I Went to Texas Teen Book Festival!

Last Saturday I hopped along with my school librarian to the Texas Teen Book Festival. This was my first time attending, and my second time doing anything where I met the author. Yes, she dragged me to that event (Ernest Cline) too. 🙂

I didn’t buy many books because teachers are broke this time of year, and I’m starting to think I’m just perpetually broke, but I did get a few books…and got them signed!

The keynote speaker was Sonia Manzano, who played Maria on Sesame Street. I didn’t know she was the keynote until I arrived. I didn’t do any research for this event, but I was very surprised and impressed by what she had to say.

***** The Authors *****

There were a bunch of great panelists present at #TTBF15. Images courtesy of Texas Teen Book Festival.

***** Who I Saw *****

I went to a few panels and also to Sophia’s keynote speech.

No Risk, No Reward Panel – Authors Jesse Andrews, Cindy Pon, David Levithan, and Carry Ryan talked about the risks they take in their writing processes and in writing about “edgy” subjects for teens.

I liked David Levithan’s response best: Depression, suicide, LGBTQ, etc. are not “edgy” things to write about. They are real. 

Keynote – Sonia Manzano talked about the background of her book, Becoming Maria. She reiterated what many people say in that despite a person’s struggles they can make something of themselves. She disagreed – it is because of their struggles that they succeed. Her struggles through childhood and the conflicting images and feelings and situations that were perpetuated throughout are what lead her to become Maria on Sesame Street.

Future Possible Panel – Authors Pierce Brown, Claudia Gray, Sophie Jordan, Jenny Martin, Rick Yancy talked about the future settings of their books and a lot about killing off characters. (No spoilers!) I also learned that Rick Yancy is terrified of the hair that accumulates in the bathtub drain. And Pierce Brown writes in the woods. Claudia Gray also does not believe there is such a thing as writer’s block.

Even though these books are set in the future, I liked that Pierce Brown and Rick Yancy both spoke to the need for honesty in writing character, particularly when it comes to their reactions and emotions. If authors are trying to force or contrive a plotline or character, readers will feel the insincerity and see right through that attempt.

Closing – Libba Bay and David Levithan presented their friendship to the audience in three acts, including a slideshow of pictures and a reenactment of sections of the book they are working on together as well as a reading out of one of David’s books. It was hilarious.

I discovered Libba, who has gorgeous hair and is just all around kick-ass, sings in a band, so she sang a song for us. I also learned that if you ever want to become a YA author, you want David Levithan to be your friend. He is where it is at.

***** Ze Pictures! *****

Our start to the day! My librarian, another teacher at my school, the other teacher’s friend, and me!
When you’re first in line and bring a record for Sophia Manzano to sign, she does wacky things!
Doesn’t Libba just look badass?
Jesse Andrews is so cute!
The distinguished Rick Yancy.
My friend presenting her C is for Cookie record for Sophia Manzano to sign.
Sophia after signing the record.
She was so excited to see Sophia Manzano!
I can only think about the photobomb!
And still it didn’t get better…
Winner! Winner! Chicken Dinner!
Those authors tho…
Star Wars Game!
Sophia Jordan doing her best Light Saber pose
Aaron Hartzler took the cake!
David Levithan and Libba Bray closing the show.

I would also like to add that I talked quite a bit with Sophia Jordan when she signed my book, which I was inspired to buy after hearing her talk about the killer kid gene. Yep, it fits right in with teacher life.


***** The Books *****

I only bought three books at TTBF15. I was saving some for my school’s book fair, which started this week, but here’s what I got:

My baby haul from #TTBF15.
Jenn Marie Thorne pre-signed her books!
Sophia Jordan was the absolute sweetest and she took her time meeting and talking to her readers.

WWW Wednesdays (September 30)


This is a weekly meme hosted hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words. To join in answer the following three questions and hop over to Sam’s and leave your link.

What are you currently reading? 

I decided to finish out the series I was reading for September is for Series. It will bring closure to the Arboretti family for me.

Secret Admirer – Arboretti Family #4

Lady Tuesday Arlington has always used her painting as a refuge from the nightmares that plague her sleep. When her husband is murdered in a setting that uncannily resembles one of Tuesday’s paintings, the young widow becomes the prime suspect.

