AJC Decatur Book Festival Debriefing

Me with the AJC Decatur Book Festival official mascot Bookzilla
Me with the AJC Decatur Book Festival official mascot Bookzilla

The AJC Decatur Book Festival celebrated its tenth anniversary this year. I moved nearby 8 years ago. Coincidence? I think not. Some people count the days until Christmas or their birthday, but I count the days until the largest independent book festival in the nation. Held as it is in my backyard, I have attended every year since moving to the Atlanta area, and I’ve learned a few things along the way.

Always carry water and an umbrella. Wear sensible shoes and comfortable clothes. If you’re prone to book buying, invest in a backpack. Print the schedule and the map and plan ahead. I save cash from each pay for at least six months prior to the event. I use this cash rather than a credit card to purchase books. Saves me a great deal of financial pain. This year I also made sure to catch up on my reading of the authors whose presentations I would be attending. Because I did so, I was rewarded with a richer experience when the authors discussed their books and when I met them for a signature.

Greg Iles signing The Bone Tree
Greg Iles signing The Bone Tree

I read [simpleazon-link asin=”0062311085″ locale=”us”]Natchez Burning: A Novel (Penn Cage)[/simpleazon-link] and [simpleazon-link asin=”0062311115″ locale=”us”]The Bone Tree (Penn Cage)[/simpleazon-link] prior to meeting Greg Iles. I happened to have reviewed an ARC of The Bone Tree and was able to get that signed by the author. He and journalist Stanley Nelson presented a fascinating panel discussion entitled Bringing Civil Rights Cold Cases to Life in Fact and Fiction. Next, I attended Ron Rash’s interview as he discussed his latest work [simpleazon-link asin=”0062349317″ locale=”us”]Above the Waterfall: A Novel[/simpleazon-link]. Much to my astonishment and glee, he remembered my Loopy Librarian moniker because his brother had mentioned my positive review of his book.

Lunch with friends at The Raging Burrito
Lunch with friends at The Raging Burrito

After a refreshing and fulfilling lunch with friends at the Raging Burrito, I enjoyed a short story reading by Pulitzer Prize Winning author Adam Johnson from his new book [simpleazon-link asin=”0812997476″ locale=”us”]Fortune Smiles: Stories[/simpleazon-link]. He was also incredibly gracious and engaging during his signing. I ended the first day in a lighthearted session entitled Queens of Romance which featured Meg Cabot, Robyn Carr and Kristan Higgins.

Libba Bray signs Lair of Dreams
Libba Bray signs Lair of Dreams

Day two was equally entertaining. Libba Bray discussed the second book in her Diviners series, [simpleazon-link asin=”0316126047″ locale=”us”]Lair of Dreams: A Diviners Novel (The Diviners)[/simpleazon-link]. She was witty and lively as always. Later in the day during a session entitled Small Towns, Big Murders I was introduced to a new thriller writer (new to me that is) named Michael Koryta. Turns out he’s a Ron Rash fan. Go figure. I bought his book [simpleazon-link asin=”0316122572″ locale=”us”]Those Who Wish Me Dead[/simpleazon-link] and met him in the signing line.

With all that planning on my part, one may think I’m not flexible at the festival. Not so. I factor in “must” sees with “maybe” sees and follow that up with “well as long as I’m here” sees. For this reason, I found myself at the children’s stage at the end of the last day. I was familiar with several of the authors from my days as a children’s librarian. While browsing the books for sale there, I noticed [simpleazon-link asin=”1891830430″ locale=”us”]Blankets[/simpleazon-link], the graphic novel memoir by Craig Thompson. The first and one of very few graphic novels that I have read and which made an indelible impression on me. He was there to present on his latest graphic novel which is for children. I pooled the last of my cash with my husband’s and with much excitement purchased my last book at the festival. I was the first in line for a signature. I may have pushed a few children out of the way. Don’t judge me. He actually placed a chair across from himself on the same side of the table, so that he could chat with his fans. I may have gushed a little.

Craig Thompson signs Blankets
Craig Thompson signs Blankets

If you ever have the opportunity to attend the AJC Decatur Book Festival, I highly recommend that you do. It falls every year on Labor Day Weekend, so start planning now. Bring a friend or two and soak it all in. It’s the closest thing to Nirvana that this bibliophile has ever experienced. #BookNerdsRule

Squeaky Clean Romance Boxed Set e-Books on sale today

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10 Books for 99 cents!!!


