 book bloggers show up at a con and one acts like an asshole, that’s all everyone remembers. The one asshole. I’ve seen people go bonkers at a con for a stack of hot ARCs. Bonkers. It always seems to be a blogger. Oh yeah and that one grandma of the blogger.

I now even have my own personal author/blogger drama.  I don’t want to tell this story (you’re my first), because it’s embarrassing. But at my first signing, as an author, I had a blogger walk up to me.

She said, “Hi my name is ______ and I’m from ________.”

Don’t ask me to tell you the blog name or her name, I have no idea, can’t remember actually.

I looked at her blankly, because I had no idea who she was. I was so new in the author game, I thought she was going to say something like, “I love your tutorials.” But, no, she stood there like I should do something. When I didn’t say anything, she said, “I’ll promote your book if you give me a copy.” And then she looked pointedly at my stack of books in front of me and held out her hand. I was so stunned I handed her a book. She didn’t even ask me to sign it or say thank you, she just walked off. I was embarrassed after because I should have told her to do something inappropriate with a rod-shaped piece of wood. But, I was so stunned by her that I followed directions like a sheep. I don’t even remember her blog name to see if she did promote my book.

And that was my first interaction with a “blogger” as an author. It’s funny, when you bring up bloggers with authors they all nod their head and smile, saying “We love bloggers!” And then they glance warily around themselves, like “who was listening?” Because they don’t want to get in trouble with a blogger. If they were to voice a negative opinion suddenly all their books will be 1-starred and their career ruined. But, if they experienced something like that- something like I experienced. Something like the current drama that is going on, why would they love bloggers?

And it’s so unfair. I don’t want to be embarrassed to be a book blogger. I love book bloggers. I have never met better people in my life. There is nothing like meeting someone that loves books as much as you do. Nothing like it!!! I don’t want to be embarrassed to be a book blogger. I don’t want to scared to voice my opinion about another blogger that is stealing, scamming or ripping me off. Scared that I’ll  be called a bully and now that I have books – all of them 1-starred. Call me a bully, so be it, write a bad review. It’s already happened. One bad interaction with a blogger and she marked all my books to 1-star – and she was the one that was stealing my designs! But, again I’m the bully.  I just don’t want to be embarrassed to do what I love. I just don’t want this to be what we become.

I don’t know what to do to fix it. Only that we have to be louder voices. We have to be the ones that show our faces. We have to be the ones that say “hey that’s not right.

So, here I am saying – hey this is not right. Taking five and six copies of the same ARC at BEA and ALA is not right! Then charging for it – not right:

 

Because guess what BLOGGERS – because of people like this “book blogger” signs like this are now going up and people are laughing about us. Go away little Blogger – these books are not for you. Download your eBook like a good little blogger. 

I really am embarrassed, now. I don’t know what I would do if I was walking around ALA happily taking ARCs and saw that sign. Patti went to ALA I can’t wait to hear what she says about this. I would have probably gone back and put my books back. I don’t want to have to put my books back. 🙁

Update:

It would seem this blogger, scammer, that runs Crossroads Reviews, that I called out in the post has been doing this for a LONG time. It would seem the ego on us “old hat” book bloggers think that we as a community are above this stuff. Above scammers and cheats. But, like all communities there are people out there that prey on the unsuspecting and trusting. This blogger from Crossroads Reviews seems to be one of those people that think they “deserve” to take money from other people. And it’s gone on since 2013 – why it’s just now coming out is beyond me. We can’t let people like this infiltrate our community.

Example 1 2013 -> https://www.facebook.com/ravenreview/posts/500207320015690

Example 2 2015 > https://m.facebook.com/mereadalot/posts/817452165036797

Example 3 2015 > https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/2365789-other-trading-sites

Her response to the drama (she keeps deleting the comments):
Jessica Porter, Scamming Book Blogger

My rebuttal: 

  1. It costs me  $3.52 to ship 2 books via media mail the other week, in an envelope that she ships in.
  2. She has deleted the original post, so there is no way to see the “other goodies” part
  3. The four people in the room are said to be her family, and there is proof in her pictures and from people that witnessed that she had her small kids with wristbands on their wrists to get books.
  4. We have no knowledge of a Disney trip or a GoFundMe, only claims by below book blogger about a GoFundMe campaign that wasn’t used for what it was intended. Nothing substantiated.

