Tag Archives: Chronicle Books

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Girl Meets Boy Edited by Kelly Milner Halls

“What do guys and girls really think? Twelve of the most dynamic and engaging YA authors writing today team up for this one-of-a-kind collection of he said/she said stories, he tells it from the guys’ point of view, she tells it from the girls’. These are stories of love and heartbreak. There’s the good-looking jock who falls for a dangerous girl, and the flipside, the toxic girl who never learned to be loved; the basketball star and the artistic (and shorter) boy she never knew she wanted; the gay boy looking for love online and the girl who could help make it happen. Each story in this unforgettable collection teaches us that relationships are complicated because there are two sides to every story.”

Welcome to the Stiletto Storytime stop for the Girl Meets Boy: Because There Are Two Sides to Every Story Blog Tour. I can’t tell you how excited I am to be a part of this tour. What a refreshingly, fun idea that resulted in some really great two sided stories that stay with you long after you’ve turned the last page. Honest, open and impossible to put down this new collection of stories is one not to miss. There truly is a little something for everyone in this short story collection by an amazing group of young adult authors.

As always with the fabulously unique Chronicle Books there are lots of goodies within this blog tour. You can check out the video book trailer or look into writing your own version of one of the stories in this Wattpad Contest with lots of great prizes for the budding writer. Speaking of prizes…

Book Giveaway

One special reader here at Stiletto Storytime will win a copy of Girl Meets Boy signed by all 12 contributing authors courtesy of Chronicle Books! It’s really a great prize to be had since in my opinion this is such a great collaboration of YA talent. Giveaway ends midnight EST February 14, 2011. US and Canada address only please. Winner will be chosen by random.org and notified by e-mail address. Good Luck to all and Happy Reading!

To enter simply leave a comment below letting us know what young adult author you would like to see in a collaboration of this type. Who really writes characters you truly love and admire? Perhaps they write great from both the female and male perspective or maybe they have only written one side and you’d love to see the other? Just let us know…who knows maybe someday it will happen!

Want extra entries? You can get an extra entry by doing any of the following:

Be/Become a Follower of Stiletto Storytime

Be/Become a Follower Stiletto Storytime on Twitter

Be/Become a Follower of Chronicle Books on Twitter

Tweet or Blog about this Blog Tour & Giveaway (Please leave link in comments)


Filed under Blog Tour, Contests, New Books, Short Story Collections, Young Adult Books

Book Birthday: How I Stole Johnny Depp’s Alien Girlfriend by Gary Ghislain

Happy Book Birthday to How I Stole Johnny Depp’s Alien Girlfriend by Gary Ghislain.

“David Gershwin’s summer is about to take a turn for the weird. When his dad’s new patient Zelda tells him she’s from outer space and on a quest to take Johnny Depp back to her planet, he knows he should run away screaming. But with one look from her mean, green eyes, David’s hooked, and soon he’s leaping across rooftops, running from police, and stealing cars just to stay by her side. He might not be a typical hero, but David’s going to get the girl even if it takes him to the ends of the earth—or beyond.”

Ooh-la-la…it’s a zany out of this world french adventure. I’ll be honest…there is no secret to the universe hidden within it’s pages but this quirky book will keep you reading just to see what the author can think of next. It’s exactly what you would expect out of a title like “How to Steal Johnny Depp’s Alien Girlfriend’. Surprising however was the authors gift with character creation, these are characters that you will not soon forget and even the minor cast will have your imagination piqued. Settle in one afternoon for a wild ride and expect laughs the whole way!

A great read for any teen or adult (male or female) but a fantastic choice for the reluctant readers out there. If this won’t pull them in…I don’t know what will.

Book Giveaway

Thanks to the amazingly creative and always generous Chronicle Books one lucky reader of Stiletto Storytime will win their very own copy of How I Stole Johnny Depp’s Alien Girlfriend. Giveaway ends midnight EST June 27, 2011. US and Canada address only please. Winners will be chosen by random.org and notified by e-mail address. Good Luck to all and Happy Reading!