Ten best-selling Inspirational romance authors come together
to bring you the Red Hot Squeaky Clean Romance collection! If you’re
anything like us, you enjoy reading various genres — a cozy mystery, a
thrilling suspense, an adventurous historical, a catchy contemporary — we love
them all as long as the romance is piping hot and the story is comfortably
clean. For the first time ever, as you turn the pages of these complete stories,
you will meet ten of the most recognized names in inspirational romance today
and read their award winning, critically acclaimed stories all in the same
collection. You’re in for such a treat!

Home Before Dark by
Christy Barritt

Daleigh McDermott finds a journal penned by her late
father which sparks a dangerous investigation into his death with the assistance
of Ryan Shields, the only man who believes her.

Beyond the Waves;
Pacific Shores Series, Book 1
, by Lynnette Bonner

Officer Kylen
Sumner and Taysia Green have a history. He’s broken her heart more than once. So
when he returns home claiming he just might be in love with her, she wants
nothing to do with him. If only her heart would get the message!

Sapphire Ice; Jewel Series, Book 1, by Hallee Bridgeman

The men in unbeliever Robin Bartlett’s life have only ever been users.
Believer Tony Viscolli’s arrival and relentless interest in Robin both
infuriates and intrigues her.

A Love for Delicious; Woman of
Courage series, Book 1
, by Cynthia Hickey

Widowed newlywed Delicious
(Delly) finds herself stuck with 5 stepchildren all under age 13 on the opposite
side of the country from Oregon and their uncle. She hits the trail, promising
to do anything to gain the children their birthright and protect it from those
out to take it. Can she guard her heart against the handsome trail guide, Zeke
Williams?

Waiting for Rachel; Those Karlsson Boys, Book 1, by
Kimberly Rae Jordan

Rachel Perkins is a loner who feels certain she’s
not the right woman for Damian Karlsson. Damien feels otherwise and is willing
to do what it takes to change her mind and her heart.

The
Unveiling; Age of Faith series, Book 1
, by Tamara Leigh

Disguised as
a squire, Lady Annyn Bretanne sets off on a quest to avenge her brother’s murder
by Baron Wulfrith. When her disguise is unveiled, they each face tests of faith
and resolve.

Saving Grace; Madison Falls, Book 1, by Lesley
Ann McDaniel

Grace is an opera singer forced by a stalker to go into
hiding in a small town. There, in that most unexpected of places, Grace finds
elusive love and claims her faith.

Yesterday by Amanda Tru

Hannah has the ability to time travel but there are consequences. After
saving a family injured in a car accident, Hannah wakes the next morning to find
her yesterday was five years ago!

The Redemption; Legacy of the
King’s Pirates, Book 1
, by MaryLu Tyndall

Lady Charlisse Bristol
sets off on a voyage in search of the father she never knew, only to find
herself shipwrecked on a desert island. Near starvation, she is rescued — by a
band of pirates and their fiercely handsome leader, Edmund Merrick.

Falling in Love; Seasons of the Heart novella series, Book 1,
by Susette Williams

Summary: Katie Morgan thinks she’s doing her boss,
Wade McAlester, a favor by setting him up on blind dates. After Katie plays
matchmaker and sets Wade up with all kinds of zany ladies, Katie starts to
realize that Wade might be suited for her.



Buy Now for 99 cents!

Spell Check Free Friday and Saturday

Spell Check FREE

 

featured freebie

 

Spell Check Cover

Spell Check by Julie Wright

A skeleton is rattling its way out of the closet marked “FAMILY SECRET! KEEP OUT!”

Allyson Peterson believes that being hanged by the Salem High Witches is the absolute worst thing that can happen. But when her powers, wrested from the trolls of ancient Sweden, manifest themselves, she realizes that a prank hanging by vindictive cheerleaders is the least of her worries.

Ally accidentally sends her parents to the jungle to fight anacondas, turns her brother into a mute, and curses the entire cheerleading team with an illness that has no cure, proving that her spells need a little checking. Her Swedish grandmother shows up to help her through the worst part of all—surviving the Troll Trials and saving the guy of her dreams from a vengeance that has festered through-out generations.