Lawrence Pickering, the Earl of Arden and an investigator in service of Queen Elizabeth I, begins to follow Tuesday’s every move, certain of her guilt—until Tuesday becomes a target herself. Intrigued by her knowledge of the crime scenes as well as her stunning beauty, Lawrence vows to protect her. But how can he stop a killer who appears capable of the impossible—invading Tuesday’s mind?

 What did you just finish reading?

I finished Bread of the Dead. I stayed up so many late nights reading and reading and reading.

It is set in Santa Fe and is based around the Mexican traditions of Day of the Dead, which will soon be upon us (October 31-November 2). It is a day to celebrate and honor friends and family who have died and to aid them in their spiritual journey. This is the setting and background for the book, which was not new information for me, but the way the characters spoke about the traditions and their loved ones, and one another, was something I wasn’t privy to growing up in Texas, despite learning quite a bit about the customs.

The MC had me cracking up throughout, and I was really rooting for her. She had some scatterbrained moments, and I was disappointed she never stood up to her ex-husband’s constant insults, but I enjoyed her character very much, and especially her boss! Flora is a hoot!

I also finished Lady Killer, the third book in the Arboretti Family series. This is my second book towards the September is for Series challenge.

I loved Clio’s character. She kept everyone on their feet. She’s like the underdog that everyone comes to love and protect and support in her endeavors, despite their orders otherwise. I thought she was a very flawed (conflicted?) character but in the best of ways.

I really enjoyed the premise of the plot. It is quite a bit like the story behind Jack the Ripper, but set in Venice during Elizabethan time with a few other distinguishing characteristics.

 What do you think you’ll read next?

Next I’m going to read Treasured Lies before I start in on my holiday books, which I am SO excited for this year! This is the second book in the Treasured Secrets series by Kendall Talbot. If only I could have gotten to this book during September too…sigh.

The discovery of The Flying Seahorse, a 13th century shipwreck, nearly killed Archer’s two best friends. Now, with their recovery assured and his fiancĂ©e back at his side, Archer can finally hunt for the treasure that has haunted him since his father’s death years before.

Rosalina learned things about herself that she didn’t expect: her capacity to love, her capacity to forgive and her capacity to do whatever it takes to protect the people she loves. Shooting Nox with a spear gun saved Archer’s life, and brought them back together — this time forever. Now she’s with her fiancĂ©, in the beautiful Mediterranean, with a real chance of ending the guilt that’s tortured Archer for two decades.

But Nox isn’t dead, and he hasn’t given up. Archer and Rosalina may believe that they are safe, but nothing could be further from the truth. What once was about treasure is now about revenge — and it’s very, very personal.

 How about you? What are you reading this week?

Leave a comment with your answers! Share the link to your WWW Wednesday post OR leave your answers in the comments if you don’t have a blog. Happy Reading! 🙂

Blitz + Giveaway: Entropy

Title: Entropy
Author: Robert Raker
Publisher: Wattle Publishing
Release Date: November  2013
Length: 232 pages
Series?: no
Genre: Crime, Drama

Find the book: Goodreads | Amazon | iBooks | Kobo

When a series of child abductions and murders disrupt the life of an economically blighted community, the consequences have far-reaching implications. The brutal crimes take a different toll on a disparate group of individuals; the scuba diver who retrieves the children’s bodies; the disfigured cellist who thinks he knows who’s responsible; the undercover federal agent; and the mother of one of the victim’s. United in a situation not of their choosing, they are forced to take a deep, introspective look into their intersected, yet isolated lives.

***** Excerpt – The Diver *****

The bloated, distended corpses of the people whose shortened lives I had retrieved from the water were clearly visible in the immature patterns of condensation that evaporated gradually on the mirror. I stood there staring, waiting to hear her tap gently against the bathroom door. She had done that so many times in the last few years. I often didn’t notice her, as she politely sought acknowledgement, before coming into the most vulnerable of places. I now wasn’t quite sure if I wanted to hear her anymore.

