It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? 12/2/19

It’s December already! Where has this year gone?

This week I’m going to read two arcs that my friends picked me up at ALA, and a book that was donated to me from a library patron.

What are you reading?

sword divider

A Heart So Fierce and Broken- Brigid Kemmerer

42952728In the sequel to New York Times bestselling A Curse So Dark and Lonely, Brigid Kemmerer returns to the world of Emberfall in a lush fantasy where friends become foes and love blooms in the darkest of places.

Find the heir, win the crown. 
The curse is finally broken, but Prince Rhen of Emberfall faces darker troubles still. Rumors circulate that he is not the true heir and that forbidden magic has been unleashed in Emberfall. Although Rhen has Harper by his side, his guardsman Grey is missing, leaving more questions than answers.

Win the crown, save the kingdom. 
Rumored to be the heir, Grey has been on the run since he destroyed Lilith. He has no desire to challenge Rhen–until Karis Luran once again threatens to take Emberfall by force. Her own daughter Lia Mara sees the flaws in her mother’s violent plan, but can she convince Grey to stand against Rhen, even for the good of Emberfall?

The heart-pounding, compulsively readable saga continues as loyalties are tested and new love blooms in a kingdom on the brink of war.

IMG_2250

sword divider

Hearts, Strings, and Other Breakable Things- Jacqueline Firkins

43261131In this charming debut about first love and second chances, a young girl gets caught between the boy next door and a playboy. Perfect for fans of To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before.

Mansfield, Massachusetts is the last place seventeen-year-old Edie Price wants to spend her final summer before college. It’s the home of wealthy suburbanites and prima donnas like Edie’s cousins, who are determined to distract her from her mother’s death with cute boys and Cinderella-style makeovers. Edie has her own plans, and they don’t include a prince charming.

But as Edie dives into schoolwork and applying for college scholarships, she finds herself drawn to two Mansfield boys who start vying for her attention. First, there’s Sebastian, Edie’s childhood friend, and first love. He’s sweet and smart and . . . already has a girlfriend. Then there’s Henry, the local bad boy, and all-around player. He’s totally off-limits, even if his kisses are chemically addictive.

Both boys are trouble. Edie can’t help but get caught between them. Someone’s heart is going to break. Now she just has to make sure it isn’t hers.

IMG_2250

sword divider

The Saturday Night Ghost Club- Craig Davidson

42378784A short, irresistible, and bittersweet coming-of-age story in the vein of “Stranger Things” and “Stand by Me” about a group of misfit kids who spend an unforgettable summer investigating local ghost stories and urban legends.

Growing up in 1980s Niagara Falls–a seedy but magical, slightly haunted place–Jake Baker spends most of his time with his uncle Calvin, a kind but eccentric enthusiast of occult artifacts and conspiracy theories. The summer Jake turns twelve, he befriends a pair of siblings new to town, and so Calvin decides to initiate them all into the “Saturday Night Ghost Club.” But as the summer goes on, what begins as a seemingly lighthearted project may ultimately uncover more than any of its members had imagined. With the alternating warmth and sadness of the best coming-of-age stories, The Saturday Night Ghost Club examines the haunting mutability of memory and storytelling, as well as the experiences that form the people we become.

IMG_2250

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? 9/23/19

I’m back! After a short vacation from the Library, it’s back to business.

This week I’m going to keep my reading light as I try to figure out what’s best for me.

What are you reading?

sword divider

Only Ashes Remain- Rebecca Schaeffer

43261179Dexter meets Victoria Schwab in this dark and compelling fantasy about a girl who seeks revenge on the boy who betrayed her, a sequel to the critically-acclaimed Not Even Bones.

After escaping her kidnappers and destroying the black market where she was held captive, all Nita wants is to find a way to live her life without looking over her shoulder. But with a video of her ability to self-heal all over the dark web, Nita knows she’s still a prime target on the black market. There’s only one way to keep herself safe. Nita must make herself so feared that no one would ever dare come after her again. And the best way to start building her reputation? Take her revenge on Fabricio, the boy who sold Nita to her kidnappers. But killing Fabricio is harder than Nita thought it would be, even with Kovit by her side. Now caught in a game of kill or be killed, Nita will do whatever it takes to win.

IMG_2250

sword divider

Twice in a Blue Moon- Christina Lauren

43822778From the New York Times bestselling author of The Unhoneymooners and the “delectable, moving” (Entertainment WeeklyMy Favorite Half-Night Stand comes a modern love story about what happens when your first love reenters your life when you least expect it…

Sam Brandis was Tate Jones’s first: Her first love. Her first everything. Including her first heartbreak.

