A Book Angel- Michelle Builds a Library

I’m cross posting this today with Vania from Reverie Book Reviews. She’s the one that did all the work, so she deserves all the credit. I’m just helping her get the word out. But regardless, this is a great cause that needs some attention!

Recently Kami Garcia had a post about a community in Virginia that was building a library. Their first and ONLY! Michelle the generous and amazing lady behind this library has been funding this library out of her own pocket. So in light of the holidays, we thought we should ask her to share her story and with a little surprise coming tomorrow for her and you, guys!

If this doesn’t tug at your heart string, I don’t know what will!

Michelle says:

Drugs, domestic violence, alcohol abuse, those are some of the everyday problems of the children who live in my community. My community is a public housing complex that has almost 200 units and almost every single unit has at least two or more children. Out of the amount of children that live in this community over half have suffered the problems I mentioned before.

How do you help? How do you make a difference? Is there any hope? I say yes. After researching ways to help in the community and being a book enthusiast my entire life, I found a way to help. I found out that 80% of the children living in my community had never visited a public library except when they visited when on a field trip with their school. Out of that 80%, only 15% of those children owned any books themselves. I found the need I could help with the most. There is no public library within walking distance of the complex for the children to go to by themselves.

On the property of the complex is a small cafeteria like community center. We have started an amateur library onsite to assist the children in the area.
The children are between the ages of 1 yr and 18 years. The kids in this community were at times involved in gang activity, some were fighting right in the streets of this community, and some were suffering daily at the hands of their parents (and still do). But with the hope of helping in some small way we started this library. At first the kids were skeptical and nervous. After time passed they became used to us and the fact that all we wanted to do was provide a way for them to discover the love of literature. Some kids weren’t very good readers, some were embarrassed to even like reading. A few children couldn’t keep books in their homes because of the circumstances that they lived in. There are four volunteers that started with the program as enrollees. Now the four volunteers assist the other children with their homework as well as help with activities we provide for the children. The children in this community have a growing hunger, and that hunger is for books and stories and reading! We want to provide that as much as possible!



A Special Thanks to these 2010 Debut Authors!

A lot of the awesome things I have planned for the 2010 Debut Author Challenge, would not be possible without some fantastically generous authors! The authors below have donated or will be donating swag/signed arcs/signed books/bookish goodies!

I cannot thank them enough! If it wasn’t for them, I know this challenge would not have reached its highest potential!

Thank you so very much!

Mara Purnhagen (Tagged)
Jame Richards (Three Rivers Rising)
Jessica Leader (Nice and Mean)

Jennifer Hubbard (The Secret Year)
Kristina McBride (The Tension of Opposites)
Dia Reeves (Bleeding Violet)

Tara Kelly (Harmonic Feedback)
Anastasia Hopcus (Shadow Hills)
Chelsea Campbell (The Rise of Renegade X)

Jeri Smith-Ready (Shade)
Julie Kagawa (Iron King)
Jen Nadol (The Mark)
Kelly Creagh (Nevermore)
Lindsay Eland (Scones and Sensibility) to be released December 20009
Amy Brecount White (Forget-Her-Nots)

Angie Frazier (Everlasting)
Kay Cassidy (The Cinderella Society)
Teri Hall (The Line)

Alexandra Diaz (Of All the Stupid Things) to be released December 2009
Judith Graves (Under My Skin)
Olugbemisola Rhuday Perkovich (Eighth-Grade Superzero)

Swati Avasthi (Split)
Irene Latham (Leaving Gee’s Bend)
Jacqueline Houtman (The Reinvention of Edison Thomas)

Lindsey Leavitt (Princess for Hire)
Janet Fox (Faithful)
Suzanne Young (The Naughty List)
Bonnie Doerr (Island Sting)
Leah Cypess (Mistwood)
Kitty Keswisk (Freaksville)

 Kimberly Derting (The Body Finder)
 Joelle Anthony (Restoring Harmony)
Cynthia Omololu (Dirty Little Secrets)
Jennifer Murgia (Angel Star)
Linda Kage (The Stillburrow Crush)
N.H. Senzai (Shooting Kabul)

Alexandra Bullen (Wish)
Rachel Hawkins (Hex Hall)
Christy Raedeke (Prophecy of Days)

Christina Gonzalez (The Red Umbrella)

Elizabeth Eulberg (The Lonely Hearts Club, to be released December 2009)

Ryan Potter (Exit Strategy)

Mindi Scott (Freefall)
Shannon Delaney (13 to Life)
Shari Maurer (Change of Heart)

Kristin Walker (A Match Made in High School)
Denise Jaden (Losing Faith)
Andrea Cremer (Nightshade)

Stacey Kade (The Ghost and the Goth)

Lisa Desrochers (Personal Demons)

If you are 2010 debut author and would like to help with the 2010 Debut Author Challenge, please feel free to email me for more information! There is no deadline!



In My Mailbox (56)

In My Mailbox explores the contents of my mailbox on a weekly basis. Of course I only mention the really cool things, like books! If you would like to participate and have your own “In My Mailbox” post, you can find more information here. (This post was inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie.)

