Cover Reveal: F U Cancer by Hilaria Alexander

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Today I’m SO excited to show off the cover to Hilaria Alexander’s upcoming book F U Cancer! I met Hilaria online a year or so ago through our favorite band and have enjoyed following, and sometimes helping with, her writing adventures. I’m so proud that she’s now releasing her THIRD book!

Without further explanation here is the cover…

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I flipped out and immediately had to tell Hilaria that I think this cover is ADORABLE! I love it and it seems to be perfect for the story!

Here’s a synopsis and excerpt from F U Cancer and be sure to look for it at the end of December!

Synopsis:

Lucy has always been a good girl. The most hardcore thing she’s done in her life was falling for a divorced man ten years her senior.

But he was the love of her life and she married him. When her Peter Pan of a husband decided to divorce her, she thought it was her chance to start anew. That was until she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Besides looking like Britney circa 2007, she is taking it well, real well. You might see her walk around the hospital during chemo sessions with bright colored wigs and outrageous t-shirts that seem to shock the most conservative employees. One of them reads F U CANCER.

Excerpt:

I found him leaning against my car in the parking lot.

I got a Sixteen Candles flashback. He looked just as cool as Jake Ryan. The only difference was that he was leaning against my car, not his.

Oh, to be sixteen again. And make the same mistakes over and over. I wanted to get in the car with him and make out until I couldn’t feel my lips anymore. I instinctively touched my lips and smiled to myself.

I met his eyes and smiled, but he gave me a serious, dark look.

Uh-oh. This wasn’t going to be good. The butterflies in my stomach would be dead and gone pretty soon.

I let out a breath, mentally preparing to his apology.

It was a mistake, we shouldn’t have…I shouldn’t have started it. Ugh.

He looked nervous, and so was I. This was going to be a mess.

Then, suddenly, I knew how to break the tension.

“If you’re hitting me up in this parking lot to score more crack, I’m sorry to say you’re on the wrong track,” I told him, smiling, as I approached the car.

“What?” He looked confused as if the thought hadn’t even crossed his mind. Huh.

“Come on, you already went through your whole bag of candy or most of it, and you want to know if I can get you some more.”

“More?”

“Yes, more. You want more Bonkers, right? I should have known better. I’m basically feeding an addict now. Shame on me,” I teased.

“I didn’t want to ask for more candy,” he laughed.

“Is this about the other night?” I asked him, unable to hide the frown on my face.

“Yes,” he replied. He just stared at me but added nothing else.

“I know what you’re going to say,” I told him. 

“You do?” he asked and gave me a suspicious look.

“Yes. It’s okay, really. You don’t have to say anything.”

“What do you think I’m going to say?”

“You’re going to say you think it was a mistake…we shouldn’t have done it, yada yada yada,” I said gesturing. He cracked a smile. “You’re going to say it was just a spur of the moment, which it was. It was a great spur of the moment.”

He nodded in agreement.

“It was a great spur of the moment!” He flashed a charming smile.

“It was, wasn’t it?” I leaned against the car next to him, feeling a little more relaxed. He didn’t seem too upset about the kiss, after all. I felt suddenly lighter as if a weight had been lifted from my shoulders.

“Yes, it was a spur of the moment. But it wasn’t a mistake,” he said. He stuffed his hands in the pockets of his jeans and gave me a look that made my stomach flip, and my heart took off, happily drumming away.

Now I was just dying to hear the rest, but he just kept staring at me. 

“It wasn’t?” I asked and he just shook his head slightly, failing to contain a smug smile.

“The reason why I ran out the other night,” he started, “well part of it has to with the fact that I’m a doctor and you’re a patient here. I go back and forth thinking is not very professional of me to engage with you–”

I started laughing. I couldn’t help it. 

“What?”

“It sounds like you’re the teacher and I’m the underage school girl,” I laughed.

He laughed with me, and I loved the way his eyes brightened when he did.

“I don’t think we are breaking any rules. Technically. Well, I’m not completely sure, but it wouldn’t seem like it.” I gave him a flirty grin.

He placed an arm on top of the car and he turned around, leaning toward me. He was dangerously close, and I had to remind myself to keep my horny hormones in check.