During a whirlwind two-week vacation abroad, Sam and Tate fell for each other in only the way that first loves do: sharing all of their hopes, dreams, and deepest secrets along the way. Sam was the first, and only, person that Tate—the long-lost daughter of one of the world’s biggest film stars—ever revealed her identity to. So when it became clear her trust was misplaced, her world shattered for good.

Fourteen years later, Tate, now an up-and-coming actress, only thinks about her first love every once in a blue moon. When she steps onto the set of her first big break, he’s the last person she expects to see. Yet here Sam is, the same charming, confident man she knew, but even more alluring than she remembered. Forced to confront the man who betrayed her, Tate must ask herself if it’s possible to do the wrong thing for the right reason… and whether “once in a lifetime” can come around twice.

With Christina Lauren’s signature “beautifully written and remarkably compelling” (Sarah J. Maas, New York Times bestselling author) prose and perfect for fans of Emily Giffin and Jennifer Weiner, Twice in a Blue Moon is an unforgettable and moving novel of young love and second chances.

IMG_2250

sword divider

Pumpkinheads- Rainbow Rowell

40864789Deja and Josiah are seasonal best friends.

Every autumn, all through high school, they’ve worked together at the best pumpkin patch in the whole wide world. (Not many people know that the best pumpkin patch in the whole wide world is in Omaha, Nebraska, but it definitely is.) They say good-bye every Halloween, and they’re reunited every September 1.
But this Halloween is different—Josiah and Deja are finally seniors, and this is their last season at the pumpkin patch. Their last shift together. Their last good-bye.

Josiah’s ready to spend the whole night feeling melancholy about it. Deja isn’t ready to let him. She’s got a plan: What if—instead of moping and the usual slinging lima beans down at the Succotash Hut—they went out with a bang? They could see all the sights! Taste all the snacks! And Josiah could finally talk to that cute girl he’s been mooning over for three years . . .

What if their last shift was an adventure?

Beloved writer Rainbow Rowell and Eisner Award–winning artist Faith Erin Hicks have teamed up to create this tender and hilarious story about two irresistible teens discovering what it means to leave behind a place—and a person—with no regrets.

IMG_2250

*First Line Friday 8/23/19* Midnight Beauties- Megan Shepherd

43261027The witches, beasties, goblins, and Royals return in this spellbinding conclusion to New York Times best-selling author Megan Shepherd’s Grim Lovelies duology. 

Ever since she discovered her affinity for magic, seventeen-year-old Anouk has been desperate to become a witch. It’s the only way to save her friends who, like Anouk, are beasties: animals enchanted into humans. But unlike Anouk, the other beasties didn’t make it out of the battle at Montélimar in one piece.

With her friends now trapped in their animal forms, Anouk is forced into a sinister deal involving a political marriage with her sworn enemy, a wicked plot to overthrow London’s fiercest coven of witches, and a deadly trial of fire to become a witch. The price for power has always been steep in the world of the Haute. Now, it will cost Anouk everything.

Wicked and delightful, this spellbinding sequel and conclusion to Grim Lovelies is perfect for fans of The Cruel Prince and The Hazelwood Wood.

IMG_2250

“There was blood everywhere, even in her hair.”

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? 8/12/19

This week I’m reading a book a friend just sent me and two arcs that I’ve had for over two years.

What are you reading this week?

sword 2

An Enchantment of Ravens- Margaret Rogerson

30969741. sy475 A skilled painter must stand up to the ancient power of the faerie courts—even as she falls in love with a faerie prince—in this gorgeous debut novel.

Isobel is a prodigy portrait artist with a dangerous set of clients: the sinister fair folk, immortal creatures who cannot bake bread, weave cloth, or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and Isobel’s paintings are highly prized. But when she receives her first royal patron—Rook, the autumn prince—she makes a terrible mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes—a weakness that could cost him his life.

Furious and devastated, Rook spirits her away to the autumnlands to stand trial for her crime. Waylaid by the Wild Hunt’s ghostly hounds, the tainted influence of the Alder King, and hideous monsters risen from barrow mounds, Isobel and Rook depend on one another for survival. Their alliance blossoms into trust, then love—and that love violates the fair folks’ ruthless laws. Now both of their lives are forfeit, unless Isobel can use her skill as an artist to fight the fairy courts. Because secretly, her Craft represents a threat the fair folk have never faced in all the millennia of their unchanging lives: for the first time, her portraits have the power to make them feel.

