Friday, May 27, 2011

Armchair BEA - Blogging on Blogging

Blog is such a fun word to say. Bloooooog. Blog blog blog blog. It always makes me think of Bob Loblaw's Law Blog on Arrested Development (best TV show ever).

I couldn't find a clip of him talking about his law blog, but you get the idea.

For blogging on blogging day, I'd love to pose the question - what do you look for in a blog? My friend Allison touched on being personal and getting to know the blogger through their posts. But where do you draw the line? I do get somewhat personal on Twitter, but I almost feel as if I can't here. I want to keep things professional because I want publishers to take me seriously. I want them to respect me. I feel that if I start writing about my personal life or my career as a voice actor that I might diminish their view of me as a professional book blogger. I try to let my personality shine through in my reviews. I think it is what makes me stand out as a reviewer and I know it's what I look for when reading reviews - personality. I like to read reviews that have a life of their own and aren't just straightforward critiques.

How do you guys feel about this? What do you look for in a review?

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Armchair BEA - Nurturing Blogger Relationships

Like my podcast co-host, Allison of Reading Everywhere, I'm pretty new at this blogging thing. It all started because of my reading addiction and now has become a major part of my day to day activities. I love reading and reviewing books. I'd love to hear how other bloggers got started. I know some of you talked about it in your bios, but I'd love to hear more.

So.. I'd like to spark a discussion on here.
- What is your favorite part of blogging? Are you an ARC addict like me? (I swear, I chant "arc arc arc" on my way to the mailbox everyday and I get excited when I hear the UPS truck! I'm a dork.)
- Do you blog about any genre in particular and why? (For me, I'm addicted to reading YA so that's why I blog about it. It has nothing to do with the YA hype.)
- What do you do to spread the word about your blog? I've tried posting comments on other's blogs when I get time, I do a lot of marketing with Twitter & Google, but I would love to hear how others increase their traffic.
- How do you feel about giveaways? It's something I've been thinking about doing once a month, but I don't know. For now, I'm going to leave that to our podcast.
- Do you work with your local bookstores to promote the books you review?
- Have you ever gotten a negative reaction from an author or publisher?

I cannot wait to see what you guys have to say. I have so much love and respect for my fellow bloggers. :D Let's chat!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Armchair BEA - My top 5 of 2011 (so far!)

So today for Armchair BEA, we're supposed to write about our favorite books that we've read so far in 2011. THIS IS SO HARD. OH MY GOODNESS. I have read so many good books this year! I've cut down the list to just my top 5, in no particular order.

1. Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini - my review - I cannot wait for "Starcrossed" to come out next week so I can read it again. I've already purchased a handful of copies for my friends and family. We're also giving away an autographed copy over at I just love it so much! It's such a fun, cinematic read. I'm an action junkie and Ms. Angelini writes some AH-MAZING action scenes. Plus the romance.. ahh.. so angsty and delicious.

2. The Curse Workers series by Holly Black - my review - Okay. This is technically two books, but I had to include them both. This series is great! It is film noir meets magic. Plus it's YA told from a male character's POV. Love it.

3. The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa - my review - What can I say? I love fairies, I love love triangles, and I love action. This series has it all. Everyone I know who has read it has loved it. If you haven't read it yet, go get a copy right now. The first book in the series is "The Iron King".

4. Across the Universe by Beth Revis - my review - I really enjoyed this book. Science fiction is another one of my favorite genres so "Across the Universe" was on my must read list for 2011. My husband even liked it and he's not a YA fan! It's just that good.

5. Beauty Queens by Libba Bray - my review - this is just so different from anything else I've read this year. It was a lot of fun and had me laughing out loud the entire time.

Gosh!! There are so many more I want to list, but I promised myself I'd limit it to five. So there you go. Let me know what you think about my choices. I'd love to hear from you!

Edit: Also FYI, no E's Pick of the Week this week due to Armchair BEA. :) It'll be back next week!

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

Take pure silly fun, mix in some witty satire, and wrap it all up in a sparkly tiara and you have Libba Bray’s “Beauty Queens”. This book is over the top, crazy and absolutely priceless. I enjoyed every minute and found myself laughing out loud (which I rarely do) throughout.

