Creative Crush

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I’m constantly inspired by so many amazing people online. From artists, to bloggers, to designers, and writers. There is just so much awesome creativity going on in the world!

I’ve been thinking about this for a while now and trying to figure out the best way to share these things with you.

It finally came to me: Creative Crush is a way to share sites, work, and whatever else that makes me say oooooooohhhhhhhhh! I hope you enjoy!

Lately, I’ve had a major Creative Crush on Jenny and Aaron from Everyday is a Holiday! I found Jenny’s Instagram one day and have been in love ever since (and not just because they live on the Jersey Shore!) Their style is AMAZING! It is classic, yet somehow fresh and new at the same time! They have this way with pinks and aquas that totally makes me sigh. Pops of colors, fun cupcakes, bunnies, and adorable 50ish looking girls…just so much love!

I ordered a “workshop in a box” called Lovely Ladies, Layers, and Lines from them over the summer and had so much fun with it. They even put some adorable presents in the box. I learned so much and totally apply it to a lot of my art. Jenny and Aaron are just so classic and awesome! (See why I’m calling this a Creative Crush!)

When I heard they had a book coming out, I immediately put it on my wish list! I couldn’t wait to get my bling on it! I wasn’t disappointed! I devoured it and even bought a copy for my Mama for Christmas. She loved it, too!

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This book is filled with tons of adorableness! I want to stay home in my jammies and create everything in this book at least a zillion times! Major Creative Crush here!

I love their super cute coupleness (is that word), too! They work together and enjoy it so. True love is pretty important in my life and I love to see other couples who have found their soul mates! It makes my Schmoopy loving heart gush!

I find myself falling in love with their style over and over again. Just this morning, I sketched this cutie girl after a few minutes on their blog. I think I’ll draw her in my art journal soon and give her the candy pink hair she deserves!

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I hope you check out these to super adorable artists! I’m sure you will develop a Creative Crush of your own!

Check out the Everyday is a Holiday blog here

Check out the Everyday is a Holiday shop here

Don’t forget to check out their super awesome book, too!


That Shady Kind of Book Pass

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This week I’ve been proudly watching the monsters pass around A.S. King’s Reality Boy and Andrew Smith’s Grasshopper Jungle. They get that kind of shady, far away look in their eyes as they hand it off. They start to whisper without meaning to, because they have the best secret in the whole freaking world,  right in their hands. They act they are doing something so wrong it just has to be right. It’s totally epic. I get it. It’s real. In my head they are passing secrets and truth and everything that really matters when they start that shady kind of book pass.

I remember passing books just like that. The ones that were so amazing they made you feel like you were punched in the face, but somehow in a good way. Books like this are raw. They hurt. You ache when you read these books and you want everyone to read them. You need to share these words with the world.

They really yelled at my teenage brain. The ones that  me feel a little less crazy or weird or unusual. Or, even better, that made me feel that my kind of crazy-weird-unusual wasn’t so messed up after all. These are the kinds of books that made me feel like if “they” knew we were reading books like these, they’d take them away or I’d be in big trouble. These books make us think about our demands, because good books really are about everything.

I’m so freaking proud to be a teacher every day! But, damn, on days like these, I want to scream and yell to anyone that will listen, “LOOK AT THESE AMAZING SASSY HUMANS! They are everything that is everything the world! BE AMAZED BY THEIR AWESOME!”

A bit much? Nope! My monsters are really are that epic.

Thank you, A.S. King. Thank you, Andrew Smith.

You are pretty freaking epic, too!

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Reality Boy by A.S. King

A. S. King is one of my writing heroes. Her books just amaze me. I don’t know how she does it, but I’m so thankful for the magical way she puts words together. Her books really make the world more awesome!

When Amy at Lady Reader’s Book Stuff asked me to be part of her Red Carpet Book Tour of Reality Boy, I couldn’t say yes fast enough!

Then I got the book in the mail and this happened:
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This was meant to be. Jane’s Addiction is my all time favorite band. OMG! is an understatement!! And, as usual, King’s writing doesn’t disappoint. Reality Boy is freaking EPIC.

