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frootjoos blogs about young adult and other juvenile literature... and doesn't get much sleep, it looks like.
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1. Every Other Day Blog Challenge (1)

When I was in 7th grade, I was determined to be a writer. I loved English class. I loved to read. More than anything, I loved to write, even if I didn't really have anything to write about. I would journal about my days and try to make them sound exciting, for some future self who might someday be reading my diary. I would scribble story ideas on napkins and used envelopes, and stick them in a notebook for future writing inspiration. I probably still have one or two or ten of those notebooks lying around, gathering dust. 

So what happened? Well, lots of things. My perspective on the world changed a lot when I went home to Manila instead of applying for an Ivy League school like I'd always planned on doing. Depression happened. Working in retail and being really tired all the time happened. Community college happened. Not all things that happened were necessarily good or bad, it was just life. I honed some skills (baking, knitting, art) and got worse at some things (exercising, staying organized, swimming).

Now and then when I think about writing, I realize I have lots and lots of things to talk about. Want to know about that time I got kicked off the school paper? Or that time I really embarrassed myself in front of a guy I liked? (Those times, I should say, there were a few.) How about that time I got left back a grade even though I had the most freaking perfect grades a student could ever want? Oh man, I have some stories.

I read a lot, too. I know I'm preaching to the choir, but reading is so, SO important for anyone who wants to be a writer. You have to learn how words work, how they string along together to do something, like teach a lesson or evoke a feeling or make you cringe. You have to know the rules before you break them. You have to learn what bores people to tears so you can, you know, NOT write like that.

I almost think reading, too much reading, is the thing that has eaten away at my writing life the most in the last 20 years. Every year I try to read more than I did the year before. Every year I write less, and less, and less. I can tweet, no problem. I usually strive for funny/informative in 140 characters or less. I just want to share things that I think people I know will find interesting. I love hashtags, too. They're the best on Instagram--I probably spend more time picking hashtags there than writing the caption. I kind of hate writing reviews now. I still form opinions on things, but I'd rather comment about them on Facebook than really go into a full analysis of something. I want to have short text conversations with others more than I want to carefully compose a critical essay (because that feels like homework). I just want to react and use as many emojis as possible to get my feelings across. Tumblr is my absolute favorite. I don't even have to comment: just reblog. Always reblog.

When I'm not chasing deadlines for school work, I read. I have read some pretty amazing books, and that's kind of the problem. Have you read The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss? How about every book ever written by Leigh Bardugo, or Mary Pearson, or Maggie Stiefvater, or Maria V. Snyder, or Margaret Atwood? How about Carlos Ruiz Zafon's The Shadow of the Wind (no relation to the other previously named book with "wind" in the title)? I love those books. I think some part of me thinks too far ahead, that I'll never be as good as they are, and why waste time working on something that will never pan out, that won't pay the rent, when I can sit here and unwind from my day job by watching 6 episodes of Gilmore Girls every night?

Part of me knows it's not supposed to be easy if it's worth doing. But another part of me insists I need to do something else first. Cleaning the fridge, or scrubbing the toilet, or putting away the laundry: once the most pressing to-do-list items have been checked off, by the time I'm done, all I'm good for is putting my feet up and watching, you guessed it, just one more episode of Gilmore Girls. Some perverse part of me thinks getting on a treadmill for an hour should come first. Barring that, I should play paper ball catch with the cats so they get some much-needed exercise. These are things worth doing. Maintaining good hygiene, cooking a meal from scratch, getting my teeth cleaned. All worthwhile and responsible uses of time and effort. When I'm done with all of these other things, I'll read. When I'm done, I'll paint/knit/sew something. When I'm done, I'll write. It's always in the plans.

Today, however, and every other day for at least a week, I am writing first, and everything else later. (Actually, I thought up this challenge for myself while procrastinating on the final paper I have to turn in to my teacher on Friday.) Every other day, the moment I'm free, the books will stay closed. The knitting bag stays unopened. Netflix remains frozen on the Gilmore Girls episode I stopped watching last night because I had to be up at 4:30 for work.

What do I think will happen? Well, I don't think I'll have a bestselling novel anytime soon. I won't even have a finished first draft of something in the next year (oh school, I love you, I hate you!). I think I will write about writing, about not writing, about things that are not writing. But maybe, just maybe, I will write.


Is there something you'd like me to write about? Let me know in the comments. Here are some things I brainstormed while procrastinating some more because I am really, really not ready to work on this paper for class:

  • learning to drive
  • favorite restaurants
  • collections
  • forgiveness
  • how much I hate shopping for clothes
  • celebrity crushes
  • disorganization
  • being a bad god-parent
  • being a bully
  • my cats (of course)
  • unrealistic musical aspirations (probably)
  • how much I love eating out alone
  • used bookstores
  • pain
  • optimism
  • sugar
  • talking on the phone and how much I hate it now
  • knitting
  • sewing
  • looking for work
  • working in groups
  • board games
  • video games
  • why I procrastinate

Ok, I think that's enough procrastination for now. 

I'm going to go cook some spaghetti while watching Gilmore Girls, then work on my paper... after I watch an episode of Gilmore Girls...

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2. SWEET Paperback Giveaway

FTC Disclosure: Sweet by Emmy Laybourne giveaway prize is provided by the publisher for promotional purposes.

Hey gang! Just popping in really quick (still in recovery mode after putting on the Tots, Tweens, & Teens Book Festival) to let you know you can enter to win a paperback copy of Emmy Laybourne's SWEET from Macmillan. Ends 6/6/2016, US/Canada only please.

Hint: You can find the link to read the story behind the redesigned cover if you go to Emmy's Facebook page.

About the book

The luxurious celebrity cruise launching the trendy new diet sweetener Solu should be the vacation of a lifetime. But Laurel is starting to regret accepting her friend Viv's invitation. She's already completely embarrassed herself in front of celebrity host Tom Forelli—the hottest guy ever!—and she's too sick to even try the sweetener. And that's before Viv and all the other passengers start acting really strange. 

Tom knows that he should be grateful for this job and the chance to shed his former-child-star image. His publicists have even set up a 'romance' with a sexy reality star. But as things on the ship start to get wild, he finds himself drawn to a different girl. And when the hosting gig turns into an expose on the shocking side effects of Solu, it's Laurel that he's determined to save. 
Emmy Laybourne, author of the Monument 14 trilogy, takes readers on a dream vacation in Sweet that goes first comically, then tragically, then horrifyingly, wrong!

Sweet comes out in paperback on June 7, 2016. You can pre-order the book at:

Amazon Barnes & Noble IndieBound

Giveaway Time!

  1. Open to the US/Canada only, ends 6/6/2016.
  2. No purchase is necessary to enter the giveaway. Void where prohibited.
  3. We and the publisher/publicity department are not responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged items.
  4. One set of entries per household please.
  5. If you are under 13, please get a parent or guardian's permission to enter, as you will be sharing personal info such as an email address.
  6. Winner will be chosen randomly via Rafflecopter widget a day or two after the contest ends.
  7. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to to the email, otherwise we will pick a new winner.
  8. If you have any questions, feel free to email us at readnowsleeplater@gmail.com
  9. PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE ANY PERSONAL INFO IN THE COMMENTS. Sorry for the caps, but we always get people leaving their email in the comments. Rafflecopter will collect all that without having personal info in the comments for all the world (and spambots) to find.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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3. Tots, Tweens, and Teens Book Festival - May 14

The first Tots, Tweens, and Teens Book Festival will take place on Saturday, May 14, 2016 at Pasadena High School in Pasadena, CA. This event is FREE and open to the public. 

When: Saturday, May 14, 2016 from 12 pm to 6 pm

Where: Pasadena High School, 2925 E Sierra Madre Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91107

RSVP on Eventbrite

Arrive at noon for a special live musical performance by Emily Arrow.

Food will be available for purchase at the festival, so be hungry!
11am - 3 pm The Deli Doctor food truck
12 pm - 3 pm Pie 'n' Burger food truck
12 pm - until sold out Cake Girl (gluten-free treats)
1 pm - 3 pm Rita's Ice of North Hollywood

PICTURE BOOK STAGE

Ashlyn Anstee
Bethany Barton
James Burks
Vincent X. Kirsch
Carson Kügler
Tina Kügler
Michelle Markel
Ken Min
Jennifer Gray Olson
LeUyen Pham
Lee Wardlaw
Marcie Wessels
Brian Won
Keika Yamaguchi
with moderator
Carter Higgins

MIDDLE GRADE STAGE

Elana K. Arnold
Pseudonymous Bosch
Barbara Brauner
James Burks
Cecil Castellucci
Andrew S. Chilton
Tracy Holczer
Leslie Margolis
James Iver Mattson
Lin Oliver

YOUNG ADULT STAGE

Elana K. Arnold
Julie Berry
Virginia Boecker
Aaron Hartzler
E. Katherine Kottaras
Michelle Levy
Jessica Love
Nicole Maggi
Gretchen McNeil
Cindy Pon
Amy Spalding
Ann Redisch Stampler
Ingrid Sundberg
Henry Turner
and introducing
Jessica Cluess

Like us on Facebook | Tweet @bridgetobooks | Hashtag #3tbookfest

Please help us spread the word, and we hope to see you there!

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4. The Square Root of Summer Blog Tour

Happy book birthday to The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood! To celebrate, we're posting our answers to questions we were asked for the blog tour--answers from a few months ago, and answers from today. Read on to see more about the book, about the author, and where you can find more bloggers answering questions about #thisiswhoiamnow from February this year, then the same questions again a few months later.

About The Square Root of Summer

My heart is a kaleidoscope, and when we kiss it makes my world unravel . . .

Last summer, Gottie's life fell apart. Her beloved grandfather Grey died and Jason left her - the boy to whom she lost her virginity (and her heart) - and he wouldn't even hold her hand at the funeral! This summer, still reeling from twin heartbreaks, Gottie is lost and alone and burying herself in equations. Until, after five years absence, Thomas comes home: former boy next door. Former best friend. Former everything. And as life turns upside down again she starts to experience strange blips in time - back to last summer, back to what she should have seen then . . .

During one long, hazy summer, Gottie navigates grief, world-stopping kisses and rips in the space-time continuum, as she tries to reconcile her first heartbreak with her last.

Add this book on Goodreads Visit the Official Website Check out #SquareRootofSummer on Twitter

About the Author

Harriet Reuter Hapgood

Harriet Reuter Hapgood

Harriet Reuter Hapgood is a freelance journalist who has worked with Marie Claire, ELLE, and InStyle in the U.K. The Square Root of Summer was inspired by her German mathematician grandfather and her lifelong obsession with YA romance. She majored in Romantic Comedies at Newcastle University and wrote her MA dissertation on Dawson's Creek. She lives in Nottingham.

Visit Harriet's Website Follow @Hapgoodness on Twitter Follow @HapGo0dness on Instagram

#ThisIsWhoIAmNow - Questions and Alethea's Answers

What brings you the most joy in life?

FEBRUARY 2016

I love my cats. They are both rescues we raised from when they were 3 and 4 weeks old. They have their own Facebook Page and Instagram account because let's face it, it would be wrong to keep all this cuteness to myself.

MAY 2016

I mean, I still love my cats, but I also love having a working air compressor and not randomly stopping (read: car turning off completely for no reason) in the middle of the freeway. Oh and being able to plug my phone into the car for music, audiobooks, texting and navigation is pretty sweet. Yeah. (Thanks, parents, for helping us pay off hubby's car so we can be a one-car-payment family.)

What are you reading?

FEBRUARY 2016

Ugh, yeah, not a lot of reading was going on in February that didn't involve a textbook. And I didn't want to take a photo of the textbook. No one needs to commemmorate that pile of blah.

MAY 2016

I can't just read one thing when I am reading. I'm partway through The Passion of Dolssa by Julie Berry, Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow (read by Scott Brick), The Haters by Jesse Andrews, and The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood (of course!) Not pictured, because I'm reading an eBook and I didn't think to grab the cover image off the internet--The Untimely Deaths of Alex Wayfare by M.G. Buehrlen. I am just thankful that the class I'm taking now is nowhere nearly as stressful and crazy as my last one.

What is something you're really looking forward to?

FEBRUARY 2016

Reaaaaaally looking forward to the end of that class. I kept this book close by, thinking I would reward myself with a chapter every time I finished a chapter of my textbook, but the last thing I wanted to do after reading that textbook was more reading, even if it was going to be fun!

MAY 2016

This! This event is going to be so much fun. I am really looking forward to it, although I'm dreading it a little also. (See next question/answer.)

What is one thing that's worrying you?

FEBRUARY 2016

I hope you're sensing a theme with that class I had in February. I seriously was so stressed out with worry that I would often just blank out on stuff. Like where to find and complete the quizzes and assignments that were due the first two weeks. Yikes.