It’s the story of a group of competitive girls, stranded on a remote island, forced to figure out how to survive. They were vying for the Teen Dream crown, but now it’s for their lives. Meanwhile, there is something fishy going on. One of the girls spots lights coming from the other side of the island and also - why hasn’t anyone rescued them yet? In this world, things are run by “The Corporation” from what you watch on TV to what detergent you buy. Scattered throughout the book are little ads, interviews, and other randomness related to “The Corporation” and its products. How is “The Corporation” involved and can the girls survive without hot boys, lip gloss and flat irons? Well, you’ll just have to read to find out.

Before I go on, I have a confession to make. I’m a former teen pageant girl. I was Miss Wisconsin Teen America for two consecutive Miss Teen America pageants. Yeah, I’m that cool. Here’s a picture to prove it!

So, this book connected with me. It reminded me of the adventures I went through as a teen. I never really went any further with pageantry, but I went to a lot of them during “my reign”. Libba Bray’s characters did remind me of some of the interesting people I met during my pageant days. Though most of the girls I met were incredibly sweet and intelligent young ladies (and are still my friends today!), I met my fair share of characters too. Ahh.. the good ol’ days.

Libba Bray’s word play is brilliant. She plays it overly sweet with a bitter aftertaste. I love the character of “The Corporation” telling the story and the little footnotes, commercial breaks, and interviews thrown in throughout the novel. Ms. Bray also really plays up pop culture stereotypes. There is your smarty pants, your goody two-shoes, your lesbian, your transgender, etc. They are all portrayed in here. Yes, they are all pretty simple, but when dealing with a large cast in a satirical young adult novel, that’s bound to happen. I was browsing around online and saw some people bashing on the stereotypes. Um, it’s an over-the-top comedy, people. Take a chill pill. You need to come into this book looking for fun and cynicism. If that isn’t your cup of tea, then move on, bucko! This book is NOT for you. It also deals with issues like drugs, violence, and sex so be sure to review it before passing it along to younger readers. I'm not really sure they'd get a lot of the satire either. Best to keep this for your older teen and adult readers.

I could go on and on about how much I enjoyed reading "Beauty Queens". This book is seriously too much fun and if you have an awesome sense of humor, like me (ha!), you should check out this book today. You will get to learn about fantastic products such as “Lady ‘Stache Off” and read great song lyrics like “I’m your emo eunuch”. Seriously, does it get any better than that?

I received a copy of “Beauty Queens” by Libba Bray from the publisher for review. It is scheduled to be released to be released today (May 24th) by Scholastic.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Armchair BEA - My introduction post

Wow! This is so cool. So for those of you who aren't book bloggers or part of the publishing world, there is this MAJOR event going on this week in NYC called BookExpo America (or BEA for short). Since there are a lot of us that aren't able to attend, some lovely bloggers got together and created "Armchair BEA". They've gotten tons of sponsors, are doing fun giveaways, etc. You can check it all out on their website. What sweet and totally awesome people! I love my fellow bloggers.

Anyways, I'll be participating as much as I can this week. Today's project is to post an introduction about me and this here blog o'mine. :) So here goes! My name is Michelle. I started blogging because I love to write. I'm too scared to write fiction so I just write ABOUT fiction. Hah! I'm addicted to reading. I blame my mother-in-law. She was my elementary school media specialist and she got me hooked! My favorite genre is young adult fiction. It's what I blog about and it's what I read most of the time. I do read some non-fiction (mostly about food and health), but other than that, it's YA. :) I just love the quick pace of young adult fiction. I cannot stand reading books where it is obvious that the author just likes to read his own writing. Boooooooring. You can't pull those kind of stunts in YA. You'll lose your readers. So, it's perfect for someone like me who has limited time, but wants to read as many stories as possible.

As far as some info about me, well, I'm a mom of an almost 2 year old son. Every week, he gets in on the blogging action and chooses a "Pick of the Week". When I'm not reading or spending time with my son, I'm voice acting. It's pretty much the best job ever. I refuse to grow up (hence the name of my blog!) and my job allows me to play pretend for a living. It's amazing. Today, I played two young teen girls for a cartoon audition, a 20 something for a book trailer audition and then a 40 year old woman for a commercial. I love not knowing what tomorrow may bring. It's exciting! Hrmm... what else what else. I like to garden, though I'm still having a hard time adjusting to gardening in SoCal. (I'm originally from Wisconsin.) My husband and I are a bit "hippie dippie". We're very into organic foods and nutrition. I have a semi-active blog with recipes over at OH AND I RUN A SUPER COOL PODCAST with Allison called Authors are ROCKSTARS! and you should go check it out right now. We interview YA authors and share kick butt music!