To enter simply

Want extra entries? You can get an extra entry by doing any of the following:

Be/Become a Follower of Stiletto Storytime

Be/Become a Follower Stiletto Storytime on Twitter

Be/Become a Follower Chronicle Books on  Twitter

Tweet or Blog about this “Book Birthday” Giveaway (Please leave links in comments)


Filed under Book Birthday, Contests, New Books, Young Adult Books

Sunday Picture Book Picks

I guiltily admit is has been a bit since I posted my latest picture book picks. It’s not because I’m not reading them just that with Little Man being two…I am often reading the same one over and over. All you parents out there know what I mean…and don’t you dare try to skip a page..they always catch you. However I have been indulging in some great picture books of late. Some by myself and some with Little Man so enjoy and I hope you find one that’s perfect to share with all the little ones in your life.

Rapunzel and the Seven Dwarfs by Willy Caflin.

Illustrated by James Stimson. (Ages 4-8)

It’s a fairy tale mosh pit of fun and you’re invited. The only question about this newest book from Maynard Moose is who will laugh the loudest…you or the children you share it with. From Punzel to the many many dwarfs and a “chubbified” Prince riding a noble white moose..the fun never ends. With tons of fairy tale twists along with hilarious illustrations and plot happenings..it’s the perfect picture  book for older children to enjoy.  While the age designation for this book is 4-8, I would have to say as a children’s librarian you would need to be about 6 to get the humor completely but the book could be enjoyed by children and adults of all ages probably topping out around 12 for the independent reader. This is a really great pick for your older picture book reader….they haven’t heard this story but can identify the many they have within and the humor will keep them from thinking it’s for “babies” simply because it is in picture book form. If you enjoyed The Uglified Duck, you will love Rapunzel and the Seven Dwarfs. An added bonus is the included audio CD which blends perfectly with the book.

Press Here by Herve Tullet (Ages 4-8)

And now on to Little Man’s latest obsession: Press Here by Herve Tullet. This book has drawn my toddler in like magic and it’s so simple really. Some of the best books are. All you need is your imagination. This book takes simplistic illustrations and interaction with your child to a whole new level. Click here to check out an interactive video to show exactly what I am talking about. Now the age designation is 4-8 for this book but Little Man is only 2. However while he cannot completely grasp the full concept- this is his favorite book of the moment. The primary colors and simple shapes keep him occupied and interested much longer than many books for children his age. It’s also a very sturdily made book so I have no problem leaving it out for independent play. This is an “it” book that every child, classroom and library should have. It truly is literary magic.

Book Giveaway

Thanks to the always generous August House one lucky reader of Stiletto Storytime will win their very own copy of Rapunzel and the Seven Dwarfs. Giveaway ends midnight EST April 24, 2011. US and Canada address only please. Winner will be chosen by random.org and notified by e-mail address. Good Luck to all and Happy Reading!

To enter simply leave a comment below letting me know what picture book you are sharing with the children in your life? Is there a great new title you want to share or an old favorite?

Want extra entries? You can get an extra entry by doing any of the following:

Be/Become a Follower of Stiletto Storytime

Be/Become a Follower Stiletto Storytime on Twitter

Tweet or Blog about these “Picture Book Picks”


Filed under Children's Literature, Children's Picture Books, New Books, Reading Fun

Review & Giveaway: Other Goose by J. Otto Seibold


The classics are just that…classics. However some of the most fun I’ve had in picture books has been when classics are reborn and re-imagined…one of my personal favorites is The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka. In that category we can now add Other Goose by J. Otto Seibold, a collection of “re-nurseried” rhymes for a new generation. Since it’s from J. Otto Seibold…you know it’s gonna be a great read. If you have not read Olive, The Other Reindeer then now is the perfect time of year. And since it’s from Chronicle Books…you know it’s going to be unique and detail oriented. Their packaging is simply fantastic and their attention to every detail in their covers is hard to beat.

