Weekly News #2: 11/27-12/3

Posted December 4, 2016 by MC / 3 Comments

Categories: Weekly News

Comings and Goings

Happy December! As you are reading this, I am off on a trip to Boston! I will be hitting up some awesome bookstores and meeting up with some blogger and author friends while I’m up there. I’m also seeing my old college hockey team play. Hopefully they win! I’m really excited to get away for the weekend and have some fun. I probably won’t get very much reading done at all, but maybe I will come home with some new books.

On the Blog

New Books

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Read This Week

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Currently Reading

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I will be linking up to The Sunday Post!

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When it’s time to report the weekly news…..

…..blame it on the books.

Wrap Up: November 2016

Posted December 1, 2016 by MC / 0 Comments

Categories: Wrap Ups

Happy December everyone! (Holy cow, I can’t believe it’s time to say that already…) Here is a quick summary of everything that happened here on the blog in November! The biggest piece of news from this month is that I joined Cornerfolds as a co-blogger! As you can probably tell, it has really helped me get back on track with my blogging. I’m so excited and feeling ready to go!

Weekly News

Book Reviews

Other Books I Read

  • To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han [audiobook] ★★
  • Eldest by Christopher Paolini [audiobook] ★★★
  • Boy Robot by Simon Curtis [ARC] DNF
  • The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine [audiobook] ★★★
  • Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Cordova [ARC]  ★★★½
  • The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart [audiobook] ★★★
  • Empath by S. Usher Evans ★★★★½
  • Cinder by Marissa Meyer [audiobook] ★★★★½
  • From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg [audiobook] ★★★★★

Other Posts

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When you wrap up the month…..

…..blame it on the books.

Cornerfolds Wrap Up November 2016

Posted November 30, 2016 by MC / 1 Comment

Categories: Book Reviews, Cornerfolds, Wrap Ups

Hi everyone! I thought I would post something every month to let you know what books I have reviewed over at Cornerfolds (just in case you missed them). This way, I can have all of my reviews added to my review index and they can all be accessed easily from one place. Since I have only been a part of Cornerfolds for about a week, there is only one review to recap this month. But moving forward, I should have about 4-6 reviews posted on Cornerfolds each month.

In November, I reviewed:

Cornerfolds Wrap Up November 2016Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli, Michael Crouch
Published by Balzer + Bray on April 7th 2015
Goodreads

6h 45m
William C. Morris Award Finalist
A National Book Award Longlist Title
Everybody is talking about Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda!
"A remarkable gift of a novel."—Andrew Smith, author of Grasshopper Jungle
"I am so in love with this book."—Nina LaCour, author of Hold Still"Feels timelessly, effortlessly now."—Tim Federle, author of Better Nate Than Ever"The best kind of love story."—Alex Sanchez, Lambda Award-winning author of Rainbow Boys and Boyfriends with Girlfriends
Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he's pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he's never met.
Incredibly funny and poignant, this twenty-first-century coming-of-age, coming out story—wrapped in a geek romance—is a knockout of a debut novel by Becky Albertalli.

Check out my full review on Cornerfolds!

5 Stars

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When you review on Cornerfolds…..

…..blame it on the books.

Weekly News #1: 11/20-11/26

Posted November 27, 2016 by MC / 4 Comments

Categories: Weekly News

Hello! This is my first weekly update post here on the blog! In an effort to get myself more organized, I thought a weekly check-in might help keep me on track. So here is a quick update on what I’ve been up to:

Comings and Goings

This week was pretty awesome. I only worked a day and a half! I have been spending so much time with family and friends. Unfortunately, that means I haven’t been reading very much. But once things settle down next week, I think I will have lots of time for my books.

I shockingly didn’t buy any books on Black Friday! Ok, so my mom bought a book for me….but still. The only thing I picked up on Black Friday was one little Harry Potter notebook. I was so proud of myself.

Also, in case you missed my announcement…..you can now find me as a co-blogger on Cornerfolds!

On the Blog

My Cornerfolds co-blogging announcement
Tracy’s announcement on Cornerfolds
My first review on Cornerfolds! (Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda)

New Books

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Read This Week
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Currently Reading

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I will be linking up to The Sunday Post!

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When it’s time to report the weekly news…..

…..blame it on the books.

An Exciting Announcement!

Posted November 23, 2016 by MC / 6 Comments

Categories: Bookish Thoughts

Hi everyone! In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve been a little sporadic in my blogging the past few months. I’ve been having a hard time balancing my blog and my life. I still adore blogging and have no intentions of stopping any time soon, but I needed something to get me going again.