For review:

0 (big ole’ goose egg for me again this week!)

From Amazon Vine:

The Seven Rays by Jessica Bendinger

You are more than you think you are.

THAT IS THE ANONYMOUS MESSAGE that Beth Michaels receives right before she starts seeing things. Not just a slept-through my-alarm-clock, late-for-homeroom, haven’t had-my-caffeine-fix kind of seeing things. It all starts with some dots, annoying pink dots that pop up on and over her mom and her best friend’s face. But then things get out of control and Beth is seeing people’s pasts, their fears, their secrets, their desires. The images are coming at Beth in hi-def streaming video and she can’t stop it. Everyone thinks she’s crazy and she’s pretty sure she agrees with them. But crazy doesn’t explain the gold envelopes that have started arriving, containing seeing keys and mysterious tarot cards. To Beth, it all seems too weird to be true. You are more than you think you are? But here’s the thing: What if she is?

All Unquiet Things by Anna Jarzab

Carly: She was sweet. Smart. Self-destructive. She knew the secrets of Brighton Day School’s most privileged students. Secrets that got her killed.

Neily: Dumped by Carly for a notorious bad boy, Neily didn’t answer the phone call she made before she died. If he had, maybe he could have helped her. Now he can’t get the image of her lifeless body out of his mind.

Audrey: She’s the reason Carly got tangled up with Brighton’s fast crowd in the first place, and now she regrets it—especially since she’s convinced the police have put the wrong person in jail. Audrey thinks the murderer is someone at Brighton, and she wants Neily to help her find out who it is.

As reluctant allies Neily and Audrey dig into their shared past with Carly, her involvement with Brighton’s dark goings-on comes to light. But figuring out how Carly and her killer fit into the twisted drama will force Audrey and Neily to face hard truths about themselves and the girl they couldn’t save.


Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead (signature edition! and it’s hardcover!)

Okay so now you know what’s in mine, what did you get in yours? You can sign the Mr. Linky below, if you would, please link your actual IMM post not your blog url, so that it is easier to find! Thanks!

For Example:
Name: The Story Siren
Blog URL: http://www.thestorysiren.com/2009/11/in-my-mailbox-53.html



2010 Debut Author Challenge List

This is where I’m planning on keeping track of my completed novels for the 2010 Debut Authors Challenge. Once I have my reviews posted, I’ll link those as well. I’m hoping to read at least 30 debut titles this year, although I’m hoping to get more than that, but my goal will be 30.

Here’s a potential list, that will most likely be added to… have some titles removed… just depending on what I get for review and so on and so forth. I’m sure I’ve forgotten some that I want to read. Feel free to make suggestions.

  1. Restoring Harmony by Joëlle Anthony
  2. Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken   
  3. Forget-Her-Nots by Amy Brecount White   
  4. Wish by Alexandra Bullen 
  5. The Rise of Renegade X by Chelsea Campbell   
  6. The Cinderella Society by Kay Cassidy 
  7. Wolves, Boys and Other Things That Might Kill Me by Kristen Chandler
  8. Nevermore by Kelly Creagh
  9. Nightshade by Andrea Cremer
  10. Tell Me A Secret by Holly Cupala
  11. Mistwood by Leah Cypess   
  12. 13 to Life by Shannon Delaney 
  13. The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting 
  14. The Lonely Hearts Club by Elizabeth Eulberg  
  15. Faithful by Janet Fox
  16. Everlasting by Angie Frazier
  17. Inconvenient by Margie Gelbwasser   
  18. The Line by Teri Hall   
  19. Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins 
  20. Guardian of the Dead by Karen Healey
  21. Shadow Hills by Anastasia Hopcus
  22. A Love Story: Starring My Dead Best Friend by Emily Horner    
  23. The Secret Year by Jennifer Hubbard (I’ve already read this title, as such it will not count toward my challenge total.)
  24. Losing Faith by Denise Jaden   
  25. All Unquiet Things by Anna Jarzab 
  26. Claire de Lune by Christine Johnson
  27. The Ghost and the Goth by Stacey Kade   
  28. Iron King by Julie Kagawa 
  29. Harmonic Feedback by Tara Kelly
  30. The DUFF by Kody Keplinger
  31. Hunger by Jackie Morse Kessler
  32. Other by Karen Kincy
  33. Whisper by Phoebe Kitanidis
  34. The Witch’s Alphabet by Caitlin Kittredge
  35. Sea by Heidi R. Kling
  36. Princess for Hire by Lindsey Leavitt
  37. The Tension of Opposites by Kristina McBride
  38. The Mark by Jen Nadol   
  39. Firespell by Chloe Neill   
  40. The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson   
  41. Forbidden Sea by Sheila A. Nielson   
  42. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver   
  43. Dirty Little Secrets by Cynthia Jaynes Omololu 
  44. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
  45. Tagged by Mara Purnhagen
  46. The Prophecy of Days by Christy Raedeke
  47. Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves
  48. Three Rivers Rising by Jame Richards
  49. A Blue So Dark by Holly Schindler
  50. Freefall by Mindi Scott
  51. The Beautiful Between by Alyssa B. Sheinmel
  52. Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready   
  53. Voices of Dragons by Carrie Vaughn   
  54. A Match Made in High School by Kristin Walker 
  55. Paranormalcy by Kiersten White
  56. The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney   
  57. The Naughty List by Suzanne Young 
  58. The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff
  59. The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin by Josh Berk
  60. Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers
  61. Glimmerglass by Jenna Black
  62. The Iron Thorn by Caitlin Kittredge
  63. Hearts at Stake by Alyxandra Harvey
  64. A Spy in the House by Y.S. Lee
  65. Nomansland by Leslie Hauge
  66. Banished by Sophie Littlefield
  67. The Karma Club by Jessica Brody
  68. Birthmarked by Caragh O’Brien 
  69. Infinity by Sherrilyn Kenyon
  70. Plain Kate by Erin Bow
  71. Dark Life by Kat Falls
  72. Matched by Ally Condie
  73. Deception by Lee Nichols
  74. Almost to Die For by Tate Hallaway
  75. Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
  76. Firelight by Sophie Jordan
  77. Infinite Days by Rebecca Maizel
  78. The Summer of Skinny Dipping by Amanda Howells
  79. Tyger Tyger by Kersten Hamilton
  80. I Now Pronounce You Someone Else by Erin McCahan
  81. Stork by Wendy Delsol
  82. The Ivy by Lauren Kunze
  83. The Candidates by Inara Scott