Earlier, after I didn’t hear her rise after I left our bedroom, I slid back the glass door to the shower, slowly twisted the end of the brass faucet and let the water run for a few minutes. I watched the quick, sudden burst cover the floor, the droplets clinging to the white and salmon bath sponge that she used. It looked like a wilted flower trapped by its failure to adapt to its environment during a storm.

Some water trickled over the edge of the shower and onto the floor. The level rose to about three-quarters of an inch. It wasn’t draining properly. I crouched down and removed the metal screen on the floor. The water moved left, then right. It caused me to think of the rhythm of her body when she crossed a room, and how ethereal she had looked when she broke the surface of the water when we first swam together. I also remembered how all the pain we had endured had begun in less than twelve feet of water. The water could teach you how to move if you let it.

I had pulled my first body out of less than twelve feet of water over two years ago, from the frigid waters off the coast of Rhode Island. I was a certified swimming and scuba instructor, who taught corporations how to properly use equipment and provided training in recreational and military diving, but I mostly concentrated on commercial diving. I lived under the disruptive surface of the water, in indoor training pools, rivers, oceans, submersed in the water’s reckless and intemperate tenderness.

A civil engineering firm had contracted me to provide training to its employees, in order to repair and construct oil pipeline fittings off the coast of Nova Scotia, in water up to 150 feet deep. I was there in the bitter cold of the North Atlantic for seven months, isolated from the blighted industrial landscapes that corrupted the rural and urban banks of the small town in Pennsylvania where I lived. However for me, there should have never been anything dangerous about water.
Early one dreary, cold morning I arrived at a port in Providence on an oil barge. As I unloaded my equipment onto the docks and prepared to catch a ride, a petroleum worker on another boat cupped his hands over his mouth, outstretched his arms and signaled for me to come over. There was something in the water. Leaving most of my gear left behind I walked tentatively with another worker to the end of the dock, and discovered what appeared to be a body stuck in a drift a few feet below the surface of the water. The torso tapped against the wooden posts that were secured to the inlet floor some ten to fifteen feet from where I stood. We waited for almost an hour for the police to arrive, and I was eventually asked to go into the water because the police diver, who was on call for the area, could not be located. Travel restrictions had also been initiated, as a cold front was moving through, covering most of the East Coast in a dense blanket of sleet and freezing rain.
It wasn’t something that I wanted to do, but I had the most detailed training; more inclusive than any of the others on scene, even though some of them were nearly twenty years older than me. It was a mere matter of circumstance or, if you believed in it, fate. I geared up and through the stinging rain listened to the officer on scene relaying messages from a dispatcher speaking to him on his radio on how to proceed once I had penetrated the water: what to initially look for surrounding the body that might determine an accidental death or a homicide; and how not to compromise the integrity of the forensic scene. The coroner would later determine an exact cause of death after the body was removed, and photographs of the scene and surrounding areas had already been taken. They were requesting that we all remained after I came out of the water, because we were all considered to be material witnesses. As I wasn’t going in very deep, I decided to utilize a snorkel on the surface and hold my breath when I had to. As I made my final preparations, I couldn’t force any spittle from my mouth to clean the inside of the mask. My chest tightened.
The water could teach you how to breathe if you let it.

***** About the Author & Publisher *****

Wattle Publishing is an independent publisher of  fiction, non-fiction and poetry.

Find the publisher: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Robert Raker graduated with a degree in Journalism from the University of Pittsburgh. He currently resides in Philadelphia where he enjoys art, music, literature and live theater. He is currently working on his next novel.
Find the author: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

***** Giveaway *****

Giving away 3 paperback copies of Entropy (US only). Ends October 7th.
This Event Is Brought To You By
If you would like to book your own event, please email whittace@gmail.com for prices and scheduling.

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books To Read If You Like Childhood Adventures


Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly meme feature created at The Broke and the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists. For the list of past topics and future schedule, click here.


Ten Books To Read If You Like Childhood Adventures

Hobart Hucklebuck

cover1000Things are not as they should be in Pennywhistle. Enchanted toasters are not toasting, enchanted sprinklers are not sprinkling and Hobart Hucklebuck’s origami messenger birds are suddenly attacking him. Someone seems to be draining the power from all of the enchanted items in the village. But who could it be and why have they implicated Hobart’s grandfather? The trio’s investigation into the mysterious happenings on Druid Lane gets them into hot water more than once and ultimately brings them dangerously close to disaster not only for themselves, but the entire village of Pennywhistle. Hobart Hucklebuck and his friends must find a way to save – or rescue – his grandfather.

