Picture Book Saturday: A Kiss Goodbye




A Kiss Goodbye

Moving is hard on everyone, but especially children. Chester Raccoon, whom readers have come to know and love through the New York Times bestseller The Kissing Hand, and its sequel, A Pocket Full of Kisses, is facing another dilemma common to the lives of many children; he and his family are moving. Young readers will love the way Chester says goodbye to his old home and learns that there are some exciting aspects to his new home.







Chester the raccoon is back! If you enjoyed The Kissing Hand, you will enjoy Chester's lessons in A Kiss Goodbye.

Chester has to move, and he is not happy about it! In fact, he does not want to go. But mama raccoon explains in a child-friendly-- and raccoon friendly-- way why it can be exciting to try something new. Reluctantly, Chester leaves his home and finds a way to keep a part of it with him. (It's very endearing-- be warned.)

When he gets to his new home, he finds many things that make it unique. As he begins to explore his new surroundings he finds a special surprise. Now he sees what mama raccoon meant, and he is very glad to have a new home.


 


Review: Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend (Louise Rozett)

The Deets:
Audience: YA
Pages: 288
Publisher:  June 25th 2013 by Harlequin
ISBN: 9780373210657
genre: contemporary
Source: eARC from publisher via Netgalley



Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend (Confessions, #2)Rose Zarelli has big plans for sophomore year—everything is going to be different. This year, she’s going to be the talented singer with the killer voice, the fabulous girl with the fashionista best friend, the brainiac who refuses to let Jamie Forta jerk her around...

...but if she’s not careful, she’s also going to be the sister who misses the signals, the daughter who can only think about her own pain, the “good girl” who finds herself in mid-scandal again (because no good deed goes unpunished) and possibly worst of all...the almost-girlfriend.

When all else fails, stop looking for love and go find yourself.




I am NOT a fan of contemporary books, but I love this series! Rose never lets me down. The first book, Confessions of an Angry Girl, blew me away and Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend did not disappoint.

What do I love about these books? That is way too hard to narrow down into a few paragraphs. I can say that I appreciate the content. Dealing with grief is tricky for most people, and I cannot imagine dealing with the kind of loss Rose must cope with on a daily basis. It's nice to see all the angles of grief. It cannot be wrapped up with a nice little bow, and Louise Rozett does not try to do it either. That is much appreciated.

I am also googley-eyed over Rose. She is so flawed it's not even funny, yet she is so real. She has major self-esteem and trust issues, which carries over into just about everything she does. Rose is your normal teenage girl trying to fit in and stand out at the same time without ever really knowing who she is. But of course, just like in Confessions #1, she finds another piece of herself along the way. (and I must say, that piece is turning out to be pretty fierce!)

Finally, I must say that Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend has new characters that keep things pretty interesting. (That's another thing that I love about this book!) While Rose is on her road to self-discovery, there is a whole lot of drama going on in the background. The subplots are all over the place, and they all lead to the same end point. It's brilliant. I am still a bit annoyed by the older guy-younger girl romance(s) that pop up all over the place, but I try to look beyond that. (Is it really normal for a college sophmore to be dating a high school sophmore? That just seems so wrong to me... and illegal.)

If you enjoy contemporaries, you will LOVE Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend (but you need to read Confessions of an Angry Girl first). You may even be like me and not really like contemporaries, but you'll still like this one. There is something for everyone here!


 


Review: 45 Pounds (K.A. Barson)

The Deets:
Audience: anyone, YA
Pages: 272
Publisher: July 11th 2013 by Viking Juvenile
ISBN: 9780670784820
Genre: contemporary
Source: eARC from publisher via Netgalley



45 Pounds (More or Less)Here are the numbers of Ann Galardi’s life:

She is 16.
And a size 17.
Her perfect mother is a size 6.
Her Aunt Jackie is getting married in 8 weeks, and wants Ann to be her bridesmaid.
So Ann makes up her mind: Time to lose 45 pounds (more or less) in two
months.

Welcome to the world of informercial diet plans, terrifying wedding dance lessons, endless run-ins with the cutest guy Ann’s ever seen—and some surprises about her NOT-so-perfect mother.

And there’s one more thing. It’s all about feeling comfortable in your own skin -- no matter how you add it up!

This book is a must read. Period. I loved everything about it! Everything.