That being said, I’ve decided it’s time for a change! And now I have some big news to share! I’m so excited to announce……

I am now a coblogger for Cornerfolds!

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I’ve decided to team up with my friend Tracy over on her blog. This doesn’t mean I will be ending things here – I still plan on posting here regularly. But now you can find me at least once a week (sometimes more) over at Cornerfolds!

Tracy and I met back in June and we have chatted pretty much every single day since then. I’m so very excited about this opportunity and I can’t wait to become a part of the family Tracy has already established on her blog. Check out her announcement post and come say hi! And keep an eye out for me every week!

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When you join another blog…..

…..blame it on the books.

The Union by S. Usher Evans: Preorder Blitz!

Posted November 19, 2016 by MC / 0 Comments

Categories: Preorder Blitz

Hi everyone! Today I’m here to let you know about an AWESOME book that is now available for preorder! The Union by S. Usher Evans (one of my favorite people in the world) is coming your way soon! If you haven’t started this series yet, you’re going to want to get going before The Union is released! Trust me, you will want to read it immediately! You can check out my reviews of The Island and The Chasm if you still need some more convincing. For more information about The Union and how you can preorder it (and get a special free gift), keep reading!

The Union, the final book in the Madion War Trilogy, is now available for preorder.

Fifty years of war have led to this.

Prince Galian spends his days ministering to the sick in Kylae, but his nights strategizing how to change hearts and minds of his people. With the death camp closed, the country is becoming more volatile, and even King Grieg may not be able to maintain control over the warring factions.

Across the Great Madion Sea, Theo Kallistrate seeks an audience with the Raven rebels, rumored to be brewing insurrection against President Bayard. But they don’t trust her, and progress has been achingly slow. When the war takes a major turn, Theo and Galian find themselves front and center in a political firestorm that could end with their union…or their funeral.

The final book in the Madion War Trilogy takes readers further into the political quagmire between Rave and Kylae, twisting and turning to a stunning conclusion that leaves readers breathless. All books in the series are currently available for preorder/purchase in eBook, paperback, and hardcover.

Add the trilogy to your Goodreads TBR

Buy direct and get a free gift!The Prince and the Heiress, available as an exclusive preorder gift through SGR-Pub.com

Preorder The Union from Sun’s Golden Ray Publishing and receive an exclusive, free novella called The Prince and the Heiress.

After the events in The Union, the world is in a precarious position. Prince Rhys struggles to keep the country from imploding. To undo the damage done by his father, he must forge alliances with those he once considered enemies. Across the great Madion Sea, Olivia Collins oversees her company’s hasty cross-ocean move while closely watching the events back home. But when Prince Rhys asks her to help, she realizes they’re more alike than she thought.

This bonus novella is only available with preorders through SGR-Pub.com.

The Union is also available through these book retailers

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

iBook

Kobo

Book Depository (HC | PB)

Indie Bound

For more information about the first two books in the trilogy,
click on the covers below. Both books are on sale this week only for $0.99

The Island, the first book in the Madion War Trilogy The Chasm, the second book in the Madion War Trilogy

About the Author

S. Usher Evans is an author, blogger, and witty banter aficionado. Born in Pensacola, Florida, she left the sleepy town behind for the fast-paced world of Washington, D.C.. There, she somehow landed jobs with BBC, Discovery Channel, and National Geographic Television before finally settling into a “real job” as an IT consultant. After a quarter life crisis at age 27, she decided consulting was for the birds and rekindled a childhood passion for writing novels. She sold everything she owned and moved back to Pensacola, where she currently resides with her two dogs, Zoe and Mr. Biscuit. Evans is the author of the Razia series, Madion War Trilogy, Lexie Carrigan Chronicles, and Empath, all published by Sun’s Golden Ray Publishing.

Be sure to check her out on the below social media sites:

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When an awesome trilogy is coming to a close…..

…..blame it on the books.

Sunday Street Team: Timekeeper by Tara Sim | Interview

Posted November 14, 2016 by MC / 1 Comment

Categories: Author Interviews, Sunday Street Team

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Sunday Street Team was created by the amazing Nori at ReadWriteLove28. To sign up to join the team, click here.

Sunday Street Team: Timekeeper by Tara Sim | InterviewTimekeeper by Tara Sim
on November 8th 2016
Goodreads

In an alternate Victorian world controlled by clock towers, a damaged clock can fracture time—and a destroyed one can stop it completely.

