Friday, July 31, 2009

Fun Friday: Give me something to sing about! (13)

Lucky number thirteen!! And I mean that, I was born on the thirteenth and it's my lucky number.

Fun Friday: Give me something to sing about! is where you guys get to see a song or two I like each week. Thanks goes to J.J. at Random Musings for help with the title.

Okay, so remember my contest that I just announced the winner of? Remember how I asked each of you what was a song you could listen to over and over and over again?

Well, our winner Samantha had four songs she loved. One of them was one of my all-time favourite songs ever, Skin by Alexz Johnson.



Her others were Slow Dance by Framing Henley, Belt Loops by The Films, Do You Wanna by The Kooks.

And then this:


Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones



Is the playlist of my contest. (Except for one song from Pam called "Emperor Penguin" by the Tragically Hip I couldn't find anywhere, sorry! And Eli's Dixie, because I'm not sure what that is. Sorry if any songs are wrong or anything.)

Okay, I think that's everything! What are you guys addicted to this week?
Peace and cookies,
Laina

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Contest Winner

Okay, so I spent probably the last... hour and a half, two hours tallying up contest entries. There were 22 people who entered, which rocks!!

Some interesting facts - If anyone from Shooting Stars Mag had entered, they would have gotten about a half dozen referrall entries. If I'd entered my own contest, I myself could have gotten three or four entries from my other blog.

I want to make a special note that Sadako got the most amount of entries simply because she commented a ton. (I gave an entry for each comment you guys left.) Commenting really does pay off!

Now, on to the winner.

I made a list of all the entries and randomized it using random.org's list randomizer and then used random.org again to choose an number and that number is our winner,

*Samantha*!!!!!!
from Harlequin Twilight's Book Blog.

Congrats!! I'm emailing you as soon as I post this to tell you!

Alright, so if you didn't win, don't despair. In October my blogoversary is coming up and I'm planning more than one contest, so you'll have more chances to win!
Peace and cookies,
Laina

In My Mailbox (11)

Yeah, this is a little late, but I've been way behind because I was gone and I missed like two weeks, and I don't want it to be any later. Anyways, don't be put off by the long post. There are some things you guys won't want to miss.

As always In My Mailbox is the creation of The Story Siren, who was inspired by Alea.

Recieved:

The Debs: Love, Lies and Texas Dips by Susan McBride - Paperback

The Debs are back!

Now that her dream of becoming a deb is finally coming true, Laura’s confidence is at an all-time high. But when she dares to mess with Jo Lynn’s football star boyfriend, Dillon, Laura finds herself at the center of some heinous gossip.

As predicted, becoming a deb is a shallow undertaking that Mac can barely muddle through. Still, things go from bad to worse when the new girl at school starts working her charms on Mac’s best friend, Alex. When Ginger’s grandmother asks her to sit for a formal portrait with the son of a local legend, she discovers that she already knows him—and what she knows isn’t good.

The stakes are raised for Jo Lynn when she finds Laura’s digits in Dillon’s cell phone. Is her boyfriend cheating on her with a debu-tank? She will soon find out.

Summary from amazon.

Speaking of the Story Siren, that's where I won this!! I haven't read the first one, though. It came with a Debs bookmark and it's signed!

Death by Denim by Linda Gerber - Paperback

Aphra Connolly is being chased by some very dangerous people. She knows her survival depends upon staying far away from love interest Seth, and listening to her mom’s lectures on the finer points of anonymity and survival. But how is a girl supposed to live under the radar and not think about her boyfriend when she’s in Paris—the most romantic city in the world? When her mom’s contact in Paris is found floating in the Seine with a deadly message stuffed in his mouth, Aphra realizes that she will never be able to stop running unless she confronts the situation head-on. Sneaking away from her mom, Aphra tracks down the criminal mastermind in Italy, only to unwittingly reveal Seth’s location. And her mistake has just put them both in mortal danger. . . .

Summary from amazon.

I haven't read the others in this series, either, but they look really cool. And it's signed and came with a Death By... series bookmark. Anyone notice how small the book is, though? It actually fit in my PO box, and those things are four inches by four inches tops. This was one from Free Book Friday Teens which is an awesome site.

