Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Armchair BEA: Interview with Carrie from Just One More Chapter (+ Giveaway)

Welcome to Day #3 of Armchair BEA. We've talked about me, my favorite books this year and have had two giveaways.  Today you will get to know another book blogger.  I bring to you today an interview with Carrie from Just One More Chapter.  It was great to get to know Carrie since she only lives about an hour away from me - I didn't even realize there was a book blogger that close by.  Carrie is also pregnant with her first child - a little boy and is due in August.  How fun - I remember the days of being pregnant, so the interview has brought back wonderful memories.  I could probably go on and on (as most of you know), but let's get to know Carrie!

How would you describe your blog in 140 words or less?

Just One More Chapter is a place to explore new worlds through books. Just One More Chapter was started in November 2009 as a way for me to give recommendations of books to the many friends who are always asking. It is a place for you to come read a variety of reviews and explore new books. I also host
giveaways and participate in memes. Just One More Chapter has grown into so much more since I first started it and love that it continues to grow.

The latest post I saw when exploring your blog was The Magnolia League by Katie
Crouch. What made you choose this book to read? (I am dying to read it)

Actually I was just wandering around Barnes and Noble looking for some more books to read like I don't have any here at the house. But I was there before we went on a trip and so I came across it and immediately started reading it. The cover is what drew me in first but I love books dealing with the south so I picked it up!!  I didn’t realize until I got home and started looking for reviews that it hadn’t been
released yet and wasn’t supposed to be out until the following week! Oh well Barnes and Nobles mistake, my gain!!

Crystal: I hear you - I love to wander bookstores to buy a new book even though I don't need any!

What type of books would you say you read the most?

I probably read YA novels the most that seems to be what most of the books on my TBR list are. That being said I love books in general and I don’t try to focus on one genre. I love historical fiction and I have been known to read some non-fiction. I am trying to expand the types of books I read.

What is your favorite book you have read this year?

I honestly couldn’t tell you! I have a hard time picking out favorites in all the books I have read.

What is your favorite book of all time?

This is another hard one! I can’t pick just one but I would have to say Harry Potter is my all time favorite series!

I saw you are expecting your first baby boy in August - have you picked out names yet or are you still working on it?

We are very excited about our baby boy that will be coming into our lives in a few months. Yes we have picked out a name it is Alexander Thomas. My husband came up with Alexander it was just a name he thought of one day when we were driving somewhere. Thomas is after my father who passed away last September. For the most part I think we will just call him Alex in the long run but as of right now he is

How did you end up in Greenvile, NC?

We came to Greenville because of East Carolina University. My husband is in grad school for Industrial/ Organizational Psychology which is a relatively specialized field. East Carolina happens to be one of the top 10 schools with a master’s program.  So when he got accepted we packed up to move. We actually have really enjoyed being in this part of the country but we do know this is just a temporary place.

What is your favorite thing to do on a nice spring day?

I love to just sit outside and enjoy the beautiful weather. I also love to open the windows and doors and let the breeze come in with the sounds of the birds however I cant do that as much here because we don’t have screens on all of the windows and I hate bugs!! I also loved to go ride around on the golf course with my dad and now my husband but now that I am pregnant it gets too hot for me too fast.

What is your favorite room in your house?

My favorite room in this house is guest bathroom. We just had it redone and put in a soaker tub with air jets. We painted it a light blue and added chocolate accents. It is an absolutely wonderful place to get away from everything and relax!!

Crystal:  That sounds dreamy - I think I'm going to come move in with you just to use the tub ;)

What is your favorite snack?

Since I am pregnant this changes frequently cause it is whatever baby wants!! Right now it happens to be honey buns!! I know these aren’t the best but I am obsessed with them. In the beginning of my pregnancy it was kiwi and grapefruit!!

Crystal: I started my first pregnancy craving salads and finished up craving spicy chicken sandwiches - my oldest won't touch anything spicy!

Where is your favorite place to read?

My favorite place to read is laying in bed. I also love to read in the car while my hubby is driving. The pool is a great place to read too!!

Have you explored more of NC? If so where is the best place you have been?

Yes we have explored NC some. We have gone to Charlotte, Statesville, Winston Salem, Raleigh, New Bern, and Atlantic Beach. We love Atlantic Beach its about an hour away and its very easy to make a day trip to the beach!

Crystal: Since I live near Atlantic Beach - I fully agree that it's a great place!

If you had a chance and the stars aligned just right, would you attend BEA in New York?

Yes absolutely!!! I was actually planning on going and registered and everything. I even got my press badge however then I found out I was pregnant so we decided we were still gonna go but then family and friends started talking about showers, etc so now we are going on a 2 ½ week trip. We will drive from here to Louisville, Ky then to Richmond, Ky for a wedding then to Murray KY to visit my best friend, then to
Vicksburg, MS (my hometown) to visit family and friends. It will be a long trip and I will be exhausted afterwards.

Crystal: Wow - I'm exhausted just reading that!

What would you say your main reason for blogging is?

The reason I started blogging was to keep up with what I thought of the books I read and for my family and friends to go to instead of asking me all the time. It has since grown. Now I do it cause it helps other people decide what books to pick and choose. I also still do it to keep a track of what books I have read but I do enjoy that it helps other people as well.

What is one piece of advice you would give to new bloggers?

To get as much material up as you can, don’t focus on followers or receiving ARCs focus on your material for your blog the others will come. Also meet other bloggers and participate in MeMes. The followers will come. Kind of like Build it and they will come from Field of Dreams.

Crystal:  I think that is great advice!

Where is your dream vacation destination?