Okay seriously, enough blabbering about me! So excited to be participating in Armchair BEA! :)

Firelight by Sophie Jordan

I feel weird writing this for my occasional “oldie, but a goodie” section since it was just released in the fall of 2010. Why not? We’ll just call it “a (not so) oldie, but a (very) goodie”, okay? Before I get into my summary and then the review, let me warn you that it’s best to have a pretty clear calendar for the day when you sit down to read this book. It will suck you in and not let you go until it is done. :)

This is a tale of love, a love that is powerful and consuming. Will and Jacinda are a modern day Romeo & Juliet. Jacinda is a draki, a race descended from dragons and hunted for their skills and healing properties. She grew up in a sheltered society where she was treasured for her innate draki gift, she’s a fire breather and the first draki with this gift in a very long time. After being forced by her mother to leave the only home and society she’s ever known, she’s thrust into the human world and forced to try to be something she’s not, a normal human girl. This is where she runs into Will, though not their first meeting. Will is from a family of hunters, human beings that do what their name implies, hunt. They capture drakis and use them (or their body parts!) for their own personal gain. Will, though, isn’t like his family. He has a warm heart and he shares a deep connection with Jacinda. For Jacinda, he’s the only thing keeping her from losing who she really is. The question is … is love enough to break every rule, to go against everything they’ve ever known?

If you are a fan of young adult paranormal romance, then you should check this book out today. It’s not as action-heavy as some of the others out there, but there are still some intense sequences for my fellow action junkies out there. The romance though is beautiful and Jacinda’s journey of self-discovery is something every teen goes through, draki or mortal. We all have different sides to ourselves and are sometimes forced to choose between them. The draki lore is really interesting and obviously well thought out. I am really looking forward to learning more as soon as the other books in this series are released. If you’re looking for a romance that is full of fiery passion (wah wah wah), look no further. You’ll find it in “Firelight”.

Firelight is published by HarperCollins and is available now at a bookstore near you. The sequel, Vanish, will be released in September of this year. I’ll be reviewing it here, so stay tuned.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Wildefire by Karsten Knight

Ooo! This book is serious fun. I love books involving ancient myth and this book adds a fun cultural twist on things. It isn’t just limited to the myths of the Greek. There are Egyptian, Polynesian and Norse, oh my! And that’s just to name a few of the originating cultures for this group of teenage god misfits.

The book though follows the story of one young woman in particular... a young girl named Ashline Wildefire. The book starts off on an action heavy note - Ash has just found out that her boyfriend has cheated on her with the resident school blondie and Ash is in the process of kicking her teeth in. If this wasn’t bad enough, her run-away sister returns and does the unthinkable in retaliation. We then fast forward to Ash attending a boarding school on the other side of the country and continuing her slightly rebellious life. She falls in with a group of fellow students and they all find out... they’re the reincarnations of gods and goddesses! How crazy is that? But how did they all end up here and why is someone trying to kill them all? And oh! Where does her well-meaning but destructive goddess sister fit into all of this? Well, you’ll just have to read “Wildefire” to find out.

Karsten Knight has a wonderful voice. I have to admit, I was a little apprehensive of male voice with a teenage female protagonist. I know that’s really sexist of me, but you don’t see a lot of male writers in YA period, let alone writing action/romance paranormal young adult literature. Mr. Knight delivers though. He creates a cast of characters that you really come to care for, which is saying a lot since it is a BIG cast and a LOT is going on. The flashbacks that each character goes through are incredibly moving and really give life to each teen god/goddess. Ashline (or Ash) is an amazing heroine. She’s definitely strong-willed and powerful, but she has a vulnerable side and real feelings. She definitely is a girl who lives in the “gray” of life, but has a good heart. She loves her sister, despite the palpable tension between them. There is so much depth to her and despite her being quite literally extraordinary, she still feels like your average teenage girl in a lot of ways. Adult and teen readers alike will fall in love with Ash. She’s fun, playful, vulnerable, strong, loving, smart and powerful. What isn’t there to love about a young woman like that?

Another character I’d really like to single out is her sister Eve. While she lives in a darker life than Ash, there is still so much good to her. You don’t know whether to love or hate her, despite all the horrible things she’s done. I love when things are not cut and dry. It adds another layer of suspense and makes things more complex for the reader. The action sequences between Eve and Ash are outstanding. Wow. I could feel my muscles tensing along with Ash and my heartbeat increase when confronting Eve. All the action scenes in this book were outstanding.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It was one of the books I read while on bed rest for a back injury. It really kept me engaged and entertained the entire time I was reading it. There were a few moments that were maybe a bit rushed, but never to the point where they pulled me out of the story. The characters are what really make this book though. I’m seriously impressed with the emotional connection I was able to form with this large cast of characters due to Knight’s clever character development.