Marked by P. C. Cast and Kristin Cast - Paperback

The House of Night series is set in a world very much like our own, except in 16-year-old Zoey Redbird's world, vampires have always existed. In this first book in the series, Zoey enters the House of Night, a school where, after having undergone the Change, she will train to become an adult vampire - that is, if she makes it through the Change. Not all of those who are chosen do. It's tough to begin a new life, away from her parents and friends, and on top of that, Zoey finds she is no average fledgling. She has been Marked as special by the vampire Goddess, Nyx. But she is not the only fledgling at the House of Night with special powers. When she discovers that the leader of the Dark Daughters, the school's most elite club, is misusing her Goddess-given gifts, Zoey must look deep within herself for the courage to embrace her destiny - with a little help from her new vampire friends.

Summary from goodreads because the amazon one is dumb.

This one is from I Heart Monster who totally rocks and included I Heart Monster bookmarks in with the books. Isn't that awesome? And don't you all think Laina Has Too Much Spare Time bookmarks would be just rocking? Haha

Betrayed by P. C. Cast and Kristin Cast - Paperback
Betrayed, the second installment in the bestselling House of Night series, is dark and sexy, and as thrilling as it is utterly shocking.
Fledgling vampyre Zoey Redbird has managed to settle in at the House of Night. She’s come to terms with the vast powers the vampyre goddess, Nyx, has given her, and is getting a handle on being the new Leader of the Dark Daughters, the school’s most elite group. Best of all, Zoey’s made some new friends and she finally feels like she belongs--like she really fits in. She actually has a boyfriend…or two. And despite the best efforts of her mother and step-loser John to humiliate her publically during parent visitation, she’s earned the respect of her professors and High Priestess, Neferet.
Then the unthinkable happens: human teenagers are being killed, and all the evidence points to the House of Night, straining human-vamp tensions in Tulsa to a breaking point. While danger stalks the humans from Zoey’s old life, she finds herself drawn into an intoxicating forbidden flirtation that threatens to distract her from the growing crisis. Then, when she needs her new friends the most, death strikes the House of Night. Too late, Zoey begins to realize that the very powers that make her so unique might also threaten those she loves, and she must find the courage to face a betrayal that could break her heart, her soul, and jeopardize the very fabric of her world.
Summary from amazon.
Also won from the awesome I Heart Monster. I can't wait to read these (but I must, as Paisley Hanover's review is severely overdue and I need to get reading it). And you know how popular these are? When I was at my aunt's, I was talking to my cousin (fifteen year old boy cousin) and mentioned I'd won these and he'd heard of them. And I don't think I've ever seen him read. So isn't that cool?
The French Mistress by Susan Holloway Scott - Paperback

The daughter of a poor nobleman, Louise leaves the French countryside for the court of King Louis XIV, where she must not only please the tastes of the jaded king, but serve as a spy for France. With few friends, many rivals, and ever-shifting loyalties, Louise learns the perils of her new role. Yet she is too ambitious to be a pawn in the intrigues of others. With the promise of riches, power, and even the love of a king, Louise creates her own destiny in a dance of intrigue between two monarchs—and two countries.

Summary from amazon.

This one was won from Passages To The Past, who's owner, Amy, is supernice and laughs at all my jokes when I enter her contests. It's signed and came with two French Mistress bookmarks. I don't read very much historical fiction so it's quite cool that I won this. Plus getting it amused the heck out of me because the author only put her last name in the return address part so I was like, "Who the heck is Scott and why is he sending me books?"

This One is Mine by Maria Semple - Hardcover

Violet Parry is living the quintessential life of luxury in the Hollywood Hills with David, her rock-and-roll manager husband, and her darling toddler, Dot. She has the perfect life--except that she's deeply unhappy. David expects the world of Violet but gives little of himself in return. When she meets Teddy, a roguish small-time bass player, Violet comes alive, and soon she's risking everything for the chance to find herself again. Also in the picture are David's hilariously high-strung sister, Sally, on the prowl for a successful husband, and Jeremy, the ESPN sportscaster savant who falls into her trap. For all their recklessness, Violet and Sally will discover that David and Jeremy have a few surprises of their own. THIS ONE IS MINE is a compassionate and wickedly funny satire about our need for more--and the often disastrous choices we make in the name of happiness.

Summary from goodreads because the amazon one sucked.

This one was one from the epic rat from her May Blog tour giveaways. I think. Don't quote me. :P Anyways, the author of this wrote for Mad About You (among other things) and I LOVE that show, so I have high hopes for this one.