MAY 2016

I'm definitely a worrier. I've been working on this book festival project for ages now, and we're less than two weeks away, and I keep thinking, did I think of everything? Did I do everything that needed to be done? I still don't know. Totally drawing a blank here. I'll let you know after May 14th, I guess. *gulp*

I mean, things usually turn out fine in the end. My grade for that class that had me all wound up in February? A-. Not too shabby, and I would settle for an A- on this event as well. 

What is something that you always have with you?

FEBRUARY 2016

I was not a big fan of February 2016. Not. At. All.

MAY 2016

Now that I can breathe again, I can concentrate more on productivity and creativity.

What is something you wish you could change?

FEBRUARY AND MAY 2016

This answer is the same for both months. I'm trying to eat better, exercise more, and re-organize my life (the way I used to be once). Like Gottie, I am having this past-present conflict between the way things are and the way I want them to be. I'm not there yet. Maybe soon.


Check out this list for more bloggers answering these same questions! (I'll try to get the links updated on Tuesday, but there are so many!)

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5. The Agency - Series Re-release - Giveaway

FTC Disclosure: I received no free copies of these books for myself. The giveaway is sponsored by the publisher, Candlewick. 

The Agency Series by Y.S. Lee

A Spy in the House
The Body at the Tower
The Traitor in the Tunnel
Rivals in the City

Hi everyone! I hate putting up those disclosures at the top of every sponsored post, but what can you do? I want to emphasize that I love, love, love Y.S. Lee's The Agency Series and indeed, I bought the 4th book just a month ago to reward myself for finishing a terribly boring college class (although, the engrossing class that followed has thus far stopped me from reading it. Oh well. At least now my collection is complete and I can stare at it longingly every time I lift my eyes from my current college textbook. Haha!

Well, now thanks to Candlewick, not only is the whole series getting new covers, but you, yes you! get the chance to win the entire series. Read on for a quick overview, a guest post from Ying Lee, the giveaway rules, and the Rafflecopter widget.

About The Agency Series

BookPage called the series, “full of thrills and danger and wonderfully sharp writing” and of the final book, Kirkus Reviews said: “Intrigue, romance and the rich details of Victorian life are the focus in the fourth installment of this mystery series featuring a complex female detective…As with the previous volumes, the elements of Victorian life are well-drawn, adding rich texture to the storytelling…. Readers of the series will find this addition deeply satisfying as both a mystery and a historical romance.”

Audiobook Sample

Guest Post by Y.S. Lee

Four Victorian novels that changed the way I think about the era

William Makepeace Thackeray, Vanity Fair. Brown-skinned characters everywhere, if you just keep your eyes open. They’re marginal figures and Thackeray didn’t seem to know what to do with them, but at least his panorama includes them. Brown people! In high society, even.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Aurora Leigh. Aurora appears to live on her own, in Kensington, and entertains a bachelor visitor without comprising her reputation! What is going on, here?

Wilkie Collins, The Moonstone. One of the first detective novels ever. A funny detective novel, at that, with a mixed-race physician and a surprisingly racy scene between Rachel and Franklin.

Charles Dickens, Bleak House. Secret love affair, illegitimate child, suicide by shame and opium, and the crushing weight of British law. And who else could get away, in a supposedly realist novel, with attributing a character’s death to “spontaneous combustion”?

About the Author

Y.S. Lee

Y.S. Lee

Y.S. Lee has a Ph.D. in Victorian literature and culture and says her research inspired her to write Book One of The Agency trilogy. “Women’s choices were grim in those days, even for the clever,” she says. “The Agency is a totally unrealistic, completely fictitious antidote to the fate that would otherwise swallow a girl like Mary Quinn.” Y. S. Lee lives in Ontario, Canada.

Read an Excerpt from BOOK 1 Website Facebook Tweet @yinglee

Win a complete set of the 4 books of Y.S. Lee's The Agency series.

  1. Open to the US only, ends 5/8/2016.
  2. No purchase is necessary to enter the giveaway. Void where prohibited.
  3. We and the publisher/publicity department are not responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged items.
  4. One set of entries per household please.
  5. If you are under 13, please get a parent or guardian's permission to enter, as you will be sharing personal info such as an email address.
  6. Winner will be chosen randomly via Rafflecopter widget a day or two after the contest ends.
  7. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to to the email, otherwise we will pick a new winner.
  8. If you have any questions, feel free to email us at readnowsleeplater@gmail.com
  9. PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE ANY PERSONAL INFO IN THE COMMENTS. Sorry for the caps, but we always get people leaving their email in the comments. Rafflecopter will collect all that without having personal info in the comments for all the world (and spambots) to find.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck! 

Thanks for reading! Did you enjoy this post? Follow us on Bloglovin' to make sure you don't miss a thing!

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6. The Untimely Deaths of Alex Wayfare - Giveaway

FTC Disclosure: I received an electronic ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review. 

Good morning! I was supposed to post a review for The Untimely Deaths of Alex Wayfare by M.G. Buehrlen, but I am sorry to say I haven't finished the book yet (it's midterms week and I'm trying to keep my grades afloat)! I am about 2 hours away from finishing, so expect another post really soon with my hopefully spoiler-free review. For now, read on to find out more about the series and enter the giveaway.

I originally read The 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare a couple of years ago when I was visiting my mom in the Philippines. Not only did it hit the spot in terms of an emotional experience, but it had a great romance and a very satisfying execution of the time travel element. 

About The 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare

For as long as 17-year-old Alex Wayfare can remember, she has had visions of the past. Visions that make her feel like she's really on a ship bound for America, living in Jamestown during the Starving Time, or riding the original Ferris wheel at the World's Fair.

But these brushes with history pull her from her daily life without warning, sometimes leaving her with strange lasting effects and wounds she can't explain. Trying to excuse away the aftereffects has booked her more time in the principal's office than in any of her classes and a permanent place at the bottom of the social hierarchy. Alex is desperate to find out what her visions mean and get rid of them.

It isn't until she meets Porter, a stranger who knows more than should be possible about her, that she learns the truth: Her visions aren't really visions. Alex is a Descender--capable of traveling back in time by accessing Limbo, the space between Life and Afterlife. Alex is one soul with fifty-six past lives, fifty-six histories.

Fifty-six lifetimes to explore: the prospect is irresistible to Alex, especially when the same mysterious boy with soulful blue eyes keeps showing up in each of them. But the more she descends, the more it becomes apparent that someone doesn't want Alex to travel again. Ever.

And will stop at nothing to make this life her last.

Shop Indie Amazon Barnes & Noble

About The Untimely Deaths of Alex Wayfare

I'd probably skip the next part if you haven't read the first book...

Time travel, adventure, and romance come together in the highly anticipated sequel to The 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare

Alex Wayfare is back in Base Life. Her 57th life. She's in Chicago searching for Blue, who travels with her whenever she goes back in time. She's never met him in Base Life, but she's hoping he'll remember her in the present, and that he'll want to be with her like he does in the past. 

Their romance is put on hold when she's attacked by henchmen working for Durham Gesh, who wants to harness her abilities for his own ugly purposes. But that threat seems insignificant when she returns home to face her younger sister's deteriorating health. Researching every possible remedy, from ancient herbs to forgotten medical advancements, Alex seeks a cure for her sister's cancer in the past.

The journeys are never simple. From the countryside of eighteenth-century China to a top-secret research lab in 1970s Michigan, Alex is plagued by enemy Descenders who seem to anticipate her every move, and realizes she may have a traitor in her small band of allies. A traitor who might bring Gesh straight to Alex's front door. 

The only person Alex feels she can trust is Blue. But there are secrets Alex doesn't know secrets about Blue, about her team, and about herself. And the biggest secret of all will change her life, or her lives, forever.


Giveaway Time!

Win 1 paperback copy of book 1, The 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare, by M.G. Buehrlen.

  1. Open to the US only, ends 5/5/2016.
  2. No purchase is necessary to enter the giveaway. Void where prohibited.
  3. We and the publisher/publicity department are not responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged items.
  4. One set of entries per household please.
  5. If you are under 13, please get a parent or guardian's permission to enter, as you will be sharing personal info such as an email address.
  6. Winner will be chosen randomly via Rafflecopter widget a day or two after the contest ends.
  7. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to to the email, otherwise we will pick a new winner.
  8. If you have any questions, feel free to email us at readnowsleeplater@gmail.com
  9. PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE ANY PERSONAL INFO IN THE COMMENTS. Sorry for the caps, but we always get people leaving their email in the comments. Rafflecopter will collect all that without having personal info in the comments for all the world (and spambots) to find.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck! 

Thanks for reading! Did you enjoy this post? Follow us on Bloglovin' to make sure you don't miss a thing!

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7. Curiosity House: The Screaming Statue Blog Tour

Click the book cover to go to the series website. Click here to purchase the book.

Click the book cover to go to the series website.
Click here to purchase the book.

FTC Disclosure: I received free print (Book 1) and digital (Book 2) copies of the Curiosity House books from the publisher, HarperCollins 

Hey everybody! I hope you are all having a good reading week.

I am happy to share a blog tour post today for the second book in the Curiosity House series, The Screaming Statue, written by New York Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver & the mysterious H.C. Chester. I have a Q&A with the authors and one of the characters, as well as a giveaway for you, so read on!

About Curiosity House: The Shrunken Head (Book 1)

Click here to purchase the book.

Click here to purchase the book.

The book is about, among other things: the strongest boy in the world, a talking cockatoo, a faulty mind reader, a beautiful bearded lady and a nervous magician, an old museum, and a shrunken head.

Blessed with extraordinary abilities, orphans Philippa, Sam, and Thomas have grown up happily in Dumfrey’s Dime Museum of Freaks, Oddities, and Wonders. But when a fourth child, Max, a knife-thrower, joins the group, it sets off an unforgettable chain of events.

When the museum’s Amazonian shrunken head is stolen, the four are determined to get it back. But their search leads them to a series of murders and an explosive secret about their pasts.

This sensational new series—a 2016 Edgar nominee for Best Juvenile book—combines the unparalleled storytelling gifts of Lauren Oliver with the rich knowledge of the notorious relics collector H. C. Chester.

About Curiosity House: The Screaming Statue (Book 2)

Edgar Award nominee for Best Juvenile Mystery

In this second book in the exceptional Curiosity House series by bestselling author Lauren Oliver and shadowy recluse H. C. Chester, four extraordinary children must avenge their friend’s death, try to save their home, and unravel the secrets of their past... before their past unravels them.

Pippa, Sam, Thomas, and Max are happy to be out of harm’s way now that the notorious villain Nicholas Rattigan is halfway across the country in Chicago. But unfortunately their home, Dumfreys’s Dime Museum of Freaks, Oddities, and Wonders, is in danger of closing its doors forever.

But their troubles only get worse. The four friends are shocked when their beloved friend, famous sculptor Siegfried Eckleberger, is murdered. As they investigate, they find clues that his death may be tied to the murder of a rich and powerful New York heiress, as well as to their own pasts.

Book 3: Coming Soon!


Q&A with Lauren Oliver & H.C. Chester

Click the illustration above to read more about the authors.

Click the illustration above to read more about the authors.

Read Now Sleep Later: How would you describe your Curiosity House writing approach--weird with a side of fun? sinister but sensitive? How does that approach contrast and coexist with the other creator's approach to the series?

Lauren Oliver: We have fun, for sure! And there is definitely a lot of weirdness. There has to be. The whole book series is in many ways a celebration of weirdness. 

    H.C. Chester: My approach is that I provide Ms. Lauren with access to my unique collection of rare artifacts, along with my encyclopedic knowledge of the subject, and then permit her to do all the work.

    RNSL: You have quite a cavalcade of characters. How do you keep track of who everyone is?

    LO: Oh, these characters are not exactly the shy-and-retiring types. It's less an issue of keeping track of them than in getting them to shut up when I want to take a nap. 

      HC: I let Ms. Oliver keep track of everyone as well as everything else that occurs in the book. 

      RNSL: The people and plot of the novels are spectacularly fantastic, but as the saying goes, truth is stranger than fiction. Are there any elements of the book drawn from people or things that existed/happened in real life?

      HC: From what I have gathered through many years of research, there was an actual Dumfrey's Dime Museum and a quartet of extraordinary juvenile performers. 

      LO: Yes, absolutely! As Mr. Chester suggests, we've found references to a Dumfrey's Dime Museum in several sources, although none of them are absolutely creditable. However, dime museums most definitely existed, and were a huge component of the entertainment industry in the early 1900s. Dime museums boasted collections of zany, unique, and weird artifacts and also featured live performers, much like the ones in our book.

