30 August 2014

{Author Interview} Always, Abigail Author Nancy J. Cavanaugh

By: Me My Shelf And I | 30 August 2014 at 12:02 AM | | | | Be the first to comment!

We have Middle Grade author Nancy J. Cavanaugh with us, giving us the low down on writing and her new novel ALWAYS, ABIGAIL.

About The Book

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Always Abigail
Author: Nancy J. Cavanaugh
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Release Date: August 5th, 2014
August 2014 ● ISBN: 9-781-4022- 9303-0
Hardcover/$12.99 ● Ages 9-12

A triumphant story of friendship from two girls who seem worlds apart.

When Abigail’s dreams of becoming a pom pom girl are dashed, she finds herself in the unlikely situation of having to choose between her two best friends and the school’s biggest outcast.

Abigail and her two best friends, Alli and Cami, (aka AlliCam) are poised for a long life of pom poms and popularity. But for Abigail, her own insecurities and lack of confidence coupled with her bad luck at being assigned to a different homeroom than AlliCam make for a rough start to sixth grade. Abigail uses her list writing to calm herself down and keep her anxiety at bay. Even worse, her language arts teacher assigns Abigail to be friendly letter partners with Gabby Marco—the biggest outcast at Crestdale Heights. Being partners with Gabby is something that could ruin a person’s life.

When she doesn’t make the team, Abigail’s dreams are crushed in an instant, and, in the days that follow, she loses touch with AlliCam as they begin spending their time practicing and hanging out with the other girls on the squad. But through her letters and interactions with Gabby, Abigail discovers that she has more in common with the least popular girl in school than she thought. Bullied by other students at school, Abigail is the only one who knows how badly Gabby needs a friend, but will she find the courage to do what she knows is right?

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Author Interview

1. What is your favorite part about your character Abigail?

I love that Abigail has such a difficult time choosing to do the right thing, but ultimately finds the strength within herself to make the right choice.

2. Do you have anything in common with Abigail?

I’m actually a lot like Abigail. Growing up, I always knew the right thing to do but often times had a difficult time finding the courage to do it, especially if there was something big at stake like there is for Abigail.

3. What drew you to write Middle Grade novels?

I love reading middle grade. The stories are heartwarming and usually filled with humor, awkwardness, and ultimately some kind of character triumph. I love this! I also love the innocence and wholesomeness of middle grade books.

4. What is your writing process like?

My ideas usually begin with a character. With that idea for the main character comes the voice of the character. From there I have to work really hard to develop a plot that will ultimately carry that character on a journey that will help them discover something about themselves and the world in which they live. Sometimes I have to live with and listen to my character for a long time before I discover what that plot will be.

In terms of actual writing, my process is VERY messy, which is kind of odd because I’m a super, neat and organized person. I usually start my story in a spiral notebook, one with a cover that reflects my main character. Then I go back and forth between my notebook and my laptop. I print things out. Scribble notes all over my copy. Write more notes in my notebook and keep going back and forth between the spiral notebook and laptop until I get an entire first draft of the book finished. Then I print a copy, punch holes in it, and pop it into a huge three-ringed binder and start revising.

5. What is your favorite part of writing Middle Grade?

29 August 2014

{Watch} The Fault In Our Stars Now, Weeks Before It's DVD Release!

By: Me My Shelf And I | 29 August 2014 at 4:33 PM | | | Be the first to comment!

The Fault In Our Stars comes out on DVD and Blu-ray on September 16th, but if you can't wait until then to watch it in the comfort of your own home, where you can sob as loudly as you like – you can get it now as a digital download.

No, I'm not kidding.

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You have no idea how excited I am to incorporate this viewing experience into my Labor Day weekend plans. Unlike the rest of the world, I don't do the BBQ's and state fairs, I prefer my company fictional on high traffic weekends.

All I have to do is make it to Little's bed time, and then it's me and Hazel and Gus and a metric ton of kleenex.