Nothing But Trouble by Susan May Warren - Paperback

It's not fair to say that trouble happens every time PJ Sugar is around, but it feels that way when she returns to her home town, looking for a fresh start. Within a week, her former teacher is murdered and her best friend's husband is arrested as the number-one suspect. Although the police detective investigating the murder—who also happens to be PJ's former flame—is convinced it's an open-and-shut case, PJ's not so sure. She begins digging for clues in an effort to clear her friend’s husband and ends up reigniting old passions, uncovering an international conspiracy, and solving a murder along the way. She also discovers that maybe God can use a woman who never seems to get it right.

Summary from amazon.

Well, you all know me and the murder mysteries... This is also from the epic rat and looks really cute.

Other:

Boy Toy by Barry Lyga - Paperback

Five years ago Josh’s life changed. Drastically. And everyone in his school, his town—seems like the world—thinks they understand.

But they don’t—they can’t.

And now, about to graduate from high school, Josh is still trying to sort through the pieces. First there’s Rachel, the girl he thought he’d lost years ago. She’s back, and she’s determined to be part of his life, whether he wants her there or not.

Then there are college decisions to make, and the toughest baseball game of his life coming up, and a coach who won't stop pushing Josh all the way to the brink.

And then there’s Eve. Her return brings with it all the memories of Josh’s past. It’s time for Josh to face the truth about what happened.

If only he knew what the truth was . . .

Summary from goodreads.


Now why is this an other, you may ask. Did I buy this? Is it a library book? Nope. It came in the mail same as all the others.

But.

This is part of Barry's Book Blogger Bonus (that's just fun to say) which means that come October (when my blogoversary is), you guys will have the chance to win this. Plus Barry was supernice and included a whole bunch of swag that I'll either include or have a seperate giveaway for, we'll see how that goes.

And speaking of contests, mine for the YA Book Carnival has ended and a winner will be chosen soon (probably as soon as I finish this and get all the entries counted up) and announced sometime soon.

Okay, so I better get busy!! Leaving for a while really put me behind, so I have alot of stuff to do.
Peace and cookies,
Laina

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Contest reminder

I messed up on the date of the contest, so it's open another day, til tomorrow, Sunday July 26th, at 11:59pm.

Go enter!!!

(Also, I'm home!! And trying to catch up on everything.)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

On vacation...

Yeah, I wish I was there :P But I am gone for a little while. I went watersliding with my aunt and it turned into a three day stay with her, so I'm sort of on a mini-vacation. I'm not sure when I'll be back, probably in a day or two, so I'm just checking in to say I'm okay and I'm not ignoring my blog, I'll just be gone a few days. I'm not even checking my email that often.

But if I owe you a layout, I'll get it to you soon, promise.

Be back soon!
Peace and cookies,
Laina

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Fun Friday: Give me something to sing about! (12)

(I forgot it was Friday. I'm bad at keeping track of the date.)

Fun Friday: Give me something to sing about! is where you guys get to see a song or two I like each week. Thanks goes to J.J. at Random Musings for help with the title.

Okay... so this week I'd like to comment on how big the difference between a live version of a song and a studio version can be. In particular, this song.



It's called Beautiful Disaster and this version was on the CD Thankful.

This is the live version, from the CD Breakaway.



I absolutely love the live version, but I don't like really like the other one as much. What do you guys think? Thoughts, comments, current song addictions?

Peace and cookies,
Laina

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Waiting On Wednesday (13)

Waiting on Wednesday is brought to us by Jill at Breaking the Spine. And honest, this isn't late because I forgot. Mostly. Mostly it's late because I was out of town all day, and that's a legitimate excuse. *nods*

Okay, onto the book-lusting-after.


First up we have:

Wish Stealers by Tracy Trivas

Pennies stolen years ago from a wishing fountain send Griffin on a life-or-death quest in Tracy Trivas's enchanting debut novel, The Wish Stealers.

(Summary from amazon and I know it sucks but I'm tired and too lazy to go searching for a better one.)

It's pretty. What can I say? Pretty stuff is fun.