      RNSL: Your house is burning down and you can only take one thing with you before the whole place goes up in flames. What one thing do you rescue from the conflagration?

      LO: I'm counting ALL my animals as one animal. I'm assuming my fiancé can get out on his own. Other than that, my stack of writing notebooks. 

        HC: TRUDY!!!

        RNSL: You are about to go on a book tour around the world and you need to bring an assistant. Which denizen of the museum do you take along as your traveling companion?

        HC: TRUDY!!! I admit she is not technically a "Denizen of the Museum" but I cannot conceive of traveling without her.

        LO: That is a fantastic question. I would say Sam, because he is a sweetheart and can carry all my luggage, no matter how many shoes I pack!


        Q&A with Smalls, the Giant

        Nearly 8 feet tall, Smalls has a near-constant bump on his head from grazing the ceiling. An aspiring poet, Smalls has published several of his own original works (including “Ode to a Toaster” and “The Elegy of an Unknown Dust Bunny”) in a literary magazine he publishes and circulates himself.

        Click the illustration above to read more about the characters.

        Click the illustration above to read more about the characters.

        RNSL: If you could have written any other author's poem or book, what would it be and why? (I would love to have written The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, but she beat me to it.)

        Smalls: Though I have deep admiration from the Greats, from the Bard to the esteemed if oft-overlooked Giuseppe de Peppecinno, famous for being the first to rhyme "spaghetti" with "come get me", I would never trade my voice for anyone else's, as a voice is to a poet what tomato sauce is to a vine. (As I point out in my poem "Ode to Tomato Sauce on a Vine.")

        RNSL: What do you think is the most essential tool a poet needs to write well?

        Smalls: A poet needs nothing but a pen, a place of solitude, and a velveteen thinking cap, preferably with a tassel. I like mine in hunter green.

        RNSL: If tallness was a thing you could trade for any other characteristic, physical or personal, would you trade it away? If no, why not? If yes, what would you like to trade it for?

        Smalls: No, no. I should never trade my stature, for it allows me to see clearly and penetratingly into the future--and at the movie theater even if I am in a back row.

        RNSL: In your opinion, what is the best word in the English language?

        Smalls: Taradiddle. I have been told again and again that I am full of it, and though admittedly I have not had time to research its precise meaning, assume it is a synonym of "wisdom," or  perhaps "learnedness."

        RNSL: If I gave you a tiny pouch in which you could carry any one item, large or small, and keep it with you at all times, what would you put in the pouch?

        Smalls: I do carry a small pouch! Of course, though it is small to me, it might seem quite sizable to a non-giant, and it contains a bound copy of my Versos Completas, my latest collection of poems, just in case I should run into a literary-minded person, preferably one with access to a large printing press and a large quantity of cash.


        Previous Blog (Kid Lit Reviews) Next Blog (This Kid Reviews Books)

        Giveaway Time!

        The prize winner will receive:

        • 1 copy of Curiosity House: The Shrunken Head (paperback)
        • 1 copy of Curiosity House: The Screaming Statue (hardcover)
        • 1 deck of Curiosity House cards featuring art from the series

        Want to win? Sure, you do! Read the rules, then enter on the Rafflecopter widget below.

        1. Open to the US only, ends 4/26/2016.
        2. No purchase is necessary to enter the giveaway. Void where prohibited.
        3. We and the publisher/publicity department are not responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged items.
        4. One set of entries per household please.
        5. If you are under 13, please get a parent or guardian's permission to enter, as you will be sharing personal info such as an email address.
        6. Winner will be chosen randomly via Rafflecopter widget a day or two after the contest ends.
        7. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to to the email, otherwise we will pick a new winner.
        8. If you have any questions, feel free to email us at readnowsleeplater@gmail.com
        9. PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE ANY PERSONAL INFO IN THE COMMENTS. Sorry for the caps, but we always get people leaving their email in the comments. Rafflecopter will collect all that without having personal info in the comments for all the world (and spambots) to find.
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        8. Romantic Times - RT Booklovers Convention

        Hello everyone!

        If you are lucky enough to be in Las Vegas this week, make sure you check out the RT (Romantic Times) Booklovers Convention! I attended a few years ago when it was here in Los Angeles and I had a lot of fun. This year, it's at the Rio Hotel & Casino (3700 W Flamingo Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89103) from April 12-17. Teen Day is Saturday the 16th! Keep reading for an exclusive interview with The Casquette Girls author Alys Arden. Thanks to RT for sharing information about this great event.

        The Young Adult lineup includes
        Kami Garcia • Tamora Pierce • Mary E. Pearson • Kody Keplinger • Julie Kagawa • Gretchen McNeil • Cindy Pon • Ellen Hopkins • Colleen Houck • Richelle Mead • Jodi Meadows • Lauren Oliver • Julie Murphy • Andrea Cremer • Christina Lauren • Kimberley Griffiths Little • Sophie Jordan • Cynthia Hand • Kresley Cole • Kiera Cass • Kimberly Derting • Rae Carson • Jennifer L. Armentrout, a.k.a. J. Lynn • Victoria Aveyard • Marie Rutkoski • Renée Ahdieh • Cecelia Ahern • Morgan Rhodes • Elizabeth Briggs • Alexandra Bracken

        and many more! Click the buttons below for more info.

        Make sure you check out the Teen Day Party at the end of Saturday's panels (6-7:30 PM at Brasilia 4). It was my favorite part of the last RT Convention I attended because you really get to rub elbows (well, not literally, unless the room is really really small!) with your favorite authors. You also get a really cool tote bag (the first 500 teens have dibs, then everyone else can have a bag full of books and swag! :) Ahem, one of the swag things may have been made by me. If you guess what (and comment below with your guess by 4/19) I'll mail you a prize!

        More info about the Book Fair More info about Teen Day including Panels & Teen Day Party

        Interview with Alys Arden

        What inspired you to write The Casquette Girls

        I’ve always been fascinated with the myths and legends of the French Quarter, so this book takes three of them and twists them together. But the real inspiration is the resilience of New Orleanians after storms.

        Were the monsters and the magic always there or did they arrive in New Orleans with the storm? 

        Monsters and magic have been a part of New Orleans since before New Orleans has been New Orleans. In The Casquette Girls, everything is so strange looking post-storm when Adele and her father get back in town after the mandatory evacuation, it takes her a while to realize that weird things are actually happening in town. So the monsters and magic have always been there, but they don’t enter Adele’s life until after the Storm hits. (Or so she thinks).

        What's up next for you?

        I’m working on the sequel, The Romeo Catchers, which is due out this winter! The sequel will introduce three more New Orleans legends and a whole additional set of spooky characters. :)

        Why do you enjoy coming to RT/what are you looking forward to at RT?

        I love coming to RT because it has such a great mix of content! I like to go YA events, but also Paranormal/Fantasy/Horror, and of course a little Romance. RT has events for it all. I love getting to meet readers, but also see so many of my writing friends that I typically only see online!

        What's your favorite romance story?

        My all-time favorite is A Midsummer Night’s Dream because it’s a fantastical whirlwind and you’re never quite sure what is real and what is imagination.


        Find lots of other info about the Book Fair and Booklovers Convention at www.rtconvention.com. If you go, I know you will have a ton of fun!

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        9. Wonder Woman at Super Hero High

        Hello everyone! 

        Well, I meant to post this and many other things last Friday, but things got away from me, as they sometimes do. I'll try to make up for it this week.

        Let's start it off with the first book in the middle grade novel series DC SuperHero Girls, Wonder Woman at Super Hero High by Lisa Yee.

        FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. I am raffling off the same copy I received (because due to random circumstances, it turns out I ended up with two copies of the book).

        Other disclosure: I'm Facebook friends with Lisa Yee and she has generously supported a couple of our Bridge to Books events. Our acquaintance with each other has not influenced my review in any way.

        Ok! Now that we've dispensed with the formalities, we can get on with the reviewing!


        Wonder Woman at Super Hero High is the first in a series of middle grade novels targeted at young readers, drawing upon over 70 years worth of DC Comics history. Veteran author Lisa Yee joins a long list of writers whose task is to reinterpret and reinvent classic characters while trying to stay true to those characters and the world they inhabit. That Yee's task also includes making those characters and their stories conform to the needs and expectations of young female readers adds an extra layer of complexity to her mission to craft a timely, educational, and yet fun adventure.

        The first installment of the DC SuperHero Girls books manages to toe the line between canon continuation and accessory to blatant money-grabbing; it manages to fall just on this side of worth-it. Truth be told, if I had room in the house for more action figures, I would probably also spring for not only the $10 action figures, but the $20 foot-tall dolls--of which there are 6 of each so far. I'm certain future books will require quite a range of strong female super heroes and villains in doll and action-figure format. 

        The story opens with gossip: the inexplicable expulsion of a student appears to coincide with the arrival of a new one, Wonder Woman, sparking rumors that their principal got rid of someone just to make room for her--and just in time for training to begin for the Super Triathlon. Though ecstatic at no longer being homeschooled (ha!), Wonder Woman comes to doubt whether she can really fit in with her classmates at Super Hero High. Her desire to attend the school stems from a deep commitment to saving the world, but things start to go wrong pretty much as soon as she arrives. A flying exercise goes embarrassingly awry. Her roommate, Harley Quinn, seems welcoming and excited about her admission to this elite institution, but she mostly seems thrilled at what Wondy's appearance (yup, they call her Wondy, ugh!) has done for her reality-video webcast's ratings. And while her mother's golden cuffs protect her from projectiles and laser beams, they can't protect her from the insidious, nasty little notes that seem to appear whenever something bad happens.

        Yee covers a wide range of topics relevant to the middle school set: academic anxiety, friendship troubles, crushes on cute boys--the works. The characters range from mainstream (Raven, Beast Boy, and Lois Lane, with an oblique reference to Superman) to the more obscure (well, I'd never heard of her before, and I'm not going to tell you who it is now, as that would be a spoiler!) and fitting, without forcing them, a multitude of archetypes into the middle grade milieu. Her signature sense of humor pervades the storytelling and keeps the book balanced between light-hearted hijinks and the serious business of protecting and serving the world.

        The strong girl characters populating WWaSHH are diverse not just racially, but also in terms of their interests and skills, as well as how they react to and deal with problems. Savvy young readers may also be intrigued by the idea that villains go to school side-by-side with heroes at Super Hero High. All in all, Wonder Woman at Super Hero High is fun, funny, and friendly introduction to the super-heroines of DC. 

        4 stars - Stay up late

        Want to win a copy of Wonder Woman at Super Hero High? Read the rules, then enter on the Rafflecopter widget below.

        1. Open to the US only, ends 4/18/2016.
        2. No purchase is necessary to enter the giveaway. Void where prohibited.
        3. We are not responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged items.
        4. One set of entries per household please.
        5. If you are under 13, please get a parent or guardian's permission to enter, as you will be sharing personal info such as an email address.
        6. Winner will be chosen randomly via Rafflecopter widget a day or two after the contest ends.
        7. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to to the email, otherwise we will pick a new winner.
        8. If you have any questions, feel free to email us at readnowsleeplater@gmail.com
        9. PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE ANY PERSONAL INFO IN THE COMMENTS. Sorry for the caps, but we always get people leaving their email in the comments. Rafflecopter will collect all that without having personal info in the comments for all the world (and spambots) to find.
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        10. Ontario Teen Book Fest - Spotlight on Elana K. Arnold

        We are just under a week away from the sixth annual Ontario Teen Book Fest! Today, I'm spotlighting young adult and middle grade author Elana K. Arnold. Make sure you read on for a Q&A as well as a giveaway for a signed poster.

        Before we get to that, here's the important stuff to know about the festival so you can plan and find your way there. 

        Important Stuff

        When: Saturday March 12th, 9 am to 5 pm

        Where: Colony High School 3850 E. Riverside Drive, Ontario, CA 91761

        The Ontario Teen Book Fest Website: http://www.ontariotbf.org/

        FREE -- No tickets necessary!

        Side note, if you attend, you will be fed. Panera sandwiches and water/sodas are provided for attendees (since it's kind of hard to leave campus real quick to get some food--you might miss a panel!). I usually bring snacks anyway (and sandwiches are verboten on the anti-inflammatory diet I am currently on, so I do have to bring my own grub this time).

        Books will be sold by Once Upon a Time. There will be t-shirts and posters as well.

        At the end of the post, make sure you enter on the Rafflecopter for a poster signed by all of the authors!

        Also, please share details about the fest on social media, and use the hashtag #OntarioTBF

        Last but not least, show the event bloggers some love by heading over to their websites, reading their posts, and leaving a comment! Not mandatory but it would be super nice of you. And you can see by the schedule who this year's authors are!