IMG_2250

 

sword 2

Not Even Bones- Rebecca Schaeffer

37570585Dexter meets This Savage Song in this dark fantasy about a girl who sells magical body parts on the black market — until she’s betrayed.

Nita doesn’t murder supernatural beings and sell their body parts on the internet—her mother does that. Nita just dissects the bodies after they’ve been “acquired.” Until her mom brings home a live specimen and Nita decides she wants out; dissecting a scared teenage boy is a step too far. But when she decides to save her mother’s victim, she ends up sold in his place—because Nita herself isn’t exactly “human.” She has the ability to alter her biology, a talent that is priceless on the black market. Now on the other side of the bars, if she wants to escape, Nita must ask herself if she’s willing to become the worst kind of monster.

IMG_2250

sword 2

When Dimple Met Rishi- Sandhya Menon

28458598Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?

Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.

The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?

Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.

IMG_2250

sword 2

The Lost and the Scarred- T. Marie Alexander

47147360. sy475 ROX
When I was six, Wran Belmont found me buried in snow and gave me a place to live.

He became my best friend.

When I was fifteen, I gave him all of me—only for him to abandon me.

Now, he’s back and expecting the lost, scarred girl he’s left behind. I’m not that girl anymore. And while I may still have secrets, it will not be as easy for him to retrieve them this time around.

WRAN
When I was eleven, my father lost his job and became a pathetic excuse for a father. A few months later I found Roxanna Raine buried in snow, barely hanging on to life.

Her father was the reason mine was an alcoholic, and I thought about letting her freeze to death.

One look in her eyes and she became my kryptonite. I swore I would get my revenge, though, even if it was on the fair-skinned beauty.

When I was nineteen, I left Rox without an explanation—broken-hearted and even more lost.

Now, I’m back and I’ll do anything to make up for the stolen time.

IMG_2250

stacy

 

 

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 7/22/19

This week I’m hoping to read a book for a book club, two arcs that I’ve had for over a year, a graphic novel, a novella, and a book a friend sent me. Fingers crossed for a busy reading week!

What are you reading?

sword 1

This is Where it Ends- Marieke Nijkamp

2452912310:00 a.m. The principal of Opportunity High School finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.

10:02 a.m. The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.

10:03 a.m. The auditorium doors won’t open.

10:05 a.m. Someone starts shooting.

Told from four different perspectives over the span of fifty-four harrowing minutes, terror reigns as one student’s calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival.

 

IMG_2250

sword 2

Small Spaces- Katherine Arden

36959639. sy475 Bestselling adult author of The Bear and the Nightingale makes her middle grade debut with a creepy, spellbinding ghost story destined to become a classic

After suffering a tragic loss, eleven-year-old Ollie only finds solace in books. So when she happens upon a crazed woman at the river threatening to throw a book into the water, Ollie doesn’t think–she just acts, stealing the book and running away. As she begins to read the slender volume, Ollie discovers a chilling story about a girl named Beth, the two brothers who both loved her, and a peculiar deal made with “the smiling man,” a sinister specter who grants your most tightly held wish, but only for the ultimate price.

Ollie is captivated by the tale until her school trip the next day to Smoke Hollow, a local farm with a haunting history all its own. There she stumbles upon the graves of the very people she’s been reading about. Could it be the story about the smiling man is true? Ollie doesn’t have too long to think about the answer to that. On the way home, the school bus breaks down, sending their teacher back to the farm for help. But the strange bus driver has some advice for the kids left behind in his care: “Best get moving. At nightfall they’ll come for the rest of you.” Nightfall is, indeed, fast descending when Ollie’s previously broken digital wristwatch, a keepsake reminder of better times, begins a startling countdown and delivers a terrifying message: RUN.

Only Ollie and two of her classmates heed the bus driver’s warning. As the trio head out into the woods–bordered by a field of scarecrows that seem to be watching them–the bus driver has just one final piece of advice for Ollie and her friends: “Avoid large places. Keep to small.”

And with that, a deliciously creepy and hair-raising adventure begins.

IMG_2250

sword 2

When Life Gives You Demons- Jennifer Honeybourn

35795953. sy475 Sixteen-year-old Shelby Black has spent the past year training to be an exorcist. Her great-uncle Roy—a Catholic priest and Shelby’s guardian—believes she has a gift for expelling demons, and he’s put her through exorcist boot camp hell, but he still doesn’t trust her to do an exorcism on her own.