I Kissed a Zombie and I Liked It by Adam Selzer

Algonquin “Ali” Rhodes, the high school newspaper’s music critic, meets an intriguing singer, Doug, while reviewing a gig. He’s a weird-looking guy—goth, but he seems sincere about it, like maybe he was into it back before it was cool. She introduces herself after the set, asking if he lives in Cornersville, and he replies, in his slow, quiet murmur, “Well, I don’t really live there, exactly. . . .”

When Ali and Doug start dating, Ali is falling so hard she doesn’t notice a few odd signs: he never changes clothes, his head is a funny shape, and he says practically nothing out loud. Finally Marie, the school paper’s fashion editor, points out the obvious: Doug isn’t just a really sincere goth. He’s a zombie. Horrified that her feelings could have allowed her to overlook such a flaw, Ali breaks up with Doug, but learns that zombies are awfully hard to get rid of—at the same time she learns that vampires, a group as tightly-knit as the mafia, don’t think much of music critics who make fun of vampires in reviews. . . .

Now that sound hilarious.
Okay, that's it for me. And it's 10:30pm, it's still Wednesday!
Peace and cookies,
Laina

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Fun Friday: Give me something to sing about! (11)

Fun Friday: Give me something to sing about! is where you guys get to see a song I like each week. Thanks goes to J.J. at Random Musings for help with the title.

(I didn't forget, I just accidentally scheduled a review for Friday, so I put it off til today so you guys would read both.)

Anyways, the song that's been stuck in my head this week is called Operator (Girl Like Me) and it's by Shiloh. Embedding's disabled on the official video, but here's one of the lyrics and you can check out the official one here.



Well, that's it for this week! Thoughts, comments, current song addictions?
Peace and cookies,
Laina

Friday, July 10, 2009

Meet the Austins review

The Austins Family Chronicles 1: Meet the Austins by Madeleine L'Engle

Summary (from the back of the book): For a family with four kids, two dogs, assorted cats, and a constant stream of family and friends dropping by, life in the Austin family home has always been remarkably steady and contented. When a family friend suddenly dies in a plane crash, the Austins open their home to an orphaned girl, Maggy Hamilton. The Austin children - Vicky, John, Suzy, and Rob - do their best to be generous and welcoming to Maggy.

Vicky knows she should feel sorry for Maggy, but having sympathy for Maggy is no easy thing. Maggy is moody and spoiled; she breaks toys, wakes people in the middle of the night screaming, discourages homework, and generally causes chaos in the Austin household. How can one small child disrupt a family of six? Will life in ever return to normal?

Review: Why is it that good reviews are harder to write than bad? I've been sitting here for a good five or ten minutes procrastinating like crazy (and between Twitter, Spymaster, and youtube, I can procrastinate quite well) because I didn't know how to start this. And after the last book I read, I needed a book this good. Meet the Austins was published in 1960(there was one part where the family takes a road trip and there weren't any seatbelts in the car, which is what first really made me think it was an older book), but it reads like something that could have been written yesterday, and simply set in the past.

Plot: It isn't a book of giant plot-twists, but that's perfect. It's about a year in the life of the Austin family, including them taking in Maggy when she loses her father, vacations, bike accidents, the measles. Just life in general, but it's the characters who drive the story.

Characters: Vicky Austin, the narrator, has a very unique and interesting voice. She's only twelve in this book (although it takes place over the course of a year), but she reads like someone my age or older, which is part of the reason I enjoyed this so much. She has sidenotes (you know, talking in brackets) which as we all know, I find charming, and just plain rocks.

Other characters are so much fun, so interesting and so realistic, that it makes you wish you knew people like that. Here's an example:
Our grandfather, Mother's father, lives in a stable.
Maybe I'd better explain a little about this.
Even the characters you don't think you could ever like, you end up liking. You just can't help it.

PG-13 stuff: Nada. Clean as a whistle. Not even a curse word.

Cons, complaints, bad stuff, etc.: Well... it kept me up really late reading it, but that isn't really a bad thing. Hmm... I can't think of anything, really.

Cover comments: I love the cover. The middle part looks like a stamp, and is really quite detailed. You can click the picture to make it bigger, or check out this picture, which is of the audiobook cover, but it's larger. Then because I was curious, I googled, and I found these four covers. (Click to see larger pictures). Aren't they cute?



Conclusion: Madeleine L'Engle has been one of my favourite authors for years, and Meet the Austins is just as good as anything else of hers I've read. I'm so glad that they reprinted these (and my library got them) because I probably wouldn't have read them if they hadn't, and wouldn't that be a shame? Four and a half roses.