        Blog Tour Schedule

        February 22nd - Spotlight on Andrew Smith - What A Nerd Girl Says

        February 23rd - Spotlight on Alexandra Monir - The Consummate Reader

        February 24th - Spotlight on April Tucholke - Adventures of a Book Junkie

        February 25th - Spotlight on Alexis Bass - A Traveling Book

        February 26th - Spotlight on Marissa Meyer - Read Now Sleep Later

        February 27th - Spotlight on Sara Elizabeth Santana - Movies, Shows and Books

        February 28th - Spotlight on Robin Reul Recently Acquired Obsessions 

        February 29th - Spotlight on Katherine Kottaras - iFandoms Collide

        March 1st - Spotlight on Stephanie Diaz - My Fangirl Chronicles

        March 2nd - Spotlight on Virginia Boecker - The Reader's Antidote

        March 3rd - Spotlight on Mary McCoy - Book You Very Much

        March 4th - Spotlight on Brad Gottfred - Seeking Bazinga

        March 5th - Spotlight on Michelle Levy - My Fangirl Chronicles

        March 6th - Spotlight on Elana K. Arnold - Read Now Sleep Later

        March 7th - Spotlight on Kristin Halbrook - What A Nerd Girl Says

        March 8th - Spotlight on Jessica Brody - The Windy Pages

        March 9th - Spotlight on Nicole Maggi - Nite Lite Book Reviews

        March 10th - Spotlight on Jay Asher - A Bookish Escape

        Now that that's all squared away, here's Elana!

        Spotlight on Elana K. Arnold

        Elana K. Arnold is a Southern California native, and author of Sacred (RH/Delacorte, 2012), Splendor (RH/Delacorte, 2013), and Burning (RH/Delacorte, 2013). Her latest book about young adults, Infandous, was released by Carolrhoda Books in March 2015. She holds an M.A. in Creative Writing/Fiction from the University of California, Davis. 

        Click on the book covers to find out more about them at shoponceuponatime.com

        Click on the book covers to find out more about them at shoponceuponatime.com

        About Infandous:

        "Once there was a mermaid who dared to love a wolf. Her love for him was so sudden and so fierce that it tore her tail into legs."

        Sephora Golding lives in the shadow of her unbelievably beautiful mother. Even though they scrape by in the seedier part of Venice Beach, she's always felt lucky. As a child, she imagined she was a minor but beloved character in her mother's fairy tale. But now, at sixteen, the fairy tale is less Disney and more Grimm. And she wants the story to be her own. Then she meets Felix, and the fairy tale takes a turn she never imagined.

        "Things don't really turn out the way they do in fairy tales. I'm telling you that right up front, so you're not disappointed later."

        Sometimes, a story is just a way to hide the unspeakable in plain sight.

        More books by Elana K. Arnold:

        Sacred
        Splendor
        Burning
        The Question of Miracles
        Far from Fair

        Q&A with Elana K. Arnold

        Read Now Sleep Later: What was the seed that grew into your latest YA novel, Infandous

        Elana K. Arnold: When I began working on the book that grew into Infandous, the first thing that came to me was Sephora’s voice. She was the loudest, clearest character I had ever heard. And it was clear from her art and her obsession with the goriest, most awful fairy tales and myths that she had a secret. I, however, literally had no idea what that secret might be. So I wrote to find out. About fifty pages into the book’s first draft, I was fooling around online and came across a list of 26 real words that we don't use anymore; “I” was for “Infandous,” which, I learned, means “that which is too terrible to be spoken of aloud.” At once, like a sickening wave, I was overwhelmed by the truth of Sephora’s secret. In that moment, I had found a title and direction... and a terrible sense of dread.

        RNSL: In Infandous, Sephora is seeing "beyond the veil" that some popular fairytales wear (i.e. Disneyfication). I assume you had a revelation about this at some point, since you wrote a character with this point of view. What did you think when you first came to realize that fairytales aren't the euphemistic, sanitized versions served up in the mainstream? 

        EKA: I was fortunate to have been raised in households full of books, with no restrictions prescribed because of our age. If we found it and picked it up, and if we were capable of decoding the information, the book belonged in our hands. We had both at home and at my grandparents’ house (where I spent a lot of time) collections of fairy tales, fables, and mythology—the original stuff. I actually met a lot of the characters that star in Disney movies first in their source material. When I later re-met them, sanitized for the screen, I was put off by their transformations. 

        RNSL: Why do you write for young people? Did you choose the audience, or did it choose you?

        EKA: Adolescence for me was terrifying, often lonely, and overwhelming. But sometimes it was also ecstatically free and dangerously exciting. I don’t write books for teens, particularly; I’m firmly in the “about, not for” camp, more and more as my career progresses. It’s up for publishers to decide if my books are YA… and, honestly, with both Infandous and my forthcoming YA, What Girls Are Made Of, I was pleasantly surprised that they found homes as such.

        RNSL: Were you a writer and/or a reader as a child? If not, when did your road to becoming an author begin? Do you have a particular author, relative, or teacher who helped you on this path?

        EKA: I was a myopic, dreamy, constant reader. My dad was a huge reader, too, as is my paternal grandmother who has a “real” library in her home—a room dedicated entirely to books. I spent long swaths of time there, happily following the patch of sunlight on carpet, reading indiscriminately and eating bowls of fruit. 

        RNSL: In general, people think of fiction as made-up stories, tales about things that are not real--however, fiction often exposes greater truths. For you, does the truth come first and have the story grow into being around it, or does the story lead you there?

        EKA: For me, truth and fiction are always tightly paired, sometimes in ways that, when I’ve gotten some distance, shock and embarrass me. It’s most often in unconscious ways that truth seeps into my fiction, forming the emotional landscape of the book. The events may be fictional, but the heart is real. 

        RNSL: Do you write on schedule, or do you find that you have to carve bits and pieces of time out to write in the midst of your day-to-day activities? 

        EKA: I tend to write in big chunks sometimes, and in bits and pieces other times, and also, sometimes, not at all. Growing up, well-meaning adults loved to tell me that “writers write,” and yes, sometimes this is true. But writing is only part of the craft of being a storyteller. Living, and loving, and failing and hurting and all the other mess of life counts, too. When I finally released myself from the “butt in the chair every day” prescription, the stories began to demand space and time. Different approaches work for different writers, but as someone who struggled with eating disorders, I find that an all-or-none dictum usually leaves me self-flagellating and miserable. Which leads me to your next question…

        RNSL: Do you have a favorite piece of writing advice you've received from or given to someone else? What is it?

        EKA: Be gentle with yourself. There is time.

        “Be gentle with yourself. There is time.”

        Elana K. Arnold lives in Huntington Beach, California, with her husband, two children, and a menagerie of animals. Her latest middle grade novel, Far from Fair, will be out this week, and if you're lucky enough to be in Long Beach, California, check out Gatsby Books at 7 pm on Tuesday, March 8 for her launch party! Her next YA novel, What Girls Are Made Of, is due out in Spring 2017 from Carolrhoda Books. You can find more information about her and all of her books at elanakarnold.com/home.html and tweet her @elanakarnold


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        11. Ontario Teen Book Fest - Spotlight on Marissa Meyer

        You guys! It's that time of year again. It's the sixth annual Ontario Teen Book Fest and I'm happy to be posting about one of the keynote speakers today, Marissa Meyer! I had the distinct pleasure and privilege of supplying the themed party food for the Los Angeles stop of her Winter book tour. You can read Thuy's recap and see lots of cool photos here. If you haven't read her Lunar Chronicles series yet, well, there's no time like now to get started, especially if you can join us in Ontario, CA to see her at Teen Book Fest!

        Before we get to that, here's the important stuff to know about the festival so you can plan and find your way there. 

        Important Stuff

        When: Saturday March 12th, 9 am to 5 pm

        Where: Colony High School 3850 E. Riverside Drive, Ontario, CA 91761

        The Ontario Teen Book Fest Website: http://www.ontariotbf.org/

        FREE -- No tickets necessary!

        Side note, if you attend, you will be fed. Panera sandwiches and water/sodas are provided for attendees (since it's kind of hard to leave campus real quick to get some food--you might miss a panel!). I usually bring snacks anyway (and sandwiches are verboten on the anti-inflammatory diet I am currently on, so I do have to bring my own grub this time).

        Books will be sold by Once Upon a Time. There will be t-shirts and posters as well.

        At the end of the post, make sure you enter on the Rafflecopter for a poster signed by all of the authors!

        Also, please share details about the fest on social media, and use the hashtag #OntarioTBF. 

        Last but not least, show the event bloggers some love by heading over to their websites, reading their posts, and leaving a comment! Not mandatory but it would be super nice of you. And you can see by the schedule who this year's authors are!

        Blog Tour Schedule

        February 22nd - Spotlight on Andrew SmithWhat A Nerd Girl Says

        February 23rd - Spotlight on Alexandra MonirThe Consummate Reader

        February 24th - Spotlight on April TucholkeAdventures of a Book Junkie

        February 25th - Spotlight on Alexis BassA Traveling Book

        February 26th - Spotlight on Marissa MeyerRead Now Sleep Later

        February 27th - Spotlight on Sara Elizabeth SantanaMovies, Shows and Books

        February 28th - Spotlight on Robin Reul Recently Acquired Obsessions 

        February 29th - Spotlight on Katherine KottarasiFandoms Collide

        March 1st - Spotlight on Stephanie DiazMy Fangirl Chronicles

        March 2nd - Spotlight on Virginia BoeckerThe Reader's Antidote

        March 3rd - Spotlight on Mary McCoyBook You Very Much

        March 4th - Spotlight on Brad GottfredSeeking Bazinga

        March 5th - Spotlight on Michelle LevyMy Fangirl Chronicles

        March 6th - Spotlight on Elana K. ArnoldRead Now Sleep Later

        March 7th - Spotlight on Kristin HalbrookWhat A Nerd Girl Says

        March 8th - Spotlight on Jessica BrodyThe Windy Pages

        March 9th - Spotlight on Nicole MaggiNite Lite Book Reviews

        March 10th - Spotlight on Jay AsherA Bookish Escape

        Now that that's all squared away, here's Marissa!

        Spotlight on Marissa Meyer

        Marissa Meyer is the author of the Lunar Chronicles series. She thrilled YA fans with her debut novel, Cinder, which landed on the New York Times bestseller list at #10 in 2012. While to the untrained eye, Cinder may have looked like just another fairytale retelling aimed at teens, it is really much more than that. It's a socio-economic analysis, a political intrigue, a science-fiction thriller, a teen drama, a cyber-punk romance, and a dystopian fantasy all rolled into one (with an occasional hint of chibi comedy thrown in, just for fun).

        Click the book covers to find out more about the books themselves.

        Click the book covers to find out more about the books themselves.

        Meyer continued to expand on her Lunar 'verse with sequels Scarlet (Red Riding Hood), Cress (Rapunzel), and Winter (Snow White). Each novel not only reveals more about Cinder's story, as well as the history and culture of the moon-dwelling Lunars threatening to take over the Earth, but also allies her with the strong, smart young women each volume is titled after. In the interval between Cress and Winter came Fairest: Levana's Story--filling in the gaps of the story by exploring the childhood and young adulthood of the primary antagonist in the series, the Lunar Queen herself. 

        cress.jpg

        Her most recent release is Stars Above, a print collection of nine Lunar Chronicles short-stories, only four of which had previously been published. It also contains an excerpt from the upcoming Alice-in-Wonderland-inspired Heartless, a stand-alone YA novel telling the story of a girl before she became the Queen of Hearts. Heartless hits shelves (and, I'm sure no one will bet against me on this) best-seller lists on November 8, 2016. The thing that amazes me most about Meyer's novels is how she manages to make the totally familiar fairy tale elements thematically fit the far-flung story she concocts in every book. You wonder why you never thought about it that way before because it just totally makes sense. I'm almost certain Heartless will not be an exception to this rule.  

        Did you know?

        • Marissa started writing Sailor Moon fanfiction when she was 14. You can still find her stories at fanfiction.net under the pen name Alicia Blade.
        • She has three cats named Calexandria Josephine, Stormus Enormous, and Blackland Rockwell III.
        • She has a Bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing and Children’s Literature from Pacific Lutheran University and a Master’s degree in Publishing from Pace University.
        • Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress were all written for NaNoWriMo (that's National Novel Writing Month).
        • She loves Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.

        Meyer lives in Tacoma, Washington, with her husband. Tweet her @marissa_meyer. You can find a TON more information about her at www.marissameyer.com, as well as music and book recommendations, downloadables, fan art, and details about Lunar history and real-world technology that Cinder might make seem like she thought it up (but these things totally exist, or may exist shortly if scientists keep at it).