My dream vacation destination is the Maldives. I have always dreamed about going there. It is so remote that the beaches are virtually untouched and it is absolutely beautiful. We are currently planning on going for our 5 year anniversary. Only 3 more years to go. However I love to travel and we will be going lots of new places before that!!

Have you decorated your nursery yet or picked out how you want to decorate it? If so, what does it look like? (I love nurseries!)
Yes we have been working on the nursery since we found out everything was good to go and what we were having at 18 weeks. We knew before hand whether it was a boy or girl we would be doing some type of jungle theme but once we found out it was a boy we made it into much more of a boyish room. We went and picked out the nursery furniture and went with an espresso finish that I absolutely love. After that we picked out the bedding I originally wanted it to be all neutrals and accent with the jungle animals but my husband found the bedding we choose in a book and we had to have it. It is tan with blue accents. We took the bedding to Lowe’s and they color matched the blue for the walls. We then bought a chocolate glider and ottoman. Our friend is painting artwork for the walls with the various jungle animals on it. We also bought a blue and chocolate zebra rug that goes perfect with the room.  We added a espresso book shelf for decorations and more storage.

Crystal:  Sounds like a dream nursery. 

Thank you so much Carrie for being with us today!  Please head to her blog if you haven't visited before and say hi.

Giveaway #3:

Give Carrie a piece of parenting advice, it can be serious, funny, or an anecdote of what your kids have done to make her laugh or terrify her (in a good way) - I could do those ;), or a favorite parenting book  and you will be entered to win 2 books from my book selection page (which I am adding more to later today).  Open to US/Canada only, ends 5/30.


Book Review: Popular by Alissa Grosso

PopularPopular by Alissa Grosso
Publish Date: May 8, 2011
Paperback, 336 pages 
Fiction, Young Adult, Contemporary
 ISBN: 978-0738727998

My Review:
Why I read this: I'm a sucker at a look at the popular girls from their point of view, especially when things aren't so perfect.  And this really sounds like a good book, secrets, a girl who is looking for identity and facing the end of high school.

My thoughts:  One thing that jumps out at me about this book is it rings true.  I've been a high school girl, though not one of the popular girls, but it doesn't matter where you are in the clique hierarchy, girls are girls.  Popular shows this.  It also shows how even girls that seem to have it all together have their doubts and I really liked this.  What I got from this book wasn't what I expected, but I raced right through it all the same.  It's not a Gossip Girl or The Clique book, this isn't about the glamor of being a popular girl.  This is more about what it's like to blindly follow in a popular girls' footstep or to be that popular girl and have people following you.  It's about the fears that go into the Senior year of how it will never be the same.  It's about real life as a high school girl.

That's not to say the book is without drama.  There cannot be a story of high school girls that doesn't involve some sort of drama and there is plenty of drama in this book, but I also thought there was a lot to think about.  There is jealousy and boyfriend issues and then the biggest surprise of all is what Hamilton's secret is.  I have to say I was blown away.  I can't say anymore because I don't want to ruin the book for anyone.

So if you enjoy contemporary young adult books, give this 2011 debut author, Alissa Grosso a try and let me know what you think.  I don't think you will be disappointed.  I think Popular has something to appeal to everyone.

My Rating: 4.5/5.0

About the Book:
For reigning popularity queen Hamilton Best, the very idea of graduation is filled with fear. She's always been the star of Fidelity High's most exclusive clique, idolized for her perfection and her fabulous parties—you know you're "in" when you make Hamilton's guest list. As high school draws to a close, Hamilton is about to lose everything that makes her who she is.

To make matters worse, the clique is slowly coming apart at the seams. Although the hand-picked members—Olivia, Zelda, Nordica, and Shelly—all have their own agendas, desires, and secrets, they do have one thing in common: they're desperate to break away from Hamilton. Yet Hamilton has the biggest and most shocking secret of all, one that only her devoted boyfriend Alex knows. If the truth got out, it would completely destroy her fragile world.

And she'll do anything to keep that from happening.

About the Author: 

Early Days and Education
Alissa was born in Hackensack, New Jersey in 1975. She grew up in the Garden State living in Hackensack, Ramsey and later Byram Township, NJ.

She graduated from Lenape Valley Regional High School in Stanhope, NJ where she ran on the cross country and track teams. She earned a B.A. in English from Rutgers University graduating with highest honors and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa.

Professional Life
Alissa worked for Waterloo Foundation for the Arts while attending college as well as after graduating from college in a number of different capacities. She later worked for the Eastern Monroe Public Library in Stroudsburg, PA where she worked in both the circulation and youth services departments, and was the Children's Coordinator for Norway Memorial Library in Norway, ME. She also worked as an editor and writer for Journal Newspapers in White Haven, PA. She presently works as an independent library sales representative for Unique Books, Inc. and is the author of the forthcoming YA novel Popular.

What She's Doing Now

After living for several years in Pennsylvania and briefly in Maine, Alissa has returened to New Jersey and presently lives in Clinton.  When she isn't visiting libraries or busy playing outdoors, she is hard at work on her next novel. 


Teen Book Scene is hosting a giveaway of one copy of Popular, and it's open internationally.  Just comment on this post and for more entries to win, go to other posts during the tour and comment on them.  Giveaway will end a few days after the end of the tour and will be announced on A Good Addiction.  Be sure and come back on June 7th when I have my character interview with Nordica, for another chance to enter.

FTC Information: I bought this book for my Kindle for the Teen Book Scene tour and my honest review.  I have Amazon links on my review pages but I do not make any money from these because of NC laws.  I put them solely for people to check out the books on a retail site.