Peace and cookies,
Laina

Note: I probably won't do reviews of the other books. They'd just be super gushy, because... well, they're really good, and I've already finished The Moon by Night and I didn't take any notes, so my review wouldn't be very good, anyways. But I'm going include a list of the books below this for anyone who wants it, so check it out!

(List is from the back of the book, and this is how I'm reading them. It's from a cast of the characters thing.)

Books featuring the Austins:
Meet the Austins
The Moon by Night
The Young Unicorns
A Ring of Endless Light
Troubling A Star
The Twenty-Four Days Before Christmas (Prequel)

Books Featuring the Murry-O'Keefes:
A Wrinkle in Time
A Wind in the Door
A Swiftly Tilting Planet
Many Waters
An Acceptable Time
The Arm of the Starfish
Dragons in the Waters
A House Like Lotus

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Waiting On Wednesday (13)

Waiting on Wednesday is brought to us by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

What am I waiting on this week? Hmm, can I do Hush Hush again? Hehe, guess not. So my picks are:

(no cover)

Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken

Sydelle Mirabil is living proof that, with a single drop of rain, a life can be changed forever. Tucked away in the farthest reaches of the kingdom, her dusty village has suffered under the weight of a strangely persistent drought. That is, of course, until a wizard wanders into town and brings the rain with him.

In return for this gift, Wayland North is offered any reward he desires—and no one is more surprised than Sydelle when, without any explanation, he chooses her. Taken from her home, Sydelle hardly needs encouragement to find reasons to dislike North. He drinks too much and bathes too little, and if that isn’t enough to drive her to madness, North rarely even uses the magic he takes such pride in possessing. Yet, it’s not long before she realizes there’s something strange about the wizard, who is as fiercely protective of her as he is secretive about a curse that turns his limbs a sinister shade of black and leaves him breathless with agony. Unfortunately, there is never a chance for her to seek answers. Along with the strangely powerful quakes and storms that trace their path across the kingdom, other wizards begin to take an inexplicable interest in her as well, resulting in a series of deadly duels. Against a backdrop of war and uncertainty, Sydelle is faced with the growing awareness that these events aren’t as random as she had believed—that no curse, not even that of Wayland North, is quite as terrible as the one she herself may carry.

Summary from here.

And another one... (also no cover, this is what I get for spending time on the tenners site... but the ones that have covers are sooooo pretty and it's so much fun...)

The Unladylike Adventures of Kat Stephenson, Book One: A Most Improper Magick by Stephanie Burgis

Her mother was a scandalous witch, her brother has gambled the whole family into debt, and her Step-Mama is determined to sell her oldest sister into a positively Gothic marriage to pay it off--so what can fourteen-year-old Kat Stephenson do but take matters directly into her own hands? If only her older sisters hadn’t thwarted her plan to run away to London dressed as a boy and earn a fortune! When Kat makes a midnight foray into her mother’s cabinet of secrets, though, she finds out something she never expected. Her mother wasn’t just a witch, she was a Guardian, a member of a secret Order with staggering magical powers--and Kat is her heir.

Of course, there’s no chance of Kat choosing to join the Order that forbade her parents’ marriage...but Mama’s magical mirror doesn’t seem to understand that. It keeps following her wherever she goes, even when the family travels to Grantham Abbey to meet the sinister Sir Neville, her oldest sister’s chosen fiancĂ©. And what with Sir Neville showing a dangerous interest in Kat’s untapped powers, her mother’s old tutor insisting that she take up her mother’s position as a Guardian, and her sister Angeline refusing to listen to her about anything, as usual...well, it’s a good thing Kat kept her boy’s clothing, because she may well have to use it--especially if the rumors of a highwayman are true.

Summary from here.


Okay, this post was a tad bit lazy, but I'm getting tired.
Peace and cookies,
Laina

Monday, July 6, 2009

In My Mailbox (10)

I'm just not good at posting these on time. I'm just too much of a night person, I guess. So they'll probably always be posted early on Monday instead of on Sunday. Anyways.

In My Mailbox is the creation of The Story Siren, who was inspired by Alea.

So I didn't get a ton of books this week, but the ones I did get were quite cool.

Borrowed: None, I didn't go to the library.