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        12. Spring Book Events

        So, this is how much I didn't want to do homework last week. For once in my life, I put together links to all the local book events.

        There's some crazy crazy stuff coming up, so I hope you all have been saving your book allowances! (I haven't. Bad booklover.)

        If I missed some, please let me know! You can email readnowsleeplater@gmail.com, tweet it at us @rnslbooks, or message us on Facebook. I can't guarantee everything will be put up, but I'll do my best!

        We hope you see you at some of these. I will almost definitely be at Ontario TBF, and make sure you mark your calendars for our big Bridge to Books event in Pasadena on May 14. (More details on that to come!)

        See you all soon!

        ~ Alethea

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        13. Ballet Cat Giveaway

        Greetings, lovely readers! Get your tutus on for some Ballet Cat fun times. We have a giveaway sponsored by Disney-Hyperion (US only, ends 2/15/2016), and read on to find out more about the new book from author-illustrator Bob Shea. I received a copy of the books in exchange for an honest review, as well as a plush Ballet Cat from MerryMakers Inc. and I also have a set to give away to a lucky reader! 

        Alethea's Review

        You may as well know I'm a big Bob Shea fan. His collaborations with Lane Smith, Big Plans and Kid Sheriff & The Terrible Toads, are a couple of my very favorite picture books. Shea's style is fun, funny, and a little funky. Just check out the retro style on these Ballet Cat book covers! Ok, yeah, so Ballet Cat is a bit bossy--er, confident and self-possessed. Whether she's trying to get Sparkles the Horse to twirl or Butter Bear to do some super-high leaps, she's determined to have a great time doing what she does best. Dancing!

        Maybe her friends' ideas of fun aren't quite pliés and pas de bourrée. Maybe they'd rather make ice pops, sell lemonade, eat endless bowls of cereal, and play just one more game of checkers. Whatever their differences, these furry friends learn from each other about friendship, bravery, and how to be honest with each other.

        You can check out some of the interior pages from Dance! Dance! Underpants! right here:

        For Ages 6-8
        Book 1: The Totally Secret Secret (in stores now!)
        Book 2: Dance! Dance! Underpants! (in stores February 2)


        About the Books 

        BalletCat1.jpg

        The Totally Secret Secret

        Ballet Cat and Sparkles the Pony are trying to decide what to play today. Nothing that Sparkles suggests--making crafts, playing checkers, and selling lemonade--goes well with the leaping, spinning, and twirling that Ballet Cat likes to do. When Sparkles's leaps, spins, and twirls seem halfhearted, Ballet Cat asks him what's wrong. Sparkles doesn't want to say. He has a secret that Ballet Cat won't want to hear. What Sparkles doesn't know is that Ballet Cat has a secret of her own, a totally secret secret. Once their secrets are shared, will their friendship end, or be stronger than ever?


        Dance! Dance! Underpants!

        Ballet Cat is getting her friend Butter Bear ready for her big ballet debut. "Leap, Butter Bear, leap!" Ballet Cat prompts. But Butter Bear would prefer to just point her toe. When Ballet Cat keeps pushing, Butter Bear gets hungry, then thirsty, then sleepy . . . The bottom line is that Butter Bear would rather do almost anything to avoid making a big leap. Why? Because her bottom is covered in silly underpants! This second entry in the Ballet Cat series will have beginning readers rolling on the floor with laughter.


        About the Author

        Bob Shea is the author of the first book about Ballet Cat: THE TOTALLY SECRET SECRET, the Dinosaur vs. series, and several other picture books, including DON'T PLAY WITH YOUR FOOD and UNICORN THINKS HE'S PRETTY GREAT. He and his wife have their own design studio in Madison, Connecticut.

        Learn more at the Official Site

        Visit the author at BobShea.com

        Follow Disney Books on Twitter and Instagram

        Use hashtag #BalletCat
        (if you're tweeting about the giveaway, please include #ad)

        Giveaway

        BALLET CAT COLLECTION prize pack

        One (1) winner receives:

        • Copies of TOTALLY SECRET SECRET and DANCE! DANCE! UNDERPANTS
        • Plus a plush BALLET CAT by MerryMakers Inc.

        Giveaway open to US addresses only. Prizing and samples provided by Disney-Hyperion.

        a Rafflecopter giveaway

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        14. Night Study Blog Tour

        Welcome, one and all, to our NIGHT STUDY blog tour post! Read on to find out more about the sequel to SHADOW STUDY, including an interview with author Maria V. Snyder, and a giveaway (open internationally)! 

        NS High Res_SMP.jpg

        About NIGHT STUDY

        Release Date: January 26, 2016

        Find it: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks

        Ever since being kidnapped from the Illiais Jungle as a child, Yelena Zaltana's life has been fraught with peril. But the recent loss of her Soulfinding abilities has endangered her more than ever before. As she desperately searches for a way to reclaim her magic, her enemies are closing in, and neither Ixia nor Sitia is safe for her anymore. Especially since the growing discord between the two countries and the possibility of a war threatens everything Yelena holds dear.  

        Valek is determined to protect Yelena, but he's quickly running out of options. The Commander suspects that his loyalties are divided, and he's been keeping secrets from Valek... secrets that put him, Yelena and all their friends in terrible danger. As they uncover the various layers of the Commander's mysterious plans, they realize it's far more sinister than they could have ever imagined.

        About SHADOW STUDY

        Release Date: February 24, 2015

        Find it: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks

        Once, only her own life hung in the balance…

        When Yelena was a poison taster, her life was simpler. She survived to become a vital part of the balance of power between rival countries Ixia and Sitia.

        Now she uses her magic to keep the peace in both lands—and protect her relationship with Valek.

        Suddenly, though, dissent is rising. And Valek’s job—and his life—are in danger.

        As Yelena tries to uncover her enemies, she faces a new challenge: her magic is blocked.And now she must find a way to keep not only herself but all that she holds dear alive.

        About the Author

        mariavsnyder.jpg

        Maria V. Snyder changed from being a meteorologist to a novelist in 1995, when she began writing to keep her sanity while raising two children. Since then, she has published numerous freelance articles in magazines and newspapers, and teaches fiction-writing classes at the local college and area libraries. The classes give her the wonderful opportunity to encourage fellow writers, and to keep improving her craft.

        Born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Maria always had a fascination with big storms. Dreaming of chasing tornados, Maria earned a bachelors of science degree in meteorology at Penn State University. But she discovered, much to her chagrin, that forecasting the weather wasn't one of her skills. In order to chase tornados you had to predict where they might form. Creating fantasy worlds where she has complete control of the weather was more agreeable to her.

        Maria's research on food-tasting methods with an expert chocolate taster, her husband, turned out to be a delicious bonus while writing Poison Study.

        Maria has a brown belt in Isshinryu Karate, and enjoys playing volleyball and the cello. Traveling in general and via cruise ship in particular are her biggest distractions from writing. Maria has traveled to Belize, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Europe, Mexico, the Caribbean and through the Panama Canal.

        Maria lives with her husband, son, daughter and yellow lab, Hazelnut, in Pennsylvania where she is at work on more LUNA novels. She also earned a master's degree in writing fiction from Seton Hill University.

        Readers are welcome to contact Maria at the following email address: maria@mariavsnyder.com.

        You can find out more about Maria here:

        Website | Blog | Facebook | Goodreads

        Q&A with Maria V. Snyder

        RNSL: The world of the Study series is so deep and wide now, how do you keep the details (about characters, plot, etc.) straight?

        MVS: I have a couple things I do to help me keep all the details organized. For each of my novels, I have an old fashioned notebook where I write down all those details for the book, including the story's timeline and all my research notes. I also have an Excel spreadsheet that has details for all my characters from the books. That spreadsheet is a wonderful resource. I can't take any credit for that as Natalie, one of my readers, put it together for me. She also did one for each of my other series as well! The last thing I do is just refer back to the book. I keep a copy of all my books next to my computer.

        RNSL: Authors are so connected to social media now. How much do you let fan reactions affect the decisions you make when you write?

        MVS: I really enjoy interacting with my readers, but I let the story develop without worrying about their reactions. However, I do think about them when I'm writing. I smile and think, “Oh, they're going to love this.” Or “I hope they don't kill me over this.”  :) And I did write more Study books for them.

        RNSL: From your first book to this one (your 14th novel!), has your writing style or method changed, and how?

        MVS: I don't think my style has changed, but I have started writing from multiple POVs in my books and doing third person because I wanted a challenge and I really like showing what's going on with the other characters in the books. My method is about the same. I still use the notebooks. However, when my kids were little, I wrote when they were at school. Now, I write at night and love it.

        RNSL: We love hearing about the things that inspire you from the real world that end up in your Ixia/Sitia stories. Has Night Study added any new hobbies or interests to your list?

        MVS: I've learned quite a bit about plants, including cross breeding and grafting techniques for Night Study. It's doubtful the knowledge will help me as all my attempts to grow green things has resulted in failure. 

        RNSL: What's your preferred writing fuel right now?

        MVS: Decaffeinated English Breakfast tea for when I'm writing and then, if I hit my word count for the evening, a glass of red wine to celebrate.

        RNSL: You dropped the biggest bombshell at the end of Shadow Study! Do you think it accomplished what you set out to do?

        MVS: I knew I wanted to reveal that bombshell near the end of the novel.  I really didn't plan to make it the very last line, but when I reached that point in the story, it felt right.  And I think it was fun for my readers since it's not quite a cliff-hanger—the main plot/story was resolved, but it gave them something they'd been hoping for and something to think about while waiting for Night Study.

        RNSL: Will the next Study book be the last, and if so, how do you feel about the series ending/rolling along?

        MVS: Dawn Study will be the last for Yelena and Valek. Yelena's journey was the focus of the first three books and these new ones are a bit more focused on Valek's journey. And that's a good thing—I think writing more about them I would have to raise the stakes so much it would be like “jumping the shark.” There are a few characters—Reema, Teegan, Fisk, Heli, and Quinn—that I would like to explore more and might write a few books about them—no plans yet as I usually like a break and a chance to do something new before I return to a world.

        RNSL: The cover changes in tone from Shadow Study to Night Study--I like them both, but prefer the direction Night Study is going in. Can you discuss the changes?

        MVS: Yes I can!  The reason is I had more input into Night Study's cover! I expressed my concerns about Shadow Study's US cover to my new editor—I really wished they hadn't put a model on the cover—not that she wasn't beautiful, but her makeup was so over the top, it appeared as if she had a black eye! So when they were designing Night Study, I was able to give the art department more feedback. 

        RNSL: Were there any other book or series ideas percolating while you worked on Night Study? If you can't share details, can you discuss what it's like for you to have multiple ideas vying for attention?

        MVS: I generally concentrate on one book or story at a time—I can't work on a short story in the afternoon and a novel at night. I have to stop one to work on another. However, I do get ideas and I write them down when they come to me. When I have time between projects, I explore those ideas. Right now I don't have any set plans for what's next, which is kind of scary! I have three different novel ideas and I'll see which one of those my publisher will be interested in (if any!). 

        Giveaway Details

        6 Winners will receive a finished copy of NIGHT STUDY, US Only.

        4 winners will receive a finished copy of NIGHT STUDY, International.

        a Rafflecopter giveaway

        Blog Tour Schedule

        Week One:

        1/18/2016- Dark Faerie Tales- Interview
        1/19/2016- The Bibliophile Chronicles- Review
        1/20/2016- Two Chicks on Books- Guest Post
        1/21/2016- The Moonlight Library- Review
        1/22/2016- Read Now Sleep Later- Interview

        Week Two:

        1/25/2016- Seeing Double In Neverland- Review
        1/26/2016- Magical Urban Fantasy Reads- Excerpt
        1/27/2016- a GREAT read- Review
        1/28/2016- Fiktshun- Interview
        1/29/2016- Mundie Moms- Review

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        15. Be A Friend Launch Party Recap

        Over the weekend, the RNSL team was a part of a very special book event. About 8 months ago Salina Yoon, the extremely talented and prolific author/illustrator of books like Penguin and Pinecone, Penguin in Love and Stormy Night, asked if we and some of our friends would help her plan the launch party for her 2016 picture book release BE A FRIEND. As huge fans of Salina and her work, we of course said yes. We had worked with Salina previously, but this party was going to be different. Be A Friend was very special to Salina and, as such, she wanted to celebrate in a big way. (You can read more about Salina and her feeling on the book here.)  So we gathered some of our bookish and imaginative friends (you know who you are) and got to work.  Below is just a brief recap of the event. All pics are by our amazing friend and photographer Katie Ferguson.

        Guests were asked to sign in at the guest table when arriving, where they received a felt heart pin and a raffle ticket. They were then welcome to help themselves to some snacks and drinks as the sounds of French music serenaded them. 