The Land of Stories

11607446I have only read the first book in the series, but I own the next two and plan to read them soon. The Land of Stories tells tells the tale of twins Alex and Conner. Through the mysterious powers of a cherished book of stories, they leave their world behind and find themselves in a foreign land full of wonder and magic where they come face-to-face with the fairy tale characters they grew up reading about.  The classic and beloved fairy tales we grew up with are speckled with interesting quirks and some very interesting twists.

Book 1 – The Wishing Spell

Book 2 – The Enchantress Returns

Book 3 – A Grimm Warning

Book 4 – Beyond the Kingdoms

Kibble Talk

Every once in a while there’s a book that resounds with you long after you’ve turned the last page. Kibble Talk was a story that was very eye opening for me as a reader, as a child and as a pet owner. It made me think of things in a different light, especially my pet. Tawny discovers she can communicate with her Great Dane, Dinky. Dinky explains to Tawny that his fondest wish is to be a tiny lap dog and Tawny promises to help him become one. From helicopters to the five o’clock news, Tawny soon finds out what it means to make a promise to a friend. Along the way, her parents can’t help but question her sanity and her best friend Jenny turns into her worst enemy. Kibble Talk is a heartwarming and funny story. I laughed aloud many times. 🙂

Frankie Dupont

I have read the first two books in the series and I adore them both. Frankie is not your typical boy, but he is determined to hunt down his leads and solve the mysteries. As the series goes along, he starts picking up others into his entourage and I liked seeing him grow in positive ways with these other characters.

Book 1 – Frankie Dupont and the Mystery of Enderby Manor

Book 2 – Frankie Dupont and the Lemon Festival Fiasco

Book 3 – Frankie Dupont and the Science Fair Sabatoge

Book 4 – Frankie Dupont and the High Seas Hiest

Maisy and the Missing Mice

Maisy is a lot like Frankie Dupont, except she operates alone. Soley alone. And she takes payment in cherry lollipops. Unfortunately for Maisy, she is hot on the trail but her nosing around in this business starts to become a dangerous path for Maisy. Like Frankie, she’s not giving up. She has to outsmart the thief and find the school’s missing mice.

Book 1 – Maisy and the Missing Mice

Book 2 – Maisy and the Money Marauder

Super Cowboy Rides

Such a sweet, fun boy! Six-year-old Tommy Johnson is Super Cowboy and Super Story-teller.Want to build a box to capture wild cats that roam the farm? How about tips on catching a greased pig at the fair, or teaching a stubborn lamb to avoid being trampled by angry milk cows? From the first paragraph, when Tommy explains why a boy needs a dog for a pet instead of a cat, he never ceases to turn a situation into a humorous one. His days at home are all fun and games, until his brothers leave him in the lurch for something, but then he goes to school. And everything changes for Tommy in Super Cowboy Rides.

Deadly Delicious 

Josephine wants to be a regular girl, but her lineage brings fine dining and Creole soul food…laced with voodoo. There is a secret ingredient, of course, which is why it is Deadly Delicious. Josephine comes from a long line of conjure witches with spellbinding culinary skills. Despite her reputation for ruin when it comes to cooking and magic, Josephine discovers she’s the most wanted witch. She decides to delve into a little conjure, nothing major, just the usual recipes for undying friendship and revenge. Everything’s going good until the people of Paris start turning into zombies with a strange fondness for cake.

Prince Iggy

Prince-Iggy-and-the-Tower-of-DecisionsAll Iggy Rose wants is for the kids at the Naysayer Academy to like him. Instead, he gets teased and taunted. Every day, he eats alone in the cafeteria and gets beaten up after school on the playground. But when a cruel prank leads to Iggy’s escape from the academy, a wild, unimaginable adventure begins. Why is King Naysayer offering a hefty reward for Iggy’s capture? When Iggy joins forces with an eclectic cast of characters, he discovers the answer. But before he can escape from the kingdom of Naysayer, Iggy must first reclaim what is rightfully his.