While these humorous rhymes are skewed for the slightly older child than traditional Mother Goose, the rhyming and humor will keep the kids interested and bring back memories of the original inspiration. With great new funky rhymes such as “Blah Blah Black Sheep” and “Little Asleep Bo-Peep”, parents and kids will be laughing along with every turn of the page. Modern, dramatic illustrations complete this new look at Mother Goose for today’s kids. The bold images contain lots of details and hidden humor to keep kids looking more than once. It’s sure to be a hit with both girls and boys and even has a little of that special “boy” humor we all know they enjoy. So who would you share this book with?

Want a sneak peek at Other Goose? How about your own copy for that special child this Holiday season? Chronicle Books will give one lucky reader of Stiletto Storytime their own copy and a great matching poster.  Simply comment below with your email address and share your favorite traditional rhyme (Mother Goose or Other). US and Canada addresses only please. Giveaway ends midnight December 6th, 2010.


And if you like Other Goose make sure to add a uniquely inspired set of “Old Maid” cards in those stockings this year!


Filed under Blog Tour, Children's Literature, Children's Non-Fiction, Children's Picture Books

Happy Haul-idays from Chronicle Books

Have you heard about Happy Haul-idays from Chronicle Books?

Well…if you haven’t then let me clue you in. This holiday season Chronicle Books has decided to give bloggers and their readers a great opportunity. Bloggers get to create a wish list of $500 worth of Chronicle Books that they would like to add to their collections. By posting about this giveaway and listing their “wish list”, bloggers are entered to possibly win their entire $500 choice of books. Not only that…any readers who leave a comment on their blog post are also entered to win the same $500 in books! That’s right $500 in books from Chronicle Books. Are you excited yet? I know I am. I have chosen a diverse and fun array of books sure to excite not only myself but my readers as well. So look over the list and see what fantastic titles are available for grabs. Then comment on what books you would most like to win off the list. Remember with just one comment…you could win all $500 worth of books! This is such a great event from a truly unique publisher. Good Luck to All! What a great Haul-iday for the winners!

Happy Haul-iday Haul from Chronicle Books

Cooking and Baking

I Love Macaroons by Hisato Ogita $14.95

CakePops by Bakerella $19.95

Cook It in a Cup!: Quick Meals and Treats Kids Can Cook in Silicone Cups by Julia Myall $16.99

Flour: Spectacular Recipes from Boston’s Flour Bakery + Cafe $35.00

Tartine Bread by Chad Roberston $40.00

D.Y.I. Delicious: Recipes and Ideas for Simple Foods from Scratch $24.95

How to Cook Like a Top-Chef $29.95


Children’s Books

Little Turkey: Finger Puppet Book $6.95

Little Bat: Finger Puppet Book $6.95

In My Patch: Finger Puppet Books $8.99

Little Crab: Finger Puppet Book $6.99

Create Your Own Planet: Doodle and Draw with Todd Parr $14.99

Show and Tell: Exploring the Fine Art of Children’s Book Illustration $24.99

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland: A Classic Illustrated Edition $19.95

Peter Pan:  A Classic Illustrated Edition $19.95

Color & Count Placemats $10.99

Zoom by Simms Taback $4.99

Baby Flip-a-Face Cards: Look Baby $9.95

Julius by Paul Frank Alphabet Cards $14.95

Baby Animals on the Farm $8.95

Creature ABC by Andrew Zuckerman $19.99

Baby Face Nesting Blocks $19.99

Classic Horse Stories by Christina Darling $19.95

Eric Carle Animal Flash Cards $14.95

https://i0.wp.com/www.chroniclebooks.com/images/items/9780811/9780811875677/9780811875677_norm.png https://i0.wp.com/www.chroniclebooks.com/images/items/9780811/9780811863087/9780811863087_large.jpg

Adult Books

Silhouette Art by Vana Chupp $18.95

Mom’s One Line A Day: A Five-Year Memory Book $16.95

Audrey Hepburn: International Cover Girl by Scott Brizel $45.00


*Don’t forget: Just leave a comment on this post about the book you are most interested in and you could win all $500 worth of books on my wish list! Also make sure to leave me a comment with your e-mail address so that I can contact the winner! Deadline to enter for this great giveaway is December 10th.