        There was a full dessert table as well as a candy bar. The amazing treats above were created by Maskipops by Adri. They were beautiful and delicious!

        We also had 2 delicious signature cocktails created by the amazing and adorably attired Jen. 

        Once the guests settled in, it was time to start the presentation. First up was a performance by the talented singer/songwriter Emily Arrow, who creates literature inspired music for children. Her song required some audience participation, and everyone was happy to oblige. 

        Salina was up next and she thanked everyone and then read Be A Friend, with a little help. There were two wonderful theater students who helped Salina with her reading.

        After a brief Q&A, it was time to start the signing line. Guests were called up in groups so they didn't spend all of their time in line and could partake of the food, drink and other fun activities while they waited. One of my favorite features of the event was the photobooth. Thanks to Eric for manning it and for the awesome volunteers for creating and procuring the props.

        It was just a fantastic night filled with friend, food, and books (and one adorable corgi). Huge congrats to Salina on the publication of Be A Friend. Thanks for letting us be a part of it. Huge, huge thanks to all of our friends and volunteers who helped make this event happen. :) 

        Salina's website
        Salina on Tour! 
        Photo album for the Be A Friend Launch Party
        Photo album for the Be A Friend Photobooth

        thuyrnslsign.gif


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        16. Sweaterweather (& other short stories)

        FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

        sweaterweather.png

        I really look forward to getting the Macmillan catalog every season, but now that I've gotten over the initial excitement of being offered review copies by a publisher, I now only request books I really, really, really want to read. I tend to go through the catalog very quickly, making snap decisions--if it didn't grab me right away, I don't request it (though I might write the title down or put it on my Goodreads TBR shelf). So when I got the spring catalog, I spun through the PDF, scrolling the mouse or trackpad like a Price Is Right contestant, and where did it stop? Sweaterweather

        Not only are we actually experiencing some pretty chilly days here in Southern California (it's 54° F here in Los Angeles right now)--actual sweater weather--but author/illustrator Sara Varon is one of my very favorites. I first noticed her book Bake Sale in 2011 (I haven't actually read her breakout graphic novel, Robot Dreams). Some artists take umbrage at their art being called "cute", so I won't call it that (whether Varon takes umbrage or not). Her illustrations take "cute" up to the next level, for which I don't really have a word, or at least, not a single one. Her repertoire of animal characters and the glimpses into their lives is endearing, welcoming, comforting amusement. Themes of friendship, creativity, and community tie her stories together. Her drawing style isn't saccharine-sweet, but it will make you grin. Her stories have the cumulative warming effect of a fuzzy-soft sweater, warm socks, and the best cup of hot cocoa.

        Sweaterweather was originally published in 2003--Varon's first book. She has since illustrated others, including one of our favorites by another author, Cecil Castellucci--Odd Duck! The new hardcover reissue of Sweaterweather includes the original stories plus additional content. While I all of love the short comics, I really appreciate the addition of comments and notes from Varon on each story, what inspired her, or why she drew it. There are many tidbits of technique, inspiration, and process, including short interviews of her colleagues, that make this book a great glimpse into the life of a working artist. I imagine this book in the hands of another reader, an illustration geek or budding creative, a young person just starting to develop the style that will set them apart from others when they tell stories, draw pictures, or make music. 

        The knitting on the cover (and the immediate recognition of Varon's artwork) is what initially drew me in, and the Turtle & Rabbit story covers the friendship/knitting/hot tea comfort aspects of Sweaterweather very well. Not to be missed is an abecedarian about going to the local grocery store, a story about a clueless lion who reads a self-help book about fitting into the African Grassland, and a diagrammatic illustration about beekeeping. There is also a thoughtful, tender, if somewhat jarring salute to her Dalmatian, Violet.

        You can find out more about the new edition of Sweaterweather at firstsecondbooks.com, and read more about Sara Varon at her website, chickenopolis.com.

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        17. New Year, New Giveaway!

        Hello, one and all! 2015 may have had a sad ending, but I hope you are all welcoming in the new year with hope and renewal. I spent the day re-organizing my bookshelves. Still not done--not by a long shot!--but progress has been made. Speaking of progress, if you want to win some books, make sure you read all the way to the end of the post!

        Ok! It took some doing, but YA is now moved to the home office. I had it in the bedroom, but I really wasn't reading there. Now it's right next to the reading nook Jason made for me. #readnowsleeplater #bookstagram #newyearcleaning #bookshelves

        A photo posted by Read Now Sleep Later (@readnowsleeplater) on

        Here's what I'm looking forward to this year:

        Books: You guys, a new Maria V. Snyder book comes out in February! We'll be part of the Night Study book tour, so stay tuned for that. And there are so many other things coming out, too many to name at this point with the whole year ahead of us!

        Events: Ruta Sepetys is coming to SoCal! and Thuy has handily updated the calendar for the next few weeks. I will likely be at this next week.

        Movies: Oh, OH so much to look forward to. Captain America: Civil War will be out soon (I have already requested the day off) and there will be a slew of Tom Hiddleston things coming up, including High Rise (March 18, alongside Elisabeth Moss and Luke Evans, and based on the J.G. Ballard novel), The Night Manager (April on AMC, based on the John Le Carré novel, co-starring Hugh Laurie), and I Saw the Light, (March 25, based on the life of country legend Hank Williams, co-starring Elizabeth Olsen, who will almost certainly make me weep my face off in this movie). 

        Chills. I don't care if it's probably going to be a hot mess; I'm going to watch it anyway.

        I can't even with the movie lists. I may be more excited about movies in 2016 than books in 2016.

        Here's a pretty good PopSugar list of 100 books to read before they're movies* and a New Republic list of highly anticipated 2016 movies, with which I mostly agree (don't know about that Mel Gibson one, srsly).

        * for the record, I don't think you should read the book before the movie if you haven't read it by the time you know the movie is happening. Read it after, if you like (the book is almost always better), but reading it before is just like spoiling yourself on purpose.

        Comedy: David Cross, one of my most favorite comedians ever, is on tour for the next 6 months, and the husband bought us tickets. Much excitement.

        Music: School of Seven Bells has a posthumous (RIP Benjamin Curtis) album launching in a few weeks. I must have it. New Animal Collective too! Cautiously trying not to think too hard about the previously unreleased originals and covers by the late Jeff Buckley in March. 

        Things to do: Universal Studios Hollywood's Wizarding World of Harry Potter opens in April. OH MY.

        So close I can almost touch it #hogwarts #wizardingworldofharrypotter #universalstudioshollywood

        A photo posted by Read Now Sleep Later (@readnowsleeplater) on

        I don't have resolutions, but I do have a couple of simple, and I think, doable goals this year:

        1. Organize and declutter my apartment--really, I was good at this once! And can be again.
        2. Finish knitting this thing I promised my friend I'd knit (sorry, Christina)
        3. Get A's in my next 4 business classes--I just started my first one of the year!
        4. Find a home for this kitty:

        Yep, that's our sweet, nameless foster kitty who I will be very sad to let go, but let go we must--once we find her a good forever home. So if you're in the Los Angeles area and in the market for a young, well-behaved, formerly feral cat, please email me! She really is a stellar kitty... we'd very nearly trade one of our existing cats for her, except that would be really cruel (I'm just glad John Carter & Mars can't read!)

        The rest of her cat colony (3 other cats) is still out there in the rain and cold :( I wish we could take them all in! If you would like to help them, please check out this fundraiser by my friend Esmeralda (who is saving up to get the remaining cats placed in a no-kill shelter).

        What are you excited about or looking forward to this year? Let us know in the comments!

        If you're in the US, you can enter to win two of our favorite books from 2015, All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven, and Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo.

        1. Open to the US only, ends 1/31/2015.
        2. No purchase is necessary to enter a giveaway. Void where prohibited.
        3. We are not responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged items.
        4. One set of entries per household please.
        5. If you are under 13, please get a parent or guardian's permission to enter, as you will be sharing personal info such as an email address. 
        6. Winner will be chosen randomly via Rafflecopter widget a day or two after the contest ends.
        7. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to to the email, otherwise we will pick a new winner.
        8. If you have any questions, feel free to email us at readnowsleeplater@gmail.com
        9. PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE ANY PERSONAL INFO IN THE COMMENTS. Sorry for the caps, but we always get people leaving their email in the comments. Rafflecopter will collect all that without having personal info in the comments for all the world (and spambots) to find.
        a Rafflecopter giveaway

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        18. In Remembrance of Cynthia Jaynes-Omololu

        In May 2010, Cynthia Jaynes-Omololu, author of the YA novel Dirty Little Secrets, stopped by my Borders store in Glendale to sign copies of her book. I had read and loved her book, and sent her an email to let her know how much I enjoyed reading it. She was so gracious and thankful that she offered to stop by on her way down to Disneyland with her husband and sons for their annual trip. My store was in Southern California and she lived in Northern California with her family. It was incredibly generous of her to take time out of her vacation to meet me. We hugged warmly, and I got them all treats from our cafe. It was a short but unforgettable visit. I stayed in touch with her online afterwards. 

        She was diagnosed with cancer about a year ago, and today her family and friends mourn her passing. I hope she is free from pain and suffering. My heart goes out to her loved ones. She embodied kindness, beauty, and love, and will be greatly missed.

        She also leaves behind her books, Dirty Little Secrets, Intuition, Transcendence, and The Third Twin. You can find links to her work on her website at www.cjomololu.com.

        Rest in peace, Cyn.

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        19. The 50 States Fun Fact Blog Tour - Oregon

        You already know I love books. Did you also know I love maps? I do! Whether they're for places real or imagined, I love maps because they help you visualize the shape and the history of everywhere, especially the places you've never been. 

        Coming up on the holidays, I'm always on the lookout for cool bookish gifts to give to the inquisitive young people in my life. I know just the youngsters who'll be getting this from me. It's The 50 States by Gabrielle Balkan, illustrated by Sol Linero. Available now from Quarto Knows, it features a fact-filled landscape that's as fun as it's educational.

        Today I get to shine the spotlight on Oregon--one of my favorite states and at the top of my list of places I'd like to visit! 

        Click on the image to see a bigger version of the two-page spread.

        Click on the image to see a bigger version of the two-page spread.

        Here are some of my favorite facts from the book (used with permission!)

        Can you guess why?

        Did you know...

        BEVERLY CLEARY b.1916
        The “Ramona” author grew up in Yamhill: a town so small it didn’t have a library—so her mom started one!

        ASHLAND SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL
        Nearly 700 volunteers work each year to bring the Bard’s plays to life.

        MATT GROENING b.1954
        The creator of The Simpsons was born in Portland.

        COFFEE
        A recent study found over 1,000 coffee shops brewing in Oregon!

        POWELL'S
        is the largest bookstore in the world!

        VOODOO DOUGHNUT
        Here you can savor a bacon-maple doughnut bar and even get married!


        Give up? They're all related to books somehow! Powell's, the largest bookstore... Matt Groening, who got his start with the self-published comic book Life in Hell... Beverly Cleary who wrote many of my childhood favorite tales... Shakespeare... who didn't write books, he wrote plays, but close enough--I'm willing to wager many book lovers have a shelf just for Shakespeare. He was just that prolific. Ok, yeah--it takes a special dexterity to drink coffee and eat donuts while reading without getting glaze all over the pages, but it's a great skill to have. I'm just saying.

        That's it for our state spotlight. What other states would you like to see? Comment below and I'll try and find out who on the tour is featuring your state! (Check back for list updates!)

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        20. Spooktacular Giveaway Hop 2015

        Welcome to the 2015 Spooktacular Giveaway Hop hosted by I Am a Reader, Not a Writer!

        I couldn't decide on a spooky enough YA book to giveaway, so 1 winner gets to pick their own prize (must be a spooky YA book up to $18 USD!). My giveaway is open internationally. That's right! Also, mine is open early, don't be surprised if some of the other posts aren't up yet. You can always check back on or after the 15th.

        Once you enter, please leave a comment about what your spooky book suggestion would be (you get points for that, too!) and then go visit another blog on the hop. I'm sure they would love to have you enter their giveaways. Good luck!

        In case you need some inspiration, here is the spooky list of which I could not pick just 1 book to give away:

        As much of a scaredy-cat as Katie Alender may claim she is, she writes some creep-tastic books. The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall is her latest.

        Pretty much anything Gretchen McNeil writes will make your spine tingle. Don't miss Get Even and its sequel, Get Dirtyin which a revenge society aimed at making bullies and mean girls suffer must find a killer before they get blamed for crimes they didn't commit.

        legion2.jpg

        Kami Garcia's solo books freak me out so bad, you guys. No sophomore slump for Unmarked, which followed Unbreakable. I am patiently patiently waiting for Untitled Legion Book 3. Patiently not because there are other books to read (although yeah, there is that) but because  I trust that Kami's taking the time to make it just as chilling as the first two.