High school is hard enough without having to explain that you fight demons for a living, so Shelby keeps her extracurricular activity quiet, especially from Spencer, her cute math tutor. Secrets run in Shelby’s family, though: her mother has been missing ever since an exorcism went horribly wrong, and Uncle Roy is tight-lipped about it. But Shelby’s hell-bent on finding her mom, no matter what—even if what it ends up costing her her soul AND a date with Spencer.

IMG_2250

sword 2

The Prince and The Dressmaker- Jen Wang

34506912Paris, at the dawn of the modern age:

Prince Sebastian is looking for a bride―or rather, his parents are looking for one for him. Sebastian is too busy hiding his secret life from everyone. At night he puts on daring dresses and takes Paris by storm as the fabulous Lady Crystallia―the hottest fashion icon in the world capital of fashion!

Sebastian’s secret weapon (and best friend) is the brilliant dressmaker Frances―one of only two people who know the truth: sometimes this boy wears dresses. But Frances dreams of greatness, and being someone’s secret weapon means being a secret. Forever. How long can Frances defer her dreams to protect a friend? Jen Wang weaves an exuberantly romantic tale of identity, young love, art, and family. A fairy tale for any age, The Prince and the Dressmaker will steal your heart.

IMG_2250

sword 2

Grim Lovelies- Megan Shepherd

37570566Seventeen-year-old Anouk envies the human world, where people known as Pretties lavish themselves in fast cars, high fashion, and have the freedom to fall in love. But Anouk can never have those things, because she is not really human. Enchanted from animal to human girl and forbidden to venture beyond her familiar Parisian prison, Anouk is a Beastie: destined for a life surrounded by dust bunnies and cinders serving Mada Vittora, the evil witch who spelled her into existence. That is, until one day she finds her mistress murdered in a pool of blood—and Anouk is accused of the crime.

Now, the world she always dreamed of is rife with danger. Pursued through Paris by the underground magical society known as the Haute, Anouk and her fellow Beasties only have three days to find the real killer before the spell keeping them human fades away. If they fail, they will lose the only lives they’ve ever known…but if they succeed, they could be more powerful than anyone ever bargained for.

From New York Times bestselling author Megan Shepherd, Grim Lovelies is an epic and glittering YA fantasy. Prepare to be spellbound by the world of Grim Lovelies, where secrets have been long buried, friends can become enemies, and everything—especially humanity—comes at a price.

IMG_2250

sword 2

The Lost Sisters- Holly Black

42117575. sy475 Sometimes the difference between a love story and a horror story is where the ending comes

While Jude fought for power in the Court of Elfhame against the cruel Prince Cardan, her sister Taryn began to fall in love with the trickster, Locke.

Half-apology and half-explanation, it turns out that Taryn has some secrets of her own to reveal.

The Lost Sisters is a companion e-novella to the New York Timesbestselling novel The Cruel Prince, by master writer Holly Black.

 

 

IMG_2250

stacy

Top Ten Tuesday 1/22/19

Happy Tuesday!

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

This weeks list is: Books I Meant to Read In 2018 but Didn’t Get To….

Oh, Boy! This is going to be a doozy!

These are in no order and this could be a continuous list but I narrowed it down to ten.

Which books were you planning on reading last year that you just didn’t get to?

Odd One Out- Nic Stone

39848512    From the author of Dear Martin comes this exploration of old friendships, new crushes, and the path to self-discovery.

Courtney “Coop” Cooper
Dumped. Again. And normally I wouldn’t mind. But right now, my best friend and source of solace, Jupiter Sanchez, is ignoring me to text some girl.

Rae Evelyn Chin
I assumed “new girl” would be synonymous with “pariah,” but Jupiter and Courtney make me feel like I’m right where I belong. I also want to kiss him. And her. Which is . . . perplexing.

Jupiter Charity-Sanchez
The only thing worse than losing the girl you love to a boy is losing her to your boy. That means losing him, too. I have to make a move. . . .

One story.
Three sides.
No easy answers.

IMG_2250

Not Even Bones- Rebecca Schaeffer

37570585     Dexter meets This Savage Song in this dark fantasy about a girl who sells magical body parts on the black market — until she’s betrayed.

