Mo Monday

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I’ve decided to declare Monday as Mo Monday, as in Mo Willems Monday. If you’ve been living under a rock (or don’t read children’s books as much as I do) Mo Willems is a three-time Caldecott Honor winner for three of my favorite kid classics – Don’t Let The Pigeon Drive the Bus, Knuffle Bunny and Knuffle Bunny Too.

The thought came to me as Monday is the day I take my (hopefully napping now) 2 year old tot to the library. My goal is to find a new Mo Willems book for both of us to enjoy. For the last two weeks we read I Love My New Toy featuring the adorable Elephant and Piggie, to death. It was time for that one to go back! This week’s read, pictured above, is Hooray For Amanda & Her Alligator. It features 6 and a half short stories about Amanda, her talking, stuffed alligator and the many surprises in their friendship. Willems has a flair for making his books equally enjoyable for book readers of all ages. His characters’ facial expressions and witty dialogue are two of the reasons he’s my second favorite children’s author. (Dr. Seuss is número uno.)

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Happy reading!

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While You’re Away Part 1 by Jessa Holbrook

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Now I must preface this by saying that YA romance novels haven’t been my go-to books for the past few years, (But Elyse, you say, this is the third one, out of three, that you’ve posted.  And you’d be correct.) Eh, I go through phases with  genres and I was feeling all lovey-dovey when I picked up this one. 

Back to this lovely book…

It’s the first in a series, (coincidentally, also the first series I’ve started) It’s short and sweet and I read it in one sitting but leaves you wanting more.

Sarah is awkward and shy, the complete opposite of her extrovert, flirty boyfriend, Dave. She attracts the attention of gorgeous bad-boy Will Spencer and doesn’t know what to do with herself. Yes, there’s a love triangle. “Haven’t they been done to death?!” you ask. They have and yet, Holbrook is able to hold the attention of this reader with Sarah’s amusing inner dialogue. She curses her doe-eyed nature when around Will and for hurting her current beau. We only see the two boys through the eyes of Sarah and I hope as the series continues that they are fleshed out.

Now, it’s entirely possible that I’ve a deep affection for this character after reading that Sarah was shy; I was curious. I immediately gravitate towards characters with a similar nature but I’ve often found that “shy” characters are nothing of the sort. (Maybe they have some different interpretation of being shy?) Nevertheless, I noticed that it’s not just simply stated that she’s shy, it’s what drives her actions and hesitations. Not the main point of the book, but something I appreciated as a fellow shy person.

I read lots of YA romance in high school. The shy, awkward girl capturing the attention of the jock isn’t new but Holbrook keeps it light and very current. It’s interesting to see social media so incorporated into a story.  (This is the first time I’ve read about a fictional character posting photos to Instagram! We didn’t have that when I was in high school!)

 

Buy it!

Amazon

Goodreads

 

 

I give While You’re Away Part 1 ****

The Shoe Book Tour: The Shoe

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Title – The Shoe

Series – The Believe Series – Book #2

Author – Trista Jaszczak

Genre – Romance, fairy tale retelling

Publication Date – 6 August 2013

Publisher – Front Porch Romance

Cover Artist – Designs by Charisma

 

BOOK BLURB/SYNOPSIS

All Blair Miller has ever wanted was to study fashion in New York City. But as one door closed for her, another door opened. A bright and beautiful door that led her straight to a job at celebrity frequented, high end fashion boutique, ATTRAYANT, where she has now worked for years. When an invitation arrives for a masked ball that is being thrown to celebrate a world famous rock band’s new album, Blair finds herself being transformed into Cinderella for the night. When Blair not only falls for Prince of Rock, Hunter but also loses a precious $8,000.00 shoe, she finds herself in possibly the biggest mess of her entire life. How can she reveal who and what she really is to Prince Charming? How can she afford to replace such an expensive shoe? With the help of her two “Fairy God Fathers” who are pushing for her happily ever after…anything could happen.

 

Buy It!

Amazon

Goodreads 

AUTHOR BIO:

Trista Jaszczak (pronounced jazz-ick) is an Air Force wife and mother of two who is originally from Hamilton, Ohio but calls Anchorage, Alaska her home. She’s published 4 novels so far and written more than 30. She has a deep passion for writing, music, her guitar, her kids and her four-legged babies.