I dove right in and was immediately hooked. Gerald was on a reality show when he was five. He had this bad habit of pooping in unusual places, like the dining room table or mom’s favorite shoes, when he was angry. He was crying out for help, but he never really got the help he needed. Even all these years later people still call him Crapper. It haunts him. His older sister, Tasha, tortures him constantly and relentlessly, his other sister, Lisi, took off for college on the other side of the world as soon as she could. His dad works and drinks to forget, and his mom totally ignores all of the insanely disgusting things Tasha does (think loud bedroom noises coming from the basement while the rest of the family is eating dinner). Gerald is trying to keep himself together, use techniques he’s learning in anger management,

I really wanted to jump into Gerald’s life and save him. Ugh! I had to put the book down several times because I was so freaking angry. That’s a great story!

Reality Boy is a must read. A total 5 Bling Book!

If you click the link above, I will earn a small profit from Amazon. Any proceeds are used to buy books for my 8th grader students and for blog prizes.

A.S. King’s Reality Boy & a Contest, too!

I love every A. S. King book I’ve ever read. She is a total fave of mine! My friend L. Moon and I call her “asking” and it makes us laugh (because we are 12). So, when the mega fabulous Amy at Lady Reader’s Bookstuff asked me to be a stop on her book tour, I said, “Heck Yes!” (and totally screamed a little as I was responding to her email, because, OMG A.S. King’s new book in my hands so super fast yay!)

Check out all of this awesome going on for REALITY BOY! It totally rocks!




Gerald Faust knows exactly when he started feeling angry: the day his mother invited a reality television crew into his five-year-old life. Twelve years later, he is still haunted by his rage-filled youth—, which the entire world got to watch from every imaginable angle—and his anger issues have resulted in violent outbursts, zero friends, and clueless adults dumping him in the special education room at school. 
Nothing is ever going to change. No one cares that he has tried to learn to control himself, and the girl he likes has no idea who he really is. Everyone is just waiting for him to snap…and he is starting to feel dangerously close to doing just that. 
 In this fearless portrayal of a boy on the edge, highly acclaimed Printz Honor author A.S. King explores the desperate reality of a former child “star” who finally breaks free of his anger by creating possibilities he never knew he deserved.

JL


A.S. King is the author of the 2012 Los Angeles Times Book Prize Winner, Ask the Passengers, Everybody Sees the Ants, a 2012 ALA Top Ten Book for Young Adults and Andre Norton Award nominee, and the Edgar Award nominated, 2011 Michael L. Printz Honor Book Please Ignore Vera Dietz.

 She is also the author of the ALA Best Books for Young Adults Dust of 100 Dogs, an adult short story collection, Monica Never Shuts Up, and the upcoming REALITY BOY (2013). 


After a decade living self-sufficiently and teaching literacy to adults in Ireland, she now lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and children.


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Just like Hazel

Just like Hazel’s love for An Imperial Affliction, I can’t stop reading The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. I’m listening to it in the car now (I saw it at the library and grabbed it!). It is beauty and magic and perfection all at once. It leaves me, quite like Hazel’s constant state, breathless.

When one of my dear friends mom was diagnosed with the big ugly C, we watched ever cancer movie there was. It helped her cope and heal with the giant suck fest that is cancer. When my dad got a similar diagnosis some years later, our healing time was bad comedy & lame SciFi. I didn’t read cancer books or watch cancer movies. I got angry, sad, and very afraid. So, when I heard Green’s new book was, in fact, about the big C, I ditched it for a long time. I wasn’t going to read a cancer book. But, I love John Green. I love the way he makes me laugh right after he made me cry or scream eff bombs, even though I’m trying not to cuss (you can take the girl out of Jersey…). That’s pretty dang epic. So, of course, it was just a matter of time before TFiOS made its way to my reading pile. It is, like An Imperial Affliction, the book, my book. It has become part of me in a way that a tiny few books ever have or ever will.

This was me yesterday, pulled over on the side of the road, crying, & trying to breathe

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I know the story. I know what’s going to happen. It makes it worse, actually, the knowing. And I love/hate it.