I could keep raving about this book, but this review is getting long winded! Go out and pre-order yourself a copy today.

I received an ARC of Wildefire from the publisher to review. It is published by Simon & Schuster and is scheduled to be released in July of this year. Pre-order a copy today. It's worth the wait!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Cascade by Lisa T. Bergen

I’ve found that sometimes good fantasy books can get buried because they get categorized into the “Christian fantasy” section and people immediately go “well, that’s not for me!” I’ve read some really great fantasy novels, that are technically Christian fantasy, but aren’t preachy at all! I hate to see these good books go unnoticed by fans of fantasy and this series by Lisa T. Bergen is one of the ones I’d really like people for people to try!

The River of Time series, by Lisa T. Bergen, is good ol’ fashion fun. I really had a great time reading the first installment, Waterfall (review). So when the author offered for me to read an ARC of “Cascade”, I jumped at the chance! It was just what I was looking for.. something not ridiculously angsty (don’t get me wrong, I love angst, but a girl needs a break now and then!), sexy, or dark. I wanted something light, clean, but still fantasy and this was the perfect fit. Cascade continues the story of sisters Lia and Gabi who have found a portal to travel back in time. The story begins right where we left off with book one, their arrival back into present time after Gabi’s been poisoned in the past. As happy as they are to be home, Gabi’s left a part of her heart back in the 14th century and she’s anxious to return to her Italian nobleman. In order to do so, Lia and Gabi have to convince their scientist mother to join them. But... the past isn’t for everyone. It’s a world where death is present in the everyday life of even the wealthy. To Gabi, this makes life more real, more vivid, but what about Lia and her mother? Can she convince them that the 14th century is a place for all of them? And what about this great power they hold in the time portal... could they use it to save their deceased father from his fate?

So many questions and while Ms. Bergen does go about answering quite a few of them, she leaves you anxious to read the third book which will be coming out later this year. The writing is solid, though sometimes the youth voice seems a bit forced. Nothing too irritating though! The adventure is fabulous. I’m a big fan of action scenes and “Cacade” is chocked full of them. If you’re an action junkie, you’ll love these books. Sword fights, horse chases, great escapes, and all set in medieval Italy? Oh so fun! Yes, God is mentioned. 1) It’s 14th century Italy. Religion is pretty important culturally. 2) Um, they are facing life or death situations so sometimes they pray or think about God. That’s about it though. It’s REALLY not preachy so those of you who are turned off by it being a “Christian” book have no need to fear. I don’t want to get into my religious views on here, but I’m not really a religious person and have strong opinions about preaching and it doesn’t bother me. Don’t let this simple yet very fun fantasy story pass you by. It’s worth a read and is the perfect book to take to the beach this June.

The River of Time series is published by David. C Cook. "Cascade" is scheduled to be released on June 1st of this year. I was provided with a digital ARC by the author for honest review.

Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion, Illustrated by Margaret Bloy Graham

E's Pick of the Week is a classic! It's "Harry the Dirty Dog" by Gene Zion, illustrated by Margaret Bloy Graham. This is the tale of a little dog who wants nothing more than to get dirty and play. He leaves his family home to do so, but realizes in the end, that he misses his family. They're even worth enduring a bath! This book is a bit longer, but my little guy still sits through it and loves every minute. The illustrations are fantastic and incredibly detailed. E loves exploring the backgrounds of each page to find items that he recognizes. His favorite page is the one with the coal chute. This book is great to read anytime of the day, but makes a nice addition to a night time routine due to it's soothing rhythm and ending on the note of sleeping. We read it before naps and in the evening everyday.

"Harry the Dirty Dog" is published by HarperCollins and is available in a variety of formats (we have the board book!). Go pick up a copy at your local bookstore today. :)

Friday, May 13, 2011

Wishful Thinking by Alexandra Bullen

If you could wish away all your troubles and get a new life, would you? Seventeen year old Hazel has been given that opportunity. On the day she decides to finally approach her birth mother...she is given a gift. The seamstress that she brings her thrift store dress to not only repairs her gown, but unknowingly to Hazel, gives her three magical dresses in return. Each dress corresponds to one wish. Hazel discovers her unexpected fairy godmother’s magic when she is thrust into the past on a journey to complete her first wish... a wish to get to know her mother.