Nita doesn’t murder supernatural beings and sell their body parts on the internet—her mother does that. Nita just dissects the bodies after they’ve been “acquired.” Until her mom brings home a live specimen and Nita decides she wants out; dissecting a scared teenage boy is a step too far. But when she decides to save her mother’s victim, she ends up sold in his place—because Nita herself isn’t exactly “human.” She has the ability to alter her biology, a talent that is priceless on the black market. Now on the other side of the bars, if she wants to escape, Nita must ask herself if she’s willing to become the worst kind of monster.

IMG_2250

Vengeful-V.E. Schwab

40139338    Eli Ever and Victor Vale were only medical students when their mutual discovery that near-death experiences can, under the right conditions, manifest extraordinary abilities.

They were best friends, and rivals, and then enemies. They were dead, then alive, and then—Eli killed Victor, once and for all.

Or so he thought—but Sydney Clarke felt otherwise, and used her own superpower to tip the scales. Now, a trio hides in the shadows, while another takes advantages of post-death life to take over the city of Merit.

If there can be life after death—will there be calm after vengeance, or will chaos rule?

IMG_2250

Wicked- Jennifer Armentrout

23356038     Things are about to get Wicked in New Orleans.

Twenty-two year old Ivy Morgan isn’t your average college student. She, and others like her, know humans aren’t the only thing trolling the French Quarter for fun… and for food. Her duty to the Order is her life. After all, four years ago, she lost everything at the hands of the creatures she’d sworn to hunt, tearing her world and her heart apart.

Ren Owens is the last person Ivy expected to enter her rigidly controlled life. He’s six feet and three inches of temptation and swoon-inducing charm. With forest-green eyes and a smile that’s surely left a stream of broken hearts in its wake, he has an uncanny, almost unnatural ability to make her yearn for everything he has to offer. But letting him in is as dangerous as hunting the cold-blooded killers stalking the streets. Losing the boy she loved once before had nearly destroyed her, but the sparking tension that grows between them becomes impossible for Ivy to deny. Deep down, she wants… she needs more than what her duty demands of her, what her past has shaped for her.

But as Ivy grows closer to Ren, she realizes she’s not the only one carrying secrets that could shatter the frail bond between them. There’s something he’s not telling her, and one thing is for certain. She’s no longer sure what is more dangerous to her—the ancient beings threatening to take over the town or the man demanding to lay claim to her heart and her soul.

IMG_2250

Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating- Christina Lauren

40189670     Hazel Camille Bradford knows she’s a lot to take—and frankly, most men aren’t up to the challenge. If her army of pets and thrill for the absurd don’t send them running, her lack of filter means she’ll say exactly the wrong thing in a delicate moment. Their loss. She’s a good soul in search of honest fun.

Josh has known Hazel since college, where her zany playfulness proved completely incompatible with his mellow restraint. From the first night they met—when she gracelessly threw up on his shoes—to when she sent him an unintelligible email while in a post-surgical haze, Josh has always thought of Hazel more as a spectacle than a peer. But now, ten years later, after a cheating girlfriend has turned his life upside down, going out with Hazel is a breath of fresh air.

Not that Josh and Hazel date. At least, not each other. Because setting each other up on progressively terrible double blind dates means there’s nothing between them…right?

IMG_2250

The Water Cure- Sophie Mackintosh

35448496    Imagine a world very close to our own: where women are not safe in their bodies, where desperate measures are required to raise a daughter. This is the story of Grace, Lia, and Sky kept apart from the world for their own good and taught the terrible things that every woman must learn about love. And it is the story of the men who come to find them – three strangers washed up by the sea, their gazes hungry and insistent, trailing desire and destruction in their wake.

Hypnotic and compulsive, The Water Cure is a fever dream, a blazing vision of suffering, sisterhood, and transformation.

IMG_2250

#Murdertrending- Gretchen McNeil

34521785   WELCOME TO THE NEAR FUTURE, where good and honest 8/18 citizens can enjoy watching the executions of society’s most infamous convicted felons, streaming live on The Postman app from the suburbanized prison island Alcatraz 2.0.

When eighteen-year-old Dee Guerrera wakes up in a haze, lying on the ground of a dimly lit warehouse, she realizes she’s about to be the next victim of the app. Knowing hardened criminals are getting a taste of their own medicine in this place is one thing, but Dee refuses to roll over and die for a heinous crime she didn’t commit. Can Dee and her newly formed posse, the Death Row Breakfast Club, prove she’s innocent before she ends up wrongfully murdered for the world to see? Or will The Postman’s cast of executioners kill them off one by one?