It’s a truth that seventeen-year-old clock mechanic Danny Hart knows all too well; his father has been trapped in a Stopped town east of London for three years. Though Danny is a prodigy who can repair not only clockwork, but the very fabric of time, his fixation with staging a rescue is quickly becoming a concern to his superiors.

And so they assign him to Enfield, a town where the tower seems to be forever plagued with problems. Danny’s new apprentice both annoys and intrigues him, and though the boy is eager to work, he maintains a secretive distance. Danny soon discovers why: he is the tower’s clock spirit, a mythical being that oversees Enfield’s time. Though the boys are drawn together by their loneliness, Danny knows falling in love with a clock spirit is forbidden, and means risking everything he’s fought to achieve.

But when a series of bombings at nearby towers threaten to Stop more cities, Danny must race to prevent Enfield from becoming the next target or he’ll not only lose his father, but the boy he loves, forever.

The stunning first novel in a new trilogy by debut author Tara Sim, Timekeeper is perfect for fans of Cassandra Clare and Victoria Schwab.

I received this book for free from ALA Annual Conference in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Author Interview:

Hi Tara! Thanks so much for being here! Congratulations on having your first novel published! Yay!!!!! I’m curious…was Timekeeper one of the first manuscripts you wrote? How long have you been writing and how much did you write before Timekeeper?

Thanks so much for having me! Actually, Timekeeper was my 10th manuscript, although it was the first YA book I’ve ever written. I’ve been writing all my life, but I started to really get into it when I was 14 and knew I wanted to write fantasy novels. When I was 15 I finished my very first novel and it was such a great feeling, I went on to write several more until I got the idea for Timekeeper. Every project taught me different things about writing, though, so none of those abandoned MSs are a waste to me.

I had the pleasure of going to your signing at ALA in Orlando this past June! How did it feel to have your first signing as a published author? Was it everything you thought it would be? I thought it was amazing, but tell us about the experience from your point of view.

First of all, thank you for coming to the signing! It was such a surreal experience, since it was something I’d only ever dreamed about. I was actually pretty nervous about messing up people’s names or doing something else embarrassing, but the signing went smoothly and I had a lot of fun. We ran out of ARCs in like half an hour, which blew my mind!

What is one of the most interesting (or weird) things that you learned while you were doing your research for Timekeeper?

There are a lot of strange little Victorian customs I learned about. One of my favorite–for purposes of the book, naturally–was that when a family member died, all the clocks in the household would be stopped at that person’s time of death. Creepy, right?

Would you want to live in the world where Timekeeper takes place? What would you love about that world? What would you want to avoid?

I think it would be a very interesting world to live in. In my version of Victorian London, women are entering the workforce more, and leading their own quiet rebellion by wearing trousers and getting tattoos and all these things that are scandalous–and I do love scandalizing people. The magic, too, would be really fascinating to live with, especially if I was a clock mechanic. There are dangers, though, such as what happens when a clock tower is damaged. The danger of being trapped in a town where time doesn’t run anymore would be pretty daunting.

This is a question that I always love to ask authors: What does your writing space look like? Are you someone that prefers to work in order or in chaos?

My writing space is actually kind of cramped, since I don’t have my own writing office (yet!). I use a little IKEA desk that’s set up next to my bookshelves, but I have a window right in front of me with a nice view. I think a little chaos mixed with a little order is the perfect environment for me.

I ADORE the cover of Timekeeper. Did you have any input in the design at all? Was this cover the original design or has it gone through some changes since the initial mock-up? And was the book always called Timekeeper?

Thank you! The cover as it is now wasn’t the first mock up I saw. While the first mock up was lovely, it didn’t feel like the book, so I asked if we could take another shot and even drew of sketch of what I had in mind. What resulted was the cover you see now, which I love! When I first wrote the book I simply called it Clockwork, but I changed the title to Timekeeper when I was querying agents, and it’s been that ever since.

We are all dying to know – what are you working on now? What’s next for the lovely Tara Sim????

Right now I’m working on another trilogy. It’s a YA high fantasy with multiple POVs, which I like to pitch as Pirates of the Caribbean meets Avatar: the Last Airbender.

Meet the Author:

Tara Sim can typically be found wandering the wilds of the Bay Area, California. When she’s not chasing cats or lurking in bookstores, she writes books about magic, clocks, and explosives. TIMEKEEPER is her debut novel. Follow her on Twitter at @EachStarAWorld, or check out her website tarasim.com for fun extras.

Enter the Giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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When you join the Sunday Street Team…..

…..blame it on the books.