This book floats like its magical butterflies in a few different genres. It seems to take all the best pieces from every genre and blend them into a solid, emotional tale of self-discovery and strength. “Wishful Thinking” is technically a sequel to Alexandra Bullen’s first book “Wish”, but it reads as a standalone. This book makes me think of my mother. As I mentioned in my review of Lost Voices, my mom had a thing for stories about wounded people. Hazel definitely fits the bill. She’s been on her own all of her life. She was adopted by a woman who passed away when she was just a baby and has been passed from home to home since. She doesn’t know who she is or where she belongs. She has lived her whole life in survival mode, not getting to close to caring about anything since it could all just get taken away. Then she gets this incredible chance to possibly change her whole life story. It’s a story of self-discovery and learning that part of what makes you who you are as a person are the challenges you face along the way.

I really enjoyed “Wishful Thinking”. It was really thoughtful and well written. There is something in it for everyone - romance, a touch of fantasy, time travel, and some deep characters. The end made me teary eyed, so be sure to have a box of tissues near by. You may need them! Man, I really just don’t have much to say. It was very enjoyable and really defies words. It won’t blow your mind, but it will certainly make you think. What would you do if you were given three wishes? Would you change your life or are you happy with who you already are?

I was provided with a copy of “Wishful Thinking” by the publisher. This book is published by Scholastic and was released in January of this year. Go pick up a copy today.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Tempest Rising by Tracy Deebs

THANK YOU TRACY DEEBS. Let me tell you, as a girl who grew up during Disney’s revival, I lllllllllooooooooovvvvvveeeee mermaids (yes, the extra letters are necessary). I’ve been aching to find a mermaid book that clicked with me and Tracy Deebs delivered with “Tempest Rising”.

Tempest Maguire is an almost seventeen year old surfer gal who would be happy to just continue living her life the way it is - surfing day and night, dating her off-and-on slightly overprotective boyfriend, and taking care of her family. Unfortunately, that’s not her only option. Her seventeenth birthday is quickly approaching and she’ll soon be faced with an incredible life decision - to remain on land or answer the call of the ocean, like her mother did six years ago. That’s right. Tempest isn’t your average girl. She’s half mermaid and has grown up knowing this. It wasn’t such a big deal until her mom left six years ago, leaving her to take care of her two younger brothers and her heartbroken father. She left each of her children a note letting them know about the situation they’d each face someday. For Tempest though, this decision is even bigger than she could possibly imagine. There’s something out there in the ocean, calling to her. It wants her and she has no idea why. Then there is dark and sexy Kai, who mysteriously appears at the water’s edge one day and the connection between them is beyond anything she’s ever experienced. How is a girl to choose?

“Tempest Rising” is such a fun read! I read it in less than 24 hours. I just couldn’t stop. It’s addictive. The chemistry between the character crackles with electricity and boy oh boy, can Ms. Deebs write a good kissing scene. It does follow a lot of the traditional YA paranormal romance formula - life seems perfect, finds out life isn’t perfect when hottie appears, angsty love triangle ensues, then epic action, adventure, yadda yadda yadda. I know some of you may be sick of this, but you know, there is a reason this formula exists … because it works. Tracy Deebs takes it on and makes it her own with “Tempest Rising”. She creates two lovely worlds (the beaches of San Diego and the underwater world of the Pacific) that Tempest has to choose from. Each world have amazing things to offer her, but one world needs her and maybe she needs it too.

My only problem with this book, which seems to be the popular complaint, is the ending. There was so much tension and then it kinda went thump. I seriously had to do a double take and back track to make sure that I didn’t miss anything (I was reading this book FAST since I was dying to know what was going to happen to Tempest!). I’m happy to report, after browsing like a madwoman online, that I discovered this isn’t a standalone and there are going to be other books in this series. THANK YOU. I am dying to know what happens with Tempest after she makes her decision and how the world and the love she chooses is affected.

Okay. Enough rambling from this crazy blogger. If I say anymore, I am totally going to spoil it for you and I do not want to do that. If you’re like me and you like mermaids & paranormal romance, this is a must read. Why are you still here? Go out and buy a copy now! The author is doing a $75 gift certificate giveaway over on her blog! Tomorrow is the contest deadline. :)

I was provided with an ARC by the publisher (thank you!). “Tempest Rising” by Tracy Deebs is scheduled to be released on May 10th (today! Happy book birthday!). It is published by Walker Books for Children (Bloomsbury).