IMG_2250

Monday’s Not Coming- Tiffany Jackson

36039602    Monday Charles is missing, and only Claudia seems to notice. Claudia and Monday have always been inseparable—more sisters than friends. So when Monday doesn’t turn up for the first day of school, Claudia’s worried. When she doesn’t show for the second day, or second week, Claudia knows that something is wrong. Monday wouldn’t just leave her to endure tests and bullies alone. Not after last year’s rumors and not with her grades on the line. Now Claudia needs her best—and only—friend more than ever. But Monday’s mother refuses to give Claudia a straight answer, and Monday’s sister April is even less help.

As Claudia digs deeper into her friend’s disappearance, she discovers that no one seems to remember the last time they saw Monday. How can a teenage girl just vanish without anyone noticing that she’s gone?

IMG_2250

 

Toil & Trouble: 15 Tales of Women & Witchcraft

36426163     A young adult fiction anthology of 15 stories featuring contemporary, historical, and futuristic stories featuring witchy heroines who are diverse in race, class, sexuality, religion, geography, and era.

Are you a good witch or a bad witch?

Glinda the Good Witch. Elphaba the Wicked Witch. Willow. Sabrina. Gemma Doyle. The Mayfair Witches. Ursula the Sea Witch. Morgan le Fey. The three weird sisters from Macbeth.

History tells us women accused of witchcraft were often outsiders: educated, independent, unmarried, unwilling to fall in line with traditional societal expectations.

Bold. Powerful. Rebellious.

A bruja’s traditional love spell has unexpected results. A witch’s healing hands begin to take life instead of giving it when she ignores her attraction to a fellow witch. In a terrifying future, women are captured by a cabal of men crying witchcraft and the one true witch among them must fight to free them all. In a desolate past, three orphaned sisters prophesize for a murderous king. Somewhere in the present, a teen girl just wants to kiss a boy without causing a hurricane.

From good witches to bad witches, to witches who are a bit of both, this is an anthology of diverse witchy tales from a collection of diverse, feminist authors. The collective strength of women working together—magically or mundanely–has long frightened society, to the point that women’s rights are challenged, legislated against, and denied all over the world. Toil & Trouble delves deep into the truly diverse mythology of witchcraft from many cultures and feminist points of view, to create modern and unique tales of witchery that have yet to be explored.

IMG_2250

 

Seafire- Natalie Parker

37822534    After her family is killed by corrupt warlord Aric Athair and his bloodthirsty army of Bullets, Caledonia Styx is left to chart her own course on the dangerous and deadly seas. She captains her ship, the Mors Navis, with a crew of girls and women just like her, who have lost their families and homes because of Aric and his men. The crew has one mission: stay alive, and take down Aric’s armed and armored fleet.

But when Caledonia’s best friend and second-in-command barely survives an attack thanks to help from a Bullet looking to defect, Caledonia finds herself questioning whether to let him join their crew. Is this boy the key to taking down Aric Athair once and for all . . . or will he threaten everything the women of the Mors Navis have worked for?

IMG_2250

 

stacy

 

 

 

 

 

Tips and Tricks for Attending YALLFest

Yallfest 2019

YALLFest is a little over a week away (November 8-9), which means it’s time to prepare for all the fun! I can’t believe YALLFest is almost here; I honestly feel like I’ve been preparing for months (which I have been) and it’s all coming up so fast! This is my fourth year attending YALLFest and along the way, I’ve learned some tips for attending YALLFest. These tips have helped me navigate (and survive) the crowds and all the bookish activities without having to stress. Well, at least not stress as much as the year before. If this is your first time going to YALLFest, or you’ve been before but would love some pointers, then check out my tips below!

sword 1

Tips and Tricks for Attending YALLFest

Bring water and food

Honestly, this is THE most important tip I can give you. It’s important to stay hydrated, especially when you will be standing in lines for most of the day. You will constantly be on the move and may not have time to stop for food or something to drink. So, always bring food with you, even if it is snacks. Trust me, having water and food with you will make your experience ten times better because 1) you won’t feel faint or nauseous and 2) you won’t be hangry. 🙂 I usually bring a refillable water bottle, a bottle of Gaterade, and several meal bars, along with some chips and crackers. I also have some chocolate or candy with me, in case I need a sugar fill. But no matter what, bring water and food! And even if you have to run back and forth to the water fountain, that’s okay! Everyone is super nice, so don’t be afraid to ask the person in front or behind you to save your spot while you go get water or food.

sword 1

Plan ahead – create a schedule

Every year, I create a schedule for Friday and Saturday and trust me, this goes a long way. This helps me stay on track and also remind me of the authors I really want to meet and the ARCs I want to try to grab. Below is a glimpse of my Friday schedule. It’s very small, but still important to have on the schedule because it reminds me what I have planned for the day.