Received:

The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare - Paperback

Kit Tyler knew, as she gazed for the first time at the cold, bleak shores of Connecticut Colony, that her new home would never be like the shimmering Caribbean islands she left behind. She was like a tropical bird that has flown to the wrong part of the world. And in the stern Puritan community of her relatives, she soon felt caged as well, and lonely. In the meadows, the only place where she could feel completely free, she meets another lone and mysterious figure, the old woman known as the Witch of Blackbird Pond. But when their friendship is discovered, Kit is faced with suspicion, fear, and anger. She herself is accused of witchcraft!

(Summary from the back of the book)

Won from a Blast From the Past contest at From the Library of Pandragon. I've actually read this before, but it was years ago, so it's cool I won it because I really wouldn't mind re-reading it at all.

Swim the Fly by Don Calame - Hardcover

Fifteen-year-old Matt Gratton and his two best friends, Coop and Sean, always set themselves a summertime goal. This year's? To see a real-live naked girl for the first time — quite a challenge, given that none of the guys has the nerve to even ask a girl out on a date. But catching a girl in the buff starts to look easy compared to Matt's other summertime aspiration: to swim the 100-yard butterfly (the hardest stroke known to God or man) as a way to impress Kelly West, the sizzling new star of the swim team. In the spirit of Hollywood’s blockbuster comedies, screenwriter-turned-YA-novelist Don Calame unleashes a true ode to the adolescent male: characters who are side-splittingly funny, sometimes crude, yet always full of heart.

(Summary from amazon)

Um. I'm not entirely sure how I got this. I don't think I won it. It just showed up in my post office the other day. So... thank you Candlewick Press!!

And the book that I was so excited to see I tore into the envelope with my housekey on the walk home from the post office.

After by Amy Efaw - ARC, so it's paperback.

An infant left in the trash to die. A teenage mother who never knew she was pregnant . . .
Before That Morning, these were the words most often used to describe straight-A student and star soccer player Devon Davenport: responsible, hardworking, mature. But all that changes when the police find Devon home sick from school as they investigate the case of an abandoned baby. Soon the connection is made—Devon has just given birth; the baby in the trash is hers. After That Morning, there’s only one way to define Devon: attempted murderer.
(Summary from amazon)
I'm so excited about this one!!!!! Ahh, I'm so tempted to read it right now... but I have other books I have to read first (I have a reading plan, so it is coming soon, I promise!)
Okay, so that's what was in my mailbox this week.
Peace and cookies,
Laina

Friday, July 3, 2009

Fun Friday: Give me something to sing about! (10)

Fun Friday: Give me something to sing about! is where you guys get to see a song I like each week. Thanks goes to J.J. at Random Musings for help with the title.

(I've decided to cut it back to one, as three videos a week can cause load time to way slow down and I don't want anyone with a slow connection to not want to read my blog.)

This week's song is All You Wanted by Michelle Branch, which I totally love.




Okay, that's it for this week! Thoughts, questions, current song addictions?
Peace and cookies,
Laina

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Waiting On Wednesday (12)

Happy Canada Day!!And now on to our regularly scheduled programming.

Waiting on Wednesday is brought to us by
Jill at Breaking the Spine.

My picks this week are:

The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin by Josh Berk

Being a hefty, deaf newcomer almost makes Will Halpin the least popular guy at Coaler High. But when he befriends the only guy less popular than him, the dork-namic duo has the smarts and guts to figure out who knocked off the star quarterback. Will can’t hear what’s going on, but he’s a great observer. So, who did it? And why does that guy talk to his fingers? And will the beautiful girl ever notice him? (Okay, so Will’s interested in more than just murder . . .)

Those who prefer their heroes to be not-so-usual and with a side of wiseguy will gobble up this witty, geeks-rule debut.

Summary from publisher's website.

My second pic is:

Plain Kate by Erin Bow
In a market town by a looping river there lived an orphan girl called Plain Kate ….
Kate’s is a colorful world of brokenhearted magicians, wandering gypsy clans, carved charms and stolen shadows. It’s a dark world of ghosts, fog and questions. It’s a dangerous world of witch burnings, persecution and plague. Her story is a coming-of-age story, a story about family and belonging, trust and betrayal, bravery and sacrifice, death and what lies beyond. Also, there’s a talking cat in it.

Summary from author's website.

Peace and cookies,
Laina