“Well, when I got home I regretted leaving, but another reason why I did it is because I thought we were rushing it. Actually, let me rephrase that: I was the one rushing things–”

“You left because you thought we were going to fast?”

“Well…yes. I mean I might have gone a little too far that night. It doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy every second of it, but I felt like I was the one pouncing you.”

I burst out laughing because he sounded ridiculous. Did he think I regretted him coming after me in the pool? Quite the contrary. He stopped talking, and I saw his eyes fixated on my mouth. A devilish grin spread across his face. My laughter subsided, and my breath hitched. The way he was looking at me made me feel like I hadn’t felt in a while.

He looked at me as if I was desirable. I hadn’t been desired in a long time. I could have understood if he had been attracted to me under normal circumstances, but I was not the same Lucy anymore. Therefore, I had no idea how could he possibly be attracted to me.

“I like you, Lucy. I want to go out with you. We’d probably better keep it on the down low, but I want to see you. Away from here.” He looked around in the parking lot, but we were alone. He then looked at me as if waiting for an answer, but I was still processing his words.

“What? You’re crazy,” I told him. There was both shock and thrill in the tone of my voice.  I was perplexed and flattered.

“Am I? Why? You’re still single, right?” It sounded like he was mocking me. Ha ha. I frowned and narrowed my eyes at him. I didn’t understand what game he was playing. Was he really asking me out?

This was crazy. Bananas. Completely idiotic.

“Why? For one, I’m sick.”

“I’m around sick people all the time,” he said, the corner of his lips twitching up.

“I’m toxic. Literally.”

“Nahhhh. You’re not that bad. I don’t think your toxicity levels can get in the way of dating.”

I couldn’t believe it. I thought he was just going to apologize for not calling me. I never thought he’d say he wants to see me. Me. Did he have any idea of what he was asking? He needed a good dose of reality.

Time to lay down the ugly truth.

“You want to date me, huh? Some days I can barely hold myself up together. I have no hair left save for my eyebrows and eyelashes and when I look at my reflection, I feel like I’m staring at an alien. I have an ugly looking breast that reminds me every second of my life what’s wrong with me. I’m at the lowest I’ve ever been. And you want to date me?”

My words left him completely unfazed. He still wore a silly smile on his face. I had just given him a half dozen reasons why he should leave me alone and he didn’t seem worried in the slightest.

“Don’t you realize I’m probably the most qualified person? I’m indirectly a pro at all the things you just listed. No one can understand it better than me because I deal with it every day.” The tone of his voice was cheerful, but then a thought clouded his eyes. “Well, I guess the only person who could be more qualified than me would be a cancer patient or a cancer survivor because they would really know what it means to have experienced what you’re going through. But I’m a close second.”

He sounded almost cocky. This was a side of him I had never seen before. I knew I should have been turned off by it, but I instead I was intrigued by this super confident version of Dr. F. I hated to admit it.

“I don’t think–”

“How about Friday?” he asked.

“I can’t.”

“You can’t or you’re making up some kind of excuse in that pretty alien head of yours?”

I broke into a smile. “No, I really have plans. Family dinner.”

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Book Haul!

I’ve got so many new books this week that I either bought or got in from the publishers, so I wanted to share some exciting finds.

Bought:

Y’aaaaallll!!! Parnassus in Nashville had SIGNED copies of Dumplin’!!!

I was a little sad when the person checking me out didn’t know that this wasn’t Julie’s first book though. Side Effects May Vary is SO GOOD!

 

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Do I have it on Kindle? Yep, but the UK cover is pretty, so I had to have it.

HOWEVER, I also have a signed copy coming that I won in one of Colleen’s giveaways!

 

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Okay technically a friend picked these up for me, but I loved Statistical Probability, so I can’t wait to read these!

Acquired?

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The folks at St. Martin’s Press and Griffin are TOO GOOD to me! I’m excited to read these two!

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I honestly have no idea about this one. It came directly from the author, but I can’t see where I won it anywhere OR requested it, so…thank you just the same even though I’m confused by it! Also, this book came with some really fun swag—a guitar pick? Too fun!

 

Wrap up:

So those are what I ended up with this week! Thanks to the publishers and author for sending them and I’m ready to dive into fun, new stuff!

-Melanie

Audiobook review: Why Not Me?