The power is in her, if she can just get the magic right.

 

Grab your copy on Amazon

Julie WrightAuthor Julie Wright

Julie Wright (1972-still breathing) was born in Salt Lake City, Utah. She’s lived in LA, Boston, and the literal middle of nowhere (don’t ask). She wrote her first book when she was fifteen. She’s written sixteen novels–nine of which are traditionally published. Julie won the Whitney award for best romance in 2010 with her novel Cross My Heart. She is agented by Sara Crowe at Harvey Klinger Inc.

She has one husband, three kids, two salamanders, one dog, and a varying amount of fish (depending on attrition).

She loves writing, reading, traveling, hiking, playing with her kids, and watching her husband make dinner.

She used to speak fluent Swedish, but now speaks only well enough to cuss out her children in public.

She hates mayonnaise.

Website

 

Rethinking Libraries

If libraries are to stay alive, they must evolve. Seventy-five percent of people think libraries = books. Google pictures of libraries, and you will find stacks and stacks of books. However, books are only part of the story. To stay relevant, libraries need to be centers of community activity. Reading will remain one of those activities, but it shouldn’t be the ONLY activity.

Ask most anyone, and they will tell you that they love libraries. But, ask those same people when they last set foot in a library, and you will likely find that it has been awhile. They love libraries for nostalgic reasons, but don’t need them much lately. Downloadable books, movies, music, and audio have nearly made libraries of old obsolete. That is why libraries MUST evolve.

My favorite example of library evolution in action is Chattanooga Public Library’s 4th Floor. The innovators at this library turned storage space into active space by adding wi-fi, electrical outlets, and flexible furnishings. Now members of the community meet there to work on projects and collaborate.

Even small libraries are following this example. All that is needed is some redecorating and housecleaning. Weed the collection of old media and barely circulating items and open up the space. Invite the community in, and get busy being relevant again.

American Ride Blast and $50 Giveaway

American RideHost of AMERICAN RIDE, Stan Ellsworth breaks the mold of the stereotypical High School history teacher.

Former history teacher Stan Ellsworth tours the country on a Harley Davidson for the television show “American Ride.” Ellsworth’s approach to American history in AMERICAN RIDE removes the “bow tie and sweater vest” of history professors, puts on the “skull rag and denim vest” and breaks down stereotypes. His adventurous spirit and love for the United States is contagious and engaging. His approach is more like an invitation to walk (and ride) with him through the footsteps of history. He hopes the stories and “postcards” from the highways and byways of the country will make American history relevant to today’s audiences, and motivate them to take an active part in the preservation of the values this country was built upon.

Now in the sixth season, Stan takes you across the world to see how the clouds of war gathered once again and what led America to enter WWII. New episodes air each Monday 9PM ET/ 7PM MT on BYUtv. If you’ve missed any episodes, you can catch up with all of the previous seasons online anytime at www.byutv.com/americanride

StanABOUT STAN ELLSWORTH

The 6’ 2”, 300-lb muscle-clad Harley Davidson-riding host of BYUtv’s acclaimed American history program, American Ride, would like nothing better than to inspire the next generation of George Washingtons, Susan B. Anthonys and Thomas Jeffersons. Born in Salt Lake City, Utah, and raised in the Carolinas, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and Pennsylvania, Ellsworth was steeped in the landmarks and stories of American history throughout his formative years. His family lineage includes such historic luminaries as Revolutionary War patriot Ethan Allen; both Generals of the Cival War, Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant (also the 18th president of the U.S.); and American folk heroes Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett.

Ellsworth’s goal—both when he was in the classroom, and now in his weekly television program—has always been to “wake people up” to the stories of our founding fathers and mothers, and to the sacrifices they made in creating this nation. In his gruff baritone voice, he speaks eloquently of our heritage and extols the wisdom and bravery of those who came before.

“LET’S TAKE A RIDE” ~ Stan Ellsworth

Facebook * Twitter * Website

book blast button

 

 

 


Blast Giveaway

$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 6/17/14

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the publisher. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Cover Reveal Lancaster House and The Middle Aisle and $25 Giveaway

COVER REVEAL!
Brand new covers for Lancaster House and The Middle Aisle!
~A paranormal romance series by Taylor Dean~
I love my OLD covers. (Pictured on the left.) I really do. They’re different from the norm and that’s why they captured my attention.
For Lancaster House, I liked the idea of a hand reaching out from the grave. It seemed appropriate to the story; Andre reaches out to Zoe from beyond the grave. It was Carrie-like and kind of creepy.