And that's not all – tomorrow I plan to make my husband watch it with me. I would make him tonight, but he won't be home until very late from a business trip. And, honestly I don't really have to make him. He likes watching all these books I own come to life on screen. Since he won't read so much as the directions on a can of soup – this is the way I share my love of young adult fiction with him.

So where can you get this digital download? Well click the amazing fan inspired DVD/Blu-ray packaging art right up there and check it out for yourself on the Fox Digital site. There's 10 different formats available, everything from iTunes to Xbox 360 and Xfinity.

On this page you can also use the Little Infinities Galaxy to leave a promise, drop some fan made art and even enter to win a trip to Amsterdam!

Will The Fault In Our Stars be a part of your Labor day weekend?

 

Amber

{Flashback Friday} A Touch Mortal by Leah Clifford

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FLASH BACK FRIDAY is hosted by Swoony Boys Podcast & Fiction Fare and we LOVE it here on MMSAI – because it's not just the new books that deserve all the love!

This week I am featuring the very first ARC I ever got as a blogger.

I received A TOUCH MORTAL as an eARC from NetGalley in January 2011. The weird thing about this is, when I finally met Leah Clifford at a book signing I was informed that there were not supposed to be any eARCs of A TOUCH MORTAL and I was the only person (known to this day) who requested and was allowed to download it in the minutes that it was accidentally listed.

Weird…right?

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A Touch Mortal
A Touch Trilogy #1
Author: Leah Clifford
Release Date: February 22, 2011
Publisher: Greenwillow (HarperCollins)

Eden didn't expect Az.
Not his saunter down the beach toward her. Not his unbelievable pick up line. Not the instant, undeniable connection. And not his wings.
Yeah.
So long happily-ever-after.
Now trapped between life and death, cursed to spread chaos with her every touch, Eden could be the key in the eternal struggle between heaven and hell. All because she gave her heart to one of the Fallen, an angel cast out of heaven.
She may lose everything she ever had. She may be betrayed by those she loves most. But Eden will not be a pawn in anyone else's game. Her heart is her own.
And that's only the beginning of the end.

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Only $4.74 in eBook and $7.20 for a hardcover on Amazon!
Only $4.99 in eBook for the Nook!

Other Books By Leah Clifford

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The rest of the A Touch Trilogy


About The Author

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Leah Clifford has been an extreme cave tour guide, a camp counselor, a flight attendant, a pizza delivery girl, a waitress, and a grocery store clerk. Now she adds author to that list. She lives outside Cleveland, Ohio.
She can be found on Twitter at: http://www.twitter.com/leahclifford

{Guest Post + Giveaway} from Liberty Belle author, Emily Unger

We are very happy to be on the blog tour for LIVERTY BELLE by Emily Unger. We've got a fantastic guest post from Emily herself, and a giveaway you don't want to miss!! 

About The Book

Liberty Belle cover

Liberty Belle
Author: Emily Unger
Reading Level: Middle Grade
Release Date: August 12, 2014

On the same day she turns twelve years old, Savannah moves away from everything she’s known in sweet, sunny Georgia to preppy Washington D.C. Not only will she miss her best friends Katie and Tessa, Savannah will start a new school. She soon discovers that her schoolmates love to brag—about their clothes, their parents’ governmental connections, and even who has the in with the school authorities.

Unhappy and lonely, Savannah decides if she can’t make life better, she can at least make it sound that way. Soon she is living in the childhood home of George Washington, riding in the limo of the vice president’s daughter, and even moving into the former Luxembourg embassy.

All is well until she learns that her true friends from Georgia are coming for a visit. Now Savannah must create the life she’s been talking about in her letters—and fast! Will Savannah find herself or lose her friends?