Friday, November 8 Notes
Time Event Location Author(s) Why?
3:30 PM Fierce Friday John L. Dart Library Stephanie Garber Get books signed *Max 3 books

I try to stay very organized and even highlight the events that are at the top of my to-do list. As you can see, I label it by time, event, location, author(s), why I want to go to this event, and notes. When it comes to in-booth signings, I add an extra column for booth location and publisher. If there were multiple events going on at the same time (like on Saturday), I would highlight one event as the top event I want to go to and then try to attend the other events after that or if I won’t make it to my top event, I’ll go to my second option. Overall, having a schedule comes in handy. You may not stick with that schedule, but that’s okay; there’s nothing wrong with veering from your schedule, I just find it much easier to plan ahead!

With planning ahead, it’s also important to decide when you would like to line up for authors, panels, giveaways, etc.. The times below are what I have done in the past. It does not mean you need to do the same; but it’s usually what I recommend.

  • Authors: 30-120 minutes; this honestly depends on how popular the author is. For instance, Stephanie Garber’s signing line on Saturday (which is at 12:00 PM) will probably have people lining up around 10:00-10:15 AM because she’s a well-known author.
  • Panels: 30-60 minutes; this is an estimate, only because I did not attend any panels last year or the year before. But when I lined up for the YA Smackdown, I lined up about 40 minutes early, so I could get a good seat.
  • Giveaways: 30-120 minutes; this also depends on how popular the giveaway is. ARC drops will probably be more popular, so expect those lines to start early. For example, when Wicked Saints by Emily Duncan dropped at YALLFest last year, the line was insane and people lined up over an hour in advance. So, if you think the line for a specific giveaway is going to be long, you can always check in and see, or line up early. I’ll for sure be in line early for any giveaways I want, so just be prepared to line up early for these. However, please note: most booths will not let you line up early until they officially start the line. You can linger off to the side, just don’t make it look like you’re in line. Some booths ask that you don’t line up until 15-30 minutes before the giveaway, but then this could lead to potential issues and safety hazards because people will still line up early.

sword 1

Be realistic

YALLFest can get pretty crowded, so if you have two or more events/signings going on at the same time, chances are you will only make it to one, two if you’re lucky. The lines get long and if you are going solo, it won’t be easy running to and from signings, especially if they’re on opposite sides of each other. I’m not saying it isn’t doable (it definitely is), it just will not be as easy as someone who came with their parents or a group of friends. Depending on the author lines and locations, you may be able to see multiple authors within the hour. It really just depends on how long their lines are and if their locations are in the same vicinity or close by. Now, when it comes to ARC drops, chances of getting two different ARCs that drop at the same time are pretty slim. People line up 30 – 120 minutes in advance for ARC drops. So, what I advise doing is if there are two ARCs dropping at the same time, decide which one you really want to try to grab more and then you can always talk to someone at the booth to see if they have extras of the ARC drop you missed. But also don’t get upset if the answer is no and if you don’t get the ARC you want. These publishers are absolutely amazing and it truly is a blessing to have ARCs be handed out at YALLFest (and to have in general), so never take it for granted. Besides, you can always try trading on Twitter or a Facebook group. So, basically, just be realistic about your schedule and understand you may not make it to every event.

sword 1

Be friendly and courteous to others

This goes such a long way. Never treat the authors, volunteers, publishing staff, and attendees with anything but excitement, courtesy, and respect. The volunteers spend months putting this event together for everyone, and they deserve nothing but the utmost respect for all their hard work. And the same is said for the authors and publishing staff. They don’t have to be at the event, but they are, and that’s amazing. If an author can only sign three books, but you brought four, please don’t get upset. We’re lucky to have the authors attend. And if you’re in line for an ARC drop, but the publishers run out of ARCs before you get up to the table, still be friendly and understanding. I know it’s upsetting, but the publishers don’t need to bring ARCs; attendees are very lucky that they do. So no matter what the circumstances are, always be friendly to the workers, authors, publishers, and other attendees.