Filed under Adult Books, Book Blogs, Contests, New Books, Publishers

Review & Giveaway: Prisoners in the Palace by Michaela MacColl

London, 1838. Sixteen-year-old Liza’s dreams of her society debut are dashed when her parents are killed in an accident. Penniless, she accepts the position of lady’s maid to young Princess Victoria and steps unwittingly into the gossipy intrigue of the servant’s world below-stairs as well as the trickery above. Is it possible that her changing circumstances may offer Liza the chance to determine her own fate, find true love, and secure the throne for her future queen?

Too often historical fiction for children and teens gets relegated to the dreaded “school assignment reading” category or it’s only appealing to those who are bookworms at heart and read large amounts of just about anything they can get their hands on. The average young reader won’t pick it up and often won’t even give it a second glance on the shelf. Michaela MacColl and Chronicle Books have fixed that problem with Prisoners in the Palace. Not only it it a captivating and well-written Victorian era novel, it also has some major shelf appeal for young adults. The book literally shines with it’s metallic foil cover and modern day make-over of Queen Victoria along with a back cover uniquely designed like a Victorian broadsheet (think TMZ on paper). The book presents a well-thought out mix of the old and new while staying true to it’s subject matter- a great combination for young adult readers. In a new twist to Queen Victoria’s ascent to the throne, MacColl has created a work that will keep teens interested and flipping the beautiful pages until the very end. Every page reflects her research, timing and attention to detail perfectly. It’s a must not only for young adult readers but also for anyone who enjoys historical fiction.

Today I am happy to welcome Michaela to Stiletto Storytime and what better topic for a guest post than censorship. As a librarian I have to say I have been on both sides of censorship in some ways. I have dealt with the parent that is upset that the picture book about a dirty puppy has the word “stupid” in it. She felt it should be pulled from the shelf. (Yes, this really happened). I have also read books that our library system may have had classified in the children’s fiction section (typically books for 12 and under)  and made the decision based on content to move them to young adult (13+). I firmly believe in everyone’s right to express themselves but as a children’ librarian I am a stickler for designating books for the ages that are appropriate. In the case of Prisoners at the Palace, I think both the author and the publisher have done a good job of setting both the age range and content appropriately. Although as Michaela shows…someone will almost always disagree……



“What makes an historical book appropriate? Or as I was told recently, not appropriate?

I had made tentative plans to go to a bookfair in Westchester County, a wealthy suburb north of New York City. The PTA wanted me to do a presentation and sign books. I love doing this, so I agreed. The Principal and the Bookfair chairperson would read the book and make a final decision. I just heard that they have decided against me and The Prisoners in the Palace. Although they will sell my book, they don’t feel comfortable with the content for all students in the middle school and they don’t want to appear to be promoting it.

Prisoners in the Palace is recommended for ages 12 and up. That was Chronicle Books’s (my fabulous publisher) decision and I completely endorsed it. The story is about two seventeen year olds, Princess Victoria and her maid/spy/friend Liza Hastings. The Princess’s romantic life is almost entirely in her head and her great love affair with Prince Albert is still four years away. Liza has a chaste romance where both parties have the best of intentions. There are hints that the Duchess of Kent (Victoria’s widowed mother) might be having an affair with her Comptroller of the Household, Sir John Conroy.  There is a wholly untrue scandal about the Queen having an affair. And then there’s the sub-plot with the maid, Annie.  Before the start of the book, Annie was dismissed preemptorially from Kensington Palace because of lewd behavior (this was a tidbit I found in the historical record). When we meet her several months later, she is a prostitute – a common fate of servants who were fired without a “character” or recommendation. There are hints that Sir John may have “had his way with her.” I don’t want to give away anymore – but those are the basics. For a generation raised on Gossip Girl, Twilight, The Jersey Shore and even the Disney Family Secret Life of an American Teenager, this seems pretty tame, doesn’t it?

The Bookfair Chairperson told me that the Annie sub-plot was the issue that gave the school pause. (I was a little confused that Annie being taken advantage of was objectionable but that she was to be commended for keeping the baby – but that’s a political discussion that has no place here!) They thought it was too much for their youngest readers (this would be sixth grade).