What’s your book?

I’m blogging along with Effy Wild this month. Join us!
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AWESOME YALL FEST PIC ROUND UP!

My super adorable friend Laura & I set out on an adventure to Charleston, SC for YALL FEST! It was an awesome trip filled with tons of book love! Here are a few of our favorite pics from the weekend. Yay books!

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My new YALL FEST shirt

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Cassie Clare & Holly Black

My ticket to meet Cassie Clare. Alas, it wasn’t in the cards that day. Sad Panda!

Adam Gidwitz rocks Grimm with tons of sass! Love it!

Trenton Lee Stewart! Love his Mysterious Benedict Society series!!

David Levithan. I love the way he makes the world a better place with every awesome book he writes!

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Gayle Forman…OMG! Love her!

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Laura & I on a bike taxi! Check out the cool reflection in her glasses! So fun!

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Carrie Ryan…then I died! Love her!! Also, LOVE HER!

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The coolest YALL FEST volunteer around!

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Laura with her fave, Stephanie Perkins

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Laura with Carrie Ryan. Did I mention that I love these two?!?!

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My new favorite necklace by the amazing www.hebeldesign.com Love her work!

Today I am…talking about bullying at Uniquely Moi Books!

I stopped by Uniquely Moi books to give my teacher perspective on bullying.

Check it out and you could win a copy of A.S. King’s epically awesome EVERYBODY SEES THE ANTS. ANTS is an awesome book about bullying, the kind of wounds we can see, and the kind scars that we can’t. (And also because I totally love everything she writes and you should too!)

 Read the post here!

Sending ASK THE PASSENGERS my love!

5 Blings for Ask the Passengers

5 Blings! for Ask the Passengers

Wow! I just finished A.S. King’s ASK THE PASSENGERS. Her words live, as they always do, like magic, like the perfect hug, like a tattoo that gets inked onto all that you are and ever were, like the one thing you need to hear at the right time to know that everything really will be ok.

Sending you my love, but not all of it. ♥

Read ASK THE PASSENGERS. Your heart will thank you.

Here’s my thank you to Amy for these amazing words:

I just finished Ask the Passengers. I’m sending you my love. But not all of it. Just enough for you to know that you are so loved and your words are beautiful and there are so many that will hold those words close to their hearts the way I am now. I am smiling just thinking about it.
I’m also kind of upset that I pronounce Socrates wrong in my head, every time, because of Bill & Ted. Maybe I should send them some of my love, too.
Thank you for all of the ♥

Please remember that love is love.

We all have love to give and we are all worthy of being loved. 

 

Finally! AS King’s New Book!! Ask the Passengers!

Yup, I totally love A.S. King. She rocks my whole face off.

I’ve been waiting for this book for at least a million years (or a few months, whatevs). It arrived on my doorstep Friday. And I devoured it. I love it. I kinda wanna marry it. (just kidding…maybe).

Go read it. Now! 

Ask the Passengers ROCKS! 5 Blings!

I don’t even get mad (just sad) that she isn’t at the book events I go to. Why? Because she keeps writing awesome books…but I do want to meet her someday. Totally say hey, hang, and buy her a round or two. Instant BFF’s-I think so!

Check out what she has in the works (more things for me to love, and pet, and drool on):

Printz Honor author A.S. King’s REALITY BOY, in which an infamous reality TV child star, now a damaged teenage boy, meets a girl who forces him out of his angry shell before they run away and send their dysfunctional families a list of demands that must be met in order for them to come back, to Andrea Spooner at Little, Brown Children’s, for publication in Fall 2013, by Michael Bourret at Dystel & Goderich Literary Management (World English).

Luke Reynolds, ed.’s BREAK THESE RULES, an anthology of first-person accounts from leading authors for teens (including Sara Zarr, Kathryn Erskine, A.S. King and Gary Schmidt, and many others), from which all royalties will be donated to the Children’s Defense Fund, to Lisa Reardon at Chicago Review Press, by Ammi-Joan Paquette at Erin Murphy Literary Agency (World).