Ann is hilarious. She is so real, it will be hard not to relate to her. The opening scene begins with her bathing suit shopping while her mom picks up a "motivational" teeny tiny bikini for Ann. This is not Ann's idea of motivation to lose weight. It's a nagging reminder of how far she is from being able to wear anything in that department store.

Who hasn't felt like that at some point, right?

45 Pounds starts off being about Ann deciding to lose weight, but it quickly becomes so much more. There are so many subtle subplots that add a rich depth to the characters and the story. It's really hard to say what was my favorite part overall. Ann starts out on a journey to meet a goal, but in the process she learns some tough lessons about true friendship, her mother, family, and what it means to be 'healthy'. 

I just want to gush about how amazing this book is! I can't stop myself. I had no idea what it would be like when I started reading. I figured there would be a snarky narrator, but I got more than that. I found real emotion and a positive message.

Everyone should read this book. We can all relate. As women, we are so hard on ourselves about our weight. Often, we don't realize what our subtle messages and attitudes toward food do to those around us. Parts of this book were a total eye opener for me, because I realized I was guilty of some of these things. Who would have thought that an adult could have learned a lesson about life from a YA novel?

Go get a copy!


 


Mermaids meet Sephora


Splash into Summer
 
I was looking around for fun things to do at Disney when I came across an announcement for a new make up line at Sephora.
 
Since it's Splash Into Summer month at A Backwards Story and Mermaid Vision Books, I just had to share. One of my all time favorite Disney princesses is Ariel, so it should go without saying that I nearly fell out of my seat when I saw this line. Check out the Youtube ad:
 
 
 
Eek! Right?! So excited about these. Not only are the colors beautiful and perfect for Florida (my home state) but it is also a mermaid. So that just makes it doubly awesome.
 
Look for this new line to hit stores in August. They will be available on-line in September.
 
 

Top 5 vacation spots for mermaids: A Spalsh into Summer event kickoff

Splash into Summer
 
 
I love the summer for many reasons, and the Splash into Summer event ranks very high on that list! I am super excited to be a part of this event for the third year. Splash into Summer is hosted by Bonnie at A Backwards Story and Angel at A Mermaid Vision Books.  
 
 
Angel is highlighting mermaids in Asia today on her blog. Yours truly is guest posting at A Backwards Story today. Since summer time is all about vacations, my post spotlights the top 5 vacation spots for mermaids (or mermaid wannabes). Some may surprise you...
 
 
For instance, you may not think of the frigid waters off the coast of Alaska as a high-ranking vacation spot for the merfolk, but it is. In fact, several books have featured that setting. For instance, the mermaid army in Sarah Porter's Waking Storms hide out in Alaska before moving down the coast. Then there is the latest Emily Windsnap book (Emily Windsnap and the Land of the Midnight Sun) which features Alaska as the setting. What other proof do you need?
 
Maybe you prefer warmer temperatures for your vacations. Don't worry! I've got you covered. Just hop over to A Backwards Story to see the top 5 warm weather hot spots for anyone with flip flops or fins.
 
 
 

Book Blast + giveaway for Ghost Light (Ivy Granger #2) by E.J. Stevens

Title: Ghost Light

Series: Ivy Granger #2

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Author: E.J. Stevens

Publisher: Sacred Oaks Press

ISBN: 9780984247592

Find more about the author, E.J. Stevens, (author of the Spirit Guide and Ivy Granger series) here:
Ivy Granger Series / Spirit Guide Series / Goodreads / Amazon / Twitter / Blog

   

Ghost Light (Ivy Granger, #2)    Ivy Granger, psychic detective, thought she'd seen it all...until now.

With a vengeful lamia that only she can see on the city streets, reports of specters walking Harborsmouth cemeteries, and an angry mob of faerie clients at her office door, it's bound to be a long night. Add in an offense against the faerie courts and a few foolish bargains and one thing is clear--Ivy Granger is in some seriously deep trouble.

Ivy Granger is back, gathering clues in the darkest shadows of downtown Harborsmouth. With the lives of multiple clients on the line, she's in a race against time. Ivy finally has a lead to the whereabouts of the one person who can help her control her wisp abilities, but will she put the needs of her clients above her own?

If Ivy doesn't find a solution soon, she could wind up a ghost herself.