FBCYA Blog Tour: Timekeeper by Tara Sim | Review

Posted November 9, 2016 by MC / 7 Comments

Categories: Blog Tours, Book Reviews, Fanboy Book Club

timekeeper-tour-banner

FBCYA Blog Tour: Timekeeper by Tara Sim | ReviewTimekeeper by Tara Sim
on November 8th 2016
Goodreads

Two o’clock was missing.
In an alternate Victorian world controlled by clock towers, a damaged clock can fracture time—and a destroyed one can stop it completely.
It’s a truth that seventeen-year-old clock mechanic Danny Hart knows all too well; his father has been trapped in a Stopped town east of London for three years. Though Danny is a prodigy who can repair not only clockwork, but the very fabric of time, his fixation with staging a rescue is quickly becoming a concern to his superiors.
And so they assign him to Enfield, a town where the tower seems to be forever plagued with problems. Danny’s new apprentice both annoys and intrigues him, and though the boy is eager to work, he maintains a secretive distance. Danny soon discovers why: he is the tower’s clock spirit, a mythical being that oversees Enfield’s time. Though the boys are drawn together by their loneliness, Danny knows falling in love with a clock spirit is forbidden, and means risking everything he’s fought to achieve.
But when a series of bombings at nearby towers threaten to Stop more cities, Danny must race to prevent Enfield from becoming the next target or he’ll not only lose his father, but the boy he loves, forever.
The stunning first novel in a new trilogy by debut author Tara Sim, Timekeeper is perfect for fans of Cassandra Clare and Victoria Schwab.
Sky Pony Press, with our Good Books, Racehorse and Arcade imprints, is proud to publish a broad range of books for young readers—picture books for small children, chapter books, books for middle grade readers, and novels for young adults. Our list includes bestsellers for children who love to play Minecraft; stories told with LEGO bricks; books that teach lessons about tolerance, patience, and the environment, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.

I received this book for free from ALA Annual Conference in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review:

Oh my goodness this book! If there was ever a reason to break out the heart eyes emoji, now is the time! Ok, ok, I’ll stop. Let’s get serious and talk about this book…

Timekeeper has been one of my most anticipated reads of 2016 for months and I was so lucky to meet Tara at ALA in June (I got the second copy of Timekeeper that she ever signed!). When I heard that the Fanboy Book Club was granted the privilege of hosting this blog tour, I was ecstatic! Tara is such a lovely person and I COULD NOT WAIT to read and review Timekeeper for you.

Timekeeper had me hooked right from the beginning. I instantly liked all of the characters and was really intrigued by this alternate Victorian London that Tara created. The world in this book is so cool. I would love to be able to visit the clock towers and watch the autos roll down the street. I could picture every scene so perfectly and I can’t wait to learn even more about this world in future books.

One of my favorite things about Timekeeper was the way LGBTQ issues were presented in this book. Tara created a world in which people were pretty much indifferent to homosexuality. They were way more concerned with other issues (like time) and barely showed any interest in the fact that Danny liked boys. Wouldn’t that be an awesome world to live in??? I just adored how gender issues were brought to light in this book, but weren’t the main focus of it. They were there, but they weren’t the main issue. I loved that this message was sent, and I really hope to see more books with similar themes.

Personally, I didn’t find Danny and Colton’s relationship as adorable and gush-worthy as most people. I think that was mostly due to my aversion to romance in general, though. They were an adorable couple, but I felt like they fell in love (or became infatuated with each other) a little quickly. Despite what I saw as insta-love, I still really loved both characters and want to see them live happily ever after.

All in all, I was so pleasantly surprised with Timekeeper. I can see huge potential in Tara Sim as a writer in general and in this series as a whole. I can’t wait to read the next book. I can just feel Tara growing as a writer and it makes me so excited. Big things are in store for Tara Sim, and I highly recommend you pick up Timekeeper and give it a shot. You won’t be sorry.

4 Stars

Excited about Timekeeper? Check out this giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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When you get to host a blog tour…..

…..blame it on the books.

Fall Favorite Things Blog Tour: The Amateurs by Sara Shepard | Review

Posted November 5, 2016 by MC / 2 Comments

Categories: Blog Tours, Book Reviews

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Hello hello! Remember when I told you I had the final installment in the Fall Favorite Things Blog Tour? Well, surprise! I’ve got one more book for you! The final book on this tour (seriously this time) is The Amateurs by Sara Shepard. The Amateurs just hit shelves this week and it is a really fun mystery! Keep reading for my review!