In the second book, Iggy sets off with the Rose Kingdom subjects, meets the deceitful Rose Star and must enter the Tower of Decisions and come out on the other side to be ruler of the Rose Kingdom.

Book 1 – Prince Iggy and the Kingdom of Naysayer

Book 2 – Prince Iggy and the Tower of Decisions

Broken Branch Falls

Doing homework for bully ogres and getting laughed at as the butt of pixie pranks, Gabe is tired of his goblin life. When he and his friends step out of their nerdy stereotype and pull a prank of their own on the dragons at the first football game, it literally backfires, bringing a High Council vote to dismantle not only Gingko High, but the whole town, too!

The Book of Ages–hidden handbook of the High Council, filled with knowledge and power–may be Gabe’s only hope. With the help of friends old and new, can Gabe complete his quest to find the Book in time to save Broken Branch Falls? Or will he remain an outcast forever?

Relics of Mysticus

The Serpent's Ring (Relics of Mysticus, #1)I have read all three in the Relics of Mysticus series and I LOVED the books. Another sibling duo, Evan and Claire, find adventure and trouble in a magical land. The overarching story that they discover is woven within the three books in an incredible way, and the writing is wonderful. The author did an incredible job with the world building and it the first book is based loosely on Norse mythology. The journey continues in the second book with Native American culture and the final book is based on Arthurian legend.

Book 1 – The Serpent’s Ring

Books 2 – The Trickster’s Totem

Book 3 – The Dragon’s Egg

Read This Round Up #52

bookshelfPhoto courtesy of Caroline Andrus

Welcome to Read This, a collection of book reviews and giveaways that were posted in the past week or so from around the web. This is a collection of book reviews & contests from real reviewers. If you want to be included in the next edition start with the guidelines, then use the submission form.

Want to read more reviews? Check out Read This for a list of the latest reviews and stellar reviewers. You can also follow on twitter for the latest round ups. Read This is now accepting photo submissions for each edition.
























Sunday Post (September 27)

Sunday PostThe Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news, a post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things received, and share news about what is coming up on the blog for the week ahead. To get in on the Sunday funday, see the rules here: Sunday Post Meme.  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This week seemed like a whirlwind. It’s hard to believe this coming week is already the end of the first grading period. One sixth of the year is nearly done!

On Saturday my school librarian took me along to Texas Teen Book Festival. It was my first time going and I enjoyed it. Look for more about that this week!

~ Last Week  on G1000W ~

~ This Week on G1000W ~

  • Monday
  • Tuesday
    • Top Ten Tuesday ~ If You Like Childhood Adventures…
  • Wednesday
    • WWW Wednesday
  • Thursday
    • Thoughts on Thursday ~ Review Archives
    • Review + Giveaway ~ Bread of the Dead
  • Friday
    • Feature Follow Friday

~ Other Giveaways ~

~ Around Town in the Spotlight ~

Blog Ahead Challenge

What’s one more challenge before the year is out?


We all know blogging be stressful, especially during the holiday season. Join Anna @ herding cats & burning soup and Kimberly @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer for the Blog Ahead 2015 Challenge and cut the stress of blogging!

  • Purpose: Increase the number of scheduled blog posts you have ready to publish by 31 posts during the month of October. All post will be scheduled from November 1st or later.
  • Who Can Join: Any blogger or author can join. Brand new, been around for years.Blogger, WordPress or other platform. Any heat level, genre or theme, etc. If you blog
you’re welcome to join!
  • Types of Posts that Count: Any finished posts count! Meme, review, guest post, interview, discussion. Top Ten Posts, Favorites posts, Shopping Guide Posts, Cooking posts, pet posts, photo posts, etc. Posts do NOT have to be book related.
  • Required: The post must be complete and scheduled from November 1, 2015 onward. (So not just blurb, buy links, etc for a review post. The review needs to be complete for the post to count.)

Go sign up here!

My goal is to get as many posts for November onward scheduled as possible. My ultimate goal is 31, which would be one post per day in October, but I’m also realistic, so I’ll be happy if I get 15-20 completed.