Ashes & Shadows…Ilsa J. Bick Rocks This Post!

So, you may remember when I read Ilsa J. Bick‘s Ashes.

It freaked me out & kept me up at night.

I LOVED IT!
ASHES-5 Creepy Blings!
It also ended in a OMG! WHAT THE WHAT! cliffhanger! I totally love/hated how Ilsa rocked those last two pages!

Finally, finally, finally, Shadows is here! And, let me tell you, it is Ashes on overdrive! Just as amazing, way more awesome, and (if this is even possible) totally more disgusting and extreme. It rocks!
Shadows gets 5 Creepy Blings, too!

I am the happiest girl ever today to be able to present you with a post written by the AWESOME Ilsa J. Blick herself! WOOT!

Overview of characters Part 1 – For Books and Bling – Mandee
Need a quick refresher, of who’s who before you read SHADOWS? Well, you won’t get much in SHADOWS, but if you DO need to a memory-jog, read on.
If you haven’t read ASHES, shame on you. But don’t despair, you’ve got time.
In any event, BEWARE: spoilers ahead. Really, if you’ve not read ASHES, don’t go any further. Not only will you ruin the perfectly good time you might have had—because no synopsis can do justice to a novel—you will miss a lot of vital information that I can’t include.
Just saying.

Alex Adair: living with her aunt in Illinois after her mom, an ER doc, and dad, a cop, died in a helicopter crash three years ago. Suckier still, Alex carries a monster in her head: an inoperable brain tumor that’s stolen her sense of smell and many of her memories, especially those of her parents. After two years of failed chemotherapy, radiation, and experimental regimens, Alex has decided to call the shots for a change. As the novel opens, Alex has run off on what might well be a one-way backpacking trek through the Waucamaw Wilderness in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. She intends to honor her parents’ last wishes and scatter their ashes from Mirror Point on Lake Superior. As it happens, she’s also got her dad’s service Glock, just in case she opts out of a return. After the Zap, Alex gets her sense of smell back in spades: a super-sense that also allows her to intuit emotions and, on one occasion, get a glimmer of what’s going on inside the mind of a wolf. Which is pretty funky. Much more to the point and like the dogs, she is able to detect the bloated roadkill stink of the Changed. Oh, and all of a sudden, every dog is her new best friend.

Ellie Cranford: sullen, uncooperative, a trifle whiny, a kid Alex has to keep herself from slapping silly. What can you say? The kid’s eight. Her dad’s KIA in Iraq; her mother split years back; and Ellie’s now being cared for by her grandfather, Jack, who might have the patience of a saint, but cut the kid a break. She hates camping, and it’s not like she hasn’t got good reason to be a little pissy anyway. Initially rescued by Alex and then Tom, Ellie is kidnapped by some very nasty adults who see her as a meal ticket.
Mina: Ellie’s dog, a Belgian Malinois, and formerly her dad’s MWD (military working dog). Mina also has the patience of a saint and packs a mean bite. The nasty adults take her, too.

Tom Eden: a young soldier and explosive ordinance specialist on leave from Afghanistan; a competent guy who complements Alex in a lot of ways. After Alex fends off a pack of wild dogs, Tom saves both Ellie and Alex by shooting his buddy, Jim, who’s gone through a major lifestyle change. Steady and calm, someone to whom Alex is instantly attracted, Tom also has a few secrets of his own. The biggest is just why he’s in the Waucamaw to begin with. Once they leave the (relative) safety of the Waucamaw—we’re talking wild dogs, booby traps, and kids who’ve suddenly decided that people make excellent Happy Meals—Tom is shot while trying to prevent the nasty adults from stealing Ellie.

Check out Ashes, if you haven’t. Get your hands on Shadows right away! And, of course, give the brillantly ewie Ilsa J. Bick some major creep out love!

A HUGE Books and Bling thank you filled with love for Ilsa. For both writing this post and creeping me out in a way that just makes me want MORE!
You totally rock!

Ilsa J. Bick rocked these books!

5 Blings! for both Ashes & Shadows!

5 Blings! for Ilsa J. Bick!