There’s just one problem.
This is not a horror novel. Not at all. This is a paranormal romance. People who like horror are drawn to the cover and are sadly disappointed when they realize it’s a romance.
People who love paranormal romance are turned off by the cover because it looks too creepy.
In other words, the cover just wasn’t working.
I love The Middle Aisle cover because it matched Lancaster House so perfectly. And part of the story takes place in Monterey, California. Monterey is known for its Cypress trees. The tree on the cover of The Middle Aisle reminded me of a Cypress tree and seemed perfect.
But, if the right people aren’t reading the first book, no one will ever read the second one no matter what the cover looks like!
Bam! Decision made!
It was time for new covers for Lancaster House and The Middle Aisle! I love the new covers because they speak so perfectly as to what’s on the inside.

Without further ado, here they are, the new covers!
Add
Lancaster House
to

 




 

Lancaster House
on

 

 

Add
The Middle Aisle
to

 

The Middle Aisle


on

 

Author Taylor Dean
Taylor Dean lives in Texas and is the mother of four grown children. Upon finding herself with an empty nest, she began to write the stories that were always wandering around in her head, quickly finding she had a passion for writing, specifically romance. Whether it’s paranormal, contemporary, or suspense—you’ll find all sub-genres of clean romance in her line-up.
Giveaway
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 6/8/14
Open Internationally

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Romance Through the Ages Book Bundle Deal

deal of the day

For anyone who loves clean romance like I do… Don’t miss out on this great deal!

Romance Through the Ages

 

 

Romance through the Ages brings you SEVEN NOVELS from 7 bestselling authors (including New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon bestsellers). Join us for a fabulous collection.

 

*7 Romance Novels, 7 Bestselling Authors, 1 Amazing Price*

99 cents

99 cent Romance Boxed Set for a limited time only!

 

Running Barefoot by NY Times & USA Today bestselling author Amy Harmon!— Deeply romantic and poignant, Running Barefoot is the story of a small town girl and a Native American boy, the ties that bind them to their homes and families, and the love that gives them wings.

 

Masquerade by Janette Rallison, who has sold more than 1 million books!— It’s hard for a woman to keep up the masquerade when her boss is as handsome as Slade Jacobson and the job takes her to Hawaii with him. In between handling his whirlwind four-year-old daughter and dealing with a whole cast of Hollywood personalities, Clarissa has to keep a tight hold on her heart.

 

The Reluctant Bachelorette by Rachael Anderson, Amazon Bestseller!—Unknowingly cast as the bachelorette for her town’s charity event, Shelter’s Bachelorette, Taycee Emerson is in for the ride of her life. Especially when she discovers her old teenage crush, Luke Carney, is one of the bachelors and it’s up to the viewers—not her—to decide which bachelors stay or go.

 

Pride and Precipitation by Heather Horrocks, Amazon Bestseller!— Breezy Jones is crazy about the weather, rain or shine, which makes her job as the local television station’s meteorologist perfect. That’s before she meets the attractive new general manager, Noah Drake, who is determined to repackage everything—including Breezy’s down-home delivery.

 

My Own Mr. Darcy by Karey White, Amazon Bestseller!— Lizzie falls hard for Matthew Macfadyen’s Mr. Darcy character and makes a promise to herself that she will settle for nothing less than her own Mr. Darcy. When she meets two men, Chad—a science teacher, and Matt Dawson—who looks and acts like Mr. Darcy, she’s forced to re-evaluate what it was she loved about Mr. Darcy in the first place.

 

She Owns the Knight by Diane Darcy, Amazon Bestseller!— Why does Gillian Corbett have to travel seven hundred years through time to find a decent guy?… Why can’t Sir Kellen Marshall find a lady who is obedient, submissive… or at least not trying to kill him?

 

Heart of the Ocean by Heather B. Moore, Amazon Bestseller!— A dark secret . . . a grieving ghost . . . a handsome stranger . . . What more could Eliza Robinson want? Except for maybe her life. When Eliza discovers that Jonathan Porter’s dark secrets may be the link between the dead woman who haunts her and her aunt’s murderer, Eliza realizes that Jonathan is the one man she should never trust.