Serious Accusations:

Jessica Porter of Crossroads Review is now being accused of fraud. I must reiterate that all of these posts are one blogger’s word against another’s. Take it how you will:

7/7/16 – Response from Crossroads Review Blogger in a post – equipped with hashtags in the title for classy effect: Open letter to the #Blogging #Publisher Community at large

“We are sorry that this was all blown out of proportion. This entire situation was been a drain on twitter and the page as well as on us personally. And we hope that this letter will stop all the drama, bulling, and hate.”

My Take: Does no one know how to do a proper apology anymore, or spell? Words – “We are sorry that this was all blown out of proportion.” Akin to “I’m sorry ya’ll are idiots – I did nothing wrong.”

See the “real” post: link
Don’t want to give her pageivews: Screener1 | Screener2 | Screener3

And look! At the bottom of the post – if you comment, you can win a book! I’m sure she’ll charge you for shipping though (the fine print). Only $20 in shipping!

Screen Shot 2016-07-07 at 10.16.04 PM

 

7/7/16 – Posts about Jessica Porter and Crossroads reviews are being reported on Facebook, so are being taken down.

 


7/7/16 – Blogger Jessica Porter is believed to be in the process of creating a new blogging identity – Bookstagram-> “FieryReads

7/8/16 – Blogger Jennifer Christensen who spoke up about her prior relationship with Jessica Porter is claiming to be bullied and pressured into recanting her story. Please see her comment below (#84) and give your support.

7/8/16 – More aliases are popping up left and right for “Jessica”, we have @WitchReader, we have “rainamem” who commented on this post, saying  “I’m proud to be a friend to Jessic and Crossroads” – but it’s actually Jessica herself. She put in an email she used to use:

 

No, the quote is not spelled incorrectly – she can’t spell her own name.

7/8/16 – All comments on blogger Jessica Porter’s “apology” post have been deleted. But all have been documented. See link above “Screener3”

********** I’m sure there will be more updates. *********

 

The HOTTEST Books to Movie & Television in 2016

The HOTTEST Books to Movie & Television in 2016

I love when books become movies. Love love love them! Sometimes they suck. Sometimes they blow my mind. But, everytime I get to fangirl all over them before they come out.

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancy

Coming to Theaters: Jan 22nd

The Quickie: Aliens are attacking in waves. The human race has been decimated and no one has even seen an alien. Teenage spitfire, Cassie, played by Hit Girl herself, Chloë Grace Moretz, is left on her own, her parents are dead and her little brother has been taken. She must find her brother and survive the alien attack. Oh and find some hot boys…to be caught in a love triangle with. Must read, must watch.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith

Coming to Theaters: Feb 5th

The Quickie: Set in the world of Jane Austen, this parody combines dark humor with my favorite book! In this version of P&P Elizabeth Bennett played by Lily James, (Cinderella) and her sisters are a zombie fighting team, intent on killing the dead, while their mother is intent on hooking them up with a good husband.

The Magicians by Lev Grossman

Coming to SyFY: Jan 25th

The Quickie: Another one that I believe will be based loosely on the book, this is about students recruited to learn magic. The book was pretty good, I enjoy SyFy series, but they do tend to get cheesy.

Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them by J.K. Rowling

Coming to SyFY: Nov 18th

The Quickie: If you are really missing Harry, now you get to step back into his world! Set a few decades back and featuring a new character – meet Newt, played by Eddie Redmayne, he’s like an attractive Hagrid.
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Through The Looking-Glass, And What Alice Found There by Lewis Carroll

Coming to Theaters: May 27th

The Quickie: This one will following in the vein of Alice in Wonderland, the first movie from Disney, a movie more inspired than based off of the book by Lewis Carrol.

More Movies and TV Series coming soon...

Books to tv, books to movie 2016
The Shannara Chronicles by Terry Brooks Airing: January 5th Where: MTV
Books to tv, books to movie 2016

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
Airing: January 18th

Where:  A&E & History Channel

Books to tv, books to movie 2016

The Choice by Nicholas Sparks

Airing: February 5th
Where: The Big Screen

Books to tv, books to movie 2016

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (The Taliban Shuffle by Michiko Kakutani)

Airing: March 4, 2016
Where: Theater

Books to tv, books to movie 2016

The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling

Airing: April 15th
Where: The Big Screen

Books to tv, books to movie 2016

The Legend of Tarzan by Edgar Rice Burroughs

Airing: July 1st
Where: On the Big Screen

Books to tv, books to movie 2016

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Airing: October 7th
Where: On the big screen

Books to tv, books to movie 2016

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

Airing: October 14th
Where: On the big screen

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