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My Thoughts:

First- did I finish any of the books I intended to read this week?

NOPE.

Then again, I’m also still trying to finish Winter (halfway done!). However, I had Why Not Me on my phone from the library and it was due to go back this weekend, so I listened to it on my drive home.

I absolutely adore Mindy. I’m a big fan of The Office and I love The Mindy Project, so it’s no surprise that I enjoyed her first book. This one was a  bit different though.

The first book was a bit more straightforward and this one is all over the place. Granted, it IS labeled as a collection of essays, but it’s still very ADD at times. I think it might have made a bit more sense in paper form when I knew a whole other topic was on the way. In fact, a time or two, I even checked to make sure that I didn’t somehow have the book on shuffle and it was playing out of order.

With that said, it is still funny and very much “Mindy,” but it just has a few snags. I adored the section where she speaks about BJ Novak and their friendship and liked that BJ stepped in the narrate a portion there.

However, there was a section where she’d concocted an alternate reality that got boring and annoying to me. I think it would’ve been fine on paper, but it just didn’t work in the audio format.

In all, I would still suggest the book to fans of Mindy, but I’d maybe stick to good, old-fashioned paper or ebook and not get the audio version.

-Melanie

Illuminae excitement!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Now on the the fingerling…

A month later and I’m still basically obsessed with Illuminae. 

In fact, I think I’m still in that “WTF did I just read?? That was AWESOME!” thought process.

It IS that awesome though.

But anyways, I’m here for two things…

THING 1:

Imagine my excitement when one of my kids at work comes in with, “hey I want to show you a picture of this book I found at Walmart and you tell me what you think about it”…..and the book was Illuminae.

She was beyond happy to learn that I plan to order it for the library in a couple months. I wish I could’ve got it this semester, but I ordered too far in advance to even attempt it. I did order a few things that weren’t released at the time, but they came out within a week or two of ordering.

Anyways…

THING 2:

THERE’S A MOVIE IN THE WORKS!!!!!

It is extremely long range, but when I read it I thought, “whoa. I don’t know how it would work, but I need to SEE this played out.” Now that is hopefully going to be a reality!

Go HERE for more information on the movie plans.

*calms back down*

well, that’s all of my follow-up Illuminae excitement! Now, it’s back to vacation for me. I’m enjoying not having to wake up to an alarm at 5 AM!

-Melanie

Monday Musings

Greetings from Nashville, TN!

Hey, y’all! I’m currently spending my 4th consecutive Thanksgiving week in beautiful Nashville! Last week, I talked about which bookstores I was planning to visit, so later this week I’ll be sharing my friends from book shopping in Nashville.

But First!

I shared that last week I had two orders come in at my library. In those orders, I had several books come in that I have read and was very excited to get in and share with my students.

One of those books was The Wrath and the Dawn!

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I’m not sure that I ever posted a review for Wrath, but I read it back in June and it is still my favorite thing I’ve read all year. The back story was phenomenal and had so much depth and…it has a MAP!

A kid immediately checked it out this week and then commented that she knew it was going to be good because she noticed that it had a map when she opened. I thought it was funny, because I always think the same thing when I read fantasy.

In fact, I had the same thought for Wrath (and was right…it was awesome!). I recently started Throne of Glass and had the same thought when I saw the map at the beginning.  Granted, I’m not done with that one, but so far so good…my theory still stands: Books that have maps have better world building and tend to be better overall.

Has anyone else noticed this or is it just me and my one kid at work?

-Melanie

Library Updates!

ALL OF THE NEW THINGS!

As a librarian, I get excited about the main part of my job- putting books in the hands of teenagers! Imagine my surprise when a kid told me, “oh, you’re not like our old librarians.” and when I asked why “because you’re giving suggestions- our old ones just waited for us to pick a book and never told us what we’d like.” They were even MORE surprised when I caught on and started giving PERSONAL suggestions when I saw a book and thought to tell them, “hey, I think YOU would like this.” —-Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t that what we’re SUPPOSED to do? 

With that said, my kids have been SO excited for me to get new books in. Their previous two librarians relied only on sales reps and rarely knew much about the books they were buying or if the kids would like them. That breaks my heart! My students knew that I ordered books that either I’d read OR that I knew of and thought they would like (normally with specific students in mind!)