Fall Favorite Things Blog Tour: The Amateurs by Sara Shepard | ReviewThe Amateurs by Sara Shepard
Published by Disney Electronic Content on November 1st 2016
Goodreads

As soon as Seneca Frazier sees the post on the Case Not Closed website about Helena Kelly, she's hooked. Helena's high-profile disappearance five years earlier is the one that originally got Seneca addicted to true crime. It's the reason she's a member of the site in the first place. So when Maddy Wright, her best friend from the CNC site, invites Seneca to spend spring break in Connecticut looking into the cold case, she immediately packs her bag. But the moment she steps off the train in trendy, glamorous Dexby, things begin to go wrong. Maddy is nothing like she expected, and Helena's sister, Aerin Kelly, seems completely hostile and totally uninterested in helping with their murder investigation. But when Brett, another super user from the site, joins Seneca and Maddy in Dexby, Aerin starts to come around. The police must have missed something, and someone in Dexby definitely has information they've been keeping quiet. As Seneca, Brett, Maddy, and Aerin begin to unravel dark secrets and shocking betrayals about the people closest to them, they seem to be on the murderer's trail at last. But somewhere nearby the killer is watching . . . ready to do whatever it takes to make sure the truth stays buried. First in a new series by the #1 New York Times best-selling author of the Pretty Little Liars series, Sara Shepard, The Amateurs is packed with the twists and turns, steamy romance, and stunning revelations that her fans have been waiting for.

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review:

Well, what a pleasant surprise this book turned out to be! Sara Shepard has had a ton of success with her Pretty Little Liars series, but I still wasn’t sure what I was walking into. I hadn’t heard a lot about The Amateurs and I actually didn’t read the synopsis before I picked up the book! Sometimes it pays off to go into a book completely blind.

Right from the start, I was hooked on this book. I trusted Sara to take me on a mysterious ride, and I wasn’t let down. I kept wanting to turn the page to see what happened next and I couldn’t seem to decide who was the culprit. The twist at the end really shocked me and left me wondering who I could trust. Plus, it was really fun seeing the story unfold in Connecticut, where I live!

One issue that I had with the book was that sometimes the characters didn’t seem very realistic. I liked the characters and their character development, but they definitely didn’t seem like typical high school students. The amount of drinking and drugs that these teens did (even right in front of their parents!) was a little much. Being from Connecticut, I can tell you that even the stereotypical rich Connecticut kids don’t really act like that.

The Amateurs was a really fun read that I finished very quickly because I couldn’t put it down. If you want a good mystery that isn’t too scary, then this is the book for you. If you have seen (and become addicted to) Pretty Little Liars, then you will probably love The Amateurs. It makes me want to try solving a mystery of my own! (But not really because I am a GIANT chicken.)

3.5 Stars

Purchase links for The Amateurs!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Meet the Author!

For as long as she can remember, Sara Shepard has been writing. However, when she was young she also wanted to be a soap opera star, a designer for LEGO, a filmmaker, a claymation artist, a geneticist, and a fashion magazine editor when she grew up. She and her sister have been creating joint artistic and written projects for years, except they’re pretty sure they’re the only ones who find them funny. Sara’s bestselling young adult series, Pretty Little Liars, is loosely based on her experiences growing up on Philadelphia’s Main Line…although luckily she never had any serious stalkers. The series has also inspired the Freeform television series of the same name.

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When you join the Fall Favorite Things Blog Tour…..

…..blame it on the books.

1000 Twitter Follower Giveaway! [CLOSED]

Posted October 24, 2016 by MC / 11 Comments

Categories: Giveaways

giveaway-2

Well hello there, everyone! I promised this giveaway a long time ago when I hit 1000 Twitter followers, and I’m so sorry it took me so long to pull everything together!

So you don’t have to wait any longer, let’s get right into the details!

Here is what I am giving away:

  • an ARC of THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR by Nicola Yoon
  • a mystery stack of SIX other 2016 ARCS

Here are the rules (it’s pretty simple):

  • enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below! There are lots of different ways to earn entries!
  • this giveaway is US ONLY. Apologies to all of my international friends!
  • the giveaway will run from Monday, October 24 at 12:00am EST until Wednesday, November 2 at 11:59pm EST.

Alright, now that all the details are out of the way, I can take a second to say a GIANT THANK YOU to every one of you! It is mind-boggling to me that there are over 1000 people out there who are interested in little old me. I couldn’t have reached this point without the support of the fantastic book community, so thank you, thank you, thank you!

And good luck!!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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When you reach 1000 Twitter followers…..

…..blame it on the books.