        I am kicking myself because I saw Ransom Riggs at a party last night and I could have bought Library of Souls there and gotten it signed, but I was shy because of course he's there with his wife and (Tahereh Mafi, doncha know) I didn't want to barge in to their conversation with friends since they'd just arrived. Sigh.

        I have really mixed feelings about The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich, which I will tell you about when I write my review in a little while. But from the cover alone, don't you already feel the hair rising on the back of your neck? Short pitch, girl with dissociative identity disorder loses one of her personalities--except, it's the one everyone thinks is the alter-ego who's left behind. *shudder*

        I confess, I was too chicken to read Shutter by Courtney Alameda last year. But now that American Horror Story is back (with Hotel), I'm feeling a little like... I could probably handle reading this in a crowded room in the middle of a brightly lit day. Yeah.

        Enough about me! What spooky book do you want to win?


        The Giveaway

        1. Open internationally wherever Book Depository ships, ends 10/31/2015.
        2. No purchase is necessary to enter a giveaway. Void where prohibited.
        3. We and the publisher are not responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged items.
        4. One set of entries per household please.
        5. If you are under 13, please get a parent or guardian's permission to enter, as you will be sharing personal info such as an email address.
        6. Winner will be chosen randomly via Rafflecopter widget a day or two after the contest ends.
        7. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to to the email, otherwise we will pick a new winner.
        8. If you have any questions, feel free to email us at readnowsleeplater@gmail.com
        9. PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE ANY PERSONAL INFO IN THE COMMENTS. Sorry for the caps, but we always get people leaving their email in the comments. Rafflecopter will collect all that without having personal info in the comments for all the world (and spambots) to find.
        a Rafflecopter giveaway

        The Blog Hop

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        21. Voyagers Series Giveaway

        FTC Disclosure: samples and prizes provided by Random House Children’s Books

        Thanks to Random House Children's Books for sending us the first two books in the new multi-platform middle grade series, The Voyagers! I first became a fan of multi-platform when The 39 Clues series hit the shelves in 2008. Along the same lines, a group of authors is collaborating on this new series. Read on for more info and a giveaway (US addresses only, ends 11/15/2015).

        ABOUT THE SERIES

        Part sci-fi, part eco-mystery, all action-adventure.

        As the young heroes in VOYAGERS journey into outer space to save planet Earth, readers are invited to become part of the story by joining the crew through the multi-platform VOYAGERS HQ. The HQ extends the adventure beyond the page, unlocking games and activities on their devices.

        Each book has clues and codes that lead to world extensions to be explored, played, and shared. Your online profile tracks your progress through the VOYAGERS universe, and gives you rewards, ranking and virtually currency for each product code redeemed.

        Readers become part of the VOYAGERS world, which extends beyond the books to a digital interactive experience, and downloadable pay-for-play mobile apps games.

        Readers can create their own custom VOYAGERS character, follow the team and experience this space adventure through the eyes of their own virtual droid.

        Free content on Voyagers HQ

        Team Alpha Member Profile
        Every registered user will have a personal profile page. This is where they can see their rank/level, view their achievements and badges, access their inventory and ZRK creations, as well as enter and track codes.

        VOYAGERS Secret Intelligence
        After players register, they will be given a project folder that contains ciphers and decoders that can be used in conjunction with the books to unlock secret content and virtual currency.

        Secret content includes
        Character dossiers and expanded background information, mission briefings, ship and vehicle schematics, detailed information on the planets from ZRK probes, and opportunities to test their STEAM knowledge.

        VOYAGERS Bonus Chapter
        In addition to the secret intelligence files, each book also has a special puzzle that unlocks a free bonus chapter. This will complement the book and fill in some additional details and storylines. It is not required reading, but they should add to the book narratives in a meaningful way.

        ABOUT THE CREATIVE TEAM

        VOYAGERS series creator and architect, Patrick Carman is head of PC Studios which has created and overseen pioneering multimedia brands including SKELETON CREEK, TRACKERS, 3:15, and DARK EDEN. He is also an acclaimed, New York Times bestselling writer of more than 30 books, and one of the first authors chosen for 39 CLUES. patrickcarman.com

        42 Entertainment is the premiere online multimedia company developing the immersive, interactive universe for VOYAGERS. 42 Entertainment is a next generation studio world renowned for some of the largest online experiences in the world including THE DARK KNIGHT,THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN, and TRON LEGACY. 42entertainment.com

        ABOUT THE BOOKS

        Book 1: PROJECT ALPHA by DJ MacHale, in stores now

        Earth is in danger! Without a renewable source of clean energy, our planet will be toast in less than a year. There are 6 essential elements that, when properly combined, create a new power source. But the elements are scattered throughout the galaxy. And only a spaceship piloted by children can reach it and return to Earth safely. First the ideal team of four 12-year-olds must be chosen, and then the first element must be retrieved. There is not a mistake to be made, or a moment to lose. The source is out there. Voyagers is blasting off in 3, 2, 1…

        D.J. MacHale is the author of the bestselling book series Pendragon, Morpheus Road, the SYLO Chronicles. He has written, directed and produced numerous award-winning television series and movies for young people including Are You Afraid of the Dark?; Flight 29 Down and Tower of Terror. D.J. lives with his family in Southern California. Find out more at djmachalebooks.com (Photo credit: Gayle Goodrich)

        Book 2: GAME OF FLAMES by Robin Wasserman, releases November 3 

        The Alpha team has been chosen and they've already snagged the first element on planet J-16. The second is hidden on Meta-Prime, a planet filled with metal mazes, catapults of fire, and warring alien robots. But what our Voyagersdon't know is that there is another ship, the Omega team, following hot on their trail...

        Robin Wasserman is the author of several acclaimed books for children and young adults, including The Waking Dark, The Book of Blood and Shadow, Hacking Harvard, the Cold Awakening Trilogy, and the Chasing Yesterday Trilogy. A former children's book editor, she lives and writes (and frequently procrastinates) in Brooklyn, New York. robinwasserman.com, @robinwasserman. (Photo credit: Sonya Sones

        COLLECT THE WHOLE SERIES

        BOOK 1: PROJECT ALPHA BY D.J. MacHale [out now]

        BOOK 2: GAME OF FLAMES BY Robin Wasserman [11/03/15]

        BOOK 3: OMEGA RISING BY Patrick Carmen [01/05/16]

        BOOK 4: INFINITY RIDERS BY Kekla Magoon [03/01/16]

        BOOK 5: ESCAPE THE VORTEX BY Jeanne DuPrau [03/01/16]

        BOOK 6: THE SEVENTH ELEMENT BY Wendy Mass [05/03/16]

        LEARN MORE

        Visit Voyagers HQ

        Follow the authors on Twitter: @PatrickCarman | @DJMacHale | @RobinWasserman

        Tweet with the hashtag #VoyagersHQ

        THE GIVEAWAY

        PhoneSwagPack.jpg

        Get the full Voyagers experience! One (1) winner receives:

        • The first two books in the series
        • Branded iPhone6 case and home GadgetGrip button to deck out your device while experiencing the Voyagers app.
        • US addresses only, please!
        • Samples and prizes provided by Random House Children’s Books
        a Rafflecopter giveaway

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        22. Marissa Meyer Winter Tour Recap

        photo by Jose Valencia

        photo by Jose Valencia

        Hello, dear readers. If you are a fan of The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer, then this week is a very exciting week for you. The final book in The Lunar Chronicles series, WINTER, was released on Tuesday. The fates of Cinder, Prince Kai, Scarlet and the rest of the Lunar gang will be decided. Will they defeat the evil queen Levana? We're all just going to have to read Winter to find out!  And don't forget to read all the way to the end of this post where we will tell you the exciting details about Marissa's upcoming Lunar Chronicles project!

        I was a volunteer for the Marrisa Meyer Winter signing event held last night in Montrose, CA. Once Upon a Time Bookstore hosted the event, which was held off site at the Sparr Heights Community Center. We had an amazing group of volunteers who worked their butts off to make this an unforgettable night. Also, big thanks to Jose Valencia who was the photographer for the event and whose images I am using in this post. By the time I arrived after work, there was already quite a line outside the venue. Many thanks to all of the attendees who were very patient and endured some cold (for Southern California) weather. 

        photo by Jose Valencia

        photo by Jose Valencia

        There was a beautiful snack table filled with Lunar themed cookies, cakes and candies. There were red Cinder shoe cookies and red Winter apples made from dipped pretzels. The cupcakes were beautiful (sadly I did not get to try one). There was also a bit of healthy food with a salad bar as well as pizza that came later in the evening. 

        photo by Jose Valencia

        photo by Jose Valencia

        photo by Jose Valencia

        photo by Jose Valencia

        photo by Jose Valencia

        photo by Jose Valencia

        photo by Jose Valencia

        photo by Jose Valencia

        photo by Jose Valencia

        photo by Jose Valencia

        The event began promptly at 7pm and, after a lovely introduction by Danielle Behr, Marissa came out to a full house.

        photo by Jose Valencia

        photo by Jose Valencia

        Marissa started off by talking about fairy tales and how she fell in love with Disney's The Little Mermaid when she was 5 years old. Her grandmother, seeing how much she loved the story, got her a book of fairy tales, which included the original Little Mermaid story. 5-year-old Marissa was shocked to discover that the original story was very different from the version she knew, which made her want to find out what else Disney wasn't telling her. This led to a lifelong love of fairy tales. Marissa then recited the original tale of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves to a rapt audience.

        photo by Jose Valencia

        photo by Jose Valencia

        Following this, Marissa took questions from the audience. When asked who her favorite character was, she said that it would be liking asking a mother to pick her favorite child. She did say that Captain Thorn was the most fun to write though. Marissa also mentioned that the film rights to Cinder had been sold to a Hollywood studio, though she had no news on whether or not it would be made anytime soon. She also said that she was honored when she found out that her series had fan fiction. Marissa said that she's only read one story because she didn't want it to influence what she wanted to do with the series. 

        photo by Jose Valencia

        photo by Jose Valencia

        After the Q&A it was time to move on to the signing. Guests enjoyed pizza and snacks as numbered groups were called out. Again, thanks to everyone for their patience as we got Marissa through a long line of fans. Thanks to the volunteers for helping the line run smoothly.

        Mmmm...snacks! photo by Jose Valencia

        Mmmm...snacks! photo by Jose Valencia

        photo by Jose Valencia

        photo by Jose Valencia

        Super cute Winter fans. photo by Jose Valencia

        Super cute Winter fans. photo by Jose Valencia

        photo by Jose Valencia

        photo by Jose Valencia

        I see some amazing fan art happening here. photo by Jose Valencia

        I see some amazing fan art happening here. photo by Jose Valencia

        Special thanks to Marissa Meyer, Macmillan, Fierce Reads, Once Upon a Time, all of the amazing volunteers, the Sparr Heights Community Center, Jose Valencia for the awesome pics, and every single person who came out last night. To see all of the pics from the event, check out Jose's album here

        While Winter is the official end of The Lunar Chronicles, fans will be happy to know that Marissa will be releasing a collection of stories set in the The Lunar Chronicles world. Stars Above: A Lunar Chronicles Collection will be released on February 2, 2016.

         

        The collection will include:

        Glitches: A prequel to Cinder, detailing Cinder’s first weeks after her cyborg surgery and her introduction to her new stepfamily.

        The Queen’s Army: A prequel to Scarlet, telling the story of one soldier in Levana’s army who is determined not to become the monster everyone expects him to be.

        Carswell’s Guide to Being Lucky: A prequel to Cress, expanding on some of Carswell Thorne’s exploits when he was a young man with big dreams.

        The Princess and the Guard: A never-before-released prequel to Winter, chronicling the friendship between Winter and Jacin and answering some frequently asked questions about Winter, her insanity, and her scars.

        The Little Android: My retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Little Mermaid,” in which an android falls in love with a human boy.

        A BRAND NEW as-yet-to-be-determined story! PLUS a sneak peek at Marissa's first non-TLC novel, Heartlessout on November 8, 2016

        if you've read through this entire post, I commend you. Thanks for reading and don't forget to #JoinTheResistance!

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        23. WINTER - The Lunar Chronicles Giveaway

        I mean, need I say more?

        Soooo... Who wants to win a WINTER prize pack? Thanks to @penwallace I have a set to give away! I'll be sharing pics of the #lunarchronicles party (mostly taken by @adobe1kinobe) once I finish clearing up my dining table which is still a huge mess from all the baking and prep I did for Monday night! #jointheresistance #marissameyer #thelunarchronicles (these gloves are probably Cress-approved, by the way... I'm typing this whole post with my own pair on just to try out the touchscreen capability.) #winterbooktour #touchscreengloves #temporarytattoos

        A photo posted by Read Now Sleep Later (@readnowsleeplater) on

        Read on to the end, then enter to win! Thanks to author Marianne D. Wallace for providing the prizes.