sword 1

Don’t be afraid to ask questions and/or for directions

YALLFest can, at times, be overwhelming. The venues are all over Charleston and sometimes it can get confusing, not knowing if you’re going in the right direction. Usually YALLFest will provide a map in the onsite guide (kind of like a newspaper), but if you don’t have a map, do not be afraid to approach a volunteer or an attendee. I had to do this a lot my first year because I was unfamiliar with the layout and trust me when I say that it definitely helped. Everyone was super nice and understanding. I asked questions like, “where is the Charleston Museum?; I can’t find the HMH booth, do you know where their booth is?; Do you by chance know where the closest bathroom is?” and so many more. So, even if this is out of your comfort zone, you can do it! It’s better to ask questions or for directions than to wander aimlessly, hoping you stumble upon the booth/author you’re looking for.

sword 1

Follow publishers on Social Media

Most of the publishers participating at YALLFest will have announced their schedules before the festival. However, some publishers announce some un-publicized booth drops, such as ARCs or swag items. I advise to follow the publishers on Twitter and even Instagram. The publishers are: HMH Teen, Underlined (Penguin Teen), Epic Reads (HarperCollins), Fierce Reads (Macmillan), Riveted (Simon Teen), NOVL (Little, Brown), Pique (Amulet Books), Blackstone Publishing, Disney Books, and I Read YA.

Also, most publishers will announce their schedules on Twitter, so I’d definitely give a follow beforehand. And I also recommend making a list on Twitter of the YALLFest publishers – this keeps all their tweets in one easy and accessible area.

sword 1

Make friends in line

Every year, I meet a ton of wonderful and friendly people in line. I still talk to friends I made at YALLFest and it’s honestly one of the best parts of the festival. Talk with people who look friendly in line or who are wearing really cool bookish-themed merchandise. Or anyone reading a book you have read or want to read. YALLFest is not just about meeting your favorite authors and getting books and swag. It’s also about meeting people who share the same love as you do for books. And that in itself is worth the whole trip. So, make friends and have fun. And side note: if you’re flying solo (like I am this year), then it’s always an added bonus to make friends in line, especially when you have to use the bathroom. 🙂 But also understand that not everyone in line is going to want to make conversation, and that’s okay. Either way, you’re bound to find some awesome people to talk to while you wait in lines!

sword 1

Dress accordingly

Always check the weather before you leave for YALLFest. My first year, I brought my fall jacket and a sweatshirt and I ended up having to carry both because the weather was in the 70s and sunny. I did not check the weather beforehand and I definitely wished I had. As of right now, it’s looking to be sunny on Friday and Saturdayand in the 70s (YAY!, now let’s just hope it stays that way). If it does end up raining, make sure to bring an umbrella or a poncho for yourself, and bring Ziploc bags to protect your books and swag. So, dress in what will keep you warm but is also comfortable. I also recommend wearing sneakers because a lot of walking and standing will be involved.

sword 1

Don’t over pack

I learned this lesson real fast. My first year of YALLFest, I brought two bins full of books to get signed, and I barely got any of those books signed. Lines were long, sidewalks were crowded, and I was extremely tired. Some authors I needed wristbands for and I waited in line for over an hour to get those. Most authors didn’t have wristbands, but their lines were still crazy long (which is awesome for the authors). I did my best to meet as many authors as I could, but I definitely over packed. If there’s a ton of authors you want to meet Saturday, make a schedule and understand that you may not meet all those authors. I know, it’s not the advice you want to hear. But if there’s two authors you want to meet that have signings at the same time, you are most likely going to have to pick just one. So don’t over pack with too many books; it will be a lot of carting around. Plus, you can buy pre-signed books at Blue Bicycle Books, so you don’t have to lug around bins of books! That definitely comes in handy! 🙂

And the most important tip…

Have fun!

sword 1

So, all in all, below are the shortened tips I recommend:

  1. Stay hydrated and bring food
  2. Plan ahead
  3. Set a realistic schedule
  4. Always be friendly
  5. Ask questions
  6. Follow the publishers on Twitter
  7. Make new friends!
  8. Dress for the weather (wear sneakers!)
  9. Pack light
  10. HAVE FUN! 🙂

I hope these tips help you with your YALLFest visit! And if you have any questions, ask me in the comments! I’ll also be walking around at YALLFest, so if you see me, come say hi! I’ll be posting constantly on my Instagram story (@acourtofcoffeeandbooksblog) and on Twitter (@BiblioStacks), so make sure to check there to see where I’ll be throughout the day! And I’m also hoping to have some goodies to hand out! I can’t wait to meet you all, and make sure to have a fun time at YALLFest!

nikole