 

STALKER LINKS:

Amazon Author Pagehttp://www.amazon.com/Trista-Jaszczak/e/B004MJDHM8/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_6?qid=1373960900&sr=8-6

Website/Bloghttp://www.tristajaszczak.wordpress.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/AuthorTristaJaszczak

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TristaJaszczak @TristaJaszczak

Pinterest – http://pinterest.com/jazzywriter/boards/

Tumblrhttp://authortristajaszczak.tumblr.com/

Goodreadshttp://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4530480.Trista_Jaszczak

Front Porch Romancehttps://www.frontporchromance.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=24_93&zenid=m2tbl6nfihspuddo8gvqililc0

My review:

Jaszczak continues her retelling of classic fairy tales with her modern take on Cinderella, set in none other than New York City. Where else could fairy tale dreams come true? Jaszczak makes ample use of her setting; it’s almost another character in the story! The ball is an album release party and Cinderella’s (Blair) prince charming? The band’s lead singer, a sweet and humble young man. Blair is fortunate enough to have two fairy godfathers, Christian, her fabulous co-worker and his boyfriend, Anthony. These are no fly-by-night godparents. They’re sassy, brutally honest and really fill the parental role needed in Blair’s life. They take care of her hair, make-up, self-esteem and run interference with Blair’s evil boss, affectionately known as the Ice Queen. This is the similarity between Little Red and The Shoe, Jaszczak, yet again, believably constructs this bond between the characters that makes you want to read on.  Cinderella has been retold and remade over and over and yet, I felt invested in getting to the happy ending. It’s sweet and chic and by the end you will yearn for your own Prince Charming along with a chai latte from Starbucks. Go. Read it now.

I give The Shoe 4/5 stars

The Shoe Book Tour: Little Red

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Title ~ Little Red
Series ~ The Believe Series – Book #1
Author ~ Trista Jaszczak
Genre ~ Romance, Fairytale Retelling
Release Date ~ June 18, 2012
Publisher ~ Front Porch Romance

Synopsis

Fall back in love with fairy tales with, Little Red, the first installment of “The Believe Series” by Trista Jaszczak.

Ride along with Sam Wentworth through the winding back roads of Louisiana, on a desperate escape from her past. Where she falls into the arms of the unlikely and sometimes unwilling hero, Ethan Parker. When circumstances and fate seal the two together, entangling them with his 6 older brothers, feuding families and old bayou magic can Ethan put aside everything he has ever known to keep Sam safe from the dangers their lives and their love poses. Can he keep her safe from himself?

AUTHOR BIO:

Trista Jaszczak (pronounced jazz-ick) is an Air Force wife and mother of two who is originally from Hamilton, Ohio but calls Anchorage, Alaska her home. She’s published 4 novels so far and written more than 30. She has a deep passion for writing, music, her guitar, her kids and her four-legged babies.

 

STALKER LINKS:

Amazon Author Pagehttp://www.amazon.com/Trista-Jaszczak/e/B004MJDHM8/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_6?qid=1373960900&sr=8-6

Website/Bloghttp://www.tristajaszczak.wordpress.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/AuthorTristaJaszczak

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TristaJaszczak

Pinterest – http://pinterest.com/jazzywriter/boards/

Tumblrhttp://authortristajaszczak.tumblr.com/

Goodreadshttp://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4530480.Trista_Jaszczak

Front Porch Romancehttps://www.frontporchromance.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=24_93&zenid=m2tbl6nfihspuddo8gvqililc0

Buy Links

Amazon

Goodreads

My Review:

Jaszczak’s modern retelling of Little Red Riding Hood is both heartwarming and exciting. She retains most of the elements of the fairy tale, Red, though she is not so little in the story, is being chased by her own big, bad wolf and runs into the arms of a pack of seven wolf-like brothers. There’s love and full-moon madness but my absolute favorite part of the book were the seven ‘good wolves.’ Sure, they had their fair share of rage but Jaszczak also included the protective nature of the wolves in writing these characters. It reminded me of one of my favorite musicals, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. You could feel the adoration they all have for Red.

I give Little Red 3.5/5 stars.