 

So now my library looks like this right now as I sort through a new order (with another order on the way!):

20151117_08080620151117_080800New things on these racks in the open for quick locating!20151117_080813I have non-fiction spread out on this and another table until I decide how I want to display them…20151117_080818

SO MUCH TO SORT THROUGH!

In total, I had 80 books (both fiction and non-fiction) come in on this order.

Several books already had kids waiting on them (Cinder, The Selection, We Were Liars, Throne of Glass, 5th Wave…) and I’m so excited to see my students be excited about reading!

I’ll have another post coming this weekend highlighting the SECOND order of library books this week.  It has been crazy having two orders come in the same week, but I love it!

-Melanie

Thanksgiving break TBR!

Contrary to popular belief, librarians DON’T have time to sit around and read all day.

It’s true. We’re surrounded by books all day, but we don’t get to actually read while we’re in such a lovely place all day!

But now….it’s almost time for….THANKSGIVING BREAK!!!

I’m ecstatic! I love my job, but I’m excited to have some downtime and get to chill out. Sure, I’ll be out exploring Nashville, but I’ll also get to set aside some major reading time, so without further delay…he’s my Thanksgiving break TBR!

The Blackthorn Key by Kevin Sands

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I’m SO excited to finally get to read this! I bought it at a signing at my favorite bookstore, Lemuria, in Jackson, MS, back in September. In fact, I even went ahead and ordered it for my library a week after the signing and it should *hopefully* be in within the next week or two. It’s a middle grade, but check out how fun it sounds:

Following a series of murders, an apothecary’s apprentice must solve puzzles and decipher codes in pursuit of a secret that could destroy the world in this suspenseful debut novel.

“Tell no one what I’ve given you.”

Until he got that cryptic warning, Christopher Rowe was happy, learning how to solve complex codes and puzzles and creating powerful medicines, potions, and weapons as an apprentice to Master Benedict Blackthorn—with maybe an explosion or two along the way.

But when a mysterious cult begins to prey on London’s apothecaries, the trail of murders grows closer and closer to Blackthorn’s shop. With time running out, Christopher must use every skill he’s learned to discover the key to a terrible secret with the power to tear the world apart.

In his stunning debut novel, Kevin Sands brings readers on a heart-stopping adventure rich with suspense, mystery, and unforgettable characters.

This sounds so fun and I’m glad to finally get a chance to read a book that has been waiting on me to get around to it for a couple months.

Also…I’ll know what this means:

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A Cannon?? Beats me!


The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

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This has been waiting on me to read since MAY! I went to the Teen Day at RT Convention and got a copy of this at the evening party. The friend who went with me had been excited to meet Kasie West and loves her books, so she was happy FOR me to get this in my bag at the party because then I could get on board with knowing how adorable these books are.

Again-that was in May….oops.

This may be my first read for the week off this weekend, so check it out:

Money can’t buy a good first impression.

Seventeen-year-old Caymen Meyers learned early that the rich are not to be trusted. And after years of studying them from behind the cash register of her mom’s porcelain-doll shop, she has seen nothing to prove otherwise. Enter Xander Spence—he’s tall, handsome, and oozing rich. Despite his charming ways and the fact that he seems to be one of the first people who actually gets her, she’s smart enough to know his interest won’t last. Because if there’s one thing she’s learned from her mother’s warnings, it’s that the rich have a short attention span. But just when Xander’s loyalty and attentiveness are about to convince Caymen that being rich isn’t a character flaw, she finds out that money is a much bigger part of their relationship than she’d ever realized. With so many obstacles standing in their way, can she close the distance between them?

This sounds so great!


And finally…

Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon

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SO ready for this one. I hate that I even took as long as I did to read it because I’ve heard amazing things about it! I’m ready to be pulled in to it and not let go.

If for some reason you don’t know about this one then see what’s up:

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

It. Sounds. AMAZING.

I’m ready!


Obviously, I HOPE to read more than just three books, but I also anticipate having a huge book hangover from Winter when I finish it this week, so it might be rough getting back into the swing of reading after that.

Either way, these three are my first stops next week when I have time to do more reading!

I hope everyone gets to read something great over the holiday!

-Melanie