BooBoo by Olivier Dunrea

E’s Pick of the Week comes from the series of books by Olivier Dunrea that are all about quirky goslings. This week’s favorite gosling is BooBoo, a small blue gosling who likes to eat. This book has long been Elliot’s favorite in the series due to the large amount of hummingbirds in it (a favorite animal of his). Though hummingbirds aren’t the only thing on his mind nowadays, he still loves reading about BooBoo’s adventure, as she eats everything that she sees. He especially likes it when we get to the burping part and we make silly noises to represent her burping. The book has a pleasing repetitive nature that children will love. Elliot loves to sign “eat” or say it when we run into the word over and over again. It’s a fun one. Some of the other gosling books have some awkward pacing or odd rhythm, but BooBoo is just as wonderful as the original, another one of E’s favorites, Gossie. :)

BooBoo is published by Houghton Mifflin for Children. It is available in Hardcover, Board Book, and apparently, for your Kindle as well.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross

Like many debut novels, I came into reading “The Girl in the Steel Corset” with low expectations. It’s not that this book isn’t well loved. It’s getting some great reviews from my fellow bloggers. I just tend to be a harsher critic than most. That being said, I really did enjoy “The Girl in the Steel Corset”. It suffers from some of the same problems that most debut authors seem to have (for example - “show, don’t tell”), but the writing and plot are solid enough to keep the flow going even through the more “tell-oriented” scenes. Ms. Cross shows promise in this debut novel to become a rising star in the world of young adult fiction.

The story follows Finley Jayne, who at the top of the book is about to be molested by her employer, a spoiled rich boy with sadistic tendencies. Being threatened unleashes Miss Jayne’s dark side, allowing her to beat the crud out of the jerk and make a run for it. While running, she crashes into a young duke named Griffin, who takes her in, realizing that her darkness is something special and a bit... familiar. Come to find out, Griffin and his band of misfits who all live on his estate are just like Finley. They’re different. They use their abilities to help protect the crown (this does take place in a Steampunk version of Victorian England after all!) and are currently investigating a series of crimes committed by a man they call the “Machinist”. There are two little love triangles, a cowboy with a dark secret, and a young man who happens to be part robot. Does it get any better than this?

I really liked our heroine, Finley Jayne, and would have loved to get to know both sides of her better. She really goes through a lot in this book and comes out of it a completely new person (and not just metaphorically!). Throughout the book, she becomes this incredibly complex character that doesn’t know what she wants or what she is yet in life. It’s something I think any YA reader can relate to. We all at some point in our life felt a little different. The secondary characters are also great and I look forward to getting to know them more in the rest of the series.

I’ve never read a Steampunk book before, but I have to say - I really enjoyed that aspect of “The Girl in the Steel Corset”. It was like sci-fi and historical fiction (two genres you know I love) having a baby! :D Due to the somewhat technical nature of the book, Ms. Cross can at times get a little detail oriented which slows down the pacing. I think this will improve in the sequel though now that she’s set up her version of the time period and explained a lot of the mechanics involved.

“The Girl in the Steel Corset” is full of lush imagery of a mechanized Victorian England, gorgeous costumes (I want some of these outfits!), and science fiction-y style action and adventure. This is the first installment in the “Steampunk Chronicles”. It is a tad slow at times, but now that all of this set up has taken place, I’m sure the rest of the series is going to move at a faster pace. I enjoyed escaping into this incredible world and am looking forward to book 2!

I was provided with a digital ARC via from the publisher. “The Girl in the Steel Corset” is published by Harlequin and will be released May 24th.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

It’s Time to Sleep, My Love by Nancy Tillman and Eric Metaxas

Sleep has been a major focus for our family lately. E has been having some sleep problems ever since he reached toddlerhood. So, we’ve been on the hunt for books that are soothing and talk about sleeping. We found a great addition to our collection which is E’s Pick of the Week - “It’s Time to Sleep, My Love”. This book is absolutely gorgeous and the rhythm of the text is very soothing. E just loves to cuddle up and listen to us reading it in a calming voice. He adores all the animals saying good night to their babies. The depth of the images really allows him to visually explore the image while listening to us reading.

Breathtaking artwork and a soothing melody make this book a valuable and pleasant one to add to any night time routine. I know that E is happy we got a copy and I think your little one will enjoy it too!

“It’s Time to Sleep, My Love” is published by Feiwel & Friends (a Macmillan imprint). It is available in hardcover or board book form.
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