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Find it on Anaiah Press

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Guest Post

My Love Affair with Characters from the South by Emily Ungar

I love the South. I love reading about characters from the South. And I love writing about characters from the South. I got my first taste of southern fiction when my family moved to Georgia when I was 7 years old. There is so much Gone With the Wind buzz down there on a regular basis that it wasn’t too long before my mom sat me down and let me watch the epic movie. Many 7-year-olds wouldn’t be into a film that was made in 1939, let alone one that lasted over 3 hours...but I was entranced. I checked the book out from the library, too, but didn’t make it past the first page. (Years later I did finally pick it back up!) Since then, I’ve gravitated toward Southern settings in literature in both children’s and grownup literature. It’s been a love affair ever since.

A major theme of my life has been moving, and not just small moves. Cross-country moves. I’ve been in and out of the southern U.S. states for a good portion of my life. This has definitely been one of the inspirations for the setting and main character in my middle grade book LIBERTY BELLE. Savannah (it’s hard to get a more Southern name than that!) is from Georgia, but her family moves to the East Coast. One of the many challenges she faces in her new school is being that fish out of water in an entirely new culture. In fact, the opening scene of the book even involves her sitting in a car holding a recently deceased goldfish. She is--quite literally--a fish out of water!

There are many stereotypes about different cultures in this country and all around the world. It’s true, for example, that the South is rich in friendly folks. Then again, so is the Midwest, and the Pacific Northwest, and every other region of the country. I believe that Savannah discovers in the book that helpful people are everywhere, and that where we live isn’t necessarily the only secret to our happiness. It took me a long time to discover that--home is wherever we are at the moment. If we don’t let our hearts emerge, then we’ll never truly find home. I finally found home in Indiana after over 30 years of moving around, and I love it here. My main character Savannah is on a quest to find her place in her new home--but not before getting herself into some deep trouble! Though we may find our roots, it’s always a pleasure to curl up with a big cup of coffee and be taken away to magical lands, such as in the South, but stay grounded in our own living rooms. To be taken away without ever leaving is one of the true magic acts of fiction!

Book Trailer

Giveaway

 
Please note that this giveaway is open to the US only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

About The Author

LIBERTY BELLE -Author Photo

Emily Ungar is a graduate of Indiana University, where she majored in journalism. After living in seven different U.S. states by the time she finished college, she now lives in Indianapolis, Indiana, with her husband and very curious twin toddlers. When she isn’t chasing after her twin boys, Emily loves to curl up in a chaise lounge with a book in one hand and a lemon cupcake in the other. Emily loves connecting with her readers, so she welcomes you to say hi on her blog at emilyungar.com.

Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads | Facebook

28 August 2014

{Book Review} Astray by Amy Christine Parker

By: Me My Shelf And I | 28 August 2014 at 8:15 AM | | | | | | | | Be the first to comment!

We are very excited to be participating in the ASTRAY (Gated #2) Blog Tour for Amy Christine Parker! After you check out our review, be sure to peek at the rest of the tour stops listed below!

Astray

Astray
Gated #2
Author: Amy Christine Parker
Release Date: August 26th, 2014
Publisher: Random House BFYR
Rating: 4 Birds

Lyla is caught between two worlds. The isolated Community that she grew up in and the outside world that she’s navigating for the very first time. The outsiders call the Community a cult, but Pioneer miraculously survived a shooting that should have killed him. Are the faithful members right to stay true to his message? Is this just a test of faith? One thing is for sure: the Community will do anything to bring Lyla back to the fold. Trapped in a spider’s web of deception, will Lyla detect the sticky threads tightening around her before it’s too late? She’ll have to unravel the mystery of what Pioneer and the Community are truly up to if she wants to survive.
Suspenseful and chilling, Astray is Amy Christine Parker’s nerve-fraying sequel to Gated. This fast-paced psychological thriller is masterfully plotted and sure to leave goose bumps. Perfect for fans of creepy YA thrillers and contemporary fiction alike.

I didn't know that  I needed this book, until I found out it was coming out. You see, GATED ends in a way that you could be okay with it being a stand alone. I mean, no one wants to see a character they like exist only in a stand alone, but at the end of GATED, I was content.