        I have to confess, I *hated* Cinder when it came out. Like, throw-the-book-at-a-wall-hated-it, except the book was an ARC so it didn't really do that much damage. It even landed neatly, not a page bent out of shape. I was at one of Marissa Meyer's very first book signings and I may have even told her so, but also said I gave it 5 stars anyway because it was so well written.

        Well, a combination of restraint and lack of time/energy to read led me to wait until a couple of weeks ago to start Scarlet. I had volunteered to host (i.e. decorate and cater) Marissa's Los Angeles book signing for Winter for Once Upon a Time, and needed buffet ideas which I usually draw right out of the book. And because I was pressed for time, I chose the audiobook format so I could do work (like prepping tons of candy for the dessert bar and baking piles of sugar cookies in the shape of shoes and apples) while "reading".

        OMG. 

        LOVED IT. The writing was like, *facemelt*.

        HOOKED. The audiobook reader? My new girl crush.

        giphy (3).gif

        TOTALLY ADDICTED. The characters! The girl power! Aaaaaahhhh!!!

        I went straight from Scarlet into Cress, which I adored even more. Rebecca Soler really brought it to life. Alyson from Kid Lit Frenzy and I were in my kitchen baking cookies and laughing like crazy people for the first part of the audio. Later on when I was icing the cookies (red, of course, or as red an icing as I could make having totally botched my proportions and run out of food coloring) I got to the later part of the audio which I refer to as the "I'm not crying, you're crying!" part of the book. 

        I ended up doing a Benoit Farms and Gardens salad bar (with tomatoes front and center, of course), pizza (from Domino's in Tujunga, which was excellent for feeding a crowd, btw!) and a crazy dessert bar with red and purple candy, cupcakes, lemon cakes (thanks, Danielle!) apple-shaped pretzels (thanks, Cathy!). I could not have pulled it off without a crack team of book enthusiasts helping: Nicole from The Reader's Antidote, our very own Thuy, Alyson, Carolyn, DJ, Kim, Katie, Cathy, Sam, Janet, Kate, David, and especially Jen and Marianne who helped with the candy bar signs and containers! Danielle also had the honor of introducing Marissa (in verse, no less!). 

        Here's what she said:

        Tonight we welcome
        An exceptional guest,
        Who wrote Cinder, Scarlet,
        Cress, and Fairest.
        She’s a bestselling author,
        By any guideline.
        Just ask USA Today
        Or the New York Times.
        She blogs about writing,
        She tweets with aplomb,
        And you can learn more about her
        At marissameyer.com.
        She takes stories we know,
        Placing them forward in time,
        Adding a space colony
        And characters that shine.
        There’s a cyborg, an emperor,
        And an android who swoons,
        A soldier, a farm girl,
        And the queen of the moon.
        Then a hacker held hostage,
        A criminal mastermind,
        A troubled princess,
        And the guard by her side.
        The Lunar Chronicles gave us
        Trysts and laughter, heartbreak and fights,
        And now finally with Winter
        We’ll explore some new heights.
        Though it’s not quite the end,
        as I’ve recently been told.
        With Stars Above coming in February,
        The story will continue to unfold.
        Tacoma, Washington is where
        She and her husband reside,
        Though tonight we’re lucky to have her
        In Montrose, by our side.
        Please join me in welcoming
        A fabulous author,
        The talented, the indomitable
        Marissa Meyer.

        You can see more pics and details on Thuy's recap post, here! Plus tons more great photos from Jose Valencia, here

        Thanks again to Once Upon a Time and Macmillan for letting me help out for the big event, and I hope everyone had lots of fun!

        Don't forget to pre-order the short story collection Stars Above (out in Feb 2016, more info in Thuy's recap post) and remember to check thelunarchronicles.com on Nov 30, 2015 for #CyborgMonday! I don't know what it means, but I love it already.


        The Giveaway

        1. Open to the US only, ends 12/05/2015.
        2. No purchase is necessary to enter a giveaway. Void where prohibited.
        3. We and the publisher are not responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged items.
        4. One set of entries per household please.
        5. If you are under 13, please get a parent or guardian's permission to enter, as you will be sharing personal info such as an email address.
        6. Winner will be chosen randomly via Rafflecopter widget a day or two after the contest ends.
        7. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to to the email, otherwise we will pick a new winner.
        8. If you have any questions, feel free to email us at readnowsleeplater@gmail.com
        9. PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE ANY PERSONAL INFO IN THE COMMENTS. Sorry for the caps, but we always get people leaving their email in the comments. Rafflecopter will collect all that without having personal info in the comments for all the world (and spambots) to find.
        a Rafflecopter giveaway

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        24. Dear Santa, Love, Rachel Rosenstein - Giveaway

        It's the most wonderful time of the year! We have a 2-book giveaway for one lucky winner who will get one copy to keep and one to share of Amanda Peet and Andrea Troyer's Dear Santa, Love, Rachel Rosenstein. The book is festively illustrated by Christine Davenier. Samples and prizing are provided by Penguin Random House.

        I loved it right from the tagline: All she wants for Hanukkah is... Christmas. When my family first moved to the United States, I'm certain I felt a little envious of my Jewish friends during their holiday celebrations, having been raised Catholic myself. There's something interesting and alluring about other people's traditions. Even now, just thinking about Hanukkah makes me want to run out and buy some potatoes for latkes. And challah for French toast... and beef brisket, and maybe some kugel... ooh, I haven't had blintzes in a while! (Ok, maybe I was less interested in their religion than in their food. But I digress.)

        In this charming picture book, Rachel Rosenstein takes her fascination with Christmas and runs with it, much to the chagrin of her family. She decorates the house and--gasp!--sits on Santa's lap to see if he got her letter requesting a special Christmas visit even though she's Jewish. The shenanigans that ensue are delightful and endearing, but also very much make us appreciate the diversity in our cultures and beliefs, our friends and our family, and all the ways we celebrate togetherness. Dear Santa, Love, Rachel Rosenstein is available now!

        About the Book

        Actress Amanda Peet brings us a hilarious holiday drama in a story that every Jewish family will relate to and appreciate.

        Rachel Rosenstein wonders why Santa Claus never visits her house. But this year is going to be different--even though her family is Jewish and doesn't observe Christmas. With hilarious and heartwarming mishaps, Rachel visits Santa at the mall with her special request, writes a letter to Santa explaining her cause, and clandestinely decorates the house on Christmas Eve (right down to latkes for the reindeer). And while Rachel may wrestle with her culture, customs, and love of sparkly Christmas ornaments, she also comes away with a brighter understanding of her own identity and of the gift of friends and family.

        About the Creative Team

        Andrea Troyer and Amanda Peet

        Andrea Troyer and Amanda Peet

        Amanda Peet is an actress and playwright. Her first play, "The Commons of Pensacola," starring Blythe Danner and Sarah Jessica Parker, opened to critical acclaim in 2014 at Manhattan Theater Club. A native of New York, Peet graduated from Columbia University with a degree in American History. She has appeared in numerous films, including "Please Give," "Syriana," "Something's Gotta Give," and "The Whole Nine Yards." She also starred in the TV series "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip," and the Broadway revival of Neil Simon's "Barefoot in the Park." Peet stars in a new comedy series, "Togetherness" for HBO, which debuted in January 2015.

        Andrea Troyer grew up in Minnesota and received an MFA from the University of California, Irvine. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two young boys.

        Christine Davenier is the illustrator of many children's books, including Julie Andrews's "The Very Fairy Princess" series. She lives in Paris, France.


        The Giveaway

        CELEBRATE TOGETHER Prize Pack

        Come together with friends celebrating different holidays! One winner will receive 2 copies of Dear Santa, Love, Rachel Rosenstein, one to keep, and one to share.

        Giveaway is open to US addresses only. Ends 11/29/2015. Winner will be chosen randomly via Rafflecopter and notified within 24 hours of the giveaway ending.

        Prizing and samples provided by Penguin Random House.

        Please use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter and don't leave any personal info (such as email addresses) in the Comments.

        Good luck!

        a Rafflecopter giveaway

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        25. Men & Cats + All the Words Are Yours Giveaway

        I have something a little different for you today--two adult gift books--prizing/samples provided by Penguin Random House.

        First, you should know that both books are based off of Tumblr. I love Tumblr. I also love both of these specific Tumblrs, though I was only familiar with the second one before this.

        The first one is a little serious, which would be great for someone who loves words and photographs: All the Words Are Yours: Haiku on Love by Tyler Knott Gregson.

        http://readnowsleeplater.tumblr.com/post/132575521494/we-like-where-this-is-going-allthewordsareyours

        About the book

        Every day for the past six years, Tyler Knott Gregson has written a simple haiku about love, and posted it online. These heartfelt poems have attracted a large and loyal following around the world. This highly anticipated follow-up to Chasers of the Light, presents Tyler’s favorites, some previously unpublished, accompanied by his signature photographs, which capture the rich texture of daily life.

        This vibrant collection reveals the intimate reflections of one of poetry’s most popular new voices — honest, vulnerable, generous, and truly present in the gift that is each moment.

        Find It Here

        Most of them are a little maudlin for me, but I love a few. 

        “Brighter, now brighter
        pay no mind to those who squint,
        burn with all your heat.”

        — Tyler Knott Gregson

        They're sometimes inspiring and insightful.

        http://tylerknott.com/post/37555991752/i-am-made-of-more-more-than-tears-more-than
        http://tylerknott.com/post/98809473377/what-is-bravery-if-not-the-marching-forward
        http://tylerknott.com/post/54341563877/just-keep-waking-up-dragging-yourself-out-of
        Some I want to mail home to my mother.
        http://tylerknott.com/post/28411534590/houses-are-not-homes-were-not-made-of-bricks

        Some will calm, some will soothe, some will arouse desire. You definitely don't want to mail the whole book to your mother. Actually, probably 80% you wouldn't want to discuss with her unless you have a very, very, very comfortable relationship.

        http://tylerknott.com/post/109275734672/theyre-just-syllables-but-they-carry-all-the

        This is definitely something you want to give to someone you love love. 


        Now we move on to my favorite of the two: Men & Cats by Marie-Eva Gatuingt & Alice Chaygneaud.

        Now, this your mom might enjoy. Assuming she likes scantily clad men. And cute cats. 

        About the book

        A brilliant collection of photographs that brings together two of the world’s favorite things: hot men and cute kittens.

        Based on the chic French Tumblr Des Hommes et des ChatonsMen & Cats presents an original collection of 50 pairs of sexy men and adorable cats. Each clever match-up shows a heartthrob posing alongside a cat in a similar pose or with a similar expression. Not sure if you want to look at sexy men or cute cats? With this book, you don’t have to choose.

        Find It Here

        But, before you visit Des Hommes et des Chatons on Tumblr, I have to warn you some of the pics may be NSFW. Here are some of the more tame ones (i.e. they've mostly got clothes on):

        http://deshommesetdeschatons.tumblr.com/post/133123545471
        http://deshommesetdeschatons.tumblr.com/post/133058862265
        http://deshommesetdeschatons.tumblr.com/post/131609208113
        http://deshommesetdeschatons.tumblr.com/post/130773262550
        http://deshommesetdeschatons.tumblr.com/post/128764821055

        Mmm.... you get the idea.

        Wait, one more.

        http://deshommesetdeschatons.tumblr.com/post/127543720224

        Can't promise you these are all in the book. Actually on second glance *flips through entire book again* Yup. Nope. None of these are in the book. But you get the picture, don't you?

        Remember to Enter the giveaway before you lose yourself in an endless queue of des hommes et des chatons

        The Giveaway

        1. Open to the US only, ends 12/05/2015.
        2. No purchase is necessary to enter a giveaway. Void where prohibited.
        3. We are not responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged items.
        4. One set of entries per household please.
        5. If you are under 13, please get a parent or guardian's permission to enter, as you will be sharing personal info such as an email address. Actually TBH for this one, you probably should be significantly older than 13. I'm just saying.
        6. Winner will be chosen randomly via Rafflecopter widget a day or two after the contest ends.
        7. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to to the email, otherwise we will pick a new winner.
        8. If you have any questions, feel free to email us at readnowsleeplater@gmail.com
        9. PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE ANY PERSONAL INFO IN THE COMMENTS. Sorry for the caps, but we always get people leaving their email in the comments. Rafflecopter will collect all that without having personal info in the comments for all the world (and spambots) to find.
        a Rafflecopter giveaway

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