….I did say 30 right??

Bold titles are books I have.




YA Connection (November 21-27)

 Ya Connection Week of November 21-27, 2009

The YA Connection is a accumulation of links from around the YA blogosphere. Here you can find author blog links, review link, a place to share your contests, and miscellaneous new pertaining to young adult literature.

Want to be featured in YAC?

  • Are you a blogger?  Shoot me an email with your blog url. Do not send individual links to reviews. I have a folder in my Google Reader called YAC. Posts are chosen at random. Please use the subject: YAC. 
  • Are you an author that has an event coming up/contest/fun news? Let me know and I can mention it on a future post of YAC! 
  • Have a suggestion of something you’d like to see on YAC? Or something you’ve seen that you’d like me to include every time, let me know.
(Just a mini YAC this week…. getting back into the swing of things so to speak.)

    Author Musings:

    Look out for the Stupid Prada Summer Van Tour! Unfortunately non of the stops are close to me….. but, would be an awesome author event to attend if you have the chance!

    Speaking of author stops, if you’re in the Chicago area you should go to the Holidaze with the Debs next weekend! Of course I have a holiday party I must attend next weekend…. bah humbug!

    Courtney Summers (Some Girls Are) has a new look. I mean her blog has a new look. It’s super cute.
    Melissa Walker‘s (Lovestruck Summer, which I finally bought a copy of!) Cover Stories!!! She had author Cynthia Leitich Smith and her novel Eternal. I love the cover for Eternal!

    Check out this contest of awesome at The Enchanted Inkpot… 25 books and other goodies up for grabs!

    Blogger Blurbs:

    Yan of Books By Their Cover reviewed Devoured by Amanda Marrone. “I am sad of how disappointing this book was. I think this is either a love or hate book.”

    Patty of Yay! Reads reviewed Graceling by Kristin Cashore. “A fantastical adventure with romance that has no comparison.”

    Steph of Juiciliouss Reviews reviewed Meridian by Amber Kizer. “Meridian was a book I found myself extremely disconnected from. I couldn’t relate to any of the characters even though I did find myself enjoy Meridian, the girl.”

    Chelsea of The Page Flipper reviewed Notes from the Dog by Gary Paulsen. “It has compassion and rawness, and it leaves you with a warm, gooey, inspiring feeling.”

    Alea of Pop Culture Junkie reviewed Lips Touch by Laini Taylor. “I’ve read nothing like it before.”

    Hope of Hope’s Bookshelf reviewed Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margie Stohl. “Beautiful Creatures is definitely one of the best, if not the best, book that I’ve read in 2009 so far.”

    A Good Addiction reviewed Betrayals by Lil St. Crow. “This installment isn’t as fast paced, but it is still gripping and intriguing.”

    Bookish News:

    Join the Big Fat Nerd Journal Tour.

    Ever wanted to be a model on a book cover? Well now you can be a face on The Vampire Academy!

    Are you joining any challenges this year? I’m hosting the 2010 Debut Author Challenge! Check out this post for more info, and this post to sign up! I’m still looking for debut authors willing to donate prizes!

    Released This Week:

    • The Seven Rays by Jessica Bendinger
    • How to Date a Vampire by Sophie Collins
    • Vampire Academy (Signature Edition) by Richelle Mead


    Feel free to fill in your contest info in the Mister Linky.

    Please use the Mister Linky as instructed.
    Your Name: Put your prize here & deadline date!
    Your URL: Put a DIRECT link to your contest.


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