Once I read the synopsis of ASTRAY I realized how much more of Lyla's life there still is to talk about, and how the ending of GATED was definitely not the end. When we pick up ASTRAY Lyla is living with the Sherriff and his family temporarily while the aftermath of the Community being destroyed is sorted out and her parents are being proven capable – along with all the other parents in the Community.

Lyla isn't safe though – she might never be again with the Community so near by and the members willing to do anything Pioneer tells them to. He's pulling their strings, even from prison! She goes on, trying her hardest to live a normal life and enjoy the things every other teenage girl does – but it's had when people are following you, photographing you and threatening you on a daily basis.

Will the Sheriffs family be able to deal with all the attention and danger that comes along with having Lyla with them? Will Lyla be able to unravel what it is Pioneer is planning for the Community from his jail cell? Will the ending of this book make your heart race and have you scooting to t he edge of your seat….that last one I'll answer for you – yes! If you want answers to the others, you'll have to read the books!

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About the Author

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AMY CHRISTINE PARKER writes full-time from her home near Tampa, Florida, where she lives with her husband, their two daughters, and one ridiculously fat cat. Visit her at amychristineparker.com and follow her on Twitter @amychristinepar.

 

 

 

 

Tour Schedule

Itching for Books                            8/26  
A Dream Within a Dream             8/27  
Candace's Book Blog                    8/28
Me, My Shelf and I                         8/28
Stories & Sweeties                         8/29  
The Children’s Book Review        8/31  
Evie Bookish                                   9/2   
The Hiding Spot                              8/29  
Christy's Book Addiction              9/3   
Live to Read                                    9/4   
Confessions of a Readaholic        9/5   
Unofficial Addiction Book Fan Club  9/8   
Bundle of Books                             9/15  
Happy Indulgence Books              9/25  

27 August 2014

{Book Review} Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang

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Falling Into Place
Author: Amy Zhang
Release Date: September 9th, 2014
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Rating: 4.5 Birds

On the day Liz Emerson tries to die, they had reviewed Newton’s laws of motion in physics class. Then, after school, she put them into practice by running her Mercedes off the road.
Why? Why did Liz Emerson decide that the world would be better off without her? Why did she give up? Vividly told by an unexpected and surprising narrator, this heartbreaking and nonlinear novel pieces together the short and devastating life of Meridian High’s most popular junior girl. Mass, acceleration, momentum, force—Liz didn’t understand it in physics, and even as her Mercedes hurtles toward the tree, she doesn’t understand it now. How do we impact one another? How do our actions reverberate? What does it mean to be a friend? To love someone? To be a daughter? Or a mother? Is life truly more than cause and effect? Amy Zhang’s haunting and universal story will appeal to fans of Lauren Oliver, Gayle Forman, and Jay Asher.

From the first line of this book, which by the way is the first line of the synopsis, I was hooked. I mean, come on – how could you not be intrigued or even just filled with the slightest bit of morbid curiosity?

When I started FALLING INTO PLACE, I had just finished IF I STAY by Gayle Forman and at first I was a little bummed because the two books had a similar feeling. Girl in an accident, in the hospital fighting for her life. It only took a few pages for me to realize that while you can call these books slightly similar and it's true that fans of IF I STAY will love FALLING INTO PLACE, they are still totally unique of one another.

In FALLING INTO PLACE we follow Liz Emerson's life as told in bits of time leading up to her decision to drive her car off the cliff, in her own voice. We don't visit the inside of her mind while she is in the hospital, even though she spends the whole of the book there -  but instead see her through the eyes of all the people who she knew. The people whose lives she touched in both the good and the bad – and there is a hearty dose of both.

What surprised me the most was no matter how much the time table jumps around, sometimes you see the present, sometimes the past, sometimes thorough a friend or an acquaintance – it isn't confusing or too much. It's not overwhelming in the slightest. What FALLING INTO PLACE is, is beautifully written, poignant and tough. It doesn't back down or sugar coat. It just, is.

A lovely read, I highly recommend to all!!

Find Amy Zhang on her website.

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Amber

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