On sale July 09, 2013. Ghost Light on Goodreads .

To help celebrate the book's release date, the author is graciously hosting a giveaway. To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter form below.
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Ghost Light by E.J. Stevens Release Day Party + Giveaway


There's a party on the block.... the Ghost Light Twitter party. Consider this your invitation to awesomeness. To help celebrate the release date of Ghost Light, join the author (and many others) TODAY-- July 9, 2013-- for 24 hours full of fab prizes and bookish fun. Use hashtag #GhostLightParty to participate.


Want more information about Ghost Light? Wish granted!

The Deets:
Full title: Ghost Light (Ivy Granger #2)
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Author: E. J. Stevens
Publisher: Sacred Oak Press
ISBN: 9780984247592
On sale July 09, 2013. $14.99 Trade Paperback $3.99 Ebook (Kindle/NOOK/Epub)

Ghost Light (Ivy Granger, #2)Ivy Granger, psychic detective, thought she'd seen it all...until now.

With a vengeful lamia that only she can see on the city streets, reports of specters walking Harborsmouth cemeteries, and an angry mob of faerie clients at her office door, it's bound to be a long night. Add in an offense against the faerie courts and a few foolish bargains and one thing is clear--Ivy Granger is in some seriously deep trouble.

Ivy Granger is back, gathering clues in the darkest shadows of downtown Harborsmouth. With the lives of multiple clients on the line, she's in a race against time. Ivy finally has a lead to the whereabouts of the one person who can help her control her wisp abilities, but will she put the needs of her clients above her own?

If Ivy doesn't find a solution soon, she could wind up a ghost herself.

Find more information about Ghost Light on Goodreads.





The author, E. J.. Stevens, is graciously hosting a giveaway to help celebrate the book birthday of Ghost Light. This giveaway is open WORLD WIDE! The giveaway will run from July 9, 2013- July 24, 2013. Enter the rafflecopter below to enter. Good luck!

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/9f67f97/" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway


Review: Some Quiet Place (Kelsey Sutton)

The Deets:
Audience: YA
Pages: 350
Publisher: July 8th 2013 by Flux
ISBN: 9780738736433
Genre: mystery, paranormal romance, fantasy
Source: eARC from the publisher via Netgalley






Some Quiet Place
I can’t weep. I can’t fear. I’ve grown talented at pretending.

Elizabeth Caldwell doesn’t feel emotions . . . she sees them. Longing, Shame, and Courage materialize around her classmates. Fury and Resentment appear in her dysfunctional home. They’ve all given up on Elizabeth because she doesn’t succumb to their touch. All, that is, save one—Fear. He’s intrigued by her, as desperate to understand the accident that changed Elizabeth’s life as she is herself.

Elizabeth and Fear both sense that the key to her past is hidden in the dream paintings she hides in the family barn. But a shadowy menace has begun to stalk her, and try as she might, Elizabeth can barely avoid the brutality of her life long enough to uncover the truth about herself. When it matters most, will she be able to rely on Fear to save her?





This book was amazing for the first two-thirds. I was enraptured. The idea of a girl being unable to feel any emotions really had me curious. Then you add in this supernatural element and I was hooked. The chemistry between Elizabeth and Fear was delicious, even if she couldn't tell it was there.

I really liked the characters. The author did a great job describing them and making me feel their individual emotions. For Elizabeth, it was especially tricky to do so because she isn't supposed to feel anything. Of course, that idea is the focus behind the great mystery in Some Quiet Place.

If you like spooky reads with that mystery quality, you'll enjoy this book. I am fairly certain of that. As I read through it, I was reminded of the Riders of the Apocalypse series for some reason. Don't ask me why, but there was something I just couldn't place that kept creeping up.

What ended up frustrating me, however, was the last portion of the book. It all happened so quickly. From the moment the villain's plans are uncovered to the bittersweet ending, I was left speechless-- and not in the best of ways. I think it all transpired way too quickly. I had questions. I wanted answers. I got nothing. I'm not even thrilled with the ending. I am pleased with it, but I think Elizabeth needed to do more. That's all I'll say about that one.

While I started out thinking this was going to blow my mind, I ended up placing it in the 'enjoyable' category. It's different, which was a plus. Unfortunately, though, the lingering questions left me desiring a bit more.
 

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