Grab your copy for just .99 cents!

New Cover Reveal: The Last Letter from Your Lover by Jojo Moyes

Jojo Moyes won over heaps of readers with her novel [simpleazon-link asin=”0143124544″ locale=”us”]Me Before You: A Novel[/simpleazon-link] – you may know it by its red cover and big, beautiful font. Now Jojo’s preceding book published by Penguin, [simpleazon-link asin=”0143121103″ locale=”us”]The Last Letter from Your Lover: A Novel[/simpleazon-link], has gotten a makeover ! Check out the new cover:
Last Letter cover.med

To celebrate the new cover, the publisher will be giving away copies of the book. Stay tuned to this site as I plan to post a review of the book and host a giveaway beginning February 7th and ending February 14th. What could be more perfect as a giveaway on Valentine’s Day than a romantic novel by Jojo Moyes.

Click here to read reviews of two of Moyes other romantic titles:

[simpleazon-image align=”left” asin=”0143124544″ locale=”us” height=”160″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51YOKxh4SeL._SL160_.jpg” width=”104″]Me Before You
[simpleazon-image align=”left” asin=”0670026611″ locale=”us” height=”160″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51xxZ6EsIhL._SL160_.jpg” width=”106″]The Girl You Left Behind

Social Media and Pets…and Books

Does your pet have a Facebook page? Twitter account? I know of several authors who create twitter accounts for their books and characters. For example author Paul Hewitt has a twitter account for his character Lionel Snodgrass:@lionelsnod and Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl have one for their book series Beautiful Creatures: @RavenwoodManor. As for me, I have a Facebook account for my Sock Monkey Monk (also known as Mojo): https://www.facebook.com/Mojoforfun . But, I have yet to set up an account for any of my pets. Nevertheless, I have noticed a certain trend among pet lovers like myself. Allison Morris of InternetService.com put together an interesting graphic that traces this trend. For example, check out the original Grumpy Cat with over 6 million hits on YouTube:

As a librarian and book lover, my first thought was to see if any books have been written about this topic or if any pets have been capitalizing on their social media fame. Here is  some of what I found:

[simpleazon-image align=”none” asin=”B006WWMVLQ” locale=”us” height=”160″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41NDPljZfLL._SL160_.jpg” width=”160″] [simpleazon-image align=”none” asin=”B006U4SHMS” locale=”us” height=”160″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41G7rumbw4L._SL160_.jpg” width=”160″] [simpleazon-image align=”none” asin=”1478273194″ locale=”us” height=”160″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51TYlpWiBsL._SL160_.jpg” width=”107″] [simpleazon-image align=”none” asin=”1480211850″ locale=”us” height=”160″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51i9xGeHd%2BL._SL160_.jpg” width=”107″] [simpleazon-image align=”none” asin=”B007V59GPM” locale=”us” height=”160″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51U-QxNvguL._SL160_.jpg” width=”107″] [simpleazon-image align=”none” asin=”B007G85WDE” locale=”us” height=”160″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51N%2BbdN05cL._SL160_.jpg” width=”100″] [simpleazon-image align=”none” asin=”1453741666″ locale=”us” height=”160″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41S7WeXD5rL._SL160_.jpg” width=”107″][simpleazon-image align=”none” asin=”B005D53EFA” locale=”us” height=”160″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51C1hOszFuL._SL160_.jpg” width=”120″][simpleazon-image align=”none” asin=”0615665241″ locale=”us” height=”160″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51Gj-%2BqiiYL._SL160_.jpg” width=”107″] [simpleazon-image align=”none” asin=”0978692888″ locale=”us” height=”160″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51HfSnb2QYL._SL160_.jpg” width=”105″] [simpleazon-image align=”none” asin=”0983312605″ locale=”us” height=”160″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51WRtYgFT4L._SL160_.jpg” width=”107″]
This Graphic created by Allison Morris at InternetService.com Fido Infographic

Also check out my review of Cat Sayings;Wit and Wisdom from the Whiskered Ones

If you love animals, why not take advantage of social media? They have at least as much to say as people do…much of it wiser and more interesting.

If your pet has a blog, twitter account or Facebook account, feel free to include a link in the comments.