Let me be clear – this bookfair had not made a firm commitment yet. The bookfair chairperson who wrote to me couldn’t have been more gracious. She personally enjoyed the book and didn’t consider anything in it to be gratuitous. I responded in a like manner – I appreciated her thoughtful comments, my next book would be solidly middle grade and perhaps I could visit next year.

But I’m worried. If this novel isn’t appropriate, what is? Prisoners in the Palace does tackle the powerlessness of women in the 1830’s. It was a sad and undeniable fact that young women servants were completely at the mercy of the men of the household. Liza, my heroine, is a recent orphan without any means of support. Her situation can’t much more precarious. As a child, even the future ruler of Great Britain, Victoria has zero control over her life. Annie is a cautionary tale for Liza and Liza’s role is to make sure that the future Teen Queen knows a little something about the real life outside the palace walls. How can this not be a good message for kids, twelve and up to learn? Especially since they learn it in context of a well-researched story that paints a portrait of early Victorian England?

I have two daughters, one fourteen and one twelve. They were always in my mind when I wrote. Frankly, I’m a bit of a prude and I’m not interesting in writing something that I have to “talk about” with the kids. There are many authors out there who write this kind of book well, and I’d much rather “talk about those books” with my girls.  I’d rather that my readers talked history and a good story.

To see if I’ve been disinvited anyplace else, please visit my website, www.michaelamaccoll.com


Book Giveaway

Thanks to Chronicle Books (one of my favorite publishers due to their unique releases and attention to detail) readers can use the promotion code PRISONER at Chronicle Books and get 25% off plus free shipping on their very own copy of  Prisoners at the Palace. One lucky winner will receive a copy by simply leaving a comment below with their e-mail address. US/Canada addresses only. Giveaway ends on November 12th at midnight EST. Good luck to all!

You can also see other reviews from the Blog Tour of Prisoners in the Palace & other features here.


Filed under Author Interviews & Posts, Blog Tour, Books for Girls, Girly Books, historical fiction, Young Adult Books

Review & Giveaway: The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Gross Junior Edition

https://i0.wp.com/www.chroniclebooks.com/images/items/9780811/9780811875707/9780811875707_large.jpg Two distinct things popped into my mind after reading The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Gross Junior Edition by David Borgenicht, Nathaniel Marunas &Robin Epstein.

#1: What a great book for a reluctant boy reader in the age range of 8-12.

#2 This is a book that may not make me very popular among the parent(s) of that 8-12 year old reluctant reader.

The book is everything the title claims..and most of all gross. I understand some people may have objections…do we really need to know all the alternative names for poop or have boogers, gas and burps classified? Well…maybe not. But that does not mean that it may be extremely fascinating to young boys the world over and may be the ticket to getting them to pick up a book! The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Gross Junior Edition also has another great thing going for it…it’s full of facts! Sure the facts may be gross but they are facts nonetheless which is another hit for that 8-12 year age group. Think the “Guinness World Book” stage that a lot of kids go through. I went through one myself and adore random facts to this day. I am a librarian. This book will satisfy that random fact urge on the grossest of levels, my husband was a fast fan (the male gender appeal seems to extend far beyond the target age group).  You can learn everything from the real truth about warts to the largest hairball ever removed from a human. That’s right, I said human not cat. Told you it was gross. It’s all you would come to expect from the great Worst Case Scenario series only gross and junior sized!

And thanks to the generous publisher Chronicle Books, one lucky Stiletto Storytime reader will get to be grossed out as well with their own copy of The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Gross Junior Edition. Read it yourself and share it with the boys in your life (both young and old)…they are sure to love it! Contest ends October 7th at midnight EST. Winner will be chosen randomly and notified by e-mail. To enter simply leave a comment with your e-mail address telling me who in your life would LOVE this book.

Also make check out the other stops on this books great Blog Tour:


Filed under Blog Tour, Children's Literature, Children's Non-Fiction, Middle Grade, New Books